Medicinal Cannabis Use Approved in French Polynesia
by Bethan Rose
Senatorial candidate Gary Chambers Jr. smokes a blunt in his newest ad, pot brownies landed a South Dakota teacher in hot water, and an unearthed tomb shed some light on ancient Chinese cannabis use.
Let’s dive into this week’s cannanews.
A new ad from Louisiana senatorial candidate Gary Chambers Jr. (D) is sparking some conversation. In the ad, Chambers smokes a blunt while discussing the damage done by the war on drugs to minorities specifically. As Chambers says in the ad, Black Americans are four times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than white Americans.
Though Chambers faces a big challenge in attempting to secure the seat currently occupied by Republican John N. Kennedy, the significance of his ad should not be understated. Cannabis’ political and cultural status has significantly changed in the last couple of years, and Chambers’ trailblazing ad is a major marker of that change.
While it’s true that politicians have admitted to smoking cannabis in the past, those statements were often followed by a disclaimer that it was something they only did in their youth. Chambers’ ad shows that someone can be unashamed of their cannabis consumption and still have serious political aspirations.
“I hope this ad works to not only destigmatize the use of marijuana, but also forces a new conversation that creates the pathway to legalize this beneficial drug, and forgive those who were arrested due to outdated ideology,” he wrote in the tweet accompanying his ad.
A 46-year-old South Dakota teacher was arrested after his mother mistakingly handed out his cannabis-infused brownies to fellow senior citizens. According to authorities, Michael Koranda fell asleep after baking the brownies using THC-infused butter he bought on a trip to Colorado.
While he was asleep, his mother grabbed the brownies and took them to a card game at Tabor Senior Center. A couple of hours later, authorities received calls from panicked seniors believing they had been poisoned. After talking with the seniors, authorities eventually figured out the brownies were the source of the panic.
Koranda has posted bond and is now out of prison. Additionally, the elementary school where he works has made no indication that they will fire him over the arrest. South Dakota cannabis laws have recently been in the news after the state’s court struck down a voter-approved recreational cannabis bill.
The importance of cannabis to ancient Chinese society has been a well-known fact for many years due to written records. Up until recently, however, archeological proof of ancient Chinese cannabis use was pretty sparse. That all changed in 2019 when construction near a school playground in central China unearthed an ancient tomb.
A paper published in December 2021 in the journal Agricultural Archaeology revealed some of the findings of this accidental discovery. Undisturbed for over a thousand years, the tomb was able to preserve many of its wall paintings and artifacts. Among these artifacts was a jar holding ancient cannabis remains, which researchers believe were eaten in a porridge-type dish.
Apart from food, cannabis during this period was also used for clothing, medicine, and mental stimulus. Cannabis was so popular during this period, in fact, that ancient texts call it one of the five staple food crops. According to the paper’s authors, “…for people living in the heartland of the powerful Tang empire, cannabis could be more important than rice.”
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