Bedlam (Staplez & Madness) to Perform at V Sinzter’s “Storm on the Horizon” This Friday, Sept 29th!

As we reported over a month ago. Psychopathic Records alumni V Sinizter just will be throwing his own   “Storm on the Horizon” event on Friday, September 29th, 2023 via the Hamilton St. Pub in Saginaw Michigan!  “Storm on the Horizon”.  And just announced early this morning. The classic Saginaw, Michigan wicked shit duo Bedlam (Staplez & Madness) will be now be performing at the “Storm on the Horizon”. All in honor of V Sinizter’s upcoming live attempt to set a new Guinness  World Record for “Maximum repetitions of Billy Cane Push-Ups in One Minute”.  You can hit up this authentic Stormrook Ent. link for advanced tickets here:

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MAPS Study Shows Benefits of Using MDMA To Treat PTSD

On Sept. 13, information about the results of a new Phase 3 Trial of MDMA-assisted therapy for PTSD treatment was published by the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Substances (MAPS). The organization announced that the results of its MAPP2 study have been peer reviewed by the experts with the journal Nature Medicine.

The study analyzed the reaction of 104 participants who suffer from PTSD. Each individual was randomly provided with MDMA or a placebo pill over the course of three sessions, one per month, for three months.

The most common listed side effects among those who received MDMA included muscle tightness, nausea, decreased appetite, and sweating. Following the conclusion of participant involvement, researchers found that 86% of the MDMA group improved on their standard PTSD assessment, compared to 69% of the placebo group. A standard PTSD assessment measures the severity of PTSD symptoms, including anxiety, phobias, insomnia, emotional numbness, and more.

When the study concluded, researchers found that 72% of people within the MDMA treatment group didn’t match the criteria for PTSD, vs. only 48% of the placebo participants.

Georgia-based Emory Healthcare Veterans Program executive director Barbara Rothbaum called the results “very exciting.” There is other evidence that PTSD can be treated with certain medications, or even talk therapy, but Rothbaum said that more research is needed to develop a new alternative for PTSD patients. “They are very effective, but nothing is 100% effective,” Rothbaum said. “So we absolutely need more options for treatment.”

According to Amy Emerson, CEO of the MAPS Public Benefit Corporation, the nonprofit intends to seek U.S. approval to sell MDMA (aka ecstasy or molly) as a treatment for PTSD. “It’s the first innovation in PTSD treatment in more than two decades. And it’s significant because I think it will also open up other innovation,” Emerson told AP News.

MAPS founder and president Rick Doblin, a longtime advocate of psychedelics as medicine, released a statement regarding the newest study. “Thanks to the combined efforts of dozens of therapists, hundreds of participants who volunteered in MAPS-sponsored trials, and many thousands of generous donors, MDMA-assisted therapy for PTSD is on track to be considered for approval by the FDA in 2024. Nature Medicine has published the results of the second MAPS-sponsored Phase 3 trial of MDMA-assisted therapy for PTSD, confirming our prior results,” Doblin stated in a press release. “We hope that MDMA-assisted therapy for PTSD will be approved by the FDA next year—and that our Open Science, Open Books principle will inspire researchers to make this just the first of many psychedelic-assisted therapies to be validated through diligent research.”

Although these studies help illuminate the benefits of MDMA as a medical treatment, there are a lot of hoops and hurdles that must be dealt with first. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) needs to approve the substance as a treatment first, and the Drug Enforcement Administration would also need to reschedule cannabis’s current classification as a Schedule I substance.

Currently, MDMA is a Schedule I substance, among others including cannabis, LSD, heroin, methaqualone, and peyote. However, with the recent news that the Department of Health and Humans Services (HHS) recommends that cannabis be reclassified, and the DEA now reviewing the recommendation, it’s possible that other substances like MDMA could also receive similar treatment in the future.

Many news articles last week claimed that the DEA is “likely” to recommend rescheduling cannabis under the Controlled Substances Act. Many legislators not in agreement have written letters calling the move “irresponsible,” and some recently introduced legislation to block any progress for legalization without congressional approval.

In July, Australia became the first country in the world to allow doctors to prescribe psilocybin and MDMA. It took the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration three years of discussion and extensive consultation with experts. MDMA was approved as a treatment for PTSD, and psilocybin was approved for treatment-resistant depression.

Multiple studies have been published regarding the efficacy of MDMA as a medical treatment. From researchers at University of New Mexico, a study is examining how MDMA can be used for new mothers experiencing opioid use disorder. A study published in the journal Scientific Reports found that MDMA is useful in treating mental health-related conditions when also used with either psilocybin or LSD. In June, one former white supremacist claims in his book that MDMA helped dispel bigotry.

Similarly, many studies have found that psilocybin can help patients with treatment-resistant depression. “These findings add to increasing evidence that psilocybin—when administered with psychological support—may hold promise as a novel intervention for MDD [major depressive disorder],” researchers explained.

In Oregon, more than 3,000 people are waitlisted to attend a legal psilocybin service center—some of which come from various parts of the world. According to the Oregon Psilocybin Services section manager Angela Allbee many patients have shared their experiences in using psilocybin. “So far, what we’re hearing is that clients have had positive experiences,” Allbee said.

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Two People Charged for Pot Every Hour, Every Day in Kentucky, Data Shows

Despite the dramatic shift in opinion about cannabis in America, Kentucky law enforcement agents continued to charge people with cannabis-related charges at a steady rate, in tandem with offenses across the board.

According to analysis of the Kentucky Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) data, more than 300,000 people in Kentucky have been charged with a cannabis-related crime over the past two decades. That’s nearly two people every hour, every day between June 2002 and July 2022, the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy wrote. To be fair, just one out of 10 of the 3.1 million people charged with a crime in Kentucky in that time period faced cannabis charges, but the numbers are still too high.

“Every corner of the commonwealth has seen people charged with cannabis crimes with some counties having dozens charged and others tens of thousands,” Kentucky Center for Economic Policy wrote.

“Data also reveals starkly different conviction rates, with some rural areas nearly twice as likely to convict someone for a cannabis charge than Kentucky’s biggest city. Still, as much of the country has moved to more permissive policies, Kentucky continues to subject people to incarceration, burdensome fines, community supervision, and criminal charges for cannabis crimes. These consequences have lasting, harmful effects on people’s economic security, employment, health, housing and ability to fully participate in community life. And these consequences often fall disproportionately on low-income and Black and Brown Kentuckians.”

Possession remains the most common cannabis charge in Kentucky, a Class B misdemeanor that can lead up to 45 days in jail and a fine of up to $250.

Cannabis Charges Impact Lives

Just how widespread is the issue? The report’s county-by-county data also shows that every community in the state is affected. “Every Kentucky county had people charged with cannabis offenses during these two decades—from 68 people in Robertson County to 72,717 in Jefferson County,” the report reads. “Expressed as the number of annualized cannabis-related charges per 1,000 county residents in the two-decade period, 1.5 people per 1,000 had a cannabis charge in Robertson County in contrast to 8.4 people per 1,000 in Carroll County. Lyon County is an outlier, where 16.4 people per 1,000 had a cannabis charge.”

The report was completed and written by authors Kaylee Raymer, Ashley Spalding, Pam Thomas, Dustin Pugel, and Carmen Mitchell. You can read the center’s full report in PDF format here.

“While most of those 300,000 people were charged with possession, their lives are still impacted,” Kaylee Raymer, policy analyst for the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy, told Fox 56. “Whether it’s through fines and fees, it could affect their ability to get public housing or their ability to get a job if that’s on their record. So there are still consequences that come with cannabis-related charges.”

The Kentucky Legislature reduced the penalty for cannabis possession in 2011 and the 2023 General Assembly took an important step in legalizing a limited model of medical cannabis starting in 2025. The only qualifying conditions are chronic pain, chronic nausea/vomiting, epilepsy/seizure disorder, multiple sclerosis, muscle spasms/spasticity, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

That said, Kentucky is still among just 18 “cannabis desert” states that continue to prohibit cannabis in spite of the shift in public opinion.

Over the past two decades—running from July 1, 2002 to June 29, 2022—an estimated 303,264 people in Kentucky were charged with various cannabis offenses, according to AOC data published by the Vera Institute of Justice.  Since 1983, the prison custody population has increased 168%, the Vera Institute of Justice reported in its recent Incarceration Trends Report.

In 2019, 20,087 people were charged with a cannabis offense, with a 53% conviction rate. But due to the pandemic, there were much fewer arrests and case delays as most courts were closed.

Curiously, despite cannabis being viewed as virtually harmless by many, cannabis conviction held steady in tandem with conviction rates for all offenses. Between 2003 and 2021 the conviction rate for people charged with cannabis offenses was 59% and for all offenses was 63%, on average.

New Changes in Kentucky Cannabis Law

There are also new laws in place, particularly regarding hemp-derived cannabinoids.

On March 23, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear signed a bill to regulate hemp-derived delta-8 THC products. Beshear signed an executive order last year to regulate delta-8 THC and similar products, but that only affected the packaging and labeling of products.

House Bill 544 mandates that only adults 21 and over can buy products containing delta-8 THC—a hemp-derived compound frequently marketed as psychoactive—which began on August 1.

Per the bill, the state will regulate “any product containing delta-8 tetrahydrocannabinol or any other hemp-derived substance identified by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services as having intoxicating effects on consumers.” 

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Research Finds Increased Heavy Metals Risk for Cannabis Users, Affirms Testing Need

A new study conducted by New York’s Columbia University researchers used a massive database from the U.S. Centers of Disease Control’s National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey in an effort to determine whether cannabis users had higher levels of any of 17 different metals in their blood or urine. 

The study ultimately revealed that cannabis-only users had higher lead levels in their blood and urine, compared to non-users of tobacco and cannabis, along with elevated levels of cadmium — ultimately affirming the need for testing of cannabis products for heavy metals in the legal market and the need for regulated cannabis as a whole.

Examining Cannabis Use and Heavy Metals in Body

Cannabis is a hyperaccumulator, a class of more than 700 plants that accumulate metals from soil, water and fertilizers at levels far greater than average, often hundreds or thousands of times more than other plants. 

To investigate the amount of metals in the blood and urine of cannabis users, researchers analyzed data from 2005 to 2018 representing 7,254 participants who reported on their diet, health, demographics and drug use, while providing single blood and urine samples. Researchers could not tell what kind of cannabis these individuals used, where it was sourced from or where participants lived, though they adjusted for other factors that can affect exposure to and excretion of metals (namely race/ethnicity, age, sex, education, and seafood consumption).

The study found that cannabis-only users had 27% high blood lead levels and 21% more lead in their urine when compared to non-users of tobacco and cannabis. They also had higher levels of cadmium — 22% more in their blood than non-users. Lead and cadmium can cause long-term health damage, like cardiovascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cognitive impairments and increase the risk of cancer. 

In regulated cannabis markets where products are tested, any cannabis that fails must be destroyed or remediated, with legal cannabis states often issuing recalls for any products that fail and mistakenly hit store shelves.

Tobacco Users Fare Much Worse

None of the other 15 elements researchers evaluated — like arsenic, cobalt, manganese and mercury — has a clear causal association with cannabis use, though tobacco users saw much higher levels. 

Urinary cadmium levels among tobacco users were three times higher than those of cannabis-only users and their blood lead levels were 26% higher. The study also found that tobacco use was associated with higher levels of antimony, barium, tungsten and uranium. 

In general, regulated cannabis undergoes more intense testing than tobacco, and previous studies have long documented the heavy metal content in cigarette smoke.

“To the best of our knowledge, this is the largest known study on biomarkers of metal exposure in participants who exclusively use marijuana in a representative population of U.S. adults,” authors noted. The study findings reinforce that regulated, legal cannabis provides for more consumer safety, as illicit cannabis does not undergo this same testing.

Authors note that the study was limited by its small sample of exclusive cannabis users, along with its inability to hone in on the type of product used (i.e. vapes, combustibles and edibles) which kept researchers from determining the difference in metal concentrations by product.

Given that the data was taken from 2005 to 2018, it’s also uncertain how much cannabis was obtained through the legal or illicit markets — though it’s likely that most was illicit use, as the first states to legalize cannabis only began in 2014 and adult-use legalization was still limited in the years that followed.

“We found overall associations between internal metal levels and exclusive marijuana use, highlighting the relevance of marijuana for metal exposure and the importance of follow-up studies to identify the long-term implications of these exposures,” researchers stated. 

“Future investigations of cannabis contaminants must assess other contaminants of concern and potential health effects to inform regulatory, industry and other key stakeholders, to safeguard public health and address safety concerns related to the growing use of cannabis in the United States.”

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Rhymesayers Entertainment Announces 10th Aesop Rock LP ‘Integrated Tech Solutions’!

Rhymesayers Entertainment just announced that the next Aesop Rock LP will be entitled ‘Integrated Tech Solutions’! Due to be released Friday, November 10th, 2023. And with this announcement arrives the first ‘Integrated Tech Solutions’ single “Mindful Solutionism”.  Fans can preorder ‘Integrated Tech Solutions’ through this authentic Rhymesayers  link here:

From Rhymesayers Entertainment:

“For the better part of three decades, Aesop Rock has used the syntax of the moment to pinpoint the fault lines in that moment’s supposedly solid foundation. With his tenth album, Integrated Tech Solutions, Aes wields insidious corporate speak as a tool to pry that parasitic worldview away from the parts of life that truly matter. 

A concept album about an organization offering “lifestyle- and industry-specific applications designed to curate a desired multi-experience, “Integrated Tech Solutions picks apart the charlatan language that hears app inventors put themselves on continuums starting with cavemen and continuing through da Vinci. On “Mindful Solutionism,” the wheel evolves seamlessly into modern agriculture—and then into atomic bombs, Agent Orange, cigarettes, and surveillance cameras. In a rare moment of transparency, the engineers Aes give voice to sum up this spiral in just a few words: “We cannot be trusted with the stuff that we come up with.” 

Appropriately, the album sounds like the past and future at once. Largely self-produced, Integrated Tech Solutions catches Aes at his leanest and most innovative, leveraging “Solutionism” careening bounce against the wistful “By the River” or the slow creep of “Salt and Pepper Squid.” The effect is a record that sounds itself like an organism growing, mutating, hurtling toward profitability—and then destruction. As fans have come to expect, Aes is cuttingly funny and slyly profound at once, whether recounting a childhood restaurant run-in with Mr. T (“100 Feet Tall”) or quipping, on “Pigeonometry,” that “white dove is a pigeon—you motherfuckers is bigots.” At the same time, Integrated Tech Solutions is working on another parallel project: tracing the sprawl of modernity and cutting directly to its core. “I’ve been doing laps of the lost worlds,” he raps on “All City Nerve Map,” sounding at once wearied and reinvigorated. “I can draw a map to the raw nerve.”

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