Finland’s Supreme Court Decides Not To Charge Motorists Under Influence Of Cannabis

Finland’s highest court has ruled that motorists are unlikely to get slapped with a driving under the influence charge if they drive days after using marijuana.

The Finnish Supreme Court determined that the DUI laws still need legislative action in order to sort out the gap between when the psychoactive effects of cannabis subside, and how much longer using it leaves a so-called “fingerprint” in your blood sample.

Here’s how the Finnish news service Yle News breaks it down: “Cannabis usage leaves a substance known as tetrahydrocannabinol or THC in the body, prompting the production of a metabolite, carboxytetrahydrocannabinol (THC-COOH), where a metabolite is a substance required for or produced from metabolism.”

But while THC typically exits the body within hours of usage, THC-COOH, which does not yield any intoxicating effects, can linger in the system for days or even weeks.

Finnish police have been known to issue DUI charges when THC-COOH is found in the blood.

According to Yle, the Finnish Supreme Court addressed this matter a few years back, when it dismissed the conviction of a driver who had smoked marijuana before driving, ruling that THC-COOH “does not affect the ability to drive nor endanger traffic safety even at high levels.”

But despite that ruling, some Finnish law enforcement officials have continued to write DUIs in those circumstances, as the country’s code requires citations if drivers have “an active substance or metabolite of a drug used” in their blood.

“It’s quite rational that finding it several days after use would not lead to a drunk driving penalty because it does not affect the ability to drive,” said Teemu Gunnar, a forensic toxicologist with the National Institute of Health and Welfare in Finland, as quoted by Yle.

Recreational marijuana use remains illegal in Finland, though it is available to treat certain medical conditions. According to Yle, cannabis metabolites were the second-most-frequently found substance in Finnish DUI cases last year that were caused by drug use, with records showing 1,784 hits of THC in lab samples and 3,794 of THC-COOH.

It’s something that American law enforcement is increasingly grappling with on U.S. roads, too. A survey released in June by AAA found that almost 70 percent of Americans believe it is unlikely for a driver to get busted by the cops while high on marijuana, and reported that roughly 14.8 million drivers had gotten behind the wheel within an hour of using pot in the last 30 days.

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Oregon Enacts Temporary Six-Month Ban of Flavored Vape Products

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon regulators enacted a six-month ban Friday on the sale of flavored nicotine and cannabis vape products in stores and online statewide amid an outbreak of illnesses that has sickened nearly 1,300 people nationwide and killed 26, including two people in Oregon.

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission, which regulates the recreational marijuana market, voted unanimously to approve the temporary sales ban on the same day that the Oregon Health Authority, which regulates tobacco sales statewide, filed the ban with the Oregon Secretary of State.

Dozens of marijuana processors and vape manufacturers packed the commission room during the vote and some shouted out in frustration during a news conference when an official said the ban would only affect 10 percent of the cannabis vape market.

“It’s going to kill immediately 70% of my company’s revenue. It’s based off of what we consider faulty logic and faulty understanding” of the science behind adding flavor to marijuana vape pens, Jason Thompson, the sales director for Eugene, Oregon-based Sublime Solutions, said after the vote.

The ban applies to all nicotine and cannabis vapes that contain flavoring derived from anything except pure marijuana terpenes. Terpenes are organic compounds that give plants and fruits their flavor or scent — for example, the citrusy smell from an orange or the aroma of lavender. Vape pen manufacturers add natural and artificial terpene mixes to nicotine- or cannabis-containing oil to give the products popular flavors, from cherry to mint to candy cane.

Earlier this month Gov. Kate Brown ordered the temporary ban. Several other states, including Washington, New York Rhode Island and Michigan, have also imposed temporary bans.

The illnesses first appeared in March, with symptoms including shortness of breath, fatigue and chest pain.

Federal investigators say that nearly 80 percent of people who have come down with the vaping illness reported using products containing THC, the high-inducing chemical found in marijuana. They have not traced the problem to any single product or ingredient. But investigators are increasingly focused on thickeners and additives found in illegal THC cartridges sold on the black market.

The Oregon Health Authority, which is investigating nine cases of illness in Oregon and two deaths, had asked Brown for broader six-month ban on sale and display of all vaping products, including tobacco, nicotine and cannabis. The agency also urged Oregonians to stop using all vaping products until federal and state officials have determined the cause of the illnesses.

TJ Sheehy, manager of the OLCC’s marijuana technical unit, told commissioners before Friday’s vote that vape brands that contain flavor compounds are “completely unknown black boxes in terms of their contents” and that consumers have to “take on faith” their safety.

Oregon regulators test the marijuana oil in the vape devices for solvents and pesticides before the terpenes are added, but the companies that make the terpenes are outside the state regulatory system and the pens aren’t tested after the flavoring is added, he explained. Nicotine-only vape pens undergo even less scrutiny, officials said.

“Quite frankly, no one buying these things knows what’s in them,” Sheehy said, adding later that many contain so-called “fillers” that are dangerous to inhale.

The ban goes into effect Tuesday and lasts until April 11.

Disgruntled and worried marijuana entrepreneurs milled in the hallway after the vote and said the sales ban would crush their businesses.

Joe Bergen, general manager for two companies, Avitas Oregon and Hellavated, said his sales have already dropped because of the scare over lung illnesses and he’s had to reduce his workforce by nearly 20%.

Hellavated makes flavored marijuana vapes, while Avitas only makes vaping devices containing pure marijuana.

Hellavated will be “heavily impacted” by the new ban, he said, and it’s unclear if the OLCC’s move will help because the cause of the illnesses hasn’t been determined.

“One of the things this crisis has illuminated is that there is no long-term research on vaping and cannabis consumption, period,” Bergen said. “There needs to be more research into both those things.”

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Master Of Hash: Frenchy Cannoli’s Plan To Change The World Of Hashmaking

France is not a country known for cannabis. Most smokers there only have access to hashish, which is widely known by its slang name, shit. (Sadly, sometimes this moniker proves accurate; a recent analysis of some European hash has found it to be tainted with nasty fillers such as tar, dirt and even human feces.) However, there is a rich tradition of beautiful Moroccan and Indian hashish being smuggled into the country for hundreds if not thousands of years. In the mid-19th century, there was the famous Club des Hashischins in Paris, a secret haven where writers such as Victor Hugo, Alexandre Dumas and Honoré de Balzac met in private to smoke and philosophize. The French have always loved their hashish.

So it is only fitting that the greatest evangelist of traditional hashmaking comes from the land of wine and cheese. This champion of the cause goes by the name of Frenchy Cannoli, and he’s a charismatic and enthusiastic expert with an unforgettable accent. He calls himself “the hunter of the melt” and has been chasing the finest solventless hash since he was 18 and first traveled to the East, inspired by books like The Arabian Nights. Many people know him from his popular workshops, fittingly called “The Lost Art of Hashishin,” that he holds all over the world and which provide an exhaustive explanation of the botanical science of cannabis resin heads and the ideal process for separating them from the plant. In these workshops, following a somewhat academic lecture, Frenchy demonstrates the extraction process using agitation in vortexed ice water followed by sieving through a fine micron bag. After collecting the precious material and allowing it to dry, the master hashishin (hashmaker) finishes with an appropriately low-tech tool in his hands, a wine bottle. He rolls the cylinder filled with near-boiling water over the mass and the first moment of “melt” is witnessed as the hash responds to the heat and succumbs to the pressure, becoming shiny and dark like caramel. Early in his career, Frenchy used to roll these flattened discs into tubes, which resembled the Italian pastry cannoli. This led to his nickname, Frenchy Cannoli. But now more often you see his product in the traditional temple-ball form. His Instagram page (@frenchycannoli) is pure hash porn with endless images of melting, slowly collapsing shiny marbles.

Master Of Hash: Frenchy Cannoli's Plan To Change The World Of Hashmaking
Frenchy’s full melt hash/ Mme Cannoli

Frenchy is waking up the global cannabis scene to three critical concepts regarding quality that come largely from the wine and cheese industries. The first is terroir, an idea that translates roughly as the “taste of place.” This includes characteristics specific to the regional origin of an agricultural product. The second is the impact of sustainable, regenerative growing practices and the role of the farmer. And the third is affinage—aging the product under specific conditions to improve flavor, aroma and perhaps even potency. This is a concept used in the manufacture of cheese but is quite experimental in hashmaking.

Frenchy is immersed in the inner circle of the Emerald Triangle scene. He is the official hashmaker for Aficionado Estates, and he’s also a high-profile activist and writer. He is extremely passionate about protecting the multigenerational farms and their elite genetics from the onslaught of regulations and commercial interests. Northern California is his terroir, and he credits the land and the farmers there with the quality of his end products. Frenchy arrived at his knowledge of cannabis the old-fashioned way: through traveling, watching and participating as an ethnographer would. He was on the road for 18 solid years in hash-producing countries such as India, Pakistan, Nepal and Morocco. Most impactful were the eight seasons in India living in a cave near Malana, hand-rubbing charas from both wild and cultivated high-altitude cannabis. When you’ve spent this much time with resin on your palms, you know it and you respect it. As Frenchy says, “Hashish is the finest and final expression of the cannabis plant; it embodies all of the plant’s characteristics and takes them to a higher dimension.”

While he insists that hashmaking is “very simple,” Frenchy also elevates the art to the most refined level. I have had the pleasure of spending some time chatting with this legend on subjects dear to us both—India, French food and wine culture, and respect for genetics and farmers. I asked him a few questions about his personal hashmaking vision.

Master Of Hash: Frenchy Cannoli's Plan To Change The World Of Hashmaking
Frenchy credits Northern California’s land and farmers for the quality of his end products/ Mme Cannoli

What parallels do you see between being a vigneron [winemaker] and a hashishin, and between wine and hash itself?

Producing traditional hashish is like making wine, collecting the ripest fruit is only the first step of a transformation toward excellence.

As a hashishin, I am very much like a winemaker, totally dependent on the terroir for quality. It is the land, the climate, the genetics, and the farmers’ dedication and practices that create the quality. When I was traveling in producing countries, nobody cared much that I made hash; what they all wanted to know is where I went to make it—at 700 feet in the valley or at 9,000. It has never been about who but where. Location, location, location.

A cannabis extract is like the juice extracted from a fruit, a true expression of the fruit but not the same as the full fruit in all its nourishing wholeness and beneficial characteristics. The grape, for example, is the matrix that creates the juice, and the sugar is like the cannabis plant’s trichome head which biosynthesizes over 150 unique psychoactive and medicinal compounds. But rejecting the matrix in a quest for purity is like extracting grape juice to make alcohol instead of crushing and fermenting the whole grapes to produce wine.

I know there is no science behind this as yet, but what do you think of aged “vintage” hashish like you find in India and Nepal?

The maturation of the resin glands through curing is similar to the transformation that happens during flower curing, especially when curing before trimming. A perfect curing of trichomes is mandatory to quality—why would it apply only to flowers? Most connoisseurs would agree that the aging process helps mellow the smoke and improve the flavors, but, again, there is very little scientific data available on the subject. On the other hand, there are plenty of firsthand accounts, including my own, with hash as old as 12 years, with three to five years being common. Like tobacco, wine, liquor and cheese, aging develops the taste. But the choice of container and oxygen removal is essential to the process. Hashish cured and aged to perfection has no rival in quality.

Master Of Hash: Frenchy Cannoli's Plan To Change The World Of Hashmaking
This custom made agitator washer separates resin heads from cannabis with ice water/ Mme Cannoli

How do you see the distinction between what you do and the world of BHO/CO2/isolates?

Concentrates produced with butane and propane extraction versus hashish could be compared to the difference between producing wine and producing liquor like Cognac or distilling full-proof alcohol. These products all serve a purpose, just not the same one. A few years ago, I found certain aspects of butane-extraction production objectionable, but the industry and my thinking have evolved a lot. Butane extraction requires the use of petrochemical solvents, and the unrestrained use of these sorts of chemicals is bringing our planet to the verge of total ecological collapse. However, in the hands of professionals with closed-loop systems, and not homespun open blasters, it has unparalleled medicinal value in the form of isolate and distillate for those who need a powerful hit of pharmaceutical cannabis to stop a seizure. We all hunt the melt, which is expressed by the amount of resin formed in the heads. We all seek perfect ripeness and purity, meaning the cleanliness of the trichomes collected. The fundamental difference between sieved resin heads pressed into hashish and all other types of extracted resin is that while the process uses heat and pressure, the resin heads’ cellular matrix is part of the final product and for this reason cannot be considered an extraction.

Visit Frenchy’s website, frenchycannoli.com, and check out his docuseries project Frenchy Dreams of Hashish.


Originally published in the September, 2019 issue of High Times magazine. Subscribe right here.

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Humble Among – “Halloween Tape 2”

Happy Halloween. For the Family…
  1. Jack O Lanterns
  2. Paranoia
  3. Nature or Nurture
  4. Self Help
  5. Murder Castle
  6. Keep It Wicked (feat. Xtra Overdoze)
  7. Surrogate
  8. Skeletons
  9. Blown Away (feat. Mars)
  10. Eyes
  11. Pitchforks and Torches
  12. Kill Everybody
  13. Funeral

You can download/stream directly from Faygoluvers here:



from Faygoluvers

Humble Among – “Paranoia” [Official Music Video]

Written & Performed by Humble Among

Produced by Bad Mind

Directed by Vego Harris



from Faygoluvers