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Driving High: Enforcement & Penalties of Cannabis DUI

driving high - cannabis DUI

Is a cannabis DUI really a thing? Adult use of cannabis may be legal in California, but driving under the influence of cannabis is not. Like alcohol, if you are found to be under the influence of cannabis while driving, you are guilty of DUI under Vehicle Code 23152(e)VC which states that a person is guilty if he or she drives while mental abilities are impaired by cannabis to the extent that he or she is unable to drive with the caution of a sober person using ordinary care.

Bottom line is any amount of cannabis consumption, whether that is ADULT USE or medical marijuana, puts you at risk of a DUI.

How is a Cannabis DUI Measured?

There is currently no standardized amount that has been widely accepted to be a reliable measure for the effect of cannabis on the brain. Why? There hasn’t been a chemically based test created that standardizes the effect of cannabis because everyone’s biochemistry is different.

In the meantime, California may adopt DUI standards that have been in place in other states that have decriminalized cannabis and is legal for adult use. For example, Colorado’s standard for DUI is having more than five (5) nanograms of THC per milliliter (ml) of blood. However, scientifically that doesn’t tell us much. Does not tell officers if a detained person is still intoxicated and it does not conclusively tell officers if someone is impaired or not.

Why Is It So Hard to Tell If Someone Is High?

Let’s take alcohol as an example. Ethanol, alcohol in beverages, is water soluble. We are made up of a lot of water – up to 60% in adults. Because we are made up of water, ethanol is flushed out of our bodies in hours.

THC on the other hand is fat soluble. It gets trapped in our fat stores in our bodies making the length of time that THC spends in the body variable from person to person. Its fat soluble qualities makes THC leech out of our fat stores over time and is the reason you can still test positive for THC up to 30 days after consuming cannabis.

Cannabis DUI - what is the penalty, enforcement and criteria

What is a Cannabis DUI Based On?

Law enforcement will use many factors in determining whether a person is driving while impaired. Some factors may include:

  • Circumstantial evidence (open containers, cannabis paraphernalia, etc.)
  • Roadside sobriety tests
  • Dilated pupils
  • Odor of cannabis on body
  • Red eyes
  • Cottonmouth
  • Slowed reaction time
  • Officer’s best guess

What Are The Penalties: 1st time Cannabis DUI

Penalties for a first time cannabis DUI offense may vary from case to case, but the basic guidelines may include:

  • Informal probation with a three to five year duration
  • Anywhere from four days to six months in county jail
  • A fine that could range anywhere from $390 – $1,000 plus any legal and court fees that you may incur during the process
  • Six month suspension of a driver’s license
  • Required attendance of DUI school for three to nine months

Any or all of these penalties may be augmented if the detained person on suspicion of DUI refuses to cooperate or refuses the chemical test.

Additional Penalties to DUI
  • Up to two (2) extra days in jail
  • A one year suspension of a driver’s license
  • Nine months of required DUI education courses

Avoiding A Cannabis DUI

Ultimately if the arresting officer decides that someone is driving high, they will be going to jail. Since there is no reliable way to measure the effects on the brain it is up to the full discretion of the arresting officer.

Driving High - Driving High: Enforcement & Penalties of Cannabis DUI

The only way to avoid a cannabis DUI is to not drive while consuming, and to not drive while you are impaired. Consume cannabis responsibly – there are too many options available as means of transportation to put your rights, freedoms, and the lives of you and others in jeopardy.

Cannabis Doctors & Nurses: Why They Benefit You

Naturopathic doctor

Green Nectar believes in the healing power of medical cannabis. We believe in working with a cannabis doctor and/or nurse to find optimal wellness and to navigate your medical cannabis journey safely. Patients put themselves at risk of unwanted side effects when they don’t consult with an experienced cannabis doctor or nurse.

What are the benefits?

 
Working with a naturopathic doctor (ND) or holistic nurse can allow a cannabis patient to take better control of their treatment journey with cannabis. This is especially true for first-time cannabis patients. First time users often have no idea what is an appropriate dose or what method of consumption or strain is appropriate.

Choosing to work with a cannabis doctor or nurse allows you to tailor dosage, method, and frequency of cannabis to your biochemistry and ailment. One of the issues surrounding cannabis is that it is not recognized by the FDA as a medical treatment and in many states, including California, medical cannabis patients are only required to visit their doctor once a year leaving cannabis patients dependent on dispensary staff, which no matter how knowledgeable and well-intentioned, do not have medical backgrounds.

Other benefits include:
 

  • Identify interactions with pharmaceutical drugs and safety when combining with those prescriptions.
  • Safely wean off of opioid medications – opioid addiction withdrawal mitigation/relief
  • Each patient’s biochemistry is unique – a cannabis doctor or nurse can help teach you more about your own biochemistry
  • Different strains, terpenes, methods, doses, etc. work better for different ailments – a cannabis savvy medical professional will be able to guide you in the right direction.
Cannabis dosing and the role of a cannabis doctor or nurse

 
Dosing for cannabis is both an art and a science. Cannabis doctors and nurses can help dose your medicine and adjust frequency and dosing instructions based on what works for you. They have your medical history and take detailed notes on what worked for you and what didn’t.

Because cannabis is viewed as biphasic – good in small amounts with opposite effects when taken in larger amounts – cannabis doctors and nurses can help you manage a microdosed treatment plan. Microdosing has been effective in helping patients receive the best dose level and results for each patient.

The difficulty with dosing, especially with cannabis naive patients, is that many dispensaries don’t carry tested cannabis products or products that are pre-dosed. Both are essential in knowing what dosage works for you and what elements of cannabis works for you.

Remember, cannabis dosing is NOT one size fits all.

What if you don’t work with a naturopathic doctor or holistic nurse?

 
We recommend always being open and honest with your healthcare provider about your cannabis use. Working with a naturopathic doctor or a holistic nurse can be the difference between a bad experience and a successful journey into wellness. Without a naturopathic doctor or holistic nurse, cannabis patients run the risk of experiencing unwanted side effects – especially in people with a history of psychosis or other mental illness.

The Green Nectar Difference

 
Although not required, Green Nectar believes that naturopathic doctors and holistic nurses are the most integral part of finding success through cannabis use and treatment. We test our flower and specialize in high CBD products as well as carry easy dosing or pre-dosed products. We believe in cannabis as an avenue of healing and wellness – by taking a one size fits all mentality hinders this process. That’s why Green Nectar takes all the steps to make your cannabis journey easy, enjoyable, and effective by providing you and our cannabis medical community the tools they need to tailor treatment to each patient.

To find a cannabis doctor or nurse in San Diego, visit our resource page.

ADA Protection for Cannabis Patients

ADA protection and your cannabis rights

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a civil rights protection prohibiting the discrimination, stigmatization and marginalization of persons with disabilities. The ADA provides us equal opportunity to health care and access whether private or open to the general community.

*Please note this should NOT be considered legal advice*

ADA: What It Means As A Cannabis Patient

 
Cannabis patients have the legal right to cannabis and to cannabis delivery services in order to meet their health needs. Many patients rely on cannabis delivery due to mobility and complications related to their illness. ADA ensures persons with disabilities entitlements to cannabis including safe access to their medicine from cannabis delivery services like Green Nectar. These entitlements extend to congregation and consumption without discrimination – you cannot be restricted from taking your medicine.

Why ADA Matters

 
Recently, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department placed orders for medical cannabis delivery in a sting operation. As a result six (6) delivery drivers were arrested.

Medical Cannabis Requirements:
  • Medical Rec from a licensed physician
  • California state ID or driver’s license

The Sheriff’s Department acted against the voters of the state and, most importantly, they violated ADA protections. However, they are not the only ones violating your rights as cannabis patients. Many local municipalities have banned cannabis storefronts and delivery services from operating within their boundaries.

Most Recent Banned Areas of San Diego County

  • El Cajon
  • Chula Vista
  • Carlsbad

ADA cannabis bans

How To Protect San Diego Cannabis Delivery

 
The easiest way to join the fights is to become a member of the San Diego Cannabis Delivery Alliance (SDCDA). The SDCDA fights to legitimize cannabis delivery in San Diego County and looks to lift the stigma and bans on cannabis in our communities. Their mission is to advocate for cannabis delivery services to pave a path for state and local licensing for cannabis delivery services.

The next step is to become and advocate for cannabis delivery by calling or writing to your City Council members and County Board of Supervisors. Let them know that you rely on cannabis delivery as a cannabis patient. Ask them to stop infringing on your rights that are protected under ADA law.

To find your elected officials, click here.

Help SDCDA Win the Fight to Keep Delivery Legal

 
Government agencies in San Diego County and the City of San Diego cannot continue to infringe on your rights to safe and reasonable access to your cannabis as this directly challenges ADA protection. Your elected officials should be stewards of Title II (State and Local Government) and provide pathways to safe access of cannabis for persons with disabilities.


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HIV/AIDS and Cannabis – World AIDS Day 2017

World HIV/AIDS Day

Since 1988 December 1st has marked a pivotal day for our world community. World Aids Day is a day to wipe out the taboo, bring awareness to HIV/AIDS infection, remember those who lost their fight and to take responsibility for knowing our individual status.

Who is affected by HIV/AIDS?

 
This is NOT a gay issue or an issue with intravenous drug use – HIV does not discriminate – it is a human issue. Although gay and bisexual men remain the most affected, heterosexuals (especially women of color) are the second group most affected by the disease followed by people who inject drugs, and lastly gay men who inject drugs.

HIV/AIDS is a global pandemic, affecting approximately 37 million people worldwide. In the United States, over 1.1 million individuals are living with HIV/AIDS – of those living with HIV or AIDS 1 in 7 are unaware they have been infected. However, there is good news; from 2008 to 2014 there has been an 18% decline in new annual infections in the United States of HIV. How do we continue this decline? Opening up a non-judgmental dialogue frees individuals living with the disease from its stigma.

Cannabis and HIV/AIDS

 
Cannabis treatment for HIV/AIDS, much like for cancer, has been used to supplement conventional treatment and mitigate the symptoms of those treatments.

How cannabis Aides in HIV/AIDS Treatment
  • Eliminates nausea, vomiting and appetite loss from HIV/AIDS treatment
  • Restores weight and helps to maintain essential nutrients lost
  • Targets neuropathic pain induced by HIV/AIDS therapy.

Some studies have seen that cannabis effectively inhibits HIV and AIDS progression by suppressing pDC cells. Although the research is too early to claim a victory is HIV/AIDS treatment, it is certainly a step in the right direction.

“Living with HIV & How Cannabis Changed My Life”

 
Anonymous testimonial from a Green Nectar patient living with HIV

As a child I never asked for emotional support or help – I grew up as a child of adoptive services and subsequently grew up in and out of behavioral services. I always felt like I didn’t fit my settings. I grew up in San Diego is an area that was predominantly white and conservative.

I eventually, I ran away from home after coming out and being met with resistance over my sexual orientation. I ended up couch surfing, on the streets, into behavioral services, transitional living, etc. Within this time I was consumed by a lifestyle of unsafe sex and meth or opioid use, which eventually led me to test positive for HIV.

My newly discovered HIV status and a hard look at my life led me to change my life. I turned to cannabis to help with the opioid addiction and I had heard that it was an avenue for treatment for HIV/AIDS. It has provided me with a pathway away from opioid use and has allowed me to thrive despite my HIV status.

This should not be taken as medical advice. If you are considering using cannabis for HIV/AIDS symptom relief, please consult with your healthcare provider or find a cannabis doctor in your area. There is an end to HIV and AIDS. It starts with you.


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New Study Finds THC Kills Prostate Cancer Cells

prostate cancer blog - New Study Finds THC Kills Prostate Cancer Cells

Recent studies show that THC may play a powerful role in how we treat prostate cancer in the future. If you are asking yourself, “What can’t cannabis do?” Well, the results are in and THC kills cancer cells by inducing apoptosis in diseased cells.

Disclaimer: if you are battling cancer, this is not your cue to drop your current treatment in place of cannabis. Talk to your medical provider or find an ND that can help you tailor your treatment to include cannabis.

THC and How it Affects the Body

THC is the most commonly known cannabinoid found in marijuana and provides the mind and body with a broad spectrum of psychoactive and immuno-active effects.

 

Common effects of THC

Prostate Cancer - effects of THC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some are fun, some make you unproductive, and other times they are lifesavers. Here is a short list of commonly reported effects of THC:

  • Coordination and movement altered
  • Short-term memory
  • Canna-giggles
  • Stabilizes mood and emotion
  • Balance in biochemistry
  • Sleep aid
  • Aphrodisiac

 

The Endocannabinoid System

THC works in the body by binding to receptors found in the endocannabinoid system. Many of these receptors are found in the brain and in the tissues outside the central nervous system. So far there have been two receptors that have been identified:

  • CB1 – modulates the brain and the reproductive organs
  • CB2 – affects immune tissues

Many ailments have been attributed to an endocannabinoid deficiency and supplementation of the system through cannabinoids from marijuana has been found to be an effective treatment of those ailments.

Cancer and THC

In recent studies, cannabinoids – THC & CBD – have been shown to induce apoptosis, or cell suicide, in diseased cells. More notably, causing cell death in cancer cells.

 

How We Know a Cell is Dying

 

cell death in prostate cancer

 

The biochemical signals that indicate cell death are not well known, but some consider ceramide as an important regulator of cell death.

  • Reduction in size of cell
  • Condensed chromatin (molecule that packs your DNA in the nucleus)
  • Redistribution of plasma
  • Changes in the surface of the cell
Prostate Cancer & Treatment with THC

Why does THC help fight prostate cancer, specifically? Although, cannabinoids are mainly produced or received in the brain, recent findings show that they are also produced in the testis. (remember, CB1 receptors modulate the brain and reproductive organ function.)

This finding led researchers to test how powerful of an ally THC can be in the fight against prostate cancer. They studied PC-3 (prostate cancer cells), their growth factors and how they react to THC in comparison to ceramide, a commonly attributed trigger to cell death.

The study tested different doses of THC on prostate cancer cells to see if there was a link between cell death in prostate cancer cells treated with THC. Researchers found THC caused a dramatic drop in the viability of the cells and cell death occurred after 2-3 days. The peak effect was observed at day 6 of treatment with the dosed THC.

Furthermore, the study found that the cell death induced by THC happened as a receptor-independent mechanism. So cannabinoids are now known to regulate cell death and growth independent of any other function in the body – not disrupting the normal function or mechanism of your biochemistry.


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