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Clean your bong, pass it along and other expert tips on cannabis etiquette

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Emily Post might not have been thinking about cannabis when she wrote down the rules of etiquette, but that doesn’t mean you should throw manners to the wind if you dabble in legal weed.

Experts say the rules aren’t as rigid as the doctrine of the dining room, but there are still ways to be polite — and, gasp, impolite — when you’re using cannabis, especially if you’re doing so in a group.

If you’re a longtime cannabis user, you can probably skip this one. But if legalization has you curious, or you just want to brush up, here’s advice from three experts on how to use pot politely.

Puff, puff, pass?

Joel Carleton, who studied cannabis sommelier work at Colorado’s Trichome Institute, cautioned against putting too much weight on the well-worn “puff, puff, pass” rule, which he said is tied up in stereotypes.

But the principle of sharing cannabis is sound, he said.

“Common etiquette there is, you know, don’t hog it,” said Matt Ryan, vice-president of marketing at Meta Cannabis Supply Co., the retail arm of National Access Cannabis, which helps patients access medical cannabis.

“If someone passes you a pre-rolled joint and it’s intended to be shared and you smoke it all yourself — that’s usually the uncool thing to do.”

When it comes to passing to the left — a widely known rule immortalized in tunes by Musical Youth and Mighty Diamonds — Ryan and Carleton agree it’s OK to deviate.

“You can go in a zigzag in some social circles and that’s fine,” Ryan said. “It’s certainly a way to look at it, though.”

Passing to the left is a well-known adage, but the experts say it’s OK to pass in other directions, too, if you remain consistent. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

Andrew Gayman, etiquette expert and director of the Toronto-based butler and household manager school Charles MacPherson Academy, said direction may not be important, but consistency should be.

“It’s just sort of a predictable, orderly way to do it,” he said, much like the rule in dining etiquette where servers present food from the left of the diner and clear plates from the right.

With that in mind, if a group starts passing a joint to the right, Gayman said it would be better manners not to correct the pattern once it’s started.

The real deal on Cannabis 101? Be respectful of others’ experiences, be courteous when using and if you don’t know something, just ask.

Party rules

If you’re invited to a social event and you want to bring cannabis, the experts say it’s best to run the idea by the host beforehand if you’re unsure of their stance on it.

There could be other issues to consider, Ryan said, including the possibility kids will be there, or if the host knows some guests don’t want to be around the drug.

If you’re invited to an event and want to bring some marijuana, the experts say it’s a good idea to clear it with the host beforehand. (Martin Trainor/CBC)

If you do bring marijuana to the event, ask your host where the best place to smoke is and don’t leave a mess.

“I think it’s perfectly fine to be up front about what you’re planning on doing,” Gayman said. “And I think there is something gracious about inviting people to join you, but … not from a pressure standpoint.”

The rules of discretion are more important if you’re smoking your cannabis than if you’re using it in a less obtrusive form like an oil. You don’t want to cause your host problems with neighbours or roommates, or bother fellow guests.

Watch: Why it’s important to know what’s in your marijuana

When it comes to cannabis, there are a wide variety of weed strains to choose from — but is it all marketing spin or is there actual science behind the development of each strain? With the legalization of recreational marijuana on the horizon, it will be important for people to know what’s in their weed 9:44

Whatever you bring, label it clearly: Different types of cannabis will impact people differently.

“If you have a highly potent strain, it’s best to let everybody know that,” Ryan said. If you bring an edible, make it clear there’s cannabis inside.

Gayman said an easy option is to hold on to federally marked packaging detailing THC and CBD content for others to check out.

If you’ve got a cold or you don’t want to share germs, it’s not rude to bring something for yourself and something for the group.

Be prepared and keep it tidy

So you’re throwing a party and you want to offer cannabis. What’s a gracious host to do?

When it comes to paraphernalia, the classiest among us may want to upgrade our serveware, Gayman said.

“Similar to how you got rid of all of that, you know, mismatched glassware from your college or university days and you got yourself a proper set of wine glasses or beer glasses … I think there’s lots of modern, very attractive gear that you could get now to serve cannabis,” he said.

Whatever you’re setting out, keep it properly cleaned and maintained, he said.

Carleton said you might be able to make your old stuff look new again with a little elbow grease and isopropyl alcohol, which is available at many pharmacies.

Short of that, Carleton said a dedicated host could also simply buy a pack of rolling papers — you can get 100 sheets for about a dollar — and keep it on hand.

And if there are new users there, it’s considerate to keep tabs on them throughout the evening.

“Make sure that they feel comfortable in the environment,” Ryan said. “Make sure that they understand the strain and the potency of what [they are] about to try. And maybe stick with them.”

And, most importantly, make sure none of your guests drive home under the influence.

Cannabis and social media

Be discreet when posting about cannabis use with your friends. There are many reasons somebody may not want images of themselves using cannabis online, Gayman said, including job hunting.

“This isn’t necessarily the time to be documenting everything on your Instagram story, unless you have … the consent of everyone that’s sort of enjoying it with you.”

Before you post a group selfie of you and your friends using cannabis, ask if that’s OK with everyone in the image. (Seth Wenig/Associated Press)

Carleton said many professionals wouldn’t want images of themselves surrounded by beer bottles — even if they didn’t drink them themselves — and the same is likely true of cannabis for those people.

“It’s putting someone out there when they might not have been wanting to go out there themselves,” he said.

It comes down, once again, to the rule of thumb: If you don’t know, just ask.

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Post-vaccine surge? Michigan’s spring coronavirus case spike close to previous year’s autumn high

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(Natural News) The spike in new Wuhan coronavirus infections recorded in Michigan over the spring is similar to a spike seen during the 2020 fall season. According to a Wall Street Journal analysis, the state’s daily coronavirus case count averaged more than 7,000 for almost two weeks – before taking a slight dip to 6,891 on April 20. This echoed similar figures back in November and December 2020, which saw sharp rises in infections for those two months before plunging.

Back in autumn of last year, Michigan averaged more than 7,000 cases per day for a span of 10 days. New infections dropped slightly, then briefly spiked as the December holidays approached. It then fell to the low 1,000s for the succeeding two months – until ascending again in March.

According to University of Michigan internal medicine professor Dr. Vikas Parekh, the sudden increase in new infections could be attributed to several factors. Among the factors he cited was re-openings, which increased people’s interactions and mobility. Parekh said the loosened restrictions contributed to the spread of the highly contagious U.K. B117 variant.

“As the B117 variant spreads nationally, we will likely see other stats [with] their own surges – although I hope none are as bad as Michigan,” the professor remarked. He continued: “The milestone just tells us we are not yet in the clear, especially as we still have large portions of our population who are not vaccinated yet.”

Parekh also expressed optimism over the lower daily caseloads the Great Lakes State reported. He said he believes both cases and hospitalizations have plateaued and will likely decline soon. The professor commented: “[COVID-19] positivity has been declining now for one week, which is usually a leading indicator of case decline.”

Meanwhile, the state cited younger populations and youth sports, such as basketball, wrestling and hockey, to increase new COVID-19 infections. Because of this, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer called to suspend youth sports and indoor dining in the state. She also exhorted high schools to conduct remote class sessions for two weeks to curb the spread of the pathogen.

Michigan still experienced the spike in cases despite having one of the highest vaccination rates in the country

During the opening stages of the U.S.’s immunization drive against COVID-19, Michigan boasted of having one of the highest vaccination rates nationwide. A report by Bridge Michigan even noted the initial “frenzy for vaccines” that “far exceeded the state’s limited supply.” But things have appeared to turn around for Michigan, as it now struggles to reach the 70 percent vaccination rate needed for herd immunity.

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Scottish mom’s legs turn into a pair of “giant blisters” after first dose of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine

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(Natural News) Sarah Beuckmann of Glasgow, Scotland, felt a tingling sensation in her legs and noticed a rash flaring up around her ankles a week after getting her first dose of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine on March 18.

She also had flu-like symptoms right after the vaccination.

Beuckmann called her doctor to arrange an appointment the morning she noticed the rash, but by the afternoon her skin was already breaking out into blood-filled blisters. Blisters also appeared on her legs, hands, face, arms and bottom.

“I ended up asking my husband to take me to A&E,” said Beuckmann, referring to “accident and emergency,” the equivalent of an emergency room (ER). “When I got there, my heart rate was sitting at 160bpm, which they were very concerned about. I got put on an ECG machine.”

Doctors determine AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine triggers the rash

Medics carried out tests for HIV, herpes and other skin conditions to work out what triggered the rash, but all results came back negative. Doctors finally determined that the vaccine caused her rare reaction after carrying out two biopsies.

“Once they found that it was a reaction to the vaccine, they put me on steroids and that really seems to be helping my progress,” said Beuckmann. She had been advised by her doctor not to get the second dose of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine because of her reaction.

Beuckmann spent 16 days at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital. She was discharged to recover at home. The 34-year-old mother of one is currently wheelchair-bound due to the bandages on her legs and blisters on the soles of her feet. She may need physiotherapy to help strengthen her leg muscles.

“They are starting to heal and they’re looking a lot better than they were but as the blisters started to get worse, they all sort of merged together,” she said. “I didn’t know what was going on.”

With the blisters merging, her legs have looked like a pair of “giant blisters.” Beuckmann admitted that at one point she feared her legs might have to be amputated.

Dermatologist agrees COVID-19 vaccine causes the blisters

Dr. Emma Wedgeworth, a consultant dermatologist and spokeswoman at the British Skin Foundation, agreed that Beuckmann had likely suffered a reaction to the vaccine.

“Vaccines are designed to activate the immune system. Occasionally people will have quite dramatic activation of their immune systems which, as happened in this case, can manifest in their skin” Wedgeworth told MailOnline. “This poor lady had a very severe reaction, which thankfully is extremely rare.”

It is not clear why Beuckmann, who works in retail, was invited for a vaccine. Scotland’s vaccine rollout was focused on people over the age of 50 when she got vaccinated, although vaccines are available to those who are considered at risk from the virus, or live with someone considered vulnerable.

At least 20 million Briton have had AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine, which drug regulators say causes a rash in one percent of cases. They say rashes caused by the jab tend to go away within a week.

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Trojan labs? Chinese biotech company offers to build COVID testing labs in six states

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In 2012, BGI acquired Complete Genomics, a DNA sequencing company and equipment maker. The funds for the $117.6 million purchase were raised from Chinese venture capitals. The company has expanded its footprint globally. According to its website, BGI conducts business in more than 100 countries and areas and has 11 offices and labs in the U.S.

People are concerned about China’s access to American DNA data

Some said that with Complete Genomics providing an American base, BGI would have access to more DNA samples from Americans, helping it compile a huge database of genetic information. Some also worried about the protection of the genetic information’s privacy.

According to a 2019 report from the U.S.–China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC), BGI “has formed numerous partnerships with U.S. healthcare providers and research organizations to provide large-scale genetic sequencing to support medical research efforts,”

There are three main reasons why many people in the biotech community and government have expressed concerns about China’s access to American DNA data.

In the “60 Minutes” interview, Evanina discussed the very likely scenario in which Chinese companies would be able to micro-target American individuals and offer customized preventative solutions based on their DNA.

Evanina asked: “Do we want to have another nation systematically eliminate our healthcare services? Are we okay with that as a nation?”

The second concern is that China may use DNA to track and attack American individuals. As the USCC report states: “China could target vulnerabilities in specific individuals brought to light by genomic data or health records. Individuals targeted in such attacks would likely be strategically identified persons, such as diplomats, politicians, high-ranking federal officials or military leadership.”

The third concern is that China may devise bioweapons to target non-Asians. Steven Mosher, president of the Population Research Institute, discussed it in his article “What Will China Do With Your DNA?” published by The Epoch Times in March 2019.

He wrote: “We know that the Asian genome is genetically distinct from the Caucasian and African in many ways. … Would it be possible to bioengineer a very virulent version of, say, smallpox, that was easily transmitted, fatal to other races, but to which the Chinese enjoyed a natural immunity? … Given our present ability to manipulate genomes, if such a bio-weapon can be imagined, it can probably – given enough time and resources – be realized.”

An article from Technocracy said: “China’s aggressive collection of American DNA should be doubly alarming because it can only spell one ultimate outcome: biowarfare. That is, genetically engineering viruses or other diseases that will be selectively harmful to U.S. populations.”

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