How will you do better this year? Are you planning to quit smoking cigarettes or drinking alcohol? Will you exercise more and eat less? January gives us hope of a new beginning; it marks our chance to wipe the slate clean and move forward. For anyone who wants to improve their overall health and wellness this year, there is good news for you—cannabis can help.
With all the miraculous benefits that cannabis provides, we’ve decided to dedicate this issue of CULTURE to cannabis, health and wellness. Our exclusive interview with former NFL offensive lineman, Eben Britton, helps us examine how our nation’s history of prescribing opioids for pain is outdated and harmful.
Cannabis is defined under two categories—medical or recreational. While we appreciate these two approaches, cannabis can be put in one, all-encompassing category as the plant contributes in countless ways to a healthier, more wellness-minded lifestyle.
There is no denying the medicinal properties of cannabis. It’s an effective anti-seizure medication for people suffering from epilepsy and seizure disorders. Chances are you know a fair amount of people who have used cannabis adjunctively to help combat negative side effects alongside chemotherapy. Cannabis continues to grow in popularity as an alternative medicine—your friends and family members have probably already inquired about CBD for treating pain, skin disorders or inflammation—for themselves and even for their pets. And these examples only touch the surface regarding the many examples of how cannabis is one of nature’s most effective medicines.
However, a wellness-minded lifestyle goes beyond medicine and treating physical ailments. Cannabis promotes, supports and contributes to many dimensions of a healthier lifestyle. Even non-psychoactive cannabinoids seem to make mundane tasks all the more bearable, from tedious chores to exercise. With cannabis, jokes become funnier, connecting with nature is effortless, and consumers experience a way to examine parts of their lives and the world around them in a much different way than before. Through research, we’re finally witnessing proof of what many of us have known for much of our lives—cannabis is beneficial mentally, spiritually, socially and emotionally.
When people are looking for a way to escape, a way to shift their mindset toward something more positive, cannabis is quick to do the trick. When alcohol, opioids and cigarettes pose such dire threats to our well-being, cannabis is a plant that nourishes our bodies and interacts with our endocannabinoid system, which maintains balance in most of our body’s functions and systems.
This issue of CULTURE will give you more insight into living a better life with cannabis. We’ll share with you the origins of modern medical cannabis dispensaries as well as how new research will continue to break down boundaries toward healing for patients with HIV. Additionally, you’ll find out how to incorporate one of nature’s most nutritious super foods, hemp, into recipes that will coincide with your New Year’s resolutions, plus so much more. Here’s to a year brimming with wellness, health and growth.
On Dec. 6, 2018, adult recreational cannabis consumption and possession became legal in Michigan. In the months since, we have seen signs of a welcome shift in the attitude of our state’s employers, even if it is not reflected in their formal policies. Here is a brief look at the history, and future, of workforce policies in Michigan as it relates to recreational cannabis consumption.
It is important to note that, legally speaking, virtually nothing has changed for employee rights. The use of cannabis, even by registered patients, enjoys no constitutional protection. Employers are free to lawfully discriminate in employment decisions against any person who consumes cannabis, and nothing in any of Michigan’s cannabis laws (the 2008 Michigan Medical Marihuana Act, the 2016 Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act, or the 2018 Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act) does anything to increase protections in employment.
So, knowing that any business can not only fire, but can refuse to hire or promote, any employee merely because they consume cannabis on their own time, employers need to ask whether a zero tolerance policy is really the right policy anymore. Do Michigan companies really want to exclude that much of the workforce from their potential employment pool? Turns out, the answer is rapidly becoming “No.”
In its recent “Drug Testing and Marihuana Legalization Study,” The American Society of Employers reports that even though most employers are not changing their written workplace policies relating to drug use, 46 percent of employers responding to the survey indicated that they will no longer test for cannabis, and an additional 32 percent of employers will ignore a positive test for cannabis. In other words, a majority of employers will no longer make employment decisions based on a person’s private cannabis use. This is a significant and common-sense step in the right direction for Michigan businesses who understand that lawful cannabis use that does not impact a person’s employment should not affect a person’s employability. At last, it appears that Michigan companies are starting to view cannabis as the medicine and lawful recreational drug it is, and not the stereotype villain of the “War on Drugs.”
In addition to this positive and, hopefully, continuing trend in employer attitudes toward legal cannabis and cannabis consumers, those who were convicted of cannabis-related felonies can no longer be asked to disclose their convictions as part of pre-employment screening, thanks to former Gov. Richard Dale Snyder’s “ban the box” executive order. Before this year, employers could, and for the most part did, require felony disclosures on applications, meaning that Michigan residents who were convicted of felonies for their cannabis-related conduct during the arguably very confusing last decade were banned from gainful employment. Now, most employers cannot ask. In the kind of ironic twist that could only exist in Michigan, drug felons cannot work for any state-licensed cannabis business. If you have any other felony, you can work in the cannabis industry in Michigan. But if you have a cannabis-related felony, you can’t. Seriously.
“At last, it appears that Michigan companies are starting to view cannabis as the medicine and lawful recreational drug it is . . . ”
Of course, there will always be a need to determine if somebody is impaired while at work, and there will always be those jobs—bus driver, crane operator, educator, and the like—that require a zero tolerance policy and accurate testing. For these occupations, employers will have to move beyond traditional tests of the past and look to new and more accurate testing. The Michigan State Police recently wrapped up a year-long trial of saliva tests for roadside testing to include not just cannabis but more dangerous and illicit drugs like heroin. It is presumed that when these saliva tests are perfected, that their applications will transfer easily to the workplace.
In the meantime, a decade after the Medical Marihuana Act, Michigan is finally seeing cannabis find its sensible place in workplace drug policies.
Lead by Example
This just in! Mainstream wellness and fitness publications have confirmed it—cannabis will be one of the hottest health trends in 2019.
While we rejoice as the benefits of cannabidiol (CBD) continue to make headlines and bring benefits to the masses, it’s important to remember that whole plant cannabis and hemp have also been used for wellness purposes for many, many years before the CBD trend took over. It should come as no surprise that every year CULTURE dedicates its January issue to focusing on health- and wellness-focused topics that are relevant to the cannabis-loving lifestyle.
Reversing the stigma that cannabis consumers are lazy, CULTURE is joined by professional athletes, wellness experts and everyday people who are dedicated to living healthy and active lifestyles with cannabis and hemp. In this special Health and Wellness issue, our cover interview with champion boxer Ava Knight demonstrates just how intertwined wellness, cannabis and professional athletics really are.
While our community is always eager to learn more about the many benefits of the most mainstream cannabinoids, CBD and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), CULTURE is looking into the endless wellness possibilities that are held by lesser known cannabinoids that are steadily gaining in popularity. You will also find within these pages an inspirational story about a professional cannabis and hemp chef, who is able to overcome her own dietary restrictions utilizing cannabis. It doesn’t matter what has led you to picking up this issue, rest assured that you’re now a step closer to embracing wellness through cannabis.
In honor of the new year, challenge yourself to focus on bettering your wellness as a resolution—You can start training for a 5K, look into cooking with fresh ingredients at home versus eating fast food, or choose to take the stairs instead of the elevator the next time you’re given the option.
Be an example of balance and wellness to others, and make choices that help demonstrate that hemp and cannabis are complementary to a healthy lifestyle.
‘Tis the Season
Cheerful and festive cards arriving in the mail, shopping for the hottest deals, warm cinnamon rolls in the morning and spiked eggnog in the evening—there are endless signs that the holiday season is upon us.
When it comes to holiday shopping, the experience wouldn’t be complete without small bells ringing outside of grocery stores as volunteers accept donations for mainstream charities. As we get ready to wrap up the year, there is also no denying cannabis culture’s focus on giving back to the communities we live in. While we support the sentiment, altruism shouldn’t be limited to the holiday season alone.
Year-round, our friends and neighbors are facing economical hardships, from not being able to feed their families to unemployment, low incomes and homelessness. Don’t limit your charitable actions to just the month of December—give back through donations and volunteer work year-round. And if you’d like to witness inspiring examples of how to act every day and month of the year, you need not look further than the cannabis industry.
Countless dispensaries, cannabis companies and entrepreneurs have adopted a culture of altruism into the identity and mission of their brands. While we can assume the desire to do this stems from compassion and dedication to helping others, it’s clear that these charitable actions also help dismantle the negative stigma that cannabis companies often face in mainstream society. It’s essential that as consumers we continue to support companies in the cannabis industry that elevate our identity and work to improve their surrounding communities.
Be inspired and find ways to support those in the industry who are so dedicated to giving back to their communities throughout the year. In this issue of CULTURE, you can rest assured that you’ll find everything you need to elevate your holiday celebrations. From our annual Holiday Gift Guide to infused and shareable dessert recipes, we’ve packed these pages with loads of holiday cheer.
Let’s continue to demonstrate through our actions the world in which we hope to live in. Happy holidays from the CULTURE family to you and yours.
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