Thursday, May 03, 2007


Man, it's the last week of class for the last semester of my master's program, and I'm F'ing busy!!! No blogging time tonight. Instead, here are a couple of cool essays from the always cool AlterNet.

New Studies Destroy the Last Objection to Medical Marijuana

Back in 1999, the Institute of Medicine's White House-commissioned report on medical marijuana conceded marijuana's medical benefits, saying that what is needed is "a nonsmoked rapid-onset cannabinoid drug delivery system."

The new studies -- one from the University of California, San Francisco, and the other from the University at Albany, State University of New York -- confirm that such a system is here. It's called vaporization, and has been familiar to medical marijuana patients for many years, but few outside the medical marijuana community know it exists. Unlike smoking, a vaporizer does not burn the plant material, but heats it just to the point at which the THC and the other cannabinoids vaporize. In the Volcano vaporizer tested at UCSF, the vapors are collected in a detachable plastic bag with a mouthpiece for inhalation.

Click here for more.

The End of Internet Radio?

These three judges on the recently empaneled Copyright Royalty Board decided to raise webcasting royalty rates drastically, to levels proposed by SoundExchange, a digital music collecting society presided over by record labels and musicians unions. Specifically, the board’s ruling denied webcasters’ requests for a stay and a rehearing, effectively closing the door on further deliberation over the royalty rates and requiring that webcasters begin paying the new rates by May 15 of this year, due retroactively from the beginning of 2006.

Supporters of this decision argue that these new, higher royalty rates will ensure that musicians are paid fairly for their work as the music industry shifts its focus from traditional media to the Internet. Currently, record labels and recording artists don’t receive any royalties at all from terrestrial radio, which is required to pay only composers and publishers. However, detractors argue that the new rates are ruinously high and will lead to bankruptcy for the vast majority of webcasters, eliminating a resource that entertains more than 70 million Americans and financially supports tens of thousands of recording artists.

More here.