HAPPY VALENTINES DAY!, Valentine’s Day for Singles: What NOT to Do

Valentine’s Day for Singles: What NOT to Do

Michelle Peterson

Valentine’s Day for Singles: What NOT to Do
 
Tackling Valentine’s Day as a single person is a tough prospect. Commercials remind you not to forget that special gift for that special someone. Every time you walk into the grocery store you’re inundated with Valentine’s sales. And your friends - well, the ones in relationships at least - may not know how to shut up when it comes to their plans for the big day.
 
In all, most singles would like to just skip over Valentine’s Day if it were possible.
 
Unfortunately, it’s not. And it’s easy to fall into traps on Valentine’s Day. It can be a lonely day for a lot of people who fashion themselves currently or perpetually unlucky in love, and loneliness can lead to desperation.
 
It’s important to know that it’s ok to be single, and you don’t have to celebrate
Valentine’s Day in the traditional sense just because the world seems to want you to.
 
Don’t feel like you have to stay home alone because you’re single
 
Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be a holiday for couples only. At its core, it’s about love, and there are other types of loves besides romantic. There’s the love between you and your best friends, for instance. So if you have any single BFFs, by all means, go out and have some fun. Have a platonic “date night” with a friend of the opposite sex. Staying confined to the house because it’s a traditional “couples night out” is silly.
 
Don’t feel like you have to go out
 
Of course, there’s also no shame
in staying home. Have a Netflix night. Cook yourself a spectacular dinner for one. Take a long bubble bath. Starting reading that book you’ve been meaning to read. Before you can be anyone else’s Valentine, you have to know how to be your own.
 
Don’t make emotional decisions just because it’s a holiday of companionship
 
Yes, it’s Valentine’s Day and the universe is telling you that you should have some romance. If there’s a way to spend the day with someone in a healthy way - of course, have some fun. But don’t be lured into the trap of companionship for companionship’s sake. Don’t call that ex just because you’re lonely on Valentine’s Day. Every situation is different and Valentine’s Day might just be the best time for you to make amends - but it’s also a day when high emotions can lead to impulsive decisions. If nothing else, make sure you think everything over before you act on what can be an emotionally-charged holiday for many.
 
Don’t overindulge out of sadness or boredom
 
If there’s a temptation greater than calling that ex, it’s the ice cream in the freezer. Although there’s nothing wrong with a little chocolate on Valentine’s Day, don’t feel the need to splurge or ruin weeks of previous hard work because it’s an emotional day. Valentine’s Day can be a springboard for self-improvement -  a jumping off point for positive change in one’s life.
 
For example, in addition to treating yourself to a healthy, delicious meal, maybe try an online workout routine, or go for a run. If you’re in recovery, it’s also a good day to reconnect with your
sobriety goals. Go to an AA meeting then celebrate your hard work by doing something you love with a group of sober friends. You might also use the day to get some work done that you’ve been meaning to cross off that to-do list. The more productive you are on Valentine’s Day, the better you’ll feel about tackling it as a single person.
 
Oh, and you’ll probably save a boatload of money. Maybe Valentine’s Day as a single
isn’t so bad after all.
 
Photo Credit:
Pexels.com
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Mayor Hancock Statement on Attorney General’s Decision to Roll Back Obama-Era Marijuana Policy

Hancock expresses disappointment in Jeff Sessions Roll Back of the long standing Cole Memo

By Eric Roth - January 4, 2018, Letter from the City of Denver, Mayor Hancock

DENVER – Mayor Michael B. Hancock expressed his severe disappointment in U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ decision today to rescind the Obama-era policy regarding states that have voted to legalize recreational marijuana:
 
“Denver and Colorado residents voted overwhelmingly to legalize recreational marijuana in our state in 2012. Since then, we have worked diligently to implement their will in a way that works for Denver, and through this work, we have become an international model for how to do it right. The decision today by Attorney General Sessions to roll back the guidance we received from the Obama Justice Department is severely disappointing and lacks good judgment. They should respect the will of our voters, and this is just another example that this administration doesn’t listen, doesn’t pay attention and just doesn’t care. I urge our congressional representatives to take immediate action to protect our voters’ will from this disastrous decision.”

 
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Sessions nixes Obama-era rules leaving states alone that legalize pot

Jeff Sessions throws Cole Memo out the window

By Laura Jarrett, CNN

(CNN)Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Thursday rescinded a trio of memos from the Obama administration that had adopted a policy of non-interference with marijuana-friendly state laws.

The move essentially shifts federal policy from the hands-off approach adopted under the previous administration to unleashing federal prosecutors across the country to decide individually how to prioritize resources to crack down on pot possession, distribution and cultivation of the drug in states where it is legal.
While many states have decriminalized or legalized marijuana use, the drug is still illegal under federal law, creating a conflict between federal and state law. Thursday's announcement is a major decision for an attorney general who has regularly decried marijuana use as dangerous.
In a written statement Thursday, Sessions called the shift a "return to the rule of law" but he did not go as far as some advocates had feared he might, stopping short of explicitly directing more prosecutions, resources or other efforts to take down the industry as a whole.
"In deciding which marijuana activities to prosecute under these laws with the department's finite resources, prosecutors should follow the well-established principles that govern all federal prosecutions," Sessions said in a memo to all federal prosecutors. "These principles require federal prosecutors deciding which cases to prosecute to weigh all relevant considerations of the crime, the deterrent effect of criminal prosecution, and the cumulative impact of particular crimes on the community."
The former senior Justice Department official behind the decision to harmonize federal prosecutions with state legalization efforts during the Obama told CNN in a phone interview Thursday that it's uncertain how Sessions' new memo will play out at the state level.
"The whole point was to do what we could to maintain some control in this area," said Jim Cole, former deputy attorney general and now a partner at Sidley Austin in Washington.
Back in 2013, as an increasing number of states began to legalize marijuana, Cole released a directive to federal prosecutors that essentially adopted a policy of non-interference with marijuana-friendly state laws.
In what became colloquially known as the "Cole memo," the department recognized that the drug was still illegal under the federal Controlled Substances Act but gave federal prosecutors permission to focus their resources elsewhere, so long as the states didn't threaten other federal priorities, such as preventing the distribution of the drug to minors and targeting cartels. 
"The memo set out harms we saw associated with marijuana" but essentially said that otherwise "let's let the states deal with this," Cole told CNN. "Given a non-perfect situation, we figured this was the best way to deal with it."
The new memo likely "reduces the level of comfort in the industry until it sees how US attorneys actually implement it," Cole added. "Each US attorney now gets to decide what will and will not be prosecuted. We'll have to see how it plays out. ... There was a previously a higher level of reliability that you could operate your industry if you followed certain rules. That's not necessarily being destroyed, but it is being thrown into question."
The US Attorney's Office in Colorado released a statement Thursday saying there are no plans to change marijuana prosecutions:
"Today the Attorney General rescinded the Cole Memo on marijuana prosecutions, and directed that federal marijuana prosecution decisions be governed by the same principles that have long governed all of our prosecution decisions. The United States Attorney's Office in Colorado has already been guided by these principles in marijuana prosecutions -- focusing in particular on identifying and prosecuting those who create the greatest safety threats to our communities around the state. We will, consistent with the Attorney General's latest guidance, continue to take this approach in all of our work with our law enforcement partners throughout Colorado."

Congress, industry alarmed

Sessions' shift at the Justice Department comes days after marijuana became officially legal under laws in California, the largest state. Voters in California approved the measure in November 2016, but the legal, commercial sale of marijuana under state law just went into effect with the new year. 
A majority of states allow the use of medical marijuana and eight, including the entire West Coast and the District of Columbia, allow recreational use.
When asked whether the Justice Department was considering suing states that attempt to legalize the drug after this new policy has gone into effect, one senior Justice official said, "Further steps are still under consideration."
The immediate reaction to Thursday's news from the marijuana industry and some members of Congress was alarm.
Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner, a Republican, tweeted that the issue "must be left up to the states," ran counter to what he had been previously told by Sessions and threatened to hold up confirmation of DOJ nominees.
Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden from Oregon, where marijuana is also legal, similarly blasted the move.
"Trump promised to let states set their own marijuana policies. Now he's breaking that promise so Jeff Sessions can pursue his extremist anti-marijuana crusade. Once again the Trump administration is doubling down on protecting states' rights only when they believe the state is right," Wyden said in a statement.
One issue that may be potentially litigated is how the new memo affects medical versus recreational marijuana use.
Congress voted in its last session to extend a spending provision known as the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment, which blocks the Justice Department from using federal funds to impede the implementation of state medical marijuana laws.
Sessions' new memo does not explicitly set forth how prosecutors should treat medical marijuana, though a senior Justice official explained that prosecutors wouldn't do anything contrary to any current federal law. The open question is how broadly or narrowly that appropriations rider may be interpreted down the line, as it is an unsettled issue in the federal courts.
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5 Tips For Choosing a Digital Marketing Plan For Your Cannabis Business

5 Tips For Choosing a Digital Marketing Plan For Your Cannabis Business

Bjorn Wallman

5 Tips For Choosing a Digital Marketing Plan For Your Cannabis Business
Do you have a cannabis business? Are you looking to implement a cannabis marketing plan? Do you need to optimize your cannabis web site?
 
You’ve come to the right place. This article will help you with some proven strategies and ideas you can use. The best part?
 
They actually work!
 

The Cannabis Industry

The cannabis industry is one ripe with opportunity for entrepreneurs. The research firm ArcView Market Research estimates that legal cannabis sales in the U.S. were $6.9 billion in 2016 alone! But they are expected to grow to over $21.6 billion by 2021.
 
In order to take advantage of that growth, you need to implement a cannabis digital marketing plan. Let’s take a look at some of the tools you can deploy.
 

1. Social Media

A successful cannabis marketing plan is nothing without social media. You see, this is where you can engage with cannabis consumers directly. Social media allows you to become relevant to your audience’s lives.
 
You can use Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Reddit, LinkedIn and more to reach out. From something as simple as liking a comment to engaging in a direct conversation, social media allows you to engage and curate a relationship. And let’s not forget the treasure trove of information you gain access to. You can analyze data to reach new customers, build relationships, and gain attention, traffic, and sales.
 
Make sure that your cannabis website includes social media buttons. Make it easy for your potential customers and established fans to connect with you. Don’t miss out potential interactions to grow and engage with your audience.
 

2. Content Marketing

Your cannabis business needs quality content. Whether it’s on your dedicated website or via your social media channels, you simply can’t engage with customers without it. When you provide content in the form of blogs or articles, you give your business a voice. However, don’t just settle for SEO friendly filler. Everything you put out must be interesting and relevant to your cannabis customers. It should also be exclusive to you.
 

3. Search Engine Optimization

As we stated above, the cannabis industry represents a great opportunity for entrepreneurs. However, you’re not the only one trying to get a piece of the pie. How do you stand out from the competition? The answer lies in three letters: SEO
 
Did you know that  80% of consumers do some type of online research before choosing a business? Search Engine Optimization ensures that your cannabis website is ranked higher than your competition. Therefore, it is vital that you invest in your cannabis business’ online visibility.
 
When your site is optimized for SEO, the search engines like Google or Yahoo will find you that much easier. By adopting a cannabis focused SEO strategy, your site will not only rank higher, it will also help the right people find your business at exactly the right time.
 

4. Influencer Marketing

One of the most effective cannabis marketing tools out there are influence marketers. They can maximize your marketing impact and boost audience engagement.
 
You see, influencers have a unique capability. They create content that people enjoy and develop an audience that values their opinion. Influence marketing combines the viral aspects of marketing with the targeted efforts online advertising.
 

5. Educate Your Audience

A cannabis brand or service that only worries about the bottom line will not grow. While this may feel counterintuitive, it’s actually not. When you focus exclusively on sales, you cannibalize your long term growth.
 
Instead, focus on reaching out and educating your customers. This will create something we like to call a trickle down effect. You see, when you provide your target audience with rich and relevant information in the form of blogs or articles, you actually create advocates for your cannabis business. In turn, they will become ambassadors for other potential clients. As an added bonus, when you educate your audience, you become the expert in the room. This helps to keep you relevant in the industry and in your customer’s lives.
 

Conclusion

We realize that the cannabis industry can be an overwhelming place. However, we firmly believe that the path to success lies in implementing a proper digital marketing plan. These tips and tools represent just some of the ones that we use.
 
We hope that you find them useful and wish you the utmost success. Did you find any of these strategies useful? Is there one that you would like us to cover more in depth?
 
Let us know in the comments!
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As marijuana legalization reduces alcohol use, what is the public health impact?

Analysis: Medical marijuana took bite out of alcohol use — and sales. Recreational could take more

Alcoholic beverage sales fell by 15 percent following the introduction of medical marijuana laws in a number of states, according to a new working paper by researchers at the University of Connecticut and Georgia State University.

The study adds to a growing body of evidence showing that marijuana availability can reduce alcohol consumption. Because experts generally agree that, on balance, alcohol use is more harmful to individuals and society than marijuana use, this would represent a significant public health benefit of marijuana legalization.

For the study, researchers examined alcohol sales data included in Nielsen’s Retail Scanner database, which includes product-level sales data from 90 retail chains across the United States. The researchers say this represents an improvement over other ways of measuring alcohol consumption – survey respondents, for instance, are known to severely lowball their alcohol consumption when asked about it by interviewers.

The researchers compared alcohol sales between states that implemented medical marijuana laws and those that didn’t, before and after the change in marijuana laws. They also corrected for a number of economic and demographic variables known to affect alcohol use, such as age, race and income.

“We find that marijuana and alcohol are strong substitutes” for each other, the study concludes. “Counties located in [medical marijuana] states reduced monthly alcohol sales by 15 percent” after the introduction of medical marijuana laws.

If these findings are correct, it’s likely that they understate the effect of full marijuana legalization on alcohol use. Under medical marijuana laws, only a small handful of people are legally able to access the drug – patients wishing to use it must typically obtain a recommendation from a doctor, and in most states only certain conditions are eligible for treatment with marijuana. Full recreational legalization, as is the case now in Colorado and seven other states, means that any individual can purchase pot on demand.

While not all of the existing research agrees that marijuana availability decreases alcohol use, a solid body of evidence points to that conclusion. An analysis last year of 39 reports on the subject found that 16 supported the idea that people substitute marijuana use for alcohol, while 10 studies suggested that marijuana availability actually increased alcohol use. Twelve additional studies supported neither conclusion.

Unlike alcohol, marijuana has no known fatal dose – people don’t die of marijuana poisoning. Relative to marijuana, alcohol is more addictive, far more likely to cause vehicle accidents and much more closely linked to violent and aggressive behavior.

In the United States, excessive alcohol use kills nearly 90,000 people each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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