Monday, July 21, 2014

Cannabis Resources for Librarians serving Medical Patients and Others

[Disclaimer--I am not a doctor, nor am I a lawyer--I am merely a librarian trying to help patrons who need this kind of information.]

Recently I have been thinking about Cannabis very much. It has been in the news, and has recently become "legal" in WA and CO. I began to think about the relationship between Libraries and Cannabis, particularly in states where it is now legal for recreation use. What got me thinking about this was a blog post by The Librarian in Black on Home Brewing information and how to sessions in the library.  I began to think of the information needs of medical cannabis patients and also for recreational users.

These information needs are gleaned from some informal field work I have undertaken--I have asked some patients, and some recreational users what kinds of information would be helpful to them and to a new patient or recreational user.  The information can be broken into the categories below.  The information presented is not meant to be exhaustive, nor authoritative, but helpful to those librarians and others who may need to help people who have cannabis information needs.  It is meant to be an example and a place to begin.  Due to the illegal nature of cannabis in many places--resources have been hard to come by and also solid scientific research is only just beginning.  




The primary effects are on thoughts and feelings. Sativas tend to produce stimulating feelings, and many prefer it for daytime use. Some noted therapeutic effects from use of Sativas:
  • Stimulating/energizing
  • Increased sense of well-being, focus, creativity
  • Reduces depression, elevates mood
  • Relieves headaches/migraines/nausea
  • Increases appetite
Some noted Side-Effects from use of Sativas
  • Increased anxiety feelings
  • Increased paranoia feelings


The primary effects are on the body. Indicas tend to produce sedated feelings, and many prefer it for nighttime use.
Some noted Therapeutic Effects from use of Indicas:          
  • Provides relaxation/reduces stress
  • Relaxes muscles/spasms
  • Reduces pain/inflammation/headaches/migraines
  • Helps sleep
  • Reduces anxiety
  • Reduces nausea, stimulates appetite
  • Reduces intra-ocular pressure
  • Reduces seizure frequency/anti-convulsant
  • Some noted side-effects from use of Indicas:
  • Feelings of tiredness
  • “Fuzzy” thinking


Strains bred from crossing two or more varieties, with typically one dominant. For example, a sativa-dominant cross may be helpful in stimulating appetite and relaxing muscle spasms. Crosses are reported to work well to combat nausea and increase appetite.

Cannabis Mediums


The buds, or flowers of the cannabis plant. 


"Hash and concentrates have the same goal of removing the plant matter and extracting the resin glands, which contain the THC.  The technique for the extraction of resin glands differs from one concentrate to the next."  


Edible Cannabis in a variety of formats from cookies to soda pops.

     Tinctures, Topicals, etc...

"A tincture is typically an alcoholic extract of plant or animal material or solution of such or of a low volatility substance (such as iodine and mercurochrome). To qualify as an alcoholic tincture, the extract should have an ethanol percentage of at least 25–60% (50–120 US proof).[citation needed] Sometimes an alcohol concentration as high as 90% (180 US proof) is used in such a tincture.[1] In herbal medicine, alcoholic tinctures are made with various ethanol concentrations, 25% being the most common."


Information from Safe Access Now about mediums:

Delivery Methods


A traditional method.


"Vaporization is a technique for avoiding irritating respiratory toxins in marijuana smoke by heating cannabis to a temperature where the psychoactive ingredients evaporate without causing combustion."

Cannabis foods (including hash brownies and space cakes), more informally known as edibles, are food products made with cannabis in herbal or resin form as an ingredient. They are consumed as an alternate delivery means to experience the effects of cannabinoids without smoking orvaporizing cannabis or hashish. Instead, the cannabinoids are put into cake, cookie, brownie, or other foods, and are consumed for recreational or medicinal purposes.

Side Effects

These are some negative effects of Cannabis.  Due to the unscientific research conducted by most agencies about the negative impacts of cannabis, I am wary of listing any others.


     Faster Heart rate

     Red eyes

     Dry mouth


Leafly's Wonderful Dispensary Finder:

Weed Maps Dispensary Finder:

Cultivation Methods 

Amseterdam Marijuana Seed Banks Marijuana Growing Pages:

MI Medical Marijuana Program's Grow Help Pages:

Ed Rosenthal's Marijuana Growers Handbook:

Cannabis Resources for Librarians:

Information on Strains


Seed Finder :

Safe Access Now's Research Pages: 

 Seed Finders Research Pages:


WA State's Marijuana Business Daily:

National Cannabis Industry Association:

Cannabis Business Alliance:


Canna Law Blog:  

Canna Law Group: 

Marijuana Policy Project: 

NORML: Legal Issues:  

Lets help libraries improve on this document and help serve patrons who need these resources.  Librarians should be sponsoring programs in libraries that convey information needed by medical cannabis patients and, in legalized states,  for consumers.  

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Information Literacy and Colonialism

In the US, every piece of information and every bit of knowledge we have has been mediated through a White-Supremacist lens--this is especially the case the more educated an individual is in the US.
It usually doesn’t matter what the ethnicity of the creator of this knowledge is, nor what their first language is because they have been educated in a system that is fundamentally White-supremacist. It takes much work and effort to even attempt to break out of this colonial mind set. #InformationLiteracy #education #EthnicStudies #Libraries #Information #knowledge #colonialism #21stCenturyEmpire

Friday, April 25, 2014

Barbarians Within the Gates

The fact that people are allowed to say this kind of shit is illustrative of the state of Race relations in the US. It isn't politically correct you fucking barbarians--it is called being civilized and not offending, especially knowingly, those whom you live with. If he were educmacated, he would know that being civilized comes from the Latin word Civi, which means, roughly city. Being civilized is possessing the skills necessary to live with others, especially in a city of society. This guy is a barbarian who ONLY understands force and is ignorant of his own culture. I know his culture better than him and it isn't even my culture. ‪#‎racist‬ ‪#‎bigot‬ ‪#‎Traitor‬‪#‎WelfareRancher‬

Monday, April 14, 2014

Uniform Documentation Policies and Procedures (Part One)

[This is meant to be a series of posts that will illustrate the importance and the process of creating a set of uniform documentation policies and procedures for a large organization that has many physical locations.]

Uniform documentation policies and procedures are vital to any organization.

The creation of documentation is often formatted differently, created with different tools, are stored in a variety of locations and use inconsistent terms throughout the organization.

One obvious improvement to the creation and utilization of documentation includes creating, modeling and using a style guide throughout the organization.

This style guide should be created by the departments and approved by management.  This will increase transparency and "buy in." 

Another, less obvious improvement to create a uniform and efficient documentation system throughout your organization is to have a classification style guide as well as a writing style guide.

This will ensure that documentation is stored in the proper location and can be accessed/found easily in times of need, or for review.

I will talk about two distinct aspects in this post:

1. Creation of standards and procedures

Descriptions of set of  content creation tools

Descriptions of Storage tools

Description of content creation tools and storage locations

2. Develop training & materials for staff on writing technical documentation:

Guiding Principles: 

Training of staff using standards and procedures developed from user needs assessments, interviews and current departmental best practices

Training is individual to department, but uniform in standards and procedures.
Starting with objective/learning outcomes:

Trainees will know the correct place to create and to publish documentation.

Trainees will understand the difference between publishing and creating content and which tools to use for each process.

Trainees will know how to maintain documentation and how, when, and where to archive or destroy obsolete documents.

Trainees will understand the need for accessing documentation on a variety of formats, e.g. Mobile devices, etc….

Trainees will understand the importance of using a variety of formats, e.g. video, tutorials, etc….

Everyone has their own learning style/s and best practices dictate that information be presented in a variety of formats to increase the reach of the documentation.  

To be continued...

Friday, March 14, 2014

More Information from BCALA

From Jerome Offord, Jr.


Thank you for the notes of support and the quiet concerns. However, I want to make sure you understand the purpose of the press release and BCALA's intent. Please allow me to provide you a timeline of events.

·        In the fall of 2013, BCALA leadership received a note regarding the Orlando Conference and the Stand Your Ground issues in the State of Florida.

·        The aforementioned question sparked dialogue on the Executive Board electronic list.

·        Several board members requested that this issue be on the January 2014 Executive Board Midwinter Meeting agenda.

·        During the Midwinter Meeting, the Executive Board discussed this issue at length and the Board voted that BCALA should go on record expressing our concern about the implementation and interpretation of the Stand Your Ground Law in Florida and the ALA 2016 Annual Conference scheduled to be in Orlando, FL.

·        The Executive Board shared this issue with BCALA’s ALA Liaison during the Executive Board meeting during Midwinter.

·        I, along with VP Watson, shared BCALA’s concerns with the leaders from the ethnic affiliates and ALA during our meeting at Midwinter.

·        I shared BCALA’s concern during the ALA Affiliates Luncheon during Midwinter.

·        I, along with VP Watson, shared BCALA’s concerns during the JCLC meeting with the ethnic affiliates.

·        During the membership meeting on Sunday night, this issue was brought to the forefront when I announced that the Executive Board had taken action and the members affirmed the board’s decision.

·        On January 28, 2014, at 8:57 p.m., in a message titled, Updates From Midwinter, I shared, that “The Executive Board voted to authorize the President to pen a letter to express the BCALA’s concerns and discontent with the 2016 Annual conference location (Orlando, FL) because of the gross misinterpretation of, and poor implementation of, the Stand Your Ground Law in the State of Florida vs. Zimmerman case."

  • After issuing the press release, a note was sent to ALA leadership regarding the matter and formally requested a meeting.
  • Today, though I was not available, ALA President, Barbara Stripling, did reach out and I will follow-up with her tomorrow

Therefore, I attest that this issue was not a surprise.  We verbally shared this with others prior to leaving Midwinter. 

To be blatantly clear, BCALA did not and has not called for a boycott of the 2016 conference.  I want to remind each of you to understand that your leaders were sensitive to the matter, while understanding the stance.  Please do not allow others to use our concern as a way to divide and/or isolate BCALA, Inc., its members, and/or its leaders.  Again, we did NOT call for a boycott.

As President of BCALA, Inc., it is my duty and obligation to follow the will of the governing body of this august organization.  Your executive board, and the members, want to be heard on this issue. 

Your leaders are aware that ALA, an organization that we all pay dues to, has a financial obligation and contract. We are aware that the possibility of moving the conference is near impossible. However, the impossibilities and challenges regarding the Orlando conference does not mean that we should or shall remain silent about an issue that impacts our communities and people we serve.

As President of BCALA, Inc., I stand firm in fulfilling my duty.  I remain committed to this organization and our profession. As a leader, one must decide to either lead or not.  This situation, as a leader, reminds me of a quote by the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who said, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. The true neighbor will risk his position, his prestige, and even his life for the welfare of others.”  The others, for me, are those on the Executive Board and those members who affirmed the need for me to speak up on behalf of BCALA, Inc.

As conversations develop with ALA Leadership, I will continue to update you.  Have a blessed day!


Thursday, March 13, 2014

Black Caucus of ALA Denounces ALA’s Decision to Hold 2016 Annual Conference in Orlando, Fla.

Black Caucus of ALA Denounces ALA’s Decision to Hold 2016 Annual Conference in Orlando, Fla. 

For immediate release: March 10, 2014

Media Contact: Jason Alston,

The Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA), condemns the American Library Association’s (ALA) decision to continue with plans to hold the ALA 2016 annual conference in Orlando, Fla. in the wake of the George Zimmerman verdict and that state’s refusal to revise or repeal “Stand Your Ground” laws, which were included in jury instructions in Zimmerman’s trial for second degree murder for fatally shooting unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla. in 2012.
BCALA believes that “Stand Your Ground” laws enable a “shoot first, ask questions later” mentality against African-American men perceived without merit to be threats or assumed without evidence to be engaged in criminal behavior. Kenneth Nunn, a professor at the University of Florida’s Levin College of Law, wrote in the New York Times in 2012 that, “African-Americans, black males in particular, have been constructed in popular culture as violence-prone and dangerous,” and that this construct produces a fear in Americans that deadly force against such people is consequently reasonable in general.

BCALA therefore contends that Florida law should require more than perception of a threat before use of deadly force is deemed justifiable. BCALA predicts “Stand Your Ground” will be used in future killings where racial bias played a factor in the actions of the accused. Months after the Zimmerman verdict, another travesty of justice occurred when a Florida jury failed to convict Michael Dunn of murder for shooting into a car and killing 17-year-old Jordan Davis. Dunn said he fired because he felt threatened by Davis and other Black teens in a car Davis was riding in, but the unarmed Davis had not exited his vehicle or physically confronted Dunn. Dunn was convicted only for attempted murder after he continued firing at the vehicle as the teenagers attempted to flee.  
BCALA believes that ALA, which claims various commitments to diversity and tolerance, should have begun plans to find a new venue for ALA 2016 following the July 2013 acquittal of George Zimmerman. BCALA must question ALA’s true commitment to diversity and racial tolerance when ALA, North America’s largest and strongest library association, still plans to hold its largest and most financially lucrative function in a state that has become Ground Zero in initiating weapons laws, as well as voting policies, that potentially put the rights and safety of African-Americans at risk. ALA annual conferences are generally well-documented and publicized, and BCALA fears that librarians, 20,000 strong, conducting business and spending money in Orlando will negate any claim that librarians have to being advocates of equality and social justice. 

BCALA, rather, is committed to creating, supporting and cheerleading initiatives that facilitate success in young Black males. The organization is particularly encouraged by President Barack Obama’s recent unveiling of the “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative, which the president hopes will, “(I)mprove significantly the expected life outcomes for boys and young men of color (including African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Native Americans) and their contributions to U.S. prosperity.” An initiative to support Black male success coming from national leadership will hopefully catch on with those who otherwise wouldn’t care or would see these youths as a threat.
BCALA was formally established in 1970 and remains the forefront networking and professional development vehicle for African-American librarians. An independent non-profit organization, BCALA sponsors scholarships and travel assistance, produces a quarterly publication and holds a biennial conference. BCALA serves in an advisory role to the American Library Association and collaborates with other ethnic affiliate organizations on diversity initiatives in libraries. More information about BCALA is available at


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