Stephen Collie Enterprises New Zealand

How did you first hear about bitcoin? Maybe you saw a story on the news and did some research. Perhaps a friend or family member told you about it, and you were intrigued. You might have even seen a bitcoin ATM in your local mall or grocery store and decided to check it out.

No matter how you heard about bitcoin, you probably realize by now that bitcoin is here to stay. However, the steps involved in making your first purchase can appear to be daunting. But don’t worry!

In this blog post, we will explain the basics of bitcoin ATMs and kiosks and help you find your nearest kiosk. Most of all, we will give you the confidence to make your bitcoin purchase and join the financial system of the future!

What is a Bitcoin ATM?

Bitcoin ATMs and kiosks are much like the standard ATMs you see every day. When you deposit cash into a traditional ATM, you enter your debit card first to access your account. Once you have finished depositing money into the ATM (minus any transaction fees) it’s credited into your bank account.

Bitcoin ATM

A Coinme ATM in a local shopping center

Bitcoin ATMs and kiosks work very much the same way with a few simple differences. Instead of a debit card, you typically scan or show your government-issued ID or enter your phone number, so the ATM or kiosk can verify where to send the bitcoin. Much like a traditional ATM, you will insert cash bills into the machine, but instead of depositing U.S dollars, it automatically exchanges that money for the equivalent amount of bitcoin.

When using a bitcoin ATM, like a Coinme for example, you will receive a deposit of bitcoin directly into your digital wallet (which operates much like your bank account, but for storing digital currency like bitcoin.) When you are using a Bitcoin kiosk, such as a Coinstar kiosk powered by Coinme, you receive a redemption code on your receipt that you must enter online later to receive your bitcoin.

Some Bitcoin ATMs also offer two-way functionality which allows for you to do the same transaction in reverse: Withdraw bitcoin that is immediately exchanged into US dollars that are then dispensed from that ATM.

How Do I Use A Bitcoin ATM?

Using a bitcoin ATM or kiosk is quite simple and often offers the easiest and most secure way to purchase bitcoin for cash. The screen itself typically provides a step-by-step tutorial, but for this article, we will show you how simple it is using a Coinstar kiosk, powered by Coinme.

When you approach the kiosk, you simple hit get started and select the option that says “Buy Bitcoin. After you review the brief terms and conditions, you are directed to enter your phone number. This part of the process ensures your security and links your phone number to the bitcoin purchase so no one else can gain access to your bitcoin.

After that is complete, you will see on the screen the exchange rate for your bitcoin purchase, and you can then enter your dollar bills into the bill acceptor. Typically this is down and to the right of the screen. Once you have inserted all your bills, you can verify the amount entered and hit the buy bitcoin button on the lower, right-hand side of the screen.

Once you have finished your purchase, the kiosk will print out your receipt. This is important to keep safe and secure, as it does include your bitcoin redemption code. As we mentioned above, you will need to visit Coinme.com/redeem and enter that code along with your phone number to have your bitcoin deposited into your digital wallet.

What Do I Do Next?

After you have finished purchasing your bitcoin, the process of redeeming the voucher is simple as well. Once you have your receipt, you can visit Coinme.com/redeem and begin the redemption process.

After you have entered in the needed information, you will be directed to create your very own Coinme wallet. Follow the step-by-step guide on your laptop or cell phone. The entire process is simple, secure, and should only take a few moments. After that process is complete, you will be able to see your bitcoin balance in your Coinme wallet.

Coinstar Bitcoin Voucher

If you are already a Coinme customer, log in to your Coinme Wallet and click on the tab that says “Redeem.” Enter your phone number and the redemption code you received at the kiosk. You can then return to the main account page, and your balance will reflect the purchase you just made.

Is A Bitcoin ATM Safe?

While this does vary based on the company operating the machine, customer safety is a primary area of focus for Coinme. We take multiple steps to ensure the security of your account including ATM and kiosk locations and service and support from our team.

We have a dedicated team of developers and engineers continually looking at all aspects of machine security, providing a safe and secure user experience for all of our customers. Our support team is also available Monday through Saturday from 8 am to 7 pm PT.

We also ensure our ATMs and kiosks are in well-lit, public spaces like shopping malls and grocery stores, providing a safe and secure user experience for everyone.

Are Bitcoin ATMs Legal?

Bitcoin ATMs are legal to use, however, there are levels of regulations on both the federal and state level for ATM and kiosk companies to operate legally in the United States.

The primary federal law is Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and operators like Coinme need to register with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network or FinCEN and have Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) programs in place. State-level regulation varies from state to state, but typically, operators must register for money transmitter license (MTL) or as a money service business (MSB).

Coinme is proud to have been the first licensed Bitcoin ATM company in the United States and as part of our commitment to safety and security, all customers must submit their ID’s through our KYC verification process. The purpose of this program is to help prevent money laundering and other financial crimes and it adds an extra layer of security by ensuring no one but you can gain access to your account.

How Do I Find A Bitcoin ATM?

Bitcoin ATMs and kiosks have grown in popularity in recent years, making it easier than ever to find a location close to you. While there are websites like CoinATMRadar that show you ATMs based on your location, not all ATMs and kiosks listed are licensed and operating legally.

Coinme is the first licensed Bitcoin ATM company in the United States and thanks to our collaboration with Coinstar we now operate the largest bitcoin kiosk network in the United States with over 2,500 locations across 21 states and the District of Columbia.

To find the nearest location to you, visit Coinme.com/Locations and enter your location into the search bar. You will find the closest location to you and can even click further to receive detailed directions via Google Maps.

Conclusion

You now hopefully have the knowledge and confidence to make your first purchase at a bitcoin ATM or kiosk!

Hopefully, you will share your knowledge with others so everyone so your friends and family will also be able to join the financial system of the future safely and securely.


This article by Dom Garrett was originally published on Coinme.com


Featured Image Courtesy of Pixabay

Lufthansa Passengers Have to Take a Selfie to Prove they Are Real and Get a Refund

Quietly and without any mention in their Terms and Conditions, Lufthansa the German national carrier now requires its passengers to provide a selfie of themselves holding their ID next to their face before issuing a refund for a delayed, cancelled or overbooked flight.

Lufthansa Passengers Selfie

In the above email, Lufthansa’s Customer Relations writes:

“in order to finalize the payment, please provide a photo of your client holding their valid government issued ID next to their face (e.g. passport, ID card, driver’s license) with the face and ID clearly visible.”

This is an official response to a claim for two passengers whose flight from Frankfurt to Sao Paulo – LH506 on 18th of July 2019 – was delayed by 10 hours.

Delayed Flight Lufthansa

Source: Flightstats.com The new requirement has gotten people talking on Flyertalk with one person writing:

“All of this is clearly laid out to discourage people from claiming compensation by making them jump through loops”.

Right to Compensation

Under Regulation EC261/2004, if the carrier is at fault and the delay is not the result of extraordinary circumstances, then each passenger is entitled to 600 EUR compensation – no questions asked. In fact, the burden of proof falls on the airline and not the passenger. However, introducing the above requirement seems like yet another obstacle which passengers need to overcome in order to receive the compensation to which they are legally entitled. While Lufthansa ranked 17th of our Airline Ratings 2019 in terms of claims processing performance, the German air carrier seems headed for a lower spot in the rankings this year.

Is Lufthansa in Violation of GDPR?

When a claim is submitted to Lufthansa via ClaimCompass, it contains the passenger names, the flight and booking numbers, the complete itinerary of the passenger(s), the flight schedule and the disruption, an official ID as well as a signed and dated Power of Attorney for each passenger in the claim. The latter clearly states the scope of representation and the ClaimCompass mandate. So, based on the above, Lufthansa can without any doubt identify the passenger and issue the payment under EC261/2004. Under Article 4(14) of GDPR, facial images are considered as “biometric data”, which is subject to even stricter requirements for compliance with the Regulation. By default, processing such data is prohibited unless the data subject – i.e. the passenger – has given explicit consent. We could not find anything on the above in the Data Protection Information section of Lufthansa’s website. There is however, something more. Even if the passenger has granted the above consent, article 7 of GDPR has imposed even stricter conditions for its validity. Under Article 7(4), such consent is invalid if performance of the contract is made strictly dependent on the provision of such personal data, despite the fact that it is not necessary for the contract to be carried out. By definition, delayed flight compensation under Regulation 261/2004 is due as compensation for the improper compliance with contractual obligations of the carrier – i.e. for not getting passengers to their destination on time. In other words, a selfie of the passenger holding their ID next to their face is not needed in order for Lufthansa to meet its contractual obligations.

So, Why the Hassle?

It is clear that Lufthansa is fully capable of verifying the identity of its passengers by simply requesting a copy of a national ID in addition to a signed Power of Attorney. This is confirmed by European Commission’s Information Notice to Air Passengers dated 9th of March, 2017, which states:

“If so requested, a signed power of attorney together with a copy of ID or passport (for verification of signature) should be provided by claim agencies”.

There is no mention of photographs or any further personal data required and one is left to wonder whether or not this additional requirement isn’t just another unjustified burden on passengers to avoid paying compensation.


This article by Thomas Busson was originally published on claimcompass.eu

About the Author:

Thomas is the SEO and Content Strategist at ClaimCompass. Frequent traveller, he loves sharing tips and news about the industry in a simple way.


Featured Image Credits: Pixabay

Yes. Here is how your town can cool planet earth and save money doing it.

The earth is heating up at an unprecedented rate. Tropical diseases are appearing in American cities. Every summer is more unbearable than the last.

Massive fires devastate our forests. Someone just sailed a pleasure boat through the once frozen “Northwest Passage” connecting the North Atlantic to the North Pacific via the North Pole.

What is being done? At Paris in December 2015, 196 countries signed a “game changing” climate agreement that recognized the threat climate change poses to humanity. Their solution? Slow the rate at which we are heating the atmosphere.

This is a good idea. But it will not solve the problem. It is like slowing the car as you hurtle toward the missing bridge over a deep gorge. You buy time – but you are still going over the edge.

What is missing?

Solutions that actually cool the earth atmosphere.

Scientists tell us that the main culprit in global warming is carbon in the form of CO2. This is why trees are so important and why global deforestation is a key part of global warming.

Trees remove CO2 from the atmosphere through photosynthesis. They release the oxygen (O2) back into the atmosphere for us to breathe and use the carbon (C) to build cell walls. As long as the tree is alive, it soaks up C; together trees in a forest become a “carbon sink” holding carbon that cannot contribute to global warming.

The problem with this is obvious – trees die and when they do, they re-release the C into the atmosphere as they rot.

This is where your town comes in.

Save the Earth

Image Credits

Your town has hundreds, perhaps thousands, of trees lining streets, shading parks, beautifying public buildings.

Every year these trees shed branches, need pruning or die. Every year you collect hundreds, perhaps thousands, of tons of dead wood.

What do you do with it? Burn it? Chip it? Compost it? Landfill it?

No matter what you do with your dead wood, you are returning the carbon to the atmosphere.

You can do better for all of us – and for your town.

Here’s how.

If you heat that wood really hot – 1,000⁰ F – in the absence of oxygen, “pyrolyze” it, you will produce biochar. (Do not sweat the technology; it is so simple it will make you cry.)

What is biochar? Super charcoal, pure carbon without the ash and impurities in basic barbecue charcoal.

Why is biochar special? Let’s start with the earth.

Making biochar is carbon negative. When you make biochar from dead wood, you permanently remove carbon from the atmosphere. The biochar that remains when you finish production is pure carbon equal to 40 percent of the total carbon contained in the wood – and it is completely inert. It will never again enter the atmosphere. Put differently, for every pound of biochar you make, you remove three pounds of CO2 from the atmosphere.

Making biochar also has important indirect impacts. Large piles of rotting wood chips, for example, emit not just CO2, but methane, a greenhouse gas (GHG) 25 times as warming as CO2. Methane and other such long-term GHGs as NOx are eliminated by pyrolysis.

The question you have to ask, however, is: What about my town?

It is one thing to care about the environment; it is another to impose the costs of solving global problems on local rate payers.

Here is the irony: Making biochar will save your town a lot of rate payer money.

That is the point: Making biochar is smart business for your town, not just good for the environment.

How?

Where and how much your town will benefit depends on local circumstances, but here is how making biochar can cut costs.

  • Biochar is a powerful soil amendment. Applied to lawns, playing fields, golf courses, it can reduce fertilizer costs 40-50 percent.
  • Biochar retains water extremely well. It can reduce time between watering by days, conserve water and save money.
  • Biochar is a highly effective decontaminant. It can be used to clean up hazardous spills, decontaminate building sites, storm drains, and lawns and public spaces after floods.
  • Biochar added to compost – if the town composts leaves, for example – improves quality and extends the effective life of compost in the soil.

If your town is large enough – if it has enough stuff to turn into biochar – biochar production can itself be turned into a profitable endeavor by using the heat it produces to run a small power plant. The amount of power involved may be tiny, but providing free electricity to Public Works is no small matter.

Bottom line? Why not help the earth? Your rate payers will love you – and your town will take pleasure in knowing that global welfare lies at the heart of how you do business.


This article by Dr.D.Michael Shafer was originally published on Warmheartworldwide.org

About the Author:

Dr. Shafer is the co-founder of Warm Heart Worldwide and director of the Warm Heart Environmental Project. He lives in Phrao with his wife Evelind and their 40 adopted children.


Featured Image Credits: Pixabay

Caught the travel bug? If wanderlust is calling, sometimes the only solution is to answer it. Many people move overseas with no long-term plan, figuring out how to earn money as they travel. Others leave to find new opportunities for supporting their families. No matter what drives you to leave home, there are plenty of options for earning money while on the road.

A word of caution: make sure to research what you are legally permitted to do under your visa restrictions. Some countries will revoke your tourist visa if they find that you’re working without permission. Whether you’re traveling to work, or working to travel, here’s how to earn money while exploring the world.

Get a remote job

So-called “digital nomads” are taking the world by storm. Digital nomads, those who can work from anywhere and choose to take their office on the road, are on the rise. In 2018, research revealed that 4.8 million US citizens identify with digital nomads. At least 43% of Americans spend some amount of time working outside the traditional office environment.

Becoming a digital nomad or working on a remote job often means freelancing. Digital nomadism offers flexibility to make your own schedule and take on work at a rate that suits your lifestyle. Use a site like Upwork, Fiverr, or TakeLessons.com to list your freelance skills, qualifications, and portfolio of work. Find jobs that are remote only on WeWorkRemotely or Remote.co. If you know you’ll be moving frequently and on the road for a long time, digital nomadism might be the lifestyle you’re seeking.

Earn Money Traveling Abroad

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Au pair for a family

A great way to travel and also get deeper into the culture of a new country is to au pair while you’re traveling. Au pairs are hired to take care of small children as live-in babysitters. In the US, one au pair reports, “You get a private room in [the host family’s] house, eat their food and often receive a mobile phone and even a car to use in your free time. On top of all these things, you get a weekly salary of $195.75.” Au pair-ing can be a good way to make some money, cover your accommodation expenses, and get to know what real life is like in the country you’re visiting. Stick with a trusted agency like Go AuPair to make sure you’re working for a family that’s been vetted.

Work in a hostel

Working in a hostel is another good way to get your accommodation paid for (usually) and earn money on the side. “All the staff become like your family, the hostel starts to feel like your home and you are forever meeting awesome travelers!” writes one nomad who worked in hostels while traveling. There are many types of positions on offer at hostels, from working in reception to bar-tending to tour guiding. It’s a great way to meet fellow travelers and get to know the city in which you’re staying. To get started, look for jobs on Hosteljobs.net or read Hostelworld’s guide on How to find a job in a hostel and earn money.

Tutor or teach a skill

English is one of the more popular languages, but if you don’t have that in your arsenal, don’t let that discourage you. Look for an expat community in your hometown with young kids. Some families want tutors for their children to help them retain their traditions, language, and culture. Others like having English from someone who speaks their native language and can explain what words mean more clearly. One of the highest paying teaching jobs available in Vietnam is teaching swim lessons in expat communities. Be creative and think about some other topics you can teach beyond language skills: tutors are always in demand all over the world.

Become a tour guide 

Putting together a tour can be a lot of work, but it’s also quite lucrative. If you have a certain background or skill set, use that to your advantage. Think outside the traditional walking tours: are you a runner or cyclist? Plan a running tour of the city that takes you around the top sites while getting your guests in shape. If you know a lot about architecture or street art, plan a route that shows off a new side to your city. There are plenty of established companies to work with, but sites like Airbnb Experiences also make it easy to start up on your own.

Work as a translator

Translators are always in demand. “If you’re in a foreign country where native English-language speakers are needed, offer translation services. You can work with companies, contractors or individuals alike to translate for them,” writes career advisor FairyGodBoss. To get started as a translator you may need a certification, but also start posting your availability in Facebook groups. Word gets around quickly!


This article was originally published by SendFriend

About SendFriend:

In the aftermath of the devastating earthquake of 2010 that hit Haiti, our founder, David, was a young analyst at the Office of the Special Envoy to Haiti at the World Bank. He witnessed firsthand the resilience and strength of the worldwide Haitian community, as Haitians around the world sent home over $2 billion to support their loved ones in their time of need.

However, as Haitians stepped up their financial support, David saw money transfer companies charging more than 7% for people to send money home.

Visits to the Philippines exposed David to the global nature of this problem. As a student at MIT, he was inspired by blockchain technology and guided toward it by professors and technologists as a potential solution to the high cost of international remittances. The result was SendFriend, an international money transfer app specifically designed for money remittance to Philippines.

You May Also Like: The Simple Rules for Exchanging Foreign Currency


Featured Image Credits: Pixabay

At the start of 2018, the removal of cannabidiol (CBD) from the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) banned substances list went into effect. This change prompted an inquiry about the rules regarding CBD in other sports organizations. While many cover the topic of marijuana in sports, we were curious as to how sports organizations handle CBD, if at all.

CBD, or cannabidiol, is a chemical compound found naturally in the cannabis plant. When sourced from hemp, CBD oil contains less than 0.3% THC, which is the compound that causes a euphoric high that cannabis is infamous for. CBD does not get you high; instead, it is being studied for a variety of health benefits. When sourced properly, hemp-derived CBD oil is legal in the United States.

The WADA is the first major sports organization to acknowledge CBD as a compound separate from marijuana. Some leagues look as if cannabis reform is in the future, while others cannot be budged. Here’s a look at six top sports organizations and their views on CBD.

WADA

In August 2016, UFC fighter Nate Diaz spoke candidly about vaping CBD at a UFC 202 post-fight press conference. In response, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) issued Diaz a public warning the use of a prohibited substance. Since January 1, 2018, however, athletes like Diaz can be as outspoken about CBD as they’d like.

WADA Removes CBD as a Prohibited Substance

“Cannabidiol is no longer prohibited.” This statement, released by WADA in September 2017, is the first of its kind in the history of competitive sports. With this decision, WADA has given thousands of athletes the opportunity to use CBD as a natural alternative without the fear of consequence.

Created by the International Olympic Committee, WADA unifies global anti-doping policies. Organizations that use the WADA policy include the International Olympic Committee, the International Paralympic Committee, all International Federations, and over 200 National Anti-Doping Organizations, including USADA. USADA has advocated for the adoption of WADA policy by collegiate and professional sports leagues, although this change has yet to be embraced.

The modified WADA document does caution athletes to be aware of the THC levels in the CBD products they are using. The document states, “Synthetic cannabidiol is not a cannabimimetic; however, cannabidiol extracted from cannabis plants may also contain varying concentrations of THC, which remains a prohibited substance” (source).

WADA’s threshold for THC is 150 nanograms (ng) per milliliter (ml), which was raised from 15ng/ml in 2013. This is the highest THC threshold compared to the collegiate and professional sports leagues discussed here. In terms of recreational substances, WADA has been progressive. Dr. Alan Vernec, the agency’s medical director, told the LA Times, “It’s a very active process that … is always open to debate and is discussed regularly.”

With its significant impact on the global sports community, it is our hope that WADA’s decision will prompt other sports organizations to follow its lead on CBD regulations.

NCAA and CBD

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) regulates athletes across over 1,200 institutions, conferences, and organizations. This sports organization is known for having the strictest marijuana testing threshold in comparison not only to other sports organizations but to employers such as the Federal Aviation Administration and the U.S. military. The NCAA testing threshold for marijuana is 5 ng/ml and took effect on Aug. 1, 2013.

Cannabidiol is not listed on the NCAA 2018-19 Banned Drugs List. However, the list states, “Any substance that is chemically related to one of the above classes, even if it is not listed as an example, is also banned!” (The exclamation point is included.) It is under our assumption that CBD is considered “chemically related” to tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, and is, therefore, a banned substance.

This was confirmed recently when Auburn University recruit CJ Harris was told he is ineligible to play football due to taking CBD oil for his seizures. From everything we read about CJ’s story, it seemed to be the NCAA simply doesn’t understand the difference between hemp and marijuana.

NCAA’s Changing Approach

In 2014, the NCAA passed legislation that reduced the penalty for a positive marijuana test from a full season to half a season. This is less of a penalty than a positive test for performance-enhancing drugs such as steroids or human growth hormone (HGH).

Regarding this change in legislation, a representative for the NCAA stated, “Street drugs are not performance-enhancing in nature, and this change will encourage schools to provide student-athletes the necessary rehabilitation” (Source). This reflects the NCAA’s changing approach to recreational drugs such as marijuana and the shift in focus from punishment to drug education and rehabilitation.

NCAA and WADA Policy

During a meeting in December of 2017, the NCAA Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports (CSMAS) voted on a recommendation that would modify the NCAA’s banned drug classes to reflect the prohibited list established by the WADA. Under this change, the cannabinoids class would only include marijuana; CBD would not be prohibited. This recommendation will need to see support from the NCAA governing members if it is to move forward.

Without the information to determine the permissibility of CBD, we are left to conclude that the use of CBD is banned in the NCAA. It appears, at this time, that the NCAA does not feel the pressure to acknowledge CBD as either a potential health supplement or a banned substance.

For students seeking more information regarding the use of CBD, the NCAA states, “Before consuming any nutritional/dietary supplement product, review the product with the appropriate or designated athletics department staff!”

Sports Organizations

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NFL

National Football League (NFL) players experience an array of painful, oftentimes debilitating, injuries. For players both active and retired, opiates and anti-inflammatories are commonplace. In March 2017, 1,800 former NFL players sued the NFL for breaking federal drug laws in order to keep players on the field (source). The abuse of painkillers and other drugs by NFL teams is drawing public attention as an increasing number of athletes are stepping forward.

To avoid the nationwide epidemic of opioid addiction and seek a more natural solution, cannabis is becoming a more widely accepted alternative. There are many current and former NFL players who are not only proponents of marijuana but are pushing for the research of medicinal cannabis and, in particular, CBD.

Under the NFL Players Association’s (NFLPA) Policy and Program on Substances of Abuse, delta 9-THC-carboxylic acid, or marijuana, is banned at a threshold of 35 ng/ml, which was raised from 15 ng/ml in 2014. While not specifically listed under this policy, CBD is considered a product of cannabis and is also banned.

NFL’s Response to the Push for Cannabis

NFL commissioner Rodger Goodell opposes the use of recreational marijuana but says he is willing to listen to the league’s medical advisors on the potential benefit of medicinal cannabis.

The current NFL collective bargaining agreement, which is the agreement between the players’ union and management council, expires in 2020. Health and safety are key issues that are discussed during this negotiation and it is predicted that the issue of medicinal cannabis will be presented. This agreement presents the opportunity for both sides to either acknowledge CBD as a separate compound from THC or address the legality issue of cannabis as a whole.

Until then, we expect more players to speak out about the issue. Here’s what former players have to say:

“It’s time for the NFL to change its archaic standards to better protect its players. For too long, I’ve watched my teammates and good friends battle with opioid addiction and leave the game with a long road still ahead; it’s time to make a change.” – Eugene Monroe, former offensive tackle (source)

“I want to provide my old teammates and opponents with a possible remedy to their pain and struggles while helping current players possibly avoid what may lay ahead in their post-football careers.” – Jake Plummer, former quarterback (source)

“I think in due time, the NFL is going to realize that CBD is not a performance-enhancing drug. If anything, it helps with anxiety, helps with concentration, it helps with pain.” – Ebenezer Ekuban, former defensive end (source)

American Sports

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NBA

In an UNINTERRUPTED documentary, former National Basketball Association (NBA) commissioner David Stern, who tightened the league’s stance on marijuana during his time as commissioner from 1984-2014, made headlines when he stated that medical marijuana “probably should be removed from the banned substance list.”

In response to Stern’s statement, NBA executive vice president of communications Mike Bass stated, “While (current NBA) commissioner (Adam) Silver has said that we are interested in better understanding the safety and efficacy of medical marijuana, our position remains unchanged regarding the use by current NBA players of marijuana for recreational purposes” (source).

Bass was referring to comments made by Silver in August 2017, in which he stated that the league is “open” to the legalization of medical marijuana as long as the science supports its benefit.

Cannabis has been a banned substance in the NBA since 1999. Players are randomly tested four times throughout the year and must not exceed the THC threshold of 15ng/ml. If a player tests positive for marijuana, he must comply with treatment and subsequent testing. A second offense results in a $25,000 fine. Any following violations result in a five-game suspension (five games for a third offense, ten games for a fourth, etc.).

Influence of the NBA Players Association

The most recent NBA collective bargaining agreement, which is determined by the NBA and National Basketball Players Association (NBPA), was agreed upon in December 2016 and runs through the 2023-24 season. According to sources involved in the negotiation, marijuana was not a topic of discussion and remains a banned substance (source).

“I think we’ve got to change the collection bargaining agreement,” Stern said in the documentary, “and let you [the player] do what’s legal in your state.”

Al Harrington (former power forward) has been a strong proponent of the use of medical marijuana. Harrington has developed marijuana businesses in three states and hopes to show the NBA the medical benefits of marijuana. He has spoken to NBPA President Chris Paul about the possibility of the union making a push toward removing medical marijuana as a banned substance (source).

It appears the NBA is open to the idea of removing medical marijuana from the banned substances list; however, the league needs more scientific documentation before making any changes. It is also likely the NBPA will need to initiate this change as the league will not likely make it on their own.

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MLB

Since the Major League Baseball (MLB) and the MLB Players Association (MLBPA) came to their first Joint Drug Agreement in 2002, the MLB has been lenient towards the use of marijuana. The focus of the MLB’s drug policy remains on performance-enhancing drugs, not cannabis.

Under the current Drug Prevention and Treatment Program, major league players do not participate in random drug tests for drugs of abuse, such as cannabis. Instead, players are tested upon a reasonable cause of use. Additionally, if a player exceeds the THC threshold of 50ng/ml, they are not likely subject to suspension. The player will most likely be subject treatment and/or fines, which cannot exceed $35,000 per violation.

With the tolerance of cannabis use in the major league, one would expect to see more proponents of CBD in the organization. David Wells (former pitcher) is one of the only MLB athletes, both former and current, that is an advocate of CBD oil.

In an interview with ThePostGame’s David Katz, Wells said, “I wish I knew about it back when I played because I would’ve been all over it. I would’ve took those risks.”

Discrepancy in Punishment

In the MLB, there is a strong discrepancy between the punishment imposed on major league players and minor league players for the use of cannabis. The MLBPA has opposed harsh punishment for marijuana use, but minor league players are not protected by the union. Because of this, the MLB sets the drug policies for minor league players.

The Minor League Baseball testing program suspends for marijuana use: one positive test results in admittance into a Drug Rehabilitation Program, a second positive test results in a 50-game suspension, a third positive test results in a 100-game suspension, and a fourth positive test results in a permanent ban from organized baseball. The MLB is the only major league sports organization to implement a ban on the use of marijuana.

The MLBPA appears to be the driving factor in the MLB’s lenient approach to marijuana use. The association’s willingness to remove CBD from the list of drugs of abuse has not been discussed. As of now, both the MLB and the MLBPA seem to be content with the current Joint Drug Agreement and there does not seem to be enough push from the players to consider a change in regards to CBD.

American Sports

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NHL

In terms of physical demand, hockey is high on the list. In addition to being a full-contact sport, brawls on the ice are a major draw for spectators. Similar to the NFL, the NHL team doctors answer to the taxing game of hockey by prescribing painkillers and other pain-masking medications.

Unlike the NFL, however, cannabis is not on the National Hockey League’s (NHL) list of banned substances as it is not considered performance enhancing. However, this does not mean that the league condones the use of marijuana. Players are still tested for cannabinoids under the NHL/NHL Players Association (NHLPA) Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Program.

If an NHL player tests positive for cannabinoids, there is no discipline. Rather, the results are sent to the NHL/NHLPA committee anonymously for review and the committee uses the results to determine testing practices in the future. Only if high levels of cannabinoids are found in the system is a player subject to a mandatory assessment by a doctor.

For retired NHL player Riley Cote (former enforcer), leaving cannabis off the performance enhancing list is not enough. Rather than turning a blind eye to marijuana use, Cote wants the league to recognize cannabis as a medical solution.

“[Cannabis] is a tool and it needs to be treated with respect…. It’s all about increasing quality of life. It’s about helping these guys wake up the next morning, where they can feel functional enough, good enough, [that] they can enjoy their family and not worry about the pain and anxiety — that vicious cycle that generally leads to mental health issues” – Riley Cote, former enforcer (source) The Prohibited Substances List negotiated by the NHL and NHLPA reflects the WADA’s list of performance-enhancing substances (source).

With influence from the WADA, it is possible that we will see additional reform to the rules surrounding cannabinoids. As of now, the push from players is in respect to medical marijuana, not CBD; however, a change in cannabinoid policy will be to the benefit of THC as well as CBD. With the most lenient rules regarding cannabinoids in major league sports, the NHL could lead the way in professional sports in regards to CBD.

Conclusion

There are many in the world of sports that are proponents for the removal of CBD from their league’s banned substances list. Athletes are acknowledging the medical benefits of cannabis and are using their platform to promote change in their leagues. However, it will take the support of many to prompt reform, which is difficult when active athletes fear the repercussions of speaking out on a controversial topic such as marijuana.  CBD and hemp are even considered controversial though they do not cause a “high”.

With more states legalizing the use of medicinal and recreational marijuana, and with an increasing acceptance of marijuana by the public, these organizations will be forced to reevaluate their policies in the upcoming years.

Removing CBD from the organization’s banned substances list is a plausible first step in cannabis reform. Acknowledging CBD as a compound separate from marijuana would provide players with a holistic alternative to addictive painkillers without the high. It would also eliminate the organizations’ shared challenge of catering to the varied state legalization laws, as CBD is legal in all 50 states. If a league does decide to move in the direction of legalization, wouldn’t CBD be a step in the right direction?


This article originally appeared on MadeByHemp.com

Featured Image Credits: Pixabay


People often mistake leadership and management as the same thing but in essence, they are very different. The main difference between the two is that leaders have people that follow them, while managers have people who simply work for them. Particularly in small businesses, for a small business owner to be successful they need to be both a strong leader and manager to get their team on board with working towards their vision of success. Leadership is about getting people to comprehend and believe in the vision you set for the company and to work with you on achieving your goals, while management is more about administering and making sure the day-to-day activities are happening as they should.

Leadership and management must go hand in hand. They are not the same thing, but they are necessarily linked and complementary to one another. Any effort to separate the two within an organisation is likely to cause more problems than it solves. For any company to be successful, it needs management that can plan, organise and coordinate its staff, while also inspiring and motivating them to perform to the best of their ability.

LEADERSHIP IS ABOUT INSPIRING AND MANAGEMENT IS ABOUT PLANNING

Leaders have a tendency to praise success and drive people, whereas managers work to find faults. They paint a picture of what they see as possible for the company and work to inspire and engage their people in turning that vision into reality. Rather than seeing individuals as just a particular set of skills, they think beyond what they do and activate them to be part of something much bigger. They’re well aware of how high-functioning teams can accomplish a lot more when working together than individuals working autonomously are ever able to achieve.

For both sides to understand what they have to do, and to achieve excellence in doing it, they need to comprehend the essence of the difference between them. This is a matter of definition – understanding how the roles are different and how they might overlap. Managers, on the other hand, will focus on setting, measuring and achieving goals by controlling situations to reach or exceed their objectives.

MANAGEMENT

LEADERSHIP

Managers Give DirectionsLeaders ask questions
Managers have subordinatesLeaders have followers
Managers use an authoritarian styleLeaders have a motivational style
Managers tell what to doLeaders show what to do
Managers have good ideasLeaders implement good ideas
Managers react to changeLeaders create change
Managers try to be heroesLeaders make heroes of everyone around them
Managers exercise power over peopleLeaders develop power with people
Business Leadership

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You must think of one without the other to truly see the differences that exist between them. Management without leadership controls resources to maintain.

There are many different types of leadership and management styles where different situations, groups, or cultures, may require the use of different styles in order to set a direction or ensure that it is followed.

One way to decipher which of the two you may be is to count the number of people outside your reporting hierarchy who come to you for advice. The more that do, the more likely it is that you are perceived to be a leader.

John Kotter, Professor of Leadership at Harvard University fears that too often, employers use the terms synonymously. If an organisation is run effectively, leadership and management will exist in tandem.

Mentoring and formal training can help employees utilise and use their leadership skills. According to research by the Chartered Management Institute, 90% of members who have completed a management and leadership qualification found the experience improved their performance at work. There was also a “ripple effect”, with 81% of those surveyed passing on their knowledge to colleagues.

Celebrating individual leaders can also cause some to forget that it is never just one person running the show.

Not everyone who is in charge of a team is both a leader and a manager, in order to have a successful organisation, there needs to be a mixture of both.

Many people are both, having managed people but realised that you cannot buy people to follow you down a difficult path, and so act as leaders too. The challenge lies in making sure you are both leading your team as well as managing your day to day operation. Those who are able to do both, will create a competitive advantage.

Mindset can also have a powerful effect on the success of a leader, Understanding Emotional Contagion can be a tool to success.


This article was originally published on nextgeneration.ie

Featured Image Credits: Pixabay

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