De Blasio Prepares City for Marijuana Legalization Posted by on May 21, 2018 at 05:34:20 PT By Benjamin Fearnow Source: Newsweek New York -- New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is set to instruct NYPD to stop arrests of New Yorkers smoking weed in public while additionally forming a task force to ease what he sees as an inevitable full-on legalization of recreational marijuana.
De Blasio will direct the New York Police Department to hand out summonses -- and not arrest -- people caught smoking pot by officers in public areas across the city, aides told the New York Daily News Sunday. The move is partially a follow-up on his announcement last week to "overhaul and reform" enforcement that has created a wide racial disparity in marijuana arrests. But both de Blasio and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, both critics of legalization, appear to be preparing the entire state for a legalization of marijuana they see as an inevitable policy shift regardless of their actions. Read More... Congressional Committee Protects Medical Marijuana Posted by on May 17, 2018 at 16:28:23 PT By Tom Angell, Contributor Source: Forbes Washington, D.C. -- A powerful congressional panel voted on Thursday to continue shielding medical marijuana patients and providers who comply with state laws from prosecution by the federal government.
While the provision has been federal law since 2014, when it was first attached to legislation that funds the U.S. Department of Justice, its continuance has been in question because of recent efforts by Republican leadership to prevent votes on cannabis amendments. Read More... Prop. 64: 'It’s About Leveling The Playing Field Posted by on May 15, 2018 at 18:00:12 PT By Sarah Parvini Source: Los Angeles Times San Francisco -- When recreational marijuana use was legalized in California, it presented an opportunity to reduce or expunge convictions for possession crimes that made it harder for some people to get ahead in life.
Since then, some counties have worked to address those convictions, taking on the lengthy bureaucratic process so that people would not have to wade through the legal world on their own. Read More... McConnell: I Won't Support Legalizing Marijuana Posted by on May 09, 2018 at 07:52:02 PT By Jacqueline Thomsen Source: Hill Washington, D.C. -- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Tuesday told reporters he has no plan to support the legalization of marijuana as he pushes an effort to legalize hemp.
“I do not have any plans to endorse the legalization of marijuana,” he said, adding that marijuana and hemp are “two entirely separate plants.” Read More... MMJ Dispensary On Capitol Hill Shut Down Posted by on May 06, 2018 at 09:16:34 PT By Susan Svrluga Source: Washington Post Washington, D.C. -- A medical marijuana dispensary on Capitol Hill has been forced to close its doors after the Department of Health suspended its registration last week.
It was the first time health officials in the city have taken such an action, according to Tom Lalley of the D.C. Department of Health. A dispensary’s registration is the equivalent of a license to operate and its loss means the business must close. The length of the suspension has not yet been set. Read More... Weed 101: How to Choose Marijuana Posted by on April 27, 2018 at 13:45:42 PT By Jamie Peck Source: Rolling Stone USA -- I've never been great at smoking weed. While some lucky smokers can come home, spark up a fatty and enjoy the benefits of ancient plant medicine, there's always a chance I'll end up lying awake all night, heart pounding, too out of it to even follow an episode of Bob's Burgers. When someone offers me a joint at a party, I ask, "Is it strong?" then take the smallest hit possible to gauge its effects. Even then, sometimes I have to leave, because who knows what I've even been saying? My brain is on a seven-second delay from my mouth, and I'm so thirsty and confused. Read More... Sessions Evades Question on Marijuana Enforcement Posted by on April 26, 2018 at 06:59:08 PT By Jeff Mordock, The Washington Times Source: Washington Times Washington D.C. -- Attorney General Jeff Sessions ducked questions from Senate Republicans and Democrats Wednesday about his plans to enforce federal marijuana laws in states that have legalized or decriminalized the drug, telling lawmakers to change the federal laws if they are concerned.
“The federal government has passed some laws on marijuana that I’m not able to remove from the books, ” he said during an appearance before the Senate Appropriations Committee. “Congress — you — have passed them. They are on the books.” Read More... More Older Americans are Smoking Marijuana Posted by on April 25, 2018 at 10:18:28 PT By Keith Humphreys Source: Washington Post USA -- U.S. marijuana consumption is more prevalent today than during the conservative 1980s. Surges in drug use are often attributed to “kids these days,” but new research shows that the change has been driven not by stereotypical longhair youngsters but by the gray-haired and balding set.
Researchers William Kerr, Camillia Lui and Yu Ye integrated 30 years of survey data from over 40,000 participants who reported on whether they had used marijuana in the past 12 months. Only two age groups showed a significant rise in use. Compared with older Americans 30 years ago, Americans age 50 to 59 and 60 and older today are a remarkable 20 times more likely to use marijuana. Read More... Prohibition on Marijuana Is On Borrowed Time Posted by on April 24, 2018 at 09:01:59 PT By Paul Waldman Source: American Prospect USA -- If you're a politician wondering whether you should try pot, I've got news for you: Everybody's doing it. Why not give it a try? You don't want people to think you're square, do you?
By "try pot," I don't mean actually smoke it (though who knows what's going on in the cloakroom these days). I mean come out for some form of marijuana legalization. Former Speaker of the House John Boehner recently joined the board of a cannabis company, and last week on semi-official marijuana holiday April 20, certified cool dude Chuck Schumer, the leader of Democrats in the Senate, announced that he will soon be introducing legislation to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level. Oh how times have changed. Read More... Turning To Marijuana for a Runners’ High and More Posted by on April 20, 2018 at 13:52:42 PT By Jen A. Miller Source: New York Times Colorado -- The ultramarathoner Avery Collins, among the fastest in the world, is not shy about appearing in photographs holding a bong. The first time he tried running after using marijuana, he said, he realized “it allowed me to be very present and not to worry as much about overall times and what’s going on with the run.”
Mr. Collins, a 25-year-old from Colorado Springs, is one of a likely legion of athletes who use marijuana as part of their training — although he’s one of the few fast enough to get an endorsement deal from an edibles company. Read More... The Great CA Cannabis Experiment Lurches Forward Posted by on April 20, 2018 at 10:20:15 PT By Robin Abcarian Source: Los Angeles Times California -- If you find yourself driving in Venice in the next little while, you may notice that the illuminated "Venice" sign at Pacific and Windward avenues that functions as a gateway to the famous boardwalk has sprouted neon cannabis leaves.
The sign, which changes seasonally (red and green bulbs at Christmas, a heart on Valentine's Day, flag-colored bulbs on the Fourth of July) will honor a relatively new holiday: 4/20, which evolved from a Bay Area high school ritual to the most important day of the year for cannabis lovers. Read More... How Seniors Joined the Cannabis Craze Posted by on April 20, 2018 at 10:03:50 PT By Sara Davidson Source: New Yorker Magazine USA -- On a sunny afternoon last August, a dozen women from Balfour Senior Living, in Louisville, Colorado, boarded a bus for a field trip to a marijuana dispensary. One used a walker, one was hooked up to an oxygen tank, and another wore a linen suit and jewelry. All were told to wear hats while walking from the bus to the dispensary door. “The sun is our enemy,” one said.
Joan Stammerjohn, who is eighty-four, said she’d joined the group because she’s had chronic pain in her legs, and has been on OxyContin for ten years. “I’d like to get off it,” she said. Others said they had ailments like arthritis or back pain, but didn’t want to disclose their names because they believe marijuana is still stigmatized. “We’re travelling incognito,” one said. “I’m excited. I came to open my mind—I want to know the latest things. I hope this won’t be in the paper, though. We’ll have a crowd coming to Balfour, thinking this is the coolest place.” Read More... Getting Closer to Overhauling Marijuana Laws? Posted by on April 20, 2018 at 09:37:19 PT By Matt Laslo Source: Rolling Stone Washington, D.C. -- You don't need to explain 4/20 to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who is preparing to introduce a bill that would decriminalize marijuana at the federal level today. Whether it's a sincere effort or merely a political stunt to bolster the New York Democrat's popularity in the early stages of a potential 2020 presidential bid, this could be a pivotal hour for weed in America.
Late last week, in a spare moment between attacking former FBI Director James Comey and bombing Syria, President Trump reportedly told Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado that he supports his state’s recreational marijuana law. Read More... How Legalized Pot Could Ruin Famous Pot Convention Posted by on April 19, 2018 at 20:45:29 PT By Avi Selk Source: Washington Post USA -- The legendary pot-judging contest called the Cannabis Cup has somehow managed to flourish under prohibition. Maybe because prohibition was relatively simple. High Times magazine brought the gathering to at least one U.S. city each year for most of this decade, even when recreational pot was illegal in all 50 states.
Local opposition was hardly an obstacle then. The cup drew thousands to a Detroit jazz club in 2011, even though suspicious police officers repeatedly intruded on what the Detroit Free Press called its “sealed medicating tent.” Read More... Schumer Backs Federal Effort To Decriminalize MJ Posted by on April 19, 2018 at 20:34:09 PT By David Weigel Source: Washington Post Washington, D.C. -- The Senate’s top Democrat will introduce legislation to decriminalize marijuana, the first time that a leader of either party in Congress has endorsed a rollback of one of the country’s oldest drug laws.
In an interview with Vice News, Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) said that he’d seen the effects of current marijuana laws, under which the drug has the same legal classification as heroin. Read More... Cannabis Use Could Cut Into Wine Consumption Posted by on April 19, 2018 at 10:10:21 PT By Liza Zimmerman, Contributor Source: Forbes USA -- According to an April report by New York City-based Rabobank, “existing research does indicate that rising marijuana use will negatively affect the growth of beverage alcohol.”
The primary drivers of this trend include the fact that women and older consumers are saying they intend to use more marijuana when it is legal; a focus on health that cannabis fits into; and marijuana becoming legalized in states that already have high levels of wine consumption. Read More... Bernie Sanders Backs Bill To Punish States Posted by on April 19, 2018 at 09:49:29 PT By Tom Angell Source: Forbes Washington, D.C. -- Several potential rival presidential candidates are teaming up on legislation to end the federal war on marijuana. On Thursday, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is signing on as a co-sponsor of the Marijuana Justice Act, introduced last year by Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ).
Many political observers expect that Booker and Sanders will compete for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), another rumored contender, is also a co-sponsor of the bill. Read More... Some Republican Lawmakers Now Think Highly Of It Posted by on April 17, 2018 at 05:17:15 PT By Kurtis Lee Source: Los Angeles Times Washington, D.C. -- States that have passed laws legalizing recreational marijuana in recent years appear to have found some new, unexpected supporters: Republican politicians.
Since voters began to pass recreational marijuana measures in 2012, the pro-pot movement has seen swift support from many Democrats, with Republicans often pushing back against legalization. Those expressing concern or opposition have cited, among other things, the potential for pot to be a gateway drug, and they have regularly sided with law enforcement, which has established a unified front against recreational marijuana. Read More... Trump Admin Abandons Crackdown on Legal Marijuana Posted by on April 13, 2018 at 16:41:16 PT By Evan Halper Source: Los Angeles Times Washington, D.C. -- The Trump administration is abandoning a Justice Department threat to crack down on recreational marijuana in states where it is legal, a move that could enable cannabis businesses in California and other states that have legalized pot to operate without fear of federal raids and prosecution.
President Trump personally directed the abrupt retreat, which came at the behest of Republican Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado. White House officials confirmed the policy shift Friday. Trump did not inform Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions in advance of the change in policy, an almost unheard of undermining of a Cabinet official. Read More... John Boehner: Here’s What Changed His Mind Posted by on April 11, 2018 at 11:19:11 PT By Christopher Ingraham and Alex Horton Source: Washington Post USA -- John A. Boehner, the former Republican speaker of the House who once said he was “unalterably opposed” to decriminalizing marijuana laws, has joined a board of directors for a cannabis company with an eye on rolling back federal regulations.
The former Ohio congressman, who led a party that was historically opposed to legalizing marijuana, has been appointed to the board of advisers of Acreage Holdings, Boehner said in a statement Wednesday. The company grows and sells legal weed and operates in 11 states. Read More... John Boehner Joins Marijuana Firm’s Advisory Posted by on April 11, 2018 at 07:43:32 PT By Jennifer Kaplan Source: Bloomberg USA -- The U.S. marijuana industry has a new spokesman: John Boehner.
The Republican former Speaker of the House has joined the advisory board of Acreage Holdings, a company that cultivates, processes and dispenses cannabis in 11 U.S. states. Boehner’s endorsement, after saying nine years ago he was “unalterably opposed” to legalization, could be considered a watershed event: Marijuana has gone mainstream. Read More... Feds Want Input On Marijuana Reclassification Posted by on April 06, 2018 at 12:58:24 PT By Tom Angell Source: Forbes Washington, D.C. -- The Trump administration is asking Americans for input on whether marijuana should be reclassified under international drug control treaties to which the U.S. is a party.
Currently, under both U.S. law and global agreements, marijuana sits in the most restrictive category of Schedule I. Domestically, that means it is not available for formal prescriptions and research on its effects is heavily restricted. Globally, it means that nations signed onto drug treaties are not supposed to legalize cannabis. Read More... Even Where MJ Is Legal It’s Hard To Advertise Posted by on April 05, 2018 at 16:12:49 PT By Rachel Siegel Source: Washington Post USA -- As the cannabis industry grows, generating an estimated $10 billion in annual sales, states are increasingly approving medical marijuana programs and passing adult-use laws. But for marketing agencies, marijuana dispensaries and cannabis brands, advertising the pot brings its own hurdles.
Online platforms with prime advertising space like Facebook and Google do not allow drug, or drug-related promotions on their sites, leaving a large share of marijuana advertising to blogs and podcasts, newsletters and print media. And while experts say Facebook and Google — which control the lion’s share of digital advertising in the country — are unlikely to change their policies until pot is legalized at the federal level, and television and radio come with their own sets of rules, industry members are left to navigate a complex web of state-by-state regulations. Read More... Legal Marijuana States Have Lower Opioid Use Posted by on April 02, 2018 at 08:59:55 PT By Tom Angell Source: Forbes USA -- Letting people legally access marijuana appears to reduce reliance on addictive opioids, two new studies published by the American Medical Association find.
"Medical cannabis laws are associated with significant reductions in opioid prescribing in the Medicare Part D population," concludes one paper from researchers at the University of Georgia, Athens. "This finding was particularly strong in states that permit dispensaries, and for reductions in hydrocodone and morphine prescriptions." Read More... CBD is Cannabis That Won’t Get You High Posted by on March 30, 2018 at 09:00:15 PT By Lavanya Ramanathan Source: Washington Post USA -- In a lowlit room at Joy’s Spa in Washington, Dawn Franklin is smoothing a creamy white mask onto Jessica Osorio’s face. The mask, she says, is infused with camomile and sage and aloe vera, plus one ingredient that she still has to explain to her clients: CBD.
An aesthetician, Franklin started working with an Oregon chemist last year to make CBD products for the skin, believing that a little of it swiped onto the face could help repair the ravages of age. Read More... Sen. Mitch McConnell Pushes Bill To Legalize Hemp Posted by on March 26, 2018 at 10:21:20 PT By Tom Angell Source: Forbes Washington, D.C. -- The head of the U.S. Senate announced on Monday that he will soon be filing a bill to legalize industrial hemp and allocate federal money for cultivation of the crop.
"We all are so optimistic that industrial hemp can become sometime in the future what tobacco was in Kentucky's past," U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said at a press conference alongside the state's agriculture commissioner. Read More... A Dying Southern Town Needed a Miracle Posted by on March 24, 2018 at 14:16:37 PT By Richard Fausset Source: New York Times Cotton Plant, Ark. -- Mayor Willard C. Ryland looked everywhere for salvation for his dying town. He tried luring a vegetable packing company. An Asian carp processor. A Dollar General store. But he struck out again and again. Then came marijuana — and hope.
Arkansas voters decided in 2016 to legalize the plant for medical use, giving the state an opportunity both to develop a new industry and to address nagging social problems. The state’s licensing program encourages legal marijuana growers to set up shop where the new jobs are needed most, in perennially poor communities. Read More... Marijuana Supply-Siders Posted by on March 24, 2018 at 04:56:16 PT By The Editorial Board Source: Wall Street Journal USA -- California’s experiment in marijuana legalization is spurring some radical thinking on the political left. Lo, high taxes and over-regulation are bad for the economy—or at least the pot economy.
Golden State voters in 2016 legalized recreational marijuana on the promise that this would reduce the black market. While marijuana remains a banned substance under federal law, nine states including Washington, Nevada, Oregon and Colorado have legalized consumption and production within their borders. Many are still struggling to draw cannabis businesses out of the shadows, none as much as California. Less than 1% of the state’s 68,150 marijuana cultivators had obtained licenses as of last month, according to a recent report by the California Growers Association. The problem turns out to be the heavy hand of the state. Read More... Congress Protects Medical Marijuana Posted by on March 22, 2018 at 05:47:48 PT By Tom Angell Source: Forbes Washington, D.C. -- Medical marijuana patients and businesses that follow state laws will continue to be protected from U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the federal drug agents that work for him under a provision contained in new must-pass legislation revealed on Wednesday.
The policy, which has been federal law since 2014, bars the U.S. Department of Justice from spending money to interfere with the implementation of state medical marijuana laws. Its continuance was in question, however, after Sessions specifically asked Congress not to extend it and House leaders blocked a vote on the matter. Read More... Outlaw Weed Comes Into The Light Posted by on March 16, 2018 at 20:51:26 PT By Scott Wilson Source: Washington Post Arcata, Calif. -- The quaint town plaza here is lined with locally owned stores, their names and products recalling the post-Flower Power migration from San Francisco decades ago: Moonrise Herbs, Heart Bead, Hemp Recycled Solutions.
The shops trade largely in cash with customers who are paid in cash — the marijuana growers, distributors and “trimmigrants,” seasonal workers who cut back the flowering plants for market each autumn. But business is stalling as marijuana’s dark cash economy comes into the light, pushed by the state’s legalization of the drug earlier this year. Read More...
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