Who’s The New Drug Czar? Posted by on April 23, 2017 at 05:19:24 PT By Al Olson Source: Salon Washington, D.C. -- After months of speculation, President Donald Trump apparently has found drug czar. Congressman Tom Marino, an early and vocal supporter of Trump’s run for the White House, reportedly will be nominated director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP).
According to CBS, the first news outlet to break the news of the pending announcement, reported that “Marino is in the final stages of completing his paperwork and an official announcement is forthcoming.” If true, Marino will resign from his seat in the House, which he has held since 2011. Read More... Marijuana Panel Chair Aims To Kill Black Market Posted by on April 22, 2017 at 08:44:18 PT By Joshua Miller, Globe Staff Source: Boston Globe Massachusetts -- A key state senator wants to kill the black market for marijuana by keeping the tax on the drug low when it is sold legally next year, continuing to require communities to hold a voter referendum if they want to ban pot shops, and insisting that retail stores can open by July 2018.
Senator Patricia D. Jehlen hopes that approach will effectively clear the way for private, legal marijuana retailers to dominate the market for the sale of marijuana. Read More... Everyone Who’s Died Of A Marijuana Overdose Posted by on April 20, 2017 at 12:05:57 PT By Nick Wing Source: Huffington Post USA -- Thursday is April 20, better known to many as 4/20, or “Weed Day.” People around the world are celebrating the unofficial marijuana holiday by gathering for rallies, smoke-outs, policy discussions and thousands of other weed-centric events.
It’s a day of blissful hypocrisy for millions of cannabis users in the U.S., who by and large are still expected to be somewhat covert about their fondness for the plant. The federal government maintains that marijuana is a dangerous illegal drug, with no accepted medicinal value and a high potential for abuse. Despite repeated calls for the reclassification of cannabis, it remains on the Drug Enforcement Administration’s list of Schedule I substances ¯ which also includes heroin, mescaline, LSD and a broad category of synthetic stimulants often referred to as “bath salts.” Read More... Why There Are So Many Different Names for Weed Posted by on April 20, 2017 at 11:56:43 PT By Katy Steinmetz Source: Time USA -- There are at least 1,200 slang terms related to marijuana — or cannabis or hashish or weed or pot or, as some say, asparagus. And there are hundreds more to describe one’s state of intoxication after imbibing the drug, according to slang scholar Jonathon Green.
Collecting slang has been the work of Green’s life, and the 69-year-old refers to drugs as one of slang’s “best sellers." That’s because slang and things-you’re-not-supposed-to-mention-in-polite-society go hand in hand. As TIME has reported, that unmentionable quality is what led five California high-schoolers to coin the term 420 in the 1970s, which likely led to April 20 becoming the de facto day of doobies. But that association goes back to the earliest recorded slang from the 16th century, coined by those who didn’t want authorities to know what they were talking about. Read More... Support to Legalize Marijuana at All-Time High Posted by on April 20, 2017 at 10:59:50 PT By Brooke Seipel Source: Hill USA -- Most Americans believe marijuana use should be legal, according to a new survey.
A new poll conducted by CBS News and released on Thursday — April 20, or 4/20 — found that 61 percent of Americans want marijuana to be legalized, a 5-point increase from the same poll last year and the highest percentage ever recorded in this poll. Read More... Free Pot Giveaway Outside U.S. Capitol on 4/20 Posted by on April 20, 2017 at 07:31:53 PT By Laura Kelly, The Washington Times Source: Washington Times Washington D.C. -- Marijuana reform advocates plan to distribute free pot cigarettes outside the U.S. Capitol on Thursday, April 20 — the “4/20” date on which activists have held smoke-ins and other cannabis-related protests for years. While it is illegal to buy or sell marijuana in the nation’s capital, it is legal to carry and consume small amounts of it but not on federal property.
Thursday’s giveaway is a precursor for a civil disobedience protest on Monday, when activists plan to smoke joints on the Capitol steps — an action that could prompt arrests. Read More... On Weed, Homeland Security Chief Posted by on April 17, 2017 at 04:43:07 PT By Derek Hawkins Source: Washington Post Washington, D.C. -- Two high ranking Trump administration officials; two vastly different positions on marijuana.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions wants to revive the war on drugs, and a crackdown on weed appears to be a major part of that. He is expected to pursue harsher punishments for using and distributing marijuana, which were relaxed under President Trump’s predecessor, as The Washington Post’s Sari Horowitz has reported. “Good people don’t smoke marijuana,” Sessions opined last year. Read More... Growers Split As Pot Farms Go Industrial Posted by on April 16, 2017 at 05:45:00 PT By Thomas Fuller Source: New York Times Salinas, Calif. -- This vast and fertile valley is often called the salad bowl of the nation for the countless heads of lettuce growing across its floor. Now California’s marijuana industry is laying claim to a new slogan for the valley: America’s cannabis bucket. After years of marijuana being cultivated in small plots out of sight from the authorities, California cannabis is going industrial.
Over the past year, dilapidated greenhouses in the Salinas Valley, which were built for cut flower businesses, have been bought up by dozens of marijuana entrepreneurs, who are growing pot among the fields of spinach, strawberries and wine grapes. Read More... Wine Industry Finds a Companion in Marijuana Posted by on April 14, 2017 at 17:26:29 PT By Eric Asimov Source: New York Times USA -- Legal intoxication is big business and getting bigger. More states have legalized marijuana, leading some in the alcohol industry to regard it as a threat to their profit margin.
Those concerns are warranted in some cases. In Colorado, Oregon and Washington, where recreational use has been legal for several years, beer sales are down, mostly among mass-market brews. The liquor industry opposed several marijuana legalization initiatives last year, and has expressed fears for its bottom line. Read More... Trudeau Unveils Bill Legalizing Marijuana Posted by on April 13, 2017 at 11:31:26 PT By Ian Austen Source: New York Times Ottawa -- Fulfilling a campaign pledge, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau introduced legislation on Thursday to legalize the recreational use of marijuana in Canada.
Many nations have either decriminalized marijuana, allowed it to be prescribed medically or effectively stopped enforcing laws against it. But when Mr. Trudeau’s bill passes as expected, Canada will become only the second nation, after Uruguay, to completely legalize marijuana as a consumer product. Read More... Pot Is Supposed To Stay On The Ground Posted by on April 11, 2017 at 13:13:21 PT By Julie Weed Source: New York Times USA -- People in 29 states can legally use medical marijuana for a variety of problems, including the relief of pain, anxiety or stress. But what if they want to travel with it?
Secure airport areas beyond the Transportation Security Administration checkpoints are under federal control, and the federal government classifies marijuana as a Schedule 1 (most harmful) substance, even in states where it is legal for adults to consume it. Read More... The Holy Land of Medical Marijuana Posted by CN Staff on April 11, 2017 at 09:46:10 PT By Yardena Schwartz, Contributor Source: U.S. News & World Report Tel Aviv -- After speaking here last month at a conference devoted to marijuana innovation, Garyn Angel handed out cannabis-infused salad dressing and sauces to people seeking to add an extra kick to their lunch.
The CannaTech conference drew high-profile speakers, including Yuval Landschaft, director of the Medical Cannabis Unit at Israel's Ministry of Health, and Sharren Haskel, a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's right-wing party and one of Israel's biggest advocates of medical marijuana. The government speakers underscored the Israeli government's growing involvement in medical marijuana research and development. Read More... Oregon Lawmakers Pass Bill Posted by CN Staff on April 11, 2017 at 07:15:16 PT By Brendan O'Brien Source: Reuters Reuters -- Oregon lawmakers sought on Monday to protect buyers of marijuana from possible penalties under federal law, approving a bill to ban sellers of the drug for recreational use from keeping information on their customers. More than two dozen U.S. states have legalized some form of marijuana for medical or recreational use.
But the drug remains illegal at the federal level, and President Donald Trump's administration has said it may ramp up enforcement of federal laws against its use. Read More... Bipartisan Bill Would Reclassify Marijuana Posted by on April 09, 2017 at 05:28:52 PT By Andrew Blake, The Washington Times Source: Washington Times Washington D.C. -- Bipartisan legislation proposed in the House on Thursday would make marijuana a Schedule 3 drug, removing cannabis from its current standing as a Schedule 1 substance alongside deadly contraband including ecstasy and heroin. By reclassifying weed in the same category as anabolic steroids, Congress would “make it easier for ill-patients and scientific and medical researchers to obtain marijuana,” the bill’s authors said in a statement Thursday.
On the heels of a bicameral effort to outright legalize weed offered a week earlier, Thursday’s proposal by freshmen Florida Reps. Matt Gaetz, a Republican, and Darren Soto, a Democrat, aims to roll back the federal government’s ongoing pot prohibition to a lesser extent by removing existing hurdles said to be hindering researchers’ ability to understand the plant’s potential benefits. Read More... What Legalization in Canada Could Mean for USA Posted by on April 07, 2017 at 06:12:29 PT By Katy Steinmetz Source: Time USA -- America's neighbor to the north is fast moving toward legalizing recreational marijuana nationwide, which would make Canada the second country in the world to do so. And the impact of having weed legalized on such a big scale, so close to home, may affect the future of pot in the United States.
"There are those who sometimes regard Canada as the 51st state. It would be an important signal about the movement coming of age. It would add to the critical mass,” says Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer, a member of Congress' newly-formed Cannabis Caucus who is pushing to change the way the federal government treats the substance. And, he says: "It would shift the center of gravity." Read More... Medical Marijuana in Disarray Amid Pot Uncertainty Posted by on April 05, 2017 at 06:03:45 PT By Dan Adams and Adam Vaccaro, Globe Staff Source: Boston Globe Massachusetts -- Marshfield Selectman Jim Fitzgerald is a firm believer in the medical benefits of marijuana. His mother used it when she suffered from liver cancer in the 1970s to manage the side effects of chemotherapy. “I know the efficacy — I’ve watched it,” Fitzgerald said.
But like other municipal officials across Massachusetts, Fitzgerald is newly wary of medical dispensaries. In March, he joined his colleagues in deciding to not permit any in Marshfield until state lawmakers and regulators finalize new rules for the sale of pot. Read More... MJ - State Govs Ask Feds To Maintain Status Quo Posted by on April 04, 2017 at 13:23:22 PT By Reid Wilson Source: Hill Washington, D.C. -- Four governors of states where voters have legalized marijuana for recreational use are asking the Trump administration to leave in place an Obama-era agreement that gave exemptions to the legal pot industry.
In a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, the governors asked the Justice Department to maintain a 2013 agreement, known as the Cole Memo, and guidance issued by the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). Read More... Bill Could Make CA a Sanctuary State For Marijuana Posted by on April 03, 2017 at 16:59:48 PT By Mary Papenfuss Source: Huffington Post California legislators have taken a page from laws establishing sanctuary cities for immigrants to create a measure aimed at protecting marijuana from a federal crackdown.
Similar to laws shielding undocumented immigrants, the recently introduced Assembly Bill 1578 would bar cooperation by police in the state with federal authorities seeking to bust marijuana growers and sellers operating legally under California law. Read More... Oliver Lays Out Difference Between State, Fed Laws Posted by on April 03, 2017 at 15:12:39 PT By Ryan Bort Source: Newsweek USA -- You probably didn't realize it at the time, but on the same night Donald Trump was elected president of the United States, eight of those states passed marijuana legalization measures. With Arkansas, California, Florida, Maine, Massachusetts, Montana, Nevada and North Dakota joining the 36 other states that have said yes to grass, there are now only six states in which marijuana is not currently legal in some capacity.
Yes, it seems to be only a matter of time before the entire United States goes green. According to Gallup, 60 percent of Americans were in favor of marijuana legalization in 2016, compared to 12 percent in 1969. “Marijuana is something we’ve all just gradually decided is OK, like Mark Wahlberg as a serious actor,” joked John Oliver on Last Week Tonight. Read More... John Oliver on Inconsistent U.S. Marijuana Laws Posted by on April 03, 2017 at 14:58:57 PT By Ryan Reed Source: By Ryan Reed USA -- John Oliver explored America's frustratingly inconsistent marijuana laws on Sunday's Last Week Tonight, proving how individuals complying with state laws could still be at legal risk. "If you have marijuana right now, even if you are acting completely legally according to your state, you may still be in serious jeopardy," the host said.
If you look at the numbers, it's a great time to be a weed-smoker. Forty-four states currently have some form of medical marijuana law, and eight have legalized recreational use. In addition, the overall public perception of weed has been softened drastically over the decades: A recent Gallup poll that found that 60 percent of Americans favored legalization, compared to 12 percent in 1969. ("Marijuana is something we've all just gradually decided is OK, like Mark Wahlberg as a serious actor," Oliver cracked.) However, despite those major victories in the War on Drugs, the clash between state and federal laws makes it difficult to navigate the frustrating system. Read More... A Real Estate Boom Powered By Pot Posted by on April 02, 2017 at 14:18:09 PT By David Gelles Source: New York Times Quincy, Mass. -- At the edge of an industrial park in this suburb south of Boston, past a used-car auction lot and a defunct cheese factory, is an unmarked warehouse bristling with security cameras and bustling with activity. Until recently, the cinder-block structure was home to a wholesale florist, a granite cutter and a screen printer. Today, it is home to just one tenant: a medical marijuana operation called Ermont.
Legalized marijuana has already upset societal norms, created a large legal gray area and generated a lucrative source of tax revenue. Now it is upending the real estate market, too. Read More... Thousands Gather for Annual Hash Bash Posted by on April 02, 2017 at 05:57:34 PT By Bill Laitner, Detroit Free Press Source: Detroit Free Press Michigan -- Beer drinkers never held a party like this — not with politicians, a hospice manager and two dozen other speakers standing before a huge crowd to endorse their chosen form of intoxication, as both a civil right and health cure-all.
But this was no beer bash that ran Saturday from "high noon" until 4 p.m. on the University of Michigan campus in Ann Arbor. It was the 47th annual Hash Bash — once again, a zany combo of stoner silliness, political activism and open marijuana smoking. Read More... Pot State Dems Want Federal Regulation of MJ Posted by on March 30, 2017 at 10:00:59 PT By Reid Wilson Source: Hill Washington, D.C. -- Democrats from states where marijuana is legal say so many Americans have access to pot products that the federal government should begin regulating the industry, which generated more than $7 billion in sales last year.
New legislation introduced by Sen. Ron Wyden and Rep. Earl Blumenauer, both Oregon Democrats, would take marijuana off the list of federally banned drugs, tax marijuana at a rate similar to alcohol and tobacco, and end the threat of federal criminal penalties for businesses operating in states that allow the use of pot for recreational purposes. Read More... Public Support for MJ Legalization Surged in 2016 Posted by on March 29, 2017 at 15:29:16 PT By Christopher Ingraham Source: Washington Post USA -- Public support for marijuana legalization surged in 2016, according to data just released from the General Social Survey. Last year 57 percent of Americans told the survey's pollsters that they “think the use of marijuana should be legal,” up from 52 percent in 2014.
The numbers from the General Social Survey — a large nationwide survey conducted every two years and widely considered to represent the gold standard for public opinion research — comport with other national surveys last year, which found support ranging from the upper 50s to low 60s. Read More... Industries Could See Boost from Legalized MJ Posted by on March 27, 2017 at 05:15:23 PT By Joshua Miller, Globe Staff Source: Boston Globe USA -- A Swiss company that for years has provided Massachusetts with cigarette tax stamp services — helping the state thwart the black market — has its eyes set on what could be a much bigger public contract: tracking legal marijuana from seed to sale to keep it from being diverted to criminal enterprises.
“Cannabis obviously fits and aligns with the programs we already provide the Commonwealth to prevent criminal activity and protect the public,” said Alex Spelman, a vice president of business development at SICPA Holding SA, which already does a multimillion-dollar business here. Read More... Marijuana Advocates Push for Legalization Posted by on March 26, 2017 at 18:28:09 PT By Kiannah Sepeda-Miller, Associated Press Source: Chicago Tribune Illinois -- Marijuana advocates are trying to lay the groundwork for Illinois to become the first state in the Midwest and the ninth nationwide to legalize recreational pot, arguing the move will help solve the state's notorious budget crisis.
Two Illinois state lawmakers introduced legislation last week that would allow residents 21 and older to possess, grow or buy up to an ounce (28 grams) of marijuana and license businesses to sell marijuana products subject to regulation. They say it would help fill Illinois' multibillion-dollar budget hole with $350 million to $700 million in new tax revenue. Read More... Colorado Has a Plan to Avoid a Marijuana Crackdown Posted by on March 25, 2017 at 15:05:58 PT By Associated Press Source: Time Denver -- Colorado is considering an unusual strategy to protect its nascent marijuana industry from a potential federal crackdown, even at the expense of hundreds of millions of dollars in tax collections. A bill pending in the Legislature would allow pot growers and retailers to reclassify their recreational pot as medical pot if a change in federal law or enforcement occurs.
It's the boldest attempt yet by a U.S. marijuana state to avoid federal intervention in its weed market. The bill would allow Colorado's 500 or so licensed recreational pot growers to instantly reclassify their weed. A switch would cost the state more than $100 million a year because Colorado taxes medical pot much more lightly than recreational weed — 2.9 percent versus 17.9 percent. Read More... Illinois Lawmakers Propose Legalizing Marijuana Posted by on March 23, 2017 at 05:39:52 PT By Robert McCoppin Source: Chicago Tribune Illinois -- Lawmakers are proposing to legalize recreational marijuana in Illinois but say the legislation probably won't come up for a vote until next year. Sponsors on Wednesday introduced bills that would make it legal for adults 21 and older to possess, grow and buy limited amounts of marijuana.
The state would license and regulate businesses to grow, process and sell the plant, and it would establish safety regulations such as testing and labeling requirements, sponsors said. The measure would also allow residents to possess up to 28 grams of pot, or about an ounce, and to grow five plants. Read More... It’s Marijuana Day in Florida’s Capitol Posted by on March 22, 2017 at 09:21:00 PT By Michael Auslen, Tallahassee Bureau Source: Miami Herald Tallahassee -- Florida's new medical marijuana market will start to take shape Wednesday as a panel of senators workshops five proposals to put the voter-approved constitutional amendment legalizing the drug into place.
The Senate Health Policy committee, chaired by Tampa Republican Sen. Dana Young, will consider issues related to the five proposed bills and hear public comment, the first step toward passing legislation and the first time members of the public will hear what key senators think about how medical marijuana should be implemented. Read More... A Big Thing Marijuana Opponents Warned You About Posted by on March 21, 2017 at 09:24:33 PT By Christopher Ingraham Source: Washington Post Washington -- A state-run survey of 37,000 middle and high school students in Washington state finds that marijuana legalization there has had no effect on youngsters' propensity to use the drug.
The Washington State Healthy Youth Survey found that the 2016 rate of marijuana use was basically unchanged since 2012, when the state voted to legalize marijuana for recreational use. In the survey, researchers used the measure of “monthly use,” asking students across all grade levels whether they'd used the drug within the past month. Read More...
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