Author Alex Halperin

20100715041953_brain.jpegadmin | Toke of the Town

A new study found that people who are more likely to develop schizophrenia are more likely to try cannabis. It also found  new evidence that cannabis use can cause schizophrenia.

The number of pregnant women who use cannabis is  up more than 60% since 2002. While knowledge of how cannabis affects fetuses is limited, Dr. Nora Volkow, head of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, called it “cause for concern.”

The Duluth News Tribune looks examines the case for, and against,  treating PTSD with MED.

More experts say cannabis  should be prescribed before opiates, VICE reports.

Ohio doctors say they’re  reluctant to recommend MED.

An article from “The American Tribune” on an overdose from injecting cannabis  turned out to be fake news.

Connecticut has approved its first MED study,  to compare pain relief with an opiate in patients with fractured ribs. A Connecticut hospice will use cannabis to  reduce its dependence on opioids.

President Obama  granted clemency to 231 individuals. His total of more than 1,300 sentence commutations totals more than his 11 predecessors combined. Here’s the story of one of them,  Paul Free, who was serving a life sentence and is now eligible for parole in 2020.

Obama also granted  78 “pre-Christmas” pardons.

Vox examines how Obama has  reshaped the war on drugs, and how that legacy is will be jeopardized under President Trump. For one thing, Obama tended not to use the term “War on Drugs.”

A court ruled that Arizona MED users  can’t be convicted of DUI without evidence of impairment.

A Colorado man who drove impaired and  killed a motorcyclist was sentenced to 10 months in jail and two years probation.

A day after they opened, six unlicensed Cannabis Culture dispensaries were  raided and closed in Montreal. The 10 arrests included owner and “prince of pot” Marc Emery.

Spotted in D.C.: “ This is your brain on Jeff Sessions.

In Milton, Mass., a dispensary seeks to open in the historic “ Swift Hat Shop” building.

sessionsGage Skidmore

It’s part of a whole PR campaign.

Here’s your daily dose of pot news from the newsletter WeedWeek.

Ahead of his confirmation hearing for Attorney General, a public relations campaign is trying to depict Sen. Jeff Sessions as  emphatically not a racist. He has long been dogged by such accusations, due in part to a statement that he was ok with the Ku Klux Klan, until he heard that they smoke pot.

Rolling Stone envisions the war on drugs under Attorney General Sessions.

Oregon is  revising its product testing rules again, following complaints from companies. Nevada companies call for  strict product testing.

The Democrat and Chronicle (Rochester, N.Y.) reports on “ progress and hurdles” in the New York MED program. For more  see here.

Maine REC opponents  cancelled their recall effort. Gov. Paul LePage (R) said that with REC there’s no longer a need for a MED program. A prominent New Hampshire state senator  will propose a REC bill.

Canada.com looks at how legalization up north  could alter Canadian/American relations.

An Arizona judge ruled that local officials  can’t use federal law to block MED dispensaries.

The city of Copenhagen is pursuing a  longshot legalization push in an effort to reduce gang warfare.

Caribbean nation Dominica will  consider MED legalization next year.

Denver cannabis law firm Hoban Law Group  may sue the DEA over its recent CBD ruling.

Purdue Pharma, which makes Oxycontin, is  expanding overseas. In the U.S., the L.A. Times remarks, opioids are a “dying business.”

Hound Labs and Cannabix Technologies are  racing to perfect a cannabis breathalyzer.

Boston is another potential “ cannabis capital.” Canadian businesses are  preparing for legalization.

CBD pet treats are becoming big business.

Older adults are  using more cannabis, and binge drinking more too. Cannabis use  may not be a good idea for those seeking long-term abatement of depression and anxiety, Colorado researchers found.

Modern Farmer hangs out with  Bear Real, a Colorado hemp scientist.

He’s 50 and a father of seven.
Here’s your daily dose of pot news from the newsletter WeedWeek.
Bernard Noble, a Louisiana man serving 13 years for possessing two joints had his sentence reduced to eight years. He may be out in two.

In Michigan, MED patient fees fund marijuana enforcement including raid equipment.

Outgoing Vermont governor Peter Shumlin (D) offered to pardon anyone convicted for possessing up to an ounce. He supported an unsuccessful effort to legalize REC through the state legislature.

In Rolling Stone, the activist and rapper Killer Mike writes on how to bring more African-Americans into the industry. For more, see my story in California Sunday.

The NFL may be warming to MED. Switzerland too may be loosening up.

Ozy talks to a combat veteran who now grows cannabis. A dispensary in Massachusetts is giving away free seeds.

Joe Dolce’s new book “ Brave New Weed” gets a fond review by Matt Taibbi in the New York Times.

Boulder Weekly published a piece called “ Marijuana and the Thinking Teenager.

Canadian dispensary chain Cannabis Culture opened an illegal store in Montreal and gave away “ free nugs” to an approving crowd.

The L.A. Times went to the Emerald Cup in Sonoma County. It contrasts the revelers against, “a panel of entirely sober government officials [who]discussed the ramifications of marijuana legalization, California’s complex and evolving regulatory structure, and tried to answer questions about the future of the cannabis industry that seem, at this point, unanswerable.” The piece has many more great descriptions. Read the whole thing.

Some parents are upset that Amazon is sells children’s pot-leaf leggings. (I recently saw a pair, for adults, on sale in Aspen for $75.)

Now there’s CBD-infused water.

Social network MassRoots acquired online ordering platform Whaxy.

Mic put out an update on the state of cannabis investing.

The practice seems frankly un-American.
Here’s your daily dose of pot news from the newsletter WeedWeek.
Though the practice is not widely understood, 84% of Americans oppose civil asset forfeiture, once it’s explained to them, according to a Cato Institute/YouGov survey. It defined the practice as “taking a person’s money or property that is suspected to have been involved in a drug crime, before the person is convicted of a crime,”
Lawyers for Jeronimo Yanez, the Minnesota police officer who fatally shot Philando Castile last summersay Yanez should be pardoned in part because Castile was high.

With pot now legal in Massachusetts, some police dogs are “ overqualified.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who wants to advise President-elect Trump on drug policy, says that as mayor of Davao he used to personally hunt drug suspects down on his motorcycle and kill them, in order to encourage constituents to do the same.

A court ruled that finding evidence of marijuana use in someone’s trash is not alone grounds to search the house. A law professor disagrees.

Colorado is awarding $2.35M in research grants to study driving while high and the effects of dabbing, among other topics. The Cannabist says DUI is a pressing issue.

A Johns Hopkins study found that cannabis legalization reduces opioid overdose deaths by as much as 25%.

The synthetic marijuana that sent 18 people in Brooklyn to the hospital in a “zombie” like state, was 85 times as powerful as marijuana.

Doctors remain skeptical of marijuana’s medical value.

Colorado is about to raise the allowances for residual solvents in concentrates. Leafly investigates how much of these chemicals is unhealthy.

A doctor tell’s Gwyneth Paltrow’s site Goop that cannabis can help with PMS.

Illegal grows in California are sickening and killing wildlife.

A Connecticut MED user is suing Amazon and a staffing company for refusing to hire him.

Teens-and-Marijuana.jpegadmin | Toke of the Town

The study is from a U.S. government agency.

Here’s your daily dose of pot news from the newsletter WeedWeek.

U.S. teenagers find it harder to buy weed than they have for 24 years, according to an annual survey by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). The same study found that teen drug use is declining nationally.

Humboldt County’s growing areas voted against REC, but the cities voted for it.

A long awaited task force report in Canada recommended 18 as the legal buying age. For more see hereand here. The country plans to legalize REC next year.

REC businesses in Portland, Oregon, are struggling to obtain licenses. And the head of the state’s lab accrediting agency is stepping down.

Florida lawmakers are thinking about how to regulate MED. For more see here. A proposal in Ohio would allow 40 MED dispensaries in the state.

Tennessee Republicans are considering a MED program.

Radio Free Asia reports that Chinese visitors to North Korea buy pot by the kilogram and sell it for a healthy mark-up in China.

Australian economists say legalizing REC would be good for the Queensland economy.

Stanford Medical School professor and tobacco advertising expert Dr. Robert K. Jackler editorializes that “If nationwide legalization happens, it is essential that the tobacco industry is banned from the marijuana market.”

L.A. Weekly profiles Seventh Point LLC, a cannabis private equity firm focused on Los Angeles. The firm expects L.A., the world’s largest cannabis market, to be the “Silicon Valley” of weed. The city’s cannabis community is uniting to legalize dispensaries.

Keith McCarty, CEO of delivery app Eaze, is stepping down, shortly after the company secured $13M in funding. He’ll be replaced by Jim Patterson, who, like McCarty was a senior executive at Yammer, a workplace social network which sold to Microsoft for more than $1 billion.

medical_marijuana_dea_raid6.jpegadmin | Toke of the Town

It doesn’t really change anything for now.

Here’s your daily dose of pot news from the newsletter WeedWeek.

The DEA confirmed that marijuana extracts containing CBD are illegal. The agency explained that the notice, published in the Federal Register, does not change its enforcement priorities.

Cannabis attorney Bob Hoban responded, “The sky is not falling; however, this is a very concerning move by the DEA…What it purports to do is give the DEA control of all cannabinoids as a controlled substance.”

More than 30% of cannabis businesses are very concerned about Trump’s presidency, according to a Marijuana Business Daily Poll. In particular, they’re worried about the U.S. attorney general nomination of prohibitionist Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions (R).

In Slate, I wrote that the industry is cowardly, hypocritical and stupid for not fighting the Sessions nomination. Legalization activist and journalist Tom Angell tweeted that I’m “ WAY off base” and then got into an interesting Twitter exchange with Bill Piper of Drug Policy Alliance, which is opposing the nomination.

The U.S. Senate extended the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment, which prohibits the federal government from interrupting state MED programs, until April 28. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R- Calif.) said he’s confident that it will be extended again. He also wants it to be expanded to include state REC programs.

Rohrabacher and Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) are forming a “ cannabis caucus” in Congress. Congress also announced that it will perform a comprehensive review of the war on drugs in search of alternative policies in the Caribbean and Latin America.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos, called for changes in U.S. drug policy, as he accepted the Nobel Peace Prize.

Mexico’s Senate passed a MED bill, amid a new wave of drug violence.

Maine’s REC recount has been suspended until the new year. With 30% of the votes counted, yes remains ahead. After Montana’s MED vote, state laws need to be rewritten.

It also said other drug problems are more pressing.
Here’s your daily dose of pot news from the newsletter WeedWeek.
In a report, the DEA said media attention is making it more difficult to prosecute marijuana offenders.
Ferrell Scott, sentenced to life without parole for possession and conspiracy to sell marijuana, was denied clemency by President Obama.

Charles “Eddy” Lepp, “a defiant 64-year-old Vietnam vet and ordained Rastafarian minister” was released after serving eight years in federal prison for growing.

Two pieces in The Guardian examine the human toll of Mexico’s decade-old, U.S. supported drug war

A New York Times photojournalist documented dozens of homicide victims of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s drug war. The Duterte administration defended its record to Reuters.

Big deal political thinker Ian Bremmer tweeted that Duterte wants to advise Trump on drug policy.

The activist New Jersey Weedman, who faces cannabis charges, compared himself to a “ prisoner at Guantanamo.

Leafly tells the stories of Sam Caldwell and Moses Baca, “ drug war prisoners 1 & 2,” in 1937. Both were apprehended in Denver. It also cites the work of a “48-year old drug felon and autodidactic cannabis historian who goes by the pen name “Uncle Mike,” maintains a site at UncleMikesResearch.com.

Steve Kerr, coach of the Golden State Warriors, said he tried MED for his back pain. It didn’t help him but he took a strong stand in favor of it for athletes:

“If you’re an NFL player, in particular, and you got lot of pain, I don’t think there’s any question that pot is better for your body than Vicodin,” Kerr, 51, said. “And yet, athletes everywhere are prescribed Vicodin like it’s Vitamin C, like it’s no big deal. And there’s like this perception in our country that over-the-counter drugs are fine but pot is bad. Now, I think that’s changing.”

The comment got attention and he later added to his remarks. Kerr said the NBA should explore MED for pain relief. New York Knicks president and celebrated coach Phil Jackson said he’d also used MED for pain adding, “I don’t think we have been able to stop it in the NBA. I think it still goes on and is still a part of the culture in the NBA. I think it is something that we either have to accommodate or figure out another way to deal with it.”

Forbes has more on the science of athletes and MED.

Vice asked budtenders about their worst customers. They’re not fond of weed snobs and scary types. The Cannabist serves up 10 budtender commandments, including “Thou Shalt Not Be Too High.”

The Pantone Color Institute, picked Greenery as the color of 2017.

The AP visits Malana, India, a Himalayan village that depends on cannabis. Uruguay will host a cannabis museum.

A bestseller in Germany and the U.K. says the Nazis ingested huge amounts of meth, and that Hitler was an opiate addict. “Blitzed,” will be published here in April.

aa-big-pharma-pills-and-money-thumb-300x225.jpegadmin | Toke of the Town

They opposed REC sales in Arizona.

Here’s your daily dose of pot news from the newsletter WeedWeek.

Several former executives of Insys Therapeutics, which sells the powerful opiate fentanyl, were arrested accused of “ bribing doctors, defrauding insurance companies, and fueling America’s opioid addiction crisis.” Insys contributed to successfully defeat Arizona’s November REC vote.

GW Pharmaceuticals reported some “pretty grim” quarterly numbers, but it could benefit from its anti-epilepsy experimental drug Epidolex which is in late stage clinical trials.

Bloomberg suggests there’s a Canadian pot-stock bubble.

Legalization in more states could depress California’s export market. And in another interesting piece by Madison Margolin, California’s “extract artisans” now have some legal protections from meth-lab laws.

Vice dives into regulatory tech which it calls the “ cannabis surveillance state.

Home grow system Leaf raised $2M.

Celebrity-branded weed costs about 24% more than unbranded. Forbes asks if the trend has gone too far.

Commercial landlords in northern California prepare for legalization.

Quartz profiles marketing company Octavia Wellness which throws pot parties for seniors.  The art world is joining efforts to re-brand cannabis.

The Denver Post’s Cannabist won most influential media source at the cannabis business awards.

A new study in Pharmacological Research, by Czech and Italian researchers, found that pot is an aphrodisiac. Read the study here.

Another study found that marijuana use may damage eyesight.

New York state wants patients to be able to access MED in hospitals. A study found that cannabis users have lower in-hospital mortality rates.

In an effort to reduce opioid use, Oregon wants opioid patients monitored for marijuana use. The health agency view on marijuana vis a vis opioid use is unclear.

The world’s first clinical trial to test MED for chemotherapy patients is beginning in Australia.

A device developed by Israeli start-up distributes “ nano-droplets” of CBD as a nutraceutical to relieve inflammation and pain is on sale in the U.S. KKTV looked at the cannabis research happening at Colorado State-Pueblo.

The U.S. is lagging Israel and other countries in cannabis research.

The Washington [state]CannaBusiness Association is starting a fund to support MED access for the needy.

 

donaldtrumpbrandonBrandon Marshall
The nominee doesn’t seem to care much about the environment either.
Here’s your daily dose of pot news from the newsletter WeedWeek.

President Elect Donald Trump selected Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt (R) to run the Environmental Protection Agency. Pruitt has repeatedly sued the agency to block anti-pollution laws. While this might be seen as support for states’ rights — and by extension the marijuana industry — Mark Joseph Stern at Slate calls Pruitt “ one of the phoniest federalists in the GOP.

In particular, Pruitt joined Nebraska in suing Colorado over the state’s REC industry. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case.

Trump’s pick to lead the Department of Homeland Security, retired Marine General John F. Kelly, opposes legalization saying that it increases health care costs and crime, and that the state experiments with it open the U.S. to accusations of hypocrisy from Latin American nations. Kelly is open to the plant having medical benefits.

Meanwhile veterans’ group American Legion, pushed the administration  to loosen cannabis laws. ” I think they were a little caught off guard and didn’t expect such a progressive statement from such a traditional and conservative organization,” a senior Legion official told Marijuana.com.

It also emerged that Jim O’Neill, a Silicon Valley investor who Marijuana.com describes as a “ Marijuana legalization activist,” could be tapped to lead the Food and Drug Administration. O’Neill is neither a doctor or scientist, typical credentials for the position. For more see here.

Marijuana entrepreneurs want Trump to see them as “ job creators,” Forbes reports.

The New York Observer, which is owned by Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner, called for rescheduling.

In an effort to protect marijuana laws under the Trump administration, Colorado is cracking down on home growers. The state is poised to surpass 3,000 licensed businesses next year.

What attorney general nominee Sen. Jeff Sessions (R) means for state-legal pot business remains the big green question. In an in-depth piece, Politico says Sessions could easily “ ignore the will of millions of pro-pot voters” and crack down. Time lists seven reasons Trump is unlikely to go after the industry.

The Sessions hearing has been scheduled for Jan. 10 and 11.

Pro-cannabis group Americans for Safe Access (ASA) is petitioning the Justice Department to correct what ASA says is incorrect or misleading information about cannabis on the DEA web site. ASA is represented pro-bono by the major San Francisco law firm Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe.

Though he’s promised to legalize next year, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he still wants police to prosecute dispensaries. His pro-pot supporters feel “cheated.”

Canadian producer Cronos Group will work with First Nations groups in Canada to help them join the cannabis economy.

An upcoming March ballot measure for regulating the industry in Los Angeles raises many questions.

A Democratic state Senator in Texas introduced a “longshot” MED bill. Virginia Senate Majority Leader Thomas K. Norment Jr. (R), asked for a study of how the state’s cannabis laws might be changed.Tennessee could also be in play.

Oregon took emergency steps to lower the testing burden on growers, but the industry is skeptical.

REC opponents in Maine were accused of not providing enough volunteers for a recount of the recent vote. A judge ruled that following the recent vote, MED dispensaries in Montana can reopen immediately.

Maryland named 102 pre-approved dispensary license winners. In New York, licensees are worried about competition in the relatively small market.

Guam is implementing a MED program. Dusseldorf, Germany is on the path to legalization.

jail.flikr.mrthomas.jpgadmin | Toke of the Town

Singapore executed Chijioke Stephen Obioha by hanging. A Nigerian national and football player, Obioha was found with 2.5 kg (5.5 pounds) of marijuana in 2007. According to Singapore law, anyone with more than 500 g is presumed to be trafficking.

Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte, known as “The Punisher” for his advocacy of vigilante murders,threatened his human rights activist critics.

A Florida county sheriff’s office may have trained drug sniffing dogs with material other than drugs, according to ProPublica. Another ProPublica report led Portland, Ore. to change its policy for the drug tests used in many arrests.

The U.S. Supreme Court won’t take up the case of a Native American church in Hawaii that wants to be exempt for marijuana laws.

A college student who had $11,000 confiscated at the Cincinnati airport after his checked bag smelled of pot, challenged the forfeiture and got his money back.

Seantrel Henderson, a Buffalo Bills offensive lineman, may sue the NFL over his second cannabis suspension of the season. Henderson’s Crohn’s disease forced him to have two and a half feet of his colon removed.

The Bay Area has the country’s highest concentration of cannabis users in the country.

My friend Reilly Capps wrote a story for The Rooster about “ Stoners anonymous.

A survey found that cannabis is attracting an increasingly upscale clientele.

Anita Thompson, widow of Hunter S. Thompson, wants to market the gonzo journalist’s personal cannabis strains. Skepticism abounds.

The founder of Healing Church, a Catholicism-inflected pot “ministry” in Rhode Island, is involved in abizarre legal situation. If I’m reading this correctly, Anne Armstrong had a vision of cannabis leaves on a six-foot replica of the Virgin of Guadeloupe – an image said to have appeared on a Mexican peasant’s poncho in 1531. Armstrong later obtained and then lost custody of the replica. She also faces a possession charge.

The Stranger put together a cannabis gift guide. It includes weed filled advent calendars and Christmas ornaments. The piece also cites scripture to prove Jesus was a stoner.

Country music legend Loretta Lynn smoked pot for the first time at 84, for her glaucoma. She didn’t like it, but defended Willie Nelson and the right to do it.

A woman in Greensboro, N.C., was “shocked,” in a bad way, when someone mistakenly mailed her four pounds of weed.

1 2 3 10