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There wasn’t much talk of marijuana inside the arena at this year’s Democratic National Convention.

The industry was all over Philly.

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Marijuana wasn’t often mentioned in the Democratic National Convention’s official program.

Unofficially, it was the “star.” A trade association had a party. MPP had a fundraiser. Marchers carried a 51-foot joint.

At, Tom Angell (@TomAngell) unearthed the Tim Kaine quote, “I actually kind of like this option of the states as labs and they can experiment [with legalizing]and we can see what happens.” NORML revised its rating on the vice presidential candidate from F to C. (Last week, I referred to MPP ratings for presidential candidates as NORML ratings. I regret the error.)

Marijuana Business Daily interviews former U.S. deputy attorney general James Cole, whose eight-point 2013 memo gave the industry confidence that it could grow without federal prosecution. “It wasn’t really intended to be a huge policy shift as much as reacting to the situation and trying to use some common sense,” he said.

California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) wants more lawmakers to support legalization.

Former Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank (D) said heroin and crystal meth should be legalized. “We should outlaw a drug if it is likely to make you mistreat others. People don’t hit other people in the head because they’re on heroin; they hit other people in the head because they need to get money to buy heroin.”

The New Yorker profiles Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party’s presidential candidate and a legalization supporter. He said he would not use cannabis as president.

Quartz introduces us to Tick Segerblom (D), a dogged cannabis supporter in the Nevada State Senate.

The U.S. Trademark Trial and Appeals Board said cannabis sellers can’t receive federal trademark protection.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) decriminalized possession, making the state the third largest after New York and California to do so.

About half of the 100 Oregon communities that don’t allow REC businesses will vote on whether to lift their bans in November.

Ohio legislators knew that the provision in the state’s MED law to guarantee 15% of business licenses might be unconstitutional but they kept it in to win votes, the AP reports.

Florida billionaire Carol Jenkins Barnett, a Publix supermarket heir, donated $800,000 to oppose the state’s MED initiative.

A Los Angeles county ballot initiative that proposed a pot tax to benefit the homeless has been shelved. Canna Law Blog dives into the business climate in L.A, one of the world’s largest cannabis markets.

The DEA compared home grows to “meth houses.”

Italian lawmakers are beginning to debate legalization. Opponents include Pope Francis. The Italian military grows MED for the country.

Jonathan Beller/Boston Magazine
Dr. Lyle Craker, UMass-Amherst: “I’m disappointed mostly because of all the patients who could potentially benefit”

​Respected horticulturalist Lyle Craker of the University of Massachusetts-Amherst has been trying for almost a decade to persuade the federal government to let him grow marijuana for medical research. He wanted to learn more about the plant’s medical benefits. But Craker, 70, was over and over again rebuffed, and now he’s finally giving up.

Craker said he saw no end in sight to the legal wrangling, with an appeals process that could run for years or even decades, reports Andrew Miga of The Associated Press. Craker was also frustrated that he never got a hoped-for boost from the Obama Administration.
“I’m disappointed in our system,” he said. “But I’m not disappointed at what we did. I think our efforts have brought the problem to the public eye more. … This is just the first battle in a war.”
Craker, who said he has never smoked marijuana, started his challenge to the government’s monopoly on growing and distributing research cannabis in 2001. One garden at The University of Mississippi is the federal government’s only marijuana-growing facility.
But government-grown pot lacks the potency medical researchers need for breakthroughs, according to Craker. Besides, there isn’t enough of the Ole Miss-grown cannabis available for scientists across the U.S., or even if there is, the government isn’t letting them have it.