Search Results: op-ed (38)

The recent arrests and legal actions against a former Marijuana Enforcement Division official and several marijuana industry license-holders here in Colorado has been touted by Attorney General Jeff Sessions as an example of why this industry is not working. In a letter to congressional leaders on May 1, he also suggested that in some way the regulated marijuana industry contributes to more illegal marijuana trafficking. In actuality, a regulated system like the one in Colorado has created a boom for us in the areas of job creation, revenue generation and increased law enforcement support, and the list goes on.

In this essay, retired Judge Mary Celeste (bio below) responds to the Trump administration’s comments on marijuana and opioids:

This past week saw two indications that the Trump administration is uneducated and clueless about drugs in this country. Its first irresponsible action is the potential halting of federal drug-control efforts. According to the New York Times, the White House is potentially eliminating the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy, which coordinates federal efforts to reduce drug use and drug trafficking. “The ONDCP’s website was ‘wiped clean’ when President Trump took office and it has not been replaced,” the paper reported.

 

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Here’s what pot does to you. Just ask Jill Wellock!

​Freelance writer Jill Wellock has a problem.

She really, really dislikes marijuana and, apparently, those who use it.
Wellock generously shares this extreme distaste with us in a guest op-ed piece in today’s edition of The Olympian, the newspaper of Olympia, Washington, the state’s capitol.
Jill gets right down to business with a real winner of a headline:
‘Marijuana saps initiative, ambition and responsibility’
Headline aside, we know right off the bat we’re in for a bumpy ride when Jill starts off by confiding in us that she attended a “rough junior high.” Apparently not really one for nostalgia, Wellock recalls “the stoner girls” carving “Joe Elliot” [sic]“into their forearms with wood screws to prove Def Leppard allegiance.”
Oh, Jill. First of all, if they carved “Joe Elliot,” they aren’t done carving, because the rock star’s name is spelled “Elliott.” Maybe you should give those “stoner girls” a call and tell them they need to get back out the wood screws.
Secondly, if these had been real “stoner girls” during the time period mentioned, they wouldn’t have been carving freakin’ Def Leppard tributes on their arms; it would have been Marilyn Manson. Or maybe Jerry Garcia.

Without getting into specifics, let’s just say a certain R&B singer’s gross sexual history has caused me to look for a new go-to karaoke song. Although a few Queen classics initially seemed like fun choices, I quickly realized that I was foolish to think I could win a room trying to impersonate Freddie Mercury. It seemed like my once-every-six-months career was over.

Then I discovered Randy Newman.

If we’re being factual, I’ve actually known about Randy Newman ever since Toy Story, but he really left-foot-right-footed himself into my heart after a Family Guy episode featured his goofy-ass voice. The deep, dopey aspect of it seemed to fit me, for some reason, and I’ve been a star in dive bars ever since. (Not really, but it’s fun to sing “Short People” when you’re drunk.) So when I came across a funky-smelling strain named after Randy Newman, it seemed like a message from the stoner-culture gods. That it smelled like a spread of fruit and expensive cheese didn’t hurt, either.

A rare strain at the moment, Randy Newman can be fou

Since 2013, the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, a federally funded law-enforcement organization, has been issuing highly critical, persistently biased reports about the impact of marijuana legalization in Colorado.

But beyond a few scattered stories and a brief reference in U.S. Attorney Bob Troyer’s unexpectedly strident September 28 anti-pot op-ed in the Denver Post, the group’s latest salvo, released this month, has gotten comparatively little traction, especially compared to its earliest offerings.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s announcement about rescinding the Cole memo, an Obama-era Department of Justice document that provided some legal protections for businesses operating in states that allow and regulate cannabis sales, has shaken the marijuana industry in Colorado and beyond. But Justin Strekal, political director for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), isn’t surprised by this action. As we noted last July, Strekal believes an op-ed from the ultra-conservative Heritage Foundation enumerating eleven ways the administration of President Donald Trump can kill legal cannabis is being used by Sessions and company as a crackdown guideline, and junking Cole is fifth on the list

Jeff Hunt, the vice president of public policy at Colorado Christian University, invited Westword and others to share his op-ed titled “Marijuana Devastated Colorado, Don’t Legalize It Nationally” earlier this week. Although we declined, USA Today obliged in spreading Hunt’s reefer-madness gospel on August 7. And Hunt’s piece — as well as the alleged facts, studies and sources he used to hammer home his point — elicited quite the response.

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.

But that hasn’t stopped the guessing.
Here’s your daily dose of pot news from the newsletter WeedWeek.

Speculation continues about what anti-pot U.S. Attorney General nominee Sen. Jeff Sessions could mean for the legal marijuana industry. The Associated Press says cannabis has the upper hand but could still collapse. Fortune says smaller companies, already dealing with larger competitors, can expect more pain.

Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee say Sessions will get an  contentious confirmation hearing.

An op-ed in the Wall Street Journal says Sessions is not a racist, and in fact championed the end of sentencing discrepancies between cocaine, associated with affluent whites, and crack, which devastated inner cities. President Obama signed the Fair Sentencing Act into law in 2010. Sessions later said that by granting clemency retroactively to non-violent drug offenders, Obama was abusing the law.

D.C. pot-activists were received warmly at Sessions office but didn’t leave feeling especially reassured. Sen. Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s (D.-N.Y.) aides weren’t as welcoming. “So typical that you are taking this less seriously than Republicans,” an activist said. The whole piece, in USNews, is worth a read, and funny too.

President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the Department of Health and Human Services, Rep. Tom Price (R- Ga.), is another staunch prohibitionist who, if confirmed, would have the authority to interfere with state-legal MED access.

I wrote a story for California Sunday about efforts in Oakland to create a diverse cannabis industry. The photos are by Pulitzer winner Preston Gannaway.

 

President Obama discussed legalization at length in an interview with Rolling Stone, conducted the day after the election:

I’ve been very clear about my belief that we should try to discourage substance abuse. And I am not somebody who believes that legalization is a panacea. But I do believe that treating this as a public-health issue, the same way we do with cigarettes or alcohol, is the much smarter way to deal with it. Typically how these classifications are changed are not done by presidential edict but are done either legislatively or through the DEA. As you might imagine, the DEA, whose job it is historically to enforce drug laws, is not always going to be on the cutting edge about these issues.


            [Laughs] What about you? Are you gonna get on the cutting edge?
Look, I am now very much in lame-duck status. And I will have the opportunity as a private citizen to describe where I think we need to go. But in light of these referenda passing, including in California, I’ve already said, and as I think I mentioned on Bill Maher’s show, where he asked me about the same issue, that it is untenable over the long term for the Justice Department or the DEA to be enforcing a patchwork of laws, where something that’s legal in one state could get you a 20-year prison sentence in another. So this is a debate that is now ripe, much in the same way that we ended up making progress on same-sex marriage. There’s something to this whole states-being-laboratories-of-democracy and an evolutionary approach. You now have about a fifth of the country where this is legal.
Obama added that Trump voters “in large numbers” favor decriminalizing.

The state’s growing regions can be dangerous.

Here’s your daily round-up of pot-news, excerpted from the newsletter WeedWeek. Download WeedWeek’s free 2016 election guide here.

Two women were arrested for detaining four brothers on a California pot farm and forcing them to work for six months. In Colorado, 14 Chinese nationals were arrested at an illegal grow. Authorities are investigating whether they were “labor trafficked.”

In SFWeekly, I recommended that the industry adopt an abuse-free product certification to curtail worker exploitation.

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