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Here's the news:


Representatives from the Justice Department, Vice President Mike Pence’s office and the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy traveled to Colorado for closed-door meetings on marijuana policy.

Members of the delegation met with with Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers (R) and the city’s chief of police. They also met with Gov. John Hickenlooper’s (D) staff, state regulators and the U.S. Attorney’s office.

"Probably most of the discussion centered around the huge black market that exists for marijuana in Colorado," legalization opponent Suthers said.

Months ago, Attorney General Jeff Sessions requested recommendations by July 27 (Thursday) on marijuana enforcement from his Justice Department task force. Sessions adamantly opposes legalization, but it’s not clear how he plans to put his beliefs into practice.  

Justice official Michael Murray who’s leading the marijuana assessment was with the delegation as was a State Department official with expertise in international treaty negotiations.

A legal aid to Hickenlooper said the only question he remembers Murray asking involved 2014 guidance, from the Treasury Department’s financial crimes unit.

“Immediate or future federal enforcement activities [were] not broached,” The Cannabist reports.

Meanwhile, the Washington Post learned Sessions discussed campaign related matters with the Russian ambassador during the 2016 campaign, appearing to contradict Sessions’ sworn testimony.

Trump ally Dana Rohrabacher, probably cannabis’s best Republican friend in Congress, is also “the most vociferous defender of Russian interests in Congress.” Rohrabacher, who I believe is the only member of Congress to say he has used MED, also asked a Nasa scientist about the possibility of ancient civilizations on Mars.

Trump said his Mexican border wall should be transparent to prevent people from being hit by flying sacks of drugs. The Daily Show did a segment.

Massachusetts lawmakers sent a REC implementation bill to Gov. Charlie Baker (R), who’s expected to sign. State treasurer Deborah Goldberg (D) has “no idea” if dispensaries will open as scheduled in July 2018. MJ Biz Daily has an FAQ.

Maine Gov. Paul LePage said he would veto any bill taxing REC but not MED.

New Hampshire decriminalized. The Concord Monitor has a good piece on how police are preparing. All six New England states have now decriminalized.

California may issue grow licenses early to avoid product shortages. San Francisco is setting up an Office of Cannabis.

Four Congressmen, two from each party, discussed cannabis reform on Facebook live.

Rep. Keith Ellison, (D- Minn.) wants Democrats to campaign on cannabis legalization.

Republican candidates for Colorado governor discussed marijuana policy.

D.C.’s non-voting Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton wants the capital to have a cannabis industry.

Some other Congresspeople made pot jokes.

Some of Canada’s provincial premiers -- the equivalent of governors -- want to see REC implementation delayed. REC is on sale in Uruguay pharmacies.

Lynwood became the first city in L.A. County to start negotiating with licensed cannabis businesses.

Oregon has a new director of legal cannabis enforcement.

In-store use could happen in Alaska.

It was a false report that said Malia Obama was fired from her internship at the U.S. Embassy in Spain for smoking pot.

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Staying updated on cannabis news is obviously important to you. For daily updates, subscribe to Marijuana Moment, a newsletter from longtime legalization activist and journalist Tom Angell. 

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A California bill would allow cannabis businesses to take state income tax deductions not permitted on federal taxes.

Bloomberg looks into the EPA’s refusal to license pesticides for cannabis.

New cannabis advertising restrictions take effect tomorrow in Washington.

The National Cannabis Industry Association sponsored an ice cream break at a American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) conference. The group writes conservative legislation to be adopted by state governments.

Massachusetts’ highest court ruled that a woman fired for MED use can sue her former employer, reversing an earlier decision.

Since REC legalization, Colorado has collected more than $500M in pot taxes.

A tobacco shop chain is the leading contributor to Michigan’s 2018 REC push.

I wrote about product distribution headaches in California for L.A. Weekly. The Onion is not concerned about pot shortages.

The CEO of Canadian producer Maricann says companies should focus on Western Europe.

A CNBC opinion piece explains what Jeff Sessions gets wrong about legalization.

The Santa Rosa Press-Democrat asks if wine and weed are friend or foe. Emerald Report finds both kinds of growers collaborating on a biodynamic pot farm.


Health and Science

The Senate may still  vote on a replacement for Obamacare, that would cause millions to lose their health insurance. The 10 key votes come from Alaska, West Virginia, Maine, Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Louisiana and Arkansas. All of those states have legalized MED or REC. Some have thriving industries.

To learn what you can do, go to Indivisible's TrumpCare Ten page.


In D.C., veterans groups are becoming increasingly vocal in their calls for access to MED, the L.A. Times reports. The opioid epidemic is boosting their case.

A California couple is speaking out about the dangers of using butane to make concentrates.

From the Cannifornian:

[Alex] Gonzales, 25, and his girlfriend Selina Cervantes, 21, said Tuesday that they are trying to put their lives back together after the accident. Gonzales suffered major burns to much of his body, and had skin grafts over much of his right side. Cervantes was even more badly injured: She is completely covered in burns, her lips and many of her fingers were burned off and she now must use a wheelchair.

A study found frequent use of butane-extracted concentrates is associated with higher levels of dependence, academic and occupational problems and poor self-care.

In California, the future of cannabis depends on rain, Hayley Fox reports.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse wants to build an app to measure marijuana impairment. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is also interested in a breathalyzer and a reliable standard for measuring impairment.

Forty five percent of Americans have tried cannabis and 12% use regularly, according to a Gallup poll.

A study found cannabis has a “bidirectional effect” on sexual function. (A little can help, too much can hurt.)

A Forbes contributor learns about the cannabis course offerings available at the University of Vermont.

Chats on Reddit offer an upclose look at the opioid epidemic. A Florida 10 year old died with heroin and fentanyl in his system.

A majority of Americans support medical research into psychedelics, according to a YouGov poll.


Criminal Justice

AG Jeff Sessions reinstated the use of civil asset forfeiture a law enforcement practice enabling authorities to seize cars and other property when there’s probable cause of a crime. Often used in drug cases, the Obama administration curtailed the practice due to abuse. Sessions is reinstating the federal practice even in states where it’s banned. Trump also supports the practice.

Conservative National Review called the program a “national disgrace.” Criticism came from all sides.

Defending it, deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein suggested it would help end the opioid crisis.

The Washington Post’s Christopher Ingraham offers a history of DARE, the anti-drug program endorsed by Sessions.

Ingraham writes:

Sessions may believe that the program saved lives, but decades of evidence-based research, including some conducted by the Justice Department he now heads, has shown the program to be ineffective — and it might even make the drug problem worse.

Ngozi Ndulue, the NAACP’s senior director of criminal justice, published a tough anti-Sessions op-ed in the San Francisco Chronicle.

A New York Times editorial called for fair enforcement of marijuana laws across races.

American and European authorities shut down AlphaBay and Hansa Market, two of the largest dark net markets, online drug bazaar successors to Silk Road. AlphaBay had 40,000 vendors, and 200,000 users, the Justice Department said.  

Investigators are looking into how $1M worth of weed was found in several brand-new, Mexican-made Ford Fusions at an Ohio car dealership in Ohio. “American Voices” weigh in at The Onion.

A Colorado ruled police searches require more evidence than a dog trained to smell pot.

An Oregon farmed told detailed an April five-hour ordeal when he was robbed, beaten and tortured by seven suspects in ninja turtle masks. A man who discussed investing in the farm has pleaded guilty, but is not believed to have been one of the assailants.  

At least four were shot, one fatally, during a dispensary robbery in south L.A.

Denver police did a sting operation on the International Church of Cannabis.


Product reviews:



Drug Policy Alliance named Maria McFarland Sánchez-Moreno as its new executive director. She previously spent 13 years at Human Rights Watch. The group also released a glossary on how to talk about drugs

NORML wants AAA to stop opposing legalization.

On a visit to Colorado, Berkshire Eagle investigations editor Larry Parnass learns that with REC Massachusetts can expect lots of visitors.

D.C. activists are planning a pot burning ceremony in a D.C. basilica during next month’s total eclipse.

Leafly explains what ‘Larf’ cannabis is.

It’s not too late for High Times’ guide on where to sneak a puff at major league ballparks.

Emerald Report found a Lord of the Rings-esque, cannabis-friendly, “magical tree house“ in Washington. It can be booked through AirBnB.

Here's the WeedWeek list of pot journalists on Twitter and the list of cannabusiness people on Twitter. Both are works in progress. Recommendations welcome.

I've also created two political Twitter lists you can subscribe to: Real News and Tweeting the Resistance.

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