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Louisiana became the
25th state, and first in the former Confederacy, to legalize MED
. Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) signed a bill passed by the state’s Republican controlled legislature.
One quirk in the law is that
Louisiana State University and Southern University
will have the right of first refusal to grow the state’s crop before the private sector can compete. Both universities pursue research funding from the federal government; fear of losing such funds has likely kept many universities from touching the plant.
voted to allow
Veterans Affairs doctors to discuss MED with their patients in states where it is legal.
An AAA study found that the number of Washington state
drivers involved in fatal crashes who had THC in their system spiked
from 10% in 2010 to 17% in 2014, the first year of REC legalization. While more drivers tested positive, the number of fatal crashes and total fatalities held steady. (Read the study
“The effectiveness of public health messages to prevent drugged and drunk driving may depend in part on how persuasive they are among individuals who are high,”
another study determined
Politico says Denver’s cannabis industry is waging a “
war on the poor.
” “To the people living in the modest homes near the grow operations that supply the dispensaries and shops in better-off parts of town, the smell is not only an inconvenience but a reminder of their lack of political clout.” Soon companies will have to submit “good neighbor” plans and present their odor control efforts to the city
Buzzfeed’s Amanda Chicago Lewis
that a California bill to allow drug felons to obtain marijuana licenses appears tailored “for one powerful white California entrepreneur: Steve DeAngelo,” executive director of Oakland dispensary Harborside Health Center.
“On February 19, Assemblymember Rob Bonta (D-Oakland) introduced a bill that would prohibit the state from denying a license to drug felons who meet three very specific criteria: First, the conviction must have occurred out of state. Second, the conviction must not have resulted in jail time. And third, the felon must also be approved by a local licensing body," Buzzfeed writes. "DeAngelo, who already has licenses to operate in Oakland, San Jose, and San Leandro, perfectly meets all three qualifications.”
DeAngelo denied that the bill was written for him. “I don’t want a Steve DeAngelo clause,” he said. Assemblyman Rob Bonta (D - Oakland)
told the L.A. Times
that the bill was written for DeAngelo, but that Bonta won’t advance it.
half the money raised to fight REC in California
comes from law enforcement, according to The Intercept. With legalization, the groups are “terrified that they might lose the revenue streams to which they have become so deeply addicted.”
A new bill from Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) would
curtail the use of civil asset forfeiture
, a controversial practice that allows law enforcement to confiscate money and property from people who have not been convicted of a crime, and in some cases not even charged.
Another bill in California could strengthen landlords’ ability to
ban pot smoking in their buildings
, including by legal MED users.
A former DEA-agent said
reclassifying marijuana to schedule II
is a real possibility.
Charges were dropped
against a man who was arrested in Nebraska with $65,000 in his car. He’d planned to buy Colorado weed and sell it in Minnessota. The judge wrote that she had no jurisdiction since he had not committed a crime in Nebraska.
A MED bill has been
fast-tracked in Ohio’s
Republican controlled House. Lawmakers said they want to beat out a more permissive MED initiative that could appear before voters in November. Supporters of a 2016 Michigan REC initiative are
scrambling to collect signatures
before the deadline.
The Illinois House
voted to decriminalize
. Last year, Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) vetoed a looser bill; the current one is a response to his requested changes.
Maryland’s MED program, set to be the largest on the east coast, has
encountered further delays
. Kentucky’s first hemp plant
showed off its wares
Donald Trump released a list of judges who he’d consider nominating to the Supreme Court. I didn’t see an analysis of their records on cannabis, but their
views on other issues
are far more socially conservative than Trump is generally believed to hold.
John Hudak of the Brookings Institution wrote
a memo to the presidential candidates
on how to think about marijuana. The RAND Institute’s Beau Kilmer editorialized that the
higher consumption that accompanies legalization
might not be a bad thing.
Denver manufacturer OpenVape has
applied for naming rights
to Denver’s Mile High Stadium, home of the Super Bowl champion Broncos. The current name sponsor, Sports Authority, has filed for bankruptcy. Naming rights could cost more than $6 annually and any deal would likely last at least five years. Openvape says it has the money. Many questions remain.
On its blog, the delivery app Meadow argues that
“Batch & Lot” tracking
is better for California than tracking individual plants, the norm in other states. It gets technical.
Fast Company interviewed Colorado marijuana czar
. The companies “gaining the most traction are people who are figuring out how to franchise to other states or people who are really dealing with ancillary services rather than marijuana itself,” Freedman said. “Marijuana has become much closer to a normal agricultural crop. It’s become a bit of a commodity. So the profit margins aren’t nearly as much as they are for the intellectual property or technology rights around marijuana.”
A study found that cannabis use
does not hinder efforts to quit tobacco
. A perinatal nurse in Washington state has
taken issue with the leading expert
who has said cannabis use while breastfeeding risks serious harm to the baby.
A North Carolina high school student who was suspended for smelling like marijuana
saw her punishment reversed
. She did not have marijuana on her person and tested negative.
approved the extradition
of drug lord Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán to the U.S. Netflix and Univision are
collaborating on a drama
about his life.
sued a dispensary
that they had loaned money, a judge ruled that their contract was unenforceable because selling marijuana is federally illegal. Loaner beware.
Law firms Vicente Sederberg and Greenbridge Corporate Counsel are teaming up to
develop compliance software
. SF Weekly has a big piece on the arrival of
cannabis venture capital
Canada could emerge as “
America’s cannabis capital,
” according to the Guardian. The country may also
make heroin legally available
to combat the opioid crisis. Several European countries already allow it.
Vancouver issued its
first dispensary license
. A crackdown
Opponents of Florida’s MED initiative said it will give rise to almost 2,000 dispensaries, more stores than the Sunshine State's combined number of Walgreens and Walmarts. Politifact rated the assertion “
Johnny Green, of The Weed Blog,
went public with infighting
at the site.
The Washington Post’s Maura Judkis went to a
cannabis cooking class
I look forward to reading
Heads: A biography of psychedelic America
by Jesse Jarnow. (Fun fact: Jesse and I were playmates when we were about three.)
Actor Seth Rogan says legal
marijuana is still funny
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