This is WeedWeek, because cannabis news is everywhere.
In case you were wondering, this newsletter is not affiliated with Weed Week PDX, an event series in Portland this week.
Lots of news:
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
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.
Canada’s legalization push is getting complicated. The much-anticipated
task force report on legalization
has been delayed. Meanwhile activists
wonder why shops are getting raided
if the government plans to legalize. For more
Bill Blair a Canadian government official overseeing the issue appeared at a “
” fundraiser with cannabiz leaders that may have violated Liberal Party ethics guidelines. Blair
defended recent raids
saying, "The only system for control is the existing legal regime. And we're a society of laws," he says.
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.
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After some tough decisions, I'm thrilled to introduce Carolyn Lipka:
Hi! My name is Carolyn Lipka and I’m a writer and comedian living in Los Angeles. My work has been in Noisey, Interview and Paper Magazine. I’ve been a medical cannabis patient since moving to LA in 2014 and a recreational user since 2008; I’ve smoked it all from extremely dirt weed in the suburbs of New Jersey to Wifi OG from an upscale dispensary in Los Angeles. The comedy and cannabis community have significant overlap (from Getting Doug With High to Broad City) and I’m happy to continue the trend. My interests include any edible that features dark chocolate and a dense indica heavy hybrid. I love testing out new weed products and my proximity to a huge sector of the industry has afforded me the opportunity to really plunge into trying every vape, bong, grinder and elaborate dab blow torch I can get my hands on. I graduated from Yale University in 2014 where I did extensive research on the cold war making me the world’s dorkiest weed critic. Follow me on twitter for humor @clipka_, on instagram for selfies @clipka or snapchat for high thoughts @carolynlipka.
Carolyn will be reviewing accessories and other lifestyle products that may appeal to WeedWeek readers. She will not review submitted cannabis products.
Got anything you think Carolyn should try? Send it to:
3154 Glendale Blvd #122
Los Angeles CA 90039
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
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 “
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.
The founder of Healing Church, a Catholicism-inflected pot “ministry” in Rhode Island, is involved in a
bizarre 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.
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