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Politics
Conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt asked U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions if he plans to end America's legalization experiment: “One RICO prosecution against one marijuana retailer in one state that has so-called legalization ends this façade and this flaunting of the Supremacy Clause. Will you be bringing such a case?”

Sessions demurred, “I think it’s a little more complicated than one RICO case.” But the cannabis world is paying attention. The Christian Science Monitor reports that some in law enforcement “worry that Mr. Sessions [hard on crime stance] is taking an outdated approach to head off a problem that may not exist.”

In a memo, Sessions advised U.S. attorneys to focus on violent crime and to renew emphasis on seeking mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenders.

The Cannabist asks whether the Constitution’s Supremacy Clause could be used to justify a crackdown of state cannabis industries. It’s one of a three-part series by Alicia Wallace on marijuana during the Trump presidency.

The Supremacy Clause ( Article VI, Clause 2) states that the Constitution is the “supreme Law of the land.” In this case, it may be at odds with the Bill of Rights’ Tenth Amendment which states, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.”

The Justice Department told all 46 remaining U.S. attorneys from the Obama Administration to resign. Preet Bhahara, Manhattan’s powerful federal prosecutor, said he had no plans to resign setting up a showdown with the Justice department.

The AP reports that Sessions’ recusal from investigating the election will enable him to focus on remaking the Justice Department in accordance with his hardline ideas on crime, drugs and immigration.

In New York, Dominican green card holder Jose Guerrero was “ripped” from his pregnant wife’s arms during what he expected to be a routine check in with immigration authorities. Following a 2007 incident, Guerrero was convicted of misdemeanor marijuana possession. Though there haven’t been further run-ins with law enforcement, he’s now awaiting deportation.  

Voters in the city of Los Angeles, the world’s largest cannabis market, approved Measure M in a landslide, giving the City Council power to regulate the industry. L.A. County Sheriff Jim McDonnell thinks it’s possible that federal raids will target the cannabis industry.

In L.A. Weekly, I wrote that pot businesses are keeping their cool about the feds, so far. But there also could be local raids mounted against unlicensed businesses in unincorporated L.A. County.

The military will expand drug testing to include opiates and synthetic cannabis. Last year Defense Secretary Ash Carter said the military might loosen rules regarding past cannabis use. It’s not clear whether current Defense Secretary James Mattis agrees.

The head of Maine’s National Guard worries that REC legalization will make it harder for young people to “ make good choices,” especially since it “complicates enlisting in the military.”

Republican Senator Johnny Isakson (Ga.) mildly endorsed rescheduling. MED is back in Montana. Pennsylvania’s auditor general said REC could close the state’s budget gap.

Proposed legislation in Florida would limit MED growing licenses to seven existing producers, an idea that’s unpopular, someone said, with everyone except the seven producers’ lobbyists.

After a contentious year, Oakland has revised and expanded its equity licensing requirements. I wrote about the issue in December for California Sunday Magazine.

The two men behind Ohio’s failed 2015 REC legalization effort, want a MED growing license.

Despite promises of this spring, Canada is not in a rush to legalize REC. The Israeli government voted to decriminalize.
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Business

Vincent Mehdizadeh, founder of weed vending machine company MedBox agreed to pay $12M  after the Securities and Exchange Commission learned that the business was a scam. Shortly after Colorado and Washington state legalized REC in November 2012, Medbox’s market cap skyrocketed to more than $2 billion.

Two major Canadian producers face possible class action lawsuits following a pesticide scare.

The Las Vegas Review Journal profiles Terra Tech, a cannabis company reconsidering its plans based on what it’s heard from D.C.

Forbes suggests that Trump “ could be good for the cannabis industry.”

Outdoor apparel maker Patagonia is fighting a Colorado entrepreneur’s application for a “Ganjagonia” trademark.

The world’s top-performing hedge fund last year was invested in cannabis, salmon, lithium and cobalt.  Tribeca Global Natural Resources fund climbed 145% in 2016.

San Francisco Business Times named the Bay Area’s largest cannabis employers. SPARC dispensary's 145 workers topped the list.

Canadian activists and entrepreneurs Marc and Jodie Emery face a slate of criminal charges after raids on their dispensaries.

Colorado regulators have ordered John W. Long of Green Farms Consulting to stop soliciting investments in unregistered securities.

The Colorado Senate passed a pot café bill. Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) urged caution due to the uncertainty in Washington.

Bloomberg BusinessWeek has a cover story on big tobacco’s Silicon Valley reinvention. “It’s not smoking. It’s platform-agnostic nicotine delivery solutions.”

The Denver Post’s Cannabist hired Alex Pasquariello as its new editor.

Health and Science

In a Washington Post Op-Ed, anti-legalization activist Kevin Sabet and former Congressman Patrick Kennedy write that, “Without action, the marijuana industry is poised to become the next Big Tobacco — a profit-hungry special-interest group looking after profits, not public health.”

Animal studies suggest that CBD may be useful in treating PTSD and/or phobias, a new study found.

Proposed legislation in Nevada would require a controversial blood test to test drivers for impairment.

Washington state’s pot related emergency calls were up about 10% to 286 in 2016.

Research at the University of New Mexico found that cannabis may reduce opiate abuse. (UNM’s student newspaper is called the Daily Lobo.)

Business Insider has a long piece on what we don’t know about cannabis science.

Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo suggested using pot taxes to fund substance abuse recovery.

The Guardian visits High Sobriety, a controversial L.A. rehab center that uses cannabis to help addicts avoid other drugs.

The health care bill proposed by House Republicans “ would strand [opiate] addicts without access to care.

A Colorado doctor wants to study cannabis and breast milk.

Veterinarians in California (and other states) risk losing their license if they recommend MED for pets.

Scientists say the U.S. Government’s only legal marijuana supply is moldy.

Rolling Stone has a long story about medical doctors who risk their career to experiment on patients with psychedelics. It also explains what psychedelics do to the brain.

A group of working class mothers who grow MED for their children in Lima has generated interested in legalization.

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Criminal Justice

Innocent Blacks are 12 times more likely than innocent whites to be convicted of drug crimes.

A bipartisan group of U.S. Senators proposed the creation of a National Criminal Justice Commission to study all aspect of the criminal justice system and make recommendations. A similar effort in the 1960’s led to 911 and other reforms.

A coalition of groups led by the Minority Cannabis Business Association has written model legislation for how to include people of color in the industry’s growth. It also recommends “drug war reparations” to minority communities.

Colorado may end “ co-op growing” which authorities say feeds into the illegal market.

The AP went with the border patrol’s “ tunnel rats” into the tunnels under the U.S.-Mexico border. These tunnels are often used for multi-ton loads of weed, that are difficult to conceal in above ground vehicles.

Colombia’s new legal MED industry will employ some of the same workers as the rebels who grew it illegally.

In the midst of a drug war, the Philippines may legalize MED.

The weight of “wet” vs. “dry” MED is at issue in Montana. In Alabama, marijuana enforcement varies on different college campuses.
Culture

The Denverite looks at the rulesmaking process for social use. Should employees be trained to recognize when someone is too high?

A San Francisco Girl Scout troop challenged a dispensary to a charity fund-raising competition. Guess who won.

Idahoans looking for smoke have brought new life to Huntington, Oregon.

Money-ish meets some “ marijuana moms.

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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Alex 

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