Canada has been at the forefront of cannabis research, education and
regulation for the past 2 decades, yet uncertainty remains about how
the drug should be used in medicine. Physicians lack evidence-based
information and formalized training about cannabis, which stems, in
part, from the drug's previously illegal status that hindered
research. Among the public, however, many perceive cannabis as a
natural and safe medical treatment. Patients increasingly seek advice
about cannabis from physicians, request prescriptions or experiment
with cannabis for medical problems on their own. However, physicians
must adhere to good medical practice regardless of public pressure and
provide counselling to patients based on up-to-date knowledge and
evidence. Now that cannabis is legal in Canada more research should be
forthcoming, but the evidence base remains weak.
[continues 887 words]
The bare, dusty ground is littered with rusty blades and crack pipes.
The area reeks of urine and garbage.
At least three times a day, Charly Roue is drawn to this neighborhood,
one of the most sordid in Paris, always following the same ritual.
After panhandling tens of euros at cafes not far from some of the most
popular tourist spots, he heads to the northern edge of the city,
where he can buy crack cocaine at La Colline, or the Hill, France's
largest open-air market for crack.
[continues 1108 words]
Contrary to Joe Fries' editorial "Abstinence works best" (Courier,
Aug. 16), Rhode Island treats addicted prison inmates with methadone,
buprenorphine and naltrexone. Like methadone, buprenorphine is an
opioid agonist, or replacement opioid. Naltrexone is an opioid
antagonist that blocks opioid receptors.
The benefits of opioid substitution therapy are well-established, in
and out of prison. It reduces crime, prevents overdoses and the spread
of infectious diseases, denies profits to criminal gangs, allows
addicted individuals to function normally within their families, jobs,
and communities, and gets them off the hamster wheel of raising money
by hook or by crook to pay criminal gangs for illicit opioids of
unknown potency and purity.
[continues 176 words]
More than half of all Canadians believe drug treatment should focus on
abstinence, rather than opioid replacement therapies, according to
poll results released this week.
Research Co. found 57% of those surveyed were in favour of programs
that aim to get people off drugs entirely, rather than programs that
supply people with free dope to help keep them healthy and out of trouble.
It's unclear from the results if people's attitudes towards drug
treatment are shifting, but it's clear that a majority of the
population supports an approach that doesn't enable addicts.
[continues 235 words]
Re: "Legalizing pot is proving to be a public-health disaster," column,
Lawrie McFarlane's verdict is premature. Legal regulation in Canada
isn't analogous to legalization in Colorado, for among other reasons,
Colorado allows advertising and initially allowed edibles and extracts
with inadequate labelling, packaging and dose limitations.
Yes, emergency-room visits from adverse reactions spiked in Colorado
following legalization, but this was due in part to inexperienced
tourists from prohibitionist states, and consumers feeling more
inclined to seek help once they no longer feared arrest. Panicked
patients are typically discharged (the wiser) on the same day, with no
lasting ill effects. Such visits remain far less common and severe
than visits related to alcohol, pharmaceuticals and tobacco.
[continues 101 words]
Re: "Legalizing pot is proving to be a public-health disaster," column,
In his opinion piece on cannabis legalization, Lawrie McFarlane cites
a short-term increase in the numbers of adolescents visiting emergency
rooms for cannabis in Colorado - a jurisdiction with a commercialized
approach to cannabis legalization - as evidence that Canada's much
more restrictive public health-oriented approach to legalization has
However, as scientists who have carefully considered how to best
measure the public-health impacts of cannabis legalization, we would
suggest a thorough and ongoing analysis of Canadian data is needed to
understand the effects of the new regulatory landscape. Although
cannabis-related hospital visits should be a priority, we also need to
ask important questions about underlying causes: if we see an
increase, how much is due to increasing use among youth, and how much
could be related to shifting trends in products/modes of
administration (e.g., a shift towards high-THC concentrates, increased
[continues 114 words]
It's becoming increasingly obvious that legalizing marijuana
consumption was a colossal public-health blunder.
A good part of the evidence comes from south of the border, where
several states legalized pot much earlier than Canada. This has
allowed time for robust scientific follow-up - follow-up that is
beginning to reveal a frightening picture.
Colorado legalized medical marijuana in 2012, and recreational use in
2014. One result is that emergency hospital visits by adolescents with
marijuana-related symptoms have jumped from 84 a year in the pre-legal
era, to 500 in 2018.
[continues 557 words]
Drug laws should be designed to minimise damage. This might sound
obvious. But the UK's drug laws - along with those of most other
countries - arguably do not have this effect. Indeed there is a
strong argument that in many respects the blanket prohibition, under
criminal statutes, of substances from cannabis to heroin along with
the myriad synthetic substances now widely used to mimic their
effects, does more harm than good.
This is not a novel point of view. Drug experts in the UK and around
the world have been pointing out the flaws and inconsistencies in
current policies for ages, with former Colombian president, Juan
Manuel Santos, among those who have argued for a new approach focused
on human rights and public health. In the UK, polls show a majority
supports liberalisation of the law on cannabis, following the example
of countries including Portugal. But since this shift in public
attitudes has so far been ignored by the Home Office, which instead
brought in a sweeping ban on so-called "legal highs"=9D in 2016, this
week's call for reform by a cross-party trio of MPs is refreshing.
[continues 302 words]
The Canadian cannabis industry is booming.
From giant industrial operations such as Canopy Growth to smaller
cannabis retailers, to an array of cannabis "lifestyle"=9D brands and
"cannabis brand consultancy"=9D firms, the industry is a lucrative fronti
for those seeking wealth in a rapidly growing market.
And oh, is there wealth to be had. Canadians spent $1.6-billion on
legal weed in 2018 - double the total spent on medical cannabis the
year before - despite the fact that non-medical cannabis was legally
available only after Oct. 17. Statistics Canadaa's National Cannabis
Survey from the first quarter of 2019 found that use of non-medical
cannabis has increased among men and people aged 45 to 64. The survey
reported that 646,000 people tried cannabis for the first time in the
prior three months, half of whom were aged 45 or older.
[continues 1623 words]
New York has decriminalised the use of marijuana - becoming the 16th
US state to do so.
The move, which would make possession of a small amount of the drug a
violation rather than a felony, was signed into law by governor Andrew
The measure also demands that criminal records of offences linked to
low-level marijuana cases either be marked as expunged, or destroyed -
an apparent reflection that in the past communities of colour suffered
unduly from different application of the law.
[continues 231 words]
Mark A. R. Kleiman, a prominent drug policy apostate who favored what
he viewed as a sensible middle ground on marijuana - eliminate
criminal sanctions for selling and using it but preclude full-blown
commercial legalization - died on Sunday in Manhattan. He was 68.
Kelly Kleiman, his sister and only immediate survivor, said the cause
was lymphoma and complications of a kidney transplant he received from
her in April.
Author, blogger, adviser to government and a teacher at New York
University and the University of California, Los Angeles, Professor
Kleiman considered himself a "policy entrepreneur."
[continues 1140 words]
No doubt there is such a thing as ideological drift in politics,
especially in primaries. Candidates often become unmoored and move
right or left in a search for their party's most ardent activists.
But sometimes this drift isn't ideological. It's generational.
Last week, Teresa Tomlinson rolled out a package of policies she would
pursue if she succeeds in her quest to replace U.S. Sen. David Perdue
next year. One of them was something of a surprise.
"It is time we address at the federal level the decriminalization,
legalization, and regulation of marijuana as a medicinal and
recreational substance," the Democrat posted on her website.
Smoking pot cost Kimberly Cue her job.
Ms. Cue, a 44-year-old chemical engineer from Silicon Valley, received
an offer this year from a medical device manufacturer only to have it
rescinded when the company found out that she smoked prescription
marijuana to treat post-traumatic stress disorder.
"My email was set up with the company," she said. "My business cards
were printed." But after a pre-employment drug test came back positive
for marijuana, a human resources representative told her the job was
no longer hers.
[continues 1413 words]
Two major universities are creating the first career paths for young
people interested in the business of marijuana.
The University of Maryland announced in June that its School of Pharmacy
will offer a master's degree in medical cannabis, and a new course is
also being added this fall at Cornell University's School of Integrative
Plant Science called "Cannabis: Biology, Society and Industry."
"I advise a lot of students in a lot of majors and they're all like,
this is going to be cool," said Antonio DiTommaso, program director
for agricultural sciences at Cornell. "I think some of it is just a
novelty, but it's really going to be based on the cropping, the
agronomics, the medicinal aspect, the chemistry, consumer attitudes
[continues 915 words]
Southern California immigrant with DACA status travels to Mexico so he
can become a legal permanent resident. But instead of getting the OK
for a green card, he's prevented from re-entering U.S.
Jose Palomar packed only a small suitcase because he thought his trip
to Mexico would be brief.
Seeking legal permanent residency, he had no choice but to go. But
now, nearly two months later, he's still in Mexico and barred from
returning to his home in the United States.
[continues 1567 words]
Marijuana's role in the health care universe has grown exponentially
over the past few years. Currently, 33 U.S. states have legalized the
use of medical marijuana, and more and more states are considering
making it legal for recreational purposes as well. As cannabis becomes
more accessible, many people are turning to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)
and cannabidiol (CBD) products to treat health issues like rheumatic
and musculoskeletal disease (the aches and pains of arthritis).
Unfortunately, because cannabis remains illegal and classified as a
Schedule 1 drug under federal law (defined as being of no medical
use), there has been a troubling lack of scientific and medical
research on the effectiveness of cannabis treatments. This dearth of
evidence-based data has left many health care providers unable to
counsel their patients on everything from whether a cannabis treatment
could be effective for their condition, to what dosages are
appropriate, to how cannabis might interact with their other
medications or health conditions.
[continues 112 words]
Creation of a Cannabis Commission to regulate medical marijuana in the
state was approved by the Oklahoma House of Representatives on
Thursday night with no votes to spare.
House Bill 3468, by Rep. John Jordan, R-Yukon, sets up an independent
commission that would be activated if voters approve State Question
788 on June 26. That question would legalize medical uses of medical
marijuana, although opponents say its broad construction would
essentially make policing recreational use impossible.
"If you're for full-on recreational marijuana, this is not your bill,"
Jordan said in explaining the bill.
It's been about three years since one DeKalb County city made history
with the most liberal marijuana enforcement policy in the state. Since
then, several more municipalities have followed suit, eliminating the
possibility of jail time and severely reducing the fine for possessing
one ounce or less of weed.
Months after the state Legislature passed a bill legalizing medical
marijuana sales, the push toward recreational decriminalization on the
local level is continuing; the city of Chamblee is currently
considering a measure that echoes the rules in Clarkston, which passed
its marijuana ordinance in July 2016.
[continues 79 words]
Authorities from seven states, the District of Columbia and some major
U.S. cities are backing a Philadelphia effort to open a supervised
drug-injection site, which the federal government is trying to stop in
Safehouse, a nonprofit in Philadelphia, seeks to open a site where
people can use drugs in a safe and sanitary environment with help to
avoid overdose fatalities. Federal prosecutors sued the nonprofit in
February, arguing it would violate federal law by creating a place for
people to use illegal drugs such as heroin and bootleg fentanyl.
[continues 415 words]
A law that took effect July 1 legalized hemp and CBD products
containing traces of THC, the compound in marijuana that gets you
high. But field tests and crime labs haven't caught up.
Texas hemp enterpreneur Zachary Miller, interviewed here by a
television reporter, was arrested in Okaloosa County after products
found in his car tested positive for THC. THC is illegal in Florida
unless prescribed by a doctor for medical use but trace amounts are
allowed in now-legal hemp products. [Courtesy of Zachary Miller]
[continues 1525 words]
The United Nations Human Rights Council voted to launch an
investigation into the alleged killings of tens of thousands of
Filipinos by police in a yearslong drug war-a rare international
rebuke of Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, who started the
campaign against narcotics.
The vote passed 18 to 14 on Thursday at a meeting of the council in
Geneva. The Philippines and China, both among the council's 47
members, voted against it. The remaining 15 members abstained.
The resolution calls on the Philippines to carry out impartial
investigations into alleged extrajudicial killings and to cooperate
with U.N. representatives assigned to prepare a report on the
human-rights situation in the Philippines. The report would need to be
presented to the council for action in June 2020.
[continues 458 words]
GENEVA - The United Nations' top human rights body voted on Thursday
to examine thousands of alleged extrajudicial police killings linked
to President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs in the Philippines, a
campaign that rights groups around the world have denounced as a
The United Nations' 47-member Human Rights Council supported a
resolution advanced by Iceland that turned a spotlight on wide-ranging
abuses, including killings, enforced disappearances, arbitrary
arrests, and persecution of rights activists, journalists, lawyers and
members of the political opposition.
[continues 694 words]
Humphrey Bogart had a way with life's little vices. When he bought you
a drink, the critic Kenneth Tynan recalled, he wouldn't just pass it
across - "he'd take me by the wrist and screw the glass into my hand
as if it was a lamp socket." Bogart's manner with a cigarette was so
vivid that his surname became an admonishing hippie-era verb: "Don't
bogart that joint."
I've tried repeatedly, over the course of my life, to become a druggie.
It's never taken. But even I know what it means to bogart something: to
hoard it, to refuse to share. It wasn't until I read Lizzie Post's
helpful and inquisitive new book, "Higher Etiquette: A Guide to the
World of Cannabis, From Dispensaries to Dinner Parties," however, that I
fully understood the term's provenance.
[continues 953 words]
SAN MIGUEL AMOLTEPEC VIEJO, Mexico - For years, two young brothers,
like many other farmers in their poor, mountainous region of southwest
Mexico, found salvation in the opium poppy. They bled the milky latex
from its pods and the profits made their hard lives a little easier.
The fact that this substance was the raw material for most of the
heroin consumed in the United States was of little concern to the
family, if they even knew it at all. But then changes in that distant
market for illegal drugs made the price of the dried opium latex plummet.
[continues 1405 words]
Kush. Bud. Herb.
Who knows what to call marijuana these days?
Born of the need for secrecy, slang has long dominated pot culture.
But as entrepreneurs seek to capitalize on new laws legalizing
recreational and medical marijuana, they too are grappling with what
to call it.
Heading to the dispensary to buy a few nugs or dabs? Marketers seeking
to exploit the $10 billion market would prefer that you just called it
Shirley Halperin, an author of 2007's "Pot Culture: The A-Z Guide to
Stoner Language and Life," has seen the shift in recent years. Not long
ago, she met with an executive to talk about his company's products. "He
physically winced when I said the word 'pot,'" she recalled. "Businesses
don't want to call it 'weed.'"
[continues 1123 words]
Alex Berenson's allegation that public support for marijuana law
reform is waning ("Marijuana Activists Pass Their High Point," op-ed,
June 26) is nothing short of a pipe dream.
Nearly one in four Americans reside in a jurisdiction where the adult
use of cannabis is legal, and 33 states regulate medical marijuana
access by statute. No state has ever repealed a marijuana legalization
law, and two-thirds of adults-including majorities of self-identified
Democrats, Republicans and independents-endorse making the plant
legal, according to the latest Gallup poll. As more states amend their
cannabis laws, public support for legalization continues to rise.
[continues 190 words]
DENVER - Serenity Christensen, 14, is too young to set foot in one of
Colorado's many marijuana shops, but she was able to spot a business
opportunity in legal weed. She is a Girl Scout, and this year, she and
her mother decided to sell their cookies outside a dispensary. "Good
business," Serenity said.
But on the other side of Denver, legalization has turned another high
school student, David Perez, against the warehouselike marijuana
cultivations now clustered around his neighborhood. He said their
skunky aroma often smacks him in the face when he walks out his front
[continues 2319 words]
It is wise to know where your cannabis comes from. Intoxicated by
bullish demand forecasts, pot investors aren't paying nearly enough
attention to supply.
U.S. states currently decide whether to legalize cannabis within their
own borders, even though the drug remains illegal at the federal
level. It is a misnomer to speak of a single U.S. pot industry,
considering the patchwork of self-contained cannabis economies across
Pot can't cross state lines today, even between two states where the
drug is allowed. Should federal laws change, high-cost growers and
areas with less favorable climates for cannabis growing will be undercut.
[continues 518 words]
A landmark battle in the war on drugs ended Tuesday, and a new
approach to address racial inequities began, as Gov. J.B. Pritzker
acted to legalize marijuana in Illinois effective Jan. 1, 2020.
Sponsors called the change "historic" as Pritzker signed into law a
bill that will allow Illinois residents 21 and over to possess up to
30 grams of cannabis flower, 5 grams of concentrate and 500 milligrams
of THC infused in edibles and other products. Out-of-state visitors
may have up to half those amounts.
[continues 1023 words]
Marking a historic moment in an expanding national movement, Illinois
Gov. J.B. Pritzker has signed legislation that makes recreational
marijuana legal in Illinois.
After debate in Springfield earlier this year - during which one
lawmaker even cracked eggs into a frying pan to depict the "brain on
drugs" - the bill allowing possession and sales to begin on Jan. 1 was
approved by the House and Senate.
Illinois became the 11th state to legalize cannabis and the first
state in which a legislature approved commercial sales. Vermont
lawmakers legalized possession, but not yet commercial sales. Approval
in other states came via referendum.
[continues 609 words]
This was supposed to be the year full cannabis legalization in the
U.S. moved much closer to being a reality. Instead it has been a
disaster for advocates. Although Illinois legalized recreational use
on the final day of its legislative schedule, a half-dozen other
deep-blue states that were expected to legalize failed to
follow-including New York.
Advocates want to believe legalization on their terms, with few
restrictions on marketing and age limits potentially as low as 18,
remains inevitable. Polls show that between 62% and 66% of Americans
support legalization. But cannabis supporters are wrong, and the
pushback against marijuana has only begun.
[continues 778 words]
The two young women see themselves in Rue, the stumbling, manipulative
teenage drug addict that Zendaya plays in "Euphoria," the new HBO show.
They see themselves in Rue when she coughs and flushes the toilet so
her mom won't hear her rummaging through the medicine cabinet for
Xanax. They see themselves when Rue cops clean urine from a high
school friend to pass a drug test. They see themselves when Rue
convinces a new friend that getting high first thing in the morning is
a good idea; when she threatens her mother with a piece of broken
glass; when she aspirates her own vomit after overdosing. They see
themselves in Rue's pain, her messiness, her unslakable need to
obliterate all the bad feelings, no matter the cost.
[continues 1290 words]
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- Illinois' new governor delivered on a top
campaign promise Tuesday by signing legislation making the state the
11th to approve marijuana for recreational use in a program offering
legal remedies and economic benefits to minorities whose lives critics
say were damaged by a wayward war on drugs.
Legalization in Illinois also means that nearly 800,000 people with
criminal records for purchasing or possessing 30 grams of marijuana or
less may have those records expunged, a provision minority lawmakers
and interest groups demanded. It also gives cannabis-vendor preference
to minority owners and promises 25% of tax revenue from marijuana
sales to redevelop impoverished communities.
[continues 742 words]
VICTORIA - B.C.'s largest First Nation is accusing the provincial
government of stalling its application for a retail cannabis licence
while it races to open its own public store in the community's prime
The Cowichan Tribes on Vancouver Island are in the sixth month of
trying to get approval for two retail store licences from the
provincial government. As the Cowichan wrestle with a wall of red
tape, and are repeatedly rejected for nation-to-nation talks with the
province, the B.C. government is competing against the First Nation
for the municipal rights to open a store in the community's largest
[continues 715 words]
If you've got the munchies for cannabis edibles, you'll have to go to
the liquor store.
The province has tapped the Nova Scotia Liquor Corp. - which already
sells dried and fresh cannabis, cannabis oil and cannabis accessories
- - to sell edibles, extracts and topicals.
"The NSLC has done a good job in preparing and implementing our new
retail model as recreational cannabis was legalized across Canada,"
said Karen Casey, the minister responsible for the NSLC, in a news
[continues 244 words]
Recent efforts to legalize marijuana in New York and New Jersey have
been stalled - but not killed - by disputes over how exactly to divvy
up the revenues from marijuana sales and by worries about drugged
driving. Those are both important issues. But another concern should
be at the center of this debate: the medical implications of
legalizing marijuana, particularly for young people.
It's tempting to think marijuana is a harmless substance that poses no
threat to teens and young adults. The medical facts, however, reveal a
[continues 495 words]
TORONTO - Adam Ash, 37, wasn't the least bit shy in explaining why he
was at the Hunny Pot Cannabis Co., a four-story boutique on Queen
Street West in the middle of the city's downtown district.
"Marijuana," the Toronto resident said midday on a recent Monday, a
little bewildered as to why someone would even bother asking.
Glass containers of marijuana flower were laid out on tables
throughout the shop, amid glass cases of rolling papers, pipes, bongs,
grinders and vaporizers. Employees known as "bud tenders" worked the
floors, ready to provide advice and recommendations for picking just
the right strain.
[continues 803 words]
In the next few weeks, Nicholas DiPatrizio's lab at UC Riverside will
receive a shipment of marijuana.
DiPatrizio, a professor of biomedical sciences, then will begin giving
mice precise doses of cannabis oil to see how marijuana impacts their
weight and a host of serious health conditions often linked to obesity.
The study marks the first time UC Riverside has received federal
approval to conduct research on marijuana -- or any other substance in
the Drug Enforcement Administration's strict Schedule I category. It
also marks the school's first cannabis-related grant, with $744,000
from tobacco taxes being used to finance this three-year research
project on how marijuana affects metabolic health.
[continues 1049 words]
Re "Marijuana Damages Young Brains," by Kenneth L. Davis and Mary
Jeanne Kreek (Op-Ed, June 17):
No one is advocating that young people either consume or have ready
access to cannabis. In fact, it is precisely because marijuana use may
pose potential risks to certain consumers - for example, adolescents
or people with a family history of psychiatric illness - that NORML
believes that lawmakers should regulate it accordingly.
These regulations should include age restrictions, prohibitions on the
unlicensed commercial production or retail sale of the plant and
rational limits with regard to product marketing.
[continues 90 words]
ALBANY - New York's plan to legalize marijuana this year collapsed on
Wednesday, dashing hopes for a potential billion-dollar industry that
supporters said would create jobs in minority communities and end
decades of racially disproportionate policing.
Democratic lawmakers had been in a headlong race to finalize an
agreement before the end of the legislative session this week. But
persistent disagreement about how to regulate the industry, as well as
hesitation from moderate lawmakers, proved insurmountable.
"It is clear now that M.R.T.A. is not going to pass this session,"
Senator Liz Krueger of Manhattan said in a statement on Wednesday
morning, using an acronym for the legalization bill she had sponsored.
"We came very close to crossing the finish line, but we ran out of
[continues 806 words]
An association between weed and the dead turns out to have been
established long before the 1960s and far beyond a certain ur-band's
stomping grounds in San Francisco.
Researchers have identified strains of cannabis burned in mortuary
rituals as early as 500 B.C., deep in the Pamir mountains in western
China, according to a new study published Wednesday. The residue had
chemical signatures indicating high levels of tetrahydrocannabinol
(THC), the plant's most psychoactive, or mood-altering, compound.
[continues 1030 words]
It can seem as though everyone in Silicon Valley is either heading to
or coming back from a psychedelic trip, and it is probably Michael
He did after all write a best seller, "How to Change Your Mind," about
how healthful psychedelics can be. His neighbor Ayelet Waldman, whose
memoir "A Really Good Day" recounts how taking acid helped her mood
and marriage, has something to do with it, too. And now, inspired by
Pollan, the writer T.C. Boyle has a new novel, "Outside Looking In,"
about Timothy Leary, the charismatic Harvard professor turned
psychedelics pied piper of the 1960s.
[continues 1164 words]
A new study shoots down the notion that medical marijuana laws can
prevent opioid overdose deaths, challenging a favorite talking point
of legal pot advocates.
Researchers repeated an analysis that sparked excitement years ago.
The previous work linked medical marijuana laws to slower than
expected increases in state prescription opioid death rates from 1999
to 2010. The original authors speculated patients might be
substituting marijuana for painkillers, but they warned against
Still, states ravaged by painkiller overdose deaths began to rethink
marijuana, leading several to legalize pot for medical use.
[continues 409 words]
MINFORD, Ohio - Inside an elementary school classroom decorated with
colorful floor mats, art supplies and building blocks, a little boy
named Riley talked quietly with a teacher about how he had watched his
mother take "knockout pills" and had seen his father shoot up "a
Riley, who is 9 years old, described how he had often been left alone
to care for his baby brother while his parents were somewhere else
getting high. Beginning when he was about 5, he would heat up meals of
fries, chicken nuggets and spaghetti rings in the microwave for
himself and his brother, he said. "That was all I knew how to make,"
[continues 1851 words]
Planet 13 in Las Vegas has attracted international attention since it
opened perhaps the world's biggest marijuana store last fall, with
3,000 people shopping each day for newly legal cannabis products while
surrounded by light shows and interactive art displays that feel
natural a few miles off The Strip.
Now Planet 13 has announced that its second location - and likely the
largest cannabis shop in California - will open early next year. And
since it's being billed as the "Disneyland of dispensaries," it's
fitting that it's opening just six miles from the theme park, in an
industrial stretch of Santa Ana.
[continues 734 words]
New data about the effects of the First Step Act, a bipartisan prison
reform bill that President Trump signed into law in December, is
showing that past injustices can be corrected, even in the most
politically polarized of times.
Last week, the United States Sentencing Commission, an independent
agency that advises federal judges on carrying out changes to
sentencing policy, reported that in the four months after the law went
into effect, more than 1,000 federal inmates were granted a sentence
reduction for offenses involving crack cocaine. In 2010, Congress
passed legislation to address these racially unjust sentences, but
that change wasn't retroactive.
[continues 448 words]
New trials have shown the drug psilocybin to be highly effective in
treating depression, with Oakland the latest US city to in effect
decriminalise it last week. Some researchers say it could become
'indefensible' to ignore the evidence - but how would it work as a
Lying on a bed in London's Hammersmith hospital ingesting capsules of
psilocybin, the active ingredient of magic mushrooms, Michael had
little idea what would happen next. The 56-year-old part-time website
developer from County Durham in northern England had battled
depression for 30 years and had tried talking therapies and many types
of antidepressant with no success. His mother's death from cancer,
followed by a friend's suicide, had left him at one of his lowest
points yet. Searching online to see if mushrooms sprouting in his yard
were the hallucinogenic variety, he had come across a pioneering
medical trial at Imperial College London.
[continues 2146 words]
The Oakland City Council passed a resolution Tuesday night that
decriminalizes certain natural psychedelics, including mushrooms, a
move that makes Oakland the second city in the nation to do so.
The resolution instructs law enforcement to stop investigating and
prosecuting people using the drugs. It applies to psychedelics that
come from plants or fungi, not synthetic drugs like LSD or MDMA, also
known as ecstasy.
After the vote, nearly 100 supporters rose from their chairs, clapped
and cheered loudly.
"I don't have words, I could cry," said Nicolle Greenheart, the
co-founder of Decriminalize Nature Oakland. "I'm thrilled. I'm glad
that our communities will now have access to the healing medicines and
we can start working on healing our communities."
[continues 459 words]
NEW YORK - Roky Erickson, the blue-eyed, dark-haired Texan who headed
the Austin-based 13th Floor Elevators, a pioneering psychedelic rock
band in the 1960s that scored with "You're Gonna Miss Me," has died.
He was 71.
Erickson's sinuous lead guitar and wailing vocals didn't turn him into
a chart topper, but they cemented his role as a musician's musician.
Fans included everyone from Lenny Kaye and the Swedish metal group
Ghost - who covered his "If You Have Ghosts" - to ZZ Top's Billy Gibbons.
[continues 225 words]
UCSF psychiatrist Brian Anderson is studying an experimental therapy
to help long-term AIDS survivors - people who were infected with HIV
in the 1980s and never expected to live this long - who are feeling
sad and demoralized.
In a clinic outfitted with a comfortable couch, soft lighting, throw
pillows and blankets, the participants of his study are given
psilocybin, the hallucinogenic compound found in magic mushrooms. They
lie down for a few hours, a mask over their eyes and soothing music
playing in the background, and experience a psychedelic trip.
[continues 1514 words]