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rescinded when the company found out that she smoked prescription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.
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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 waiting room at NiaMedic Healthcare & Research Services looked just
like every other doctor's office at the Saddleback Medical Center in
California's Laguna Hills: unflattering overhead lighting, landscape
paintings and a smiling person in scrubs behind the reception desk. It
was the ideal location to attract NiaMedic's target demographic:
seniors. Saddleback is nestled in the rolling hills of a region
surrounded by at least 15 retirement communities, including the over
18,000-resident Laguna Woods Village. But the patients who come through
NiaMedic's doors generally start with the same question: Can marijuana help?
[continues 1971 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]