State-sanctioned marijuana shops are contributing to the rise in lung
illnesses and deaths at a higher rate than previously believed.
Proponents of the marijuana industry have dismissed the "pot vaping
crisis," with its deaths and lung injuries, as an aberration of the
illicit market. Legal pot, they say, is regulated and thus not to
blame for the recent spate of problems. Victims and families who came
forward to warn about purchases made at state-licensed shops were
lambasted by legalization advocates. When the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention advised against using all marijuana vaping
products, industry insiders questioned their motives and called the
warnings conspiracy theories.
[continues 476 words]
Three years after recreational marijuana was legalized in California,
it still casts a cloud over most job applicants.
Many employers in the state still require drug screening as a
prerequisite for hiring someone, experts in the hiring field say. And
while recreational use and possession are allowed for people 21 and
older, failing a drug test can still prompt an employer to toss a
resume into the reject pile.
But with 11 states now legalizing recreational marijuana use, there
are new perspectives that might be giving workers something of a break.
[continues 517 words]
Researchers hope the findings counter recent trends of mothers using
marijuana for pregnancy-related nausea symptoms.
Researchers in Minnesota and Iowa have found greater risks of social
and emotional problems in infants whose mothers consumed marijuana
Using results of a developmental screening tool for 1-year-olds, the
researchers found that 9.1% of babies from marijuana users were at
risk, compared to 3.6% of babies whose mothers didn't consume the drug
Researchers said the size of that gap was surprising, along with
screening results showing that 8% of mothers tested positive during
pregnancy for the presence of THC, the psychoactive component in
marijuana, said Dr. Elyse Kharbanda, lead researcher of the study from
the HealthPartners Institute in Bloomington, Minn. Researchers from
the universities of Minnesota and Iowa co-authored the study, which
was published in the Journal of Perinatology.
[continues 286 words]
When Garrett Rigg moved from a "transitional living program" facility
near Chicago last month into a group home, it was a major milestone
for the 27-year-old, who traveled 1,000 miles from his home in Denver
to get treatment after a cannabis-induced psychotic break five years
Rigg had to leave his hometown because it lacked suitable long-term
treatment, according to his mother, Connie Kabrick. The three
marijuana dispensaries at the intersection a half block from her home
are the reason why she says he can't move
[continues 448 words]
Regarding your editorial "The Vaping-Marijuana Nexus" (Dec. 26):
Tobacco, marijuana and vaping companies mislead the public on the
clear harms associated with wider use of today's higher-THC-content
marijuana and inhaling substances other than clean air. Opponents of
expansion of marijuana availability acknowledge concerns about
disparate enforcement of drug laws. But the costs to society from
legitimizing the addiction industry far outweigh the benefits.
Meanwhile, proponents of recreational marijuana push the false
narrative of a tax windfall for governments and improved safety for
users while ignoring the harms: mental-health issues, addiction, acute
and chronic lung disease, domestic violence and more.
Dr. Madejski was president of the Medical Society of the State of New
York from 2018 to 2019.
"Is Marijuana Fueling a Public-Health Crisis?"
The statistic from your editorial, that "95% of heroin and cocaine
users report first using pot," doesn't prove much. Remember, 99% of
criminal motorcycle-gang members started by riding bicycles.
David Allan Van Nostrand
Boca Raton, Fla.
As a physician specializing in drug safety, I agree that "pot is more
dangerous than people realize, and Americans should pause on the rush
to legalize until we understand how much medical and social harm it is
The safety profile of cannabis is largely unknown. The states and localities
that have legalized marijuana have focused on the quality of marijuana
products, but haven't required anyone to systematically report side effects.
That needs to change. Since today's marijuana products are four to five times
more potent than past products, old data understates the safety issues.
I fear that the marijuana story is a slow-moving train wreck. We're
witnessing widespread use of largely unregulated and untested products
which may be toxic in themselves as well as adulterated or
Chapel Hill, N.C.
One in five Americans reside in a jurisdiction where the adult use of
cannabis is legal under state statute, and the majority of citizens
reside some place where the medical use of cannabis is legally
authorized. Many of these latter programs have been in place for the
better part of two decades.
Were the societal impacts of these policies not preferable to those
associated with criminal prohibition, or as dire to public health as some
critics suggest, then support for marijuana policy reform would be rapidly
declining. Instead, the opposite is true.
[continues 69 words]
I've covered things that injure, sicken and kill kids and adults for
more than 30 years. From auto safety to medical errors, I've competed
to break stories on the latest deadly defect or health policy change,
most recently on electronic cigarettes.
In late August, I added vaping-related lung illnesses to the beat.
Last month, I added marijuana, psychosis and other mental illness.
It's a pretty solitary place to be.
We reporters covered the heck out of vaping lung illnesses starting in
August. Once it became clear the culprit was THC and not nicotine,
however, the news media seemed to lose interest, said former Food and
Drug Administration chief Scott Gottlieb at a breakfast event I
attended in early November.
[continues 784 words]
SHINAHOTA, Bolivia-During nearly 14 years as president, Evo Morales
pampered the Chapare, the coca leaf-growing jungle region of central
Bolivia where he got his start in politics.
Mr. Morales expelled U.S. antidrug agents and promoted the health
benefits of the coca leaf, the raw material for cocaine, which is
legal and chewed by many indigenous people. His socialist government
built a paper mill, an airport, and a 25,000-seat soccer stadium in
the region. In turn, the farmers gave Mr. Morales, the head of a
federation of coca growers, their fervent support.
[continues 902 words]
It's a new year and, for Illinois, a new era of recreational
Weed dispensaries across the state opened their doors before sunrise
Wednesday, welcoming long lines of customers - some who had been
waiting since 4 a.m.
"Cheers to lighting up the start of 2020!" one dispensary, Sunnyside,
wrote on its Facebook page.
Under Illinois law, anyone over 21 with a valid state ID or driver's
license can purchase recreational marijuana from licensed retailers.
Illinois started off the new decade by embarking into the world of
recreational marijuana, where people can buy the intoxicating plant
legally and without a prescription.
Across the Chicago area, thousands lined up - some before dawn - for a
chance to buy marijuana legally for the first time. The day featured
long lines, a few glitches - and lots of happy customers.
"It's history, so it's worth the wait," Damien Smith of Maywood said
as he left MedMen dispensary in Oak Park with a bag of cannabis
products after waiting in line for about four hours.
[continues 4958 words]
Your editorial "The Vaping-Marijuana Nexus" (Dec. 26) is a wake-up
call for parents and politicians. Marijuana isn't harmless. Nor is it
legal under federal law, and for good reason. It contains more than
460 different chemicals and, as the editorial board points out, it's
four to five times more powerful than the marijuana of the 1970s, '80s
Extensive scientific research has documented serious harm to brain
development for teenage regular users, major consequences for pregnant
and nursing mothers and significant impairment for drivers and others
performing sensitive tasks. Colorado, the first state to legalize
marijuana, leads the nation in use by 12-to-17-year-olds. Meanwhile,
the gangs and drug dealers are cheering because their sales have
skyrocketed, selling to minors and others at lower prices than
dispensaries can offer.
[continues 60 words]
The editorial board is right to take a stand and tell the truth about
marijuana. The grand marijuana human experiment in the "legal" states,
abetted by an addiction-for-profit industry and politicians hungry for
tax revenue, has taken a cruel toll.
By any objective benchmark, the experiments have failed:
emergency-room visits, driving fatalities, calls to poison control,
youth use and suicidal ideation have increased since legalization.
Overproduction and black-market sales have collapsed the legal revenue
streams, which are insufficient to cover the societal harms caused by
[continues 140 words]
It is difficult to keep track of the fallacies and straw men in your
reefer madness rant. Start with the obvious: The federal ban on
cannabis makes it impossible for legal, federally regulated
e-cigarette makers to develop and market safe THC cartridges for
vaping. Consequently, most THC cartridges are dangerous bootleg
products sold on the black market. Federal legalization would lead to
improved product safety for which manufacturers would be held
The reason unlicensed dispensaries are flourishing in California
relates to the state's exorbitant taxes and burdensome regulations.
This isn't the case in Colorado and Washington, where an oversupply of
legal cannabis outlets has driven prices down so much that state-based
growers turn to California's black market in search of profits.
[continues 101 words]
CHICAGO - The sale of marijuana for recreational purposes became legal
Wednesday in Illinois to the delight of pot fans - many who began
lining up hours early at dispensaries.
About 500 people were outside Dispensary 33 in Chicago. Renzo Mejia
made the first legal purchase in the shop shortly after 6 a.m., the
earliest that Illinois' new law allowed such sales.
"To be able to have (recreational marijuana) here is just
mind-boggling," Mejia told the Chicago Sun-Times after buying an
eighth of an ounce called "Motorbreath."
[continues 590 words]
For years, Richard Manning knew what he needed to cope with his
physical pain, rage and PTSD - much of which he traced to a
career-ending knee injury he suffered while on a domestic security
detail with the Marines.
Cannabis may not have been a cure-all, but it was the closest thing
he'd ever had to one.
Manning, a resident of Elk Grove, Calif., didn't have enough money to
buy the daily amount of cannabis he needed, but he was able to get it
through a network of charitable donors spawned by the Compassionate
Use Act, a 1996 California law that allowed marijuana to be used for
[continues 992 words]
As California enters its third year of legal recreational cannabis
sales, many expect upcoming new laws, high-profile court cases and
major criminal justice reforms to shake up the industry.
Marijuana advocates are wary after a challenging second year, but most
also are hopeful that changes in 2020 will put them in a better
position a year from now.
"We always knew it would be an uphill battle," said Robert Flannery of
Dr. Robb Farms, a cannabis cultivation company based in Desert Hot
Springs. "But there are very few people who are not generally
optimistic about the cannabis industry."
[continues 971 words]
ROME - Growing small amounts of marijuana at home for private use is
not a crime, Italy's top court has ruled, putting an end to a
years-long legal dispute and adding Italy to the short list of
countries to allow cultivation of recreational cannabis.
A 1990s law prohibits the cultivation and sale of marijuana in Italy,
but conflicting court decisions, and a 2016 amendment that opened a
loophole in the law, created confusion over how it should be
The country's highest court appears to have settled at least part of
the question, writing in a one-page statement of its findings that "at
home, small-scale cultivation activities are to be considered excluded
from the application of the penal code."
[continues 599 words]
Graham Saunders is a man in high demand.
When U.S. cannabis companies need financing they can't find elsewhere,
they turn to this Toronto banker who operates far from Wall Street.
Since the spring of 2016, Mr. Saunders's team at Canadian boutique
firm Canaccord Genuity Group Inc. has helped finance more than half of
all pot deals in the global equity markets, raising more than $5
billion from investors, according to Dealogic.
The king of pot financing presents himself in business meetings as a
banker from another era, sporting pinstripe suits, monogrammed cuff
links and slicked-back hair. He drives a Bentley, has a collection of
expensive watches, and answers to his high-school nickname, "Sudsy."
Mr. Saunders, 51, has become so identified with cannabis that he has a
jacket with marijuana leaves printed on it.
[continues 1912 words]
A surge in vaping related lung illnesses this year caught the medical
community by surprise, with the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC) reporting more than 2,500 lung illnesses and 54
deaths. Politicians are targeting e-cigarettes, but the CDC reported
last week that marijuana is so far the greatest common
This is another reminder that America is undertaking a risky social
experiment by legalizing and especially destigmatizing cannabis, and
the potential effects are hard to foresee or control. The same
political culture that is in a fury over legal opioids, and is trying
to bankrupt drug companies as compensation, seems to have no problem
celebrating a drug that may be damaging young brains for a lifetime.
[continues 642 words]
Baba Ram Dass, who epitomized the 1960s of legend by popularizing
psychedelic drugs with Timothy Leary, a fellow Harvard academic,
before finding spiritual inspiration in India, died on Sunday at his
home on Maui, Hawaii. He was 88.
His death was announced on his official Instagram account.
Having returned from India as a bushy-bearded, barefoot, white-robed
guru, Ram Dass, who was born Richard Alpert, became a peripatetic
lecturer on New Age possibilities and a popular author of more than a
dozen inspirational books.
[continues 1499 words]
The Coffee Joint, the first establishment to hold a cannabis
consumption license in Denver, is now the second pot lounge business
to apply for a state social consumption license.
Colorado Springs social lounge Studio A64 successfully applied for a
social consumption license at the state Marijuana Enforcement Division
office three hours before Coffee Joint owners Rita Tsalyuk and Kirill
Merkulov could beat them to it.
Studio A64 could not be reached for comment, but Tsalyuk and Merkulov
say the opportunity to apply for a state license is a big step for all
cannabis businesses. "This is bigger than us. It's just a bigger step
in the industry," Tsalyuk explains. "It opens the door to do something
different and plan ahead for the next year."
[continues 345 words]
Early one morning in March, Madison McIntosh showed up on his day off
at the Scottsdale, Arizona, driving range and restaurant where he
worked. The 24-year-old sat in his car until the place opened, then
wandered around all day, alternating between gibberish and talk of
suicide as co-workers tried to keep him away from customers.
When he was still there 12 hours later, the manager contacted
McIntosh's father in Las Vegas, who called police and rallied other
family members states away to converge at the young man's side.
[continues 72 words]
SMITHS FALLS, Ontario - When Canada became the first major
industrialized nation to legalize recreational marijuana, visions of
billions of dollars in profits inspired growers, retailers and
investors, sending the stock market soaring in a so-called green rush.
A year later, the euphoria has vanished.
"No one wants to invest in it now," said John-Kurt Pliniussen, a
professor of marketing at the Smith School of Business at Queen's
University in Kingston, Ontario.
That is because those who have invested have generally lost money.
During the first year after legalization, the value of shares in
Canada's six largest marijuana companies tumbled by an average of 56
percent, according to stock price data.
[continues 1313 words]
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms wants to restrict public access to
people's criminal records for convictions of less than an ounce of
marijuana - an executive action announced Monday that she said was "in
keeping with our commitment to meaningful criminal justice reform."
The administrative order requires city officials - specifically the
chief operating officer, city attorney, solicitor and chief judge of
the Municipal Court - to establish a standard process by which people
can apply to have those court records made off-limits to everyone
except law enforcement by Feb. 1.
[continues 51 words]
TULSA, Okla. - The teenager had pink cheeks from the cold and a
matter-of-fact tone as she explained why she had started using
methamphetamine after becoming homeless last year.
"Having nowhere to sleep, nothing to eat - that's where meth comes
into play," said the girl, 17, who asked to be identified by her
nickname, Rose. "Those things aren't a problem if you're using."
She stopped two months ago, she said, after smoking so much meth over
a 24-hour period that she hallucinated and nearly jumped off a bridge.
Deaths associated with meth use are climbing here in Oklahoma and in
many other states, an alarming trend for a nation battered by the
opioid epidemic, and one that public health officials are struggling
to fully explain.
[continues 1580 words]
MORRISTOWN, Tenn. - The Hamblen County Jail has been described as a
dangerously overcrowded "cesspool of a dungeon," with inmates sleeping
on mats in the hallways, lawyers forced to meet their clients in a
supply closet and the people inside subjected to "horrible conditions"
And that's the county sheriff talking.
Jail populations used to be concentrated in big cities. But since
2013, the number of people locked up in rural, conservative counties
such as Hamblen has skyrocketed, driven by the nation's drug crisis.
[continues 1477 words]
Dannis Billups' addiction nightmare began with an actual nightmare
when he was about 4 years old. His daddy sat him on his knee and gave
him a half-can of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer to soothe him.
In the 1980s, he joined the "family trade," a young black man peddling
crack cocaine on the streets of Newark, New Jersey, profiting from
other people's addiction and pain.
Within a few years, he became his best customer. His life became a
never-ending ride on the criminal justice carousel: arrests, jail,
probation and then back in the system for another spin, some two dozen
times, on and off the ride he went.
"They would never offer you treatment," said Billups, now 53. "They
would just lock you away and forget about you."
There's not much solid data about how widespread the use of a
psychoactive plant called kratom is in the U.S.
But if what Dr. Marvin Seppala is seeing in addiction treatment
centers all over the country is any indication, use of kratom isn't
just on the rise; it's becoming normalized.
"What we're seeing is regular use of it, especially in adolescents and
young adults," said Seppala, chief medical officer at the Hazelden
Betty Ford Foundation and a 2018 CivicCon speaker. "It really fits in
with alcohol, marijuana and tobacco. It's legal, so it's really easy
for kids to get a hold of, and they'll try it to see what it does to
[continues 72 words]
Two Midwestern states are breaking into the recreational marijuana
market, and dispensaries are expecting huge crowds.
Legal weed sales began Sunday in Michigan, where a handful of
dispensaries in Ann Arbor planned to be open for business. The
landmark moment in the state's cannabis industry comes amid a
temporary ban on the sale of vaping devices in Michigan as health
officials investigate the causes of vaping-related lung illnesses nationwide.
In Illinois, where officials are grappling with a lack of racial
equity in the cannabis industry, sales are expected to begin New Year's Day.
The states are the 10th and 11th nationwide to allow recreational
Thirty-three states allow the sale of marijuana for medical use, which
Michigan legalized in 2008, followed by Illinois in 2013.
LONDON - Homeless drug users in Scotland will be allowed to inject
pharmaceutical-grade heroin twice a day under the supervision of
medical officials as part of a new program intended to reduce drug
deaths and H.I.V. infection.
From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week, a $1.5 million facility in
Glasgow that opened on Tuesday will allow a handful of drug users to
receive doses of the drug alongside other treatment for their physical
and psychological health, according to Glasgow City Council.
[continues 841 words]
LOS ANGELES - Every Sunday, about two dozen people gather at a green
cabin along the main drag of Big Bear, Calif., a small mountain town
known for its namesake lake. They go there for Jah Healing Church
services, where joints are passed around.
April Mancini, a founder of the church, said she was drawn to the idea
of cannabis as a religious sacrament back in 2013, after she met a
Rastafarian who was running the place as an unlicensed medicinal dispensary.
[continues 2224 words]
In an effort to discourage drug use and vaping, a Catholic high school in
Ohio has announced plans to begin testing its students for drugs and
nicotine, joining what education professionals are calling a growing trend.
Administrators at Stephen T. Badin High School in Hamilton, Ohio, said in
a letter to parents this week that the drug-testing program, which they
said had been shaped over the course of two years with help from the
Archdiocese of Cincinnati, would go into effect in January.
[continues 670 words]
QUJING, China-In China, marijuana is seen as a dangerous narcotic, and
possession is strictly punished. That hasn't stopped the country from
trying to become a powerhouse in the fast-growing industry for
China has grown hemp, a strain of cannabis, for thousands of years to use
in clothing and traditional medicine and is one of the world's largest
hemp producers. The country is using that foothold to churn out
cannabidiol, or CBD, a loosely regulated chemical related to marijuana
that is finding its way into products as diverse as bath bombs and pet food.
[continues 910 words]
LONDON - Cannabis-based medicines were approved on Monday for use by
the National Health Service in England and Wales, a milestone decision
that could change the lives of thousands of patients.
Three treatments using medicinal cannabis were authorized by the
National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, a public body that
provides guidance on health care practices. The decision comes a year
after Sajid Javid, then the British home secretary, said that some doctors
could legally prescribe the drug in special cases.
[continues 702 words]
Despite bipartisan calls to treat drug addiction as a public health
issue rather than as a crime - and despite the legalization of
marijuana in more states - arrests for drugs increased again last year.
According to estimated crime statistics released by the F.B.I. in
September, there were 1,654,282 arrests for drugs in 2018, a number
that has increased every year since 2015, after declining over the
previous decade. Meanwhile, arrests for violent crime and property
crime have continued to trend downward.
[continues 1130 words]
The Volstead Act prohibiting intoxicating beverages became law on
October 28, 1919-a century ago this week-and came into force a few
months later. Most people now agree that Prohibition was a failure,
driving the alcohol industry underground, where its products became
unsafe, its profits lucrative and tax-free, and its methods violent.
Most countries have since taken the view that it is better to
legalize, regulate and tax drink than to ban it.
Today, there is a similar debate over vaping, a popular new practice
prohibited or heavily restricted in many countries. Electronic
cigarettes, which use heating elements to vaporize liquids usually
containing nicotine, were invented in China in the early 2000s by Hon Lik,
a chemist looking for a way to satisfy his nicotine addiction without
dying of lung cancer as his father had. Nicotine itself is far less
harmful to smokers than the other chemicals created during combustion.
Heavyweight studies confirm that there are much lower levels of dangerous
chemicals in e-cigarette vapor than in smoke and fewer biomarkers of harm
in the bodies of vapers than smokers.
[continues 1175 words]
Last year, after the vote to legalize adult-use recreational marijuana in
Michigan was certified, people lined up outside provisioning centers with
the expectation that they would be allowed to buy some in those locations
- - only to find that a state medical certification was still required.
Nearly a year later, folks are still wondering when they'll be able to
walk into a store and buy some weed.
The conventional answer to that question is probably sometime early in
2020. That's based on the Marijuana Regulatory Agency's stated plan to
start taking applications from businesses that already have medical
marijuana business licenses this fall. MRA people have said that they will
process these applications with dispatch. And since these already
medically licensed businesses have already gone through the rigorous
licensing process, it should be quicker and easier than the first time around.
[continues 870 words]
The sports industry's embrace of cannabis products is continuing to
evolve as U.S.A. Triathlon has become the first national governing
body of an American sport to make a sponsorship deal with a company
that sells products containing cannabidiol, or CBD.
CBD is a nonintoxicating compound that, like the intoxicating compound
THC, is found in varying amounts in hemp, a legal cannabis plant. In 2018,
the World Anti-Doping Agency removed CBD from its list of banned
substances. THC and scores of other cannabinoids remain on the banned
list, but by removing CBD, WADA opened the door for elite athletes to use
and endorse CBD products.
[continues 927 words]
For the past three and a half months, marijuana has essentially been
decriminalized in Miami. After Florida legalized hemp July 1, the
Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office announced it would no longer
prosecute most minor marijuana charges because the substance is
virtually indistinguishable from hemp.
Nevertheless, the City of Miami Beach has passed a municipal ordinance to
discourage people from smoking weed in public. At a meeting last week,
city commissioners unanimously voted to outlaw public smoking of marijuana
[continues 294 words]
SACRAMENTO - Gov. Gavin Newsom led the campaign to legalize marijuana in
California three years ago but has since angered some in the industry by
refusing to allow pot in hospitals and outlawing its use on tour buses and
Newsom took the action on tour buses and hospitals as he signed
several other bills in the last few weeks that will ease pot
restrictions, including measures waiving taxes on cannabis provided
for free by charities to people with serious health problems and
allowing parents to provide medical marijuana products such as oils,
creams and pills to their sick children on K-12 school campuses.
[continues 918 words]
SAN FRANCISCO - For years, a divisive debate has raged in the United
States over the health consequences of nicotine e-cigarettes. During
the same time, vaping of a more contentious substance has been swiftly
growing, with scant notice from public health officials.
Millions of people now inhale marijuana not from joints or pipes
filled with burning leaves but through sleek devices and cartridges
filled with flavored cannabis oils. People in the legalized marijuana
industry say vaping products now account for 30 percent or more of their
business. Teenagers, millennials and baby boomers alike have been drawn to
the technology - no ash, a faint smell, easy to hide - and the potentially
dangerous consequences are only now becoming evident.
[continues 1921 words]
The medical marijuana program in Illinois is seeing record growth
since changes in the law greatly expanded the program and made it
easier for patients to participate.
More than 87,000 patients have qualified for the program since stores
opened in November 2015 - including a spike of almost 37,000 in the fiscal
year ending June 30, a 93% increase, according to state records. The surge
of new patients exceeds the number signed up in any previous fiscal year,
based on the latest annual report on medical cannabis by the Illinois
Department of Public Health.
[continues 976 words]
At 74, the venture capitalist George Sarlo might not have seemed an
obvious candidate for an ayahuasca experience. Mr. Sarlo, a Hungarian
Jewish immigrant who arrived in the United States in 1956, has had great
professional success as the co-founder of Walden Venture Capital. He lives
in an upscale San Francisco neighborhood, in a large house with an
unobstructed view of the Golden Gate Bridge.
And yet something was always lacking. Mr. Sarlo's father had
disappeared from their Budapest home in 1942. He had been drafted in a
forced labor battalion, an experience he did not survive. At age 4, George
had told himself that it was because he was "a bad boy" that his father
had left that day, early in the morning, without saying goodbye. He
believes that he never recovered from that early loss.
[continues 2009 words]
There's no getting around it: Year one of legalized cannabis in Canada was
It was an unmitigated disaster for many investors. The bubble burst, and
the shares of most large Canadian marijuana producers dropped by at least
50 per cent. The public markets are largely closed to the industry; at the
moment, there's simply no appetite for more pot stocks.
The Trudeau government's goal wasn't to make shareholders or investment
banks rich, though. It was to whittle down the black- market marijuana
business. Giving cannabis users a place to buy regulated marijuana would
generate new tax revenue, open up new business opportunities and reduce
the burden on police and the courts.
[continues 2267 words]
I'm sorry to say that Dr. Scott Gottlieb has it completely backward
("Pot Legalization Makes Vaping Deadly," op-ed, Oct. 11). The correct way
to fix the problem of poisonous THC vaping is to legalize and regulate it.
His article goes on and on citing the consequences of not doing so. I'm
sure he doesn't realize it, but he is simply underscoring the reasons why
some states have stepped forward to protect their citizens by bringing
marijuana into the legal and regulated arena.
When Juul Labs and Pax Labs split from one company into two in 2017,
they seemed destined to reach new heights.
Juul would conquer the e-cigarette industry. Pax would dominate the
marijuana vaping business.
Their fortunes, however, quickly diverged. Juul found itself under
fire for its alleged role in getting kids hooked on nicotine after
pitching itself as a safe alternative to cigarettes; Pax largely
escaped scrutiny as the burgeoning cannabis market made the company
irresistible to investors.
But that honeymoon period might be ending for Pax.
A shot glass emblazoned with a marijuana leaf is up for sale. Jackpot
prizes include pure hemp rolling paper. Nearby, groups of people enjoy
drinks and dinner while chatting about why weed should be decriminalized
and legalized in Georgia.
Thaddeus Willis, a Gwinnett County resident and Air Force veteran, has
heard about the push to lessen the penalty for possessing small
amounts of weed in Georgia.
"That's the first step," said Willis, enjoying chicken Parmesan and a soda
at the monthly meeting for Peachtree NORML, a pro-marijuana
advocacy group. Eventually, he said, "It needs to be made legal here."
There may be some hurdles, but there is legal standing for the murder
prosecution of a DeKalb County man who allegedly sold drugs to a
22-year-old who later fatally overdosed, local experts said.
The case against Antoin Thornton, 28, is believed to be the first of
its kind for DeKalb. Thornton allegedly sold heroin to Alexander
Whitehead, who was found dead at a Dunwoody apartment complex in
March. Police said the drugs, laced with the potent opioid fentanyl,
caused the overdose.
[continues 54 words]