To the editor: The commercial interests driving the rapid legalization
of marijuana in California call to mind the playbook of Big Tobacco.
("For marijuana users, it's high times as California makes
recreational use legal," Jan. 2)
Decades passed and millions of lives were harmed before the adverse
impact of cigarettes was acknowledged. During that time, Big Tobacco
stifled government investigation of tobacco's potential harm while
manipulating their product's addictive properties and marketing to
Since the liberalization of marijuana laws in Colorado, more people
use marijuana than ever before, and many have or will become addicted.
Use of healthcare resources for marijuana-associated illnesses has
also increased here.
[continues 105 words]
To the editor: The three letters you published in "California moves into
its marijuana future on Jan. 1. Some readers are not eager to make the
leap" stated the following concerns about marijuana use, most of which
apply equally to alcohol.
Law enforcement does not have adequate test criteria for driving under
the influence. While there is no blood-alcohol test for pot, police have
many other field sobriety tests, including "walking the line," reciting
the alphabet backward and the "eye and penlight test." A driver may pass
the 0.08% blood alcohol content test and still be arrested for DUI if he
or she drives erratically or exhibits slurred speech or other cognitive
[continues 55 words]
To the editor: For far too long, our poor, working class and communities
of color have been suffering due to unjust criminal persecution for
minor offenses like possession of marijuana.
The time for criminal justice reform is long overdue. We ought to divert
money from prisons into education and drug recovery programs.
What happened in Portugal after it decriminalized drugs compared with
the U.S. when Presidents Nixon, Reagan and Clinton fought their war on
drugs is incredibly telling. We need to change our way of thinking and
get back to helping our communities, our brothers and sisters, succeed
and thrive in this country.
Melissa Veenhuizen, Long Beach
"Groove on! Groove on!" blared from speakers outside a gray warehouse
in Santa Ana. Inside, a line of 60 people snaked through the shop,
waiting to be helped by a budtender.
"We were bombarded!" said Robert Taft Jr., founder of the marijuana
dispensary 420 Central.
When the shop opened at 7 a.m. Monday -- Day 1 of legal recreational
pot sales in California -- a handful of people had already lined up.
Within two hours, more than 100 customers, some still nursing holiday
hangovers, had made purchases. As they walked out, Taft shouted,
"Enjoy your new freedom!"
[continues 1117 words]
The state has issued 104 licenses for retail stores to sell marijuana
for recreational use in California and 239 other applications for
those permits are pending, officials said Tuesday.
An official with the state Bureau of Cannabis Control added that the
agency is prepared to begin taking enforcement action against pot
shops that are not properly licensed.
"The bureau's enforcement team is ready to respond to any complaints
it receives and start doing compliance checks and site visits at any
time," said Alex Traverso, a spokesman for the bureau.
[continues 139 words]
The five medical marijuana companies in New York have filed a lawsuit
to block new cannabis businesses, claiming the growth threatens to
kill the fledgling industry that has struggled to sell the drug to
critically ill patients.
The lawsuit seeks to stop the state Department of Health from allowing
five new companies to grow and sell medical marijuana in New York. The
companies in the legal fight include Vireo Health and Etain, which are
selling cannabis-based drugs at dispensaries in downtown White Plains
and Yonkers, The Journal News/lohud has learned from court records.
There is also a dispensary in Kingston, Ulster County.
[continues 913 words]
Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions ended an Obama-era federal policy that
provided legal shelter for marijuana sales in California and five
other states that have allowed recreational pot, placing at risk
thousands of marijuana businesses operating legally under state laws.
The Justice Department move on Thursday plunged California's fledgling
recreational pot market into further uncertainty, and was met with a
bipartisan backlash from lawmakers in states where marijuana is now
sold legally to any adult who wants to buy it.
[continues 1867 words]
Legal sale of recreational marijuana began in California on Monday
with fanfare, and some anxiety.
Companies began selling pot in a relatively small number of businesses
Monday, with more expected to join in the coming days and weeks.
The state has issued dozens of permits for retailers to begin
recreational sales this week, expanding a market that is expected to
grow to $7 billion annually by 2020. Several of those retailers are in
West Hollywood, but they won't open until Tuesday at the city's
request. That makes Santa Ana's licensed stores the closest option for
Angelenos who want to buy recreational marijuana on New Year's Day.
Buyers could also trek to San Diego or the Palm Springs area to
[continues 1015 words]
As Los Angeles moves toward allowing the sale of recreational
marijuana, joining cities across the state in the newly legal
enterprise, police here offered a stern word of caution.
Yes, recreational pot will be legal to sell (and buy, and consume, and
cultivate). But there are limits. And the Los Angeles Police
Department will help enforce them.
"Let me be clear," Assistant Chief Michel Moore said Tuesday. "The use
of marijuana needs to be done in a responsible manner that's
consistent with the law."
[continues 801 words]
The second coming of industrial hemp in Pennsylvania is entering its
second year, with greater opportunities available to interested
farmers, researchers and entrepreneurs thanks to the expanded scope of
the Department of Agriculture's pilot program.
But you still need approval from the state to grow hemp, and the Jan.
19 application deadline is fast approaching. Here's what prospective
applicants need to know:
How to apply: Here's the agriculture department's industrial hemp
landing page, and here's a direct link to the application.
[continues 863 words]