The costs and benefits of cannabis and cannabis policies are difficult
to calculate, but cannabis legalization will remove many impediments
A recent study finding an association between chronic cannabis use by
young people and diminished life outcomes acknowledged "while we
controlled for multiple potential confounds, it is possible that there
are other explanatory mechanisms that have not been accounted for ...
in the current study."
Oddly, one of the confounds the study neglected to control for is the
self-medication of emotional and psychological problems such as ADHD
and PTSD, which typically stem from childhood trauma: abuse, neglect,
abandonment or, in some cases perhaps, an emotionally unavailable father.
[continues 86 words]
In 2012, Washington State voted to legalize marijuana. By 2014, the
world's first system for legally growing, processing and retailing
cannabis was operating.
As Canada prepares to go live with pot sales in a few months, what can
we learn from four years of practical, hands-on experience in the
western United States?
The first take-away is that all the fretting about the impact on
children and teens is largely unwarranted.
Before legalization, 17 per cent of Grade 10 students in Washington
State said they had smoked pot in the previous month. Four years of
legal doobies later, 17 per cent of Grade 10 students say they have
smoked pot in the previous month.
[continues 663 words]
Manitoba's Justice Minister is calling for federal legislation to
confirm that provinces can ban the home growth of marijuana plants.
"I think that is clear that is provincial jurisdiction to make that
decision. (But) I believe the federal (Justice) Minister made some
comments that were a little concerning, so we wanted clarification on
that," said Justice Minister Heather Stefanson, following a speech to
Manitoba Chambers of Commerce members on cannabis legislation
Thursday. "We've called (for) some clarification from the federal
government. If they could put it specifically in legislation, that
would be best."
[continues 341 words]
Beer sales worked at Fresno State games, so how about pot at campus
I was pleased to read that the (Fresno State) athletic department
benefited financially from beer sales at their games. We all know beer
and sports go nicely together. Perhaps the other departments at Fresno
State should take their cues from this, but instead of serving beer,
sell cannabis. It's legal (semi) now and probably just as profitable.
It may best be suited for events like poetry fests, art shows, and
musical productions. More money, mellow crowds, and a dandy reputation
for keeping everyone happy (and stoned) at Fresno State!
Stephen Barnett, Clovis
As legal marijuana spreads and the opioid epidemic rages on, the
number of drugged drivers killed in car crashes is rising
dramatically, according to a report released today.
Forty-four percent of fatally injured drivers tested for drugs had
positive results in 2016, the Governors Highway Safety Association
found, up more than 50 percent compared with a decade ago. More than
half the drivers tested positive for marijuana, opioids or a
combination of the two.
"These are big-deal drugs. They are used a lot," said Jim Hedlund, an
Ithaca, New York-based traffic safety consultant who conducted the
highway safety group's study. "People should not be driving while
they're impaired by anything and these two drugs can impair you."
[continues 987 words]
In mid-May, authorities discovered an acre of poppy fields in Monterey
By the end of the month, they carried out the largest known opium
poppy bust in California history, according to the Monterey County
"We know it's the biggest grow in California history and we believe it
could be the biggest in the nation," sheriff's spokesman Cmdr. John
Thornburg told the Monterey County Herald.
In a Facebook post, the agency announced that, in addition to the acre
found at Moss Landing, they found seven more fields of the flowers in
a span of three days. Five of the fields were in Royal Oaks and two
were in Aromas.
[continues 275 words]
People who have post-traumatic stress disorder but do not medicate
with cannabis are far more likely to suffer from severe depression and
have suicidal thoughts than those who use marijuana, new national
Based on cross-country data from Statistics Canada, the observational
study by researchers at the British Columbia Centre for Substance Use
shows that Canadians with PTSD who use medicinal cannabis are 60 per
cent to 65 per cent less likely to have major depressive episodes or
thoughts of suicide compared with those who do not treat their
symptoms with medical marijuana. The study is the first national-scale
indication of the effectiveness of cannabis at mitigating the hallmark
symptoms of PTSD. It was presented on Thursday at the annual
conference of the Canadian Public Health Association in Montreal.
[continues 486 words]
SARASOTA COUNTY -- The county is moving to ban the cultivation and
sale of recreational marijuana if the practice is ever legalized in
The County Commission last week unanimously voted to authorize its
staff to draft an amendment to current county laws to prohibit the
growing, processing and sale of recreational marijuana should it ever
become legal in the state. Commission Chair Nancy Detert was absent
for the vote.
The move comes several weeks after the commission approved the
county's first two medical marijuana dispensaries. The commission on
April 10 voted to allow Trulieve to open a medical marijuana
dispensary in a freestanding building in the Venice Pines Shopping
Plaza on Jacaranda Boulevard -- the county's first approved
dispensary. A day later, the board approved a request by
Sarasota-based AltMed to open a medical marijuana dispensary at 5077
Fruitville Road in the Cobia Bay shopping plaza.
[continues 172 words]
Efforts to lower marijuana taxes to help the transition to California's
new legal market have suffered a setback.
A bill that would have slashed taxes on legal pot for three years to
entice people away from the black market failed to advance out of a
key legislative committee Friday.
Assemblyman Tom Lackey co-authored the bill and said the setback is a
win for the black market. The Los Angeles-area Republican says he
hopes the policy can still be passed this year. He says opponents of
the bill in the Assembly had argued it is too soon to slash the taxes
without further evidence they are driving people to the black market.
Growers and sellers of marijuana in California have complained the
taxes are too high.
Legalizing marijuana makes sense for a lot of reasons, but there's one
valuable thing we'll lose when police stop arresting people for
smoking pot: A sense of just how misleading our crime data are.
Data on arrests and reported crime play a big role in public policy
and law enforcement. Politicians employ them to gauge their success in
making neighborhoods and the entire country safe. Police departments
use them to determine where to deploy more officers to look for more
crime. They are fed into recidivism-risk algorithms, which help judges
and parole boards make decisions on sentencing and release.
[continues 638 words]
WASHINGTON - One airman said he felt paranoia. Another marveled at the
vibrant colors. A third admitted, "I absolutely just loved altering my
Meet service members entrusted with guarding nuclear missiles that are
among the most powerful in America's arsenal. Air Force records
obtained by The Associated Press show they bought, distributed and
used the hallucinogen LSD and other mind-altering illegal drugs as
part of a ring that operated undetected for months on a highly secure
military base in Wyoming. After investigators closed in, one airman
deserted to Mexico.
[continues 807 words]
State Rep. Kelly Alexander, D-Mecklenburg, introduced a bill this week
that would significantly increase the amount of marijuana a person
could have in his or her possession for personal use before being
charged with a misdemeanor or felony.
Under Alexander's bill, a person would not be charged with a
misdemeanor unless he or she had more than 4 ounces of marijuana.
Under current law, possession of more than a half-ounce is a
misdemeanor. A person would have to have more than 16 ounces -- more
than 10 times the current limit -- to be charged with a felony.
[continues 221 words]
The government's leader in the Senate, Peter Harder, slammed the
committee's removal of the provision
OTTAWA - In a controversial move that may set up another showdown with
the House of Commons, a Senate committee voted on Wednesday night to
remove random alcohol testing from the government's impaired driving
The provision would allow police to demand a breathalyzer test from
any driver regardless of whether police had reasonable grounds to
believe the driver had consumed alcohol. Currently police need that
reasonable suspicion to make the breathalyzer demand, which drivers
are punished for refusing.
[continues 625 words]
TORONTO - An aging construction worker arrived quietly in the
building's basement, took his seat alongside three other men and
struck his lighter below a cooker of synthetic heroin.
A woman, trained to intervene in case of an overdose, placed a mask
over her face as his drug cooked and diluted beneath a jumping flame.
He injected himself, grew still and then told of the loss of his wife
who died alone in her room upstairs - an overdose that came just a few
months before this social service nonprofit opened its doors for
[continues 1757 words]
After U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued his memorandum on
marijuana in January, I committed to taking a methodical and
thoughtful approach to developing an enforcement strategy for Oregon.
In early February, our marijuana summit brought together more than 130
people from 70 organizations representing a wide range of interests,
values, and perspectives.
Among those in attendance were Gov, Kate Brown, representatives from
14 U.S. Attorney's offices, Oregon congressional delegation staff, and
members of the Oregon Legislature. The summit featured presentations
by state officials, policymakers, federal and state law enforcement
agencies, industry representatives, adversely affected landowners,
public health organizations, banking executives and tribal leaders.
[continues 581 words]
Open letter sent to federal Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould and
her B.C. counterpart David Eby
Jessika Villano sells a potent array of dried cannabis, oils, salves
and even bud-infused bath bombs at Buddha Barn Medicinal Society - all
grown and processed by small-scale British Columbia producers.
Villano doesn't want that to change when marijuana is legalized later
this year, and she's among the proponents of local craft cannabis who
are pushing the federal and provincial governments to ensure its survival.
[continues 600 words]
After the death of her father, a prominent hotel owner in Seattle,
Ella Henderson started taking morphine to ease her grief. She was 33
years old, educated and intelligent, and she frequented the upper
reaches of Seattle society. But her "thirst for morphine" soon
"dragged her down to the verge of debauchery," according to a
newspaper article in 1877 titled "A Beautiful Opium Eater." After
years of addiction, she died of an overdose.
In researching opium addiction in late-19th-century America, I've come
across countless stories like Henderson's. What is striking is how,
aside from some Victorian-era moralizing, they feel so familiar to a
21st-century reader: Henderson developed an addiction at a vulnerable
point in her life, found doctors who enabled it and then
self-destructed. She was just one of thousands of Americans who lost
their lives to addiction between the 1870s and the 1920s.
[continues 901 words]
Charity Gates phones her contact each month to make an appointment.
When the time comes, she and a colleague drive around Denver,
collecting stacks of $20 bills she has stored in various safes since
the last delivery. She counts the cash and places it in small duffel
or sling bags, carrying up to $20,000 at a time.
She then drives to a gray two-story office building downtown and parks
on the street or in a pay lot nearby. Ms. Gates fears being robbed, so
the two dress simply to avoid attention and use different vehicles and
delivery days to vary their routine. "We hold our breath every time we
go," Ms. Gates said.
[continues 968 words]
The district attorneys in Manhattan and Brooklyn are weighing plans to
stop prosecuting the vast majority of people arrested on marijuana
charges, potentially curbing the consequences of a law that in New
York City is enforced most heavily against black and Hispanic people.
The Brooklyn district attorney's office, which in 2014 decided to stop
prosecuting many low-level marijuana cases, is considering expanding
its policy so that more people currently subject to arrest on
marijuana charges, including those who smoke outside without creating
a public nuisance, would not be prosecuted, one official familiar with
the discussions said.
[continues 1661 words]
If you've walked around New York City lately, there's a good chance
you've smelled weed. People smoke walking their dogs in the West
Village, and they smoke in apartment building lobbies in the South
Bronx. They smoke outside bars and restaurants and in the park.
White people largely don't get arrested for it. Black and Hispanic
people do, despite survey after survey saying people of most races
smoke at similar rates.
So after a senior police official recently testified to the City
Council that there was a simple justification - he said more people
call 911 and 311 to complain about marijuana smoke in black and
Hispanic neighborhoods - we decided to dig into the numbers the New
York Police Department gave lawmakers to support that claim.
[continues 689 words]