"Liquidation sale," it said. Attached was a spreadsheet of items up
for grabs: LED grow lights for $500 apiece. Rotary evaporators for
hash oil, $10,000.
Across the Columbia River in Oregon, where the state's top marijuana
regulator recently warned of an "existential crisis" in the industry,
it's an open secret some licensed growers have funneled product to the
out-of-state black market just to stay afloat.
California's "Apple store of weed," MedMen, is teetering with millions
in unpaid bills, while the Canadian cannabis company Curaleaf has
shuttered most of its cultivation operations in California, Oregon and
[continues 1581 words]
I have not heard any reporting on what type of drug education our
children are receiving in schools. Considering the high number of
deaths due to drug overdoses just this year alone, that is 500 in B.C.
in the last three months, I would like to know if the schools have any
drug prevention education and if so, what is the message?
Recently the granddaughter of a friend of mine who is in Grade 7
stated that her teacher said, "if you're going to do drugs, do it safely"
[continues 256 words]
Letter writer Cristina Adam asserted that abstinence-based drug education is
the best, adding that "in no uncertain terms there is NO way to take drugs
safely." ("Letter: Say no to drugs the best message," May 3)
Alas, the "drug abuse resistance education" and "Just say 'no'"
messaging Adam recalls from her youth was found to be ineffective, if
not counter-productive. DARE graduates and those exposed to such
simplistic messaging were actually more likely to experiment with drugs.
While nothing in life is absolutely safe, some drugs, some means of
ingestion and some situations are more hazardous than others. For
example, cannabis is safer than alcohol, vaping is safer than smoking
and having a beer at home after work or school is safer than drinking
[continues 128 words]
Once again, we are reminded of the unintended consequences created by
the demand for illegal drugs in this country and the destruction it
has caused to democracy and good government in Central and South
America ("Rewriting History in Bolivia-and Mexico," by Mary Anastasia
O'Grady, Americas, March 29).
The demand for illegal drugs in this country fuels drug trafficking,
human trafficking, drug wars, murders, official corruption, electoral
fraud and finances the repression of democracy.
While the "woke" in this country lay blame on previous generations for
societal ills and offer to atone for perceived transgressions from the
pursuit of capitalism, they risk hypocrisy by neglecting criticism and
blame toward those in this country who have created the demand for
illegal drugs and the resulting mayhem south of our border and in our
The hard-core user, the recreational user, the experimental user and
the onetime user contribute to the demand. The user is found in every
strata of our society, in every profession and, yes, even among the
PUERTO CACHICAMO, Colombia-The pandemic closed the only school in this
remote hamlet, long a stronghold for Marxist guerrillas. With no
internet connection for virtual classes, 16-year-old Danna Montilla
told her family she was leaving to find work, but instead authorities
say she joined a narco-trafficking rebel group.
Last month, Colombia's military bombarded the group's jungle camp,
killing Danna, another underage girl and 10 others. Residents here
said her death underscored a grim reality: Armed gangs have found
fresh recruits from an ample pool of youths who, like Danna, have been
out of school because of the coronavirus pandemic.
[continues 1200 words]
Teenagers are more likely than young adults to become addicted to
marijuana or prescription drugs within a year after trying them for
the first time, according to a new study by the National Institute on
The new report, published Monday in the peer-reviewed journal JAMA
pediatrics, adds to mounting evidence showing adolescents are more
vulnerable to substance use disorders than young adults, increasing
the need for early screening and drug prevention education, health
"We know that young people are more vulnerable to developing substance
use disorders," said Dr. Nora Volkow, NIDA director and lead author of
the study analysis. "Though not everybody who uses a drug will develop
addiction, adolescents may develop addiction faster than adults."
Researchers at the NIDA, a part of the National Institutes of Health,
analyzed data from the nationally representative National Surveys on
Drug Use and Health conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health
Services from 2015 to 2018.
PHOENIX - When Arizonans voted to legalize recreational cannabis in
November, it seemed plausible that sales would begin sometime in the
But on Jan. 22, less than three months after the vote, the Arizona
Department of Health Services started quickly approving applications,
allowing dispensaries to sell cannabis to adults 21 and older
"It was kind of like ripping a Band-Aid off," said Jennifer Matarese,
the president of a management company that runs Local Joint in
Phoenix. Like many other dispensaries in Arizona, Local Joint has been
serving medical patients for years; the legalization of recreational
cannabis has led to a rapid rise in demand.
[continues 1214 words]
After years of stalled attempts, New York State has legalized the use
of recreational marijuana, enacting a robust program that will
reinvest millions of dollars of tax revenues from cannabis in minority
communities ravaged by the decades-long war on drugs.
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed the cannabis legislation on Wednesday, a
day after the State Legislature passed the bill following hours of
debate among lawmakers in Albany.
New York became the 15th state to legalize the recreational use of
cannabis, positioning itself to quickly become one of the largest
markets of legal cannabis in the nation and one of the few states
where legalization is directly tied to economic and racial equity.
[continues 1467 words]
State lawmakers finalized a deal on Thursday to legalize recreational
marijuana in New York, paving the way for a potential $4.2 billion
industry that could create tens of thousands of jobs and become one of
the largest markets in the country.
Following several failed attempts, lawmakers in Albany struck an
agreement with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to legalize cannabis for adults 21
and older, a move that officials hope will help end years of racially
disproportionate policing that saw Black and Hispanic people arrested
on low-level marijuana charges far more frequently than white people.
[continues 1462 words]
For years, Harry B. Lebowitz spent the cocktail hour at his home in
Delray Beach, Fla., sitting in his backyard overlooking a lake and
smoking a joint while his partner relaxed with her vodka and club soda.
Mr. Lebowitz, 69, a mostly retired businessman, qualified for a state
medical marijuana card because he suffered from anxiety, sleep apnea
and back pain. He credits cannabis with helping to wean him off
several prescription drugs.
Then came Covid-19, heightening both his anxiety and his boredom. "It
was like the world stopped," Mr. Lebowitz said. "We're all suffering
from some form of PTSD, all of us."
[continues 1303 words]
Gov. Kate Brown of Oregon announced the members of the state's newly
formed Psilocybin Advisory Board this week. Why does Oregon need an
official board to offer advice about the active ingredient in magic
mushrooms, you ask? Because Oregon is about to become the first state
in the country to try to build a support infrastructure through which
psychedelic mushrooms can be woven into everyday life. This framework
is different from what we've seen before: not legalization, not
medicalization, but therapeutic use, in licensed facilities, under the
guidance of professionals trained to guide psychedelic experiences.
[continues 2263 words]
WASHINGTON - In February, the Biden administration signaled that past
marijuana use would not necessarily disqualify a person from
employment by relaxing longstanding policies that have barred some
past users of the drug from working in the White House.
The change was seen as a way to open the door for younger talent from
parts of the country where marijuana has been legalized, but it took
only a few weeks for the new guidelines to be publicly tested.
On Friday, responding to a news report in The Daily Beast that said
dozens of young staff members had been pushed to resign or had been
reassigned to remote work based on their past marijuana use, Jen
Psaki, the White House press secretary, confirmed that some employees
had been sidelined but said that it applied to fewer people.
[continues 903 words]
MEXICO CITY - Mexico, a country carved up by cartels for decades, is
poised to take a major step in drug policy. This week, the lower house
of Congress approved a landmark bill to legalize recreational
marijuana, which would make it the world's largest legal market for
With legalization considered all but certain to win Senate and
presidential approval, many in the business world are predicting a
Mexican green boom: a newly legal industry providing tens of thousands
of jobs, millions of dollars in profit for savvy entrepreneurs and
welcome tax revenue for the government.
[continues 1065 words]
Dan Shapiro was the first person I knew to use medical marijuana. As a
junior at Vassar College in 1987, he was being treated for Hodgkin's
lymphoma with potent chemotherapy that caused severe nausea and
vomiting. When Dan's mother learned that smoking marijuana could
relieve the distressing side effect, to help her son, this otherwise
law-abiding woman planted a garden full of the illegal weed in her
Connecticut back yard.
Decades later, marijuana as medicine has become a national phenomenon,
widely accepted by the public. Although the chemical-rich plant
botanically known as Cannabis sativa remains a federally controlled
substance, its therapeutic use is now legal in 36 states and the
District of Columbia.
[continues 1006 words]
Texas has one of the most restrictive medical marijuana laws in the
country, with sales allowed only by prescription for a handful of conditions.
That hasn't stopped Lukas Gilkey, chief executive of Hometown Hero
CBD, based in Austin, Texas. His company sells joints, blunts, gummy
bears, vaping devices and tinctures that offer a recreational high. In
fact, business is booming online as well, where he sells to many
people in other states with strict marijuana laws.
But Mr. Gilkey says that he is no outlaw, and that he's not selling
marijuana, just a close relation. He's offering products with a
chemical compound - Delta-8-THC - extracted from hemp. It is only
slightly chemically different from Delta 9, which is the main
psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.
[continues 1158 words]
ALBANY, N.Y.-New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday that he would
amend his proposal to regulate and tax recreational marijuana in hopes
that the drug could be legalized as part of the state budget due by
The amended proposal would allow for delivery services and reduce the
penalty for people who unlawfully sell marijuana to a person under the
age of 21. It would also add specificity to a social-equity fund that
the Democratic governor said would help revitalize communities that
have been most harmed by the war on drugs. He said the amendments
reflected conversations with lawmakers.
[continues 374 words]
Voters in four states last year approved the recreational use of
marijuana. That is likely to launch a land rush there for warehouses
and retail properties.
Similar measures in other states have sparked heated competition for
these types of real estate. Owners have been able to charge as much as
three times market rates when selling or renting to businesses
involved in the cultivation, distribution, processing or sale of
cannabis, according to brokers, landlords and cannabis industry executives.
Landlords can charge this pot premium because properties typically
have to meet a range of local restrictions to qualify, such as being a
certain distance from churches or schools.
[continues 612 words]
No more than five players have been suspended for violating the NBA's
and National Basketball Players Association's marijuana policy in the
past four seasons.
The issue isn't if NBA players do or don't use marijuana. It's just
that players don't have serious issues with violating the policy.
After not conducting random testing for marijuana to finish the
2019-20 season inside the bubble near Orlando, Florida, the league is
not doing random testing for marijuana this season.
It's time the NBA and NPBA permanently altered their policy on
marijuana and stopped penalizing players for using it.
Regarding Sally Satel's review of "Drug Use For Grown-Ups" by Carl L.
Hart, neuroscientist and professor of psychology at Columbia
University (Bookshelf, Jan. 14): I'm a 44-year-old male who is 15
years into a 25-year sentence for shooting a man four times in a
cocaine deal that went sideways. I've been selling and using drugs
since I was 12 years old. All three of my uncles are dead from
opiate-related deaths. My childhood best friend overdosed from heroin
in 2017. Setting aside the arguments that include freedom of choice
and putting a dent in the profits of drug cartels, I attempt to look
at drugs in a more nuanced way.
[continues 113 words]
Jason White has created dazzling advertising and marketing campaigns
for Nike and Disney, the World Cup and Olympic Games, to name a few.
But when the Georgetown alumnus told his parents he was exiting
Apple-owned Beats by Dre for the cannabis industry, the announcement
landed with a thud. "What they heard was, 'You're going to sell weed,'
" the 44-year-old said, laughing.
White is now chief marketing officer at Curaleaf Holdings Inc., which
says it is the world's largest provider (by revenue) of legal medical
and recreational cannabis. While some liken legal pot to a gold rush,
White - who is African American and Cuban - talks of repairing
communities harmed by the war on drugs. "Some are very wary of
cannabis, having seen people arrested and their voting rights taken
away," he says. "But as cannabis has become more mainstream, others
don't see harm, but opportunity. I want to use this platform to help
[continues 756 words]
For decades, nitrous oxide has been widespread at raves and music
festivals, used as a quick buzz. The drug doesn't have the death toll
of the opiate disaster or the widespread popularity of marijuana, but
it's widely sold - legally - all over the country, though its
consumption outside medical facilities is illegal in many states.
But the inhalant's use and misuse seems to be on the rise, fueled by
the stress and isolation of the coronavirus pandemic. It's also in the
spotlight this week after the death of Tony Hsieh at 46, the former
chief executive of the online shoe empire Zappos, in a house fire in
[continues 1684 words]
OTTAWA - When Robert was 18, he was arrested by Montreal's police for
possession of a small amount of hashish, an event that would upend his
The charge brought him 30 days in jail, and the conviction ended his
part-time job as a translator.
"Back then, you smoke a joint, you would get arrested," said Robert,
who asked that only his first name be used because of the continuing
stigma of his criminal record. "Then the cops would put you in a car,
then pull over and give you a couple of shots in the head. You get
slapped around just because of smoking."
[continues 1936 words]
LONDON - The normal bustle of London's financial district has been
quieted by the latest national lockdown, with businesses shuttered and
work shifted to home.
But the sudden lull and the unexpected vacating of prime real estate
has seen at least one venture (albeit an illegal one) thrive: an
indoor weed farm.
That ended this past week when police officers discovered the criminal
operation, which they called a "cannabis factory," in a basement
equipped with wired lighting and ventilation tubes in a commercial
building not far from the Bank of England.
[continues 318 words]
In a referendum in November, Oregon became the first state to
decriminalize the possession of small amounts of heroin, cocaine,
methamphetamine and LSD. The move was inspired by a 2001 law in
Portugal that removed incarceration as a penalty for drug possession.
To judge by "Drug Use for Grown-Ups," Carl Hart welcomed this news,
which came too late for him to mention in his provocative and
enlightening book. He opens with the announcement: "I am an
unapologetic drug user."
Mr. Hart, a professor of psychology and a neuroscientist at Columbia
University, asserts that "recreational drugs can be used safely to
enhance many vital human activities." He bases his claim on decades of
research on the behavioral and physiological effects of drugs in
humans, coupled with his personal use. Thanks to drugs, he says, "I am
a happier and better person." He asks that we think about drugs in a
more nuanced way, even at a time when opioid abuse is still headline
news. Thus his book represents a calculated risk-namely, that by
portraying drug use as so potentially rewarding for responsible users,
it may inadvertently seduce non-grown-ups into hazardous use.
[continues 808 words]
CULIACAN, Mexico - Like a lot of businesses, the Sinaloa Cartel was
knocked back on its heels as the coronavirus swept the globe and
travel ground to a near halt.
Government measures to contain the virus had fouled up its operations,
interrupting the supply of chemicals for manufacturing synthetic drugs
like fentanyl and methamphetamine and cutting off trafficking routes
across international borders.
But the cartel is not just any business. It established itself as one
of the world's most powerful drug trafficking groups with a trademark
mix of business acumen, ingenuity and lawlessness.
[continues 1379 words]
MIR ALI, Afghanistan - On the barren high plains of western
Afghanistan, along a roadway south of Herat city, is a collection of
sturdy earthen huts known as Qala-e-Biwaha, or "village of widows."
Most of the village's men have disappeared - killed while trying to
smuggle opium across the desolate frontier into neighboring Iran. The
widows have been left to fend for themselves and their children, some
of whom have also died while transporting drugs over the border from
Herat Province's rugged Adraskan district.
[continues 1187 words]
GLASGOW - Every Friday for the past two months, Peter Krykant has
parked his white van on Parnie Street in central Glasgow, around the
corner from a games shop and several art galleries, and waited for
people to come by and inject illegal drugs.
Inside the van are two seats and two tables, each with a stainless
steel tray and hypodermic needles, as well as several biohazard trash
cans. The van is also equipped with naloxone, the medication used to
reverse an opioid overdose, and a defibrillator. (There are Covid-19
safety precautions, too: hand sanitizer and a box of masks.)
[continues 1349 words]
The House endorsed a landmark retreat in the nation's decades-long war
on drugs Friday, voting to remove marijuana from the federal schedule
of controlled substances and provide for the regulation and taxation
of legal cannabis sales.
The vote was 228 to 164 and was the first time either chamber of
Congress has voted on the issue of federally decriminalizing cannabis.
The measure is not expected to pass into law, and, because of
political skittishness, it was voted on only after the November
election and more than a year after it emerged from committee. But the
House took a stand at a moment of increasing momentum, with voters
last month opting to liberalize marijuana laws in five states -
including three that President Trump won handily.
[continues 1473 words]
It's disingenuous of Seamus R. Fallon ("Oregon Drug Law Change Can
Help Families," Letters, Nov. 24) to insist that two grams of cocaine
is one-third the amount a drug dealer would typically carry. What is
the source for such a statement? Based on my experience as a
high-school teacher, few of the drug users in their teen years are
"drug dealers." They are constant consumers, many on a daily basis, of
stimulants of any kind. Two grams of cocaine is easily quartered for
four classmates to afford a half-gram each, plenty to get amped up,
behind some brewskis, especially for diminutive teen girls. None of
the group is "a dealer" in the sense Mr. Fallon proffers his straw
man; they are end-users for the dealers.
Oregon's abandonment of its youth to the drug subculture, in looming
years of turmoil and despair, will show in time that: "As the twig is
bent, so is the tree is inclined." Can Oregon not see the forest for
J. Charles Sykes
Mr. Fallon's letter highlights one of the unappreciated strengths of
our federal republic when compared with most other countries:
Individual states can run innovative political experiments without
central government interference. When the success or failure of the
experiment is evaluated, other states can follow (or avoid) the
example as they wish. The trial by Oregon should be monitored and
compared with similar results with a placebo (e.g., Washington state).
Hard facts, not soft opinions, should guide the country as we deal
with drug and overdose problems.
A United Nations commission voted on Wednesday to remove cannabis for
medicinal purposes from a category of the world's most dangerous
drugs, a highly anticipated and long-delayed decision that could clear
the way for an expansion of marijuana research and medical use.
The vote by the Commission for Narcotic Drugs, which is based in
Vienna and includes 53 member states, considered a series of
recommendations from the World Health Organization on reclassifying
cannabis and its derivatives. But attention centered on a key
recommendation to remove cannabis from Schedule IV of the 1961 Single
Convention on Narcotic Drugs - where it was listed alongside dangerous
and highly addictive opioids like heroin.
[continues 698 words]
MEXICO CITY - Tiger cubs and semiautomatic weapons. Piles of cash and
armored cars. Fields of poppies watered to the sound of ballads
glorifying Mexican drug cartel culture.
This is the world of Cartel TikTok, a genre of videos depicting drug
trafficking groups and their activities that is racking up hundreds of
thousands of views on the popular social media platform.
But behind the narco bling and dancing gang members lies an ominous
reality: With Mexico set to again shatter murder records this year,
experts on organized crime say Cartel TikTok is just the latest
propaganda campaign designed to mask the blood bath and use the
promise of infinite wealth to attract expendable young recruits.
[continues 1017 words]
In 2013, Joy Hollingsworth moved with her family from Seattle out to
the country with a plan to build a cannabis business.
Washington State had recently legalized recreational marijuana, and
Barack Obama had just been re-elected. For Ms. Hollingsworth, a former
basketball player, and her brother, Raft Hollingsworth III, a former
University of Washington student who had been growing medical
marijuana, it seemed like as good a time as any to buy a farm and turn
So began the Hollingsworth Cannabis Company, a Black-owned family
business in what has become a very white and increasingly
[continues 1108 words]
In approaching Errol Morris's "My Psychedelic Love Story," it doesn't
hurt to have some familiarity with "Wormwood," the 2017 Netflix
docudrama miniseries. In it, the fabled documentarian told the story
of Frank Olson, a CIA employee who mysteriously fell to his death in
1953 nine days after being slipped LSD as part of an agency
experiment. Was he pushed or did he jump? Was hippie socialite Joanna
Harcourt-Smith being used as a CIA tool when her boyfriend, Timothy
Leary, became a government informant in the mid-'70s? And what in the
world is the connection?
[continues 469 words]
To induce dread in a paranoiac, one need only invoke two acronyms:
C.I.A. and LSD Along with a third and a fourth - U.F.O. and J.F.K. -
these were key ingredients in the alphabet soup of conspiracy theory
for more than half a century.
But. You don't have to be a paranoiac, because sometimes
dread-inducing combinations and schemes do yield horrific results. The
2017 Errol Morris-directed mini-series, "Wormwood," to which "My
Psychedelic Love Story" is a sequel of sorts, went into detail about
the C.I.A. and LSD. It showed that the cloak-and-dagger organization
and the hallucinogenic drug met up earlier than most might have guessed.
[continues 511 words]
Now that Oregon voters have agreed to end nearly all criminal
penalties for drug possession, state officials have just over two
months to set up a new recovery-focused system, a task that is
particularly complicated due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Measure 110, which goes into effect Feb. 1, allows a maximum fine of
$100 for possession of drugs including heroin, cocaine and
methamphetamines along with a mandatory health assessment. The first
statewide law of its kind in the nation passed with support of 58% of
voters this month. It also mandates new recovery centers, paid for by
marijuana taxes and savings from less incarceration.
[continues 633 words]
Naomi Schaefer Riley and John Walters state that Oregon decriminalized
"small amounts of harder drugs, including cocaine, heroin and
methamphetamine" ("Legal Drugs Are Fashionable-and Treacherous for
Children," op-ed, Nov. 19) and that the passage of Measure 110 in
Oregon "lower[s] the risk and cost of doing business for drug
dealers." It's an erroneous claim. Measure 110 says that possession of
less than one gram of heroin, various low amounts of amphetamines and
less than two grams of cocaine is decriminalized. No drug dealer would
carry anything less than three times the amounts in the measure.
[continues 191 words]
MEXICO CITY - On June 17, 1971, President Richard Nixon stood in front
of the White House press corps and made his historic declaration of a
new type of war. "Public Enemy No. 1 in the United States is drug
abuse," he said. "In order to fight and defeat this enemy, it's
necessary to wage a new all-out offensive."
It would be a government-wide effort, and rally the United States's
power abroad to stem the supply of drugs. Among the countries targeted
was Mexico, which was home to abundant marijuana production and had
been resistant to aerial crop spraying.
[continues 939 words]
Next year will mark 50 years since President Richard Nixon declared
drugs "public enemy number one," launching a new war on drugs that has
pumped hundreds of billions of dollars into law enforcement, led to
the incarceration of millions of people - disproportionately Black -
and has done nothing to prevent drug overdoses. In spite of the
widespread, growing opposition to this failed war, made clear yet
again on Election Day, punitive policies and responses to drug use and
possession persist. As President-elect Joe Biden and Vice
President-elect Kamala Harris prepare to take office, it is abundantly
clear that they have a mandate from the electorate to tackle this issue.
[continues 802 words]
The U.S. election didn't produce a blue wave or a red wave, but some
are celebrating a green wave as voters in Arizona, Montana, New Jersey
and South Dakota approved the legalization of recreational marijuana.
Meanwhile, Oregonians decriminalized the possession of small amounts
of harder drugs, including cocaine, heroin and methamphetamines.
"Drugs, once thought to be the scourge of a healthy society, are
getting public recognition as a part of American life," the New York
In reality, drugs are very much a scourge, particularly in the lives
of young children. In 2019 parental substance abuse was listed as a
cause for a child's removal to foster care 38% of the time, a share
that has risen steadily in the past decade. Experts suggest this is an
underestimate and the real number may be up to 80%.
[continues 566 words]
All eyes were on Philadelphia this month, as the outcome of the
election rested in poll workers' hands. It's not surprising that the
citizens of Philly were ready for change - they've faced a
disproportionately heavy toll as a result of the current
administration's ineffective coronavirus policies. And that toll has
tragically included an increased rate of deadly opioid overdoses.
But Philly isn't alone - overdoses tragically have increased in
communities across the nation, from San Francisco to Burlington, Vt.
[continues 914 words]
The drug war needs to end. If the AJC investigated, it would likely
find most of the violence is drug war-related. The police are doing
the job they were given. You may not like the way they do it, but do
not blame them for doing their highly dangerous job. Either make drugs
legal, or let the government compete with the drug lords by taking
confiscated drugs and giving them free to drug addicts in a special
recovery program. If drugs are free or legal, there is no reason for
drug lords to exist. They cannot compete with free. This is the way to
end most of the violence and social injustice. Not all of it, I am
sorry to say, but it would be a start.
L.O. COX, CONYERS
OAKLAND, Calif. - In the weeks leading up to November, Iashia Kilian
felt her anxiety deepen.
She knew her vote in the swing state of Michigan could help decide who
the next president would be. She had done everything she could to help
campaign for her candidate of choice. Now, all she could do was sit
back, wait and make sure she had her favorite marijuana edibles at
"The panic, the anxious feelings, it has all been too much. I knew I
was only going to get through it with some help," said Ms. Kilian, 43,
who lives in Center Line. "I used to be the kind of person who would
judge someone, especially a mother like me, taking edibles. But you
know what? Everything happening here in this country is just too much.
The people need some help."
[continues 985 words]
One of America's greatest mistakes over the last century was the war
on drugs, so it's thrilling to see voters in red and blue states alike
moving to unwind it.
The most important step is coming in Oregon, where voters easily
passed a referendum that will decriminalize possession of even hard
drugs like cocaine and heroin, while helping users get treatment for
addiction. The idea is to address drug use as a public health crisis
more than as a criminal justice issue.
[continues 773 words]
Americans were still waiting for clarity on the presidential race
Wednesday morning. Perhaps lost in the frantic haze of election night
was the legalization of recreational marijuana in four states.
Arizona, New Jersey, South Dakota and Montana all passed legislation
Tuesday permitting the possession of weed by adults, which means 15
states have legalized recreational weed or voted to legalize it.
South Dakota and Mississippi passed initiatives to allow medical
marijuana, which means 36 states permit the legal distribution of
medical weed, according to a tally by NORML, a nonprofit marijuana
public advocacy group.
Oregon became the first state in the nation to decriminalize the
possession of all illegal drugs and also legalize the use of
psilocybin-the active ingredient in hallucinogenic mushrooms-for
mental health treatment, after voters passed a pair of ballot measures
Both are the first of their kind in any U.S. state and represent the
next frontier in the relaxation of drug laws beyond marijuana.
With results from 76% of precincts reporting early Wednesday morning,
59% of Oregonians approved Measure 110, the drug decriminalization
referendum, and 56% voted for Measure 109 on psilocybin therapy,
according to the Associated Press.
[continues 576 words]
43.5 per cent of study participants who used marijuana as a substitute
for alcohol decreased the frequency of their drinking.
Authorized medical marijuana patients who began using cannabis to help
reduce their drinking report experiencing a reduction or even
discontinuation of alcohol use, notes new research out of the
University of Victoria.
The finding reflects feedback from 2,102 patients registered with
Tilray, a medical cannabis research and production company in Canada.
The input was received as part of the Canadian Cannabis Patient Survey
2019, which gathered details on patient demographics, patterns of weed
use and self-reported use of prescription drugs, alcohol, tobacco and
illicit drugs before and after starting medical cannabis.
[continues 612 words]
Oregon has an addiction problem. Pockets of rural poverty, chronic
homelessness and cities with lots of young people have given the state
one of the highest rates of substance abuse in the nation. It is also,
because there is so little money allocated to it, one of the toughest
places to get treatment.
A proposed solution on the ballot next week would be one of the most
radical drug-law overhauls in the nation's history, eliminating
criminal penalties entirely for personal use amounts of drugs such as
heroin, methamphetamine and cocaine. Tax revenues from drug sales
would be channeled toward drug treatment.
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Do you have the heart to safely smoke pot? Maybe not, a growing body
of medical reports suggests.
Currently, increased smoking of marijuana in public, even in cities
like New York where recreational use remains illegal (though no longer
prosecuted), has reinforced a popular belief that this practice is
safe, even health-promoting.
"Many people think that they have a free pass to smoke marijuana," Dr.
Salomeh Keyhani, professor of medicine at the University of
California, San Francisco, told me. "I even heard a suggestion on
public radio that tobacco companies should switch to marijuana because
then they'd be selling life instead of selling death."
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A victory for the Democratic Party in next month's presidential
election would be a game changer for the cannabis industry. Despite
their reputation for overexuberance, pot investors are reacting with
Since mid-August, the 10 largest North American pot stocks by market
value are up 20%, according to Viridian Capital Advisors. This is
relatively muted compared with the 83% rally seen in the three months
before the 2016 election.
Americans have been buying a lot of pot during the Covid-19 pandemic,
which may also explain why stocks are rising. Sales in seven large
states where cannabis is legal, tracked by research company Headset,
were up 51% from January through September compared with the same
period of 2019. Consumers have had more leisure time at home and
federal stimulus money to spend. Alcohol companies have enjoyed
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