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]
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]
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]
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.
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]
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]
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]
After years of halting steps, top prosecutors and elected officials in
New York City on Tuesday made a sudden dash toward ending many of the
marijuana arrests that for decades have entangled mostly black and
The plans, still unwritten and under negotiation, will rise or fall on
the type of conduct involving marijuana that officials decide should
still warrant arrest and prosecution. The changes appear likely to
create a patchwork of prosecution policies across the city's five
boroughs, and are unlikely to restrict police officers from stopping
and searching people on suspicion of possessing a drug that is now
legal in a number of states.
[continues 1001 words]
They sit in courtroom pews, almost all of them young black men,
waiting their turn before a New York City judge to face a charge that
no longer exists in some states: possessing marijuana. They tell of
smoking in a housing project hallway, or of being in a car with a
friend who was smoking, or of lighting up a Black & Mild cigar the
police mistake for a blunt.
There are many ways to be arrested on marijuana charges, but one pattern
has remained true through years of piecemeal policy changes in New York:
The primary targets are black and Hispanic people.
[continues 1833 words]
In Oregon and Denver, where marijuana is legal for recreational use,
activists are now pushing toward a psychedelic frontier: "magic mushrooms."
Groups in both states are sponsoring ballot measures that would
eliminate criminal penalties for possession of the mushrooms whose
active ingredient, psilocybin, can cause hallucinations, euphoria and
changes in perception. They point to research showing that psilocybin
might be helpful for people suffering from depression or anxiety.
"We don't want individuals to lose their freedom over something that's
natural and has health benefits," said Kevin Matthews, the campaign
director of Denver for Psilocybin, the group working to decriminalize
magic mushrooms in Colorado's capital.
[continues 936 words]
Some time this summer, marijuana will be legal in Canada. It's
already legal in Washington state and has been for four years.
But Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth warned this week that
there's a significant problem looming at the border crossing,
because it's still going to be illegal there.
It makes no sense whatsoever, but the U.S. federal government controls
the border crossing, and marijuana is still nominally illegal in the
"People [meaning, cannabis users] are going to naturally assume, on
either side of the border, that they cross back and forth because
it's legal in each jurisdiction,a" told the house. "But the
reality is it will not be legal at that federal border crossing."
[continues 626 words]
Amid budding efforts to research the medical benefits of marijuana, a
simple problem has emerged -- how do you research marijuana if no one
can produce it under federal law?
Despite a solution proposed in mid-2016, which allowed the Drug
Enforcement Administration to approve marijuana manufacturers, only
the University of Mississippi has been approved, despite dozens of
applications to do so. And there's no sign the DEA intends to approve
others anytime soon.
Advocates seem to blame one person for the delays: Attorney General
Jeff Sessions. Ian Prior, spokesman for the Department of Justice,
declined to comment on the issue.
[continues 708 words]
A Pennsylvania legislator introduced a bill Monday that would give
medical marijuana patients a chance of expunging a conviction of
marijuana possession if the charge resulted from their use of cannabis
for medical purposes.
The bill is sponsored by State Sen. Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery), and
does not have any support yet from Republicans who control the
legislature. To be expunged, patients would have to prove they had a
doctor's diagnosis for one of the 21 approved serious health
conditions at the time of the conviction. The patient would also have
to provide evidence they were using cannabis to treat the condition.
[continues 106 words]
From Wall Street to Silicon Valley, industries across America are
struggling to redress decades of discrimination and boost the ranks of
minorities and the disenfranchised in their workforces.
But what if you could design an industry from scratch? Could you
somehow bake in diversity and fairness?
We're about to find out.
Last month, Massachusetts rolled out the country's first statewide
marijuana industry "equity" program, giving preferential treatment to
people who are typically marginalized by the business world.
[continues 1284 words]
Hawaii is another step closer to finding out whether industrial hemp
could be a major crop.
The state Department of Agriculture announced earlier this month that
it is accepting applications for state licenses to grow hemp.
This comes nearly two years after the state enacted a law to establish
a pilot program for commercial production.
"Many believe that industrial hemp can be an important crop in
Hawaii," Gov. David Ige said in a statement. "This pilot program is a
strong and prudent step in helping to determine the viability of this
crop in Hawaii."
[continues 550 words]
Pennsylvania is gearing up to become a global center for cannabis
research. Yet for more than a decade, Philadelphia has been on the
forefront of investigations into the medicinal uses of marijuana.
Sara Jane Ward has built a reputation exploring marijuana's effects on
pain and addiction using animals at Temple University's Lewis Katz
School of Medicine.
Ward and her colleague Ronald Tuma, a professor of physiology and
neurosurgery, lead a team of 10 researchers at Temple's Center for
Substance Abuse in North Philadelphia.
[continues 731 words]
The number of hemp farmers in SC is growing fast. How high will it
Less than a year into the program, the number of farmers growing hemp
in South Carolina could double.
That's because the South Carolina Department of Agriculture is making
more permits available for farmers looking to participate in the
Industrial Hemp Pilot Program.
The SCDA will select up to 40 farmers to receive permits to grow
industrial hemp. That's twice the amount of the 20 farmers chosen in
the inaugural year of the program.
[continues 501 words]
Cannabis sales likely won't prove a financial bonanza.
Those counting on help from cannabis sales to balance the provincial
budget are in for a disappointment.
As far as Statistics Canada can tell, cannabis prices in this country
have been dropping for the past three years, perhaps the past dozen
years. Since weed-market watchers in the United States have found
roughly the same thing, it's probably true.
Canada's provincial treasurers, along with private investors in the
cannabis trade, may still be able to turn a profit, but the bonanza
that used to beckon has probably evaporated already.
[continues 618 words]
OTTAWA - A Senate committee says Ottawa should put off legalizing
marijuana for a year until Canada and First Nations can negotiate tax
sharing, produce culturally appropriate education materials and ensure
First Nations are able to regulate for themselves whether they want
pot to be legal in their communities or not.
The Senate Aboriginal Peoples committee released a report Tuesday
after studying the impact the government's legalizing pot bill could
have on Indigenous communities.
While Ottawa plans to make pot legal sometime this summer, the
committee says Indigenous
[continues 320 words]
Canada's real estate industry organization is calling for a
moratorium on growing recreational marijuana at home until the
government sets out nationwide regulations for the practice.
Ottawa's proposed marijuana legalization regulations allow Canadians
to grow up to four marijuana plants at their residences. Medical users
are already allowed to grow at home after a federal court ruled in
2016 that the government cannot ban patients from growing their own
However, the Canadian Real Estate Association said the ban it is
requesting applies to home cultivation for recreational users when
marijuana legalized later this year.
[continues 636 words]
It's already used to treat epilepsy in some children -- and now
researchers are examining whether a marijuana compound could also be
helpful for those with autism.
The University of California San Diego announced in a news release
that it will be conducting a test on children with "severe" autism to
see if cannabidiol, commonly referred to as CBD, can help treat some
of their symptoms.
The research, which will involve 30 children, was made possible thanks
to a $4.7 million donation from the Ray and Tye Noorda Foundation in
Lindon, Utah, according to The San Diego Tribune. The goal is to see
if CBD can lessen seizures, anxiety and self-harming.
[continues 622 words]
NEW YORK -- CNN's medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta has taken the
unusual step of publicly urging Attorney General Jeff Sessions to
reconsider his opposition to medical marijuana, particularly as a way
to fight the opioid epidemic.
Gupta wrote a public letter to Sessions, saying that he had changed
his mind on the use of medical marijuana, and he's certain Sessions
can, too. Research and talking to people who say marijuana has eased
pain and weaned them off opioids convinced him.
It's an unusual step for a journalist to move into advocacy, by
sending a letter to the attorney general. But Gupta says he believes
this falls into the category of telling truth to power.
WASHINGTON - The massive farm bill that helps determine what farmers
grow and Americans eat is poised to get some major momentum thanks to a
not-yet-legal crop: Hemp.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has pushed hard to make
hemp a legal product in the United States, is asking for his hemp
legalization bill to be included in the sweeping farm bill. That would
help give the farm bill, whose prospects have been considered iffy,
more support in the Senate.
[continues 639 words]
Florida's 16-month-old medical marijuana business is growing fast, as
dispensaries and growers rush to establish themselves. It's happening
even as court battles over state regulations for the young industry
Florida's 16-month-old medical marijuana business is growing fast, as
dispensaries and growers rush to establish themselves. It's happening
even as court battles over state regulations for the young industry
Rosa Howard spent 30 minutes in line Tuesday at a Trulieve medical
marijuana dispensary in Orlando, packed into a waiting room with
mothers, babies and seniors as the distinct smell of cannabis hung in
[continues 835 words]
Her son was supposed to die 13 years ago. She'll never stop fighting
Doctors predicted Jackson Helms would die by the time he was 6.
Now 19, Jackson has lived longer than expected and gained relief from
his severe epilepsy because of cannabidiol, or CBD, says his mom Kelly
CBD has essentially no THC, which is the psychoactive element in
marijuana that causes a high.
The full legalization of medical marijuana could help Jackson, his mom
says. Medical experts in North Carolina support more research on
[continues 999 words]
Heather D'Alessio remembers drug education in high school that
consisted mainly of dire warnings about the consequences of using any
She was smoking pot by Grade 9, so she disregarded the
"Most of the time, they would give us these fact sheets on cannabis.
Then we'd all take it out to the corner and get high and laugh at it
because we thought it was stupid."
Who uses cannabis?
Governments and public health advocates are now launching new
education campaigns to warn young people about the health risks of
marijuana, which will soon be legal across Canada.
[continues 1132 words]
Calling it "disruptive" and "unlawful," a group of Pennsylvania
marijuana growers and retailers wants to snuff out the state's
pioneering research program before it is launched.
The first of its kind in the nation, the research program would allow
eight of the state's teaching hospitals to contract with a cannabis
producer. Each contract is estimated to be worth tens of millions of
dollars. The agreements grant the producers a "super-permit" to
operate an indoor grow facility and to open six retail dispensaries
that can sell medical marijuana to any approved patient.
[continues 646 words]
For decades, it has embraced its gay and lesbian bars and the rock 'n'
roll debauchery of the Sunset Strip. It runs a free nightlife trolley
called The PickUp, with a jar of free condoms by the door.
Now, it's embracing a different type of social scene: pot lounges.
The city is poised to allow cannabis lounges where people can consume
the once-taboo product in a social setting. West Hollywood will join
San Francisco, Oakland and South Lake Tahoe, which earlier this year
became some of the first cities in California to open the consumption
lounges modeled after those in Amsterdam. Communities in the Coachella
Valley are also joining the ranks.
[continues 1020 words]
By the time Ann Marie Owen turned to marijuana to treat her pain, she
was struggling to walk and talk. She also hallucinated.
For four years, her doctor prescribed the 61-year-old a wide range of
opioids for her transverse myelitis, a debilitating disease that
caused pain, muscle weakness and paralysis.
The drugs not only failed to ease her symptoms, they hooked her.
When her home state of New York legalized marijuana for the treatment
of select medical ailments, Owens decided it was time to swap pills
for pot. But her doctors refused to help.
[continues 1629 words]
Marijuana beer is the latest trend in South Florida's brewing
industry, but the cannabis terpenes oil used in the brews needs to be
tested and approved. Breweries in the area are planning to host
Marijuana beer is the latest trend in South Florida's brewing
industry, but the cannabis terpenes oil used in the brews needs to be
tested and approved. Breweries in the area are planning to host
Glorifying marijuana use is now a staple across pop culture, music and
Hollywood, where getting high is celebrated with nary a mention of the
public safety risks involved. But if you smoke, vape, or enjoy edibles
and get behind the wheel of a car while impaired, not only are you
breaking the law, you are putting your life and the lives of others on
the road in great danger.
[continues 617 words]
WASHINGTON -- The top Senate Democrat is using marijuana's informal
holiday to announce a change of heart about the drug, another sign of
the growing political acceptance of pot.
New York Sen. Chuck Schumer said Friday he'll introduce a bill taking
marijuana off the federal list of controlled substances - in effect
decriminalizing its use.
Instead, his bill would let states decide how to treat marijuana
possession. Under the measure, the federal government would still
enforce laws against moving pot into states where it's illegal and
would still regulate advertising so it isn't aimed at children.
[continues 167 words]
State and local regulators are warning dispensary owners against
holding off-site parties or allowing on-site cannabis consumption
Friday during the annual celebration known as 4/20.
A number of Sacramento-area dispensaries are advertising special
events for the day, but most are scheduled for on-site and make no
mention of on-site consumption.
One exception is the second annual "Hella 420," billed as
"Sacramento's only 4/20 recreational cannabis event." It is scheduled
to begin at 1 p.m. at midtown Sacramento's Exhale Smoke Shop and is
sponsored by Ohana Gardens, a licensed dispensary.
[continues 266 words]
OXFORD - The brand-new computers, minimalist modern decor and iPad
check-in seem more akin to an Apple Store. But the security guard and
the very slight sickly-sweet smell upon entering reveal the true nature
of the new business on Main Street: It's the region's second marijuana
dispensary and it celebrated its grand opening Wednesday.
Curaleaf operates a dispensary in Hanover and a state-of-the-art grow
facility in Webster. It plans to open a third dispensary in
Provincetown at the end of the summer. It opened its roughly
2,000-square-foot dispensary in Oxford on Saturday and held a
ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday morning.
[continues 296 words]
A Pennsylvania marijuana producer is partnering with an Israeli
cannabis pioneer to cultivate and sell proprietary strains of the
plant in the Keystone State.
Ilera Healthcare operates a medical marijuana cultivation facility in
Waterfall, Fulton County. Ilera plans to open its first
state-permitted dispensary in Plymouth Meeting on May 4.
Tikun Olam -- the name means "Repair the World" in Hebrew -- is a
powerhouse in cannabis research. And in Israel, it dominates the
medical marijuana market. The Tel Aviv-based company has developed
dozens of proprietary genetic strains, some of which are designed to
alleviate anxiety, depression, nausea, pain associated with cancer,
and other ailments, a spokesman said.
[continues 272 words]
WASHINGTON -- A medicine made from the marijuana plant moved one step
closer to U.S. approval Thursday after federal health advisers
endorsed it for the treatment of severe seizures in children with epilepsy.
If the Food and Drug Administration follows the group's
recommendation, GW Pharmaceuticals' syrup would become the first drug
derived from the cannabis plant to win federal approval in the U.S.
The 13-member FDA panel voted unanimously in favor of the experimental
medication made from a chemical found in cannabis -- one that does not
get users high. The panelists backed the drug based on three studies
showing that it significantly reduced seizures in children with two
rare forms of childhood epilepsy.
[continues 449 words]
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jeff Apodaca on
Thursday called for the expansion of New Mexico's medical marijuana
program and for legalization of recreational use, saying the
poverty-stricken state is missing out on millions of dollars in tax
revenues and jobs that could be spurred by the industry.
Apodaca released his plan solidifying his position as a supporter of
legalization as the race for governor heats up.
Apodaca pointed to New Mexico's history as the first state to allow
for research and experimentation with marijuana as a therapeutic drug.
It was his father, then-Gov. Jerry Apodaca, who signed that
legislation in 1978.
[continues 517 words]
America's marijuana supporters have a lot to celebrate on this 420
holiday : Thirty states have legalized some form of medical marijuana,
according to a national advocacy group.
Nine of those states and Washington, D.C., also have broad
legalization where adults 21 and older can use pot for any reason.
Michigan could become the 10th state with its ballot initiative this
Yet cannabis remains illegal under federal law, and it still has many
Here's a look at what some advocates and critics have to say about the
state of marijuana in the U.S. today:
[continues 2321 words]
Toronto's municipal licensing and standards department is reviewing
city bylaws to see if changes are needed to deal with the "potential
impacts" that people growing legal marijuana may have on neighbouring
tenants or properties.
Mark Sraga, director of investigation services for the licensing
department, said he doesn't anticipate cannabis home-grow operations
to have a significant impact on municipal bylaws when the law permits
people to grow the drug this summer.
"Under Health Canada rules, people are allowed to grow medicinal
marijuana in their houses," he said. "I don't see how growing four
plants necessarily having any impact considering the fact I've seen
some personal designation grow licences for hundreds of plants."
[continues 275 words]
Rep. Jim Neely has seen firsthand how a terminal illness like cancer
ravages the body.
His own daughter died from cancer three years ago. With a background
in health care working as a physician and managing a hospice agency,
Neely, R-Cameron, knows the importance of patients receiving comfort.
That's why he's sponsoring a bill that would legalize medical
marijuana in a smokeless form for Missourians with terminal illnesses.
"It's for people who are terminal to gain access for comfort," Neely
said. "This seems to me aE& as a good way to get started and seeing if
there are some benefits."
[continues 1242 words]
An Inland church that uses marijuana to worship is embroiled in a
bitter dispute with Jurupa Valley, which alleges the Vault Church of
Open Faith is primarily a pot store and has been trying to shut it
down for more than a year.
An association representing the church and about 15 others like it
fired back Friday, April 13, filing a claim against the city seeking
$1.2 million in damages and alleging harassment and discrimination.
Church leaders say they smoke marijuana or eat edibles as part of
spiritual meditation as a religious sacrament, but city officials say
they're using religion as a front for selling pot.
[continues 887 words]
Some remain skeptical the proposed Cannabis Act (Bill C-45) will
achieve one of its primary objectives: protecting youth from
cannabis-related harms. Some feel the minimum age should be higher
than the minimum age for alcohol, worried that those under 25 seem
more vulnerable to dependence and health problems linked to long-term,
Critics of the proposed minimum age may be overlooking another primary
objective: displacing the black-market. Young adults aged 18 to 24
represent one third of the market. The act attempts to strike a
balance between keeping marijuana away from minors and cash away from
[continues 629 words]
Florida regulators have done far too little to make voter-approved
medical marijuana widely available for patients suffering from chronic
illnesses. A circuit court judge in Tallahassee ruled last week there
is a price for that obstruction, finding that in the absence of state
regulations, Tampa's Joe Redner is legally entitled to grow his own
pot for medical use. The ruling applies only to Redner, who has lung
cancer. But it's a victory for medical marijuana patients and their
advocates who should not have to wait for a stubborn bureaucracy to
get access to medical care that the Florida Constitution allows.
[continues 549 words]
Timothy Durden Jr. made it a habit to throw his arms around his
grandmother, plant a big kiss on her cheek and proclaim, "I love you,
The former Park Hill High School basketball and football player had a
passion for joking, dancing, lifting weights.
But the 18-year-old also enjoyed "smoking his weed," family wrote in
his obituary, and that habit cost him his life when he allegedly tried
to rob the teenager who was selling him 2 ounces of marijuana in the
[continues 1107 words]
SAN DIEGO - Support for drugs like Suboxone, Vivitrol and methadone
was one of the rallying cries at the annual American Society for
Addiction Medicine conference this week in California.
Broadly known as medication-assisted treatments, the drugs are
sometimes-controversial tools for battling the growing opioid
epidemic. Though they work in different ways, all three can be taken
long-term to reduce the chance of relapse into drug use.
"It's not a matter of ideology," said ASAM president Dr. Kelly Clark.
"It's a matter of the facts show a person's risk of dying is higher
when they don't take medication."
[continues 546 words]
It didn't get much notice because it happened the same day Speaker of
the House Paul Ryan announced his retirement, but former House Speaker
John Boehner has announced that he's joining the board of Acreage
Holdings, an investment company concentrating on the marijuana
industry. In doing so, he added that his own position on legal
marijuana had changed as public opinion had come around on the subject.
And Boehner is far from the only previously anti-pot politician to
turn into an advocate.
[continues 406 words]
Premier Kathleen Wynne has ordered that school boards be given a say
in where provincial marijuana stores are located, noting that boards
are likely to know "where their kids go at lunchtime (and) where they
go after school."
Her demand came after the announcement that Toronto's first outlet of
the Ontario Cannabis Store would be located in Scarborough, 450 metres
from Blantyre Public School. The Toronto District School Board said it
had asked to be consulted about the location, but never was. Concerned
Blantyre parents discussed the news at a school council meeting last
[continues 1490 words]
The Medical Board of Ohio this week approved certificates for
physicians to recommend medical marijuana, another step toward the
legal sale of medicinal pot in the state.
Of the three dozen doctors approved to issue recommendations for
medical marijuana, only two are in the Toledo-area, although more can
be certified later. Dr. Ryan Lakin, medical director for Omni Medical
Services, is based out of Toledo. Dr. Mark Neumann is based out of
Patients can't be prescribed medical marijuana because it's illegal
under federal law, so doctors must recommend its use.
[continues 323 words]
Doctors who treat youth have serious concerns about the legalization
With universities and schools providing few details around strategies
for marijuana legalization, doctors who treat youth have serious
concerns about the inevitable increase in use and the impending
impacts of what can be a dangerous drug.
Dr. Chris Wilkes, Alberta Health Services head of child and adolescent
psychiatry, said educators "need to ramp it up" in terms of creating
environments to ensure safety and informing youths about the health
effects of marijuana.
[continues 805 words]
The decision isn't without controversy, but city council was wise to
ban the use of marijuana in public places.
When the federal government legalizes cannabis later this summer,
Calgarians won't be able to smoke, vape or eat products made with the
substance in public spaces, unless they're a medical marijuana user.
That's led critics of the decision to complain that people who live in
multi-family dwellings may not be able to use the drug.
"It's not an insignificant group of people - 36 per cent of Calgarians
are renters," Coun. Evan Woolley said when the restriction was being
discussed by council. "And effectively, we are saying there is no
space for you to consume cannabis, and that's a problem for me."
[continues 311 words]
MONTREAL-In the rush to marijuana legalization, cities across the
country are harnessing their limited powers to delay the opening of
retail pot stores, dictate where they can operate or ban them
outright-at least temporarily.
There was uproar from Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and the Toronto
District School Board after finding out the city's first retail
cannabis store would open just 450 metres from a school, in a strip
mall where students often eat lunch.
But it's the scenario many local politicians are fighting to
[continues 982 words]
Canada is moving closer to the legalization of recreational Cannabis
this summer. Federal legislation is awaiting Senate approval and all
the provinces have developed their implementation approach.
Governments across the country rarely agree on anything. But as we
embark on this change, they have been unanimous in agreeing that their
top policy objective is the protection of youth.
We know what the approaches and commitments have been from various
governments, so we are in a good position to know whether their
actions reflect their words. So far, the simple answer is no.
[continues 629 words]
Hemp, which was Kentucky's biggest cash crop for a century before
tobacco, is poised for a comeback thanks to bipartisan legislation
introduced Thursday in Congress. It's about time.
Regular hemp cultivation in this country was banned in 1937. That's
when federal law enforcement officials, who feared the repeal of
Prohibition would leave them nothing to do, launched the first war on
With a lot of "reefer madness" hype, the government banned marijuana.
Also swept up in that ban was industrial hemp, a botanical cousin in
the cannabis family that looks similar to pot but can't make you high
no matter how much you smoke.
[continues 654 words]
Two very different things, both related to marijuana, happened in
Toronto last week. One mattered, and pointed to some of the challenges
still ahead with the legalization of marijuana later this year. The
other was the proverbial tempest in a teapot.
Allegations that workers were smoking pot on the job, forcing
Metrolinx to shut down work on a section of the $5.3-billion Crosstown
LRT project, was a serious matter.
But the uproar over the Toronto location for one of Ontario's first
government-run pot shops, which continued this week with comments from
Premier Kathleen Wynne, is way out of proportion.
[continues 541 words]
VANCOUVER - A government prohibition against mixing cannabis and
caffeine makes little sense, say some research scientists. There is
only speculation that the combination might pose a risk.
The practice, so common in the legendary pot capital of Amsterdam that
cannabis dispensaries are called "coffee shops," appears unlikely to
be coming to Canada anytime soon.
"It seems like the overriding philosophy for a lot of this is: ban
anything that might be a concern," said M-J Milloy, research scientist
with the B.C. Centre on Substance Use. "Then it's easier to un-ban
rather than trying to do it the other way around."
[continues 591 words]
On the eve of 4/20, CBC is hosting a panel to give kids and parents
the information they need before anyone tokes up.
Titled 4/19, the free evening event at Vancouver Technical secondary
hosted by CBC's Gloria Macarenko is aimed at informing teenagers and
their parents about the medical, social and legal impacts of cannabis
use for youth, with legalization in sight.
Experts range from youth workers and police officers to lawyers and
scientists, covering all aspects of this hazy issue.
[continues 410 words]
"The 4/20 marijuana event will take place again this year in Sunset
Beach Park, against the wishes of the elected park board
commissioners. The board continues to have significant concerns about
the event's impact on residents, the park and facilities that serve
"The park board does not believe this event is an appropriate use of
park space because it violates our no smoking by-laws and has negative
consequences for park users and infrastructure. The Board has declined
to give organizers a permit as the event does not meet our criteria
for issuing a special event permit.
[continues 222 words]
A week after telling two interviewers her support for legalizing
recreational use of marijuana in New York was revenue-based,
Democratic candidate for governor Cynthia Nixon said Wednesday that
it's now foremost a racial justice issue for her.
The "Sex and the City" star posted a 90-second video on YouTube in
which she stated that it's time New York joined eight other states and
the District of Columbia in legalizing recreational use of marijuana.
"There are a lot of good reasons for legalizing marijuana, but for me,
it comes down to this: we have to stop putting people of color in jail
for something that white people do with impunity," Nixon said.
[continues 466 words]
TALLAHASSEE -- A Florida circuit court judge has ruled that a Tampa
man has the right to grow his own medical marijuana.
Leon County Judge Karen Gievers said on Wednesday that Joseph Redner
is entitled under state law to grow and use marijuana for juicing. The
77-year old Redner is in remission for lung cancer and is one of more
than 95,000 state residents who is registered as a medical marijuana
The ruling applies only to Redner but could open the door for others
who have said the state should allow whole-plant use.
The state's Department of Health immediately filed an appeal after the
ruling. Gievers also said in her ruling that the state continues to be
non-compliant in the implementation of Amendment 2. The amendment,
which passed in 2016, legalized medical marijuana in Florida.
SARASOTA COUNTY -- More medical marijuana is coming to the county
after the Sarasota County Commission on Wednesday approved the second
dispensary application in two days.
The County Commission voted 4-1 to allow Sarasota-based AltMed to open
a medical marijuana dispensary at 5077 Fruitville Road in the Cobia
Bay shopping plaza -- making it the second approved dispensary in
unincorporated county. Commissioner Mike Moran, who has concerns
medical dispensaries could be the gateway to legalizing recreational
marijuana in the state, cast the dissenting vote.
[continues 133 words]
Leon County Circuit Judge Karen Gievers has ruled that Tampa strip
club owner Joe Redner has the right to grow his own marijuana.
The ruling, released Wednesday morning, applies only to Redner,
The Florida Department of Health had said Floridians are barred under
state rules from growing cannabis for their personal use, including
those who are legally registered as medical marijuana patients.
But Redner and other critics across the state say the health
department continues to create barriers for more than 95,000
registered patients in Florida that could benefit from marijuana.
Redner is a stage 4 lung cancer survivor and a registered medical
[continues 482 words]
Former GOP House speaker John A. Boehner, a longtime opponent of
marijuana legalization, is joining a company that grows and sells
cannabis, he announced Wednesday.
He has been appointed to the board of advisers of Acreage Holdings,
which operates in 11 states, Boehner said in a statement.
Acreage Holdings was formerly known as High Street Capital Partners.
The company is a financial backer of Prime Wellness, which owns a
permit to cultivate medical marijuana in South Heidelberg near Reading.
"I have concluded descheduling the drug is needed so that we can do
research and allow [the Department of Veterans Affairs] to offer it as
a treatment option in the fight against the opioid epidemic that is
ravaging our communities," Boehner said.
[continues 648 words]
By the time Thomas Hodorowski made the connection between his
marijuana habit and the bouts of pain and vomiting that left him
incapacitated every few weeks, he had been to the emergency room
dozens of times, tried anti-nausea drugs, anti-anxiety medications and
antidepressants, endured an upper endoscopy procedure and two
colonoscopies, seen a psychiatrist and had his appendix and
The only way to get relief for the nausea and pain was to take a hot
He often stayed in the shower for hours at a time. When the hot water
ran out, "the pain was unbearable, like somebody was wringing my
stomach out like a washcloth," said Hodorowski, 28, a production and
shipping assistant who lives outside Chicago.
[continues 892 words]
CALIFORNIA SLOW TO ACCEPT PROP. 64
Recreational marijuana is legal in California, but it probably isn't
legal to buy in your city. Fewer than one in three cities in
California have approved any kind of cannabis industry, and only a
sliver of cities allow recreational pot shops. The Southern California
News Group has tracked the rules for every city and county in
California, to show the patchwork of rules governing a product that
became street legal four months ago. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group)
[continues 1645 words]
In the first two months of cannabis legalization, consumers bought an
estimated $339 million worth of marijuana products from retailers in
California, 50 percent less than state projections, according to a
leading analytics firm.
The state has estimated that retail cannabis sales for the year would
be $3.4 billion, or $570 million every two months.
BDS Analytics of Boulder, Colorado, provided the firm's data to The
Bee. Greg Shoenfeld, vice president for operations, said the company
collects sales data from dispensaries and uses statistical modeling to
project statewide sales. BDS Analytics also collects and analyzes such
data in the three other states with recreational marijuana: Oregon,
Washington and Colorado.
[continues 443 words]
More than 100 people in five states, including Missouri, have been
treated in the past month for "serious unexplained bleeding" believed
to be linked to inhaling fake marijuana laced with rat poison,
according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Illinois alone has reported 107 cases, and three people have died, the
state's Department of Public Health said Monday. People have been
hospitalized for coughing up blood, blood in the urine, severe bloody
nose and bleeding gums.
Elsewhere, two people have been hospitalized in Indiana, one in
Maryland, one in Wisconsin and one in Missouri.
[continues 283 words]
Severe bleeding linked to consumption of synthetic cannabinoids has
resulted in at least two deaths and injury to nearly 90 others,
according to state health officials.
Illinois legislators approved an amendment to the state's controlled
substances act last spring in an attempt to curb the sale and use of
Gov. Bruce Rauner signed the bill into law a few months later.
Less than a year after that, an outbreak of severe bleeding and at
least two deaths are being linked to the ingestion of these materials,
many of which are found for sale at tobacco shops, convenience stores
and other retail sites throughout the state.
[continues 482 words]
State health officials issued a public warning Friday about a severe
bleeding outbreak in the Midwest that has been linked to synthetic
marijuana contaminated with a rat poison ingredient.
No cases have been reported in Ohio as of Friday.
A total of 94 people have exhibited symptoms in the past month in
Most were in Illinois, which has reported 89 cases, including two
deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Cases also have been reported in Missouri, Wisconsin and Maryland, and
there is a suspected case in Pennsylvania.
[continues 230 words]
As the cannabis industry grows, generating an estimated $10 billion in
annual sales, states are increasingly approving medical marijuana
programs and passing adult-use laws.
But for marketing agencies, marijuana dispensaries and cannabis
brands, advertising the pot brings its own hurdles.
Online platforms with prime advertising space like Facebook and Google
do not allow drug, or drug-related promotions on their sites, leaving
a large share of marijuana advertising to blogs and podcasts,
newsletters and print media. And while experts say Facebook and Google
- -- which control the lion's share of digital advertising in the
country -- are unlikely to change their policies until pot is
legalized at the federal level, and television and radio come with
their own sets of rules, industry members are left to navigate a
complex web of state-by-state regulations.
[continues 595 words]
Since last month's release of revised regulations for adult
recreational marijuana use, municipalities are heading to town
meetings this spring to decide whether to ban or allow marijuana
establishments and ways to regulate them.
Shrewsbury, Sutton, Grafton, Northboro, Northbridge and Douglas are
among the Central Massachusetts communities that will deal with
marijuana issues at town meetings in April and May. Northboro may be
the only community that has an article that seeks to ban not only
recreational marijuana, but also medical marijuana
[continues 1017 words]
On Monday, the finance, revenue and bonding committee became the
fourth panel to hold a public hearing on recreational marijuana this
legislative session. This time, on a bill that focuses on the taxation
of marijuana and marijuana products sold in the state should they be
The bill, H.B. 5582, would allow Connecticut to tax marijuana and
marijuana products on and after the date marijuana is legalized,
though this year legalization is unlikely as one key committee has
already rejected the measure and another will not be voting on the
[continues 574 words]
As one of the first lawyers in Pennsylvania to venture into the legal
world of medical marijuana and hemp, I have had the pleasure to work
and assist with the development of Pennsylvania's medical marijuana
program. I could not be happier to see these dispensaries opening and
helping the sick get relief.
However, a problem has developed that will make it very difficult for
many of the patients who most need the medicine to receive it.
The problem stems from the law's requirement that a medical marijuana
dispensary cannot be located within 1,000 feet of a school or day-care
[continues 622 words]
Studies show controlled drug use can reduce consumption of street
As the opioid crisis rages on across North America, a number of recent
studies are pointing to cannabis and prescription heroin as viable
options in curbing the consumption of lethal street opiates, reducing
long-term medical and policing costs and extending the lives of users.
An analysis of opioid prescriptions in the U.S.published on Monday by
the American Medical Association showed a significant decrease in
opioid prescriptions in states that have adopted some sort of cannabis
legislation. Using data from 2010 to 2015, the analysis counted 3.7
million fewer daily doses of opioids prescribed in states that allow
weed dispensaries, while states that allow only home cultivation saw a
decrease of 1.8 million daily prescribed doses.
[continues 715 words]
A Louisiana House committee voted Thursday (April 5) in favor of a
proposal to expand the use of medical marijuana to treat people with
chronic pain, post-traumatic stress disorder and glaucoma. The bill
cleared committee with an 8-4 vote.
HB 579, sponsored by Rep. Edward James, D-Baton Rouge, met some debate
before the vote. Opponents questioned whether there was enough medical
research establishing medical marijuana as an effective treatment for
people with chronic medical conditions.
A 2016 law allowed the use of medical marijuana to treat certain
conditions, including HIV/AIDS, Crohn's disease, muscular dystrophy
and epilepsy. James' bill would add glaucoma, severe muscle spasms,
intractable pain and PTSD to the list.
[continues 502 words]
Former U.S. attorney for South Carolina Bill Nettles is calling for a
public referendum on medical marijuana.
Nettles heads Palmetto Medical Cannabis LLC, a group advocating for
the legalization of medical cannabis in South Carolina.
"I think it is important that our state Democratic and Republican
parties allow primary voters to be heard on the important issue of
legalization of medical marijuana for seriously ill patients in our
state," he said.
Nettles cited polling data showing 78 percent of South Carolinians
support the legalized use of marijuana.
[continues 70 words]
More than half the charges laid against London marijuana dispensary
staffers and operators swept up in a series of raids on the illegal
businesses in the past two years have been withdrawn, court records
examined by The Free Press show.
London police have launched seven raids in three separate crackdowns
on city pot shops since August 2016, resulting in 49 charges against
But court records show 25 of those charges - mostly for possession for
the purposes of trafficking - were later withdrawn and resolved
through peace bonds, a non-plea order requiring the person to be on
good behaviour for a set period of time.
[continues 773 words]
In just the first day of accepting preliminary applications, the
Cannabis Control Commission said 23 companies and entrepreneurs had
submitted requests for expedited licensing, and another 167 were in
the process after the agency launched its online licensing system Monday.
"Yesterday was a seminal day in the thus-far-brief history of the
commission," said Steve Hoffman, the agency's chairman. "There were
probably a large number of people that didn't think we'd be ready on
April 2 to start accepting applications," but the agency's regulations
were in place on time last month and its system worked smoothly, he
[continues 500 words]
On Monday at noon, decades of debate all come down to this: a click of
a computer mouse by a state technology contractor.
With that, the Massachusetts state government's system for legal pot
use will blink to life, and businesses can begin applying for licenses
to grow, process, and sell cannabis to adults 21 and older.
The behind-the-scenes milestone will not have an immediate impact on
consumers. But it does mark the beginning of a process that regulators
expect will lead to the debut of recreational pot sales in July.
[continues 658 words]
After battling Lyme disease and other ailments for nearly 20 years,
Bridgitte Pascale tried "almost everything" to alleviate her pain
without relying on opioids.
Though doctors prescribed Percocet and muscle relaxers, she turned to
acupuncture and later medical marijuana, which she says are the "only
things that help" with the chronic aches and pains she manages daily.
Such alternative treatments are emerging as safe havens for some
patients concerned about the dangers of painkillers. But while many
swear by the benefit, health insurance generally doesn't cover them.
[continues 1026 words]
Three months after recreational marijuana went on sale in California,
San Diego retailers say business has been brisk and the customer base
diverse, including older people who use a private shuttle bus to reach
"There's been a change in the culture," said Will Senn, who operates
two Urbn Leaf marijuana stores in San Diego and is about to open a
"Cannabis is becoming more accepted. Now that adult-use marijuana is
legal, people are giving it a try. The average age of our customers
has gone from about 40 to about 50."
[continues 687 words]
When Justin Trudeau promised to legalize the use of recreational
marijuana, he no doubt felt it would be one of his easiest and most
rewarding tasks as Canada's new and uber-cool prime minister. He vowed
to make it a priority and change the laws within two years.
Fast-forward to last month, almost 2 1/2 years later, and Bill C-45,
to legalize cannabis, faced an unexpected pushback from a Senate that
threatened to send it packing. Trudeau took this chance to warn his
supposedly independent senators that their job description didn't call
for them to defeat bills proposed by the very government that had
bestowed upon them their most honourable appointments.
[continues 574 words]
In a lowlit room at Joy's Spa in Washington, Dawn Franklin is
smoothing a creamy white mask onto Jessica Osorio's face. The mask,
she says, is infused with chamomile and sage and aloe vera, plus one
ingredient that she still has to explain to her clients: CBD.
An aesthetician, Franklin started working with an Oregon chemist last
year to make CBD products for the skin, believing that a little of it
swiped onto the face could help repair the ravages of age.
[continues 1142 words]
Two people have died and 56 sickened in the Chicago area and central
Illinois after using synthetic pot, popularly known as K2 and Spice,
state officials said on Monday.
Over the weekend, the Illinois Department of Public Health announced
that one person had died after using synthetic cannabinoid products,
but on Monday the state agency announced that a second person had also
perished. Generally, those sickened by the drug have been hospitalized
for internal bleeding as well as blood coming from the ears, eyes and
[continues 590 words]
Can legalizing marijuana fight the problem of opioid addiction and
fatal overdoses? Two new studies in the debate suggest it may.
Pot can relieve chronic pain in adults, so advocates for liberalizing
marijuana laws have proposed it as a lower-risk alternative to
opioids. But some research suggests marijuana may encourage opioid
use, and so might make the epidemic worse.
The new studies don't directly assess the effect of legalizing
marijuana on opioid addiction and overdose deaths. Instead, they find
evidence that legalization may reduce the prescribing of opioids.
Over-prescribing is considered a key factor in the opioid epidemic.
[continues 474 words]
What makes a 40-year-old marijuana movie relevant? Cheech and Chong
have an answer.
When Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong made their groundbreaking movie "Up
in Smoke" 40 years ago, marijuana and the culture surrounding it were
much different. People smoked "Mexican brick weed," and often had to
search high and low to "score a lid" because it was illegal.
Nowadays, consumers vape, eat and smoke cannabis, which is much
stronger and comes in so many strains that someone mimicked the
periodic table to keep track of them all. And, of course, cannabis is
legal in some form in much of the country.
[continues 641 words]
Medical marijuana cleared a key committee on Thursday and headed to
the floor of the S.C. Senate.
But the 8-6 vote by the Senate Medical Affairs Committee came as
enforcement leaders are hardening their opposition, saying it is
another step toward legalized recreational marijuana in the Palmetto
"That's what we've seen in every state," State Law Enforcement
Division Chief Mark Keel told The State after the committee vote.
"There's not a state that hasn't (gone) in steps. And we've seen our
state go through the same steps. From CDB oil to hemp to medical
marijuana to recreational marijuana. And that's what we've seen in
every state . So I have no reason to think its going to be any
different in ours."
[continues 699 words]
A company that planned to open a medical marijuana dispensary south of
downtown Orlando is challenging the city's ordinance regulating such
businesses, alleging it violates state law.
Surterra Florida, which operates five dispensaries statewide, filed
the suit in Orange County Circuit Court last week and is asking a
judge to rule Orlando's law is "invalid and unenforceable."
Tallahassee Attorney William Hall, who filed the suit, is also seeking
a temporary injunction to keep the city from enforcing the law while
the court rules.
[continues 409 words]
The inspiration arrived in a haze at a Paul McCartney concert a few
years ago in San Francisco.
"People in front of me started lighting up and then other people
started lighting up," said Matthew Springer, a biologist and professor
in the division of cardiology at the University of California-San
Francisco. "And for a few naive split seconds I was thinking to
myself, 'Hey, they can't smoke in AT&T Park! I'm sure that's not
allowed.' And then I realized that it was all marijuana."
[continues 1149 words]
The Kansas House of Representatives rejected medical marijuana
But the closeness of the 54-69 vote and the hour of emotional
testimony that preceded it made advocates more confident that Kansas
is now closer to joining the 30 states that allow marijuana by
"Today was the most legislative discussion we have ever had in three
years of the Kansas Safe Access Act," said Lisa Sublett, the founder
and president of Bleeding Kansas Advocates.
Sublett noted the bipartisan nature of the vote on the medical
marijuana amendment, which came up during debate on a bill to update
the state's controlled substances listings.
[continues 572 words]
Gov. Murphy greatly expanded New Jersey's medical marijuana program
Tuesday, opening the door to tens of thousands of new patients and
allowing the five dispensaries spread across the state to add
satellite retail centers and cultivation facilities.
The governor added to the list of ailments that qualify for a cannabis
prescription. He also cleared the way for any doctor in the state to
prescribe cannabis, ending a system in which only those physicians who
registered -- and thus, joined a publicly available list of providers
- -- could do so. He said some doctors had been reluctant to participate
in the program because they viewed joining the list as a stigma.
[continues 670 words]
FRANKFORT, Ky. -- The U.S. Senate's top leader said Monday he wants to
bring hemp production back into the mainstream by removing it from the
controlled substances list that now associates it with its cousin
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told hemp advocates in his home
state of Kentucky that he will introduce legislation to legalize the
crop as an agricultural commodity. The versatile crop has been grown
on an experimental basis in a number of states in recent years.
[continues 877 words]
GAINESVILLE -- The University of Florida could start growing
industrial hemp as soon as the fall.
But the project still has to pass some hurdles before planting begins,
said Rob Gilbert, chairman of the UF/IFAS agronomy department.
The university's board of trustees approved the project Friday, and
now the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration must approve importing
industrial hemp seeds. Then the project needs to secure the $1.3
million it needs and the state Department of Agriculture and Consumer
Services must approve a planting permit.
[continues 458 words]
Following President Trump's rollout of his administration's policy
response to the opioid crisis, it has become clear that the president
would rather waste federal resources trying to execute drug dealers
than allow Americans the option to use medical cannabis.
In his speech in New Hampshire, the president mentioned a terminally
ill patient's "right to try" experimental medications that can enhance
quality of life, but ignored the National Institute of Drug Abuse's
own grudging admission that cannabis use is linked to health
improvements in people suffering a range of diseases, from cancer to
[continues 838 words]
"My uncle is prescribed marijuana."
"My parents use it, and they're doing fine."
As a drug prevention specialist who does in-school presentations in
the U.S., as well as internationally, Zach Levin has seen the problem
firsthand: Teens know that recreational use is legal in states such as
Colorado and that medical use is on the rise, and they're using that
information to support the old argument that a little weed never hurt
And starting today, Illinois teens have one more argument: In a
symbolic win for legalization forces that did not change local laws,
Cook County residents voted in favor of legalizing recreational
marijuana use by a wide margin Tuesday, with 68 percent in favor and
32 percent against.
[continues 790 words]
When Mack Hudson of Lexington was 16 years old, he was paralyzed when
he fractured his skull, broke his neck and shattered a key vertebrae
in a car wreck.
Over the past 10 years, he's been prescribed increasing doses of
opioids -- Percocet and Roxycodone to alleviate the pain.
"It messes with my head," he said. "I can't think straight. I can't
function straight. I'm just not myself."
So Hudson traveled to California and Colorado to experiment with
[continues 905 words]
OAKLAND, Calif. - When officers burst into Rickey McCullough's
two-story home in Oakland a decade ago they noted a "strong fresh odor
of marijuana." Mr. McCullough had been growing large amounts of
marijuana illegally, the police said. He was arrested and spent a
month in jail.
A few weeks ago the city of Oakland, now promoting itself as a hub for
marijuana entrepreneurs, awarded Mr. McCullough, 33, a license to sell
marijuana and the prospect of interest-free loans.
Four hundred miles to the south, in the Los Angeles suburb of Compton,
Virgil Grant, 50, straddles the same two worlds, but with a different
outcome. He was a marijuana dealer in the 1990s whose customers are
said to have included rap stars like Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg and Tupac,
and he spent more than eight years in prison on marijuana convictions.
But his vision of starting a marijuana dispensary in his hometown was
dashed in January when the residents of Compton voted decisively to
ban marijuana businesses from city limits.
[continues 1415 words]
The Town of Oliver is setting aside a hearing to "hash out" some
details in local bylaws prior to the legalization of the sale of
Council on Monday "decimated," as Coun. Larry Schwartzenberger put it,
a staff recommendation to restrict cannabis sales via zoning bylaws in
Oliver, as well as a $15,000 ask to hire a consultant to determine the
wishes of the community.
"We will be able to approve or disapprove an application. If something
is in the commercial zone that's too close to a park or school, we
will just not approve it," Schwartzenberger said.
[continues 259 words]
The legalization of pot may be looming but that doesn't mean police
are backing off their crackdown on the "grey" marijuana market.
Most recently, RCMP in Colchester County raided the Community
Compassion Centre in Bible Hill. They seized cash, marijuana,
marijuana derivatives and drug paraphernalia, and charged Ricky Joseph
Leclerc, 51, of Upper Kennetcook.
He's scheduled to appear in Nova Scotia provincial court
"The RCMP will continue to work within the existing legislation under
the Controlled Drug and Substances Act," RCMP spokesman Cpl. Dal
Hutchinson said Monday in an email. "If we determine that there is a
violation of the legislation, we will take appropriate action."
[continues 322 words]