It’s 4/20! The weed holiday is here. While the day will surely be filled with celebrations, some advocates hope that the pro-cannabis festivities will spur activism in the age of Trump. “Should they view the pot-smoker’s holiday as a chance to show strength? Or should they lie relatively low in the hopes of not attracting unwanted attention that could spur a crackdown?” The Denver Post Do we even need 4/20 in the era of legal weed? “Like the gay community, we tokers have our buttoned-down members who object to the outrageous scenes of our radical members letting their freak flag fly.” Green State
The fight is far from over. As 4/20 celebrations kick off — remember that the fight is not over. DCMJ, the activist group behind the District’s successful legalization initiative, planned to hold a joint giveaway in compliance with D.C. cannabis laws to raise awareness for marijuana reform. Instead, seven activists were arrested by U.S. Capitol Police, despite following local laws. All seven activists were slapped with federal drug charges. While the original plan was to comply with local laws, other attendees lit up in defiance. Twitter / @stevennelson10
How did we get here anyway? Many believe alcohol and tobacco are somehow different than illicit drugs. But a substance’s potential to cause harm has little to do with its legal status. “There are two primary factors that influence what we consider to be drugs: race and money… This is why we often drug test poor people who receive government aid, but not, as one Congresswoman suggested last year, one-percenters who exploit tax loopholes.” Rolling Stone
Scary signs from the DOJ. Veterans of the Justice Department are concerned about the implications of a March 31 memo from attorney general Jeff Sessions. He directed his deputies to review local compliance with “all federal laws,” which could have an impact on marijuana enforcement. While its unclear how the new team will interpret the mandate, it could have consequences for grants, task forces, and other types of collaboration between federal and local law enforcement. NPR
But cannabis reform now has bipartisan Congressional support. “If the two of us can find common ground on this, why can’t all of America?” A liberal writer may disagree with some Republican politicians, but finds they can agree on legalizing weed. While the Cannabis Caucus is in its infancy, it boasts lawmakers across the ideological spectrum. As marijuana use becomes more widely accepted, the pro-cannabis camp is gaining lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. Vice Related: A new poll finds 61 percent of Americans support legalizing marijuana. It’s “a five-point increase from last year and the highest percentage ever recorded in this poll.” CBS News
A new take on this is your brain on drugs. Twenty years ago, actor Rachael Leigh Cook appeared in an anti-drug ad that featured a frying pan and an egg. Today, she’s staring in a new campaign to raise awareness for the harms of prohibition: “Your Brain on Drug Policy,” which features a white egg and a brown egg. (Guess which egg gets locked up for drugs.) Adweek
Getting high alone. A study by BDS Analytics found that nearly half of cannabis consumers get high by themselves. “I was startled by that,” said the firm’s director of consumer research. “I thought cannabis was much more of a social drug.” She says the data reflect that cannabis is not a party drug, but rather “a part of people’s routines and lifestyles.” The Daily Beast
Cannabis in Canada. 420 goes corporate: At the Toronto Stock Exchange, employees of a marijuana exchange-traded fund rang the opening bell to celebrate the weed holiday and promote their company. CBC News Pharmacy distributors want in on the cannabis game, saying it has a ready-made system for distributing marijuana. The Canadian Press Prospective leaders of the Conservative party are split on cannabis policy. The Globe and Mail Related: As Canada waits for marijuana legalization, it continues a policy of prohibition. “That leaves the estimated 2.3-million Canadians who use pot in a limbo in which the use of the drug has essentially been normalized by the government, but the possession of which, at least until next summer, could still see them slapped with a criminal charge.” The Globe and Mail
Marijuana marketing. As the cannabis industry matures, more producers are opting for “smarter and more nuanced” marketing. Cannabis brands are popping up that hope to cater to new segments of the pot market. Ad Age A cannabis product ad is airing in California — without the cannabis. Eureka Vapor, a company that makes concentrate vaporizers, is running a commercial that features portrayals of athletes, dancers, and military members. While many federally licensed TV stations don’t accept cannabis advertising, the ad has been airing on an independent channel in Orange County, Calif., and is scheduled to run in other markets like Los Angeles and San Diego. The Los Angeles Times
America gets its first certified budtender. Shayna Schonouer of Sacramento, Calif. became the nation’s first certified cannabis pharmacy technician. She is “very excited” to be the only person in the country to hold a state-sanctioned title of budtender. CBS San Francisco
Scientists record “mind-opening state” of people on acid. Brain scans show “what appears to be a heightened state of consciousness” of healthy people who took LSD, psilocybin, and ketamine. Researchers found a “sudden increase in randomness in brain activity [which] appeared to reflect a deeper and richer conscious state.” The Guardian
I Get High. As a little 4/20 celebration, we’re publishing this week’s playlist early and filling it with weed-related tunes — from Cujo’s ‘Fat Ass Joint’ to Billy Boyo’s ‘One Spliff a Day.’ Word on the Tree
Word on the States
- In Colorado, a medical marijuana for PTSD bill advances in the House. The House rejected an attempt to ban pot use in churches.
- In Florida, medical marijuana program likely won’t allow smoking. Still no sign of compromise between House and Senate medical pot bills.
- In New York, a medical marijuana dispensary in the Bronx is struggling.
- In New Hampshire, the governor is OK with a decriminalization measure.
- In Nebraska, lawmakers consider legalizing medical marijuana.
- In Connecticut, supporters of legalization say the issue could come up in budget negotiations.
- In Maryland, regulators ease restrictions on past pot use for prospective police officers.
- In Arizona, an appellate court issued two rulings about medical marijuana.
- In Pennsylvania, the state awards its seed-to-sale tracking contract to MJ Freeway.
Word for Word
“The national ‘taking back 4/20’ summit was hosted by Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM), the largest anti-marijuana legalization group in the country. And while Kevin Sabet, the president and CEO of SAM, said it was just a coincidence that the annual summit landed on 4/20, he also ‘didn’t want to say we can’t do it on 4/20 because it’s a marijuana users day.'” – Alyson Martin for BuzzFeed News
“The DEA has lost their moral authority in this matter, which is sad and dangerous for us as a nation, because we are suffering under the scourge of meth abuse and opioid abuse… This is ripping families apart. People are dying. It’s awful. And yet the DEA is removing their eye from the ball and they’re saying we’re going to classify CBDs as Schedule I and we’re going to bust somebody who’s trying to help their migraines.” – House rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) The Cannabist
“Gavin himself appeared oblivious to his surroundings, made little to no eye contact and was very hyperactive and distracted, moving around the office the entire time. A cute child wearing a little fedora and glasses, his face showed little affect and we made no connection… I started Gavin on CBD-rich cannabis oil, given by mouth. The effects were immediate. Within 10 days, Gavin, previously non-verbal, began speaking.” – Bonni Goldstein, M.D. for marijuana.com