The EPA rejects California’s pot pesticide request. The Environmental Protection Agency is rejecting California’s request to approve pesticides for cannabis cultivation. While the four pesticides have been approved for other crops, EPA head Scott Pruitt wants to block the application. “Under federal law, cultivation (along with sale and use) of cannabis is generally unlawful as a Schedule I controlled substance,” Pruitt told California regulators in a letter. “The EPA would not have been inclined to disapprove these registrations were cultivation and sale of marijuana generally lawful in the United States.” MassRoots
Adult-use sales start tomorrow in Nevada. Ahead of recreational marijuana in the state, police are getting increased training on impairment, and airports are tweaking their pot policies. The Associated Press In preparation for adult-use sales, medical marijuana dispensaries have stockpiled up to two months of cannabis. If they run out, cannabis retailers will have to wait until a legal dispute is settled before they can re-stock. Las Vegas Review-Journal The head of the Nevada Dispensary Association believes the legal tussle will be resolved soon. The Clark county commissioner agreed, saying “there are many options on the table, and this will be solved quickly.” Las Vegas Sun
How a pot bust hurt a totally unrelated cannabis business. Yesterday, Colorado officials announced the largest pot bust since the state legalized cannabis, indicting 62 individuals in an operation named “Toker Poker.” But the moniker is also the name of a cannabis brand that sells a lighter sleeve with tamper and poker attachments. “If you ever looked for Toker Poker online, we were all over the first page of Google,” said one of the entrepreneurs behind the brand. After news of the bust broke, “we’re down at the bottom of the Google search. I’m not sure how that’s going to affect our sales, but I know it’s going to.” The bust has Toker Poker (the brand) in crisis management mode, and will consider legal action if the case has a long-term impact on business. The Cannabist
Defending Johnny Boone. The leader of the Cornbread Mafia faces life in prison if he’s convicted for growing marijuana under a three-strikes rule. His supporters in Kentucky are raising money and speaking out against his incarceration: “He wasn’t out raping or murderin’ – he just grew a green plant,” said one disabled veteran at a fundraiser for Boone. After a DEA raid on his farm, Boone disappeared for eight years before being apprehended in Canada. Courier-Journal
Canada is on track to violate international drug treaties. It looks like the country will continue its legalization plans without pulling out of international drug control treaties. July 1 is the deadline for Canada to withdraw before legalizing recreational marijuana. If the country sticks to its timeline, it will be in violation of international law when the program rolls out. “The harshest immediate consequences for Canada would be facing down some international outrage, and the usual domestic opposition.” But with state-legal cannabis in the U.S. and Uruguay’s adult-use program, others are in violation too. iPolitics
‘Cannabis light.’ Switzerland has banned the growing and consumption of cannabis with a THC content of more than 1 percent. The law, however, has spawned a market for CBD-rich cannabis. “From CBD cannabis alone, I earn 50,000 francs a month,” says one entrepreneur. Here’s a look at how Werner Bösch became the first person in the country to set up commercial CBD-flower grows. swissinfo.ch
The distinction between ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ drugs. Cannabis is often seen as a “soft” drug, while heroin and cocaine are viewed as “hard” drugs. But what’s the rationale behind these distinctions? A new study looked into that question and found that psychedelics like mushrooms and LSD are often listed as hard drugs, despite their relative safety. Alcohol is frequently listed as a soft drug, but when it comes to toxicity and addictive potential, it’s just as bad as many stereotypically hard drugs. “To avoid confusion in the future, we recommend not using the terms ‘hard drugs’ and ‘soft drugs’ in scientific publications,” concluded the researchers. Discover
Drug war lessons unlearned. Richard Wershe Jr., better known as White Boy Rick, rose to prominence as a teen cocaine trafficker and was put behind bars at 17-years-old. This month, Wershe got his first parole hearing in more than 14 years. But his status as an inmate reflects the vestiges of the ’80s war on drugs. “Wershe was sentenced under arguably the most merciless drug statute ever conceived in the nation, Michigan’s so-called 650-Lifer Law… [which] has become a symbol of the worst excesses of the drug war and is widely regarded as a failure.” The governor who signed the legislation has called it the worst mistake of his career. New Yorker
Colorado’s criminal justice reformer. State rep. Pete Lee got into politics after a short-lived semi-retirement. A former criminal defense attorney, Lee was elected as a state representative, and has been defined by his work reforming the criminal justice system in the state. Here’s the story of how he led the charge on passing legislation to create restorative justice measures, and how a mother who lost her 3-year-old son was helped by such a program. “Having a restorative justice dialogue, there is such a thing as closure, there is such a thing as getting over your pain and getting through it.” Colorado Springs Independent
Trump’s pick for surgeon general. President Trump has chosen Jerome Adams to be the next surgeon general. Adams, who was appointed as Indiana’s health commissioner by vice president Mike Pence, has been on the forefront of dealing with the opioid crisis. An HIV outbreak due to intravenous drug use in the state prompted Pence to authorize an emergency needle exchange program. Adams has also worked to expand the use of naxalone in the state. Stat
Police are on the lookout for LSD hunters. A former detective in a 1977 LSD bust in Wales is claiming that some of the stash may not have been found in the raid. Now, police are being sent to patrol a quiet Welsh village to head off those who might seek to find the LSD. In a new edition of his book on the story, Stephen Bentley describes a statement that claimed a substantial amount of the drug had been buried in the woods. “I have made my mind up. That stash is almost certainly still there,” said Bentley. The Guardian
Rising Light. This week’s playlist is full of meditative, drone music, featuring artists like Stars of the Lid and Sarah Davachi. Word on the Tree
Word on the States
- In Oregon, a lack of public information on cannabis businesses raises concerns.
- In Massachusetts, efforts to rewrite the voter-passed marijuana law have stalled.
- In Maine, the governor signed an emergency MMJ regulation bill.
- In Vermont, lawmakers look to 2018 for recreational legalization.
- In Pennsylvania, the health department announced 27 medical marijuana retailers for the state.
- In Ohio, the state is keeping medical marijuana grow applications a secret.
- In Arkansas, business filings spike ahead of a marijuana deadline.
- In Washington, new cannabis rules reflect concern of federal threat.
- In West Virginia, the health department appointed 13 people to the medical marijuana advisory board.
- In Guam, lawmakers send a medical cannabis regulation bill to the governor’s desk.
Word for Word
“‘You’ll see less of me until the Marawi incident is over,’ the Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte announced… This lying low is, no doubt, not the position Duterte had hoped to be in, with today marking the end of his controversial first year in office. Having attracted widespread condemnation for his unrelenting war on drugs that turned the capital Manila into a bloodbath, after the extrajudicial killings of upwards of 7,000 Filipinos, it was cut short amid claims of endemic police corruption and the murder via mistaken identity of the South Korean businessman, Jee Ick-Joo. Not wanting to lose momentum, Duterte also managed to cozy up to Donald Trump, goad Chelsea Clinton with Monica Lewinsky gags and deploy troops to the South China Sea’s hotly disputed Spratly Islands.” – Joanna Fuertes-Knight for The Guardian
“I grew up in the projects in New York City. It was during the time when politicians fell in love with lucrative drug policies and dealers ‘married the streets’—committed fully to street life and the ugliness that comes with it. This symbiotic relationship birthed what we now call mass incarceration. As data will tell you, this hit black and brown homes the hardest. Which is why I’ve been a jail visitor more times than I can count, and more times than I care to mention. Each jail you visit is hellish, but in my experience Rikers is particularly vile. ” – Shanita Hubbard for Fusion
“Though formal acting was not yet on the horizon, his life became a kind of delicate performance as he desperately tried to conform. He wore knockoff streetwear and learned to walk with a lean. As a favor to a friend, he smuggled balloons of marijuana into Rikers for a man he barely knew. He was 16. (The experience later helped inspire a plot point on The Night Of.)” – Noah Remnick on Michael K. Williams for The New York Times
“As clergy, we write in support of proposals to tax and regulate marijuana in Connecticut. It may seem counterintuitive for a rabbi and a minister to adopt this view. We believe, however, that people of faith have a special responsibility to speak about what policies serve our communities best… One does not have to use marijuana — or even approve of marijuana — to see that our current laws are not working.” – Rabbi Shaul Marshall Praver and Rev. Alexander E. Sharp for New Haven Register