Sign up for the Word on the Tree newsletter
* = required field

powered by MailChimp!

Mona Zhang

Mona Zhang is the founder and editor of Word on the Tree. Her work has appeared in High Times, Vice, Freedom Leaf, Adweek, and more.

  • ‘There’s been too much legalization talk,’ says Sessions

    The attorney general doubles down on drugs-violence link, the DEA chief says 'marijuana is not medicine,' and more in today's newsletter.

    May 26, 2017
    By Mona Zhang

    ‘Drugs and crime go together.’ Attorney general Jeff Sessions continues to argue that drugs and crime are closely linked. In a speech he gave in Memphis, Tenn. he argued that a recent “surge” in violent crime was tied to a decrease in drug prosecutions by the Obama administration.

  • Pharma company hopes to capitalize on cannabis compound for epilepsy

    Promising results for CBD as an epilepsy treatment, the story of a Texas teen who lost his life in the war on drugs, and more in today's newsletter.

    May 25, 2017
    By Mona Zhang

    Study indicates CBD’s effectiveness. The first “rigorous test” of a plant-derived CBD drug on epilepsy was a success for GW Pharmaceuticals — the manufacturers of the drug called Epidiolex. A study published Wednesday found that CBD reduced the number of seizures in epileptic children. The Associated Press The trial involved 120 patients.

  • Trump commends Duterte for doing “unbelievable job on the drug problem”

    The Philippine president's anti-drug campaign has cost more than 7,000 lives and drawn international condemntation

    May 24, 2017
    By Mona Zhang

    President Donald Trump called Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte in April to congratulate him on his anti-drug campaign. In a transcript of the call obtained by The Intercept, Trump says: “I just wanted to congratulate you because I am hearing of the unbelievable job [you are doing] on the drug problem.

  • Vermont passed a bill to legalize recreational marijuana

    But governor Phil Scott vetoed the historic legislation

    By Mona Zhang

    On Wednesday, Vermont could’ve become the first state in the U.S. to legalize marijuana through the legislature. But Republican governor Phil Scott vetoed the legislation, which was the first of its kind to be passed by a state legislature. While that version of the bill is dead, Scott suggested changes

  • Vermont governor vetoes marijuana legalization bill

    Phil Scott said no to a historic piece of legislation, Trump commends Duterte's "unbelievable job" in the drug war, and more in today's newsletter.

    By Mona Zhang

    Vermont governor vetoes legalization bill. The state could’ve become the first in the nation to legalize cannabis through the legislature. But Republican governor Phil Scott vetoed a historic marijuana legalization bill. Scott said he was not “philosophically opposed” to adult-use legalization but was concerned about highway and child safety.

  • Trump’s proposed budget keeps ONDCP, lacks MMJ protections

    A look at president Trump's budget, a Sessions memo from the '80s is worrisome for criminal justice reforms, and more in today's newsletter.

    May 23, 2017
    By Mona Zhang

    White House will keep the ONDCP. The Trump administration was considering a 95 percent budget cut for the Office of National Drug Control Policy. After backlash from members of Congress, the White House will propose small cuts to the drug-free communities program (a $3 million cut) and high-intensity drug trafficking program (a $6 million cut).

  • Veterans group appeals to Trump to reclassify marijuana

    American Legion requested a meeting with Kushner, prosecutors and state AGs push back against Sessions, and more in today's newsletter.

    May 22, 2017
    By Mona Zhang

    Veterans appeal to Trump for medical marijuana. The American Legion, a conservative veterans’ group, is appealing to the Trump administration to reclassify cannabis to open up research on the drug. It has requested a meeting with Jared Kushner to “seek support from the president” on the issue. The national director for veterans affairs for the organization said,

  • Former prosecutor says drug-war tactics are ‘a total failure’

    US states pursue reforms as Trump administration does the opposite. This and more in today's newsletter.

    May 19, 2017
    By Mona Zhang

    States continue with criminal justice reforms. While attorney general Jeff Sessions pursues a policy to incarcerate more people for longer sentences, states are moving ahead with the opposite strategy. More than 30 states have taken steps to reduce incarceration rates, like investing in drug treatment programs. The New York Times Louisiana is poised to pass a historic criminal justice overhaul in an effort to reduce its incarceration rate —

  • Trump’s constant scandals could hinder cannabis reform in Congress

    But there's growing bipartisan support for the issue as lawmakers push bills to end prohibition and bring banks to the industry. This and more in today's newsletter.

    May 18, 2017
    By Mona Zhang

    Cannabis at the Capitol. A bipartisan group of 11 lawmakers are co-sponsoring a bill to end federal prohibition. Introduced in February, House rep. Thomas Garrett (R-Va.) held a press conference on the legislation, explaining how he came around to the issue. Formerly a criminal prosecutor who enforced marijuana laws “quite vigorously,”

  • Even conservative evangelicals are criticizing Sessions

    Everyone from Pat Robertson to Willie Nelson is speaking out against the attorney general. This and more in today's newsletter.

    May 17, 2017
    By Mona Zhang

    Criticism of Sessions comes from all corners. Criticism of attorney general Jeff Sessions is mounting after his memo bringing back harsh drug sentencing. A former federal prosecutor and judge say the policies “led to scandalous racial disparities. They have caused untold misery at great expense. And they have not made us safer.”