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    Word on the Tree

  • White House ignores evidence that marijuana could help the opioid crisis

    The commission received thousands of comments to investigate cannabis, Booker introduces racial justice-minded legalization bill, and more in today's newsletter.

    August 1, 2017

    White House ignores science on marijuana and opioids. On Monday, the White House’s commission on addiction and the opioid crisis issued an interim report, recommending that president Trump “declare a national emergency.” The report also recommended expanding drug treatment under Medicaid, increasing the use of medication-assisted treatment, mandating law enforcement officers to carry naxalone,

  • A councilman voted to ban pot but then applied for a license to grow it

    Purely a 'business decision,' new cannabis legislation in Congress, and more in today's newsletter.

    July 31, 2017

    Cannabis in Congress. U.S. rep. Suzan DelBene (D-Wash.) reintroduced legislation to protect state cannabis laws from federal enforcement on Friday. Known as the SMART Enforcement Act, the bill would give states with legal cannabis programs a waiver from the Controlled Substances Act. “People in these states should not live in fear of the unpredictable actions of the attorney general and Department of Justice,”

  • A look behind the Feds’ secret marijuana meeting

    The federal government's war on weed, Mnuchin talks cannabis banking problems, and more in today's newsletter.

    July 28, 2017

    The federal government’s war on weed. So far, there’s no news out of the Justice Department’s review of marijuana policy. Some advocates fear that a crackdown could be coming, but attorney general Jeff Sessions said he would “continue to review all of the task force’s recommendations and look forward to taking additional steps.”

  • Senate committee, Kushner push back against Sessions

    Jared Kushner, the criminal justice reformer, a Senate committee approves medical marijuana protections, and more in today's newsletter.

    July 27, 2017

    Jared Kushner, chief ally of drug sentencing reformers? The son-in-law and adviser to president Trump includes criminal justice reform among his many responsibilities. He’s been in talks with lawmakers and criminal justice organizations about the issue, including moving away from mandatory minimums for non-violent drug offenders. Such a change would put him at odds with attorney general Jeff Sessions who is promoting the policy as part of his tough-on-crime agenda.

  • Congressmen introduce new cannabis research bill

    A bipartisan group promote marijuana research, House Republicans block cannabis votes, and more in today's newsletter.

    July 26, 2017

    Congressmen introduce marijuana research bill. A bipartisan group of congressmen have introduced a new bill that would make it easier for researchers to study cannabis by removing some of the bureaucratic red tape surrounding the process. It would also allow for private companies to grow research marijuana, which is now currently monopolized by NIDA and the University of Mississippi.

  • Advocates sue Sessions and the DEA, challenging the CSA

    Lawsuit claims marijuana in the CSA is unconstitutional, Congress to consider a variety of cannabis amendments, and more in today's newsletter.

    July 25, 2017

    Suing Sessions and the DEA. Five plaintiffs have filed a federal lawsuit against attorney general Jeff Sessions and the DEA, claiming that marijuana’s Schedule I status is unconstitutional. The plaintiffs include retired NFL player-turned cannabis entrepreneur Marvin Washington, three medical marijuana patients (including two children and one veteran),

  • Some fear a DOJ crackdown on cannabis could be coming

    The Justice Department will reconsider its marijuana policies, the House considers MMJ for vets, and more in today's newsletter.

    July 24, 2017

    Fears that DOJ will crack down on cannabis. Attorney general Jeff Sessions’ Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety is expected to release a review next week on the Justice Department’s marijuana policies. Given Sessions’ rhetoric linking cannabis to violent crime, some advocates are worried that harsher policies are to come.

  • Cannabinoid receptors aren’t what we thought, finds new research

    The "lock-and-key" model isn't quite right, employers reconsider the drug test, and more in today's newsletter.

    July 7, 2017

    We’re going on vacation. This editor is taking a two-week break from this newsletter and the maddening pace of news on the internet. We’ll be back with our regular dispatches on July 24! 🌳

    Cannabinoid receptors are actually quite malleable. Scientists have long thought that cannabinoid receptors worked like a lock and key with cannabinoids.

  • Inside the fight for Peter Tosh’s son

    Jawara McIntosh resisted a plea deal, MMJ patient sues over wrongful termination, and more in today's newsletter.

    July 6, 2017

    Inside the fight for Jawara McIntosh. The son of the late reggae icon Peter Tosh is in a coma after sustaining a traumatic brain injury from a jail beating. McIntosh was serving a one-year sentence after pleading guilty to possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. “Jawara would have preferred to fight against what he saw as the unjust criminalization of cannabis in an open court,”

  • Long lines for legal weed in Nevada, but retailers aren’t worried about selling out

    The latest adult-use market comes online, Denver finalizes rules for social-use, and more in today's newsletter.

    July 5, 2017

    Recreational pot sales start in Nevada. The state rolled out an early start to its adult-use cannabis program when medical marijuana dispensaries started selling recreational pot on Saturday. Both tourists and locals took advantage of the newly legal weed for sale, waiting in long lines at dispensaries. The demand exceeded cannabis businesses’