‘A great, great wall’ to stop the drugs. In president Donald Trump’s joint address to Congress, he pledged to build a wall that will “slow down and ultimately stop” the “terrible drug epidemic.” But evidence shows that a wall would do little to stop drug trafficking across the border. Vox Trump’s desire to cut foreign aid could hit anti-drug programs hard. McClatchy DC Washington governor Jay Inslee says he’s looking at “litigation options” to protect recreational marijuana from the Trump administration. McClatchy DC
Against Sessions. Attorney general Jeff Sessions’ recent cannabis comments are receiving some pushback. A summary of the scientific evidence shows that cannabis is a promising way to mitigate opioid abuse and overdoses. The Washington Post Colorado attorney general Cynthia Coffman (who initially opposed recreational legalization) said that businesses in the state should be concerned about the remarks. She says her office will invite Sessions to visit the state: “You need to come to Colorado and visit us and see what we’re doing with regulation and enforcement before coming in with some sort of edict.” US News
Republican Congressman introduces federal legalization bill. House representative Tom Garrett has introduced legislation that would take marijuana out of the Controlled Substances Act and treat it like tobacco and alcohol. Garrett says he anticipates bipartisan support for the bill. “Minor narcotics crimes disproportionately hurt areas of lower socio-economic status and what I find most troubling is that we continue to keep laws on the books that we do not enforce,” he said. The bill was originally introduced by senator Bernie Sanders in 2015. Fauquier Now Here’s a draft of the bill. Scribd / tomangell
Framed by drug-planting police. Four defendants have had their drug convictions thrown out after former Chicago police sergeant Ronald Watts was convicted of corruption. They spent years behind bars after being framed by police. Now, the state’s attorney’s office is investigating how far his corruption extends. Prosecutors will revisit hundreds of potentially tainted convictions. The Chicago Tribune
The trouble for scientists. A growing number of researchers are running into problems trying to study cannabis. Scientists are hampered by long delays seeking approval from the DEA to study marijuana, only to receive such low-potency, government-grown weed that it is “not really possible to do actual use-patterns analysis.” The Chronicle of Higher Education Related: NIDA says it agrees with improving the quality of research cannabis and removing regulatory barriers for scientists who want to study the drug. But it does not agree with many of the conclusions from a recent National Academies report on marijuana. drugabuse.gov
Tribal land to host country’s largest grow-op. Acoma Pueblo is partnering with Bright Green Group of Companies to construct a 6 million-square-foot, $160-million greenhouse for growing medical marijuana. The proposed site dwarfs other large grow-ops like AmeriCann’s 1 million-square-foot facility planned for Massachusetts. The Associated Press
Promoting POC in cannabis. The Hood Incubator, a pre-seed startup accelerator in California, hopes to help people of color gain a foothold in the cannabis industry. “The organization is designed to develop leadership and entrepreneur skills, while also addressing persistent racial and class disparities inherent to cannabis prohibition.” Its first group has 15 fellows, mostly based in Oakland, Calif. Cananbis Now
Pesticide problems. After recalling cannabis that was tainted with a banned pesticide, Canadian medical marijuana producer Organigram said it was unable to determine the source of contamination. The company maintains that it does not knowingly use myclobutanil and will refund patients who bought the recalled products. Marijuana Business Daily Cannabis concentrates in California also have a pesticide problem. In some cases, 80 percent of concentrate samples test positive. Certain types of extractions are more likely than others to show signs of pesticides. LA Weekly
The Philippines drug war. The country’s anti-narcotics agency signed an agreement with the military to use troops in president Duterte’s crackdown on drugs. A spokesman for the military said troops would only be used against “major drug suspects,” and would not be involved in “small-time targets.” The Associated Press After suspending the police force’s anti-drug activity for corruption, Duterte said he is bringing police back to the campaign. The suspension occured after anti-drug officers kidnapped and killed a South Korean businessman. Reuters
And now, in local news…
- In California, lawmakers support creating a task force to study cannabis impairment and driving.
- In Connecticut, the legislature will hold hearings on recreational legalization for the first time.
- In Nevada, lawmakers introduced a bill that would treat opioid addiction with cannabis.
- In Texas, the Harris county DA defends a new policy on marijuana.
- In Georgia, a House committee does not endorse PTSD for medical cannabis expansion.
- In Arkansas, the medical cannabis program will allow for delivery.
- In Florida, despite legalization, patients still struggle to get medical marijuana.
- In Iowa, a Senate panel approved a proposal to lower penalties for cannabis possession. Lawmakers are divided on MMJ legislation.
- In Tennessee, a House subcommittee approved a bill to block cities from decriminalizing cannabis.
Word for Word
“In normal times, a crackdown against an activity increasingly popular in the states and supported by large majorities of Americans would be a low priority for a new administration and would proceed only with care and deliberation. As the past month has made clear, however, these are not normal times.” – University of Denver professor Sam Kamin for The Washington Post
“I am good at keeping secrets. I am good at telling lies. I’m so good that years later, when I’m an adult trying to find out more about my mother’s life and death, I’ll have trouble with my own memories: Did I know we were on the bus buying drugs? Did I understand the danger we were in? Did I really believe we were in this together?” – Leah Carroll for New York
“If the anti-drug war were conducted against white middle- and upper-income-area users, and the university students of America, with the same zeal it is waged against the non-white poor, the demand for and supply of drugs would decline sharply, the obscenely inflated number of incarcerated people would skyrocket, the ranks of students in institutions of higher learning would be thinned out sharply; and practically every elected official in the country would be impeached, recalled, or hammered at the polls.” – Conrad Black for the National Review
“By making and using [Full Extract Cannabis Oil], I have reduced my daily prescription dose from 13 pills and three inhalers to two pills and one rescue inhaler I use infrequently. I no longer take ANY prescription pain medicine, nor muscle relaxers or sleep aids. I was certain my working life was over, but I have started a consulting business again. I feel better than I have in more than a decade. I am working at becoming active and healthy enough to earn enough money to no longer qualify for Social Security Disability.” – Unnamed Marine veteran, The Atlantic