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,” according to his lawyer. But eventually he opted for the plea deal in the face of a five- to 10-year mandatory minimum. Rolling Stone
DEA digging its heels in. The agency is sticking to its position that hemp-derived CBD is and has been a Schedule I substance. But now, some in the hemp industry are suing the DEA, claiming that the creation of an extract code amounts to overstepping its authority. Other CBD advocates question the tactic: Paige Figi, whose daughter Charlotte has become a poster child for CBD access, is concerned that such legal actions against the agency will cause them to step up enforcement. The Cannabist
Fired for medical marijuana. As medical marijuana reforms make their way around the country, employees’ off-duty use of the medicine is increasingly becoming a legal issue. The latest case: A former employee of Ardagh Glass in New Jersey has filed a lawsuit, claiming wrongful termination. Joseph B. Cobb III uses medical marijuana to treat pain related to Marfan syndrome, and claims the company violated discrimination laws when it fired him despite his “stellar work performance.” nj.com
Suing for smokable marijuana. John Morgan, the wealthy backer of a medical marijuana legalization campaign in Florida, is suing the state over a ban on smoking medical marijuana. The lawsuit argues that lawmakers violated voters’ intent when they excluded smoking from the program. More than 71 percent of voters in the state approved of the ballot measure, which passed in November of last year. Miami Herald “If [lawmakers] had left that alone, I wouldn’t be flying to Tallahassee today. But, I warned them and so I believe promises made are promises that need to be kept,” said Morgan. First Coast News
Pot growers in California brace for new regulations. Draft pesticide regulations in California set a high bar for cannabis growers used to having no regulations at all. The proposed rules are “going to send ripples through the industry, and I think that’s a good thing,” said the director of a cannabis growers association. The state attorney general is also investigating claims that certain marijuana products contain unsafe levels of pesticides that are commonly used in cannabis cultivation. “No doubt, the regulations will cost people in the reefer racket.” San Francisco Chronicle
Escalating drug-war violence in Mexico. At least 26 people are dead after a gun fight between the La Linea gang and the Sinaloa cartel. The gun battle comes in the wake of similar fights that have claimed dozens of lives. Analysts say that violence is increasing after Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman was extradited to the U.S., creating a power vacuum. Los Angeles Times Other factors contribute to the problem too. Cartels shifting business from marijuana to heroin has caused a wave of violence in poppy-producing areas of the country. The Guardian
MDMA for alcoholism. Researchers in the U.K. are conducting a study on MDMA as a treatment for alcoholics. A team of researchers at Imperial College London will give the drug to heavy alcohol users, along with therapy sessions. The Independent
Word on the States
- In Massachusetts, the House speaker suspended negotiations over marijuana regulations until lawmakers reach a compromise on the state budget.
- In Maryland, regulators approved the first medical marijuana dispensary in the state.
- In Alaska, marijuana tax revenue reaches the $1 million mark.
- In Colorado, regulators award the first cannabis transporter licenses.
- In Arkansas, how one small town hopes to cash in on medical marijuana.
- In New York, veterans lobby the governor to allow medical marijuana for PTSD.
- In Ohio, the state has received 185 applications for medical marijuana cultivation.
Word for Word
“We were on our way to a good place. I’ve never seen so many people agree on one thing [criminal justice reform] in my history as a councilman. And then there was a bump in the road, and it was called: president Trump.” – Philadelphia councilman Curtis J. Jones Jr., The Outline
“We’re a membership-based organization. People who are the most responsible in the industry will have the opportunity to join our organization. But they’re going to have to abide by some standards that are maybe a little bit more arduous than what their state requires. In return, they’ll be able to get more legitimacy and hopefully will be able to keep the federal government at bay. Through our technology and our website, we’ll be making sure people actually abide by the standards that we create.” – Andrew Kline, president of the National Association of Cannabis Businesses, Marijuana Business Daily