Sessions to meet with Oregon law enforcement. Attorney general Jeff Sessions is scheduled to meet with federal and local law enforcement officials to discuss drug enforcement and the opioid crisis, among other issues. Sessions previously expressed his concerns about the state’s legal cannabis market, which the governor pushed back against. The Oregonian Under president Obama, the DOJ started a program designed to help local police departments rebuild trust with their communities. Sessions announced on Friday that the Justice Department would repurpose the program to focus on more tough-on-crime tactics — including drug busts — describing the move as a “course correction.” BuzzFeed News
Sessions and Anslinger. Sessions’ public statements about marijuana echo the moral outrage spouted by Harry Anslinger, the founding commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (the predecessor of the DEA). Here’s a look at the parallels between the two men, whose opposition to marijuana use is based on moral grounds and whose “vested interest in that cause maintains their political power or position.” Contexts
Community mourns slain dispensary employee. Cameron Smith, a marijuana dispensary employee who was reportedly kidnapped at gunpoint outside the store, was found dead on Friday. The owner of the dispensary said he’s planning a memorial and to raise funds to send Smith’s body back to Ohio, where his family lives. Authorities have two suspects in custody. The Spokesman-Review
Terra Tech buys The Game’s dispensary. Terra Tech spent $7 million to buy The Reserve, a Santa Ana dispensary co-owned by rapper The Game. The company says it plans to re-brand the shop as Blüm — the name of its chain of dispensaries located in California and Nevada. “We’re excited to have something close to our corporate headquarters… We see this as being one of the flagship locations for us,” said the CEO of Terra Tech. The Cannifornian
Dispatches from the CWCB Expo. Workshop leaders at the cannabis conference in Los Angeles “gingerly tip-toed” around the threat of federal enforcement from the Trump administration. “Many remained confident that California, the largest of the weed states, would lead a development juggernaut that would eventually be too hard for Congressional leaders to ignore.” The Independent More than 200 cannabis companies set up booths at the convention. ABC 7 Related: “If you agree with me on cannabis, we can work together,” said Roger Stone, who was booted from the conference lineup after a boycott. Stone gave a speech inside the Alchemy Lounge, calling for “working together” to convince the federal government to liberalize cannabis laws. YouTube / Stone Cold Truth
Africa’s cannabis leader. Lesotho has awarded a medical marijuana license to South African company Verve Dynamics, becoming the first African country to do so. “It’s unclear how many ordinary people could benefit from the legal manufacturing project but it could become a model for the rest of the continent to tap into the lucrative global marijuana industry.” Many farmers in the country already cultivate cannabis that ends up in the local and South African market. Quartz
Cannabis legalization in Canada. A Colorado official told the Canadian House of Commons that it’s probably better to wait on regulating marijuana edibles. A Johns Hopkins professor disagreed, saying a regulated market for edibles would be in the public interest (rather than continuing the black market for those products). National Post Maritime dispensary owners discussed creating a non-profit group to represent their interests to the provincial and federal governments. Global News New Brunswick created a corporation for marijuana sales, signing deals with Organigram and Canopy Growth Corp. BNN Toronto cannabis lounges that have been operating for decades ask for the right to exist legally. CBC News
El Chapo trial moves forward. A federal judge dismissed Joaquín Guzmán’s claims that he was improperly extradited to the U.S. It’s the latest legal defeat for the Mexican drug lord, whose trial has now been scheduled for April. The New York Times
Duterte goes after human rights commissioner. Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte is going after the head of the country’s human rights commission over his criticisms of the drug crackdown. The commission has been trying to investigate the killings of thousands of drug suspects, including the deaths of two teenagers in August. “Why are you smitten with teenagers? Are you? I’m having my doubts. Are you gay or a pedophile?” said Duterte. The commission says it lacks the resources to fully investigate the killings. The Guardian
Word on the States
- In Nevada, the state Supreme Court issued a temporary injunction on issuing marijuana distributor licenses. The prospect of marijuana lounges is complicated.
- In Massachusetts, the Boston Freedom Rally drew thousands. New cannabis growers find it’s harder than it seems. Marijuana opponents are winning the fight on the local level. Researchers are collecting baseline data on marijuana use before recreational sales start.
- In California, the governor signed new marijuana regulations. Pot businesses are rushing to fill Santa Rosa’s industrial space. A proposed law would limit sales of butane to discourage unlicensed concentrate production. The assembly passed a resolution calling on the federal government to reclassify marijuana.
- In Pennsylvania, some doctors claim to be able to make MMJ recommendations before the program has started. A look at a state senator’s side gig: medical marijuana attorney.
- In Arkansas, ‘fierce competition’ for medical marijuana licenses in the state.
- In Rhode Island, officials provided medical marijuana data in response to the federal government’s request.
- In New Jersey, marijuana advocate NJ Weedman is heading to trial in a witness tampering case.
- In Maine, regulators get conflicting advice on setting up the legal market.
- In Idaho, how gubernatorial candidates view cannabis reform.
Word for Word
“It’s demonized in society too. Oh, he’s a pot head. No, I actually just use cannabis oil because it helps with inflammation and takes away some anxiety. I’m not abusing the drug… I know so many athletes that play on Percocet. Have you ever taken Percocet by the way? It makes you way more groggy than rubbing cannabis oil into your skin.” – Former NBA player Jay Williams, Fox Business
“I realize that drug experiences are completely subjective, and a lot of people adore mushrooms (‘it’s natural’), but I am not cut out for them. And, yes, I’ve tried them in the outdoors. I’ve tried them only with people I trust. I’ve tried doing a lower dose, though to be fair, never that low. Each and every time I’ve found that my mind goes to dark places, and I end up in an hours-long loop thinking, I want this to be over… Over the years, I’ve heard some mushrooms horror stories, but, especially being from British Columbia, overwhelmingly people have very positive opinions about mushrooms. In fact, a lot of people have been insulted or even patronizing when I’ve said that I hate them and that they just don’t suit my personality. Still, I knew I wasn’t alone.” – Manisha Krishnan for Vice