A drug recognition “expert” wrongly arrested three for stoned driving, alleges a new federal lawsuit. The man who supplied cannabis oil to a Colorado boy who inspired a new MMJ law is facing felony drug charges. Target pulled CBD products off of its shelves after media reports. Also: Snoop Dogg’s VC firm is investing in a seed-to-sale tracking software company in Canada.
ACLU sues police over bogus stoned driving arrests. A Georgia police department and one of its officers are being sued by three plaintiffs who were arrested after a drug recognition expert falsely determined they were under the influence of marijuana. All three later tested negative for cannabinoids. The Associated Press “The arbitrariness and subjectivity of the [drug recognition expert] tests can be seen in the dashcam video of [plaintiff Katelyn] Ebner’s traffic stop. Ebner, who says this is the first time she has ever been stopped by police, is lucid, calm, polite, and cooperative throughout the video, despite her mounting anxiety about the length of the detention and her growing realization that she is going to jail even though she has committed no crime. But in [officer] Carroll’s mind, the most innocent detail confirms his suspicion that she must be high.” Reason
Man who supplied medical cannabis oil facing felony drug charges. Jack Splitt, a Colorado boy who suffered from severe cerebral palsy and dystonia, was instrumental in passing a state law that allowed medical marijuana use in schools. Before Splitt passed away in August 2016, Mark Pedersen had been supplying the boy with cannabis oil. After he died, police began investigating Pedersen, who was renting a room in Splitt’s family home. Pedersen has a medical marijuana card but is not registered as a caregiver with the state. The Associated Press Pedersen’s attorney described the charges as “unfounded,” arguing they wouldn’t have been brought if it weren’t for Splitt’s death. ABC 7
Op-eds against the war on drugs. Marijuana decriminalization is a civil rights issue that we should not delay in fighting against, writes activist Al Sharpton. “For Democrats and progressives, the arguments have always been clear: generations of Americans, overwhelmingly people of color, have been imprisoned and starved of access to higher education, housing, and economic opportunities, and stripped of their inalienable right to vote thanks to non-violent acts… But in truth, the conservative case for marijuana decriminalization is no less resonant.” The Guardian It’s time to stop fighting the war on drugs. “Canada has, with other drugs than marijuana, taken a path much closer to the Americans.” But Portugal shows the merits of decriminalization. National Post
Today in celebrity news… Casa Verde Capital, rapper Snoop Dogg‘s venture capital firm, is investing in Trellis, a Toronto-based, seed-to-sale software company. The Toronto Star Rapper Wiz Khalifa mimed smoking a joint in a “legalize it” t-shirt before he threw the first pitch at a Pirates game. The MLB is not pleased: “It’s unfortunate this situation occurred.” Yahoo Sports Actor Jessica Alba is suing Honest Herbal, a Colorado-based CBD company, for trademark infringement. Her California-based company The Honest Co. makes household and beauty products. Marijuana Business Daily
Target pulls CBD products. After the media noticed that Target was selling CW hemp products that contained CBD, the retailer said it “decided to remove” the products “after further review.” Target had been carrying the products for about a week under its herbal supplements category. “While nabbing a spot on Target.com would be considered a win for most fledgling consumer products companies, the move to sell products that the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration views as illegal is bold, if not practically brazen [said] industry and drug policy experts.” The Cannabist
Westfield mall says yes to marijuana chocolate store. Défoncé, a California producer of cannabis-infused chocolates, signed a tentative deal with Westfield San Francisco Centre to open its first stand-alone shop. The deal still needs approval from the city. Anchor tenants at the mall could also block the prospective tenant. But industry observers say the deal could “become a precedent-setter for the country” if successful. SF Gate
CBD gel sees success in mid-stage study. Zynerba Pharmaceuticals’ stock jumped after its cannabis-derived gel saw success in reducing symptoms for patients with Fragile X syndrome. But the trial only evaluated 20 patients. Last month, the company said that the gel failed to reduce seizures in a study of epilepsy patients. Reuters
Cannabis in Canada. Provincial leaders plan to raise the issue of cannabis legalization during prime minister Justin Trudeau’s meeting with premiers next week. They are reportedly nervous about the legalization timeline that the federal government has set. CBC News A group of nursing homes in Ontario signed a deal with a pot producer to supply cannabis oil to residents in its facilities. The New Democratic Party is concerned about the arrangement. CBC News
Cops raid Indian village. Farmers in Lakshmipuram village have been cultivating and selling cannabis in open markets for decades. Police raided the entire village: “We blocked the roads and raided the houses. We found that each household had at least two-three bags of ganja stocked like rice.” Five people have been arrested and police are continuing to investigate the case. The News Minute
A Rainbow in Curved Air. In a departure from our past few playlists, this week we bring you a collection of calming minimalist music. From precursors such as Erik Satie’s now-iconic Gymnopedies to recent ventures such as Claire M Singer’s ‘The Molendinar,’ the playlist stretches from 1888 to 2016. Word on the Tree
Word on the States
- In Nevada, the state brought in more than $3.5 million in pot tax revenues during the first month of recreational sales. The tax department asks the attorney general to weigh in on pot lounges.
- In California, the state’s pot czar is anxious about the impending recreational market. The health department has launched an educational campaign ahead of recreational sales.
- In Maine, a rewrite of pot laws nixed drive-thrus, online sales, and home delivery. No one knows the governor’s stance on the legislation.
- In Pennsylvania, two companies are setting up their marijuana testing labs.
- In Vermont, the governor’s cannabis commission thinks recreational legalization is inevitable in the state.
- In New Mexico, a judge overturned the governor’s veto of an industrial hemp bill.
- In Michigan, regulators move to allow “mega growers” of marijuana.
- In Georgia, a state senator is pushing for in-state cultivation of medical marijuana.
- In Missouri, a marijuana grower will argue before the state Supreme Court that a “right-to-farm” law effectively legalized cannabis. What would happen if the state really legalized it.
Word for Word
“The presence of retail marijuana establishments clearly had a short-term positive impact on nearby properties in Denver. This suggests that in addition to the sales and business taxes generated from the retail marijuana industry, municipalities may experience an increase in property taxes. It’s an important piece of the puzzle as more and more voters and policy-makers look for evidence about the effects of legalizing recreational marijuana, as the issue is taken up by state legislatures across the country.” – Researcher Moussa Diop, Palm Beach Post
“Attorney general [Jeff] Sessions has initiated a second failed war on drugs that will wreck the Black community, an over-policed population, and only exacerbate our nation’s shameful mass incarceration problem. The painful irony that Black drug users are treated as criminals while White opioid addicts receive a multi-million-dollar federal public health response is not lost on me or the millions of African Americans that [Congressional Black Caucus] Members represent. You personally add insult to injury with the racist dog whistles you employ, such as calling for ‘law and order’ in underserved, neglected communities across America while concurrently encouraging police brutality. The actions taken by you and your Administration in the short time you have been in office have already caused serious harm to our constituents and the vulnerable communities for whom we speak.” – Congressional Black Caucus chair Cedric Richmond in a letter to president Trump, CNN