Most Americans think that smoking weed is “morally acceptable.” Colorado’s governor vetoed a bill that would have legalized marijuana tasting rooms. Federal marijuana busts are falling in the age of state-legal cannabis. Also: A city in Georgia is the first in the nation where African-American women lead every department in the criminal justice system. 🌳
Most Americans think smoking weed is ‘morally acceptable.’ A new poll found that 65 percent of Americans think smoking marijuana is morally OK, and 78 percent think that drinking alcohol is morally OK. It’s the first time that Gallup asked people about the morality of consuming such substances. Highly religious people were most likely to find consuming alcohol or marijuana immoral. Young people, white people, liberals, and men were all more likely to find it morally acceptable to consume cannabis or alcohol. Last year, Gallup found that 64 percent of Americans support marijuana legalization. The Hill
Colorado governor says no to marijuana tasting rooms. Governor John Hickenlooper might be a champion of protecting the state’s marijuana program, but he’s no fan of public consumption. The governor vetoed legislation that would have legalized and regulated marijuana tasting rooms similar to those in breweries and wineries. Westword Meanwhile, a restaurant may get its liquor license suspended or revoked for turning a blind eye for cannabis-consuming customers. Six people were cited for cannabis consumption at the restaurant’s patio on 4/20. The co-owner of the restaurant said that security staff were “distracted performing other duties when attendees began smoking pot on the patio.” Westword Related: Hickenlooper did, however, sign a bill to allow school personnel to administer medical marijuana to student patients. KDVR
Marijuana busts are falling. Prohibitionists like to cite black-market marijuana busts in cannabis-legal states as evidence that legalization isn’t working. While there’s no doubt that states that have legalized marijuana do have to deal with black-market diversion, a report from the United States Sentencing Commission showed that federal marijuana cases have declined by nearly 46 percent since 2013. There was also a decline in mandatory minimum sentences, with marijuana offenders receiving the shortest sentences on average. “More of the market for cannabis is now being supplied by people following new state laws, so there are fewer people for the feds to prosecute in marijuana trafficking cases.” Marijuana Moment
L.A. supervisors voice support for automatic expungement. The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously supports legislation that would automatically expunge certain cannabis convictions. While the state’s legalization law includes a provision that allows those convicted of cannabis crimes to petition for expungement, only about 5,000 have taken advantage of the provision. Nearly a million people could be eligible for expungement, but very few people know about the process. The bureaucratic hurdles can be difficult for those who cannot afford to pay for a lawyer. LA Weekly
Fact-checking cannabis and cancer claims. Did the National Cancer Institute finally “admit” that “cannabis cures cancer”? Nope. But the original erroneous article continues to be cited by various clickbait-y websites. The National Cancer Institute has maintained a database of peer-reviewed cancer research, which points to laboratory and animal studies that suggest that cannabis could contain anti-tumor properties for certain colon, liver, and breast cancers. The studies referenced are small-scale, preclinical trials, which do not prove the efficacy of the treatment in humans. Snopes
Strain names are super unreliable. A recent study found widespread “genetic inconsistencies” in strain names at marijuana dispensaries in multiple cities in the U.S. “Without verification systems in place, there is the potential for misidentification and mislabeling of plants, creating names for plants of unknown origin, and even re-naming or re-labeling plants with prominent names for better sale,” wrote the researchers. Meanwhile, the cross-breeding of strains has led to strain inconsistencies. Marijuana Moment
Georgia city makes history. The City of South Fulton is the first city in the U.S. where black women lead every department in the criminal justice system. “No other time in American history have black women been appointed to the top position in every department in an entire city’s criminal justice system… This amazing first was not planned.” South Fulton is the state’s fifth largest city. “As African American women we are sensitive to the history of criminal justice in our country. We want to be an example of how to do things right,” said chief judge Tiffany Carter Sellers. The Atlanta Voice
Philly and NYC consider corrupt cops. The Philadelphia D.A.’s office is working on compiling a list of bad cops: “those who have lied while on duty, used excessive force, racially profiled, or violated civil rights.” The effort is a bid to help prosecutors figure out which officers have credibility issues to possibly prevent them from testifying. The protocol would also require prosecutors to disclose such information to defense attorneys. The police union is not too happy about it. The Philadelphia Inquirer Meanwhile, Manhattan’s D.A. is not happy about the NYPD’s failure to provide prosecutors with disciplinary records of officers. “These limitations frustrate our ability, not only to prepare for trial, but to make early assessments of witness credibility, explore weaknesses in a potential case, and exonerate individuals who may have been mistakenly accused,” wrote the D.A.’s general counsel in a letter to the NYPD. BuzzFeed News
Cannabis in Canada. A Conservative bid to delay marijuana legalization was voted down in the Senate on Monday. A final vote on the legalization bill is expected Thursday. iPolitics Alberta is mandating prospective cannabis retail workers to go through a marijuana staff-training program. Here’s what it’s like to take it. Leafly Cannabis entrepreneurs are looking towards different methods of consumption. CBC News
Elsewhere around the world… A man was kicked out of a committee meeting in Israel‘s legislature after downing a bottle of cannabis oil to make a point about the substance’s safety. The Times of Israel Nearly 10,000 have signed a mother’s petition for Ireland to legalize medical cannabis. Her nearly 2-year-old son suffers from a rare neurological condition that causes seizures. The Irish Sun Family members of individuals who have been killed in Bangladesh‘s drug war say that the government is using a drugs crackdown to kill political opponents. The Telegraph Zimbabwe is hitting pause on its medical marijuana program over compliance issues with U.N. treaties and issues with patient access in the country. An unnamed source said updated regulations will be unveiled in six months. Marijuana Business Daily
Word on the States
- In Texas, four prison guards were fired and a major resigned after allegedly planting evidence in inmates’ cells.
- In Ohio, regulators issued 56 medical marijuana dispensary licenses.
- In North Carolina, a bill would legalize the possession of up to four ounces of marijuana, but its chances of passing are unlikely.
- In New Jersey, an anti-marijuana advocate warned against legalization.
- In New York, a look at legalization efforts in the state.
- In Florida, a judge considers lifting a stay on smokable medical marijuana. The state is facing legal challenges for marijuana licenses.
- In Maryland, an overwhelmed computer system stalled medical marijuana sales over the weekend.
- In California, the insurance commissioner approved a program to provide coverage for cannabis businesses. Pets are doing just fine post-legalization.
- In Guam, a look at gubernatorial candidates’ stances on marijuana legalization.
Word for Word
“[Seymour Hersh] remembers a night in San Francisco during the 1968 presidential campaign, when he was working as the press secretary for Eugene McCarthy. (Yes, Mr. Hersh, the reporter’s reporter, had a stint on the public-relations side of the game.) Mr. McCarthy had never smoked pot, so Mr. Hersh produced a joint; joining the group was Jerry Brown, the future governor of California. ‘The stuff did little for McCarthy, so he said, but it did much more for Brown,’ Mr. Hersh writes. A spokesman for Mr. Brown, contacted for this article, called the anecdote ‘a complete and total fabrication.’ Mr. Hersh shrugged off the denial. ‘omg… why is he making a big deal of it?’ Mr. Hersh wrote in an email. ‘it was the 60s, was it not?'” – Michael M. Grynbaum for The New York Times
“It was a handsome little mushroom, with a smooth, slightly glossy, caramel-colored cap. Stamets let me pick it; it had a surprisingly tenacious grip, and when it came out of the ground, it brought with it some leaf litter, soil, and a little knot of bright-white mycelium. ‘Bruise the stipe a bit,’ Stamets suggested. I did, and within minutes a blue tinge appeared where I’d rubbed it. ‘That’s the psilocin.’ I never expected to actually see the chemical I had read so much about.” – Michael Pollan for The Atlantic