Veterans lack guidance on medical marijuana, despite that nearly one million of them are using it. Americans think marijuana is much less harmful than tobacco. Advocates are working to get rid of the Farm Bill ban on those with drug felonies in the hemp industry. Also: How a shady NYPD detective helped put a pot dealer in prison. 🌳
Vets lack guidance on medical marijuana. While Veterans Affairs won’t so much as agree to study medical marijuana for veterans, nearly one million vets could be using medical marijuana anyway. Meanwhile, cannabis cultivators are stepping in to help veterans where the VA medical system fails them. Organizations like the Santa Cruz Veterans Alliance conduct monthly giveaways of cannabis products to veterans in need. But veterans cannot go to their VA doctors for guidance on dosage or how medical marijuana might interact with other medications. “I never touched the stuff in Vietnam,” said one. “It was only a few years ago I realized how useful it could be.” The New York Times
Americans think marijuana is less harmful than tobacco. Most Americans think tobacco products are more harmful that marijuana, according to a new Gallup poll. Eighty-two percent of respondents thought cigarettes are “very harmful,” while only 27 percent thought marijuana is “very harmful.” The Hill Thirteen percent of respondents said they used cigarettes regularly, while 5 percent said they used marijuana regularly. Interestingly, there were more occasional marijuana users (8 percent) than occasional cigarette users (7 percent). Gallup
Hemp legalization to exclude those with drug convictions. The Senate Farm Bill, which contains hemp legalization language, bars those with cannabis felonies from participating in the industry. Various sources blame senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and the Justice Department for requesting the provision. Grassley said he had not been in talks regarding the provision, but it was possible his staff had talked to senator Mitch McConnell’s office about it. “Hemp advocates, growers and several members of Congress are opposed to barring convicted felons and hope to strike the language from the legislation when House and Senate negotiators meet to hammer out differences between the two bills.” McClatchy DC
How a shady cop helped lock up a pot dealer. Carleto Allen was sentenced to six years in prison last month. While prosecutors recognized that Allen was not part of a gang, “they lumped him into the gang-conspiracy megacase by claiming he sold marijuana to members at a discount, which supposedly helped ‘profit the gang’ through resales.” Allen’s conviction hinged on the testimony of NYPD detective Jeremiah Williams, who testified that he found a gun on Allen during a “violent” struggle. Allen maintains that the gun was not his and that he had been assaulted by officers. While the jury believed Williams’ testimony, jurors were barred from hearing about the eight civil rights lawsuits against detective Williams, which contained “allegations of false imprisonment, excessive force, and malicious prosecution.” The Appeal
The DEA raids a Texas vape shop for CBD oils. The DEA collaborated with Amarillo Police Department to raid a vape shop that was selling CBD oils. While the state allows for CBD oils without THC, the DEA has maintained that CBD is a Schedule I substance. The vape shop’s lawyer says narcotics agents confiscated CBD oil and $170,000 from one of the shop owner’s homes. “There’s people here that need this for medication, and I think that it’s wrong and I think that we’re fighting a good fight here,” he said. “Because the law is bad on this with THC, you know, let alone messing with someone that’s got zero THC in some CBD oil.” KVII
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The Maze. Our friends at Mannada have launched The Maze, a weekly newsletter highlighting all the cannabis events you need to know. The listings include something for everyone, whether you’re a professional looking for networking events, an advocate looking to get politically involved, or just a casual consumer looking to meet like-minded people. From New York City to Toronto to Amsterdam, The Maze hopes to help the cannabis community stay on top of the burgeoning cannabis event scene. Submit your event or sign up for the newsletter here: Mannada
Cannabis attorney strikes agreement with prosecutors. Jessica McElfresh, a San Diego cannabis attorney, vowed to plead guilty to violating municipal code in an agreement with the D.A.’s office. Prosecutors agreed to drop felony charges against the attorney. The case was worrisome for marijuana businesses and lawyers who serve them. While McElfresh’s client struck a plea deal last year and managed to get hundreds of thousands of dollars in seized assets back, McElfresh’s case dragged on. As part of the agreement McElfresh will be required to “pay a $250 fine, go through a state bar ethics program and pass a professional responsibility exam, and complete 80 hours of community service.” Voice of San Diego
The latest in cannabis research. Previous research has found that cannabis consumers tend to have lower BMIs than non-users. A new study attempts to explain why: “While consuming cannabis certainly heightens hunger among users in the short-term, it also helps people properly manage that food after it’s entered the body.” Marijuana Moment UC Merced is establishing a UC Nicotine and Cannabis Policy Center, funded in part through tobacco taxes. The center will study public health policy related to tobacco and marijuana. University of California A study found that long-term cannabis use impaired learning and memory in mice. Science Daily
Today in cannabis business news… The Canadian Securities Exchange is becoming the go-to place for American marijuana companies to raise capital. The Associated Press Hundreds of people showed up to learn about the Los Angeles cannabis social equity program. LA Weekly Consumers are buying less flower and buying more edibles and concentrates. USA Today A New York-based company wants to spray DNA tracking tags on state-legal cannabis plants to replace seed-to-sale software systems. Cannabis Now State-level reforms could add tens of millions of dollars in business opportunities. Marijuana Business Daily Developers are seeing opportunity in cannabis coworking spaces. Curbed Marijuana tech startups see upsides in federal prohibition: “We don’t have the traditional pressures from the large-scale tech players because they don’t come in and play,” said one entrepreneur. American Banker
Drug policy around the world. The governor of Guerrero state in Mexico is backing a proposal to decriminalize opium poppies. “I’m delighted that a different way of dealing with the poppy is finally going to be explored,” he said. Guerrero produces much of the opium that goes on to make heroin, and has been plagued by violent crime. Reuters The outgoing president of Colombia calls for a “global drug policy free of prejudice, based instead on empirical evidence and, above all, recognition that there will always be drug users.” Americas Quarterly Most marijuana reforms in Latin America have been too minimal to affect the illicit drug trade in the region. “In some cases, bureaucracy and poor implementation may have thwarted the intended positive effects.” Americas Quarterly
From recreation to medicine. A journalist who has struggled with depression for decades enrolls herself in a ketamine trial. While recreational use of the drug is often associated with the ’90s rave scene, 70 to 85 percent of depression patients treated with ketamine say it’s effective. “I had come to believe that my depression was a terminal illness. But the so-called party drug may have saved my life.” Vox A London-based startup called Compass Pathways has been cranking out tens of thousands of doses of psilocybin for research. The 20,000 doses will be shipped to sites in Europe and North America, where researchers are increasingly studying the therapeutic benefits of the drug. Business Insider
Word on the States
- In California, a fire at marijuana greenhouses in Greenfield is under investigation. San Francisco supervisors are considering banning cannabis stores in Chinatown.
- In Oklahoma, a medical marijuana proponent will match donations to a legalization campaign of up to $500,000. The Board of Health will reconsider medical marijuana rules at a special meeting August 1. Lawmakers are hesitant to reconvene on the issue. A trade group released its own proposed MMJ regulation bill.
- In Washington, marijuana felony convictions decreased nearly 90 percent after legalization.
- In New Jersey, the Senate president wants to tie medical marijuana expansion to recreational legalization.
- In Colorado, a guide to dispensaries that are open late.
- In Michigan, Grand Rapids will allow medical marijuana facilities.
- In Massachusetts, a pair of radio hosts gave Boston’s outgoing police commissioner a bong.
Word for Word
“I was crying – like my dad is too nice to be in jail they’re going to take advantage of him. He said, ‘You know what? I would do it all over again because you girls mean the world to me’ It’s kind of ridiculous – my dad is facing jail for growing a plant. I don’t want to downplay it … but when you think about it, it’s pretty stupid my dad is facing jail because he’s trying to help his sick daughters” – Morgan Taylor, ABC News
“While public sex offender registries are now required by federal law, other registries for people who have committed certain types of crimes—such as domestic violence or drug-related crimes—are on the rise. They are seen by some victims’ rights advocates as a way to protect the community. But, criminal justice advocates argue that the registries are just another way to assert control over people who have already served their time. With registries, the collateral consequences of incarceration can extend indefinitely.” – Jessica Pishko for The Appeal