Like what we do? Donate to support Word on the Tree


  • In Colorado, the state issued a public health advisory over pesticide-tainted marijuana products.
  • In Oregon, a bill to legalize cannabis cafes died in committee.
  • In New Jersey, the governor meets with top Democrats in the legislature to discuss marijuana legalization.
  • In Illinois, the governor hopes to pass a marijuana legalization bill before the end of the session. The agriculture department is seeking a budget increase to regulate marijuana.
  • In Oklahoma, state regulators are on track to license 150,000 patients in its first year. (It had projected 40,000 – 80,000 patients.)
  • In Michigan, the House passed a bill to clarify background check requirements for MMJ stakeholders, sending it to the governor.
  • In Pennsylvania, the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists held a cannabis conference aimed at education.
  • In South Carolina, a Senate committee heard testimony from both sides of the medical marijuana debate.
  • In Idaho, a House panel rejected amendments to the interstate hemp transport bill.
  • In California, San Luis Obispo County supervisors unanimously voted to deny a permit to a cannabis operation over allegations of numerous violations.
  • In Texas, a House committee heard emotional testimony about medical marijuana bills. The Dallas county D.A. will stop prosecuting some marijuana offenses.
  • In Virginia, Portsmouth’s top prosecutor will stop prosecuting marijuana possession cases.
  • In Washington, the state Department of Corrections lifted a ban on book donations for inmates.

Word for Word

“As bad as the early drug panics were, they paled in comparison to the carceral regime of drug prohibition and policing that emerged in the years after the civil rights movement. In the 1980s and 1990s, mass incarceration and the overlapping War(s) on Drugs and Gangs became de facto urban policy for impoverished communities of color in U.S. cities. Legislation expanded state and federal mandatory minimums for drug offenses, denied public housing to entire families if any member was even suspected of a drug crime, lengthened the list of crimes eligible for the federal death penalty, and imposed draconian restrictions of parole. Ultimately, multiple generations of youth of color found themselves confined under long prison sentences and faced with lifelong social and economic marginality.” – Donna Murch for Boston Review

“People are quick to laud my successes, but I am quicker to point out how what I’ve done is simply not replicable for most people whom this country releases from prison. I had the financial resources to further my education, which meant I didn’t have to deal with the most common incentive for recidivism. Money bought my life back. So I am not evidence that the system ‘works.’ I am an outlier, dripping in luck. There is nothing inherent in our criminal justice system that fosters rehabilitation or redemption. Just ask yourself: Why is successful reentry after prison exceptional instead of standard?” – Morgan Godvin for The Marshall Project

Sign up for Word on the Tree's daily email newsletter