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Cannabis News

Discussion in 'Cannabis News and Activism' started by vtac, Jun 26, 2008.

  1. cybrguy

    cybrguy I mean really, WTF

    Springfield (MO) police seize record amount of marijuana — without really trying
    Harrison Keegan, Springfield News-Leader Published 10:30 p.m. CT May 25, 2019

    A routine traffic stop in the Hawthorn Park area turned into a big bust for Springfield police.

    More than 200 pounds of marijuana, edibles and thousands of vape pens loaded with marijuana-infused oil were found, police said.

    The Aug. 9 bust, which the police chief said will likely result in federal charges for the out-of-state driver, exemplifies a recent crime trend in the city.

    The Springfield Police Department's investigative section seized more marijuana in 2018 than any year since it started keeping digital records — and detectives weren't even really looking for it.

    Pot isn't the focus
    "We haven't changed our focus," said Springfield Police Chief Paul Williams. "We're still doing what we always do. We're just coming across more of it as part of our normal investigations."

    Narcotics detectives in Springfield have long been focused on building cases against the groups selling "harder street drugs" like meth and heroin in the city, but Williams said police are finding more marijuana — and confiscating it.

    [​IMG]Buy Photo
    Springfield Police Chief Paul Williams (Photo: Nathan Papes/News-Leader)

    Springfield police seized almost 350 pounds of the drug last year, a 73 percent increase from 2017.

    The increase in marijuana seizures leads to some questions for law enforcement: If there is more marijuana in Springfield, what are the consequences? And how will the incoming medical marijuana industry affect Missouri's clandestine pot market?

    Where's it coming from?
    Williams attributed the recent bump in marijuana seizures to more of the drug being shipped to Springfield, either by vehicle or through the mail, from states like Colorado or California where recreational pot use is allowed.

    "There's a lot more being brought in," Williams said.

    Williams' theory is backed up by a March report from the collaborative Midwest High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) program, which found the vast majority of marijuana mailed to Missouri came from California, Colorado, Washington and Oregon.

    Lt. Dan Banasik, a longtime drug investigator with the Missouri State Highway Patrol, has been been following this trend for at least the last four years.

    Banasik said Springfield's illegal pot market is dominated by potent marijuana brought in from other states. He said he's also seen an increase recently in marijuana concentrate products that users put in vape pens.

    Much like Springfield police, the Missouri State Highway Patrol's marijuana seizure amounts have been going up, despite Banasik's assurances they are not focused on marijuana possession cases.

    The highway patrol seized 1,862 pounds of marijuana in 2016; 3,657 pounds in 2017; and 4,852 pounds in 2018.

    This weed is strong
    Banasik also said the marijuana on the streets of Springfield today is much more potent than the product that was here 10 years ago.

    The lieutenant's observations appear to line up with nationwide research from the University of Mississippi's Potency Monitoring Program, which found the average percentage of THC (the molecule that gets users high) found in samples of marijuana seized by the DEA increased by nearly 200 percent between 1995 and 2014.

    Banasik said law enforcement has some concerns about this high-grade, out-of-state marijuana coming to Missouri — particularly how it might impact roadway safety if users choose to drive after consuming or smoking marijuana.

    Research from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the Highway Loss Data Institute indicates this concern might be legitimate since there was an increase in car crashes in states that legalized marijuana.

    While marijuana proponents point to the health benefits of cannabis, like pain control and increasing appetite for cancer patients, Banasik said law enforcement officers worry the higher-grade marijuana on the streets today might lead to users overindulging. He pointed to studies which found increases in marijuana-related emergency room visits in states where the drug was legalized for recreational use.

    But high-grade pot doesn't appear to be a concern for local medical professionals.

    Tom Emery, injury prevention coordinator for CoxHealth, said he's not aware of anyone coming to the hospital for treatment simply because they feel like they used too much marijuana.

    Youth marijuana use also appears to be remaining fairly steady in Greene County. The number of sixth- through 12th-graders who reported using marijuana in the last month declined slightly from 8.92 percent in 2014 to 7.84 percent in 2018, according to the Missouri Student Survey.

    In this Thursday, April 4, 2019 photo a cannabis worker displays fresh cannabis flower buds that have been trimmed for market in Gardena, California (AP Photo/Richard Vogel,File) (Photo: Richard Vogel, AP)

    Medical marijuana is coming
    But the local marijuana scene is due for a shakeup next year when medical marijuana, approved by Missouri voters in November, will hit dispensaries across the state — including Springfield.

    Illinois, which approved medical marijuana in 2013, might serve as a preview for what's to come in Missouri.

    Marc Maton, with the Illinois Drug Enforcement Officers Association, said medical cannabis has not had much of an impact on the state's illegal marijuana market — which he said is fueled by product mailed or driven in from Colorado or California.

    "From a black market, we didn't see a lot of change at all," Maton said of life after medical cannabis.

    Maton said the medical marijuana industry in Illinois is tightly regulated, and law enforcement hasn't noticed a heavy stream of legally-purchased medical marijuana being diverted to the illegal market.

    Similarly, Maton said he doesn't anticipate Missouri's incoming medical marijuana industry to vastly change the Show Me State's illegal marijuana scene.

    The real change, Maton said, would come if Illinois approves a recreational marijuana initiative that is gaining traction. Then, he said, the marijuana flooding into Missouri from Colorado and California would likely be replaced by marijuana coming down Interstate 44 from Illinois.

    "Once we legalize marijuana, Missouri won't be getting theirs from the West Coast anymore," Maton said. "It will be coming down from Chicago."

    Local law enforcement officials interviewed by the News-Leader have said they don't think the incoming medical marijuana industry will have a drastic impact on their jobs, and they plan to continue enforcing laws that prohibit illegal marijuana use.

    Law enforcement reacts
    Lawrence County Sheriff Brad Delay helps run the Combined Ozarks Multi-jurisdictional Enforcement Team (COMET), a southwest Missouri drug task force that often investigates marijuana dealers and has seized more than 8,400 pounds of the drug since 2016.

    Delay said COMET's goal is to eradicate illegal drugs in the community, including marijuana, and November's vote didn't change that.

    "To make it simple, we're looking for drugs and we're looking for the bad guys who make and sell drugs to put them in jail," Delay said.

    Some law enforcement officials view the results of the November vote (66 percent in favor of Amendment 2 for medical marijuana) as a sign the general public's opinion is shifting to a more pro-marijuana stance and that citizens believe the medical benefits of cannabis outweigh any negative social impact.

    The Jackson County Prosecutor's Office in Kansas City announced after the vote it would no longer prosecute most marijuana possession cases, citing a "changing attitude toward marijuana."

    Delay, however, pushed back against that notion, saying the pro-marijuana segment of the population might just be more vocal, thanks in part to social media.

    "I don't know that there's ever been a shift," Delay said. "It's just been more vocal because we have more means to make it vocal."

    Back in Springfield, Chief Williams said the biggest change his officers have noticed since the November vote is that some citizens now mistakenly believe marijuana is legal for all uses.

    "In talking to other states that have had the same sequence of events, I think that will continue to be an ever-growing problem," Williams said. "Anybody and everybody thinks they can have it and use it now, and that will require more action on our part to correct those misconceptions."
    Magic9, His_Highness and BigJr48 like this.
  2. cybrguy

    cybrguy I mean really, WTF

    I am dying right now trying to get a live feed of our state house while they close in on their legalization vote. Right now or next year at the earliest.


    Legal pot bill passed to state Senate for full vote — possibly as early as this afternoon
    With just two days to go before adjournment, the Illinois Senate Executive Committee cleared changes to the marijuana legalization measure, including changes to expungement and home grow, and approved the bill for a full floor vote.

    By Tina Sfondeles May 29, 2019, 4:42pm CDT

    [​IMG] AP Photo
    With the clock ticking to adjournment, an Illinois Senate committee on Wednesday cleared changes to a comprehensive measure that would legalize recreational marijuana.

    The Illinois Senate Executive Committee voted 13-3 to approve the latest language. Senate Democrats said the measure would quickly head to the floor for a full vote later Wednesday.

    Changes include allowing only medical marijuana patients to have up to five plants in a home; and scaling back expungements. Convictions dealing with amounts of cannabis up to 30 grams will be dealt with through the governor’s clemency process, which does not require individuals to initiate the process. For amounts of 30 to 500 grams, the state’s attorney or an individual can petition the court to vacate the conviction.

    Designed to address concerns about impaired driving, new language would also add a DUI Task Force led by Illinois State Police to examine best practices. Those would include examining emergency technology and roadside testing, bill sponsor State Sen. Heather Steans, D-Chicago, said during the Illinois Senate Executive Committee.


    It passed the Senate. Hopefully the house tomorrow... :leaf:
    Last edited: May 29, 2019
  3. Summer

    Summer Well-Known Member

    Long Island, NY
  4. OldNewbie

    OldNewbie Well-Known Member

    Google won't allow marijuana products on Google Play. While the particular guidelines deal with things that "facilitate" the sale of marijuana or marijuana products, that can be a fairly broad categorization--depending on how it is implemented. (The spokesperson seemed to say the limitation will be specific and not generally used to deny apps related to cannabis.) For me, if it slows down the Apps & Vapes trend, I'll take the hit.


    Apps that help connect people with marijuana products are not welcome anymore in the Google Play store, the company announced in a policy update on Wednesday. That includes apps that facilitate cannabis transactions in states where it’s legal.

    The updated policy section states that Google Play doesn’t “allow apps that facilitate the sale of marijuana or marijuana products, regardless of legality.” Previously the page didn’t include any specific mention of cannabis.

    Via Google.

    The revised guidelines go on to list descriptions of “common violations.” Apps can’t allow users “to order marijuana through an in-app shopping cart feature,” help users “in arranging delivery or pick up of marijuana” or facilitate the “sale of products containing THC.”

    A google spokesperson explained the change in an email to Marijuana Moment, adding that affected companies can take advantage of a simple workaround.

    “These apps simply need to move the shopping cart flow outside of the app itself to be compliant with this new policy,” the spokesperson said. “We’ve been in contact with many of the developers and are working with them to answer any technical questions and help them implement the changes without customer disruption.”

    The spokesperson also said that the company recognizes the popularity of cannabis-related apps and hopes they will remain in the Play Store under the amended rules. Google is working directly with developers of affected apps, the spokesperson said.

    Another new section of the policies stipulates that apps “that facilitate the sale of tobacco (including e-cigarettes)” are prohibited. Apps that help consumers purchase alcohol are apparently allowed, but not those that “encourage the irresponsible use of alcohol or tobacco.”

    The update was first reported by Android Police, which also noted that Apple has previously banned marijuana-related apps such as the social networking platform MassRoots. But Apple lifted that ban in 2015 and has since taken a relatively hands-off approach to the issue.

    Some of the best-known cannabis apps—Weedmaps and Eaze—are still available for download on Google Play as of the time of publication. But insiders believe that their essential functions (i.e. the ordering services) will have to be deactivated. Weedmaps alone has been installed more than one million times to date, and more than 50,000 users have downloaded Eaze.

    Android Police reported that Google will be working with affected app developers to resolve any compliance issues over the next month.

    In a blog post on Wednesday, Google said that it was generally making a series of policy changes to ensure that its app store serves as “a positive, safe environment for children and families.” As TechCrunch pointed out, this comes about five months after Google Play was the subject of an FTC complaint, which alleged that the company wasn’t doing enough to vet apps that appear in the kids section.

    The tech industry has had a strained relationship with marijuana businesses, even as a growing number of states have decided to legalize and regulate the sale of cannabis.

    Facebook, which recently showed off its artificial intelligence technology that’s capable of identifying images of marijuana, continues to prohibit the commercial advertising of cannabis products, regardless of the legality of the business under state law.

    Noncommercial cannabis news sites such as Marijuana Moment and state regulatory bodies like the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission have also been caught up in the anti-marijuana policy despite the fact that they do not promote or sell cannabis products. In some cases, it appears these organizations have been hidden from appearing in search results—a practice known as “shadowbanning.”

    The online shopping site eBay also gave cannabis consumers some bad news this week, clarifying that CBD products will continue to be banned globally regardless of individual country laws on the compound.

    “Eaze connects adults only to licensed, regulated cannabis retailers,” Elizabeth Ashford, senior director of corporate communications for Eaze, said in an email. “Google’s decision is a disappointing development that only helps the illegal market thrive, but we are confident that Google, Apple and Facebook will eventually do the right thing and allow legal cannabis companies to do business on their platforms. We regret any inconvenience this may cause for customers and patients.”​

    “Prohibition is over,” she added. “Voters across the country have legalized cannabis.”

    Marijuana Moment also reached out to Weedmaps for comment but the company has not yet provided a statement reacting to the Google policy change.

    On the flip side, at least one major tech company is testing the regulatory waters after hemp and its derivatives were legalized under the 2018 Farm Bill. The payment processing service Square announced last week that has launched a pilot program designed to give businesses that sell hemp-derived CBD products access to credit card processing services as an alternative to traditional financial institutions that remain wary of working with the industry.

    Marijuana might be banned from Google’s app market, but just last year it seemed the company’s executives were pretty bullish about loosening cannabis laws. Google co-founder Sergey Brin joked about supplying employees with joints at a post-election meeting in September.

    “I was asking if we could serve joints outside on the patio, but apparently these things take a little while to take effect,” Brin said, referring to the implementation of California’s cannabis legalization measure. “It was a huge, huge disappointment. I’ve been bemoaning that all week, I’ll be honest with you.”​
    Magic9, BigJr48, Summer and 1 other person like this.
  5. cybrguy

    cybrguy I mean really, WTF

    I cannot contain my joy! Illinois becomes the 11th state to legalize cannabis for recreational use!!!!

    Illinois House approves marijuana legalization bill backed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker

    The last scheduled day of the Illinois General Assembly’s spring session, May 31, 2019, is decision day for a host of still unresolved items from new Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s ambitious agenda.

    (Zbigniew Bzdak/Chicago Tribune)
    Dan Petrella Chicago Tribune

    Illinois is one signature away from joining the 10 other states that have legalized recreational use of marijuana.

    With a bipartisan vote of 66-47, the House approved a bill Friday that had been passed by the Senate Wednesday. Gov. J.B. Pritzker, who campaigned for office on a promise to legalize pot, almost immediately issued a statement in which he promised to sign a bill that he said offers “the most equity-centric approach in the nation.”

    “This will have a transformational impact on our state, creating opportunity in the communities that need it most and giving so many a second chance,” Pritzker said in his statement.

    With the governor’s signature, Illinois would become the first state to create a commercial recreational marijuana industry through the legislature rather than by voter initiative.

    Supporters hailed the measure as an acknowledgement that the prohibition of marijuana has failed, and they argued that the bill will begin to address decades of racial disparities in the prosecution of drug crimes.

    “Prohibition hasn’t built communities. In fact, it has destroyed them,” said Rep. Kelly Cassidy, D-Chicago, who worked with Chicago Democratic Sen. Heather Steans for more than two years to craft the bill. “It is time to hit the reset button on the war on drugs.”

    The bill takes effect Jan. 1 and would allow residents age 21 and older to legally possess 30 grams of cannabis, 5 grams of cannabis concentrate or 500 milligrams of THC contained in a cannabis-infused product. Nonresidents could possess 15 grams of cannabis.

    It would also create a licensed cultivation and dispensary system while directing Pritzker to pardon people with past convictions for low-level pot possession.

    Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth, a Peoria Democrat, said the discussion about the bill’s expungement provisions was the first time in her decade as a lawmaker that minority communities were at the center of a major policy decision.

    Wiping people’s criminal records clean will open up new educational and career opportunities that will help lift people out of poverty, Gordon-Booth said.

    “If you are wearing the scarlet letter of a conviction, you are now calcified in poverty because of a mistake,” she said. “Not even a mistake, a choice.”

    Opponents have raised concerns that the bill will increase teen use of marijuana and result in more people driving while high, and they have also cited health concerns, among other problems.

    “If this bill passes, a giant, big-money industry will commercialize another harmful, addictive drug in our state,” said Rep. Marty Moylan, a Des Plaines Democrat and outspoken opponent of legalization.

    After pushback from fellow lawmakers, law enforcement and other interests, the bill’s sponsors tweaked their original proposal to win broader support, limiting possession of homegrown cannabis to patients in the state’s medical marijuana program and toning down provisions dealing with expungement of criminal records.

    The bill would allow employers to maintain a “zero tolerance” policy for cannabis in the workplace and would create a task force through the Illinois State Police to examine ways to enforce DUI laws involving marijuana use. Local governments would be able to ban cannabis use and would have wide-ranging control over zoning for marijuana-related businesses.

    Those changes helped win support from a handful of Republicans in both chambers, including Rep. David Welter of Morris, who signed on as a co-sponsor.

    “I’m a father of three from a rural district, and I’m standing before you supporting this bill because I do not believe the current policy that we have out there right now is working,” Welter said. “Prohibition doesn’t work, and we see that. Putting safeguards in place, taxing, regulating it, I believe provides a better market and a safer market.”

    The bill would create a social equity program to help minority business owners enter the marijuana industry, including through grants and loans. It also establishes a grant fund to help pay for programs in communities disproportionately affected by the war on drugs.

    Tribune graphics
    Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx, who spoke in favor of the bill at a House committee meeting Thursday night, issued a statement cheering the legislation’s passage.

    “The failed war on drugs has disproportionately impacted communities of color, and my office will continue to explore ways to provide the broadest relief possible, beyond that provided by this legislation,” Foxx said.

    Legalizing marijuana is expected to generate $57 million in general revenue in the coming budget year and $30 million for a cannabis business development fund. That’s far less than the $170 million Pritzker projected in his spending plan, but budget negotiators have said they aren’t counting on any of that revenue.

    After paying for regulatory expenses and costs related to the expungement process, marijuana revenue would be divided among a number of areas. The largest share, 35%, would go into the state’s general fund; 25% would go to community grants; 20% to mental health and substance abuse programs; 10% to pay down the state’s backlog of unpaid bills; 8% to support law enforcement; and 2% for public education.
  6. cybrguy

    cybrguy I mean really, WTF

    This article is from Motley Fool, so it is a look mostly from a financial perspective...
    Don't Expect Quick U.S. Marijuana Legalization Based on Polls Showing Support: There's a Big Gotcha
    There's something the surveys don't reveal.

    Keith Speights

    May 26, 2019 at 9:00AM
    You might look around and think that the legalization of marijuana in the U.S. is right around the corner. Thirty-three states have already legalized medical cannabis. Ten states have legalized recreational pot, with another big state -- Illinois -- on the way to doing so. [DONE!]

    Then there are the surveys -- lots of them -- that reflect solid support among Americans for legalizing marijuana. Gallup, Pew Research Center, and Quinnipiac surveys from last year showed more than 60% of respondents expressing support for marijuana legalization. Surveys conducted by Boston University, CBS News, and Fox News were in the same ballpark, with support for legalizing pot ranging between 55% and 59%.

    But don't expect quick U.S. marijuana legalization based on these surveys. There's a big gotcha that the surveys don't reveal.

    Image source: Getty Images.

    What the surveys don't say
    While survey after survey shows that a majority of Americans are in favor of U.S. legalization of pot, those surveys don't indicate how intense that support is. But other surveys provide clues. And it's not good news for anyone thinking that a groundswell of public support will lead to marijuana legalization quickly.

    In January, the Pew Research Center announced the results of a survey that identified what Americans' top priorities for Washington, D.C., are in 2019. Improving the economy took the top spot, with 70% of respondents listing it as a top priority. Reducing healthcare costs followed as a close No. 2.

    Where did legalizing marijuana rank among the public's 2019 priorities according to the Pew Research Center survey? It didn't show up at all.

    CNN conducted a survey in March to find out what issues Americans ranked high on the list in deciding whom they'd support for president in the 2020 election. Marijuana legalization did register on this -- with an underwhelming 2% ranking it as a significant priority.

    Although the majority of Americans support legalizing pot, many of them don't appear to see it as a significant issue for the country. This is borne out by a Gallup poll conducted in February in which U.S. residents were asked to identify the top problems that the country faces. Poor government leadership, immigration, and healthcare ranked as the top responses. Marijuana legalization didn't make the list.

    Political dynamics
    You've probably heard the expression that "the squeaky wheel gets the grease." This old saying is true in politics. Issues that people care about (and complain about) the most tend to receive the most attention from politicians. Legalizing marijuana doesn't seem to be a very squeaky wheel right now.

    This is especially true for Republicans, who tend to support marijuana legalization at lower levels than do Democrats and independents. And it could present a bigger hurdle to U.S. marijuana legalization than you might think.

    Legislation is already being advanced in both houses of the U.S. Congress to change federal laws to recognize the authority of individual states to enforce their own marijuana laws. The votes appear to be in place for passage in the House of Representatives and in the Senate.

    However, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., is chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and gets to pick which bills come before the committee. The bill to change U.S. marijuana laws must first clear Sen. Graham's committee, and he hasn't been a big fan of legalizing pot but has been supportive of medical cannabis.

    As the Senate majority leader, Sen. Mitch McConnell, R.-Ky., ultimately decides which bills get voted on by the full Senate. Sen. McConnell was a key proponent of legalizing hemp in the U.S.

    But his support for the hemp industry in his home state of Kentucky could squelch the chances of marijuana legalization at the federal level as long as he leads the Senate. Even with many GOP senators representing states that have legalized marijuana in some form, there's not likely to be a tremendous amount of pressure on Sen. McConnell from his own party to allow marijuana legalization to move forward in the Senate.

    So could the GOP lose control of the Senate in the 2020 elections, clearing the way for U.S. marijuana legalization in 2021? Maybe. Republicans will defend 22 seats compared to only 12 seats for Democrats. But only two of the GOP's Senate seats are in states that leaned Democrat in the last two presidential elections. In addition, Democrats have a difficult task in holding on to the seat in Alabama currently held by Doug Jones.

    Investing in the meantime
    Despite significant levels of support among Americans for legalizing pot, the lack of intensity in that support could doom efforts to change federal laws in the near future. In the meantime, though, the U.S. cannabis industry continues to grow rapidly anyway. Investors who wait for federal laws to change could miss out on that growth.

    Probably the best investing opportunities are in stocks that should perform well even if it takes a while for changes to U.S. federal marijuana policy. Two that should fit the bill are Canopy Growth (NYSE:CGC) and Scotts Miracle-Gro (NYSE:SMG).

    Canopy Growth is a major player in the Canadian adult-use recreational marijuana markets. It's also a leader in fast-growing international medical cannabis markets. In addition, the company is building a large-scale hemp production facility in New York state and seems likely to expand into hemp markets in other U.S. states. Canopy Growth would be quick to move into the U.S. marijuana market should federal laws change, but the company should be able to deliver plenty of growth in other ways in the meantime.

    Scotts Miracle-Gro has emerged as the leading supplier to the U.S. cannabis industry. The company's Hawthorne Gardening subsidiary sells hydroponics, lighting systems, ventilation systems, and other products to marijuana growers. Scotts stock would no doubt skyrocket if U.S. marijuana laws changed. However, the company should still perform quite well regardless thanks to its cannabis-focused business and its introduction of new organic lawn and garden products.

    Other stocks could be winners as well. That gotcha with surveys showing support for marijuana legalization doesn't have to be a gotcha for investors.
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2019
    His_Highness, Ramahs and Magic9 like this.
  7. cybrguy

    cybrguy I mean really, WTF

  8. cybrguy

    cybrguy I mean really, WTF

    And you guys thought once this passed you would never hear from me again... :p

    Marijuana Legalization Leader: Illinois Just Made New York And New Jersey Look Like Dorks


    Illinois just became the unofficial 11th state in the nation to legalize marijuana for recreational use. But more important than that, it bent legal weed hopefuls New York and New Jersey over its knee and gave them a vicious spanking that they will not soon forget. Both Eastern states have been fighting to put cannabis legalization on the books since dinosaurs walked the Earth, but everyone involved with the process keeps showing up for work in clown shoes.

    For whatever reason, lawmakers in that part of the country are confused about how to establish a taxed and regulated pot market while also keeping the social equity aspect in mind. And we have got to hand it to them – they almost convinced the nation that passing such a comprehensive bill through legislative channels was like pulling a shark's teeth while it gnaws on your leg. “It’s hard to do it legislatively, I admit,” said New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy.

    But then Illinois swept in last week and approved what is considered the most progressive cannabis law in the nation. And it did it just hours before lawmakers called it quits for the summer.

    It turns out that marijuana legalization might not be so challenging to do legislatively after all.

    Not only does this move give adults 21 and older the freedom to purchase marijuana through retail outlets, but it is also the first of its kind in the history of this decades-long movement to include provisions designed to correct problems stemming from the misguided principals of prohibition.

    New York and New Jersey, this is where you might want to pay close attention.

    The law in Illinois, which is set to take effect January 2020, comes with a plan to expunge the criminal records of around 770,000 people convicted of minor pot offenses. It also creates opportunities for minorities to capitalize on the new cannabis trade -- giving them points toward licensing for living in oppressed areas.


    It’s not a perfect plan, but it is a significant first step in the right direction. At least some social justice advocates seem to think so.

    “By committing funds to remove past marijuana-related convictions, the state has prioritized equity and the removal of barriers that prevent people from moving forward in their lives,” Robert Rooks, Vice President of Alliance for Safety and Justice, said in a statement. “We were proud to advocate for this important change and applaud Illinois leaders for their attention to a reform that ensures fairness and safety for communities that bore the disproportionate brunt of the drug war.”

    So, it is Illinois -- 1. New York and New Jersey – 0.


    Although 2019 was supposed to be the best year the nation has seen concerning cannabis reform – especially since New York and New Jersey were supposedly shoo-ins to be the next to legalize weed – it has been mostly one disappointment right after another. The inability to reach an agreement on social and criminal justice issues, not to mention taxes are mostly to blame.

    Sadly, New Jersey recently tossed in the towel on all of this marijuana legalization business because time after time, they have failed to come to terms. Senate President Stephen Sweeney, who was responsible for securing votes on this matter, has decided to let the voters hash it out in the 2020 election.

    “We are not going to move forward with adult use marijuana at this time. It’s something I feel strongly in, but the votes aren’t there,” Sweeney said back in May during a press conference.

    The best the state can offer its residents, at this moment, is an upgrade to its medical marijuana program. The Murphy administration recently announced that it was accepting applications for a slew of cultivators and dispensaries to take the program to a new level. The goal is to add around 100 more cannabis businesses to the New Jersey marketplace. But make no mistake, while this move might give the illusion that state officials are making progress on marijuana, they are not.

    Evan Agostini/Invision/AP

    New York bungled marijuana legalization in much of the same way. This is perhaps the most frustrating collision of common sense we have witnessed so far this year. I mean, it was almost guaranteed that the state was going to legalize the leaf in 2019, especially since Governor Cuomo, a rabid opposing force against cannabis reform for many years, rose up toward the end of last year and proclaimed a need for legal weed posthaste. He planned to revamp the system that “for too long targeted the African-American and minority communities” by legalizing “the adult use of recreational marijuana once and for all.”

    And then all of the hands came-a-begging. Lawmakers wanted it this way, business groups wanted it another, black leaders refused to support any measure if it did not come with opportunities for minority groups to get in on the action. The bickering just went on and on. In a lot of ways, it never stopped.

    Now, Cuomo has lost his drive for legal weed. He said recently that the legislature doesn’t have the votes to go the distance. Moreover, because lawmakers only have 11 days or so before the session is finished up for the summer, Cuomo just doesn’t believe legalization is “feasible” this year.

    “I don’t think it matters how much I push in 11 days,” he said. “I think when the Senate says we don’t have the votes, I take them at the word.”

    But all of this loss is Illinois’ gain.

    A report from Crain’s Chicago Business indicates that the Land of Lincoln will have one of the most lucrative cannabis markets in the United States. It is a cash cow that is expected to grow in upwards of 20 times larger than its medicinal sector, creating tens of thousands of new jobs and generating revenue to the tune of $1.6 billion annually.

    Much of the same could have been readily available to New York and New Jersey, but pettiness and the inability to compromise ultimately sabotaged prosperity.

    Nice job, dorks!
  9. BigJr48

    BigJr48 Well-Known Member

    New York, N.Y.
    @cybrguy I share your same opinions, being a mmj patient in NY I was hopeful the gov Cuomo would legalize but it was just a reelection stunt and nothing else.
  10. grampa_herb

    grampa_herb Epstein didn't kill himself

    why is the door locked?
  11. ClearBlueLou

    ClearBlueLou unbearably light in the being....

    the Old Confederacy
  12. buckhakeesah

    buckhakeesah Well-Known Member

    lol, notes of dish soap and urine. I never had that kind, thank god!
  13. Ramahs

    Ramahs Fucking Combustion (mostly) Since February 2017

    The Internet

    The USDA Legalized THC - But No One Noticed
    It looks as if this is the next cannabis domino to fall.

    It slipped under the radar on Thursday, but the United States Department of Agriculture just descheduled tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

    The USDA issued a bulletin on May 28 as a legal opinion for hemp production. It basically authorizes interstate delivery of hemp and legalized THC derived from hemp.

    First, let's address the interstate transportation or shipment of hemp.

    Up until December 2018, hemp was considered illegal like cannabis, but the 2018 Farm Bill legalized it. However, it still couldn't cross state lines. So, farmers in states where all forms of marijuana were illegal could grow hemp but then had few options to sell their crops. Farmers such as the ones in Kentucky who had pushed Senator Mitch McConnell to get the Farm Bill signed in the first place.

    Now they can sell those crops to producers in other states or at least extract the hemp oil and sell that derivative product.

    This solves the farmer problem for McConnell who was getting backed into a corner to figure out how to help these individuals sells their hemp crops. Happy Kentucky farmers means reelection.

    The second item within this USDA bulletin is the subject of THC, which is the part of the cannabis plant that produces a psychoactive response in the brain or the feeling of getting high. The bulletin was in response to the 2018 Farm Bill and it read, "By amending the definition of marijuana to exclude hemp as defined in AMA 297A, Congress has removed hemp from schedule I and removed it entirely from the CSA (Controlled Substances Act). In other words, hemp is no longer a controlled substance. Also, by amending schedule I to exclude THC in hemp, Congress has likewise removed THC in hemp from the CSA."

    Typically, cannabis plants can produce buds or flowers that have a high level of THC. Hemp plants tend to have very little THC in them. However, that doesn't mean there is no THC or that the hemp plants couldn't be modified to contain more THC.

    Mark Singleton, the owner of Singleton Investments said, "This removes the argument of .3% THC." He is referring to the designation that hemp-derived CBD is legal as long as there is less than .3% THC. If hemp THC is legal then it doesn't matter whether it is .3% or not.

    Let's step back for a moment and review this .3% line in the sand for cannabis.

    The .3% level is a designation for which there is little information as to how that number was determined. It is often referred to but there is little documentation as to how regulators arrived at that level.

    One historian said that at one time a study was done to determine at which point people got high when consuming cannabis and that .3% was the midrange and thus it stuck. Some people needed less and some didn't get buzzed until it was more than .3%, so the scientists just picked the middle point and called it a day. Random and possibly no longer true.

    Anyway, there is some debate now over this USDA bulletin and whether the words "in hemp" mean THC can't be extracted from hemp because then it would no longer be in the plant. Several people have suggested that the phrase hemp-derived products covers hemp extractions even if it includes THC. It's a new bulletin and is sure to be tested very quickly.

    Singleton believes that THC derived from hemp will quickly become popular and farmers will set up extraction facilities within their states and begin shipping across state lines. "It solves McConnell's problem. He's got the largest plant extraction facility in the entire country. Located in Kentucky," said Singleton, who says he's on McConnell's speed dial.

    If hemp-derived THC is now legal and can cross state lines, it will be close to impossible for law enforcement to determine the difference between cannabis-derived THC and hemp-derived THC. This USDA bulletin could have effectively descheduled cannabis. Singleton believes Congress will be forced to act quickly to legalize cannabis since the USDA has jumped the gun.

    In May, New York Representative Hakeem Jeffries and Senator Chuck Schumer introduced a bill, HR2843, in both Houses removing cannabis from the CSA and it included a social justice component. "I believe this bill will have at least 100 co-sponsors by June 15 and has the best chance to get passed," said Singleton. "If the Safe Banking Act doesn't get passed first, then I think this one will. I know the cannabis industry wants the States Rights Act passed, but it's going nowhere. These have the most support."

    Indeed, no one in the cannabis industry expected the USDA to be the ones to legalize THC and it looks as if this is the next domino to fall.
    macbill, BigJr48, unsorted and 2 others like this.
  14. ClearBlueLou

    ClearBlueLou unbearably light in the being....

    the Old Confederacy
    Somehow...I just don’t think it’s gonna work this way
    BigJr48, Summer and OldNewbie like this.
  15. OldNewbie

    OldNewbie Well-Known Member

    Poor legal theory. I suggest no one rely on this nonsense as a defense.

    THC was not removed, Hemp was. Hemp is defined by the bill removing it and includes some THC.

    Poppy seeds on your bagel are legal even though they have some opium on them from the flower destruction in obtaining them. That does not mean opium is legal.

    The argument being made.
    Anyway, there is some debate now over this USDA bulletin and whether the words "in hemp" mean THC can't be extracted from hemp because then it would no longer be in the plant. Several people have suggested that the phrase hemp-derived products covers hemp extractions even if it includes THC. It's a new bulletin and is sure to be tested very quickly.
    Who volunteers the next decade of his life to "test" this theory?
    BigJr48 likes this.
  16. Ramahs

    Ramahs Fucking Combustion (mostly) Since February 2017

    The Internet
    It was an interesting take, but I'm certainly not holding my breath.
  17. ClearBlueLou

    ClearBlueLou unbearably light in the being....

    the Old Confederacy
    I will say this, though: this could be a way of increasing pressure to deschedule.
  18. cybrguy

    cybrguy I mean really, WTF

    Coming soon to a party near you: Marijuana users, and there's a wide variety of them
    Joline Rivera, founder of Kitchen Toke, adds CBD olive oil to a spinach, kale and strawberry smoothie as part of her routine at her home in Chicago on June 7, 2019. Rivera, a registered medical marijuana patient, said she uses cannabis in her own cooking every day. (Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune)
    Robert McCoppin

    When a friend of Alexandra Eidenberg asks her to watch her child for a minute and steps outside, Eidenberg knows what she’s doing — taking a hit of marijuana. She’s fine with that, saying her friends remain very responsible parents. She considers cannabis generally safer than alcohol — though she doesn’t use the drug herself.

    As a member of a Chicago-area coalition called Moms for Marijuana, Eidenberg, of Wilmette, and her friends lobbied for legalization of the drug to make it safer to use, to improve social justice and generate tax revenue. Once marijuana becomes legal under Illinois state law on Jan. 1, 2020, she wonders how people will use it in social settings.

    “Are we going to go to barbecues in the backyard where people are smoking?” she asked. “Who’s going to feel comfortable with it in front of their kids? We’ll see people getting stoned and hanging out. I feel like we’re going to start having new norms.”

    Faced with normalization of a product that’s been federally prohibited for decades, people will have to work out how to handle legal marijuana among friends and family. Consuming pot in public will remain against the law, but consuming in private will be allowed if the property owner permits it and it’s out of sight from the neighbors. So who will be smoking pot once it’s legal, and when? The answer relates largely to demographics and circumstances.


    A recent nationwide analysis of marijuana consumption found a wide variety of users. They range from “functional dependents” who smoke heavily every day, often alone, to weekend enthusiasts, to “opportunists” who use only when somebody else has it and don’t bother to pay.

    The frequency of use depends in part on why people use the drug, according to the analysis. Two-thirds of users want to relax, while many use it only to enhance social experiences likes parties or concerts, and some consider it part of their daily lifestyle.

    The analysis, by New Frontier Data, a cannabis market research group, also found that while young men remain the heaviest users of pot, women, baby boomers and the elderly are the fastest-growing segment of users. Joints remain the most common form of consumption, but vaping and edibles are gaining quickly in popularity.

    Nationwide, the industry accounted for an estimated $10 billion in sales last year, legal and illegal. That is expected to grow to $26 billion by 2025. Only about 20% of cannabis sold was bought at a store, with most of it coming from friends or dealers, but that balance is expected to shift as licensed commercial sales become legal in Illinois and Michigan, and possibly other states.

    The analysis was based on a nationwide survey of self-identified legal and illegal cannabis users and data from $5 billion in legal medical and recreational sales since 2015 tabulated by MJ Freeway, which runs seed-to-sale cannabis tracking systems.

    Answers to your burning questions about recreational weed »

    John Kagia, who led the research for New Frontier, noted that residents of Illinois and the Midwest in general use cannabis much less frequently than people out West. Use is expected to grow in Illinois when pot becomes legal, but Kagia predicts the state will start out consuming less per capita than Colorado, where marijuana became legal in 2014.

    Illinois consumers right now also aren’t as sophisticated as those in Colorado, who have had more than four years to try different products and ways of consuming them. As the legal market has matured there and in other states, frequent consumers have been buying less flower and more edibles and concentrates, whereas older occasional users tend to stick with joints and pipes.

    One other trend to expect is that of infused beverages. Edibles are popular because many people don’t like to smoke, but Kagia noted that the problem with edibles is that they take a long time to kick in, and by then a user may have taken too much and stays too high for too long.

    So businesses are trying to put THC, the part of the pot plant that gets people high, and CBD, the non-psychoactive component credited for a variety of health effects, into beverages that will take effect in less than 10 minutes, similar to alcohol, so people can control their dosing more carefully.

    That’s especially important for the many people who use marijuana for health-related reasons — to relieve pain, improve appetite, treat seizures or muscle tightness, elevate their mood, sleep better or reduce use of stronger prescription drugs.

    One potentially troubling aspect in the analysis is that more than one-third of respondents reported using weed every day. Research has shown that heavy use can cause lung problems and cycles of nausea and vomiting and has been associated with higher rates of mental illness, including psychosis.

    Addiction is also a risk for some heavy users. The National Institute on Drug Abuse cites research estimating that 9 to 30% of users may develop some degree of marijuana use disorder. Advocates argue that legalizing it will generate more resources to educate the public about the dangers of overuse and to treat abuse.

    Kagia predicted that as more young people use the drug in moderation and see the effects of marijuana compared with alcohol, they will prefer cannabis and drink less.

    Use among women is growing quickly, as they value the convenience and discretion afforded by vaping and edibles at home or in public. At social get-togethers like book clubs, cannabis is already replacing wine-centered gatherings in some circles, Kagia said he’s hearing.

    Kagia predicted that Illinois — one of the first states in the Midwest to offer recreational weed — will attract more out-of-state visitors and develop a canna-tourism industry.

    And the state also could lead the way in cannabis business mergers and influence since expected legalization has not occurred in states such as New York and New Jersey, Kagia said.

    “Illinois has the opportunity as a first mover of a fairly large population, strategically located, with access to capital, that when we see a push to consolidation, we expect it to be a market mover,” he said.

    Because only the 17 existing medical marijuana growers will be allowed to serve the market initially, Kagia predicted that Illinois won’t see the oversupply that has flooded the market in places like Oregon. But he expects consumers in Illinois will see higher prices.

    Recreational marijuana goes on sale Jan. 1 in Illinois. Dispensaries are already getting ready. »

    Joline Rivera, founder of Kitchen Toke, prepares a cannabis-infused smoothie in her Chicago home on June 7, 2019. (Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune)

    In anticipation of such a monumental shift in social practices, Joline Rivera, founder of Kitchen Toke, an international cannabis cooking magazine based in Chicago, predicts that legalization will profoundly influence a central aspect of get-togethers everywhere: food. That’s why she’s held cannabis-infused dinners at New York fashion shows and is launching her own online store of CBD products this summer.

    As a registered medical marijuana patient, Rivera uses cannabis in her own cooking every day, in her morning smoothie, a shot of hemp juice before a run, or with infused olive oil on her salad. She notes that bars in Chicago are already serving cannabis-infused cocktails.

    She expects to see more people incorporating unique cannabis flavors into what they eat, and offering them at parties and potlucks. She’s not getting stoned but maintains that CBD and other extracts help her focus and feel better.

    BigJr48, Ramahs, His_Highness and 2 others like this.
  19. cybrguy

    cybrguy I mean really, WTF


    “Everything we do socially operates around food,” she said. “I think cannabis is going to be a huge part of that. Our stance is that it’s not about getting high, it’s about getting healthy.”

    Even people who’ve never worked in the industry before are hoping to capitalize on its social aspects. Kankakee resident Stephen Lockwood, who recently got a degree in horticulture and is a self-taught chef, hopes to start a business cooking for people with cannabis-infused dishes at weddings and other catered celebrations.

    He says he can incorporate cannabis into a mean barbecue sauce, fettuccine Alfredo and from-scratch Boston creme doughnuts. He says he’s seen a wide range of use and misuse of the drug, from moms and hardworking successful businesspeople who use it to unwind to young men on the “wrong path” who abuse it with other substances.

    With a father who’s a police officer, and having once considered the priesthood himself, Lockwood says he is conservative and anti-drug. But to him, this is different.

    “It’s like smoking a cigarette or drinking a beer, but it won’t cause cancer or start a fight,” he said. “I know it sounds nuts, but it’s going to be legal now.”
    BigJr48, His_Highness and OldNewbie like this.
  20. cybrguy

    cybrguy I mean really, WTF

    To be perfectly honest, some of this stuff makes me very uncomfortable. I get that we have been working with the genetics of the plant to increase or decrease the amounts of CBD and THC present in the plant we consume and I am pretty much OK with that because it is just degrees of concentration. But making changes to the way the body uptakes these ingredients is a different kettle of fish to me. Part of what I love about cannabis is it's "natural" component, and the fact that the human body has specific receptors that appear to be designed by nature to take advantage of these naturally occurring components. That we are changing this relationship to try and get faster uptake from edible consumption by changing its molecular structure (in effect) does not seem wise to me.

    Maybe I am just being paranoid, but I think I will avoid these consumption methods, at least until we learn more about them...
    pxl_jockey, BigJr48 and ClearBlueLou like this.
  21. ClearBlueLou

    ClearBlueLou unbearably light in the being....

    the Old Confederacy
    I think your concern is reasonable. I am also concerned about the tunnel-vision afflicting so many people regarding THC and CBD: these days “everybody knows” that all you need is THC for recreation and CBD for medicine. AFAIC there is no *proof* that THC is the only factor, or only significant factor, in the many pleasant and useful effects of cannabis: there is only a statement to that effect. CBD kind of forced me its way on from the other end, but still...by breeding for test numbers, aroma, and flavors, I think we may be doing serious damage to the gene pool.

    We also do great injury to the gene pool when we automatically eradicate any/all male plants - that’s an enormous genetic heritage being discarded without a thought, and it happens all the time. We have no idea what we’re losing, or even that we’re losing it
  22. Summer

    Summer Well-Known Member

    Long Island, NY
  23. macbill

    macbill Gregarious Misanthrope

    The Evergreen State
    BigJr48, Ramahs and His_Highness like this.
  24. abracadaver

    abracadaver aka mephisto

    With my state teetering on the balance towards rec. legal, I would like to take this opportunity to say
    "Fuck Joe Biden" We have seen enough right here in the first state.
    BigJr48 likes this.
  25. cybrguy

    cybrguy I mean really, WTF

    It is a big mistake on Biden's part, but I doubt it will have any influence at all on what any state might be doing towards legalization. Given that he is virtually the only Dem staking out this position it will be meaningless in influence.
    He WILL lose some voters that may have supported him, tho. And I doubt it will give him any new voters.

    I wouldn't be terribly surprised if he changed his position, but as we have already seen it won't help much.
    BigJr48 likes this.

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