SCOTUS Pick Aware of IRS Issues, Sessions Closer to Leading War on Pot

In a today’s vote that went along party lines as expected, Senator Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III inched closer to being the top law enforcement official in the land and seventh in the line of presidential succession, while Trump Supreme Court pick Neil Gorsuch also made his big primetime debut this week.

Stop Sessions

The cannabis world continues to be on edge over the likely reality of Sessions holding the deck of cards for the future of the industry. While seeing cannabis industry inventors like Peter Thiel wired in at the core of the administration might be a slightly soothing thought, seeing a guy who once noted the KKK, “were OK until I found out they smoked pot,” being in charge of handcuffing reefers is definitely a bit worrisome. Even more so since he’s supported legislation that would have allowed defendants to receive the death penalty if they had received multiple convictions for marijuana distribution.

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The Devil’s Lettuce: Unpacking an Anti-Cannabis Crusade

With the legislative successes of cannabis decriminalization riding a still-building wave of pro-pot public opinion nationwide, encounters with full-fledged marijuana prohibitionists are an increasingly rare occurrence. But a recent full-page ad in the Washington Times offered a glimpse into one man’s holy crusade against medical science, cannabis journalism and adults having fun with plants. The ad demands aggressive federal drug enforcement, mandatory urinalysis for schoolchildren and blames cannabis for everything from Washington D.C.’s “dysfunctional” Metro train system to the murder rate in American cities. It also includes a phone number for more information, so naturally we called it.

It’s not often a reporter gets to deliver news of this magnitude, but every (positive) word you’ve ever read about cannabis is a LIE. 

You’ve been had. You’re a dupe, a rube — a victim of fake news. You’ve been taken in by a massive conspiracy: a dishonest cabal of stoner scientists and the stoner media that covers them.

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Colorado Considers Allowing Medical Cannabis for PTSD

Even though Colorado — the first state in the union to legalize adult use of cannabis — is considered a pioneer on pot policy, it’s been slow when it comes to acknowledging the medicinal potential of the plant when it comes to certain conditions. Only now is the state beginning to consider allowing doctors to recommend medical cannabis for patients suffering from PTSD.

DENVER (AP) — The first state to legalize marijuana is just now taking steps to consider the drug medicine for people suffering from post-traumatic stress.

Colorado has authorized medical marijuana for nearly two decades, and the state approved recreational pot use in 2012. But doctors here still cannot recommend marijuana’s use to treat post-traumatic stress, forcing sufferers to pay higher taxes for recreational pot.

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Hemp CBD Unaffected by DEA “Rescheduling” Panic

There was widespread panic that the DEA was “banning” or “rescheduling” CBD when news broke the agency was creating a unique “Controlled Substance Code Number” for cannabis extracts, which had previously been classified under the same number as what the federal government still calls “marihuana.” But multiple cannabis law experts say even if the DEA was trying to ban hemp-derived CBD, legal precedent and federal law would not allow them to do so unilaterally.

Reports of hemp-based CBD medicine’s death have been greatly exaggerated. That’s the word from several legal experts who say, despite a moment of industry-wide panic about the DEA’s filing of a memo with the federal register establishing a “final rule” on the internal classification of “marihuana extracts” the law regarding CBD and hemp has not changed.

A memo from Folium Legal Counsel echoes this widespread interpretation of the law and the lack of negative impacts on the industry since the filing took effect.

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CA Pot Regs: ‘Building the Airplane While it’s Being Flown’

Regulation looms, but California’s illicit cannabis market is still thriving. One state senator said that with almost 20 different license types and tens of thousands of potential licensees, it could take the state up to 10 years to get everything under control.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The future of California’s legal marijuana industry is being shaped in a warren of cubicles tucked inside a retired basketball arena, where a garden of paper cannabis leaves sprouts on file cabinets and a burlap sack advertising “USA Home Grown” dangles from a wall.

Here, in the outskirts of Sacramento, a handful of government workers face a daunting task: By next year, craft regulations and rules that will govern the state’s emerging legal pot market, from where and how plants can be grown to setting guidelines to track the buds from fields to stores.

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Toronto Cops Upset That Shops They Raid Don’t Call Them

Toronto police don’t understand why unlicensed dispensaries won’t call them to report robberies and other crimes. Dispensary owners and employees say the reason is simple: the police don’t just arrest the suspects being reported, they also go after the people reporting the crime.

Police in Toronto are mystified. There’s been a string of robberies at the city’s illegal-yet-above-ground marijuana dispensaries, and oftentimes, dispensary owners and employees are loath to call police.

Could it have anything to do with police confiscating marijuana once called to a dispensary–and, the few times dispensary staff do call police following a robbery, twice arresting the dispensary owners?

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Travel Guru Rick Steves Combats War on Drugs With ACLU Donation

Longtime cannabis activist and GOAT travel expert Rick Steves raises $50K for the American Civil Liberties Union on Inauguration Day.

After election day guidebook author and travel host Rick Steves, like many Americans, was bummed. He had planned to go to Washington D.C. for the presidential inauguration, but was suddenly changing his plans. In a statement on Facebook he told a fan, “Even though I canceled my flight and hotel reservations for the inauguration in Washington D.C. after Election Day, I still want to celebrate this important day for all of us Americans. And I want to do it in a way that reflects my values and what I love most about America: tolerance, diversity, and freedom.”

To do so, Steves chose to match every dollar spent in his website’s shop on Inauguration Day with a donation to the ACLU. The ACLU, a friend and ally to cannabis reformers long before it was cool, was selected by Steves due to the diversity of their mission in protecting the rights of Americans.

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New Mexico Legislature Considers Legalizing Cannabis

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Democratic state lawmakers in New Mexico are redoubling efforts to legalize marijuana and tax sales for recreational use to shore up plunging state revenues and give the economy a boost.

Sponsors of parallel bills in the Senate and House announced their proposal to regulate marijuana sales and apply a 15 percent state sales tax.

Local governments would choose whether to allow marijuana sales within their jurisdictions and could collect an additional 5 percent tax, while cultivation would be allowed statewide, under a proposal modeled after marijuana laws in Colorado.

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Massachusetts Lawmaker Wants 80 Percent Less Marijuana Legalization

Massachusetts state senator Jason Lewis has no chill.

Voters in the Bay State just legalized recreational cannabis, but if Lewis has his way, they’ll be enjoying far less weed, and they won’t be able to purchase any until 2020 at the earliest — more than two years behind the schedule set by voters.

More than 53 percent of voters in the birthplace of the American Revolution approved Question 4 on Election Day, legalizing marijuana use, small-scale cultivation, and possession of up to an ounce of marijuana for adults 21 and over.

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Women in Cannabis Have Twice as Much to Lose

The Women’s March on Washington and sister marches in more than 500 cities mobilized over 3 million people to demand equality and justice, with an emphasis on women’s reproductive and personal freedom. Women in the cannabis industry were well represented at these marches and rallies, and it’s easy to understand why: the uncertainties surrounding President Donald Trump’s incoming administration have many of them  feeling vulnerable both personally and professionally.

From coast to coast, millions came out in support of Women’s Rights, with a sizable contingent from one of America’s friendliest industries, cannabis, making a strong showing.

For women in the cannabis industry, the angst brought on by the inauguration of Donald Trump is twofold; not only do they have to worry about their reproductive rights being in the hands of a con man and his Alternative Fact-filled administration, they also have to wonder about the future of the industry that’s given them a better shot at leadership and success than any other.

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