Report: Dirty, Contaminated Weed Still Being Sold in Oregon

Consumer safety is an eternal concern in every legal industry. Legal marijuana is no exception. If anything, cannabis marketplace regulators have struggled to ensure products that reach consumers meet safety standards and are not tainted with potentially harmful contaminants, like pesticides and mold.

For now, cannabis users in Oregon enjoy the strictest safety standards in America—although proposed pesticide regulations in California, currently being debated and up for approval later this summer, are even stricter. Some marijuana industry figures and cannabis advocates complain that California’s proposed rules, which could cost upwards of $400 per pound of processed pot to implement, are too strict.  

But judging by the ongoing situation in Oregon, where contaminated marijuana continues to elude testing and ends up in the hands (and lungs) of consumers, standards may not be strict enough. 

Read more at High Times

Jr. Gong Brings Even More Heat With Cannabis Activism

To promote his upcoming ‘Stony Hill’ album, Damian Marley is releasing a video series featuring testimonials from medical cannabis patients.

Bob Marley’s youngest son has significantly turned up the notch on his cannabis activism lately. Not only has Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley made recent waves with his announcement to transform a former prison into a facility to create cannabis extracts, earlier this month he was also announced as one of the new owners of High Times Magazine. The son of one of the greatest reggae stars the world over is releasing his new album ‘Stony Hill’ on July 21 and, as a co-promotion, is debuting a series of Youtube videos highlighting testimonials from prominent cannabis activists and patients who have successfully utilized medical marijuana on their path to healing.

The videos, titled “Medication” in line with the name of Marley’s recent single, feature cannabis advocates telling both their own stories and sharing insights on the grassroots legalization movement as well as the fledgling cannabis industry. One testimonial features Cannabis Now’s own Sara Payan — a stage 3 colon cancer survivor, director of education at The Apothecarium and member of the San Francisco Cannabis State Legalization Task Force — speaking about her discovery of the benefits of medical marijuana and her work to share the knowledge she’s learned with others.

Read more at Cannabis Now

Study: Adult Use Marijuana Laws Do Not Adversely Impact Traffic Fatality Rates

The enactment of statewide laws regulating the adult use and sale of cannabis is not associated with subsequent changes in traffic fatality rates, according to an analysis of traffic safety data (“Crash fatality rates after recreational marijuana legalization in Washington and Colorado”) published today in the American Journal of Public Health.

Investigators from the University of Texas-Austin evaluated crash fatality rates in Colorado and Washington pre- and post-legalization. They compared these rates to those of eight control states that had not enacted any significant changes in their marijuana laws.

“We found no significant association between recreational marijuana legalization in Washington and Colorado and subsequent changes in motor vehicle fatality rates in the first three years after recreational marijuana legalization,” author concluded.

Read more at NORML

How Bong Appétit’s Jason Pinsky Became TV’s First Cannabis Producer

For years, cannabis consumers have been portrayed as lazy stoners in the eyes of mainstream America. Meanwhile, activists have been working hard to legalize, destigmatize and normalize its use.

Lives are being enhanced thanks to this miracle plant, and every day, we learn something new about its incredible capabilities because of pioneers like Jason Pinsky, the world’s first credited cannabis producer responsible for everything weed on VICELAND’s hit culinary show, Bong Appétit.

Jason Pinsky

Read more at High Times

How to Cut Down on Traffic Stops and Save Lives: Legalize Weed

Studies are showing that states with legalized weed are experiencing a sharp decline in the number of traffic stops and searches by state police.

This is extremely pertinent considering that for some people, interaction with police officers can end in death, followed by impunity for the murderous cops.

The latest in the growing list of these racist outrages is Philando Castile, pulled over for no apparent reason, then shot and killed (with his seatbelt on) while calmly reaching for his ID after having informed the officer that he was carrying a legally registered firearm.

Read more at High Times

Vermont: House Blocks Marijuana Depenalization Bill From Further Consideration

Members of the Vermont House of Representatives decided late last night to block a marijuana depenalization measure, H. 511, from further consideration this legislative session.

The vote came after Senate members approved the bill, which eliminated civil and criminal penalties for the private possession and cultivation of small quantities of marijuana. Republican Gov. Phil Scott – who had vetoed an earlier version of the bill in May – had also recently expressed his support for the revised legislation.

Further action on the bill during this week’s special veto session required the votes of three-quarters of the House. But only a majority voted to take action on the bill, with almost all Republican House members voting ‘no.’

Read more at NORML

Florida Strip Club Owner Files Lawsuit to Allow Home Marijuana Cultivation

In an attempt to strengthen Florida’s newly designed medical marijuana program, a Tampa strip club entrepreneur has filed a lawsuit against the state Department of Health in hopes of being given the freedom to grow cannabis plants at home for personal use.

It was just weeks ago that state lawmakers finally came to terms during a special session on the regulations connected to the state’s medical marijuana law.

But now strip club owner Count Joe Redner, a man no stranger to battling it out in court over unconstitutional issues, wants health officials to take it up a notch by allowing patients qualified for participation in the program to have permission to cultivate their own weed.

Read more at High Times

The Smell Of Marijuana Shouldn’t Be A Death Sentence

Philando Castile was shot and killed by a Minnesota police officer during a traffic stop last year. This week we learned that the officer rationalized his actions by claiming that the alleged smell of “burnt marijuana” made him fear for his own life.  Here is how the officer recounted his actions, in his own words: “I thought, I was gonna die and I thought if he’s, if he has the, the guts and the audacity to smoke marijuana in front of the five year old girl and risk her lungs and risk her life by giving her secondhand smoke and the front seat passenger doing the same thing then what, what care does he give about me. And, I let off the rounds and then after the rounds were off, the little girls [sic] was screaming.”

The reality that law enforcement would make such claims, and then use lethal force based on such misconceptions, speaks once again as to why we need to both reform America’s marijuana laws and reassess the way that police interact with the communities for which they are sworn to protect and serve.

Too often we hear of violence being perpetrated by officers of the state against our fellow citizens on the basis of similarly irrational claims. Philando Castile is the name we must speak today, but sadly there are countless others, particularly people of color, who have fallen victims to or as a result of this senseless marijuana prohibition.

Read more at NORML

Fentanyl in Marijuana? Probable Reefer Madness

One of the most timely arguments for marijuana legalization is the drug overdose crisis ripping through every corner of America.

More than 33,000 Americans died from an opioid overdose in 2015, more than any other year on record. The 2016 death toll hasn’t yet been released, but all indications are that it will be even higher.

Most of the deaths, and the meteoric rise in overdose deaths year-over-year, are attributed to synthetic opiates like fentanyl and carfentanil—both of which are many times stronger than heroin, and both of which are easily acquired from clandestine labs overseas via online drug marketplaces on the dark web.

Read more at High Times

OREGON GIRL GARDENS: Planting for Future Generations

“We started this epic journey back in the beginning of 2016, which is crazy because a year ago none of this was here.” Audra Cordell gestures at her farm, a plot of land 30 minutes south of Portland that comprises Oregon Girl Gardens. It was her sister-in-law, Robin Cordell, who approached Audra about launching a family-owned cannabis grow. Audra remembers: “She came to me and said, ‘I want to do this business. I want to grow local craft cannabis, incorporating biodynamic, regenerative agriculture. We’ll stand out as a small, women-owned farm.’”

Pink ChampagneRobin’s background made cannabis cultivation a natural choice. She earned a degree in horticulture from Oregon State University, managed medical marijuana gardens for years, and learned the art of permaculture design. Audra, who trained and worked as a geologist and then a teacher, had always been interested in growing vegetables and cut flowers. Looking for a way to be closer to relatives and spend more time with her child, she embraced the opportunity to launch Oregon Girl Gardens. She and her family now live on the farm, and Robin lives ten minutes away.

“We want to show people it’s okay to use cannabis. We’re changing the paradigm so there’s not the stigma. We hope to be an example of what’s possible…”

Read more at Dope Magazine