Why Is the DEA Messing with the American Hemp Market?

Hemp is still the most magic of all the plants in America. (First, a reminder: hemp is Cannabis sativa with next to no THC. Marijuana, in the always rational parlance of America, is also Cannabis sativa, but with THC.)

Hemp is legal to import into the U.S., and you can legally make hemp into products which you can then sell, like rope, soap, clothes and food. But for many years, you could not legally grow hemp, despite wild stands of the stuff growing in ditches through the Midwest, and store shelves full of hemp products.

That changed when Barack Obama signed into law the 2014 farm bill, allowing hemp to be legally grown in at least 16 states under certain, limited circumstances.

Read more at High Times

Hint of a Trump Marijuana Crackdown? DEA Probes Colorado Cannabis Cases

While Attorney General Jeff Sessions was busy publicly reminding America just how much he hates marijuana legalization—facts, data and public sentiment be damned—federal law enforcement officials with Sessions’s Justice Department were probing pending marijuana-related court cases in Colorado, the International Business Times is reporting.

This revelation came Friday courtesy of the IBT’s David Sirota, who obtained an email exchange between one of Sessions’s people and Colorado officials. The one-page email is brief and is only an information request, but it’s one of the first concrete signs of federal interest in state-level cannabis under the Trump era. Which means it’s guaranteed to make marijuana industry types worried about a job-killing federal crackdown a little more nervous.

“Are you able to provide me the state docket numbers for the following cases?” a Denver-based DEA agent asked a Colorado state prosecutor on March 6, according to the email exchange, obtained via a public-records request. “Some of our intel people are trying to track down info regarding some of DEA’s better marijuana investigations for the new administration. Hopefully it will lead to some positive changes [emphasis ours].”

Read more at High Times

DEA Squeezing Money and Property Out of People at Record Rates

The DEA, for many, is high up on the list of the government’s most corrupt, mismanaged and ill-equipped organizations. And it sure knows how to squeeze money out of innocent victims.

According to a report issued Wednesday by the Justice Department’s Inspector General, the DEA has seized more than $4 billion in cash from people suspected of involvement in the drug trade since 2007.

The scope of asset forfeiture is outrageous: Since 2007, the Department of Justice’s Asset Forfeiture Fund skyrocketed to $28 billion.

Read more at High Times

Shady Pharma Company Sabotages Legal Weed and Gets DEA Approval for Synthetic THC

Insys Therapeutics, a pharmaceutical company that poured lots of money into opposing weed legalization in Arizona last year just got its payoff—thank you very much.

That payoff came in the form of this week’s preliminary approval from the DEA for its synthetic marijuana drug, Syndros.

Just A Little Reminder

Read more at High Times

DEA: CBD Oil Is Not ‘Legal in All 50 States’

Ever since Dr. Sanjay Gupta brought to the world the story of little Charlotte Figi, the Colorado girl with severe epilepsy who found relief from using cannabidiol (CBD), there has been an explosion of companies hawking what they call “hemp-derived CBD oil” which they claim is legal in all 50 states.

It’s not. At least, that’s what the DEA is telling us in its latest clarification on the issue.

According to one manufacturer, their “CBD oil extracted from hemp plants grown in Northern Europe” is legal because “hemp oil has been a legal import to the United States for decades.”

Read more at High Times

Morocco’s GDP Is 23% Hash-Based: The DEA Has Taken Notice

After a 20-year absence, the DEA has returned to Morocco and resumed enforcement operations in the capital city of Rabat. Their mission is to interrupt the flow of hashish into Europe through Spain — an illicit trade route that, by some estimates, accounts for nearly a quarter of Morocco’s GDP.

It’s officially tasked with enforcing domestic narcotics law and interdicting drugs entering the United States, but the Drug Enforcement Administration has also been a global police force since its 1973 inception.

The DEA inherited a global network of several dozen “anti-drug” offices in countries within the U.S. sphere of influence, and as global demand for drugs continued unabated, spent the next few decades opening dozens more.

Read more at Cannabis Now

IS WEED LEGAL? – Cannabis 101

The question of whether weed is legal or not may very well depend on your location. For instance, in Washington state it’s not unusual to drive down the highway and see a billboard advertising legal weed for adults 21 and older, but don’t expect to see a similar sight in Alabama anytime soon.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has yet to loosen its stronghold over cannabis by maintaining its classification as a Schedule I substance, claiming marijuana is highly addictive and has no medicinal benefits. Since the DEA won’t fairly re-examine cannabis, it remains a federally illegal substance.

While medical marijuana is legal in more than half the states across the U.S., only eight have challenged the federal government by passing initiatives to legalize recreational cannabis. Colorado paved the way when their measure for the legalization of cannabis, Colorado Amendment 64, passed in 2012. This past November, California, Nevada, Massachusetts and Maine joined the slowly growing number of states to have successfully legalized cannabis. While there’s been much excitement surrounding the future of the cannabis industry as more states legalize marijuana, there’s been equal anxiety as a new president enters office.

Read more at Dope Magazine

END 4/20 SHAME: Cannabis Education Overcomes Fear

How do you destroy the stigma around cannabis? You educate people. As Edmund Burke said, “knowledge conquers fear.”

People only fear the consequences of medicinal and recreational cannabis when they don’t understand it. But as soon as people start learning the truth, they begin to open up their minds, and the truth is this:

According to data collected by the National Incident-Based Reporting System, violent crime in Washington is at a 40-year historic low since the passage of recreational cannabis.

Read more at Dope Magazine

THE END OF CANNABIS SMALL BUSINESS: How the Pharmaceutical Industry is Preparing to Take Over Cannabis

In case you weren’t already aware, Schedule I is defined as drugs which have no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. Cannabis is a Schedule I drug, putting it the same class as heroin, LSD, meth and peyote. For perspective some examples of Schedule IV drugs (ones with low potential for abuse and dependency) are: Xanax, Soma, Darvocet, Valium, Ativan and Ambien, yet we know these drugs are being highly abused in America today.

As a healthcare provider who uses and understands cannabis, Schedule I is a ridiculous proposition, as cannabis has a far lower risk of dependency or abuse than many Schedule IV drugs. This is just one of the fallacies that the US Government continues to claim about cannabis as it prepares for the pharmaceutical takeover of the industry. Anything but a complete descheduling of cannabis will destroy an industry so many of us have helped to build and pioneer, not only enduring the pitfalls typical of all business startups but also risking federal prosecution, a burdensome regulatory structure and legislative obstacles.

First, let’s understand that as a Schedule I drug, cannabis has only been studied in the US by companies allowed access to cannabis grown, processed and distributed by the Federal Government. Yes you heard that correctly, the Federal Government has its own pot farm which is on the campus of Ole Miss. The only company which has been allowed unlimited access to the crop is GW Pharmaceutical. Conducting clinical research using cannabis requires interaction and approval of several federal agencies; the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) provides authorization; obtaining access to the product for research comes from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) who oversees the cultivation on the campus of University of Mississippi, all cannabis transfers and research is overseen by National Institutes of Health (NIH), with review and oversight by the FDA. This structure creates a monopoly and GW Pharmaceutical is holding all of the cards.

Read more at Dope Magazine

DEA Finally Removes Misinformation about Pot from Website

After months of public pressure and media attention, the DEA has finally removed some inaccurate information from its website.

The change comes after Americans for Safe Access filed a legal request with the Department of Justice in December, demanding that the DEA update and remove factually inaccurate information about cannabis from their website and materials.

Americans for Safe Access (ASA) argued that the more than 25 false statements on the DEA’s website about marijuana constituted a violation of the Information Quality Act (IQA), which requires that administrative agencies not provide false information to the public and that they respond to requests for correction of information within 60 days.

Read more at High Times