Massachusetts Governor to Review Marijuana Bill after Final OK in Legislature

BOSTON (AP) — Gov. Charlie Baker is promising to carefully review a bill that makes changes to the state’s voter-approved recreational marijuana law.

The legislation was formally sent to the Republican governor’s desk on Thursday after final procedural votes in the House and Senate.

Lawmakers earlier voted to accept a compromise hammered out by negotiators after the two chambers approved competing versions of the bill.

Read more at High Times

Study Maps Medical Pot Laws and Regulations

Anyone trying to make a living in the legal marijuana industry has faced the absurd and frustrating obstacles resulting from cannabis being legal in a certain states, but not legal on a federal level, which still maintains a Schedule 1 classification for weed, therefore allowing the feds to ruin one’s business or life at any given moment.

Temple University laid out the facts regarding how state laws disparately regulate patient registration and civil rights, product safety labeling and packaging, and dispensaries, according to a new study published in the journal Addiction.

The study, done earlier this year, found that state laws mimic some aspects of federal prescription drug and controlled substances laws, as well as regulatory strategies used for alcohol, tobacco and traditional medicines.

Read more at High Times

MOAB DIARIES: A Divine Desert Adventure

En Route to Moab:

While I’ve always been a lover of nature, I’ve never been a fan of the desert. The sand, heat and prickly flowers hold no appeal for me. I recently gave the dust a chance, however, and ventured from Denver to Moab, Utah, with a handful of friends. Even though I still prefer forests and mountains over the sand and the sun, it was an experience I will never forget. From Denver we headed westbound, and the drive alone was mesmerizing. Breathtaking. It felt like we drove through different climates, a new ecosystem every few hours. We first drove through the lush, green mountains, which soon turned into deep canyons with winding rivers on either side, until finally the mountains started to take the shape of table mesas, and we found ourselves out on the last leg of a wide, open road.

I was actually quite surprised upon our initial arrival in Moab. It felt like we were in the middle of nowhere for so long; we weren’t expecting such a lively town. There were a bunch of restaurants, hotels, bars and shops, all with a classic southwestern vibe. Even though our first instinct was to stop and explore the town, we knew it was important to lock down a nice campsite for the weekend, as they tend to fill up quickly—especially on the weekends. Next time I visit Moab, I plan to get there on a Wednesday or Thursday, and try to avoid the bigger crowds.

Read more at Dope Magazine

A JUXTAPOSED JOURNEY WITH JB SNYDER: An Artist’s Escape from L.A.

Boston-born artist JB Snyder is no stranger to the creative spirit. By age 10 he was already dabbling with spray paint, but found his passion in the athletic art of rollerblading. By age 15, Snyder dedicated himself to becoming a professional skater. Traveling the United States, Snyder produced 3 films over 2 years, which were then picked up by Video Action Sports Distributing. From there, he followed an opportunity to continue his career and produce his videos in Los Angeles.

In 1998, Snyder moved across the country to begin his new life in fast-paced L.A. In addition to producing 2 more skate films, Snyder also edited and acted as a voice-over character in 52 episodes of Cosmo, a low-budget cartoon show. He met new people and made important connections in the 3 years that followed. In his spare time Synder traveled and began experimenting with other forms of artwork, ranging from second-hand acrylic paints on shopping bags to cans of Krylon on brick walls.

In 2001, Snyder escaped L.A. With the rollerblading industry in decline, the low-budget cartoon show not making any Saturday morning lineups, the traffic and an expensive city growing more pricey by the day, Snyder began to consider his options. Despite living near the ocean, having a fun job, smoking great weed on the daily and essentially “living the dream,” Snyder was fed up with the shady characters and competitive lifestyle in L.A. After seriously weighing his options, he decided to make the exodus. He packed up a U-Haul, said goodbye to the noisy, non-stop City of Sin, and traded it in for the City of Sun.

Read more at Dope Magazine

Jeff Sessions Desperately Wants to Allow Police to Keep Stealing Your Property

Nearly lost in the miasma of secret anti-marijuana meetings in Colorado and Donald Trump’s very public wish for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to go far, far away and never come back is Sessions’s updated plan, released Wednesday, to allow American police to more freely and easily relieve American citizens of their property—even if they have never committed a crime.

Since the mid-1980s, police and prosecutors have been able to seize cash and property, without convicting or even charging the rightful owner with a crime, under a process called “civil asset forfeiture.” (The process’s genesis is in colonial America, but the method as we know it today began 30 years ago.)

Property can be sold and cash can be deposited directly into police department’s bank account—and it’s entirely on the erstwhile owner to prove that every last cent was earned legally. If the cash came from the sale of property that wasn’t sufficiently documented, or for wage work without a W-2, too bad—that cash is now the government’s, and good luck getting it back.

Read more at High Times

Gallup: Percentage of Americans Who Have Tried Weed Reaches New High

The most recent Gallup poll reveals that at least 45 percent of U.S. adults say they have tried marijuana—at least once in their lives.

That’s the highest percentage in the history of the yearly poll, which started in 1969, Gallup said.

When last year’s poll was conducted, 43 percent of Americans said they’d tried pot at least once.

Read more at High Times

New Rhode Island Laws Aim to Combat Opioid Epidemic

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Gov. Gina Raimondo has signed three bills into law aimed at combating Rhode Island’s opioid epidemic.

The legislation allows law enforcement access to an electronic database of prescription painkillers without a warrant; requires health care professionals to discuss the risks of addiction with patients when writing opioid prescriptions; and expands the type of pharmaceuticals that can be prescribed using electronic prescriptions, while ensuring patient privacy.

The state Department of Health said that mandating electronic prescriptions will reduce pharmacy errors and also the likelihood for fraudulent prescriptions because paper prescription pads have sometimes been stolen to obtain the drugs illegally.

Read more at High Times

Fears of Pot Crackdown Stoked After Feds Hold ‘Secret Meeting’ in Colorado

Fears of a federal Justice Department-led crackdown on America’s burgeoning legal marijuana industry—based entirely on anti-cannabis statements, recent and age-old, made by Attorney General Jeff Sessions and other Trump administration figures—have so far been unfounded.

So far, Sessions has been unable to convince Congress to give him license to go after legal marijuana—and so far, federal drug cops have yet to enlist a willing accomplice in local government or law enforcement in a legal state. Without help from local cops on the ground, a crackdown won’t go very far.

But the feds may have found some collaborators in Colorado Springs. 

Read more at High Times

Growing Gunplay in Hashish Gateway Tajikistan

Although rarely in the news, the Central Asian republic of Tajikistan is a critical corridor for hashish and opiates bound from southern neighbor Afghanistan to Europe and world markets.

Violence associated with the cross-border trade is predictably endemic and appears to be escalating. Border guards have repeatedly clashed with traffickers on the frontier in recent weeks, leaving several dead.

An account on EurasiaNet noted some recent bloody incidents.

Read more at High Times

Trump Is Sick of Jeff Sessions, Who (So Far) Refuses to Quit

Like us, President Donald Trump is through with Attorney General Jeff Sessions and wishes he’d picked someone other than the hard-line drug warrior with the segregationist’s resume to become America’s top law-enforcement officer.

And like every other time Donald Trump stumbles upon a sound idea, the president wishes Sessions would do a solid for America and go away forever for the wrong reasons—in this case, so that there would be an attorney general who would make Trump’s biggest problem go away.

On Wednesday, Trump gave a wide-ranging interview to the New York Times, America’s “failing” “fake news” outlet of record. (When Trump finally exits the Oval Office and is kindly led by the hand to a Trump-branded old-folks home, willfully or no, transcripts of the interview will be entered into the record as justification.)

Read more at High Times