How state officials snuck themselves into Georgia’s Hope Act, sticking taxpayers with the cost of regulating medical marijuana so officials can profit from its production

How state officials snuck themselves into Georgia’s Hope Act, sticking taxpayers with the cost of regulating medical marijuana so officials can profit from its production

Because no tax was levied to pay for the costs of regulating a medical marijuana industry in Georgia, taxpayers will bear that burden so that state-wide public officials and legislators – maybe even some who were actually all in that same room – can make money growing and processing medical pot.

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Stop ignoring the brutal downside of legal pot

Stop ignoring the brutal downside of legal pot

Politicians are pushing to legalize recreational marijuana in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, following 10 other states. But the Parent Teacher Association, local health officials and pediatricians are pushing back, warning about the permanent damage to youngsters’ brains caused by weed. If you have children, trust the PTA, not the pols.

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California is awash in cannabis cash. Some is being used to bribe public officials

California is awash in cannabis cash. Some is being used to bribe public officials

In the more than two years since California voters approved the licensed growing and sale of recreational marijuana, the state has seen a half-dozen government corruption cases as black-market operators try to game the system, through bribery and other means. The cases are tarnishing an already troubled roll-out of the state permitting of pot businesses as provided for when voters approved Proposition 64 in November 2016.

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Legal? Illegal? Some players still work both sides of state marijuana industry

Legal? Illegal? Some players still work both sides of state marijuana industry

During the 21 years that California’s multibillion-dollar unregulated medical marijuana market thrived, cannabis operators learned to create elaborate schemes to disguise their connections to unlicensed shops. And now that some operators are also tied to valuable licensed businesses, Montes said, double dippers have become even more careful about burying their identities.

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Don't be fooled - Marijuana legalization is not about advancing social justice

Don't be fooled - Marijuana legalization is not about advancing social justice

Advocates frequently argue that marijuana should be legalized as a source of new tax revenue. But considering that most marijuana is smoked by low-income individuals, such a tax would be regressive in nature. Increasing harmful consumption taxes on poor communities does little to advance social equity.

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I spent a night in the NJ marijuana black market. The illegal weed business is booming.

I spent a night in the NJ marijuana black market. The illegal weed business is booming.

While legislators debate the details of NJ marijuana legalization, the black market is bigger than ever. we spent a night at a marijuana "pop-up" and saw chocolate bars and brownies, oils and vape cartridges and huge jars of illegal weed.

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10 Things We Know (As In, Actually Have Published Evidence For) About Cannabis And Health

10 Things We Know (As In, Actually Have Published Evidence For) About Cannabis And Health

Ten years ago, when you referred to cannabis, you were talking about dried plant material that people smoked,” says Ryan Vandrey, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.

“Now, cannabis — which refers to marijuana and hemp — is a blanket term that could also mean hemp oil, topical creams, CBD products, high-THC concentrates that are smoked, vaporized or orally ingested and more.”

And confusion abounds.

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If Weed Is Medicine, So Is Budweiser

If Weed Is Medicine, So Is Budweiser

Claims that marijuana relieves pain may be true. But the clinical studies that have been done compare it with a placebo, not even a pain reliever like ibuprofen. That’s not the type of rigorous evaluation we pursue for medications. What’s more, every intoxicant would pass that sort of test because you don’t experience pain as acutely when you are high. If weed is a pain reliever, so is Budweiser.

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Marijuana, Mental Illness, and Violence

Marijuana, Mental Illness, and Violence

Almost everything you think you know about the health effects of cannabis, almost everything advocates and the media have told you for a generation, is wrong.

They’ve told you marijuana has many different medical uses. In reality marijuana and THC, its active ingredient, have been shown to work only in a few narrow conditions. They are most commonly prescribed for pain relief. But they are rarely tested against other pain relief drugs like ibuprofen—and in July, a large four-year study of patients with chronic pain in Australia showed cannabis use was associated with greater pain over time.

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Promises about legal weed benefits are false

Promises about legal weed benefits are false

In California, voters were sold the line that the state could collect upwards of $1 billion in revenue. The reality is the state has failed to bring in anywhere close to that mark — it fell 75 percent short of it through September. All this prompted outgoing California Gov. Jerry Brown to say, “I have not counted on any revenue from marijuana. Who’s counting on the marijuana revenue? People said that to make it more plausible for voters.”

So what’s the issue? It appears the black market is nimbler than anyone thought. In fact, it's growing stronger. One in five marijuana users in the state continue to purchase the drug off the street as opposed to buying it from retail stores. The situation is so bad that foreign cartels and criminal gangs are turning whole neighborhoods into pot-growing operations and even growing the drug on national lands.

And yet Big Marijuana — whose components now include Big Alcohol and Big Tobacco — keep claiming they can end the illicit trade of the drug through “regulation.”

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Governor lauds a pretend "experiment" with pot

Governor lauds a pretend "experiment" with pot

“The Gazette has been trying all year to report on the impact of marijuana on Colorado five years after it was legalized. Time and again, our reporters have been frustrated by an infuriating lack of reliable data measuring that impact, despite state laws that require it,” explained Gazette Editor Vince Bzdek in an article titled “When it comes to data on pot’s impact, the state is driving with its eyes closed.”

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The poison pills contained in Prop 64

The poison pills contained in Prop 64

Despite promises that legalizing marijuana would kill the black market and tax revenues would fill state and local coffers. The black market is thriving, and the promised taxes are not being seen. The industry’s solution: they’re about to pass a bill to reduced excise tax on marijuana products from 15% to 11% and suspend the tax on marijuana cultivation (until Jun 1, 2021).  This should only come as a surprise to people who failed to read the text of Prop 64 where it says tax can be cut all the way to zero to ensure the industry is thriving.

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Why America will regret legalizing marijuana

Why America will regret legalizing marijuana

Chuck Schumer is trotting out old canards about how cannabis "doesn't hurt anybody else." Hearing him tout the virtues of legalization in Colorado and Washington ("lots of good and no harm!"), one is reminded of Purdue Pharma, the pharmaceutical company that spent years (and millions) telling doctors that opioids weren't seriously addictive when prescribed to pain patients. It's stunning that educated people ever believed this, but many did. Today, many are equally anxious to believe that legal pot probably has little to do with Colorado's sharp increase in auto accidents. And there are homeless people everywhere, right? Correlation doesn't equal causation.

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