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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.”

Read More

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.

Read More

Marijuana Legalization – The problems continue to pile up and California isn’t prepared

Marijuana commercialization and the problems associated with it continue to ramp up in California and elsewhere. “Legal” marijuana is only supposed to come from “permitted”, “regulated” grows that have “tested” marijuana.  None of that has been realized and likely never will be.

Read More

Black market marijuana busts nearly quadruple under recreational legalization

Black market marijuana busts nearly quadruple under recreational legalization

Four years after legal recreational marijuana went on sale in Colorado, Gov. John Hickenlooper says the black market for marijuana in the state is shrinking and predicted that it "will be largely gone" in a few years.

But new statistics show that arrests for the production of black market pot increased by 380 percent in the 2014-16 time frame, and Colorado law enforcement agencies say they are battling a boom in illegal marijuana cultivation by sometimes violent groups of criminals who rake in millions of dollars by exporting what they grow.

Read More

The dirty tricks of Big Marijuana

The dirty tricks of Big Marijuana

Although supporters of recreational pot had the gall to argue that legalisation would lead to decreased use by teenagers, regular use of marijuana among children between 12 and 17 has been above the national average and is rising faster than the national average.

Nor did legalization reduce black market marijuana activity in Colorado. Last year the state’s Attorney General, Cynthia Coffman, told the media: “The criminals are still selling on the black market. ... We have plenty of cartel activity in Colorado (and) plenty of illegal activity that has not decreased at all.”

Homelessness has surged by 50 percent from the time recreational pot was legalized. Surveys at Denver shelters estimate that about 20 to 30 percent of newcomers have moved to Colorado so that they can have easy access to the drug.  

Read More

Legal weed isn't living up to all of its promises. We need to shut it down

Legal weed isn't living up to all of its promises. We need to shut it down

Today, a growing class of well-heeled lobbyists intent on commercializing marijuana are doing everything they can to sell legal weed as a panacea for every contemporary challenge we face in America. Over the past several years we've been barraged by claims that legal pot can cure the opioid crisiscure cancereliminate international drug cartels, and even solve climate change.

Read More