Forcing California cities to allow marijuana sales is ignoring the will of voters

Forcing California cities to allow marijuana sales is ignoring the will of voters

California’s budding cannabis industry isn’t exactly blossoming. It’s having trouble sprouting. So a San Francisco legislator has some unique ideas.

Democratic Assemblyman Phil Ting, influential chairman of the budget committee, wants the state to break a promise made to voters in 2016 when they approved Proposition 64 to legalize non-medical use of marijuana.

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Where's the pot? California tracking system unlikely to know

Where's the pot? California tracking system unlikely to know

When California voters broadly legalized marijuana, they were promised that a vast computer platform would closely monitor products moving through the new market. But 16 months after sales kicked in, the system known as track-and-trace isn’t doing much of either.    As of last month, just nine retail outlets were entering data into the network established under an estimated $60 million state contract, even though 627 shops are licensed to sell pot in California. The rate of participation is similarly slim for other sectors in the emerging industry.

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For sale in the pot industry: political influence

For sale in the pot industry: political influence

This should be no surprise; it would be a surprise, in fact, if the influence business had taken a pass on the lucrative potential of pot. But the flood of former government officials coming into the pot business — including former governor and current presidential candidate William F. Weld, former state House speaker Thomas M. Finneran, former state senator Andrea F. Nuciforo Jr., former Boston city councilor Michael P. Ross and even former Boston police superintendent-in-chief Daniel Linskey — is striking.

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Mental illness implications of cannabis use must not be ignored

Mental illness implications of cannabis use must not be ignored

For California voters, recreational marijuana legalization was sold as a win-win-win: billions of dollars in new tax revenues, a chance for law enforcement to focus on more serious crimes, and the societal acceptance of a relatively low-risk alternative to alcohol.

But as the state stumbles through its second year of fully legalized cannabis, the reality appears to be more lose-lose-lose.

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Craving cannabis: is marijuana addictive?

Craving cannabis: is marijuana addictive?

To Weiner the villain is the for-profit marijuana industry. Legalization has gained widespread support in the US thanks to a two-pronged PR strategy of promoting cannabis as a “medicine” and wellness product, even when the evidence of its benefits is anecdotal or non-existent, and trying to demolish the stigma of cannabis as a drug for losers. “Their goal is not public health, their goal is addiction,” Weiner says. “When I speak out against this topic it’s against my financial interest – which I can’t say for the people on the other side.”

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‘Getting Worse, Not Better’: Illegal Pot Market Booming in California Despite Legalization

‘Getting Worse, Not Better’: Illegal Pot Market Booming in California Despite Legalization

It’s been a little more than a year since California legalized marijuana — the largest such experiment in the United States — but law enforcement officials say the unlicensed, illegal market is still thriving and in some areas has even expanded.

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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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CBD Is Everywhere, but Scientists Still Don’t Know Much About It

CBD Is Everywhere, but Scientists Still Don’t Know Much About It

“It might be available at the local 7-11 in Pennsylvania,” said Dr. Lee “but any product you get on the market is not federally regulated by the F.D.A, so the purity and safety and quality are questionable.”

Indeed, a recent study that evaluated dozens of CBD products ordered online found that nearly 70 percent were not labeled accurately and had either higher or lower concentrations of the ingredient than indicated on the label. Some also contained THC.

Dr. Hurd, who has been studying CBD for nearly 10 years, warns that the expectations around the substance are unrealistic. “People are making it out to be a nirvana kind of drug, and that’s a problem,” she said. “One compound cannot cure everything.”

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Oregon marijuana regulators fail to meet even basic standards, state audit finds

Oregon marijuana regulators fail to meet even basic standards, state audit finds

Auditors concluded that regulators have failed to meet even basic promises. It found, for instance, that just 3 percent of recreational marijuana retailers had been inspected and only about a third of growers. It said the state’s medical marijuana program, long a source of black market diversion both in the state and nationally, has “structural weaknesses” that “greatly increase the risk of diversion.”

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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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