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Here’s the news:
Rolling Stone looks into the Senate’s bipartisan push to pass the CARERS Act, which would force the federal government to respect state MED laws. Sponsors include Democrats Cory Booker (N.J.), Al Franken (Minn.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.) and Republicans Rand Paul (Ky.), Mike Lee (Utah) and Lisa Murkowski (Ak.). For more see here.
The 49-member Congressional Black Caucus declined to meet with President Trump, citing U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ efforts to “accelerate the failed war on drugs,” among other factors.
After much back and forth, Vermont House Republicans blocked REC during a special legislative session. Gov. Phil Scott (R) said passing REC “wasn’t a priority for me.” The issue is likely to come up again in next year.
Americans don’t mind if reporters use cannabis, according to a poll.
A Tampa strip club impresario and lung cancer patient is suing the state to grow his own MED.
Cuba says the movement toward legalization increases drug smuggling and said it would not liberalize its cannabis laws. The U.S. and Cuba are still collaborating to crack down on trafficking despite a chill in relations under President Trump.
Seattle mayoral candidates discussed their favorite strains.
MJ Freeway, a software firm for cannabis businesses, suffered its second security breach in six months, when some of its source code was posted online. MJ Freeway called it a “theft” but said its data would not be affected. In January its system suffered a minor crash which it called a criminal attack.
Despite these setbacks, MJ Freeway is on a good run. It recently won contracts to track inventory for the governments of Washington and Pennsylvania.
The Senate vote comes down to 10 key states: Alaska, West Virginia, Maine, Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Louisiana and Arkansas. All of those states have legalized MED or REC. Some have thriving industries.
In December I argued in Slate that the cannabis industry’s unique history gives it a moral obligation to oppose the nomination of then Sen. Jeff Sessions (R) to U.S. Attorney General. No one listened. The industry’s largest lobby, the National Cannabis Industry Association, took an accommodationist stance. If there was any significant dissent within the industry, I’m unaware of it.
The cannabis industry’s ties to the health care issue are perhaps not as direct as they were to Sessions, but if this bill passes, it will hurt many of you and the ones you love. It will also hurt your customers, employees, colleagues, patients and friends.
Some cannabis people like to say they’re building a “new kind of industry,” one that cares about the world around it. In part that’s because many involved in cannabis have fought for justice themselves and know from experience that authority can be ignorant and cruel. But for too many, doing the right thing translates into making or eating gluten-free edibles, rather than active struggle to achieve what’s decent and right.
An industry effort to oppose this health care law is another opportunity for cannabis to prove that it’s a new kind of industry. And if it misses enough opportunities, it will soon become a very familiar kind of industry.
Two studies differed in their findings on whether legalization worsens road safety. One study found it did not change the number of fatalities, another study said it led to a three percent increase in crashes.
In a Washington Post op-ed, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions defended his plan to escalate the war on drugs. Among his points, Sessions argued that locking up more drug offenders will make minority neighborhoods safer.
The Post published rebuttals from cannabis activist and journalist Tom Angell, Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and others.
The Pew Charitable Trusts found no relation between a state’s drug incarceration rates and its drug problems.
New video looks at the shooting death of Philando Castile in Minnesota. The officer who fatally shot him after smelling pot was acquitted last week.
Queens New York man Carlos Cardona who pleaded guilty to a 1990 drug sale (his only conviction) and years later worked in hazardous conditions at Ground Zero faces deportation under Trump’s policies.
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