The nation’s largest marijuana policy organization announced Monday it will throw its weight behind a major effort to legalize cannabis in California in the 2016 general election. The Marijuana Policy Project plans to work with a broad coalition of local advocates and leaders in California to pass an initiative that would tax and regulate marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol. A February Field Poll showed that 54 percent of Californians support taxing and regulating pot.
The Wall Street Journal exhibited its classic duality this week, with a sober look at the growing commercial sector of bongs on the front page Wednesday, and then one of the most clownish anti-weed legalization op-eds in the world today.
“All states are explicitly barred from regulating the possession, use, distribution and sale of pot and narcotics under the federal Controlled Substances Act of 1970,” the Journal opined.
The White House will allow pot legalization to proceed in Colorado and Washington with a few caveats, according to a new memo for all US Attorneys.
The states of Colorado and Washington — tasked with setting up a regulated cannabis industry — have hit a barrier: a lack of accredited labs that can test weed for potency and pathogens, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Cannabis remains a federally illegal schedule 1 drug, so any lab workers that tests it to ensure accurate potency and the absence of bacteria, and mold can end up in federal prison.
Rob Kampia of the Marijuana Policy Project, a major force in the legalization of pot in Colorado and Washington, says that Alaska — not California — will be the next state to legalize weed. "The polling's good," he said of Alaska. "It's a cheap state," he added, referring to the fact that it will be far less costly to run a legalization campaign there than in the Golden State. "We can do it."
Kampia, who is the head of MPP, said Alaskan voters will end pot prohibition at the ballot box. The first legislature to legalize marijuana will be Rhode Island, he predicted.
"In less than a decade, public opinion has shifted dramatically toward support for the legalization of marijuana. The temptation is to conclude that the trend in favor of marijuana legalization is similar to the flow of opinion in favor of same-sex marriage, but not all hot-button social issues are created equal ... Opinion is changing, but is there a durable majority for legalization?" ask the Brookings Institution's E.J. Dionne, Jr. and William A Galston in a May 29 infographic on "The New Politics of Marijuana Legalization." The answer is to be determined, but the lesson is that marijuana law reforms must bring perceived net benefits, or there will be a Reagan Era-style backlash that'll take us back to square one.
Rolling Stone's Jonathan Ringen tours Denver's commercial grow spaces and dispensaries for a story that'll make Bay Area aficionados a bit jealous.
Classy clubs, great new strains, $150 ounces, and center operators that turn each other in for rule violations. "If someone can get a leg up on you by reporting you to the MMED [the Department of Revenue's medical-marijuana enforcement division], that's what they'll do. It's a very cutthroat business."
We love a good boss battle. Neo vs. Agent Smith. Yoda vs The Emperor. Or medical pot researcher Clint Werner vs. drug czar goon Kevin Sabet.
If you have Wednesday off, maybe make your way over to The Commonwealth Club in San Francisco at noon today for a great debate between Marijuana Gateway to Health author Clint Werner and former senior adviser to President Obama's drug czar Kevin Sabet.
Washington state shouldn't hold its breath for a major pot tax revenues, UCLA professor Mark Kleiman told "Inside Olympia" last week. That's because the state's heaviest weed smokers are already growing and buying inside Washington's medical marijuana regime — where recreational taxes do not apply. "I don't think the legal market they are imagining is going to be able to compete with the medical market if it remains as wide open as it currently is," Kleiman said.
Substance use and abuse news site The Fix lays out some of the more obvious ways drug warriors turn a profit punishing medical pot patients.
Two of the loudest anti-marijuana spokespeople are two elder drug warriors, Peter Bensinger (DEA chief, 1976—1981) and Robert DuPont (White House drug chief, 1973—1977), who run a corporate drug-testing business.
“Their employee-assistance company, Bensinger, DuPont & Associates, the sixth largest in the nation, holds the pee stick for some 10 million employees around the US. Their clients have included the biggest players in industry and government: Kraft Foods, American Airlines, Johnson & Johnson, the Federal Aviation Administration and even the Justice Department itself," writes Kevin Gray for The Fix.