Marijuana Politics

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Fri
02
Aug

What we learned about marijuana reform from the Presidential Debates

Marijuana reform inspired two serious clashes at the latest presidential debates, with Booker taking on Biden, and Gabbard going after Harris.

Sen. Cory Booker was “absolutely disappointed” cannabis reform wasn’t discussed at the first Democratic debates. But Booker and cannabis advocates got their money’s worth Wednesday, as marijuana reform was center stage for the debate’s more contentious moments.

Fri
02
Aug

Will Michigan become the latest State to wipe out cannabis convictions?

Saying he wants to allow people to “move on with their lives,” Jeff Irwin, a Michigan state senator from Ann Arbor, has introduced a bill that would allow the state to expunge the arrest records of state residents on misdemeanor marijuana use and possession charges.

The measure continues a trend that is spreading across the country in which social justice has become a component of marijuana legalization. Most recently, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation that decriminalizes marijuana possession in that state and wipes certain convictions from a person's criminal record.

Fri
02
Aug

OSC has opened formal investigation into CannTrust, company confirms

The Ontario Securities Commission has opened an investigation into embattled licensed cannabis producer CannTrust Holdings Inc., the company confirmed in a statement Thursday.

“Today, staff of the OSC advised the Special Committee’s legal counsel that an investigation has been opened into matters and parties related to CannTrust and the investigation has been assigned to the Joint Serious Offences Team of the Enforcement Branch of the OSC,” the statement read.

Fri
02
Aug

UK Prime Minister names Cannabis Legalization Advocate as Justice Advisor

Little more than a week into his premiership, Boris Johnson has tapped Blair Gibbs, one of the United Kingdom’s leading advocates of cannabis legalization, for a top post as special adviser on crime and justice policy. Since last November, Gibbs has worked as a senior policy advisor with the London-based industry group Centre For Medicinal Cannabis. But now, Gibbs will step down from his consulting and advisory role with the Centre to join the Johnson administration on August 12.

Fri
02
Aug

Canadians with simple cannabis possession convictions can now apply for a pardon

The Canadian federal government introduced Bill C93 earlier this week which allows Canadians with simple cannabis possession convictions to apply for expedited pardons at no cost.

Justice Minister and Attorney General David Lametti said while speaking in Montreal on Thursday that the measures of the bill will take effect immediately.

“Instead of waiting five years and paying a parole board $631, applicants will no longer have to wait a single minute and will not owe the parole board a single cent,” said Federal Justice Minister David Lametti.

“We know that this is particularly significant for many minority communities, including black and Indigenous Canadians who have been disproportionately affected by the enforcement of cannabis laws.”

Thu
01
Aug

Bill would protect federal employees who use marijuana in states where it is legal

Abby Diehl uses cannabis daily to help manage pain and migraines. The cannabis she takes is recommended by a doctor legally. But even though she uses marijuana as medicine, she and others like her can't work for the federal government.

"It's incredible to be able to have a position in the government, and we should be encouraging our employees and the people who represent us in the government to have safe alternatives for medicine," Diehl said.

"Why are we looking at it differently than any other medicine?" she said.

Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL) think it is unfair the federal government cannot employ people like Diehl, who live in states where marijuana is legal, because they cannot pass a drug test.

Thu
01
Aug

Virginia buys new tests to distinguish marijuana from CBD

Virginia law enforcement could soon have another tool to help distinguish marijuana from CBD, a move that comes after a News4 I-Team investigation found flaws with commonly used drug field tests.

On Wednesday, the commonwealth’s top forensic scientist recommended police officers incorporate a new drug field test, developed by Swiss police, that turns distinct colors when a material contains more marijuana than its hemp cousin, CBD.

Speaking at a board meeting, Linda Jackson said her office ran extensive validation tests on the Swiss kits and recommends police officers use them in tandem with the former kits.

Thu
01
Aug

Dutch can no longer claim to be world leaders on cannabis

Amsterdam, long known as Europe’s most sinful playground, may be seeing some welcome changes to its antiquated system of coffee-shop regulation very soon.

Although the Netherlands was the first country in the world to regulate the sale of recreational cannabis, it has never created a system to regulate the production of the cannabis that is sold out of coffee shops. Only the production of medical cannabis is regulated, and it’s sold exclusively under prescription, with police typically turning a blind eye to “backdoor” acquisitions of unregulated black-market cannabis products by coffee shops.

Thu
01
Aug

Feds want GPS coordinates for hemp growers

Industrial hemp is once again legal in the United States. But as with any good thing in this country that insists it is still the “Land of the Free,” there is always a trade-off somewhere to compensate for the illusion of rights. Perhaps this is the reason that some citizens do not trust their Uncle Sam. But on the flip side, that old, wrinkled, fire-breathing icon of the American institution does not trust us either. So, while the suited soldiers of the federal government may have unleashed the idea of bringing hemp production around again after more than eight decades, they are also forcing all of the farmers who get into the cultivation of this revisited cash crop to forfeit their privacy. Welcome to agriculture 2.0 inside the Paranoid States of America.

Thu
01
Aug

Issue of the day: The decriminalisation of cannabis in New York

AS New York becomes the 16th American state to decriminalise the use of marijuana and countries around the world are changing their approach on use of the drug, campaigners are calling for the UK to overhaul its laws - at a time when Scotland’s drugs deaths have been revealed to be the highest in the world.

What happened in New York?

The US State’s governor, Andrew Cuomo, signed a a bill at the start of the week that decriminalises the use of marijuana in the state and also expunges the records of some people convicted on cannabis-related charges.

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