Marijuana Politics covers news, politics, sports, culture and entertainment that of course, focuses on marijuana law and news that impacts all facets of the cannabis community, but will also keep in mind the broader focus of bringing marijuana further into the mainstream.
The CNBC financial network banner summed it up: “Potphoria on Wall Street.” Investable cannabis stocks, especially Canada’s Tilray (symbol TLRY) and Canopy Growth Corporation (symbol CGC) are seeing wild jumps in value in a frenzy compared to 2017’s Bitcoin tumult. Such action is big news on Wall Street and in the financial networks. Hopefully, such normalization and enthusiasm will boost the on-going efforts of many American congresspeople to free cannabis enterprise of noxious business and legal hurdles. Currently, in the USA, cannabis is classified as one of the most dangerous substances on the planet and suffers from ruinous tax and banking obstacles.
President Trump and the Republicans brag about ending regulations that restrict American business and employment. Trump’s first deregulatory triumph took place soon after his inauguration: his action removed Obama-era restrictions on dumping coal mining wastes into waterways. Trump has since freed-up increased emissions from coal power plants and allowed more release of greenhouse gas methane in fracking operations.
Although Trump has gone all out to save a few thousand dying coal mining jobs, he has done nothing to aid the hindered, but nonetheless thriving cannabis industry from crippling and totally unnecessary restrictions. Hopefully, validation will be given to cannabis businesses by the current well-publicized stock frenzy. The eagerness of investors in this sector should help the President and laggard members of Congress to end idiotic rules hampering American cannabis enterprise.
The basic business problem from American cannabis entrepreneurs is cannabis’ Schedule I status on the Controlled Substances Act. Lowering this scheduling would be helpful, but other CSA schedules present their own problems.
The real solution is removal of cannabis from federal control by removing it totally from the CSA, where it should never have been in the first place. Legislation to do just that awaits further congressional action. The Marijuana Freedom and Opportunity Act was introduced in June 2018 as Senate Bill 3174. It removes cannabis from the federal schedules and allows the states to legislate cannabis as they see fit. Unfortunately, Govtrack gives it “3% chance of being enacted according to Skopos Labs (details).”
Until that cannabis is descheduled, business involving the plant face crushing tax problems. A 1986 provision of the IRS Code, 280E disallows common business expenses in cannabis enterprises, leaving them with ruinous taxation. Oregon Senator Ron Wyden’s bill S. 776: Marijuana Revenue and Regulation Act would remove this business-crippling provision. Unfortunately, it is given a mere 2% chance of becoming law at Govtrack.
A second baffling barrier to common business practices faces by American cannabis entrepreneurs is a nearly total lack of banking services. Because of cannabis’ Schedule I status, it is treated as a pariah by banks. Bizarrely, American cannabis businesses must operate on a nearly cash-only basis. This outrageously anti-business regulation is also addressed in current legislation.
Unfortunately, none of the bills below are given more than a 3% chance of passage into law by Govtrack.
Bills and Resolutions
Perhaps the excitement and validation of Wall Street “Potphoria” will shame more American congresspeople, and just maybe the President himself, to see the ludicrous foolishness of current cannabis laws and schedules. These restrictions are anti-business, anti-freedom, anti-health and blatantly anti-American.
Bizarrely, Tilray’s giant leap came as a response to a DEA decision allowing the University of California San Diego to import Canadian cannabis from Tilray for a medical study on a movement disorder at Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research (CMCR). Like, there is no cannabis in California?
New York – The United States Cannabis Coalition is proud to announce the appointment of retired US Army Sergeant Boone Cutler to the USCC Advisory Board. A noted author, radio talk show host and veteran’s advocate, Cutler is an important activist for cannabis PTSD treatment. Cutler joins Board Member and former US Army Infantryman Tyler Nixon on the USCC’s Committee on Veterans Access.
“Cannabis literally saved my life’ says Cutler ‘the VA’s combat cocktail was killing me. I was a zombie and my symptoms were getting worse, not better. When I learned that Israel and other developed countries successfully use cannabis to treat issues like mine; it became my mission to fight for my Warfighter family to get the same life-saving cannabis that helped me. Together with the USCC, we will win the fight for real PTSD treatment”.
Cutler’s influence has helped several institutions, including his partnership with the venerable American Legion, to adopt a pro-medical marijuana stance.
Cutler suffered traumatic brain injury during Iraqi Freedom combat operations which later developed into Parkinson’s disease. Cutler spent years shuffling in and out of the VA hospital system, where he was given, as he calls it, ‘the combat cocktail’; 27 different mainly opiate and psych-based medications. Recognizing that the overload of pills was ruining his life, Cutler switched to medical cannabis and finally found relief from his symptoms.
“The demonization of cannabis has become a political movement that’s partnered big-money Pharma lobbyists with politicians to keep it all going for decades” said Cutler, “Good people have been duped, bad people have been made rich, and our families have suffered needlessly. Cannabis-based medicine helps when we stop the madness and treat the patient”.
USCC board member Michael Bowen concurred saying, “Boone is the voice for the millions of veterans pleading to replace the VA’s opiate overload with safer marijuana alternatives. Our work together in ending pot prohibition will save millions of lives”.
“As a combat veteran, Boone Cutler has done more to defend the Constitution than most people can ever imagine” said Bowen “In light of the Gardener-Warren STATES Act, Boone’s voice and experience are particularly relevant to USCC’s crusade for state’s rights on cannabis”.
The United States Cannabis Coalition is a bi-partisan, pro-cannabis non-profit project dedicated to persuading federal decision makers — including the president – to support the states’ rights when it comes to marijuana laws. Co-founded by long time Trump advisor Roger Stone and famed trial attorney and Democratic activist John Morgan, the USCC is a project of the United States Freedom Coalition and notable members include Fox News commentator Judge Andrew Napolitano, HBO’s Bill Maher, Former Congressman and National Co-Chair Republican National Committee Thomas B. Evans, Jr, , Former Executive Director American Conservative Union, Christian Josi, CEO of the Coalition for a Strong America, Michael Bowen, Congressman Matt Gaetz of Florida, Curtis Sliwa of the Guardian Angels, Attorney and activist Tyler Nixon, Pastor Mark Burns of South Carolina, Florida State Representative Katie Edwards ( D-Broward), Patrick Moore of the California Hemp Project and Senator Diane Savino (D-New York).
If you are a medical marijuana patient in Florida, you are familiar with the long and complicated history of cannabis legalization. The law is vague and restrictive causing backups, delays and inconvenient challenges.
In 2016, Florida voters flooded the polls to allow legal medicinal use of marijuana. With one step in the right direction, the government shot back with regulations like making the act of smoking cannabis illegal and only offering medicinal marijuana relief to patients with “debilitating conditions.” Thankfully, due to John Morgan’s successful advocacy, smoking herb is now legal. This marks one more victory for one of the largest potential markets in America, though patients are far from liberation of government restriction.
Recently, the topic of debate raised by 77-year-old patient Joe Redner diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer advocates for the right to grow his own marijuana. According to his doctor’s recommendation, Redner needs immediate access to a generous amount of his herbal prescription which would be more convenient if accessed from his backyard. Redner, a strip club owner, can afford his own weed but he knows many patients that are unable to fork over the unbelievably high prices of $9.27 per gram.
On the 11th of April,, judge Gievers ruled in Redner’s favor. And for a few weeks, Redner had the right to grow his own weed until the Health Department fired back with an appeal, putting Redner’s recent right on hold. The appeal was held up in court and Redner now seeks to take his case to the Supreme Court. So, what’s the hold up?
It’s no secret that the Florida government is resisting the integration of medicinal marijuana into the culture of the sunny state. With each progressive small step toward legalization, the government has created hurdles almost impossible to tackle. Even with growing knowledge of its medical benefits from the science community and the ever-growing popularity around the nation, Florida seems to have an agenda with cannabis consumption and even how you consume it. The good smoking people of Florida and its advocates like Morgan and Redner are making strides in their fight to legalization but it hasn’t been easy.
The ambiguity of the law surrounding medical marijuana makes it easy for the government to slow progression down. The reason Redner was stripped of his right to grow is because Florida law does not allow the legal sale of seeds or plants. Redner’s lawyer, Luke Lirot, argued that Redner was immune to criminal penalty because the law states that legal cannabis is defined as “all parts of any plant of the genus of cannabis” which includes seeds and resin or any compound or preparation of the plant. Judge Gievers saw it Lirot’s way, however, the law has one more loophole: access. How is someone legally allowed to grow without legal access to seeds?
The Florida government now has patients in a predicament agreeing with yes, you can legally grow marijuana, but no, you cannot legally buy seeds or plants. With Redner’s life depending on this ruling, he and Lirot await a Supreme Court hearing to plead their case. Amidst the war of growing an herbal plant lawfully, the state of Florida persists to create complications which makes issuing licenses for potential facilities to be put on hold.
A convoluted point system has been appointed in order to award the best applicants a license. Higher points are awarded to old citrus facilities. But it’s never that easy. Even if the best applicants prevail through this process, the proposed rules on providing licenses are vague making it easier for delayed decisions and unknown requirements held by the administration. Without a tightly sealed application process, the committee has more room to question an application or find complaints that will further delay progression.
Even if there are no hiccups, Florida won’t see its first accepted applicant until the end of July – but that’s an optimistic prediction. With each step forward, the state of Florida pushes two steps sideways and somewhat derails the project towards natural treatment and relief to its more than 100,000 patients. At least it isn’t going backwards during this fight. And with Morgan’s recent win, Florida medical patients have hope for continuous progress moving forward and await Redner’s case to seek approval from the Supreme Court.
The benefits related to marijuana are quite well established by now and the fact that medical marijuana successfully treats various conditions and illnesses is not a torrid topic of contestation anymore. Using the whole marijuana plant, in an unprocessed state has a number of usages. Though it is still not legal across all states in the USA or approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the chemicals present in marijuana known as cannabinoids are known to be present in two pills that have been approved by the FDA.
The ‘THC’ level that determines the potency of a particular strain of cannabis to get you ‘high’ is actually tetrahydrocannabinol- to which the chemical cannabinoids are related to. The ‘THC’ element is responsible for increasing appetite, reducing feelings of nausea, decreasing pain, inflammation or problems relating to muscle control.
In a context where transactions in marijuana are largely illegal, it can sometimes become difficult to acquire what you’re looking for and ensure that it is of superior quality. This is why buying seeds online becomes a great plan because it ensures that what you’re partaking is pure and safe. Here is an option where you can choose the kind of strain that you want to smoke and order its seeds online, so that you can grow it yourself in a completely controlled environment. Not only do you get to get to ensure that it is grown as it should be, but also the fact that what you harvest is what you consume. Forget about the possibilities of polluting it by lacing it with unwanted elements that prove more harmful for your health than you can ever think of!
Based out of Amsterdam, Dutch seeds is one such online store which offers you with the possibility of having access to the best quality of seeds at the click of your mouse. Not only does it have an extensive collection of regular variety seeds that covers all that you could possibly ask for, but also has a different section for medical marijuana. These seeds have a consistent THC level so that the amount of cannabis that you smoke or should smoke can be controlled. Bay dream, bubblegum cookie, cherry pie and khalifa kush seeds are some of the many varieties available under this section. The price of 10 seeds ranges between 50 USD to 150 USD.
You can also buy Nova og strain which are specially known for being bred in order to produce THC and CBD in equal amounts. Nova OG seeds are also claimed to have the highest levels of potency tested. Medically, it is supposed to cater to problems of inflammation, arthritis, insomnia and chronic pain while also responding to psychological ailments such as depression, anxiety and PTSD. Dutch seeds price them at 120 USD for 10 seeds and offers free shipping with 10 to 12 days.
Order for these miraculous seeds online and be in charge of what you consume!
As states mull over the logistics of legalizing recreational marijuana, New York Marijuana tax revenue potential might be seen in the context of using Colorado as a case study of how to roll it out and reap the financial rewards. While Colorado started recreational sales in January 2014, it took a few years for them to iron out how the law and its corresponding tax generation are applied. It also took time for businesses to set up shop and start achieving some sort of stable revenue.
Colorado now has 8.9 dispensaries and is grossing $16.6 million in sales per 100,000 people, generating $247 million in taxes and fees last year.
If states like New York can emu
late Colorado’s rate of marijuana sales, they could see substantially higher revenue due to the state’s larger population:
Dabbing has taken off in the last year in states where it is legal and is available at most dispensaries. We wanted to see what all the hype was about so we tested some Live Resin, THC crystal powder, shatter and whatever else we could find to see for ourselves.
Most dabbing materials seem to be either processed with Butane (BHO) or C02, which is considered ‘cleaner.’ My local Budtenders were not very helpful in directing me to any CO2 concentrates as most were just selling the BHO.
Basically to ‘dab’ you are vaporizing concentrated marijuana on a ‘nail’ that heats up the processed weed.
Many a Budtender have gotten quite creative by combining these concentrates similarly, as is done with some of those primo mixed joints laced with hash oil and crystals.
It was interesting how the high differs when experimenting combining the different hash like, crystallized or shatters materials.
We used a Saber Vape Pen and I was pleasantly surprised that the heating element delivered such a nice smooth inhale for such a small, portable unit, about the size of a sharpie. A full review can be seen here. With 3 levels of heat, I was able to arrive at the smoothest and least wasteful hits based on what I was testing.
Some are stronger than others, some more cerebral and some more of a body high. The wild world of cannabis concentrates is alive and well and there for your perusal.
It is 2018 and the Secretary of Health and Human Services is saying,
“There really is no such thing as medical marijuana.”
Alex Azar, the new Secretary (previously held by Tom Price who resigned in disgrace for improper spending) formerly served as a pharmaceutical exec and a pharma lobbyist. He joins a cabinet with, to a person, an abiding hatred of marijuana.
We are devoting hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars of research at our National Institutes of Health as part of the historic $13 billion opioid and serious mental illness program that the President and Congress are funding.
Over $750 million just in 2019 alone is going to be dedicated towards the National Institutes of Health working in public-private partnership to try and develop the next generation of pain therapies that are not opioids.
But that next generation of pain therapies will not be cannabis, elaborated the health secretary.
There is no FDA-approved use of marijuana, a botanical plant. I just want to be very clear about that.
As Azar well knows, the FDA is not set up to deal with a healing plant such as marijuana. The problem is not in the drug’s effectiveness nor safety; the problem is the FDA’s lack of desire and ability to study cannabis, which research around the planet has shown to be a powerful preventive, palliative, and even curative drug for a score of maladies and diseases.
In reality, medical marijuana is highly effective in relieving many types of pain. It acts well as an adjunct to opioids, reducing the amounts needed of these dangerous narcotics. Powerful evidence exists showing that cannabis use is an effective way of reducing, even ending, use of addictive and often lethal opioids. Medical marijuana may well indeed be Azar’s “next generation of pain therapies that are not opioids.”
As if ignorance and resistance to all things medical marijuana were not bad enough, Azar recently began claiming that marijuana might be tainted with fentanyl, the hyper-opioid now contributing to many of US opioid deaths. The claim appears to be a self-invented myth, without rhyme nor reason. Nick Wing investigated the bogus claim in a Huff Post article, HHS Secretary Pushes New Weed Scare Tactic: ‘Marijuana Laced With Fentanyl’
Donald Trump told the country that he would “drain the swamp.” He also promised to reduce soaring drug prices, declaring that big pharma companies “are getting away with murder,” and offering hope that tax-payers and patients might find relief from drug price inflation.
Instead, the swamp apparently added an alligator named Alex Azar.
2018 marks 30 years since the 1988 landmark declaration by DEA law judge the Honorable Francis Young. Three decades ago Judge Young correctly noted, “Marijuana is the safest therapeutically active substance known to man… The evidence clearly shows that marijuana is capable of relieving the distress of great numbers of very ill people, and doing so with safety under medical supervision.”
Three decades later, the American government is still acting in an “unreasonable, arbitrary and capricious” manner, still lying about and rejecting medical cannabis, with new lies now by the 2018 Secretary of Health and Human Services. Sad.
If there’s one thing that anyone who owns a cannabis related social media page on Facebook or Instagram will tell you, it’s that you never know when you just might be banned or censored. Reports constantly surface of legal cannabis businesses having their pages banned overnight with no explanation. Many cannabis based business have had their page closed even more than once, sometimes several times in a single year.
One blockchain based startup believe that the future of social media for cannabis users lies in something completely different. After having the social media page of a popular online community 420Smokers closed on multiple occasions the team behind Smoke Network decided that something needed to be done.
They now claim to be building the world’s first decentralized social network for cannabis users. While this might sound like a mouthful, there are many benefits that the idea of using blockchain brings to the cannabis social media conundrum.
Large centralized companies who control social media may have their own anti-marijuana rhetoric. Worse than that, these large companies can easily be pressured by the federal government, who still views cannabis as a schedule 1 drug, to spread their own anti-cannabis agenda. Social media companies may even have no control over this process at all.
By ‘decentralized’, Smoke Network really mean free from interference from outside parties . On a blockchain, the same technology powering the ever-popular Bitcoin, all data stored is immutable and hosted safely across a number of ‘nodes’ across the world.
This puts the network outside of the control or influence of any particular government, making censorship or loss of data next to impossible.
Smoke Network will also one other trick their sleeve that turns traditional social media on its head – the ability for content creators and content viewers to be rewarded automatically by the network for their work. This will be handled via Smoke Networks native currency, Smoke coin.
The amount one can earn will be calculated by the number of upvotes their own posts get on the network. Content curators will also have the ability to earn for finding and promoting high quality content before anyone else.
One thing is for certain: the future of social media won’t always be the one we take for granted today. To find out more about Smoke Network visit their website.
In our endless quest to stay up to date with the best products out there, we have decided to ‘focus’ on a handy dual purpose unit from Focusvape, The Tourist.
Immediately upon assembling the parts in the sturdy packaging we see that indeed the Tourist is small enough to travel with although not as small as other similar devices. What sets it apart though is the solidness and quick interchangeability of its core parts to transform it from a dabbing unit to a flower burning unit.
To switch from flower to dab is equally easy as changing the top burners and then the topical switch from Herb to Wax. The base is solid as well because you never want your unit to fall over, unless that was your purpose!
To test out the flower portion, we used some Oregon garden homegrown Girl Scout Cookies grinded in the best grinder we have tried to date – the Zeus Bolt 2. The flower was heated up nice enough to really bring out the chocolate notes in the GSC herb.
Cleaning the unit was simple enough, albeit like just about all units produced today for vaping, the enclosed glass makes it just that much more difficult. For situations like this, we used 99% alcohol and some long included cleaners.
If you are looking for a good dual purpose unit for dabbing and flowers, The Tourist makes a sweet travel companion and the Zeus Bolt 2 is a welcome grinder in a world of cheap ones.
In a troubling move, US President Donald Trump has nixed Israel’s medical cannabis export hopes.
Israel has long been a leader in medical cannabis research and now stands poised to serve a huge export market. Yet this market will remain unserved and global medical cannabis production discouraged, as Prime Minister Netanyahu has caved to pressure from Donald Trump to quash a lucrative and health-promoting trade. As reported by The Jewish Telegraph Agency,
The prime minister made it clear that he did not want Israel to be a pioneer in the export of medical marijuana in order not to anger the U.S. president, according to the report.
While commonly ignoring any American request to stop building settlements on Palestine land, in this case, the Israeli Prime Minister was quick to comply.
Netanyahu told the heads of the ministries he ordered the freeze after receiving a call about the issue of exporting marijuana from Trump, who is against its legalization.
Perhaps the most troubling aspect of this development is Trump’s apparent active opposition to medical cannabis. Of course, Attorney General Jeff Sessions nourishes a great hatred for all things marijuana and the others in Trump’s cabinet are extreme in opposition to cannabis, the President himself has said little about the plant. During his campaign, Trump expressed support for medical marijuana and for the rights of states to choose. His comments about the drug war have been extreme, even praising the homicidal actions of foreign leaders, but has so far not demonized cannabis.
How did the notion come into Trump’s mind to request that Netanyahu stifle shipments of medical cannabis? It seems unlikely that he came up with the idea himself.
The fact that Trump apparently personally made a phone “call about the issue” would seem to indicate its importance to the President. Unfortunately. In any case, Trump’s actions, far more than any that have come before, show him to be actively opposed to cannabis, its medical uses, and its value to commerce.