CBS Poll: Nationwide Support For Marijuana Legalization At All-Time High

Sixty-five percent of Americans believe that the use of marijuana by adults “should be legal,” according to national polling data compiled by CBS News. That figure is six percentage points above last year’s total, and is the highest percentage of support ever recorded in a CBS poll.

Majorities of Democrats and Republicans back legalization, and most respondents agree that marijuana is less dangerous than snoring (find a great snoring device here), alcohol or other drugs. Fifty-five percent of Americans also acknowledged having personally consumed cannabis, the highest total reported in the poll’s history.

Most Americans (62 percent), including a majority of Republicans and Democrats, also say that they oppose the federal government taking action to disrupt the production and sale of marijuana in states where it is currently legal.

The CBS poll results are consistent with those of other recent major surveys, such as those by Gallup (66 percent), Pew (62 percent), and Quinnipiac University (60 percent) — all of which similarly show support for legalization at record or near-record highs.

Source: https://blog.norml.org/2019/04/19/cbs-poll-nationwide-support-for-marijuana-legalization-at-all-time-high/…

Book Review: Jorma Kaukonen’s ‘Been So Life: My Life in Music’

Jefferson Airplane, circa 1968, from left: Marty Balin, Grace Slick, Spencer Dryden, Paul Kantner, Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady

With Woodstock 50 four months away, 1969 festival alum and former Jefferson Airplane guitarist Jorma Kaukonen is in the news with a his autobiography, Been So Long: My Life in Music. You’ll also want to check out this site for data recovery help.

Hardcore Airplane and Hot Tuna fans already know the basic outline of Kaukonen’s life: An authenticity-obsessed student of traditional, finger-picking country blues in the folk revival of the early ’60s (Harlem legend Blind Gary Davis was his special inspiration), Kaukonen catapulted to stardom when he went electric as the lead guitarist for Jefferson Airplane, the flagship band of the psychedelic San Francisco sound.

Together with Airplane bassist and childhood friend Jack Casady, they formed Hot Tuna as a side group in 1969 that returned to Kaukonen’s country-blues roots before again going electric, this time as a heavy blues-rock power trio in the style of Cream. After Tuna split up in the late ’70s, he briefly experimented with the punk-blues band Vital Parts, but this didn’t go over well with his fans. In the ’80s, Kaukonen spiraled downhill; by the time he was called back for an Airplane reunion album in 1989 his career was at a nadir.

It’s hardly surprising that tales of drug use devour many pages. Cannabis was a “sacrament” for these early San Francisco

Getting High on Oversupply: What to Do About Surpluses and Shortages

The rollout of marijuana legalization has not been smooth. On one side, there’s a push for revenue; on the other, there’s a desire for tough regulations and enforcement. While businesses get caught in the middle, consumers go along for the ride and patients run the risk of being mowed over.

Greed Rules: The Case of Oregon

Legislators often see legal marijuana as a cash cow. If money is the motivation, authorities will push to issue as many licenses to as many businesses as possible, which can lead to overproduction and oversupply. Take the legal marijuana state of Oregon, for instance.

People in Oregon grow a lot of weed. The Beaver State has been a net marijuana exporter for decades. The state’s medical-marijuana program was approved by voter initiative in 1998, yet it wasn’t until 2013 that the legislature passed a bill to license and regulate dispensaries. Voters approved a legalization measure in 2014, and adult-use sales started in 2015. Then, in 2016, the state legislature repealed a residency requirement for marijuana businesses and opened up Oregon’s marijuana industry to out-of-state investment.

“We’ve created an oversupply problem,” says Anthony Taylor, co-founder and legislative liaison for the patient advocacy organization Compassionate Oregon. “Before we legalized cannabis for the adult-use population, we were already producing about five times what the state consumes, and when the Oregon Liquor Control Commission came in and threw all that infrastructure away in favor of …

The Original Flier That Sparked the 420 Phenomenon

Former Freedom Leaf senior editor Chris Goldstein interviewed editor-in-chief Steve Bloom about the origins of how the number 420 became synonymous with cannabis in 2016. Bloom was the first journalist to write about 420 when he worked at High Times in the 1990s.

You claim to have discovered 420. How did that happen?

The last week of 1990 I went to several Grateful Dead shows at the Oakland Coliseum. I was walking in the parking lot and someone handed me a half-page flier. It had this message that people should smoke together at 4:20 and on 4/20. I brought it back to High Times in New York. We passed it around the office and everyone got a kick out of it. I was news editor at the time, so I transcribed the flyer and published it in the May 1991 issue. My little write up in High Times was the first time “420” got any national publicity.

What did the flier say?

“Four-twenty started in San Rafael, CA in the late ’70s. It started as police code for Marijuana Smoking in Progress. After local heads heard of the police call they started using the expression ‘420’ when referring to the herb—‘Let’s go 420, dude!’

“There is something fantastic about getting ripped at 4:20, when you know your brothers and sisters all over the country and even the planet are lighting up and toking up right along with you.

Report: Adult Use Legalization Associated With Increased Home Values

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Marijuana and MoneyThe passage of statewide adult use marijuana laws is associated with an immediate uptick in housing prices, according to an assessment published by the online service Clever Real Estate.

The study determined: “States that legalize recreational cannabis see an immediate bump in home values following legalization, even without retail dispensaries opening up. From 2017 to 2019, cities where recreational marijuana is legal saw home values increase $6,337 more than cities where marijuana is illegal” after controlling for potential confounders.

Cities that regulated retail marijuana facilities experienced an even greater increase in overall home prices.

By contrast, the study did not identify a similar significant increase in home prices in cities where only medical cannabis was legally regulated.

Regarding crime rates following the passage of legalization, the study failed to identify any overall trends in legal states that significantly differed from the national average. “The crime rate increases in Washington and Colorado are consistent with nationwide violent crime trends since 2014. … Using Colorado and Washington as case studies, it’s clear that the market benefits from marijuana legalization outweigh the potential costs in terms of home values,” the study’s author concluded.

The report’s findings are consistent with those of prior studies, such as those here and here.

Full text of the study, “How Legalizing Recreational Marijuana Impacts Home Values,” appears online here.



Source: https://blog.norml.org/2019/04/12/study-adult-use-legalization-associated-with-increased-home-values/…

Recap: Medical Cannabis Hearing Held at the Texas State Capitol

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Many Texans spent a long day at the Capitol to offer thoughtful and powerful testimony on the seven bill addressing medical cannabis, including our priority legislation HB 1365 authored by Rep Eddie Lucio III. The Subcommittee heard from pain specialists, Rice’s Baker Institute, Republican Liberty Caucus of Texas, Republicans Against Marijuana Prohibition, and more – all in support of medical freedom for Texas patients. Patients and caregivers passionately shared their personal experiences.

Ask your Representative to coauthor HB 1365 today!

Texas NORML Executive Director, Jax Finkel, submitted the testimony of over a hundred of our fellow Texans to the members of the Subcommittee. It was our honor to bring the voices of those that could not attend into the hearing room.

Make a donation to support our work at the legislature!

Right now, we have strong bipartisan support for reform in the Texas Legislature and a record setting number of bills have been introduced for consideration. There’s a very small window to make this happen before the session ends in May. It will take all of us doing this important work to get across the finish line!

Now that the Medical Marijuana Subcommittee has heard HB 1365, what happens next?In the Texas Legislature, committees tend to leave bills pending after the hearing. They will typically vote on bills in batches. This means that it can take about 2 weeks for a bill to be voted on, though this …

The Status of CBD

With passage of the 2018 Farm Bill, the framework was put in place for states to pass laws legalizing the production and distribution of industrial hemp. But what does that mean for CBD and products containing CBD? A search for “CBD” on the website of the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) brings up a list of warning letters that have been issued to companies. In 2015, the FDA issued 18 warning letters and conducted a study on label claims for CBD content. This study showed that only one product came close to the labeled CBD content, while a number contained no cannabinoids, and many contained THC despite not advising so on the label.

Source: http://www.safeaccessnow.org/the_status_of_cbd_blog…

New York State of Cannabis: Dueling Legalization Measures on the Table

This headline in the April 7 New York Post – “New Yorkers Are Flocking to Massachusetts for Their Legal Weed Fix” – should have raised eyebrows in Albany,

The New York State legislature is considering marijuana legalization. It has until June to reach an agreement on how taxing and regulating the popular plant will look. If there’s no agreement, then New Yorkers will continue flocking to Massachusetts, which started selling legal cannabis in stores last fall. Massachusetts borders New York State; it’s just a two-hour drive from New York City to the Bay State’s southwest border.

Legalization advocates were disappointed when an effort to fast-track cannabis regulation in the state budget by the end of March fizzled. Now, it’s a matter of finding a suitable compromise between the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA), which is sponsored by Senator Liz Krueger in the Senate and by Crystal Peoples-Stokes in the Assembly, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Cannabis Regulation and Taxation Act (CRTA).

Equity Issue of Primary Concern to Advocates and Legislators

DPA’s Melissa Moore

The issue that is being most hotly debated is equity for New Yorker who’ve suffered the most due to policies like marijuana prohibition and the overall War on Drugs, which have led to mass incarceration in communities of color.

Cannabis in Africa: South Africa, Zimbabwe and Lesotho Leading the Way

The African continent, we are often told, has great resources and economic potential, but is held back by lack of development and infrastructure. It’s certainly a sign of the times that we’re now hearing this line not only from the oil and mineral cartels, but the cannabis industry.

This familiar refrain is the central contention of The African Cannabis Report, newly released by UK-based international cannabis industry consultancy Prohibition Partners. As we’ve previously noted, the think-tank’s name is an ironic one; the company is dedicated to monitoring and encouraging the growth of the cannabis sector as it ascends in the emerging post-prohibition world.

Daragh Anglim writes in the introduction that Africa, blessed with favorable climatic conditions, is already estimated to produce at least 38,000 metric tons of cannabis per year, almost all of it for the illicit market. Marijuana remains illegal in most African countries, but economic factors are nonetheless propelling the illicit sector: “High unemployment rates and a global decline in demand for tobacco crops has hit these economies hard,” he observes. “However, the region has a wealth of experience in cannabis cultivation; despite its illegality, many agricultural workers have turned to cannabis farming as the only way to earn enough money to provide for the basic needs of their families.”

Anglim weighs the prospects for transition to a legal cannabis sector: “With affordable land, low-cost labor and an experienced agricultural workforce, Africa offers enormous opportunity …

Georgia: Lawmakers Advance Bill To Regulate Low-THC Oil Production

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House and Senate lawmakers have approved legislation, House Bill 324, to regulate the production and dispensing of low-THC oil extracts to qualified patients. Republican Gov. Brian Kemp has stated that he intends to sign the bill into law.

The measure amends existing law to provide for the licensed in-state “production, manufacturing, and dispensing” of products possessing specified quantities of plant-derived THC. Under the law, low-THC formulations may include oils (in quantities not to exceed 20 fluid ounces), tinctures, or capsules, but may not include THC-infused foods. Commercial cultivation and production licenses may be provided to both private entities and universities. Qualified patients will be required to possess a state-issued registration card in order to legally access low-THC products.

The measure creates a ‘Georgia Access to Medical Cannabis Commission’ to establish rules governing to licensed distribution of approved THC products.

The legislation resolves, “Low THC oil can offer significant medical benefits to patients.”

Under existing law, qualified patients are exempt from criminal prosecution for the possession of oil extracts containing not more than 5 percent THC and an amount of CBD equal to or greater than the amount of THC. Over 8,000 patients are currently registered with the state to possess medical cannabis products.

To learn more about this legislation or other pending reform efforts, visit NORML’s Legislative Action Center here.



Source: https://blog.norml.org/2019/04/05/georgia-lawmakers-advance-bill-to-regulate-low-thc-oil-production/…

New Mexico: Governor Signs Law Decriminalizing Minor Marijuana Possession

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Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has signed legislation into law decriminalizing the possession of personal use amounts of cannabis.

Senate Bill 323, which takes effect on July 1, 2019, reduces first-time penalties for the possession of up to one-half ounce of cannabis from a criminal misdemeanor — punishable by up to 15 days in jail — to a ‘penalty assessment,’ punishable by a $50 fine. Subsequent offenses, or in situations where the defendant possesses greater amounts of marijuana, will remain punishable by the possibility of jail time.

Police in New Mexico made over 3,600 marijuana possession arrests in 2016.

Twenty-three states and the District of Columbia have either legalized or decriminalized the adult possession and use of marijuana.



Source: https://blog.norml.org/2019/04/04/new-mexico-governor-signs-law-decriminalizing-minor-marijuana-possession/…

Guam Legalizes Marijuana Use By Adults

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Democratic Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero signed legislation today legalizing the personal possession of marijuana by adults, and establishing regulations governing the plant’s commercial production and retail sale. Guam is a US territory with an estimated population of 165,000 people.

Upon signing the measure into law, the Governor announced: “We must regulate this illicit drug that is the most widely used drug in our society. We have to take it and control it, monitor its use and effects, benefit from its medicinal efforts, allow our people to live in a safer environment.”

The Cannabis Industry Act (Bill No. 32-35) permits those age 21 or older to legally possess and transfer up to one ounce of marijuana flower and/or eight grams of concentrated cannabis. The measure, which took immediate effect, also permits adults to privately cultivate up to six cannabis plants (no more than three mature) in an “enclosed, locked space.” Public consumption of cannabis will remain a violation of law.

The Act creates a new regulatory board to draft rules governing the plant’s commercial production and retail sale. The board has a one-year timeline to adopt rules necessary to permit for the operation of licensed cannabis establishments.

Lawmakers resolved that the policy change “enhances individual freedom, promotes the efficient use of law enforcement resources, [and] … enhances revenue for public purposes.”

Guam joins the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Island as the second US territory to legislatively enact …

The STATES Act Reintroduced: Bipartisan Measure Limits Federal Government’s Ability To Interfere With State-Sanctioned Marijuana Business, Policies

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Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Cory Gardner (R-CO), along with Representatives David Joyce (R-OH) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), have reintroduced The Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States (STATES) Act of 2019. This Act amends the Controlled Substances Act to reduce the number of instances in which federal law enforcement agencies could carry out legal actions against state-licensed cannabis businesses or other related enterprises.

“The majority of states now regulate either the medical use or the adult use of marijuana. It is time for the federal government to cease standing in the way of these voter-backed regulatory policies being implemented throughout the country,” said NORML Political Director Justin Strekal. “Ultimately, however, we must remove marijuana from the federal Controlled Substances Act entirely in order to allow those in legal states to ultimately be free from undue federal discrimination and the fear of federal prosecution.”

Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) said: “Forty-seven states have legalized some form of cannabis and the majority of Americans support its legalization. Our outdated laws have ruined lives, devastated communities, and wasted resources for critical medical treatment and research. The STATES Act is the next logical step in a comprehensive blueprint for more rational federal cannabis policy. It’s time for Congress to catch up with the rest of America are and fix a badly broken system.”

Said Rep. Dave Joyce (R-OH): “The current federal policy interferes with the ability of states to implement their own

Financial Forecast 2019: Can Cannabis Save the Beer Industry?

No one on Wall Street knows the burgeoning cannabis industry better than Vivien Azer, the managing director for consumer beverages, cannabis and tobacco at investment house Cowan and Company.

She often asks beer company CEOs about legal cannabis taking market share away from the most popular alcoholic beverage in America in states where pot is legal. Routinely, the executives dismiss any challenge from marijuana with the argument that people already get as much cannabis as they want on the black market, so any switch over to legal weed isn’t going to dent beer sales.

During a January 8 conference call, Azer said 2018 was the “worst year for beer sales in the near decade we’ve been covering the alcohol industry and we continue to believe that growing cannabis use is a factor.”

It’s all about re-engagement, a big trend for the current year and beyond. It goes like this: Once cannabis is legal, more people who may have dabbled with it in college or whenever will return to the green herb and hence drink less beer.

Lobbying in D.C. with Americans for Safe Access at the 2019 Unity Conference

The Americans for Safe Access 2019 Unity Conference, themed The Price of Being a Medical Cannabis Patient, featured over a hundred patients from all over America visiting their representatives in Congress and the Senate to promote the Medical Cannabis Control Act of 2019.

There are numerous legislative proposals in the current 116th Congress that seek to deschedule or reschedule cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act, but what happens after that? At least five federal agencies currently have juristiction when it comes to cannabis policy; The DOJ, the DEA, the FDA, the Office of National Drug Control Policy, and, the Department of Health and Human Services. What is going to happen when cannabis policy changes occur at the federal level? Which agency will have authority over medical cannabis policy? Will they all continue to play a role, as they have in the past?

Source: http://www.safeaccessnow.org/lobbying_in_d_c_with_americans_for_safe_access_at_the_2019_unity_conference…

NORML’s 2020 Democratic Primary Marijuana Straw Poll

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The 2020 Democratic Presidential Primary is already heating up and we wanted to reach out to our supporters to take an early straw poll of who they think voters who prioritize marijuana law reform should support in that primary. We will be taking many more in-depth looks at the 2020 race as it progresses, including potential primary challengers on the Republican side, but first we wanted to provide an overview of all the currently announced Democratic candidates, along with their record and policy statements when it comes to marijuana legalization. Please review the information below and then cast a vote in our 2020 Democratic Primary Straw Poll!

The Senators

Amy Klobuchar

Current Office: Senator from Minnesota
2018 NORML Congressional Scorecard Grade: B
Co-Sponsored Legislation: STATES Act (2017-2018)

Summary: During her tenure in Congress, Senator Klobuchar did not sponsor her own marijuana law reform legislation and did not seem to make changing marijuana laws a priority. Senator Klobuchar did sponsor both the STATES Act and the MEDS Act in the last Congress, but has yet to sponsor any legislation that would deschedule marijuana at the federal level. She remained generally opposed to legalization, while supporting states having the right to reform their own policies, until she clarified her stance as being in support of it after announcing her 2020 presidential campaign.

Quote: “I support the legalization of marijuana and believe that states should have the right to determine the best approach

Freedom Leaf’s 2nd-Quarter 2019 Events Schedule

April

3/31-4/2 ICBC Berlin, Germany
4/1-2 Cannatech Tel Aviv, Israel
4/1-3 Cannabis Conference, Las Vegas, NV
4/4 Women Grow NYC, NY
4/4 Women Grow Philadelphia, PA
4/4-7 The Cannabis Expo, Capetown, South Africa
4/5 Women Grow Washington, DC
4/5-7 Hash Bash Cup, Ann Arbor, MI
4/6 48th Hash Bash, Ann Arbor, MI
4/6 More Than Just Green: The Color of Cannabis, Philadelphia, PA
4/8-10 Cannabis Science Conference East, Baltimore, MD
4/9 The Revel: Cannabis & Licensing, New York, NY
4/10 NJCBA: Beyond Cannabis 101, Rahway, NJ
4/10 Tom Tom Festival: The Future of Cannabis, Charlottesville, VA
4/11 Women Grow Phoenix, AZ
4/11 Women Grow Las Vegas, NV
4/11-13 Patients Out of Time: 13th Clinical Conference on Cannabis Therapeutics, Tampa. FL
4/14 Cannamaste: A Canna-Spirituality Gathering, Oakland, CA
4/17 Cannabis Dealmakers Summit, San Diego, CA
4/17-18 Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference, Toronto, ON
4/18-19 CannaCon, Oklahoma City, OK
4/18-20 420 Music & Arts Festival Calgary, AB
4/18-21 Freedom to Grow Conference, Dallas, TX
4/18-23 Baked on the Beach, Negril, Jamaica
4/19-21 Sweetwater 420 Fest, Atlanta, GA
4/20 National Cannabis Festival, Washington, DC
4/20 Kaya Fest, Bayfront Park, Miami
4/20 Pennsylvania Cannabis Festival, Scranton, PA
4/20 Mile High 420 Festival Denver, CO
4/20 420 Hippie Hill San Francisco, CA
4/20 420 Vancouver, BC
4/20 420 Toronto, ON
4/20 Boise

New York Governor Cuomo Leaves Marijuana Legalization Out of State Budget

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By: Jason Klimek, Esq., Legal Advisor to Roc NORML, and Mary Kruger, Start SMART NY Coalition Member and Executive Director of Roc NORML

Sixty-five percent of New York residents support the legalization of cannabis. Democrats control the Governor’s office as well as majorities in both the Assembly and the Senate for the first time in a decade. After repeated calls over by politicians to pass adult-use as part of New York’s budget, New Yorkers are waking up on April 1st to find out that they’ve been the subject of, what looks like, an April Fool’s Day prank, several months in the making. Cannabis legalization was not included in the 2019 – 2020 New York State Budget.

Both the legislature and the Governor’s office, after hearing New Yorkers’ opinions, have repeatedly stated cannabis legislation must address social justice concerns and avoid creating a cannabis economy that will allow large businesses to thrive to the detriment of small business. Focusing on social justice and small business will allow those communities that have been devastated by the failed war on drugs to participate in the cannabis economy and attempt to right the wrongs of the past. The longer New York waits, the less likely those goals will come to fruition. In the meantime, communities will continue to see their members arrested, prosecuted and jailed for cannabis-related offenses.

Beyond the possibility that New York may see unified control disappear in upcoming elections, if New …

Announcing the 2019 NORML Conference & Lobby Day

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We have never been at a more critical time in the nationwide movement to end federal marijuana prohibition. This September, we invite you to join NORML members from across America to learn effective strategies, hear the latest scientific and political advancements, and meet in person with influential members of Congress. With over 65% percent of the American public in support of marijuana legalization, and three-quarters of voters supporting states’ rights to enact their own marijuana policies, the time to act is now.

Get Tickets

 

 

Jax Finkel, executive director of Texas NORML, presents at the 2018 NORML Conference

Sunday, September 8: NORML Leadership Summit

Earn your NORML Leadership Certification! Take a deep dive into grassroots organizing at the NORML Leadership Summit. Those who complete the one-day course receive access to exclusive educational materials that will be used to duplicate trainings across the country. Participants will be awarded certificates and NORML Leadership lapel pins to recognize their accomplishment. Training modules include: chapter organization, effective messaging strategies, lobbying to win, event planning and execution, and more.

Cynthia Ferguson receives NORML's 2018 Pauline Sabin award

Welcome Reception & Vanguard Awards

Mix and mingle with fellow conference attendees and celebrate the achievements of NORML Chapters, Leaders and Members from across the country at the Welcome Reception & Vanguard Awards.

 

NORML Conference attendeesMonday, September 9: NORML Conference

Conference programming will include expert panels, policy debates, and energizing speakers covering a wide range of marijuana policy-related topics.

 

U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard meets with NORML Congressional Lobby Day attendees Tuesday, September 10: NORML Congressional Lobby Day

Head to Capitol Hill with NORML where Lobby Day participants will meet with Congressional …