PNC Bank Starts Closing Marijuana Accounts—Advocates Blame Sessions
Fearing that U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions will make good on his threat to impose a crackdown on the legal cannabis trade, PNC Bank, one of the largest financial institutions in the United States, has decided to sever all ties with any organization connected to marijuana.
According to the Washington Post, PNC recently told national marijuana advocacy group, the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), that it was permanently terminating its accounts because an internal audit showed the group distributes funds to assist in efforts to legalize marijuana.
‘‘They told me it is too risky. The bank can’t assume the risk,’’ said Nick Field, MPP’s chief operating officer.
How Canada and Uruguay Are Challenging International Pot Laws
President Donald Trump and his Canadian counterpart, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, have more in common than a Mad Men-level iron grip. Both world leaders have proven willing to buck the international order and be North American mavericks: Trump, on climate change; Trudeau, on legalizing weed.
On June 1, Trump announced the United States’ impending exit from the Paris Climate Agreement, a move the New York Times called a “remarkable rebuke” to the rest of the world, as well as an exercise in pure denial. (Meanwhile, on Monday, as a record-setting deadly heatwave descended on most of the western United States, Energy Secretary Rick Perry went on CNBC to deny any link between carbon emissions and an undeniable, drastic shift in temperatures.)
The Stupidest DEA Slang Terms for Marijuana
For reasons best known to their very strange selves, the DEA recently declassified and released an intelligence reportwith hundreds of slang code terms relating to just about every drug you can imagine.
Most of the nicknames for marijuana are nothing less than wacky. Some harken back to our high school days; some back to our great grandparents.
But, hey, what does one expect from an agency whose development is so arrested that it ranks weed as a dangerous drug with no medical benefits in the face of growing evidence to the contrary?
One has to wonder, though, how the DEA came up with these 250 insanely ridiculous terms for weed?
Some are just strain names, but most seem to have been pulled out a hat, the Mad Hatter’s hat, that is.
Come on, Smoochy Woochy Poochy?
Does North Korea Have a More Tolerant Pot Policy than South Korea?
Well, absolutely not, but you could be forgiven for thinking so, based on a cursory review of recent headlines.
Although it hasn’t made much of splash stateside, the big news in South Korea this week is the “marijuana scandal” surrounding a singer from the suggestively named K-pop boy-band Big Bang, who goes by the stage-name T.O.P.
He could face five years in the slammer after a hair follicle test by the Seoul Metropolitan Police yielded positive results for cannabis. He was fingered for the test after a young woman busted for “liquid marijuana” (presumably some kind of extract) named him as the supplier, according to Korea Portal.
The affair could spell the end of Big Bang, whose massive and ravenous fan base makes them practically a mini-industry in South Korea—although the members approaching the age of mandatory military service was already a looming reality. Ironically, the stress of his cannabis case could be driving T.O.P. to harder stuff—last week he was found unconscious from an apparent overdose of tranquilizers. (An example of prohibition itself paradoxically making the bogus “gateway drug” theory a self-fulfilling prophecy.)
UK to Open First Publicly Available Dedicated Cannabis Research Facility
For a change, let’s hear some good news from the United Kingdom after a month that saw two terrorist attacks and now a tragic apartment fire in London where casualties are mounting as we speak.
The good news is that cannabinoid biotechnology company MediPen Ltd. is launching its own dedicated marijuana research facility this summer, and it will provide a platform for anyone looking to utilize its 1,800 square-foot facilities for the purposes of innovation in the area of medicinal cannabis.
As the first biotechnology company to develop a vapor product, MediPen Ltd. has already enjoyed success selling their non-psychoactive CBD vaporizers, which are currently in the process of securing a license from the British Home Office.
Their goal is to import and work with controlled compounds, including THC, for further research.
Torture Victim Seeking U.S. Asylum Faces Deportation for Dropped Pot Charge
Marco Coello was 18 when he was arrested in Caracas Venezuela at a protest against the regime of Nicolás Maduro, successor to the late Hugo Chavez.
Venezuelan police kicked and beat Marco with a golf club, fire extinguisher and tortured him with electric shocks.
After three months, he was released on bail and fled to the United States, where he sought political asylum.
When his asylum interview came up this past April, his lawyer Elizabeth Blandon, an immigration and asylum expert, was optimistic.
Coello’s case of abuse at the hands of the Venezuelan police was so bad that the U.S. State Department included him in their own human rights report on Venezuela in 2015.
“I had this very naïve idea that we were going to walk in there and the officer was going to say, ‘It’s an honor to meet you,’” said Blandon.
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