White House Taps Big Pharma-Loving, Pot-Hating Drug Czar
The White House is expected to name Rep. Tom Marino, from Pennsylvania to be the new Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP)—AKA the latest drug czar.
If Marino—referred to as “just another anti-marijuana, pro-pharma” extremist by Philadelphia’s Inquirer—is appointed, one wonders how a man with such close ties to the pharmaceutical industry intends to deal with the country’s devastating opioid and heroin crises, especially since both were created by Big Pharma.
Per data published by the International Business Times, Marino has received more money from the pharmaceutical industry than any other sector, which happily continues to produce and distribute the most deadly and addictive legal drugs in the country.
Medical Marijuana Likely Coming to West Virginia
Certain southern states are on a roll vis-à-vis medical marijuana, and it’s a beautiful sight. West Virginia, whose slogan is “Wild and Wonderful,” just joined the club.
A bill permitting doctors to recommend medical cannabis and to establish a regulatory system was just approved by the West Virginia House of Delegates.
Marijuana Goes Industrial in California
SALINAS, Calif. — This vast and fertile valley is often called the salad bowl of the nation for the countless heads of lettuce growing across its floor. Now California’s marijuana industry is laying claim to a new slogan for the valley: America’s cannabis bucket.
After years of marijuana being cultivated in small plots out of sight from the authorities, California cannabis is going industrial.
Over the past year, dilapidated greenhouses in the Salinas Valley, which were built for cut flower businesses, have been bought up by dozens of marijuana entrepreneurs, who are growing pot among the fields of spinach, strawberries and wine grapes.
Canada: Long-Awaited Cannabis Legalization Bill Introduced
On Thursday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau introduced legislation to legalize the recreational use of cannabis in Canada, following through on a campaign pledge and ending a long wait by advocates and entrepreneurs.
The new law would allow adults 18 and over to possess or share up to 30 grams of dried herbaceous cannabis and to purchase cannabis or cannabis oil from retailers, to be regulated at the provincial level. Canadians will also be allowed to grow up to four plants per residence for personal use and to prepare legal cannabis products at home. Cannabis-infused edibles are to be available for sale after the regulatory framework is developed and brought into force.
“If your objective is to protect public health and safety and keep cannabis out of the hands of minors, and stop the flow of profits to organized crime, then the law as it stands today has been an abject failure,” Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale told a news conference, according to the Canadian Press. “Police forces spend between $2 billion and $3 billion every year trying to deal with cannabis, and yet Canadian teenagers are among the heaviest users in the western world… we simply have to do better.”
Supreme Court Gives Judges Flexibility In Mandatory Minimum Cases
The US Supreme Court on April 4 handed down a unanimous decision in Dean v. United States, giving federal judges greater flexibility in mandatory minimum cases—an aim activists have long been demanding. Advocacy group Families Against Mandatory Minimums filed a brief in support of the petitioner in the case.
As Bloomberg BNA reports, Levon Dean Jr, of Sioux City, faced consecutive mandatory minimum sentences for use of a firearm in two robberies of local drug dealers. The two mandatory sentences added up to 30 years: a five-year minimum for the first offense and a 25-year minimum for the second. Because of the severity of the mandatory firearm term, Dean requested a sentence of just one day on his robbery and conspiracy charges. The district court wrote that 30 years plus one day was “more than sufficient,” but nonetheless believed it lacked the authority to bend the mandatory minimum law. The Supreme Court has now found otherwise, and Dean will be getting his 30 years plus one day.
How much Marijuana has been Grown in Washington? Over 150,000 Pounds of Useable Marijuana was Produced in Fiscal Year 2017
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