Philippines: Protests Against Martial Law
Protests are emerging in the Philippine against ultra-hardline President Rodrigo Duterte‘s declaration of martial law in the southern island of Mindanao last month. Over 100 former and current lawmakers, religious leaders and activists gathered in Manila for an interfaith rally on Sunday, the Philippines’ Independence Day, demanding an end to the official suspension of basic democratic rights in Mindanao.
“A regime that trades Filipinos’ human rights for vague, ever-moving law and order goals can only add fuel to armed rebellions and set back efforts to address the roots of the conflict,” the group’s statement said. “It is the poor that bear the brunt of these wars. It is the poor that are killed. It is their rights that are violated. It is their communities that are subject to aerial bombings and abuses during military and police operations.”
The May 23 martial law declaration—to last 60 days, with potential for renewal—is ostensibly in response to an ISIS-linked terrorist group. But rights advocates fear it gives Duterte’s security forces an even freer hand in his murderous war on low-level drug dealers and users—said to have already claimed 7,000 lives since he was inaugurated last June.
Legal Pot to Boost California Economy by $5 Billion
California is preparing to launch a fully legal cannabis trade that stands to boost the state’s economy to the tune of $5 billion, according to a report from the Los Angeles Times.
The piece, which is based on a new study from the University of California Agricultural Issues Center, says that, while the state’s newest version of a cannabis industry will undoubtedly generate impressive revenues, it will likely take some time before the entire scope of the cannabis community gets onboard with a fully legal system.
The study shows that around 30 percent of the state’s pot buyers will still frequent the black market in order to avoid paying taxes and other aspects of the legal trade.
But the gap will eventually close—just like it did once alcohol was finally pulled from the grips of prohibition.
Florida: Attorney Plans Lawsuit To Allow Smoking Of Medical Marijuana
There might be some relief in sight for medical marijuana patients in Florida, which has one of the most restrictive, if not absurd, MMJ programs in the country.
Despite the fact that 71 percent of Florida’s population voted to approve an amendment legalizing MMJ, patients are prohibited from smoking any and all cannabis products, as well as forbidden from consuming edibles.
While Republican Governor Rick Scott says he will sign the practically useless MMJ bill, the principle backer of the amendment intends to sue over the law’s ban on smoking.
That man is Orlando attorney John Morgan, who has been steadfast in defending the rights of that 71 percent who voted for the amendment with the expectation that smoking would be one of the obvious ways to consume cannabis.
DEA Chief: Why is Chuck Rosenberg Still Here?
We are already six months into the Trump administration and most Obama-era appointees have been booted out and very few have been replaced.
In fact, the Trump government is running on a skeletal crew, which seems to shrink daily. For example, hurricane season is upon us, and Trump hasn’t hired a director for FEMA yet.
With these huge gaps in his cabinet and hundreds of jobs yet to fill, it is extremely disappointing that the most anti-weed leftover from the Obama administration is still hanging in there.
DEA Administrator Chuck Rosenberg, an anti-marijuana zealot and drug war proponent, is unfortunately in a strong position to push his prohibitionist values on the budding weed industry.
California Cannabis Labeling Requirements Under Prop 65
Cali’s Dirty Cannabis Crisis: Popular Edibles Claimed to Be Tainted with Pesticides
About a month after California voters legalized recreational marijuana in November—creating for the state’s booming marijuana industry, already on pace to record roughly $1 billion in taxable sales that year, opportunity for stupendous growth in the near future—attorney Mark Morrison met someone he describes only as a cannabis industry “insider.”
In the course of a “casual conversation,” Morrison says the insider shared a little secret: Most of the products sold in California’s more than 1,000 medical cannabis dispensaries are tainted with pesticides.
Medical marijuana has been legal for adults in California since 1996, and cannabis has been openly and widely available for sale in storefront retail outlets since at least the early 2000s.
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