Politics 

The latest in cannabis legalization including laws and policies, legislators’ views, election coverage, and more.

The Shake: UN Urged to Legalize, Coal Miners OK Cannabis, and D.C. to Host Canna-Fest

Coal miners turn from one combustible resource to another. After Colorado legalized cannabis, the town of Hotchkiss, Colorado, banned retail cannabis businesses, preferring to stick to the coal mines and organic farms that they were used to. Soon after, however, the coal mines went bankrupt, leaving the town economically depressed. Could the solution to their financial woes lie in the legal cannabis industry? (Spoiler alert: Yes, it very well could be.) After realizing that the towns around them that had embraced legal cannabis were thriving, Hotchkiss is now considering its ban on marijuana businesses. Town leaders will vote next month on a measure that would end the ban. The “Friendliest Town Around” may just earn the title of “Happiest,” too.

A groundbreaking report from one of the world’s most respected medical journals urges the United Nations to end prohibition. The report from the Lancet Commission weighs in at a hefty 54 pages, which means that the intricate details are far too numerous to describe here. The implications, though, are huge. The report examines medical research as well as international drug policy, and makes two recommendations that affect our world: rethink international drug policy and end cannabis prohibition once and for all. Read Leafly’s take and dive into the full report here.

Blockbuster Report Backs U.N. Cannabis Regulation, End to Prohibition

It’s the last day for Georgia’s legislature to consider House Bill 722 to expand the state’s medical marijuana program. Today marks the 40th and final day of Georgia’s legislative session, which means lawmakers have until midnight tonight to vote on the bill, which would expand the number of qualifying conditions and establish a patient registry and legal protections for those who qualify. If HB 722 makes it through the Legislature, it will go on to Governor Nathan Deal to await a signature. Although Governor Deal has been fairly neutral on the expansion thus far, recent reports indicate that he does remain sympathetic towards families affected by the program, and the bill’s sponsor, Representative Allen Peake (R-Macon), is confident that “if the Senate passes the bill as is, that Governor Deal will sign it.”

We Speak with Rep. Allen Peake, Georgia’s Medical Cannabis Bulldog

Washington, D.C. announces the first National Cannabis Festival since legalization. After a year’s worth of planning, canna-advocates have planned an elaborate festival this year to be held at RFK Stadium on April 23rd. The ganja gala will feature performances by De La Soul, Congo Sanchez, Backyard Band, Nappy Riddem and Jesse Royal. Don’t be fooled, however – this is not Hempfest. The National Cannabis Festival will be focused on policy and advocacy, complete with educational pavilions and vendors, in addition to a kick-ass music scene. Organizers want to encourage compliance with D.C. laws, so there will be no lighting up on the grounds. If you’re hoping to hit up one of the first festivals of its kind in the nation’s capital, you can grab a ticket for the low-low price of just $35.

QUICK HITS:

  • Is Donald Drumpf your best bet for a president legalizing cannabis? Merry Jane seems to be under that impression. Although Drumpf argued in favor of legalizing and taxing cannabis back in 1990, he’s been singing a different tune on the campaign trail this time around. Do the ends justify the means?
  • Alaskan officials tired of waiting on regulators are taking matters into their own hands. The Juneau Planning Commission just issued the first conditional permit for a cannabis business, Fireweed Factory, to begin cultivating cannabis. Under the agreement, Fireweed will adhere to any future state regulatory measures.
  • A proposal to reduce criminal penalties for cannabis possession may actually have the opposite effect. Harrisburg, Penn., is considering decriminalization, but officers often use their own discretion, giving warnings for small possession amounts. A standardized enforcement method could change that.
  • Are the Colorado Rockies handing out infused brownies at their concession stands? No. No, they’re not. This is not a real news report, nor would it be legal if it were. Sorry, baseball and cannabis enthusiasts – no such luck.

The Shake: Tricky Dick's Racist Drug War. Also, What's 'Biosynthesis'?