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

The Shake: Cannabis Comes to Koala Country, Seattle Times Rolls Eyes at Regulators

Victoria — the one where the koalas live — legalizes medical cannabis. The Australian state is the first to make cannabis available to patients, though it’s starting slowly: Children with severe epilepsy will be given first access to the drug beginning in early 2017. “It’s absolutely heart-breaking to see families having to choose between breaking the law and watching their children suffer,” Minister for Health Jill Hennessy said. “And now, thanks to our ground-breaking legislation, they won’t have to.” The government says the next step is establishing cultivation and manufacturing facilities. A small-scale cultivation trial is already in the works at a Victorian research facility.

Seattle Times to cannabis regulators: You got some ‘splainin’ to do! Legal cannabis was supposed to be safer than the black-market stuff, accurately labeled and free of mold and pesticides, the Times editorial board writes. “Creating that kind of assurance is the responsibility of the Washington Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB), and its work is still in progress.” Dealing with inaccurate lab data and pesticide-laden products, the LCB last week took action to address the fallout. The Times is unimpressed. “These are steps that should have been taken soon after marijuana was legalized in 2012,” the editors write. Their criticism echoes what we’ve heard from numerous people in the industry, though the Times puts it much more politely.

Pesticides 101 Leafly article header image

A ten-year-old girl is moving from Texas to California for cannabis access. Grace Lummus-Nickell was born with a painful bone disease that’s required ten surgeries. She’s already been prescribed Oxycodone and Valium for pain, Zofran for nausea, and a stool softener to counteract the effect of the narcotics. “None of the medicine they give me seems to help very much,” the girl told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “The medicine makes me feel weird and it kind of makes my stomach hurt.” Earlier this month, Lummus-Nickell and her mother moved to a rural area near Sacramento and plan to try treating Grace with medical cannabis. Wish her luck.

QUICK HITS:

  • The Mexican Catholic church came out in favor of medical use in the country, noting it’s only following orders. Vatican authorities have already backed medical cannabis.
  • The initiative on Nevada’s ballot that would legalize cannabis for adult use will be called Question 2, the AP reports. Now you know.
  • Bernie supporters want you to donate $4.20 on 4/20. And they haven’t spared any hashtags in getting the word out: #BernGreenGiveGreen #BurnOneForBernie #YesHeCann
  • Washington state’s proposed out-of-state investment rules still clear as mud? Canna Law Group ace Hilary Bricken has a rundown.
  • The New York Times does another one of its stories on West Coast cannabis. It's about big business getting into the fledgling industry, and it probably reads a lot like the last NYT cannabis story you read.
  • French politicians are arguing over decriminalization. Lawmakers are split on whether doing away with prohibition would help address social ills or simply encourage more youth to consume. (Hint: It’s probably not the latter.)
  • A 36-year veteran of the Denver Police Department wrote a letter to the editor of an Arizona paper. His advice to Arizona, where voters will consider adult-use legalization later this year: “Prohibition makes all facets of drug use worse.”
  • Arizona’s already well on its way. The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol said it’s collected more than 200,000 signatures, over half of what it needs to qualify an adult-use legalization measure for November’s ballot.
  • Colorado moves to create a cannabis courier license. The state House gave preliminary approval Tuesday to a “marijuana transporter” license, the AP reports. It would expand the privileges of couriers, currently classified as “vendors,” who transport cannabis from warehouses to storefronts.
  • Trying to make the big bucks betting on cannabis stocks? Be careful and do your homework, writes investment consultant William Lyons — a lot of people out there want your money. (Tommy Chong has the same advice.)
  • Utah’s push to legalize medical cannabis has fallen through. The AP reports that organizers said it would’ve been difficult to collect the nearly 102,000 signatures to get the initiative on this year’s ballot.
  • And finally, flights out of Washington state were delayed because some dude had a grenade-shaped grinder in his luggage. TSA personnel aren’t generally on the hunt for cannabis products, an agency spokeswoman told the Bellingham Herald, but if you make those products look like lethal weapons, well, then they’ve got to call the bomb squad. ¯_(ツ)_/¯

A Cannabis Advocate's Case for Bernie Sanders Leafly article header