Politics 

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

The Shake: Hillary Clinton’s Latest Position and Tweaking the Cannabis Genome

Canada Will Bring Legalization Measure in Early 2017

Hillary Clinton’s stance on cannabis is radically progressive for the mid-‘90s. The presidential frontrunner, speaking to voters at an ABC-organized town hall, said she wants to “move marijuana off Schedule I” of the federal Controlled Substances Act, which would mean admitting both that its less dangerous than cocaine and that it offers at least some medical benefit — which is, for some reason, notoriously difficult for federal politicians to do. Clinton’s approach might poll well with voters in swing states, but cannabis advocates say it’s too little too late at a time when a majority of Americans support adult-use legalization. As for adult-use, Clinton says she wants to “wait and see what we learn from Colorado and the other states.” How does this compare to Republican candidates, you ask? It puts her “in lockstep” with Ted Cruz and Donald Trump, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. In other words, Secretary Clinton, you’re no Justin Trudeau.

Professionalism, scientific objectivity, and a whole lot of cannabis. That, according Katie M. Palmer at Wired, is what’s afoot at Berkeley, Calif.-based cannabis testing laboratory Steep Hill, one of many companies unraveling cannabis DNA. Palmer’s deep dive reveals that cannabis DNA is especially challenging to manipulate. But that hasn’t stopped Steep Hill and others from trying. “Someone, somewhere, is going to do this work — to figure out how to modify weed with the same ease that Monsanto tweaks corn,” Palmer writes. Buckle your seatbelts.

Clinton Vows Tepid Leadership on Cannabis

Who won 4/20? It was almost like New Year’s Eve watching 4:20 p.m. sweep across the globe yesterday, with a number of cities hosting public celebrations. Denver, hobbled by the early loss of the Cannabis Cup, roared back with a Civic Center rally that produced a visible cloud of smoke over the Voorhies Memorial. Londoners gathered by the thousands in Hyde Park, risking drug-sniffing dogs and arrest — 20 were hauled away by the bobbies — to celebrate and push for U.K. legalization. In Chicago, crowds queued for four blocks to get into Leafly’s comedy show with Chris D’Elia and Ron Funches. In Seattle, the 4/20 event at the Egyptian Theater delighted ears and eyeballs, and Anchorage, Alaska, pulled off a dab bar extravaganza. Perhaps most deserving of a nod is Vancouver, B.C., where thousands of cannabis celebrants streamed onto Sunset Beach to enjoy a day of sunshine, music, advocacy, and gorgeous-sunset fun. Check out this video, posted by 4/20 hero Jodie Emery, and join us in wishing we’d been there. 

Leafly's 4/20 Roundup

QUICK HITS:

  • Mexicans are taking secret classes on how to use medical cannabis. Vice has the story, which, as you’d expect from Vice, involves encrypted messages and a mysterious car ride to a secret destination — all to make medicine for cancer and epilepsy patients. 
  • Meet five of the most powerful women in cannabis. Fortune put together a 4/20 roundup of some of the savviest in the industry.
  • For the first time in four years, the University of Colorado Boulder didn’t shut down on 4/20. Here’s how the school managed to embrace the annual bacchanal instead of trying to snuff it out. 
  • Want chips with that? Oregon is working to train businesses on how to use technology that tracks cannabis using microchips and RFID scanners. It’s an effort to prevent legal cannabis from entering the black market (and vice-versa). 
  • D.C. cannabis advocate says he’ll meet with White House advisers. Adam Eidinger, co-founder of DCMJ, which helped legalize adult-use cannabis in the District in 2015, says the group will meet with the Obama administration next Monday. The lame-duck president has been cagey about his plans for cannabis. This could be a good sign. 

This Policy Wonk Is Changing the Conversation About Cannabis on Capitol Hill

  • Brookings asks experts about policy blind spots. Brookings fellow John Hudak polled some of the top minds in cannabis about what policy issues are being overlooked. Here’s what they said. 
  • A social media consultant wrote an open letter to Mark Zuckerberg about cannabis. Facebook has been inhospitable, to say the least, to many cannabusiness accounts. Lauren Gibbs reminds Zuckerberg that the approach serves to reinforce the failed war on drugs instead of helping to end it. 
  • Did you have a ticket to the 420 Rally in Denver? A blizzard hit, and organizers were late to announce that the event had been canceled. Now they’re offering refunds
  • And finally, how do we feel about this 4/20 police tweet? It went viral yesterday, but it’s tough to laugh after hearing so many stereotypical stoner jokes from prohibitionist cops. Respect is a two-way street, officers.