Obama grants clemency to 61 drug offenders. All of the inmates are currently serving time for drug possession, intent to sell, or related crimes, according to the Associated Press. More than a third were serving life sentences. Under the president’s action, most will now be released on July 28. Obama may not have done much to reform the federal government’s stance on cannabis policy, but at least he’s helping right some of the drug war’s past wrongs. He’s now commuted the sentences of 248 inmates, and his aides say more are coming. There have been some rumblings that Obama could reschedule cannabis on his way out of office, but it doesn’t look likely. (Some think our last, best hope might actually be Dr. Sanjay Gupta.)
Whoopi Goldberg launches cannabis venture to combat menstrual cramps. Goldberg already gushed about her vape pen for treating her glaucoma-related headaches. Now she’s taking on period pain. She’s teaming up with entrepreneur Maya Elizabeth to found Maya & Whoopi, which will offer tinctures, infused edibles, topical rubs, and a “profoundly relaxing” THC bath soak. “You can put the rub on your lower stomach and lower back at work, and then when you get home you can get in the tub for a soak or make tea, and it allows you to continue to work throughout the day,” she tells Vanity Fair. The new products join others aimed at easing menstrual discomfort, like Foria Relief — which, for the record, is not a tampon.
Microsoft’s racist chatbot is a cannabis fan. Have you been following Tay, the Twitter account launched by Microsoft’s artificial intelligence team? It’s meant to learn from its surroundings, and unfortunately it has: Within a day of launch, Tay went from “humans are super cool” to “Hitler was right.” Thanks, internet. The bot also said feminists should “die and burn in hell.” Microsoft quickly unplugged it, but on Wednesday Tay reappeared briefly to announce, “kush! [ I’m smoking kush infront the police ].” (The tweet has since been removed.) Hilarious, sure, but the cannabis movement could probably pick a better spokesbot. (Here are some ideas.)
An Irish woman moved to Colorado to treat her son’s epilepsy. Now she’s saying it’s “illogical” not to have medical cannabis in Ireland. Yvonne Cahalane’s two-year-old son, Tristan, has Dravet syndrome, a severe form of epilepsy. He had his first seizure at five months old, and before long he was having up to 20 in a day. Since starting a regimen of cannabis oil, however, he’s gone three months without a seizure. He hasn’t needed rescue medication or oxygen, and he’s been weaned off three drugs and is about to stop using a fourth. Tell your friends: Medical cannabis is no joke.
Is Aspen ditching edibles? City officials are meeting with representatives from surrounding Pitkin County to discuss how to regulate infused edibles in the city. Sheriff Joe DiSalvo attended two county discussions this week and has indicated he’s thinking of a push to ban edibles that could appeal to children. “Bubble gum, popcorn, candy, etc.,” he told Aspen Daily News. DiSalvo has been an outspoken advocate of cannabis legalization, but he says local governments need to do more to avoid problems that could hurt the plant’s image both in his community and nationwide. Leafly talked to DiSalvo on Monday and will publish an extended interview next week.
- Marijuana Policy Project executive director defends Trump campaign manager. Rob Kampia said on Facebook that a battery charge against Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski is “ridiculous.” Lewandowski allegedly grabbed a reporter last week. He was charged Tuesday. Fellow cannabis advocate Tom Angell, who spotted Kampia’s post, feels differently.
- GQ answers a burning question from those still buying cannabis from dealers: “Should I Offer to Smoke Out My Weed Dealer?”
- Newsweek calls taste-pairing events “the latest legal weed trend.” Read the story, then start mixing and matching on your own with Leafly’s pairing guides to coffee, beer, and wine (even bubbly!).
- It’s going to be a big year for cannabis, and not just in the U.S. Mexico is eyeing big changes, too, Vice reports, including decriminalization and a medical cannabis program.
- There are lots of cannabis conferences these days. Oregon’s Willamette Week looks at how to tell which ones are worth your time.
- Fashion icon Tim Gunn is supporting Massachusetts hemp. The Project Runway co-host is headed to Boston to urge the state Legislature to pass an industrial hemp bill. (His advice, presumably: "Make it work.")
- Massachusetts businesses aren’t so hot on cannabis, though. A poll of 180 employers found that 62 percent oppose the November ballot measure that would legalize adult use.
- A Michigan dispensary might be padlocked for a year. Why? Because state law allows officials to lock a property for up to a year over complaints of drug dealing. The county prosecutor maintains dispensaries aren’t permitted under Michigan’s medical cannabis program.
- Tennessee’s hemp industry is flagging. Many farmers have said they won’t grow the crop next year because it simply wasn’t profitable, in part because of delays in getting seeds through U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
- A veteran in Iowa speaks up for medical cannabis. John Custis has seen enough veteran suicides, and he’s frustrated Iowa lawmakers aren’t doing more to open the door to cannabis to treat PTSD and curb opioid overdoses.
- As California cities weigh dispensary bans, a few are going the other way. San Jose is considering whether to establish a medical cannabis division to better regulate local businesses. The city may even allow deliveries, which have recently come under fire elsewhere in the state.
- And finally, this dog brought his family a pound of cannabis. Woof.