Politics 

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

The Shake: Racial Disparities in Arrests and a ‘Willy Wonka’ Cannabis Party

Racial disparities persist in D.C., even with fewer arrests. Continuing a pattern we’ve seen in Oregon, North Carolina, and other jurisdictions, arrest data in Washington, D.C., show you’re more likely to be arrested for cannabis if you’re black — even where cannabis is legal. The Associated Press reports that arrests relating to cannabis have dropped by 85 percent in the District from 2014 to 2015, but racial differences persist. More than 80 percent of the 259 people arrested for smoking in public since July 2014 were black, according to police data obtained by the Drug Policy Alliance.

LSU considers getting into cannabis growing. Under Louisiana’s new medical marijuana law, Louisiana State University and Southern University each has first option to become the grower and supplier for patients legally allowed to access cannabis in pharmacies. LSU officials are looking into the costs of such a grow — $10 million to $15 million, by some estimates — and haven’t yet decided whether to get into the business. Under state law, qualifying conditions are limited to glaucoma, spastic quadriplegia, and symptoms that arise from chemotherapy as a cancer treatment. The strain names alone make this a mighty tempting opportunity: Yellow Tiger. Bayou Bush. Les Miles.

Oregon Sees Consumption Rise, Arrests Plummet

QUICK HITS:

  • Senators hold “prohibitionist” panel on cannabis. U.S. Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) held a four-witness hearing Tuesday, and even U.S. News and World Report seems to think it was a load of hooey. Lawmakers didn’t invite legalization advocates or anyone with experience administering adult-use laws in Western states. Because who wants to make decisions based on “science” and “evidence,” right? 
  • Epidiolex makes strides in clinical epilepsy trial. The pharmaceutical significantly reduced seizures in children with Dravet syndrome, a severe form of epilepsy.  

 How GW Pharma Could Use U.S. Patents to Shape the Future of Medical Cannabis

  • D.C. will ban cannabis clubs. It was a close vote, 7–6, but the D.C. Council on Tuesday succumbed to fears that “unregulated pot clubs would be bad for the city and create problem for the police,” the AP reports.
  • A group of combat soldiers are growing free cannabis for veterans. Sam Laird at Mashable has the story
  • There are billions and billions of dollars in cannabis. But you’ve probably heard that already. Here’s what one lawyer thinks the future of cannabis funding will actually look like.  
  • Alaska cannabis club shutters, victim of leaky roof and paucity of members. The Higher Calling cannabis club, in downtown Fairbanks, was one of the first cannabusinesses to open in the city after the state decriminalized cannabis in 2014. 
  • Cannabis retailer wants to rename Denver’s Mile High stadium. Turns out it wasn’t an April Fools joke after all. What do analysts say? Fat chance. 
  • Iowa governor says he’s open to expanding medical cannabis. “Certainly this is an issue there is some strong interest in,” Gov. Terry Branstad told Radio Iowa. Proponents are pushing for broader qualifying conditions as well as an in-state distribution system. 
  • The only legal cannabis product in New Zealand is a mouth spray. At least unless this dude says otherwise. 
  • And finally, there was a “Willy Wonka-style cannabis chocolate fountain party,” in the U.K. Which sounds pretty spectacular, albeit illegal. (No word whether Golden Ticket was on hand.) 

CARERS Act Finds New Life a Year After Its Birth