Politics 

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

The Shake: Scientists Study the Munchies, New York Fears Vermont, and Portland Bans the Cannabis Drive-Thru

Hungry? It’s not necessarily the cannabis. Lack of sleep can produce the same chemicals in the brain as those associated with cannabis munchies, according to a new report. University of Chicago researchers found study participants who got less sleep ate roughly 300 more calories per day than when they were well rested. The sleepy ones also were more likely to eat unhealthier high-calorie foods with more fat. So if you’re staying up late and consuming, consider yourself doubly warned. But don’t forget to indulge sometimes. You deserve it.  

Vermont has New York worried. Empire State authorities are watching closely as Vermont’s recreational legalization bill marches toward passage. "I don't think anybody in law enforcement at this point knows how they're going to deal with it if it does go in Vermont like this," Cambridge-Greenwich Police Chief George Bell tells CBS affiliate WRGB. Bell, whose jurisdiction is just minutes from the Vermont border, says he’ll continue to treat possession there as criminal unless the cannabis was prescribed in New York. “I think it’s going to be a nightmare,” he predicted. 

Inside Report: Ohio Campaign Goes Medical Only, Vermont Makes Strides Toward Adult Use, and Switzerland Eyes Cannabis Clubs

Growing your own in less-than-fertile soil? You’re probably OK. Even though it’s technically possible for cannabis to absorb heavy metals like lead and arsenic, consuming it isn’t much of a concern. “An 8-ounce tomato is a light snack. Eight ounces of weed is 200 pretty fat joints,” writes Marty Smith in Oregon’s Willamette Week. His conclusion? Consuming contaminated cannabis isn’t ideal, obviously, but it’s much less worrisome than veggies from the same backyard plot. Smith also gives us this fun fact: Because cannabis soaks up contaminants, industrial hemp has been planted near Chernobyl with the express purpose of reducing soil toxicity. Far out.

Cannabis drive-thrus are about to be outlawed before they even exist. Today the Portland City Council will consider a rule to ban medical dispensaries from offering drive-thru or walk-up window sales in the city, Beth Slovic reports. Apparently they’re perfectly legal at the moment, though there aren’t any in the city. “In our minds, it’s shoring up the language to make sure there’s no confusion,” Theresa Marchetti, who oversees Portland’s marijuana regulations, tells Willamette Week about the likely change. If you like the drive-thru idea, you’ll have to head to the coastal town of Gold Beach, which is set to open its first drive-thru shop in April. Road trip, Portland pals? 

'Just Add Weed': How Brand Licensing Allows Companies to Expand Across State Lines

Delivery in Seattle? Don’t hold your breath. A state bill that would’ve launched a delivery pilot program in the city looks dead in the water after missing a Feb. 26 deadline, writes Tobias Coughlin-Bogue, who had a piece on Leafly yesterday about how cannabis businesses are expanding across state lines. That means that consumers might soon be stuck — under City Attorney Pete Holmes' new crackdown, Seattle could eventually eradicate existing delivery services only to find itself without a legal way to replace them. Whoops.

QUICK HITS: Jackie Chan supports the death penalty for drug offenses. So says the Daily Mail, which also reports the martial arts star’s own son was once jailed on cannabis charges. Rush Hour 2 will never feel the same. Cannabis in Queensland? It’ll stay illegal, the Australian state’s health minister says. Legal cannabis sales in Illinois topped $1.5 million in February. All told, the state’s dispensaries, now numbering 29, have sold $4.4 million in medical marijuana since the program began Nov. 9. Local news outlets are still spreading panic about shatter. The latest is an ABC report out of Houston that warns of high-potency cannabis “shattering lives.” Don’t buy it — read Leafly’s response. “Of course Vice would have a show about weed,” writes NJ.com in a preview of this week’s premiere. Here’s what $1 million in cannabis looks like. NYPD is so proud of the haul they posted a picture on Twitter. Prepare for Portland’s first cannabrunch. As if life couldn’t get any better for those lucky PDX hipsters. And finally, famous athletes are advocating for cannabis as a workout tool. We’ve seen this kind of thing before, but those articles didn’t include this killer drawing: 

Man Lifting Massive Joint Above Head

Calm Down, East Coast: Cannabis 'Shatter' Coverage Woefully Overstates Its Dangers