Politics 

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

The Shake: Toronto Expo Kicks Off Under Crackdown Cloud, Legalization Foes Forget the Children

 Crack Up with Iliza Shlesinger at the Leafly Comedy Tour in Toronto

Canada’s largest cannabis conference starts off in solemnity. The Lift Cannabis Expo will kick off Saturday at the Metro Toronto Convention Center with more than 130 exhibitors. The weekend’s festivities, however, will proceed in a somber manner, after the largest targeted mass crackdown on cannabis in Toronto in more than 20 years, with raids on more than 40 dispensaries, arrests of more than 90 dispensary employees and owners, and more than 200 charges laid out for the possession and trafficking of medicinal marijuana. The raids, dubbed “Project Claudia,” have drawn the ire of cannabis advocates across Canada, who descended upon Toronto police headquarters this morning in protest.

Federal cannabis smuggling hits an all-time low. The United States Sentencing Commission released data on the latest drug-trafficking statistics, which showed a remarkable decline in federal trafficking offenses. The sharp decline begins in 2012, when Colorado and Washington legalized cannabis, and continued on a steady downward trend. 

 Toronto Totals: 43 Dispensaries Raided, 90 Arrested Over 'Quality Control'

A new study shows that those who protest legalization the loudest are worried about money, not children. A study from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis found that opponents of cannabis policy reform, particularly those who tend to spout rhetoric about “saving the children” are actually far more concerned about their own paychecks and contributions from lobbying groups dedicated to prohibition. “Think of the children?” More like “Think of my wallet!”

 Here’s Why Cannabis Legalization Doesn’t Lead to Higher Teen Use Rates

Ricky Williams of NFL fame joins the ganja-gym. Ricky Williams has had a storied past with cannabis use, having received multiple suspensions for it during his time as a star running back with the Miami Dolphins, but now he’s putting his sports and cannabis knowledge to good use. Williams is partnering with Power Plant Fitness, the new 420-friendly gym, and will be the official spokesman when the gym opens this fall. 

 Leafly Science Roundup: Can Cannabis Improve Your Workout?

Trans veteran credits cannabis for saving her life and helping her transition. Transgender Iraq War veteran Zooey Zachow suffered from PTSD upon returning from Iraq, but discovered that cannabis not only relieved symptoms of anxiety, but also helped with her “gender and sexual awakening.”

Swiss scientists jump on the vape train. Swiss chemists have formulated a cannabis e-cigarette for “therapeutic cannavaping,” using butane hash oil mixed with commercially available e-cigarette liquid at varying concentrations to deliver microdoses of cannabinoids as an alternative method for smoking medical cannabis. Vape contest on the Alps, anyone?

Maine Could Be First State to OK Medical Cannabis to Treat Addicts

Sign in Maine stirs up controversy with cannabis slogans. An electronic sign outside the Frosty Delite ice cream shop in Mexico, Maine, startled ice cream patrons with some outspoken opinions in flashing fluorescent yellow: “WeedThePeople.com,” “Cannabis oil cures cancer” and “Natural cures.” The sign has been alight for months, but the proximity to the ice cream shop has sparked a debate amongst the townspeople. 

And finally, a Texas toker gets his butt bit by a thunder-spooked pup. A Groesbeck man was smoking cannabis on his porch when a loud thunderclap spooked his dog so severely that the dog latched onto the owner’s left buttock, leading the man believed he’d been shot by a firearm. The man felt compelled to call police (who were likely doubled over laughing upon leaving the scene). He was treated and released by EMS, but not without one hell of a headline.

 At the First Cannabis Convention in Texas, the Police Were Quiet and the Women Kicked Ass