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Newsletter #107

How cannabis played into Philando Castile’s death In case you missed it: police officer Jeronimo Yanez (a Latino man) shot Philando Castile (a black man) during a traffic stop in July 2016. Last week, a jury acquitted Yanez of manslaughter charges. A recently-released transcript shows that Yanez insisted the smell of cannabis coming from Castile’s vehicle was reason to believe he was a threat. The explanation is truly bizarre. Read more here. Mexico legalizes medical marijuana Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto announced that his government has legalized medical cannabis. The bill had massive support in Mexico’s congress and senate. Not too

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Newsletter #106

Sessions asks Congress to let him go after medical marijuana The Rohrabacher-Farr amendment, passed in 2014, prohibits the Justice Department from using federal funds to prevent states from implementing their own marijuana laws. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is asking Congress to undo these protections, according to a letter that recently became public. His reasoning? The drug epidemic. Maybe he doesn’t know that the current, horrifying drug epidemic relates to opiates. Luckily, Scientific American published a great article that lays out the facts of the epidemic, and how places with legalized cannabis actually have lower rates of opioid overdose death. Someone send this

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Newsletter #105

Rhode Island’s proposal to legalize marijuana Two Rhode Island lawmakers introduced a unique recreational cannabis bill. In short, adults 21 and older would be allowed to possess up to one ounce of marijuana. An advisory panel would be established in order to provide recommendations on how to organize a legal retail trade in the future. It’s legalization, but it holds off on the bureaucratic mess of setting up legal dispensaries. Interesting. Spain is growing Europe’s cannabis Spain has long been known for being Europe’s point of entry for hashish coming in from Morocco. Now, it’s looking like the country has increased its own

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Newsletter #104

Ohioans seeking Michigan marijuana Ohio’s medical cannabis law was approved last year, but dispensaries in the state won’t open for quite some time. Some Ohioans with doctor-issued marijuana recommendations have decided not to wait around for their local dispensary to open. They’re opting to venture into neighboring Michigan, where certain dispensaries will sell to these out-of-staters. Learn more about this way around waiting here. Colorado’s weed windfall Governor John Hickenlooper of Colorado signed a budget bill that directs how the state’s marijuana tax money will be spent. Colorado brought in over $105 million in cannabis taxes in the 2016-17 fiscal year. Much of

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Newsletter #103

Marijuana breathalyzer gets high-profile funding Hound Labs, a startup that makes a cannabis breathalyzer, just pulled in $8.1 million in funding. Who footed the bill? Benchmark Capital, which is the same venture firm that invested early on in Uber, Snap and Dropbox. If you’re wondering why a breathalyzer that tests for marijuana is such a big deal, it’s because cannabis is notoriously difficult to test for during, say, a traffic stop. Most existing tests check for THC in body fluids, which can hang around for weeks after a person has last used cannabis. Founded by an emergency room doctor, Hound Labs

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Newsletter #102

Washington goes organic Governor Jay Inslee of Washington signed a bill on Tuesday that gets the ball rolling for the state to create an organic certification system for marijuana. Just a reminder: since cannabis is illegal on the federal level, the United States Department of Agriculture does not recognize it as a crop that can be certified organic. Any company can slap a “Certified Organic” sticker on pesticide-ridden cannabis products. Cheers to Washington for looking for a statewide solution. Willie Nelson’s advice to Jeff Sessions In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, pot-loving musician Willie Nelson was asked about Attorney

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