What a week for weed. As The Dude would say: “a lotta ins, a lotta outs, a lotta what-have-you’s.” While Canada is making the big leap to legalizing the leaf on a national level, we’re stuck here in Trumpland with a misinformed acting drug czar, shady pharmecutical companies peddling dangerous opioids to the public, and often avoidable deaths related to the war on drugs. Read on.
Justin Trudeau Has Kept His Promise…
Cannabis Related Drug Enforcement Raid Deaths
The New York Times posted an in-depth (and disturbing) interactive multimedia piece on forced-entry drug raids, which, since 2010, have left 94 dead, including 13 officers. According to the investigation, 20 SWAT raids on suspected cannabis dealers have resulted in the death of either police officers or suspects, and many of these deaths were avoidable:
According to the figures, four police officers were killed intentionally or otherwise while conducting a SWAT raid for cannabis, and at least three suspects who were killed possessed fewer than 5 grams at the time of the raid.
Trump Names Richard Baum Acting Drug Czar
Trump has named Richard Baum acting drug czar of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), which oversees U.S. drug policy. Baum has said in the past that drunk driving is “relatively less of a problem” than driving while under the influence of drugs. (To be fair: it probably depends on which drugs, but in almost every case driving under the influence of alcohol is much more dangerous).
Twitter Reverses Filter on Cannabis Searches
After a petition circulated decrying Twitter’s new unannounced, real-time "sensitive content" filter (which blocks out “marijuana” and “cannabis”—but not “opioids” from being searched), the company decided to reverse their censor on ‘cannabis’ and other drug-related terms.
A Bill that Allows States to Drug Test People Who Apply for Unemployment…
…Has made it through both the House and Senate, and is expected to be signed by Trump soon. The legislation will undo an Obama-era rule that said states could only test applicants if they were looking for work in jobs that require regular drug tests, like almost all government jobs, manufacturing and transportation jobs (private companies like the Seattle Times can also set their own drug-use policies that require pre-employment drug tests).
DEA Approves Fake Cannabis Drug from Sketchy Company
The DEA just approved a synthetic cannabis drug, Syndros, developed by a pharmaceutical company that donated $500,000 to help defeat Arizona’s cannabis legalization campaign in 2016. The DEA said the drug will be used to treat nausea for cancer and AIDS patients, and warned that Syndros has "high potential for abuse.”
Meanwhile the company, Insys, has their hands full with multiple lawsuits and investigations related to their aggressive marketing campaign for a drug that contained a deadly opioid. Owning both the symptoms and the cure, Insys’s other latest product is—get this—a drug that treats opioid overdoses.
Hendrix Estate in Purple Haze Battle
Another trademark dispute, and this time, the whole family is involved. Family members representing the Hendrix estate sued Jimi’s brother Leon Hendrix over selling cannabis-themed ‘Purple Haze’ products with the Hendrix name.
Woody Harrelson Quits Weed
Woody, say it ain’t so! The famous stoner, political pot advocate and Wilson star announced that he’s been weed-free for a year:
I don’t have a problem at all with smoking. I think it’s great. I think it’s a great drug, in terms of … Even cops say that the side effect is euphoria…But when you’re doing it all the time, it just becomes … Well, you know. I feel like it was keeping me from being emotionally available.
As someone who once snuck into one of his infamous parties (it’s a long story but involves being helped out of a locked bathroom by Matt Dillon), I can attest that Woody liked to smoke some high-grade mega-fatties! And did so almost constantly. So maybe taking a step back is a good thing for him.
Ancient Chinese Texts Extolled the Virtues of Cannabis