By El Planteo.
"What's in your life’s black box?" In tune with the new winds of communication 2.0, generational change and new ways of relating to content, the famous Spanish streamer, Ibai Llanos, interviewed Lionel Messi after his arrival to Paris. On the same day, one of the most popular journalists on the Internet was able to do the same with the Argentine president.
This is Julio Leiva, radio host, editorial director of Filo News and head of Caja Negra (Black Box), the interview series that has built bridges between generations and has already consolidated itself as one of the most interesting YouTube products of the 2020/2021 harvest. Something that, as he told to El Planteo, never ceases to surprise him.
His versatile guests range from top streamers, athletes, musicians, artists and top politicians. And, on this occasion, Julio Leiva's special guest on Caja Negra is none other than Alberto Fernández, President of Argentina.
Recently, Fernández caught the attention of the cannabis world, first, with the authorization of the Registry for the Self-Cultivation of Medicinal Cannabis (REPROCANN), his repeated statements on the legalization of adult-use marijuana, and his progressive view of the issue.
A ruling has finally been made in the case of a 63-year-old Maltese man who was charged with cultivating 0.02 grams of cannabis in 2001.
Eugenio Camenzuli was handed a suspended sentence and, as long as he does not re-offend, will not face any prison time.
According to Malta Today, during the first sitting of the case in 2006, Camenzuli faced six months in prison and a Lm200 ($684) fine, the minimum sentence for cultivating cannabis.
Camenzuli allegedly planted three cannabis seeds but tossed them out of his window when police arrived at his home.
According to Lovin Malta, police took 18 months to arraign Camenzuli, and another seven years passed before he received the six-month sentence. Camenzuli then appealed that decision and it took 11 years before the Criminal Appeals Court heard the case.
Firearms remain out-of-reach for medical cannabis patients and recreational users, even if your state has legalized cannabis for either purpose.
Technically, if you own a firearm and use marijuana for recreational or medical purposes, you are in violation of federal law. It is unlawful for an unauthorized user of a controlled substance, including marijuana, to possess, ship, transport, or receive firearms or ammunition. It is also unlawful to sell a firearm or ammunition to any person if the seller knows or has reasonable cause to believe that such person is an unlawful user of marijuana. In this context, unlawful use is based on federal law. Therefore, any person who uses marijuana, even if legal under state law, is prohibited from possessing or purchasing firearms or ammunition.
This prohibition does not apply to users of hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) or hemp products because these are not controlled substances for purposes of federal law, thanks to the 2018 Agricultural Improvement Act, known as the 2018 Farm Bill.
In order to purchase a firearm from a federally licensed dealer, an individual must complete Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) Form 4473, which asks if you are an “unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana,” and includes a warning that the recreational and medical use of cannabis under state law does not alter the federal Controlled Substances Act which makes it illegal to possess, manufacture, or distribute marijuana. It is a separate crime to lie about your marijuana use on the form. You can also be subject to heightened criminal penalties if found in possession of a firearm and marijuana at the same time.
If you are a medical marijuana user, it may be possible for law enforcement to obtain this information from a medical marijuana patient registry or state database to confirm your use of marijuana. Several states, including Maryland, have tried to protect medical marijuana patients by preventing state police from accessing the medical cannabis patient registry to verify whether a firearm applicant uses medical marijuana. However, some states, like Hawaii, explicitly grant law enforcement access to the state’s medical cannabis patient registry to evaluate whether an individual can legally possess a firearm.
Several Wisconsin leaders announcing a bill to fully legalize cannabis in the state Tuesday.
The bill would make recreational use legal for adults, and would be taxed similar to how alcohol is taxed in the state.
The bill would also allow people to grow cannabis plants at home.
Madison senator Melissa Agard says legalization could bring the state $165 million a year or more in tax revenue.
"It is time for Wisconsin to do what we need to do to realize that prohibition has failed our state and it is past time to get this done for our community," Agard said.
Rep. Tom McClintock doesn’t approve of marijuana use.
He sees “clear evidence” its use can cause neurological problems in children.
He’s a reliable Republican, conservative vote in Congress.
Yet he’s one of the few congressional Republicans who for years has consistently called for easing federal restrictions on the drug’s use.
“He has the best record on the marijuana issue of any Republican congressman in California,” said Dale Gieringer, California NORML director.
The 14 people who will oversee Alabama’s new medical marijuana program will gather for the first time Thursday.
Ivey appointed Dr. William Saliski Jr., a pulmonologist from Montgomery; Sam Blakemore, a pharmacist at Children’s of Alabama hospital in Birmingham; and Dwight Gamble, a bank executive from Headland.
Ainsworth appointed Dr. Angela Martin, a pediatrician from Anniston; Dr. Eric Jensen, a biochemist from Brownsboro; and Loree Skelton, a healthcare lawyer from Birmingham.
McCutcheon appointed Rex Vaughn, a Madison County farmer and north region vice president for the Alabama Farmers Federation; and Charles Price, a retired circuit judge from Montgomery.
Reed appointed Dr. Steven Stokes, a radiation oncologist from Dothan; and Taylor Hatchett of Boozer Farms in Chilton County.
Markland Allison, a Rastafarian resident of Mitchell’s Hill in Rock River, Clarendon, has strong views regarding the opening up of the ganja industry in Jamaica.
Jamaicans are encouraged to take advantage of the wealth that can be earned by entering the estimated US$42 billion industry – however, for Allison, it is just a pipe dream for the ordinary folks and Rastafarians.
Asking for a fair chance for Rastafarians across the country, he said his observation is that “classism in Jamaica is worse than racism in America”.
“The black man in America is being pressured in a certain way … we have certain class privilege in Jamaica just like how we have white privilege in Jamaica,” Allison noted, as he stated that people of a certain class are treated a particular way in Jamaica.
Allison, who shared with The Gleaner that he made the deliberate decision to remain in his community in order to create a positive impact amid the brain drain, said he has little hopes of getting a foothold in the ganja industry.
Cincinnati officials voted two years ago to expunge minor marijuana offenses, but so far, no cases seem to have been sealed due to the ordinance.
Cincinnati officials voted two years ago to expunge minor, nonviolent marijuana offenses, but so far, none of the nearly 14,000 cases that could be eligible seem to have been sealed due to the ordinance.
"As far as I know, they still haven't done anything," said Chris Jones, director of the Appellate Division for the Hamilton County Public Defenders. "I haven't seen any movement."
She says expungement laws expanded more than 10 years ago, but many people still don't know their old marijuana tickets are eligible to be sealed. That's part of the reason the ordinance was initially proposed.
It was passed by council in September 2019 and called on city officials to allocate money for a full-time position so people could be identified and notified of their expungement eligibility . .Requirements for expungement include having less than 100 grams of marijuana and being involved in a nonviolent offense.
The most sought-after marijuana being trafficked across the U.S.-Mexico border is now the weed entering Mexico, not the weed leaving it.
Cannabis sold legally in California is heading south illegally, dominating a booming boutique market across Mexico, where buying and selling the drug is still outlawed. Mexican dealers flaunt their U.S. products, noting them in bold lettering on menus sent to select clients: "IMPORTADO."
Traffickers from California load their suitcases with U.S.-grown marijuana before hopping on planes to Mexico, or walking across the pedestrian border crossing into Tijuana. One car was recently stopped entering Tijuana with 5,600 jars of gummies infused with THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. But relatively few of the southbound traffickers are caught -- even as their contraband doubles or triples in value as soon as it enters Mexico.
"The demand here for American weed has exploded," said one dealer in Mexico City, who estimated that 60% of the marijuana he sells now comes from California. The dealer spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of arrest. "It's aspirational for many of my clients. They want to be seen smoking the best stuff, the stuff rappers brag about smoking."
Over nearly a century, the U.S. spent billions of dollars combating drug trafficking from Mexico -- and for many years marijuana was at the center of that effort. The strains smoked by American actors and rock stars pointed to Mexico's geography: Acapulco Gold, Michoacan Cream, Jarilla Sinaloa.
With five months until Montana’s adult-use marijuana market opens up, municipalities from Kalispell to Billings are figuring out what legal cannabis will look like in their communities.
Voters legalized general-use cannabis for adults last November and the Legislature sorted out additional details during its session this spring. It’s now up to municipalities to figure out things like which zoning districts dispensaries will be allowed in and whether legal marijuana will be subject to local option sales taxes. Some parts of the state, like Billings, are also considering prohibiting general-use cannabis altogether.
House Bill 701, the primary implementation law passed by state lawmakers this year to set up a framework for marijuana legalization, calls for a 20% state tax on all non-medical cannabis sold in the state, and also allows local voters to tack on an extra 3% municipal tax. Recently, Missoula County decided to let voters decide in November whether they would add that extra tax. Commissioner Josh Slotnick said the money raised from the tax, which the city and county would split, would go toward property tax relief and affordable housing programs.
Slotnick also said Missoula County is looking at how it might deal with an increase in cannabis grow operations and how that will fit with the county’s goal of not using electricity from fossil fuels by 2030. Indoor grow operations require a lot of energy, and Slotnick said the county will eventually want to do something to keep that in check. One possibility is applying the county’s cryptocurrency zoning regulations to cannabis. Earlier this year, Missoula County became one of the first in the country to require cryptocurrency mining operations to generate their own renewable energy. Slotnick said it was too early to know if the county would expand that to cannabis growers, but said it was a possibility.
Up north in the Flathead Valley, Kalispell is also looking at how it will zone cannabis operations. Presently, Kalispell does not allow any dispensaries within its city limits, a provision dating back to the legalization of medical marijuana. City Manager Doug Russell said that with passage of general-use marijuana, the city believes that continuing that prohibition would be illegal. Presently, city staff are drafting an ordinance to roll back that prohibition and set guidelines for where dispensaries can be located in the city.
The 2021 Tokyo games is the first Olympics in which athletes are permitted to use CBD, a non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis plants.
This year, some of the greatest athletes in the world, including Megan Rapinoe (women’s soccer) and Devon Allen (men’s track and field) have trained using CBD products to boost their athletic performance, thanks to a change in the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) policies that removed CBD from the prohibited substances list.
The use of marijuana (AKA all products containing the psychoactive compound THC) is still prohibited.
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) pulled CBD from its prohibited substances list in 2017. That change did not go into effect until January 1, 2018, though, and there was no time for athletes to incorporate CBD use into training before the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.
Very little research has been conducted on CBD, but users generally report feeling more relaxed after using this cannabis compound, without experiencing the psychoactive effects or “high” that THC induces.
Despite making permanent such pandemic-era innovations as “beer to go,” Florida lawmakers haven't acted to codify a recently expired policy allowing medical marijuana patients to renew their certifications virtually.
With the state's nearly 600,000 patients now required to visit a doctor in-person for recertification, pressure is mounting for the legislature to act during its 2022 regular session.
The policy allowing telemedicine to be used for medical marijuana patient recertification was promulgated by an executive order signed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis at the start of the pandemic. The order expired June 26, nearly two months after the end of this year's regular legislative session.
Measures to expand telemedicine were considered, but making the medical marijuana telemedicine policy permanent wasn't in the offing.
"We've grown accustomed to this virtual world that we live in, and a lot of these things make things easier," said Taylor Biehl of the Medical Marijuana Business Association of Florida, a lobby group pushing for easier access to the drug.
CNBC reports that governmental behavior is being noticed in the judicial branch. The focus is upon comments of Justice Clarence Thomas of the United States Supreme Court. Over the years, he has been derided by the press, largely for not asking questions during oral arguments. But, appointed in 1991, Justice Thomas is the senior member of this court, and he brings an interesting perspective to things. His writing was most recently here in Near Unanimity, Untethered (June 2021), an advocacy for standards and principles to guide the law. His special concurrence described in Toto, We're Not in Kansas Anymore (March 2020) regarding federal preemption is also worthy of note.
The recent CNBC article focuses upon Thomas' comments regarding Gonzales v. Raich, 545 US 1 (2005). There, the Court concluded that federal law regarding marijuana could be enforced despite contrary state laws. One might expect the case to be heavy with Supremacy Clause discussion, but it is all about interstate commerce. The Court's decision in Wickard v. Fillburn plays predominantly in the analysis. Wickard is the foundation of the Court's conclusions regarding modern interpretation of the Interstate Commerce Clause, and has its share of critics. It is foundational to the Court's conclusion that your government can compel you to purchase products or services you do not desire. See NFIB v. Sebelius, 567 U.S. 519 (2012).
CNBC's analysis of the comments regarding Raich are presented in parallel with a recent decision by the Court not to hear a case regarding tax deductions claimed by marijuana businesses in Colorado. The discussion regards whether Justice Thomas' perspectives might signal coming change in the court's perspective on marijuana. Justice Thomas was seen as critical of the inconsistent state laws regarding the production, possession, and sale of pot. He suggested that
“A prohibition on interstate use or cultivation of marijuana may no longer be necessary or proper to support the federal government's piecemeal approach,”
Note that this suggests interstate commerce as did Wickard and Raich. Justice Thomas was critical of the federal law regarding marijuana. Included is the clear and definitive "marihuana is illegal" that comes from its listing in Schedule I by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). Inclusion on that list, by definition, means that a substance (pot) is a "drug() with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. " Thus, the very term "Medical Marijuana" may be an oxymoron. (2015).
A recent lawsuit filed against the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA) claims that the organization did not make its meeting agenda available to the public, which violated a state law known as the Oklahoma Open Meeting Act.
The lawsuit is led by Tulsa-based attorney Ron Durbin of Durbin Law – Viridian, who spoke at a rally at the Oklahoma State Capitol in Oklahoma City on July 30. “One of the main reasons I’m here today is, we filed a new lawsuit against the OMMA, against Director Williams, against her secretary, against a lot of the new members of the board of health and the food safety standard board,” Durbin said.
Approximately 100 people attended the rally, according to Fox 25. “We don’t want to do this; this is ridiculous that we have to continue to do this stuff, but if they keep forcing our hand, we’re going to keep doing it.”
Oklahoma Being Sued for “Sneaky” Rule-making
The lawsuit claims that new, emergency rules for the industry, which went into effect on July 1, were agreed upon without making the community properly aware.
The lawsuit states that the OMMA violated the Oklahoma Open Meeting Act, which requires that all state meetings (such as local boards, commissions and all other groups) must be open to the public, and must post an agenda regarding topics of discussion. According to Durbin, the OMMA violated this law.
As much as I loathe playing pundit, I am often asked by journalists, legislators and business leaders: Will cannabis be legalized this year? Until recently, I was telling people the chances were slim to none. But something has changed recently—and the building momentum feels like Colorado in 2014.
At that point, I was the newly minted cannabis czar, appointed by then-Governor John Hickenlooper to oversee the establishment of the nation's first legal cannabis market. Since then, I have advised and consulted with 19 different governments on implementing legal cannabis frameworks—there is something about this moment that feels like legalization is just around the corner. As of 2021, 18 states and Washington, D.C., have legalized adult-use cannabis, and an astounding 36 states and D.C. have legalized cannabis for medical use. In the last 12 months, 10 states have approved cannabis measures—ranging from full legalization in New York to decriminalization in Alabama.
Momentum is building for legalization, both in the raw numbers of states but also in broad, bipartisan public support. Multiple polls released this year show a majority of Americans support adult-use cannabis and an even larger majority support cannabis for medical use. Even in deep-red states like South Dakota, 54 percent of voters approved legalizing cannabis at the ballot box. But like in South Dakota, where resistance from the governor has slowed implementation of a legal cannabis market, support for legalization in the nation's capital has lagged that of the public. The tide is shifting, however, and Democrats and Republicans in Congress are no doubt taking note.
Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), joined by Senators Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), speak at a press conference on introducing legislation to end federal cannabis prohibition on July 14, 2021.KEVIN DIETSCH/GETTY IMAGES
Recently, the greatly anticipated draft "trio bill"—aptly nicknamed for the three-way cannabis reform effort by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Senate Finance Chairman Ron Wyden (D-Ore,) and Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.)—was revealed, intended to spur discussion before a formal bill is introduced. With broad public support and both parties introducing bills to establish legal cannabis at the federal level, cannabis legalization is surely on the horizon.