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Archive for the ‘marijuana’ tag

Cook County Voters Give Firm Yes on Legalizing Recreational Marijuana

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Non binding referendum still progress
Non binding referendum, still, progress

Legalize Marijuana Cook County
Legalize Marijuana: Cook County

Cook County’s 2018 primary ballot contained a non-binding referendum to legalize marijuana statewide. Of course, as you’d expect, it passed. By a greater than 2 to 1 margin.

Cook County voters on Tuesday voted in favor of legalizing recreational marijuana use in Illinois, according to unofficial results.

County commissioners voted unanimously last December to put the question on the primary ballot. The state Senate earlier this month passed a measure to put the question on ballots for statewide voters in November, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The full question on primary election ballots read as follows: “Shall the State of Illinois legalize the cultivation, manufacture, distribution, testing, and sale of marijuana and marijuana products for recreational use by adults 21 and older subject to state regulation, taxation and local ordinance?”

Supporters of legalization point to the increased tax revenue that has come with legalization, taxation and regulation in other states. Opponents often have concerns about social costs and the fact that marijuana use would remain illegal under federal law.

Recreational marijuana is currently legal in Colorado, Washington, Alaska, Nevada, Oregon, Massachusetts, Maine, Vermont and California. All but Vermont passed the laws in binding ballot questions between 2012 and 2016.

(click here to continue reading Cook County Voters Give Firm Answer on Legalizing Recreational Marijuana – NBC Chicago.)

Somehow CO, WA, AK, NV, OR, MA, ME, VT, and CA don’t seem like they are turning into chaotic, failed states. In fact, these states are all doing pretty well all things considered.

JB Pritzker Wants to legalize and tax marijuana
JB Pritzker Wants to legalize and tax marijuana

Oh, and the winner of the Democratic primary for Governor of Illinois, JB Pritzker, sent flyers announcing his position last week. Interesting. The current witless doofus occupying the governor’s mansion, Bruce Rauner, is very tepid, at best, in support for cannabis reform: he didn’t want medical marijuana either.

Tina Sfondeles wrote, back in December, 2017:

Gov. Bruce Rauner is taking a blunt stance, telling a Downstate TV station that it would be a “mistake” to legalize marijuana in Illinois.

The Republican governor has, in the past, said he wants more studies on the “ramifications” in states that have legalized the drug. On Wednesday, he took it further.

“I do not support legalizing marijuana. I think that’s a mistake. You know there’s a massive, human experiment going on in Colorado, and California, other places. We should see how that’s impacted lives and addiction and hurt young people before we make any decision about it here,” Rauner said in an interview on WSIL in Marion. “I do not support legalizing marijuana.”

In April, the governor called recreational marijuana “a very, very difficult subject.” He said he wouldn’t support legalizing marijuana unless there’s a study of the “ramifications” in states that have legalized the drug.

(click here to continue reading Gov. Rauner not high on legalizing marijuana: ‘That’s a mistake’ | Chicago Sun-Times.)

Written by Seth Anderson

March 21st, 2018 at 7:37 am

The Rabbis Are Here to Inspect the (Legal) Weed

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Kosher cannabis? Why not? Every company wants a competitive advantage, a way to stand out in a crowded marketplace that is rapidly becoming more crowded. But being certified kosher is more complex to verify than I thought…

Truck full of Cannabis
Truck full of Cannabis

JOHNSTOWN, N.Y. — The rabbis had never inspected a medical marijuana plant before.

They had arrived here at Vireo Health of New York’s plant, about an hour northwest of Albany, looking for evidence that the company’s products merited kosher certification. They would eventually give their approval, but not before asking some tough questions, beginning in the room where row after row of plants hung upside down to dry.

“This is where they start getting worried,” recalled Ari Hoffnung, the company’s chief executive, because the kosher rules they were most focused on apply after a plant is dried.

Vireo, a subsidiary of Vireo Health, is one of at least two companies aiming to sell kosher medical marijuana products like tinctures or cannabis oil. The Orthodox Union, one of the United States’ most prominent Jewish groups, gave its first medical marijuana certification to Vireo in January. Another company, Cresco Labs in Illinois, is in the final stages of getting certified from a local rabbinical organization.

Smoking marijuana by itself isn’t an issue — at least not from a kosher dietary standpoint — since the rules are intended for food and drinks. Products ingested in some way, on the other hand, are another story.

Ingredients must not come into contact with forbidden foods, like pigs or insects, and the restrictions extend all the way down the supply chain.

Every ingredient in a marijuana brownie, for example, needs to be kosher. The leaves, if eaten, would need to come from a bug-free plant. Marijuana gelcaps cannot be made out of pig gelatin. There are also rules for the equipment that processes kosher food. Vireo’s products that have been certified by the Orthodox Union can have the recognizable “OU” stamp on their packaging, and must submit to periodic inspections from the group’s rabbis.

“We literally took them through every square inch of the facility,” said David Ellis, the executive vice president of operations at Cresco Labs. The Chicago Rabbinical Council visited Cresco in March and said it was in the final stages of issuing a kosher certification that will cover everything from chocolate bars to concentrates.

Representatives of the Orthodox Union and the Chicago Rabbinical Council, which inspected Cresco, said that the idea of kosher medical marijuana had stirred much internal debate, and that they would certify only medical marijuana and not products intended for the recreational market.

Deciding to go forward with the certification process “wasn’t an easy decision,” said Rabbi Moshe Elefant, the chief operating officer at the Orthodox Union’s kosher division.

But Rabbi Sholem Fishbane, the administrator of kosher laws for the Chicago Rabbinical Council, said he now expected to get more calls.

“What I thought would be, you know, maybe I’ll call it an amusing afternoon,” he said about the inspection, “really turned out to be a lot of lessons of Kosher 101.”

(click here to continue reading The Rabbis Are Here to Inspect the (Legal) Weed – The New York Times.)

The Green Doctors Are In
The Green Doctors Are In

Written by Seth Anderson

May 11th, 2016 at 10:14 am

Marijuana Legalization in Colorado Leads to First ‘Weedery’ – The New York Times

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Grove’s Tasteless Chill Tonic

Earlier today…

Wineries and breweries should brace themselves for some unusual competition. Colorado, which legalized marijuana for recreational use in 2012, will get its first “weedery” in early 2016. The $35 million project, Colorado Cannabis Ranch and Amphitheater, the brainchild of Christian Hageseth, is set to open in Denver. Its greenhouses represent a major shift because producers have largely cultivated marijuana indoors; there will also be a performance space, a restaurant, a rooftop bar, a gift shop and, of course, a marijuana dispensary. Mr. Hageseth, who founded the Green Man Cannabis marijuana company and chronicled his adventures in the medical and legal marijuana business in the book “Big Weed,” says he enjoys his own product but shatters stereotypes.

Via:
Marijuana Legalization in Colorado Leads to First ‘Weedery’ – The New York Times
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Written by eggplant

August 15th, 2015 at 10:29 am

Posted in Links

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Marijuana policy should be based on fact, not on Susan Shapiro’s self-serving narrative

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High Voltage Grass
High Voltage Grass.

Susan Shapiro claims to have been a cannabis addict for decades, and has turned this former addiction into a career, including books, articles and so on. 

For instance, the Chicago Tribune published this bit of op-ed agit-prop today:

I know the dark side. I’m ambivalent about legalizing marijuana because I was addicted for 27 years. After starting to smoke weed at Bob Dylan concerts when I was 13, I saw how it can make you say and do things that are provocative and perilous. I bought pot in bad neighborhoods at 3 a.m., confronted a dealer for selling me a dime bag of oregano, let shady pushers I barely knew deliver marijuana, like pizza, to my home. I mailed weed to my vacation spots and smoked a cocaine-laced joint a bus driver offered when I was his only passenger.

(click here to continue reading So you think marijuana isn’t addictive – Chicago Tribune.)

Here’s the thing: I don’t doubt Ms. Shapiro had a problem with addiction; I don’t doubt her anecdotes, but I’m skeptical that this reefer madness essay should be the underpinning of national anti-drug policy. Especially since so many of her citations don’t hold up to even the quickest of fact-checks.

Cut Rate Liquors and Real Drugs
Cut Rate Liquors and Real Drugs

I was going to point out flaws in her argument, but in the beginning stages of researching, discovered instead a rebuttal by Paul Armentano, published in the LA Times.1

 Mr. Armentano make points such as:

Many of Shapiro’s claims regarding pot’s risk potential are unsupported by the scientific literature. For instance, she expresses concerns that some cannabis products possess greater THC content today than in the past while ignoring the reality that most consumers regulate their intake accordingly. (When consuming more potent pot, most consumers typically ingest lesser quantities.) Further, THC itself is a comparatively nontoxic substance, having been approved as a medicine by the Food and Drug Administration in 1986 and descheduled by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in 1999 (to a Class 3 drug from a Class 2) because of its stellar safety record. 

The author further asserts that cannabis “contributes” to 12% of traffic fatalities in the United States. But the purported source of this claim alleges nothing of the sort. In fact, the study in question solely assessed the prevalence of cannabis or its inert metabolites in injured drivers. (These metabolites, the authors state, may linger in the blood for up to a week following ingestion and should not be presumed to be a measurement of drug impairment.) The study’s authors make no claims in regard to whether these drivers were under the influence of pot or whether their driving behavior was responsible for an accident.

Further, studies evaluating whether marijuana-positive drivers are more likely to be culpable in traffic accidents find that the plant typically plays little role in auto fatalities. According to a 2012 review paper of 66 studies assessing drug-positive drivers and crash risk, marijuana-positive drivers possessed an odds-adjusted risk of traffic injury of 1.10 and an odds-adjusted risk of fatal accident of 1.26. This risk level was among the lowest of any drugs assessed by the study’s author and it was comparable to the odds ratio associated with penicillin (1.12), antihistamines (1.12) and antidepressants (1.35). By contrast, a 2013 study published in the journal Injury Prevention reported that drivers with a blood alcohol content of 0.01% were “46% more likely to be officially blamed for a crash than are the sober drivers they collide with.”

 

(click here to continue reading Marijuana policy should be based on fact, not on an ex-pothead’s experience – LA Times.)

or on the IQ question:

Shapiro also repeats the specious claim that cannabis use lowers intelligence quotient. But a review of a highly publicized 2012 study purporting to link adolescent pot use to lower IQ later in life determined that once economic variables were factored into the assessment, cannabis’ actual effect was likely to be “zero.” The findings of a previous longitudinal study from Canada that tracked the IQs of a group of marijuana users and non-users from birth similarly concluded, “Marijuana does not have a long-term negative impact on global intelligence.”

One other minor point: even in Shapiro’s anecdotes, one gets the sense that if our national drug laws were more sane, she wouldn’t have to go to shady neighborhoods in the wee hours of the night to score, instead she could have just bought something that wasn’t oregano at her local organic cannabis dispensary.

Footnotes:
  1. I wonder if the Chicago Tribune plans on running the rebuttal in tomorrow’s paper? Probably not []

Written by Seth Anderson

January 8th, 2015 at 10:27 am

Posted in government,health

Tagged with , ,

Illinois Senate approves bill to legalize medical marijuana

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Venice Beach Physicians
Venice Beach Physicians

Welcome to the 21st century, Illinois! Of course, there won’t be a place like Venice Beach anywhere in Chicago, at least for a few years…

Illinois has come within a signature of becoming the 19th state to allow marijuana use for medical purposes.

On Friday, the state Senate voted 35-21 to approve a medical marijuana measure, which now will head for Gov. Pat Quinn’s desk.

Eighteen states and Washington, D.C., have decriminalized marijuana use for medicinal purposes. California did so in 1996, when the state’s voters approved Proposition 215.

 

(click here to continue reading Illinois Senate approves bill to legalize medical marijuana – chicagotribune.com.)

Keith Richards Drug Free America
Keith Richards – Drug Free America

And the details:

Under the proposal, a four-year trial program would be created to allow doctors to prescribe patients no more than 2.5 ounces of marijuana every two weeks. To qualify, patients must have one of 42 serious or chronic conditions listed in the bill — including cancer, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma and HIV — and an established relationship with a doctor.

They would undergo fingerprinting and a criminal background check and would be issued a registration ID card. Marijuana use would be banned in public, in vehicles, around minors and near school grounds. Property owners would have the ability to ban marijuana use on their grounds.

Patients could not legally grow marijuana, and would have to buy it from one of 60 dispensing centers across Illinois. The state would license 22 growers, one for every state police district.

If Pat Quinn wants to be re-elected, he should sign this bill quickly.

Written by Seth Anderson

May 18th, 2013 at 7:49 am

Posted in government,health

Tagged with ,

Reefer Roadshow Asks Seniors to Support Medical Pot

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Big Pot of Smiley Faces
Big Pot of Smiley Faces

Seems like a smart strategy, actually. A lot of older people have only heard anti-marijuana propaganda, so are fearful of the reefer madness. Once they are educated as to the realities of cannabis consumption, they would be much less vehemently opposed to decriminalization.

LAKE WORTH, Fla.—Selma Yeshion, an 83-year-old retiree here, says she long considered marijuana a menace. “I thought it was something that was addictive” and “would lead to harder drugs,” she says.

Then she attended a presentation at the local L’Dor Va-Dor synagogue in April put on by a group called the Silver Tour. The group aims to persuade seniors to support legislation to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes in Florida. A series of speakers, including a doctor, a patient and several advocates, argued that pot was just what the silver-haired set needed to combat conditions like chronic pain and insomnia.

 Ms. Yeshion was sold. “I want to get some cannabis,” she said afterward, with a big smile. “I have pain in my back, so it would be nice. Damn it to hell, I want to try it once in my lifetime.”

Count one more convert for the Silver Tour, which has been delivering its pot pitch at retirement communities and places of worship around the state.

Robert Platshorn, 69 years old, decided to focus on his fellow seniors—a group that isn’t exactly high on the idea of medical marijuana. People who are 65 and older helped sink a 2010 ballot initiative to legalize pot in California, voting 66% against it, more than any other age group, according to exit polls.

“Nobody in the marijuana movement is talking to seniors,” Mr. Platshorn says. Yet “seniors are the only damn people that go to the polls.” In Florida, people 65 and older represent 24% of eligible voters compared with 18% nationally, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of census data.

Seventeen states and the District of Columbia have enacted laws to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes, says Allen St. Pierre, executive director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, an advocacy group. Six more states debated legalization bills in legislative sessions this year, he says.

According to a 1999 study by the Institute of Medicine commissioned by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, cannabis can potentially help with pain relief, nausea reduction and appetite stimulation, among other things. The study also noted that possible adverse effects include diminished motor skills and dysphoria, or unpleasant feelings.

(click here to continue reading Joint Effort: Reefer Roadshow Asks Seniors to Support Medical Pot – WSJ.com.)

KAM Isaiah Israel
KAM Isaiah Israel

and this made me giggle:

Barry Silver, the congregation’s wisecracking rabbi, told the audience that his board was a little nervous about having a group promote medical marijuana at the synagogue. “Don’t worry about it,” he says he replied. “Why do you think the holiest day of the year is the High Holy Day?”

 

Written by Seth Anderson

May 29th, 2012 at 12:02 pm

Posted in health,News-esque

Tagged with ,

I’ll Miss Barney Frank

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Might Be Truth
Might Be Truth

I hope Barney Frank continues to be in the public eye after he retires from Congress, his wit is keen.

Andrew Goldman interviews Mr. Frank in the NYT Magazine:

AG: You’ve long argued for the decriminalization of marijuana. Do you smoke weed?

No.

AG: Why not?

Why do you ask a question, then act surprised when I give an answer? Do you think I lie to people?

AG: I thought you might explain why you support decriminalizing it but don’t smoke it.

Do you think I’ve ever had an abortion? I don’t play poker on the Internet, either.

(click here to continue reading The Not-So-Retiring Barney Frank – NYTimes.com.)

 

Written by Seth Anderson

January 22nd, 2012 at 9:08 am

Posted in humor,politics

Tagged with ,

Reading Around on October 5th through October 6th

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A few interesting links collected October 5th through October 6th:

  • Why I give marijuana to my autistic child. – Last spring, I wrote about applying for a medical marijuana license for my autistic, allergic 9-year-old son, J., in hopes of soothing his gut pain and anxiety, the roots of the behavioral demons that caused him to lash out at others and himself. After reading studies of how cannabis can ease pain and worry, and in consultation with his doctor, we decided to give it a try
  • Teen-Age Dope Slaves

    Teen-Age Dope Slaves

  • Have You Gotten Your Google Wave Invite? – Google Wave – Lifehacker – “So far the only people I know who’ve received their invites were people who were in the dev preview, people who were invited by someone at Google, and the rest of those who were part of the very early 100,000 invite pool. Which is to say, I don’t believe that anyone who’s been invited by another Wave user has gotten their invitation yet. I quickly sent out my Wave invites to my fellow Lifehacker editors as soon as I was in, but as of now none of them have received an invitation.”On a related note, I still have a couple unclaimed invites to Google Wave. I sent out several of the eight as soon as I signed up, but nobody has gotten their invite yet that I know of
  • iSinglePayer iPhone App Censored by Apple « LambdaJive – iSinglePayer available in the App Store Thanks everyone for raising this issue publicly. Over the weekend Apple approved iSinglePayer and it is now available for download in the Healthcare and Fitness section of the App Store. I am glad that the app got through, and I hope that Apple will not be rejecting any more applications because they are politically charged. Thanks again, all!

Written by swanksalot

October 6th, 2009 at 12:00 pm