Wall Street Journal, 07 Apr 2021 - PUERTO CACHICAMO, Colombia-The pandemic closed the only school in this remote hamlet, long a stronghold for Marxist guerrillas. With no internet connection for virtual classes, 16-year-old Danna Montilla told her family she was leaving to find work, but instead authorities say she joined a narco-trafficking rebel group. Last month, Colombia's military bombarded the group's jungle camp, killing Danna, another underage girl and 10 others. Residents here said her death underscored a grim reality: Armed gangs have found fresh recruits from an ample pool of youths who, like Danna, have been out of school because of the coronavirus pandemic.
New York Times, 01 Apr 2021 - After years of stalled attempts, New York State has legalized the use of recreational marijuana, enacting a robust program that will reinvest millions of dollars of tax revenues from cannabis in minority communities ravaged by the decades-long war on drugs. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed the cannabis legislation on Wednesday, a day after the State Legislature passed the bill following hours of debate among lawmakers in Albany.
New York Times, 01 Apr 2021 - PHOENIX - When Arizonans voted to legalize recreational cannabis in November, it seemed plausible that sales would begin sometime in the spring. But on Jan. 22, less than three months after the vote, the Arizona Department of Health Services started quickly approving applications, allowing dispensaries to sell cannabis to adults 21 and older immediately.
New York Times, 26 Mar 2021 - State lawmakers finalized a deal on Thursday to legalize recreational marijuana in New York, paving the way for a potential $4.2 billion industry that could create tens of thousands of jobs and become one of the largest markets in the country. Following several failed attempts, lawmakers in Albany struck an agreement with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to legalize cannabis for adults 21 and older, a move that officials hope will help end years of racially disproportionate policing that saw Black and Hispanic people arrested on low-level marijuana charges far more frequently than white people.
New York Times, 23 Mar 2021 - For years, Harry B. Lebowitz spent the cocktail hour at his home in Delray Beach, Fla., sitting in his backyard overlooking a lake and smoking a joint while his partner relaxed with her vodka and club soda. Mr. Lebowitz, 69, a mostly retired businessman, qualified for a state medical marijuana card because he suffered from anxiety, sleep apnea and back pain. He credits cannabis with helping to wean him off several prescription drugs.
New York Times, 21 Mar 2021 - Gov. Kate Brown of Oregon announced the members of the state's newly formed Psilocybin Advisory Board this week. Why does Oregon need an official board to offer advice about the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, you ask? Because Oregon is about to become the first state in the country to try to build a support infrastructure through which psychedelic mushrooms can be woven into everyday life. This framework is different from what we've seen before: not legalization, not medicalization, but therapeutic use, in licensed facilities, under the guidance of professionals trained to guide psychedelic experiences. Whoa. "Like many, I was initially skeptical when I first heard of Measure 109," Brown said in a statement. "But if we can help people suffering from PTSD, depression, trauma and addiction - including veterans, cancer patients, and others - supervised psilocybin therapy is a treatment worthy of further consideration."
New York Times, 20 Mar 2021 - WASHINGTON - In February, the Biden administration signaled that past marijuana use would not necessarily disqualify a person from employment by relaxing longstanding policies that have barred some past users of the drug from working in the White House. The change was seen as a way to open the door for younger talent from parts of the country where marijuana has been legalized, but it took only a few weeks for the new guidelines to be publicly tested.
New York Times, 13 Mar 2021 - MEXICO CITY - Mexico, a country carved up by cartels for decades, is poised to take a major step in drug policy. This week, the lower house of Congress approved a landmark bill to legalize recreational marijuana, which would make it the world's largest legal market for the drug. With legalization considered all but certain to win Senate and presidential approval, many in the business world are predicting a Mexican green boom: a newly legal industry providing tens of thousands of jobs, millions of dollars in profit for savvy entrepreneurs and welcome tax revenue for the government.
New York Times, 09 Mar 2021 - Dan Shapiro was the first person I knew to use medical marijuana. As a junior at Vassar College in 1987, he was being treated for Hodgkin's lymphoma with potent chemotherapy that caused severe nausea and vomiting. When Dan's mother learned that smoking marijuana could relieve the distressing side effect, to help her son, this otherwise law-abiding woman planted a garden full of the illegal weed in her Connecticut back yard. Decades later, marijuana as medicine has become a national phenomenon, widely accepted by the public. Although the chemical-rich plant botanically known as Cannabis sativa remains a federally controlled substance, its therapeutic use is now legal in 36 states and the District of Columbia.
New York Times, 01 Mar 2021 - Texas has one of the most restrictive medical marijuana laws in the country, with sales allowed only by prescription for a handful of conditions. That hasn't stopped Lukas Gilkey, chief executive of Hometown Hero CBD, based in Austin, Texas. His company sells joints, blunts, gummy bears, vaping devices and tinctures that offer a recreational high. In fact, business is booming online as well, where he sells to many people in other states with strict marijuana laws.
Wall Street Journal, 17 Feb 2021 - ALBANY, N.Y.-New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday that he would amend his proposal to regulate and tax recreational marijuana in hopes that the drug could be legalized as part of the state budget due by April 1. The amended proposal would allow for delivery services and reduce the penalty for people who unlawfully sell marijuana to a person under the age of 21. It would also add specificity to a social-equity fund that the Democratic governor said would help revitalize communities that have been most harmed by the war on drugs. He said the amendments reflected conversations with lawmakers.
Wall Street Journal, 17 Feb 2021 - Voters in four states last year approved the recreational use of marijuana. That is likely to launch a land rush there for warehouses and retail properties. Similar measures in other states have sparked heated competition for these types of real estate. Owners have been able to charge as much as three times market rates when selling or renting to businesses involved in the cultivation, distribution, processing or sale of cannabis, according to brokers, landlords and cannabis industry executives.
Washington Post, 31 Jan 2021 - Jason White has created dazzling advertising and marketing campaigns for Nike and Disney, the World Cup and Olympic Games, to name a few. But when the Georgetown alumnus told his parents he was exiting Apple-owned Beats by Dre for the cannabis industry, the announcement landed with a thud. "What they heard was, 'You're going to sell weed,' " the 44-year-old said, laughing. White is now chief marketing officer at Curaleaf Holdings Inc., which says it is the world's largest provider (by revenue) of legal medical and recreational cannabis. While some liken legal pot to a gold rush, White - who is African American and Cuban - talks of repairing communities harmed by the war on drugs. "Some are very wary of cannabis, having seen people arrested and their voting rights taken away," he says. "But as cannabis has become more mainstream, others don't see harm, but opportunity. I want to use this platform to help improve society."
New York Times, 31 Jan 2021 - For decades, nitrous oxide has been widespread at raves and music festivals, used as a quick buzz. The drug doesn't have the death toll of the opiate disaster or the widespread popularity of marijuana, but it's widely sold - legally - all over the country, though its consumption outside medical facilities is illegal in many states. But the inhalant's use and misuse seems to be on the rise, fueled by the stress and isolation of the coronavirus pandemic. It's also in the spotlight this week after the death of Tony Hsieh at 46, the former chief executive of the online shoe empire Zappos, in a house fire in November.