New York Times, 17 Oct 2019 - At 74, the venture capitalist George Sarlo might not have seemed an obvious candidate for an ayahuasca experience. Mr. Sarlo, a Hungarian Jewish immigrant who arrived in the United States in 1956, has had great professional success as the co-founder of Walden Venture Capital. He lives in an upscale San Francisco neighborhood, in a large house with an unobstructed view of the Golden Gate Bridge. And yet something was always lacking. Mr. Sarlo's father had disappeared from their Budapest home in 1942. He had been drafted in a forced labor battalion, an experience he did not survive. At age 4, George had told himself that it was because he was "a bad boy" that his father had left that day, early in the morning, without saying goodbye. He believes that he never recovered from that early loss.
Wall Street Journal, 11 Oct 2019 - Doctors have linked a tragic wave of lung injuries and deaths to the vaping of tainted marijuana concentrates. The episode reveals the dangers created by the federal government's decadelong refusal to challenge state laws legalizing pot and promoting risky uses of its derivatives. The Obama administration announced in 2013 that it wouldn't enforce federal drug laws in states that had legalized pot use. The following year, Congress started attaching legislative riders to budget bills to prevent the Justice Department and other agencies from enforcing federal laws banning marijuana use in the 33 states that have made weed legal. The Trump administration has tried to reverse some of these policies. In 2018, then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded Obama administration guidance giving U.S. attorneys discretion not to enforce federal drug law in states that have legalized marijuana. But the White House has been reluctant to challenge popular state policies directly. As a result a large pot industry has bloomed in recent years, and a dangerous market in cannabis concentrates, such as the ones responsible for the vaping deaths, has proliferated.
Los Angeles Times, 01 Oct 2019 - SACRAMENTO - Three years after California legalized the sale of recreational marijuana, most voters want municipalities to permit pot shops in their communities even though the vast majority of cities have outlawed them, according to a UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies poll conducted for the Los Angeles Times. According to the poll, 68% of Californians say legalization has been a good thing for the state, an increase in support since 2016, when 57% of voters approved Proposition 64, which legalized growing, selling and possessing cannabis for recreational use. The poll results come as city and state leaders are battling in court and the Legislature over control of California's pot market, including a dispute over efforts by California lawmakers to force cities to open their doors to cannabis shops.
Wall Street Journal, 30 Sep 2019 - Pauline Nordin is a trainer, model and licensed nutritionist. Earlier this year, she replaced the frozen peas in her freezer with 2,000 cookies. The shortbread treats are laden with cannabis-the equivalent of about 1,500 joints. Ms. Nordin, 37 years old, says she can't recover from her punishing workouts without them. She eats two each night before turning in.
Los Angeles Times, 30 Sep 2019 - The Lowell Cafe is a new restaurant and bar in West Hollywood that will allow diners to smoke marijuana inside and out thanks to a new license issued by the city. It's slated to open Oct. 1 and when it does, it will be the first of its kind. If you're imagining a giant smoky room filled with bowls of weed, couches and lots of pizza, think again. Imagine instead a functional restaurant with servers, plus a special air-filtration system that sucks up and filters the smoke from people smoking weed, everywhere.
New York Times, 28 Sep 2019 - Several marijuana products have been identified as possible culprits in the mysterious epidemic of serious lung illnesses that has sickened more than 800 people who use vaping devices and e-cigarettes to inhale THC or nicotine, or both. Health officials said on Friday that the products include THC-filled vaping cartridges labeled "Dank Vapes," as well as some other illicit brands that people bought from friends or family or on the street.
Wall Street Journal, 28 Sep 2019 - More than three-quarters of people who have developed severe lung illness after vaping reported using THC-containing products, a new report found, as officials continue to piece together a picture of the mysterious disease. The new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 76.9% of the 514 patients studied used products containing THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, in the month preceding the onset of symptoms. More than half of the patients reported using nicotine-containing products, while 36% said they only used of products with THC and 16% reported exclusive use of nicotine-containing products.
New York Times, 26 Sep 2019 - SYDNEY, Australia - Australia's capital on Wednesday became the first jurisdiction in the country to legalize the recreational possession and cultivation of marijuana, a move that runs counter to federal laws that can carry prison terms for personal use of the drug. Passage of the measure, which came after months of debate over policy, legal and health issues, echoed efforts in the United States, where more than 10 states have legalized recreational use of marijuana even as it remains illegal under federal law.
New York Times, 15 Sep 2019 - BASRA, Iraq - Hussein Karim sold his three cars, he sold the land where he planned to build a house, and he spent his savings - several thousand dollars - all on his crystal meth habit. He is one of thousands of meth addicts in Iraq, a country where drug problems have been rare. But growing addiction here is the most recent manifestation of how the social order has frayed in the years following the American invasion in 2003.
New York Times, 13 Sep 2019 - Police officers can often justify a search with six words: "I smelled an odor of marijuana." Courts in New York have long ruled if a car smells like marijuana smoke, the police can search it - and, according to some judges, even the occupants - without a warrant.
Wall Street Journal, 13 Sep 2019 - CARPINTERIA, Calif.-On a recent sunny morning in this beach town near Santa Barbara, realtor Gary Goldberg ran into Das Williams on the street and raised a concern: A persistent skunky aroma had required him to knock $18,000 off the sale price of a condo. "It smelled like marijuana," said Mr. Goldberg, adding that buyers threatened to pull out because of the odor.
New York Times, 10 Sep 2019 - Since childhood, Rachael Petersen had lived with an unexplainable sense of grief that no drug or talk therapy could entirely ease. So in 2017 she volunteered for a small clinical trial at Johns Hopkins University that was testing psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, for chronic depression. "I was so depressed," Ms. Petersen, 29, said recently. "I felt that the world had abandoned me, that I'd lost the right to exist on this planet. Really, it was like my thoughts were so stuck, I felt isolated."
New York Times, 10 Sep 2019 - The announcement on Wednesday that Johns Hopkins Medicine was starting a new center to study psychedelic drugs for mental disorders was the latest chapter in a decades-long push by health nonprofits and wealthy donors to shake up psychiatry from the outside, bypassing the usual channels. "Psychiatry is one of the most conservative specialties in medicine," said David Nichols, a medicinal chemist who founded the Heffter Research Institute in 1993 to fund psychedelic research. "We haven't really had new drugs for years, and the drug industry has quit the field because they don't have new targets" in the brain. "The field was basically stagnant, and we needed to try something different."
Wall Street Journal, 05 Sep 2019 - In the cloudy world of travel with marijuana, what gets dispensed in Vegas should probably get smoked in Vegas. Marijuana tourism is booming here, as it has in Colorado, Oregon and elsewhere. But what's allowed and what's legal at airports and hotels can feel like a confounding set of contradictions.
Wall Street Journal, 04 Sep 2019 - Investment legend has it that the best money in the California gold rush was made selling picks and shovels. Fertilizer and real estate are equivalent bets on the volatile pot boom. Shareholders in cannabis stocks have lost money lately. Companies that "touch the plant"-those that cultivate and sell pot, such as Cronos Group and Green Thumb Industries-have shed up to 50% of their market value over the past six months, as worries grow about profitability in the sector and the resilience of black-market sellers in legalized states like California. Big corporate investors are among the casualties: Tobacco giant Altria MO -0.58% 's 45% stake in Cronos is now worth 10% less than the $1.8 billion the Marlboro maker paid for it last December.
New York Times, 01 Sep 2019 - The legalization of marijuana as a medicine in 33 states, 11 of which allow its use as a recreational drug, has made weed a dynamic American industry, among the economy's fastest-growing sources of new jobs. California alone, with $3.1 billion in projected marijuana sales for this year, has a legal market as large as that of any country on the planet. Entrepreneurs grumble nonetheless. Not since Ronald Reagan ran for president have American newspapers been so full of anecdotes about heroic jobs-creating businessmen stymied by regulation.
New York Times, 29 Aug 2019 - Even as states across the country have legalized marijuana, potentially opening the door to a multibillion dollar industry, the impact of marijuana criminalization is still being felt by people - mostly black and Hispanic - whose records are marked by low-level convictions related to the drug. But on Wednesday, New York began the process of expunging many of those records, as part of a new state law to reduce penalties associated with marijuana-related crimes, a spokesman for Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo confirmed.
New York Times, 29 Aug 2019 - Surgeon General Warns Pregnant Women and Teenagers Not to Smoke or Vape Marijuana Dr. Jerome Adams, the surgeon general, said they may be unaware of the health hazards posed by new, professionally grown marijuana crops.
The Oklahoman, 29 Aug 2019 - The medical marijuana "Unity Bill" that sets up a basic legal framework for the implementation of State Question 788 will take effect Thursday. Nearly three dozen other new laws will also take effect this week.
New York Times, 25 Aug 2019 - SEATTLE - On gritty streets where heroin, fentanyl and meth stride like Death Eaters, where for decades both drugs and the war on drugs have wrecked lives, the city of Seattle is pioneering a bold approach to narcotics that should be a model for America. Anyone caught here with a small amount of drugs - even heroin - isn't typically prosecuted. Instead, that person is steered toward social services to get help.