Wall Street Journal, 26 Oct 2019 - The Volstead Act prohibiting intoxicating beverages became law on October 28, 1919-a century ago this week-and came into force a few months later. Most people now agree that Prohibition was a failure, driving the alcohol industry underground, where its products became unsafe, its profits lucrative and tax-free, and its methods violent. Most countries have since taken the view that it is better to legalize, regulate and tax drink than to ban it. Today, there is a similar debate over vaping, a popular new practice prohibited or heavily restricted in many countries. Electronic cigarettes, which use heating elements to vaporize liquids usually containing nicotine, were invented in China in the early 2000s by Hon Lik, a chemist looking for a way to satisfy his nicotine addiction without dying of lung cancer as his father had. Nicotine itself is far less harmful to smokers than the other chemicals created during combustion. Heavyweight studies confirm that there are much lower levels of dangerous chemicals in e-cigarette vapor than in smoke and fewer biomarkers of harm in the bodies of vapers than smokers.
Metro Times, 22 Oct 2019 - Last year, after the vote to legalize adult-use recreational marijuana in Michigan was certified, people lined up outside provisioning centers with the expectation that they would be allowed to buy some in those locations - - only to find that a state medical certification was still required. Nearly a year later, folks are still wondering when they'll be able to walk into a store and buy some weed.
Miami New Times, 22 Oct 2019 - For the past three and a half months, marijuana has essentially been decriminalized in Miami. After Florida legalized hemp July 1, the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office announced it would no longer prosecute most minor marijuana charges because the substance is virtually indistinguishable from hemp. Nevertheless, the City of Miami Beach has passed a municipal ordinance to discourage people from smoking weed in public. At a meeting last week, city commissioners unanimously voted to outlaw public smoking of marijuana and hemp.
New York Times, 21 Oct 2019 - The sports industry's embrace of cannabis products is continuing to evolve as U.S.A. Triathlon has become the first national governing body of an American sport to make a sponsorship deal with a company that sells products containing cannabidiol, or CBD. CBD is a nonintoxicating compound that, like the intoxicating compound THC, is found in varying amounts in hemp, a legal cannabis plant. In 2018, the World Anti-Doping Agency removed CBD from its list of banned substances. THC and scores of other cannabinoids remain on the banned list, but by removing CBD, WADA opened the door for elite athletes to use and endorse CBD products.
New York Times, 21 Oct 2019 - SAN FRANCISCO - For years, a divisive debate has raged in the United States over the health consequences of nicotine e-cigarettes. During the same time, vaping of a more contentious substance has been swiftly growing, with scant notice from public health officials. Millions of people now inhale marijuana not from joints or pipes filled with burning leaves but through sleek devices and cartridges filled with flavored cannabis oils. People in the legalized marijuana industry say vaping products now account for 30 percent or more of their business. Teenagers, millennials and baby boomers alike have been drawn to the technology - no ash, a faint smell, easy to hide - and the potentially dangerous consequences are only now becoming evident.
Los Angeles Times, 20 Oct 2019 - SACRAMENTO - Gov. Gavin Newsom led the campaign to legalize marijuana in California three years ago but has since angered some in the industry by refusing to allow pot in hospitals and outlawing its use on tour buses and in limousines. Newsom took the action on tour buses and hospitals as he signed several other bills in the last few weeks that will ease pot restrictions, including measures waiving taxes on cannabis provided for free by charities to people with serious health problems and allowing parents to provide medical marijuana products such as oils, creams and pills to their sick children on K-12 school campuses.
Chicago Tribune, 19 Oct 2019 - The medical marijuana program in Illinois is seeing record growth since changes in the law greatly expanded the program and made it easier for patients to participate. More than 87,000 patients have qualified for the program since stores opened in November 2015 - including a spike of almost 37,000 in the fiscal year ending June 30, a 93% increase, according to state records. The surge of new patients exceeds the number signed up in any previous fiscal year, based on the latest annual report on medical cannabis by the Illinois Department of Public Health.
Globe and Mail, 18 Oct 2019 - There's no getting around it: Year one of legalized cannabis in Canada was a dud. It was an unmitigated disaster for many investors. The bubble burst, and the shares of most large Canadian marijuana producers dropped by at least 50 per cent. The public markets are largely closed to the industry; at the moment, there's simply no appetite for more pot stocks.
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."