Gunn leads a congregation at Clearwater Missionary Baptist Church in Ocklawaha. A retired teacher, he served as president of the Florida chapter of the Black Farmers and Agriculturalists Association (BFAA) from 2009, when he co-founded the organization, until 2018. And this 61-year-old has been the face of growers grappling with the Sunshine State for its first and only license to cultivate and sell medical marijuana. Until recently the $1 billion Florida market has been in the clutches of a half-dozen companies, essentially an oligopoly. But Gunn’s father was part of the billion-dollar settlements in Pigford v. Glickman and In re Black Farmers Discrimination Litigation (the so-called Pigford II), the landmark class-action suits against the U.S. Department of Agriculture in which it was established that systemic harm had been done to Black growers through federal loan discrimination.
Worsley’s ordeal began in 2016 when he and his wife, Eboni, were arrested late one night after stopping for gas. They were traveling through the state on their way to North Carolina, where they were planning on helping Sean’s grandmother repair extensive damage to her home after Hurricane Matthew flooded her community. “We [were] not being competitive, we were being completely compliant,” Eboni Worsley told Fox News. “We’re being very cooperative, so not thinking that there’s going to be a major issue. … I show him I don’t want trouble, don’t mean any harm.”
Arnold Trebach, who died last week at the age of 92, started the Drug Policy Foundation in the heat of Ronald Reagan's war on drugs. It was the same year that Joe Biden, a Democrat who is running for president this year as a criminal justice reformer, wrote the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986, which prescribed new mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses and created the notorious weight-based sentencing distinction that treated crack cocaine as if it were 100 times worse than cocaine powder.
Now legalized in 23 states and the District of Columbia for medical use and four states — Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska — and DC for recreational use, cannabis is big business. Independent analysts have valued the legal industry at $3 billion and rising to $10 billion when including ancillary trades and services. Cassandra Farrington, the co-founder and chief executive of Marijuana Business Media, puts the industry’s workforce at 60,000. Others sates are expected to follow suit over the next couple of years, putting an end to cannabis prohibition.
Study: Enactment Of California’s Medical Marijuana Law Associated With Sustained Decline In Traffic Fatalities
Irvine, CA: The enactment of California's 1996 medical cannabis access law is associated with a significant and a sustained decline in motor vehicle fatalities, according to data published in the Journal of Experimental Criminology. A team of investigators from the University of California at Irvine assessed the relationship between the enactment of California's medical cannabis law and statewide traffic fatalities. They estimated that California experienced a greater decline in fatal accidents compared to synthetic controls.
Jennifer Hess, her husband Homer Wilson and their two sons were minding their own business on the night of Thursday, May 23 in their Eureka, Kansas home when policed knocked on the door. What happened next would change their lives forever. The officers said “someone had reported screaming coming from my house, which there wasn’t, and I went to close the door. At that point, they forced the door open. Two of them entered the house, and they demanded I go outside,” Hess tells Freedom Leaf. On June 14 on Facebook, she wrote: “They said they were getting a search warrant, alleging they had seen drug paraphernalia in the house.”
Teenagers are less likely to use cannabis in places where the drug has been legalised, a new study suggests. Researchers at Montana State University looked at health surveys of US high school pupils between 1993 and 2017. While overall use among US youth went up, the likelihood of teen use declined by nearly 10% in states where recreational use was legalised. Some 33 states have legalised medical cannabis, while 10 states have also legalised recreational use. Cannabis use remains illegal in all states for people under the age of 18.
The expansion of legal marijuana continued apace in Tuesday’s elections, with medical marijuana initiatives winning in Missouri and Utah and recreational marijuana winning in Michigan. Voters in a number of Wisconsin localities, including the population centers of Madison and Milwaukee, overwhelmingly approved non-binding referenda calling for marijuana legalization, while voters approved decriminalization in five out of six Ohio cities where it was on the ballot, including Dayton.
Patrick Beadle, a 46-year-old father and musician, received an eight-year prison sentence in Mississippi for possessing 2.89 pounds of marijuana. If his sentence stands, he would spend nearly a decade behind bars for possessing a substance that is legal in nine states and now all of Canada. Such a severe, inhumane sentence speaks volumes about the inanity and heartlessness of our criminal justice system. But this story gets worse. Mr. Beadle says he bought the marijuana legally in Oregon, where he is a resident and a medical marijuana patient.
San Diego, CA: The enactment of medical cannabis access laws is associated with significant reductions in prescription opioid use among Medicaid enrollees, according to data published online ahead of print in the journal Addiction. Investigators with the University of California at San Diego assessed the relationship between medical cannabis legalization and opioid use among Medicaid enrollees over a period of 21 years (1993 to 2014). Authors reported, "For Schedule III opioid prescriptions, medical cannabis legalization was associated with a 29.6 percent reduction in number of prescriptions, 29.9 percent reduction in dosage, and 28.8 percent reduction in related Medicaid spending." This correlation remained after authors controlled for potential confounders, such as the establishment of prescription drug monitoring programs and variations in patients' income.
At a time when news comes fast and furious, sometimes it’s hard to keep track of it all. So we’d like to take a moment to remind you of some of the amazing events that have transpired over just the past two weeks. June 16 The Texas GOP added marijuana decriminalization and medical cannabis planks to their party’s platform. June 19 A new nationwide poll reported that 68 percent of US voters back legalizing marijuana — the highest percentage of support ever recorded! June 20 Canada became the second country in the world to formally approve adult marijuana use, production, and sales and announced October 17, 2018, as the effective legalization date. June 23 The Texas Democratic party added marijuana legalization as a plank to their party’s platform. . . .
By Staff for WBZ. The federal government is asking the state of Massachusetts to turn over information on the 40,000 patients who were prescribed medical marijuana. The request coming from the White House’s National Marijuana initiative. Governor Baker says no information will be turned over to the federal government that will compromise patients. “We just got the request. We won’t do anything that is going to violate anybody’s privacy. I can promise you that,” Baker said. Massachusetts isn’t the only state that has been contacted by the federal government. So far the state has complied and given general information like the age of the patient and date of the prescription, but not information on medical conditions. The state says that data could actually be used to identify the patient.
By Bruce Barcott for Leafly - The Senate Appropriations approved an amendment to protect state medical marijuana patients this morning, delivering a setback to Attorney General Jeff Sessions. In May, Sessions delivered a letter to Congress specifically requesting that leaders reject that budget amendment, known as the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment. The amendment, led by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), passed in a voice vote with strong Republican support. During the hearing, Leahy said this in support of the amendment: “29 states and the District of Columbia have decided it’s more humane to regulate medical marijuana than to criminalize it. Almost every state—46 right now, and counting—regulate the use of a marijuana derivative that is used to treat epilepsy and other rare medical conditions. I think just about every member on this committee represents a state with patients who would be protected under this amendment. The federal government can’t investigate everything. And shouldn’t. And I don’t want them spending money pursuing medical marijuana patients who are following state law, whether they’re an epileptic or whatever they might be.”
By Lisa Rough for Leafly - A decree issued by Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto today confirmed that Mexico has legalized cannabis for medicinal use after overwhelming support from Mexico’s Lower House of Congress. Peña Nieto was once a vehement opponent of cannabis legalization, but has since called for a re-examination of global drug policy after a nationwide public debate on legalization in early 2016. “So far, the solutions [to control drugs and crime] implemented by the international community have been frankly insufficient,” Peña Nieto told the 2016 United Nations General Assembly Special Sessions in April 2016. “We must move beyond prohibition to effective prevention.” Last year, Peña Nieto even went so far as to introduce a measure that would allow Mexican citizens to possess up to an ounce of cannabis without repercussions, but the bill stalled in Congress. The medical marijuana bill sailed through the Senate with ease in December 2016, and Mexico’s lower house in parliament passed the bill in April with a vote of 347-7 in favor of approval. Mexico’s Secretary of Health, Dr. José Narro Robles, voiced his support for the measure, saying, “I welcome the approval of the therapeutic use of cannabis in Mexico.”
By Mike Ludwig for Truthout - The Trump administration's policy toward legal marijuana began to emerge from the fog this week, and it appears that Attorney General Jeff Sessions and his underlings remain more interested in orchestrating law enforcement crackdowns than in the current scientific understanding of cannabis. Sessions wants greater freedom to prosecute medical marijuana businesses and patients in states where the drug is a legal medicine. Federal authorities allege that "dangerous drug traffickers" and international "criminal organizations" cultivate marijuana under state medical marijuana laws and sell it in states where the drug is still illegal, according to a May 1 letter from Sessions to members of Congress obtained this week by the Massroots.com and The Washington Post. Sessions' assistant attorney general, Rod Rosenstein, told members of Congress on Tuesday that the Department of Justice would continue a policy on state-legal marijuana adopted in 2013 by the Obama administration, at least for the near future. That policy, as laid out in 2013 by the famous Cole memo, has allowed recreational and medical marijuana businesses to operate in states where legalization has taken hold, despite ongoing federal prohibition.