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Crosscurrents

Cannabis News Roundup: 01.20.15

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State Attorney General not opposed to legalization… Colorado hit with multiple lawsuits… TV loses fear of marijuana… The munchies explained… and more.

LEGALIZATION & LEGISLATION

Kamala Harris focuses on “the vulnerable” in pot law // SFGate.com  The current State Attorney General and candidate for US Senate says marijuana legalization requires special care to assess impacts on public safety. But she’s not personally opposed to legalization.

COPS & COURTS

All former DEA heads unite to urge Supreme Court to overrule Colorado’s marijuana law// scribd.com  “The Supreme Court needs to review this matter on an urgent basis before more damage is done in other states and to existing federal law.”

Anti-crime group also sues Colorado // DenverPost.com   “The lawsuit apparently will argue that Colorado's system for regulating marijuana stores violates the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution and federal anti-racketeering laws.”

Colorado residents ask federal judge to stop recreational industry // sltrib.com  “The plaintiffs hope to use federal racketeering laws to win damages from pot businesses that flout federal law. If successful, the claims could devastate the nascent marijuana industry.”

And Colorado cannabis taxes have to be returned // NPR.org  “The Taxpayer's Bill of Rights requires the state to ask voters to approve any new taxes.” This wasn’t specifically done with dispensary taxes.

Congressman says US Attorney breaking the law with dispensary actions// sfgate.com/smellthetruth   Marijuana enforcement in America is “no different than a fascist or a communist state,” Representative Dana Rohrbacher (R) of Huntington Beach said at this week’s International Cannabis Business Conference (ICBC) in San Francisco.

[See a report on the ICBC in the “Business” section, below.]

Holder touts changes in drug sentencing // USAToday.com  "For years prior to this administration, federal prosecutors were not only encouraged but required to always seek the most severe prison sentence possible for all drug cases,” the outgoing Attorney General told the National Press Club this week. "I have made a break from that philosophy.”

BUSINESS

A business conference with an anti-business streak// KALW.org   Few industries suggest love as the best business model.  Few are based on an illegal plant, either. Welcome to the ICBC.

Growers of recreational pot want quarantine on hemp plots// Oregonlive.com  “Allowing industrial hemp in an area known for churning out high-grade marijuana could undermine the industry,” growers say, because of cross-pollination. But such restrictions would need “a legislative fix,” and that takes time.

Television less afraid of pot // WSJ.com   “Networks hope cannabis culture is ripe to produce a ‘Duck Dynasty’ style hit.” 

HEALTH

Medical vs. recreational: “A distinction without a difference”// NBCbayarea.com   NBC Bay Area goes under cover to “discover” this fact about California.

Why “the munchies” occur // npr.org   “The team discovered that when they injected cannabinoids into mice, the drug was turning off adjacent cells that normally command … neurons to slow down. As a result, the … neurons' activity leapt up.”

Books

Three authors, three views on drug war // FT.com   "Legalization of even cannabis has consequences, not all good, although the end result might improve on the status quo."

SPORTS

“Ultra-marathoners” swear by marijuana // WSJ.com   “ ‘The person who is going to win an ultra is someone who can manage their pain, not puke and stay calm’,” says one veteran runner, adding ‘Pot does all three of those things’.”

IN OTHER NEWS…

Meet the new head of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy// Alternet.org   “Drug czar” Michael Botticelli could be good for reform.

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[New content is posted on Friday.]