S02 Ep46: She runs Marijuana Industry Group; He’s an MMJ patient who kicked opioids

Featured guests: Marijuana Industry Group Executive Director Kristi Kelly and Dustin Mahon, Endocanna CEO.

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LOTS TO TALK ABOUT

•  Sean Spicer and Jeff Sessions both speak out against recreational marijuana: Is there a sense of panic in the industry?

•  Man who used medical marijuana to overcome an opioid addiction responds to Jeff Sessions.

•  The challenges of doing research and testing in the cannabis world.

TOP MARIJUANA NEWS

Trump administration puts recreational marijuana in crosshairs: States where recreational marijuana is legal will be subject to “greater enforcement” under the Trump administration, White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Thursday. But watchers of America’s multibillion-dollar weed industry are waiting to see whether Spicer’s statements during his daily briefing actually yield a real shift in enforcement policy. “There’s a big difference between (medical marijuana) and recreational marijuana, and I think when you see something like the opioid addiction crisis blossoming in so many states around this country, the last thing we should be doing is encouraging people,” Spicer said, giving the first glimpse of the new administration’s views of the growing legal cannabis industry. “There is still a federal law that we need to abide by in terms of recreational marijuana and other drugs of that nature.” –Report by The Cannabist’s Alicia Wallace

Poll: Majority of Americans support legalization, want feds to step off: Americans are increasingly in favor of legalizing some form of marijuana — especially medical — and a majority across the board think the federal government should leave legal states alone. A new Quinnipiac poll released Thursday found 71 percent of Americans would oppose a federal crackdown on legal marijuana, and 93 percent are in favor of medical marijuana, according to the survey of 1,323 voters nationwide. This is the first time the enforcement action question was posed as part of the Quinnipiac polls, which in the past have surveyed Americans about their support or opposition of issues such as marijuana use, legalization and decriminalization, said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll. –Report by The Cannabist’s Alicia Wallace

Colorado gov on “Meet the Press”: It’s unclear whether Trump administration could stop legal marijuana: A guest on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper downplayed the possibility that the Trump administration would take aim at Colorado’s recreational marijuana industry, saying legalization’s inclusion in the state Constitution makes it unclear whether the federal government could shut it down.

“Our voters passed it 55-45. It’s in our constitution,” Hickenlooper told “Meet the Press” moderator Chuck Todd on Sunday.

“You don’t think it’s clear that the federal government could stop you?” Todd asked.

“Exactly,” Hickenlooper replied.

Prior to his confirmation as Attorney General, Jeff Sessions suggested to U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner that enforcement of federal marijuana law in states that have approved recreational pot would not be a priority, Hickenlooper said. –Report by The Denver Post’s Tom McGhee

Sean Spicer correlated marijuana use to opioid addiction. Medical research is not on his side: The epidemic of opioid addiction in the United States has been well documented. A staggering 33,000 people died in 2015 from overdosing on prescription painkillers, heroin or similar drugs, on par with the number killed by firearms and in car accidents. The epidemic is growing, but its general causes are not in dispute. Nearly all research on the issue shows that excessive and improper prescriptions are what’s causing more people to become addicted. But White House press secretary Sean Spicer on Thursday appeared to link the surge in opioid abuse to another factor: recreational marijuana use. –Report by The Washington Post’s Derek Hawkins

In this Jan. 10, 2017 file photo, then-Attorney General-designate, Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
In this Jan. 10, 2017 file photo, then-Attorney General-designate, Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

QUICK HIT
Jeff Sessions to AGs: “We don’t need to be legalizing marijuana”: U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions reiterated his opposition to marijuana legalization while addressing a collection of the nation’s attorneys general on Tuesday. In responding to a question about the war on drugs, Sessions noted a rise in heroin overdose deaths and those from the painkiller fentanyl. Stating that “crime does follow drugs,” he added that in the 1970s and ’80s, many lives were destroyed by drug abuse, adding that the drugs today are more powerful. –Report by The Cannabist’s Alicia Wallace

POT QUIZ

Test your current-events knowledge about nuclear weapons entering the United States, a Colorado Senate Bill concerning advertising, Snoop’s latest venture and more.

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