LOTS TO TALK ABOUT
• Flavor was the goal for vaporizer manufacturers in 2015; two years later, what’s the next cool thing?
• Keeping the stink out: How can cannabis consumers light up in public without annoying non-consumers?
• How various states are approaching legalization differently.
TOP MARIJUANA NEWS
Arrest or essay-writing for marijuana possession in Alabama? It depends which school you go to: For students at the University of Alabama who use marijuana, life can change dramatically overnight. That’s what happened to 61 UA students when the West Alabama Narcotics Task Force arrested them during a SWAT-style drug raid that began around 3 a.m. on Feb. 19, 2013. A large percentage of the students collared that day would later be exonerated or found to have committed only minor crimes, such as owning a bong or a couple grams of pot. But they were all subjected to aggressive police tactics, thrown into the Tuscaloosa County jail and the Alabama criminal justice system, and introduced to what many of them now describe as the dark side of modern life at UA. While the police tactics are highly controversial among UA students and parents, some other Alabama colleges cultivate more protective environments, going out of their way to keep their students from being arrested for having or using drugs. –Report by Al.com’s Connor Sheets
Government research-grade marijuana is not exactly fire: Most marijuana consumers are used to seeing their product as chunks of pungent green plant material coated in sticky, crystallized THC-rich resin. But if you’re a researcher looking to work with marijuana – to say, investigate how it impairs people, or how it could help people suffering from certain ailments – you don’t have access to the weed that everyone else is using. Since the late 1960s the federal government has mandated that all marijuana used in research has to come through the federal government. To investigate the real-world effects of marijuana, however, researchers need a product that looks and feels like the real thing. And they’re increasingly frustrated with government weed that is something else entirely. –Report by The Washington Post’s Christopher Ingraham and Tauhid Chappell
Jeff Sessions says fed marijuana approach “more complicated than one RICO case”: Attorney General Jeff Sessions said this week that he wants to enforce federal marijuana laws in an “appropriate way” nationwide and is weighing options such as initiating Supremacy Clause and RICO prosecutions. Sessions responded in the affirmative and reiterated previous remarks about his beliefs about marijuana legalization as well as potential restraints to enforcement, according to a transcript of the interview posted on Hewitt’s website: “We will, marijuana is against federal law, and that applies in states where they may have repealed their own anti-marijuana laws,” Sessions said. “So yes, we will enforce law in an appropriate way nationwide. It’s not possible for the federal government, of course, to take over everything the local police used to do in a state that’s legalized it. –Report by The Cannabist’s Alicia Wallace
Marijuana in the age of Trump, A Cannabist 3-Part Series. Amid a time of unknowns surrounding federal marijuana policy, one thing is certain: The status quo is no longer sustainable. State-legal marijuana is a multibillion-dollar business with varied regulations and no firm banking and taxation rules. Regulated sales of cannabis have trended favorably among the American public, but high-ranking federal officials have questioned the effects legal marijuana programs have on public health and safety. “This whole situation is untenable,” said Zachary Bolitho, a former federal prosecutor who now is a professor for the Campbell University School of Law in Raleigh, N.C. “It cannot continue the way that it is. “Something’s going to have to give at some point.” –Report by The Cannabist’s Alicia Wallace
Test your current-events knowledge about a new Colorado cannabis class, Humboldt County cannabis licensing, German marijuana importing and more.