For cannabis enthusiasts—especially in California, where 2018 will mark the legalization of “adult use” sales—who really want to celebrate the holiday season, “yule” get higher than a partridge in a pear tree listening to the following dozen seasonal tokin’ tunes.
1. DENT MAY: “I’LL BE STONED FOR CHRISTMAS”
L.A.-by-way-of Mississippi ukulele auteur Dent May evokes Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound with this poppy piano-driven ode to being home for the holidays. “So I’m trying to get lifted with you now/We broke into my cousin’s stash/We’re having a blast,” he sings “Got an angel on my treetop/And a devil on my mind/Have a smoke and pour a big shot/’Tis the season to be high.” Being the nice young man he is, Dent then apologizes to his mother.
2. ADAM SANDLER: “THE CHANUKAH SONG”
Originally written for Saturday Night Live in 1994, this has become Jewish stoners’ favorite holiday number (to go along with the “Dreidel” song). “So drink your gin and tonic-ah,” Sandler jokes. “And smoke your marijuana-kah.” His riotous roll call of famous members of the tribe includes “All three Stooges!”
Yesterday California’s Bureau of Cannabis Controlissued the first licenses for recreational marijuana businesses, paving the way for legal marijuana sales to begin the beginning of next year.
“This is a great Christmas present,” said California NORML director Dale Gieringer. “Licensing is an inevitable necessity of the modern bureaucratic state. I’m just happy to see the stores open and people be able to walk into a store — any adult including tourists and guests in California — and get cannabis just like they can get alcohol, cigarettes or all sorts of wonderful things in California.”
Altogether 20 licenses were issued to cannabis businesses located throughout the state, including multiple located in San Diego, Lynwood and San Jose. The most – seven in total – are located in Santa Cruz.
Below is a list of the 20 licenses issued yesterday (list provided by GreenState.com):
The United Nations’ World Health Organization (WHO) says that current information doesn’t justify cannabidiol (CBD), a compound found in cannabis, being a controlled substance.
“There is increased interest from Member States in the use of cannabis for medical indications including for palliative care”, states the WHO report released yesterday. “Responding to that interest and increase in use, WHO has in recent years gathered more robust scientific evidence on therapeutic use and side effects of cannabis and cannabis components. To that end, the ECDD [Expert Committee on Drug Dependence] did an initial review of a cannabis compound called cannabidiol (CBD).”
The report claims that “Recent evidence from animal and human studies shows that its use could have some therapeutic value for seizures due to epilepsy and related conditions. The ECDD therefore “concluded that current information does not justify scheduling of cannabidiol”.
The committee “postponed a fuller review of cannabidiol preparations to May 2018, when the committee will undertake a comprehensive review of cannabis and cannabis related substances.”
Effective today, the Colorado Department of Revenue (CDOR) released statewide historical sales data on marijuana sales from January 2014 to present, and will release monthly reports going forward on the seventh business day of every month.
According to this data – dubbed the Marijuana Sales Report – there has been over $4 billion in marijuana and marijuana products sold since legal recreational sales began in 2014. The data shows that this year (up to the end of October) there has been $1,259,861,988 in marijuana sold, just shy of the $1,307,203,473 sold in 2016. In 2015, there was just shy of $1 billion sold ($995,591,255), and in 2014, the first year of legal sales, there was $683,523,739 sold. For comparison, there has been $2,951,855,447.08 in legal marijuana sold in Washington State, though sales there began in July of 2014, not January like Colorado.
According to the CDOR; “The Marijuana Sales Reports show unaudited monthly sales as self-reported by businesses on State sales returns and do not use Metrc® data (the Marijuana Enforcement Division’s Marijuana Inventory Tracking System). The Marijuana Tax Data reports show tax revenue collected monthly as posted in the State’s accounting system.”
Below is a marijuana sales chart provided by the CDOR:
According to survey data released by the federal government on Monday, the current rate of marijuana use among Colorado and Washington teens is now lower than it was prior to the states legalizing marijuana for adult use.
The rate of past-month marijuana use by individuals ages 12-17 dropped nearly 20% from 11.13% in 2014-2015 to 9.08% in 2015-2016, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) performed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). It is now lower than it was in 2011-2012 (10.47%) and 2012-2013 (11.16%). Marijuana became legal for adults 21 and older in December 2012, and legal adult marijuana sales began in January 2014.
The rate of past-month marijuana use among 12-17-year-olds also dropped in Washington (from 9.17% in 2014-2015 to 7.93% in 2015-2016), and it is now lower than it was prior to legalization in 2012 (9.45% in 2011-2012 and 9.81% in 2012-2013).
“Colorado is effectively regulating marijuana for adult use”, says Brian Vicente, partner at Vicente Sederberg LLC, who was one of the lead drafters of Amendment 64 and co-director of the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol. “Teen use appears to be dropping now that state and local authorities are overseeing the production and sale of marijuana. There are serious penalties for selling to minors, and regulated cannabis businesses are being vigilant in checking IDs. The days of arresting thousands of adults in order to prevent teens from using marijuana are over.”
Vicente continues; “These survey results should come as welcome news to anyone who worried teen marijuana use would increase following legalization. As a proponent of Amendment 64 and a parent of two young children, they certainly came as welcome news to me.”
A day after the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate approved legislation that extends protections for state-level medical marijuana laws, President Trump signed the measure into law.
President trump signed the legislation into law this morning, temporarily preventing a government shutdown. The measure extends legal protections that prevents the government from using funds to enforce federal cannabis laws in states that have legalized the substance for medical uses (including those with a licensed dispensary system). The extension, however, is temporary; it will be valid until December 22nd, at which point lawmakers will need to pass another extension to avoid a shutdown of most government funding and to prevent invalidity the medical marijuana protections.
These protections – passed in 2014 as the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment – prohibits the Department of Justice and DEA from using federal funding to enforce federal marijuana laws in a state that has legalized medical cannabis.
The bill signed into law by President Trump also extends protections on state-level hemp research programs.
The U.S. House of Representatives and Senate have both approved legislation that will extend protections for state-level medical marijuana laws.
The legislation, which prevents a government shutdown, now goes to President Trump who is expected to quickly sign it into law. The measure only extends the protections and prevents a shutdown for two weeks, to December 22nd. Congress must approve another extension by then or most government spending will be halted and the federal law that prevents the government from attacking state-level medical marijuana laws will become invalid.
The medical marijuana protections currently in place and extended by Congress stems from an amendment introduced by Representative Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) and former Representative Sam Farr (D-CA). The provision prohibits the Department of Justice (which includes the Drug Enforcement Administration) from using funds to enforce federal marijuana laws in states that have legalized the plant for medical purposes. The amendment was first approved in May of 2014.
Congress’ vote also extends protections on state-level hemp research programs.
The Los Angeles City Council has approved legislation establishing a regulatory framework for marijuana outlets, which become legal in California next month.
The council voted 12 to 0 to approve the regulations, which will soon see the city distributing licenses for marijuana stores. Residential neighborhoods will be mostly off limits under the new rules, with buffer zones created to ensure that cannabis outlets aren’t located too close to parks, schools or libraries. It’s unclear if the regulations will be in place in time for outlets to begin cannabis sales next month.
“As lawmakers we have a responsibility to reasonably regulate this industry in a manner that is safe, inclusive, and practical,” said Los Angeles City Council President Herb J. Wesson Jr. earlier today. In addition to Los Angeles, San Francisco officials also recently approved regulations for the legal marijuana industry.
Under Proposition 64, approved by voters last year, those 21 and older are allowed to possess and use up to an ounce of cannabis for any use, and are allowed to purchase it from a licensed retail outlet. The portion of the initiative that allows legal sales to begin takes effect next month.
Los Angeles, with a population of almost 4 million, is the most populated city in California and the second most populated city in the United States.
A group called the Oregon Psilocybin Society is putting together an initiative that would legalize the medical use of magic mushrooms.
“It enhances creativity, it enhances openness,” says Tom Eckhert, who founded the Oregon Psilocybin Society with his wife Cheri Eckhert. The two have spent the past two years creating an initiative that would legalize psilocybin (“magic”) mushrooms for medical purposes. The two expect the issue to be put to a vote of the people by 2020.
“We envision a very regulated production center that the state keeps track of inventory and things of that nature, so we know that it’s not getting out where it shouldn’t be getting out to,” says Chris. If he and his wife are successful in putting the forthcoming measure to a vote, and it’s passed into law, Oregon would become the first state to legalize magic mushrooms for any use.
In California proponents of an initiative to legalize magic mushrooms were recently cleared by Secretary of State Alex Padilla to begin collecting signatures in attempt to place the measure on next year’s general election ballot. Unlike the proposal being formulated by the Oregon Psilocybin Society, California’s initiative would remove all criminal penalties for “possession, sale, transport and cultivation”, allowing it to be used for recreational – and not just medical – purposes.