Marijuana is already a multibillion-dollar-a-year business in California, and with recreational sales to adults coming online next year, it’s about to get even bigger. Now, the legal pot industry is beginning to throw its weight around in state office-level politics, and it’s doing it the old-fashioned way: with a checkbook.
Last month, the Drug Policy Alliance released a report noting that marijuana arrests under New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio continue to be marked by shocking racial disparities, much as they were under his predecessors, Rudy Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg. Stung by the criticism, de Blasio is fighting back…
Led by Ethan Nadelmann since its formation 17 years ago, the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) has been the most influential drug reform organization in the country, with a hand in advancing the causes not only of medical marijuana and marijuana legalization, but of drug law reform more broadly, in all its manifestations and intersectionality.
Asset forfeiture is a practice in which police seize cash and property. It has come under sustained criticism in recent years, with critics arguing that it amounts to policing for profit, and state legislatures around the country have moved to rein it in. But Attorney General Sessions is headed in the opposite direction.
The state of South Dakota is practicing a form of drug war excess tantamount to torture or sexual assault, according to a pair of federal lawsuits filed by the ACLU on June 28. One suit charges that law enforcement and medical personnel subject drug suspects to forcible catheterization if they refuse to submit to a drug test.
With marijuana possession being legal, police in legal states can no longer assume criminal activity merely because of the presence of pot, which would have given them probable cause to conduct a search. And that means fewer interactions between drivers and police, reducing the prospect of dangerous—or even deadly—clashes.
Drugs, mainly opioids, are killing Americans at a record rate. The number of drug overdose deaths in the country quadrupled between 1999 and 2010—and compared to the numbers we’re seeing now, those were the good old days. Some 30,000 people died of drug overdoses in 2010. According to a new estimate from the New York Times, double that number died last year.
This is not your father’s marijuana industry. In a couple of decades we’ve gone from a completely black market in marijuana to a legal market valued at $4 billion a year—and projected to increase rapidly—and from tie-dyed Northern California pot farmers hiding from helicopters to people in suits and ties with dollar signs in their eyes.
In the euphoric aftermath of marijuana legalization victories in California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada last November, the marijuana blogosphere was alive with predictions about which states would be next to free the weed.
President Trump will name Pennsylvania Congressman Tom Marino (R) to head the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP—the drug czar’s office), CBS News reported Tuesday. Marino’s legacy of legislative achievements around drug policy, however, raise serious questions about whether he is the right choice.
Sessions’ uninformed claim is likely to increase jitters in the country’s nascent legal marijuana industry as it confronts an attorney general whose rhetoric so far has strongly suggested he would like to crack down on legal weed—although he has yet to take any concrete steps to do so.
In a sharp break with the Obama administration, which distanced itself from harsh anti-drug rhetoric and emphasized treatment for drug users over punishment, President Trump this week reverted to tough drug war oratory and backed it up with a series of executive orders he said were “designed to restore safety in America.”
Levonia Riggins was only the last person to be killed in drug law enforcement operations this summer that left 10 other people dead in separate incidents, including a Tennessee police officer. According to the Drug War Chronicle, which has been tracking such deaths since 2011, the year’s drug war death toll now stands at 33.