marijuana stories

All images via Pixabay.

Every week, Psychedelic Times will bring you a few of the most interesting, overlooked cannabis stories that we come across.

Oregon Pushes Back Against Jeff Sessions’ Marijuana Enforcement Letter Huffington Post

Attorney General Jeff Sessions hates state marijuana programs, even medical dispensaries, and he recently sent several strongly-worded letters to states with recreational cannabis laws, accusing them of not regulating cannabis well enough. However, officials from Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington have pushed back against Mr. Sessions, saying, basically the AG is out of touch with reality.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown is the latest to join pro-cannabis states in defense of their progressive laws. “Oregon has been diligent in reaching out to our federal partners to build a collaborative and mutually beneficial understanding regarding our marijuana system,” Brown told Sessions in her letter.

Scientific Community Pushes Back Against V.A.’s Latest “Worthless” Medical Marijuana Studies — Merry Jane

Speaking of pushback, you may have heard of a few recent studies published in the latest Annals of Internal Medicine, saying that there is not enough evidence cannabis can treat anxiety or chronic pain, with the exception being neuropathic pain. Some people have interpreted that to mean “cannabis isn’t medical at all,” which is quite a stretch. It just means we need more research—more research is always good—but these particular studies contained a lot of flaws. Consider also their source, the federal government, which has a strong inclination to deny that marijuana has any benefit.

Now, some scientists are pushing back against these studies, saying they are “worthless” and “not helpful.” Researcher Dr. Suzanne Sisley, who studies cannabis on PTSD patients, commented “These aren’t controlled trials, they’re all observational studies fraught with tons of human bias.”

California Police Dog Forced To Retire Because Of New Marijuana Laws — The Fresh Toast

Marijuana is a booming, job-creating business in some parts of the country, but it’s also putting some out of work—in this case, drug-sniffing dogs. Across the country, police departments are being forced to downsize their K-9 units, simply because marijuana legalization has left the pups with nothing to do. But this isn’t exactly bad news—the dogs are allowed to retire, and the less that these animals are forced to go around sniffing out people whose only crime is possession of a plant, the better.

California Is Still Arresting Too Many People of Color for Cannabis — Leafly

Just because marijuana is technically legal in California now doesn’t mean cops didn’t still arrest people for it last year. Unfortunately, there is still a disproportionate number of police arresting non-white cannabis users, even though consumption rates are the same between white people and people of color. These stats were released by the California Department of Justice last week.

More than 70 percent of people arrested in 2016 for marijuana possession were non-white. For example, black people make up 20 percent of felony marijuana arrests, even though they only represent 13.3 percent of California’s population, according to U.S. Census Bureau statistics. White people make up 76.9 percent.

Judge Asks Kentucky Officials to Explain Reasons for Medical Marijuana Ban — Merry Jane

More good news from the Bluegrass State, as a judge from Kentucky is scratching his head about the region’s outdated marijuana laws. Judge Thomas Wingate asked Governor Matt Bevin and Attorney General Andy Beshear how they can justify Kentucky’s lack of medical marijuana laws, given that more than half the country now has laws allowing for medicinal cannabis.

Bevin and Beshear recently filed motions to dismiss a lawsuit that challenges Kentucky’s ban on medical cannabis. Wingate said that as a judge, he sees many instances of domestic abuse against women fueled by alcohol, but never due marijuana. So what’s the deal? This is more encouraging news from a state that is leading the charge to federally legalize hemp, a non-psychoactive strain of cannabis.

Got a tip on an interesting or overlooked cannabis story? Send it to troy.farah@gmail.com