Cannabis Crunch — 12-Year-Old Girl Sues Sessions, Billion Dollar Urine Screens and Weed Election Results

(Photo: Carlos Garcia)

Every week, Psychedelic Times will bring you a few of the most interesting, overlooked cannabis stories that we come across. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to keep in the loop on marijuana and psychedelic news.

New Regulations in Maine Will Force Medical Cannabis Patients to Submit to Inspections — Merry Jane

Remember last week when Maine’s governor vetoed the state’s recreational marijuana law? This week it gets worse for medical marijuana patients, as the Department of Health and Human Services issues new requirements forcing patients and caregivers to undergo surprise inspections and submit to a plant-to-patient tracking system, according to the Press Herald. Imagine the uproar if oxycodone patients had to face the same rigorous scrutiny.

Colorado Girl Suing U.S. Attorney General to Legalize Medical Marijuana Nationwide — Fox

Alexis Bortell may be young, but she could make a big difference. Her family was forced to move to Colorado so they could legally use the cannabis extract that mitigates the 12-year-old girl’s seizures. Now, the sixth-grader is suing U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions because the Controlled Substances Act has prevented access to the medicine she needs. Nearly 3/5ths of the nation have medical marijuana programs, but pot is still illegal under federal law—yet a young girl may finally change that.

Report: Domestic Hemp Production More Than Doubles In Past Year — NORML

Between 2016 and 2017, hemp production in the U.S. jumped from less than 10,000 acres to more than 23,000, according to Vote Hemp. Hemp is still illegal federally, but under a pilot program, nineteen states can grow the non-psychoactive strain of cannabis through a university-sponsored pilot program. There is currently a law in Congress, The Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2017, that would legalize hemp federally and finally allow this plant to be used more widely for everything from textiles to paper to food.

Urine Screens Cost $8.5 Billion a Year — More Than the Entire EPA Budget — PBS News Hour

This story doesn’t mention cannabis, but it’s still related. It’s common knowledge to some that marijuana is illegal partially because of for-profit prisons. But the urine-industrial complex also plays a huge part. Millions of dollars are siphoned from Medicare each year to screen patients for drug use that includes marijuana. As one lab industry consultant put it in the article, “It was almost a license to steal.”

Marijuana Won Tuesday’s Election — Forbes

Pot policy reporter Tom Angell offered a fantastic run-down of the election results from last week and his conclusion is clear: “Overall, Tuesday’s election results were extremely positive for marijuana reformers.”

The new governors of both New Jersey and Virginia are pro-pot, and are likely to help overturn draconian, obsolete laws that put people in jail for using a beneficial plant. New Jersey may even become the next state to legalize recreational cannabis. While those were the two big victories, there were smaller ones in Philadelphia, Detroit, and Athens, Ohio. The list warrants a closer look.

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

 

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Troy Farah
Troy Farah is a documentary field producer and independent journalist from the Southwest. His reporting has appeared in The Outline, VICE, Fusion, LA Weekly, AJ+, NBC and others. His website is troyfarah.com