Podcast available at https://www.patreon.com/posts/18512865.
Dr. Sanjay Gupta premiered his new documentary, “Weed 4: Pot vs. Pills” Sunday night on CNN. In the special, Dr. Gupta meets with former professional football player Kyle Turley. [GUPTA CLIP: “Marijuana. It’s replaced all those pills he used to take.”] Turley describes being addicted to opioids handed out by the NFL for pain. [TURLEY CLIP: “It’s very easy for them to go from 1 to 2 to 3.”] It’s a story also told by current player, Mike James, who, like Turley, found a gateway out of opioids from marijuana. [JAMES CLIP: “My pain subsided, I never had something where I could be coherent and still have pain relief.”] Dr. Gupta also spoke with pioneering cannabis researchers like Dr. Sue Sisley [SISLEY CLIP: “Mike’s case is such a perfect example of why cannabis needs to be made available because he’s really not a candidate for opioids.”] and Dr. Julie Holland, editor of The Pot Book [HOLLAND CLIP: “With medical cannabis, you’re actually not just talking about decreasing pain, but you’re decreasing inflammation.”] Dr. Gupta also visited with National Institute on Drug Abuse’s Dr. Nora Volkow, who begrudgingly admitted marijuana is safer than opioids [VOLKOW CLIP: “In terms of overdoses, absolutely”] and Project SAM co-founder Patrick Kennedy [KENNEDY CLIP: “People would be stoned, but they wouldn’t be dead.”]
American journalism’s first cannabis-focused vertical is shutting down. The Cannabist was launched by The Denver Post on the heels of 2012’s legalization victory in Colorado. Within months, The Cannabist website was getting more unique views per month than HIGH TIMES. Soon there was a podcast and video show from The Cannabist, as well as a 2016 documentary called Rolling Papers about this intersection of marijuana and newspapers. But on Friday, the paper announced that all of The Cannabist’s journalists but one will be laid off, and that one journalist will be leaving soon to pursue other endeavors. Marijuana content for The Post will now derive from automated bots curating other sources, like the Associated Press. The founding editor of The Cannabist, Ricardo Baca, says he may attempt to buy and revive the brand.
Two men in Maine are facing federal firearms charges for lying about their marijuana use during gun purchases. Federal prosecutors say that Donny Henderson of Winthrop checked the box indicating he was not “an unlawful user of marijuana” on the federal form one must complete to purchase a weapon. The feds allege that Henderson does, in fact, smoke pot. Richard Quattrone of Augusta is also charged with lying about not being a marijuana consumer when he filled out the federal form, as well as providing a false address on the form. The reporter who broke the story had no details on how the feds believe they can prove these men are pot smokers. Cannabis Headline News has reached out to the attorney for Henderson but has not gotten a reply. Marijuana is legal under Maine state law, but still remains illegal under federal law.
Maine’s governor followed through on a promise and vetoed a bipartisan bill to regulate the state’s marijuana market. Gov. Paul LePage said he cannot “in good conscience” sign a bill that violates the federal Controlled Substances Act. But LePage’s greatest concern was that the legalization bill maintains the operation of a separate medical marijuana program, something LePage thinks makes no sense. [LEPAGE CLIP: “If it’s legal, it’s legal – so why do you need to have medical?”] The bill passed with a veto-proof margin in the House and the Senate, but it is unclear whether that veto override will happen. The bill is a significant reduction in what Maine voters approved in 2016. If passed, home cultivation limits are reduced from six plants to three and marijuana social clubs and home delivery are banned.
The Democratic chair of New Jersey’s Legislative Black Caucus believes marijuana legalization will kill people in the inner cities. “I still want to deter people from doing something that’s bad for them,” says State Senator Ronald Rice of Newark, explaining his support for decriminalization to address the disproportionate impact of marijuana prohibition on blacks and Latinos. After explaining how legal pot would harm babies of addicted mothers, workplaces lacking qualified drug-free employees, and create more hard drug addicts because marijuana is a gateway drug, Rice added, “If you get too high you die from it. It kills you directly if it’s too potent.”