Thursday, January 31, 2013

Potential State-Sanctioned Pot Consiglieres Meet with Washington's Liquor Control Board

Though the call for consultants knowledgeable in all aspects of cannabis cultivation, processing, distribution and pricing seemed outrageous, about 75 people met with Washington state officials to learn more about the contract, the Puget Sound Business Journal reports.

Though pot use is legal for those over 21 in Washington, the state now has to deal with the actual administration of the law. To assist the Liquor Control Board with establishing rules and regulations for pot, Washington put out the call for consultants.

Those that showed up expressed concerns that bidding for the consultant position would be violating the state's conflict of interest laws. Those who would want to consult would also want a stake in the market — which would ultimately take many qualified candidates out of the running.

Others were worried about incriminating themselves, especially in light of the federal government leaving the door open to arrests of those involved in Washington's marijuana industry (despite being legalized).

However, many others felt they were already known to state and federal law enforcement because of their long history in growing, processing and distributing pot.

The U.S. Won't Study Pot…But the Israelis Will

Imagine a place where a government's response to studying medical marijuana is something other than a seven year old putting their fingers in their ears and saying, "I CAN'T HEAR YOU! LALALALALALA!" at the top of their lungs.

Amazingly, such a place exists. In fact, it's a place where most anti-drug crusaders consider holy. It's called Israel. Those "Just Say No" types would probably not be interested to know that THC was discovered there and that rabbis seem to have no problems with marijuana use.

Zach Klein, a specialist in medical marijuana policy (Wouldn't it be nice if we had one of those at the federal level?) with researchers from Tel Aviv University studied medical pot at 19 nursing homes, according to the National Pain Report.

Though it was a small-scale study with just 19 participants, 17 of the seniors regained lost weight. Complaints of pain, stiffness, tremors and insomnia went away once the patients began treatment with cannabis. It also helped those who were holocaust survivors and suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder. Most of those taking part in the study were also able to reduce the number of pills they were taking each day.

"This is just the tip of the iceberg. It’s the future. This is God’s doing, and it’s marvelous in our eyes," Klein said. But it's not like we'd be able to find any of this out in the U.S., given the state of federal "drug enforcement."

Monday, January 28, 2013

Potential LA Mayors Face Off in Debate, Former Tech Honcho Pleitez Wants the Market to Decide How Many Dispensaries Should be Open

The issue of medical marijuana dispensaries took center stage, to no one's surprise, at the latest Los Angeles mayoral debate sponsored by the League of Women Voters.

Councilman Eric Garcetti and City Controller Wendy Greuel both called on the federal government to reclassify marijuana as a medicine and also call for greater regulation as to where dispensaries can open and can remain open.

However, Garcetti said about 100 dispensaries were "about right," while Greuel didn't give an exact number.

Former tech executive Emanuel Pleitez seemed open to a laissez-faire attitude toward the dispensaries. He feels the marketplace should decide how many dispensaries the city should support and that "politicians shouldn't be in the business of setting numbers."

The sole Republican of the forum, Kevin James, called the City Council out for not being able to do anything about putting any sort of order on the dispensaries in Los Angeles.

"More pot clinics than Starbucks? Unbelievable," the Los Angeles Times reports James as saying. "Only this City Council could put a moratorium on 180 or so pot clinics — and it skyrockets to over 1,000."