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The Los Angeles Times is reporting that the FBI has raided homes and offices of officials of the Los Angeles suburbs suspected of corruption in the issuance of local retail licenses for recreational marijuana.
The Times reported, “Since California voters legalized recreational cannabis four years ago, allegations of conflicts of interest, bribery and bias in the permitting process have plagued cities and counties as they try to regulate the fledgling industry.”
There hasn’t been much about the pandemic that is even vaguely amusing, but the cheers for Sweden’s pandemic policies from the American right are at least bemusing.
Sweden chose to avoid the “lockdown” that most of the rest of the world, including its Scandanavian neighbors, have followed. The Swedes urged caution, including voluntary face masks, social distancing, etc. but none were mandatory, and no businesses were closed. It was hoped that it could avoid the economic pain that hit others so hard. Consequently, its decision has been cheered by Americans who opposed the lockdown in the US.
When the Texas Legislature begins its regular biennial session next year, marijuana legalization, both medical and recreational, is certainly going to be a topic. The state’s budget is going to face a massive deficit, hammered by both the pandemic and the collapse of the price of oil.
Texas has far more arrests for marijuana possession (over 63,000 in 2016) than any other state. New Jersey has been a distant second with around 30,000 arrests, but it is about to legalize it.
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Well, I have to go back and look at the archives and see how long I’ve been hearing that story. The coffee shop system, I guess first needs to be explained back in the mid 70s, there was a boom in marijuana use in the Netherlands or actually more precisely of hashish use, almost no marijuana and almost all Mongolian hashish from Morocco and Lebanon and Turkey, and in those days from Nepal and Afghanistan. All of these places supplied hashish in various forms to primarily to the European market. Eastern Canada was also a place where hashish was the more common form of cannabis. I believe in the French. In the Netherlands, they were, of course, started arresting young people for possession of marijuana. And the Netherlands was a small, very civilized country. It didn’t take them long to realize they didn’t like arresting their kids. Fortunately, that idea never got to the United States.
The history “No medicine is smoked” in the 1990s. The U.S. drug czar, General Barry McCaffrey, became the drug czar… People really talk about from medical marijuana. Which was becoming a real problem for the establishment. The drug czar, his office has a big budget. I think around a million bucks, which they put into an authorized study on medical marijuana. To make a very long story short year or so later, they came out with a report, you know, basically the drugs czar’s report on medical marijuana. Yeah, when you’re Barry McCaffrey the drug czar.
It was the attempt by honest scientists to work for profoundly dishonest propaganda or for the drug czar. But they came out and basically said that cannabis is no more dangerous than the other drug in regards of the risk of cannabis, because I mean, virtually every aspirin cause stomach bleeding, etc.. So you have got all kinds of things. It’s accepted. They understand that drugs have risks.
I have been asked to talk about mixing alcohol and cannabis, specifically CBD and on the advice of counsel. You know, I started really didn’t drink until I was 18 and then I started smoking weed when I was 27. So there was this horrible interval in my life, but I survived. And then I may get to 70 something and then find out I’m missing out on a major cannabinoid. As with everything else, I try to make up for lost time. Obviously, one drinks alcohol for the wonderful taste of the wine and minor side effects for the most part.
I really do appreciate the difference in the taste of cannabis in the sense that different tastes, or flavors. In Britain there’s the notorious skunk strain, which smells like a skunk. And having grown up in Texas, I’ll always settle for the real thing. You know, there’s weed that really smells sweet. And then, of course, if you’re particularly when you’re vaping, it’s a more subtle thing. So you really can get a more of a sense of taste. Of course, there is nothing more subjective than that, because some people like red wine, some people like white wine. I just like wine. Over the years, my taste in wine or in alcohol and cannabis have evolved, and I’ve evolved. First off, one of the things I discovered a very long time ago was that you have a really terrible hangover from having stayed up until really very late and having most of my favorite recreational drug (wine) know when you wake up the next morning and you’re thinking suicide is okay.
The other day, there was a little bit of a rumble in the media about some of the Democratic candidates who were asked if they knew the name of the president of Mexico. A couple did. A couple didn’t.
Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador was elected president, and had previously been very far to the left. He came in pledging to fight corruption and the dismissed are now weakened in every way.
All of the ways that the instruments by which the federal government might fight corruption are greatly weakened. Law enforcement in Mexico, which is already weak enough, and now the Mexican Supreme Court has basically ruled that marijuana prohibition in Mexico is unconstitutional. So it really seemed obvious the Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador might then necessarily move to legalize marijuana. But he has now announced that all he is wants to do is medical and that the emphasis now has to be on fighting drugs and corruption. In other words, he’s going to keep the principal sources of income for the organized crime. Organizations that are now so powerful that, by the way when you have guacamole, you are actually depending on where you are, subsidizing organized crime in Mexico.
In very prohibitionist France, hemp was cultivated. In communist China, hemp was cultivated. But we can’t allow this in America, because we couldn’t even talk about hemp cultivation at Monticello – Thomas Jefferson’s estate where he wrote about it, he grew hemp. But we can’t talk about it because that would send the wrong message to children…How do we deal with this? How do we keep marijuana suppressed while allowing the cultivation of an agricultural staple that was grown all over the world for thousands of years?
We are, of course, right now in the middle of a presidential campaign that is raging right now. There is one topic that really doesn’t usually make the agenda in the presidential campaign, and that is the drug war and medical marijuana as well. A number of the democratic candidates, most of them now have just under political pressure, have come out in favor of some form of marijuana legalization. In the meantime, the Trump administration seems to have backpedaled. Donald Trump was always a social libertarian before he really got involved in politics. He was very critical of drug war. Now, after he became president, for whatever reason, the Trump Administration seems to be pulling back not only on recreational marijuana, but on medical marijuana.
This, of course, is always a secondary issue even for the Democrats, we want Medicaid for all, we want lower drug prices. Everybody wants something. Have a little freedom. Fact of the matter is, whatever the government decides to do is going to be extremely difficult terms of reforming really insanely expensive American medical system. Americans pay more (twice as much) per capita or health care as the second place in the world. Our end outcomes are nowhere near the other countries. We’re paying a whole lot of money and we’re not getting our money’s worth. And hence we have all these debates about.