Medical Marijuana Would Be A Great Idea But…

Richard Cowan is a former NORML National Director and author of CBD Wax and It’s Benefits.

Mahatma Gandhi was once asked: “What do you think of Western civilization?” He replied, “I think it would be a good idea.”

Today, we might have to say the same thing about medical marijuana. Even though ninety percent of the American people support it, the Johnstown Tribune-Democrat reports that last week the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Advisory Board rejected petitions to allow medical cannabis to be used to treat traumatic brain injury, hepatitis, hepatitis C, chronic insomnia, and major depressive disorder that is unresponsive to other treatments.”

The Tribune-Democrat explains, “Pennsylvania’s 367,925 active medical marijuana patients have all been diagnosed as having one or more of 23 serious medical conditions, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, anxiety disorder, cancer, Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis, post-traumatic stress disorder and opioid use disorder and chronic pain.

Physician General Dr. Denise Johnson said board members were concerned the applications for traumatic brain injury, hepatitis and Hepatitis C were overly broad and would have allowed people to qualify for medical marijuana cards in cases that would be inappropriate. The board was concerned that juveniles could qualify for medical marijuana if they suffered acute traumatic brain injuries. Johnson said there is evidence that medical marijuana could benefit patients suffering from chronic hepatitis and chronic Hepatitis C, but that board members felt it would be inappropriate to allow medical marijuana for people who’d had acute cases of hepatitis….”

One of the Prohibitionists’ most disingenuous arguments against medical marijuana initiatives was that “We don’t vote on medicines.”

Of course, that is literally true. The FDA supposedly evaluates proposed pharmaceutical industry products to determine if they are safe and effective. It is a hugely expensive process that only works because the pharmaceutical companies have patents on the prospective medicines.

See “FDA Approves Expensive Alzheimer’s Drug And Continues To Ignore Cannabis.”

Read full here:

When Are We Going to Start Arguing About Who Lost Mexico?

Richard Cowan is a former NORML National Director and author of CBD Wax and It’s Benefits.

There is a major debate about the loss of Afghanistan, but for the most part it has followed the Prime Directive: “Don’t Mention the Drug War!”

Nonetheless, it seems relevant that Afghanistan is still the world’s largest opium poppy producer.

According to Reuters, “Despite the threats posed by Afghanistan’s illicit drug business, experts noted, the United States and other nations rarely mention in public the need to address the trade – estimated by the UNODC at more than 80% of global opium and heroin supplies.”

So, we controlled the country? And our Drug War was subsidizing the Taliban?

And now we are rightly agonizing about leaving the very roughly 31 million Afghans at the mercy of ruthless thugs, who are literally halfway around the world. Meanwhile, last year The Washington Post reported “Violent Criminal Groups Are Eroding Mexico’s Authority And Claiming More Territory.”

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The United Nations serves a number of useful roles, but it is always important to remember that its founding members included Stalin’s Soviet Union, succeeded by Putin’s Russia, which, along with Communist China, holds a permanent seat on it’s “Security Council”. In fact, the UN members include virtually all of the world’s nastiest dictatorships and kleptocracies.

I bring up these unpleasant facts for context because this moral sewer is now telling us that the free countries of the world should ban cannabis advertising. 

Well, they have “evolved”. It still opposes medical cannabis, but right now they are just desperately trying to ban retail advertising. And it still has its American supporters.

See “UN World Drug Report Calls for Global Ban on Marijuana Advertising & THC Potency Caps”.

See “Prohibitionist Propaganda Organization Cons African American Clergy To Keep Marijuana In The Same Market With Crack And Heroin”.

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The drive to legalize marijuana seems unstoppable. Arrests are falling (but still over 400,000 annually), and the various cannabis industries (plural) are booming. Hooray for our side!

If present trends continue… In a few years, people will have forgotten that marijuana was ever illegal. The memory hole really works. 

So how did a hundred years of maximum government and medical and media industry propaganda fail? Or did it?

We owe it all to medical marijuana. It wasn’t just that cannabis was medically useful. It worked when nothing else did, and so the medical establishment, the American Medical Association, etc, the Quackocracy, simply lied about it, and, outrageously, they continue to do so. 

See The Individual Courage And Collective Cowardice Of The Medical Profession

Then “People With AIDS” got uppity. In San Francisco, my late, great friend, Dennis Peron, a gay rights activist and a remarkably brave human being, took a stand.

“In 1991, Peron organized for the passage of San Francisco’s Proposition P, a resolution calling on the state government to permit medical cannabis, which received 79% of the vote.” 

Five years later, Peron backed Proposition 215 which won 55.6% of the vote and demonstrated that the people could bypass the politicians and the medical establishment… in States that allow the people to vote on issues.

See Pride Month: Celebrating ties between California’s cannabis and LGBTQ movements. Forty years after start of AIDS epidemic triggered fight for medical marijuana access, the LGBTQ community remains at forefront of cannabis activism

Full article here:


I am proud to report that the legislature of my home state of Texas has passed the ‘Star-Spangled Banner Protection Act’.

that will penalize professional sports teams if they do not play the national anthem before games. Unfortunately, they could not change lyrics so that they still say something about “the land of the free and the home of the brave.” That could give people the wrong idea. 

For example, the same group just decided that Texans can’t be trusted to possess any quantity of marijuana, although the penalties may be reduced for a small amount. 

A 2021 University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll found that 60% of Texas voters believe possession of small or large amounts of marijuana should be legal for whatever purpose, but the majority of the legislature don’t trust the voters who voted for them. 

In 2019, there were more than 45,000 arrests in Texas for possession of marijuana, but that was a decrease from the nearly 63,000 reported arrests in 2018, the most in America. (Out of a total of half a million nationally.)

Ironically, in July of 2019, the Texas Department of Public Safety issued a memo instructing DPS officers to issue citations, rather than make arrests, for possession of less than 4 ounces of marijuana. The Texas police are more enlightened than the legislature! (Faint praise)

Previously, the legislature voted to make it legal for Texans to carry handguns without a license or training. A solid majority of Texas voters don’t think permitless carry should be allowed, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll.

The Texas legislature also passed a number of other laws that restrict voting, supposedly to “protect democracy”. But why bother? 

The contrast between the enforcement of the marijuana laws and gun laws nationally can be seen in an article published by The Trace, a nonprofit “Investigating gun violence in America.”

See “The ATF Catches Thousands of Lawbreaking Gun Dealers Every Year. It Shuts Down Very Few

See full here:


Alexander Woollcott quipped that “All the things I really like to do are either immoral, illegal, or fattening.” He died in 1943 so he missed so many other hazards that modern science would discover. 

For example, The Guardian reports that a new study says, “Any amount of alcohol consumption harmful to the brain.

A senior clinical lecturer at the University of Oxford said that a “UK study of 25,000 people finds even moderate drinking is linked to lower grey matter density.”

The Guardian explains, “The associations of wine-drinking with higher educational attainment and socioeconomic status may explain the perceived health benefits, the authors suggested. 

“If you look at who is moderately drinking, at least in this country, they are better educated, wealthier people that would do much better on a memory test … just because of who they are, than people that are less educated,” said lead author, Anya Topiwala, a senior clinical lecturer at the University of Oxford.

In other words, smart people, everyone from Jesus to Bill Buckley, have been drinking wine and giving it a good name, but now we know they would have been even smarter, if only…

Of course, there have been countless articles warning about health risks from marijuana use. Last year, an article, “How Casual Marijuana Can Cause Brain Abnormalities”. 

One of the standard arguments against marijuana legalization is based on the view that the human brain isn’t fully developed until we are 25, so cannabis should not be legalized for people who aren’t at least that old. 

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An excellent article in Forbes about the pending legalization of marijuana in New York points out a common failing in various state legalization laws:

See: Why New York Legalizing Recreational Cannabis Won’t Kill The Illicit Market

I have been very critical of most state legalization policies because of their excessive taxes and “regulations” that raise costs and barriers to entry, making legal products more expensive than black market products.

See: Why The U.S. Has Made A Complete Mess Of Partial Marijuana Legalization (So Far)

After real decriminalization that stops arresting marijuana users, even if they aren’t white, the primary objective of legalization should be to take marijuana out of the black market with hard drugs. The Dutch call this the “Separation of the Markets.” If someone in The Netherlands wants cannabis, they don’t have to go to a poly-drug street dealer. They just go to the nearest “Coffeeshop.”

Unfortunately, as the Forbes article points out, the new laws that legalize marijuana growing and sales leave small growers in the black market. That is great for them, until it is a disaster.

Aside from the fact that I have lots of friends who are growers, it is counterproductive to leave these good people behind in the black market. First and foremost, these people are not a social or public health and safety problem. On the contrary.

Of course, small growers cannot supply the mass market, just as homebrewers cannot replace the other Bud. The solution is to create a category for “small” growers who would pay a small licensing fee and comply with reasonable standards for public health and safety. They could create grower cooperatives with their own “brands” that could be sold at “farmers markets.” They might then be able to broaden their markets. They would be subject to the same income taxes as lettuce growers.

These people have played an important role in the cannabis world, especially as an alternative to the Mexican gangs, and they have useful skills… and sometimes excellent genetics. They would be the perfect “bespoke” providers for the luxury market.

See full here:


President Biden has suffered two avoidable embarrassments. First, he somehow managed to fall three times trying to run up the ramp stairs for Airforce One. I’m even older than he is, so I’m sympathetic. Oops. It happens.

Don’t worry if you missed it. It will run forever on the Trump cult networks to demonstrate how inferior he is to the godlike athleticism of the Apollo of Mar-a-Swampo.

The second embarrassment was deliberate. The Biden White House fired five staffers who honestly admitted to having used marijuana.

Someone immediately pointed out that this would have kept former President Barack (“Lock My People Up”) Obama from being appointed to anything. To which I say, Hooray.

See: Obama’s War on Pot. In a shocking about-face, the administration has launched a government-wide crackdown on medical marijuana

On the other hand, it is utterly inconsistent with his claims that his advisers will lead with “science and truth.

To the contrary, this places a penalty on both, and arguably creates security risks.

More substantially, it will pointlessly exclude some truly great minds. Two of the greatest geniuses of the last century were cannabis users:

The late Carl Sagan, “American astronomer, planetary scientist, cosmologist, astrophysicist, astrobiologist, author, and science communicator.”

Read full here:


I like to think that Trump’s failure to support marijuana legalization cost him the election.

See: Did Marijuana Prohibition Cost Trump The Election?

But now I have the same questions about the conservative movement going forward, and America always needs a healthy opposition, so it should be of concern for everyone, whatever their politics.

See: Why Conservatives Should Support Marijuana Legalization

Unfortunately, it would seem that leading conservative think tanks have already been captured by the Drug Warriors. The Heritage Foundation, one of the oldest voices on the right, is actually headed by a former Associate Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, under President George H. W. Bush, Kay C. James.

However, Heritage has been lying about marijuana, and about little old me, for a long time.

See: How The Heritage Foundation Used Newsweek to Recycle Lies About My “Medical Marijuana Scam”

Not to be outdone, the Hudson Institute, one of Heritage’s leading competitors, is actually headed by James’ former boss, John Walters, who was the Czar himself under Bush. And Walters was certainly one of the worst.

Walters actually said, “(Marijuana) is by far the single largest factor in illegal drug addiction in the country. … The conventional view out there today is that marijuana is a soft drug, that marijuana is harmless and that it is not addictive, and there is no withdrawal. It’s not just a gateway drug. … If you are not talking about marijuana, you are not talking about the central part of the problem.” Yep. He really said that.


Another major conservative think tank, the American Enterprise Institute, is more moderate, relying primarily on Sally Satel. She is what I would call a “moderate prohibitionist,” but unlike her counterparts, she is intellectually honest. Nonetheless, AEI is really out of touch with the American people on this issue.

In real-world politics these think tanks exist to give cover to politicians, and there are a few politicians who actually care about ideas. For those who do, the Cato Institute, Washington’s leading Libertarian think tank, and Reason in California are excellent.

Then there is Fox News and Tucker Carlson and … Wow!

See: Tucker Carlson Guest Worried Humanity Might Go Extinct From Smoking Weed (Video)  And Tucker Carlson Tries To Blame Marijuana For Mass Shootings

See full here:


There are a number of reasons for legalizing marijuana, but in the current American debate, the most prominent argument is based on the fact that African Americans are disproportionately impacted by law enforcement. That is entirely understandable in the era of Black Lives Matter.


However, in his Senate confirmation hearing, Judge Merrick Garland, Biden’s choice for Attorney General, also pointed out that interfering with state marijuana laws is “not a useful use of limited resources.”

See: Get Ready for a Pot-Friendly DOJ

It is astonishing that even today we are still arresting half a million Americans annually for simple possession of marijuana. That is more than for all violent crimes combined. Is that the best use of finite criminal justice resources? Is that a Conservative value?

See: Conservative Intellectual Wants To Keep Marijuana In The Black Market So “Problem Users” Won’t Be Such A Problem


However, in his Senate confirmation hearing, Judge Merrick Garland, Biden’s choice for Attorney General, also pointed out that interfering with state marijuana laws is “not a useful use of limited resources.”

See: Get Ready for a Pot-Friendly DOJ

It is astonishing that even today we are still arresting half a million Americans annually for simple possession of marijuana. That is more than for all violent crimes combined. Is that the best use of finite criminal justice resources? Is that a Conservative value?

See: Conservative Intellectual Wants To Keep Marijuana In The Black Market So “Problem Users” Won’t Be Such A Problem

Full here:


The Republican Party is badly split and it did not start with Donald Trump. However, when ideology trumps reality, the result is stupidity.

“It is the theory which decides what we can observe.”- Albert Einstein

In recent elections, Republicans considered marijuana prohibition to be a peripheral issue at best. It is not something that “serious” candidates want to spend any time discussing, or they will cease to be considered “serious.”

See: Did Marijuana Prohibition Cost Trump The Election?

In fact, as long as a candidate supports prohibition, it is better that they appear as ignorant as possible on the subject. This protects them from any suspicion of having any latent “tendencies” or secret subversive ideas. In this regard, the prohibitionist ideology resembles the AIDS virus in that it shuts down the immune system by which the democratic process protects itself against anti-democratic nonsense.

See full here:


As we used to say, back when we could still go to the movies: This is where I came in.

In 1972, the first thing I ever wrote for publication was in the late William F. Buckley Jr’s National Review on why conservatives should support the legalization of marijuana. It caused quite a stir. There it was on the cover: THE TIME HAS COME: ABOLISH THE POT LAWS

The New York Times even wrote about it: BUCKLEY SHIFTS MARIJUANA STAND and even Time Magazine wrote about it then and again in 2015: The Conservative Case for Legalizing Marijuana.

And I was down the rabbit hole. So now, 49 years later, when I saw “There’s a Responsible Way to End the Federal Marijuana Ban. The key to any nationwide legalization is to keep the free market out of it” by Ramesh Ponnuru, a senior editor for National Review, I just had to respond with Conservative Intellectual Wants To Keep Marijuana In The Black Market So “Problem Users” Won’t Be Such A Problem.

Even though he led with, “The key to any nationwide legalization is to keep the free market out of it,” and that is not something one often sees in either Bloomberg or National Review, he explains that he only wants the government to control retail sales to prevent excessive commercialization that would encourage excessive use.

Now he has responded in National Review with Marijuana and Black Markets.

See full here:


The reason that our Constitution begins by saying that We, the people are creating “a More Perfect Union” is that we had a very imperfect union under the Articles of Confederation, which followed the success of the Revolution.

See: Marijuana Prohibition, The Constitutional Crisis And The Assault On Democracy

One of those imperfections was the problem of trade wars between the states. Under the Confederation, a state could impose restrictions and/or tariffs on imports from another state.

It just so happened that the other important thing that happened in 1776 was the publication of Adam Smith’s classic on economics, The Wealth of Nations, which argued that free trade was preferable to imposing tariffs on imports. Free trade serves the public, while tariffs and other restrictions serve special interests. (And politicians who get to decide what the tariffs should be.)

Because of that, the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution gives the federal government exclusive power to regulate trade between the states, not just precluding tariffs, but also any restrictions that may serve as a restraint of trade.

Ironically, this has immediate relevance to marijuana prohibition: “The Commerce Clause is the source of federal drug prohibition laws under the Controlled Substances Act.

“In a 2005 medical marijuana case, Gonzales v. Raichthe U.S. Supreme Court rejected the argument that the ban on growing medical marijuana for personal use exceeded the powers of Congress under the Commerce Clause.”

More recently, I have written about the mess that several states are making as politicians who were ardent prohibitionists yesterday, now are experts on regulating a new industry.

See: Why The US Has Made A Complete Mess Of Partial Marijuana Legalization (So Far)

See full here:


The first time I went to Amsterdam was in February of 1993. I had recently become the National Director of, but I had previously met a number of Dutch officials and activists at the original Drug Policy Foundation (predecessor of the Drug Policy Alliance) conferences in the late 1980s.

Incredibly, lying about the Dutch was a basic part of the U.S. prohibitionist party line, so I decided that it would be useful to be able to to say, “I have just returned from Amsterdam and…”

After all, what the Dutch were doing was supposed to be impossible and disastrous and “double plus ungood.”

My first stop was a little coffeeshop across from my hotel. As I went in, I nervously looked both ways with the paranoia of a citizen of the “land of the free and the home of the brave.” (Pause for tears and laughter).

See: Richard’s Tips to Latin American Countries on the Cusp of Legalization of Cannabis and Medical Marijuana.

Later, I had an appointment (arranged by my Dutch friends) with the head of the “Vice squad” of the Amsterdam police. He made clear that there were seldom any problems at the coffeeshops, but lots of calls for the police at Amsterdam’s numerous (over 1,100) bars.

Full here:


One of the most frustrating problems in the efforts to end marijuana prohibition has long been the distrust of freedom and the pretense that we are somehow “boldly going where no politicians have ever gone before.”

Specifically, marijuana has been sold over-the-counter to anyone over 18 for decades in the Netherlands (not just in Amsterdam). It also allows for on-premise consumption. And with almost no regulations, except NO HARD DRUGS. And essentially no problems. (Except on the still banned supply.)

However, when Nevada legalized recreational sales, even Las Vegas did not initially license on-premise consumption because they were unsure how it might work and what the consequences might be.

See: Las Vegas and Recreational Marijuana 

In states where the politicians and the police distrust the people even more, the regulations have been even more absurd. For example, Ohio’s new medical marijuana laws (and some other states) do not allow the sale of marijuana to be smoked by patients, because the prohibitionist party line is that “NO MEDICINE IS SMOKED.”


That is the result of the Institute of Medicine’s study paid for by the Drug Czar’s office in 1999 that concluded that marijuana was as safe or safer than most medicines, except for the risks inherent in smoking anything. That point was seized as propaganda by the Drug Czar who ignored everything else. So 20 years later when Ohio voted to stop arresting the sick and dying, they included the Czar’s propaganda without having ever read — or even heard about — his propaganda.

See: Cannabis in Ohio

In Pennsylvania, regulations and taxes make medical marijuana much more expensive than in most other states.

See: Cannabis in Pennsylvania 

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Louisville, Kentucky got unwanted national publicity after Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old unarmed African-American nurse, was fatally shot while she was sleeping in her apartment on March 13, by white plainclothes officers on a “no-knock” drug raid. (No drugs were found.)


The raid was such a fiasco legally that it still isn’t clear who was responsible for what, but because of the national publicity, Louisville has at least banned “No Knock” warrants.

So it is especially outrageous that another incident in Louisville has not been reported anywhere except for the Louisville Courier Journal.

See: ‘It could have gone wrong’: Michael Bush’s tense encounter with DEA agents in Louisville

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The city of Louisville, Kentucky, has agreed to pay $12 million to the family of Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old African American nurse, who was fatally shot eight times by Louisville Kentucky Metro Police Department officers who entered her apartment, while serving a “no-knock warrant” on March 13. She was in her bed sleeping and no “drugs” were found.

And Louisville has agreed to “institute sweeping police reforms.”

CNN reports that “as part of the settlement, the city agreed to establish a housing credit program as an incentive for officers to live in the areas they serve; use social workers to provide support on certain police runs; and require commanders to review and approve search warrants before seeking judicial approval, among other changes.”

Unfortunately, these reforms are limited to the city of Louisville, and will do nothing to stop similar tragedies in the rest of the country, resulting from similar raids that have become “Standard Operating Procedure” in the Drug War.

In fact, even in Louisville, that is still a problem because it makes it difficult to prosecute the police officers involved in the shooting. The Louisville raid was probably illegal, but which of the officers involved were responsible?

I have not been able to find an accurate count of the number of raids but it would appear that there were at least 20,000 “No Knock” raids last year, and perhaps far more.

Full here:


I turned 80 in June, and my father died of prostate cancer at the age of 81, so I have more than a casual interest in the subject. Of course, when he died 29 years ago, we did not know what we know now, because the federal government has done everything possible to block research on marijuana.

According to a study published by the U.S. National Institutes for Health:

“Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men (aside from non-melanoma skin cancer) and the second most common cause of cancer death in the United States. Even with widespread screening with prostate-specific antigen (PSA), still 5% of cases present with metastatic lesions at the time of diagnosis. Because of all this, there is a fundamental necessity to search for and find new and novel treatments to this common pathology. Cannabis and cannabinoids have often been an issue of much polemics in the realm of science, but since the discovery of cannabinoid receptors in rat brain in the late 1980s, there has been a growing interest in the research of these compounds and our knowledge continues to expand. There has been experimental evidence that cannabinoids possess anti-androgenic proprieties.”

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The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is one of the smallest (998.6 sq miles, pop. 626,108) and richest ($112,045 per capita) countries in Europe. (It is actually the third richest in the world.)

Its location on the border of Belgium, France and Germany has given it an outsized importance in the European Union, so its moves to legalize cannabis will have a significant impact on other EU countries. It was also a part of the Benelux free trade group that ultimately became the European Union.

From August of 2019, see Luxembourg to be first European country to legalise cannabis.

SEE: Health minister confirms plans and calls on neighbouring countries to relax their laws.

Unfortunately, the pandemic has delayed legalization, but it also seems to have increased demand for medical cannabis.

Full here:


I love Spain, but I feel sorry for anyone who tries to govern it. In addition to the usual Left/Right political divisions, several of Spain’s “autonomous” regions, most notably Catalonia (Barcelona), have strong independence movements that resent the Madrid government.

However, Spain has been hit very hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, and it is more dependent on tourism than any other major European country. Consequently, it is going to need a major bailout from the European Central Bank, but that will not solve its terrible unemployment problem, especially for its younger citizens.

While Spain needs to diversify its economy, that will take time, and the problems in its devastated tourism sector have to be addressed now, because it is a major source of employment, especially for the young, and the pandemic is still keeping it closed.

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Recently, the excellent website,, carried two articles by Kyle Jaeger, their Los Angeles-based associate editor, Trump Voices Concern That Putting Marijuana On The Ballot Makes Republicans Lose and Biden’s Marijuana Decriminalization Plan Is ‘Meaningless,’ Democratic Congressman Says that really make me wonder if Trump is willing to lose the election to maintain marijuana prohibition. (Or is Biden?)

Jaeger reported that on a campaign visit to Wisconsin, Trump “urged Republicans not to place marijuana legalization initiatives on state ballots out of concern that it will increase Democratic turnout in elections … and that he blames marijuana legalization efforts on former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) defeat in the 2018 election.”

“The next time you run please don’t put marijuana on the ballot at the same time you’re running,” Trump said, directing his advice to Walker, who was in the crowd. “You brought out like a million people that nobody ever knew were coming out.”

Read final here:


The great thing about voting machines is that you can vote with one hand and hold your nose with the other one. Believe me, I have had a lot of practice with that, and I will do it again this year.

After Biden cinched the Democratic nomination, his campaign focused on getting the support of Bernie Sanders’ young supporters. Biden was greatly relieved that Sanders was willing to help, so they launched what they called a “Unity Task Force,” and one of the major topics was Federal marijuana prohibition.

Politico reported the result as: “The left gets rolled on legalizing pot.”

Frankly, I absolutely reject that formulation. Marijuana legalization has been supported by the Libertarian right far longer than by the Left. The late Milton Friedman and William F. Buckley Jr. and many other conservatives have long opposed prohibition. Obama, Holder, Biden, Shalala, Clinton, Feinstein and Schumer all supported arresting millions of Americans. Until they opposed it…

However, in a meeting with Biden, Sanders is definitely on the Left. Given Biden’s long support for the Drug War, even coining the term “Drug Czar,” the real world results were not too terrible.

The key points:

Read more here:

Did Marijuana Prohibition Cause The Covid-19 Pandemic?

Have I “jumped the shark” polemically? It is true that 95% of the American people are in favor of medical marijuana, and we know that cannabis can help with a variety of medical problems.

  1. The extreme nausea caused by cancer chemotherapy
  2. Epilepsy in children
  3. Crohn’s Disease and other autoimmune problems
  4. Wasting syndrome for people with AIDS, and many more

See: COVID-19, AIDS and the Suppression of Medical Cannabis

Read full story below:

Black Lives Matter Is Absolutely Necessary But Absolutely Not Sufficient

Race being inherent in the topic, I should begin by explaining that I am an 80-year-old white guy, which means that I am not in BLM’s target demographic. On the other hand, I am not the target demographic for trigger-happy police either.

Nonetheless, I can readily understand why black Americans would rightly expect “equal justice.” Do we whites think that Black Americans are deaf and don’t hear the words “Liberty and Justice for All” and all that good stuff? They bleed on our battlefields in our endless wars, so why should they bleed on our streets?

Enter Black Lives Matter.

It was actually founded seven years ago, but it did not seem to get much attention by whites until this year, after two particularly outrageous killings: George Floyd by suffocation in Minneapolis, and Breonna Taylor, shot in a “no-knock” drug raid as she slept, in Louisville, Kentucky.

Read more below:

Las Vegas and Recreational Marijuana

I heard that Las Vegas is going to be changing their longtime slogan: “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.” And that’s good, because that was never true.

I’m sure that there a lot of clinics that could switch to that. Also a lot of bankruptcy lawyers. With the idea of Vegas becoming a center for recreational cannabis, things come into mind. Number one is my wonderful city of Amsterdam, which I love. I live there. I view the coffee shops, everything there, as a wonderful experience. Nobody needs to go to Amsterdam anymore though.

The fact is that what happened in Vegas didn’t stay in Vegas because they missed it, by being as aggressive as they were with legalization and much more. Of course, being Vegas in everybody’s face, some Miami people were going to Colorado to get cannabis because it was the first place where they could go. But now it’s Vegas. And because it’s Vegas, they’ve got whatever else you like there. Incredible restaurants, great shows, really cheap little hotels by comparison. If you don’t gamble, it’s still a really great thing. And now, some of the dispensaries there are absolutely amazing.

Trump’s Surgeon General Takes Reefer Quackery to a New Low – Protecting New Mothers from Their Protectors

President Trump has been widely criticized for not listening to the “medical experts,” but that may not always be a bad thing.

Last year, Dr. Jerome Adams, Trump’s Surgeon General, said that pregnant women and teenagers “may be unaware that modern crops [of marijuana] pose greater health risks because of their potency.”

“This ain’t your mother’s marijuana,” said Surgeon General Jerome Adams.

Well, that ain’t nothin’ new. In fact, the potency (THC percentage by weight) has been a part of prohibitionist propaganda for decades, including the cliché about it not being your father’s Oldsmobile, or whatever. Of course, any kind of data on contraband is inherently problematic, but in states with legal marijuana, it is labeled so you can at least know what your mother is using.

Read full article here:

Grey Area Coffeeshop, Amsterdam – An Internationally Famous Cannabis Coffee Shop

The Grey Area Coffeeshop in Amsterdam is one of my favorite places. I think it may be the only American-owned coffee shop still there. A dear friend of mine, John Foster, owns it, who is one of the hardest working people I’ve ever known. –

For years, John was there every day, standing on his feet, supplying particularly to a lot of American tourists.

Going there is still both wonderful and funny to me. When they first opened, and you see the line around the corner, it was quite funny. But I understand the draw and why there is a line.

The Sad Case For Biden Over Trump For Medical Marijuana Users

The prospect that the next president of the United States will be either Donald Trump or Joe Biden is why the government should provide us all with medical marijuana.

That is sort of a joke, but considering what the candidates are saying and/or doing, it’s no joke.

On a recent radio interview with an African American host, Biden drew a lot of flak for saying, “If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.¨

It was a dumb thing to say, but some of other dumb things that he said should have drawn more critical attention.

Read full article here:

What Does The Future of CBD and Cannabis Look Like for Texas

I don’t think we’re really going to have a problem with CBD. That particular genie is out of the bottle.

But I think that Texas is going to be a major battleground over medical marijuana more generally, and ultimately about recreational use. The state is very split demographically. There are four or five major metropolitan areas that tend to, not surprisingly, be more socially liberal. Also, in particular, the sheriffs in Texas mostly have disproportionate political power. The state Legislature is distorted somewhat in that the rural areas are disproportionately represented. This creates a real problem in terms of passing laws that are really the greatest impact in the cities. But the cities do not have direct control over this.

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Don’t Mention The Drug War. We Must Decriminalize Being Black. Black Freedom Matters.

“Chaos Theory” is the idea that very small events can have major consequences. It is often illustrated by what is called the “Butterfly Effect,” where the fluttering of tiny wings could set off a series of events leading to a major storm halfway around the world. Of course, even though there are millions of butterflies, they don’t have cameras, so there is no way to monitor these events, but there are plenty of real world examples.

For instance, try to imagine that the cruel and incredibly stupid action of a policeman in a very liberal city would kill a suspect by keeping his knee on the suspect’s throat until well after he was dead. And all of it was caught on a camera and immediately broadcast around the world. What could possibly go right?

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Will New York Legalize Marijuana?

I think you are very likely to see marijuana legalization this year in New York. Governor Cuomo, who is certainly a smart politician, knows how to read his Legislature, and has obviously learned from their failed attempt previously to do this.

I think that New York, more than most places, has all of the complexities and the rules of great cities. You also have a state that is otherwise pretty much like the rest of the country. This case, really big city and the rest of the country. But well represented in the sense that there is a wide variety of things there.

What happened last time was a really good example of the saying, “If your enemies don’t get you, your own folks may.” People who said they were in favor of the legalization of marijuana then only wanted to do it their way.

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Why Are Police Still Pushing Marijuana Prohibition

I’ve argued that even fascists should support the legalization of marijuana. In fact, marijuana prohibition is a perfect example in some ways of fascism, or of communism, or of any authoritarian system that you would think of. However, just from the civil point of view of economics and basic politics, you have really finite resources to bring to bear in a society in terms of criminal justice activity. At some point or other, the most brutal totalitarian societies will find that prisons are simply too full. Also, by the way, the United States has more prisoners per capita than any other country in the world. We have 5 percent of the world’s population and 25 percent of the world’s prisoners. Thank god for the leaders of the free world … I think we feel like otherwise.

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The Marijuana Meme: You Can’t Be Serious – Airbrushing An Agricultural Staple Out of the History Books

Marijuana/Hemp/Cannabis is a fascinating subject. As marijuana (meaning a “recreational drug”) it has been “controversial” for almost 100 years. Before that, as hemp, it was mostly just an agricultural staple for thousands of years. It was used as fiber for rope and canvas sails, etc. It was also cheap cloth (“Hempen homespuns” –  Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” Act III Scene I).

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COVID-19, AIDS and the Suppression of Medical Cannabis

Researchers Have Focused on Strains High in the Anti-inflammatory Cannabidiol (CBD).

First, let me make clear that my focus is on politics, not directly on medicine. As the president says, “I’m not a doctor.” However, as we have seen, medicine does become political, and this is nothing new for those of us who can remember the beginnings of the AIDS epidemic.

Early in the epidemic, people with AIDS in San Francisco and New York, where marijuana was easily available, discovered that it helped with some of the more debilitating symptoms, notably loss of appetite. The “munchies” had long been a joke in the weed world, but it was no joke to patients who were either too nauseous to want to eat, or who simply had no appetite, resulting in a “wasting syndrome” that increased their suffering and hastened their deaths.

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Older Adult Senior Community Cannabis Usage Is Increasing Exponentially

There have been questions about whether my generation is using more cannabis, and it’s almost certainly true. My generation is the one that’s been lied to literally from the very beginning of the Reefer Madness 1930s. I think that one of the things that my generation did learn about marijuana prohibition is that you had to lie about it. It reminds me of one of the great lines from The Simpsons where Bart Simpson said “I didn’t do it.”

The thing that my generation never heard of: Where can I get some? But at the same time, as medical information gets out, in spite of the government, not because of it, people see their friends doing the thing that my generation is terribly aware of: A lot of the things that are supposed to help us, in fact, hurt us. Also, a lot of things that may be useful in the short-run for acute situations are actually harmful in the long-run – particularly if something is addictive like benzodiazepines or opiates and so on.

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Quebec Enlarges Marijuana Black Market During Pandemic

Quebec, Canada’s beautiful French speaking province, finds itself with the worst COVID-19 situation in Canada.

The Canadian political website reports:

“Quebec, with less than one-quarter of Canada’s population, is the country’s worst hit province. It accounts for a staggering 59 percent of all COVID-19 deaths and 54 percent of cases in Canada. … Quebec is responsible for over 60 percent of new Canadian deaths and cases over the last week, meaning its share of Canada’s COVID-19 problem is still increasing.”

In the midst of this tragedy, the provincial government decided to go ahead and raise the legal age to consume and purchase recreational marijuana from 18 to 21. (The legal age for alcohol remains 18 in Quebec and 19 in the rest of Canada.)

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Richard’s Tips to Latin American Countries on the Cusp of Legalization of Cannabis and Medical Marijuana

I think the advice that I would give to the Latin American countries generally, and to every other country in the world in terms of how to proceed with legalization, begins by saying, Americans, generally speaking, are not welcome in terms of giving advice. But my advice in that regard is don’t repeat our mistakes. A few years ago, I had the honor of being invited to speak to the committee of the Mexican Congress.

This was particularly an honor and a thrill at this time because no one in Mexico was thinking about legalizing marijuana. And fortunately, that has changed very quickly. But my advice, describe the mistakes that have been made. Ironically, it is correcting the lies that the Dutch justice minister had told them about the Dutch system. Welcome to Provisionals World. People lie about their own countries.

Mexico May Move to Complete Legalization of Marijuana and Hemp Without THC Limits By the End of the Year

I really love Mexico, and having grown up in Texas, I have visited there many times, starting in 1947, when I was seven years old and my parents drove to Mexico City on the then new PanAmerican Highway with me standing up in the backseat. (There were no seatbelts in those days.)

It was much safer then than now, because it was long before the Drug War. In the meantime, 20 years later in 1967, I discovered a certain Mexican agricultural product that could have gotten me life in prison in Texas.

My most recent visit to what is now a metropolitan area with over 20 million people, was in April of 2009, when I…

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Is GW Epidiolex Better Than The CBD Products That I Can Buy Online?

First thing to remember about GW’s product, which is called Epidiolex, is that it has been approved by the FDA. Some may be saying: “Well, maybe CBD is just a fad. It is a placebo effect. Whatever.” The fact is, GW spent a huge amount of money getting it approved by regulatory agencies in the United States and other countries to prove that it is not a placebo.

A placebo is a really interesting phenomenon, which is a much longer topic than we can get into right now. But basically, if you give a group of people sugar pills and tell them that it will alleviate their “whatever,” 15-20 percent – sometimes even more – will get relief from their “whatever.” This really complicates testing new drugs. Is this new drug really effective or is it the placebo effect? So that is a big part of the FDA procedure.

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Feds Try To Undermine California’s Legal Marijuana Industry Vía Selective Prosecution of Advertising Companies

Although California’s Proposition 64, the “Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act” which legalized the sale of recreational marijuana, won by an overwhelming victory four years ago (Yes 7,979,041 = 57.13% vs No 5,987,020 = 42.87%) it was — and still is — opposed by law enforcement in rural areas, some urban localities, and — of course — by the Feds.

Also, there has been great confusion and controversy over how to implement it by licensing retail sales. As is almost always the case, the drafting of the lengthy text involved many compromises with the state’s numerous “stakeholders” — AKA “special interests.”

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We Must End Marijuana Prohibition For Economic Recovery in a Post Pandemic World

In the midst of the pandemic, there is much uncertainty about almost everything, but one thing does seem certain. America is going to be much poorer. Or, to put in a global perspective, America and a few other countries will be much less rich and the rest of the world will be much, much poorer, and no wall or welfare program will protect us.

In Los Angeles, the global center of the entertainment industry, the unemployment rate is already around 50 percent, and many jobs and businesses are gone forever. The sheer scale of the problems will almost certainly lead to social unrest which will be visible to the world. But so will the solutions, because the world really does look to “Hollywood” for imagination.

So use your imagination. Imagine what Los Angeles and America and the world would look like without marijuana prohibition.

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Tobacco Companies and Cannabis – Should They Be Allowed In?

I should begin by explaining that I have rather strong libertarian, capitalistic tendencies. But when I’m asked about the tobacco industry – yet again to the cannabis industry – I confess to having very mixed feelings. Remember that I was born in 1940. I grew up in the good old days of not a cough and a carload, 9/10 doctors who smoke, recommend… and so on. Back in those days, on the evening news with John Cameron Swayze, he would be smoking while he gave the news. You’d see a little cigarette over there with the smoke rising up, and so on. On the topic of cigarette advertising, when I wrote the article for National Review on why conservatives should support the legalization of marijuana which was in December of 1972, seemed like only yesterday.

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Seniors Have Even More Reason to Demand End to Cannabis Prohibition

Those of us who are fortunate enough to live a long life (I’ll be 80 this year) probably fear Alzheimer’s Disease more than almost anything else, and the last 10 years of Ronald Reagan’s life demonstrate why.

He was 94 when he finally died in 2004, of Alzheimer’s, 10 years after he was diagnosed. His long life meant that he suffered longer from the worst of Alzheimer’s than most people. His family also had to endure seeing his decline over a period of years. The Reagans could afford to hire nurses and others to spare the family the onerous burden that exhausts most families – physically, emotionally and financially – but that did not lessen their heartbreak.

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How Marijuana Prohibition May Cost Trump A Second Term – Will Biden’s Prohibitionist Past Catch Up With Him?

Every day there are news stories about marijuana legalization, the marijuana business and financial analysis, medical marijuana/CBD studies, etc. However, there is almost no discussion of marijuana prohibition, which remains the policy of the U.S. government and the Trump administration.

As reported, “During his 2016 presidential campaign, Trump asserted that, as president, he would allow states to choose whether to legalize marijuana without interference from the federal government.

“After his election, however, Trump’s position completely reversed. In 2017, then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded the Cole Memo, an Obama-era policy of not interfering with states who have legalized marijuana. Trump’s press secretary at the time, Sean Spicer, then implied that there would be a crackdown on legalization states. Sessions, however, did not specifically order law enforcement to direct more resources toward enforcing marijuana laws.”

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Let’s Declare April “Marijuana Legalization Month”

The pandemic is not only a public health threat. It is a threat to our freedom.

Streaming Freedom on A Virtual 420

End Marijuana Prohibition NOW!

April 20th (420, 4/20 and 4:20) became the international symbol of the celebration of marijuana use as an act of public defiance against marijuana prohibition. It was furtive at first, but with increasingly public defiance.

Over the almost four decades since it began, “420” has become vastly bigger and more open, but it remains essentially a one day celebration. Now the time has come for us to move beyond having just a one day party and make it a month of defiance, planning and mobilization for however long it takes to take back our freedom.

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Why Is Marijuana Legalization Not Covered in Mainstream Media?

One of the things I have said often in speeches and written about is that the best two-word explanation for marijuana prohibition is bad journalism. You’ll hear that again, and again.

There are so many examples of that. Don’t get me started.

I remember, for example, when I was at NORML, there was a really terrible article in The Washington Times which tends to specialize in articles about marijuana in particular. So I called up the reporter and said, “Could I send you some material that contradicts the party line?” She said, “Oh, I’d love to see it, but that, you know, there’s really no point in it. I was just given this assignment. I probably will be writing about it again.” But what I had to do was to call the drug czars office and get them to say something. And that was journalism dealing with marijuana. You know, it doesn’t matter whether it’s true or not. And this went on for decades.

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Marijuana Prohibition Is Mass Murder. End Marijuana Prohibition NOW!

Oh, surely now, isn’t that an overstatement? Mass murder? After all, it’s a complicated subject, and we need to be careful about it.

I would double down, and say NO, in fact, it is actually a huge understatement and it would be obvious if so many of our institutions weren’t morally, intellectually, scientifically, medically, journalistically, politically, ethically and spiritually bankrupt. (Did I miss anyone?)

Right now we are living (and/or dying) through a pandemic that is the result of the failure of virtually all of our institutions, and if we cannot now see how this is happening, then it’s only a matter of time before we will all lose our freedom, if not our lives. And we cannot blame a virus.

Now let’s quantify the problems.

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How Should You talk To your Grandchildren About CBD and Medical Marijuana?

The whole context of family communication around the topic of cannabis is one that is fraught with tension, one might say. I could help if everybody got stoned first, but that’s the whole topic, isn’t it? How do you talk to your children, or grandchildren? Not being the marrying kind, I don’t have any grandchildren. But, one of the great things about having been involved with the marijuana reform movements over the decades is that I actually occasionally get to meet these “young people” they’re called. Yes, that’s it.

Going to college campuses and debating narcs was one of the more enjoyable aspects of being involved with the issue.

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