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Bill Weinberg's blog

Think-tank urges legal cannabis for United Kingdom

Posted on July 3rd, 2018 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , .

cannabisIn another sign of turning tides, a prestigious British think-tank once beloved of Margaret Thatcher has called on the government to legalize cannabis. The breakthrough report finds that a legal cannabis industry could raise £1 billion per year in tax revenues for the United Kingdom, while undercutting the black market.

The next likely countries to legalize cannabis

earthWith Canada now joining Uruguay as the second country to legalize cannabis at the national level, industry eyes are scanning the world map for which could be the likely third. Latin America may provide the candidate, as even UN experts now urge the region's governments to consider legalization as a way out of the endemic narco-violence. But pressure for legal cannabis is fast mounting in several European countries as well. Legalization may soon be on the legislative agenda in Australia, while New Zealand has promised to put the questions before the voters. 

Can states—or the people— 'nullify' federal cannabis prohibition?

Posted on June 19th, 2018 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , .

constitutionThe doctrine of nullification has a long and harshly contested legacy in the history of the United States—it has been invoked in defense of both just causes and frankly evil ones. But some argue that it is time to revisit the idea—to put an end to federal cannabis prohibition.

GPR55: the third cannabinoid receptor

Posted on June 18th, 2018 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , .

THCFor a generation now, science has known of two cannabinoid receptors—specialized protein molecules that interact with the active compounds in the cannabis plant for the human body. These are CB1 and CB2, both discovered in the early '90s. Now there is growing awareness of a third such receptor that was identified in 2007. This receptor, GPR55, may be key to understanding a wide spectrum of therapeutic applications for cannabinoids—and especially the non-psychoactive cannabidiol, or CBD.

Canada's contentious course to cannabis legalization

Posted on June 13th, 2018 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , .

Canada Canada is about to make history, with passage of its cannabis legalization bill imminent. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau  is the man of the hour, shepherding the first Western industrialized country along a course that was nearly unthinkable a generation ago. But it was activist efforts that really brought Canada to this point—and advocates are still fighting to keep a place for small growers and vendors in the new system.

New Zealand moves toward medical marijuana —and legalization

Posted on June 9th, 2018 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , .

OceaniaThe government of New Zealand has announced that it plans to hold a referendum on cannabis legalization, possibly as early as next year. A medical marijuana bill is already pending in the country's parliament. But it has taken generations of activist effort by Kiwis to bring Aotearoa (by the country's indigenous Maori name) to this point. Cannabis Now speaks with some of the leaders who made it happen.

Ecological tolls of growing cannabis —both legal and illegal

cannabisA big multi-agency "reclamation" effort on national forest lands in the Emerald Triangle points again to the serious environmental impacts of outlaw cannabis cultivation. Will this be the last gasp of this sort of thing now that California has legalized? Or will outlaw operations continue, with growers reluctant to enter the legal sector? This debate often overlooks the obvious reality that legal crops also take an ecological toll. Seawater intrusion due to years of breakneck well-drilling now threatens some of California's best farmland. With state ag-biz planning to massively convert from broccoli and cauliflower to cannabis, this is also an issue for the legal industry in the years ahead.

Cannabis and highway carnage: hard truths

Posted on May 18th, 2018 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , .

trafficA deadly five-car pile-up on a Bay Area freeway brings into sharp focus the questions around cannabis use and road safety. Media exploitation of such carnage as propaganda against legalization, however, is missing some critical points.

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