Bill Weinberg's blog

Jack Herer legacy lives on in California Cannabis Hemp Initiative

Posted on February 19th, 2020 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , , , .

Jack HerrerThe legendary hemp crusader Jack Herer drew up a California ballot initiative for a cannabis economy based on maximum freedom. He did not live to see its passage. But amid growing disillusionment with the Prop 64 legalization model, his heirs believe that in 2020, his hour has posthumously arrived.

Coronavirus outbreak impacts cannabis industry

Posted on February 18th, 2020 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , .

ChinaWith half a billion people under lockdown, the coronavirus outbreak in China is virtually certain to take a grave impact on the Asian superpower's economy—with ripples across the planet. And the cannabis industry is, like so many global concerns, dependent on labor in China's factory zones. Canna-businesses as far away as Canada's prairies are fearing an imminent pinch.

In Mexico's legalization countdown, drug war dystopia unabated

Posted on February 14th, 2020 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , .

MexicoMexican lawmakers are predicting legal cannabis by month's end, and portraying it as a key to de-escalating the endemic narco-violence. But national headlines are full of nightmarish cartel violence—making all too clear how big the challenge will be.

Cannabis prisoners as geopolitical pawns

Posted on February 10th, 2020 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , .

prisonersThe global prohibition of cannabis affords the opportunity for imperial powers and authoritarian regimes to exploit those caught in the web of enforcement to advance their own political agendas. The recent case of Naama Issachar was deftly leveraged by Vladimir Putin, and could encourage other depots to similarly use pot prisoners to exact concessions from foreign governments.

Sister Somayah Kambui: early visionary of cannabis equity

Posted on February 4th, 2020 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , , , , .

Sister SomayahToday equity is a watchword in the cannabis legalization movement, with state and local governments intentionally crafting models for an adult-use market designed to correct the social harms of prohibition and the war on drugs. But this consciousness is due to the work of many who pushed the issue long before doing so was entirely socially acceptable. Sister Somayah Kambui, a veteran Black Panther turned cannabis advocate, was one of those. And before her untimely death, she won  a groundbreaking "jury nullification" victory, upholding her right to provide cannabis to treat sickle-cell anemia.

Cuomo pledges legal cannabis for Empire State in 2020 —but whither equity?

Posted on January 23rd, 2020 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , , .

New YorkThe new budget just released by New York's Gov. Andrew Cuomo includes his promised cannabis legalization measure. But activists in the Empire State will be watching closely to see if the proposed legislation delivers on his pledge to instate legalization in a way the corrects the social harms of prohibition.

MLK and marijuana: making the connection

Posted on January 15th, 2020 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , .

MLKMartin Luther King Jr never spoke about cannabis, but his life and works have much to say about the fight for legalization, and against the "New Jim Crow" of the war on drugs. 

Legendary Emerald Triangle freedom fighter BE Smith passes on

BE SmithThe Emerald Triangle mourns the passing of BE Smith, the legendary Trinity County grower who did time in federal prison for openly cultivating cannabis under California's medical marijuana law—throwing down the proverbial gauntlet to Washington DC from his mountain homestead. His bold action put the Justice Department on the spot, and helped prompt a change in federal policy.

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