This Week: Deputy AG Acknowledges Feds Have No Viable Legal Strategy To Overturn Legalization; US Attorneys Say Fed Memo Won’t Effect Their Anti-Pot Crusade; Marijuana Ingredients Show Promise Fighting Superbugs; Politics Before Public Safety; Pot & Pregnancy; Study Shows Cannabis Consumption Plays Little Role in Global Disease Burden; and more.
Marijuana Ingredients Show Promise Fighting Superbugs — Substances in marijuana show promise for fighting deadly drug-resistant bacterial infections, including so-called “superbugs,” without causing the drug’s mood-altering effects, scientists in Italy and the United Kingdom are reporting. Besides serving as infection-fighting drugs, the substances also could provide a more environmentally-friendly alternative to synthetic antibacterial substances now widely used in personal care items, including soaps and cosmetics, they say.
Pot & Pregnancy: It’s Harmless So Why Are Moms Still Being Prosecuted? — Marijuana in pregnancy remains taboo — but does the science justify mothers getting felony convictions for a few puffs?
Deputy AG Acknowledges Feds Have No Viable Legal Strategy To Overturn Legalization — Testifying at the first congressional hearing on marijuana legalization in Colorado and Washington, Deputy Attorney General James Cole conceded that the Justice Department does not have a solid legal basis on which to challenge those states’ new laws. “It would be a very challenging lawsuit to bring,” Cole told the Senate Judiciary Committee, because repealing state penalties for growing, possessing, and selling marijuana does not create a “positive conflict” with the Controlled Substances Act. Cole argued that the feds might be on firmer ground if they tried to pre-empt state licensing and regulation of newly legal marijuana businesses. But if such litigation were successful, he said, it could make the situation worse by leaving the industry unregulated.
US Attorneys Say Fed Memo Won’t Effect Their Anti-Pot Crusade — Michael Cotter, the U.S. attorney for Montana, likewise says the Cole memo would not have been an obstacle to his prosecutorial crusade against dispensaries, which included a case that threatened one co-owner with life in prison. “I don’t think it would have changed how we conducted business,” Cotter told the Associated Press. “I think we have to see how it evolves over time….It’s not going to affect the way we do business here in Montana.”
Study Shows Cannabis Consumption Plays Little Role in Global Disease Burden — An international team of researchers from Australia and the United States assessed the global prevalence of illicit drug use and quantified its adverse effects on health, as measured in years of life lived with disability (YLDs), years of life lost (YLLs), and disability-adjusted life years (DALYs).
Politics Before Public Safety — “We — the government — have failed the people and now they want to try something else. Too often the attitude of the police is ‘We’re the cops and you’re not. Don’t tell us how to do our job.’ That is the wrong attitude and I refuse to fall into that trap.” Powerful words from Washington state sheriff John Urquardt to the US Congress.
John McCain: Maybe We Should Legalize Marijuana — A week after the Department of Justice issued a landmark decision on state-level marijuana laws, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) signaled Thursday that he’s receptive to legalizing pot. Tim Steller, a columnist for the Arizona Daily Star, reported over Twitter from a town hall in Tucson, Ariz. that McCain cited the “will of the people” in expressing an openness to legalization.
Americans for Tax Reform Call For Changes in Marijuana Business Taxes — Grover Norquist and Representative Earl Blumenauer identify unjust application of tax code for legal marijuana businesses at press conference with the National Cannabis Industry Association.
Marijuana, Sex & Amsterdam — The absence of violence is not surprising. Prohibition, not drug use, is the main reason for the association between violence and drugs, prostitution, gambling, or any banned good. In a legal market, participants resolve disputes with lawyers, courts, and arbitration. In an illegal market, they cannot use these methods and resort to violence instead.
Is Legal Ganja Coming to the Islands? — — Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves of St. Vincent and the Grenadines is urging the regional integration body, CARICOM, to quickly begin deliberations on the medical and health benefits of marijuana (commonly known as ganja in Jamaica). In a letter, dated September 2, to CARICOM’s current Chairman, Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar of Trinidad and Tobago, cited the emerging debate in Jamaica on the subject and recent developments in the United States as reasons in favour of a wider regional discussion of the subject.
Colorado Town Denied Legal Marijuana Due to Lack of Staples in Paperwork — As the list of of Colorado counties and cities that are banning recreational marijuana sales continues to grow, another small town will also go without legal weed, but not because of a lack of interest; rather due to a lack of staples.
Washington State Unveils Recreational Marijuana Rules — Recreational pot users in Washington state would have as many as 334 stores where they would be able to buy marijuana for their smoking pleasure, and the first could open as early as next spring under new regulations released this week. But as one of the first legal markets in the United States for the sale of recreational pot begins to take shape in the Pacific Northwest, future producers, sellers and smokers have more questions than there are answers now that their once-illicit industry has gone straight.”
The SS Puff n Stuff — Senior Smoldering Drug Boat Correspondent Al Madrigal reports on drug smugglers setting fire to 50 million pounds of hash off the coast of Italy.