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Bill Weinberg's blog

Federal cannabis legalization in 2020?

capitolHaving cannabis removed from the federal list of controlled substances has long been the holy grail of legalization advocates. Several bills have now been introduced on Capitol Hill to do exactly that. Do any stand a chance of becoming law in the current polarized climate?

Bernie's legalization plan bars Big Tobacco —but is that the whole problem?

Posted on October 24th, 2019 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , .

BernieBernie Sanders has released his plan for cannabis legalization, which features provisions to keep Big Tobacco from colonizing the new industry. But other exponents of corporate power are already getting a jump on the cannabis sector, and could just as effectively squeeze out independent operators.

The cannabis patent dilemma

Shadow WatchAs the cannabis industry is embraced by corporate power and finance capital, the patenting of strains, products and applications is an increasing concern. But the international patchwork of legality makes for a confusing environment. Illegality has served as a paradoxical break on privatizing of varieties. Growers and advocates are devising means to protect the genetic commons in the new cannabis order.

Dilemmas of 'smokable hemp' —legal, oxymoron, or both?

Posted on September 27th, 2019 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , , , .

cannabisSo-called "smokable hemp" is suddenly available in shops from coast to coast, legal under terms of last year's Farm Bill. But law enforcement is consternated, conservative politicians are apoplectic, and legislation is being prepared to ban the stuff at the state level. Is this permissible under federal law?

Cannabis and dopamine: link reveals both hopes and risks

Posted on September 21st, 2019 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , .

THCResearchers are exploring the connection between cannabinoids and dopamine in the human brain, and particularly how THC affects our "reward system"—key to such phenomena as motivation, addiction and euphoria. Investigations are revealing both potential for treatments of psychiatric disorders as well as possible risks from heavy use, especially among the young.

Will Italy’s new government embrace cannabis legalization?

Posted on September 18th, 2019 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , , , , .

ItalyWith the fall of Italy’s far-right government, advocates are hoping the path may be cleared now for the country to become Europe's first to formally legalize cannabis. Meanwhile, thanks to a loophole in the law, low-THC varieties are sold openly in shops across the country. And Italy’s internal THC limit is actually slightly higher than the ultra-cautious European Union standard.

Homegrown contends with corporate cannabis in Canadian legalization regime

Posted on September 12th, 2019 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , , , , .

CanadaWith the legal cannabis market increasingly dominated by "Big Bud," more Canadians are turning to homegrown—both for reasons of economy and an ethic of self-sufficiency. And they are fighting in the courts and the public squares for their right to do so—challenging both the federal limit on plants per household and efforts by two provinces to ban homegrown outright. So far, they are winning. 

Surgeon General launches new anti-cannabis campaign

Posted on September 3rd, 2019 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , .

Reefer MadnessThe US Surgeon General has launched a new campaign hyping the supposed dangers of cannabis—a further disappointment for activists who held out hope that Trump harbored libertarian instincts and would legalize. All too predictably, the anti-legalization assumptions behind the new campaign are amply refuted by actual research.

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