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Bill Weinberg's blog

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.

Climate change puts spotlight on cannabis drought-resistance claims

Posted on January 6th, 2020 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , .

cannabisZambia becomes the latest African country to legalize cannabis cultivation—in the midst of a shriveling drought that has caused massive crop failures. The landlocked republic could be an unwilling test case in whether cannabis is as effective a drought-resistant crop as its boosters claim.

Reefer madness defense works in France bias attack

Posted on December 31st, 2019 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , .

Reefer MadnessIn an outrageous case in France, the admitted perpetrator in an anti-Semitic murder will not stand trial, and will be going to a drug rehab facility instead of prison—on the basis of his claim of temporary insanity due to cannabis use. French Jewish leaders are of course aghast. But the decision also sets an alarming precedent in the fight for cannabis normalization—legitimizing the dubious notion of cannabis-induced psychosis, and further entrenching the stigma.

Three worrying cannabis trends to watch in 2020

Posted on December 26th, 2019 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , .

leafPolitical space for cannabis is generally on the upswing, but there are some intersecting trends that advocates will need to keep a sharp eye on in the coming year. Corporate cannabis will increase pressure on independent producers, while prohibitionists will try to leverage the vape health scare for anti-cannabis propaganda. And the cannabis industry's own terminology may be actually adding to the confusion.

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