By Joan Eberhardt
DEA Whines Arresting People For Marijuana Is Harder Than It Used To Be
Citing a mix of complex cannabis laws that vary wildly from state to state and the media for presenting depictions of cannabis as anything other than a life-ending-gateway-drug, the DEA said enforcing cannabis laws across the nation has gotten extremely difficult. The Drug Enforcement Administration’s annual survey of law enforcement agencies from across the country was released earlier this week. While the number one concern for law enforcers remains combating the heroin and opiate epidemic, only 4.6 of law enforcement agencies listed cannabis among their top concerns. The DEA devoted 22 pages of its Drug Threat Assessment to cannabis, while only devoting 16 pages to prescription painkillers, which take an estimated 14,000 lives every year. The DEA wrote that “Due to these varying state laws, as well as an abundance of media attention surrounding claims of possible medical benefits, the general public has been introduced to contradictory and often inaccurate information regarding the legality and benefits of marijuana use.”
The Future of Marijuana is in Florida
By 2020 it is estimated that Florida, of all places, will account for nearly 15% of the legal cannabis sold in the United States. Baby boomers, who are now hitting retirement age and like many retirees, have packed up their medications headed to Florida, are using marijuana for medical and recreational uses in huge numbers. From 2006 to 2013 the rates of people over 50 who admit to using cannabis has increased significantly, with slightly more men admitting to using than women. Marital status and education did not appear to be a determining factor among older cannabis users. But Florida’s size, as well as its large population of retired or older people, means it is well situated to become the second-largest cannabis market in America by 2020. In four years it is estimated that Florida could see $1.6 billion in sales. Florida’s Amendment 2, which created a viable medical marijuana market, passed by wide margins during last month’s election. Though the Florida legislature is in no rush to get product to shelves.
Trump’s Department of Homeland Security Pick is Pro-Medical Marijuana
Retired Marine Gen. John F. Kelly has been picked by President-Elect Donald Trump to lead the Department of Homeland Security. Kelly has previously had purview of U.S. security operations across Central America, the Caribbean and South America, where the bulk of the drug violence in the Western Hemisphere does tend to take place. Maybe that is why Kelly told Military Times last year that he sees addressing the opioid epidemic in the U.S. is much more about decreasing the demand for opiates than it is about stopping the supply of illegal drugs flowing into the country. “For years and years and years we’ve been encouraging [South American] countries to do more” to combat the drug trade, Kelly said. “And of course they say, ‘Well why don’t you do more to stop the demand for drugs?’… So if you’re a Latin American, and we’re harping on them to do more to stop the flow of drugs, they say: ‘Wait a minute. As we look north, the real problem is the demand.’” Kelly is, however, critical of legalizing marijuana for recreational purposes, calling it a gateway to harder drugs, something the National Institute on Drug Abuse disagrees with.
- Marijuana users do a little better than non-users during hospitalization.
- Obama says marijuana should be treated like drugs and alcohol but he’s for a few weeks left to do something about that if he doesn’t want to be all talk.
- A bill before the Texas legislature would make full-strength medical marijuana available.
- Colorado plans to crackdown on home growers who sell their excess cannabis on the side.
- 20 gifts for the cannabis user on your holiday shopping list.
- How the legal cannabis market in Arizona is likely to play out.
- A dozen students from a Chicago-area high school were taken to the hospital after ingesting cannabis-laced gummy bears.
- Rolling/blotting papers for the cannabis user who wants to put her best face forward.
- Ten makeshift stoner skills you might want to learn.
- Charles “Eddy” Lepp, a Vietnam vet and self-styled cannabis martyr, was released from prison recently.