The Democratic Party of Oregon has formally endorsed Measure 91, the ballot initiative to legalize marijuana. The Democrats state, “A majority of Americans and large majority of Democrats now support state regulation of legal marijuana use. Measure 91 is the right approach to legalization in Oregon, strictly regulating use while funding law enforcement and schools. Vote Yes on 91.” The state could reap between $35 million and $105 million per year through passage of Measure 91, according to Seth Crawford, an Oregon State University sociologist and expert on the policies and market structure of marijuana in Oregon. “From a purely economic standpoint, it’s a net win for the state’s budget,” Crawford said. “There are still going to be enforcement issues, but the costs are likely to be lower than what is spent on enforcement now.”
Maine medical marijuana growers are organizing to fight proposed statewide marijuana legalization in 2016. Glenn Lewis explains that “My wife and I are both caregivers. We have 10 patients between the two of us,” and that’s how the couple earns their living. The Medical Marijuana Caregivers of Maine’s legislative lobbyist, Paul McCarrier, says statewide legalization, “will have a negative impact on patients in this state,” and that “patients will be herded into the recreational market and [marijuana] will be mass-produced.” David Boyer, MPP’s Maine Director, said, “Access to medical marijuana in Colorado is better than it’s ever been. If it was legal here for all adults, you’d see better access to medical marijuana, better quality, and medicine that’s more affordable.” However, in Maine, as in California in 2010, Washington and Colorado in 2012, and Oregon in 2014, the only marijuana users to support maintaining criminal prohibition are those already protected from it who currently profit from it.
Sniffing peppercorns could offset the feeling of pot paranoia, according to a recent report on Marijuana.com. There have been anecdotal reports by patients in Canada that chewing or sniffing peppercorns seems to relieve paranoia, an effect researcher Ethan Russo suggests could be the result of the terpenes found in pepper. Mycrene and alpha-pinene as well as the terpenoid caryophyllene are found in pepper and cannabis. Mycrene is an analgesic and anti-inflammatory, pinene is a bronchodialator, and beta-caryophyllene helps dementia, anxiety, and depression. The effect has been documented back to the first century, when Pliny the Elder wrote of cannabis use letting “phantoms beset the mind, causing laughter which persists until the kernels of pine-nuts are taken with pepper and honey in palm wine.”
The NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers may be without their two top running backs when the season starts thanks to marijuana. Le’Veon Bell (8 TDs and 860yds last season) and LeGarrette Blount (7 TDs, 772yds) were stopped yesterday afternoon when a motorcycle officer at a red light smelled marijuana coming from the black Camaro stopped next to him. After pulling the vehicle over, the officer found twenty grams of marijuana in a bag that the two running backs and their female passenger admitted to collectively possessing. Bell was driving and had his blood drawn for suspicion of driving under the influence of marijuana. The two players will suit up for their preseason game against Philadelphia tonight, but the NFL’s four-game punishment for first-time marijuana violators means they could miss an important season-opening game against division rival Cleveland. The last Steeler to run afoul of marijuana prohibition, Santonio Holmes, was suspended by the team without pay for the next regular season game.
Democratic candidates for Governor in Massachusetts sounded off about the legalization of marijuana on Wednesday at Stonehill College. Martha Coakley, the Attorney General leading widely in the polls, was non-committal on whether Massachusetts should legalize pot, saying, “I know the issue is coming,” but deferring any official stance until she evaluates how the legalization in Colorado and Washington has worked out. Outsider pediatrician Don Berwick was similarly without opinion on legalization until there is more data from the two legal states. Only State Treasurer Steve Grossman was willing to say he was “open” to full legalization, but points to some of the allegations of corruption and mistakes in fully vetting the applicants for the state’s medical marijuana dispensary licenses as reason to move cautiously.