The D.C. Council abandoned plans to hold a hearing on how to tax and regulate marijuana on Monday after the District’s new attorney general warned it could subject city lawmakers and their staff members to fines and even jail time. The hearing was scuttled even though business leaders who had launched sales of marijuana in Colorado and Washington state had traveled to the District to discuss a proposed bill to fully legalize marijuana in the nation’s capital. New D.C. Attorney General Karl A. Racine warned that the meeting would violate a spending prohibition placed on the city by Congress to not move forward with setting up a regulatory scheme for sales of the plant. Racine said holding a hearing could put city lawmakers and their staffers who help conduct the hearing in jeopardy of fines up to $5,000 each and potentially even jail terms of two years.
Legalization of marijuana appears to be damaging the Mexican marijuana cartels’ ability to sell product in the US. In 2014, the US Border Patrol saw a plunge in seizures of pot heading northward. Its agents nabbed 1.9 million pounds of ganja, a 24 percent reduction compared with the 2.5 million seized in 2011 — before Colorado and Washington State first voted to legalize recreational marijuana. Mexican security forces have also noted a dive in marijuana production. In the most recent figures released in September, the Mexican government said that it had seized 971 metric tons (1,070 US tons) of cannabis inside Mexico in 2013, the lowest amount since 2000. Mexico’s total homicides have gone down during the time that some US states legalized grass. Killings reached a peak in 2011 of 22,852, and then dropped to 15,649 last year, according to the Mexican government’s numbers.
Two Texas lawmakers have filed bills that would allow epilepsy patients to use medicinal oils that contain a therapeutic component found in marijuana. But some medical marijuana advocates are reluctant to support the proposed Texas Compassionate Use Act, calling it “appeasement legislation”. The twin proposals — House Bill 892 from Rep. Stephanie Klick, R-Fort Worth, and Senate Bill 339 from Sen. Kevin Eltife, R-Tyler — would legalize oils containing CBD, a non-euphoric component found in marijuana known to treat epilepsy and other chronic medical conditions. The proposal by Klick and Eltife limits the presence of THC, the psychoactive element in marijuana, in the oils. It requires a CBD-THC ratio of 20:1. Klick said there will also be a loss of political support if her bill is expanded to include other ailments, such as cancer, Crohn’s disease or Lou Gehrig’s disease. Critics note patients would have to try two epilepsy medications at maximum dosage before trying CBD oils.
On Friday, the Jamaica Senate finally passed historic legislation that makes the possession of two ounces or less of marijuana a non-arrestable, but ticketable offense. The law was passed after a five-hour debate in parliament. Meanwhile, the small Caribbean nation celebrated what would have been the 70th birthday of reggae legend Bob Marley. In 2013, statistics compiled by the Criminal Records Office of the Jamaica Constabulary Force for the period January to July revealed that 4,367 persons were convicted for drug-related offenses, most of them for simple possession of marijuana. The new marijuana legislation would allow for a scheme of licences, permits, and other authorizations which enable the establishment of a lawful, regulated industry for marijuana for medical, therapeutic, and scientific purposes. It is set to be debated by members of the House of Representatives in the new Parliamentary year, which is set to start next week with discussion on the Budget.
Weed smokers finally have their own version of Tinder thanks to a new dating app called High There. The idea behind the app is simple: Marijuana users aren’t always comfortable bringing up on dates that they enjoy smoking weed, so High There removes that worry by creating a place for like-minded smokers to meet up with each other. The Colorado-based startup is currently only available in the 23 states where marijuana is already legal in some form, so users shouldn’t have to worry about the app disappearing anytime soon. You can also select how you usually react under the influence, with the ability to specify your “energy level when using cannabis.” This is logically followed by what kind of activity you’re in the mood for, enabling users to signal if they’re looking to go out or stay inside. High There is currently only available on Android (an iOS version is on its way), you can download it over at the Google Play store.