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Tag: War on Drugs

New Schools, Less Crime: Colorado Sees Benefits Of Marijuana Legalization

Posted in Journalism, and MintPress News

Colorado’s successful experiment in marijuana legalization is bringing in millions of dollars of revenue per month while simultaneously benefiting schools and contributing to a drop in crime rates.

Colorado reached over $50 million dollars in recreational cannabis sales in June, breaking the state’s previous record, according to Ricardo Baca, a staff writer for Denver Post’s The Cannabist. In addition, medical sales reached $25 million.

Based on the state’s various taxes on marijuana sales, Baca reports that the state has earned over $60 million dollars in marijuana tax revenue so far this year.

Despite Support By Experts, Marijuana Still Unavailable To Most Veterans With PTSD

Posted in Journalism, and MintPress News

Thousands of American veterans suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, and they’re forced to endure the side effects of pharmaceutical drugs while an effective treatment with few side effects, medical marijuana, remains illegal and inaccessible to most.

A 2012 study from the Veterans Administration estimated that as much as 20 percent of veterans of conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan suffer from PTSD. Among these veterans, the suicide rate is 50 percent higher than the national average and PTSD is a major contributing factor, according to a 2015 study by the National Institute of Mental Health. Nick Wing and Matt Ferner, writing in The Huffington Post, suggested VA doctors typically treat veterans with a combination of therapy and a selection of dozens of pharmaceutical drugs approved for the treatment of the often debilitating condition. Missing from that list, according to their report, is one particular treatment that’s made a difference in many lives: cannabis.

“[T]the government classifies marijuana as a Schedule I drug with no medical value and explicitly prohibits VA doctors from recommending marijuana,” Wing and Ferner wrote last month. The federal scheduling system is meant to classify dangerous drugs by weighing their risks versus their potential benefit to humanity. Under this system, marijuana, which studies have repeatedly demonstrated to be relatively safe and carry almost no risk of addiction, is considered more dangerous than heroin or amphetamines.

Feds Raid Native American Reservation, Seize 12,000 Legal Marijuana Plants

Posted in Journalism, and MintPress News

Last week, federal agents raided land belonging to two federally-recognized Native American tribes, and seized 12,000 cannabis plants from their properties. The bust came despite new federal guidelines designed to allow limited marijuana cultivation by indigenous groups in the United States.

The agents arrived at the properties at the far northern edge of California on July 8, ultimately seizing the plants and over 100 pounds of marijuana ready for use from two buildings — an event center belonging to the Alturas Rancheria and a greenhouse belonging to the Pit River tribe. Benjamin Wagner, the U.S. district attorney in Sacramento, led the raid.

“The volume of marijuana that the XL facility alone was capable of producing … far exceeds any prior known commercial marijuana grow operation anywhere within the 34-county Eastern District,” Wagner said in a statement quoted by The Sacramento Bee on the day of the bust.

Hackers Reveal Illegal Spying Software Used By World Governments To Silence Dissent

Posted in Journalism, and MintPress News

Last weekend, news broke on social media of a massive hack against a major, controversial security software company that sold surveillance software to government agencies. A hacker who attacked another security firm last year is taking credit for the audacious break in that saw hundreds of gigabytes of stolen data leaked onto bittorrent.

Hacking Team, the Italian software company that fell victim to the unknown hackers, proudly billed itself as a vendor of surveillance software to police forces, with the motto, “Rely on us.” Reporters Without Borders had already cited Hacking Team as one of their “enemies of the Internet.” But, as the hack revealed, the corporation’s clients also included governments from countries to which sales are banned by the United Nations as a result of their repressive regimes’ repeated human rights’ violations.

News of the hack reached Twitter on Sunday night, while many were asleep or distracted by the women’s world cup, briefly spawning the humorous, trending hashtag #IsHackingTeamAwakeYet:

Nevada Governor OKs Industrial Hemp Research As US Eases Cannabis Restrictions

Posted in Journalism, and MintPress News

Last week, Nevada became the latest state to pass a bill supporting the cultivation of industrial hemp, a valuable cash crop that became illegal thanks to the American war on drugs.

The bill, sponsored by Democratic state Sen. Tick Segerblom, unanimously passed both chambers of the Nevada Legislature before reaching the governor’s desk.

“The bill will allow colleges, universities, and the state Department of Agriculture to [cultivate] industrial hemp for research purposes under an agricultural pilot program,” Thomas H. Clarke writes in The Daily Chronic, a website dedicated to cannabis law reform.

Federal regulations had banned domestic hemp cultivation until an amendment to the 2014 Farm Bill allowed limited research into the crop. Under the new regulations, large-scale cultivation is still illegal but research by state agricultural boards and universities is now allowed. The move was hailed as a limited victory by advocates for cannabis law reform.

No, Monsanto Didn’t Just Get A Patent For Cannabis

Posted in Journalism, and MintPress News

Did Monsanto just become the first corporation to patent a strain of genetically modified marijuana?

That’s what a recurring Internet legend suggests. “Monsanto Creates First Genetically Modified Strain of Marijuana!” announced World News Daily Report last week.

But World News Daily Report is a fake news site. “Don’t be fooled,” said About.com’s Urban Legends expert David Emery, who then quoted from the World News Daily Report’s disclaimer page: