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Cannabis legalization in New Zealand

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Cannabis legalization

When we talk about the status of cannabis legalization in New Zealand, we come to know that the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 considers cannabis an illegal drug. Individuals who use or supply cannabis get punishment according to their laws and regulations.

Considering the prospects of cannabis, Helen Clark Foundation has released a report. This report stands as an advocate for legalizing and regulating cannabis. Furthermore, there is going to be a referendum next year that will decide the future of cannabis in New Zealand. Hence, the people of New Zealand have the opportunity to decide which direction to follow.

It is an obvious fact that the effect on people’s behavior is least by the fear of criminal sanctions. They do whatever they like or want to do. Despite the fact that cannabis is illegal in New Zealand, reports from longitudinal studies indicate that 80% people living in New Zealand have tried cannabis at least once by the age of 25.

Therefore, the approaches of prohibition have not eliminated and will not eliminate cannabis usage and supply in New Zealand or any other country where its consumption is exhibited.

Less harmful than alcohol and tobacco

According to the British scientist David Nutt, former chair of the Advisory Council, on the Misuse of Drugs, the use of cannabis is really less damaging to human health as compared to other drugs like alcohol and tobacco.

This is the reason many countries have legalized the usage and supply of cannabis. Uruguay, Canada and many other states in the United States Of America have legalized the use and supply of cannabis.

Ethnic disparity

Without the legalization of cannabis, considerable ethnic disparities in prosecution and arrest for cannabis-related business are also likely to continue.

Certainly, the current system in the New Zealand relating to drugs is terribly unfair for the Indigenous people, Maori. They carry an unequal and unjust burden of the convictions and sentences for drug-related offending. The Indigenous people, Maori are almost 15% of the total population of New Zealand. Yet Maori between the ages of 17 to 24 make up 37% of all the prosecutions and convictions for drug possession which is totally unfair to them.

But the positive sign is that the ruling party of the New Zealand is eager to lessen the number of prisoners. They can achieve this objective in a moderate way with the legalization of cannabis in the country.

This is the right time for the people of New Zealand to admit and accept the prevalent consumption of cannabis in the region and to regulate and legalize it systematically. They achieve no productive aim by declaring its status illegal. There is a dire need of cannabis legalization.

There would be many benefits if the New Zealanders vote in favor of the cannabis legalization in the upcoming referendum.  It would not only be a positive sign for the social justice but also for a balanced society. It would also play a vital role in diminishing the country’s large prison population. Cannabis related health issues would also be resolved.

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Cannabis

Supreme Court Urged to Hear Case Against DEA by Activists

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Marijuana activists take their case against DEA to supreme court

Marijuana activists have recently filed a petition in the U.S Supreme Court with a plea to hear their case against DEA. Through this petition, cannabis activists are basically challenging constitutional laws prohibiting cannabis use and are hoping for its decriminalization at the federal level.

The odds that the Supreme Court will be acting on the petition this year are fairly low. But optimists like Michael Hiller think that due to excessive confusion surrounding marijuana laws and severe dependency of some patients on marijuana, Supreme Court will take up the case by next year if not any sooner.

What is DEA?

Why does it criminalize marijuana?

DEA or Drug Enforcement Administration is a drug enforcement organization in the United States.

This organization considers cannabis and marijuana as illegal substances because of their tendencies to create a psychoactive effect. These psychoactive effects cause sedation, confusion and impaired judgement among various other repercussions.

Despite of increasing pressure by marijuana activists, DEA has stood its ground. Recently, these activists have accused the agency for delaying actions or decisions surrounding petitions relating to marijuana legalization.

Due to continued petitions filed by marijuana activists, the court has now decided to use other judicial options in its power if this type of behavior continues by the agency.

According to Joseph A.Bondy, a pro bono counselor for marijuana activists, the court could compel the agency to act, sanction them or have a hearing with them if there is any further undue delay.

Plaintiff’s arguments in support of their appeal

The current lawsuit made against DEA by activists was first filed three years ago in 2017. It established that classifying marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug was a health risk to patients.

The court’s ruling to that initial petition came in the following words:

“Taking the facts as alleged, and, accordingly, taking the supposed benefits some plaintiffs have experienced from marijuana as true as well, we—like the District Court below—are struck by the transformative effects this drug has assertedly had on some Plaintiffs’ lives. As a result, we are troubled by the uncertainty under which Plaintiffs must currently live.”

In response to this ruling, Michael Hiller had tweetedThis case represents the first time in history that a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the CSA has survived dismissal. #TheFightGoesOn, as we continue to advocate for de-scheduling of Cannabis, patient liberation, & freedom for those wrongfully imprisoned.”

Why is Rescheduling important?

Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substance Act contains all those drugs that have no current medical use. This restrictive category includes drugs that have a high potential for abuse and can cause addiction.

Advocates for marijuana decriminalization argue that this criterion does not stand true for the drug. A large number of marijuana patients clearly imply marijuana’s medical purposes.

Plaintiffs who depended on medical marijuana were included in the petition to further assert this point. An Iraq-war veteran and a 14-year old epilepsy patient were among them.

According to advocates, decriminalization of marijuana in 33 states and DC, is proof that it must be meeting safety standards.  Supporters for rescheduling have argued that marijuana is considered tolerable and safe by a large number of physicians and legislative bodies.

So far, the DEA has established that cannabis cannot be rescheduled any lower than Schedule 2. This is why the plaintiff of this latest petition against DEA is looking at the Supreme Court as their last resort.

If the case is taken up by the Supreme Court, it can have huge legislative impacts. With this step, improvements in other social discrepancies that give rise to racism can also be expected.

 

 

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5 Cannabis Companies That Were Launched By Celebrities

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5 cannabis companies that are made by celebrities

Recreational cannabis always seemed an unattainable goal. It seemed near impossible, in a world ruled by conservative, Judeo-Christan morals, that countries would wholeheartedly legalize it. Indeed, in most parts of the world, even possession of cannabis can be a serious legal offense. However, if this is the case, then consider the future to have arrived. Many regions in the west, such as Canada and an increasing number of US states, are now legalizing it.

It must still be noted that cannabis legalization in the US is a complicated affair. It is mainly banned in conservative states (click here to read about Texas’s tacky hemp regulations) and is still a topic of contention elsewhere. That said, most of the retailers we have linked below will be restricted to only a select few markets where cannabis is legal. Colorado, California, and Washington are thus US state that we include. And don’t forget Canada, of course, where it has been legal for some time now.

Even major celebrities have invested in recreational cannabis

That’s why several mainstream celebrities and big names are opening up shop in the weed business. These famous people are setting trends for fans and customers alike to adore. With all kinds of innovative ideas, these noteworthy people will set a lasting example of why recreational cannabis is so popular.

‘Leafs By Snoop’, by Snoop Dog

The popular rapper has moved his product onto shelves across Canada and the northern US. Leafs By Snoop is already an instant hit in Colorado and Washington. Recently, Snoop Dog’s brand has also collaborated with Tweed by Canopy Growth.

‘Willie’s Reserve’ by Willie Nelson

A county singer and longtime marijuana activist, Nelson’s brand is also fast-growing. He’s already well-established in Colorado and Washington and plans to expand further. Willie’s Reserve may also soon be taking root in Canada too, so stay tuned.

‘Chong’s Choice’ by Tommy Chong

Tommy Chong has been a longtime cannabis advocate. The actor-comedian, when he’s not busy writing his next script, is dedicated to quickly expanding his business across America. His products are available across 6 different states already!

‘Dr. Greenthumb’ by B Real

Rapper B Real, best known for his stint with Cypress Hill, had launched his venture a few years back. This cannabis company is available in 5 retail outlets across California.

‘Khalifa Khush Enterprise Oil’ by Wiz Khalifa

Wiz Khalifa has always been the kaiser of cannabis. This rapper has been an outspoken advocate and consumer of cannabis for years, even when it wasn’t socially acceptable. He unabashedly launched his recreational cannabis oil company in Colorado in 2016 and in 2019 was able to expand to Canada.

Other celebrities have dabbled in other avenues of cannabis

While we have just covered the cannabis product aspect, there is more to examine. While the 5 celebrities mentioned above deal mainly with the consumables (smokable, edible, inhalable, or topical) others bear mentioning too. Iron Mike Tyson, the former world heavyweight champion, has recently partnered his ranch with a cannabinoid beverage company. Meanwhile, comedians and actors Seth Rogan and Evan Goldberg, have also launched ‘Houseplant‘, another cannabis venture.

All in all, it is fair to say that while big-name, wealthy investors like these open up their own cannabis companies, the average person can still enjoy the benefits too. With such a wide variety of goods from likable figures, cannabis enthusiasts of all shades can sit back and relax.

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Cannabis Companies In New Bedford Struggling In Pandemic

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cannabis companies in new bedford struggling

The city of New Bedford, Massachusetts, is also known as the ‘Whaling City’. This is due to it being a famous commercial whaling zone back in the 19th century. The former whaling hub also hosts several fledgling cannabis companies.

Three of these companies are namely Tree Beard, Metro Harvest and South Coast Apothecary LLC. They are, unfortunately, entering a new world of hardships during this COVID-19 pandemic. As the recent legalization of recreational cannabis took effect, these entities have faced obstacles from established legislation. This is mainly due to the CCC (Cannabis Control Commission) curbing the freedoms and initiatives of these companies.

The cannabis companies now require special licenses and regulations to operate

All cannabis companies in the state, must obtain proper licensing and permissions, according to the government-led CCC. In spite of the pandemic. where businesses have faced severe losses, the CCC’s stance is unrelenting. They recently launched the ‘Social Equity Program‘.

This is designed to compensate industries affected by the War On Drugs. This ‘war’ saw many unlawful arrests made, companies slandered and properties broken into by the police. In addition, certain qualifying companies can register as ‘Economic Empowerment Company‘, which also seeks to aid them.

The War On Drug’s effects on cannabis companies are still lasting, however. Despite the olive branches extended by the CCC to compensate affected industries, bias still exists.

Rising cannabis companies can all testify that the slowness of processing documents and licenses, along with bureaucracy, are present. Many have blamed delays and issues on the pandemic. However, to most, it’s all simply about negligence and priorities.

Each of the companies must request the City Council for the required permits to begin a business. The state government is then accountable to provide an official, permanent license to those it grants permission to.

The three cannabis companies have all faced their fair share of hurdles

Take the company Tree Beard, for example. It is both a SEP and EEC compliant company. Furthermore, it is directly backed by the CCC. The owner of the company is Nicolas Gomes. Despite all this, even he mentioned how rare finding decent real-estate is.

He said that while he had preferred the local Mitsubishi dealership as a location, it was seeming exceedingly difficult now. However, opening in their native town of New Bedford would remain a priority.

Meanwhile, Metro Harvest has already obtained a provisional license. The slowness of getting the license was also corroborated by Steve LeBelle, the president. LaBelle held the pandemic as the culprit behind the delays in licensing.

Last but not least, Southcoast Apothecary has also obtained a provisional license. The company stated that it is now ready to open near the Market Basket area. It too cited delays in the processing of said licensing as the reason they have not yet settled in.

The war on drugs had left lasting damage to the town’s economy and cannabis companies

The CCC’s policy of offering recompense for years of abuse come late. The many arrests made over petty offenses like cannabis possession have led to societal stigma in a town as small as New Bedford. Since then, cannabis companies like these three have been far and few in between.

While the SEP does offer useful assets such as training and technical support, it does not go far enough to undo the past. And there is no guarantee that any company would even qualify for it.  As Gomes says, the future depends on locals taking matters into their own hands. Only then will the cannabis trade flourish in this town.

 

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