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Inside Cannabis (Feb 28th, 2017)

The Justice Department will adopt “responsible policies” for the enforcement of federal anti-marijuana laws, according to Attorney General Jeff Sessions. While he didn't elaborate on what exactly the Department plans to do, the comment sustained the tone set by White House spokesman Sean Spicer last week, who said the Justice Department would step up enforcement of federal law against recreational marijuana. Sessions also remarked that he believes violence surrounds the sale and use of the drug, and that he doesn’t think America will be a better place with “more people smoking pot.” – HIGH TIMES

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California officials and industry leaders are preparing to fight a potential federal crackdown on recreational cannabis. The state agency responsible for drafting regulations said it will go ahead with its plans to start issuing licenses to growers and sellers in January, despite the White House's call for "greater enforcement" on cannabis. The new administration's stance may force California officials and marijuana industry leaders into an unusual alliance against the federal government, with billions of dollars in profits for businesses and taxes for state coffers at stake. – LOS ANGELES TIMES

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Ethan Nadelmann, the founder and executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, wrote an op-ed in the New York Times calling for Trump to keep his campaign promise to leave marijuana policy to the states. Nadelmann warns that increased federal enforcement will pit the justice department, headed by a "fervent prohibitionist," against states with legalized recreational marijuana. He also said that while there's not much Trump's administration can do to reverse public support of legalizing marijuana, it can "cast a chill" over the industry by targeting key players with raids, seizures of property and prosecutions in federal court. – NEW YORK TIMES

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Marijuana stocks tumbled late last week after the White House announced the potential for a federal crackdown on recreational cannabis. As of late Friday afternoon, a U.S. cannabis index was down 4.45 points, or 5.81 percent, from its opening price of $75.40. It hasn't recovered this week. – MARIJUANA BUSINESS DAILY

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High Times looks at "the good, the bad and the ugly" of marijuana policy under the last five presidents. The Reagan administration was the harshest. Under Reagan, the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) created, the CIA activated in the domestic drug war and the strengthening of the multi-decade War on Drugs. Obama, by contrast, was the most weed-friendly. – HIGH TIMES

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Speculation is mounting in Colorado over whether a rise in homelessness is linked to the legalization of marijuana. Homelessness has grown eight percent since 2013, a year after the state backed legalization. While there is no official correlation, Governor John Hickenlooper recently claimed "there’s no question that marijuana and other drugs – in combination with mental illness or other disabling conditions – are essential contributors to chronic homelessness." – THE GUARDIAN

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A New Mexico tribe is putting up the land for a $160 million greenhouse for researching and growing medicinal plants, including marijuana. Bright Green Group of Companies is partnering with Acoma Pueblo on what would be the nation’s largest commercial growing operation, spanning nearly 6 million square feet, or about 100 football fields. The greenhouse would house as many as 40 million medicinal plants, from marijuana to pennywort and Indian ginseng. – DENVER POST

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Smart kids are less likely to smoke cigarettes, but more likely to drink and smoke weed through their teenage years. The claim comes from a new study from the British Medical Journal based on seven years of data collected from more than six thousand participants in the UK, who answered questionnaires about themselves between the ages of roughly 13 to 20. Students with high academic ability showed that cannabis and alcohol use were prevalent and attributed to "experimentation." – TONIC

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