Jeremy Daw

Why Florida's Medical Marijuana System Is Ripe for Corporate Takeover

In June 2014, the disgraced former CEO of Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) signed Florida’s medical marijuana bill into law. It was a fitting beginning to a regulatory process that has been marred by shadowy fraud in the selection of lucrative vertically integrated licenses in what could become one of the largest medical marijuana markets in the country. The state appears poised to double down upon the fraud, and in keeping with Governor Rick Scott’s legacy of putting healthcare profits before people, some of the new law’s provisions could shield corporate revenues at the expense of fragile patients.

Keep reading... Show less

How the Opioid Epidemic is Driving Major Federal Drug Reforms

In the final days of the Obama administration, with abuse of prescription opioid drugs and heroin on an alarming rise, a clear picture is beginning to emerge of a federal government open to more drug policy reform than any in recent memory.

Keep reading... Show less

Federal Asset Forfeiture Takes a Blow, But It's Not Gone Yet

2015 was a rough year for US asset forfeiture. The year opened and closed with two administrative bookends which effectively curtail the practice of allowing law enforcement to seize property without bringing criminal charges, leaving behind a longstanding practice which has been significantly weakened — but not gone.

Keep reading... Show less

White Like She: Reflections on Racism and Privilege in the War on Drugs

For the superstitious, Friday the 13th is a day fraught with bad luck. For Sarah Furay, that day came a week early and was Friday, November 6th. On that fateful day, local police from College Station Texas served a warrant on her apartment and searched her room, where they found “31.5 grams of packaged cocaine, 126 grams of high grade marijuana, 29 ‘ecstasy’ tablets, methamphetamine and a 60 doses of a drug similar to LSD.” She was then booked in the Brazos County Jail, and charged with three counts of manufacture/delivery of a controlled substance and one count of drug possession. Interestingly, while a search of her phone confirmed her intent to sell drugs and her bedroom contained “packaging material, two digital scales and a handwritten drug price list,” she was not charged with intent to distribute. Nor was she charged with conspiracy, or any of the other common charges thrown at those arrested for running large-scale drug operations. Instead, her bail was set at a modest $39,000, which she paid after one day in jail, and is now safely at home with her father, the DEA agent. Though she has been quite lightly charged, her combined maximum sentence could be 215 years in prison. Given her connections to the DEA, one is left to wonder, how bad is this really going to be for Sarah?

Keep reading... Show less

Here Come Hash Bars - Alaska to Allow Onsite Consumption

Soon the state of Alaska will be a frontier not only geographically but also for its policy. In the wake of a 3-2 vote by the state’s Marijuana Control Board, the nation’s largest state is poised to become the first to allow cannabis consumers to toke up at the place where they purchase pot.

Keep reading... Show less

As a Privileged White Guy Living in 'Liberal' Berkeley, I Wasn't Expecting a Police Raid on My Backyard Pot Plants

Life should be pretty good for a waspy, well-educated white guy in Berkeley--and it generally is--but sometimes that balloon of privilege gets punctured. When it does, it can be an eye-opening and consciousness-raising event. My run-in with Berkeley cops over a few pot plants was one of those moments, and some of my differently-situated friends helped show me the light. 

Keep reading... Show less

Legalizing Weed Could Save California Half A Billion Dollars A Year

According to California’s Legislative Analysis Office (LAO), cannabis legalization could net the chronically cash-strapped state up to half a billion dollars every year. The LAO, which takes no position on pending legislative proposals, released its fiscal analysis concerning the earliest legalization initiative to be filed for the 2016 ballot, the California Craft Cannabis initiative.

Keep reading... Show less

Why Medical Marijuana Patients' Rights Are Under Attack Across the U.S.

From Washington State to Washington, D.C., successful cannabis legalization campaigns have consistently promised voters that they would preserve the rights of medical marijuana patients even while opening up access to all responsible adult use. But while campaign leaders have kept their promises, government officials in Washington, Oregon and Colorado have embarked on dishonest — and sometimes secretive — plans to blatantly disregard the will of voters and restrict patient rights.

Keep reading... Show less

The Catholic Church's Surprisingly Central Role in the Idiotic Idea of Drug Prohibition

By the time Teresa Sanchez Cepeda Davila y Ahumada had turned 14, she had already known grievous sorrow. Her father, a Jewish convert to Christianity who lived in Gotarrendura, Avila (recently annexed as part of the newly unified kingdom of Spain), had disappeared early from Teresa’s life after the Spanish Inquisition questioned the sincerity of his conversion and condemned him. Then, when her mother fell ill and died, the girl went to the only place left to her: a nunnery.

Keep reading... Show less

Why a Closely Watched Marijuana Case in Federal Court Looks to Be Leaning in the Right Direction

Judge Kimberly Mueller, the federal magistrate who made history by granting defense requests for a five-day hearing on the constitutionality of the continued inclusion of cannabis in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act, was originally scheduled to meet with the parties of US v Schweder et al for a status hearing this week — but has delayed that meeting until April 15th.

Keep reading... Show less
BRAND NEW STORIES