Cannabis and the Drug Epidemic

What is truly “unwise” is Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ has vendetta against pot and his deliberate unwillingness to see the evidence legalization can help in taking down the drug organizations and drug traffickers of which he speaks. What is further unwise is how Sessions lumps those organizations and traffickers in with medical and recreational cannabis businesses that comply  with state law, while at the same time acting as though he supports states’ rights. And what is even more unwise is how Sessions lumps cannabis in with “an historic drug epidemic,” also known as the opioid epidemic, when science has shown multiple times that cannabis actually assists in quelling that very same epidemic.

Maybe we need to come to the simple conclusion that Sessions is perhaps just deeply unwise, at least when it comes to cannabis.

Do you agree?

Legalize cannabis

Of course Jesse Ventura is right. Cannabis is both an invaluable resource medicinally and a boost for the economy. Cannabis generates huge tax revenue (which will only continue to increase), and creates a vast number of jobs. It has been projected that by 2020, the cannabis industry will have created a quarter of a million jobs, and that’s with only eight states having legalized recreational cannabis. If we, as Jesse Ventura suggests, legalize cannabis in all fifty states, we would create millions of new jobs.

The other thing Ventura gets right here is the need to destigmatize cannabis. Even in places with state-legal cannabis, the stigma remains — the product of decades of Reefer Madness-esque propaganda and the inane drug policies of the War on Drugs. We need to make sure the Trump Administration’s anti-cannabis bias from perpetuating and adding to the stigma. Ending the stigma and legalizing the plant go hand and hand and we need to work at both.

You agree, right?

On June 1st, three of our Los Angeles and San Francisco attorneys, Hilary Bricken, Alison Malsbury, and Habib Bentaleb, put on a webinar on California’s new MCRSA rules. Nearly 1500 signed up for this. Topics covered include cannabis licensing issues for California Retailers, Distributors, Transporters, Manufacturers and Cultivators, and audience questions.

You can find the handouts distributed during the webinar here and here.



This statement from President Reagan is obviously absurd, but what’s significant about it is that opinions very much like this one continue to proliferate and continue to have real life consequences. The mass incarceration for drug crimes ushered in by the Nixon administration and reinforced and even enhanced by the Clinton and Reagan administrations still exists in much of the United States.

Though we don’t know where Reagan got his “absolute proof” of cannabis’ alleged brain damage, what we do know is that cannabis is medicinally useful for a variety of ailments, has the potential to slow or reverse the aging process, and can be used in alleviating opiate cravings. And though few people today (probably not even Jeff Sessions) would claim to prefer getting hit by fall-out from an H-bomb to smoking one “marijuana cigarette,” plenty of people (like Jeff Sessions) still make absurd and completely unsubstantiated comments about cannabis.

Can we please start basing our cannabis decisions on such things as science, logic, evidence and truth? Cannabis has never killed anyone. Cannabis does good for many (obviously not all) people. Let’s use these things to formulate our cannabis policies and infuse our cannabis laws and regulations.

Is this asking for too much?

California cannabisJeff Sessions has said “good people don’t smoke marijuana,” Has he considered who actually uses cannabis? Are grandmas (or anyone else for that matter that use cannabis for pain or other conditions automatically bad people? Do they deserve to have their medicine taken away? Is this what the people want?

WHO uses cannabis shouldn’t matter, and using cannabis does not make one a bad person. But since Sessions cannot see beyond his hatred for the substance and those who use it, here we are.

Grandmas, among many other demographics, are tossing out their pharmaceuticals and replacing them with cannabis. Why? Because it works, it doesn’t make them feel disoriented and woozy, and because it’s legal where they are. Senator Harris is right: leave grandma’s medicine alone. That medicine is doing so much good.

Does it make economic sense to bother with cannabis? What about government not intruding in our lives? And if you, Mr. Sessions, are truly as concerned about crime as you purport to me, do you not realize that legalizing cannabis reduces the power of the drug cartels? Why do you not care about any of this?


Cannabis Marijuana legalization

Imagine that. An American politician speaking clearly and reasonably and sensibly about cannabis, or about anything for that matter.

Representative Curbelo makes a very good point. From both a business and a legal standpoint, it makes no sense to prohibit legal marijuana businesses from doing business properly and at the same time denying them the same tax deductions as other businesses.

It is unfair and wrong and it must and will change.


Last week, Canna Law Blog’s Hilary Bricken and Matt Maurer of Canada Cannabis Legal put on a webinar on the laws that impact  the cannabis businesses in the United States and Canada. This webinar covered the medical and recreational cannabis markets of the United States and Canada, investment considerations, cross-border legal issues, and opportunities for companies and individuals looking to invest in the US or Canada cannabis industries. For those of you not able to attend this event live, we provide you with the recorded version below.



Montel Williams provides a good reminder here. The cannabis industry is taking off in a big way and that includes both medical and recreational cannabis. But in the midst of the excitement so many of us feel about the positive changes we are seeing, we should not forget those who have been fighting this fight for decades, and as Williams states, many of these cannabis leaders have been patients who need medicine. Though we are of the strong view that recreational needs make no apologies, we believe with equal strength that it is important to give patients access to medical-grade cannabis at accessible costs.

In addition to building a cannabis industry that maintains accessibility for patients, we also need to keep pushing until medical cannabis is federally legal. As of April 2017, twenty-nine of the United States have legalized some form of medical marijuana, and many states have medical programs in the works. Though this means more than half the country has some sort of medical program, many of those programs are quite limited in terms of access and reach and it also means there are still many with no legal access at all. What kind of country denies medicine to someone based on the crazy notion that the government should be able to deny access to something as harmless as cannabis?

What more can we all do to open up the cannabis industry even further? Please tell us.

california-webinar (1)

On June 1st, from 12-1:30 p.m. Pacific, three of our Los Angeles and San Francisco attorneys, Hilary Bricken, Alison Malsbury, and Habib Bentaleb, will present a free webinar on the initial MCRSA rules, which were released on April 28, 2017 and now make up the bulk of the regulatory standards for California cannabis licensing.

The speakers will give an in-depth analysis of these new rules and give you the knowledge you need to secure a medical cannabis business license from the State of California when January 1, 2018 comes around.

This webinar will cover cannabis licensing issues for:

In addition to these topics, the presenters will take audience questions both during and at the end of the webinar.

To register for this free event plese go here.

We look forward to your attendance.


Tomorrow at 9 am Pacific (12 p.m. Eastern), Matt Maurer, Chair of the Cannabis Law Group at Minden Gross, LLP and author of Canada Cannabis Legal  will team up with Canna Law Blog’s own Hilary Bricken to provide a free webinar on the cannabis laws that impact cannabis industries of both the United States and Canada.

Though medical marijuana is legal in Canada, it remains federally illegal in the United States. Over half of the United States has legalized medical cannabis, and eight of the states have legalized recreational marijuana for adults 21 and up.

This webinar will cover the following:

  • The Medical and recreational cannabis market of the United States
  • The Medical and (potential) recreational cannabis market in Canada
  • Investment considerations
  • Cross border legal issues
  • Opportunities for companies and individuals looking to invest in the US or Canada cannabis industries
  • Questions posed from the audience

You can register for this free event here. We look forward to seeing you there!