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Propose Recreational

N.B. sees marijuana as ‘green gold’ for struggling economy

4/2/17--The New Brunswick government, led by 34-year-old Brian Gallant, sees weed as green gold -- an important creator of revenue and jobs in a province that badly needs both. It is giving producers financial incentives, has developed a community college program for cannabis technicians, and announced that marijuana is to be a pillar of its economic strategy. Read

Landlords fear property values will go up in smoke with marijuana legalization

4/3/17--Marijuana could be legal in Canada as early as next summer, and landlords are already concerned that new laws could pose risks to their property. They are calling on the feds to give owners authority over whether their tenants are allowed to grow pot. Medical marijuana patients are legally allowed to grow plants in their home without their landlord's consent. However, it is unclear whether that right will carry over to basic users once cannabis is legalized. Read

“Path to Marijuana Reform” bills introduced

3/30/17--Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, and Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Oregon, announced the “Path to Marijuana Reform,” a bipartisan package of three related bills aimed at protecting and preserving existing state-based programs while creating a framework for the federal regulation of cannabis. Included in the package is the reintroduction of legislation from Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colorado, to regulate marijuana like alcohol. Read

Vermont House to vote on marijuana bill

3/26/17--House lawmakers in Vermont are expected to vote on a measure to legalize the use and possession of small amounts of marijuana for adults. The bill would make it legal for adults to possess up to one ounce of pot and two plants under the measure, but does not create a regulatory system for selling and taxing pot. Read

Marijuana could be legal by Canada Day 2018

3/27/17--The CBC reports the Canada federal government will unveil legislation the week of April 10, and the recreational use of marijuana is set to be legal by Canada Day of next year. According to the Globe and Mail, the federal government is scrambling to draft legislation ahead of April 20, the day when pro-weed groups publicly “light up.” Read

Illinois lawmakers see marijuana legalization as gateway to fiscal boost

3/27/17--Marijuana advocates are trying to lay the groundwork for Illinois to become the first state in the Midwest and the ninth nationwide to legalize recreational pot, arguing the move will help solve the state's notorious budget crisis. The two Illinois state lawmakers who introduced the legislation say it would help fill Illinois' multibillion-dollar budget hole with $350 to $700 million in new tax revenue. Read

Lawmakers predict decriminalizing marijuana will pass in state Senate

3/24/17--Sen. Dan Feltes and Sen. Andy Sanborn, two influential members of New Hampshire’s state Senate, predict that a bill to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana possession will pass through their chamber. The measure, which would allow possession of up to one ounce of marijuana, was overwhelming approved by a 318-36 vote in the state House of Representatives earlier this month. Read

Illinois looks toward legal marijuana with bills in House and Senate

3/23/17--Illinois, one of the nation’s most populous states, filed proposed pro-pot legislation in the state House and Senate. Democrats proposed identical bills in both chambers that would legalize the use, cultivation, and distribution of marijuana, and establish a framework for taxing and regulating the plant, potentially making Illinois the next state to skirt the federal prohibition on pot. Read

Marijuana legalization bill introduced in Springfield

3/23/17--Lawmakers introduced legislation in both houses of the Illinois General Assembly Wednesday to legalize and tax marijuana for adults in the state. Under the proposed new law, marijuana would be restricted under the law in much the same as is alcohol under state law. Furthermore, the new legislation would put the state in charge of regulating and licensing businesses to grow, distribute, and sell marijuana. Read

Bill to legalize marijuana introduced in West Virginia

3/15/17--House Bill 3035 was submitted to the West Virginia House of Delegates on Tuesday, March 14, 2017 by Delegate Sean Hornbuckle of Cabell County to legalize marijuana for recreational use. The bill would regulate and tax marijuana in the same way as alcohol. It would also regulate hemp separately from strains of cannabis with higher THC concentrations. Read

Pot laws under scrutiny in Maryland General Assembly

3/5/17--Legalization of recreational marijuana is getting a full airing in the Maryland legislature this week. Lawmakers and advocates pushing to authorize sales of the drug for general use believe that a robust debate this year will put them in a good position for next year’s legislative session, when they are planning an all-out effort to get the Democratic-majority General Assembly to either legalize the drug or approve putting the issue to voters as a ballot question. Read

Lawmakers split on legalizing recreational marijuana

3/7/17--Connecticut lawmakers disagree on whether the state should allow recreational use. Several bills before the General Assembly would allow Connecticut to legalize recreational use of weed for adults. Product quality would be regulated by the state, and pot would be sold at state approved stores. An unspecified tax would be placed on sales, generating revenue for the state. But even if the legislation passes the General Assembly, hurdles remain. Read

Senate holds marijuana legalization hearing

3/4/17--Supporters and detractors alike gathered in Annapolis to testify about two marijuana legalization bills being heard by the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee Thursday afternoon. Both bills would allow for the legalization of the use, possession, transportation, sale, and cultivation of marijuana in the state. Read

Could Arizona voters get another chance to legalize recreational pot?

2/15/17--There's a chance voters could decide on recreational marijuana again in Arizona — and that chance could come as early as November 2018. Safer Arizona will start the process of obtaining signatures in order to get their measure on the ballot in time. Read

N.J. lawmakers will vote on legalizing marijuana

2/10/17--Sen. Nicholas Scutari (D-Union) said he's putting the finishing touches on a bill he will introduce that would make the sale and possession of marijuana legal for recreational use in New Jersey. Former U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions' appointment as the highest law enforcement officer in the nation doesn't change his plans. Read

Federal bill designed to end marijuana prohibition in 2017

2/10/17--In an effort to prevent newly confirmed U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions from imposing a major crackdown on the cannabis industry, Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher of California is making a push that would prevent the government from undermining the marijuana laws approved for individual states. The bill (Respect State Marijuana Laws Act of 2017) would provide the cannabis community with immunity from federal prosecution as long as state laws are being followed. Read

Marijuana legalization begins moving through NM House

2/4/17--The House Consumer and Public Affairs Committee voted 3-1 to allow House Bill 89 legalizing recreational marijuana to keep moving through the House. The measure must go through two more committees before reaching the House floor. The proposal could generate about $60 million a year in tax revenue for New Mexico schools, health programs and other efforts. Read

Capitol sees renewed push to legalize marijuana in Hawaii

1/25/17--For the past 10 years, Sen. Kalani English has introduced a measure to legalize the personal use of marijuana, but it’s never gone through. He wants to give it another shot, calling to legalize one ounce of marijuana for personal use, and taking away all criminal and civil fines for having that small amount for anyone 21 or older. Read

Connecticut lawmaker proposes legalization of recreational marijuana

1/12/17--Some officials in Connecticut fear the sale of recreational marijuana means potential tax revenue will be lost across state lines. Senator Martin Looney would rather keep that money in the state, proposing legislation to legalize the sale of pot in Connecticut. Looney said the state would be poised to generate $50 million annually if the measure were approved. Read

Group pushing to legalize marijuana in South Dakota

1/8/17--New Approach South Dakota is pushing to legalize recreational use of marijuana. The group will submit the proposal for an initiated measure to go to a statewide vote on the 2018 ballot. New Approach South Dakota Chairperson Melissa Mentele of Emery says legalizing recreational cannabis would generate millions. Read

Several marijuana legalization bills coming at State Capitol

1/5/17--There are at least three bills to come this session that would legalize the use of marijuana, and they’re found in both the House and Senate, supported by both Republicans and Democrats. But, as there’s bipartisan support, there’s also bipartisan objections, laying the groundwork for what will be spirited debate in the coming weeks over marijuana. Read

Government needs to protect teens when it legalizes pot

screen-shot-2016-12-12-at-10-30-39-am11/24/16--The sale of recreational marijuana needs to be restricted to protect children and to discourage use by teens, the Canadian Paediatric Society is urging, as the federal government prepares to move forward with plans to legalize the industry. The medical group said the goal of its recommendations is to minimize harm for those most vulnerable. Read

Thailand’s justice minister continues push to delist marijuana

tmr_image-block11/23/16--Thailand’s Justice Minister Paiboon Koomchaya has reiterated his stance to reclassify marijuana from a narcotic drug to a medicinal herb. The official says the government has failed to police marijuana, as well as stimulant kratom, so both plants should be treated as herbs, according to the Bangkok Post. Read

Will New Hampshire follow in marijuana legalization?

screen-shot-2016-12-06-at-7-08-33-am11/20/16--New Hampshire lawmakers say legalization of marijuana in Maine and Massachusetts should increase the chance of passing similar laws in the Granite State, while police officials say they'll continue to arrest people found in possession of pot until the law changes. Some believe it may take time for New Hampshire to join Maine and Massachusetts, while others believe there is enough incentive in collecting tax revenue to convince lawmakers to pass legalization soon. Read

In Maine elections, big spenders weren’t always big winners

screen-shot-2016-12-04-at-10-32-48-pm11/20/16--Campaigns across Maine spent more than $40 million during the 2016 election, shattering previous records but also proving that big spending doesn’t guarantee wins at the ballot box. The 2016 elections raised the ceiling for political spending in Maine as national organizations poured tens of millions of dollars into candidates and ballot issues. Read

Recounts requested by opponents of legal pot

screen-shot-2016-11-28-at-12-02-49-pm11/16/16--Opponents of legalizing recreational marijuana and a 3 percent surtax to support public education have officially requested recounts of ballots after razor-thin margins on Election Day. The recounts have not yet been scheduled. Read

Could this East Coast state be the next to legalize recreational marijuana?

screen-shot-2016-11-27-at-11-52-30-pm11/16/16--Rhode Island leaders are looking at following Massachusetts on the path to legalizing recreational marijuana. Gov. Gina Raimondo said she’ll take a more serious look after Massachusetts voters recently approved a pot legalization ballot measure. Read

Question 1 opponents taking steps to request recount

screen-shot-2016-11-27-at-9-13-24-pm11/11/16--Opponents of Question 1 are taking steps to request a recount after voters narrowly approved the referendum that legalizes recreational marijuana on Election Day. The vote was close, within a fraction of a percentage point. The No on 1 campaign must gather enough petition signatures to request a recount within five business days following the election. Read

Bloc of 4,000 overseas voters to decide Maine marijuana vote

screen-shot-2016-11-17-at-11-36-18-pm11/10/16--A larger-than-expected number of overseas absentee ballots will play a big role in deciding whether marijuana becomes legal in Maine. The secretary of state’s office said the biggest remaining bloc of uncounted votes was from more than 4, 000 overseas absentee voters. Results so far show voters for the proposal is less than 1 percent with more than 95 percent of votes counted. Read

Mass. official wants to extend the deadline to open pot shops

screen-shot-2016-11-14-at-1-17-36-pm11/9/16--Just a day after voters legalized marijuana for recreational use, Massachusetts’ top regulator, Treasurer Deborah B. Goldberg, called on the Legislature to extend the deadline for opening retail shops beyond the January 2018 target date so she has time to build an effective oversight force. Legalization backers, however, balked at the prospect of state officials changing the timeline, tax, or home-growing provisions. Read

If you think legalizing marijuana is no big deal, think again

fb-square-english-spanish11/3/16--According to a published Los Angeles Times op-ed by social psychologist, public policy analyst, and Stanford Law School professor Robert MacCoun, if California approves Proposition 64, it is likely to create significant momentum toward legalizing marijuana throughout the U.S. and beyond. Furthermore, the results of the election may signal the birth of a massive new “vice” industry along the lines of the tobacco and alcohol behemoths. Read

Pot grow proposed for troubled Mat-Su gravel pit

screen-shot-2016-11-11-at-11-59-45-am11/7/16--Denali Dispensaries is considering a marijuana grow on a Meadow Lakes property that for years housed an illegal gravel pit and debris dump that triggered a wave of community outrage. Marijuana grown there could supply the company's planned downtown Anchorage retail dispensary at the former site of the Kodiak Cafe. They're planning a facility about as large as the borough permits — about 5,000 square feet. Nearby residents say they are "extremely worried" because of the site's past. Read

Marijuana news roundup: 3 of 5 states on track to approve recreational use

fb-square-english-spanish11/6/16--Voters in five states will decide whether to allow recreational marijuana use, and voters in the other four are considering medical marijuana use. New polling in California has increased the proportion of voters who say they support Prop 64 by three points. In Massachusetts the proportion of supporters jumped from less than 50% to 62% in the most recent poll. In Nevada, no new poll results were reported this week. In Arizona, the latest poll shows a close vote in favor of legalization. In Maine, support dropped by three points. Read

Marijuana on the ballot

screen-shot-2016-11-11-at-11-45-22-am11/6/16--There’s strong support for the legalization of recreational marijuana use, but there is some resistance, as well, as Barry Petersen of CBS News uncovered and revealed. A poll released in California on Friday shows 57 percent in favor of legalization -- a contrast to six years ago, when a similar measure was voted down. Still, there is impassioned opposition from religious leaders of Oakland’s African-American community. Additionally, a majority of small growers actually opposes legalization -- afraid that big business coming into the state will put them out of business. Read

Why captains of cannabis industry don’t like the “M word”

screen-shot-2016-11-11-at-11-21-09-am11/6/16--There are countless nicknames tossed around for America’s most widely used recreational drug, including marijuana, pot, weed, herb, even reefer. But the word cannabis is being placed at the forefront as the argument for legalization becomes more widespread and as companies surface to meet consumer demand. Additionally, the industry’s pursuit of legitimacy explains why companies would want to distance themselves from “marijuana,” a word that’s been used to describe illegal smoking for years. Read

Final marketing push underway to influence marijuana vote

screen-shot-2016-11-10-at-10-42-35-pm11/5/16--With the fate of legalized marijuana in doubt, supporters and opponents of Proposition 205 are amassing cash for a last-minute blitz to convince voters. Proposition 205 would extend the right to buy and use the drug to any adult, albeit with a limit of one ounce at any one time. It also would expand the number of places where marijuana could be sold to 147 through 2020. Read

Who is funding Massachusetts Question 4 on legalizing marijuana?

screen-shot-2016-11-10-at-10-38-13-pm11/4/16--On the question of legalizing recreational marijuana, the pro-marijuana Yes on 4 committee raised $6.3 million, compared to $2.9 million by the anti-marijuana committees. The Marijuana Policy Project donated around $350,000, and the New Approach PAC contributed $5.3 million. Additional funding comes from individual donors and people with ties to the marijuana industry. Read

Why marijuana will be a ‘shadow’ business for a long time

screen-shot-2016-11-10-at-10-18-29-pm11/5/16--Despite the results from the ballot box, marijuana is probably going to remain largely a “shadow“ business for some time, with entrepreneurs facing significant hurdles on the federal level, including penalizing tax rules and barred access to interstate banking. These federal hurdles for legal marijuana are being addressed by proposals in Congress. Read

If Prop. 64 passes, will testing positive for pot still get you fired?

fb-square-english-spanish11/4/16--With California voters likely to approve recreational marijuana use through Proposition 64 in Tuesday’s general election, pot use is likely to increase exponentially in the next few years. Notwithstanding, the measure has a clause that confirms that the new law would not force employers to amend drug-screening policies. Employers could choose to amend their policies after Proposition 64, but that does not appear likely. Read

California cities see chance to cash in on marijuana

screen-shot-2016-11-10-at-1-35-06-pm11/5/16--Californians are expected to pass Proposition 64 on Election Day legalizing recreational marijuana, and the prospect has cities and counties seeing dollar signs. “There is no other business that would generate this type of revenue, ” Gonzales City Manager Rene Mendez said. “It’s easy to see why this is something that communities want to pursue.” Some California communities have gone further, announcing plans to reinvent themselves as hubs for the industry. Read

Donations from out-of-state groups driving marijuana campaign

screen-shot-2016-11-10-at-1-33-46-pm11/5/16---Campaigns on both sides of the issue are funded primarily by groups not based within Maine, campaign finance reports show. The campaign to legalize marijuana in Maine has been funded largely by New Approach and donors with similar philosophies on drug policy reform, while opponents have depended primarily on individuals and a single nonprofit organization for donations. Read

Backers of marijuana legalization tout doctors’ endorsements

fb-square-english-spanish11/4/16--The group Yes on 4 touted endorsements from dozens of doctors on Friday, pushing back against critics who have raised a variety of public health concerns about Question 4, a ballot measure to legalize recreational marijuana in Massachusetts. Meanwhile, the Massachusetts Medical Society, several organizations representing specialty physicians and nurses, and the Massachusetts Hospital Association are urging voters to say no to legalization of recreational marijuana. Read

Election 2016: States where marijuana is on the ballot

fb-square-english-spanish11/4/16--Voters in nine states will decide whether to pass marijuana-related measures on Election Day. Four of them—Florida, Montana, North Dakota, and Arkansas—will be voting on medical marijuana measures that either expand or establish the availability of cannabis for patients. Five others—California, Nevada, Arizona, Massachusetts, and Maine—will be voting on whether to allow adults 21 and older to consume cannabis recreationally. If all the measures pass, nearly a quarter of Americans will be able to use pot recreationally. Read

Things to know about Nevada’s marijuana ballot measure

screen-shot-2016-11-10-at-11-42-13-amOriginally published 9/26/16 / Updated 11/2016--Nevada is one of five states voting this November on whether to legalize recreational marijuana. If the measure passes the statewide ballot, it would allow adults to legally possess up to one ounce of marijuana, or 1/8 ounce of concentrated marijuana, effective Jan. 1. The Cannabist outlines key points to know about Question 2, including who’s funding the measure, and what happens if it passes. Important questions, answered. Read

Voters to decide whether to legalize recreational marijuana in Nevada

screen-shot-2016-11-08-at-6-38-25-am10/29/16--Nevadans will decide if they want to join four other Western states that have decriminalized recreational marijuana when they vote on Question 2. The measure would legalize the possession of less than 1 ounce of marijuana for adults over 21 years of age and allow stores to sell the drug,

Prop 64 would legalize recreational marijuana, but illegal under federal law

screen-shot-2016-11-08-at-5-52-15-am10/30/16--Proposition 64 would legalize the recreational use of marijuana in California and allow the state to issue licenses to those who grow, and sell cannabis. Marijuana remains illegal under federal law, which will not change if the initiative is approved by voters. The federal government retains the authority to enforce federal laws in California, even if Proposition 64 passes, but has notified states it is not a priority to take enforcement actions in such cases, especially in states that adopt strict rules. Read

As record number of states vote on marijuana, public health questions remain

screen-shot-2016-11-08-at-5-45-41-am10/29/16--In many ways, the states that currently have legalized marijuana in some form represent ongoing experiments in public health. Although those states have provided some interesting lessons thus far, many questions remain. How states vote could make a prediction on the national direction for marijuana legalization, recreational or medical. If many of the states vote yes, it could begin a new era in the ongoing experiment of legalized marijuana and public health impacts. Read

The quiet money race behind California’s pot-legalization measure

screen-shot-2016-11-08-at-5-37-16-am10/29/16--California’s Department of Finance has estimated that the state could bring in as much as $1 billion in tax revenues every year from legal cannabis sales if Prop 64 passes. The state’s legal marijuana market, an estimated $2.7 billion from medical pot, could reach $6.5 billion by 2020 with the addition of recreational sales. Both supporters and opponents have donated millions of dollars throughout the year to their respective sides. Fortune features the eight individuals and groups that are the biggest spenders among those supporting and opposing Prop 64 in California. Read

Marijuana legalization 2016: a voter guide

screen-shot-2016-11-08-at-5-17-17-am10/28/16--Voters in nine states will have the chance this year to decide whether they want to legalize the recreational or medical use of marijuana. In a Live Science article, contributor Stephanie Pappas poses the questions: What exactly does a vote for, or against, the legalization of marijuana mean? And, what impact might this legislation have? She provides an at-a-glance guide at the states voting and the issues on the table. Read

Recreational marijuana in Canada could generate more money than booze

screen-shot-2016-11-07-at-10-33-19-pm10/27/16--If recreational marijuana is legalized in Canada, it could generate a nearly $23 billion industry in the country, a new study suggests. Sales would surpass the combined totals that come from beer, wine and spirits purchases, according to the Toronto Star. The newspaper said the report found that the base retail market alone would be worth $4.9 billion to $8.7 billion annually, while the ancillary market would spike to about $22.6 billion. Read

After Election Day, access to marijuana likely to reach all-time high across nation

screen-shot-2016-11-07-at-10-15-33-pm10/28/16--California, experts say, will likely play the most significant role in cannabis legalization on Nov. 8. Voters in the most populous state are widely expected to approve the “Adult Use of Marijuana Act,” adding nearly 40 million names to the list of people who live in a state with legal pot. Polls nationally also show growing support for marijuana legalization. New Frontier, which doesn’t take a position on legalization, estimates the legal cannabis market could be worth more than $8 billion extra by 2020 if all the initiatives pass. Read

This election could determine the future of pot in America

screen-shot-2016-11-07-at-8-58-45-am10/25/16--The future of pot policy in America hinges heavily on the election this year. Marijuana law reform is on the ballot in nine states and has momentum at the federal level in the form of several bills pending in Congress, including ones to deschedule cannabis, reschedule cannabis, legalize hemp, and prioritize research trials. Read

Here’s who bankrolls the fight against marijuana legalization

fb-square-english-spanish10/26/16--Vice News reports the largest donors to various anti-weed political groups around the country include a billionaire casino tycoon, a woman who believes in reefer madness, a drug-crusading former U.S. ambassador, cops, prison guards, booze merchants, and a pharma company that sells the powerful painkiller fentanyl. Pro-legalization campaigns have overwhelmingly outraised the opposition. Supporters in the five states set to vote on recreational marijuana had $30 million as of Oct. 20, compared to $6.6 million for their rivals, according to Ballotpedia. Read

Alcohol sellers give money to marijuana’s opponents

fb-square-english-spanish10/21/16--The alcohol industry is pouring money into the campaign against legalized marijuana even as purveyors of beer, wine, and spirits claim to be neutral on the issue. Backers of Question 4 on the Nov. 8 ballot allowing Massachusetts residents 21 and older to possess up to an ounce of marijuana say financial support for opponents is proof that alcohol businesses worry about losing market share if Massachusetts becomes the latest state to legalize, tax, and regulate marijuana sales. Read

Inside big pharma’s fight to block recreational marijuana

screen-shot-2016-11-05-at-11-58-20-pm10/22/16--Alcohol and pharma groups have been quietly backing anti-marijuana efforts across the country, raising questions about threats to market share. The plant’s threat to the alcohol industry is difficult to chart, but some researchers claim consumers substitute alcohol with marijuana when the plant is legalized. For big pharma, however, an expanding amount of data explains their fears. For instance, research published this year by the University of Georgia shows that Medicare prescriptions for drugs used to treat chronic pain and anxiety dropped in states that have legalized medical marijuana. Read  

Have concerns over legalizing recreational marijuana? Fear not

fb-square-english-spanish10/24/16--In a published Las Vegas Sun editorial, readers are encouraged to make meaningful progress by voting to legalize the recreational use of marijuana, and an explanation of why is provided by offering answers to key concerns. Read

Sorry, dude. If Mass. legalizes marijuana, you can’t use it on campus

screen-shot-2016-11-04-at-9-33-25-am10/24/16--Massachusetts colleges and universities say even if voters legalize marijuana in next month’s referendum, using the drug anywhere on campus, including in dorm rooms, will remain forbidden. Question 4 would eliminate penalties for possessing, using, or purchasing marijuana starting Dec. 15, but marijuana would be legal only for people 21 and over, a group that excludes most college students. Read

Why Prop 64 is about more than just smoking marijuana

screen-shot-2016-11-04-at-9-11-57-am10/24/16--Proposition 64 asks voters to determine more than simply whether or not people should be free to smoke pot in California. The 62-page initiative on the Nov. 8 ballot asks them to decide how much cannabis Californians should be allowed to carry, whether they should be able to grow it in their homes and what, if any, penalties consumers should face going forward amongst other pertinent issues to consider pertaining to the drug. Read

Election may be a turning point for legal marijuana

screen-shot-2016-11-04-at-8-59-54-am10/24/16--The movement to legalize marijuana will take a giant leap on Election Day if California and four other states vote to allow recreational cannabis, as polls suggest they may. The map of where pot is legal could include the entire West Coast and a block of states reaching from the Pacific to Colorado, raising a stronger challenge to the federal government’s ban on the drug. Read

Marijuana legalization campaigns raising more money than opposition

screen-shot-2016-11-04-at-8-55-49-am10/24/16--As in the past, proponents have raised far more money to support ballot initiatives to legalize pot than opponents have been able to raise. The former has a marijuana industry that supports legalization. The latter does not. California proponents have raised a whopping $19.8 million this year, much of it from an industry driven by profit motives. Read