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Murders spiked in 2020 in cities across the United States

9/27/21--The year-to-year increase in homicides from 2019 was the largest since national record-keeping began in 1960. But overall, major crimes declined last year. Overall, the toll of some 21,500 people killed last year is still well below the record set during the violence of the early 1990s. Still, several cities, like Albuquerque, Des Moines, Indianapolis, Memphis, Milwaukee and Syracuse, recorded their highest homicide numbers ever, according to the report. Read

Drug distributors and J. & J. reach $26 billion deal to end opioid lawsuits

7/21/21--Johnson & Johnson and the drug distributors Cardinal Health, AmerisourceBergen and McKesson, the country’s three major drug distributors and pharmaceutical giant, have reached a $26 billion deal with states that would release some of the biggest companies in the industry from all civil liability in the opioid epidemic, a decades-long public health crisis that has killed hundreds of thousands of Americans. Read

States and cities near tentative $26 billion deal in opioid cases

7/20/21--The three largest pharmaceutical distributors and Johnson & Johnson are on the verge of a $26 billion deal with states and municipalities that would settle thousands of lawsuits over their role in the opioid epidemic and pay for addiction and prevention services nationwide. Read

How should we do drugs now?

7/8/21--Michael Pollan, who teaches writing at Harvard and at the University of California, Berkeley, and is the author, most recently, of “This Is Your Mind on Plants,” pens an editorial published in The New York Times covering how much harder it is to envision what the drug peace will look like. Pollan poses the question: How will we fold these powerful substances into our society and our lives so as to minimize their risks and use them most constructively? He makes the point that conversation begins with the recognition that humans like to change consciousness and that cultures have been using psychoactive plants and fungi to do so for as long as there have been cultures. Read

Sha’Carri Richardson, a track sensation, tests positive for marijuana

7/1/21--The American sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson, who was set for a star turn at the Tokyo Olympics this month, could miss the Games after testing positive for marijuana. The United States Anti-Doping Agency announced the positive test result Friday morning, and said Richardson had accepted a suspension of one month, starting on June 28. That could clear her in time to run in the 4x100 meter relay that takes place later in the Games — if she is named to the U.S. team. Read

Juul to pay $40 million to settle N.C. vaping case

6/28/21--Juul Labs has agreed to pay North Carolina $40 million to settle the first of a spate of lawsuits brought by states and localities claiming the e-cigarette company’s marketing practices fueled widespread addiction to nicotine among young people and created a new public health problem. Read

Connecticut legalizes recreational marijuana, with sales aimed for 2022

6/22/21--Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont, a Democrat, signed a bill to legalize the use and cultivation of recreational cannabis and expunge thousands of past convictions for possession, after both houses of the state legislature passed the bill last week. The signing of this bill signing marks an end to years of failed efforts to legalize the drug after the state approved it for medical use in 2012. Read

The psychedelic revolution is coming. Psychiatry may never be the same.

5/9/21--Psychedelic drugs are on the cusp of entering mainstream psychiatry, with profound implications for a field that in recent decades has seen few pharmacological advancements for the treatment of mental disorders and addiction. The need for new therapeutics has gained greater urgency amid a national epidemic of opioid abuse and suicides. Read

After ‘Green Rush,’ Canada’s legal pot suppliers are stumbling

4/18/21--Analysts say one reason the sunny projections for legal marijuana in Canada have failed to materialize is the tightly regulated distribution system introduced by Canada, which largely bans advertising and marketing. The halting roll out of stores in some provinces — particularly Ontario — is also a factor. Plus, surveys have suggested that many Canadians are simply not interested in adopting a new vice. Read

Teenage brains may be especially vulnerable to marijuana and other drugs

3/29/21--According to a new study, published in JAMA Pediatrics and led by a team of scientists at the National Institute on Drug Abuse, adolescents and teenagers who experiment with marijuana and prescription drugs are more likely to get hooked on them than young people who try these drugs for the first time when they are college-aged or older. Read

McKinsey settles for nearly $600 million over role in opioid crisis

2/3/21--McKinsey & Company, the consultant to blue-chip corporations and governments around the world, has agreed to pay nearly $600 million to settle investigations into its role in helping “turbocharge” opioid sales. The settlements come after lawsuits revealed how McKinsey worked to drive sales of Purdue Pharma’s OxyContin painkiller amid an opioid crisis in the United States that has contributed to the deaths of more than 450,000 people over the past two decades. Read

The Risks of Another Epidemic: Teenage Vaping

11/23/20--Although self-reported use of e-cigarettes by high school and middle school students decreased over the past year, Dr. Robert R. Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cautioned, “Youth e-cigarette use remains an epidemic.” Read

In shadow of pandemic, U.S. drug overdose deaths resurge to record

7/15/20--Drug deaths in America, which fell for the first time in 25 years in 2018, rose to record numbers in 2019 and are continuing to climb, a resurgence that is being complicated and perhaps worsened by the coronavirus pandemic. Read

You know what else has sold well during the pandemic? Weed edibles

7/13/20--Pandemic anxiety and mounting concerns about vaping have contributed to the increase of cannabis product sales. Since March, the cannabis industry has seen an influx of new customers, and as fear of inhaled products has risen — spurred partly by studies of “vaping illness” and exacerbated by respiratory risks associated with the coronavirus — many consumers have opted to enjoy cannabis in edible form. Read

Marty Baron made The Post great again. Now, the news is changing.

6/28/20--According to an article by Ben Smith published in The New York Times, the revival of The Washington Post by the executive editor Mr. Baron and its owner, the Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos, is perhaps the greatest news business success story of the past decade. But that journalistic revival has in some ways masked a messier story, one of many contradictions. Read

The world pushes back against e-cigarettes and Juul

3/30/20--The e-cigarette giant Juul Labs counted on international expansion to offset losses in the U.S., but the regulatory response abroad has been even stricter. The company has been met with ferocious anti-vaping sentiment and a barrage of newly enacted e-cigarette restrictions, or outright bans, in country after country. As a result, its ambitious overseas plans have collapsed. Read

Cannabis scientists are chasing the perfect high

4/1/20--According to an article published in The New York Times, wherever marijuana is legal, companies are claiming that they have figured out how to produce a bespoke high. Some of the research these companies cite to support what they are advertising has been published and peer-reviewed, but much of the recent work on the effects of cannabis has been conducted privately, and the companies are guarding their results as trade secrets. Read

Staying safe while delivering weed in the pandemic

4/10/20--While millions of Americans are at home, socially distancing to curb the spread of the coronavirus, delivery service workers in the cannabis trade face a new problem: keeping employees safe from the virus. Read

The capital that ate wellness is going to eat your mushrooms

2/28/20--As published in a New York Times article by Jonah Engel Bromwich, Goop, Moon Juice and Daily Harvest investor Able Partners is now getting into psychedelics. The company is now an early-stage investor in two companies that are involved in research of psychedelic compounds for medical use, Compass Pathways and Atai Life Sciences. This year, Able has publicly dedicated itself to narrowing what its partners call “the wellness gap.” Read

New York Times editorial board: Joe Biden

1/14/20--The editorial board of The New York Times conducted an interview with former vice president Joe Biden. He candidly discussed several matters, including policy issues, as well as what he considers mistakes of the 2016 Clinton campaign, and his current opposition to the federal legalization of marijuana. Read

Trump retreats from flavor ban for e-cigarettes

11/17/19--In September, President Trump said he was moving to ban the sale of most flavored e-cigarettes as vaping among young people continued to rise. However, advisers say the president pulled back from proposed restrictions intended to curb teenage vaping after he was warned of the political fallout among voters. Read

Juul’s meltdown costs tobacco giant Altria $4.5 Billion

10/31/19--Altria, one of the world’s largest tobacco companies, said it had devalued its investment in the vaping company Juul Labs by $4.5 billion, a move that reflects deepening turmoil in the e-cigarette industry. The company pointed to recent bans on vaping, a $7 billion industry, across the United States and the “increased likelihood” that the Food and Drug Administration would “remove flavored e-vapor products from the market.” Read

Juul knowingly sold tainted nicotine pods, former executive says

10/30/19--Siddharth Breja, a former top executive of Juul, is alleging that the e-cigarette giant sold at least one million contaminated mint-flavored nicotine pods — and refused to recall them when told about the problem in March. Breja claims he was fired in retaliation for whistle-blowing and objecting to the shipment of the contaminated and expired pods and other illegal and unsafe conduct that “has jeopardized and continues to jeopardize public health and safety and the lives of millions of consumers, many of them children and teens.” Read

As Russian money poured into cannabis, Giuliani allies scrambled to partake

10/23/19--Russian investors have flocked to the U.S. cannabis industry in recent years. One venture involving associates of Rudy Giuliani drew the scrutiny of federal investigators. Read

Marijuana damages young brains

6/16/19--Numerous studies show that marijuana can have a deleterious impact on cognitive development in adolescents, impairing executive function, processing speed, memory, attention span and concentration. The reason the adolescent brain is so vulnerable to the effect of drugs is that the brain is still developing in adolescents and young adults until age 25. Read

Design’s new leaf

5/7/19--Marijuana-inspired objects and décor are becoming more elite. With dozens of states having legalized marijuana for medicinal or recreational use, or both, in recent years, designers are seizing the opportunity to define the look of a growing industry and lifestyle. And as the drug loses its outlaw, déclassé status, going from “weed” to a “flower”. Read

Marijuana motifs go from hippie to high (jewelry, that is)

3/22/19--With the legalization of marijuana in Canada, as well as in 10 states and the District of Columbia in the United States — and with every state but Idaho having passed some sort of marijuana legalization law — it was only a matter of time before jewelers picked up the vibe. Read

E-cigarettes are effective at helping smokers quit, a study says

1/30/19--A study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that e-cigarettes were nearly twice as effective as conventional nicotine replacement products, like patches and gum, for quitting smoking. The success rate was still low, but many researchers who study tobacco and nicotine said it gave them the clear evidence they had been looking for. Read

Now for the hard part: Getting Californians to buy legal weed

1/2/19--California was the sixth state to introduce the sale of recreational marijuana, but the enormous size of the market led to predictions of soaring legal marijuana sales. Instead, sales fell. The easy part of legalization was persuading people to vote for it, industry analysts say. The hard part, now that it’s legal, is persuading people to stop buying from the black market. Read

High Times has some glossy new competition

1/9/19--Marijuana culture is being reframed, in part as a result of independently run magazines with modest press runs but impressive coffee-table presence. They are helping the archetype of stereotypical marijuana smokers evolve into cultured, luxury-designer-wearing members of the creative class. Publishers see an exciting opportunity in a marketplace that could reach $23.4 billion in consumer spending and employ a half-million Americans by 2023, according to the cannabis data firm BDS Analytics. Read

Older Americans are flocking to medical marijuana

12/7/18--Oils, tinctures and salves — and sometimes old-fashioned buds — are increasingly common in seniors’ homes. Doctors warn that popularity has outstripped scientific evidence. Physicians who treat older adults expect their marijuana use to increase as the number of states legalizing medical marijuana keeps growing. Read

Canada’s message to teenagers: Marijuana is legal now. Please don’t smoke it.

11/11/18--Held less than a week before Canada was set to legalize marijuana, the public health session had a message for parents: Marijuana would be legal for adults, but it was not safe for young people. And parents needed to instill in their children the idea that pot could be dangerous. Last month, Canada became the second country to make it legal for adults to buy, grow, and consume small amounts of marijuana. But it also made it a crime to give it to anyone younger than 19 or 18, depending on the province, and set a penalty of up to 14 years in prison for doing so. Read

Marijuana legalization has gone mainstream. Rick Steves has helped.

10/27/18--Rick Steves, a travel writer and public radio and television host, is an outspoken activist for the legalization of recreational marijuana. He says smoking pot is like a “declaration of independence.” The legalization of marijuana is a more mainstream issue now than it has ever been, and this trend is both reflected and powered by the advocacy of people like Steves, who campaigned for legalization in his home state of Washington in 2012 and now travels the country doing the same thing. Read

Fight drug abuse, don’t subsidize it

8/27/18--According to Rod J. Rosenstein, deputy attorney general of the United States, Americans struggling with addiction need treatment and reduced access to deadly drugs. They do not need a taxpayer-sponsored haven to shoot up. Advocates euphemistically call them “safe injection sites,” but Rosenstein believes they are very dangerous and would only make the opioid crisis worse. Read

Where pedestrian deaths are up, is marijuana to blame?

2/28/18--Pedestrian deaths in traffic accidents have reached levels not seen in years, and a safety group has sought to explain why. It has identified several possible causes, like digital distractions and an increase in driving. Now it has added another: marijuana. Read

After legalization, Dr. Dre’s ‘Weed Man’ is thriving

2/22/18--Virgil Grant straddles two eras, the criminal past and the legalized future. Grant spent more than eight years in federal and state prisons for marijuana dealings, but now he is thriving in a multibillion-dollar marijuana industry with three licensed cannabis businesses in Los Angeles and several hip-hop stars as customers. Read

As states legalize marijuana, investors see an opportunity

1/26/18--Twenty-nine states now allow marijuana for medical purposes, while eight have legalized its recreational use. As the acceptance of marijuana is growing, so are the opportunities to invest in it. Investors put $500 million into private cannabis companies last year, said Troy Dayton, the chief executive and a co-founder of Arcview, which also has an investment arm. Read

Jeff Sessions’s endless war on marijuana

1/7/18--Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a new guidance last week, which reverses Obama-era policy and gives prosecutors more leeway to enforce federal laws against the drug in states where it is legal. Sessions has been on a lifelong crusade against the plant, which he considers the root of many of society’s ills. The new policy is deeply unpopular, and many of its harshest critics are members of the president’s own party, who expressed outrage at the reversal of Mr. Trump’s campaign promise to leave the matter to the states. Read

FDA warns companies against claims that marijuana cures diseases

11/1/17--Four companies  — Stanley Brothers Social Enterprises, Green Roads of Florida, That’s Natural, and Natural Alchemist — each sell products that falsely claim to cure cancer, Alzheimer’s disease or other illnesses, according to the FDA. They have been warned by the agency to stop pitching their products as cures for cancer, a common but unproven claim in the industry. The companies sell CBD in a wide range products on their websites featuring endorsements from people who claim that they or their loved ones have been miraculously cured of terminal diseases and other illnesses. Read

Marijuana crop is burning in the California wildfires

10/13/17--Fatal fires that have consumed nearly 200,000 acres in Northern California, devastating the region’s vineyards particularly in Napa and Sonoma Counties, are also taking a toll on a recreational marijuana. Many of the region’s farms, including those that harvest cannabis, have been scorched, including those in Sonoma County and in Mendocino County, the center of California’s marijuana industry. Read

Legal marijuana is almost here. If only pot farmers were on board.

9/9/17--More than nine months after California voted to legalize recreational marijuana, only a small share of the tens of thousands of cannabis farmers in Northern California have joined the system, according to law enforcement officers and cannabis growers. Despite the promise of a legal marketplace, many growers are staying in the shadows, casting doubt on the promise of a billion-dollar tax windfall for the state and a smooth switch to a regulated market. Read

Economy needs workers, but drug tests take a toll

7/24/17--The economic impact of drug use on the work force is being felt across the country. The effect is seen not just in the applicants eliminated based on drug screening, but in those deterred from even applying. The biggest employers face similar challenges in their search for suitable hires, especially with the national unemployment rate now at 4.4 percent, down from 8.2 percent five years ago. Read

Uruguay’s marijuana law turns pharmacists into dealers

7/17/17--When Uruguay’s marijuana legalization law takes full effect, getting high will just take a visit to the pharmacy. Uruguay is the first nation in the world to fully legalize the production and sale of marijuana for recreational use. Under the law, only Uruguayan citizens and legal permanent residents are allowed to purchase or grow pot, and the government will limit how much people can buy each week. Furthermore, in an effort to undercut drug traffickers, it is setting the price below black market rates. Read

Smoking marijuana while black

7/17/17--Although the city of New York has reduced the number of arrests for low-level marijuana possession, black and Latino New Yorkers are far more likely to be arrested for smoking in public than whites, who are just as likely to use marijuana. African-Americans are arrested at 15 times the rate of whites in Staten Island and in Manhattan, and seven times the rate of whites in Queens. The disparities shown in a new analysis by Harry G. Levine, a sociology professor at Queens College, are especially striking in areas where African-Americans make up a small proportion of the population. Read

High Times is sold to group that includes son of Bob Marley

6/1/17--High Times has been acquired by a group of investors that includes Damian Marley, son of the reggae star Bob Marley. The group, led by Adam Levin, the founder of the investment firm Oreva Capital, bought a controlling interest at a price that values the magazine at $70 million. Read

Older women and medical marijuana: a new growth industry

5/25/17--Women in their 50s, 60s, and 70s have started businesses in the world of pot. Inspired partly by their own use of the drug for pain relief, or by caring for others who use it for their own aches, these women see viable business opportunities and view their work as therapeutic for their customers. A study of 47,140 participants, based on responses to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, found that cannabis use among adults ages 50 to 64 had increased nearly 60 percent from 2006 to 2013, while use by people 65 and older had risen 250 percent. Read

Canada, but not Jeff Sessions, moves boldly on marijuana

4/15/17--Although many Americans and Canadians believe marijuana should be legal, the governments of the two countries appear to be moving in very different directions. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who is a staunch opponent of legalization, recently ordered a review of an Obama-era policy under which the federal government agreed not to interfere with state laws on marijuana, as long as the states took steps to regulate its distribution and use. Sessions’s apparent goal is to make Washington the ultimate authority. Read

Canada Today: Marijuana

4/14/17--The government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has introduced legislation that, if passed, would legalize recreational marijuana. Although the bill lays out the broad guidelines of a tightly regulated system, and introduces strict new penalties for selling or giving marijuana to minors, much work remains. For instance, provinces will have to figure out how to distribute it, and the police will need to develop tests for apprehending impaired drivers that are reliable enough to avoid court challenges. Read

Wine industry finds a companion in a competitor: marijuana

4/14/17--The liquor industry opposed several marijuana legalization initiatives last year, and has expressed fears for its bottom line. The fine wine industry, however, has not panicked. Despite occasional efforts to pit wine and weed against each other, many in the wine business exude an air of mellow acceptance that the two substances can coexist in harmony. Read

Trudeau unveils bill legalizing recreational marijuana in Canada

4/14/17--Prime Minister Justin Trudeau introduced legislation to legalize the recreational use of marijuana in Canada. When Mr. Trudeau’s bill passes, as expected, Canada will become only the second nation, after Uruguay, to completely legalize marijuana as a consumer product. Read

A real estate boom, powered by pot

4/1/17--Legalized marijuana is having an effect on the real estate market. From Monterey, Calif., to Portland, Me., the new industry is sending property values soaring. Landlords and property owners are charging a premium for new tenants working in the cannabis business. So far, the uptick in property prices from the marijuana business is concentrated in some of the states that have legalized medical and recreational use. Read

Addiction specialists ponder a potential aid: pot

3/27/17--The new clinic, High Society, is experimenting with a concept made possible by the growing legalization of marijuana: that pot, rather than being a gateway into drugs, could be a gateway out. A small but growing number of pain doctors and addiction specialists are overseeing the use of marijuana as a substitute for more potent and dangerous drugs. Read

Marijuana industry presses ahead in California’s wine country

3/18/17--Civil engineer turned marijuana entrepreneur Sam Edwards is adding a new dimension to the art of matching fine wines with gourmet food: cannabis and wine pairing dinners. His company, Sonoma Cannabis Company, charges diners $100 to $150 for a meal that experiments with everything from marijuana-leaf pesto sauce to sniffs of cannabis flowers paired with sips of a crisp Russian River chardonnay. Read

The Hermès of marijuana

3/17/17--Beboe, an upscale line of cannabis vaporizers and edible pastilles, founded by former fashion executive Clement Kwan and Scott Campbell, a celebrity tattoo artist and fine artist, caters to design-savvy professionals who value premium goods manufactured with an artisanal sensibility. Beboe, which is starting to be embraced by the Hollywood A-list as the Hermès of marijuana, was unveiled at a lavish dinner party in West Hollywood attended by several celebrities. Read 

Israeli cabinet makes move to decriminalize recreational marijuana use

3/5/17--Israel, which has been at the forefront of research into medical marijuana and the drug’s commercialization, took a major step toward officially decriminalizing its recreational use. The Israeli cabinet approved a plan that would impose fines rather than criminal penalties on those caught using the drug in public. Growing and selling marijuana would remain illegal. Read

Should you tell Uber your driver was high?

3/1/17--According to a New York Times published response about whether or not a passenger should report an Uber driver who appears to be under the influence of marijuana, Kwame Anthony Appiah, author of “Cosmopolitanism” and “The Honor Code: How Moral Revolutions Happen," states that the Uber driver's livelihood shouldn't be put at risk simply on a hunch. If the driver was driving badly, however, that’s something that should be reported without mentioning a hypothesis about the marijuana. Read

When retirement comes with a daily dose of cannabis

2/19/17--According to recent studies, older Americans are increasingly turning to marijuana for relief from aches and pains. Many have embraced it as an alternative to powerful drugs like morphine, saying that marijuana is less addictive, with fewer side effects. For some people, it is a last resort when nothing else helps. Read

Don’t call them ‘mocktails’

12/30/16--Cocktail and restaurant bars are making a greater effort to make nondrinkers feel welcome and well looked after. Some have dedicated nonalcoholic drink menus, but they are not calling them mocktails — they’re not mocking anything. They stand on their own flavorful merits. Read 

Israel, a medical marijuana pioneer, is eager to capitalize

12/17/16--Israel's burgeoning pot business, backed by an unlikely coalition of farmers, lawyers, scientists, entrepreneurs, and the country’s ultra-Orthodox health minister, is going mainstream — and eyeing markets abroad. Marijuana is still classified as a dangerous drug in Israel and remains illegal for recreational purposes, but the government is also at the forefront of efforts to develop and expand the fast-growing medical marijuana industry and make Israel a major center for it. Read

Where marijuana plants flourish under energy-saving LED lights

11/25/16--Hundreds of marijuana plants were flowering recently under 40 LED lights as part of a high-stakes experiment in energy conservation — an undertaking subsidized by the local electric company. Although the LED lights are more expensive up front, viagra order their lower electricity requirements mean they can save money in the long run. It is not just that the LED lights take so much less energy to operate. They also run cooler, order requiring less air-conditioning. Read