Recent News

California wants to hire more cannabis cops to get a handle on black market marijuana

The Sacramento Bee 2 June 2020
Our additional comment: But weren’t we told that legalisation would free up police resources?
It’s a myth!

California’s Bureau of Cannabis Control is looking to beef up its law enforcement presence.

The bureau in a new state budget request is asking lawmakers to let it build an 87-member police force that would enforce the 2016 law voters passed legalizing recreational cannabis. It’d create the law enforcement branch by absorbing 58 positions from another department, and hiring 29 more cannabis cops.

The department is trying to contain a black market that pervades the state three years after California’s first recreational marijuana stores opened.

In 2019, the bureau seized nearly 24 tons of illicit cannabis, while the California Highway Patrol in 2018 seized more than 80 tons.

Black market cannabis operators made an estimated $8.3 billion in sales in 2019, compared to the $3.1 billion the legal market made, according to projections from BDS Analytics and Arcview Market Research.

“Investigators have seized millions in untested products, including cannabis flower, edibles, tinctures, concentrates — all bypassing the state’s testing and labeling requirements,” said George Tiongson, president of the California Association of Criminal Investigators, an affiliate of the union that represents employees the bureau’s employees.

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SAMOAN TRANSLATION – 20 Reasons to Vote No

E fa’atalofa atu i le tatou aiga Samoa potopoto.
A’o loma palota fa’alaua’itele o le Mariuana ua matou tapena ai ni tusitusiga e fa’amatala ma fa’amalamalama ia matāupu mo lou aiga, uō ma ē masani, fa’apea fo’i ma Fatafaitaulaga ‘ese’ese o le tatou nu’u.
O nei tusitusiga e lua, e leai se totogi mana’omia. E maua lau kopi i le ‘upega tafa’ilagi’ ua tusia i lalo.
20 filifiliga e tatau ai ona e palota ‘LEAI’ i le Mariuana!
Maua lau kopi mai le: WWW.SAYNOPETODOPE.ORG.NZ/translations/

To our Samoan supporters and friends:
Talofa. In preparation for the upcoming referendum on cannabis, we’ve prepared the perfect resource for your families, friends and church groups.
And they’re free! Download them today – and share.
“20 Reasons to Vote No to Cannabis” 


TONGAN TRANSLATION – 20 Reasons to Vote No

Ki he kau poupou, kaunga maheni mo e kainga Tonga kotoa pe:
Malo e lelei! Koe’uhi ko e teuteu fakaha loto mahu’inga (referendum) ‘a e fonua ‘i Sepitema ‘o e ta’u ni fekau’aki mo e maliuana, kuo mau teuteu’i ai ‘a e ngaahi tohi fakamatala mahino mo lelei ma’a hotau ngaahi famili, maheni mo e siasi fekau’aki mo e ongo kaveinga ni. Pea ‘oku ta’etotongi fokii!! ‘Oku ma’u atu ‘eni ‘i he WWW.SAYNOPETODOPE.ORG.NZ/translations/ ke mou lau mo vahevahe atu!
“‘Uhinga ‘e 20 ke tali NO ki he Maliuana”
Fakapapau’i ‘oku ke mahino’i ‘a e ongo kaveinga pea ke toki fili!
‘Ofa atu,


To our Tongan supporters and friends:
Malo e lelei. In preparation for the upcoming referendum on cannabis, we’ve prepared the perfect resource for your families, friends and church groups.
And they’re free! Download them today – and share.
“20 Reasons to Vote No to Cannabis”


Former PM, police investigator, among Kiwis backing cannabis legalisation campaign

Stuff 2 June 2020
A former police investigator is among a number of high-profile New Zealanders encouraging the country to vote Yes in the upcoming cannabis referendum.

The New Zealand Drug Foundation’s “Our Own Terms” campaign features Tim McKinnel, an investigator who helped prove Teina Pora’s innocence, alongside former Prime Minister Helen Clark, psychiatrist Hinemoa Elder and educator Richie Hardcore, among others.

“The system as it is now is a free-for-all, it’s unregulated and uncontrolled and forces people to dip their toes into the black market,” said McKinnel, who spent several years on the police drug squad.

“Police spend a great deal of time and money fighting cannabis, with helicopter recovery operations, or with uncovering underground growing operations. It’s a drain not only on policy but on our courts and prisons.”

He is supporting the Yes campaign because it will allow for stricter regulations.

“The Bill we are voting on is the Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill. People tend to forget about the control part.”

The campaign is pushing a number of different arguments aimed to persuade undecided voters.

The foundation sees arguments around freeing up police time, increasing tax revenues, and improving access for medicinal cannabis users as some of the stronger motivators for undecided voters.

“We’re taking a positive approach, not trying to stoke fear,” Drug Foundation chief executive Ross Bell said.

“We want to highlight that the Bill is designed for New Zealand, it’s different from what we’ve seen overseas, like in Colorado for example, and it takes a much stricter approach.

“Under this Bill, the Government takes control over the cannabis market, from seed to sale. We encourage all New Zealanders to read the Cannabis Control Bill and see for themselves. This is about putting sensible controls around an existing market, and it will mean a net gain for public health.”

Hinemoa Elder said she was supporting the campaign for moral reasons.

“As a doctor I cannot ethically support the status quo at this time. Frankly, it’s a mess, for all sorts of reasons,” she said.

She said arguments that cannabis users were more likely to develop mental illnesses were not accurate, and the greater impact on users came from legal repercussions.

“In my practice, what I see is when young people get cannabis convictions they tend to have further restrictions put on their education and their life in the long term.”

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A vape being touted as a vitamin inhaler is being targeted to young women on Instagram

NZ Herald 30 May 2020
Medsafe is looking into a new vape which promises to “support balance and mood” and help users “feel more alert,” which experts fear could be dangerous.

Inhale Vitamins herbal vapes are marketed via social media with experts saying the company appears to be actively targeting a younger demographic.

One Instagram post, changed after the Herald on Sunday made inquiries, said the Vita Babe inhaler “supports feminine energy, raises wellbeing, and helps with mood management”.

Malaghan Institute of Medical Research’s director of research Professor Graham Le Gros said they’d seen “herbal” vapes marketed overseas for the past few years and the product could “absolutely” be dangerous.

“There’s always the potential for allergies, fibrosis, COPD, all of those things we associate with smoking causes a certain amount of reaction and over a period of time you can really destroy your lung function.”

He said if someone started inhaling things, they could trigger a powerful immune response, which could cause all sorts of medical problems.



Family First Comment: With a long weekend coming up, this could be THE most important video you watch.It’s one of the best summaries we’ve seen of where the legalisation of cannabis will lead to – (and all the clever marketing behind the push to liberalise drug laws).
Just 45 minutes.
But it will shock you.

Cannabis growing facilities up for sale across B.C.

Vancouver Sun 27 May 2020
Large cannabis growing facilities are up for sale in communities across the province as the industry comes to grips with slower-than-expected sales of government-sanctioned cannabis products.

An 18,000-sq.-ft. cannabis cultivation and processing facility is for sale in the Village of Lumby after its owner True Leaf Brands entered bankruptcy proceedings. The asking price for the warehouse-sized operation on 40 acres is $7.25 million.

“We are on a good piece of land in a town that is supportive of the business, so we’ve had quite a bit of interest,” said True Leaf CEO Darcy Bomford. “The deadline for bids is June 19.”

Zenabis is selling a 25,000-sq.-ft. licensed cannabis cultivation and processing facility on Annacis Island for $12.75 million.

An uncompleted cannabis production facility in Kelowna is listed at $13 million, but a potential buyer will need to sign a non-disclosure agreement before the agent will show it. The 25,000-sq.-ft. facility, owned by Doja Cannabis, is advertised as “80 per cent complete.”

At least a dozen mid-sized cannabis companies have recently filed for bankruptcy, and industry leaders say there are many more to come.

“Based on the calls that I’m getting, I’m expecting another dozen more as funding has dried out,” said Tilray CEO Brendan Kennedy. Tilray, with production facilities in Nanaimo, cut its staff by 10 per cent earlier this year.

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Today’s high potency weed raises risk of anxiety and addiction, study says

CNN Health 27 May 2020
If you’re thinking of returning to the weed of your youth to ease the strain of the pandemic, you will soon discover a potent truth — today’s weed is nothing like yesterday’s.

Just 20 years ago levels of tetrahydracannabinol, the compound in cannabis known as THC that makes you high, was between 2% and 4% in most marijuana. By 2013, common strains contained 25% THC, with some testing as high as 37%.

Use of weed of any strength has been linked to mental health disorders, and lab experiments have shown that higher does of THC can cause greater memory impairment and temporary psychotic-like symptoms. But few studies have examined how potency levels may affect behavior in real-world populations.

A new study, published Wednesday in the journal JAMA Psychiatry, surveyed more than 1,000 UK residents who reported marijuana use in the past year. The study found high-potency weed users appear to have a significant increase in the likelihood of developing generalized anxiety disorder than those who smoke less robust strains of marijuana.

The study used data gathered by the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, which asked questions about cannabis use when participants were 24 years of age. Most of the participants said they smoked less potent strains of marijuana (87%), and those who did use more powerful strains were more likely to be male and to have grown up in a lower socioeconomic status. High potency users were also more likely to have used weed an at earlier age, and more likely to have experienced some psychotic events associated with their habit.

Prior studies have also seen associations between high-potency weed and mental health disorders.

study of first-episode psychosis in more than 400 patients in London found those who said they used higher-potency weed were twice as likely to have a psychotic disorder than those who didn’t use marijuana.

A study that looked at more than 900 patients with psychosis in 11 clinics in Brazil and across Europe found daily use of weed to be associated with increased odds of psychotic disorder.

However, there was more than four times the risk of psychotic disorder when high-potency weed was used daily. The study estimated that if high-potency cannabis were no longer available, between 12 and 50 cases of first-episode psychosis could have been prevented among the patients in the study.

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Ben Cort: “What NZ Needs To Understand About The Marijuana Debate” – An interview w/ Bob McCoskrie

Ben Cort is from Colorado and is the author of “Weed, Inc.: The Truth About the Pot Lobby, THC, and the Commercial Marijuana Industry”, released in September 2017. His passion for recovery, prevention and harm reduction comes from his own struggle with substance abuse. Sober since June 15, 1996, Ben has been a part of the recovery community in almost every way imaginable – from a recipient to a provider to a spokesperson. Ben has a deep understanding of the issues and a personal motivation to see the harmful effects of drug and alcohol abuse minimised. Ben’s Ted-X talk in 2017, What commercialisation is doing to cannabis, has had more than 1.6 million views! Ben recently visited New Zealand, speaking to community leaders, politicians and media.

National leader Todd Muller signals cannabis legislation will have his support if New Zealand votes ‘yes’

Stuff 26 May 2020
National leader Todd Muller says his party will likely support the legalisation of cannabis if New Zealand votes “yes” in the upcoming referendum.

National has previously declined to commit to enacting the result of the non-binding cannabis referendum, which will be voted on in September as part of the 2020 election.

But Muller signalled a softer stance on Tuesday, before his first caucus meeting after ousting Simon Bridges from the leadership, indicating he would legalise cannabis “if the people have spoken” in support.

The bill being proposed by the Labour-led Government would allow cannabis to be consumed, sold, and purchased for recreational use, by people 20 years or older. Personal possession of 14 grams of cannabis, the sale of cannabis edibles, and growing up to four cannabis plants per household would be allowed.

The 14-gram limit became subject of political theatre in December, with former National deputy leader Paula Bennett holding up a bag of oregano in the House, decrying the amount as far too high.

Bridges, who was booted from the leadership by fellow MPs on Friday, was unwilling to directly commit to passing the legislation if it were supported by the public — saying in May 2019 he would not deal with “hypotheticals”.

While Muller said the caucus was yet produce a “finely distilled” perspective, he had a “belief that if the people have spoken, and given a pretty clear steer that they support it, then we need to take very strong cognisance of that, in terms of the legislative changes that will then follow”.

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