Wall Street Journal, 03 Jan 2020 - SHINAHOTA, Bolivia-During nearly 14 years as president, Evo Morales pampered the Chapare, the coca leaf-growing jungle region of central Bolivia where he got his start in politics. Mr. Morales expelled U.S. antidrug agents and promoted the health benefits of the coca leaf, the raw material for cocaine, which is legal and chewed by many indigenous people. His socialist government built a paper mill, an airport, and a 25,000-seat soccer stadium in the region. In turn, the farmers gave Mr. Morales, the head of a federation of coca growers, their fervent support.
Chicago Tribune, 02 Jan 2020 - Illinois started off the new decade by embarking into the world of recreational marijuana, where people can buy the intoxicating plant legally and without a prescription. Across the Chicago area, thousands lined up - some before dawn - for a chance to buy marijuana legally for the first time. The day featured long lines, a few glitches - and lots of happy customers.
San Francisco Examiner, 01 Jan 2020 - For years, Richard Manning knew what he needed to cope with his physical pain, rage and PTSD - much of which he traced to a career-ending knee injury he suffered while on a domestic security detail with the Marines. Cannabis may not have been a cure-all, but it was the closest thing he'd ever had to one.
New York Times, 28 Dec 2019 - ROME - Growing small amounts of marijuana at home for private use is not a crime, Italy's top court has ruled, putting an end to a years-long legal dispute and adding Italy to the short list of countries to allow cultivation of recreational cannabis. A 1990s law prohibits the cultivation and sale of marijuana in Italy, but conflicting court decisions, and a 2016 amendment that opened a loophole in the law, created confusion over how it should be interpreted.
Wall Street Journal, 26 Dec 2019 - A surge in vaping related lung illnesses this year caught the medical community by surprise, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reporting more than 2,500 lung illnesses and 54 deaths. Politicians are targeting e-cigarettes, but the CDC reported last week that marijuana is so far the greatest common denominator. This is another reminder that America is undertaking a risky social experiment by legalizing and especially destigmatizing cannabis, and the potential effects are hard to foresee or control. The same political culture that is in a fury over legal opioids, and is trying to bankrupt drug companies as compensation, seems to have no problem celebrating a drug that may be damaging young brains for a lifetime.
New York Times, 24 Dec 2019 - Baba Ram Dass, who epitomized the 1960s of legend by popularizing psychedelic drugs with Timothy Leary, a fellow Harvard academic, before finding spiritual inspiration in India, died on Sunday at his home on Maui, Hawaii. He was 88. His death was announced on his official Instagram account.
Wall Street Journal, 23 Dec 2019 - Graham Saunders is a man in high demand. When U.S. cannabis companies need financing they can't find elsewhere, they turn to this Toronto banker who operates far from Wall Street. Since the spring of 2016, Mr. Saunders's team at Canadian boutique firm Canaccord Genuity Group Inc. has helped finance more than half of all pot deals in the global equity markets, raising more than $5 billion from investors, according to Dealogic.
Westword, 21 Dec 2019 - The Coffee Joint, the first establishment to hold a cannabis consumption license in Denver, is now the second pot lounge business to apply for a state social consumption license. Colorado Springs social lounge Studio A64 successfully applied for a social consumption license at the state Marijuana Enforcement Division office three hours before Coffee Joint owners Rita Tsalyuk and Kirill Merkulov could beat them to it.
New York Times, 18 Dec 2019 - TULSA, Okla. - The teenager had pink cheeks from the cold and a matter-of-fact tone as she explained why she had started using methamphetamine after becoming homeless last year. "Having nowhere to sleep, nothing to eat - that's where meth comes into play," said the girl, 17, who asked to be identified by her nickname, Rose. "Those things aren't a problem if you're using."
New York Times, 16 Dec 2019 - SMITHS FALLS, Ontario - When Canada became the first major industrialized nation to legalize recreational marijuana, visions of billions of dollars in profits inspired growers, retailers and investors, sending the stock market soaring in a so-called green rush. A year later, the euphoria has vanished.