Armed Robbery Attempt Fails at East Vancouver Weed Store

One robber got more than he bargained for attempting to rob a cannabis store in Canada. Kingsway Cannabis in East Vancouver, British Columbia posted a 20-second video on Twitter on March 14, showing a failed armed robbery attempt the night before.

CTV Vancouver reports that an armed robbery-gone-wrong was captured on video and shared online. The video shows a man—most likely not experienced in crime—bursting into the store on March 13 shortly after 8 p.m.

The man in the video points what appears to be a gun at a woman behind the counter, who flees. The man attempts to go behind the counter, but is stopped short by a locked half-door blocking his way. 

Then the guy tries to rip out the register, but doesn’t seem to try hard enough, gives up, and then runs out of the store empty-handed. It appears the man wasn’t prepared to break a cash register open.

The Vancouver Police Department (VPD) is investigating the incident. But since a firearm was likely involved, unless it was a replica, police are taking the incident very seriously.

“Whether this was a real gun or a fake gun, we don’t know. That’s something we’re investigating,” said VPD Cst. Tania Visintin. “Nonetheless, this is terrifying for everyone involved. Whether this is a cannabis store or a candy shop, it’s terrifying no matter where it happens.”

Kingsway Cannabis posted the video and also questioned if Health Canada’s requirements are actually helping.

Protecting Minors from Seeing Weed or Creating a Hazard?

Because the store’s windows were frosted, the employee who had a gun pointed in her face couldn’t see the suspect approaching. “Maybe it’s time for the government to re-think the mandatory window frosting,” Kingsway Cannabis tweeted.

Health Canada requires that stores prevent minors from viewing cannabis products, i.e. frosted windows, but it’s not good when an intruder is approaching. Health Canada requires that stores ensure no cannabis or accessories are visible from outside the premises in order to protect them from the view of minors. 

The British Columbia government already dropped the frosted window requirement, but Health Canada still requires cannabis stores to have frosted windows in order to stay compliant.

Other stores had the same issue, and they say it’s because the window coverings actually make things more dangerous.

iHeart Radio reports that recently, Nanaimo-based Mood Cannabis was subject to back-to-back robberies, and blamed the visibility clause. 

“I can’t provide a safe environment for my employees because of the regulations (right now),” Kingsway Cannabis owner Chuck Varabioff told iHeart Radio. “I’m going to rally a bunch of the store owners I know in the Lower Mainland and in the Interior because they say ‘You can’t fight the government,’ but we’re going to give it a helluva shot.”

“After the second time he came in we removed the window coverings for our staff and customers,” said Mood Cannabis owner Cory Waldron. A cannabis inspector told him to replace window coverings since cannabis was visible from the street. “This regulation was completely based on stigma and there’s no rationale behind it,” said Waldron. “I don’t see the appeal to our youth by seeing this (bland) packaging.”

Health Canada is currently reviewing if the rules and regulations in place are working, three years after retail sales were authorized in the country. 

The Cannabis Council of Canada is begging to repeal the visibility clause on the basis it makes stores targets for robbers, and it makes stores uninviting as well.

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Deputy Fends of Five Armed Robbers at Dispensary in St. Vincent

The cannabis industry in the Caribbean mirrors the danger of the U.S. cash-only industry and the lure for criminals given the large amounts of cannabis and cash. In the town of Vermont (not to be confused with the U.S. state) on the island country of St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) in the Caribbean, five would-be armed robbers were thwarted on Friday, Jan. 27 by a deputy guard at a dispensary. Due to quick thinking and a fast response, the perpetrators were caught mid-robbery while they were still at the site. 

Green Lava Labs is a medical cannabis company and dispensary in the Queensbury area of Vermont. As one of the first Class-C license holders in the country, a great deal of cannabis and a steady cash flow made it a prime target.

St. Vincent Times reports that five men, one brandishing a gun and another brandishing a “cutlass,” allegedly entered the dispensary at 2:00 am at night forcefully and injured at least one person. The five assailants allegedly attempted to break into the dispensary’s storage area. But a deputy from an armed security agency was quickly dispatched, returning fire and forcing the robbers to flee before they could make off with the loot.

“Our armed security operative engaged the bandits directly, firing several shots, causing the bandits to flee, without being able to break into the building and storage rooms,” Sheriff PSS Inc stated.

A deputy was dispatched to the premises promptly within 15 minutes, while the suspects were still on-site, officials said.

“Operations Control was contacted and our Executive Director Mr. Jason Greene and Operations Commander Mr. Cox responded immediately to provide additional support. The police [were] contacted and responded promptly within 15 minutes,” the release reads.

A caretaker who was on the premises was injured during the incident. 

“The live-in caretaker on the estate was injured during the incident and taken to the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital by Sheriff PSS Inc for medical attention,” the report continued.

“Sheriff takes this opportunity to remind the nation that we are serious about asset protection as SVG’s only tactical security agency. We stand ready to serve citizens and the business community as the #1 source for reliable, competent and efficient Asset Protection Agents and Security solutions.”

Government officials at SVG issued the first licenses to cultivate medical cannabis in 2019. 

Green Lava Labs Leader in the Caribbean

Green Lava Labs was launched in St. Vincent and the Grenadines on Nov. 15, 2019. Green Lava was among the first companies to be granted a Class-C Medical Marijuana Cultivation license in the country. The license allows them to extract, import, export, dispense, and cultivate up to 25 acres of cannabis.

Green Lava has the capacity of over 8,000 pounds of cannabis per year and future plans to reach the full capacity of its allowed 25 acres that should allow the company to produce over 35,000 pounds of cannabis per year.

The company’s grand opening was significant enough to attract Prime Minister Dr. Ralph E. Gonsalves; Minister of Agriculture, Saboto Caesar; a Senior Official of the Medical Cannabis Authority; and officials to attend.

The company offers flower, pre-rolls, CBD-infused products, and more.

The company also has other locations including one in Jamaica.

Business is once again booming in SVG’s medical cannabis industry, Minister of Finance, Camillo Gonsalves reported earlier this year. This follows a slow, discouraging period due to COVID pandemic restrictions and devastation caused by the La Soufriere volcano eruption.

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Weed Delivery Driver Robberies Spike in Michigan

A noticeable uptick in cannabis delivery driver robberies is being reported in Michigan, as authorities scramble to control the problem before it snowballs into something worse. The Michigan Cannabis Regulatory Agency (CRA) issued a bulletin Tuesday notifying cannabis businesses there’s been a rise in criminal activity.

Macomb Daily reports that authorities are concerned about the rise in crime in the metropolitan Detroit area. As delivery drivers are forced to carry around dangerous amounts of cash and/or cannabis, they are like sitting ducks with a target on their heads.

According to a recent bulletin issued by the CRA on Jan. 17, officials have “identified a pattern in reported criminal activity involving the drivers,” reporting 13 thefts of cannabis products, all within the past six weeks. The MRA regularly posts bulletins when an issue arises, including when a dangerous pattern emerges.

A rash of burglary incidents have been reported in Hazel Park and Ferndale in Oakland County, Utica in Macomb County, Westland, Hamtramck and Detroit in Wayne County, Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, and Lansing. The burglaries began piling up since the beginning of December 2022.

The data shows that the thefts typically occurred at houses at the time of delivery. In some cases, armed robberies took place in which the drivers were assaulted and their vehicles were stolen.

When a robbery takes place, time is ticking for the victims involved. “Licensees and applicants are reminded that the administrative rules require they notify the CRA and local law enforcement authorities within 24 hours of becoming aware of—or within 24 hours of when the licensees should have been aware of—the theft or loss of any product or criminal activity at the marijuana business,” the CRA said in a press release.

“All suspicious activity should be reported to the CRA (using the form available here) and local law enforcement. Questions can be sent to the Cannabis Regulatory Agency Field Operations.”

Licensees are also reminded to watch for and report suspicious activity to police and the CRA. The reporting form is available online.

Not Just the Delivery Drivers are At Risk

Delivery drivers aren’t the only ones being targeted by criminals. Just last November, the CRA said 117 break-ins took place at cannabis businesses from April through November 2022. Authorities also said that the incidents took place primarily at adult-use stores rather than medical cannabis dispensaries.

The CRA says the following tactics were common among break-ins: A suspect vehicle parked in the far reaches of the parking lot or across the street; use of a tool such as a hammer or crowbar to enter the back door; or suspects enter the business and take as much as they can and leave before authorities arrive. A majority of the break-ins took place between 12 a.m. and 7 a.m. throughout West Michigan this year, according to the CRA.

It’s not just happening in Michigan, but in Oregon and Washington state as well. Earlier this year, about 30 robberies happened in a one-month span in Washington.

The surges in robberies at licensed cannabis shops and among delivery drivers adds to the urgency for a need for a bill such as the SAFE Banking Act. The SAFE Banking Act, which did not go as far legislatively as people initially suspected in 2022, would solve many of these problems.

“It makes absolutely no sense that legal businesses are being forced to operate entirely in cash, and it’s dangerous—and sometimes even fatal—for employees behind the register,” Washington Sen. Patty Murray said in a statement emailed to The Associated Press.

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Video: Woman Caught Red-Handed Stealing Tips from Cannabis Store

A woman shopping at a cannabis store in Canada was made famous on Facebook after being caught on cam stealing hundreds of dollars’ worth of tips from the tip jar. Cannabis normally brings about the spirit of giving in most people, however, that’s not the case for petty thieves like the one caught recently.

Mariana Wolff, owner of Cannabis Cottage in Penticton, British Columbia in Canada, is fed up with brazen thieves, including the latest one who went after her budtender’s hard-earned tip money. Wolff caught the act on camera and shared footage of the incident on Facebook on Tuesday, Jan. 3.

Castanet News reports that the woman grabbed the jar, stuffed it inside her coat, and held it there. In the video, it appears the store worker is trying to reason with the woman to give it back. As Cannabis Cottage locks up the majority of its inventory at all times—like many other cannabis stores in Canada—it normally isn’t the target of crime since opening in 2019. Comments for the video on YouTube were disabled.

Penticton Valley News reports that Wolff is frustrated with the way budtenders are treated, culminating in this most recent incident. Crimes in recent years have worsened to become more brazen.

“Unfortunately, this isn’t a surprise,” Wolff told Black Press. “It’s been noticeably more prevalent over the last couple of years around town.”

Wolff chose not to report the incident to police with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), but instead posted it on Facebook to let the local community do the rest. That alone should be punishment enough.

“It’s such a petty theft and [the police] already have so many that they already deal with,” Wolff said. “It would just be one more little thing on their plate so it’s easier for me to just top up the tip jar and move on.”

Wolff said her store gave the woman an opportunity to come forth and return the money to save her reputation, but the woman apparently declined. She even offered a Safeway gift card if the woman needed food to eat.

The tip jar was basically the only item that could be stolen, as everything is locked up. “The one thing that could actually be stolen was…it’s frustrating,” she added. “The girl was asked to return it after being caught in the moment and chose not to. That’s what was so irritating.”

Cash-Only Environments Lead to Theft

South of the border, the U.S.’s cash-only cannabis industries often lead to their own form of crime—from coast to coast. But usually thieves are after large amounts of cash and inventory, and usually not the tip jar. 

Crime is commonplace for dispensaries in cities like Oakland, California, or at least amid the chaos of the pandemic years. C.R.A.F.T. (Citizens Research Alliance for Therapeutics) Cannabis in Oakland in California was robbed at gunpoint and about $100,000 in product was stolen.

Crime is also a problem on the East Coast. Police have linked a rash of burglaries targeting New England cannabis dispensaries to a trio of suspects in Massachusetts, according to a report from the Portland Press Herald. Law enforcement officers say that a man from New Bedford, Massachusetts and two brothers from Boston are suspected in the string of burglaries of licensed cannabis enterprises going back to 2020.

Budtenders often depend on tip money to make ends meet, so they’re the last person you’d want to steal from.

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Americans Think Cannabis Is Better Than Alcohol

Americans believe that cannabis is better than alcohol, according to recent research from the Gallup Poll, although respondents were divided on the question of whether cannabis is beneficial for society overall. In polling released earlier this month, 53% of Americans said marijuana positively affects the people who use it. In comparison, only 27% of those surveyed said that alcohol has a positive effect on drinkers.

When asked their views on marijuana’s effect on people, 9% said that weed has a very positive effect on people, while 44% said the effect was somewhat positive, according to cannabis polling released by Gallup on August 16. The research also showed that 30% think cannabis has a somewhat negative effect on users, and 15% said the herb has a very negative effect on the people who use it.

By contrast, polling on alcohol released on August 5 showed that 52% believe alcohol has a very negative effect on the people who use it, while 19% said drinking’s effect is very negative. Only 3% said alcohol has a very positive effect on drinkers, and 24% said drinking has a somewhat positive effect on alcohol users. Those who use marijuana had more favorable opinions of weed’s effect on users. Among those with experience with marijuana, 70% said that cannabis’ impact on people is positive, while only 29% of cannabis users said that marijuana has a negative effect on the people who use it. Interestingly, only 32% of drinkers said the effect of alcohol is positive, while nearly two-thirds (65%) believe alcohol’s impact on the people who use it is negative.

Americans Split on Cannabis’ Impact on Society

Americans’ views on the impact cannabis has on society were almost evenly divided, with 49% saying the effect was positive and 50% saying marijuana has a negative effect on society. Among those with a favorable view, 12% said marijuana’s effect on society is very positive, and 37% somewhat positive. Nearly a third (31%) said cannabis has a somewhat negative impact on society, while 19% said the effect is very negative.

Americans’ views on the effect of alcohol on society were less favorable, with 75% saying the effect is negative, including 55% who said the effect is somewhat negative and 20% who believe it is very negative. Less than a quarter of U.S. adults said that alcohol positively impacts the country, with 21% saying the effect is somewhat positive and only 2% saying booze has a positive impact on society.

While Americans’ views are that cannabis is better than alcohol, Gallup notes that marijuana continues to be illegal at the federal level. But with 38 states already enacting some sort of cannabis legalization and younger adults having a more favorable opinion of marijuana than their elders, continued reform seems inevitable.

“The future of marijuana legalization, at both the federal and state levels, may partly depend on what medical and other research studies show is the impact of the drug on users and society at large, particularly if its use continues to expand,” Gallup wrote in a report on the marijuana poll. “But with young people being more familiar and comfortable with marijuana, their greater tolerance may be destined to prevail over time.”

Research Backs Americans’ Views on Weed and Alcohol

Americans’ belief that marijuana is better than booze is supported by scientific research. Most importantly, cannabis has never killed anyone, while data from the National Institutes of Health show that 95,000 deaths in the US each year can be attributed to the health effects of alcohol, making alcohol consumption the third-leading preventable cause of death in the country. More than 1,600 deaths are caused by alcohol poisoning, while no known lethal dose of cannabis exists. Alcohol also increases the risk of injury, while research shows the opposite may be true for marijuana.

A study published in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research in 2011 found that 36% of hospitalized assaults and 21% of all injuries are attributable to alcohol use by the injured person. By contrast, some research shows that using marijuana may actually reduce the risk of injury.

Evidence also supports the belief that alcohol negatively impacts society more than marijuana. A 2003 study on the relationship between drugs and violence published in the Journal of Addictive Behaviors reported that “alcohol is clearly the drug with the most evidence to support a direct intoxication-violence relationship,” whereas “cannabis reduces the likelihood of violence during intoxication.” And the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism estimates that 25-30% of violent crimes in the US are linked directly to the use of alcohol, while the government doesn’t track violence related to cannabis use.

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Albania Prompted to Implement Medical Cannabis Reform After U.N. Criticism

It may be hard for most people to locate Albania on a map (it is a coastal country directly across the Adriatic Sea from Italy) but what has just happened there is certainly unique to the legalization discussion. After being named the 7th worst country in the world for illegal cannabis activities, the government decided to legalize medical cannabis.

The law, entitled “control of the cultivation and processing of the cannabis plant and the production of its by-products for medical and industrial purposes” is now online.

The Status of the Legislation

The draft law does not lay out a lot of detail except for its intent to regulate cannabis production for medical use and for its export. Additional details that have now showed up in the press coverage of the situation mention that licensing will be granted for greenhouses and other secured, covered areas up to 150 hectares and will be valid for a maximum of 15 years. Companies must also show working capital of about $85,000, have at least 15 employees and must pay a levy to the state of 1.5% of the annual company turnover.

However, by far the most interesting thing about such developments is that this bill was specifically prompted by the high ranking “achieved” by Albania on the U.N.’s recent report on drugs and crime. The fact that the country was actually named for the “Balkan route” for trafficking heroin from Pakistan to western countries, including across the Adriatic to Italy does not help matters.

The bill will now be available for public comment, after which it will be forwarded to Parliament.

Opposition groups are furious, calling the development irresponsible and claiming that it will only facilitate even more illegal cultivation. Enkelejd Alibeaj, a member of Parliament and leader of one of the two political groups now opposed to this reform also accused the prime minister of going soft on the issue, even after his former interior minister is in prison due to involvement with “criminal groups of cannabis trafficking.”

Many criminal gangs have also moved their production indoors to evade detection.

About one third of the 8,328 Albanians prosecuted for cannabis trafficking between 2013 and 2019 were actually convicted.

The government, in contrast, believes that this law will enable them to control the legal industry—and even bring in much needed foreign export income.

Eliminating the Black Market via Medical Reform

While admirable, and most definitely overdue, this law may well not achieve what it intended. Then again, so far, what legalization effort has gone smoothly anywhere? That said, North Macedonia, right next door, is in a similar position. Medical cannabis reform, however, has not so far been the windfall that was hoped for, in large part because of the complexity of exporting this narcotic from a non-European country to the E.U.—and from the Balkans.

However, it is clearly a step in an inevitable position.

The History of Cannabis in Albania

Albania is no stranger to large-scale cannabis cultivation. Indeed, it became a large part of the economy after the fall of the former Soviet Union in the early 1990s as the country’s economic situation collapsed. The illicit, albeit at first localized, industry was subsequently penetrated by a series of increasingly powerful and violent gangs. This period peaked in about 2016—the same year that Albania was named as one of the largest illicit producers in the world. Even though there was a concerted international effort to disrupt this the next year, it has not achieved much except push traffickers into more remote areas and to take additional evasion techniques.

The government of Albania has also cooperated with international police forces to attempt to stop the problem via military means. Indeed, with the aid of Italian reconnaissance flights between 2013 and 2019, authorities identified 613 hectares (1,514 acres) of land planted with cannabis, much of it centred in the southern village of Lazarat, also dubbed “Europe’s cannabis capitol.” In a country which is only 2.9 million hectares, this is a significant amount of territory.

In such an environment, it will be interesting to see the impact of legalization of at least medical cultivation—particularly as the entire issue of cannabis reform moves forward internationally.

The recent U.N. report on international drugs and crime was also controversial for its assertions about increased cannabis use and the reasons for it. It appears it has now had a visceral impact on at least one country’s reform schedule the week after Germany concluded its own hearings on recreational cannabis reform.

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Cannabis Blamed for America’s Mass-Shooting Epidemic

Another week, another mass shooting to blame on cannabis. Six days after an 18-year-old who’d just bought two AR-15-style rifles on his birthday murdered 19 fourth graders and two teachers at an elementary school in Uvalde, TX, Fox News host Laura Ingraham asked her roughly 2.2 million viewers whether the real problem wasn’t actually cannabis legalization.

“Why aren’t people in general not talking more about the pot-psychosis violent-behavior connection?” asked Ingraham, who added that anyone advocating gun-control measures—such as the 90% of Americans who support universal background checks—as a rational response to Uvalde are “completely oblivious to what the legalization of marijuana has done and is doing to an entire generation of Americans with violent consequences.”

At first blush, injecting cannabis into the conversation over mass shootings seemed like a fresh spin, another effort at misdirection to steer the conversation toward “hardening” schools, or arming teachers or vague jeremiads about “mental health”—anything but a discussion about the easy availability of weapons or that particular weapon, the AR-15-style rifle, the instrument of choice in a mass-shooting in Buffalo the week before that claimed another ten innocent lives.

But, in fact, Ingraham lifted her screed nearly verbatim from the Substack account of disgraced COVID conspiracy theorist Alex Berenson, a former reporter at The New York Times turned novelist turned multi-purpose conservative contrarian. Berenson noticed a post-publication change to a Times item that initially reported an acquaintance’s claim that the Uvalde shooter was mad that his grandmother “didn’t let him smoke weed or do what he wanted.”

That detail later disappeared from the story, which for Berenson was evidence of… well, not much, aside for more support for his pet theory. “Cannabis causes psychosis,” as he wrote. “Psychosis causes violence,” he added, including, an unmistakable syllogistic link, mass shootings.

It’s a serious charge, that’s also completely unserious. Serious observers have already roundly dismissed this fresh demonization of cannabis. Nonetheless, it’s gaining new life as conservative commentators and politicians embrace cannabis as a method to stoke grievance in America’s ongoing culture war.

Rebirth of a Notion

Before he became known as the COVID-19 pandemic’s “wrongest man” and got himself kicked off Twitter for claiming vaccines were worthless (or, actually, dangerous), Berenson’s angle was being a cannabis legalization contrarian. In pursuit of this chimera, he peddled an anti-legalization polemic that, according to a mass letter signed by 100 researchers in 2019, used “flawed pop science and ideological polemics” to “promote some of the worst myths about people of color and people with mental illness”—including the idea, unsupported by science, that cannabis makes them violent.

In serious circles, such as the researchers and clinicians who signed onto the letter labeling Berenson’s theories as worthless warmed-over garbage left over from the Just Say No era, the idea that cannabis legalization is connected to America’s mass-shooting epidemic is laughed out of the room.

But Ingraham’s appropriation of Berenson’s exploded theories set off a chain reaction in the right-wing media echo chamber, where, along with virulent transphobia, cannabis is being tested out as a front in the culture war.

On June 6, the conservative Wall Street Journal’s even more conservative editorial page said that, if it were true that the Uvalde shooter smoked weed—an enormous, Hollywood-sign-sized “if”—“it would fit a pattern.”

“Mass shooters at Rep. Gabby Giffords’s constituent meeting in Tucson, AZ (2011); a movie theater in Aurora, CO (2012); the Pulse nightclub in Orlando (2016); the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, TX (2017); and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL (2018) were reported to be marijuana users,” the WSJ opined. “It could be a coincidence, but increasing evidence suggests a connection.”

(It bears mentioning that most of those shooters were also AR-15-style rifle users, but that, surely, is a coincidence.)

The Missing Link

In addition to noting that the main link between mass shooters wasn’t that they used weapons but that they smoked weed, Allysia Finley, the piece’s author, cited a few studies in her argument. This included a meta-analysis, published in The American Journal of Psychiatry in May 2020, that tried to investigate an association between youth and “the risk of perpetuating physical violence.” That meta-analysis, led by researchers in Canada—where, just for funsies, cannabis was legalized nationwide in 2018—found a “moderate association between cannabis use and physical violence.”

The study’s authors didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment from Cannabis Now on how their work is currently being used to steer American attention away from gun control—which is much stricter in Canada than in the US, and which has legalized cannabis, and which doesn’t seem to be gripped by the same mass shooting epidemic.

On June 13, the conservative Washington Examiner hopped on the bullshit train, adding its own fresh load of trash to the pile. “One way to reverse growing rates of violent crime,” posed the newspaper’s editorial board, using most of the same arguments as the Journal, “may be to recriminalize the use of marijuana.”

Though violence absolutely surged during the COVID-19 pandemic, on the aggregate, the US hasn’t been this peaceful for decades. Violent crime, as Pew Research found, dropped 49% between 1993—right around when New York City launched a decade-long war on joints—and 2019, by which time more than a dozen states had legalized adult-use cannabis. In fact, a 2018 study found that the rates of certain crimes dropped in areas that had recently legalized cannabis.

You could just as easily (and more convincingly) argue that legalization has made the US more peaceful. That at least might be a little more honest, if a little naive, as the causes of violence are known to be complex, an overlapping web of material circumstances.

Political Quackery

Rather than grapple with the broader set of facts or engage with skeptics, the conservative echo-chamber is sealing itself off. In a letter to The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board that the newspaper didn’t print, Paul Armentano, the deputy director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, pointed out a slew of other studies, including a data analysis from the RAND Corporation that tried to find a link between cannabis dispensaries and crime—and failed to do so.

“Claims that cannabis use causes violence are frankly absurd when you consider that there are tens of millions of regular cannabis consumers in the US who have never engaged in any violent activity and there have been no conclusive studies showing an association between violence and either cannabis use or its legalization,” said Morgan Fox, NORML’s political director, in a statement provided to Cannabis Now.

“Cherry-picking anecdotal instances and pretending that they represent a ‘disturbing trend’ when the experiences of legal cannabis markets here and abroad say otherwise is just the newest iteration of a long-used tactic by unscrupulous prohibitionists to demonize this substance and the people that use it,” he added. “Such assertions are pure political quackery, and an attempt to distract from the real issues at hand as well as the overwhelming successes that states have achieved by regulating cannabis.”

So far, it doesn’t seem like Berenson’s shameless recycling of his increasingly dusty conspiracy theory is making much headway among the US public. But as mass shootings and dead children continue to pile up, and opponents of gun reform seek any other sacrificial lamb other than reasonable restrictions on who can own an AR-15, cannabis is taking another familiar turn in the barrel.

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Friday, August 7, 2020 Headlines | Marijuana Today Daily News

Marijuana Today Daily Headlines
Friday, August 7, 2020 | Curated by host Shea Gunther

// Texas Lawsuit Challenges State’s New Ban On Smokable Hemp (Marijuana Moment)

// Marijuana recalled across Michigan after worker accused of licking joint in Bay City processing plant (Michigan Live)

// Vermont Will Advance Marijuana Sales Legalization Bill Within Weeks House Speaker’s Office Says (Marijuana Moment)

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// DEA Reveals Details Of Investigation Into California Marijuana Companies With Latest Court Filing (Marijuana Moment)

// First pot licenses could be awarded this month (News Center Maine NBC)

// Pennsylvania wraps up medical marijuana research partnerships (Marijuana Business Daily)

// Cannabis social equity makes progress in Washington state but licensees will face notable obstacles (Marijuana Business Daily)

// Cronos Group Stock Falls As Losses Rise (Green Market Report)

// California Cities Battle Over Marijuana Home-Delivery Rule (CBS 13 Sacramento)

// Possessing marijuana while being booked is not itself a crime Court of Appeals rules (Colorado Politics)

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