Tribunal de Justicia de la Ciudad de México dictamina que a dos personas se les debe permitir consumir cocaína

Los dos individuos no han sido nombrados.

Un tribunal en México dictaminó que dos personas deberían poder usar legalmente la cocaína con fines recreativos, según informes de los medios. Según el fallo de un juez en la Ciudad de México, a las dos personas no identificadas se les permitirá “poseer, transportar y usar cocaína”, aunque no se les permitirá vender la droga, según representantes del grupo México Unido contra el Delito (MUCD). )

El MUCD presentó documentos legales en el caso en nombre de las dos personas como parte de una estrategia para reformar las leyes de drogas prohibicionistas de México y mejorar la seguridad pública. Después del fallo, el grupo dijo que el caso señala una nueva etapa en la comprensión de las drogas por parte del poder judicial mexicano y ofrece una oportunidad para poner fin a la Guerra contra las Drogas del país.

“Hemos pasado años trabajando por un México más seguro, justo y pacífico”, dijo Lisa Sánchez, directora de MUCD.

“Este caso trata de insistir en la necesidad de dejar de criminalizar a los usuarios de drogas … y diseñar mejores políticas públicas que exploren todas las opciones disponibles, incluida la regulación”.

La decisión del juez será revisada por un tribunal superior

El fallo del juez ordena al departamento nacional de salud de México, Cofepris, que autorice a las dos personas no identificadas a poseer, transportar y usar cocaína recreativamente. Sin embargo, los funcionarios de la Cofepris anunciaron que la emisión de dicha autorización está fuera de la autoridad de la agencia y bloquearon la orden judicial.

MUCD enfatizó que el fallo del juez no legaliza la cocaína en México y está sujeto a revisión por un tribunal de la corte superior. Pero si se mantiene, podría conducir a la reforma de las leyes de drogas de México y a la redistribución de los recursos de las fuerzas del orden para combatir el crimen.

La guerra contra las drogas en México comenzó en 2006 cuando el entonces presidente Felipe Calderón desplegó fuerzas militares contra las bandas de delincuentes organizados del narcotráfico. Desde ese momento, el país ha visto más de 150,000 homicidios intencionales relacionados con el crimen organizado, según un informe de 2018 del Servicio de Investigación del Congreso de EE. UU. En 2018, se reportaron 33,341 homicidios en México, el número más alto desde que el país comenzó a mantener registros.

“México se ha centrado en ‘luchar’ una guerra violenta contra estas sustancias durante los últimos 13 años y los resultados no podrían ser peores: la violencia se ha triplicado, el consumo de drogas sigue aumentando y el número de organizaciones criminales que se benefician del la ilegalidad de las drogas también ha aumentado significativamente “, dijo Sánchez.

“Por lo tanto, lo que estamos haciendo es utilizar todas las herramientas a nuestro alcance para fomentar un debate sobre la necesidad de reformar las políticas de drogas con el fin de definir una política de seguridad mucho más efectiva”.

Reforma de la política de drogas en curso

Los esfuerzos para reformar las leyes de drogas de México ya han tenido cierto éxito. En 2017, el país legalizó el cannabis con fines medicinales y científicos. En noviembre del año pasado, la corte suprema del país dictaminó que una prohibición total del uso recreativo de la marihuana era inconstitucional.

Más tarde, ese mismo mes, el gobierno del presidente Andrés Manuel López Obrador presentó un proyecto de ley que legalizaría el uso recreativo del cannabis y establecería regulaciones para una industria de marihuana medicinal. Actualmente, la Cofepris emite permisos para el uso de marihuana de forma individual.

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Nuevo informe revela cuánto gastaron los estadounidenses en drogas ilícitas durante 10 años

Gasto de drogas? Para cada sustancia, excepto la cocaína. ¿El consumo de drogas? Aumentando en cada categoría.

¿Cuántas personas usan cocaína, heroína, metanfetamina y marihuana en los Estados Unidos? ¿Cuánto están usando? ¿Y cuánto están gastando? Estas son algunas de las preguntas de investigación abordadas por un nuevo informe de la RAND Corporation sobre las tendencias en los mercados de los EE.UU de varias sustancias ilícitas. Y según el informe, el negocio está en auge.

Entre 2006 y 2016, los 10 años que examina el informe, las personas consumieron más y gastaron más en casi todas las drogas ilícitas federales. En 2016, RAND estima que el gasto total en cannabis, cocaína, heroína y metanfetamina aumentó a alrededor de $ 150 mil millones de dólares.

Las muertes relacionadas con el consumo de sustancias ilícitas también aumentaron entre 2006 y 2016 por cada droga menos una: el cannabis. El informe RAND, dirigido a los formuladores de políticas federales, incluye marihuana, ya que, como la heroína y la cocaína, son sustancias de la Lista I de acuerdo con la ley federal. Pero los mercados de marihuana legales estatales proporcionan al informe sus mejores y más confiables datos, destacando cómo la prohibición criminalizada dificulta la evaluación del consumo y el gasto de drogas. De hecho, el informe RAND reconoce las deficiencias de la metodología que desarrolló en asociación con la Oficina de Política Nacional de Control de Drogas de la Casa Blanca. Pero a pesar de sus deficiencias, ofrece algunas ideas cruciales sobre el tamaño y la actividad de los mercados de drogas en los EE. UU.

Hallazgos importantes: uso y gasto en aumento.

¿Consumo de heroína? Arriba. Uso de cocaína? En aumento después de revertir el curso en 2015 después de años de declive. ¿Las personas que usan metanfetamina? Difícil de decir exactamente, pero casi con certeza subió debido al aumento de las incautaciones transfronterizas. ¿Consumo de cannabis en el último mes? Muy arriba, 30 por ciento más, de 2010 a 2016.

Y gastando? Principalmente acorde con un mayor uso. Como en, una cantidad significativa de gasto: alrededor de $ 150 mil millones en 2016, según las estimaciones de RAND. En comparación, las ventas de tabaco superaron los $ 240 mil millones en 2016, según la Comisión Federal de Comercio. El alcohol llegó a alrededor de $ 227 mil millones ese mismo año.

Proporcionalmente, la marihuana se llevó el pastel con el 36 por ciento de las cuatro drogas examinadas, pero RAND tuvo en cuenta los productos legales del estado. Se trata del gasto combinado de cocaína (16 por ciento) y metanfetamina (18 por ciento). El gasto en heroína representó el 29 por ciento en 2016. El gasto total solo disminuyó en una sustancia, la cocaína, que cayó un 59 por ciento en diez años. De lo contrario, el gasto aumentó, y en el caso del cannabis, en un 53 por ciento entre 2006 y 2016.

El fentanilo y la legalización están cambiando los mercados de drogas.

Otra idea que ofrece el informe es cómo el fentanilo está aumentando el consumo de heroína en los Estados Unidos. El informe RAND pinta una imagen muy diferente del uso de heroína que la proporcionada por la Encuesta Nacional sobre Uso de Drogas y Salud de 2017. Según la NSDUH, se estimaba que había 1 millón de usuarios de heroína en los EE. UU. En 2016. Pero RAND cuestiona su medición, que no incluye información recopilada involuntariamente de los detenidos. (El gobierno canceló ese controvertido programa de recopilación de datos en 2014). En cambio, RAND coloca el consumo de heroína más del doble, en 2.3 millones en 2016. En sus hallazgos, el informe concluye que “la introducción de fentanilo en los mercados de heroína ha aumentado el riesgo de usar heroína “.

Si bien el fentanilo sobrealimenta el mercado ilícito de heroína, la legalización está, como era de esperar, creciendo rápidamente en el mercado del cannabis. Según RAND, en el período 2010-2016, el consumo de marihuana en el último mes aumentó casi un 30 por ciento, de 25 millones a 32 millones. Ese salto fue acompañado por un aumento del gasto del 24 por ciento, de $ 42 mil millones a $ 52 mil millones.

RAND quiere mejores datos, pruebas de drogas en aguas residuales.

Esas son las mejores medidas del informe. Debido a que, a diferencia de las encuestas o los análisis de drogas obligatorios utilizados para recopilar el uso de sustancias totalmente prohibidas, RAND tenía acceso a los datos de los sistemas de seguimiento de semillas a la venta en estados con mercados legales de cannabis. Los servicios de entrega, los programas de tarjetas de fidelidad, los registros de clientes y las encuestas de consumidores también proporcionaron a RAND datos sobre el consumo y el gasto de cannabis.

En otras palabras, los sistemas de legalización, regulación y monitoreo en realidad están proporcionando datos confiables sobre los hábitos y gastos del consumidor. Y RAND quiere más. Pero con la legalización de drogas como la heroína y la cocaína como un sueño imposible para los defensores de la reforma de la justicia social y penal, no hay formas sólidas de recopilar datos sobre el uso y el gasto en otras drogas.

Pero RAND tiene algunas ideas. En las recomendaciones del informe, RAND pide que se restablezca el Programa de Monitoreo del Abuso de Drogas del Detenido y que se recopile información sobre el uso de drogas de las cárceles y las instalaciones de reserva. RAND también pidió seguir el liderazgo de Europa y analizar las aguas residuales en busca de residuos de drogas. “La ciencia está avanzando, es fácilmente escalable y podría proporcionar información sobre el consumo de drogas a nivel local”, se lee en el informe.

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Court in Mexico City Rules Two People Should Be Allowed to Use Cocaine

A court in Mexico has ruled that two people should be allowed to legally use cocaine for recreational purposes, according to media reports. Under the ruling from a judge in Mexico City, the two unnamed people will be allowed to “possess, transport, and use cocaine” although they will not be permitted to sell the drug, according to representatives of the group Mexico United Against Crime (MUCD).

Legal papers were filed in the case by MUCD on behalf of the two people as part of a strategy to reform Mexico’s prohibitionist drug laws and improve public safety. After the ruling, the group said the case signals a new stage in the understanding of drugs by the Mexican judiciary and offers an opportunity to end the country’s War on Drugs.

“We have spent years working for a more secure, just, and peaceful Mexico,” said Lisa Sánchez, MUCD’s director.

“This case is about insisting on the need to stop criminalizing users of drugs… and design better public policies that explore all the available options, including regulation.”

Judge’s Ruling to be Reviewed by Higher Court

The judge’s ruling directs Mexico’s national health department, Cofepris, to authorize the two unidentified persons to possess, transport, and use cocaine recreationally. Officials at Cofepris, however, announced that issuing such authorization is outside of the agency’s authority and blocked the court order.

MUCD emphasized the judge’s ruling does not legalize cocaine in Mexico and is subject to review by a higher court tribunal. But if it stands, it could lead to reform of Mexico’s drug laws and redistribution of law enforcement resources to fight violent crime.

Mexico’s War on Drugs began in 2006 when then-President Felipe Calderón deployed military forces against drug trafficking organized crime gangs. Since that time, the country has seen more than 150,000 intentional homicides that are linked to organized crime, according to a 2018 report from the U.S. Congressional Research Service. In 2018, 33,341 homicides were reported in Mexico, the highest number since the country began keeping records.

“Mexico has been focusing on ‘fighting’ a violent war against these substances for the past 13 years and the results couldn’t be worse: violence has tripled, drug consumption continues to be on the rise and the number of criminal organizations profiting from the illegality of drugs has also increased significantly,” Sanchez said. 

“Therefore, what we are doing is using all tools at our reach to foster a debate on the need to reform drug policies in order to define a much more effective security policy.”

Drug Policy Reform Underway

Efforts to reform Mexico’s drug laws have already seen some success. In 2017, the country legalized cannabis for medicinal and scientific purposes. In November of last year, the country’s supreme court ruled that a total ban on the recreational use of marijuana was unconstitutional.

Later the same month, the government of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador introduced a bill that would legalize recreational cannabis use and establish regulations for a medical marijuana industry. Currently, Cofepris issues permits for marijuana use on an individual basis.

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Why Try to Fake a Drug Test When You Can Just Buy Clean Synthetic Urine?

Despite the spread of cannabis legalization across the country, drug tests for employment and other purposes are still a common occurrence. And while some jurisdictions such as Nevada and New York City have passed laws that protect employees from being refused employment based on a positive drug screening for marijuana, in most places you can still be denied a job or even fired if you fail a drug test for weed.

This leaves many cannabis users wondering how they should approach an upcoming drug test. Even if you have plenty of time to abstain from pot before taking the screening, estimates of just how long THC stays in your system vary widely. Consequently, many marijuana consumers are looking for ways to ensure that they test clean. Many turn to the internet for advice, but search engine results are full of misinformation and myths that just don’t work.

Popular Strategies Don’t Work

Besides checking for the presence of drugs including cannabis, cocaine, opioids, and others, labs also do tests to ensure urine is genuine and unaltered. Samples are checked for the presence of compounds naturally occurring in urine such as uric acid, urea, and creatinine. The temperature, pH, and specific gravity are also measured and must be within specified parameters. Labs also test to ensure that samples haven’t been contaminated with bleach or peroxide in an attempt to trick the screening.

One tactic often employed is to fake the drug test by using clean pee borrowed from a friend or relative. It should go without saying, but that’s just gross so we’ll move on. Others have tried to use bleach or other liquids to dilute the urine or skew the results, but testing labs can usually tell if a sample has been doctored.

Another common method of beating a drug test is by taking supplements such as goldenseal or detox drinks or similar products, drinking vinegar, or other methods to help flush out the system. Detox products might be enough for occasional cannabis users but they’re not guaranteed to work. These types of products were actually more effective years ago than they are today. But with the higher THC levels of marijuana and the widespread use of cannabis concentrates, detox products are not likely to work for those who consume cannabis products regularly.

Drinking copious amounts of water isn’t likely to be a successful tactic for passing a drug test, either. While it might work over time, you have no idea how long it will take. And if you super-hydrate right before you pee in the cup, levels of creatinine will be too low for the sample to be accepted.

Synthetic Urine to the Rescue!

Perhaps the best way to ensure you provide a clean sample to a drug testing lab is by using synthetic urine. That’s right, fake pee. Synthetic urine mimics real human pee and contains chemicals that testing labs look for to ensure a sample is authentic. It’s also guaranteed to be free of the drug metabolites that would cause you to fail a screening.

If you’re looking for a reliable, high quality fake pee, try Quick Fix Synthetic Urine. It’s been the  most trusted brand of synthetic urine for more than 25 years and the formula is continuously updated to keep pace with the latest testing standards.

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Adventures in Edibles: A Conversation with Atmosphere’s Sean “Slug” Daley

Atmosphere’s Sean “Slug” Daley had just kicked off the Mi Vida Local tour when he made a revelatory observation. As he stood in front of the audience at the Gillioz Theatre in Springfield, MO, the Rhymesayers Entertainment co-founder noticed everyone was staring at him. And they weren’t the usual stares that come along with taking the stage. Everyone was looking at him funny.

Granted, he was completely stoned after digesting an ample amount of edibles and simply could’ve been suffering from a case of paranoia. But suddenly it clicked. He’d grown a mustache for an upcoming video shoot in Colorado.

“It was different than what I’m used to,” Slug explains. “I’m trying to figure out like, ‘Why are these people looking at me like this?’ So I brought it up to the audience. ‘Right now, I’m feeling kind of weird about the way you guys are looking at me.’ And as I’m saying this, it dawns on me, ‘Oh man, I have a mustache now and even I’m not used it.’ Nobody is. I look like Cheech. I forgot!”

Slug admits the marijuana-laced products he’d just ingested were to blame for the entire incident.

“I went on this fucking rant about how people treat you differently when you have different kinds of facial hair,” he says. “Usually, I’ve always had this weird little soul patch and people don’t treat you that weird for that. They just kind of laugh at you. With the mustache, people kind of look at me like I’m like I’m supposed to sell them weed. I was fully in the middle of edible world when this was all going on. Had I not been in edible world, this would have not even crossed my mind.”

At 46, Slug’s relationship with cannabis has evolved since first picking it up during his adolescent years. Back then, he essentially couldn’t function without it.

“I couldn’t watch a movie, do laundry or clean my house unless I was stoned,” he says. “It was always anxiety when the bag was empty. Now I don’t know if my anxiety is gone or if I’ve just gotten so sophisticated that the bag never empties. I’m always stocked.”

As a full-time musician, there are times when the law simply won’t allow for him to carry weed with him and he has to get creative. But even on the rare occasion when he does run out, he’s learned to adapt.

“There are times when I fly internationally,” Slug says. “Let’s say I land in the UK. Sometimes I gotta hit up [fellow Rhymesayers MC] Evidence and be like, ‘Hey, you know any people here?’ Sometimes you gotta go a day or two without, and I’ve learned to be okay with that. It’s just one of those things. I don’t think I’m as dependent on it as I used to be. I was younger and more anxious. Now, if it’s there, it’s there. If it’s not, it’s not. It’s just a form of self-medication.”

The #DadRap pioneer has discovered different methods of self-medication—record shopping is one of them—but weed is still at the top of the list.

“Weed is still my favorite form of self-medication, but mostly it’s used as a creative tool or [something] to go along with when I’m in creative spaces,” Slug says. “Although I wouldn’t say it helps bring out writing. I definitely will use it to go back, look and analyze stuff I’ve created before I go into editing to look even deeper. Imagine I’m looking at a painting I made. If I smoke a little weed, it allows me to see more in-depth details that maybe I wasn’t noticing when I was in the middle of the process. Just in general, I’m more analytical and I look harder at things when I’m a little stoned. I’m more cautious.”

The Mi Vida Local tour [wrapped] up in spring 2019. Afterward, Slug will be reunited with his family for a short period of time before hitting the road again. For now, he’s mostly looking forward to getting rid of the mustache. “I’m tired of people staring at me funny,” he says.”

This article originally appeared in the May, 2019 issue. For subscription services, click here.

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The Winners of the 2019 Detroit Cannabis Cup

This weekend’s Cannabis Cup in Detroit was filled with friends, fun, and flower! Here are the winners of the 2019 Detroit Cannabis Cup:

Indica Flower

Jesse Faatz/ High Times

1st Place: Mattybstackers – Peanut Butter Breath
2nd Place: Ript Genetics – Stank Breath
3rd Place: Exotic Genetix – Lip Smacker

Sativa Flower

Jesse Faatz/ High Times

1st Place: Oowee Farms – Tropicana Cookies
2nd Place: Covert Extracts X GhostBudsters X Midnight Roots
3rd Place: Canna Boys – Tropicana Cookies

Hybrid Flower

Jesse Faatz/ High Times

1st Place: Special Blend Gardens – Melonade No.7
2nd Place: Mattybstackers – Cookies N’ Cream
3rd Place: Detroit Flower Co x High Brix Growing – Larry Bird

CBD Flower

Jesse Faatz/ High Times

1st Place: ArborSide Compassion X 16th Street Botanicals – Thunderstruck
2nd Place: Light Sky Farms x ZILLA’s – Moose Cookie
3rd Place: Dabsmiths – Hurkle

Preroll

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1st Place: Kozmic Gardens X Vahalla Labs – Grease Monkey
2nd Place: Swish Dipz X Bless Farms – Live Resin Zkittlez
3rd Place: Special Blend Rolled up – Orange Zkittlez No.6

Edible

Jesse Faatz/ High Times

1st Place: Higherinnovations – Blazed Cashews
2nd Place: Afternoon Delite – Cookies & Cream Cheese Cake
3rd Place: Kozmic Gardens – Coconut Mint Chocolate Chip Push Pop

CBD Edible

Jesse Faatz/ High Times

1st Place: Kozmic Gardens – Cookies & Coconut 1:1 Push Pop
2nd Place: Mary Palmer – Strawnana Iced Tea Lemonade
3rd Place: ZILLA’S – Feast of St. Valentine

Vape Pens and Cartridges

Jesse Faatz/ High Times

1st Place: ZILLA’s X LightSky Farms X Fresh Coast Seeds – Gorilla Butter Cartridge
2nd Place: Presto! X Pure Green – Watermelon Zkittles Cartridge
3rd Place: Afternoon Delite – Watermelon Cartridge

Indica Concentrate

Jesse Faatz/ High Times

1st Place: Michigan Extracts – Grape Valley Kush
2nd Place: Grateful Meds – GMO Live Resin HTFSE / HCFSE Sauce
3rd Place: Canna Boys – Mac 1 Batter

Sativa Concentrate

1st Place: Arborside Compassion X Fregrowli – Clementine Sauce
2nd Place: Canna Boys – Tropicana Cookies Batter
3rd Place: House of Dank X Tree Top Labs – Tropicana Cookies Live Resin Budder

Hybrid Concentrate

Jesse Faatz/ High Times

1st Place: Arborside Compassion X Fregrowli – Chem N’ Lemon Sauce
2nd Place: Smoky Mountain Medicine – Gorilla Cream Diamonds and Terps
3rd Place: OMG labs X Foreverjl3 – Mr Nice Guy

CBD Concentrate

Jesse Faatz/ High Times

1st Place: DC Chronics x Tyson Johnson67 – Strawberry Banana Tonic
2nd Place: DabbeNPort Extracts X Great Lake Extracts x Hollistic CBD – CBD Live Action Gelato X Pennywise
3rd Place: Dabsmiths – Hurkle Live Resin

Non-Solvent Concentrate

Jesse Faatz/ High Times

1st Place: Special Blend Gardens X Stanky Roc – Banana Sherbert bred by 710 savant
2nd Place: Red Roc inc. X Stanky Roc – Banana Bread Solventless Diamonds and Sauce
3rd Place: Superior Solventless X Mattybstackers – Cookies N’ Cream Rosin

Topical

Jesse Faatz/ High Times

1st Place: Zilla’s – Organic Skin Vitality Cream
2nd Place: Ella Essentals X Magna Carta – Full Spectrum Body Butter
3rd Place: Urban Roots x Olympian Nectar – Full Spectrum Freeze Cream

Hemp-Derived CBD Product

Chloé Gold/ High Times

1st Place: Ella Essentials – Calm Roll-On CBD Oil
2nd Place: Mary’s Methods – Dead Sea Mud Face Mask
3rd Place: The Hemp Candle – CBD Massage Candle

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Indiana State Rep Charged with Trying to Buy Cocaine, Impersonating a Police Officer

A note: don’t do this.

The “this” in question? Approaching strangers in a bar to buy blow. Maybe we didn’t have to lecture you on that particular point, but then again, maybe you’re a rather brash young state legislator from Indiana and you were planning on going out tonight. Of course, if that was the case, you probably already know about what happened to Rep. Dan Forestal of Indianapolis a few weekends ago.

On an August Saturday, Marion County Sheriff’s Office received 911 reports that a man was pretending to be a police officer. More precisely, this man was visibly drunk at a bar, brandishing a badge on a silver chain, and interrogating innocent bargoers about the location of the “people selling drugs,” ostensibly so he could go bust them. He had previously made a round inquiring after “party favors.” Neither tactic worked for him.

Little did the cops know they were dealing with an elected state official. In an announcement last Thursday, they said that they found out as soon as they could get Forestal out of his car where he had holed up, apparently to clutch the steering wheel and try to avoid arrest for a brief period of time. Once he exited the vehicle, the 36-year-old correctly identified himself to the police officers as “a firefighter, a state representative, and the nephew of the Marion County Sheriff,” according to The Hill. Forestal has been an active firefighter with the Indianapolis Fire Department for 12 years.

Forestal was eventually charged with impersonating a public servant, resisting law enforcement, and operating a vehicle while intoxicated—a low-level felony and two misdemeanors. The Fire Department says he’s been suspended without pay for 240 working hours, after which a decision will be made about his employment and responsibilities going forward.

The Assistant Democratic Caucus Chair’s court hearing has been scheduled for August 27, and will be attended to by a special prosecutor, as the county’s full-time prosecutor Terry Curry has made campaign donations to Forestal in the past, and has even volunteered for the guy.

Unfortunately, it’s not the first time Forestal has been charged with drunk driving. In 2007, he told his bosses at the fire department that he had reached a plea deal in a matter of a DUI. “I apologize for putting myself and the Fire Department in this situation,” he wrote in an email. “Nothing like this will ever happen again.”

Though Forestal’s supporters may have been surprised to hear that he was caught soliciting blow from fellow bar patrons, he is by no means the only politician to be associated with the drug this summer. In England, then-candidate for leader of the Tory Party Michael Gove admitted to the press that he had done cocaine on several occasions as a young journalist. “It was a mistake,” he told the press. “I look back and I think, I wish I hadn’t done that.”

Of course, past cocaine usage is hardly a disqualifier for a political career. Just ask Barack Obama, who copped to using the drug multiple times in his memoir Dreams From My Father. “It was reflective of the struggles and confusion of a teenage boy,” he later said. “Teenage boys are frequently confused.”

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Michigan Shuts Down Cannabis Testing Lab

In a state where cannabis testing labs are already hard to come by, one lab just got their license suspended, bringing the total number of testing labs in Michigan from six down to five.

According to the Detroit Free Press, last week, Michigan’s Marijuana Regulatory Agency (MRA) filed a formal complaint against Iron Labs, based in Walled Lake, “for, among other things, finding marijuana that tested above the legal limit for various contaminants but not reporting those test results in the state’s tracking system. The lab allegedly also didn’t report edibles that tested above the state’s potency limit for THC, the psychoactive substance in marijuana that produces a high.”

The formal complaint filed by the regulatory body said that Iron Labs lacks “integrity, moral character and responsibility or means to operate or maintain a marijuana facility.” While no reports of health issues associated with products tested by Iron Labs have surfaced, the state is still urging patients to reconsider using products tested by the lab in question.

In a statement last week, MRA Executive Director Andrew Brisbo said he wants his agency to focus on protecting patient and consumer safety. “It is imperative that our licensees follow the rules and laws, especially regarding the testing of medical marijuana product,” says Brisbo. “We are intensely focused on making sure that the marijuana product in the regulated industry meets established safety standards.”

Because the issues are still under investigation, the regulatory body will not comment on how much cannabis is potentially contaminated and how much of the market has been using Iron Labs as an analytical testing partner.

The post Michigan Shuts Down Cannabis Testing Lab appeared first on Cannabis Industry Journal.


From Up in Smoke to Empire, Xzibit’s Been at the Top of His Game for Decades

Most fans are unaware that Xzibit spent some of his formative years in Albuquerque, NM. Before he discovered hip-hop, the former Pimp My Ride host was headed down an ominous path of drugs and violence. But a move from the Southwest to the City of Angels switched his focus to music and helped X—whose real name is Alvin Nathaniel Joiner—change his life.

Since unleashing his inaugural album, 1996’s At the Speed of Life, Xzibit has become a permanent fixture in pop culture. From his time on the popular MTV show and a slot alongside Dr. Dre on the “Up in Smoke Tour” to his recent three-year stint on Empire as Shyne Johnson, Xzibit’s career continues to evolve. He credits the “Up in Smoke Tour” with taking him from relative obscurity to hip-hop glory.

“It was the first time that my music had been broadcast and pushed on a national or on a global level, alongside iconic acts such as Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, Eminem and Snoop Dogg, and you know, all of us coming up under that 2001 [Dr. Dre’s 1999 solo album] umbrella,” X says. “I was exposed to millions and millions of people, and now you have the opportunity to showcase your talent at the highest point of the pendulum.”

“So it’s like, ‘Yeah, let’s go get it,’” he continues. “That was a turning point because I was able to go up there and do what I love to do. I started writing at 13 and now here I am alongside some of the people that I grew up listening to and was a fan of, and now I get to work with these people.

Most recently, Xzibit reunited with Los Angeles-based rappers Demrick and B-Real—who X calls the “Buddha Master”—for another Serial Killers project titled Serial Killers: Day of the Dead.

X acknowledges that the album was birthed from a few shots of tequila—as the cannabis and liquor were freely flowing. While this method helped all three artists truly get in the zone, Xzibit admits he doesn’t go as hard as he used to back in the day.

“I don’t get as shit-faced as I used to,” he says. “I don’t bounce back like I used to, so I had to slow that shit down. It gets in the way of your productivity.”

“But I think we have three distinct voices and our rhyme styles are different, but familiar,” X continues. “So, those generations of MCs coming together, I think it’s a good balance. What we bring to the table kind of merges all these fan bases together, and then we have this hybrid of what we’ve all created individually.”

Although his Empire character was recently killed off, he’s grateful for his time on the show and has his sights set firmly on the future. “I’m really glad to see them back for another season,” he says. “They deserve it. Everybody over there does such a great job and it’s such a great platform for them to get that music off. Shout out to Lee Daniels for having me on the show. I enjoyed my time there.”

“I had three good years. But had to step away, work on myself, come back and organize the things that I had to do in Los Angeles which are just as important. This next year, I’m gonna get back on the theatrical side. We have some things in the mix. I don’t want to really put it out there just yet, but we’re definitely coming back on the theatrical side, so keep your eyes open.”

This article originally appeared in the April, 2019 issue. For subscription services, click here.

The post From Up in Smoke to Empire, Xzibit’s Been at the Top of His Game for Decades appeared first on High Times.


California Cities Seeing Cannabis Industry Workers Unionizing

Northern California’s South Bay now has its first cannabis union. Representatives from the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) announced on Friday at San Jose City Hall that workers at the town’s MedMen dispensary location would organize.

Employees at the dispensary will enjoy wages that come in at $3 above Californian minimum wage, two weeks of vacation pay, 40 percent employee discounts, and time and a half overtime holiday pay, among other benefits.

As cannabis becomes legal in more and more jurisdictions, advocates and lawmakers are grappling with how to make the industry economically just, especially when it comes to individuals who were penalized under marijuana prohibition by racially biased law enforcement. Labor advocates say that unionization of the cannabis industry is one way to ensure that social equity for workers is not forgotten in the Green Rush.

“I think there’s a greater responsibility for advocates like us and others to ensure that this happens,” said UFCW strategic campaign director Jim Araby, who gave props to MedMen for its role in the process.

UFCW has been working to represent marijuana workers in California as far back as 2007 and now counts 10,000 cannabis workers union members in 14 states. The union started its first nationwide cannabis organizing campaign in 2011. MedMen’s workers are already represented by UFCW at MedMen’s Pasadena location and in New York.

The move to unionize in the marijuana industry is protected under California law, specifically the Medicinal and Adult Use of Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act of 2017, which states that labor peace agreements — briefly, an accord stating that unions won’t encourage strikes, but that management won’t stop workers from organizing — be instituted in any state-licensed cannabis business with 20 or more employees.

San Jose Council member Magdalena Carrasco said she was happy that the cannabis industry was making good on its promise to voters. “While the cannabis industry is taking a turn from infancy to a billion dollar business in California, I’m happy to see that our workers will be sharing in that process,” Carrasco said. “We’re delivering on a promise made to our voters, that those employees would be under labor peace agreements.”

MedMen has entered into serious problems over the last year. In December, former employees filed a class action lawsuit over what they alleged were serious labor law violations. Then at the beginning of 2019, former CFO James Parker filed a lawsuit alleging that top executives regularly used racist and sexist language, not to mention committing bank and financial fraud.

But MedMen San Jose employee Hannah Bass is heartened at her employer’s openness to labor organization in its dispensaries, and put the word out to other workers that unionization could be a positive force. “The union is there to help you,” she said. “It’s more about stability and a standard of care to let you know that your voice is being heard.”

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