cannabis | WAMC


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Legalization of recreational cannabis in New York and New Jersey is bringing intense regulatory scrutiny.

Picture of marijuana plant
US Fish and Wildlife Service/Wikimedia Commons Public Domain

More than 20 Vermont communities have approved allowing retail marijuana businesses within their borders.

A cannabis plant.
By Skalle-Per Hedenhös - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

The largest community in Berkshire County has outlawed all future outdoor cannabis cultivation following a city council vote this week.

A police SUV is parked outside of signs for Theory Wellness that declare it open for business.
Josh Landes / WAMC

The likely legalization of recreational marijuana in New York and Connecticut in 2021 has the Berkshire County cannabis industry bracing for a sea change.

In the spring of 2017, award-winning journalist Heather Cabot was surprised to learn that several women in her network were investing in cannabis companies. That realization led to the new book, "The New Chardonnay: The Unlikely Story of How Marijuana Went Mainstream."

The book is a timely and objective look at nothing less than an astonishing rebranding. To report the story, Cabot traveled all over the U.S. and Canada, managing to get exclusive interviews with some of the biggest names in the world of cannabis.


In January 2018, Vermont Governor Phil Scott signed a bill to legalize limited marijuana possession by adults — one ounce or less and two or fewer mature and four or fewer immature pot plants. But the state did not craft a law to regulate a commercial cannabis market.  The legislature is expected to act on such legislation during the upcoming session. Vermont Attorney General T.J. Donovan held panel discussion in Burlington Thursday evening that included panelists from Maine and Massachusetts to discuss their experiences with a regulated market.

Courtesy of Curaleaf

A dispensary in the Hudson Valley is offering patients a new form of medical marijuana — the first raw cannabis product to be offered in New York.

    The largest city in western Massachusetts could have its first recreational marijuana store open by the end of the year.

Vermont Statehouse 2018
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Almost three dozen cannabis plants have been found growing in the flower beds in front of the Vermont Statehouse.

In his new book, "Cannabis: The Illegalization of Weed in America," Box Brown surveys the broad history of marijuana, from its role in Hindu mythology to its importation into the Americas by Spain.

Brought into the U.S. by Mexican immigrants in the 19th century, marijuana eventually became associated with jazz musicians and inevitably became tainted by a racist social mythology—one that linked weed to violence and sex—which was used to justify legal restrictions of the drug.

In his work of graphic nonfiction, Brown provides a look at the history, pharmacological affects, and legalization movement surrounding marijuana in North America.

Brown is an award-winning graphic novelist and will discuss the new book with Paul Benzon, Assistant Professor of English at Skidmore College on tomorrow at 6PM at Northshire Bookstore in Saratoga Springs, New York.

Picture of a marijuana plant
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Wikimedia Commons Public Domain

A number of Vermont universities are offering classes on marijuana as lawmakers debate legalizing the drug for retail sale.

Picture of marijuana plant
wikipedia commons

Castleton University in Vermont will soon join dozens of other colleges offering courses in cannabis studies.  The 12-credit program will start this summer amid an era of new attitudes about marijuana.

Governor Andrew Cuomo would like to pass marijuana legalization by the budget deadline of April 1st
Composite photo by Dave Lucas

As Governor Andrew Cuomo pushes to make New York the 11th state to legalize the recreational use of marijuana, activists, advocates, critics and local governments are jockeying for position on the plan.

Picture of a marijuana plant
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Wikimedia Commons Public Domain

On Wednesday, Canada became the largest country in the world to legalize the recreational use of marijuana.  The country shares nearly 4,000-mile border with the United States, excluding Alaska, and while some of the states abutting that border have also legalized pot, the federal government has not.  So authorities on both sides of the border are warning travelers that they cannot bring legal Canadian pot across the border.

Composite image by Dave Lucas

Come November 8th, voters in Massachusetts and Maine will consider making recreational marijuana legal for all adults. WAMC's Capital Region Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports on what impact electoral victories in these nearby states may have on New York State.

WAMC composite image by Dave Lucas

It was a long road to the first legal medical marijuana harvest in New York this week.

  College of Saint Rose alumna Alyson Martin and Nushin Rashidian, investigative journalists and authors of a groundbreaking book on the movement toward legalization of marijuana, will read from their new book, A New Leaf: The End of Cannabis Prohibition, as part of the 2014 Frequency North writers series at The College of Saint Rose on Thursday February 6th.

In November 2012, voters in Colorado and Washington passed landmark measures to legalize the production and sale of cannabis for social use—a first not only in the United States but also the world. Medical cannabis is now legal in twenty states and Washington, D.C., and more than one million Americans have turned to it in place of conventional pharmaceuticals.

Yet the federal government refuses to acknowledge these broader societal shifts and continues to raid and arrest people: 49.5 percent of all drug-related arrests involve the sale, manufacture, or possession of cannabis.