marijuana | WAMC

marijuana

Marijuana buds in someone's palm.
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Today on the program we are going to discuss common questions and misconceptions about marijuana. WAMC's Ray Graf hosts. 

A woman with blue and silver hair smiles into a camera
Brianne Fortuna / Hudson Cutler & Co.

Trixie Garcia – daughter of Grateful Dead front man and countercultural icon Jerry Garcia – will be in Western Massachusetts Saturday for the East Coast launch of her family’s marijuana brand. The event in the Liberty Easthampton dispensary parking lot is styled in the manner of the sprawling traveling markets that followed the Dead’s tours in their heyday known as Shakedown Street. Garcia spoke with WAMC about how the brand pays homage to her father’s legacy, and her work in the charitable arm of the Grateful Dead organization.

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, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=82766847

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

marijuana
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Wikimedia Commons Public Domain

A northern New York man has been sentenced to five years in jail for attempting to distribute marijuana in the North Country.

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.

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

Recreational retail marijuana sales are now underway in Massachusetts, recreational use is legal in Vermont and lawmakers in New York are considering legalization. Here to discuss marijuana and its uses are Marc Aronoff, a mental health counselor in Lenox, MA and the author of "The Cannabis Craze: A Practical Guide for Parents and Teens," and Thomas Winstanley of Theory Wellness. The company operates a recreational dispensary in Great Barrington, MA. WAMC's Ray Graf hosts.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
Office of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says he plans to soon visit states where marijuana is legal to get some tips on what did and did not work for them, as New York prepares to make adult recreational marijuana use legal.


Could Marijuana Be Made Legal In New York In 2020?

Dec 23, 2019

With support from Governor Andrew Cuomo and many members of the state legislature, 2020 could be the year when New York legalizes the adult use of recreational marijuana. But the issue has become complicated by a widespread lung ailment linked to vaping.

cannabis
wikipedia.org

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.

The federal National Survey on Drug Use and Health examines how Americans use and perceive drugs. According to the most recent data, Americans’ attitudes on marijuana use are changing.

Currently, 33 states have legalized some form of marijuana, including medical and adult-use. The Rockefeller Institute of Government has done its own analysis of the national data.

WAMC’s Lucas Willard spoke to Policy Analyst Alex Morse, who examined the state-by-state data.

Westchester County District Attorney Anthony Scarpino, Jr.
Courtesy of the Westchester County District Attorney's office

In January, Westchester County implemented a new marijuana prosecution policy. The possession of two ounces or less of marijuana no longer results in a criminal conviction. On July 29, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation further decriminalizing marijuana use in the state. WAMC’s Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne spoke with Westchester County District Attorney Anthony Scarpino about whether the new state law affects county policy.

This summer, Lee, Massachusetts will become the next Berkshire County community to host an adult-use marijuana retailer. Canna Provisions, which cleared its final regulatory hurdle in May, will soon open in the town of around 6,000 just off the Mass Pike. CEO Meg Sanders is the former head of Mindful, a Colorado chain of marijuana dispensaries. She says the company has hired more than 40 full-time employees to work in Lee. She spoke with WAMC about the investments her company is making in Lee and what it’s been like working with the town.

A man stands in a sea of seated people facing a glowing screen in an elementary school gym with windows
Josh Landes / WAMC

Cheshire, Massachusetts in Berkshire County held its annual town meeting this week.

Assemblyman D. Billy Jones
Assemblyman D. Billy Jones

Ever since the New York legislature adopted the new state budget without including a marijuana legalization provision, the prospects for legal pot in the Empire State have been uncertain.  There is word that legalization legislation is still being discussed in conference, but with the session ending in little more than a month, it’s unclear if lawmakers will act this year. On Thursday, 115th District Assemblyman D. Billy Jones was in Plattsburgh. The Democrat tells WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley while there’s talk about marijuana, the rank-and-file haven’t really delved into the issue since the budget deliberations.

A medical marijuana dispensary in Plattsburgh, NY
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Recreational retail marijuana sales are now underway in Massachusetts, recreational use is legal in Vermont and lawmakers in New York are considering legalization. Here to discuss marijuana and its use are Marc Aronoff, a mental health counselor in Lenox, MA and the author of "The Cannabis Craze: A Practical Guide for Parents and Teens," and Brandon Pollock, CEO of Theory Wellness. The company operates a vertically integrated cannabis business in Massachusetts, with its recreational dispensary in Great Barrington. WAMC's Ray Graf hosts.

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.

A medical marijuana dispensary in Plattsburgh, NY
Pat Bradley/WAMC

The chance to include the legalization of adult recreational marijuana in the New York state budget is fading, now that Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo seems to be backing away from the proposal.

Tim Vercellotti
Western New England University / Western New England University

Marijuana is now legal in Massachusetts.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Tim Vercellotti of the Western New England University poll and professor of political science, wraps up his conversation with WAMC’s Alan Chartock.

Westchester County District Attorney Anthony Scarpino, Jr.
Courtesy of the Westchester County District Attorney's office

Westchester County has a new marijuana prosecution policy. The possession of two ounces or less of marijuana will no longer result in a criminal conviction. This comes as New York Governor Andrew Cuomo plans to legalize recreational marijuana. WAMC’s Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne spoke with Westchester County District Attorney Anthony Scarpino about the new policy that went into effect this week.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Wikimedia Commons Public Domain

Vermont Senate leaders say they hope to quickly pass a bill that would create a tax and regulation market for retail marijuana.

wikimedia commons

Having cleared its final hurdle with the state of Massachusetts, a Great Barrington medical marijuana business plans to begin selling recreational pot to adults 21 and over on Friday.

File Photo

Authorities say two people have been charged after police seized more than 100 pounds (45 kilograms) of marijuana and other drugs at a Binghamton home.

12/18/18 Panel

Dec 18, 2018

  The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are: WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Times Union Associate Editor Mike Spain, Political Consultant Libby Post, and the Empire Reports, J.P. Miller.

Theory Wellness in Great Barrington has been approved to sell recreational marijuana by the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission. Originally a medical marijuana dispensary, it’s joining stores around the Commonwealth that can now legally sell marijuana to anyone over the age of 21. WAMC spoke with Brandon Pollock, the CEO of Theory Wellness, about the standards and regulations that apply to his business – and the impact he thinks it will have on the Berkshires.

File Photo

A marijuana dispensary in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, was approved to sell recreational pot to anyone over the age of 21 on Thursday.

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

Members of the New York state Assembly are heading to Long Island for a public hearing on proposals to legalize marijuana for recreational use by adults.

A group studying marijuana legalization in New Hampshire recommends the creation of a Cannabis Commission to regulate it, similar to the state's Liquor Commission's governmental organization.

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

Canada's legal recreational market is off to a bumpy start.

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.

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