Friday, April 27, 2018

From Rick Holmes in Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs, Col. – Five years after Colorado legalized recreational marijuana, it sometimes seems like there’s a pot shop on every corner, even here in the center of Colorado conservatism.
On one corner is Maggie’s Farm, advertising “Premium Sun-Grown MJ.” A block or two away is Emerald Fields, and beyond that, the Herb Shoppe. On one corner sits “Gas + Grass,” where you can fill your tank and fill your bowl at the same place. Just don’t fire it up until you get home.
It’s novel to visitors from out of state, but not overwhelming. The dispensaries tend to be small and unobtrusive. Security is strict – you have to show your ID three times before they let you out the door – and state regulators have shown they’ll yank the license of any business that violates its many rules. The only problem I saw coming from the pot shops was inappropriate giggling.
For years, politicians in other states have urged voters to hold off on marijuana reform until we see how things work out in Colorado. But Colorado hasn’t provided much ammunition for the opponents of legalized cannabis.
The greatest fears of the opposition have failed to materialize. Rather than going up, teen drug use is as low as it’s been in a decade. Crime is down as well. Opioid deaths actually decreased in Colorado by 6 percent in the two years following legalization, while deaths were increasing nationwide.
There are arguments over trends in traffic deaths and hospital admissions, but almost nobody is arguing to make marijuana criminal again. It’s regulated, and it’s working.
The surprise isn’t the harm legalization has done to Coloradans, but the good it’s done for the state’s economy. Business is booming, especially in the Denver area. U.S. News ranks Colorado the best economy in the nation. Unemployment is at three percent. Denver has the problems that come with prosperity – rising housing costs, rush hour traffic and the like – but it beats the alternative.
Legalization can’t take credit for all Colorado’s economic dynamism, but it can claim its share. Legal weed puts $2 billion a year into the state’s economy. It’s put more than $500 million into city and state coffers. So many long-abandoned brick warehouses have been turned into cannabis grow-sites that prices for industrial property are soaring. Marijuana has helped made Denver a magnet for young entrepreneurs of varied interests.
Colorado’s economy has also gotten a boost from cannabis tourism. Travel agents arrange excursions to pot-friendly resorts. I took a tour of marijuana greenhouses and dispensaries, in a pot-friendly party bus, guided by experts in cultivation and product development.
The word on weed from the front line is that prices are down, quality is up, and innovations are hatched every day in products and delivery devices. There’s a lot of competition, a lot of supply, and consumers are benefiting from it.
Fruity strains seem to be hot right now, one grower told me, but preferences seem to vary by neighborhood. Another insider said he expects vaping pre-packaged cartridges of cannabis concentrate will become the norm, but “sometimes, at the end of the day you’ll still want to kick back and smoke a joint.”
This ancient medicine is seeing a new golden age.
And politicians, at last, are starting to notice. With the prominent exception of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, officials of both parties are figuring out that pot is more popular and less dangerous than they thought.
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper didn’t support legalization, but he gets a lot of credit for making it work. There’s talk Hickenlooper, a Democrat, may run for president in 2020, with marijuana policy setting him apart from the pack. Sen. Cory Gardner, a Republican, didn’t support it either. But he’s become a champion for his state’s new industry, wringing a promise from President Trump to protect states with legal marijuana from interference from Sessions’ Justice Department.
Trump has yet to put that pledge in writing, and most Republicans are still hesitant to jump on the cannabis train. But Democrats are at getting onboard, pushing in state capitals for legalization and in Congress for an end to federal prohibition.
On April 20, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer announced he’ll file a bill removing cannabis from federal jurisdiction. By doing it on 4/20, the day pot-smokers have long used to protest anti-marijuana laws, the top Democrat in Congress wasn’t just stating a policy preference, he was choosing sides.
Colorado jumped on the train early, but other states are joining the party, and feeling the same economic buzz. Across the country, sales of cannabis are expected to hit $11.7 billion this year, USA Today reports. At least 121,000 people hold jobs growing, trimming and selling legal weed. That’s more than twice as many jobs as there are in coal-mining, for comparison, and there’s more jobs where those came from.
Rick Holmes can be reached at You can follow his journey at Like him on Facebook at Holmes & Co, on follow him on Twitter @HolmesAndCo.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Read what Dr Sanjay Gupta has to say about pot and the opioid crises

 More evidence that States who have legalized/medicalized  marijuana, opioid deaths have declined. This from someone in the medical community who was totally against pot for medical reasons.  A very respected world renowned surgeon changed his mind when he saw first hand how little kids with daily seizures were given a new lease on life using CBD, a derivative of marijuana and hemp.

  Well worth the read.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

The Advocate.. would you pick him?

I filed a Freedom on Information request with the City regarding any and all emails Giombetti has received in one month regarding the advocate slot on the Marijuana Task Force. . I wanted to see what the resume was that the advocate presented.  Below is what Sam Mercurio sent to Giombetti. As Sam states, he has been on both side of the issue along with being in the entertainment industry. What that has to do with anything is unclear to me.
But the process in which the Council Chair picks a person for a sub-committee is in question. If he can blatantly ignore the obvious, then what good comes from that committee? Appointing someone who has missed 3 meetings already and who claims to be an advocate with no legitimate proof, calls into question the legitimacy of the entire process. Sam clearly lied about his knowledge of legalization movement as in the 30 plus years I've been at this, he has never been seen or heard of in any of my circles of activism. Clearly, Giombetti picked Sam because he would not be at the meetings when it was decided that the Task Force would recommend a moratorium to the Council.

Jeanette M. Galliardt
From: Dennis L. Giombetti
Sent: Tuesday, March 27,
2018 9:38 AM
To: Jeanette M. Galliardt
Subject: FW: Ad hoc conmittee
Dennis L. Giombetti
Sent: Friday, February 23,  2018 10:07 AM
To: Jeanette M.Galliardt
Subject: FW: Ad hoc conmittee

From: Sam Mercurio

Sent: Thursday, February 22, 2018 2:58 PM
To: Dennis L.Giombetti
Subject: Re: Ad hoc conmittee

Hello Dennis,
I am still interested in serving on the Ad Hoc Committee on Recreational Marijuana.
Having spent my career in various segments of the entertainment industry, I have been around
the legalization arguments (both pro and con) for decades. As a life long member of the Framingham community, believe I have a handle on the sentiments of the population. My only concern is my
ability to serve in a such a short time frame, as will be traveling throughout the southeast from
March 10 to April 22. will have access to both e-mail and will have my cell phone with me during these travels, though I may be tied up some evenings to mix some events. If these limitations don't
concern you, consider my hat in the ring.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

From AARP : Survey shows 80% of older Americans approve of marijuana for treatments

A new Univ of Michigan study, co-sponsored by AARP looked at attitudes about medical marijuana among 50 to 80 year olds. Four fifths are mostly OK with medical marijuana with a doctors recommendation. Sixty nine percent definitely or probably helps with pain. Anxiety at 59% and appetite 56%. Older Americans also think marijuana is less likely to cause cancer than tobacco and less addictive that prescription pan medication.
We older people know what's best.

And the Fed's and looking for your input regarding marijuana. They seem to be leaning towards re-scheduling marijuana, taking it out of class 1 with no medical use and addictive, to perhaps a schedule 3 admitting it does have medical purpose and is not addictive.
Check out the url, it's your tax dollars.

Another hard liner changes his mind

In a stunner I read in the Globe today that former speaker Boehner has come to the realization that there's money to be made in the cannabis industry. He has evidently seen the light after a friend of his had a serious back problem along with veterans suffering from PTSD and used cannabis for relief. Amen. He now sits on the BOD of a large cannabis company Acreage who has 35 licenses in the US. He is joined by former Mass Governor and VP candidate Bill Weld. Boehner goes on the say, that our system of justice has incarcerated millions of non violent people for marijuana offenses. It's take decades for some to realize but just like here in Mass, former prosecutors are now in the game and see the potential of taxing and regulating cannabis as a good thing for their own pockets.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Marijuana Task Force Meeting 4.5.18

The Force made up of 2 councilors, 1 Mayor's rep, one School Committee member, one Fire Chief and Amada Loomis from the planning board decided that a moratorium is needed. So no other marijuana related businesses will be able to open her in Framingham until next year. One has to wonder if economic development is really a major focal point for the new administration.  It's sad to see how just 2 elected councilors can decide to subvert the will of the voters here in Framingham. Influenced by Giombetti, he even got the media services group NOT show the meeting live, even after all the times these meetings have been broadcast live. It's up to the Council now to accept the Task Force recommendations, but one can rest assured, Giombetti will demand everyone vote for the moratorium.