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Survey of Cannabis Reform and Legalization

Guest Blog Post by Shanta Devourn One of America’s originating policies is the safeguarding of

Republished by Plato



Guest Blog Post by Shanta Devourn

One of America’s originating policies is the safeguarding of private rights. A reasonably common fundamental of private rights is the right to enjoy nature.

How did a plant used by millions of people because a significant legal issue? Conspiracy theories overflow concerning several organizations which profited from marijuana seeds and other cannabis products interdiction in 1937, such as companies from the paper industry that did not want competition from hemp. While that is quite possibly a factor, the actual agenda following cannabis interdiction then and now is that anti-marijuana laws present a legislative tool to oppress millions of people because of their race as well as a cultural and political connection.

Marijuana interdiction in the United States started partially as an attachment to legislation that regulates opiates and cocaine to ethical practices, particularly in Southern and Western states where Black Africans and Mexican settlers were using it. The city of El Paso, Texas banned marijuana in 1915, two years following a Mexican gangster purportedly crazed by frequent marijuana use, murdered a policeman. In 1933 alcohol prohibition was repealed and thirty states had some variety of marijuana law and regulation. The operations corresponding to marijuana escalated following the revocation of alcohol prohibition.

The Strategy

Cannabis was raised
commercially in the United States of America following the 1700’s.
Nevertheless, recreational Nirvana Seeds cannabis practices was not an
influential factor until much succeeding with the coming of Africans and
Hispanics. Marijuana interdiction presented activists
motivated by racism with the ideal chance to intimidate those unwanted
oppositions. Moreover, the withdrawal of alcohol interdiction jeopardizes the
vocation of thousands of abstinence and law enforcing staff. Cannabis
prohibition presented these influential organizations with indefinite job
protection and supported resources to further penitentiaries. 

The same strategy previously proved to be efficient in several different countries. Twentieth-century cannabis interdiction was done in South Africa, where the white oppositions governed black majorities and solicited more authority by condemning marijuana in 1911. The British halted cannabis in Jamaica in 1913 to exercise further jurisdiction over that territory. Canada established a law in 1923 from the efforts of a blatantly racist judiciary who addressed anti-marijuana tirades. 

Similar laws followed in Great Britain and New Zealand. In each instance, these laws did not consider the medical facts and the positive effects of marijuana, but prejudices held by lawmakers against the racial groups that marijuana laws helped persecute and control.

The Stigma with Cannabis

As a result of marijuana’s stigmatization, society has heightened the impact on its users. One of the most noticeable stigmas is the 1936 movie entitled “Reefer Madness.” It is now perceived as an accidental comedy by contemporary audiences, and it even premiered as an off-Broadway musical parody in 2001. However, people in the 1930’s were oblivious to the point of innocence and did not often dispute or challenge authority. The people were followers like sheep, waiting to be driven by several who is in power and authority. If the news appeared in print or other means, most people of that era believed it had to be real particularly the strange and frightful topic of marijuana. Regrettably, that still applies to numerous people today.

A ranking official
from the Federal Bureau of Narcotics made a statement versus marijuana, and before the Federal Assistant
Alcohol Prohibition Commissioner. “If the hideous monster Frankenstein came
face to face with the monster marijuana, he would drop dead of fright,” the
head Federal Bureau of Narcotics shouted in the late 1930’s. This racial claim
was that white teenagers would be despoiled once they’d encountered the intense
desires of having a black man’s marijuana blunt in their mouths. “Colored
students at the University of Minnesota partying with white female students
smoking and getting their sympathy with stories of racial persecution, result:

The Cold War on Cannabis Legalization

In the late 1930’s, The Prohibitive Marijuana Tax Law was conducted before the House Ways and Means Committee before sufficient data was prepared to counter its deceitful rights. An American Medical Association (AMA) representative testified before the committee that the AMA had not criticized the law earlier because they had just found that marijuana was cannabis — the medicine obtained in many medicinal products of that century. Very few people understood that the “deadly menace” they had seen on the front pages was truly cannabis. So when the Congress passed the Marijuana Tax Act, this enormous natural resource was abruptly prohibited. 

Congress prohibited cannabis because of a partial lie. The representative persuaded them that fifty percent of all violent offenses in the United States were perpetrated by African Americans, Spaniards, Mexican and Latin-Americans, Filipinos, and Greeks and these crimes could be investigated due to marijuana. 

The representative testified in a discussion on the Bill, also asserting that “marijuana is the most violence-causing drug in the history of mankind.” Later in the 1950’s, under the “McCarthyism” threat of Communism, the representative claimed the definite contrast to incite panic — stating that marijuana will appease soldiers so much they will not aspire to fight in war. Neither position signifies the truth. An Associated Press report on June 22, 1971, demonstrated how cannabis restrains neither courage nor compassion.

The Stoned Hero 

Peter Charles Lemon— A Congressional Medal of Honor hero states he was “stoned” on cannabis the evening he fought off two waves of Vietcong soldiers and obtained America’s highest military honor. It was April 1, 1970, when this Army Specialist 4, used his rifle, machine gun, and hand grenades to break a massive attack on his post. He fought the enemy single-handed and pulled out a wounded comrade to the back for safety before dropping from fatigue and three wounds. At the medical center, he denied treatment until more severely injured men had been attended for treatment. The dispatch cited the injured hero as describing: “It was the only time I ever went into combat stoned. You get an alert when you’re stoned…”

The Hippies

people in the 1960s began to embrace using marijuana and this in turn forced legislators to deal with an
unexpected demographic change: marijuana was no longer restricted to Hispanics
and blacks. The children of the white middle class were also “toking-up” in
important and rising numbers. Many of the young “hippies” also adopted the
Hindu religion and practices. Cannabis has been practiced as part of religious festivals in India for several millennials and
still practicing now a days. However, the government’s escalation of the war on
drugs used marijuana as a pretext to criticize the ’60s counterculture and
ethnic groups. 

The most promising promotion of the Nixon administration (which founded the DEA) and other politicians, was lumping an active cultural-political resistance with black militancy and ghetto heroin obsession. Cannabis prohibition is a part of that political era of the nation’s history and even today remains to be used to oppress different groups of all races to promote cultural and political agendas. 

The Reform and Waves
Of Legalization 

In 2001, Nevada became the first state to decriminalize and legalize cannabis through state legislature and the 9th state since 1996 to legalize the use of medical marijuana. In the following years, major cities across the United States began to either decriminalize marijuana or perform the implementation of the cannabis laws to a moderate preference in accordance to the existing State Laws. Among those cities were Seattle, Oakland, Denver, and San Francisco. 

In 2008,
Massachusetts voters supported a poll initiative to decriminalize cannabis.
States that decriminalized in succeeding years were Connecticut, Rhode Island,
Vermont, Maryland, Missouri, Delaware, Illinois, New Hampshire, and the Virgin

On November 6, 2012,
Colorado and Washington became the first states to legalize the recreational
use of marijuana. Regulated marijuana can be purchased in authorized
dispensaries allowing the possession of up to an ounce for people of legal age.


Shanta Devourn

Shanta Devourn — A multipotentialite who loves to create possibilities in terms of his writings. Shanta support educational awareness in online platforms.  He believes in the saying “Understanding other viewpoints are enhanced when done so through outspoken synergy with those who have a different perspective as long as the situation is secure and the idea is well-crafted.” Read more from this guest blogger.

Visit Shanta Devorn on Twitter and Facebook.




Report Finds Legal Cannabis Could Bring Texas $500M In Annual Tax Revenue

A new report found that Texas could bring in significant revenue if they legalized cannabis.

Republished by Plato



Legalizing cannabis in Texas could bring the state more than half a billion dollars in new tax revenue each year, according to a report released last week by a leading cannabis policy and law firm. The economic analysis from Vicente Sederberg LLP also found that legal pot would result in more than $300 million in savings from reduced law enforcement costs annually and could create up to 40,000 jobs.

“A regulated cannabis market would be an economic boon for the Lonestar State,” Shawn Hauser, a partner at Vicente Sederberg who heads the firm’s Austin office, said in a press release. “Hundreds of millions of dollars in new tax revenue and tens of thousands of new jobs would be especially helpful in overcoming the losses stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. Texas is leaving an enormous amount of money on the table by keeping cannabis illegal.”

According to the report, there are more than 1.5 million adults 21 or older in Texas who use cannabis on a monthly basis, a market that could generate up to $2.7 billion in regulated sales if marijuana is legalized for adult use. If those legal sales were taxed at a rate similar to Colorado’s, more than $1.1 billion in new revenue could be raised every two years. Another $10 million to help offset the regulatory costs of the program could be raised with the implementation of modest business licensing fees.

A legal cannabis industry in Texas would also create hundreds of new businesses and as many as 40,000 new jobs, plus tens of thousands of additional positions in ancillary industries. The tourism industry in Texas would also see a boost. Ending misdemeanor arrests and prosecutions for minor possession offenses could save as much as $311 million each year, the report found.

Big State, Big Stakes

Dwight Clark, a senior policy analyst at Vicente Sederberg who previously worked in the state legislature, said that the stakes were particularly high in Texas because of its large population, the second-largest in the nation.

“There are well over a million adults in the state who regularly consume cannabis, so enforcement costs are substantial, to say the least,” Clark said. “If cannabis were regulated, the revenue from license fees and taxes would easily cover the costs of administering the system and enforcing regulations. Criminal justice resources could then be redirected toward other, more pressing matters. Plus there would be significant revenue left over that could be used to fund other programs and services.”

Earlier this month, Vermont became the eleventh state to regulate sales of cannabis for use by adults. If Texas were added to the list, the size of its legal recreational market would be second only to California’s.

“States across the country are seeing the benefits of legalizing and regulating cannabis,” said Hauser. “It is inspiring lawmakers in prohibition states to reexamine the efficacy and costs of their current policies and take a closer look at the alternatives.”

Despite the economic benefits, legalizing recreational cannabis in Texas will be a hard sell. Although hemp has been legalized in the state, sales of smokable hemp flower were banned earlier this year, while the state’s medical cannabis program only permits CBD extracts low in THC.


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Report Shows Almost Half of Cannabis Users are Over 40

People age. Luckily, you don’t have to grow out of cannabis.

Republished by Plato



A new study reveals that almost half of those who currently use cannabis in North America are over 40, a surprising number given the narrative that most cannabis users are in younger demographics. This insight came alongside many other interesting data points about the industry. 

This information comes from Akerna, a group in the industry that works with software, compliance technology, seed-to-sale research planning, and enterprise software for the cannabis companies across North America. It dug into North American cannabis consumer habits to reveal deep insights about the industry and how it operates, in order to shed light on what businesses can expect in the coming months. 

“Akerna is an enterprise software company focused on compliantly serving the cannabis, hemp, and CBD industry,” their biography states. “First launched in 2010, Akerna has tracked more than $20 billion in cannabis sales to date and is the first cannabis software company listed on Nasdaq. The company’s cornerstone technology, MJ Platform, the world’s leading infrastructure as a service platform powers retailers, manufacturers, brands, distributors, and cultivators.”

According to the breakdown from the Akerna study, which looked at type of cannabis consumption method, as well as age and gender of cannabis users, flower is the most popular way to consume cannabis in the U.S., with edibles the least popular besides the “other category. Results also showed that more men than women consume cannabis, as men logged in at 62.5 percent and women claimed 37.5 percent. 

Self-Reported Use

In addition to looking at the numbers for sales and the type of cannabis consumed, the study also examined the numbers for reported use. In most cases, the numbers mirrored each other, showing people reported accurately about what they consume. “Some of this confirms what we already know, that flower is the most popular consumption method,” says James Ahrendt, Business Intelligence Architect, Akerna. “However, we also found some surprising data points. For example, medical consumers on average spend more and purchase more items than their adult use counterparts.”

One of the most surprising things learned from the study which has warranted interest is the breakdown of age use demographics. Under-30 users only accounted for 26.7 percent of users from the overall total polled, and those ages 30 to 40 clocked in at 29.7 percent. Collectively, the 40 to 50 age range at 19.5 percent, the 50-60 age range at 13.2 percent, and the 60-plus age range at 10.9 percent account for nearly 40 percent of all users.

The survey was conducted using data from the cannabis data and sales platform MJ Freeway, which includes MJ Platform and MJ Insights. The information in this database can help answer some of the study’s research objectives, including statistics in different areas, cannabis supply chain data, and specific business insights.

As North Americans from the Baby Boomer and Generation X generations continue to age, more and more seniors and middle-aged folks are comfortable with cannabis, making for a new and more accepting climate overall.


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Brock Pierce: The Revolutionary Going for the White House

Brock Pierce isn’t your average politician, but that doesn’t mean you should count him out.

Republished by Plato



*Disclaimer: This piece should not be considered an endorsement of any of the mentioned candidates by the author or by High Times. While we believe Brock Pierce has interesting policies, and has ideas that both major party candidates should consider, we’re not ignorant to the Democratic process and the importance of this election, and therefore can not endorse a third party candidate at this time. However, we encourage our readers to educate themselves on the benefits of voting third party in the future, and how dismantling the two-party system could solve many of the issues we face today.*

You’ve heard a lot about Donald Trump and Joe Biden these past few months, but there’s another lesser-known candidate running this cycle with some big ideas that might be of interest to our readers. A major departure from the typical major party candidates, allow us to introduce you to Brock Pierce

Aiming to be something like the Psychedelic J.F.K. of the Independence Party, the former child-star gone media-mogul turned tech entrepreneur, innovator & VC has lived many lives, and while he’s survived torment and accusations, one thing is clear: this guy can take a punch, and come back swinging.

After several successful exits including what some considered to have pioneered the market for digital currencies, Brock Pierce has now set his sights on politics, throwing his hat into one of the most visceral elections in modern times. While he knows his chances are slim, Pierce believes, and will likely make you believe as well, that we’ve got some problems the politicians of today aren’t equipped to answer, and it’s time for some new blood throughout the whole system, not just in the Oval Office.

“We are highly skilled visionary leaders. I have been doing impossible thing after impossible thing most of my life—we can’t keep doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result. It’s time to speak our truth and rise up.” Pierce tells me on a call this past weekend to talk about his campaign, and future. He knows this is a bold step, but the problems of today require modern problem solvers to match, and while there are plenty of things to be excited about, there are some drastic changes that need to be made.

“I’m hoping it’s more of an evolution than a revolution,” Pierce notes. “One that’s led with love and unity.”

Although this marks his first foray into traditional politics, this isn’t the first time Brock Pierce has held a high office. The Chairman of the Bitcoin Foundation, Pierce has raised over $5 Billion for companies he has founded, including Tether, the world’s first stable and asset-backed coin, and the IMI exchange, the world’s leading digital currency marketplace for games. He has been a citizen of the world for decades, holding multiple ambassadorship titles in South Korea after helping to revolutionize the country’s digital currency offering, and having travelled the globe several times across his other various ventures. While this may not be considered traditional Presidential experience, it seems oddly similar to the man currently in the big chair, only with the tax statements to back it up. 

Brock Pierce Is A Different Kind of Candidate

What makes Brock Pierce different is simple, and it has to do with his core fundamental beliefs. Pierce believes in speaking the truth, even if you don’t have the answer, and while that may seem like a big departure for most politicians, he’s betting it’s something that will facilitate real, lasting change.

“This is the beginning of a movement—a revolution to bring about the change that is needed in this country. This should be about, for the remaining [days before the election—you actually have a candidate that can start a movement. We need to begin to vote our conscience. Not what we stand against, but what we stand for.” Brock notes.

To ensure that change he’s enlisted an impressive team of political newcomers, with names you’ll likely recognize. As running mate he’s enlisted Karla Ballard, the founder and CEO of YING, the peer-to-peer sharing platform, with media ties from the FCC to Sony, who most recently held the Senior VP role at Participant Media’s TAG division, which works with brands to serve vulnerable communities.

As Chief Strategist he’s enlisted the two-time GRAMMY nominated Akon, who famously provided electricity to millions in Africa while employing over 5,000 people—alongside a highly successful music career that included over 27 Billboard Hot 100 rankings.

As Campaign Manager Brock Pierce has brought on data and human rights activist Brittany Kaiser, the subject of the Netflix documentary ‘The Great Hack’ and cofounder of the Digital Asset Trade Association (DATA). As you can see, his network is almost as far reaching as his policy beliefs. 

His policies include major restructurings like fixing loopholes to equally tax the elite, a monthly Universal Earned Income for all citizens, and ensuring no one has the right to make decisions about your body but you, but what I’m sure will be particularly interesting to our readers is Pierce’s policy on legalizing nature.

“For cannabis, there needs to be a complete full court press. Federal legalization, ending all federal enforcement, pardon & expunge all non violent cannabis crimes… the War on Drugs failed, it’s time to stop it.” Brock explains with passion.

While he’s quick to acknowledge that not all drugs are the same and some are certainly more dangerous than others, Brock Pierce is firm in his stance that decriminalization is the answer.

“We should not be locking people in cages for doing nothing but harming themselves. Portugal and others have already given us the empirical data to know there’s a better way. Decriminalization will ensure a safe and healthy environment for all, while not harming others.” Pierce told me. 

A key detail to his point on legalizing nature seems more aimed at the pharmaceutical industry than just a plea for the freedom to consume.

“I don’t have all the answers, but I know the direction we’re headed, and I know the process to getting to the right answers. This country is in need of healing. Cannabis saved my mother’s life. She was one of those people who was about to lose her life to Oxycontin. [My Campaign Manager] had a spinal deformity that required lifesaving surgery and was prescribed vicodin…” he laments about how easily, and for how long Dr.’s prescribe life-changing substances, without even mentioning natural options.

A frequent donor to MAPS and an investor in Atai (the life sciences research company dedicated to innovation in treatment and access for mental health care), more than anything Brock Pierce believes we should explore our options and make data-driven decisions. He cites what’s happened in Switzerland as another example our country should follow, as he knows even if they can’t acknowledge that’s what they’re doing, most citizens are consuming drugs to deal with trauma of all types, and we can’t think less of those people for not having more options.

“How did we get here? I’m like a historian, I take the time to study how we got here. When I look at the tree, I start with the leaves—the symptoms, the problems, and I work my way through the branches, to the trunk—but I don’t stop there until I get to the root of the problem. That’s why people don’t usually solve problems. That’s where you need to start your resolution if you want to bring real change.”

His bold ideas don’t stop at policing our bodies, though. His team is greatly concerned about the future of this country, and how prepared our current leadership is to deal with new problems. 

“The dollar is the underpinning of the nation, the foundation. [It] is at risk—it is under threat because of bad decisions by past admins, and because tech is changing the world. The Chinese government is leading the world right now with the digital Yuan, and our government doesn’t understand technology. Have you ever seen one of the congressional hearings against Big Tech? It’s embarrassing. We need visionary leadership in this country that understands how to navigate the road ahead.” Pierce notes. 

Brock Pierce: The Revolutionary Going for the White House
Courtesy of Brock Pierce

As we discuss some of the new problems we could face over the next few decades, an all too familiar one comes up—election fraud. Pierce’s campaign manager, Brittany Kaiser, knows about this issue well from her time with Cambridge Analytica.

“Unfortunately even the Federal Election Commission can’t enforce the laws in this country – it’s nearly impossible. We’re being sold to the highest bidder,” She states with clear concern. “Ethical technologists are required to help us regulate – we can’t stifle innovation but we need to protect our citizens from bad actors.”

In Brock’s view, this is a fundamental issue. 

“How does our nation measure our success? What have we incentivized?” He asks. “The problem is we’re working in an antiquated system. No one has put forth a new goal or vision, a new unit of measurement to define success. It’s currently measured by growth. Growth Domestic Product, GDP. The problem with growth is it assumes we have infinite resources. Eventually people have to start looking into each other’s pockets. The goal of the country has been to grow blindly—and this is a global problem. We need to change the system. It’s time to take a step back, to upgrade the operating system of the United States of America.”

Brock Pierce speaks with an exuberance you can feel.

“The founders of our great nation had a powerful intention: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. What if we started to measure success by life? Life expectancy is in decline! Despite all of our technology! What if we held that as a measure of success, and we held our government accountable? You would see changes! By 2030 we’d ALL be glad to live here. What if we measured by liberty? We’re supposed to be free after all. But we have more people in prison—in total and per capita—than any other nation in the world! What if we measured by happiness?”

He pauses, knowing this will resonate.

“Why is everyone trying to get money and power? It doesn’t make you happy, fulfilled. We SHOULD measure by happiness. In my eyes, a billionaire isn’t someone with a billion dollars, but someone who positively impacts a billion people. Measure not by what you earn, but by what you give.”

You can’t tell me that’s not what a psychedelic J.F.K would say…


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