US Senate candidate smokes weed in powerful campaign ad
Longtime Louisiana cannabis advocate Gary Chambers is running for a spot in the US Senate. And he’s smoking a blunt in an armchair in a New Orleans swamp in his first campaign ad, which was uploaded to YouTube yesterday.
According to the ad:
- Someone is arrested for cannabis possession every 37 seconds
- Police have arrested approximately 7.3 million Americans for cannabis violations since 2010
- Black Americans are four times as likely to be arrested for cannabis violations than white Americans
- States spend $3.7 billion enforcing cannabis laws
“Most of the people police are arresting aren’t dealers, but rather people with small amounts of pot — just like me,” Chambers narrates in the ad.
Political insiders have predicted that both Democrats and Republicans will lean heavily into cannabis advocacy in 2022. But Chambers is walking — or smoking, in this case — the talk.
“For too long, candidates have used the legalization of marijuana as an empty talking point in order to appeal to progressive voters,” Chambers said in a statement. “I hope this ad works to not only destigmatize the use of marijuana, but also forces a new conversation that creates the pathway to legalize this beneficial drug, and forgive those who were arrested due to outdated ideology.”
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SAFE OR NOT
Credit unions and state-chartered banks
While SAFE banking and other legislative efforts to make customer transactions and fundraising easier for the cannabis industry still haven’t come to fruition, credit union and state-chartered bank involvement has been “quietly accelerating,” according to a Bloomberg report.
That’s thanks to companies like Green Check Verified and Shield Compliance, which help banks compliantly work with the cannabis industry. Green Check worked with 270% more financial institutions in 2021.
“We’re seeing more and more bankers recognize that there’s a clear path to serving these customers,” said Shield Compliance president Tony Repanich. “The playbook has been established showing banks and regulators how to work with the industry.”
California still hasn’t expunged thousands of eligible cannabis convictions
A 2018 law designed to expedite cannabis conviction expungements still hasn’t processed at least 34,000 cases, according to an LA Times investigation.
There are multiple challenges for individuals with convictions, such as:
- Securing employment
- Finding housing
- Securing loans
- Obtaining professional licenses
The author of the law, California attorney general Rob Bonta, acknowledged that the process hasn’t been effectively implemented. “It’s not acceptable,” he said. “It’s taking too long.”
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Opinion: Why European cannabis should be regulated like wine — not pharmaceuticals
To shrink the illicit market and create a sustainable industry, European cannabis shouldn’t be regulated like pharmaceuticals, but instead like wine, writes Paris-based cannabis consultant Benjamin-Alexandre Jeanroy in an op-ed for BusinessCann.
In addition, he believes forthcoming regulations should allow:
- Personal cultivation
- Social clubs
- Unlimited THC in products and production quotas
“Most of today’s medical companies cannot produce cannabis that will compete in quality with what is available in the street, even if it can be looked upon as ‘cleaner,’” Jeanroy writes. “By definition, pharmaceutical quality production will tend towards stabilisation and reproducibility, as-well-as a limited pool of seed varieties.”