4/20 Cannabis Cup now in San Berdoo! OK. For reals. We think the 4/20 Cannabis Cup has actually found a home. After getting kicked out of the Denver Mart and then failing to secure the permits to hold the annual bacchanal in Pueblo, Colo., it looks like the good folks at High Times have moved the event to San Bernardino, Calif. Michael Roberts, reporting for Westword, follows the thread to the NOS Center in San Berdoo, which has hosted previous (medical) California Cannabis Cups. The U.S. Cannabis Cup, with its competitions and cannabis carnival booths, will take place there April 15–17. High Times will also hold a Colorado-only competition, with the winners announced at the Cypress Hill concert in Broomfield, Colo., on April 19. Remember: California is a medical state, so if you want to consume you’ll need to present your Cali MMJ card.
Medical use is about to get more difficult in Toronto. The Ontario government plans to ban the smoking and vaping of medical cannabis in all enclosed public places, workplaces, and many outdoor areas, reports the Toronto Star. Associate Health Minister Dipika Damerla is expected to outline the policy change later today. An official said the move was made to protect non-consumers from secondhand smoke and vapor. Under a previous rule, MMJ patients were allowed to smoke or vape in any public place where smoking is otherwise prohibited.
Sanders recalls a different kind of burn he felt, years ago. Bernie Sanders opened up about his past experience with cannabis while on the stump in Michigan earlier this week. “I’ve done marijuana twice in my life, when I was very young,” Sanders said. “And what it did for me, is it made me cough a lot — that was my response, but I gather other people have had different experiences.” Well, Bernie, it’s made us cough plenty too. But that’s not been its only effect. Sanders went on to say, “We also know, and people can argue this till the cows come home and scientists dispute it: Marijuana is not heroin. I’m not here advocating for marijuana. Marijuana is listed as a Schedule I drug alongside of heroin.” (The audience booed.) “I agree, and that is why I believe we should take marijuana out of the federal Controlled Substances Act.” Worth noting: 24 hours after uttering those remarks, Sanders thumped Hillary Clinton in Michigan.
Football and cannabis move up the media food chain. We’re more than a month past the Super Bowl, but the subject of cannabis and the NFL refuses to die. After extensive coverage a couple months ago from Leafly, Dope, the Cannabist, and other outlets, the mainstream media is picking up the thread. “Is it time for football to reconsider marijuana?” CNN reporter Nadia Kounang asked yesterday. Kounang’s story ran concurrently with an AP story about NFL players turning to hemp, “rather than marijuana,” to help with brain injuries. Well, look, it’s not hemp, it’s the cannabidiol (CBD) extracted from hemp. But whatever. Kudos to Nate Jackson, Ricky Williams, Kyle Turley, Jake Plummer, and other courageous members of the Gridiron Cannabis Coalition, without whom this discussion wouldn’t be happening.
Stop wasting $2.5 million a year on cannabis arrests in Pennsylvania. That was the advice from Eugene DePasquale, Pennsylvania's auditor general, who urged the Legislature last week to pass a bill that would legalize medical marijuana. “I think it’s the right thing to do for people,” DePasquale said. “Whether it’s $2 or $2.5 million, it is a waste of money, in my opinion, to arrest people for this.” According to his research, the state currently spends that much to house 97 people imprisoned for nonviolent cannabis offenses.
QUICK HITS: Las Vegas’s newest dispensary, Essence, opened on Tuesday. It’s the first cannabis outlet on The Strip. Maine advocates filed a lawsuit challenging the secretary of state’s decision to disqualify their legalization measure from the November ballot. And finally, longtime cannabis activist and entrepreneur Steve Kubby pledged $1 million in Kush Research stock to a California initiative competing with the Sean Parker-backed Adult Use of Marijuana Act. Marijuana Business Daily reports that “it’s not clear whether the stock donation from Kush Research is worth anything.” Ouch.