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In mid-November, the east coast’s first legal pot shops opened in Massachusetts with hundreds of customers waiting for doors to open. Each store held a ceremonial first sale: Iraq veteran Stephen Mandile bought an eighth of flower and a pre-roll at one, and Northampton Mayor David Narkewicz bought a THC-infused chocolate bar at the other.
Mayor Narkewicz plans on displaying his historically significant purchase saying: “There has been marijuana use going on in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for a long, long time.”
As more states legalize, the pressure is mounting on the federal government to finally end prohibition. The new Democratic Chairman of the House Rules Committee has made clear that he won’t stand in the way of cannabis reform like his Republican predecessor Pete Sessions. Sessions seemed to have it out for cannabis, having prevented over 30 pot-related measures from being debated on the House floor in the last year. Sessions’ replacement, democrat Jim Govern has promised not to block those amendments, especially on medical marijuana, saying: “Federal laws and statutes are way behind… This just seems like common-sense stuff.”
Illinois and New Mexico are on deck to be the next states to legalize weed. Illinois Governor-elect J.B. Pritzker has already promised to make legalization a top priority. Meanwhile, New Mexico legislators recently announced plans to reintroduce a legalization bill that originally failed in 2017–which they’re now safely optimistic about.
Up north in Canada, where adult-use cannabis has been legal for one month now, the country is experiencing nationwide supply shortages. Apparently 35% of Canadians stoners are still buying their weed from the black market, which is good news for old school dealers who are ready to pick up the slack. This is actually also good news for the legal market as well- as it seems that most Canadians are ready and willing to buy legally, if they can.
And finally, there’s some movement in Asia, a region typically known for its incredibly strict drug laws. If you’ve ever seen the movie broken palaces, you know exactly what I’m talking about.
New talks in Thailand show the nation’s is slowly and carefully on its way to becoming the first Southeast Asian country to legalize cannabis. Thai legislators have offered stepping stones on the path to legalization that include first considering marijuana has medicine, then incorporating it into food and wellness products, and then finally considering it for recreational use.
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