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Have you ever REALLY LOOKED at your hand? Fascinating.
Have you ever REALLY LOOKED at your pointed ears? Fascinating.

For some crazy reason, there’s a whole bunch of news about the gentle bud today, man, and the news is good and it is mellow, yea verily. Prepare to unleash the juvenile weed puns!

For one thing, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is introducing a national marijuana decriminalization bill today; it would remove marijuana from the list of “scheduled substances” under the 1970 Controlled Substances Act, because if you’re using it on a schedule, that’s just way too uptight. Schumer’s bill would also provide funding for women- and minority-owned weed businesses, expand research on pot’s impact on public health (let’s hope that includes potential positive impacts, yes?), and would empower regulation of marijuana advertising similar to that which currently exists for tobacco and alcohol. Dare we also hope that “Weed” would be added to the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, because that would make it a much more laid back agency. Also, here’s a thing we wouldn’t have expected: For an interview with Vice News, Schumer signed a bong. Far out.


In other hippy dippy legislative news, Senator Bernie Sanders has agreed to co-sponsor a separate weed legalization bill already introduced by Sen. Cory Booker; the other co-sponsors are Oregon’s Ron Wyden and New York’s Kirsten Gillibrand. Why multiple pot legalization bills? Why not? We won’t get into the weeds of the differences (add George Carlin fake-laughing here), but we sure like these provisions of Booker’s bill:

Booker’s legislation not only would legalize marijuana but would allow people convicted of marijuana possession to have their records expunged. It would also give incentives to states and local governments to change their laws if they disproportionately affected communities of color.

“We have marijuana legalization already for people who are privileged,” Booker said.

How very true this is — and while she didn’t exactly wait until the 20th of April to say it, that’s also the point New York gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon made a bit over a week ago. Twice:



And yes, she also wants legalization to be followed up with expunging criminal records of nonviolent offenders.

Also too, let’s not forget this timely report (OK, fine, it’s from 4/02, which is just Dyslexic Weed Day) from Scientific American, which notes that in states that have legalized medical and recreational marijuana, the number of opioid prescriptions and the daily doses of opioids dropped precipitously. The studies the article reports on are preliminary, and not quite definitive proof of a causal relationship, but it’s a promising line of inquiry. Yes, yes, all you stoners in the comments want to volunteer for the next studies, we know. You’re so cute.

Finally, we think we read somewhere that John Boehner is now on the board of a cannabis business, but that may just be something we dreamed up while taking laudanum, a habit we picked up since we’ve been reading Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey-Maturin novels.

And now it is your OPEN THREAD.

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[NPR / Roll Call / Scientific American,]

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