Cannabis News Update April 15, 2021
Today in cannabis news: The coronavirus pandemic stifles 4/20 plans for a second year; an influential figure in kicking off cannabis legalization waves in the U.S. has passed away; and a former Texas governor publicly backs a proposal to allow psilocybin treatments for veterans dealing with PTSD in the state.
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** First up: For the second year in a row, the coronavirus pandemic has altered plans for 4/20, the upcoming annual cannabis celebratory holiday.
In San Francisco, California, where the event brings thousands of visitors to the city every year, the celebration has been canceled, according to city officials. The locations surrounding Golden Gate Park’s iconic 4/20 meeting places, such as Robin Williams Meadow and Hippie Hill, will be barricaded and guarded by police, as they were last year, to dissolve any big groups of people.
“Gatherings like 4/20 could set us back significantly,” said Health Director Dr. Grant Colfax.
“As much as we want to celebrate here in San Francisco, and as supportive as the city has been to continue to see this tradition occur, it has been really challenging, of course, to gather in large groups during COVID. Sadly, this year’s 4/20 in San Francisco is officially canceled,” Mayor London Breed said.
In spite of current issues with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, city leaders stressed San Francisco’s progress in suppressing a fourth infection wave and urged the population to remain vigilant, particularly in light of reports of major coronavirus outbreaks across the country, such as in Michigan.
“We’re almost there, but we’re just not ready to party yet. Consider me Director Buzzkill,” Recreation and Park Department General Manager Phil Ginsburg said, adding that any vendors who show up will be told to depart.
** Next up: In a report by 9NEWS, Steve Fox, the person at the forefront of Colorado becoming among the first states in the U.S. to legalize recreational cannabis has died at the age of 53 years. Amendment 64, which Colorado voters approved in 2012, was drafted by Fox.
They began their lobbyist work as one of the first politicians to support cannabis legalization and spent the majority of their time campaigning for cannabis law reform across the nation.
“[Fox had an impact] not just on the hundreds of thousands of people who consume cannabis or the thousands of people who work in this industry, but on everyone who is now experiencing other benefits of this,” Mason Tvert, partner at VS Strategies, told 9NEWS. Tvert partnered with Fox, who was a managing partner at the cannabis policy and public relations consultancy. They also collaborated on the Amendment 64 initiative.
“Whether it’s the public health and safety benefits associated with regulation, whether it’s the tax revenue that’s helping to build schools… he knew that Colorado was a special place, Colorado could get this done, and it would lead to other places. And that’s exactly what happened,” Tvert added.
** Last up: Former Texas state Governor Rick Perry is joining forces with a Democrat representative to advocate for psychedelic treatment programs for veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
Perry is endorsing a proposal sponsored by state Rep. Alex Dominguez, D-Brownsville, to conduct a clinical trial to treat PTSD with psilocybin, the chemical compound found in “magic mushrooms.”
Some research has indicated that psilocybin may be efficacious in the treatment of mental health issues such as depression, but further research with more methodological approaches is needed.
“To me, this may be one of the most hopeful pieces of legislation that the members of the Legislature have the opportunity to consider this session,” Perry said.
Perry mentioned that they have “historically been a very anti-drug person” and that they still condemn recreational legalization. However, they claim that their longstanding support for veterans has shown them how psychedelic medications can help retired service personnel who have explored all other avenues and are seeking care in other nations, such as Mexico.
“All of that properly done in the right type of clinical setting will save a multitude of lives. I’m convinced of it,” Perry said.