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Why Social Equity and Cannabis Reparations are a Well-Intentioned Mirage



road to nowhere cannabis social equity programs

The Road to Nowhere: Why Cannabis Reparations Are a Well-Intentioned Mirage


Lately, politicians pushing cannabis legalization frequently cite a “moral responsibility” to rectify past war on drugs damages through social equity programs. On its face, righting historical wrongs sounds noble. But scrutinized closely, the promise of cannabis reparations leads nowhere.


Majority Leader Chuck Schumer recently affirmed intentions to amend pending federal banking reform to ensure “criminal justice provisions like those included in CAOA are part of the SAFE Banking Act.” He envisions resentencing, expungements and more restorative measures.


No doubt these aims arise from genuine compassion. Yet they fundamentally misapprehend the nature of justice. True reparations require relinquishing all controls that created harms in the first place. Bandaging prohibition’s wounds simply prolongs underlying dysfunction.


Consider alcohol prohibition from 1920-1933. As it proved unenforceable, temperance campaigners insisted any repeal must address the fallout of speakeasies and mob violence prohibition directly fueled.


But the only pragmatic solution was fully restoring legality. No amount of restorative policy could undo harms still actively inflicted by banning alcohol itself.


Cannabis today parallels this myopia. Legalization advocates dangle “social equity” policies to soften prohibition, not sincerely end it. But half-measures merely redirects the damage of black markets into mass incarceration’s revolving doors.


Either consensual adult activities remain banned, feeding organized crime and police corruption. Or they are fully legalized, replacing dangers with regulation. Reparations tinker in purgatory between these realities.


If government assumes responsibility for drug war damages, as advocates urge, its only logical remedy is abolishing controls enabling them. Not conditional pardons still branded with criminality.


Until cannabis is descheduled like alcohol, politicians exploit dreams of restorative justice to perpetuate cultural prejudices against cognitive liberty and nature’s bounty. But thinly-veiled puritanism helps no one.


True leadership would simply end prohibition outright, not devise new ways to condemn peaceful choices while begrudgingly taxing them. But such courage remains rare in halls of power divorced from real people’s lives.


So lawmakers cling to magical thinking – that they can prohibit, punish and extract revenue simultaneously. But years of compounding contradiction expose this charade.


Either drugs are banned outright on moral grounds, or pragmatically regulated as agriculture. Reparations are rhetorical cover to avoid confronting this choice. Because ending prohibition fully means ceding social control, trusting people over fear. And that remains taboo.


The road to justice follows no middle ground. Policies arise from principle or from theater. And people suffer while politicians posture.



Politicians pushing cannabis reform tout “social equity” provisions as the answer to past harms. By empowering marginalized communities in the newly legal industry, the wounds of prohibition will supposedly heal. But this well-intentioned reasoning misses the mark.


In reality, nothing can retroactively undo generations traumatized by a senseless drug war. That damage is done, and no current policy alters the past. Preferencing some citizens now cannot miraculously erase systemic oppression already inflicted.


Yet advocates cling to social equity as legalization’s moral imperative, imagining present actions can somehow compensate for history’s suffering. But just as banning alcohol created Al Capone, prohibiting drugs fueled the damage reformers now seek to redress.


Did temperance activists make amends for bootleg violence by granting extra liquor licenses to poor communities after repeal? That would have insulted those communities as somehow culpable, not helped them.


Likewise, creating cannabis business advantages for groups targeted under prohibition perversely rewards state violence that foreclosed any opportunity in the first place. It attempts to remedy a gunshot wound with a bandaid.


And fundamentally, establishing any legal distinction among citizens to correct past wrongs still perpetuates division and control, even benevolently intended, But cannabis users of all races suffered equally under blanket prohibition. The war on drugs made no exceptions based on identity, nor should its cessation.


In practice, such preferential policies breed resentment and allegations of favoritism, helping few while changing nothing systemically. The only pragmatic solution is fully ending the policies still actively causing harm to all. Reform should lift everyone equally, not play judicial favoritism.


Leaders serious about addressing the drug war aftermath would focus resources into ravaged communities for healthcare, education, jobs, infrastructure, and economic opportunities prohibited by generations of oppressive policies. Not create a regulatory caste system as some symbolic act.


But even these substantive measures only mitigate, not undo, the violence inflicted on generations through “carceral” threats pressuring conformity. Ultimate justice means simply ending prohibition so no more share that trauma.


No law can restore lost lives, families, careers and dreams destroyed by self-righteous persecution. But ending the war that wrought such damage would honor those sacrificed for nothing. That reform alone is the greatest justice we can offer fellow citizens still living in fear.


Social equity might sound righteous but promises the impossible – to rewrite history with policies when only shared humanity can heal trauma. The pragmatic path forward should be non-judgment and freedom.



While past harms of prohibition can’t be undone, we can take concrete steps to acknowledge injustice and ease reintegration for those still suffering under oppressive policies soon to be abolished. Financial reparations represent one pragmatic transitional measure.


For every year someone spent incarcerated for a non-violent drug offense, the government could provide the monetary equivalent of one year’s median income plus benefits as if they had been working a union job instead. This retroactively compensates for lost opportunities.


So those jailed for a decade may receive around $500,000 or more upon release, proportional to their sentenced time served under unconstitutional policies of persecution. They can invest this new capital towards rebuilding life on their own terms after years sacrificed to ideology.


This money empowers starting businesses, pursuing education, purchasing homes, or simply enjoying simple pleasures long denied behind bars. A small token of recompense for freedoms robbed that can never be retrieved.


Some may argue they don’t “deserve” such generous compensation for technically breaking the law at the time, despite its injustice. But obeying immoral rules merits no punishment – and rectifying past enforcement necessitates assuming full responsibility.


Financial reparations acknowledge the government’s own culpability in destroying lives, rather than demonizing victims of its aggression. Compensating those still suffering is the only moral response, even if no dollar amount restores what was lost.


Moving forward, these individuals should also receive permanent waivers on any related taxes, fees, or restrictions related to consensual activities previously prosecuted. Never again should they face harassment from the state.


Additionally, their records must be completely expunged, liberating them from stigma and constraints on employment, housing, education, and civic participation. They deserve a clean slate after years enduring dehumanization.


However, no policy can undo the psychological trauma of incarceration and family disruption. We must acknowledge money alone cannot truly compensate for the nightmare of being caged for victimless choices. But it represents a starting point of taking tangible accountability.


The funds should come directly from the DEA’s budget and asset forfeitures, not general taxpayer money. And programs reinvesting legal drug tax revenue into devastated minority communities should accompany individual reparations.


A cynic may condemn these measures as superficial, noting the time lost can never be reclaimed. And they would be right that it pales against the depth of suffering induced. But the practical mechanics of restorative policy must start somewhere. The debt owed is unpayable yet must be addressed.


In the end, only ending prohibition offers true justice by halting the ongoing harms. No laws can resurrect the dead or restore lives warped by fear. But pairing abolition with compensation provides a blueprint for accountability, good faith and reconciliation. It says we as a society have learned from past evils, grown wiser, and now must make amends however imperfectly. The first step is pronouncing unconditional freedom.




Social justice and equity make for enticing buzzwords. But uplifting those harmed by prohibition requires relinquishing control, not inventing new ways to tax and regulate freedoms.


The drug war’s injustice cannot be abolished through bureaucracy. No law undoes the trauma of lives warped by fear. And no preferential license repairs the economic wreckage in marginalized communities targeted under puritanical policies.


Reparations provide rhetoric to mollify reformers high on empty idealism. But they avoid confronting the root injustice – prohibition itself. Half-measures only redirect damage through revolving prison doors and street violence feeding organized crime.


The charade has gone on long enough. If we as a society are remotely serious about making amends, it begins by ending the oppressive policies still actively harming fellow citizens. No exceptions.


Responsible legalization means abolishing adult restrictions on any substance alongside reasonable regulations on sales, manufacturing and labeling for public health.


It liberates consumers to make informed choices based on personal ethics and medical facts, not government force imposing contested moral agendas fueled by lobbyists and ignorance.


This pragmatic freedom respects the underregulated botanical bounty of nature itself. And it channels markets from violent cartels into above-board small businesses accountable to their communities. Jobs replace cages.


True social equity means equal rights for all to explore consciousness and manage pain as they see fit. Not special privileges doled out condescendingly like crumbs. The drug war made no racial exceptions to its devastation, nor should its cessation.


Real reparations start with financial compensation to those still incarcerated for victimless offenses, proportional to time served. Records should be expunged and taxes waived going forward. Some token of repentance for lives disrupted.


But rhetoric must now yield to actions if reformers wish to be forces for justice, not just noble lies that perpetuate injustice by degrees. Otherwise such hollow efforts insult those sacrificed during this ongoing tragedy.


Prohibition cannot be regulated away incrementally. Its fundamental premise is flawed beyond redemption. A policy disaster this epic requires decisiveness, not piecemeal compromise.


The sticky bottom line is that truths once seen cannot become unseen. And the drug war now teeters on the cliff of its own contradictions as empires always do before the fall. Of course, those who benefit from this system will fight for its preservation, or evolve it in a way that seems beneficial to society but in reality is just another trap that benefits the few at the expense of many.





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90% of People over 50 are Using Cannabis for One Reason




cannabis for chronic pain and arthritis

Tilray Medical, a division of Tilray Brands, Inc., unveiled its latest scientific publication titled “Medical Cannabis for Patients Over Age 50: A Multi-Site, Prospective Study of Usage Patterns and Health Outcomes” on Tuesday.


This new research expands upon an earlier Tilray study revealing a rising number of older patients seeking medical marijuana. The study identified chronic pain (27.8%), arthritis (14.9%), and anxiety (9%) as prevalent conditions prompting cannabis use among older adults. Pain emerged as the primary symptom, followed by anxiety and insomnia/sleep disorders.


Known as the Medical Cannabis in Older Patients Study, this multi-site, prospective, observational research investigates how medical marijuana, guided by healthcare providers, affects patients over 50. It underscores the impact of medical cannabis on health outcomes, particularly focusing on pain relief, sleep improvement, and overall quality of life.


With 299 participants averaging 66.7 years old, the study found that 90% used medical cannabis primarily for pain management, notably chronic pain and arthritis. The results indicated that medical cannabis correlated with better pain scores, improved sleep, and enhanced quality of life among a growing subset of patients, along with a notable reduction in concurrent medications.


José Tempero, the company’s medical director, emphasized their commitment to advancing medical research and supporting products aligned with comprehensive findings. He underscored the role of medical cannabis in enhancing therapeutic options for an ageing population.


Study Focus and Methodology


Leading the way in examining the effects of medical cannabis use on the health of older adults, Tilray Medical’s “Medical Cannabis for Patients Over Age 50” study included 299 participants, most of whom were female and averaged age 66.7. The study was conducted at several sites and used a prospective, observational design to evaluate the effects of medical marijuana under the supervision of a healthcare provider on actual health outcomes.


The study’s central focus was on the efficacy of medicinal cannabis in treating chronic pain, arthritis, anxiety, and other diseases common among the elderly. Participants were followed to determine changes in pain ratings, sleep patterns, and general quality of life, offering information on cannabis’ medicinal potential in addressing age-related health issues.


The findings underscored a significant trend: approximately 90% of participants reported using medical cannabis primarily for pain relief, with notable reductions in co-medication observed. This research not only highlights the growing acceptance and application of medical cannabis among older adults but also underscores the importance of continued scientific inquiry into its benefits and implications for ageing populations.


Key Findings on Patient Demographics and Conditions


The study by Tilray Medical provided insightful demographics and conditions prevalent among older adults using medical cannabis. Among the 299 participants, the average age of 66.7 years reflects a cohort squarely within the ageing demographic seeking alternative therapies. Notably, over 62% of the participants identified as female, indicating a significant gender distribution in the study sample.


Of the participants, 27.8% cited chronic pain as their major reason for seeking medical cannabis treatment. This made chronic pain the most prevalent primary symptom driving medical cannabis usage. This result is consistent with more general healthcare trends, which show that older adults continue to have significant concerns about managing chronic pain. After chronic pain, arthritis was shown to be another common ailment that led to cannabis usage, as 14.9% of individuals used cannabis to treat this inflammatory chronic illness. With 9% of research participants suffering from anxiety, it was also a major ailment, underscoring the variety of therapeutic uses of medicinal cannabis among older persons.


The study’s emphasis on these particular disorders highlights medicinal cannabis’s growing potential as a therapy for illnesses that are typically linked to ageing. By clarifying the characteristics and ailments that are common among elderly medical cannabis users, the study offers a significant understanding of the incorporation of alternative treatments into geriatric healthcare procedures.


These results provide insight into the health problems and demographics of older adults who use cannabis medicinally. They also lay the groundwork for future research on the safety and effectiveness of cannabis-based treatments for age-related health disorders. Studying medical cannabis’s impact on conditions like chronic pain, arthritis, and anxiety is becoming more and more crucial for lawmakers and healthcare professionals as it gains acceptance as a therapeutic option.


Key Findings on Patient Demographics and Conditions


The study by Tilray Medical provided insightful demographics and conditions prevalent among older adults using medical cannabis. Among the 299 participants, the average age of 66.7 years reflects a cohort squarely within the ageing demographic seeking alternative therapies. Notably, over 62% of the participants identified as female, indicating a significant gender distribution in the study sample.


Chronic pain was identified as the most prevalent primary condition driving medicinal cannabis usage, with 27.8% of patients indicating it as the major reason for therapy. This conclusion is consistent with wider healthcare trends, in which chronic pain treatment remains a major problem among older populations. Following chronic pain, arthritis was found as another common reason for cannabis usage, with 14.9% of participants looking for treatment for this chronic inflammatory illness. Anxiety was also identified as a significant problem, impacting 9% of research participants, illustrating the broad therapeutic uses of medicinal cannabis in older persons.


By clarifying the demographics and conditions common among older medical cannabis users, the research adds important insights into how alternative therapies are being integrated into geriatric healthcare practices. The study’s focus on these particular conditions highlights the evolving role of medical cannabis as a potential treatment option for ailments traditionally associated with ageing.


As medical cannabis becomes more and more popular as a therapeutic option, legislators and healthcare professionals will need to understand the effects of medical cannabis on conditions like chronic pain, arthritis, and anxiety. These results shed light on the health issues and demographics of older people who use medicinal marijuana. They also serve as a foundation for future studies on the safety and effectiveness of cannabis-based therapies for age-related health issues.


Bottom Line


The Tilray medicinal research emphasizes how important medicinal cannabis is for older persons’ chronic pain, arthritis, and anxiety. According to the findings, cannabis can enhance pain ratings, sleep quality, and general quality of life, as indicated by the fact that 90% of the 299 participants used it primarily for pain relief. This study highlights the necessity for further research into the advantages of medicinal cannabis and its incorporation into geriatric healthcare, supporting its increasing recognition as a therapeutic alternative for older adults.





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What Does the Corporate Transparency Act Mean (CTA) for the Cannabis Industry?




On January 1, 2024, the federal Corporate Transparency Act (CTA) took effect. The CTA requires a host of both domestic and foreign entities to disclose their beneficial ownership to the Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). Compliance with the CTA is required for all businesses, including those in the cannabis industry. In this post, I’ll overview some (but not all) key requirements of the CTA, and some of the implications for the cannabis industry.

What is the CTA?

The purpose of the CTA is to combat illegal activities like money laundering by disclosure of information concerning “beneficial owners” to FinCEN. Beneficial ownership essentially means the individuals who own or control a company (more on that below). FinCEN and other domestic governmental authorities can use this beneficial ownership information in certain contexts for law enforcement purposes. Detailed FAQs on the CTA are available here.

Who must report?

Corporations, limited liability companies, and other business entities are considered reporting companies for purposes of the CTA. Certain sole proprietors may not count as reporting companies, and CTA exempts 23 classes of entities, such as governmental bodies, banks, and certain large operating companies.

Figuring out whether a business qualifies for an exemption can in some cases be complicated, and businesses can flow in and out of exemptions over time. So it’s a good idea for businesses to confer with counsel to determine whether they are compliant.

When must reporting happen?

Reporting is done by submitting an initial beneficial ownership report (BOIR) with FinCEN via an electronic portal called the Beneficial Ownership Secure System, located at, free of charge. There are some key reporting deadlines, which change based on when a company was formed (for domestic companies) or registered in the US (for foreign companies) as follows:

  • Entities created or registered before January 1, 2024, must submit their initial BOIR by January 1, 2025.
  • Entities registered in 2024 are required to file within 90 calendar days of their registration becoming effective.
  • For registrations from January 1, 2025, onwards, the deadline is 30 calendar days post-registration notice.

CTA also has requirements to periodically update beneficial ownership information after changes occur. Failure to comply with CTA can lead to monetary penalties and even criminal liability.

What must be reported?

Reporting companies must disclose individuals with substantial control or those owning at least 25% of the entity. Substantial control includes abilities like appointing or removing directors, making significant business decisions, or other forms of major influence. For example, question D8 on FinCEN’s FAQs addresses how management companies could be considered beneficial owners of a reporting company. Sound familiar?

Disclosure itself is not dissimilar to state-level cannabis regulatory disclosures. Beneficial owners must provide their legal name, date of birth, address, and an identifying number (e.g., SSN).

How will this affect the cannabis industry?

In case you were wondering, CTA applies to cannabis businesses. There is no exemption for reporting by state-legal cannabis companies.

A lot of cannabis companies will probably get squeamish at the thought of making detailed beneficial ownership disclosures. That’s especially the case where CTA by its terms allows FinCEN to share beneficial ownership information with other federal agencies engaged in law enforcement activities, or federal agencies that supervise financial institutions.

So, expect to see owners of cannabis businesses engage in all kinds of corporate changes to obscure beneficial ownership or reduce equity and control rights to get out of disclosures. In some cases, this will not work and people will face penalties.

Also expect to see a lot of cannabis companies (and non-cannabis companies for that matter) make a good-faith effort to comply with CTA initially but fail to update information as required by law. This is just going to happen, the way CTA is set up. Whether or not people are actually penalized for late disclosures or updates absent some kind of misfeasance remains to be seen.


CTA is complicated and has already been a headache for many businesses – so much so that at least one group of businesses brought a challenge to its constitutionality and won. Fortunately or unfortunately (depending on how you look at it) the court did not issue a nationwide injunction but only enjoined enforcement of CTA against the specific plaintiffs. It’s possible that in different litigation or future appeals, the law itself is enjoined on a nationwide level. But for the time being, it’s the law of the land.

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Could the Smell of Marijuana Ever Be So Strong That It Knocks You to the Ground?




knock you over marijuana smell

Ohio’s New Miami Village Council unanimously voted on June 27 to fire Police Chief Harold Webb after Mayor Jewell Hayes-Hensley accused him of having an office that smelled of marijuana. This information, reported by the New York Post, was based on a letter from the mayor’s office obtained by Ohio’s Fox 19.


A ballot initiative approved in November 2023 completely legalized cannabis in Ohio.


On June 20, when Hayes-Hensley and another council member went to Webb’s office to pick up his daily logs, they noticed a strong marijuana smell. This is when the incident started.


“When I first said, ‘Who has been smoking weed in here?'” The mayor of New Miami Village, a hamlet of 2,226 people in southeast Ohio, stated, “The smell of marijuana could knock you off your feet.”


Cananbis with a strong odor is known as “loud” or “dank” in the cannabis community.


Marijuana Odor from a Bust Four Months Ago?


In the same letter regarding the marijuana odor, Mayor Jewell Hayes-Hensley accused Police Chief Harold Webb of multiple infractions, including stealing hot dogs from a gas station where only free soda was allowed on duty, refusing to respond to 911 calls, “theft of office,” falsifying timesheets and daily logs, and “cashing his paycheck knowing he was required to show proof of his being at work.”


The mayor suggested that the marijuana smell might be linked to a bust that occurred four months prior, implying that Webb could have been smoking the confiscated cannabis. However, experts note that the smell of cannabis smoke typically lingers in a room for only four to six hours and does not cling to furniture or curtains like tobacco smoke. This casts doubt on the idea that the odor from a previous bust could still be present in Webb’s office months later.


The allegations against Webb extend beyond the marijuana odor, painting a picture of misconduct and unprofessional behavior. The claim about stealing hot dogs suggests a disregard for department policies and ethical standards. Refusing to respond to 911 calls is a severe accusation, indicating a failure to perform critical duties that could endanger public safety. The “theft of office” and falsification of timesheets and daily logs imply deceit and misuse of taxpayer funds.


Whether Webb’s dismissal was based on the marijuana smell, the stolen hot dogs, or the accumulation of these allegations, the situation underscores the importance of accountability and integrity in law enforcement. The controversy surrounding Webb’s behavior has undoubtedly affected the New Miami Village community, emphasizing the need for trust and transparency in public officials.


Ultimatum Delivered: Take a Drug Test or Face Consequences


On June 24, the New Miami town attorney delivered a letter to Police Chief Harold Webb at his home, informing him that he had until 5 p.m. the following day to take a drug test at the request of Mayor Jewell Hayes-Hensley or face “disciplinary action.”


Chief Webb arrived at the testing site on June 25 but refused to provide a urine sample in front of a nurse, describing the process as “belittling.” This refusal was a critical turning point in the situation, further complicating his position and raising additional concerns about his conduct.


Following his refusal to complete the drug test, Webb texted the mayor, expressing his frustration and feeling of being unfairly targeted. “You know what, you win,” he wrote. “This is the third time you have questioned my integrity.” This message highlighted the escalating tension between Webb and Mayor Hayes-Hensley, suggesting a breakdown in communication and trust.


The mayor responded decisively, instructing Webb to resign. “Sorry things didn’t work out,” Hayes-Hensley wrote. “Please turn in all your New Miami Village properties along with your resignation and leave all access to video cameras and computers turned over to me.”


This interaction highlights the greater confrontation between Webb and the village leadership, marked by claims of misbehavior, refusal to comply with directions and personal animosities. Webb’s unwillingness to take the drug test, exacerbated by the other claims against him, finally led to his dismissal. The event shows how difficult it is to uphold professional standards and responsibility in law enforcement and emphasizes the importance of following clear procedures and treating misbehavior claims with respect from one another.


Fallout and Community Reaction


The dismissal of Police Chief Harold Webb from New Miami Village has triggered a wave of reactions and repercussions within the community. Residents, caught off guard by the sudden removal of their police chief, are divided in their responses. Some express concern over the allegations leveled against Webb, particularly regarding the integrity and conduct expected of law enforcement officials. They emphasize the importance of accountability and transparency in local governance, calling for thorough investigations into the accusations made by Mayor Jewell Hayes-Hensley.


Conversely, others in the community rally behind Chief Webb, questioning the timing and validity of the accusations. They argue that Webb’s contributions to public safety and his tenure should be taken into account before any hasty decisions are made. Supporters of Webb highlight his past achievements and dedication to the village, urging for fair treatment and due process in resolving the controversy.


Meanwhile, the broader implications of Webb’s dismissal extend beyond local sentiment. The incident has raised broader questions about leadership and governance within New Miami Village. It underscores the challenges faced by small communities in maintaining effective law enforcement and ensuring public trust. Moving forward, community leaders and residents alike are seeking clarity and resolution, hoping to restore stability and confidence in the village’s administration amidst the ongoing controversy.


Bottom Line


The case of Police Chief Harold Webb in New Miami Village serves as a stark reminder of the complexities and responsibilities involved in local law enforcement. The allegations, ranging from a peculiar marijuana smell to serious accusations of misconduct, have deeply impacted both the community and its leadership. While some residents advocate for accountability and transparency in addressing these issues, others stand by Webb, questioning the fairness of his dismissal. As the village navigates through this controversy, the need for clear protocols, mutual respect, and adherence to professional standards remains paramount. The outcome of this case will likely shape the future governance and public trust in New Miami Village, underscoring the importance of due process and ethical conduct in all levels of public service.





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