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I’d like to start off by congratulating South Korea on becoming First East Asian Country to Legalize Medical Marijuana.
Last week, South korean lawmakers voted to amend current narcotics law to allow non-hallucinogenic doses of medical cannabis prescriptions. Initially, lawmakers considered only alloweing marijuana medications previously approved in the U.K. or U.S., but new legislation that may “provides a legal basis… for local production.” This means that we may be seeing cannabis farms sprouting up around South Korea, giving the country some autonomy over its own pot production. Not only would this open the doors for other Asian countries to legalize, but it’d definitely give new meaning to South Korea’s serene moniker: “The land of the Morning Calm.”
Back in the U.S., legal weed sales have still been going strong on the West Coast, but recent changes in legislation have ignited the green rush back East. Remember when the East Coast’s first two pot shops just opened in Massachusetts? On the first day of sales, customers drove from as far as New Hampshire to line up hours before stores opened their doors, ultimately spending over $440,000 on opening day. At the current tax rate of 17%, the state of Massachusetts made nearly $75,000 in tax revenue on day one alone. The excitement continues and long lines still flood these two legal shops–facts that haven’t escaped the attention of Massachusetts’ neighbor, Connecticut.
Connecticut’s new governor, Ned Lamont, wants to make sure that the Nutmeg State doesn’t lose business to its newly legal neighbor. He told reporters that he supports legalization and doesn’t want the black market controlling marijuana distribution in the state. Governor Lamont expects legislators to begin debating a legalization bill next year, and recently the Connecticut Office of Policy and Management advised that the state “could also access additional revenues from recreational marijuana sale.”
Personally, I find it suspect that government officials can consider legalizing marijuana in their state, not based on marijuana’s many health benefit, but in the interests of increasing tax revenue. But alas, money makes the world go round, and if that means bringing dank nugs to the Nutmeg state, then so be it.
Now, for news a little less terrestrial: Elon Musk.
Remember when back in September, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk smoked weed on the Joe Rogan podcast? You can tell when he hit that blunt on camera he thought he was SO cool. Well, like most rich old white men, Musk is not as cool as he thinks he is. (Except for Willie Nelson. We love you Willie. You rock.)
Along with immediately causing Tesla’s stock to drop six percent, Musk might have also put America’s first manned space flights in years on hold, thanks to that single puff of pot smoke. Musk’s behavior reportedly shocked NASA officials so much that they’ve decided to formally review programs at SpaceX and Boeing “to ensure the companies are meeting NASA’s requirements for workplace safety, including the adherence to a drug-free environment.” Both companies have asserted that they strictly maintain drug- and alcohol-free workplace policies, but NASA intends to move ahead regardless. The review could take months, and may possibly delaying the program’s first test flights, which are scheduled to begin next summer.
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