Cannabis Flower' Perfume, Dahling - Michael King

What’s That Smell? It’s ‘Cannabis Flower’ Perfume, Dahling

Article Published by: leafly.com

Years ago, when the cosmetics retailer Sephora asked perfumer Mark Crames to create a perfume based on the scent of cannabis, he knew he faced a formidable challenge.

He would have to capture the slightly animalistic, skunky cannabis vibe, but temper it to please the nose with notes of flowers and spice. Make it so beautiful people will spritz it on their neck and that soft spot on their wrists. Make it smell like fresh bud.

Crames went through several versions before developing a fragrance that wasn’t skunky or off-putting.

“I look at cannabis like liquor – it’s about capturing great, memorable tastes, smells and experiences,” he explained. “The first three versions we made were authentic, but you could not leave the house wearing it.”

That was 12 years ago. In the end, the perfume never made it to the shelf. Sephora said it wasn’t right for them, and later launched the Cannabis Santal line instead. Crames didn’t let the effort go to waste, though. In 2006 he released the perfume as “Cannabis Flower” under his own label, Demeter Fragrances. The fragrance has since become one of the most popular scents in the company’s product line.

Crames’ competitors have also noticed the interest in cannabis. In recent years, perfumers from chic London houses to indie L.A. experimenters have followed suit, introducing their own slant on cannabis across market segments. Their fragrances smell less like you’ve bathed in the stuff and more like there’s a small flowering cannabis plant in a room of other circling smells.

Here’s the rub with cannabis as a perfume note: you want to be able to smell it, but not too much. It has to smell distinctly cannabis – herby, fragrant and evocative – but it can never be that off-putting, rank burnt herb sometimes associated with the flower. And since perfumers in most states can’t sell commercial perfumes using actual cannabis oil – they rely on tricks of the trade to create accords mimicking the bud’s scent – creating a true cannabis perfume requires a truly complicated balancing act.

“Cannabis is the most underused aromatic essence in the natural fragrance game,” said Christi Meshell, owner and perfumer of Seattle-based House of Matriarch perfumes. Meshell’s company employs cannabis notes in its Sex Magic and Forbidden perfumes. She has a precise way of describing its effects: “It’s like drinking lemonade with your pet skunk in the middle of a pinyon pine forest as newly baled hay cures in a neighboring field.”

Demeter Fragrances owner Mark Crames is a lawyer by training and a perfumer by practice and passion. While he’s not a Master Perfumer – attaining that position requires years of training at a traditional perfume school in France – he trained his nose during his 15 years working as a fragrance distributor. Eventually his distribution business acquired a manufacturing license, and he began developing commercial fragrances of his own.

“I’m always approaching a target trying to capture what the majority of people would recognize as the thing itself, but in an idealized version,” Crames said.

In 2002 he bought Demeter, which renowned perfume artist Christopher Brosius had launched 10 years earlier. Brosius had created a catalogue of an astonishing range of scents. He exhibited his scents at the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum’s Triennial exhibition in 2003 – the first time that the design elements of perfume construction were acknowledged in such a setting.

Crames possesses a photographic memory for the nose. He can recall scents years after he experiences them. For the past decade his nose has been the driving force behind Demeter’s fragrances, which continue to stretch the concept of what’s considered perfume.

Clean Skin, Paperback, New Baby, Laundromat, Snow, and, of course, Cannabis Flower. Reading the company’s list of perfumes is like sifting through a family album of olfaction.

Traditional perfumes are composed of top notes, middle notes, and base notes. The tops evaporate quickly, revealing the middle over time, and then the base several hours later. In that sense, cannabis can wear many hats in the perfuming world. Sometimes it acts like a sneaky top note; it can also move in and out like a middle note, or create a backdrop for other aromas like a base note.

“Any ‘big’ note presents challenges because it needs to be managed and tamed into wearability,” Crames said.

And so it is with Cannabis Flower. It’s like a haughty supporting actress – you need her to play along and do her thing, but there’s always the danger she might get too loud and steal the show.


About Michael King

Michael King is an experienced professional with a background in finance, private equity, real estate and consulting. He is currently a principal in one of the leading Cannabis consulting firms in the country — Duard Ventures.

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Cannabidiol May Prevent Alcohol-Induced Liver Damage - Michael King

Study: Cannabidiol (CBD) May Help Prevent Alcohol-Induced Liver Damage

Article Published by: medicaljane.com

It is no secret that alcohol consumption can negatively affect one’s liver. This is because it can cause an excess of fats and lipids and additional oxidative stress (i.e. damage caused by free radicals).

With that said, a recent study published in Free Radical Biology and Medicine offers an interesting preventive measure. Funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), it suggests that cannabidiol (CBD) could help protect the liver from alcohol-induced damage.

Researchers Prevent Alcohol-Induced Liver Damage With Cannabidiol (CBD)

As we know, cannabidol (CBD) may have anti-oxidant effects. Couple that with the constituent’s lack of psychoactivity, and it makes sense why the team of researchers from China and Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York chose to investigate its ability to counter alcohol-induced oxidative stress in the liver.

In doing so, they injected mice with ethanol twice a day for five days. This was intended to model the impact of binge drinking on one’s liver. Prior to this, a group of the mice were administered cannabidiol (CBD) as a preventive measure.

Sure enough, the study’s results showed that cannabidiol (CBD) may protect the liver from steatosis – the accumulation of fats and lipids. The researchers suggested that this was potentially the result of cannabidiol’s inhibition of oxidative stress and activation of pathways associated with fat accumulation.

The accumulation of fat in the liver can lead to much more serious problems like cirrhosis of the liver (i.e. scarring of the liver that may lead to liver failure) if it gets out of hand. With that said, there is no easy way to go about “curing” the disease once it occurs, so taking a preventive approach is best. Although increased research may strengthen the theory that cannabidiol (CBD) administration helps to prevent alcohol-induced liver damage, cannabidiol is not an approved or definitively effective preventive treatment at the present time. To reduce your risk of developing liver problems, the American Liver Foundation suggests that you eat a well-balanced diet, limit your alcohol intake, and practice safe sex.


About Michael King

Michael King is an experienced professional with a background in finance, private equity, real estate and consulting. He is currently a principal in one of the leading Cannabis consulting firms in the country — Duard Ventures.

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Wholesale Marijuana Prices Continue to Drop - Michael King

Growing Pains: Wholesale Marijuana Prices Continue to Drop

Article Published by: hightimes.com

The genius of supply and demand as economic theory is its raw, basic simplicity. There are plenty of other determinants with hands in the market, but if demand stays constant and there is a new, unprecedented rush of supply, it’s pretty clear why prices will subsequently plummet. This is exactly what’s happening as wholesale marijuana prices continue to drop.

It’s Simple Economics

In many states where cannabis is legal, wholesale marijuana prices continue to drop, and there are simple economic explanations why. As more and more cannabis producers enter the market, with bigger and bigger cultivation facilities, this drop is entirely predictable.

As Marijuana Business Daily reported on Monday, the average asking price for a pound of cannabis on Colorado’s wholesale marijuana market is currently at an all-time low of $1,298, down from a three-year high of $2,007 in January 2015. And all the factors driving down the price—more competition, more efficient production and even more competition—are still at play, meaning prices should plummet even further.

When that happens, producers may be compelled to grow even more cannabis, flooding the market with even more supply, which will drive the price even lower. You get the idea.

While it’s true that newcomers are entering the commercial marijuana market all over the country—in no small part because they believe that black market-era profit margins are theirs for the taking, and are presenting such rosy revenue projections to their investors—in Colorado’s case, it’s a situation of existing producers ramping up their output.

According to Shon Williams, a consultant with Mjardin, a Denver-based group of cultivation advisers, big companies are able to add capacity without much in the way of increased cost. As a result, they can remain profitable even while accepting those lower prices.

In Colorado, what newcomers there are tend to produce cannabis using the sun, a relatively new allowance in the state. Outdoor producers may not be able to fetch nearly as much per pound, but they’re able to produce that pound much more cheaply. That translates into a slightly smaller hill to climb toward profitability, whether or not the final product stays as flower or (more likely than not) is extracted into oil for edibles, concentrates or vape cartridges.

This does make newcomers think twice before entering the industry—and it makes staying in business more difficult for smaller operations without the ability to scale. In other words, it’s hard out here for a small grower—which is what we’ve been hearing for years now in the marijuana world.

Even mainstream media has been hip to this trend. “From Washington to Colorado, wholesale marijuana prices have tumbled as dozens of states legalized the drug for recreational and medicinal uses, seeding a boom in marijuana production,” the Wall Street Journal reported in August.

Granted, these findings did rely on data from Washington, where an early market inefficiency—there just weren’t any growers—artificially spiked the price of a gram to $20-territory, but the general gist of the article is accurate.

How Long Will Wholesale Marijuana Prices Continue to Drop?

At some point, the production market will become saturated. Nobody will be able to increase their output, and it will be hostile to newcomers. That is, unless someone presents an innovation of some kind that gives them a clear market advantage.

What would that be? More efficient lights? Hard to get more efficient than LEDs or the sun. A better strain that breaks the market? Maybe. And when will that be? Similarly, when will prices settle into a predictable groove, in the way other agricultural consumer products have?

Williams, the Denver-based consultant, isn’t sure when all this could happen, only that it will happen. Then again, marijuana hasn’t yet had some kind of market-breaking crisis, something like a widespread outbreak of the fungus phylloxera, which decimated and nearly destroyed the wine industry.

The good news here is that the price drop has been passed onto consumers. According to BDS Analytics, a cannabis consumer data-crunching firm that has access to POS data from Colorado dispensaries, the average price of a gram is now hovering around $7 in Colorado—a far cry from the $40 to $50 bags from black market days.

The other outstanding question—for producers, sellers and consumers alike—is whether government regulation will create new demand for off-label, black market cannabis. That’s the concern in California, where a tiny minority of the growers currently in business have signed up for licenses and the required inspections.

As Tawnie Logan, the chairwoman of the California Growers Association, told the New York Times, dispensary pot in California is around $50 an eighth (for now), whereas black market weed fetches $20.

Will that change the way pot is grown and sold, and will it affect prices? So far in California, the tool used to stamp out off-label growers has been law enforcement, not the free market.

Because that worked so well in the past.


About Michael King

Michael King is an experienced professional with a background in finance, private equity, real estate and consulting. He is currently a principal in one of the leading Cannabis consulting firms in the country — Duard Ventures.

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California Report on Cannabis and Banking - Michael King

California State Treasurer Presents Report on Cannabis and Banking

Article Published by: directcannibisnetwork.com

As many of you know, cannabis businesses are faced with many roadblocks and hurdles, banking being one of them, but as California nears recreational cannabis in less than two months, it appears that we are a bit closer to potentially having a solution to our cash and banking crisis.

Today, John Chiang, the California State Treasurer and the Cannabis Banking Working Group held a press conference to announce the release of their report on “Banking Access Strategies For Cannabis-Related Business.” The past year John Chiang and 18 representatives from the Cannabis Banking Working Group have gone up and down California meeting with over 50 expert panelists to discuss the issues and reviewing possible solutions for the industries banking issue.

Before I go into the recommendations the Cannabis Banking Working Group presented, let’s review the past year.

Why is this an issue?

Although medical cannabis has been permitted in California for more than two decades, the production, distribution, sale, and possession of cannabis still remains illegal under federal law and is listed as a Schedule 1 controlled substance.

This impacts legal California cannabis businesses from opening a business account, writing checks, accepting credit cards, transferring money and forces these businesses to deal with large amounts of cash.

Outside of not having access to a bank account, this also has created a considerable safety concern against the safety of business owners and employees as they have to run there businesses strictly on a cash-based service and this matter doesn’t just affect cannabis businesses but state and local government agencies as well.

Did you know: A few years ago in Southern California, a dispensary owner was kidnapped, tortured and manned after being driven into the desert in search of non-existent money.

On top of safety, by not providing businesses with a banking solution many have stayed and will continue to stay underground, and it hinders them the opportunity to become a transparent, regulated, tax-paying business.

Cannabis Banking Working Group

John Chiang, as California’s State Treasurer saw these concerns and knew something had to be done, this is when the Cannabis Banking Working Group was created. These 18 representatives came from the cannabis industry, financial institutions, and government tax collection, law enforcement, and regulatory agencies came together and held over six public meetings around the state in the hopes that they would all be able to find a possible solution or recommendation to help deal with this cannabis banking problem.

On February 10th, 2017, the Cannabis Banking Working Group met in Los Angeles, California. Jerred Kiloh of the United Cannabis Business Alliance, expressed his frustration, “Security issues, keeping high amounts of cash on hand, access to capital to grow their business. Legal representatives and contractors are all losing their bank accounts for working with cannabis companies.” Mr. Kiloh stated, “I had to open a total of eight new bank accounts, and with these changes, my employees and staff lost healthcare.”

Kenneth Berke of Payqwick presented a possible solution at that meeting. Mr. Berke built out a sophisticated e-wallet that can go from processors to retailers and from consumers to retailers. They developed a fully compliant program and are working closely with Washington Liquor and Marijuana Board.

In July 2017, the Cannabis Banking Working had its fourth meeting in San Diego, where they heard John Hudak, Deputy Director of the Center for Effective Public Management, who made an important statement,” the banking solution should be achieved for the 40 million California’s who for them this is a public health and public safety issue.” Hudak reminded the room that this isn’t just about business. It is important to make sure this industry can be tracked, traced, kept honest and regulated efficiently so that the individual knows exactly what product they are getting, where it came from, and that the tax money ends up in the treasurer where it belongs.

Ali Fakhri of EventHi, an online event management platform specific to the cannabis industry, presented a possible solution at his panel. Mr. Fakhri and Sundie Seefried, CEO of Safe Harbor Private Bank publicly announced that EventHi and Safe Harbor Private Bank, a compliance-based cannabis banking program, which is a division of Partner Colorado Credit Union were officially working together, making EventHi one of the first California businesses to work with Safe Harbor.

California Nears Recreational Cannabis

So that leads us to today, John Chiang presented a series of steps that they believe could point us in the right direction. However, although these measures are recommended the reality is there is no definitive solution to this cannabis banking issue until the federal government reschedules cannabis or Congress approves safe harbor legislation protecting financial institutions that serve cannabis businesses from federal penalties.

The Four Recommendations

Cash handling the collection of taxes and fees
To have state and local agencies contract armored couriers to pick up tax and fee payments in cash and deliver the funds to financial institutions.

Expanding cannabis industry access to banking services under current law
To have the state and local agencies create an online portal that aggregates data on cannabis business. The portal should be designed with financial institution compliance needs in mind and provide material to help institutions fulfill their know-your-customer responsibilities.

A state-backed financial institution
This would entail California creating a state-backed financial institution in California that can serve cannabis businesses directly. A public institution that would either (1) finance public infrastructure and expand banking for underserved groups, including the cannabis industry; or (2) take deposits, make loans, and provide other services primarily to cannabis producers, distributors, retailers, and related businesses.

Full access to banking services: the federal solution
This proposal is where an association is developed for cannabis-legal states, local governments, cannabis and financial service industries and law enforcement to advocate for changing federal laws.

In Conclusion

As we get closer and closer to 2018, although we don’t have an exact solution, it appears we are closer now more than ever, but the work doesn’t stop here. We all have to continue our roles as not just cannabis entrepreneurs but as advocates for this plant and this industry.

And you can do so easily by joining a cannabis industry association, reaching out and speaking to government and city officials or by continuing to educate others on cannabis and the cannabis industry.


About Michael King

Michael King is an experienced professional with a background in finance, private equity, real estate and consulting. He is currently a principal in one of the leading Cannabis consulting firms in the country — Duard Ventures.

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Marijuana Prohibition Turns 80 Years Old - Michael King

Marijuana Prohibition Turns 80

Article Published by: norml.org

Washington, DC: Eighty years ago, on October 2, 1937, House Bill 6385: The Marihuana Tax Act was enacted as law. The Act for the first time imposed federal criminal penalties on activities specific to the possession, production, and sale of cannabis – thus ushering in the modern era of federal marijuana prohibition.

“The ongoing enforcement of marijuana prohibition financially burdens taxpayers, encroaches upon civil liberties, engenders disrespect for the law, and disproportionately impacts young people and communities of color,” said NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri, “It makes no sense from a public health perspective, a fiscal perspective, or a moral perspective to perpetuate the prosecution and stigmatization of those adults who choose to responsibly consume a substance that is safer than either alcohol or tobacco.”

Congress held only two hearings to debate the merits of the Marihuana Tax Act, which largely consisted of sensational testimony by the Federal Bureau of Narcotics Director Harry Anslinger. He asserted before the House Ways and Means Committee, “This drug is entirely the monster Hyde, the harmful effect of which cannot be measured.” His ideological testimony was countered by the American Medical Association, whose legislative counsel Dr. William C. Woodward argued that hard evidence in support of Anslinger’s hyperbolic claims was non-existent.

Woodward testified: “We are told that the use of marijuana causes crime. But yet no one has been produced from the Bureau of Prisons to show the number of prisoners who have been found addicted to the marijuana habit. … You have been told that school children are great users of marijuana cigarettes. No one has been summoned from the Children’s Bureau to show the nature and extent of the habit among children. Inquiry of the Children’s Bureau shows that they have had no occasion to investigate it and know nothing particularly of it.” He further contended that passage of the Act would severely hamper physicians’ ability to prescribe cannabis as a medicine.

Absent further debate, members of Congress readily approved the bill, which President Franklin Roosevelt promptly signed into law on August 2, 1937. The ramifications of the law became apparent over the ensuing decades. Physicians ceased prescribing cannabis as a therapeutic remedy and the substance was ultimately removed from the US pharmacopeia in 1942. United States hemp cultivation also ended (although the industry was provided a short-lived reprieve during World War II). Policy makers continued to exaggerate the supposed ill effects of cannabis, which Congress went on to classify alongside heroin in 1970 with the passage of the US Controlled Substances Act. Law enforcement then began routinely arresting marijuana consumers and sellers, fueling the racially disparate, mass incarceration epidemic we still face today.

Despite continued progress when it comes to legalizing or decriminalizing the adult use of marijuana, data from the recently released Uniform Crime Report from the FBI revealed that over 600,000 Americans were arrested for marijuana offenses in 2016.

After 80 years of failure, NORML contends that it is time for a common sense, evidence-based approach to cannabis policy in America.

“Despite nearly a century of criminal marijuana prohibition, the demand for marijuana is here to stay. America’s laws should reflect this reality and govern the cannabis market accordingly,” stated NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano, “Policymakers ought to look to the future rather than to the past, and take appropriate actions to comport federal law with majority public opinion and the plant’s rapidly changing legal and cultural status.”


About Michael King

Michael King is an experienced professional with a background in finance, private equity, real estate and consulting. He is currently a principal in one of the leading Cannabis consulting firms in the country — Duard Ventures.

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Ending Marijuana Prohibition in U.S. Gets Record Support - Michael King

New Gallup Poll Finds Record Support for Making Marijuana Legal in U.S. – 64%

Article Published by: mpp.org

Marijuana is currently legal for adults in eight states and the District of Columbia; several more states to consider regulating marijuana like alcohol in 2018.

Statement below from the Marijuana Policy Project, the nation’s largest marijuana policy organization

WASHINGTON — A new Gallup poll released Wednesday shows support for making marijuana legal in the U.S. has reached a record level of 64%, up from 60% last year and 50% in 2011.

This year’s national survey shows the greatest approval for ending marijuana prohibition in the history of the study, and the first time that a majority of those who identify as Republicans support making marijuana legal (51%).

Voters in eight states have passed initiatives regulating and taxing marijuana similarly to alcohol, and marijuana is legal for adults in the nation’s capital. Earlier this year, Vermont became the first state to approve a bill through its legislature that would have made marijuana legal for adults before being vetoed by the governor.

Advocates in Michigan are expected to qualify an initiative for the ballot next year that would regulate marijuana for adults, and at least 18 states are expected to have legalization bills introduced during their 2018 legislative sessions.

Statement from Morgan Fox, director of communications for the Marijuana Policy Project:

“It makes sense that support for ending marijuana prohibition is increasing. Americans are tired of wasting resources arresting hundreds of thousands of individuals every year for using a substance that is safer than alcohol. In the five years since the first states made marijuana legal for adults, it has become increasingly clear that — unlike prohibition — regulation works. Adult-use marijuana laws create jobs, generate tax revenue, and protect consumers while taking the marijuana market out of the hands of criminals.

“As public support for ending marijuana prohibition continues to grow, it is crucial that states continue to be given the freedom to serve as laboratories of democracy. We urge the Department of Justice in particular to continue its policy of not interfering in states with well-regulated adult-use and medical marijuana programs while lawmakers catch up to the will of the people.”


About Michael King

Michael King is an experienced professional with a background in finance, private equity, real estate and consulting. He is currently a principal in one of the leading Cannabis consulting firms in the country — Duard Ventures.

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Tommy Chong Isn’t Scared of Jeff Sessions' Threats - Michael King

Tommy Chong Isn’t Scared of Jeff Sessions’ Cannabis Crackdown Threats

Article Published by: merryjane.com

The original stoner comedian wants to move into canna-business full-time, no matter what the Trump administration says.

Tommy Chong won’t be backing down in the fight for cannabis freedom.

In the face of Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ continued threats against America’s state-approved legal weed industries, one-half of the country’s oldest 420-friendly comedy duo is confident the Trump administration’s cannabis obsession will fizzle out before any real harm can be done.

“No, the genie is out of the bottle,” Tommy Chong said in an interview with the Biloxi Sun Herald. “They found out that all of that propaganda against marijuana is a lie — everything that Trump has done is a lie, so it’s just a matter of time before the lie eats itself, especially when you lie like that.”

The Up In Smoke star will be playing a show with his his longtime comedy partner Cheech Marin in Mississippi later this week, and carved out some time to talk to the Biloxi newspaper about what he believes will be a bright future for legal weed, even with at least three more years of the current anti-cannabis federal administration.

“They are finding so many uses for marijuana,” Chong told the Sun Herald. “It’s also non-addictive — how are you going to tell people that are addicted to opioids that marijuana is bad for you because some rehabs are using it to help get people off opioids — it’s a gateway drug but the gate is swinging the other way now, it’s swinging toward life.”

Tommy Chong, the ganjapreneur behind Chong’s Choice, a legal marijuana brand sold across the West Coast, has never shied away from his cannabis advocacy, even serving federal jail time for his role in the bust of an online cannabis paraphernalia seller in 2003.

In the years since his release from prison, Chong has spread his legal cannabis brand across America’s legal dank destinations, graduating from just flowers to infused chocolates, vape cartridges, and edible breath mint strips.

To hear more about Chong’s transition from comedian to marijuana mogul, check out MERRY JANE’s recent interview with the cannabis pioneer here.


About Michael King

Michael King is an experienced professional with a background in finance, private equity, real estate and consulting. He is currently a principal in one of the leading Cannabis consulting firms in the country — Duard Ventures.

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Neil deGrasse Tyson: No reason for weed to be illegal - Michael King

Neil deGrasse Tyson agrees with Carl Sagan: There’s “no reason” for weed to be illegal

Article Published by: mjinews.com

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, among the most well-known living scientists this side of Stephen Hawking, said this week that “there’s no reason for [marijuana] to ever have been made illegal.”

The remark came in response to a question submitted by Tom Angell of the pro-legalization group Marijuana Majority. Angell asked Tyson if he agreed with astrophysicist Carl Sagan that marijuana should be legalized.

“If you really analyze it,” Tyson said, “relative to other things that are legal, there’s no reason for it to ever have been made illegal in the system of laws.”

“That is extremely rational, which I expect from you, and you’re absolutely right,” replied host Chuck Nice.

“Alcohol is legal,” Tyson added, “and it can mess you up way more than smoking a few J’s.”

Nice then spent several minutes ribbing Tyson over his archaic choice of marijuana slang.

“The last time I was like, in a cloud of it? That’s how people spoke,” Tyson said.

Neil deGrasse Tyson has in many ways followed the late Carl Sagan’s footsteps in becoming a well-known evangelist for space science and the scientific method more broadly. Sagan, most famous for the television series “Cosmos” (which Tyson later rebooted), was a lifelong marijuana user who wrote extensively — albeit privately — about what he saw as the benefits of the drug.

“The illegality of cannabis is outrageous,” Sagan wrote in an anonymous essay for the 1971 book “Marihuana Reconsidered,”

“an impediment to full utilization of a drug which helps produce the serenity and insight, sensitivity and fellowship so desperately needed in this increasingly mad and dangerous world.”

Neil deGrasse Tyson has been more circumspect on the merits of drug use, at least publicly. “I don’t count myself among active recreational drug users,” Tyson said in a 2015 Reddit AMA. “For me, the least altered state of awareness I can achieve is the one I seek, because that one is most likely to be closest to reality.”

J’s and altered states aside, Tyson’s argument against prohibition is on fairly sound scientific footing: Public health experts generally agree that relative to alcohol, marijuana is less-habit forming, less toxic to the human body, less of an impairment to driving and much less linked to violent behavior. President Richard Nixon placed the drug in the most restrictive category of federal prohibition in 1972, overruling the recommendation of his own marijuana task force, which argued that the drug wasn’t particularly dangerous and shouldn’t be federally prohibited.

Tyson’s remarks were also similar to ones by President Barack Obama in 2014. “I don’t think [marijuana] is more dangerous than alcohol,” he told the New Yorker. “As has been well documented, I smoked pot as a kid, and I view it as a bad habit and a vice, not very different from the cigarettes that I smoked as a young person up through a big chunk of my adult life.”

An August Quinnipiac poll found that more than 61 percent of Americans now say marijuana should be legal, 94 percent support the medical use of marijuana, and fully three-quarters oppose the federal government enforcing marijuana laws in states that have legalized it.


About Michael King

Michael King is an experienced professional with a background in finance, private equity, real estate and consulting. He is currently a principal in one of the leading Cannabis consulting firms in the country — Duard Ventures.

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