One of our favorite interviews from this year was this chat with Sister Kate of Sisters of the Valley, a group from California's Central Valley who not only grow and harvest their own cannabis plants via moon cycles, but who advocate for women's empowerment through employment.
There are plenty of quotable moments, but this might be our favorite:
"I believe that if you put your hands in the dirt and you grow something from a seed, you are creating a spiritual act. You are creating an act of meditation with the planet and you’re much less likely to go off and try pharmaceuticals and things you snort or shoot up your arms."
Canada is set to legalize cannabis in July 2018, and many Canadian institutions have been getting ready to take leadership positions in the new industry. Case in point: The University of New Brunswick established the Health Research Chair in Cannabis, which "is designed to bring consistency and credibility to cannabis research in Canada and around the globe.”
We’re under no illusions here: Whoever is chosen to lead the DEA is certainly not going to have progressive views on cannabis. But we were still glad to see Chuck Rosenberg - who called medical marijuana “a joke” - step down from the position.
One of our videos made it on to The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Not much else to say but it was pretty rad and everyone in the office texted their families. Top of the world, ma!
It's hard to find a bright spot when it comes to our prohibitionist of the year, Jeff Sessions. Sessions has not yielded when it comes to cannabis, but there were signs in 2017 that people and politicians weren't going to take it anymore. Back in August, he was sued by an 11-year-old who suffers from seizures. Then in November, Democratic senator Elizabeth Warren pushed Trump's opioid commission to answer a series of questions on the medical benefits of cannabis as an alternative to opioids (something Trump's team denounced in their official report). It's going to be a hard fight, but it's refreshing to see people recognize that prohibition simply isn't going to work.
There's no need to recap the endless, ugly campaign for the Alabama senate seat. Republican incumbent Roy Moore faced Democrat Doug Jones and the nation held its breath. As the dust settled on Election Day, it became clear that Jones was victorious, becoming the first Democrat senator in the state in 25 years.
While it's far from the most important reason Jones won - allegations of racism and inappropriate relationships with underage women against Moore were, uh, probably more important - but it's worth pointing out that the only reason the seat was even open was because it had been occupied by...Jeff Sessions. So Alabama exchanged a prohibitionist for a pro-cannabis candidate. And that's just a sweet little bonus for the end of the year.