Connect with us

Business

Colorado just legalized ‘magic mushrooms,’ an idea that’s growing nationwide

Published

on


Voters in Colorado approved a ballot measure legalizing the use of psilocybin and psilocin, two psychedelic compounds found in so-called magic mushrooms, in Tuesday’s midterm election, becoming the second state to do so in two years.

The measure narrowly passed, the AP projected, with 52% of the more than 2.2 million votes cast supporting legalization, with 93% of the expected vote counted as of Friday.

The initiative allows for the use of psilocybin at state-regulated centers under the supervision of licensed facilitators. It also legalizes personal private use, growing and sharing of psilocybin and psilocin, as well as three additional psychedelic compounds — DMT, ibogaine and mescaline — by adults over the age of 21. Retail sales are not permitted, and the law has several limitations, including ones prohibiting use in public, in school, or while operating a vehicle.

“I’m in awe of what we were able to accomplish,” said Veronica Lightning Horse Perez, one of the lead proponents behind the legalization effort. “Over a million people voted yes on this. To think that many people see the value in these medicines, that many people know that these can be used for healing — that’s huge.”

Psilocybin is illegal at the federal level and in most states, though it is decriminalized in Washington, D.C., and more than a dozen other cities. But a growing body of research has found therapeuticanti-anxiety uses for the chemical, prompting some states to consider relaxing restrictions. 

Voters in Oregon passed a measure legalizing magic mushrooms for therapeutic use in 2020, and lawmakers in Washington and New York have proposed legalization bills this year. 

Bills that would decriminalize possession have been introduced in 19 states — including Missouri, Iowa and Kansas — though none have been enacted. And more than a dozen states — including Florida, Oklahoma and Texas — have introduced legislation to further study the health benefits of psilocybin. 

“More folks are starting to recognize and understand, when it comes to psychedelic therapy, this is not some sort of radical field. It’s becoming more mainstream,” said Oklahoma state Rep. Daniel Pae, who co-authored a bill that would authorize scientific research into psilocybin. 

The bill, which passed in the Oklahoma House and is headed to the state Senate for consideration, would allow adults living with a handful of conditions to participate in state-run clinical trials using psilocybin. Texas passed a similar bill last year. 

The potential of psychedelics to be a part of treatments for depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, drug dependency and eating disorders is being evaluated in numerous clinical trials. In 2018, the Food and Drug Administration marked psilocybin as a “breakthrough therapy,” a designation that expedites the development of drugs that may be more effective than existing treatments.

Hawaii’s state Senate cited the FDA designation in March when it approved a bill that would assemble a task force to develop a long-term plan to make psilocybin available to adults over the age of 21 seeking mental health treatment. Connecticut lawmakers convened a group to study psilocybin last year and adjusted its state budget to fund therapy programs administering psychedelic treatments to veterans and retired first responders.

While more than 60 bills have been introduced around the country, the majority, including the Hawaii bill, are stalled in committee or have failed to get a vote. In Washington, legislators opted to study the substance after struggling to loosen restrictions. And in California, lawmakers transformed a bill to decriminalize use into one that would analyze policy.

In Colorado, the ballot measure’s victory marks the state’s second time making psychedelic history in three years. Denver became the first U.S. city to decriminalize psilocybin in 2019.

For Kevin Franciotti, a Denver-based addiction counselor who received psychedelic treatment for an opioid use disorder more than a decade ago, this is Colorado’s “opportunity to be a leader in pushing American drug policy in the right direction.” 

Not everyone is on board with legalizing psychedelics. Some opponents of the Colorado measure say it would promote using these substances before the FDA says they are safe.

“I’m hoping the rest of the country can learn the hard lessons from my state’s foray,” said Luke Niforatos, who leads two national organizations that opposed the drug legalization measure. “As the years go on and we learn more about this experiment, hopefully we’ll say we’re going to let the FDA and scientists lead medicine, not corporations.”



Source link

Business

Kim Kardashian, Floyd Mayweather crypto scam lawsuit dismissed

Published

on


A federal judge on Wednesday dismissed a proposed class action lawsuit by investors against the founders of the cryptocurrency EthereumMax, as well as celebrity endorsers including Kim Kardashian and boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. over their promotion of the cryptocurrency on social media.

Investors who bought EMAX tokens alleged they had suffered losses after taking the word of the celebrity influencers about the value of the crypto. The suit claims the defendants engaged in a conspiracy to artificially inflate the value of the EMAX tokens.

Judge Michael Fitzgerald wrote that he recognized that the lawsuit’s claims raised legitimate worries about “celebrities’ ability to readily persuade millions of undiscerning followers to buy snake oil with unprecedented ease and reach.”

“But, while the law certainly places limits on those advertisers, it also expects investors to act reasonably before basing their bets on the zeitgeist of the moment,” wrote Fitzgerald, of the Central District of California.

The judge found that the plaintiffs’ allegations were insufficiently backed, especially “given the heightened pleading standards” for fraud claims, according to his ruling in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles.

In addition to Kardashian, Mayweather and former Boston Celtics star Paul Pierce, the defendants in the case included Steve Gentile and Giovanni Perone, the co-founders of EthereumMax, and Justin French, a consultant and developer for the cryptocurrency, court documents state.

Fitzgerald in his ruling said he would allow lawyers for the plaintiffs to refile their suit after amending some of their claims under a number of the statutes cited in the original complaint, which included the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, also known as RICO.

“We’re pleased with the court’s well-reasoned decision on the case,” Michael Rhodes, a lawyer for Kardashian, told CNBC.

The dismissal came weeks after investors in fallen crypto exchange FTX filed a class-action lawsuit against former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried and celebrity advertisers for the company, among them NFL superstar Tom Brady, for allegedly overstating the value of the crypto tokens in promotional messaging.

And the ruling came two months after Kardashian agreed to pay $1.26 million, and not to promote cryptocurrency for three years, to settle claims by the SEC for her failure to disclose a $250,000 payment touting EthereumMax on her Instagram account.

Fitzgerald in his ruling Wednesday said the EthereumMax lawsuit reflects a broader conflict surrounding celebrity and influencer promotional schemes.

“This action demonstrates that just about anyone with the technical skills and/or connections can mint a new currency and create their own digital market overnight,” Fitzgerald wrote in his dismissal.

Investors sued EthereumMax and its celebrity advertisers in January after a slew of influencers started snagging sponsorships to promote cryptocurrencies to their millions of social media followers.

Kardashian’s Instagram post in June 2021 had written, “Are you guys into crypto??? This is not financial advice but sharing what my friends told me about the Ethereum Max token.”

Her post included “#ad” at the bottom, indicating she had been sponsored. But it did not disclose her $250,000 payment from EthereumMax.

Mayweather promoted EMAX at a boxing match and a large Miami bitcoin conference in June 2021.

But by January, the cryptocurrency had lost 97% of its value.

Fitzgerald at a hearing last month indicated he was inclined to dismiss the case.

Bloomberg News, in an article about that hearing, said that an attorney for the plaintiffs in the suit asked the judge to allow him to revise the suit’s racketeering claims to show how the statements by the celebrity defendants harmed the investors.

“If plaintiffs had known the true facts related to the promoters’ financial interest in the tokens, and that they were being paid to shill these tokens, they wouldn’t have paid as much for the tokens as they did,” the attorney, John Jasnoch, told Fitzgerald, according to a transcript cited by Bloomberg.



Source link

Continue Reading

Business

Cathie Wood says the Fed is making a serious mistake as bond market flashes worst signal since 1980s

Published

on




Source link

Continue Reading

Business

How the U.S. became a global corn superpower

Published

on


The United States has just about 90 million planted acres of corn, and there’s a reason people refer to the crop as yellow gold.

In 2021, U.S. corn was worth over $86 billion, according to calculations from FarmDoc and the United States Department of Agriculture.

According to the USDA, the U.S. is largest consumer, producer and exporter of corn in the world.

“We’re really good at [corn production],” Seth Meyer, chief economist at the USDA, told CNBC. “And that’s why you see big acres, big demand, export competitiveness.”

It’s not just what we eat.

“We turbocharged the value of corn through the application of science,” Scott Irwin, agricultural economist and professor at the University of Illinois, told CNBC.

Corn is in what we buy, including medications and textiles, and corn is turned into ethanol, which helps to fuel cars across the nation.

The rest of the world relies on U.S. corn, too. 

At $2.2 billion in 2019, corn is the most heavily subsidized of all crops in the country.

“A lot of these subsidies … do get embedded into the cost of farmland and they essentially bid up the price of farmland marginally,” Joseph Glauber, senior research fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute and former USDA chief economist, told CNBC. “So the benefits accrue largely to those who own land.”

The federal crop insurance program’s net spending is forecast to increase to nearly $40 billion from 2021 through 2025, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

At the same time, farmland values have reached all-time record highs.

“Do we get the corn acres because we’ve got the support, or do we have the support because we have the corn acres?” Meyer said, posing the chicken-and-egg question about the nation’s grain superpower.

Watch the video above to learn more about how corn fuels the U.S. economy from its people to its vehicles, the power of the corn belt states, the role of subsidies and where government policy for the industry may go from here.



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending