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Updated: 15 min 33 sec ago

US CA: Column: The Year In Weed

Tue, 12/01/2015 - 08:00
North Coast Journal, 01 Jan 2015 - A year into legal, recreational (or as advocates would have us say, "adult use") pot sales in Colorado - and six months into Washington sales - the sky still hasn't fallen. That's a relatively short period of time on which to base any long-term predictions, but here's one that's nearly certain: Legalization will continue to spread. The smooth (but not without hiccups, unfulfilled expectations and uncertainties) rollout of legal weed means a cascade of states will follow. Alaska, Oregon and Washington, D.C. legalized pot in 2014 (looks like Congress will kill the capitol's buzz, though). California is almost certain to jump on the weedwagon in 2016. What will that look like?

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15 min 33 sec ago
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US AZ: Arizona Court to Review Ruling on Marijuana, DUI

Thu, 05/28/2015 - 07:00
The Sun, 28 May 2015 - PHOENIX (AP) - The Arizona Supreme Court will review a lower court's ruling that said drivers who have medical marijuana cards can still be prosecuted under laws against driving under the influence while having marijuana in their system. The justices agreed without comment Tuesday to review a state Court of Appeals ruling issued last November. Two defendants who had medical marijuana cards allowing them to legally smoke pot had pointed to a medical marijuana law provision that provides a partial legal shield for pot usage prescribed by a physician.

US DC: Memo to Federal Workers: That's Still a No on Marijuana

Thu, 05/28/2015 - 07:00
Washington Post, 28 May 2015 - If you live in the District or one of the 23 states that have legalized marijuana and you work for the federal government, think twice before lighting a joint. Pot is still illegal for you. New guidance Wednesday from the Office of Personnel Management is unambiguous and stern. Federal workforce rules remain unchanged for the roughly 4.1 million federal employees and military personnel across the United States. The U.S. government still considers marijuana an illegal drug, and possessing or using it is a crime. "Heads of agencies are expected to advise their workforce that legislative changes by some states and the District of Columbia do not alter federal law, existing suitability criteria or Executive Branch policies regarding marijuana," OPM Director Katherine Archuleta wrote in a memo posted on the agency's Web site.

US CO: Column: High Hopes for Improved Reporting on Teen

Thu, 05/28/2015 - 07:00
Boulder Weekly, 28 May 2015 - When Rocky Mountain Community Radio reporter Bente Birkeland began tracking legal marijuana's impacts on Colorado teenagers earlier this year, she discovered key data wasn't available. "The state does not require schools to report marijuana incidents separately," Birkeland says. "Alcohol and tobacco are in separate categories. But marijuana shouldn't be lumped in with cocaine or pharmaceuticals. It's a tough story to report."

US CA: Column: Boom And Boom

Thu, 05/28/2015 - 07:00
North Coast Journal, 28 May 2015 - Arcata's Medical Marijuana Innovation Area got an enthusiastic thumbs-up on May 20 from the city council, which ultimately voted unanimously in favor of the proposal, but not before an antsy, standing-room-only crowd stood by while the council spent two hours wading through the night's consent agenda. When a speaker made a plea for donations to support a two-week summer camp sponsored by a young woman's foundation, several people approached and handed her hundred dollar bills. She had come to the right meeting. With legalization pending - and with it the specter of the city losing businesses to neighboring communities, Economic Development Director Larry Oetker told the council, "our role is quickly diminishing. ... We're on the brink of having significant issues in our community and having a great number of people and business who will lose or have their incomes diminished."

US CO: Column: What Can I Do With My Vaped Weed?

Thu, 05/28/2015 - 07:00
Westword, 28 May 2015 - Dear Stoner: I've had a vaporizer for almost a year now and have a buttload of golden-brown vaped weed saved up. Is there anything I can do with it, or have I been wasting my energy? Nicholas Dear Nicholas: If your vaporizer isn't turning your flower black, it might eventually pay for itself. Although it looks dead and useless, vaped cannabis still has a low percentage of THC and some cannabinoids left over. Besides giving it to your scavenger friends who never have money to pitch in, you can use your vaped pot to make hash or edibles if you're not burning it too hot.

US CA: Column: Drug Eviction: Pot Shop Suffers 'Hostile

Thu, 05/28/2015 - 07:00
SF Weekly, 28 May 2015 - These are good times in the marijuana business. With an adult recreational market still on the horizon, the California medical cannabis industry is enjoying its biggest boom time yet. Mobs of customers are fueling over a billion dollars a year in legal sales, but more important are the "investors." The cannabis game usually takes unkindly to outsiders, but not when they're carrying suitcases of cash, as the strange faces in expensive suits circling around the industry at all levels, looking for opportunities to buy into this multibillion-dollar game, are. That said, the San Francisco marijuana industry's wildest success of late has nothing to do with selling cannabis. For several days earlier this month, a line of people camped outside in the Haight Street cold to be the first to stroll past a heavily armed security guard into a new clothing store and plunk down $100 for a hooded sweatshirt.

US CA: Column: High And Active

Thu, 05/28/2015 - 07:00
Sacramento News & Review, 28 May 2015 - High. I was just wondering how our U.S. senators feel about marijuana. I haven't heard much. - -Jeff I'm glad you asked. And, no, it is not too early to start discussing the 2016 election for the Senate. As it stands now, the Democratic field has two main challengers, with Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez recently throwing her hat into the ring against California Attorney General Kamala Harris. Although Harris is the favorite, I feel Sanchez would be a better choice for cannabis users, and Californians in general, since marijuana legalization would be a boon to the welfare and economy of the entire state. Sanchez has a history of marijuana law reform support: In 2009, she told CNN, "So maybe it would be a good pilot program to see how that regulation of marijuana might happen in California since the ... majority of Californians believe maybe that should happen." Harris has recently shifted her stance somewhat; last week, she told the annual Convention of California Democrats that, "The war on drugs has failed," and, "Now is the time to end the federal ban on marijuana," but she still giggles every time she mentions marijuana, like she can't believe what she just said. Either one would be better than Senator Dianne Feinstein though. When does she retire? She hates weed.

US CA: Power To The Pot

Thu, 05/28/2015 - 07:00
The Chico News & Review, 28 May 2015 - Scientists Point to Drought Conditions Elevating Medicinal Properties of Marijuana While Bolstering Guerrilla Grows Global warming may give a minor twist to that classic hippie bumper sticker that quips, "Acid rain: Too bad it's not as much fun as it sounds." Turns out a warming climate could boost the medicinal and psychoactive properties of plants-including cannabis.

US CA: Supporters Of Vasquez Recall To Try Again

Wed, 05/27/2015 - 07:00
Appeal-Democrat, 27 May 2015 - Supporters have until next week to resubmit a sample petition to Yuba County election officials before they can start collecting signatures in an attempt to recall Supervisor Andy Vasquez. Vasquez opponents late last week submitted sample petitions and proof of publication of a legal ad to try and recall Vasquez. An election official said it was sent back to recall proponents to make corrections, a common practice in a process with strict requirements.

US WA: Mayor's Plan Would Give Seattle Power to Regulate Pot

Wed, 05/27/2015 - 07:00
Seattle Times, 27 May 2015 - As State Combines Medical, Recreational Systems License Limits Could Shut More Than 50 Medical Operations Mayor Ed Murray on Tuesday proposed legislation that could shut down more than 50 medical-marijuana dispensaries and give the city a tighter grip on the rest of Seattle's pot industry.

US WA: State Liquor Board to Get New Name, More Pot Control

Wed, 05/27/2015 - 07:00
Seattle Times, 26 May 2015 - Medical-Marijuana Licenses for Shops, Growers Lottery Unlikely OLYMPIA (AP) - Big changes are coming to the state Liquor Control Board, including a name change.

US: Bill Would Let VA Recommend Medical Pot

Wed, 05/27/2015 - 07:00
Washington Post, 26 May 2015 - Veterans suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder and other chronic pain issues may be able to ask their VA doctors for a new treatment soon: medical marijuana. Last week, the Senate Appropriations Committee voted to back the Veterans Equal Access Amendment. Under the measure, Veterans Affairs would be allowed to recommend medical marijuana to patients for everything from back pain to depression to flashbacks.

US NY: Editorial: Latin America Rethinks Drug Policies

Wed, 05/27/2015 - 07:00
New York Times, 26 May 2015 - During the 1980s and 1990s, as the United States battled the scourge of cocaine throughout the hemisphere, Washington did most of the talking. Latin American governments were forced to listen and fall in line. The American government had the most money to throw at the problem, the toughest justice system and the biggest bully pulpit. In recent years, that top-bottom approach has been upended as countries in the region have begun to develop new strategies to fight drug trafficking and discourage the use of narcotics. The initiatives that are being discussed and applied represent a welcome break with the largely failed traditional approach, which has emphasized prohibition and punishment. A special United Nations General Assembly meeting next April on drug policy has provided an added incentive to develop fresh approaches to the problem, including sentencing reforms and legalization.

US FL: OPED: How Middle America Police Turned into Soldiers

Wed, 05/27/2015 - 07:00
The Palm Beach Post, 26 May 2015 - We've all seen videos of Third World "police" in combat gear putting down demonstrations by physically assaulting protesters, turning heavy equipment and tear gas on them, or shooting into crowds. That's what makes the recent events in Baltimore all the more disturbing. This time the "peace officers" in military combat gear, brandishing military-grade weapons and perched on armored military vehicles, were ours. No one knows what the Baltimore protests will look like in the coming days, though the criminal charges filed against six police officers in the homicide of Freddie Gray may have a calming effect. But the recent violence there and elsewhere has brought long-overdue attention to an important national development that had all but been ignored: the militarization of our police.

US NJ: NJ Weedman Opens Restaurant, Sanctuary Across the

Wed, 05/27/2015 - 07:00
The Trentonian, 26 May 2015 - TRENTON - Marijuana activist and Trentonian columnist Ed Forchion has leased two adjoining East State Street properties and will soon open a restaurant and spiritual sanctuary. "I'm obviously catering to the cannabis consuming community in the area, but I also I want to tap into the artsy crowd here in Trenton," Forchion said.

CN ON: Column: Learning Some New Tricks

Tue, 05/26/2015 - 07:00
The Intelligencer, 23 May 2015 - On the occasion of Tommy Chong and his dog Otis' birthday, our own Jim Slotek wishes a couple of old dogs good tidings On Sunday, May 24, a hero of my misspent youth, Tommy Chong of Cheech & Chong, will be 77 years old. Coincidentally, on the same day, my dog Otis will turn 12, about 77 in dog years.

US FL: Police in Florida Grapple With a Cheap and Dangerous

Tue, 05/26/2015 - 07:00
New York Times, 25 May 2015 - MIAMI - A hazardous new synthetic drug originating in China is being blamed for 18 recent deaths in a single South Florida county, as police grapple with an inexpensive narcotic that causes exaggerated strength and dangerous paranoid hallucinations. On Thursday, the Fort Lauderdale police killed a man, reportedly high on the man-made street drug, alpha-PVP, known more commonly as flakka, who had held a woman hostage with a knife to her throat.

CN ON: Column: A Dispatch From The Field Of Harm Reduction

Tue, 05/26/2015 - 07:00
Toronto Star, 25 May 2015 - Recently I chewed khat, a leaf with properties conducive to sociability; and on a couple of occasions I ate cannabis chocolate. I neither brag nor complain, I merely think we ought to normalize khat, find a reliable way to measure the potency of cannabis, in any and all forms, so that those who use it can make informed judgments.