Legalization/Decriminalization

The hazy world of legal pot

Marijuana laws put workers in tough spot
Trevor Hughes
@TrevorHughes USA TODAY

DENVER Every time he goes to work, Harvard-trained lawyer Andrew Freedman faces federal prosecution over the source of his paycheck: Colorado’s burgeoning marijuana industry.

Freedman, the governor’s chief marijuana adviser, faces prison time if federal prosecutors decide to step in. That’s because federal law still considers marijuana as dangerous as heroin or cocaine, and prosecutors could easily bring drugtrafficking charges if they choose. Freedman’s salary is paid by the taxes collected on legal marijuana sales.

“I’m in murky territory every day,” Freedman said.

Tens of thousands of marijuana growers, bud tenders, edibles makers, store owners and couriers working in Colorado and Washington and any of the other 21 states and the District of Columbia that have legalized recreational or medical marijuana face the same penalties.

The risk is even greater for dozens of former cops and soldiers working… Continue reading

How smoking pot in Denver could lead to your arrest in PA

THC, the psychoactive substance in marijuana, lingers in the blood. Getty Images

THC, the psychoactive substance in marijuana, lingers in the blood. Getty Images

When Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell was pulled over in Western Pennsylvania for smelling like marijuana, he didn’t know about Pennsylvania’s strict DUID law.

Bell was driving a Camaro with passenger and teammate LeGarrette Blount. The car had a 22-gram bag of cannabis in the glove box.

According to the police report, Bell told the motorcycle cop:

“I didn’t know that you could get a DUI for being high. I smoked two hours ago. I am not high anymore. I am perfectly fine.”

Surprise. In the Keystone State any amount of marijuana metabolites in your system is enough to charge you with “Driving Under the Influence of Drugs.” That means a joint you smoked smoked last month could turn into a criminal proceeding.

After his Ross Township traffic stop, Bell was sent to hospital to have his… Continue reading

High Times – 40 Years

High Times is 40 years old.

High Times is 40 years old.

By Niraj Chokshi September 1 at 6:49 PM

Go ahead, get the jokes out of your system. The staff of High Times, the counterculture drug magazine, has heard them all before.

For 40 years, they’ve put up with stoner quips and stereotypes. “People have this idea that we sit around and get high all day,” says Danny Danko, the magazine’s senior cultivation editor and author of its field guide to marijuana strains.
But as High Times celebrates its 40th anniversary with a special November issue that comes out Tuesday and is the largest in its history, the laughs are fewer and further between.

What started as an experiment by a mercurial provocateur and underground publisher has blossomed into an established brand, offering everything from licensing partnerships and an ever-expanding domestic events business to a just-launched private- equity fund. Along the way, something else changed:… Continue reading

Florida voters split on governor, support medical pot

http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/politics/political-pulse/os-gravis-poll-puts-medical-marijuana-ahead-20140901,0,3908233.post

Scott Powers
Central Florida Political Pulse

11:29 p.m. EDT, September 1, 2014

The race for the governor’s office is dead even and voters now are ready to support Amendment 2 approving medical marijuana use in Florida, a new poll finds.

Gravis Marketing, which has found voters hovering at or just below the 60 percent level needed to approve Amendment 2 in past surveys, found Floridians have passed that level now and 64 percent said they would “vote for the current amendment use of marijuana for certain medical conditions.” Just 26 percent were opposed and 10 percent said they were unsure.

Other polls have shown much greater support for medical marijuana in Florida — notably the Quinnipiac University poll, which found support as high as 88 percent. But the Quinnipiac Florida Poll did not ask specifically about Florida’s Amendment 2, but rather generically about medical marijuana.

The Gravis poll’s finding… Continue reading

Over $455,000 Seized from Medical Marijuana Patient Slapped with Civil Asset Forfeiture

This is an Arizona case but Civil Asset Forfeiture happens in Tennessee all the time.

States With Medical Marijuana Laws Have Fewer Opioid Overdose Deaths

States With Medical Marijuana Laws Have Fewer Opioid Overdose Deaths

States With Medical Marijuana Laws Have Fewer Opioid Overdose Deaths

Though it’s not totally clear why

FDA Approves New Pain Pill Designed To Be Hard to Abuse

States with medical marijuana laws have fewer deaths from opioid overdoses compared to states that do not allow medical marijuana, according to new research.

Opioids for chronic pain, like OxyContin, Percocet and Vicodin, are meant to suppress pain. Recent data shows that not only are prescriptions for these drugs up, but rates of overdose and death are increasing as well. New research published Monday in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine shows that states with medical marijuana laws have rates of anticipated opioid-related deaths 25% lower than states that don’t allow it.

The researchers looked at death rates from opioids between 1999 and 2010 and found that the 13 states that allowed medical marijuana at the time had lower opioid mortality rates-the hypothesis being… Continue reading

Teens aren’t rats; tell them truth about pot

Teens aren't rats; tell them truth about pot

Teens aren’t rats; tell them truth about pot

By Sabrina Fendrick
Posted:   08/23/2014 05:01:00 PM MDT1

Re:”‘Lab Rat’ teen pot campaign is a worthy effort <http://www.denverpost.com/editorials/ci_26317803/lab-rat-teen-pot-campaign-is-worthy-effort> ,” Aug. 12 editorial.

The Denver Post’s endorsement of Colorado’s latest teen anti-pot campaign,  though well-intentioned, fails to recognize that the tactics employed by the state –  including putting human-sized rat cages as large props on street corners and running “shock and awe”-type TV ads –  will do nothing to discourage teen use.

Yes, teens should absolutely be made aware of the potential risks that cannabis consumption can have on their developing bodies. However, like The Post’s editorial board points out, “kids don’t react well to over-the-top drug messages.” Comparing Colorado teens to rodents in a science experiment is disingenuous and will do nothing to encourage kids to stay away from pot.

In fact, it may have… Continue reading