Wednesday, October 7, 2015

WW: Council candidate talks weed, Spokane Valley says no more pot businesses

Posted By on Wed, Oct 7, 2015 at 3:39 PM

Welcome back to Weed Wednesday, your weekly dose of pot news. Wondering what this is about? Click. Looking for our previous marijuana coverage? Click. Got a question or tip?
Email me at [email protected]

Evan Verduin is running for Spokane City Council against incumbent Councilwoman Karen Stratton. He wants the council to get back to legislating on basic municipal services and avoid social issues that he says are needlessly divisive. Backed by Mayor David Condon, he says he’ll be independent and will bring a business perspective to the council, which he and Condon both say is needed. 
Evan Verduin is running for City Council. - JAKE THOMAS
  • Jake Thomas
  • Evan Verduin is running for City Council.

But what does he think about weed? The Inlander asked.

Inlander: What did you think about 502 when that was being considered?
Verduin: Honestly, I just let the voters decide. So, with my experience with pot, I've seen friends that have used it. Through college I was exposed to it in my fraternity at U-Dub (University of Washington). I'm still not 100 percent convinced that it doesn't lead to other types of drug use. I've had two friends who started out smoking pot and then went into prescription painkillers. Now, that it's legal, obviously some numbers came out recently showing a lot sales in the state, and maybe that revenue could be put to good use, but there should be some education on the topic. I personally would never use it.

Have you ever used it?
I have. In college.

When was the last time you used it?
Probably freshman year in college. Just being honest. Honestly, there’s probably three times I can think of in my life I’ve used it.

Was 502 a good idea or a bad idea?
[Pauses] 502 was an initiative. Again, the initiative process should run its course and the voters approved it. So I support it because the voters approved it. If it was a City Council item, I would probably be hesitant to approve it. Like, let’s say the question was, can we legalize it in the city of Spokane? I probably wouldn’t have jumped on board as a council member. But it's there, and people do it.

In other news, the big story last week was the Kettle Falls Five were sentenced.

The Spokesman-Review reports that "[federal Judge Thomas Rice gave] Rolland Gregg to 2 years and 9 months in prison. He gave Gregg’s wife, Michelle, and his mother, Rhonda Firestack-Harvey, 1 year and 1 day in federal custody. All will remain out of prison pending an appeal, a notice of which will be filed in the next two weeks, said lead defense attorney Phil Telfeyan."

Larry Harvey, the family’s patriarch, had his charges dismissed due to a terminal cancer diagnosis. He later died. Jason Zucker took a plea deal before trial and was sentenced to 16 months in federal prison.

“Jail time for the Kettle Falls defendants is an embarrassment to the judicial system,” said Steph Sherer, executive director of the pro-medical marijuana group Americans for Safe Access, in a prepared statement. “We’re calling on President Obama to pardon all three defendants immediately.”

Marijuana is "infinitely worse" worse than tobacco says Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper,

Don’t call the cops to tell them you’re too high.

Support for legalizing marijuana in Texas is gaining traction.

Spokane Valley has put a moratorium on all new marijuana businesses.
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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

WW: First day of legal weed in Oregon, pot falls from the sky, marijuana resort in South Dakota

Posted By on Wed, Sep 30, 2015 at 12:08 PM

Welcome back to Weed Wednesday, your weekly dose of pot news. Wondering what this is about? Click. Looking for our previous marijuana coverage? Click. Got a question or tip? Email me at [email protected]

You know what tomorrow is? No, not Thursday. Well, it’s that, too. But it’s also the first day you can legally buy recreational marijuana in Oregon.

Although recreational marijuana has been legal in the state since July, there’s been no way to legally purchase it. But beginning Oct. 1, some medical marijuana dispensaries will begin selling it for recreational purposes. Prices for a gram will range between $12 and $20.

However, a map put together by The Oregonian shows there are no places to buy in Eastern Oregon.


Someone is arrested for marijuana possession every minute in the U.S., according to analysis of FBI data.

Don’t mail weed to your grandma’s house.

KHQ has a story about how it’s still illegal to drive stoned, a fact that some people are unaware of.

If marijuana falls from the sky into your family’s carport, is it an act of God or just drug smugglers?

A tribe in South Dakota plans on opening a marijuana resort on its reservation.
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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Oprah, Katy Perry and Glenn Beck walk into a weed shop...

Posted By on Tue, Sep 22, 2015 at 9:44 AM

The Marijuana Policy Project put together a list of what it's calling the Top 50 Most Influential Marijuana Consumers, inspired by Out magazine's Power 50 list of LGBT Americans, and intended to showcase individuals who have talked openly about having used marijuana at some point in their lives, or had their use confirmed by some "legitimate source," and yet still went on to do great things professionally and personally.  

For the most part, the list consists of politicians running for office who have had to announce, as Jeb Bush did in the recent GOP debate, that they've used the demon weed at some point in their lives, lest some old stoner friend come out of the woodwork and surprise them with a well-timed press conference. Given marijuana's acceptance, at least medically, across many states in 2015, it's not nearly as hot a "gotcha" issue as just 10 or 20 years ago. 

That's why I was more interested in some of the non-politicians on the list, such as: 

OPRAH WINFREY. She said it was back in 1982 the last time she did it. 

KATY PERRY. She did a song with Snoop Dogg, so, uh, it kind of goes without saying. 

LEBRON JAMES. The King can basically do whatever he wants in Cleveland, and his puffing apparently happened as a high schooler in an Akron hotel room. 

RUSH LIMBAUGH. He claims he only inhaled twice, and didn't like it. We believe him, since pills seem more his thing

MORGAN FREEMAN. Can you imagine That Voice turning into a high-pitched giggle? That's something I'd like to hear. 

MARTHA STEWART. I'd imagine her crafting skill makes her the go-to when her smoking friends need to MacGyver a pipe out of a corn cob. 

GLENN BECK. America's moral scold says he quit when he joined AA in 1994. I kind of wish he would start again. 

Check out the whole list here
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Wednesday, September 9, 2015

WW: Big ol' WA weed report, Colorado's pesticide problem, Oregon preps for pot tourists

Posted By on Wed, Sep 9, 2015 at 9:55 AM

Welcome back to Weed Wednesday, your weekly dose of pot news. Wondering what this is about? Click. Looking for our previous marijuana coverage? Click. Got a question or tip? Email me at [email protected]

Here's what's happening in all things weed: 

The Washington State Institute for Public Policy, a legislative think tank, has released a big ol’ honkin’ report on recreational marijuana.

One takeaway is that Klickitat County had the highest recreational marijuana sales per capita from July of last year to June of this year at $65.80. Followed by Clark County at $56.93 and Jefferson County at $51.23. Spokane County was further down the list at $47.14. Dead Last was Lewis County at $2.76.

The Denver Post has found that despite a crackdown by authorities, marijuana still contains many restricted pesticides

A Spaniard ran a pot farm –– from jail. 

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, is open to legalizing marijuana. 

In New Jersey, an appeals court has ruled that if you smell like pot, the cops can arrest you

Oregon is preparing for marijuana tourists.
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Wednesday, September 2, 2015

WW: Legalization mascot up in smoke, weed prisoner walks free, pot studies

Posted By on Wed, Sep 2, 2015 at 11:52 AM

Welcome back to Weed Wednesday, your weekly dose of pot news. Wondering what this is about? Click. Looking for our previous marijuana coverage? Click. Got a question or tip? Email me at [email protected]

click image 8673290_g.jpg
Last week, ResponsibleOhio, the group that is driving a November ballot measure that could legalize marijuana in the Buckeye State, unveiled its mascot “Buddie,” an anthropomorphic marijuana bud with six-pack abs, a cape, underwear outside of his pants and a big “B” on his chest over an outline of Ohio.

After the group posted the photo to its Facebook page (which appears to have been taken down), it drew comparisons to Joe Camel, an infamous cartoon character critics claimed was used to entice children to take up smoking, reports

Buddie drew complaints from a children’s advocacy groups, saying that it sent the wrong message to kids. The Weed Blog ran an article titled, “‘Buddie The Marijuana Mascot’ Might Be The Worst Idea In The History Of Marijuana Politics.”

The offending mascot now appears to have been scrubbed from ResponsibleOhio’s website. .

Here’s the news elsewhere:

Health officials in Denver continue to quarantine pot that’s been treated with pesticides not approved for use.

According to a recent study, college students are more into smoking weed than cigarettes.

According to another recent study, marijuana may lower sperm count.

According to yet another recent study, marijuana may not be shrinking your brain.

Jeff Mizanskey, who spent 20 years on a life sentence for a nonviolent marijuana charge, is a free man.
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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

WW: Corruption in weed worker unionizing, Larry Harvey dies, fatal crashes linked to pot?

Posted By on Wed, Aug 26, 2015 at 2:23 PM

Welcome back to Weed Wednesday, your weekly dose of pot news. Wondering what this is about? Click. Looking for our previous marijuana coverage? Click. Got a question or tip? Email me at [email protected]

Earlier this month, Dan Rush, the director of the United Food and Commercial Workers' national medical cannabis and hemp division, was indicted on allegations that he violated labor law by improperly colluding with a marijuana grower all while lining his pockets. The indictment is significant because Rush has led the union’s efforts to organize workers in the nascent cannabis industry in California, which have extended to Eastern Washington.

SF Weekly reports that the union swiftly distanced itself from Rush, who was nicknamed “Superman” for his unionization efforts. After the news broke, Isaac Curtis, who is organizing Eastern Washington cannabis workers, called up the Inlander to stress that Rush is a separate figure from his affiliate, which he insists is free of corruption.

“This guy in California was writing toothless neutrality agreements,” says Curtis, referring to arrangements employers enter into to ensure they won’t attempt to influence unionization efforts.

Curtis says that his unionization efforts were put on pause after the news broke, but will resume shortly. Currently he’s in negotiation with the Herbal Connection Spokane, The Happy Collective and JD's Collective Garden –– all medical dispensaries that could be shuttered next year as a result of the state’s reform of marijuana laws.

“This campaign is about the employees,” says Curtis. “That’s our agenda.”

Continue reading »

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Monday, August 24, 2015

More drivers test positive for THC; Seattle lawyer says legal limit unconstitutional

Posted By on Mon, Aug 24, 2015 at 10:27 AM

Last week we wrote about a Spokane Valley deputy's success rate when identifying drivers under the influence of marijuana. According to the deputy's own records (which he provided to the Spokane County Public Defenders Office, who shared them with the Inlander), he's wrong about half of the times he requests a blood draw from those he suspects are too stoned to drive. 

Deputy Todd Miller says the Public Defenders Office and the Inlander interpreted his stats incorrectly, arguing that he's correct in closer to 80 percent of the cases. 

As the article explains, the issue hinges on Washington state's per se limit for a marijuana DUI, which is 5 nanograms per milliliter of active THC in the blood (as opposed on inactive or "carboxy" THC, the stuff that sticks around in your fat cells). A per se limit is the point at which the law says "Yep, you're too high. You get a DUI." However, it is possible to be convicted of a DUI if you have less than 5 ng in your blood. The officer just has to prove you were too impaired to drive based on a standard field sobriety test. 

But one lawyer in Seattle is arguing that 5 ng per se limit is a violation of the 14th Amendment's guarantee of due process. The per se limit established in the statute that legalized recreational marijuana in 2012, David Iannotti argues, is too vague for people to know if they're breaking the law. 

Continue reading »

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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

WW: Milepost 420 is removed in Idaho, Tacoma closes its medical pot shops

Posted By on Wed, Aug 19, 2015 at 9:54 AM

Welcome back to Weed Wednesday, your weekly dose of pot news. Wondering what this is about? Click. Looking for our previous marijuana coverage? Click. Got a question or tip? Email me at [email protected]

In Idaho, milepost 420 has been removed from highways in the state. The milepost has been changed to 419.9. to stoners kept stealing it.

Tacoma will see most of its 60 medical marijuana dispensaries close in response to a state overhaul of pot laws.

An initaitive to legalize pot in Ohio has qualified for the ballot.

The vast majority of federal money spent on researching pot has been on its potential for abuse. Just a sliver has gone to study its medicinal effects.

The Oregonian, which is a drug-free workplace, is looking for a pot critic.

Randy Simmons, a bureaucrat who helped implement Washington’s pot law, is leaving his post. But not before getting in a few pot shots.
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Wednesday, August 12, 2015

WW: Pot on a plane, don't say weed candy in CO and the Bard was a stoner

Posted By on Wed, Aug 12, 2015 at 12:38 PM

Welcome back to Weed Wednesday, your weekly dose of pot news. Wondering what this is about? Click. Looking for our previous marijuana coverage? Click. Got a question or tip? Email me at [email protected]

Shortly after marijuana became legal in Oregon, Portland International Airport decided to allow passengers to take their stash with them if they were traveling in-state. So what about Spokane International Airport? Can you take marijuana with you on your travels? The answer is a qualified yes.

According to an email from Todd Woodard, airport spokesman, under state law it is legal for a person 21 years of age to possess marijuana purchased from a licensed store regardless of mode of transportation.

The caveats are that you have to be of legal age, undergo a criminal history check before boarding and you can only take an ounce with you. Under state marijuana law, you still can’t fly out of state with your pot, even to other states where it’s legal, according to Woodard.

Here’s the news elsewhere:

In Colorado, makers of weed candy may no longer be allowed to call their product “candy.”

A New Jersey judge has ruled that a teen can’t use medical marijuana at school.

Presidential contender Marco Rubio says he would crack down on legal weed if he became the commander in chief.

A researcher thinks he’s found evidence that Shakespeare smoked pot.

Is marijuana contributing to California’s drought?

Fires in California are burning up marijuana farms.

The National Conference of State Legislatures has called on Congress to allow states to make their own laws regarding marijuana and hemp.
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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

WW: DEA head says pot "probably" not as bad as heroin, Oregon TV anchor fired for positive weed test

Posted By on Wed, Jul 29, 2015 at 11:16 AM

Welcome back to Weed Wednesday, your weekly dose of pot news. Wondering what this is about? Click. Looking for our previous marijuana coverage? Click. Got a question or tip? Email me at: [email protected]

Here are the headlines of the past week in weed: 

Former prisoner of war and Idaho native Bowe Bergdahl popped up in the news again this week — during a raid on a California pot farm. (KREM)

Over in Oregon, where weed is now legal for recreation use as well as medical use, a TV news anchor was fired after testing positive for THC (Potlander). She doesn't seem too broken up about it. She's now calling herself a marijuana advocate:

Speaking of Oregon, the governor earlier this week signed a law that allows recreational pot sales to start earlier than originally intended, this Oct. 1. (High Times)

One of the so-called Kettle Falls Five was sentenced to 16 months in prison by the feds. (The Cannabist)

Senate Bill 5052, designed to align Washington's medical and recreational marijuana industries, went into effect on Friday (The Columbian). The good: Post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injuries can qualify patients for a medical marijuana card. The band: medical marijuana patients could lose the ability to get medicine that's proven to work in their individual cases as medical shops are forced to re-apply for licenses. 

The new head of the DEA, while admitting he's "not an expert," acknowledged that pot is probably not as bad as heroin. (US News & World Report). 
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