Marijuana

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

WW: Legal pot effort goes down in Ohio and Willie Nelson's surprising ignorance of pot

Posted By on Wed, Nov 4, 2015 at 11:20 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]

"Buddie," the ill-fated mascot for Ohio's legalization campaign.
  • "Buddie," the ill-fated mascot for Ohio's legalization campaign.

The big pot news that came out of election night was Ohio voters rejection of a ballot initiative that would have legalized both recreational and medical marijuana.

Pro-pot groups were split on supporting the measure, which would have effectively established an oligopoly in the state constitution with 10 wealthy individuals having the sole right to grow pot for the new market. One of those individuals that would have been allowed to farm pot in the Buckeye State was Nick Lachey, a former member of a boy band and a reality TV star.

Despite the setback, marijuana legalization groups are undeterred.

“A proposal to make marijuana legal for adults and regulate it like alcohol has already qualified for the November 2016 ballot in Nevada, and similar measures are expected to qualify for the ballots in Arizona, California, Maine, and Massachusetts,” read a statement from the Marijuana Policy Project. “The measures do not include the widely unpopular ‘monopoly’ language included in the 2015 Ohio initiative that limited the commercial cultivation of marijuana to only 10 predetermined producers.”

“When it comes to the broader debate about legalizing marijuana, the defeat of Issue 3 won’t be a case of ‘as Ohio goes, so goes the nation,’” said Tom Angell, chairman of the Marijuana Majority, in a prepared statement. “This was about a flawed measure and a campaign that didn't represent what voters want. Tonight’s results — and the choices that inevitably led up to them — are especially sad for Ohioans who use marijuana and will continue to be treated like criminals for no good reason. And this is particularly heartbreaking for those who need medical cannabis to treat serious ailments.”

The Washington Post has a rundown of all the other states considering legalization measures from the most viable to the long shots.

The results of a new survey show that the Dutch, which have 40 years of experience with more-or-less legal pot, want even fewer restrictions on the drug.

New York magazine has a long article about country music legend and weed enthusiast Willie Nelson. It turns out that Nelson really doesn't know that much about weed. 

Although Vermont has decriminalized marijuana, that hasn’t stopped law enforcement from writing even more tickets for people possessing the drug.
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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

WW: Legal weed in Mexico, feds say no again to pot, Savage and Sanders on marijuana

Posted By on Wed, Oct 28, 2015 at 12:59 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]

Mexico, a country long on the front lines of the drug war, could legalize pot depending on the outcome of a case before its Supreme Court.

The Federal Reserve, which oversees the country’s banking system, won’t take a penny from pot money, throwing cold water on a proposed marijuana bank in Colorado.

A woman in Alaska is giving out free marijuana to people if they will stop doing Spice, a synthetic drug that causes people to behave in awful ways. There is some evidence that having access to legal weed decreases the use of Spice.

A Michigan farmer found weed in his corn crop. Yes, that kind of weed.

If you’re going to send weed through the mail, make sure it goes to the right address.

The Cannabist has a lengthy interview with Dan Savage, exploring the sex advice columnist's relationship with pot. 

Jimmy Kimmel asked presidential candidate Bernie Sanders about where he stands on marijuana. Here’s what he said:


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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

WW: Stuckart seeks to clear past pot convictions in Spokane

Posted By on Wed, Oct 21, 2015 at 12:33 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]

Ben Stuckart
  • Ben Stuckart
City Council President Ben Stuckart has introduced an ordinance that would allow people convicted of misdemeanor possession of marijuana in the city of Spokane to apply to have their records cleared through the municipal court system.

“It wouldn’t be anything outside of the normal procedures the municipal court already does,” Spokane City Prosecutor Justin Bingham told the city council’s Public Safety Committee on Monday, when the ordinance was first introduced.

Despite marijuana’s legal status in Washington, having a past misdemeanor marijuana conviction can be a barrier to housing, education and jobs. If someone successfully applies to have their conviction vacated, their record will show that the charge as having been dismissed.

In Oregon, the legislature passed a bill shortly after voters legalized the drug creating a process for individuals to have past marijuana convictions sealed.

In Colorado, which also has legal pot, a court of appeals ruled last year that some convictions can be overturned.

However, in Washington, similar efforts in the legislature haven’t gotten the same traction. The ordinance sponsored by Stuckart is modeled after a bill that died in the legislature.

“This isn't about marijuana,” Stuckart wrote on his Facebook page after introducing the ordinance. “This is about second chances. I believe wholeheartedly that the key to reducing recidivism and the overcrowding in our jails is through economic opportunities that provide for self-sufficiency.”

You can see the language of the proposal below.

Here’s the news elsewhere:

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Wednesday, October 14, 2015

WW: What does Spokane council president candidate John Ahern think about pot?

Posted By on Wed, Oct 14, 2015 at 2:28 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]

Former state Republican Rep. John Ahern is hoping to topple Council President Ben Stuckart this November by running on a platform of improving the business climate and reversing an ordinance preventing city employees from inquiring into people’s immigration status.

Earlier in the campaign, Ahern, 80, expressed support for putting a moratorium on all recreational marijuana businesses. As his campaign has drug on, his calls for a halt to marijuana businesses in Spokane have become less frequent.

The Inlander sat down with Ahern to ask his thoughts on marijuana. His remarks have been lightly edited.

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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.

IN OTHER NEWS: 

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 Cleveland.com.

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.”

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