Wednesday, August 13, 2014

WEED WEDNESDAY: Human-sized rat cages and facing life for pot brownies

Posted By on Wed, Aug 13, 2014 at 3:35 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].

The rundown: Spokane Green Leaf (9107 North Country Homes Boulevard) and Satori (9301 North Division) are now open. Two others in Spokane County have been licensed and still others are advertising August openings, meaning options should grow as fall approaches. Statewide, the liquor board has licensed 164 producers, 128 processors (some producers are also processors) and 43 retailers.

Top Shelf Cannabis in Bellingham sold the state's first edibles and vape pens last week, and they were popular.

Opposition is mounting against Oregon's legalization effort, reports Willamette Week.

A federal judge has dismissed a case brought by a Bellingham medical dispensary owner who said he couldn't pay his taxes without federally incriminating himself. The owner says he'll bring the case back to a state court.

The ACLU of Washington is stepping in to support a group of marijuana business owners who are challenging a ban on the businesses in the city of Fife. Unlike Wenatchee, which argues it's allowed under state law to ban pot businesses, Fife officials have relied on federal prohibition to make their case.

“State and federal laws do not have to be the same,” says Alison Holcomb, an ACLU attorney who helped write the state's pot law, in a statement. “I-502 is designed to protect the health and welfare of our state’s residents and maintains Washington’s traditional role as partner with the federal government. Our state’s law is consistent with federal enforcement priorities. It accounts for revenues, prohibits marijuana sales to children, and reduces the risk of violence by taking marijuana out of the hands of criminal enterprises.”

On the anti-pot front, Colorado's high-profile campaign against teen use of marijuana has launched, complete with controversial science and human-sized rat cages at bus stops. The plea: We may not know just how weed affects the developing brain, but Colorado's kids shouldn't be the testing grounds for figuring it out. Here's one of the TV spots:

One of the cages has already been vandalized, reports Denver's CBS affiliate.

Progress is happening, but it's oh so slow. Medical marijuana research continues to run into legal roadblocks. More than 100 banks are now doing business with marijuana entrepreneurs, according to one federal official, but nearly as many have ended relationships with cannabis businesses, reports the Denver Post.

"I'm 19 years old, and I still have my whole life ahead of me. Take that into account, and I can do more good than evil." Those were the words from a 19-year-old in Texas who's facing between a few years and life in prison for making pot brownies.

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Heidi Groover

Heidi Groover is a staff writer at the Inlander, where she covers city government and drug policy. On the job, she's spent time with prostitutes, "street kids," marriage equality advocates and the family of a 16-year-old organ donor...