Marijuana News in Colorado and World

Marijuana Law Enforcement

Law enforcement was designed to protect our communities, but marijuana prohibition – and the drug war as a whole – has become an overbearing distraction towards the maintaining of public safety. Prohibition contributes to an overall decrease in public safety and misuse of valuable resources. Here’s why law enforcement across the country and around the world are pushing for marijuana legalization:

1. Marijuana prohibition funds criminal organizations

Criminalizing a high-demand commodity only creates an illegal marketplace that generates wealth for individuals seeking to profit. If legalized, marijuana would create a legal marketplace and diminish illegal operations. Marijuana is often called the “cash crop” by Mexican cartels, and legalizing medical marijuana access and recreational access in only a few states has already begun to weaken their cash flow. Nationwide marijuana legalization would devastate the enormous and lethal underground networks brought about by prohibition.

2. Marijuana prohibition overburdens the legal system

Minor marijuana possession or consumption arrests wastes time and resources at every step of the legal process. Arresting officers must file paperwork, possibly make a court appearance – all of which account for time and money that could be spent on catching and arresting people posing a danger to others, such as murders, rapists, con artists, terrorists, etc. Law enforcement used to solve 90% of murder cases, but now only 64% get solved. Furthermore, only 40% of rape cases are solved and there are an estimated 400,000 unprocessed rape kits – containing crucial evidence to prosecute dangerous criminals – sitting in storage across the U.S.

3. Marijuana prohibition is detrimental to public health

People in need of medical help should never have to forego treatment for fear of being arrested or be considered a criminal for using medicine that helps them. Arresting elderly, sick and disabled individuals for deciding to use marijuana instead of prescription drugs is unethical and a waste of time. Law enforcement should be catching criminals that are a risk to society.

4. Marijuana prohibition endangers children

In much of the U.S. marijuana access is unlimited, unregulated and uncontrolled because it is prohibited. Yet it’s still being sold. Americans need to ask themselves: Who do we want in charge of those sales: licensed and regulated businesses or illegal cartels? Furthermore, unregulated marijuana often contains toxins or is laced with dangerous substances. Put simply, cartels don’t care about the age of their customers. Legalizing and regulating marijuana by selling it in childproof containers is one of the best ways to keep children safe.

Marijuana Opiod Heroin

A 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) found that nearly 5 million Americans have tried heroin. Nearly three-fourths (73%) of past-year heroin users are between the ages of 18 and 34.

According to a recent report by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), heroin use and overdose deaths are increasing rapidly in the United States.

A leading cause of the increase in heroin use and related overdoses has been the more widespread use of prescription opioid painkillers such as Vicodin and Oxycontin. The CDC reports that “45 percent of people who have used heroin were also addicted to prescription opioid painkillers.”

The medical use of marijuana is relevant to this problem because marijuana as a therapeutic provides a safe alternative to the use of prescription opioid pain relief drugs. Marijuana has proven pain-relief properties, however, unlike opiates, marijuana does not affect the medulla (the part of the brain that controls heart rate and breathing).

The impact of opioid drugs on the medulla is generally what causes overdose deaths from heroin. Increased access to medical marijuana could help reduce the overuse, abuse and fatalities causing this latest epidemic in both opioid prescription drug and heroin use.

Medical Marijuana States USA

A few unlikely states are expected to legalize medical marijuana in the near future.

Approximately 40 states currently have at some type of legal protection for the medical use of marijuana; 23 states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, and Guam have passed medical marijuana legislation, while 17 states have passed restrictive cannabidiol (CBD) focused legislation.

Here are five states that will probably be the next to legalize the medical use of marijuana:

– Arkansas

– Florida

– Pennsylvania

– South Dakota

– Wyoming

Aggression Marijuana

A study recently published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information has shown what most know from experience: that marijuana can significantly alleviate aggressive behavior and calms emotions.

The study was only conducted on test mice. But, nonetheless, the study shows the potential for scientific evidence for marijuana as an aggression management tool for humans. This study will likely lead to a research study on humans. And eventually states with medical marijuana programs might include anger as a qualifying condition for a medical marijuana card.

The ultimate objective of the study was “to examine the role of cannabinoid[s] … in social and aggressive behavior.” One of the researchers noted that: “Acute administration of the [cannabinoid] agonist significantly reduced the level of aggression in hostile mice.”

The study’s conclusion was very encouraging and went on to state that marijuana has a lot of potential for managing aggression in humans. The study noted: “Our results suggest that CB2r [cannabinoid receptor] is implicated in social interaction and aggressive behavior and deserves further consideration as a potential new target for the management of aggression.”

Oregon Airport Marijuana

Oregon just legalized the recreational use of marijuana, and now in-state flights are allowing marijuana possession. Oregon’s Portland International Airport has decided to allow airline passengers to possess up to one ounce of marijuana while traveling on in-state flights.

A spokesman for Port of Portland, which owns and operates the airport, said that “for those flying to other cities in the state of Oregon, traveling with marijuana is allowable as long as that passenger meets all the other legal requirements of the state law.”

Travelers in Oregon must pass through the typical Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoints. If a TSA employee finds marijuana, they’ll inform airport police, who will make sure that the passenger’s marijuana doesn’t exceed one ounce and that their boarding pass shows an Oregon destination. If so, the passenger will be allowed to travel to their destination.

In the case that the passenger is not eligible, the passenger will have the ability to store the marijuana in a safe place (like a car), give it to somebody else over the age of 21, or have the marijuana surrendered under law enforcement to be eradicated.

Marijuana is not legalized nationally so transporting marijuana beyond state lines is illicit.

WA Recreational Marijuana

The first Washington state recreational marijuana dispensary opened its doors one year ago, allowing adults 21 years of age or older to purchase marijuana for recreational use. And a new report reveals a very positive outcome — which resembles the superb reports that Colorado received — from marijuana legalization.

According to a new report by the Drug Policy Alliance, since marijuana legalization in Washington, the state has generated over $80 million in tax revenues, saved millions of dollars by no longer arresting and prosecuting low-level marijuana offenses, seen a decline in violent crime rates, seen youth marijuana use rates and traffic fatality rates remain the same, and voters continue to support recreational marijuana legalization.

“Marijuana prohibition has been a costly failure—to individuals, communities, and the entire country,” said the Director of Marijuana Law and Policy at the Drug Policy Alliance. “Washington should be praised for developing a smarter, more responsible approach to marijuana.”

Voters in Arizona, California, Massachusetts, Maine, Nevada and Ohio will likely be able to vote on similar adult-use marijuana legalization initiatives on their 2015 or 2016 ballots.

Nick Lechey Marijuana Celebrity

Another celebrity has decided to invest in the U.S. marijuana industry. Ohio resident and former 98 Degrees band member, Nick Lachey, is among a few investors in one of ten marijuana cultivation centers that would be licensed in Ohio if a proposed ballot measure passes.

ResponsibleOhio, a political action committee, is attempting to get a measure on the November 3rd ballot that would legalize marijuana for medical and personal use by adults 21 years or older. The ballot measure would limit cultivation to specific locations where investors financing the cultivation operations would own or have the option to buy property.

The former band boy member and television actor is attempting to bring a marijuana cultivation center to Hudson, OH, a city 30 miles south of Cleveland.

Marijuana Low Tolerance

A bad first experience is often times enough for people to thrown in the towel to eliminate a repeated bad experience from their life forever. With marijuana, it is usually side effects such as anxiousness or paranoia – which are primarily associated with high-THC marijuana strains – that make people fear marijuana.

But many marijuana strains – usually indicas and some hybrids that contain less THC and more CBD – have been cultivated to cause relaxation, euphoria and pain relief for consumers. This list provides some of the best marijuana strains for novice or low-tolerance marijuana consumers:

Maui Waui (Sativa)
Northern Lights (Indica)
Jack Herer (Sativa)
Blue Dream (Hybrid)
Verde Electric (Hybrid)
OG Kush (Hybrid)
Pineapple Express (Hybrid)

Most dispensaries carry a vast selection of marijuana strains in order to satisfy all their customers.

DUI Driving Marijuana Alcohol

A new study, partially funded by the federal government, reveals that alcohol has a larger impact on drivers than marijuana.

A researcher from the study said alcohol “significantly increased lane departures/minimum and maximum lateral acceleration; these measures were not sensitive to cannabis.” It was also concluded that marijuana-influenced drivers “may attempt to drive more cautiously to compensate for impairing effects, whereas alcohol-influenced drivers often underestimate their impairment and take more risk.”

The Office on National Drug Control Policy, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and federal safety regulator, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration funded the study. The National Institute on Drug Abuse says it used the “most sophisticated driving simulator of its kind to mirror real-life situations.”

The study participants consumed alcohol to reach approximately 0.065% peak breath alcohol concentration, inhaled vaporized marijuana or had a placebo.

Rand Paul Marijuana Legalization

The 2016 presidential candidates are discussing marijuana legalization in ways unimaginable less than a decade ago.

Candidates from both parties are accepting substantial donations from business owners and activists in the marijuana industry that hope to expanded marijuana legalization in the U.S. The marijuana industry also landed their first major candidate: Rand Paul.

In June, Paul became the first major-party presidential candidate to hold a fundraiser with the legalized marijuana industry, courting about 40 donors at the Denver event.

Politicians are slowly shifting towards a pro-marijuana stance. Democrats are often less critical of states legalizing marijuana, but they’re treading carefully. Hillary Clinton mentioned last year that more research needed to be done on marijuana’s medical value, but “there should be availability under appropriate circumstances.” She didn’t elaborate what those circumstances should be.

As for Sen. Bernie Sanders, Clinton’s main Democratic rival, he is weary of legalization, despite his liberal social views and counterculture roots.

The Marijuana Policy Project, which is the nation’s largest marijuana lobbying group, plans to donate tens of thousands of dollars to 2016 presidential candidates.

Attendees said Paul talked about changing federal drug-sentencing laws but stopped short of calling for nationwide legalization. “We wouldn’t have heard a presidential candidate talking that way four years ago,” said Rob Kampia, Executive Director of the Marijuana Policy Project, who was among those at the Denver fundraiser.

53% of Americans said in a Pew Research Center survey in March that marijuana should be legal. In 2006, less than a third of Americans supported marijuana legalization in the General Social Survey’s measure of public opinion.

It’s uncertain how much money the marijuana industry will spend on the 2016 presidential race. Many marijuana business owners and activists are expected to spend their money on state campaigns in the six to ten states likely to have some sort of marijuana legalization policy on ballots next year.

“There are a lot of loose bricks in the walls of resistance to changing drug laws in America,” said William Martin of Rice University. “It’s no longer a silly question, legalizing marijuana.”