By Steve Elliott
Military veterans who use marijuana are invited to Denver on Saturday, September 20, where a pro-cannabis organization plans to host a weed giveaway for vets who want it.
The group Operation Grow4Vets will hand out marijuana and cannabis products from 11 a.m until 3 p.m. at the Quality Inn in Central Denver, reports Denver Nicks at Time. Total value of the products given away to each veteran who RSVPs for the event by noon on Friday will be worth more than $200, according to the group.
Non-veterans will be asked for a $20 donation at the door and will get more than $100 in marijuana products in exchange, organizers told ABC7 News Denver.
Grow4Vets' mission is to "reduce the staggering number of Veterans who die each day from suicide and prescription drug overdose," by providing them "with the knowledge and resources necessary to obtain or grow their own marijuana for treatment of their medical conditions," according to the group's website.
The event is open to the public and restricted to adults 21 and older. "Our events are open to the public to help grow visibility for our cause," Operation Grow4Vets founder and executive director Roger Martin explained.
A repeat of the event will be held in Colorado Springs next Saturday, September 27.
As more states legalize marijuana for medical or recreational purposes, entrepreneurs believe they'll get rich from cannabis businesses that comply with the laws of a particular state. However, marijuana businesses that comply with state laws are still breaking federal law and, therefore, are criminal enterprises.
Business advisory and advocacy law firm McDonald Hopkins addresses this issue in a special report designed to help potential investors, vendors, and professionals, such as lawyers and bankers, understand the risks involved in participating in the so-called "legal marijuana business."
The report, authored by Bruce Reinhart, co-chair of McDonald Hopkins' white collar and government compliance practice group, details how federal law regulates controlled substances, and that only certain persons registered with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) can manufacture, distribute, and dispense controlled substances.
Reinhart outlines the tremendous risks businesses and business owners take on when dealing with legal marijuana businesses, including exposure to criminal prosecution, loss of assets, civil penalties, loss of licensure, and fiduciary duty litigation. These risks are assumed in an environment with limited -- if any -- protection from legal counsel or insurance.
Given the current legislative landscape, the report warns that the decision to enter the legal marijuana market should be made cautiously and with the advice of legal counsel experienced in criminal, civil, and forfeiture law.
By Steve Elliott
A nationwide survey released on Thursday found that legalization of recreational marijuana in Colorado hasn't led to more young people smoking pot there.
"The actual attitudes towards its use are really in line with other states," said Dr. Leslie Adair, reports MPR News. "What this survey has done is posed questions for further research in understanding why that is."
The survey was commissioned by the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, which operates drug and alcohol treatment centers in several states. It included interviews with more than 1,000 young adults between the ages of 18 and 25.
The study also found that about one in 10 young adults reported being high every day at school, at work or while driving.
"What we certainly know is that marijuana use affects memory, it affects concentration, it affects attention," Adair said. "It affects a lot of the cognitive processes required to drive."
But most marijuana users disagreed, according to the study, which found about 60 percent of pot smokers said they don't think it has a negative impact on the brain, reports Ashley Michels at Fox 31 Denver.
The survey also found that 72 percent of young adults whose parents had used marijuana also used it themselves.
Oregon farmers are forced to watch while consumers here buy millions of dollars in hempseed for food, clothing made of hemp and thousand of other products made from this cash crop, all grown in foreign countries.
Ryan Basile is an Oregonian, a farmer and an agricultural businessman. In this video, he alerts us all to unintended consequences of laws banning marijuana and how it's holding back an entire economy perfect for Oregon's climate.
Ryan knows that Measure 91 will compel the state Department of Agriculture to cut the remaining red tape and allow hemp growing and manufacturing in Oregon.
• Hemp plants are considered a dangerous narcotic simply because they're related to marijuana plants.
• Smoking hemp will NOT get you high.
• Hemp is a fibrous plant that can be turned into oil, wax, rope, resin, cloth, paper, pulp and food.
• Canadians make half a billion dollars a year on it, and about 90% of the hemp they grow is exported to the United States. Oregonians are seeing the consequences for our strange approach to hemp while Canadians are profiting off of us.
• Canadians have a 20-year lead on us in hemp research, and everyday it is illegal to grow hemp in Oregon we fall further behind.
"There is an entire hemp economy sitting on the sidelines waiting for voters to pass Measure 91," said Ryan Basile, a farmer and agricultural salesman from Oregon. "From fiber processing to clothing manufacturing, the hemp industry will create jobs and money for our economy."
Highest Support Ever for a Marijuana Legalization Ballot Initiative
Campaign to Legalize Marijuana in Racial Justice Context Resonating With D.C. Voters
A new Washington Post/NBC News/Marist poll released on Thursday shows support for Initiative 71, which would legalize marijuana, at 65 percent among likely D.C. voters.
Initiative 71 allows adults over the age of 21 to possess up to two ounces of marijuana on their person at any time, and allows for the cultivation of up to six marijuana plants at home.
District law prevents the ballot initiative from addressing the sale of marijuana. However, the D.C. Council is currently considering a bill which will tax and regulate marijuana within the District.
“D.C. voters want to take marijuana completely out the criminal justice system and refocus police priorities,” said Dr. Malik Burnett, D.C. Policy Manager for the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA). “Voters are relating to the message that legalization will end D.C.’s rampant discrimination when it comes marijuana enforcement.”
D.C. has decriminalized marijuana, replacing criminal penalties with a $25 fine. However, data from the Metropolitan Police Department shows that 77 percent of all tickets have been issued in communities of color.
Award-Winning Author of High Price Shares Insights from his Remarkable Personal Journey and Career as a Scientist
Carl Hart, PhD, a neuroscientist and associate professor of psychology and psychiatry at Columbia University, recently gave a compelling TEDMED Talk in which he dispelled myths about drugs, drug use and drug misuse. In the talk, Hart eloquently discussed the negative influence that drug hysteria had on the flawed drug laws the United States grapples with today.
His unflinching, eye-opening talk mirrored his widely-renowned book, High Price: A Neuroscientist’s Journey of Self-Discovery That Challenges Everything You Know About Drugs and Society (HarperCollins, 2013), a groundbreaking memoir/science book which recently won the PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award.
“My TED talk is a public education effort to combat drug myths, bad drug policy, and to help keep people safe,” said Dr. Hart. “Millions of people languish unnecessarily in jails and prisons largely, and still others needlessly die from preventable overdoses, underground market violence and police interactions, due to a misguided approach to drug regulations. And no one suffers more than African American men and the poor.”
A complaint was filed with the York County Superior Court on Wednesday seeking a temporary injunction requiring the Select Board of the Town of York to place an initiated ordinance which would legalize marijuana on the ballot for November's general election.
Plaintiffs include York voters who have signed and circulated the marijuana petition, as well as a York voter who did not sign the petition but wants the opportunity to vote on the measure.
The measure would make it legal for adults 21 years of age and older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana in York. It would remain illegal to consume or display marijuana in public. The measure also includes a statement in support of regulating and taxing marijuana like alcohol at the state level.
Citizens for a Safer York initially submitted more than 200 signatures to place the measure in front of the York Board of Selectmen. On July 28, the board voted 3-2 against putting the measure on the ballot, giving the group 30 days to collect an additional 641 signatures. It submitted nearly 1,000 signatures on August 27. On September 8, the Board of Selectman voted 3-2 to not place the measure on the ballot.
“The right to petition your government is the bedrock of democracy. For the Selectman to ignore the will of their constituents goes against what our country is all about, and that is why I signed on to this case,” said plaintiff Sharon DaBiere.
By Steve Elliott
More people have joined a class action lawsuit against a company accused of handing out samples of marijuana-infused chocolate at the Denver County Fair.
Seven named plaintiffs have joined the lawsuit's amendment complaint, filed by Boulder attorney Corey Zurbach in Denver County Court, reports Alan Gathright at 7News Denver. The defendant is named as Beyond Broadway LLC, doing business as Full Melt Chocolate and LivWell.
The lawsuit, originally filed on August 7, now states that class action suit "as initially defined includes in excess of 100 individuals."
The alleged "victims" all ate free samples of Full Melt Chocolate, provided by LivWell at a "Pot Pavilion" exhibit during the Denver County Fair, which ran from August 1 through August 3, according to the lawsuit.
The Pot Pavilion was advertised as being drug free. "No marijuana will be onsite," the Denver County Fair's website stated.
"This civil action is for personal injuries arising from the defendants' negligent distribution of marijuana-infused chocolate bars under the guise that they contained no tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the principal psychoactive component (or cannabinoid) of the cannabis plant," the lawsuit states.
"Victims" named in the lawsuit claimed they began "to feel strange" and "physically ill" after consuming the chocolates.
The Marijuana Policy Project on Wednesday launched the first-ever comprehensive public education campaign urging adults to “consume responsibly” in states where marijuana is legal. The campaign is being launched in Colorado and will be exported to Washington and then other states as they adopt similar laws.
MPP will kick off the campaign with a news conference at noon Mountain Time Wednesday in front of its first paid ad, a billboard at 816 Federal Boulevard in Denver that warns tourists, “Don’t let a candy bar ruin your vacation.” It also encourages them to start with a low dose of THC and go slow when consuming edible marijuana products, which can take up to two hours to feel the effect.
The billboard features a distressed woman in a dark hotel room, alluding to New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd’s now-infamous June column detailing her over-consumption of a marijuana-infused candy bar in her Denver hotel room.
The billboard directs people to the campaign’s website — http://wwww.ConsumeResponsibly.org — which features detailed information about marijuana products, their effects, and the laws surrounding them. It also addresses issues such as preventing and responding to over-consumption and accidental consumption. The Consume Responsibly campaign will initially include print and online ads, as well as materials in retail marijuana stores.
By Steve Elliott
With less than 60 days until the general election, the D.C. Cannabis Campaign has announced two new slogans that will be used in their effort to legalize marijuana in the nation's capital.
District voters will soon see "Vote to Refocus Police Priorities" and "Legalization Ends Discrimination" in the push to convince them to vote yes on Initiative 71, reports Aaron C. Davis at The Washington Post.
The new slogans weren't tested with focus groups or polled for impact, accordindg to D.C. Cannabis Campaign chairman Adam Eidinger, but he said he's confident they will resonate with voters.
The police slogan hints at an idea that was popular with 57,000 voters whgo signed petitions to put the legalization measure on the November 4 ballot, according to Eidinger: "The one thing that really turns people is the idea that police can be doing more important things," he said. "'Refocus police priorities' is a nice way of saying 'Get the police off our back.'"
The second slogan, "Legalization Ends Discrimination," refers to the studies showing enormous racial disparities in marijuana enforcement; those studies helped convince the D.C. Council this year to decriminalize cannabis, reducing the penalty for possession of small amounts to $25.
By Steve Elliott
Marijuana should be legalized, taxed, and regulated, and the tax revenues should fund treatment programs for harder drugs, the police chief in Madison, Wisconsin, said on Wednesday.
Madison Police Chief Mike Koval endorsed marijuana legalization during an interview with the State Journal about data showing African Americans in Madison were arrested or cited for marijuana at about 12 times the rate for whites in the city.
Efforts to enforce the marijuana laws are an "abject failure," Chief Koval said, adding the same is true of the broader War On Drugs. "We've done such an abysmal job using marijuana as a centerpiece of drug enforcement, that it's time to reorder and triage the necessities of what's more important now," he said.
Koval said it's time for Wisconsin to consider doing as Colorado and Washington did in legalizing, taxing and regulating cannabis.
The police chief said he would like to see Wisconsin "acknowledge the failure" of marijuana prohibition and focus instead on the "infinite amount of challenges" posed by harder drugs such as heroin. Taxes from marijuana sales, Koval said, would create revenue for the state which could be used to fund drug treatment programs and expand the capacity of drug courts which divert users from the criminal justice system.
By Steve Elliott
Nobody can accuse the company behind LoudCrush of thinking small. In fact, it seems they want to become the Facebook, the Twitter, AND the Instagram of the cannabis world -- oh, and did we mention the Match.com and eHarmony of weed, for good measure?
Crown Baus Capital Corp, "a global acquisition-based conglomerate targeting five primary industries: high-tech incubation, drug development, entertainment/media, education, and financial services," has announced it's in the "final stage of acquiring niche social and dating app, LoudCrush, which the Company intends to complete with an all equity based transaction by issuing five (5) million dollars worth of its 144 restricted common shares."
The company said "The features of LoudCrush combine functionality similar to popular apps like Facebook, Tinder and Vine, which allow users to post videos and photos, to search for friends and singles in their areas, and to chat and discreetly socialize. Users can even send gifts."
Discreetly is a key word, since this is the cannabis community we're talking about. "Most cannabis consumers avoid posting about marijuana on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter because their families and coworkers are on these networks, and cannabis-inclusive profiles are often deleted by mainstream social networks," said Drue Young, co-founder of LoudCrush and vice president of business development at Crown Baus Capital Corp.
WeedHire.com was the most visited career site in the legal cannabis industry during the month of August, according to SimilarWeb, which measures online behavior worldwide.
"Reaching the number one spot in just three months is an exciting sign that WeedHire.com really has become the go-to place for job opportunities in this space," said WeedHire.com CEO David Bernstein.
"The traffic to our site shows that this industry is growing rapidly and a real need exists to match employers with skilled professionals who are passionate about obtaining work in the legal marijuana industry," Bernstein said.
WeedHire.com was launched in May 2014 as a jobs site for the legal cannabis industry. In addition to the website, WeedHire.com recently launched what it says is the first-ever Android job search app for the industry.
The Android app lets employers post openings from the convenience of a mobile device and job seekers can search in a specific geographic area, upload resumes, submit them and share job posts with friends. The site is also preparing to launch a similar app for the iPhone.
Although WeedHire is the central online portal and social media source for job seekers and providers, it is not involved with the growth, sale, or distribution of marijuana.
SimilarWeb provides services in web analytics, data mining and business intelligence for international corporations using big data technologies to collect, measure, analyze and provide user engagement statistics for websites and mobile apps.
By Steve Elliott
Retail recreational marijuana sales, for the first time, passed medical marijuana sales in Colorado in July.
Recreational pot sales had lagged behind medical sales since the legal marijuana shops created by legalization measure Amendment 64 opened on January 1, reports Katy Steinmetz at Time. But according to tax figures from the Colorado Department of Revenue, recreational has pulled into the lead.
During July, Colorado got $838,711 from a 2.9 percent tax on medical marijuana, meaning patients spent about $28.9 million at dispensaries. Meanwhile, the state took in $2.97 million from a 10 percent sales tax on recreational marijuana, putting those sales at about $29.7 million, according to Ricardo Baca at The Cannabist.
The margin, though less than $1 million, represents a victory of sorts for advocates of recreational legalization, who have argued it will be profitable for the state.
"Most adults use marijuana for the same reasons they use alcohol," said Mason Tvert, communications director for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP). "Now that it's a legal product, they are choosing to access it in a similar fashion."
By Steve Elliott
Cannabis advocates in the United Kingdom plan to openly smoke marijuana during a protest picnic in Exeter later month.
The Devon Cannabis Club plans its annual Harvest Picnic at Flowerpot Playing Fields in Exeter on Saturday, September 27, between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m., reports the Exeter Express & Echo.
Last year's protest in Exeter was attended by about 60 activists.
This year's event is being promoted on Facebook, where the page states, "Come and join us for a picnic and to consume herb to lift the blanket of stigma and these ridiculous laws." So far, 92 people have indicated on the Facebook event page that they will be attending.
"Our aim is to raise awareness of the benefits of cannabis and to address the bias and misinformation so often seen in the mainstream media," said Daryl Sullivan, South West regional admin for The United Kingdom Cannabis Social Clubs. "To this end we have, for the past two years, been holding public 'protest picnics' around the country."