Rocky Mountains

Contention over THC maximum proposals in Canada, Colorado

Posted on July 10th, 2016 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , , .

CanadaAs Canada prepares to legalize cannabis nationwide, Ottawa is consulting citizens and stake-holders to shape the new policy. Among the proposals floated at a Vancouver Cannabis Hemp Conference this weekend was a measure to cap the THC content of approved strains. Not surprisingly, this met with a resounding negative from industry and advocates. "It's time for us to stop demonizing THC. We need policy that's based on both evidence and expertise," Hilary Black of the BC Compassion Club Society told the CBC.  "We have an opportunity in Canada right now to be leaders on the world stage and to do this right."

Youth cannabis use drops in Colorado —surprise!

Posted on June 22nd, 2016 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , .

Colorado"Colorado teens stubbornly refuse to smoke more weed." That's the smart-alecky headline over a chart of youth cannabis use rates that appeared in the Washington Post June 21. The story cites Colorado Health Department findings that rates of use among the state's teenagers are essentially unchanged in the years since the herb was legalized there in 2012. In last year's figures, 21% of Colorado youths had used cannabis in the past 30 days. That is slightly lower than the national average, and down from 25% in 2009. The findings are based on a random survey of 17,000 middle and high school students. "The survey shows marijuana use has not increased since legalization, with four of five high school students continuing to say they don’t use marijuana, even occasionally," the health department stated.

Shut-down of Montana dispensaries feared in wake of court ruling

Posted on February 26th, 2016 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

MontanaA mass shut-down of cannabis dispensaries in Big Sky Country is feared after a Feb. 25 ruling of the Montana Supreme Court. In a 6-1 decision, the high court upheld provisions of the state's restrictive medical marijuana law passed in 2011, finding them a "rational response" of the dramatic increase in users. The provisions limit providers to no more than three patients each, and impose other restrictions, incuding a ban on advertising. In one victory for the state's burgeoning cannabis industry, a provision that banned providers from receiving compensation was struck down. But the ruling was harshly assailed by the Montana Cannabis Industry Association, which brought the legal challenge. 

Colorado courts uphold worker termination for medical use

Posted on June 16th, 2015 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

ColoradoThe Colorado Supreme Court on June 15 unanimously upheld a lower court decision that employers' "zero tolerance" drug policies are not pre-empted by the state's medical marijuana law. The court held that an employee can legally be fired for consuming cannabis off-duty, finding that the state's  statute on "lawful off-duty activitie"s implies that "lawful" is intended to protect only those activities permissible under both state and federal law. The opinion emphasizes that "employees who engage in an activity, such as medical marijuana use, that is permitted by state law but unlawful under federal law are not protected by the statute." Colorado law permits employers to implement drug policies of their choosing, with many opting to drop THC from pre-employment drug screening.

Nebraska, Oklahoma challenge Colorado cannabis law

Posted on December 20th, 2014 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , , , , .

ColoradoIn the most serious challenge yet to Colorado's cannabis legalization policy, the states of Nebraska and Oklahoma took the unusual move of filing a case against it directly with the US Supreme Court. The two states argue that "the State of Colorado has created a dangerous gap in the federal drug control system...  Marijuana flows from this gap into neighboring states, undermining Plaintiff States' own marijuana bans, draining their treasuries, and placing stress on their criminal justice systems." Lawyers for the Cornhusker State and the Sooner State assert that local authorities have registered a big uptick in cannabis entering their towns since Colorado legalized with the voter-approved Amendment 64 in 2012. The suit also claims Colorado's legalization policy violates the Supremacy Clause of the US Constitution.

Youth cannabis use drops in Colorado —surprise!

Posted on August 9th, 2014 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , .

ColoradoWell, here's some telling news. According to the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment, cannabis use among Colorado teens has actually dropped slightly since the state legalized recreational use in 2012. Predictably, the bureaucrats did not emphasize these results. The department's Aug. 7 press release stressed another finding from the survey, that showed Colorado teens view cannabis as less risky than they did a few years ago. The release says preliminary results from the 2013 Healthy Kids Colorado Survey show that 54% of teens in the state consider the stuff risky, down from 58% in 2011. "If we want Colorado to be the healthiest state in the nation, then we need to make sure our youngest citizens understand the risks of using potentially harmful substances," said the department's executive director Larry Wolk. It was left to the Washington Examiner to tout the department's other findings—that even if kids view pot as less risky, they are also smoking it less. Kayvan Khalatbari, co-foundet the Denver Relief dispensary, is quoted venturing a plausible explanation: "Cannabis, now that it's legal, kind of is an old person's drug. It's something that kids are seeing adults use all over the place. It just doesn't seem as cool to kids anymore."

Cannabis front in Western water wars?

Posted on May 23rd, 2014 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , .

WashingtonCannabis cultivation is emerging as an issue in the American West's interminable conflicts over control of water. On May 20, the US Bureau of Reclamation (BuRec), which supplies irrigation districts across the western states, issued a policy memo saying its water may not be used for marijuana. BuRec staff would document "all activities and communications" regarding "known or potential uses" of its waters for cannabis cultivation—and "will report such use to the Department of Justice." Washington state's Roza Irrigation District, which supplies BuRec water to some 72,000 acres in Yakima and Benton counties, in early April issued a "precautionary message" warning cannabis growers that they could get cut off.

Hash oil explosions in the news...

dab rigOK, here comes the latest media blitz in the backlash against the recent gains for cannabis legalization... The Associated Press on May 6 runs a lurid story (one of several suddenly in the news), topped by a photo of a forelorn burn victim petting his dog for comfort, entitled "Hash Oil Explosions Rise With Legalized Marijuana." The incendiary lede: "The opening months of Colorado's first-in-the-nation recreational marijuana industry have seen a rise in fiery explosions and injuries as pot users try to make the drug's intoxicating oil in crude home-based laboratories. Since Jan. 1, when sales began, the state's only certified adult burn center has treated 10 people with serious injuries they suffered while making hash oil, compared with 11 in 2013 and one in 2012." Firefighters in Colorado have responded to at least 31 hash-oil explosions so far this year, compared with 11 all of last year, according to the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area—a slightly questionable claim, given that the number of explosions and number of casualties for last year are identical. A police sargeant in the Denver suburb of Thornton, which saw its first such explosion in January, is quoted: "These today are the meth labs of the '90s."

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