Are aging baby boomers ready to rekindle a long-ago love affair with marijuana? That is a weighty question for cultural anthropologists and cool-eyed business analysts alike as the once celebrated, later maligned, but explicitly contraband cannabis plant goes legit — for the first time in nearly 80 years — in a new era of medical and recreational use.
For many who smoked marijuana in their dorms in the ’60s and ’70s, it was an act of rebellion, a communal experience, and maybe a political statement. Today’s product is more likely to be marketed as anti-inflammatory than anti-establishment. And, to the distinct discomfort of some, it may come in a neat corporate package rather than an illicit nickel bag.
“I remember the smoke-filled theaters of our college years,” said Kathryn Maynes, 57, a Beacon Hill boomer who works for a real estate development firm. “There was the obligatory ‘Reefer Madness’ (film) on the screen and people blowing weed. It was very sociable. You didn’t just light up and have a joint to yourself. It was inclusive, it was friendly.”
Maynes, however, gave up marijuana in her 20s an. . . . . READ MORE
Marijuana users really enjoy strong weed, but would prefer that it came without paranoia, memory loss and impaired ability to function. That’s according to a new report from the Global Drug Survey in partnership with The Huffington Post, which anonymously surveyed more than 38,000 users around the globe.
All marijuana is not created equal. Effects can vary depending on the plant variety, cultivation, processing and blending. Cannabis has two major plant types — indica and sativa — and hundreds of hybrid strains with different characteristics. It’s produced in forms that include dried flowers, oil and wax.
The survey asked users what they’d like in a “perfect cannabis.” The results show that the “global dominance of high potency [marijuana] leaves many users far from satisfied,” the researchers say.
So what would the effects be of perfect pot — or “balanced bud” as the Global Drug Survey calls it?
Users want their cannabis to be strong and pure. And they want it to have a distinct flavor, and to impart a high marked b. . . . . READ MORE
A steep drop in charges filed against adults over 21 in Washington state after legalization of marijuana shows the new law is freeing up court and law-enforcement resources to deal with other issues, a primary backer of the law said Wednesday.
The state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) found that such low-level charges were filed in just 120 cases in 2013, down from 5,531 cases the year before. “The data strongly suggest that I-502 has achieved one of its primary goals — to free up limited police and prosecutorial resources,” Mark Cooke, criminal-justice policy counsel with the state ACLU, said in a news release.
Ian Goodhew, deputy chief of staff at the King County Prosecutor’s Office, said that hasn’t been the case in his office. He said prosecutors handled only a few misdemeanor pot cases a day before the law went into effect.
“There’s no great relief of workload,” Goodhew said. “All this has meant is maybe our calendar in District Court in the Seattle division is maybe, instead of 46 cases in a day, 44 or 43 or 42. We’re no longer filing misdemeanor marijuana cases, but we were not ex. . . . . READ MORE
The tax total reported by the state Department of Revenue indicates $14.02 million worth of recreational pot was sold. The state collected roughly $2.01 million in taxes.
Colorado legalized pot in 2012, but the commercial sale of marijuana didn’t begin until January. Washington state sales begin in coming months.
The pot taxes come from 12.9 percent sales taxes and 15 percent excise taxes. Voters approved the pot taxes last year. They declared that the first $40 million of the excise tax must go to school construction; the rest will be spent by state lawmakers.
Colorado has about 160 state-licensed recreational marijuana stores, though local licensing kept some from opening in January. Local governments also have the ability to levy additional pot sales taxes if they wish.
There should be, one might think, a note of triumph or at least quiet satisfaction in Muraco Kyashna-tocha’s voice. Her patient-based cooperative in north Seattle dispenses medical marijuana to treat seizures, sleeplessness and other maladies. And with the state gearing up to open its first stores selling legal marijuana for recreational use, the drug she has cultivated, provided to patients and used herself for years seems to be barreling toward the mainstream.
But her one-word summary of the outlook for medical marijuana is anything but sunny: “Disastrous,” she said, standing in her shop, Green Buddha, which she fears she will soon have to close.
The legalization of recreational marijuana for adults in Washington, approved by voters in 2012 and now being phased in, is proving an unexpectedly anxious time for the users, growers and dispensers of medical marijuana, who came before and in many ways blazed the trail for marijuana’s broader acceptance.
In the 16 years since medical marijuana became legal here, an entire ecosystem of neighborhood businesses and cooperative gardens took root, with employees who could direct med. . . . . READ MORE
California Democrats have approved a party platform including a plank calling for marijuana legalization, marking a major shift for the state party. As the San Francisco Chronicle reports, state party delegates moved Sunday to adopt a platform that includes support for “the legalization, regulation and taxation of pot in a manner similar to that of tobacco or alcohol.” The platform was adopted by a near-unanimous voice vote.
California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, formerly the mayor of San Francisco, made the case for the position change during the Democrats’ 3-day convention in Los Angeles.
“It’s time for all of us to step up and step in and lead once again in California, just as we did in 1996. We did just that with medical marijuana,” Newsom said during his Saturday address to the convention. “But for almost 20 years now, we’ve sat back admiring our accomplishment while the world, the nation, and states like Colorado and Washington have passed us by. … It’s time to legalize, it’s time to tax, it’s time to regulate marijuana for adults in California.”
Newsom continued, “This is not a debate a. . . . . READ MORE
It’s time to get real about marijuana laws in the state of Minnesota. Passing a medical marijuana law will, in all likelihood, be the first step in total legalization of the drug for recreational use, just as it has proved to be in Colorado and Washington and soon will in California and other states.
Why not go there now? Most Americans think marijuana is a tightly controlled substance in DEA Schedule I, the most addictive class of drugs, they believe, based on good scientific and medical evidence. That couldn’t be further from the truth.
Whether the use of a drug is considered abuse or not is determined by society, not by health care professionals. Why else would tobacco and alcohol use be legal in the United States when these are both known to be harmful? In fact, the World Health Organization considers alcohol to be the most dangerous drug in the world, yet it and tobacco are completely legal to use by anyone over the ages of 21 and 18, respectively. However, go to an Islamic country and you’ll find that consumption of alcohol is considered drug abuse because society has deemed it so.
From our own country’s past we have learned tha. . . . . READ MORE
Prosecutors, police chiefs and sheriffs gathered Tuesday in Annapolis to push back against the growing movement to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana or to legalize recreational use of the drug altogether.
At a news conference and at a Senate hearing, law enforcement leaders warned that loosening marijuana laws would undermine drug enforcement across the board. They said it would be premature to pass a bill following in the footsteps of Colorado and Washington state, which recently legalized pot, and opposed a separate measure that would treat possession as a minor civil offense.
“This legislation sends a horrible message,” said Riverdale Park Police Chief David Morris, speaking for the Maryland Chiefs of Police Association.
Harford County State’s Attorney Joseph I. Cassilly, speaking on behalf of the Maryland State’s Attorneys Association, called the movement to legalize pot in Maryland “a rush to judgment.”
Cassilly said the state should wait for legalization in Colorado and Washington to be thoroughly studied, instead of relying on “anecdotal evidence from a bunch of pot heads.”
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The Committee to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Alaska hit 31,593 valid signatures Tuesday, well above the 30,169 signatures required to place the measure before voters. The initiative is expected to appear on the Aug. 19 primary ballot once a final count is certified by the state.
Alaska follows in the footsteps of Colorado and Washington, where voters approved measures to regulate the sale of recreational marijuana for adults in November 2012. Colorado unveiled the nation’s first retail pot shops in Jan. 1, and Washington is expected to begin marijuana sales in June.
Dependably Republican Alaska would become the reddest state to approve retail marijuana, but Committee spokesman Taylor Bickford predicted the legalization effort would appeal to the electorate’s libertarian streak.
“Alaska voters have a large degree of respect for personal liberty and freedom, and that’s re. . . . . READ MORE
Twenty states plus the District of Columbia now allow sales of medicinal marijuana, allowing pot prescriptions to treat pretty much any malady, from a headache to a hangnail. Colorado and Washington have legalized the drug for recreational use, too.
Yet federal law still prohibits the possession, use and sale of marijuana for any reason. This dichotomy explains why some banks are reluctant to accept the large amounts of cash that pot purveyors generate — even if the cash is legal under state law.
To redress this, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has promised to issue guidelines to make it easier for marijuana sellers who are operating in accordance with their state laws to use the banking system. Large amounts of cash “just kind of lying around with no place for it to be appropriately deposited,” Holder mused, “is something that would worry me, from a law enforcement perspective.”
The fact is, Holder encouraged those bundles of unbanked cash to be assembled in the first place. Last year, perhaps in a nod to opinion polls showing that a majority of Americans favor marijuana le. . . . . READ MORE