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Colorado “Pot as Porn” Magazine Restriction Declared Unconstitutional

June 8th

DENVER, CO — The Colorado legislature’s plan to require marijuana related magazines to be treated as pornography and displayed behind the counter went up in smoke Thursday when Attorney General John Suthers said the provision was unconstitutional and would be ignored.

“No magazine whose primary focus is marijuana or marijuana businesses is required to be sold only in retail marijuana stores or behind the counter in establishments where persons under twenty-one years of age are present, because such a requirement would violate the United States Constitution, the Colorado Constitution, and section 24-4-103(4)(a.5)(IV), C.R.S,” the Attorney General’s office said in a statement Thursday.

The unusual provision to treat pot magazines like pornography was a late amendment introduced by Republican Rep. Bob Gardner to Colorado’s bill to establish a regulated marijuana market for adults, making Colorado the first — and only — state to require stores that allow entry to shoppers under age 21 to place pot magazines behind the counter.

“We applaud the Attorney General’s decision to declare as unconstitutional this absurd rule that marijuana-related publications be treated like pornographic material,” said Mason Tvert, spokesman for the Marijuana Policy Project.

“The idea that stores can prominently display ma. . . . . READ MORE

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The Starbucks of Pot? Ex-Microsoft Exec Wants to Create National Marijuana Brand

May 31st

dispensary jars of marijuana

SEATTLE, WA — A former Microsoft executive plans to create the first U.S. national marijuana brand, with cannabis he hopes to eventually import legally from Mexico, and said he was kicking off his business by acquiring medical pot dispensaries in three U.S. states.

Jamen Shively, a former Microsoft corporate strategy manager, said he envisions his Seattle-based enterprise becoming the leader in both recreational and medical cannabis – much like Starbucks is the dominant name in coffee, he said.

Shively, 45, whose six years at Microsoft ended in 2009, said he was soliciting investors for $10 million in start-up money.

The use, sale and possession of marijuana remains illegal in the United States under federal law. Two U.S. states have, however, legalized recreational marijuana use and are among 18 states that allow it for medical use.

“It’s a giant market in search of a brand,” Shively said of the marijuana industry. “We would be happy if we get 40 percent of it worldwide.”

A 2005 United Nations report estimated the global marijuana trade to be valued at $142 billion.

Washington state and Colorado became the first two U.S. states to legalize recreational marijuana when voters approved l. . . . . READ MORE

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Colorado Law Enforcement Applauds Historic Marijuana Regulations

May 29th

DENVER – A group of law enforcement officials is celebrating today after Colorado’s governor John Hickenlooper signed six bills establishing a regulatory framework for the state’s newly legalized marijuana market into law Tuesday.

LEAPThe bills are the result of months of work of a specially appointed task force that looked into the issue and made recommendations for how to implement the proposition legalizing marijuana voters overwhelmingly approved last November.

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, a group of law enforcement officials opposed to the war on drugs, while not endorsing all measures called for in the bills, was optimistic about the future of legalized regulation in Colorado.

“Yesterday Colorado became the first place in history to implement full taxation and regulation of marijuana,” said former judge Leonard Frieling, a LEAP speaker. “Taxpayers win under this system. Courts win und. . . . . READ MORE

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The Highs (and Lows) of Colorado’s Recreational Marijuana Laws

May 29th

For the first year, only established medical marijuana dispensaries will be able to offer marijuana to adults.

For the few months, only established medical marijuana dispensaries will be able to offer marijuana to adults.

DENVER, CO — Colorado’s governor signed six marijuana regulatory bills into law Tuesday while the state awaits a federal response to recreational marijuana legalization.

The new laws seek to regulate legalized cannabis and keep it away from children, without being so strict that marijuana sales stay in the black market.

Some highlights from Colorado’s new cannabis laws:

YOU CAN COME BUY IT, BUT YOU CAN’T TAKE IT HOME

Visitors to Colorado will have purchasing limits of a quarter-ounce of marijuana in a single transaction. The law doesn’t ban adults over 21 from possessing a full ounce, residents or not. But the purchasing limits w. . . . . READ MORE

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Governor Hickenlooper Signs Bills Regulating Marijuana for Adult Use

May 29th

marijuana money

DENVER— Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper signed legislation Tuesday that continue the reform of marijuana laws in Colorado, set in motion last November by the voters of the state.

Once voters made it clear that marijuana prohibition must end, Hickenlooper established a task force of various stakeholder communities to provide guidance for the general assembly to enact legislation to implement Amendment 64.  The task force recommendations became the basis of the work of a select legislative committee that devised the bills signed today by the Governor.

“Despite not supporting Amendment 64, our Governor has shown true leadership by ensuring his office and the general assembly implemented the will of the voters,” said Art Way, senior drug policy manager for the Drug Policy Alliance.  “These implementing pieces of legislation signed by the governor are the beginning of statewide efforts to bring marijuana above ground in a mann. . . . . READ MORE

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Colorado Gov. to Sign Marijuana Tax and Regulation Bills Today

May 28th

Colorado Amendment 64 victory celebration, November 2012.

Colorado Amendment 64 victory celebration, November 2012.

DENVER, CO —  Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper is expected to sign a series of bills Tuesday that will tax and regulate marijuana as approved by voters in Colorado.

The legislature was charged with creating the rules and regulations for the recreational cannabis industry when voters approved the marijuana legalization Amendment 64 last November, and finalized those regulations in early May.

The bills will establish, among other things, the regulations regarding how marijuana should be grown, packaged and sold.  The bills also include a law giving the voters the option of imposing a 25% tax on recreational cannabis, a bill to create new impaired driving limits, and a bill allowing marijuana businesses in Colorado to claim certain business deductions at the state tax level.

The marijuana regulation bills, READ MORE

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First Amendment Lawsuits Threatened Over ‘Pot Pornography’ Provision

May 10th

High Times covers

DENVER, CO — A Denver attorney says he plans to file a First Amendment lawsuit against the government of Colorado if Governor John Hickenlooper signs a bill passed this week by the state legislature that requires marijuana magazines to be treated like pornography — placed behind the counter at retail stores.

The unusual provision to treat pot magazines like pornography was added last week by a Senate committee, making Colorado the first — and only — state to require stores that allow entry to shoppers under age 21 to place pot magazines behind the counter.

Supporters of marijuana legalization point out that tobacco and alcohol magazines are not subject to such scrutiny.

“I have no problem with keeping High Times behind the counter, as long as its displayed there next to Cigar Aficionado and Beer Advocate,” said one Denver resident.  ”But if those magazines are not kept behind the counter, neither should High Times.”

Denver attorney David Lane, who represents the Daily Doobie and Hemp Connoisseur, says if the ‘treat pot as pornography’ rule goes into effect, he is prepared to launch a lawsuit claiming his cl. . . . . READ MORE

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Colorado Legislature Passes Sentencing Reform Bill

May 10th

Colorado State Prison

DENVER, CO — In the final week of Colorado’s legislative sessions, while all the attention was focused on passing marijuana commerce regulations, the state legislature quietly passed a measure designed to reduce the number of drug offenders sent to prison and save the state money.

Senate Bill 250 had passed the Senate in April, the House passed it with amendments last Friday, and the Senate concurred with the House version Monday.

The bill creates a separate sentencing system for drug offenders and allows people convicted of some felony drug charges to be sentenced to probation and community-based sentencing and see that felony charge changed to a misdemeanor conviction upon completion of probation.

It also creates an “exhaustion of remedies” requirement for some drug offenders. That means they must have already participated in several other forms of treatment and sentencing before being sentenced to prison.

Those and other reform provisions in the bill wil. . . . . READ MORE

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Colorado Lawmakers Establish Regulated Marijuana Market for Adults

May 9th

marijuana bud and joint

DENVER, CO — On the final day of their legislative session, the Colorado legislature made history Wednesday by passing the first bills nationwide to establish a regulated marijuana market for adults.  The legislature was charged with doing so when voters approved the marijuana legalization Amendment 64 last November.

In addition to passing and sending to the governor a bill to regulate the recreational cannabis market in Colorado, the legislature also passed a bill to establish what will become the first tax ever collected on commercial sales of marijuana purchased for recreational use in the United States.

Two other bills were passed by the legislature this week relating to marijuana: one that would establish a driving impairment standard, and another which treats marijuana magazines, such as High Times and Nuggs, as pornography, requiring them to be kept behind the counter at retail stores.

The marijuana regulation bills, READ MORE

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Colorado Legislature Establishes Regulated Marijuana Market for Adults

May 9th

marijuana bud and joint

DENVER, CO — On the final day of their legislative session, the Colorado legislature made history Wednesday by passing the first bills nationwide to establish a regulated marijuana market for adults.  The legislature was charged with doing so when voters approved the marijuana legalization Amendment 64 last November.

In addition to passing and sending to the governor a bill to regulate the recreational cannabis market in Colorado, the legislature also passed a bill to establish what will become the first tax ever collected on commercial sales of marijuana purchased for recreational use in the United States.

Two other bills were passed by the legislature this week relating to marijuana: one that would establish a driving impairment standard, and another which treats marijuana magazines, such as High Times and Nuggs, as pornography, requiring them to be kept behind the counter at retail stores.

The marijuana regulation bills, READ MORE

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