Tuesday, December 3, 2013

420 Friendly or Reefer Madness? (Link Round-Up 12/3/13)

There are a remarkable number of news stories lately about legalization/decriminalization of a certain controlled substance. Here's quick round-up:

Final Uruguay Marijuana Legalization Vote Expected Next Week
Once the law goes into effect, Uruguay will have become the first country on the planet to break the global prohibitionist consensus embodied in the 1961 UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs and subsequent treaties when it comes to marijuana legalization.

The Dutch have long allowed limited retail sales, but they remain formally illegal, and the supply remains criminalized, and other countries have decriminalized possession, but not taken the next step. Two US states have taken the next step, but marijuana commerce remains illegal under federal law.

Under the bill, Uruguayan marijuana consumers will have choices. They will be able to grow their own individually (up to six plants) or collectively, they can buy it in pharmacies, or they can seek access as medical patients through the Ministry of Public Health.
Courts, US public at odds over worker firings for 'legal' marijuana use
The issues to consider are legion: How much discretion do firms have over how to handle workers who smoke pot in their nonwork hours? Can some kinds of workers (officers of the law, public transit drivers, school teachers) be held to a stricter standard than others? And perhaps most germane, when does federal law, which still outlaws marijuana possession and use, trump state law?
Jackson police will allow possession of marijuana on private property after public vote
"Target is private property, for example," Heins said. "But we don't think it was the public's intention to allow a 21-year-old to possess marijuana at your local Target."
Denver backs off plan to curb pot smoking ahead of legalization launch
The Denver City Council on Monday rejected an ordinance to prohibit marijuana use on front porches, in front yards, or anywhere on private property in public view, The Denver Post reported.

Many localities in Colorado and Washington state are nevertheless in a race to avoid full-scale legalization by pushing through last-minute laws aimed at telling adults where they can and cannot smoke.

In Colorado, legal pot sales start on Jan. 1. The Denver City Council is expected to take its final vote next week on the revised measure that allows people to smoke on their properties or with permission from the property owner, according to The Denver Post.
Denver Marijuana Warehouses Creating Massive Energy Demand, Emissions
Denver is now home to dozens of massive marijuana growing warehouses, and CBS4 obtained a full listing of their locations. Most are clustered along Interstate 70 north of downtown and South Santa Fe Drive, south of Interstate 25. And these massive warehouses are taking a toll on the energy grid, according to growers and scientists.

According to a 2011 study on energy use in the marijuana industry, indoor pot production uses about $6 billion worth of energy every year, using enough electricity to power 2 million average homes. The study by researcher Evan Mills at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory reports the marijuana industry is using 1 percent of national electricity consumption and is creating greenhouse gas pollution equivalent to that of 3 million cars.
Bill Clinton: ‘I Never Denied That I Used Marijuana’
Clinton might have been the first U.S. president to come clean about his marijuana use, but that didn’t translate into lenient drug policies.

He embraced a tough-on-crime approach to federal sentencing while in office. Federal and state prison populations rose more under his guidance than under any other president before him. Many of those inmates entered the penal system for drug crimes.

He also backed laws that excluded drug felons — even those convicted of simple marijuana possession — from receiving welfare, food stamps or public housing.
Chris Christie says no to bill expanding medical marijuana program
Christie told reporters today he is "not open to it," and believes it's just a back door way to legalize marijuana for everyone.

"See this is what happens. Every time you sign one expansion, then the advocates will come back and ask for another one," the governor said during a press conference from his statehouse office this afternoon. "Here's what the advocates want: They want legalization of marijuana in New Jersey. It will not happen on my watch, ever. I am done expanding the medical marijuana program under any circumstances. So we're done."
Medical marijuana fight could impact Florida governor's race
On Thursday the justices will consider a measure asking voters to allow doctors to prescribe the drug.

"It matters. The make-up of the electorate and what this amendment may do is bring out young people, may bring out more liberal people," said Corrigan.

If that happens, it could leave the GOP in the weeds. But the Republican Party is not sitting idly by; party leaders have challenged the ballot measure, saying it misleads voters.
1,326 applications submitted for marijuana licenses in Washington
Not all of those applications will be good ones. Many are submitted by the same business/person. Some cities and counties have moratoriums or outright bans on marijuana businesses. But the liquor board has said it will issue licenses even for areas of the state that don’t want pot businesses. Those cities and counties will likely face lawsuits for attempting to ban businesses permitted by state law.
Washington State Growers Roll The Dice On New Pot Licenses
"You don't get your license until it's done, until you have your final inspection," she says. "That is a huge cart-before-the-horse, where you're investing hundreds of thousands of dollars in equipment and transformers and leases and everything else, and technically you don't know if you're going to get a license or not."

Still, Rosellison thinks the potential payoff is worth the gamble.
California Appeals Court: Cities Can Ban All Medical Marijuana Homegrowing
The case revolves around the City of Live Oak, which passed an ordinance in 2011 banning medical marijuana cultivation. Patients there sued and a local judge sided with the city. Patients then appealed and the 3rd District Court of Appeals in Sacramento upheld the ban last week, according to reports, and said state law and previous court decisions "do not pre-empt a city's police power to prohibit the cultivation of all marijuana within that city."

There is no "unfettered right to cultivate marijuana for medical purposes," the appeals court said.

The appeals court held that banning medical marijuana growing in a city or county does not conflict with Proposition 215, the Compassionate Use Act approved by voters in 1996, or the 2003 Medical Marijuana Program approved by the Legislature.
Behold, the sloppy mechanics of state and national democracies at work. That alone is enough policy wonkery to take up your time for a while.


What you always suspected about Disney Channel stars
The first time I smoked weed was with Demi and Miley. I must have been 17 or 18. They kept saying, “Try it! Try it!” so I gave it a shot, and it was all right. I don’t even smoke weed that often anymore.

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