Bill would ban synthetic marijuana in Colorado
DENVER -- Colorado may join roughly 20 other states in banning chemicals used to make synthetic marijuana.
Senate Bill 134 would ban synthetic cannabinoids which are often sold under the brand names Spice and K2.
When consumed, the chemicals mimic the effects of cannabis.
The bill’s introduction comes a week after the Air Force Academy suspended 25 cadets accused of using synthetic marijuana.
SB 134 would make synthetic cannabinoids illegal to possess or sell, and it would make no exception for people with legal clearance to use medical marijuana.
Man asks cops about growing pot, is arrested
Marijuana dispensary now in Tacoma mall
Freighthouse Square, Tacoma’s eclectic, homespun shopping center in the heart of the Dome District, has suddenly become even more eclectic.
Now, along with the pita bread sandwiches, model trains and vintage clothing, there’s a shop where medical marijuana patients can pick up hashish-infused gumballs, buy pot cookies and choose from more than a dozen varieties of resiny marijuana buds.
A medical marijuana collective called Natures Resource Center opened downstairs in Freighthouse Square, offering an array of products for those who have obtained authorization under the state’s medical marijuana law.
Marijuana collectives are no longer particularly unusual in Tacoma.
In the past six months, at least a half dozen have opened in various parts of town, capitalizing on a gray area in the state law that, by some readings, allows such operations. Some offer home delivery.
What is unusual about Nature’s Resource is its location. Most of Tacoma collectives have set up shop on quiet streets or nondescript office parks.
Nature’s Resource is squarely in the middle of one of the city’s most popular family attractions and right next door to City Blocks, which makes specialty creations out of Legos and has a play area heavily used by children.
As a result, the new store has raised some sharp criticism.
Substance Abusers May Have Difficulty Identifying Emotions
New research suggests individuals who abuse drugs have difficulty identifying emotions from facial expression. Spanish scientists from the University of Granada analyzed the relation between drug abuse and recognition of basic emotions (happiness, surprise, wrath, fear, sadness and disgust) by drug abusers. They found the abusers had trouble identifying wrath, disgust, fear and sadness by facial expression. Further, regular abuse of alcohol, cannabis and cocaine usually affects abusers’ cognitive fluency (how easy it is to think about something) and decision-making. Consuming cannabis and cocaine negatively affects working memory and reasoning. Similarly, cocaine abuse influences inhibition.
For the purpose of this study, researchers carried out a neuropsychological evaluation (with neurocognitive evaluation and emotional processing tests) of a total of 123 polysubstance abusers and 67 no-drug users with similar social and demographic backgrounds (age and schooling). The target population were individuals who consumed drugs such as cocaine, cannabis, heroin, alcohol, MDMA (ecstasy) and methamphetamine, and who were enrolled in two rehabilitation projects in the province of Granada.
The study revealed that 70 percent of drug abusers presented some type of neuropsychological deterioration, regardless of the type of substance consumed. Deterioration was most pronounced in working memory, but fluency, flexibility, planning, multitasking ability and interference were also affected. Dr. J.M. Fernández Serrano, a psychologist and principal investigator, thinks that the results obtained “should be employed to develop political and social policies aimed at promoting adequate rehab programs adapted to the neuropsychological profile of drug-abusers.” The research conducted at the University of Granada has been the first to study the prevalence of psychological deterioration in drug abusers enrolled in therapeutic communities.
Battle Between Oakland, CA And Feds Heats Up
Late last year we reported on the Oakland, CA City Council’s decision to suspend plans concerning 4 large “industrial” marijuana farms in the wake of threats from the federal government to intervene. We reported then that the council would revisit the issue on February 1st. They have, and it doesn’t look good for proponents of the large cannabis farms idea.
In no uncertain terms the federal government says that marijuana is illegal and they will treat it as such. According to a letter from U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag, marijuana is against federal law and “anyone who “knowingly facilitates” others to commit the crimes associated with marijuana growing is also breaking federal law.” Her letter went on to say that the federal government doesn’t waste resources on targeting sick people, but they are looking into the matter of Oakland’s cannabis farms and deciding what they will do.
Ominous words, intended to make the city scrap these plans altogether. The city council has to decide how much of a battle these large farms are worth. If they are allowed to open, chances are good the DEA will sweep through and shut them down, take all the cannabis, cash, and equipment they can find, then condemn the warehouses. This looks like something we will have to revisit down the line. The DEA is too powerful and too hostile for something like this to work currently.
City of Oakland Warned By Feds About Marijuana Law
The U.S. attorney's office has warned Oakland officials that the city's marijuana farm ordinance breaks federal law and would put cannabis cultivators in criminal and civil jeopardy.
The ordinance was passed in July by the City Council but has since been put aside after local law enforcement leaders warned that it could result in criminal prosecution of city officials.
In a Feb. 1 letter to Oakland, Melinda Haag, the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of California, wrote: "Individuals who elect to operate 'industrial cannabis cultivation and manufacturing facilities' will be doing so in violation of federal law."
Haag's letter marks the first time federal authorities have sent a written warning on Oakland's ordinance and comes as the council is in the midst of considering a new proposal to license pot farms. Haag, however, did not weigh in on the latest proposal, and Department of Justice officials refused to comment on it.
Thus, some council members said they intend to continue moving forward with the plan by Councilwoman Desley Brooks that would license five new dispensaries, which would each have farms of up to 50,000 square feet.
Haag's letter calls marijuana a controlled substance and says that federal authorities do not pursue "seriously ill" people who use medicinal marijuana approved by state law. Landlords, property owners, financiers and others, however, could face prosecution and the loss of property for growing marijuana under Oakland's law, Haag wrote.
Read more: http://www.sfgate.com
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