Pot ads on Denver buses prompt complaints
DENVER—Marijuana conference ads on Denver-area buses have law enforcement groups complaining they promote illegal drug use.
The ads for this weekend's KushCon "cannabis lifestyle" convention in Denver are believed to be the first marijuana-related advertising on public transit anywhere in the country. The ads say "Have a Kush Day!" and promote the convention. Kush is a type of marijuana and the name of the California-based sponsor, Kush Magazine.
The Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police and the Colorado Drug Investigators Association have complained about the ads to the Regional Transportation District.
The Denver Post reports that RTD will keep the ads, but modify them to better reflect that they are paid advertisements.
Marijuana License Fee May Increase
Layoffs in the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office, raising permit fees for marijuana cooperatives and doubling zip tie fees are topics on the Board of Supervisors Tuesday agenda. Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman listed seven sworn positions for layoff, as the board directed him to do during its Nov. 30 meeting. "The sheriff recommends that additional funding be allocated to the Sheriff's Office, to avoid cuts to Public Safety," Allman writes under the portion of the agenda summary marked "recommended action/motion." Allman's list includes two sergeants whose layoffs would save $61,130 and $54,044; three deputies whose layoffs would save $41,202, $36,387 and $33,608; and two corrections deputies whose layoffs would save $39,644 and $37,482.
The layoffs, if they are approved, would be effective Jan. 22. Estimated savings for the remaining 2010-11 fiscal year is $303,497, and the annual savings would be $693,138. The discussion is scheduled to take place at 9:30 a.m. Allman is also proposing to raise the current $1,050 fee to grow up to 99 marijuana plants to $1,500, a 42-percent increase. He also proposes doubling the cost of his zip ties, which growers attach to each marijuana plant that meets legal parameters, from $25 to $50."It has been determined that the marijuana cooperative license fee process requires more time," a summary justifying the increase states. "The more accurate time estimate is 20 hours. Implementation and oversight of the permit
Anti Drug Groups Protest RTD Bus Ads For Marijuana Convention
Colorado law enforcement groups are raising concerns over ads for a marijuana convention that are on RTD buses across the city. The Colorado Drug Investigators Association wrote in a letter last week to the Regional Transportation District board of directors that it worries that the ads — which promote the KushCon cannabis convention — send the wrong message. "Advertising a marijuana conference, on the sides of Colorado's main source of public transportation, will do anything but prevent further drug abuse," Jerry Peters, the association's vice president and an investigator with the North Metro Drug Task Force, wrote in the letter.
Peters asked that RTD remove the ads. On Friday, Daniel Brennan, president of the Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police, said his organization was drafting a letter to send to RTD over the ads. "We're sending mixed messages, I think, to the public and to the youth on this," said Brennan, who is also the Wheat Ridge police chief. RTD spokesman Scott Reed said Friday the ads would stay up although the transportation district told KushCon to modify them slightly to better reflect that they are paid advertisements. "It's an ad for an event that is being legally held at the Colorado Convention Center," Reed said. "There should be no implication of support or endorsement for that event."
RTD policy prohibits ads that tout illegal products or services. Because marijuana distribution is illegal federally, Reed said, RTD does not allow ads for medical-marijuana dispensaries even though medical marijuana is legal in Colorado. But KushCon despite billing itself as a "cannabis lifestyle" convention with appeal to marijuana enthusiasts — is a legal event that will not include marijuana on site. Bob Selan, chief executive of Dbdotcom, which publishes the marijuana-centric Kush Magazine and is sponsoring the convention, said the event's main purpose is to provide information to medical-marijuana patients and other curious people.
Marijuana Legalization Push Gets Voice On Capitol Hill
The cannabis industry has flexed its muscles in 15 states where it's legal to smoke marijuana for medical purposes. Now the industry is ready to go to work in Washington. A new trade group called the National Cannabis Industry Association is an attempt to bring together sellers, growers and manufacturers and to promote pot on Capitol Hill. "Our intent is to be the go-to organization in Washington for this industry," said Aaron Smith, the group's executive director.
For the past five years, Smith worked as the California director of the Marijuana Policy Project. "There's been a lot of enthusiasm. It's pretty clear that the medical marijuana industry is becoming recognized more and more by the mainstream as a fully legitimate part of the economy." Even though California voters last month rejected a ballot initiative to legalize marijuana for all adults, it was just a matter of time before the drug was fully legalized.
"Legalization is looking inevitable," he said. "It didn't happen in 2010, but it's likely to happen in 2012. It's going to be relatively soon we're going to see states move from medical marijuana into broader legal markets. And the federal government needs to catch up. Frequently the American people are ahead of the Congress." But Smith will have a hard time finding many marijuana advocates in Congress. On Wednesday, the House of Representatives voted 400-4 to back a resolution sponsored by California Republican Rep. Wally Herger that calls on authorities to get tougher with those who cultivate marijuana on federal land.
Medical Marijuana A New Challenge For Schools
Now that Arizona has become the 15th state to approve the use of medical marijuana, Valley school leaders say it will likely fall in the prescription-drug category, and any abuses will be handled the same as other prescription medications. Some districts are talking with California schools to see how they have handled the issue. It was the first state to approve a medical-marijuana law, in 1996.
Medical marijuana will be yet another challenge to schools as they urge students to stay away from drugs, especially since prescription-drug abuse is most common among young people. "We will continue to work with students to understand it's not healthy and not a good lifestyle choice and here's why," said Lorah Neville, director of curriculum for the Chandler Unified School District. "Just because you can get a prescription for something doesn't mean it's safe."
In the Phoenix Union High School District, spokesman Craig Pletenik doesn't foresee any changes in curriculum because medical marijuana is still a drug, prescription or not. Proposition 203, approved by voters last month, prohibits possession and use of medical marijuana on a school bus or school grounds.
Miley's Bong Fires Up Anti-Salvia Movement
Anthony Adams -- a former CA State Assemblyman -- tells TMZ it was irresponsible of Miley to smokesalvia, which he says can make "you do incredibly crazy things." Adams adds, "Miley is a star and young kids are going to emulate her behavior."
Back in 2007, Adams tried to get salvia outlawed and classifed as a Schedule I controlled substance -- the same as LSD and marijuana. When the bill was voted down ... Adams settled for restrictions on selling salvia to minors. It is still legal in California for adults.
After seeing the video of Miley smoking the drug, Adams thinks this is the perfect time to bring back his failed bill: "It's time for state and federal governments to renew their push toward an outright ban."
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