Colorado Governor Calls Legislature Back to Repair Pot Tax
DENVER (AP) — Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper has called a special session of the Legislature to correct a mistake in a law governing taxes on marijuana.
Hickenlooper said Thursday the session will start Oct. 2 and will deal only with the marijuana tax.
The governor says a law passed by the Legislature this year consolidated two marijuana taxes into one but inadvertently prevented some government entities from collecting the tax.
Hickenlooper says the mistake makes it harder for some special districts and other government entities to pay for services to their constituents.
The governor says he consulted with the sponsors of the bill, legislative leaders and the agencies affected by the mistake before deciding to call a special session.
He didn’t set a time limit on the session.
Insurer Says It Shouldn’t Have to Pay for MMJ
AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — The Maine supreme court on Wednesday began considering whether a paper millworker left suicidal by narcotic painkillers should receive workers’ compensation for medical marijuana.
It’s the first time the court has considered the question of insurance reimbursement for medical marijuana.
Madawaska resident Gaetan Bourgoin won a ruling from the state’s Workers’ Compensation Board two years ago saying the paper mill’s insurer must reimburse him for medical marijuana. He contends marijuana is cheaper and safer than narcotics.
But Twin Rivers Paper Co. and its insurer appealed the ruling, arguing that paying for pot use, even for medical purposes, could expose the companies to prosecution since marijuana still is illegal at the federal level.
Summer of Raids: How California Cops Are Defeating Legalization
Marijuana legalization is not quite a year old in California, but it would be a mistake to believe there’s much that’s particularly “new,” in either concept or in action.
“California pot stores are on the brink of opening,” is the headline over a report filed by a correspondent for the UK-based Independent. That’s sort of true.
According to the state’s pot czar, Lori Ajax, a former alcohol regulator, the state should join Nevada, Oregon, Colorado, Washington and Alaska in allowing adults over 21 to walk into a store and buy weed sometime after January 2, which is still a few months off (and even that deadline may be blown if state and local lawmakers don’t do their jobs).
For now, the main new newness, and the major change in the way of life in the state’s pot-producing counties, is purely clerical.
California Bill Would Ban Smoking Pot on Beaches
Tucked inside a piece of legislation aimed at preventing people from using cigarettes in parks and along beaches all across California is language that would also make it unlawful to smoke marijuana in these places, even if the consumption is done through the use of a vaporizer.
Legislative forces in the Golden State recently sent a bill to the desk of Governor Jerry Brown calling for a total prohibition on marijuana smoke, as part of its effort to clean up areas of recreation all over the state. If passed, the non-smoking rule would apply to hundreds of miles of beaches and nearly 300 state parks, according to the Los Angeles Times.
“This bill would reduce the serious health hazards posed by smoking—to people and wildlife—in our state parks and beaches,” said State Senator Steve Glazer, one of the sponsors of the bill. “It would reduce fire hazards and litter and the costs for those now borne by the public.”
Uruguay Sets Up Marijuana-Only Shops after Challenge by Banks
MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay (AP) — The government announced Wednesday that it is changing its retail system for legalized marijuana because banks were making it difficult for pharmacies to sell pot as had been planned.
The sale of marijuana by pharmacies has been hindered because banks are refusing to deal with companies linked to pot in order to follow international financial laws.
A government official, Juan Andres Roballo, said Uruguay will now set up shops to sell pot for cash. He said this will avoid the problems faced by pharmacies.
Why Are Charities Too Good for Marijuana Money?
Politicians in Colorado, California, Oregon and other states where the robust marijuana industry’s billions flow have been happy to capitalize on the bounty—the bounty of money, and the bounty of people with money, eager to convert their cash into political influence.
As the Los Angeles Times reported, the cannabis industry has a clear favorite (and chief beneficiary of their generosity) in the race to become California’s next governor in Gavin Newsom, the state’s lieutenant governor and the most prestigious support of last year’s successful legalization effort. In Nevada, the marijuana industry is making its preference for the Democratic Party clear—hardly surprising, given Republican sugar daddy Sheldon Adelson’s (failed) effort to put it out of business.
This is fine—marijuana is a business and deserves to hire lobbyists, lawyers and attempt to influence lawmakers like any other. There’s Big Oil and Big Tech, and soon there will be Big Weed. This is part of what legalization is all about.
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