Colorado Warms to Pot Clubs, Despite Federal Uncertainty
ENVER (AP) — At risk of raising the ire of the White House, Colorado is on the brink of becoming the first state with licensed pot clubs. But the details of how these clubs will operate are as hazy as the underground clubs operating already.
Denver officials are working on regulations to open a one-year pilot of bring-your-own marijuana clubs, while state lawmakers are expected to consider measures to allow either marijuana “tasting rooms” run by marijuana dispensaries, or smoke-friendly clubs akin to cigar bars.
Alaska regulators, spooked by how the Trump administration might view marijuana, recently decided not to move forward with rules for use of marijuana at authorized stores, though the issue there isn’t dead.
New Study Shows Pot Can Help Kick Tobacco and Other Habits
Canada recently concluded a study on the benefits of medical marijuana and found that it was not only effective in pain management but that it also helped overcome addiction to more harmful vices.
The study, published in the International Journal of Drug Policy, found that marijuana use can diminish a user’s dependency on tobacco, alcohol and, in some cases, painkillers.
The researchers said this study was the first comprehensive survey of patients enrolled in Canada’s MMJ program.
The study, which involved 271 participants, is also viewed as one of the first major studies to make the connection between cannabis and substance addiction.
DEA Finally Removes Misinformation about Pot from Website
After months of public pressure and media attention, the DEA has finally removed some inaccurate information from its website.
The change comes after Americans for Safe Access filed a legal request with the Department of Justice in December, demanding that the DEA update and remove factually inaccurate information about cannabis from their website and materials.
Americans for Safe Access (ASA) argued that the more than 25 false statements on the DEA’s website about marijuana constituted a violation of the Information Quality Act (IQA), which requires that administrative agencies not provide false information to the public and that they respond to requests for correction of information within 60 days.
New Coalition Wants to Protect Workers From Being Fired Over Marijuana
Over half the nation has now legalized the leaf for medicinal and/or recreational purposes, putting millions of working class citizens in a position to consume the herb without any legal repercussions. However, many of these people are still at risk of catching some unwanted heat from inside the walls of the great American workforce because some companies still consider a positive test for marijuana to be grounds for termination.
It is for that reason there is now a push in legal marijuana states to pass protections for employees that feel threatened by no-tolerance drug policies. The national marijuana legalization advocacy group NORML is said to be spearheading these efforts in a number of jurisdictions, which it hopes will pave the way to new laws that prevent workers from being sent to the unemployment line for simply using a substance that has been deemed legal in the eyes of the state.
Cannabis Industry Shutdown Would Cause a Recession
If U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions decides to impose a lethal crackdown on legal marijuana states, industry leaders believe it would be catastrophic to Colorado’s economic prosperity.
During a recent interview with the Denver Channel, Kristi Kelly, executive director of the Marijuana Industry Group, said any decision by the Trump administration to launch a full-scale war against the legal cannabis industry would “cause a recession,” sending tens of thousands of Colorado workers to the unemployment line.
With the state now generating in upwards of $1 billion a year in legal marijuana sales, she said federal interference would have nothing less than devastating consequences.
Brazil: Supreme Court Justice Calls for Legalization of Cannabis and Cocaine
A justice who sits on Brazil’s highest court, the Supreme Federal Tribunal, has called for legalization of cannabis and cocaine to undercut the growing power of narco-gangs behind the wave of violence shaking South America’s largest nation. In comments picked up by Reuters, Justice Roberto Barroso, a Yale-educated jurist and professor of constitutional law, said that 50 years of drug war policies in Brazil have only fueled violence and bloated the country’s prison population and that time has come for an alternative.
“Unlike the United States and Europe where the problem lies in the impact drugs have on consumers, in Brazil, the problem lies in the power drug traffickers have over poor communities,” Barroso told reporters at the modernist high court building in Brasilia on Feb. 10. “I can assure you it is only a matter of time. Either we legalize marijuana now or we do it in the future after we have spent billions and incarcerated thousands.”
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