Theo Stroomer/Getty Images
Sean Azzariti, an Iraq war veteran, prepares to make the first legal recreational marijuana purchase in Colorado from advocate Betty Aldworth at the 3-D Denver Discrete Dispensary on Wednesday in Denver.
* Special thanks to "Google Images", "The Denver Post", "ABC News",
"NBC News", "The New York Daily News" and "Food Safety News"
by Felicity Blaze Noodleman
Los Angeles, CA
Colorado enacted it's historic new recreational Marijuana law January 1, 2014 after voters approved Proposition 64 which decriminalized the sale and production of the drug. Almost 6 months later shops selling Marijuana have opened all over the state. Now that the sale of legalized Pot is off and running in Colorado the state has seen millions in sales tax roll in and seen tourists roll in as well to experience the historic freedom of purchasing the drug as an over the counter product.
Washington state now is preparing to follow suit with their own legalized recreational Marijuana stores having issued the first permit to grow and sell Cannabis as of March 2014. The state expects stores to begin opening sometime in June or July of this year and is processing over 2,200 applications for license to sell Pot in that state.
Elaine Thompson / AP
Sean Green displays his new Washington state legal marijuana license at a presentation March 5 in Olympia, Wash. Green, a medical marijuana dispensary operator from Spokane, was issued the producer-processor license under the state's recreational pot law at the Liquor Control Board meeting.
In view of these historic changes of drug laws in Colorado and now soon in Washington state, we felt is might be interesting to see what has happened in Colorado since Pot became legal. Now that Cannabis is legal, the first opportunity to collect statical data on a large scale in a uncontrolled environment will be possible.
Unlike previous clinical studies, marijuana use in the real world will be seen as never before. This has not happened in the United Stated since the beginning of the twentieth century. Clinical studies produced in the past will likely guide professional state and county officials as they begin collecting the new data.
Aaron Lynett/National Post files
Do teenagers do permanent damage to their intelligence by lowering their IQs smoking marijuana in their youth? The scientific jury is still out, or ought to be, according to a new analysis.
As we research this story on the Internet not knowing what we might find, a serious question is beginning to form about the legitimacy of the Colorado and Washington State Marijuana laws. Although these were ballot approved initiatives passed by the voters in those states, how is Colorado and Washington able to supersede the Federal Marijuana laws? It would seem to us that these Cannabis entrepreneurs who have opened Pot Shops could be in some real hot water with the Fed. when ever Federal Prosecutors and Law Enforcement Decide to take action!
Our best guess is evidence is being gathered even now as we are writing this article for what would undoubtedly the biggest drug bust of all time. Those who are convicted is such a "Super Drug Case" by Federal Prosecutors and the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) could be looking at some real hard time in the Federal Penitentiary. Our best advice: this is still a real hot potato issue until Federal permits are issued to Marijuana sellers. This is when the drug will truly be legal!
So without further commentary from us here are some really great articles describing how this historic attempt to legalize pot is going in the Rocky Mountain state.
These 5 Numbers Show Marijuana Legalization Is Going Well in Colorado
By: Jon Walker Tuesday February 25, 2014 8:20 am
Limited marijuana possession has been legal for over a year in Colorado and retail shops have been open for almost two months. This means there is now real data showing that legalization is going well and mostly as its backers intended. These five numbers tell the story:
1) 77 percent decrease in state court marijuana cases - Legalization has caused marijuana arrest to plummet saving the state money. This drop is remarkable given that Colorado already had fairly liberal marijuana laws before Amendment 64 was approved. The Denver Post found, “the number of cases filed in state court alleging at least one marijuana offense plunged 77 percent between 2012 and 2013. The decline is most notable for charges of petty marijuana possession, which dropped from an average of 714 per month during the first nine months of 2012 to 133 per month during the same period in 2013 — a decline of 81 percent.”
2) $184 Million in new tax revenue – Legal marijuana sales are now projected to bring in $184 million in new tax revenue for the state during the first 18 months. This is higher than initial projections. Much of this money will go to education and drug treatment.
This number isn’t just important because it will help the state balance its budget. Significant tax revenue also proves that people are choosing to move from the black market to the new legal system even though there are high excise taxes.
3) 58 percent support for legalization – Now the that people of Colorado have gotten a chance to directly experience legalization they are increasingly supportive. Currently 58 percent of voters in Colorado support the new legalization law while only 39 percent oppose it. By comparison, in 2012 the ballot measure only won by 55.3 percent yes to 44.7 percent no.
4) 10 percent last month usage rate – In the first month after retail stores opened only 10 percent of Colorado voters said they actually used marijuana. This is right in line with use rates before legalization, showing it has not turned the state into a “land of potheads.”
5) 6.3 percent increase in airline flight searches – Early indications are that legalization will also be a modest boost for tourism. According to Hopper, “Flight search demand for Denver has been 6.3% above the national search average since December 1st.” During the first week of January flight searches were up 14 percent.
Since marijuana was legalized in Colorado marijuana arrests are way down, tax revenue is up and support for reform continues to grow. This is what success looks like.
Jon Walker is the author of After Legalization: Understanding the future of marijuana policy
U.S. Says Legal Marijuana Growers Can't Use Federal Irrigation Water
By Hasani Gittens
Marcio Jose Sanchez / AP file
The Hoover Dam, in Nevada, is operated by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.
Marijuana growers operating legally in Colorado and Washington state took another hit from the federal government on Tuesday when the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation announced that pot growers are (still) not allowed to use federal irrigation waters.
Since 1902, the bureau has been charged with maintaining dams, power plants and canals in the 17 "western states" — from North Dakota, Nebraska and Texas to Washington, Oregon and California.
As such, the agency also provides irrigation for millions of acres of agriculture in Washington and Colorado, the two states that recently made recreational marijuana legal for adults.
But the bureau wants weed growers to know that, at least at the federal level, the times they aren't a-changing.
So, on Tuesday it reclarified a law that has been in place for decades.
"As a federal agency, Reclamation is obligated to adhere to federal law in the conduct of its responsibilities to the American people," Dan DuBray, chief of public affairs, said in a statement to NBC News.
The bureau says it had been fielding questions from all points west on the use of water in pot operations.
On Tuesday, in what's called a "temporary policy" decision, the bureau reiterated that federal law still rules.
"Reclamation will operate its facilities and administer its water-related contracts in a manner that is consistent with the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, as amended. This includes locations where state law has decriminalized or authorized the cultivation of marijuana. Reclamation will refer any inconsistent uses of federal resources of which it becomes aware to the Department of Justice and coordinate with the proper enforcement authorities," it said.
"Pretty soon it's going to be air. They're going to say you can't use the air because it belongs to the federal government."
That last line means that the bureau won't actually be enforcing the law so much as letting the Justice Department know when it believes marijuana growers are using federal water. It's also the responsibility of local bureaus and state offices to regulate who gets approved to use federal irrigation.
The decision is termed "temporary" because a permanent policy decision would require a lengthy process that includes public hearings.
According to the bureau, it delivers water to about 1.2 million acres of irrigated land each in Colorado and Washington.
Still, it remained unclear what sort of penalties legal weed growers who used federal irrigation waters would face.
In a statement to NBC News, Justice Department spokeswoman Ellen Canale said, "The Department of Justice will continue to enforce the Controlled Substances Act and will focus federal resources on the most significant threats to our communities. Our efforts will be guided by the eight factors set forth in the August 29, 2013 guidance memorandum."
Those eight factors are: preventing the distribution of marijuana to minors; preventing its revenue from going to criminal enterprises; preventing diversion to states where it is illegal; preventing state-authorized marijuana activity from being used as a cover for other illegal drug activity; preventing violence and the use of firearms in the cultivation of marijuana; preventing drugged driving and other adverse public health consequences; preventing growing of marijuana on public lands; and preventing marijuana possession or use on federal property.
Meanwhile, many in the burgeoning legal marijuana industry saw Tuesday's announcement as more of the same in terms of federal harassment for something that is sanctioned at the local level.
"It looks like another case of public officials acting against the better interests of themselves and their constituency due to a lack of critical thinking," Naomi McCulloch with Green Lion Farms in Seattle, and a member of the Association of Cannabis Breeders and Growers, told NBC News.
But she believed her fellow growers would find solutions to be completely independent of federal water.
"The general feeling is that there are ways to get water, if one source closes, another will open. It takes a lot of fortitude and planning to be a farmer, of any crop. If the government throwing up obstacles to our success stopped us, we wouldn't have made it this far," McCulloch said.
"We're used to this kind of treatment, the federal government looking for one obstacle after another to place hurdles before this industry," Elan Nelson, business consultant for Medicine Man dispensary in Denver, told The Associated Press. "We'll just have to find a way to deal with it and move on."
Since California legalized medical marijuana in 1996, 19 states have followed its lead, and last year Colorado and Washington became the first to allow recreational use of the drug.
But federal authorities from the DEA to the FBI to the IRS have often targeted those businesses who set up shop legally under state laws. And banks, universities and other institutions subject to federal oversight have shunned the legalized pot industry.
"Pretty soon it's going to be air," Nelson said. "They're going to say you can't use the air because it belongs to the federal government. It's just ridiculous."First published May 20 2014, 2:17 PM
RJ Sangosti/The Denver Post/Getty Images
PHOTO: Tripp Keber, CEO of Dixie Elixir, runs the Denver-based medical marijuana company that produces medicated and non-medicated food items, beverages and salves, May 24, 2012.
"New York Daily News"
Marijuana Tourists Flock to Colorado Lured By ‘Green’ Tours, Legalized Pot
Local businesses make a killing with a ‘tidal wave’ of drug vacationers to the Centennial State, where buying pot became legal Jan. 1, though not smoking it in public or carrying it across the border.
BY Justin Rocket Silverman , Jeanette Settembre
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Published: Sunday, January 5, 2014, 12:38 AM
Updated: Sunday, January 5, 2014, 10:16 PM
They came from far and wide, drawn to Denver by the green glow of legal marijuana sales.
“It’s pretty surreal out here,” said Marisa Impellizzeri, a 27-year-old master’s student from Kentucky. “I brought my camera to record this historic moment.”
Impellizzeri’s purchase was not a speedy one, as she and the hundreds of other customers at pot shop Evergreen Apothecary were given numbers and told to return in two hours to make their purchases.
In return for the wait, they were given limited edition certificates to prove they were among the first Americans to ever buy marijuana legally and without a prescription.
Since Colorado legalized recreational pot on Jan. 1, Evergreen has served ganja lovers from as far away as Australia and New Zealand, said co-owner Tim Cullen.
Even the tourist information desk at Denver International Airport had a list of the nearly 20 places in the city to buy legal grass.
“I’m still amazed the federal government is letting this happen,” said Cullen. “I can’t wait until New York state goes legal. Colorado will be small-time compared to that.”
Two people have been cited for public consumption since Colorado became the nation’s first state where buying a joint is completely legal.
The penalty for toking in public is the criminal equivalent of a parking ticket, with a top fine of $150.
Charlotte Southern Marijuana is weighed at Evergreen Apothocary in Denver as recreactional marijuana sales became legal at dispensaries across Colorado on Jan. 1.
Legal highs — and simple rules — are why Colorado is already becoming the first “pot tourism” mecca in the United States, the Alpine Amsterdam, if you will.
As such, tour companies are stoked to light up the drug vacationers.
Charlotte Southern Marisa Impellizzeri, 27, of Kentucky, outside Evergreen Apothecary in Denver, where she waited to buy recreational marijuana.The graduate student in advertising and brand management was in Denver to visit friends.
“The demand for our service has been nearly overwhelming — there’s a tidal wave,” said Peter Johnson of Colorado Green Tours, whose magic bus ferries visitors on tours of three of the newly legal dispensaries for $399 — weed not included.
An eighth of an ounce is running about $65.
Matt Brown owns another “green” tour company, My 420 Tours — which describes itself as “your best friend in Colorado.”
He said 4,000 people have already signed up for his ganja express, which will include visits with the pot growers, chefs who cook with wacky tobaccy and some of the dozens of shops in and around Denver where it’s now legal for anyone 21 or older to have a date with Mary Jane.
“We want to show you that this is real and something you can go home and talk about with people,” said Brown.
But Brown and others have already run into one major sticking point — where to put all those would-be potheads. The entire city of Denver only has about 600 hotel rooms where smoking is allowed — and it’s unclear whether owners will add more.
“I haven’t really decided,” says Dan King, owner of The Boulder Outlook Hotel.
“It’s possible that we can designate rooms where marijuana is allowed if there’s enough demand.”
"New York Daily News"
"Food Safety News"
"Food Safety News"
Murder, Illnesses Prompt Second Look at Recreational Marijuana Law in Colorado
By Dan Flynn | April 17, 2014
After months of keeping their hands off implementation of Colorado’s voter-approved initiative for recreational marijuana, the state’s political establishment may be having some second thoughts.
Two bills filed late in the Colorado Legislature appear to be on a fast track to put the first real limits on recreational marijuana since voters passed Amendment 64 in 2012, making recreational pot sales since Jan. 1, 2014, legal for anyone age 21 or older.
On Tuesday, Dr. Michael Distefano testified that Colorado Children’s Hospital has treated seven juveniles for acute illnesses stemming from ingesting edible forms of marijuana since the law went into effect.
And, on Monday night, before Distefano appeared before the House Committee on Health, Insurance, and Environment on two bills to rein in recreational marijuana, a mother of three from Denver on the phone with a 911 operator about the hallucinations being experienced by her husband was killed when he shot her in the head.
Dead is 44-year old Kristine A. Kirk. Her husband, Richard Kirk, 47, is being held without bond on a charge of first-degree murder. He volunteered his guilt while in custody, but before police began interrogating him. Denver Police are investigating whether Kirk smoked or ingested an edible form of marijuana. The 911 call was originally thought to be a domestic disturbance, and the dispatcher was told that the only gun in the home was kept in a safe. Officers arrived just ahead of the shooting.
With just three weeks before its scheduled adjournment, such events appear to be pushing the Colorado Legislature to make changes to the state’s marijuana laws in at least two important areas.
First, it appears to be ready to impose limits on the concentrations of marijuana. Amendment 64 permits Colorado residents to purchase one ounce of marijuana, but it makes no distinction between one ounce of just the leafy green plant or one ounce of a concentrated form such as the hash oil used in many edible forms of the drug. Second, lawmakers want to put more restrictions on the edible forms, including eliminating items that mimic popular cookies and candies and might appear good for marketing to children.
Amendment 64 advocates insist there is no toxic level for marijuana, and they are expected to push back hard on the two bills that have little time to run all legislative hurdles and still make it to the governor’s desk this year.
Without changes to the law, Colorado’s edible marijuana products are subject only to regulation by the Department of Revenue’s pot unit but not by public health officials, whose only role is to consult when asked.
State Rep. Frank McNulty (R-Highlands Ranch) says that achieving equivalences between marijuana from plants with the concentrates used in edibles will probably cost the state at least $100,000 to implement, but that every passing day is giving lawmakers reasons why some tightening is necessary.
The reports of edible marijuana making children sick and possibly playing a role in Kristine Kirk’s murder coincides with a new study showing that casual marijuana use can cause changes in the brain. Published in the Journal of Neuroscience, a 10-page report on the study says that brain alterations occur in young adults using marijuana before any dependence develops.
The report’s author, Dr. Hans Breiter of Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine and Massachusetts General Hospital, said that longer-term studies are needed to see if brain changes cause any symptoms over time.
Meanwhile, this year’s “4/20” event in Denver on April 19 and 20 won’t be a protest, but a festival at the Civic Center expected to draw 80,000 people each day. Organizers say they are spending $300,000 on the two-day event. Festival-goers will be warned that cannabis cannot be used in public, and police citations for public consumption are likely.
© Food Safety News
"Food Safety News"
Ed Andrieski/AP Photo
PHOTO: This April 11, 2013 photo shows Matt Brown, co-owner of Denver's new "My 420 Tours," looking over a sampling of marijuana edibles at a dispensary in Denver.
For Now, all we can really say is that since the Marijuana law has changed in the "Rocky Mountain State" is that some people are going "hog wild" for the Cannabis weed in as many forms as possible! Pot is still Illegal under Federal law, but Congress has yet to give their approval or disapproval on the issue in Colorado and Federal law enforcement has not acted. With the exception of a ban on using Federal water for the plants, Washington DC has been strangely silent on the subject.
We were able to collect many more articles to be used in conjunction with the four story's we are posting, but just the four seem to represent the current state of affairs in both Colorado and Washington State. This has been Felicity for the "Noodleman Group".
Washington state and Colorado have become the first U.S. states to legalize recreational marijuana use following voter referendums in 2012, capitalizing on rapidly-changing public opinion about the drug, which remains illegal under federal law.
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