… Read the rest
In my syndicated newspaper column this week, I follow up my recent Pando report about marijuana legalization by firing up the flux capacitor and taking readers back to the front lines of the drug war circa 2006. It is worth taking a moment to go a little deeper in this space, because there is a key “you gotta see/hear it to believe it” revelation that doesn’t fully translate in a written recounting of that era.
Back then, in a precursor of what was to come under President Barack “Choom Gang” Obama, President George W. Bush was intensifying the federal government’s specific crusade against marijuana, a drug Dubya had suggested he personally used. Yet, in their eagerness to demonize cannabis and make it seem uncool, Bush and the hard-core prohibitionists in his drug czar’s office accidentally admitted that marijuana isn’t all that dangerous.
Tag Archives | Marijuana
You know your product is hot when you can’t keep it in stock, and that’s exactly what’s happening at legal marijuana shops in Colorado reports TIME:
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A few days into the experiment, the new world of legal-recreational-marijuana sales in Colorado appears to be a big success — so much so that pot shops are finding it impossible to keep up with demand.
According to the Denver Post, at least 37 stores in Colorado were licensed to sell recreational pot to anyone 21 or over as of New Year’s Day. The Associated Press and others reported long lines outside Denver pot shops, with some eager customers forced to wait three to five hours before getting a chance to go inside, step up to the counter and make a purchase.
Prices have been steep — in some cases, stores were charging $50 or even $70 for one-eighth of an ounce of pot that cost medical marijuana users just $25 the day before — and taxes add on an extra 20% or so.
David Sirota asks the fundamental questions about marijuana use that the rest of the media hasn’t thought to, at Pando Daily:
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Since my home state of Colorado legalized marijuana last week, the primary question I’ve been asked by friends, family and colleagues in emails, text messages and phone calls is some version of: “Are you high yet?”
I laugh along with the tongue-in-cheek queries. Look, I’d probably be ribbing my pals too if the shoe was on the other foot (er, weed was in the other bong?). What’s not such a laughing matter, though, is when the juvenile focus on getting high become the prism through which the national media caricatures our fight to finally disrupt, and ultimately end, the destructive drug war. When that happens, my state’s forward-looking attempt to answer some deadly serious criminal justice questions is flippantly marginalized as nothing more than a punchline for new riffs off “Half Baked” one-liners.
For a bunch of stoners the execs at High Times magazine were amazingly quick off the mark to capitalize on the newly legal marijuana business. Aldo Svaldi reports for the Denver Post via the Los Angeles Daily News:
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Executives at High Times, a New York magazine that has covered the marijuana scene for four decades, are launching a new private-equity fund expected to boost a burgeoning American marijuana industry.
The HT Growth Fund plans to raise $100 million over the next two years to invest in cannabis-related businesses.
“What we are looking to do is provide capital and credit to companies that are established and have grown and reached their potential as much as they can without access to traditional capital markets,” said Michael Safir, managing director of the new fund and former business manager of High Times.
Investments are expected to be from $2 million to $5 million per company.
In a lengthy article for GQ Jason Kersten reports that “The Feds can’t see them. Or hear the digging. They don’t know how many there are or where they are headed. They know only that the tunnels are coming. And when they cross our border, when the soil gives way and the drugs start flowing, it’s already too late”:
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On a quiet night along the Tijuana border, you can almost hear them coming: the faint scraping of metal on dirt, falling clumps of earth, muted voices in the depths. At any given moment, there are men underground here, chipping their way toward the United States with antlike determination.
Many of the drug tunnels will be discovered and shut down before they’re operational, but it doesn’t matter; more will come. The economics are unassailable. A good tunnel can take nine months or more to build and cost up to $2 million, but if it can stay open for only a few hours, the cartels can move enough marijuana through it to satisfy entire time zones—making enough money to pay for twenty more tunnels.
Breaking: Coloradans have legal weed, soon to be very rich. Colorado’s 9NEWS reports:
Long lines and blustery winter weather greeted Colorado marijuana shoppers testing the nation’s first legal recreational pot shops Wednesday. Pot shop owners across Colorado believe they collectively made more than $1 million statewide.
The world was watching as Colorado unveiled the modern world’s first fully legal marijuana industry – no doctor’s note required (as in 18 states and Washington, D.C.) and no unregulated production of the drug (as in the Netherlands). Uruguay has fully legalized pot but hasn’t yet set up its system.
Colorado had 24 shops open Wednesday, most of them in Denver, and aside from long lines and sporadic reports of shoppers cited for smoking pot in public, there were few problems.
Marijuana skeptics, of course, watched in alarm. They warned that the celebratory vibe in Colorado masked dangerous consequences.
Hopefully the other states will start to fall in line when they see what prohibition is costing them in lost tourist dollars.
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Marijuana users in Colorado and Washington are counting down the hours before the western US states become the first to legalize recreational pot shops on January 1.
Blazing a trail they hope will be followed in other parts of the United States, cannabis growers and others are also rubbing their hands, while tax collectors are eyeing (sic) the revenue the newly-legalized trade will generate.
Enterprising companies are even offering marijuana tours to cash in on tourists expected to be attracted to a Netherlands-style pot culture — including in Colorado’s famous ski resorts.
“Just the novelty alone is bringing people from everywhere,” said Adam Raleigh of cannabis supplier Telluride Bud Co.
“I have people driving in from Texas, Arizona, Utah… to be a part of history.
“Over the last month I have received somewhere between four to six emails a day and five to 10 phone calls a day asking all about the law and when should people plan their ski trip to go along with cannabis,” he added.
I. The Dominoes Are FallingNow that Uruguay has become the first country in the world to legalize the production and sale of cannabis, let’s take a look at an updated map of Wikipedia’s legality of cannabis by country. In addition to the beautiful blue speck representing Uruguay in South America, please pay close attention to the two areas shown in the United States of America, expect there to be more (2). click to enlarge - Source: “Legality of cannabis by country”
II. The Tides Are TurningWith the federal government stating that they will not interfere with the legalization of cannabis in Washington State and Colorado, and corporate shills...
Full disclosure: I’m not a fan of zombies. My favorite zombie film is still Night of the Living Dead and I only made it through about twenty minutes of the first episode of The Walking Dead before getting bored and switching to some cartoons.
I really didn’t think there was too much ground left to cover for stories about the undead. We’ve seen proverbs of survival, criticism of consumer culture, and allegorical tales of human beings facing the personification of the primal lizard brain.
But zombies versus pot? Scary.
Writer and director Mitch Williamsmith, along with producer Shaun Kennedy and cinematographer Brian Kennedy, are working on their new film, Rasta Zombie, which will combine marijuana activism, zombie apocalypse, and every conspiracy theory you’ve ever heard.
But how can a zombie film successfully tackle a theme like marijuana legalization? I cornered Williamsmith and demanded answers.
ISLA: Tell me about your plans for the film.… Read the rest
Think that pot is heading toward legalization? Not in New York City, where cops are cracking down on marijuana possession. And these arrests are devastating lives. This is the story of what happened to one beloved public school teacher.