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Seattle Police Officer Charged in Large Coast-to-Coast Pot-Smuggling Operation

From left, Seattle Police Officers Alex Chapackdee, Jojo Cambronero, James Manning and Craig McRae do the Cupid Shuffle with the crowd at the Othello Park International Music and Arts Festival at Othello playground in South Seattle Sunday, August 19, 2012.

 reports: Veteran Seattle police Officer Alex Chapackdee is accused of helping his brother-in-law and others smuggle at least 100 kilograms of marijuana to the East Coast. In return, Chapackdee was paid $10,000 a month, charges allege.

Federal prosecutors will ask that a suspended Seattle police officer charged with being part of a large-scale East Coast marijuana smuggling ring be held in jail pending trial.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Brian Tsuchida set a detention hearing Friday for Alex Chapackdee, who faces a mandatory-minimum five-year federal prison sentence — and perhaps up to 40 years — for his role in allegedly transporting hundreds of pounds of marijuana from Washington to Baltimore then driving back with boxes of cash. The court also could impose a fine of up to $5 million if he’s found guilty.

Chapackdee, a veteran Seattle police officer, appeared briefly in U.S. District Court in Seattle Monday afternoon along with three co-defendants named in a 15-page complaint unsealed Monday. He was arrested last Friday and suspended from duty without pay.

[Read the feds’ complaint against Le, Chapackdee, others (PDF)]

More than two dozens shocked friends and family members crowded Tsuchida’s courtroom during the brief hearing.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Vince Lombardi said the serious allegations and significant penalty prompted him to seek detention for all four defendants. Read the rest of this entry »

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[VIDEO] Five Things Libertarians Should Be Nervous About in 2017 

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[VIDEO] The Pros and Cons of Marijuana Legalization 

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Ohio Man Gets Too Stoned on Weed, Calls Police

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He was surrounded by Doritos, Goldfish and cookies…(Read more)

Source: TIME


Increased Marijuana, Heroin Use Contribute to Highest Reported Illicit Drug Use in More Than a Decade

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CHEVY CHASE, MD – Findings from the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), released today, reveal the percentage of Americans aged 12 or older who used an illicit drug in 2014 was higher than in every year between 2002 and 2013, driven primarily by increases in marijuana use, sustained rates of nonmedical pain reliever use, and increases in heroin use.

“With now one in ten Americans reporting illicit drug use, it’s clear that we have much more to do to prevent drug use and treat the disease of addiction,” said Jeffrey Goldsmith, MD, President of the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM). “As more and more states legalize marijuana and the opioid epidemic rages on, we must prioritize evidence-based prevention for our youth and access to high-quality treatment for all who struggle with a substance use disorder.”

Screen capture from CBS News

Screen capture from CBS News

Despite the overall increase in illicit drug use, illicit use among adolescents aged 12 to 17 and young adults aged 18 to 25 appeared to stabilize, with increases mainly seen among adults older than 25. The rise in overall marijuana use may reflect the increase in use by adults aged 26 and older and, to a lesser extent, increases in use among young adults aged 18 to 25; the percentage of adolescents aged 12 to 17 who were current marijuana users was similar to the percentages in most years between 2003 and 2013. Similarly, the rise in heroin use may reflect increases in use primarily among adults older than 25.

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Alternatively, the data revealed declines in adolescent alcohol, tobacco and nonmedical prescription drug use. The percent of adolescents aged 12 to 20 who were current alcohol users and the percent of young adults aged 18 to 25 who were binge or heavy alcohol users were lower in 2014 than in any year between 2002 and 2012. From 2002 to 2014, the percentage of adolescents who were past month tobacco users declined roughly by half, and percentage of young adults who were current users of a tobacco product in 2014 was lower than the percentages in 2002 to 2013. Read the rest of this entry »


50-year-old Man Accused of Beating Up His Own Uncle Over $3 Pot in Card Game

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 reports: A 50-year-old Waterford man is accused of beating up his own uncle over a $3 pot during a card game called “(Expletive) On Your Neighbor.”scott-labisch1

Scott Labisch faces one count of aggravated battery of an elderly person and one count of disorderly conduct.

Back on January 10th, officials responded to the 29000 block of Elm Island Drive in Waterford for a report of an assault.

There, officials spoke with a 69-year-old man who advised he was playing cards when his nephew, Scott Labisch attacked him — kicking him in the ribs multiple times. An officer observed small cuts above the man’s right eye, and the man said his nose bled as a result of the attack.

The man was taken to the hospital for treatment. There, he was diagnosed with non-displaced fractures to the three ribs, according to the criminal complaint.

Officials spoke with another man who indicated people were at his home playing cards when Labisch “beat up” his uncle over approximately $3 that was in the pot during the game. Another person confirmed the assault. Read the rest of this entry »


National Review Cover: Kevin D. Williamson on ‘The Colorado Pot Experiment’

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[Read it here at National Review Online]

 


HIGH & DRY: Marijuana Plants Soak Up Billions of Gallons of Water in California

Hempfest Promotes Legalization Of Marijuana

One outdoor marijuana plant requires approximately six gallons of water per day during its roughly 150-day growing season.

Ethan Epstein writes: California’s terrible drought has become — like just about everything else in the United States — a political issue. Many liberals have taken to blaming anthropogenic climate change for the drought, while some conservatives have placed the blame at the feet of “liberal environmentalists.” The political point-scoring is tiring and just plain silly, given that the drought is almost certainly a result of natural processes — processes that we humans, conservatives and liberals alike, have precious little to do with. Another problem is that our partisan pugilists are conflating two separate issues: the drought, which is the lack of rainfall that California has suffered over the past four years, and the water shortages, which may indeed have some man-made causes.

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“Over California’s four-year drought, outdoor marijuana plants — based on the six-gallon a day estimate, and the 2006 figure — have used roughly 63 billion gallons of California water.”

To that end, a San Francisco-based author with a PhD in Nutritional Ethnomedicine floated an interesting theory regarding those water shortages earlier this week.  Speaking on the radio, he suggested that California’s huge crop of marijuana plants is “depleting the water table,” and is partially responsible for the massive shortfalls in water that the state is now facing.

“…by some estimates, California now produces more marijuana than Mexico.”

It may sound outlandish, but it turns out that there may be something to the good doctor’s theory.

As anyone who has ever had the misfortune to visit, say, Santa Cruz can attest, there’s a lot of marijuana in California. (This despite the fact that it’s only legal for medicinal use in the state.) Indeed, by some estimates, California now produces more marijuana than Mexico.

Read the rest of this entry »


Rogue Police Home Invasion: Marijuana Grower Shot SWAT Cops Who Kicked Down His Door, Jury Says They Don’t Blame Him

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(CCN) Recently, there has been some talk about places that allow you to shoot officers if they are in the wrong when they enter your home. Our friends at The Free Thought Project write the following about the steps that one state has taken in this direction:

Indiana has taken action to “recognize the unique character of a citizen’s home and to ensure that a citizen feels secure in his or her own home against unlawful intrusion by another individual or a public servant.”

While Indiana may appear to be the only state to so publicly announce legislation that permits self-defense against rogue police home invasions, there are other courts which have ruled in favor of recognizing this right.

One of the most striking examples is that of a Texas man who says he was the victim of a home invasion in the middle of the night. But that home invasion was carried out by SWAT officers.

In the pre-dawn raid, that occurred on December 19th, 2013, Henry Goedrich Magee, like many residents of Burleson County, Texas, had a gun in the house. When Magee heard his door being broken down, he reached for his gun.

swat raid

The police wanted to throw the proverbial book at him, but after hearing the evidence, a grand jury determined that Magee should not be charged in the shooting death of one of those officers.

The ruling was clear that Magee would not be charged with capital murder for the death of Burleson County Sgt. Adam Sowders, who was part of a SWAT team which attempted to raid Magee’s rural home, in the execution of a search warrant.

The officers did in fact have a warrant, but a key factor in the grand jury’s decision was that they did not knock before entering.

The warrant says that they were primarily looking for marijuana primarily, and also for illegal guns. Read the rest of this entry »


Security Guard at Marijuana Dispensary in South LA Brings his Pet Snake to Work


Colorado’s Pot Rhetoric Hits Capitol Hill

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TIME

Marijuana legalization advocates appear to know a good slogan when they see one.

Democratic Rep. Jared Polis of Colorado introduced a bill in Congress Friday that borrows its name from the successful ballot measure in his home state: The Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act.

As the title suggests, the legislation would remove marijuana from the list of controlled substances and put oversight of it under the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives rather than the Drug Enforcement Agency.

Like similar bills introduced by Polis and former Reps. Barney Frank and Ron Paul, it’s not going anywhere in Washington any time soon. While legalization of recreational marijuana may be underway in Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska and the District of Columbia, it remains a non-starter on Capitol Hill, where lawmakers even moved to bar D.C. from going ahead with its plans.

But Polis’ bill title is revealing. Prior efforts to…

View original post 115 more words


Potheads Claims Responsibility for Brooklyn Bridge White Flag ‘Surrender USA’ Prank

New York City Police officers stand at the base of a white flag flying atop the west tower of New York's Brooklyn Bridge, Tuesday, July 22, 2014. Two large American flags atop the Brooklyn Bridge were replaced sometime during the night with white banners. Police crime scene and intelligence detectives were investigating how the flags were switched out on the famed span that connects Brooklyn and Manhattan, and there were no reports of suspicious activity, police said. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

New York City Police officers stand at the base of a white flag flying atop the west tower of New York’s Brooklyn Bridge, Tuesday, July 22, 2014. Two large American flags atop the Brooklyn Bridge were replaced sometime during the night with white banners. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Cannabis Probably Okay for your Health, but Spectacularly Bad for Democracy

"That guy makes a remarkably convincing case for marijuana-legalization opposition groups. I suspect it's a false-flag operation by an opposition group member posing as a pro-pot activist."

“That guy makes a remarkably convincing case for marijuana-legalization opposition groups. I suspect it’s a false-flag operation by anti-pot activists.”

“It stands for peace. It stands for surrender. It would make people think about what’s going in. Also the wars. Our solution to the wars is for people to smoke weed and chill out.”

For the Washington Times, Jessica Chasmar reports: A marijuana activist said he and his group are responsible for swapping two American flags atop the Brooklyn Bridge for two white ones — an act that has baffled New York police for more than a week.pothead-rev-head

“Please smoke the Peace Pipe with the holy herb and rebel against the military industrial complex and the evil one percent. That is the meaning of why we put up the bleached American Flags. Remember to recite the new Pledge of No Allegiance…”

— Mr. Green, alleged pot advocate

“The Reverend Bud Green,” 49, claimed responsibility for the July 22 swap in his blog. He told the New York Daily News on Thursday that the prank was actually the first part of a two-part strategy, with another set of flags going up later. Increased NYPD surveillance on the bridge foiled that plan, his post said.

“…Please repeat after me, I Pledge no Allegiance to the United Corporations of America, and to the right wing dictatorship for which it stands, one nation, under the devil, with liberty and justice for only the rich pigs who can afford it.”

“It was interesting that nobody knew what to make of it,” Mr. Green told the Daily News. “It was interesting that people took it as a terror risk. We believe in nonviolent civil disobedience.”

Read the rest of this entry »


Weed in Seattle: Legal But Not Cheap


[VIDEO] Legal Marijuana in Washington State: Lone Pot Shop, Cannabis City, Opening in Seattle

LA Times reports: The sale of marijuana for recreational use began in Washington on Tuesday morning, the second state in the nation where the once-scorned drug is now legal for all.

Eager customers began lining up well before dawn at Bellingham’s Top Shelf Cannabis, one of about six stores statewide expected to sell on the first day. Licenses were issued to 25 stores, but not all are open.

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“I feel it is something people should have the choice to do, or not do, on their own,” said Cale Holdsworth, 29, the first in a line of about 100 people. The line snaked around the corner from the store through the industrial area of the city north of Seattle.

“This is a great moment. I am thrilled to be a part of this. It’s awesome. I love it.”

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Holdsworth, from Abilene, Kan., said he was visiting relatives and planned to smoke his purchase at their home. He described himself as a frequent user of pot, which remains illegal in Kansas. At present, only Colorado allows the sale of pot for recreational use, though Holdsworth said he hoped that Kansas would permit it at some point.

Holdsworth walked into the store shortly after it opened at 8 a.m. By 8:05 a.m., he was at the glass counter where pipes and other paraphernalia were on display. Because the Washington law does not allow the buyer to touch or sample product, Holdsworth sniffed the pot aroma from a bottle. Read the rest of this entry »


Black Bong Water for the 21st Century Connoisseur: Marijuana Infused Coffee

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DC News FOX 5 reports: A new product promises drinkers a jolt of something extra than your daily dose of caffeine.

[You can order all kinds of coffee supplies from Amazon]

Washington state based Mirth Provisions plans to release a cannabis-infused cold-brew coffee called “Legal,” as the new product will only be available in markets where marijuana is legal.

morning-buzz

Creator Adam Stites told My Northwest that each  bottle will contain about 20 milligrams of THC, enough to create “an alert, creative, high,” but not too much as to make it an unpleasant experience, “especially for people that are just getting into marijuana.”

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On the company website, Mirth Provisions proclaims their coffee is “ mighty refreshing poured over ice or just sipped straight from the bottle. Knock one back with your compadres and take on the day with a smooth buzz and a grin a mile wide.” Read the rest of this entry »


UPDATE: 100+ Overdose on Synthetic Marijuana in Texas in 5 Days

pt_1543_1964_oK2 is a synthetic marijuana that is often sold as herbal incense or potpourri. It contains man-made chemicals that claim to mimic the primary active ingredient in cannabis.

DALLAS — In a span of just five days, almost 120 people in Dallas and Austin overdosed on K2, a synthetic drug that mimics marijuana.

Police sources confirmed to News 8 that the overdoses in both cities are likely related, and the drug originated with a Dallas supplier.

Stacey Davis, director of prevention programs for the Council on Alcohol & Drug Abuse in Dallas, said while K2 use is not the rise, users jump on new trends for suppliers or new batches.

“What ends up happening is the media or the community doesn’t catch wind of it until, unfortunately, when something bad happens,” Davis said.

Users smoke K2, and while it’s supposed to mimic marijuana, it can have wide-ranging effects on the body. The patients in Dallas were so sick they had to be sedated.

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Toxicology tests will tell for sure if all the overdoses came from the same batch. Police are also investigating whether the K2 was laced with another drug.

K2 is difficult to regulate because manufacturers switch up the ingredients frequently. Read the rest of this entry »


$4 Million Dope Bust on Texas Border

Marijuana-ConfiscationKristin Tate reports: Over $4 million in narcotics were confiscated on the Texas/Mexico border, a spokesman with U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) informed Breitbart Texas.

One significant seizure occurred on April 25, when officers at the Laredo Port of Entry confiscated more than one ton of marijuana from a cargo vehicle. More specifically, 834 packages containing 2,688 pounds of marijuana were found hidden in a shipment of blackberry and mango pulp. The drugs have an estimated street value of more than $1.3 million.

“This was a significant seizure,” a CPB spokesperson told Breitbart Texas. “When we find seizures in cargo vehicles, they are typically much larger than seizures in passenger vehicles. The smugglers have more room to hide the drugs.”

834 packages containing 2,688 pounds of marijuana were found hidden in a shipment of blackberry and mango pulp. The drugs have an estimated street value of more than $1.3 million.

He said that while smaller drug busts in passenger vehicles are more common, large-scale confiscations like that which occurred on the 25th also happen relatively frequently. Read the rest of this entry »


Bummer: Colorado Pot Sales Less Than Expected

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Amid all the articles pimping the successful $2 million tax heist in Colorado, what’s often not mentioned is that this is less than the newly-minted state pot dealers claimed they’d pull in. Breitbart.com‘s William Bigelow offers this unwelcome measure of sobriety:

The bullish predictions about the revenue Colorado would accumulate from sales of recreational marijuana may have been quite premature. In February, Governor John Hickenlooper’s budget office estimated that recreational pot shop sales added to medicinal marijuana sales would approach $1 billion in the fiscal year beginning in July; the budget office suggested $134 million in tax and fee revenues entering state coffers.

But in January of 2014, Colorado only brought in $2 million from recreational pot shop sales, far short of what would lead to a successful prognosis from Hickenlooper’s budget office.

Read the rest of this entry »


Quote of the Day: California Governor Jerry Brown Talks About Potheads

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“…how many people can get stoned and still have a great state or a great nation? The world’s pretty dangerous, very competitive. I think we need to stay alert, if not 24 hours a day, more than some of the potheads might be able to put together.”

Read more >> Washington Times 


Money Approved For More Medical Pot

Tyler Williams peruses samples on the first day of recreational pot sales in Colorado. (Getty Images)

Tyler Williams peruses samples on the first day of recreational pot sales in Colorado. (Getty Images)

More staff has been authorized to implement Nevada’s new medical marijuana law

A panel of state lawmakers Thursday approved $365,000 to hire five administrators who will oversee applications and inspectors for pot growers, processors and dispensaries.

Read the rest of this entry »


Wait…Can You Really O.D. on Pot?

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…CAN THAT HAPPEN..?

A 31-year-old woman is dead. The coroner says cannabis was the reason. Could this really happen?
A super-chill blew through the reefer mad Super Bowl cities of Denver and Seattle last week with the report that a young woman had died of apparent cannabis toxicity in England.

“The evidence does seem to suggest that, like most everything, marijuana inextremely high doses can tip a person or a dog over into a sudden death.”

This one seems real to, not like the early January hoax that “reported” 37 deaths from marijuana in Colorado soon after the law decriminalizing the drug in that state went into effect.

Read the rest of this entry »


Marijuana Movement Seizes Super Bowl Spotlight

Seen in tobacco store in Seattle, January 25, 2014

Seen in tobacco store in Seattle, January 25, 2014

  reports:  This year’s Super Bowl seems to be perfect for the marketing of marijuana, and pot entrepreneurs and activists are seizing the moment.

[SEE MORE: The Dope on Dope at punditfromanotherplanet]

Fans of the Seattle Seahawks, and team running back Marshawn Lynch in particular, may very well set out a bowl of Skittles for their Super Bowl parties this Sunday. Lynch’s love of Skittles has gotten extra attention in recent weeks as his team advanced through the playoffs, and after giving the brand millions in free publicity, Skittles officially partnered with Lynch in an endorsement deal featuring a limited-edition “Seattle Mix” strain of the candies with only the team colors, blue and green. Read the rest of this entry »


White House to Marijuana Advocates: Slow Down, Daddy, Our Official Position on Pot Hasn’t Changed, Dig?

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney would have an easier sell if he hadn’t just grown himself a beatnik beard. I bet Carney’s got rolling papers in his pocket. I just know it. He’s holding. For sure.

Andrew Johnson  writes:  President Obama’s recent comments about marijuana didn’t quite call for the legalization of recreational use, the White House clarified. In a recent interview with The New Yorker, the president made comments that some interpreted as a policy shift on the issue.

Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Curiously, CNN Reporter Appears High on Weed During Segment on What? Where Were We? Oh yeah. Marijuana

From Hot AirAllahpundit again…

Via Gawker, if you can’t watch the whole thing, skip to 4:00 to see why last night Anderson Cooper called this the greatest live hit the show’s ever done. My favorite moment is that big, bright, glassy-eyed smile at 5:15. (Second-favorite: The thoughtful explanation of the difference between sativa and indica.) The question here isn’t whether she’s high — the symptoms she describes are familiar even to non-users (losing her train of thought, finding things unusually funny, etc) — but whether she could have gotten this giggly from a contact high, i.e. from second-hand smoke without taking a hit herself. Answer: Yes, if she was around lots and lots of it. A single joint won’t do much to a bystander; 16 joints might. According to Kaye, she was riding around in the close confines of a limo all day with veteran potheads smoking blunts as big as cannons. Contact-high verdict: Plausible.

Read the rest…

Read the rest of this entry »


Why the Right Shouldn’t Fear Cannabis

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Michael Anissimov writes:  Cannabis has been legalized in Washington state and Colorado, causing apprehension among some on the right. Last August, Newt Gingrich said that general legalization would be a “huge mistake.” Chris Christie has long shown his disdain for medical marijuana, saying of a proposed law in its favor, “Here’s what the advocates want: They want legalization of marijuana in New Jersey. It will not happen on my watch, ever. I am done expanding the medical marijuana program under any circumstances.”

smoking-mad-guy-clEmily Miller at the Washington Times wrote recently that activists are “totally uneducated’ about the “severe consequences” of smoking cannabis, writing that it is “simply a toxin” which is “more similar to heroin and cocaine than alcohol in how it affects the body.”

Former Bush speechwriter David Frum has been sounding the alarm about marijuana use for years. In a September column at CNN, he implied that cannabis is harmful, but he didn’t say why.

On the other side of the issue, a number of Republicans have stepped forward in favor of legalizing marijuana. Rush Limbaugh admits that he used cannabis during his recovery from opiate addiction and says that the legalization of marijuana is “a great issue” for the GOP. Pat Robertson is famously in favor of legalization, saying “this war on drugs just hasn’t succeeded.”

In California, a majority now supports legalization, and a new law in favor of legalization is being floated. Now that support for legalization is rising nationwide, the right needs to ask itself: are we in support of legalization, or not?

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The critics of marijuana legalization have trouble getting their arguments straight, and oppose it based on a visceral cultural revulsion, rather than science or reason. There is no scientific evidence that marijuana is “similar to heroin and cocaine.” If anything, it is more similar to caffeine — the effects rarely last longer than 2-3 hours, and are extremely mild. The majority of users use it only occasionally, and daily addicts — if true addiction is even possible, which seems doubtful due to the way that marijuana works in the brain — will be able to get it on the black market anyway.

Alcohol causes 75,000 deaths per year, cannabis causes zero.

Read the rest of this entry »


On Marijuana: Get Ahead of the Inevitable

shutterstock_143622214_largeRick Wilson  writes:  National Review’s “Sensible on Weed” piece yesterday got me thinking … not so much about marijuana, but about social movements.

Of late, conservatives are notoriously bad at understanding – to say nothing of exploiting – powerful social movements. Part of this is the essential and desirable nature of conservatism; we like to think of ourselves as grounded by deeper values than those who are susceptible to the faddish and fashionable.

The pessimistic strain of conservatism tends to believe all is lost, civilization has fallen, and the Overton Window opens only to the left. We often misunderstand even our emerging victories. On issues like attitudes toward government, guns, abortion, and education reform we’re in a better position than we’ve been in decades, even if the day-to-day political scrum sometimes distracts us from the upside.

On gay marriage, we were famously tone-deaf to the change in society that finally drove it to into the mainstream, particularly with younger voters. Society changed. It doesn’t matter how and why, and we’re not required to like it. What matters is that the change is real, and has real political implications. As I’ve said before, conservatives lost the gay marriage battle socially long before they lost it politically. The rear-guard action of trying to stop it legislatively is increasingly untenable politically.

Which is why Republicans need to get ahead of the marijuana question, and soon.

Read the rest of this entry »


Obamacare vs. Colorado’s Legalization of Marijuana: A Tale of Two Rollouts

PJ Media‘s Stephen Green has a timely exploration of parallel rollouts:

Frank Nuccio wears a "pothead" button on his jacket while attending a cannabis cooking class in Denver, Colorado, on Thursday, April 18, 2013. (Werner R. Slocum/MCT)

(Werner R. Slocum/MCT)

Stephen Green writes:  Two months ago, Healthcare.gov went live, sort of, as the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act finally went into full effect across the nation. On the first of this new year, right here in Colorado, it became fully legal to sell marijuana for recreational purposes.

Let us compare and contrast the two rollouts, shall we?

The first product, heath insurance, was so desperately needed by some 47 million Americans who lacked it, that our entire healthcare infrastructure had to be upended by force of law in order to accommodate them.

Pot is something which some unknown number of Americans, but probably quite a bit less than 47 million, merely desire.

On the first day those 47 million uninsured Americans were able to purchase health insurance on Healthcare.gov, six obamacaredid so. Not six million. Six. As in five, six, seven. Only they never made it all the way to seven.

On the first day pot was legally available for recreational use in Colorado, thousands made purchases.

During Healthcare.gov’s period of growing pains, untold thousands, perhaps a million, frustrated customers gave up before they could complete simply setting up an account.

In Colorado last week the scene was somewhat different:

Read the rest of this entry »


Enough Pot Happy Talk

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Larry Kudlow writes:  There was way too much giddiness in the media about the first day of legal pot selling in Colorado. Instead of all the happy talk, I think it’s time for some sober discussion and a strong dose of education about the addiction risks of smoking marijuana — particularly among young people. It may start out as a party, but it often ends up as something much, much worse.

budbagWith the grace of God, I’ve been clean and sober for over 18 years — a recovery experience that still has me going to a lot of 12-step meetings. And I hear time and again from young people coming into the rooms to get sober how pot smoking led to harder drugs such as cocaine and heroin. Now, this is anecdotal, and I am not an expert. And I will say that many people can control alcohol or pot or other drugs. But I am not one of them. And I am not alone.

Talk to virtually any professional drug counselor, and they will warn that pot is a gateway drug. Or listen to left-of-center columnist Ruth Marcus, who has gathered important professional evidence about the risks of pot.

Ms. Marcus reminds us that the American Medical Association recommended against legalization, stating, “Cannabis is a dangerous drug and as such is a public health concern.” The AMA added that pot “is the most common illicit drug involved in drugged driving, particularly in drivers under the age of 21. Early cannabis use is related to later substance-use disorders.”

Read the rest of this entry »


Stake Taking Steps To Make Sure Marijuana Isn’t Used At Bars

State officials want to prevent people from smoking marijuana at bars and nightclubs. (Getty Images)

State officials want to prevent people from smoking marijuana at bars and nightclubs. (Getty Images)

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Washington’s Liquor Control Board wants to make sure people aren’t using marijuana in bars and nightclubs.

The board on Wednesday filed a draft rule that would explicitly ban any business with a liquor license from allowing marijuana use on site. Among the board’s concerns is that people who use marijuana in combination with alcohol could pose an extra danger on the roads if they drive.

It’s already illegal under Washington’s recreational marijuana law to use pot in public, and that includes restaurants, bars and clubs. But at least a couple of establishments have tried using loopholes to allow customers to use marijuana, such as by having “private clubs” within the businesses.

One is Frankie’s Sports Bar and Grill in Olympia. Owner Frankie Schnarr says he’ll fight the rule because it would hurt his business. He says that if people aren’t allowed to use pot inside, they’ll just go outside, and he’d rather be able to keep an eye on what they’re doing.

 CBS Seattle


BUSTED: Google Earth Exposes Pot Farm

Google Earth This satellite image shows the location of an field where marijuana was allegedly grown.

This satellite image shows the location of an field where marijuana was allegedly grown. Google Images

 reports:  If you’re going to run a massive marijuana growing operation, you might want to watch out for those pesky Google Earth cameras.

An Oregon man was busted for growing more marijuana than he was legally allowed, but his arrest came not through a raid or a tip, but through satellite imagery provided by Google Earth, the Grants Pass Daily Courier reported.

Police say they got a tip that Curtis W. Croft, 50, was boasting about the amount of the plant he was growing on his property in Grants Pass, Ore. But instead of knocking on his door, authorities looked up the satellite image on the web. Read the rest of this entry »


Dazed and Approved: Panel OK’s Rules for Washington Pot Industry

Hempfest Promotes Legalization Of Marijuana

SEATTLE (AP) — Washington became the second U.S. state to adopt rules for the recreational sale of marijuana Wednesday, setting what advocates expect to become a template for the legalization of the drug around the world.

“We feel very proud of what we’re doing,” said Sharon Foster, chairwoman of the Washington Liquor Control Board, as she and her two colleagues approved the rules. “We are making history.”

imagesizerWashington and Colorado last year legalized the possession of up to an ounce of pot by adults over 21, with voters deciding to set up systems of state-licensed growers, processors and sellers. The measures put state officials in the difficult position of crafting rules for a fledgling industry barred by federal law for more than seven decades.

The liquor board devised the rules after nearly a year of research, debate and planning, including public hearings that drew hundreds of people around the state. The rules cover everything from the security at and size of licensed marijuana gardens, to how many pot stores can open in cities across the state.

Read the rest of this entry »


Woodruff Recalls Hempfest Visit

Betsy Woodruff went on The Cycle this afternoon to talk about her, let’s call it, interesting trip to last weekend’s Seattle Hempfest, and the state of marijuana decriminalization in Washington and across the country. “I think the odds of seeing legislation happen in Congress anytime soon regarding this is fairly slim,” she predicted, but that regulatory changes may “keep pace with what’s going on in the states.”

Make sure to check out her piece over on the homepage, “Quick Hits from Hempfest.”

via The Corner 


Republicans Should Stand with Marijuana Reformers

Taking Back the Joint

By Betsy Woodruff
November 14, 2012 4:00 A.M.

Much ink has been spilt in describing the precise nature of the soul-searching the GOP is undergoing in the wake of getting totally shellacked last Tuesday. There are a plethora of suggestions — of varying degrees of helpfulness — as to how the Republican party can re-brand and re-orient itself; ranging from capitulating on taxes to deciding that gay marriage isn’t a hill to die on. But there’s one easy ideological maneuver that Republicans could make that would simultaneously burnish their stance as the party of freedom and expand their base while alienating the president from his. It is a move that might also make one swing state a little easier to win in 2016. Congressional Republicans and conservative leaders could get on the weed bandwagon.

Now, the John Boehners and Mitch McConnells of the world may never win the loyalty of the Choom Gang contingent. But Republicans should rejoice with those who rejoiced when voters in Colorado and Washington passed sensible marijuana policy. Last Tuesday, both states passed ballot measures decriminalizing the recreational use of medical marijuana — and giving the GOP an early Christmas present.

Most of us are familiar with the arguments for and against marijuana legalization — it’s non-addictive and (mostly) harmless; it’s not as bad for you as alcohol; it’s a gateway drug; it funds violent drug cartels; it’s too expensive to be worth taxing; etc. etc. ad nauseam. It’s probably not helpful to rehash all those here. The short version is this: A lot of smart people think weed is the devil, and a lot of other smart people like to toke up on weekends because, come on man, it’s just a plant and it grows in the ground.

On Tuesday, the people of Washington State and Colorado sided with the latter. They aren’t the first to ditch the metaphorical Keep off the Grass signs. Medical marijuana is legal in California and Massachusetts, and the People’s Republic of Ann Arbor — Warning: This will not surprise you — has functionally decriminalized possession. This should hearten those fond of federalism. Remember, you don’t have to like THC to hate Washington, D.C. As a general rule, states’ assertion of autonomy is good news for friends of limited government, rendering the question not how conservatives should feel about marijuana decriminalization, but rather how they should respond to it.

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