recreational marijuana

Will recreational and medical marijuana voters have more political clout in 2020? The Cannabis Voter Project hopes so. The project made inroads identifying voters during the 2018 midterm election and now they’re turning their recruitment efforts to pot stores in Colorado and across the country.

When it comes to marijuana, Kansas is a red state in an increasingly green country.

Three of its neighbors — Colorado, Oklahoma and Missouri — have legalized some form of the drug in recent years. Yet Kansas remains one of four states in the country without a comprehensive medical or recreational marijuana program.

As more states across the country legalize recreational marijuana, there’s at least one place where the rules haven’t changed: the military. Active service members are strictly forbidden to use marijuana, whether it’s recreational or medicinal.

That creates tension in places that both rely on the economic stability nearby military bases bring and also have the opportunity to create a local recreational marijuana marketplace — which can bring in hefty tax dollars.

After nearly a century of prohibition, Canada became the first major economy this week to legalize recreational marijuana (though Uruguay was the first in 2013), and it has U.S. companies lining up.

From Texas Standard.

Canadian lawmakers voted Tuesday to legalize the recreational use of cannabis. Our northern neighbors are only the second country in the world to legalize marijuana. This poses a question: Are times changing? In their recently adopted party platform, Texas Republicans endorsed medical marijuana, cannabis decriminalization and industrial hemp.

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Proposed legislation in Colorado would establish a pilot program that would allow for medical and recreational cannabis to be delivered to homes. 

As The Cannabist reports, a similar proposal last year caused Gov. John Hickenlooper to express concerns that marijuana delivery could be a hazard and draw fire from the federal government.

Could Pot Be Closer To Legalization In Texas?

Oct 26, 2017
CHUCK GRIMMETT / CREATIVE COMMONS

Legalized pot has taken great strides in Texas over the past couple of years, thanks in part to a surprising ally – a conservative lawmaker and fundamentalist Christian who actually used the Bible to make the case for legalizing weed.

Marijuana Use Among Seniors On The Rise

Sep 27, 2017
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Marijuana use among adults aged 65 and older is rapidly increasing.

As Colorado Public Radio reports, the Centers for Disease Control found that marijuana use among adults over 65 increased more than 300 percent between 2002 and 2014.

And the number of seniors in Colorado holding medical marijuana cards has also risen with 21 percent being over 61 years of age.

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Traffic fatalities linked to marijuana are up sharply in Colorado, but it’s unclear if legalization of the drug is to blame.

As The Denver Post reports, the number of drivers involved in fatal crashes in Colorado who tested positive for marijuana has more than doubled since 2013, according to federal and state data.

US Fish and Wildlife Service

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper responded to a letter sent in July by Attorney General Jeff Sessions that raised “serious questions” about the state’s ability to regulate legal marijuana and prevent illegal activities.

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While more and more states are legalizing marijuana in some way, shape or form, other states are experiencing an uptick in the drug’s black market.

As USA Today reports, marijuana smugglers are growing and shipping vast quantities of illicit cannabis across the U.S. – many starting in states where growing marijuana is legal, such as Colorado, and sending the drug elsewhere.

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Even though it brings in lots of green in terms of dollars to states that have legalized it, marijuana production is not green in the environmental sense.

More than $1 billion per year in taxable sales has been generated in Colorado since the state approved the legalization of cannabis in 2012, but as The Guardian reports, producing even a few pounds of weed is equivalent in the environmental sense to driving across America seven times.

FINNEY COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE

The trial of Shona Banda, a well-known advocate of medicinal marijuana, has been postponed.

As The Garden City Telegram reports, the trial was postponed from its original starting date of June 26 to Aug. 14 after Chief District Judge Wendel Wurst granted a request for continuance by Banda’s defense team.

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Marijuana operations are currently prohibited in Prowers County, Colorado, but members of a local economic board recently discussed the dramatic tax growth other Colorado communities have seen from the sale of marijuana in their towns.

Marijuana could be next U.S. mega-industry

Mar 7, 2017
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The next mega-industry in the U.S. could very well be marijuana.

As Business Insider reports, a new report from New Frontier Data projects the legal weed market will create more than a quarter of a million jobs by 2020.

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Three aspects of hemp farming were presented to area farmers Saturday at a Hemp Road Show held at Lamar Community College in Colorado

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A Kansas lawmaker is expected to introduce two marijuana-related bills this year – one allowing for the medicinal use of marijuana and the other to legalize recreational use.

Chuck Grimmett / Creative Commons

A surprising number of Republicans support legalization of marijuana.

Quartz reports showed that 60 percent of Americans support legalization of marijuana, including 42 percent of Republicans, some of whom live in conservative states or even serve in their state’s legislature.

Texas is among five states with current marijuana reform bills that have been introduced for consideration in upcoming sessions.

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Marijuana sales taxes could rise as much as 50 percent if the Colorado Legislature approves a measure proposed by Gov. John Hickenlooper on Tuesday to help bridge the gap in school funding.

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In his State of the State address Thursday, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper proposed boosting rural access to high-speed Internet.

To boost economic development in rural areas, one of the governor’s proposals is to create an office focused on expanding broadband Internet access to the 30 percent or so rural households in the state that don’t have it, with an overall goal of ensuring that 100 percent of rural houses have it by 2020.

Chuck Grimmett / Creative Commons

The future of legalized marijuana isn’t certain as President-elect Donald Trump enters the White House. 

As The Economist reports, over half of the states in the union have legalized marijuana in some form or another. Pot remains illegal under federal law, however, so any pot shop could technically be shut down at any time.

50states.com

The Colorado Legislature begins the 2017 term today with what The Denver Post describes as a daunting to-do list and divided chambers.

The issues facing this year’s Legislature include questions on how to improve the state’s roads, how to put more dollars in the classroom and how to boost the state’s economy.

As they seek compromise on how to best tackle these areas, The Denver Post reports, there are 10 issues facing lawmakers during the 2017 session.

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In states like Colorado, where cannabis is now legal, a mysterious marijuana-related illness is bringing people with symptoms of nausea, severe abdominal pain and violent vomiting to hospital emergency rooms.

thecommonvision.org

There is a new Rocky Mountain high in Colorado – marijuana sales.

Ralph Barrera / Austin American-Statesman

Will Texas be the next state to decriminalize marijuana? During the elections this November, voters in eight states passed legalization laws.

As The International Business Times reports, this has opened the door for cannabis advocates to push for similar laws in other states. On Nov. 5, the first day of bill filling for the 2017 legislative season, Texas lawmakers filed several requests to decriminalize pot.

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Prices for pot are plummeting in Colorado, reports Business Insider.

Last October the cost of a wholesale pound of cannabis sat at around $2,500. Since then the price has been cut by $1,000, falling to around $1,400.

9news.com

When pot was legalized in Colorado, supporters claimed the new law would add millions in tax dollars to the state coffers. Now many Coloradans are wondering where all that money is going.

News 9 in Denver decided to investigate. The truth is, marijuana is heavily taxed. And that money adds up.

In the fiscal year that ended in June 2015, recreational pot brought in a total of $129 million in state tax dollars. That’s nothing to sneeze at. It definitely helps.

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Pot opponents in Colorado had been gearing up to for a battle to try to force a vote on whether marijuana dealers in the state should require less-potent pot. Their proposed initiative would have also warned pot shoppers that the drug could cause brain damage and paranoia. But now these opponents have decided to give up the fight, reports Colorado Public Radio.

Backers of the measure announced Friday that they have been unable to raise enough money to advertise their plan.

Cyrus McCrimmon / Denver Post

The most organized and widespread effort yet to battle marijuana in Colorado is underway, reports The Denver Post. The state Supreme Court last week cleared the way for a ballot measure that would set new potency and packaging limits on recreational marijuana. If passed, pot packaging would have to include warnings that the product carries a risk of “permanent loss of brain abilities.” Under the measure, pot potency would also be tightly controlled.

Ryan Kang / AP photo

HPPR listeners in eastern Colorado have probably noticed the explosion in popularity of pot-infused edibles. Marijuana-laced gummy bears, brownies, lollipops and pastries are all the rage in the Centennial State. But npr.org recently asked a burning question: Just how potent are these ganja-laced goodies? The answer? No one really knows.

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