Ritchie King, from one of our favorite websites, FiveThirtyEight, recently released a fun Venn diagram helping us visualize where Cannabis legality currently stands in the United States.
As stoners from around the world descended on Colorado to celebrate the unofficial marijuana holiday, 4/20, cops are acting totally chill. At the annual 4/20 Rally at Civic Center Park on Saturday and Sunday, hundreds of tokers gathered for one of the biggest public smoke sessions of the year.
The Denver Police Department did its best not to be buzzkills, according to the Denver Westword, which reports no one was arrested for smoking cheeba in public, which remains against the law in Colorado, one of several states that legalized marijuana for recreational use. Last year, Denver cops arrested 22 people on marijuana-related charges at the 4/20 Rally.
Although they did issue 30 more pot citations than last year’s 130 tickets.
Pot enthusiasts in London’s Hyde Park weren’t as lucky. Police arrested 53 people as pro-pot enthusiasts lit up at the park in call for legalization.
According to The London Evening Standard, “thousands were seen sitting on the grass openly smoking marijuana, comparing the size of their joints and listening to speakers while dozens of police officers hovered nearby.”
Police took 16 of the 53 people arrested into custody. The remaining 21 were released with a summons to appear in court at a later date. A Police spokesman told the British press: “Anyone seen by an officer openly smoking cannabis in Hyde Park or in the Westminster area could be issued with a warning or face arrest.”
Sanjay Gupta’s cannabis crusade is really starting to irk the Drug Free America Foundation. After CNN aired Gupta’s Weed 3 documentary last night, the foundation quickly issued a rebuttal. In a press release, the Tampa,Fl-based anti-marijuana group claimed Weed 3 blurs the lines between legitimate research and propaganda. Drug Free America asked, “Legitimate Scientific Research or an Infomercial to Legalize Marijuana?”
If that’s the case, where do we provide our credit card number?
As usual, Drug Free America trotted out its medical expert, Dr. Eric Voth, to counter Gupta’s argument that cannabis is good for the health. Voth also lobbies that research on the potential benefits of marijuana is taking place today without the rescheduling of the drug.
“Two things about the documentary that really upset me as a medical professional are that Sanjay Gupta had a chance to drive home the point that because research is underway on the potential benefits of components in marijuana,” Voth said. “There is no need to legalize it through referenda where dosages can’t be controlled and various strains can’t be cloned. Nor is it necessary to reschedule the drug.”
The Drug Free America’s deputy director Amy Ronshausen accused Gupta of failed to acknowledge problems Colorado and California allegedly experienced since marijuana has been legalized in those states. Of course, she resorted to the usual drug scare tactics of the past to make her point.
“This show failed to cover Colorado’s increases in drugged driving fatalities and emergency room visits because of marijuana use,” Ronhausen said. “Nor did the show discuss the alarming trend surrounding high potency marijuana edibles sold as ‘medicine’ and marketed to be appealing to youth.”
The S-N-O-O-P to the D-O-Double-G wants to rock the V-O-T-E in the C-O-L-O-R-A-D-O, and it’s all for the Dro, bro.
On Halloween weekend, the Compton rap legend is hosting a multi-day music and comedy festival for gubernatorial candidate Mike Dunafon just in time for the general election.
The Dunafon campaign and Snoop Dogg have been down for quite some time now. In addition of organizing the Yes We Cannabis Festival, Snoop’s posted photos of himself and Dunafon on his Instagram and dropped a few bars on Dunafon’s campaign song “The Trap.”
The festival is taking place at the Infinity Park sports and entertainment complex in Glendale, where Dunafon serves as mayor.
Snoop’s stumping for Dunafon marks the second time in the past week that a hip-hop artist jumps into the political fight to legalize cannabis. Afroman teamed up with NORML and Weedmaps to remake his hit, “Because I Got High,” on a positive tip.
Minnesota Vikings’ Adrian Peterson, already facing child abuse charges in Montgomery County, Texas, will get no sympathy for admitting he toked prior to submitting to a drug test. The USA Today reports that Kelly Case, the judge presiding over Peterson’s case, publicly admitted to sending people who test positive in their first court-administered drug exams to week long stint in the slammer.
Petersen confessed last week to smoking “a little weed” right before he submitted to a drug screen as part of his bail conditions. His test results have not been made public but prosecutors want Peterson arrested and his $15,000 bond revoked by Case. The video clip below, at the 28:19 mark, shows Case delivering his scared straight approach to an audience at a Texas Patriots gathering last year:
“On a first positive test, I give everybody one chance,” Case said. “I’ll stick them in jail for one week, and then I’ll pull them back out. I’ll reinstate their bond, and I’ll tell them on the record, `If you do this again and you don’t follow my rules, we’ll ask the (district attorney) to set a no-bond hearing, and we will hold you in jail.'”
However, district attorney Brett Ligon is beefing with Case, which works in Peterson’s favor. Ligon wants Case removed from the Peterson case because of comments Case made in advance of Peterson’s court appearance, as well as several disagreements and run-ins Ligon’s office has had with the judge, USA Today reported.
Peterson’s attorney says his client’s bond status won’t be ruled on until the judge issue is resolved. The Vikings’ star running back remains free while awaiting trial on a felony charge of injuring his 4-year-old son.
Randy Jokela deserves to get canned from the Seattle Police Department for all the man hours he wasted writing tickets to people he accused of publicly smoking marijuana. Earlier this week, Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes announced the city was tearing up nearly 90 tickets following an investigation that found Jokela was responsible for writing most of them as part of his one-man protest against Washington’s marijuana legalization laws.
Holmes cited concerns that the police officer unfairly and arbitrarily targeted the homeless and African-Americans. Jokela was so brazen he added a note to one of the tickets stating he had flipped a coin to pick who he was going to write a ticket. He’s been reassigned pending an internal affairs probe. But considering all the time and taxpayer dollars Rokela wasted writing tickets, not to mention the hours wasted on the investigation into his tactics, Jokela deserves to be dismissed.
“The police do not write the laws. They enforce the laws,” Holmes told reporters. “You can’t be a legislator out on the street.”
Seattle has decriminalized simple marijuana possession, and the state of Washington permits both recreational and medical marijuana consumption and possession. Public consumption, however, remains illegal.
Holmes, who backed the campaigns to decriminalize and then legalize marijuana, said Jokela’s seemingly arbitrary approach to writing tickets was “abhorrent.” He said social justice requires the law be applied evenly, and on Monday announced a new police policy aimed at educating users first before issuing them a ticket.
Earlier this week, an Alaska television-reporter-turned-marijuana-dealer went viral after her shocking resignation while she was live. As she reported on about the Alaska Cannabis Club for Anchorage’s KTVA CBS 11, Carlo Greene disclosed she is actually the club’s owner. After delivering a brief monologue explaining she would be devoting all her energies to legalizing marijuana, Greene lowered the boom: “Fuck it, I quit” and walked off stage. All that was missing was a dropped mike.
Of course, KTVA claims she was technically fired for her antics, but give Greene credit for burning her broadcasting career in the most epic way possible. Greene recently did an interview with New York City’s Hot 97, explaining that she definitely planned her on-the-air resignation, but that the F-bomb was spontaneous.
“When you decided to curse on air, let’s call a spade a spade, that was the troll,” one of the Hot 97 hosts asked her. “You new you would get tons of press more so than if you queitly resigned am I right?
“Oh yeah,” Greene says. “The plan was stepping out big…The F part wasn’t planned…No one knew it was happening. I didn’t know it was happening until the moment it came out of my mouth.”
Greene insisted her motives are altruistic, noting that Alaskan patients “go to back alleys” to get their medical marijuana because the state has never implemented a dispensary system even though Alaskans approved use of pot for medicine in 1998.
Peyton Manning may not be down with marijuana dispensaries naming strains after him, but the Denver Broncos quarterback is just fine with pot helping the bottom line of the 21 Papa John’s pizza chains he owns in Colorado. In a puff piece Q&A session with Sports Illustrated‘s MMWB, Manning says Colorado’s open marijuana laws without directly referring to them are a big reason his restaurants are raking in $5,00 to $6,000 a day in sales.
“There’s some different laws out here in Colorado,” Manning said. “Pizza business is pretty good out here, believe it or not, due to some recent law changes.”
But when it comes to slapping his name on a Cannabis strain, Manning draws the line. Last year, before an NFL game featuring Manning’s Broncos against his brother Eli’s New York Giants, Colorado medical marijuana dispensary Good Meds produced two strains named after the brothers to celebrate the historic match-up in the first of two states to legalize marijuana for recreational use. On labels for bags of Peyton Manning weed, it said the strain was good for pain, anxiety, nausea and headaches, while the Eli Manning strain claimed to help with multiple sclerosis, glaucoma and arthritis.
A hybrid that combined Chem 91 with San Fernando Valley O.G. Kush, the Peyton Manning provided “the best of both worlds, an uplifting, happy, euphoric, thought-provoking Sativa plus the body medicine of the indica,” according to the Peyton label. And it was moderately priced at approximately $280 an ounce.
However, Good Meds was forced to change the names after Manning and his brother caught wind of the strains after being contacted by reporters about it. Through hi slawyers, Peyton threatened legal action against Good Meds, saying that marijuana growers and sellers “don’t have his permission for using his name for commercial purposes.”
Robert Platshorn, a 71-year-old pot activist who served the longest prison sentence for marijuana trafficking, can finally spark up again. Yesterday, Platshorn announced on his Facebook page that Uncle Sam was finally cutting him loose. The feds released him from parole six years after Platshorn walked out of a federal pen. He spent 28 years locked up for his leading role in the Black Tuna Gang, a marijuana smuggling ring that moved more 500 tons of pot into the U.S. in the Seventies.
Platshorn founded the Silver Tour, a traveling educational seminar for senior citizens to learn the healing benefits of weed. He’s also produced an infomercial-style television show, “Should Grandma Smoke Pot?”, to spread his message.
Since February, Platshorn has been planning a senior citizen get-out-the vote effort for a constitutional amendment that would legalize medical marijuana in Florida, his home state. The West Palm Beach resident is also organizing seminars featuring some of the top cannabis industry leaders for people who want to break into the medical marijuana field should voters approve the amendment.
“I am a free man for the first time since Sept. 10, 1979,” Platshorn said on his Facebook page. “I’ll be accepting speaking invitations and doing Silver Tour shows once again everywhere.”
His parole release turned out to be serendipitous. High Times magazine gifted him free tickets to attend this weekend’s Cannabis Cup in Seattle, Wa., one of two states that legalized marijuana for recreational use. He’ll also be part of a Meet and Greet event at the pot connoisseur fest. The ex-pot smuggler credits High Times with being his biggest supporter.
“Forty years ago, when the Black Tunas began bringing America the Santa Marta Gold that became the mother strain for so many of today’s top medical and recreational hybrids, it was High Times we turned to for advice and price,” Platshorn recently revealed on his Facebook page. “From the day we were busted through my thirty years in prison, it was High Times that kept our story and hope of release alive.”
More importantly, Platshorn gets to take his advocacy back on the road, across America. About a year after his prison release, he had to stop touring after he got a new parole officer who subjected him to random urine tests and would not allow him to travel out-of-state. He told the Broward-Palm Beach New Times that he was expecting more of the same harassment when the parole officer called him with the good news.
“I thought it meant trouble, since he’s never brought good news,” Platshorn said. “As soon as I heard his name, I assumed it was a urine test. But no.”
His request for parole release, submitted four-and-a-half months ago, had been approved. He can now take the Silver Tour anywhere that will let him preach.
Judging from the photographs provided by deputies in Tazwell County, Va., Roger Lee Sparks operated the saddest looking marijuana grow house ever. The cops claim the 38-year-old Richlands resident had 115 plants with a street value of $350,000. That is a generous estimate considering the images show the plants had still in a vegetative state.
They were probably several months from producing a harvest and judging from the picture showing two jars filled with brownish, schwag weed, Sparks was better off not having a grow house.
Sparks didn’t help himself by being a convicted felon in possession of two rifles and a shotgun. Deputies charged him with manufacturing marijuana, possession of a firearm with more than a pound of marijuana, possession of a firearm by a felon, possession of ammunition by a felon, and possession of marijuana with the intent to sell or distribute.
Sparks has previously been charged with Robbery, Manufacture of Controlled Substance, Possession of Marijuana, and Distribution of Marijuana. Currently he is being held with No Bond at the Southwest Regional Jail Authority in Tazewell.
Deputies were anonymously tipped off to Sparks’ marijuana grow house and obtained search warrant for his home.
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