Medical Marijuana Will Create Up To 5,000 Jobs In Arizona

Medical Marijuana may be new to Arizona, but it’s already causing a wave of positive affects. The main boon seen by The Copper State–aside from patients legally obtaining medicine–will be job procreation, as Arizona’s imminent 126 dispensaries will lead to approximately 1,500 jobs within the industry (growers, dispensary workers, etc.), according to a recent study.

While marijuana’s detractors and haters can say what they want about lazy stoners, it’s hard to contest that a plant with healing powers creating thousands of jobs in a struggling economy is anything but a blessing. Tim Hogan, an ASU research assistant who conducted a study based on Oregon’s comparable MMJ model, has more hard proof that cannabis is more than just a way to chill. His findings, via the Arizona Daily Star, conclude that Arizona’s new economy will have a positive affect that goes way beyond just weed.

Hogan found that the industry had the potential to create not only 1,500 direct jobs for marijuana growers and dispensary employees but up to 5,000 indirect jobs at places like grocery stores.

Arizona has approximately 38,000 medical marijuana cardholders and is allowed 126 dispensaries, a percentage of the state’s operating pharmacies. Only a handful are open now.

Hogan said his study, done for the Regulated Dispensaries of Arizona Association, models only the straight economic impact of the industry instead of offering a more extensive cost-benefit analysis. The industry is small but should contribute to Arizona’s economy, he said.

“Given the size of the industry, it seems it will generate substantial income and tax revenue,” Hogan said.

In Colorado, which legalized the use of medical marijuana in 2000, dispensaries brought in nearly $200 million in sales and paid about $5.5 million in state sales tax in 2012, says that state’s Department of Revenue.

Michelle LeBas worked as an office administrator at a car dealership before becoming a dispensing agent at Bisbee’s Green Farmacy Natural Relief Clinic. She verifies that patients have valid medical marijuana cards and then teaches them about different strains of the plant.

LeBas said the dispensary, which has three employees and an on-site doctor, faced some scrutiny when it opened in late March.

“People just thought it was an excuse for stoners to do it,” she said. “But we’ve overcome that and we have people coming in here that genuinely need it. We’ve given them a completely new form of care.”

Green Farmacy Natural Relief Clinic serves about 100 patients and has provided 25 with new medical marijuana cards.

Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery has sought to block the state’s medical marijuana law since it went into effect. He said any study that discusses medical marijuana’s possible economic benefits is inherently flawed because the state loses more in criminal prosecution.

“None of those studies that purport to show an economic impact take into account the criminal impact,” Montgomery said.

At AZ Med Testing, Cottrell said the possibility of federal prosecution or a raid by the Drug Enforcement Administration hangs over his head each day. However, he said he remains focused on doing his job well.

“Sure, they could come down and knock our door down and arrest us for this plant material,” Cottrell said. “But there’s far more dangerous non-law-abiding people who are doing a lot worse than testing plants for pesticides, and we have to believe the DEA is going after them.”

While few dispensaries currently operate in Arizona, more will continue to open this year, which means more unemployed citizens will have something to do when they wake up in the morning. The smoke continues to rise above the smog.

 

WeedMaps TV In Denver Colorado: Blunts, Dabs And Guns Don’t Mix

4/20/2013 was a beautiful day in Denver Colorado. The crowds were out and stoked… the blunts were thick and tasty, and the Dabs never seemed to stop coming. The day had come and gone, seemingly without any issues.

Thinking that my Rocky Mountain High was here to stay after a day long smoke-a-thon, I could not have been more wrong. 

It was on the drive home from the HTCC event – at the Exdo center – that we got a call from Gil. I could tell by the expression on the drivers face that something had gone horribly wrong.

From joy to fear in a matter of minutes… 

Shots ring out at Denver 4/20 event

Shots ring out at Denver 4/20 event

 

L.A.’s 3 Medical Marijuana Measures: Whats The Difference Between F, E and D

As LA’s medical marijuana collectives prepare for their date with destiny – less than 30 days from now [May 21  2013], many MMJ operators are nervous over the outcome.  LA’s voters will be given the choice to pick between one of  three similar sounding ballot issues, designed to systemically regulate the medical marijuana collectives doing business in L.A.

Proponents of the three initiatives — Proposition D and ordinances E and F — argue that a new, comprehensive policy is necessary to put an end to nearly 17 years of ambiguity surrounding the distribution of medical marijuana in Los Angeles. The measures include plans to cap the number of dispensaries permissible, increase taxes on earnings, and standardize operation hours and distances from sensitive areas, such as schools and childcare centers.

But there’s an odd man out in this ballot measure battle royale.

Ordinance E, which made its way on the ballot via signature, has seen support from its proponents dwindle. Its key promoter, the United Food and Commercial Workers union (UFCW), decided to jump ship in January, throwing their vote behind the Los Angeles City Council’s Proposition D, seen largely as a compromise between the two ordinances.

However due to current election rules, Ordinance E is there to stay.

“There’s no way to remove Ordinance E from the May 21 ballot or the voter guide… and that may lead to some confusion,” says Bradley Hertz, an attorney with the Sutton Law Firm who represented the proponents of Ordinance E. “It’s up to the campaigners to help explain that.”

City officials and those close to each campaign say Ordinance E’s failure to levy additional taxes on dispensaries makes it the least desirable of the three ballot measures. Both Proposition D and Ordinance F would increase taxes on medical marijuana dispensaries from $50 to $60 per $1,000 of gross earnings, a 20 percent increase.

With Ordinance E in the periphery, the fate of medicinal pot in Los Angeles will come down to the question of proliferation. Proposition D would cap the number of dispensaries at 135, the exact number of clinics operating in the city prior to the September 2007 moratorium imposed by the City Council. Ordinance F would allow an unlimited number of medical marijuana collectives, so long as each dispensary meets a list of requirements.

For Los Angeles City Councilmember Paul Koretz, that’s simply too many.

[Ordinance] F would allow the remaining 1,700 to 1,800 clinics not approved by the city to stay open,” says Koretz, a principal supporter of Proposition D and self-proclaimed ally of medicinal pot use. “That may very well increase to over 2,000 dispensaries, many of which are nuisances in their neighborhoods.”

Koretz points to his time on the West Hollywood City Council during the HIV and AIDS epidemics of the 1980s as proof that he isn’t diametrically opposed to medical marijuana.

Proposition D, he says, is a “compromise between the two ordinances,” taking the best ideas from both to create a safe and sustainable model for both patients of medicinal pot and the public at large. The city’s proposition would also mandate background checks for employees of dispensaries and grant minors access to clinics only when accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

Proponents of Ordinance F, however, believe that capping the number of dispensaries would make it difficult for patients to get access to the medicine prescribed by their doctors. Ordinance F would also prohibit minors from ever entering clinics and force volunteers, not just employees, to get background checks prior to working at dispensaries.

Supporters also argue that the city’s approved list of medical marijuana clinics is arbitrary.

“We simply don’t know how many medical marijuana patients there are in Los Angeles,” says Bruce Margolin, Director of Los Angeles’ NORML chapter, an advocacy group seeking outright legalization of marijuana. “Therefore, we believe clinic numbers should be based on supply and demand. What’s wrong with that?”

Ken August, a spokesperson for the California Department of Public Health, explains that it’s difficult to count the total number of medical marijuana users because patients are able to access medical marijuana through several different methods, including a doctor’s note, a county medical registration card, and/or a state medical card.

“There’s no requirement that a [medical marijuana] patient have a state-issued card. They are intended to be an assistance for law enforcement,” August says.

Because the exact number of medical marijuana patients in California is unknown, placing a limit on dispensaries becomes a slippery game.

For example, more than 66,000 medical marijuana identification cards have been issued by the state of California since 2004. But that number pales in comparison to estimates by marijuana activists groups like NORML, which put the total number of patients in Californiaanywhere between 750,000 to more than 1 million. The huge discrepancy exemplifies the problem with counting medical marijuana patients.

Garry South, a strategist for Angelenos for Safe Access, the consortium of dispensaries left off the city’s list and supporting Ordinance F, agrees that capping dispensaries without knowing the exact number of patients is dangerous. He points to other provisions in Ordinance F — such as mandatory testing of marijuana sold at each clinic for pesticides and toxins and a stipulation requiring clinics to have parking on their premises — as proof that his puts the community first.

“Proposition D is a badly written piece of legislation, cut and pasted and put on ballot after E and F qualified,” South says. “[Ordinance] F is better for the patients, as well as the public, because it was crafted with both patients and the public in mind.”

Two Pound-Joint Seized By Cops At Santa Cruz 4/20 Rally

The Santa Cruz police department clearly do not abide by the unwritten “let it slide on 4/20″ rule, and snatched this 2 pound joint that looks like an enlarged sperm from harmless stoned revelers over the weekend. It’s pretty much hilarious picture, until you realize that the cop just took $5,000 worth of bud (probably outdoor bs) from some bros. Hopefully they didn’t shred it or smoke it, because this J belongs in a museum.

Watch the video via Daily Mail for some comedy.

“We’re going to court man. We’re totally going to court.” Well, that’s just like your opinion man.

Fortunately, elsewhere around the globe, massive joints were indeed smoked on 4/20. This one in Denver, before some asshole let off a round and made a nation of harmless stoners look like gangsters.

 

Bipartisan Buzz Kill: Colorado Senate Voted 4-1 Rejecting The Proposed THC DUI Limits

…and common sense wins out, at least for now.

A marijuana blood limit for drivers was rejected Monday for a fourth time in the Colorado Senate, where bipartisan skepticism on the pot analogy to blood-alcohol limits helped sink the measure even in a weaker form.

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 4-1 to reject the blood standard after a long hearing that has become something of an annual tradition in the Senate: reviewing the scientific basis for using marijuana content in blood to determine whether a driver is stoned.

“This is a significant public safety concern,” said Matt Durkin, a state assistant attorney general and supporter of the bill, which would have limited drivers to 5 nanograms per milliliter of blood for THC, pot’s psychoactive ingredient.

Durkin worried that recreational pot use will spike because of last year’s vote to defy federal drug law and declare marijuana OK in small amounts for people older than 21.

Washington state also voted to legalize pot last year, but voters there included a 5-nanogram driving limit for impairment cases.

Source:

Pot Growing Defendant, Pro Marijuana Shirt And Proper Court Attire: What First Amendment Rights?

Mad, delusional and opinionated  people have infiltrated all levels of power throughout human history. Some are Cops that extort, then protect the very drug cartels their paid to bust. Others are judges that allow their own personal hatred of a plant, and need for absolute control over others lives to interfere  with any pesky personal civil liberties… like the 1st Amendment.

Witness Alfred Robinson — Alfred made the mistake of thinking that expressing himself by wearing his “Help Legalize Medical Marijuana” shirt to his court hearing was his ‘right‘… and not a reason to be handcuffed while in court.

So, understandably, he was a bit more trepidatious when he got dressed Monday morning for another hearing in his cultivation of marijuana case. Still, he wore the shirt, with its large green marijuana leaf on the back and the slogan “I’m a patient, not a criminal” on the front.

But he had a backup plan. While he sat there waiting for Circuit Judge Mary Handsel to call his lawyer’s name, the purple collar of a button-up shirt peeked out around his neck.

Just in case.

“I was a little nervous about wearing the shirt (again),” Robinson said. “But somebody has to stand up to this.”

The 57-year-old self-described “medical marijuana missionary” was arrested in July after Pasco County sheriff’s deputies found two marijuana plants on the 5 acres where he lives in Shady Hills. He had more plants, he said, but he burned them before deputies arrived.

Robinson, who’s had several marijuana arrests dating back to 1979, said he uses the drug to alleviate his severe back pain. He has degenerative disc disease, and the court file says he also suffers from anxiety, sleeplessness, depression and chest pains.

“I don’t know if the marijuana kills the pain or makes me forget the pain,” he said, “but it doesn’t matter whether it does. It just does.”

At his last hearing in January, Circuit Judge William Webb had Robinson put in handcuffs and threatened to hold him in contempt if he wore the marijuana T-shirt to court again. His lawyer, Michael Minardi, filed a motion to disqualify Webb, citing First Amendment concerns and a fear that Robinson wouldn’t get a fair trial.

That motion was granted, so Minardi and Robinson found themselves in front of Handsel on Monday.

Minardi moved to suppress the evidence — namely, the two marijuana plants  because of the way deputies entered Robinson’s property. The arrest report said the Sheriff’s Office got Robinson’s consent. Robinson and Minardi say there’s a no-trespassing sign.

Minardi also moved to have the charge dropped, citing the passage of measures in other states legalizing medicinal marijuana use.

Before he left the courtroom, Robinson teared up as he talked passionately about the reason he supports the legalization of marijuana.

“I want it to be legal so I can help other patients who need it,” he said. “I’ll grow it for them, and I’ll give it to them.”

If Handsel noticed Robinson’s shirt, she didn’t mention it. She scheduled a followup hearing for June 14 to consider both of Minardi’s motions.

Outside the courtroom, Minardi said he was pleased with the outcome.

“We’ve gotten a new judge who obviously didn’t threaten to hold him in contempt,” he said.

“And that’s a positive,” Robinson added.

Source:

 

National Commission on Marijuana Policy To Scrutinize Federal Pot Prohibition

Sure, Nixon cultivated the first National Commission on Marijuana Policy back in 1971. And yeah, when they first recommended that marijuana be decimalized, the President tossed the report in the trash can [mumbling something about sicking Elvis on those dirty hippies] — thereby signaling the start of the “War On Drugs.”

Well… 41 years later we’re back where we began.

A bill that would establish a National Commission on Marijuana Policy was introduced in the US Congress last week. Filed by Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN), House Bill 1635 seeks a commission that would undertake a comprehensive review of the costs and benefits of current federal marijuana prohibition as well as examining how federal policy should interact with state laws that have either approved medical marijuana or legalized marijuana outright.

Cohen’s proposal is inspired by the 1971 Shafer Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse, which was commissioned by President Richard Nixon but then shelved when it recommended decriminalizing marijuana. The commission report resulted in decriminalization in a handful of states in the 1970s, before marijuana reform went into the deep freeze during the Reagan era.

“Regardless of your views on marijuana, it’s important that we understand the impact of current federal policy and address the conflict with those state laws that allow for medicinal or personal use of marijuana,” said Congressman Cohen. “This conflict is only going to continue to grow over the next few years and we must provide certainty to the millions of individuals and businesses that remain caught in a web of incompatible laws. A national commission would provide us with the information we need to create sensible policy going forward.”

Joining Cohen in backing the bill are cosponsors Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Sam Farr (D-CA), Jim Moran (D-VA), and Jared Polis (D-CO).

“The Obama administration has repeatedly stated that a national conversation is needed when it comes to our country’s marijuana policies, but so far that conversation has been largely one sided,” said Erik Altieri, communications director for NORML, which worked with Cohen on drafting the bill. “It is time for federal lawmakers to listen to the voice of the majority of Americans who want to see change to our nation’s marijuana laws and for them to take part in that dialogue.”

“We have clearly reached a point where the American people want marijuana prohibition to end,” said Steve Fox, national political director for the Marijuana Policy Project. “The states have been taking the lead, but the federal government must catch up. It is no longer a question of whether the federal government should allow states to enact their own marijuana policies. Of course, it should. The question now is how to reconcile state and federal laws. This commission bill proposes a study and a discussion that is long overdue.”

The proposed commission would consist of 13 members: five appointed by the president; two appointed by the Speaker of the House; two appointed by the House minority leader; two appointed by the Senate majority leader; and two appointed by the Senate minority leader.

Eighteen states and the District of Columbia allow patients with qualifying conditions to use medical marijuana with recommendations from their physicians. In November, voters in Colorado and Washington State approved measures making marijuana legal for adults 21 and older and directing state regulatory bodies to create regulations for businesses to cultivate and sell marijuana to adults.

Source: Stop The Drug War

LA’s Political Smokescreen: What Proposition “D” Doesn’t Do

Proposition “D” doesn’t protect patients, doesn’t protect kids, and doesn’t protect the public…

As the May 5, 2013 Los Angeles special election approaches, medical marijuana patients in the city of LA find themselves fighting through a smokescreen of confusion — purposefully fashioned by the Los Angeles City Council to obscure the facts, befuddling an otherwise supportive populace.

Adding further to the confusion… The Los Angeles city clerk began notifying the public that some of their polling places had been changed for the March 5, special election. In order to tell if your polling place has been relocated, keep your eyes open for a letter from the…

“Office of the City Clerk – Election Division.”    

    

Other ways you can find your polling place:

? Log ono the Election Division website: http://clerk.lacity.org/Elections/. Click on 

“Polling Place and Offical Sample Ballot Look up.”? Call the Office of the City Clerk – El tection Division at (213) 978-0444 or toll-free at
(888) 873-1000.
? Call the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk at (562) 466

 

If proposition ”D” passes what will this mean for your kids?

An article in an education in Colorado recently cited increased findings of marijuana in K-12 campuses due to low standards of medical marijuana dispensary regulation.

“U.S. Attorney John Walsh cited a ‘dramatic increase in student abuse of marijuana.’”

The report found that suspensions for drug violations in Colorado schools rose 45 percent between 2007-08 and 2010-11 while expulsions for drug violations increased 35 percent and referrals to police increased 17 percent. In contrast, the overall suspension rate for all other violations was down 11 percent while expulsions and police referrals for other violations dropped 25 percent.

In Denver, the increase in referrals to law enforcement for drug violations was particularly high, spiking 71 percent in four years. Denver police in 2010 began listing marijuana arrests at city schools separately from other drug incidents – their records show 179 arrests for marijuana possession or sale at 43 Denver Public Schools between Aug. 1, 2010 and June 30, 2011, with a third of those arrests occurring at elementary, middle and K-8 schools.

Suburban and rural areas are not immune. Grand Junction schools saw a 55 percent increase in drug violations in four years while they’ve doubled in the St. Vrain Valley district. Thornton High School in Adams 12 Five Star reported three drug violations per 100 students in 2007-08 and eight violations per 100 students in 2010-11 while Cherry Creek’s Overland High School saw its rate per 100 students rise from two to more than five in four years.

Up to 53 medical marijuana dispensaries are within 1,000 feet of Colorado public schools. Statewide, 95 elementary schools are within a half-mile of a dispensary while 27 middle schools and 23 high schools are that close.

- Source:

“Oh-Weed”… Method Man and Redman Fire Up The Denver 420 Crowd

The show was packed and the crowd ready to party.  After a long and glorious day of  smoking dank dabs, Snoop sized blunts, and rejoicing over the liberalization [at least in two states] of the cannabis plant. The Denver 420 crowd was elevated and ready to kick off a chronic evening of smoke filled celebrations.

Method Man – Rockin’ the event favorite WeedMaps ’4:20 T’s – was bouncing high as he was handed joints from the crowd to help kickoff the evenings festivities.

 

WeedMaps 420 Shirt celebrating April 20, 2013

WeedMaps 420 Shirt celebrating April 20, 2013