Dave Stancliff The State of Pot: Washington rolls out legal bud today & how other states are responding blogarama.com

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The State of Pot: Washington rolls out legal bud today & how other states are responding

Good Day World!

I’ve got marijuana on my mind today as the state of Washington rolls out recreational sales of pot.

At least three retail shops opened today: Cannabis City Seattle, Top Shelf Cannabis in Bellingham and The Freedom Market" in Kelso.

People started buying pot at 8 a.m.at Bellingham’s Top Shelve Cannabis, one of two stores in the city north of Seattle. (Customers on the left and sales clerks on the right pass "sniff jars" back and forth on a glass countertop as they discuss different strains of recreational marijuana at Top Shelf Cannabis,A.P. photo – Ted S.Warren) 

PROBLEMS IN PARADISE

Washington faces a huge backlog for licenses. There are only 18 license reviewers sifting through thousands of applications. The first approvals for growers didn’t go out until March, which left at most two growing cycles to stock the shelves.

That's created an inescapable shortage of product, and a growing population of desperate, irate business people. Some have already gone under as opening day was delayed again and again. Others are trying to sell or hold on long enough to break even.

MIXED REACTIONS

Everyone is not on board the pot train however. At least 10 cities, counties, and municipalities have banned marijuana business out right. Dozens more have declared a moratorium on new businesses, beyond the state's hazily regulated medical marijuana shops.

THE BIG PICTURE

There are 22 Medical Marijuana states and DC. Here’s a summary of their laws,fees, and possession limits.

More than two dozen states are considering new or expanded marijuana reform legislation, including complete legalization for adults, medical marijuana, hemp use and decriminalization.

THE IRONY IS THICK AS A BRICK

Did you know that the U.S. government has been looking to fill its shopping cart with marijuana? And its dealer, by law, is the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. No kidding.

At the same time that it's responsible for enforcing federal laws against marijuana, the DEA is also responsible for procuring it for federal research. And with two months left in the fiscal year, its customers have fallen short. (source)

NEWS ITEMS IN POT STATES

NEVADA

A Nevada-based startup that plans on selling medical and recreational marijuana products named former New Mexico governor and U.S. Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson as its CEO and president, the company announced Tuesday.

The announcement came as Cannabis Sativa Inc. said it had acquired marijuana research business Kush while company officials work to navigate changing state laws on marijuana and potential challenges from the federal government, which still views marijuana as a controlled substance. (source)

COLORADO

A Colorado man loses custody of his children after getting a medical marijuana card. The daughter of a Michigan couple growing legal medicinal pot is taken by child-protection authorities after an ex-husband says their plants endangered kids.

And police officers in New Jersey visit a home after a 9-year-old mentions his mother's hemp advocacy at school.

While the cases were eventually decided in favor of the parents, the incidents underscore a growing dilemma: While a pot plant in the basement may not bring criminal charges in many states, the same plant can become a piece of evidence in child custody or abuse cases. (source)

KENTUCKY

The 2013 Kentucky Health Issues Poll shows that 78 percent of those individuals that participated in the polling support legalizing marijuana for medicinal dedications and 40 percent of those polled are in support of legalizing the plant for any purpose adults see fit.

The poll in question validates a previous polling released back in May which was conducted by the Institute for Policy Research at the University of Cincinnati which revealed that approximately 80 percent of those Kentuckians that participated supported the legalization of marijuana for medical purposes.

Furthermore, May's polling View Post results share similarities with the most recent survey due to the fact that 38 percent of those polled stated that they favor the legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes. (source)

FLORIDA

The Space Coast's boomer-and-older residents say they will vote yes this November on the Florida Right to Medical Marijuana Initiative.

Widely known as Amendment 2, it would legalize the medical use of marijuana in the Sunshine State. To be added to the state constitution, the amendment needs to be approved by 60 percent of voters.

A Quinnipiac University poll this spring charted support in those older than 65 at a whopping 84 percent and 88 percent among all voters. While support of recreational usage drops dramatically in that older age group, in that same poll, among voters 50 to 64 years old, 62 percent admitted smoking pot, more than any other demographic. (source)

MICHIGAN

The top lawmaker in the state Senate says he’s now on board with legislation to allow medical marijuana dispensaries in Michigan.

Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville, R-Monroe, is now also embracing a bill that would allow state-certified patients to use edible and other non-smokable forms of marijuana.

Richardville was not a fan of the legislation when the state House approved it late last year. But he says that has changed as he’s heard more from supporters of the bills.

“This is for well-meaning people and it’s all for medical purposes. And [patients and caregivers] came and gave some moving testimony,” said Richardville.

“There’s so much to learn about that topic, and I didn’t know a lot about it. And I didn’t realize how difficult smoking is for some people and the different ingestion techniques that are important to them.”

Supporters of House Bill 4271 say dispensaries allow people to get treatment right away, instead of having to wait for a caregiver to grow and cultivate marijuana. They say that process can take months. Patients with certain diseases, such as cancer, sometimes don’t live long enough to get the benefits of medical marijuana. (source)

Time for me to walk on down the road…

 

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