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STEVE ELLIOTT

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Toke Signals Bud Pick of the Week

Dutch Treat, Spokane - grown So sticky it's hard to roll *no, I'm not whining [Steve Elliott ~alapoet~]
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Dutch Treat, Spokane-grown
So sticky it’s hard to roll
*no, I’m not whining
[Steve Elliott ~alapoet~]

Toke Signals Stories of the Week

Washington Legislature OKs Industrial Hemp Cultivation; Bill Heads To Governor’s Desk

(Hemp News)

The Washington Legislature on Tuesday passed a bill that would allow licensed farmers to produce industrial hemp in the state as part of a research program.

Senate Bill 6206 unanimously passed the Washington House, 97-0, on Tuesday after passing the state Senate last month, reports the Associated Press. It now heads to Governor Jay Inslee’s desk.

The measure would allow Washington State University to conduct a research program on the feasibility of industrial hemp production in the state. WSU would report to the Legislature in January 2017.

Industrial hemp can be made into a number of products such as food, fuel, fiber, clothing, cosmetics and medicines.

 

Ohioans For Medical Marijuana Submit Initiative Petition To Attorney General

(Hemp News)

Backers of a proposed 2016 ballot measure to establish a comprehensive medical marijuana program in Ohio submitted their initiative petition to the Ohio Attorney General on Thursday with more than 2,000 signatures.

The office has 10 days to examine the official summary of the initiative and confirm the petition contains at least 1,000 valid signatures of Ohio voters. The petition will then be sent to the Ohio Ballot Board, which will have 10 days to review the measure and confirm it complies with Ohio initiative laws.

Initiative backers will then need to collect an additional 305,591 valid signatures of Ohio voters by early July in order to qualify for the November ballot.

“This initiative was drafted to ensure seriously ill Ohioans have safe and legal access to medical marijuana if their doctors believe it will alleviate their pain and suffering,” said MPP communications director Mason Tvert. “The one benefit of not already having a medical marijuana law is that we were able to incorporate the best practices and lessons learned from the 23 states that do have one.”

 

Florida Senate Unanimously Passes Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform

(Hemp News)

The Florida Senate on Friday voted unanimously to approve SB 1044, which reforms the state’s “Contraband Forfeiture Act.” Introduced by Sen. Jeff Brandes, the bill now heads to Florida House of Representatives for a floor vote.

The House companion, HB 889, passed its final committee of reference last week. The two bills are identical as amended and if HB 889 passes, civil asset forfeiture reform will head to Gov. Scott to be signed into law.

Civil asset forfeiture reform is a core national policy priority of the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) and Florida is a state the group has specifically targeted for reform.

“This is a tremendous step towards reforming Florida’s outdated forfeiture laws,” said Theshia Naidoo, senior staff attorney for the DPA. “The unanimity of the Senate vote speaks volumes to the necessity of these important reforms. The House needs to act quickly to pass this law when it meets next week.”

 

Alaska Marijuana Proponents Say Measure Would Amount To A Ban On Rural Cannabis Shops

(Hemp News)

Backers of the 2014 initiative to regulate marijuana like alcohol in Alaska are urging legislators to oppose a measure that would severely limit marijuana business locations and access to marijuana for adults in rural Alaska. The amendment was recently snuck into HB 75, an otherwise non-controversial bill intended to clarify marijuana rules following the passage of Ballot Measure 2.

HB 75 was originally intended to establish the maximum number of marijuana plants that can be cultivated per household and define key terms in the law. It was recently expanded to allow the state government to request background checks on marijuana business applicants, at which time Sen. Lyman F. Hoffman (D – Dist. S) introduced an amendment that would make it very difficult to establish marijuana businesses in any unincorporated area of the state.

“Alaskans spoke loud and clear when they adopted Ballot Measure 2, and this amendment would defy the will of the voters,” said Tim Hinterberger, an official proponent of Ballot Measure 2 who served as chair of the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol. “It is disappointing that some senators would use the state’s need for background checks as an opportunity to ban marijuana businesses in rural Alaska. We strongly urge members of the House to oppose this offensive proposal and either amend HB 75 or oppose it and address background checks in a separate bill.”

If legislators approve the proposed amendment, marijuana businesses would be banned in all unincorporated areas of the state. They would only be allowed in an area if residents petition to place a measure on the ballot and area voters approve it during an election. Marijuana businesses would be permanently banned in unorganized boroughs where a petitioning process is not available.

 

California Medical Marijuana Dispensary Welcomes Workers’ Choice To Unionize

(Hemp News)

More than 20 workers at the South Coast Safe Access medicinal cannabis dispensary on Thursday celebrated joining the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) Local 324.

Workers at South Coast Safe Access and their union representatives also worked productively with dispensary management to quickly come to an agreement for a historic first contract, according to Derek Worden, president of the dispensary. The comprehensive contract agreed to includes fair wages, health insurance, a retirement pension, grievance procedure, and other protections and benefits for workers.

Officials from Orange County’s labor community had been in talks with the dispensary for some time. Formal recognition of the union by the facility avoids the need for a contentious fight over representation. That ultimately paved the way for a comprehensive contract that included fair wages, health insurance, a retirement pension, grievance procedure and other protections and benefits for workers, according to Worden.

“We pride ourselves in being a great employer, a valuable community partner, and a safe access provider for thousands of patients,” Worden said. “We are pleased that our staff have decided to unite and collectively work together to ensure fair wages, good benefits, and the safest working conditions so that our patients can continue to have reliable access to the highest quality, environmentally-friendly, and affordable medicinal cannabis in the region.”

 

Signature Snafu Stops Maine Marijuana Initiative; Backers Respond 

(Hemp News)

The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol has responded to the Maine Secretary of State’s Office, which announced Wednesday that a proposed initiative to end marijuana prohibition in Maine did not qualify for the November ballot.

At least 61,123 signatures of registered Maine voters were required, and state officials determined that the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol submitted 51,543 valid signatures.

Based on a document the Secretary of State’s Office provided to the campaign, it appears that more than 17,000 valid signatures of registered Maine voters were not included in the count because the signature of an individual notary did not match the signature the state has on file for that notary. The notary’s commission is current, according to state records.

“We are very disappointed by the Secretary of State’s determination,” reads a prepared statement from the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol. “Based on documents they have provided, it appears that more than 17,000 valid signatures from registered Maine voters were excluded from the count because the signature of a single notary — whose notary commission has not expired — did not exactly match the signature the state has on file for that notary.”

 

Ex-White House Drug Spokesman Claims Legalization To Blame For Violent Crime Spike

(Hemp News)

bobweiner2-1
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Bob Weiner lives up to his name when it comes to his views on cannabis.
[Weiner Republic]

You might think that the uptick in violent crimes in major cities in the U.S. is related to the “Ferguson Effect,” as asserted by FBI Director James Comey. But a former White House national drug policy spokesman is now claiming that the violent crime spike is due to marijuana legalization, of all things.

Robert Weiner, who used to be a national drug policy spokesman for the White House, and senior policy analyst Ben Lasky claim the “Fergson Effect” argument consists of “convenient rationalizations by law enforcement,’ in a new op-ed for The Washington Times.

“Violent crime has spiked in many U.S. cities over the last year, including a 54 percent increase in homicides in Washington, D.C., in 2015 — as well as 63 percent in Baltimore and 13 percent in Chicago,” Weiner and Lasky write. “It is no coincidence that this uptick comes at a time when drug laws are being loosened throughout the country. Twenty-three states and the District of Columbia have legalized or decriminalized marijuana, either for medical purposes or overall.”

“Last year, D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier told NewsChannel 8 that decriminalizing marijuana ‘saves us from having to charge someone for small amounts of marijuana now, because it really never was productive to begin with,'” the duo claim. “As someone who wants to reduce crime, she may not be aware that marijuana legalization does not necessarily decrease crime, and possibly increases it. In Seattle, one of the four states along with the District that has legalized recreational use of marijuana, violent crime has increased by 6 percent since the marijuana law was passed.”

 

Toke Signals Stories of the Week

Budget Buds, and Why They’re a Good Thing

By Steve Elliott

One of the stumbling blocks for budget-conscious cannabis consumers who visit recreational marijuana stores in Washington has been the price of weed. Now, with its $99 ounces, Uncle Ike’s is staking out new territory in the reefer retail game — a savvy move, because to many, many people, price matters.

Stinky Budz Washington Cannabis
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I recently had the opportunity to sample two of the budget outdoor, sun-grown strains from Uncle Ike’s —Maui Sunset, an indica-dominant from Uncle Ike’s house brand Grampa Gus’ Farm Cut coming in at 18.5 percent THC, and Purple Shadow, a 16 percent THC hybrid strain from The Stinky Budz cooperative.

While neither strain is going to be mistaken for some $409 Sherbet flowers, or $399 Coogies or Grape Royale at Uncle Ike’s, it would be downright unreasonable to expect as much. Both strains work and offer a solid value at this price point.

Now, about the trimming. We all have a few trim-happy friends who shame us whenever a few sugar leaves appear on the flowers. Be advised that these $99 ounces will trigger them to yammer on endlessly about “loose trims,” and yes, the presence of the amount of sugar leaf you will find on these flowers does mean that the bouquet of an ounce is going to have a certain eau de hay.

BUT! If you really object to smoking sugar leaves — and I’m sure many of you won’t, because they get you quite stoned — you can pull off the little fuckers and use them for cooking. And once you get those leaves off these buds? Squeeze those calyxes and you will get a delightful rush of heady trichomes.

 

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