The 12th episode of Toke Signals TV with host Steve Elliott takes a look at some of the biggest marijuana news stories of the past week.
Find out what you need to know about the week in cannabis/marijuana news, in 27 minutes!
Don’t forget to subscribe to the Toke TV channel on YouTube.
Toke TV Bud Pick of the Week
Toke TV Stories of the Week
(Hemp News)It seems the minute marijuana legalization was approved by voters in Colorado and Washington, some politicians started trying to find ways to undermine the will of the people. Now, in Denver, the mere smell of marijuana wafting from your back yard could be illegal if the city council passes a new ordinance.
The ordinance, which will be introduced at Monday’s city council meeting, comes in advance of legal retail marijuana sales, which are scheduled to begin in January, reports Jeremy Mayer at The Denver Post.
The ordinance would prohibit pot smoking in parks and in the 16th Street Mall, and would also ban toking in private property if it is “visible to the public,” such as on your front porch or in a car, or if the odor of cannabis could be detected from neighboring property.
(Hemp News)The Michigan Supreme Court is looking at a historic case that will determine whether Michigan communities can ban medical marijuana and possibly whether state residents can keep using cannabis at all for medicinal reasons.
Those united against medical marijuana patients include the State Bar of Michigan and the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan, both of which are trying to get the entire medical marijuana law thrown out, reports Bill Laitner at the Detroit Free Press.
That would cancel the wishes of the 63 percent of Michigan voters who approved the medical marijuana law in 2008, according to groups opposing the medical marijuana ban, which include the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan and the libertarian Cato Institute, based in Washington, D.C.
Massachusetts has a new medical marijuana law, approved by a vast majority of voters last November. But doctors at community health centers have been advised not to authorize any more of their more than 638,000 patients for medical marijuana, because the centers are afraid they’ll lose their federal funding.
The Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers has advised its 36 federally funded facilities to stop issuing patient marijuana authorizations under state law because cannabis use remains illegal for any purpose under federal law, reports Kay Lazar at The Boston Globe.
Health center physicians who authorize patients for medical marijuana could be committing a “potential violation of federal law and could result in legal and financial exposure for community health centers,” according to a spineless statement from the League.
Voters approved a ballot initiative last November, making Massachusetts one of 20 medical marijuana states (plus the District of Columbia). Federally funded community health centers in other states have also advised doctors against authorizing patients to use marijuana.
A strong majority of Texas voters (58 percent) support making marijuana legal for adults and regulating it like alcohol, according to a Public Policy Polling survey released on Tuesday by the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP). Only 38 percent said they were opposed.
“Marijuana prohibition has been just as big a failure as alcohol prohibition,” said MPP executive director Rob Kampia, a part-time Austin resident. “Most Texans agree that marijuana sales should be conducted by legitimate businesses instead of drug cartels in the underground market.”
The poll also found that 61 percent of state voters support removing criminal penalties for possession of up to one ounce of marijuana and replacing them with a civil offense punishable by a fine of up to $100 with no possibility of jail time. Only 30 percent said they were opposed.
(Hemp News)Hard-rock legends Aerosmith, in Uruguay for a concert Wednesday night, praised President José Mujica during an official visit Tuesday afternoon. Singer Steven Tyler called Mujica “one of the best presidents in the Americas,” adding that more presidents should be like him. Tyler expressed admiration for Mujica’s work on marijuana legalization and helping the poor.
Uruguay is on track to become the first nation in the world to fully legalize cannabis since the Single Convention Treaty on Narcotics established worldwide marijuana prohibition in 1961.
“Your president is a freedom fighter and in many ways we fight for freedom ourselves with music,” Tyler said, reports Edgar Zúñiga of NBC Latino.
“He gives 70 percent of his salary for people’s homes,” Tyler said. “Here in this small country, Uruguay, I think he’s doing it the right way, grass roots and we believe in that.”
Ah, those wacky conservatives. Next month, 11 counties in northern Colorado will vote on whether to secede and form their own state, in which they plan to promote “conservative ideals” that residents say have been lost in a progressive era of legalized marijuana and gay marriage.
The 51st State Initiative would create a new state called New Colorado or North Colorado, and would reject all the liberalism that created such policies as legal cannabis, gun control laws, immigration reform, and modernized marriage laws, reports Jodie Gummow at AlterNet.
“I would’ve never believed the state of Colorado would become this liberal,” complained Lyle Miller, who owns Nan’s convenience store in Cheyenne Wells, reports Jack Healy at The New York Times. “I’m afraid for my grandchildren. I want them to have the same heritage I had.”
(Hemp News)There may not be much freedom in the totalitarian Communist dictatorship of North Korea, but they have one freedom that most in the United States don’t — the freedom to openly buy and smoke marijuana.
Cannabis, or “ip tambae” (“leaf tobacco”), is reportedly grown openly on the roadsides and smoked on the streets of Pyongyang, reports Brian Ashcraft at Kotaku. But local North Korean tourist guides normally won’t let Western tourists see that side of Korean culture.
Freelance writer Darmon Richter recently wrote on The Bohemian Blog about his experiences buying and smoking weed in North Korea earlier this year. Cannabis is used by the working class there both for its medicinal effects and to unwind and relax.
Richter was able, with the help of a North Korean intelligence officer, to get into a food market at which locals shop, but where visitors aren’t allowed. “We were just walking past the tobacco sellers when we spotted another stall ahead, piled high with mounds of green rather than brown plant matter,” Richter writes. “It turned out to be exactly what we first suspected: a veritable mountain of marijuana.”
Must Reads of the Week
(Toke Signals)A 2012 study suggests that legalizing medical marijuana lowers suicide rates by almost five percent.
The study, brought to you by the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in Bonn, Germany, the same firm that found thatlegalizing medical marijuana was associated with fewer deaths on the highways — possibly because people use marijuana instead of drinking — is titled “High on Life? Medical Marijuana Laws and Suicide,” reports Christopher Shea at theWall Street Journal.
“Using state-level data for the period 1990 through 2007, we estimate the effect of legalizing medical marijuana on suicide rates,” says the IZA Discussion Paper from January 2012. “Our results suggest that the passage of a medical marijuana law is associated with an almost 5 percent reduction in the total suicide rate, an 11 percent reduction in the suicide rate of 20- through 29-year-old males, and a 9 percent reduction in the suicide rate of 30- through 39-year-old males.”
“Estimates of the relationship between legalization and female suicides are less precise and are sensitive to functional form,” according to the study’s authors, D. Mark Anderson, Daniel I. Rees, and Joseph J. Sabia.
State laws allowing for the legal use of medical marijuana by qualified patients do not increase teen marijuana use, and if anything decrease teen use or have no effect at all, according to data published online last year in the journal Annals of Epidemiology.
Investigators at McGill University in Montreal obtained state-level estimates of marijuana use from the US National Survey on Drug Use and Health for the years 2002 through 2009, reports Paul Armentano at the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). Researchers used difference-in-differences regression models to estimate the causal effect of medical marijuana laws on cannabis use, and simulations to account for measurement error.
“Difference-in-differences estimates suggested that passing MMLs [medical marijuana laws] decreased past-month use among adolescents … and had no discernible effect on the perceived riskiness of monthly use,” McGill University researchers Sam Harper, Erin C. Strumpf and Jay S. Kaufman reported.
Toke TV is a joint production
of Toke Signals and AWOPRadio.com