The 16th episode of Toke Signals TV with host Steve Elliott takes a look at some of the biggest marijuana news stories of the week.
Find out what you need to know about the week in cannabis/marijuana news, in 30 minutes!
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Toke TV Bud Pick of the Week
Toke TV Stories of the Week
Voters in three Michigan cities on Tuesday approved ordinances to legalize possession of small amounts of marijuana, reportedly bringing to 14 the number of cities statewide that have removed criminal penalties for personal-use amounts of cannabis.
Voters in Ferndale, a Detroit suburb, approved an ordinance that would allow possession or transfer of less than an ounce of marijuana with a whopping 69 percent of the vote reports Kate Abbey-Lambertz at The Huffington Post. The measure applies to adults 21 and older on private property. Lansing voters approved a measure by 63 percent, and Jackson voters approved with 61 percent of the vote.
The Lansing measure differs from the other two, according to MLive.com, because it enacts a change to the city charter rather than updating an ordinance. Recreational marijuana is still illegal under state and federal law.
Portland, Maine on Tuesday became the first city on the East Coast to legalize marijuana, with voters overwhelmingly approving ballot Question 1, an ordinance removing all penalties for adult possession of small amounts of cannabis.
Unofficial totals showed the proposal passing with 67 percent of the vote, 9,921 to 4,823, reports Randy Billings at the Portland Press Herald.
The city ordinance allows people 21 and older to possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana, and is seen by many activists as a foot in the door to statewide legalization. The immediate effects, however, are unclear.
(Hemp News)Colorado voters on Tuesday approved a statewide ballot measure imposing special excise taxes on legal marijuana wholesale and retail sales. The Denver Post called the election with Proposition AA ahead 65-35 with 65 percent of precincts reporting. Retail marijuana sales are scheduled to begin on January 1 in localities throughout Colorado, including the state’s largest city, Denver, and they will begin in other cities throughout 2014.
The taxes make cannabis one of the most heavily taxed consumer products in the state, according to John Ingold at The Denver Post.
According to the state’s voter guide, Proposition AA is expected to bring in $67 million a year. With $27.5 million going toward school construction, as specified in Amendment 64, the rest will to toward paying for regulation of legal marijuana stores. Some cities, which will also get a cut of the statewide tax on pot, plan to use the money for projects such as road repairs.
(Toke Signals)The Washington State Liquor Control Board — which had its alcohol-selling duties taken away by voters, only to be put in charge of recreational marijuana by “legalization” measure I-502 — has, unfortunately, been put in charge of medical cannabis, as well.
Despite last fall’s promises that I-502, which legalizes possession of up to an ounce of pot, “wouldn’t affect medical marijuana,” and assurances that the two systems would be maintained separately, it didn’t take very long for state bureaucrats to extend the WSLCB’s authority to include medicinal cannabis as well as recreational marijuana.
The Board has extended the deadline to submit public comment for the draft recommendations regarding medical marijuana. The new deadline is November 13, and complete information on how to submit comments is included at the end of the linked article.
A Deming, New Mexico man was subjected to a nightmarish 14-hour anal cavity search for drugs after allegedly running a stop sign, according to recently discovered documents. No drugs were found, and now David Eckert is suing police officers and the doctors who conducted the horrendous search, which occurred on January 2, 2013.
After searches of his car and his person revealed no drugs, officers held Eckert until a judge issued a warrant because officers alleged Eckert appeared to be “clenching his buttocks.”
Officers then took Eckert to Gila Regional Medical Center in a neighboring county after doctors at Mimbres Memorial Hospital in Deming refused to conduct the search on ethical grounds, according to the court documents.
Susan Luder, a deputy Maricopa County attorney, admitted that carboxy-THC, a metabolite of marijuana, often shows up in drug tests a month after the last time an individual used cannabis, reports Howard Fischer at Capitol Media Services. She didn’t even argue with her own expert witness, who said the presence of that metabolite does not indicate someone is impaired.
But, as strange as it seems, Luder told the Supreme Court justices that it is perfectly legal under Arizona law to prosecute someone for driving under the influence of marijuana when they haven’t smoked for a month, and are not impaired at all.
(Hemp News)A criminal record usually limits opportunities. But now there’s a $1,000 law school scholarship available where applicants must prove they’ve already been in trouble with the law.
The Appelman Law Firm, LLC, based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, says the idea is designed to reward those who’ve made better choices after a conviction — “those who have managed to turn their lives around and intend to pursue a career in criminal defense.”
“There’s a real need for passionate attorneys in criminal defense,” said Avery Appelman, the firm’s founder. “Nothing instills a great passion for justice quite like having suffered through the process yourself.”
That’s where the Appelman Law Firm Criminal Defense Scholarship comes in, and Appelman isn’t alone in thinking a criminal record shouldn’t be a barrier to making a better life.
Toke TV Must Read of the Week
(Seattle Weekly)The current power grab in Washington state politics — in which the Liquor Control Board, having effectively been fired by voters from selling alcohol, was then put in charge of recreational marijuana under legalization measure I-502 — is a fascinating study in the difference between political promises and political reality.
The promise, of course, was that I-502 “wouldn’t negatively impact” patients by compromising their safe access to cannabis. The reality, as is becoming more and more apparent, is that patients and the collectives that supply them are seen as impediments to recreational-marijuana profits, and the fat tax proceeds expected to follow. Simply put, the LCB is attempting to “fold in” the medical-marijuana market, primarily over concern that untaxed dispensaries would prove too much competition for state-licensed recreational-pot stores.
Toke TV is a joint production of Toke Signals and Indie Media Weekly