Don’t forget to subscribe to the Toke TV channel on YouTube.
Toke Signals Bud Pick of the Week
Toke Signals Stories of the Week
U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) on Thursday filed an amendment to Senate Bill 2569, the “Bring Jobs Home Act,” that would explicitly allow states to pass medical marijuana laws despite the federal Controlled Substances Act. The amendment would also bar prosecutions of patients and doctors involved in medical marijuana when they are in compliance with state laws.
Amendment 3630 allows states to “enact and implement laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of marijuana for medical use” without federal prosecution,” reports Phillip Smith at StoptheDrugWar.org.
The amendment then lists 33 states and the District of Columbia that have medical marijuana laws at variance with the federal Controlled Substances Act, including 10 states that allow only for the use of CBD oil (cannabidiol), which, unlike THC, isn’t psychoactive.
Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown has certified that the New Approach Oregon petition campaign has turned in enough valid signatures to qualify the Control, Regulation, and Taxation of Marijuana and Industrial Hemp Act for the November ballot.
According to the Secretary of State’s website, 145,030 unverified signatures were submitted for verification. Of those, 88,584 signatures, or 64.41 percent of the 135,722 accepted for verification, were valid. To qualify for the ballot, 87,213 were needed.
If officials at Chicago’s Swedish Covenant Hospital get their wish, authorized medical marijuana patients could one day buy their cannabis at a hospital dispensary, just like patients buying antibiotics or pain relievers at the hospital’s pharmacy.
“We have professionals who very much would like to prescribe these drugs, we have the system in place to manage it and we have the patient population that needs it,” said Marcia Jimenez, director of intergovernmental affairs at Swedish Covenant Hospital, reports Becky Schlikerman at the Chicago Sun Times. “It just made a lot of sense.”
The hospital would like to be the first in Illinois to take advantage of the legalization of marijuana for medicinal purposes in the state. Illinois has agreed to issue 60 permits to sell medical marijuana, 13 of which will be in Chicago.
The very first recreational marijuana legally sold in Seattle will become part of a display at the city’s Museum of History and Industry, after the woman who was first in line donated part of her purchase on Tuesday.
Sixty-five-year-old retiree Deb Greene had waited all night to be the first customer in line at Cannabis City, so far Seattle’s lone recreational marijuana store, when legal cannabis sales began in Washington on July 8, reports The Associated Press.
Cannabis City proprietor James Lathrop also donated items from opening day, including the receipt for Greene’s purchase.
State-licensed recreational marijuana stores opened in Washington on July 8, and the state estimated it will collect $51.2 million in revenues during the upcoming 2015-2017 biennial budget, reports Robin Respaut at Reuters. But Moody’s said on Monday that high taxes, marketplace competition and supply challenges could lower that number.
The ratings agency warned that Washington’s sky-high excise tax of 25 percent — applied at three points along the supply chain, producer, processor and retailer — and sales taxes of 9.6 percent might deter consumers. Combined, the trio of 25 percent taxes means an effective rate of 44 percent tax, Moody’s calculated, reports Niraj Chokshi at The Washington Post.
A Washington marijuana businessman is suing the state’s Liquor Control Board, saying the agency rejected his application to retail cannabis over a minor technicality. The suit alleges that the board put him and his partners at risk of substantial financial loss.
The suit, filed by Pete O’Neil in King County Superior Court, seeks to overturn the Liquor Control Board’s decision to deny a license for C&C Cannabis to sell marijuana in Lynnwood, Washington, reports Valerie Bauman at Puget Sound Business Journal. The application was rejected for only having an electronic signature, instead of both a written signature and an electronic one, according to O’Neil, who manages C&C.
Officials at the Washington State Liquor Control Board refused to comment on ongoing litigation.
The board could be subjected to dozens or even hundreds of similar lawsuits as it makes its way through the first year of implementation of I-502, a limited legalization measure approved by 54 percent of Washington voters in 2012. The first cannabis stores opened on July 8, and more are gradually opening for business as the supply from growers increases; 334 retail licenses were awarded statewide.
When limited marijuana legalization measure Initiative 502 was on the Washington state ballot back in 2012, one of the main selling points touted by its supporters was the the measure would help eliminate racial disparities in low-level marijuana enforcement — the kind that exist practically everywhere, and which were the subject of a recent American Civil Liberties Union study. But sadly, it appears I-502 didn’t make a lot of difference in that regard.
African Americans were still disproportionately cited by Seattle police for using marijuana in public in the first six months of 2014, reports Bob Young at The Seattle Times.
In a report required by the Seattle City Council, the police had to admit that of 82 tickets written for public cannabis consumption in the first half of 2014, 37 percent of those went to black people. Blacks account for just 8 percent of Seattle’s population.
Toke Signals Must Read of the Week
Early use of marijuana apparently delays — and might even prevent — the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, according to a leading scientist in the field. But the work of longtime researcher Gary Wenk of Ohio State University has come to a halt, despite the promising results.
“We found out that people who smoked dope in the 1960s were not getting Alzheimer’s,” Wenk explained, reports KJ Hiramoto at the Seattle PI. “These 90-year-olds without dementia were telling us things like, ‘Well, I drank whiskey and smoked dope,’ and these are the things they remember. They don’t remember habits like how often they ate broccoli.”
Maddeningly, Wenk’s research ground to a halt due to political, legal and financial reasons.
“The evidence in animals is clear but making the leap to humans means that you have to find a drug company willing to handle the lawsuits and the money,” Wenk said.