Lindsey Bartlett

On July 20, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved the Energy and Water Development appropriations bill for fiscal year 2018, authorizing $38.4 billion in spending. Wedged into this bill was the Industrial Hemp Water Rights Act, a piece of bipartisan legislation introduced in part by Colorado senators Michael Bennet and Cory Gardner.

Lindsey Bartlett

The International Church of Cannabis arrived in Denver this spring on a gust of excitement and controversy, gaining attention for its artful restoration of a church in the West Washington Park neighborhood and public affirmation of cannabis events. All of that attention may have also created a target for law enforcement, however, with Denver police officers crashing the party and issuing citations during one of the church’s first big celebrations.

Facebook

The reward being offered for information about the person or persons who killed Travis Mason, a former Marine who was fatally shot while working as a security guard at a marijuana dispensary in June 2016, has been increased to $55,000, more than triple the original amount. Authorities hope the increase will help break the case that’s remained unsolved for more than a year.

File photo by Shane Lopes/L.A. Weekly

New legislation would force the federal government to allow veterans to obtain medical marijuana in states, like California, where it’s legal.

The amendment to force the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to make cannabis available to veterans who need it was recently approved by the Senate’s Appropriations Committee 24 to 7. The department would be prohibited from interfering with a veteran’s ability to obtain weed, and from blocking healthcare providers from giving pot to veterans where it’s legal, according to language attached to a military appropriations bill.

“The amendment ensures that veterans have equal access to all of the medical options available in their local community, to include medical marijuana in states where it is legal,” according to a statement from the office of co-author Steve Daines, a Montana Republican.

Herbert Fuego

A strange Juicy Fruit gum commercial in the early 2000s had a man in a whale costume and a woman in overalls singing about “caring and sharing” on a children’s TV show. The scene was pretty wholesome until the whale stole Juicy Fruit from the woman’s pocket and ran. The previously caring woman tackled the whale like a free safety and pummeled him while the song about “caring and sharing” continued playing in the background.

Someone stealing a 25-cent stick of gum could never make me that angry, but a $35 eighth under the same name? That’s a different story. 

Grant Stringer

Candace doesn’t particularly like sleeping outside, whether in the heat of the summer or the frigid winter. But as one of Aurora’s estimated 500 individuals experiencing homelessness, she doesn’t have much of a choice. The city’s only homeless shelter requires that its guests leave early in the morning, and after a bad night’s sleep in the crowded space, Candace is forced to sleep wherever she can outside.

And if it isn’t private property owners or Aurora police officers interrupting her sleep, it’s the raccoons.

Ray Stern

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions

Jeff Sessions missed major opportunities this week to rail against legal marijuana, giving marijuana-industry experts some much-craved hope that a crackdown is not imminent.

The cannabis-hating U.S. Attorney General delivered a speech at the Nevada U.S. Attorney’s Office in Las Vegas on Wednesday about crime, drugs, and immigration, but failed to mention the state’s newly launched recreational program.

Gustavo Turner/L.A. Weekly

Strict laws in the city and county of Los Angeles have, over the years, led to the closure of hundreds of illicit marijuana dispensaries, action hailed by some as a way to combat drug-related crime such as robberies and loitering.

But a new study contradicts the argument, sometimes made by law enforcement itself, that weed stores are crime magnets. The research, published in the July issue of the Journal of Urban Economics, took a close look at the city’s closure of hundreds of illicit dispensaries in 2010.

It concluded that crime around pot shops forced to shut down actually increased afterward. “When marijuana dispensaries were shut down, we found the opposite of what we were expecting,” says the paper’s co-author, USC business economics professor Tom Y. Chang. “Crime actually increased in the areas that closed relative to the ones allowed to stay open.”

1 2 3 684