Marijuana and Cannabis News
Demonstrators descended on the state capitol rotunda Wednesday thrusting fists and signs into the air with chants of "yes, we cannabis!"
For two hours, the hallways echoed with the voices of cops, writers, pols, and lawyers invited by Minnesota NORML, which lobbies for marijuana reform. They rubbed elbows with both jean jackets and blazers, showing the disparate makeup of a group that is often typecast and dismissed as burnouts.
"This movement is about people who like drugs, people who hate drugs, and people who just don't give a damn about drugs," says Neill Franklin, a former narcotics officer, from the podium. "It's about everyone who is concerned about cannabis prohibition in the United States today."
In the crowd, Grassroots Party founder Oliver Steinberg smiles when asked about how pot reform has gone mainstream. He attended his first demonstration back in the early 90s with some of the same people who showed up here.
"The only difference now are those cameras," he says, pointing to the TV crews.
Nebraska police officers are increasingly frustrated with Colorado for what they say is an increase in pot trafficking in their state that they tie directly to the legalization of cannabis across their state's western border.
A Nebraska highway check.
This week, the Omaha World-Herald profiled several cops and state troopers who say they feel overburdened and suggest that Colorado help fund their fight against pot. They're wasting money and resources on a problem that Colorado should handle, they believe.
It isn't every day that a relatively minor pot bust case makes it all the way to the United States Supreme Court, but on Tuesday the highest court in the land heard and decided on just such a case. Obviously, the implications behind it were much larger than the measly four bags of weed confiscated during a California highway traffic stop way back in 2008.
A tragic accident involving a four-year-old shooting his three-year-old brother occurred Sunday. Fortunately, the younger brother is OK, but because the father was in another room allegedly smoking marijuana, the St. Louis County police and local media decided to make that the focus of the story.
The shooting happened around noon on Sunday. A loaded gun was hidden inside a closet, and the child was able to reach it. He and his brother played with the gun and it went off, a bullet striking the younger brother in the left shoulder. The child was treated at a local hospital for soft-tissue injury and released.
Three Phoenix residents were caught trying to bring back more than 1,200 pounds of marijuana to the United States in RVs, on the pot holiday of "4/20."
If the more seasoned drug-smugglers can get caught crossing the border by hiding drugs in specially fabricated compartments or inside bodily orifices, you can bet the pot-filled RV plot didn't go over so well.
Louisiana lawmakers will not be reducing the penalties for the possession of an ounce of marijuana and have decided to maintain some of the harshest pot penalties in the country.
The sad thing? The reductions still would have made criminals out of cannabis users and those caught still faced up to six months in jail and $500 fines as before. In fact, it wouldn't have really done much of anything - yet lawmakers still were opposed to it based on knee-jerk principles alone.
U.S. Navy. Washington D.C.
While the elected officials of our nation's capital have already decided that decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana is the best thing for their city, the move still has to be approved by the U.S. House as per federal law. More accurately, the bill has to be disapproved in 60 days or less, giving congress the option of ignoring the move and letting it become law by default.
But that doesn't look like it will be the case, as a Republican-controlled House subcommittee plans to discuss the matter.
After eight years of their economy going into the gutter, Puerto Rico is kicking around the idea of giving their tourism industry a boost by legalizing marijuana use. And if that doesn't get you down to the tiny little Caribbean island, they're also considering legalizing prostitution.
The Arizona Supreme Court announced this morning that it was reaffirming the trial court's decision to dump the case of Hrach Shilgevorkyan, who was prosecuted for driving while impaired after a blood test revealed the presence of marijuana. New Times covered the case and overall issue in detail in the Phoenix New Times May 2013 article "Riding High."
Believe it or not, some Colorado locals were less than thrilled about the annual 4/20 event in Denver this year. But few observers were as negative as Smart Colorado, an organization devoted to "protecting youth from marijuana." In the wake of the rally, the group put out a statement under the heading "Smart Colorado Speaks About Shocking 4/20 Activities" that decried the gathering in terms that a pot advocate heavily involved in the Civic Center spectacle describes as "hysterical."