Marijuana and Cannabis News Archive
Since 2009, Toke of the Town has brought you the biggest marijuana news and loudest pot views from across the country -- and around the world. Along the way, we've covered the huge progress many states have made towards legalization and wondered why others are so far behind. The country still has a long way to go, but things are looking up -- and we have our fingers crossed that 2015 will be another big year for legalization.
But Toke won't be around to see it -- at least, not in its present form. This is Toke of the Town's final day of publication.
Don't worry: We're not quitting the movement. We're just returning the focus of our marijuana coverage to our local Voice Media Group papers. You can still read William Breathes' weekly pot reviews and Ask a Stoner column at Westword.com, where they started, and you can continue to follow him on Twitter and Facebook. And you can keep following Toke on Facebook and Twitter, too, for the latest marijuana news from all our papers.
Many thanks for reading and supporting us for the past five years! We couldn't have covered the marijuana community without such a strong one reading us.
Light one up for us, won't you?
As far as late Christmas presents go, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon's decision to pardon nine non-violent offenders is as big and unprecedented as they come.
But for a governor who before Monday pardoned only one person since taking office in 2009, the list of formerly-naughty Missourians is arguably more notable for the name it doesn't include.
While the eight men and one women Nixon pardoned yesterday already served their sentences for felony and misdemeanor crimes ranging from minor theft, writing bad checks and marijuana possession, there's no mention of Jeff Mizanskey, the only inmate in the state currently serving a life sentence without parole for three nonviolent pot charges.
Ray Stern Finding banking services for his business, Encanto Green Cross, has been difficult for Nick Kriaris.
On a recent Friday afternoon, Nick Kriaris, owner of Encanto Green Cross medical-marijuana dispensary in Phoenix, and his brother, Chris, tried to open an account at Bank of America for their nonprofit business with $420 in cash.
The attempt at the bank branch at 3030 North Central Avenue was, to some extent, a stunt, from the pot-culture-inspired amount of the initial deposit to the dispensary employee videotaping his bosses. They knew the odds of success were minimal, if not zero.
But if the bank agreed to take the medical-marijuana retail shop's money, it would have been something of a minor historical moment. Although dozens of dispensaries are authorized to operate in the state, no bank will deal openly with them -- yet.
A new study just put out by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has once again proven that Americans are misinformed, and therefore easily confused, when it comes to cannabis use and driving a car.
As cannabis reform sweeps the nation, so too does a new round of the same stale talking points about the supposed dangers of marijuana use that have been regurgitated for decades, always muddying the waters of the debate.
If the numbers revealed in the AAA study are anywhere near accurate, all it would prove is that you can probably train a monkey to hate bananas with the right amount of propaganda.
Late last week Oklahoma and Nebraska filed suit in the U.S. Supreme Court to halt Colorado's implementation of Amendment 64. Basically, both states say they are tired of dealing with marijuana that crosses the border. In the suit, they claim that Colorado cannabis ties up law enforcement agencies and is wreaking havoc on police and state trooper budgets. And now it seems another neighbor to the east is mulling jumping on the bandwagon.
Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt has been debating whether to sue Colorado for months, according to his staff. Jennifer Rapp, spokeswoman for Schmidt, told KMBC News that Schmidt is still "weighing his options."
Our own William Breathes has the full story over at the Latest Word.
An important state appellate court decision was just announced that may have just set a major precedent in how California cannabis law will view concentrated forms of THC.
Until now, hash makers and lovers alike felt as though they were operating in a very, very grey area of California's 18-year old medical marijuana laws. But on Wednesday of last week, one man's day in court gave Cali's cannabis enthusiasts a rare occasion to cheer.
This year has not been a good one for the NYPD. The department has found itself in an uphill PR battle for pretty much all of 2014, starting as far back as December 2013 with then-Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio's announcement that Bill Bratton, considered to be the architect of the NYPD's much-reviled "broken windows" policing policy, would be returning to the force as its commissioner. There was the death of Eric Garner, who was killed when Police Officer Daniel Pantaleo used an apparent chokehold while trying to arrest him for selling illegal cigarettes on Staten Island. There was the shooting death of Akai Gurley at the hands of a rookie police officer. And then there was the Garner grand jury decision and the subsequent protests. Not to put too fine a point on it, but the NYPD will probably be happier than anyone to see the ball drop on New Year's Eve.
Even messier than gay marriage, the wild inconsistencies of marijuana policies across the nation are really too chaotic for anyone to keep up with. In the span of a week, the federal government came out in support of medical marijuana, and two states neighboring Colorado sued the weed mecca over its lax laws.
Benjamin Russell Halgren via GoFundMe.com.
Congress's shift on medical marijuana policy came rolled up in a massive spending bill that President Barack Obama signed into law on Tuesday. For the first time, the federal government is giving individual states the option to decide whether weed has any medicinal value. For more, visit the Minneapolis City Pages.
Richard DeLisi, sentenced to three consecutive 30-year terms, or 90 years, for a marijuana importation conviction in 1989, will remain incarcerated. Judge Michael E. Raiden denied a motion requesting a review of his sentence last week. DeLisi has spent the past 26 years behind bars for a nonviolent offense that has a normal guideline sentence range of 12 to 17 years.
Anna Cozy, the owner of Colorado Alternative Medicine in South Denver, has been arrested and accused of faking documents related to her marijuana business and supplying them to inspectors. According to a report from the Denver D.A.'s office, Cozy was charged with two counts of attempting to influence a public servant and three counts of forgery.
According to the arrest affidavit on view below, the investigation started in late November, after a Marijuana Enforcement Division investigator suspected Cozy of handing over forged documents regarding a Marijuana Infused Product (MIPs) license and the store's grow operation.