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As advertising executives across the country pull what’s left of their hair out trying to sell enough adspace to keep main stream print media from completely going under, the one major money market that they have completely left untapped is medical marijuana. Until now, that is.
You may recall, it was just three short months ago when CBS pulled paid-for Weedmaps advertisements off of Times Square billboards just minutes before they were scheduled to be unveiled. But times, and opinions, are changing when it comes to weed, and now the New York Times has announced that it will run the publication’s first full page advertisement for what they refer to as the “consumer cannabis” market.

Jesse Holland
Screenshot from digital Weedmaps ad playing in Times Square, NYC

As terribly predictable April Fool’s Day jokes rang out everywhere you looked yesterday, both online and off, somewhere around a million motorists and pedestrians passing through Times Square in midtown Manhattan probably wondered if they were getting fooled with when they saw the first ever pro-marijuana advertisement to ever be displayed in the historic mecca of marketing.

marssi07 crop.jpg
Photo: I Am Nothing Without My Words
Alexandra Sandbäck: “What exactly did they think we would do? Storm the building?”

‘What did they think we would do – storm the building?’

Exclusive Report and Photos

Last Saturday the first-ever Radical March and Helsinki Smokeout was held by pro-cannabis advocates in Finland.

At 4:20 p.m., a big group of people lit up joints, bongs and pipes in front of the Parliament Building in Helsinki to support, as the organizers stated, “…decriminalization of the use of cannabis, possession of small quantities and farming for personal use to adults.”
The march, organized by Defenders of Nature (Luonnon Puolustajat), started from Hesperia Park at 4 p.m., gathering a crowd of about 200 to 300 people from all over Finland, journalist/activist Alexandra Sandbäck told Toke of the Town on Tuesday.
“Some of the participants arriving by bus from Pori were held up by police outside the city center for what was called a ‘routine control’ of tires, logs, and whatever else,” Sandbäck told us. “After 30 minutes, they let the bus continue on after giving the driver a fine for something minor. The bus went straight to the Parliament Building where people were getting ready to light up.”

Photo: U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Scenes like this — a 1,700-pound bust in Sumas, Washington in 2009 — may become things of the past in the state if a move to legalize marijuana comes to fruition.

​Washington State lawmakers on Wednesday heard, for the first time ever, testimony in support of legalizing, taxing and regulating marijuana for adults.

Members of the House Committee on Public Safety & Emergency Preparedness, in a heavily attended, two-hour hearing, heard arguments in favor of House Bill 2401.
HB 2401 would “remove all existing criminal and civil penalties for adults 21 years of age or older who cultivate, possess, transport, sell, or use marijuana.”
The hearing marked the first time in history that Washington lawmakers had ever debated the merits of legalizing and regulating the sale and use of cannabis.

Scott Pack has been indicted by an Arapahoe County grand jury for what attorney Matthew Buck has called “the largest fraud case in the history of Colorado’s marijuana industry.” Buck, who filed a lawsuit in the matter earlier this year, says the grand jury’s findings tie Pack to what prosecutors describe as a massive operation that grew marijuana for distribution outside Colorado and previously led to the indictment of sixteen people, including Pack associate Rudy Saenz. Among those reportedly indicted along with Pack is Renee Rayton, a former officer for the state’s Marijuana Enforcement Division.

Kristin Bjornsen | Toke of the Town

Up in Tallahassee, state legislators are doing everything they can to undermine medical marijuana in Florida. Voters backed medical pot by more than 70 percent in November, and yet lawmakers responded by inviting the same guy who spent millions trying to defeat the measure to help write the new rules.

But despite all those statehouse shenanigans, medical pot dispensaries are finally a reality in Miami-Dade. Miami’s first legal storefront dispensary opened last week near the airport, and across the bay, commissioners will vote Wednesday on where three dispensaries could open in Miami Beach.

“We have been delivering to the Miami area since July, but we’re very excited to have a brick-and-mortar storefront so patients can avoid delivery fees,” says Kim Rivers, a spokesperson for Trulieve, the North Florida-based firm behind Miami’s first dispensary.

For now, the Trulieve dispensary is operating under rules passed between 2014-15, allowing low-THC products for a limited number of ailments and full marijuana products for terminally ill patients. The shop has a variety of marijuana-based medicines — from vaporizers to pills to tinctures — for qualifying patients.

herbal-outfitters-alaska-marijuana-shopHerbal Outfitters

“High noon” is what the operators of Herbal Outfitters called their grand opening at midday October 29 in Valdez, Alaska. The historic event made Herbal Outfitters the first retail marijuana store to open in Alaska since residents voted to legalize recreational use two years ago.

When you hear the name Valdez, you might picture Juan Valdez and his horse showing up uninvited first thing in the morning with a steaming cup of Colombian coffee. Or you might remember the name from the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill, caused by an alcohol-saturated captain sleeping one off as his third mate ran the Exxon Valdez oil tanker into a reef. But if you’ve ever been to Valdez, Alaska, you know that it’s a small port town located in south central Alaska, surrounded by snowcapped mountains, with a population of a little over 4,000 people and now the state’s first marijuana store.


cops-and-pot-1US Marshals

If voters approve it in November, the pending ballot initiative to legalize marijuana for recreational use in Arizona stands to eliminate several felony arrests each day in the city of Phoenix alone.

On average, the Phoenix police have arrested more than seven people a day since January 2015 for suspicion of marijuana possession, according to figures New Times obtained through a public-records request.

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