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Marijuana and the munchies have been linked together since, well, forever. Unfortunately, so have marijuana, the munchies and cotton mouth. Smoking pot reduces saliva flow, drying the mouth and leaving more food debris while creating a safe haven for bacteria that causes bad breath. To counteract that, many of us crack open a soft drink after a joint – but what kind?

As seen in the photo above, Keith Hammock was once the driver for the Rasta Bus, a service that won a Best of Denver award in 2006. But if this recognition was a high point for him, yesterday marked an all-time low. On October 4, Hammock was sentenced to eighty years in prison for a 2016 shooting of two teens who invaded his home marijuana grow. One of the teens died in the incident.

Discussion of marijuana reform somehow made it into the special session, even though there is little chance any related bill will pass.

State Representative Joe Moody, an El Paso Democrat, must know there’s more of a chance that the Texas Legislature will do a group rendition of the macarena than there is that House Bill 334 will get through the Legislature during the special session. Still, Moody held a public hearing on a bill he filed this week, pretty much just for the heck of it.

Marijuana reform is headed for Texas, but it probably won’t get here anytime soon.

During the 85th Texas legislative session, which ended in May, two cannabis reform bills made it further than pretty much any similar efforts have before. Although both laws had an apparent majority in the Texas House of Representatives, the session ended before they could be voted on.

One bill aimed to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana. The other tried to create a real medical marijuana program. While the bills’ legislative journey says a lot about how much politicians in Texas have warmed to marijuana, it will probably be at least two or three more years before the state sees any big changes to its pot laws.

canada-pot-girl-flickr-2GoToVan via Flickr31

Canadian weed?

It’s supposed to be pretty good.

But Arizona medical marijuana?

Super profitable.

Ask the people from a Toronto firm who recently announced the “acquisition” — with caveats and disclaimers — of two Mesa dispensaries.

The $27 million deal also includes one of the state’s biggest cannabis-extracts brands and an option to control a cultivation and wholesale business in Nevada, where voters legalized recreational marijuana in November.

He doesn’t want it to go the way of the casinos.

Here’s your daily round-up of pot-news, excerpted from the newsletter WeedWeek. Download WeedWeek’s free 2016 election guide here.

Magician and legalization supporter Penn Jillette talked to Marijuana Business Daily:

“What I’m really hoping for is that the marijuana industry can keep its funk.

“When Nevada first started with gambling, even though it was illegal, even though it was all very, very shady, there was a certain kind of individuality and honesty. Then, in the ’80s, corporations really took over Vegas and it got very homogeneous and very mall-style in general and McDonaldized.

Legalization troubles some cops.

Excerpted from the newsletter WeedWeek. Get your free and confidential subscription at WeedWeek.net.

LA Weekly asked cops why they oppose the Adult Use Marijuana Act (AUMA) California’s REC ballot initiative. “This is not a law-enforcement jihad or Reefer Madness,” Ken Corney, Ventura’s police chief and president of the California Police Chiefs Association said. “Proposition 64 isn’t about green, leafy marijuana that people smoke at home or pass across the aisle at a concert. It’s a for-profit play to bring the commercialization of marijuana to California.”

The piece continues: “[Corney] subscribes to the theory, so far unproven, that the proposition’s biggest financial backer, Holmby Hills tech billionaire Sean Parker, is in it to open the door to Big Marijuana profits for rich folks like himself.”

The group Law Enforcement Against Prohibition endorsed AUMA.

Three Santa Ana, Calif. cops who were caught on video last year snacking and mocking an amputee (“I was about to kick her in her fucking nub”) during a dispensary raid are no longer with the department. The Orange County District Attorney’s Office has filed petty theft charges against the three officers.

The three had argued that they believed police had already disabled all of the cameras and therefore “had a reasonable expectation that their conversations and actions were no longer being recorded.”

Art Way, Colorado state director for Drug Policy Alliance writes:

Those with vested interest in the devaluation of black life and the criminalization of black                            communities need the drug war for political cover. Those who want to end state sanctioned                        murders should consider joining forces to end the drug war. 

This is a war waged to keep the black, brown and poor disenfranchised all while using their bodies as commodities for a prison industrial complex similar to the human commodification witnessed during slavery. ( H/T Word on the Tree )

A small but growing number of Canadian RCMP officers (the equivalent of FBI agents) are getting their MED reimbursed by the government.

In the Philippines, imprisoned drug lords have raised a $21 million reward for whoever kills the country’s new president Rodrigo Duterte. For his part, Duterte offers bounties of $1 million for drug lords killed and $600,000 for drug lords captured. According to his administration, 75 percent of the drugs in the country were manufactured inside its largest prison.

Industry hub Pueblo, Colo. has seen quite a few drug busts.

A Pennsylvania man has been charged with abuse of a corpse after blending weed with brain embalming fluid.

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock (D)  blames legal weed for the “urban travelers” who have caused violent episodes on Denver’s 16th Street Mall, the city’s main pedestrian thoroughfare. Recently, a 32-year old Indiana man was arrested after video showed him attacking pedestrians with lengths of PVC pipe. It’s not clear whether he was high at the time.

Other recent incidents, also caught on video, have seen arrests after attacks and aggressive panhandling. New research shows that legal states have seen a drop in Medicare prescriptions for anti-depressants and opiods, and a corresponding reduction in Medicare costs.

Prescriptions did not drop for drugs like blood-thinners that can’t plausibly be replaced with MED. (Read that study here.) If California legalizes REC in November, it could influence federal policy on banking and other issues. Regulators in the state said they will start inspecting dispensary scales  to ensure that customers are getting their money’s worth.

Massachusetts’ REC initiative will be on the ballot in November. Gov. Charlie Baker (R), Boston Mayor Marty Walsh (D) and Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo (D) have banded together to oppose it. Arkansas voters will decide on a MED initiative. Fortune sees signs of a backlash in Colorado. Murders in California’s Lake County, a center of growing, reached a 10-year high of eight last year. Donna Weinholtz, wife of Utah gubernatorial candidate Mike Weinholtz (D), is under federal investigation related to her MED use.

The rules for Alaska’s pot café’s are under review. Voters in the state’s Matanuska-Susitna Borough will decide on a commercial ban in the fall. Former Liberal Party deputy prime minister Anne McLellan will lead Canada’s nine-member legalization task force. McLellan is a former law professor at the University of Alberta. Canada’s legal purchasing age may vary across provinces, but the government wants a consistent national law on DUI. Both LSU and Southern University are exercising their option to grow Louisiana’s MED supply.

This article also appeared in the the pot-focused weekly newsletter WeedWeek. Get your free and confidential subscription at WeedWeek.net.

New regulations for medical and recreational marijuana businesses will go into effect today.

Renewal fees for medical marijuana licenses have decreased, and the way in which retail marijuana grow facilities are categorized has changed to be more specific; plant numbers are broken into smaller unit sizes.

Overall, it’s now more expensive to set up a dispensary that serves medical patients rather than one that sells only recreational cannabis. Initial application fees for medical centers range in cost from $6,000 to $14,000 and are separated into three tiers. After the initial application fee, businesses must pay additional licensing fees that need to be renewed annually.

Despite continuous warnings from alarmists who say heavy marijuana use is “soaring among young people,” the most recent survey conducted by Healthy Kids Colorado Survey (HKCS) found marijuana is less of a threat to the state’s youth than other substances. HKCS is supported by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and collects anonymous student information on multiple health topics.

Trends among high school students remain comparable to the national average and have not risen since the state voted to legalize recreational marijuana in 2014. In fact, the numbers have remained relatively stable since 2005, according to the report.

Four out of five high school students have not used marijuana in the last 30 days, a statistic that, according to the survey, “remains relatively unchanged since 2013.”

Even though more than half of Colorado’s high school students report that marijuana is easy to access, well below half have actually tried the drug.

Of the 17,000 middle and high school students from over 157 schools surveyed across the state, 21.2 percent reported that they currently use marijuana. With the national average at 21.7 percent, this survey corroborates prior evidence that legalization has not increased use among teens.

Alcohol remains the most used substance by minors across the state, a statistic that aligns with national trends. Thirty percent of Colorado’s youth report that they currently drink alcohol and 16 percent said they’ve gone on a binge in the last 30 days. Almost 60 percent say alcohol is relatively easy to acquire.

For more on the marijuana statistics in the survey, read Michael Robert’s article.

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