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The big news about teens and marijuana in Colorado is that there isn’t big news. Just-issued federal government statistics show that the rate of cannabis use among high school students in the state is slightly less than the national average and below the percentage of those who smoked pot before Colorado voters approved legal consumption for adults more than five years ago.

In the past, anti-weed groups that regularly call for the clock to be turned back in order to protect children have tried to spin positive or neutral numbers in a negative direction, and Marijuana Policy Project spokesperson Mason Tvert, among the main proponents of Amendment 64, the 2012 measure that legalized limited recreational sales for those 21 and over, expects much the same this time around.

wake_bake_brunch_collins20180526_038 (1)Jacqueline Collins

Even the high holiday of 4/20 couldn’t lift Colorado’s marijuana revenue in April, according to the Colorado Department of Revenue, whose most recent figures show sales dropping that month from March’s totals. The dip from March to April isn’t a new occurrence, however; April 2017 also registered a small decline over March 2017.

pot loungeJacqueline Collins

In September 2017, a group of friends announced their intention to apply for Denver’s first social cannabis consumption license, with the goal of opening a pot-friendly gaming lounge. Although it took a little longer than expected, the group behind Denver Vape and Play finally turned in their application for a Cannabis Consumption Establishment license on Thursday, June 7.

If that application is approved, Vape and Play co-founder Taylor Rosean says the business will be located in an old auto-repair shop at 1753 South Broadway, right in the heart of the street’s “green mile” of pot shops, next to Back to the Garden dispensary. According to Rosean, his group obtained a letter of support from the Overland Park Neighborhood Association to open the shop, and he feels good about their chances of getting the city’s blessing.

Denver mayorBrandon Marshall

Mayor Michael Hancock wasn’t a fan of legal marijuana before Colorado voters approved it in 2012, but he’s since become a public defender of the plant — or at least, the actions taken by the City of Denver to comply with Amendment 64. On Sunday, June 10, Hancock’s office announced that he’s spearheading a coalition of mayors from around the country in an effort to push Congress to protect states with legal pot.

Although he originally opposed legalization efforts, Hancock was the mayor of the first major city to legalize marijuana, and since the first recreational sales on January 1, 2014, Denver has become into one of the nation’s capitals of legal weed, with over 200 dispensaries and 1,100 licensed pot businesses now operating in the city, according to the Denver Department of Excise and Licenses. Now, he and mayors of at least eight other cities are asking Congress to listen to them about their experiences so that legalization “can be done smoothly, safely and effectively.”

Jacqueline Collins

A report released at a national conference hosted by the Federal Transit Administration earlier this month shows that American workers in states with legalized marijuana are failing drug tests for the substance at an increasing rate. The study, by Quest Diagnostics, which monitors drug test results in all fifty states annually, found the average positivity rate for Colorado and the national number both sitting at 4.2 percent last year. The positivity rates for pot, however, varied widely.

Colorado’s percentage of drug tests failed because marijuana — at 2.5 percent — was slightly above the 2 percent national average. Still, Colorado came nowhere near the rates of Nevada (43 percent), Massachusetts (14 percent) and California (11 percent), all states that approved recreational marijuana legislation in 2016.

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Hot on the heels of a groundbreaking lawsuit over Salmonella-tainted kratom that targeted a Colorado Springs store, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has announced the recall of assorted products made from the popular but controversial pain-relieving herb. But while the ostensible reason for the recall involves the fear of Salmonella contamination, the CDPHE acknowledges that no illnesses have been reported in connection with the lot numbers in question, and the Food and Drug Administration statement highlighted in the CDPHE announcement focuses on the dangers of kratom in general, suggesting the possibility that broader seizures of the product might be in the offing.

Colorado wound up in the center of the kratom story last October, when the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment prohibited its sale for human consumption. A few months later, the federal Centers for Disease Control and the FDA warned about a “multi-state outbreak of Salmonella infections” that had sickened 28 people across twenty states nationwide.

marijuana fake newsWestword file photo

Last August, when veteran reporter Peter Marcus announced that he was leaving the ambitious ColoradoPolitics.com project he’d helped launch the previous year in favor of a communications-director position with the rapidly growing marijuana dispensary chain Terrapin Care Station, he stressed that he wasn’t leaving journalism behind, and that he planned to start a website that would mix original stories with posts intended to counter misinformation being spewed by pot enemies.

That site, TheNewsStation.com, is now live, and included among offerings that Marcus says “promote the positive business and economic impact of the cannabis industry” is a section in which he tears apart what he sees as marijuana “fake news.”

autism for mmjJake Holschuh

Advocates pushing to include autism spectrum disorder in Colorado’s list of conditions that qualify for medical marijuana took a small but victorious step forward last night, April 5. But those who supported adding acute pain to the list weren’t as successful.

After over five hours of public testimony and deliberation, a House committee voted in favor of a bill that would add ASD to the state’s list of conditions treatable by medical marijuana. Introduced by Representative Edie Hooton, HB 1263 will now go in front of the entire House for consideration.

Jacqueline Collins

Cannabis enthusiasts aren’t top of mind when people think about scholarly go-getters, but the American Chemical Society doesn’t buy the stereotype. The nonprofit organization, which turns 141 years old today, April 6, founded its Cannabis Chemistry Subdivision in 2015. Now, it wants more brains to get in the mix.

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