Browsing: Legalize It

Maria Levitov

In honor of 4/20, we’re presenting Maria Levitov’s portraits of cannabis consumers in Colorado, the first state to allow legal recreational sales. “The world can feel isolating and discouraging, so now more than ever, it’s important to show the things that connect us, not separate us,” says the photographer.

“I think cannabis is distinctive in that it mixes medicine with recreation in a way that feels inherently inclusive. By combining fine-art photography with the act of smoking, I think these portraits offer a different insight and perception. Plus, smoke is beautiful and ever-changing; it’s as unique as the participants in this project.”

Kate McKee Simmons

Back in February, Cory Gardner and Michael Bennet were among the eighteen senators who urged the Senate Committee on Appropriations to “respect states’ laws regarding the regulation of marijuana.” But this week, those laws didn’t get any respect.

In the wake of Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ rescinding the Cole Memorandum and other Obama-era protections, the senators’ goal was to make sure that states that have legalized recreational marijuana, such as Colorado, would be protected from punitive action by the Department of Justice. “It is our hope that the fiscal year 2018 appropriations will alleviate the turbulence the attorney general’s abrupt decision has caused and that the appropriations will help preserve the strong regulatory frameworks the states have created,” they wrote.

denver pot loungeThe Coffee Joint Facebook page

After years of gaining little ground in Colorado, social cannabis consumption is finally making progress. On the same day a bill was introduced in the Colorado Legislature that would allow dispensary tasting rooms, and less than a week after a members-only pot lounge successfully opened in RiNo, the Denver Department of Excise and Licenses approved the Coffee Joint’s Cannabis Consumption Establishment license — making it the first establishment to ever hold a pot consumption license in Denver.

File photo/Facebook

Last year, then-eleven-year-old Colorado resident and medical marijuana patient Alexis Bortell joined other plaintiffs in a lawsuit against pot-hating Attorney General Jeff Sessions over federal scheduling of cannabis. Yesterday, February 26, a judge with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York dismissed the suit, but Bortell, now twelve, wasn’t distressed. Shortly after the news went public, a post appeared on her Facebook page reading, “We were ready. Smile. We know #SCOTUS [Supreme Court of the United States] is where we are probably going.”

The note ended with the hashtags #IStandWithAlexis and #AlexisBortell.

Carlos HendersonOuachita Correctional Center

Upon learning that Denver Broncos receiver Carlos Henderson was arrested yesterday, January 14, on a marijuana charge, most NFL fans are likely to assume that such busts are common for members of the team, given Colorado’s reputation as a cannabis mecca. But, no: According to a comprehensive database of NFL players in trouble, Henderson is the first Bronco in more than seventeen years to be taken into custody for an alleged weed violation.

ABC7 Chicago file photo

In “Mailing Marijuana Out of Colorado: How Likely Are You to Get Caught?,” published circa November 2015, the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area’s Tom Gorman estimated that 90 percent of illegally shipped cannabis packages weren’t being found by postal inspectors.

More than two years later, figures from a pair of recent analyses maintain that hundreds more pot-packed parcels are being intercepted than in previous years, even as our Ask a Stoner columnist suggests that successfully mailing pot edibles out of state is still a snap if proper precautions are taken.

William Breathes

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s announcement about rescinding the Cole memo, an Obama-era Department of Justice document that provided some legal protections for businesses operating in states that allow and regulate cannabis sales, has shaken the marijuana industry in Colorado and beyond. But Justin Strekal, political director for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), isn’t surprised by this action. As we noted last July, Strekal believes an op-ed from the ultra-conservative Heritage Foundation enumerating eleven ways the administration of President Donald Trump can kill legal cannabis is being used by Sessions and company as a crackdown guideline, and junking Cole is fifth on the list

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United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a memo rescinding the Cole Memorandum and other federal pot protections dating back to 2009 on January 4. Colorado’s elected officials — from Governor John Hickenlooper to Mayor Michael Hancock to the entire congressional delegation — were quick to condemn the move and vow to fight any attempt to prosecute law-abiding businesses in this state. But in the meantime, how does the Sessions memo affect you?

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Retail cannabis industries across the country are reeling after United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a memo rescinding the Cole Memorandum, a 2013 policy that offered protection from federal prosecution for the cultivation, distribution and possession of pot in states where it is legal. In Colorado, the first state to authorize the legal sale of retail cannabis, the response has been quick…and, in many cases, furious

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