Browsing: Legalize It

adam.lee.kids.facebook.croppedFacebook

In May, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued a damning preliminary report about the late-2017 death of forty-year-old Loveland Ski Area employee Adam Lee, who suffered crushing chest injuries while working on the Magic Carpet, a motorized beltway used to teach kids how to ski.

The document essentially characterizes Adam as an innocent victim. But his widow, Erika Lee, says Pinnacol, the company that administers workers’ compensation payments in Colorado, is trying to withhold half of the money she should be receiving to support her three kids because Adam’s autopsy revealed high levels of THC in his blood.

Jacqueline Collins

What a difference four years makes. In 2014, Oklahoma and Nebraska were suing Colorado in federal court for this state’s decision to legalize recreational marijuana, but now the Sooner State is starting to catch up to Colorado’s affinity for the plant — and in some cases, even surpass it.

On Tuesday, June 26, voters approved Question 788, making Oklahoma the thirtieth state in the country to legalize marijuana for medical purposes. The measure passed with 57 percent approval, and is being lauded by MMJ advocates for its broad-reaching nature. Unlike the large majority of states with MMJ programs (including Colorado), Oklahoma would allow doctors to prescribe marijuana for any condition they see fit.

420 gamesNick Maahs

Former NFL running back Reuben Droughns spent eight years avoiding tackles from some of the strongest, meanest men in sports. But on Saturday, June 25, hits were exactly what he was looking for. “We are here to win,” he said to his teammates before playing kickball at the 4/20 Games. “And after that, smoke a couple joints!”

The 4/20 Games at Infinity Park, an annual event to raise money and awareness for cannabis-infused healthy living, were in full swing by mid-morning on Saturday. The event’s second go-round in Denver aimed to combat the plant’s stigma by promoting an active and healthy cannabis lifestyle, partnering with Athletes for Care, or A4C — a nonprofit simultaneously raising awareness about health issues faced by professional athletes, de-stigmatizing cannabis use and helping retired jocks transition into new lives.

chase-6344-2Maria Levitov

Trail Blazers is a series of portraits by photographer Maria Levitov spotlighting cannabis consumers from all walks of life.

Chase Livingston moved to Denver from Florida and was quick to notice the difference in cannabis laws. A professional sound engineer, Livingston uses cannabis for recreational purposes and an occasional extra push to fall asleep, but isn’t ignorant of its medical benefits.

Kenzie Bruce

Members of Congress joined legal cannabis-industry representatives in front of the United States Capitol today, May 23, calling for an end to federal pot prohibition. Among the lawmakers appearing in solidarity with the National Cannabis Industry Association were Colorado representatives Diana DeGette and Jared Polis.

“There are 34,000 Coloradans who are licensed to work in this industry, so you can imagine how dismayed everyone in Colorado was when Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced he was going to rescind the Cole Memo,” DeGette told the gathering. “I can say, I have never seen our delegation work so quickly to fix something in a bipartisan way.”

Jake Holschuh

To get around the guardrails surrounding marijuana research, Philadelphia’s Thomas Jefferson University wants to create a network of 100,000 medical marijuana patients in order to collect definitive information about the plant. Founded “to advance scientific understanding of medical marijuana and its derivatives” by providing evidence-based resources for patients and caregivers, the new mmj.org initiative is working to build the world’s largest database of patients.

Scientists hoping to research marijuana in a clinical setting currently have one option for specimens: the National Institute on Drug Abuse, which sources its marijuana plants from a single contractor at the University of Mississippi. Not only have those plants been criticized for their inferior quality, but the list of authorized marijuana research projects stuck using them is extremely short, with each requiring approval from the Drug Enforcement and Food and Drug administrations.

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.

cannabis advocateBrandon Marshall

Most people thought the fight was over when Colorado voters legalized commercial cannabis in 2012, but that victory led to a series of smaller battles over such issues as social consumption, home-grow limitations and industry expansion. Proposals continue to pop up on both the local and state level that could advance or limit your rights as a cannabis consumer, patient, grower or business owner. Want to make sure things go in the right direction? Here’s how to become a cannabis advocate:

cory gardnerBrandon Marshall

In a story of strange political bedfellows, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws is working with the office of Colorado Republican Senator Cory Gardner on an upcoming bill that would prevent the federal government from interfering with the marijuana system here and in other states that have legalized.

As noted by NORML political director Justin Strekal, Gardner has confirmed that he’s teaming up with Senator Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat from Massachusetts, “to craft legislation that would reduce the tension between federal prohibition and states that have moved forward with legalizing marijuana for medicinal or adult use. And we’re working with a number of offices to make sure the language is going to be right and palatable to a bipartisan majority of the U.S. Senate.”

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