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women.vaping.marijuana.jacqueline.collinsJacqueline Collins

Since 2013, the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, a federally funded law-enforcement organization, has been issuing highly critical, persistently biased reports about the impact of marijuana legalization in Colorado.

But beyond a few scattered stories and a brief reference in U.S. Attorney Bob Troyer’s unexpectedly strident September 28 anti-pot op-ed in the Denver Post, the group’s latest salvo, released this month, has gotten comparatively little traction, especially compared to its earliest offerings.

the_green_solution_collins20171215_003 (1)Jacqueline Collins

Although cannabis and Colorado are inextricably linked in the minds of many outsiders, most of the state still bans pot businesses, according to new data from the state Marijuana Enforcement Division. Even so, over 550,000 pounds of cannabis were harvested throughout the first half of 2018.

While possession and personal cultivation were legalized throughout Colorado after voters approved Amendment 64 in 2012, the measure also gave towns and counties the right to ban dispensaries, commercial growing operations and other licensed pot businesses within their borders. So far, most of Colorado is still declining the green rush.

stoned.driving.anthony.cameraAnthony Camera

Recent Colorado Department of Transportation figures show that stoned-driving fatalities went down from 2016 to 2017 for those over the legal intoxication limit but up in fatal crashes involving drivers who tested positive for any marijuana in their system, whether above the line or under it. Such mixed results are typical according to a new report, which acknowledges that getting firm answers about the risks involved with driving high remains an enormous challenge.

And there are plenty of reasons why.

smoking.driving.file.photo.800Thinkstock file photo

The number of fatalities involving at least one driver over the legal limit for marijuana impairment in Colorado went down from 2016 to 2017. However, such fatalities are up during the same period for those testing positive for cannabis use at levels either above or below that limit. And the inconsistencies in regard to the collection of the information makes the scope of the issue unclear.

Those are among the revelations contained in new data from the Colorado Department of Transportation. But while CDOT spokesperson Sam Cole acknowledges that its digits leave plenty of room for interpretation, he doesn’t see any ambiguity when it comes to the bottom line.

nuvolution-foundersCourtesy of Anne Marie Doyle

Many young cannabis entrepreneurs and companies are nurtured by Colorado’s pot-industry incubators, but nonprofits that focus on the plant haven’t received anywhere near the same attention.

Filing for federal tax-exempt status for a cannabis-related nonprofit tends to scare a lot of people away, so nonprofits haven’t seen the same windfall as cannabis entities in other sectors. The regulatory worries don’t end there, either, thanks to laws banning cannabis samples and consumption at public events and other strict regulations unique to legal pot. Even in Denver, pot nonprofits struggle to find a safe space in which to operate and grow.

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.

adams county sheriffThomas Mitchell | Toke of the Town

It’s never a good idea to smoke weed in front of a police officer, let alone get behind the wheel right after — but that’s exactly what people were doing with the Adams County Sheriff’s Office on Monday, July 16.

During this truly unique event, Adams County sheriff’s deputies invited participants to drink beers, smoke joints and then test their driving skills in order to determine how impaired they really were. The challenge was the brainchild of cannabis consulting firm Dacorum Strategies, which partnered with the Adams County Sheriff’s Office, Lyft and Colorado NORML to raise awareness about driving while impaired.

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.

smoking.marijuana.2012.brandon.marshall.largeBrandon Marshall

A new analysis finds that while marijuana legalization has led to higher rates of cannabis consumption in Colorado and other states with similar laws, there’s no evidence that it’s fueling abuse of more addictive drugs, including heroin and cocaine.

That’s the conclusion of a just-issued report from LiveStories, which specializes in the analysis of civic data. LiveStories founder Adnan Mahmud summarizes the results like so: “We haven’t found any strong correlation that suggests increased marijuana use leads to increases in other substance abuse.”

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