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It took nearly a decade to come up with the funds, but it took just a couple of days for Forest Service crews to remove one and a half tons of garbage from a remote location in the heart of Arizona referred to as the Fossil Springs Wilderness.
Populated by evergreen trees and crystal clear watering holes, and featuring breathtaking vistas at nearly every turn, the area does see its share of hikers. But the “PACK IN, PACK OUT” mentality of most outdoor enthusiasts keeps the area clean, and the habitat as natural as possible.
How then could 1.5 tons of trash sit around out there for nine years? And who the hell left it there?

Photo by Brandon Marshall
A photo from our 2014 People of the Cannabis Cup slide show.

Last week, Denver Police Department spokesman Sonny Jackson told us that officers would have a greater presence at the annual 4/20 event at Civic Center Park due both to the still-unsolved shooting that took place at last year’s rally and laws against public consumption of marijuana. However, he pledged that officers would act with “discretion” during enforcement actions.
How’d they do? Well, social media hasn’t exploded with anger at the cops despite what appears to be a larger number of arrests and citations than in recent years: 130 over the course of the weekend.

Yesterday, the Obama Administration, by way of Attorney General Eric Holder, reaffirmed its support for a current proposal that, if passed, would nudge our nation’s legal system a step in a more civil direction. Mr. Holder spoke Thursday before the U.S. Sentencing Commission, whose duty it is to vote annually on what sort of instructions need to be updated for federal judges to reference when handing down sentences on all of the various cases they see.
This April, the Sentencing Commission is considering a vote to overhaul the current recommended sentences for all federal nonviolent drug-related offenses.

As many of us who went to school in the Rocky Mountains can tell you: college kids plus weed plus snow days equals pot igloos. I can remember a major storm my senior year dumping feet of snow at my house at the University of Denver and me and my roommates building a snow hotbox in my back yard big enough for eight that lasted for at least a week.I think my roommate Andy even slept it in it.
Unfortunately, four college kids in Utah weren’t as lucky and are facing disciplinary action from the University of Utah for simply doing what college kids do.

Be careful what you wish for. That is the lesson being realized today by pro-cannabis advocates and activists in America’s Finest City.

San Diego, California

Yesterday, on a nearly unanimous 8-1 decision, the San Diego City Council finally cast a meaningful vote on establishing an official medical marijuana business ordinance in the city, laying down a law on pot shops for the first time since the California Compassionate Use Act, commonly referred to as Prop 215, was passed nearly 18 years ago.

California Governor Jerry Brown, apparently feeling the holiday spirit, spent a good part of Christmas Eve this year flexing an Executive power reserved only for state Governors, and the President of the United States himself – the power to pardon individuals of past crimes. While a pardon does not completely erase a crime from a person’s record, it does re-grant them certain rights, such as voting, serving on a jury, or in some cases even owning a firearm.
Governor Brown handed out a respectable 127 pardons this year, 93 of which pertained to drug-related crimes, many of those weed-related. The most notable from that array of individuals was 65 year old Robert Akers, convicted in 1968 of selling pot.

In an unprecedented move that began late last week, and continued over the holiday Labor Day weekend, the Obama Administration, and more specifically, the U.S. Department of Justice ended their silence on the issue of medical marijuana on the state level, announcing that they would not use the courts to challenge state laws recently passed in Colorado and Washington, as long as those states continue to adhere to a strict set of guidelines.
Though many critics, professional or genuine, are carelessly comparing this latest announcement to the 2009 Ogden Memo, those on the front lines of the effort to legalize cannabis know that last Thursday’s announcement, and some follow-up and clarifying releases over the weekend, mark a positive and necessary step towards that goal.

Wikimedia commons/Simon A. Eugster.

Hash oil explosion stories are becoming frighteningly more common these days, though this one is among the more bizarre we’ve found. Just after noon on Wednesday, a man showed up at a small Colorado Springs motel with severe burns over their body. The hotel staff immediately called the ambulance and the man and a woman he was with who had burns on her legs were taken to hospitals in Colorado Springs and Denver. Around the same time, police were called to a transmission shop nearby where an employee said he got into a fight with a severely burned man wielding a machete and a hatchet.
While nobody is clear on exactly what happened, police say they’ve begun putting the two incidents together and the connection is (unfortunately) hash oil.

Last week we gave you several headlines about a recent ACLU survey which showed that statistics covering marijuana arrests across the nation were falling along strict, and disturbing, racial lines.
According to the report, on the national level blacks are four times more likely to be arrested for a weed-related crime, despite the fact that blacks and whites use marijuana at relatively equal rates. That disparity in arrest rates jumps as high as 18 to 1 in cities like St. Louis where local Metro Police Chief Sam Dotson dismisses accusations of racial profiling with blockhead quotes like, “Law enforcement is not…black and white.”

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