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Jurvetson/FlickrCommons


With a constant flow of cannabis-related headlines pouring out of Canada, the United States, and Mexico on a daily basis, it is easy to overlook the fact that public support for legal cannabis use is on the rise on continents all around the globe.
In Australia, marijuana is by far the most popular and widely used drug, with over 1/3rd of all Aussie’s over the age of 22 admitting to having taken a toke or two in their time. But as it becomes increasingly more popular in their home country, those same Aussies have begun to take their stash with them when traveling abroad, and simple pot possession has several of them facing possible death penalties as they sit in Chinese prisons awaiting their fates.

Flickr/Hammerin Man.
The Seattle Medical Marijuana Ambulance, still easily the coolest of all medical marijuana ambulances.


L.A city voters last year decided to shut down a vast majority of the medical marijuana businesses in town, and the City Attorney’s office says many of them have indeed closed their doors. But a new anti-marijuana, federally-funded study by UCLA social welfare professor Bridget Freisthler suggests, at least, that shutting down pot shops might just put the whole business on the road.
You read that right: the government paid someone to “discover” that, if you close down legal storefronts where people access their medicine, they are going to have someone deliver it or drive to get it from someone’s house.

Flickr user 0_hai/Modified under Creative Commons license
Hit bongs, not spouses


In the business of analyzing the domestic abuse statistics and trends in our country, there is a term used called “Alcohol or Other Drug” involvement, or AOD. The data seems to show that the impairment, poor decision making and amped up aggression that is generally associated with abusing alcohol, or “Other Drugs”, commonly leads to physical violence in a marriage.
Studies over the decades have varied, but they typically show that 48% to 87% of the time that a person is physically assaulted by their spouse, the aggressor is juiced up on some booze.
So, what do the statistics say about weed?

Joe Ross/Flickr.


Congrats, Travers Narcotics team: you raided a marijuana dispensary that wasn’t trying to hide what they were doing and have prevented patients from accessing state-legal cannabis they use as medicine.
Cops raided the Magic Buds Medical Cannabis store in Wexford County, Michigan Tuesday, taking cash, business and patient records along with the stock of medical cannabis. The raid came after a judge ordered the shop to close last month for operating against state laws that prohibit dispensaries.

Flickr/Julie.


The paranoid stoner who seems overly concerned that the government is keeping tabs on his or her movements and behavior is a classic marijuana-user stereotype. But when government organizations like the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment discuss pilot population health surveillance programs that are currently in operation, it’s not hard to see why pot-smokers might be a little paranoid — perhaps justifiably.

Ron Reiring/Flickr.
ABQNM.


Backers of a proposal that would make the maximum penalty for an ounce of marijuana a $25 fine in Albuquerque, New Mexico submitted signatures Monday hoping to get their proposal on the November ballot.
But even they admit it could be a long shot. Supporters turned in 16,000 signatures, hoping that 11,203 are actually valid. That seems like it would be a given, but verification of the first set of signatures showed that only 57 percent were valid.

Boston Public Library Flickr edited by Toke of the Town.


As we reported back in June, Maryland state Rep. Andy Harris, a Republican, is spearheading a move that would block the decriminalization of limited amounts of marijuana in Washington D.C.
But many, including D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray see it as a shot to D.C.’s home rule and Democrat-controlled city council. Now Gray is urging all D.C. residents to boycott Maryland’s beaches and resort towns.

Additional photos and more below.

Today marks six months since recreational marijuana sales began in Colorado, still the only state where such purchases can be made. (The first licensed retail shops in Washington are expected to open on July 7.) By the January 1 launch, eighteen stores had been licensed in Denver, and since then, the total has grown steadily. Some outlets have come and some have gone, but the latest total, as vetted by Westword‘s Amber Taufen, stands at a whopping 88 — fifteen more than our previous update in April.
All the licensed shops are included here, along with photos, videos, links and excerpts from reviews of the ones visited by Westword marijuana critic (your’s truly) William Breathes. See the countdown thanks to Michael Roberts below.

Jayneandd/Flickr.


The state’s Violent Crimes Coordinating Council is having a hard time obeying the rules.
You may remember that these were the guys who, in January, jumped unexpectedly into the medical cannabis debate by sending a letter of “strong opposition” to key legislators. The problem was that no one asked for the council’s opinion, and by providing one, its members overstepped their boundaries.

Mark Ramsay from Flickr. Image altered by Toke of the Town.


South Salem High School in Oregon recently forced one of its seniors to admit to being under the influence of marijuana, but even though he was not, and has since provided school officials with a negative drug test to prove it, the school still refuses to grant him permission to participate in the graduation ceremony.

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