Photo: Luke Parker, Western Leader
New Zealand’s Dakta Green: “Live like it’s legal”

​New Zealand has one of the highest rates of marijuana smoking in the world, and soon those Kush-loving Kiwis will have “cannabis clubs” throughout the country where they can indulge in their pastime.

“Pot dens,” where people can smoke, buy or even formally study the illegal herb, are poised to open throughout the country this year, reports Tamara McLean at Australia’s Brisbane Times.

Pete Holmes
Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes: “We’re not going to prosecute marijuana cases anymore”

​Seattle’s new city attorney, keeping a campaign promise, is dismissing all marijuana possession cases, starting with those that were begun under the previous city attorney.

“We’re not going to prosecute marijuana possession cases anymore,” City Attorney Pete Holmes said Thursday. “I meant it when I said it” during the campaign.
Holmes, who defeated incumbent Tom Carr in November, said he dismissed two marijuana cases in his first day on the job, and several others are about to be dismissed, reports Emily Heffter at The Seattle Times.
Unless there are “out of the ordinary circumstances,” Holmes’s office doesn’t intend to file charges for marijuana possession, according to Craig Sims, criminal division chief.

Ganja Girl Veronica Bully makes guys wish they were a bong.

​Poet Allen Ginsberg got it exactly right more than 50 years ago: Pot is Fun.

Even through all the political struggles currently facing the marijuana consumer, it’s important never to lose sight of that essential fact. For many of us, the enjoyment of cannabis is just another way to affirm the joy of being alive.
For those of us who just aren’t into being uptight around such issues, the three B’s — Buds, Bongs, and Babes — are a potent triumvirate of our very favorite, most life-affirming impulses.
One man who understands that well is Mike Smith, who founded the site HowToGrowBud.com just a few months ago.
In addition to lots of useful grow tips, HTGB regularly features “Ganja Girls” photos from readers and members of the marijuana community, in which attractive ladies let their hair down and fire their bongs up for freedom.
Mike, 29, told Toke of the Town he has been smoking pot since the age of 14, “with the exception of a six-year break when I joined the Army.”

Photo: Lewis County Herald
Enjoy your high, officers. Now, that’ll be $40,000. Cash or credit?

​A California medical marijuana patient may soon be receiving almost $40,000 from the sheriff’s department for six pounds of unlawfully seized and destroyed cannabis.

Kimberley Marshall, 46, of Los Osos, Calif., has filed a claim for damages against Sheriff Patrick Hedges and the county, alleging the county unjustly seized and destroyed the medicinal pot, reports Matt Fountain of New Times.
If she prevails, Marshall could be the first medical marijuana patient in San Luis Obispo County to be paid for confiscated cannabis.
Marshall, a survivor of liver cancer and other afflictions, seeks $36,000 — $6,000 per pound of confiscated marijuana — plus attorney fees and damages, according to the claim, filed Dec. 23.

Photo: alapoet
Signage at the Seattle Marijuana March, Washington. A solid majority of Washingtonians support legalization, according to a new poll.

​A solid majority, 56 percent, of Washingtonians believe legalizing marijuana is a “good idea,” according to a new poll.
The poll of 500 adults in the state, conducted for Seattle TV station KING 5 by SurveyUSA, asked respondents: “State lawmakers are considering making marijuana possession legal. Do you think legalizing marijuana is a good idea? Or a bad idea?”
Thirty-six percent of respondents described legalizing pot as a “bad idea,” while eight percent weren’t sure. The poll had a margin of error of 4.4 percent.

Graphic: Cannabis Culture
Professor David Nutt: “We’re going to focus on the science”

​An independent group, designed to give “politically neutral” information in the United Kingdom about the risks of drugs, is being launched.

The group is founded by the British government’s former chief drugs adviser, David Nutt, who was sacked last October for criticizing government drug policy and calling cannabis a relatively safe drug.
The Independent Council on Drug Harms, made up of about 20 specialists, will be “very powerful,” according to Nutt, and its goal will be to take over from the government-run Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD), reports the BBC.

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Photo: preamp.us
Copenhagen’s Christiania section is famed for its “Pusher Street,” where the sale of cannabis and hashish is unofficially tolerated. Now the city is thinking of making it official.

​Denmark is looking at borrowing a page from the Netherlands’ approach to cannabis, as the Copenhagen City Council examines a plan to set up state-licensed marijuana stores to remove the trade from the control of gangs.

But the plan, supported by a majority of the city council, may not have enough support in the Danish Parliament, reports The Copenhagen Post.
The proposal is to run a three-year trial in which stores staffed by healthcare professionals would sell cannabis in small quantities for about 50 kroner per gram, close to the current street price in Denmark’s capitol city.

Photo: The Denver Chronicle
Medical marijuana supporters rally at the Capitol in Denver, Jan. 14, 2009

​The first bill to regulate Colorado’s medical marijuana industry will come before the Legislature today, according to its sponsor.

The bill, from state Sen. Chris Romer, would create stricter requirements for the relationship between medical marijuana patients and the doctors recommending it for them, report John Ingold and Jessica Fender of The Denver Post.
Marijuana providers would be barred from paying doctors who recommend cannabis to patients. Marijuana-recommending doctors would be required to be in good standing, with no restrictions on their medical licenses, and the doctor and patient would have to have a “bona fide” relationship in which the doctor provides a full examination and follow-up care.

MPP Executive Director Rob Kampia is embroiled in a sex scandal which has already resulted in the departures of seven employees.

​Seven of the Marijuana Policy Project’s 38 employees have left the organization recently because of what several described as “inappropriate behavior” by Executive Director Rob Kampia after an office happy hour last August.

Salem Pearce, the former director of membership at MPP, and three other employees told the press that Kampia left Union Pub that evening with his former assistant, who still worked for MPP but had moved to another department.
What happened next remains in dispute, with Kampia and the young lady involved giving different accounts. But Kampia did acknowledge an an email to staff that it was something involving him which he regretted, and that it caused staff defections, report Nikki Schwab and Tara Palmeri at the Washington Examiner.
Even more disturbingly, an anonymous former MPP employee has told Toke of the Town that Kampia’s behavior was part of a years-long pattern.
“Rob has a very long history, known to anyone at MPP who’s been there more than a few months, of hitting on and sexually harassing pretty young women, including employees,” our source told us.
“Even if this particular incident was 100 percent consensual, his behavior should have gotten him fired years ago — or at the very least, put on probation and fired if it continued,” the ex-MPP staffer told Toke of the Town Thursday night.

Photo: The Denver Chronicle
Aboute 200 marijuana advocates attended the rally in Denver, across the street from the Capitol.

​Marijuana advocates who rallied across the street from the state Capitol Thursday had harsh words for lawmakers considering regulations for Colorado’s burgeoning medical marijuana industry.

“Keep your grubby hands off of medical marijuana!” shouted activist Robert Chase toward the Capitol building.
About 200 marijuana backers attended the rally, timed to begin once Gov. Bill Ritter finished his State of the State speech, reports John Ingold of The Denver Post.
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