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A recent study published in the Journal of Substance Use and Misuse shows retail marijuana stores aren’t changing the rate of marijuana consumption among children in Colorado. Led by researchers from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus College of Nursing and Department of Community and Behavioral Health, the year-long project studied how the first year of legalized marijuana sales affected the rate of marijuana use among adolescents, and the public’s perception of children’s access to marijuana.

This week, the Colorado Department of Human Services, in conjunction with Governor John Hickenlooper’s office, formally requested that the General Assembly allocate more than $6 million annually from the state’s marijuana-tax cash fund for a new program that would offer help to chronic drug users as opposed to criminalizing them. Art Way, senior director for criminal-justice reform and Colorado director with the national Drug Policy Alliance, which worked closely with state agencies in crafting the proposal (it’s on view below), sees the impact of this approach as potentially revolutionary for those struggling with addictions to heroin and other heavy narcotics.

If approved, Way says, “marijuana tax revenue and marijuana legalization will fund broader drug-policy purposes and drug-policy concerns that have long had more of an impact on society, both from a human perspective and a fiscal perspective. We’re talking about other substances on which users become truly dependent, and people who are on the chaotic end of the use spectrum. So for marijuana legalization to fund this is a game-changer.”

“I have no idea what you are talking about, officer.”

If you live in a state where marijuana is illegal – like, say, Florida – the smart thing to do is to keep your cannabis plants out of view of the general public. That means parading them around town in the back seat of your car with the top buds sticking out the rear window should be avoided at all costs. And if you do, don’t break other blatantly obvious laws like driving at night without your lights.
Apparently, Clearwater, Florida’s Justin Goodloe, 20, and Allen Barnes, 19, completely missed that memo.

The White House is open to changing marijuana from a Schedule 1 controlled substance, Attorney General Eric Holder announced Friday, but any change would have to come from the U.S. House. The move wouldn’t necessarily legalize cannabis, but it would make it easier for medical studies of the plant to be conducted as well as give state-legal pot businesses the ability to take federal tax deductions they currently are not allowed to take.

Don’t expect any major changes in marijuana policy from the White House any time soon (okay, if you were expecting major changes in the first place you were in for a disappointment).
At a press briefing yesterday, CNN’s Jessica Yellin asked White House Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest if marijuana rescheduling was on the president’s radar these days after what seems to be a rapid public opinion shift on all things marijuana over the last few years. The answer? Our president isn’t even considering it — at least, not now.


Deep in the conservative heartland of the upper Malaysian peninsula, the state of Kelantan was once known for its secluded location and coastal piracy, but today is known more for the strict Islamic order that has been put in place by the long standing hardline government. It is that draconian set of laws that has three friends facing death by hanging after being found guilty of selling weed in a hospital parking lot.
The isolated region has been ruled by the Islamic Party of Malaysia (PAS) since 1990. With a Muslim population of over 95%, the PAS has managed to pass local laws in Kelantan that segregate supermarket lines, as well as public seating, by gender. They have restricted public performances by women if any men are present, and have placed outright bans on many traditional Malaysian forms of theater.

Photo: Sergio Vidal
“I have a feeling that at any moment I will be summoned by the police.” Author Sergio Vidal holds “Cannabis Medicinal,” the first marijuana grow book ever published in Brazil

Exclusive Interview: Author/Activist Sergio Vidal

​In a sure sign that attitudes toward cannabis are changing worldwide, the first-ever cannabis grow book has been published in Brazil — and it may well be the first grow book printed in the Portuguese language.

Cannabis Medicinal author Sergio Vidal, a marijuana activist, told Toke of the Town that just the discussion of weed — let alone its use and possession — is surrounded by taboos, legal prohibitions, and repression.
“We are a young democracy,” Vidal told us. “We lived in a military dictatorship for many years in the 1960s and 70s. Our Constitution is only 22 years old. And the drug laws are a reflection of this dictatorial period.”
According to Vidal, Brazil’s drug laws include one article that criminalizes conduct “encouraging the use of drugs,” which means you can be arrested for simply advocating the legalization of cannabis. That makes me realize how well we have it here in the States, where more than a year of Toke of the Town has resulted in zero police interference.
“Events such as the Marijuana March have been considered criminal in many cities,” Vidal told us. “The law has been used on several occasions to criminalize social movements for legalization.”

Eric Jensen feels trapped. By now, the 43-year-old thought he’d be able to travel from his home in southeastern Colorado to see his son play college ball in the Midwest. But instead, he can’t cross the border into Kansas. He’s stuck hanging around his home town, where most of the residents have turned their backs on him, believing that he’s a hardened drug dealer. Instead, he’s facing criminal charges for something that’s completely legal in Colorado: hemp.

Eric and his brother, 39-year-old Ryan Jensen, grew up in the town of Holly, ten miles from the Kansas border. Early on, they started working on the family farm, the fourth generation to do so, and by 2007, they’d taken over for their father, Robert. They grew wheat and corn and onions and cabbage, which was harvested and shipped to grocery stores across the country. But their biggest crop was cantaloupe.

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