If you asked Mayor Michael Hancock how he felt about being dubbed the “Mile High Mayor” by the cannabis industry back in 2012, he probably would have said he didn’t enjoy the title. But a lot can change in seven years.
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Denver Mayor Michael Hancock has announced a new citywide effort to expunge low-level marijuana convictions that occurred in Denver before recreational marijuana was legalized in Colorado.
Mayor Michael Hancock wasn’t a fan of legal marijuana before Colorado voters approved it in 2012, but he’s since become a public defender of the plant — or at least, the actions taken by the City of Denver to comply with Amendment 64. On Sunday, June 10, Hancock’s office announced that he’s spearheading a coalition of mayors from around the country in an effort to push Congress to protect states with legal pot.
Although he originally opposed legalization efforts, Hancock was the mayor of the first major city to legalize marijuana, and since the first recreational sales on January 1, 2014, Denver has become into one of the nation’s capitals of legal weed, with over 200 dispensaries and 1,100 licensed pot businesses now operating in the city, according to the Denver Department of Excise and Licenses. Now, he and mayors of at least eight other cities are asking Congress to listen to them about their experiences so that legalization “can be done smoothly, safely and effectively.”
Ray Stern | Toke of the Town
Mayor John Suthers of Colorado Springs, Colorado, is an outspoken opponent of marijuana legalization — but even he doesn’t support Arizona’s felony-possession law.
Suthers — also a former Colorado Attorney General — came to Arizona this week to denounce Prop 205 on behalf of the opposition group Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy. The proposition, which will appear on November’s ballot, would legalize personal amounts of marijuana for adults 21 and older, and set up a system of cannabis retail shops.
Denver Mayor Michael Hancock
Denver Mayor Michael Hancock (D) blames legal weed for the “urban travelers” who have caused violent episodes on Denver’s 16th Street Mall, the city’s main pedestrian thoroughfare. Recently, a 32-year old Indiana man was arrested after video showed him attacking pedestrians with lengths of PVC pipe. It’s not clear whether he was high at the time.
Other recent incidents, also caught on video, have seen arrests after attacks and aggressive panhandling. New research shows that legal states have seen a drop in Medicare prescriptions for anti-depressants and opiods, and a corresponding reduction in Medicare costs.
Prescriptions did not drop for drugs like blood-thinners that can’t plausibly be replaced with MED. (Read that study here.) If California legalizes REC in November, it could influence federal policy on banking and other issues. Regulators in the state said they will start inspecting dispensary scales to ensure that customers are getting their money’s worth.
Massachusetts’ REC initiative will be on the ballot in November. Gov. Charlie Baker (R), Boston Mayor Marty Walsh (D) and Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo (D) have banded together to oppose it. Arkansas voters will decide on a MED initiative. Fortune sees signs of a backlash in Colorado. Murders in California’s Lake County, a center of growing, reached a 10-year high of eight last year. Donna Weinholtz, wife of Utah gubernatorial candidate Mike Weinholtz (D), is under federal investigation related to her MED use.
The rules for Alaska’s pot café’s are under review. Voters in the state’s Matanuska-Susitna Borough will decide on a commercial ban in the fall. Former Liberal Party deputy prime minister Anne McLellan will lead Canada’s nine-member legalization task force. McLellan is a former law professor at the University of Alberta. Canada’s legal purchasing age may vary across provinces, but the government wants a consistent national law on DUI. Both LSU and Southern University are exercising their option to grow Louisiana’s MED supply.
This article also appeared in the the pot-focused weekly newsletter WeedWeek. Get your free and confidential subscription at WeedWeek.net.
|“Oink, oink, oink.”|
In a prelude to city council chaos in Santa Ana over a ‘Fuck the Police’ hat last week, Mayor Miguel Pulido praised policemen amid jeers during a previous meeting. Santa Ana Police officer John G. Rodriguez received a service award as one of the honorees on September 2 for being on the force 25 years–almost as long as the reign of the Pulidiato itself!
“He’s received two Santa Ana police department service medals of valor for actions during encounters with armed suspects,” the Don Papi said, mentioning the cop’s many credentials. Left out, of course, is the fact that lawsuits filed this year allege officer Rodriguez used excessive and lethal force in shooting Travis Mock, an unarmed man, in the back last year in an incident that also left another man, Jason Hallstrom, dead.
Hey, Philly! Starting October 20, you can walk around your town with 30 grams of pot or less and light up a doobie and not worry about being arrested (for the most part).
Mayor Michael Nutter yesterday officially gave final approval a law decriminalizing about an ounce of herb, with a maximum fine of $25 for possession. Getting caught smoking herb in public will get you a $100 fine or community service.
|Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.|
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel this week said he doesn’t want people caught with small amounts of pot facing felony charges anymore and is pushing for decriminalization across the state.
Just don’t ask him to back legalizing anything, yet.
This year, 10/20 is the new 4/20. At least, in Philly where Mayor Michael Nutter says he will have the bill signed by that soon-to-be stoney Monday.
We reported earlier this week that the Philadelphia City Council reconvenes this week to a proposal making 30 grams of pot or less a civil infraction that has been sitting on lawmakers desks all summer break. Council comes back today and will get the measure on the fast track to becoming law.
|You’ll soon be able to have a little weed here and not be a criminal.|
Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter says he will finally sign a measure decriminalizing up to 30 grams of pot in the City of Brotherly Love that City Council approved back in June. His only demand: he still wants to waste the time of the courts with pot tickets.
The original draft approved by council made possession 30 grams or less akin to a parking ticket in that you could simply mail in your $25 fine. Nutter is okay with keeping the $25 fine and keeping it off of people’s records, but wants to make the offense a “non-summary” charge that requires an appearance before a city judge.