Marijuana

Law enforcement officials would love to have a clear way to tell when a driver is too drugged to drive. But the decades of experience the country has in setting limits for alcohol have turned out to be rather useless so far because the mind-altering compound in cannabis, THC, dissolves in fat, whereas alcohol dissolves in water.

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  • Water managers look at the demands of marijuana  

  • DMEA plans on offering program to cut electric bills for low income households
  • CDOT to display tally of highway deaths
  • Three arrested over pot deliver business
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Lawmakers have introduced the first wave of bills as part of the annual legislative session. To learn what's in store, we asked reporters who work daily under the dome at the capitol.

Editors' note, Feb. 1, 2016: On Jan. 20, we reported on a statement from the American Psychological Association that a research paper, "Chronic Adolescent Marijuana Use as a Risk Factor for Physical and Mental Health Problems in Young Adult Men," had a statistical error. The APA now says that statement, which was titled "APA Corrects Article Regarding Teen Marijuana Use," should not have said there was an error in the paper. Jim Sliwa, a spokesman for the APA, told NPR: "There was no error.

Alaska is about to become the first state to have pot cafes where people can buy and consume marijuana, similar to Amsterdam.

Right now, that's not legal in other states that have recreational marijuana.

Brothers James and Giono Barrett, who own a marijuana business, Rainforest Farms, in Juneau, also plan to produce a line of chocolate bars infused with pot. They'll be an alternative to the sugary, processed edibles Giono says he has eaten recently in Colorado.

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  • US Postal Service blocks marijuana advertising
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  • Ouray receives $2M towards pool renovation

A quartet of Western states and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational marijuana, and voters in a half-dozen more states may vote on pot legalization in 2016. That's leading law enforcement officials and entrepreneurs to try to come up with better ways of testing for driving while stoned.

Police usually spot impaired drivers by noting driving behavior, coordination, mannerisms and physical cues. But while a handheld breath test can quickly determine whether someone is legally drunk based on ethanol in the breath, there's no instant test for marijuana intoxication.

Parents of children with severe epilepsy have reported incredible recoveries when their children were given cannabidiol, a derivative of marijuana. The drug, a non-psychoactive compound that occurs naturally in cannabis, has been marketed with epithets like Charlotte's Web and Haleigh's Hope.

  •  Colorado voters let state keep marijuana tax money
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  • Montrose County voters reject library mill levy
  • Regional election results
  • DOI says taxpayers shouldn't be "saddled" with coal cleanup costs

  •  San Miguel County mulls looser restrictions on marijuana operations
  • Teen birthrate drops by half in Colorado
  • Delta County coalition awarded grant to connect kids to outdoors
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Local tax and spending issues, as well as city council and mayoral races largely dominate Colorado's 2015 election. There is only one statewide question, which asks voters whether the state can keep marijuana tax money it's already collected to pay for school construction, law enforcement and other programs.

If that's a question that sounds familiar – that's because it is. Proposition BB will actually be the third time Colorado voters have weighed in on taxing marijuana.

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  • Gov. Hickenlooper pushes to develop state’s recreation opportunities

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  • Montrose County declines to appeal lawsuit
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  • Governor throws support for keeping Marijuana tax money

Imagine a city with hundreds of liquor stores but no bars to drink in. That's the situation for marijuana in Denver.

Pot is legal in Colorado, but the capital city has outlawed pot bars like those in Amsterdam, leaving the tourists who flock to Denver to get high with no legal place to do so. But the city is trying to find a solution.

On a recent Friday afternoon at LoDo Wellness Center, a recreational pot store downtown, budtender Delaney Mason is talking up a Parmesan-scented marijuana strain called Space Queen.

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  • Large, illegal marijuana grow operation found
  • A discussion about Paonia’s proposed fee increase

Yellow Springs is a small college town in Ohio that has more than one head shop and a lot of tie-dye and hemp.

Many would consider it ground zero for likely supporters of the referendum on the ballot this November that could make Ohio the fifth state to legalize recreational and medical marijuana.

But the proposal is drawing some unusual opposition — and it's coming from residents who generally support legalizing marijuana.

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  • De Beque sees tax revenues from marijuana beyond expectations

  Newscast

  • Body found in Grand Junction culvert ID’ed
  • Two Mesa County men arrested after police discover large pot grow operations
  • San Miguel County gets $330K to boost regional broadband
  • Montrose County conducts emergency exercise at regional airport
  • Mine spill continues causing problems in southwest Colorado, downstream communities

Farmers who grow marijuana for Colorado's legal market are running into problems as they try to control mildew and pests. Because of the plant's illegal status at the federal level, a main source of agricultural guidance isn't available to pot farmers.

Attempts to regulate marijuana production often hit another problem, as the plant's wide range of uses sets it apart from many traditional food crops.

A year and a half ago, Dr. David Casarett did not take medical marijuana very seriously. "When I first started this project, I really thought of medical marijuana as a joke," he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

State by state, the legal marijuana business is slowly gaining ground. The industry is using both an increasingly favorable public opinion toward marijuana and a newly legal cash flow to try to transform itself into a force in national politics.

  Newscast

  • Marijuana grow operation shut down near Cedaredge
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  • DMEA reacts to outages over past week
  •  A push for solar in Colorado's North Fork Valley
hash oil
Andres Rodriguez via Flickr

A new law that makes it illegal for individuals to use hazardous materials to make hash oil went into effect on Wednesday.  

Republican Representative Yeulin Willett of Grand Junction co-sponsored the measure. He said it targets ‘home cookers’. 

"We had a problem with explosions all over the state from people trying to manufacture marijuana concentrate using dangerous, explosive, volatile substances such as butane," Willett said. 

People who buy medical marijuana products might not be getting what they paid for, a study finds. And evidence remains elusive on benefits for most medical conditions, even though almost half the states have legalized medical marijuana.

  Newscast

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The Colorado Supreme Court ruled unanimously Monday that companies can legally fire employees for using medical marijuana, even off duty.

The decision is based on the case of Brandon Coats, a quadriplegic who takes medical marijuana to control muscle spasms in his legs. Dish Network fired him from his job as a customer service representative in 2010 after he failed a random drug test. Coats then sued for unlawful termination.

The marijuana industry has a pesticide problem. Many commercial cannabis growers use chemicals to control bugs and mold. But the plant's legal status is unresolved.

The grow room at Medical MJ Supply in Fort Collins, Colo., has all the trappings of a modern marijuana cultivation facility: glowing yellow lights, plastic irrigation tubes, and rows of knee-high cannabis plants.

"We're seeing a crop that's probably in it third or fourth week," says Nick Dice, the owner.

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  • Marijuana Use In Colorado
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