Marijuana

Across the country, efforts to make marijuana more accessible have quickly gained traction. Medical marijuana is now legal in 23 states, and recreational use is also legal in four states and the District of Columbia.

Science, however, hasn't quite caught up. Largely due to its illegal status, there's been very little research done on marijuana's health effects. And researchers don't fully understand how pot affects the developing teenage brain.

This may explain the why the nation's pediatricians have changed their recommendations on marijuana and children.

Updated at 3:18 p.m. on Jan. 13.

Last week Southern California Public Radio reported that dozens of people became ill from a Rosca de Reyes, a Three Kings Day bread that is traditional in various Hispanic communities. The sick patrons of Cholula's Bakery in Santa Ana, Calif., and its retail outlets complained of heart palpitations and hallucinations.

Newscast

  • Colorado tries to educate citizens, tourists about marijuana
  • State bike maps get local update
  • Social Security benefits sees light raise
  • Three elk become trapped in icy water

The state government and the marijuana industry in Colorado are working to educate people about how to use pot safely. But in the high Rockies, one community is taking matters into its own hands.

The local sheriff in Aspen is leading an education effort that targets skiers and snowboarders flocking to the winter resort. And the sheriff isn't waiting until visitors hit the slopes — their education starts at the airport with pamphlets on marijuana.

Saying that Colorado's law legalizing recreational marijuana use is unconstitutional and places a burden on them, Nebraska and Oklahoma have filed a lawsuit against the state with the U.S. Supreme Court.

Marijuana was made legal in Colorado after the state's voters approved an amendment in 2012. Its first recreational dispensaries opened at the start of this year.

On Sunday, my mother sent me an email: "OMG! Watch this unbelievable cooking show!"

It wasn't spam, and my mother, who's 65, does not use OMG lightly.

The fuss was over a 20-minute video about a 91-year-old grandmother who cooks Italian classics in marijuana-infused butter.

Quick survey: you're going to the Word Wide Rollers Tour, presented by a group of weed connoisseurs called the Smoker's Club. Among the featured performers is a rapper named Berner and a DJ named TreeJay. The tour poster shows a Smokey the Bear type blunting in the woods. What do you pack?

California's Humboldt County is known for its towering redwoods. But this region about 200 miles north of San Francisco has another claim to fame. Humboldt is to weed what Napa is to fine wine — it's the heart of marijuana production in the U.S.

Every fall, young people, mostly in their 20s, come from all over the world to work the marijuana harvest. They come seeking jobs as "trimmers" — workers who manicure the buds to get them ready for market. The locals have a name for these young migrant workers: "trimmigrants."

It's been nearly a year since Colorado made recreational marijuana legal, and since then, pot has become a billion-dollar business in the state. And some growers have made it a mission to make it legitimate and mainstream.

"Change the face," says pot entrepreneur Brooke Gehring. "But really, not to be the stereotype of what they think is stoner culture, but to realize they are true business people that are operating these companies."

Made-in-America marijuana is on a roll. More than half the states have now voted to permit pot for recreational or medical use, most recently Oregon and Alaska. That number also includes the District of Columbia. As a result, Americans appear to be buying more domestic marijuana, which in turn is undercutting growers and cartels in Mexico.

Newscast

  • Discussion with coach of Paonia Eagles, returning state champs
  • De Beque approves first pot shop, prepares for revenue
  • Oil and Gas commission hears concerns for autonomy

Growing Marijuana Industry Creates Real Estate Rush

Nov 7, 2014

The showing starts inside an empty office building, the kind you’d see in any humdrum workplace sitcom, stripped of its cubicles and ceiling tiles, leaving just a bare, dusty shell.

Jason Thomas with Avalon Realty Advisors, a commercial real estate firm that deals with the marijuana industry’s entrepreneurs, shows off the building’s features: a fully operational HVAC system, fire sprinklers, heavy duty warehouse doors, equipped with locks.

It’s a blank slate for a marijuana grower, ready to be outfitted with thousands of lights and complex water delivery systems.

Legalizing marijuana in Colorado created a land rush. State law says the drug has to be grown indoors, but layers of regulation meant to curb out of state investment and tight zoning requirements have made real estate hard to come by for pot growers.

There has been a lot of talk recently about marijuana legalization — increasing tax revenue for states, getting nonviolent offenders out of the prison system, protecting personal liberty, possible health benefits for those with severe illnesses. These are good and important conversations to have, and smart people from across the ideological spectrum are sharing their perspectives.

On this week's Local Motion, we've decided to highlight political stories aired on our regional newscast. 

Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper and Republican challenger Bob Beaupre squared off in an hour-long debate Thursday, hosted by the Coloradoan and 9News. In front of a packed audience in Colorado State University's Lory Student Center, the candidates discussed a wide range of topics from marijuana to curbing higher education costs, birth control and same-sex marriage.

Marijuana Plant
Marci Krivonen/Aspen Public Radio

Recreational and medical marijuana facilities are allowed in Ridgway. The town has one hybrid storefront that sales medical and retail pot. A town ordinance passed last month puts new restrictions on marijuana grow operations in Ridgeway.

KVNF's Laura Palmisano speaks to the town's Mayor John Clark about the new rules. 

Marijuana Plant
Laura Palmisano / KVNF

Ten months into legalization, marijuana continues to be a divisive issue at the state and local level.  

“I think any governor that looks at doing this before we see what the consequences are I would view it as reckless," Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper says during Monday's debate. 

Politico's Manu Raju, the moderator, asks Hickenlooper if it was reckless to legalize marijuana in the state.

Colorado's new campaign to deter teen marijuana use tries to make the case that weed is bad for your brain.

One TV ad shows a group of teens lighting up inside a dark car as moody music plays in the background. The commercial cites a Duke University study that found a link between regular marijuana use and a lower IQ.

Gabriela walks into a large, dimly lit apartment, goes to a counter, buys a bag of sativa and sits on the sofa with her friends, joint in hand, like in Amsterdam. Except this is not Amsterdam. This is Barcelona, and the open sale of marijuana is illegal.

dontbealabrat.com

Colorado is trying to show teens about marijuana's risks, maybe. 

A car accident crushed Brandon Coats' upper spine when he was 16, leaving him unable to walk. His muscles still spasm, disrupting sleep and causing pain.

"If I'm out in public it's embarrassing," Coats says. "It's always uncomfortable. If I smoke marijuana, it almost completely alleviates it" — more, he says, than other prescriptions.

Coats smokes at night, and says he was never high when answering customer calls at Dish Network. "I was really good at my job," he says.

Washington State To Start Recreational Pot Sales On Tuesday

Jul 7, 2014

Legal marijuana sales are set to begin in Washington state as early as Tuesday after authorities began issuing retail licenses to stores.

The state's Liquor Control Board issued Monday the first 24 marijuana retailer licenses, the board said in a statement. The stores can now stock up on marijuana products and begin sales on Tuesday after the mandated 24-hour "quarantine" period.

Here's more from the panel:

Marijuana use in the United States has gone up as the public perception of the drug's risk has gone down, according to a new United Nations report. The potency of the drug has also increased,

Luke Runyon/KUNC and Harvest Public Media

Colorado made history when it opened up licensed marijuana retail shops this year. Aside from just legalizing the purchase of smoke-able marijuana, it also means pot brownies have the potential to be big business.

Food products infused with marijuana’s psychoactive ingredient, THC, are available in stores across the state.

Doug Tucker

The first batch of Colorado's recreational marijuana stores opened this month on New Years Day in Telluride, Breckenridge and Denver among other places, marking the beginning of what's expected to be a multi-million dollar industry.

KDNK

The first recreational marijuana shop west of Breckenridge along I-70 is now open for business in Carbondale.

KDNK's Ed Williams reports that long lines and high taxes are not deterring a steady stream of customers at the shop, called the Doctor's Garden.

Headlines

  • Colorado Legislative Session Kicks Off with a New Senate President
  • Hunting Guides Facing Federal Charges for Illegally Maiming Big Cats
  • New Pot Shops Seeing Steady Demand, Limited Supplies
  • First Retail Pot License Approved in Aspen
  • Former KVNF GM is the New President of the NFCB
  • Coloradans Could See Northern Lights Tonight

Headlines

  • Two Injured, One dead after Plane Crash in Aspen
  • GJ Airport Authority Board Chairman was asked to Resign
  • Legal Pot Buyers Could Face DUI Charges in Utah Weeks after Smoking
  • Without a Legal Precedent, State of Colorado Depositing Pot Revenue in Banks
  • CAWS Extending Animal Shelter Hours

Headlines

  • Long Lines, Eager Customers Reported at First Day of Legal Pot Sales in Denver, Telluride
  • Town of Marble's Lawsuit Against 9th Judicial District DA Complicates Theft Case
  • San Miguel Power Association and DMEA Warn Customers about Scams
  • Western Slope Skies  - the Bright Stars of Winter
Marijuana Plant
Marci Krivonen/Aspen Public Radio

As Colorado ushers in legalized retail marijuana, law enforcement is preparing for how to handle it. Adults 21 years and older are now able to purchase recreational pot at shops around the state.

The first retail enterprise won't open in the Aspen area until later this winter. Still, the Pitkin County Sheriff's Office there is preparing. Sheriff Joe Disalvo says he wants recreational weed to "succeed safely" in the resort town. He spoke with Aspen Public Radio's Marci Krivonen.

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