Aug 012014

420RADIO News for 2014-08-01 (Friday)

The Brookings Institution, a nonprofit public policy organization based in Washington, DC, has issued a report entitled, “Colorado’s Rollout of Legal Marijuana Is Succeeding”.  “At its heart, this report is about good government and takes no position on whether the legalization of retail marijuana was the correct decision,” writes John Hudak, a fellow in Governance Studies.  “[T]he rollout—initial implementation—of legal retail marijuana has been largely successful,” he continues, citing “leadership by state officials; a cooperative, inclusive approach centering on task forces and working groups; substantial efforts to improve administrative communication; adaptive regulation that embraces regulatory lookback and process-oriented learning; reorganizing, rebuilding, and restaffing critical state regulatory institutions; and changes in culture in state and local government, among interest groups, and among the public” as factors contributing to the success.

ABC News can’t resist the pot pun in declaring that Uruguay’s attempt to become the first nation with legalized marijuana may be “going up in smoke”.  The ruling Broad Front movement of President Jose Mujica, who championed the unpopular legalization plan, faces an uphill battle in maintaining the presidency and control of the legislature.  64% of Uruguayans opposed the legalization plan and 62% would like to see it repealed entirely, a stand being taken by most of the top opposition candidates.  Mujica is among seven candidates for President, none of whom has the support to win outright without a run-off election.  Polls show 40% of the public intends to vote for the ruling Broad Front coalition, which would require 50% of the vote to maintain its legislative control.

New emergency rules for marijuana edibles were adopted Thursday in Colorado.  No longer will manufacturers be able to pack 100mg of THC into a bite-sized edible.  100mg is still the maximum that can be packaged into an edible, but it must now be easily broken into 10mg segments, the standard serving size under the law.  Single serving edibles must be delivered in child-resistant packaging by the infused products maker, as must liquids like sodas, which must clearly display the serving size on the package or bottle.  The rules will be made permanent after a public comment period and will go into effect November 1st.

Fairgoers at this weekend’s Denver County Fair get to enjoy the spectacle of marijuana-themed events, but with none of the marijuana.  “We’ve been selling tickets to people from all over the world, and we keep hearing they want to come see the pot,” said Dana Cain, who helped organize Denver County’s first fair three years ago. This year’s event is expected to draw 20,000 people.  There’s no actual marijuana at the 21-and-older Pot Pavilion; rather, joint rolling contests use oregano, photos of competing pot plants are shown, and the judges sampled the marijuana edibles earlier last month at an undisclosed location.  “At first the judges were eating them all, but by the end they were really feeling it, so they just tasted them and spit them out,” Cain said with a laugh. “We offered them cabs home.”

People who supported legalization are nevertheless upset when you blow smoke around their kids.  In an article posted to the Seattle Times, writer Jonathan Martin complains about visiting a local park with his children when pot smokers nearby wouldn’t stop publicly toking upwind.  Another Seattleite, Natalie Singer-Velush protested that she and her kids were enveloped in pot smoke at a local beach.  Web content manager Stephanie Klein argues that her neighbors smoke pot in their back yard daily and the smoke infiltrates her home.  “It seriously will fill up my whole downstairs. I can smell it throughout my house, even upstairs when I’m trying to sleep,” Klein says.  “I voted for I-502. I don’t care that they’re smoking pot at all. But now I have to deal with my 4-year-old, who’s saying ‘the neighbors are stinky again, mommy.’ What am I supposed to tell him?”

San Bernardino, California, is bankrupt, so the city council is considering an idea President Obama laughed at five years ago – legalizing and taxing marijuana to improve the economy.  The city of over 200,000 declared bankruptcy in 2012 and is one of about 200 California municipalities that have enacted outright bans on all medical marijuana dispensaries.  Despite the ban, there are about 20 illegal storefronts selling marijuana, which cost the city $10,000 each to investigate and shut down. “Prohibiting them is obviously not working. It’s almost easier to regulate it than prohibit it,” said council member James Mulvihill.    He estimates the current plan calling for six or fewer legal dispensaries could raise $60,000 in fees plus 10% in taxes, which Mulvihill insists is only a desperate funding measure, not any sort of compassion for patients in his city.  “I’m doing this because of the trouble we’re in — we can’t control it,” he said. “I’m not doing this for potheads.”