In the first two weeks since D.C.’s marijuana decriminalization law took effect, the Metropolitan Police Department has written 27 civil citations for violations, multiple outlets reported last week. But just about as many arrests have been made for marijuana-related crimes not affected by the new law. The law, which says that anyone caught with possession of an ounce or less of marijuana will receive a $25 fine, was passed as a way to reduce the amount of marijuana-related arrests in D.C. The staggering statistics show a huge racial disparity in marijuana-related arrests in D.C., with persons of color accounting for more than 90 percent of all arrests. Meanwhile, D.C. Cannabis Campaign launched a ballot initiative to legalize marijuana in the District. The group turned in more than 57,000 signatures—more than twice the amount needed to get on the ballot for the November general election—last month and they expect the D.C. Board of Elections to announce this week if their initiative will indeed be on the ballot.
For growers who wish to farm legal cannabis in Washington’s Vashon Island, there may be no legal way for a state-approved marijuana producer to move product across the Puget Sound. Since no roads connect Vashon to the mainland, marijuana growers will have to move their product by air or sea – both regulated by federal agencies, which still consider marijuana to be illegal. For Scott Durkee and the 13 other growers seeking licenses on Vashon – some of whom have already invested thousands of dollars into their businesses – this poses a complication, especially given there’s only three retail shops planned for the island. “We’re not going to sell it all on Vashon,” said Durkee, an island resident. “We’re stoners, but we’re not that much of stoners.” Vashon Island could be a pot-grower’s utopia. At 37 square miles, it’s larger than Manhattan, but with less than 1 percent of the population. This isolated, rural farming locale – combined with high voter approval of legalized marijuana – makes the island attractive real estate for outdoor growers. Modern Farmer dubbed Vashon “Weed Island” last year.
Life in Cheyenne County, Kansas, is more about cows than cannabis, but now this part of the Old West is on the frontline of marijuana’s new frontier. Pot is legal in nearby Colorado, but when it leaves the state, it often travels across Kansas’ remote highways. A recent study found that nearly half of all marijuana purchases in Colorado are made by out-of-state visitors. Under federal law, that marijuana has to remain within Colorado’s borders. In 2013 the federal Rocky Mountain High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas calculated 288 cars smuggling Colorado marijuana beyond state lines. That may not seem like much, but experts estimate that they are only catching 10 percent. Meaning 90 percent of illegal trafficking is going unnoticed. “We’ve documented forty different states that it’s gone to,” said Tom Gorman, the agency’s director. On patrol, arrest is not the only answer in a cash-strapped county of fewer than 3,000. Sometimes, it’s more beneficial to let someone go after the sheriff confiscates the small amount of marijuana found, if they don’t pose a threat, according to the county sheriff.
A California man faces controlled substance and child endangerment charges after a marijuana cooking process allegedly set his apartment on fire. Central Marin Police said Brian Holland, 29, was attempting to convert marijuana into a wax form late Saturday, when butane used for the process ignited from being too close to the heater pilot light. Holland was taken to a local hospital to be treated for a minor burn on his arm suffered in the fire. Holland’s two children, 2 and 4, were asleep in a bedroom adjacent to the living room where the fire started, but were not hurt, and Holland’s mother was also in the apartment, authorities said. Upon being released, Holland was booked at Marin County Jail on two counts of child endangerment and one count of manufacturing a controlled substance. The fire had been put out by residents with a fire extinguisher before responders arrived, leaving only a burn mark on the living room carpet, fire officials said. Police reportedly seized more than 2 pounds of marijuana, 24 cans of butane, and other materials used for the conversion process.
What if a pot-related business wants a ‘marijuana mullet’ — business up front and a party in the back? This is the case at Three Kings Dab Supply shop in Wheat Ridge, Colorado. In the past couple of months, the small business has gotten into some hot water for allowing customers to smoke pot on a back patio. According to a city ordinance, Wheat Ridge prohibits businesses from allowing customers to consume marijuana on the property. On June 17, the owners were issued a citation. On July 10, the owners were served a cease-and-desist letter. Attorney Robert Corry, who is representing Three Kings Dab Supply, says the back patio is a private area and only those invited to hang out there by the owners are allowed. “That is our right, and we are going to continue to exercise our rights,” Corry said. “Outdoor smoking in private places on private property is allowed under Amendment 64, and it’s allowed under any Wheat Ridge ordinance.”