Since legalization, fewer teens in Colorado believe that marijuana use is inherently risky. However, data also show that fewer of them are using marijuana. The preliminary figures from the 2013 Healthy Kids Colorado Survey found that middle school and high school kids who thought use of marijuana was a moderate risk or a great risk declined from 58 percent to 54 percent from 2011 to 2013, the first full year of legalization. Yet marijuana was used on a monthly basis by 20 percent of high school students in 2013, down from 22 percent in 2011. And the high school students who have ever tried marijuana dropped from 39 percent to 37 percent in the same period. The drops aren’t statistically significant, but you can bet legalization opponents wouldn’t note that fact if it were a rise in use by 2 percentage points. The survey collected responses from about 40,000 students in over 220 schools.
A patient in New Mexico using medical marijuana to treat PTSD is suing the hospital that fired her over a failed piss test. Donna Smith is a medical marijuana cardholder who is suing under the New Mexico Human Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination against the seriously disabled. “As far as medical patients are concerned, a lot of these people aren’t able to work unless they’re using marijuana—and then they’re prevented from working once they’re using it,” says Jessica Gelay, the Drug Policy Alliance’s policy coordinator for New Mexico. But hospital Vice President Joanne Suffis said “Presbyterian is committed to patient safety and we believe that a drug free workplace is a key component. The use of medical marijuana is not recognized by federal law and Presbyterian has a mandate under federal law to provide a drug free workplace.” The US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has already rejected a previous medical marijuana challenge based on the federal Americans with Disabilities Act.
The first marijuana infused products and vaporizer pens were on store shelves in Washington State yesterday. The delay in getting edibles on the shelf had to do with a lack of state-certified kitchens, but two weeks ago, Green Chief, finally got a license and shipped out 500 bags of trail mix, Chex mix, and nut clusters to Top Shelf in Bellingham. Potency ranges from 15 to 20 milligrams of THC per serving, up to double the potency allowed in Colorado edibles. Vaporizer pens, like the cartridge-based Rif device, are showing up in Washington pot stores, with prices at around $30 for the battery unit and $75-$80 for a pre-filled 250-milligram cartridge.
An update on yesterday’s story about a man overdosing on THC at the Denver County Fair. We reported how one man ended up in the hospital testing at 100ng THC – twenty times the 5ng inferred impairment limit for driving – after ingesting an entire chocolate bar he was told was a sample that had no THC in it. ABC News is now reporting that two other people suffered the same accidental over-ingestion, with one of them also taken to the hospital. The fair vendor, LivWell, said any THC-laden chocolate bars that were given out at the pot pavilion were without its knowledge.
A warrant has been issued for rapper Wiz Khalifa’s arrest after he skipped a court date on a marijuana possession charge in West Texas. Online court records show the 26-year-old performer, whose real name is Cameron Thomaz, failed to appear for a scheduled Wednesday arraignment in an El Paso County misdemeanor court. The case started May 25 when Khalifa was arrested at El Paso International Airport after airport security officers reported finding a small canister of marijuana on him. Khalifa had been departing after appearing at a local music festival. Instead, he was charged with misdemeanor possession of marijuana and was released after posting $300 bail.
The Costa Mesa City Council has rejected an ordinance on marijuana dispensaries called “the best ordinance I’ve ever read” by a former LAPD Deputy Chief. The ordinance would have required 24-hour security, 1000 foot buffer zones from schools, youth centers, and other dispensaries, and forbidden on-site marijuana recommendations from doctors. Still, after a 2½ hour discussion, the council rejected the new law, with once councilwoman complaining that the proposal felt hurried. Two initiatives are still circulating in Costa Mesa, one led by an Orange County attorney who would have preferred the proposed ordinance rather than going through the initiative process and an election to provide for patients in Costa Mesa after eighteen years of legal medical marijuana in California.