On Saturday, some 75 tribal leaders from across the country met to discuss forming the first “Tribal Cannabis Association” at the Tulalip Resort Casino in Washington State. This followed a packed day on February 27 of “Tribal Marijuana Conference” presentations and panels with speakers as diverse as former U.S. Attorney Troy Eid, present chair of President Barack Obama’s National Indian Law and Order Commission, to the city attorneys of both Seattle and Boulder, Colorado who gave in-depth overviews of how implementation is proceeding in their respective cities of state laws legalizing marijuana possession and usage. A memo issued by the Department of Justice in October 28, 2014 instructed all U.S. Attorneys to not pursue prosecution of federally-recognized tribes that choose to legalize and regulate marijuana if they meet priorities laid out in a memorandum issued by Deputy Attorney General Cole on August 29, 2013.
The Oregon Liquor Control Commission this week plans to submit to the Oregon Legislature dozens of policy recommendations and technical fixes to the new marijuana law, as well as ideas the agency has collected on its statewide listening tour. Last week, the commission sent a clear message about medical marijuana dispensaries and recreational shops sharing the same location: The agency said all marijuana sold in a recreational shop must be tracked from seed to sale. Currently medical marijuana production is unregulated. The OLCC also asked lawmakers to establish a “third party lab certification” process given the “deficiencies” of labs testing marijuana for potency, mold, mildew and pesticides, as well as the authority to create three subcategories within the processor license and the agency wants employees of marijuana license holders, such as retailers, to hold a servers permit as a condition of employment, similar to one issued to people who serve alcohol.
Nearly two-thirds of Millennials who identify as Republican support legalizing marijuana, while almost half of older GOP Gen-Xers do, according to a recently released Pew survey that could be an indicator of where the debate is heading. While the Pew Research Center survey published on Friday shows a 14 percentage point gap between Republicans and Democrats under the age of 34, six-in-10 GOP-leaning Millennials still said they favor legalizing cannabis. Seventy-seven percent of surveyed Democrats in the same age group held that view. For those aged 35 to 50, the same 14 percentage point gap between Republicans and Democrats was evident, but the respective percentages were somewhat lower. In that age group, 47 percent of Republicans favored legalization, as opposed to 61 percent of Democrats. The survey on attitudes on marijuana legalization by political affiliation largely mirrors a survey Pew conducted a year ago concerning same-sex marriage.
A Broward County, Florida, jury returned a not guilty verdict Monday after deliberating for less than an hour on the case of Jesse Teplicki, who was caught by authorities cultivating marijuana plants. Teplicki’s defense, the first of its kind in the state of Florida, was that he grows and uses marijuana for medical need, a defense that has worked on the appeals court level but never before had been tried in front of a jury. Teplicki, 50, raised his hands and embraced his defense lawyer, Michael C. Minardi, who told the jury that Teplicki needs marijuana to alleviate the nausea and loss of appetite that are symptoms of his lifelong struggle with anorexia. Teplicki told jurors that he has been smoking since he was a teenager, and that marijuana is the only substance that gives him the relief he needs to function. “I have nothing to hide,” said Teplicki.
A coalition of groups advocating for marijuana legalization in New Jersey have announced plans for a “NJ Spring Smoke-Out” rally outside the Statehouse in Trenton this month. The March 21 demonstration supports legalization and “any progressive measures on marijuana,” according to a Facebook page for the event. A “Million Joint March” is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. at the NJ Transit River Line Station near the Trenton Transit Center and proceed to the Statehouse. At 4:20 p.m. the group will “smoke out” the Statehouse by lighting up across the street from the main entrance, according to organizers. One thing that marijuana activism is lacking in New Jersey is a street presence, said Ed Forchion, who is known as NJ Weedman. “That is how the civil rights movement did it,” said Forchion who is one of the organizers. “This event is an act of civil disobedience and we are hoping to catch the public’s awareness.”