Legal marijuana | KNKX

Legal marijuana

The legalization of recreational marijuana in Washington state in 2012 resulted in a dramatic decrease in the number of people sentenced for marijuana-related felonies, according to an analysis conducted for public radio by the Washington State Caseload Forecast Council.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee is making headlines for a quip he made about marijuana to HBO host Bill Maher.

Medical marijuana appears to have put a dent in the opioid abuse epidemic, according to two studies published Monday.

The research suggests that some people turn to marijuana as a way to treat their pain, and by so doing, avoid more dangerous addictive drugs. The findings are the latest to lend support to the idea that some people are willing to substitute marijuana for opioids and other prescription drugs.

Marijuana may be legal in Washington and Oregon, but police continue to bust illegal marijuana operations that are not licensed by the state.

The latest numbers from the Washington State Patrol show that 89 illegal marijuana growing operations were shut down in Washington over the past year. Some were indoor grows, most were outdoor.

Vermont Governor Phil Scott, a Republican, said on Wednesday he was vetoing a bill to legalize marijuana, and sending it back to the legislature for changes.

"We must get this right," Scott said in prepared remarks at a press conference today. "I think we need to move a little bit slower."

Though he said he views the issue "through a libertarian lens," Scott vetoed the bill due to concerns about detecting and penalizing impaired drivers, protecting children, and the role and makeup of a Marijuana Regulatory Commission.

People who legally buy marijuana in Oregon would enjoy a greater level of privacy under a measure headed for Gov. Kate Brown’s desk. The Oregon House Monday approved a bill that would stop cannabis retailers from recording personal information such as a customer's name, age or address.

As advocates for medical marijuana gather in Washington, D.C., on Friday for an annual conference, supporters of marijuana legalization are worried.

That's because new U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been making tough comments about the drug, and there's a lot of uncertainty about how the Trump administration will enforce federal law.

Over his 20 years in the U.S. Senate, Jeff Sessions made no secret of his disdain for marijuana. In his new job as the nation's top federal law enforcement officer, his position on marijuana has not moderated.

Updated at 10:25 a.m. ET

Missouri deems marijuana possession a crime that carries hundreds of dollars in fines and a potential jail term. But residents of Kansas City voted overwhelmingly to reduce the penalties there, becoming the latest city in the state to relax punishments for people caught with small amounts of pot.

Nearly 75 percent of voters approved the ballot initiative, Question 5, in Tuesday's special election. The pot measure was considered alongside infrastructure issues and candidates for school district posts.

The governors of Oregon, Washington, Colorado and Alaska have written a joint letter to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin asking for forbearance with their marijuana policy experiments.

David Zalubowski / AP Photo

DENVER (AP) — Colorado is considering an unusual strategy to protect its nascent marijuana industry from a potential federal crackdown, even at the expense of hundreds of millions of dollars in tax collections.

A bill pending in the Legislature would allow pot growers and retailers to reclassify their recreational pot as medical pot if a change in federal law or enforcement occurs.

It's the boldest attempt yet by a U.S. marijuana state to avoid federal intervention in its weed market.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown is urging the Trump administration to view marijuana as an economic opportunity. Her comments came as Attorney General Jeff Sessions hinted Tuesday at a federal crackdown on recreational cannabis.

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson said he’s “deeply disappointed” by comments President Trump’s spokesman made Thursday about legalized marijuana.

Oregon Bans Marijuana-Infused Alcohol

Feb 16, 2017

Those who like peaches in their beer, or raspberries in their vodka, might have been looking forward to marijuana-infused alcohol in the future. But that’s not going to happen in Oregon.

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission issued a ban earlier this week.

The active ingredients in marijuana, THC and CBD, have been designated by the Drug Enforcement Agency as Schedule I drugs.

OLCC Director Steve Marks says the OLCC is following the lead of the DEA and prohibiting marijuana-infused alcohol.

You won’t have to worry about unclear labels on any pot-infused sweets in Washington state after Valentine’s Day. A rule to help keep children from getting more than just a sugar high goes into full effect Tuesday.

After Oregon voters approved recreational marijuana use for adults in 2014, there was no place to legally buy it until October of the following year. That's when a law kicked in that allowed dispensaries to sell to people without medical marijuana cards.

Damian Dovarganes / AP Photo

After the results of the November election, more than half of U.S. states have now authorized medical marijuana. And eight of those states also allow recreational marijuana. So if pot helps some humans feel better, how about people's best friends?

Northwest veterinarians are being asked about treating pets with cannabis and that puts these vets in a difficult spot legally.

With more states legalizing recreational marijuana, parents are facing the question of whether they should smoke pot around their children.

"I have never smoked and would never smoke around my child," says one mother who lives in San Francisco. California is one of eight states that allows recreational marijuana use for adults 21 and older.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

A former member of the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis control board wonders what Donald Trump’s appointment for U.S. Attorney General will mean for legal marijuana in the state, both recreational and medical.

President-Elect Donald Trump has indicated he wants Alabama Republican Senator Jeff Sessions as the new US Attorney General.

Sessions has voiced negative opinions on pot, including this comment at a recent hearing on marijuana legalization:

LIAM MORIARTY / JEFFERSON PUBLIC RADIO

The recent election saw California and three other states join Oregon, Washington, Colorado and Alaska in legalizing recreational use of marijuana. Four more states voted for medical cannabis, as well. But the burgeoning cannabis industry has relied on an Obama Administration policy of tolerating state laws that regulate a drug that’s still federally illegal. With a new administration talking over in Washington D.C., what does this mean for legal pot?

California's decision to legalize marijuana was touted as a victory for those who had argued that the state needed a system to decriminalize, regulate and tax it.

But the new law, approved by voters on Nov. 8, also could be a boon to the tobacco industry at a time when cigarette smoking is down and cigarette companies are looking for ways to expand their market, according to researchers in Los Angeles County and around the state.

Marcio Jose Sanchez / AP Photo

It’s been four years since recreational marijuana became legal in Washington.  With the November election, four more states have jumped on board:  California, Nevada, Maine, and Massachusetts. And now, these states are looking for advice.

This was an industry that needed to be built from scratch. And Washington -- along with Colorado -- is an early adopter when it comes to legal pot.

In California, the city of Oakland was the first to regulate and tax medical marijuana dispensaries. Now, some city leaders see the industry's profits and are proposing to take a bigger piece of the action. The Oakland City Council is voting later this month on a pot profit-taking plan.

Harborside Health Center in Oakland is the largest medical marijuana dispensary in the nation.

Its executive director, Steve DeAngelo, says his dispensary brings in about $30 million in annual revenues.

Marijuana retailers began collecting a 25 percent tax on recreational marijuana sales starting in January. That money is adding up quickly.

Five states are voting this fall on whether marijuana should be legal, like alcohol, for recreational use. That has sparked questions about what we know — and don't know — about marijuana's effect on the brain.

If pot laws were colors, a map of the U.S. map would resemble a tie-dye T-shirt.

In some states, marijuana is illegal. In others, it's legal for medical purposes. And still in others, it is even legal for recreational use.

Recreational pot has been legal in Oregon now for a year, but it was a long time coming. Voters approved medicinal pot 20 years ago. Arizona is voting on it this fall – along with California, Nevada, Maine and Massachusetts. It was only six years ago that Arizona approved marijuana for medicinal use.

Political leaders in Oregon and Washington said they’re disappointed with Thursday's ruling from the Drug Enforcement Administration.

The agency denied a petition to reclassify the drug as less dangerous, meaning for now, the DEA still doesn't believe it has any medical value. That's despite voters in 25 states and the District of Columbia legalizing cannabis for medical purposes.

But the agency did agree to expand the number of manufactures registered to supply marijuana for research purposes.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said he’s disappointed by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration's decision not to reclassify marijuana. In a letter Thursday, the DEA said marijuana will remain a Schedule I drug for now.

Voters in California will decide this November whether to legalize the use of recreational marijuana in the nation's most populous state.

Marijuana is legal in Colorado — as long as you're 21 or older. It's still illegal for kids to possess, so juveniles are coming to dominate the marijuana arrests in Colorado. But another startling trend also has developed: Arrest rates have risen dramatically for young blacks and Latinos.

Ricky Montoya isn't surprised that's happening. He's standing outside Courtroom 4F in Denver's City and County Building, where he was just ordered to pay a $1,000 fine for his third marijuana possession offense.

The end is near for a veteran-owned medical marijuana dispensary in downtown Olympia. It’s a casualty of the state merging recreational and medical marijuana.

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