marijuana

At a time when more than 30 states and the District of Columbia have legalized the use of marijuana for either medical or recreational use, the U.S. surgeon general says no amount of the drug is safe for teens, young adults and pregnant women.

Researching Medical Marijuana May Soon Get Easier

Aug 27, 2019

Researchers hoping to study marijuana for scientific and medical purposes are one step closer to expanding their limited supply of the plant.

This week, the federal government announced it would begin processing dozens of pending applications for permission to cultivate the plant for scientific research.

When is it wrong to show cigarette smoking on television, but OK to depict people smoking cannabis products, particularly in programming popular among young teenagers?

David Zalubowski / Associated Press

DENVER (AP) — New research has found some Colorado teenagers who use marijuana are shifting away from smoking it in favor of edible products.

About 78% of the Colorado high school students who reported consuming marijuana in 2017 said smoking was their usual method, down from 87% two years earlier. The number of teens who usually consumed edible marijuana products climbed to about 10% from 2% in the same two-year span while the number of users dabbing increased to about 7.5% from 4%.

Ali Budner / 91.5 KRCC

It’s not every day you get a true Eureka! moment in science. But Andrew Alfred, chief scientist at the Denver-based cannabis company, LivWell, recently did. The company grows marijuana in a giant indoor “farm” for sale at their dispensaries in Colorado and Oregon.

As more states legalize marijuana, more people in the U.S. are buying and using weed — and the kind of weed they can buy has become much stronger.

That concerns scientists who study marijuana and its effects on the body, as well as emergency room doctors who say they're starting to see more patients who come into the ER with weed-associated issues.

The attorneys general of 38 states and territories sent a letter to congressional leaders on Wednesday, urging them: Please, let us bank the money generated by the country's booming cannabis business.

My 420 Tours / Creative Commons 4.0

Federal immigration authorities recently announced that immigrants working in the marijuana industry could risk their chance at gaining citizenship.

courtesy photos

The city of Colorado Springs is holding a general election for mayor on April 2, 2019. There are four candidates in the race. 91.5 KRCC's Andrea Chalfin spoke with each of them, and condensed the interviews into the following highlights, including discussions on homelessness, the future of the city, and public safety, among other topics.

Weed use is taking off as more states move to legalize it. And with all the buzz over medical marijuana, it's starting to gain an aura of healthfulness. But there are some serious health risks associated with frequent use. One of the more troubling ones is the risk of having a psychotic episode.

Jeffrey Beall / Creative Commons 2.0

Several Democratic hopefuls for 2020 say they support legalizing marijuana at the federal level. But the potential nominee from our region who oversaw the legalization of the drug is his state, has reservations.

As marijuana becomes legal around the country, blacks and Latinos are often left out of new business opportunities. Advocates say people of color are often reluctant to join the growing legal marijuana economy because they were targeted far more often than whites during the war on drugs. Studies show members of such communities were arrested and jailed for illegal marijuana use far more often than whites.

Pueblo Police Department

The new legal marijuana industry is generating billions of dollars and creating thousands of jobs, but it's also creating instability, restructuring and some layoffs for one group of workers - drug detection dogs. 

After nearly a century of prohibition, Canada became the first major economy this week to legalize recreational marijuana (though Uruguay was the first in 2013), and it has U.S. companies lining up.

California lawmakers have approved a measure requiring prosecutors to expunge convictions or reduce sentences for many marijuana-related convictions dating back decades. The bill is now awaiting a signature from Gov. Jerry Brown, according to The Associated Press.

Ali Budner / 91.5 KRCC

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell may seem like an unlikely champion for an illegal substance, but the Kentucky Republican just added the legalization of marijuana’s non-psychoactive cousin, hemp, to the Senate farm bill. The industrial hemp business is increasingly seen as an economic savior and substitute for vulnerable industries like mining, especially in Colorado, one of the first states in the nation to make hemp legal at the state level.

On a big-sky plateau on the eastern slope of the Cascades, a 10-acre parcel of land has been trashed by illicit pot farmers. Abandoned equipment rusts and jugs of chemicals molder.

Marijuana legalization wasn't supposed to look like this.

Five years into its experiment with legal, regulated cannabis, Washington state is finding that pot still attracts criminals.

As more states legalize marijuana, there's growing interest in a cannabis extract — cannabidiol, also known as CBD.

It's marketed as a compound that can help relieve anxiety — and, perhaps, help ease aches and pains, too.

Part of the appeal, at least for people who don't want to get high, is that CBD doesn't have the same mind-altering effects as marijuana, since it does not contain THC, the psychoactive component of the plant.

Brett Levin / Flickr/Creative Commons

A new pilot study from the Institute of Cannabis Research, or ICR, at Colorado State University Pueblo examines a wide range of topics, including the socio-economic effects of legalizing marijuana.

In Wyoming, pot is illegal. Not so in neighboring Colorado, where recreational marijuana is available in a variety of different forms.

The general feeling is that if you bring marijuana legally purchased in Colorado into Wyoming, you'll probably get into trouble. But what kind of trouble remains to be seen.

Lawmakers in Wyoming have been trying to adapt their laws to account for more than just leafy pot since 2015, when a couple of Wyoming judges ruled that state law does not have specific penalties for marijuana-laced edibles.

Updated at 4:45 p.m. ET

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is scrapping Obama-era guidelines that essentially removed marijuana from the list of federal drug enforcement priorities as more states legalized it.

In guidance issued Thursday, Sessions rescinded those policies and instead will permit individual U.S. attorneys to decide how aggressively to go after marijuana in their jurisdictions.

Sessions, a former Alabama senator, has long viewed pot as a public menace and a source of street crime.

This spring, 16 state patrol officers from Colorado and Wyoming took a couple days off their usual work schedule to do something special. They assembled in a hotel conference room in Denver. As instructed, they wore street clothes for their first assignment: going shopping at nearby marijuana dispensaries.

"It's a brave new world," said instructor Chris Halsor, referring to the years since Colorado legalized recreational marijuana.

The state of Colorado collected $180 million in taxes from legal marijuana sales in the 2016 fiscal year.

But could the well run dry?

As of July 1, 2017, Nevada is the eighth state to sell recreational marijuana -- and it won’t be the last. California, the sixth largest economy in the world, will start selling pot Jan. 1, 2018.

Jackie Fortier / KUNC

Three years after legalizing recreational marijuana sales in Colorado, lawmakers are turning to pot to fill some gaps in the budget. That's why lawmakers voted to increase a special use tax on recreational marijuana sales from 10% to 15% in 2017. But while the money can be a salve for some of Colorado's problems, it doesn't, and can't, solve them all.

Bente Birkeland / Capitol Coverage

Colorado is ramping up efforts to try and prevent marijuana from being diverted to the black market. Governor John Hickenlooper signed two bi-partisan bills into law Thursday. 

Neighborly disputes are nothing new. There’s the dog next door that poops on your lawn. The house that throws loud backyard parties. The guy down the block who always plows through the stop sign.

But in Colorado, the introduction of legal, home-grown marijuana has elevated tension among neighbors to a whole new level.

Because of gaps in the state constitutional amendments that legalized cultivation of the drug for recreational and medical purposes -- and in the ensuing rules that sought to regulate it further -- some rural pockets in Colorado are seeing large-scale cooperative marijuana grow operations sprout up with little oversight.

91.5 KRCC

Recreational marijuana clubs, also called social lounges, are allowed in some Colorado communities, but state law is murky on whether or not their existence is legal and how they should be regulated. Two proposals currently moving through the legislature aim to add clarity by requiring either voters or local governments to approve the clubs.

Statehouse reporter Bente Birkeland sat down with Kristen Wyatt of the Associated Press and Luke Perkins of the Durango Herald to discuss the details.

For decades the same test has been used to convict drunk drivers.

Police ask a driver to stand on one leg, walk a straight line and recite the alphabet. If the driver fails, the officer will testify in court to help make a case for driving under the influence.

But defense lawyers argue, science has yet to prove that flunking the standard field sobriety test actually means that a person is high, the way it's been proven to measure drunkenness.

So, as attorney Rebecca Jacobstein argued to the Massachusetts high court, the tests shouldn't be allowed in evidence.

So far, more than half of all U.S. states have legalized marijuana for medical use, and eight (plus the District of Columbia) have legalized the drug for recreational use. Varieties of cannabis available today are more potent than ever and come in many forms, including oils and leaves that can be vaped, and lots of edibles, from brownies and cookies to candies — even cannabis gummy bears.

Kristen Wyatt / Associated Press

Three varieties of industrial hemp seed are the first to attain certification from the state for widespread use.  They meet the requirements to produce mature plants with less than 0.3% THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.

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