Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Pick Up Tickets to the Southwest Cannabis Conference + Expo in Phoenix

Posted By on Tue, Oct 11, 2016 at 11:00 AM

Want to drive up with Phoenix and spend the weekend learning all about the cannabis business? We've got tickets to the Southwest Cannabis Conference + Expo where you can do just that.
SWCC Expo will be an electric environment for industry members, entrepreneurs, local leaders, companies, job seekers and curious individuals to come learn about the rapidly expanding cannabis industry and our changing culture. This years convention will focus on the potential transitions and changes coming in Arizona marijuana policy in 2016.  
The conference will be at the Phoenix Convention Center (100 N. 3rd Street). 

If you want attend, swing by our office (7225 N. Mona Lisa Road #125) and pick up some tickets. Our office is open Monday through Friday, 8:15 a.m. to 5 p.m.

While you're at the event, find the Tucson Weekly booth, where we'll be giving out the rest of our stash of environmentally conscious condoms.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Learn About Medical Marijuana and the Workplace

Posted By on Tue, Sep 20, 2016 at 10:00 AM

  • Hollyn Johnson | Flint Journal File Photo
There's an estimated 90,000 people in Arizona with medical marijuana cards, making company and employment policies surrounding cannabis use a hot topic of discussion. What can and can't employers ask of their card-carrying employees?

Find out at the free information seminar Lovitt & Touché Learning Academy (7202 E. Rosewood Street #200)
is hosting on Thursday, Sept. 29. The seminar will run for an hour starting at 9 a.m. and will be looking at marijuana laws from a business perspective, so CFOs, CEOs, Risk Managers and HR Directors are encouraged to attend. 

Some topics that will be covered:
  • In-depth overview of the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act
  • The rights employers have with Medical Marijuana
  • Safety Positions
  • Recent MMJ cases in Arizona

Thom K. Cope, a lawyer who specialized in employment and labor law, will be the featured speaker.   

To register for the seminar, click here.

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Thursday, June 30, 2016

Marijuana Legalization Group Submits Initiative to Secretary of State's Office with More Than 250K Signatures

Posted By on Thu, Jun 30, 2016 at 3:30 PM

The fate of recreational weed is in your hands.
  • The fate of recreational weed is in your hands.

Well, it’s official, guys: Arizona could well be on its way to legalize recreational marijuana this year.

Today, the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol submitted more than 250,000 signatures to the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office. The measure only needs 150,642 valid signatures to make the general election ballot, so the fate of legalization could be up to voters in November. We’ll probably hear whether CRMLA qualified around in August, according to a press release from the campaign.

“We are very encouraged by the strong levels of support and enthusiasm we found among voters during the petition drive,” says a media statement from CRMLA Chairman J.P. Holyoak. “Arizonans are ready to end the antiquated policy of marijuana prohibition and replace it with a system in which marijuana is regulated and taxed similarly to alcohol. We look forward to continuing the public conversation about the initiative and we think most will agree it is a sensible step forward for our state.”

The initiative allows adults 21 and older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana. You would be able to smoke weed at home and purchase it from a licensed retailer. You could also grow up to six plants in an enclosed, locked space. No more than 12 weed plants would be allowed to grow in the same household.

Cities and counties would be authorized to impose limits on where and when marijuana businesses are allowed to operate. They could also prohibit home growing if it is considered a nuisance or dangerous, or enact zoning regulations for marijuana establishments.

Retail marijuana sales would be taxed at 15 percent and the revenue would be used in the implementation and enforcement of recreational weed regulation. Additional funds would be allocated mostly to education—40 percent to school maintenance and operation costs; 40 percent for full-day kindergarten programs— and 20 percent to the Arizona Department of Health Services for substance abuse awareness.

When it comes to penalties, possessing more than one ounce of weed or cultivation of more than six plants per person would be a felony. It would be illegal to sell any marijuana without a business license. Driving while high would also still be a crime, but the initiative says a person shouldn’t be punished merely over the presence of metabolites or components of marijuana.

Continue reading »

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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

In Defense of Marijuana: #FreeKyleCatlin

Posted By on Wed, Jun 29, 2016 at 2:53 PM

Kyle and his mom Suson. - KYLE CATLIN FACEBOOK
  • Kyle Catlin Facebook
  • Kyle and his mom Suson.

Suson Catlin has been writing letters to the Governor's Office hoping someone out there will help get her 27-year-old son, Kyle, out of prison—where he's been since mid-January over nonviolent marijuana felony charges. Unsurprisingly, she hasn't received a response. But as I imagine most mothers would, Suson is willing to exhaust all options. Hope dies last.

The night of June 23, Suson got a phone call from Kyle, saying he had been charged with assault after anotherp inmate in the Marana Community Correctional Facility jumped him and split his lip open. In response to the altercation, which Kyle repeatedly told his parents he didn't do anything but take the punches, Kyle was placed in "protective custody," also known as "the hole," or solitary. The inmate who assaulted Kyle was placed in solitary first, so he and friends threatened to kill Kyle for being "a snitch." 

After Suson made several frantic phone calls to the correctional facility, guards moved Kyle to the hole, where he remained for about a week.

To make matters worse, Kyle got transferred back to the first correctional facility he stepped foot in—the Arizona Department of Corrections' Whetstone Unit off of South Wilmont Road and East Old Vail Road. While there the first time, an inmate jumped Kyle and hurt his head. One hopes the correctional system would have enough common sense to not send a nonviolent inmate back to a place where his safety was jeopardized. But, really, they could give a shit. It is not their son. It is not their brother. It is not their friend.

"I'm not giving up, I am going to fight even more to get my son out of that hell hole," Suson wrote on Kyle's Facebook after her son told her he'd be transferred again.

Continue reading »

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Friday, June 17, 2016

In Defense of Marijuana: Parents of Medical Weed Patient in Prison Fear for His Life

Posted By on Fri, Jun 17, 2016 at 9:00 AM

I met Kyle Catlin almost one year ago. As I'm writing this, he sits in protective custody at the Marana Community Correctional Facility, afraid for his life after an inmate recently jumped him and then threatened to kill him for being "a snitch."

The inmate split Kyle's lip open. The inmate now sits in solitary because of the fight. Kyle is also in "the hole" for protection. Both of them were issued a complaint even though Kyle didn't do anything, according to his father Marvin.

This wasn't the first time. A couple of months ago, another inmate in a different correctional facility jumped Kyle and split his head open.

"His appeal for the guy punching him in the mouth was denied, he has one more appeal and is working on it now. If he is denied again he will have to be put in a medium security facility," Marvin told me through Facebook a couple of days ago. We've been in touch here and there since Kyle's trial.

"He is being threatened by a group of inmates. He should be moved to protective custody tonight.
I fear for his life," Marvin said last night. 

It was a three-digit-hot August day last year, and the young medical marijuana patient/caregiver and I were supposed to talk about his upcoming two trials for nonviolent marijuana sale, possession and cultivation felony charges over some iced coffee or tea at Cafe Passé on Fourth Avenue. Kyle called me to let me know he couldn't make it because his car had broken down and he'd taken it to a shop in South Tucson. I met him there and we talked in the waiting room for at least three hours.
Kyle and his grandfather.
  • Kyle and his grandfather.

Before we got into the serious talk, he chatted about his upcoming birthday party on Aug. 15. It was his 27th birthday. 

Tall, the blondest of hair, soft spoken, kind eyes, beyond family-oriented and a die-hard fan of car racing—I remember thinking, how can he be facing the possibility of going to prison?

At the time, he had at least 10 felony charges on him. (Read more about the charges, In Defense of Marijuana, September 2015.) He told me he was afraid of going to prison. He was afraid of getting pulled into a gang, being jumped. He, without shame, said he wasn't a fighter. He'd lose a fight. But probably the biggest fear was separating from his family. They were always together.

Continue reading »

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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Study: Recreational Marijuana Could Bring AZ $113 Million in New Revenue

Posted By on Wed, May 25, 2016 at 11:00 AM


Legalizing recreational marijuana and establishing a 15 percent tax on it could bring Arizona $113 million in new revenue, according to a study by the non-partisan group Tax Foundation

The Arizona study is based on sales per capita in Colorado and Washington—both states legalized weed four years ago.

The study says that if all 50 states enforce retail taxes on marijuana, the country could see a revenue of $5.3 billion if taxed at 15 percent, or as high as $8 billion if it's taxed at 25 percent, according to an article on The Arizona Republic.

In Arizona, a "mature" marijuana industry could raise $113 million every year if weed is taxed at 15 percent; $150 million if taxed at 20 percent; and $188 million if taxed at 25 percent, the study says, according to The Arizona Republic.
The study cautioned officials to not overestimate tax revenue from legalizing the drug, saying revenues started out slowly in Colorado and Washington as their legalization programs and regulatory systems took shape.
The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, which is backed by the Washington D.C.-based Marijuana Policy Project, wants to legalize recreational use of weed for adults 21 and over, green light home cultivation of six plants per adult but a limit of 12 per household, allow possession of up to 1 ounce, as well as make available up to 160 licenses for weed retailers. This measure asks to enact a 15 percent tax on retail marijuana sale. The group proposes using the revenue to fund schools maintenance, operation, full-day kindergarten programs, as well as substance abuse awareness programs. (Get to know CRMLA's initiative here.) The campaign has gathered more than 200,000 signatures. 

The second contender, Arizonans for Mindful Regulation, also would legalize marijuana use, possession and cultivation for adults 21 and over. An adult would be allowed to posses 1 ounce of weed and no more than 5 grams in concentrated marijuana, such as oils. Also, an adult could grow 12 plants at home, without a limit on the amount of weed plants that can be cultivated per household, as long as it is under 99. The taxation is set at 10 percent. (Here's more info on their initiative.) Last time I spoke with the AZFMR guys at the end of March, they said they had gathered more than 100,000 signatures. 

Both initiatives need at least 150,642 signatures by July 7 to make the November ballot. 

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Friday, May 20, 2016

Veterans Affairs Doctors in Some States (Like AZ) Could Soon Recommend Medical Marijuana to Patients

Posted By on Fri, May 20, 2016 at 9:30 AM

  • Public domain
The U.S. House of Representatives approved on Thursday an amendment that would allow Veterans Affairs doctors to recommend medical marijuana to patients in states where using medicinal cannabis is legal—like Arizona.

The amendment was attached to a military appropriations bill. The Senate approved a similar amendment in a spending bill that would go into effect in 2017, according to The Huffington Post

The Veterans Equal Access Amendment, introduced by U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer, a Democrat from Oregon, and co-sponsored by a bipartisan group of lawmakers, strikes down a Department of Veterans Affairs prohibition on VA doctors recommending medical marijuana as treatment for veterans who have chronic pain, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other conditions, the HuffPost writes.
Under current regulations, veterans had to seek these recommendations outside of the VA system and pay out of pocket for the related expenses. 

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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Marijuana Policy Project's Recreational Weed Legalization Campaign Debuts Mother's Day-Themed Billboard

Posted By on Wed, May 4, 2016 at 4:22 PM

Let's talk about weed, mom and dad. - MARIA INÉS TARACENA
  • Maria Inés Taracena
  • Let's talk about weed, mom and dad.

Have you noticed the Mother's Day-themed marijuana billboard on South Sixth Avenue, yet?

The Marijuana Policy Project-backed Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, which is one of two groups leading efforts to legalize recreational weed in Arizona this year (the other one is Arizonans for Mindful Regulation), launched the sign on Tuesday at 3640 S. 6th Ave., across the street from Southern Arizona Veterans Affairs.

The ad is meant to persuade younger voters into talking to their parents, grandparents and older adults about marijuana and the benefits of legalization, according to a CRMLA press release. There is another billboard like this up in Phoenix.
The ads, which are targeted at younger voters, feature a young woman sitting with her mother and ask: “Have you talked to your parents about marijuana?” The goal of the ads is to flip the script on marijuana education and encourage younger voters to start conversations about marijuana with their family members—especially older generations who have been led to believe marijuana is more harmful than it actually is. 
The website that's pointed out on the ad,, leads you to a page where you can send your parents (or any family member, really) a message explaining why older voters' support for legalization is important. 

Continue reading »

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