Good news to snowbirds who partake in medicinal reefer (because I get my weed lingo from the '50s) — Arizona's not going to take your stash away, so long as your credentials are legitimate.
I say this because the Arizona Supreme Court let stand a lower court ruling that forced the Yuma County sheriff to return confiscated marijuana from a California woman with an MMJ card.
From the Associated Press, via Phoenix's KSAZ:
The justices without comment on Monday declined to review a January ruling by the Court of Appeals.
The January ruling said medical marijuana seized from Valerie Okun must be returned to her.
It said that's because Arizona's medical marijuana law allows people with medical marijuana authorizations from other states to legally possess marijuana in Arizona.
Apparently the prosecution was arguing that federal drug law supersedes Arizona drug law — but they forgot that this is the state that apparently gives not one shit about federal laws that we don't like...right, Gov'nah Brewer?
If you're one of the folks who is behind our continued employment of medical marijuana guy J.M. Smith (i.e., you're not one of the folks Tom Danehy talks to on the regular), this should be relevant to your interests: a veterinarian thinks is OK for you to get your pet high — for medicinal purposes only, of course.
From the Associated Press, via azcentral.com:
Leading the charge is Los Angeles veterinarian Doug Kramer, 36, known as the “Vet Guru,” who felt it was his duty to speak out while he has no family that would feel a verbal or financial backlash.
“I grew tired of euthanizing pets when I wasn’t doing everything I could to make their lives better,” he said. “I felt like I was letting them down.”
Pot eased his Siberian husky’s pain during her final weeks, after she had surgery to remove tumors. Not only did Nikita stop whimpering while using cannabis, but she started eating, gaining weight and meeting him at the door again.
It gave him six extra weeks with his dog before he had to euthanize her, he says. It wasn’t a cure, but he thinks it freed her of pain and improved her last days.
Some other vets contacted said they share Kramer’s view on pot, but they wouldn’t talk on the record for fear of arrest or retaliation.
Huh. Well, that's well and good, but there's got to be a contrast, right? Help us out here, Colorado:
Vets who want traditional testing point to a study by two Colorado animal hospitals that compared the number of dogs treated for what appeared to be accidental marijuana overdoses between 2005 and 2010 with increases in the number of marijuana licenses issued. As registrations increased 146-fold, the number of sickened pets went up four-fold.
“Sometimes public sentiment and activity gets ahead of the scientific background and that can be dangerous,” said Barry Kellogg, senior veterinary adviser to the Humane Society of the United States.
While two dogs with pot in their system died in the Colorado survey, hallucinogenic reactions may make dogs wobbly on their legs, raise their pulse and cause dribbly urine, said Dr. Karl Jandrey, an emergency and critical care vet at the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital at the University of California, Davis.
As the AP notes, one can get past severely f—king up their pet with weed by actually taking care to properly dose the critter, as with portioned out treats.
At the same time, doesn't it seem inherently selfish to try to extend the life of a living being who is suffering? I mean sure, give the dog all the THC drops in the world if you want, but it seems cruel to drag out the final days of a creature who won't necessarily be able to enjoy it as much as you may wish.
Enterprising imbibers of marijuana, we've got a new experiment for you: "Weed Sauce."
French fry chain Manneken Pis has developed a new dipping sauce for its customers, based around one of the most celebrated puff-puff-pastimes in the Netherlands, giving people the opportunity to dip their fries in something that's contains the "unmistakable taste of weed" in it, according to New York magazine's Grub Street blog.
Apparently though, the sauce doesn't actually contain THC, so you won't be getting high off of it — sorry, folks. It's as effective in getting you stoned as those super-cool hemp-based hand lotions that square high-schoolers buy when they're trying to be edgy without getting grounded for smoking the dope.
From Grub Street:
French fry chain Manneken Pis thinks the time is nigh — they were voted "beste friet van Nederland 2013," mind you — so tomorrow they will introduce Wietsaus, a mayonnaise-based French fry dipping sauce infused, apparently, with the convincingly strong taste of weed.
Albert van Beek, the French fry chainlet's owner, says he was inspired by the pervasive smell of weed smoke on the street (obviously) and was in turn blown away to find out that skunky dipping sauce was not yet a thing. He got right to work.
By my calendar, it's still April 16, meaning that cannabis culinary artists have four days to throw together their version of a weed sauce — get, uh...baking, I guess.
For decades, cannabis advocates of every stripe have been telling everyone who would listen that we need to legalize and tax cannabis.
I don't think this is what they had in mind: a Colorado legislative committee is proposing a ridiculous 30 percent state tax on cannabis, according to Huffington Post:
The House-Senate committee, which will introduce a bill this week drafted from the 58 recommendations that the pot task force issued last month with taxes being one of several issues the committee is considering, would ask voters to approve a 15 percent excise tax and a 15 percent special sales tax. Those rates plus existing local and state tax rates — for food and beverage sales in Denver, the the combined total tax rate is 8 percent — could mean a total tax rate of 38 percent on marijuana purchases in the Denver area.
I'm down with taxes - even high taxes - but this is beyond the pale. I'm not sure what these people are thinking. They're either horribly naive or purposely trying to discourage legal sales.
In Arizona, we have no cannabis tax. Only normal sales taxes apply, which vary slightly city to city but in Tucson is 9.1 percent. Tax rates like the ones proposed in Colorado would only drive people to the black market.
It would also destroy many, many cannabis shops in and around Denver by sending their customers clamoring to either buy on the sly or grow their own, which Colorado's new cannabis law allows. It would put people out of work.
Mr. Smith does not approve. Hmpf.
A bunch of duly elected lawmakers in the nation's capital - led by one from the shadow of the Space Needle - put their heads together and agreed on something this week. WTF?
It won't avert any fiscal cliffs or huge tax increases, but the States’ Medical Marijuana Patients Protection Act represents agreement across the aisle in the hallowed halls of Congress, according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. The act was introduced by a bipartisan group of 15 U.S. representatives in an effort to get the feds off the backs of people in states that have legalized cannabis. It would largely exempt cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act in states with medical cannabis laws.
U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer of Oregon is the main sponsor of the bill, along with Jim Farr of California. Blumenaur is a known advocate of cannabis law reform, having authored a report on the topic.
Two proposals - one that makes sense in spirit and one that doesn't - from a Phoenix state lawmaker would change the way medical marijuana is handled here.
The first bill from state Sen. Kimberly Yee, a Phoenix Republican, doesn't suck ... entirely. The proposal would require dispensaries to label medical cannabis edibles as medicine. The point is to keep things like suckers, candies and cookies out of the hands of children, which is a good idea. But I am skeptical of Yee's underlying assumptions. The Arizona Republic offered an onerous quote from her over the weekend.
"We are finding the products being produced that contain marijuana appear to be geared toward the youngest consumer - we’re talking about lollipops, chocolate bars and things that appeal to a minor," the quote reads.
Now, I'm not against labeling anything sold in a dispensary as medicine. That's what it is. The problem I have is with Yee's apparent underlying belief that lollipops and chocolate bars are "geared toward the youngest consumer." Those products are all geared toward their intended consumer - me. I like lollipops and chocolate bars. I also like brownies and cookies and little hard candies. Likewise, my children like salad dressing. That doesn't mean cannabis salad dressing is "geared toward the youngest consumer." If Yee believes dispensaries are marketing cannabis for minors, she should come right out and say it. The mere fact that something is candy doesn't mean it is "geared" for minors. It means it tastes good.
I support labeling of all cannabis products as medicine, but I don't think we need any references to children. Just because a dispensary is selling a sucker doesn't mean it is nefariously aiming drug products at children. That's just silly.
Yee's second proposed change in the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act does suck.
State inspectors gave the nod in Tucson on Thursday to the state's first commercial cannabis kitchen, Heavenly Harvest, where staff were making cannabis butter, stuffing ovens and mixing spices to bring their edibles to Green Halo dispensary patients as soon as possible.
"We expect to have a full line of edibles out by Saturday," said Heather Manus, the registered nurse who manages the non-profit associated with the Green Halo dispensary. Both are at 7710 S. Wilmot Road, just off Interstate 10.
Although the former sub shop was already a commercial kitchen, there were additional considerations for handling cannabis, forcing the kitchens opening to lag behind the dispensary by nine days. The line of goodies will include the ubiquitous brownie, cookies, cakes, hard candies and suckers, chocolates, spices, salad oil, tinctures and hot sauce, all carefully dosed so you know what you're getting. They will also stock Green Halo with non-psychoactive ointments for pain relief.
Manus was moved to near tears as the inspectors left Thursday, when she realized the approval was finally happening.
"I am so grateful that we have the opportunity to provide this type of meds," she said later in the day.
Initially, the kitchen will supply edibles for The Green Halo, which is open daily from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. For a map, menu and other information, see TheGreenHalo.org.
The Harborside Health Center in Oakland, Calif. - often recognized as the largest cannabis health center in the nation - will remain open for now, despite its landlord's attempt to halt cannabis sales there.
Harborside, which opened six years ago, was hauled into court last year in a forfeiture case against the building's owner. After feds threatened to take the property and Harborside remained open (and still paying rent), the building's owners asked a judge to halt the sale of cannabis until the forfeiture case is resolved. But landlords have no right to demand the halt of sales, Magistrate Maria-Elena James said in the ruling, and so far the federal government has not raided the center.
The ruling allows Harborside to continue serving approximately 100,000 registered patients (!) until the forfeiture case goes to court ... or until the federal government decides to back off. Please?
Go. Judge. James.
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