marijuana

Newscast for Wednesday, August 26, 2015, 5:32 PM:

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In a newly released survey, the state Health Department says nearly 14% of Colorado adults currently use marijuana.

Of those who currently use pot, one third use it every day. About 19 percent drove after using. Slightly more than half of Colorado adults have never tried marijuana.

The survey also showed young adults aged 18 to 24 are ten times more likely to use pot than older adults over the age of 65.

Brett Levin Flickr / Creative Commons

The state of Colorado is facing new lawsuits over recreational marijuana legalization. The Washington DC based Safe Streets Alliance is suing the state in federal court to try and close down the industry.

“It is illegal under federal law to sell marijuana and in this country federal law is the supreme law of the land,” said David Thompson, the lead attorney for the Safe Streets Alliance.

Bente Birkeland / RMCR

It has been more than a year since recreational marijuana stores opened in Colorado and retail sales began. Schools are grappling with the best way to discusses marijuana in the classroom amidst changing attitudes. 

While schools aren’t required to separate out marijuana incidents from other illicit drugs such as cocaine, anecdotal evidence compiled by Rocky Mountain PBS I-News suggests more students are using marijuana.

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Even after a full year of being able to purchase recreational marijuana – questions still remain for the state of Colorado. Is its use dangerous, should there be tighter labeling on pot edibles – and is its easy access impacting middle and high school students? Recent data compiled by the Department of Education and Rocky Mountain PBS I-News show incidents of student drug use last year hitting a ten-year high, but state officials don’t have a clear picture if the two are related.

Humans have been growing hemp for centuries. Hemp-based foods have taken off recently. So have lotions and soaps that use hemp oil. Studies underway now are examining how different compounds in cannabis could be used as medicine. There’s hope its chemical compounds could hold keys to medical treatments for Parkinson’s disease and childhood epilepsy.

Scientists studying industrial hemp say the plant holds a tremendous amount of promise. But to unlock its potential there’s very basic scientific research to be done.

Bente Birkeland / RMCR

The state board of health has voted against setting maximum patient caps for medical marijuana caregivers. The proposed rule would have limited caregivers to just ten patients. After a tense and at times tearful hearing on Tuesday, the board said the change was unnecessary. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.
 

While campaigning for Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie refused to back down from his comments made earlier in 2014, criticizing Colorado’s quality of life after legalizing recreational marijuana.

“We’ve got to stop in public life worrying about making everybody happy and faking it, like we’re going to agree all the time,” said Christie.

Marci Krivonen / Aspen Public Radio

 
Some of the heavy hitters in the marijuana community celebrated its legalization in Colorado at an event in Woody Creek recently. The group NORML, or the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, held a cookout at Owl Farm, Hunter S. Thompson’s old homestead. Aspen Public Radio’s Marci Krivonen was there and has this report:
 

Governor John Hickenlooper signed two measures into law Wednesday, both aimed at tightening rules around marijuana edibles and concentrates. One goal is to make sure young children don’t accidentally ingest the drug.

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A bill to require stricter labels for edible marijuana products faced a setback on Thursday. Members of the Senate Health and Human Services committee voted to study the issue rather than move forward with new labels. Bente Birkeland has more from the state capitol.
 

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Lawmakers at the state capitol have some big-ticket items to iron out before the session wraps up in May.

As part of our Capitol Conversation series, Bente Birkeland talks to statehouse reporters about some of those measures.

The market for legal recreational marijuana in Colorado is booming, and the state is expecting millions of dollars more in tax revenues that initially projected. That has lawmakers grappling with the best way to spend all of that additional cash.

Poll: Legal Pot Hurts Colorado's Reputation

Feb 10, 2014

A new poll released by Quinnipiac University suggests Colorado voters believe marijuana legalization is hurting the state’s reputation.  But as KRCC’s Nat Stein reports, voters still continue to support the laws.

51% of polled voters in the state say legal pot is bad for Colorado’s image. Only 38% say the new laws are helping.

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The top pot regulators in Colorado are meeting today to discuss the status of the recently legal recreational marijuana business. KRCC’s Rachel Gonchar reports.

A month after the sale of marijuana in Colorado officially became legal, state lawyers and law professors are gathering with top rule makers to talk about how the industry and regulation is going.

Colorado Imposes Food Safety Rules On Marijuana Industry

Jan 29, 2014
Luke Runyon / KUNC and Harvest Public Media

 
Colorado made history when it opened up licensed marijuana retail shops. Aside from just legalizing the purchase of smoke-able marijuana, it also means pot brownies have the potential to be big business.

Food products infused with marijuana’s psychoactive ingredient, THC, are available in stores across the state.

Marijuana, though, is still considered illegal by the federal government. The existing food safety system, which relies heavily on support from federal agencies, can’t ensure that marijuana-infused foods are safe.

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Colorado’s fledgling recreational marijuana industry has a new set of rules to live by. And as KUNC’s Luke Runyon reports, many of them deal with food safety.
 

Until now, products infused with THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, didn’t have to be tested in a lab. But manufacturers of so-called “edible marijuana products” must now test their creations for foodborne pathogens like E.Coli and salmonella, plus a test to see how potent it is.

Colorado is preparing for the state’s first recreational marijuana stores to open this January. In the meantime, voters still have the final say on how the new product will be taxed through Proposition AA.

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With the passage last year of Amendment 64, Cities and counties around Colorado are deciding whether to allow recreational marijuana shops and grow operations within their boundaries. Denver City Council said yes. El Paso County said no. The city of Pueblo passed a moratorium, deciding, in effect, to decide later. Colorado Springs City Council discussed the question yesterday, and as KRCC’s Liz Ruskin reports, no consensus emerged.

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Amendment 64 voted into law last year decriminalized recreational marijuana in Colorado for adults 21 and over. Now Colorado Springs, like local governments around the state, has about three months to decide whether to regulate retail marijuana sales or to ban such shops within city limits. As KRCC’s Liz Ruskin reports, City Council yesterday heard both sides at a Town Hall meeting.