Category Archive: Denver_Cannabis_News

Jul 19

The Future of Cannabis

Please remember: There’s no such thing as recreational marijuana and medical marijuana: there’s only marijuana, gov’t regulations and taxes. Be cognizant of this when you create your state laws/regs. Here’s the future of marijuana, legally speaking: states are piling on the regulations and taxes which are cumbersome and excessive; once marijuana is demoted from Schedule 1, then a dispensary owner and/or user can file a federal lawsuit in U.S. District court challenging all these unnecessary bullshitass regs and taxes and a federal judge is going to take a 14th Amendment axe to these overburdened regulations, and marijuana will one day finally be at parity with coffee and other commodities. The legislative marijuana haters are still taking a whipping belt to marijuana right now, while they can.

Jun 13

Nancy Grace Debates Nancy Grace on the Effects of Cannabis – YouTube

Nancy Grace Debates Nancy Grace on the Effects of Cannabis – YouTube.

Jun 13

Marijuana could treat autoimmune diseases: study – NY Daily News

Marijuana could treat autoimmune diseases: study – NY Daily News.

Jun 13

Legal Marijuana Killing Demand for Brick Weed | High Times

Legal Marijuana Killing Demand for Brick Weed | High Times.

Jun 13

Colorado: Lawsuit Claims Marijuana Taxes Violate 5th Amendment | Hemp News

Colorado: Lawsuit Claims Marijuana Taxes Violate 5th Amendment | Hemp News.

Jan 30

DEA Chief Faces Backlash For Criticizing Obama’s Marijuana

By Phillip Smith

Criticism is mounting over reported remarks last week of DEA chief Michele Leonhart in a speech to the Major Counties Sheriffs Association. Leonhart criticized her boss, President Obama, for acknowledging in a recent interview that marijuana is not more dangerous than alcohol and that the experiments with marijuana legalization in Colorado and Washington were “important.”

Precisely what Leonhart told the gathered sheriffs is unclear because no media were allowed in the room, but the anti-legalization sheriffs ate it up, according to the Boston Herald, which spoke with some of them.

“She’s frustrated for the same reasons we are,” Bristol County (MA) Sheriff Thomas Hodgson said. “She said she felt the administration didn’t understand the science enough to make those statements. She was particularly frustrated with the fact that, according to her, the White House participated in a softball game with a pro-legalization group… But she said her lowest point in 33 years in the DEA was when she learned they’d flown a hemp flag over the Capitol on July 4. The sheriffs were all shocked. This is the first time in 28 years I’ve ever heard anyone in her position be this candid.”

The hemp flag was flown at the request of Colorado Rep. Jared Polis (D), a strong marijuana reform supporter.

Kern County (CA) Sheriff Donny Youngblood, head of the sheriffs’ group, said Leonhart criticized Obama for making what he described as “irresponsible” remarks that were “a big slap in the face” to police officers who lost their lives prosecuting the drug war.

“This is a woman who has spent 33 years of her life fighting drug abuse in the DEA, her entire life. To have the president of the United States publicly say marijuana was a bad habit like alcohol was appalling to everyone in that room,” Youngblood said. “I think the way that she felt was that it was a betrayal of what she does for the American people in enforcing our drug laws… She got a standing ovation.”

Hodgson said sheriffs see marijuana as “gateway drug” (Editor’s Note: Despite the notion having been repeatedly debunked) and that political leaders should be preventing drug use, not playing down its dangers and providing kids with excuses.

“The last person we need saying this to kids is the president of the United States,” Hodgson said.

While Leonhart’s remarks played well with law enforcement officials with a vested interest in maintaining the prohibitionist status quo, they didn’t sit nearly as well with drug reformers.

“Whether Ms. Leonhart is ignorant of the facts or intentionally disregarding them, she is clearly unfit for her current position,” said Dan Riffle, MPP director of federal policies. “By any objective measure, marijuana is less harmful than alcohol to the consumer and society. It is irresponsible and unacceptable for a government official charged with enforcing our drug laws to deny the facts surrounding the nation’s two most popular recreational drugs.

The group has launched a petition calling on the president to fire Leonhart and replace her with someone who will base decisions on science and evidence instead of politics and ideology.

“The DEA administrator’s continued refusal to recognize marijuana’s relative safety compared to alcohol and other drugs flies in the face of the president’s commitment to prioritizing science over ideology and politics,” Riffle said. “She is neglecting the basic obligations of her job and fundamentally undermining her employer’s mission. This would be grounds for termination in the private sector, and the consequences for Ms. Leonhart should be no different.”

The petition calls for Leonhart to be replaced by “someone who will uphold [President Obama's] mandate that administration decisions be guided by science instead of ideology and politics,” the group urged.

Jan 07

Denver City Council Pushes for Banking Access for Dispensaries

11:58 PM, Jan 6, 2014

DENVER – The Denver City Council wants marijuana businesses in Colorado to be granted access to federal banking institutions now that the drug is legal for commerce.

The council voted unanimously on the proclamation Monday night, five days after marijuana became legal for recreational use in the state.

Although Colorado has allowed legal marijuana use for adults, the drug remains illegal under federal law, meaning banks are reluctant to offer services. For the most part, pot shops in Colorado deal in cash only, which council members say raises multiple safety and legal concerns.

Councilman Charlie Brown called the lack of bank options for the industry “absurd” and “ridiculous,” saying no business can sufficiently operate on a cash-only basis.

(Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Aug 30

Department Of Justice Paves Way For Banks To Work With MMJ Dispensaries, Citing Public Safety

Posted: 08/30/2013 9:00 am EDT | Updated: 08/30/2013 11:06 am EDT

WASHINGTON — Financial institutions and other enterprises that do business with marijuana shops that are in compliance with state laws are unlikely to be prosecuted for money laundering or other federal crimes that could be brought under existing federal drug laws, a senior Department of Justice official said Thursday.

During a briefing on the department’s new policy Thursday, the official would not fully rule out prosecution in any case, but the guidance is a reversal of administration policy that had warned banks not to work with marijuana businesses. The Justice official said that the department recognized that forcing the establishments to operate on a cash basis put them at greater risk of robbery and violence.

A three-page memo that accompanied the Thursday announcement speaks to the situation in more general terms, noting that a well-regulated, legal marijuana industry could come with a number of benefits to public safety and health. After listing a set of federal priorities — keeping pot away from kids, preventing gangs and cartels from profiting from the drug trade — the memo, authored by Deputy Attorney General James Cole, suggests that “robust” state regulation of legal marijuana “may affirmatively address those priorities by, for example, implementing effective measures to prevent diversion of marijuana outside of the regulated system and to other states, prohibiting access to marijuana by minors, and replacing an illicit marijuana trade that funds criminal enterprises with a tightly regulated market in which revenues are tracked and account for.”

It is difficult to argue that any system that operates only in cash could be a “tightly regulated market in which revenues are tracked and account for.”

In some ways, banks may be in a better position after the announcement than shops in Washington and Colorado. Prosecutions of the local businesses are driven by the prosecutors on the ground, such as U.S. Attorney John Walsh of Colorado, who has shown little respect for marijuana guidances in the past, while bank prosecutions would be run out of Main Justice, which authored the memo and presumably would be more likely to abide by it.

Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.) said in a statement on Thursday that the banking issues needed to be addressed. “We need to address the public safety, crime and lost tax revenue associated when these legal and regulated businesses are operating in a cash-only system,” said Perlmutter, a senior member of the House Financial Services Committee.

“We need to provide financial institutions certainty they can make their own business decisions related to legal, financial transactions without fear of regulatory penalties,” he continued. “Currently, under federal banking laws, many legal, regulated legitimate marijuana businesses operating legally according to state law are prevented from maintaining bank accounts and accessing financial products like any other business such as accepting credit cards, depositing revenues, or writing checks to meet payroll or pay taxes. They are forced to operate as cash-only enterprises, inviting crime such as robbery and tax evasion, only adding to the burden of setting up a legitimate small business.”

It remains unclear whether the guidance from DOJ will be followed. Just last week, the Drug Enforcement Administration, which is a subordinate agency within the DOJ but often acts as if it is independent, advised armored car and security companies that they should no longer work with marijuana businesses.

A DEA employee said no one was available to answer questions after business hours Thursday.

Jun 25

Medical Marijuana Business Daily – Legal, Financial and Dispensary NewsVermont Becomes 12th State With Medical Marijuana Dispensaries, Creating $2 Million Market

Medical Marijuana Business Daily – Legal, Financial and Dispensary NewsVermont Becomes 12th State With Medical Marijuana Dispensaries, Creating $2 Million Market.

Jun 25

Forward Progressives — Feds Continue Marijuana Hypocrisy as New Studies Show Health Benefits and No Cancer Threat

Forward Progressives — Feds Continue Marijuana Hypocrisy as New Studies Show Health Benefits and No Cancer Threat.

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