A Year Later, No Reefer Madness in Colorado
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A Year Later, No Reefer Madness in Colorado
Posted by CN Staff on April 02, 2015 at 06:50:48 PT
By Trevor Hughes, USA Today 
Source: USA Today
Aspen, Colo. -- More than a year after Colorado legalized marijuana sales, there's a pot shop just a few steps away from the Prada, Ralph Lauren, Sotheby's and Burberry stores in this toniest of tony ski towns.Tourists from around the world step into the Green Dragon cannabis store to buy small amounts of legal  and heavily taxed  marijuana. It goes on day after day after day with virtually no muss or fuss. Welcome to my reality.
More than a year ago, the editors at USA TODAY asked me to join their team as the Rocky Mountain correspondent to tell stories from across the West, from wildfires to wild weather, politics and guns. But marijuana coverage quickly became a top priority, as the world watches the legalization experiments taking place here as well as in Washington, Oregon, Alaska and the District of Columbia. Pot, or cannabis as some of the fans prefer to call it these days, has been legal here since Jan. 1, 2014.More often than not, I find myself telling those editors, "No, no, it's not like that. Colorado doesn't smell like pot all of the time. No, not everyone is stoned all of the time. And no, there isn't blood running in the streets as a result of legalization." We haven't seen the explosion in crime or car crashes that critics direly predicted, or the invasion of Mexican cartels.In other words, legalizing pot doesn't seem to have ended Western civilization as we know it, bolstering critics who say marijuana should never have been demonized by America's War on Drugs.We the people chose to legalize pot. It wasn't a decision foisted upon us by a federal court or a mandate from some far-off government bureaucrat. The voters wanted the law changed to reflect reality  the reality that lots of people already were using marijuana safely and responsibly.Snipped:Complete Article: USA Today (US) Author: Trevor Hughes, USA TodayPublished: April 1, 2015Copyright: 2015 USA Today, a division of Gannett Co. Inc.Contact: editor usatoday.comWebsite: -- Cannabis Archives 
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Comment #7 posted by Hope on April 06, 2015 at 21:06:35 PT
I'm surprised it's posted at the MAP.
That used to be a rule there, too.Some quotes I'd like to share from that article out of Amarillo. ""The fact of the matter is people are getting arrested in the counties in the Panhandle on a regular basis for doing very little "'bad,' even according to our own laws - and nothing wrong according to the laws of Colorado and many other states," Amarillo lawyer Jeff Blackburn said. "This is nonsense; these are not serious felonies." Blackburn is known for being the founder and chief council of the Innocence Project of Texas and for his work leading to the exoneration of 35 people who were wrongly convicted in a 1999 drug bust in Tulia and eventually pardoned by then-Gov. Rick Perry. The high-stakes charges stem from the treatment of marijuana-infused foods as controlled substances - similar to cocaine and methamphetamine - and a section of Texas law that incorporates the volume of "adulterants and diluents" into the total volume of controlled substances. For example, if a person possessed less than 2 ounces of marijuana, that person would face a Class B misdemeanor under Texas law, which carries a maximum penalty of 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $2,000. But if that person cooks the same amount of marijuana with 4 sticks of butter, that person then possesses about 454 grams of a controlled substance - enough to warrant a life sentence under Texas law. A shop three hours from Amarillo in Trinidad, Colo., sells one popular chocolate bar containing THC for about $20, the shopkeeper said. The bars weigh 45 grams. Less than 10 of those chocolate bars could land a Texan in prison for a mandatory minimum of 10 years. "When you mix cocaine with anything or meth with anything or PCP, or any of the Schedule 1 drugs, we weigh it and its adulterants as a single product ... the strength level does not matter," Trooper Daniel Hawthorne said during an interview Friday. "In other words, if you take one drop of hash oil and put it in a gallon of water, you're going to be charged with a gallon of a controlled substance," Blackburn said. "That is just medieval and stupid. ... This is where the law in Texas becomes hyper-technical and very repressive." On Friday, Hawthorne recalled stopping a van while on patrol years ago. Men in the van possessed a small vial with an unknown amount of PCP, he said. As they were being pulled over, the men panicked and dumped the vial into a cooler. When DPS investigators drained the PCP and melted ice mixture from the cooler and measured the volume, the men faced a charge of possession of 4 gallons of PCP."" 
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on April 06, 2015 at 11:33:10 PT
I hope so too.
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Comment #5 posted by Hope on April 06, 2015 at 10:03:32 PT
Thanks, FoM.
I hope the young man has a future... other than life in prison.
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on April 06, 2015 at 06:14:28 PT
They mention the persons name in the article. That means it would be searchable in google and that could hurt this young man in the future.
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Comment #3 posted by Hope on April 04, 2015 at 10:31:36 PT
Comment 2
I think that's an important article, FoM. Important because people need to know this crazy stuff is still happening to people at the hands of the "Law"... the government. Many of us are still subject to obscenely draconian and unjust laws. Can you post it on the home page?
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Comment #2 posted by The GCW on April 03, 2015 at 08:24:19 PT
Be "medieval and stupid" or change the law.
In Texas a person can get life in prison for 4 sticks of butter.US TX: Drug Policy Creates Local Outcry
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Comment #1 posted by Mr D on April 02, 2015 at 13:02:24 PT:
Comment one
The last sentence of this article really resonated well.
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