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Colorado: New Rules for Marijuana Edible Packaging

Colorado is enacting new rules for recreational marijuana edibles, designed to address the problem some people (like Maureen Dowd) have determining how much to ingest.

The rules will not be "tougher" with respect to the quantity of THC contained in edibles. Colorado's current rules specify each "serving" of recreational pot edibles can contain up to 10 mg of THC. [More...]

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My First Tornado

I was driving to the ICE detention facility in Aurora today when looking off to the left, I saw what I assumed was a fire. I considered for a brief second it could be a tornado, but it wasn't raining and it didn't seem to be twirling, it just looked like dirty smoke. So I kept going.

Within a minute there was lightening. Then I could hear a little bit of hail fall on the roof of my car, then a siren went off in my car (my cell phone was plugged into the stereo, and the siren was as loud as the radio when the volume is turned up really high. I didn't even have the radio on, let alone set at high volume.) It was an emergency alert -- which I hadn't signed up for but appreciated -- telling me to get out the area, a tornado had been spotted "in rotation" on radar. I had no idea what "in rotation" meant, but I understood I should get out of the area.

Within seconds, I was in the midst of a torrential downpour and the streets were flooded. By now I was only about 5 blocks from the jail, but the jail was in the direction of the brown blob of smoke I had seen, which was not a fire, but a tornado that had touched down. [More...]

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Another Complaint About Auto-Play News Videos

It is getting harder to find news sources on just about any topic that don't have intrusive, time-wasting auto-play videos. Lately, more and more major news sites have them. I refuse to link to them, and it takes a ridiculously long amount of time to click through several sources on any topic hoping to find one without a video and popup ads and surveys.

Here's a post I wrote a year ago on how to disable them. But it's still not an ideal solution.

I'd like to start a list of major sites that have the auto-play videos so readers know to avoid clicking on them when they see them elsewhere. I'll update this post with specific sites later tonight, but feel free to name the media sites with them in comments (no links please, I want to avoid giving them traffic.)

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Colorado Recreational Marijuana Laws Enter Second Phase

A big change went into effect for Colorado marijuana businesses yesterday. Effective July 1, 2014, recreational marijuana business licenses are no longer restricted to those with existing medical marijuana licenses. Now, if you are a Colorado resident and meet the other requirements, you can apply for a recreational marijuana business license. Even better, you don't have to grow in order to be licensed to sell, and vice-versa. As the Denver Post reports:

[W]hen these new businesses begin opening in October, all recreational marijuana companies will be allowed to specialize — as wholesale growers without a storefront, for instance, or as stand-alone stores that don't grow their supply. The only requirement is that owners be Colorado residents.

Legal recreational marijuana is now at the 6 month mark. It contributed $11 million in retail sales taxes to the state's coffers in the first four months. According to a study by the Drug Policy Alliance:[More...]

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ISIS Makes New Friends, Gives Hints of What's to Come

ISIS supporters say they now have the support of other al Qaida groups in the region, including Ansar al-Islam in Kirkuk and Ramadi, and at least some members of Jabhat al-Nusra. It's holding another celebratory parade in Haweija.

Syria, on the other hand, is not making friends with its air strikes. More than 50 civilians, including children were killed. Nor is Malaki, who says he supports Syria's efforts. At least the U.S. has expressed its displeasure.

ISIS/al-Qaida supporters hint the group won't be targeting Jordan or Saudi Arabia. It's next move will be in Lebanon. [More...]

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Colorado: Undercover Cops Fail to Get Pot Shops to Sell to Minors

Those who feared Colorado marijuana stores would sell to minors should take a deep breath and relax. The Denver Post reports:

Authorities in Denver and Pueblo, working with regulators from the state Marijuana Enforcement Division, have conducted 20 undercover stings in which they see whether a store will sell pot to someone under 21. Sixteen of the compliance checks have occurred in Denver, home to most of the state's recreational marijuana stores.

So far, no store has sold to someone under 21 in the checks.

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Hershey Sues Edible Company Over Look-a-like Candies

Hershey Chocolates has filed a federal trademark infringement lawsuit against TinctureBelle LLC and TinctureBelle Marijuanka LLC, a Colorado company that makes marijuana-infused candy.

Hershey claims the packaging for the edibles too closely mimics its trademarked products. It also objects to TinctureBelle's online advertising. The complaint (Case No. 14-cv-01564-WYD, District of Colorado) includes photos of the alleged infringing products. [More...]

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Maureen Dowd's Eating Disability

New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd came to Colorado and wanted to try the state's newly legal pot. Rather than smoking a joint, she decided to try a pot-infused candy bar. She says she nibbled the end of the bar and not feeling the high, nibbled a bit more. She ended up gob-smacked by her piece of candy -- it laid her out for 8 hours and made her delusional and paranoid. She blames her experience on labeling deficiencies on the candy and criticizes Colorado's regulatory system.

Why would an intelligent adult like Dowd, who is obviously not a regular marijuana user, not inquire about potency or dosage before she experimented? When she first felt the effects, why didn't she turn on her computer and do a google search -- she would have quickly learned she should drink a lot of water and "this too, shall pass."

Instead of accepting personal accountability for her actions, she blames the candy, the manufacturer and retailer's lack of warning labels, Colorado's regulatory system -- everyone but herself. Her column reeks of a "reefer-madness" mentality. Her tale includes references to a man jumping off a roof, a man who kills his wife and stoned driving. [More...]

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An Inside Look at a Super-Sized Marijuana Grow Site

The Aspen Times has an in-depth article about the largest marijuana grow site in the state. Turned down by Aspen, the facility ended up taking over the old Coors warehouse in nearby Glenwood Springs.

It's located in Glenwood Springs and owned by Ron Radkte of Green Dragon. The building is 26,000 square feet, enough to make it the state's biggest so far, but by the time Radkte is finished with improvements, there will be more than 60,000 square feet of grow space and storage.

Radkte is committed to both the quality of his product and environmental concerns. It sounds like the "Whole Foods" of marijuana: [More...]

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Denver Jails to Cease Enforcing Immigration Holds

Denver has become the 7th Colorado county to refuse to honor federal immigration holds. The reason for the decisions: Court rulings that have held county sheriff departments may be liable for violating the 4th Amendment.

"It is the legal equivalent of asking the sheriff to make a new arrest" without any legal grounds, Mark Silverstein, legal director of the Colorado chapter of the ACLU, said at a news conference.

The Colorado ACLU's request for the policy change is here. [More...]

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More Details on Operation Gargoyle and Capturing El Chapo

Patrick Keefe, a senior fellow at the Century Foundation, writing in the New Yorker, has an 11 page article with several new details on the capture of Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, mostly from law enforcement sources.

Keefe's interviews with law enforcement contain some new details. For example, why did El Chapo's most trusted associates flip so fast when arrested in the days preceding El Chapo's capture? U.S. law enforcement sources tell Keefe they were tortured. They say the Mexican Marines are known for that. [More...]

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Poll: Coloradans Happy With Legalized Marijuana

Quinnipiac has released a poll of Coloradans about their views on marijuana since it became legal in the state. A clear majority view it as positive:

  • Voters support the law legalizing marijuana 54 – 43 percent;
  • 49 percent of voters admit they’ve tried marijuana(only 15 percent admit using it
    since it became legal January 1);
  • Driving has not become more dangerous because of legalized marijuana, 54 – 39 percent;
  • Legalized marijuana will save the state and taxpayers a significant amount of money, 53 – 41 percent;
  • Legalized marijuana will have a positive impact on the state’s criminal justice system, 50 – 40 percent;
  • Legalized marijuana “increases personal freedoms in a positive way,” voters say 53 – 44 percent;
  • Legalized marijuana has not “eroded the moral fiber” of people in Colorado, voters say 67 – 30 percent.

The only naysayers disapproving: Republicans (63 - 28 percent) and voters over 65 (62 - 28 percent.)

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Saturday Open Thread

I'll be at the jail most of the day visiting a client. Here's an open thread, all topics welcome.

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Thousands Celebrate 4/20 in Denver

This is the first year of the 4/20 rally that marijuana is legal in Colorado, so it's not surprising there is a huge turnout at Civic Center Park in Denver. At 4:20 p.m., the tens of thousands of celebrators are expected to light up, even though it is still illegal to smoke pot in public. Organizers say between 50,000 and 80,000 are expected to attend over the two days.

There is also beefed-up police security for the two-day event. Yesterday, police issued 22 tickets for public consumption. Today, as of 4:10 pm, 37 were issued, with 31 of them for public consumption violations. (It's a civil, not criminal violation.)

Here's a photo of the Denver Police Command Center as they watch events in real-time, "using about 50 TV screens that can flip back and forth to 138 HALO and 38 traffic cameras." (via Denver Post)

Check out Westword's gallery of photos of the epic event. [More...]

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Murdered Denver Woman On Phone With 911 for 13 Minutes

Why did it take Denver Police officers more than 15 minutes to arrive at the home of Kristine Kirk? She was dead by the time they got there. She spent her last 13 minutes of life on the phone with 911.

Kirk called 911 at 9:31 pm. She grew more panicked as the call progressed. She told the operator her husband was hallucinating and had taken drugs, there were kids in the house, he said he wanted her to shoot him, he went to take the gun out of the safe, and then, that he had the gun and she didn't know where to go. Those were her last words before being shot to death. Police finally arrived but it was too late.

The Kirk's home is 1.1 miles from the local police station -- a 3 minute drive. [More...]

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