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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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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 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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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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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 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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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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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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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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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.)
Check out Westword's gallery of photos of the epic event. [More...]
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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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The Colorado Department of Revenue released the January, 2014 sales tax figures for marijuana today.
The state took in $2.9 million in sales and excise taxes and another $600,000 in licensing fees, for a total of $3.5 million.
The state distributed $2.1 million of the sales tax to county and local governments. Denver received the lion's share. The actual numbers are here. [More...]
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Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper released a proposal this week on how he intends to spend the taxes collected from marijuana sales.
Marijuana sales have greatly exceeded expectations. For the fiscal year beginning in July, marijuana sales are expected to reach $1 billion, with $600,000 coming from the sale of recreational pot.
In the proposal, Hickenlooper's budget office says it expects the recreational and medical marijuana industries will pump nearly $134 million in tax and fee revenue into state coffers in the fiscal year beginning in July. Extrapolating from those figures, the proposal estimates sales in all marijuana stores to approach $1 billion for that fiscal year. Recreational pot shop sales are estimated to account for more than $600 million of that — a more than 50 percent increase over a previous projection.
The first $40 million go to school construction, as required by law. Above that, But Hickenlooper's office expects to have "$28 million this fiscal year and $101 million next fiscal year left over to spend on other things."[More...]
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I won't catch up on the days' news for a few hours as I'm finalizing a motion I've been working on yesterday and today.
In the meantime, here's an open thread, all topics welcome.
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Colorado made history yesterday, becoming the first government to allow marijuana to be purchased by adults for recreational use.
The stores are projected to generate a lot of income, as well as jobs.
Colorado projects $578.1 million a year in combined wholesale and retail marijuana sales to yield $67 million in tax revenue, according to the Legislative Council of the Colorado General Assembly.
I'll be keeping track of emerging marijuana legal and policy issues, both federal and state, at a new blog on marijuana laws I launched yesterday. Take a look. (It also looks good on mobile devices.)
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