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Joe Biden went to Aspen this weekend to speak at a private corporate event. Local law enforcement, including the sheriffs of Pitkin County (Aspen) and Garfield County (Glenwood Springs) are justly critical. It cost them thousands of dollars in overtime and security, the Secret Service didn't chip in (either did the corporation), he was only there for 24 hours and his speech wasn't open to the public. On top of that, he had a 40 car motorcade they had to monitor for 70 miles between the Eagle County Airport (near Vail) and Aspen, both for his Friday arrival and Saturday departure.
Helicopters buzzing above Aspen and multiple road closures along Highway 82 and Interstate 70 on Friday and Saturday accompanied Biden’s entourage, which involved a 40-car motorcade and at least nine local law enforcement agencies.
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Colorado is spending $2 million on a campaign called "Don't Be a Lab Rat" to warn teens about possible brain damage from marijuana. As part of the campaign, life size rat cages have been set up at the Denver Public Library and Denver Skate Park (Photo via CBS Denver.) More are planned. The cage at the skateboard park has already been defaced. [More...]
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The Colorado Department of Revenue has released the June, 2014 figures for marijuana sales and tax revenue. The Denver Post reports retail recreational marijuana sales were $24.7 million, the highest since January when sales began. June's figures were 19% higher than May, possibly due to the opening of additional retail stores.
Legal marijuana (both medical and recreational, taxes, licenses and fees) generated $29.8 million in taxes from January to June. [More...]
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Colorado's recently passed law allowing immigrants to obtain drivers' licenses without regard to their immigration status is now in effect. The process is by appointment only. So far, more than 9,500 appointments have been scheduled.
The law, SB 251, was passed last year. The official announcement is here. It applies to the undocumented, and those with only temporary legal status. There are five offices set up to issue the licenses: Denver, Aurora, Colorado Springs, Fort Collins and Grand Junction. The requirements:
[The undocumented] must present documents like a utility bill to prove they've lived in Colorado the previous two years, in addition to an identification number they've used to pay taxes. They must also show a passport or other identification from their home country. [More...]
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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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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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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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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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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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