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Colorado Issues 136 Marijuana Business Licenses

Christmas comes early to Colorado....The Denver Post reports the state made history yesterday when it became the first state to issue businesses licenses to sell marijuana for recreational use. So far, 136 licenses were issued. The licensed stores can begin selling pot to adults on January 1.

In addition to the retail licenses, the Post reports Colorado issued licenses for "178 marijuana-cultivation facilities" and "31 marijuana-infused products makers."

Here's a map of the stores that received licenses. Here's an article about one Colorado pot bakery whose business is already booming.

Meanwhile, tickets for pot consumption are up sharply from 2012. The new laws do not allow people to smoke pot in public.

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Colorado Loses Long-Time Underdog Champion

R.I.P. Ken Gordon, former long-time State legislator, Senate majority and minority leader, adjunct law professor and public defender. He really was one of the good guys.

Ken, age 63, was on his way to work out Sunday but drove to the emergency room instead. He collapsed outside his car, and was pronounced dead a few hours later, apparently of a massive heart attack.
His son Ben says:

...[I]t was completely unexpected; his father was extremely fit, ate a healthy diet and worked out daily. "I thought he was going to outlive us all....He was the most fit person I knew. He was so strong."

More on Ken's life and legacy here and here.

While I didn't have any contact with Ken in recent years, I remember him well from his time as a public defender and in private practice, and his early years as a legislator. He was dedicated, caring and principled -- always fighting the good fight. You can read his bio in his own words here. [More...]

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R.I.P. Claire Davis

Arapahoe high school student Claire Davis has died of her shooting injuries. Her family released this statement:

"It is with heavy hearts that we share that a 4:29 p.m. this afternoon, Claire Davis passed away, with her family at her side. Despite the best efforts of our physicians and nursing staff, and Claire's fighting spirit, her injuries were too severe and the most advanced medical treatments could not prevent this tragic loss of life. Claire's death is immensely heartbreaking for our entire community, our staff and our families.

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One Direction Sends Video Message to Claire Davis

For days following the Araphoe High School shooting, supporters of Claire Davis, who was shot by shooter Karl Pierson and remains in a coma, posted pleas on Twitter for One Direction to let Clair know they supported her. The hashtag was #get1Dtoclaire.

The band complied, privately sending the video message above to her family. It was Claire's boyfriend, Alex Chapman (not the band, as reported here) who uploaded it to You Tube.

The group recorded a 13-second video message and sent it directly to Claire's family, a source close to One Direction told CNN Thursday. While it was not intended to be shared online, her boyfriend apparently uploaded it to YouTube, the source said.

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Wednesday Open Thread

How about an open thread? All topics welcome.

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Arapahoe Shooting : 5 Shots, 1 Min. 20 Secs, Start to Finish

The Arapahoe County Sheriff held a live press conference today at 3:15 MT on yesterday's shooting at Arapahoe High School. Here are my notes of what he said:

Authorities know what happened now that they have viewed the school security video. Karl Pierson entered the north side of Arapahoe High School at 12:33 pm. The door is next to library.

Pierson parked at the curb by the north side parking lot. He entered the school with a pump shotgun, which he did not attempt to conceal. He also had a "bandoleer" (?) strapped across him with multiple rounds of ammunition. In addition, he had a machete and a backpack containing 3 incendiary devices. All were molotov cocktails.

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Arapahoe High School Shooting

No one besides the shooter died at Arapahoe High School today, where a male student entered the school with a shotgun and asked for teacher/librarian/Tracy Murphy. The shooter shot at Murphy and missed. A janitor helped Murphy get out of the school and into a car. The shooter then shot two one student who happened to be nearby. He then went into a classroom and killed himself. He was found 5 minutes after the shooting was first reported. No law enforcement shots were fired and all 2,000 students have been reunited with their families. Two 2 molotov cocktail "devices" were also found.

The deceased shooter is believed to be Karl Pierson.

The motive, according to the Sheriff, was revenge following a disagreement with the teacher a few days ago when the teacher "docked him a few points" in speech class.

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Saturday College Football OpenThread

Rivalry Weekend. The picks (2 units unless otherwise indicated): Arizona +11 over Arizona State, San Diego State -3 over UNLV, Boise State -37 over New Mexico, UCLA +3 over USC, Temple +8 over Memphis, Minnesota +16 over Michigan State, BYU -15 over Nevada, Stanford -15 (3 units) over Notre Dame, Illinois +3 over Northwestern, Missouri -4 (3 units) over Texas A&M, Georgia Tech +3 over Georgia, Iowa State +7 over West Virginia, Virginia Tech -13 (3 units) over Virginia, Vanderbilt -14 over Wake Forest, Connecticut +3 over Rutgers, Kansas State -17 over Kansas, Tulsa +4 over North Texas, Tennessee -4 over Kentucky, Wisconsin -24 over Penn State, Clemson +4 (3 units) over South Carolina, North Carolina -6 (4 units) over Duke, Alabama -10 (9 units) over Auburn, Ohio State -16 (3 units) over Michigan.

Go Gators!

Open Thread.

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DEA and IRS Raid Multiple Denver Marijuana Businesses

The DEA, IRS and Denver Police Department have raided multiple marijuana businesses today -- more than a dozen. Westword has all the ongoing details. The U.S. Attorney's Office in Denver has confirmed the raids:

"The Drug Enforcement Administration, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations, the Denver Police Department and state and local law enforcement are today executing lawfully obtained search warrants and seizure warrants."

...."Although we cannot at this time discuss the substance of this pending investigation, the operation under way today comports with the Department's recent guidance regarding marijuana enforcement matters."

Westword reports Swiss Medical in Boulder was also raided. The Denver Post has more and says it's the largest raid since medical marijuana became legal. Photos here.

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Monday Open Thread

This may be everyone elses Monday, but mine, metaphorically speaking, not literally, feels like this.

After a week buried in Craig's List, Zillow and Trulia, I see only one option for a place to live. I will probably sign the lease today. Then the real fun begins: Going through 3,000 sq ft of stuff to pare it down to what will fit in 1700 sq ft, get mover and storage estimates, and then start making rooms filled with stuff going to each one, as well as good will and other charities. [More....]

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Thursday Open Thread: My Blogging Hiatus

This past week has been the longest hiatus from blogging I've taken in 11 years. But, sometimes real life intervenes and puts blogging in its place, forcing us to remember that blogging is a hobby, not a business, and it's not the top priority. For me, this is one of those times.

Usually I can easily blog despite work commitments -- I just trade off watching TV at night. But this week (and next) my time is being consumed by matters I had no reason to anticipate and I have no time for blogging or TV. I just found out I have to move from my home -- in two weeks. [More...]

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Sunday Night Open Thread: More Rain

It's still raining hard here in Colorado. Latest numbers: 19,000 homes have been damaged or destroyed, 11,700 people have been evacuated and 1,200 people are unaccounted for.

It looks like Bob Dylan has joined the copyright crowd -- There are very few live performances still on You Tube. I couldn't find a good one for Shelter From the Storm, so here's one from somewhere with a nice rainy graphic of NYC and with good sound. If you move your mouse or pointer past the right border, the distracting social media links go away.

Shelter from the Storm - Hurricane Irene New York City

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Colorado Recall: Both Senators Ousted

Update: The voters of El Paso and Pueblo have spoken. Senate President John Morse and Senator Angela Giron are out. They will both be replaced by Republicans.

Today was voting day on the efforts to recall two Colorado legislators over their support for new gun control laws.

For Senate President John Morse: El Paso County Clerk and Recorder live update results here. For State Senator Angela Giron: Pueblo County Clerk and Recorder live update of Senate District 3 results here. [More...]

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Colorado Public Marijuana Giveaway Goes Smoothly

At downtown Denver's Civic Park yesterday, there were long lines for public marijuana giveaway. Police were on hand, but all went smoothly.

Shouting "Free the weed!" scores of marijuana lovers stood in line Monday for free joints offered by opponents of tax issues on the statewide and Denver ballots in November.

"It is legal to hand out marijuana to people in Colorado and it is legal to do it without paying a penny in taxes!" shouted [attorney]Rob Corry, who helped organize the event at Denver's Civic Center.

The giveaway was organized to protest a measure on this year's ballot, Proposition AA, which sets sales and excise taxes on marijuana. I support the tax and urge Coloradans to vote for it. [More...]

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NFL Players and Marijuana

The NFL punishes players who use marijuana.

Marijuana Policy Project has purchased a billboard ad calling on the NFL to stop the punishments. The billboard is in front of Sports Authority Field at Mile High, where the Denver Broncos will host the first NFL regular season game of the year tomorrow.

The 48-foot-wide Broncos-themed billboard highlights the relative safety of marijuana compared to alcohol and urges the NFL to "stop driving players to drink" with harsh penalties for marijuana use, noting that, "A safer choice is now legal (here)."

There's also a Change.org petition you can sign here. Here's a photo of the actual billboard. The Marijuana Policy Project will hold a news conference Thursday at 10 a.m. MT in front of the billboard (1700 N. Federal Blvd., Denver)

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