~ by Bud Price ~
It’s Bud Price and I’m back at the TMJ reporting on the latest news in the world of weed. Ever since 2012 hit and recreational marijuana was legalized in the state of Colorado, the world of weed has become more and more controversial and complex. There are now many people with strong opinions on both sides of the fence, arguing that marijuana legalization has benefited as well as harmed Colorado and other pro-cannabis states.
Some groups argue legalizing marijuana has harmed Colorado in a number of ways. An anti-marijuana group called Smart Approaches to Marijuana has started petitioning the federal government to take away the states’ rights to legalize the plant and they have used Colorado as an example. Cannabis critics seem to think that marijuana legalization has caused an increased population of homeless people in the state’s cities. Others seem to think that heroin use as well as marijuana use by kids has also gone up.
Proponents for pro-marijuana laws argue that these facts are not true, and that the legalization of pot has done good things for Colorado. A group in Colorado Springs recently started pushing the city council to allow voters to vote for recreational weed to be legally sold within the city limits. Currently, the only towns in the area where adults can legally purchase recreational marijuana are Pueblo and Manitou Springs. The pro-weed organization claims that Colorado Springs is missing out on much needed tax dollars that recreational marijuana would bring in. This issue also may be revisited in Cripple Creek and other communities in Teller, following the November election, according to reports.
More interest across the nation
The legalization of marijuana has been a popular topic across the nation with more and more states voting to legalize it for medicinal and recreational use. Recently, Attorney General Jeff Sessions wrote a letter to the top government officials of every state that had legalized recreational marijuana, questioning what each state is doing to regulate the new laws.
Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper responded back to Sessions with the most detailed rebuttal letter the Attorney General got back. Governor Hickenlooper replied with a long letter outlining what the state has done to regulate its marijuana industry, and its efforts to prevent trafficking to other states. Governor Hickenlooper has definitely changed his stance on marijuana, after frowning upon its legalization back in 2012.
The latest pot controversy suggests that the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) is illegally teaming up with the Department Of Justice and the Drug Enforcement Agency to investigate Colorado marijuana businesses. A group of companies got together and have filed a lawsuit saying that the DOJ illegally uses information the IRS receives to collect information on legal marijuana businesses. The suit also claims that the IRS gets trained by the DEA to spot out illegal marijuana operations. The IRS denies all of these claims.
In the rest of the country, Nevada recently legalized recreational marijuana but one small hurdle may prevent them from benefitting from a potential huge jackpot of tax revenue. Even though the state’s citizens said yes to weed, Nevada gaming authorities have said no to keeping casinos from hosting any marijuana related events. The state also said no to letting people going to “Burning Man” and legally smoke weed at the event.
A rather unusual tidbit: Netflix has entered the weed industry by recently coming up with ten new weed strains based on some of their most popular original series. Look in the stores to try some “Poussey Riot” inspired by “Orange is the New Black” or some “Banana Stand Kush” inspired by “Arrested Development.”