Wyoming to the world: Come for the eclipse, but leave your weed at home

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Wyoming to the world: Come for the eclipse, but leave your weed at home

Wyoming to the world: Come for the eclipse, but leave your weed at home

As Wyoming prepares for a massive influx of visitors for the coming eclipse, Colorado’s neighbor to the north welcomes the migration — minus marijuana.

The Wyoming Association of Sheriffs and Chiefs of Police (WASCOP) issued a warning Friday to visitors venturing to the state for the celestial phenomenon: Wyoming’s marijuana laws will be “strictly enforced.”

“We want folks to enjoy the eclipse, take it in, learn from it, but do so safely,” said Byron Oedekoven, executive director of WASCOP.

Law enforcement are anticipating that Wyoming’s 585,000-person population could very well double in a three-to-five-day stretch to view what is being hailed as a historic event on Aug. 21.

“There are no motel rooms to be had in Casper; there’s no space on the tarmac for any more planes,” Oedekoven said. “There’s a lot of people coming to the Cowboy State.”

And given Wyoming is an easy drive from Colorado, which legalized the medical and recreational use of marijuana, WASCOP wants to ensure that those crossing the border know that marijuana use and possession are illegal — even if someone has a medical marijuana card from another state.

“For all intents and purposes, marijuana is still a criminal offense in Wyoming,” Oedekoven said.

Under Wyoming drug laws, marijuana use and possession under 3 ounces are misdemeanor offenses punishable by fines and potential imprisonment of six to 12 months in jail for a first-time offender. Possession of more than 3 ounces is a felony.

WASCOP launched the There is No Debate marijuana community awareness campaign as part of ongoing education-focused efforts to prevent criminal activities in the state, Oedekoven said. Since Colorado legalized adult-use cannabis, Wyoming has seen an increase of marijuana-related incidences, he said.

“We look to be the educator to help deal with the criminal activity of the day,” he said, noting that “criminal activity” includes “tobacco, youth access to alcohol, methamphetamine, domestic violence, pharmaceutical abuse, and now marijuana.”

Wyoming’s services and infrastructure could very well be put under immense strain in a short period of time, so officials say they’re sending an advance warning on marijuana.

“We need everybody to be clearly thinking so that we can minimize the impact to public safety while everybody’s here,” said Rhea Parsons, director of the There is No Debate campaign.

total eclipse in wyoming marijuana laws
This multiple exposure image shows the various stages of the total solar eclipse in Baihata village in India on July 22, 2009. The longest solar eclipse of the 21st century cast a shadow over much of Asia, plunging hundreds of millions into darkness across the giant land masses of India and China. (Biju Boro, AFP/Getty Images)


Published at Fri, 11 Aug 2017 12:00:59 +0000

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Battling for My ACMPR: Part 3

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Battling for My ACMPR:  Part 3

Battling for My ACMPR: Part 3

This is Part 3 of a 4-part series on getting my ACMPR. Click the links for Part 1 and Part 2

Appointment with my family doctor

With the date of my consultation in Vancouver booked and approaching, I went to my GP in Victoria to score my free medical travel pass*. Plus, I wanted to take another shot at getting him to sign my weed papers so I can get my ACMPR.  At this point, I realized my GP was inclined to refuse, and was uncomfortable, but I see him as a victim of stigma and the ignorance it has perpetuated. Thus, I feel it is my duty to help free him from these mental bonds so that he can make up his own mind without bias.

Yes, there is a tiny part of me way deep down that feels the slightest, smallest, teensiest little smidgen of guilt for making his job harder; but, unfortunately for him, it is overshadowed by my need to rage against this absurd system that is directly affecting me.  

My doctor is in a position to do something about all of it.  If he won’t, I and many others like me will take up this cause, and all that relates to it.  At this appointment, he is visibly relieved to be able to hand me off to a “specialist’s specialist” and as you can probably guess…he refused to sign the ACMPR paperwork.  Oh well, maybe I will get him next time!  

Thinking ‘river and a rock’; I will either go around him, above him, push him over going through him, or slowly wear him down with constant pressure and persistence…poor guy…

Pre Vancouver visit:

I have sat here for days trying to find the words to describe just how bad I felt up to this appointment, and they just don’t exist.  I like to fake that I am brave but I am really not.  At this point, I am so scared that the foundation of my thoughts are all based on what is going on in my body.  I have to get an organ removed and I have to do it without any opiates.

The only pain medicine I can and will take is cannabis; which is why someone is signing my ACMPR form.  I don’t want to have to discuss my cannabis use with a police officer when I am fresh out of the hospital; I really feel I shouldn’t have to, especially considering this topic would never come up if I were taking a prescribed a pill.  I am determined and ready to go full B WITH AN ITCH MODE if my human rights don’t start getting respected. Someone had better get their pen out fast.

Visit with my Specialist In Vancouver:

Remembering how great my last appointment in 2011 with her was, I have big time hope in my heart…and I am not disappointed.  She is smart and for the first time in a while, I feel like my doctor can tell me a thing or two about my health, and what is going on with it…what a concept.

She knows what is causing me pain, what to do about it, and she is confident that this surgery will successfully be my last.  The best part of the appointment was seeing her delight at my disdain for opiates, and my desire to use cannabis as a pain reliever.  

If you had asked my GP, he would tell you I would practically be biting down on a piece of wood wrapped in leather; my surgeon however, believes that cannabis is an effective pain reliever for both short and long term acute pain.

Thank god! I was pretending to be fearless so that my doctors would allow me this constitutional right, but truth be told, I was pretty scared.  Hearing a world renowned surgeon tell me that everything that has to happen is going to be just fine was an enormous relief, and I know I am lucky.  Many people don’t get to hear this kind of good news; I appreciate and savor it.

Remembering the shell of a person I used to be when I was addicted to that awful medication, this doctor is proud of me for finding a way to let it go, and she tells me so.  Having her ask me intelligent questions like, “Can you administer your own cannabis in the hospital?” and “ What form will you use? Extract? Vapor?” relieves an enormous amount of stress.  Hearing her address the fact that she doesn’t know enough about cannabis to prescribe a gram per day amount is not a surprise and good, reliable information is accessible these days, hooray!  So, I am left with a promise to sign my ACMPR… in the future. I think I just won a battle and maybe I am about to finally win the war for my ACMPR.  I am going to get my legal right to medical cannabis; its just a matter of when…

*In case you are not aware, the BC Government will pay for your travel expenses if they are medically necessary.  So, if you are travelling to another city for a medical appointment, the ferry and/or plane ride will be covered for you, an escort provided if requested and a vehicle, if applicable.  Go to your family doctor or walk in clinic and request the forms; they will be given to you on the spot, for free.  In addition, there are a variety of hotels around BC that provide significant discounts and benefits if you are staying for a medical reason.  On the BC Government website, you can search through these hotels by discounted rate, date and location; to access this easily, google Medical Travel Accommodation Website.

A Point Worthy Of Note:

I would like to take a moment to mention something about the places where you can pay a fee to have a doctor sign your ACMPR form.  Another perspective was brought to my attention: without these places offering this service, access would be a lot harder for patients. The fact that doctors have to put their life’s work on the line every time they sign this form is not only ludicrous, it is a shining example of our government deliberately ignoring its legal responsibilities.  I cannot fault a doctor for wanting to be able to save money in case they lose their license, and without these fees, people like me would be entirely at the mercy of the medical system.  I am in no way against the places that provide this service; quite the contrary. I just can’t afford the fees.  

It is not a secret that I have a deep respect and appreciation for dispensaries, especially The Victoria Cannabis Buyers Club. The reason is simply that they provided me with access to consistent medicine that I can afford.  Everyone responsible, all the growers, bakers, packagers and budtenders at my illegal dispensary, can go to jail for actions that are saving lives, including mine.  

I believe there are benefits to all avenues of patient access and that room should exist for all of them.


Published at Thu, 10 Aug 2017 14:30:59 +0000

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420 Paper Cranes For The Healing Of Canada With Cannabis

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420 Paper Cranes For The Healing Of Canada With Cannabis

420 Paper Cranes For The Healing Of Canada With Cannabis

To  Whom It May Concern,

Canada is in need of some healing socially, economically and environmentally. Alongside many others, I truly believe that cannabis is and will continue to help and heal the citizens of Canada, the country itself and ultimately, the entire world… and we have to do everything we can to push this along…so we’re going to fold some paper cranes!

With a warm, open heart I would like to invite you to participate in this art project! The inspiration came from the story of a little girl folding 1000 cranes after the bombing of Hiroshima; she did this based on a legend that if she could fold 1000 paper cranes, she could heal her cancer.

The project is to create a hanging, wire Origami sculpture. We will do this by making 420 folded paper cranes using only used squares of parchment paper that had previously come in contact with cannabis in some form.

When 420 cranes have been folded, we will varnish them to preserve any shatter, rosin, resin or reclaim and then string them together to form a hanging wire sculpture.

The final sculpture is to be finished and presented to The Mayor and City Council of Victoria at the next approaching meeting.

You can be involved as much or as little as you like. The minimum effort would be giving a piece of used shatter parchment we can fold into a paper crane; the maximum effort being coming to fold cranes and help designs the final wire sculpture.

Ashley Abraham has been kind enough to allow the creation to happen at The Green Ceiling and grant free admission to work on this project.

July 12th – Day 1 – I met with the group and quickly discovered that although I have been folding these since I was a kid, I have no freaking idea how to teach someone else how to do it. On top of that, we are starting out with some pretty advanced origami for a beginner. The more I was failing to show people what to do, the more confused I was getting! I started to panic and forget how to fold my cranes! But then, a man with the patience of kindergarten teacher and the Origami confidence of a Japanese Monk came to the rescue. He taught everyone what to do like a knight in Origami armour, sent straight from the heavens…

July 19th – We folded cranes… oh yes we did… Decorated some too!!!

July 26th , Aug 3rd The project continues to take flight… Currently, we have about 250 cranes and are folding furiously in our spare time…

August 9th – 6pm – We will be meeting at The Green Ceiling to finish folding and decorating before the cranes are taken home to be varnished. Plus, we will also plan the final wire sculpture! We are still open to ideas!

August 16th Construct the final sculpture together! We have written many names of people who have been helped by cannabis, as well as what this plant did for them on several of the cranes.

The final sculpture will rest in a way that makes it possible to read each crane. Anyone admiring a crane might be able to see how cannabis helped that person, on some of the very same parchment from their very own medicine.

Our hope is that the people whose lives were immediately improved thanks to these cannabis wrappers become a little bit more real to the viewer. The evidence and beauty of how cannabis can heal Canada can be found all around us, even in our garbage.


Published at Tue, 08 Aug 2017 15:00:43 +0000

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Cannabis Wheaton Welcomes New President

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Cannabis Wheaton Welcomes New President

Cannabis Wheaton Welcomes New President

You may remember the story back in June where Cannabis Wheaton terminated an $80 million deal with two investment banks amid rumours of conflicts of interest, only to bounce back the next day with a $50 million deal with a different bank.

One of the key players, Hugo Alves, was the lawyer who advised Cannabis Wheaton on the cancelled deal. His large stake in Cannabis Wheaton partly contributed to the conflict of interest accusations, and it didn’t help when it was announced he was leaving his firm to serve as Cannabis Wheaton’s president a few days later.

But it appears the blowback has blown over, and Cannabis Wheaton has shown no signs of slowing down.

As of August 1st, Hugo Alves has officially ended 18 years of legal practice at Bennet Jones to take up his new role.

Chuck Rifici, Cannabis Wheaton’s CEO and Chairman, said in the press release, “Hugo’s reputation as a relationship builder, tireless worker and value creator is second to none. It speaks volumes to our vision that someone with Hugo’s pedigree and reputation would leave a long-standing and incredibly successful law practice to join our team and build this business with us”.

Mr. Alves’ response was equally effusive, saying, “I am extremely excited to take the helm alongside Chuck at Cannabis Wheaton. The decision to jump into [the] industry was not one that I took lightly”.

Police Psyched for Cannabis Legalization

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Police Psyched for Cannabis Legalization

Police Psyched for Cannabis Legalization

Police think cannabis legalization will cost more money. So of course, they’re psyched for it.

Police should fear budget cuts since legalization (in a perfect world) means focusing less on non-violent crime and imagined aggressions.

But we are far from a perfect world. Legalization is costing taxpayers money before any revenue is realized.

Only modern mercantilist states can screw-up a cash-cow like legal cannabis.

Chief of the Fredericton Police thinks cannabis legalization will “absolutely” have an impact on budget.

“Everything from training costs, the acquisition of technical equipment — these added responsibilities will create more staffing demands.”

Regina Police Chief Evan Bray said only 10 cops on his crew have “drug training.”

“If we are expecting the legalization of marijuana and if we’re expecting this to potentially have a fairly significant impact on roadway safety, we need many more than 10. I would say we need five, six times that many.”

Meanwhile, possession charges in Saskatchewan have gone down.

In fact, in all of Canada cannabis charges have dropped.

Training more officers isn’t in demand, these aren’t market services. Taxpayers have to finance larger deficits and a larger public sector. This can’t go on forever and won’t.

Yet, these “added responsibilities” that come with cannabis legalization require funding and training. Police will have to recognize when someone is using cannabis.

Why? Isn’t cannabis supposed to be legal? What would be the point of — oh right, the “impaired driving” meme.

On April 13, the federal Liberals introduced Bill C-46 to impose more layers of rules on existing impaired driving laws. This bill creates new offences and authorizes mandatory drug screenings at roadside checkpoints. It increases minimum fines and maximum penalties.

Only fascist states masquerading as civil governments take issues intended to increase one’s liberty and completely undermine it and subvert it for their own power-hungry purposes.

Does a police officer really need new training in order to spot impaired driving? If cannabis did impair one’s ability to drive, shouldn’t the cops notice the swaying car that’s either driving too fast or too slow?

If cannabis impairs your driving, it will be evident, it won’t require special training or new equipment.

But as one Toronto cop echoes the sentiment of law enforcement across the country: “We are gearing up for the possibility of more offences being committed involving impairment by drugs.”

Cannabis legalization is merely a redrawing of battles lines in the drug war.


Published at Fri, 04 Aug 2017 20:42:03 +0000

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Cannabis on the Colorado border: Trinidad sued after enacting pot club moratorium

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Cannabis on the Colorado border: Trinidad sued after enacting pot club moratorium

Cannabis on the Colorado border: Trinidad sued after enacting pot club moratorium

Colorado’s cannabis industry may be centered in metro Denver, but there’s plenty of action around the state’s edges.

Towns like Sedgwick, near Colorado’s northern border with Nebraska, have found new economic life because of legal marijuana. Not surprisingly, according to reports, many patrons at those cannabis dispensaries are from the Cornhusker State.

Meanwhile to the south, about 15 miles from the Colorado-New Mexico state line, the city of Trinidad is going through an even larger boom thanks to sales of adult-use cannabis.

Between January and May of this year, the city’s cannabis businesses brought in $14.2 million in gross sales from legal marijuana, Trinidad city attorney Les Downs told The Cannabist. Trinidad’s sales in that span accounted for about 2 percent of the state’s overall sales of cannabis products, based on Colorado sales tax data monitored by The Cannabist.

Considering that Colorado has been averaging $100 million or more in monthly sales of legal cannabis for the past 12 months, that’s not small change.

But not all of Trinidad’s businesses are flourishing, such as one catering to visitors looking for a place to legally consume their cannabis purchases.

Last month, entrepreneurs Kate Mullen and Laurie Lyon filed a lawsuit against several Trinidad officials, including Mayor Phil Rico, alleging that a city campaign of intimidation against their dual business — the Feed Your Head shop and 420 Smoke Lounge — ultimately resulted in their closure this past May.

Trinidad officials and members of the city council created ex post facto (a criminal law applied retroactively) legislation “to cause closure to the only cannabis lounge in Southeastern Colorado, in a city with 22 dispensaries and no public or private location or venue for traveling adult cannabis buyers to enjoy their legal cannabis purchase,” according to the suit filed in Las Animas County District Court.

Mullen and Lyon further allege that Trinidad’s “moratorium” on public or privately-owned cannabis lounges, enacted this past spring, was actually “an indefinite ban with no limits.”

When their business plan was originally presented to Trinidad’s economic development director last year it was received with enthusiasm, and the shop and lounge opened their doors in late August, Mullen told The Cannabist.

The Feed Your Head shop in Trinidad, Colorado. Entrepreneur Kate Mullen said it was a gift shop that didn’t sell cannabis, and neither did the adjacent 420 Smoke Lounge, according to Mullen. (Courtesy of Kate Mullen)

Relations between the smoke lounge and the city went along smoothly at first, she said.

“Bear in mind we shared a courtyard with the police substation,” Mullen said. “And our parking lot was shared with City Hall.”

But the city’s “supportive and positive” attitude toward their business began to sour this past spring, following a personnel change in the city manager position and a crackdown on some local dispensaries and other cannabis-related businesses, she said.

According to a Trinidad Police Department letter from March, addressed “To Whom it May Concern,” those businesses were hosting so-called “industry nights,” or social gatherings where cannabis was “purportedly given away to people after a cover charge is being paid, ostensibly to gain entrance.”

Such events, the letter continued, amounted to a “thinly veiled exchange of money for marijuana to be consumed on the premises,” which in turn violated Colorado state law regarding public consumption of cannabis.

No cannabis was ever provided by 420 Smoke Lounge, Mullen said. Patrons had to bring their own marijuana products to the facility. Neither of her businesses was targeted in the initial law enforcement crackdown. However, the letter “made the dispensaries paranoid to do advertising and marketing business with us, because it essentially alluded to the fact that our business was illegal and that anyone going into it would be prosecuted,” she said.

City attorney Downs said Trinidad officials never “expressly or tacitly condoned” local smoking clubs. They did, however, consider potential state legislation that would create cannabis consumption clubs. Earlier this year, state lawmakers considered a bill that would create regulations for such businesses.

“For the first several months of this year we were waiting on the state legislature to take action,” Downs said. “There were a number of bills pending in the legislature regarding smoking clubs.”

When it became apparent that the state lawmakers would not reach an agreement on the issue of open and public consumption of cannabis in Colorado or pot clubs, Trinidad officials began to focus on “industry nights” and smoking clubs, Downs said.

“The city quickly realized that it was getting rather out of control,” he said. “People were trying to do these kinds of things or not complying with the reasonable requests of the city, so at that time the city opted to pass a moratorium on smoking clubs.”

When state lawmakers failed to pass regulations for pot clubs they left Colorado with a patchwork of rules for such establishments.

Colorado already has about 30 private pot clubs, according to legislative analysts, but they operate under various local regulations and are sometimes raided by law enforcement. Some underground clubs have a speakeasy feel, with small groups meeting up to smoke in a secret location that members sometimes call “Dave’s House,” a reference to a classic Cheech and Chong skit.

Mullen and Lyon’s lawsuit was recently granted a motion to proceed without funds, Mullen said. The case will be tried in neighboring Huerfano County, which has less of a case load. The defendants have until Aug. 17 to file an answer to the complaint.

The Trinidad moratorium does not affect the sale of cannabis in the city, Downs said. He also acknowledged that it “does make sense” to have smoking clubs.

While Trinidad is a great locale for cannabis businesses, most of the clientele are from other states where marijuana remains illegal, Mullen said. Outside of several “420-friendly” hotels in the region, those visitors have few places where they can legally consume their purchases, leaving them open to prosecution by local law enforcement.

“In our experience, 85 to 90 percent of the recreational (cannabis) business here in Trinidad is Texas business,” she said. “It’s not only that you can buy legal cannabis here far cheaper than you can buy it (illegally) in Texas … but it’s a great place to go camping. It’s a quaint little town. It’s just got lots of opportunity and lots and lots of possibilities.”

Two documents: Trinidad Police Dept. memo and cannabis entrepreneurs’ lawsuit

Trinidad PD Memo March 2017 (Text)

Trinidad cannabis club’s district court complaint (Text)


Published at Thu, 03 Aug 2017 13:57:15 +0000

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