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Voters in Colorado still love legal weed, but with a caveat: They want it kept private.
While most voters support members-only cannabis clubs, they oppose weed consumption in traditional bars and restaurants that serve alcohol, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll.
The survey found 65 percent of voters want to keep pot out of bars and restaurants, while 66 percent said they favor private clubs where members can smoke marijuana. A surprising number, 63 percent, said they oppose cannabis use at entertainment venues.
“Coloradans are still good to go on marijuana for recreational use in private settings, but as far as letting the good times roll in bars and clubs where alcohol is served, voters say don’t smoke ‘em if you’ve got ‘em,” Tim Malloy, assistant director of the poll, said in a statement.
Clubs Allowed in Some Places, Not in Others
Authorities have taken conflicting positions on cannabis clubs. In Nederland, officials approved the first legal club in the state. But in Denver police recently carried out the first raid against a marijuana club (others remain in business).
Officials there take the position that cannabis clubs are prohibited under state law. When Colorado voters legalized pot in 2012, the new law banned “open and public” toking. Officials in Denver insist the private clubs are really public, and subject to smoking bans.
On July 4, police raided Maryjane’s Social Club, a members-only toking establishment. They issued several citations for public smoking and ticketed the owner.
Marijuana proponents argue the clubs are legal because they don’t sell the drug – members must bring their own. And all customers must join the clubs and pay membership fees.
Legalization Is Still Popular
In the poll, less than 30 percent of voters said they oppose the private clubs.
Legalization is going strong overall, the survey found. Fifty-four percent of voters said they still support legal pot, four points lower than the last Quinnipiac survey, in February. Forty-three percent of voters said they oppose the law.
And business is booming. A recent report found that demand for weed is much higher than officials originally predicted. Pot shops have generated about $90 million in revenue since January.
Weed is also legal in Washington State, but shops opened there in early July, so it’s not year clear whether private clubs will be tolerated. Medical marijuana in Washington is less heavily regulated than it is in Colorado, so it may be easier for clubs to fly under the radar.
Weed Charges Dropped Against Iowa Couple
Prosecutors in Iowa have dropped charges against an elderly couple accused of helping their son grow medical weed.
Chuck and Dottie Mackenzie, 75 and 76 respectively, were charged with hosting a drug house for letting their son, Benton Mackenzie, grow marijuana in their home. Benton Mackenzie suffers from terminal cancer of the blood vessels, and used cannabis to treat it.
On July 16, Scott County District Judge Thomas Rediel ordered the charges dismissed on a request by the county attorney’s office.
“The defendant has no prior criminal history and evidence shows that although they had knowledge of the growing of marijuana on their property they did not actively participate in the growing or use of marijuana,” prosecutors wrote to the judge.
Son Convicted on Drug Charges
Benton Mackenzie was convicted earlier in July of felony marijuana manufacture, conspiracy, violation of the drug tax stamp act, and possession of paraphernalia. His wife, Loretta, was convicted of the same charges. Their son, Cody, was also convicted of misdemeanor cannabis possession and paraphernalia.
The Mackenzies have received support from across the country. One group posted a Facebook page urging President Obama to “pardon the Mackenzie family,” and a White House petition gathered several hundred signatures in a matter of days.
Dottie Mackenzie said she and her husband rejected numerous plea offers before the charges were dropped. They asserted their innocence and said they did nothing wrong.
“I think public pressure had a great deal to do with it, and the fact they had absolutely no evidence,” she said the day after the ruling. “They offered a plea, if we plead guilty to gathering and paraphernalia, and I said absolutely not. We’re not guilty of any of those.”
The couple also rejected an offer to drop the charges after six months if they stayed out of trouble, Dottie Mackenzie said.
“Detectives were just determined we were criminals, and they painted us as a whole family of criminals,” she said.
Pot Used to Treat Terminal Cancer
Doctors diagnosed Benton Mackenzie with terminal angiosarcoma, a blood-vessel cancer, in 2011. He grew the weed at his parents’ house in Long Grove, Iowa, and used an oil extract to treat his condition. Even his father, a longtime opponent of the drug, reported that marijuana helped his son’s symptoms.
But Benton Mackenzie wasn’t allowed to mention any of that during his trial – not even the fact he suffers from cancer.
The elder Mackenzies said helping their son was an easy choice all along. Iowa’s legal system failed them, Dottie Mackenzie said, but they never doubted the decision.
“Do we help him and break the law, or do we turn our backs?” she asked. “I don’t know any parent who would do the latter.”
Now, the family is considering a move to Texas, and the legal difficulties in Iowa have made that choice much more appealing, she said.
“We have a legal system,” Dottie Mackenzie said. “We don’t have a justice system, which is too bad.”
Could Rand Paul Be The First “Weed President?”
The Presidential election of 2016 is fast approaching, and when it comes to candidates favorable to marijuana, the lineup looks bleak. The only viable candidate that has shown a propensity to push legislation that would relieve pressure on states with with some form of marijuana legalization in Kentucky Senator Rand Paul (R).
“It’s pretty clear that Rand Paul is working hard to appeal to diverse constituencies as he weighs throwing his hat into the race for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination,” said Tom Angell, founder of the Marijuana Majority. “With polls showing supermajority support for medical marijuana across virtually every demographic group, it makes sense Sen. Paul would want to be at the forefront of efforts to modernize these outdated federal laws. And with five U.S. House floor votes in a row coming out favorably for cannabis policy reformers over the past few months, we expect to see more senators realizing that getting onto the winning side of this issue is a smart move.”
Senator Paul will have a tough fight for the Republican nomination; he is seen as extreme by many in the conservative wing of the party. But libertarian tendencies are creeping more and more into the GOP, which is probably their only hope for survival at this point. Will enough Republicans see that in time to get Paul the nomination in 2016?
Unlikely. Party nominations either go to the heir apparent or the “rock star” of the moment. Paul could certainly fit in the second category, but after 8 years of Obama, U.S. voters may be out of patience with the “rock star” President.
There is no denying that a Rand Paul Administration would be favorable to cannabis users. How favorable would of course depend on how much he would fight on issues like medical marijuana, rescheduling and criminal justice reform. As a Senator, he has shown these to be some of his core issues.
Republic of Texas Brands, Inc. plans to change its name to Totally Hemp Crazy and complete a merger with Chill Texas Inc., the
distributor of a cannabis-based energy drink made in Austria.
The new name reflects the company’s renewed focus on THC-free, cannabis-based beverages whichpromises consumers “a whole new feeling of being alive.” The company will be bottling a new “Totally Hemp Crazy” flavored hemp water line “Aqua Hemp”. Aqua Hemp will be offered in four flavors: Citrus, Lemon Lime, Pomegranate and Wild Berry. The drinks will be offered in colorful clear plastic 16.9 oz. bottles. The flavored hemp water line will offer an attractive retail price and will offer a better than average margin for the retail sellers.
“The new corporate logo ‘Totally Hemp Crazy’ has been incorporated into the design of the bottle and will add to the consumer appeal of the product,” states Tom Shuman the New CEO. “We are working with Finra and we are hoping the name and symbol change will occur in the next week to 10 days.”
“There are many exciting new things to announce in the coming weeks as well as a launch of a new corporate website. Our loyal investors will be excited about the direction of our new company ‘Totally Hemp Crazy’ and our planned launch of our proprietary label beverages along with some exciting announcements about of CHILLO-energy drink and C-Swiss Ice Tea.”
Should Texas ever legalize medical marijuana, the company says it will be well positioned to enter that market. “It’s gonna happen,” Mr. Grisaffi said of legalized medical marijuana. “Once it happens, these products can be infused with THC very easily.”
Photos: Ten most memorable marijuana domains for sale on Denver Craigslist
How to get rich quick from the marijuana boom without having anything to do with marijuana? Sell someone a pot-oriented domain name for big bucks! May sound like a long shot, but we found plenty of people on Denver Craigslist trying this tack, peddling sometimes clever/sometimes bizarre/sometimes stupid domain names for $100,000 or more — although bidding at one focusing on hemp starts at just 99 cents and others are more reasonably priced. Check out our ten favorites below, complete with links to the items plus original text and (usually but not always) the art from the ads.
Now go HERE.
Rand Paul submits bill to protect state medical marijuana patients and providers from feds
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul this week stood up for state medical marijuana rights, filing an amendment to Sen. John Walsh’s jobs bill that would allow the 33 states with some form of legalized medical cannabis to “enact and implement laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of marijuana for medical use” without the feds intervening.
“What we’re trying to do is look at the law and allow states that have changed their laws and have allowed medical marijuana to do so, for doctors to be able to prescribe and for people to be able to get those prescriptions without being worried about the federal government coming in and arresting them,” Brian Darling, spokesman for Paul’s office, told The Huffington Post yesterday.
The bill comes on top of Paul’s support for another proposal that curtails federal funding for prosecutors going after what is otherwise a state-legal pot grow. That amendment to a federal spending bill, sponsored by Reps. Dana Rohrbacher and Sam Farr of California, was approved back in May.
Paul’s latest piece of legislation goes further than that, Darlins says.
“The effort before was to defund prosecutions — so it would block the federal government from prosecuting until that appropriations bill runs out about a year later,” Darling said. “[The latest amendment] would protect the states’ rights to make those decisions about medical marijuana that wouldn’t expire when the appropriations bill comes back up.”
Sadly, political experts say that Paul’s bill likely won’t ever get to the vote as the Senate seems to be unable to reach a consensus on anything right now.