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marijuana

Like many schools across Colorado, Arapahoe Ridge High School in Boulder has seen an increase in overall drug incidents since recreational marijuana became legal.

While public schools aren't required to report marijuana incidents separately from other drugs such as cocaine, evidence compiled by Rocky Mountain PBS I-News suggests more students are using marijuana.

Flickr Photo/Goodiez (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Ross Reynolds talks with state Sen. Steve Hobbs, D-Lake Stevens, about a bill he has introduced that would add PTSD to the list of conditions that could be treated by medical marijuana.

Reynolds also talks with Harborview Medical Center psychiatrist Dr. Doug Zatzick about marijuana as a treatment for PTSD.

marijuana
Flickr Photo/North Cascades National Park

Ross Reynolds talks to Anthony Broadman, a partner with the Seattle law firm Galanda Broadman, about how local tribes can sell marijuana on reservations.

Left to right: Bob Ferguson, Pete Holmes, Joni Balter and Larry Hubbell at a marijuana forum at Seattle University.
Courtesy of Danielle Potter

In 2012 Washington voters’ approved Initiative 502. Passage of the measure set in place a licensing and regulation scheme and rescinded state laws criminalizing recreational marijuana use and possession. It legalized the production, sale and taxation of small amounts of marijuana-related products for adults 21 and over.

marijuana joint pot
Flickr Photo/Dann Cove (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Ross Reynolds talks with Roger Roffman, University of Washington professor emeritus, about the links between high potency marijuana and psychotic episodes.

When voters in four U.S. states — Colorado, Washington, Alaska and Oregon — approved recreational marijuana sales, part of the appeal was the promise of a new revenue source to buoy cash-strapped cities and states.

But tensions are growing in those four states over how the tax rewards from pot sales should be divided. Local governments want to get what they say is their share of pot tax revenue.

The Washington state Senate voted unanimously Wednesday to make hemp farming legal. The measure now goes to the state House for further consideration.

A panel of Oregon lawmakers will take a first look Wednesday at changes to Measure 91 -- the voter-approved legalization of recreational marijuana.

Marijuana growing operations can be major power hogs. Now that they're legal in Oregon and Washington, experts are looking for ways to make them more energy efficient.

Indoor pot growing operations use as much electricity per square foot as data centers, according to energy attorney Richard Lorenz with Cable Huston.

"Just growing four marijuana plants uses as much energy as running 29 refrigerators," he said. "The carbon output is incredible."

Thursday is Medical Cannabis Lobby Day at the Washington Capitol. State lawmakers say this is the year they will rein in the state’s “Wild West” medical pot industry.

At a Tuesday news conference, King County prosecutor Dan Satterberg said Washington’s unregulated medical marijuana industry is “unworkable” and “needs to be fixed.

A bill in the state Legislature would prevent people under age 18 from buying vaping products
Flickr Photo/Joseph Morris (CC-BY-NC-ND)

This week a state senate committee will hear a proposal that would make it illegal to sell e-cigarettes and vapes to minors.

Last fall Sen. Judy Warnick got a tip from a police officer from her district in Moses Lake. He noted that students were buying e-cigarettes easily. “They were modifying them so they could use marijuana in those cigarettes," Warnick said. 

In the years before Washington and Oregon legalized recreational pot for adults, thousands of people were convicted of misdemeanor marijuana possession.

Hemp advocates have launched a renewed bid to make hemp farming lawful in Washington state.

Flickr Photo/Chuck Coker (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Washington state lawmakers have a lot on their plates this legislative session: everything from how to fully fund basic education to a debate over how to control pollution. But some legislators also put medical marijuana regulation on their priority list.

Legalizing marijuana in Idaho has been a complete no-go, even as its neighbors have started licensing pot dispensaries and retail shops.

Marijuana will be among the top agenda items when the Washington legislature convenes Monday.

Seattle Medical Marijuana van, usually parked outside a dispensary on Fremont Avenue near the Woodland Park Zoo. Tensions have mounted between medical marijuana entities and state-licensed pot shops.
KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

Ross Reynolds talks with John Davis, owner of the Northwest Patient Resource Center, about why we wants medical marijuana to be regulated by the state. Davis is also executive director of the Coalition for Cannabis Standards and Ethics, a cannabis industry group.

What's Next For Colorado Marijuana?

Jan 2, 2015

It’s been a year since the Colorado law legalizing the sale of recreational marijuana has been in effect, and while the long lines have died down, pot shop owners and cities are still raking in big revenues from sales and taxes.

But, as Colorado Public Radio’s Ben Markus reports, there are challenges on the horizon.

The state government and the marijuana industry in Colorado are working to educate people about how to use pot safely. But in the high Rockies, one community is taking matters into its own hands.

The local sheriff in Aspen is leading an education effort that targets skiers and snowboarders flocking to the winter resort. And the sheriff isn't waiting until visitors hit the slopes — their education starts at the airport with pamphlets on marijuana.

Voters have legalized recreational marijuana in Washington and Oregon, but police continue to find illegal marijuana grows on public lands.

Flickr Photo/Goodiez (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks with state Senators Jeanne Kohl-Welles and Ann Rivers about their proposals to regulate medical marijuana in Washington state.

Saying that Colorado's law legalizing recreational marijuana use is unconstitutional and places a burden on them, Nebraska and Oklahoma have filed a lawsuit against the state with the U.S. Supreme Court.

Marijuana was made legal in Colorado after the state's voters approved an amendment in 2012. Its first recreational dispensaries opened at the start of this year.

Oregon is gearing up for a year-long process of crafting regulations for recreational marijuana.

Maria Moses of Dockside Cannabis in Shoreline, Washington, shows off a jar where customers can smell a marijuana sample.
KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

When you talk to the state’s licensed growers and sellers of marijuana, you discover that many initially opposed Initiative 502. They favored marijuana legalization, but they didn’t like the details of the initiative itself.

That was the case for Danielle and Juddy Rosellison of Bellingham, Washington. But once voters approved the initiative, Danielle said they jumped right in. 

“We got two mortgages on the two homes that we own," she said. "I called all our credit cards and told them I was going to put a BMW on it and they extended our limits to ridiculous amounts.”

The U.S. Department of Justice this week opened the door to a legalized pot market on tribal land.

Sharon Foster, with Gov. Gregoire, announcing the ban on alcoholic energy drinks in Washington in 2010.
AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Sharon Foster has many proud milestones from her term as chairwoman of Washington’s Liquor Control Board. She was appointed by Governor Gregoire in 2009 and has helped the state tackle medical marijuana, liquor privatization and legalized recreational marijuana.

“I never intended to ask for another term. I really do believe six years is plenty,” Foster told KUOW’s Marcie Sillman in an interview for The Record. “They'll get somebody younger with new ideas and I think that's great.”

It's been nearly a year since Colorado made recreational marijuana legal, and since then, pot has become a billion-dollar business in the state. And some growers have made it a mission to make it legitimate and mainstream.

"Change the face," says pot entrepreneur Brooke Gehring. "But really, not to be the stereotype of what they think is stoner culture, but to realize they are true business people that are operating these companies."

To gauge international interest in Uruguay's legal cannabis market, spend just a few minutes at a small marijuana shop called Urugrow in Uruguay's capital, Montevideo.

In a period of about 10 minutes, owner Juan Manuel Varela gets a call from Brazil. A man from Canada shows up to see what the market would be for his company, which sells child-safe packaging for marijuana products. Shortly after, two American travelers stop by looking to score weed.

Seattle Medical Marijuana van, usually parked outside a dispensary on Fremont Avenue near the Woodland Park Zoo. Tensions have mounted between medical marijuana entities and state-licensed pot shops.
KUOW Photo/Amy Radil

Across Seattle are storefronts with green crosses out front – medical marijuana providers.

Seattle has long been friendly to these businesses, but there’s mounting friction between them and state-licensed stores as lawmakers sort out the state’s new legal marijuana law.

This week, the City of Seattle will hold a symposium on the city’s booming medical marijuana scene. The event comes as city officials are trying to gently rein in these unregulated businesses.

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