Mar­i­juana le­gal chal­lenges con­tinue

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In De­cem­ber 2014 the states of Ne­braska and Ok­la­homa filed a suit against Colorado to stop the state from al­low­ing com­mer­cial grow­ing and dis­tri­bu­tion of mar­i­juana in Colorado.

Be­cause the case in­volves a dis­pute be­tween two states it was filed di­rectly with the U.S. Supreme Court. In early May, the court asked the U.S. So­lic­i­tor Gen­eral to file a brief on the ad­min­is­tra­tion’s view of the case.

The U.S. So­lic­i­tor Gen­eral sided with Colorado in that brief filed on De­cem­ber 16. In essence, the brief urges the Court to re­ject the chal­lenge to Colorado law. Here’s the So­lic­i­tor Gen­eral’s main point: “The mo­tion for leave to file a bill of com­plaint should be de­nied be­cause this is not an ap­pro­pri­ate case for the ex­er­cise of this Court’s orig­i­nal ju­ris­dic­tion. En­ter­tain­ing the type of dis­pute at is­sue here — es­sen­tially that one State’s laws make it more likely that third par­ties will vi­o­late fed­eral and state law in an­other State — would rep­re­sent a sub­stan­tial and un­war­ranted ex­pan­sion of this Court’s orig­i­nal ju­ris­dic­tion.”

The fed­eral gov­ern­ment’s ar­gu­ment does not ad­dress the mer­its of the case, ar­gu­ing in­stead that the Supreme Court does not nor­mally take cases of this type and that now is not the time to start. If the Court ac­cepts the So­lic­i­tor Gen­eral’s ar­gu­ment, Ne­braska and Ok­la­homa could still file the suit in fed­eral dis­trict court.

Here are other im­por­tant news sto­ries for the week.

Dur­ing a rou­tine au­dit of a busi­ness ac­count in 2014, Maps Credit Union dis­cov­ered it was pro­vid­ing fi­nan­cial ser­vices for a mar­i­juana dis­pen­sary.

Shane Saunders, vice pres­i­dent of oper­a­tions for Maps, said the credit union had a de­ci­sion to make: close the ac­count, or cre­ate poli­cies to serve it within state and fed­eral guide­lines. They chose to keep the ac­count open. The ac­counts Maps of­fers to mar­i­juana busi­nesses are one of the bestkept se­crets in the in­dus­try.

The credit union doesn’t ad­ver­tise the ac­counts. Busi­nesses that have an ac­count can’t talk about it — Maps has them sign a non-dis­clo­sure agree­ment when the ac­count is opened, Saunders said.

For Ore­gon’s cannabis busi­ness own­ers un­aware of Maps’ unique ser­vice, se­cur­ing some­thing as sim­ple as a check­ing ac­count can be nearly im­pos­si­ble.

A med­i­cal mar­i­juana pa­tient and care­giver since 2007 share some thoughts and ob­ser­va­tions about a re­cent sur­vey by Care by De­sign, a med­i­cal cannabis com­pany in Cal­i­for­nia, on the painnews­net­ blog.

They sur­veyed 621 pa­tients who had been us­ing med­i­cal mar­i­juana for over 30 days, ask­ing them about:

1. The con­di­tions for which they tak­ing cannabid­iol (CBD) rich cannabis;

2. The ra­tio of CBD-to-THC (tetrahy­dro­cannabi­nol) they are us­ing;

3. The i mpact of CBD-rich cannabis ther­apy on their pain, dis­com­fort, en­ergy, mood, and over­all well be­ing.

“I would like to ad­dress three ar­eas about the sur­vey find­ings, based on my per­sonal use of med­i­cal cannabis and the pa­tients we as­sist as care­givers.

“Pa­tients with psy­chi­atric or mood disorders and pa­tients with diseases of or in­juries to the CNS (cen­tral ner­vous sys­tem) sys­tem favour CBD-dom­i­nant cannabis ther­a­pies,” the sur­vey found.

“Pa­tients with pain and in­flam­ma­tion fa­vor CBD-rich cannabis ther­a­pies with more equal lev­els of CBD and THC.”


As mar­i­juana ex­tracts ex­pand their pres­ence on the East Coast, an es­pe­cially po­tent con­cen­trate is ap­pear­ing on law en­force­ment radar.

Shat­ter, a cannabis ex­tract with about 80% THC con­tent, is le­gal for recre­ational use in states such as Colorado and Wash­ing­ton, sold in med­i­cal mar­i­juana dis­pen­saries in other states and is faster­act­ing and far more eas­ily con­cealed than mar­i­juana.

Last week, Loudoun County sher­iff’s deputies in­ter­cepted a truck that had about $900,000 worth of pack­aged mar­i­juana near Dulles In­ter­na­tional Air­port. In­cluded in that load was 15 pounds of shat­ter, in to­tal pack­aged weight. Shat­ter, which is sold by the gram be­cause of its po­tency, re­tails for about $60 a gram in Colorado, so 10 pounds of shat­ter would be worth nearly $270,000 — in a state where it is le­gal. Black-mar­ket shat­ter prob­a­bly would cost much more.

A lo­cal non­profit hit the streets of down­town Den­ver on Christ­mas Eve and gave away a thou­sand free, pre-rolled mar­i­juana joints to the home­less and any­one else who wanted one.

“Merry Christ­mas and a


puff, New Year’s,” joint.

Nick Dicenzo, the founder of Cannabis Can and the one re­spon­si­ble for hand­ing out the free weed, said they’re try­ing to raise aware­ness about home­less­ness and en­cour­age peo­ple to do­nate to their cause.

The cause? To raise money to buy sev­eral RVs and pro­vide re­strooms and show­ers for those in need. Dicenzo said their goal is to use weed for good and to bring peo­ple to­gether to make a dif­fer­ence.

said one woman who


a The ad­ver­tis­ing agency be­hind ‘Stoner Sloth,’ an anti-mar­i­juana ad cam­paign, has hit back against so­cial me­dia back­lash.

Saatchi & Saatchi have ar­gued that the con­cept was in­tended specif­i­cally for teens and ‘not for adults or long-term cannabis users,’ re­ported The Sydney Morn­ing Her­ald.

The $500,000 ad which was used as the New South Wales gov­ern­ment’s lat­est an­tidrugs ini­tia­tive was launched last week un­der the slo­gan ‘you’re worse on weed.’

The NSW Gov­ern­ment’s #Ston­erSloth cam­paign de­picts a hu­man sized stoned sloth look­ing lethar­gic in set­tings such as a school ex­am­i­na­tion and a house party.

The bid to raise aware­ness about the dan­gers of mar­i­juana has been re­lent­lessly mocked on so­cial me­dia, with the #Ston­erSloth soaring to the num­ber one trend­ing Twit­ter spot last week.

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