The Fargo Police celebrated 420 last weekend by setting up a cannabis sting on Twitter. Last Friday, the police department’s official Twitter account tweeted a trap disguised as a cannabis prize.
‘Since today is 4/20, we are giving away prizes to the person that has the most marijuana,” the tweet read. “If you think you have more marijuana than anyone else, and you want to enter this contest, come by and show us at 222 4 St. N.”
While medical marijuana is legal in North Dakota, recreational cannabis remains prohibited. So anyone who turned up to claim their ‘prize’ at the police station was liable to get charged with a drug offense.
And the Fargo police weren’t the only ones releasing special 420 tweets this year. Police in Lawrence, Kansas cracked some stereotypical stoner jokes through their Twitter account on Friday.
“Hey potheads planning to toke up on 4/20, stay off the road. Stock up on Cheetos and Mt. Dew BEFORE you spark. Saturation patrols to find drugged drivers to occur,” they tweeted.
While drug impaired driving is a real issue and should be taken seriously, it’s also important for police in Lawrence and across the country to address the issue without insulting cannabis consumers and rehashing old and untrue stereotypes about people who smoke marijuana.
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If only Nixon could go to China, as the saying goes, then maybe only Republicans can legalize weed.
Marijuana has now been legalized for medical use in many states; only Idaho, Kansas, Nebraska and South Dakota still prohibit use in any form. Nine states allow recreational marijuana use, and 13 others have decriminalized recreational use to some extent. Meanwhile, public support for legalizing the drug continues to grow and is now firmly in majority territory.
Unsurprisingly, weed has become big business — sales in Colorado alone now top $1 billion a year. A study by data analytics firm New Frontier Data recently estimated that if marijuana legalization went national, it could generate more than $10 billion of tax revenue a year.
There’s just one problem: Cannabis is still illegal under federal law. During the administration of President Barack Obama, an uneasy détente existed in which the federal government agreed not to prosecute marijuana production, sale and use in states where it was legal. That effectively left things up to the states, but left open the possibility that the federal government might reverse itself and crack down. This year, the crackdown came. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that he was rescinding the Obama-era policy of tolerance, and that marijuana users and growers in every state in the union now had to fear arrest and prosecution by the feds.
But Sessions may find himself increasingly isolated, even within his own party. It’s not just that public opinion has shifted. Unlike in past federal crackdowns, cannabis is now an incumbent industry that fills state coffers and can lobby legislators. Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., had threatened to block Justice Department nominees unless Sessions backed off. President Donald Trump appeared to concede, assuring the senator that there would be no punishment for Colorado. Meanwhile,
Cops have been buckling down ahead of this year’s 4/20, as the toker’s holiday has become more and more of a cherished tradition amongst the cannabis community. This has led to police everywhere doing everything they can send out stringent warnings to those that celebrate the plant. Even if they have to get a little creative about it. The Fargo Police department decided to try to go the funny-route, and to the amusement of, most likely, absolutely no one, they posted a TOTALLY hilarious status in which the police department offers prize for possessing the most cannabis.
A Timely Tweet
Since today is 4/20, we are giving away prizes to the person that has the most marijuana. If you think you have more marijuana than anyone else, and you want to enter this contest, come by and show us at 222 4 St. N.
— Fargo Police (@FargoPolice) April 20, 2018
In North Dakota, qualifying medical marijuana patients can obtain up to three ounces of herbal medication, and their medical marijuana program has garnered increased attraction of several cannabis companies.
However, recreational marijuana is still highly illegal, and the state possesses some of the strictest marijuana laws in the country. For example, a first offense possession of a single joint is punishable by up to a year in prison and a fine of up to $2,000.
The state’s Marijuana Policy Project’s has clamored for decriminalization, but there the prospective timeline remains murky, but participants are eager to see a lower penalty for cannabis users.
It’s safe to say the Fargo Police department do not follow that demographic.
Final Hit: Police Department Offers Prize For Possessing The Most Cannabis
Although the members of the Fargo Police department might think they’re clever, they’re far from the first, or last Police department
It has little to do with Friday’s 4/20 “holiday” — though that contributed to at least one major senator’s announcement that he’s come around to the idea of decriminalizing marijuana.
Marijuana legalization advocates say they’ve had the best week in Washington since, well, ever. And it’s thanks to politicians on both sides, including the president, suddenly embracing efforts to help even more states legalize marijuana.
“I think we reached critical mass among the population years ago,” said Don Murphy, the director of conservative outreach for Marijuana Policy Project, “but I think we are finally reaching critical mass on Capitol Hill now.”
Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., announced Friday that he’s decided to support decriminalizing marijuana at the federal level and will advocate for bills to help marijuana businesses (no pun intended) grow. Schumer cited an “evolved thinking — both personally and by the nation” for his switch. As The Post’s David Weigel writes: “It’s the first time that a leader of either party in Congress has endorsed a rollback of one of the country’s oldest drug laws.”
On Friday, April 13, President Donald Trump promised a top Senate Republican from Colorado that he’ll protect states that have legalized marijuana. That’s in stark contrast to what Trump’s attorney general did earlier this year by rolling back Obama-era protections allowing states to create their own marijuana laws without fear of prosecution from the federal government. (The federal government says marijuana is illegal.) Trump’s position on reconciling the different laws was vague before this.
Last week, the House of Representatives held one of its first hearings ever on legislation to roll back medical marijuana regulations.
And earlier this month, former Republican House Speaker John Boehner pulled a stunning 180 from his days in Congress and announced that he’d
Manufacturing facilities cannot sell marijuana to another manufacturing facility, even in the event of crop failures or other business interruptions. They are only authorized to sell marijuana to a dispensary registered by the Department of Health.
The clarification was among 77 answers given to would-be manufacturers of medical marijuana in the state, and posted online, along with a revised application and instructions.
“The manufacturing facility application was modified to include forms that allow applicants the option to identify information related to potential employees, volunteers, and agents of the proposed manufacturing facility,” stated Jason Wahl, director of the Division of Medical Marijuana.
On Friday, the North Dakota Department of Health announced that it was extending the application period for manufacturing facilities until 10 a.m. Monday,
“Due to the inadvertent use of Central Standard Time in the previous application instructions released by the NDDoH, there was confusion regarding the exact time deadline that applications needed to be submitted by,” Wahl said in a news release. As of Thursday there had been 17 applications for two licenses. Once the two manufacturing facilities have been chosen, applications for dispensaries will open, according to the state.
North Dakota voters approved the legalization of marijuana for medical use during the November 2016 election. The state legislature created eight regions for medical marijuana dispensaries centered on its largest cities. Williston is the center of one region. Others include Minot, Dickinson, Jamestown, Devils Lake, Grand Forks Bismarck and Fargo.
Williston recently approved zoning ordinances for medical marijuana growers and dispensaries. The city will require the facilities to have zero emissions. Applicants will have to submit an odor control plan as part of their application for a special use permit.
Even local law enforcement poked fun at the day.
Tweets from University of North Dakota Police and Fargo Police announced contests with prizes going to who can bring in the most marijuana, and Wyoming, Minnesota police set up what they call “Munchie Traps.”
Marijuana for recreational use is illegal in North Dakota, but one man is hoping to change that.
“It’s ending the prohibition, full legalization.”
Josh Dryer is the campaign manager for the Legalize North Dakota Campaign.
He says over the winter, his campaign has gained momentum.
“We hit 8,000 signatures just right after the winter was over. We’re already now up to 11,000,” says Dryer.
Right now, eight states have legalized marijuana for recreational use.
Dryer says with other states legalizing it, the stigma about marijuana users is beginning to disappear.
“The good thing about other states legalizing it, is now these people are coming forward. You know, it’s not the image of the lazy teenager on the couch anymore.”
The petition needs 13,500 signatures by July to put the bill on the ballot.
Opposers raise questions about drug-impaired driving and minors who are under the influence, but some in Fargo say they wouldn’t be opposed.
Here’s what a few had to say:
“I would say legalize because there are more people dying off of alcohol than anyone’s ever died off of marijuana.”
“As a six-year opiate addict, I think it’s a really beneficial change.”
“I see the benefits that have come from it in Colorado, and just like the economy growth and all that stuff. So, if it was an option, I’d probably vote yes.”
Medical marijuana in North Dakota was made legal in 2016, with 63 percent of voters voting “yes.”
The Department of Health is in the process of choosing application periods for dispensaries and
17 apply so far to be medical pot growers in North Dakota
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota’s Health Department has received 17 applications so far from potential manufacturers of medical cannabis.
Medical Marijuana Division Director Jason Wahl says the deadline was Thursday, April 19, 2018, but it has been extended until April 23, 2018, because of a time error in the state’s application posting.
Wahl says a seven-member panel made up of health officials, citizens, law enforcement officers and a state lawyer will begin examining the applications on Monday. Applicants had to submit a $5,000 nonrefundable fee.
The state will register two manufacturers.
State officials have been developing the medical marijuana system since legislators crafted a law a year ago. That followed voters’ approval in November 2016 of Statutory Initiative 5, which legalized medical cannabis. It passed with 63.79 percent of the vote.
Wahl says medical marijuana should be available in North Dakota by the end of 2018.
Maryland gubernatorial candidate speaks at marijuana summit
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maryland gubernatorial candidate Ben Jealous says marijuana should be fully legalized, and people who live in areas that have been the most negatively affected by the nation’s drug laws should get preference for jobs in the industry.
Jealous spoke Friday at the National Cannabis Policy Summit in Washington, D.C.
He has made full marijuana legalization for adults a part of his criminal justice reform plan to improve public safety and reduce the prison population.
Jealous also says people who have been convicted of crimes related to marijuana should have their records expunged, once the drug is fully legalized.
Jealous is the former national president and CEO of the NAACP. He is seeking the Democratic nomination for governor of Maryland.
A toke might make things feel a little simpler, but there’s no denying that marijuana laws are downright complicated. While marijuana is legal for recreational use in nine states and the District of Columbia, that could mean anything from dispensaries on every block to a complicated system of “gifting” pot. And medical marijuana? In some states that means anyone with a sore foot can legally buy a bag of green, while in others it means that only severely ill patients – those who suffer from diseases like cancer, AIDS, or multiple sclerosis – have access to oils and tinctures. Even in states where it’s still entirely illegal, sometimes getting caught with pot can mean the cost of a parking ticket, while other times it can mean a year behind bars.
Confused? We were, too. With that in mind, here’s a brief state-by-state guide to weed across America.
In Alaska, adults 21 and over can possess up to one ounce of marijuana and grow up to six plants, but no more than three mature plants for non-commercial purposes. You’re not allowed to smoke in public.
Patients registered with the state’s a medical marijuana program can use weed to treat a host of serious conditions from cachexia (wasting disease), nausea and chronic pain to cancer, HIV/AIDS and multiple sclerosis. There are an estimated 1,178 registered patients in Alaska.
Due to weather conditions, marijuana is grown indoors most of the year, raising concerns about the energy impact of increased indoor lighting as the industry grows.
Pot is illegal in Arizona – possession of
Washington, D.C. — An advisory committee for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Thursday recommended approval of the first pharmaceutical grade cannabidiol (CBD) medicine to treat severe epilepsy. In a unanimous decision, the committee voted to recommend GW Pharmaceuticals drug Epidiolex for approval.
Cannabidiol, commonly referred to as CBD, is a non-psychoactive cannabis derivative. The approval of Epidiolex would be limited to treating seizures in patients aged 2 and older caused by Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome.
“Epidiolex represents hope for the many individuals living with intractable seizures and rare epilepsies, who every day face incredible challenges and disabling seizures, and live with the continual risk of serious injury and death,” said Philip Gattone, president and CEO of the Epilepsy Foundation.
Taking a natural product such as CBD oil and turning it into a FDA approved drug has the potential to limit the avenues that people have to access the natural product. Motherboard reported last year on the drug industry lobbying for legislation that would outlaw CBD oil by turning it into a drug. South Dakota Senate Bill 95 had sought to exempt CBD from the definition of cannabis, thus taking it off Schedule I controlled substance list and becoming a Schedule IV substance.
GW Pharmaceuticals and its U.S. subsidiary, Greenwich BioSciences, lobbied for an amendment to the legislation to limit CBD rescheduling to only FDA-approved products— in other words, they wanted only CBD drugs to be legally obtainable.
A 2017 report from Motherboard explained:
Not surprisingly, GW Pharmaceuticals has just such a drug in the pipeline. Epidiolex, a ‘proprietary oral solution of pure plant-derived cannabidiol,’ has already been given to epileptic children in the U.S. as part of a federal investigative study documented recently in the New England Journal of Medicine.”