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If you're driving in Washington state this summer, something odd may happen. While you're at a stoplight, you may encounter people waring orange vests, with signs saying "Paid Voluntary Survey," and they may ask you if you want to take blood, saliva and breath tests for marijuana. They'll give you 60 bucks if you say yes.
A recent poll in Florida have shown support for medical marijuana at almost 90 percent. The medicinal cannabis question on the ballot could even affect the gubernatorial race. But in a move of questionable political wisdom, deep-pocketed Republicans have raised more than $7.7 million to fight Amendment 2, a proposal to allow doctors to authorize seriously ill patients to use medical marijuana.
South Carolina voters, on a non-binding ballot question in the Democratic Primary, favored the legalizing of marijuana for medical purposes by a whopping 3-to-1 margin, 75 percent to 25 percent, in Tuesday's voting.
Denver would just love to host the 2016 Republican National Convention. It has historically been a popular city for conventions; the Mile High City's scenic vistas and tourist attractions make it a fun place to visit. But that "High" thing is the hang, you see: Denver is also the poster child for legal recreational marijuana since Colorado voters approved Amendment 64.
"Well, big deal," you may be thinking. "The voters expressed their will at the ballot box; isn't that how American democracy works?" Not so fast, Grasshopper. While a majority of Americans now approve of cannabis legalization, just 36 percent of Republicans agree with that position.
That means an overwhelming two-thirds of GOP members are against legalizing pot.
A lawsuit was filed on June 9 in Denver District Court by activist attorney Robert J. Corry, Jr., seeking to permanently end Colorado's marijuana taxes on the grounds that paying them violates a citizen's Fifth Amendment right against self incrimination -- since marijuana remains illegal under federal law.
A small, family-owned medical marijuana company in Colorado, TinctureBell, on Wednesday responded to allegations made by the Hershey Company in a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Denver, that TinctureBelle is selling marijuana-infused candies that resemble Hershey products.
With the first stores selling recreational marijuana expected to open in July, a dark cloud looms over implementation of cannabis legalization measure I-502 in Washington state: Attorney General Bob Ferguson's legal opinion that municipalities can ban the supposedly legal pot shops. Now, a lawsuit has been brought by a man who was denied a license to sell marijuana in central Washington.
Toke Signals Must Read of the Week
I love the cannabis community. Most of the people working in it have the best intentions and laudable goals. And the challenge facing those who wish to re-legalize cannabis is difficult and daunting enough without those in the movement inadvertently placing additional roadblocks in our own path.