Right now America is in a transitional phase, with some states that have legalized weed, some who have it legalized only for medical use, some with marijuana possession decriminalized, and others where being stoned in public can land you in jail for three months (I’m looking at you, Wyoming). With such disparity across so many borders, America’s transition to full-on legalization is bound to give rise to some awkward moments, one of which is realizing you still have some weed while lining up for security check at the airport. Shortly before January 1st, when the first recreational sales began in Colorado, Denver’s airport dropped a little extra prohibition on weed, reminding travelers that the good vibes have yet to go interstate. Apparently, that didn’t have too much of an effect. The airport just instituted an amnesty box in which you can dispose of any weed you may have missed in your pre-travel idiot check. Sadly, the contents of the amnesty box are destroyed at the end of the day.
While recreational weed is still enjoying its honeymoon period, medical cannabis is facing some tough questions in Colorado. Doctors at the Children’s Hospital of Colorado are in a legal dispute with a mom who chose take her three-year-old, cancer-stricken son off of chemotherapy. She instead put him on the low-THC, high-CBD cannabis strain known as Charlotte’s Web, which had better results treating both the spread of the disease and its symptoms. The child’s doctor reported this to child services.
It’s a harsh reminder that the laws and perceptions governing marijuana’s assimilation into mainstream culture have yet to evolve to a better fit. A poignant LA Times opinion piece reminds us that there are still people sitting in prison for marijuana-related crimes, even in Colorado. The tax and regulate bill built public and political support by focusing on the economic benefit while ignoring the less savory prospect of letting a bunch of people out of prison. It was the only way to get legalization through, and yet leaving those guys in prison was a dick move.
As rare as a dick move is in Colorado, it’s not nearly as rare as a reasonable move in Florida. As advocates collect signatures for a ballot referendum, the southern state’s legislature moves toward allowing the use of Charlotte’s Web for children with severe seizures. It’s a pretty restrictive form of legalization, but that’s the first crack in the dam. Meanwhile in the Northeast, another state takes a huge step toward full legalization. New Hampshire may very soon live up to its badass state motto, “Live Free or Die.” Unfortunately, Governor Maggie Hassan has promised to veto any such bill as soon as it reaches her. During her 2012 gubernatorial campaign, Hassan said she would be open to signing medical marijuana legislation, and when she finally got the chance in July, she took a moment to make it far more restrictive before passing it. When asked why she is against a recreational bill, Hassan claimed that it “sent the wrong message to young people,” a demographic she clearly hasn’t hung out with in a long time.
While most of the weed news in America this week was positive with just a tinge of doubt, a small development in police equipment in the UK tips the bummer scale all the way into the red zone. British police will begin testing a saliva test that detects cannabis. A somewhat unclear report from the Daily Mail says that “drug driving” is an issue creating havoc, without specifying which drugs are the main cause of accidents. The transport secretary literally said, “Screening for cannabis is a good place to start as it’s one of the most widely used drugs.” Essentially, he’s saying, “Some snakes are poisonous, so the most common snakes must be poisonous.” Basic logic, anyone?