Feds see ticking clock
On Monday, the RAND Corporation's Drug Policy Research Center (rand.org/multi/dprc.html) hosted a discussion in Washington, D.C., titled "Developing Public Health Regulations for Marijuana: Lessons from Alcohol and Tobacco." Topics ranged from regulation to spillover effects of marijuana availability in cities neighboring Washington and Colorado — thought to be slim, considering both states' generally low population density near their borders.
Carnegie Mellon University professor Jonathan Caulkins had an interesting response when asked if he felt the federal government could "shut down" marijuana trade in both states: "Well shut down, no," he said. "But does it have enough enforcement capacity — if it makes that its priority to fill in for state and local law enforcement — to push production back to what it was 12 months ago? Yes."
Caulkins said such an action would require a major reorientation of Department of Justice priorities, though, and if other larger states like California join the legalization push, "that capacity goes away."
Put out the fire
While medical-marijuana patient Bob Crouse received free legal representation in getting his marijuana returned by Colorado Springs police — and is getting more in his current civil suit against the city — he still racked up thousands of dollars in document fees, says cannabis advocate Audrey Hatfield. Those interested in helping should see fundly.com/bob-crouse-relief-fund.
• Sunday, the Denver Post reported the existence of THC University (thcuniversity.org), a new, Denver-based organization giving classes on the basics of growing.
"In addition to holding more classes in March, [owners Matt] Jones and [Freeman] LaFleur are working to create Job Board, a system where students who complete certificate programs can connect with dispensaries and other marijuana businesses that are looking for employees," wrote Jordan Steffen. "Currently, the law does not require any certification to grow marijuana plants."
• Denver cannabis advocate Michelle LaMay has spun her experience with her Cannabis University into a public-relations firm called Enlightenment Colorado (enlightenmentcolorado.com). When asked for comment on its goal, she directed us to her website, where it lists two registered lobbyists and says, "Our mission is DAMAGE CONTROL and keeping any [THC DUI] legislation from coming to the floor from any committee in upcoming Colorado legislative session of 2013."
House Bill 1114 creates a limit of 5 nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood, among other rules. It had its first House Judiciary Committee hearing Tuesday and is generally expected to eventually become law.