The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) questions the excessive use of force used by Pennsylvania law enforcement, whose pursuit of a man suspected of growing a small amount of marijuana outdoors ultimately led to his death. The body of a suspect in the case, Pennsylvania resident Gregory A. Longenecker, was found earlier this […]
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Despite a growing number of people who feel it should be decriminalized, or outright legal – and regulated – it remains a controlled substance.
And, as such, we have a multibillion-dollar industry in Canada attempting to operate under the radar of the law.
Weed is grown covertly on farms, in houses, condos or industrial bays, but is used widely across the country.
Often, the grow sites are booby trapped, electricity is stolen, and the property is contaminated, both with chemicals used in growing and mold damage.
A fire at a Calgary grow op even levelled a number of homes in 2009. Police say there is also the risk of break-ins and home invasions associated with these things.
Despite all of these apparent dangers Albertans just don’t care, or aren’t aware.
That’s one of the key findings in a new provincial report prepared by Calgary MLA Rick Fraser, the associate minister of public safety.
“The prevalent view of marijuana use is that it is either used as a recreational drug or for medical purposes,” he says in the report.
“There is a misperception that growing marijuana is a victimless crime, and this perception detracts from community involvement in reporting suspected MGOs. Many Albertans do not report marijuana grow ops when they know or suspect a residence in their community has been converted into one. The crime is likely not viewed as a danger to the community.”
It’s not really until people find themselves living next to one that they perceive this as a problem.
And so, because of the damage done to homes and the potential risk to public safety, the final recommendations report for Grow Op Free Alberta lists a host of solutions to existing problems, including requiring real estate agents to disclose a home was used to grow pot, guidelines for proper and safe remediation and bumping up tools to identify grow ops.
The one solution missing? Legalization and regulation.
I get it – all the province can really do in its power is mitigate the damage, try to hold people accountable when properties are made unfit for habitation, and ensure that remediation is done properly.
But, as public attitude shifts towards acceptance of marijuana, and a desire that governments leave adults alone to smoke what they please, the province could also take the lead in pushing the feds to make changes to criminal law in Canada.
So long as the status quo exists, residential grows will remain a big problem, with thousands estimated to be operating in Alberta.
The recommendations in the report give significant focus toward education, but I think despite the emphasis placed on informing the public, I don’t think we’ll start to see an increase in police reports.
Even if more people start reporting grow ops, that won’t necessarily mean there will be a reduction in people looking to grow marijuana.
So long as the trend toward supporting decriminalization and legalization continues, the public will believe that the key is a change in federal drug laws, not provincial public safety endeavours, no matter how wise they may be.
When looking at people opting not to report grow ops, the reasons behind their complacency are key.
And, with as many as two thirds of Canadians in support of decriminalization or legalization, we shouldn’t be surprised people aren’t reporting grows, and perhaps it should be taken as further sign we’re ready for greater debate on the issue.
As we’re approaching a federal election in 2015, here’s hoping we get one.
Source: Calgary Sun, The
Copyright: 2014 The Calgary Sun
Author: Dave Breakenridge
A steep drop in charges filed against adults over 21 in Washington state after legalization of marijuana shows the new law is freeing up court and law-enforcement resources to deal with other issues, a primary backer of the law said Wednesday.
The state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) found that such low-level charges were filed in just 120 cases in 2013, down from 5,531 cases the year before. “The data strongly suggest that I-502 has achieved one of its primary goals — to free up limited police and prosecutorial resources,” Mark Cooke, criminal-justice policy counsel with the state ACLU, said in a news release.
Ian Goodhew, deputy chief of staff at the King County Prosecutor’s Office, said that hasn’t been the case in his office. He said prosecutors handled only a few misdemeanor pot cases a day before the law went into effect.
“There’s no great relief of workload,” Goodhew said. “All this has meant is maybe our calendar in District Court in the Seattle division is maybe, instead of 46 cases in a day, 44 or 43 or 42. We’re no longer filing misdemeanor marijuana cases, but we were not expending any significant resources on those cases at the time I-502 passed.”
Cooke conceded the law hasn’t fundamentally changed what prosecutors do every day but said when considered more broadly, I-502 has saved resources, from basic investigation and filing of paperwork to court time. He noted King County’s adult misdemeanor pot cases fell from 1,435 in 2009 to 14 last year.
“I can’t fault their logic,” said Mitch Barker, executive director of the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs. “If we took speeding off the books, that would free up time. If we took robbery off the books, that would free up time.
“The question we all have to look at is, is it good public policy? My sole concern is that when you expand access to marijuana for adults, you expand access for underage people.”
The pot cases that were filed in the state last year likely involved people caught with more than an ounce of weed, or the 28 grams, they’re allowed to have under Washington’s Initiative 502, but less than the 40 grams that can trigger felony possession charges.
The data, which came from Washington’s Administrative Office of the Courts, also suggest racial disparities remain a concern in marijuana charges, Cooke said.
Before I-502’s passage in 2012, blacks were nearly three times as likely as whites to face misdemeanor marijuana-possession charges in Washington, and that remained true among the 120 cases filed last year, he said.
Of the 120, white defendants accounted for 82 cases and blacks for 11. That equated for whites to 2 cases per 100,000 residents; for blacks, to 5.6 per 100,000.
The number of misdemeanor filings for those older than 21 had been dropping for several years, the group said, from 7,964 in 2009 to 5,531 in 2012.
Court filings for all drug felonies, including marijuana growing and selling, have remained fairly constant since 2009, at about or slightly under 20,000.
Among people younger than 21, misdemeanor marijuana-possession charges have also fallen in the past two years from 4,127 in 2011 to 3,469 in 2012 and 1,963 last year. People younger than 21 aren’t allowed to have pot under the state law.
Source: Associated Press (Wire)
Author: Gene Johnson, The Associated Press
Published: March 19, 2014
Copyright: 2014 The Associated Press
Prosecutors, police chiefs and sheriffs gathered Tuesday in Annapolis to push back against the growing movement to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana or to legalize recreational use of the drug altogether.
At a news conference and at a Senate hearing, law enforcement leaders warned that loosening marijuana laws would undermine drug enforcement across the board. They said it would be premature to pass a bill following in the footsteps of Colorado and Washington state, which recently legalized pot, and opposed a separate measure that would treat possession as a minor civil offense.
“This legislation sends a horrible message,” said Riverdale Park Police Chief David Morris, speaking for the Maryland Chiefs of Police Association.
Harford County State’s Attorney Joseph I. Cassilly, speaking on behalf of the Maryland State’s Attorneys Association, called the movement to legalize pot in Maryland “a rush to judgment.”
Cassilly said the state should wait for legalization in Colorado and Washington to be thoroughly studied, instead of relying on “anecdotal evidence from a bunch of pot heads.”
The otherwise solid show of support for the state’s existing marijuana laws was cracked by the testimony of Neill Franklin, a retired Baltimore police major who has emerged as a vocal opponent of the war on drugs in general and the prohibition of marijuana in particular.
“It didn’t work back in the 1920s with alcohol prohibition,” he said. “We should have learned from history.”
Franklin argued the effect of prohibiting marijuana has been to leave its regulation in the hands of drug cartels and street gangs.
Most of the active law enforcement officers who attended took a hard line against legalizing marijuana for recreational use, though they were clear that their opposition did not extend to proposals making medical marijuana more readily available to those who need it.
“Those lines should not be blurred,” said Anne Arundel County Police Chief Kevin Davis, speaking at a morning news conference.
Some of the officers ran into trouble in the less-forgiving venue of the Senate hearing, where the sponsors of the legalization and decriminalization bills repeatedly sought proof of police assertions that law enforcement and public health would be hampered by their bills.
Annapolis Police Chief Michael A. Pristoop asserted that 37 people had died of marijuana overdoses on the first day of legalization in Colorado last month.
The claim drew groans from the packed hearing room. Sen. Jamie Raskin, a Montgomery County Democrat who sponsored the legalization bill, pointed out that Pristoop had fallen for a hoax that ran in the satirical publication the Daily Currant.
Pristoop later issued an apology.
“I believed the information I obtained was accurate but I now know the story is nothing more than an urban legend,” he said in a statement.
Police warnings of the danger of marijuana overdoses aroused skepticism among senators of both parties.
“The only people I’ve seen overdose on marijuana had a big snack and fell asleep,” said Sen. Nancy Jacobs, a Harford County Republican.
Morris also took some heat from senators over his assertion that decriminalizing marijuana would lead to an increase in drug use.
Sen. Robert A. Zirkin, a Baltimore County Democrat and author of the decriminalization bill, said he had “looked high and low” for evidence from 16 states that now treat marijuana possession as a civil offense. He said he found no evidence suggesting that usage had increased. When Zirkin pressed Morris to back up his assertion with studies, the chief could not.
Public polls show growing support for loosening marijuana laws in Maryland and across the country. A recent Baltimore Sun Poll found that 58 percent of Maryland voters favor either legalization or decriminalization.
Source: Baltimore Sun (MD)
Author: Michael Dresser and Erin Cox, The Baltimore Sun
Published: February 25, 2014
Copyright: 2014 The Baltimore Sun
Contact: [email protected]
Pristoop, in testimony regarding legalization of marijuana, stated that overdoses on marijuana led to more than 30 deaths on the first day the drug was legalized in Colorado. That data was based upon a hoax story that ran on satirical and comedy websites.
“I apologize for the information I provided concerning the deaths. I believed the information I obtained was accurate but I now know the story is nothing more than an urban legend,” the chief said in a statement. “This does not take away from the other facts presented in opposition to legalization or the good work of the Maryland Chiefs and Maryland Sheriffs associations.”
Pristoop was speaking before the Maryland Senate Judiciary Committee, opposing the decriminalization and legalization of marijuana, according to the statement from Annapolis police. His testimony was stopped by those on the committee who recognized the error.
According to the statement from the police department, Pristoop discovered the data was “an urban myth” while following up on the report after the meeting.
During the testimony Tuesday, police chiefs, sheriffs and states attorneys said loosening marijuana laws in Maryland would undermine drug enforcement — though they said their opposition did not extend to making medical marijuana more readily available to those who need it.
Reporter Erin Cox contributed to this story.
DEA Administrator Michele M. Leonhart reportedly told a group of sheriffs at a closed-door conference in Washington that she was frustrated by the administration’s recent openness toward state legalization. Although Leonhart’s remarks were not made publicly, her pointed references to the president could put her job in jeopardy.
“She was honest,” Mike H. Leidholt, president of the National Sheriffs’ Association, told the Herald. “She may get fired. But she was honest.”
The administration so far has shown itself willing to let Colorado’s and Washington’s experiments with marijuana legalization move ahead. But those baby steps toward respecting state legislation appear to have sown dissension at the DEA.
Leonhart, a former Baltimore cop and long-time DEA agent before ascending to the agency’s top role, staunchly opposes mainstreaming marijuana use. In 2012 House Judiciary testimony, she refused to answer a question from Colorado Rep. Jared Polis (D) about whether she thought crack or heroin were worse for a person’s health than marijuana. She said in December that legalization sends “mixed messages” to high-schoolers, and this month, one of her top deputies told Congress that legalization is “reckless and irresponsible.”
Leonhart also appears to have been upset by a flag made of hemp that flew over the U.S. Capitol on July 4 at the behest of Polis.
Bristol County, Mass., Sheriff Thomas M. Hodgson told the Herald that “she said her lowest point in 33 years in the DEA was when she learned they’d flown a hemp flag over the Capitol on July 4. The sheriffs were all shocked. This is the first time in 28 years I’ve ever heard anyone in her position be this candid.”
The flag was made with industrial hemp, which is not a drug.
“This shows how shockingly out of touch Michele Leonhart is,” Polis told HuffPost in an email Saturday. “You would think that one of her lowest points would have been when she completely embarrassed herself by failing to state the obvious scientific fact that marijuana is less harmful and addictive than heroin. Almost half a million Americans saw her make a fool of herself.”
A DEA spokeswoman contacted by the Herald did not comment on Leonhart’s remarks, but reiterated the agency’s opposition to legalization. She did not immediately respond to a request for comment from HuffPost.
Aside from Obama’s statements, it also appears that Leonhart was incensed that the unofficial White House softball team squared off against a marijuana reformers’ team in a game covered exclusively by HuffPost. The White House staffers lost.
Tom Angell, founder of the reform group Marijuana Majority, told HuffPost in an email that he doesn’t expect Leonhart to be fired for her “insubordinate speech.”
“But in light of the president’s newfound boldness in speaking out about the unfairness of marijuana prohibition enforcement, he should take the opportunity to significantly reform federal marijuana policy and rearrange the agencies that have mismanaged it for so long,” he said.
Source: Huffington Post (NY)
Author: Ryan Grim and Matt Sledge
Published: January 25, 2014
Copyright: 2014 HuffingtonPost.com, LLC
Contact: [email protected]
Denver police have written more tickets for public marijuana use so far this year than in all of 2012, but the crime is rarely punished, according to new statistics from the city. Though Colorado voters in November legalized marijuana use by adults, consuming marijuana in public remains illegal, under both state law and Denver municipal ordinance. It brings a $100 fine under the state law.
According to figures provided by the Denver Department of Safety, police in the city wrote just 20 tickets for public marijuana consumption during the first half of 2013. Fifteen of those tickets came in May and June. Officers wrote only eight tickets in all of 2012, all but one of those pre-legalization.
“Nothing has changed for us policy-wise,” Denver police spokesman John White said. “If individuals are observed consuming marijuana in public, they will be cited.”
It’s difficult to determine whether public pot use has actually increased. There have been no scientific studies about public marijuana use in Denver, either pre- or post-legalization.
But people concerned about the impacts of marijuana legalization say, anecdotally, they have noticed a significant increase in open marijuana consumption.
“We’ve heard from a lot of people in the community that they’re seeing more and more of that,” said Diane Carlson, an organizer for the group Smart Colorado.
Carlson said she saw people smoking marijuana at the Denver Zoo’s Zoo Lights event in December as children walked nearby. Some visitors to the city also say public marijuana use is a problem in Denver, with one Chicago resident writing in a letter to The Denver Post that he and his family observed pot smoking “literally every block” on the 16th Street Mall.
Visit Denver spokesman Rich Grant said the tourism office has received several letters from visitors dismayed at the public pot smoking they saw in the city. But Grant said the number of those letters isn’t any more than letters Visit Denver receives on other topics. The office even receives letters from people concerned that — with bans on public consumption and prohibitions on marijuana use at many hotels — they won’t have a place to puff.
“At this point, nobody really knows what it’s going to be like or a lot of the details,” Grant said.
Complete Article: http://www.denverpost.com/breakingnews/ci_23779561/
Most people don’t think “cops” when they think about who supports marijuana legalization. Police are, after all, the ones cuffing stoners, and law enforcement groups have a long history of lobbying against marijuana policy reform. Many see this as a major factor in preventing the federal government from recognizing that a historic majority of Americans – 52 percent – favors legalizing weed.
But the landscape is changing fast. Today, a growing number of cops are part of America’s “marijuana majority.” Members of the non-profit group Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) say that loosening our pot policy wouldn’t necessarily condone drug use, but control it, while helping cops to achieve their ultimate goal of increasing public safety. Here are the five biggest reasons why even cops are starting to say, “Legalize It!”
1. It’s about public safety.
While marijuana is a relatively harmless drug, the black market associated with it can cause significant harm. Much like the prohibition of alcohol, marijuana’s illegality does not erase the profit incentive – instead, it establishes a risky, unregulated market in which violence and intimidation are used to settle disputes.
“When we ended the prohibition of alcohol, Al Capone was out of work the next day,” says Stephen Downing, Los Angeles’ former Deputy Chief of Police. “Our drug policy is really anti-public safety and pro-cartel, pro-street gang, because it keeps them in business.”
Marijuana trafficking represents a significant chunk of business for black-market cartels. Though the exact percentage of cartel profits from pot is disputed, lowball estimates fall at around 20 percent.
“During my time on the border, I saw literally tons of marijuana come over the border from Mexico,” says Jamie Haase, a former special agent in the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement division. “Competition over the profits to be made from this illicit industry has led to the deaths of tens of thousands of individuals in that country, and an ever-increasing amount of violence spilling over into the United States, where the Justice Department estimates Mexican cartels now operate in more than 1,000 American cities.”
2. Cops want to focus on crimes that hurt real victims.
In the past decade, police made more than 7 million marijuana arrests, 88 percent of them for possession alone. In 2010, states spent $3.6 billion enforcing the war on pot, with blacks nearly four times as likely as whites to be arrested. That’s a lot of police time and resources wasted, says former Seattle Chief of Police Norm Stamper, who had an “aha moment” about marijuana policy while working for the San Diego Police Department in the late 1960s.
“I had arrested a 19-year-old in his parents’ home for the possession of a very small quantity of marijuana, and put him in the backseat of a caged police car, after having kicked down his door,” recalls Stamper. While driving the prisoner to jail, he says, “I realized, mainly, that I could have been doing real police work, but instead I’m going to be out of service for several hours impounding the weed, impounding him, and writing arrest, impound, and narcotics reports. I was away from the people I had been hired to serve and in no position to stop a reckless drunk driver swerving all over the road, or to respond to a burglary in progress, or intervene in domestic violence situation.”
Cops have limited resources, and spending them on marijuana arrests will inevitably divert them from other policing. Adds Stamper, “In short, making a marijuana arrest for a simple possession case was no longer, for me, real police work.”
3. Cops want strong relationships with the communities they serve.
Baltimore narcotics veteran Neil Franklin says the prevalence of marijuana arrests, especially among communities of color, creates a “hostile environment” between police and the communities they serve. “Marijuana is the number one reason right now that police use to search people in this country,” he says. “The odor of marijuana alone gives a police officers probable cause to search you, your person, your car, or your home.”
Legalizing pot, says Franklin, could lead to “hundreds of thousands of fewer negative police and citizen contacts across this country. That’s a hell of an opportunity for law enforcement to rebuild some bridges in our communities – mainly our poor, black and Latino communities.”
Franklin adds that this would increase citizens’ trust in police, making them more likely to communicate and help solve more serious crimes. Building mutual respect would also protect cops on the job. Adds Franklin, “Too many police officers are killed or injured serving the War on Drugs as opposed to protecting and serving their communities.”
4. The war on pot encourages bad – and even illegal – police practices.
Downing says that monetary incentives for drug arrests, like asset forfeiture and federal grants, encourage an attitude where police will make drug arrests by any means necessary, from militarized SWAT raids to paid informants who admit to lying. “The overall effect is that we are losing ground in terms of the traditional peace officer role of protecting public safety, and morphing our local police officers into federal drug warriors,” Downing says.
Quotas and pressure for officers to make drug arrests – which profit police departments via federal funding and asset forfeiture – also encourage routine violations of the Fourth Amendment ban on unreasonable searches and seizures. The NYPD, for example, stops and sometimes frisks well over 500,000 people a year, the vast majority of them youths of color – the basis for a pending federal lawsuit challenging the policy on constitutional grounds. While New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has defended stop-and-frisk as a way to get guns off the street, in fact, it’s more often used to arrest kids with small amounts of weed. Stamper adds that legalization would allow police officers “to see young adults not as criminals, but members of their community” – and start respecting those young people’s civil liberties.
5. Cops want to stop kids from abusing drugs.
Marijuana’s illegality has done very little to stop its use. A recent survey by the National Institutes of Health found that 36 percent of high school seniors had smoked marijuana in the past year. Legalization would most likely involve age restrictions on marijuana purchases, while at the same time providing quality control over product. “The only way we can effectively control drugs is to create a regulatory system for all of them,” says Stamper.
“If you are truly a proponent of public safety, if you truly want safer communities, then it’s a no-brainer that we have to end drug prohibition and treat [marijuana] as a health issue, like we did with tobacco,” says Franklin. “Education and treatment is the most effective and cost-efficient way to reduce drug use.”
On the other hand, adds Franklin, “If you support a current system of drug prohibition, then you support the very same thing that the cartel and neighborhood gangs support. You might as well be standing next to them, shaking hands. Because they don’t want an end to prohibition, either.”
Peter Shumlin, the state’s governor, made a telling distinction between weed and “harder” drugs when he announced the move. “This legislation allows our courts and law enforcement to focus their limited resources more effectively to fight highly addictive opiates such as heroin and prescription drugs that are tearing apart families and communities,” he said.
The idea that weed isn’t that big a deal and that governments need to readjust their priorities is pretty common. There’s little vocal anti-pot government outcry, no temperance movement analog for cannabis. Recent polls have found that a majority of Americans think marijuana should be legalized.
Even our mainstream faces of stoner culture are generally silly, harmless and amiable (Jeff Spicoli, Cheech & Chong, Harold & Kumar, and whatever Snoop is calling himself these days) except when they’re revered and saintly (read: Bob Marley). On TV, there was Weeds, a dramedy about an upper-middle-class widow who starts selling marijuana to make ends meet. Change the drug to something else like heroin or meth, drugs with more sinister reputations, and it becomes something much darker. You’d pretty much have to go all the way back to Reefer Madness to find a widely seen film that portrayed pot as dangerous or threatening. (And the whole reason we all know about that movie is because the concerns at its center are often mocked as kitschy and histrionic.)
Mona Lynch, a professor at the University of California, Irvine who studies the criminal justice system, says that stereotypes of marijuana usage in popular culture don’t come across as very threatening. “There’s not a lot of uproar around marijuana [as] a crushing problem,” she says.
But this image of weed use as benign recreation or banal nuisance doesn’t square with another great fact of American life — the War on Drugs. And more and more, that War on Drugs means marijuana.
Ezekiel Edwards, the director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Criminal Law Reform Project, says that 10 years ago, marijuana possession arrests made up 37 percent of all drug arrests. And now? “Half of all drug arrests are now marijuana-related,” he says — and 9 in 10 of those are for possession.
The focus of the continuing law enforcement battle on marijuana lands disproportionately on people of color. The ACLU crunched some Justice Department numbers on drug arrests, and released a much-discussed report last week on their findings. The upshot: African-Americans are four times as likely to be arrested for possessing marijuana than whites, even though blacks and whites consume weed at about the same rate.
For blacks — and black men in particular — marijuana is a gateway drug into the criminal justice system.
“The thing that was shocking about the report was the pervasiveness, that this [disparity in arrests] is happening everywhere,” Lynch tells me. “It’s happening in small towns, big towns, urban and rural.”
Both Edwards and Lynch say that part of the reason marijuana is getting more attention from law enforcement agencies is that police departments are being subsidized with lots of federal dollars to stop drugs, but the crack epidemic has since waned. “Institutions don’t like to shrink,” Lynch says. “It’s actually a reverse kind of pattern — drug arrests are going up [even] as crime drops.”
At the same time that marijuana’s become a more central focus of the War on Drugs, there are plenty of business types who are already making their plans for selling marijuana after, uh, all the smoke clears. They’re trying to give pot an altogether new face: as a widely available commercial product backed by big business. No one knows what that market might even look like quite yet, but it could be incredibly lucrative.
Might you be able to cop some weed at your supermarket behind the counter with cigarettes? Would your favorite coffee shop start selling some “extra special” lattes? What about an over-the-counter headache medicine packaged in a box with a little green leaf in the corner?
Seriously — it might not be that far-fetched.
Don Pellicer, a company that hopes to open marijuana stores in Washington and Colorado, is looking for investors. Vicente Fox, the former president of Mexico, was a guest speaker at a Don Pellicer event last week, and has said that he would grow marijuana if weren’t against the law. “Once it’s legitimate and legal, sure, I could do it,” he told reporters. “I’m a farmer. Producers of all types can participate.” (Fox, it’s worth noting, used to run Coca-Cola in Mexico, and its sales jumped by 50 percent during his tenure.)
There are already vending machine companies working on cannabis-dispensing kiosks for retail stores for the people who don’t want the hassle of humoring those talky connoisseur types. “The way we see it, when you walk into a shop, you don’t need the expert or aficionado to help with selection,” says the head of one such vending company. “The people who are using this in the recreational space — they know what they want, and they don’t want to hear the whole spiel every time.”
And there are all the industrial, non-psychoactive applications. Hemp fiber, which is especially strong, is already used in all sorts of textiles. One researcher told writer Doug Fine that a decade after weed became legal, a domestic hemp industry would sprout up in the United States to the tune of $50 billion a year — which would outpace the estimates of what smokable reefer would bring in.
“When America’s 100 million cannabis aficionados (17 million regular partakers) are freed from dealers, some are going to pick up a six-pack of joints at the corner store before heading to a barbecue, and others are going to seek out organically grown heirloom strains for their vegetable dip,” Fine wrote.
So now we have to reconcile the many different faces of marijuana — a jokey, pop-culture staple, a continuing fascination of law enforcement agencies whose attentions fall disproportionately on people of color, and the potential cash crop of a bright, green future.
Which of these will give way? Or will any of them?