WEED WEDNESDAY: Congress's contradictory approach to pot and the children

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Welcome back to Weed Wednesday, your weekly dose of pot news. Wondering what this is about? Click. Looking for our previous marijuana coverage? Click. Got a question or tip? Email me at jaket@inlander.com.

The biggest weed news this week was Congress essentially voting to stop sending the feds after medical marijuana users. States that have sanctioned the drug for medical purposes have found themselves in a precarious situation with the drug remaining illegal under federal law, which has been used to prosecute patients. In one of its last acts before going home for the holidays, Congress voted to end that legal ambiguity by passing a spending bill containing an amendment that cut of funding for federal law enforcement agencies to interfere with state medical marijuana laws.

Drug policy reform advocates are applauding the move, but it’s not immediately clear how this will actually play out. Mother Jones has declared that the federal war on medical marijuana is now over. But Reason has a blog post suggesting that the language in the relevant budget amendment is sufficiently ambiguous to still allow federal prosecution of medical marijuana users.

The move by Congress could have important ramifications for medical marijuana users facing federal charges, such as the Kettle Falls Five.

Interestingly, the same funding bill meant to make the feds mellow on medical marijuana also contains a provision to prevent Washington D.C. (the laws of which are subject to approval from Congress) from enacting its voter-approved initiative legalizing pot. The Huffington Post reports that the language of the bill might contain a loophole to allow pot to become legal in the nation’s capital.

Locally, the Spokane County Commission voted to renew its laws that oversee the growing, processing and selling of marijuana in the county, reports The Spokesman-Review.

Elsewhere:

In San Francisco, a yoga studio will allow students to “elevate” their exercise by smoking pot first.

It’s a good idea to give your teacher a bite of your brownie. But it’s a bad idea if that brownie is laced with pot, a lesson a Maryland teen is learning.

Mayor Buzzkill of Seattle is cracking down on a service being called the “Uber for pot.”

Even though pot is more available than its ever been, you can quit worrying about the children. The 2014 Monitoring the Future study, a national survey of youth’s attitudes toward drugs and alcohol conducted annually by researchers at the University of Michigan, has concluded that teen use of marijuana and other substances is down, reports The Washington Post’s Wonkblog.

Speaking of kids using pot, The Denver Post has a long article about families moving to Colorado so their children can use a liquified form of marijuana - for medicinal reasons.