WW: Corruption in weed worker unionizing, Larry Harvey dies, fatal crashes linked to pot?

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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

Earlier this month, Dan Rush, the director of the United Food and Commercial Workers' national medical cannabis and hemp division, was indicted on allegations that he violated labor law by improperly colluding with a marijuana grower all while lining his pockets. The indictment is significant because Rush has led the union’s efforts to organize workers in the nascent cannabis industry in California, which have extended to Eastern Washington.

SF Weekly reports that the union swiftly distanced itself from Rush, who was nicknamed “Superman” for his unionization efforts. After the news broke, Isaac Curtis, who is organizing Eastern Washington cannabis workers, called up the Inlander to stress that Rush is a separate figure from his affiliate, which he insists is free of corruption.

“This guy in California was writing toothless neutrality agreements,” says Curtis, referring to arrangements employers enter into to ensure they won’t attempt to influence unionization efforts.

Curtis says that his unionization efforts were put on pause after the news broke, but will resume shortly. Currently he’s in negotiation with the Herbal Connection Spokane, The Happy Collective and JD's Collective Garden –– all medical dispensaries that could be shuttered next year as a result of the state’s reform of marijuana laws.

“This campaign is about the employees,” says Curtis. “That’s our agenda.”

Here’s the news elsewhere:

Larry Harvey
  • Larry Harvey

Larry Harvey, the patriarch of the so-called Kettle Falls Five, has died.

The Seattle PI cold-called 270 marijuana businesses and discovered that the industry is saturated by white people.

Numbers released last week from the Washington Traffic Safety Commission show that the number of drivers testing positive for marijuana in fatal crashes increased 48 percent from 2013 to 2014. The press release from the WTSC goes on to note: “However, just testing positive for marijuana doesn’t necessarily indicate if a driver was actually affected by the drug at the time of the crash since marijuana can be detected in a person’s blood for days (possibly weeks) after a person uses the drug.”

Reason also points out that Washington’s standard for driving high is extremely controversial and the National Highway Safety Administration has pointed out that there is no good way to connect THC blood levels to impairment.

In Colorado, an anti-drug organization has released the results of a poll showing that residents of the state are increasingly anti-drug.

"We are not prepared to declare that the odor of marijuana smoke is equivalent to the odor of garbage. Indeed, some people undoubtedly find the scent pleasing," ruled an appeals court in Oregon.

Speaking of courts of appeals, one of those in Colorado retroactively overturned the conviction of a woman who was convicted of possessing marijuana days after voters legalized pot.

Don’t expect marijuana carts to join Oregon’s thriving food cart scene.

"Can burning marijuana fields get you high?" CBS News wonder out loud. 

Quit trying to make your own hash oil.

According to a recent study, marijuana users are less likely to become obese.

Russia has banned a Wikipedia page because it references pot.