Last week, we shared part one of the federal Drug Enforcement Administration's most wanted fugitives list for its Denver office -- a roster from Colorado and several neighboring states that includes 51 men and women wanted for narco-crimes typically involving heroin, meth, cocaine and marijuana. As ... More >>
The federal Drug Enforcement Administration maintains lists of the most wanted fugitives at each of its major offices, including the Denver branch, which covers Colorado as well as several neighboring states. The current roster features 51 people -- most of them men, with a majority originally haili ... More >>
Congressman Jared Polis is among the majority of U.S. House representatives who voted in favor of defunding DEA raids on medical marijuana businesses in states where MMJ is legal. But even though that effort is currently stalled in the Senate, Polis is trying to push ahead on other cannabis-related ... More >>
Late last month, the U.S. House voted to defund DEA medical marijuana raids in Colorado and other states that have legalized MMJ -- an unprecedented development that was greeted with cheers by many cannabis reformers. But the next step in the legislative process -- passage by the U.S. Senate -- hit ... More >>
The industrial hemp growing registration period is open again -- and it will stay that way year-round from now on, thanks to a bill passed by lawmakers earlier this year. The bill, which was signed into law on May 31 and is on view below, removes the annual May 1 registration deadline for farmers wa ... More >>
Last week, we shared news about the U.S. House voting to defund DEA medical marijuana raids in states where the substance is legal. But that doesn't mean the count was unanimous -- even here. Indeed, three of Colorado's seven representatives voted against the defunding amendment, including U.S. sen ... More >>
Over the years, marijuana activists have frequently talked about the tipping point -- the moment at which so many states have legalized pot that the federal government is forced to change its policies in regard to a substance still considered a Schedule 1 narcotic by the Drug Enforcement Agency. In ... More >>
Last month's Spice bust in Loveland, in which a business owner and two employees were arrested for peddling a substance colloquially known as synthetic marijuana (even though it has little in common with cannabis), got plenty of attention. But the operation pales in comparison to a nationwide series ... More >>
Last November, we told you about marijuana raids conducted at multiple cannabis businesses, including VIP Wellness, by law enforcers from the DEA, IRS and Denver Police Department. This morning, Hector Diaz, a 49-year-old from Colombia, is due in court to be formally advised of the charges against ... More >>
We witnessed a comment explosion after publishing about Governor John Hickenlooper's suggestions about how to spend $100 million-plus in marijuana revenue, with most of the money earmarked for prevention campaigns and law-enforcement efforts. Here's one of the pithiest takes.
Last week, Denver-based Marijuana Policy Project spokesman Mason Tvert called President Obama's comments suggesting that marijuana may be less harmful than alcohol "refreshing." But his group, a major backer of Colorado's Amendment 64, is considerably less impressed by statements attributed to Drug ... More >>
William Breathes's post about Juan Guardarrama, a target of federal marijuana raids who was known as Tony Montana during his days as a Florida jewel thief brought an explosion of commentary, much of it charging the DEA with hypocrisy. But this reader thinks the feds were actually as good as their wo ... More >>
Updates below: Westword has learned that the federal Drug Enforcement Administration is conducting raids at this writing at multiple marijuana businesses in the Denver area. The U.S. Attorney's Office in Denver has issued a statement confirming the ongoing operation, which is being conducted by the ... More >>
When Governor John Hickenlooper signs a hemp-farming registry bill later this morning, no one will be happier than Lloyd Casey. The 86-year-old former state senator, who now lives in Ohio, first introduced a hemp-legalization bill in the mid-1990s, but was rebuffed not once but twice by powerful int ... More >>
Last week, the Amendment 64 task force released a massive, 166-page report filled with recommendations about how best to implement the measure, which allows adults 21 and over in Colorado to use and possess small amounts of marijuana. How does Calvina Fay, executive director of Save Our Society Fro ... More >>
Did Henry Ford really make a car out of hemp? Was the Declaration of Independence written on hemp paper? Did Abraham Lincoln use hemp oil in his lamps? The hemp plant, a variety of Cannabis sativa that's the subject of this week's cover story "Green Acres," is steeped in lore. Some hemp legends ar ... More >>
Yesterday, eight former DEA administrators sent a letter to ranking members of the Senate Judiciary Committee (see it below), encouraging them to quiz U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder about why the Justice Department hasn't cracked down on Colorado and Washington state over their recently passed ma ... More >>
Tomorrow, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder will testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee -- and eight ex-heads of the Drug Enforcement Administration suggest that members ask him why the hell he hasn't brought the hammer down on Colorado and Washington state for their respective pot laws. That ... More >>
Most sane, rational people understand that the cannabis plant has medical properties beneficial to patients who suffer from severe pain, chronic nausea and a number of other conditions. And then you've got the federal government, which has again refused to accept marijuana's medicinal properties.
Talk about cross-pollination. On our post about the DEA's response to a Colorado's marijuana-rescheduling request, a conversation broke out about President Barack Obama's pot chat with Barbara Walters. Here's the view of a reader experiencing a case of déjà vu.
Last week, a number of mainstream media outlets suggested that rescheduling marijuana might bridge the gap between conflicting state and federal laws following the passage of Amendment 64 -- this despite the fact that the federal government took nine months to shrug off Colorado's rescheduling sugge ... More >>
High-profile media organizations have started floating the idea of rescheduling marijuana as a way of bridging the gap between federal law and Colorado's in the wake of Amendment 64's passage. As we noted Wednesday, Colorado asked DEA administrator Michele Leonhart to consider doing so this past Dec ... More >>
Now that Amendment 64 is law, the mainstream media is beginning to grapple with the contradictions between the act's language and federal law. The latest solution, as floated by the Washington Post and Rachel Maddow fill-in Ezra Klein? Reschedule marijuana so that it is no longer listed as a Schedul ... More >>
Former drug czars, DEA administrators and national "addiction experts" have come out in opposition to Colorado's Amendment 64, as well as similar measures before voters in Washington and Oregon. In other wildly-unexpected news: The sky is, indeed, blue.
For the last eight months or so, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Colorado has been shutting down medical marijuana storefronts within 1,000 feet of schools by simply sending the dispensaries a letter and giving them 45 days to vacate or face possible seizure of their property and assets. The tactic m ... More >>
Update: Shortly after publishing the following item about Dr. Lynne Fenton, a CU psychiatrist who treated accused Aurora theater shooter James Holmes, we heard from Steffan Andrews, Fenton's ex-husband, and one of the people to whom she was censured by the state medical board for providing Claritin ... More >>
One of the stranger marijuana stories of last year involved a federal raid on Cherry Top Farms dispensary -- one not prompted by an investigation into the center, but due to the targeting of Nathan Do, a man associated with a different MMC, who agents were following. Nathan, along with family member ... More >>
Yesterday, we featured a video in which Drug Enforcement Administrator Michele Leonhart refused to say marijuana was less harmful than heroin while under questioning from Representative Jared Polis at a U.S. House subcommittee. The clip, and Leonhart's bizarre responses, frustrated a number of comme ... More >>
The Colorado Springs Police Department, working in conjunction with the Drug Enforcement Administration and the FBI, has made a big heroin bust. Nineteen people were arrested, including one juvenile and eight under the age of 21 -- many of them alleged users rather than dealers. Their youth makes se ... More >>
In decrying the resources wasted in a failed prosecution of medical marijuana caregiver Josh Jones (a total he estimated at over $100,000), attorney Rob Corry suggested that law enforcers focus on meth rather than weed. Little did he know that the U.S. Attorney's Office in Colorado and the Organized ... More >>
Monday was the deadline for 25 medical marijuana centers near schools targeted in a second wave of closure-threat letters from U.S. Attorney John Walsh to shut their doors -- and all of them did. A third wave is coming, promises Walsh's spokesman, who now stresses his boss's efforts to protect not ... More >>
Denver blog posts think it's nice to be nice to the nice. Colorado Pols on Jared Polis's slam of DEA agent Barbara Roach, who wants to move to a city where dispensaries are banned. The Independence Institute's Amy Oliver on which lawmakers put rate-payers above Xcel. 5280's photo of the week spot ... More >>
Update below: The U.S. Attorney's Office under John Walsh has now confirmed that dispensaries near schools that received a seizure-threat letter have stopped doing business at previous locations. But this confirmation comes with new info. Although 23 letters were sent, one was subsequently withdrawn ... More >>
John Walsh.Update: U.S. Attorney John Walsh's letter to 23 medical marijuana dispensaries within 1,000 feet of schools, which threatens seizure and forfeiture if they don't stop operating within 45 days, is a blow to the state's MMJ industry. And spokesman Jeff Dorschner stresses that it won' ... More >>
As mandated by state law, the director of the state Department of Revenue formally requested that the federal government reconsider their position on medical marijuana last week. Thanks to an often-forgotten clause in House Bill 1284, which laid the framework for the current regulatory system in pl ... More >>
From regulations changing and shops being raided, to pizza delivery guys calling the cops on tokers, it has been an interesting year for medical marijuana in Colorado. Below is our top ten list of Westword's most popular marijuana stories of 2011 as well as links to the original posts.
This week, governors in Rhode Island and Washington asked the federal government to concede that marijuana has medical uses. A Colorado official is required to send a similar message by year's end -- but would John Hickenlooper consider following the lead of these fellow governors and do the deed hi ... More >>
Last week, DEA personnel announced four arrests related to a marijuana shipment from Colorado Springs to Chicago. All the busts were made in Illinois, but a grow was destroyed near the Springs, and extraction expert Matt Schnur has been named in a related press account. What's Schnur's story? ... More >>
Yesterday, we noted that HB 1284, which set medical marijuana regs, requires the state to ask the DEA to designate pot as a Schedule II controlled substance. Plenty of commentary followed, including the following post, whose author doesn't expect Department of Revenue executive director Barba ... More >>
The Drug Enforcement Administration dubs marijuana a Schedule I controlled substance -- meaning it has no accepted medical use. Switching pot to Schedule II, like morphine and cocaine, among other drugs, would instantly change the dynamic between the feds and medical marijuana states. And a C ... More >>
The conversation about the DEA raid on the Cherry Top Farms dispensary continued on an update post, in which attorney Bob Hoban spoke positively about the decision by the feds not to bust the center's employees. One reader found this viewpoint hopelessly naive.
Cherry Top.The Cherry Top Farms dispensary wasn't the target of a DEA raid last week -- but the feds confiscated 2,500 plants anyhow. Cherry Top's owners wanted to open up again early this week. But the dispensary's still closed at this writing -- and still losing money -- due in part to the ... More >>
This morning, the manager of Cherry Top Farms dispensary, raided yesterday by the DEA and other agencies, shared his version of the story, including his claim that the center was in compliance with all state regs. There's nothing to contradict this claim in info supplied by the U.S. Attorney' ... More >>
Update:On August 9, the Westminster Police Department manned a "DRUG ENFORCEMENT CHECKPOINT" on I-25. Last week, WPD Investigator Trevor Materasso confirmed the operation, but didn't have many details. Now, however, he's able to provide the specifics. Officers issued tickets or made arrests i ... More >>
Dan Tang.Operation Fortune Cookie, a 2008 raid netting 24,000 marijuana plants, was the largest weed bust in state history -- but it imploded among claims of police snitches, paid-off politicians and a secret DEA investigation. Last March, two Fortune Cookie investigators, Daniel Joyce and Ro ... More >>
Last week, a spokesman for Representative Jared Polis expressed disappointment with a Justice Department medical marijuana memo that some in the MMJ industry saw as paving the way for DEA raids on dispensaries. Polis doesn't think such incidents are imminent, and neither does Colorado Dispens ... More >>
Last month, we told you about a loophole in HB 1043, the medical marijuana cleanup bill, that could let Big Pharma firms get involved in the Colorado MMJ industry. Now, the Drug Enforcement Administration has made a new proposal involving marijuana extracts, and attorney Warren Edson sees it ... More >>