marijuana

Jackson County Doubles Cannabis Violation Fines

Nov 20, 2017
MEDFORD MAIL TRIBUNE / File Photo

Jackson County is raising its maximum fine from $10,000 to $20,000 for code violations — in part because officials say owners of illegal marijuana grows are undeterred by the threat of a $10,000 fine. “A lot of people are being impacted by people who are ignoring our ordinances,” said Jackson County Commissioner Rick Dyer. Commissioners discussed the fines during a work session in October, then voted this month on whether to raise fines. Dyer and Commissioner Bob Strosser voted to increase a variety of minimum and maximum fines.

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You can be forgiven for not keeping up with the legalization of marijuana in Oregon and California.  The two states adopted legal pot at different times and through different pathways. 

Another shoe drops in California on January 1, 2018, when licensing for recreational cannabis sales is due to open. 

Oregon still has some procedures to work out as well, and then LOCAL jurisdictions are still figuring out what restrictions they want. 

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission is in charge of non-medical marijuana; Danica Hibpshman of OLCC visits. 

She is joined by Brooke Staggs, who writes of cannabis in The Cannifornian

Narender Sharma, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=49644512

Marijuana is now officially out in the sunshine in Oregon and California, legal to grow and legal to use.  But that doesn't mean the practices that developed to make and market cannabis during the prohibition years have changed. 

Journalist Nick Johnson demonstrates how the industry continues to use old, environmentally damaging practices even though the purported reasons for them no longer exist. 

Johnson's book is Grass Roots: A History of Cannabis in the American West, from Oregon State University Press.      

Evelyn Simak, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=13063303

Trying to understand the world of legal marijuana in Oregon is enough to drive people to wine. 

Marijuana IS legal for personal as well as medical use (though still illegal under federal law), it can be grown, and it is regulated--sometimes heavily--by state and local authorities. 

We work through some of the issues with marijuana cultivation and production in a discussion with several people. 

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Washington was one of the first states to legalize marijuana for personal use.  And you can bet people in Oregon counties bordering Washington crossed that border to buy pot. 

And then Oregon passed its own personal use law, and the cross-border traffic cooled. 

A study led by University of Oregon health economist Ben Hansen finds that much of the marijuana grown in Washington stays in Washington, counter to concerns that much of it is exported to the black market. 

United States Fish and Wildlife Service

Legal marijuana puts states in some strange positions. 

Under state law, adults can use marijuana for either recreational or medical purposes. 

Either way, it's still illegal under federal law. 

And people can abuse it, so the Oregon Health Authority still maintains a marijuana use prevention program.  OHA is also taking its youth program, Stay True to You, statewide after a pilot project.

Wikimedia

Well, that didn't take long: if a new report is accurate, more than 12,000 people work in the cannabis business in Oregon. 

And this is just a couple of years after pot became legal for personal use in the state. 

The Oregon House of Representatives asked for the report to get a handle on the economic impact of cannabis in Oregon. 

Taxes And THC: What It Takes To Stay Legal

Feb 27, 2017
Wikimedia

Maybe the details take a while to sort through, but filing your taxes is a straightforward process: you fill out a return, and file it by April 15th. 

And if you need help and can afford it, you use a tax preparer.  All easier said than done for people in the marijuana business, because it's legal under state law and forbidden under federal law. 

Ben Yuma is the manager of Jefferson State Farms, in the marijuana business. 

Justin Botillier is managing partner of Rogue Tax Professionals

Austin Jenkins/Northwest News Network

It's still taking a while for some terms to sink in: "cannabis industry." 

Who would have thought a few years ago that Oregon and California would be able to use that term, legally? 

The growth of the industry is phenomenal, including the likes of "Grow Condos," a large warehouse for growing weed in Eagle Point. 

The company CEO has big plans for things like a cannabis-friendly RV park. 

Catching Up With The Marijuana Business

Jan 9, 2017

Oregon has been a hotbed of activity in the marijuana business since voters legalized pot in the November 2014 election. 

Which is why the Oregonian assigned reporters to cover the marijuana beat.  Noelle Crombie continues to break ground and break stories in her reporting for the paper and its web entity, Oregon Live. 

With retail sales now up and running and local taxes on sales, there's plenty to talk about. 

Adjusting The Indoor Climate For Marijuana

Jan 9, 2017
Wikimedia

Marijuana on the market means opportunities for users and sellers, and some for growers as well. 

And challenges for them, too... to grow a decent crop without spending too much money.  Some growers choose to grow marijuana indoors, and there are studies underway to make indoor grows of any crops more efficient. 

The University of California-Davis is home to the Western Cooling Efficiency Center (WCEC), studying how best to balance environmental controls. 

Your Brain On Pot Does Not Look Good

Dec 12, 2016
Wikimedia

Regardless of your own attitude toward the truth, your brain does not lie. 

At least it CAN'T when it is scanned by medical imaging devices.  And the brains of people who use marijuana show reduced blood flow, as reported in a recent study

That's especially true in the hippocampus, the part of the brain involved in Alzheimer's disease. 

Dr. Daniel Amen of Amen Clinics is the lead author of the study. 

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The abuses in the illicit marijuana industry are well-documented: abuse of water rights, environmental abuse of land and water, and more. 

The "more" includes evidence of sexual abuse inside the marijuana trade in the Emerald Triangle of California's North Coast. 

Investigative reporter Shoshana Walter talked to many women forced into sexual acts while they worked as pot trimmers. 

The abuse extends to sex trafficking. 

Wikimedia

Half the states in the country legalized marijuana for either medical or personal use.  But within the past week, the federal government refused to budge, keeping pot as a "Schedule 1" narcotic: no medical value. 

So that's topic we serve up, fresh and hot, for this week's VENTSday: what's the value of marijuana to you or society? 

VENTSday removes the guests and puts listener comments front and center on The Exchange. Once a week, it's all about you... we plop a topic on the table, post a survey on our Facebook page, and open the phone lines and email box for live comments.

The topics can range from presidential politics to how you spend your days off. Got an observation or opinion? Share it with the State of Jefferson on VENTSday.

Oregon Pitches Pot Avoidance To Teens

Jul 20, 2016
staytruetoyou.org

One of the major concerns about marijuana becoming legal for personal use in Oregon was the possibility of younger people getting a hold of the drug.

Opponents of legalization pointed to "edibles," food items laced with marijuana, as a major concern.  Now marijuana AND the edibles are legal in Oregon, and the state Health Authority is launching a campaign to discourage pot use among adolescents. 

The "Stay True to You" campaign targets 12-to-20-year-olds. 

VENTSday: Immigration + Legal Marijuana

Jun 28, 2016

We continue our discussion of immigration into VENTSday, through the lens of the Supreme Court decision and the UK's departure from the EU.

Give us your thoughts on how, if at all, immigration should be handled differently. 

Topic two: Legal marijuana in Oregon reaches its first birthday; we want your impressions of success, failure, or meh?   

VENTSday removes the guests and puts listener comments front and center on The Exchange. Once a week, it's all about you... we plop a pair of topics on the table, post a survey online (see below), and open the phone lines and email box for live comments.

The topics can range from presidential politics to how you spend your days off. Got an observation or opinion? Share it with the State of Jefferson on VENTSday.

ACLUNC.org

Allegations of voter fraud have been followed by allegations of voter suppression by officials in northern California’s Siskiyou County. 

Austin Jenkins/Northwest News Network

Marijuana cultivation is estimated to use one percent of America’s electricity output. That’s enough juice to power 1.7 million average homes.

And as more states make the drug legal in some form, that power consumption is expected to soar. Northwest energy officials project cannabis grows will suck up three percent of the region’s power by 2035. 

Now, efforts are underway to get growers to reduce their energy use.

Could Marijuana Become California’s Next Big Ag Crop?

Feb 17, 2016
wikipedia commons

California farmers produce more food than any other state on the country. But what if the state’s Big Agriculture also included marijuana? Backers of a ballot measure to legalize marijuana in California have started collecting signatures. And if it makes it onto the ballot and passes, Golden State growers might have a new crop to harvest. 

Smoothing Out Wrinkles In Oregon's Pot Law

Oct 16, 2015
Wikimedia

Making marijuana legal in Oregon was the easy part... for voters.  But ever since last November's election, officials at all levels of government have been scrambling to understand, implement, or block the law. 

Jackson County voters passed a subsequent measure authorizing a tax on pot, but county commissioners have not enacted one, in part because of a conflict with state law. 

County Commissioner Doug Breidenthal and Development Services Director Kelly Madding will host a town hall meeting on marijuana on Wednesday (Oct. 21). 

They visit The Exchange to give a preview.

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