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marijuana

marijuana joint pot
Flickr Photo/Dann Cove (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Washington state is dealing with a lot of weed waste — and we're not talking about the stuff you dig out of  your yard.

Our legal marijuana industry is creating a new waste problem. Seattle journalist Kristen Millares Young covered the story for The Washington Post and spoke to KUOW’s Angela King about it.


The first prescription medication extracted from the marijuana plant is poised to land on pharmacists' shelves this fall. Epidiolex, made from purified cannabidiol, or CBD, a compound found in the cannabis plant, is approved for two rare types of epilepsy.

Its journey to market was driven forward by one family's quest to find a treatment for their son's epilepsy.

As legalization of recreational and medical marijuana continues to expand, police across the country are more concerned than ever about stoned drivers taking to the nation's roads and freeways, endangering lives.

With few accurate roadside tools to detect pot impairment, police today have to rely largely on field sobriety tests developed to fight drunk driving or old-fashioned observation, which can be foiled with Visine or breath mints.

Jason Hutto, Founder and CEO of House of Cultivar, poses for a portrait on Wednesday, July 18, 2018, at House of Cultivar in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

When Washington voters legalized recreational pot five years ago, they paved the way for a new industry that includes everything from retail shops to big grow operations.


The legalization of recreational marijuana in Washington state in 2012 resulted in a dramatic decrease in the number of people sentenced for marijuana-related felonies, according to an analysis conducted for public radio by the Washington State Caseload Forecast Council.

Legal marijuana sales exceeded $1.3 billion in Washington state in fiscal year 2017.
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Do people getting their marijuana convictions vacated by the City of Seattle need to be notified? Are they entitled to legal counsel, and to reimbursement for the fines and fees they paid?

Earlier this week in Tacoma, Washington, police tactical squads staged coordinated raids on middle class homes converted into indoor pot farms. What the authorities found follows a recent pattern in West Coast states: all of the marijuana growers arrested were immigrants from China who spoke little or no English.

A Chinese immigrant arrested during the bust of a sprawling illegal pot growing operation last November wants to withdraw his guilty plea. The man claims he didn't understand his conviction could lead to deportation.

On a big-sky plateau on the eastern slope of the Cascades, a 10-acre parcel of land has been trashed by illicit pot farmers. Abandoned equipment rusts and jugs of chemicals molder.

Marijuana legalization wasn't supposed to look like this.

Five years into its experiment with legal, regulated cannabis, Washington state is finding that pot still attracts criminals.

Marijuana plants are shown in the flowering room at Grow Ambrosia in Seattle
KUOW Photos/Megan Farmer

A Seattle municipal court judge will decide if hundreds of marijuana convictions should be vacated after a request from Pete Holmes, the city attorney. 

If approved by the court, 542 people convicted of marijuana possession would have their records affected.

Some Think Legal Cannabis Might Be Dragging Down Craft Beer Sales

Apr 30, 2018

After years of double-digit growth, Oregon’s craft beer sales are slowing. Some think legal cannabis might be playing a role.

Deschutes Brewery CEO Michael LaLonde tells The Bend Bulletin that legalized cannabis has affected sales. “It’s so potent today. Someone might go and have a beer and do some edibles, and the combination of those two things means they don’t consume as much alcohol,” he said.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee is making headlines for a quip he made about marijuana to HBO host Bill Maher.

As more states legalize marijuana, there's growing interest in a cannabis extract — cannabidiol, also known as CBD.

It's marketed as a compound that can help relieve anxiety — and, perhaps, help ease aches and pains, too.

Part of the appeal, at least for people who don't want to get high, is that CBD doesn't have the same mind-altering effects as marijuana, since it does not contain THC, the psychoactive component of the plant.

The inspiration arrived in a haze at a Paul McCartney concert a few years ago in San Francisco.

"People in front of me started lighting up and then other people started lighting up," says Matthew Springer, a biologist and professor in the division of cardiology at the University of California, San Francisco. "And for a few naive split seconds I was thinking to myself, 'Hey, they can't smoke in AT&T Park! I'm sure that's not allowed.' And then I realized that it was all marijuana."

Marijuana plants are shown in the flowering room at Grow Ambrosia in Seattle
KUOW Photos / Megan Farmer

Guy Nelson talks to KUOW reporter David Hyde about who still pays the price for marijuana crimes in Washington state after legalization.  

Seattle musician Yirim Seck was arrested for selling pot in the decade before it was legalized
KUOW Photos / Megan Farmer

KUOW listener Christine Bryant Cohen wants to know who's doing time for what she does for a living:  selling pot. 

Flickr Photo/Brian Stalter (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Kim Malcolm talks with Alison Holcomb about Seattle's move to vacate convictions for misdemeanor marijuana possession. Holcomb is director of strategy for the ACLU of Washington and the architect of Initiative 502, which legalized recreational marijuana in Washington.

Legal marijuana sales exceeded $1.3 billion in Washington state in fiscal year 2017.
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

People with pot possession records in Seattle may be about to catch a break. Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and City Attorney Pete Holmes announced today a plan to ask the city's municipal court to drop charges and vacate convictions for misdemeanor marijuana possession.

Raft Hollingsworth III laughs with his sister Joy Hollingsworth on Thursday, January 18, 2018, at The Hollingsworth Cannabis Company in Mason County.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Last year sales of legal marijuana reached $1.2 billion. Despite the growth, people of color are left out. Less than 10 percent of current licensed retailers and producers are minorities.  One reason: stigma.

When Joy Hollingsworth and her brother Raft decided to grow pot as a family business, they told only a few about it. Joy says growing up, pot was taboo.


Joy Hollingsworth, left, and Raft Hollingsworth III stand in their cloning greenhouse on Thursday, January 18, 2018, at The Hollingsworth Cannabis Company in Mason County.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

When Washington voters approved legalizing recreational marijuana in 2012, entrepreneurs jumped at the new business opportunity.

Marijuana sales continue to grow, with the industry doing  more than a billion dollars in sales last year. But this new industry is overwhelmingly white —  and there are many obstacles for people of color.

One African American family is staking their future on pot despite the barriers.

Updated at 7 p.m. ET

Prosecutors in San Francisco will throw out thousands of marijuana-related convictions of residents dating back to 1975.

San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón said Wednesday that his office will dismiss and seal 3,038 misdemeanor convictions dating back before the state's legalization of marijuana went into effect, with no action necessary from those who were convicted.

Prosecutors will also review up to 4,940 felony convictions and consider reducing them to misdemeanors.

Two-year old Maverick Hawkins sits on a red plastic car in his grandmother's living room in the picturesque town of Nevada City, Calif., in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains. His playpal Delilah Smith, a fellow 2-year-old, snacks on hummus and cashews and delights over the sounds of her Princess Peppa stuffie.

It's playtime for the kids of the provocatively named Facebook group "Pot Smoking Moms Who Cuss Sometimes."

A regulatory snafu in Washington state has industrial hemp farmers in limbo over planting a crop in 2018. Some of them are looking to shift acreage to Oregon.

The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board recommends legislation to allow people to grow four cannabis plants at home.
Flickr Photo/Cannabis Culture (CC BY-NC-ND)

This could be the year Washington state legalizes growing pot in your own home. Washington is the only state with a legal, recreational marijuana market that doesn't allow recreational home grows.

This week's news isn't going to pump itself

Jan 5, 2018
KUOW PHOTO/KARA MCDERMOTT

The Trump Administration says it will stop telling prosecutors to look the other way when states legalize marijuana and wants to open federal waters off the coast to oil drilling.

Seattle taxpayers will pay to settle a sex abuse lawsuit against former mayor Ed Murray. And Oregonians will finally get to pump their own gas, but please cool it with the jokes.

Pot products are seen inside The Green Door marijuana shop on Rainier Avenue South in Seattle on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018.
KUOW photo/Anna Boiko-Weyrauch

On a busy stretch of Rainier Avenue South in Seattle, next to a taco truck, a dry cleaners and a gas station is The Green Door. A large road-side sign touts it as “Seattle’s favorite cannabis shop.”

Inside on Thursday, it was tense. “Very nerve-wracking,” said manager Mark Larsson. 


Legal marijuana sales exceeded $1.3 billion in Washington state in fiscal year 2017.
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Washington state officials are calling the Trump administration's decision to scrap marijuana guidelines "backwards" and "disappointing."

Updated at 4:45 p.m. ET

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is scrapping Obama-era guidelines that essentially removed marijuana from the list of federal drug enforcement priorities as more states legalized it.

In guidance issued Thursday, Sessions rescinded those policies and instead will permit individual U.S. attorneys to decide how aggressively to go after marijuana in their jurisdictions.

Sessions, a former Alabama senator, has long viewed pot as a public menace and a source of street crime.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

We're learning more about a massive illegal marijuana growing operation busted by police in Western Washington this week. One unusual aspect of this case is that the 44 people arrested at a network of grow houses were all Chinese.

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