Use of rat poison at illegal California pot plantations is pushing fishers toward extinction

A fisher kit climbs a tree. Poisons used on illegal marijuana farms continue to threaten fishers in California.

A fisher kit climbs a tree. Poisons used on illegal marijuana farms continue to threaten fishers in California. Photo courtesy U.S. Forest Service.

Findings leave little doubt that marijuana growers are key threat to rare mammals

Staff Report

A new study presents more evidence that illegal marijuana growers are speeding the demise of a rare forest critter in California. After studying hundreds of forest-dwelling fishers, researchers concluded that the annual rate of poisoning deaths rose 233 percent compared to a study in 2012.

“This study further solidifies the need for continuing to remediate and remove these threats to fishers and other species of conservation concern within our public lands,” said Dr. Mourad Gabriel, executive director of the Integral Ecology Research Center, lead author of the study published in PLOS One.

“I hope the next steps can focus on rectifying the harmful effects of this clandestine activity so that they do not stem the years of conservation efforts of stabilizing the California fisher populations.” Continue reading

Cops bust huge illegal pot farm in Colorado

A U.S. Forest Service law enforcement ranger looks over an illegal marijuana growing operation on the San Isabel National Forest. Photo courtesy U.S. Forest Service.

A U.S. Forest Service law enforcement ranger looks over an illegal marijuana growing operation on the San Isabel National Forest. Photo courtesy U.S. Forest Service.

Illegal grow site found by hunters in remote part of San Isabel National Forest

Staff Report

FRISCO — Marijuana may be legal in Colorado, but that hasn’t stopped people from growing illegally on public lands.

Most recently, law enforcement officers with the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and Huerfano County Sheriff’s Office eradicated a huge growing operation in the San Isabel National Forest. Continue reading

Feds ease banking restrictions on bud biz


A growing business …

Gov. Hickenlooper says new guidelines don’t go far enough

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — Federal officials took a small step toward giving state-authorized marijuana businesses some much-needed financial legitimacy, but the new guidance from the U.S. Department of Justice doesn’t go far enough, according to Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper.

“Based on initial reactions in the banking community to the guidance that was issued today, it appears that the language does not provide the clarity that Colorado banks are seeking to provide basic banking services to the emerging marijuana industry,” Hickenlooper said in a statement. Continue reading

Colorado: Marijuana task force starts meeting Dec. 17


The federal response to Colorado’s marijuana-legalizing Amendment 64 is still unclear. Bob Berwyn photo.

Stakeholders will develop recommendations for regulating legalized marijuana consumption and cultivation

By Bob Berwyn

FRISCO — A state task force charged with implementing Colorado’s Amendment 64, which legalizes personal consumption and cultivation of marijuana — will be working under a tight schedule, meeting weekly to develop recommendations that will be delivered to Gov. John Hickenlooper and the State Legislature no later than the end of February.

That will help set the stage for the next technical step in the process of regulating marijuana in a way similar to alcohol, with state agencies required to develop regulations for that process by July 1, according to Sean McAllister, a Breckenridge-based attorney and spokesman for Colorado NORML.

AP reporter Kristen Wyatt tweeting from Gov. John Hickenlooper’s press conference on marijuana legalization:

McAllister said the task force, representing an array of stakeholders ranging from local governments and health and safety officials to the state department of agriculture and medical marijuana providers, will meet weekly. Read the executive order establishing the task force here.

Read the executive order codifying Amendment 64 here. Continue reading

Colorado lawmakers ask feds to back off on marijuana

Congressional delegation readies bill that would exempt Colorado from federal Controlled Substances Act

Will Colorado and the federal government find common ground?

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — Federal enforcement actions in Colorado against individuals for possession of marijuana would be a bad idea, Democratic Congressman Jared Polis said Friday.

Along with 15 other Democratic congressmen, Polis sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and DEA chief Michele Leonhart, urging the federal government to take no action against anyone who acts in compliance with the laws of Colorado, Washington and any other states that choose to regulate access to marijuana. Continue reading

Breckenridge to close marijuana ‘loophole’

The Breckenridge Town Council will discuss changes to its marijuana ordinance at a May 11 work session.

Changes to voter-approved ordinance would ban cannabis consumption at private clubs

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — The Breckenridge Town Council will consider amending a marijuana ordinance to ban the inhaling of marijuana vapors in public. The work session discussion is scheduled for about 3:15 p.m. on May 11.

The ordinance was approved by voters in a ballot initiative, creating the perception that the town had legalized marijuana use. The proposed changes are aimed specifically at closing what’s described as a loophole by Police Chief Rick Holman in a memo to the council.

The Town currently has one business, Club 420, that allows people older than 21 to use vaporizing paraphernalia and consume personal cannabis on the premises after paying a membership fee. The club is not licensed as a medical marijuana dispensary. It does not sell marijuana or make any effort to differentiate between medical marijuana users or recreational users, according to Holman’s memo, which goes on to say that neighboring businesses in the Town Square Mall have complained and said they oppose this type of business.

The amendment would prohibit people from displaying, consuming cannabis in any place of business … open to the general public, even if admission requires the payment of a charge, admission fee, entry fee, membership fee, or other monetary charge of any kind.

The loophole that enabled the club to open was not part of the original intent of the marijuana ordinance passed by voters, the memo concludes.

Westword reported on Club 420 here.


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