CannaBiz: DA changes course 

DA's new direction

At least one major change will come about from the legalization of marijuana — in Washington. King and Pierce county prosecutors are reportedly declining to prosecute more than 220 misdemeanor marijuana cases in the wake of the state's passage of Initiative 502.

Lee Richards, spokeswoman with the 4th Judicial District Attorney's office, says a similar move is afoot locally, though specifics are scarce.

"It's not like they keep track of just marijuana cases, so I have no idea how many marijuana cases there are," she says. But "is Dan [May] going to re-evaluate and look at some of the cases? He is. He will be."

Asked for more details, Richards says there hasn't been an official statement from the district attorney, just more of an unofficial shift in priorities: "I can't say for sure that there's been a meeting. I just know anecdotally that he's made this clear around the office: that we're not gonna waste time and resources going after [low-level marijuana cases]."

As far as the scope of the cases to be examined, "I don't know of any that are under an ounce [of possession]," says Richards. An ounce is the limit Colorado voters imposed with the passage of Amendment 64.

Want to, can't

They're walking into JP Wellness; they're constantly calling Amendment 20 Caregivers; and they're very quick to point out that they're older than 21. They're people interested, in the aftermath of the passage of Amendment 64, in buying cannabis from medical-marijuana centers.

But lacking a red card, they simply can't.

"It's just out of control," said Tanya Garduno, with the Colorado Springs Medical Cannabis Council, in an interview the day after the election. "All the centers around the state are getting calls constantly right now, since the election, that regular people are wanting to come in and purchase."

We spoke with Garduno again Monday to see if anything had changed: "It's still going on," she said. "There's still people who walk up to the center. It's not quite as much as the first couple days [though]."

So, for more on what folks can do at this point, see our story "After I'm 64," published Oct. 31.

Bay State smoking

Now that Massachusetts has become the 18th state (plus Washington, D.C.) to legalize the use of medical marijuana, things are about to get tricky, reports the Boston Globe. Set to take effect Jan. 1, the new law mandates there be at least one MMJ center in every county, a worrisome requirement to some municipalities. Meanwhile, the state Department of Public Health, which is to write the rules for the industry, has been struggling with its own scandals.


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