Hickenlooper Hinting To Veto Indoor Marijuana Smoking

Canada’s so-called “Prince of Pot” and his wife were charged Thursday with multiple drug-related charges after being arrested in Toronto. Lawyer Jack Lloyd said Marc Emery and his wife, Jodie Emery, were taken into custody at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport on Wednesday evening. Marc Emery faces 15 counts, including conspiracy to commit an indictable offense, trafficking, possession for the purpose of trafficking, and possession of proceeds of crime, while Jodie Emery is charged with five similar counts. The couple owns the Cannabis Culture brand, which has a chain of 19 marijuana dispensaries operating openly in British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec. Police raided Cannabis Culture stores in several cities Thursday.

The Colorado Senate on Thursday passed a first-in-the-nation bill expressly permitting marijuana clubs. But Gov. John Hickenlooper is hinting that he’ll veto the measure unless it bans indoor marijuana smoking. The bill allows local jurisdictions to permit bring-your-own pot clubs, as long as those establishments don’t serve alcohol or any food beyond light snacks. The bill doesn’t say whether those clubs could allow people to smoke pot indoors. That means it would be possible for a membership club that is closed to the public and has no more than three employees to permit indoor pot smoking. Sponsors say the bill is necessary because Colorado already has a network of underground, unregulated pot clubs, and towns aren’t sure how to treat them. Pot clubs could help alleviate complaints that Colorado’s sidewalks and public parks have been inundated with pot smokers since the state legalized recreational weed in 2012.

Colorado is moving to curb the nation’s most generous marijuana allowance for medical patients growing their own plants. The state House gave preliminary approval Friday to a bill limiting marijuana patients 16 plants in their homes, down from 99. The measure aims to make it harder to grow pot outside the taxed and regulated commercial pot system. Colorado regulators have tried for years to stop people from growing large amounts of pot without state taxation or oversight. But because Colorado’s constitution gives people the right to grow as much pot as their doctors recommend, the state has had a hard time making that happen. Of the 28 states with legal medical marijuana, none but Colorado currently allows more than 16 pot plants per home.

The Denver FBI honored a youth dropout prevention group Thursday, apparently without realizing it is partially funded with taxes from the marijuana industry. Youth on Record Executive Director Jami Duffy mentioned the funding the group receives as she accepted the Director’s Community Leadership Award at Denver FBI headquarters. She said after her acceptance speech that the program that focuses on music received $75,000 in marijuana tax revenue last year from the city of Denver and is expecting an additional $148,000 this year.

Three men charged in Norway with selling drugs online have to pay back 120 bitcoins ($144,300) on top of millions in Norwegian kroner – the first time the Scandinavian country has demanded to be paid in the electronic currency, a prosecutor said Friday. Richard Beck Pedersen says the men in their 30s allegedly used underground websites to sell drugs, and that most of the payment was done with bitcoins because transactions with the electronic currency have a high degree of anonymity. Beck Pedersen said the trio behind the online shops was formally charged Friday with selling drugs. The narcotics were sent by mail to customers. Bitcoin allows people to buy goods and services and exchange money without involving banks, credit card issuers or other third parties.

Prosecutors said six bodies had been found dumped on Thursday and Friday around the twin resorts of Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo at the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula, which has been the scene of increasing violence in recent months. The prosecutors’ office said a woman’s body was discovered on a road leading to the airport along with several doses of methamphetamine and marijuana. The bodies of three men were found wrapped in plastic bags and a tarp in San Jose del Cabo and the bodies showed signs of torture. A man and a woman were found shot to death in the area near the airport.