marijuana

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. 

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. 

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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. 

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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. 

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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.

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. 

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
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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. 

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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.

Laurie Avocado/Wikimedia Commons

On the California side, the concerns about marijuana are shared with Oregon, but the laws differ. 

Medical marijuana is legal, but not the recreational variety. 

That could easily change in next year's election, and county leaders on the North Coast want to get ahead of the game. 

They joined forces for the North Coast Marijuana Policy Statement, which addresses legal, economic, and other issues related to marijuana.

It got an award from the California Association of Counties and figured in legislation passed in the recent session. 

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California voters passed medical marijuana into law nearly 20 years ago, but the state has not added anything in the way of regulation since the original vote.  Until now, maybe. 

The recently concluded legislative session produced a package of three bills constructing a regulatory framework for marijuana... if Governor Jerry Brown signs them. 

The California Cannabis Industry Association pushed for the bills, and eagerly awaits the outcome of Brown's decision. 

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Oregon may be among the pioneering states in legalizing marijuana, but there's still a major issue: pot is illegal under federal law. 

It is up to Congress to change the law, if members see fit. 

Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Portland) sees fit. 

Blumenauer is spending time in our neck of the woods, explaining his proposals for changing marijuana in federal law, and for getting more for Oregon out of federal farm policy. 

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Oregon started lighting up on July 1st, when marijuana became legal for personal use. 

But nobody can legally sell the herb until October 1st. 

And that's far in advance of the originally intended date for retail sales. 

Clear on all this?  It can be confusing as state agencies like the Oregon Liquor Control Commission develop rules. 

Laurie Avocado/Wikimedia Commons

Legal marijuana is a rapidly-growing reality. Four states, including Oregon and Washington, have legalized recreational use of the drug. Several more – including California – could well do so by the end of next year. Forty states have legalized it in some form for medicinal use.

Now, US Senators from Oregon, Washington and Colorado hope to start breaking down the federal barriers that lock many legal cannabis businesses out of routine banking and financial services.

The Crimes They Are A-Changin'

Jul 6, 2015

Marijuana is legal in Oregon, so now what?  While the state prepares the way for retail sales to begin, a lot of other details have to be settled.  

For one thing, what happens to people who were charged and convicted for marijuana crimes that are NO LONGER crimes?  

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The Countdown to Legalization is almost at zero.

On July 1st, Oregon residents will be able to grow and possess marijuana for recreational use, under state law. 

Measure 91's approach produced a flurry of activity, including many interviews and reports. 

Those include a segment of Oregon Public Broadcasting's "Think Out Loud" talk show. 

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You take medicine because it's supposed to be good for you.

Oregon voters made marijuana a medicine in the belief that it would help people. 

But a recent investigation by The Oregonian (Oregon Live online) found holes in regulations and testing regimes led to the presence of pesticides in some medical pot. 

Oregon Growers Analytical tests marijuana for pesticides and other contaminants. 

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