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Colorado survey says legalization has not increased teen pot use: Editorial Peak

Colorado survey says legalization has not increased teen pot use: Editorial Peak

Prior to the November 2014 vote to legalize recreational marijuana in Oregon, many voters worried that increased use by teens would ensue. Among those who didn’t buy this argument were eight Portland-area teens convened by The Oregonian. As one teen, a Lincoln High School student, told The Oregonian/OregonLive’s Jeff Mapes, “The kids who are going to use it are already using it, whether it’s legal or not.”

Fast forward nearly two years. Oregon’s recreational market is still less than a year old. But in Colorado, where voters legalized pot in 2012, survey data suggest that Portland’s teens were right. In 2015, 21 percent of kids in Colorado had used pot in the past month, according to The Washington Post. That’s much higher than the zero percent of kids who should, for a host of reasons, not be using pot. But it’s lower than the 25 percent of students who reported using pot in 2009. The 2015 survey also found that the percentage of teens who use pot in Colorado is at the national average.

Why hasn’t legalization turned huge numbers of teens into potheads? Kids report that pot is already easy to get, according to The Washington Post, and “The kids who want to smoke weed are probably already doing so — and legalization would do little to change that.”

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Marijuana legalization: Women Grow true to its name (photos)

Marijuana legalization: Women Grow true to its name (photos)

Women Grow, a national organization with its largest chapter in Portland, is one year old. The Denver-based company has already burgeoned to 33 cities in the U.S. and Canada.

With its mission to support female leadership roles in the marijuana industry, Women Grow is poised to elevate the drug’s reputation through education and community events. They want to give women the inspiration to plow ahead as entrepreneurs.

On Thursday night the Portland chapter held its monthly event at The Colony in the St. Johns neighborhood, attracting over 150 mostly female attendees (their website says about 30% of the audience is usually male). It appeared to be just like any networking event: people introducing themselves, wine glass in one hand and business card in the other, with an unmistakable air of professionalism.

Jazmin Hupp, co-founder and CEO of Women Grow, offered the keynote address. Despite traveling 40 weeks out of the year speaking to marijuana business people, this was her first trip to Portland.

Oregon seems to have a new starring role as the land of opportunity for marijuana-related businesses since the legalization of the drug’s recreational use. Hupp thinks the intense interest at Women Grow events here is based on the state’s deep roots with marijuana and the lack of any other professional cannabis-related networking organization. 

Portland has another resource in its back pocket.

“The talent in this room can lead not only Oregon’s industry but the national industry,” Hupp proclaimed to cheers. 

Hupp could have been talking about any profession.

She urged women to get out there and meet new people.

“Your success depends on the strength of your network.”

She had the room divide into groups of four so that one person at a time could share a minute talking about themselves. “Bragging” as she called it.

“As women, we were taught not to brag, especially if you were on the secretive side of this industry.”

For Hupp it’s a brand new day. Teamwork will be vital moving forward, and she apparently wants to lead the charge for all women.

“If you think your competition is in this room,” she said to rapt listeners, “then your thinking is too small.”

In her world, where she dreams of a “trillion” dollar marijuana industry, there is plenty of room for everybody.

Hupp’s background is in product design, branding, and business operations. She says she’s been enjoying marijuana recreationally since age 16, when it was a low-key alternative to alcohol.

Another speaker at the St. Johns event, Wendy Rall, owns Budd Branding, a studio for product branding.

Rall talked about the importance of design when marketing your product, such as using a readable font and simple logo.

Applying tried and true professional models to a product that was once underground seems to be providing new opportunities.

According to Leah Maurer, co-founder of the Portland chapter, Women Grow is all about connecting already-existing skill sets with the marijuana industry.

“We’re providing a level playing field,” adds fellow founder Sara Batterby.

In addition to events on the first Thursday of each month, there will be a summer social on August 14, 2015. There is no membership fee for Women Grow, but a ticket must be purchased for individual events.

–Stephanie Yao Long

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Pot legalization opponent Kevin Sabet speaks about Project SAM (video)

Pot legalization opponent Kevin Sabet speaks about Project SAM (video)

Kevin Sabet, a leading opponent of marijuana legalization, said he supports increased drug prevention, “science-based education” and early intervention when it comes to marijuana use.

And while he thinks law enforcement should play a reduced role in marijuana policy, the best way to keep people from using the drug is for it to remain illegal.

“We think it’s important that the behavior is still considered illegal to try and discourage use,” he said.

Sabet recently sat down with The Cannabist editor, Ricard Baca, for a wide-ranging talk about marijuana, legalization and the goal of his organization, Smart Approaches to Marijuana.

Sabet said marijuana legalization is more than whether an adult should be able to smoke a joint in the privacy of their own home. People who don’t want to see marijuana use criminalized also aren’t happy to see the drug sold out of storefronts in their neighborhoods, he said. 

“The issue becomes what kind of community do you want to really foster?” he said. 

Sabet took his message to Oregon last year during the successful campaign to legalize cannabis. He told audiences about pot’s potency and harms to young people.

— Noelle Crombie

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Marijuana giveaway and smokeout event will celebrate legalization in Portland

Marijuana giveaway and smokeout event will celebrate legalization in Portland

On July 1, recreational marijuana will officially be legal in Oregon. Some kind of celebration, a commemoration of the occasion, was inevitable.

But that party won’t come from the usual suspects in Portland. Hempstalk, the time-honored yet controversial cannabis fair, was denied a permit this year. High Times, which brings its Cannabis Cup events to cities around the world, has struggled to set something up locally.

Instead, Portland will get a locally-sourced marijuana free-for-all – a sharing and sampling party that all but guarantees to generate cloud thick plume of smoke in celebration.

The July 3 event will be called Weed the People – the patriotic poster features an eagle clutching a branch of marijuana leaves in one talon, a bunch of joints in the other – organized by local cannabis extractors The CO2 Company alongside the Portland Mercury and Oregon’s Cannabis Concierge.

Attendees can pay $ 40 for a ticket to the event, which promises up to 7 grams of free samples from growers in addition to industry swag, educational opportunities and a “Vaporizer Lounge.”

“We are focused on responsible adult usage, and helping the community usher in legalized cannabis,” organizers write. “Whether you partake regularly or haven’t touched the stuff in years, this event will [offer] something for you! Don’t be afraid of your freedom!”

It sounds a bit surreal, but Weed the People is staying with the soon-to-be mainstream, following the new recreational marijuana laws to the T.

According to the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, which will oversee the recreational market, Oregonians 21 and older will be allowed to consume marijuana at home or on private property as of July 1. Since a retail marketplace is not yet in place, people are only allowed to share or give marijuana away for free.

To comply, organizers of Weed the People will only allow people 21 and older into the event, which will take place at Metal Craft Fabrication in north Portland. Growers there will give everything away for free, or else “share” with attendees.

Once inside, attendees will be free to exercise their new right to light up, or else take their score home.

Security guards will enforce a strict ban on outside cannabis, as well as alcohol and marijuana edibles, going so far as to search bangs at the door.

“This is more than free weed. This is more than vendors, food and vapes,” organizers write. “This is history in the making! Join us for a day to remember!”

* * *

When: Friday, July 3, from 2 to 9 p.m.
Where: Metal Craft Fabrication (map it)
Admission: $ 40 ($ 43.33 with fees), buy online

–Jamie Hale | jhale@oregonian.com | @HaleJamesB

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After legalization, marijuana events fighting for a foothold in Portland

After legalization, marijuana events fighting for a foothold in Portland

People ambled through the Oregon Hemp Convention on Friday, casually inspecting colorful glass bongs and trying samples of rice crispy treats and chocolates, chatting with vendors about growing marijuana plants at home and extracting cannabis oil safely.

Our more relaxed attitude toward marijuana is nothing new, but this was all still a bit surreal.

But as Oregon eases into recreational marijuana, bigger festivals and conventions like this weekend’s event should become the norm, popping up throughout the year at venues in and around Portland.

They should become the norm, but as of now the Oregon Hemp Convention is the only big marijuana event officially scheduled in Portland this year. Oregonians will be hungry for celebration this summer, but will there be anywhere in Portland for them to go?

(Jamie Hale/The Oregonian) 

No Competition

The state voted to legalize recreational marijuana use in November (it becomes law in July) but despite the mainstream status, Portland doesn’t have any official Boulder-style 4/20 smoke-outs on the calendar, nor other mass cannabis gatherings.

Hempstalk filled that void for ten years before the Portland Parks Bureau denied its permit for 2015, citing unchecked illegal public consumption at previous events, despite organizers’ over-the-top efforts to curb it.

High Times Magazine saw an opening in town, and announced that its touring Cannabis Cup would come to Portland in July, but organizers have released no further details, growing concerns that it too will fall through.

That leaves the Oregon Hemp Convention, a strictly smoke-free event focused less on the culture and more on the industry, as the sole major marijuana event in town. As far as convention director Jerry Norton is concerned, that’s just fine.

“We’re back by popular demand,” Norton said of his free public event, which runs Saturday and Sunday at the Expo Center. “I thought it as a good opportunity to educate the general public.”

After the inaugural convention last September drew roughly 2,000 people, he decided to run another one only six months later. This weekend he anticipates more people, and if no other major events find a foothold in Portland over the summer, he said he might just organize another one to fill the need.

He apparently has the local resources — connections with venues — to make it happen, something he claims other organizers have been struggling with.

“People are coming in like sharks, trying to get their piece of the Oregon market,” he said in a thinly-veiled criticism of High Times. “They’ll try to float into town.”

While you’ll have to take Norton, who is competing with the Cannabis Cup and other events, with a grain of salt, his claims sound fairly plausible given the resistance Portland officials have demonstrated toward events that promote pot.

A volunteer at Hempstalk 2014. (Jamie Hale/The Oregonian) 


Nobody in Portland understands the struggle of organizing large-scale marijuana events like Paul Stanford. The local marijuana advocate started Hempstalk in the early 2000s, and has faced pressure from police and city officials practically every step along the way.

The Portland Parks Bureau’s permitting refusal sounds like an endgame, but Stanford sees it as just another roadblock.

In November Hempstalk’s lawyer filed a lawsuit against the city, alleging a denial of free speech. Stanford is so confident of their case that he’s not even looking for another venue. He expects Hempstalk to return to Waterfront Park, without a doubt.

“We’re still fighting the city,” he said. “This is a free speech issue and they can’t tell us we can’t do this … we’re not going to take ‘no’ for an answer.”

The city’s position is that organizers had little or no control over public consumption of marijuana, and that organizers went as far as to encourage attendees to get high.

It’s a bit disingenuous.

Anyone who has been to the waterfront (during a big event or not) can tell you that open consumption of marijuana is not isolated to the marijuana-themed event. And the claim that organizers encouraged it? Well, an emcee did tell people to get high in the open, but he directed them outside the festival gates — an attempt at freeing Hempstalk from blame.

All of it underscores the often pithy relationship between the city and organizers of big marijuana events. It’s easy for officials to dismiss the vocal organizers of Hempstalk and other events, but they seem to be ignoring the people who could be hurt the most by the prohibition.

The Cannabusiness

Angel Armstrong has been making marijuana-laced edibles for the last five years out of a kitchen in southern Oregon. As the state’s medical marijuana industry prepares to join to a recreational market, she and her son, Joseph Armstrong, see either an opening for expansion or closed door ahead.

“Only recently have we been able to sell our product,” she said at the Oregon Hemp Convention on Saturday. “We’re still afraid that the bubble will pop.”

The Armstrongs, who operate as Angel’s Homemade Edible Medibles, appear to be in better shape than most. Rather than craft typical chocolates and candies, they make things like salsa and cotton candy, all laced with marijuana.

But while unique product gives them a leg up, they still rely on events like the Hemp Convention to promote themselves to the general public.

Mackenzi Maier, a fellow edible baker from Salem, said many in the industry started out by manning booths at big events. But massive outdoor festivals can get out of hand, she explained, and more laid-back conventions like the one this weekend offer a better chance to connect with people.

“Right now this is about education and information,” she said at her Miss Mack’s Medibles booth. “When it gets so large it’s hard to get answers.”

Still, both cannabusinesses said that they aren’t concerned. Maier said she prefers the convention, but isn’t ruling out festivals, and the Armstrongs said they’re confident those kinds of events will crop up around Portland later this year.

“I don’t have a preference,” Maier said. “I’ll go anywhere that lets me get my name out there.”

In other words, there are very few worries in the marijuana events scene in Portland. We could very well see the Cannabis Cup, Hempstalk and another Hemp Convention in the rest of 2015, or a whole new event could rise up to fill the void.

We’re truly in uncharted territory here, and there’s no telling what festivals will emerge from the newly legalized smoke. If one thing is certain, it’s that Portland smokers will be able to celebrate legalization somewhere this year.

The Oregon Hemp Convention is only the start.

–Jamie Hale | jhale@oregonian.com | @HaleJamesB

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Jimmy Kimmel pot quiz might make you think twice about marijuana legalization

Jimmy Kimmel pot quiz might make you think twice about marijuana legalization

Oregon voters legalized recreational marijuana by a wide margin last November. Will this be good for the state?

Hard to say. Potheads definitely have very specific knowledge and skills that they bring to the marketplace. Jimmy Kimmel is down in Austin, Texas, for SXSW and decided to give stoned festival attendees a quiz to find out what they know and what they can’t quite wrap their minds around. Quick scorecard: Shaggy 1, Texas Governor Abbott 0.

Make sure you stick around to the end of the video for a special appearance by the all-time king of pot smokers.

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Marijuana legalization debate draws 75 tribes to Washington state conference

Marijuana legalization debate draws 75 tribes to Washington state conference

TULALIP, Wash. — The U.S. Justice Department’s December announcement that it would allow the nation’s Indian tribes to legalize and regulate marijuana on their reservations brought notes of caution — if not silence or opposition — from many tribes.

They were reluctant to consider it given the substance abuse problems that already plague many reservations.

But the attendance at a conference on the topic Friday gave an early indication of just how many might be weighing it.

Representatives of about 75 tribes from around the country converged on the Tulalip Indian Tribe’s resort and casino for a $ 605-a-head seminar on the regulatory, legal and social issues related to pot legalization. That’s a small fraction of the nation’s 566 recognized tribes, and many of the attendees were from smaller tribes looking for a potential economic edge.

“I’m pleasantly surprised — a great deal more are considering this than I thought would be considering it,” said Ken Meshigaud, chairman of the Hannahville Indian Community, a band of the Potawatomi Tribe on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. “From an economic standpoint, it may be a good venture the tribes can get into.”

Tribes have been wrestling with the idea since the U.S. Justice Department announced that it wouldn’t stand in their way if they want to approve pot for medical or recreational use.

The agency said tribes must follow the same law enforcement priorities laid out for states that legalize the drug, including keeping marijuana out of the hands of children and criminal elements.

The discussions are heating up: On Monday, about 200 tribal leaders attended a meeting of the National Congress of American Indians, which included a closed-to-the-press panel discussion with Justice Department officials on marijuana legalization in Indian country, said Demetri Downing, a former prosecutor for the Tohono O’odham tribe in southern Arizona who now advises tribes on regulatory issues related to pot.

The topic also is on the agenda of a major tribal economic summit in Las Vegas next month, he said.

“We have to take a look at it,” said Seth Pearman, an attorney for the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe in South Dakota. “The economic opportunity is just astronomical — it would be almost negligent to miss out on this.”

He said tribal leaders already are drafting regulations for a marijuana industry, and they toured some dispensaries on their trip to Washington state for the conference.

The event was organized by Robert Odawi Porter, a tribal law expert and former president of the Seneca Nation in New York, and Seattle attorneys Hilary Bricken and Robert McVay, who have hosted other conferences on legal pot.

Topics of discussion included the big business potential for pot, as well as concerns about substance abuse on reservations and the potential creation of a tribal cannabis association.

Representatives of several tribes said they were considering legalizing or regulating cannabis for medical use. They said they were intrigued about the idea that making pot more accessible might help cut down on abuse of methamphetamine or prescription drugs among tribal members.

“We’re looking at what the benefits are, not only with revenue but with the medical relief we can give to our elders,” said Lewis Taylor, chairman of the St. Croix Tribe of Wisconsin.

“Historically we’ve always had the medicine man, and they’ve always prescribed herbal medicine,” he said. “We want to make sure we’re in a legal framework to do this.”

— The Associated Press

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On marijuana, Oregon cities ask for big rewrite of voter-approved legalization law

On marijuana, Oregon cities ask for big rewrite of voter-approved legalization law

Oregon’s cities are asking state legislators for big changes in the marijuana legalization law approved by voters in November.

A new bill introduced at the request of the League of Oregon Cities would allow cities and counties to levy their own taxes on retail marijuana sales, something now prohibited under Measure 91.

The measure, Senate Bill 542, would also allow city and county governing bodies to ban retail sales within their borders altogether.  In contrast, Measure 91 allows a ban on sales only if citizens place a measure on the ballot and win over a majority of the voters.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Jackie Winters, R-Salem, is one of the most sweeping changes to Measure 91 proposed so far and it comes with the strong backing of at least 70 cities that have passed ordinances seeking local taxes on recreational marijuana sales.

Measure 91, which levies a $ 35-an-ounce state tax on the potent parts of a marijuana plant, banned local taxes because sponsors said they wanted to ensure that taxes wouldn’t be so high that consumers would continue to go to the black market.

Scott Winkels, a lobbyist for the League of Oregon Cities, argued that for the most part, cities are proposing relatively modest taxes — of 10 to 15 percent on the retail price of the drug — to help recoup their local costs of enforcement.

Anthony Johnson, Measure 91’s chief sponsor, countered that local governments already get a share of state taxes and that it’s too soon to start rewriting the measure.

“Until we let the implementation of Measure 91 play out, major changes are really premature,” said Johnson, noting that retail sales probably won’t start until the latter half of 2016.

Cities are also pushing hard for changes to the opt-out procedures in Measure 91.  In essence, they want to go from requiring a majority of voters to allowing a majority of a city council or county commission to ban pot sales.

Winkels, noting that Measure 91 “didn’t pass everywhere” in Oregon, said many local communities simply don’t want to retail marijuana shops.  “These communities need to have some say in what is appropriate for them,” he said, arguing that the elected officials should be able to act on the matter.

Johnson said he and the other authors of Measure 91 modeled the opt-out provisions on the statutes dealing with alcohol sales, which give voters the say over whether to have a dry city or county.

The League of Cities bill is likely to represent an opening bid in legislative deliberations over the issues of local taxes and local opt-outs.

For example, Winkels said at a minimum, cities would like to have some way to prohibit sales before the states start issuing licenses.  Under Measure 91, the earliest that a locality could opt out of marijuana sales is at the November, 2016 election.  Meanwhile, Measure 91 allows the Oregon Liquor Control Commission to start accepting license applications by retailers in January of that year, although it could take several months before the OLCC allows pot sales to actually begin.

There are also several more limited changes to the tax provisions that could take place.  Rob Bovett, legal counsel for the Association of Oregon Counties, suggested in a memo that local taxes only be allowed at a level that would keep retail prices “at or below the legalized black market.”

Another alternative, he said, would be to give localities a bigger share of the cut of state tax proceeds.  Measure 91 calls for 10 percent to go to cities and 10 percent to counties.

Bovett supported allowing local government leaders to ban marijuana sales.  But he said a potential alternative would be to allow city and county leaders to refer a measure to the ballot asking voters if they wanted to ban local sales.

Johnson said legislators should be deferential to the 56 percent of voters who passed Measure 91 and at least at the start should stick with the same opt-out and tax provisions used in alcohol sales.

“Voters have really spoken that they want to see marijuana treated similarly to alcohol,” he said.

–Jeff Mapes




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Marijuana-sniffing dogs on way out for some Oregon police agencies as pot legalization kicks in

Marijuana-sniffing dogs on way out for some Oregon police agencies as pot legalization kicks in

It took Springfield police decades to get their own drug detection dog. And when Danner finally arrived last September, she could sniff out heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine, but not marijuana.
The 2-year-old black Labrador is exactly what they wanted.
“I think we saw the writing on the wall after marijuana became legal in Washington and Colorado,” said Springfield Sgt. Rich Charboneau, who helped train the drug dog and the department’s other four patrol dogs. “We thought it could possibly happen here, so we decided we probably should not even train for it.”
Springfield is among at least a half-dozen Oregon police agencies that have decided to phase out or reassign their pot-detecting dogs as state voters legalized recreational use of the drug last November.

Marijuana-sniffing dogs on way out for some Oregon police agencies as pot legalization kicks in At least 6 Oregon police agencies, including the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office, have decided to phased out or reassign dogs trained to find marijuana as state voters legalized recreational use of up to half a pound of the drug last November. Spencer, a 7-year-old Dutch Shepherd, was trained to detect drugs two years ago and can find meth, heroin and cocaine, but not marijuana.

When Measure 91 takes effect in July, people 21 and older can legally possess up to 8 ounces of marijuana and pot-infused products in a home. A person can carry up to one ounce legally in public.
So the drug dogs won’t necessarily be sniffing out a crime anymore and risk the chance of an illegal search. The dogs give the same signal no matter which drug they discover and can’t determine the amount of drugs in a stash.
Other cops are hanging on to their marijuana-finding dogs to use in more targeted investigations. It’s still illegal for people to possess more than a half-pound of marijuana, and any amount of marijuana remains forbidden in certain places, including jails and schools.
“This is a conversation every agency with a drug detection dog is having or has had for several months now and how it’s being addressed varies from agency to agency,” said Springfield Officer Daren Kendrick. “But police work is like the ocean, we have to go with the flow and always be able to adapt to changing technologies and laws to help the community.”
Kendrick is president of the Oregon Police Canine Association, which includes 63 Oregon law enforcement agencies and about 10 others from out of state. He and others estimate that Oregon has at least 150 police dogs, with about a third of them trained to find just drugs.
The others are a mix of patrol dogs that can track people or bombs or that are cross-trained to detect drugs and people.
In addition to Springfield, police departments in Beaverton and Hillsboro, Oregon State Police and sheriff’s offices in Clackamas and Washington counties have joined the ranks of agencies accepting new dogs that detect only heroin, cocaine and meth – not pot.
In Roseburg, police announced Jan. 16 that they plan to retire their drug dog, Dora, sometime before July 1 and give her to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.
“K9 Dora has been trained to detect marijuana, along with several other illegal narcotics, but unfortunately she cannot be ‘untrained’ to detect marijuana and therefore can no longer be used as a patrol K9 after the measure takes effect,” the department said in a statement.
Dora will be used at the Douglas County Jail to find marijuana and other contraband, said sheriff’s spokesman Dwes Hutson.
Roseburg police hope to get a replacement dog in the summer that doesn’t search for marijuana, Hutson said.
The Portland Police Bureau and Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office are among the agencies that don’t have any immediate plans to make changes. They still need the dogs to help bust large-scale marijuana trafficking, said Portland Sgt. Pete Simpson.
“We are waiting on some guidelines from the state and (district attorney’s) office on how the new law will affect search and seizure,” Simpson said. “But until we get those answers, we aren’t going to buy new dogs that are not trained for marijuana.”
Salem police also are taking a wait-and-see approach with their one drug-detection dog, said Lt. Dave Okada.
“Officers have been told that until July to ‘operate business as usual’ from the DA’s office,” he said.
The Oregon Department of Justice has had discussions with Oregon State Police and other state agencies about how to address the marijuana law, but hasn’t issued any guidance on police dogs, said spokeswoman Kristina Edmunson. She doesn’t know when or if that will happen, she said.
Washington and Colorado police agencies have had some time to figure out what to do since recreational pot use was legalized in 2012. And it’s a mixed approach like Oregon.
Vancouver police and the Washington State Patrol, for example, no longer train dogs to recognize marijuana. But the Tacoma Police Department still uses its narcotics dog that detects pot, said Officer Loretta Cool.
“If the marijuana is not in plain view, officers typically use other factors other than the dog’s nose to determine if they have enough probable cause to get a search warrant,” she said. “That includes the officers themselves smelling marijuana.”
It’s not feasible to try to retrain dogs to ignore pot, said Clackamas County Sheriff’s Sgt. Don Boone, one of the agency’s dog handlers. Police dogs usually start training with marijuana first, then other drugs, partly because the strong odor makes it easier to imprint, Boone said.
For every successful find, dogs get a reward, such as a toy, to reinforce training, Boone said. To change that behavior, the handler would have to deliver negative reinforcement, such as a sharp tug on the leash, to indicate that the dog should move on to something else. It could interfere with searches for other drugs, he said.
“More trouble than it’s worth,” Boone said.
It typically costs up to $ 10,000 just to buy a drug dog, such as a German Shepherd, said Kendrick, the Springfield officer. Thousands more are spent to train the dog to find the drugs, and there is also four to eight weeks of training with a human partner and then routine training afterward to keep the dog’s skills sharp, he said.
Boone estimates that the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office has spent about $ 50,000 to date on his 7-year-old Dutch Shepherd partner, Spencer. The dog is one of two there that can find people and drugs, but not marijuana.
The sheriff’s office has been phasing out marijuana-searching dogs through attrition for the last two years – and has one left, Boone said. It will be used during school and warrant searches.
“At that point the dog is only a searching tool and not being used to develop probable cause,” Boone said. “He’s just being used to find the drugs.”
Kendrick said he’s glad when police wait to retire the marijuana dogs rather than forcing them out. The dogs enjoy the job as much as their handlers do, he said.
“Drug-detection dogs will probably never go away,” Kendrick said. “But who knows, maybe in five years, you may be able to count on one hand the amount that can detect marijuana.”

— Everton Bailey Jr.

503-221-8343; @EvertonBailey

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Marijuana news: Cooking with pot; poll reveals most Colorado voters who supported legalization would vote the same today

Marijuana news: Cooking with pot; poll reveals most Colorado voters who supported legalization would vote the same today

The New York Times explores a new and lucrative trend: cooking with cannabis.

The story, which tops the NYT’s most-emailed list, looks at how some trained chefs in Colorado and Washington are experimenting with adding marijuana to their cooking.

Staff writer Kim Severson highlights two challenges: It’s tough to control how high consumers get from edibles and marijuana isn’t tasty.

Severson writes: 

Still, what if chefs could develop a culinary canon around marijuana that tamed both its taste and mood-altering effects, and diners came to appreciate dishes with marijuana the way one appreciates good bourbon? Paired with delicious recipes and the pleasures of good company, cannabis cookery might open a new dimension in dining that echoes the evolutions in the wine and cocktail cultures.

“I am sure someone is going to grow some that is actually delicious and we’ll all learn about it,” said Ruth Reichl, the former editor of Gourmet magazine and a former New York Times restaurant critic. Who could have predicted that kale would be the trendiest green on the plate, or that people would line up for pear and blue cheese ice cream, she asked.

“Cuisine is a product of people who cook and the ideologies they bring into the kitchen and what they are able to do with the instruments they have on hand,” said Adam Gomolin, a lawyer and amateur chef who helped found the crowd-funded publishing company Inkshares.

A new poll shows most Coloradans who voted for marijuana legalization in 2012 wouldn’t change their vote, the Denver Post reports. The poll, done by SurveyUSA, also found that more than one-third of respondents felt legal marijuana has damaged the state’s reputation.

Reports Denver Post staff writer Kevin Simpson:

More than 90 percent of the respondents who voted in the 2012 election on Amendment 64 — the measure allowing adults to legally possess up to an ounce of marijuana passed 54.8 percent to 45.1 percent — said they would vote the same way today.

“I’d say there’s still a lot of work to be done, especially if the priority is to keep it out of the hands of children and away from drivers, to make sure people are not driving intoxicated,” said Dan Berlau, a 35-year-old poll respondent from Denver who voted for legalization and would do so again. “But despite those shortcomings, in general, people who worried the sky would fall have been proved wrong.”

In case you missed it, Oregonian staff writer George Rede reports on Oregon’s new marijuana law and what it means for the workplace.

And southern Oregon marijuana growers are gearing up for the upcoming session of the Oregon Legislature.

— The Oregonian

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