Tucson Weekly _AZ_ 1/1/1997 - 31/12/2018
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141 US AZ: Column: Excellent On The EastsideThu, 08 Aug 2013
Source:Tucson Weekly (AZ) Author:Smith, JM Area:Arizona Lines:98 Added:08/09/2013

Desert Bloom Offers Great Prices, Good Selection and a Knowledgeable Staff

Desert Bloom Re-Leaf Center

8060 E. 22nd St.

886-1760

10 a.m. to 7 p.m., daily

Pluses: Excellent prices; super friendly, knowledgeable staff; invisible smiling girl; Harlequin strain; pipes, papers, vaporizers, etc.

Minuses: East side is inconvenient for all but folks who live there; no lab results yet

A truck can't kick up a rock in Arizona without cracking a windshield . or hitting a medical cannabis dispensary, apparently.

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142 US AZ: Column: Holding Holder AccountableThu, 01 Aug 2013
Source:Tucson Weekly (AZ) Author:Smith, J. M. Area:Arizona Lines:84 Added:08/02/2013

Seriously, Still With The Raids?

In a now-familiar scenario in the Great State up in The Northwest Corner of The Nation, federal agents last week swooped into a bunch of medical cannabis outlets and robbed the places blind. The agents pulled into the parking lots, leapt from their vehicles with guns drawn, and made sure no patients would be helped by these places in the foreseeable future. They confiscated a bunch of cannabis, a few cellphones and a little bit of pride and enthusiasm.

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143 US AZ: Column: Tepid TempestThu, 25 Jul 2013
Source:Tucson Weekly (AZ) Author:Smith, J. M. Area:Arizona Lines:93 Added:07/26/2013

A 'Devastating' Audit of Denver's Medical Marijuana Regulation Isn't The Big Deal Opponents Claim It Is

It seems the Mile High City is a mile off target when it comes to medical marijuana business regulation, but the situation might not be as bad as an auditor's report (http://www.denvergov.org/Portals/741/documents/Audits%202013/Medical_Marijuana_Licensing_Audit_Report_07-18-13.pdf) and subsequent media attention make it sound.

Denver, where competition is thriving among hundreds of medical cannabis shops, recently gained a new ass when the elected city auditor ripped it one over cannabis business regulation. Dennis Gallagher and his colleagues snooped around in the city's books for a while, then in a report issued July 18 excoriated the Department of Excise and Licenses for poor record keeping, unenforced or nonexistent deadlines, poor management and insufficient staffing in the medical marijuana licensing program, all of which leave the city at "high risk" in some areas.

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144 US AZ: Column: Deadline DelugeThu, 18 Jul 2013
Source:Tucson Weekly (AZ) Author:Smith, J. M. Area:Arizona Lines:91 Added:07/19/2013

The State's Due Date Spawns a Flood of Applications for Pot Dispensary Inspections

Things are happening lightning-fast these days on the cannabis front in Arizona, largely because of a deadline for dispensaries to open, and I am a huge fan of that.

Last August, the state held a pingpong ball lottery and issued just shy of 100 dispensary registration certificates. The clock started ticking that day, leaving operators one year to get permission to swing open the doors. Despite a lawsuit that allowed dispensaries more time, all but one met the June 7 deadline to ask for state inspection. (www.azdhs.gov/medicalmarijuana/documents/dispensaries/dispensary-registration-certificate-allocation-results.pdf)

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145 US AZ: Column: Getting It RightFri, 12 Jul 2013
Source:Tucson Weekly (AZ) Author:Smith, J. M. Area:Arizona Lines:83 Added:07/12/2013

Mr. Smith finds that a stop at Arizona's oldest cannabis dispensary - in Glendale - is well worth the time by J.M. Smith

There will always be debate over which medical cannabis dispensary in Arizona is the best, but there can only ever be a first one-Arizona Organix in Glendale, which opened in December.

Since I was passing through Phoenix last week, I decided to stop by and take a look at what the West Valley shop has to offer. I was not disappointed.

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146 US AZ: Column: Wacky RaidsThu, 04 Jul 2013
Source:Tucson Weekly (AZ) Author:Smith, J. M. Area:Arizona Lines:90 Added:07/06/2013

A Police Action in Michigan Proves How Absurd the Dynamic Between Law Enforcement and Dispensaries Can Be

What is it about? Why did they close it? These guys have helped me a lot."

- -Bill Sowers, 57, a cannabis patient quoted by the Detroit Free Press. He showed up a few minutes after a raid last week at the Southwest Compassion Care Center in Springfield, Mich.

Police rudely interrupted patients at three central Michigan cannabis dispensaries last week, bursting through the door wearing black masks, pointing guns in innocent faces and grabbing a trove of plants, meds, computers, records and money-even cash from employees' pockets, according to one report.

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147 US AZ: Column: Bodies In The DesertThu, 27 Jun 2013
Source:Tucson Weekly (AZ) Author:Smith, J. M. Area:Arizona Lines:78 Added:06/28/2013

Something Needs to Change to Stop the Frequent Tragedies Occurring in the Arizona Desert

On June 21, Border Patrol agents flying over the Southern Arizona desert spotted two bodies and three small bundles lying on the ground near Quijotoa, west of Tucson.

The agents called Tohono O'odham police, who went to the remote spot a couple miles off state Route 86 and found two dead men and three bundles of marijuana. The bloated, decomposing bodies were collected and presumably transferred to the Pima County Medical Examiner's Office, where they will await unlikely identification and return to their families. Three days later the Border Patrol then sent out a news release warning of the dangers of crossing the desert. The news release included pictures of the blackened, swollen corpses found near Quijotoa, pictures you are unlikely to see anywhere else and ones I doubt my esteemed editors at the Tucson Weekly will run.

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148 US AZ: A Signature Drive Aims To Bring Legalization To The BallotThu, 20 Jun 2013
Source:Tucson Weekly (AZ) Author:Smith, J M Area:Arizona Lines:90 Added:06/21/2013

There's an elephant in the room, and he wants you to sign his petition.

Since the dawn of medical marijuana in 1996, people have hoped the new paradigm would lead to recreational legalization. For some cannabis advocates, the medical veneer is thin (see my column from last week), but there are undeniable deep connections between recreational and medical cannabis users. The Tucson branch of NORML has voiced its willingness to cling to medical coattails as a vehicle to legalization.

Now in Arizona we have a new ally in the quest for legalization, the same ally that made it possible in Washington and Colorado-us.

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149 US AZ: The Problem Is Still DemandThu, 13 Jun 2013
Source:Tucson Weekly (AZ) Author:Sharps, Robert Area:Arizona Lines:35 Added:06/15/2013

Arizona has proceeded with caution in implementing the state's medical marijuana program ("The Numbers Game," May 2). California is often held up as an example of what not to do. It's true that anyone in California who wants a medical marijuana recommendation can get one. The recommendation allows consumers to purchase locally grown marijuana of known quality and safety from dispensaries that generate tax revenue. That's a good thing. So-called medical marijuana abuses are not to be feared. It's the status quo that's scary.

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150 US AZ: Column: Smith Smacks His HeadThu, 13 Jun 2013
Source:Tucson Weekly (AZ) Author:Smith, J. M. Area:Arizona Lines:93 Added:06/13/2013

Here's Why You Won't Catch Our MMJ Columnist Wearing a Pot Leaf T-Shirt or Celebrating 4/20

Over the past year and a half, I've skimmed the surface of medical cannabis like a bat snatching bugs off the surface of a Sonoran creek. I've swooped down week after week, picking tidbits from the surface but never dipping much below it.

There are a lot of reasons for that, one of which is that I'm not sure I have the stomach to immerse myself in medical cannabis. As a journalist, I have always had a pretty good bullshit meter. It has a served me well throughout a lengthy, successful career in the news industry. My bullshit meter has been working overtime since taking this gig.

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151 US AZ: Column: Bar FightThu, 06 Jun 2013
Source:Tucson Weekly (AZ) Author:Smith, J. M. Area:Arizona Lines:89 Added:06/11/2013

A Case in Maricopa County Superior Court Is Another Distraction in the Medical Marijuana Saga

Two lawyers walk into a bar.

Then the lawsuits start flying, and nobody gets to have any fun drinking, because the lawyers are throwing briefs around like bar stools and screaming at the judge to throw that motherfucker out of here, because he's drunk and he's spilling drinks all over everyone. So the drunk motherfucker screams at the judge a little, defending his actions, and the judge eventually hears enough and orders a bouncer to throw someone into the street.

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152 US AZ: Column: Solid Prices, Low-KeyThu, 30 May 2013
Source:Tucson Weekly (AZ) Author:Smith, J. M. Area:Arizona Lines:102 Added:05/31/2013

If You Are Willing to Travel Just North of Irvington, Earth's Healing Is a Welcoming (and Affordable) Dispensary

It's a problem I wish I'd had two years ago-dispensaries popping so fast I can't get out fast enough to visit them all. Another one opened last Monday on the southside-Earth's Healing Pain Treatment & Wellness Center-so here's a glimpse of what they offer.

The dispensary is in a great location. Where do you want to be when you walk out with $500 worth of meds? How about on Benson Highway within sight of the Pima County Sheriff's Department headquarters? Earth's Healing is also within easy reach of a big chunk of the southside, giving the city a kind of ring of protection around the east, south and west sides.

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153 US AZ: Column: Progress Rolls ForwardThu, 23 May 2013
Source:Tucson Weekly (AZ) Author:Smith, J. M. Area:Arizona Lines:104 Added:05/24/2013

State-by-state, like a giant sticky ball, the cause of medical marijuana makes progress

There's a video game called Katamari Damacy that lets you roll a tiny adhesive ball around on the screen, picking up anything you roll over. You start by picking up tiny things, like pens or pencils or silverware. Eventually you are picking up bigger and bigger things, like trees, houses, office buildings and stadiums, then planets and comets.

The cannabis katamari started picking up pencils and pens in 1996, when California passed the nation's first medical marijuana law. Now we're starting to pick up some cars and trucks, and it won't be long before we're snapping up buildings and aircraft carriers across the nation as legislatures turn from the dark side to the light. Here's a sampling of some recent developments:

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154 US AZ: PUB LTE: The Problem Is Still DemandThu, 09 May 2013
Source:Tucson Weekly (AZ) Author:Sharpe, Robert Area:Arizona Lines:35 Added:05/10/2013

Arizona has proceeded with caution in implementing the state's medical marijuana program ("The Numbers Game," May 2). California is often held up as an example of what not to do. It's true that anyone in California who wants a medical marijuana recommendation can get one. The recommendation allows consumers to purchase locally grown marijuana of known quality and safety from dispensaries that generate tax revenue. That's a good thing. So-called medical marijuana abuses are not to be feared. It's the status quo that's scary.

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155 US AZ: Column: The Numbers GameThu, 02 May 2013
Source:Tucson Weekly (AZ) Author:Smith, J. M. Area:Arizona Lines:90 Added:05/03/2013

With 17 Dispensaries Cleared to Open and 37,422 Patients, Mr. Smith Looks at the State of MMJ in AZ

When the MMJ program launched in Arizona, there was a lot of cock blocking and stalling and excuses from the governor's office and other chambers of government across the state. It took more than two years to get a dispensary, and so far just 17 have been cleared to open.

But viewed from where I sit (the patient chair), the MMJ program seems to be operating pretty smoothly. I haven't heard much from anyone about major problems, and it seems the state is holding up its end of the bargain now. The governor has seen the error of her ways, or at least sees the error of defying the judges who repeatedly tell Attorney Generalissimo Tom Horne to STFU and get out of the way.

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156 US AZ: Column: The Fight ContinuesFri, 26 Apr 2013
Source:Tucson Weekly (AZ) Author:Smith, J. M. Area:Arizona Lines:100 Added:04/26/2013

While the End of the Prohibition on Marijuana Seems Imminent on Some Fronts, There Are Still Those Resisting the Path of Progress

Across the nation, cannabis advocates in and out of the medical marijuana arena in recent weeks have been trumpeting a New World Order where weed is concerned. The feds vowed to back off of dispensaries and the banks that want to serve them; and Sanjay Gupta flipped his stance on cannabis, saying he hadn't really looked much at the stuff, and now that he has, well, it's legit. All hail the Gupta.

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157 US AZ: Column: What's In Your Weed?Thu, 18 Apr 2013
Source:Tucson Weekly (AZ) Author:Smith, J. M. Area:Arizona Lines:86 Added:04/20/2013

Some Very Expensive Equipment Is Being Used to Determine the Makeup of Several Dispensaries' Marijuana

The first time I wondered what was in my cannabis was in the late 1970s, when the U.S. government conspired with Mexico to use the herbicide Paraquat to destroy marijuana crops south of the border.

The governments sprayed the crops, then spread the rumor (later largely debunked) that any surviving Paraquat pot was unsafe to smoke. The program drew ire, and the vague health threats had folks across the nation asking pot dealers, "It isn't Mexican, is it? Because I don't want any Mexican. The feds are spraying that shit with POISON, man! Get me some Colombian." The program was short-lived and people quickly ceased worrying about what was in their cannabis. These days you don't have to wonder.

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158 US AZ: Dispensary DelayThu, 04 Apr 2013
Source:Tucson Weekly (AZ) Author:Smith, J. M. Area:Arizona Lines:80 Added:04/06/2013

The Distribution System for Medical Marijuana Hasn't Evolved As Quickly As Most Expected

If you build it they will come. Maybe.

Back in the day (the day being late 2010), when a functional medical cannabis program was a gleam in our collective eye, there was hope spilling all over the ground where medical cannabis was concerned. There was hope that we would quickly have that functional system. Hope that dispensaries and patients would soon be trading green for green. Hope that a thriving cannabis economy would spring to life across the state, leaving relief and comfort in its wake. Or not.

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159 US AZ: Column: Like ButterThu, 28 Mar 2013
Source:Tucson Weekly (AZ) Author:Smith, J. M. Area:Arizona Lines:84 Added:03/31/2013

Mr. Smith Becomes the Martha Stewart of Cannabinoid Cooking

I made butter once - just plain, old regular butter. It's actually really easy.

All you have to do is put some heavy cream in a jar and shake it for a while. You can do it much quicker by beating the cream with a hand or bowl mixer until it forms stiff peaks, then beating it some more. Eventually (after about 10 minutes) the cream breaks down, separating into fat solids (butter) and buttermilk. Drain off the buttermilk, and you have butter. Try it at home - it's surprisingly simple and fun and kids love it. Plus, you then get to eat fresh butter. Six cups of cream makes about a pound of butter.

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160 US AZ: Column: Lackluster LawmakingThu, 21 Mar 2013
Source:Tucson Weekly (AZ) Author:Smith, J. M. Area:Arizona Lines:81 Added:03/21/2013

Surprisingly Likely to No One, the Arizona Legislature Is Out to Subvert the Will of the Voters Again

Our esteemed state Legislature is hard at work up in Phoenix, collectively yea-ing and nay-ing its way through huge piles of legislation, some of which will surely make your life better and some of which will just piss you off.

To wit:

A few weeks ago, I wrote about a suggestion from a Phoenix valley 'stick to bring the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act before voters again. The resolution in the state House of Representatives, brought by a Republican, would not have required the governor's signature to pass. Thankfully the Teabilly attempt didn't get a hearing in committee, so it goes nowhere, at least until he or another of his ilk tries again. Politicians have a way of doing that, as evidenced by the 30-some attempts in Congress to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

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