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Launch Of Maine’s Legal Marijuana Sales Inspires Rambling Police Department Facebook Post

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A member of a local Maine police department has some thoughts about the state’s newly launched marijuana retail system. In fact, he has a lot of thoughts—and he laid them all out in a rambling 1,400-word Facebook post on Saturday. The diatribe touches on everything from Phish festivals to drug-sniffing dogs to the medical benefits of cannabis to sweet chili Doritos.

Lt. Tim Cotton of the Bangor Police Department took over the agency’s social media page, advising people about the policy change, discussing the ban on cannabis use among law enforcement, sprinkling in a few stoner stereotypes and seemingly sympathizing with tobacco consumers who face their own restrictions. He said he’s been “inundated with incoming questions” about what’s allowed in the new retail market.

For what it’s worth, Maine voters legalized marijuana though a ballot initiative in 2016, but it took until last week to implement a commercial sales component. That’s a significant delay in bringing a retail market online compared to California, Massachusetts and Nevada, which also legalized for adult-use on the same day four years ago.

Cotton recommended that people read up on state statutes for any questions they might have, or to ask “your friendly and professional purveyor of marijuana.”

In any case, the lieutenant took the opportunity presented by incoming cannabis-related inquiries to run the gamut on marijuana policy in his post. While it might not have been especially informative on the nuances of the market rules, the comments section is filled with people thanking him for the lively dialogue.

Here are some notable excerpts from the post.

On his own eating habits.

“I already snack like a 70s stoner, and I have been known to partake in both Hostess cupcakes and sweet chili Doritos within the same half-hour period. Years of black coffee and stale doughnuts have made my stomach both larger, and cast iron. I don’t even need to chew Tums or Rolaids after a road-trip that is littered with empty bags of delightful and deep-fried tubers, Mountain Dew, and Whoppers containing self-installed banana peppers..because the King really doesn’t supply those burgers exactly ‘my way.'”

On personal use and police policy.

“This is not me complaining about the fact that cops can’t partake in recreational marijuana usage. It’s merely me advising you to avoid passing the fatty to the cop who happens to be standing between you and the next person in your ‘therapy’ group at the next Phish festival. It’s best if we don’t become involved in the ritual of passing of the happy salad to your friend, Kevin, even though he has really short arms ever since he has been lifting heavy.

“Just ask us to get out of the way so the party can continue uninterrupted by the guy with the bad moustache and the pistol.

“For the record, I don’t smoke cigarettes or medicine. As for the recreational use of marijuana, Federal statutues [sic] disallow your local, county, and state employed gendarme from partaking in dabs, doobies, and bong-hits as we— apparently—are not actually regular citizens, but merely a class of individual who should not stoned or buzzed while enforcing laws and such. I have to agree.

“For you? Smoke away my friends. Check the rules at the State of Maine website, you must be twenty-one-years-old to stop referring to weed as medicine, at least, in front of your mom and dad who you have derided for years for having a couple of Swisher Sweet stogies at the poker game. And, yes, I am talking about dear mother. She also cheats at cards. We love that woman.”

On marijuana terminology.

“One of the upsides in the new rules regarding the recreational use of Marijuana is that I no longer will have to worry about misusing the terms, caregiver, medicine, herbal therapy, and patient when I am engaged in conversations with humans who chose to partake in the ingestion of plant-based herbal calming smoke.

“No, these conversations were not work related. These were the terms that I was forced to use at family reunions and other events when my great nephew piped up and said, ‘Hey, be careful! He’s a cop. I think he’s wearing a wire.'”

On tobacco regulations.

“I have found it somewhat disconcerting that the entire world has deemed all forms of smoke ingestion to be a repulsive and filthy habit, while also telling me that filterless hand-rolled firesticks of the finest backyard-grown Mary. J. Wauna has zero negative effect on lung function. I’m no doctor, and I am not the boss of you.

“You see, the people who smoke cigarettes, pipes, cigars, and all manner of tobacco products have been literally shunned and thrown outside in cold weather, hurricanes, and winter storms for the last thirty-years.

“They are forced to walk five-hundred-feet away from the doorways of buildings. No one even supplies a burn-barrel for them to keep their hands warm. I worry about how they feel. Because they have feelings, too. No one ever lets them refer to themselves as caregivers when they pass the menthol-filtered tobacco torch to their friend who is short on cash and can’t afford to pay two hours wages so they can have their own pack of cigarettes.

“They’ve been taxed, tormented, and ridiculed for a very long time. I like to show a bit of support for the little guy with a ‘fresh pack of Luckys and a mint called Sen-Sen.’ And, I refuse to judge him for his use of Old Spice aftershave.”

On drug-sniffing dogs.

“FYI- Bangor Police Department dogs are not trained to sniff out your marijuana, that would be really dumb, because it is now legal. We saw this coming. Our dogs do sniff out lost people, evidence at crime scenes, and illegal narcotics. Don’t get all hinky and bolt across town if you see Aki, Raye, or Jessie when you are carrying some shake and a half pack of ZigZags, you’ll be tired for no reason. Relax.”

The post also features purported interjected notes from Bangor Police Department’s “legal team” that is later revealed not to even exist and was all written by Cotton himself.

For more clear directions on the legal sales system in Maine, residents might want to turn to policymakers like U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME), who last week shared a Portland Press Herald article about what people should know before they go to a new cannabis dispensary.

“Do your research before waiting in line,” she advised.

In nearby Vermont, things are also changing when it comes to marijuana sales. A bill to legalize cannabis commerce in the state was enacted without Gov. Phil Scott’s (R) signature last week, though it will still take up to two years to license dispensaries based on the timeline.

Democratic Senate Candidate Plans To Vote For Arizona’s Marijuana Legalization Measure Next Month

Marijuana Moment is made possible with support from readers. If you rely on our cannabis advocacy journalism to stay informed, please consider a monthly Patreon pledge.

Kyle Jaeger is Marijuana Moment's Los Angeles-based associate editor. His work has also appeared in High Times, VICE and attn.

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How Politicians Are Celebrating The Marijuana Holiday 4/20 This Year

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The country has come a long way since the days of politicians dismissing or shying away from marijuana issues. And a good example of that shift is the ever-growing number of lawmakers who are leaning into the cannabis holiday 4/20 with calls for reform.

For example, to kick of Tuesday’s Senate session, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) spoke on the floor about the need to end federal marijuana prohibition, saying that “hopefully the next time this unofficial holiday 4/20 rolls around, our country will have made progress.”

Then there are the tweets—so many tweets—from state and congressional lawmakers, office seekers and regulators marking the occasion. It’s become a theme each year, and as more states pursue legalization, it seems more elected officials have grown comfortable embracing the holiday in their own ways.

Here’s what politicians are saying about cannabis this 4/20: 

Members of Congress

Congressional candidates

State officials and parties

Local officials

Former federal officials

International lawmakers

Meanwhile, dozens of brands and organizations are also celebrating 4/20 with a variety of promotions, events and calls to action.

Schumer Worries Senate Marijuana Banking Vote Could Undermine Broader Legalization Push

Photo courtesy of Brian Shamblen.

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Free Marijuana For Vaccinations And Cannabis Dog Toys: How Brands Are Celebrating 4/20 This Year

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Marijuana advocates and enthusiasts have a lot to celebrate on this year’s unofficial cannabis holiday 4/20.

State-level legalization has continued to spread in 2021—adding New York, Virginia and New Mexico to the list of adult-use states within the span of weeks. Congressional leaders are on the verge of introducing legislation to end federal prohibition, and Democrats are in control of both chambers plus the White House, raising hopes that comprehensive reform will be enacted this session.

But one thing hasn’t changed in 2021: companies and organizations are still doing their most to promote brands and products with marijuana-themed promotions and events on April 20.

And it makes sense. Cannabis reform is popular, with a new national poll finding a record 69 percent of Americans in favor of legalization. Plus, more adults have access to marijuana products to safely and legally enjoy the festivities, even if things still look a little different amid the pandemic.

The result of all of this is a lot of businesses and organizations trying to get in on the action, including those that aren’t necessarily tied directly to the cannabis industry.

Here’s a rundown of major brands that are celebrating 4/20:

Ben & Jerry’s

Keeping with a theme it set out last year, ice cream company Ben & Jerry’s is using its platform to promote federal marijuana reform. Digital billboards and a van covered in advertising promoting the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act could be seen in the nation’s capitol, paid for by the activist-minded business.

And in partnership with the ACLU, Ben & Jerry’s is launching a call-to-action, asking Americans to text “MORE” to 40456 “to show their support of the MORE Act.”

Jimmy John’s

The sandwich company is inviting enthusiasts to engage with its social media feeds on 4/20 for a chance to win limited-edition merchandise—a bean bag chair modeled after its signature jalepeno chips.

They will also be streaming a “wake & bake” session on their Instagram live account that features actor and comedian Rob Huebel taking viewers through a “guided breaditation” that involves “vibe-filled, euphemism-filled, bread-science-filled words of introspection.”

Hotels.com

Up until 4:20am on 4/20, people who book hotel reservations through Hotels.com can send an email with their confirmation receipt to [email protected] for a chance to win a $200 room service credit… or “munchie money.”

“The perks included as part of this Munchie Money deal are truly the culmination of all the best aspects of being a Hotels.com rewards member,” Jennifer Dohm, head of PR, said. “From late checkout to a bonus night stay, onlyHotels.com allows you to get rewarded just for reserving a stay. Getting your massive room service spread covered doesn’t hurt either!”

Nuggs

The plant-based food company is getting in on the holiday as well, offering a $420 giveaway to select Instagram followers who send them a message showing a receipt for any product that ends in $4.20.

“You can buy literally anything from anywhere, and any variation of $4.20 counts (ex: $64.20, $114.20, etc),” Nuggs said. “Remember, we said we MIGHT send you $420… winners will be randomly selected over the next few days and notified via IG DM.”

BarkBox

The dog toy and treat business is back at it again with another round of 4/20 themed dog goodies. Get a “spinach burrito,” “spice grinder” or a “single maple leaf” for your furry friend.

“In honor of the upcoming very normal April 20th in this very normal month, we would like to direct your attention to these very normal toys available for a limited time,” BarkBox said in a blog post. “We sourced these toys from a totally normal farm owned by a totally normal Jared, a farmer.”

Slim Jim

Slim Jim is latching onto the converging 4/20 and DogeCoin trends to raise money for World Central Kitchen.

Snickers

Snickers is also trying to ride the Doge and cannabis wave.

discovery+

The TV station is launching a new marijuana-themed version of the cooking competition show Chopped.

Paramount+

Paramount+ also wants you to stay home and watch TV today.

Grand Theft Auto

Rockstar Games is offering free virtual gifts and bonuses in GTA Online.

Call of Duty

Cannabis-themed items launched in Black Ops Cold War and Warzone.

White Castle

The burger joint with a reputation for attracting cannabis enthusiasts is promoting its $4.20 Muncheese meal and offering free deliveries through UberEats for orders of $15 or more.

Lagunitas Brewing Co.

The beer company launched a new ale to commemorate the Waldos, the group California teens who began the 420 craze in the 1970s.

Weedmaps

Weedmaps is hosting a 4/20 livestream event, with musical performances by artists like Snoop Dogg and A$AP. There will also be a panel led by the Last Prisoner Project to discuss the need for social equity in legalization legislation.

Musicians are also taking a moment to celebrate 4/20:

Wiz Khalifa

The Flaming Lips

Advocacy organizations are also marking the cannabis occasion:

ACLU

The civil rights group is promoting its cannabis-themed products such as a marijuana stress ball.

NORML

The pro-legalization organization put out a call-to-action ahead of 4/20 to encourage supporters to hemp them “Finish the Fight” to end prohibition.

“While we have undoubtedly made immense progress in recent years, hundreds of thousands of our fellow citizens are still arrested each year for simple possession of a plant,” NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri said. “That is why we are calling on all legalization supporters to take time out of their 4/20 celebrations this year to help us finish the fight, both at the federal level and in those states that still are living under the dark ages of prohibition.”

DC Marijuana Justice (DCMJ)

On 4/20, DCMJ is organizing an event where members will give away free marijuana at COVID-19 vaccination centers across the nation’s capital.

Other organization are using the holiday for public education purposes around cannabis laws:

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

The federal agency is urging people not to drive while impaired, using the hashtag #420 in a tweet.

U.S. Department of Agriculture

USDA’s Risk Management Agency saw 4/20 as an opportunity to educate hemp growers about crop insurance.

Colorado Department of Transportation

The department is raising awareness about the dangers of driving while impaired by alcohol or marijuana.

MADD

MADD is also reminding people not to drive while impaired.

Transportation Security Administration (TSA)

TSA says it wants to “clear the smoke when it comes to traveling with medical marijuana.”

“Marijuana remains illegal federally unless it’s less than 0.3% THC on a dry weight basis,” it said. “This means you can’t travel with it, even if going from one legalized state to another.”

Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

While not explicitly tied to 4/20, the federal agency did tweet on Tuesday a link to a blog post about the rules around adding cannabis ingredients to cosmetics.

Even prohibitionists are trying to take advantage of the occasion:

Smart Approaches to Marijuana

Smart Approaches To Marijuana’s Kevin Sabet released a book on 4/20 that attempts to lay out reasons not to pursue legalization and offers insights into the man behind the anti-reform movement.

Drug Enforcement Administration

Even the DEA wanted to join in on the 4/20 fun.

In other words: no matter where people stand on marijuana, it seems everyone has something to say about it at least once a year.

Schumer Celebrates 4/20 Marijuana Holiday On Senate Floor

Photo courtesy of Martin Alonso.

Marijuana Moment is made possible with support from readers. If you rely on our cannabis advocacy journalism to stay informed, please consider a monthly Patreon pledge.
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Colorado Is Auctioning Marijuana-Themed License Plates To Raise Money For People With Disabilities

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Colorado is really leaning into its reputation as the marijuana state—for a good cause. Officials are taking the unique step of auctioning off cannabis-themed license plates to help raise money for a disability fund.

From April 1 to April 20, residents can bid on the vanity plates with terms like “BONG,” “GANJA,” “GOTWAX,” “HEMP,” “ISIT420” and even “TEGRIDY,” a nod to the fictional South Park marijuana farm.

Via Colorado Disability Funding Committee.

Bids on several of the plates start at $420, of course.

“The Colorado Disability Funding Committee had the TEGRIDY to STASH away some great HERB related license plate configurations and is making them available to you,” a Facebook post states. “Don’t be GREEN with envy because your neighbor GOTWAX and HONEY, bid on a plate and support people with disabilities!”

“Colorado GANJA themed license plates could make you as HAPPY as your 100% HEMP t-shirt,” the post, which was uploaded on April 1 but is not an April Fool’s joke, continues. “Leave ya SATIVA and INDICA, put down the BONG, use our HASHtags to follow along.”

Via Colorado Disability Funding Committee.

The page for each license plate up for auction includes a disclaimer not to drive while impaired and to use cannabis responsibly.

The proceeds of the auction will go to the Colorado Disability Funding Committee, which issues grants to organizations that “have new and innovative ideas that benefit the disability community.”

Given the popularity of Colorado’s marijuana market, which exceeded $2 billion in sales last year alone, it stands to reason that the plates will be a hit.

People who don’t live in Colorado can also bid. If they win, they will be sent a novelty plate without the security features that come on a normal plate.

Despite being one of the first states to legalize for adult use, Colorado’s cannabis program is continually evolving.

Last month, for example, the state House passed a bill to increase the lawful possession limit for marijuana and the governor signed legislation to create a social equity fund for the marijuana industry.

Gov. Jared Polis (D) visited a marijuana dispensary in Denver to sign the measure, which will establish a program within the state Office of Economic Development and International Trade that’s intended to support cannabis businesses owned by people who qualify as social equity licensees, primarily people most impacted by the drug war.

The program will receive an initial infusion of $4 million from the state’s marijuana tax fund—about $1 million short of what the governor had requested in January. The legislation was created in consultation with Black Brown and Red Badged (BBRB), a coalition of minority-owned cannabis businesses.

Last year, Polis signed a separate bill that creates a statewide definition of cannabis social equity licensees. Those businesses are now the ones that will primarily benefit from the new legislation.

This kind of funding is largely made possible from tax revenue derived by the state’s robust cannabis market. Data from the state’s Department of Revenue shows that more than $10 billion of marijuana has been sold since the adult-use program launched in 2014.

Another piece of cannabis reform legislation that cleared the Senate last month would require schools and school district to institute policies permitting employees to store and administer marijuana products for students who are registered medical cannabis patients.

Marijuana Legalization Framed As Inevitability At Rhode Island Senate Joint Hearing

Marijuana Moment is made possible with support from readers. If you rely on our cannabis advocacy journalism to stay informed, please consider a monthly Patreon pledge.
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