A bear in Lyons, Colorado tried and failed to break into a dumpster behind a marijuana dispensary last week—inadvertently making a strong case for the efficacy of the state’s cannabis regulations.
Because the dumpster is bear-resistant, the would-be trash bandit couldn’t get his paws on the goods after repeated attempts. Security footage shows the bear pushing the dumpster down the alley until it ultimately gave up.
The incident represents a success for marijuana regulations. Retail dispensaries are required by law to keep cannabis waste in “a secured waste receptacle in possession and control of the Licensee.” While the point of the policy is to prevent marijuana from being diverted to the unregulated market, it evidently serves another function in bear country.
📍 Lyons, Colo.
A bear breaks through a fence, sniffs around for trash.
The bear backs the trash dumpster out.
The bear tries to get into the dumpster, but cannot.
It tries to take the bear resistant dumpster home with him, but cannot.
— CPW NE Region (@CPW_NE) July 23, 2019
Regulators in Alaska take similar requirements seriously, with regulators there moving to strip the license of one Anchorage cultivation facility last year after smokable marijuana was discovered outside its garbage container.
As far as Colorado Parks and Wildlife is concerned, video of the struggling bear simply demonstrates the need to secure all trash cans with bear-resistant locks.
“The bear-proofing worked,” Daniel Didion, a manager at The Bud Depot, told The Denver Channel. “He just hauled it out and danced around with it.”
The bear was probably more interested in munchies than marijuana, and Didion noted that a nearby dumpster belongs to a Mexican food restaurant. But even if it had been looking for cannabis, Colorado law further requires marijuana facilities to render cannabis waste “unusable and unrecognizable” by grinding and mixing it with “non-consumable, solid wastes.”
For what it’s worth, a bear expert published a column in 2011 arguing that bears could theoretically be attracted to the small of marijuana, noting that “many strains of dried and processed pot often possess an even stronger, more intense fragrance.” That said, “there aren’t very many case studies” on the subject.
Photo courtesy of CPW.
NFL Would End Marijuana Suspensions In Deal Approved By Team Owners
National Football League players would no longer face the possibility of being suspended from games just for testing positive for marijuana under a proposed collective bargaining agreement approved by team owners and circulated to players on Thursday.
The new policy being floated for approval by the the NFL Players Association would also reduce the number of players subject to testing for cannabis and narrow the window when tests can be administered from the current four months to just two weeks at the start of training camp.
The three-page summary of key terms of the union deal also includes an increase in the threshold for positive THC metabolite tests from 35 to 150 nanograms.
The document was first posted on Twitter by sports lawyer Darren Heitner
The NFLPA has sent all players a fact sheet that covers the highlights on the current proposal for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. A lot to go through here.. pic.twitter.com/tzOhyLOmhY
— Darren Heitner (@DarrenHeitner) February 21, 2020
Initial details of potentially “dramatically reduced penalties” for cannabis in the NFL first began to surface in press reports earlier this month.
If the deal is ratified, the NFL would become the latest major sports league to loosen restrictions for cannabis as a growing number of states enact legalization policies.
Major League Baseball announced in December that it will remove marijuana from its list of banned substances.
After the MLB cannabis change was revealed, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady said in interviews that the NFL would likely soon be forced to modernize its approach to marijuana.
NFL team owners approved the terms of the deal on Thursday, with player representatives set to consider it on Friday.
Image element courtesy of Marco Verch.
NFL Marijuana Penalties Will Be ‘Dramatically Reduced’ Under Deal Being Weighed By Players Union
The NFL Players Association could soon vote on an agreement with the league that includes sharply reduced penalties for marijuana use by football players and dramatically shortens the annual window during which they may be tested for cannabis and other drugs.
While the proposed changes haven’t been publicly released, the collective bargaining agreement that’s circulating among officials would reportedly make it so players would only be subject to a two-week testing period, instead of the current four-month window that now begins on the unofficial marijuana holiday April 20 (4/20) and ends in August.
Additionally, severe penalties for cannabis offenses would reportedly be lifted. The agreement “would include dramatically reduced penalties, with suspensions happening only in the event of extreme and repeated disregard of the policy or significant violations of applicable law regarding the possession and use of marijuana,” NBC Sports’s ProFootballTalk reported.
The players union has been holding conference calls in recent weeks as representatives decide whether to proceed with the agreement, but if they don’t act soon, it could mean another year of strict cannabis policies within the NFL. Two-thirds of the group must agree to the proposal prior to the start of the new league year on March 18 if they want the policies to take effect for the 2020-2021 season.
If the new collective bargaining agreement isn’t ratified by that time, players would undergo another season where testing positive for marijuana can result in fines, suspension and rehabilitation.
It’s not clear when the revised testing period would begin under the agreement, but it’d generally be more beneficial for players to schedule that window during the offseason.
While the NFL has been slow to back reform, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady said in December that they see the writing on the wall and predicted that cannabis policy changes were imminent.
“I think you should expect and will expect an adjustment of the contemporary way or the present way that marijuana is being thought about,” Jones said.
Cannabis policy changes have already been integrated by the Major League Baseball, which announced in December that it was removing marijuana from its list of banned substances. That also followed negotiations between the MLB and its players union.
Meanwhile, a panel created by the NFL and the union said last month that players should be wary of CBD, with members arguing that more research is needed to determine whether the non-intoxicating marijuana compound is safe and effective.
Image element courtesy of Marco Verch.
Netflix Blocks Marijuana Shows And Films In Response To Government Demands
Film and television, for many of us, were the first places we saw cannabis users humanized.
In a society where we were raised to “Just Say No,” who can forget the positive impact when we saw the joyous, peaceful festivities depicted in Woodstock? Who didn’t laugh at rather than scorn classic pot-smoking teenage comedies like Dazed and Confused or Superbad? Who didn’t abandon their own ‘Reefer Madness’ stereotypes after getting schooled on medical cannabis by Sanjay Gupta’s Weed?
But across the Pacific, one country is working to make sure its citizens see no marijuana in moving pictures. According to a new report released by digital streaming giant Netflix, the company complied with several demands from Singapore’s government that they remove content from their service. That includes three pieces of cannabis-themed programming: Cooking on High, The Legend of 420 and Disjointed.
The other two films were Martin Scorsese’s The Last Temptation of Christ and Brazilian comedy The Last Hangover, which also includes overt drug-use and partying themes. Overall, the company disclosed it has received nine take-down requests worldwide since 2015. As first reported on Friday by Axios, Netflix promised that it will continue making these requests public on an annual basis. The content removed only applies to the country that requested the ban, and it can still be accessed in other markets.
Singapore is notorious for having some of the harshest drug control laws in the world. Possession of small amounts of drugs is punished severely with up to ten years in prison, a $20,000 fine or both. Trafficking, which differs by quantity based on the substance, is punishable by execution. You can be put to death for having less than a pound of marijuana, for example.
Singapore’s government doesn’t seem to be interested in global trends towards decriminalization and legalization of cannabis or other drugs. “Examples of other countries have clearly shown that a permissive attitude towards the use of cannabis exacts a high cost on society,” says the national Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB). “Therefore, we have strict laws against the trafficking, possession, consumption, and import or export of illicit drugs, including cannabis and cannabis products.”
Officials have argued that harsh policies coincide with reductions in rates of drug use and substance use disorder. By the CNB’s estimates, “the number of drug abusers arrested each year has declined by two-thirds, from over 6,000 in the early 1990s to about 2,000 last year .” But as to the agency’s claim that marijuana use causes damage to society, available research on the effect of medical cannabis legalization in the U.S. suggests that it does not lead to increased youth use and has a negligible if any effect on people engaging in more risky behaviors such as consuming alcohol or tobacco.
Meanwhile, Singapore’s northern neighbor Malaysia has considered decriminalizing small amounts of all drugs in an attempt to treat substance use disorder as a public health rather than criminal issue. Farther north, Thailand has made progress by legalizing medical marijuana last year.
Read Netflix’s full Environmental Social Governance report below:
Photo courtesy of freestocks.org.