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Going to Pot
July 22, 2015

As marijuana crops move out of the shadows and into large growing warehouses in Colorado, Washington, and elsewhere, growers are running into a problem faced by all farmers of large, single crops: pests and disease. And many growers are turning to a popular agricultural solution, The Associated Press reports: pesticides and fungicides. The problem is that since pot has long been illegal, and is still illegal under federal law, nobody knows which pesticides are safe for a plant you smoke, eat, or rub on your skin.

Recent investigations in Oregon and Colorado found unapproved pesticides on commercial marijuana buds and in other byproducts, or pesticide residue above legal limits. One fungicide commonly used on cannabis plants, Eagle 20 EW, is regularly used on crops like grapes and hops, but it is considered toxic when burned and is banned in tobacco, for example.

You can watch more about the mites and blight that can wipe out entire marijuana crops, and what Colorado and other states plan to do about it, in the video below. But the obvious solution is organic, pesticide-free, possibly artisanal weed. You can already buy purportedly organic marijuana buds and byproducts, but as Boulder Weekly points out, many of the growers busted for alleged pesticide abuse last month claim to be organic. So far, there is no organization that certifies organic pot, and few people test weed for pesticides. Yet.

"The misuse of that word [organic] in this industry is pretty astounding," John Chandler, an organic horticulturalist, tells Boulder Weekly. "Consumers just don't realize how much pesticide use there really is." When they do, expect demand to rise for certified organic marijuana. Peter Weber

April 21, 2015

Monday, April 20, was the unofficial national day of marijuana appreciation (or something), for reasons you might already know if you are a recreational marijuana user. If you are, and are still feeling the effects of 4/20 — or are perfectly sober and like Sgt. Pepper-era Beatles, for example — Late Late Show bandleader Reggie Watts has a psychedelic treat for you. Host James Corden asked Watts to perform an original ode to national pot day, and this is what he (and his effects pedals) came up with. (The mellow vibe gets a little harsh near the end.) —Peter Weber

March 4, 2015

You have to admire Pineapple Express star Seth Rogen's commitment to method acting. As she transitions to her new role, Sony executive Amy Pascal is moving into the office recently occupied by Rogen — but according to The Hollywood Reporter, her transition has been postponed until the smell of marijuana can be eliminated.

Sources offer conflicting thoughts over the intensity of the lingering marijuana smell Rogen and his writing partner Evan Goldberg left behind. One says that the odor caused no "permanent damage" to the office; another says it "seeped into the flooring." In any case, Pascal will move into a temporary office while the new office is repainted and deep-cleaned.

Pascal was at the center of the whirlwind over last year's Sony hack, which was widely interpreted as a response to the Seth Rogen/James Franco comedy The Interview. Rogen once tweeted that he planned to smoke pot in the White House. Scott Meslow

February 26, 2015

As of midnight Thursday, marijuana is legal to grow and use at home in Washington, D.C., for everyone 21 and older. District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser said at a news conference Wednesday evening that the voter-approved legalization measure would go through, despite threats from House Republicans to send her to prison for violating the Anti-Deficiency Act. "I have a lot of things to do in the District of Columbia," Bowser said in the televised conference. "Me being in jail wouldn't be a good thing." She also explained the rules:


House Republicans backed down after their threat, saying they would leave any legal repercussions to the Justice Department. Marijuana legalization advocates are ecstatic that Washington has embraced legal weed. "The nation's capital has an exaggerated impact," Keith Stroup, legal counsel at NORML, tells The Washington Post. "If Washington, D.C., can legalize marijuana and the sky doesn't fall, things will get a lot easier in these other states." The Week Staff

February 24, 2015

As of midnight Tuesday, people in Alaska can legally consume marijuana for recreational, not just medical, purposes. Alaska approved the legal, private use of marijuana in a ballot measure last November, 53 percent to 47 percent, joining Colorado and Washington State. The continued prohibition on toking in public has led to some confusion, with Anchorage police ready to hand out $100 fines and authorities further north allowing marijuana smoking anywhere on private property.

A legal, regulated marijuana market, to be set up by the state's alcohol commission, won't be up and running until at least 2016, The Associated Press reports. But "as of Tuesday, adult Alaskans can not only keep and use pot, they can transport, grow it, and give it away." Oregon's voter-approved law takes effect July 1. Peter Weber

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