New Jersey Holds Hearing on Legalizing Marijuana

New Jersey - marijuana

It’s not often that Philadelphians are concerned with the goings on of the New Jersey legislature. But a hearing in Trenton today will be of much interest to many Philadelphians — and, indeed, anyone living near Pennsylvania’s border with the Garden State. N.J. Sen. Nicholas Scutari is holding a hearing today about legalizing recreational marijuana.

Last March, Scutari introduced a bill (below) that would legalize recreational marijuana in New Jersey.

“A journey of a thousand steps starts with the first,” Scutari told “The first step was introducing the bill and this is the natural next step — to talk about the benefits of legalization and the negative impact prohibition has had.” He says opponents of marijuana legalization will get their say in a future hearing. Read more »

Acquitted Narcotics Officer Failed Drug Test, Will Be Fired Again

Perry Betts | Philadelphia Police Department

Perry Betts | Philadelphia Police Department

Philadelphia Police narcotics officer Perry Betts is in hot water again.

Just back in May, Betts was one of six narcotics unit officers acquitted by a federal jury on corruption charges and, in July, set to be reinstated into his job. Now, before Betts could even officially rejoin the force, he will again be fired after failing a mandatory drug test with marijuana in his system, the Philadelphia Daily News reported Thursday.

Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey told the Daily News that when Betts returns to the office on Monday, he will be suspended for 30 days with the intent to be dismissed. “He will not be able to return,” Ramsey told Daily News. “I’m told he went on vacation and will be back Monday. He will be served on Monday.” Read more »

Meet the Einstein Who Got Arrested After Posting His Pot Plants on Instagram

Left, the mega-brained Connor Kennedy smirking for his Winslow Police Department mugshot. Right, Connor Kennedy in one of the photos obtained by police via his Tumblr account.

Left, the mega-brained Connor Kennedy smirking in his DMV photo, provided by police. Right, Connor Kennedy in one of the photos obtained by police via his Tumblr account.

We see lots of candidates for World’s Dumbest (Alleged) Criminals here at Philadelphia magazine, but this week’s winner has got to be 20-year-old Connor Kennedy of Sicklerville, New Jersey. Read more »

3 Pro-Weed Events in Philly This Week

Mayor Nutter may have signed a marijuana decriminalization bill in October, but Philly still has a long way to go to legalization. Part of that journey involves educating folks about the benefits of marijuana, and that’s being done in a series of events that just so happen to be lumped together here at the end of July—from educational forums to a big ol’ bash on Friday. We’ve rounded them up so you don’t miss a toke … I mean a beat.

Read more »

Amazon Picks Up Local-Made Board Game for Stoners, Pass the Grass

Photo from Pass the Grass Facebook

Photo from Pass the Grass Facebook

In the 1970s, Paul Greenwald of Huntingdon Valley developed a board game for folks to play at home when they’re toking with friends. It wasn’t until this year, though, that the 64-year-old retired dentist began to market it. Amazon loved the idea, and Pass the Grass is now available on the e-shopping site for $24.95. You can also nab it via an app on Android devices for $1.99. Here’s how the game works, as told by Greenwald to the Daily News:

Read more »

BizFeed: Companies Can Fire Over Medical Marijuana Use, Court Says

Court: Worker Can Be Fired for Medical Pot Use

The News: The Colorado Supreme Court has ruled that companies have the right to terminate employees that fail drug tests, even if they have a medical marijuana card. Brandon Coats is a quadriplegic who used pot to help with violent muscle spasms. But when the Dish Network customer-service representative failed a drug test in 2010, he was fired.

Why It Matters: In a world where medical pot use is becoming more and more accepted as a form of therapy, the zero-tolerance drug policies held by employers still carry more weight than any legalities awarded by the state. It seems ridiculous — especially in Colorado where it’s legal to smoke pot recreationally. But, federal law trumps all others. Read more »

Pennsylvania Has Some of the Most Expensive Weed in the U.S.

If you want to smoke up in Pennsylvania, it’s going to cost you.

I mean, obviously. Drugs aren’t free. But according to a recent report from Forbes, Pennsylvania has the some of the most expensive marijuana in America.

The magazine used the website Price of Weed, which has been collecting user-submitted reports since 2010, to chart the price of marijuana in every state. Pennsylvania ranked fifth on the Forbes list (tied with two other states): Read more »

Pa. Senate Passes Medical Marijuana Bill

The Pennsylvania Senate passed a bill Tuesday that would legalize medical marijuana by a vote of 40-7.

The legislation, which was championed by Sen. Daylin Leach and Sen. Mike Folmer, would allow doctors to prescribe marijuana to patients to treat cancer, epilepsy, diabetes, Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, HIV/AIDs, traumatic brain injury and other conditions.

Marijuana oils, ointments, tinctures, liquids, gels and pills could be prescribed. Smoking pot would be banned, but vaporization would be allowed in certain cases.

The bill will now go to the state House, where its fate is uncertain.

Read more »

Weed Cookies: My Fully Baked Ambien Alternative

Photos: | Photo illustration: Alyse Moyer

The last time I took an Ambien was a little more than two years ago. I was a couple weeks into the prescription and woke up feeling strange, even by insomniac standards.

I knew I wasn’t in any shape to take the El — or, God forbid, get in my car on a medication that inspired the term “sleep driving” — so I jumped in a cab and directed the driver to 15th and Market, an intersection that sounded familiar enough. Read more »

The Best Thing That Happened This Week

Photo | Photo illustration Alyse Moyer

Photo: | Photo illustration: Alyse Moyer

Politicians aren’t known for brilliance. Philly pols, especially, aren’t known for brilliance. But at a panel discussion at Temple on Tuesday, newly announced mayoral candidate Jim Kenney put forth a proposal so dazzlingly brilliant that we’re still blinded by the light. He suggested that marijuana could be sold in state stores (if Pennsylvania gets around to legalizing it). Not only would this take advantage of those stores’ already finely honed systems for weeding out underage purchasers. It would instantly quell the growing clamor to end state-store tyranny, since the crowd that wants free-range prosecco also desperately wants to get high (without, you know, getting in trouble for it). And what state store’s ambience wouldn’t be improved by a heavy dose of chill? Jim Kenney is the walrus, man.

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