Tags Posts tagged with "Orlando"

Orlando

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The windows will soon open on the Tumbleweed Express Drive-Thru, the nation’s first legal drive-thru marijuana dispensary. Located in a converted car wash space in Parachute, Colorado, the dispensary will sell weed from 4 p.m. to midnight on the weekends, giving buyers late-night access. Naturally, the shop is planning to open on April 20, better known as 4/20.

CEO Mark Smith stated, “I didn’t set out thinking this would be national news. I didn’t have some big epiphany. I just saw a need for our customers.” Smith is the latest in a line of cannabis entrepreneurs, including celebrities like Whoopi Goldberg and Snoop Dogg, taking advantage of increasing mainstream interest in weed consumption.

The drive-thru counter is subject to the same strict regulations as all other recreational marijuana dealers. No one under the age of 21 is allowed on the premises; in this case, that includes the back seats of cars. And the substance is not allowed to be visible from outside the dispensary. Security measures must also be in place. However, for the town of Parachute, population 1,100, marijuana sales are an important component of the local economy, accounting for nearly 30% of the 2016 sales tax revenue. Cannabis sales have also been contentious, with a ban in place prior to 2015. With the weed market booming across the state, however, Parachute appears to be joining the bandwagon.

Parachute Town Manager Stuart McArthur said in February, “We think the drive-through is a very creative and innovative idea.” The state’s Marijuana Enforcement Division added that it was not aware of this business model “ever coming up before,” giving the shop its claim to fame. Tumbleweed Express Drive-Thru’s big opening day is set to coincide with the unofficial national holiday celebrating cannabis culture.

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Orlando’s City Council is going to make a final vote on Monday on a bill that, if passed, would decriminalize small amounts of cannabis. It would also give cops the ability to give out a fine rather than put people in jail.
“People need to know and understand that this is making it easier,” Ings stated at the April 18 council meeting. “We should want criminals to stop being criminals, not making them feel confident to use and possess marijuana.”
At the moment, activists from Organize Now are asking Ings to act “on behalf of his community” in a letter written by the group’s Committee co-chair Korey Wheeler.
“District 6 encompasses a large African-American community directly impacted by the false ‘war on drugs’ narrative,” the letter states. “His vote against deprioritization of minor marijuana offenses subjects many of his constituents to higher arrest rates than their white counterparts, and perpetuates negative stereotypes against the very community he represents.”
The letter adds:
“Despite calls for action from his community, Ings proves he is more concerned with serving the interests of local tourism giants making millions of dollars a year than protecting his very people from discriminatory practices.
On three different occasions, Organize Now contacted Commissioner Ings for a meeting but received no reply. Deprioritizing arrests for non-violent misdemeanors would free up our criminal justice system and address real public safety challenges in our community. It’s time Commissioner Ings listened to his constituents and acted on behalf of his community.
Orlando should follow the lead of 24 states and hundreds of municipalities across the country, breaking away from false, fear-mongering rhetoric and shifting its focus to its real public safety challenges. By building on progress and investing into local programs tackling the underlying causes of crime with the money saved by eliminating incarcerations for small amounts of marijuana possession, we can come together to find solutions that help our communities.”

 

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