- Sep 9:
- Long line, but no hassles for free pot giveaway at Civic Center
- Sep 3:
- More Colorado pot is flowing to neighboring states, officials say
- Aug 29:
- Federal government won't block Colorado marijuana legalization
- Aug 28:
- Federal agency orders armored-car service to stop serving legal marijuana sellers
- Aug 27:
- Colorado: Ingresar a sector de marihuana será caro
- Aug 26:
- Denver council defies mayor and chooses 3.5 percent tax on retail pot
- Jul 30:
- Denver DA's version of violent medical marijuana industry questioned
- Apr 25:
- Colorado appeals court OKs firing for off-duty marijuana use
- Apr 24:
- Denver's 4/20 permit questioned after organizers were given free use of Civic Center Park
- Apr 20:
- Two shot at Denver's Civic Center 4/20 pot rally
- Apr 19:
- Denver pot holiday bringing crowds, tight security
- Mar 5:
- Ex-DEA heads: Feds should nullify state pot laws
- Feb 28:
- Pot task force recommends special marijuana sales, excise taxes
- Feb 19:
- Colorado marijuana task force recommends allowing pot tourism
- Marijuana potency, tourism up for CO debate
- Feb 12:
- Marijuana legalization raises safety questions
- Feb 11:
- Denver City Council to vote in April whether to opt out on marijuana
- Feb 10:
- THC University in Denver holds first class on how to grow pot
- Studies shed more light on debate around marijuana-impaired driving
- Feb 5:
- Colorado marijuana task force says employers can fire for pot use
- Jan 11:
- Legalización de marihuana crearía oportunidades, problemas para empresarios locales
- Jan 3:
- Do alcohol and marijuana mix? Colorado is about to find out
- Jan 1:
- Clubes para fumar marihuana abren en Colorado
- Dec 31:
- Pot social clubs ring in the New Year with spots to consume weed
- Dec 29:
- Parts of Colorado's pot legalization strategy exported to other states
- Dec 26:
- Authorities seize 10 pounds of marijuana
- Dec 20:
- Will cigarette makers jump into pot market?
- Dec 16:
- Piden definir política de EEUU sobre marihuana
- Dec 13:
- Second CU-Boulder student charged with 18 felonies in pot brownie case
- Dec 11:
- Colorado heading toward a too-stoned-to-drive standard, experts say
- Dec 10:
- Pot legalized in Colorado with governor's proclamation
- Ya es legal el consumo de marihuana en Colorado
- Con marihuana legalizada en Washington ¿Qué sigue?
- Police: CU students confessed to serving pot-laced brownies in class
- Dec 7:
- Legal pot complicates drug-free work policies
- Dec 5:
- Celebrarán legalización de marihuana en Washington
- Nov 30:
- Douglas County set to block marijuana cultivation, sale
- Nov 28:
- Pot legalization no free ride to smoke on campus
- Nov 27:
- Hickenlooper to convene marijuana task force
- Nov 26:
- Aurora forgoes prosecuting small scale pot possession
- Colorado appeals court case debates question of off-duty marijuana use
- Nov 16:
- DeGette files bill to require feds to respect marijuana law
- Nov 14:
- Boulder DA dismissing small-scale marijuana possession cases in light of Amendment 64
- Nov 13:
- Calderón: Marihuana legal resta autoridad a EEUU
- Nov 12:
- Latin American leaders call for review of U.S. legal pot vote
- Nov 10:
- Hickenlooper, Holder discuss Colorado marijuana legalization
- Nov 8:
- Late-night shows, actors take pot shots at Colorado marijuana law
- Nov 7:
- Colorado officials seek clarity after passage of marijuana measure
- México prevé cambios tras voto marihuana en EEUU
- Pot votes in 2 states challenge U.S. drug war
- Hickenlooper reaching out to feds on Colorado marijuana legalization
- Colorado attorney general Suthers says he will respect marijuana measure
- Colorado voters support Obama, recreational pot
- Nov 6:
- Colorado measure legalizing marijuana passes
- Sep 15:
- Colorado marijuana legalization initiative leads in new poll
- Sep 13:
- Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper opposes marijuana-legalization measure
- Sep 11:
- Study finds perilous mold in Colorado pot-growing operations
- Aug 2:
- Colorado's medical pot industry fuels illegal trade, review shows
- Jul 3:
- Supreme Court ruling stokes Colorado pot debate
- Jun 19:
- Legal pot shops do not boost teen drug use, Colorado study says
- Jun 18:
- Easing of pot laws poses challenge for parents
- Jun 5:
- Colorado vote on pot could affect Obama-Romney race
- Debate sobre marihuana anima elección presidencial en Colorado
- May 15:
- Marijuana DUI standard dies a third time in Colorado
- Marijuana driving limits again poised for Colorado
- May 1:
- Colorado Senate gives initial OK to stoned driving limits
- Apr 20:
- Marijuana rally in trouble at Colorado university
- 4/20 events, and arrests, in full swing in Denver and Boulder
- CU tries to deter pot smokers with fish fertilizer, business-suit wearing counter protesters "stay classy" on campus
- Apr 19:
- Boulder's contentious "smokeout" expected to draw throngs
- Activists sue University of Colorado over 4/20 campus closure
- Apr 18:
- Eight Colorado counties plan events as alternatives to 4-20 marijuana smoke-ins
- Apr 16:
- ACLU: CU-Boulder's 4/20 campus closure thwarts 'right to dissent'
- Apr 13:
- CU-Boulder to close campus to visitors on 4/20, ticket trespassers
- Apr 4:
- Capital gets garden store for medical pot growers
- Tienda para siembra de marihuana medicinal abre en Washington
- Apr 3:
- Pot regulators slashed in Colorado
- Mar 23:
- Dozens of Colorado medical marijuana dispensaries told to move away from schools or close
- Mar 21:
- U.S. Attorney says marijuana shop closures cheered by Coloradans
- Mar 15:
- Five arrested for dumping garbage bag of pot in Civic Center and passing it out, police say
- Mar 14:
- Boulder DA asks feds to back off on medical marijuana dispensaries
- Mar 7:
- Denver's new DEA chief plans to live in a city where dispensaries are banned
- Mar 6:
- Yoga habit earns Aspen man a break on pot sentence
- Mar 2:
- Municipio español cultivará marihuana para combatir la crisis
- Feb 28:
- All targeted Colorado marijuana dispensaries near schools shut down, Feds say
- Colorado post offices see increase in marijuana packages
- Feb 27:
- "Driving while stoned" bill setting pot limits advances
- Feb 14:
- Fort Collins marijuana dispensaries shutting down
- Feb 7:
- Court of Appeals nixes medical pot use while on probation
- Jan 25:
- 16 charged in Denver metro-area pot bust
- Jan 18:
- Colorado voters might see two pot proposals on ballot
- Jan 12:
- Feds: Colorado medical-marijuana dispensaries within 1,000 feet of a school must close
- Jan 11:
- Lawmakers vow bill to allow medical-pot co-ops as banks shut out industry
- Jan 4:
- Campaign to legalize marijuana in Colorado turns in signatures in attempt to make the 2012 ballot
- Dec 28:
- Colorado seeks new pot classification
- Dec 16:
- California marijuana dispensary creates buzz with free pot
- Nov 30:
- Report shows fewer traffic fatalities after states pass medical-pot laws
- Oct 11:
- Colorado Supreme Court could take on medical-marijuana appeal
- Oct 7:
- Feds announce Calif. pot dispensary crackdown
- Crackdown on California dispensaries planned; Colorado shops watch development closely
- Oct 6:
- Feds target California pot dispensaries
- Sep 4:
- Driving while stoned difficult to define, regulate in Colorado
- Jul 22:
- Coloradans' use of drugs, alcohol much higher than U.S. average
- Colorado encabeza la lista de estados con mayor consumo de marihuana
YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) - Irrigation canals line Washington's Yakima Valley east of the Cascade Range, transforming a desert landscape into one of the most productive agricultural regions in the world - including crops for some of America's biggest vices.
Thousands of acres of wine grapes dot the landscape, contributing to Washington's No. 2 rank for premium wine production behind California. Farmers grow more than two-thirds of U.S. hops for big beer companies and craft brewers alike, and a large tobacco field is flourishing on a valley Indian reservation.
Now that Washington voters have legalized marijuana, will a region long recognized as one of the country's leading fruit bowls, best celebrated for Washington apples, become known as the vice belt? Not necessarily.
Too many unanswered questions remain about the new law, from how the state will regulate it to whether entrepreneurs or large corporations should lead the way. And the biggest question: the federal government's role going forward.
Marijuana remains illegal under federal law. Many states have approved it for medical use, but only Washington and Colorado have legalized it for recreational use.
The Justice Department has not said whether it will try to block the two states from implementing their new laws, passed late last year. For that reason, key land-grant universities that typically aid the agriculture industry by researching such things as pest control and crop yields - but rely on federal funding to do so - are avoiding the marijuana industry altogether.
In addition, marijuana is a crop that can't be insured, and federal drug law bars banks from knowingly serving the industry.
Any combination of those factors makes farmers leery of planting marijuana in the near term, said Bob Young, chief economist for the American Farm Bureau Federation.
"At this stage of the game, it poses tremendous problems for growers," he said. "Quite frankly, I'd tell one of our members to approach this with great caution."
Both states are in the process of developing rules for a legal marijuana industry. In Washington state, a Liquor Control Board that privatized liquor sales statewide last year on orders of a different voter-approved initiative now is tasked with developing rules governing pot cultivation, processing and sales.
Of the three licenses the board will authorize - grower, processor, seller - the rules for producing marijuana raise the most complex issues, according to Randy Simmons, project manager for the Liquor Control Board.
How many farmers should be allowed to produce marijuana in order to meet demand, and how big should their crops be? Where should they get their seeds? Should a crop be grown indoors or in fields outside?
Dozens of marijuana experts, who have been growing plants for medical use or in secret for illegal use, are educating state officials about the potential for the crop. Probably 95 percent of those people choose to grow their plants indoors, despite higher costs, to control light and temperature, improve quality and increase yields, Simmons said.
Indoor crops generally allow for up to three harvests per season, compared to just one harvest for an outdoor crop, and allow for easier security measures.
As Simmons put it, "Somebody out picking a handful of grapes isn't going to get stoned. So if we go through this process and determine outdoor grows are OK, we have to determine security standards."
Security is a concern for Gail Besemer, who grows flowers and vegetables near Deming, Wash., and has expressed interest in a producers' license.
Besemer already has three hoop houses, which are essentially temporary greenhouses, but could see expanding her business slightly to grow marijuana for a local clientele in northwest Washington.
However, "I'm concerned about druggies invading my property - ne'er-do-wells invading my property to steal, to get free dope," she said. "Security would be an issue."
Besemer, who is in her 60s, said she has never grown marijuana or used it, but can see potential for the crop.
"My family is not particularly excited about me being interested in this. But if someone has an integrated farm, growing a number of different crops, I would think it would be a high profit plant," she said. "Taxation and security might get in the way of profits, and it might end not being so profitable.
"I'll just have to wait and see about the regulations," she said.
The Colorado Farm Bureau opposed the law there and says none of its members have expressed interest because they are unwilling to take the risk, according to Nicholas Colglazier, the group's director of public policy.
Few traditional farmers, like Besemer, have expressed interest in Washington.
Simmons acknowledged that there are still many unanswered questions, but said answers will come with new state regulations this year. But he said he could envision an industry that allows for both boutique growers with higher quality marijuana and large outdoor growers to get a cheaper product on the market.
"You're always going to see people looking for specific strains and varieties," he said. "It's like drinking Budweiser or a microbrew."