TIME Drugs

Colorado Is Consuming Way More Pot Than Anyone Ever Believed

Colorado 420 Rally at Civic Center Park in Denver, Co.
Hundreds of people lit up joints, bongs, pipes and marijuana cigarettes at exactly 4:20 p.m. during the Colorado 420 Rally at Civic Center Park in Denver on April 20, 2014, to celebrate the legal use of marijuana in the state. Helen H. Richardson—Denver Post via Getty Images

And most is consumed by a minority of daily users

About 9% of Colorado’s population consumes marijuana, according to a market demand study conducted by the state department of revenue’s Marijuana Enforcement Division and the state’s Marijuana Policy Group. And those users, it’s estimated, will get through about 121.4 metric tons of pot every year.

According to the report, that consumption — calculated through survey results, demographic data and source data — is “31 percent higher than a recent department of revenue assessment, 89 percent higher than a study by the Colorado Futures Center, and 111 percent higher than an older study by the Colorado Center for Law and Policy.”

The state’s Marijuana Enforcement Division analyzed the market demand for the drug, which Colorado began selling for recreational use in January, in an effort to “effectively manage production within the regulated industry,” according to a press release.

According to the study, published Wednesday, the bulk of the demand for the drug comes from the most frequent users. About 21.8% of users report consuming marijuana almost daily, accounting for 66.9% of the total demand in the state. That constitutes a lot of consistent tokers. Across the country, only 17% of American adults consume marijuana that frequently, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

About 29.2% of adults report smoking less than once a month in Colorado.

But it looks like Coloradans aren’t the only ones getting Rocky Mountain high. Using sales-tax analysis and data from tourist offices, the study’s authors estimate about 44% of all retail sales of marijuana come from tourists — the bulk of whom visited mountain communities. In all, visitors are expected to consume about 8.9 metric tons of pot per year.

TIME Technology & Media

Aereo Lawyers: We’re A Cable Company Now

And therefore, they argue, entitled to a compulsory license under Section 111 of the Copyright Act

In a letter to a District judge on Wednesday, lawyers for Aereo signaled a shift for the television streaming company whose business was halted in late June following a Supreme Court decision.

Aereo’s lawyers are now implying the company — which transmitted television broadcasts directly to users via the Internet — is a cable system and not a technology service provider as the Second Circuit court found. Because of this, the lawyers say they are entitled to a compulsory license under Section 111 of the Copyright Act and should be allowed to continue operating.

“Under the Second Circuit’s precedents, Aereo was a provider of technology and equipment with respect to the near-live transmissions at issue in the preliminary injunction appeal. After the Supreme Court decision, Aereo is a cable company with respect to those transmissions,” the lawyers write in a letter published by the Hollywood Reporter.

They continue, “If Aereo is a ‘cable system’ as that term is defined in the Copyright Act, it is eligible for a statutory license, and its transmissions may not be enjoined (preliminarily or otherwise).”

Following the Supreme Court decision, which found the company violated copyright law and should be required to follow the same rules as cable and satellite companies, the start-up halted business. Lawyers also say that, given the Supreme Court’s 6-3 ruling, any potential legal action against their operations should be limited to the “simultaneous or near-simultaneous streaming of over-the-air television programs.”

Broadcasters argue, however, that Aereo’s arguments are invalid.

“Aereo never before pled (much less litigated) Section 111 as an affirmative defense,” the plaintiff’s lawyers wrote. “Whatever Aereo may say about its rationale for raising it now, it is astonishing for Aereo to contend the Supreme Court’s decision automatically transformed Aereo into a ‘cable system’ under Section 111 given its prior statements to this Court and the Supreme Court.”

TIME justice

Virginia Police Issued Search Warrant For Photos of Sexting Teen’s Genitals, Lawyer Says

For evidence in a sexting investigation

Local police have issued a search warrant for explicit photos of a Virginia teenager accused of sexting his former girlfriend, lawyers for the teen said.

The Manassas City Police and Prince William County prosecutor are seeking pictures of the teen’s genitals, lawyer Jessica H. Foster told the Washington Post.

The teen faces two felony charges for manufacturing and distributing child pornography after exchanging sexts with his then-15-year-old girlfriend, whose mother filed the initial complaint with authorities. The case was dismissed in juvenile court in June, because prosecutors neglected to certify the teen’s juvenile status, the Post reports, but new charges were filed by the police.

The teen’s aunt told NBC Washington last week that local officers have already taken photos of her nephew’s genitals, but now want photos of an erection, too, to compare with evidence. The police reportedly told the teen that, if necessary, they would take him to a hospital for an injection that induces an erection.

“The prosecutor’s job is to seek justice,” Foster told the Post. “What is just about this? How does this advance the interest of the Commonwealth?”

If charged, the teen could face incarceration and would be forced to register as a sex offender.

Foster added, “I don’t mind trying the case. My goal is to stop the search warrant. I don’t want him to go through that. Taking him down to the hospital so he can get an erection in front of all those cops, that’s traumatizing.”

Carlos Flores Laboy, the teen’s appointed guardian ad litem told the Post that he found authorities’ desire to create more sexually explicit photos of a teenager, in the name of an investigation into child pornography allegations, both ironic and troubling.

“They’re using a statute that was designed to protect children from being exploited in a sexual manner to take a picture of this young man in a sexually explicit manner, said Flores Laboy. “The irony is incredible.”

He added, “As a parent myself, I was floored. It’s child abuse. We’re wasting thousands of dollars and resources and man hours on a sexting case. That’s what we’re doing.”

Calls to the Manassas City Police Department and the Prince William County prosecutor’s office were not immediately returned to TIME.

[Washington Post]

TIME World Cup

Beautiful World Cup Fan Nabs Modeling Contract After Picture Goes Viral

Guess sometimes it does pay to root for a losing team

Updated Thursday, July 10 at 1:50 pm ET

Belgium may have gotten the boot from the World Cup after falling to Argentina last Saturday, but one of the team’s fans reportedly scored big. After a photo of 17-year-old Axelle Despiegelare cheering on her country’s team during the group stages went viral, she captured the attention of beauty brand L’Oreal Professionnel.

And on Tuesday, the Red Devils supporter told her thousands of Facebook fans (17,603 at the time of this writing) that she officially nabbed a modeling contract. A representative for L’Oreal Professionnel informed TIME on Thursday that it was a one-time contract and has been completed. The company has no plans to work with her again.

Despiegelare appears in number of promotional videos for the beauty brand on their Facebook page, in which she’s referred to as “ la plus belle des supportrices de la coupe du monde,” or the most beautiful World Cup supporter. Guess sometimes it does pay to root for a losing team.

 

 

TIME Religion

Vatican Hires British Politician to Overhaul Media Strategy

Lord Chris Patten attends a mass with newly appointed cardinals held by Pope Francis at St Peter's Basilica on February 23, 2014 in Vatican City, Vatican.
Lord Chris Patten attends a mass with newly appointed cardinals held by Pope Francis at St Peter's Basilica on February 23, 2014 in Vatican City, Vatican. Franco Origlia—Getty Images

The Vatican taps former Hong Kong governor Chris Patten to revamp its PR operation

Veteran British politician Chris Patten has been tapped to bring the Vatican’s media strategy into the 21st century. Cardinal George Pell, the Vatican’s prefect for the secretariat of the economy, announced the appointment of Patten at a press conference on Wednesday.

Patten, 70, a former governor of Hong Kong and former chair of the BBC Trust, will chair a new media committee at the Vatican set to oversee and modernize the various media outlets produced therein, including Vatican Radio and the Vatican TV Center. Variety reports Cardinal Pell said Wednesday that the goal of the new committee is to reach more Catholics and “recognize that the world of the media has changed radically and is changing.”

Currently, Vatican media reaches about 10% of Catholics worldwide.

“We want to build on very recent positive experiences, such as ‘The Pope App’ and the Holy Father’s Twitter account.” Pell said, according to the National Catholic Register.

Patten, a devout Catholic, has a long history of public service having served as a member of the U.K. Parliament and chairman of the Conservative Party before taking the role at BBC Trust. He recently resigned from the post for health reasons, but told the Financial Times he’s looking forward to what he called “an important and challenging” assignment.

TIME Crime

Essence Honors Mothers Who Lost Children to Gun Violence

Amid recent shootings in Essence Festival host city New Orleans

This article originally appeared on Essence.com

For Patrina Peters, the final day of the Essence Festival in New Orleans wasn’t a joyous occasion. Peters, a native to the city, was one of dozens of mothers who attended a prayer vigil Sunday morning at the Ernest J. Morial Convention Center to pay tribute to the children they’d lost to gun violence.

For the second year in a row, Essence has partnered with the city of New Orleans to bring attention to the issue of gun violence in the Black community by honoring mothers who have lost their children. Mothers and festivalgoers gathered in prayer on the Festival’s Empowerment Experience stage, which served as a hub for thought leaders and celebrities conducting insightful talks over the four-day event.

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu and Deputy Mayor Judy Reese Morse opened the prayer vigil with a moment of silence for the lives lost, taking a moment to acknowledge the city’s ongoing efforts to curb violence. Over the past year, the Landrieu administration has helped bring the number of murders in the Crescent City down from 193 in 2012 to 155 in 2013.

“We as a nation should say this has got to stop,” Landrieu said Sunday.

Landrieu has also launched the NOLA for Life initiative, which works within communities to address crime and to provide alternatives for youth who would otherwise fall victim to violence. Peters, whose 19-year-old son was shot and killed in May 2010, works with the organization to provide support for mothers and families suffering in the wake of a devastating loss. She addressed the crowd on Sunday, sharing her son Damon’s story while holding back tears. “He was smart. He played basketball and he was a Mardi Gras Indian since the age of 10,” Peters said. “It is so hard to describe the emptiness I feel.”

At one point during the ceremony, mothers pinned photos of the sons and daughters they’ve lost to violence on a “wall of remembrance.”

After the vigil, Peters (with a little help from a local brass band playing “When the Saints Go Marching In”) led the mothers out of the hall and into the atrium of the Convention Center. There she met Tanaka Charles, a mother from Miami who lost her son four years ago, just five days shy of his 21st birthday. The two women embraced, and Charles burst into tears, saying, “We want our kids to be valued just like everyone else.”

TIME Education

Kids Learn How to Code at Essence Festival Hack-a-Thon

The #YesWeCode initiative launches in New Orleans

This article originally appeared on Essence.com

Victoria Pannell could have spent her Fourth of July weekend going to barbecues and hanging out with her friends, but the 15-year-old chose to stay indoors and learn how to code.

Pannell, who traveled 24 hours by car with her mom from New York to New Orleans, was one of dozens of teens from all over the country who participated in the Essence Festival’s first-ever hack-a-thon. The event was the official launch of #YesWeCode, an initiative spearheaded by Van Jones (and supported by Prince, who gave it a shout out during his headlining performance) that aims to get 100,000 “high potential, low opportunity” youth to interested and involved in coding.

The event presented the perfect opportunity for Pannell to marry her love for computers and her passion for helping to end child sex trafficking, which was the focus of the application she spent the weekend building. When Pannell was 13, she portrayed a girl forced into sex trafficking in a public service announcement for change.org. The issue has stuck with her ever since. “After I portrayed Monica, the victim, I couldn’t sleep thinking about how there were girls whose bodies were being ravaged by strangers every day,” Pannell said. “Sex trafficking is an operation, and we want to prevent that operation from happening.” Through her application, the Sex Trafficking Operations Prevention app or, STOP, she’d help connect potential and current victims of trafficking to support services like the Polaris Project’s Hotline.

The sciences, mathematics, engineering, and technology (STEM) are the fastest growing career fields in the United States. The U.S. Department of Commerce estimates occupations in the STEM field will by 17% by 2018, while non-STEM jobs are expected to grow by 9%. Microsoft projects about 1.2 million jobs will open in computer sciences by 2020—but only about 40,000 Americans currently graduate with the necessary credentials to fill the positions. #YesWeCode is looking to increase the number of African-Americans in STEM.

“I aspire to become a software engineer,” said Zachary Dorcinville, a rising high school senior from the Bronx who crowd-funded $1,500 to purchase his plane ticket to get to the Festival. His team developed an application that uses music to make workout experiences more social. “Technology is always changing and always evolving. I love it.”

While some applications were teen-centric, focusing on issues like bullying and writing college essays, many spoke to problems that face the community at large. A group of boys built a glucose-reader. A girl from Memphis built an application that would create food-to-table partnerships in areas that are considered food deserts.

On Sunday, after working for four days to bring their ideas to life, the teams pitched their apps to a panel of judges that included executives from Microsoft and Facebook.
The most fulfilling aspect of the weekend, says #YESWECODE mentor and creative technologist Errol King, was how much the kids were able to grasp in the short amount of time.

“When you start to see light bulbs go off, when they start using the terminology we use every day in the field, you start to realize the universe has expanded,” King said.

TIME Essence Festival 2014

Watch Robin Roberts and Her Sister Tell Their Remarkable Story

The sisters also shared how their unwavering faith in God helped them through the most trying times

Good Morning America host Robin Roberts and her sister Sally-Ann appeared together at the 20th anniversary Essence Festival Friday to share the remarkable story about how Sally-Ann helped save her sister’s life.

In June 2012, the ABC anchor announced she was diagnosed with a blood disorder myelodysplastic syndrome, just five years after beating breast cancer. Two years later, thanks to the life-saving bone marrow donation her sister provided, Robin is healthy, happy, and most of all–grateful.

“You don’t take it for granted that someone is going to put their life on hold for you,” Robin said, holding back tears. But Sally-Ann said she never would have considered not providing the bone marrow that saved her younger sister’s life.

“I was born for this,” Sally Ann said. ” I believe that before I was in my mothers womb that God knew. I believe that God allowed me to be a perfect genetic match.”

Sally-Ann took a moving moment during their talk to thank God for her sister’s health. “Isn’t God good,” Sally-Ann said, before leading the crowd of festival-goers in a song of praise. “Look at Robin!”

The crowd stood when Sally-Ann, a broadcast journalist based in Louisiana, asked who in the audience prayed for Robin’s health and healing. They sang “Thank you, Lord,” when Sally-Ann began to sing a hymn of praise.

The sisters took part in a talk on sisterhood during the 20th Anniversary Essence Festival. More of the sisters’ story is shared in Robin Roberts’ new book, Everybody’s Got Something. The sisters used the word of God and their unwavering faith to speak to the power of believing–particularly in moments when faith is tested.

“Optimism is a muscle that gets stronger with use,” Robin said.

TIME cities

Mayor Aja Brown: If Brooklyn Can Change, So Can Compton

Compton Jr. Posse 7th Annual Fundraiser Gala
Mayor Aja Brown attends Compton Jr. Posse 7th Annual Fundraiser Gala at Los Angeles Equestrian Center on May 17, 2014 in Los Angeles. Keipher McKennie—Getty Images

No one wants to be Brooklyn

Mayors from around the country want their cities to be more like Brooklyn — but they also don’t.

During a discussion on urban planning during the Essence Musical Festival on Saturday, mayors from Atlanta, Compton, Baltimore and New Orleans used the example of the New York borough to talk about a touchy subject facing their cities: gentrification. Essence is owned by TIME’s parent company, Time Inc.

Compton, California Mayor Aja Brown said she wants her city, known as a rap hotbed, to experience a renaissance similar to that seen in Brooklyn — the hometown of Jay-Z and Biggie Smalls — which is now known more for its artisanal goods and hipsters than its once-gritty streets.

“If Brooklyn can change its image, I’m sure Compton can too,” Brown said. But Brooklyn’s new “image” has come much to the disdain of some notable residents, including director Spike Lee, an outspoken opponent of Brooklyn’s gentrification process.

“I grew up here in Fort Greene. I grew up here in New York. It’s changed. And why does it take an influx of white New Yorkers in the south Bronx, in Harlem, in Bed Stuy, in Crown Heights for the facilities to get better?,” Lee said in February.

However, Brown, who was elected in 2012, says with strategic planning cities can reshape blighted areas without sacrificing the identity of a community or excluding long-time or poor residents. That’s exactly what she’s working to do as a part of her vision for Compton, she said.

“Gentrification is a problem of poor planning,” Brown said.

The United States is on a path of increased diversity, expected to be mostly made up of various minority groups by 2050. Cities are the center of that growth — about 80% of the U.S. population lives in urban areas of 50,000 residents or more, according to the 2010 census, and a recent Brookings Institution report says minorities have made up 98% of the population growth in the country’s biggest cities over the past 10 years.

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu leads a city that has long prided itself on its inclusion and diversity, despite some residents’ uneasy reaction to rebuilding post-Katrina. Landrieu said Saturday that communities’ shifting attitudes toward diversity could cool tensions as neighborhoods shift.

“I think you can actually rebuild neighborhoods and actually produce diversity,” Landrieu said. In the past, “people thought isolation and distance brought them happiness, but now they realize diversity makes us smarter and better.”

But Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said it’s up to citizens to hold mayors accountable for the ways in which neighborhood shifts come into fruition.

“Impose your will and stop letting mayors off the hook with gobbledygook that they don’t know what’s going on,” Reed said.

TIME Election 2014

Congresswoman Waters Urges Blacks to Vote in This Year’s Midterms

Maxine Waters
U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) marches in the 29th annual Kingdom Day Parade on January 20, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. David McNew—Getty Images

Speaking at the 20th anniversary Essence Music Festival in New Orleans

Democratic Congresswoman Maxine Waters urged African Americans on Saturday to get out to the polls in November for the sake of President Barack Obama’s legacy. The representative from California also stressed the historic significance of voting in the African American community during a year when the nation is celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

“Midterm elections are just as important as presidential elections,” Waters said during a speech at the Essence Music Festival. “Think about your ancestors; think about their sacrifice. Think about all of those who gave their lives. Get to the polls.”

African American voters turned out at the polls in record numbers in 2008 and 2012. In 2012, 66.2% of eligible black Americans voted, outnumbering white voters for the first time in history. And black women, who are the target audience of the Essence festival, were primarily responsible for that surge. Essence is owned by TIME parent company Time Inc.

But 2014 is a midterm year, during which non-white voters often turn out in lower rates. And without a big name like Barack Obama up for election, many Democrats worry black turnout will revert back to their typically low levels this November, hurting their chances at the polls.

Waters also said the African American community’s legislative goals are at risk of dying in Congress if Republicans gain control of the Senate on top of the House of Representatives. Fighting for issues like the Voting Rights Act, raising the minimum wage, and improving health care, Waters said, should drive African American voters to the polls.

“We’ve got a lot at stake,” Waters said. “You have got to realize you don’t just vote in a presidential election. We cannot get a bill through. We cannot get anything done as long as [Republicans] are in the majority.”

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