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KVNF Regional Newscast: January 16, 2024

Gavin Dahl

Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser is leading a coalition of state attorneys general calling on the federal government to roll back its drug classification of cannabis. A letter sent Friday to the head of the Drug Enforcement Administration asks the agency to change cannabis to a Schedule 3 controlled substance.

Currently, the DEA classifies it as a Schedule One, along with heroin, LSD and ecstasy. Weiser says reclassification will benefit both public health and public safety. He says the change would remove burdens on state-regulated marijuana industries, help prevent black market distribution, and allow for more research on cannabis benefits.

Colorado Parks and Wildlife is asking people to be mindful of seasonal closures meant to protect mule deer and elk during their winter range activities.

Perins Peak State Wildlife Area and Bodo State Wildlife Area have closures in place until April 30. These spots are crucial for deer and elk to find food and shelter during the winter. CPW officials told the Telluride Daily Planet last week that human activity has encroached on these animals’ habitat. Avoiding these areas can prevent disturbing these animals and help them survive on their depleted body-fat reserves. Displacing them from their winter shelters can seriously impact their health and the well-being of their young.

The state legislature reconvened last Wednesday and, by Friday, lawmakers had already introduced over a hundred and thirty bills. KVNF’s Lucas Brady Woods reports one of them is a controversial response to the opioid crisis that failed to pass last year.

Homelessness is a growing issue in both urban and rural areas across the state. Rural communities must take unique, multifaceted approaches to provide aid and services to the young people who experience housing instability. For Rocky Mountain Community Radio, KDNK's Lily Jones has more.

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