California

Oakland passes ambitious new medical marijuana measure

Posted on May 5th, 2016 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

medical marijuanaOakland's City Council voted unanimously on May 4 to approve a measure expanding the number of cannabis dispensaries and related businesses operating in the city. The new law seeks to bring the existing black market under the city's regulatory regime, covering everything from grow operations to retail sales. It will allow adding up to eight new dispensary permits each year, and foresees up to 30 new cultivators, 12 delivery businesses, five distributors, five transporters, two testing facilities and 28 manufacturing businesses.

Harborside Health Center in 'historic' deal with feds

Posted on May 3rd, 2016 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

Oakland Oakland's Harborside Health Center announced May 3 that it has reached a deal to end the long effort by federal prosecutors to shut it down. Under the "historic agreement," the Justice Department will agree dismiss its forfeiture case against Harborside. In return, the dispensary agrees not to pursue further legal action against the government. Harborside's San Jose location is also included in the deal. Attorney Henry Wykowski said: "We are gratified that the government has finally seen fit to lay down its arms against Harborside in this case. The will of the people is for medical cannabis dispensaries to operate free from federal threats of closure. We hope we are on the cusp of a policy change and that the Department of Justice will no longer target state-legal dispensaries for forfeiture."

Merle Haggard, redneck icon who embraced cannabis, passes on

Posted on April 6th, 2016 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , .

Merle HaggardCountry music legend Merle Haggard died at his ranch near Northern California's Lake Shasta on April 6, his 79th birthday. Haggard had the hard-living authenticity that helped make him an icon for the working folks of rural America. Of Okie stock, he grew up in Bakersfield and came up as a musician in the Central Valley town's local honkytonk scene—before actually turning 21 in San Quentin State Prison after a burglary conviction in 1957, as immortalized in his famous hit "Mama Tried." Unlike what the lyric said, however, he wasn't "doing life without parole." He was paroled in 1960, returned to his music career, acheived success, and was granted a pardon in 1972 by California's then-governor (and fellow conservative icon) Ronald Reagan.

Supreme Court deals blow to Oakland medical program

Posted on March 22nd, 2016 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , .

OaklandIn a blow to municipal power to regulate medical marijuana, the US Supreme Court on March 21 refused to hear Oakland's appeal of last year's ruling by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that the city cannot help defend Harborside Health Center in federal court. The Justice Department has been trying to shut down the flagship dispensary on the Oakland waterfront—dubbed a "superstore" by US attorney Melinda Haag. The city of Oakland tried to intervene in the case, asserting that Harborside's closure would rob the cash-strapped municipality of millions in tax revenues.

Cannabis interceptions on Mexican border down —again

Posted on March 20th, 2016 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , , .

MexicoFor a second year running, the US Border Patrol reports drastically reduced cannabis seizures along the Mexican border—and even the mainstream media can't help making the connection to the growing trend toward legalization and tolerance in the United States. In reporting the findings, the Washington Post uses the headline, "Legal marijuana is finally doing what the drug war couldn't." Last year, border agents confiscated some 1.5 million pounds—down from a peak of nearly 4 million in 2009. Increased domestic production in California, Colorado and Washington have driven prices down, especially at the bulk level. "Two or three years ago, a kilogram [2.2 pounds] of marijuana was worth $60 to $90," a Mexican cannabis farmer recently told NPR. "But now they're paying us $30 to $40 a kilo. It's a big difference. If the U.S. continues to legalize pot, they'll run us into the ground." 

300 pounds by special delivery

Posted on March 11th, 2016 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

New York cannabisThree men were busted after attempting to deliver a whopping 300 pounds of cannabis to a building in New York's Greenwich Village, police told CBS New York on Feb. 27. NYPD narcotics officers arrested Patrick Johnson, Matthew Parrigo and Christopher Bender after they were spotted carrying a large wooden crate into the building at 144 Bleeker Street. Cops later discovered another 150-pound crate loaded with weed after searching a delivery truck on scene.

Bill Maher makes the point by toking a joint —on the air!

Posted on February 14th, 2016 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , .

Bill MaherIf you missed the Feb. 12 episode of Real Time with Bill Maher, do yourself a favor and check out the video on YouTube. Bill made media history that night. He starts by relating how he's always being plied with proposals to go into the cannabis biz, cashing in on the growing legal market with "Maher-ijuana" or "Billy Buds." But then he goes into an admonition for his own team: "You hippies need to get your head out of your grass! Progress doesn't just automatically snowball." He notes the rollback of abortion rights over past generation, with hundreds of clinics shut down—and makes an analogy to the hundreds of dispensaries recently closed in Los Angeles. He quipped: "And dispensaries still can't get banking services, because they're too skeevy—tha banks, not the dispensaries."

Los Angeles ex-sheriff pleads guilty in prison abuse scandal

Posted on February 10th, 2016 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

CaliforniaRetired Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca pleaded guilty Feb. 10 to lying to federal investigators, in what the LA Times calls a "stunning reversal for the longtime law enforcement leader who for years insisted he played no role in the misconduct that tarnished his agency." In the plea deal filed in federal court for the Central District of California, Baca admitted to lying twice about his involvement in hiding a jail inmate from FBI investigators. In fact, Baca ordered the inmate to be isolated, putting his top deputy Paul Tanaka in charge of executing the plan, the agreement acknowledged. Baca also admitted he lied when he said he was unaware that his subordinates planned to approach an FBI special agent at her home. Baca now admits he directed the subordinates to approach the agent, stating that they should "do everything but put handcuffs" on her.  As part of the deal, prosecutors agreed not to seek a prison sentence of more than six months, Eileen Decker, US attorney for the Central District, told reporters. Tanaka is scheduled to stand trial in March on charges of obstructing the federal investigation into brutality and corruption in the county jails.

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