Cascadia

Medical advocates hail Congressional vote to curb DoJ enforcement

Posted on May 30th, 2014 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , , , , .

capitolIn an unprecedented 219-189 floor vote late May 29, the House of Representatives approved the end of funding for Department of Justice (DoJ) enforcement in medical marijuana states. Advocates are hailing the vote as a major victory that signals a shift in the approach Congress is taking on this issue. The vote was on Amendment No. 25 to the Commerce, Justice & Science (CJS) appropriations bill. One hundred seventy Democrats and 49 Republicans voted in favor of the amendment. "This Congressional vote is a huge victory for patients," said Steph Sherer, executive director of Americans for Safe Access. "No longer will we have to look over our shoulder and worry when the next raid or indictment will prevent us from safely and legally accessing our medicine. This is a game-changer that paves the way for much more policy change to come."

Cannabis front in Western water wars?

Posted on May 23rd, 2014 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , .

Cannabis cultivation is emerging as an issue in the American West's interminable conflicts over control of water. On May 20, the US Bureau of Reclamation (BuRec), which supplies irrigation districts across the western states, issued a policy memo saying its water may not be used for marijuana. BuRec staff would document "all activities and communications" regarding "known or potential uses" of its waters for cannabis cultivation—and "will report such use to the Department of Justice." Washington state's Roza Irrigation District, which supplies BuRec water to some 72,000 acres in Yakima and Benton counties, in early April issued a "precautionary message" warning cannabis growers that they could get cut off. But the practical effects of the policy are unclear. If the Justice Department were to target irrigation districts for supplying water when it's not targeting the folks actually growing the cannabis, it would have a lot of angry corn and apple farmers on its hands.

Hash oil explosions in the news...

dab rigOK, here comes the latest media blitz in the backlash against the recent gains for cannabis legalization... The Associated Press on May 6 runs a lurid story (one of several suddenly in the news), topped by a photo of a forelorn burn victim petting his dog for comfort, entitled "Hash Oil Explosions Rise With Legalized Marijuana." The lead: "The opening months of Colorado's first-in-the-nation recreational marijuana industry have seen a rise in fiery explosions and injuries as pot users try to make the drug's intoxicating oil in crude home-based laboratories. Since Jan. 1, when sales began, the state's only certified adult burn center has treated 10 people with serious injuries they suffered while making hash oil, compared with 11 in 2013 and one in 2012." Firefighters in Colorado have responded to at least 31 hash-oil explosions so far this year, compared with 11 all of last year, according to the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area—a slightly questionable claim, given that the number of explosions and number of casualties for last year are identical. A police sargeant in the Denver suburb of Thornton, which saw its first such explosion in January, is quoted: "These today are the meth labs of the '90s."

Five Washington state medical marijuana patients go to trial

Posted on April 21st, 2014 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

Family members from a rural area of eastern Washington state are to go to trial next month on federal marijuana charges, despite the Obama administration's repeated claims that it does not target seriously ill patients. The federal trial of the "Kettle Falls 5" is scheduled for May 12, pending several pretrial motions which will be heard on April 22 before US District Judge Fred Van Sickle in Spokane, Wash. Because of marijuana's illegal status under federal law, patients like the "Kettle Falls 5" are typically prohibited from raising a medical necessity or state law defense in federal court..

Washington and Colorado: the empire chills out?

Posted on August 29th, 2013 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , .

cannabisDeputy Attorney General James Cole, the same who authored a notorious 2011 memo asserting that federal cannabis enforcement remains a "core priority" even in states that have passed medical marijuana laws, has just issued a new memorandum seeming to clarify Justice Department reaction to the legalization measures in Colorado and Washington state. While it is written in the usual dense bureaucratese that often hides as much as it reveals, on balance it appears to represent a retreat from the hardline posture the Obama administration has assumed regarding medicinal cannabis over the past two years. The text of the Aug. 29 memo is provided by our comrades at CelebStoner:

Police raid Southern Oregon NORML office

Posted on May 25th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

Police on May 23 arrested four in raids on medical marijuana dispensaries in Southern Oregon. Medford Police Chief Tim George said the arrests followed a two-year investigation in which undercover police purchased cannabis outside the law governing medical marijuana. The Oregon medical marijuana allows growers to recover only their expenses, and nothing to cover their labor or a profit. Oregon's Mail Tribune reports that among the four was Lori Duckworth, executive director of Southern Oregon NORML.

Seattle drops police drone program under protest

Posted on February 9th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

Shadow WatchSeattle's Mayor Mike McGinn on Feb. 7 ordered his police department to abandon its plan to use drones after residents and privacy advocates protested. McGinn said the two small drones obtained through a federal grant will be returned to the vendor. "Today I spoke with Seattle Police Chief John Diaz, and we agreed that it was time to end the unmanned aerial vehicle program, so that SPD can focus its resources on public safety and the community building work that is the department's priority," he said in a brief statement.

Medical advocates file brief supporting Mendocino's refusal to turn over cultivation records

Posted on January 2nd, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , , , .

CaliforniaThree medical marijuana groups have teamed up to support Mendocino County officials in their effort to fight a sweeping federal subpoena filed in October, seeking "any and all records" for the county's medical marijuana cultivation program, known as County Code 9.31. Last month, Mendocino County filed a motion in San Francisco federal court to quash the Justice Department's subpoena, and on Jan. 2 Americans for Safe Access (ASA), the Emerald Growers Association (EGA), and California NORML filed a joint amicus "friend of the court" brief in an attempt to protect the private patient records being sought. A hearing in the case is scheduled for 2 PM on Jan. 4, before federal District Court Judge Richard Seeborg in San Francisco.

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