forfeiture

Sessions reverses Obama-era restriction on asset forfeiture

Posted on July 21st, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , .

Shadow WatchAttorney General Jeff Sessions signed an order July 19 reversing limits on the federal civil asset forfeiture program that were instated under the Obama administration in 2015. The widely criticized civil forfeiture program allows law enforcement to seize cash and property from citizens who have not been charged with any crime. But under the Obama-era change, the feds respected the right of states to rein in the practice. With Sessions' change, that is now undone.

IRS forfeits totally legal money: investigation

Posted on April 10th, 2017 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

Shadow WatchAn investigation by the US Treasury Department's Inspector General for Tax Administration, launched under pressure of litigation brought by the libertarian-leaning Institute for Justice, maddeningly finds that the Internal Revenue Service has been using asset forfeiture to confiscate millions of dollars from businesses that committed no crimes. The libertarian-oriented website Reason breaks it down in detail, stating that "between 2012 and 2014, IRS investigators seized hundreds of bank accounts from business owners based on nothing but a suspicious pattern of deposits. In more than 90 percent of those cases, the money was completely legal."

Supreme Court to hear drug forfeiture case

Posted on December 12th, 2016 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , .

SCOTUSThe Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case that could set limits on the federal government's sweeping powers to seize property in drug cases under "criminal forfeiture" laws. Tony and Terry Honeycutt were charged with federal drug offenses after selling quantities of iodine-based water disinfectant at their camping and hunting store in Chattanooga—because the substance can also be used in the manufacture of methamphetamine. Tony, the actual owner of the store, pleaded guilty, and had $200,000 seized—the amount believed equivalent to his proceeds from the sales of the chemical. Terry fought the charge, and lost. The government then sought an additional $70,000 from him. In Honeycutt v. United States, Terry is arguing that he is not liable for the proceeds because he wasn't an owner of the store.

Flagship Oakland dispensary marks 10 years

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

OaklandOakland's KTVU  on Oct. 5 noted a miltestone for the East Bay city: exactly 10 years of operation for Harborside Health Center, the foremost "pioneering enterprise" in California's cannabis industry. "The world's attitude towards cannabis has shifted massively in the course of the 10 years that Harborside has been open," box-store dispensary founder Steve DeAngelo told the station, noting legalization of recreational use in four states and the District of Columbia. "So we have seen really a massive, tectonic shift in attitudes towards cannabis." KTVU hails Harborside as "a solid, respected business with 200 employees and contractors, serving 200,000 patients."

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."

Feds target LA dispensaries for closure

Posted on September 25th, 2012 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

CaliforniaFederal authorities on Sept. 25 took legal action against over 70 medical marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles County— sending warning letters to 68 properties, filing forfeiture suits against three, and serving search warrants at another three.  "Over the past several years, we have seen an explosion of commercial marijuana stores—an explosion that is being driven by the massive profits associated with marijuana distribution," said US Attorney André Birotte Jr in a statement.  "As today's operations make clear, the sale and distribution of marijuana violates federal law, and we intend to enforce the law. Even those stores not targeted today should understand that they cannot continue to profit in violation of the law." The statement said the targets include "all known marijuana stores in the Eagle Rock and downtown areas of Los Angeles, as well as the single store known to be operating in Huntington Park." (LAT, LA Weekly, Sept. 25)

DEA pledge "hot and heavy" season of California pot busts

Posted on August 26th, 2012 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , , , , , .

CaliforniaThe feds are promising an especially aggressive crackdown on Emerald Triangle cannabis growers this harvest season. "It's one of the most beautiful parts of this country, but it's just being destroyed by marijuana cultivation," said Randy Wagner, the DEA special agent in charge of Northern California operations. "I can tell you, we're going to be hot and heavy in Humboldt County from here on out." An Aug. 26 report n the Eureka Times-Standard says the feds are frustrated with the ongoing dispute over medical marijuana in California and determined to pick up the slack following harsh budget cuts at the state's Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement. The report suggests local enforcement is ready to cooperate directly with the DEA, even with reduced state involvement.

Rep. Barbara Lee introduces bill to protect dispensary landlords

Posted on August 3rd, 2012 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , .

On Aug. 2, Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) and seven initial co-sponsors introduced HR 6335, the States' Medical Marijuana Property Rights Protection Act, in an attempt to stop the seizure of property from landlords of state law-compliant medical marijuana businesses. The introduction of HR 6335 comes less than a month after US Attorney Melinda Haag served an asset forfeiture suit against the landlord of Harborside, a dispensary in Rep. Lee's district, in Oakland. The Justice Department action was opposed by Rep. Lee, and also sparked an outcry from local and state officials, including City Council members, the Oakland city attorney, and the Board of Equalization.

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