mandatory minimums

Supreme Court gives judges leeway in mandatory minimum cases

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

SCOTUSThe US Supreme Court on April 4 handed down a unanimous decision in Dean v. United States, giving federal judges greater flexibility in mandatory minimum cases—an aim activists have long been demanding. Advocacy group Families Against Mandatory Minimums filed a brief in support of the petitioner in the case.

Obama drug war commutations surpass 1,000

Posted on November 23rd, 2016 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

Obama Continuing with his campaign of clemency for federal drug offenders who were imprisoned under outdated sentencing laws, President Barack Obama on Nov. 22 commuted the sentences of 79 more inmates, bringing the total commutations throughout his two terms to to more than 1,000. This number now far surpasses that of the previous 11 presidents combined. Bill Clinton granted 61 commutations, and George Bush just 11. But White House officials are still rushing to review all the approximately 6,000 pending clemency applications before the end of Obama's term.  In 2016 alone, a total of 839 commutations have been granted. "It makes no sense for a nonviolent drug offender to be serving decades, or sometimes life, in prison," Obama said in announcing the new commutations. "That's not serving taxpayers, and it's not serving the public safety."

Obama drug war sentence commutations reach record 944

Posted on November 8th, 2016 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , .

ObamaPresident Barack Obama on Nov. 5 commuted the sentences of 72 more drug war inmates, bringing his total commutations throughout his two terms to 944. The pace of Obama's commutations is picking up as he approaches the end of his time in office. In a similar move one month earlier, he commuted the terms of 102 federal prison inmates—breaking all prior records. "The vast majority of today’s grants were for individuals serving unduly harsh sentences for drug-related crimes under outdated sentencing laws," White House counsel Neil Eggleston said in a statement Oct. 6. "With today's grants, the President has commuted 774 sentences, more than the previous 11 presidents combined. With a total of 590 commutations this year, President Obama has now commuted the sentences of more individuals in one year than in any other single year in our nation’s history."

Obama commutes sentences of 42 drug war POWs

Posted on June 6th, 2016 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , .

ObamaPresident Barack Obama on June 3 announced that he had commuted the sentences of 42 inmates convicted of drug offenses as part of his ongoing effort against "outdated and unduly harsh sentencing laws." The White House statement said: "The individuals receiving a presidential commutation today have more than repaid their debt to society and earned this second chance." The 42 were serving sentences of up to life in prison for non-violent offenses. The statement noted that Obama has now commuted the sentences of 348 such convicts—more than the past seven presidents combined.

Canada's Countdown to Cannabis Legalization

 Canada

After nine years of Conservative rule, Canada's Liberal Party had a momentous election night on Oct. 19, gaining a majority of seats in Parliament and a new prime minister in Justin Trudeau. The handsome and charismatic son of Canada's most formative prime minister, Trudeau had worked as a school teacher in Vancouver before becoming a parliamentarian representing Quebec. He promised a new beginning in Canadian politics—and a break with the increasingly right-wing policies of his predecessor, Stephen Harper. It remains to be seen if he will able to follow through on his ambitious promises—including to legalize cannabis.

Alabama prison riot: more to come?

Posted on March 16th, 2016 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , .

AlabamaGov. Robert Bentley visited Holman prison in southwest Alabama March 15—in the wake of a bloody uprising at the facility. Inmates stabbed the warden and a guard when the trouble began four days earlier, then seized control of a dorm for several hours the day before the governor's visit. A Correctional Emergency Response Team was sent in to restore control. Both the warden and guard survived, but the facility remains on lockdown, with visitation rights suspended. Bentley pledged to address problems of overcrowding at the state's prisons during his visit, reported local WHNT.

Legal cannabis in Canada 'right away'?

Posted on October 21st, 2015 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , .

CanadaCannabis legalization proponents in Canada are rejoicing in the wake of the Oct. 19 elections that gave the Liberal Party a clear majority and position its leader Justin Trudeau to become prime minister. The son of Canada's revered former prime minister Pierre Trudeau, Justin openly advocates legalization. He even admitted to Huffington Post in 2013 that he had toked since becoming an MP representing Montreal in 2008.  He also revealed that his late brother, Michel Trudeau, was facing cannabis possession charges before his death in an avalanche in 1998, and that the experience influenced his position. In vivid contrast the Conservative Party's incumbent Prime Minister Stephen Harper has been leading a crackdown on Canada's medical marijuana program, and even recently called cannabis "infinitely worse" than tobacco. But how easy will it be for Trudeau to follow through on his promise to legalize?

Electoral advances in DC, Oregon, Guam...

leafIn the Nov. 4 elections, voters in Washington DC approved Initiative 71, a legalization measure allowing residents to grow up to six plants at home and possess up to two ounces. The victory portends a showdown with Congress, as the Republicans will now control both houses. Oregon approved Measure 91, a legalization measure giving regulatory control to the state liquor control agency and allowing Oregon citizens to grow up to four plants. We continue to await word on a legalization measure in Alaska. A medical marijuana measure in Florida was defeated. Guam became the first US territory to pass a medical marijuana measure. (Reuters, NPRSmell The Truth)

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