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Gotham ganjapreneurs schmooze at CannaGather confab

New York cannabisThe networking group CannaGather held its fifth confab at lower Manhattan's Galvanize venue Sept. 28, bringing together some 200 entrepreneurs, investors, press and activists from throughout the New York metropolitan area. Inspired by the New York tech industry meet-ups of the dot-com boom in the late '90s, CannaGather hopes to similarly connect people in a burgeoning industry and help spur its growth.

Rights violations seen in federal Mara crackdown

Posted on August 2nd, 2017 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

border wallCivil rights organizations in New York are trying to determine if police and school officials on Long Island helped federal authorities detain students in the country illegally on the basis of dubious claims of ties to Central American gangs. The controversy comes days after President Trump's inflammatory speech before law enforcement officers in Long Island's Suffolk County on July 28. There was a major outcry over Trump's urging of police to be "rough" with suspects in the speech. This outrage nearly eclipsed media coverage of his pledge in the speech to "destroy" the MS-13 gang network, calling its members "animals."

New York high court: cops can seize user Facebook activity

Posted on April 10th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , .

Shadow WatchBe careful what you say on Facebook. New York state's highest court, the Court of Appeals, ruled on April 4 that law enforcement can seize private account information from the social networking site. With the decision, Facebook lost its years-long legal battle to block search warrants from the Manhattan District Attorney's Office seeking access to hundreds of user accounts, the New York Post reports.

High NY hosts canna-biz networking confab

Posted on March 22nd, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , .

New York cannabisThe group High NY, "New York's Cannabis Community," hosted an event on "How to Apply Your Skills in the Cannabis Industry" at a Lower Manhattan venue the evening of March 22, featuring speakers with background in the biz from California, Massachusetts and the District of Columbia. Unlike these three polities, New York state has not legalized. But organizers took heart that on that very same day as their meet-up, chronic pain was added to the qualifying conditions under the Empire State's burgeoning if still limited medical marijuana program.

'Synthetic marijuana' scare in New York

Posted on January 6th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , .

New York A rather sensationalistic piece in the New York Times last month luridly headlined: "Drug 85 Times as Potent as Marijuana Caused a 'Zombielike' State in Brooklyn." Apparently, emergency medical technicians called to a "mass casualty event" in Brooklyn's Bushwick neighborhood reported multiple people at the scene, "all of whom had a degree of altered mental status that was described by bystanders as 'zombielike,'" according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Blood and urine samples drawn from eight of the 18 men hospitalized that day revealed they had taken a synthetic cannabinoid called AMB-FUBINACA, originally developed by the pharmaceutical company Pfizer, with the street names "AK-47" or "24 Karat Gold." It is said to be 85 times as potent as the main agent in natural cannabis, THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol.

Martin Lee speaks on CBD in New York City

medical marijuanaA little New York-California cross-fertilization of herbal consciousness took place as Martin Lee, the author of Smoke Signals: A Social History of Marijuana, spoke in Manhattan's East Village the night of Nov. 10 on "The Future of CBD and Medicinal Cannabis." Lee discussed his current work with California-based Project CBD, dedicated to promoting and publicizing research into the medical uses of cannabidiol, and Emerald Pharms, his CBD-oriented dispensary in Hopland, southern Medocino County. The event was hosted by The Alchemist's Kitchen, a New Age-flavored herbal apothecary—or "botanical dispensary"—on East 1st Street. Under New York state's medical marijuana law, the Kitchen recently launched a Bowery Cannabis Club, which specializes in CBD products.

Ken Thompson, Brooklyn DA who 'decriminalized' cannabis, passes on

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

Ken ThompsonKenneth Thompson, the first African American elected to serve as Brooklyn's district attorney in the 166-year history of the office, died Oct. 9 at the age of 50.  Thompson, a leading voice for criminal justice reform in New York City, was most famous for his 2014 decision to stop prosecuting low-level cannabis cases in Brooklyn. "This new policy is a reasonable response to the thousands of low-level marijuana arrests that weigh down the criminal justice system, require significant resources that could be redirected to more serious crimes and take an unnecessary toll on offenders," Thompson said in his press release announcing the move. Gothamist reported at the time that the decision "effectively decriminalized marijuana possession in the borough."

Cannabis angle emerges in Eric Garner case

Posted on October 4th, 2016 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , .

New York CityThe case of Eric Garner—the Staten Island man killed in a police chokehold in July 2014, helping to galvanize the Black Lives Matter movement—continues to make headlines in New York City. In the latest development, reported in the Daily News Oct. 3, Ramsey Orta, the man who shot video footage of Garner's final moments, was sentenced to four years in prison on drug charges. The reading of the sentence was apparently a dramtic moment. As officers placed Orta in handcuffs, protesters stood up in the courtroom, holding their fists in the air and chanting, "No justice, no peace! Fuck these racist police!"

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