The South

Louisiana: 20 years for half an ounce

Posted on September 25th, 2013 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , .

LouisianaIt seems positively surreal that in the same USA where states like Colorado and Washington are legalizing cannabis, states like Louisiana are sending hapless souls up the river for possession of less than ounce—but this is indeed the case. New Orleans public interest attorney Bill Quigley in a Sept. 23 piece on the website Common Dreams notes the case of Corey Ladd, 27, a local man who on Sept. 24 was sentenced by a city criminal court to a full 20 years of "hard labor" at a state facility for holding 15 grams—that is, just slightly over half an ounce. 

Stacey Theis and her magic Cannabus

Posted on September 15th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , , , , , .

cannabusBefore the 1988 GMC Thomas Built school bus was dubbed the "Cannabus" and made over with its marijuana-themed paint job, it was a red ski resort shuttle bus until two guys from North Carolina bought the bus in 2012 and set out on the "Green Bus Tour for Marijuana Legalization." The pair toured the East Coast for approximately nine weeks before certain events kept them from continuing, and the CannaBus went up for sale on eBay.

George Zimmerman acquitted

Posted on July 14th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

Evidence of Trayvon Martin's marijuana use was allowed by the judge, but not submitted in the George Zimmerman murder trial, which wrapped up this week in Florida with a not guilty verdict. As a result, when the defense rested its case on July 11, jurors did not hear about the trace amounts of THC that were uncovered in Martin’s autopsy. The limited value of the evidence likely played a part in the defense team's decision. For one thing, the THC level (around 1.5 nanograms, according to the medical examiner) almost certainly indicates that any marijuana use by Martin didn't take place on the evening that he was shot by Zimmerman and probably wasn’t even recent.

SCOTUS rules for immigrant in cannabis case

Posted on April 26th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

"The social sharing of a small amount of marijuana" by immigrants lawfully in the US does not require their automatic deportation, the Supreme Court ruled April 23. "Sharing a small amount of marijuana for no remuneration, let alone possession with intent to do so, does not fit easily into the everyday understanding of trafficking, which ordinarily means some sort of commercial dealing," Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote for a seven-justice majority. 

SCOTUS upholds Fourth Amendment in drug-sniff case

Posted on March 27th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

The US Supreme Court ruled March 26 in Florida v. Jardines that an alert from a drug-sniffing dog on a suspect's front porch constitutes a search within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment. The ruling upheld the Florida Supreme Court, which held that evidence gathered pursuant to search warrant obtained based on the positive alert from the dog must be suppressed because the dog's presence itself constituted a warrantless search. The case stemmed from a 2006 incident in which Miami police and DEA agents, acting on a tip, place the home of Joelis Jardines under warrantless surveillance. Following the canine alert, a warrant was obtained, which uncovered Jardines' indoor grow operaiton.

Electoral advances for cannabis —but legal battles loom

United StatesCannabis is set to become legal in Colorado and Washington after voters passed historic ballot initiatives on Nov. 6. In Washington voters approved Initiative 502, allowing possession and distribution of cannabis through a state licensing system of growers, processors and stores, where adults will be able to buy up to an ounce of dried cannabis; up to a pound of a cannabis-infused product, such as brownies; or up to 72 ounces of cannabis-infused liquids.. The Colorado initiative actually introduces Amendment 64 to the state constitution, allowing adults over 21 to possess up to an ounce and to privately grow up to six plants—although public use will be banned. In Oregon, the similar Cannabis Tax Act Initiative or Measure 80, failed by approximately 55-to-45% of the vote.

Arkansas high court clears way for medical initiative

Posted on September 29th, 2012 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

The Arkansas Supreme Court announced Sept. 27 that it will allow the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Act  ballot initiative to go before the voters in November. The decision came in a suit brought by the Coalition to Preserve Arkansas Values (CPAV), which argued that the initiative text was "insufficient" as the full ballot title of the act is 384 words long and that "voters will not have adequate time in the voting booth to be reasonably advised on the impact of the Act." CPAV also claimed that the initiative would have been contrary to the US and Arkansas constitutions. In denying the  CPAV's claims, the court found that the text is free of "misleading tendencies or partisan coloring," and that the summary "informs the voters in an intelligible, honest and impartial manner" about what the measure would do.

Conservatives file suit to block Arkansas medical measure

Posted on September 1st, 2012 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

ArkansasA conservative Arkansas group seeking to prevent the state from becoming the first in the South to allow medical marijuana filed a lawsuit on Aug. 30 to remove an initiative from the November election ballot. The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Act qualified for the ballot after a statewide petition drive gathered the required amount of signatures. But the suit, filed in the state Supreme Court by the Coalition to Preserve Arkansas Values, argues the ballot's title is misleading and the text vaguely worded.

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