United States

Sessions testimony on cannabis: strategic ambiguity?

Posted on January 11th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , .

Shadow WatchAfter the first day of Senate confirmation hearings for Jeff Sessions, president-elect Trump's choice to lead the US Justice Department, cannabis advocates are parsing his testimony for clues as to what the incoming administration's stance will be on whether to continue to give breathing room to state-level legalization and medical marijuana laws. The Los Angeles Times takes an ominous view, writing in a headline: "Sessions leaves door open to reviving federal war on pot."

Oregon: top legal grower hit by violent robbery

Posted on January 1st, 2017 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

OregonFrom Oregon comes the ominous news of the first violent robbery on a state-licensced cannabis grow since the recent wave of legalization initiatives. The Oregonian reported Dec. 30 that James Bowman, 56, a licensed cultivator in the town of Wimer, was tied up and severely beaten when four masked intruders raided his home two weeks earlier. Bowman suffered a broken nose and black eyes in the Dec. 16 attack, while the assailants made off with his entire harvested crop—filling a rented U-Haul truck with hundreds of pounds. Bowman was discovered hours later by two of his workers. The robbers left the door to his house open, with Bowman tied up inside.

Massachusetts to get country's biggest legal grow

Posted on December 29th, 2016 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , , , .

MassachusettsDenver-based AmeriCann is planning to develop what will be the United States' largest medical marijuana facility in Freetown, Mass. At one million square feet, the Massachusetts Medical Cannabis Center is planned for a tract in the Bristol County town formerly slated for a brewery by the Boston Beer Co. Boston Business Journal reports that AmeriCann bought the property this fall for $4.475 million. AmeriCann CEO Tim Keogh said the facility will be "the place in the northeast US for the creation of a wide variety of exciting new advanced products for medical cannabis patients."

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.

Cannabis at issue in latest police shooting —yet again

Posted on December 10th, 2016 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , .

BlackLivesMatterAs so many times before, cannabis again plays a key role in the latest police shooting of an African American citizen to spark outrage across the country. The prosecutor for Iowa's Linn County on Dec. 8 announced that a white police officer will not be charged in the shooting that left an unarmed Black motorist paralyzed and sparked protests in Cedar Rapids, the county seat.

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."

Trump AG pick sparks fear of a cannabis crackdown

Posted on November 21st, 2016 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , .

Shadow WatchPresident-elect Donald Trump's transition team announced Nov. 18 that Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions has been named to the post of attorney general. The Republican former US attorney was the first senator to throw his support behind Trump's presidential bid, and he later worked with the candidate to craft his policies on immigration and counter-terrorism. Sessions must face a confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, where his past inflammatory remarks concerning race and his support for mass deportation of undocumented immigrants may stir opposition. Still, he should be confirmed, as Republicans will likely have a 52-48 advantage over Democrats in the committee.

Rudy 'Stop-and-Frisk' Giuliani named for cabinet post

Posted on November 15th, 2016 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , .

Shadow WatchFormer New York City mayor and current full-time Trump-booster Rudolph Giuliani is top contender to be secretary of state in the new administration, Trump campaign officials told the New York Times Nov. 15. The account notes that Giulianii invokes his moment of glory in the aftermath of 9-11, and his former work as a federal prosecutor, as giving him credibility to represent the United States on the world stage. During his own abortive presidential run in 2008, he boasted at a Republican primary debate in New Hampshire: "I am the only one here who actually has had to face an Islamic terrorist attack. With regard to foreign policy, I've negotiated with governments when I was in the Justice Department. I worked on a task force on terrorism in the 1970s."

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