United States

ACLU report finds racial disparities in cannabis arrests

Posted on June 6th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

leafA report released by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) June 4 finds a racial bias in cannabis arrest rates, with Blacks 3.7 times more likely to be arrested than whites. The report, "The War on Marijuana in Black and White," is the first of its kind, concluding that the "war" on cannabis is a failure, with billions of dollars wasted on racially biased arrests. The ACLU found that both marijuana arrestsand racial disparities in these arrests increased between 2001 and 2010—despite the fact that Black and white folk use cannabis at a similar rate. In some states, including Iowa, Minnesota and Illinois, Blacks were up to eight times as likely to be arrested. The report offers suggestions on policy and policing:

SCOTUS upholds warrantless DNA collection

Posted on June 3rd, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

Shadow WatchThe US Supreme Court ruled 5-4 June 3 in Maryland v. King that police may collect DNA samples from individuals arrested and charged with serious crimes. The respondent in the case, Alonzo King, challenged the validity of Maryland's DNA Collection Act after state officials used a DNA sample taken after a 2009 arrest on assault charges to implicate him in a 2003 rape. In an opinion by Justice Anthony Kennedy, the majority found that the warrantless DNA collection does not violate Fourth Amendment rights. Kennedy wrote:

Colorado governor signs bills regulating cannabis

Posted on May 29th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

ColoradoGov. John Hickenlooper of Colorado on May 28 signed a new set of laws regulating the use and sale of cannabis. One law, HB13-1317, expands the medical marijuana enforcement division to cover retail cannabis sales. The law also prohibits retail cannabis outlets from selling more than one-fourth of an ounce to non-residents. Another law, HB13-1318, still subject to voter approval in the November statewide election, imposes a 15% sales tax on retail cannabis or cannabis products, and allocates 10% of the total tax revenue among the state's local governments that have at least one retail cannabis outlet. A third law, HB13-1325, provides that motorists found to have blood levels of five nanograms or more of delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol per milliliter may be charged for DUI.

Police raid Southern Oregon NORML office

Posted on May 25th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

Police on May 23 arrested four in raids on medical marijuana dispensaries in Southern Oregon. Medford Police Chief Tim George said the arrests followed a two-year investigation in which undercover police purchased cannabis outside the law governing medical marijuana. The Oregon medical marijuana allows growers to recover only their expenses, and nothing to cover their labor or a profit. Oregon's Mail Tribune reports that among the four was Lori Duckworth, executive director of Southern Oregon NORML.

Los Angeles voters approve dispensary regs

Posted on May 22nd, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

California An overwhelming 63% of Los Angeles voters passed Measure D on May 21, bringing long-awaited regulations to the city's medical marijuana dispensaries. Measure D, which was placed on the ballot earlier this year by the Los Angeles City Council, will provide "limited immunity" to more than a hundred dispensaries currently operating in the city. Voters approved a set of regulations yesterday that would permit the operation of certain dispensaries registered with the city since September 2007, as long as they comply with certain city-imposed requirements.

Medical advocates protest Holder in Berkeley

Posted on May 12th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , .

CaliforniaAs US Attorney General Eric Holder delivered a commencement speech May 11 for UC Berkeley law school graduates, a plane flew overhead with a banner that read "Holder: End Rx Cannabis War. #Peace4Patients," in protest against recent actions by the Justice Department (DoJ) in the Bay Area. Outside the Hearst Greek Theater, where Holder gave his speech, medical marijuana advocates also handed out fake DoJ recruitment flyers, detailing how the Obama Administration is engaging in harmful tactics that are adversely affecting the lives of hundreds of thousands of patients in California.

California high court recognizes legality of dispensaries, but says localities may ban them

Posted on May 7th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

CaliforniaThe California Supreme Court ruled May 6 in the case City of Riverside v. Inland Empire Patients Health and Wellness Center that local governments may ban the distribution of medical marijuana and are not preempted by state law by doing so. However, the court also recognized the legality of dispensaries, more than 1,000 of which currently exist and operate throughout the state. More than 50 localities in California officially regulate the distribution of medical marijuana.

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. 

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