United States

Medical advocates stage rally at anti-marijuana conference

Posted on September 21st, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

CaliforniaMedical marijuana advocates Americans for Safe Access (ASA) will join the Brownie Mary Democratic Club of Riverside County to stage a peaceful counter-demonstration at 11 AM on Monday, Sept. 23, against the 2013 National Marijuana Policy & Strategy Conference being held in Rancho Cucamonga. The conference is sponsored by some of the same groups that have strenuously lobbied against statewide regulations in California, including the California Narcotic Officers' Association and the California Peace Officers' Association.

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.

Washington and Colorado: the empire chills out?

Posted on August 29th, 2013 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , .

cannabisDeputy Attorney General James Cole, the same who authored a notorious 2011 memo asserting that federal cannabis enforcement remains a "core priority" even in states that have passed medical marijuana laws, has just issued a new memorandum seeming to clarify Justice Department reaction to the legalization measures in Colorado and Washington state. While it is written in the usual dense bureaucratese that often hides as much as it reveals, on balance it appears to represent a retreat from the hardline posture the Obama administration has assumed regarding medicinal cannabis over the past two years. The text of the Aug. 29 memo is provided by our comrades at CelebStoner:

Will New Amsterdam be the new Amsterdam?

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

New York cannabisCannabis is a $1.65 billion industry in New York City, according to a report released Aug. 14 by comptroller and mayoral hopeful John Liu, with the potential to become a $1.7 billion industry if it were made legal in the Big Apple. The report is the first official estimate of the city's cannabis market, and the first study to consider the idea of legalization at the municipal level in the nation's biggest city.

Medical cannabis advocates react to Holder sentencing reform proposal

Posted on August 13th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , .

medical marijuanaUS Attorney General Eric Holder delivered a speech Aug. 12 to the annual meeting of the American Bar Association in which he outlined a new sentencing and enforcement strategy. Holder said that the Department of Justice is "considering compassionate release for inmates facing extraordinary or compelling circumstances." Holder also spoke out against the indiscriminate use of mandatory minimum sentencing for non-violent offenders. There are currently more than two dozen federal medical marijuana patients and providers who are serving sentences for violating federal marijuana laws, despite being in compliance with the laws of their respective states.

Judge rules NYPD 'stop-and-frisk' policy unconstitutional

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

New York CityA judge for the US District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled Aug. 12 that the New York Police Department (NYPD) stop-and-frisk policy violates the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments. Over the past decade, the city has conducted about 5 million stop-and-frisks, with more than 80% of those targeted Black or Latino. Judge Shira Scheindlin noted: "A lot of people are being frisked or searched on suspicion of having a gun and nobody has a gun. Only 0.14 percent of stops have led to police finding guns. So the point is suspicion turns out to be wrong in most cases." Scheindlin said she was not putting an end to the policy, but would name an independent monitor to help develop reforms to the practice. She also ordered that officers test out body-worn cameras in precincts where most stops occurred. 

DEA-NSA collaboration revealed

Posted on August 5th, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , .

DEAReuters reports that it has reviewed documents revealing the existence of a DEA Special Operations Division (SOD) that partners with the FBI, CIA, NSA, IRS and Homeland Security to share information. The documents show that agents are trained to "recreate" the investigative trail to cover up where the information originated—a nod to the supposed firewall between national security and law enforcement investigations. The SOD, launched in 1994 to combat Latin American cartels, has grown from several dozen employees to several hundred. (Reuters, Aug. 5)

Illinois governor signs medical cannabis law

Posted on August 2nd, 2013 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

IllinoisGov. Pat Quinn signed HB1 into law Aug. 1, making Illinois the 20th state to legalize medical marijuana. Nearly 40% of people in the US now live in states that have adopted such laws. The Illinois Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act creates a framework to protect physicians and certain qualified medical marijuana patients from arrest and prosecution. HB1 was passed 35-21 by the Illinois House in April, and 61-57 by the Senate in May. HB1, which is scheduled to sunset in four years, was called one of the most restrictive laws in the country by its Senate sponsor Bill Haine (D-Alton). The new law is set to take effect on January 1, 2014.

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