mandatory minimums

Italy's high court strikes down tough cannabis law

Posted on February 13th, 2014 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , .

ItalyItaly's Constitutional Court on Feb. 12 struck down a 2006 drug law that tripled sentences for selling, cultivating or trafficking cannabis, declaring the law to be "illegitimate." The law, passed by the conservative government of now-disgraced prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, was blamed for harsh prison overcrowding. An estimated 10,000 people may be released with its repeal.

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.

Canada toughens cannabis laws

Posted on November 9th, 2012 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , .

CanadaThe same day that voters in Colorado and Washington state approved the legalization of cannabis, the Stephen Harper government in Ottawa brought into force tough new mandatory penalties for marijuana offenses. The measures are part of the Conservative administration's Bill C-10, the Safe Streets and Communities Act, passed by parliament in March. The new law provides a mandatory six-month term for growing as few as six cannabis plants—twice the mandatory minimum for child molestation, critics point out.

Electoral advances for cannabis —but legal battles loom

leafCannabis 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.

Crack cocaine sentencing reform takes effect

Posted on November 2nd, 2011 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

cocaineThis week, more than 12,000 people—85% of them Black—now serving time for crack cocaine offenses will have their sentences reviewed by a federal judge under terms of the Fair Sentencing Act, passed in August of last year. The reform bill reduced the 100-to-1 disparity between minimum sentences for crack and powder cocaine to 18-to-1. On Nov. 1, those already serving time became eligible for a hearing to consider reducing their sentences under the new changes.

Canadians target Obama with Free Marc Emery drive

Posted on September 30th, 2011 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , .

CanadaLast week, the Obama administration launched a "We the People" website, pledging that any petition to garner 5,000 signatures will receive an official response from President Obama. One of the top petitions so far is demanding the "Pardon of Marc Emery." WhyProhibition.ca, which is spearheading the drive, say they only need another 2,600 signatures to have an official presidential comment on Marc. You can sign the petition here.

Supreme Court hears arguments on definition of "cocaine base"

Posted on March 1st, 2011 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

cocaineThe Supreme Court heard arguments Feb. 28 in DePierre v. United States, on whether the term "cocaine base" in the Federal Sentencing Guidelines is limited to "crack" or includes all forms of cocaine chemically classified as a base. The US First Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston ruled that "cocaine base" refers to "all forms of cocaine base, including, but not limited to crack cocaine." Counsel for the petitioner argue that Congress did not intend "cocaine base" to refer to substances used in the crack-production process.

Canada: Liberals oppose mandatory minimum bill over prison costs

Posted on February 9th, 2011 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , .

Canada's Liberal Party announced Feb. 9 that it will oppose Bill S-10 over concerns that it would disproportionately target youth and cause an explosion of costs to build new mega-prisons. "This bill isn’t tough on crime, it’s dumb on crime," said Liberal leader Michael Ignatieff (Etobicoke-Lakeshore, ONT). "We're all in favor of cracking down on serious criminals, but this bill doesn’t distinguish between massive grow-ops and a first-time offender with a small amount."

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