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The U.S. Supreme Court has just handed down two rulings that may have widened the ability of law enforcement to conduct illegal searches – something our Los Angeles marijuana arrest lawyers find deeply troubling. handcuffs6

In one case, there was an expansion of the exception to a long-standing rule that unlawfully-gathered evidence had to be discarded. In the second ruling, the court held that those who deal drugs – even those who only selling locally to their neighbors – were in effect a part of some larger interstate commerce.

As Phillip Smith of pointed out, these two decisions:

  • Widen local police’s ability to sidestep the law without accountability;
  • Give prosecutors the muscle of the federal government to crush small-time, low-level drug dealers and other criminals.

The high court has long deferred to the position of law enforcement officers. But this is often done to the detriment of the public at-large.  Continue reading

One of the main talking points of those opposed to the legalization of marijuana is that it will spur the inevitable increase of teen marijuana use. We all have an interest in keeping the drug out of reach of youth when it’s not used as medicine, so it’s always been a particularly compelling argument. teenager

But now, the latest research from Colorado – one of the first states to legalize the drug for recreational purposes – is that teen marijuana use has actually DROPPED since the drug became more widely available to the over-21 crowd.

A survey of Colorado high school students regarding their marijuana consumption was part of the biannual poll conducted by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. What’s more, the percentage of high school students who used marijuana in Colorado was actually lower than the national average among their peers.  Continue reading

As law enforcement is battling a number of illicit and sizable marijuana cultivation efforts throughout Riverside County (rumors are its driven by Mexican drug cartels), leaders in some cities are working to take the power out of dealers’ hands by crafting a framework of regulation for lawful distribution. cannabis1

This is a notable shift from what we saw a few years ago, when hundreds of cities across the state scrambled to ban medical marijuana dispensaries amid a furious crackdown by federal authorities. Of course, the drug remains illegal under federal law, but U.S. attorneys have eased their stance on the issue, prompting cities to craft their own measures to replace the ban or allow ballot initiatives that gives voters the chance to decide.

One of the most recent among these is Perris, where the council decided June 14th to approve a package of resolutions that will give voters a choice of not one but two medical marijuana dispensary November ballot initiatives to weigh. Continue reading

San Bernadino voters seem likely to weigh in on a proposal to allow up to five medical marijuana dispensaries in the city limits, after the city clerk advised council her office had received 6,000 signatures in favor of a November ballot initiative. That figure is 2,326 more signatures than needed by statute (30 percent of votes cast for all candidates in the previous mayoral election), but the city clerk’s office first needs to verify those signatures before it becomes official. cannabisflower1

The proposal has been outlined by the California Cannabis Coalition, which has opined a measure allowing marijuana dispensaries would bring the city up to 800 jobs one which people could make a living wage. It is also estimated the proposal could boost the city’s general fund by somewhere between $15 million and $21 million a year.

Supporters say the San Bernadino Regulate Marijuana Act of 2016, if approved, would allow for medical marijuana to enter a legitimate, well-regulated market that will offer transparency and accountability.  Continue reading

If Placentia council members had pressed forward with their original plans to permit medical marijuana businesses in the city, it would have been the first in Orange County to green light marijuana cultivation. But just weeks after a split 3-2 vote approving a dispensary, cultivation site, manufacturing location, testing site, transportation service and delivery – only one of each, with possible room for growth in 18 months – council members scrapped those plans entirely. marijuana2

Although the council had initially given its blessing, any new law in the city mandates two separate votes. On the second round, that 3-2 division became a unanimous 5-0 vote NOT to approve the pot shop plans.

Undoubtedly, their decision was swayed by a swell of public opposition to the measure, as constituents voiced fierce opposition to the measure. According to the Orange County Register, Mayor Jeremy Yamaguchi said he would shelve the issue, while leaving the possibility of further research and discussion on the table. He said the process might have moved too quickly, as many residents expressed a desire for the council to take more time to study the issue and its potential impact on the community.  Continue reading

In 1996, California made history with its passage of a law that legalized marijuana as medicine. Today, almost half of all states have joined our ranks and a few have even legalized the drug for recreational purposes. This November, voters in more than a half a dozen states – including California – are being asked whether they wish to further expand access to marijuana where they live. And of course, as always, there are those voices of dissent. teens

Inevitably, one of the top arguments that start making its way to the headlines is the risk that legalization poses to our nation’s youth. Teens in particular, it is argued, are impressionable, vulnerable and will be led down a dark path if the drug is more readily available to adults.

But here’s the truth of the matter: As we start to collect data about teen marijuana use and legalization, we begin to see the correlation – if any – is that legalization actually drive down teen use.  Continue reading

In some ways, the marijuana industry is inherently political. It’s very existence is owed in large part to the dedication and drive of avid activists who fought in the face of hard-line opposition. obamapins

But for a long time, the industry didn’t weigh in much on individual candidates because frankly, no one was seeking their support. It was seen as risky and potentially political suicide.

Today, attitudes have shifted. The majority of Californians – and now even Americans – support safe access to medical marijuana. Most people are even beginning to warm to the idea of recreational marijuana, an issue slated to be before voters once again this November. With all that, the industry has grown – as has its voice and political clout.

Recently, the Orange County Register reported California Rep. Loretta Sanchez, vying for the seat of outgoing U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, was proud to receive a “glowing endorsement” from the legal marijuana industry. Continue reading

The turning tide of marijuana reform first started in the 1970s, as many state and local governments started to recognize the ill effects of locking up non-violent, low-level offenders for mere possession of the drug. One of the first states to climb on board the decriminalization movement was New York, with its Marijuana Reform Act of 1977. That measure decriminalized small-time possession.marijuana2

And yet, as it was recently reported by The Village Voice, the number of marijuana arrests in state in 2013 was the highest of any other in the country. With an average of more than 535 marijuana arrests per 100,000 people, it was more than double the national average.

Then in 2014, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio updated police policy to allow officers to issue a summons rather than initiate an arrest for anyone caught with 25 grams or less. That slashed the number of misdemeanor marijuana arrests virtually overnight by nearly 60 percent between 2014 and 2015. Continue reading

A Colorado woman whose son was injured when he jumped out of a window after consuming a marijuana-laced brownie his mother had procured for his friend will serve 30 days in jail. chippedglass

That’s according to the latest from The Coloradoan, which also noted the district court judge tacked on two years of probation as well.

Defendant had pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor charge of providing marijuana to a person who was younger than 21. However, she was deemed not guilty of the felony charge of witness tampering.  Continue reading

In today’s digital age, you can summon a pizza via text message or organize a meet-up in minutes via social media. But for a long time, the marijuana industry wasn’t on that technology bandwagon. technology

Many tech companies were gun shy when it came to cannabis, worried about the potential legal implications. After all, it was (and still is) illegal under federal law. For years in California, there was uncertainty as to the future of the industry, especially as federal prosecutors were filing case after case against countless marijuana dispensaries. Many were forced to go under.

But now, those actions have eased. Marijuana is legal in more than half of the country for medicinal purposes and in a handful of states for recreational use. Now, there is a demand for technology to keep the pace. A number of start-ups have begun to heed that call.  Continue reading