Articles Tagged with L.A. marijuana attorney

Law enforcement leadership for years were on the side of tighter marijuana laws. But now, it seems there may have been a substantial shift. police lights

A recent poll of 8,000 officers by the Pew Research Center finds that almost two-thirds of them believe marijuana should be legal for either medical or personal use.

This was a survey that was nationally representative, which mean it took into account a myriad of factors of police demographics. It was also one of the largest surveys of its kind ever conducted.

According to the report, a third of officers said cannabis should be legal for both recreational and medicinal use, while 37 percent opined it should only be allowed if someone needs it as medicine. Thirty percent said marijuana shouldn’t be legal whatsoever.  Continue reading

Every year, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration conducts a survey of the country’s law enforcement departments to determine which drugs are of top concern in local communities. What they found in 2016 was that heroin was far and away the drug that created the greatest worry. Marijuana, meanwhile, was generally of negligible concern. Less than 5 percent of all police agencies indicated cannabis was their biggest concern, which was down 1 percent from 2015. marijuana buds

Marijuana remains illegal for all reasons per federal law, which the DEA staunchly defended over the summer. The agency spent a full 22 pages of its Drug Threat Assessment report on marijuana. Compare this to the 16 pages it spent going over the risk of prescription painkillers, which claims 14,000 lives annually. Many of the pages on marijuana wove through the state-level differences in law for medicinal and recreational pot, as well as some of the legalization trends of the U.S. For anyone who has been following the changing landscape of marijuana laws in California, none of this is really new information.

However, one of the more interesting claims made by the DEA in that report is that media attention on marijuana-related issues has made it tougher to enforce existing marijuana laws and to prosecute those who violate these statutes. The agency also seems to be blaming “the media” for providing the public with information that is not accurate on the effects and legality of using marijuana.  Continue reading

When voters approved Proposition 64 in November, the promise was that by Jan. 1, 2018, recreational cannabis users could walk into a licensed store to purchase their favorite strain of marijuana. Meanwhile, the Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act, which involves a number of new regulations for medical cannabis sales, is slated to roll out around the same time. However, there is evidence to suggest that the actual timeline for legal marijuana commercialization is going to be pushed back to 2019.marijuana

A recent report published in The Cannifornian indicated that government leaders and industry insiders have posited that difficult regulatory challenges have to be hammered out before recreational marijuana becomes legal. Speaking at the recent Emerald Cup, held at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds, government regulators noted that prohibition on cannabis lasted so long and was so complicated, that the process of ending it is not going to happen overnight – even with this vote.

For example, Lori Ajax, chief of the California Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation, noted there are a number of challenges created by the different structures of the two new marijuana laws, and there may be conflicts between the two that need to be resolved. Each take very different approaches to things like residence requirements, timelines, license categories and ownership. One of the primary questions, says Assemblyman Jim Wood, is whether this will result in two parallel marijuana regulatory systems or a single system that somehow combines the two.  Continue reading

President-Elect Donald J. Trump has now appointed two individuals to his cabinet who are decidedly against the legalization of marijuana, even for medicinal purposes.marijuana

First up is Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), Trump’s pick for attorney general. Sessions has a strong record of opposing marijuana reform, saying just this past April during a legislative hearing that, “Good people don’t smoke marijuana.” He added that Washington needed “grown-ups in charge,” who would be willing to assert that marijuana is “not the kind of thing that ought to be legalized.”

Then, Trump appointed Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) to the post of Secretary of Health and Human Services. A consistently anti-marijuana politician, his position could afford him even greater control over whether the drug is available for medical purposes.  Continue reading

Increasingly, marijuana research is proving to us the many ways in which this drug can be a benefit to those struggling with various medical ailments. happy

As legal access to marijuana has expanded in recent years, with 28 states now allowing medicinal marijuana and more than a handful allowing recreational use, there are still questions (at least where the federal government is concerned) about whether the drug has legitimate medicinal benefits. Although study of the drug has been impeded by harsh marijuana laws, it’s this same lack of research that has been cited by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for its hesitancy to recommend marijuana be rescheduled from a Schedule I narcotic (meaning it has no recognized medical purpose).

Marijuana is prescribed for a variety of physical illnesses and conditions, from cancer to arthritis. It contains more than 100 compounds, which are known as cannabinoids, that we know have some type of effect on the human biological system. In addition to physical troubles, marijuana has also been recommended by some doctors for help in easing certain mental conditions – namely, anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Now, a new study, published in the journal Clinical Psychology Review, suggests additional evidence exists that marijuana can help people dealing with mental illness.  Continue reading

Over the last eight years, the federal government’s approach to marijuana prosecution and civil action evolved. Although it was never within President Obama’s power to legalize the drug nationally himself, he oversaw a Department of Justice that was initially dogged in its pursuit of marijuana entrepreneurs, and later much more relaxed. Still, the drug remains illegal under federal law. A provision of a federal spending measure passed in 2014 sapped the funds of federal prosecutions of medical marijuana operations complying with state law. However, this election raised a host of new questions about the protection that medical marijuana and now recreational marijuana would receive under the new administration.whitehouse

Election night turned out to be a clear success for the support of medical and recreational marijuana legalization. California, Nevada, Massachusetts and Maine legalized recreational use. Florida, Arkansas and North Dakota approved medical marijuana initiatives.

So now the question is, what type of approach will the Trump administration take? It’s a major question because, while Obama took a hands-off approach and we knew Clinton was expected to do the same, there is uncertainty about Trump’s stance.  Continue reading

Regardless of what the marijuana laws are in individual states, those who cultivate, process, store, package and distribute marijuana remain at risk for criminal penalties and civil forfeiture so long as federal statutes outlaw the drug. police

Case-in-point: In January, officials with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, alongside police officers from the San Diego Police Department, raided Med-West Distribution. This was a legal medical marijuana business that carved its niche refining cannabis oil for use in vaporizer pen devices. Officers decked out in helmets, tactical vests and heavily armed barged in, pointed guns at workers, handcuffed those inside and scoured the property for valuables. They seized a safe with $325,000 in cash. Officers high-fived one another as they left. Subsequent to that, in June, local police served to seizure warrants on the business’s cash as well as on the owner’s own family. The department pilfered nearly $100,000 from the family’s personal savings and checking accounts – funds that are totally unrelated to Med-West. Their two teen daughters lost their entire college savings – about $11,300.

The owner today says he is baffled. He was operating a marijuana business legally in compliance with state laws and local regulations. Neither the owner nor his wife has been charged with any crime. None of his employees, several of whom were arrested, were indicted in connection with that raid. And yet, the police department has refused the family’s repeated requests to return their money. Further, prosecutors have yet – more than 10 months after the fact – to file a civil forfeiture action against their bank accounts.  Continue reading

A series of cannabis-related health alerts was issued in Oregon recently, after health officials cited concerns over high levels of pesticide residue on some batches. marijuana

According to The Oregonian, the first alert in mid-October concerned two strains sold by a Portland-area dispensary called New Leave that had high levels of an insecticide called spinosad. The marijuana was sold to some 130 consumers over two days. The strains were dubbed, “Dr. Jack” and “Marion Berry.” The Oregon Health Authority reported the spinosad levels in the former batch were 42 parts per million while the latter had 22 parts per million. The maximum allowable by health regulations is 0.2 parts per million.

The second alert came earlier this month when it was determined that three strains of marijuana flowers sold from dispensaries in North Bend, Eugene and Salem also had unsafe levels of spinosad. One of those batches, “Dutch Treat,” sold in Eugene to about 30 people, had 0.9 parts per million of the chemical. Meanwhile, two other strains – Dryzle and Pleeze – were sold to approximately 340 people at two dispensaries between mid-to-late October. Those strains had high levels of a chemical called piperonyl butoxide, which in itself is not a pesticide, but is a powerful and potentially dangerous ingredient that is only allowed to have 2 parts per million. In the Pleeze and Dryzl strains, there were between 15.39 and 16.24 parts per million, based on independent lab tests.  Continue reading

Colorado’s monthly marijuana sales tore through records this summer, reaching an all-time high in July of nearly $123 million. That accounts for sales of both recreational and medicinal marijuana, and it represents a 27 percent boost from the sales of July 2015.

Money in the form of many large bills

July marijuana sales also soared past the previous record, set in April 2016 (during a month that includes the yearly 4/20 marijuana holiday), which was $117.4 million. Medical sales accounted for about $41 million of that total, while recreational marijuana sales totaled about $77 million.

Meanwhile this July, sales of recreational marijuana in Colorado spiked at $83.8 million, according to the state’s department of revenue.  Continue reading

A lack of diversity in medical marijuana licensing has raised concerns in Maryland, specifically by a number of black state lawmakers – most recently including Gov. Larry Hogan (R) and Attorney General Brian E. Frosh (D).marijuana1

Simultaneously, the Washington Post reports that there have been calls by the head of the legislative black caucus to prohibit elected officials from participating in the industry. Officials who backed the measure are questioning a fellow politician who also supported the legislation – and then later was welcomed aboard a company seeking a license to cultivate and distribute the drug. Del. Cheryl Glenn says the failure of Del. Dan Morhaim to make his dual roles clear. Both Glenn and Morhaim are Democrats from Baltimore.

These issues combined have proven impediments in a legalization process that has been marked with numerous missteps and delays since Maryland voters approved medical marijuana three years ago. Now, the state is clearing 15 companies for cultivation of the drug and another 15 companies for marijuana processing. None of those 30 companies are owned or operated by an African American – despite the fact that one-third of the population in Maryland is black.  Continue reading