Articles Tagged with Los Angeles marijuana lawyer

Part of legitimizing the marijuana industry in California involves making sure the storefront operations are inviting, secure and professional. That’s why, as The Los Angeles Times recently reported, an increasing number of marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles are modeling their operations after one of California’s most successful companies: Apple.customerservice

One example noted was in Santa Monica, where salespeople don bright red t-shirts and cheerfully greet patrons. The merchandise is lined up carefully on chic wooden tables adorned by iPads. The reporter couldn’t help but draw parallels to the successful technology firm. But the gadgets laid out for display weren’t iPods – they were vape pens, for consumption of marijuana and derivatives.

This is a stark departure from the days of burglar bars and bullet-proof glass. Some are calling it a “makeover,” but it’s part of a strategic plan by marijuana dispensaries in California to establish some legitimacy in the market. This mirrors the advancing power and presence of the industry on the national stage. Continue reading

Recently, President Obama commuted the sentences of a record 214 federal inmates, which was the largest single-day commutations grant in our national history. It means the total number of presidential commutations the president has issued is now at 562, which is more than any other president who actually granted federal prisoner commutations since Calvin Coolidge. In fact, it’s more than the last nine presidents combined. handcuffs6

Most of these commutations have occurred in this, Obama’s last year in office. Undoubtedly, they are part of a larger state Obama is making about the existing failures in our criminal drug system. Of those whose sentences were commuted on this recent round, 197 were serving life sentences for non-violent drug crimes. Almost every one of the total 214 were serving sentences for non-violent crimes that were in some way connected to drugs. They will all be freed by December 1st.

“The extraordinary rate of incarcerations of non-violent drug offenders has created its own set of problems,” Obama said at a news conference announcing the commutations. These consequences include:

  • Stressed communities
  • Families forever broken
  • Huge swaths of people – most lower-income minorities – locked out of legal economic opportunity.

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The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has announced it will not remove marijuana from the list that classifies it as one of the most dangerous drugs, a decision that both mystifies and outrages scientists, doctors, patients, public officials and advocates. These groups argue there is ample evidence to show that marijuana is a medically useful drug (a stipulation of Schedule I narcotics is that there is no accepted medical use) and the federal government is wrong not to recognize those positive attributes.marijuana

Reclassifying the drug from a Schedule I to a Schedule II would have a profound impact on restrictions and federal penalties. For example, Schedule II drugs have an easier time obtaining federal approval for studies, which ultimately pave the way for doctors to write prescriptions for marijuana and derivative products. It would also allow those drugs to be filled at pharmacies, alongside other Schedule II drugs, such as Adderall.

The DEA’s decision was derided by the eight Democratic legislators who called for federal regulators to reclassify the drug. One of those, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), expressed her disappointment, as did Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-New York), for “antiquated ideology.”  Continue reading

A recent police raid of a popular Santa Rosa cannabis dispensary that services thousands of medical marijuana patients sparked a huge protest and intense political pressure, ultimately leading to the owner being released with no bail and no criminal charges pending. jail2

The company, Care By Design, is back in business, making its cannabis oil-infused products. Police likely didn’t expect the backlash when they raided the facility, which is run by a prominent, well-connected professional.

Authorities initially arrested Operator Dennis Hunter on charges of spearheading a meth lab-type operation. His bail was set at an eye-popping $5 million. The next day, hundreds of people gathered in front of the Sonoma County courthouse to protest the arrest. Local officials were hounded with a letter-writing campaign. A long-time, respected politician stepped in with his support. City officials then began weighing in.  Continue reading

Survey data unveiled at the most recent annual American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting revealed that more than 90 percent of pediatric oncology doctors are in favor of allowing patient access to marijuana therapy. doctor9

The findings are important because even as legalization of medical marijuana has become more widespread, its use for pediatric patients is controversial. Access has increased, but it’s a controversial subject. There are many advocates who believe there is no situation in which children should be prescribed the drug.

These researchers sent the electronic survey to more than 650 pediatric oncologists at three National Cancer Institute centers in Washington state, Massachusetts and Illinois – three states that have legalized the drug for medicinal use. Nearly half of recipients responded. Of those who did, 92 percent said they were willing to help child cancer patients access medical marijuana to help manage their symptoms.  Continue reading

The cost of living in New York has always been sky-high – at least 68 percent higher than the rest of the country. It has the least affordable housing the country and prices for every-day products are typically twice the national average. Money in hand

Apparently, medical marijuana is no exception.

A recent report by the Drug Policy Alliance, the first in-depth look at New York’s medical marijuana program, found that caregivers face huge hurdles in accessing medical marijuana – not the least of which has been the cost.

 

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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

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

A recreational marijuana ballot measure this November is one step closer to reality for California voters. A coalition driven by former Facebook president Sean Parker has garnered 600,000 signatures in favor of putting the issue to a vote – a number that far exceeded the obligatory 365,880 that were needed. voterinformation

The “Adult Use of Marijuana Act” would legalize possession of small increments of the drug for those over the age of 21. It would also set a tax rate for sales and a structure for farmers who cultivate the drug. It would also establish a framework for streamlined distribution across the state. Although it still needs the certification of state elections officials, that is not expected to be an issue.

Already, the proposed measure has the support of Democratic Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, who called this move, “A game-changer.”  Continue reading

For years, the biggest threat for small-time marijuana dispensaries and collectives in California were the authorities – namely, the federal government. Now as that threat is waning, a new one has emerged: Big business.cashbriefcase1

California was the first to legalize the drug as medicine in 1996, but those who dispensed marijuana were never allowed to make a profit. Until now.

Well, actually, two years from now. That’s when the measure that will pull marijuana off the black market will fully go into effect, and the new California medical marijuana czar will initiate the licensing, product testing and tracking seed-to-sale of the drug. And for the first time, dispensaries will be allowed to make a profit.

The New York Times reported that last year, the California medical marijuana industry generated some $2.7 billion in sales. But all of that was funneled through non-profits. Now, companies will actually be allowed to profit from it, and there will be no limitation on how many plants farmers can grow. Continue reading