Articles Tagged with marijuana attorney L.A.

California voters in November approved Prop. 64, which effectively legalized marijuana for recreational users and also issued some guidelines for how cultivation and sales should be regulated. But there are a lot of questions floating around in the interim. marijuana buds

Some of the questions being raised include:

  • Where can I buy recreational marijuana?
  • Where can I smoke it?
  • Are there going to be tougher penalties for driving while stoned, especially now that it’s become more common?
  • Can those serving jail or prison time for marijuana-related crimes seek commutation?

Marijuana businesses, cultivation farms, dispensaries, landlords, doctors and collectives would do well to consult with an experienced marijuana lawyer when formulating a business plan. Those who are facing criminal penalties should do the same, as well as those who are serving time and weighing the possibility of an appeal or request to have their sentences commuted.  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

All Matthew Harvey wanted to do was take his 3-year-old daughter on a special trip to Disneyland in California. However, the Canadian man’s hopes have been dashed after he was reportedly banned from the U.S. for life. According to Canadian media outlet CBC, the ban had nothing to do with a prior criminal record. He hadn’t been trying to smuggle drugs – or anything else – into the country. Instead, he honestly answered a question posed by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Service: Have you ever used marijuana? canada

He’s a legal medical marijuana patient in Canada. In 2014, he was driving from Vancouver to Seattle, WA, where marijuana is legal both for recreational and medicinal purposes. He had been stopped and questioned by federal border patrol agents for six hours after they spotted a marijuana magazine in his car. During his detention, he was repeatedly questioned about his marijuana use. He did not think to lie, considering Washington state’s policy on the drug and the fact that he legally uses the drug in his home country. He conceded that for a time before he became a legal medical marijuana patient, he’d smoked the drug on occasion recreationally – before Canada had a legal marijuana program. This apparently was enough to trigger the ban.

And of course, while Washington state allows visitors and residents alike to purchase, possess and privately use the drug (with some restrictions), marijuana is still illegal under federal law. And federal law is what governs the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol. Although he wasn’t carrying any marijuana with him when he tried to cross the border, he can still be denied access because, U.S. law states that any foreign national who admits to violating his or her country’s own controlled substance laws at some point previously can be deemed ineligible for admission into the U.S.  Continue reading

A resident physician at Stanford Hospital, Dr. Nathaniel Morris specializes in mental health. In a recent editorial in Scientific American about the difference between the way health care providers view marijuana and the way the federal government regulates it, Morris expresses disbelief at the decision by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to keep marijuana classified as a Schedule I narcotic. doctor7

A Schedule I drug is one that is considered so dangerous, it has no medically-accepted purpose. It’s in the same category as bath salts and heroin. Says Morris, “I can’t make much sense of this.”

Daily, he speaks with his mental health patients about substance abuse. In his training and experience, he has learned there are some abuses that are extremely concerning, and others much less so. The very first substance he inquires about in evaluations? Alcohol. It’s effects are seen daily by emergency room doctors after drinkers crash their cars, fall into an alcohol-induced coma or inhale their own vomit. Alcohol leads to some 1.2 million emergency room visits annually, and excess alcohol consumption accounts for nearly 90,000 deaths in the U.S., according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It causes significant problems for fetuses when their mothers drink. Then there is cocaine, also a concern for pregnant women, and also the source of heart attacks and kidney failure. Methamphetamine causes rapid heart palpitations, violent agitation and hyperthermia. Opioids – including heroin and morphine – often kill patients with sudden respiratory failure. The effects are worse when the drug is used intravenously.

But marijuana? Morris says it’s an “afterthought.”  Continue reading

California voters are going to be asked in November to decide whether they support the legalization of marijuana for recreational – not just medicinal – purposes. Polls indicate public support for this is at an all-time high of 60 percent, so the measure has a good shot of winning. But opponents haven’t given up just yet, and they’ve seized on something they hope will sway voters who might otherwise be on-the-fence. Problem is, it’s not actually true. television

The argument: That if you vote for legalization of recreational marijuana, the television and radio airwaves are going to be flooded with marijuana advertising.

For 45 years, there has been a ban on the advertisement of tobacco and smoke-related products. Now, some lawmakers are arguing that Prop. 64, the marijuana legislation, is going to undo all that. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Ca.) argued that if California voters approve Prop. 64, they’ll be opening the door to marijuana smoking advertisements during prime time, when millions of teens and children will be tuning in.  Continue reading

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

As contentious as politics have become these days, it seems Democrats and Republicans largely agree at least on one thing: Legal marijuana. republican

It used to be that Republicans, particularly those that leaned more conservative, were staunchly opposed to legalizing marijuana in any capacity, even for medicinal purposes. But those attitudes are clearly changing, as evidenced by a recent poll conducted by

The poll measured attitudes toward the legalization of marijuana and then compared the answers given by gender, age, race, family income, U.S. Census region and political party, in mid-July 2016. It also asked respondents about their beliefs regarding whether marijuana use is a gateway to other drugs, whether government marijuana enforcement efforts cost more than they are worth and whether the federal government should abandon enforcement of marijuana drug laws in states where the plant is legal.  Continue reading

One of the ongoing threats to California marijuana dispensaries, growers and users is the ongoing federal prohibition on the drug. marijuana2

To this day, despite the increasing research findings proving the medicinal and societal benefits of the drug, it remains under a Schedule I narcotic designation by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). This is true even as lawmakers in four states plus Washington, D.C. have approved the cultivation, sale and possession of recreational use. This prohibition is what has forced marijuana dispensaries to operate in cash, because banks won’t handle their money. It’s the reason marijuana cultivators and distributors have faced criminal prosecution, even when carefully following state laws.

The good news is that there are many signs this could be on the verge of changing. For one thing, national polls show 89 percent of Americans support medical cannabis – and that includes 81 percent of Republicans.  Continue reading

Marijuana research has been stifled for decades by U.S. government leaders. A recent report by The Brookings Institute went in-depth to explain the ways in which federal authorities have blocked the medical community’s ability to conduct the sort of key research on the drug that is considered the “gold standard” in guiding medical practice.cannabisflower1

Part of the problem is the fact that the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has contended for years that the United Nations Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs treaty allowed only a single license to grow marijuana for research purposes. That license has only ever been given to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).

That could now change now that the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement has clarified: Numerous licenses for marijuana cultivation for medical and scientific research purposes could be issued without violation of the international treaty. That blows a huge hole in the DEA’s position.  Continue reading

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