Cannabis News Roundup: October 18, 2013
Supreme Court rejects appeal to reclassify cannabis… Governor Brown vetoes drug sentencing bill… Lt. Governor Newsom heads ACLU legalization panel… Safety warnings… Dalai Lama warns against “crazy mind”… and more.
LEGISLATION & LEGALIZATION
Toke Signals // SB 649 was vetoed Sunday by Governor Jerry Brown. The bill, sponsored by State Senator Mark Leno of San Francisco, would have given judges and district attorneys some discretion in sentencing those with small amounts of illegal drugs, a move that would have helped with California’s prison overcrowding. Find details and analysis here.
ABC News // Eighty metric tons: that’s the maximum amount of cannabis that Washington state will allow in its recreational cannabis program, which is expected to go into effect sometime next summer. Find other details here.
CBS Local // Gavin Newsom, California’s Lt. Governor, will head a panel charged with studying the legalization of marijuana in California. The panel was organized by the American Civil Liberties Union. Their work is anticipated to take several years, lending the best possible information for those working on a 2016 ballot initiative.
SF Gate // Here are the names and affiliations of all of the panel members.
CRIME AND PUNISHMENT
The Weed Blog // Cannabis is still a Schedule 1 drug under the Controlled Substances Act after the Supreme Court turned down an appeal for a lower classification on Monday.
Americans for Safe Access // Four people connected to a dispensary in Alameda County have received jail sentences, plus other penalties. The length of the jail time is being called a “marked improvement” over previous cases. The charges were for conspiracy and money laundering, not operation of a cannabis dispensary.
The Weed Blog & MMJ Business Daily // Federal property forfeiture charges against a few southern California landlords renting to dispensaries have been dropped. But ongoing cases, such as the one against Oakland’s Harborside Health Center, are still being processed.
Cal NORML // KPFA Radio citizen journalist Jose Gutierrez was convicted earlier this month of assaulting a US Marshall during a raid that shut down Oaksterdam University in 2012. Sentencing is set for early January.
SF Gate // Police arrested 13 people in the East Bay late last week, confiscating an estimated 1,750 marijuana plants said to have a street value of $4 million.
East Bay Express // Berkeley police and code enforcement officials found various violations at the Forty Acres Medical Marijuana Grower’s Collective earlier this month. The underground dispensary is one of the few minority-run outlets in the area.
Cal NORML // The California chapter of NORML is warning that the use of butane “to make hash oil is not covered by the medical use statutes,” for good reasons, not the least being concerns about fires and explosions.
SF Gate // Driving after ingesting cannabis nearly doubles your chances of a fatal accident. But that’s considerably less dangerous than driving after consuming alcohol, according to a study from Columbia University. So don’t do either, OK? And don’t text about not doing it either.
MMJ Business Daily // More states are requiring dispensaries to test the cannabis products they sell, both for potency and purity. It’s an extra expense, but this column notes that it can also lead to increased business.
IN OTHER NEWS….
France 24 // His Holiness the Dalai Lama sees the benefit of using marijuana medicinally, “but otherwise it’s just an issue of somebody [using the drug to have] a crazy mind – that’s not good.” He made the comment while visiting legalization advocate Vincente Fox, former president of Mexico.
Harborside Health Ctr. // “Weed Wars,” a mini-series about Harborside Health Centers, is now streaming on Netflix. The series, which first aired in December 2011 on the Discovery Channel, follows the operations of Harborside’s facilities in Oakland and San Jose with a focus on the organization’s founders.