2:40pm

Fri September 13, 2013
Politics

Cannabis News Roundup: September 13, 2013

Justice Department: “trust but verify” state cannabis laws… State supported loan awarded to NJ dispensary… Not even God can prohibit humans from doing what they want… 30 tons of hash up in smoke… and more.

LEGISLATION

Forbes // The US Justice Department will most likely not hassle states that can develop and enforce cannabis rules that meet the Department’s requirements, Deputy Attorney General James Cole said on Tuesday at a Congressional hearing on marijuana legalization in Colorado and Washington. But he added, “We have reserved quite explicitly the right to go in and preempt at a later date” if issues such as drugged driving and diversion to other states become problems. Concerns over banks dealing with legitimate dispensaries will also be studied. [Find this story in Business, below.]

Chairman Leahy told the Justice Department that they should respect the will of the people in Washington and Colorado concerning cannabis, and should focus their resources on prosecuting violent crimes.

East Bay Express & SF Gate // Senator Leahy’s committee in Washington did not inspire the California Assembly to approve San Francisco Assemblyman Tom Ammiano’s reworked legislation on cannabis regulation and enforcement yesterday. A variety of advocacy groups supported AB 604. President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg sponsored a companion bill in the Senate. 

ASA // The San Leandro City Council is scheduled to vote Monday on whether to permit medical cannabis dispensaries. The Americans for Safe Access advocacy group provides specifics here.

MMJ Business Daily // Recreational cannabis rules are already being modified in Washington state. One Liquor Control Board member says it’s not surprising: ”We’ve been tweaking liquor rules for the past 80 years.”

BUSINESS

NJ.com // New Jersey’s Economic Development Authority has unanimously approved a loan of more than $350,000 to a cannabis dispensary, the first time such substantial state support has ever been awarded. “You don’t get more mainstream,” says the recipient.

CNBC // Banks are afraid to process transactions with cannabis dispensaries for fear of being implicated in federal drug charges, since cannabis is an outlawed substance. But Deputy Attorney General James Cole told Senator Patrick Leahy’s Congressional committee on Tuesday that, We’re working on it” with federal banking regulators.

OPINION

SF Gate // Forget about petitioning the government to legalize cannabis, says this health food manufacturer. Focus on market development instead, and the politicians will follow.

SF Gate // The San Francisco Chronicle said in an editorial on Sunday that the State Assembly should see the new federal stance on cannabis as a wakeup call “to get serious” about statewide regulation. [See story above about AB 604.]

Speech // Mexico’s former President told a gathering in San Francisco over the weekend that not even God can prohibit humans from doing what they want. Proper regulation of drugs is a better idea than prohibition.

IN OTHER NEWS….

KALW Radio // Eugene Jarecki, director of the documentary “The House I Live In,” was shocked by the number of people who had never heard of the 40-year-old U.S. War on Drugs. He thinks his film tracing the history of what he calls “an absolutely failed effort” is changing that. Jarecki was the guest on “Your Call” yesterday. Find the link here.

WSJ // I never knew “that so many people today equate CSN's sound with getting high,” but this profile of Graham Nash, formerly of Crosby Stills & Nash (and sometimes Young) says that’s the case. Yet Nash himself states “it's not drugs music. It's heart music.”

The Telegraph (UK) // As much as 30 tons of hashish went up in smoke this week in the Mediterranean, but not in a gigantic pipe. The crew of a cargo ship set their contraband cargo on fire, and then jumped overboard after Italian agents moved in on the vessel. Agents had to wear gas masks when putting out the fire. See video here.

>> IMPORTANT NOTES:

KALW is having a one-week membership drive. Show your support for the CNR, and the station in general, by becoming a member. Here’s the form.

Your aggregator-in-chief will be out of town next week. The Cannabis News Roundup will resume on Friday, September 27.

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