9:27am

Fri September 6, 2013
Politics

Cannabis News Roundup: September 6, 2013

Senate hearing set for Tuesday… Mexico City considers “smoking clubs”… Vicente Fox speaks in San Francisco Saturday… Massive fire not caused by illegal growers… and more.

POLITICS

The Atlantic & Blog of Legal Times & NORML // US Attorney General Eric Holder has turned down the invitation to appear at Tuesday’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, titled “Conflicts between State and Federal Marijuana Laws.” He’s sending his deputy instead.

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the committee chair, probably has plenty of questions of his own for the hearing, but the California chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) has sent a letter to US Senator Dianne Feinstein outlining eight points they would like to see addressed. Feinstein is openly opposed to legalization.

Senator Leahy told The Atlantic magazine that Congress could change the Schedule 1 designation of cannabis, but citing current Congressional dysfunction, added “I don't have as much hope for that as I do for an executive policy that does it.” Find the whole interview here.

East Bay Express // The US Attorney for Northern California “is evaluating the new guidelines” concerning cannabis, according to a statement from that office. A spokeswoman added “for the most part it appears that the cases that have been brought in this district are already in compliance with the guidelines,” implying no noticeable change in tactics.

Fox News // The city council of Mexico City is considering a proposal to legalize cannabis smoking clubs.  This was one of the proposals from a three-day forum in that nation’s capital.

EVENTS

INTCHE // Vicente Fox, President of Mexico from 2000 to 2006, is speaking Saturday at the third annual International Cannabis & Hemp Expo, (INTCHE).  The event is taking place across the street from San Francisco City Hall tomorrow. Fox is among the Central and South American leaders, past and present, who see legalization as one way to curb that country’s horrific drug violence.

It won’t all be speechifying at INTCHE: Native Elements, the Bay Area’s long time feel-good reggae band is among the performers on the schedule.

ASA // A coalition of California advocacy groups, led by Americans for Safe Access, will hold a vigil at noon on Monday at the State Capitol in Sacramento to bring attention to the fact that it has been 17 years since the passage of Prop. 215. That measure called on elected officials “to implement a plan to provide for the safe and affordable distribution of marijuana to all patients in medical need.” A statewide system is still not in place.

BOOK // The next time someone says that cannabis can’t be legalized because more research is needed, refer them to Cannabis: Evolution and Ethnobotany. This book is a comprehensive volume on all aspects of cannabis through history. Here’s an overview.

IN OTHER NEWS….

USA Today // The number of Americans using cannabis “has increased steadily over the past five years,” according to survey results released Wednesday. A little more than nine percent of the population, or close to 24 million people, admit using it.

SF Gate // Illegal cannabis growers were rumored to be the cause of California’s massive wildfire in and around Yosemite National Park. The Forest Service says that’s not true; it was a hunter’s campfire.

San Clemente Patch // Last week’s “worst delivery method” was a story about somebody shooting a pot-laden arrow into a county jail. This week it’s somebody asking the Border Patrol to help with a flat tire. That would have been fine, if the Patrol’s sniffer dog hadn’t alerted the agents to check inside the tires, where 140 pounds of marijuana were found.

The Willits News // And you may have heard about the nine-ton bust last weekend, also at San Clemente, but since nine tons of anything is notable, I’ll include mention here.

OPINION & ANALYSIS

MMJ Business Daily // Some thoughts on how last week’s Justice Department announcements could change the business of cannabis…                       

SF Gate // …and a review and analysis by Chronicle reporter Joe Garofoli describing what the results of next week’s Senate hearings might mean for cannabis reform, in California and the nation.

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