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  • ShereeKrider 11:41 pm on August 23, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , federal, , LMPD, Louisville Metro Council, Louisville Metro Police Department, ,   

    “We are asking the Council to adopt a Lowest Law Enforcement Priority for cannabis possession in Jefferson County” 


    Image may contain: people sitting and indoor

    RE: LOUISVILLE METRO COUNCIL AND MARIJUANA                 ENFORCEMENT.

    Dan Seum

    3 hrs ·

    We will be addressing Metro Council this evening at 6:00.

     We are asking the Council to adopt a Lowest Law Enforcement Priority for cannabis possession in Jefferson County.

    No more arrests Or citations for simple cannabis possession!

    We have support in the council and we need the support of those who are skeptical….Please attend this meeting, and subsequent meetings, to show support for the Ordinance…Below is the written speech that I will use to plea for the ordinance…

    Let’s Fill the room!

    My name is Dan Seum, Jr.

    I represent the majority of Kentucky and Jefferson County Citizens who believe cannabis should be legalized for medicinal and responsible adult use.

    Polls throughout Kentucky have proven that the majority of our voting public support cannabis legalization. A most recent poll conducted by WHAS in Jefferson County reported over 85% approve of legalization to help with Kentucky’s pension crisis.

    The enforcement of marijuana possession laws needlessly ensnares thousands of our otherwise law-abiding citizens into the criminal justice system and wastes millions of Kentucky taxpayers’ dollars that could be better invested in our communities. What’s more, it is carried out with staggering racial bias. Despite being a priority for police departments nationwide, the War on Marijuana has failed to reduce marijuana use and availability. In any given year Kentucky ranks #1,2, or 3 in marijuana production as well as exports.

    All wars are expensive, and the War on Marijuana has been no different. Not only has our state and local governments blown millions that could have been otherwise invested, the personal cost to those arrested is often significant and can linger for years. When people are arrested for possessing even tiny amounts of marijuana, it can have dire collateral consequences that affect their eligibility for public housing and student financial aid, employment opportunities, and child custody determinations.

    According to the ACLU’s original analysis, marijuana arrests now account for over half of all drug arrests in the United States. Nationwide, the arrest data revealed one consistent trend: significant racial bias. Despite roughly equal usage rates, Blacks are 4 times more likely than whites to be arrested for marijuana. Most people arrested cannot afford a $500 bond levied upon them and are forced to remain in jail until a formal hearing, which is another tremendous cost to the taxpayer.

    There were 678 marijuana arrests in Jefferson County in 2016. That’s more than cocaine, meth and heroin combined. That doesn’t seem like a lot for Jefferson County but it doesn’t tell the whole picture. Even if the police just issue you a citation you still have a record and that record may follow you around for a long time. Defendants are forced into drug classes, which can be costly. There is subsequent drug testing, which is amazingly counterproductive as it incentivizes people to use spice, or opiates that are not detected as long.

    Frankfort has failed to advance cannabis legislation year after year. We are asking that Our Metro Council adopt an ordinance making cannabis possession the Lowest Law Enforcement Priority of the Louisville Metro Police Department. We believe your unified voice of approval will send a message to our mayor and to Frankfort. Please lead us as we are determined to end the war on medical and responsible cannabis consumers.

    SOURCE LINK

    legalize-marijuana-leaf-red-white-blue-flag-300x300BELOW IS THE ORDINANCE AS WRITTEN:

    LOWEST LAW ENFORCEMENT PRIORITY ORDINANCE FOR CANNABIS POSSESSION

    We the people of Louisville ordain that investigations, citations, arrests, property seizures, and prosecutions for cannabis possession, cultivation or use in the Louisville metro area are the lowest law enforcement priority of the Louisville Metro Police Department. The Louisville Metro Council shall transmit notification of the enactment of this initiative to the state and federal elected officials who represent the city of Louisville, the Governor of Kentucky, The President of the United States of America and The Secretary General of the United Nations.

    Findings:

    (a) Current federal and state policies needlessly harm the citizens of Louisville. Numerous bills have been filed to remove criminal penalties for cannabis possession in the state legislature over the last five years and the Commonwealth has failed to act.

    (b) The Institute of Medicine has found that cannabis has medicinal value and is not a gateway drug. Evidence shows cannabis is actually an exit drug from alcohol and opiate addiction.

    (c) Cannabis is incorrectly scheduled and should be removed from federal scheduling.

    (d) Louisville should determine its cannabis policies locally and Metro Council would prefer to move away from incarceration. We believe a regulated market that allows adult possession and medical use for minors under a doctor’s care should replace the current failed policies.

    (e) Louisville Metro Council believes that current state laws punish medical patients unfairly and fail to reflect the reality of responsible adult use.

    (f) Louisville Metro Council believes sufficient evidence exists to conclude cannabis prohibition, especially through drug testing, creates a bias toward alcohol and more dangerous drugs. This bias has exacerbated prescription drug abuse and is casual to the creation/use of synthetic marijuana.

    (g) Law enforcement resources would be better spent fighting serious and violent crimes.

    (h) Decades of arresting millions of cannabis users have failed to control cannabis use or reduce its availability. Metro Council believes that a regulated market would be more effective than the current black market at limiting youth access.

    (i) Cannabis prohibition disproportionately affects low income and minority communities.

    Definitions:

    For the purposes of this chapter, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings respectively ascribed to them by this section:

    a) “Adult” means an individual who is 18 years of age or older.

    (b) “Louisville Metro law enforcement officer” means a member of the Louisville Metro Police Department or any other city agency or department that engages in law enforcement activity.

    (c) “Lowest law enforcement priority” means a priority such that all law enforcement activities related to all offenses other than adult, personal-use cannabis offenses shall be a higher priority than all law enforcement activities related to cannabis offenses, where the cannabis was intended for adult personal use, other than the exceptions designated in this chapter.

    (d) “Cannabis” means all parts of the cannabis plant, whether growing or not; the seeds thereof; the resin extracted from any part of the plant; and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of the plant, its seeds, or its resin.

    Directives:

    (a) Louisville Metro law enforcement officers shall make law enforcement activity relating to cannabis offenses, where the cannabis was intended for adult personal use, their lowest law enforcement priority. Law enforcement activities relating to cannabis offenses include, but are not limited to, investigation, citation, arrest, seizure of property, or providing assistance to the prosecution of adult cannabis offenses.

    (b) This lowest law enforcement priority policy shall not apply to use of cannabis on public property or driving under the influence.

    (c) This lowest law enforcement priority policy shall apply to cooperating with state or federal agents to arrest, cite, investigate, prosecute, or seize property from adults for cannabis offenses included in the lowest law enforcement priority policy.

    (d) Louisville Metro law enforcement officers shall not accept or renew formal deputation or commissioning by a federal law enforcement agency if such deputation or commissioning will include investigating, citing, arresting, or seizing property from adults for cannabis offenses included in the lowest law enforcement priority policy.

    (e) Louisville shall not accept any federal funding that would be used to investigate, cite, arrest, prosecute, or seize property from adults for cannabis offenses included in the lowest law enforcement priority policy. This shall not prevent Louisville from receiving any federal funding not used for purposes contrary to this chapter.

    Oversight:

    (a) The Louisville Metro Council shall ensure the timely implementation of this chapter by:

    (1) Designing, with consultation with the Louisville Metro Police Department, a supplemental report form for Louisville Metro law enforcement officers to use to report all adult cannabis arrests, citations, and property seizures and all instances of officers assisting in state or federal arrests, citations, and property seizures for any adult cannabis offenses. The supplemental report form shall be designed with the goal of allowing the Metro Council to ascertain whether the lowest law enforcement priority policy was followed;

    (2) Receiving grievances from individuals who believe they were subjected to law enforcement activity contrary to the lowest law enforcement priority policy;

    (3) Requesting additional information from any Louisville Metro law enforcement officer who engaged in law enforcement activity relating to one or more cannabis offenses under circumstances which appear to violate the lowest law enforcement priority policy. An officer’s decision not to provide additional information shall not be grounds for discipline; and

    (4) Reporting semi-annually on the implementation of this chapter, with the first report being issued nine months after the enactment of this chapter. These reports shall include but not necessarily be limited to: the number of all arrests, citations, property seizures, and prosecutions for cannabis offenses in Louisville; the breakdown of all cannabis arrests and citations by race, age, specific charge, and classification as infraction, misdemeanor, or felony; any instances of law enforcement activity that the Metro Council believes violated the lowest law enforcement priority policy; and the estimated time and money spent by the city on law enforcement and punishment for adult cannabis offenses. These reports shall be made with the cooperation of the County District Attorney’s Office, the Louisville Metro Police Department, and any other Louisville law enforcement agencies in providing needed data.

    (b) Louisville law enforcement officers shall submit to the Metro Council a supplemental report within seven calendar days after each adult cannabis arrest, citation, or property seizure or instance of assisting in a state or federal arrest, citation, or property seizure for any adult cannabis offense in Metro Louisville.

    Notifications:

    Beginning three months after the enactment of this chapter, the city clerk shall execute a mandatory and ministerial duty of sending letters on an annual basis to the Louisville’s U.S. Representative, both of Louisville’s U.S. Senators, Louisville’s Senators and Representative members in the Kentucky State Legislature, the Governor of Kentucky, the President of the United States and the UN Secretary-General. This letter shall state, “The citizens of Louisville, Kentucky have passed an initiative to de-prioritize adult cannabis offenses, where the cannabis is intended for personal adult use or medical use by minors under a doctor’s care, and we request that State, Federal and International governments take immediate steps to enact similar laws.” This duty shall be carried out until state, federal and international laws are changed accordingly.

    Enforceability; Severability:

    All sections of this chapter are mandatory. A violation of this chapter is not a criminal offense.

    If any provision of this chapter or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the chapter and the application of such provisions to other persons or circumstances shall not be affected thereby.

    Received from Tom Rector Jr.

    ADDITIONALLY:

    Tom Rector Jr.

    Yesterday at 3:18 PM ·

    I applaud the the city for taking this step in diverting low-level drug offenses to treatment instead of jail. Our “no arrests for cannabis” ordinance we introduced fits perfectly with this harm reduction strategy. Louisville citizens who possess cannabis don’t need treatment unless other drugs are involved.

    I’m feeling really good about getting our cannabis ordinance passed, so come and support us tomorrow night Thursday at 6 p.m. 601 West Jefferson at the Louisville Metro Council meeting. We have three great speakers:

    Dan Seum
    Matthew Bratcher
    Sean Vandevander

    Join me and support these folks. Let’s get Kentucky’s two largest cities, Louisville and Lexington, to stop arresting people for cannabis BEFORE the 2019 KGA session!

    youtube.com

    Access Louisville: LEAD pilot program @LMPD @voamid @louisvillemayor @JeffCoAttyKY

    What is LEAD? LEAD is an is an innovative…

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  • ShereeKrider 9:35 pm on April 10, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , drug scheduling, , federal, , , Tetrahydrocannabinol, WHO   

    International Drug Scheduling; … Cannabis Plant and Resin; Extracts and Tinctures of Cannabis; Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol; …Cannabidiol; Request for Comments… 


    plant

    International Drug Scheduling; Convention on Psychotropic Substances; Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs; Cannabis Plant and Resin; Extracts and Tinctures of Cannabis; Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol; Stereoisomers of Tetrahydrocannabinol; Cannabidiol; Request for Comments

    A Notice by the Food and Drug Administration on 04/09/2018

    This document has a comment period that ends in 13 days. (04/23/2018)

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is requesting interested persons to submit comments concerning abuse potential, actual abuse, medical usefulness, trafficking, and impact of scheduling changes on availability for medical use of five drug substances. These comments will be considered in preparing a response from the United States to the World Health Organization (WHO) regarding the abuse liability and diversion of these drugs. WHO will use this information to consider whether to recommend that certain international restrictions be placed on these drugs. This notice requesting comments is required by the Controlled Substances Act (the CSA).

    PLEASE FOLLOW THIS ORIGINAL SOURCE LINK TO SUBMIT YOUR COMMENTS…HERE!

     
  • ShereeKrider 9:12 pm on June 22, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Dish Network, federal, , random drug testing,   

    The Supreme Court of Colorado ruled unanimously last week that Dish Network acted lawfully when it fired a quadriplegic employee who used medicinal marijuana legally to control leg spasms and while he was not at work. 


     

     

    pee-cup

     

    The Supreme Court of Colorado ruled unanimously last week that Dish Network acted lawfully when it fired a quadriplegic employee who used medicinal marijuana legally to control leg spasms and while he was not at work. The employee, Brandon Coats, was fired in 2010 when he failed a random drug test.

    Needless to say, this was not a popular decision among marijuana legalization activists. In his appeal, Coats claimed that Colorado labor laws legitimized his use of marijuana, making his firing illegal under those same laws. The court’s ruling held that the term “lawful activity” must be considered in both a federal and a state legal context. Because marijuana use remains illegal under federal law and marijuana itself is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, the fact that both the Congress and the Obama administration’s Justice Department have signaled that enforcement will be both lightly funded and lightly enforced does not supersede the law. Under federal law, marijuana is a dangerous and illegal drug and that is the end of the story, regardless of the feds’ “wink-wink-nod-nod” approach.

    At the Brookings Institution’s Fixgov blog, managing editor John Hudak noted:

    Federal efforts have limited funding for the use of enforcing medical marijuana laws (Congress) or use prosecutorial discretion to limit the enforcement of marijuana laws (Department of Justice). However, those moves do not resolve the serious disconnects in the law that extend far beyond a medical marijuana patient fearing prosecution. Inconsistencies between state and federal marijuana laws extend to issues of employment, housing, banking, property rights, and a variety of other areas

    We have noted before that the lack of a federal law — which only Congress can pass — raises any number of obstacles for companies in the marijuana industry. Dispensaries and growers cannot find bankers willing to take their cash deposits, and even a state government is having difficulty finding a willing bank. With almost half the states having approved the use of medical marijuana, perhaps it is time for Congress to fix a system that is truly broken.

    ALSO READ: The 10 Largest Marijuana Companies

    Read more: Congress Deserves Blame for Colorado Ruling Against Medical Marijuana – 24/7 Wall St. http://247wallst.com/consumer-products/2015/06/22/congress-deserves-blame-for-colorado-ruling-against-medical-marijuana/#ixzz3dpMMqgIa
    Follow us: @247wallst on Twitter | 247wallst on Facebook

     
  • ShereeKrider 1:50 am on February 7, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , federal, , , , ,   

    Prohibition Repeal Is A Good Model For Marijuana Legalization 


    9:51 AM 12/05/2014

    Marijuana plants for sale are displayed at the medical marijuana farmers market at the California Heritage Market in Los Angeles, California July 11, 2014.  REUTERS/David McNew

    Today is the 81st anniversary of the repeal of federal alcohol prohibition.

    The 21st Amendment ended the failed experiment of Prohibition and delegated the issue of alcohol legalization and regulation solely to the states.

    The 21st Amendment was neither “for” nor “against” alcohol. It was simply an acknowledgment that federal prohibition was an obvious failure and a nod towards state’s and individual rights. No state was required to legalize alcohol. It was their choice.

    The repeal of prohibition has been a tremendous success. This country has the best regulated beverage alcohol industry in the world while still being the world’s most dynamic. Just ask any beer drinker!

    Fast forward to the present. Republicans made huge gains in last month’s elections, decisively winning control of the Senate, increasing their dominance in the House to a level not seen since the 40’s, controlling 33 governorships and more state legislators than any time since the 1920s. They now have the opportunity to cement and expand these gains and to create a permanent majority.

    How? By leading the charge to end the federal prohibition of marijuana. You don’t have to be “pro-cannabis” to be against prohibition.

    Like it or not, illicit marijuana is available in every corner of this country. Any teenager can get it with little effort. Most say it’s far easier to get than beer.

    Criminal gangs across the country rake in tens of billions of dollars each year selling marijuana. Milton Friedman once said, “See, if you look at the drug war from a purely economic point of view, the role of the government is to protect the drug cartel. That’s literally true.”

    In 2012, 750,000 people were arrested for mere possession. That’s about one arrest every 48 seconds! And a disproportionate number of the people arrested on marijuana-related charges are minorities.

    The federal prohibition of marijuana has been as profound a failure as the attempted federal prohibition against alcohol. The solution is the same. Let the states decide and regulate as they see fit.

    Here in Colorado, the legalization of marijuana has been a resounding success. Teen use is down. Auto fatalities are at near historic lows. Crime is down across the board. Tax revenue is flowing in.

    If Republicans want to expand their base, they need to show they truly believe in a liberty-based agenda. Reach out to groups that historically have not been favorable to the Republican brand and prove through action that they have much more in common than they might think. Individual freedom is a winning message for people of all colors and all walks of life.

    Republicans in Congress should pass legislation within their first 60 days in office repealing federal prohibition and placing the issue with the individual states and their citizens.

    A statement such as, “I’m personally against it but believe in the wisdom of the people” can be a get-out-of-jail-free card for all who fear being branded pro-marijuana. The issue isn’t for or against marijuana but rather whether a legal, state regulated market is preferable to a prohibition market. Alcohol or marijuana, the answer to this is clear.

    The alternative is Republicans turning off another generation of voters who think of them as the party that speaks of individual freedom but whose actions suggest they want to control other people’s lives. These folks have seen the failure of big government and most big institutions. Their loyalty can be obtained, but the party has to walk the walk.

    Think I exaggerate? Here in Colorado, the Republican challenger for governor was ahead by 10 points in a September poll. Then, showing the Republican skill for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, he stated he would like to recriminalize marijuana. His lead evaporated almost overnight.

    He lost by 58,000 votes and singlehandedly damaged the Republican brand for a generation of young Colorado voters. There are over 10,000 people directly employed in this Colorado industry and hundreds of thousands of consumers. That’s a lot of voters to antagonize; many of them motivated single issue folks.

    What if the GOP could create a new supporter every 48 seconds rather than trying to throw them in jail?

    Freedom and liberty win. Prohibition and attempting to control people’s lives loses. Republicans, if you believe what you say, end the federal prohibition on marijuana. A permanent majority awaits. It is yours for the taking.

    John Conlin is a self-employed management consultant providing services to beer, wine, and spirits distributors across the country. He is also in the process of starting a marijuana-infused edibles company.

     

    CONTINUE READING…

     

    Tags: John Conlin, Marijuana, Prohibition

     
  • ShereeKrider 8:30 pm on July 20, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: boobie-trapped, Ed and Elaine Brown, federal, Plainfield NH, property rights, Tax Evasion, tax seizure   

    Bomb risk awaits bidders on New Hampshire tax militants’ land 


    Tax Militants Auction660.jpg

    CONORD, N.H. –  Federal officials preparing to sell the New Hampshire compound of a tax-evading couple convicted of amassing an arsenal of weapons can’t guarantee that explosives and other booby traps aren’t hidden on the 103-acre spread.

    In fact, they will openly warn bidders that land mines might be planted throughout Ed and Elaine Brown’s bucolic property in the small town of Plainfield. And they say prospective buyers won’t be allowed on the grounds until they submit a winning bid that frees the government of liability for dismemberment or death.

    "It’s going to be a very interesting sale," said Chief U.S. Deputy Marshal Brenda Mikelson, who’s in charge of the auction.

    The Browns, who do not recognize the federal government’s authority to tax its citizens, were in a nine-month standoff with authorities in 2007 after they were sentenced to five years in prison for tax evasion. U.S. marshals posing as supporters arrested them peacefully.

    They were convicted in 2009 of amassing weapons, explosives and booby traps and of plotting to kill federal agents who came to arrest them.

    Ed and Elaine Brown, now in their 70s, are serving sentences of 37 and 35 years respectively.

    Mikelson said she has contacted numerous federal agencies that have explosive detection equipment and dogs, and none could ensure a clean sweep of the property, which is set back from the road and includes acres of storm-damaged trees and other natural debris.

    "With the size of the property, there’s no way to search it and have any guarantees," Mikelson said.

    However, the hilltop house and the grounds up to the tree line have been searched extensively and are deemed free of improvised explosive devices and other booby traps, Mikelson said.

    Federal marshals say they are still hammering out the language of the disclaimer and the auction won’t take place before September.

    Also being auctioned is Elaine Brown’s dental office in West Lebanon in the heart of the retail hub of New Hampshire’s Upper Valley region.

    That commercial property has its own set of complications involving the disposal of patient records to protect their privacy, but it isn’t considered potentially dangerous.

    By federal court order, the properties must be sold as is. Minimum bid for the Plainfield compound is $250,000, while the Lebanon office must sell for at least $507,500.

    The court has ruled that the Browns and any heirs have no claims to the properties or any assets from their sale.

    While the Browns kept federal marshals at bay, they welcomed a parade of anti-tax and anti-government supporters including Randy Weaver, whose wife and son were killed along with a deputy U.S. marshal in a 1992 shootout on Weaver’s property in Ruby Ridge, Idaho.

    Mikelson cited those sympathizers as another reason not to open the property to bidders and gawkers.

    "They had a lot of supporters," Mikelson. "We’re trying to maintain safety for all."

    If the properties sell, the first entities to be paid would be the municipalities of Plainfield and Lebanon, which are owed back property taxes.

    Attorney Shawn Tanguay, who represents Lebanon, said that the city as of mid-July was owed roughly $211,500 in taxes, interest and penalties. Plainfield tax collector Michelle Marsh says the town is owed $152,550 on the Browns’ property there.

    "We’re all sort of waiting with bated breath to get this settled," Tanguay said.

    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/07/20/bomb-risk-awaits-bidders-on-new-hampshire-tax-militants-land/#ixzz2ZcTQlBgl

     
  • ShereeKrider 2:10 am on October 13, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , federal, , , lawsuit, , oakland,   

    Law Blog Fireside: The Lawyer Protecting Oakland’s Medical Pot 


    By Joe Palazzolo
    iStock

    Oakland, Calif., is trying to keep the federal government from seizing its biggest medical-marijuana dispensary.

    On Wednesday, the city took a bold step: It sued the feds, arguing that the U.S. attorney for Northern California is barred from seizing the property by the five-year statute of limitations on civil forfeiture.

    Sure, it’s illegal to sell medical marijuana under federal law, but President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder have said publicly they wouldn’t pursue people who are in compliance with state law. A 2009 Justice Department memo gave the same guidance to U.S. attorneys.

    California, of course, permits the sale of medical marijuana, and Oakland strictly regulates and taxes its dispensaries. Harborside Health Center, the property at issue here, has been open since 2006 and sells more than $20 million of pot annually, according to its owner.

    The lawsuit argues that the Justice Department can’t snatch up Harborside Health Center, because of the doctrine of estoppel, which says, in essence, you can’t say one thing and do another. U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag has said Harborside has grown into a large-scale operation that isn’t legal even under California law.

    Law Blog caught up with Cedric Chao, who is representing Oakland. When he’s not suing the federal government, Mr. Chao is co-chairman of Morrison & Foerster LLP’s international litigation and arbitration practice.

    Law Blog: So this is the first case of its type?

    Cedric Chao: We’re not aware of a city pushing back on a forfeiture action against a medical cannabis dispensary.

    LB: We noticed you refer to medical marijuana as “cannabis” throughout the lawsuit. Any reason?

    CC: No, but people refer to it both ways.

    LB: You argue that DOJ can’t go after Harborside because it opened six years ago — exceeding the five-year statute of limitations. Isn’t there a good argument that, since Harborside continued to break federal law until this year, the clock shouldn’t start ticking until after the dispensary stopped selling medical cannabis?

    CC: Well there’s actually a case out there in the Sixth Circuit that addresses this issue. In the context of a gambling operation, it held that the statute of limitations began on the first discovery of illegal conduct by the government and that the government was not allowed to claim that the statute of limitations was reset every single day.

    LB: I guess the government can’t credibly argue it wasn’t aware of the Oakland dispensaries until now.

    CC: They had websites, they had advertisements, they wanted the patient population to know they had safe access to medical cannabis.

    LB: But the fact remains. Medical marijuana is illegal under federal law. How do you convince a federal judge that just because the attorney general tells his troops not to go after certain individuals that means it’s OK to break federal law?

    CC: Seventeen states plus the District of Columbia have agreed that it is lawful to sell cannabis for medical purposes, so, clearly, there’s a division of thought. And clearly the top officials of our government also believed there were medical benefits to cannabis, otherwise they would not have said publicity that DOJ’s resources will not be used to prosecute where patients, caregivers and dispensaries are acting in conformity with state law. They well knew that people were hanging on their every word. So how is it, after their words and actions and people acting in reliance on those, can they reverse course and say, “Never mind?”

    LB: So you’re doing this case pro bono?

    CC: Yes.

    LB: It’s a controversial issue. Do you worry about getting pegged as the cannabis lawyer?

    CC: As a lawyer, you take an oath and you have a client and you do the best for your client. This issue has important public ramifications, and if I didn’t think it was important, I wouldn’t take it.

    LB: Thanks, Cedric.

    CONTINUE READING…

     
  • ShereeKrider 10:01 pm on May 23, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Chigaco, courts, , federal, GPS, , , ,   

    Judge tosses 150 pounds of marijuana over GPS use in Kentucky 


    image

    LOUISVILLE — When Kentucky State Troopers stopped 49-year-old Robert Dale Lee on Interstate 75 in September 2011, they knew he would be coming their way and what to look for in his car.

    The Drug Enforcement Administration had been following Lee’s car from Chicago using a GPS — a tracking device placed on the vehicle as part of a multi-state drug probe — and troopers found 150 lbs of marijuana in his car.

    Now, a federal judge has ruled the stash inadmissible in the case against Lee because the DEA and troopers didn’t have a warrant to place the device on the car.

    “In this case, the DEA agents had their fishing poles out to catch Lee,” Judge Amul R. Thapar wrote. “Admittedly, the agents did not intend to break the law. But, they installed a GPS device on Lee’s car without a warrant in the hope that something might turn up.”

    Lee is charged with conspiracy to distribute marijuana. No trial date has been set. His attorney, Michael Murphy of Lexington, did not immediately return a message seeking comment Wednesday.

    Kyle Edelen, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s office in Lexington, said prosecutors are reviewing the ruling and evaluating whether to appeal Thapar’s decision.

    The U.S. Supreme Court in January struck down law enforcement’s use of GPS tracking in investigations without a warrant. Justice Antonin Scalia wrote for the 5-member majority that it was the attachment of the device that violated the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unreasonable searches and seizures. That case involved a GPS placed on the Jeep of suspected Washington, D.C. drug kingpin Antoine Jones. The ruling overturned Jones’ conviction and life sentence.

    Lee’s case predated that ruling, so the admissibility of the marijuana remained in question until Thapar’s decision.

    The case arose after a cooperating witness told investigators that Lee, who previously served 42 months in federal prison for gun and drug convictions, had been buying marijuana in Chicago and bringing it back to eastern Kentucky in his car.

    CONTINUE READING THRU THIS LINK…..

     
  • ShereeKrider 5:36 pm on April 17, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: AMW, federal, Fugitive, Johnny Boone,   

    James Higdon’s "The Cornbread Mafia: A Homegrown Syndicate’s Code of Silence and the Biggest Marijuana Bust in American History" 


    press release

    April 16, 2012, 3:57 p.m. EDT

    James Higdon’s "The Cornbread Mafia: A Homegrown Syndicate’s Code of Silence and the Biggest Marijuana Bust in American History" Available This Week

    NEW YORK, NY, Apr 16, 2012 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) — ATTENTION JOURNALISTS AND PRODUCERS: 4/20 — "The Pot Holiday" — is this week! James Higdon is the perfect choice for any conversation about marijuana legalization. Call now to schedule an interview.

    In the summer of 1987, Johnny Boone set out to grow and harvest one of the greatest outdoor marijuana crops in modern times. In doing so, he set into motion a series of events that defined him and his associates as the largest homegrown marijuana syndicate in American history, also known as the Cornbread Mafia.

    Author James Higdon — whose relationship with Johnny Boone, currently a federal fugitive, made him the first journalist subpoenaed under the Obama administration — takes readers back to the 1970s and ’80s and the clash between federal and local law enforcement and a band of Kentucky farmers with moonshine and pride in their bloodlines. By 1989 the task force assigned to take down men like Johnny Boone had arrested sixty-nine men and one woman from busts on twenty-nine farms in ten states, and seized two hundred tons of pot. Of the seventy individuals arrested, zero talked. How it all went down is a tale of Mafia-style storylines emanating from the Bluegrass State, and populated by Vietnam veterans and weed-loving characters caught up in Tarantino-level violence and heartbreaking altruism. This work of dogged investigative journalism and history is told by Higdon in action-packed, colorful and riveting detail.

    "James Higdon has written a compelling, fast-moving saga about how a backwoods band of outlaws, begat by Kentucky moonshiners of the 1920s, took over the marijuana business in the Midwest and led the Feds on the biggest pot chase in American history." –Bruce Porter, author of BLOW: How a Small-Town Boy Made $100 Million with the Medellin Cocaine Cartel and Lost It All

    James Higdon has worked for the Courier-Journal in Louisville and the New York Times, contributed to The Prairie Home Companion, researched the NYPD counter-terrorism and intelligence divisions for the new CBS series NYC 22 (produced by Robert De Niro and Jane Rosenthal), and is currently a contributing editor with PBS Frontline’s Tehran Bureau.

    The Cornbread Mafia: A Homegrown Syndicate’s Code of Silence and the Biggest Marijuana Bust in American History Lyons Press – April 2012 – Cloth — 400 pages – $24.95 – ISBN-13: 978-0762778232

            
            Media Inquiries:
            Ellen Trachtenberg
            610-212-1823
            Email Contact
            
            
            

    SOURCE: Globe Pequot Press

     
  • ShereeKrider 4:18 pm on April 1, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , endocannabinoids, , , federal, , , , human, , , , , , , , vote, , Warfare and Conflict   

    Absolute Asinine Laws 


    Life in Prison for Hemp

    José Peña brought some roadside weeds home from Kansas. Cops decided it was reefer, and a Texas court sentenced him to life in prison – without the evidence. It took a decade for Peña to get back some of the pieces of his life.

    By Jordan Smith, Fri., March 16, 2012

    Life in Prison for Hemp

    José Peña was tired as he drove south toward Houston on the morning of Sept. 27, 1998. Following a quick trip north to Kansas in a rented van – to pick up the brother of a distant cousin’s son – he was on his way home to Houston, where he lived with his wife and four children. It was the kind of favor Peña often did for friends and family, no matter how distant the relation – and the kind of favor that irritated his wife. “I was tired, and I was trying to get home,” the 50-year-old recently recalled. “My wife was mad at me for doing favors for other people” when he could instead be home.

    That morning, just before 8am, Peña was cruising south down I-45, a little more than two hours from home. He was driving in the right-hand lane through Leon County when he passed a state trooper sitting in his car on the grass median. He thought nothing of it – just another Texas trooper on a long and nondescript stretch of highway – until he noticed the trooper pull out onto the road and follow him. The officer, Mike Asby, a veteran member of the Texas Department of Public Safety, drove in the left lane until his car was parallel with Peña’s. Peña looked over at Asby. “He pulled up next to me, and I looked at him because I wasn’t not going to make eye contact” with an officer whom Peña thought was definitely checking him out for whatever reason.

    Although Peña steadfastly maintains that he wasn’t doing anything wrong or unusual, Asby would later testify that Peña caught his attention because he was driving more slowly than the rest of traffic in a van caked with mud; when the van “weaved across the center stripe and also across the solid yellow line on the shoulder,” Asby testified in January 2003, he had to take action. “You’re required to stay in a single lane of traffic,” he said. He activated his lights and pulled Peña over.

    Within the hour, Peña would be in handcuffs in the back of the trooper’s car, headed to the county jail in Centerville on a charge of marijuana possession. Nearly five years later, Peña would be convicted and sentenced to life in prison for possession of what the state said turned out to be 23.46 pounds of freshly cut marijuana that Peña was transporting in the back of the muddy blue van. Although Asby testified that this was not a normal highway drug bust – “normally,” he testified, marijuana moves north from Houston, already “dried out, cured, and ready to be sold” – he was certain that what he found casually laid out in the back of the van was pot because it smelled like pot – and he knows pot when he smells it. “It’s something that you learned in [28] years of experience being on the road?” prosecutor Whitney Smith (now Leon Coun­ty’s elected D.A.) asked Asby.

    “Yes, sir,” Asby replied.

    Just Trust Us

    There are at least two problems with the official story of Peña’s arrest and prosecution. First, Peña is adamant – and has been since 1998 – that what he was transporting was not marijuana, but actually hemp, pot’s non-narcotic cousin. Peña says he found the plants growing wild in Kansas and cut them down, thinking that he could use the stems and leaves in the various craft projects he made with leather and wood in his garage workshop; there was no doubt in Peña’s mind that what he was transporting was not marijuana. The second, and eventually more decisive problem with the official story of the Peña bust, is that prior to his trial, officials with the Department of Public Safety lab in Waco, where the plants were taken for testing, completely destroyed all of the case evidence – all 23.46 pounds of plant material – and then also lost the case file with all of the original documentation of the lab’s work on the case. By the time Peña was finally tried – more than four years later – there was absolutely no evidence to show the jury; instead, the state relied completely on the “experience” of Asby and of Waco lab supervisor Charles Mott (now retired) to persuade jurors that what they say they saw and tested was actually marijuana.

    It worked.

    That is, it worked until late last year, when Peña’s conviction was finally overturned by the Court of Criminal Appeals, the state’s highest criminal court, and Leon County subsequently dismissed the charges for good. In the intervening decade, however, Peña’s case became a political hot potato, catching the attention of judges and lawyers across the state who watched as the 10th Court of Appeals, based in Waco, played tug-of-war with the Austin-based CCA over the power of the Texas Constitution, and whether it affords citizens greater rights and protection against state power than does the U.S. Constitution.

    It’s a conflict that has left the state of Texas divided and may mean – at least for the time being – that persons tried for crimes in one part of the state will be afforded greater protection from prosecutorial errors or malfeasance than are others. Frankly, says Keith Hampton, an Austin defense attorney who represented Peña just before his case was dismissed, you just “don’t see this happen very often.” Ulti­mate­ly, whether the protections gleaned from the Texas Constitution by the 10th Court will remain in force and be applied to all Texans is still to be determined.

    Weeds, Not Weed

    Peña had a knack for creating handcrafted leather and wood items that sold like hotcakes, he says, at flea markets in and around Houston. He made personalized shellacked plaques and leather key chains with popular first names spelled out in tiny beads, and at a dollar a key chain, they sold well. So when he first saw the hemp plants growing on the roadside near Manhattan, Kan., they gave him an idea. He would take the plants – which, to an untrained eye, look exactly like marijuana plants – press the leaves, and then use them on plaques or affixed to the small leather wallets that he also had become expert at making. He recognized these as “volunteer” hemp plants – they grow wild across the country, reminders of the days when hemp farming was commonplace and even, during World War II, encouraged by the feds as supporting the war effort. By the Kansas roadside, they were scraggly and abundant. When he pulled into the Tuttle Creek State Park outside Manhattan, and saw the plants growing everywhere, he “loaded … up.”

    Indeed, Peña thought nothing of the fresh-cut plants that he’d laid out in the back of the blue van he was driving. He knew – partly from experience of having smoked pot when he was younger, and partly because he knew that hemp was once a major agricultural commodity – that the plants were nothing more than weeds that looked like weed.

    However, that’s not how Asby saw it. To him, it was clear that one thing, and only one thing, was taking place. Peña was moving a large amount of marijuana to Houston – as unusual as that might be, Asby acknowledged.

    Peña repeatedly told Asby that the plants were hemp, and his insistence clearly gave some pause to Asby and the two backup officers who soon joined him. The three men stood next to the van pondering the notion that a plant could look like, but not actually be, marijuana. “I … questioned them, I said, ‘Well, he says it’s not marijuana,'” Asby recalled in court. “I knew that there was a substance called hemp and I was asking them. … And I asked them, ‘You ever heard of something like marijuana, just hemp, that is legal to have?'” he continued. “I don’t know that there is a legal kind. That was the question I was asking the officers: ‘Have you ever heard of this … where marijuana was cut and it turns out to be legal?'”

    In the end, Asby was unpersuaded. “I just know marijuana smells like marijuana,” he testified in 2003. “And I have never found anything that I thought was marijuana that wasn’t.” He cuffed Peña and hauled him off to jail.

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  • ShereeKrider 1:13 pm on March 16, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: federal, , indoor growing, , , , ,   

    Phototron Announces Personal Indoor Marijuana Growing for Medical Use Not the Target of Feds 


    US Attorney for the Eastern District of California Benjamin Wagner Speaks in Sacramento and Says He’s Not Going after Medical Marijuana Patients and Caregivers

    GARDENA, Calif., Mar 16, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Phototron Holdings, Inc. PHOT -16.67% (otcqb:PHOT), the hydroponic growing systems company behind the “grow your own” revolution, believes the continued crackdown, resulting in the closure of hundreds of dispensaries and seizures of large-scale cannabis grow operations, is making personal indoor growing systems more attractive to medical marijuana patients.

    Speaking at a recent press luncheon in Sacramento, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of California Benjamin Wagner said he’s not going after medical marijuana patients and caregivers, but he is cracking down on interstate transporters, huge pot farmers and illicit dispensaries grossing tens of thousands of dollars per day. He also issues a warning to large-scale pot farmers that a season of raids in the Central Valley is coming in 2012.

    “Medical marijuana patients have fewer options for obtaining their medication safely, and in many places are faced with having to travel long distances or get untested medication off the street,” said Craig Ellins, Phototron’s CEO. “So patients are increasingly growing their own medication and Phototron’s systems are perfect for personal use.”

    About Phototron Holdings, Inc. Phototron Holdings, Inc. PHOT -16.67% (otcqb:PHOT) designs and manufactures cutting-edge indoor mini-greenhouses capable of year-round growth of herbs, vegetables, flowers, fruits and medicines, better, stronger and faster than traditional farming methods. The Phototron Hydroponic Indoor Grow System, commonly called grow boxes, is built upon decades of research on the optimal temperature, light, water and nutrient needs of plants. The Phototron System uses proprietary lighting that mimics the sun’s rays to grow nutrient-rich, pesticide-free, eco-friendly crops faster and in more bountiful quantities than those of traditional gardening methods, resulting in fruits and vegetables of superior taste and quality.

    Phototron systems and accessories are available for purchase from the company’s website at: http://www.phototron.com

    For comprehensive investor relations material, including fact sheets, presentations conference calls and video, please follow the appropriate link: Investor Presentation, Investor Portal and Investor Fact Sheet.

    Forward-Looking Statements This release contains “forward-looking statements” for purposes of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s “safe harbor” provisions under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and Rule 3b-6 under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. These forward-looking statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties that could cause Phototron’s actual results to differ materially from those currently anticipated, including the risk factors identified in Phototron’s filings with the SEC.

    SOURCE: Phototron Holdings, Inc.

            
            Phototron Contact: 
            Phototron Holdings, Inc. 
            Todd Denkin 
            Toll-free: 800-651-2837 
            sales@phototron.com 
            or 
            Financial Communications: 
            Trilogy Capital Partners, Inc. 
            Darren Minton, President 
            Toll-free: 800-592-6067 
            info@trilogy-capital.com
            
    
    CONTINUE READING…
    
    	
     
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