August 29, 2013 |
WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration announced Thursday a limited pullback on federal enforcement of marijuana, saying it will not interfere with new state laws that permit recreational use of marijuana. The Justice Department said it will not seek to veto new state laws in Colorado and Washington that legalize the recreational use of marijuana, and it will not bring federal prosecutions against dispensaries or businesses that sell small amounts of marijuana to adults. A department official stressed, however, that marijuana remains illegal under federal law, and that U.S. prosecutors will continue to aggressively enforce the law against those who sell marijuana to minors and to criminal gangs that are involved in drug trafficking.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 20, 2013 |
Operators of medical marijuana dispensaries are welcoming action Monday by state lawmakers that would block prosecutions for illegal drug sales by cooperatives and collectives under certain conditions. The state Senate on Monday approved legislation saying that a medical marijuana cooperative, collective or other business entity is not subject to prosecution for drug sales as long as the compensation they receive is reasonable and they follow security guidelines set by the state attorney general in 2008.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 6, 2013 |
A California Supreme Court ruling that cities have the authority to ban all medical marijuana dispensaries within their borders raises the stakes for a ballot measure battle over how Los Angeles should regulate the drug, backers of two measures said Monday. An attorney for one of the measures says if none of the ballot initiatives pass on May 21, the City Council may revive its previous efforts to ban dispensaries. “The City Council may be emboldened by the Supreme Court ruling and may seek to prohibit medical marijuana dispensaries all together as they did just a few months back," said Bradley Hertz, who represents the backers of Proposition D, which would allow only the 130 or so dispensaries that opened before a failed 2007 city moratorium on new pot shops.
April 28, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - For more than a decade, conservative Orange County Rep. Dana Rohrabacher has formed an unusual alliance with liberals on an unexpected topic - the defense of marijuana. Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach) and his allies have so far waged a futile effort to pass legislation that would prevent federal authorities from interfering with medical marijuana use in California and other places where pot use is permitted by state law. But as more states have moved to allow the drug's use, Rohrabacher believes his Respect State Marijuana Laws Act may be gaining momentum in Congress.
March 27, 2013 |
It may be surprising, but no state is required to have a law making possession of marijuana, or any drug, a crime. Therefore, any state can legalize some or all marijuana possession if it chooses. The federal government, if it chooses, can enforce the federal law against its possession and use, but it is up to each state to decide what to criminally prohibit, based on the 10th Amendment. This basic insight has been lost in the public discussion about whether the initiatives legalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana passed by Colorado and Washington voters in November are preempted by federal law. The two states will soon finalize regulations to implement those initiatives, including how to tax and regulate marijuana.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 6, 2013 |
SAN FRANCISCO - The California Supreme Court appeared inclined Tuesday to uphold municipal bans against medical marijuana dispensaries. Meeting for oral arguments, the state high court considered the legality of a ban on dispensaries by the city of Riverside. Several justices noted that the state Constitution gives cities wide policing power over land use and suggested that the state's medical marijuana laws have not undercut that authority. "The Legislature knows how to say 'Thou Shall Not Ban Dispensaries,' " Justice Ming W. Chin said.
February 1, 2013 |
Reacting to a federal appellate court decision upholding the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's denial of reclassification of marijuana, The Times states in its Jan. 25 editorial that whether marijuana should be reclassified under federal law to permit its prescription as a medicine should be based on science and an evaluation of the facts, rather than on myths. I fully agree. And yet the editorial is based on the myth that the DEA has made it "nearly impossible" for researchers to obtain marijuana for such scientific studies.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 20, 2013 |
Mendocino County is fighting efforts by federal prosecutors to get records on medical marijuana growers who signed up for a program intended to sanction their businesses under state law. The county's resistance creates a rare legal clash between local and federal authorities over conflicting marijuana laws. The U.S. Justice Department has been targeting growers and purveyors of medical cannabis, and threatening local or state officials who try to regulate the trade, saying all marijuana use is illegal under federal law. Last March, Mendocino County officials bowed to such threats and stopped issuing permits to grow up to 99 plants.
December 10, 2012 |
Although it's now legal to smoke weed in Colorado, you still can't secretly feed it to your classmates. Two University of Colorado Boulder students face multiple felony charges after the marijuana-laced brownies they brought to class put their professor in the hospital and sickened seven classmates, campus police said Sunday. November's voter-approved Amendment 64 made Colorado's marijuana laws some of the most relaxed in the nation, but Thomas Ricardo Cunningham, 21, and Mary Elizabeth Essa, 19, may not get much help from it. The pair have been arrested on suspicion of planning and intentionally committing second-degree assault and inducing consumption of controlled substances by fraudulent means.
December 9, 2012 |
SEATTLE - Customers have been drifting into Jay Fratt's alternative pipe and tobacco shop, Smokin J's, in the days since Washington state's marijuana law took effect, wondering when cannabis would take its place on the shelves next to the handblown glass pipes. Hold on, he told them. Fratt is, before anything else, a businessman, and he quickly realized there was a lot of smoke in the details. First of all, the law setting up the nation's first legal regulatory system for retail pot won't allow sales until next year.