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.
November 13, 2012 |
Voters in Washington and Colorado didn't just pass historic measures legalizing recreational marijuana use last week, they blew smoke in the face of Atty. Gen. Eric Holder and, by extension, President Obama. The bud stops at your desks, gentlemen. Since the vote, legal experts and media analysts have focused speculation on how the feds will crack down on these two rogue states and show them who's boss. Will the Department of Justice file a lawsuit, seeking a ruling that federal law prevails and nullifying the results of the election?
September 19, 2012 |
Warren Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates' initiative to get billionaires to pledge at least half their wealth to charity signed on 11 new families with a variety of causes and interests. They causes they support include medical research, science museums, "Canadianism" and the legalization of marijuana. The list of billionaires joining the Giving Pledge initiative includes Intel Corp. co-founder Gordon Moore and his wife, Betty; Progressive Corp. Chairman Peter B. Lewis; and Netflix Inc. Chief Executive Reed Hastings and his wife, Patty Quillin; according to a statement Tuesday from the campaign.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 11, 2012 |
The federal government is moving to shut down the nation's largest and highest-profile medical marijuana dispensary operation, filing papers to seize properties in Oakland and San Jose where Harborside Health Center does business. Copies of the federal Complaint for Forfeiture were taped to the front doors of the two dispensaries Tuesday, alleging that they were "operating in violation of federal law. " Medical marijuana advocates, as well as some state and local officials, decried the action, saying it hurts patients in legitimate need of the drug and breaks repeated promises by President Obama's Justice Department that it was targeting only operations near schools and parks or otherwise in violation of the state's laws.