Recreational marijuana lawsuit: Colorado sheriffs and prosecutors challenge Amendment 64
Sheriffs and prosecutors from across Colorado and neighboring states filed a lawsuit Thursday in Denver federal district court challenging the constitutionality of Amendment 64, which legalized recreational marijuana use and sales.
"This suit is about one thing — the rule of law," Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith said in a news release. "The Colorado Constitution mandates that all elected officials, including sheriffs, swear an oath of office to uphold both the United States as well as the Colorado Constitutions."
Amendment 64 established a new right under the state constitution to engage in an activity that is in violation of federal laws, he said.
"It mandates that the state government and its subdivisions actively support this activity through a regulatory process," Smith said. "As a sheriff, it obliges me to protect this newly established right."
Gov. John Hickenlooper was named as the defendant in the lawsuit.
Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman will contest the lawsuit, said Carolyn Tyler, Coffman's spokeswoman.
"The Colorado Attorney General will defend the Colorado law from this challenge," Tyler said. She said she could not comment further because Coffman has not yet been served with the lawsuit.
The lawsuit follows another legal challenge filed in December by Nebraska and Oklahoma, which asked the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down the history-making law. Two lawsuits filed earlier this year by the anti-legalization group Safe Streets Alliance on behalf of several Colorado residents are also pending against the state over Amendment 64.
Similar to the previous lawsuits, the new suit seeks to close all of Colorado's recreational marijuana stores — while leaving medical marijuana stores unchallenged. But, what makes the new suit especially unique, is that it is also asking a federal judge to overturn Amendment 64's protections for marijuana use and possession. The law enforcement officials' suit claims that federal law makes local officers duty bound to seize marijuana when they find it.
"By not seizing or by returning marijuana they encounter, the Colorado Sheriffs further violate their duties of office because they are placing the residents of their County and other citizens who they serve and are duty-bound to protect into increased jeopardy by allowing controlled substances to remain in increased use and commerce," the lawsuit argues.
Florida SWAT Cop Guns Down Unarmed Man In Marijuana Raid
A Volusia County sheriff’s deputy on a dawn SWAT team pot raid shot and killed an unarmed resident of the home Tuesday. Derek Cruice, 26, becomes the 10th person to die in US domestic drug law enforcement operations so far this year.
According to The Daytona Beach News-Journal, Cruice was unarmed and no weapons were found in the house. Police did find about nine ounces of marijuana, as well as a scale, a drug ledger, marijuana smoking pipes, plastic bags and about $3,000 in cash.
Sheriff Ben Johnson said that Deputy Todd Raible, a member of the Sheriff’s Office SWAT Team, shot Cruice in the face as the SWAT team came through the door of the residence at 6:30 a.m.
“They (deputies) were met with resistance and a shooting occurred,” Johnson said without offering further detail. He said he could not elaborate because his office had not yet interviewed Deputy Raible.
But sheriff’s spokesman Gary Davidson added that Raible fired his weapon after perceiving Cruice’s actions as a threat.
Cruice was pronounced dead at Florida Hospital Fish Memorial in Orange City.
“The deputy, he’s all right, actually he is very shaken,” Johnson offered.
Sheriff Johnson said Cruice was listed in the search warrant as the subject of an ongoing “narcotics” investigation. He was one of six adults—four men and two women—in the house when deputies arrived.
Matt Grady, 24, was another one of them. He said he was awakened by banging on the door and opened it.
“A bunch of guys came around the corner and they are pushing me down,” Grady said. “And as I was going down on my knee I heard gunfire,” he told The News-Journal.
Steven Cochran, 24, was another resident. He said Cruice was not resisting anything.
“He had no weapons on him or in the house,” Cochran said. “Nobody was making any kind of resistance or keeping them from doing their job.”Cruice had been working as a delivery driver at Monster Pizza in Deltona. His co-worker, Thomas Figueroa, who had known him for nine years, stopped by the scene and broke down crying behind the yellow crime scene tape.
“He is not the kind of person that would do that (attack a deputy),” he said, adding that the pizza shop had closed for the day to mark Cruice’s death.
Deputy Raible, 36, is now on administrative leave, as is standard for deputy-involved shootings. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement will investigate the death because a police officer was involved.
Marijuana is now legal in Washington, DC, but new restrictive rules force smokers to stay home
In Washington, DC, the high was short-lived.
Just five days after pot became legal in the US capital, city lawmakers voted for strict limits on marijuana use, outlawing smoking in all public spaces, including inside private clubs, bars, hotels, and restaurants.
Weed aficionados who had hoped to mellow out with fellow tokers in Spanish-style “cannabis clubs” or ballrooms rented out for vaporization parties will now have to get their legal hit behind the closed doors of their own homes. (As a concession, some DC lawmakers have said they will push to clarify that smoking is also allowed in the traditional teenage havens of ‘‘greenhouses and garages.’’)
And the hoped-for marijuana “green rush” business bonanza of pot-themed events and clubs may be dead on arrival, although entrepreneurs can still open hemp stores and sell pot accessories.
Pro-pot activists say the new rules could force poorer marijuana smokers back onto the capital’s streets, where they could run afoul of the laws, going against the spirit of the measure aimed in part at ending striking racial disparities in marijuana arrests in DC—blacks are eight times more likely to face arrest than whites, despite similar usage habits.
The DC Cannabis Campaign chairman, Adam Eidinger, has called for a protest march and “smoke-in” on the numerically auspicious date of April 20 (4/20).
Without public venues, Eidinger tells Quartz, frustrated pot smokers will likely transform their homes into ‘‘speakeasies and after-hours joints.’’ He calls the policy “ridiculous,” pointing out, ‘‘We allow people to drink wine and hard liquor at the Kennedy Center every night and they get into cars and go home, but now we say you cannot smoke marijuana anywhere except at home?’’
Penalties for violating the new city rules are so stiff that there are unlikely to be many conscientious objectors. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser has promised to close down businesses if marijuana is consumed in their buildings and facilities.
DC residents who voted overwhelmingly in November for pot legalization only to see their ability to partake of the stuff severely restricted are not alone, though the city’s rules seem to be among the strictest.
Read more: http://qz.com/
Ben & Jerry's founders are open to making marijuana infused ice cream
Category: Culture | Posted on Wed, March, 4th 2015 by THCFinder
Stoners with a sweet-tooth — but we repeat ourselves — could be packing bowls of a different kind, according to Ben & Jerry’s.
The Vermont-based ice cream kings would be open to making and marketing a marijuana-infused flavor — if weed were legalized.
Co-founder Ben Cohen told HuffPost Live’s Alyona Minkovski the idea “makes sense to me,” when asked about a cannabis flavor.
Green Queen (Hybrid)
Category: Nugs | Posted on Wed, March, 4th 2015 by THCFinder
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