Washington Plans Marijuana DUI Patrols for Hempfest
Category: News | Posted on Thu, August, 15th 2013 by THCFinder
The world’s largest pot rally hits the Seattle waterfront this weekend, and the event marks the start of Washington State’s “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign, according to the Washington Traffic Safety Commission (whose draft press release was redistributed by counties across the state).
The campaign runs from August 16 through September 2, and will especially focus on catching stoned drivers, according to the Commission. Washington state voters legalized cannabis last November, and also set a THC blood limit for drivers—anyone who tests at 5 nanograms THC per milliliter of blood is guilty of a DUI.
The provision was widely criticized by medical marijuana activists opposed to Initiative 502, who claimed it would prohibit pot patients from driving, and would lead to a spike in marijuana DUIs. Last April, a state toxicologist reported no such spike to the state legislature.
That same month, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that police must obtain a warrant to draw blood from DUI suspects, and to help substantiate such warrants, the state has trained hundreds of police as “drug recognition experts.” With over 100,000 attendees expected at Seattle Hempfest this weekend, some of those smokers are sure to encounter a marijuana DUI patrol.
6 medical marijuana shops back in business in Fort Collins
Category: Dispensaries | Posted on Thu, August, 15th 2013 by THCFinder
Medical marijuana stores are back in Fort Collins, with six opening across the city in recent weeks.
As many as 14 are slated to open after voters in the 2012 election overturned a ban on the stores. After going dark for more than a year, the businesses are working to restart grow operations and attract clients.
“I have to build it up from scratch again,” said Donald Cruinkshank, 51, owner of A Kind Place on North College Avenue.
He opened his doors July 30 after paying four to five months’ rent while waiting for the city’s approval process. But on opening day, there was no line of customers outside.
“No rush,” he said. “It’s been pretty slow.”
And the costs to get rolling stack up. Ken Correia, owner of Solace Meds on Smokey Street, estimates about $60,000 spent on rent, licensing and other costs.
“Major strains not only on business, but on my personal financial situation,” he said. “I don’t know how a lot of the guys got through it. It was definitely difficult.”
The number of Larimer County residents who can legally shop in the stores is down to nearly half of its peak, with about 4,620 licensed medical-marijuana patients now living here. That is supplemented in part by visiting medical-marijuana users from elsewhere in Colorado.
But medical-marijuana vendors getting in business now could be tapping a gold mine when recreational sales begin in Colorado next year. In communities allowing recreational stores, the state is giving medical-marijuana dispensaries a head start on serving recreational users. They can begin applying Oct. 1 to serve anyone 21 and older. Any other potential business owner has to wait until July 2014 to apply, according to state regulations.
Read more: http://www.coloradoan.com
Judge Rules NYPD Stop And Frisk Practices Unconstitutional, Racially Discriminatory
Category: News | Posted on Wed, August, 14th 2013 by THCFinder
Rights Group, Activists Urge City to Forego Appeal, Make Real Change
In a landmark decision, a federal court found the New York City Police Department’s highly controversial stop-and-frisk practices unconstitutional. In her thorough, 198-page ruling, Judge Shira Sheindlin found the NYPD’s practices to violate New Yorkers’ Fourth Amendment rights to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures and also found that the practices were racially discriminatory in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. To remedy the widespread constitutional violations, the judge ordered a court-appointed monitor to oversee a series of reforms to NYPD policing practices and also ordered a Joint Remedial Process which will solicit input from a variety of stakeholders, including New York communities most directly affected by policing. The court’s ruling follows a 10-week trial that concluded on May 20. The class action lawsuit, Floyd v. City of New York, was brought by the Center of Constitutional Rights (CCR), and the law firms of Beldock, Levine, and Hoffman and Covington & Burling, LLP.
Said CCR Senior Staff Attorney Darius Charney, “This historic victory is the result not only of our 14 years of litigation, but of decades’ worth of efforts by activists, grassroots and legal organizations, and affected communities. The NYPD is finally being held to account for its longstanding illegal and discriminatory policing practices. The City must now stop denying the problem and partner with the community to create a police department that protects the safety and respects the rights of all New Yorkers.”
In 2011, the NYPD reported a record 685,724 stops — a 600 percent increase since Raymond Kelly took over as NYPD Commissioner in 2002. Eighty-four percent of those stopped were Black or Latino, and 88 percent of the people stopped were neither arrested nor received summonses. Despite the stated purpose of the policy, weapons and contraband were recovered less than 2 percent of the time.
In concluding that the City is liable for a widespread pattern and practice of stops and frisks in violation of the Fourth Amendment rights of all New Yorkers, the Court explained:
“[The City has] received both actual and constructive notice since at least 1999 of widespread Fourth Amendment violations occurring as a result of the NYPD’s stop and frisk practices. Despite this notice, they deliberately maintained and even escalated policies and practices that predictably resulted in even more widespread Fourth Amendment violations. . . . The NYPD has repeatedly turned a blind eye to clear evidence of unconstitutional stops and frisks.”
The court found the NYPD guilty of violating both the Fourteenth Amendment, which prohibits racially discriminatory policing, and the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures.
Read more: http://www.theweedblog.com
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