Man Sentenced to 17 Years for Pot Possession Gets Released… Here’s Why
Corey Ladd was 27 years old when the car he was traveling in was pulled over by a New Orleans police officer for a broken brake light. During the ensuing inevitable search, cops found a half ounce of marijuana tucked into the waistband of his pants.
These days, someone in Ladd’s position would receive an $80 fine.
As more states move to legalize marijuana, states where cannabis is still illegal are moving to punish nonviolent marijuana possession with civil penalties akin to a traffic ticket.
But Ladd was arrested in 2011—and he had prior convictions for LSD and hydrocodone possession on his record.
Jeff Sessions personally asked Congress to let him prosecute medical marijuana providers
Philippines: Protests Against Martial Law
Protests are emerging in the Philippine against ultra-hardline President Rodrigo Duterte‘s declaration of martial law in the southern island of Mindanao last month. Over 100 former and current lawmakers, religious leaders and activists gathered in Manila for an interfaith rally on Sunday, the Philippines’ Independence Day, demanding an end to the official suspension of basic democratic rights in Mindanao.
“A regime that trades Filipinos’ human rights for vague, ever-moving law and order goals can only add fuel to armed rebellions and set back efforts to address the roots of the conflict,” the group’s statement said. “It is the poor that bear the brunt of these wars. It is the poor that are killed. It is their rights that are violated. It is their communities that are subject to aerial bombings and abuses during military and police operations.”
The May 23 martial law declaration—to last 60 days, with potential for renewal—is ostensibly in response to an ISIS-linked terrorist group. But rights advocates fear it gives Duterte’s security forces an even freer hand in his murderous war on low-level drug dealers and users—said to have already claimed 7,000 lives since he was inaugurated last June.
Legal Pot to Boost California Economy by $5 Billion
California is preparing to launch a fully legal cannabis trade that stands to boost the state’s economy to the tune of $5 billion, according to a report from the Los Angeles Times.
The piece, which is based on a new study from the University of California Agricultural Issues Center, says that, while the state’s newest version of a cannabis industry will undoubtedly generate impressive revenues, it will likely take some time before the entire scope of the cannabis community gets onboard with a fully legal system.
The study shows that around 30 percent of the state’s pot buyers will still frequent the black market in order to avoid paying taxes and other aspects of the legal trade.
But the gap will eventually close—just like it did once alcohol was finally pulled from the grips of prohibition.
Florida: Attorney Plans Lawsuit To Allow Smoking Of Medical Marijuana
There might be some relief in sight for medical marijuana patients in Florida, which has one of the most restrictive, if not absurd, MMJ programs in the country.
Despite the fact that 71 percent of Florida’s population voted to approve an amendment legalizing MMJ, patients are prohibited from smoking any and all cannabis products, as well as forbidden from consuming edibles.
While Republican Governor Rick Scott says he will sign the practically useless MMJ bill, the principle backer of the amendment intends to sue over the law’s ban on smoking.
That man is Orlando attorney John Morgan, who has been steadfast in defending the rights of that 71 percent who voted for the amendment with the expectation that smoking would be one of the obvious ways to consume cannabis.
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