Santa Ana to Pay $100,000 to Dispensary at Center of Controversial Raid
Governing officials all over the nation will soon learn there can be savage consequences for continuing to bully the legal cannabis trade. For the city of Santa Ana, California, that lesson now involves coughing up a substantial settlement to prevent the owners of a local medical marijuana dispensary from going for the jugular in court after several cocky cops made a national spectacle out of themselves during a raid on the business last year.
A report from the Orange County Register indicates that Sky High Holistic has apparently applied enough legal pressure that the city of Santa Ana has agreed to pay a settlement of $100,000—money that will be split between dispensary volunteers Marla and David James and a physician who lost the use of his utilities as a result of the raid. The city has also agreed to drop all of the criminal charges.
“The settlement of civil rights claims and dismissal of criminal actions shows Santa Ana is taking responsibility for improper actions it took, including the raid of Sky High Holistic, in support of its lottery-based marijuana regulation ordinance,” Long Beach attorney Matthew Pappas said in a statement.
British Police Forces Have Essentially Decriminalized All Illegal Drugs
Two British police forces have been experimenting with the decriminalization of all illegal drugs, according to Vice News.
The report, which was penned by columnist Max Daly, suggests the Durham and Avon & Somerset police departments have been running a slick new diversion program that allows people caught in possession of any illicit substance, including cocaine and heroin, to avoid being entered into the criminal justice system.
The program simply allows drug offenders (even those with a criminal record) to take a three-and-a-half hour drug class rather than be sent to jail. And as long as the accused emerges with a certificate showing the course was completed, the charges are dismissed.
Denver to Vote on Pot Use in Designated Areas, Finally
Although it has been three lovely years since Colorado voted to legalize recreational pot, there is still the little problem of where to smoke, or shall I say, where not to smoke—which is just about everywhere.
When legal pot was approved by voters, the prohibitionists managed to legislate the banning of cannabis clubs, stating that they should not be exempt from indoor clean air regulations.
But with any luck and the right amount of votes, that could change soon if Initiated Ordinance 300 passes in November. The initiative would temporarily allow “most businesses to establish certain designated areas or designated venues in which marijuana could be consumed.”
Surprise! Big Pharma, Alcohol Fund Anti-Legalization Drives
Who do you think is pouring money into the campaigns against the legalization initiaves that will go before the voters in five states next month?
Well, an Oct. 22 exposé in the Guardian has confirmed what we already knew.
In August, the pharmaceutical company Insys Therapeutics became the biggest donor to the campaign to defeat Arizona’s Proposition 205, making a $500,000 donation to Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy (ARDP). In making the donation, Insys cited concerns for child safety. But the Guardian points out the delicious irony: Insys manufactures Subsys—a prescription painkiller derived from fentanyl—a synthetic opioid that is up to 100 times more powerful than morphine. And the Phoenix New Times adds that Insys is under investigation in four states, including Arizona, for marketing practices related to Subsys that have allegedly resulted in patient deaths.
Texas Wants to Raise Cannabis Industry Licensing Fee to Over $1 Million
Those entrepreneurs hoping to sell cannabis oil in Texas may have to dig a lot deeper inside their respective piggy banks before the state will allow them to get in on the action.
A report from NPR’s Morning Edition revealed on Monday that the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is considering raising the cost of the state’s medical marijuana licensing fee from $6,000 to a whopping $1.3 million. The rate increase would apply to every cultivation operation and dispensary interested in participating in the state’s low-THC cannabis trade.
The Public Safety Commission originally drafted a set of rules that would have made a buy-in for the state’s restrictive cannabis trade a modest investment of $6,000—allowing a number of companies to take advantage of the new market. But the commission has since restricted the number of businesses that will be permitted to deal in cannabis oil, forcing about the need for a $1.3 million licensing fee, the agency said.
5,000 Pot Plants Seized at California Shopping Mall
Santa Fe Springs used to be an oil town, but now most of the adult population works in the light industry or service jobs, which center around shopping and strip malls. Growing pot in these malls seemed like a good idea to someone, at least until the cops recently raided one, seizing 5,000 plants.
The quaintly-named Santa Fe Springs Problem Oriented Policing team along with the Whittler police served warrants this week and began the process of dragging away a lot of weed from an industrial strip mall.
“It’s hard to quantify the value since they are in different stages of growth and different strains,” said Lt. Michael Przybyl of the Whittier police.
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