As More States Legalize Marijuana, Investors And Marketers Line Up
Is Your Friendly Neighborhood Postman Stealing Your Weed?
Shipping marijuana via the mail is always a dicey proposition. There is nothing legal about it—the U.S. Postal Service is a federal entity, and federal law trumps state law, making even an in-state cannabis delivery illegal—and tales of dummies literally writing their own indictment on the envelope abound.
And even if the police don’t show up at your door when you were expecting that package of contraband, there’s a serious probability your shipment still disappears, without ever falling into the hands of police. It might have been stolen by the likeliest suspects of all: the government employees handling the mails.
Postal workers discover marijuana in the mail with reliable frequency. USPS found 34,000 pounds of mailed cannabis in 2015, according to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service—a figure that’s in fact significantly down from the 47,000 pounds found in 2013, the last year before recreational marijuana retail shops opened up in Washington and Colorado—and about 1,000 people are arresting for mailing drugs or drug money every year.
Florida Regulators Already Trying to Mess With New MMJ Law
After’s California adult-use legalization, the big story from Nov 8 was battleground state Florida, which voted overwhelmingly to legalize medical marijuana with more than 70 percent of the vote.
The bad news is that there’s already a lot wrong with how Florida is choosing to carry out the will of the voters.
Amendment 2, Florida’s new medical marijuana law, is effective on Jan. 3, 2017, but it will be will be many months after that before the first patients receive any cannabis. Exact regulations for the cultivation and selling of which are yet to be determined, but the details may not matter: It’s going to be very hard indeed for even very sick people to acquire any cannabis at all, under initial rules proposed by the state Health Department’s “Office of Compassionate Use.”
Tennessee AG Has Nashville and Memphis Decriminalization Ordinances in His Sights
Both Nashville and Memphis passed citywide ordinances earlier this year decriminalizing the possession of marijuana in small amounts. The goal of these measures is to prevent otherwise law-biding citizens from being entered into the criminal justice system simply for holding a little weed. In doing so, officials hoped that law enforcement will have more time to focus on more pressing issues, like rape, murder and all of the other monstrous indiscretions that typically frighten the majority of civil society.
However, Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery claims the decriminalization ordinances are worthless in the eyes of the state. In a recent opinion, Slatery said the two cities could not give their respective police departments the freedom to issue small fines to those caught in possession of up to a half ounce of marijuana because that would go against the grain of state law.
Foes of Denver Marijuana Lounges Roll Out Opposition Strategy
No sooner had Denver become the first city in the country to allow adult-use marijuana consumption at bars, cafes and restaurants than foes began concocting ways to undermine it.
Fifty-four percent of Denver voters supported Initiative 300 on Election Day last week. Businesses can now pursue a special license to allow on-site cannabis consumption, subject to some strict rules as well as buy-in from the local merchants’ association.
Whichever business is the first to win a permit would become the first public place in America where cannabis use is strictly allowed that is not also a marijuana dispensary. Most legalization measures across the country include outright bans on public consumption, with violators subject to a fine. To date, the only dispensaries that have on-site consumption permits are in San Francisco.
California: Marijuana Cases Are Already Being Laughed Out of Court
Now that California has made marijuana fully legal, there are some reports starting to trickle down the press pipe that suggest pot-related offenses are already being essentially laughed out of court – even for those offenders who were quite obviously preparing to sling the herb on the black market.
On Tuesday, Southern California Public Radio (KPCC) published a conversation with a local attorney which suggested that with the passing of Proposition 64, an initiative that legalized the cultivation, possession and sale of marijuana, many courts have already begun to disregard the majority of pot-related cases. In fact, this appears to be the situation, even when the charges involve transgressions that were once considered a felonious offense.
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