Federal Suit Claims Police Distort Marijuana Searches to Create Misdemeanors
Category: News | Posted on Thu, May, 2nd 2013 by THCFinder
One man was walking home with groceries. Another was on a break from his job at a meat market. A third was walking down the street listening to headphones.
That is when the men say police officers confronted them, sometimes violently, searched their clothing and discovered small amounts of marijuana, according to a federal civil rights lawsuit that is expected to be filed on Thursday in United States District Court for the Southern District, in Manhattan.
The lawsuit, filed on behalf of five Bronx men, contends that New York City police officers routinely stop black and Latino men without cause and then charge them with low-level misdemeanors when their pockets are emptied and small amounts of marijuana are found.
In each of the cases, the amount of marijuana found on the men would have amounted to little more than noncriminal violations punishable by a fine of up to $100 for first-time offenders. But the lawsuit contends that the charging officers falsely claimed the marijuana was in public view, making it a low-level misdemeanor under Section 221.10 of the New York Penal Code, which allows for sentences of up to three months in jail.
Critics of the Police Department say the practice, which they call manufactured misdemeanors, is widespread. The arrests are often the outgrowth of the department’s stop-and-frisk program, which is being challenged in federal court for, among other things, disproportionately targeting black and Hispanic men.
Read more: http://www.nytimes.com
ANN ARBOR: Local lawmaker aims to decriminalize marijuana
Category: News | Posted on Wed, May, 1st 2013 by THCFinder
State Rep. Jeff Irwin, an Ann Arbor Democrat, last week called for action on a bill that would decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana.
House Bill 4623 would make possession of one ounce or less a civil infraction and would create a stepped fine based on whether the violation is a first, second or third offense. Under current law possession is classified as a misdemeanor with heavy fines and jail time.
“Michigan spends an estimated $326 million a year on arresting, trying, and imprisoning people for marijuana offenses,” Irwin said, “yet such policies have proven remarkably ineffective in achieving their purpose of preventing marijuana use.”
According to a recent poll from the Pew Research Center, 72 percent of Americans believe enforcing current marijuana laws costs more than its worth.
“Using police, courts, and corrections officials to prosecute marijuana ‘crimes’ while murders, rapes and burglaries go unsolved is a tremendous waste of resources in a state that can’t afford to misprioritize its assets right now,” said Neill Franklin, a retired state police major and executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. “This bill is a sensible first step toward a more humane and just criminal justice system in Michigan.”
Read more: http://www.heritage.com
Colorado Scrambles To Determine What'sToo High To Drive Means
Before recreational marijuana can be sold to any of the eager state residents of Colorado, a few of the stickier regulatory issues need to be addressed. For instance, where should these pot shops be allowed to locate and do business? At what percentage rate should marijuana be taxed? And last, but far from least – at what level of THC saturation should the hammer of justice be dropped on a driver, thought to be too impaired to perform their duties.
While the Colorado Senate struck down the most recent proposal, which asked for a THC limit of 5 ng/mL, by a 4-1 vote in mid-April, that battle is far from over.
As the Colorado Senate grapples with the new science of marijuana intoxication, many are left scratching their heads wondering what constitutes ‘stoned driving.’
Read more: http://www.theweedblog.com
Washington lawmakers quietly approve bill to re-criminalize some marijuana possession
Lawmakers in the Washington House and Senate quietly passed a bill over the weekend that will re-criminalize some marijuana possession, reacting to warnings from the state’s crime lab that the current law could make it impossible to prosecute large-quantity possession charges or large-scale marijuana growing operations.
The Senate passed the measure unanimously on Saturday, according to The Associated Press. The governor was expected to sign the bill as soon as Monday, but had not yet by early afternoon. Scientists at the Washington State Patrol’s Forensic Laboratory Services warned recently that last November’s election changed the definition of marijuana to such an extent that nearly all plants seized by police could be considered hemp.
The trouble arises where the law draws the line between hemp, an industrial fiber that contains virtually no psychoactive drug, and its more intoxicating cousin marijuana. The state’s law currently says that if tests show more than 0.3 percent of marijuana’s “delta-9 THC,” then its a drug, but anything less is considered hemp and therefore not a drug.
Read more: http://www.rawstory.com
You Probably Won't Be Able To Buy Marijuana With A Credit Card Anytime Soon
Now that marijuana is legal in small amounts in Washington and Colorado, officials in those state are having a heckuva time figuring out how to regulate those businesses and collect taxes on their daily doings. But even with the approval of state governments, there’s still the tricky question of how these establishments will be able to do their business — in other words, will customers be able to pay with cash, check or credit?
The ease and convenience of pulling out your plastic to make a purchase makes it a popular way to pay, but because marijuana is illegal under our country’s Controlled Substances Act, for now it’s likely going to be a cash-only business for growers and sellers, notes CNNMoney. Basically, banks don’t want be accused of money laundering, so they won’t take on businesses connected with drugs even if they’re legal in a certain state.
That puts such businesses into a cash-only position, which can be tough on both the owners and the customers. One Seattle store’s CEO said American Express and Discover dropped him last fall, and Visa and Mastercard bowed out soon after. He had to buy his own ATM and fill it with his own cash, then deposit the rest at his bank. The whole thing makes him a bit squirrelly.
“The more cash you have sitting around, the more of a target you are,” he said.
Read more: http://consumerist.com
Help Stop DEA Medical Marijuana Raids For Good
Category: News | Posted on Mon, April, 29th 2013 by THCFinder
Just this last week, DEA agents raided two medical marijuana dispensaries in San Diego. The raid came one day after the owner of one of the facilities testified at a city council hearing on regulations for medical marijuana dispensaries.
Ironically, it also comes as the Obama administration announces their new drug control strategy, which they call a “21st century approach to drug policy.” To hear them tell it, we’re now focused on treatment and prevention rather than arrests and prosecutions. Of course, that’s not true, and no one knows that better than medical marijuana providers in California and elsewhere. Fortunately, there is a way to change all that.
Read more: http://www.theweedblog.com
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