Court Upholds Warrantless Search Based on Torn Plastic Bag and a Reclined Seat
It’s well known that the drug war is one of the main sources of our country’s overpopulated prisons. However, there is another negative aspect of the drug war that is often not addressed.
Drug laws allow police to routinely conduct searches based on expansive interpretations of probable cause. In turn, any evidence of a crime unrelated to drugs is admissible in court, as long as it was discovered within the “plain view” of the officer.
Unfortunately, the standard for probable cause seemingly continues to diminish, and the drug war indirectly provides law enforcement with a blanket justification for violating the 4th Amendment.
A 6-to-1-ruling this month by the Kansas Supreme Court, State v. Howard, highlighted this issue.
University Drops Out of Pot for PTSD Study; Vets Demand Answers
Though cannabis is legal in the District of Columbia, there isn’t much medical marijuana access in the greater Washington, D.C. metro area. Virginia is still a no-go zone, and four years after lawmakers in Maryland approved medical marijuana, would-be patients in that state are still waiting for the first delivery.
Keep in mind that the area around the nation’s capital is full of military veterans. Post-traumatic stress disorder affects between 10 and 30 percent of vets, and PTSD is one of the conditions for which medical cannabis in Maryland is available—but until that state’s cannabis program becomes active later this summer, at the earliest, one of the only options for area combat vets to (legally) try cannabis for PTSD was through a study.
Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore was one of two research institutions in the U.S. to receive funding to see if smoked marijuana helped combat-related stress, as a growing body of anecdotal evidence suggests.
Chris Christie Gets Wish: White House Appointment to Chair Drug Commission
After an unsuccessful run for president followed by an epic and humiliating ass-kissing of Donald Trump, Chris Christie is finally getting his White House job, sort of.
According to the Washington Post, Donald Trump is tapping the New Jersey governor to chair a commission devoted to combatting opioid abuse in America.
The position will be a part-time, volunteer job and will not require Christie to step down as New Jersey’s governor. Sorry, New Jersey.
Marijuana equipment start-ups flourish as large rivals avoid legal pitfalls
GREELEY, Colo. – Marijuana’s uncertain legal status across the country has unleashed a network of innovators and entrepreneurs into a space that would ordinarily be filled with name-brand manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies and federally funded research universities.
These small “cannabusinesses” are rushing to fill niches and make money in a field where the drug's illegal status at the federal level has made many start-up basics — from getting a new machine to accessing credit — far more challenging. Colorado, for instance, boasts a cottage industry of innovation because it was one of the first states to legalize recreational cannabis sales to adults, and also has a highly educated, youthful workforce.
Take Greeley, Colo.-based Leaf, for example: A converted garage in this northern Colorado college town has become a de-facto lab for developing the company’s self-contained marijuana-growing “refrigerator.” The $3,000 wifi-enabled cabinet has a webcam so its owner can monitor the growing plants no matter where they are. One of Leaf’s first employees lives in Greeley because he went to college in the area, and the Tel Aviv-based company decided to keep a local presence. Leaf introduced the cabinet earlier this year and has already sold more than 1,000.
New medical marijuana laws set industry 'on steroids'
The new medical marijuana laws, according to Sen. Patrick Colbeck, R-Canton, an opponent of the bills, take a small home-grown industry created by a 2008 ballot proposal "and puts that cottage industry on steroids."
Indeed, under the old law, a caregiver could grow up to 12 marijuana plants for each patient and couldn't serve more than five patients. The law was vague about dispensaries, leading to a glut in some cities like Detroit and Lansing that basically turned a blind eye to the businesses in their communities and a police force in other towns that shut down businesses with impunity
The new laws create three classes of growers: people who can grow up to 500 plants, up to 1,000 plants or up to 1,500 plants. They also create five classes of licenses — those for growers, testing facilities, transporters, the seed-to-sale tracking and dispensaries. Communities can decide whether and where they'll allow dispensaries to operate and charge an annual fee of up to $5,000 per dispensary.
State Lawmakers Cancel Local Pot Decriminalization—But It Gets Worse
Conservative Republicans are conservative, to a flaw. Big government is evil and bad and must be shunned at all turns, except when smaller government does something they don’t like. In which case: enter, stage right, Big Brother.
This is the lesson to draw from Tennessee, where state lawmakers in the Republican-dominated House voted on Thursday to block the limited marijuana decriminalization efforts undertaken by city councils in Nashville and Memphis.
That’s bad, and means racially skewed arrest rates in the state’s two urban areas—both of which have sizable populations of black people, who (of course) are the people most often arrested for marijuana possession—will continue. It also means possession of less than a half-ounce of marijuana will still be a misdemeanor crime, with possession of more than a half-ounce a felony.
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