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U.S. Justice Department: federal marijuana law unchanged by legalization

Category: News | Posted on Wed, November, 7th 2012 by THCFinder
UPDATE 11:02 a.m. Justice Department headquarters issued an identical statement to Durkan’s this morning, indicating that Washington D.C., not Washington’s two U.S. Attorneys, will be dictating what comes next.
 
ORIGINAL POST: U.S. Attorney for Seattle Jenny Durkan’s office released a terse statement this morning in response to passage of Initiative 502, legalizing recreational marijuana use. Durkan is out of the area, said spokesperson Emily Langlie, and is not available to answer questions about the conflict between the federal marijuana ban and state de-criminalization of marijuana possession (as of Dec. 6). Langlie said this is all Durkan’s office has “for now.”
 
The Department of Justice’s enforcement of the Controlled Substances Act remains unchanged.  In enacting the Controlled Substances Act, Congress determined that marijuana is a Schedule I controlled substance. The Department is reviewing the ballot initiative here and in other states and has no additional comment at this time.
 
On election night, Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes said he’d spoken to Durkan on Tuesday and was assured — but not guaranteed — that the federal government “has no plans, except to talk.”
 
Holmes has said he believes the Justice Department will be reassured by the I-502′s tight regulatory control – no home-grows, sales of no more than an ounce, a ban on sales to people under 21, etc. – and will decided not sue.
“We’re having really good conversations, but no promises,” Holmes said Tuesday night.
 

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Marijuana arrests happen every 42 seconds, analysis of FBI data shows

Category: News | Posted on Tue, November, 6th 2012 by THCFinder
A total 12,408,899 people were arrested last year — with one marijuana-related arrest every 42 seconds, according to analysis of FBI statistics released last week.
 
The No. 1 arrest charge in the U.S. was drug abuse violations. More than 81 percent of the 1,531,251  arrests stemmed from possession, while the remainder were for sales and manufacturing.
 
Marijuana possession made up 660,000 arrests, or or 43.3 percent of all arrests under the drug abuse violations category.
 
Counting all drugs, not just marijuana, police made one drug arrest every 21 seconds, according to analysis from Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. LEAP is a Massachusetts-based nonprofit group  comprised mostly of law enforcement, judges and prosecutors.
 
“Even excluding the costs involved for later trying and then imprisoning these people, taxpayers are spending between $1.5 – to $3 billion just on the police and court time involved in making these arrests,” said LEAP executive director Neill Franklin, a retired Baltimore narcotics officer.
 

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Colorados Amendment 64 given 68 percent chance of passing

Category: News | Posted on Fri, November, 2nd 2012 by THCFinder
As we've reported, Amendment 64, the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act, had a 53 percent to 43 percent lead in a recent Public Policy Polling survey. But by another measure -- predictions from the online trading exchange Intrade -- the measure is doing even better. At this writing, it's being given a 68 percent chance of passage.
 
How does Intrade work? "The website's members bet on the outcomes of non-sports-related future events," note our friends at Wikipedia -- a concept that blends the stock exchange with a sports book.
 
Here's the latest Amendment 64 entry:
 
 

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Dutch Weed Pass Snuffed, the 2012 Cannabis Cup is on in Amsterdam

Category: News | Posted on Wed, October, 31st 2012 by THCFinder
The new government of The Netherlands has snuffed out plans to ban foreigners from visiting Dutch coffee shops where they can purchase quasi-legal cannabis. That means the High Times 2012 Cannabis Cup is on!
 
The Independent reports today that: “The new government has scrapped plans for a national “weed pass” that would have been available only to residents, and would have effectively banned tourists from Amsterdam’s marijuana cafés. However, under a pact unveiled this week, cities can bar foreigners from weed shops if they choose. Amsterdam opposes a ban, saying it would hurt tourism.”
 
Pot is technically illegal in The Netherlands, but a policy of tolerance to personal possession and sale of small amounts of cannabis has made Amsterdam synonymous with weed tourism. According to research by UC Berkeley professor Robert J. MacCoun, the policy has succeeded in its goal of separating the “soft drug” market for marijuana and the “hard drug” market. Dutch teens have lower rates of marijuana use than American teens, and report less access to the drug.
 
An older, more conservative government had floated plans to ban pot tourists from The Netherlands with a locals-only ‘weed pass’, but new elections have now ended that idea. What’ll likely happen is small, conservative towns in the south of The Netherlands like Maastricht will ban foreigners in coffee shops, while Amsterdam won’t.
 

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East Bay man cannot use medical marijuana while on probation for pot sales, court rules

Category: News | Posted on Tue, October, 30th 2012 by THCFinder
SAN FRANCISCO -- A state appeals court ruled in San Francisco on Monday that trial judges can ban the use of medical marijuana in some cases as a condition of probation for people convicted of possessing the drug for sale.
 
A three-judge panel of the Court of Appeal unanimously upheld a sentence in which Contra Costa County Superior Court Judge Leslie Landau last year prohibited Daniel Leal, 28, of Antioch, from using medical marijuana during his three years of probation.
 
Leal was sentenced to the probation term as well as to nine months in county jail after being convicted of possessing marijuana for sale in two incidents in Antioch in 2008 and 2009 and carrying a concealed, loaded gun in the first incident.
 
Leal, who has completed his jail sentence, appealed the probation condition barring him from using medical marijuana.
 
He argued the ban violated his right to use the substance under the state's voter-approved Compassionate Use Act of 1996, which allows patients with a doctor's approval to use marijuana for medical purposes.
 
Leal, who had approval for marijuana treatment for high blood pressure, contended the probation condition wasn't related to his crimes and that there could have been a way to limit his use of medical marijuana without prohibiting it entirely.
 
But Justice Anthony Kline, writing for the appeals panel, said the ban on use of the substance was justified by "abundant evidence of need to rehabilitate
 
 

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Dutch "nix weed pass" plan, leave it up to cities to bar foreigners from buying marijuana

Category: News | Posted on Tue, October, 30th 2012 by THCFinder
AMSTERDAM — The incoming Dutch government has ditched plans for a national “weed pass” that would have been available only to residents and that would have effectively banned tourists from Amsterdam’s marijuana cafes.
 
However, under a provisional governing pact unveiled this week, cities can bar foreigners from weed shops if they choose.
 
The pact says that it wants only Dutch residents to have access to marijuana cafes, but leaves enforcement up to cities. Amsterdam opposes a ban, which would hurt tourism.
 
Some cafe owners said Tuesday that they are satisfied Dutch weed policy will remain unchanged, while others criticized the lack of clarity.
 
Marijuana trafficking is technically illegal in the Netherlands, but people can’t be prosecuted for possession of small amounts and the drug is sold openly in designated “coffee shops.”
 
 

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