Marijuana and Cannabis News
Stretching from the eastern edge of Los Angeles County, all the way to the western Arizona border, Riverside County in California's Inland Empire has been rapidly rising in the ranks of the most populous counties in the entire nation.
In an almost synchronized timeline of events, the population explosion in Riverside County coincided with the massive growth of medical marijuana demand in the region, and local growers soon found the Mediterranean-esque climate to be more than adequate for growing their own crops. However, a newly proposed county-wide ordinance would put an outright ban on outdoor cultivation of cannabis.
Last week we told you about At Home Baked, a Colorado marijuana edibles company, being forced to recall their product because health inspectors had an issue with their extraction process. Namely: the old washing machine they were using to make large batches of icewater hash. Now co-owner A.J. "Hashman" Ashkar, says he isn't sure why he's been singled out and that he was operating a clean, safe environment. Further, he says that Public Health Inspections had no prevue over his operations - that job is up to the state Marijuana Enforcement Division. And finally, he says he isn't doing anything out of the ordinary - everyone uses repurposed washing machines in the industry.
"We don't see the appropriate connection between the concentrate we're making and food," Ashkar says. "We kept the washing machine in a separate room from the kitchen."
Local beat cops just love busting stoners. Really, it's probably a pretty easy racket. They rarely fight back, and in many cases the arresting officer can score a 2-for-1 by nabbing a minority carrying some weed. That may sound harsh, but statistics have shown for quite some time that pot busts - particularly those involving minorities - are the low hanging fruit in the world of law enforcement.
A review of the first six months of the new marijuana laws in Seattle, Washington has revealed equally disturbing numbers and trends. And shocking nobody, law enforcement spokespersons in America's fastest growing city are showing little sympathy for the terribly skewed results.
In an unprecedented move earlier this year, the U.S. Sentencing Commission voted to drastically reduce the sentencing recommendations for non-violent convicts of drug-related crimes.
Just this past Friday, in a move that received shockingly little press, that same U.S. Sentencing Commission voted unanimously to apply the same guidelines to eligible inmates already serving time behind bars. Though no inmates will see an early release thanks to the new legislation until November of 2015 at the earliest, experts says that as many as 46,000 currently incarcerated prisoners will be eligible to apply for an expedited sentence.
As we've reported, the University of Arizona fired the lead researcher of a study that looked at the therapeutic benefits of cannabis for treating people with post-traumatic stress disorder. While no reasons were given, Dr. Sue Sisley says that she was fired for political reasons and not because of her performance.
And now she has filed an official appeal with the university, demanding that continue as assistant professor and assistant director of the Arizona Telemedicine Program. She has support, too. As we wrote earlier this week, an Iraq veteran posted an online petition at Change.org that has gathered more than 31,300 online signatures.
Jeff Mizanskey wants you to write the governor.
The only person in Missouri serving a life without parole sentence for nonviolent, marijuana-only charges, Mizanskey says he is overwhelmed by all the attention his case has received over the past year, which included nationwide coverage and a Change.org petition with nearly 500,000 signatures asking Governor Jay Nixon to give clemency to the 61-year-old prisoner.
Commons/postdif. "Hello Brooklyn".
Despite Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson announcing last week that his office will no longer prosecute cases for low-level marijuana possession, the New York Police Department says it is business as usual when it comes to busting stoners in the streets of the Big Apple.
Just days after Thompson received praise from marijuana proponents for taking a stand against the war on drugs and its fierce efforts to lure non-violent offenders, especially those of African American decent, into the criminal justice system, police commissioner Bill Bratton emerged with a subsequent statement demanding officers to ignore the new policy.
The 9-year-old Barnesville girl who snitched on her parents for growing pot entered the police station on June 6 "visibly upset" and, though tears, told officers she took her story to authorities because "doing drugs is bad."
"She didn't want to be around marijuana smoke anymore because it made her sick," an incident report sent to our friends at the Minneapolis City Pages by the Barnesville Police Department says. "She also indicated that she was concerned... because [redacted] blow marijuana smoke into [her] dog's mouth."
Read the (heavily redacted) report below.
Back in June we told you about Montana used car salesman Steve Zabawa's quest to rid his state of all forms of cannabis - recreational, medical, legal or illegal. He was so against cannabis that he started gathering signatures for a ballot initiative, I-74, that would ban the use and possession of all federally-controlled, schedule 1 substances including pot. Basically, it would force the state to submit to federal laws.
If pushed through and approved, it would have wiped out state-legal access to the roughly 8,500 Montana medical marijuana patients. But thankfully, Zabawa isn't very good at selling his initiative. He should probably stick to used cars.
In January of this year, The Washington Post conducted a poll of Washington D.C. residents which found that 8 in 10 polled said they were in favor of either decriminalization, or straight up legalization, of weed in the nation's capital.
In March, the City Council voted to decriminalize cannabis possession, knocking the punishment down from a year in jail, to a $25 fine. The District's medical marijuana program is expanding, and much like in Colorado, none of these things are leading to the reefer madness we've been warned about for decades.
But with legalization talk being passed around the tightest circles in the nation's capital, leave it to local Congressional Republicans to try to halt the inevitable progress of reform.