Author William Breathes

Sklyer Reid/Voice Media.

The call to release testimony heard by the Staten Island grand jury that cleared Daniel Pantaleo got a big boost last week, when Public Advocate Letitia James and two legal advocacy groups applied to have a wide range of materials from the proceedings disclosed.
The court in Staten Island has so far released only the most basic information about the grand jury that examined Eric Garner’s death.

A bill filed Monday in advance of the upcoming session of the Texas Legislature would make the maximum penalty for the possession of less than an ounce of marijuana a $100 fine. The fine would not count as a criminal conviction and could not considered as such by anyone performing a background check.
Current Texas law classifies the possession of any amount of marijuana less than 2 ounces as a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine of no more than $2,000. In 2007, the state passed a law allowing for marijuana users to cited for the misdemeanor and released. Harris, Dallas and Tarrant, the three biggest counties in the state, have not adopted cite-and-release, but Dallas has signaled its intention to do so as part of a January 2015 pilot program.

If a time-traveling pot smoker from even 20 years ago landed at a social gathering of L.A. stoners circa 2014, he or she would be quite confused. Not by the proliferation of legal weed in California, but by the preponderance of new-fangled tools, equipment and drugs that have largely supplanted the good old buds and blunts of yore.
We’re talking, of course, about rigs, dab sticks and the wide world of marijuana concentrates, including hash, wax, shatter, budder, oil and a host of other slang terms that refer to that carefully extracted goo that currently comprises about 30% of sales at dispensaries, fills most vape pens, and gets you ridiculously high.


It looks like there’s finally an official plan in place for the purchase of some more body cameras for hundreds of local law enforcement officers.
Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson announced this afternoon that her office plans to dole out $1 million to the Houston Police Department and $900,000 to the Harris County Sheriff’s Office for the purchase of hundreds of body cameras, which will be worn by officers while they’re on duty. The money will come from assets the office has seized during criminal investigations, Anderson said.

Last week we told you about Granby, Colorado and their attempt to block a recreational pot shop from opening by gerrymandering their city limits to extend their marijuana ban.
That vote has now taken place, with members approving the “emergency” annexation. But according to the attorney representing the shop, the officials skirted questions about whether their actions were legal, choosing to demonize marijuana instead.

Merilee Fowler, executive director of MATFORCE, an anti-substance-abuse group fighting marijuana legalization in Arizona.

The marijuana legalization movement has several foes in Arizona, and Merilee Fowler, executive director of MATFORCE in Yavapai County, is one of the biggies.
Both sides are getting an early start on the campaign to pass or defeat a likely ballot initiative planned to be put before Arizona voters in November of 2016. Judging by the propaganda that Fowler and other prohibitionists like Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk are already pumping out, truth is the first casualty in what looks to be long slog ahead.
Witness the Communist-like propaganda penned by Fowler appearing in various Arizona news outlets last week, including the Arizona Capitol Times.

It’s been a big year for weed. Two states have legalized it, and three more are on the way. In the Show-Me State, advocates are already campaigning to get legalized recreational marijuana on the 2016 ballot.
As the year wraps up, our friends at the Daily Riverfront Times thought they’d take a look through some of the most-read stories on that fine stuff. Not surprisingly, a lot of their most-read posts are about Jeff Mizanskey, the Missouri man who’s serving a life sentence for three non-violent marijuana offenses. But there’s some fun news in there, too.
For more, head over to the Riverfront Times.

Although the Denver District Attorney’s Office only has the power to prosecute local and state laws, its employees are held to a higher standard when it comes to marijuana.
Specifically, they aren’t allowed to possess, grow or sell pot, since all of those things are illegal under federal law. But the office has taken its prohibitions a step further than that. In February, it updated its conduct policy to include a provision that prevents employees from benefiting from “income derived from a household member’s ownership or financial interest in, or employment by” a marijuana business.

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