Author William Breathes

The Journal of the American Medical Association has published a report penned by three emergency room physicians at the University of Colorado hospital in Aurora about the health-related fallout from marijuana legalization in the state. And while there are some positives to be found in the material, most of the focus is on negative impacts, including an increase in a condition referred to as cyclic vomiting syndrome.

Florida remains one of the last few states where growing and selling marijuana in any capacity is still illegal. But that might change, at least in one aspect, according to a report by the L.A. Times that says the U.S. government will not stop Native American tribes from growing or selling pot on sovereign land.
The report says the Justice Department will not try to enforce federal marijuana laws on Native American reservations, even if it’s otherwise illegal in a respective tribe’s state. Which essentially means tribes can grow and sell weed on their land without government interference. Broward-Palm Beach New Times has more.

Marvin Booker, who was killed at the hands of Denver Police while in jail.

More than three years after the filing of an excessive-force lawsuit on behalf of Marvin Booker, who died in Denver jail, the Denver City Council voted last night to pay Booker’s family $6 million.
This incident is hardly an isolated one. The original suit documents a slew of local law-enforcement brutality complaints, with the vast majority of them ending in settlements. There are so many cases, in fact, that it’s going to take two posts to share them all. Denver Westword first fifteen, featuring photos and text from the complaint.

Back in October, our colleagues at the Broward-Palm Beach New Times published a feature on people doing hard time for marijuana. One of the men profiled in the piece, Richard DeLisi, was sentenced in 1989 to 90 years for marijuana-related crimes, including trafficking and conspiracy to traffic.
Aging and in declining health, the 65-year-old DeLisi’s fate is in the hands of a court hearing that will decide if he will have one of his felony conspiracy charges reduced to a second-degree misdemeanor. Last week, Judge Michael Raiden of the Polk County Courthouse began a 30 day deliberation over a motion filed by DeLisi’s attorney, despite the state’s objections.

Last week, we told you about the Town of Granby’s efforts to block a pot shop and grow by annexing the unincorporated land its owner had leased; see our previous coverage below.
A hearing about the matter was supposed to be held on Friday, but it was postponed to allow the Granby Board of Trustees to vote on the matter. But the attorney for the shop suggests that should the vote go the wrong way, litigation will follow.

A Ferguson solidarity march last week in Minneapolis turned ugly when a man drove through activists and pinned a teenage girl under his car, sending her to the hospital. The incident made news rounds (with media capturing footage) and went viral online–and that’s where we meet Santa Ana Police Sergeant Michelle Miller.
On her Facebook page, the sarge shared a wacky right-wing article titled “Driver Plows Through Ferguson Protestors In Minnesota.”
“I would have done the same,” she wrote. “I’m surprised this didn’t happen more.” A friend added, “what are these savages thinking?”

“Most police chiefs understand that when it comes to marijuana use, we cannot criminalize such a large population of society that engage in casual marijuana use,” Houston Police Chief Charles McClelland said last Friday in a radio interview. “We can’t, you just can’t continue to do that, we understand that. …And this is why the federal government really needs to take the lead. Now health-wise, I don’t know what the long-term effects is for marijuana use, just like long-term effects of using an aspirin. I just don’t know. But I do know that it makes it difficult for law enforcement to enforce the law when you have a state law that may allow it, federal government does not. And, and on the other hand, too, sometimes young people make a mistake, and they’ve got to be given a second chance. And, so, I think this is something that, the country has moved, and sometimes you know, government has to move too. You know, in answer to the will of the people.”
In a 30-minute in-depth interview McClelland acknowledged that the war on drugs has disproportionately hurt “young minority men,” and that law enforcement attitudes on marijuana use are beginning to shift. More at the Houston Press.

No sooner had the NYPD received praise for respecting peaceful protests than the force doubled back and reminded everyone that while officers might have let people on a couple bridges this week, they’re still very adept with a bottle of pepper spray.
More than 200 protesters were arrested through the night of December 4, the highest number since protests began. On Wednesday, December 3, a total of 83 people were arrested. On November 24, during the first anti-police-brutality protests after Ferguson, Missouri, Police Officer Darren Wilson was not charged for shooting Michael Brown to death, only two people were arrested — one for pouring fake blood all over NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton and his security detail and the other for throwing an aluminum can at an officer. Village Voice has more.

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