Browsing: Follow that story

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Almost exactly two years ago, on August 5th, 2011, the Coronado Police Department received an anonymous tip that Michael Lewis and his wife Lauren Taylor were operating an illegal covert daycare operation, and worse, that they were smoking weed around the children.
Acting on that tip, officers visited Lewis’ home on upscale Coronado Island, and were allowed entrance to the residence by Lewis and his wife. Satisfied that there was no secret babysitting cartel headquartered in the home, officers did discover Lewis’ personal stash of pot, for which he promptly provided a valid California doctor’s recommendation. What should have been the end of the story was just the beginning of a two-year-long nightmare for Lewis, his wife, and their two kids.

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An exclusive report released today by Reuters outlines a long-running campaign of the federal government knowingly withholding evidence in numerous cases involving the DEA, and a highly classified multi-agency wing of the DEA known as the Special Operations Division (SOD). By withholding the true sources of their investigations, critics contend that defendants’ rights to a fair trial are being compromised daily.

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New Jersey State Senate Bill 2842 and Assembly Bill 4241 were passed in the final week of June and were rushed immediately to Governor Chris Christie’s desk to sign into law. Passing by a lopsided 25-13 margin in the Senate, and an uneventful amendment process in the General Assembly, the bill is intended to ease dogmatic restrictions on what many consider to be a farce of a medical marijuana program.
Early last month, on July 9th, the bill was still sitting, unsigned, on Gov. Christie’s desk as he partied with Bon frickin’ Jovi. Unconcerned, Governor Christie has repeatedly stated that there is “no crisis” in the state’s medical marijuana program, even though the state’s only dispensary has been closed since June due to a “lack of inventory”.

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Daniel Chong via SizzleRossilini / YouTube.

Remember the case of Daniel Chong, the UCSD student celebrating 4/20 last year when the DEA locked him up for nearly five days without food, water or any contact with his captors? Yes his name is Chong. Yes he was busted by the feds. Yes he was celebrating marijuana’s international holiday. (No, he doesn’t have a friend named Cheech).
Well, Chong is getting nearly a million a day in settlement money for his ordeal, his attorneys said today: Julia Yoo, a partner in the San Diego firm that represents the student, confirmed for the Weekly Chong’s $4.1 million settlement with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. LA Weekly has the full story.

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Several news sources have posted over the last few days about how the recent federal raids on medical marijuana dispensaries in Washington were especially surprising since Washington voters approved the possession and sales of limited amounts of cannabis back in November.
Several media outlets have conflated the two, when they aren’t the same thing. In fact, Washington has yet to open any recreational dispensaries. Any dispensary that is open now is following the exact same rules they had to follow before I-502 and recreational sales haven’t even begun yet.

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@NBCLA twitter.

Earlier this week, we told you about an unnamed suspected medical marijuana dispensary robber who shot at police while trying to flee. We’ve now got a name and possible punishment: the L.A. County District Attorney’s office this week charged the 30-year-old with “two counts of attempted murder of a peace officer, two counts of second-degree robbery, one count of second-degree commercial burglary and two counts of possession of a firearm by a felon,” according to a statement.
While the robbery can’t be blamed on the dispensary itself, as one reader pointed out in our comments, without banks to take their money these retail pot shops are going to become targets for crime like this. LA Weekly has the rest of the follow up.

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Washington D.C. council member Tommy Wells wants to stop making criminals D.C. residents for possession of small amounts of cannabis, and will introduce legislation today to do just that.
Wells, a democratic candidate for mayor, announced his plans to make possession of less than an ounce a civil fine with a $100 fine as the maximum punishment. The goal, he says, is to end the criminalization of youth in his community.

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