Search Results: clemency (23)


The Democratic candidate challenging Vicky Hartzler for her seat in the U.S. Congress is calling on Governor Jay Nixon to grant clemency to Jeff Mizanskey, the man serving a life sentence for non-violent marijuana offenses.
Nate Irvin, 25, kicked off his support with a press conference Monday on the capitol lawn, where Mizanskey’s brother Mike gave an emotional plea. Mizanskey, whose story is detailed in a Riverfront Times cover story, has been in jail for 21 years and has no possibility of parole. After learning about Mizanskey’s plight from Aaron Malin, the director of research for Show-Me Cannabis, Irvin said he wanted to use his race for Congress to shed light on Mizanskey’s sentence, which he calls “excessive to the point of absurdity.”

Chris Mizanskey.

For the past 20 years, Chris Mizanskey, now 33, has had to go to prison to see his father. But his dad, Jeff, is not a murderer or a rapist. He was, however, busted for possession of about five pounds of pot, his third marijuana-related felony. And in Missouri, if you get three drug felonies, even if it’s just marijuana, you can get life without parole.
Meanwhile, during the past two decades, Chris has seen a sea change in marijuana laws, as several states have legal pot for medicine and two states have it for recreational use. So lately he has been wondering why his dad is sentenced to die in prison for something that most of America considers harmless — and he wants Missouri Governor Jay Nixon to address his concerns by granting his father clemency. Riverfront Times has the full story.

Robert Sciarrino/The Star-Ledger
John Ray Wilson was sentenced to five years in prison for growing marijuana to treat his multiple sclerosis. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Wednesday night said Wilson belongs in prison and even called his MS diagnosis — which is backed by medical records — into question

​Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey on Wednesday night showed where his heart really is. Christie said he will not grant clemency for John Ray Wilson, a Somerset County man serving a barbaric five-year prison sentence for growing marijuana in his back yard to treat his multiple sclerosis. The governor even went so far as to call Wilson’s MS diagnosis — backed up by medical records — into question.

The Republican governor was unmoved by the fact the Wilson suffers from multiple sclerosis and said he was growing the herb to control the debilitating symptoms of his disease, reports Susan K. Livio at NJ.com. Ironically, since Wilson’s arrest, the New Jersey Legislature legalized medical marijuana in the Garden State with a law which was signed by Gov. Christie’s predecessor on his last day in office.

There are abundant examples of celebrities trying to profit off legal cannabis while the less famous sit behind bars, but some of the OGs of cannabis culture are putting their money where their mouths are. Eric Rachmany, guitarist and singer for Rebelution, is using his national solo tour as a way to raise awareness and money for those imprisoned for cannabis charges.

Proceeds from Rachmany’s concert at Summit Music Hall on Friday, November 29, will benefit the Last Prisoner Project, a nonprofit that helps cannabis offenders apply for clemency, clear their records and re-enter society — sometimes as members of the pot industry. We caught up with Rachmany to learn more about the cause, his connection to cannabis and some of his own close calls while touring.

A new study found that people who are more likely to develop schizophrenia are more likely to try cannabis. It also found  new evidence that cannabis use can cause schizophrenia.

The number of pregnant women who use cannabis is  up more than 60% since 2002. While knowledge of how cannabis affects fetuses is limited, Dr. Nora Volkow, head of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, called it “cause for concern.”

The Duluth News Tribune looks examines the case for, and against,  treating PTSD with MED.

More experts say cannabis  should be prescribed before opiates, VICE reports.

Ohio doctors say they’re  reluctant to recommend MED.

An article from “The American Tribune” on an overdose from injecting cannabis  turned out to be fake news.

Connecticut has approved its first MED study,  to compare pain relief with an opiate in patients with fractured ribs. A Connecticut hospice will use cannabis to  reduce its dependence on opioids.

President Obama  granted clemency to 231 individuals. His total of more than 1,300 sentence commutations totals more than his 11 predecessors combined. Here’s the story of one of them,  Paul Free, who was serving a life sentence and is now eligible for parole in 2020.

Obama also granted  78 “pre-Christmas” pardons.

Vox examines how Obama has  reshaped the war on drugs, and how that legacy is will be jeopardized under President Trump. For one thing, Obama tended not to use the term “War on Drugs.”

A court ruled that Arizona MED users  can’t be convicted of DUI without evidence of impairment.

A Colorado man who drove impaired and  killed a motorcyclist was sentenced to 10 months in jail and two years probation.

A day after they opened, six unlicensed Cannabis Culture dispensaries were  raided and closed in Montreal. The 10 arrests included owner and “prince of pot” Marc Emery.

Spotted in D.C.: “ This is your brain on Jeff Sessions.

In Milton, Mass., a dispensary seeks to open in the historic “ Swift Hat Shop” building.

It also said other drug problems are more pressing.
Here’s your daily dose of pot news from the newsletter WeedWeek.
In a report, the DEA said media attention is making it more difficult to prosecute marijuana offenders.
Ferrell Scott, sentenced to life without parole for possession and conspiracy to sell marijuana, was denied clemency by President Obama.

Charles “Eddy” Lepp, “a defiant 64-year-old Vietnam vet and ordained Rastafarian minister” was released after serving eight years in federal prison for growing.

Two pieces in The Guardian examine the human toll of Mexico’s decade-old, U.S. supported drug war

A New York Times photojournalist documented dozens of homicide victims of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s drug war. The Duterte administration defended its record to Reuters.

Big deal political thinker Ian Bremmer tweeted that Duterte wants to advise Trump on drug policy.

The activist New Jersey Weedman, who faces cannabis charges, compared himself to a “ prisoner at Guantanamo.

Leafly tells the stories of Sam Caldwell and Moses Baca, “ drug war prisoners 1 & 2,” in 1937. Both were apprehended in Denver. It also cites the work of a “48-year old drug felon and autodidactic cannabis historian who goes by the pen name “Uncle Mike,” maintains a site at UncleMikesResearch.com.

Steve Kerr, coach of the Golden State Warriors, said he tried MED for his back pain. It didn’t help him but he took a strong stand in favor of it for athletes:

“If you’re an NFL player, in particular, and you got lot of pain, I don’t think there’s any question that pot is better for your body than Vicodin,” Kerr, 51, said. “And yet, athletes everywhere are prescribed Vicodin like it’s Vitamin C, like it’s no big deal. And there’s like this perception in our country that over-the-counter drugs are fine but pot is bad. Now, I think that’s changing.”

The comment got attention and he later added to his remarks. Kerr said the NBA should explore MED for pain relief. New York Knicks president and celebrated coach Phil Jackson said he’d also used MED for pain adding, “I don’t think we have been able to stop it in the NBA. I think it still goes on and is still a part of the culture in the NBA. I think it is something that we either have to accommodate or figure out another way to deal with it.”

Forbes has more on the science of athletes and MED.

Vice asked budtenders about their worst customers. They’re not fond of weed snobs and scary types. The Cannabist serves up 10 budtender commandments, including “Thou Shalt Not Be Too High.”

The Pantone Color Institute, picked Greenery as the color of 2017.

The AP visits Malana, India, a Himalayan village that depends on cannabis. Uruguay will host a cannabis museum.

A bestseller in Germany and the U.K. says the Nazis ingested huge amounts of meth, and that Hitler was an opiate addict. “Blitzed,” will be published here in April.

But that hasn’t stopped the guessing.
Here’s your daily dose of pot news from the newsletter WeedWeek.

Speculation continues about what anti-pot U.S. Attorney General nominee Sen. Jeff Sessions could mean for the legal marijuana industry. The Associated Press says cannabis has the upper hand but could still collapse. Fortune says smaller companies, already dealing with larger competitors, can expect more pain.

Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee say Sessions will get an  contentious confirmation hearing.

An op-ed in the Wall Street Journal says Sessions is not a racist, and in fact championed the end of sentencing discrepancies between cocaine, associated with affluent whites, and crack, which devastated inner cities. President Obama signed the Fair Sentencing Act into law in 2010. Sessions later said that by granting clemency retroactively to non-violent drug offenders, Obama was abusing the law.

D.C. pot-activists were received warmly at Sessions office but didn’t leave feeling especially reassured. Sen. Minority Leader Chuck Schumer’s (D.-N.Y.) aides weren’t as welcoming. “So typical that you are taking this less seriously than Republicans,” an activist said. The whole piece, in USNews, is worth a read, and funny too.

President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the Department of Health and Human Services, Rep. Tom Price (R- Ga.), is another staunch prohibitionist who, if confirmed, would have the authority to interfere with state-legal MED access.

I wrote a story for California Sunday about efforts in Oakland to create a diverse cannabis industry. The photos are by Pulitzer winner Preston Gannaway.

 

President Obama discussed legalization at length in an interview with Rolling Stone, conducted the day after the election:

I’ve been very clear about my belief that we should try to discourage substance abuse. And I am not somebody who believes that legalization is a panacea. But I do believe that treating this as a public-health issue, the same way we do with cigarettes or alcohol, is the much smarter way to deal with it. Typically how these classifications are changed are not done by presidential edict but are done either legislatively or through the DEA. As you might imagine, the DEA, whose job it is historically to enforce drug laws, is not always going to be on the cutting edge about these issues.


            [Laughs] What about you? Are you gonna get on the cutting edge?
Look, I am now very much in lame-duck status. And I will have the opportunity as a private citizen to describe where I think we need to go. But in light of these referenda passing, including in California, I’ve already said, and as I think I mentioned on Bill Maher’s show, where he asked me about the same issue, that it is untenable over the long term for the Justice Department or the DEA to be enforcing a patchwork of laws, where something that’s legal in one state could get you a 20-year prison sentence in another. So this is a debate that is now ripe, much in the same way that we ended up making progress on same-sex marriage. There’s something to this whole states-being-laboratories-of-democracy and an evolutionary approach. You now have about a fifth of the country where this is legal.
Obama added that Trump voters “in large numbers” favor decriminalizing.
A little known aspect of busts.
Here’s your weekly dose of cannabis news from the newsletter WeedWeek.
An investigation in Reason finds “ widespread, unchecked violence against pets during drug raids.” Two Detroit officers it found have killed more than 100 dogs each.

The owner of Med-West, a San Diego extraction company that was raided by local authorities in January is seeking a return of his frozen assets. $324,000 cash was seized during the raid. No criminal charges have been filed.

Police departments are becoming more tolerant of applicants’ past pot smoking.

Las Vegas police said they would still pursue possession arrests, though the district attorney said they wouldn’t be prosecuted.

With Trump’s election, federal inmates incarcerated for non-violent drug offenses fear their window to win clemency is closing. “Some of these people are bad dudes,”  Trump said at an August rally “These are people out walking the streets. Sleep tight, folks.”

CBS tells the story of Harry Anslinger, a leading figure in passing the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, which made it illegal.

The New Yorker sent Adrian Chen to the Philippines, where President Rodrigo Duterte is waging a brutal drug war. The article is subtly titled “ When a Populist Demagogue Takes Over.

In California, police are concerned about home grows.

Time Magazine calls hmbldt vape pens one of the 25 best inventions of 2016.
Ozy discovers “ happy pizza” in Cambodia. A Barcelona cannabis club was closed by authorities. There’s a cannabis/comic book convention today in Colorado Springs.

Vice learns how to make “ the most potent weed oil.”

The Washington Post recommends four books to understand the new weed reality. They include Marijuana: A Short History, by John Hudak, Jesse Ventura’s Marijuana Manifesto, Sacred Bliss: A Spiritual History of Cannabis by Mark S. Ferrara and Cooking with Cannabis by Laurie Goldrich.

The New Yorker published a pot-industry cartoon. It isn’t especially funny.

Hundreds of cases may not go forward.

Here’s your daily round-up of pot-news, excerpted from the newsletter WeedWeek. Download WeedWeek’s free 2016 election guide here.

An emerging evidence-tampering scandal in Boston-suburb Braintree has jeopardized hundreds of drug prosecutions. Former inmates explain drug dealing in prison to The Daily Beast.

Some states are reducing the size of drug-free school zones, a policy that’s under new scrutiny. The State University of New York, one of the country’s largest systems, will stop asking applicants if they have a felony conviction.

The flag of New Mexico

It’s for her sick child.

The following is excerpted from the newsletter WeedWeek. Get your free and confidential subscription at WeedWeek.net.

New Mexico mom Nicole Nuñez is suing the state over “arbitrary” supply limits. Nuñez’s eight month old daughter has a seizure disorder. A Michigan judge ruled that seedlings count as plants.

The four Colorado doctors suspended for overprescribing large plant counts will have to go through administrative hearings to try and get their licenses reinstated.  A judge tossed out a lawsuit they filed.

1 2 3