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California Just Says No to Medical Pot Prosecutions

Last week pit state law against federal law. This week, it’s state law versus local law in the cities or counties. Under state law, there is a defense to criminal prosecution for a medical-marijuana collective or dispensary that is run on a nonprofit basis for people who have state medical-marijuana cards or a physician’s recommendation. Read More

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Don’t Grow Pot on Federal Property

It may go without saying, but then ask these guys. In 2012, the three of them were growing pot east of Sacramento, California when local police served a search warrant for their property. They readily told police they were using the property to grow pot under state law, but it turned out their actual grow Read More

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A New Day in the City of Brotherly Love

If you haven’t heard, the new district attorney of Philadelphia is a lifelong defense lawyer who used to sue the government for violating people’s civil rights. He even ran on a campaign against overcriminalization. It’s a pretty amazing thing. Now the city’s top prosecutor has put his money where his mouth was during the campaign. Read More

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New California Criminal Laws in 2018

We’ve already touched on four of them: Recreational pot. A ban-the-box law for employers. An overhauled sex-offender registry beginning in 2021. New rules for picking juries in civil and criminal cases. Here are five more this week, with five more to come next week. Lawyers can advise clients on cannabis. This is Assembly Bill 1159. It amended the Read More

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Happy 2018, California

Let’s celebrate because the new year marks the dawn of the state’s licensing program for commercial, recreational cannabis. It follows the voters’ approval of Proposition 64, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, which we wrote about last year. But hold your horses, too, because it’s just the beginning. Earlier this month, the state launched its online application system, and two weeks Read More

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Our Federal Prisons Are Fueled By Drugs

That’s the takeaway from this report by the federal courts and U.S. Sentencing Commission. To summarize, there are almost 200,000 people in federal prison today, and almost half of them (or 48%) are there for drugs. Almost all of them (93%) are men, and the vast majority are young, minority men. The breakdown is 35% Hispanic, 35% black, and 27% Read More

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SEC Lights Up Another Cannabis Company

In what may be a sign of maturity for the industry, the Securities and Exchange Commission has sued another marijuana-related business for violating federal securities laws. Last month, the SEC charged a California-based company and two former executives with a classic pump-and-dump scheme. First, the Commission says, the defendants touted phony revenue to drive up the price of the company’s stock. Read More

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California’s Next Gold Rush Is Green

Last week, California legalized recreational marijuana. So did Maine, Nevada, and Massachusetts, and four other states passed medical-marijuana laws: Arkansas, Florida, Montana, and North Dakota. It marked the end of prohibition as we know it, which didn’t work for alcohol and doesn’t work for pot. Too many millions of people enjoy it responsibly or know others Read More

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Federal Court Puts a Stop to Medical-Pot Prosecutions

In a resounding decision last week, the country’s largest federal court of appeals forbade the Justice Department from prosecuting people who comply fully with their states’ medical-marijuana laws. The court’s decision consolidated ten separate appeals from cases in Washington and California. The decision also applies in Oregon, Alaska, Montana, Nevada, Hawaii, and Arizona. It doesn’t apply in Idaho because Read More

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California Medical Association Says Legalize Marijuana

On February 1, the California Medical Association endorsed the Control, Regulate, and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act. Here’s the story from the Sacramento Bee, which features a short video running down the big questions about the ballot initiative. And here’s the press release from the CMA, which is the largest representative body of physicians in the state. Meanwhile, the Obama administration has signaled Read More

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