CULTIVATION LAW FAILS BUT GAINS REPUBLICAN SUPPORT
Assembly Bill 1017, which would have allowed California prosecutors the discretion of charging people caught cultivating marijuana with a misdemeanor or a felony, failed to pass and won’t be reconsidered until next year.
Assemblyman Chris Norby (R-Fullerton) made an impassioned plea in support of the bill. Norby criticized his fellow Republicans for not passing the bill, saying that it could save up to $3.5 million a year by allowing small growers to avoid state prison, while maintaining prosecutors’ discretion to charge those involved in large-scale operations with felonies.
“What bigger nanny-state can there be? . . . Sending somebody away for growing a plant? That’s a nanny-state on steroids,” Norby told the San Francisco Chronicle.
PROPOSED BILL IS A THREAT TO SAFE ACCESS, ADVOCATES SAY
A proposed bill introduced by Assemblyman Bob Blumenfield (D-Los Angeles) would give cities tremendous powers to regulate dispensaries, including giving them the authority to regulate—and ban them. Americans For Safe Access (ASA) opposes AB 1300 and says it would do “more harm than good.” “ASA considers such prohibitions unfair, shameful and illegal under state law,” ASA spokesman Kris Hermes told the Los Angeles Times.
AB 1300 was passed in the Assembly and now awaits a vote in the state Senate.
HEMP BEVERAGE NOW AVAILABLE IN SOCAL
It’s not a medicated or energy drink—but it’s a tea called Chronic Ice and its makers plan on making a splash with this new hemp beverage. Containing hemp seed extract along with organic sugar cane, a blend of green and black teas and lemon essence, Chronic Ice is now available at select stores in Southern California and Washington state. Chronic Ice is not psychoactive.
According to some experts, hemp seed extract helps the body meets its nutritional needs.
“People don’t get high drinking our tea, but they can get healthy,” Chronic Ice founder Tony Van Pelt said in a written statement.
ROCK THE BELLS COMING TO SAN BERNARDINO
Annual traveling hip-hop festival series Rock the Bells comes to the San Manuel Amphitheater in San Bernardino Aug. 20, organizers recently announced. This year’s lineup features Ms. Lauryn Hill, Nas, Erykah Badu, Common, Black Star, Cypress Hill and more. And if that’s not enough, each artist on this all-star lineup will be performing one of their albums in its entirety.
Rock the Bells is presented by Guerilla Union, the same outfit behind Spring Gathering and Cypress Hill’s Smokeout.
MONTEL WILLIAMS TO LAUNCH A SACRAMENTO DISPENSARY
TV host, personality and medical marijuana advocate Montel Williams recently announced that he’s helping to launch a dispensary in Sacramento, the Los Angeles Times reports.
“While adhering to every single state law, we want to provide safe access for patients and really medicalize this,” Williams told the Sacramento Bee. Williams suffers from multiple sclerosis and uses cannabis to treat the disease.
THE END OF PROHIBITION?
Marijuana will be removed from the federal government’s list of illegal drugs, according to a bill introduced recently by U.S. Reps. Ron Paul (R-Texas) and Barney Frank (D-Mass.). HR 2306 would not legalize marijuana. Rather, it would allow states to decide what marijuana laws or regulations to enact.
“Criminally prosecuting adults for making the choice to smoke marijuana is a waste of law enforcement resources and an intrusion on personal freedom,” Frank told the Los Angeles Times. Frank, however, conceded that the bill is unlikely to pass.
CONNECTICUT MAKES MOVES TO LEGALIZE
The Connecticut House of Representatives passed legislation decriminalizing marijuana. After debating for nearly four hours, the House voted 90-57 to soften the punishment for possession of less than a half-ounce of marijuana to fines of $150 for the first offense and $200 to $500 for subsequent offenses. Anyone 18 years old or younger caught with less than a half-ounce will be referred to the state’s juvenile courts. “Let me make it clear—we are not legalizing the use of marijuana,” Gov. Dannel P. Malloy told Mercury News. “In modifying this law, we are recognizing that the punishment should fit the crime and acknowledging the effects of its application.”
ARIZONA SUSPENDS APPROVING DISPENSARIES
Arizona officials recently decided not to approve any further dispensaries pending its suit in federal court over whether the state’s MMJ law violates federal law. State regulations currently allow one dispensary for each “community health analysis area.”
Officials in Phoenix have also suspended their 180-day requirement for those holding medical marijuana permits to seek a state license.
FEDERAL JUDGE ORDERS MICHIGAN TO TURN OVER MMJ RECORDS
The Michigan Department of Community Health was subpoenaed to turn over medical marijuana records related to a federal investigation. U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents are investigating suspects in the Lansing area. U.S. District Magistrate Judge Hugh Brenneman Jr. ordered the DEA to list names of seven individuals named in the subpoena. The judge also denied requests to intervene or file friend-of-court briefs as requested by those supporting Michigan’s medical marijuana law. The Michigan Association of Compassion Clubs, Cannabis Patients United and Americans for Safe Access argued that the judge’s orders violate privacy rights of patients.
THE PARTY IS OVER IN AMSTERDAM
The Netherlands is moving forward with plans to prohibit tourists and travelers from the country’s famous coffee shops, according to the Los Angeles Times. The new law only allows Dutch citizens to purchase marijuana.
The Netherlands just got lame.
INTERNATIONAL PANEL: THE DRUG WAR HAS FAILED
A high-level international commission called the War on Drugs a failure, according to the San Jose Mercury News.
The Global Commission on Drug Policy called on governments worldwide to work towards decriminalizing the use of drugs—especially marijuana. The commission also said that governments must stop punishing those who use drugs and do no harm to others.
NOVA SCOTIA COUPLE SUES GOVERNMENT
A married couple from Nova Scotia is suing their local government, demanding that it pay for its meds. They want the Canadian province to pay for the chemicals and supplies needed to maintain their 25 legally grown medical marijuana plants, according to CBC News.
The couple based their lawsuit on a previous case, where the Nova Scotia Supreme court ordered the country’s Department of Community Services to pay the expenses for another grower’s supplies.