Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Amid Federal Counter-Attack, Lynnette Shaw Says: ‘I’m Going to Win’

by David Downs
Wed, Dec 23, 2015 at 2:24 PM

Obama administration prosecutors this week appear to be defying repeat orders from Congress to leave state-legal medical cannabis operators alone. Instead, the Department of Justice continues to harass one of the movement's longest-running, most outspoken, and resilient activists.

On Friday, December 18, US prosecutors appealed to the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to block Marin County resident Lynnette Shaw from re-opening her state-legal medical marijuana dispensary, the Marin Alliance of Medical Marijuana (MAMM).

Lynnette Shaw
  • Lynnette Shaw
The DOJ is seeking to appeal an October ruling in which District Court Judge Charles R. Breyer lifted an injunction on Shaw, and blasted the DOJ for ignoring new Congressional law barring US prosecutors from “interfering” with the “implementation” of state medical marijuana policy.

Breyer called the DOJ’s arguments “tortured” and ruled in favor of the plain meaning of the historic Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment of 2014.

With the Shaw appeal, the Obama Administration will re-try its argument that Congress only blocks the DOJ from threatening state officials.

Speaking on the phone, Shaw said she will take her case all the way to the US Supreme Court if she has to and will end the war on medical cannabis for good.

“I can’t believe they’re wasting this time,” she said. “We’re going to the Supreme Court, and I’m going to win. We’re going to end this.”


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Friday, December 18, 2015

Growing Medical Weed Is NOT a Crime, California Appeals Court Rules

by David Downs
Fri, Dec 18, 2015 at 12:53 PM

Amid a rash of medical marijuana cultivation bans, patients are cheering one potent legal victory this winter. Growing medical marijuana is not a crime, a California appeals court ruled earlier this month in a precedent-setting case.

Cities and counties can cite patients in civil court for what amounts to nuisance violations, but the Health and Safety Code of California is clear: Qualified patients growing medical cannabis are not committing crimes.



DAVID DOWNS - RIGHTS RESERVED
  • David Downs - Rights Reserved



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Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Federal Ceasefire Holds in War on Medical Marijuana

by David Downs
Wed, Dec 16, 2015 at 10:33 AM

Congress is set to extend a year-old cease-fire in the federal war on medical marijuana — sending a strong message to prosecutors to keep their hands off legal pot.

Activists in Washington, DC report that lawmakers have included a renewal of the historic Rohrabacher-Farr amendment of December 2014 in this year’s must-pass spending bill, which was unveiled last night.

The spending rider continues to bar the Department of Justice from using any federal funds to interfere in any way with state medical marijuana laws. Its authors say DOJ employees cannot investigate, arrest, or prosecute anyone complying with medical marijuana, CBD, or hemp laws in more than 35 states.


FLICKR: YEAHBOUYEE (W/ CC LICENSE)
  • Flickr: yeahbouyee (w/ CC license)



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Monday, December 14, 2015

California Legalization 2016 Heats Up: Major Endorsement From Emerald Cup's Tim Blake

by David Downs
Mon, Dec 14, 2015 at 10:53 AM

The likelihood of California cannabis legalization increased dramatically Saturday night when the leading initiative — the Adult Use of Marijuana Act — garnered crucial endorsements from community leader Tim Blake, organizer of the world's biggest outdoor organic cannabis competition, The Emerald Cup.

“You know what, I’m going to endorse this thing,” Blake said, to a mix of applause and outrage among activists assembled for a legalization debate at the Cup in Sonoma County.

A united effort to legalize adult use cannabis in California has a 55-percent chance to succeed in 2016, experts conclude, while an effort fractured by in-fighting would almost certainly fail.

AUMA's official proponents are noted physician Donald Lyman and environmentalist Michael Sutton, and the proposal is rapidly gaining momentum.

Leading reform groups Marijuana Policy Project, Drug Policy Alliance, and the California Cannabis Industry Association have endorsed the measure.

Last week, rival group ReformCA withdrew from the race, with at least six ReformCA board members endorsing AUMA.

One of the cultivation’s community’s biggest leaders, Blake, joined them Saturday — stating that AUMA is the only chance for progress in 2016. No other group has the funds or coalition to run a winning initiative in 2016, he said. Ten groups have filed initiatives.

The Emerald Cup organizer and industry icon Tim Blake, far left, talks back to heckler Kevin Saunders during a legalization debate Saturday. - DAVID DOWNS
  • David Downs
  • The Emerald Cup organizer and industry icon Tim Blake, far left, talks back to heckler Kevin Saunders during a legalization debate Saturday.
“I’m for an initiative where we should get more, but … you’re still dealing with the cops and the counties that want to opt in and out, the Chambers of Commerce, and all those people and they’re not going to bend,” he said.

“So then it comes down to, ‘those [other groups] don’t have a chance.’ I like them, [but] … they don’t have a chance in the next ten years to get it done.

“We have a chance right now to do this, and I’m not thrilled with some of the aspects," he continued. "But I’m going to end up endorsing this. ”


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Thursday, December 10, 2015

Fire-Ravaged Californians Get Help From Magnolia Wellness and Bloom Farms

by David Downs
Thu, Dec 10, 2015 at 1:06 PM

Californians are already beginning to forget the near-biblical devastation wrought by the 2015 fire season. But Bloom Farms’ Mike Ray cannot.

The medical cannabis entrepreneur’s childhood home burned down in the Butte County inferno, along with hundreds of thousands of dollars of medical cannabis crops. The Valley and Butte fires of 2015 were two of the most destructive blazes in California history and were declared federal disasters by President Obama. Ray was one of thousands of farmers and residents wiped out by the massive blaze, and he is one of the few with the fire insurance to rebuild.


The Butte County inferno of 2015. - (VIA INSTAGRAM)
  • (via Instagram)
  • The Butte County inferno of 2015.



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Tuesday, December 8, 2015

California’s Leading Legalization Initiative Gathers Momentum

by David Downs
Tue, Dec 8, 2015 at 1:42 PM

California’s leading legalization initiative is gathering momentum, and has announced a raft of amendments that add input from hundreds of stakeholders and consolidated support from the main rival legalization group.

Proponents of the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA) formally amended their initiative with the Secretary of State on Monday — boosting protections for children, workers, and small canna-businesses.

Also, the board of ReformCA, a rival to AUMA, formally withdrew its own proposal, and six ReformCA Board Members voiced their support for AUMA.


California legalization is sprouting new roots and leaves, like these clones in a commercial nursery at Bolder Cannabis & Extracts in Colorado. - DAVID DOWNS
  • David Downs
  • California legalization is sprouting new roots and leaves, like these clones in a commercial nursery at Bolder Cannabis & Extracts in Colorado.

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Thursday, December 3, 2015

Legalization Is NOT A Burning Issue for Californians

by David Downs
Thu, Dec 3, 2015 at 11:22 AM

Here’s another wake-up call to anyone who thinks California is going to legalize cannabis for adult use in 2016.

A new poll finds legalization is not really a burning issue for Californians.

Just 30 percent of likely voters consider marijuana legalization “a very important issue,” The Public Policy Institute of California found. And about 32 percent of estimated California voters say legalizing marijuana in California “is not at all important.”

While about half of Californians are thought to support legalization, this new independent poll further illustrates how weak that support is.

By contrast, 63 percent of voters say “state bonds for schools are very important”.

Pot law reformers live in a little bubble. Meanwhile “Californians name water and the economy as the most important issues in the state.”

Sorry, legalization "not at all important" to 1 in 3 California voters. - PPIC
  • PPIC
  • Sorry, legalization "not at all important" to 1 in 3 California voters.


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Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Efforts to End the Drug War Will Multiply in December

by David Downs
Tue, Dec 1, 2015 at 10:11 AM

The holiday season is picking up steam, but efforts to dismantle the US Drug War and end the mass-incarceration epidemic aren’t slowing down.

Activists led by the group Marijuana Majority delivered 100,000 signatures calling for the resignation of the head of the Drug Enforcement Administration last week. The petition started after DEA head Chuck Rosenberg called medical marijuana a “joke”.

“There is no doubt in my mind that my son Jagger is still alive today because of medical cannabis," stated Sebastien Cotte, whose son uses marijuana extracts to reduce severe pain and seizures, said at a press conference in front of DEA. "For our family, that’s no joke.”

Activists turn in over 100,000 signatures calling for the head of the DEA to resign after calling medical cannabis laws in 23 states and CBD laws in 12 states a "joke". - MARIJUANA MAJORITY
  • Marijuana Majority
  • Activists turn in over 100,000 signatures calling for the head of the DEA to resign after calling medical cannabis laws in 23 states and CBD laws in 12 states a "joke".


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