Friday, May 10, 2013

Congrats, Colorado, on Your New Legal Marijuana Rules

by David Downs
Fri, May 10, 2013 at 8:53 AM

Colorado became the first U.S. state to regulate and tax sales of recreational marijuana yesterday, the Denver Post reports. Legislators levied a 15 percent excise tax, and a 10 percent sales tax on cannabis in order to pay for enforcing regulations like capping marijuana sales to Colorado visitors at a quarter of an ounce, a six-plant limit on pot gardens, mandatory child-resistant packaging, potency information and serving-size limits for edible marijuana. How grown-up!

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Thursday, May 9, 2013

Critics Blast U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag for Berkeley Patients Group Harassment

by David Downs
Thu, May 9, 2013 at 9:14 AM

Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates took local U.S. Attorney (and rumored Berkeley resident) Melinda Haag to task Wednesday for harassing Berkeley Patients Group. The popular, permitted medical cannabis dispensary in Berkeley faces federal forfeiture efforts from Haag yet again, leading to a press conference yesterday where town leaders defended the Better Business Bureau member and ripped on the U.S. Attorney.

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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Berkeley Patients Group Targeted by Feds Again

by David Downs
Wed, May 8, 2013 at 9:16 AM

Popular Berkeley medical cannabis dispensary Berkeley Patients Group is being targeted again by the federal government, reports state. The US Attorney is attempting to seize BPG's new location at 2366 San Pablo Avenue. BPG had re-opened in the location after the feds forced the club from its home at 2477 San Pablo in 2012 on the grounds that it was too close to a school. This time, however, the landlord and the dispensary seem ready to fight federal action, arguing that the new location is nowhere near any school.

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Monday, May 6, 2013

California Supreme Court: Cities Can Ban Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

by David Downs
Mon, May 6, 2013 at 10:23 AM

The California Supreme Court upheld the right of cities and counties to ban medical cannabis dispensaries today in a unanimous decision with major ramifications for the state.

"We granted review. We now conclude the Court of Appeal‘s judgment must be affirmed," Justice Marvin Baxter wrote for the Court.

Cities like San Francisco, Oakland, and West Hollywood that have regulated medical marijuana collectives operating in storefronts — i.e., dispensaries — won't be affected, but the decision buttresses the bans of dozens of cities and counties like Riverside and Walnut Creek. And the decision will become a huge factor in cities and counties still on the fence about dispensary bans, as well as in the legislature, where efforts are afoot to regulate the state's estimated $1.3 billion medical cannabis industry.

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Thursday, May 2, 2013

US Judges Can End Drug War, Researchers Say; 'Institutional Racism' Creates Unequal Protection for Whites

by David Downs
Thu, May 2, 2013 at 9:00 AM

US judges should and could immediately end the War on Drugs, because institutional racism creates unequal protections for whites compared to minorities, researchers say. “We think that it is not possible for the State of California to justify the scheme of total marijuana prohibition, because the racism behind marijuana prohibition in the early 1900s is patent, beyond the pale, and totally indefensible, and also because the data analysis presented here on arrests for marijuana offenses shows a disparate impact with regard to the arrests of Blacks and Hispanics,” wrote Florida Atlantic University assistant professor Mirya Holman and Kennesaw State University professor Kenneth Michael White in their paper 'Marijuana Prohibition in California: Racial Prejudice and Selective Arrests' (subscription), published in the academic journal Race, Gender and Class.

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