This Week’s Marijuana News Round-Up: Obama Commutes Sentences of 2 Pot Lifers; Congress Defunds the Enforcement of State Medical Marijuana Laws; Columbia Legalizes Medical Marijuana; Study Shows No Link Between Marijuana Smoking and Car Accidents; DEA Eases Restrictions for Clinical Trials on Cannabidiol; Stoner Sloth, the Latest Anti-Marijuana Media Fail; Kansas Couple Whose Tea Was Mistaken for Marijuana Loses Civil Suit Over Fruitless SWAT Raid; The Case for Clemency; Obama Commutes Sentence of Ailing Life for Pot Prisoner, Gift Delayed One Year; and more.
HAPPY HEMPY HOLIDAYS EVERYONE!!!!!
Medical/Health Marijuana News
DEA Eases Restrictions for Clinical Trials on Cannabidiol — The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) recently eased some of the regulatory requirements imposed by the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) for those who are conducting FDA-approved clinical trials on cannabidiol (CBD), an extract of the marijuana plant. These modifications will streamline the research process regarding CBD’s possible medicinal value and help foster ongoing scientific studies.
Legal/Political Marijuana News
Obama Commutes Sentences of 2 Pot Lifers — Cheri is quoted in this Mother Jones story about President Obama commuting the sentences of two of the Life for Pot prisoners she has been advocating for, Billy Dekle and Charles Cundiff.
Congress Defunds the Enforcement of State Medical Marijuana Laws — The federal ban on medical marijuana is finally a thing of the past. Slipped inside a major budgetary spending bill that was purported to prevent the government from shutting down, is an interesting earmarked section that finally lifts the federal ban on medical marijuana.
Study Shows No Link Between Marijuana Smoking and Car Accidents — A new study from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that consuming marijuana does not elevate the crash risk of the driver, a result that’s leaving road safety decision-makers wanting more information. (These stats are for marijuana only. Please note that alcohol and weed mixed together is a deadly combination.)
The Case for Clemency — President Obama’s recent announcement that he would commute the sentences of 95 federal prisoners and fully pardon two others is welcome news. So is a holiday press release from New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who has hitherto been miserly with clemency, but will pardon nonviolent offenses committed by 16 and 17 year olds (who will continue to be automatically tried as adults, a harshness almost unique among the fifty states). But we should see these gestures for what they are: small trickles of clemency where what is demanded is a rushing, roaring pipeline scaled to the globally unprecedented size of our prison population and incarceration rate. We need industrial-scale clemency.
Obama Commutes Sentence of Ailing Life for Pot Prisoner, Gift Delayed One Year — Charles “Fred” Cundiff received word Friday that President Barack Obama had cut short his life sentence. The 69-year-old logged onto his prison email and thanked Beth Curtis, who had stumbled upon his case years ago as she advocated for her brother, another senior citizen handed a life sentence long ago for nonviolent marijuana crimes. His reprieve takes effect Dec. 18, 2016, a full year after his name last week made a list of 95 people getting out early thanks to presidential action.
Important Changes to Federal Asset Forfeiture — The DOJ announced that, effective immediately, all new equitable sharing payments to state and local law enforcement agencies through the federal asset forfeiture program will cease for the foreseeable future. As you can see from this press release, the law enforcement is not happy about that. Awwwwww, they no longer can steal with impunity, too bad. (NOT!)
How Bob Dole Got Everyone Addicted to Medical Marijuana Taxes — As states legalize marijuana, more marijuana businesses are opening across the country. An obscure 1982 brainchild of Bob Dole’s Senate Finance Committee, section 280E of the federal tax code, is hitting state-legal marijuana sellers in the pocketbook—right now. 280E, which says taxpayers cannot deduct costs of selling federally illegal drugs, is not just helping fund the federal government. It’s also hampering marijuana advertising and marketing—to the satisfaction of nervous parents, and to the consternation of profit-seeking marijuana promoters.
Media Marijuana News
Stoner Sloth, the Latest Epic Anti-Marijuana Ad Fail — Australia wants to keep kids from smoking cannabis. So they rolled out a national television ad campaign featuring, of all things, sloths. The tagline is “You’re Worse on Weed.” It has become an instant hit with young people and is having the opposite of the intended approach…pretty much like every other anti-marijuana PSA.
Marijuana News State by State
Kansas: Couple Whose Tea Was Mistaken for Marijuana Loses Civil Suit Over Fruitless SWAT Raid — Last Friday a federal judge in Kansas turned away a civil rights lawsuit by a Leawood couple whose house was searched in 2012 based on a visit to a hydroponics store and a field test that incorrectly identified tea in their garbage as marijuana. In a summary judgment, U.S. District Judge John Lungstrum said police acted legally and reasonably in planning and conducting the fruitless raid on the home of Robert and Adlynn Harte, former CIA agents whose children were 7 and 13 at the time. The family was held at gunpoint for two and a half hours while Johnson County sheriff’s deputies went through the house, after which they gave the Hartes a receipt saying “no items taken” in lieu of an apology. Because the cops refused to say why they thought the Hartes were growing marijuana, the couple spent a year and $25,000 in legal fees to get a look at the affidavit supporting the search warrant.
International Marijuana News
Columbia Legalizes Medical Marijuana –Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos signed a decree Tuesday legalizing and regulating medical marijuana, the latest softening of the country’s hardline tactics in the war on drugs.
Marijuana Recipe of the Week
Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Dates – A fabulous holiday hors d’oeuvre – Bacon Wrapped Goat Cheese, Marijuana, and Jalapeno Stuffed Dates drizzled with Honey! These little snacks pack a powerful flavor punch of smoky, creamy, sweet, and spicy. While this dish may sound fancy and never fails to impress, it is actually quite easy to make, so don’t let the gourmet ingredients scare you!