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Cannabis News Roundup: February 8, 2013

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(The Republic) // The State Supreme Court heard oral arguments Tuesday about whether cities have the authority to ban cannabis dispensaries within their jurisdictions. The defense argued that distribution should be permitted, because medical cannabis is legal statewide, thus superseding local ordinances. The Court didn’t seem convinced, but their ruling will not come until spring. Roughly 200 cities and counties in California have dispensary bans.

(The Record Searchlight) // While that decision on dispensaries isn’t likely to come for a couple of months, The Third District Court of Appeal ruled yesterday that no one has the right to “unfettered cultivation” of cannabis. This is the first ruling addressing cultivation rather than dispensaries and co-ops, and is effective throughout California.

(InsideBayArea) // Back in the Bay Area, San Leandro’s moratorium on dispensaries expired last September, and the city council is now seeking community comments on the ordinance proposed to replace it. A public hearing is scheduled for February 12.

(MMJ Business Daily) //Elsewhere in dispensary legal news, such outlets are now illegal in Michigan after a ruling today by the State Supreme Court. The decision upholds a previous Appeals Court decision.

(NORML) // Congressional Representatives from Oregon and Colorado are calling for marijuana reform, in separate bills. One calls for an expansion of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms, adding marijuana to that list, making it the BATMF. Looks like a good Twitter handle - but Twitter may be out of fashion by the time these ideas gain serious backing. Even supporters think it could take years.

(ASA) // The Americans for Safe Access advocacy group has announced their annual Medical Marijuana Week activities, starting February 11.

(SFGate) // Sonoma County officials are linking the murder of three men earlier this week near Iron Horse Winery to a marijuana deal gone bad. "Most of our violent crime is related to the theft of marijuana, the growth of marijuana," says Lt. Dennis O'Leary of the Sonoma County Sheriff’s office.

Everybody has an opinion. Here are three from major newspapers.

(NY Times) // “Why Police Lie Under Oath” is the title of an opinion piece last weekend in The New York Times. It doesn’t mention cannabis, but notes that “Numerous scandals involving police officers lying or planting drugs — in Tulia, Tex. and Oakland, Calif., for example — have been linked to federally funded drug task forces eager to keep the cash rolling in.”

(Chicago Tribune) // Why is cannabis illegal? Some might say to keep it out of the hands of children. But with pot easier for a high school student to get than beer (according to a survey quoted here), that concept is as questionable as all the others, according to this editorial.

(National Memo) // “Pot smokers would just as soon buy it from a licensed dispensary, but they will definitely keep buying it, no matter what the government does.” That’s the opinion of Miami Herald columnist Carl Hiaasen. And he calls the War on Drugs “a lost cause, and an expensive one” – among other things.

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