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Crosscurrents

Cannabis News Roundup: 07.17.15

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Under CC license from Flickr user [Don Goofy.
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Another recreational ballot iniative announced… Drought becomes a campaign issue… Group calls on RICO Act to stop marijuana sales… Terry Gross hears about medical marijuana… and more.

LEGALIZATION & LEGISLATION

“Get Baked Sale” not to the city’s taste  // SFevergreen.com   San Francisco city officials are cracking down on a popular medical cannabis edibles event, and have prohibited the “Get Baked Sale” from selling marijuana at its next planned iteration, scheduled for next month.

ReformCA announces recreational use ballot plan // SacBee.com  “The organization has held statewide roundtables and meetings with legislators and experts in order to drum up support and advice on a marijuana legalization initiative.”

Drought could hamper California recreational legalization efforts // MJbizdaily.com  “Direct water toward food over cannabis” is the argument. Recreation advocates counter that making it a legal crop would aid conservation efforts.

Sacramento says “stop watering those pot plants” // KCRA.com   Sacramento County Supervisors voted unanimously this week to revise the county's water code to declare marijuana cultivation a form of water waste.

Hawaii to license medical marijuana dispensaries // LAtimes.com   Hawaii will license eight dispensaries, which can begin selling medical marijuana to registered patients by November 2016. Medical cannabis has been legal for 15 years, under a policy of grow-your-own (or buy it on the street).

“Pot politics” comes to Washington // npr.org   A look at the growing influence of the legal cannabis industry on politics.

COPS & COURTS

California tribe says raid targeted legal grow operation// www.redding.com   The “massive marijuana grow” that officials confiscated early this month was a legally sanctioned medicinal one, says a news release. Sources claim the site “would eventually house 40,000 to 60,000 plants in 40 different greenhouses.” [See next story.]

Sheriff challenges tribe’s claims of harassment // Heraldandnews.com  “We were investigating a crime,” Sheriff Poindexter said, stating the tribal investigation began after his office was notified of the marijuana grow. It may have been legal under state law, but not under federal law.

Racketeering law employed to stop Colorado cannabis // ABCnews.com   "If our legal theory works, basically what it will mean is that folks who are participating in the marijuana industry in any capacity are exposing themselves to pretty significant liability," says an attorney for the anti-crime group that filed the suit. 

They’re using the RICO Act, designed to set up federal criminal penalties for activity that benefits a criminal enterprise. "It is still illegal to cultivate, sell or possess marijuana under federal law.”

Obama commutes sentences of 46 drug offenders // www.Whitehouse.gov  President notes “unduly harsh sentences” and a need to make the system work “smarter and better.”

BUSINESS

No business expense deduction for dispensaries // pressreader.com  The lawyer for the defense “argued that the tax law, which dates from the 1980s, should apply to marijuana businesses legalized by state laws.”  The judge did not agree.

HEALTH

Doctor/author talks to Terry Gross about medical marijuana // NPR.org   Author of “Stoned” thought it was “a joke” until it helped with his own back pain. And once again, dosage is a concern.

Marijuana not a gateway drug, study says // “Teens smoke pot for very specific reasons, and it is those reasons that appear to prompt their decision to try other drugs, researchers report.”

EVENT

Team Cannabis takes part in AIDS Walk Sunday // ebar.com   Modeled after the gay practice of “coming out,” Team Cannabis says “ it is OK to be a cannabis consumer and it is OK to celebrate that and celebrate what the plant does for you."  About a dozen Bay Area cannabis organizations are part of the team, which raises money for AIDS groups. The walk starts at Sharon Meadow in Golden Gate Park with an opening ceremony at 9:45am Sunday. This is the 29th year of the AIDS walk.

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[New content is posted on Friday.]