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Crosscurrents

Cannabis News Roundup: Half of U.S. now approves medical marijuana

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Medical pot now legal in half of U.S. … Legalization gets pushback … Oakland grow houses linked to Mexican cartels … Time for a cannabis cocktail … and more.

LEGALIZATION & LEGISLATION

State excise tax out of Assembly, going to governor // Orange County Register

The proposed tax would bring in $80 million annually to California’s coffers, with those funds being designated to specific purposes.

Extra rehab funds about half of what was expected // VoiceOfOC

“In 2014 when California voters overwhelmingly passed Proposition 47 -- the ballot initiative calling for the release of non-violent drug offenders from state prisons -- they were told more than $100 million would be available for rehabilitation services to prevent recidivism.”  It appears that amount will actually be about $50 million.

Legalization gets push-back at city level // Marijuana.com

“A group dedicated to keeping marijuana illegal has launched an effort to convince city councils across the country to actively oppose measures to end cannabis prohibition that are expected to appear on at least five state ballots this November. [See next story.]

Legalization now 50/50 //Christian Science Monitor

“Now that half the states in this country, as well as Washington, D.C., and Guam, allow medical marijuana, according to statistics from the National Conference of State Legislatures, some analysts wonder whether the tide is becoming unstoppable.”

COPS & COURTS

Mexican cartels linked to Oakland grow houses // East Bay Times

“At least 15 people were arrested, and authorities seized hundreds of pounds of marijuana with an estimated street value of nearly $4 million. They also confiscated growing equipment and materials, along with two assault rifles and a revolver.”

Pot related gun violence concerns law enforcement // Appeal Democrat 

" ‘Typically, what we have experienced every grow season is that people steal marijuana by hopping the fence and helping themselves  …” says the Yuba County sheriff.  But two people were wounded and one killed in the past two months.

“Enforce the law,” says anti-legalization groups // Globenewswire

"America's number one enemy consists of marijuana and other drugs,” says the Take Back America Campaign (TBAC), and Citizens Against Legalizing Marijuana (CALM), two drug-prevention non-profits.

They’ve filed formal complaints with the US Attorney, DEA and Attorney General Kamala Harris regarding plans by the town of Desert Hot Springs to become a major cannabis production center.

New study: blacks hit with pot violations much more than whites // East Bay Express

“An analysis of infraction data … found disparities in Black and Latino citations compared to whites. Researchers also found a form of predatory policing where police placed the highest burden of tickets on the backs of young men and boys, particularly ones of color.”

ELECTION

How marijuana faired in Tuesday’s election// East Bay Express

See California and Bay Area results here.

BUSINESS

Owner pressures paper to retract support for legal marijuana // Marijuana.com

“The new editorial, a stark reversal of the Review-Journal’s previous strong support for ending cannabis prohibition, comes as Nevada voters prepare to decide on a legalization measure in November.”

“Make mine a cannabis cocktail” // LA Times

West Hollywood restaurant offers StoneyNegroni, Rolled Fashioned, and Sour T-eisel for $20, with no medical card required. Customers still have to be 21 or older.

OPINION

Is possible legalization good for addicts? // L.A. Times

“Will legalization lead more people to become addicted? Probably. Could the revenue from legalization support more drug education and affordable rehab? Yes, please.”

IN OTHER NEWS….

Background to Harborside’s battle to overturn 280E // SFWeekly

Harborside Health Center in Oakland is fighting a section of the federal tax code (280E) prohibiting “anyone dealing in controlled substances from claiming the cost of the drugs on their federal taxes.”  The story of how this happened can be traced to Miami in the 1980s.

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[New content is generally posted on Friday.]