Toke Signals Bud Pick of the Week
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A spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) this week told the Los Angeles Times that a bipartisan amendment passed by Congress last year prohibiting DOJ from spending any money to undermine state medical marijuana laws doesn’t prevent it from prosecuting people for medical marijuana or seizing their property.
The statement comes as the agency continues to target people who are complying with their state medical marijuana law. This insubordination is occurring despite the fact that members of Congress in both parties were clear that their intent with the amendment was to protect medical marijuana patients and providers from federal prosecution and forfeiture.
“The Justice Department is ignoring the will of the voters, defying Congress, and breaking the law,” said Bill Piper, director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA). “President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder need to rein in this out-of-control agency.”
According to NCIA Executive Director Aaron Smith, the pot lobby is tired of the Cheech & Chong stoner jokes and wants to be taken seriously in Congress, reports Burgess Everett at Politico. The cannabis industry reportedly wants to move past the stoner stereotypes represented by Chong as it tries to remake itself as a “serious suits segment” of the economy.
Smith, in a Monday email sent to Chong’s representatives and allies, said that after feedback from “allied members of Congress,” the group decided Chong wasn’t its best representative in D.C., particularly when it comes to influencing right-wing lawmakers.
Jamaica’s governor general has given his assent to the so-called “Ganja Law,” the bill amending the Dangerous Drugs Act, making possession of two ounces or less of marijuana a ticketable offense rather than an arrestable one.
Justice Minister Mark Golding made the disclosure yesterday, just over a month after the Jamaican House of Representatives joined the Senate in passing the legislation now being called the Ganja Law, reports the Jamaica Observer.
“My understanding is that the GG has now assented to the Bill and the signed Bill is now on its way back to Parliament,” Golding told ganja advocates who were anxious that the amendments become law as soon as possible.
The bill, crafted by the Alabama Safe Access Project (ASAP), was filed on Thursday as SB 326 by state Senator Bobby Singleton (D-Greensboro), according to ASAP director Ron Crumpton.
The companion bill is set to be filed in the Alabama House on Monday by Rep. John Rogers (D-Birmingham), according to Crumpton.
Trooper Billy Spears, who was pictured in uniform beside the rapper at the South By Southwest music festival in Austin, is now fighting back, according to his lawyer, arguing that while he agreed to be photographed, he didn’t realized the famed rapper had marijuana convictions, or that they’d affect him, reports Nina Golgowski at the New York Daily News.
“Martha Stewart, she’s a convicted felon,” said Spears’ attorney, Ty Clevenger. “What about Randy Travis? He’s had run-ins with the law.”
In a sadly predictable development, the mortally wounded but still dangerous War On Cannabis has produced a new book from former drug czar William Bennett. Bennett’s new nonsense-filled tome is called Going To Pot, and anyone who enjoys right wing moralizing, pseudo-scientific scare-mongering, and patent nonsense can certainly have a hell of a time with this piece of trash.
Bennett served as director of national drug control policy (drug czar) under President George H.W. Bush, and he’s long been known for his obnoxious pronouncements and conservative backwardness, as well as tiresomely moralizing and practically unreadable volumes such as The Book of Virtues.
In Going To Pot, Bennett and coauthor Robert White, managing partner in an international law firm and former assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey, examine current efforts to legalize pot. “Marijuana, once considered worthy of condemnation, has in recent years become a ‘medicine’ legalized fully in four states, with others expected to follow,” they write.
Here’s a handy rule of thumb, folks, and so far, it’s reliably worked 100 percent of the time for me. Whenever you’re reading something and they put “medicine” in quotes when speaking of cannabis, you’re wasting your time; read something else, preferably something where the author isn’t suffering from advanced cranial-rectal inversion.
A 27-year-old Missouri man was charged with selling marijuana after confessing during a traffic stop for having the wrong license plate, the St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office said on Friday.
According to court documents, the original incident took place on July 24, 2014, reports Brandie Piper at KSDK. When an officer smelled marijuana, suspect James Redmond allegedly said, “I just smoked some when I left Hotshots. It’s in the center console.”
The officer searched as instructed and discovered a glass pipe, an e-cigarette, capsules with a dark liquid smelling like marijuana, and $1,534 in cash.
Toke Signals Must Read of the Week
By Cheri SicardMarijuana users are frequently given the advice to never chat or “cooperate” with law enforcement, and there’s no better example of why not than Crystal Munoz, currently in her 7th year of incarceration on a 19 year, 10 month sentence.
Her nightmare began when DEA agents visited Munoz’s home. They assured the young mother of an infant daughter, who happened to be pregnant with her third child at the time, that she was not in any kind of trouble. The agents claimed they merely needed to speak with Crystal to get a few questions answered and details cleared up about an incident that had taken place 3 years earlier.
The activities in question involved a map that Crystal had drawn showing how to circumvent a drug checkpoint. She herself was never caught with any drugs. Her indictment and prosecution was based entirely on the testimony of the people who were actually caught trafficking the drugs 3 years earlier.
Editor’s note: Toke Signals TV/Toke Radio is on hiatus…
The video blog/podcast will return on April 10.