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One Denver police officer seen in a blue hazmat suit entering a building on North Bryant Street told The Denver Post that he and other officers were executing a search warrant, and that several other raids were being conducted around town.
“It’s a very large and successfu investigation,” claimed James Gothe, group supervisor of the DEA’s special support unit in Denver. “We’re assisting.”
Marijuana for medicinal purposes was legalized by California voters at the ballot box back in 1996 — but some law enforcement types apparently still haven’t gotten the message. Police routinely terrorize thousands of patient-cultivators every year with warrantless, no-knock raids, willfully ignoring established law, and now a San Diego narcotics officer has been photographed wearing a t-shirt reading “FUCK THE GROWERS… MARIJUANA’S STILL ILLEGAL — while raiding patients.
Advocacy group Reform California on October 24 posted pictures of a San Diego Narcotics Task Force officer wearing the profane shirt during a Wednesday raid in Imperial Beach, reports David Downs at SF Gate. The photo was reportedly snapped by a 10News photojournalist.
While marijuana is still illegal under federal law for any purpose, state law enforcement officers are supposed uphold state laws. California residents with a doctor’s authorization can possess or grow any amount of marijuana deemed medically necessary by their physician.
As the midterm election approaches, representatives of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) are hard at work educating voters about the need for drug policy reform in states with relevant initiatives on the ballot.
A pair of police chiefs, Retired Seattle Police Chief Norm Stamper and sitting Police Chief Larry Kirk, are in Alaska, where voters are about to weigh in on an initiative to legalize, regulate and control marijuana (Measure 2). The two went to seven towns between them, from Anchorage to Kodiak, to educate voters on the public safety benefits of legalization.
In the meantime, a former prosecutor and a retired lieutenant sheriff are doing a similar tour of Oregon (Measure 91) and a former police officer and former Customs agent are speaking to Florida voters about medical marijuana (Amendment 2). These tours have included meetings with civic clubs, conversations with the media and debates with opponents.
“Unfortunately, mid-term elections historically have low levels of turnout, so their results don’t reflect the will of the people as completely as votes in presidential years,” said Major Neill Franklin (Ret.), LEAP’s executive director. “We hope that these initiatives, so vital to public safety, community relations and basic issues of fairness will change that – that we’ll see greater participation from both sides of the aisle and important changes in drug policy across the nation.”
The endorsers include former Seattle police chief Norm Stamper, former Multnomah County Sheriff Don Clark, former Denver Police Department Lt. Tony Ryan and Los Angeles Police Department Deputy Chief Stephen Downing.
The Yes on 91 campaign announced their support as part of a press conference today featuring former U.S. Attorney Kris Olson; former Oregon Supreme Court Justice Bill Riggs; 30-year law enforcement veteran Paul Steigleder; and Partnership for Safety and Justice director Cassandra Villanueva.
Decades of medical studies prove cannabis isn’t the danger the government has claimed it is, the experts told a federal judge, reports David Downs at SF Gate.
The epochal cultivation trial, U.S. v. Schweder in the Eastern District of California, in which U.S. District Court Judge Kimberly J. Mueller is allowing a hearing on a defense motion to declare marijuana’s Schedule I classification as unconstitutional, has national implications.
Defense witnesses Gregory Carter, M.D., and Carl Hart, Ph.D., testified in Sacramento on Friday, and Philip Denny, M.D., testified on Monday and Tuesday. Government witness Bertha Madras, Ph.D., a former deputy drug czar under President George W. Bush, argued in that marijuana isn’t medicine.
A new report projects that legal marijuana could be an industry with revenues of $35 billion by 2020 if cannabis is legalized at the federal level. Greenwave Advisors, which authored the report, notes that this is a floor representing revenues in the first year of nationwide legalization.
That figure — $35 billion — represents more annual revenue than the NFL (currently $10 billion), and is roughly equal to current revenues from the newspaper publishing industry ($38 billion) and the candy/confectionary industry ($34 billion), reports Christopher Ingraham at .
Greenwave arrived at its estimates by looking at existing and likely marijuana markets, medical and recreational, in states that already have legalized them, as well as in states that appear likely to open such markets by 2020. The research and analysis company estimates 12 states plus D.C. will have legalized recreational cannabis by 2020, reports Matt Ferner at The Huffington Post, with medical marijuana in 37 states.