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Las Vegas police and federal drug agents brought in dogs and a SWAT vehicle, occupied the roof, arrested 10 people and seized marijuana and psilocybin over the weekend at Hempcon, a marijuana education convention at the Cashman Center.
Attendees described seeing police dogs around the event, as well as officers on the roof of the building, apparently trying to find people smoking marijuana, reports Eric Hartley at the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Event organizers were outraged by the heavy-handed arrests, and some attendees said patients were left frightened as Nevada’s first legal medicinal cannabis dispensaries prepare to open.
“It’s disheartening for our whole community,” said Jennifer Solis of the Wellness Education Cannabis Advocates of Nevada (WECAN), who attended the event.
Officers shut down five booths from Friday to Sunday, arrested 10 people and cited three others on charges of drug possession, possession with intent to sell and transporting a controlled substance, according to Officer Laura Meltzer, a Las Vegas Metro Police Department spokeswoman. Meltzer claimed officers had seized marijuana, hashish, cannabis seeds, edible products containing THC, and even some psilocybin mushrooms.
Daltrey claims he has an allergy to cannabis smoke that affects his throat and singing voice, a condition the band emphasized during the informational slides it projected before the show, reports Glenn Gamboa at Newsday.
Daltrey ultimately confronted the audience member who was toking up; the fan seems to have obliged and the show continued as planned.
“Over the course of The Who’s 50 years as a band, you’d think frontman Roger Daltrey would have built up a tolerance to cannabis smoke,” wrote Philip Cosores at Radio.com.
Melissa Mentele, 38, said on Tuesday that her ballot measure language is currently under review at the South Dakota Attorney General’s office, reports James Nord at the Associated Press.
People with conditions such as cancer could be helped by cannabis, according to medical marijuana proponents. Mentele herself suffers from reflex sympathetic dystrophy.
Mentele said she’s taking the ballot proposal route because state legislators haven’t been willing to enact a medical marijuana program. Her proposal would allow patients with a doctor’s authorization to buy or grow cannabis, and to possess up to three dried ounces.
Louisiana’s Senate on Monday took an important step toward reforming their state’s harsh marijuana possession law when they approved bill SB 241 by a vote of 27-12. If passed, Louisiana would join the growing number of states that have recently reduced penalties for small amounts of marijuana.
“This is a long-sought opportunity to take a more compassionate and commonsense approach to marijuana,” said Yolande Cadore, director of strategic partnerships at the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA). “Louisiana’s overdue for a major overhaul of its drug policies and this is a good first step.”
The U.S. has the highest incarceration rate of any country in the world – and Louisiana has the highest rate in the U.S. Louisiana’s incarceration rate has doubled in the last twenty years and is nearly five times higher than Iran’s, 13 times higher than China’s and 20 times higher than Germany’s. One of the key drivers of Louisiana’s world-leading incarceration rate is the war on drugs – 18,000 Louisiana residents are arrested for drug law violations each year.
According to a 2013 report by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Louisiana suffers from some of the worst racial disparities in marijuana enforcement of any state in the U.S. Black Louisianans are arrested for marijuana possession at 3 times the rate as their white counterparts, despite the fact that black and white people use and sell marijuana at similar rates.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) announced late Friday afternoon that he has vetoed a widely supported bill to remove criminal penalties for possession of marijuana paraphernalia, including potential jail time.
SB 517, introduced by Sen. Bobby Zirkin (D-Baltimore County), was approved 32-13 in the Senate and 83-53 in the House of Delegates. The measure would also have designated public marijuana consumption a civil offense punishable by a $500 fine.
Maryland adopted a law last year that decriminalized possession of a small amount of marijuana, but it did not include marijuana paraphernalia. That leaves the state in the unusual position of having decriminalized marijuana itself, but marijuana paraphernalia is still a crime.
“Gov. Hogan’s decision to veto this widely supported, common-sense legislation is baffling,” reads a prepared statement from the Marijuana Policy Coalition of Maryland, which supported SB 517. “An overwhelming majority of Maryland voters do not want citizens to be subjected to jail time and a lifelong criminal record simply for using marijuana. Their elected officials have stood up for them on this issue twice, and we hope they will do so again by overriding the governor’s veto.
Mizanskey, 62, was the only man in Missouri prisons serving life for pot, report Kevin S. Held and Anthony Kiekow at Fox 2 Now. He was arrested during an undercover drug operation in Sedalia, Missouri, in 1993, and was sentenced in 1996 under the state’s Prior and Persistent Drug Offender Law, which is a three-strike, habitual offender system.
“The executive power to grant clemency is one I take with a great deal of consideration and seriousness,” Nixon said in a press release announcing the commutation of Mizanskey’s sentence, reports Danny Wicentowski at Riverfront Times. Nixon also pardoned five other nonviolent offenders.
“It’s wonderful,” said Michael Mizanskey, Jeff’s brother. “Thank Jay Nixon for doing that, for finally looking at his case and doing the right thing.”
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