Monday, July 30, 2018

News from NORML 2018

New House Bill Aims to Study the Impact of Legal Cannabis 
Reps. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) and Carlos Cubelo (R-FL) announced their filing of the DATA Bill at a NORML-sponsored press conference at the House Rayburn Building on Monday, July 23 to kick off NORML's annual Lobby Day. The bill seeks to commission an independent study by the National Academy of Sciences on the impact of marijuana legalization in Colorado and other states.

Rolling Stone: Could a New Bill Take Politics Out of Pot?

News of the Week


Marijuana bill would protect jobs of federal employees caught smoking pot

Attorney General Sessions Reiterates His Threats To Legalization

Los Angeles Will Vote on a Cannabis Bank


DA Drops Felony Charges Against Lawyer Who Defended Marijuana Businessman


Leading California Cannabis Industry Trade Associations Collaborate to Create Powerful Political Voice and Unify World’s Largest Cannabis Market

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Does Marijuana Affect Custody of Your Kids? It Could......

The best way to know if you or the other parent could be affected is to assume you WOULD be affected and then go from there.  There is no bright line law or case law currently in California which seals a parent's fate as to marijuana in general right now.

Attorney herein researches these issues as they apply to California Family Law, and makes best efforts to remain current on new cases or decisions.  Attorney is well aware of the long running case from Butte County that then seeming moved to another county just north of Butte, with varying detriment (depending on what one considers detrimental...)  In any event, any type of drug, even if it's a prescription, can be cause for concern in a divorce case.

We all know that alcohol use can be a concern, but it's legal to buy it, right? It's legal to obtain many drugs straight off the shelf at the store. When courts have to consider whether drug usage is going to affect custody, it will depend on what evidence is available, how good the attorney is at setting up the defense or attack of the issue, what the exact facts are and are they verifiable, and how; essentially, all of the foundation requirements for evidentiary hearing, and all of the foundation requirements for supporting evidence should be known; further, the lack of such evidence and the preclusion possibilities, as with all evidence, will come into play.

Trying cases with drugs involved should be left to attorneys who handle trials, because the proof and litigation aspects can be done with more precision. Many clients don't want to spend the funds to engage litigators to gain appropriate custody because they do not understand the time involved to make the defense, or the admissibility for proper charging evidence.

In family law we usually see many clients that just believe all they have to do is say something, and that makes it true.  That is not the case necessarily.  Conversely, clients often believe they can just say something is not true, and that will prove their case. That too is not necessarily true, because if it was, then there would be no NEED for any attorneys at all, because clients could prove everything themselves?

Obviously, clients, at least most of them, are not able to do that because they did not go to law school and then work for 20+ years at honing their skill. We have to deal with inaccurate facts, misleading statements, the social media nightmare, Facebook (often the absolute worst), and tons of  Internet postings, admissions, accusations, texts, blogging, examples: Lively, Instagram, Vine, Snapchat, Kiks Messenger, WhatsApp, GroupMe,tumblr, Twitter,Musical.ly, You Now: Broadcast,Chat,and Watch Live Video, Burn Note,Whisper, Yik Yak, Omegle+Tinder (dangerous/or not appropriate for kids).

New apps come out all the time and they will never stop. These things can be worse than drugs in some ways as unknown people can take advantage of kids, teens, etc. A parent would never even know because most parents don't really know what kids are doing with their phones.

Personally, we would not give kids a phone, computer or any electronic device which was NOT monitored, it is very easy to obtain software to do this!

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

NORML Explains the New 2016 Recreational MJ Use after Prop 64 Passed

California’s marijuana laws will change at midnight  (Nov 8th 2016) since Prop 64 passed.  As of Nov. 9th it will then become legal for any adult 21 years or older to:

    •  Possess, transport, obtain or give away to other adults 21 or older no more than one ounce of marijuana or 8 grams of concentrated cannabis.    
    •  Cultivate up to six plants per residence and possess the marijuana produced by these plants.  All plants and harvest in excess of one ounce must be kept in a locked space not in public view at one’s residence.  Local governments may still forbid cultivation outdoors, but must allow it inside a private residence or accessory structure that is “fully enclosed and secure.”  
      • Medical marijuana patients keep their existing rights under Prop 215 to possess and cultivate as much as they need for personal medical use so long as they have a doctor’s recommendation, regardless of the Prop 64 limits for adult users. Beware though that local governments may still restrict cultivation via nuisance ordinances (except for the six indoor plant minimum allowed for personal use).   
     •  Retail sales for adult use will not begin until licensed stores are in operation after Jan 1, 2018.  In the meantime, Prop 215 patients with a doctor’s recommendation can continue to purchase at medical collectives and dispensaries. 
    •  Tax Tip for 215 Patients:  Patients who have a state medical marijuana ID card will be exempt from the state sales tax immediately, according to the State Board of Equalization.  If you spend more than $100 per month on medicine, it should pay you to get a state ID card.  State ID cards are available from county health departments;  under Prop 64 the card fees are capped  at $100 ($50 for Medi-Cal patients).  

      Under Prop 64, you may NOT:
     • Consume marijuana in any public place ($100 infraction).   (On-site consumption at licensed premises will be permitted at a later date.) 
    • Smoke or vaporize marijuana in any non-smoking area or within 1,000 feet of a school, day care or youth center while children are present, except privately at a residence. ($250 fine)
 .     •  Consume marijuana or possess an “open container” of marijuana while driving or riding as a passenger in any  motor vehicle, boat, or airplane ($250 fine). 
    * Possess or use marijuana on the grounds of a school, day care or youth center while children are present. ($100 fine).
    •  Manufacture concentrated cannabis with a volatile solvent(except for state-licensed manufacturers).  
    • Minors under 21 may not possess, use, transport, or cultivate marijuana, subject to a $100 fine for those 18 and older.  Minors under 18 are subject to drug counseling or community service.
    • Possession of more than one ounce remains a misdemeanor punishable by $500 and/or six months in jail as at present.  Other offenses, including cultivation of over six plants, transport of over an ounce, illegal sale or distribution for compensation, possession with intent to sell, etc., are downgraded from felonies to misdemeanors except in certain aggravating circumstances.  

    Rights NOT protected by Prop 64:
    • Owners may forbid the possession or use of marijuana on their property subject to normal tenant law for renters.
    •  Employers may prohibit use of marijuana by their employees. 

    Prior offenders:  If you have been convicted for a marijuana felony or other offense that has been downgraded by Prop 64, you may petition the court to have your record changed to what it would be if Prop 64 had been in effect.   

Cal NORML will be holding a meeting this Thursday, Nov 10th in San Francisco to discuss Prop 64.  Members free, $10 donation for public. Our special guest will be Tim Morland of the BOE speaking about tax issues for the marijuana industry. 

Marijuana 7,700 pounds Seized in West Point CA 23 Arrested

Calaveras County sheriff's deputies have arrested 23 people in connection with an illegal pot grow that netted more than three tons of marijuana.

Deputies seized 7,700 pounds of marijuana and other substances on Oct. 25 during a warrant search from three separate addresses in West Point, California. The cache has an estimated value of $8 million.

Investigators found 1,000 to 1,500 pounds of marijuana ready for sale and several hundred pounds were discovered that were already packaged and ready to ship. At least 1,048 plants were destroyed and just under $13,000 was seized as evidence.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Fed 9th Circuit Rules Gun Ban for Marijuana Card is Constitutional


Dear Stoner: Why can’t I own a gun if I’m a medical marijuana patient?
Dear Angel: Because you’re a criminal. Not in our eyes, of course, but in the eyes of the federal government, which doesn’t recognize marijuana as anything but an illegal drug. 
When you buy a new gun, you’ve got to fill out a form with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms that asks if you are “an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance.” 
And although your red card makes cannabis use legal at the state level, for Uncle Sam it doesn’t change the fact that you are an “unlawful user” of marijuana. If you answer “no” to that question, you’re committing perjury. And if you answer “yes,” you’re not getting your gun. Sellers can also be fined or jailed if they know they’re selling a gun or ammunition to a pot user. (For what it’s worth, you can legally drink booze while possessing a gun as long as you aren’t drunk.) Colorado law, including laws for concealed carry, says the same thing federal law does. In fact, the only medical-cannabis state to expressly allow patients to keep their firearms is Illinois.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Feds Say Lack of Scientific Clinical Evidence of Safety and Efficacy re MJ Re-Classification

As part of this review, the DEA obtained from the FDA an unpublished lengthy report on the status of cannabis science as it relates to human health. This review emphasized the standards by which a new drug can gain approval. 
This includes:
  • The drug’s chemistry must be known and reproducible
  • There must be adequate safety studies
  • There must be adequate, well-controlled studies showing efficacy
  • The drug must be accepted by qualified experts
  • The scientific evidence for the safety and efficacy of the drug must be widely available
In recommending that cannabis not be descheduled, the FDA identified multiple known health issues related to cannabis use, including prenatal exposure, behavioral effects, deleterious impact on those prone to psychoses, and negative impacts on a patient’s cardiovascular, endocrine, respiratory, and immune systems. In addition, given the inconsistent quality and limited amount of controlled cannabis research, and lack of NDAs or INDAs, the FDA concluded that the current evidence did not support the rescheduling of cannabis.
In essence, in its statement, the DEA adopted the FDA’s opinion, stating that while the use of cannabis for treating a variety of conditions has seen approval at the state level, the federal government has yet to see sufficient scientific clinical evidence of safety and efficacy to warrant the reclassification of cannabis. The DEA’s letter ends with the statement, “But we will remain tethered to science, as we must, and as the statute demands.”

Saturday, September 3, 2016

City Palm Springs v Luna Crest Inc....Conflict, Obstacle Preemption

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP - Carrie L. Bonnington and Derek M. Mayor


...[T]he tension between federal prohibition and state legalization of marijuana, medical and recreational, is perhaps most paramount with regard to issues involving banking, federal taxes, and employment. For all three subject matters, the general consensus is federal prohibition trumps state legalization. 

With regard to banking, due to federal banking laws, marijuana money transfers cannot be effectuated through credit card companies or debit networks, and revenues obtained by marijuana enterprises cannot be stored in FDIC-insured banks. 
With regard to taxes, among other things, marijuana businesses cannot deduct business expenses for federal tax purposes.10 And, with regard to employment, for national employers, especially those with government contracts and zero-tolerance drug policies, it appears that employers cannot be punished for enforcing their drug policies even if they prohibit state-sanctioned marijuana use.11

Furthermore, in a recent decision, City of Palm Springs v. Luna Crest Inc., 12 a California Court of Appeal added another piece of precedent establishing that California’s medical marijuana laws do not conflict or obstruct federal law in violation of the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution. In the Luna Crest case, Luna Crest Inc. (Luna) opened a medical marijuana dispensary within the City limits of Palm Springs (the City).
The Palm Springs Municipal Code requires, among other things, a permit to operate a marijuana dispensary within the City, which Luna did not obtain. The City subsequently brought suit seeking a preliminary injunction against Luna’s continued operation of its unpermitted dispensary. In response, Luna filed a cross-complaint and a motion seeking a preliminary injunction against the City’s continued enforcement of its permitting requirement. In its motion, Luna contended that the CSA preempts the City’s permit requirement. The trial court denied the motion, and Luna appealed.
The California Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s order, rejecting Luna’s preemption argument.
In relevant part, the Court held that the City’s laws did not conflict or obstruct the CSA. With respect to the issue of conflict preemption, the Court concluded that the City’s permitting requirements do not require anything that the CSA forbids—the City is merely exercising its regulatory, licensing, and zoning authority, regarding medical marijuana dispensaries.13 
With respect to obstacle preemption, in relevant part, the Court ruled that a strong local regulatory regime governing medical marijuana related conduct is actually consistent with the purpose of the CSA, which, among other purposes, is meant to combat recreational drug abuse and drug trafficking.14
*all emphasis added by blog

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Montana Supreme Ct. Limits Cardholders to 3 Per Dispensary


The new law [which was temporarily under injunction] is highly restrictive and allows doctors to only prescribe medical marijuana to 25 patients a year. Dispensaries can stay open but can only sell to three cardholders. Providers can no longer advertise. The law also prohibits people who are on probation from being able to register as cardholders.
Also, the law allows police to search a provider’s business without a warrant.
Enforcement of the new restrictions mainly will be carried out by city and county authorities, Department of Justice spokesman John Barnes said.   There were 471 medical marijuana providers for 13,640 registered patients at the end of January, according to the most recent data from the state. 
Of those providers, 325 supply the drug to more people than the three-patient limit set by state lawmakers and upheld by the Supreme Court's decision. The largest provider has more than 770 patients. Reid acknowledged most of those large operations will have to shut down. Even if all 471 continued to operate with only three patients each, that would leave more than 12,200 patients without a legal way to buy medical marijuana, he said.
Prior to this, Montana voters passed an initiative in 2004 making medical marijuana legal.                 Concerned over the abuse of the system, the legislature passed the Montana Marijuana Act in 2011. The Supreme Court stated in its decision, “the Legislature considered abuses that had occurred under the 2004 law, such as ... a disproportionate number of medical marijuana users who falsified or exaggerated their need for medical marijuana.”
After the legislature passed the Montana Marijuana Act in 2011, the cannabis association was granted an injunction to keep the law from going into effect. Since then, marijuana dispensaries have been operating under “business as usual” conditions. Gibbons said he was shocked, after all this time, to learn the Supreme Court made the decision.

State v Federal Perspective


State vs Federal Perspective

At the federal level, marijuana remains classified as a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act, where Schedule I substances are considered to have a high potential for dependency and no accepted medical use, making distribution of marijuana a federal offense. In October of 2009, the Obama Administration sent a memo to federal prosecutors encouraging them not to prosecute people who distribute marijuana for medical purposes in accordance with state law.
In late August 2013, the U.S. Department of Justice announced an update to their marijuana enforcement policy. The statement reads that while marijuana remains illegal federally, the USDOJ expects states like Colorado and Washington to create "strong, state-based enforcement efforts.... and will defer the right to challenge their legalization laws at this time." The department also reserves the right to challenge the states at any time they feel it's necessary.
Arizona and the District of Columbia voters passed initiatives to allow for medical use, only to have them overturned. In 1998, voters in the District of Columbia passed Initiative 59. However, Congress blocked the initiative from becoming law. In 2009, Congress reversed its previous decision, allowing the initiative to become law. The D.C. Council then put Initiative 59 on hold temporarily and unanimously approved modifications to the law.
Before passing Proposition 203 in 2010, Arizona voters originally passed a ballot initiative in 1996. However, the initiative stated that doctors would be allowed to write a "prescription" for marijuana. Since marijuana is still a Schedule I substance, federal law prohibits its prescription, making the initiative invalid. Medical marijuana "prescriptions" are more often called "recommendations" or "referrals" because of the federal prescription prohibition.
States with medical marijuana laws generally have some form of patient registry, which may provide some protection against arrest for possession up to a certain amount of marijuana for personal medicinal use. 
Some of the most common policy questions regarding medical marijuana include how to regulate its recommendation, dispensing, and registration of approved patients.  Some states and localities without dispensary regulation are experiencing a boom in new businesses, in hopes of being approved before presumably stricter regulations are made.  Medical marijuana growers or dispensaries are often called "caregivers" and may be limited to a certain number of plants or products per patient.  This issue may also be regulated on a local level, in addition to any state regulation.

The MJ Busts In Nor Cal That Keep People thinking....

Large Pot Grow Raided In Manteca, $8M Worth Of Plants DiscoveredPolice raided a large scale marijuana growing operation in Manteca that was set to be harvested.
I-80 Pot Bust At Truckee; 1 Arrest, $100K In DrugsPolice in California say they arrested a New York man and seized 38 pounds of marijuana worth an estimated street value of more than $100,000 during a drug bust north of Lake Tahoe on Interstate 80 near Truckee.
Nearly 100 Pot Plants Found In Bust Near Rio Linda High School“In fact, I think you may be able to see one grow from the bleachers at Rio Linda High School.”
Butte County Deputies Find 751 Marijuana Plants In Oroville, Berry CreekButte County deputies arrested four people in two different instances and seized more than 700 pounds of marijuana in Oroville and Butte County on Thursday.
Guns, Pot Plants Seized From Home Of Suspected White SupremacistTo call it a cache of guns is an understatement, and they were found along with hundreds of pot plants inside a home where children lived.