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This Week in Weed: October 23rd – 29th

  • by Erik Altieri, NORML Communications Director October 28, 2011

    This Week in WeedThe latest installment of “This Week in Weed” is now streaming on NORMLtv.

    This week: politicians in California speak out against the federal crackdown and a new study looks at impairment levels in casual and heavy cannabis consumers.

    Be sure to tune in to NORMLtv each Thursday afternoon to catch up on the latest marijuana news. Subscribe to NORMLtv or follow us on Twitter to be notified as soon as new content is added.

    14 Responses to “This Week in Weed: October 23rd – 29th”

    1. FHIM says:

      The State should protect us from Federal attacks; State enforcement should stand in the way of Federal enforcement. The Declaration of Independence and Constitution were signed by the original 13 colonies, and by all other states to follow, that The state should have to protect its citizens from the Federal Government commiting tyrranical rule, and the states should be standing up for one another; if one state gets invaded, the way California did, by the Federal government, all other states should be ready to Petition the government to sustain from doing so!

    2. Michael Hennigan says:

      I really enjoy and look forward to each weeks “This Week in Weed”. As well as the most informative and trust worthy articles everyday. I sure wish MO. had MMJ.

    3. Scott Kelley says:

      There is no doubt an attack going on and it bewilders me to no end to who these people are and how they became so organized to attack people like me and you. I have written my AG in Michigan to find out that he is biased and has set his mind to attack the medical doctors next as he believes that people are faking and lieing about their medical conditions. He also believes that mixing marijuana with other drugs that may be perscribed has harmful effects and needs to be stopped. These are some scary times when votors and patients are going to be crimnalized for their health and practices to maintain a basic human right. My feelings are that if this is allowed all witch doctors and people who visit a health store to buy alternative medicines will be next. Then the ER doctor will be a criminal for adminstering pain medications at their own discretion. We can not have a one sided issue here as if one drug is bad then they all must be bad. They can not just pick on one side of the fence, they will have to make it as one drug fits all drugs. It is an outrage to say the least.

    4. Anonymous says:

      C’mon, do you really think the average person is dumb enough in California to speak out about the U.S. government or the feds actions without the fear of being arrested ? Oh, they won’t use ” you were arrested because of your stand against the feds or the
      government ” ….they will try and make it look like you were arrested on another matter . Example ; you are in business for yourself, make only $12,000 a year but can’t afford to pay or file taxes then they’ll lie by tricking you and say your being arrested for tax evasion .Let us not forget the patriot act which is another example of how they are controlling us . Seizing your property or stealing your children from you are just more examples .

    5. Anonymous says:

      Newspapers and television stories across the nation documented hundreds of cases of innocent citizens wrongfully deprived of their homes, businesses and livlihoods. Eighty percent of property forfeited to the US during the previous decade was seized from owners who were never even charged with a crime . Over $7 billion has been forfeited to the federal government since 1985. Until the advent of FEAR law enforcement officials promoting expanded forfeiture laws comprised the overwhelming majority of lobbyists at hearings on forfeiture litigation.
      “Findings suggest asset forfeiture is a dysfunctional policy. Forfeiture programs, while serving to generate income, prompt drug enforcement to serve functions that are inherently contradictory and often at odds with the demands of justice.”

    6. Anonymous says:

      I’m broken this up into 3 seperate catagories so it won’t be so boring & so here is my my third thought and commentary ………….

      During the many years of its existence, the “War on Drugs” has transformed the criminal
      justice system, to the point where the imperatives of drug law enforcement
      now drive many of the broader legislative, law enforcement, and corrections policies
      in counterproductive ways. One significant impetus for this transformation
      has been the enactment of forfeiture laws which allow law enforcement agencies
      to keep the lion’s share of the drug-related assets they seize. This financial incentive
      has left many law enforcement agencies dependent on drug law enforcement
      to meet their budgetary requirements, at the expense of alternative goals such as
      the investigation and prosecution of non-drug crimes, crime prevention strategies,
      and drug education and treatment. The empirical data show that the
      corruption of law enforcement priorities and wholesale miscarriages of injustices can
      be attributed to the operation of these incentives, and also help explain why the
      drug war continues with such heavy emphasis on law enforcement and incarceration.
      The legal analysis questions the constitutionality of the forfeiture funding
      scheme under the due process clause, the appropriations clause, and the separation
      of powers.

    7. With tensions surrounding medical marijuana ordinances perpetually high in recent months, Humboldt County medical marijuana advocates were not surprised by the Americans for Safe Access lawsuit filed Thursday against the federal government’s efforts to crack down on the state’s storefront pot dispensaries.

      Arcata dispensary owner Mariellen Jurkovich said the lawsuit illustrates the frustration the medical marijuana community has experienced over the years.

      ”It’s good that we have people that are fighting for the rights of patients, for state rights,” she said.

      The suit claims government officials have overstepped their constitutional authority by not respecting how local officials have chosen to regulate pot stores and growers.

      With local governments creating new ordinances and regulations for dispensaries, Jurkovich — like many other local dispensary owners — said she put in effort and money to ensure her dispensary was up to par with city code. But now, recent pressure from the federal government has put a strain on that legitimacy, causing cities like Arcata and Eureka to reconsider their ordinances.

      The lawsuit filed in San Francisco by the advocacy group Americans for Safe Access states that recent raids of licensed dispensaries, and letters warning city officials they could be prosecuted for trying to regulate medical marijuana cultivation and sales, constitute an illegal power grab under the 10th Amendment. The amendment awards
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      to states legislative authority not explicitly reserved for the federal government.

      ”ASA does not challenge the congressional authority to enact laws criminalizing the possession and/or control of marijuana, as this issue has been resolved in the government’s favor,” Americans for Safe Access chief counsel Joe Elford wrote in the complaint. “It is, rather, the government’s tactics, and the unlawful assault on state sovereignty they represent, that form the gravamen of ASA’s claim.”

      The suit names U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and Melinda Haag, the U.S. attorney for Northern California, as defendants. Haag’s spokesman Jack Gillund declined to comment on the case.

      Earlier this month, the four federal prosecutors in California announced a broad effort to close medical marijuana clubs they claim are located too close to places where children gather or are fronts for drug dealing. They sent letters to landlords renting space to medical marijuana dispensaries, saying they could have their property seized for aiding and abetting criminal enterprises.

      Many of the 38 Southern California marijuana outlets that were targeted in the letters have closed because landlords, threatened with criminal charges or seizure of their assets, were given just two weeks to evict their tenants. Property owners in the rest of the state were given six weeks to comply.

      In recent months, the cities of Eureka and Arcata have revisited their medical marijuana ordinances in fear of federal repercussions. While Arcata decided to suspend the issuance of permits, Eureka is meeting Tuesday to discuss a possible dispensary permit moratorium.

      Kelly Dodds, executive director of the Humboldt Bay Wellness Center, said more lawsuits are expected if Eureka chooses to yield to federal pressure. Although she is not a member of ASA, she said she can empathize with the sentiment of providing safe access of medicine. The center is one of three businesses approved to apply for a permit to open a dispensary in town.

      ”The federal government can’t come in and overthrow our state constitution, it can’t overturn our state laws, it can get away with it if people allow it … this is another aspect of civil rights as far as I’m concerned,” she said.

      The lawsuit filed Thursday on behalf of Americans for Safe Access’ 20,000 California members does not contradict the right of federal prosecutors to go after property owners. Instead, it challenges their authority to “coerce” local government officials into abandoning procedures for licensing and regulating dispensaries and growers, Elford said.

      Since the U.S. attorneys announced their crackdown, officials in Sacramento and Arcata, for example, have suspended plans to issue operating permits to dispensaries that meet specific criteria.

      ”By directly interfering with the legislative function of the state, they force the state to criminalize activities they do not want to criminalize,” Elford said.

      Along with an injunction barring the Department of Justice from interfering with dispensaries that meet state and local regulations, the suit seeks the return of 99 marijuana plants that were seized during an Oct. 13 raid of a medical marijuana collective that operated with oversight from the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office.

      Local attorney and medical marijuana advocate Greg Allen said no matter the outcome, a case of this nature will be appealed and could have the potential to reach the U.S. Supreme Court. For any case having to do with the 10th Amendment, he said it is important to recognize that local officials have the latitude, and the responsibility, to follow state law.

      ”I think they have to follow state law or resign,” he said. “That’s what they signed up for, their duty is to state law and their duty is to the voters of California, and more important, their duty is to the local community.”

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