The 2013 NORML Aspen Legal Seminar registration site is now live on the NORML website, and we urge you to register now for what will surely be another exceptional legal seminar and wonderful long-weekend with friends and colleagues in the Rocky Mountains. The dates for the seminar this year are Thursday, May 30 through Saturday, June 1 at The Gant, our usual venue in Aspen.
The program this year will include such timely topics as the legal and ethical obligations of attorneys who represent cannabusinesses; the latest science and law regarding DUID cases; blocking the government from getting your client’s email; avoiding deportation for your non-citizen clients; the changes in probable cause in those states that have some form of legal marijuana; child custody issues for marijuana smokers; various ways to effectively conduct voir dire; all you need to know about cellular telephone tracking; and using your iPhone and iPad for the defense.
We will also be holding our annual benefit dinner at the lovely home of Chris and Gerry Goldstein on Friday evening, and we have been invited back to Owl Farm, Hunter S. Thomspon’s old homestead, for a cookout and live country music on Saturday afternoon, as guests of Hunter’s widow, Anita Thompson.
Please plan to join us in Aspen this spring, and experience first hand what it feels like to live in a state that has fully legalized marijuana.
Those wishing to make your hotel reservations early can call The Gant (970-925-5000), and let them know you are attending the NORML legal seminar to qualify for our block of reduced-rate rooms.
We hope to see you in Aspen in late May.
Keith Stroup, Esq.
NORML Legal Counsel
Polling data released this week by Public Policy Polling shows a large base of support for marijuana law reforms in New Hampshire. Not only is there majority support from New Hampshire voters for the medical use of marijuana and decriminalizing its possession, but more than half support regulating and taxing marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol.
When asked if they would support or oppose changing New Hampshire law to regulate and tax marijuana similarly to alcohol, where stores would be licensed to sell marijuana to adults 21 and older, 53% responded they would support this law and only 37% were opposed.
62% stated that they would support a change in the law to provide for a fine of up to $100 without jail time or the threat of arrest for those who possess an ounce or less of marijuana and 68% support allowing for its physician supervised use. Even more enlightening, 52% stated an elected official’s support of medical marijuana made them more likely to support them.
Fortunately for New Hampshire lawmakers, they have the opportunity to capitalize on this groundswell of support for sensible marijuana laws. Legislation has already been introduced to decriminalize the possession of marijuana and a separate measure has been introduced to allow patients to use marijuana for medical purposes. The incoming governor has even voiced her support for legalizing medical use.
If you live in New Hampshire, you can use NORML’s Take Action to easily contact your elected officials in support of these measures. Click here to view our alert for decriminalization and here for medical use.
You can view the full polling data here.
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The latest installment of “This Week in Weed” is now streaming on NORMLtv.
This week in weed: a recent study further illustrates marijuana’s effectiveness in treating chronic pain and a federal judge dismisses the NORML Legal Committee lawsuit against the federal government.
When the court clerk finally called our case, the judge almost immediately called the attorneys to a bench conference, where he quickly indicated he would not have the time to hold this evidentiary hearing, but that he would refer the case to another judge in another courtroom, and we would have our evidentiary hearing that very day.
Attorney Matt Feinberg; law student Brendan Hickey; Co-Defendant Rick Cusick; Lester Grinspoon, M.D.; Co-Defendant Keith Stroup; Professor Charles Nesson; and Keith Saunders, Ph.D.
We had actually filed a motion to dismiss the case, based on our allegation that the marijuana laws are unconstitutional, and we had requested a full evidentiary hearing where we could call a number of witnesses to make our case. We had expected that the 30-page affidavit from Lester Grinspoon, M.D., would be sufficient to convince a judge to schedule an evidentiary hearing in 30 or 45 days. We were certainly not anticipating holding a hearing that very day, nor would we expect the government would be ready to hold such a hearing without some time to prepare their case.
On Saturday, September 15, 2007, NORML Founder Keith Stroup and High Times associate publisher Rick Cusick were arrested for smoking a joint at the 18th annual Boston Freedom Rally on the Boston Common. This is an event held each year to protest the continued arrest of responsible cannabis consumers in that state, and depending on the weather, it attracts from 15,000 to 50,000 supporters to the Common.
Keith and Rick have candidly acknowledged that they were sharing a joint, but they have pled not guilty and announced their intentions to challenge the constitutionality of the Massachusetts marijuana laws, and to argue for a jury instruction informing the jurors of their common law power to refuse to convict an individual, if they do not believe the offense should be a criminal matter. This long-held power of jurors is generally called jury nullification.
More after the jump… (more…)