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United States: Four NFL Players Ask Jeff Sessions To Fix The Justice System

Justice

The war on drugs is a war most of the country, unlike Attorney General Jeff Sessions, would like to end

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Current National Football League (NFL) players, Johnson Bademosi (Detroit), Anquan Boldin (Detroit), Malcolm Jenkins (Philadelphia) and Glover Quin (Detroit), have written a column that advocates against what could be a renewed war on drugs. The op-ed piece, posted at CNN.com, is a response to Attorney General Jeff Sessions request for prosecutors to seek the strongest possible sentences in all situations, including non-violent drug offenses.

California: Legal Cannabis Potentially a $5-Billion Boon to Economy, Study Finds

Cannabis Boon

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

With the passage of Proposition 64, California’s looming legal recreational cannabis market could total more than $5 billion in annual sales, according to a study by the University of California Agricultural Issues Center.

The university’s study, which was contracted by the the state’s Bureau of Marijuana Control, forecast that legal recreational sales will make up 61.5% of California’s total cannabis market and legal medical cannabis about 9%. About 29% of all cannabis consumers may stay in the illegal market.

North America: Individuals Using Cannabis To End Drug, Alcohol Addiction

Cannabis - Booze - Pills

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, an estimated 21.5 million Americans struggled with a substance abuse disorder in 2014. Nearly 80 percent of those individuals specifically battled alcohol use disorder. Interestingly, cannabis may be a way to help those who are struggling.

United States: Federal Appeals Court Quashes States’ Attempt To Halt Colorado’s Recreational Cannabis Law, Allows RICO Suits

Court Quashes States’ Attempt To Halt Colorado’s Recreational Cannabis Law, Allows RICO Suits

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Last Wednesday, a three-judge panel for 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver upheld a lower court’s dismissal of Nebraska and Oklahoma's attempt to overturn Colorado’s recreational cannabis law, according to the Denver Post.

Oklahoma: Veteran Facing Life Sentence For Medicinal Cannabis Set Free After Public Outcry

Lewandowski Family, MassRoots

After the public outcry of support, the Marine veteran was treated with regard rather than disdain in the courtroom

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

The state of Oklahoma was pursuing life in prison against Kristoffer Lewandowski, a 10 year Marine Corps Veteran who was a member of the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit. Lewandowski, an honorably discharged Marine who served his country for over a decade, was facing ten years to life in prison for growing 6 cannabis plants in 2014, to treat his PTSD and combat injuries after Pharmaceuticals failed him.

Maryland: Expungement Bill Becomes Law Minus Governor's Signature

Maryland Cannabis Arrest

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

On May 27, legislation permitting certain marijuana offenders to petition for an expungement of criminal convictions became law, without Republican Gov. Larry Hogan's signature.

Senate Bill 949, sponsored by Senator William C. Smith, Jr. of District 20, permits individuals previously convicted of a marijuana possession an opportunity to petition to have their criminal record expunged.

In 2014, the Maryland legislature decriminalized offenses involving the possession of up to ten grams of cannabis.

Global: Uruguay Becomes First Country To Allow Open Cannabis Use

Uruguay Cannabis

Uruguay has never criminalized personal possession of drugs, and a 1974 law allowed judges to determine whether a given case of possession was personal or commercial

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

In August 2014, Uruguay legalized the formation of growing clubs, a state-controlled marijuana dispensary regime and created a cannabis regulatory institute. A new law makes the South American country the first in the world to sell the herb over the counter.

There was a gray area in the law where consumption was legal but cultivation was not, so every time a marijuana-grower was taken prisoner it was reinforcing the message that the only place to obtain access to a legal substance was on the illegal market.

United States: Attorney General Jeff Sessions' Escalating War On Cannabis

Jeff Sessions - War On Drugs

It's time for smart criminal justice reforms – not regressive, recycled policies

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is spouting reefer madness rhetoric and promoting policies that pragmatic Americans have been working hard to put in the past. With near-consensus that the War on Drugs was a failure on every level, the country is ready to move to smart and commonsense reforms to our criminal justice system.

From state legislatures to the ballot box, the American people want common-sense sentencing policy reform – and the policies AG Sessions has proposed are anything but sensible.

United States: Supreme Court Rejects Missouri Tech College Drug Test Bid

Supreme Court

This case establishes -- once and for all -- that under the Fourth Amendment, every person has the right to be free from an unreasonable search and seizure, including college students

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

On Monday, The US Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal from the State Technical College of Missouri regarding an appeals court ruling that its mandatory drug testing policy is unconstitutional when applied to all students. With the refusal to intervene, the nation's highest court brought an end the six-year legal dispute with State Technical College of Missouri, formerly known as Linn State Technical College.

Colorado: Governor Signs SB 17, Adds Post Traumatic Stress Disorder To Medical Cannabis Program

Colorado Medical Marijuana

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

On Monday, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper signed SB 17, a medical cannabis bill sponsored by Senator Irene Aguilar and Representative Jonathan Singer, which creates a statutory right to use medical marijuana for a patient with acute stress disorder or post-traumatic stress disorder. The bill creates the same rights, limitations, and criminal defenses and exceptions as the constitutional right to use medical marijuana.

Washington: New Law, SB 5131, Allows Sharing Of Cannabis, Creates Organic Standards, Prohibits Advertising To Youth

Seattle Hempfest 2015

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

On May 16, Governor Jay Inslee signed Senate Bill 5131 into law. The new law, which goes into effect July 23, allows anyone 21 years or older to “deliver” to another adult up to one-half ounce of flowers, eight ounces of infused solid edible, 36 ounces of infused liquid, or three and one-half grams of concentrates, as long as they don’t charge money. Previously in Washington state, possession with the intent to pass the joint/bong/edible held a penalty of 5 years in jail and $10,000, and disqualification from federal programs.

Pennsylvania: Industrial Hemp Sown For First Time In Decades

Penn Hemp 2017

Industrial Hemp was an important crop and a major industry in Pennsylvania, grown in the Commonwealth until the 1940’s

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

For the first time in over 80 years, researchers and farmers are allowed to cultivate hemp in Pennsylvania, with permits. The new law allows permit holders to grow up to five acres of industrial hemp.

After fifty years of growing acres of various crops at his family's farm near Milton, Abram Ziegler has turned to industrial hemp to help his farm.

Pennsylvania: NFL Hall of Fame Linebacker Jack Ham Working To Strengthen Cannabis Advocacy

Jack Ham Cannabis

One of the greatest outside linebackers in the history of the NFL has become an advocate for medical cannabis in Pennsylvania

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Legendary Pittsburgh Steeler and 1988 Pro Football Hall of Fame Inductee, Jack Ham plans to serve as a spokesperson and consultant for AgriMed, which is one of several hundred companies vying for one of 12 licenses to grow and provide medical marijuana in Pennsylvania.

While Ham is partially advocating for the company because he wants to see jobs return to Greene County, where its operation would be located, he also believes it is time for the NFL to take a more open stance on the drug.

Michigan: Cannabis Legalization Campaign Seeks To Gather 252,523 Valid Signatures To Qualify For November 2018 Ballot

MichiganCannaLawBlog

Personal grow limits and cultivation of hemp are included in the bill

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

On May 18, the Michigan State Board of Canvassers approved the language of a cannabis legalization initiative for the November of 2018 ballot. If passed, the progressive initiative would legalize personal possession, cultivation and use of limited amounts of cannabis for adults 21 and older. It would also tax cannabis with a 10 percent excise tax and 6 percent sales tax.

The proposal sets up three classes of cannabis growers: those who can grow up to 100 plants, 500 plants and 2,000 plants.

South Dakota: Jury Acquits Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe Cannabis Consultant On All Charges

Santee Sioux Cannabis

Eric Hagen had faced a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison on both the conspiracy and possession counts and 7 1/2 years on the attempted possession count

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Last Wednesday, a South Dakota jury cleared Eric Hagen, a 34-year-old consultant who worked with the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe, of drug charges. The defendant helped the American Indian tribe grow cannabis for a resort that the tribe hoped would succeed.

The jury took only a couple of hours to find Hagen, of Sioux Falls, not guilty in state court.

Hemp News - 5/26/17 - Cannabis Common Sense

Hemp News - 5/26/17 - Cannabis Common Sense

Merchandise

Hemp has countless potential uses, from paper and textiles to biodegradable plastics, health food, and fuel.

California: Legalization Allows Californians To Reduce Cannabis Convictions

CannabisJustice

Anyone who has been charged with a cannabis-related crime in California has a chance to have their record reduced or expunged

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Thousands of cannabis convictions in California are being expunged because of state's new cannabis law. Cannabis regulation advocates, including the Drug Policy Alliance, have worked with convicts to have their records changed.

“Many DA’s offices are still in the process of working on the mechanics on how to handle these people. But in effect, the courts are receptive to making sure people get a second chance,” San Jose attorney and legal analyst Steven Clark told KCBS San Fransisco.

Hemp News - 5/19/17 - Cannabis Common Sense

Hemp News - 5/19/17 - Cannabis Common Sense

Vermont: Cannabis Regulation Bill Reaches Governor's Desk

vermont-statehouse-cannabis.jpg

Governor Scott has until Wednesday to sign or veto S. 22, the bill to legalize cannabis in Vermont for adults over 21 before it automatically becomes law

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

The Vermont Legislature sent its cannabis regulation bill to the desk of Republican Gov. Phil Scott this past Thursday, initiating a five-day countdown during which Scott will have to decide whether to sign the legislation, veto it or allow it to become law without his signature.

If passed, the measure would allow possession of up to an ounce, two mature plants, and four immature plants, starting in July 2018. A commission would develop a proposal to tax and regulate cannabis for the Vermont Legislature to consider next year.

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