By SUDHIN THANAWALA, ASSOCIATED PRESsSAN FRANCISCO — Aug 31, 2016, 3:42 PM ET
A federal government ban on the sale of guns to medical marijuana card holders does not violate the Second Amendment, a federal appeals court said Wednesday.
The ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals applies to the nine Western states that fall under the court's jurisdiction, including California, Washington and Oregon.
It came in a lawsuit filed by S. Rowan Wilson, a Nevada woman who tried to buy a firearm in 2011 after obtaining a medical marijuana card.
The gun store refused, citing the federal rule on the sale of firearms to illegal drug users.
Marijuana remains illegal under federal law, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has told gun sellers they can assume a person with a medical marijuana card uses the drug.
The 9th Circuit in its 3-0 decision agreed that it's reasonable for federal regulators to assume a medical marijuana card holder is more likely to use the drug.
In addition, a ban on the sale of guns to marijuana and other drug users is reasonable because the use of such drugs "raises the risk of irrational or unpredictable behavior with which gun use should not be associated," Senior District Judge Jed Rakoff said.
The 9th Circuit also rejected other constitutional challenges to the ban that were raised by Wilson.
An email to Wilson's attorney was not immediately returned.
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Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party’s nominee for president who previously served as the CEO of a medical marijuana company, on Sunday defended his advocacy for legalizing pot.
Johnson said that, if elected, one of his first actions would be to delist marijuana from the Drug Enforcement Agency’s list of Schedule I controlled substances, which also includes heroin and LSD.Before running for president, he was CEO of Cannabis Sativa Inc., which has made it hard for some Republicans disillusioned with Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump to vote for Johnson as an alternative.
He sought to reassure potential voters on Sunday in an interview with Chris Wallace, the host of "Fox News Sunday," by arguing that marijuana is less dangerous than prescription drugs or alcohol.
“Of all the things you can be involved with, why sell pot?” Wallace asked.
Johnson argued, “Marijuana products, which directly compete with legal prescription drugs on the medical front, don’t kill anybody.
“Not one documented death,” he said. “Marijuana does provide that relief. There needs to be research and development in this area.
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Two polls we've covered this year say that 60 percent of likely voters in California favor legalizing recreational marijuana.
But when pollsters hired by opponents of legalization asked likely voters if they approved of some of the specifics spelled out in Proposition 64 — the upcoming November ballot initiative that would make it legal for adults over the age of 21 to hold up to an ounce of weed — only 36 percent said they'd "definitely" vote yes.
And after likely voters heard the opposition's argument that "marijuana smoking ads could be allowed on all broadcast primetime shows," 52 percent of respondents said they'd definitely or likely vote no, according to the poll, conducted by SmithJohnson Research.
"Latino support dropped considerably, with a swing of over 13 percent in opposition," the campaign said in a press release.
"This survey reveals why Proposition 64's supporters fought tooth and nail to keep voters from hearing about their plans to advertise on TV and radio — including filing a lawsuit to prevent information about this provision from appearing on the ballot," said Kevin Sabet, co-founder of Smart Approaches to Marijuana, which has a political arm (SAM Action) that's helping to fund opposition to the measure.
The poll also found the obvious, that as likely voters get older, support for the initiative gets weaker: 79.1 percent of likely voters ages 18 to 34 just say yes to 64. But as you get to the 75-and-older demographic, nearly 61 percent are opposed. As we all know, Grandma votes — and she tends to be fairly conservative, which should be alarming if you think 64 is a shoo-in. The Public Policy Institute of California says only about half of eligible adults ages 18 to 25 register to vote in California; for those older than 65, that rate is a whopping 86 percent.
This, of course, could change if the flood of folks who registered to vote for Bernie Sanders (and against Donald Trump) actually show up to the polls in November. Those Californians tend to be younger and more liberal.
Still, SmithJohnson argues that support for 64 is quick to change when respondents are faced with the advertising argument, which has been disputed by proponents who point out that illicit drug ads are forbidden by the federal government. "A single opposition argument would not normally produce such a dramatic effect, and certainly not across every demographic variable," the memo states.
"Support is soft and it is definitely within striking distance," No on Proposition 64 strategist Tim Rosales said in a statement.
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THURSDAY, AUGUST 18, 2016 AT 9 A.M.
BY DENNIS ROMERO
In 2014 President Barack Obama signed an omnibus budget bill that included a directive, co-authored by Rep. Dana Rohrabacher of Orange County, that denies congressional funding to federal law enforcement crackdowns on pot businesses in states where medical marijuana is legal.
But the feds, including the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Department of Justice, kept cracking down, anyway.
This week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit doubled down on Rohrabacher's measure, ruling that federal law enforcers must leave state-compliant cannabis concerns alone. It's the law.
The court's ruling was the culmination of a case involving multiple targets of federal law enforcement in California and Washington, who were accused of growing and distributing marijuana.
Writing for a three-judge panel, the Ninth Circuit's Diarmuid O'Scannlain said that federal law "prohibits DOJ from spending funds ... for the prosecution of individuals who engaged in conduct permitted by the state medical marijuana laws and who fully complied with such laws."
"This is a major blow against the federal government's continuing war on medical marijuana and the people who rely on it for relief," Tom Angell, chairman of the group Marijuana Majority, told us. "If the Obama administration is smart, they'll drop this fight right now rather than risk an even more embarrassing defeat on appeal."
But the case isn't over. The panel said anyone using this defense must be complying with state laws.
"Individuals who do not strictly comply with all state-law conditions regarding the use, distribution, possession, and cultivation of medical marijuana have engaged in conduct that is unauthorized, and prosecuting such individuals does not violate" the omnibus budget law, O'Scannlain wrote.
In fact, the Ninth Circuit sent the case back to the relevant lower courts "to determine whether appellants have complied with state law," according to the ruling.
Still, the marijuana nation is clearly seeing this as a huge victory over what it sees as jack-booted law enforcement thuggery in places, like California, where the law was decided long ago.
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LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A new poll released today finds that residents of Los Angeles overwhelmingly believe patients should have access to medical marijuana through delivery services. Results show that a whopping 75% of residents are in favor of reforming Proposition D to allow for medical marijuana delivery.
@Eaze_Team releases Poll that: LA Residents overwhelmingly support medical marijuana delivery
Tweet thisWhile California residents voted to legalize medical marijuana in 1996, Los Angeles made delivery illegal when voters passed Proposition D in 2013. This new poll commissioned by Eaze, the leading medical marijuana technology company, reveals a dramatic shift in public sentiment.
Key findings from this poll include:
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By Dan Levine
The U.S. Department of Justice cannot spend money to prosecute federal marijuana cases if the defendants comply with state guidelines that permit the drug's sale for medical purposes, a federal appeals court ruled on Tuesday.
The ruling, from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, comes as voters in nine more states will consider allowing the recreational or medical use of marijuana this November.
Twenty-five U.S. states currently allow for medical marijuana. While the sale of the drug is still illegal under federal law, Congress in 2014 passed a budget rule which prohibits the DOJ from using federal funds to interfere in the implementation of state marijuana regulations.
Due to this rule, defendants in 10 cases in California and Washington argued that their federal charges should be dismissed. The 9th Circuit in San Francisco, which covers nine Western states, ruled on Tuesday that the DOJ could not spend money as long as those defendants "strictly complied" with all state regulations.
The appeals court sent the cases back to lower courts to determine if the defendants had complied with state law.
A Justice Department spokesman could not immediately be reached for comment.
In November California and eight other states will consider whether to allow marijuana for recreational or medical use. Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska, as well as the District of Columbia, already permit it for recreational purposes.
The unanimous 9th Circuit ruling on Tuesday was issued by a three-judge panel, two of whom are Republican appointees with a history of pro-law enforcement opinions.
Despite the outcome, however, Judge Diarmuid O'Scannlain wrote that medical marijuana purveyors should not feel immune from federal law.
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Roadside drug tests can be a good tool for police to determine whether someone has broken law and potentially poses a threat to others, but they can also get you locked up for eating a glazed donut.
A Florida man is suing the Orlando Police Department after he was arrested on officers’ mistaken claims that he was in possession of crystal methamphetamine. During a traffic stop, the officers noticed a few whitish flakes on the floorboard of Daniel Rushing’s car and alleged that they were crystal meth. “I recognized through my 11 years of training and experience as a law enforcement officer the substance to be some sort of narcotic,” one of the officers wrote in a report. In fact, it was just some crumbs from the glaze of a Krispy Kreme doughnut Mr. Rushing had consumed.
But a field drug test nonetheless indicated that the doughnut glaze tested positive for crystal meth, leading to Mr. Rushing being handcuffed, arrested and strip searched at the county jail. Several weeks later, a state crime lab test exonerated him, but not before he unjustly spent 10 hours locked up in jail and had to post a $2,500 bond.
Such occurrences are shockingly common. These pages discussed several other such cases – including the Minnesota man who spent more than two months in jail because a bag of vitamins in his car tested positive for amphetamines in a police field drug test, and another Florida man who was arrested after the mints he was chewing tested positive for crack cocaine – in an editorial in January.
A 2009 Marijuana Policy Project study found that such tests yielded false positive results 70 percent of the time in a test of 43 candies, over-the-counter medicines, plants and other harmless substances. A six-month investigation done by Fox 13/TV in Tampa, Fla., found similar weaknesses in the test results. “We watched as aspirin, cough medicine, coffee and spices like oregano – and even air – tested positive for illegal drugs,” reporter Gloria Gomez said.
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August 10, 20169:30 PM ET
The Obama administration has denied a bid by two Democratic governors to reconsider how it treats marijuana under federal drug control laws, keeping the drug for now, at least, in the most restrictive category for U.S. law enforcement purposes.
Drug Enforcement Administration chief Chuck Rosenberg says the decision is rooted in science. Rosenberg gave "enormous weight" to conclusions by the Food and Drug Administration that marijuana has "no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States," and by some measures, it remains highly vulnerable to abuse as the most commonly used illicit drug across the nation.
"This decision isn't based on danger. This decision is based on whether marijuana, as determined by the FDA, is a safe and effective medicine," he said, "and it's not."
Marijuana is considered a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act, alongside heroin and LSD, while other, highly addictive substances including oxycodone and methamphetamine are regulated differently under Schedule II of the law. But marijuana's designation has nothing to do with danger, Rosenberg said.
In a letter to the petitioners, Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and New Mexico nurse practitioner Bryan Krumm, Rosenberg said doctors are responsible for treating patients, but the FDA makes decisions about drug safety: "Simply put, evaluating the safety and effectiveness of drugs is a highly specialized endeavor."
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McClatchy Washington Bureau (TNS)WASHINGTON --
While President Obama has never hid his penchant for marijuana during his youth in Hawaii, Americans soon will elect a president who claims never to have touched it.
Republican Donald Trump boasts that he has never smoked marijuana or a cigarette, or had a drop of alcohol.
Democrat Hillary Clinton was adamant on CNN when asked whether she had ever smoked marijuana, replying that she never had and never would: “Absolutely not.”
That would be welcome news for Washington state, Colorado, Oregon and Alaska, where voters approved recreational marijuana, along with the 26 states that allow the drug to be used for medical reasons. But legalization backers still have one nagging question: Can you believe either Clinton or Trump?
Both candidates have a history of flip-flopping on major issues, and a majority of Americans don’t trust either candidate.
Trump, who once called himself a supporter of abortion rights, now wants to ban abortions. After first opposing an increase in the minimum wage, he wants it raised.
In 1990, the Republican candidate called for legalizing all drugs, a position he no longer holds. And his statements on marijuana have given ammunition to both sides of the legalization debate.
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The Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office reported Monday that a multiagency investigation in the West Point area resulted in the eradication of 23,245 marijuana plants last week but yielded no arrests.
The operation on Thursday drew the attention of residents in the Bummerville area outside West Point both because of the aircraft and ground vehicles involved and also because of noises that sounded to some like gunfire.
Calaveras County Sheriff’s Capt. Jim Macedo said that there was no gunfire during the operation and that the sound residents heard was a device used by a SWAT team during a search. Macedo and other Sheriff’s Office representatives have released few details about the operation in order to preserve the integrity of an ongoing investigation.
Calaveras Sheriff’s Lt. Chris Hewitt confirmed the magnitude of the eradication effort. He also said that the marijuana farm that was eradicated is not among those registered under Calaveras County’s urgency ordinance regulating the cultivation of medical cannabis.
Hewitt said that investigators did find weapons during searches. “We recovered a long gun and a handgun,” Hewitt said.
Susan Soares has written for Cannabis Now Magazine, Alternet, and Sensi Magazine.