Feds give “green light” to Washington State to implement I-502

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee receives the word from US Attorney General Eric Holder. Photo courtesy of Gov. Jay Inslee

By Jeremy Daw and Darby Beck

WCL News — Washington Governor Jay Inslee and state Attorney General Bob Ferguson have reached an agreement with US Attorney General Eric Holder to allow marijuana legalization to go forward in the Evergreen State. The announcement confirms the existence of long-rumored collaborative talks between state government and the federal Department of Justice on the implementation of the voter-approved Initiative 502 to legalize and regulate marijuana for adults.

“Today we received confirmation Washington’s voter-approved marijuana law will be implemented,” wrote Inslee and Ferguson in an August 29, 2013 press release. “We received good news this morning when Attorney General Eric Holder told the governor the federal government would not pre-empt Washington and Colorado as the states implement a highly regulated legalized market for marijuana.”


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Senado quiere poner fin al conflicto entre las leyes estatales y federales de marihuana

By Tony Newman, drugpolicy.org

El presidente del Comité Judicial del Senado, Patrick Leahy (D-VT) anunció el 25 de agosto 2013, que él se ocuparía de las discrepancias entre las leyes federales y estatales de marihuana en una audiencia del 10 de septiembre. Con 20 estados con marihuana medicinal y dos adultos que permiten el uso legal, Leahy ha invitado a Fiscal General de EE.UU., Eric Holder, y la Vice Fiscal James Cole a declarar.

En una carta de diciembre de 2012 a EE.UU. zar antidrogas Gil Kerlikowske, Leahy había pedido que el gobierno federal tiene la intención de hacer frente a estados como Colorado y Washington, que han legalizado el uso de adultos no médico, y sugirió que la legislación federal podría introducirse para legalizar hasta una onza de marihuana, por lo menos en los estados que han legalizado. También había pedido garantías de que los empleados estatales no serían

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US Senate to hold hearing on resolving state, federal cannabis laws

By Tony Newman, drugpolicy.org

WCL News — Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) announced on August 25, 2013 that he would address discrepancies between federal and state marijuana laws at a September 10 hearing. With 20 medical marijuana states and two allowing legal adult use, Leahy has invited US Attorney General Eric Holder and Deputy Attorney General James Cole to testify.

In a December 2012 letter to US Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske, Leahy had asked how the federal government intends to deal with states like Colorado and Washington, which have legalized non-medical adult use, and suggested that federal legislation could be introduced to legalize up to an ounce of marijuana, at least in states that have legalized it. He had also sought assurances that state employees would not be prosecuted for implementing state laws.

There are several bipartisan bills in the US House that would reform federal marijuana laws, but so

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Jefes de Policía Canadiense ha recomendado que la tenencia de marihuana debería ser reducido a un delito de citación

By Chris Conrad

WCL News — La Asociación Canadiense de Jefes de Policía ha recomendado que la tenencia de marihuana debería ser reducido a un delito de citación que no conduzca a un arresto. De acuerdo con 20 de agosto, 2013, CACP comunicado de prensa de agosto de sus miembros votó en su reunión general anual de Winnipeg a ratificar la Resolución # 04-2013 recomendando que las opciones de aplicación debería ampliarse para aumentar la discrecionalidad policial cuando se enfrenta a la posesión ilícita de cannabis. La asociación representa a más del 90% de la comunidad policial en Canadá que incluyen federales, las Primeras Naciones, provinciales, regionales y municipales, el transporte y los líderes de la policía militar.

“El actual proceso de envío de todos los casos de simple posesión de marihuana bajo la controlada de fármacos y sustancias actúan a la corte criminal está poniendo una carga significativa para

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Canada’s police chiefs want possession reduced to a ticket citation

By Chris Conrad, WestCoastLeaf.com

WCL News – The  Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police has recommended that marijuana possession should be reduced to a citation offense that does not lead to an arrest. According to an August 20, 2013 CACP press release, its membership voted at its annual General Meeting in Winnipeg to ratify Resolution #04 – 2013 recommending that enforcement options should be expanded to increase police discretion when confronting the illicit possession of cannabis. The association represents more than 90% of the police community in Canada which include federal, First Nations, provincial, regional and municipal, transportation and military police leaders.

“The current process of sending all simple possession of cannabis cases under the Controlled Drug and Substances Act to criminal court is placing a significant burden on the entire Justice system from an economic and resource utilization perspective,” stated CACP President Chief Constable Jim Chu. “The CACP is

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Seattle HempFest takes bite out of prohibition

The Emerald City of Seattle is more green than ever since Washington voters passed I-502. Photos by Chris Conrad.

By Chris Conrad

WCL News — Seattle police made peace with the world’s largest “protestival” for cannabis reform, the Seattle Hempfest by passing out 1,000 packs of Doritos to festival goers August 16 to 18, 2013. Each bag contained a greeting and a message to alert people to the new legalization law and the policy of the city’s police department.

This year’s annual event, which draws well over 100,000 attendees to the Emerald City, was the first since voters approved I-502. The initiative, which legalized adult possession of up to an ounce of marijuana, was controversial at last year’s event because of its tight restrictions, including a ban on cultivation and an arbitrary (and probably much-too-low) per se limit of 0.5 ng/ml of THC in the blood for drivers.

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Feds tell security, armored car companies not to serve cannabis industry

By Gaynell Rogers

WCL News — On the heels of Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s endorsement of medical cannabis and Eric Holder’s speech advocating Drug War reform, the federal Drug Enforcement Agency  informed US security and armored car services on Aug. 22, 2013, that they can no longer render services to state-legal cannabis providers. The announcement poses grave risks to medical cannabis patients and the general public alike, according to experts in the field.

“We need to provide financial institutions certainty they can make their own business decisions related to legal, financial transactions without fear of regulatory penalties,” said Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO), a senior member of the House Financial Services Committee. He cited “public safety, crime and lost tax revenue”  concerns in an Aug. 29 statement. “Currently, under federal banking laws, many legal, regulated legitimate marijuana businesses operating legally according to state law are prevented from maintaining bank accounts and

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Legal marijuana may improve roadway safety

By Julie Patterson, WestCoastLeaf.com

WCL News —With Illinois becoming the 20th medical marijuana state in 2013 and broader legalization on the forefront of US news, data is being studied that explores what effects the drug may have on communities as a whole, with some surprising results. Analysts of health related behavior  claim that in states where medical marijuana has been legalized, road fatalities experience a dip in numbers, from around 11% in the first year of legalization. This could be good news for the states that are pressing for medical legalization laws to be passed.

The team of economists is careful about their claims, stressing that due diligence should always be taken when driving and that no one should drive under the influence of drink or drugs, however, these findings are more significant in revealing the effects of marijuana on society as a whole.

The Study

Led by Daniel Rees, an

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Uruguay poised to legalize cannabis before end of year 2013

By Jeremy Daw, WestCoastLeaf.com

WCL News — The UN policy on cannabis has been rattled by events in South America. A bill to legalize small cannabis collectives, allow pharmacies to sell medical marijuana and direct the national government of Uruguay to become one of the world’s largest cannabis distributors passed its most difficult political hurdle when the small South American country’s House of Representatives approved it July 31, 2013 by a vote of 50 to 46. The measure, which has been enthusiastically endorsed by President Jose Mujica, is expected to pass easily in the Senate.

If the legalization bill becomes law, Uruguayan citizens 21 and older would have the right to form small collectives of up to six people to distribute the herb amongst themselves. Pharmacies would become the premiere destination for medical marijuana, exacting strict testing and labeling standards. Most significantly, the government itself would become directly involved in

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Federal court recognizes sacramental use of cannabis

Rev. Roger Christie is fighting for his religious belief in sacramental cannabis use and the right to share with his congregants. Photos courtesy of Share Christie.

By Chris Conrad, WestCoastLeaf.com

WCL News — The THC Ministry church became the second non-Rastafarian church recognized by a US court to use cannabis as a sacrament on Aug. 5, 2013, when a federal judge in Hawai’i held that its founder was entitled to a defense in federal court under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The RFRA was adopted by Congress in the 1990s, then partially struck down as being unconstitutionally restrictive on state authorities. However,  it remains in effect regarding federal prosecutors.

Rev. Roger Christie, 64, has been held without bail in the Honolulu Federal Detention Center since July 8, 2010, fighting for his First Amendment religious freedom defense, ever

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Patient beats marijuana sales charge in Marysville

Salerno, left, with attorney Levinsohn

By Ron Mullins, The Human Solution

WCL News — A Yuba County CA jury acquitted medical marijuana patient Eric Salerno Aug. 9, 2013, who had been arrested in a Marysville fast food restaurant parking lot April 22, 2011 with $3500, a scale, several pounds of marijuana and another valid patient. Both patients showed their physician recommendations to the police, however, when the other patient cut a deal in exchange for testifying against him, the prosecution moved forward.

Salerno and his wife, Desiree, raise their two young sons Lorenzo and Andreas in the Yuba County foothills. The first judge in his case, Judge James F. Dawson, denied Salerno his medical marijuana defense. Allison Margolin’s law office filed a writ of mandamus to the third district appellate court, which issued a stay of the proceedings and allowed Salerno’s medical defense to be reinstated.

The trial courtroom

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Microsoft tycoon seeks to legalize, legitimize

By Julie Patterson, Business Correspondent

US Representatives Ed Perlmutter (D-CO), Denny Heck (D-WA), and 16  cosponsors introduced The Marijuana Business Banking Act, HR 2652, in Congress July 10 to address the multiple concerns cited by financial institutions when denying or revoking the accounts of state-legal marijuana businesses and owners. Stronger measures will ultimately need to be taken to fully support legalization so that cannabis can be sold without compromising federal law, but many entrepreneurs already see ground-floor opportunities in the industry.

Investors seek to develop marijuana brands

With the latest legalization strides gaining headline news in the media across the US, investors are beginning to show interest in developing cannabis as a commercial brand. Jamen Shively, who headed up Microsoft’s corporate strategy department for six years, is seeking investment to the tune of $10 million to develop a successful cannabis brand in Washington State. Shively is hoping to build a

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