This Week’s Marijuana News Round-Up: The Man Mapping the Marijuana Genome is Changing the Weed Game; Leading Anti-Pot Activist Says Marijuana Causes Almost All Mass Murders; A Tale of Two Weed Dealers; On Clemency DOJ Blames Volunteer Lawyers for Failing To Do Its Job; The FACTS About Mass Incarceration; PA Passes Medical Marijuana (sort of); Jurors in Florida MJ Case Accept Medical Necessity Defense; and more.
Legal/Political Marijuana News
The Man Mapping the Marijuana Genome is Changing the Weed Game — Meet Mowgli Holmes, a 43-year-old geneticist with a doctorate in microbiology and immunology from Columbia University,whose life’s work is an ambitious effort to sequence the DNA of every different kind of cannabis in the world. It’s a quest that could change almost everything we know about marijuana.
A Tale of Two Weed Dealers — The young cancer patient in Clyde’s trailer can’t afford to be on New Mexico’s medical cannabis program, but she can afford the occasional dime bag “on the street.” Here’s the big fallacy of medical marijuana: it’s only for the middle class and above, and the rest of you, no matter how sick you are, are still subject to arrest and no relief from illness. That’s sick. That’s perhaps why the black market still thrives.
On Clemency DOJ Blames Volunteer Lawyers for Failing To Do Its Job — At the beginning of 2014, when the Justice Department asked private attorneys for help in locating worthy candidates for commutation, it was already sitting on thousands of applications from federal prisoners seeking shorter sentences. Two years later, Reuters reports, about 9,000 petitions are pending at the DOJ, and another 9,000 still need to be reviewed by the network of lawyers who volunteered to help vet applicants. So far the organization, known as Clemency Project 2014, has been contacted by 34,000 prisoners and has forwarded petitions from only 300 or so, 31 of whom have received commutations.
The FACTS About Mass Incarceration — One in 5 people are locked up for a drug offense. How many people are locked up for a drug offense? We know that almost half a million people are locked up because of a drug offense. The data confirms that nonviolent drug convictions are a defining characteristic of the federal prison system, but play only a supporting role at the state and local levels. While most people in state and local facilities are not locked up for drug offenses, most states’ continued practice of arresting people for drug possession destabilizes individual lives and communities. Drug arrests give residents of over-policed communities criminal records, which then reduce employment prospects and increase the likelihood of longer sentences for any future offenses.
Leading Anti-Pot Activist Says Marijuana Causes Almost All Mass Murders — It seems clear that Roger Morgan is just making shit up when he claims “almost all of the mass murders that we’ve had in recent years” were committed by “heavy marijuana user[s].” In fact, cannabis consumption may not even be especially common among mass murderers.
Marijuana News State by State
California: Santa Ana Cops in Notorious Pot Eating Video Charged with Vandalism and Petty Theft — The Orange County District Attorney’s office (OCDA) has filed charges against three of the police officers seen in a notorious surveillance video eating pot-laced candy bars during a May 26, 2015 raid of a Santa Ana medical marijuana dispensary, Sky High Holistic. Yet in its official announcement of the misdemeanor charges filed today, the OCDA claims there is no evidence that any of the Santa Ana Police Department (SAPD) officers shown in the video consumed marijuana products during the raid.
Florida: Jurors in Marijuana Case Accept Medical Necessity Defense — Last fall 58 percent of Florida voters supported a constitutional amendment that would have made it legal for patients to use marijuana as a medicine. That was two points shy of the supermajority needed to pass the measure. This week six jurors in Broward County nevertheless supported Jesse Teplicki’s right to grow medical marijuana, which he uses to treat the anorexia from which he has suffered since he was a child. According to the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, this is the first time in Florida’s history that a jury has accepted a “medical necessity” defense in a marijuana case.
Pennsylvania Passes Medical Marijuana (sort of) — It’s a very weak bill, but Pennsylvania lawmakers in the House of Representatives passed Senate Bill 3 with a vote of 149-43, which would legalize medical marijuana in the state.
Pennsylvania: State Spends $2.5 Million Annually Imprisoning 97 Nonviolent Pot Offenders — There are many good reasons to legalize marijuana from the standpoint of social justice, including the racial disparity in cannabis convictions. But the financial costs of the War on Drugs shouldn’t be overlooked. Pennsylvania, for example, spends $2.5-million each year to imprison 97 nonviolent cannabis offenders, which includes people who are arrested simply for possession.
Marijuana Lifestyle News
Scoring Weed in Vancouver: The Days of Weed and Roses — Senior Stoner Tom Huth, author of “Forty Years Stoned: A Journalist’s Romance,” tells of his recent adventures scoring weed in Vancouver.
Marijuana Recipe of the Week: Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies — Buttery toffee adds an extra dimension to an already great chocolate chip cookie recipe.