Pages tagged "Federal"


Senators Grassley and Feinstein Introduce Bill to Exempt Some Medical Cannabis Patients From Federal Prosecution

Today, the Cannabidiol Research Expansion Act (S. 3269) was introduced in the United States Senate, which would ease research barriers and create exemptions from federal law for certain medical cannabis patients. The bill was introduced by four members of the Senate Judiciary Committee - Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), and Tom Tillis (R-NC). Much of the bill is focused on allowing for institutions of higher education or manufacturers to register with the federal government in order to conduct research on cannabis (marijuana) or cannabidiol (CBD), but it’s the “Safe Harbor” provision that is drawing the attention of medical cannabis patients.

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Three remaining Kettle Falls Five defendants found guilty of manufacturing less than 100 plants, likely to appeal

In an unexpected verdict today, the jury in a widely watched federal medical marijuana case from eastern Washington State, known as the Kettle Falls Five, acquitted the three remaining defendants of all but one charge of manufacturing less than 100 marijuana plants. The charge carries no mandatory minimum sentence and defendants Rhonda Firestack-Harvey, 56, her son Rolland Gregg, 33, and daughter-in-law Michelle Gregg, 36, remain free until sentencing on June 10th at 10am.

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Government continues prosecution despite Congressional ban on interfering with implementation of state law

The Kettle Falls 5Trial starts Wednesday in a widely watched federal medical marijuana case from eastern Washington State known as the Kettle Falls Five. The Obama Administration is aggressively pursuing marijuana trafficking charges against a family of patients who claim to have been growing for themselves in full compliance with Washington State's medical marijuana law. The Department of Justice (DOJ) is also choosing to try them in defiance of a recent Congressional ban on DOJ interference in the implementation of state law.

What: Trial of the Kettle Falls Five, medical marijuana patients growing for themselves in eastern Washington State
When: Jury selection begins Wednesday, February 25th at 8:30am and the trial is expected to run until next week
Where: Room 902, Thomas S. Foley U.S. Courthouse, 920 West Riverside Avenue, Spokane, WA 99201

Last week, the federal government agreed to dismiss charges against Larry Harvey, 71, who has been diagnosed with Stage IV pancreatic cancer, but fought against the dismissal of charges against the remaining four defendants. Earlier this month, U.S. District Court Judge Thomas O. Rice denied a motion to dismiss the charges against the Kettle Falls Five based on DOJ funding restrictions established last year by Congress, however the defendants have vowed to appeal.

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No, it's not over yet

The Farm in West HollywoodContents:

  • Message from the CA Director: No, it's not over yet
  • State & Local News: National, California, Oakland, West Hollywood, Laguna Woods, San Francisco, Mendocino County, San Bernardino County, Lake County, Hanford
  • Public Meetings & Events: Sacramento, Online, Washington DC
  • Court Support: Oroville, Redding, and more
  • Take Action Now: Pardon Dr. Mollie Fry, Support the Medical Marijuana Organ Transplant Act, and more
  • ASA Website Spotlight: Vote Medical Marijuana 2014
  • Chapter & Affiliate Meetings: San Diego

I got a FaceBook message after ASA reported that Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents raided two medical cannabis patients’ collectives in the Los Angeles area on Thursday: “I thought this crap was over???!!” Not yet, I am afraid. Federal interference and intimidation is still a reality in California, and there is reason to believe we will not see a change soon. Outgoing Deputy US Attorney General James M. Cole told the Los Angeles Times earlier this month that raids and other federal pressure would continue until California gets its “regulatory act together.”

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Advocates: "DOJ should drop all medical marijuana cases and vow to stop obstructing policy makers"

Washington, DC -- The U.S. Justice Department issued a press release earlier today, announcing a memorandum from Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole that detailed a similar policy on recently adopted laws in the States of Washington and Colorado as it previously indicated for medical marijuana states. To the extent this new memorandum affects medical marijuana patients in Washington, Colorado and other states, advocates are taking a "wait and see" approach.

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Advocates urge Obama to release ill medical marijuana patient Jerry Duval and re-sentence numerous others

San Francisco, CA -- U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder delivered a speech today to the annual meeting of the American Bar Association in which he outlined a new sentencing and enforcement strategy as America enters the fifth decade of the so-called "War on Drugs." Medical marijuana advocates are cautiously optimistic that the announcement will bring about the compassionate release of federal medical marijuana prisoners. 

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Find Out More About What Changed CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta's Mind on Medical Marijuana

Washington, DC -- Ahead of a widely publicized CNN documentary on medical marijuana this Sunday at 8pm ET, Dr. Sanjay Gupta has spoken out on the news magazine circuit to humbly apologize for misleading the American public on the issue. Calling the federal government's policy on medical marijuana "hypocritical," Dr. Gupta interviews physicians and medical marijuana patients, and even travels to Israel in order to let the public know about this important therapy. 

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Let's Get Jerry Out of Prison!

Jerry Duval (left) with his son Jeremy

Last month, on June 11th, Michigan medical marijuana patient Jerry Duval surrendered to federal authorities to serve a whopping 10-year prison sentence, even though he was never in violation of the state's medical marijuana law. Jerry is a kidney-pancreas transplant recipient who also suffers from heart disease and glaucoma. Nevertheless, the Obama Administration saw fit to arrest, prosecute, and imprison Jerry at a cost of more than $1 million.

This is not just a tragedy for the Duval family, though they were hit hard (as a result of the same case, Jerry's son Jeremy is serving 5 years and the Duvals lost their family farm to forfeiture), it's also an outrage that we have to foot the bill.

However, two other milestones recently occurred that give Jerry and the rest of us hope for his release sooner than planned. Before Jerry even began serving his sentence, attorney Andrew Greenlee of Brownstone filed an appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit on behalf of Jerry and his son Jeremy. We'll be watching that one closely.


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National Lawyers Guild Report Condemns Federal Marijuana Policy, Calls for Reclassification of Marijuana for Medical Use

The National Lawyers Guild (NLG) -- the country's oldest and largest public interest and human rights bar organization -- issued a report yesterday addressing the federal government's flawed policy on marijuana. According to its author NLG Senior Researcher Traci Yoder, High Crimes: Strategies to Further Marijuana Legalization Initiatives "analyzes the legalization process under way in the states, suggests strategies to further marijuana legalization initiatives, and highlights current obstacles to ending prohibition."

While significant attention is given to the adult use of marijuana, generally, the report recommends reframing drug use as "a social and public health issue and not a criminal justice problem," something we've been saying for years at Americans for Safe Access. High Crimes also recommends reclassifying marijuana for medical use. Citing the "[m]ounting scientific and anecdotal evidence" of marijuana's therapeutic benefits, the Guild rightly points out that "Rescheduling cannabis would allow for expanded medical research and use under international law."

The NLG report comes days after a report issued by Americans for Safe Access (ASA), detailing the social and economic costs of the federal government's war on medical marijuana. The ASA report entitled What's the Cost? is geared toward educating federal legislators on the consequences of that war, not only in terms of how it affects the prisoners, their families, and thousands of patients, but also how it impacts the average taxpayer and our federal budget.

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U.S. Mayors Demand Change to Federal Policy, End to Crackdown on Medical Marijuana in Their Cities



Mayors from across the United States gathered in Las Vegas this past weekend for the 81st annual U.S. Conference of Mayors. In a watershed moment, mayors voted unanimously yesterday to adopt a  resolution "in support of states setting their own marijuana policies without federal interference." The resolution was introduced in advance of the conference by San Diego Mayor Bob Filner and co-sponsored by 17 other mayors from across the country. Yesterday's passage of the resolution came just days after medical marijuana advocates issued an alarming report detailing how the Obama Justice Department has spent nearly $300 million to undermine medical marijuana laws in the U.S.

"Ultimately, this is about whether local and state governments can develop, adopt, and implement public health laws without heavy-handed interference by the federal government," said Steph Sherer, Executive Director of Americans for Safe Access, which authored "What's the Cost?" an extensive report issued earlier this month on the economic and social costs of the federal government's war on medical marijuana. "This resolution is emblematic of the frustration experienced by local and state officials, which will continue until the federal government ends its attacks on medical marijuana." More than 100 million people, or 34 percent of Americans, currently live in states with medical marijuana laws.


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