Friday, 5 July 2013

Cannabis News Roundup: July 5, 2013

Oakland and Berkeley question actions by Feds… National Lawyers Guild calls for legalization… What the rabbi said… and more!


SFGate // Harborside Health Centers in Oakland and San Jose were given a year’s extension this week when a federal magistrate ruled that the City of Oakland has raised “novel legal questions” relating to plans by the US Attorney’s Office to close and seize the facilities. Harborside’s Oakland location has over 108,000 patients. 

East Bay Express // In a similar move this week, the City of Berkeley filed a legal claim saying the US Attorney’s plan to close the Berkeley Patients Group dispensary would cause “tremendous harm to Berkeley taxpayers,” both from lost revenue, and by increasing illegal cannabis sales.

SF Mayor’s Office // Perhaps these actions were related to the resolution passed by the US Conference of Mayors, which I mentioned last week. It called for the federal government to step aside and let states and cities regulate cannabis. San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee’s office has not responded to phone calls and an email asking for comment on how that decision will impact cannabis in the City by the Bay.

MMJ Biz Daily // Los Angeles lists the 134 dispensaries that are authorized to remain in business following last month’s law capping the total. This means hundreds will be closing.

SFGate // An Orange County landlord who rents to a dispensary is also fighting the US Attorney’s threats of seizing his building, saying “What the government has done is wrong.” This article provides a good overview of the government’s tactic of targeting landlords, along with mention of the Harborside situation.

Cannabis Culture // Oregon’s new cannabis laws were signed by the governor on Monday. They substantially lower the legal penalties for possession and cultivation.

Reuters // And in the state of Washington, the idea of branding packages of medical and recreational cannabis with a marijuana leaf inside a map of the state has been dropped. The original concept was designed to make it easy to identify state-certified products, but the panel decided the logo could “reasonably be viewed as branding Washington ‘The Marijuana State’.”

Natl. Lawyers Guild // “Marijuana legalization will create new jobs, generate millions of dollars in tax revenue, and allow law enforcement to focus on serious crimes,” according to the National Lawyers Guild. Discussing the issue in terms of public health, instead of drug use, is just one of the ideas included in the report, titled “High Crimes: Strategies to Further Marijuana Legalization Initiatives.”


Times of Israel // Using cannabis medicinally is kosher, but just using it for fun is not, according to a rabbi’s ruling. This modifies a statement back in March by another rabbi who said, “If you smoke it, there is no problem whatsoever.” Israel distributes more medical cannabis than any of the European countries.

Wall St. Jrln. // “There is a significant and consistent relationship between marijuana use and the development of schizophrenia,” according to this opinion piece, written by a Yale psychiatry physician.

MMJ Biz Daily // Business deals are often made over cocktails or a few beers, so a similar scene isn’t surprising in the cannabis industry, only with a pipe or joint. But there are many buzz kills awaiting those who are not discrete. Or as I keep saying: It’s a controlled substance, so keep it under control.

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