Category Archives: Marijuana and the Law

DeKalb father sues AG Jeff Sessions over marijuana

Christopher Hopper, WXIA 11:45 PM. EDT July 27, 2017

A DeKalb County father is suing the federal government, namely Attorney General Jeff Sessions over marijuana.

Sebastien Cotte, Stone Mountain, is named in a federal lawsuit filed Monday, July 24 in a U.S. District Court in Manhattan challenging the Controlled Substances Act.

Cotte has a 6-year-old son Jagger who suffers from a terminal neurological disorder called Leigh’s Disease.

Cotte has been giving Jagger cannabis oil for nearly three years and believes it has extended his life.

“Usually 95 percent of them do not make it past 4-years-old,” said Sebastien Cotte, suing the federal government.

In September Jagger will turn seven.

Around the time most kids die from this chronic disease, Cotte moved his family to Colorado and Jagger started cannabis oil.

He no longer takes oxycontin or morphine.

“It’s been game changing for him it’s one of the main reasons he’s still alive today,” he said.

Cotte said marijuana’s medical benefits are keeping Jagger alive, and that’s why he’s a plaintiff in this lawsuit.

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It’s 90 pages long and is against Attorney General Jeff Session and the federal government for classifying marijuana in a category with heroin and LSD, highly addictive drugs with no accepted medical use.

Cocaine and methamphetamine are Schedule II drugs and are considered less addictive and dangerous compared to marijuana.

Cotte said that Schedule I status is what’s keeping Georgian’s who can legally use cannabis oil from being able to buy marijuana grown here.

“To be able to get it here in Georgia, get a safe legal tested product here in which we could get if cannabis wasn’t a Schedule I substance, that would be life changing for Jagger and thousands,” he said. “You know we have over 2,000 people on the registry right now.”

There are several plaintiffs in the lawsuit in addition to the Cotte’s including a former NFL player and a combat veteran with PTSD.

PDF DOCUMENT OF LAWSUIT HERE

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Shop owner pleads guilty in marijuana pipe case

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Daniel Borunda , El Paso Times Published 6:30 p.m. MT May 16, 2017

An El Paso woman pleaded guilty Tuesday to a federal charge for selling marijuana pipes to undercover officers at her smoke shop in Sunland Park, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Mexico said.

Brenda Riveroll, 36, pleaded guilty in federal court in Las Cruces to a charge of selling drug paraphernalia. She was sentenced to five years’ probation as part of a plea deal, prosecutors said in a news release.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said that Riveroll was the owner and only employee of The Smoke Shop on Palomas Court, which sold bongs, glass and metal pipes, scales and grinders for marijuana.

On May 12, 2016, the shop was raided by law enforcement a few weeks after Riveroll had sold the pipes to the undercover officers. On April 3, Riveroll was arrested by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration after she was indicted.

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Federal Appeals Court Sidesteps Major Marijuana Ruling

The Associated Press / May 17, 2017

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A federal appeals court has sidestepped making a ruling on whether U.S. prison officials can hold people who were convicted of marijuana offences that were legal under state medical marijuana laws.

In a decision Wednesday, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals focused instead on a narrower issue.

The court was considering a legal challenge by prisoner Matthew Davies, who was convicted of federal marijuana charges. Davies said he ran medical marijuana dispensaries that complied with California law.

He argued that the Bureau of Prisons could not hold him because of a federal regulation that restricted interference by U.S. officials in the implementation of state medical marijuana laws.

The 9th Circuit avoided the issue, ruling instead that Davies’ plea agreement did not allow his legal challenge. Davies’ attorney, Cody Harris, said he is analyzing the ruling.

Leafly News has obtained the court’s full ruling and uploaded it to Scribd:

LINK

 

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Nevada’s new DUI marijuana testing is improvement but still poses concerns

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Ray Hagar, rhagar@rgj.com

The state of Nevada is poised to mandate the use blood tests and eliminate urine tests in DUI convictions for marijuana.

Although Washoe County already uses blood tests for pot, the state Senate this week gave the final vote of approval for the testing change for the entire state. Now, this measure only needs the final ‘John Hancock’ from Gov. Brian Sandoval to become law.

The final Senate vote floor vote comes less than two months before the July 1 starting date for sales of legal marijuana for “recreation” across Nevada for everyone 21 and over.

The blood-test/pot bill’s sponsor, Assembly Judiciary Committee Chair Steve Yeager, D-Las Vegas, sold the bill to fellow lawmakers as a “common sense” approach to DUI testing for pot. Current urine testing for pot is not reliable because it does not test for the psychoactive element that gets you high — THC, he said.

“A urine test will tell you if someone has ingested marijuana in the past,” Yeager said on Nevada Newsmakers. “But it does not tell you if the person is actually impaired at the time the testing is done.”

Blood tests can reveal THC in the blood, Yeager said. He called it “a step in the right direction.”

Yet this is not a perfect science. Determining marijuana impairment is more complicated than determining alcohol impairment, according to a study by the AAA, the nation’s largest auto club.

Yeager’s bill may be an improvement over the old method but it is still not a great way to test for marijuana intoxication, according to the AAA.

That study states it is not possible to set a blood-test threshold for THC impairment because there is no science that shows at what level drivers become high after ingesting THC, according to a CBS News story about the AAA report.

Some drivers with high levels of THC in their blood may not be impaired, especially if they are heavy pot users, the study stated. Others, who may not use marijuana often, could have relatively low levels of THC in their blood and be impaired for driving, according to the study.

In Nevada, however, almost any amount of THC in the blood will get you into trouble. The legal limit is 2 nanograms of active THC in the blood, which Yeager said is a very low limit.

“I’ll just say, our levels and laws are very, very low. So it is virtually impossible to test positive on a blood test and not be over the allowed limits under the (Nevada) statute,” Yeager said.

Nevada is about to embark on society-changing era where marijuana is legal. The AAA study, however is concerning. It suggests consuming this herb can make you a victim of a legal system that has no universally-accepted and accurate way of testing for DUI marijuana.

Perhaps Yeager’s bill will give Nevada a law based on the best technology available. It appears better than the current system.

Yet science marches on.

Yeager believes that the question of testing for marijuana DUI may need adjustments in the near future. It is a subject that the Legislature may need to revisit when better technology and testing methods become available, since this legal recreational pot business is projected to be popular and profitable in Nevada.

“I think everyone is open-mined about it,” Yeager said about marijuana DUI testing. “It (possible new state law) is a small step forward. But I think it is significant in that it gets us moving in the right direction. Hopefully, we’ll have some studies in the near future so we can continue to tweak these laws.”

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H.R.1227 – Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2017

 

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PLEASE CONTACT YOUR REPRESENTATIVES TODAY AND SUPPORT THIS BILL TO REMOVE CANNABIS/MARIJUANA FROM THE CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE ACT!

THIS IS THE CLOSEST THING TO A “REPEAL” BILL THAT HAS BEEN OFFERED AND IT IS BEING SUPPORTED BY MOST ACTIVISTS!

 

Find your legislator HERE!

 

To write or call the White House, click here

 

AND FINALLY, WE USE TWITTER!

The White House

@WhiteHouse

 

President Trump

@POTUS

 

 

February 27, 2017

Mr. Garrett (for himself, Ms. Gabbard, and Mr. Taylor) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and in addition to the Committee on the Judiciary, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned


A BILL

To limit the application of Federal laws to the distribution and consumption of marihuana, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2017”.

SEC. 2. Application of the Controlled Substances Act to marihuana.

(a) In general.—Part A of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 801 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following:

“SEC. 103. Application of this Act to marihuana.

“(a) Prohibition on certain shipping or transportation.—This Act shall not apply to marihuana, except that it shall be unlawful only to ship or transport, in any manner or by any means whatsoever, marihuana, from one State, territory, or district of the United States, or place noncontiguous to but subject to the jurisdiction thereof, into any other State, territory, or district of the United States, or place noncontiguous to but subject to the jurisdiction thereof, or from any foreign country into any State, territory, or district of the United States, or place noncontiguous to but subject to the jurisdiction thereof, when such marihuana is intended, by any person interested therein, to be received, possessed, sold, or in any manner used, either in the original package or otherwise, in violation of any law of such State, territory, or district of the United States, or place noncontiguous to but subject to the jurisdiction thereof.

“(b) Penalty.—Whoever knowingly violates subsection (a) shall be fined under title 18, United States Code, imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both.”.

(b) Table of contents.—The table of contents for the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970 (Public Law 91–513; 84 Stat. 1236) is amended by striking the item relating to section 103 and inserting the following:

“Sec. 103. Application of this Act to marihuana.”.

SEC. 3. Deregulation of marihuana.

(a) Removed from schedule of controlled substances.—Subsection (c) of Schedule I of section 202(c) of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 812(c)) is amended—

(1) by striking “marihuana”; and

(2) by striking “tetrahydrocannabinols”.

(b) Removal of prohibition on import and export.—Section 1010(b) of the Controlled Substances Import and Export Act (21 U.S.C. 960) is amended—

(1) in paragraph (1)—

(A) in subparagraph (F), by inserting “or” after the semicolon;

(B) by striking subparagraph (G); and

(C) by redesignating subparagraph (H) as subparagraph (G);

(2) in paragraph (2)—

(A) in subparagraph (F), by inserting “or” after the semicolon;

(B) by striking subparagraph (G); and

(C) by redesignating subparagraph (H) as subparagraph (G);

(3) in paragraph (3), by striking “paragraphs (1), (2), and (4)” and inserting “paragraphs (1) and (2)”;

(4) by striking paragraph (4); and

(5) by redesignating paragraphs (5), (6), and (7) as paragraphs (4), (5), and (6), respectively.

SEC. 4. Conforming amendments to Controlled Substances Act.

The Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 801 et seq.) is amended—

(1) in section 102(44) (21 U.S.C. 802(44)), by striking “marihuana,”;

(2) in section 401(b) (21 U.S.C. 841(b))—

(A) in paragraph (1)—

(i) in subparagraph (A)—

(I) in clause (vi), by inserting “or” after the semicolon;

(II) by striking (vii); and

(III) by redesignating clause (viii) as clause (vii);

(ii) in subparagraph (B)—

(I) by striking clause (vii); and

(II) by redesignating clause (viii) as clause (vii);

(iii) in subparagraph (C), by striking “subparagraphs (A), (B), and (D)” and inserting “subparagraphs (A) and (B)”;

(iv) by striking subparagraph (D);

(v) by redesignating subparagraph (E) as subparagraph (D); and

(vi) in subparagraph (D)(i), as redesignated, by striking “subparagraphs (C) and (D)” and inserting “subparagraph (C)”;

(B) by striking paragraph (4); and

(C) by redesignating paragraphs (5), (6), and (7) as paragraphs (4), (5), and (6), respectively;

(3) in section 402(c)(2)(B) (21 U.S.C. 842(c)(2)(B)), by striking “, marihuana,”;

(4) in section 403(d)(1) (21 U.S.C. 843(d)(1)), by striking “, marihuana,”;

(5) in section 418(a) (21 U.S.C. 859(a)), by striking the last sentence;

(6) in section 419(a) (21 U.S.C. 860(a)), by striking the last sentence;

(7) in section 422(d) (21 U.S.C. 863(d))—

(A) in the matter preceding paragraph (1), by striking “marijuana,”; and

(B) in paragraph (5), by striking “, such as a marihuana cigarette,”; and

(8) in section 516(d) (21 U.S.C. 886(d)), by striking “section 401(b)(6)” each place the term appears and inserting “section 401(b)(5)”.


All Actions H.R.1227 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)

 

03/16/2017
Referred to the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations.
Action By: House Judiciary

03/03/2017
Referred to the Subcommittee on Health.
Action By: House Energy and Commerce

02/27/2017
Referred to House Judiciary
Action By: House of Representatives

02/27/2017
Referred to House Energy and Commerce
Action By: House of Representatives

02/27/2017
Referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and in addition to the Committee on the Judiciary, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned.
Action By: House of Representatives

02/27/2017
Introduced in House
Action By: House of Representatives


https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact

https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/write-or-call

https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/1227/all-actions

https://www.congress.gov/115/bills/hr1227/BILLS-115hr1227ih.pdf

https://www.congress.gov/115/bills/hr1227/BILLS-115hr1227ih.xml

Additional LINKS of Information:

http://www.constitutionalcannabis.com/kentucky-house–senate-action-alerts.html

https://www.facebook.com/Kentucky-House-Senate-Action-Alerts-133526500152199/

Trudeau’s Legal Marijuana Could Produce A Problem At Border

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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s plans to legalize marijuana could make for longer lines at the U.S. border. Former U.S. ambassador to Canada Bruce Heyman thinks legal pot in Canada — illegal in the U.S. — could mean more searches with dogs trained to detect cannabis in vehicles.

Heyman, an appointee of former president Barack Obama, told CTV News that he was tasked with examining the potential effect of legalized marijuana on border security while he was ambassador from April 2014 until the inauguration of President Donald Trump in January. He specifically noted the role of sniffer dogs in the detection process.

“The dogs are trained to have reactions to certain scents. Some of those scents start with marijuana. Others are something that are significantly more challenging for the border. But the dog doesn’t tell you this is marijuana and this is an explosive,” Heyman said.

“The dog reacts, and these border guards are going to have to appropriately do an investigation. That could slow the border down.”

Heyman noted that once the dogs are trained to detect the presence of marijuana it is a skill that stays with them for life. So new dogs would have to be introduced.

Heyman noted that longer line-ups as a result of slower security checks would have a ripple effect on trade as it would be more time-consuming, costly and aggravating to move products and produce across the border. He said that is just one more variable to influence the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that Trump apparently thought he could unilaterally dismantle without first consulting Congress.

“He’s threatened all throughout the campaign that he was going to tear up NAFTA,” said Heyman. “That was a very clear and repetitive dialogue that he’s had all through the campaign. It was only at one day, at one time, where he used the word tweak… So I think that was the exception, the tweak, rather than what was being consistently communicated.”

Heyman remains optimistic about overall U.S.-Canadian relations despite the increasing volume of the trade threats.

“I don’t think the differences are any bigger now than they were before. I think the language being used is different now,” he said.

Canadian Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale says the federal government is aware of the potential for longer waits at border crossings as a consequence of legal pot.

Responding to questions from CTV News, Goodale press secretary Scott Bardsley said a secure but flexible border remains vital to trade because “400,000 people and $2.4 billion in trade cross our shared border every day. Both countries recognize the importance of an efficient and secure border for our shared prosperity.”

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Marijuana activists cuffed after lighting up at U.S. Capitol

Protesters smoke marijuana on steps of the U.S. Capitol to tell Congress to ‘De-schedule Cannabis Now’, in Washington, U.S. April 24, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

By Ian Simpson | WASHINGTON

Two dozen red-hatted protesters gathered on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol on Monday to call for easing federal marijuana laws, but police snuffed out the party by arresting four of them after they lit up joints.

The activists, who carried marijuana-leaf flags and a sign saying “Let DC Tax and Regulate Marijuana,” were calling for coast-to-coast legalization of the recreational use of marijuana and protections for those who use cannabis for medical reasons.

The protest included the recitation of Buddhist, Jewish, Christian and Rastafarian prayers on the lawn outside the domed national landmark.

But police swooped in and arrested the foursome as soon as they lit up in front of a crowd of media and sent smoke wafting across the grounds.

Marijuana is illegal under federal law and is banned from federal property like the Capitol, while more than two dozen states and the District of Columbia have legalized pot for medical or recreational use.

A Quinnipiac University poll released last week showed

U.S. voters back legalization by a margin of 60 percent to 34

percent, the highest level of support for legalized pot ever

recorded by the survey.

U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration has said that it might ramp up enforcement of federal laws against recreational marijuana use, setting up potential conflicts in states where the drug is legal.

Adam Eidinger, a protest organizer who recited a Jewish prayer before being arrested, told reporters that the sacramental use of marijuana on federal land deserves protection under the Constitution’s guarantee of religious freedom.

“Meaningful marijuana legislation is something that a majority of Americans are demanding,” he said. Capitol Police had no immediate comment on the arrests.

The protest was aimed at urging the Republican-controlled Congress to make cannabis legal and to lift a ban on the District of Columbia’s regulation of marijuana. The Constitution gives Congress oversight power over the district.

Activists also want lawmakers to keep intact a budget provision that bars the Justice Department from spending funds to interfere with states implementing medical marijuana laws.

Last week, police arrested several activists, including Eidinger, who were distributing joints near the Capitol to generate support for reforms.

(This version of the story has been refiled to corrects spelling in headline to “Capitol” instead of “Capital”)

(Reporting by Ian Simpson; Editing by Marguerita Choy)

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Marijuana activists arrested near the U.S. Capitol

Jessica Estepa , USA TODAY Published 2:31 p.m. ET April 20, 2017 | Updated 6 hours ago

Adam Eidinger, co-founder of DCMJ, hands out free marijuana

Adam Eidinger, co-founder of DCMJ, hands out free marijuana joints to D.C. residents who worked on Capitol Hill as part of the 1st Annual Joint Session to mark “4/20” day and promote legalizing marijuana on April 20, 2017. (Photo: Saul Loeb, AFP/Getty Images)

Seven marijuana activists were arrested near the U.S. Capitol, while they were handing out free joints to congressional staff and other federal employees on Thursday, aka 4/20.

Three of those arrested were charged with possession with intent to distribute, the Capitol police said in a statement. The other four people were charged with possession. The Capitol police noted that it is illegal to possess marijuana under federal law.

Among the activists arrested was Adam Eidinger, the D.C. activist who pushed for the ballot initiative that legalized marijuana possession in the city. After Eidinger was taken into custody, other members of the cannabis advocacy group DCMJ shouted in protest, demanding to know what charges he faced.

“Who polices the police?” DCMJ activist Angela Sydnor shouted as she followed the officers and Eidinger across the street.

The Capitol police did not reply, and instead asked people to keep the streets clear.

According to ABC7, Capitol police confiscated the marijuana before 2 p.m., leading to protests from the activists.

Prior to his arrest, Eidinger stood on the southeast corner of First Street and Constitution Avenue Northeast, a strip of land that isn’t under federal jurisdiction despite being right across the street from the Capitol building. He and other District of Columbia residents started handing out free marijuana joints to any person with a congressional ID.

It was all part of effort to get Congress to allow D.C. to enact laws that would regulate marijuana. While it’s legal to possess, grow and give away cannabis in the district, there are no laws that allow people to buy or sell pot.

Adam Eidinger, one of the founders of DCMJ.org, a Washington

Adam Eidinger, one of the founders of DCMJ.org, a Washington group calling for cannabis to be removed from the Controlled Substances Act, works the sewing maching with another supporter making protest props on April 13, 2017. (Photo: Paul J. Richards, AFP/Getty Images)

Most of the people crowded onto the sidewalk after “high noon” appeared to be either activists or journalists. Occasionally, someone would walk up, flash a badge and get a little marijuana.

A little more than an hour into the event, Eidinger said they probably handed out about 100 joints.

“People are coming every minute or so,” he said.

More drama may come next week, when members of DCMJ gather on the Capitol steps for a smoke-in to urge lawmakers to remove federal prohibitions on cannabis.

 

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Marijuana-Related Charges Will Still Be Used to Build Deportation Cases, the Homeland Security Chief Says

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Kevin Lui

Apr 18, 2017

U.S. immigration authorities will continue to enforce federal laws against marijuana and use them as a basis to deport undocumented immigrants, says John Kelly, U.S. Secretary for Homeland Security, on Tuesday.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) “will continue to use marijuana possession, distribution and convictions as essential elements as they build their deportation removal apprehension packages for targeted operations against illegal aliens living in the United States,” Kelly said in a speech at the George Washington University, according to the New York Daily News. “They have done this in the past, are doing it today, and will do it in the future.”

He also toed the hard line on cannabis taken by others in the Trump Administration, calling it “a potentially dangerous gateway drug that frequently leads to the use of harder drugs,” reports the Daily News.

Kelly’s latest statement on marijuana and deportation is markedly tougher than earlier comments on the plant’s place in the current administration’s war on drugs, reports NBC News.

On Sunday, he told NBC’s Chuck Todd on Meet the Press that “marijuana is not a factor in the drug war” when asked about how its legalization could affect the U.S. antinarcotics effort.

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Ahead of marijuana legalization, activists call on feds to forgive past pot offences

Travis Lupick on April 12th, 2017 at 11:23 AM

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The federal Liberal government is expected to table legislation to legalize recreational marijuana on Thursday (April 13), exactly one week ahead of the world’s annual 4/20 celebration of all things cannabis.

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The proposed law will be debated in Parliament. Then it’s likely that each province and territory will require some time to work out regulatory details.

In the meantime, long-time advocates for marijuana reform want to know if Ottawa has any plans to provide relief on past offences.

Just last month, Canada’s most prominent marijuana advocates, Jodie Emery and her husband, Marc, were charged with conspiracy to commit an indictable offence, possession for the purpose of trafficking, and possession of the proceeds of crime.

In a telephone interview, Jodie said that once the new laws come into effect, she wants the federal government to look at expunging records of crimes that are no longer crimes.

“We should have amnesty, pardons, and an official apology from the government,” she told the Straight.

Other advocates have made similar calls.

“A great way for Justin Trudeau to show leadership on cannabis would be to announce amnesty for simple possession when tabling new law,” Victoria lawyer Kirk Tousaw posted in an April 11 message on Twitter.

At the same time, Jodie painted a bleak picture of how she predicts the Liberals’ regulatory framework for marijuana will work.

“We know the government will not apologize for prohibition because we know they intend to maintain it,” she said. “The form of legalization that they are going to put forward is really just an economic opportunity for a select few people while everybody else continues to be arrested….Growers and dispensaries will continue to be criminalized and they will introduce even tougher penalties for people operating outside the legal system.”

The Straight asked Justin Trudeau about amnesty at a campaign stop in Vancouver in August 2015.

“That’s something that we’ll be looking into as we move forward,” he said. “There has been many situations over history when laws come in that overturn previous convictions, and there will be a process for that that we will set up in a responsible way.”

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