Tag Archives: state law

Indiana law for felony arrest DNA collection taking effect

Photo credit: CNN

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana authorities are being required under a new state law to collect a DNA sample from those who are arrested for a felony crime.

The law taking effect Monday requires that police collect a DNA cheek swab, along with fingerprints and photographs during the booking process. That will enable law enforcement to check a database for matches with DNA evidence gathered in other crimes.

The sample may be expunged from the system if an arrestee is acquitted, a charge is lowered below a felony, or if no charges are filed after a year.

State legislators approved the new law last April. Supporters contended it would help solve crimes, along with exonerating the innocent. Critics argued the DNA collection goes against the U.S. Constitution’s protection from unreasonable search and seizure.

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9 ways federal marijuana laws are limiting rights of residents in legal weed states

Federal status of marijuana is affecting both everyday cannabis consumers and people attempting to work in the industry.

By BROOKE EDWARDS STAGGS / STAFF WRITER

Published: Feb. 4, 2017 Updated: Feb. 5, 2017 2:45 p.m.

 Derek Peterson, CEO and president of Terra Tech. Just weeks after Prop. 64 passed, Peterson learned the company that for two years had managed Terra Tech's payroll and health benefits would be dropping them, Dec. 31, because of concern over their role in the cannabis industry. “The decision came out of nowhere,” he said. “We have almost 200 employees that spent their holiday season stressed about the possibility of not having their health benefits available in the new year, let alone a reliable pay schedule.” (File Photo by ED CRISOSTOMO, Orange County Register/SCNG)

Federal law still classifies cannabis as a Schedule I narcotic, a category reserved for drugs such as heroin that are said to be highly addictive and have no medical value. There’s been no movement to ease that stance even though polls show a record number of Americans now believe marijuana should be legal, 28 states now permit medical marijuana and eight more allow recreational use.
One thing that has changed is the optimism some cannabis enthusiasts expressed prior to the November election.
As the biggest state in the nation prepared to vote on legalizing recreational use with Prop. 64, the thinking was that California could become a tipping point that would ultimately lead to federal approval of cannabis.
Prop. 64 easily passed. But confidence in the impact of that vote has dimmed as the reality of a GOP-controlled federal government headed by President Donald Trump – and the prospect of marijuana-opponent Jeff Sessions as Attorney General – has settled in.
For individuals, the ongoing conflict with federal law can make it harder to get everything from housing to healthcare, even if they use cannabis for medical reasons says Paul Armentano, deputy director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, or NORML.
And for Californians who want to make money in the cannabis industry, the differences between state and federal law can affect how they bank, pay taxes and more.
“It’s a serious hindrance,” said John Hudak, a senior fellow with the Brookings Institution who specializes in marijuana policy.
“It creates a scenario in which companies are able to get up and running, but not operate like a normal business.”
Here are nine ways the federal status of marijuana is affecting both everyday cannabis consumers and people attempting to work in the industry, no matter what their state law says.

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Marijuana Opponents Using Racketeering Law to Fight Industry

DENVER — Jul 13, 2015, 4:20 PM ET

By KRISTEN WYATT Associated Press

Associated Press

A federal law crafted to fight the mob is giving marijuana opponents a new strategy in their battle to stop the expanding industry: racketeering lawsuits.

A Colorado pot shop recently closed after a Washington-based group opposed to legal marijuana sued not just the pot shop but a laundry list of firms doing business with it — from its landlord and accountant to the Iowa bonding company guaranteeing its tax payments. One by one, many of the plaintiffs agreed to stop doing business with Medical Marijuana of the Rockies, until the mountain shop closed its doors and had to sell off its pot at fire-sale prices.

With another lawsuit pending in southern Colorado, the cases represent a new approach to fighting marijuana. If the federal government won’t stop its expansion, pot opponents say, federal racketeering lawsuits could. Marijuana may be legal under state law, but federal drug law still considers any marijuana business organized crime.

"It is still illegal to cultivate, sell or possess marijuana under federal law," said Brian Barnes, lawyer for Safe Streets Alliance, a Washington-based anti-crime group that brought the lawsuits on behalf of neighbors of the two Colorado pot businesses.

Lawyers on both sides say the Colorado racketeering approach is novel.

"If our legal theory works, basically what it will mean is that folks who are participating in the marijuana industry in any capacity are exposing themselves to pretty significant liability," Barnes said.

The 1970 Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act sets up federal criminal penalties for activity that benefits a criminal enterprise. The RICO Act also provides for civil lawsuits by people hurt by such racketeering — in this case, neighbors of the two businesses who claim the pot businesses could hurt their property values. If successful, civil lawsuits under the RICO Act trigger triple penalties.

Filed in February, the Colorado lawsuits have yet to go before a judge. But one has already had the intended effect.

In April, three months after the RICO lawsuit was filed, Medical Marijuana of the Rockies closed. Owner Jerry Olson liquidated his inventory by selling marijuana for $120 an ounce, far below average retail prices.

"I am being buried in legal procedure," Olson wrote on a fundraising Web page he created to fight the lawsuit. The effort so far has brought in just $674.

The closure came after the pot shop’s bank, Bank of the West, closed the shop’s account and was dismissed as a plaintiff.

"Its policy is never to offer accounts to recreational marijuana businesses," the court order said.

And just last week, a bonding company in Des Moines, Iowa, paid $50,000 to get out of the lawsuit.

"We are out of the business of bonding marijuana businesses in Colorado and elsewhere until this is settled politically," said Therese Wielage, spokeswoman for Merchants Bonding Company Mutual.

The case of the mountain pot shop shows that racketeering lawsuits can affect the marijuana industry even if the lawsuits never make it to a hearing.

"This lawsuit is meant more to have a chilling effect on others than it is to benefit the plaintiffs," said Adam Wolf, Olson’s lawyer.

In the other Colorado lawsuit, against a dispensary called Alternative Holistic Healing, the pot shop isn’t going down so easily.

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Marijuana Legislation: How Legal Is Cannabis Consumption In Each US State?

By Lisa Mahapatra | June 18 2013 7:48 AM

ohhhh-so-beautiful

Medical marijuana use is currently legal in 18 states and Washington, DC, and six more states seem to be following suit. However, the market for legally produced and distributed marijuana is largely untapped, and is expected to explode into a multimillion dollar industry, especially after more states make the move to legalize the drug.

And that’s what entrepreneurs and investors came together to discuss at at the ArcView Group’s quarterly forum on Friday.

Though potentially lucrative, the legal marijuana industry cannot truly mature before laws favoring the responsible distribution of marijuana are passed on local, state and federal levels.

Here is an interactive map that charts out where every American state currently stands on the marijuana use. Click on any state for details. Refer to the key provided below the map.

CONTINUE READING AND VIEW INTERACTIVE MAP HERE….

For the full story click here.

HR 6335 `States’ Medical Marijuana Property Rights Protection Act’

HR 6335 IH

112th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 6335

To amend the Controlled Substances Act so as to exempt real property from civil forfeiture due to medical-marijuana-related conduct that is authorized by State law.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

August 2, 2012

Ms. LEE of California (for herself, Mr. POLIS, Mr. FARR, Mr. STARK, Mr. HINCHEY, Mr. BLUMENAUER, Mr. HONDA, Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts, and Mr. MCGOVERN) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary, and in addition to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, 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 amend the Controlled Substances Act so as to exempt real property from civil forfeiture due to medical-marijuana-related conduct that is authorized by State law.

    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 `States’ Medical Marijuana Property Rights Protection Act’.
SEC. 2. FINDINGS.
    Congress makes the following findings:
      (1) 17 States and the District of Columbia have, through ballot measure or legislative action, approved the use of marijuana for medical purposes when recommended by a physician.
      (2) Marijuana has long-established medical uses as an effective treatment for conditions that include HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, arthritis, gastro-intestinal disorders, chronic pain, and others as well.
SEC. 3. CIVIL FORFEITURE EXEMPTION FOR MARIJUANA FACILITIES AUTHORIZED BY STATE LAW.
    Paragraph (7) of section 511(a) of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 881(a)(7)) is amended–
      (1) by striking `(7) All’ and inserting `(7)(A) Except as provided in subparagraph (B), all’; and
      (2) by adding at the end the following:
      `(B) No real property, including any right, title, and interest in the whole of any lot or tract of land and any appurtenances or improvements, shall be subject to forfeiture under subparagraph (A) due to medical marijuana-related conduct that is authorized by State law.’.

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