Federal Marijuana Excise Tax Bill Introduced

At least one Congressman is willing to make a serious effort to reconcile current strict federal prohibition of marijuana with the realities of new marketplaces for legal medical and recreational use in many States. It is encouraging to see some movement on a federal level to institute what many marijuana advocates have claimed for years would be the resultant boon to U.S. revenue from the legalization and decriminalization of marijuana. [Read more…]

Colorado Court: Medical Marijuana Can Cost You Your Job

In Colorado,people with a number of conditions have been allowed to smoke marijuana for medical reasons. They’ve jumped through hoops to be allowed this designation and are “card carrying” members of what was once an elite club (not so elite now that recreational marijuana has been legalized). Still, the medical marijuana users represent a group of people who use the plant for its healing properties—many of them afflicted with debilitating and chronic illnesses. Despite their medical justification for using marijuana, a state Court of Appeals recently ruled their medicine, unlike the medicines pushed by large pharmaceutical companies, could cost them their job. [Read more…]

SCOTUS Limits Warrantless Drug-Dog Searches

In the past, U.S. Supreme Court justices have sided with the states in warrantless drug dog sniff searches. But this past week, they shifted directions on one Florida case, deciding that the police can’t use a drug dog at a home (even on the front porch) without a warrant. The difference between this case and previous ones? Location, location, location. [Read more…]

“Too Much Evidence” Leads to Dropped Charges

A Miami doctor, charged in Iowa with maintaining a huge illegal Internet pharmacy, is being let off the hook in part because there is simply “too much evidence.” According to the Associated Press, Armando Angulo was initially charged in 2007 and has since fled to his home country of Panama. The DEA has said the massive amount of evidence involved in the case is simply too much to maintain, so his charges have been dropped. [Read more…]

Marijuana Legalization Supported by Half of All Americans

A new poll by Gallup puts support for marijuana legalization at an all time high, 50% of all Americans. [Read more…]

Judges Still Sentencing Crack Defendants Under Unjust Law

In what was called the Fair Sentencing Act, Congress reduced the glaring disparity between crack and powder cocaine sentences. But they failed to make it retroactive to apply to those who where previously convicted, but not yet sentenced. Now, judges are being forced to sentence defendants under the old and horribly skewed law despite the general recognition that such law was completely unjust. But, they aren’t doing it without voicing their opinions. [Read more…]

As Drug Smuggling Gets More Innovative, Trafficking Detection Must Evolve

Whether smuggling drugs into a prison, into the country on a plane, or across borders, people in the drug trade battle with those tasked with detecting the illegal substances every day, and with everyday the game gets a little more intense. The Associated Press this week ran an interesting story outlining just how creative smugglers have gotten and how law enforcement have had to evolve right along with them. [Read more…]

New Study Questions Value of Drug Courts

Drug Courts have gone from an anomaly to a fairly commonplace alternative to the traditional criminal courts—often touted as giving offenders who would otherwise be sent to prison a chance at rehabilitation and a subsequent reduction in their risk of re-offending. But a new study from the Justice Policy Institute states that drug courts might not be the win-win answer they are painted as. [Read more…]

Feds Ban Fake Pot

Following the lead of at least 16 states, the Drug Enforcement Agency has banned fake marijuana products, also referred to as “spice”. The substance has made headlines over the past few years due to its popularity and resulting harms. Though the chemicals used in the products are said to mimic the active components in marijuana, they’ve causes some serious reactions that are completely unheard of with the real thing. [Read more…]

President Obama Discusses Marijuana Legalization

The President took to the Internet airwaves this week to have a Q&A session on YouTube. Many viewer submitted topics largely centered on marijuana. And while he nobly remarked it should be more of a public health issue, he maintained he is against legalization. [Read more…]