Torture Victim Seeking U.S. Asylum Faces Deportation for Dropped Pot Charge

Marco Coello was 18 when he was arrested in Caracas Venezuela at a protest against the regime of Nicolás Maduro, successor to the late Hugo Chavez.

Venezuelan police kicked and beat Marco with a golf club, fire extinguisher and tortured him with electric shocks.

After three months, he was released on bail and fled to the United States, where he sought political asylum.

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Trump and Sessions Need to Take a Deep Breath (and Perhaps Inhale) When It Comes to Pot Regulations

While there is much discussion and concern that the Trump administration will upset state law permitting medical and recreational marijuana use, there are numerous compelling arguments that any attempts can and should fail.

First, in December 2014, the United States Congress’ appropriations bill funding the federal government included the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment, which provides:

None of the funds made available in this Act to the Department of Justice may be used, with respect to the States of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin, to prevent such States from implementing their own State laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana.

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California Looks to Boost Pot, Block Immigration Jails

BY JONATHAN J. COOPER

ASSOCIATED PRESS

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California lawmakers voted Thursday to set rules for the state’s nascent marijuana industry and to quash the growth of federal immigration detention as lawmakers approved major pieces of a state budget for the next fiscal year.

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Senators Reintroduce Bill to End Federal Prohibition of Medical Marijuana

With all the fighting going on in Congress, it’s hard to find almost anything for them to agree on nowadays. One of the few things, it seems to be, is ending medical marijuana prohibition.

On Thursday, a bipartisan group including U.S. Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY), Corey Booker (D-NJ), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Mike Lee (R-UT) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) reintroduced the CARERS Act with new 2017 branding.

The CARERS Act of 2017 (or, if you’re trying to sound smart, The Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States Act) basically allows states with medical marijuana to continue doing it, but legally. More importantly, it would allow the Department of Veterans Affairs to recommend it to veterans as a treatment, as well as create some important paths for research.

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Philadelphia Ponders Eliminating Drug Testing for Pot

While the government of Pennsylvania’s largest city cannot legalize marijuana, it can make life easier for pot consumers by banning drug testing for certain jobs or by prohibiting employers from testing potential employees at least until a conditional job offer is made.

Sounds reasonable.

Such leniency would not necessarily indicate an approval of smoking weed, nor an attempt to make it more accessible, reports the Good Men Project. It would simply ensure that more Philadelphians can get jobs by reducing the barriers to employment in a valiant attempt to lower the city’s 26 percent poverty rate.

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Sign of a Cannabis Crackdown? Customs Seized Marijuana ‘Stash Boxes’

Stashlogix is a Boulder, Colorado-based startup company in the marijuana sector that wants to make accessing cannabis more difficult—that is, if you are a child or a pet.

The company makes nylon and hemp cases that sort of resemble lunchboxes, except for some key features. The boxes lock on the outside, and on the inside, there are odor controls—the idea being, if you want to be a responsible adult cannabis user, you should figure out some way to keep your weed out of sight and smell.

Sounds pretty reasonable.

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New York Lawmakers Pushing to Get Marijuana Bill Debated in 2017

New York lawmakers are gunning hard, once again, this year in what appears to be a last ditch effort to get some of the state’s more remedial legislative forces to understand the importance of allowing a taxed and regulated cannabis market to exist inside the Empire State.

On Monday, Senator Liz Krueger and Representative Crystal Peoples-Stokes marched up to the steps of the Capitol Building in Albany to reintroduce the “Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act,” a proposal begging to make weed fully legal across the state.

The bill would give adults 18 and older the freedom to possess up to two ounces of marijuana, while restricting home cultivation (up to six plants) and legal sales to adults 21 and older.

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Lawsuit Challenges Kentucky’s Medical Marijuana Ban

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky’s criminal ban on medical marijuana is being challenged in a lawsuit that says its use could help combat the state’s opioid addiction woes.

The suit, filed Wednesday in Franklin County Circuit Court in Frankfort, lists three plaintiffs who have used medical marijuana to help ease health problems.

The suit says the medical marijuana ban violates constitutional privacy rights.

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Scientific American Takes Sessions to Task for Trying to Destroy MMJ Protections

The longest continuously published magazine in the United States has something to say to Attorney General Jeff Sessions: Get with the program.

When Jeff Sessions’ letter to Congress urging it to help him roll back protections shielding medical marijuana was made public this week by Tom Angell of Mass Roots, Scientific American stepped up to the plate.

The 145-year-old authoritative science magazine called out Sessions on his absurd assertions that legal controls protecting MMJ jeopardize the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) ability to combat the country’s “historic drug epidemic” and control dangerous drug traffickers.

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California Firms Up Marijuana Rules, Will Allow Deliveries

BY JONATHAN J. COOPER

ASSOCIATED PRESS

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California would set standards for organic marijuana, allow pot samples at county fairs and permit home deliveries under legislation set to be considered by lawmakers Thursday as the state prepares for next year’s start of legal marijuana sales.

Read more at High Times