CARSON CITY, Nev. -- The Latest on the legal battle of the launch of
Nevada's recreational pot sales
The deputy director of Nevada's Department of Taxation says state
regulators still intend to have the necessary licenses in place July 1
to start selling marijuana for recreational use despite an ongoing
lawsuit over the regulations.
Anna Thornley testified in Carson City District Court on Monday that
the state has planned since February to have the "early start" program
up and running by July to start bringing in tax revenue before a
permanent system must be adopted on Jan. 1, 2018.
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Citing an epidemic of opioid overdose deaths across the country, state
Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra said Friday that California is joining with
more than 26 other states to investigate whether drugmakers have used
illegal marketing and sales practices.
Becerra said the probe would focus on whether drug manufacturers have
played a role in creating or extending the opioid problem.
Makers of opioids have been under heat in recent years as the
addiction crisis has intensified. A 2016 Times investigation revealed
that Purdue Pharma, which manufactures OxyContin, knew its drug's
painkilling effects might not last as long as long as marketed, which
could potentially promote addiction. The investigation also found
Purdue Pharma collected extensive evidence of criminal trafficking of
its drug but in many cases did not alert law enforcement.
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Despite the upheaval of the current presidential administration, some
things just haven't changed, like acting DEA Chief Chuck Rosenberg's
Obama-era insistence last month that "marijuana is not medicine."
Though he also stated that he'd "be the last person to stand in the
way" if medical uses of marijuana rise through the FDA process.
(Here's where we count on Sue Sisley's research in Phoenix.)
But Rosenberg doesn't seem to pay attention to what happens in
Phoenix. If he did, he might hear about a small clinic using marijuana
to treat opioid addiction.
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Thanks for the June 2 editorial, "Possession penalties are too
While any discussion about reforming Wisconsin's draconian marijuana
laws is certainly welcome, decriminalization is an old idea that still
leaves out a legal source for pot.
As your editorial noted, eight states have already legalized pot for
adult use. More states are currently in the process. Our neighbors
Michigan, Illinois and Minnesota, which already have medical
marijuana, are all exploring legalizing adult use.
Wisconsin is ready, too. The July 2016 Marquette Law School Poll found
59 percent favoring legal pot for adults. Wisconsinites also have long
supported medical use by even higher margins. Yet failure to "get it
done" has cost Wisconsin at lot.
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A federal civil rights lawsuit filed last week against a south Georgia
sheriff offers new details of the bizarre school-wide search of
hundreds of students where deputies allegedly touched girls' breasts,
vaginal areas and groped boys in their groins.
One of the nine Worth County High School students who filed the
lawsuit, identified as K.P., told the AJC that the April 14 search was
"very, very scary." She said the incident was stuck in her memory and
it colored the rest of her senior year.
The day of the search, she said, students didn't know what was
happening when an announcement was made early in the day that the
school was on lock-down.
Opioid Dealers Embrace the Dark Web to Send Deadly Drugs by Mail
Anonymous online sales are surging, and people are dying. Despite
dozens of arrests, new merchants - many based in Asia - quickly pop
As the nation's opioid crisis worsens, the authorities are confronting
a resurgent, unruly player in the illicit trade of the deadly drugs,
one that threatens to be even more formidable than the cartels.
In a growing number of arrests and overdoses, law enforcement
officials say, the drugs are being bought online. Internet sales have
allowed powerful synthetic opioids such as fentanyl - the
fastest-growing cause of overdoses nationwide - to reach living rooms
in nearly every region of the country, as they arrive in small
packages in the mail.
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HAYFORK, Calif. - The red and purple opium poppies that his family
grew on a mountainside half a world away were filled with an
intoxicating, sticky sap that his mother traded for silver coins to
feed her children and pay for their escape.
Adam Lee smiles at the memory of a childhood in war-torn Laos and
voyage to America, where he spent decades adapting to life in big cities.
Now 47 years old, Mr. Lee has returned to the mountains - the Trinity
Alps of Northern California - and to a career farming a different
mind-altering crop for his livelihood: marijuana.
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New data compiled from hundreds of health agencies reveals the extent
of the drug overdose epidemic last year.
AKRON, Ohio - Drug overdose deaths in 2016 most likely exceeded
59,000, the largest annual jump ever recorded in the United States,
according to preliminary data compiled by The New York Times.
The death count is the latest consequence of an escalating public
health crisis: opioid addiction, now made more deadly by an influx of
illicitly manufactured fentanyl and similar drugs. Drug overdoses are
now the leading cause of death among Americans under 50.
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In Heather Mac Donald's "Mandatory Minimums Don't Deserve Your Ire"
(op-ed, May 26) about mandatory minimum sentences (MMS), she writes
that 10-year mandatory minimum prison sentences are only given to
large-scale traffickers. In 2004 I was sentenced to 55 years in
federal prison for selling $1,000 worth of marijuana while possessing
a firearm. The judge who sentenced me called my punishment "unjust,
cruel and even irrational" and compared it to the much shorter federal
sentences given to repeat child rapists, murderers and even some terrorists.
[continues 69 words]
Under federal law, anyone convicted of selling just five grams of
methamphetamine-the weight of a nickel-is subject to a mandatory
five-year prison term. Get caught buying or selling a second time, no
matter how many years after your first offense, and you will be
subject to a 10-year mandatory prison sentence.
Ms. Mac Donald may pretend that mandatory sentences are reserved for
the likes of El Chapo, but the truth is mandatory sentences are more
often used against low-level offenders. Ninety-three percent of people
who receive federal mandatory minimums played no leadership role in
their crimes. There are lots of minnows and few sharks.
There are simply no studies that show mandatory sentences reduce drug
crime. Every dollar wasted on mandatory minimums is one that would be
better invested in proven anticrime strategies like hiring more police
officers and expanding substance abuse treatment.
Families Against Mandatory Minimums
The fear conjured up by MMS is a prime motivator in the accused
accepting a plea bargain. Even with a person who believes he is
innocent, the downside is too great. There is something not right
about destroying accepted historical precedent of the evaluation by a
judge and jury, who have heard all the evidence and witnessed the
character, arguments and demeanor of the prosecution and the accused,
in favor of the wisdom of remote legislators stroked by the DAs
looking for a bailout for their inability to earn a conviction on the
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The U.S. has the highest incarceration rate in the world, but this
hasn't solved our problems. There were a record 33,000 opioid deaths
in the U.S. in 2015. Our homicide rate is seven times the average of
21 Western developed nations, plus Japan.
Politicians are making jail the answer to addressing issues dealing with
drug addiction, mental illness and violent crime. Yet jail doesn't seem
to properly address these issues and often worsens the problems
associated with them.
[continues 54 words]
High Times, the magazine that has chronicled the transformation of
marijuana use from an underground vice to a major American business,
said on Thursday that it had been acquired by a group of investors
that includes Damian Marley, son of the reggae star Bob Marley.
The group, led by Adam Levin, the founder of the investment firm Oreva
Capital, bought a controlling interest at a price that values the
magazine at $70 million, according to The San Francisco Chronicle.
In a news release, the new ownership group said it planned to expand
the publication's audience and its events business.
[continues 426 words]
As he prepares to run for a third term, Gov. Scott Walker of
Wisconsin, ever the devotee of low-road, right-wing politicking, is
hoping the Trump administration will allow his state to be the first
in the nation to mandate the drug screening of childless individuals
who apply for Medicaid help.
"It borders on immoral," Lena Taylor, a Democratic state senator,
warned, accusing Mr. Walker of indulging in a "meaningless contest to
see how cruel and discriminatory we can be to the poor."
[continues 300 words]
Detroit's crackdown on illegally operating medical marijuana
dispensaries has shuttered 167 shops since the city's regulation
efforts began last year and dozens more are expected.
Detroit corporation counsel Melvin Butch Hollowell told the Free Press
that 283 dispensaries were identified last year, all of which were
"None of them were operating lawfully," Hollowell said. "At the time I
sent a letter to each one of them indicating that unless you have a
fully licensed facility, you are operating at your own risk."
[continues 665 words]
Jeanine Moss never expected to get into the cannabis industry. But
that was before her hip-replacement surgery.
Ms. Moss, 62, of Marina Del Ray, Calif., had quit her job as a
marketing consultant before she had her hip done in 2014. As she left
the hospital, her doctors handed her a "shopping bag filled with
opiates," she said. The drugs made her disoriented and woozy.
So she switched to medical marijuana, which is legal in California and
was familiar to her, having grown up in the nearby Venice section of
Los Angeles. Within a week, she had tossed away her
[continues 1073 words]
Mandatory Minimums Don't Deserve Your Ire Jeff Sessions's policy won't
lock up harmless stoners, but it will help dismantle drug-trafficking
Attorney General Jeff Sessions is being tarred as a racist-again-for
bringing the law fully to bear on illegal drug traffickers. Mr.
Sessions has instructed federal prosecutors to disclose in court the
actual amount of drugs that trafficking defendants possessed at the
time of arrest. That disclosure will trigger the mandatory penalties
set by Congress for large-scale dealers.
[continues 796 words]
Vermont Gov. Phil Scott said Wednesday he is vetoing a bill that would
have made the state the first to legalize marijuana through
legislation rather than a ballot measure, but he also left the door
open for legalization.
The bill, passed by the Vermont House and Senate, would have made it
legal for adults 21 and over to possess up to an ounce of marijuana
and grow a limited amount starting in mid-2018. The bill also called
for a commission to propose yet-more legislation that could have
created a taxed, regulated market later on.
[continues 388 words]
WASHINGTON - The Drug Enforcement Administration misled the public,
Congress and the Justice Department about a 2012 operation in which
commando-style squads of American agents sent to Honduras to disrupt
drug smuggling became involved in three deadly shootings, two
inspectors general said Wednesday.
The D.E.A. said in response that it had shut down the program, the
Foreign-deployed Advisory Support Team.
Under the program, known as FAST, squads received military-style
training to combat Taliban-linked opium traffickers in the Afghanistan
war zone. It was expanded to Latin America in 2008 to help fight
transnational drug smugglers, leading to the series of violent
encounters in Honduras in 2012.
[continues 1060 words]
President Trump, in a recent phone call, congratulated Filipino
president Rodrigo Duterte for a "great job" in his crackdown on drugs,
which human rights groups and the United Nations have condemned as a
vigilante-style campaign that has left thousands of suspected drug
dealers and users dead.
The exchange is found in a leaked transcript of a April 29
conversation between the two leaders published by The Washington Post
and reported on by The New York Times.
"I just wanted to congratulate you because I am hearing of the
unbelievable job on the drug problem," Trump says, according to the
transcript. "Many countries have the problem, we have a problem, but
what a great job you are doing and I just wanted to call and tell you
When it comes to criminal justice, Attorney General Jeff Sessions is a
man out of time - stuck defiantly in the 1980s, when crime in America
was high and politicians scrambled to out-tough one another by passing
breathtakingly severe sentencing laws. This mind-set was bad enough
when Mr. Sessions was a senator from Alabama working to thwart
sentencing reforms in Congress. Now that he is the nation's top law
enforcement officer, he's trying to drag the country backward with
him, even as most states are moving toward more enlightened policies.
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WASHINGTON - As a senator, Jeff Sessions was such a conservative
outlier on criminal justice issues that he pushed other Republicans to
the forefront of his campaign to block a sentencing overhaul, figuring
they would be taken more seriously.
Now Mr. Sessions is attorney general and need not take a back seat to
anyone when it comes to imposing his ultratough-on-crime views. The
effect of his transition from being just one of 535 in Congress to
being top dog at the Justice Department was underscored on Friday when
he ordered federal prosecutors to make sure they threw the book at
criminal defendants and pursued the toughest penalties possible.
[continues 880 words]
When Attorney General Jeff Sessions last week jettisoned an Obama
administration policy that had been aimed at sparing less-serious drug
offenders from harsh sentences, he called his new, more aggressive
approach "moral and just."
But the verdict among law-enforcement and legal professionals is more
mixed. Government data, along with interviews with former U.S.
attorneys who advised the Justice Department under President Barack
Obama, suggest the previous policy achieved several, though not all,
of its goals.
Then-Attorney General Eric Holder announced the policy that was to be
embodied in what became known as the "Holder memo" in a 2013 speech to
the American Bar Association. Mr. Holder pledged that federal
prosecutors would focus on more dangerous drug traffickers and avoid
charging less-serious offenders with crimes that required long,
mandatory-minimum sentences. Mandatory-minimum sentences, he said, had
led to bloated, costly prisons and disproportionately ravaged minority
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More U.S. workers are testing positive for illicit drugs than at any
time in the last 12 years, according to data coming out today from
Quest Diagnostics Inc., one of the largest workplace-testing labs in
The number of workers who tested positive for marijuana rose by 4%,
while positive results for other drugs also rose. The increases come
against a backdrop of more liberal marijuana state laws and an
apparent resurgence in the use of drugs like cocaine and
[continues 546 words]
WASHINGTON - Attorney General Jeff Sessions is expected to soon
toughen rules on prosecuting drug crimes, according to people familiar
with internal deliberations, in what would be a major rollback of
Obama-era policies that would put his first big stamp on a Justice
Department he has criticized as soft on crime.
Mr. Sessions has been reviewing a pair of memos issued by his
predecessor, Eric H. Holder Jr., who encouraged federal prosecutors to
use their discretion in what criminal charges they filed, particularly
when those charges carried mandatory minimum penalties.
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One day in 1964, Nicholas Sand, a Brooklyn-born son of a spy for the
Soviet Union, took his first acid trip. He had been fascinated by
psychedelic drugs since reading about them as a student at Brooklyn
College and had experimented with mescaline and peyote. Now, at a
retreat run by friends in Putnam County, N.Y., he took his first dose
of LSD, still legal at the time.
Sitting naked in the lotus position, before a crackling fire, he
surrendered to the experience. A sensation of peace and joy washed
over him. Then he felt himself transported to the far reaches of the
[continues 1480 words]
Even as Gov. Nathan Deal was signing the latest batch of state laws
designed to keep lower-level offenders out of prison, the Trump
administration was preparing a crackdown seeking the toughest possible
charges against offenders convicted of nonviolent drug violations.
The U.S. Justice Department released directives Friday that call for
more mandatory minimum sentences and direct prosecutors to pursue the
strictest punishments available. It was a sweeping shift in criminal
justice policy, reversing Obama-era policies to reduce penalties for
some nonviolent offenses.
[continues 52 words]
WASHINGTON - Attorney General Jeff Sessions has ordered federal
prosecutors to pursue the toughest possible charges and sentences
against crime suspects, he announced Friday, reversing Obama
administration efforts to ease penalties for some nonviolent drug
The drastic shift in criminal justice policy, foreshadowed during
recent weeks, is Mr. Sessions's first major stamp on the Justice
Department, and it highlights several of his top targets: drug
dealing, gun crime and gang violence.
In an eight-paragraph memo, Mr. Sessions returned to the guidance of
President George W. Bush's administration by calling for more uniform
punishments - including mandatory minimum sentences - and instructing
prosecutors to pursue the harshest possible charges. Mr. Sessions's
policy is broader than that of the Bush administration, however, and
how it is carried out will depend more heavily on the judgments of
United States attorneys and assistant attorneys general as they bring
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In a move expected to swell federal prisons, Attorney General Jeff
Sessions is scuttling an Obama administration policy to avoid charging
nonviolent, less-serious drug offenders with long, mandatory-minimum
Mr. Sessions's new guidelines revive a policy created under President
George W. Bush that tasked federal prosecutors with charging "the most
serious readily provable offense."
It is the latest and most significant step by the new administration
toward dismantling President Barack Obama's criminal justice legacy.
And it defies a trend in state capitals-including several led by
conservative Republicans-toward recalibrating or abandoning the
mandatory-minimum sentences popularized during the "war on drugs" of
the 1980s and 1990s.
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Colorado's edible pot industry goes from public enemy to public-health
leader, and wants Canada to take note
BOULDER, Colorado - A tray of tempting pastel-coloured candies sits on
a countertop inside AmeriCanna's production facility. Although shaped
like pot leaves and stamped with Colorado's universal symbol for the
mind-altering ingredient in cannabis - a diamond containing the
letters "THC" - the gummies would only provide a sugar high at this
Working with precision and speed, the kitchen supervisor uses a device
to soak each candy with marijuana extract, so that each piece contains
exactly 10 milligrams of THC, a single dose under the state's
[continues 815 words]
ALBANY - When the State of New York approved the use of medical
marijuana in 2014, the applicants to dispense the drug were vetted and
reviewed by a panel of experts said to have deep backgrounds in
The identities of the panel's members had been a mystery since. By
July 2015, the panel had chosen five companies that would receive
exclusive statewide medical marijuana licenses, a potentially
lucrative award in a state with nearly 20 million residents and
hundreds of thousands of potential patients.
[continues 927 words]
The Atlanta City Council is considering making the penalty for getting
caught with pot similar to finding a parking ticket flapping on your
The effort is based on the idea that black residents are
overwhelmingly the target of marijuana enforcement in the city,
staining them with jail time, fines and arrest records that follow
them in life.
The effort was put forward by Councilman Kwanza Hall, a mayoral
candidate who has tried to carve out his place in the crowded mayor's
race by pushing to do away with some quality-of-life offenses such as
spitting, jay walking, idling and loitering - things one often does
while smoking weed.
When California voted 57% to 43% last November to legalize
recreational marijuana-the eighth state to do so-it fertilized a
national market whose value by some estimates could top $20 billion by
2020. The ballot initiative was backed by a phalanx of
progressives-Napster founder Sean Parker provided the seed funding-and
liberal interest groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union.
But now as state lawmakers debate how to regulate the industry, one
worry is that the Teamsters will hijack the process and corner the pot
[continues 711 words]
BALTIMORE - As more states relax their approach to marijuana, police
departments are rethinking how many hits are too many for aspiring
Maryland just passed a new standard, set to take effect in the state
June 1, that bars applicants if they smoked pot in the past three
years, the same policy used by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The longstanding, previous policy had ruled out those who had used
marijuana at least 20 times or at least five times since age 21.
[continues 770 words]
Atlanta wants to join a growing number of U.S. cities that are
lowering the penalties for small amounts of marijuana use.
But leaders learned last week that getting there won't be
The City Council sent legislation meant to lower fines and eliminate
jail time for possession of an ounce or less of pot back to a
committee last week after members had a host of questions. Chief among
their concerns was whether there was buy-in from the Atlanta Police
Department and city courts, two groups whose backing would be crucial
to making such a plan work. Elected officials also fear that being too
lenient would take away the deterrent of marijuana use.
[continues 61 words]
"Isn't it cute?" said Molly Peckler, holding a delicate gold-chain
necklace adorned with a cannabis-leaf charm away from her neck. "It's
a perfect representation of my approach to cannabis."
With sunlight pouring in through a sliding-glass door in the apartment
she shares with her husband, Marc Peckler, a software salesman, Ms.
Peckler explained how she believed a shared love of cannabis could be
the spark in a relationship.
"Cannabis is almost an analogy for being authentic," said Ms. Peckler,
32, the founder of Highly Devoted in Los Angeles, an online matchmaker
that connects cannabis-using singles. "If this is a part of your life,
then you should be open and honest about that, especially if you're
trying to start a romantic relationship with someone."
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Dozens of activists, including some military veterans, plan to light
joints Monday on the steps of the U.S. Capitol - federal land where
committing the offense could draw a sentence of up to a year in jail -
as part of an effort to urge a reluctant Congress to support marijuana
"Monday @ High Noon" reads a flier for the event, calling on Congress
to also remove marijuana from the nation's list of most-dangerous
drugs. "Mass Civil Disobedience @ 4:20p - East Side of the US Capitol."
[continues 611 words]
Legal intoxication is big business and getting bigger. More states
have legalized marijuana, leading some in the alcohol industry to
regard it as a threat to their profit margin.
Those concerns are warranted in some cases. In Colorado, Oregon and
Washington, where recreational use has been legal for several years,
beer sales are down, mostly among mass-market brews. The liquor
industry opposed several marijuana legalization initiatives last year,
and has expressed fears for its bottom line.
The fine wine industry, however, has not panicked. Despite occasional
efforts to pit wine and weed against each other, many in the wine
business exude an air of mellow acceptance that the two substances can
coexist in harmony.
[continues 1174 words]
SALINAS, Calif. - This vast and fertile valley is often called the
salad bowl of the nation for the countless heads of lettuce growing
across its floor. Now California's marijuana industry is laying claim
to a new slogan for the valley: America's cannabis bucket.
After years of marijuana being cultivated in small plots out of sight
from the authorities, California cannabis is going industrial.
Over the past year, dilapidated greenhouses in the Salinas Valley,
which were built for cut flower businesses, have been bought up by
dozens of marijuana entrepreneurs, who are growing pot among the
fields of spinach, strawberries and wine grapes.
[continues 1291 words]
After more than 90 minutes of debate and no consensus, the Atlanta
City Council on Monday put off a vote on a measure that would have
eliminated jail time for those caught with small quantities of marijuana.
Advocates of the Atlanta legislation said the move is necessary to
address the disproportionate number of black Americans incarcerated
because of pot possession.
The proposal, which also would reduce the fine for possession of an
ounce or less to a maximum of $75, mirrors actions taken in cities
across the nation, including Dallas, Kansas City and St. Louis. In
DeKalb County, Clarkson also has reduced penalties.
[continues 67 words]
People in 29 states can legally use medical marijuana for a variety of
problems, including the relief of pain, anxiety or stress. But what if
they want to travel with it?
Secure airport areas beyond the Transportation Security Administration
checkpoints are under federal control, and the federal government
classifies marijuana as a Schedule 1 (most harmful) substance, even in
states where it is legal for adults to consume it.
The laws conflict, but federal law trumps state law, making it illegal
to fly with marijuana in carry-on or checked luggage. It is also
illegal to transport marijuana across state lines, even if both states
have legalized it.
[continues 930 words]
Maybe it was the ski masks that did it.
Or it could have been the steely look in the eyes of Lake County,
Fla., Sheriff Peyton Grinnell as he deadpanned: "We are coming for
Perhaps it was the muted background music: an eerie melody that
wouldn't have been out of place in a Batman movie.
In the end, what could have been an unremarkable public service
announcement about opioid abuse in Lake County spread widely on the
internet, garnering about a million views on the Facebook page of the
sheriff's office, where it was first posted Friday. It sparked
concerns about police militarization and drew more than a few
comparisons to Islamic State recruitment videos.
[continues 915 words]
Major anti-pot campaign funder lands DEA approval of THC drug amidst
flurry of lawsuits
Ethics is a hazy argument when it comes to marijuana.
On one hand, opponents of legalization argue that the plant is harmful
to society and individuals, and therefore should not be used. "Good
people don't smoke marijuana," remember?
On the other, little evidence exists to show that marijuana was even
made illegal on ethical grounds, and thousands of individuals' lives
are affected by simple possession of a joint, regardless of context.
[continues 511 words]
QUINCY, Mass. - At the edge of an industrial park in this suburb south
of Boston, past a used-car auction lot and a defunct cheese factory,
is an unmarked warehouse bristling with security cameras and bustling
with activity. Until recently, the cinder-block structure was home to
a wholesale florist, a granite cutter and a screen printer. Today, it
is home to just one tenant: a medical marijuana operation called Ermont.
Legalized marijuana has already upset societal norms, created a large
legal gray area and generated a lucrative source of tax revenue. Now
it is upending the real estate market, too.
[continues 2332 words]
The Drug Enforcement Administration regularly seizes money or goods it
believes are related to criminal activity, but in a recent sample of
100 such cases, more than half didn't aid investigations or produce
arrests or prosecutions, an internal Justice Department watchdog said
The report, by the Justice Department's inspector general, could
provide fuel to critics who say law enforcement authorities have too
much latitude, and an improper financial incentive, to seize property
suspected of ties to criminal activity. Such "asset forfeiture" has
long been a contentious subject among criminal justice experts and
[continues 486 words]
At every school in New Rochelle, just north of the Bronx, in
Westchester, there is a locked medicine cabinet in the nurse's office,
stocked with things like EpiPens for allergic reactions, inhalers for
asthma, Tylenol for aches and pains.
Now, those cabinets also include naloxone, an antidote for people who
are overdosing on opioids like heroin. Given as an injection or a
nasal spray, naloxone can quickly revive someone who is not breathing.
The city keeps it in every nurse's office, including in its elementary
[continues 1160 words]
SANTA ROSA, Calif. - In the heart of Northern California's wine
country, a civil engineer turned marijuana entrepreneur is adding a
new dimension to the art of matching fine wines with gourmet food:
cannabis and wine pairing dinners.
Sam Edwards, co-founder of the Sonoma Cannabis Company, charges diners
$100 to $150 for a meal that experiments with everything from
marijuana-leaf pesto sauce to sniffs of cannabis flowers paired with
sips of a crisp Russian River chardonnay.
"It accentuates the intensity of your palate," Mr. Edwards, 30, said
of the dinners, one of which was held recently at a winery with
sweeping views of the Sonoma vineyards. "We are seeing what works and
what flavors are coming out."
[continues 827 words]
Re "As Heroin Infests Farms, a Grieving Parent Fears for the Future"
(front page, March 13):
The view of Roger D. Winemiller, who lost two children to drug
overdoses, that the solution to the drug epidemic is tougher
penalties, while understandable, is misguided.
As a former prosecutor, including time as a narcotics prosecutor, I
can only conclude that the war on drugs is unwinnable. What good did
tough narcotics laws do the Winemiller children? Would the results be
better if sometimes draconian laws were made even more draconian?
[continues 127 words]
With battering rams and flash-bang grenades, SWAT teams fuel the risk
of violence as they forcibly enter suspects' homes. Five months and 85
miles apart, two cases took starkly divergent legal paths.
SOMERVILLE, Tex. - Joshua Aaron Hall had been a resident of the
Burleson County Jail for about a week when he requested a meeting with
Gene Hermes, the sheriff's investigator who had locked him up for
violating probation. The stocky lawman arrived in the featureless
interview room on the morning of Dec. 13, 2013, placed his soda cup on
the table and apologized for not getting there sooner. He asked in his
gravelly drawl if they would be talking about Mr. Hall's own case.
[continues 6445 words]
Recreational cannabis may be legal in California, but buying the
actual stuff still makes Scott Campbell, a celebrity tattoo artist and
fine artist, feel like a class-cutting teenage stoner.
"You go in to buy weed, and it's like visiting your parole officer,"
said Mr. Campbell, who lives in Los Angeles. "You get buzzed through
three metal gates." Inside, cannabis products are often packaged with
loopy Deadhead-style graphics and goofy dorm-humor strain names like
Gorilla Glue and Purple Urkle.
[continues 841 words]