Washington Governor Signs Bill Legalizing Marijuana Sharing and Distribution of Seeds/Plants to Patients

Washington Governor Signs Bill Legalizing Marijuana Sharing and Distribution of Seeds/Plants to Patients

Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed a bill into law yesterday that makes several positive changes to the state’s marijuana law.

Included in Senate Bill 5131 is the legalization of sharing marijuana from one individual aged 21 and older to another individual also at least 21 years of age. Up to this point sharing marijuana – including passing a joint or bong – has remained a felony punishable by up to five years in prison, despite the fact that marijuana possession was legalized by voters in 2012.

The new law also allows licensed producers of marijuana to legally sell marijuana seeds and plants to medical marijuana patients 18 and older, which are allowed to cultivate cannabis even though it remains illegal for personal use. However, the new law also directs Washington’s Liquor and Cannabis Board to study the feasibility of allowing everyone 21 and older to grow marijuana.

Senate Bill 5131 also creates an “organic” certification program through the Washington State Department of Agriculture, giving retail outlets the ability to receive a certificate if their products follows guidelines that allow it to be labelled organic.

The full text of Senate Bill 5131 can be found by clicking here.

About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.

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Published at Wed, 17 May 2017 16:53:06 +0000

How Parents Can End the Stigma of Recreational Marijuana Use

How Parents Can End the Stigma of Recreational Marijuana Use

I am so thrilled to have another guest post from a fellow mom named Jennifer Landis and to hear her thoughts about how parents can end the stigma of recreational marijuana use.

I wholeheartedly believe that parents, and particularly mothers, will be a huge part of not just ending the stigma, but also end federal cannabis prohibition overall.
I agree with her sentiments and fully support and encourage movement forward in this sector of activism for the cannabis movement.

While we have posted about this topic before, this is one of the best pieces I have seen written on the topic, and we are so happy to bring it to our readers!

Marijuana, in its various forms, is legal for medical use in 28 states as of the 2016 election. In nine of those states, it’s also legal for recreational use and can be purchased in dispensaries or even grown in small amounts depending on the laws of the state.

In states where it’s not yet legal for recreational use, many local governments are working toward decriminalizing possession of marijuana to reduce the number of related arrests and incarcerations.

So why, in the name of all that is holy, is there such a stigma of recreational marijuana use STILL for parents?

A History Lesson

Until the early 1900s, marijuana was used in over-the-counter medications and was popular for its medicinal properties. The only regulation on the books at the time concerning the use of marijuana just required medications containing the drug had to declare it on the label.

Then came Harry J. Anslinger. This former prohibitionist needed a new site in his crosshairs once prohibition was declared unconstitutional, so he incited a new fear. That fear, paired with his growing fear of Mexican immigrants, allowed the newly formed Federal Bureau of Narcotics to ‘gently encourage’ states to ban marijuana.

In Today’s News

Today, no one is afraid of Mexican immigrants — current Administration notwithstanding — but there is still a massively negative stigma of recreational marijuana use. A recreational marijuana shop in Aurora, Colorado was surrounded by protestors the day it opened. The protestors couldn’t do anything about the shop opening, so they decided to waste their day trying to shame the people walking into the store.

If they could afford it, they’d probably hire the lady from Game of Thrones to follow people around chanting “Shame, shame, shame.”

What escapes their grasp is that people aren’t only visiting these shops for the recreational reasons — marijuana has so many medical uses that we probably haven’t discovered them all yet. People choose to use marijuana for pain, for anxiety, to help dying family members be more comfortable or to help a child who has seizures who don’t respond to any other treatment. Where is the bad here?

Sure, there are occasionally people in the news who give pot-smoking parents a bad rep, but, for the most part, parents who smoke marijuana do so smartly and safely and don’t do it around their kids.

So in states where it’s legal, what’s the problem?

Avoid Being a Hidebound

Hidebound is an archaic word used to describe people who are unwilling to change because of some learned tradition or convention. When it comes to marijuana, people are so hidebound that you should probably put them on a shelf with the other old books. Reefer Madness is still fresh in their minds, despite being released in 1936.

Generally, baby boomers equate marijuana with hippies, even though they tend to use more of the drug than any other generation, and Millennials grew up on a diet of D.A.R.E and “Just Say No.” It’s no wonder so many Millennials and GenX-ers who are starting to become parents themselves get all bent out of shape at the idea of parents using marijuana.

What Can We Do?

In states where the drug is legal, you’ll find two kinds of people — those who support the use of marijuana and those who diametrically oppose it. For those who support the idea, you will likely find a kind of solidarity that you will never experience elsewhere else. In those who oppose it, there may not be much you can do.

As a parent and a pot-smoker, what can you do to help dispel this stigma of recreational marijuana use? There’s only one answer:

Talk About It

That is literally the easiest and most important thing you can do. Let people know it’s just as normal for you to light up at the end of the night as it is for your playgroup mommies to open a bottle of wine. If someone asks a question, answer it. The goal is to educate as many people as possible to help get rid of the stigma that hangs over our heads like a black cloud.

Don’t pick a fight with someone who is dead-set on being negative about marijuana use. With that kind of person, you could tell them you were taking it because you were dying of cancer, and they’d still just complain.

Be Responsible

Make sure you’re being responsible about your marijuana use. It makes it easier to make a case for the use of recreational marijuana when you are responsible about it. A few things to keep in mind include:

  • Keep It Away from Children. You wouldn’t leave prescription medication lying around for your kids to find. The same rules should apply to any marijuana products, especially edibles. A brownie looks tempting to just about everyone, so keep them locked up!
  • Don’t Smoke and Drive. You wouldn’t drink a bottle of wine and then get behind the wheel of your car, so why would you do it after smoking a joint? Just don’t do it. Driving under the influence, no matter what you’re under the influence of, is a recipe for disaster.
  • Don’t Smoke Around the Kids. This is common sense, but it bears repeating. You shouldn’t smoke around your kids, whether you’re smoking cigarettes or marijuana. Secondhand smoke sucks, especially for kids. If you grew up around a smoker, you know exactly what we’re talking about.

See? It’s not hard to be responsible with your marijuana usage. Just use your common sense.

Despite the current administration’s dramatically negative stance on marijuana, many states are moving toward decriminalization and legalization for marijuana use. It might take a few more years before the rest of the country sees the light, but states like Colorado and Washington have already shown the benefits in the form of massive tax revenue that they are able to take and put right back into the state.

Colorado, specifically, has taken its tax money and put it into infrastructure, schools, projects for the homeless and grants for low-income students. That’s millions of dollars they wouldn’t have had available otherwise.

It’s up to us to dispel this stigma of recreational marijuana use and let the rest of the world know marijuana usage and responsible parenting are not mutually exclusive concepts. We’re the only ones who can, and all we have to do is be willing to speak up.

Jennifer Landis is a mom and wife with a fierce love for peanut butter, naps, and boy bands. She practices yoga regularly even though her husband doesn’t think it counts as exercise. She is the editor and creative mastermind behind Mindfulness Mama.

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Published at Thu, 11 May 2017 21:53:36 +0000

Everything You Need To Know About Kannastor Grinders – Expert Review

Everything You Need To Know About Kannastor Grinders – Expert Review

0961001

Average Rating

  • Performance

  • Grinding Quality

  • Value For Money

Our Verdict

The Kannstor Grinder is the best grinder you can get on the market today. Beautiful designs, great prices and a variety of sizes makes this grinder a great buy!  

Want to know more about Kannastor grinders?

Smart move, you came to the right place.

Finding the right grinder is an absolute necessity for people that have a strong desire to have the best vaping experience.

Over the years, the demand for the best vaping experience has increased which also paved the way not only for high tech vaporizers but additionally for the high end high grade accessories that compliment them such as the grinder.

You’ve heard this advice a million time.

When looking for a new grinder, you need to make sure its user-friendly, durable, and a design that makes it functional.

It needs to do its job well of grinding herbs in order to maximize the vaping experience.

One of the brands that stood out over the years is Kannastor. Kannastor has been around making different types of grinders since 2003.

That’s 14 years of experience for them. 

They’ve covered both the single chamber and the multi-chamber varieties. And given their years in the business, this makes them a veteran in the world of vaporizers and grinders.

All these years, they’ve been working to adjust their designs in order to create the best grinders possible.

The Good

There are a lot of good things that can be said about the Kannastor vaporizers.

In fact, they offered some of the most advanced designs in the market today.

One of the features that make them unique and a stand out brand is the material used on their products.

Kannastor Grinders are made of aerospace grade anodized aluminum.

Aerospace grade anodized aluminum offers a more durable option than your typical aluminum grinders.

Still not convinced?

Get this: Kannator grinders have a glass fronted storage that allows you to see what exactly happens inside the grinder.

And having an exterior threading, the device secures the materials that you place inside the grinder.

Also, a trademark design of Kannastor Grinders is its ability to churn the herbs smoothly.

Let’s dig a little bit deeper. 

It has sharp diamond shaped teeth that can simply break down the herbs without a problem. You end up with consistent and smooth grind every time you use their products.

In some cases like the GR8TR grinders by Kannastor, it even made use of teeth on both top and bottom to make sure that it is easier for its users to make ground herbs.

It also comes with a warranty that ensures users that they purchased a durable product. Unlike other brands, you can guarantee that Kannastor Grinders will last for a long, long time.

The aerospace aluminum plays a role in terms of maintenance.

This makes it easier for you to get rid of all the dirt and pieces that were stuck from the last grinding session. All the

All the gunk and pieces stuck between the parts can easily be removed using household cleaning items.

In addition to that

The screen used on the Kannastor Grinders is made of stainless steel material. This prevents rusting and can help maintain the quality of your herbs.

The screen also has the perfect size that only allows the kief to be collected at the bottom of the device.

You can also choose different types of screens from Kananstor depending on how fine you want your herbs.

Another great feature of the Kannastor Grinders is its large storage capacity. This makes it the perfect option for those who prefer to do a long vaping session, not to mention help organized users store their herbs in one place.

The Bad

One of the most common problems that we have experienced with Kannastor Grinders is the fact that it is quite difficult to replace the screens.

It is a bit ironic on the part of the company considering their main selling point is Kannastor’s removable screens.

However, replacing the screen isn’t really something that you will have to do regularly.

If you are the type who vapes regularly, it is a good idea to already have additional screens right from the start the moment you purchased the Kannastor Grinders.

Another common problem is the plastic part on the Kannastor grinder sometimes detaches that can interfere with the process of grinding the herbs.

Design and Performance

Kannastor, over the years, perfected their grinder designs.

They’ve come up with different varieties that can help meet every vaping enthusiast’s preference and needs.

The construction of each grinder is quite different.

They’ve designed a range of single chamber to multi-chamber grinder designs for its markets with different needs and preferences.

The single chamber grinders make a perfect accessory for those who love to vape on-the-go while multi-chamber designs are perfect for those who love to vape for medical reasons.

All of its multi-chamber grinders have easy to remove screens that help you to maintain the device without a problem.

In fact

You can even choose how fine you want the screen to be!  That means that you can get the desired consistency that you want for your herbs.

Aside from the grinder’s screen, the design of Kannastor Grinders prevents resin from getting stuck in between the teeth of your unit.

Maintenance

Maintenance is an important part of ensuring a grinder’s performance.

Since the Kannastor Grinder is made of aerospace-grade aluminum, this is something easy to do. However, make sure that you use solvents such as alcohol to get rid of the resin stuck on your screen and in the teeth. You can also apply dishwashing soap and water on the grinder.

Different types of Kannastor Grinders

  • 4-Piece Kannastor Grinder

Kannastor produced many 4-Piece grinder variants. These grinders have a crank top which makes grinding easy. Watching the herbs go down the holes is also a thing of beauty in this particular device with its clear window top.

These grinders have a crank top which makes grinding easy. Watching the herbs go down the holes is also a thing of beauty in this particular device with its clear window top.

Watching the herbs go down the holes is also a thing of beauty in this particular device with its clear window top.

The 4-Piece Kannastor Grinder comes in different sizes from 1.25 inches to 3 inches depending on how wide you prefer your grinder to be.

The 4-Piece Kannastor Grinder has a magnet that keeps the top piece in contact with its lower pieces. This prevents you from making any mess while grinding your material. In true Kannastor fashion, this 4-piece grinder has a screen that does a great job separating the large particles and the small ones that end up on the bottom.

In true Kannastor fashion, this 4-piece grinder has a screen that does a great job separating the large particles and the small ones that end up on the bottom.

It also makes use of diamond-shaped teeth that allows the device to perform a good ground on the herbs that you place inside the device. Combine it with the crank design, and you end up with a user-friendly device.

The GR8TR by Kannastor is a highly versatile product that you can enjoy.

The GR8TR is available in Solid Body Grinder, Jar Grinder, and Vape versions.

Whichever you choose, the GR8TR offers a number of unique features that you might like to check.

For instance:

It has interchangeable grinding plates. This means that you can choose the consistency that you want every single session.

It has a Micro-Teeth and Dish Press Design which offers effortless grinding.

Which give you the ability to grind on both sides top and the bottom end of the grinder.

It was designed specifically for people with medical conditions requiring lesser physical effort in order to deliver the best ground for their vaping sessions.

Kannastor Grinders feature what they call Friction Rings. Offers is an easy grinding experience after

Friction Rings offers an easy grinding experience session after session.

The Friction Rings create an “air ride” which helps reduces the friction between the exterior wall and the inner wall of the grinding chamber.

In addition to this, the manufacturer also focused on providing better storage for their device.

It has storage for an additional GR8TR plate which allows you to adjust how fine you want the grind to be.

On top of the device, you can find more storage area that can be used for course, fine and unground material.

  • Single Chamber Grinder

From a 1.25-inch version to a 2.5-inch version, Kannastor offers good single chamber options for its users.

What makes the single chamber grinders still relevant today in the world ruled by multi-chamber grinders?

For starters, the single chamber grinders have a straight forward design.

It can also be a portable version that you can pair with your portable vaporizers.

Though it doesn’t have the screen that allows you to collect the kief, it offers a compact design which allows you to do the basic thing that every vape enthusiast wanted.

Final Verdict

Kannastor developed many different types of products over the years.

They’ve catered to the different types of vape enthusiasts ranging from those who love to maximize the kief to the more straightforward individuals who prefer the single chamber designs.

Kannastor grinders make the perfect pair for any device used for vaping.

It provides a smooth consistency that can make the vaping experience even better.

It has a non-stick feature that is also worth mentioning.

Sleek and modern design, it has the right kind of material that prevents messy preparations from happening when grinding your herbs to finer pieces.


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Published at Wed, 03 May 2017 15:21:04 +0000

Marijuana Use in The Workplace: Mental Health Professionals

Marijuana Use in The Workplace: Mental Health Professionals

In recent years the United States has been progressive in the legalization of marijuana. As of January 2017, almost 30 states have legalized marijuana use in some form and eight of those states (including the District of Columbia) have flat-out legalized it. But, does this allow for marijuana use in the workplace?

Today, one key issue to arise from the new laws is understanding marijuana use in the workplace, which has sparked new industries and specializations, like lawyers that specialize in workplace marijuana policies. There have been quite a few court cases (Coats v. Dish Network) surrounding the issue of how employers manage cannabis use by their employees; however, there aren’t as many stories surrounding marijuana use from the employer or owner of the business.  

In a recent interview with Bloomberg, Jeffrey Zucker, founder of Green Lion Partners, was very open about his marijuana use in the workplace during open hourss. Zucker explained that he consumes a reasonable amount, about 5 milligrams, in order to be more creative and focused. It’s not surprising that Zucker admitted his use, considering his company’s mission statement; “to create and support solutions for the cannabis industry that address current needs and build the foundation of a sustainable future.” His job is to demonstrate responsible use and to support the marijuana industry.

But what about licensed mental health counselors and allied health professionals? Should they be allowed marijuana use in the workplace while meeting with a client/patient?

Microdosing Aids in Productivity & Control

Many marijuana users say they feel more focused, creative, productive, and more in control when they take a small dose before working. A law firm IT director out of Los Angeles also recently spoke with Bloomberg, admitting he consumes multiple low-dose mints per day. “I’m not digesting a crazy amount of marijuana…I’m active all day, functioning, and completing my tasks,” he said. The key for healthcare professionals is to ingest only a small amount of THC, also called microdosing.

Microdosing is the consumption of no more than 5 milligrams of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana that gives users the “high” feeling. Kiva Confections, an edibles maker based out of California, said Kiva Terra Bites are their best seller, only containing 5 milligrams of THC.

Transparency plays a very important role in the patient/mental health professional relationship. Just as the mental health professional wants to know if their patient is under the influence of any drugs during counseling sessions, patients should have the right to know whether or not their licensed mental health counselor allows marijuana use in the workplace. Failure to disclose in such use could lead to liability and even some ethical issues.

Risk & Liability Concerns

Mental and allied health professionals, even drug and alcohol counselors, may be legally allowed to consume marijuana during the work day because there are hundreds of types of strains available, allowing the consumer/user to pick what’s appropriate for their needs. Teek Dwivedi, CEO of Ehave, a company developing solutions for the medical cannabis industry to improve patient outcomes, believes anyone can absolutely use cannabis during work hours and still remain quite productive.

“The use of cannabis does not mean that there is always an adverse side effect that can impact one’s work. Scientists can alter the amount of THC in a single strain (and) this is especially important for those who need cannabis to perform normal daily functions,” said Dwivedi. The general working public isn’t using marijuana during working hours to get completely “blasted.” Top employees of huge companies, doctors, lawyers, and CEOs are turning to cannabis as a way to help them get through the day.

“While each mental health professional has their own methodology for seeing clients, I feel patients have a right to know whether they are being treated by someone who’s under the influence of any psychoactive substance, whether it’s non-toxic by nature or otherwise,” said Shanel Lindsay, CEO of Ardent.

Healthcare professionals can help limit their liability by remaining transparent with their patients/clients and by consuming a healthy amount of cannabis on an as needed basis. It’s a delicate balancing act that can help with their risk management.

“It’s one thing for a producer to say that they have a strain for anxiety, but it’s impactful if they can prove that it helps with anxiety and still lets you function because you are not high. So imagine when this data exists, both clinicians and patients can choose cannabis that is proven to work for their condition and lets them function. That’s where we are heading,” said Dwivedi.

Author bio: Kari Luckett is a freelance writer and content strategist, focusing on topics of personal finance and current events. Residing on the Bible Belt, Kari knows it will be a long time before cannabis is legal in South Carolina. This post was originally written for CPHINS

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Published at Fri, 12 May 2017 14:58:08 +0000

Sessions overturns Holder memo, returns to harshest drug sentencing policy

Sessions overturns Holder memo, returns to harshest drug sentencing policy

WASHINGTON – Attorney General Jeff Sessions overturned the sweeping criminal charging policy of former attorney general Eric H. Holder Jr. and directed his federal prosecutors Thursday to charge defendants with the most serious, provable crimes carrying the most severe penalties.

The Holder memo, issued in August 2013, instructed his prosecutors to avoid charging certain defendants with drug offenses that would trigger long mandatory minimum sentences. Defendants who met a set of criteria such as not belonging to a large-scale drug trafficking organization, gang or cartel, qualified for lesser charges – and in turn less prison time – under Holder’s policy.

But Sessions’ new charging policy, outlined in a two-page memo and sent to more than 5,000 assistant U.S. attorneys across the country and all assistant attorneys general in Washington, orders prosecutors to “charge and pursue the most serious, readily provable offense” and rescinds Holder’s policy immediately.

The Sessions memo marks the first significant criminal justice effort by the Trump administration to bring back the toughest practices of the drug war, which had fallen out of favor in recent years with a bipartisan movement to undo the damaging effects of mass incarceration.

“This policy fully utilizes the tools Congress has given us,” the attorney general’s memo says. “By definition, the most serious offenses are those that carry the most substantial guidelines sentence, including mandatory minimum sentences.”

The new policy is expected to lead to more federal prosecutions and an increase in the federal prison population. In February, Sessions seemed to prepare for that inevitability, reversing a directive from previous deputy attorney general Sally Yates for the Justice Department to stop using private prisons to house federal inmates.

Yates said at the time that doing so was possible because of declining inmate numbers. Sessions, though, said it had “impaired the [Bureau of Prisons’] ability to meet the future needs of the federal correctional system” – hinting that he saw a very different future for putting people behind bars.

In speeches across the country, including his first major address as attorney general, Sessions has talked of his belief that recent increases in serious crime might indicate that the United States stands at the beginning of a violent new period. He has noted that the homicide rate is half of what it once was, but he has said he fears times of peace might be coming to an end if law enforcement does not quickly return to the aggressive tactics it once used.

Sessions recently ordered the Justice Department to review all its reform agreements with troubled police departments across the country – which he says stand in the way of tough policing – and marijuana advocates fear he might crack down on the drug even in states that have legalized it.

The Sessions memo was largely crafted by Steven H. Cook, a federal prosecutor who was president of the National Association of Assistant U.S. Attorneys and is now detailed to the Justice Department. Cook was a harsh critic of the Obama administration’s criminal justice policies. The implementation of Sessions’s memo will be overseen by Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein, who has come under criticism in recent days for the firing of former FBI director James B. Comey.

The new policy revokes Holder’s previous guidance to prosecutors to not specify the quantity of drugs in the charges they brought to avoid triggering mandatory minimum sentences – provided the defendant did not have a significant criminal history, was not violent, or was not a leader of an organization or tied to a gang.

That was particularly significant, because large quantities of drugs typically forced judges to impose stiff sentences – 10 years for a kilogram of heroin, five kilograms of cocaine or 1,000 kilograms of marijuana. Prosecutors, too, could use the threat of a mandatory minimum penalty to facilitate plea bargains, and some were irked that Holder’s memo stripped them of that tool.

Cook has said that the Holder memo “handcuffed prosecutors” and it limited when “enhancements” can be used to increase penalties, an important leverage when dealing with a career offender and getting them to cooperate.

Sessions’ memo says there could be exceptions, but those cases must be approved by a U.S. attorney, assistant attorney general or other supervisor, and the reasons documented in writing.

The memo also directs prosecutors to always pursue sentences with the range calculated by federal guidelines – which are sometimes above even the mandatory minimums – unless a supervisor says it is OK to do otherwise.

“There will be circumstances in which good judgment would lead a prosecutor to conclude that a strict application of the above charging policy is not warranted,” the memo says. “In that case, prosecutors should carefully consider whether an exception may be justified.”

Read the memo

Attorney General Jeff Sessions Memo on Department Charging and Sentencing Policy (Text)

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Published at Fri, 12 May 2017 14:04:04 +0000

New Hampshire Governor to Sign Measure Decriminalize Marijuana

New Hampshire Governor to Sign Measure Decriminalize Marijuana

New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu says he will sign into law a bill that decriminalizes cannabis.

Once signed into law, House Bill 640 will decriminalize the possession of up to three-quarters of an ounce of marijuana, reducing the charge from an arrestable misdemeanor as it is today, to a simple civil infraction punishable by a fine of $100 for a first or second offense. A third offense within three years of the initial offense will result in a fine of $300, and a fourth offense within three years of the original offense can result in a misdemeanor charge, but no arrest or jail time.

“I want to thank the Legislature for passing common sense marijuana reform,” Governor Chris Sununu (R) said in a statement. “I look forward to signing House Bill 640 into law.”

The proposal was passed by the House of Representatives with a 316 to 38 vote, and passed the Senate with a vote of 17 to 6.

According to polling released last year by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center, 72% of New Hampshire adults support decriminalizing or legalizing marijuana.

About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.

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Published at Fri, 12 May 2017 23:11:05 +0000

Jeff Sessions' involvement in Comey firing prompts calls for him to resign

Jeff Sessions' involvement in Comey firing prompts calls for him to resign

Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation. “During the course of the last several weeks, I have met with the relevant senior career Department officials to discuss whether I should recuse myself from any matters arising from the campaigns for president of the United States,” he said in his written recusal released on March 2. “Having concluded those meetings today, I have decided to recuse myself from any existing or future investigations of any matters related in any way to the campaigns for President of the United States.”

Any existing or future investigations. Related in any way.

Sessions consulted with the president and coordinated the firing of James Comey. Recall that Comey had testified on March 20 that he was heading the Russia investigation:

“I’ve been authorized by the Department of Justice to confirm that the FBI, as part of our counterintelligence mission, is investigating the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. That includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government, and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia’s efforts. As with any counterintelligence investigation, this will also include an assessment of whether any crimes were committed. Because it is an open, ongoing investigation, and is classified, I cannot say more about what we are doing and whose conduct we are examining.”

That is the investigation that Sessions promised to stay away from. Firing the man heading the investigation — especially if Sessions knew that the reason was not the one stated in Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein’s May 9 memo — is a matter “arising from the campaigns for President of the United States.”

Sessions may have some explanation for why he chose to participate in the firing of Comey. But the attorney general may now be in considerable legal peril.

Refusing to recuse oneself from a conflict or breaking the promise to recuse from a conflict is a serious breach of legal ethics. “Someone could file a bar complaint, and/or one with DOJ’s office of professional responsibility, if Sessions had a conflict of interest when it came to the firing decision, and if he did not follow the ethics rules, including those of DOJ by acting when he had a conflict of interest,” legal ethics expert Norman Eisen tells me. “The fact that he broke his recusal commitment, if he did, would be relevant context, and violating an agreement can sometimes in itself be an ethics violation.” In sum, Sessions has risked his law license, whether he realized it or not. He needs to testify immediately under oath; if there is no satisfactory explanation, he must resign. The alternative could be impeachment proceedings.

The problem for Sessions (as it is for Trump) is legal as well. This returns to whether firing Comey constituted obstruction of justice. Lawfare blog supplies us with the persuasive analysis:

“Under 18 U.S.C. 1505, a felony offense is committed by anyone who ‘corruptly, or by threats or force, or by any threatening letter or communication influences, obstructs, or impedes or endeavors to influence, obstruct, or impede the due and proper administration of the law under which any pending proceeding is being had before any department or agency of the United States, or the due and proper exercise of the power of inquiry under which any inquiry or investigation in being had by either House, or any committee of either House or any joint committee of the Congress.’

“An accompanying code section, 18 U.S.C. 1515(b), defines ‘corruptly’ as ‘acting with an improper purpose, personally or by influencing another, including making a false or misleading statement, or withholding, concealing, altering, or destroying a document or other information.’ This is where obstruction of justice intersects with the false statements law. If you knowingly and willfully make a false statement of material fact in a federal government proceeding, you’ve potentially violated 1001, and when you add an objective to influence, obstruct, or impede an investigation, you’ve now possibly violated 1505 as well. Perjury can intersect with obstruction of justice in the same way.

“Under the statute, a ‘proceeding’ can be an investigation. Section 1503 criminalizes the same conduct in judicial proceedings. So obstruction during an investigation might violate 1505, while if that same investigation leads to a criminal prosecution, obstruction during the prosecution itself would violate 1503. The individual also has to know that a proceeding is happening in order to violate the statute, and must have the intent to obstruct-that is, act with the purpose of obstructing, even if they don’t succeed.”

The question for Sessions — and for the president — is whether there was intent to obstruct justice. (“As applied to the President and his staff, the first two elements appear to be a slam dunk. First, courts have given “proceeding” a broad definition. . . . Second, Comey himself had recently confirmed that the investigation was ongoing-in extremely public and publicized congressional hearings.”) That leaves the matter of intent.

While ordinarily one might find this hard to prove, here we have overwhelming evidence that the reason for the firing was not his handling of the Hillary Clinton email matter. Saying it was not about Russia constitutes a lie, part of an effort to interfere with the investigation. Firing the lead investigator to slow the investigation appears to be designed “to influence, obstruct, or impede the due and proper administration of the law under which any pending proceeding.”

So Sessions faces a host of serious, potentially career-ending questions. “As I see it, the President’s discharge of FBI Director Comey on a clearly pretextual basis for the obvious purpose (even if unlikely to be achieved) of shutting down the FBI’s then-accelerating investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia was on its face an obstruction of justice, the very same charge that the first Article of Impeachment against Richard Nixon made,” says constitutional law expert Laurence Tribe. “And part of the evidence supporting the charge of AG Sessions’ conscious involvement in that obstruction is the way in which he violated his public recusal commitment, something he cannot possibly have done in a fit of absent-mindedness.”

We are open to alternative explanations for Sessions’s conduct, but what could they possibly be?


On Thursday, at least four congress members called for Sessions to resign.

Sen. Kamala Harris of California:

Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon:

Rep. Maxine Waters of California:

Rep. Don Beyer of Virginia:

(Why?)

Published at Thu, 11 May 2017 21:50:35 +0000

Colorado marijuana sales top $131M, set record in March 2017

Colorado marijuana sales top $131M, set record in March 2017

The Colorado cannabis industry’s unbridled growth hasn’t waned — in fact, it’s still setting records.

The state’s licensed marijuana shops captured nearly $132 million of recreational and medical cannabis sales in March, according to The Cannabist’s extrapolations of state sales tax data made public Tuesday.

The monthly sales haul of $131.7 million sets a new record for Colorado’s relatively young legal marijuana industry, besting the previous high of $127.8 million set last September, The Cannabist’s calculations show. It’s the tenth consecutive month that sales have topped $100 million.

Sales tax revenue generated for the state during March was $22.9 million, according to the Colorado Department of Revenue.

March’s sales totals were 48 percent higher than those tallied in March 2016, according to The Cannabist’s calculations. The month closes out a quarter in which sales were up nearly 36 percent from the first three months of last year.

In 2016, the year-over-year quarterly growth rate ranged between 29 percent and 39.6 percent.

The Cannabist also found that March 2017’s year-over-year percentage growth outpaced much of what was seen on a monthly basis last year. Monthly growth rates from calendar year 2015 to 2016 averaged nearly 34 percent.

It was this continued rate of growth that caught the attention of some analysts and economists contacted by The Cannabist.

Andrew Livingston, director of economics and research for cannabis law firm Vicente Sederberg, separately calculated out the year-over-year monthly growth rate for Colorado cannabis sales and saw a trend emerge.

“The year-over-year rates of growth have continued at a steady pace, which to me indicates that we have not yet reached the point at which we are starting to cap out the market,” he said.

At that point, he added, the growth rates would start to decline.

If the current growth rates keeps up, April 2017 should be another record month, and the summer of 2017 should set new highs, Livingston predicted.

And by the end of the year, that could add up to an industry boasting $1.6 billion in sales, he said.

“We’re surprised that sales continue to grow so quickly,” said Miles Light, an economist with the Marijuana Policy Group, a Denver-based financial, policy, research and consulting firm focused on the marijuana industry. “We are not surprised that almost all of the sales growth is in the retail marijuana space.”

Adult-use sales, which hit a new monthly high of $93.3 million, accounted for the lion’s share of the March totals. Medical cannabis transactions totaled $38.4 million.

Light and other economists have previously projected that Colorado’s marijuana market would eventually hit a ceiling as the draw from the black market becomes more complete, regular economic cycles take hold and other states implement adult-use sales.

It’s hard to predict when that plateau may occur, but the license and application fees in the March 2017 report were telling, Light said.

Ten months into Colorado’s fiscal year (the latest report for March sales show tax revenue remitted in April), the license and application fees for medical marijuana businesses and retail marijuana businesses were down 25.4 percent and 8.5 percent, respectively, according to the Colorado Department of Revenue report.

“This shows that fewer new firms are entering and, I believe, shows that … sales should be tapering off or declining,” he said.

Mark Bolton, marijuana advisor to Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, said the sales tax revenues tallying $185 million for the fiscal year-to-date are in line with expectations.

“We’re anticipating a significant increase (of marijuana tax revenue) this year,” he said. “I don’t think we’re anticipating any dramatic changes in the market. I guess we could potentially see some changes in the tourism market. We don’t anticipate any dramatic changes in our market with new states online.”



Sales stats for Colorado weed
A month-by-month look comparing sales of recreational and medical marijuana, as calculated by The Cannabist:
2017 Recreational total (3 months)
$257,574,083
2017 Medical total (3 months)
$109,154,798
2017: $366,728,881
2016 Recreational total (12 months)
$875,277,360
2016 Medical total (12 months)
$437,879,186
2016: $1,313,156,545



(Why?)

Published at Wed, 10 May 2017 21:35:49 +0000

House Committee of the Whole Passes Arizona Hemp Legalization Measure

House Committee of the Whole Passes Arizona Hemp Legalization Measure

Legislation to legalize hemp has advanced in Arizona.

Senate Bill 1337 was passed by the House Committee of the Whole yesterday, exactly a week after it was given unanimous approval by the House Rules Committee; the proposal has already passed the full Senate with a vote of 26 to 4. The bill must now be passed through a third and final reading in the House of Representatives before it can be sent to Governor Doug Ducey for consideration.

The proposed law would legalize the production, processing, manufacturing, distribution and commerce of industrial hemp. The measure designates industrial hemp “as an agricultural product that is subject to regulation by the Department [of Agriculture]”, and would prohibit the state from “restricting a person from growing industrial hemp based on the legal status of industrial hemp under federal law.”

Click here for the full text of Senate Bill 1337.

According to congressional research, the United States imports roughly half a billion dollars in hemp from other countries (primarily Canada and China) while retaining the illegality of its cultivation amongst its own farmers. The same research estimates the hemp market to consist of over 25,000 various products.

About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.

(Why?)

Published at Tue, 09 May 2017 18:23:14 +0000

The Mighty Fast Herbal Infuser

The Mighty Fast Herbal Infuser

Monday, May 1st, 2017

mighty fast herbal infuser

What is The Mighty Fast Herbal Infuser?

The Mighty Fast Herbal Infuser is a remarkable little powerhouse that delivers huge, consistent results, fast! We set out to alter, no…we set out to ROCK the world of herbal infusion and develop a product that will bring a higher and mightier way of living into your lives and homes. And because we know that in today’s world, people love choices, we’ve packed the Mighty Fast chock full of options that are certain to meet your needs. The Mighty Fast Herbal Infuser is equipped with High & Mighty’s proprietary technology featuring infusing methods; Mighty Fast 1, Mighty Fast 2, Mighty Long and of course the Mighty Clean.

How to Use the Mighty Fast Herbal Infuser

This product was created and produced with the philosophy that in today’s ever evolving world all of us should feel empowered to take charge of our health and cooking. Personal choice was a big factor in determining how to develop our infuser. There is a tremendous amount of information out there in the world. At High & Mighty we fully believe in personal choice. We’ve logged in the research time trying to pin down exact scientific times and temperatures to create the best infusions. From this research we can confidently tell you that just as you feel that you have nailed down the “correct” time to cook your infusion and temperature to cook it at, you will inevitably find someone else who will tell you that they did it completely different than you and too yielded a useful product. We’ve taken the guesswork out of the equation and handed you a fantastic option, choice.

BUD SAYS: Love it? Buy The Mighty Fast Herbal Infuser today!

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Published at Mon, 01 May 2017 05:10:37 +0000