Category Archives: Crime & Punishment

Marijuana industry braces for clash with Trump administration

Marijuana legalization advocates and industry leaders are bracing for new tensions with the Trump administration – even coaching those in the business how to handle federal raids – as top officials predict “greater enforcement” on the horizon.“It’s definitely an interesting time. We are nervous,” said Beth Collins, senior director of government relations with Americans for Safe Access (ASA).

Fox News

Many industry representatives converged in Washington over the weekend for the National Medical Cannabis Unity Conference. While the conference was focused on medical marijuana access, the new administration’s approach to the drug in general was a top topic.

Both White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer and Attorney General Jeff Sessions have signaled a shift to tougher marijuana enforcement, and Sessions last week announced a crime reduction task force focused on “evaluating marijuana enforcement policy” and other issues.

“I do believe that you’ll see greater enforcement of it,” Spicer said in late February. “I think that when you see something like the opioid addiction crisis blossoming in so many states around this country, the last thing that we should be doing is encouraging people.”

Fox News

The Trump administration as a whole has fostered a tough-on-crime image, with much of that energy focused on curbing violent crime in America’s cities and cracking down on criminal illegal immigrants. But legal pot advocates are concerned about how the federal government will approach the enforcement of federal marijuana laws in states that have legalized medical and/or recreational use.

That push has accelerated at a rapid pace in recent years. A total of eight states have legalized recreational use, while more than half of states allow medical marijuana.

Under the Obama administration, they largely were left alone. In just one sign of tensions ahead, the Senate in the legal pot state of Colorado just passed a bill allowing marijuana growers and sellers to classify their product as medical if there’s a federal crackdown, the Associated Press reported.

“The states that have passed laws reflect millions of hours of sick people working to get those laws passed,” Collins told Fox News. “And so we want to make sure that we have those laws protected and future laws protected, so that’s our number one concern.”

Fox News

Collins said an amendment that currently prohibits the Department of Justice from using funds to interfere with state medical marijuana programs is set to expire on April 28, and uncertainty about its renewal has the cannabis industry scrambling to find a way to preserve access to medical marijuana.

Steph Sherer, founder and director of ASA, said while marijuana advocates hope the Trump administration will show flexibility, they are preparing for stricter conditions.

Sherer said the ASA, which focuses only on medical marijuana, is taking several steps.

“One is we’re trying to pass legislation to change federal laws so that we don’t have to have that conversation when it comes to patients and their medicine,” she said.

Fox News

Sherer said they’re also preparing for the “worst-case scenario” – federal raids.

“We do have raid trainings, we do have tools that they can use to be safe if there is a federal raid and make sure that they get through that experience safely,” she said.

Fox News

Such preparation stems from recent comments and actions from Sessions, who is among those in law enforcement arguing that the push to legalize overlooks marijuana’s harmful effects. Recent statements suggest he views the drug use as connected to violent crime.

“I don’t think America is going to be a better place when people of all ages, and particularly young people, are smoking pot,” Sessions told reporters in February at the Department of Justice, as reported by the Huffington Post. “I believe it’s an unhealthy practice, and current levels of THC in marijuana are very high compared to what they were a few years ago, and we’re seeing real violence around that.”

He also reportedly said last month he thinks medical marijuana has been “hyped.”

Fox News

A memo distributed throughout the department last week announced the creation of task force subcommittees to focus on various crime-fighting areas. This is to include “a review of existing policies in the areas of charging, sentencing, and marijuana to ensure consistency with the Department’s overall strategy on reducing violent crime and with Administration goals and priorities,” according to the memo.

Sherer suggested Sessions is merely enforcing existing law and said the solution, from their end, is to pass “comprehensive legislation.”

“I think that we have a lot of new champions this year that I think are really going to push this issue and end the federal conflict once and for all,” she said.

Fox News

California murder suspect raises unprecedented $35M bail via friends

Thursday a California woman accused of killing the father of her two children is expected to be released from jail after posting an unprecedented $35 million bail raised by wealthy friends, family and business associates with ties to China. Tiffany Li pleaded not guilty to murder and directing her boyfriend and another man to kill Keith Green and dispose of his body. Prosecutors say she feared losing custody of her children. Continue reading →

Susan Rice’s alleged unmasking requests not so routine, ex-officials say

Although Susan Rice is defending as routine her requests for the identities of Americans caught up in surveillance of foreign targets, others who’ve served in the intelligence community and at high levels of government say the former national security adviser’s requests were quite unusual. Continue reading →

Judge to Trump: No protection for speech inciting violence

Must be another whacked out liberal judge. If anything, all the protesters at Trump rallies hired by the Clinton campaign should be held liable. A federal judge has rejected President Donald Trump’s free speech defense against a lawsuit accusing him of inciting violence against protesters at a campaign rally. Continue reading →

VA retaliation against whistleblower: doctor kept in empty room

Dr. Dale Klein may be the highest-paid U.S. government employee who literally does nothing while he’s on the clock. A highly rated pain management specialist at the Southeast Missouri John J. Pershing V.A., Klein is paid $250,000 a year to work with veterans, but instead of helping those who served their country, he sits in a small office and does nothing. All day. Every day. Continue reading →

Venezuela Supreme Court takes over Congress, rules it is ‘in contempt’

Isn’t this what liberal judges are doing here? Venezuela’s Supreme Court took over legislative powers Thursday, effectively shutting down the opposition-controlled Congress. Continue reading →

Planned Parenthood videos: Anti-abortion activists charged with 15 felonies for secret tapes

There would be no need for abortions if they kept their pants on. Tuesday California prosecutors announced, 2 anti-abortion activists who made undercover videos of themselves trying to buy fetal tissue from Planned Parenthood were charged with 15 felonies. Continue reading →

Top House intel Democrat calls for Nunes recusal from Trump-Russia probe

The only reason Demonrats are bitching, is because they want to cover up the truth. Monday the top Democrat on the House intelligence committee said that the committee’s chairman should recuse himself from any further involvement into the investigation of possible ties between Russian officials and President Donald Trump’s campaign. Continue reading →

Maryland governor: No guarantees of children’s safety amid rape case

Friday Maryland’s governor said he cannot promise parents of children in Montgomery County schools, where a freshman high school student was allegedly raped by two older teenagers, that their children will be safe.Republican Gov. Larry Hogan’s remarks came as the assault last Thursday by two immigrants, at least one of whom is in the U.S. illegally, has become a flashpoint for parents worried that the county’s “sanctuary” status for illegal immigrants exposes their school children to danger.

“I’m not sure I can give assurances that their children will be safe,” he said.

Fox News

What he did give assurances about, however, was that he would do three things: Get to bottom of the case, end the sanctuary status of Montgomery County and make the county’s school district more accountable.

“That’s a big part of the problem,” Hogan said of the county’s decision to not cooperate with federal authorities in their hunt for illegal immigrants.

Fox News

Hogan’s comments put further pressure on the superintendent of the Montgomery County school district who has accused some parents of displaying “racism and xenophobia” in their responses to the rape.

Continue reading →

Trump team communications captured by intelligence community surveillance, Nunes says

Wednesday a top Republican lawmaker said members of the intelligence community “incidentally collected” communications from the Trump transition team during legal surveillance operations of foreign targets. House Intelligence Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., said this produced “dozens” of reports which eventually unmasked several individuals’ identities and were “widely disseminated.” Continue reading →