Archive for the ‘Medical Defense’ Category

  • Reefer Badass


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  • New county bail policy could get costly

    The Press Democrate

    A new approach to bail in Sonoma County Superior Court could soon raise the price of freedom. Judges will start observing strict time limits on how long bail remains in place, requiring new bail to be posted if prosecutors do not bring charges within 15 days of a first court appearance. Those who can’t afford to pay a second time will likely be forced to await a decision from behind bars, straining jail resources and driving up costs for taxpayers.

    “It’s a de facto doubling of the bail schedule,” said Sebastopol defense attorney Omar Figueroa, who was among a group of lawyers who voiced concerns this week at a Sonoma County Bar Association meeting. The change was announced by Judge Shelly Averill, who will be presiding over a special early case resolution court in January. Now, judges allow defendants to post bail just once while prosecutors and police sort out any charges during post- arrest investigations. Such investigations for crimes ranging from drug possession to manslaughter can take months. But that practice does not meet the requirements of the law, Averill said. Bonds guaranteeing a person will return to court are exonerated — or expire — automatically if prosecutors haven’t acted within the two-week period, she said. Beyond that time, bail companies can no longer be held liable if the person becomes a fugitive. Judges realized the lapse and will now correct it, she said. New bail will be required to avoid jail if formal charges are filed later, she said.

    “It’s something we’ve not been doing,” she told lawyers at the bar association meeting. It was not immediately known how many people were awaiting charges on expired bail. The shift could be a boon to the bail company owners, who collect a nonrefundable 10 percent fee for each bond they post. But they worried it could also hurt the industry if bail is perceived as unaffordable. “It could make the process of bail so that it’s no longer relied upon,” said Dale Miller, owner of Santa Rosa-based Romelli Bail Bonds. However, Miller said there are ongoing discussions about making second bails less expensive.


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  • Feds Green Light Colorado Legalization, With Conditions

    San Francisco Chronicle: SF Gate: Smell the Truth Blog

    U.S. Attorneys are receiving new marching orders from the Dept. of Justice regarding pot legalization in states that have legalized marijuana, including Washington and Colorado. Prosecutors should not make a state-legal pot businesses a priority as long as they follow state law and meet eight key federal goals: 1) Preventing marijuana distribution to minors; 2) Preventing money from sales from going to criminal groups; 3) Preventing the diversion of marijuana from states where it is legal to states where it is illegal; 4) Preventing criminal groups from using state laws as cover for trafficking of other illegal drugs; 5) Preventing violence and the use of illegal firearms; 6) Preventing drugged driving; 7) Preventing the growing of marijuana on public lands, and; 8) Preventing marijuana possession or use on federal property. California attorney Omar Figueroa, a cannabis law specialist said the effects could be profound. The DOJ’s statement could green-light California efforts to legalize marijuana.

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  • Feds’ Medical Pot Fishing Expedition Hits Mendocino Chop

    East Bay Express

    US Attorney Melinda Haag’s attempts to obtain Mendocino County’s medical pot-growing records is hitting some snags.

    Prosecutors for the US Attorneys Office of the Northern District of California continue to push back hearings on their subpoena for “any and all records” from Mendo’s three-year-old medical cannabis farming program. Since Mendocino officials began fighting back in December, the feds have delayed US District Court hearings scheduled for January 4, January 29, February 19, and March 19. Mendocino County’s lawyer William Osterhoudt told Legalization Nation that US Attorney Haag and the county are negotiating the scope of her fishing expedition.

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  • Charges dismissed against Vallejo pot dispensary operator, star of ‘Weed Country’


    Year-old criminal charges were dismissed Thursday against Matt Shotwell, a one-time operator of one of Vallejo’s largest medical marijuana dispensaries. Since February 2012, when the Vallejo Police Department’s series of raids on medical marijuana dispensaries launched with Shotwell’s arrest at Greenwell Cooperative dispensary, no operators have been convicted.

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  • Mobilizing Help for People Accused of Hacking

    The New York Times

    When Senator Joseph R. McCarthy held hearings in the 1950s to question witnesses about their supposed ties to communism, critics accused him of fomenting a Red Scare hysteria. Decades later, the term Green Scare was used to describe a series of sweeping federal prosecutions of people involved in radical environmental and animal rights groups.

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