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Gender: Female
Hometown: Southern California
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Member since: Tue Jun 7, 2011, 02:02 PM
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Journal Archives

The claim is legalization is a treaty violation.

U.N. Says U.S. Marijuana Legalization Violates International Law

Does Marijuana Legalization Violate Int'l Law? U.N. drug warriors falsely claim that treaties compel U.S. states to ban pot.

Concentrated cannabis qualifies as medical, California court rules

A unanimous three-justice panel of the 3rd District Court of Appeal disagreed this week with an earlier ruling by El Dorado Superior Court Judge James R. Wagoner and reversed the judge’s decision that a medical marijuana patient violated probation by possessing concentrated cannabis.

Wagoner reviewed the existing legal authority indicating that concentrated cannabis is covered by California’s Compassionate Use Act, or CUA, the 1996 voter initiative approving medical use of marijuana with a doctor’s recommendation. But Wagoner rejected the authority as “unsound” and ruled that “the (CUA) does not apply to concentrated cannabis” because the act does not define marijuana, refer to concentrated cannabis or incorporate statutory definitions of either term.

In an opinion issued Wednesday, the justices concluded that Wagoner violated Mulcrevy’s right to defend himself when the judge prevented Mulcrevy from presenting a defense based on the CUA.

The opinion was authored by Associate Justice M. Kathleen Butz, with the concurrences of Presiding Justice Vance W. Raye and Associate Justice Cole Blease.

By Denny Walsh dwalsh@sacbee.com 12/19/2014

Federal Judge Upholds Marijuana's Schedule I Status

Sacramento, CA: A federal judge has rejected a motion challenging the constitutionality of cannabis' classification as a Schedule I prohibited substance without any accepted medical utility.

Judge Kimberly J. Mueller of the Federal District Court in Sacramento, California issued her oral ruling during a 15-minute court hearing on Tuesday. Judge Mueller heard closing arguments in the case in early February, but she had postponed ruling on the matter until this week. Her written opinion was not available at the time of her ruling,

"At some point in time, a court may decide this status to be unconstitutional," Judge Mueller said from the bench. "But this is not the court and not the time."

Defense counsel intends to appeal the ruling.

In October, experts for the defense presented evidence over a five-day period arguing that the scientific literature is not supportive of the plant's present categorization. Lawyers for the federal government countered that it is rational for the government to maintain the plant's prohibitive status as long as there remains any dispute among experts in regard to its safety and efficacy. Defense counsel - attorneys Zenia Gilg and Heather Burke of the NORML Legal Committee - further contended that the federal law prohibiting Justice Department officials from interfering with the facilitation of the regulated distribution of cannabis in over 20 US states can not be reconciled with the government's continued insistence that the plant is deserving of its Schedule I status under federal law.

Paul Armentano, NORML's Deputy Director who served as the principle investigator for defense counsel in this case said: "While we are disappointed with this ruling, it changes little. We always felt this had to ultimately be decided by the Ninth Circuit and we have an unprecedented record for the court to consider. In the interim, it is our hope that lawmakers move expeditiously to change public policy. Presently, bipartisan legislation is before the House and Senate to recognize cannabis' therapeutic utility and to reschedule it accordingly and we encourage members of Congress to move forward expeditiously to enact this measure."

In a brief filed with the court by the federal government, it contended: "Congress' decision to treat marijuana as a controlled substance was and remains well within the broad range of permissible legislative choices. Defendants appear to argue that Congress was wrong or incorrectly weighed the evidence. Although they failed to prove even that much, it would be insufficient. Rational basis review does not permit the Court's to 'second guess' Congress' conclusions, but only to enjoin decisions that are totally irrational or without an 'imaginable' basis."

They added: "Congress is not required to be 'right,' nor does it matter if the basis on which Congress made its decision turns out to be 'wrong.' All that is required is that Congress could rationally have believed that its action -- banning the production and distribution of marijuana -- would advance its indisputably legitimate interests in promoting public health and welfare. Because qualified experts disagree, it is not for the Courts to decide the issue and the statute must be upheld."

Said Armentano, "The continued Schedule I classification of cannabis is self-evidently ridiculous. But unfortunately, the courts have a history of ruling that laws may be ridiculous and still pass constitutional muster."

He added, "The judge in this case missed a golden opportunity to demand that federal law comport with available science, public opinion, and common sense."

Legal briefs in the case,United States v. Schweder, et. al., No. 2:11-CR-0449-KJM, are available online at: http://edca.typepad.com/eastern_district_of_calif/medical-marijuana/.

For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: paul@norml.org.

From: normlnews@lists.norml.org
NORML - The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws
1100 H Street, NW
Suite 830
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 483-5500
via email

I'm wondering if Judge Mueller is out of her mind, or helping us to kick it to a higher court.

A bit more...

A new way of managing a precious resource

In addition, Brown's executive order will:

-- Impose significant cuts in water use on campuses, golf courses, cemeteries and other large landscapes.

-- Replace 50 million square feet of lawns throughout the state with "drought tolerant landscaping."

-- Create a temporary, statewide consumer rebate program to replace old appliances with water efficient models.

-- Prohibit new homes and developments from irrigating with potable water unless water-efficient drip irrigation systems are used.

-- Ban watering of ornamental grass on public street medians.

-- Require agricultural water users to report more water use information to state regulators, increasing the state's ability to enforce against illegal diversions and waste.

"It's a different world," Brown said Wednesday. "We have to act differently."

A staggering 11 trillion gallons are needed for California to recover from the emergency.

The estimate is based on NASA satellite data analysis of how much water the state's reserves lack. That's more than 14,000 times the amount of water it would take to fill the Dallas Cowboys stadium, according to CNN calculations. It's the amount of water that flows over Niagara Falls in about 170 days' time.

EFF: Your DMV photos are about to be compromised

An obscure advisory committee in the California Department of Justice is scheming to connect your driver license and state ID data with a national law enforcement network and allow cops to use facial recognition on your photos. Speak out now.

They’re moving forward even though they’ve been told by the California Department of Motor Vehicles that the law doesn’t allow for this kind of expansion, which would pose serious data security and privacy problems.

Still, the CLETS Advisory Committee, as it’s called, has been scheduling private meetings with the state’s largest law-enforcement lobbying organizations and applying for grants to build out the technological infrastructure to make this happen.

The advisory committee isn’t used to hearing from the public. You can help to stop this expansion dead in its tracks by joining us in sending letters to the committee in advance of its next meeting on March 25.

Use our tool to generate a public comment today—before it’s too late.

Fighting for your rights,
Dave Maass
Investigative Researcher
Electronic Frontier Foundation

via email

UCC: Thank Governor Brown for Committing to Cut Oil Use in Half

During his inaugural address, Governor Jerry Brown committed to make a plan that would reduce California's oil use by 50 percent over the next 15 years. His commitment mirrors our own Half the Oil plan, so we're particularly pleased to see this bold step forward.

Almost immediately after the governor's announcement, the oil industry started to attack its credibility. But their claims are unfounded—as our Half the Oil plan demonstrates, practical changes such as improving fuel efficiency, shifting to electric vehicles, and expanding low-carbon biofuels technologies would allow us to reach the 50 percent goal by 2035.

California is already on track to meet the state's 2020 climate goals, which would lead to a 20 percent decrease in oil use if extended through 2030. By committing the state to a more ambitious goal, Governor Brown acknowledged the urgency of addressing climate change as well as the practicality of today's oil-saving solutions.

The benefits of cutting oil use go beyond our efforts to stabilize the climate. In addition, using less oil will improve public health by decreasing air pollution, and will create jobs and economic opportunity in clean fuel alternatives.

Governor Brown's commitment shows that he recognizes that cutting oil is both important and possible. Write to thank him today for his commitment to cut California's oil use in half: Letter


Brandy Doyle
California and Western States Organizer
Union of Concerned Scientists
via email

Unjust Public Policies Drive the Massive Racial Wealth Gap in America: Study

Published on Wednesday, March 11, 2015 on Common Dreams by Sarah Lazare, staff writer

From the re-segregation of schools to the redlining of home ownership, rise in disparities is no accident

The yawning racial wealth gap in the United States is no accident, but rather, driven by unjust public policy decisions—from the re-segregation of education to the redlining of home ownership to poverty wages, according to a new analysis by Brandeis University and the public policy organization Demos.

Inequalities are vast, note the researchers. For example, Census data shows that, in 2011, median white households in the U.S. held $111,146 in wealth, compared to a mere $7,113 for Black homes and $8,348 for Latino ones.

These disparities emerge from historical choices on the political and policy levels, the researchers note.

"The racial wealth gap is large because we instituted it in public policy historically and continue to make public policies that exacerbate the problems," said report coauthor Catherine Ruetschlin, a senior policy analyst at Demos, in a press statement. Therefore, it is vital "to find new opportunities to address the way that we’re constantly perpetuating this disparity between black, white and Latino families," Ruetschlin continued.

Researchers offer a series of solutions aimed at reversing these trends, from equalizing home ownership to racially integrating schools at all levels. In addition, the study calls for a significant boost to the minimum wage, as well as "making it easier for workers to form and join unions."

The researchers' focus on poverty pay echoes the growing call from low-wage workers for society to address the role of poverty wages in driving racial inequality.

"Black and Latino workers are disproportionately likely to be employed in positions that pay the minimum wage or just above and would benefit the most from an increase in the federal minimum wage," the report states.

The researchers continue, "With new research indicating that minimum wage increases have not reduced employment, a hike in the federal minimum wage from its current low rate of $7.25 would boost the incomes of many of the lowest paid Black and Latino workers and have the potential to decrease the racial wealth gap."

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License

Condoleezza Rice leads potential 2016 US Senate hopefuls

(Reuters) - Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice polled at the head of a crowded pool of potential candidates to succeed long-time Senator Barbara Boxer, according to a Field Poll released on Wednesday.

The poll showed that when likely California voters were asked whether they would vote for or against 18 prominent possible candidates in 2016, 49 percent of likely California voters said they would be inclined to support Rice, a Republican.

Rice's support was significantly stronger among likely Republican voters, with almost three-quarters saying they would back her. The next closest Republican candidate, former State Senator Phil Wyman, saw only 51 percent support from Republicans.

California Attorney General Kamala Harris, who is a Democrat and the only person listed in the poll who has formally announced they are running, saw the most support of any Democrat, with about three-quarters of likely voters in her party saying they would back her.

It all depends on how you look at the numbers.

Needed: 11 Trillion Gallons to Replenish California Drought

The finding was part of a sobering update on the state's drought made possible by space and airborne measurements and presented by NASA scientists Dec. 16 at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco. Such data are giving scientists an unprecedented ability to identify key features of droughts, data that can be used to inform water management decisions.

GRACE data reveal that, since 2011, the Sacramento and San Joaquin river basins decreased in volume by four trillion gallons of water each year (15 cubic kilometers). That's more water than California's 38 million residents use each year for domestic and municipal purposes. About two-thirds of the loss is due to depletion of groundwater beneath California's Central Valley.

In related results, early 2014 data from NASA's Airborne Snow Observatory indicate that snowpack in California's Sierra Nevada range was only half of previous estimates.

The scientists cautioned that while the recent California storms have been helpful in replenishing water resources, they aren't nearly enough to end the multi-year drought.


Reposting my GD offer on the subject...

In California, we still have high youth unemployment, especially in minority communities. We need our great Governor Brown to reinstate the CCC. The newly released, as well as the unemployed can assist the professional firefighters. We did it before.

CCC Firefighting in the Southern California Mountains
The Civilian Conservation Corps companies were assigned to many types of conservation work, for many different government agencies. But whether their focus was soil conservation, forestry, agriculture, or park development, all the camps had one important job in common: firefighting. No matter what work they were doing, the CCC boys had to be ready to drop their tools and rush to the trucks when called to fight a fire. In summer and fall, fighting fires was the main job. It was a rough, dangerous, exhausting, dirty job, too. Poison oak was a constant annoyance in southern California, men were sometimes injured, and the threat of death was real. According to Corps chronicler John A. Salmond, forty-two CCC enrollees nationwide were killed fighting fires.
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