I’ve been writing a lot about marijuana news recently, but it’s because a lot has been happening. There’s an increased focus in the media on the absurdity of the current prohibition that feels more intense than ever. I’m not sure it has only one reason, but either way, I welcome the increased spotlight and hope that it triggers even more debate. Here’s the roundup:
– There are two television specials to check out before the weekend. Tonight, CNBC is airing Marijuana, Inc, which takes a look at the economics behind the current growers of the plant in northern California. And tomorrow night on Dateline NBC, they’ll be covering the case of Rachel Hoffman, the young woman in Florida who was killed by drug dealers after she’d been pressured into becoming an informant rather than face jail time for selling pot to her friends.
– Scott Morgan has posted on some breaking news from the Lake Tahoe area this evening, where DEA agents raided a medical marijuana dispensary. President Obama vowed to end these raids, so it will be interesting to see what he does in response.
– Nina Shapiro writes in the Seattle Weekly about the coalition of legislators, the Governor and other public officials who are moving towards ways to reduce the amount of money spent to lock up non-violent drug offenders. This part knocked me for a loop:
Faced with a $5 million budget cut to his office, King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg in October started kicking felony cases involving less than three grams of narcotics down to District Court, where they are prosecuted as misdemeanors. He says the move affects two-thirds of his caseload.
That’s just amazing. To get an idea of how much 3 grams is, put three paper clips in your hand. Having that much drugs on you has not only been treated as a felony (a felony!), but it bogs down the majority of what even the most progressive County Prosecutor’s office in the state has been working on. Wow!
– Finally, the Cannabis Defense Coalition (full disclosure: I’ve been a member since last year) has updated its website with more information about the upcoming prosecution of medical marijuana patient Bruce Olson in Kitsap County.