June 8, 2017
Horse vs. pot. The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a Colorado horse farm can sue a neighboring cannabis grow over “noxious odors” under federal racketeering laws. While the law was crafted in the ’70s to fight organized crime, the three-judge panel wrote that the horse farm owners have at least one racketeering claim.
June 7, 2017
The DOJ’s mysterious marijuana subcommittee. A review of the Justice Department’s marijuana enforcement policy is ongoing, with new recommendations expected July 27. The marijuana subcommittee is led by Michael Murray, counsel to deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein. But the DOJ is keeping mum about the details, declining to identify other members of the subcommittee or talk about the process of its review.
June 6, 2017
SCOTUS limits asset forfeiture. The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled to limit the government’s ability seize assets involved with drug crimes. The case involved a man who sold iodine water purification filters — something used to manufacture methamphetamine. Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote that forfeiture is “limited to property the defendant himself actually acquired as the result of the crime.”
June 5, 2017
Deputy AG defends harsh sentencing policy. “We’re not about filling prisons,” said deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein. In his first interview on the job, the Justice Department official defended the agency’s new sentencing policies. “The mission is to reduce violent crime and drug abuse, and this helps us do that.”
June 2, 2017
Racist drug enforcement. A Maryland police chief is the target of several lawsuits filed by former police officers. The lawsuits allege racism, sexual harassment, and other instances of misconduct by Harry “Buddy” Robshaw. According to one suit, he directed officers to racially profile black people, saying “if there is more than one black person in a car there is marijuana present and they should investigate.”
June 1, 2017
Using guns as an excuse to crack down on drugs. Attorney general Jeff Sessions went off script in a speech last week, arguing that his new sentencing policy was about guns. Sessions rescinded a memo from former AG Eric Holder that helped low-level drug offenders avoid mandatory minimums and argued that the policies hampered prosecutors from seeking stiff sentences for gun crimes.
May 31, 2017
What could’ve been. Officials at the Office of National Drug Control Policy under the Obama administration wanted to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level, but never publicly disclosed the stance. The former deputy director of the agency said that the “ONDCP was in favor of decriminalizing but not legalizing.”
May 30, 2017
The DOJ’s ‘unabashed drug warrior[s].’ Steven H. Cook, the associate deputy attorney general, helped Jeff Sessions craft a directive last month to ramp up harsh punishments for drug offenders. He’s now turning his attention to marijuana enforcement (among other issues) with a “broad mandate” to review the Justice Department’s policies.
May 26, 2017
‘Drugs and crime go together.’ Attorney general Jeff Sessions continues to argue that drugs and crime are closely linked. In a speech he gave in Memphis, Tenn. he argued that a recent “surge” in violent crime was tied to a decrease in drug prosecutions by the Obama administration.
May 25, 2017
Study indicates CBD’s effectiveness. The first “rigorous test” of a plant-derived CBD drug on epilepsy was a success for GW Pharmaceuticals — the manufacturers of the drug called Epidiolex. A study published Wednesday found that CBD reduced the number of seizures in epileptic children. The Associated Press The trial involved 120 patients.