Racial Arrest Disparities Increase as Marijuana Arrests Decline in California

July 14, 2020 – Arrest data released by the California Dept. of Justice show there were 1,181 felony marijuana arrests in California in 2019, down 27% from 2018 (1,617 arrests) and the lowest number since 1954. Hispanics accounted for 493 or 41.7% of arrests; blacks for 263 (22.3%) and whites for 252 (21.3%).  Males were 87.9% of those arrested for felonies, and juvenile felony arrests numbered 91. 2019’s misdemeanor marijuana arrests were down slightly in 2019: they numbered 3,769, versus 3,835 in 2018.Hispanics were even more disproportionately arrested for misdemeanors, coming in at 1,869  or 49.6% of arrests, with blacks accounting

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Racial Justice, Equity, and Cannabis Addressed at Cal NORML’s July 1 Meeting

RACIAL JUSTICE, EQUITY, AND CANNABIS IN CALIFORNIA Wednesday, July 1 • 4 PM Listen to audio of the meeting: Part 1 Part 2 (starts with attorney Roxanne Mosley) 70120.m4a   Find out how you can support racial justice and equity in the cannabis industry in your city or county, and at the state level in California. Our panelists will talk about their projects and issues that remain for communities impacted by the war on drugs in a post-legalization world. Our panelists are: – Amber Senter, Supernova Women, NCIA’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee – Lanese Martin, The Hood Incubator – Ramon

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Links Between Cannabis Racial Arrest Disparities and Tax Dollars for Police Studied

  June 18, 2020 – Two new reports, taken together, have found that California communities where huge racial disparities in marijuana arrests have been happening for decades are spending cannabis tax dollars to increase their police budgets since the passage of Prop. 64. The two reports are: • When the Smoke Clears: Racial Disparities in California’s Marijuana Arrests co-authors Public Health Advocates, UC Davis Center for Regional Change, Million Dollar Hoods, UCLA with funding from The California Endowment. • California Cannabis Tax Revenues: A Windfall for Law Enforcement or an Opportunity for Healing Communities? co-authors Youth Forward and Getting it

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California Bureau of Cannabis Control Asks for More Policing Power; DEA Powers Expanded to Target Protesters

As California cannabis businesses are being targeted for violent robberies across the state, the CA Bureau of Cannabis Control is asking for an 87-member police force to beef up its crackdown on unlicensed cannabis operations. It would create the law enforcement branch by hiring 29 more cannabis cops, and absorbing 58 positions from the Department of Consumer Affairs’ Cannabis Enforcement Unit, which has 47 police and 11 non-sworn personnel on staff. According to The Sacramento Bee, the bureau seized nearly 24 tons of illicit cannabis in 2019, while the California Highway Patrol in 2018 seized more than 80 tons. California’s

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Consumer Warning: CA Cannabis Stores Being Hit with Robberies, Closures and Curfews

UPDATE 6/30/2020 – We have had several reliable, confirmed reports that police in San Francisco and Oakland are warning cannabis businesses that a second wave of robberies could happen over the July 4 weekend, especially on Saturday when police will be busy with fireworks celebrations, etc. Businesses are advised to take precautionary safety measures. It is unknown how widespread these actions may be; if anyone has more information please let us know.    A boarded up and guarded cannabis shop: Cookies on Melrose.   June 1, 2020 – Cal NORML warns cannabis consumers to be careful about visiting cannabis retailers during

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Gov. Newsom Signs Order Extending Cannabis ID Card Tax Breaks

UPDATE 6/30/20 – The Governor has extended ID cards for another 60 days. The extension is contained in Paragraph 25 of Executive Order N-71-20. (Originally paragraph 5 in executive order N-65-20).   May 19, 2020 – The Governor has issued an executive order extending the expiration date of Medical Marijuana Identification Cards (MMIC) issued by county health departments. Under the order, MMICs that would otherwise have expired between March 4, 2020 and any day within 60 days from the date of the executive order shall remain valid for 60 days from the date of the order. Patients and their primary caregivers with MMICs

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Remembering Our Veterans on Memorial Day

                        May 25, 2020 – On this Memorial Day, we remember all those who gave their lives in military service, and the veterans who commit suicide at a rate of 22 per day. The Department of Veterans Affairs reported in 2019 that at least 60,000 veterans died by suicide between 2008 and 2017, and the suicide rate is increasing despite the VA’s efforts at suicide prevention. By comparison, an estimated 58,200 Americans died in the Vietnam war. Overall in 2017, the suicide rate for veterans was 1.5 times the rate

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Cannabis Not Culpable in Los Angeles Fire

THIS STORY WILL BE UPDATED AS IT DEVELOPS May 18, 2020 – The explosion and fire at the “Smoke Tokes” facility in downtown Los Angeles, resulting in injuries to several firefighters, did not happen at a facility that contained cannabis, nor did it have any license for manufacturing or distributing cannabis products, according to a search at the CA Bureau of Cannabis Control and Department of Public Health. Alex Traverso, a spokesman for the state Bureau of Cannabis Control, confirmed to Forbes magazine on Monday that there was no state-licensed cannabis business at the address. “It seems like they are some sort of

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Cannabis Bills to Watch in Sacramento in 2020

THIS PAGE WILL BE UPDATED AS BILLS ARE AMENDED OR VOTED ON. UPDATE 5/8/2020 – On May 21, the Assembly Business & Professions Committee will hear three bills, each of which would enact $30,000/day state fines for operating unlicensed cannabis businesses, or allowing property to be used for one. They are: AB 3330 (O’Donnell) – Would impose a civil penalty of up to $30,000 for collecting a fee or any other form of compensation for advertising or marketing the sale or provision of cannabis or cannabis products, or for the completion, initiation, or facilitation of the sale or provision of

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California, All States Still Showing Racial Disparity in Marijuana Arrest Rates

April 21, 2020 – The ACLU released a report on 4/20 finding that on average, 3.6 times as many black people are arrested for marijuana possession offenses than are white people in the US, despite similar usage rates. This disparity has not improved over the last decade, and in fact, disparities have actually worsened in most states. On average, states that have legalized or decriminalized marijuana tend to have lower racial disparities than states in which marijuana remains fully illegal. In some legalized states, such as Maine and Vermont, racial disparities in marijuana possession arrests increased between 2010 and 2018, while in other

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El Dorado County Protects Medical Cannabis Cultivation Rights for 2020

UPDATE May 5, 2020 – The El Dorado County Board of Supervisors voted today to approve an ordinance that limits cannabis cultivation to six plants per parcel, but exempts for 2020 existing personal medical gardens that have been planted under the old ordinance allowing 200, 400 or 600 square feet, depending on parcel size. The ordinance was passed as an urgency and takes effect immediately. The last-minute amendment exempting medical gardens is in effect through December 1, 2020 and came after members of the El Dorado American Alliance for Medical Cannabis  contacted Cal NORML, and we contacted attorney Joe Elford.

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How To Safely Celebrate 4/20

  4/20/20 – Thanks to all who took our advice to #FlattenThe420Curve and stocked up in advance for 420 celebrations this year, instead of crowding retailers on 4/20. There are lots of opportunities to celebrate online that support reform groups and/or COVID charities.   Don’t Go to Hippie Hill This Year (or Gather Anywhere Else) The April 20 celebration at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco has been cancelled. SF’s Mayor London Breed has announced that Robin Williams Meadow will be fenced off, and officers will patrol the area, making sure people don’t gather there or elsewhere. “We will not

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