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Mexican President Says Legalizing Marijuana is About Freedom
Mexico’s new President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, popularly known by his initials, AMLO, spoke Thursday at a press conference about the marijuana legalization bill recently passed by the Senate.
“The development of freedoms is very important,” said the president in video posted at Marijuana Moment. “Things do not have to be prohibited, prohibited, prohibited. If something is authorized, if something is allowed, well, act responsibly. I believe that this will happen in this new legislation on the use of marijuana. Have confidence in people and seek do good.”
New Jersey Attorney General Suspends Pot Prosecutions
In a memorandum released Wednesday, the Attorney General of New Jersey, Gurbir Grewal, has “directed all New Jersey municipal, county, and state prosecutors to adjourn, until at least January 25, 2021, any juvenile or adult case solely involving … marijuana possession-related offenses.”
The prosecutorial guidance applies to seven specific marijuana possession and paraphernalia crimes involving amounts less than fifty grams.
This follows direction from the AG’s office on the day following New Jersey’s 2-to-1 vote legalizing marijuana, emphasizing to police officers that they have broad discretion in handling low-level marijuana offenses, and encouraging them to exercise that discretion in light of anticipated legislative action that may decriminalize marijuana.
Oregon County District Attorney Suspends Drug Prosecutions
In a letter sent Monday, the district attorney of Oregon’s third-largest county has directed police chiefs there to suspend investigations and arrests of low-level drug possession crimes that were decriminalized in Oregon by a 3-to-2 margin.
Though Oregon’s Measure 110 decrim law doesn’t go into effect until next year, Marijuana Moment reports, Clackamas County Chief Deputy District Attorney Chris Owen wrote, “having officers investigate and submit cases for a prosecution in the weeks leading up to February 1, which will not lead to any sanction or court supervised treatment, is not the most effective use of criminal justice resources.”
Clackamas is one of three counties, including Washington and Multnomah, that make up the greater Portland metro area.
Owen explained that the directive applies to cases where there is alleged “possession of up to 1 gram of heroin, 2 grams of methamphetamine and cocaine, 12 grams of psilocybin, 40 user units of LSD 40 pills/capsules containing synthetic opiates.” After February 1, such cases are punishable only by Class E infraction, which carries a maximum $100 fine that will be waived if the possessor visits a counselor for a voluntary drug abuse assessment.
Celebrities Call on Trump to Pardon Marijuana Offenders
A diverse list of activists and celebrities including NBA Champion Kevin Garnett, formerly incarcerated actor Danny Trejo, rapper Baby Bash, filmmaker Mark Levin, and former Libertarian presidential candidate and New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, have presented President Trump with a list of 22 marijuana prisoners they urge him to grant clemency or pardons to in his lame duck period.
“You and you alone have the power to call out a grand hypocrisy of prior administrations,” the letter explains. “While cannabis became a thriving, legal market and enriched many, your predecessors ignored the people who were—and are—serving long federal terms for doing the same thing.”
Among the prisoners cited for release are California medical dispensary operator Luke Scarmazzo, and three men who have each served 23 years of a life sentence for marijuana: 77-year-old Ricardo Rojas, 72-year-old John Knock, and 60-year-old Pedro Moreno (a first-time offender).
London Model Sentenced to 5 Years in Bali for Marijuana Possession
UK fashion model Jed Texas has been sentenced to five years of a possible 20 years in prison in the Indonesian country of Bali for possession of three ounces of marijuana.
The Sun reports that Texas told the court that he “knew it was illegal, but I didn’t think the sentence would be so high like this.”
The former model has also been slapped with a £60,000 fine. If he does not pay it, he will face a further six months behind bars.
Authorities raided his villa on an anonymous tip, catching Texas in the act of attempting to flush his contraband.