MMJ business Daily December 10, 2014
More than 300 people, mostly medical cannabis patients and growers, attended a meeting in Yuba County, California, as supervisors considered a ban on outdoor marijuana cultivation.
About 45 people spoke during the event in which supervisors considered three ordinances from other counties – Sacramento, Shasta and Fresno – that all ban outdoor grows in the wake of court rulings allowing them to impose severe restrictions on cannabis cultivation, according to the Appeal-Democrat.
Patients told county supervisors a ban on outdoor grows was a bad idea during a three-hour workshop, while others were in favor of the moratorium, saying they’ve seen their neighborhoods turned into a “war zone,” the newspaper said.
In question is a Yuba County ordinance adopted in 2012 that allows 18 outdoor plants on less than an acre, 30 on one to five acres, 60 on five to 20 acres and 99 plants on parcels bigger than 20 acres. Opponents of the ban told board they’d be increasing the burden on law enforcement and creating a new class of criminals. Proponents said Yuba County has become a haven for criminals.
After three hours of testimony, supervisors didn’t discuss any of the model ordinances or testimony, delaying further discussion until Jan. 13.
Prescription drug abuse is an epidemic in Washington state. There are more deaths annually from prescription drug abuse than from meth, cocaine, and heroin combined.
What’s causing this epidemic? Drugs like OxyContin, Vicodin, and Methadone are now commonly prescribed for pain. Painkillers offer relief to millions of Americans but present a hidden danger.
These kinds of prescription drugs are called “opiates.” The American Heritage Dictionary defines “opiate” as a sedative narcotic, “[C]ontaining opium or one or more of its natural or synthetic derivatives.” In a way, these drugs are the cousins of a better known—and more feared— drug: heroin. But unlike heroin, most people don’t know how potentially addicting and dangerous prescription opiates can be.
Some recreational users crush prescription painkillers and then ingest them in order to bypass the time-release function of the medications. This provides a somewhat immediate, and sometimes deadly, high.
When overdosed, prescription painkillers can cause a significant decrease in lung function and death. They can also be lethal when they’re combined with other prescribed or over-the-counter drugs. High-profile deaths include actor Heath Ledger, who died from a lethal combination of oxycodone, hydrocodone, diazepam, temazepam, alprazolam and doxylamine.
Teenagers are increasingly experimenting with drugs commonly found in their parents’ medicine cabinets. According to the Healthy Youth Survey, 12 percent of 12th graders used prescription pain medications to get high in the past 30 days. The same survey also shows that an alarming number of younger kids experiment with these drugs. That’s why it’s critical to learn how to properly safeguard and dispose of your medications.
The Office of National Drug Control Policy reports that more than 47 percent of teens get prescription drugs from their friends for free. About 10 percent buy them from their friends, and another 10 percent take them from friends without asking.
The Attorney General’s Office uses funds from consumer protection settlements with drug manufacturers—including the makers of OxyContin— to provide grants to promote drug abuse prevention and prescription drug safety. To date those grants have totaled more than $2.7 million and include:
- $1,000,000 dollars to fund the Washington Prevention Summits and Spring Youth Forums, where kids learn to use the latest technology to create prevention programs in their schools.
- $683,000 to the State Department of Health to create a prescription drug monitoring program to prevent the “doctor shopping” that allows addicts to get access to dangerous drugs.
- $400,000 for the University of Washington to educate doctors on drug marketing. The funding is a portion of the $9 million awarded in grants nationwide from a settlement with Neurontin.
- $30,000 to The Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Resource Network to develop the Unwanted Medicine Return Program. This program promotes drug safety and a cleaner enviornment by promoting the safe disposal of unwanted medications.
- $15,000 for Prescriptions for Life, a local nonprofit organization working to eliminate prescription drug abuse. The money will help pay for a new educational video that will be shown to students, teachers, school counselors, law enforcement, medical professionals and civic and business leaders.
- $400,000 for the Washington Health Foundation launch a program to reduce prescription and over-the-counter drug abuse among college students, creating one of the first programs in the nation to target young adults between the ages of 18 to 24 (more below).
According to DOH, American Indians and Alaska Natives are hardest-hit by prescription drug abuse.
The AGO has addressed this issue by targeting a series of grants for programs that address substance abuse prevention programs in tribal communities:
- $101,700 for the Boys & Girls Club of America to establish two new clubhouses on Native American lands by 2011, targeting ages 7-18. The two anticipated newly established clubs on reservation lands should see an enrollment per club in excess of 700 youth. Boys & Girls Club substance abuse programs include SMART (Skills, Mastery And Resistance Training) Moves.
- $198,550 to the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board to provide four “mini-grants” of $30,000 each to tribal partners for community based projects to fight prescription drug abuse, and to fund a one-day regional training conference on prescription abuse among tribal members.
- $25,250 to Evergreen Council on Problem Gambling to help pay for a 6-day youth camp called New Directions: Tribal Youth Music Academy for Addiction Awareness & Prevention.
The Attorney General’s Office has partnered with the Washington Health Foundation, the Pharmaceutical Research Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) and other national organizations to provide an online health community and a set of resources to help college kids confront the prescription drug epidemic.
The Washington Health Foundation asks college students to be part a part of the solution – to help address prescription and over-the-counter drug misuse and abuse. Learn more on The Washington Health Foundation’s Web site. There, you can tell your story, share your ideas, explore innovative resources, and participate in social media discussions.
The importance of having those conversations about cannabis
Originally posted on Cannabis Patients Alliance:
2011 was a life-changing year for my husband and me. After he got laid off from his job, we decided to put most of our worldly belongings into storage and take off with our 4 dogs in our 22-foot motorhome. Aside from camping and hiking, we spent most of 8 months traveling around Colorado talking to people about marijuana. We talked to patients, dispensary workers, growers, and just average citizens. We wanted to get a feel for what the state, outside of Denver, thought about medical marijuana in Colorado.
I have a lot of conversations with a lot of people, usually about marijuana. People are so curious. I never really know what impact these conversations have. I just try to open people’s minds to new possibilities.
The other day I got a surprising message from someone I met back in 2011 but haven’t talked with since. She reminded me of our…
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1) Each member of the governing body who attends a meeting of such governing body where action is taken in violation of any provision of this chapter applicable to him or her, with knowledge of the fact that the meeting is in violation thereof, shall be subject to personal liability in the form of a civil penalty in the amount of one hundred dollars. The civil penalty shall be assessed by a judge of the superior court and an action to enforce this penalty may be brought by any person. A violation of this chapter does not constitute a crime and assessment of the civil penalty by a judge shall not give rise to any disability or legal disadvantage based on conviction of a criminal offense.
(2) Any person who prevails against a public agency in any action in the courts for a violation of this chapter shall be awarded all costs, including reasonable attorneys’ fees, incurred in connection with such legal action.
Pursuant to RCW 4.84.185, any public agency who prevails in any action in the courts for a violation of this chapter may be awarded reasonable expenses and attorney fees upon final judgment and written findings by the trial judge that the action was frivolous and advanced without reasonable cause.
2012 c 117 § 126; 1985 c 69 § 1; 1973 c 66 § 3; 1971 ex.s. c 250 § 12.]
From the Washington Cannabis Institute ANovember 18, 2013:
The rules governing the implementation of I-502 limit pesticides that may be used to produce recreational marijuana. The Washington State Liquor Control Board (WSLCB) and the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) recently produced the list of acceptable pesticide products.
Only authorized pesticide products may be used. Using an unauthorized pesticide is a public safety license violation and can result in the cancellation of a producer’s license (see WAC 314-55-520).
WAC 314-55-010(13) defines a pesticide as meaning, but is not limited to: (a) Any substance or mixture of substances intended to prevent, destroy, control, repel, or mitigate any insect, rodent, snail, slug, fungus, weed, and any other form of plant or animal life or virus, except virus on or in a living person or other animal which is normally considered to be a pest; (b) any substance or mixture of substances intended to be used as a plant regulator, defoliant, or desiccant; and (c) any spray adjuvant. Pesticides include substances commonly referred to as herbicides, fungicides, and insecticides.
Licensed producers can use pesticides registered by WSDA under chapter 15.58 RCW that are allowed for use in the production, processing, and handling of marijuana.
If a particular pesticide is not consistent with the allowable pesticide criteria WSDA uses for marijuana production, the applicator could unknowingly be in violation of Washington pesticide laws (RCW 15.58.150(2)(c) and WAC 16-228-1500(1)(b)).
We recommend that pesticides from the OMRI list be cross-checked with the list of over 200 pesticides registered by WSDA that are allowable for use in marijuana production in PICOL.
A preliminary list of over 200 pesticides registered by WSDA under chapter 15.58 RCW that are allowed for use in the production, processing, and handling of marijuana can be found at Washington State University’s (WSU) PICOL (Pesticide Information Center Online) database at:
Under the “crop” drop-down menu choose: “I-502/I-692 (WA Only).”
PICOL lists the regulatory status of pesticides, as determined by WSDA. Updates can be made on a daily basis as pesticides are registered (and cancelled) by WSDA.
Using the PICOL Database
WSU has prepared tutorials as a starting point for prospective marijuana producer applicants in using the PICOL database.
If you have any questions, please contact the WSLCB Marijuana Licensing Unit at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(1) The director may deny, suspend, or revoke any provision of a license, registration, permit or certification issued under chapters 17.21 and 15.58 RCW if it is found that the applicant or the holder of the license, permit, or certification has committed any of the following acts each of which is declared to be a violation
Wednesday, May 14, 2014-Portland, Ore
The Washington State Liquor Control Board today announced the implementation of interim rules detailing facility inspections for I-502 processor applicants who intend to make marijuana-infused food products. The interim rules, known as BIP 03-2014, will be used until permanent rules have been adopted by the board.
The new rules require that food processing facilities pass a facility inspection on an ongoing annual basis. The WSLCB will contract with the Department of Agriculture to conduct the required food processing facility inspections. All of the cost of the inspections are the responsibility of the I-502 licensee and the hourly rate for a Washington State Department of Agriculture inspection is $60. The scope of the inspections includes business records and the inspection can occur without advance notice.
Guidance–BSA Expectations Regarding Marijuana-Related Businesses
Posted in General
One of the things that has always fascinated us since we started our cannabis business law practice back in 2010, is how incredibly few lawyers have ever voiced any opposition — virtually zero. Lawyers are lawyers and that means we are legalistic and logical and lawyers usually give us the following four, eminently practical, logical and legalistic reasons for believing in legalization:
- There’s no reason to treat alcohol and pot differently under the law.
- Our pot laws are not fairly applied and they never will be. Wealthy White kids get off easy, poor African-American kids don’t. This sort of inequality of enforcement and punishment weakens our laws and weakens our legal system, and that is not a good thing. Without support by the people and legitimacy, law means little.
- We spend money on pot prohibition that would be better spent elsewhere.
- Much illegal pot money goes to funding gangs. We need to cut that off.
Uber-scientist Albert Einstein apparently thinks like a lawyer in that during prohibition he talked about how the flouting of some laws leading to the flouting of others:
The prestige of government has undoubtedly been lowered considerably by the prohibition law. For nothing is more destructive of respect for the government and the law of the land than passing laws which cannot be enforced. It is an open secret that the dangerous increase of crime in this country is closely connected with this.”
The same is true of pot.
As lawyers wanting rule by law, we support legalization.
The state of Washington is one of only nine states that does not levy a personal income tax nor a corporate income tax.
There is no inheritance tax, but the state imposes an estate tax on estates in excess of $2 million at rates ranging from 10% to 19%.
Washington State Tax Questions & Answers – Business, audits, e-filing, general questions.
Where to mail FEDERAL IRS tax forms within Washington State:
|If you ARE NOT enclosing a payment, use this address:
||If you ARE enclosing payment, use this address:
|Department of the Treasury
Internal Revenue Service
Fresno, CA 93888-0002
|Internal Revenue Service
P.O. Box 7704
San Francisco, CA 94120-7704
|Department of the Treasury
Internal Revenue Service
Fresno, CA 93888-0015
|Internal Revenue Service
P.O. Box 7704
San Francisco, CA 94120-7704
||Department of the Treasury
Internal Revenue Service
Fresno, CA 93888-0014
|Internal Revenue Service
P.O. Box 7704
San Francisco, CA 94120-7704
Other useful Web links to WA taxpayers associations, CPA groups,
business organizations or general U.S. state tax facts & information :
Moving to Washington State – Cost of Living, Taxes, Jobs, Schools
Washington State Board of Tax Appeals
Washington Society of CPAs
Washington IRS Office Locations
Statistics of Income (SOI) Bulletin – Winter 2014 (entire publication in PDF)
Individual Income Tax Returns, Preliminary Data, 2012
by Michael Parisi
For Tax Year 2012, taxpayers filed 144.9 million U.S. individual income tax returns, a decrease of 0.4 percent from the 145.6 million returns filed for Tax Year 2011. This decrease occurred because of the large decline in returns filed by taxpayers in the smaller adjusted gross income (AGI) classifications. The largest decrease (3.9 percent) was a 1.5 million change in the number of returns with an AGI of under $15,000.
Excel Tables: 1
Related Link: Individual Income Tax Returns
Sales of Capital Assets Panel Data Reported on Individual Tax Returns, 2004–2007
by Janette Wilson and Pearson Liddell
The IRS Statistics of Income (SOI) Division collects data on the sales of capital assets to identify trends in the capital gains and losses reported on individual tax returns. In 1999, SOI began a panel study of individual taxpayers to measure the trends in taxes and income, including capital gains and losses, at different points in time. SOI designed the panel sample to represent all Tax Year 1999 returns, including late returns.
Excel Tables: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
Split-Interest Trusts, Filing Year 2012
by Lisa Schreiber Rosenmerkel
The number of Forms 5227 filed with the IRS has consistently declined in recent years. Preparers filed 113,688 Forms 5227 with the IRS in Filing Year 2012, a 3.4-percent decline from Filing Year 2011.
Excel Tables: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11
Related Link: Split-Interest Trust Statistics
Nonprofit Charitable Organizations, 2010
by Paul Arnsberger
Nonprofit charitable organizations exempt from income tax under Internal Revenue Code (IRC) section 501(c)(3) filed 269,474 Forms 990 and 990-EZ and reported $2.9 trillion in assets for Tax Year 2010, an increase of 9 percent from the previous year.
Excel Tables: 1, 2, 3, 4
Related Link: Charities and Other Tax-Exempt Organizations Statistics
- SOI Sampling Methodology and Data Limitations
- SOI Projects, Contacts, and Public Release Information
- SOI Products and Services
In the Next Issue
The following articles are tentatively planned for inclusion in the spring 2014 issue of the Statistics of Income Bulletin, scheduled to be published in May 2014:
- Individual income tax rates and tax shares, 2011;
- High-income tax returns, 2011;
- Individual foreign-earned income and foreign tax credit, 2011;
- Exempt organizations unrelated business income taxes, 2010;
- Municipal bonds, 2011; and
- Large nonoperating foundations panel, Tax Year 1998–2010
Historical Tables and Appendix
Return to Tax Stats home page
Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 19-Jun-2014
With the passage of I-502, businesses and communities are seeking information about what impacts recreational marijuana (cannabis) growers and processors may have on the environment and what environmental permits might be required in the state of Washington.
General licensing questions are addressed by the state Liquor Control Board.
Permits are site specific
As with all proposed projects, I-502 licensees should start by considering local regulations and ask what approvals may be needed through their county or city permitting offices. Permits and permissions for a project depend on zoning rules, location and operation information.
A pre-approval meeting will help determine whether to complete an environmental checklist (SEPA). This checklist provides an initial snapshot of a project’s environmental impacts. Decision-makers must consider likely environmental consequences.
As projects move forward, proponents may want to coordinate with Ecology, Liquor Control Board (LCB) and the Governor’s Office for Regulatory Innovation and Assistance (ORIA).
Possible permits and environmental considerations
This is not a comprehensive list, but designed to prompt consideration as projects evolve.
- A greenhouse growing or processing operation may need an air quality permit for the heating system. The need would be based on the size of the heating unit and amount of fuel used if the system is not electrical.
- Odors may need to be controlled.
- Growers and processors may be able to discharge wastewater to local sewage treatment plants. Growers and product processors can contact their regional Ecology offices or local jurisdictions to be sure they can discharge to local sewers.
- If they cannot, they can seek information from Ecology to determine if they need a water quality permit to protect surface and groundwater.
- Marijuana growers may or may not need a water right permit to water plants.
- Water availability can vary significantly from county to county or water source to water source.
- Industrial greenhouses and outdoor growers may be able to hook up to an existing water purveyor, such as a city utility or irrigation district.
- Growing operations and greenhouses are limited in size by the Liquor Control Board and as a small use may qualify under a permit exemption for a groundwater well.
- There may be local rules or requirements related to a new permit exempt well or new surface water uses, depending on the watershed.
- On May 20, 2014, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation issued a policy statement prohibiting the use of federal water or facilities for the cultivation of marijuana. Questions on the policy should be directed to the bureau.
- Solid waste management is regulated at the local level by county health departments. Businesses should consult with their local health department to determine the amount of solid waste oversight needed.
- Marijuana licensing rules require that marijuana stems and organic waste from growing and processing operations be rendered unusable by mixing them with 50 percent other materials and grinding them up before disposal or composting.
- Growers and processors should employ common recycling and e-cycling practices.
- Growers should consider pesticide management and consult with the Washington Department of Agriculture on pesticide and fertilizer use.
- If any dangerous wastes are generated, dangerous waste regulations need to be followed. Some dangerous wastes to consider:
- Any waste with 10 percent THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) or greater would designate as a dangerous waste.
- Fluorescent bulbs or other bulbs with mercury.
- Unused pesticides/herbicides/etc. that are to be disposed.
- Possible waste containing solvents.http://www.ecy.wa.gov/topics/marijuana.html
WHEREAS,the University of Washington, as required by statute, recently released its summaryof existing knowledge regarding the causes, impacts, and effects of
climate change on Washington State con including
Human activities have increased atmospheric levels of greenhouse gases to levels unprecedented in at least the past 800,000 years;
Washington has experienced long-term warming, a lengthening of the frost-free season,and more frequent nighttime heat waves. Sea level is rising along most of Washington’s coast, coastal ocean acidity has increased, glacial area and spring snowpack have declined, and peak streamflows in many rivers have shifted earlierin the year
Three key areas of risk, specifically changes in the natural timing of water availability, sea level rise and ocean acidity, and increased forest mortality, will likely bring significant consequences for the economy, infrastructure, natural systems, and human health of the region;and Decisions made today about greenhouse gas emissions will have a significant effect onthe amount of warming that will occur after mid-century;WHEREAS, studies conducted by the University of Oregon found that the effects of climate
change on water supplies, public health, coastal and storm damage, wildfires,and other impacts,will cost Washington almost $10 billion per year after 2020, unless we take additional actions to
mitigate these effects
Link to Washington State Jovernor Jay Inslee Executive orders:
Stoner Slut Shaming – Women, Weed and the Great Divide
Originally posted on The Stoner Girls' Guide:
By: Tracy Curley
Why are we trying to control the image and perception of the female cannabis user?
Recently I had a male activist, someone I felt was a friend, hit on me in a gross and insulting way. Later that weekend
when I called him on some bad business, his response was to get angry, and call me a bitch in a room full of people.
So it got me to thinking of the role of women in the cannabis business and how we are perceived not just by men but by each other.
I’ve been reading other articles about the role of women in weed, and frankly I’m as disheartened by what we are saying about each other as I am by the words and actions of the “boys club”.
Articles asking that we stop hyper-sexualizing women and weed, piss me off, because frankly that’s a much bigger…
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As the Pentagon reports spending of over $1 billion on bombing ISIS in Iraq and Syria, ex-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says the fight against the Islamist movement may take as long as 30 years.
Since mid-June, when militants from the Islamic State (also known as ISIS, or ISIL) launched their lightning offensive in Iraq, the Pentagon has spent $1.1 billion on fighting the militia, US Central Command reported Monday.
The US Navy has spent $62 million on about 185 warheads, including 47 Tomahawk cruise missiles.
The US Air Force has spent far more on munitions, dropping some 1,000 smart bombs and rockets during its sorties, AP reported CentCom as saying.
Officials say the campaign has cost an average of $7 million to $10 million a day since June. The cost escalated after the US started bombing IS positions in Iraq in early August and then expanded to Syria in September.
The report confirmed an estimate by the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA), a Washington-based think tank with ties to the Pentagon, which said a week ago that the campaign against ISIS had probably already cost between $780 and $930 million.
READ: Nearly $1bn already spent on US military campaign against ISIS
The US military spending, supported by a coalition of some 40 nations, doesn’t appear to have stopped IS from scoring new victories. Its fighters have been advancing in the battle for the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobani overnight, with two IS flags still visible over the eastern side of the town, Reuters reported.
The fight against IS may take quite a long time, according former Pentagon chief Leon Panetta, who said “we’re looking at kind of a 30-year war” in an interview with USA Today.
“It’s going to take a long time to go after these elements,” he said.
Panetta, whose memoir, “Worthy Fights,” is about to hit bookstores, criticizes President Barack Obama in the book for rushing the Iraq withdrawal in 2011. The decision was based on the assumption that Iraq’s own US-trained army and security forces would be able to provide security in the country. But in reality, Iraq slid into a violent quagmire that culminated with a surprise insurgent offensive that Baghdad’s troops did little to prevent.
***Note from Anna: How many hospitals, schools, elder care centers, or food programs could this money be funding? How many jobs could be created? Endless war budgets have gutted the taxpayers, made the world’s weapons companies CEOs (and the politicians who support them) billionaires while leaving America completely unsafe militarily, socially, and health-wise.
How many epidemics(aside from Ebola) will spread across America as funding from healthcare is diverted to endless wars overseas? Everyone loses. VOTE THEM *ALL* OUT IN 2016.
Remove *all* of the rotten-to-the-core, unrepentant judges, cops, lobbyists, and politicians from the past two generations of Republicans, Democrats, Moderates,and extremists need to be shown the door. They are finished.
Jill Stein for President 2016
Green Party Presidential Candidate Jill Stein: Downsize the Military
Presidential Candidate JILL STEIN on War on Drugs, Women’s Rights, and more.
Green Party’s Jill Stein On The Drug War | NewsBreaker | Ora TV
State of Colorado
LEGISLATIVE AUDIT COMMITTEE
Representative Angela Williams
Senator Steve King
Senator Lucia Guzman
Representative Su Ryden
Senator Owen Hill
Representative Jerry Sonnenberg
Representative Dan Nordberg Senator Lois Tochtrop
OFFICE OF THE STATE AUDITOR
Dianne E. Ray
Deputy State Auditor
Legislative Audit Manager
Dianne E. Ray, CPA
Office of the State Auditor
June 25, 2013
Members of the Legislative Audit Committee:
This report contains the results of a performance audit of Colorado’s medical marijuana
regulatory system. The audit was conducted pursuant to Section 2-3-103, C.R.S., which
authorizes the State Auditor to conduct audits of all departments, institutions, and agencies of
state government. This second of two reports presents our findings, conclusions, and
recommendations and the responses of the Department of Public Health and Environment and
the Department of Revenue. The first report was released in March 2013.
By Brett Wilkins
11 mins ago in Politics
– United States Attorney General Eric Holder announced his resignation on Thursday, ending a tumultuous six-year tenure marked by progress as well as by heated partisan controversy and constant battles with conservatives over his policies and actions.
The nation’s first black attorney general said he will remain in office until a successor is nominated and confirmed, the New York Times reports
The Justice Department said Holder, 63, finalized his plan to step down during an hour-long conversation with President Barack Obama. Holder is one of the longest-serving members of the Obama cabinet and the fourth-longest tenured attorney general in US history.
Holder’s legacy includes historic progress on civil rights and criminal justice reform issues. He refused to defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), a discriminatory federal law defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman. He sued North Carolina and Texas over restrictive voter identification laws which disproportionately disenfranchised minority, student and elderly voters.
Holder also launched some 20 federal probes targeting police brutality and other misconduct, most recently in Ferguson, Missouri, where a long legacy of mistrust between the St. Louis suburb’s black residents and nearly all-white police force came to a boil following the recent police shooting of unarmed black teen Michael Brown. He also pressed for a reduction in prison sentences for nonviolent drug offenders and an end to mandatory minimum sentences for some low-level drug offenders.
Under Holder’s tenure, the federal prison population decreased for the first time since President Ronald Reagan ramped up the ‘War on Drugs’ and ushered in the era of mass incarceration in the 1980s.
But Holder was also a tremendously controversial and polarizing figure. Some of his actions infuriated conservatives, including his initial decision to try the alleged September 11 plotters in a New York civilian court just blocks from Ground Zero, a decision that was later reversed under intense pressure. He sent the cases back to the Guantánamo Bay military commission system, which has been described as “rigged” by numerous military justice officers who have resigned their posts in protest.
As is the case with President Obama, there is a racial element to at least some of the animus against Holder. He inflamed many conservatives when he delivered a Black History Month address in which he called America a “nation of cowards” for its failure to honestly confront enduring race relation issues.
Holder’s actions often did not help him win conservative friends. His refusal to hand over documents related to the Fast and Furious gun trafficking scandal, for example, resulted in a contempt vote by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.
Even among some progressives, Holder was considered a disappointment on issues including the DOJ’s targeting of state-legal medical marijuana, his 9/11 trials reversal, the government’s refusal to prosecute or even adequately investigate Bush-era torturers, its aggressive prosecution of whistleblowers and his refusal to prosecute Wall Street banker for the systemic fraud which precipitated the 2008 global financial crisis.
Holder still has work to do before stepping down. NPR reports he is expected to release long-awaited racial profiling guidelines for federal agents. He is also expected to notify federal prosecutors that the DOJ will no longer require defendants who plead guilty to waive their right to appeal due to ineffective legal counsel.
Holder has served 26 years at the DOJ, working at nearly every level. He has served as a corruption prosecutor, and was appointed US Attorney for Washington DC by President Bill Clinton. In 1997, he was named deputy attorney general.
“I hope I’ve done a good job,” Holder said in a recent ABC interview. “I’ve certainly tried to do as good a job as I can. There are sacrifices that I’ve had to make, that my family has had to make.”
President Obama is expected to make a statement about Holder’s resignation at the White House Thursday afternoon.
FBI Forces Police Departments Across The US to Keep Quiet About Cellphone Spying Gear
Originally posted on Nevada State Personnel Watch:
Not only are local police departments across the United States increasingly relying on so-called StingRay devices to conduct surveillance on cell phone users, but cops are being forced to keep quiet about the operations, new documents reveal.
Recent reports have indicated that law enforcement agencies from coast to coast have been turning to IMSI-catcher devices, like the StingRay sold by Florida’s Harris Corporation, to trick ordinary mobile phones into communicating device-specific International Mobile Subscriber Identity information to phony cell towers — a tactic that takes the approximate geolocation data of all the devices within range and records it for investigators. Recently, the Tallahassee Police Department in the state of Florida was found to have used their own “cell site simulator” at least 200 times to collect phone data without once asking for a warrant during a three-year span, and details about the use of StingRays by other law enforcement groups…
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