Feds Target CA Growers; Utah MMJ Makes Ballot; NY Speaker Advocates Expungement

California’s Illegal growers face scrutiny thanks to increased federal funding, Utah medical marijuana initiative makes the ballot, and one New York lawmaker calls for expungement.

Last week’s marijuana headlines were ominous for California’s illicit cultivators and encouraging for residents of Utah and New York. Meanwhile, at least one US veteran spent his Memorial Day advocating for medicinal cannabis.

California’s Bad Buzz

State compliant marijuana cultivation is perfectly legal in California; illegal cultivation is not. Addressing the issue on Tuesday, May 29, 2018, the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of California, McGregor Scott, announced a crackdown on illegal cultivation was on the horizon. Citing the use of noxious pesticides, cultivation on public lands, water supply contamination, and exploitation by Mexico’s numerous drug cartels, Scott announced a joint collaboration between federal, state and local experts to address the issue. As reported by SFGate, $2.5 million in federally allocated funds will now be used to combat the wave of illegal cultivation.

“We will enforce California’s cannabis laws to protect our people and those who play by the rules in this emerging industry and we will hold accountable those who don’t,” said California Attorney General Xavier Becerra.

Beehive Voters Abuzz Over Medical Marijuana Vote

Utah’s typically conservative voters, who according to a recent poll strongly support medicinal cannabis, will be allowed to cast their ballots in support or opposition of medicinal cannabis on November 6, 2018. Announced by Utah’s lieutenant-governor Spencer Cox, the state’s head election official reported Utah’s medicinal cannabis initiative gathered 153,894 valid signatures.

Despite the efforts of the Utah Medical Association, Gov. Herbert, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints to dissuade potential voters, the director of the Utah Patients Coalition, DJ Schanz, told the Salt Lake Tribune, “We’re ecstatic that Utah voters will have a voice in this matter.”

New York Assemblyman Seeks Expungement After Legalization

If New York’s Democratic Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie has anything to say on the topic of marijuana arrests, once recreational weed is legalized in the Big Apple, expungement of past marijuana convictions should follow.

Speaker Heastie told NBC New York, “You have a lot of people who have arrest records, criminal records because of marijuana use. … If we’re going to get to the point that it’s going to be legal, why should people still have trouble getting jobs and have a record for something that is legal?”


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