New York

New York high court: cops can seize user Facebook activity

Posted on April 10th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , .

Shadow WatchBe careful what you say on Facebook. New York state's highest court, the Court of Appeals, ruled on April 4 that law enforcement can seize private account information from the social networking site. With the decision, Facebook lost its years-long legal battle to block search warrants from the Manhattan District Attorney's Office seeking access to hundreds of user accounts, the New York Post reports.

High NY hosts canna-biz networking confab

Posted on March 22nd, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , .

New York cannabisThe group High NY, "New York's Cannabis Community," hosted an event on "How to Apply Your Skills in the Cannabis Industry" at a Lower Manhattan venue the evening of March 22, featuring speakers with background in the biz from California, Massachusetts and the District of Columbia. Unlike these three polities, New York state has not legalized. But organizers took heart that on that very same day as their meet-up, chronic pain was added to the qualifying conditions under the Empire State's burgeoning if still limited medical marijuana program.

'Synthetic marijuana' scare in New York

Posted on January 6th, 2017 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , .

New York A rather sensationalistic piece in the New York Times last month luridly headlined: "Drug 85 Times as Potent as Marijuana Caused a 'Zombielike' State in Brooklyn." Apparently, emergency medical technicians called to a "mass casualty event" in Brooklyn's Bushwick neighborhood reported multiple people at the scene, "all of whom had a degree of altered mental status that was described by bystanders as 'zombielike,'" according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Blood and urine samples drawn from eight of the 18 men hospitalized that day revealed they had taken a synthetic cannabinoid called AMB-FUBINACA, originally developed by the pharmaceutical company Pfizer, with the street names "AK-47" or "24 Karat Gold." It is said to be 85 times as potent as the main agent in natural cannabis, THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol.

Martin Lee speaks on CBD in New York City

medical marijuanaA little New York-California cross-fertilization of herbal consciousness took place as Martin Lee, the author of Smoke Signals: A Social History of Marijuana, spoke in Manhattan's East Village the night of Nov. 10 on "The Future of CBD and Medicinal Cannabis." Lee discussed his current work with California-based Project CBD, dedicated to promoting and publicizing research into the medical uses of cannabidiol, and Emerald Pharms, his CBD-oriented dispensary in Hopland, southern Medocino County. The event was hosted by The Alchemist's Kitchen, a New Age-flavored herbal apothecary—or "botanical dispensary"—on East 1st Street. Under New York state's medical marijuana law, the Kitchen recently launched a Bowery Cannabis Club, which specializes in CBD products.

Ken Thompson, Brooklyn DA who 'decriminalized' cannabis, passes on

Posted on October 11th, 2016 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , .

Ken ThompsonKenneth Thompson, the first African American elected to serve as Brooklyn's district attorney in the 166-year history of the office, died Oct. 9 at the age of 50.  Thompson, a leading voice for criminal justice reform in New York City, was most famous for his 2014 decision to stop prosecuting low-level cannabis cases in Brooklyn. "This new policy is a reasonable response to the thousands of low-level marijuana arrests that weigh down the criminal justice system, require significant resources that could be redirected to more serious crimes and take an unnecessary toll on offenders," Thompson said in his press release announcing the move. Gothamist reported at the time that the decision "effectively decriminalized marijuana possession in the borough."

Cannabis angle emerges in Eric Garner case

Posted on October 4th, 2016 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , .

New York CityThe case of Eric Garner—the Staten Island man killed in a police chokehold in July 2014, helping to galvanize the Black Lives Matter movement—continues to make headlines in New York City. In the latest development, reported in the Daily News Oct. 3, Ramsey Orta, the man who shot video footage of Garner's final moments, was sentenced to four years in prison on drug charges. The reading of the sentence was apparently a dramtic moment. As officers placed Orta in handcuffs, protesters stood up in the courtroom, holding their fists in the air and chanting, "No justice, no peace! Fuck these racist police!"

Brooklyn community garden closed for illegal flowers

Posted on September 7th, 2016 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , .

New York CityThe irrational and oppressive nature of cannabis prohibition is vividly illustrated by an Aug. 24 New York Times story about Green Gem community garden, on city-owned land in Brooklyn's East New York neighborhood, which was ordered closed in May after inspectors from the Parks Department discovered a few marijuana seedlings growing in coffee cups. Lead gardener James McCrae said the illicit plants were the work of a rogue gardener who was no longer involved. The Green Gem was just now allowed to re-open under an agreement worked out with the parks department's Green Thumb program. But the community was deprived of the garden throughout the summer, and a harvest was lost.

NYC: cannabis busts rising again —despite new policy

Posted on June 4th, 2016 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , .

New York CityBig Apple tokers exhaled a sigh of relief in November 2014, when Mayor Bill de Blasio instated a new policy barring arrest for possession of under 25 grams of cannabis. New York City had long been the pot bust capital of the USA, and after the new policy the smell of fragrant smoke was present on the city streets on a level not seen since before the get-tough Giuliani era. But a year and a half later—guess what? A new report just released by the Police Reform Organizing Project (PROP) indicates that cannabis arrests rose more than a third in the first three months of this year. The NYPD popped 4,225 people for pot possession between January and March, according to state data crunched by the advocacy group. That's a serious jump from the 2,960 arrested during the same period last year. When you add in arrests for small sales, the figures are respectively 5,311 and 3,973. What gives?

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