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Canna Law Blog by Hilary Bricken

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Cities and Counties Banning Cannabis: Why Not Let The People Decide?

By Hilary Bricken Washington State cities and counties continue to implement bans and temporary moratoria to prevent recreational marijuana from becoming a reality within their borders. How can these local governments even opt out of I-502? According to municipalities, they can prohibit I-502 for the following reasons:+ The opinion from the office of the State Attorney General (AG) regarding I-502 + Inherent police powers + Federal prohibition We briefly analyze each of these alleged sources of banning power in the context of I-502 as follows: The State AG’s opinion. In January 2014, the AG’s office formally opined that, among other things, nothing in I-502 prevents local authorities from banning I-502 facilities. In turn, cities and counties have used that opinion to justify prohibiting State-licensed marijuana businesses. We sued Wenatchee over its ban (which is based almost entirely on the AG’s opinion) and we are confident that this will not be the last anti-marijuana city against which one of our clients takes legal action. Though the A/G’s opinion is influential, it is certainly notbinding and it has no legal power. It is one attorney’s … Read the full article

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he counterpart to legalization efforts has been naysayers worried about public health risks and children. But even some naysayers are influenced by the allure of copious tax revenues.

Marijuana Tax Millions? Hallucinations Up In Smoke, Yet Feds Propose 50% Federal Tax Too

COLORADO: Excited Coloradans thought legalizing marijuana would mean huge tax revenues. They were hardly alone. Nationwide, with medical marijuana, and especially with recreational, the drum beat has been about money, jobs, real estate upticks, and spillover effects into many fields. The loudest cries of all have been about needed tax revenues that could achieve so much. The counterpart to legalization efforts has been naysayers worried about public … Read the full article...

It remains to be seen how many reservations will take advantage of the policy. Many tribes are opposed to legalizing pot on their lands, and federal officials will continue to enforce the law in those areas, if requested.

Southern California is home to nearly 30 federal- and state-recognized Indian tribes, with a total population of nearly 200,000, according to state estimates. The largest tribes operate profitable casinos and outlet malls, including those by the Morongo, Cabazon, San Manuel and Pechanga tribes.

U.S. Won’t Stop Native Americans From Growing, Selling Pot On Their Lands

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: Opening the door for what could be a lucrative and controversial new industry on some Native American reservations, the Justice Department on Thursday will tell U.S. attorneys to not prevent tribes from growing or selling marijuana on the sovereign lands, even in states that ban the practice. The new guidance, released in a memorandum, will be implemented on a case-by-case basis and tribes must still follow federal guidelines, said … Read the full article...