A grand jury in Georgia on Monday declined to indict sheriff’s deputies who during a drug raid in May set off a stun grenade that severely injured a 19-month-old boy. County Sheriff Joey Terrell has called the boy’s injuries “devastating” but unavoidable, saying police who tossed the grenade to distract the suspect did not believe children were in the home. The suspect, a relative of the child, was not in the house during the raid but was later arrested nearby, police have said. The grand jury concluded the deputies did not intentionally injure the child and were not criminally negligent. A recent report by the American Civil Liberties Union found that nearly 80 percent of police raids carried out by heavily armed Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) units – originally designed for emergencies like hostage takings and active-shooter situations – were being used to serve search warrants, usually in drug cases.
The Supreme Court of Guam has reaffirmed its earlier findings on the legality of the medical marijuana referendum. The Guam Legislature passed the bill on Feb. 1. It lapsed into law and became P.L. 32-134, without the governor’s signature. The issue will be put to a referendum on the same day as the general election on November the 4th. Senator Tina Muna-Barnes is the main proponent and is confident that the public will support the move. She says recent surveys show 59-68 percent are behind the legalisation which will allow the use of medical marijuana as an alternative treatment for debilitating health issues. Guam patients won’t be allowed to grow their own marijuana. Guam’s proposed act would require all marijuana sold in Guam be grown in Guam. Under Guam’s proposed law, a qualified patient can possess an “adequate supply.” This is defined as three months. The Department of Public Health and Social Services would be responsible for quantifying a three-month supply of marijuana.
The issue of medical marijuana in Pennsylvania has been making its way to the forefront of the gubernatorial election. “I do not support the legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes,” Republican Governor Tom Corbett said in an October 8 gubernatorial debate, largely avoiding the issue of medical marijuana. “It is a gateway drug that creates all of the drug problems that we are seeing in Pennsylvania and the United States.” “We need to legalize medical marijuana immediately,” Democratic candidate Tom Wolf responded, while stopping short of supporting completely legalizing marijuana. “I think we ought to see what happens in places like Colorado and Washington before we decide to go any further with the legalization of recreational marijuana, however.” According to a New York Times/CBS News/YouGov poll earlier this month, Wolf leads Corbett by 9 percentage points .
An Arizona lawmaker plans to introduce a proposal next year to legalize recreational marijuana before a similar proposal could get decided by voters in 2016. Republican Rep. Ethan Orr of Tucson aims to convince fellow conservatives that a voter-approved measure is nearly impossible to change once it is approved and not the way to set up a complex system of rules and taxes for the drug. “I would rather us as elected leaders be the ones directing the conversation and the debate, and ultimately controlling the policy, as opposed to letting it go to a citizens’ initiative where you can’t change the law once it’s in place,” he said. Advocates for legal recreational marijuana are aiming to put their proposal on Arizona’s ballot in 2016.
Ten police chiefs met Wednesday in Anchorage to emphasize something voters have been hearing for months: that the heads of Alaska police departments are firmly against Ballot Measure 2, an initiative that would legalize and tax marijuana for those 21 and over in Alaska. Anchorage Police Chief Mark Mew had concerns that revenue would not go directly to the police force. While the initiative would tax marijuana at $50 per ounce at the wholesale level, it does not — and cannot — say where that appropriation would go. Only the state Legislature can allocate tax revenues. Bill Parker, former Alaska Department of Corrections deputy commissioner and co-sponsor of the initiative, was sharply critical of the police chiefs’ concerns. He said police are already in charge of enforcing Alaska drug laws — which he said are not working. Parker said law enforcement campaigning against the reform of those laws is just making everything more difficult.