Clock is ticking for bills in Nevada Legislature


Assemblyman Tyrone Thompson, left, walks into general session on the second day of the Nevada Legislative session on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017, at the Legislative Building, in Carson City. (Benjamin Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal) Minority Leader Michael Roberson, R-Nev., listens to a colleague speak during the Senate Revenue and Economic Development meeting on the second day of the Nevada Legislative session on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017, at the Legislative Building, in Carson City. Roberson has requested a group of controversial bills, including requiring parental notification before minors can have an abortion and taking state control over public lands. (Benjamin Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal) Majority Leader Aaron Ford listens to Sen. Tick Segerblom, D-Nev., during the second day of the Nevada Legislative session on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017, at the Legislative Building, in Carson City. (Benjamin Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal) ‘s wait to speak with legislators in the Senate Chambers during the third day of the Nevada Legislative session on Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2017, at the Legislative Building, in Carson City. (Benjamin Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal)

CARSON CITY — It’s make or break time for lawmakers pushing their bills in the 2017 session of the Nevada Legislature.

Bills to lower the gambling age to 18, make English the official language of Nevada and allow the use of fish for pedicures — along with dozens of others near and dear to lawmakers — need to get out of committee by Friday. If not, they are dead for the session, although attempting to resurrect a proposal by amending it into another measure late in the session can be done.

Assembly Minority Floor Leader Paul Anderson, R-Las Vegas, said the week will be hectic. Some committees are not as far along as they should be, he said. “We’ve piled stuff up to the very bitter end.”

Assembly Commerce and Labor Chairwoman Irene Bustamante Adams, D-Las Vegas, has done a great job staying on track, but some other committees are far behind even for just hearing bills, Anderson said.

Senate Majority Leader Aaron Ford, D-Las Vegas, said the Senate committees should have no problems getting priority legislation processed by the deadline. “We are confident we will see them through to the finish line.”

Getting Democratic bills through the Legislature is one thing, but they ultimately must win support from Gov. Brian Sandoval, a Republican.

Ford said he is optimistic that “our priorities are reflective of the governor’s priorities as well.”

Partisan fighting

Senate Minority Leader Michael Roberson, R-Henderson, has been critical of the failure of the Democratic majorities to hear Republican measures this session.

This past week, he called on Democrats to hear many of the measures proposed by Attorney General Adam Laxalt, including those dealing with domestic violence, sex trafficking of children and rape kits.

“While the Assembly and Senate have found time to hear legislation concerning fish pedicures and marijuana massages, they have not found time to hear important legislation that would have a profound impact on the victims of violent crimes in Nevada,” Roberson said.

Anderson said the attorney general’s bills could have moved weeks ago.

“Some of them very bipartisan, bicameral bills things that have nothing to do with politics, they are simply good public safety issues being held up because of politics,” he said.

Deadline exempt

Some bills could qualify for exemptions from the deadline, but they need action in the policy committees where they reside to get into the Legislature’s money committees.

Sandoval’s Education Savings Account bill is eligible for an exemption, but it is awaiting action in the Senate Education Committee. The controversial measure, supported by Republicans, is both a policy and funding measure with $60 million in recommended appropriations.

Sen. Tick Segerblom’s Senate Bill 302 to speed up the process of recreational marijuana sales using medical marijuana dispensaries is also eligible, but it is sitting in the Senate Revenue and Economic Development Committee.

Both bills need to move to the Senate Finance Committee by Friday. Committees can and often do send bills with fiscal impacts to the money committees with no recommendation just to keep them alive.

Ford said the ESA bill will move to Finance by the deadline and will remain in play through the end of the session as part of the final spending discussions.

Living and dying

Many measures, including a lot of bills from Republican lawmakers, never had a chance. The gambling age and English language bills never had hearings scheduled and will die on Friday.

Dozens of other bills are in this same situation, including most of Roberson’s measures. A resolution that would ask Congress to convey public lands to Nevada, for example, will certainly die at midnight Friday.

Some bills have had hearings, but getting measures out that may need major amendments will be a challenge. Others have been heard and are simply awaiting a committee vote to move the bills to the full Senate or Assembly by the next deadline of first house passage by April 25.

Different rules

Finally, there are a few bills that legislative leaders have declared exempt from deadlines. One is Senate Joint Resolution 11, which would amend the state constitution to have legislators meet annually. The measure has not had a hearing and would have to pass two sessions and a vote of the people to take effect.

Segerblom’s bill to rename McCarran International Airport is awaiting action in the Senate Government Affairs Committee. A bill to abolish the death penalty needs a vote in the Assembly Judiciary Committee.

Limited progress

For some measures, the deadline is irrelevant.

Assembly Joint Resolution 2, which seeks to amend the state constitution to protect same sex marriage, passed the Assembly and is awaiting action in the Senate. It will have to pass again in 2019 and go to the voters in 2020 before it could take effect.

And Senate Bill 115, prohibiting concealed weapons in libraries without written permission, passed the full Senate on a 12-9 vote and is now in the Assembly.

A handful of measures have gone to Sandoval’s desk and been signed into law. But they are few in number.

Sean Whaley at swhaley or. Follow on Twitter.

TIME TO VOTE

A few of the bills facing a Friday deadline for action:

SB174: To rename McCarran Airport for Sen. Harry Reid.

SB236: To allow for public social clubs where people could smoke recreational marijuana.

SB261: To allow a physician to prescribe drugs to end a patient’s life under certain circumstances.

SB288: To make not wearing a safety belt a primary traffic offense.

SB426: To require moped riders to wear helmets.

AB158: To legalize the use of fish to perform pedicures by nibbling dead skin.

AB237: To abolish the death penalty.

AB287: To ban expiration dates on gift cards.

AB334: To prohibit slower drivers from blocking the left lane of a highway.

AB443: To ban the use of dogs in bear hunts.



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Loss of life penalty, invoice deadline and teamwork fill eighth week of Nevada Legislature


Gov. Brian Sandoval, seen in 2015. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

CITY — Marathon bill introductions, passionate debate on the death penalty and bipartisan agreement on the breakup of the Clark County School District highlighted a busy eighth week of the Nevada Legislature.

DEADLINES

Lawmakers pushed the clock near midnight Monday to beat a deadline to introduce their bills. The daylong bill blast included measures proposed by Gov. Brian Sandoval to implement priorities he previewed in his State of the State address in January.

Amid the crush was Sandoval’s proposal for a 10 percent tax on recreational marijuana. Voters legalized recreational pot in the November election, and the Republican governor is counting on his proposal to bring in $70 million over the biennium for education.

He also made good on his promise to Republicans to back Education Savings Accounts, which were approved in 2015 but sidelined when the Nevada Supreme Court said the program needed a new funding source. The governor’s bill seeking $60 million for the program mirrors one introduced by Sen. Scott Hammond, R-Las Vegas, that Democratic leadership said would not receive a hearing.

DEATH PENALTY

The Assembly Judiciary Committee heard hours of gut-wrenching testimony from families of crime victims, prosecutors, defense attorneys and others on a proposal to abolish the death penalty in Nevada.

Assembly Bill 237, sponsored by Sen. Tick Segerblom and Assemblyman James Ohrenschall, both Las Vegas Democrats, would change the sentence for the 82 inmates on death row to life in prison without parole and end future death sentences.

Nevada has not executed an inmate since 2006. Recently, the Department of Corrections has struggled to find vendors to supply the drugs needed to administer lethal injection, essentially putting executions on hold.

Cynthia Portaro cited her faith in asking prosecutors to drop the death penalty against Brandon Hill, convicted of killing her son, Mike Portaro, in March 2011.

“I started to think we are called to forgive,” she told committee members. “We are called to be different if you’re going to be a faithful person.”

For others, the ultimate sentence is justice served for the perpetrator of horrors inflicted on their loved ones.

Jennifer Otremba recounted how her 15-year-old daughter, Alyssa, was raped and stabbed countless time by Javier Righetti, who carved her up before returning to burn her body.

Righetti was given a death sentence late last month by a Clark County jury.

“Eight days ago, we finally received justice for her life,” Otremba told the committee.

Sandoval does not support abolishing capital punishment and would likely veto the bill if passed by the Democrat-controlled Legislature.

CLARK COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT

It was a showing of bipartisan support when the majority and minority leaders of the Senate and Assembly sat side by side Wednesday to advocate passage of Assembly Bill 469 and the reorganization of the Clark County School District.

The bill would put a reorganization regulation passed during the interim legislative process into state law, making a legal challenge filed by the Clark County School Board moot.

Lawmakers mandated a reorganization or breakup of the nation’s fifth-largest school district in 2015. The law aimed to decentralize administrative-level power and give schools and communities more decision-making authority.

School board trustees sued the state, arguing in part that the Legislature could not delegate authority to an interim committee to pass regulations implementing the law.

AB469 would render that argument baseless and clear the way for a full implementation of the reorganization in time for the 2017-18 school year to start in August.

Democratic Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson, Republican Assembly Minority Floor Leader Paul Anderson, Democratic Senate Majority Leader Aaron Ford and Republican Senate Minority Leader Michael Roberson sponsored the bill together.

Action on the bill is pending.

Sandra Chereb at schereb or. Follow on Twitter.

COMING UP

April

4: Start closing budgets

14: Committee passage (first house)

25: First house passage

May

1: Economic Forum report due

5: Start resolving budget differences

19: Committee passage (second house)

25: Finish budget differences

26: Second house passage

31: Budget bills introduced; exempt bills from committee



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Death penalty, bill deadline and teamwork fill eighth week of Nevada Legislature


Gov. Brian Sandoval, seen in 2015. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

CITY — Marathon bill introductions, passionate debate on the death penalty and bipartisan agreement on the breakup of the Clark County School District highlighted a busy eighth week of the Nevada Legislature.

DEADLINES

Lawmakers pushed the clock near midnight Monday to beat a deadline to introduce their bills. The daylong bill blast included measures proposed by Gov. Brian Sandoval to implement priorities he previewed in his State of the State address in January.

Amid the crush was Sandoval’s proposal for a 10 percent tax on recreational marijuana. Voters legalized recreational pot in the November election, and the Republican governor is counting on his proposal to bring in $70 million over the biennium for education.

He also made good on his promise to Republicans to back Education Savings Accounts, which were approved in 2015 but sidelined when the Nevada Supreme Court said the program needed a new funding source. The governor’s bill seeking $60 million for the program mirrors one introduced by Sen. Scott Hammond, R-Las Vegas, that Democratic leadership said would not receive a hearing.

DEATH PENALTY

The Assembly Judiciary Committee heard hours of gut-wrenching testimony from families of crime victims, prosecutors, defense attorneys and others on a proposal to abolish the death penalty in Nevada.

Assembly Bill 237, sponsored by Sen. Tick Segerblom and Assemblyman James Ohrenschall, both Las Vegas Democrats, would change the sentence for the 82 inmates on death row to life in prison without parole and end future death sentences.

Nevada has not executed an inmate since 2006. Recently, the Department of Corrections has struggled to find vendors to supply the drugs needed to administer lethal injection, essentially putting executions on hold.

Cynthia Portaro cited her faith in asking prosecutors to drop the death penalty against Brandon Hill, convicted of killing her son, Mike Portaro, in March 2011.

“I started to think we are called to forgive,” she told committee members. “We are called to be different if you’re going to be a faithful person.”

For others, the ultimate sentence is justice served for the perpetrator of horrors inflicted on their loved ones.

Jennifer Otremba recounted how her 15-year-old daughter, Alyssa, was raped and stabbed countless time by Javier Righetti, who carved her up before returning to burn her body.

Righetti was given a death sentence late last month by a Clark County jury.

“Eight days ago, we finally received justice for her life,” Otremba told the committee.

Sandoval does not support abolishing capital punishment and would likely veto the bill if passed by the Democrat-controlled Legislature.

CLARK COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT

It was a showing of bipartisan support when the majority and minority leaders of the Senate and Assembly sat side by side Wednesday to advocate passage of Assembly Bill 469 and the reorganization of the Clark County School District.

The bill would put a reorganization regulation passed during the interim legislative process into state law, making a legal challenge filed by the Clark County School Board moot.

Lawmakers mandated a reorganization or breakup of the nation’s fifth-largest school district in 2015. The law aimed to decentralize administrative-level power and give schools and communities more decision-making authority.

School board trustees sued the state, arguing in part that the Legislature could not delegate authority to an interim committee to pass regulations implementing the law.

AB469 would render that argument baseless and clear the way for a full implementation of the reorganization in time for the 2017-18 school year to start in August.

Democratic Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson, Republican Assembly Minority Floor Leader Paul Anderson, Democratic Senate Majority Leader Aaron Ford and Republican Senate Minority Leader Michael Roberson sponsored the bill together.

Action on the bill is pending.

Sandra Chereb at schereb or. Follow on Twitter.

COMING UP

April

4: Start closing budgets

14: Committee passage (first house)

25: First house passage

May

1: Economic Forum report due

5: Start resolving budget differences

19: Committee passage (second house)

25: Finish budget differences

26: Second house passage

31: Budget bills introduced; exempt bills from committee



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Marijuana Legalization: Looking Back at Pot’s Progress in 2017


Cultivating pot in Nevada.

The Market for Illegal Pot Isn’t Going Away Yet

The legalization across much of the United States and world has not eradicated the illegal market for cannabis. In California, illegal pot still accounts for roughly $5.7 billion in sales, or about three-quarters of the state’s overall sales of pot.

With the high taxes that the state will be charging on legal marijuana, which could jump to 45 percent when local taxes are taken into account, analysts believe that the market for unregulated marijuana will still be around for the foreseeable future.

And not just for in-state buyers. Because pot is not legal across the United States, pot smuggling across state lines is also a big business. According to one 2017 study by the California Department of Food and Agriculture, the state produces 13.5 million pounds of marijuana annually, of which Californians are only consuming 2.5 million pounds. The rest is being exported for profit — which, in case you had any doubt, is definitely illegal.

Sen. Cory Booker speaks about legalizing marijuana at an event in DC. Advocates say that legalizing pot in the state is a racial justice issue. 

Increased Efforts for Racial Justice in Legal Pot Industry

While marijuana is becoming a big business in Washington D.C. and the 29 states where it’s legal, the vast majority of those cannabis businesses are still owned by white men.

Current laws that govern who can receive a dispensary license may have – no pun intended — racial bias baked into them, since drug felons are prohibited from operating pot businesses or, in some cases, even working for them as employees. Minorities are significantly more likely to face arrest for minor drug related offences. According to a 2013 American Civil Liberties Union report, a black person is nearly four times more likely than a white person to be arrested for possession of marijuana, even though the two groups use marijuana at similar rates.

Other barriers to entry include financial requirements. In some states, it can be as high as $1 million in holdings for a dispensary, marijuana entrepreneur Wanda James recently told the Washington Post. The former Navy pilot is one of the few black pot growers in the state of Colorado.

But organizations like the Minority Cannabis Business Association, founded in 2015, are increasingly vocal in advocating for minorities in the business. As more growers of color enter into the field, their voices are being amplified. Meanwhile, racial justice is helping make the case for legalization in places like New Jersey and New York.

2017 saw the marijuana industry continue to grow and mature, a trend that will only continue in 2018.



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Big labor sees growth potential in California pot workers


Scott Smith

In this Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017, photo, Thomas Grier, right, and LaRoy Washington work at Canna Can Help Inc., a medical marijuana dispensary in Goshen, Calif. Labor unions are vying to represent California cannabis workers when a new law takes effect in 2018 legalizing the sales of recreational marijuana.

GOSHEN, Calif. — Unions have caught a whiff of a rare opportunity to organize a whole new set of workers as recreational marijuana becomes legal in California.

The United Farm Workers, Teamsters and United Food and Commercial Workers are looking to unionize the tens of thousands of potential workers involved in the legal weed game, from planters to rollers to sellers. The move could provide a boost to organized labor’s lagging membership — if infighting doesn’t get in the way.

The United Farm Workers, co-founded by iconic labor leader Cesar Chavez, says organizing an industry rooted in agriculture is a natural fit, and growers could label their products with the union’s logo as a marketing strategy.

“If you’re a cannabis worker, the UFW wants to talk with you,” national vice president Armando Elenes said.

But United Food and Commercial Workers, which represents grocery store employees, meat packers and retail workers, registered its intent to organize cannabis workers across the country.

“We would hope they respect our jurisdiction,” UFCW spokesman Jeff Ferro said.

Teamsters organizer Kristin Heidelbach said there’s no need for unions to battle each other. There will be plenty of workers needing representation as small cannabis businesses run by “happy stoner” types give way to large pharmaceutical corporations, she said.

The green rush that begins in 2018 is an opportunity for unions to regain influence that began declining in the late 1950s, said David Zonderman, a professor of labor history at North Carolina State University. But discord between unions could upend it. As could resistance from cannabis business leaders.

“Are they going to be new-age and cool with it,” Zonderman said, “or like other businesspeople, say, ‘Heck, no. We’re going to fight them tooth and nail?'”

Last year, California voters approved sales of recreational marijuana to those 21 and older at licensed shops beginning Jan. 1.

Cannabis in California already is a $22 billion industry, including medical marijuana and a black market that accounts for most of that total, according to University of California, Davis, agriculture economist Philip Martin. Medical marijuana has been legal since 1996, when California was the first state to approve such a law.

Labor leaders estimate recreational pot in California could employ at least 100,000 workers from the north coast to the Sierra Nevada foothills and the San Joaquin Valley, harvesting and trimming the plants, extracting ingredients to put in liquids and edibles, and driving it to stores and front doors.

Other pot workers have organized in other states, but California should be especially friendly territory for unions, said Jamie Schau, a senior analyst with Brightfield Group, which does marketing analysis on the marijuana industry.

The state has one of the nation’s highest minimum wages and the largest number of unionized workers across industries. Its laws also tend to favor employees.

At least some workers say they’re open to unions.

“I’m always down to listen to what could be a good deal for me and my family,” said Thomas Grier, 44, standing behind the counter at Canna Can Help Inc., a dispensary in the Central Valley community of Goshen.

The dispensary — with $7 million in yearly sales — sells medical marijuana.

Called a “bud tender,” Grier recently waited on a steady flow of regular customers walking through the door to pick out their favorite strain.

He said so far, no unions have contacted him. Grier gets along with his boss and said he doesn’t want to pay union dues for help ironing out workplace disputes. But he hasn’t discounted the possibility of joining.

After recently entering the marijuana industry, Los Angeles resident Richard Rodriguez said one sticky traffic stop three months ago converted him into a “hard core” Teamster. He’d never been in a union until this year.

Rodriguez said an officer pulled him over delivering a legal shipment of pot and detained him for 12 hours as he was accused of following too closely behind a semi-truck.

A union lawyer stepped in, and Rodriguez said he was released without being arrested or given a ticket.

“Most companies can’t or are unwilling to do that,” he said, “because employees are easily replaced.”



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2017年旧金山湾区十大新闻(上) | 加州野火 | 大麻立法


1、加州野火多发 史上最严重 45人丧生

10月8日开始燃烧的葡萄酒乡系列大火,烧毁了圣塔罗莎市的近4千栋建筑。(曹景哲/大纪元)

北加州10月8日晚间开始燃烧的葡萄酒乡系列大火,借助风势迅速蔓延,在索诺玛(Sonoma)、纳帕(Napa)、门多西诺(Mendocino)和虞巴(Yuba)县,共烧毁了8,900幢房屋。系列大火高峰时段,有21个大火同时燃烧,总共火灾面积达383平方英里(合992平方公里),10万人被强制撤离。11月26日,一名在北加州酒乡大火中严重烧伤的男子在医院死亡,令北加葡萄酒乡系列大火中丧生的人数达到44人。

索诺玛县共有25人由于火灾而死亡,为死亡人数最多的县,在受灾最严重的圣塔罗莎(Santa Rosa),占城市5%的近4千栋建筑被焚毁;此外纳帕、门多西诺和虞巴县有20人死亡。

加州保险委员会主席戴夫‧琼斯(Dave Jones)12月6日表示,北加州酒乡大火已经收到90亿美元保险索赔,损失为美国历史单次火灾之最。

而南加州,从12月4日晚至次日凌晨,文图拉县和洛县连续爆发三起野火,大火在圣安娜干燥强风的推动下迅速蔓延。圣安娜风是南加地区的季节性强风,一直是南加野火的主要推手。5日早上,文图拉县部分地区风力超过了每小时60英里,致使南加野火呈爆炸式扩散,托马斯火爆发数小时内就已迅速蔓延至48平方英里。5日早上,托马斯大火已延烧4.5万英亩,破坏了至少150幢建筑,导致数千户家庭约2.7万人被迫疏散。

12月10日早上,南加地区的托马斯火灾再次失控,大火穿过峡谷,从山麓一路朝沿海城镇而去。截至22日,托马斯大火(Thomas fire)焚毁超过1千栋建筑物,过火面积达到了27.34万英亩,已经成为加州史上第一大野火。2003年圣地亚哥的柏火(Cedar fire)是加州史上的第一大野火,过火面积达27.3万多英亩。

加州消防局的官员表示,南加州的灭火耗资已达1.4亿美元,在山火最高峰时期,参与灭火的消防人员达到8,500人。目前仍然有2,800多名消防队员在灭火, 预计明年1月7日左右才能全面控制。◇

2、加州冬春多雨 结束干旱 圣荷西洪水


2月20日晚,郊狼溪在圣荷西市漫堤,一些低洼社区被水淹没,圣荷西市宣布进入紧急状态。(圣塔克拉拉谷水利局提供)

进入2017年年初,加州持续降雨。从1月1日到11日,北加州接连遭受3场暴雨天气,持续强降雨导致河水水位上涨,民宅被淹。联邦旱情监测机构1月12日发布报告,包括旧金山湾区在内,加州已有42%的地区摆脱了干旱,而2016年的这个时候,加州有97%的地区处于干旱状态。

气象纪录显示,1月1日到11日旧金山市区的降雨量达5.53英寸,是1982年以来的最大降雨量。同时,北加州的水库储水已得到充分补给,已达到平均值的97%,几个大型水库不得不开闸泄洪;而内华达-塞拉山脉(Nevada – Sierra Mountains)的积雪,在1月3日只达到平均量的67%,而到12日上午就已达到161%,一个多星期下了超过10英尺的大雪。加州最大水库沙斯塔湖(Shasta Lake),水位已达到历史平均水平的126%,不得不开始泄洪。

久旱之后逢暴雨,旱灾变涝灾,州长布朗(Jerry Brown)1月23日宣布加州50个县进入防洪紧急状态,并称灾害已经对人员和财产造成了“极其严重的损失”。天降豪雨固令大面积地区摆脱旱情,但同时也造成洪水泛滥,道路被冲毁、民居被淹,至少有4人因洪灾而死亡,另有3人失踪。

加州第二大水库奥罗维尔湖(Lake Oroville)出现危机,不但达到高水位,泄洪渠2月初出现一个200英尺长、30英尺深的破洞,并受暴雨和洪水冲击影响持续扩大。导致下游20万居民大撤离。

2月20日晚间开始的暴雨,导致旧金山湾区多地洪灾,由于安德森水库(Anderson Reservoir)溢洪,圣荷西(San Jose)的郊狼溪(Coyote Creek)沿岸地区成泽国,民众被消防队用小船紧急撤离。社区到处可以见到被水淹没的车辆,消防队员在齐腰深的水中行走,救援工作演变成强制居民撤离。2月22日早上当局发出疏散警报之后,有5万人被要求撤离家园,其中对1万4千名居民的命令是强制性的。◇

3、旧金山大麻立法 愤怒华人成反麻最强音

反大麻进旧金山社区 华裔坚守道德价值
12月5日,在旧金山市议会讨论大麻立法草案前,反对大麻进入社区的华人再次在市府前游行示威。(李文净/大纪元)

图:12月5日,在旧金山市议会讨论大麻立法草案前,反对大麻进入社区的华人再次在市府前游行示威。(李文净/大纪元)

2016年11月8日美国大选中,加州娱乐大麻(Recreational Marijuana)合法化64号提案获得通过。自2018年1月起,加州居民可合法种植和购买非药用大麻,但该提案同时也赋予地方各县市,自行监管大麻的商业活动。

华裔选民则普遍反对该提案的通过,并非常担忧其对青少年的负面影响,有人戏称加州变成“麻”州。

3月15日,太平洋法律协会(Pacific Justice Institute)等4个团体发表联合声明,呼吁加州州府以及各县市,加强对大麻行业的监管,以保护青少年远离毒品和犯罪。
2017年开始,旧金山华人聚集区出现药用大麻业者扎堆申请开店的现象。Bayshore街2442号、Leland街5号、San Bruno大街3015号、Noriega街2505号和Inving街2161号的大麻店申请都获得市规划委员会的批准。

其中,至今没有一家大麻店的日落区,却因奥克兰前市长关丽珍申请在Noriega街2505号开店,而闹得群情激愤。

经过一年的抗争,华裔团体也纷纷站出来要求,市长和市议员考虑华人的担忧,不要批准在华人社区开大麻店。华裔社区代表提出了4条建议,希望市议会、市长能够采纳到娱乐大麻合法化实施细则的文本中:

1) 娱乐大麻馆、药用大麻店须距离幼儿园、学前班不少于1千英尺;2)将日落区的“有条件使用”条例从药用大麻店扩大到娱乐大麻馆;3)禁止在旧金山公共交通投放大麻产品、大麻馆广告;4)根据旧金山不同行政区的独特性及居民要求,在每个区设立娱乐大麻馆上限。

中华总会馆也在月会上讨论了这个建议,并获得商董会多数支持,决定以中华总会馆的名义向市长李孟贤递交这个建议。

但市长办公室与李孟贤任命的市议员希伊(Jeff Sheehy)最后还是联合制定了娱乐大麻合法化细则,提出将旧金山打造成大麻旅游城市。这引起华裔社区强烈反对与抵制,要求李孟贤尊重华裔传统,保护社区孩童不受大麻侵扰,严格管制娱乐大麻,也有些华人正式提交了罢免李孟贤的公投提案。

11月28日,旧金山市议会否决了华人的所有建议。12月5日的市议会最后通过了娱乐大麻合法化细则,并驳回了华人提出的阻止2161号和2165号Irving街大麻店申请的上诉,维持规划委员会的决定。这将是明年大麻合法化来临之前,大麻业者成功在日落区开店的第一家。

12月6日,李孟贤签署了娱乐大麻合法化法案,成为法律。◇

4、住房危机加剧 租客屋主掀租管攻防战

“合理驱逐”不合理 硅谷圣荷西房东街头抗议
圣荷西房东抗议过于严厉的租管政策。(大纪元资料图片)

旧金山湾区的房价和租金涨不停,住房危机加剧,租客团体不断在湾区各个城市提出严厉租金控制和限制屋主驱逐的提案,让租客与屋主之间掀起了攻防战。

经过租客、房东和民选官员一年多来的激烈博弈,圣荷西还是选择结束40年温和租管的历史,实行保护租客、限制房东的严厉租管政策,以平息高房租带来的租客抱怨。

4月18日的圣荷西市议会上,市议员们表决通过了圣荷西版的〈正当理由驱逐条例〉(Just Cause Eviction)和〈艾利斯法案〉(Ellis Act)。随后还将对全市4万多个租管房屋的租金年最高涨幅做出再次调整,如果比照居民消费指数(CPI)的60%计算,调整后的涨幅可能从现在的5%降至1%左右。

〈正当理由驱逐条例〉给出12条“正当理由”,要求房东想要驱离租客时,必须至少符合其中的一条。〈艾利斯法案〉要求房东退市需高额补偿租客,新建筑如在5年之内重新返市,则将永久置于租管之下,原租客享有优先租住权。

5月9日,圣荷西市议会又通过决议,要求该市上月通过的〈正当理由驱逐条例〉立即生效。

这些租管条例,使圣荷西不仅成为和旧金山、奥克兰、伯克利等湾区主要城市一样的严厉租管城市,并且,其严厉程度堪称全美之最,也引发了对湾区租房市场将陷入全面萧条的担忧。

另一起,城市、租客和房东的攻防战也牵动了湾区华人的心。

奥克兰低租公寓华裔业主爱丽丝•谢(Alice Tse)与租客纠纷,由于市政府和法庭的介入,变得错综复杂,出现多重官司。11月20日,爱丽丝•谢与母亲徐珍凤(Jenny Tsui),与奥克兰市政府、破产庭所托人和市府指定托管人最后达成和解,并承诺给租客总计25万美元的赔偿。

2011年3月,徐珍凤购买了位于东湾奥克兰市中心13街344号的Empyrean Towers大厦,爱丽丝受托打理,并将大厦名字改为“Empyrean Towers”。3年后,不断遭遇租客不缴租、纵火、破坏设施等问题,后又遭遇租客“水中毒”投诉。

2015年4月,爱丽丝•谢被奥克兰城市和租客告上法院后,法官指派托管人。但托管人没有好好维修Empyrean Towers大厦,但却每月向爱丽丝发出高额账单。由于托管人的挥霍,Empyrean Towers于2016年3月宣布破产。

随后破产法庭将大厦低价拍卖给目前的接管人。接管人与市府合作,以解决奥克兰低收入住房的名义,向联邦和加州申请了2千万美元的专项维修基金。但接管人却要把大厦的2个单位合并后,改建成中等收入的可负担住房,这引起了现在租客们的不满。

租客们认为,市府一开始说是要帮助他们,最后却还是要把他们赶走,去帮助那些中等家庭的人。于是租客们同样以居住环境条件的理由,又将法庭指派的托管人和目前的接管人一并告上法庭。

在诉讼过程中,湾区华人屋主协会多次到奥克兰市府及法院集会,抗议奥克兰市政府以帮助租客为名侵吞私人财产,要求公正判决。◇

5、码头案宣判 非法移民无罪 庇护城再惹议

旧金山14号码头枪击案嫌犯无罪 各界哗然
11月30日下午开始,民众在旧金山14号码头开始纪念2年前遇害的Kate Steinle。(曹景哲/大纪元)

11月30日,旧金山高等法院12人陪审团达成一致判决,认定14号码头枪击案嫌犯何塞‧英涅斯‧加西亚‧扎拉特(Jose Ines Garcia Zarate)杀人罪名不成立,令各界哗然。
法官认为,嫌犯的非法移民身份不应成为判决的依据,而应基于证据和是否有犯罪动机。被告何塞‧英涅斯‧加西亚‧扎拉特是来自墨西哥的无家可归非法移民,过去曾经被5次遣返,7次被控重罪。

他被指控2015年7月1日傍晚,在旧金山14号码头用手中枪支发射的子弹射杀了一名女子。当时,正在码头陪同父亲及朋友散步的时年32岁的女子凯特‧斯坦勒(Kate Steinle)被子弹击中背部,由于腹动脉严重受伤,斯坦勒在旧金山总医院被宣告不治。

经专家鉴定,这发致命的子弹确由加西亚‧扎拉特所持的被盗手枪射出,但击中凯特‧斯坦勒的弹头是一枚跳弹,从地面弹射后飞行78英尺射入了她的后背。

涉案枪支为一把Sig Sauer手枪,本属于联邦土地管理局(Bureau of Land Management)一名探员,案发前1个星期被盗。

斯坦勒的父亲詹姆斯.斯坦勒(James Steinle)在得知判决后表示,他感到非常伤心和震惊,“正义被涂抹,并没有得以伸张”。

凯特‧斯坦勒被误伤致死,而作为多次犯罪的非法移民的嫌犯却被判无罪,让民众对庇护城市政策感到疑惑。

加州州长布朗10月5日签署了由加州众参两院表决通过的SB 54法案,使该法案成为法律,并从2018年起执行。加州成为全美第一个无证移民庇护州。

该法案禁止州执法人员询问民众移民身份,也禁止州执法人员参与联邦移民执法行动。在大约800条刑事罪名中,如果被告被判决一项或多项罪名成立,可以允许警察继续与移民执法局分享信息,并移交犯人给联邦当局。

加州大约有230万名非法移民。法案此前曾一度遭到诸多警局局长及警务人士的反对,但经修改后,最终获得了部分警方的支持或中立。

“庇护州”法案的反对者们发起了公投提案,并开始征集签名。要想让这个反对庇护州公投提案进入2018年选举,必须在2018年1月3日前征集到36万5,880个有效的加州选民的签名。一旦反对公投获得足够有效签名,在2018年选民投票决定前,庇护州法案将暂缓实施。◇

(此文发表于1165F期旧金山湾区新闻版)

要想定期快速浏览一周新闻集锦,请点这里。

责任编辑:王洪生



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What’s Propelling DIGIPATH INCORPORATED (OTCMKTS:DIGP) After Higher Shorts Reported?




December 24, 2017 – By Henry Gaston

The stock of DIGIPATH INCORPORATED (OTCMKTS:DIGP) registered an increase of 124.32% in short interest. DIGP’s total short interest was 66,400 shares in December as published by FINRA. Its up 124.32% from 29,600 shares, reported previously. With 534,300 shares average volume, it will take short sellers 0 days to cover their DIGP’s short positions.

The stock increased 0.67% or $0.00176 during the last trading session, reaching $0.26276. About 150,886 shares traded. DigiPath, Inc. (OTCMKTS:DIGP) has 0.00% since December 24, 2016 and is . It has underperformed by 16.70% the S&P500.

Digipath, Inc., together with its subsidiaries, provides cannabis related services in the United States. The company has market cap of $8.97 million. The firm offers cannabis lab testing services in Las Vegas to Nevada licensed medical marijuana enterprises. It currently has negative earnings. It also provides a balanced and unbiased approach to cannabis news, interviews, and education with a news/talk radio show, app, national marijuana news Website, and social media presence focusing on the political, economic, medicinal, scientific, and cultural dimensions of medicinal and recreational marijuana industry.

More notable recent DigiPath, Inc. (OTCMKTS:DIGP) news were published by: Prnewswire.com which released: “Digipath, Inc. Enters into Joint Venture Agreement with Strategic Investor” on February 22, 2017, also Prnewswire.com with their article: “DigiPath, Inc. Appoints Joseph J. Bianco Chairman of the Board” published on October 14, 2015, Prnewswire.com published: “DigiPath Inc. Cofounder Todd Denkin Takes Over as CEO and President” on October 06, 2014. More interesting news about DigiPath, Inc. (OTCMKTS:DIGP) were released by: Prnewswire.com and their article: “Digipath Receives Recreational Testing License and Renews Medical License as …” published on July 10, 2017 as well as Prnewswire.com‘s news article titled: “Digipath, Inc. Enters into Joint Venture to Establish a Cannabis Testing …” with publication date: September 25, 2017.

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This Is the Biggest Marijuana Story of the Year, in Case You Missed It | Business Markets and Stocks News


The legal marijuana industry isn’t just called the “green rush” because it sounds snazzier. The industry is growing at an incredible rate, and investors have certainly taken notice, with a majority of larger marijuana stocks having at least doubled in market cap this year.

Regardless of your source, growth estimates from the legal cannabis industry put nearly all other growth stories to shame. For instance, investment firm Cowen & Co. believes that U.S. pot sales could hit $50 billion by 2026, up from around $6 billion now. That type of consistent growth is nearly impossible for investors to ignore.

Image source: Getty Images.

Marijuana stock investors were also privy to a plethora of positive events in 2017, which may have helped budding pot stocks even more. For instance, Nevada began selling recreational marijuana on July 1, 2017, while West Virginia became the 29th state to have legalized medical cannabis. To the south, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto signed into law a bill legalizing medical cannabis throughout the country. And to our north, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau introduced legislation in April designed to legalize recreational marijuana in Canada by July 2018. With the details being hashed out, it’s looking likely that adult-use weed will be legal in Canada by next year.

Public opinion has also played a role in lifting the cannabis industry in 2017. National pollster Gallup has been keeping tabs on the American public’s perception on pot for nearly 50 years. In this year’s survey, an all-time record 64% of respondents favored the idea of legalizing the drug, compared to just a quarter of all respondents as recently as 1995. A separate poll from the independent Quinnipiac University found even greater support for medicinal cannabis, which 94% of survey-takers want to see legalized. Conversely, just 4% opposed the idea of legalizing medical marijuana.

The biggest marijuana news story of the year probably slipped under the radar

Yet, for all of these positives, there’s perhaps an even bigger marijuana story out there this year — and it amazingly didn’t occur until mid-December.

Image source: Getty Images.

This past week, the World Health Organization (WHO), which is a specialized agency within the United Nations whose central concern is international public health, declared that cannabidiol (CBD), the non-psychoactive component of the cannabis plant, should not be scheduled. Here’s the full excerpt from WHO’s press release:

There is increased interest from Member States in the use of cannabis for medical indications including palliative care. Responding to that interest and increase in use, WHO has in recent years gathered more robust scientific evidence on therapeutic use and side effects of cannabis and cannabis components.

To that end, the ECDD [Expert Committee on Drug Dependence] did an initial review of a cannabis compound called cannabidiol (CBD). Recent evidence from animal and human studies shows that its use could have some therapeutic value for seizures due to epilepsy and related conditions. Current evidence also shows that cannabidiol is not likely to be abused or create dependence as for other cannabinoids (such as Tetra Hydro Cannabinol (THC), for instance). The ECDD therefore concluded that current information does not justify scheduling of cannabidiol and postponed a fuller review of cannabidiol preparations to May 2018, when the committee will undertake a comprehensive review of cannabis and cannabis related substances.

This is big news considering U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has drawn a line in the sand with regard to medical cannabis’ therapeutic effects. In the United States, marijuana is wholly illegal and on par with drugs like heroin and LSD.

However, WHO’s data suggests that CBD may provide genuine benefits to patients without any risk of dependency or abuse. While it’s unlikely to sway the opinion of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency or Food and Drug Administration, WHO’s evidence-based opinion could open the door for significant medical use throughout Europe. As a reminder, we’ve already witnessed numerous European countries setting up import contracts with Canadian-based growers for medical patients with certain illnesses.

Image source: GW Pharmaceuticals.

CBD-based medicines have demonstrated positive clinical benefits in the U.S.

This news from WHO may not come as a surprise to many, as we’ve already witnessed a handful of clinical studies in which CBD-based drugs have demonstrated positive results in the United States. For example, GW Pharmaceuticals(NASDAQ: GWPH) lead experimental drug, Epidiolex, is a cannabidiol-based medicine that delivered a statistically significant reduction in seizure frequency for patients with two rare types of childhood-onset epilepsy, Dravet Syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. In fact, patients with Dravet syndrome demonstrated a three times greater reduction in seizure frequency from baseline (39%) than under the placebo (13%).

Similarly, in September Zynerba Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ZYNE) announced positive top-line data involving its CBD-based gel, ZYN002, in pediatric and adolescent patients with Fragile X syndrome. The study met its primary endpoint, demonstrating a 46% improvement in the total score of Anxiety, Depression, and Mood Scale at the 12-week mark compared to baseline.

A separate study released in August (the Stop trial) involving ZYN002 from Zynerba showed that the drug failed to meet its primary endpoint as a treatment for knee pain due to osteoarthritis. However, it hit a number of key secondary endpoints, including the complete responder analysis, which is defined as a greater than or equal to 30% reduction in worst average daily pain scores.

Taking into account that CBD doesn’t cause the psychoactive effects as does THC, you should expect CBD to remain a key cannabinoid-based focus of numerous drugmakers in the U.S. and abroad.

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Joy to the weed! Marijuana legalization comes bearing gifts


Robert F. Bukaty / AP

In this Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017, photo, James MacWilliams prunes a marijuana plant that he is growing indoors in Portland, Maine. “I figure, I’ve got all this pot, I might as well just give it away for Christmas,” said MacWilliams, who started growing weed when it became legal and is giving away fancy jars of his stash this year. “I told my friends, you’re all getting a little bit of pot for Christmas.”

PORTLAND, Maine — Peter Bernard’s Yuletide plans include dressing up in a tuxedo emblazoned with marijuana leaves, donning a green Santa hat and doling out cookie bars made with marijuana to his friends from a big pillowcase.

“That’s me exercising my right to give marijuana this Christmas,” said Bernard, a Taunton, Massachusetts, pot lover who heads the Massachusetts Growers Advocacy Council when not doubling as “Pot Santa” at events for weed enthusiasts.

Not everyone’s plans are quite so flamboyant, but for many pot lovers, this Christmas is much more about reefer than wreaths. Gift-giving has long been a part of marijuana culture, and the drug’s newly legal status is a source of Yuletide celebration in four states.

Voters in California, Nevada, Maine and Massachusetts voted to legalize recreational marijuana last year, and some residents of those states will legally stuff stockings with spliffs for the first time this Christmas.

Because retail sales are operating in only one of those states — Nevada — Bernard and others excited about legalized pot said homegrown marijuana is one particularly popular gift.

“I figure, I’ve got all this pot, I might as well just give it away for Christmas,” said James MacWilliams, of Portland, Maine, who started growing weed when it became legal and is giving away fancy jars of his stash this year. “I told my friends, you’re all getting a little bit of pot for Christmas.”

Others plan to give marijuana-infused baked goods or even decorations made of pot plants.

Statistics about legal sales of marijuana suggest a modest bump around the holidays. In the four states where it was already legal, Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington, it has been “generally a good month,” slightly ahead of November and January, said Roy Bingham, chief executive officer of BDS Analytics, a firm that compiles data about the pot industry. December sales accounted for 9.38 percent of sales revenue in Colorado last year, which is one percentage point above average, according to statistics provided by the firm.

California’s retail laws begin next month, while Massachusetts’ retail laws are scheduled for July and Maine’s are still being developed.

Legalization means pot lovers can legally do something they’ve always done, which is give away marijuana to people they love, said Aaron Smith, executive director of the National Cannabis Industry Association.

“People consume cannabis on the holidays and they always have,” Smith said. “Now they are doing so through a regulated system.”

The drug remains illegal on the federal level, which means activities such as driving it across state lines or sending it through the mail are off limits. An elderly couple was arrested near Bradshaw, Nebraska, on Tuesday with about 60 pounds of marijuana they described as future Christmas gifts.

Authorities will deal with incidents involving marijuana in interstate commerce “on a case by case basis,” said Matthew O’Shaughnessy, a Boston-based spokesman for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Hezekiah Allen, executive director of the California Growers Association, said marijuana was likely to be a part of Christmas in California this year whether it was legal or not.

“Cannabis has been pretty ubiquitous here for several generations,” he said. “Honestly, I think everyone’s just a little more open about it.”

Editor’s note: Brian Greenspun, the CEO, publisher and editor of the Las Vegas Sun, has an ownership interest in Essence Cannabis Dispensary.



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