Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Federal drug administration told the DEA about marijuan's use as medicine (or not) - but won't tell the public

Asked recently for an update, DEA spokesperson Rusty Payne told VICE News, "We don't have a timeline on the decision."

The attorney general and DEA have the final say on rescheduling, but the FDA offered its official stance on the issue at least eight months ago, according to the agencies' joint letter to members Congress, which said the DEA received the FDA's input sometime prior to September 30, 2015. Neither agency, however, is currently willing to reveal what the FDA thinks ought to happen.

Article here (via VICE News.)

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

One year (almost) post-Obergefell and states are still unsure which laws to enforce

The Obergefell decision made same gender marriage legal in all states. But what about issues like divorce, death of a same-gender spouse, and so on? 

 Obergefell didn’t foreclose debate on the multitude of legal issues that arise from marriage.
“I felt that once there was some U.S. Supreme Court case or national recognition of marriage that didn’t have any loopholes, everything would be fixed,” Stanley recalls. “But Obergefell didn’t change the fact that existing relationships have been through a roller coaster of legal possibilities, and all those things are playing into cases at dissolution time.”

It’s not just during breakups that these issues are emerging. They’re surfacing when babies are born or adopted, when spouses pass away, and when all the other life events that affect families take place.

Article here (via aba journal). 

Dylann Roof (remember him?) has his federal hate crimes trial scheduled first - why?

State prosecutor Scarlett Wilson criticized the federal court system during a hearing Monday, saying it is circumventing South Carolina’s trial of Dylann Roof, the 22-year-old white man accused of fatally shooting nine people at a historic black church in Charleston in 2015.

Roof’s federal trial is set for Nov. 7—about two months ahead of the state trial, set for Jan. 17. According to the Post and Courier and the Associated Press, Wilson said the survivors and family members of the victims would be forced to spend the holiday season in courtrooms.

Article here (via aba journal). 

It is a jurisdictional question - and also a punishment question. On jurisdiction: shouldn't the state have precedence to try him for murders first? And on punishment: federal courts typically don't sentence a death penalty sentence, so isn't the federal trial going first a little on the lenient side (possibly)? I say there's another issue: If he's found guilty first in federal court, the guilty verdict at the state level seems a foregone conclusion. State prosecutor also argues the sympathy side of things: if the federal trial begins when it is supposed to, victims' families will spend all of the holiday season in court rooms (typically not a cheerful place).

Monday, June 20, 2016

Michigan's House of Representatives proposes an Act regarding public restrooms

It is proposed but has not been voted on yet, by Michigan's House of Representatives. HB 5717.

From the Michigan Legislative Service Bureau website.

New Michigan laws : Revenge porn bill is now law

PA 87-88 Increases penalties for assault and battery of pregnant woman

PA 89-90 Revenge porn bill is enacted

PA 91 Provides for alternate service of legal papers when person is protected by PPO

Article here (via the Freep)
From the article:

LANSING — Nearly 150 bills were signed into law by Gov. Rick Snyder during the second quarter of 2016 dealing with everything from protections for victims of stalking and domestic violence to more mundane bills dictating what color flashing lights can be used on snow plows.

The new laws for domestic violence victims will: make it easier to process and serve notice of personal protection orders, require judges  not to let actions taken by a parent to protect their children from possible violence from another parent color their rulings on custody cases, and prohibit custody or visitation for a parent who is the perpetrator when a child has been conceived through sexual assault.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Marijuana licensing bills (HB 4210 & 4209) tabled until Fall 2016

Medical marijuana regulation bills proposed in Michigan's House of Representatives will not received a vote, though one was intended this past week.

The bills (HB 4209, 4210, and 4827 respectively), would regulate the legal sale and use of "medibles," or non-smokable cannabis, among other areas of licensing. 

In its place, the votes are intended to happen in Fall 2016.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Ann Arbor no longer proposes drinking ban for pedal trolley tours

The city of Ann Arbor is now leaning toward continuing to allow alcohol consumption on pedal trolley tours of downtown.

The City Council debated a proposed set of regulations Monday night, voting 8-3 to strike language that would have prohibited alcohol.

That marked a change from last month when the council voted unanimously to give initial approval to an ordinance banning alcohol on pedal trolleys.

Article here (via mlive). 

Side note: I have done the pedal trolley, and it's very fun, but very exhausting. Intersections where before you had never noticed a slight incline seem almost impossible. But I highly recommend it.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Interesting result to new gun law means some prisoners may have early release

FLINT, MI – More than a dozen Flint-area federal inmates convicted of gun crimes could be released from prison early following two recent Supreme Court decisions that changed laws calling for increased sentences for career criminals.

At least 16 people have filed motions in Flint U.S. District Court since the beginning of the year asking for their federal prison sentences to be reduced following the Supreme Court cases that impacted the Armed Career Criminal Act.

Article here.  (via mlive).