Law in the News: Legal or not, the pot business is still wacky

NEW YORK (AP) — Legal or not, the business of selling weed in the U.S. is as wacky as ever.

The tangle of rules and regulations that govern whether and how it can be grown, bought and sold create complexity and ambiguity that cause major headaches for marijuana businesses — and enticing opportunities for those who want to exploit it.

“It’s a gray market industry, that’s just how it is,” says Kayvan Khalatbari, who owns a marijuana dispensary and a chain of pizza restaurants in Denver.

The big issue: the nation hasn’t decided whether marijuana is a dangerous illegal drug or not much worse than tobacco or alcohol. According to federal law, it is an illegal narcotic like heroin, with “no currently accepted medical use.” But recent legalization pushes have made it legal — for medical use — in 23 states and Washington D.C. In Colorado and Washington State, it can be bought just for fun.

Read article on SF Gates.

Law in the News: California to appeal federal court ruling striking down state’s death penalty

SAN FRANCISCO – California’s attorney general said Thursday she will appeal a federal court ruling that called the state’s death penalty unconstitutional.

The announcement by Attorney General Kamala Harris came after U.S. District Judge Cormac Carney in Los Angeles ruled last month that the state’s death penalty takes too long to carry out, and that the unpredictable delays are arbitrary and unfair. Harris, however, said the amount of time it takes to execute an inmate in California ensures inmates receive due process.

“I am appealing the court’s decision because it is not supported by the law, and it undermines important protections that our courts provide to defendants,” Harris said in a prepared statement. “This flawed ruling requires appellate review.”

Read article on Fox News

Law in the News: Questions, answers about use of force by police

FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — The fatal shooting of a black 18-year-old by a white police officer has opened a debate over what level of force is appropriate when law enforcement confronts a citizen perceived to be a threat.

Here is a look at some of the issues involved when officers must decide whether to use force, deadly or otherwise. Read article on FindLaw News

Law in the News: California Supreme Court nomination a ‘statement’ to U.S.

As a boy, Mariano-Florentino Cuéllar walked 7 miles each way from his home in Mexico to a school in Texas. On Tuesday, Cuéllar, a Harvard graduate and Stanford law professor, was nominated by Gov. Jerry Brown to the California Supreme Court.

If confirmed, he will be the court’s first Latino justice since 2011 and its first Latino immigrant.

Cuéllar’s appointment is “a statement to the rest of the nation as we go through this backlash against immigrants,” said Laurie Levenson, a law professor at Loyola Marymount in Los Angeles.

Read Article on SF Gate