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Matt Brooks

Based in San Francisco, Matt is a journalist who has specialized in marijuana policy for more than five years. He provides regular news coverage on and

California Sees Fewer Felony Arrests for Marijuana

Felonies down in California

Police in California are arresting far fewer people on felony marijuana charges in the wake of a vote to reclassify those crimes as misdemeanors. Voters passed Prop. 47 in 2014, converting several cannabis-related felonies into misdemeanors. Data recently released by the office of California Attorney General Kamala Harris show the vote has led to a sharp decline in felony marijuana ...

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It’s Official: Pot Will Be Made in Prison

Claremont Custody Center Coalinga

The struggling Central California city of Coalinga approved a groundbreaking agreement with a medical marijuana company in July, agreeing to let the business use a vacant jail as a cannabis production plant. The vote will give Ocean Grow Extracts access to the empty Claremont Custody Center, a local holding facility that closed in recent years, where the company will manufacture ...

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Here’s Why You Should Vote Yes on Legal Marijuana

Prop. 64. That is now the official name and number of a ballot initiative to legalize marijuana in the November election. California elections officials announced in June that backers of the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA) had gathered enough signatures to put legalization before voters Nov. 8. If Prop. 64 passes, it would make it legal for adults over ...

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Newsom: Marijuana Legalization Could Still Fail

California legalization

Legal marijuana is destined to appear on California’s statewide ballot in November, but big-name supporters of the proposal warn it’s still far from a sure thing. “It’s not a done deal by any stretch of the imagination,” Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom told a meeting of legalization advocates in June. “Any of you think this is done in California, you couldn’t ...

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Legalization Made the Ballot in California

AUMA legalization proposal in California made the ballot

It’s official: California voters will decide in November whether they want to legalize marijuana. State election officials cleared a legalization petition for the Nov. 8 election, declaring in June that the initiative was backed by enough valid voter signatures to make the statewide ballot. Support for the idea is high, meaning legal cannabis is now highly likely in the Golden ...

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County Looks to Marijuana to Rebound After Wildfires

Marijuana Grow Fields California

Thomas Liberty lost nearly everything in September 2015, when the disastrous Butte fire swept his property in Northern California’s interior. But the worst loss may have been his marijuana garden. “It just hurts to see it,” Liberty told The Sacramento Bee while surveying his homestead. The fire, the seventh largest in California history, burned 71,000 acres, incinerated 860 structures – ...

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Congressman Backs Legal Marijuana

Jared Huffman Supports AUMA

The push to legalize marijuana in California gained an important ally in June, as a Marin County congressman endorsed a public initiative that will likely appear on the ballot in November. U.S. Rep. Jared Huffman, a San Rafael Democrat, announced June 9 that he would back the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, a proposed law that would allow cannabis for ...

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ACLU Backs Marijuana Legalization in California

The California branch of the American Civil Liberties Union has endorsed a push to legalize marijuana statewide. The ACLU of California announced in June that it is backing the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA), a public initiative that would make cannabis legal for recreational use. The law would create, regulate, and tax a legal marijuana industry while allowing adults ...

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Cops Raid Sonoma Hash Oil Operation

Sonoma County Hash Oil Operation

Police in Sonoma County raided several grow sites in June, seizing equipment, shutting down two popular marijuana brands, and closing a lab used to make cannabis products sold across California. Santa Rosa police arrested Dennis Franklin Hunter, 43, the owner of Absolute Xtracts and Care by Design, both marijuana brands. Authorities said the two companies were part of an illegal ...

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San Diego Looks at Medical Marijuana Tax

Medical marijuana tax California

Marijuana users in San Diego could soon be paying more for the drug if voters approve a local tax on the industry. The plan, sponsored by City Council Member Mark Kersey, proposes a sales tax on all cannabis businesses. If Kersey succeeds with his ordinance, voters would decide the issue in a future election. Kersey’s tax would start at 8 ...

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