On April 10, 2014, the U.S. Sentencing Commission voted unanimously to amend the federal sentencing guideline levels applicable to most federal drug charges. Read the press release here. In general, the amendment would work a two level reduction in current offense levels based on the amount of the particular drug involved.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is announcing today that the
Two recent articles in the Oregonian, also here and also here, highlight the hazy and confusing status of marijuana laws in Oregon. While our neighbor to the North has moved forward with the legalization of personal use quantitties of marijuana, Oregon still struggles with an archaic patchwork of laws criminalizing marijuana possession and distribution.
In recent local news an Oregon man was sentenced to twenty years in prison after being found guilty this past January of distributing heroin that resulted in another person's death. Prosecuted under the federal "Len Bias" law , the case was the first of its kind to go to trial in the District of Oregon.
The recent legalization of marijuana in Colorado and Washington states has raised national interest in the legalization effort here in Oregon. Oregon marijuana advocates attended a town hall meeting this past Sunday and listened to strategic advice from Steve Fox of the Marijuana Policy Project based in Washington D.C. His advice? Lay low until 2016.
Federal authorities have waged an aggressive campaign lately against outdoor marijuana gardens in Western states this Summer. According to a CNN article here, in California alone over $1 billion worth of marijuana has been seized in outdoor marijuana garden raids in the last two months. These raids will conitnue through the late-Summer-Fall outdoor harvest season.
This November, Oregonians will have the opportunity to vote on whether to legalize the possession, cultivation, and sale of marijuana within the state. The Oregon Cannabis Tax Act was certified to go to a popular vote as Measure 80 this Fall. Measure 80 ("the Act") would replace or supersede all state marijuana laws except those that relate to driving under the influence of intoxicants and the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act. The Act seeks to implement this legalization through a variety of means, and even refers to itself as a "scientific experiment" conducted by the citizens of Oregon.
Last month, President Obama signed into law a bill banning the sale, production and possession of over two dozen of the most common synthetic drugs, making permanent a ban issued last October by the Drug Enforcement Agency. That ban was issued to address the increasing spread of the drugs.
LSD prosecutions, although rare, do occur in the District of Oregon. Those under threat of federal prosecution for a federal drug offense involving LSD need to be aware of the complex issues involved in the relationship between the Federal Sentencing Guidelines and statutory mandatory minimums in LSD offense cases. Retaining an experienced federal criminal defense attorney early on is a critically important step.
Today the 9th circuit court of appeals held that if a person agrees to allow police to search their person for drugs, the police are free to make a careful and thorough search of the person's body - including the groin area.