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LA County Will Levy Hefty Fines Against Unlicensed Marijuana Businesses, Last Prisoner Project Wants NJ Cannabis Prisoners to be Freed, and Louisiana Senate Candidate Smokes Weed in a Campaign Ad

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Los Angeles County Will Fine Illegal Cannabis Businesses $30,000 Per Day

Los Angeles County code forbids cannabis businesses from operating in unincorporated parts of the county. However, despite the best efforts of local law enforcement, the illegal cannabis businesses continue to thrive – so much so that it has been difficult for them to even keep up with the number of  illicit businesses. In an effort to curb this unlicensed activity and give more authority to county officials, LA County authorities approved an ordinance that will allow officials to levy $30,000 per day fines against businesses found to be operating without the proper licensing. The fine would apply to all types of cannabis businesses operating illegally, including growers and retail facilities. 

Advocacy Group Last Prisoner Project Calls on NJ Governor Murphy to Free Cannabis Prisoners

Last Monday, Last Prisoner Project published an open letter to New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, urging him to grant clemency to nonviolent marijuana offenders in the state’s prison system. New Jersey officially legalized adult-use marijuana in 2021, but numerous prisoners remain incarcerated or on supervised release as a result of minor cannabis offenses. LPP acknowledges that the state has taken strides to righting the wrongs of prohibition by including in their legalization laws a provision that allows for automatic expungement and resentencing. However, the coalition behind the letter urges the governor to do more, especially as the Covid-19 pandemic devastates the prison system. 

United States Senate Candidate from Louisiana Lights Up a Blunt in a Campaign Ad

Gary Chambers, a candidate for the U.S. Senate from Louisiana, released a new campaign ad yesterday where he is seen smoking marijuana. The ad appears to be filmed in a field, and Chambers provides statistics about the social inequities of prohibition in a voiceover. In a statement accompanying the release of the ad, he said, “For too long, candidates have used the legalization of marijuana as an empty talking point in order to appeal to progressive voters.” Chambers considers himself an advocate for social justice and is an avid supporter of federal legislation that would expunge the records of individuals that have been convicted of minor cannabis offenses.