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Take Action: Sessions Threatens State Marijuana Laws

Major Neill Franklin

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Yesterday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions moved closer to reigniting a war on marijuana. Sessions rescinded several Obama-era directives, including the Cole Memorandum, which served to protect states where marijuana has been legalized, for adult or medical use, from federal prosecution. Sessions also noted, in a memo sent to U.S. Attorneys, that  federal law prohibits the sale and possession of marijuana, and that prosecutors should use their discretion in weighing charges. 

This rollback of protections opens the door for the federal government to trample the Tenth Amendment, which protects states’ rights when it comes to marijuana laws. It means every state that has legalized adult use of marijuana or medical marijuana, or decriminalized marijuana, is at risk.

 Marijuana arrests disproportionately impact some of our most vulnerable citizens. Putting marijuana prosecution firmly on the Justice Department’s radar again will set back racial justice, increase tensions between police and the communities they serve, put medical marijuana patients at risk, and squander valuable opportunities for economic growth.

 Sessions has disregarded the will of American voters, 64 percent of whom support legalized marijuana. We need to make sure our voice is heard. 

Contact your Congressperson now

It’s not too late to stop this, but we have to work fast.

Tell Congress to block Sessions’ Justice Department from attacking state marijuana laws

Neill Franklin is a 34-year law enforcement veteran of the Maryland State Police and Baltimore Police Department. After 23 years of dedicated service to the Maryland State Police, he was recruited in 2000 by the Commissioner of the Baltimore Police Department to reconstruct and command Baltimore’s Education and Training Section. During his time on the force, he held the position of commander for the Education and Training Division and the Bureau of Drug and Criminal Enforcement. He also instituted and oversaw the very first Domestic Violence Investigative Units for the Maryland State Police.

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Crime

Conservative Trump Supporter Arrested for Illegally Circumcising Teens In Missouri

Polipace Staff

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A Missouri man who started his own religious ministry has been charged with illegally circumcising two teenagers.

The Springfield News-Leader reports that 47-year-old Curtis Abbott, of Nixa, has pleaded not guilty to two counts of child endangerment and one count of unauthorized practice of medicine or surgery. Abbott sent a statement to the News-Leader calling the allegations “false.”

His Facebook page is full of everything from Right Wing conspiracies to strange theories on Judaism. It seems he may have been learning from a Rabbi also.

A hearing is scheduled for next week.

Many details of the case, including a motive, haven’t been made public because the case was handled by a grand jury.

Nixa founded an organization called “Restore Bible Culture.” Court filings in his divorce finalized this summer say he said he has had “multiple prophetic communications.”

Strangely a mutual friend of his told PoliPace over DM, “He was quite religious when I knew him, but had no idea it was to the level of zealot…”

Abbott admitted his ministry had “several false starts in years past.”

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Crime

Roger Stone Begs for Money and Claims Mueller Going to Arrest Him

Polipace Staff

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If there’s one thing Trump and his cabal of crooks are good at, it’s grifting from people who have little or nothing. The Trump/Pence website is always posting fundraisers to get every last penny and they do it by amping up the fear quotient, “Our way of life is under attack,” and so forth.

The most recent plea from these quarters is coming from Roger Stone, who, comically, is all but announcing he’s about to be indicted. Or, maybe he just wants to get the money and run away to Belize, or some other country without an extradition treaty, who knows?

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Crime

State and Federal Regulators Initiate Nationwide Fraudulent Charity Sweep

Richard Newman

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Last week, New York Attorney General Barbara D. Underwood announced that, in conjunction with the federal and state enforcement initiative “Operation Donate with Honor,” a settlement had been reached with Operation Troop Aid Inc., a Tennessee-based military charity. According to the NY OAG, OTA engaged in a deceptive marketing campaign and failed to properly oversee donations made from a commercial co-venture with a nationwide retailer.

“Charities have a fundamental responsibility when it comes to partnerships that use their charitable name and status,” said Attorney General Underwood. “Too often, co-ventures are little more than thinly-veiled marketing operations. Charities must not sell out their status for questionable gains.”

According to the OAG, OTA’s stated mission is to send care packages to deployed servicemembers – participated in an unlawful commercial co-venture with nationwide retailer, Harris Originals of NY, Inc. and its related stores. OTA allegedly allowed Harris Jewelry to use the charity’s name in Harris Jewelry’s so-called “Operation Teddy Bear,” in which Harris Jewelry advertised that it would donate a specific amount of money to OTA when consumers purchased its teddy bears dressed in military uniforms, based on a bear’s size.

The investigation found that OTA failed to ensure that Harris Jewelry was donating the full amount it advertised to the public. The investigation further found that Harris Jewelry sent OTA checks without documentation outlining how the donated amount was calculated, and at times provided different information to consumers as to the amount of money donated. Harris Jewelry allegedly used OTA’s logo and its relationship with the charity prominently in advertising and promotional materials, and OTA displayed Harris Jewelry’s logo on care packages sent overseas to deployed servicemembers.

OTA has acknowledged that it did not have a written agreement with Harris Jewelry, that it failed to oversee the co-venture with Harris Jewelry and that there was insufficient oversight of its operations and records. OTA further acknowledged that it failed to ensure that donated money was used for its stated charitable purpose, and that it made other purportedly charitable expenditures directly to individuals at the sole discretion of its chief executive, with no application or assessment process or action by its Board.

OTA, as part of the settlement, will cease operating and wind down its operation. OTA’s chief executive is also barred from serving as a fiduciary or soliciting for any nonprofit. The settlement assesses civil penalties and requires OTA to continue providing investigational cooperation and assistance.

Concurrently, the FTC has announced that the agency and its state partners have taken action against other schemes as part of “Operation Donate with Honor,” a nationwide law enforcement and education initiative to stop veterans-related charity fraud. FTC investigations (CIDs) and defense law firm Hinch Newman reports that regulators nationwide have joined this initiative, which has been in the works for months. Hinch Newman also reports that state attorneys general had recently been issuing civil investigative demands for weeks, leading up to the FTC’s announcement.

Contact Hinch Newman at 212-756-8777 if you have any questions the recent charity-based regulatory sweep, or if you or your company have been served with process or received a civil investigative demand. Following the author on LinkedIn.

Hinch Newman is a regulatory litigation, investigations and compliance law firm.   

Informational purposes only. Not legal advice. Always seek the advice of an attorney. Previous case results do not guarantee similar future result. Hinch Newman LLP | 40 Wall St., 35th Floor, New York, NY 10005 | (212) 756-8777.

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