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EXCLUSIVE: Daniel Holtzclaw Victims Moving Forward With Civil Lawsuit

Ben Crump is teaming up with local attorneys to file a federal civil suit against the convicted ex-Oklahoma City police officer.

Written By Lynette Holloway

Ben Crump, prominent civil rights attorney and president of the National Bar Association, is teaming up with local attorneys to file a federal civil suit against former Oklahoma City, Okla. police officer Daniel Holtzclaw and the city, according toKOCO TV.

Damario Solomon-Simmons, a civil rights attorney in Tulsa, Oklahoma who was instrumental in drawing attention to the case, told NewsOne on Tuesday that the team is still working out logistics in the case.

Holtzclaw was found guilty on 18 of 36 sexual assault charges, and faces up to 263 years in prison.

“We’re still working out the final details,” Solomon-Simmons said. The team represents five of 13 women involved in the criminal suit, including Jannie Ligons, who spoke out over the weekend about the abuse after the jury’s verdict, writes the television news outlet.

From Gawker:

The women are seeking class-action status, the Associated Press reports. The suit, which claims that Holtzclaw violated the women’s civil rights, alleges that Oklahoma City was negligent in its hiring and supervision of Holtzclaw. 

According to the AP, the lawsuit, which names Holtzclaw and the city of Oklahoma City as defendants, has been transferred from Oklahoma County to U.S. District Court in Oklahoma City.

Holtzclaw, who has been on suicide watch in jail, is scheduled to head back to court next month for sentencing.

SOURCE: KOCO TVGawker | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty

Full Article – http://newsone.com/3296759/exclusive-daniel-holtzclaw-victims-moving-forward-with-civil-lawsuit/

Indictment says Berea pharmacist distributed drugs ‘outside scope of professional practice’

38-count indictment was unsealed on Friday

Five other co-defendants named in indictment

Alleged distribution of drugs began in 2010

Congress quietly ends federal government’s ban on medical marijuana

Tucked deep inside the 1,603-page federal spending measure is a provision that effectively ends the federal government’s prohibition on medical marijuana and signals a major shift in drug policy.

The bill’s passage over the weekend marks the first time Congress has approved nationally significant legislation backed by legalization advocates. It brings almost to a close two decades of tension between the states and Washington over medical use of marijuana.

Under the provision, states where medical pot is legal would no longer need to worry about federal drug agents raiding retail operations. Agents would be prohibited from doing so.

The Obama administration has largely followed that rule since last year as a matter of policy. But the measure approved as part of the spending bill, which President Obama plans to sign this week, will codify it as a matter of law.

Pot advocates had lobbied Congress to embrace the administration’s policy, which they warned was vulnerable to revision under a less tolerant future administration.

More important, from the standpoint of activists, Congress’ action marked the emergence of a new alliance in marijuana politics: Republicans are taking a prominent role in backing states’ right to allow use of a drug the federal government still officially classifies as more dangerous than cocaine.

“This is a victory for so many,” said the measure’s coauthor, Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher of Costa Mesa. The measure’s approval, he said, represents “the first time in decades that the federal government has curtailed its oppressive prohibition of marijuana.”

The war on medical marijuana is over. Now the fight moves on to legalization of all marijuana.– Bill Piper, a lobbyist with the Drug Policy Alliance

By now, 32 states and the District of Columbia have legalized pot or its ingredients to treat ailments, a movement that began in the 1990s. Even back then, some states had been approving broader decriminalization measures for two decades.

The medical marijuana movement has picked up considerable momentum in recent years. The Drug Enforcement Administration, however, continues to place marijuana in the most dangerous category of narcotics, with no accepted medical use.

Congress for years had resisted calls to allow states to chart their own path on pot. The marijuana measure, which forbids the federal government from using any of its resources to impede state medical marijuana laws, was previously rejected half a dozen times. When Washington, D.C., voters approved medical marijuana in 1998, Congress used its authority over the city’s affairs to block the law from taking effect for 11 years.

Even as Congress has shifted ground on medical marijuana, lawmakers remain uneasy about full legalization. A separate amendment to the spending package, tacked on at the behest of anti-marijuana crusader Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.), will jeopardize the legalization of recreational pot in Washington, D.C., which voters approved last month.

Marijuana proponents nonetheless said they felt more confident than ever that Congress was drifting toward their point of view.

“The war on medical marijuana is over,” said Bill Piper, a lobbyist with the Drug Policy Alliance, who called the move historic.

“Now the fight moves on to legalization of all marijuana,” he said. “This is the strongest signal we have received from Congress [that] the politics have really shifted. … Congress has been slow to catch up with the states and American people, but it is catching up.”

The measure, which Rohrabacher championed with Rep. Sam Farr, a Democrat from Carmel, had the support of large numbers of Democrats for years. Enough Republicans joined them this year to put it over the top. When the House first passed the measure earlier this year, 49 Republicans voted aye.

Some Republicans are pivoting off their traditional anti-drug platform at a time when most voters live in states where medical marijuana is legal, in many cases as a result of ballot measures.

Polls show that while Republican voters are far less likely than the broader public to support outright legalization, they favor allowing marijuana for medical use by a commanding majority. Legalization also has great appeal to millennials, a demographic group with which Republicans are aggressively trying to make inroads.

Approval of the pot measure comes after the Obama administration directed federal prosecutors last year to stop enforcing drug laws that contradict state marijuana policies. Since then, federal raids of marijuana merchants and growers who are operating legally in their states have been limited to those accused of other violations, such as money laundering.

Read Full Article – http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-medical-pot-20141216-story.html

 

MELANIE GRIFFITH, ANTONIO BANDERAS DIVORCE FINAL He Keeps ‘Zorro’ Money, They Split ‘Shrek’ Cash

12/8/2015 10:07 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF

Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas are officially single, after dividing a huge chunk of movie change.

According to final divorce docs, obtained by TMZ, Antonio made a lot of dough on “The Mask of Zorro,” “Desperado,” and “Spy Kids.” He keeps all the cash from those flicks and she gets to keep what she made from her earlier work.

Melanie and Antonio split money from every movie either of them did between 2004 and 2014, including “Shrek 2,” “Puss in Boots,” “Machete Kills,” “Expendables 3” and others.

It appears they signed some sort of postnup in 2004 which changed the financial deal of their marriage … they married in 1996 but it seems they kept everything separate from the date of their marriage until 2004.

Antonio is not getting out clean … he’s paying her $65k a month in spousal support.

She gets the house in Aspen and they sold their L.A. mansion and split the profits.

And there’s a lot of rich people’s stuff that was divvied up. She gets a Picasso called “The Painter and His Model.” He gets a pencil drawing by Picasso and another pencil drawing by Diego Rivera.

Read more: http://www.tmz.com/2015/12/08/melanie-griffith-antonio-banderas-divorce-zorro-shrek/#ixzz3tnC6ZqUs