Tag Archives: california

Marlon Wayans’ Free Speech Victory Stands, Appeals Court Rules

Most people don’t get a chance to taste the victory of an important free speech ruling. On Friday, actor Marlon Wayans experienced success for the second time at California’s Second Appellate District.

For several years now, Wayans has been defending his on- and off-set behavior during the making of A Haunted House 2. He’s been in court with Pierre Daniel, who alleges that Wayans subjected him to repeated offensive language about his African American race and tweeted his picture alongside Family Guy character Cleveland Brown with the comment, “Tell me this nigga doesn’t look like…THIS NIGGA!!!”

Two years ago, a panel of judges at the Second Appellate Division affirmed a lower court’s dismissal of the case. Wayans was able to use California’s SLAPP statute, which is meant to deter frivolous lawsuits chilling First Amendment activity. Under the SLAPP law, judges first analyze whether a lawsuit arises from protected activity on a matter of public concern. If so, the suit is then screened for minimal merit before the legal action moves any further. The case generated a lengthy discussion of race and creativity, and Wayans came out ahead.

But then something quite unexpected happened.

Read Full Article

Los Angeles County Sues State Over Political Boundaries Law

Los Angeles County is suing over a new state law it says discriminates against more than 1 million voters while taking away the power of the Board of Supervisors to draw its own political boundaries

By DON THOMPSON, Associated Press

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Los Angeles County is suing over a new state law it says discriminates against more than 1 million voters while taking away the power of the Board of Supervisors to draw its own political boundaries.

The lawsuit aims to block the 2016 law that creates a 14-member commission to draw boundaries for county supervisor districts after the 2020 census.

Commission members would be chosen from political parties, the lawsuit says, unfairly excluding about a quarter of county voters who register with no party preference and comprise the fastest-growing portion of newly registered voters.

Aides to state Sen. Ricardo Lara, D-Los Angeles, who wrote the law, said Tuesday that the intent of SB958 is to include those independent voters on the commission.

“If the citizens redistricting commission is good enough for the state Legislature and Congress, it should be good enough for the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors,” Lara said in a statement.

The lawsuit filed Monday in Los Angeles County Superior Court says the law illegally takes away local control, unfairly applies only to Los Angeles County and makes the process more political. Based on current registration, 70 percent of commissioners would be Democrats, 25 percent Republicans and 5 percent from smaller political parties, the lawsuit states.

“I think that’s a valid concern, but it’s also a valid concern that politicians shouldn’t be drawing their own district lines. So there are competing benefits on both sides,” said Kim Alexander, president of the nonprofit California Voter Foundation. She was not involved in passing the law.

Read Full – https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/california/articles/2017-02-28/los-angeles-county-sues-state-says-1-million-voters-harmed

SAG-AFTRA “Disappointed” In Court Pausing IMDb Age Law

A U.S. District Court judge has ruled that the State of California can’t move forward in enforcing a law that makes it illegal for the entertainment news site IMDbPro to publish actors’ ages.

At the beginning of the year, IMDb filed a federal lawsuit against then-California Attorney General Kamala Harris seeking an injunction to stop enforcement of AB 1687, which went into effect January 1. Today, Judge Vince Chhabria found enough to grant the injunction, saying “it’s difficult to imagine how AB 1687 could not violate the First Amendment” and that the government has not shown how the bill is “necessary” in achieving the goal of preventing age discrimination in Hollywood.

“Accordingly, the government is enjoined from enforcing AB 1687 while this lawsuit is
pending,” he wrote (read the ruling here.)

SAG-AFTRA responded quickly to today’s ruling in the U.S. District Court for the North District of California. The guild had been a major proponent of the bill, which was signed into law in September.

“We are disappointed that the court has chosen to temporarily halt the State of California’s legal efforts to fully protect its citizens from employment discrimination,” said SAG-AFTRA COO and general counsel Duncan Crabtree-Ireland. “We look forward to the upcoming opportunity to present evidence to the Court of how this law will reduce or eliminate the age discrimination facilitated by IMDb.com.

“This is an early skirmish in what will be a long-term battle to ensure that entertainment industry workers are granted the same minimum employment protections as all other workers. SAG-AFTRA will continue to fight until we achieve for actors and other entertainment industry professionals, the same rights to freedom from age discrimination in hiring enjoyed by other workers in other industries.”

AB 1687 was narrowly crafted to apply only to “commercial online entertainment employment providers” that charge a “subscribers” fee, as does IMDbPro. Online publications such as Deadline Hollywood – which can be viewed for free – are not subject to the law.

SAG-AFTRA “Disappointed” In Court Pausing IMDb Age Law

Will California finally have a statewide standard for the sale of legal marijuana by 2018?

November’s law legalizing recreational weed has added a new set of challenges for regulation

Marijuana for medical use has been legal in California since 1996, but efforts to regulate it like a normal product have been elusive.

For nearly two decades the production, distribution, sale and taxation of cannabis has operated through a patchwork of local rules that can differ from one city or county to the next. What one grower or pot dispensary does in one part of the state could be illegal in another, from the number of plants producers can grow to whether or not cannabis-based edibles require warning labels.

Now that voters have approved the sale of marijuana for recreational use through November’s Proposition 64 referendum, officials involved with working out regulations are scrambling. They must establish statewide rules before the start of next year, when licenses are supposed to become available for the sale of recreational-use marijuana.

Some are doubtful that state policymakers will have everything in order by then.

“They can’t get it together about what they want the laws to be,” Alicia Darrow, chief operations manager of Blum Oakland, a 13-year-old Bay Area medical marijuana dispensary, told Salon. “I’ll be shocked if it goes live in 2018.”

The problem, she said, is that Prop. 64 threw a wrench into regulators’ efforts that began in October 2015 after the passage of Assembly Bill 266, the state’s first successful attempt to pass a law regulating medical marijuana.

Prop. 64 and AB 266 have considerable differences in the way marijuana is regulated that must be worked out. For example, AB 266 requires a small number of third-party companies to control distribution and oversee testing for pesticide contamination, something dispensaries argue is unnecessary and would increase costs. Another unanswered question pertains to how dispensaries that sell medical-use marijuana and the more heavily taxed recreational-use weed will be required to track and manage their inventories and sales. Under Prop. 64,  dispensaries must have two separate inventories and tracking systems.

“It’s a big job, but we’re working hard and have every intention of meeting our goals,” Alex Traverso, a spokesman for the state’s Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation, said in an email to Salon. “The work we’ve done on regulations for medical cannabis have given us a great start.”

Meanwhile established growers, many of them mom-and-pop operations, are worried about being muscled out by bigger, well-financed ventures backed by deep-pocketed investment groups that are chasing the potential for big gains in the years to come. California’s medical marijuana business generated nearly $2.7 billion in sales in 2015 and that’s expected to balloon to $6.45 billion annually by 2020, including sales from recreational-use marijuana, according to cannabis industry investment network Arcview.

Read Full – http://www.salon.com/2017/02/05/will-california-finally-have-a-statewide-standard-for-the-sale-of-legal-marijuana-by-2018/

Prop 64 Legal Weed in California: VICE News Tonight on HBO (Full Segment)

On Election Day, voters in 4 states legalized marijuana for recreational use. California was one of those states.

Medical marijuana was already legal in The Golden State, but the passage of Proposition 64 means the state is now poised to become the world’s largest legal weed marketplace.

Read: “The high stakes for legal weed on election day” – http://bit.ly/2g3jLmN

Read: “The election wrecked America’s underground weed economy” – http://bit.ly/2fDOD01

Read: “Trumps pick for attorney general has legal weed advocates freaking out” – http://bit.ly/2fhFvuq

Watch VICE News Tonight weeknights at 7:30 on HBO.

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