U.S. Attorney Jeff Sessions Opens Door for Pot Crackdown

U.S. Attorney Jeff Sessions rescinded an Obama-era policy this week that de-prioritized marijuana enforcement throughout the Department of Justice, a policy that largely paved the way for states like Colorado, Washington and California to open the door for ballot measures that legalized recreational pot use at the state level.

By rescinding the so-called Cole Memo, Sessions has opened the door for federal prosecutors to begin enforcement of the 1970s-era Controlled Substances Act, something former Attorney Generic Eric Holder had put on the back burner.

Mark spoke with FOX40 News about what the policy could mean for California residents and businesses.

“There’s no defense,” Mark said, adding that the Attorney General’s move could be devastating for those in the state-legal cannabis industry. Mark said in his experience, most people charged with marijuana-related crimes only have two chances of avoiding conviction: “Number one is, is it marijuana? Number two is, did you possess or sell it?”

But Mark said it’s premature to panic over the rescinded policy because it’s ultimately up to local Department of Justice prosecutors to decide if they’re going to enforce the law. So far, few have signaled a willingness to.

“It’s definitely wait and see,” Mark said.

Read the full story on FOX40’s website by clicking or tapping here.

Picnic Day Five Appear in Yolo County Court

Mark is representing Elijah Williams, one of five individuals charged over an incident during Picnic Day in Davis.

Prosecutors in Yolo County claim Williams was caught on camera hitting a police officer twice, something Mark said isn’t supported by any evidence he’s reviewed.


“The only evidence that we’ve seen…comes from a dashcam video from a civilian who happened to be following and on the scene,” Mark said. “We’re anxiously awaiting any other [evidence] that may exist.”

Read the full story on KCRA 3’s website here

UPDATE: The felony case against Williams and four other suspects were completely dismissed in December 2018, according to a report by the Davis Enterprise.

“Bradley Manning Being Mistreated” U.S. State Department Spokesperson Says

Yep, the 24 hour a day isolation, lights on, stripped naked treatment by the military– prior to the upcoming trial of Private Bradely Manning, a “suspect” not yet tried (so legally he cannot yet be punished)– has caught the emotions of the U.S State Department spokesperson P.J. Crowley. Spokesperson Crowley has been the person at the State Department who has been very vocal about the alleged damage caused American interests by wikileaks. Yet, yesterday, when speaking at MIT he denounced Manning’s treatment in the brig. When asked by a BBC reporter if his comments were “on the record” he stated yes. Story here

On the other end of the spectrum is the pro torture US President. No, dummy, not George Bush. You know who I am talking about. Remember, the guy who won in 2008 and in his election night acceptance speech where we all wept as he spoke in front of the bright lights outdoors in Chicago and declared “We no longer torture people in this country.” That guy. He has not just completely broken his “Gitmo” promise, not only has he not refused to defend the hundreds of lawsuits regarding rendition, but yesterday he heard of Crowley’s statements and said

President Obama told reporters on Friday that he’s been assured by the Pentagon that its treatment of the private charged with giving information to WikiLeaks is “appropriate.”

Obama declined to “go into details” about the detention of Private Bradley Manning but said that he “actually asked the Pentagon whether or not the procedures that have been taken in terms of his confinement are appropriate and are meeting our basic standards.”

“They assured me that they are,” Obama said.

Asked about Crowley’s comments at his press conference, Obama didn’t mention the spokesman. “I can’t go into details about some of their concerns, but some of this has to do with Private Manning’s safety as well,” Obama said.

David House, a spokesman with the Bradley Manning Advocacy Fund, responded in a statement: “Anyone who reads Manning’s attorney’s rebuttal can see that there is no justification for Bradley’s inhumane treatment. I agree with Mr. Crowley that it’s just stupid and unproductive.”

Obama’s tough stance against torture and in depth investigation into the situation of Manning is reported here.

In Stockton Mayor Anthony Silva Case, Evidence Isn’t What It Appears to Be

Mark went on CBS13 and KPIX 5 to discuss a surreptitious recording used in the criminal case against Stockton Mayor Anthony Silva:

Mark and co-counsel Allen Sawyer said an audio recording between teenagers at a camp where Silva was a counselor was not only accidental but captured activity prior to Silva’s presence in the room.

“What we have learned through the complete audio recordings is that the game was occurring prior to Mayor Silva being present,” Allen said.

“We have never, ever even thought or considered contemplating charging someone with a crime for bad judgment,” Mark said. “One person’s judgment can be good, another person’s judgment can be considered bad.”

Both Mark and Allen said they felt evidence was being distorted in the case to smear Silva in an attempt to remove him as mayor, CBS13’s Drew Bollea reported.

Read the full story on KPIX 5’s website by clicking or tapping here.

Victory in Federal Court for 4th Amendment as NSA Spying Ruled Illegal

In an opinion found by clicking this link here, federal district court in Washington DC found the government’s collection of meta data on telephone calls to be violative of the Fourth Amendment. This vindicates Edward Snowden. This program, ruled illegal as in violation of the US Constitution, was denied to exist under oath by members of our government when testifying before Congress.

At some point, we will all realize as an entire group that the attack by the terrorists in 2001 did not ruin our country as much as our reaction to it did.

Federal Indictment Based on ATF “Sting” Operation Dismissed in Los Angeles Central District for ATF Misconduct

Central District Judge Manuel  Real dismissed all charges in a case involving ATF Officers setting up defendants to rip off non-existent “stash” houses.   The case is 13-CR-751 United States v. Flores et al. Read all about it by checking the pacer docket here:

There are a few of these cases in the Eastern District right now.


Man Throws Away 3 Small Fish And Ends Up In The US Supreme Court

Recent cert petition granted.  Guy had 72 red grouper fish when Florida officers boarded his boat off shore. Alleged to be too small to keep.  Was told to bring the fish and boat to port.  He did.  Officers counted only 69 fish, and alleged that he had thrown 3 overboard.  Few years later, charged in federal court with a federal felony, basically Obstruction of Justice.  To be clear, a violation of the Oxley-Sarbanes Act at 18 USC 1519.   Here is a summary:

Whether Mr. Yates was deprived of fair notice that destruction of fish would fall within the purview of 18 U.S.C. § 1519, which makes it a crime for anyone who “knowingly alters, destroys, mutilates, conceals, covers up, falsifies, or makes a false entry in any record, document, or tangible object” with the intent to impede or obstruct an investigation, where the term “tangible object” is ambiguous and undefined in the statute, and unlike the nouns accompanying “tangible object” in section 1519, possesses no record-keeping, documentary, or informational content or purpose.

Case will be heard next October.  Briefs and information can be found here:

Yates v. United States