MJ News for 02/05/2014

in Marijuana in the News Wed Feb 05, 2014 11:39 am
by 7greeneyes | 469 Posts | 1830 Points

url: hMPp://www.cbsnews.com/news/congress-debates-obamas-schizophrenic-marijuana-policies/

Congress debates Obama’s “schizophrenic” marijuana policies

A administration official confirmed to Congress on Tuesday that, in spite of President Obama’s recent comments, the administration still opposes state-based efforts to legalize marijuana.

The administration has been “consistent in its opposition to attempts to legalize marijuana and other drugs,” Michael Botticelli, the deputy director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, told the House Oversight Committee’s Government Operations subpanel.

Congress deemed marijuana a harmful drug under the Controlled Substances Act, he said, and “the Department of Justice’s responsibility to enforce the Controlled Substances Act remains unchanged.”

The comments follow Mr. Obama’s assertion that it is “important” to let the experiments with legalization in Colorado and Washington state proceed, and that marijuana is no more dangerous than alcohol.

Rep. John Mica, R-Fla., chairman of the subpanel, suggested the president’s attitude may contribute to the growing use of marijuana among adolescents.

“Given the recent statements... the president may, in fact, be a major contributor now to some of the declines we see in the perception of risk” associated with the drug, Mica said. “We’re going from ‘Just say no,’ to ‘I didn’t inhale,’ now it’s 'Just say maybe.’”

Mica added, “We have the most schizophrenic policy I have ever seen.”

Botticelli insisted that the administration is attempting to take a “balanced” approach that rejects the so-called “war on drugs” but also rejects legalization efforts.

“The president has indicated this is a public health challenge and that we need to deal with it as a public health challenge,” he said.

Nevertheless, the White House and Congress are left in an awkward spot, now that two states have legalized the drug for adults, while 20 states and the District of Columbia have approved the use of marijuana for medical purposes.

In fact, while the subpanel discussed the matter, the D.C. city council voted overwhelmingly in favor of decriminalizing marijuana possession. The D.C. vote puts Congress on the spot, since the federal legislative body technically has authority over all Washington, D.C., municipal laws.

Before the new law goes into effect, it must go through a 30-day period during which Congress could pass a resolution “disapproving” of it. Congress could also use the power of the purse as leverage over the District.

While Congress in recent years has shown more deference to the District’s lawmaking, it has a history of intervening on this issue -- the District approved medical marijuana use in 1998, but it took more than 10 years for Congress to let the city implement the new rules. This year, however, Congress doesn’t seem inclined to get involved.

A committee aide for Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Tom Carper, D-Del. -- whose committee has jurisdiction over D.C. issues -- said Carper has yet to take a position on whether Congress should intervene or not.

Mica said in a statement to CBS News that the city council vote is “just one more example of the conflict between state and federal law... This is a discussion that is long overdue.”

While Mica criticized the president’s recent remarks, some Democrats at Tuesday’s hearing defended them.

“I think the president was exactly right,” Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., the top Democrat on the Oversight Committee, said with respect to Mr. Obama’s point that poor kids, along with minorities, are more likely to get “locked up” for smoking pot.

Cummings said he has “serious questions about the disparate impact of federal government’s enforcement policies on minorities.”

Those concerns are exacerbated, he said, by the divergent laws at the state level.

“It’s one thing when you have equal enforcement, but it's another thing when some people are engaged in purchasing marijuana in the streets and other ones in the suites.” he said. “You have many African-American young men... spending long sentences sitting in prison while others law enforcement don’t even touch.”

BHC# 711

"When injustice becomes law, then resistance becomes duty."
Thomas Jefferson

“I am not the lifestyle police.”- (my new hero) Pitkin County, CO Sheriff Joe DiSalvo
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RE: MJ News for 02/05/2014

in Marijuana in the News Wed Feb 05, 2014 11:41 am
by 7greeneyes | 469 Posts | 1830 Points

url: hMPp://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-02-05/marijuana-decriminalization-advances-in-washington-d-c-.html

Marijuana Decriminalization Advances in Washington, D.C

The city council in Washington, D.C., took a first step toward decriminalizing marijuana in the nation’s capital amid a widening U.S. push to loosen sanctions against users of the drug.

The District of Columbia council, on an 11-1 vote, gave initial approval yesterday to lowering the punishment for possession of as much as an ounce of marijuana to a fine, instead of potential jail time. The bill faces a second vote before it goes to Mayor Vincent Gray for approval. The Democrat is in favor of the change.

A movement to soften or eliminate marijuana laws has been stoked by legalization in Colorado and Washington state, the first states to allow its sale for recreational use. While the drug is still illegal under federal law, the Justice Department hasn’t moved to stop those states from proceeding.

Fifteen states, including California, have already lifted criminal penalties for possession of small amounts of the drug, according to the Washington-based National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, which advocates legalization.

In the District of Columbia, council members in favor of changing the law cited concern that the criminal penalties disproportionately affect blacks, who are statistically more likely to face arrest for drug charges than whites.

President Barack Obama, in an interview with the New Yorker magazine published last month, citied similar concerns about how marijuana laws are enforced and said he didn’t think the drug was more dangerous than alcohol.

BHC# 711

"When injustice becomes law, then resistance becomes duty."
Thomas Jefferson

“I am not the lifestyle police.”- (my new hero) Pitkin County, CO Sheriff Joe DiSalvo
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RE: MJ News for 02/05/2014

in Marijuana in the News Wed Feb 05, 2014 11:42 am
by 7greeneyes | 469 Posts | 1830 Points

url: hMPp://www.adn.com/2014/02/04/3306814/its-official-alaska-marijuana.html

Alaska moves another step closer to August marijuana-legalization vote

Alaska moved one big step closer Tuesday to a public vote on legalizing marijuana.

On Tuesday, a ballot initiative campaign to decriminalize and regulate pot reached the signature threshold necessary under state election law to put the issue on the Aug. 19 primary ballot.

If the measure passes, Alaska would become the third state in the nation, after Colorado and Washington, to allow cannabis for recreational use.

Backers modeled the proposed initiative after Colorado's new law, which regulates and taxes marijuana similarly to alcohol.

Alaska's Campaign to Regulate Marijuana reached the signature threshold on Tuesday morning, when totals posted on the Alaska Division of Elections' website showed that 31,593 valid voter signatures had been counted. State election law requires 30,000 signatures. Ballot initiative backers also met a requirement to gather signatures from voters in at least 30 of 40 House districts.

"They have hit the magic numbers," said state elections director Gail Fenumiai.

Nothing is official quite yet.

First, workers must examine the remaining 5,000 signatures and Lt. Gov Mead Treadwell must sign certification paperwork, Fenumiai said. That's expected to happen next week.

Reaching the signature requirement was the last major hurdle to getting the question on the Aug. 19 primary election ballot.

There, Alaskans will decide on legal pot along other big questions for the state, including a controversial oil-tax referendum, an initiative that would require legislative approval for future large-scale mines in the Bristol Bay region and potentially a boost to the minimum wage.

All that -- plus a contested U.S. Senate race primary -- could draw large numbers of voters, said Ivan Moore, an Anchorage pollster and campaign consultant.

"The primary election is looking at being one of the highest turnout primaries we've had ever, I think," he said.

It's not clear how that will play for the marijuana question.

But in Alaska as in the rest of the United States, attitudes toward legalizing the drug have dramatically softened in recent years.

In a 2004 Ivan Moore Research poll that asked if pot should be decriminalized, only 38 percent of Alaskans said yes. By 2010, the number jumped to 43 percent when Alaskans were asked if pot should be legalized. A 2013 poll by the North Carolina-based Public Policy Polling firm on behalf of the Marijuana Policy Project found that 54 percent of Alaskans polled would vote yes on a ballot initiative.

"There has been phenomenal change," Moore said.

So far, the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana has mostly been funded by the Marijuana Policy Project, a Washington D.C.-based nonprofit that is the largest marijuana policy reform group in the country.

The group has contributed $1,000 in cash and $3,757 in services and other in-kind donations, according to Alaska Public Offices Commission campaign disclosure reports. Four individual donors had contributed a total of $1,800 as of Jan. 11.

Backers argue that pot should be legalized and regulated in a manner similar to alcohol, with local communities retaining the ability to opt-out.

So far, most of the campaign's energy has been spent on gathering signatures, said spokesman Taylor Bickford, who works for Strategies 360, a Seattle-based public relations and consulting firm with offices in Alaska and throughout the West that's managing the initiative effort.

Campaigners handed 48,000 signatures to the Division of Elections on Jan. 8.

About 79 percent of signatures counted so far have been found "qualified" by state rules, said Fenumiai.

Past petitions have had signature acceptance rates of between 80 percent and 89 percent, she said, putting the marijuana initiative at the low end of the spectrum.

"The bottom line is we exceeded the required number of signatures," Bickford said. "You don't get bonus points for having a higher validity rate."

Most of the 8,485 signatures found "unqualified" by the state are considered invalid because the signers couldn't be identified as registered voters, Fenumiai said.

A national anti-legalization group headed by Patrick Kennedy has said it plans to campaign against the ballot initiative.

Smart Approaches to Marijuana, like its opponent the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana, appears to be selling its side of the issue as the only approach compatible with the Alaskan value of independence.

"Smart Approaches to Marijuana has been approached by Alaskan activists who don't want to see the safety problems and burdensome government regulation that would come with legalization," wrote spokesman Kevin Sabet in an email Tuesdsay.

Sabet wouldn't say who those Alaskan activists were. Plans will be announced later this spring, he wrote.

Bickford said that argument won't far.

"I don't think Alaskans are going to have a member of the Kennedy family from the East Coast telling us how to live our lives," Bickford said.

BHC# 711

"When injustice becomes law, then resistance becomes duty."
Thomas Jefferson

“I am not the lifestyle police.”- (my new hero) Pitkin County, CO Sheriff Joe DiSalvo
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RE: MJ News for 02/05/2014

in Marijuana in the News Wed Feb 05, 2014 11:45 am
by 7greeneyes | 469 Posts | 1830 Points

url: hMPp://www.utsandiego.com/news/2014/feb/04/marijuana-stocks-catch-fire/

Marijuana stocks catch fire

Marijuana stocks are on fire this year, with plenty of investors suddenly willing to risk being burned.

Shares in almost any company with the slightest association to marijuana got a huge lift in late 2012 after voters in Colorado and Washington legalized recreational use. Twenty states including California allow medical use.

Practically all of the stocks in this sector — including two based in San Diego County — are lightly regulated and traded over the counter, so they lack the transparency offered by major exchanges.

Most have little revenues and no profits; some have no assets or sales at all. At best, these stocks are highly speculative.

Last month the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority reissued an August statement titled “Marijuana Stock Scams”: “We are reissuing this alert to warn investors not only about the potential for fraud in this arena, but also to reiterate the risks of investing in thinly traded companies about which little is known,” FINRA said.

But the warning did little to dampen investor enthusiasm.

Stock prices and trading volume have surged again this year with press accounts of long lines outside pot shops in Colorado, which allowed sales to anyone over 21 starting Jan. 1. And Tuesday the U.S. Senate passed a farm bill that, if signed by the president, will legalize the cultivation of hemp, a nonintoxicating cousin of marijuana that produces valuable fibers and health supplements.

This appears to have sparked a speculative frenzy, particularly among small investors: The most active stock Tuesday for customers of Fidelity Investments — ahead of Facebook and Apple — was Hemp Inc., which gained 54.5 percent in value to 26 cents a share.

At 21st on the Fidelity list, ahead of health-care giants Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson, was Medical Marijuana Inc., a San Diego company that reported about $604,000 in total sales for the third quarter.

To optimists, the eventual demise of marijuana prohibition looks like a historic opportunity.

A report funded by The ArcView Group, an investment company, estimated the U.S. market in legal marijuana market at $1.44 billion in 2013, with growth projected at 64 percent to $2.34 billion in 2014 and 600 percent to $10 billion in five years.

But venture capitalists say good investment opportunities are few and far between. A booming market is one thing; earning consistent profits is quite another.

As you might expect of an industry that until very recently was illegal, many pioneers are long on enthusiasm but short on operating discipline.

A competitive shakeout will certainly cure such shortcomings over time. After all, U.S. railroads went broke throughout the 1800s. And the Internet boom of the late 1990s was lousy with profitless startups that wiped out shareholders.

Then again, marijuana is an agricultural product. Prices in the ag sector tend to converge near the cost of production over the long haul.

And they don’t call it “weed” for nothing; marijuana is laughably easy to grow. A farming or accessories manufacturing firm will have a hard time building the type of wide moat against competitors required to reward long-term shareholders.

I should disclose here that I’m a value investor. I own no marijuana stocks, because I generally look for a decade or so of steadily growing returns on invested capital before I will buy a stock.

But even if you are more inclined to speculation, there’s plenty of reason to go slow in this sector.

The industry giant is Medbox Inc., based in West Hills, which makes a vending machine that dispenses medical marijuana.

Medbox listed about $259,000 in profits and $6.1 million in shareholders equity in the third quarter. But investors have bid its total market value to a staggering $535 million. That’s down from more than $1 billion last year.

Granted, the MedBox is a cool device, using a fingerprint reader to make sure juveniles don’t buy pot. But still, it’s a vending machine.

Medical Marijuana, the San Diego company, also has real products for sale, ranging from cannabis chewing gum to hemp-based beauty and pet products. I visited the company’s booth Saturday at a U-T sponsored exhibition, where salespeople fielded questions from consumers about a wide variety of products on display.

The company is growing, but still very much in startup mode, reporting a loss of $86,463 in the third quarter on ordinary income. Yet it posted net income of $7.9 million after selling assets of a marijuana-related company; most of the proceeds came in the form of stock, with little cash changing hands.

And the company disclosed in August that it had received an inquiry from the Securities and Exchange Commission. The agency requested documents about current and former management, communications with government agencies, operations and “other matters.” The company said it was fully cooperating with the inquiry.

In July former directors filed a suit that alleges fraud in the purchase of a subsidiary. And in September 2012, CEO Michael Llamas stepped down after a federal indictment charged that he was involved in a Ponzi scheme and mortgage fraud that was unrelated to Medical Marijuana Inc.

I wanted to check on the status of the SEC inquiry, but interim CEO Michelle Sides did not return my calls this week.

Another public company, Mentor Capital Inc., lists a post office box in Ramona as its official address. Financial disclosures on its website list no revenues, no profits, and $720,062 in shareholders equity.

Yet on Jan. 17, Mentor’s stock increased nearly 750 percent in about two hours, jumping from 22 cents per share to $1.90 as 691,000 shares changed hands over the counter. Previous trading days had between zero and 11,000 shares in volume.

The stock closed Tuesday at $1.91 per share on volume of 71,000 shares.

Mentor’s soaring stock price came after CEO Chester Billingsley issued a news release on the Business Wire service saying the company had reached a deal to buy HempCon Inc., a Hacienda Heights firm that holds marijuana trade shows.

But there was no such deal, says Edwin Kwong, HempCon’s owner.

“Mentor Capital did approach me at one point, and we had a couple of discussions,” Kwong told me Tuesday. “But nothing was firm; nothing was signed.”

Kwong said he rejected Mentor’s overtures after concluding that Billingsley had no cash and was merely offering a future investment with uncertain prospects.

Twelve days later, Billingsley issued a release saying Mentor’s board had rejected the deal. But this release was posted to the OTC Markets website, and didn’t go out on Business Wire, which is distributed widely and picked up by major investor websites.

In a phone conversation, Billingsley had no explanation for why he used Business Wire for the first release and subsequent releases, but not the one with presumably negative news.

Billingsley, who has operated businesses ranging from tanning salons to oil and gas partnerships over the years, said his plan is to build a portfolio of companies in the red-hot marijuana sector.

He said he has 1,000 “accredited investors” lined up to contribute capital. All he lacks are the deals, Billingsley said. But he said he has contacted 55 CEOs of marijuana companies to discuss possible deals, with 18 discussing terms.

“I’ve taken all of my shares and put them in escrow, because I wanted to distance myself from the pump-and-dump activity that FINRA and others have warned about recently,” he said.

Billingsley said the terms of that escrow call for him to announce his stock sales first, in a news release, after which he can sell.

In the Wild West of marijuana stocks, this is full disclosure.

BHC# 711

"When injustice becomes law, then resistance becomes duty."
Thomas Jefferson

“I am not the lifestyle police.”- (my new hero) Pitkin County, CO Sheriff Joe DiSalvo
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RE: MJ News for 02/05/2014

in Marijuana in the News Wed Feb 05, 2014 11:47 am
by 7greeneyes | 469 Posts | 1830 Points

url: hMPp://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20140204/downtown/legal-marijuana-revenues-colorado-catch-chicago-aldermans-attention

Marijuana Cash Cow in Colorado Catches Chicago Alderman's Attention

CITY HALL — Could recreational marijuana be the revenue-generating industry Illinois needs to solve its budget woes?

Legalization proponents say yes, and one Chicago alderman is looking at the success of legalization in Colorado to get a conversation started here.

"Pot=$$$$," Ald. Joe Moreno (1st) tweeted Monday, linking to a story on tax revenue generated by recreational marijuana in just the first month of legalization in Colorado. According to NBC News, half of the state's 35 licensed retailers responded to a poll and said they had collected $1.24 million in tax revenue in January, some having been open just a handful of days.

Some estimated that Colorado could rake in $250,000 a day in February, or perhaps $100 million a year, well above the state's initial estimates of $67 million in revenue.

By contrast, Colorado makes $40 million a year from alcohol taxes.

Six months ago, after Illinois approved medical marijuana, Chris Bochenski predicted the conversation around marijuana legalization would get more revenue-focused. The Chicago business executive founded the Consortium for Compliance in North Center to encourage the expansion of legalization. Bochenski said success in states like Colorado and Washington would lead other states to take a fresh look at legalization, much as they have with legalized gambling.

"Once Illinois sees the roof doesn't cave in with medical, [and] because Illinois is $7 billion in the hole, the discussion is going to change," Bochenski said.

Bochenski pointed to how New Hampshire is now moving toward legalizing recreational use of marijuana.

"It diverts money from the black market into state coffers," Bochenski added. "It changes the discussion. Illinois needs a new billion dollar industry."

Moreno, however, isn't willing to go that far just yet. Though he is on record for supporting legalization, he is currently studying the impact of medical marijuana on attitudes in the state, according to his office.

"We have to figure that out and see how that goes and see where we can go from there," said Matt Bailey, Moreno's press secretary. He said the alderman has "nothing concrete right now" in the way of a new city ordinance, but "we're always open to new ideas."

Bochenski said polls show acceptance for legalization and pointed to President Barack Obama's recent comment that marijuana is safer than alcohol.

The key to expanding legalization, Bochenski said, is to make sure things go smoothly in Colorado and Washington and other states that legalize it. He cited U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder's position that the federal government will maintain a hands-off policy as long as states can prove compliance, such as no pot being sold to minors or transported to other states where it remains illegal. That, Bochenski said, is the mission behind the Consortium for Compliance, to make that case from state to state through technological data.

States like Illinois, he said, would simply want to emulate that success.

"They don't want to reinvent the wheel," Bochenski added. "They would rather adopt something that's working. And that's what I'm trying to do, take what's working and propagate that to other states."

Washington has a three-tier system for recreational marijuana, including producers, processors and retailers. It charges a 25 percent tax at each transaction level, from growing to processing to public sales, generating substantial revenue. Compounded, he said, "It's almost a 100 percent tax."

Despite the rosy revenue numbers, Bochenski doesn't expect acceptance to occur overnight.

"Talking about marijuana is like talking about abortion," he said. "Everybody has an opinion. They're not going to change it."

BHC# 711

"When injustice becomes law, then resistance becomes duty."
Thomas Jefferson

“I am not the lifestyle police.”- (my new hero) Pitkin County, CO Sheriff Joe DiSalvo

Last edited Wed Feb 05, 2014 11:48 am | Scroll up


RE: MJ News for 02/05/2014

in Marijuana in the News Wed Feb 05, 2014 11:49 am
by 7greeneyes | 469 Posts | 1830 Points

url: hMPp://www.southwales-eveningpost.co.uk/Gren-Party-Wales-calls-decriminalisation/story-20564358-detail/story.html

Green Party in Wales calls for decriminalisation of cannabis to fight cancer

THE Green Party in Wales is calling for the decriminalisation of cannabis for medicinal use, especially in the treatment of cancer.

Party leader Pippa Bartolotti said the “remarkable medicinal properties” of marijuana should not be overlooked because it was an easily-grown plant rather than an expensive chemical drug.

She pointed to research which showed that the total economic impact of cancer in European was more than £100 billion a year.

Miss Bartolotti said: “I have recently read through some 37 peer reviewed papers all of which come to one startling conclusion — that the non-psychoactive (known as CBD) component in the readily grown cannabis plant has the ability to destroy cancer cells.

“The remarkable medicinal properties of cannabis should not be overlooked just because it is easy to grow in your own backyard, and the patent isn’t under the control of multinational corporations.

“It really is unsupportable that those who have already discovered the benefits of CBD should be treated as criminals in this country.”

The Wales leader added: “If we are to fight cancer effectively, and alleviate the suffering of many people in the UK we must decriminalize the use of medicinal marijuana with haste.”

Miss Bartolotti said that an analysis by the University of Oxford and Kings College London showed the cost of cancer in the EU was £107billion a year, with healthcare and drugs costs accounting for some £43billion of that.

She said: “A huge proportion of these costs are down to the type of drugs manufactured by large pharmaceutical companies.”

In Britain cannabis remains a banned Class B drug, with possession being punished by up to five years in prison, and supply up to 14 years.

However, the medicinal use of marijuana is allowed in parts of Europe and the US.

In America, 20 States currently allow marijuana use for medical purposes, while two — Colorado and Washington — have legalised the drug for recreational use.

BHC# 711

"When injustice becomes law, then resistance becomes duty."
Thomas Jefferson

“I am not the lifestyle police.”- (my new hero) Pitkin County, CO Sheriff Joe DiSalvo
Scroll up


RE: MJ News for 02/05/2014

in Marijuana in the News Wed Feb 05, 2014 12:03 pm
by 7greeneyes | 469 Posts | 1830 Points

URL: hMPps://www.muckrock.com/news/archives/2014/feb/03/dea-parallel-construction-guides/

DEA teaches agents to recreate evidence chains to hide methods

Drug Enforcement Administration training documents released to MuckRock user C.J. Ciaramella show how the agency constructs two chains of evidence to hide surveillance programs from defense teams, prosecutors, and a public wary of domestic intelligence practices.

In training materials, the department even encourages a willful ignorance by field agents to minimize the risk of making intelligence practices public.

The DEA practices mirror a common dilemma among domestic law enforcement agencies: Analysts have access to unprecedented streams of classified information that might prove useful to investigators, but entering classified evidence in court risks disclosing those sensitive surveillance methods to the world, which could either end up halting the program due to public outcry or undermining their usefulness through greater awareness.

An undated slide deck released by the DEA to fleshes out the issue more graphically: When military and intelligence agencies “find Bin Laden's satellite phone and then pin point [sic] his location, they don't have to go to a court to get permission to put a missile up his nose." Law enforcement agencies, on the other hand, “must be able to take our information to court and prove to a jury that our bad guy did the bad things we say he did.”

The trainer’s notes continue, “In the old days, classified material was poison. In some ways, it still is… because if treated incorrectly, it can screw up your investigation."

A tactic known as “parallel construction” allows law enforcement to capitalize on intelligence information while obscuring sensitive sources and surveillance methods from the prosecution, defense and jury alike. DEA training documents suggest this method of reconstructing evidence chains is widely taught and deployed.

Last August, Reuters first reported on the practice of parallel construction by the DEA’s Special Operations Division (SOD), a secretive unit that includes representatives from the FBI, CIA and NSA. Slides obtained by Reuters defined the method as "the use of normal investigative techniques to recreate the information provided by SOD." But documents released to Ciaramella indicate that DEA trainers routinely teach the finer points of parallel construction to field agents and analysts across the country, not just within SOD.

The bulk of the release comprises eight versions of a training module, “Handling Sensitive Information.” Per lesson cover sheets, the module was created in 2007 for inclusion in entry-level analyst training programs, as well as for workshops at DEA field offices. The most recent dated revision in the release is from May 2012:

The module puts the issue of using sensitive intelligence in law enforcement a bit more delicately. Per the 2012 lesson plan, the main problem with combining intelligence collection with law enforcement investigations “is the high potential for disclosure of these sensitive sources of information in our open, public trial system.”

In addition to potential national security risks of exposing classified information and constitutional quandaries, an earlier version of the module highlights another issue with introducing sensitive or clandestine evidence into domestic trials: “Americans don’t like it.”

The instructor’s notes from the same revision clarify the public pushback rationale.

Given the “fish bowl” nature of law enforcement work, DEA Academy graduates are guided to only use techniques “which are acceptable to our citizens.”

Controversy notwithstanding, parallel construction apparently makes the DEA’s list of such palatable techniques. The modules make clear that the idea is to shape evidence chains so that neither the prosecution nor the defense are to be made aware of classified information, if it can be helped.

When the court is made aware of classified evidence, a wholly separate—if unfortunately named—squad of prosecutors called the Taint Review Team will consult with the judge to determine which evidence must be turned over to the defense.

As described in the released portions of the module, parallel construction simply entails splitting the prosecutorial labor, with a Taint Review Team tackling pre-trial review so the trial prosecutor encounters as little classified evidence as possible.

But the released training modules provide no guidance on key issues noted in documents obtained by Reuters last August. In particular, the SOD slides barred agents from disclosing classified sources on affidavits or in courtroom testimony. Under this strain of parallel construction, the court would never know the classified origins of an investigation.

"You'd be told only, ‘Be at a certain truck stop at a certain time and look for a certain vehicle.' And so we'd alert the state police to find an excuse to stop that vehicle, and then have a drug dog search it," as one former federal agent described the process to Reuters.

While there are no direct references to protocols of this kind, three additional slide decks released to Ciaramella cover traffic stops and drug dog sniffs extensively. These presentations are heavily redacted, but released portions address the advantages of pairing “tip information” and “vertical information transfers” with routine traffic stops as a pretext for making an arrest.

This same presentation offers guidance to officers wondering whether they should lie under oath rather than reveal that information came from a classified source.

DEA trainers advise officers in this position to let the prosecutor know “so that he or she can proactively address any issues” with the evidence in question, regardless of “where the information came from.”

The unprecedented window these training documents give into the parallel construction method still leaves many questions unanswered, especially when it comes to logistics and legal justifications. What could not be clearer, though, is the DEA’s stance that law enforcement must vigilantly protect intelligence resources by all possible means.

BHC# 711

"When injustice becomes law, then resistance becomes duty."
Thomas Jefferson

“I am not the lifestyle police.”- (my new hero) Pitkin County, CO Sheriff Joe DiSalvo
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RE: Congress debates Obama’s “schizophrenic” marijuana policies

in Marijuana in the News Wed Feb 05, 2014 6:42 pm
by pcduck (deleted)

Man that is messed up...If I was the CEO(POTUS) of any corp. and my underlings were saying what they are saying, I would Donald Trump them with a "You're Fired". Only in politics can you bad mouth the boss(POTUS) and still keep your job.

Obtinuit vermis?

Site Rules
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RE: Congress debates Obama’s “schizophrenic” marijuana policies

in Marijuana in the News Wed Feb 05, 2014 8:55 pm
by umbra | 780 Posts | 4085 Points

at the super bowl this year there were 5 billboards, all pro marijuana about cannabis being safer than alcohol

Last edited Wed Feb 05, 2014 8:55 pm | Scroll up

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