#1

MJ News for 03/05/2014

in Marijuana in the News Wed Mar 05, 2014 1:02 pm
by 7greeneyes | 469 Posts | 1830 Points

hMPp://www.seattlepi.com/local/article/Era-of-uncertainty-as-feds-continue-5289220.php




‘Era of uncertainty’ as feds continue marijuana dispensary prosecutions


Three men linked to a Western Washington marijuana dispensary chain now face years in federal prison as their attorneys claim the Justice Department has gone back on pledges of restraint.

While federal prosecutors claim the Green Cross dispensary group operators were violating state and federal law, defense attorney Michael Schwartz said prosecutors have arbitrarily targeted a licensed business operating under the state medical marijuana scheme.

Representing dispensary operator Lance Gloor, Schwartz said the prosecutions – launched more than two years after the investigation began – have helped to usher in an “era of uncertainty” as Washington’s legal marijuana market comes online.

“The government is sort of picking and choosing who they want to prosecute without any sort of coordination,” Schwartz said Tuesday.

“At the time that these allegations arose, the dispensaries were in fact legal under state law,” the defense attorney continued. “Quite frankly, I think they just don’t like the idea that these dispensaries were doing very, very well financially.”

Defense attorney Sunni Ko, who is representing dispensary owner and Lake Tapps resident James Lucas, said her client was paying taxes and abiding by state laws when federal agents came calling in 2011.

Lucas and Gloor were indicted in November alongside Matthew Roberts, who is alleged to have taken over several of the dispensaries after federal agents raided them in 2011. Filed under seal, that indictment was made public Friday after the men surrendered to authorities.

Linked by prosecutors to four dispensaries – Seattle Cross, Tacoma Cross, Lacey Cross and Key Peninsula Cross -- the men are alleged to have, well, run dispensaries. U.S. Attorney for Western Washington Jenny Durkan previously claimed the dispensaries "present a danger to our community."

Lucas claims through his attorney to have cut all ties with the businesses after the 2011 searches. Ko said federal prosecutors agree her client did so but are pursuing him nonetheless.

Prosecutors contend Gloor operated dispensaries in Lacey and on Pierce County’s Key Peninsula. Lucas is alleged to have owned the dispensaries in Seattle and Tacoma, as well as those Gloor operated; Roberts is alleged to have run the Tacoma and Seattle dispensaries after the operations began to draw federal attention.

While all three men have been charged with drug offenses and money laundering, Gloor is also charged with possessing a gun in connection with a drug operation. If proven, that count alone would mean a five-year prison term for the Puyallup man.

State charges previously dismissed

Thurston County prosecutors initially charged Lucas and Gloor in 2011 but dropped those drug charges in January 2013, 10 months before a federal grand jury indicted the pair and Roberts.

Beginning in August 2011, detectives with the Thurston County Narcotics Task Force bought small amounts of marijuana at Lacey Cross. That investigation was ultimately handed over to the Drug Enforcement Administration, which obtained search warrants for the Green Cross chain.

Lucas was previously raided in April 2010, when Pierce County investigators came to believe he was growing more marijuana than state medical marijuana law allowed. Lucas and Gloor purportedly used the proceeds of the grow operation to build and launch a coffee stand.

The Cross dispensaries were searched in November 2011. Raiding the Cross dispensaries in Seattle, Lacey, Tacoma and Lakebay, DEA agents also searched Lucas’ home and a hotel room where Gloor was staying.

According to state court records, the Lacey Cross dispensary alone served more than 1,900 customers. About 15 pounds of marijuana and 91 marijuana plants were seized from the dispensary, later known as the Bayside Collective, as well as customer records.

At the time, investigators claimed employees managed by Gloor were selling marijuana to customers without demanding to see their medical marijuana authorization cards. Investigators claim to have recovered five pounds of marijuana from Gloor’s motel room, as well as four ounces of hashish.

The November 2011 raids saw federal agents seize more than $128,000 from four dispensaries and their two owners. Agents also confiscated several pounds of marijuana, more than 110 plants and various pot-laced snacks.

Durkan: These dispensaries ‘threaten public safety’

Those searches coincided with three other federal investigations into Washington dispensaries. Two of those investigations netted multi-year prison terms for King County dispensary owners.

In a statement issued following the raids, Durkan said her office was hoping to punish “brash criminal conduct that masquerades as medical treatment.”

“In determining how to focus our drug enforcement resources, we will look at the true nature and scope of an enterprise, and its impact on the community,” Durkan said in November 2011. “We will continue to target and investigate entities that are large scale commercial drug enterprises, or that threaten public safety in other ways.

“Sales to people who are not ill, particularly our youth, sales or grows in school zones, and the use of guns in connection with an enterprise all present a danger to our community."

The Green Cross dispensary chain operators were not among those initially charged in federal court. Instead, they faced state charges that were ultimately abandoned two months after Washington voters approved Initiative 502.

Meant to decriminalize and regulate marijuana, I-502 prompted state officials to create a framework to sell the drug. Pot is expected to arrive on state-licensed store shelves later in 2014.

I-502, like the medical marijuana law before it, does nothing to change the federal position on marijuana. The drug remains entirely illegal from a federal standpoint, and the success of Washington’s fledgling marijuana market appears largely dependent of the discretion of the Justice Department.

Ko and Schwartz said the dispensaries were operating legally, paying taxes and properly licensed when the federal investigation began. Each attorney said separately that the Justice Department is violating its own guidelines meant to respect legitimate medical marijuana dispensaries.

Schwartz said prosecutions like the one his client now faces must raise concerns among those preparing to stake their lives and money in Washington’s new marijuana market.

“If you look at this, it seems to be they’re going to be at significant risk,” Schwartz said.

“It would seem to me that the best policy would be for (the Justice Department) and the local county prosecutors to come together on what the policy is going to be on this going forward,” the defense attorney added.

Supporters say the legitimacy of that regulated trade and the openness they hope will accompany legalization are key to killing the marijuana black market, and the violent crime sometimes associated with it. The threat of federal prosecution, they say, could keep growers and sellers in the shadows.

Second raid after dispensaries remain open

Having hoped to close them in the 2011 searches, federal agents again raided the Cross dispensaries in July following allegations they violate federal and state law.

Writing the court, a DEA special agent said the dispensary operators had been hiding profits from the state while selling marijuana.

Targeted in the 2013 raids were Seattle Cross, located on Capitol Hill, Tacoma Cross, Pierce County’s Key Peninsula Cross and the Lacey dispensary. Agents also served search warrants at homes in Lacey and Tacoma as well as two vehicles and a 57-foot boat.

Agents had hoped the earlier DEA action and threatening letters from the U.S. Attorney’s Office would prompt the dispensary owners to close down. Instead, investigators contend Lucas handed over the dispensaries to Roberts and another man who continued to run them.

In an affidavit filed in U.S. District Court, a DEA special agent described a series of undercover buys conducted by agents at each of the dispensaries targeted in the 2013 raids.

Writing the court, the agent contended the undercover DEA agent was able to buy marijuana at each store. The agent went on to allege that most dispensaries deal primarily in cash, much of which he contended is not reported to the state. By the agent’s estimation, the Seattle and Tacoma dispensaries both have annual gross revenues in the millions.

Search warrant returns show agents seized patient files in the most recent series of raids, as well as an unspecified amount of cash, numerous pot-laced snacks and several marijuana plants. Computers were also seized from the dispensaries. Federal prosecutors have asked that the dispensary owners be forced to forfeit $289,000 seized during the investigation.

Gloor, Lucas and Roberts have been charged with conspiring to distribute marijuana, conspiring to launder money and manufacturing marijuana.

Gloor is also charged with possessing a gun in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime; that count stems from a Sept. 20, 2010, incident when a pistol was recovered from a marijuana grow.

All three have since pleaded not guilty to the charges. Gloor remains jailed pending a hearing Thursday, while the other two men have since been released on bond.


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

#2

RE: MJ News for 03/05/2014

in Marijuana in the News Wed Mar 05, 2014 1:03 pm
by 7greeneyes | 469 Posts | 1830 Points

hMPp://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_25271914/top-colorado-federal-prosecutor-testify-at-congress-marijuana




Deep divide on marijuana policy apparent during congressional hearing


Colorado's top U.S. prosecutor urged cooperation between state and federal officials on marijuana policy during a congressional hearing Tuesday that was notable for showing the deepening divisions on the topic in Washington, D.C.

Although marijuana remains illegal federally, Colorado U.S. Attorney John Walsh said federal law enforcement officials must work with their local counterparts to achieve common goals such as keeping marijuana away from kids, even after states legalize marijuana for adult use.

"With our collective effort, and only with our collective effort, we can succeed in implementing effective marijuana regulatory efforts in practice and on the ground," Walsh said in testimony before a subcommittee of the U.S. House's Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

The hearing was the subcommittee's second under the title, "Mixed Signals: The Administration's Stance on Marijuana." But rather than clarifying those signals, the hearings mostly illuminated why they exist.

Much of Tuesday's hearing consisted of lawmakers battering a top Drug Enforcement Administration official with questions about his agency's resolute stance against marijuana — as the official, deputy administrator Thomas Harrigan, reiterated that the DEA sees "no sound scientific, economic or social reasons to change our nation's marijuana policies."

That clashes with what President Barack Obama said in an interview with The New Yorker magazine published earlier this year, when he said marijuana is not more dangerous than alcohol and that marijuana enforcement disproportionately punishes minorities. Of marijuana legalization in Colorado and Washington state, Obama said: "It's important for it to go forward."

In line with that, the Department of Justice last year issued guidance to allow state legalization of marijuana to proceed without federal interference so long as the states address eight key priorities — including preventing stoned driving, out-of-state pot smuggling and access by youths. Walsh and Harrigan both said Tuesday the guidance has not changed their approach to marijuana, which focuses on taking down large criminal organizations.

"There has been little impact on our enforcement actions," Harrigan said.

DEA officials, though, have pushed back against the administration's lenience toward legalization. DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart blasted the approach during a meeting with the National Sheriffs' Association. And another top DEA official, testifying before a different committee earlier this year, called marijuana legalization "reckless and irresponsible."

Although Walsh and Harrigan submitted joint written testimony for Tuesday's hearing, differences emerged during the hearing. When Harrigan quoted a statistic on the number of drivers killed in fatal car crashes who test positive for marijuana, Walsh added that he was uncertain of the statistic's validity.

"There was a palpable difference between their approaches," said Dan Riffle, a lobbyist for the Marijuana Policy Project who sat in on the hearing. "It seems like there's really a pretty big divide in the administration and the Department of Justice."

Similar to a hearing last month, members of the subcommittee repeatedly questioned Harrigan about why the DEA believes marijuana should be categorized in the same restriction level as heroin.

Harrigan responded that the DEA would "not abandon science and fact in favor of public opinion."

That frustrated several subcommittee members, with Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., asking, "Would you agree that marijuana is certainly not in the same category as heroin in terms of its danger?"

When Walsh was asked whether marijuana should be reclassified, he demurred. "There is a process," he said.

On Wednesday, a collection of anti-drug organizations and addiction-treatment groups are expected to send a letter to federal officials urging that marijuana remain in the most restrictive category of substances, known as Schedule I.

"We remain troubled with the normalization of marijuana that continues unabated," the letter states.


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

#3

RE: MJ News for 03/05/2014

in Marijuana in the News Wed Mar 05, 2014 1:07 pm
by 7greeneyes | 469 Posts | 1830 Points

hMPp://www.courant.com/news/politics/hc-marijuana-growers-colorado-0305-20140304,0,6765012.story




Medical Pot Grower Chosen By State Lost License In Colorado


John J. Czarkowski, a manager of Advanced Grow Labs LLC, one of four companies chosen for licenses to legally produce medical marijuana in Connecticut, was forced to shut down his Colorado marijuana facility in 2012 after the city of Boulder revoked its license, public documents show.

In a letter dated March 2, 2012, the city of Boulder notified Boulder Kind Care LLC, a marijuana dispensary and production facility, that it was revoking its license for a variety of violations, including:

— Failure to properly store and label marijuana.

— Not having cameras in use on the premises, as required.

— Making a "materially false statement" in its application for a construction permit.

The revocation letter also said that Czarkowski's business partner at Boulder Kind Care appeared to be "under the influence of marijuana" as he guided a city official and a police officer on an inspection of the facility Feb. 2, 2012. The letter said that the partner exhibited "dry mouth, white lips, coated tongue and sunglasses that he would not take off."

Connecticut officials said Tuesday that they were checking with city officials in Boulder about the problem, which state Consumer Protection Commissioner William Rubenstein said "was not disclosed to us" in Advance Grow Labs' application for the grower's license it now has been issued.

Rubenstein said he did not know how long his inquiry would take or how it might affect Advanced Grow Labs in Connecticut.

Rubenstein said his agency began checking into the license revocation in Colorado after the Boston Globe published a story about it Tuesday morning. The front-page Globe story said that Czarkowski and his wife — who now are managers of three companies that have won preliminary approval to run medical marijuana dispensaries in Massachusetts — had sold the Boulder marijuana business two months after receiving the city's license-revocation notice.

Czarkowski could not be reached for comment Tuesday. However, the Globe quoted him as saying that Boulder city officials engaged in a "witch hunt" against his firm over an "innocent mistake" by his business partner on a construction application.

Czarkowski, who also goes by the name Jay, is listed in Connecticut licensing application documents as the director of production for Advanced Grow Labs, a Fairfield-based corporation. He is one of five key managers listed for the company, which plans to grow marijuana in a West Haven warehouse.

That same warehouse was used as the site of a Jan. 28 press conference at which Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and Rubenstein announced the four firms, including Advanced Grow Labs, that were selected among 16 applicants as the first to win licenses as growers in Connecticut.

A mini-biography of Czarkowski, which Advanced Grow Labs submitted to the Department of Consumer Protection with its licensing application last year, says that he founded Boulder Kind Care, which the bio described as "a successful [marijuana] dispensary and production facility in Boulder, Colorado."

The bio says that the Colorado company grew to 20 employees and $2.4 million in annual sales in the three years after it was founded in 2009. Czarkowski's co-founder at Boulder Kind Care was his wife, Diane Czarkowski.

The bio submitted says that Boulder Kind Care "was sold in 2012."

But it doesn't mention what else happened at the time — that the city revoked the company's license.

"Boulder Kind Care attempted to get an injunction against the city enforcing the revocation of license," Kathy Haddock, senior assistant city attorney in Boulder, said Tuesday after providing documents to The Courant about the case. "Neither the District Court nor the Court of Appeals granted the injunction or a stay, and Boulder Kind Care ultimately dismissed the case."

Rubenstein, the Connecticut consumer protection commissioner, said his department staff had "done a lot of due diligence" about the companies chosen for licenses, including contacting the state of Colorado in connection with Advanced Grow Labs. But they didn't contact municipal officials in Boulder — which, he said, they were now doing.

"We are trying to learn the actual facts," Rubenstein said.

The commissioner added that members of the Advanced Grow Labs team also have applied for at least one dispensary license to sell medical marijuana.

Diane Whitney, an attorney representing Advanced Grow Labs, said Tuesday that she had no information on the problems in Boulder but would seek answers from managers of the business, including its managing partner, David Lipton. Lipton's Fairfield address is used by the company in its corporate registration papers with the state. The Courant asked to speak with Czarkowski and left a message on Lipton's home phone voicemail seeking comment.

Meanwhile, the Globe also reported that Diane Czarkowski filed for personal bankruptcy last year and was released from repayment of more than $400,000 in debts by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court last June.

Rubenstein said that the bankruptcy case was disclosed to Connecticut officials by Advanced Grow Labs.

Court records show that during that proceeding, American Express Bank and American Express Centurion Bank claimed in court that Diane Czarkowski used an Amex account connected with Boulder Kind Care to run up thousands of dollars in charges in the two months before she filed for bankruptcy in February 2013.

The charges were for airplane fares and other "luxury goods and/or services," the court documents said. The Amex Banks' court action said that Diane Czarkowski was "financially sophisticated" and had no reasonable expectation that she would be able to repay the debts, some of which, court papers said, were on behalf of her husband.


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

#4

RE: MJ News for 03/05/2014

in Marijuana in the News Wed Mar 05, 2014 1:11 pm
by 7greeneyes | 469 Posts | 1830 Points

hMPp://www.twincities.com/politics/ci_25270854/minnesota-house-panel-opens-medical-marijuana-debate




(MN) Medical marijuana clears first hurdle in state House


A Minnesota House committee on Tuesday approved a bill that would legalize medical marijuana after hearing emotional testimony from patients' families about its benefits.

"I am no longer willing to support making criminals out of the sick and dying," said Joni Whiting, 58, of Jordan, whose adult daughter used marijuana to deal with melanoma symptoms during the final months of her life.

But the idea remains controversial, and Gov. Mark Dayton has signaled that supporters must work with opponents to find a compromise or settle for legislation that would authorize a study of the issue.

"This is still a highly addictive, mind-altering drug," testified Autumn Leva of the Minnesota Family Council. "This bill sends entirely the wrong message to our youth."

The bill would allow patients with debilitating health conditions access to medical marijuana so long as a doctor or designated health professional certified they were likely to benefit.

Patients and caregivers would need ID cards issued by the state Department of Health, which also would regulate a network of new dispensaries. Some patients would be allowed to grow up to six marijuana plants in their homes.

The legislation "would allow legal, safe and regulated treatment for patients who need ... treatment with medical marijuana," Rep. Carly Melin, DFL-Hibbing, the bill's sponsor, said during a hearing in the House Health and Human Services Policy Committee.

Rep. Glenn Gruenhagen, R-Glencoe, offered an amendment to strip the bill of language that would allow patients to smoke marijuana as well as grow it.

Instead, he suggested, patients could take marijuana through other means such as vaporization.

He added that cultivation of plants is a controversial idea with law enforcement officials and many House members.

Melin countered that some sick patients lack the dexterity or financial means to use vaporizers.

Dr. Suzanne Sisley, a medical marijuana expert with the Arizona Telemedicine Program, added: "A majority of the patients still do successfully smoke the plant and get excellent efficacy with very minimal side effects."

The amendment failed by an 8-10 vote.

Ultimately, the committee advanced the bill on a voice vote. It now goes to the House Government Operations committee.

Law enforcement officials who have voiced concerns about medical marijuana proposals did not testify Tuesday.

The Minnesota Police & Peace Officers Association is "strongly opposed" to medical marijuana legislation, according to a resolution the group adopted in 2013.

At the time, members noted that marijuana was a controlled substance; possession and use remains a federal crime.

"The scientific community concluded from rigorous studies that marijuana is physiologically and psychologically addictive," the resolution stated.

"Further conclusion from studies is that one out of every 10 to 12 people who use marijuana will eventually become addicted to the drug."

Dayton has said he wants proponents of the bill and law enforcement officials to work out a compromise. One possibility is developing a pill that would allow patients the same benefits they would get from smoking the drug, Dayton has said.

The governor also suggested a study could be helpful so that the Legislature could return to the issue in 2015 with better information. Among the questions, Dayton has said, is how to fund creation of distribution centers.

"There's so many unanswered questions about medical marijuana," Dayton said in comments released by his spokesman. "There are not nearly enough studies ... because it's such a new area nationwide.

"How many people really need this substance and cannot find medical relief from anything else?"

Patients and family members who dominated three hours of testimony Tuesday, however, said medical marijuana provides unique benefits.

"We are out of options, and out of time," said Angie Weaver, 32, of Hibbing, whose daughter suffers seizures from a rare form of epilepsy. "The only way to get the medicine that my daughter needs is to move our entire family."

"We're separated because of the laws of this state," said Maria Botker, 38, of Clinton, whose 7-year-old daughter lives in Colorado, where medical marijuana is legal and is used to treat the girl's seizure disorder.

"This is so not dangerous for our society. ... But it is so live-saving for our daughter."

Minnesota lawmakers in 2009 passed a bill to legalize medical marijuana, but Gov. Tim Pawlenty vetoed it.

Medical marijuana is now legal in 20 states and the District of Columbia.


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

#5

RE: MJ News for 03/05/2014

in Marijuana in the News Wed Mar 05, 2014 1:13 pm
by 7greeneyes | 469 Posts | 1830 Points

hMPp://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-03-04/marijuana-decriminalization-in-u-s-capital-passed-by-city-1-.html




Marijuana Decriminalization in U.S. Capital Passes Council


The Washington city council voted to decriminalize marijuana consumption in private homes, adding the nation’s capital to a growing list of states that have loosened sanctions for using the drug.

The council today approved reducing the punishment for possession of as much as an ounce of marijuana to a fine, instead of potential jail time. The bill goes to Mayor Vincent Gray, a Democrat, who has said he will sign it, and the U.S. Congress, which can reject it.

At least 17 states have legalized or decriminalized recreational use or possession, putting them at odds with federal law. Washington state and Colorado have legalized the sale of the drug for recreational use, and advocates are pushing similar measures in other states.

“This is a victory for social justice and a major step for the nation’s capital,” Council Member Tommy Wells, a Democrat, said in a statement. “This bill is a tremendous stride to end the disproportionate impact of marijuana arrests that keep our residents from jobs, higher education and housing opportunities.”

The council approved the measure 10-1, with one abstention.

Council members cited concern that the criminal penalties disproportionately affect blacks, who are statistically more likely to face arrest for drug charges than whites.

Congressional Oversight

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder last year ordered changes across the Justice Department to keep some nonviolent offenders from facing mandatory minimum sentences, which swelled the nation’s prison population during the decades-long crackdown on drugs.

Congress has oversight over the District of Columbia, the federal government seat that, according to the Constitution, isn’t part of any state. It has overturned Washington legislation only three times since 1973, most recently in 1991, according to Daniel van Hoogstraten, a spokesman for Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton, a Democrat who represents the city.

Norton’s office hasn’t heard from lawmakers opposed to the measure, he said. Norton said she would work to prevent efforts to block it.

“I do not expect members of Congress to interfere with D.C.’s local right to pass its own law on marijuana decriminalization,” Norton said in a statement. “If members try to interfere, however, I will stoutly defend D.C.’s right to pass such legislation, just as 17 states have already done.”

Leaders of committees that oversee the district didn’t immediately comment on the legislation. Frederick Hill, a spokesman for the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, didn’t immediately respond to a phone call and e-mail. Emily Spain, a spokeswoman for the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, said in an e-mail she had no immediate comment.


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

#6

RE: MJ News for 03/05/2014

in Marijuana in the News Wed Mar 05, 2014 1:18 pm
by 7greeneyes | 469 Posts | 1830 Points

hMPp://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-03-04/marijuana-legalization-makes-tv-commercials-funny.html




Marijuana Legalization Makes TV Commercials Funny


Remember that really funny ad from the Super Bowl this year? Yeah, me neither. TV commercials just aren’t as funny as we’d like to remember them being. Fortunately, someone has discovered the secret ingredient that makes TV ads funny again: marijuana.

A company called MarijuanaDoctors.com, which hooks up patients with doctors who prescribe pot, has started airing what it claims is the first marijuana commercial on a major network. The minute-long spot will soon be playing in New Jersey, Chicago and Massachusetts on Fox, Comedy Central, CNN, ESPN, AMC, Discovery and, of course, the Food Channel.

You can see it by clicking on the photo below. Gratis:

Marijuana is going through a legal revolution in the U.S. that would hardly have been imaginable a decade ago. Colorado and Washington were the first to legalize recreational pot use in 2012 referendums, and legalization is being pursued in a dozen other states, according to the Marijuana Policy Project. President Barack Obama (of “choom gang” fame) recently said marijuana is no more dangerous than alcohol and he wants the experiments with legalization to go forward.

In 2012, there were more people arrested in the U.S. for marijuana possession than for all violent crimes combined. (Another fascinating fact: As many as 62 percent of Americans haven’t yet admitted to trying marijuana, according to a Gallup poll.)

MarijuanaDoctors.com’s commercial doesn’t promote legalization of pot for having fun. But it makes the same point as many advocates -- that legalization marginalizes the criminal element by making it unnecessary. Twenty states currently allow medical marijuana, and 15 states have lifted criminal penalties for possessing a small amount of cannabis.

The ad will be shown 800 times in New Jersey (after 10 p.m.) and is approved for additional markets where medical marijuana is legal, according to spokeswoman Melissa Kennedy. She said the company has approved a medical-marijuana ad before but wasn’t sure whether MarijuanaDoctors.com was the first to span multiple large markets.

The company’s lawyers wouldn’t approve an ad for recreational marijuana, even in states where it’s now legal, she said. “That’s not where their comfort level is right now.”

While the new ad may be the first for mass-market TV, it’s not the first to make the rounds on the Internet. This one, by the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), was submitted in a contest for a free small-business Superbowl ad. The video won the first-round popular vote, but didn’t make it to the big game.

Then there’s the “No Hangovers” ad by the Marijuana Policy Project -- initially targeted at NASCAR fans -- which has racked up almost 1.2 million views on Youtube.

The war on drugs may not be over. But it’s definitely getting a little funnier.


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

#7

RE: MJ News for 03/05/2014

in Marijuana in the News Wed Mar 05, 2014 1:21 pm
by 7greeneyes | 469 Posts | 1830 Points

hMPp://www.expressandstar.com/news/emergency-services/2014/03/05/fire-destroys-roof-of-suspected-wolverhampton-cannabis-factory/




(UK) Fire destroys roof of cannabis factory hours before a second is uncovered in Black Country



The roof of the home in Park Road West, near West Park in Wolverhampton, collapsed within minutes of crews arriving at around 6.45am.

The fire is believed to have started in one of the two first floor bedrooms, where firefighters found cannabis plants along with lights and cables. The cause of the blaze remains unknown. It also affected the roof of the neighbouring property.

Richard Wood, crew commander at Wolverhampton fire station, said: “The two bedrooms on the first floor are a cannabis factory.The fire spread from the first floor into the loft.

“We have established that there was nobody injured. On arrival,there was smoke issuing from both roofs.”

Police are investigating the cause of the blaze.

Meanwhile, more than 1,000 cannabis plants were seized in Dudley today after a member of the public tipped off police of ‘suspicious goings on and pungent smells’.

Police rushed to the industrial estate in Meeting Lane, Brierley Hill at 11.20am this morning where they discovered the plants.

No one was at the unit at the time and the premises are now being examined.

Police say the plants will be removed and destroyed by the force’s dedicated Cannabis Disposal Team.

The value of the drugs will be determined when they have been examined.

Sergeant Marc Butler said: "There can often be tell-tale signs that a property has been converted into a cannabis factory, such as a strong smell and the noise of machinery.

“These plants have been seized as a direct result of information received from members of the community and we would encourage anyone who has information about suspicious activity in their neighbourhood to come forward and contact us - we will take action.


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



Visitors
0 Members and 2 Guests are online.

guest counter
Today were 29 guests and 1 member online.

Board Statistics
The forum has 1227 topics and 21916 posts.

1 member has been online today :




disconnected MC Chat room Members online 0