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CN ON: Council Buzzing Over Smell From Grow-Op

Top Stories (MAP) - Fri, 09/12/2014 - 07:00
The Niagara Falls Review, 12 Sep 2014 - The smell emanating from a medicinal marijuana grow-op on Lakeshore Rd. has prompted Niagara-on-the-Lake town council to send another complaint to Health Canada. Coun. Martin Mazza said the crop in the greenhouse at 1651 Lakeshore Rd. near Garrison Village will be harvested soon and already has a bad odour. The operation had been licensed under previous Health Canada regulations before new federal legislation took effect April 1.
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CN ON: Trudeau Defends Pot Legalization

Top Stories (MAP) - Fri, 09/12/2014 - 07:00
Toronto Sun, 12 Sep 2014 - OTTAWA - Justin Trudeau yesterday accused the government of fear-mongering with its attacks on his pot legalization policy. "A UN study says out of 29 developed countries, Canada is No. 1 in teen marijuana use," Trudeau told reporters. "The approach (justice minister Peter) MacKay and (Prime Minister Stephen) Harper are using of prohibition isn't helping kids and millions of dollars are funnelling to gangs."
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Canada: Trudeau Defends Pot Legalization

Top Stories (MAP) - Fri, 09/12/2014 - 07:00
Edmonton Sun, 12 Sep 2014 - OTTAWA - Justin Trudeau yesterday accused the government of fear-mongering with its attacks on his pot legalization policy. "A UN study says out of 29 developed countries, Canada is No. 1 in teen marijuana use," Trudeau told reporters. "The approach (justice minister Peter) MacKay and (Prime Minister Stephen) Harper are using of prohibition isn't helping kids and millions of dollars are funnelling to gangs."
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Canada: Trudeau Defends Pot Legalization

Top Stories (MAP) - Fri, 09/12/2014 - 07:00
The Calgary Sun, 12 Sep 2014 - OTTAWA - Justin Trudeau yesterday accused the government of fear-mongering with its attacks on his pot legalization policy. "A UN study says out of 29 developed countries, Canada is No. 1 in teen marijuana use," Trudeau told reporters. "The approach (justice minister Peter) MacKay and (Prime Minister Stephen) Harper are using of prohibition isn't helping kids and millions of dollars are funnelling to gangs."
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Chronicle AM: Mexican Coca, Saudis Behead Another Trafficker, Feds Raid LA Fashion District, More (9/11/14)

Drug War Chronicle - Thu, 09/11/2014 - 19:03

A federal CBD medical marijuana bill picks up more sponsors, so does a federal asset forfeiture reform bill, Georgia advocates want whole whole plant medical marijuana, Mexico's first coca patch is busted, Saudi Arabia beheads another drug offender, and more. Let's get to it:

[image:1 align:left caption:true]Marijuana Policy

York, Maine, Selectmen Refuse to Put Legalization Initiative on Ballot, But… Town selectmen voted against putting the initiative from Citizens for a Safer Maine on the November ballot, but since petitioners have already gathered sufficient signatures to force the issue, they can get their petition notarized to be placed on the ballot. York will join Lewiston and South Portland in voting on initiatives this year; Portland approved one last year.

Medical Marijuana

Charlotte's Web Medical Hemp Act Picks Up More Sponsors. The Charlotte's Web Medical Hemp Act (HR 5226), which would exclude cannabidiol (CBD) from the definition of marijuana, has gained new sponsors. It now has 19 cosponsors -- 11 Democrats and eight Republicans. The latest are Reps. Ann Wagner (R-MO), Matthew Cartwright (D-PA), and Chris Stewart (R-UT).

Georgia Advocates Call for Whole Plant Medical Marijuana, Not Just CBD Oil. As legislative hearings in Macon continue to examine the use of CBD oil, medical marijuana advocates are calling for whole plant medical marijuana. "The cannabis plant contains many compounds that have proven to be effective in treating a variety of conditions," said Georgia C.A.R.E director James Bell. "We should not be determining who can and cannot benefit from this healing plant."

Asset Forfeiture

Civil Asset Forfeiture Act Picks Up New Sponsors. The bill, HR 5212, now has five cosponsors. The latest are Reps. Stevan Pearce (R-NM), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), and Reid Ribble (R-WI). All cosponsors so far are Republicans. The bill, filed by Rep. Tim Wahlberg (R-MI), would increase citizen protections against federal asset forfeiture actions.

Law Enforcement

Feds Raid LA Fashion District in Cartel Money Laundering Probe. More than a thousand law enforcement officers spread out across LA's fashion district Wednesday, raiding more than 60 warehouses, storefronts, and residences, arresting nine people and seizing $65 million in cash that they said was being laundered for Mexican drug trafficking organizations. The feds called the mass bust Operation Fashion Police.

International

OAS Head Claims Regional Consensus on Drug Reform. Speaking in front of the Inter-American Dialog in Washington, DC, Organization of American States (OAS) Secretary General Jose Miguel Insulza said Wednesday that regional leaders have reached consensus on four drug policy reform issues: to emphasize a public health approach, to seek out alternatives to incarceration, to stay strong against organized crime, and to work on strengthening regional institutions. Insulza's remarks come ahead of an OAS Special General Assembly to be held in Guatemala next week.

Mexico's First Coca Plantation Discovered in Chiapas. Mexican soldiers have seized more than 1,600 coca plants being cultivated in southern Chiapas state, near the Guatemalan border. Mexican military and UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) officials said it was the first time coca planting had been discovered in the country. "It's a pretty troubling discovery," said UNODC Mexico representative Antonio Mazzitelli. It could amount to "a small-scale experiment to see if there is a possibility of replicating" coca production in Mexico. Coca is currently grown only in the Andes, although there is nothing stopping it from being cultivated elsewhere.

Saudi Arabia Beheads Another Drug Offender. Authorities in Saudi Arabia Tuesday beheaded a Pakistani national convicted of smuggling "a large quantity of heroin." They have executed at least seven other drug traffickers in recent weeks, and 49 people overall so far this year. It's unclear how many of the 49 were drug offenders.

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CN BC: Christy Clark, Your Purple Kush Marijuana Is In The Mail

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 09/11/2014 - 07:00
The Georgia Straight, 11 Sep 2014 - Could ending the months-long B.C. teachers' strike be as simple as Christy Clark, Peter Fassbender, and Jim Iker hot boxing it in the premier's minivan? Marijuana activist Dana Larsen said today (September 11) that he has sent the premier some weed in the mail.
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CN BC: FOI Request Reveals Vancouver City Hall Perplexed By

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 09/11/2014 - 07:00
The Georgia Straight, 11 Sep 2014 - THERE'S CONFUSION AT 12th and Cambie about how Vancouver should regulate its burgeoning market for medicinal marijuana, according to documents released in response to a Straight freedom of information request. But one councillor appears to have taken a clear stance on cannabis. That's Vision Vancouver's Kerry Jang, who in March 2014 received a letter of gratitude for letting his position be known.
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China: Australians Facing The Death Penalty In China For Drug

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 09/11/2014 - 07:00
Sydney Morning Herald, 11 Sep 2014 - BEIJING: A number of Australians are facing the death penalty in China after being charged with serious drug offences. The Department of Foreign Affairs said an unspecified number of Australians had been detained, but it would not reveal any further detail on specific cases.
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CN ON: Politics, Pot Smoking On Agenda At Hempfest

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 09/11/2014 - 07:00
The Northern Times, 11 Sep 2014 - MOONBEAM- There was laughter, tears and the occasional cloud of smoke at Hempfest 2014 in Moonbeam earlier this month. And though there was plenty of beer on hand, this party was BYOB: Bring your own bong.
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US: War On Drugs 'Failed'

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 09/11/2014 - 07:00
Herald Sun, 11 Sep 2014 - A 21-MEMBER international panel has urged a global overhaul of drug policies, calling for drugs such as marijuana to be regulated, an end to incarceration for drug use and possession, and greater emphasis on protecting public health. The Global Commission on Drug Policy said traditional measures in the "war on drugs" such as eradicating acres of illicit crops, seizing large quantities of illegal drugs, and arresting and jailing violators of drug laws had failed.
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New Zealand: Harre Defends 'Legalise' Call

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 09/11/2014 - 07:00
New Zealand Herald, 11 Sep 2014 - Internet Party Leader Says Study Proves Cannabis Use Should Be Treated As Health Issue Internet Party leader Laila Harre is standing by her policy to decriminalise cannabis following the publication of a study highlighting the damaging effects of regular use on young people.
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US NJ: Column: Corruption Is Rampant In New Jersey Courts

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 09/11/2014 - 07:00
The Trentonian, 11 Sep 2014 - "We standout in our corruption, New Jersey is unique" wrote Bob Ingles, author of "The Soprano State". His book details the "you-couldn't-make-this-up" true story of the corruption that has pervaded New Jersey politics, government and business for the past thirty years. As U.S. Attorney, Chris Christie made his name on corruption - busting state officials, bullying his way through towns, legally hammering away with the full weight of the federal government. State officials cowered at the mere mention of his office.
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US NM: State Won't Let Marijuana Question On Ballot

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 09/11/2014 - 07:00
Albuquerque Journal, 11 Sep 2014 - Counties Could Sue Secretary of State Secretary of State Dianna Duran says she won't allow Bernalillo and Santa Fe counties to put nonbinding "advisory" questions on the fall ballot. Each county had agreed earlier this week to ask voters whether they support decriminalizing possession of an ounce or less of marijuana.
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US CO: Column: What's With The Pot-Centric Alphabet Soup?

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 09/11/2014 - 07:00
Westword, 11 Sep 2014 - Dear Stoner: What is the alphabet soup that follows marijuana around? I know THC is what gets me high, but what about CBD, CBN, THCV, CBA, CBS, ESPN and all of the other things in pot? What do they do? Confused in Commerce City
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US AZ: Column: Patient Focused

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 09/11/2014 - 07:00
Tucson Weekly, 11 Sep 2014 - Desert Bloom Re-Leaf Center on the Eastside Is Looking Toward the Future, While Helping Card-Holders in the Present "For the patients, by the patients." That's the slogan of Desert Bloom Re-Leaf Center, an innovative and progressive medical marijuana dispensary located on Tucson's east side at 8060 E. 22nd St.
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New Zealand: Evidence Mounts Against Cannabis

Top Stories (MAP) - Thu, 09/11/2014 - 07:00
Manawatu Standard, 11 Sep 2014 - Regular cannabis use by teenagers can lead to an increased risk of suicide, greater use of illicit drugs and poor educational achievement, a Christchurch study says. The study, published in medical journal The Lancet, showed daily cannabis users under the age of 17 were 60 per cent less likely to complete high school or attend university and were nearly seven times more likely to attempt suicide.
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Medical Marijuana Update

Drug War Chronicle - Wed, 09/10/2014 - 22:50

The Florida initiative is in a close fight, hearings are coming in Hawaii, draft regulations are coming in Maryland, Illinois begins taking medical marijuana business applications, and more. Let's get to it:

[image:1 align:left]California

Last Thursday, a federal judge denied a request from Lake County patients for a temporary restraining order barring the county from carrying out searches and eradications under its Measure N grow rules. US District Judge Thelton Henderson ruled that the claims did not meet the legal standard required for a temporary restraining order, but held that plaintiffs could still seek a preliminary injunction.

Florida

Last Thursday, a new poll had the state medical marijuana initiative coming up just short. A new Florida Decides poll has a majority in favor of the Measure 2 medical marijuana initiative, but not the super-majority needed to pass a constitutional amendment. The poll had support at 57%, but 60% is needed. But the poll also had 17% undecided, and if only a fraction of the undecided break in favor of the initiative, it could win. Another poll earlier this week had support at 64%.

Hawaii

Last Friday, officials announced public hearings on dispensaries. A task force created by the state legislature to address dispensary issues will hold public hearings this week in Hilo and on September 24 in Honolulu. Click on the link for more details and information about how to submit public comments.

Illinois

On Monday, the state began accepting applications for medical marijuana businesses. The state Agriculture Department is now taking applications from people who want to open dispensaries or cultivation centers. There are 22 licenses available for growers and 60 for dispensaries.

Maryland

On Wednesday, the state was waiting for new draft medical marijuana regulations. The Maryland Medical Marijuana Commission was expected to release a second draft of regulations for the state's medical marijuana program today. The first draft came under public criticism last month for, among other things, language that would have barred grows or dispensaries within the Baltimore city limits. That language has been removed. Stay tuned for the actual draft.

New Jersey

Last Friday, a Princeton employee was put on paid leave over his medical marijuana use. Princeton University campus dining manager Don DeZarn, who had been told to choose between his job and his medicine after he began legally using medical marijuana this summer, is now on paid leave as the school attempts to resolve the issue. The problem arose after DeZarn said he might use the drug while at work and school public safety officials raised concerns he could be impaired and might accidentally give a student with food allergies the wrong item (or something).

For extensive information about the medical marijuana debate, presented in a neutral format, visit MedicalMarijuana.ProCon.org.]

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This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories

Drug War Chronicle - Wed, 09/10/2014 - 22:14

A storied Chicago narc finally goes down, a Michigan reserve cop admits trying to trade speed pills for sex, and a whole raft of jail and prison guards get themselves in trouble. Let's get to it:

[image:1 align:right]In El Centro, California, a state prison guard was arrested last Tuesday on charges he smuggled drugs into the prison. Guard Ramon Rosales, 41, has been hit with a raft of charges, including bribery, conspiracy, possession of a controlled substance for sale, transportation of a controlled substance and bringing a controlled substance into a state prison. He was an 18-year veteran at Centinela State Prison.

In Fort Stockton, Texas, a Fort Stockton prison guard was arrested last Wednesday after purchasing from an undercover agent meth that he intended to smuggle into the Lynbaugh Corrections Unit. Erick Carbajal, 23, is charged with possession of a controlled substance and has posted $2,500 bail.

In Greenville, New York, a state prison guard was arrested last Wednesday after authorities caught her with controlled substances on the grounds of the Maury Correctional Institution. Devetta Stokes, 27, is charged with possession of a controlled substance at a prison, possession of a Schedule III controlled substance, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Her bond was set at $6,000; it's not clear if she posted it.

In Albany, Georgia, a Dougherty County jail guard was arrested last Thursday after an investigation into drug smuggling into the jail. Detention Officer Felicia Ruiz was immediately fired and charged with conspiracy to bring contraband into the jail and violating her oath of office. She is out on $7,500 bond.

In Alfred, Maine, three York County jail guards and four former jail guards were indicted last Thursday on charges they smuggled drugs into the jail. The guards went down after someone posted a photograph from inside the jail on social media and a subsequent investigation uncovered evidence of drug dealing behind the bars. The indicted guards and their charges are: Steven Thomas, 25, trafficking in prison contraband; Connar Bogan, 21, trafficking in prison contraband; Jay Bodnar, 30, official oppression, falsifying or destroying evidence; Anthony Klingensmith, 42, official oppression, conspiracy; Richard Lane, 43, official oppression, conspiracy; Chris Langlais, 24, official oppression, conspiracy; and Nathan Watson, 21, official oppression, conspiracy. A prisoner was also arrested on prison contraband trafficking charges.

In Kalamazoo, Michigan, a former Prairieville Township reserve police officer pleaded guilty last Friday in a case where he was accused of trading amphetamines he obtained illicitly for sex with men. Michael Strong went down after police set up a sting through a social networking dating site. He was arrested after meeting an undercover officer to exchange drugs for sex. He copped to one count of delivery of methamphetamine or ecstasy in return for all other charges being dropped. His sentencing date is set for next March.

In Chicago, a former Chicago undercover narcotics officer was sentenced last Wednesday to 15 months in prison for extorting a tow truck operator and selling guns to a convicted felon. Ali Haleem, who called himself "the Mayor of 63rd Street," got a short sentence because of his "extraordinary degree of cooperation" with prosecutors. He had been busted by the feds in 2008, but was allowed to keep his police job in return for becoming a snitch for them and helping build public corruption cases. Left unmentioned at sentencing were allegations that he had been paid by a drug smuggling ring in 2001 to tip them off about investigations. Those allegations were investigated by both federal and internal police probes, but he was never charged.

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Chronicle AM: House Won't Block DC Decrim, Forfeiture and SWAT on Trial, More (9/10/2014)

Drug War Chronicle - Wed, 09/10/2014 - 21:07

The House backs off on DC decrim, Maryland awaits medical marijuana draft rules, asset forfeiture is in the news, so is SWAT, Russia says "nyet" to drug legalization, and more. Let's get to it:

[image:1 align:left caption:true]Marijuana Policy

House Won't Challenge DC Decriminalization Law. House Republicans yesterday unveiled their continuing resolution for an appropriations bill that includes spending for the District of Columbia, and it doesn't include an amendment adopted by the Appropriations Committee in July that would have barred the District from implementing its recently passed law decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana.

Colorado Retail Marijuana Sales in July Greater than Medical Marijuana Sales for First Time. The Department of Revenue has reported that July recreational marijuana sales were $29.7 million, compared to $28.9 million for medical marijuana sales. That's the first time recreational sales have surpassed medical sales, which are not subject to the same tax burden on consumers as recreational sales.

Another Poll Finds Coloradans Still Like Their Legal Pot. A new NBC/Marist Poll has found that Colorado's retail cannabis market remains popular among Colorado residents, 55% of whom continue to support the passage and implementation of Amendment 64, the 2012 initiative that legalized taxed and regulated sales to adults. Other recent polls have also showed support hovering in the mid-50s.

Medical Marijuana

Maryland Awaiting New Draft Regulations Today. The Maryland Medical Marijuana Commission was expected to release a second draft of regulations for the state's medical marijuana program today. The first draft came under public criticism last month for, among other things, language that would have barred grows or dispensaries within the Baltimore city limits. That language has been removed. Stay tuned for the actual draft.

Asset Forfeiture

Montana Legislators Plan Asset Forfeiture Reform Bill. Two freshman legislators from Billings, Reps. Daniel Zolnikov (R) and Kelly McCarthy (D) plan to introduce legislation to reform the state's civil asset forfeiture law. The proposed legislation would create a public database on asset forfeiture, require a criminal conviction before forfeiture, protect innocent property-owners from seizures for actions of co-owners, and possibly drop civil forfeiture altogether.

Civil Asset Forfeitures Have Doubled During Obama's Tenure. As part of its ongoing investigative series on asset forfeiture, The Washington Post reports today civil asset forfeitures have more than doubled since President Obama took office. They were at $508 million in 2008, increasing to $1.1 billion last year. Since 2001, police have seized at least $2.5 billion in cash from people never convicted of a crime.

Philadelphia Homeowners Seek Injunction to Block Forfeiture Seizures. A group of homeowners in the city has asked a federal judge to block the city from seizing homes, cars, and other property. The homeowners, who include a couple who lost their home after their adult son sold $40 worth of heroin to an undercover cop, have filed a lawsuit alleging that the city's asset forfeiture practices are unconstitutional. The city conducts more than 6,000 forfeiture actions a year, and local law enforcement is allowed to keep a percentage of the proceeds.

Law Enforcement

Georgia SWAT Raid That Burned Toddler Goes to Grand Jury. A Habersham County grand jury will look into a May SWAT team no-knock drug raid that found neither drugs nor the suspect, but resulted in severe burns and injuries to a 19-month-old toddler when a SWAT team member tossed a flash-bang grenade into his crib. Bounkham "Bou Bou" Phonesavanh was hospitalized for weeks and is still undergoing medical treatment, which the county has so far refused to pay for. DA Brian Rickman said the grand jury will examine both the investigation leading up to the raid and whether anyone should face criminal charges for it. The grand jury goes to work on September 29.

Oregon SWAT Team Arrests Man for Videotaping Drug Raid. Gresham resident Fred Marlow was arrested by police after he refused to stop filming a SWAT raid on a neighbor's home and go inside his own home as ordered. Marlow has uploaded his videotaped exchange with SWAT team members, who accused him of interfering with their operation. When Marlow told police his video was going direct to the cloud, he was then arrested on charges of interference and -- you guessed it -- resisting arrest. Filming in public spaces is not a crime, according to the ACLU, which has a web page on photographers' rights.

International

Key Australian Federal Senator Says Legalize Drugs. Senator David Leyonhelm (LD-NSW) has called for the legalization of both hard and soft drugs as a means of curbing organized crime. He said pot should be sold in supermarkets, while drugs such as cocaine and heroin should be available for purchase from the government.

In Response to Global Commission Report, Russian Drug Agency Rules Out Legalization. Responding to yesterday's release of a new report from the Global Commission on Drugs calling for decriminalization and the regulated sale of drugs, the Federal Drug Control Service said today it rejected the notion, warning that such a move could lead to non-repairable damage to the nation.

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US CA: Attorney Convicted In Drug Scheme Against PTA Volunteer

Top Stories (MAP) - Wed, 09/10/2014 - 07:00
Los Angeles Times, 10 Sep 2014 - An Irvine attorney was convicted Wednesday of having a PTA volunteer falsely imprisoned in a drug bust that was part of a revenge scheme. Kent Easter, 40, was convicted of one felony count of false imprisonment by deceit in a retrial of the case, the Orange County district attorney's office said. A judge declared a mistrial in Easter's first trial in 2013 after jurors reported that they were deadlocked 11 to 1 in favor of convicting.
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