Skip to Content

Latest News

US FL: State Pot Committee Heavy With Commercial Interests

Top Stories (MAP) - Mon, 01/19/2015 - 08:00
Orlando Sentinel, 19 Jan 2015 - Florida's rules for medical marijuana will be crafted in part by a 12-member panel that includes Winter Garden nurseryman Bruce Knox and at least eight others in position to make money from the law. The 12 make up a committee formed to help the Florida Department of Health determine how to select, license and regulate Florida companies to grow a non-euphoric cannabis, make a medicinal oil from it and sell it to patients.
Categories: Latest News

US WY: Mead Supports Suing Feds, Not Colorado Over

Top Stories (MAP) - Mon, 01/19/2015 - 08:00
Casper Star-Tribune, 19 Jan 2015 - CHEYENNE -- Gov. Matt Mead believes Wyomingites are likely purchasing legal marijuana in Colorado and taking it home, and he blames the federal government, he said Friday. At an annual gathering of the Wyoming Press Association at the Little America Hotel, Mead talked about his opposition to legalization.
Categories: Latest News

US AK: Interior Alaska Entrepreneurs, Policymakers Prepare for

Top Stories (MAP) - Sun, 01/18/2015 - 08:00
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, 18 Jan 2015 - FAIRBANKS - Alaska's marijuana laws begin to get a lot more permissive in about five weeks: Recreational marijuana use will be legal for people older than 21 on Feb. 24. Voters statewide made that choice in November when they approved a broad state initiative that also allows for the legalized but regulated sale of marijuana, marijuana products and marijuana accessories beginning next year, following the required adoption of regulations later this year.
Categories: Latest News

Turkey: PKK Makes Use of Legal Loopholes to Maintain Drug

Top Stories (MAP) - Sun, 01/18/2015 - 08:00
Today's Zaman, 18 Jan 2015 - A General Directorate of Security (EGM) report on the fight against drug-trafficking and production has revealed that the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) makes millions of dollars growing marijuana in the southeastern provinces by exploiting the lack of effective legal measures to tackle illegal drug production in areas that are not monitored by the government. The report also indicated that mines are placed around the fields and that snipers occupy high positions to protect the marijuana fields from outside intruders.
Categories: Latest News

US CO: Odd Byproduct of Legal Marijuana: Homes That Blow Up

Top Stories (MAP) - Sun, 01/18/2015 - 08:00
New York Times, 18 Jan 2015 - DENVER - When Colorado legalized marijuana two years ago, nobody was quite ready for the problem of exploding houses. But that is exactly what firefighters, courts and lawmakers across the state are confronting these days: amateur marijuana alchemists who are turning their kitchens and basements into "Breaking Bad"-style laboratories, using flammable chemicals to extract potent drops of a marijuana concentrate commonly called hash oil, and sometimes accidentally blowing up their homes and lighting themselves on fire in the process.
Categories: Latest News

US IL: Green Behind The Grass

Top Stories (MAP) - Sun, 01/18/2015 - 08:00
Chicago Sun-Times, 18 Jan 2015 - Costs Adding Up for Medical Pot Entrepreneurs In the world of medical marijuana entrepreneurs in Illinois, there's plenty of green behind the grass. Hundreds of would-be medical marijuana growers and sellers have put millions of dollars on the line hoping for coveted state permits that were supposed to be issued by former Gov. Pat Quinn by the end of last year.
Categories: Latest News

US FL: Editorial: Lead Or Be Eclipsed On Medical Marijuana

Top Stories (MAP) - Sun, 01/18/2015 - 08:00
Sun-Sentinel, 18 Jan 2015 - Those who opposed last year's push to legalize medical marijuana in Florida raised several concerns. They feared it would allow children to get medical pot from their doctor. They feared it would be prescribed for just about anything, including a hangnail. They feared caregivers would become drug dealers. And above all else, they said it had no business as an amendment to the state constitution. In November, Amendment 2 came close to passing with 58 percent of the vote, just shy of the 60 percent needed. At the time, its principal backer, Orlando trial attorney John Morgan, promised he'd be back. And Monday, he filed paperwork to start the process for placing a revised initiative on the 2016 ballot.
Categories: Latest News

US: Cartels Quickly Adapting To Looser U.S. Marijuana Laws

Top Stories (MAP) - Sun, 01/18/2015 - 08:00
Albuquerque Journal, 18 Jan 2015 - At the US-Mexico Border, a Flood of Heroin, Meth Show the Trade Is Changing SAN YSIDRO, Calif. - Mexican traffickers are sending a flood of cheap heroin and methamphetamine across the U.S. border, the latest drug-seizure statistics show, in a new sign that America's marijuana decriminalization trend is upending the North American narcotics trade.
Categories: Latest News

US CO: Increase in Explosions of Home Labs Is Blamed on Colo.

Top Stories (MAP) - Sun, 01/18/2015 - 08:00
Boston Globe, 18 Jan 2015 - DENVER - When Colorado legalized marijuana two years ago, one problem was not fully anticipated: exploding houses. But that is exactly what firefighters, courts, and lawmakers across the state are now confronting. Amateur marijuana alchemists are turning their kitchens and basements into "Breaking Bad"-style laboratories, using flammable chemicals to extract potent drops of a marijuana concentrate commonly called hash oil and sometimes accidentally blowing up their homes and lighting themselves on fire.
Categories: Latest News

US VT: Green Mountain High?

Top Stories (MAP) - Sun, 01/18/2015 - 08:00
Los Angeles Times, 18 Jan 2015 - Vermont Is Exploring Whether to Become the Center of Legal Pot Sales in the East. If It Does, a Tourism Boom May Follow. Forget ski resorts and prize-winning maple syrup. The big tourism draw for tiny Vermont could soon be marijuana.
Categories: Latest News

US CO: Busting The Burn

Top Stories (MAP) - Sun, 01/18/2015 - 08:00
Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 18 Jan 2015 - Colorado Must Decide How to Deal With Home Hash Oil Efforts That Go Up in Flames DENVER - When Colorado legalized marijuana two years ago, nobody was quite ready for the problem of exploding houses.
Categories: Latest News

Utah Man Killed in Drug Bust Scuffle

Drug War Chronicle - Sat, 01/17/2015 - 19:11

A man was shot and killed by a West Valley City, Utah, police officer who was attempting to arrest him on drug charges Wednesday. Jeffrey Nielson, 34, becomes the first person to die in US domestic drug law enforcement operations so far this year.

[image:1 align:left]This is the fifth year the Drug War Chronicle has tallied drug war deaths. There were 54 in 2011, 63 in 2012, 41 in 2013, and 39 in 2014.

According to the Salt Lake Tribune, citing police sources, a West Valley City police officer on his way to work Wednesday morning noticed a "suspicious" black SUV with a man slumped over the wheel. The officer called Draper police for backup, and two more officers arrived minutes later.

The officers were about to arrest Nielson on suspicion of a narcotics violation when he broke free and produced a butcher knife while still inside in the SUV.

"When the struggle ensues inside the cab of the [SUV], there's [four] officers on the driver's side attempting to take the gentleman back out of the car," Draper Deputy Police Chief John Eining said. "And that's when the knife is produced."

One of the officers then fired multiple shots, killing Nielson.

Eining said that while an investigation is ongoing, the officers "did everything they could do in this situation" and acted appropriately.

"We have an officer that recognized a threat and within seconds, he had to identify the threat, and the danger that that person posed to the other officers involved, and had to act on that threat," Eining said. "And again, this is an incident that involved deadly force by a suspect, and was met by deadly force by an officer."

Eining said drugs were found, but he did not say what kind or in what quantity.

Nielson had a lengthy criminal record, including previous drug convictions.

Categories: Latest News

US AK: North Pole To Consider Ban On Marijuana Sales

Top Stories (MAP) - Sat, 01/17/2015 - 08:00
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, 17 Jan 2015 - FAIRBANKS - The North Pole City Council will soon be considering a ban on the sale of marijuana in city limits. Marijuana retail stores do not reflect the values of the Christmas-themed community, a draft ordinance states.
Categories: Latest News

US WA: Growers Struggle With A Plethora Of Pot

Top Stories (MAP) - Sat, 01/17/2015 - 08:00
The Herald, 17 Jan 2015 - High Taxes and Not Enough Stores Is Creating an "Economic Nightmare" for Farmers. SEATTLE (AP) - Washington's legal marijuana market opened last summer to a dearth of weed. Some stores periodically closed because they didn't have pot to sell. Prices were through the roof.
Categories: Latest News

US AK: Legislator Seeks Delay in Marijuana-Concentrates

Top Stories (MAP) - Sat, 01/17/2015 - 08:00
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, 17 Jan 2015 - JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) - A Homer legislator has proposed delaying regulations for marijuana concentrates to allow officials to focus this year on rules for the sale and growth of legalized pot and licensing of marijuana businesses. But Timothy Hinterberger, the chairman of the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana like Alcohol in Alaska, said the bill would "defy the will of the voters" and open the state to litigation, "which it would surely lose."
Categories: Latest News

Chronicle AM: Major Asset Forfeiture Reform Move, NCAA Drug Policy Review, Indonesia Executions, More (1/16/15)

Drug War Chronicle - Fri, 01/16/2015 - 22:19

Attorney General Holder announces a major civil asset forfeiture reform move, the NCAA will review its drug policies, a Vermont report on the impact of pot legalization has been released, and more. Let's get to it:

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

No Marijuana Stores in Alaska's Capital Until October. The City and Borough of Juneau Assembly has approved a moratorium on marijuana-related businesses until October 19. City officials will not consider any land use or other permits until the moratorium expires, meaning pot businesses won't be able to grow crops or prepare for retail sales until then.

Report on Impact of Legalization in Vermont Released. Vermont could make tens of millions of dollars in marijuana revenues a year, according to a new comprehensive report released today. The report was commissioned by the state legislature and serves as a policy guide as the state considers legalization. It lays out various options for legalization.

Medical Marijuana

Georgia CBD Medical Marijuana Bill Dead. Rep. Allen Peake's House Bill 1, which would have allowed for the use of high-CBD cannabis oil to treat seizures in children, has died before even being introduced. The bill died after Gov. Nathan Deal (R) announced his support for another CBD bill, which is yet to be written.

Kansas Medical Marijuana Supporters Rally in Topeka. Several dozen medical marijuana supporters were joined by a pair of Democratic lawmakers at a statehouse rally today to call for legalizing the medicinal use of the herb. The two legislators, Rep. Gail Finney (D-Wichita) and Sen. David Haley (D-Kansas City), filed medical marijuana bills prior to the start of this year's legislative session. Similar measures have been filed since 2009, but none of them have made it to the discussion stage in committee.

Asset Forfeiture

Attorney General Holder Blocks Federal Asset Forfeiture Sharing Program. In the boldest civil asset forfeiture reform move in years, Holder has barred federal agencies from participating in the Equitable Sharing asset forfeiture program, under which state and local police seeking to circumvent state asset forfeiture laws would let federal agencies "adopt" the seizures. Under the program, the police agency got up to 80% of the proceeds, while state laws typically require them to be deposited in designated accounts, such as the general fund or education funds. Click on the link for the full story.

Drug Policy

NCAA to Consider Revamping Its Drug Policy. In the wake of criticism for suspending a University of Oregon football player for pot smoking just before the collegiate national championship game, and after its Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports informally recommended it, the NCAA will examine proposed changes to its policies for testing both performance-enhancing and recreational drugs. The NCAA's standard for marijuana, for instance, it 10 times that used for airline pilots.

International

Stratfor Report on Mexican Drug Trafficking. The Austin-based private intelligence group has released a free, condensed version of its annual Mexican drug cartel report. Check it out at the link.

Indonesia Set to Execute Six Drug Convicts Sunday. New President Joko Widodo appears to be living up to his vow to not grant clemency to death row drug prisoners. The Indonesian Attorney General's Office announced Friday that it will execute six convicted drug traffickers Sunday. Widodo signed off on the executions last month.

Categories: Latest News

Justice Department Limits Seized Asset Sharing With State, Local Cops [FEATURE]

Drug War Chronicle - Fri, 01/16/2015 - 21:01

This article was published in collaboration with AlterNet.

[image:1 align:left caption:true]Attorney General Eric Holder this morning issued an order that will bar federal agencies from participating in "adoptions" of assets seized by state and local law enforcement agencies. "Adoptions" occur when state or local law enforcement agencies seize cash or properties under state laws, but then ask that a federal agency takes the seized property and forfeit it under federal law.

State and local law enforcement agencies routinely resort to "adoption" as a means of circumventing state laws that mandate seized assets go to designated programs, typically a state's general fund or education fund. When a seizure is "adopted" by the feds, the seizing agency gets to keep 80% of the proceeds, with the federal government getting the rest.

"With this new policy, effective immediately, the Justice Department is taking an important step to prohibit federal agency adoptions of state and local seizures, except for public safety reasons," Holder said in a statement. "This is the first step in a comprehensive review that we have launched of the federal asset forfeiture program. Asset forfeiture remains a critical law enforcement tool when used appropriately -- providing unique means to go after criminal and even terrorist organizations. This new policy will ensure that these authorities can continue to be used to take the profit out of crime and return assets to victims, while safeguarding civil liberties."

While much asset forfeiture activity is related to drug cases, they are not included in the list of exceptions to the new policy barring "adoptions." Those public safety exceptions include firearms, ammunition, explosives, and materials related to child pornography.

The new policy does not impact asset forfeitures conducted by federal law enforcement, nor does it bar state and local law enforcement from conducting civil asset forfeiture under state law.

[image:2 align:right caption:true]Under the Justice Department's Equitable Sharing asset forfeiture "adoption" program, state and local law enforcement has made more than 55,000 seizures of cash and property with a value of more than $3 billion since 2008.

Holder's move Friday is the boldest step to roll back sweeping police powers to seize goods and property since federal asset forfeiture began as tactic in the war on drugs in the 1980s. The Justice Department adopted the Equitable Sharing program in 1993.

Civil asset forfeiture -- the seizure of goods or property without having obtained a criminal conviction -- has come under increasing fire in recent years. Several asset forfeiture reform bills were filed in the last Congress, one has already been filed in the new Congress, and members from both parties are working jointly to draw up a bill to reform civil asset forfeiture.

The issue brought together libertarian-leaning groups like the Institute for Justice, which produced the highly critical study "Policing for Profit: The Abuse of Civil Asset Forfeiture," and left-leaning groups like the ACLU to press for reforms. They met with congressional staffers to seek changes last fall.

Just last Friday, a bipartisan group of legislators including Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) and Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) sent a letter to Holder calling on him to end the Equitable Sharing program.

Pressure mounted after a Washington Post investigative piece published in September found police had seized nearly $2.5 billion in cash from motorists without search warrants or indictments since September 11, 2001. In that investigation, the Post found that police routinely stopped drivers for minor traffic violations, then intimidated them into agreeing to warrantless searches and seized cash without evidence of criminal misconduct.

[image:3 align:left caption:true]Holder's move is likely to exacerbate already strained relations between the Obama administration and law enforcement agencies. Police groups have expressed unhappiness with remarks both Holder and Obama made about controversial police killings in Ferguson, Missouri, and New York City.

And now, the administration is in effect taking money out of their pockets. More than 7,500 of the nation's 18,000 state and local police departments and joint task forces have participated in the Equitable Sharing program. And hundreds of departments and sheriff's offices have seizure proceeds accounting for more than 20% of their budgets.

The move will also hurt federal agencies that have been "adopting" the seizures, particularly the DEA and ICE. Federal law enforcement has pocketed $800 million under Equitable Sharing seizures without arrests or convictions since 2001.

This is the second major asset forfeiture reform at the federal level. Spurred by reports of abuses of asset forfeiture in the late 1990s, Congress passed the Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act of 2000. That bill originally contained a provision "ending the sharing of seizure proceeds between local police and federal agencies," but it was removed in the face of fierce opposition from police and prosecutors.

Since 9/11, with calls by federal officials for state and local law enforcement to surveil the nation's highways looking not only for drugs, but now for terrorists, the program only expanded. It didn't help that the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security paid out millions to private companies to teach police officers aggressive highway interdiction techniques emphasizing the importance of seizing cash.

The Equitable Sharing program and the aggressive interdiction techniques created what lawmakers a decade-and-a-half ago called "a perverse incentive" for police to concentrate more on seizing cash than seizing drugs. Now, Holder has butchered the cash cow.

Categories: Latest News

Justice Department Limits Seized Asset Sharing With State, Local Cops [FEATURE]

Top Stories (STDW) - Fri, 01/16/2015 - 21:01

This article was published in collaboration with AlterNet.

[image:1 align:left caption:true]Attorney General Eric Holder this morning issued an order that will bar federal agencies from participating in "adoptions" of assets seized by state and local law enforcement agencies. "Adoptions" occur when state or local law enforcement agencies seize cash or properties under state laws, but then ask that a federal agency takes the seized property and forfeit it under federal law.

State and local law enforcement agencies routinely resort to "adoption" as a means of circumventing state laws that mandate seized assets go to designated programs, typically a state's general fund or education fund. When a seizure is "adopted" by the feds, the seizing agency gets to keep 80% of the proceeds, with the federal government getting the rest.

"With this new policy, effective immediately, the Justice Department is taking an important step to prohibit federal agency adoptions of state and local seizures, except for public safety reasons," Holder said in a statement. "This is the first step in a comprehensive review that we have launched of the federal asset forfeiture program. Asset forfeiture remains a critical law enforcement tool when used appropriately -- providing unique means to go after criminal and even terrorist organizations. This new policy will ensure that these authorities can continue to be used to take the profit out of crime and return assets to victims, while safeguarding civil liberties."

While much asset forfeiture activity is related to drug cases, they are not included in the list of exceptions to the new policy barring "adoptions." Those public safety exceptions include firearms, ammunition, explosives, and materials related to child pornography.

The new policy does not impact asset forfeitures conducted by federal law enforcement, nor does it bar state and local law enforcement from conducting civil asset forfeiture under state law.

[image:2 align:right caption:true]Under the Justice Department's Equitable Sharing asset forfeiture "adoption" program, state and local law enforcement has made more than 55,000 seizures of cash and property with a value of more than $3 billion since 2008.

Holder's move Friday is the boldest step to roll back sweeping police powers to seize goods and property since federal asset forfeiture began as tactic in the war on drugs in the 1980s. The Justice Department adopted the Equitable Sharing program in 1993.

Civil asset forfeiture -- the seizure of goods or property without having obtained a criminal conviction -- has come under increasing fire in recent years. Several asset forfeiture reform bills were filed in the last Congress, one has already been filed in the new Congress, and members from both parties are working jointly to draw up a bill to reform civil asset forfeiture.

The issue brought together libertarian-leaning groups like the Institute for Justice, which produced the highly critical study "Policing for Profit: The Abuse of Civil Asset Forfeiture," and left-leaning groups like the ACLU to press for reforms. They met with congressional staffers to seek changes last fall.

Just last Friday, a bipartisan group of legislators including Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) and Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) sent a letter to Holder calling on him to end the Equitable Sharing program.

Pressure mounted after a Washington Post investigative piece published in September found police had seized nearly $2.5 billion in cash from motorists without search warrants or indictments since September 11, 2001. In that investigation, the Post found that police routinely stopped drivers for minor traffic violations, then intimidated them into agreeing to warrantless searches and seized cash without evidence of criminal misconduct.

[image:3 align:left caption:true]Holder's move is likely to exacerbate already strained relations between the Obama administration and law enforcement agencies. Police groups have expressed unhappiness with remarks both Holder and Obama made about controversial police killings in Ferguson, Missouri, and New York City.

And now, the administration is in effect taking money out of their pockets. More than 7,500 of the nation's 18,000 state and local police departments and joint task forces have participated in the Equitable Sharing program. And hundreds of departments and sheriff's offices have seizure proceeds accounting for more than 20% of their budgets.

The move will also hurt federal agencies that have been "adopting" the seizures, particularly the DEA and ICE. Federal law enforcement has pocketed $800 million under Equitable Sharing seizures without arrests or convictions since 2001.

This is the second major asset forfeiture reform at the federal level. Spurred by reports of abuses of asset forfeiture in the late 1990s, Congress passed the Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act of 2000. That bill originally contained a provision "ending the sharing of seizure proceeds between local police and federal agencies," but it was removed in the face of fierce opposition from police and prosecutors.

Since 9/11, with calls by federal officials for state and local law enforcement to surveil the nation's highways looking not only for drugs, but now for terrorists, the program only expanded. It didn't help that the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security paid out millions to private companies to teach police officers aggressive highway interdiction techniques emphasizing the importance of seizing cash.

The Equitable Sharing program and the aggressive interdiction techniques created what lawmakers a decade-and-a-half ago called "a perverse incentive" for police to concentrate more on seizing cash than seizing drugs. Now, Holder has butchered the cash cow.

Categories: Latest News

US CO: Could Pot Boost Local AG Industry?

Top Stories (MAP) - Fri, 01/16/2015 - 08:00
The Cortez Journal, 16 Jan 2015 - Advocates say yes, release field report A local medical marijuana advocate says the area's agriculture industry could receive a boost if farmers were allowed to grow cannabis. Last summer, Montezuma County commissioners voted to prohibit licensed commercial grow operations, but one man is hopeful local officials will reconsider. Representing the Colorado Plateau Growers Association, Lu Nettleton recently released the group's first field and seed trials report for commercial marijuana, which reveals that cannabis could be an economic boon.
Categories: Latest News

CN BC: Marijuana Dispensary Targeted By Mounties

Top Stories (MAP) - Fri, 01/16/2015 - 08:00
The Daily Courier, 16 Jan 2015 - RCMP lowered the boom on a new marijuana dispensary that was sailing under the radar in downtown Kelowna. Mounties raided the Kaya Clinic on Lawrence Avenue this week after receiving complaints the shop may be trafficking weed. They seized more than 12 pounds of dried marijuana and dozens of derivatives, including oils, hash, capsules, teas, honey, cookies and more.
Categories: Latest News
Syndicate content