Troopers Seize 83 Pounds Of Marijuana
A man is facing felony drug charges after Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers seized 83 pounds of marijuana, valued at more than $188,000 during a recent traffic stop. Troopers stopped a 2011 Kia Sorento SUV for an unsafe lane change on I-70, near milepost 8 in in Preble County at 9:28 a.m. Thursday. Troopers observed criminal indicators and a Patrol drug sniffing canine alerted to the vehicle. A probable cause search revealed three large bundles of marijuana, four marijuana cigarettes, and 45 prescription pills.
The driver, William J. Meyer, 38, of Rochester, N.Y., was charged with trafficking in marijuana, a second-degree felony. Other charges are possible. The suspect was incarcerated in the Preble County Jail. If convicted, he could face up to eight years in prison and a $15,000 fine.
Weed Trading Cards Unveiled
In California's competitive marijuana growing industry, popular strains such as “OG Kush” and “Blue Dream” can generate big profits, and inventing a hit new strain is a lifetime goal. This week, Berkeley Patients Care Collective honors some more of Northern California's weed celebrities with the release of BPCC's medical cannabis collector cards “Series Two.”
Following the success of BPCC's first set of ten cards in 2010 , patients who buy a gram or more of the strain “MK Ultra” this week can get its collectors card while supplies last. Nine more cards will become available at a rate of one every other week, and eventually patients can purchase all ten for $10 at the collective on Telegraph Avenue. Pics after the jump:
Series Two features: MK Ultra, Purple Kush, Morning Star, Durban Poison, Peak 19, Ogre, Purple God, Sage & Sour, Blue Moonshine, and Blackberry Kush.
The card's front showcases a high-resolution photo of the strain's sticky bud, along with an inset photo of the microscopic trichomes on the plant. Bowers said all photos were taken at BPCC from what came in the door, representing some of the most popular, most available strains in the Bay.
On the back of the card, BPCC traces the strain's history, describes its effect, and the ailments it has been known to treat. For example, MK Ultra is “named after a covert CIA human research program begun in the 1950's, this strain is a cross between the infamous 'government grown' G-13 and OG Kush.”
“Flavor: A spicy and pungent lemon pepper up close, but smells like a skunk from far away. Very strong lung expansion.
“Effect: One of the strongest and heaviest varieties available. Starts out with a powerful euphoria followed by long lasting physical relief.
“Medicinal Recommendations: Chronic Pain, Insomnia, Muscle Spasms, Nausea, Appetite, MS, Anxiety, PTSD, Glaucoma, Migraines, Gastrointestinal Issues, AIDS, Cancer, Epilepsy, Alcoholism, Arthritis, Anorexia.”
Bowers said the first set of cards reaffirmed the impact of specific strains on different ailments. “It really made people understand and inspired to know more about strains that are good for them,” he said.
BPCC's experienced staff determines strain when growers come into the collective with a fresh crop. A good wholesale buyer can tell a strain from across the room, Bowers said, but bud morphology, smell, and texture also help confirm the strain. Buyers also use data from overseas seed banks like Green House in Amsterdam.
However, strains change over time and location, and growers constantly alter them to gain notoriety, leading to a new problem: the strain names themselves. The counter-culture roots of pot growing in California must now contend with the new mainstream legitimacy of the plant.
Medical marijuana dispensaries get notice to vacate
LONG BEACH - The news wasn't very positive at Positive Vibrations medical marijuana collective Monday.
The City Attorney's Office sent letters Thursday to Positive Vibrations and 15 other Long Beach collectives that city officials say are operating illegally, telling them they must close within 30 days.
If they don't, the collective operators - and their landlords, who also were sent letters - will face fines of $100 the first day that they violate the order, $200 the second day and $500 for every day thereafter.
City Attorney Robert Shannon has also filed a civil complaint seeking a court injunction to force Positive Vibrations, 2137 Pacific Ave., to close. He said he targeted the collective because it has caused the most complaints about nuisance activity.
The 16 collectives are considered to be illegal because they didn't comply with Long Beach's new medical marijuana restrictions and permit process. Many have continued to operate for months despite being told they must close, the city attorney said.
"We're not going to put up with it," Shannon said, noting that other collectives could face litigation too. "We certainly have the discretion to file more complaints. Since I'm relatively confident that we're not going to get compliance with the warning letters, I'm sure there will be more complaints to follow."
Leno bill aims to protect working medical marijuana patients
In 2008, then-state Assemblyman Mark Leno got a bill passed in both houses of the California Legislature to prohibit employees from firing workers simply because they were medical marijuana patients.
A little more than two years after the bill was vetoed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Leno, now a Democratic state senator from San Francisco, has introduced similar legislation.
Leno's Senate Bill 129 would prohibit employers from discriminating against workers with medical marijuana recommendations in hiring or firing decisions or in their rights to participate in the workplace.
The bill would allow employers to fire workers for impairment on the job. A summary of the bill said employers in fields, "in which medical cannabis-affected performance could endanger the health and safety of others," would be exempt from the legislation. Those who wouldn't be protected by the bill would include school bus drivers and other transportation workers, operators of heavy equipment and health care providers.
Leno introduced his earlier bill after the California Supreme Court ruled on behalf of employers in a landmark 2008 case on marijuana in the workplace. The court ruled that California's 1996 Proposition 215 medical marijuana law doesn't require employers to make accommodations or waive any workplace rules for legal cannabis users.
The Supreme Court case upheld the firing of a Carmichael man who was dismissed after failing a drug test as a condition of employment at a Sacramento firm, RagingWire Telecommunications. Ross had told his employer that he had a medical recommendation for back pain and spasms from injuries suffered in the U.S. Air Force.
Leno charged that the court's interpretation effectively said that California voters had approved the legal use of medical marijuana only "to benefit unemployed people." He said his bill will put it into law that "a medical marijuana patient has a right to employment in California."
The last time Leno introduced the marijuana employment measure he faced opposition from The California Chamber of Commerce. In an interview with The Sacramento Bee last year, Denise Davis, CalChamber's vice president for media relations said, "An employer's right to maintain a drug-free workplace is critical."
The Chamber later opposed last year's Proposition 19 initiative to legalize marijuana for recreational use on grounds that it could subject employers to costly litigation, create a workforce of stoned employees and make it difficult for employers to fire workers without proof of impairment on the job.
Leno argued that improved drug-testing technologies can detect workers' current impairment for marijuana, making it easier for employers to enforce workplace standards.
Millions worth of marijuana seized in Southern Arizona
TUCSON, AZ (KOLD) - Agents seized more than 3,500 pounds of marijuana with a street value of $2.8 million in three separate incidents.
In the first incident on Friday, United States Border Patrol agents near Ajo say they spotted footprints from a group who illegally entered the country.
They say as they were tracking the footprints, they saw the group flee the area.
Agents were able to catch up to two suspects.
In the area, they found 24 bundles of marijuana, weighing 1,157 pounds with an estimated value of $925,600.
Later on Friday, agents assigned to the Ajo Station's All Terrain Vehicle Unit found 34 bundles of abandoned marijuana, weighing 1,556 pounds with an estimated value of $1.2 million.
On Sunday, agents working in Patagonia discovered an abandoned truck with marijuana bundles in the cabin and bed, weighing 809 pounds with an estimated value of $647,000.
A check of records revealed the truck had been reported stolen.
"Each interdiction of illegal drugs puts additional pressure on drug trafficking organizations," stated Division Chief Manuel Padilla. "Our agents maintain their vigilance and strive to continue disrupting the smugglers' ability to operate and transport contraband within the Tucson Sector."
Agents say the public continues to be a valuable source of information regarding illegal activity.
State Debuts Preliminary Rules On Medical Marijuana Dispensaries
Marijuana shops that will be set up under a new Arizona law would be strategically located throughout the sprawling state to limit the number of patients allowed to grow the drug for themselves, according to preliminary rules posted Monday .Arizona voters approved medical marijuana in November, but part of the law stipulates that patients can grow their own marijuana only if they do not live within 25 miles of a pot shop. The Arizona Department of Health Services is hoping to section off the sprawling state into 126 areas based on population, with each getting only one marijuana dispensary. The more populous the area of the state, the more dispensaries. The Phoenix metro area, for example, would have 46 dispensaries. But rural areas like Kingman, Ajo, Payson and the Navajo Nation would have just one dispensary to serve a much larger geographic area.
The changes come after the department posted the first draft of the rules in December and got feedback from doctors, patients, potential pot shop owners, police and the public. "We got concerns from cities who were saying, `Look, if all the dispensaries are in the urban core, our whole community is going to be self-grow," department Director Will Humble said. "The more home-grow situations you have, the more community problems you'll have." He said growing pot in homes leads to fire hazards and an increased threat of break-ins.
Humble said limiting dispensaries to specific areas also eliminates the possibility of clusters of pot shops, a magnet for crime. Humble acknowledged that it will be more difficult to get dispensaries wanting to open in more rural, far-flung parts of the state. "We probably will not get a dispensary in every (area)," he said, but denied that the state was trying to further limit the number of pot shops. Humble said if a designated area goes unused, it could be reallocated elsewhere in the state or simply left open. If more than one dispensary applies to open in a given area, qualified applicants will be chosen with a lottery system.
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