Many Marijuana Dispensaries Reopen
Months after Los Angeles ran a majority of medical marijuana dispensaries out of town by passing strict regulations, the shops are cropping up again. A judge this month scratched key portions of the ordinance that city officials spent years putting together and noted that a large number of collectives could reopen.
David Welch, the lawyer who represents some of the shuttered clinics that sued the city, says nearly 60 have decided to open in recent months. About 180 collectives applied to remain open after hundreds were forced to close, but only about 40 met all the ordinance’s criteria. Which include being at least 1,000 feet from schools, parks and other gathering sites.
Four Men Jailed For 20 Years After Police Uncover 15mil Cannabis
Four men have been jailed for a total of more than 20 years after police seized the largest amount of cannabis ever found in Britain worth a staggering £15 million. The monumental find in October 2008 included a mountain of cannabis weighing over 3.2 tons plus amphetamine worth £10,000 and £170,000 in cash. Detectives found the secret lock-up was being used to store the 180 boxes of cannabis each weighing 44lbs plus 40 flower boxes containing skunk. They even found a hidden room for stashing drugs behind a cupboard. They also found tell-tale signs of a major drug operation at the garage floor scales and equipment for grinding cannabis. Robert Price, 55, of Leeds, admitted conspiracy to supply cannabis and being concerned in the supply of amphetamines and was jailed for eight years.
Scott Weaver, 30, also of Leeds, admitted conspiracy to supply amphetamines, being concerned in the supply of cannabis and possession of a prohibited weapon. He was jailed for five years and three months. Andrew Lee, 46, formerly of Wakefield, had previously admitted conspiracy to supply cannabis resin. His brother Graham Lee, 43, formerly of Leeds, admitted supplying amphetamines, supplying cannabis and assisting an offender. Both were jailed for three years and four months. Price, a businessman and property dealer was the 'lynchpin' in the operation to store and distribute the drugs, Leeds Crown Court heard on Thursday. He owned several properties and luxury cars and had 100,000 pounds stashed under the floorboards of his home.
Andrew Lee was employed as his 'patsy' who hired the unit in Wakefield, West Yorks., and was responsible for warehousing the drugs. The operation was smashed after gangsters from the Merseyside area delivered the drugs, thought to have been smuggled to the UK from Spain, and were followed by police. Amphetamines were also seized from a property in Cleckheaton, West Yorkshire, where Price's son-in-law Weaver ran his own operation processing and dealing the drug. Graham Lee who originally fled to Benidorm after the seizure in October 2008 was arrested on his return to the UK. Judge Kerry Macgill said: 'Criminals placed a considerable amount of trust in Price. The cannabis found was a huge amount. This was a professional operation on a grand scale.' Det Insp Stuart Spencer, of West Yorkshire Police, said: 'This investigation was protracted involving a sophisticated criminal gang with associates across Europe. They were extremely conversant with the importation of commodities and their distribution throughout the north. 'Removing this network undoubtedly had an impact upon the availability of drugs, minimizing the misery they bring to communities.
Video footage of medical marijuana dispensary robbery released by LAPD
Los Angeles police released security video footage Thursday of three men who shot and wounded two employees during a robbery earlier this month at a Northridge marijuana dispensary.
Det. Joel Price from the West Valley station said police want help in identifying the men, who entered the medical marijuana cooperative in the 8200 block of White Oak Avenue about 9:25 p.m. Dec. 15. Two of the men fired multiple times and wounded two men before fleeing.
One of the victims took out a handgun and returned fire but was shot by the robbers, police said.
One of the victims was critically injured, having been shot several times in the head, arm and legs, police said. The other man was wounded in the back and legs.
The robbers took out what they believed was a video recorder, a small amount of marijuana and an undetermined amount of cash before leaving in a late-model Nissan Titan pickup truck.
The robbers are described as three male Latinos. Police describe one of them as between 5 feet 1 and 5 feet 10, weighing 170 pounds, with a thick mustache. He was wearing a blue and white knit ski cap with ear covers, police said.
Another was 5 feet 7 to 5 feet 10 and weighed about 170 pounds, with short brown hair, a mustache and heavy eyebrows. He was wearing a dark, hooded sweatshirt and blue jeans and also had a handgun, police said.
The third robber was described wearing dark pants, a zip-up jacket and a black New York Mets baseball cap.
Fire Leads Cops To Cannabis House
Firefighters stumbled on a mature cannabis crop inside a house that caught fire in Melbourne's southwest. Fire crews went to the home in Egret Court, Werribee, just before 6.30pm on Saturday after neighbors reported smoke billowing from the roof.
They found three rooms containing about 18 mature cannabis plants and hydroponic equipment. Werribee CIU detectives are investigating the cause of the blaze, but no one was at the home at the time of the fire. Police are still searching for the people who were residing at the residence but as of yet no luck. The cannabis plants were obviously being grown for the purpose of distribution and the growth op may very well of been the reason for the fire.
Travel Agency And Clothing Store Were Fronts For Marijuana Operation
Five men were arrested this week on suspicion of cultivating about 400 marijuana plants with an estimated street value of $200,000 inside a Montrose clothing store, travel agency and home, police said. The bust on the 2500 block of Honolulu Avenue took place at Blue Seas travel agency, which also sold medical supplies, and Fast Fashion high-end clothing store all of which police said were being used as fronts for sophisticated indoor-marijuana growing operations, Sgt.
Tom Lorenz said. "All you have to do is walk up to the front of the building and smell the marijuana," he said. The businesses had been converted into a full scale cultivation operation that included lights, ventilation and 381 marijuana plants, Lorenz said.
Some Minnesota Schools Target Synthetic Marijuana
It can be made to look like tobacco, herbal incense or a typical baking spice. But it packs twice as much of the active ingredient in marijuana, and the side effects can be life-threatening. Synthetic marijuana is legal for all ages and typically sold as an incense. Officials are seeing more of it in St. Cloud- area schools. Several Minnesota cities have banned the substance, and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration plans to temporarily control five chemicals used to make synthetic marijuana. But St. Cloud school district chemical health counsellor Dan Becker said that isn't enough, because people who make synthetic marijuana can just create a new chemical recipe to get around a ban.
Becker has become the area's expert on synthetic marijuana. In his small office at McKinley Area Learning Centre, he has dozens of packages of synthetic marijuana that have been taken from students. "A year ago you couldn't find it anywhere," Becker said. But now synthetic marijuana can be purchased in local shops and online. Becker said the use of the substance has expanded quickly because it's so easy to buy on the Internet. Users describe switching from marijuana to synthetic marijuana as like switching from Coke to Diet Coke. The first time they use it, they can get sick or just dislike it.
"It's an acquired taste," Becker said. But once users get used to it, they never go back to marijuana, he said. The buzz is stronger, it's cheaper, and it's more accessible. It's also difficult for parents to detect. The substance doesn't have a scent; some manufacturers mix it with fragrances such as strawberry or cookies and cream. "How can marijuana compete with that?" Becker said. Every maker is his or her own chemist, mixing different chemicals to get the effects they want, Becker said. Then those combined chemicals are mixed with an organic substance so it can be smoked.
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