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East Bay man cannot use medical marijuana while on probation for pot sales, court rules

Category: News | Posted on Tue, October, 30th 2012 by THCFinder
SAN FRANCISCO -- A state appeals court ruled in San Francisco on Monday that trial judges can ban the use of medical marijuana in some cases as a condition of probation for people convicted of possessing the drug for sale.
 
A three-judge panel of the Court of Appeal unanimously upheld a sentence in which Contra Costa County Superior Court Judge Leslie Landau last year prohibited Daniel Leal, 28, of Antioch, from using medical marijuana during his three years of probation.
 
Leal was sentenced to the probation term as well as to nine months in county jail after being convicted of possessing marijuana for sale in two incidents in Antioch in 2008 and 2009 and carrying a concealed, loaded gun in the first incident.
 
Leal, who has completed his jail sentence, appealed the probation condition barring him from using medical marijuana.
 
He argued the ban violated his right to use the substance under the state's voter-approved Compassionate Use Act of 1996, which allows patients with a doctor's approval to use marijuana for medical purposes.
 
Leal, who had approval for marijuana treatment for high blood pressure, contended the probation condition wasn't related to his crimes and that there could have been a way to limit his use of medical marijuana without prohibiting it entirely.
 
But Justice Anthony Kline, writing for the appeals panel, said the ban on use of the substance was justified by "abundant evidence of need to rehabilitate
 
 

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Dutch "nix weed pass" plan, leave it up to cities to bar foreigners from buying marijuana

Category: News | Posted on Tue, October, 30th 2012 by THCFinder
AMSTERDAM — The incoming Dutch government has ditched plans for a national “weed pass” that would have been available only to residents and that would have effectively banned tourists from Amsterdam’s marijuana cafes.
 
However, under a provisional governing pact unveiled this week, cities can bar foreigners from weed shops if they choose.
 
The pact says that it wants only Dutch residents to have access to marijuana cafes, but leaves enforcement up to cities. Amsterdam opposes a ban, which would hurt tourism.
 
Some cafe owners said Tuesday that they are satisfied Dutch weed policy will remain unchanged, while others criticized the lack of clarity.
 
Marijuana trafficking is technically illegal in the Netherlands, but people can’t be prosecuted for possession of small amounts and the drug is sold openly in designated “coffee shops.”
 
 

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Marijuana: One pot bust every 42 seconds, FBI stats show

Category: News | Posted on Tue, October, 30th 2012 by THCFinder
Law Enforcement Against Prohibition has been one of the national organizations most active in promoting Amendment 64, the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act. No surprise, then, that the group puts an election-oriented spin on just-released crime statistics from the FBI for the year 2011. According to LEAP, the data shows that one marijuana arrest is made every 42 seconds.
 
Moreover, the vast majority of these busts are for possession alone -- an issue a LEAP spokesman believes Amendment 64 would address.
 
Here are some general highlights of the FBI's "Persons Arrested" stats. They show, among other things, that more people were arrested in the U.S. for drug-related crimes during 2011 than for any other offense:
 

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Study Shows Over 200,000 Marijuana Arrests in Colorado Over Past 25 Years

Category: News | Posted on Fri, October, 26th 2012 by THCFinder
In the 25 years from 1986 to 2010, police and sheriffs’ departments in Colorado made 210,000 arrests for the crime of possessing small amounts of marijuana, according to a report released today by the Marijuana Arrest Research Project.
 
The study finds that cannabis arrests have risen sharply in the state, from 4,000 in 1986 to 10,500 in 2010, and that young people are most likely to among those arrested. According to the report, eighty-six percent of those arrested for cannabis offenses were age 34 or younger; 79 percent were 29 or younger, and 69 percent were 24 or younger.
 
The report also finds that African Americans and Latinos are arrested at greater rates than Caucasians despite being less likely to consume cannabis. African Americans residing in Colorado are arrested at three times the rate of whites, while Latinos are arrested at 1.5 times the rate of whites. The report is first study to document arrest rates of Latinos in Colorado.
 
Proponents of Amendment 64, The Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act of 2012, believe that the arrest data emphasizes the need for passing the measure this November. If approved, A-64 would immediately amend state law to allow for the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana and/or the cultivation of up to six cannabis plants by adults.
 
According to the latest statewide polling data, 48 percent of Colorado voters support A-64. Forty-three percent of likely voters oppose the initiative and nine percent are undecided. Women voters oppose A-64 by a margin of 48 percent to 40 percent. NORML and the NORML Women’s Alliance are coordinating phone banking efforts in support of the Campaign here.
 
 

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Big Rapids medical marijuana caregiver to get federal prison sentence

Category: News | Posted on Wed, October, 24th 2012 by THCFinder
GRAND RAPIDS, MI – A Big Rapids man who was registered as a medical marijuana caregiver faces at least five years in prison when sentenced on Wednesday, Oct. 24, in U.S. District Court.
 
John Clemens Marcinkewciz II had pleaded guilty to conspiracy and manufacture of 100 or more marijuana plants.
 
Both carry mandatory minimum sentences.
 
Marcinkewciz believed he acted legally, but recognizes that the medical marijuana law doesn't protect him against federal prosecution, his attorney said.
 
"John has always made a good living in various lawful business enterprises and never entered the medical marijuana arena to make a profit," attorney Leon Weiss said in a sentencing memorandum.
 
"Indeed, there is no evidence in this case that would indicate he ever made any profit. John truly believed in the medical marijuana law and wanted to help people get the necessary product."
 
Weiss added: "Whatever the court may believe about the wisdom, or lack of same, of the Michigan law regarding medical marijuana, John believed he was acting within the four corners of that law and thought it would afford him some protection from criminal prosecution."
 
 

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Accidentally Rent Your House Out To A Marijuana Grow Lab? Get Ready To Pay Big Time

Category: News | Posted on Mon, October, 22nd 2012 by THCFinder
In early May, Inverness residents John and Pat Wade got a call from their son Darryl with distressing news. Miami-Dade Police had just found a full-scale marijuana grow lab with 49 plants in the detached garage of their three-bedroom Redland ranch.
 
The couple's 59-year-old tenant, Andres Landin, told the cops the ganja was his. It was a shock for the Wades. But with Landin taking responsibility for the crime and police hauling him off to jail, they figured they'd soon get on with their lives.
 
Six months later, they're still dealing with the fallout of their tenant's crime. Their ordeal exposes the frustrating bureaucratic red tape homeowners have to slice through after accidentally renting to one of the tens of thousands of pot-growing criminals who have made Dade a capital of mary jane cultivation.
 
"I feel like I've been victimized by the tenant and the county," Pat Wade says. "They don't do anything to help you."
 
First, the residence -- which had been the Wades' home for four decades until they migrated north three years ago -- was condemned by the county's Permitting, Environment, and Regulatory Affairs Department, even though the grow operation was only in the garage. That's because the permitting department automatically declares any home where police find a grow house as an "unsafe structure" because growers usually rip out walls, install water pipes, and illegally reroute electricity.
 
The county has condemned 605 properties that were used as grow houses since last year, says Miriam Rossi, a department spokeswoman.
 
To reverse that declaration, property owners must pass four inspections for plumbing, electrical, mold and structural engineering. However, Darryl says the county does a terrible job of explaining what the Wades actually need to fix to get their house back in order. For instance, the county made them go through all the permitting departments, including planning and zoning, not just the four inspections on the instruction sheet.
 
Darryl says he was also told he could get a power of attorney from his mother so he could go directly to the permitting agencies without his parents. But after he got the legal document, he was told that it only works if his parents were deceased.
 
"They need to have a step-by-step process," Darryl says. "Right now, you have to figure it out on your own."
 
Dealing with a condemned grow house can also be a costly endeavor. The Wades have already spent $5,000 on permit fees and contractors. Rossi says a typical case related to a grow house incurs about $1,875 in fees.
 
 

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