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Bill to decriminalize marijuana possession is advanced by N.J. Assembly committee

Category: News | Posted on Mon, May, 21st 2012 by THCFinder
TRENTON — Getting busted with fewer than 15 grams of marijuana would carry no criminal penalty in New Jersey under a bill that won unanimous support from the Assembly Judiciary Committee today.
 
With few objections from the crowd in a packed hearing room at the Statehouse, the committee approved a bill that would replace criminal penalties with fines for those caught with fewer than 15 grams of marijuana, or about 30 joints.
 
"Some acts harm society and they warrant the intervention of police, prosecutors and perhaps even incarceration," said the bill's prime Republican sponsor, Michael Patrick Carroll (R-Morris), who is also a committee member. "Other acts warrant at best, a spanking, and these seems to be one of these situations."
 
Supporters included a retired corrections officer, defense attorneys, a clergyman, a college instructor, and a representative from a drug addiction prevention group. They argued that people arrested for possessing marijuana — there were about 22,000 in the state last year — face far worse consequences than the crime deserves, such as difficulty obtaining a job, or qualifying for housing. Far more African Americans face jail time that Caucasians, even though drug use rates are about equal, perpetuating a vast racial injustice.
 
"These long-term consequences are unjust and expensive," said Candice Singer a research analyst from the New Jersey chapter of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence. "The police manpower utilized for these arrests is costly. It is beyond dispute that a criminal record interferes with one's ability to maintain employment. This not only hurts the individual and the individual's family, but it harms the economy and the state, preventing residents from becoming employed and paying income taxes."
 
First offenses are punishable by a $150 fine, $200 for a second offense and $500 for a third offense. The fine may be waived if the person charged can demonstrate "extreme hardship," according to the bill, (A1465). The fines would be collected by municipal court.
 
The law now allows a judge to impose a six-month jail term and $1,000 when a person is convicted of pot possession. 
 

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Man picks the wrong guy "an undercover officer" to offer a puff of marijuana; receives $100 ticket

Category: News | Posted on Thu, May, 17th 2012 by THCFinder
A 27-year-old man was issued a citation this afternoon after he allegedly offered an undercover police officer a puff of marijuana, MBTA Transit Police said.
 
Around 1:30 p.m., transit police detectives and officers were at the Andrew MBTA station “as a direct result of community complaints of drugs and related issues,” according to a report filed after the incident.
 
While seated on a bench in the busway closest to Dorchester Avenue, an undercover officer was allegedly approached by Damon Coston, of East Boston. According to transit police, Coston sat down next to the officer, removed what appeared to be a marijuana cigarette from his jacket pocket, and began to smoke it.
 
Coston then offered the undercover officer a “toke” of the cigarette, which, according to the report, the officer declined. Other officers were notified, and they approached Coston.
 
Transit police said Coston was cooperative and turned over two bags of marijuana, which he had in his jacket. Officers issued Coston a $100 citation and confiscated the marijuana.
 
Possession of one ounce or less of marijuana is a civil, not a criminal offense in Massachusetts.
 

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Marijuana lands 3 students in jail

Category: News | Posted on Wed, May, 9th 2012 by THCFinder
Burleson police officers arrested three students for marijuana delivery and possession last month.
 
The Burleson High School principal called a Burleson resource officer in the mid-afternoon hours of April 19 to report that Jared Michael Levy, 18, had allegedly sold marijuana to two female students, Autumn Dawn Bullock, 18, and Kristin Torrices Achoy, 19. 
 
According to police reports, school administrators searched Levy’s student lockers and vehicle and discovered six small, clear plastic bags of marijuana, a pipe and syringe. 
 
He reportedly admitted to selling one bag of marijuana for $20 to Bullock and two bags to Achoy for $40. 
 
Levy was arrested for possession and delivery of marijuana, and the two female students were arrested for possession, according to police reports.  
 
The next day, a student was arrested behind Hughes Middle School for possession. The student’s name and age weren’t release because he was a minor. 
 
The case was cleared by arrest, according to the police report. 
 
 

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Rough Housing Market Creating More Indoor Marijuana Grows

Category: News | Posted on Mon, May, 7th 2012 by THCFinder

It seems the suppressed housing market and the glut of cheap housing it has created is responsible (along with prohibition-era marijuana prices) for a recent trend of suburban indoor marijuana growing.

 

For the most part the growers blend in to these communities by keeping a normal outside routine and no one in the neighborhood knows that marijuana is being grown.

 

Fans of the hit TV show “Weeds” might have seen this concept in one of the early seasons of the show as the characters used an empty suburban house for a large indoor grow operation.

 

With helicopters and other agents of technology being used to sniff out growing operations, it makes sense that more growers are moving their large outdoor grows away of the prying eyes of those who wish to do them harm.

 

The internet is full of videos and articles with advice for this need breed of grower. For instance, odor control and maintaining a reasonable electricity bill are essential elements of not getting caught.

 

In other words, everything must give the impression that nothing illegal is happening in the house.

 

As we should have learned during alcohol prohibition last century, one of the main reasons prohibition doesn’t work is because people will always find a way to make a profit. The more illegal something is, the more it is worth. The more it is worth, the more people who try to get into the market.

 

That’s why people making alcohol in their bathtubs was common in the 1920’s and would seem ludicrous today when you can go to just about any store and buy some beer. Hell, the CVS’ and Walgreens’ in my area sell liquor now less than 200 feet from where they sell the Percocets.

 

As long as marijuana is illegal, people will figure out new ways to grow it and conceal it. Prohibition is pointless.

 

Source: http://www.nytimes.com


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Zero Tolerance Policy At Cruise Terminal

Category: News | Posted on Mon, May, 7th 2012 by THCFinder
Over the past week 7 cruise passengers at the Baltimore Cruise Terminal were each fined $500 after officers found personal use quantities of marijuana in their bags, according to Customs and Border Protection.
 
Steve Sapp, with Customs and Border Protection, says all of the 7 cruise passengers were allowed to board their ship and they were not criminally charged.
 
He says the fines were issued as part of the zero tolerance policy at the Baltimore Cruise Terminal.
 
Each person had to pay the fine in-full before they were allowed to board their ship.
 
"We've seen cases in the past where cruise ship passengers and airline passengers may have been taking more than we consider for personal use amount would then be prosecuted criminally," Sapp tells WBAL's Scott Wykoff.  "What we typically do is we turn folks over to either federal prosecution or local prosecution."
 
Source: http://wbal.com

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World Anti-Doping Agency Asked to Dump Marijuana From List of Performance-Enhancing Drugs

Category: News | Posted on Fri, May, 4th 2012 by THCFinder
Among the Drug War's finer ironies is the treatment of marijuana by the world of sport, which has taken a deliciously schizophrenic view on the miracle/devil plant: It's a gateway drug that dooms its users to a lifetime of apathy, ignorance, and nonproduction. It's also a performance-enhancer, in the same category as steroids, and subject to the same bans by the World Anti-Doping Agency -- the body that, eventually, stripped BALCO alums of their awards.
 
While cannabis' benefit to athletes is suspect (if a drug has no medical value, how can it help high-performance bodies?),  it's no secret pot can damage an athletes' career. Openly using medical cannabis -- and testing positive for marijuana use -- has derailed the career of UFC fighter Nick Diaz; another MMA fighter, who once spoke freely to us about cannabis' benefits to elite athletes, found himself marginalized afterward. And few can forget Olympic champion swimmer Michael Phelps losing sponsors after someone photographed the gold medalist pulling a giant bong rip, or NFL running back Ricky Williams' demonization as a weirdo and druggie for using cannabis.
 
This week, Australian sports leagues -- Aussie-rules football, rugby, and the smokers' favorite, cricket -- petitioned WADA to get real and drop marijuana from the list of substances that can earn athletes a two-year ban. And, perhaps surprisingly, WADA President John Fahey promised it would be considered.
 
Under World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) rules, a substance is "matchday banned" -- meaning any athlete testing positive for it on a day of competition is cheating -- if it meets two out of three criteria: It's performance enhancing, it's against the "spirit of sport," or it's dangerous to athletes' health.
 
Marijuana, the Australian athletes' representatives argue, doesn't fit the two-out-of-three threshhold. Or if it does, the science simply isn't there.
 

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