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$2.1 Million Of Marijuana Seized During Traffic Stop

Category: News | Posted on Thu, April, 5th 2012 by THCFinder
CLINTON COUNTY, Ohio --
A man from Mexico is facing felony drug charges after troopers seized 538 pounds of marijuana during a traffic stop in Clinton County.
 
According to the Ohio State Highway Patrol, troopers stopped a 2008 Chrysler Town and Country minivan for a registration violation on Interstate 71 north in Clinton County at 4:07 p.m. Wednesday.
 
Criminal indicators were observed and a patrol drug-sniffing canine alerted to the vehicle.
 
A search revealed 24 bundles of marijuana, worth more than $2.1 million.
 
The driver, David A. Gutierrez, 25, of Chihuahua, Mexico, was charged with possession of marijuana and trafficking in marijuana, both second-degree felonies.
 
The suspect was taken to the Clinton County Jail. If convicted, he could face up to 16 years in prison and up to a $30,000 fine.
 

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Oaksterdam University Pledges to Re-open After Federal Raid on Marijuana Leader

Category: News | Posted on Wed, April, 4th 2012 by THCFinder
What many saw as the inevitable hit Oaksterdam founder Richard Lee on Monday, when federal agents came knocking at the home and businesses of the man who has become the marijuana movement's de-facto figurehead.
 
After Lee revived a moribund part of downtown Oakland with a school dedicated to the pot trade and used proceeds from the business to try and legalize marijuana with Proposition 19 in 2010, U.S. Marshals and agents from the IRS and DEA raided all of the downtown Oakland businesses connected to "General" Lee: Oaksterdam University, medical marijuana dispensary Coffeeshop Blue Sky, and a plant nursery connected to the dispensary.
 
"We sort of expected this in 2010 -- not 2012," said Jeff Jones, Lee's  co-proponent on Prop. 19 and proprietor of the nearby Patient ID Center. Following Prop 19's historic defeat, federal prosecutors had forced Blue Sky to relocate once, and IRS agents had audited Lee, who spent over $1 million of his own money to put Prop. 19 on the ballot. 
 
Lee was detained at his home and released. No arrests were made, and federal agents said the search warrant and reasons for the raid are sealed by a judge.
 
The school will attempt to hold final classes for the semester as scheduled on Wednesday, even though the final project -- a crop of marijuana ready for harvest, intended for an MS patient -- was seized by authorities. Whether Blue Sky will reopen -- and what chilling effect the raids will have on the movement -- is still unclear.
 

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Arizona Medical Marijuana Law: Gov. Jan Brewer Signs Measure To Ban Medical Marijuana On College Campuses

Category: News | Posted on Wed, April, 4th 2012 by THCFinder
By David Schwartz
 
PHOENIX, April 3 (Reuters) - Arizona's Republican Governor Jan Brewer signed into law on Tuesday a bill to ban medical marijuana from being used on the campuses of state universities and community colleges in the latest salvo in a long-running battle over legalization of the drug.
 
Arizona's move to bar the drug's use on campus is the latest in a drive to roll back laws legalizing the therapeutic use of marijuana, which remains classified as an illegal narcotic under U.S. federal law.
 
Supporters said the Arizona law was designed to protect federal funding for institutions of higher education, which they said was at threat if medical marijuana use was allowed in state schools.
 
"With the health and safety of Arizona's students, as well as literally hundreds of millions of dollars at stake, this legislation is critically necessary," State Representative Amanda Reeve, a Republican, said in a statement.
 
"Our children and adult students are far too important to risk. I'm proud to say we acted swiftly and decisively when confronted by this obvious concern," she added.
 
The measure sailed through the state legislature with bipartisan support. The law, due to take effect this summer, is expected to face a legal challenge by medical marijuana proponents.
 
Arizona voters passed a medical marijuana measure by a razor-thin margin in 2010, and the state is among 16, plus Washington, D.C., with some sort of legalized medical-marijuana statutes, according to the National Drug Policy Alliance.
 

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Tourist Marijuana Ban In The Netherlands May Be A Pipe Dream

Category: News | Posted on Tue, April, 3rd 2012 by THCFinder
A major phase of the Netherlands' ban on tourists patronizing coffee shops goes into effect in the country's southern provinces on May 1. Shops in Amsterdam are scheduled stop selling marijuana to foreigners on January 1, 2013. But enacting this ban may be harder than finding a 22-year-old who hasn't seen EuroTrip: the benign, psychotropic plant that grows naturally in the ground makes the country a lot of money.
 
According to the director of the Drugtext Foundation in the Netherlands, 50% of the country's tourists visit the coffee shops, and 10% of tourism is exclusively for marijuana. The Telegraph reports that the coffee shops generate around $2.5 billion annually, which in turn produces $503 million in tax revenue. Alcohol has been banned in the coffee shops since 1996, but sure, why not turn them back over to a substance that is extraordinarily more dangerous (and legal) than marijuana.
 
"I’m not going to discriminate on the basis of nationality. I’ve only ever discriminated on the basis of behavior," Michael Veling, the owner of 420 Cafe in Amsterdam told the Times. "I’ll go back to selling alcohol, and go back to selling bags of weed under the counter." That may not be enough to stay in business: after Maastricht adopted the new policy in October, the town's coffee shops lost $41 million in revenue—the equivalent of 345 jobs. Not to mention how much the illegal street trade will flourish if the coffee shops disappear.
 
But it may not even come to that: the Cannabis Retailers Association, comprised of the country's 680 coffee shops, has filed a lawsuit that's expected to be reviewed in the coming weeks, and Amsterdam's mayor even opposes the change. His spokesperson again cited the devil's brew as being the real issue. “The problems we have with substance abuse are almost always related to alcohol. That concerns Dutch people as much as foreigners.”
 
Yet the Netherlands' hard-liners aren't backing down. Early last month Dutch Parliament moved to ban the sales of hashish, most of which is illegally imported from countries like Afghanistan and Morocco. "We have created an incredible criminal industry that we need to get rid of,” Ard van der Steur, a spokesman for the hilariously named People's Party for Freedom and Democracy said. If only there were an intelligent way to handle drug policy in place...
 

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CU-Boulder announces new 4/20 crackdown, plans to ticket pot smokers

Category: News | Posted on Tue, April, 3rd 2012 by THCFinder
The University of Colorado announced a new plan to snuff out the Boulder campus's 4/20 smoke-out today, warning that police will ticket pot smokers as this month's event -- a more aggressive enforcement policy than in years past, when officers mostly monitored the crowd for safety reasons.
 
CU officials -- who, for the first time ever, have the support of student leaders who also want to end the unsanctioned April 20 event -- warned students today that those busted smoking pot in public could face a $100 fine and additional sanctions with CU's Office of Student Conduct. Those with medical marijuana registry cards risk having them revoked upon conviction.
 
"It needs to end,” Chancellor Phil DiStefano said of 4/20 today in a news release.
 
Meanwhile, in an effort to keep students away from the Norlin Quad, student leaders have announced that they'll host a free, student-only hip-hop concert featuring Wyclef Jean on the afternoon of 4/20 in the Coors Event Center.
 
Jean, who ran for president of his native Haiti in 2010, has opined about pot in the past, saying he supports full legalization in the United States. In 2006, after performing at a night club in Las Vegas, he started a "(Bleep) Bush" chant after declaring:"President Bush needs to smoke marijuana." In his 2009 song "Something about Mary," he sings "She's homegrown and you can hold her in her back yard. If she allows you to, you can roll her up."
 

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Federal agents raid Oaksterdam University

Category: News | Posted on Mon, April, 2nd 2012 by THCFinder
Federal agents on Monday raided a San Francisco Bay area medical marijuana training school at the heart of California's pot legalization movement.
 
The doors to Oaksterdam University in downtown Oakland were cordoned off by yellow tape and blocked by U.S. marshals. Agents from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration carted trash bags of unknown materials out of the school to a waiting van.
 
Arlette Lee, an IRS spokeswoman, told reporters that agents were serving a federal search warrant but said she could not otherwise comment on the purpose of the raid.
"What we are doing here today is under seal," Lee said.
 
About a dozen protesters upset over the raid gathered out front of the multistory building adorned with a large mural that makes the school one of the neighborhood's most visible landmarks. Some of them smoked marijuana openly.
The demonstrators held signs demanding an end to federal crackdowns on medical marijuana.
 
Ryan Hooper, 26, of Oakland, wearing an Oaksterdam hat and sweatshirt, said he had finished taking courses at the school in February.
 
"This is not in the best interest of the city," Hooper said. "If they close the dispensaries, all of this stuff is going to go back underground."
 
Oaksterdam University was founded by Richard Lee, the main backer of the California ballot measure defeated in 2010 that would have legalized marijuana in the state for recreational use. The neighborhood has also been home to several medical marijuana dispensaries, including one founded by Lee.
 
Lee did not immediately return a message seeking comment.
 
The city of Oakland has long allowed four medical marijuana dispensaries to legally operate under city ordinances and recently awarded permits that would allow four more to open.
 
At the same time, federal prosecutors across California have been working for months to shut down dispensaries by threatening to seize landlords' property if they did not evict marijuana retailers.
 

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