L.A. marijuana farmers market ordered to temporarily shut down
Category: News | Posted on Wed, July, 16th 2014 by THCFinder
A Farmers market for medical marijuana users has been temporarily shut down after an L.A. County Superior Court judge agreed to halt operation of the Boyle Heights cannabis marketplace.
The judge’s ruling Tuesday grants a temporary restraining order filed by Los Angeles City Atty. Mike Feuer, who sought to stop the California Heritage Market operations because he said it didn’t comply with the city's law for marijuana dispensaries.
Voters passed Proposition D last year, which established legal parameters where marijuana dispensaries could do business.
The ruling, Feuer said, supports the “spirit and the letter of Proposition D.”
“The bottom line is that we argued successfully that this so-called farmers market was an attempt to make an end-run around the will of the people when they voted to put Proposition D in place,” Feuer said. “The court saw through this subterfuge.”
The order would restrict the market’s operators from setting up booths and advertising it, according to the city’s injunction. Police and fire must also be granted access to the site.
“The court was very clear: There could be no multiple vendors selling at this site, only bona fide employees,” Feuer said.
The market, which opened over Fourth of July weekend, was held in a warehouse directly behind the West Coast Collective dispensary in an industrial zone in Boyle Heights.
The following weekend, the market reopened again.
Proposition D, Feuer said, does not allow multiple, independent vendors to sell on one site.
“That’s essentially what this business model was,” Feuer said.
But attorney David Welch, who represents the Progressive Horizon collective, said Feuer’s argument doesn’t make sense.
He said a farmers market is no different from a dispensary in that they both sell goods from a variety of vendors.
“Their arguments are basically a misunderstanding on how this business operates,” he said.
The city’s actions, Welch said, were essentially proving that “you can’t actually open a marijuana dispensary” in Los Angeles.
A hearing is scheduled Aug. 6 to determine whether the market will be permanently closed.
Maryjane's Denver Gets Raided; Patrons Cuffed
Category: News | Posted on Tue, July, 15th 2014 by THCFinder
Not even those in Colorado are safe from prosecution when they indulge in our favorite plant. While the law in CO says that cannabis cannot be consumed in public view, the private clubs assumed that they were safe until Maryjane's in Denver was raided. Those present at the private club were cuffed and charged with smoking in public, being issued fines even though they thought that they were in compliance with the law. The club requires a membership, even for one night of smoking in the establishment, so no one really expected detectives to show up and start cuffing people.
Marijuana is not sold inside Maryjane's and neither is food or drink. Those that pay for a membership bring their own medicine and use the smoking tools provided by the club. But cops still raided the building in order to "investigate illegal activity" which meant the consumption of marijuana. The police issued citations to people in the club for ingesting the plant. The citations contained fines of $135. The police apparently had been in the club before, posing as members and staking the place out. A member that was present at the club at the time recognized them from previous nights.
The attorney for those involved with the raid, Rob Corry, said that the club never received an official warning to stop consuming marijuana on the premises, something that the police department claimed to be doing to businesses that tried to let their patrons smoke on site. Corry compared the club's activities to those of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, which hosted a series of events called Classically Cannabis. The events were sponsored by cannabis companies and the people attending were also allowed to bring their own cannabis, as long as the events were held at private galleries and were invitation only. The symphony eventually did change the policy after allegedly being warned about the "public" consumption of cannabis.
Cannabis is now a legal substance in the state of Colorado. Considering that alcohol has a place to be ingested and enjoyed, it should absolutely be the same for cannabis. Especially since these establishments are private and either cost money or require an invitation, the police should leave stoners alone. As long as the clubs have proper ventilation and follow the rules, like no giving away marijuana, there should be no reason for such raids. The police should spend their time arresting real criminals, not people who are just trying to smoke with like minded peers.
Washington State Begins Marijuana Recreational Sales
Category: News | Posted on Tue, July, 15th 2014 by THCFinder
Colorado's legal cannabis bill is in full effect and people are loving it. While Washington also passed the bill to legalize cannabis for recreational users, the officials there took their time setting up a model for the green business. July 8th marked the first day that cannabis was sold recreationally in Washington state, a day that resembled the first day of legal weed in Colorado back in January.
Caden Robinson told the New York Times that his parents actually suggested that he tend the first legal cannabis sales day. The 21 year old is a chemistry/chemical engineering major at University of Puget Sound and his father told him that he "should go make history". So Robinson and his friend Mark Rupprecht, a 33 year old bartender in the city, stood in line for hours under a blazing sun in order to get their hands on some of that legal green. Rupprecht stated that a day like today would "be something to tell my grandkids". Being present at the first day of legal cannabis in any state would be an amazing experience, as one would be present at a huge turning point in that state's (and the country's) history. Not everyone in line was there to get stoned, either. Some of those who were waiting just wanted to be there for the moment. CJ Graham, a 22 year old majoring in biopsychology at Tufts University, told the New York Times that he may get the nugs bronzed, as a memorial of the day. Others said that they were going to give the weed out as party favors at shindigs that were being held later in the day.
Since voters passed Initiative 502 back in 2012, Washington residents were able to possess and consume marijuana. Even before that, law officials had kind of backed off of the stoner community, basically leaving them to their own devices (as most police should do and instead concern themselves with real crimes). Tuesday the plant became fully legal in Washington state. However, medical marijuana and black market sales (which is still illegal) are sometimes thought of as a better option, considering the high price of the legal cannabis. The tax of the cannabis is 25% per purchase, which can be enough to deter a legal buyer to instead turn back to the black market, an issue that will need to be studied and worked on in the coming months.
Former Cops Get Busted Stealing Weed Candy
Category: News | Posted on Mon, July, 14th 2014 by THCFinder
Yes you did read the caption right. Two former Goodyear, Arizona cops were arrested recently after stealing over 20 pounds of cannabis infused chocolate from a package shipped from California that arrived at OnTrac, the shipping company that the two men were now employed by as security. The box arrived marked as cannabis chocolate from the west coast state, weighing in at a whopping 50 pounds total. David Carpenter and Eric Scott Whittington were both arrested and are awaiting their court dates for stealing the medicated candy.
When the box of chocolate arrived at the company, the employees set it aside to be confiscated by the police. Even though Arizona allows the sale of medical cannabis, they are still one of the strictest in regards to cannabis law. Medicated candy is not legal under the law, nor is any other edible. So even though the candies arrived, they would've never made it to their end destination... But they certainly weren't supposed to end up in the hands of these two former police officers. Sgt. Steve Martos was interviewed about the arrest and he was unsure of the reason the two men were no longer part of the police force.
"Prior to them being able to call the police, they noticed that two of their security offivers has walked in to the room containing the box with two backpacks and it appears that they had left the room with something in their backpacks," said Sgt. Martos. When the employees of OnTrac inspected the box after the two men had left, they noticed that the box was considerably lighter and they called the police. When officers arrived, they obtained warrants to search the houses of the two men in question. The search turned up the candy, as well as handguns and ammo. Cellphones were also recovered that contained texts from the two men, planning to steal the stoney candy.
The two former police officers are facing charges of theft and possession of illegal narcotic drugs for sale. It is estimated that the candy stolen was worth around $3,000 and that the men were planning on selling the candy and making a bit of a profit. The rest of the candy was confiscated by the police.
Smell of unburnt marijuana cannot justify search of car
Category: News | Posted on Thu, July, 10th 2014 by THCFinder
The Supreme Judicial Court Wednesday said that because voters decriminalized small amounts of marijuana in 2008, police officers in Massachusetts can no longer rely on the odor of unburnt marijuana to justify searching a person’s car.
In two unanimous rulings, the state’s highest court said they had already decided in 2011 that the odor of smoked marijuana by itself did not provide police with probable cause to stop people on the street or search the vehicles people are riding in.
The court said in its 2011 ruling that it would be legally inconsistent to allow police to make warrantless searches after they smell burning marijuana when citizens had decided through a statewide referendum question that law enforcement should “focus their attention elsewhere.’’
The court said Wednesday it was now extending the same reasoning to cases where the owner has not yet started smoking it. Marijuana, the court acknowledged, generates a pungent aroma, but an odor by itself does not allow police to determine whether a person has more than an ounce with them. Possession of an ounce or less of marijuana is not a crime.
“The 2008 initiative decriminalized possession of one ounce or less of marijuana under State law, and accordingly removed police authority to arrest individuals for civil violations,’’ Justice Barbara Lenk wrote for the unanimous court.
“We have held that the odor of burnt marijuana alone cannot support probable cause to search a vehicle without a warrant ... [now] we hold that such odor [of unburnt marijuana], standing alone, does not provide probable cause to search an automobile.’’
The court established the new legal standard in the case of Matthew W. Overmyer, who was arrested in Pittsfield by police investigating a car crash. Responding officers noticed what the SJC called “a very strong odor of unburnt marijuana.’’
Police found one bag of marijuana in the glovebox of Overmyer’s car, and a backpack holding even more, leading police to charge him with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.
The court said police could not use their noses alone to arrest Overmyer, but might have had another legally approved basis for searching his car. They ordered the case back to the district court for more proceedings.
Read more: http://www.bostonglobe.com
Brooklyn To Stop Prosecuting Possession Of Small Amounts Of Marijuana
Category: News | Posted on Thu, July, 10th 2014 by THCFinder
Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson announced the implementation of his policy to end the prosecution of most low-level marijuana possession cases. With this bold and smart initiative, DA Thompson is using his discretionary authority as the top law enforcement officer in Brooklyn to refocus limited law enforcement resources on serious public safety issues, address and reduce unwarranted racial disparities in the criminal justice system, and ensure that Brooklyn residents are no longer saddled with lifelong arrest records for simple possession of marijuana. In a statement released by DA Thompson, he noted that he shares responsibility with NYPD to protect public safety, but he has an additional duty “to reform and improve our criminal justice system in Brooklyn.”
Advocates applaud Thompson’s efforts to address a broken law that has led to hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers being arrested for possessing small amounts of marijuana. Over the last fifteen years, over 600,000 people have been arrested for marijuana possession in New York City – the majority of whom are young men of color, even though young white men use marijuana at higher rates. Last year, there were nearly 30,000 such arrests in New York City alone. Based on first-quarter data obtained from the state Division of Criminal Justice Services, NYPD is now on track to make nearly as many marijuana possession arrests in 2014 as it did in 2013, with similarly shocking racial disparities.
“We commend DA Thompson for this powerful step toward restoring fairness and equity in the criminal justice system,” said Gabriel Sayegh, NY State Director of the Drug Policy Alliance. “In New York, our marijuana policies are clearly broken. Albany has yet to act, which means it’s up to municipal leaders to take action on this issue. Thompson’s smart policy will serve the cause of justice and equity in Brooklyn, and we hope district attorneys across the City and the country – as well as Mayor de Blasio and leaders in Albany – are inspired to take similar action. It’s time to end this failed war on drugs and restore sanity, equity and justice to our drug policies.”
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