Boat With $3 Million Worth Of Marijuana Seized In Channel Islands
A panga boat stocked with nearly three tons of marijuana worth about $3 million was spotted in the Channel Islands, and three men on board -- all citizens of Mexico -- were arrested, authorities said Monday.
Alfonso Ramirez-Lopez, 40; Marco Montes-Lopez, 46; and Daniel Garcia-Sanchez, 32, are being held without bail on federal drug trafficking charges, according to U.S. attorney's office in Los Angeles.
The boat was spotted about 12:40 p.m. Saturday near San Miguel Island by an off-duty officer with the state’s Department of Fish and Wildlife, according to a sworn affidavit by a DEA agent obtained by The Times.
A U.S. Customs and Border Protection Black Hawk helicopter was deployed to the island, about 45 miles southwest of Santa Barbara. After the three suspected smugglers were spotted, the helicopter landed and the men were arrested, according to the affidavit.
The three men told federal agents that they were from Sinaloa and that they had been at sea for three days, according to the affidavit.
The men were paid $1,000 before the trip, and after delivering the bales of marijuana they expected to receive an additional $3,000, according to the affidavit.
The men expected to land near Monterey or San Simeon, but after running low on fuel, they stopped at the island.
The 40-foot-long panga boat was towed to the U.S. Coast Guard’s base in San Pedro.
The trio will be arraigned on April 10 and are scheduled to appear in court on April 6 for a preliminary hearing.
Report Provides Data On Marijuana Arrests In Colorado After Legalization
Quality-Testing Legal Marijuana: Strong But Not Always Clean
Recreational marijuana has been legalized in four states, but that doesn't mean it's a tested consumer product. Some of those potent buds are covered in fungus while others contain traces of butane, according to an analysis of marijuana in Colorado.
Last May, after people began getting sick from edible marijuana products, the state of Colorado began requiring all products to be tested. Washington has mandated testing too, with a detailed checklist of items to analyze, including potency, contaminants, moisture and microbiology.
Marijuana testing is a new phenomenon. Even though people have been purchasing medical marijuana in Washington since 1998, the state never mandated testing until it approved recreational marijuana in 2013. Other states are still in the process of building a list of requirements for marijuana testing
Each state has licensed private labs to analyze the products; they charges manufacturers a fee. Consumers can find some parts of the results, such as potency, printed on packaging, while others are available by request. And the lab must be independent from the producer and manufacturer; there's no in-house testing like there is in the cigarette industry.
So what are labs looking for? First, it's important that manufacturers and producers show how potent the weed is, kind of like printing the alcohol content on a bottle label.
$68 Million Marijuana Research Contract Awarded to University of Mississippi
Congressmen Introduce House Version Of Bipartisan Federal Medical Marijuana Bill
GOP medical marijuana bill has oils, legal growing
Marijuana legally grown, processed and given for treatment at the recommendation of a doctor in Tennessee could become a reality if lawmakers approve a new Republican-led initiative.
The chances of changing current law aren't fantastic: Sen. Steve Dickerson, R-Nashville, put the odds of the General Assembly approving his limited medical marijuana plan this year at "50-50, plus or minus 5 percent." The anesthesiologist argues the science behind the need for medical cannabis oil is more concrete.
"The data is improving every day. I've read 50, 60 papers and abstracts, and it looks like 60 percent plus of those have some sort of beneficial effect," Dickerson said.
Dickerson considers the approach he's taking with Rep. Ryan Williams, R-Cookeville, as targeted. The bill goes further than a cannabis oil bill sponsored by Rep. Jeremy Faison, R-Cosby, but stops short of Nashville Democratic Rep. Sherry Jones' medical marijuana bill.
The proposal would allow a very specific type of medicinal marijuana oil that is low in THC, the psychoactive ingredient that makes marijuana popular for people who want to get high. The oil could be ingested, used through a skin cream or potentially inhaled using a nebulizer, Dickerson said.
A person would have to receive a recommendation from a doctor — it's listed as a Schedule I drug federally, which means it can't be prescribed like other medicine — and take it to a dispensary, which would use oil that comes from plants grown and processed in Tennessee.
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