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DOJ smack down of medical marijuana continues, raising questions in Colorado

Category: News | Posted on Fri, April, 22nd 2011 by THCFinder
Could Colorado State employees who work in the regulatory end of the medical marijuana business be prosecuted for their role in what the federal government increasingly seems to view as an illegal enterprise?
 
According to Department of Justice attorneys in Washington State, it is not outside the realm of possibility.
 
As the Washington Legislature debated legislation to broaden that state’s medical marijuana operations, Governor Christine Gregoire wrote a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder asking for guidance.
 
Holder, of course, did not write back. Instead Gregoire got a letter from U.S. Attorneys Jenny A. Durkan and Michael C. Ormsby of the U.S. Department of Justice Eastern District of Washington.
 
In this letter, dated April 14, the attorneys write that after consultation with Holder, the feds are prepared to enforce the Controlled Substances Act “vigorously against individuals and organizations that participate in unlawful manufacturing and distribution activity involving marijuana, even if such activities are permitted under state law. The Department’s investigative and prosecutorial resources will continue to be directed toward these objectives.”
 
The letter makes it clear it is not just people involved directly in the medical marijuana trade who might be prosecuted. The letter specifically states that landlords and financiers could be prosecuted.
 
Then, the zinger: “In addition, state employees who conducted activities mandated by the Washington legislative proposals would not be immune from liability under the CSA.”
 
 

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Oklahoma Senate Passes Life Sentence for Hash Making

Category: News | Posted on Fri, April, 22nd 2011 by THCFinder
The Oklahoma Senate Wednesday passed a bill that would mandate a sentence of up to life in prison for making hashish out of marijuana. The House has already approved the measure, but it must go back to the lower chamber for a final vote.
 
Making this could get you life in prison in Oklahoma if a current bill becomes law 
 
The measure sailed through the Senate with little debate, passing on a vote of 44-2. The House also approved the measure by a large margin, passing it on a vote of 75-18.
 
The bill, House Bill 1798, creates a new felony of converting marijuana into hash. A first conviction could garner a $50,000 fine and prison sentence of two years to life. Second or subsequent convictions would net doubled penalties.
 
Oklahoma legislative analysts said the bill would cost the state $56 per day, or more than $20,000 a year, for each day someone is imprisoned. At that rate, if Oklahoma imprisoned five hash makers for 10 years each, the bill to taxpayers would be one million dollars.
 
The bill was the brainchild of the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs (OBNDD), which says on its web site that its mission is "to serve the citizens of Oklahoma in the quest for a drug-free state."
 
According to the Tulsa World, OBNDD said there have been "few" cases of hash making in the Sooner State. But OBNDD spokesman Mark Woodward said the goal of the bill is to "send a message" that illegal drugs won't be tolerated in Oklahoma.
 
Neither, apparently, will common sense or a sense of proportionality.
 

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Tomato Grower Wrongly Caught Up In Marijuana Roundup

Category: News | Posted on Thu, April, 21st 2011 by THCFinder
INDEPENDENCE, Mo. -- Hundreds of marijuana plants were seized by police officers on 4/20, a day celebrated in the drug culture to use marijuana. But when Independence, Mo., police showed up at one man's door looking for marijuana, they found something else.
 
Independence police found a growing operation Wednesday afternoon: a tomato growing operation.
 
"What I saw today was not protection," the man told KMBC's Cliff Judy. "That was harassment, all because of where I made a purchase."
 
Independence police said the Missouri Highway Patrol monitors stores that sell hydroponic growing equipment, and they use those sales to track down illegal marijuana growing operations. That information is what led them to the man's door.
 
"The last time I checked, it wasn't illegal to grow a tomato plant, but it makes you wonder," the man said.
 
 
The man asked KMBC News not to identify him because he is an emergency responder and his job would be put at risk for speaking out.
 
"What is anybody going to think now?" the man asked. "I'm probably going to be pegged now as a person who was growing something, but they couldn't figure it out."
 

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Medical marijuana dispensary opens in Burnaby; Emery denied transfer to Canada

Category: News | Posted on Mon, April, 18th 2011 by THCFinder
On the same day that Burnaby saw the gala opening of its first dispensary for medical cannabis, and in the wake of a recent Ontario court ruling that struck down Canada’s pot prohibition as unconstitutional, supporters of Vancouver pot activist Marc Emery, imprisoned for selling mail order marijuana seeds, learned that the United States government had denied his application for a transfer from the US to the Canadian prison system.
 
"This is a sad day for everyone," Jacob Hunter, of the Beyond Prohibition Foundation told the Tyee on Friday, speaking from the opening day of Burnaby’s first medical marijuana dispensary at 4927 Kingsway on Friday, April 15. "Mark Emery is looking at five years in a US prison for selling seeds, which ought to be legal."
 
Five new users had registered at the Burnaby facility by mid-afternoon, when the Tyee spoke with Hunter. He said that a government funded survey estimates that there are over a million Canadians using marijuana for medicinal purposes, with only 6,000 of them holding Health Canada permits and only 30,000 registered with dispensaries across the country.
 

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Feds raid medical marijuana facility, 3 other Oakland County properties

Category: News | Posted on Tue, April, 12th 2011 by THCFinder
Federal agents raided at least four properties in Oakland County this morning.
 
U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents were at Caregivers of America, a medicinal marijuana facility in Walled Lake, a home in Commerce Township and an office building in Novi and the Bayside Sports Grill in Walled Lake. 
 
DEA Group supervisor Andrew Eiseman said sealed federal search warrants were executed at all three locations, but few other details were released. 
 
He would not say why the warrants were issued or provide more details about the investigation. He did not say if any arrests have been made and would not comment on whether the raids were connected.
 
The home raided is located in the 3300 block of Benstein Road and is owned by Romel and Ban Casab, according to the Oakland County Assessor’s Office. Romel Casab is listed as the resident agent of Caregivers of America L.L.C. on state records. He has said in a lawsuit that he is one of the owners of the former Packard plant in Detroit. 
 
A neighbor who lives across the street from the home said she first saw agents at the home shortly after 7 a.m. today. A black convertible was taken out of the garage and driven out before it was towed away, neighbor Annette Winberg, 66, said. Another car was also taken, she said. 
 
About 10 agents were at the home this morning with four or five cars when a Free Press reporter arrived. 
 

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Government may move to allow prescribed cannabis into Ireland

Category: News | Posted on Tue, April, 12th 2011 by THCFinder
THE DEPARTMENT OF Health has indicated it is to consider adopting certain portions of European agreements that would see Ireland allow people to bring medicinal marijuana into the country if they were prescribed it.
 
Briefing notes for new ministers James Reilly and Frances Fitzgerald, released by the Department of Health last week and documented in today’s Irish Times, have indicated that Ireland could adopt certain parts of the Schengen Agreement, the accord that removes internal borders within most EU states.
 
Ireland and the UK are not parties to the agreement, but the briefing notes says the Department of Health had been told by the Department of Justice and Law Reform that it should take whatever measures were necessary to give effects to a certain article of the agreement.
 
That provision, Article 75, allows persons “travelling within the EU to carry their legally prescribed narcotic or psychotropic drugs for medical use” – a move that would see persons given prescribed medicinal marijuana elsewhere in the EU being allowed to bring it into Ireland.
 
The document notes, however, that implementing the Article would require Ireland to put in place some kind of legal mechanism which still retained the current prohibition on importing cannabis, while permitting EU travellers to bring their own prescribed drugs with them.
 
The Department says it would examine making such arrangements later in the year.
 

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