Iowa man with terminal cancer to be sentenced Tuesday for growing pot
Category: News | Posted on Tue, September, 9th 2014 by THCFinder
An Iowa man convicted of growing marjuana, which he says he used to treat his terminal cancer, is scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday afternoon.
Benton Mackenzie, 48, who holds an Oregon medical marijuana card, faces up to three years in prison, reports Brian Wellner, a Quad-City Times staff writer who has closely followed Mackenzie's case. Mackenzie's wife and son also face sentencing Tuesday.
Mackenzie's supporters are expected to rally at the Scott County Courthouse before the hearing.
Mackenzie, who lives in a rural community outside of Davenport, traveled with his family to Oregon in July so he could obtain medical marijuana. Oregon allows out-of-state residents to obtain medical marijuana cards.
In June 2013, the local sheriff’s office raided Mackenzie’s grow site at his parents’ home, seizing 71 plants, and arresting Mackenzie, his wife Loretta and their grown son. Benton and Loretta Mackenzie were on probation from a previous marijuana-related conviction when Mackenzie said he decided to grow pot again.
Both were convicted in July of drug felonies stemming from the grow operation.
During his visit, Mackenzie told The Oregonian that he used the plants to make the potent marijuana concentrate, butane hash oil, known as BHO. He said he used the oil, which is made with a flammable solvent that extracts THC and other cannabinoids from marijuana flowers and leaves, as the main treatment for his cancer.
He has refused chemotherapy, which he said has a 50 percent success rate when it comes to angiosarcoma, the cancer he has. He feared the treatment would compromise a heart condition from which he also suffers.
Texas Teen No Longer Facing Life In Prison For Cannabis Brownies
Category: News | Posted on Mon, September, 8th 2014 by THCFinder
Texas has very, very harsh cannabis laws. A case that demonstrates that is the case of Jacob Lavoro, who is 19 years old. Jacob Lavoro was caught with cannabis brownies, and the State of Texas was trying to throw the book at him. Because they were brownies, and had flour, sugar, and other ingredients, the weight of the brownies was being considered the weight of the possession with intent to distribute. That all added up to a first degree felony charge, which carries a prison sentence of up to life in prison.
Fortunately, that charge was dropped, but unfortunately, another charge was applied. Per Raw Story:
The district attorney in Williamson County decided not to pursue the first-degree felony case, and a grand jury indicted Lavoro last week on a second-degree felony charge for possession of THC and a state felony charge for possession of marijuana.
“We figured that would be a simpler, more straight-forward case,” said District Attorney Mark Brunner. “We wouldn’t get lost in the weeds of arguing about the adulterants and dilutants, even though the law allows us to make that argument.”
The new charge still brings an overly harsh prison sentence if convicted. A second degree felony charge could result in up to 20 years in prison. 20 years is obviously better than life, however, it’s still a huge injustice, and a tremendous waste of tax payer dollars and corrections resources if it happens. A prison bed should be reserved for a person that is a danger to society, not for someone that makes cannabis brownies.
Italy To Release 10,000 Marijuana Inmates
Category: News | Posted on Fri, September, 5th 2014 by THCFinder
No one should ever have to be arrested and jailed because of marijuana. Prison beds should be reserved for those members of society that are such a threat to others that they need to be locked up so that they can’t re-offend. This obviously would include rapists, murderers, child molesters, etc. To throw marijuana consumers, sellers, and growers into the prison population with violent criminals is a huge was of resources and a huge injustice. Italy is taking a step in the right direction by releasing roughly ten thousand inmates from prison. Per The Weedist:
Italy is poised to release about ten thousand inmates due to a shift in sentencing laws that eases punishment for cannabis use, growth and possession. The change comes as a result of the striking down of a law that previously tripled cannabis related sentences.
The estimate is that about 40% of Italian inmates were convicted of drug related crimes. In reality, this “new” law is not new at all. The Italian judicial system is rather reverting back to the previous law (prior to the ludicrous mandatory tripling of sentence law). After this takes effect, hard drugs like cocaine and heroin will result in much longer sentences than cannabis infractions. For some it means they would be released on time served, for others it’s a reduction in sentencing from 6-20 years down to 2-6 years.
This is a great move by Italy, but it doesn’t go far enough. People in Italy, and around the world, need to keep pressure on for reform until every marijuana inmate is released from jail, and legalization is achieved worldwide. Still, this is a great step in the right direction, and I hope that more countries move in this direction, including the United States. Jeff Mizanskey is currently serving a life sentence in a Missouri prison for marijuana only offenses.
Life sentence for buying marijuana?
Category: News | Posted on Thu, September, 4th 2014 by THCFinder
(CNN) — Clearly something is broken when a Missouri man named Jeff Mizanskey can be sentenced to die in prison for purchasing seven pounds of marijuana. With two nonviolent marijuana convictions already on his record, Jeff received life without parole under Missouri’s three strikes law.
The punishment of growing old and dying behind bars for offenses like Mizanskey’s is extreme, tragic, and inhumane. This should outrage us, but it should not surprise us.
This country has spent 40 years relentlessly ratcheting up the number of people going to prison and dramatically expanding the time we hold them there. We’ve spent decades criminalizing people with drug dependency, passing extreme sentencing laws, and waging a war on drugs that has not diminished drug use. Small wonder, then, that even less serious crimes like Mizanskey’s marijuana purchase result in costly and cruel sentences.
And Mizanskey is hardly the only one.
Just as he fell into the abyss of our nation’s failed drug policies and excessive sentencing laws, millions more have sat in jails and prisons, often for years, even decades on end, for low-level drug and property offenses.
While many of the lawmakers who passed harsh sentencing laws thought they were doing the right thing, the results are now in: This approach has devastated families and communities, generated high recidivism rates, drained state budgets from more productive investments, and has reinforced generations of poverty and disadvantage that disproportionately fall on communities of color.
There were ways to hold Mizanskey and others like him accountable for their actions short of sentencing them to die in prison.
We can and must do better.
It’s time for states to end the costly criminalization of marijuana and recalibrate sentencing laws so that the punishment actually fits the crime as opposed to a politician’s reelection agenda. Public attitudes toward marijuana are rapidly evolving, and a Gallup poll last year found for the first time that a majority of Americans now favor legalization as a better course than criminalization.
Unfortunately, laws and police practices that enforce them are out of step with public opinion. Nationally, nearly half of all drug arrests are for marijuana offenses. At least one person is arrested for marijuana possession every hour in Mizanskey’s home state of Missouri, which also wasted nearly $50 million on marijuana enforcement in 2010. Although black people and white people use marijuana at about the same rate, a black person in Missouri was 2.6 times more likely to be arrested for having marijuana than a white person.
The solution is clear. Instead of taxpayers spending millions of dollars on this unnecessary enforcement and keeping folks like Mizanskey in prison for the rest of their lives, states could follow Colorado and Washington by taxing and regulating marijuana and investing saved enforcement dollars in education, substance abuse treatment, and prevention and other health care.
Read more: http://q13fox.com
Aurora, Colorado Awards 21 Recreational Marijuana Store Licenses
Category: News | Posted on Thu, September, 4th 2014 by THCFinder
Aurora, Colorado, the third largest city in the state, has recently approved 21 adult-use cannabis store licenses. There were 58 total applicants for 24 licenses. The remaining three licenses will be awarded later this year. Per Marijuana Business Daily:
In all, 13 separate companies were awarded operating permits, with several getting multiple licenses in different wards. The Green Solution, for example, was granted permits to open recreational marijuana stores in four of the city’s six wards.
While Denver and other cities in Colorado started awarding licenses late in 2013 and earlier this year, Aurora took its time to develop local regulations.
The cannabis industry rollout in Colorado has gone remarkably well. Starting a cannabis industry from scratch is a monumental task, but Colorado, aided by a regulated medical marijuana dispensary system already in place, has seen a relatively smooth transition. Jobs have been created,revenue has been generated, violent crime is down, highway fatalities are at near-historic lows and a fewer percentage of teens are reporting using marijuana.
Colorado’s implementation of a taxed and regulated cannabis system is a great example to follow. States can even learn from Colorado and even make improvements. Oregon, Alaska, and Washington, D.C. will be voting on cannabis legalization this November, and hopefully all will be joining Colorado and Washington in taking a new approach.
Uncle Sam Spends $715,000 on Marijuana App
Category: News | Posted on Wed, September, 3rd 2014 by THCFinder
In an effort to convince the youth of America that continued prohibition is in the interest of public health, the federal government is now paying researchers to develop an app that persuades kids to work out rather than smoke weed.
The National Institutes of Health recently awarded a $715,000 grant to the University of New York at Buffalo to begin working on study cleverly titled “Use of exercise to reduce young adult marijuana use there is an app for that.” The goal of this research is to create a smartphone app that appeals to the teenage wasteland and encourages them to get into physical fitness as an alternative to getting stoned.
Despite marijuana being legal for medicinal and recreational purposes in half the United States, Uncle Sam remains driven to convince the public that weed is turning kids into out-of-control marijuana addicts. “Currently, marijuana (MJ) is the most popular illicit drug, with prevalence studies indicating increasing use among young adults,” according to NIH’s project information. “Even so, there are few effective interventions to help MJ users reduce their intake to avoid negative consequences, including MJ dependence.”
Not surprisingly, federal lab rats have found evidence that suggests marijuana cravings can be hindered with moderate exercise. “Our research also has shown that short (i.e., 10 minute) bouts of moderate or intense exercise reduce craving/urges to use MJ,” writes the NIH. “Exercise interventions have successfully reduced use of licit substances, such as tobacco and alcohol, but have not been adequately tested for MJ use.”
Last year, R. Lorraine Collins, PhD, who has been assigned to lead this waste of tax dollars, said, “This newest NIDA grant to develop the smart phone app has evolved out of our use of cell phones to collect data in real time, as well as our plan to develop an effective intervention that can make a difference in the lives of young people who want to cut down on their marijuana use.”
Ultimately, researchers are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to research and develop a useless smartphone app aimed at curbing marijuana addiction, a disease, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, that only effects nine percent of its users.
Read more: http://www.hightimes.com
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