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Ex-IRS agent faces trial on medical marijuana dispensary bribery charge

Category: News | Posted on Sun, February, 7th 2016 by THCFinder

SEATTLE (AP) — A former IRS agent in Seattle is set to face trial this week on accusations that he solicited a $20,000 bribe from a medical marijuana dispensary.

Federal prosecutors say that after Paul G. Hurley audited Have A Heart Compassion Care in Seattle last summer, he told its owner that he had saved him $1 million — and suggested that in return the owner, Ryan Kunkel, should pay off his student debt.

Prosecutors say Kunkel agreed to pay Hurley $20,000 instead, but then he reported Hurley's actions to the U.S. Attorney's Office. Court documents say FBI agents observed and recorded two meetings at a Starbucks where Kunkel handed over the cash.

Read More:http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2016/02/07/irs-agent-marijuana-bribery/79988840/


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Plan Colombia to Become 'Peace Colombia'?

Category: News | Posted on Fri, February, 5th 2016 by THCFinder

Amid signs of hope that the South American country's 50-year armed conflict is winding down, Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos met with Barack Obama at the White House this week to mark 15 years since the initiation of the Plan Colombia aid package.

The two congratulated each other on the success of the program, which has delivered some $10 billion to Colombia in mostly military aid since 2001. They also discussed a proposed new aid program that Santos is calling the "second phase" of Plan Colombia and which Obama proposed to be called "Peace Colombia."

Obama said he supports a package of $450 million annually to support the peace process in Colombia—an increase over last year's $300 million. This would go towards implementing the reforms to be instated following a peace deal with the FARC guerillas—with a continued focus on drug enforcement. Obama said the U.S. "will keep working to protect our people as well as the Colombian people from the ravages of illegal drugs and the violence of drug traffickers."

Read More:http://www.hightimes.com/read/plan-colombia-become-peace-colombia


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NYC Marijuana Possession Arrests Under 17K For First Time Since 1996

Category: News | Posted on Fri, February, 5th 2016 by THCFinder

new york policy department nypd marijuanaAccording to data just released by the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services, New York City marijuana arrests in 2015 dropped to under 17,000 for the first time since 1996. The 16,590 arrests for low-level marijuana possession in 2015 is a 42% decline from the 26,386 in 2014 and a 67% drop from the nearly 51,000 arrests in 2011.

“New York is finally starting to shed its embarrassing distinction of being the marijuana arrest capital of the world,” said Kassandra Frederique, New York State Director at the Drug Policy Alliance. “Over the last twenty years, more than 700,000 lives were irrevocably harmed by our draconian marijuana arrest policies. We must repair the harms of marijuana prohibition and end the biased policing practices that have ruined the lives of so many young Black and Latino New Yorkers.”

In 2015, with the continuous advocacy of community members, advocates, and elected officials – the New York Police Department made 16,590 arrests for low level marijuana possession, down from a high of 26,386 in 2014. This continues a four year trend of declining marijuana possession arrest by the NYPD. Marijuana possession arrest numbers in New York City are the lowest they’ve been since 1996.  Though low level marijuana possession arrests have declined, the arrests remained racially disparate, with 88% of people arrested being Black and Latino, despite consistent government data that show young white men use at higher rates.

Read More:http://www.theweedblog.com/nyc-marijuana-possession-arrests-under-17k-for-first-time-since-1996/


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Legal Marijuana Sales Hit $5.4 Billion in 2015, Report Says

Category: News | Posted on Thu, February, 4th 2016 by THCFinder

It’s not just heat lamps in closets and nickel bags anymore: Marijuana is getting some respect as legal sales take off.

This week two marijuana analysis and investment firms released a summary of a report that appeared to confirm that the industry hasbecome gold rush. National legal sales of cannabis grew to $5.4 billion in 2015, up from $4.6 billion in 2014, according to the firms, the ArcView Group, based in San Francisco, and New Frontier, based in Washington.

Demand is expected to remain strong this year, with a forecast of $6.7 billion in legal sales, the report said.


The promises and headwinds of the industry are potentially far-reaching and attracting notice on Wall Street. As more states legalize marijuana sales, analysts are weighing the stock market benefits of new businesses ascannabis goes corporate. Funds are considering the ethics of investing in marijuana. Parents are even debating whether to allow their children to buy the stocks.

Read More:http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/05/business/legal-marijuana-sales-2015-report.html?_r=0


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Facebook Shuts Down Medical Marijuana Pages in New Jersey

Category: News | Posted on Wed, February, 3rd 2016 by THCFinder

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -- Three of New Jersey's five medical marijuana dispensaries have had their business pages shutdown by Facebook, cutting off what advocates call an integral place for customers to learn about which plant strains best treat their illness and where to find discounts.

Compassionate Sciences in Bellmawr, Garden State in Woodbridge, and Breakwater Treatment and Wellness in Cranbury had their pages shut down this week.

Facebook's advertising policy bans promotion of selling drugs - as well as tobacco and guns - and the medical marijuana pages weren't spared even though they have been legally allowed to operate in New Jersey since 2011.

The shutdowns reflect similar measures taken by the social media giant in other parts of the country. At one point last year, Facebook took down the page for the Harborside Health Center, a dispensary in Oakland, California, although the page is now up and running.

Read More:http://www.hightimes.com/read/facebook-shuts-down-medical-marijuana-pages-new-jersey


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Detroit Puts 211 Medical Marijuana Dispensaries On Notice

Category: News | Posted on Wed, February, 3rd 2016 by THCFinder

detroit marijuanaAs early as this morning, medical marijuana dispensaries in Detroit will be opening envelopes containing letters from the City of Detroit regarding the city’s new registration process- and a reminder that most of them will not be in operation for very much longer.

The letter was referenced in a Powerpoint presentation created by three different divisions of government and delivered to City Council during a meeting Tuesday morning. The presentation, titled “Medical Marihuana Caregiver Center Application Process Status Report For Detroit City Council,” identifies 211 dispensary locations in the city and includes a map.

The status report also says, “Notice letters sent to all facilities on February 2, 2016, published in the Detroit Legal News and posted on the MMCC website.”

As of this writing, the letter is not easily located on any of the websites the city has created for medical marijuana caregiver centers. The Compassion Chronicles has not been able to obtain a copy.

The new medical marijuana rules will begin on March 1; any dispensary in the city has until March 31 to apply for a business license. Most of the applicants will have to apply for a zoning variance, as the city was extremely stingy on the number of locations properly zoned for the inappropriately-named caregiver centers.

Read More:http://www.theweedblog.com/detroit-puts-211-medical-marijuana-dispensaries-on-notice/


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