IRS Agent Busted for Extorting Money From Marijuana Dispensary Owner

Category: News | Posted on Wed, September, 23rd 2015 by THCFinder

An agent working in the Seattle branch of the Internal Revenue Service is now facing criminal charges after extorting money from the owner of a local cannabis dispensary in exchange for a lenient audit.

According to a report from the Seattle Times, Paul Hurley, 42, is on the road to federal prison for attempting to squeeze tens of thousands of dollars out of a businessman for help with a delinquent tax bill. Prosecutors say Hurley presented the dispensary owner with documents that indicated a tax debt of nearly $300,000 and then suggested the bill would have been in upwards of $1 million had he not worked some magic. 

That is when Hurley asked if the two could talk “off the record,” and then, shortly thereafter, demanded $20,000 for doing the shop owner a solid. At first, the businessman refused to comply with the agent’s unusual shakedown, but eventually called him back to make a deal.

Little did Hurley know, the business owner had called federal authorities the moment Hurley left the dispensary, and together, they staged a sting operation to bring this thug to his knees.

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New York City Council Holds Hearing On Synthetic Cannabinoids

Category: News | Posted on Tue, September, 22nd 2015 by THCFinder

synthetic marijuana spice k2Today, the New York City Council Committee on Public Safety jointly with the Committees on Health and the Committee on Mental Health; Developmental Disability, Alcoholism, Substance Abuse and Disability Services; and the Committee on Consumer Affairs held hearings about the growing concern surrounding synthetic cannabinoids.

Recently, there have been several media reports of public drug use involving synthetic cannabinoids, such as spice and K2. Synthetic cannabinoids are a class of cannabinoid chemicals typically sprayed over plant matter and packaged with names like “K2,” “Spice” and “Green Giant.” These are only the latest “legal highs” to come on the market that simulate the effects of prohibited drugs like marijuana, ecstasy (MDMA), opioids, cocaine and methamphetamine. In the past, as these kind of substances have been banned, manufacturers have simply invented new variations of the same substances to skirt the bans as well as for legitimate scientific purposes.

While synthetic cannabinoids are used by a wide range of people, media accounts have focused on their use by people who are homeless and/or criminal justice involved. The substances usually do not show up in drug tests that are sometimes required for people to access shelters or social services that require abstinence from illicit drugs, like marijuana. Another population of people using the substance are people who are trying to avoid the criminal penalties associated with marijuana possession.

The problems associated with synthetic cannabinoids have been exacerbated by more complex underlying issues, such as homelessness, addiction and mental health issues.

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Washington Teenagers Are No Longer Facing Prison for Weed

Category: News | Posted on Tue, September, 22nd 2015 by THCFinder

Although Washington was one of the first states to repeal prohibition in America, we have seen reports over the past year that indicate some lawmakers are not quite ready to side with the common sense philosophies attached to the legalization of marijuana.

According to the Associated Press, Asotin County Prosecutor Ben Nichols could send three teenagers—ages 14, 15 and 17—to prison for the next five years because they were caught in possession of marijuana. The report indicates that a piece of legislation signed into law this year by Governor Jay Inslee allows him to seek this extremely harsh maximum penalty because the kids were too young to possess the state’s new legal substance. 

The legislation that Nichols is referring to is Senate Bill 5052, which was sponsored by Senator Ann Rivers in an attempt to impose a prohibitionary standard on youngsters who choose to smoke weed. The lawmaker said she wants to send a message to kids that marijuana “will hurt you in more ways than one if you decide to participate.” 

However, Jaime Smith, a representative for the governor’s office, said that SB 5052, which was intended to regulate the medical marijuana sector, was never intended to allow young children to be nailed against the wall with felony charges over marijuana.

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Former NFL Players Will Change Minds About Medical Marijuana

Category: News | Posted on Mon, September, 21st 2015 by THCFinder
super bowl marijuana nfl football

(image via Reddit)

This last week my buddy Kaliko was at the Cannabis World Congress and Business Expo in Los Angeles. Kaliko was there representing this blog, which is something that he does very well. He called me on Friday after he had attended a panel dealing with cannabis and sports. He said it was one of the most powerful things he had ever seen. Many people in the crowd were in tears as former NFL players told their stories.

Playing in the NFL is very rough on a person’s body. It doesn’t take a doctor to understand that when guys weighing over 300 pounds are crashing into you at full speed that it will cause a lot of pain. The longer guys play in the league, the worse off their bodies are after they are done with their playing careers. I know a couple of guys that spent time in the NFL. They were by no means superstars, but they did make it on teams for a handful of years. Their bodies are absolutely thrashed. One of them will never walk the same again.

The NFL has been in the news a lot lately, with news articles and TV coverage about NFL injuries popping up all over the place, especially when it comes to brain injuries. Something that hasn’t received as much attention is the high level of painkiller addiction among current and former NFL players. Painkiller addiction is something that many former football players deal with, whether they made it to the pros or not. Painkillers are handed out like candy in a lot of football programs, which is something that I’ve heard football players say many times. I listen to sports radio 1080 The Fan everyday on my way to and from work, and the ex-football players on there talk about it all the time. It’s a part of football culture. Your knee hurts and you can’t play? Well, lets take you to the locker room, plug you with a needle, and shazam, it’s like you have a whole new knee. Well, at least long enough to finish the game, after that the player is on their own to figure it out.

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New York Banks: We Will Not Work With The Medical Marijuana Industry

Category: News | Posted on Mon, September, 21st 2015 by THCFinder

banking marijuana industry bankIf you own a marijuana business, chances are you do not have a bank account. And if you do have a bank account, there is a good chance that your account could be shutdown at anytime if it is determined that you grow, process, or sell cannabis. The feds have issued ‘clarifications’ that were supposed to help businesses in the marijuana industry gain banking access, but in reality those clarifications just added to the confusion. Banks don’t want to operate in grey areas, so rather than even deal with it, most just have a standing policy to not work with marijuana businesses.

The five medical marijuana companies in New York are learning the hard way just how harsh banks are towards the industry. Per Marijuana Business Daily:

A handful of major banks in the state – including Wells Fargo, PNC Bank, JP Morgan Chase, TD Bank and Key Bank – told Politico that they have no plans to work with the marijuana industry in New York or anywhere else.

“Until we get clarity from the feds, we are not banking on marijuana-related business,” a spokesman from JP Morgan Chase told Politico.

Other banks echoed the sentiment, saying the lack of clarity is a deal-breaker because they don’t want to risk breaking federal laws in order to work with cannabis companies.

If these high powered companies can’t get bank accounts, I think it’s safe to say that the average cannabis entrepreneur won’t be any luckier. If New York’s market is large in anyway, that’s going to be an enormous pile of cash that has to be secured, transported, and stored. Legal industries shouldn’t have to take such risks. They should be able to deposit their currency like other businesses do.



Kansas Supreme Court Justice Compares Drug Charges to Sex Crimes

Category: News | Posted on Mon, September, 21st 2015 by THCFinder

The Kansas Supreme Court heard arguments this week between state and local officials as to whether or not the city of Wichita should be allowed to implement an ordinance passed in 2014 that decriminalizes marijuana possession.

In April of last year, 54 percent of the voting population in the state’s largest municipality approved a ballot measure that took the heat off first time pot offenders by making minor possession a civil infraction rather than a criminal offense. Essentially, the majority of Wichita agreed that a $50 fine was a sufficient enough punishment for anyone caught holding a small bag of weed and that it was no longer necessary to put these people in jail.

However, the passing of this ordinance did not set well with Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt, who argued that Wichita could not move forward with the ordinance because it directly conflicts with state and federal law.

It is this battle between the city’s right to approve rules conducive to maintaining civil society and a state hammer swinging in disapproval that has brought the state’s highest court in to mediate this issue to a decision. 

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