Another Vengeful Pot Bust of Medical Users in California
San Luis Obispo, California Sheriff Pat Hedges is up to his old tricks; making a mockery of California's laws that protect sick people who use medical marijuana. This week his intensive 'anti-drug' efforts involved his tracking down "mobile marijuana dispensaries" that deliver medicine to those who have an otherwise difficult time accessing this legal herb. Remember, in California dispensaries can legally sell marijuana, unlike Oregon.
Fifteen people were arrested in Hedges' big 'drug bust'. The youngest was 33, the oldest was 60. One of those arrested; a resident of Paso Robles, told Salem-News.com: "Sheriff Hedges is making one last gasp against Medical Marijuana before his term is up next month. A girlfriend of a detective got a legal MM recommendation from a local doctor. She then used the print out of Dispensaries and Delivery services and asked for deliveries from all or most of the services listed on the print out. Anybody who made a delivery to Amy Dobson was raided by the Sheriff's Drug Taskforce on or around Dec. 28."
Apparently the 'investigation' was simply an effort to arrest and jail non violent offenders based on the use of business records. And that took two months? The person quoted above also said: "I am a Medical Marijuana patient and manage a very small MM co-operative. I made deliveries to Dobson and personally verified her recommendation. I now have 5 cannabis related felonies against me."
California Man Ships Marijuana To Himself
Police in South Elgin say they have intercepted 82 pounds of marijuana that a California man allegedly shipped to himself in the Chicago suburb. Police tell the (Arlington Heights) Daily Herald that marijuana seized Wednesday at a freight and delivery company had an estimated street value of $470,000.
The arrested man, 69-year-old Walter Kwiatek (kwee-a-TECK') of Cloverdale, Calif., appeared Thursday in Kane County Bond Court on charges of marijuana trafficking, manufacture or delivery of marijuana and possession of marijuana. His bond was set at $500,000. Police say they believe Kwiatek shipped the marijuana to himself from an address in Santa Rosa, Calif. Police were not available for further comment Thursday, and did not say whether Kwiatek had an attorney.
Cannabis Factory With Plants Worth £80,000 Found In Irlams o' th' Height
Police raided a cannabis factory where drugs worth £80,000 were being cultivated. The 70 marijuana plants were found with a lighting and hydroponics system at a warehouse in Irlams o' th' Height, Salford. Officers carried out the warrant on Claremont Road at around 8am, after members of the public tipped off the police. Cops were joined by fire fighters who helped prise open doors of the factory to discover a secure room containing the drugs.
Police confiscated the haul and believe the value of the plants is somewhere between £60,000 and £80,000. A 40-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of production of a Class B drug with intent to supply and is now being quizzed by police. PC Danielle Southwell said: "We have listened to the concerns of our residents who feel that this area is being blighted by drug dealing and today's warrant is a direct result of information from members of the public. "Thanks to their help, we have seized more than 70 mature cannabis plants and in doing so stopped a large amount of drugs from flooding our streets.
"Sadly, drug addiction leads to other crimes such as burglary and robbery as a means to fund their addiction and people who cultivate cannabis serve only to propagate this cycle of misery. "Help us to rid the streets of drugs and the people who peddle them by contacting us. This recovery shows what we can achieve when the public work with us so, please, if you do know anything come forward."
Marijuana Activist's Eligibility For B.C. NDP Leadership Questioned By Party President
The B.C. NDP leadership race got off to a shaky start Wednesday, with a dust-up over whether the first person to declare his candidacy was a paid-up party member. Marijuana activist Dana Larsen held a news conference to announce his intention to campaign for the leadership. Three hours later, NDP party president Moe Sihota said Mr. Larsen was ineligible because he did not have a membership card. Mr. Larsen subsequently blamed a clerical error at NDP offices for the mix-up.
He renewed his membership, changed his address and made a donation in November, he said in a news release. "The donation was processed, however, my address change, and now it seems my membership, were not” said Mr. Larsen. “Moe Sihota chose to resolve this clerical error through the media rather than contacting me directly. That is highly irregular, “Mr. Larsen said. Earlier, Mr. Sihota said Mr Larsen may be ineligible even if he buys a membership. Mr. Larsen was a federal NDP candidate in the 2008 election campaign who stepped down following controversy over his marijuana use.
“Having been deemed ineligible to run federally, that raises the question if he could run provincial,” Mr. Sihota said in an interview. The rules committee for the leadership race is slated to meet next week to set the eligibility requirements. Mr. Larsen may not qualify under those rules, Mr. Sihota said. “He is currently ineligible, and may be ultimately ineligible,” he said. However, Mr. Larsen insisted he could run. “I’m a member in good standing in the NDP, as far as I know,” he said. “I make monthly donations on my credit card.” Mr. Larsen also said he voluntarily chose to resign as a federal NDP candidate; he was not disqualified. “As far as I know, I would qualify under any rules the party would set, or under any rules they have set in the past. I cannot imagine any rule they would set that would disqualify me,” he said.
Feds Want Michigan Records In Medical-Marijuana Probe
Federal agents want Michigan to turn over medical marijuana records as part of an investigation in the Lansing area, a sign that voter approval won't stop federal authorities from enforcing their drug laws. Michigan voters agreed in 2008 to legalize the use of marijuana in treating some health problems. But "the cultivation, possession and distribution of marijuana remains illegal under federal law," Assistant U.S. Attorney John Bruha said in a court filing last week.
The U.S. attorney's office has asked a judge to order the Department of Community Health to comply with a subpoena for records of seven people with medical marijuana or marijuana caregiver cards. The state has been resisting turning over the information because of a privacy provision in Michigan law, Bruha said. No names or identifying information about the seven are included in court documents, nor are details about the Drug Enforcement Administration's investigation.
DEA spokesman Rich Isaacson in Detroit wouldn't comment about the case Monday but said agents generally are "not targeting people that are unambiguously following the state medical marijuana law." "The DEA targets large scale drug trafficking organizations and does not expend its resources on individuals possessing 'user amount' quantities of illegal drugs," he said. The federal government apparently hasn't been in a rush to get the information: The subpoena was given to the Department of Community Health in June. More than 45,000 people in Michigan are registered to use marijuana to ease the symptoms of cancer and other health problems. They can have up to 2 1/2 ounces of ready-to-use pot and up to 12 plants kept in an enclosed, locked facility. They could also choose to have a registered caregiver grow the drug for them.
Cannabis Clubs Plug A Gap In Spanish Drugs Laws
The sign on the door says it all, but the acrid smell and smoke wafting across the Private Cannabis Club in the Madrid dormitory town of Paraceullos de Jarama are proof that it lives up to its name. "This is the one place we can smoke in peace," said a punter at the bar, mixing tobacco and dried, shredded cannabis leaf in a long rolling paper. The Private Cannabis Club, with its palmate green leaves stencilled on the walls and the club's name etched on to smoked windowpanes, is at the vanguard of a new movement of pro-cannabis campaigners in Spain. The members spotted a gap in Spain's drugs laws which, they say, makes the activities of private clubs like these entirely legal. The spacious Paracuellos de Jarama club, in a former restaurant in a town overlooking Madrid's Barajas airport, is equipped with a bar, kitchen, billiard tables and TV screens. It is the most sophisticated of up to 40 cannabis clubs that have sprung up in garages and back rooms around Spain since campaigners worked out that laws making it illegal to consume in public did not apply to private, member-only, clubs.
"We've been open for two months and we already have 125 members," said the association's president, Pedro Álvaro Zamora. Those members pay €120 a year to belong and Zamora and his companions follow rules that seem similar to those of exclusive Mayfair clubs. A sign by the doorbell warns that only members are admitted and a committee vets new applicants, blackballing some. Alicia Méndez, a club official, said: "Potential members are interviewed and we do not accept everyone. Our members have to be responsible people, have the right profile." Zamora said: "This is not Amsterdam, this is not a coffee shop. This is our association's club house and it is a private place. It is not open for everyone." Spain does not have a law banning consumption in private and members claim it is safer to use the club than go out to parks and smoke in public. Zamora said: "The club recognises that cannabis is not good for everyone. We propose a responsible form of consumption. Not everyone should smoke. We know there are risks." Club members can bring their own cannabis or share in the club's own stock. They can even take some away as long as they sign for it and the cannabis is for personal consumption.
Although the club house, which is registered with the local authorities, is left alone by police, members can get into trouble if caught carrying cannabis. "It is illegal to buy, sell or transport, so you can be fined if caught with it on you." The club offers legal help to fined members. Supplying the club is another problem, as dealing in cannabis is illegal. "We are fighting for the legal right to grow it," said Zamora. The club applied for a medical licence to cultivate cannabis but was turned down. Then police raided its secret plantation and destroyed the plants. Zamora said they would challenge in court the right to destroy a plantation devoted to supplying a private club: "We are people who work and pay taxes. We are not delinquents
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