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Google Earth narcs on an Oregonian marijuana grower

Category: News | Posted on Wed, October, 23rd 2013 by THCFinder
google-earth-narcsAn Oregon marijuana grower was outed to police by satellite images of his farm viewable on Google Earth, according to the Grants Pass Daily Courier (via CNET). While the satellite images are usually far from up-to-date, Curtis W. Croft had been at the pot growing game long enough that even the infrequently refreshed Google Earth was able to catch him.
 
The local police were originally tipped off when Croft was reported to have been bragging about his prodigious ganja crop. Someone in the force then had the insight to check Croft's property on Google Earth; sure enough, they spotted row upon row of crops. "Aerial reconnaissance" confirmed that the Google Earth images were still accurate.
 
Medical marijuana is legal in the state of Oregon, but Croft did not have permission to be growing the quantity he was.
 
Google Earth images can be years out of date, so they're far from an ideal research tool for identifying current criminal activity. But this is far from the first time that the service has been used to implicate someone: it was reportedly used to catch a man growing pot in Wisconsin back in 2006.
 

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Uruguay Will Sell Legal Marijuana For $1 Per Gram, Official Says

Category: News | Posted on Tue, October, 22nd 2013 by THCFinder
uruguay-marijuana-to-be-sold-for-1-gram
MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay -- MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay (AP) — Uruguay's drug czar says the country plans to sell legal marijuana for $1 per gram, though he's given higher figures in the past.
 
A law already passed in the lower house of Congress and expected to pass in the Senate later this year would make Uruguay the first country in the world to license and enforce rules for the production, distribution and sale of marijuana for adult consumers.
 
The El Pais newspaper reported Sunday that drug chief Julio Calzada says marijuana sales should start in the second half of 2014 at a price of $1.
 
He says the idea isn't to make money, but to wrench the market away from illegal dealers. Calzada said in August that the price would be around $2.5 per gram.
 
Sales are for locals only.
 

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Abandoned Chocolate Factory to Start Selling Marijuana

Category: News | Posted on Tue, October, 22nd 2013 by THCFinder
old-chocolate-factory-to-be-used-for-selling-cannabisThis former Hershey factory in Ottawa is on track to be repurposed into a weed manufacturing plant. It's like right out of a fairy tale! Smiths Falls Mayor Dennis Staples couldn't be more pleased, and Canadian stoners everywhere are rejoicing at the prospect of a hydroponic hub, where weed flows like wine.
 
When the Hershey factory came to Smiths Falls in June of 1963, it brought jobs, tourists, and money to the town. When they shut down the factory, considered "the Willy Wonka Wonderland of Eastern Ontario," the jobs, the tourists and the money left. Now the smell of melted chocolate is being replaced by primo weed and Smiths Falls has a new opportunity for growth.
 
Ottawa-based medical marijuana company, Tweed Inc. has set its sights on the 470,000 sq. ft. abandoned chocolate factory in Smiths Falls, Ottawa. Location scouting has been difficult because landlords are particularly snooty when it comes to renting out space for "sanctioned drug production." This means jobs, revenue and buzz for the town. For Mayor Staples this is personal and he couldn't be more pleased. His brother lost his battle with colon cancer and medical marijuana "made his last days on this Earth much more bearable."
 
In June, the Canadian Department of Health said that people were no longer permitted to grow medicinal marijuana in their homes. Instead, they're allowing companies to manufacture and supply the drug. The chairman of a drug panel for Canada's Association of Chiefs of Police, Mark Mander remarked that this licensing was a "tightening up versus loosening up" of drug laws in that it distinguishes "the legitimate from the illicit use."
 
Over 30,000 Canadians have medical marijuana licenses, and Health Canada estimates that sales of the medicinal weed could reach $1.25 billion by 2024.
 

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Missouri Man Serving Life In Prison Without Parole For Marijuana Convictions

Category: News | Posted on Tue, October, 22nd 2013 by THCFinder
life-in-prison-for-marijuana-convictionWhen I met Jeff Mizanskey’s son at a Show-Me Cannabis Regulation statewide meeting in 2012, I already knew about countless nightmares peaceful citizens had suffered because of cannabis prohibition, but I could hardly believe there was someone in Missouri serving life without parole for a cannabis-only offense. After meeting Jeff in the Jefferson City maximum security prison and reviewing his legal records, I know this is a nightmare he will die in prison with if we on the outside do not help. Jeff’s family and I shared his hopes that the proposed initiative petition provision to release all cannabis-only offenders from prison, probation, and parole would awaken Jeff and others from the nightmare of cannabis prohibition and we continue to hope future proposals will include this provision.
 
In 1993, a vehicle was stopped for a traffic violation and 84 pounds of cannabis was found. The transporters agreed to assist police in arresting the intended recipient. An audiovisual recording police made with hidden equipment shows the transporters and the police were surprised that Jeff drove the intended recipient to the motel for the meeting. Jeff and the intended recipient were arrested as they left the motel room. Seven pounds of cannabis was found under the intended recipient’s jacket. Only three grams of cannabis was found in Jeff’s pocket, but he was prosecuted for aiding the intended recipient in possessing cannabis with intent to distribute. The transporters were never charged. The intended recipient pleaded guilty and received a ten year sentence. Jeff contested his charges and, after a jury convicted him, a judge sentenced him to life. (It is not clear from the record whether the now-deceased judge intended to deny the possibility of parole, but, based on the Court Clerk’s entries on the judgment form, Jeff is being held without parole).
 
Jeff was sentenced under Missouri law as a prior and persistent drug offender because he had three prior cannabis-only felony convictions. In 1984, Jeff sold one ounce to an informant, who obtained a search warrant for Jeff’s house where over 35 grams was found the next day. In 1991, Jeff pleaded guilty to possessing over 35 grams. He was arrested in December of 1993 for his current charges and has been incarcerated ever since. Jeff has no other criminal record. There was no violence, guns, juveniles or other aggravating factors involved in any of his convictions. Jeff has been an ideal inmate who has maintained good behavior and prison jobs during his incarceration. Jeff has has made numerous unsuccessful attempts to get relief from the Missouri Court of Appeals and Federal Courts during the past 20 years of his incarceration.
 

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Mandatory Medical Marijuana Testing Coming To Oregon

Category: News | Posted on Mon, October, 21st 2013 by THCFinder
marijuana-lab-testing-requiredMarijuana testing has been a growing sector of the medical marijuana industry for years now, and I don’t see that trend slowing down at all. As more and more states approve medical marijuana dispensaries, mandatory testing is becoming more common. I think it’s a good thing, because it helps patients decide what is the best medicine for them. It looks like Oregon is going to require mandatory testing for recently legalized medical marijuana dispensaries, which shouldn’t surprise anyone since it was something the legislature talked about from the start.
 
A lot of medical marijuana dispensaries in Oregon already carry strains that are lab tested. Most of the testing revolves around potency levels right now. As more and more testing labs open in Oregon finding a lab will be a lot easier, which is a big reason that some dispensaries don’t currently carry lab tested meds. It’s only a matter of time before out-of-state labs open franchises in Oregon. I would like to see Oregon-based testing labs open, but only time will tell if that happens.
 
I have some friends on the rule making committee, so once the rules are finalized around marijuana testing I’ll make sure to post them. Below is an excerpt about the rule making process from The Oregonian:
 
The new law also includes a requirement for testing marijuana, the latest frontier in states’ evolving approach to regulating cannabis. Twenty states, and Washington, D.C., allow marijuana for medicinal use, but Oregon is among only a handful that will require cannabis testing. Nationally, advocates have lobbied states with medical marijuana laws to mandate lab tests for a range of impurities and even potency, arguing that consumers deserve detailed information about the drug before consuming it.
 
Among the issues being considered: How often should marijuana be tested and who should perform the tests? Should third-party labs or the dispensaries themselves perform the tests? Should those conducting the tests be required to undergo criminal background checks, similar to the ones required of dispensary owners? What standards should the labs follow? Are any levels of mold, mildew and pesticide acceptable?
 

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Real Life Nancy Botwin In Scarsdale, NY

Category: News | Posted on Sun, October, 20th 2013 by THCFinder
real-life-nancy-botwin-thcfA real life version of the famed "weed mom" on the ever popular show Weeds has appeared in the form of a Scarsdale, NY woman named Andrea Sanderlin, mother of three. According to the article on CNBC.com, Sanderlin has been operating a huge marijuana grow operation in a warehouse building in Queens. The operation has been producing marijuana for about four years now, starting back in 2009. The warehouse contained at least 1,000 plants, which she was selling and profiting from.
 
By claiming that the warehouse space was a classy fashion design firm, Sanderlin lived in luxury, just like Nancy Botwin. But the pot mom's luck fizzled out back in May, when the FBI and DEA followed her to the grow operation warehouse in Queens. The case was incredibly famous when the mom was originally arrested because of the eerie resemblance to the show Weeds. You have to admit that the similarities are insane.
 
Originally, Sanderlin pled not guilty to the change of marijuana cultivation. The case is back in the news because she recently changed her plea to guilty. The 45-year-old mother faces 10 years in prison when she is sentenced and is currently out on $500,000 bail. She is charged with the cultivation of thousands of marijuana plants from 2009 to 2013.

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