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Washington State Begins Marijuana Recreational Sales

Category: News | Posted on Tue, July, 15th 2014 by THCFinder
wa-state-mj-sales
Colorado's legal cannabis bill is in full effect and people are loving it. While Washington also passed the bill to legalize cannabis for recreational users, the officials there took their time setting up a model for the green business. July 8th marked the first day that cannabis was sold recreationally in Washington state, a day that resembled the first day of legal weed in Colorado back in January.
 
Caden Robinson told the New York Times that his parents actually suggested that he tend the first legal cannabis sales day. The 21 year old is a chemistry/chemical engineering major at University of Puget Sound and his father told him that he "should go make history". So Robinson and his friend Mark Rupprecht, a 33 year old bartender in the city, stood in line for hours under a blazing sun in order to get their hands on some of that legal green. Rupprecht stated that a day like today would "be something to tell my grandkids". Being present at the first day of legal cannabis in any state would be an amazing experience, as one would be present at a huge turning point in that state's (and the country's) history. Not everyone in line was there to get stoned, either. Some of those who were waiting just wanted to be there for the moment. CJ Graham, a 22 year old majoring in biopsychology at Tufts University, told the New York Times that he may get the nugs bronzed, as a memorial of the day. Others said that they were going to give the weed out as party favors at shindigs that were being held later in the day.
 
Since voters passed Initiative 502 back in 2012, Washington residents were able to possess and consume marijuana. Even before that, law officials had kind of backed off of the stoner community, basically leaving them to their own devices (as most police should do and instead concern themselves with real crimes). Tuesday the plant became fully legal in Washington state. However, medical marijuana and black market sales (which is still illegal) are sometimes thought of as a better option, considering the high price of the legal cannabis. The tax of the cannabis is 25% per purchase, which can be enough to deter a legal buyer to instead turn back to the black market, an issue that will need to be studied and worked on in the coming months.

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Former Cops Get Busted Stealing Weed Candy

Category: News | Posted on Mon, July, 14th 2014 by THCFinder
former-cops-busted-stealing-weed-candy
Yes you did read the caption right. Two former Goodyear, Arizona cops were arrested recently after stealing over 20 pounds of cannabis infused chocolate from a package shipped from California that arrived at OnTrac, the shipping company that the two men were now employed by as security. The box arrived marked as cannabis chocolate from the west coast state, weighing in at a whopping 50 pounds total. David Carpenter and Eric Scott Whittington were both arrested and are awaiting their court dates for stealing the medicated candy.
 
When the box of chocolate arrived at the company, the employees set it aside to be confiscated by the police. Even though Arizona allows the sale of medical cannabis, they are still one of the strictest in regards to cannabis law. Medicated candy is not legal under the law, nor is any other edible. So even though the candies arrived, they would've never made it to their end destination... But they certainly weren't supposed to end up in the hands of these two former police officers. Sgt. Steve Martos was interviewed about the arrest and he was unsure of the reason the two men were no longer part of the police force.
 
"Prior to them being able to call the police, they noticed that two of their security offivers has walked in to the room containing the box with two backpacks and it appears that they had left the room with something in their backpacks," said Sgt. Martos. When the employees of OnTrac inspected the box after the two men had left, they noticed that the box was considerably lighter and they called the police. When officers arrived, they obtained warrants to search the houses of the two men in question. The search turned up the candy, as well as handguns and ammo. Cellphones were also recovered that contained texts from the two men, planning to steal the stoney candy.
 
The two former police officers are facing charges of theft and possession of illegal narcotic drugs for sale. It is estimated that the candy stolen was worth around $3,000 and that the men were planning on selling the candy and making a bit of a profit. The rest of the candy was confiscated by the police.

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Smell of unburnt marijuana cannot justify search of car

Category: News | Posted on Thu, July, 10th 2014 by THCFinder
smell-of-cannabis-does-not-warrant-a-car-search
The Supreme Judicial Court Wednesday said that because voters decriminalized small amounts of marijuana in 2008, police officers in Massachusetts can no longer rely on the odor of unburnt marijuana to justify searching a person’s car.
 
In two unanimous rulings, the state’s highest court said they had already decided in 2011 that the odor of smoked marijuana by itself did not provide police with probable cause to stop people on the street or search the vehicles people are riding in.
 
The court said in its 2011 ruling that it would be legally inconsistent to allow police to make warrantless searches after they smell burning marijuana when citizens had decided through a statewide referendum question that law enforcement should “focus their attention elsewhere.’’
 
The court said Wednesday it was now extending the same reasoning to cases where the owner has not yet started smoking it. Marijuana, the court acknowledged, generates a pungent aroma, but an odor by itself does not allow police to determine whether a person has more than an ounce with them. Possession of an ounce or less of marijuana is not a crime.
 
“The 2008 initiative decriminalized possession of one ounce or less of marijuana under State law, and accordingly removed police authority to arrest individuals for civil violations,’’ Justice Barbara Lenk wrote for the unanimous court.
 
“We have held that the odor of burnt marijuana alone cannot support probable cause to search a vehicle without a warrant ... [now] we hold that such odor [of unburnt marijuana], standing alone, does not provide probable cause to search an automobile.’’
 
The court established the new legal standard in the case of Matthew W. Overmyer, who was arrested in Pittsfield by police investigating a car crash. Responding officers noticed what the SJC called “a very strong odor of unburnt marijuana.’’
 
Police found one bag of marijuana in the glovebox of Overmyer’s car, and a backpack holding even more, leading police to charge him with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.
 
The court said police could not use their noses alone to arrest Overmyer, but might have had another legally approved basis for searching his car. They ordered the case back to the district court for more proceedings.
 

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Brooklyn To Stop Prosecuting Possession Of Small Amounts Of Marijuana

Category: News | Posted on Thu, July, 10th 2014 by THCFinder
brooklyn-to-stop-prosecuting-small-amounts-of-cannabisBrooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson announced the implementation of his policy to end the prosecution of most low-level marijuana possession cases. With this bold and smart initiative, DA Thompson is using his discretionary authority as the top law enforcement officer in Brooklyn to refocus limited law enforcement resources on serious public safety issues, address and reduce unwarranted racial disparities in the criminal justice system, and ensure that Brooklyn residents are no longer saddled with lifelong arrest records for simple possession of marijuana. In a statement released by DA Thompson, he noted that he shares responsibility with NYPD to protect public safety, but he has an additional duty “to reform and improve our criminal justice system in Brooklyn.”
 
Advocates applaud Thompson’s efforts to address a broken law that has led to hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers being arrested for possessing small amounts of marijuana. Over the last fifteen years, over 600,000 people have been arrested for marijuana possession in New York City – the majority of whom are young men of color, even though young white men use marijuana at higher rates. Last year, there were nearly 30,000 such arrests in New York City alone. Based on first-quarter data obtained from the state Division of Criminal Justice Services, NYPD is now on track to make nearly as many marijuana possession arrests in 2014 as it did in 2013, with similarly shocking racial disparities.
 
“We commend DA Thompson for this powerful step toward  restoring fairness and equity in the criminal justice system,” said Gabriel Sayegh, NY State Director of the Drug Policy Alliance. “In New York, our marijuana policies are clearly broken. Albany has yet to act, which means it’s up to municipal leaders to take action on this issue. Thompson’s smart policy will serve the cause of justice and equity in Brooklyn, and we hope district attorneys across the City and the country – as well as Mayor de Blasio and leaders in Albany – are inspired to take similar action. It’s time to end this failed war on drugs and restore sanity, equity and justice to our drug policies.”
 

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First day of legal marijuana sales in Washington state

Category: News | Posted on Wed, July, 9th 2014 by THCFinder
legal-marijuana-salesSEATTLE (AP) — Surrounded by thousands of packages of marijuana, Seattle's top prosecutor sought some advice: Which one should he buy?
 
A new day, indeed.
 
Twenty months after voters legalized recreational cannabis for adults over 21, Washington state's first few licensed pot shops opened for business Tuesday, catering to hundreds of customers who lined up outside, thrilled to be part of the historic moment.
 
The pot being sold at four stores in Seattle, Bellingham, Prosser and Spokane was regulated, tested for impurities, heavily taxed and in short supply — such short supply that several other shops couldn't open because they had nothing to sell.
 
Pete Holmes, Seattle's elected city attorney and a main backer of the state's recreational marijuana law, said he wanted to be one of the first customers to demonstrate there are alternatives to the nation's failed drug war.
 
"This is a tectonic shift in public policy," he said. "You have to honor it. This is real. This is legal. This is a wonderful place to purchase marijuana where it's out of the shadows."
 
Dressed in a pinstripe suit, Holmes stood inside Seattle's first and, for now, only licensed pot shop, Cannabis City, south of downtown. The shop was sweltering. He fanned himself with a state-produced pamphlet titled "Marijuana Use in Washington State: An Adult Consumer's Guide."
 
Unsure what to buy, he asked the owner of the company that grew it, Nine Point Growth Industries of Bremerton, who recommended OG's Pearl. The strain tested at 21.5 percent THC, marijuana's main psychoactive compound.
 
The shop's 26-year-old twin salesmen, Andrew and Adam Powers, explained its benefits to Holmes: mainly, that the taste is not too "skunky" to turn off the occasional user.
 
Holmes noted it had been quite some time since he smoked pot. He paraphrased a line from the "South Park" cartoon series: "Remember, children, there's a time and place for everything. That place is college."
 
He spent $80 on 4 grams, including $20.57 in taxes.
 
Washington is the second state to allow marijuana sales without a doctor's note. Voters in Colorado also legalized pot in 2012, and sales began there Jan. 1.
 

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Few Think the FDA Will Reclassify Marijuana

Category: News | Posted on Tue, July, 8th 2014 by THCFinder
fda-will-most-likely-not-reclassify-marijuana
Advocates on both sides of the debate over legalizing marijuana are skeptical that the Food and Drug Administration will recommend reclassifying marijuana out of the highest drug schedule and say little would change even if it did.
 
Douglas C. Throckmorton, deputy director for regulatory programs at the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, told lawmakers last month that the agency is analyzing whether marijuana should continue to be categorized as a Schedule I substance, spurred by citizen petitions received by the Drug Enforcement Administration. Under the Controlled Substances Act, drugs are classified into five schedules based on their potential for abuse and other criteria, with Schedule I considered to be the most dangerous.
 
But Dan Riffle, former director of federal policies for the Marijuana Policy Project, said it’s very difficult to obtain marijuana for research because the National Institute on Drug Abuse has a monopoly on the supply. He said he has no doubt the eight-factor analysis being performed by the FDA will yield the same result as those before it.
 
The agency conducted analyses at the DEA’s request in 2001 and 2006 and recommended that marijuana remain in Schedule I, according to Throckmorton’s testimony.
 
Kevin A. Sabet, cofounder of Project SAM, which opposes marijuana legalization, said the FDA is looking at the issue because a legalization advocate is forcing the issue. It’s “fantasyland” to think marijuana will be rescheduled, he said, citing the science on the issue and disputing that obtaining the drug for research is a problem.
 
Even if it was moved to Schedule II, Sabet added, it wouldn’t matter because the penalties are a separate matter.
 
Riffle agreed, calling the idea that marijuana should be rescheduled a “red herring.” Rescheduling wouldn’t do anything because it would still be illegal to possess the drug under federal law, he said.
 
At last month’s hearing, Throckmorton said he couldn’t say when he expects the FDA’s analysis to be complete. The agency makes a recommendation to the Department of Health and Human Services after consulting with NIDA, he noted, and then that recommendation gets sent to the DEA.
 

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