6 face charges following medical marijuana raids
Category: News | Posted on Wed, March, 19th 2014 by THCFinder
Six people have been charged following raids last June on three medical marijuana dispensaries in southern Michigan that authorities said were operating illegally.
The Calhoun County prosecutor issued warrants Friday in the Springfield raids and Michigan State Police have begun to make arrests.
Chief Assistant Prosecutor Matt Smith told the Battle Creek Enquirer that the warrants were issued for employees and owners of The Karmacy and two other dispensaries. Charges include delivery of marijuana and possession with intent to deliver.
Bruce Leach, a lawyer representing Karmacy owner Kiel Howland, said his client surrendered on Monday and he’s confident that Howland will be exonerated. All three dispensaries were licensed by the city of Springfield and Leach said Karmacy earlier was inspected by law enforcement.
“Everything was completely legal,” Leach said. “This is a little ridiculous. They are not criminals but they are being turned into criminals.”
Michigan voters approved marijuana use for some chronic medical conditions in 2008, but the legality of dispensaries has been thrown into doubt by court rulings.
The charges follow the raids by the state police and the Southwest Enforcement Team on June 26 at the three dispensaries and homes of owners in Kalamazoo and Barry counties. If convicted, possible penalties range from maximums of four years to seven years behind bars.
Read more: http://www.freep.com/
Marijuana Use Rises While Consumption Of Cocaine, Methamphetamine Falls
Category: News | Posted on Wed, March, 19th 2014 by THCFinder
A rise in the self-reported consumption of cannabis during the years 2006 to 2010 corresponds with a significant decline in Americans’ use of cocaine and methamphetamine during this same time period, according to a new RAND study commissioned by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP).
Researchers estimate that Americans increased their consumption of cannabis by approximately 30 percent during the years 2006 to 2010. During this same time, authors estimated that the public’s use of cocaine and methamphetamine declined, with Americans’ use of cocaine falling by half.
Americans’ consumption of heroin remained largely stable throughout the decade, the study reported. According to statistics compiled by the US Substance Abuse And Mental Health Services Administration, an estimated 4.5 million Americans have tried heroin in their lifetimes. By comparison, an estimated 12 million Americans have tried methamphetamine, 37.5 million have tried cocaine, and 111 million have consumed cannabis.
Authors estimated that Americans spent approximately one trillion dollars on the purchase of cocaine, heroin, marijuana and methamphetamine between 2000 and 2010.
Commenting on the report, NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano said, “These figures belie that notion that marijuana exposure is an alleged ‘gateway’ to the use of other illicit substances and instead suggest that for some people, cannabis may be a substitute for other so-called ‘hard drugs’ or even an exit drug.”
Survey data published in 2013 in the journal Addiction Research & Theory reported that among a cohort of medical marijuana consumers, 75 percent of subjects acknowledged that they used cannabis it as a substitute for prescription drugs, alcohol, or some other illicit substance.
Republicans Want To Sue Obama For Not Arresting People For Marijuana
Category: News | Posted on Mon, March, 17th 2014 by THCFinder
United States President Barack Obama has been a mixed bag at best when it comes to his marijuana policies. I remember when he was elected in 2008. There was so much excitement because there was the possibility that Obama would be the first President to take a rational approach to marijuana policy. Unfortunately there have been some big mistakes by the Obama Administration since 2008 in the area of marijuana policy. However, his respect for the roll-out in Colorado is worth commending.
Some people are not so happy with the Obama Administration’s handling of the situation in Colorado (and soon to be Washington). United States House Republicans passed a bill demanding that President Obama crackdown on recreational and medical marijuana sales in states that allow it. The Enforce the Law Act was passed by a vote of 233-181 last week. The bill was originally introduced by Representatives Trey Gowdy (R-SC), Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Jim Gerlach (R-PA), and it would allow Congress to sue the President for failing to faithfully execute laws.
“The Constitution gives Congress the responsibility to write the laws and the Executive to enforce them,” Gowdy said Wednesday in a statement according to Raw Story. “We don’t pass suggestions. We don’t pass ideas. We pass laws. Regardless of our politics, I hope my colleagues have enough regard for our work to expect those laws would be faithfully executed.”
Oregon’s legendary Representative Earl Blumenauer gave his opinion, which is an opinion that is supported by a majority of Americans:
Dispensary Worker Goes To Jail For Complying With State Law
Category: News | Posted on Fri, March, 14th 2014 by THCFinder
The marijuana industry is still very new. With so many laws still conflicting with each other, one that works in the industry can never really be sure if their freedom is at risk. It's extremely hard for those working with cannabis to feel safe, seeing as how even when the Feds say that they'll back off, they still seem to be raiding dispensaries. There were over a dozen marijuana shops that got raided in Colorado recently and the plant is now legal there. Unfortunately for Robert Duncan, a Bay Area dispensary worker, this situation happened to him first hand.
Duncan, who had previously worked in the television industry, received a job offer from some family friends. Since the job was getting down and dirty in the marijuana business, Duncan was reluctant to accept but finally gave in, after consulting with a lawyer about the risks of working for such a new and somewhat still illegal business. Even the lawyer's advice was that as long as Duncan complied with the state laws, he would be safe from arrest. With that information, Duncan moved to Los Angeles to work in one of the huge marijuana grow houses, spending up to 80 hours a week tending the gardens and preparing medicine for patient consumption.
Since his experience with marijuana was limited, Duncan had his doubts about the benefits of working in the cannabis business. As most people, he assumed that he would encounter a good amount of people who didn't really need to smoke but said that they did. But when he met with patients dealing with cancer and other serious illnesses, his attitude began to change. But while Duncan's attitude improved, a storm was brewing. On October 2011, the grow house was raided even though the operation was following every state law presented by California officials. The Feds didn't even give Duncan a reason as to why Matthew Davies (Owner of the grow house), the co-owner, and Duncan were all indicted.
Duncan recently surrendered to authorities and will serve a two year sentence for his helping hand in making sick people feel and get better. There are plenty of others that this has happened to as well. People are being wrongly imprisoned for just trying to help their fellow human beings. Hopefully, as the laws get more and more relaxed, the Feds will lay off of marijuana users, both recreational and medicinal. After all, it is just a plant.
United Nations: Criminal Sanctions For Drug Use Are "Not Beneficial"
Category: News | Posted on Fri, March, 14th 2014 by THCFinder
Vienna, Austria – A key working group of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) announced the release of groundbreaking recommendations discouraging criminal sanctions for drug use. The Scientific Consultation Working Group on Drug Policy, Health and Human Rights of the UNODC – which includes Nora Volkow, head of the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) – is releasing the recommendations at the High-Level Segment of the 57th UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs. The working group recommendations say “criminal sanctions are not beneficial” in addressing the spectrum of drug use and misuse.
More than 1.5 million drug arrests are made every year in the U.S. – the overwhelming majority for possession only. Roughly two dozen countries, and dozens of U.S. cities and states, have taken steps toward decriminalization.
“There is simply no good basis in science, health or ethics for bringing someone into the criminal justice system solely for drug possession,” said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance. “Hopefully the UN’s recommendations will help accelerate the global trend toward ending the criminalization of drug use and possession. That certainly would make an enormous difference in the United States.”
Political will for a major overhaul of global drug policy has been gaining unprecedented momentum, both in the U.S. and abroad. Distinguished leaders such as Kofi Annan, Paul Volcker and Richard Branson have joined with former presidents of Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Greece, Mexico, Poland and Switzerland and other members of the Global Commission on Drug Policy in calling for an end to the criminalization of people who use drugs.
The UN recommendations are consistent with the Global Commission and a surprisingly broad and rapidly-emerging coalition of stakeholders who are calling for drug decriminalization, including the American Public Health Association, Organization of American States, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, NAACP, Human Rights Watch, American Civil Liberties Union, and National Latino Congreso.
Medical marijuana and 'the entourage effect'
Category: News | Posted on Tue, March, 11th 2014 by THCFinder
CNN) -- In the early 1960s, a young postdoctoral student stumbled onto something that puzzled him.
After reading the literature on cannabis, he was surprised to see that while the active compound in morphine had been isolated from opium poppies 100 years before and cocaine isolated from coca leaves around the same time, the active component of marijuana was still unknown.
This simple observation launched his life's work.
That young Israeli researcher, Raphael Mechoulam, is now a heavily decorated scientist, recently nominated for the prestigious Rothschild Prize. More than 50 years ago, however, he had trouble starting his scientific journey.
For starters, he needed cannabis to study and didn't know how to obtain it. Eventually, he obtained his research supply from friends in the police department. The young scientist was in a hurry, and didn't want to wait to cut through the red tape required by Israel's Health Ministry.
"Yes, I broke the law," he told me when I met with him in Tel Aviv last year, "but I apologized and explained what I was trying to do."
By 1963, he determined the structure of cannabidiol (CBD), an important component of marijuana. A year later, he became the first person to isolate delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. Over the ensuing decades, Mechoulam and his team continued to isolate numerous compounds from the cannabis plant.
Their work also went a long way toward illuminating how the drug works in the brain. When Mechoulam's team identified the first known endogenous cannabinoid, a chemical actually made by the brain itself, he named it "anandamide." In the Sanskrit language, ananda means "supreme bliss," which gives us some insight into what Mechoulam thinks of cannabinoids overall.
It was halfway through our long afternoon discussion that Mechoulam, now 83, pulled out a paper he had written in 1999, describing something known as "the entourage effect."
Read more: http://www.cnn.com/
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