California Works On Marijuana Tax
Legislators are studying the sale of marijuana from start to finish in an attempt to narrow down where taxes should be applied, and exactly who should be taxed. The first rough draft of the bill favored a tax-stamp system similar to that of tobacco, which received little backing by NORML and American's for Safe Access.
Many feared the Stamp-Tax Model will raise issues with discretion in the medical marijuana industry. People who complied with the state laws would be making themselves easy targets for federal prosecution. Also, the Stamp-Tax Model could place the tax burden on the end users. Serious re-shaping of the bill has occurred since the original draft, and since has received backing from both groups.
San Jose has already started excising a city level tax on medical marijuana. They received over $300,000 in tax money from the cities collectives, and predicts the tax could bring in over $3 million a year from now.
Michigan Marijuana Records Turned Over to DEA
A federal judge has ordered the Michigan Department of Community Health to comply with a subpoena issued by the DEA. The judge said state law allowing medical use has no impact on federal use that is still considered illegal.
The subpoena requested patient and caregiver registration cards for seven people residing in the Lansing area. The Cannabis Patients United and several other similar groups argued that the state is violating patients privacy rights by complying with the subpoena.
Under Michigan's medical marijuana law, all applications and information are considered confidential, with criminal penalties outlined for those who disclose the information. The only thing the state is supposed to do is verify a cards validity to law enforcement. The Michigan Attorney General, who is an opponent of medical marijuana, said the state would comply if ordered to do so by a federal judge.
Connecticut Close To Decriminalization
Legislation was passed over the weekend to decriminalize marijuana possession. The Connecticut Senate passed the bill after an 18-18 tie vote the was broken by the president of the state Senate. The bill now moves to the House of Representatives for final legislative actions.
The bill would make first time possession of under ½ ounce a $150.00 fine instead of a misdemeanor, like the current law. Fines will range from $200-$500 for a second offense. Supporters of the bill believe it will help young people arrested for possession avoid a criminal record. “We are not enforcing the use of illegal drugs. We strongly disapprove of their use, but we're trying to realign their punishment that is more appropriate," says Senate Majority Leader Martin Looney (D).
$1 Million Marijuana Bust in El Monte
Los Angeles police accidentally uncovered a warehouse full of marijuana plants after responding to an attempted burglary call. Four men and a teenager were attempting to break into a warehouse, with a U-haul as the get away vehicle.
During questioning, one of the suspects admitted to what they were after; over 3,000 marijuana plants only 3 weeks from harvest. Growers had been hiding the massive operation by sourcing their electricity directly from the underground wires. One of the suspects claims the grow operation belonged to his family, who was trying to cut him out of the profits, so he came to get his share.
Montana Man Arrested for Medical Marijuana Burglary
Early Wednesday morning the Belgrade, Montana Police Department responded to a medical marijuana dispensary where an alarm had been triggered. When they arrived, they found the front window of the shop broken and over $1,500 dollars worth of plants missing.
Surveillance video from the scene showed a man in a tan colored station wagon breaking into the business and removing the plants. Police identified the suspect as Erik Baldwin. Baldwin admitted to the crime when police found him at his residence. He is awaiting trial and sentencing.
Arizona Man Killed After Attempted Pot Theft
A Phoenix man who was recently authorized to grow marijuana has shot and killed a man who tried to steal his crop at gun point.
The 30-year-old grower had been licensed since May 25, and had started advertising the sale of the medicine to other patients with ID cards. He was contacted by two men claiming to have cards. When the group met up, the two men pulled a gun on the grower and demanded the marijuana. The grower pulled his own weapon and shot one of the aggressors, Larry Miller. The other man fled with the herb while the grower called 911 and performed CPR on Miller. Miller later died on the way to the hospital.
The grower was not arrested, but the attorneys office will look further into the situation.
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