Dutch coffee shops face new curbs on cannabis sale

Category: News | Posted on Mon, October, 10th 2011 by THCFinder
(Reuters) - Coffee shops in the Netherlands were left wondering on Saturday how to comply with restrictions announced by the Dutch government on the sale of "strong" cannabis, saying enforcement would be difficult given the laws on production.
The Netherlands is famous for its liberal soft drugs policies. A Dutch citizen can grow a maximum of five cannabis plants at home for personal use but large-scale production and transport is a crime.
On Friday, the coalition government said it would seek to ban what it considered to be highly potent forms of cannabis -- known as "skunk" -- placing them in the same category as hard drugs such as heroin or cocaine.
But the industry said the guidelines were not clear enough.
"Commercial cannabis growers are already breaking the law so how can testing be legal? It's not clear what coffee shops need to do," said Maurice Veldman, a lawyer from the Dutch cannabis retailers association who represents coffee shops in court.
A pioneer of liberal drug policies, the Netherlands has backtracked on its tolerance in the last few years, announcing plans in May to ban tourists from coffee shops, which are popular attractions in cities such as Amsterdam.
The government said it would now outlaw the sale of cannabis whose concentration of THC, seen as the main psychoactive substance, exceeds 15 percent.
The average THC concentration in cannabis sold by Dutch coffee shops is between 16 and 18 percent, according to the Trimbos Institute.
"All this will do is lead to people smoking more joints and me selling more grams. But as it's used with tobacco it will damage their health more," said Marc Josemans, who owns a coffee shop in the city of Maastricht.
The Dutch government says high THC content is detrimental to mental health, particularly when used at a young age, and that it wants to send a clear signal that strong cannabis poses an unacceptable risk to users.


Federal agents raid 2nd Oregon medical marijuana growing operation

Category: News | Posted on Fri, October, 7th 2011 by THCFinder
CENTRAL POINT, Ore — Federal agents have confiscated a second major haul of medical marijuana from Southern Oregon.
The government says medical marijuana grown in Oregon is being sold on the black market.
The Medford Mail Tribune reports ( ) that Drug Enforcement Administration agents, accompanied Wednesday by local officers, took at least four dump trucks of marijuana from a Central Point property belonging to a medical marijuana provider.
Last week, agents seized more than 400 plants in Gold Hill.
Both towns are in Jackson County, which has the second largest number of medical marijuana cardholders in Oregon. Multnomah County, with Portland, is first.
The U.S. attorney's office says search warrants for the two raids remain sealed.


Feds come down hard again on licensed pot growers

Category: News | Posted on Thu, October, 6th 2011 by THCFinder
CENTRAL POINT — For the second time in as many weeks, federal Drug Enforcement Administration agents have rolled into Jackson County to haul away dump trucks full of medical marijuana.
DEA agents, with assistance from various local law enforcement agencies, on Wednesday trucked away at least four large dump truck loads of marijuana from a property on East Gregory Road east of Central Point.
According to the latest statistics released by the state on Oct. 1, there are 55,322 patient cardholders in Oregon. In addition, there are 28,411 card-holding providers working in Oregon.
Between Oct. 1, 2010, and Sept. 1, 2011, the state received 21,722 new applications for medical marijuana cards. The number of renewal applications in that same time period stands at 30,416.
Jackson County remains second in the state for total number of medical marijuana cardholders, with 7,467. Multnomah County, which includes Portland, is first with 9,644 cardholders.
The property belongs to Brian Simmons, who is a medical marijuana provider. In addition, Simmons grows vegetables and hops on the property, said Lori Duckworth, the executive director of Southern Oregon NORML, a medical marijuana resource center in Medford.
The farm, which is in the 300 block of East Gregory Road, is the second Rogue Valley farm to be served a federal search warrant in a week. DEA agents also raided a large medical marijuana farm Sept. 27 on Old Stage Road in Gold Hill where more than 400 plants were seized.
Duckworth said she toured the property three weeks ago and said the marijuana garden was within state guidelines for plants allowed per patient. The site is less than a mile north of the Medford airport and about a half-mile east of Table Rock Road.
Duckworth said 22 patients who receive medical marijuana from the East Gregory Road garden are members of SONORML.
"Counting the previous raid, we now have 30 patients who will be without their medicine," she said.


Marine wants marijuana regulated properly so patients can use it to ease pain

Category: News | Posted on Wed, October, 5th 2011 by THCFinder
A U.S. Marine who spent six months in Operation Enduring Freedom and has a severe back injury has found some relief in legally using marijuana three times a week.
Spec. 4 Chris Swift, a 31-year-old Waterford Township father of two with his current wife, Jaclyn, 27, also spent time in Okinawa Prefecture before being honorably discharged from the Marines on July 20, 2008.
Swift, who went to Parris Island, S.C., for training to be a Marine, also has post-traumatic stress disorder.
He was involved in a severe car accident while stationed near San Diego and has degenerative disc disease in his lower back, he said.
He is applying for Social Security Disability Income, and he and his wife, and two young girls, live on his $500 a month in veteran's benefits, he said. In addition, the family receives food stamps. His wife just gave birth to their second child and plans "to go back to school to study to be an ultrasound tech."


Pizza Delivery Driver Calls Cops On Customer Who Smoked Marijuana

Category: News | Posted on Tue, October, 4th 2011 by THCFinder
Another "Citizen" going out of their way to cause trouble for people trying to medicate. Instead of minding his own damn businesss a Pizza boy decided to call the cops and rat out someone someking weed after making a delivery to their house.
We're freaking out, man. There's one more thing for marijuana smokers to be paranoid of in this world, and it's a doozy. No, we're not talking cops, conspiracy theories, parents, or any of the standard terror-inducing buzz-kills. We're talking about the pizza delivery driver.
Frederick Smith of Aurora, Colorado has a medical marijuana card for pain he suffers resulting from a bike accident. Last Friday night, after a long day at work, Smith ordered a pizza. While his nine-year-old daughter was upstairs taking a bath, Smith smoked a quick bowl. Pizza delivery guy shows up, drops off the pie, and leaves.
Shortly thereafter, Smith tells Westword, he heard loud pounding on his door. He opened it to find an Aurora Police officer; he explains he'd been called by a Papa John's driver who said there were small children around marijuana, and (per policy) came to check on the situation.
9News reports the officer searched the house and left without filing any charges. In the meantime, Smith has complained to Papa Johns and the Better Business Bureau.
The pizza delivery man says he contacted police to double-check on the welfare of the 9-year-old child, according to 7News.
In a statement, Papa John's defended their driver: "He was acting as a concerned citizen and for what he believes was the best interests of our community."





IRS: Oakland's Largest Pot Dispensary Owes Millions

Category: News | Posted on Tue, October, 4th 2011 by THCFinder

The federal government continues to try and find ways to shut down legally operating dispensaries. One of the dispensaries that has been targetted recently was Oaklands Harborside who the IRS says owes over $2 million dollars in back taxes from 2007 and 2008. The claim is that the dispensary cannot deduct common deductions such as payroll , rent and more. We can only hope that Harboside prevails in this battle and sets precedent for the rest of the dispenaries in the industry.

Oakland’s Harborside Health Center — the largest medical marijuana dispensary on the West Coast — lost the first round in a high-stakes battle with the Internal Revenue Service that could spell trouble for the booming pot industry.
In a letter to Harborside late last week, the IRS ruled that the dispensary cannot deduct standard business expenses such as payroll and rent, because it is involved in what the agency terms "the trafficking of controlled substances," said Luigi Zamarra, Harborside’s chief financial officer. 
“We can't live with the conclusions that the IRS has come to and neither can the industry,” Zamarra said in an interview Monday. If the IRS ultimately prevails, “we would close our doors and go away because the business model wouldn’t work,” he said.



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