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Supreme Court Ruling Alters Criteria for Probable Cause

Category: News | Posted on Mon, May, 11th 2015 by THCFinder

Law enforcement operating in medical marijuana states could be forced to dig deeper than just evidence of a home grow operation to establish probable cause for a search warrant.

Recently, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts determined that in order for police to obtain a warrant to search a residence for illegal marijuana possession or cultivation, they must first be able to prove that the occupants of the dwelling are not properly registered to engage in such activities.

The latest judgment by the state’s highest court, making it unlawful for police in medical marijuana states to use evidence of a home grow as the sole basis for obtaining a search warrant, is in response to a 2013 case in which the defendant Josiah H. Canning was busted for illegally cultivating approximately 70 plants inside his home. The ruling found that while law enforcement may have previously used certain criteria as a means for establishing probable cause, the state’s newfound medical marijuana laws now discount these variables as grounds for suspected criminal activity.

Therefore, the judge agreed to the defense’s motion to suppress the evidence in this case, stating that in order for police to apply for a search warrant, “they must offer information sufficient to provide probable cause to believe the individual is not properly registered under the act to possess or cultivate the suspected substance.”

During the investigation, law enforcement collected several pieces of evidence, which have become common red flag for narcotics agents attempting to bust suspected dope dealers. They witnessed Canning bringing home supplies from a hydroponic grow store. Night vision goggles revealed that his apartment was rigged with lighting. They claimed to smell the herb permeating from the house. And, last but not least, they had a confidential informant who confirmed that Canning was, in fact, growing marijuana.

Read More:http://www.hightimes.com/read/supreme-court-ruling-alters-criteria-probable-cause


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Washington Sells Almost 25 Million Dollars Worth Of Recreational Marijuana In April

Category: News | Posted on Mon, May, 11th 2015 by THCFinder

WashigntonThe numbers are in for Washington State’s recreational marijuana sales for April 2015. This was the first 4/20 for recreational marijuana sales in Washington. Sales started in July of 2014. As I expected, sales grew significantly compared to earlier in the year, and exponentially more than last summer. Per Marijuana Business Daily:

Sales via rec shops totaled $24.8 million in April, up from $12.7 million during the first month of 2015, according to the latest data from the state Liquor Control Board.

The number is up significantly from the $2 million brought in during July 2014, the first month that sales began.

From July 1 through the first week of May, total retail sales in Washington State totaled $119.7 million, with projected retail excise tax revenues of $29.9 million.

I’d expect those numbers to come back down for May. April 20th, and the days leading up to it, will always give a boost to marijuana store numbers. Something to watch for in Washington is the implementation of Senate Bill 5052, which is going to drastically change the landscape of the marijuana industry in Washington. The bill is an attempt to fuse the medical marijuana industry with the recreational marijuana industry, which is going to either force patients to pay much higher prices for their meds at licensed stores (which would boost numbers for current rec store owners), force them to go back to the black market, or even worse, force them to go without meds altogether.

Source:http://www.theweedblog.com/washington-sells-25-million-dollars-rec-marijuana-april/


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Legal Marijuana Faces Another Federal Hurdle: Taxes

Category: News | Posted on Sun, May, 10th 2015 by THCFinder

DENVER — Money was pouring into Bruce Nassau’s five Colorado marijuana shops when his accountant called with the bad news: The 2014 tax season was approaching, and Mr. Nassau could not rely on the galaxy of deductions that other businesses use to reduce their tax bills. He was going to owe the Internal Revenue Service a small fortune.
 
“I had to write a check for $275,000,” Mr. Nassau said. “Unbelievable.”
 
The country’s rapidly growing marijuana industry has a tax problem. Even as more states embrace legal marijuana, shops say they are being forced to pay crippling federal income taxes because of a decades-old law aimed at preventing drug dealers from claiming their smuggling costs and couriers as business expenses on their tax returns.
 
Congress passed that law in 1982 after a cocaine and methamphetamine dealer in Minneapolis who had been jailed on drug charges went to tax court to argue that the money he spent on travel, phone calls, packaging and even a small scale should be considered tax write-offs. The provision, still enforced by the I.R.S., bans all tax credits and deductions from “the illegal trafficking in drugs.”
 
Marijuana business owners say it prevents them from deducting their rent, employee salaries or utility bills, forcing them to pay taxes on a far larger amount of income than non-marijuana businesses with the same earnings and costs. They also say the taxes, which apply to medical and recreational sellers alike, are stunting their hiring, or even threatening to drive them out of business.
 

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Buying weed on Craigslist: Denver police arrest three in bust

Category: News | Posted on Sun, May, 10th 2015 by THCFinder

Three Denver men are accused of trying to sell marijuana on Craigslist after an undercover sting by the Denver Police Department’s marijuana unit.

An officer found a posting on the online marketplace for marijuana for sale. The officer contacted Samuel Rodgers, 22, and agreed to buy 4¼ pounds for $10,000, according to arrest affidavits filed in the case.

The undercover officer met Rodgers on Wednesday at one location and then they drove to Buddy Boy, a marijuana distributor and retailer at 5050 N. York St.

There, they met Harrison Bowman, 19, who said a third person was coming and they “would do the deal,” the arrest affidavits said.

Joseph Jaszczyk, 36, arrived carrying a large, blue backpack that appeared to be full, the arrest affidavit said.

All three were arrested on marijuana distribution charges.

The police department posted news of the bust on its Facebook page.

Jaszczyk was an employee at Buddy Boy and had been buying thousands of dollars worth of marijuana from his employer, according to the Facebook post. The purchases were legal through a doctor’s order.

Medical marijuana patients are allowed to buy more than two ounces at a time if they have a designated medical marijuana center and documentation from a physician that allows large purchases, according to the state’s Marijuana Enforcement Division. 

Read More: http://www.thecannabist.co/2015/05/08/buying-weed-craigslist-bust-denver-police/34629/


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United Nations Asked to Change International Drug Laws

Category: News | Posted on Sat, May, 9th 2015 by THCFinder

While the United Nation prepares for the first time in nearly two decades to examine the staleness of international drug law, advocates from all over the world have joined forces in an attempt to persuade the global governance to reform the policies that bind individual nations to a standard of prohibition.

This furious legion of activists, which consists of more than 100 influential organizations, submitted a declaration on Tuesday demanding that world leaders allow governments to make changes to their country’s drug laws without repercussion.

"Existing US and global drug control policies that heavily emphasize criminalization of drug use, possession, production and distribution are inconsistent with international human rights standards and have contributed to serious human rights violations," reads the letter backed by groups ranging from the American Civil Liberties Union to Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. “The criminalization of personal drug use and possession for personal use infringes on the right to privacy and basic principles of autonomy on which other rights rest.”

The letter, drafted by the folks at StoptheDrugWar.org, comes just as the United Nations is set to gather in New York for its “High-Level Thematic Debate on the World Drug Problem,” which will serve as a preliminary analysis of global drug policies that will be heard before the UN General Assembly Special Session on Drugs (UNGASS) in 2016. There is speculation that more nations, including the United States, would be more compelled to revamp antiquated drug laws if international powers weren’t ready to dry hump them into submission for noncompliance to the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs.

The belief among advocates is that the current incarcerate and kill philosophies that have transformed the global War on Drugs into a soggy pair of clown shoes needs to be replaced with principles that can begin to repair a system in a state of post-apocalyptic stress.v

Read More:http://www.hightimes.com/read/united-nations-asked-change-international-drug-laws


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Former Kroger exec investing in would-be marijuana farm

Category: News | Posted on Sat, May, 9th 2015 by THCFinder

The former top lawyer at Kroger is investing in the Butler County farm that will grow marijuana if Ohio voters approve a constitutional amendment to legalize the drug.
 
ResponsibleOhio, the group behind the amendment, on Friday touted Paul Heldman's endorsement of its proposal. This particular amendment would legalize pot, but limit commercial cannabis growing in the state to 10 farms run by backers of the proposal -- three in Greater Cincinnati.
 
Heldman is investing in a company that plans to grow marijuana on 40 acres in Middletown, a spokeswoman said. The farm would be located about 1.5 miles northwest of Monroe Senior High School. His co-investors include Barbara Gould, a former design consultant and a prominent donor to the arts; Nanette Lepore, a New York City fashion designer; and brothers Woody Taft and Dudley Taft Jr., great-great-grandnephews of President William Howard Taft and cousins of former GOP Gov. Bob Taft.
 
"As the father of a son living with epilepsy, I know first-hand what it's like to watch a loved one suffer when he could benefit from access to medical marijuana," Heldman said in a statement. "Until we legalize marijuana in Ohio and throughout our country, rigorous scientific research into its applications will not be possible and thousands, perhaps millions, of people will suffer needlessly."
 
Heldman served as Kroger's top lawyer for 25 years before retiring in 2014.
 
ResponsibleOhio says it has already gathered about 250,000 of the 306,000 signatures it needs by July to put its proposal on the November 2015 ballot. Of the several proposals to legalize medical or recreational marijuana in Ohio, it has the most momentum, thanks mostly to a host of wealthy backers.
 

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