Sentenced To Life In Prison For Selling Marijuana
Category: News | Posted on Mon, January, 13th 2014 by THCFinder
Even as pot shops rake in millions in Colorado, and the possibility grows of the drug becoming legal in as many as a dozen other states, a handful of Americans are serving life sentences for selling marijuana.
At least 25 people have been condemned to live out their days behind bars because they were involved in the marijuana trade, according to The Human Solution, a pot advocacy group. Some played relatively small roles in larger distribution rings and got life sentences in part because they refused to plead guilty and testify against associates. Others held positions of power in major trafficking organizations.
James Romans, a divorced 42-year-old father of three from Indiana, says he belongs in the former category. But last year, a federal judge ruled differently, sentencing him to life based on evidence suggesting that he helped run a multimillion dollar operation.
Whatever his role, the case raises questions about the fairness of punishing marijuana offenders with the criminal justice system’s harshest penalty short of death.
“It doesn’t seem to me in this day and age, when states are debating whether marijuana should be legal, that people who traffic in it should be spending their lives behind bars,” said David Zlotnick, a former Assistant U.S. Attorney and an expert on drug sentencing laws at Roger Williams University School of Law in Rhode Island. “If we’re not sure whether this drug should even be an illegal narcotic, why are we sending people to jail for life for it?”
As Romans tells his story, he was working low-wage construction jobs in suburban Indianapolis in 2004, struggling to support his kids and “dibbling and dabbling” in pot dealing, when one of his childhood friends offered him a chance to join a big-time marijuana ring. Romans claims he worked as a middleman, relaying money from about 15 lower-level dealers to the friend, Eric Pieper, whom Romans now says was the boss.
“I knew there could always be consequences,” Romans said on the phone Tuesday night from McCreary federal prison in Kentucky. Still, he never imagined his role would lead to anything “major,” he said.
And it didn’t -- not at first. After police arrested him in a sting in 2010, a state court found him guilty of dealing 27 pounds of pot and ordered him to participate in a “work release” program in prison. During his year in the program, Romans was allowed to leave the prison each day to drive a delivery truck for a retail company that sold fur coats.
But with his release date only two weeks away, federal agents picked him up and flew him to a jail in Sherman, Texas, where he waited for a new trial to begin. Investigators said they had uncovered evidence that showed he had been dealing pot not by the pound, but by the ton. The feds had opened a new case, arguing he'd been a major player in a trafficking organization responsible for transporting more than 10,000 kilos of marijuana into the U.S. from Mexico
Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.coml
NFL Commissioner Open To Players Using Medical Marijuana
Category: News | Posted on Thu, January, 9th 2014 by THCFinder
Roger Goodell, Commissioner of the National Football League (NFL), has made his first ever public comments surrounding medical cannabis consumption among players, saying that he’s open to a change in the league’s rules which would allow its use in states where its legal.
“I don’t know what’s going to develop as far as the next for medicine to evolve and to help either deal with pain or help deal with injuries, but we will continue to support the evolution of medicine”, said Goodell in an interview with ESPN, when asked about the league’s policy which results in a suspension if a player is caught using cannabis for any purpose, even if they’re a qualified medical cannabis patient in a state where it’s legal.
The comment from Goodell is the first the NFL has made about cannabis since November 2012 when Colorado and Washington voted to legalize recreational cannabis; NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told USA Today that the new laws wouldn’t change anything.
Although Goodell’s response is far from an indicator that a change in policy is in the immediate future, it’s still a good sign to see the league at least open to discussing the issue.
Colorado Shops Are Running Out Of Legal Marijuana
Category: News | Posted on Wed, January, 8th 2014 by THCFinder
What happens when you only have a little over 20 places to buy legal marijuana in Colorado, but have everyone and their grandma traveling there to buy legal marijuana? It doesn’t take an Economics major to figure out that supply won’t be able to keep up with demand, especially with a seed-to-sale model like Colorado’s. Multiple media reports are suggesting that Colorado marijuana stores are running low on supply, and in one Case (The Clinic) they actually ran out for a day.
Colorado has a very tightly regulated recreational marijuana model which makes it impossible to get non-regulated marijuana into stores. I remember a handful of years ago when Colorado didn’t have the 70% grow rule for medical marijuana dispensaries, and dispensaries were running out of supply and supplemented it with marijuana from wherever they could get it. A lot of my friends from Oregon were running a lot of pounds to Colorado during those times. But those days are gone.
Now that demand is clearly outweighing supply, Colorado marijuana stores are rationing their supplies and/or raising prices. The price raising has drawn some criticism, but mainly from veterans inside of Colorado and on the West Coast where marijuana prices are very cheap. I haven’t heard anyone buying legal marijuana in Colorado that is from a non-marijuana friendly state complain about prices. To quote my cousin from Idaho, “I’d LOVE to pay those prices for that quality of marijuana. It’s a far better deal than we have here in Idaho!”
The shortage of legal marijuana and high prices will be short-lived. More marijuana is being grown to meet the demand, and as more stores open up, the prices will come down with competition. Well, at least in theory. When all 136 stores are open, if people are still coming out in the numbers they have been so far, it might surprise people just how much marijuana people can smoke and/or eat in the form of edibles. Hopefully it will lead to even more retail licenses being issued so that the consumer can get the same price or better at a retail establishment than they can on the black market.
Cannabis Deaths Definitely A Hoax
Category: News | Posted on Mon, January, 6th 2014 by THCFinder
I couldn't help but shake my head every single time I saw this article pop up... And I saw it a lot, since my awesome readers tagged me in over ten reposts of the Daily Current article stating that 37 people had died of marijuana overdosed on January 1st in Colorado, when the plant first went on sale legally. The article quickly became a hit, circulating Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, becoming a common appearance in everyone's newsfeed. Unfortunately, the article just fueled the anti-potheads and their deflated "cannabis kills" argument and caused great waves in the pot smoking community.
Since social media allows things to be shared so simply, the article spread like wildfire, surprising the founder of the Daily Current, Daniel Barkeley. "We thought it was funny before we published it, but we didn't expect it to be our most popular article ever," Daniel said. The article got over a million likes on Facebook and was shared almost as much. Even though the Daily Current website contains a disclaimer saying that all of the stories posted are pure fiction, readers apparently skipped that part over and just went right for the good stuff... Which happened to be fake.
If you delve deep in to the meat of the Daily Current cannabis article, there are easy to spot mistakes that are quoted that prove the falseness. For example, the article quotes a newspaper called the Rocky Mountain News, which went out of business in 2009 and a doctor that actually happens to be the main character in the popular TV show Lost. St. Luke's Medical Center was the hospital mentioned in the article and released a statement saying that they had (and never have) employed a doctor by that name.
The false doctor was quoted in the Daily Current article, saying that the marijuana overdose death toll would continue to climb, reaching up to 300 by next week. Later in the piece, one of the victims of the alleged overdose was named. Who was it? Jesse Pinkman, a former meth dealer from New Mexico who moved to Colorado to start up a medical dispensary. Sound familiar? For those who love Breaking Bad, it should, since Jesse Pinkman was one of the main characters on the show.
So bottom line? The article was a joke and no one should take it seriously. No one died and the legalization of marijuana in Colorado went smoothly. Even smoother than most Black Friday events. No one was trampled, people made money, and everyone in Colorado was stoned as hell. Definitely doesn't sound that bad!
San Diego Man Busted For Marijuana Dies In Border Patrol Custody
Category: News | Posted on Fri, January, 3rd 2014 by THCFinder
A San Diego man detained by the Border Patrol after being caught carrying three pounds of marijuana died in a holding cell Christmas Eve. Steven Keith, 58, becomes the 41st person to die in US domestic drug law enforcement operations so far this year.
According to the Associated Press, Keith was stopped at a Border Patrol checkpoint on Interstate 8 in Southern California, and authorities found the marijuana, along with unspecified drug paraphernalia and traces of methamphetamine in his vehicle.
He was then arrested and placed in a holding cell, where he collapsed shortly thereafter. Paramedics were unable to revive him.
The Border Patrol said it is cooperating with an investigation being undertaken by the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office, but as NBC San Diego reported, local human rights activists are pointing out that Keith’s is only the latest death in Border Patrol custody.
“Since 2010, we have had more than 20 individuals who have died while in Border Patrol custody. We don’t have any answers as to what happened in any of those cases. Those are all pending investigation or investigations that have never even started,” said Andrea Guerrero, executive director of Alliance San Diego. “We haven’t seen any outcomes on any of the other cases,” Guerrero said. “And so, it should be concerning to the general public and for the family that this is yet another case. We’re just mounting up cases is all we’re doing. We’re not getting any answers.”
Colorado To Start Legal Sales Of Marijuana Tomorrow
Category: News | Posted on Tue, December, 31st 2013 by THCFinder
The eyes of the world will be on Colorado this New Year’s Day as adults 21 and over become eligible to legally buy marijuana for the first time anywhere. Sales will be tightly controlled, regulated like alcohol is currently, and subject to a number of restrictions preventing sales to minors, intoxicated driving, smoking in public and other undesirable behavior. The Colorado Legislative Council estimates marijuana will generate $67 million in tax revenue annually.
“This Wednesday Coloradans stop buying marijuana from street gangs and cartels and start buying it from licensed, regulated sellers who create jobs and pay taxes to the government,” said 36-year policing veteran Lieutenant Tony Ryan (Ret.), a board member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, a group of law enforcement officials opposed to the war on drugs. “Soon our jails will be less crowded, our schools will be better funded, and our police more able to focus on violent crime.”
Initially only licensed medical marijuana dispensaries in good standing (of which there are about 500) are eligible to apply for sales licenses As of early last week, the state had approved 348 total licenses, including 136 for retail stores, 178 for cultivation facilities, 31 for product manufacturing facilities, and 3 for testing facilities. Each shop must also apply for a local license, and localities are able to pass bans or temporary stays on the stores if they so choose. Adult Coloradans are eligible to buy up to ounce of marijuana; out of state visitors up to one quarter-ounce.
LEAP’s executive director Major Neill Franklin (Ret.) had this to say: “Though, as with any new system, there will be issues to be worked through at first, the people of Colorado are about to show the world that legalizing, regulating and taxing marijuana benefits the economy, public safety and ordinary citizens. I predict that after a year or two, once the media stops focusing on anecdotes of people behaving badly and we start to see hard data on the real benefits of ending prohibition, there will be a domino effect that echoes across the world.”
Washington state voters also chose to legalize marijuana in November of 2012 and retail sales will begin there later this year. Since that election, the Uruguayan legislature approved President José Mujica’s legalization proposal and Argentina, Guatemala, Mexico City and many other places are considering adopting similar systems.
“It’s a tough day to be part of a street gang in Colorado. Not only did they just lose one of their biggest sources of income, now that police don’t have to focus as much on nonviolent offenders, they’ll be coming after real criminals with everything they’ve got,” added Franklin.
Read more: http://www.theweedblog.com
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