Arizona Medical Marijuana Law: Gov. Jan Brewer Signs Measure To Ban Medical Marijuana On College Campuses

Category: News | Posted on Wed, April, 4th 2012 by THCFinder
By David Schwartz
PHOENIX, April 3 (Reuters) - Arizona's Republican Governor Jan Brewer signed into law on Tuesday a bill to ban medical marijuana from being used on the campuses of state universities and community colleges in the latest salvo in a long-running battle over legalization of the drug.
Arizona's move to bar the drug's use on campus is the latest in a drive to roll back laws legalizing the therapeutic use of marijuana, which remains classified as an illegal narcotic under U.S. federal law.
Supporters said the Arizona law was designed to protect federal funding for institutions of higher education, which they said was at threat if medical marijuana use was allowed in state schools.
"With the health and safety of Arizona's students, as well as literally hundreds of millions of dollars at stake, this legislation is critically necessary," State Representative Amanda Reeve, a Republican, said in a statement.
"Our children and adult students are far too important to risk. I'm proud to say we acted swiftly and decisively when confronted by this obvious concern," she added.
The measure sailed through the state legislature with bipartisan support. The law, due to take effect this summer, is expected to face a legal challenge by medical marijuana proponents.
Arizona voters passed a medical marijuana measure by a razor-thin margin in 2010, and the state is among 16, plus Washington, D.C., with some sort of legalized medical-marijuana statutes, according to the National Drug Policy Alliance.


Tourist Marijuana Ban In The Netherlands May Be A Pipe Dream

Category: News | Posted on Tue, April, 3rd 2012 by THCFinder
A major phase of the Netherlands' ban on tourists patronizing coffee shops goes into effect in the country's southern provinces on May 1. Shops in Amsterdam are scheduled stop selling marijuana to foreigners on January 1, 2013. But enacting this ban may be harder than finding a 22-year-old who hasn't seen EuroTrip: the benign, psychotropic plant that grows naturally in the ground makes the country a lot of money.
According to the director of the Drugtext Foundation in the Netherlands, 50% of the country's tourists visit the coffee shops, and 10% of tourism is exclusively for marijuana. The Telegraph reports that the coffee shops generate around $2.5 billion annually, which in turn produces $503 million in tax revenue. Alcohol has been banned in the coffee shops since 1996, but sure, why not turn them back over to a substance that is extraordinarily more dangerous (and legal) than marijuana.
"I’m not going to discriminate on the basis of nationality. I’ve only ever discriminated on the basis of behavior," Michael Veling, the owner of 420 Cafe in Amsterdam told the Times. "I’ll go back to selling alcohol, and go back to selling bags of weed under the counter." That may not be enough to stay in business: after Maastricht adopted the new policy in October, the town's coffee shops lost $41 million in revenue—the equivalent of 345 jobs. Not to mention how much the illegal street trade will flourish if the coffee shops disappear.
But it may not even come to that: the Cannabis Retailers Association, comprised of the country's 680 coffee shops, has filed a lawsuit that's expected to be reviewed in the coming weeks, and Amsterdam's mayor even opposes the change. His spokesperson again cited the devil's brew as being the real issue. “The problems we have with substance abuse are almost always related to alcohol. That concerns Dutch people as much as foreigners.”
Yet the Netherlands' hard-liners aren't backing down. Early last month Dutch Parliament moved to ban the sales of hashish, most of which is illegally imported from countries like Afghanistan and Morocco. "We have created an incredible criminal industry that we need to get rid of,” Ard van der Steur, a spokesman for the hilariously named People's Party for Freedom and Democracy said. If only there were an intelligent way to handle drug policy in place...


CU-Boulder announces new 4/20 crackdown, plans to ticket pot smokers

Category: News | Posted on Tue, April, 3rd 2012 by THCFinder
The University of Colorado announced a new plan to snuff out the Boulder campus's 4/20 smoke-out today, warning that police will ticket pot smokers as this month's event -- a more aggressive enforcement policy than in years past, when officers mostly monitored the crowd for safety reasons.
CU officials -- who, for the first time ever, have the support of student leaders who also want to end the unsanctioned April 20 event -- warned students today that those busted smoking pot in public could face a $100 fine and additional sanctions with CU's Office of Student Conduct. Those with medical marijuana registry cards risk having them revoked upon conviction.
"It needs to end,” Chancellor Phil DiStefano said of 4/20 today in a news release.
Meanwhile, in an effort to keep students away from the Norlin Quad, student leaders have announced that they'll host a free, student-only hip-hop concert featuring Wyclef Jean on the afternoon of 4/20 in the Coors Event Center.
Jean, who ran for president of his native Haiti in 2010, has opined about pot in the past, saying he supports full legalization in the United States. In 2006, after performing at a night club in Las Vegas, he started a "(Bleep) Bush" chant after declaring:"President Bush needs to smoke marijuana." In his 2009 song "Something about Mary," he sings "She's homegrown and you can hold her in her back yard. If she allows you to, you can roll her up."


Federal agents raid Oaksterdam University

Category: News | Posted on Mon, April, 2nd 2012 by THCFinder
Federal agents on Monday raided a San Francisco Bay area medical marijuana training school at the heart of California's pot legalization movement.
The doors to Oaksterdam University in downtown Oakland were cordoned off by yellow tape and blocked by U.S. marshals. Agents from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration carted trash bags of unknown materials out of the school to a waiting van.
Arlette Lee, an IRS spokeswoman, told reporters that agents were serving a federal search warrant but said she could not otherwise comment on the purpose of the raid.
"What we are doing here today is under seal," Lee said.
About a dozen protesters upset over the raid gathered out front of the multistory building adorned with a large mural that makes the school one of the neighborhood's most visible landmarks. Some of them smoked marijuana openly.
The demonstrators held signs demanding an end to federal crackdowns on medical marijuana.
Ryan Hooper, 26, of Oakland, wearing an Oaksterdam hat and sweatshirt, said he had finished taking courses at the school in February.
"This is not in the best interest of the city," Hooper said. "If they close the dispensaries, all of this stuff is going to go back underground."
Oaksterdam University was founded by Richard Lee, the main backer of the California ballot measure defeated in 2010 that would have legalized marijuana in the state for recreational use. The neighborhood has also been home to several medical marijuana dispensaries, including one founded by Lee.
Lee did not immediately return a message seeking comment.
The city of Oakland has long allowed four medical marijuana dispensaries to legally operate under city ordinances and recently awarded permits that would allow four more to open.
At the same time, federal prosecutors across California have been working for months to shut down dispensaries by threatening to seize landlords' property if they did not evict marijuana retailers.


1,000 pounds of marijuana worth $3.7 million seized

Category: News | Posted on Fri, March, 30th 2012 by THCFinder
Authorities are calling it the biggest marijuana seizure in county history.
More than 1,000 pounds of marijuana packed in white plastic bags was seized at two different locations Wednesday.
Officials say the street value of the marijuana tops out around $3.7 million.
Berley O’Brian Greene, 37, 1575 Birch Dr., Orangeburg, has been charged with trafficking marijuana. Orangeburg County authorities say they are speaking with federal authorities, who may adopt the case.
Greene was in court Thursday with his attorney seeking a bond while authorities had what they say is half a ton of marijuana stacked up outside the Orangeburg-Calhoun Regional Law Enforcement Complex.
Orangeburg County Magistrate Willie Robinson set bond at half of a million dollars and granted a state motion for electronic monitoring.
“After hearing from the state and the defense, the court finds an appropriate bond would be $500,000,” Robinson said.
Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Investigator Riley Godwin had petitioned the court for a denial of bond, a seizure of Greene’s passport, electronic monitoring, or at the very least a high surety bond.
“If you were to set a cash or surety bond, we would ask for a million-dollar bond,” Riley said.
Riley told the court Wednesday’s arrest during a traffic stop wasn’t the first time Greene has faced a drug-related charge.
In 2008, Greene pleaded guilty to a manufacturing, distribution or possession of cocaine. He was sentenced to 18 months of probation.
Defense attorney Marion Moses told the court his client, a lifelong resident of the county, would not dispute electronic monitoring.
“He’s been in Orangeburg his whole life,” Moses said. “I don’t feel he is a flight risk. We ask that you set a reasonable bond.”
Sheriff Leroy Ravenell said both Greene and the marijuana were seized Wednesday after an ongoing investigation with Lexington County authorities pointed to Orangeburg.
Officers with both agencies raided a home and a business before seizing Greene near the intersection of Five Chop Road and U.S. Highway 21, Ravenell said.
“It’s an ongoing investigation, so the information we have today will be limited,” the sheriff said.


Marijuana lab sues City Hall over license

Category: News | Posted on Wed, March, 28th 2012 by THCFinder
CITY HALL — The owner of a Santa Monica marijuana testing facility filed a lawsuit Tuesday to force City Hall to issue him a business license, which officials have thus far refused to do because the facility is not an approved use in the city.
Richard McDonald applied for a business license on Dec. 16 for Golden State Collective, a scientific laboratory that tests medical marijuana for levels of its active ingredient known as THC as well as contaminants like mold, bacteria and pesticides.
Growers and dispensaries use his services to make sure their product is free of unsafe chemicals, and also to tailor strains of marijuana to specific patients, depending on their needs.
Though the collective is not a dispensary and does not sell marijuana to patients, City Hall dragged its feet in issuing the license, and McDonald chose to open his facility without one in March, at which point he was informed that his business could be fined.
McDonald and his attorney, Roger Diamond, filed suit on March 19.
Diamond argued that the lab's activities were fully within the limits of California law, which legalized marijuana for medical use in 1996, and in fact were fully different from a medical marijuana dispensary because the tests conducted on the pot destroyed the product completely.



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