Cannabis Fields Torched In Morocco
Early January, in Taounate, a little village in the Moroccan mountains of the Kif region, almost eight tons of cannabis was seized in three farmers’ homes. Last June, right after the Bab Berred revolt, three helicopters dropped pesticides on plantations in the region to burn the fields. As the political will to eradicate the production of the illegal crops grows, observers say there are few measures to help the region’s inhabitants as they lose their main source of income.
“Eradication should not precede economic development or even accompany it,” said Pierre-Arnaud Chouvy, a research fellow at the French National Center for Scientific Research in Paris, and author of several books on the geopolitics of illicit drugs. “It should come afterward and only in case of necessity. Alternative development never had the expected success. It lacked political will, financial resources, persistence and it was flawly designed.” Morocco, the world’s leading producer and exporter of kif (the dried bud of the female marijuana plant), according to the United Nations, has for decades tolerated the illegal production of cannabis that allows an entire region to survive.
More than 70 percent of European countries in 2008 claimed that Morocco was their prime source of cannabis (either directly, or via Spain or the Netherlands), according to the most recent figures from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. These countries have pressured Morocco to take action to significantly reduce its production of the drug.
Ohio mom who gave pot to 2-year-old gets probation
CINCINNATI -- An Ohio woman who admitted giving her 2-year-old daughter marijuana and using her cell phone to record the child smoking it has avoided prison.
A Hamilton County judge on Friday placed 21-year-old Jessica Gamble, of suburban Cincinnati, on two years of probation with plans to reunite the mother and child.
The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that Gamble has been in the county jail since September and must remain there for two more months to complete a program for drug treatment, job readiness and parenting skills. She also must spend three months in an inpatient drug rehabilitation facility and undergo outpatient drug treatment.
Gamble could have received up to 6 1/2 years in prison after pleading guilty to corruption of another with drugs and tampering with evidence.
Police officer accused of taking seized marijuana
WINTER HAVEN, Fla. -- A Winter Haven police officer is accused of pilfering a "marijuana bud" following the department's seizure of marijuana plants from a home.
Authorities say 36-year-old Ricardo Flores was just ending his shift about 7 p.m. Wednesday as detectives were unloading marijuana plants from a truck. As the evidence was being processed, an officer saw Flores take a marijuana bud from a plant and conceal it.
When the officer reported what he saw, Flores was called back to the department. Officers recovered the stolen marijuana and Flores was charged with burglary of a conveyance, petit theft and possession of marijuana.
Flores was suspended pending an internal investigation.
Winter Haven Police Chief Gary Hester commended the officer who reported the incident, saying "no one is above the law."
Phoenix Woman Arrested In Border Pot Bust
A Phoenix woman was taken into custody after border officers found 560 pounds of marijuana hidden in a vehicle she was driving. According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, officers selected the woman's 2003 Ford Expedition for screening at the Douglas Port of Entry Monday morning where they found a double floor had been built into the entire floor area of the Expedition.
There they found the marijuana with an estimated street value of $256,000. The 31 year old woman, identified as a U.S. citizen, was turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement for further investigation and prosecution. The vehicle and marijuana were seized by CBP officers.
Chandler Set To Begin Hearings On Medical Pot
Chandler begins hearings this week on the rules surrounding the dispensing of medical marijuana. Public hearings on possible amendments will he held by the planning and zoning commission Wednesday and the City Council on Feb. 10. Arizona voters approved Proposition 203 last November which allows the sale of medical marijuana.
The East Valley Tribune reports an initial draft of amendments calls for Chandler facilities to be at least 1,300 feet from a school, church, daycare center, hospital, park or library. Dispensaries would be located in retail areas and cultivation sites in industrial areas. There will be a limit of 120 dispensaries statewide. It is unclear how many will be located in Chandler.
Cannabis Grower Avoids Jail Sentence
A Southampton man was spared an immediate prison sentence after a judge heard he had health problems and would lose his accommodation that had taken him four years to get. Police had gone to the home of David Thomas, 45, on an unrelated matter when they discovered a tray of small cannabis plants in a cupboard and another 17 more mature plants in another room.
Mary Aspinall Miles the prosecution at Southampton Crown Court, said if the latter had been harvested, they would have been has a street value of approximately £1,700. Thomas, of Queenstown Road, Freemantle, admitted producing cannabis and allowing premises to be used for its production. Judge Jane Miller QC, who gave him a four-month suspended sentence, described his health problems as unenviable. She added that the risk of reconviction was low and there had been a reduction in his offending.
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