Marijuana Backers To GOPers: Why Not Cut The DEA Budget?
With Republicans in the House looking to cut down on spending in the next fiscal year, supporters of legalizing marijuana have a suggestion for where they should start -- the Drug Enforcement Agency's budget.
Sure, they know it's a long shot. But the Marijuana Policy Project's Steve Fox told TPM it makes a lot of sense.
"In the grand scheme of things, the entire federal budget dedicated to keeping marijuana illegal and carrying out all the enforcement measures to do so is really something that is long past its prime," Fox said.
"I'm not naive enough to think there would be such a major step, but you can just pick it apart and look at the marijuana seizures -- the amount of time and energy put into those seizures -- is really doing essentially nothing except maybe having a marginal effect on the price of marijuana," Fox said. "So all they're really doing is giving those involved in illegal marijuana dealing a little bit of price support."
Attorney General Eric Holder, whose Justice Department oversees the DEA, issued a memo last month telling the agency (as well as the FBI, ATF and U.S. Marshals Service) to freeze hiring and curb non-personnel spending.
That came around the same side as conservative Republicans in the House said they planned deep budget cuts -- which, according to Democrats, would require the DOJ to fire 4,000 FBI agents and 1,500 DEA agents if applied across the board.
Troopers Seize 83 Pounds Of Marijuana
A man is facing felony drug charges after Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers seized 83 pounds of marijuana, valued at more than $188,000 during a recent traffic stop. Troopers stopped a 2011 Kia Sorento SUV for an unsafe lane change on I-70, near milepost 8 in in Preble County at 9:28 a.m. Thursday. Troopers observed criminal indicators and a Patrol drug sniffing canine alerted to the vehicle. A probable cause search revealed three large bundles of marijuana, four marijuana cigarettes, and 45 prescription pills.
The driver, William J. Meyer, 38, of Rochester, N.Y., was charged with trafficking in marijuana, a second-degree felony. Other charges are possible. The suspect was incarcerated in the Preble County Jail. If convicted, he could face up to eight years in prison and a $15,000 fine.
Striking against the city!
Medical-marijuana advocates are aiming to pull a Walmart. That is, they want to collect enough signatures to avoid what they describe as a de facto ban.
When the San Diego City Councilpassed an ordinance that could have threatened the development of new supercenter stores, Walmart fought back with a signature drive to give San Diegans the chance to vote on it. Faced with a special election, the council backed down and repealed the ordinance on Tuesday.
At a meeting of the California Cannabis Coalition on Monday, attorney Jessica McElfresh said the San Diego Planning Commission’s decision last week to approve a restrictive ordinance came months faster than anticipated. Marijuana collectives and patients’ best hope, she said, is to pursue a ballot initiative—one that she co-wrote—that would enact the more flexible recommendations of theSan Diego Medical Marijuana Task Force.
The initiative, filed with the City Clerk in December, is titled “Citizens for Safe Access Ordinance,” and the coalition is establishing a political action committee, San Diegans for Patients’ Rights. They need 62,000 valid signatures to qualify for the ballot. Thenext ballot—as early as June if Gov. Jerry Brown gets his way—the coalition hopes to pressure the City Council to reject the Planning Commission’s ordinance the same way Walmart did. If the council passes the restrictive ordinance anyway, the initiative would serve to repeal and replace it.
The Planning Commission’s ordinance contains 1,000foot distance restrictions from everything from parks to universities, the limitation of collectives to a few industrial and commercial zones and a stringent permit requirement. With these rules, McElfresh expects only five or so dispensaries will exist within the city limits. Her proposed initiative contains 500- and 600-foot restrictions and allows for dispensaries in all industrial and commercial zones. This, she says, will more or less maintain the status quo.
San Diegans may yet vote on a big-box ordinance. But this time it would be big-box dispensaries.
The Planning Commission’s ordinance would cut the number of collectives in San Diego, but it would have little impact on the number of medical-marijuana consumers. As a result, San Diegans may be faced with an oligopoly of large collectives. Oakland, as a precedent, has a small number of dispensaries, but among them are the 48,000-member Harborside Health Center and the franchise weGrow, which is often referred to as the “Walmart of Weed.”
Man grew cannabis in shed to combat ex-wifes arthritis
Millions worth of marijuana seized in Southern Arizona
TUCSON, AZ (KOLD) - Agents seized more than 3,500 pounds of marijuana with a street value of $2.8 million in three separate incidents.
In the first incident on Friday, United States Border Patrol agents near Ajo say they spotted footprints from a group who illegally entered the country.
They say as they were tracking the footprints, they saw the group flee the area.
Agents were able to catch up to two suspects.
In the area, they found 24 bundles of marijuana, weighing 1,157 pounds with an estimated value of $925,600.
Later on Friday, agents assigned to the Ajo Station's All Terrain Vehicle Unit found 34 bundles of abandoned marijuana, weighing 1,556 pounds with an estimated value of $1.2 million.
On Sunday, agents working in Patagonia discovered an abandoned truck with marijuana bundles in the cabin and bed, weighing 809 pounds with an estimated value of $647,000.
A check of records revealed the truck had been reported stolen.
"Each interdiction of illegal drugs puts additional pressure on drug trafficking organizations," stated Division Chief Manuel Padilla. "Our agents maintain their vigilance and strive to continue disrupting the smugglers' ability to operate and transport contraband within the Tucson Sector."
Agents say the public continues to be a valuable source of information regarding illegal activity.
Arkansas Razorbacks: Hogs receiver facing marijuana possession charges
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Arkansas Razorbacks receiver Lance Ray is facing marijuana possession charges after an arrest Saturday night.
University police say 19-year-old Ray had a brown rolled cigarette containing a green leafy substance. Police say the substance was marijuana. Ray also faces a minor in possession of alcohol charge. Each charge is a misdemeanor. Arkansas Head Coach Bobby Petrino has yet to comment on the arrest.
The red-shirt freshman from Havana, Florida played mostly on special teams in the 2010 season, returning kickoffs. He caught one pass for six yards
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