Army punishes 36 in Alaska for synthetic pot use
FAIRBANKS, Alaska — The U.S. Army Alaska says it has punished 36 soldiers for the use of synthetic marijuana since it banned the substance.
Seven soldiers were tried at courts-martial, and 29 received nonjudicial punishments, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported.
Synthetic marijuana is known as Spice or K2. It’s a blend of spices and herbs sprayed with a compound similar to the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. It’s commonly sold in head shops.
Some users think the substance can’t be detected in drugs tests. But the Army says its urine tests can now find the chemicals used in Spice.
In March, a Fort Richardson soldier just back from Iraq was convicted of driving under the influence of Spice. He was arrested after driving over three raised medians, into a concrete wall and down a sidewalk with flat tires and a broken axle.
The U.S. Army Alaska banned Spice in August.
It had seen an increase in users with high blood pressure and heart rates admitted to hospitals at Fort Wainwright and Fort Richardson.
The soldiers have had life-threatening reactions in some cases, the commander of U.S. Army Alaska, Brig. Gen. Raymond Palumbo, wrote in a commentary published in the Fort Wainwright and Fort Richardson newspapers.
"We have no idea what the long-term effects are since the chemicals vary and have not been fully tested," Palumbo wrote. "But we do know that in the short term, bad things happen when people use Spice."
In October, Alaska legislators introduced a bill to outlaw Spice after state troopers arrested a Fairbanks man who used the substance, broke into a house, stripped naked and slept in the homeowners’ bed. He told troopers God had told him to do so.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency has started a process to outlaw five chemicals commonly used in synthetic marijuana.
Police Arrest Geneva Man for Cannabis Possession
Police arrested Maxwell Conlon of Geneva on charges of possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of less than 2.5 grams of cannabis around 8.46 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 11, on school grounds in the 1300 block of Gray Street, reports said. Reports said Conlon was in possession of about .8 grams of cannabis and had with him "a multicolored, glass smoking pipe containing burnt residue, an item of drug paraphernalia."ï»¿
Patch reports on law enforcement activity in Geneva, using information provided by official agencies. Persons charged with a crime, or issued a citation for violation of a local ordinance, are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. If you or a family member are charged with a crime or cited for a violation, and the charge or citation is subsequently adjudicated
Mila Kunis Thinks Miley Cyrus May Have Been Smoking Weed
Mila Kunis isn’t quite buying the story that Miley Cyrus was smoking salvia in the recent bong video and she’s calling her out. As Kunis appeared on George Lopez’s show, she revealed some of her teenage past which led to her being asked about Cyrus’ current situation, “She was smoking some weed. Come on, now; that was not no legal substance,” Kunis openly commented, but didn’t go on to judge her for whatever she may have done.
Do you think Miley Cyrus was smoking salvia or do you think that she was just taking some nice tokes of some marijuana. What you really have to take into consideration is that the side effects that she experienced in the video, most of them are consistent with the side effects caused when smoking salvia but I guess we will never truly know the truth. After all how can the all time star “Hanna Montana” be caught smoking marijuana?
Montana Marijuana Prosecution Runs into Jury Pool "Mutiny"
No way would they convict someone of possessing a 16th of an ounce of marijuana, member after member of a Missoula County jury pool told a stunned judge and prosecutor last week. As a result, the Missoulian newspaper reported, the judge in the case ordered a recess, and a plea bargain was reached in a drug trafficking case against Touray Cornell.
Potential jurors repeatedly told the court they would not convict for a couple of buds found during a raid on Cornell's home in April. One juror wondered out loud why the county was wasting time and money prosecuting the case at all, especially in a locale that approved a 2004 initiative making marijuana possession offenses the lowest law enforcement priority.
After that juror questioned the prosecution, District Judge Dusty Deschamps polled the jury pool and found at least five others who agreed. That was in addition to two others who had already been excused because of their philosophical objections to pot prosecutions.
"I thought, 'Geez, I don't know if we can seat a jury,'" Deschamps said, explaining why he called a recess.
Instead, Deputy District Attorney Andrew Paul and defense attorney Martin Ellison worked out a plea agreement on the more serious drug trafficking charge. Cornell entered an Alford plea, in which he did not admit guilt. He was then sentenced to 20 years in prison with 19 suspended. Since Cornell has already served 200 days awaiting trial, he should be out in a matter of months.
"Public opinion, as revealed by the reaction of a substantial portion of the members of the jury called to try the charges on Dec. 16, 2010, is not supportive of the state's marijuana law and appeared to prevent any conviction from being obtained simply because an unbiased jury did not appear available under any circumstances," according to the plea memorandum filed by his attorney.
It was "a mutiny" by the jury pool, said Paul.
"I think it's going to become increasingly difficult to seat a jury in marijuana cases, at least the ones involving a small amount," Deschamps said.
Noting changing attitudes toward marijuana, as evidenced by the Missoula initiative and voters' approval of the state's medical marijuana law, Deschamps wondered if it were fair to insist on impaneling a jury that consisted only of "hardliners" who object to all drug use. "I think that poses a real challenge in proceeding," he said. "Are we really seating a jury of their peers if we just leave people on who are militant on the subject?"
"I think that's outstanding," John Masterson, who heads Montana NORML, said when told of the incident. "The American populace over the last 10 years or so has begun to believe in a majority that assigning criminal penalties for the personal possession of marijuana is an unjust and a stupid use of government resources."
Deputy DA Paul said that normally a case involving such a small amount of pot wouldn’t have gone that far through the court system, but for the felony charge involved. But the response of the jury pool "is going to be something we're going to have to consider" in future cases, he said.
Armed Police Raided My Farm
A disabled farmer who took a potshot at a fox described yesterday how his house was stormed by armed police after he unwittingly hit two burglars. Edward Tibbs aged 63 went out on his mobility scooter in the dead of night when he heard his geese becoming distressed. After spotting the fox and firing at it, he returned to his home at Elm Farm in Crays Hill near Basildon in Essex, and went to bed. It was only when 16 armed officers arrived hours later as a police helicopter hovered above his property that he learned two people had been treated at hospital for gunshot wounds to their backs and legs.
The case echoes that of Norfolk farmer Tony Martin, who shot and killed an intruder at his farmhouse 11 years ago. But Mr Tibbs, who has been married to wife Jacky for 42 years, yesterday insisted the incident had been an accident. ‘I was shattered when the police told me what was happening,’ he said. ‘They closed my business down for a day or so and took all my stuff away, including my clothes and all my money too. ‘I was bailed and had this hanging over me. It was a great relief when they phoned and told us the charges were being dropped.’
Mr Tibbs complained he was now without his shotguns after police withdrew his firearms licence. He said: ‘Shooting is my life. I used to shoot every other day – rats, foxes, pigeons, vermin.’ During the police investigation it emerged that, unknown to Mr Tibbs, a cannabis factory had been set up in an outbuilding he was renting to tenants on his 650-acre farm. Firearms were also found in the outbuilding.
No snow leads to cannabis bust
POLICE busted a "significant" cannabis factory because its grow lights melted all the SNOW on its roof.
Officers responding to reports of suspicious behaviour said the house was the only one not thickly blanketed after last week's snowfall.
On Thursday they raided the house in Aylestone, Leicester, and found more than 300 cannabis plants.
Police said the hi-tech growing systems gave off a lot of heat and melted the snow on the roof.
Pc Chris Gerrard said the house had been badly damaged by work to set up the cannabis factory.
He said: "The landlord has been left with a lot of clearing up to do.
"By closing this drugs factory we have disrupted a significant criminal enterprise, and stopped a large amount of drugs from reaching the streets of Leicester."
No-one was in the house. No arrests have so far been made but police said inquiries were at an early stage.
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