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Cville Attorney: Nix Jail Time for Marijuana Possession

Category: News | Posted on Tue, February, 19th 2013 by THCFinder
A Charlottesville attorney is trying to take away jail time as a consequence for possessing marijuana.
 
Attorney Jeff Fogel says it's inappropriate, and some Charlottesville city councilors agree. Tuesday night, the touchy issue will get tackled at a City Council meeting.
 
The argument centers on prevention versus punishment, and developing a local ordinance that goes against the grain.  Fogel said, "It is a very simple and modest proposal, simply: let's keep jail time out of this."
 
Fogel says going to jail for possession of pot is an expensive waste of time and resources.
 
"It's not an appropriate response. It doesn't serve anybody's interests, it doesn't stop people from smoking marijuana, it costs the rest of us money to keep them in jail and it's simply not appropriate," he said.
 
Currently, state law says anyone caught with marijuana faces up to 30 days behind bars for the first offense, and up to a year in jail for any subsequent offense. The proposed ordinance set to go before City Council would provide an option for law enforcement and city attorneys to take away the jail sentence for first offenders. Fogel says they should do away with jail sentences all together, and plans to present his own proposal to City Council Tuesday.
 
Fogel explains that if a proposed ordinance was adopted, whether to charge under the municipal ordinance or the state statute is a decision made by police in the first instance. The prosecutor can then also alter the charge either from or to the ordinance or the statute. He says it would be an expectation that law enforcement and city attorneys follow the city's policy.
 
Charlottesville City Councilor Kristin Szakos agrees jail time is extreme.
 

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Marijuana, Both Legal And Illegal, Triggers License Confusion For Doctors, Cops

Category: News | Posted on Tue, February, 19th 2013 by THCFinder
BOSTON — Tens of thousands of Massachusetts residents could be at risk of losing their jobs if they use marijuana for medical relief, as government agencies work to balance the new state medical marijuana law with federal law, which says the drug is illegal under all circumstances.
 
Marijuana starts on a shelf during the opening of a Seattle medical marijuana market on Feb. 13 (Elaine Thompson/AP)
One potential scenario: A doctor who becomes a medical marijuana patient would be at “significant risk” of violating his or her license to practice medicine, according to Bill Ryder, legislative and regulatory counsel for the Massachusetts Medical Society.
 
Ryder says the main problem for doctors is a question on the state license application that asks, “Do you use an illegal drug?” The state Board of Registration in Medicine, which reviews physician licenses and applications, may still be bound to interpret “illegal drug” according to federal law.
 
“So the board could require you to report that and then judge you on the basis of the fact that you may have violated federal law,” Ryder explains.
 
Even if the board makes an exception for medical marijuana, and a physician has a certificate from his or her doctor, Ryder says the physician who is a patient may still put his or her license at risk.
 
Read more: http://www.wbur.org

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The Battle Over Marijuana Headed To Reality TV In "Weed Country"

Category: News | Posted on Mon, February, 18th 2013 by THCFinder
The Discovery network is ready to shine a light on the world of the North California marijuana trade in the new reality series Weed Country. The six-part series will follow the growers, dealers, and law enforcement officers involved in the illegal marijuana industry centered in the quickly spreading area known as “The Emerald Triangle.”
 
The show is essentially about the “drug war” between weed growers who are constantly searching for scientific advancements to make stronger grade of weed and the cops who are on a mission to shut them down.
 
With the marijuana trade being an estimated $50-100 billion dollar industry in the US alone, the show will also examine the turf battles between the independent growers, and the struggles and triumphs of being in the weed business.
 
The legalization of cannabis has become a political hot button issue over the last several years with a lot of the prevailing trends leaning toward making marijuana legal for adults.
 
There are currently 20 states (including the District of Columbia) that allow the use of marijuana in some form. The most notable being Colorado and Washington whose citizens voted last November to allow persons over 21 years of age to purchase and consume cannabis for recreational use – the first such laws in the nation.
 

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Ariz. court ruling upholds DUI test for marijuana

Category: News | Posted on Thu, February, 14th 2013 by THCFinder
PHOENIX (AP) -- An appeals court has issued a ruling that upholds the right of authorities to prosecute pot smokers in Arizona for driving under the influence even when there is no evidence that they are actually high.
 
The ruling by the Court of Appeals focuses on the chemical compounds in marijuana that show up in blood and urine tests after people smoke pot. One chemical compound causes drivers to be impaired; another is a chemical that stays in people's systems for weeks after they've smoked marijuana but doesn't affect impairment.
 
The court ruled that both compounds apply to Arizona law, meaning a driver doesn't have to actually be impaired to get prosecuted for DUI. As long as there is evidence of marijuana in their system, they can get a DUI, the court said.
 
The ruling overturns a decision by a lower court judge who said it didn't make sense to prosecute a person with no evidence they're under the influence.
 
The lower court judge cited the proliferation of states easing their marijuana laws, but the Court of Appeals ruling issued Tuesday dismissed that by saying Arizona's medical marijuana law is irrelevant regarding DUI. More than 35,000 people in Arizona have medical marijuana cards.
 

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Grand Rapids to proceed with marijuana decriminalization

Category: News | Posted on Wed, February, 13th 2013 by THCFinder
GRAND RAPIDS, MI - The city manager plans to authorize decriminalization of marijuana possession and use “very soon.”
 
Grand Rapids administrators said they are preparing a news release to specify a date for implementation of the voter-approved decriminalization, which is being challenged in court by the Kent County prosecutor. Kent Circuit Judge Paul Sullivan last month lifted a temporary injunction on decriminalization while Prosecutor Bill Forsyth’s case plays out.
 
Though the city now can implement decriminalization, it has not yet done so.
 
“I believe we will very soon do that,” City Manager Greg Sundstrom said. “I want to make sure our (police) department is ready. I want to make sure our courts are in alignment. This is nothing to be taken lightly.”
 

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Local delivery company in Colorado raided by police

Category: News | Posted on Tue, February, 12th 2013 by THCFinder
Two weeks ago we brought you the tale of marijuana home-delivery service Billygoatgreen MMJ. The company sought to slip through the section in Amendment 64 prohibiting receiving remuneration in exchange for cannabis by providing the substance for free and taking "donations" for growth and research instead.
 
It's a gray area with plenty of risk, as attorney Brian Vicente confirmed in our story. But as we also quoted Lt. Mark Comte with the Colorado Springs Police Department's Metro Vice, Narcotics and Intelligence Division, "If I show up at your house with less than an ounce of marijuana, I'm 21, you're 21, and I say, 'Hey dude, it cost me 50 bucks in gas to get over here,' and you give me 50 bucks for my gas, there's nothing illegal."
 
Well, maybe not, but either way, in the last couple days, owners of the service were contacted by police, arrested and charged with distribution, according to a post on Billygoatgreen's Facebook page.
 
"we met with a high profile lawyer and he says if we fight it and loose were looking at LIFE in PRISON!!!!! out on bail waiting for court dates," reads the statement posted yesterday. "they are using a undercover police boyfriend and girlfriend to trick people on craigslist. DET.Lemkool is the name of the undercover cop. first they say its legal to donate then arrest you and your looking at life in prison. not so sure that sounds fair"
 

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