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Is Michigan ready to decriminalize marijuana?

Category: News | Posted on Sat, April, 20th 2013 by THCFinder
LANSING, MI - A Democratic state lawmaker from Ann Arbor is ready to formally launch a bid to decriminalize possession of relatively small amounts of marijuana.
 
Rep. Jeff Irwin plans to formally announce his Michigan House legislation next week. It calls for making possession of one ounce or less of pot a civil infraction rather than a crime classified as a misdemeanor. That means the offense would carry a fine, but not the threat of jail time.
 
Other punishments – including for those related to intent to deliver or sell marijuana, or possession of more than one ounce – would not change.
 
At first blush, it would appear the bill faces long odds against passage in the Republican-led Legislature. Irwin acknowledges there are “some significant blockers that are going to make it very, very difficult to pass.”
 
Ari Adler, a spokesman for Republican House Speaker Jase Bolger, said the bill isn't going to be a priority.
 
"This may be a high issue for Rep. Irwin, but there are many other things facing Michigan that we need to deal with first," Adler said in an email. "Of course, if he was more willing to work with us on finding solutions for heavy issues, he might have a better chance of lighting up his 1-ounce initiatives."
 
But Irwin said there a number of lawmakers who support limited government and individual freedoms -- which could gain the bill some traction.
 
“I think that there is far more support than folks would initially think in the Legislature for this idea,” Irwin said.
 

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MMA Referee Josh Rosenthal Pleads Guilty in Major Marijuana Bust, Awaits Sentencing

Category: News | Posted on Fri, April, 19th 2013 by THCFinder
Mixed martial arts referee Josh Rosenthal, after pleading guilty to felony charges of conspiracy to manufacture and distribute marijuana, awaits sentencing in U.S. District Court in Northern California on May 17.
 
The charges stem from a raid by federal agents on a warehouse owned by Rosenthal and his associate, Jeff Weller. The two are accused of operating a large-scale marijuana production and distribution facility in Oakland, Calif., according to an initial report by MMAJunkie.com.
 
The facility house more than 1,000 marijuana plants with an estimated street value of more then $6 million.
 
The government is recommending 37 months in jail, fines and five years of probation, during which he would be subject to random searches, according to an agreement obtained by MMAJunkie.com.
 
Without an agreement, Rosenthal faced the possibility of 10 years to life in prison, a $10 million fine and a minimum of five years on probation.
 

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Congressional Research Service says states can legalize cannabis

Category: News | Posted on Thu, April, 18th 2013 by THCFinder
The Congressional Research Service (CRS) is part of the Library of Congress, and it provides "policy and legal analysis to committees and Members of both the House and Senate, regardless of party affiliation." This month the CRS issued a report that says Colorado and Washington (where cannabis is legal, according to state laws) can't be coerced to enforcing federal cannabis laws.
 
"While the federal government can ban what it wants," reports Reason, "the Tenth Amendment allows the states to opt out of participating in the law or assisting in enforcement in any way, leaving federal officials to do the heavy lifting themselves." From the report, State Legalization of Recreational Marijuana: Selected Legal Issues:
 
Although the federal government may use its power of the purse to encourage states to adopt certain criminal laws, the federal government is limited in its ability to directly influence state policy by the Tenth Amendment, which prevents the federal government from directing states to enact specific legislation, or requiring state officials to enforce federal law. As such, the fact that the federal government has criminalized conduct does not mean that the state, in turn, must also criminalize or prosecute that same conduct.
 

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U.S. Supreme Court Rules Warrant Needed To Take Blood In Marijuana DUI Cases

Category: News | Posted on Thu, April, 18th 2013 by THCFinder
In a case that will have a deep and long-lasting impact on marijuana DUIs throughout the nation, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that a cop can not legally take an individuals blood in order to determine a DUI, without first obtaining a warrant. This is extremely relevant to marijuana consumers, especially as states like Washington (implemented through Initiative 502) now have a DUID clause that finds someone instantly guilty if they have a certain amount of THC in their blood – the U.S. government is working to implement this type of policy throughout the country.
 
Despite the Obama Administration and the State of Missouri lobbying otherwise, the court ruled 8-1 in favor of requiring a warrant. Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote the court’s majority opinion, stating that the natural dissipation of alcohol in the blood isn’t sufficient reason to remove the legal requirement of obtaining a warrant before taking the blood. Justice Clarence Thomas was the only judge that ruled in favor of warrantless blood testing.
 

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Scratch and sniff detectives wanted to hunt down cannabis farms

Category: News | Posted on Wed, April, 17th 2013 by THCFinder
The game is afoot! UK charity Crimestoppers is enlisting the help of the Great British public to sniff out cannabis farms. To aid the public in their undercover work they’ve been handing out scratch and sniff panels.
 
These give people an idea of what living, growing cannabis smells like – Crimestoppers describes it as a sickly, sweet smell as opposed to the more acrid aroma when it’s smoked (we at Chemistry World are relying on testimony from local a Cambridge councillor here!).
 
Tests indicate that fresh cannabis has an aroma like freshly cut vegetation and grass with a slightly sickly sweet undertone!
 
Crimestoppers is warning that cannabis cultivation is a growing trend in the UK with the number of farms uncovered in 2012 up 15% on the previous year. The charity is working with the police to try to tackle the increase in residential farms, where people often grow the plants hydroponically in attics using heat lamps and high intensity lighting. The police has said that cannabis cultivation is fuelling organised crime, while the UK’s energy regulator says that the cost of electricity stolen by these farms may be costing the economy as much as £400 million each year.
 

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Backers of legalizing recreational marijuana use in Alaska want 2014 vote

Category: News | Posted on Wed, April, 17th 2013 by THCFinder
Alaska voters may get the chance next year to make their state the third in the country to approve the recreational use of marijuana by adults 21 and older.
 
Backers of the move on Tuesday took the first step toward getting the measure on the August 2014 primary ballot. Three prime sponsors of the effort filed their application for an initiative petition along with signatures from what they say are at least 100 other supporters with the state lieutenant governor's office.
 
The group is led by Tim Hinterberger, an associate professor at the University of Alaska Anchorage. The other two prime sponsors are Bill Parker and Mary Reff, according to Gail Fenumiai, state elections director.
 
The measure would tax and regulate marijuana sales and allow Alaskans to cultivate marijuana for personal use. Among other things, it would allow the Legislature to create a Marijuana Control Board, though until then, the Alcohol Beverage Control Board would regulate marijuana sales. Alaskans age 21 and older could legally possess up to one ounce of marijuana under the proposal, or six marijuana plants, three of which could be mature.
 
Read more: http://www.adn.com

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