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Alabama, Pennsylvania Marijuana Legalization Bills Introduced

Category: News | Posted on Thu, April, 11th 2013 by THCFinder
And then there were ten.
 
That is, as marijuana legalization bills have been formally introduced this month in Alabama and Pennsylvania, the number of states to see such bills this year is up to ten.
 
The others are Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont.  The Hawaii and New Hampshire bills are already dead, and most of the others have stalled.  Oregon’s bill, however, has been advancing quietly.
 
In Alabama, Rep. Patricia Todd (D-Birmingham) introduced House Bill 550, the Alabama Cannabis and Hemp Reform Act. It would allow adults 21 and over to possess up to an ounce of marijuana and grow up to 12 plants in a secured space. Adults could share, but not sell, marijuana to other adults.
 
The bill is headed for the House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee.
 
In Pennsylvania, Sen. Daylin Leach (D-17) introduced Senate Bill 528, the Regulate Marijuana Act. It would allow adults 21 and over to grow up to six plants and possess the resulting harvest. It would also allow adults to transfer up to an ounce to other adults. And it would direct the state to come up with a system to regulate and tax marijuana commerce.
 

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Portland marijuana billboard has new message

Category: News | Posted on Wed, April, 10th 2013 by THCFinder
 
PORTLAND -- The people behind a controversial marijuana billboard in downtown Portland have come up with a new message.
 
The original billboard (shown in photo at right) featured a photo of a glass of beer, a glass of wine, and a marijuana leaf. And below each photo, the words read: “Beer," "Wine," and "Safer," respectively. It was located at Southwest 13th Avenue and Southwest Alder Street.
The billboard went up on Thursday, March 29 and by that night, it was was no longer standing up. 
 
Roy Kaufmann, a spokesman for the Marijuana Policy Project, which paid for the sign, said they suspected it had been vandalized. Others questioned whether the wind may have taken down the billboard.  Portland police were investigating.
 
The Marijuana Policy Project said they designed the sign with the goal of getting people “to think about how marijuana is objectively less harmful than alcohol to consumers and the community,” Kaufmann said.
 
Now a new billboard has gone up that reads: "The truth cannot be destroyed."
 
The Marijuana Policy Project wants to get a measure on the 2016 ballot legalizing recreational marijuana in Oregon. Both Colorado and Washington passed similar bills last year.
 

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Mass. court rules social sharing of marijuana legal

Category: News | Posted on Wed, April, 10th 2013 by THCFinder
In a group of four cases, the highest court in Massachusetts ruled Friday that social sharing of marijuana is not criminal, but growing the plant is still an offense worthy of arrest.
 
The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court’s decisions involved four cases of marijuana-related arrests made after Massachusetts residents voted to decriminalize possession of one ounce or less of cannabis in 2008. Under that law, possession of less than an ounce, while not criminal, remains a civil offense with a maximum penalty of $100.
 
In one of the cases, Commonwealth v. Kiiyan Jackson, the defendant, Jackson, was arrested in 2010 at Hempfest, an annual gathering in the Boston Common to advocate the legalization of marijuana, by two police officers in civilian clothing. The officers allegedly saw him passing a marijuana cigarette to someone sitting next to him and arrested him for distribution, an offense worthy of up to two years in prison or $5,000 in fines.
 
The court, however, ruled that, as opposed to paid distribution, “the social sharing of marijuana is no longer a crime,” according to the opinion released Friday.
 
In another case involving a 2010 arrest, Commonwealth v. Kenneth J. Palmer, Jr., police officers consensually entered Palmer’s house and arrested him on outstanding warrants for cultivation of marijuana in a school zone, a felony worthy of up to 15 years in prison and $10,000 in fines. The collected amount of marijuana weighed less than an ounce and a district court ruled that the case should not be considered a criminal offense.
 
The Supreme Judicial Court countered the ruling, asserting that “cultivation of marijuana … and the offense of simple possession of marijuana are ‘listed separately in the General Laws,’” according to the opinion.
 

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Seattle police return marijuana confiscated from street dealers

Category: News | Posted on Tue, April, 9th 2013 by THCFinder
Marijuana tolerance has reached a new high in the US: after Seattle police caught a group of street dealers selling the drug, they returned the marijuana and told the dealers not to smoke it in public places.
 
“In street dealing cases, this would be the first time. Ever,” Seattle Police Department (SPD) spokesman Sean Whitcomb told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. The incident marks an unusual first as some US states become more lenient about marijuana use.
 
Washington and Colorado have already decriminalized the drug on a statewide level, though selling marijuana without a license is still against the law. But even though six of the 12 individuals caught with marijuana in Seattle were suspected of selling, the police decided to let it slide.
 
“A number of suspects possessed marijuana collectively totaling 36.8 grams,” the department wrote on its blog. “The marijuana was returned to each individual owner because the amount possessed is legally allowed.”
 
Read more: http://rt.com

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MA Court: Marijuana Scent Insufficient Cause for Car Search

Category: News | Posted on Tue, April, 9th 2013 by THCFinder
In a series of three rulings issued Friday, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court cracked down on police who have been using evidence of marijuana possession as a pretext to search automobiles. Just two years ago, justices handed down the Cruz decision making it clear that automobile searches could not be conducted on the basis of finding marijuana (view ruling), but police have continued the practice.
 
Antonio L. Pacheco found this out as he sat in a gray sedan that was parked in a handicapped spot with four friends. A state trooper approached, noticing the fogged windows. He knocked on the window, smelling marijuana as soon as the window was lowered.
 
The trooper then went and searched the vehicle, finding a small bag with less than one ounce of pot on the floor mat behind the passenger seat. Nothing else was found in the vehicle's interior, so the trooper opened the trunk and began going through its contents. He found a black backpack that contained a semiautomatic handgun and no other items of interest. Pacheco admitted he had the gun for self-protection, but he did not have the "firearms identification card" Massachusetts requires.
 

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Marijuana grower sues sheriff over destroyed plants

Category: News | Posted on Tue, April, 9th 2013 by THCFinder
LARIMER COUNTY, Colo. —  A man suing over 42 medical-marijuana plants killed by Larimer County deputies claims investigators failed to check the state registry to confirm the plants were legal. Recent filings in the lawsuit seeking $210,000 in damages counter a request by county attorneys to get the case thrown out.
 
Kaleb Young, 35, was acquitted at jury trial in November 2011 after maintaining that his marijuana grow in Wellington was compliant with state medical-marijuana laws. When his plants were returned, they were worthless because deputies had cut, bagged and failed to maintain them pending the trial’s outcome, Young claims.
 
The ensuing lawsuit seeks damages connected with the plants, and the latest filing April 3 includes details about the investigation into the grow Young was running in 2010 when deputies began investigating. Investigators with Larimer County Sheriff’s Office had tracked down Young’s financial records, property information and utility records while conducting undercover surveillance before the raid of his Wellington grow operation and Fort Collins home in fall 2010.
 

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