Marijuana task force backs DUI bill in legislature
Category: News | Posted on Wed, February, 6th 2013 by THCFinder
DENVER – The marijuana legalization task force endorsed a bill Tuesday establishing a legal limit for driving stoned and recommended juveniles caught possessing pot be given a warning before criminal charges are filed.
But agreement couldn’t be reached on other issues, such as the fundamental structure of the marijuana industry when it comes to who is able to grow, distribute and sell the drug.
Tuesday was the fourth meeting of the 24 member task force established by Gov. John Hickenlooper in December. The group is working on recommendations that will likely guide an omnibus bill — a conglomeration of regulations — to be considered by lawmakers this session.
The issue of driving under the influence of marijuana was considered separately from other recommendations, and the members voted to endorse a proposed bill that is about to start working its way through the General Assembly.
House Bill 114, by House Republican Leader Mark Waller and Democrat Rep. Rhonda Fields, would set the legal limit for driving at 5 nanograms of delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, in their blood.
The proposal mirrors the drunken driving limit of .08 blood alcohol content, except in one important way. Violators would be able to argue in court that they — because of their size or tolerance or other factors — are not in fact intoxicated or impaired at the 5 nanograms of THC level.
Greenwood Village Police Chief John Jackson was among those opposed to the legislation in Tuesday’s task force meeting.
Jackson said he favored a zero tolerance policy, one that would mirror the current drunk driving laws.
Fatal Crash Numbers
Between 2006 and 2011, 240 people were killed in Colorado in crashes where the driver tested positive for THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. The number of fatalities with drivers under the influence of marijuana has increased over the years, while state-wide fatal crashes have decreased.
Year Fatal Crashes THC Total fatal crashes state percent THC
2006 21 721 2.9%
2007 23 789 2.9%
2008 31 712 4.4%
2009 37 653 5.7%
2010 42 600 7%
2011 52 587 8.9%
Source: Colorado Department of Transportation
SD panel kills medical defense in marijuana cases
Category: News | Posted on Tue, February, 5th 2013 by THCFinder
PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — A proposal to let people charged with possessing small amounts of marijuana argue in court that they need it for medical reasons was narrowly rejected Tuesday by a South Dakota House committee torn between compassion for chronically ill people in pain and fear that it could lead to increased drug use.
The Health and Human Services Committee voted 7-6 to kill the bill, which was sponsored by two lawmakers with roots in law enforcement.
Rep. Melissa Magstadt, R-Watertown, a nurse, said the South Dakota Medical Association and the Nurses Association oppose the measure, which would allow an unregulated and untested drug to be used for medical purposes. Marijuana often leads people to use other drugs, she said.
"If you talk to drug users, nine times out of 10 they started with marijuana first," Magstadt said.
Rep. Karen Soli, D-Sioux Falls, said she supported the bill because it could help seriously ill people who need marijuana for pain and other problems.
"This is about being compassionate to our folks," Soli said.
"When I first heard of this, I thought no way. I'm not in favor of legalizing marijuana," she added. "It's quite a surprise to me I'm going to vote for this."
Teenager narrowly escapes death after smoking synthetic marijuana
Category: News | Posted on Tue, February, 5th 2013 by THCFinder
A Cypress, Texas teenager had a brush with death just before Christmas; the cause of her near demise – synthetic marijuana.
According to a Feb. 5, CNN report, “Hospital staff removed Emily Bauer's breathing tube and stopped all medication and nourishment at 1:15 p.m. December 16. Only morphine flowed into her body, as the family waited by her side in her final moments.”
Expected to die just days before her 17th birthday, the teenager managed to hang onto her life.
Two weeks earlier Bauer had been in ICU from smoking “fake weed” – a mixture of herbs that’s sprayed with chemicals and is designed to create a high similar to smoking pot.
Synthetic weed is advertised as a legal alternative to marijuana which is illegal in most states.
Using brightly colored packaging with catchy names, marketing is aimed at teens. The trendy drug substitute is sold in convenience stores under the guise of potpourri.
Bauer had purchased synthetic marijuana at a gas station.
According to a report by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 11,406 visits to ER’s were attributed to synthetic marijuana; the majority of patients were 12 to 17 year-old children.
Bauer suffered a series of strokes. Her vascular system had constricted causing a rise in blood pressure, a most common effect of synthetic weed.
U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration spokeswoman Barbara Carreno says synthetic cannabinoids “can be 100 times more potent than marijuana,”
Robbery victim says authorities took his marijuana
Category: News | Posted on Mon, February, 4th 2013 by THCFinder
TEMECULA, Calif.—A robbery victim says Riverside County sheriff's deputies took his marijuana and he wants it back.
John Szwec runs a service that delivers medical marijuana to patients. He was making a delivery last week in Temecula when robbers took an ounce of pot and about $400 in cash.
When they drove off, Szwec chased them in his pickup. The getaway car crashed on a freeway offramp and two men were eventually arrested.
But Szwec tells U-T San Diego (http://bit.ly/14vYV4m) that deputies who responded to the scene took the entire supply of marijuana from his pickup.
Sheriff's Deputy Albert Martinez says it's being held as evidence.
Szwec says he could understand holding the stolen ounce of pot but not his entire business supply—and he wants it back.
10 pounds of marijuana delivered to Seattle Kmart
Category: News | Posted on Thu, January, 31st 2013 by THCFinder
Maybe they should make this one a Green Light Special.
A 10-pound bag of marijuana that took a wrong turn on a cross-country shipment was delivered to surprised employees at the Seattle Kmart, police said.
Shortly after noon Monday, 911 dispatchers received a call from a staff member saying they'd received the massive shipment of pot packed in garbage bags, foam peanuts and cleaning-fluid-soaked pages from a Korean newspaper, department spokesman Jonah Spagenthal-Lee said.
"Delivery information on the package indicates it was originally shipped from Los Angeles to a Philadelphia address, but never made it to its intended destination in Philly," he said. "Whoever sent the package listed the address of the Seattle Kmart on the return label, for some reason."
Seattle police placed the pot into evidence.
The package was beleived to have been sent by UPS. Company spokespeople were not immediately available for comment.
Had the shippers waited just a few weeks longer, the delivery might have been returned to sender. The Kmart store in North Seattle where it was delivered – a fixture at 13200 Aurora Ave. N. since the 1970s – is scheduled to close Sunday. Click here to read more about the North Seattle Kmart store.
Washington vows to try to keep marijuana in state...but how?
Category: News | Posted on Tue, January, 29th 2013 by THCFinder
SEATTLE — So far, no one is suggesting checkpoints or fences to keep Washington state’s legal pot within its borders.
But Gov. Jay Inslee insists there are ways to prevent the bulk smuggling of the state’s newest cash crop into the black market, including digitally tracking weed to ensure that it goes from where it is grown to the stores where it is sold.
With sales set to begin later this year, he hopes to be a good neighbor and keep vanloads of premium, legal bud from cruising into Idaho, Oregon and other states that don’t want people getting stoned for fun.
It’s not just about generating goodwill with fellow governors. Inslee is trying to persuade U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder not to sue to block Washington from licensing pot growers, processors and sellers. Marijuana remains illegal under federal law.
“I am going to be personally committed to have a well regulated, well disciplined, well tracked, well inventory-controlled, well law-enforcement-coordinated approach,” said Inslee, who is due to give Holder more details this week.
Keeping a lid on the weed is just one of the numerous challenges Washington state authorities and their counterparts in Colorado — where voters also legalized pot use — will face in the coming months.
The potential of regulatory schemes to keep pot from being diverted isn’t clear. Colorado already has intensive rules aimed at keeping its medical marijuana market in line, including the digital tracking of cannabis, bar codes on every plant, surveillance video and manifests of all legal pot shipments.
But law enforcement officials say marijuana from Colorado’s dispensaries often makes its way to the black market, and even the head of the Colorado agency charged with tracking the medical pot industry suggests no one should copy its measures.
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