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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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The DEA's marijuana mistake

Category: News | Posted on Fri, January, 25th 2013 by THCFinder
The DEA and the National Institute for Drug Abuse block serious research on medical uses of marijuana, creating a ridiculous circle of denials.
 
For a muscular agency that combats vicious drug criminals, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration acts like a terrified and obstinate toddler when it comes to basic science. For years, the DEA and the National Institute for Drug Abuse have made it all but impossible to develop a robust body of research on the medical uses of marijuana.
 
A pro-marijuana group lost its legal battle this week when a federal appellate court ruled that marijuana would remain a Schedule I drug, defined as having no accepted medical value and a high potential for abuse. The court deferred to the judgment of federal authorities, quoting the DEA's statement that "the effectiveness of a drug must be established in well-controlled, well-designed, well-conducted and well-documented scientific studies.... To date, such studies have not been performed."
 
But guess who bears responsibility for this level of ignorance? The DEA itself, which through its ultra-tight restrictions on marijuana has made it nearly impossible for researchers to obtain the drug for study, and the National Institute for Drug Abuse, which controls the availability of the tiny quantity of research-grade marijuana that is federally approved for production.
 
The few, smaller studies conducted so far suggest marijuana has promise as a medicine, but they're far from conclusive. The National Cancer Institute and the Institute of Medicine support further research.
 
The judges had it right: In the absence of scientific evidence, they are not in a position to make medical decisions for the country or to set research priorities for the U.S. government. But the Obama administration can and should put the dark ages of uninformed fear behind us and release the death grip of the DEA and the National Institute for Drug Abuse on research-grade marijuana. President Obama then should direct the National Institutes of Health to fund worthwhile research, just as he recently ordered the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to research gun violence.
 

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Man gets 10 years for growing marijuana

Category: News | Posted on Fri, January, 25th 2013 by THCFinder
Another sad story of a person getting a harsh jail sentence for growing Marijuana, a plant that has been proven time after time to have medicinal properties that can save peoples lives!
 
FAIRBANKS, ALASKA — A Fairbanks man has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for growing marijuana.
 
Fifty-four-year-old Floyd Everett Harshman was sentenced Thursday for growing marijuana in 19 greenhouses along the Elliott Highway.
 
The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner (http://is.gd/hbseRB) says the sentence is the minimum for the crimes that Harshman pleaded guilty to. He admitted operating a more than 100-plant marijuana grow and having a firearm while committing a drug crime.
 
Harshman has been unsuccessful in withdrawing his guilty plea. Federal District Court Judge Ralph Beistline told Harshman that he got a good deal and has been treated fairly by the courts.
 

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3,000 pounds of marijuana found in shipment of cucumber

Category: News | Posted on Mon, January, 21st 2013 by THCFinder
CALEXICO, Calif. (KSWT News 13) — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers found 2,791 pounds of marijuana hidden in a shipment of cucumbers.
 
An officer working at the Calexico cargo facility on January 17 asked a man to pull over for a more in-depth inspection of his tractor, which was pulling a trailer full of cucumbers.
 
During the inspection, a narcotics detecting dog alerted officers to the boxes of cucumber. 
 
Officers searched the boxes and found 336 wrapped packages of marijuana mixed in with the cucumbers. 
 
CBP says the drugs are valued at about $1.7 million.
 
The drug smuggler, who is a 36-year-old resident of Mexicali, Baja California, was turned over to the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents for further processing.
 

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Marijuana Possession Arrests Exceed Violent Crime Arrests

Category: News | Posted on Thu, January, 17th 2013 by THCFinder
Americans are shifting on marijuana. More than half of them think it should be regulated like alcohol and cigarettes, 18 states have passed legislation approving it for medical use and Washington State and Colorado have legalized it for recreational use, but it remains illegal under federal law. And the arrests continue — one every 42 seconds, and 86 percent of those are simply for possession, according to the Marijuana Policy Project.
 
In 2011, marijuana possession arrests totaled 663,032 — more than arrests for all violent crimes combined. Possession arrests have nearly doubled since 1980, according to an FBI report, while teen marijuana use recently reached a 30-year high.
 
President Obama said last month that going after recreational pot users in states where it is legal is not "a top priority" for his administration, which echoes a promise he made in 2008 not to interfere with states' medical marijuana laws. Since then, his administration has aggressively targeted dispensaries that are in compliance with state law.
 
Taxpayers have shouldered the cost of arresting and incarcerating hundreds of thousands of people for the possession of marijuana, often in small quantities for personal use. Some national estimates put the annual cost of marijuana arrests above $10 billion, and low-level arrests for marijuana possession cost New York City alone $75 million in 2010. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposed decriminalizing possession of 15 grams or less — even when flashed in public view — last week in his State of the State address.
 

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Montana police seek marijuana impairment test for drivers

Category: News | Posted on Thu, January, 17th 2013 by THCFinder
HELENA - Lawmakers on Thursday were considering a renewed effort to test drivers suspected of driving under the influence of marijuana - a measure law enforcement agents said is necessary to deal with an increase in such cases.
 
Republican Rep. Doc Moore of Missoula said his House Bill 168 provides a legal limit for the amount of THC - an ingredient of marijuana - that can be in a person's blood while operating a motor vehicle.
 
He argued the measure is just aimed at enduring streets are safe, not at the debate over medical marijuana.
 
"No one of us has the right to take a chemical, alcohol or anything and drive impaired," he told the House Judiciary Committee. "We need to set some standards and level to protect the citizens of Montana."
 
There was no immediate action on the proposal, which died the last time the Legislature met in 2011. House Judiciary Committee chairman Kreyton Kerns said he needs to see scientific proof this time around that there is a connection between THC levels and impairment.
 
"This bill died last time because we were getting the Legislature ahead of the science," Kerns told backers of the bill. "I am going to need to see that science."
 
Sarah Braseth, a forensic toxicologist at the state crime lab, acknowledged there is still controversy about marijuana impairment.
 
The state crime lab already tests blood samples in drunk driving and other cases for levels of THC. County attorneys and others argued it is time to use the information and set a threshold of impairment for pot just as there is with alcohol.
 

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