87-Year-Old Man Arrested for "Forest of Marijuana" in Colorado
An 87-year-old man was arrested last week for growing more than 400 marijuana plants in the backyard of his Denver, Colorado home. He has documentation for medical marijuana growing in the state, but police say he was over the legal limit for plants.
"I was a care taker for 24 people for the last year or two," Edward Bogunovich told local TV station KUSA. "We did nothing wrong. I wouldn't be stupid not to be legal after doing this for four years."
Police say Bogunovich was legally allowed to have 231 plants, but that he had over 400. He now faces charges of possession with intent to distribute marijuana-more than 100 pounds, cultivation of marijuana-more than 30 plants and possession of marijuana-more than 12 ounces.
In the past Bogunovich has been arrested for dangerous drug possession on four different instances, KUSA reported. He's also been charged with damage to property and possession of marijuana.
In the video the man looks quite confused about what is going on, but if you are going to grow legally, you have to be aware of your state’s laws and limits. Authorities are often looking for any reason to bust you.
US Olympic Judo Team Member expelled from Olympics after testing positive for Marijuana
New Jersey MMJ Activist on Governor Christies Stonewalling
Chris Goldstein, a volunteer for the Coalition for Medical Marijuana NJ, recently wrote an op-ed piece on NJ.com about the glacial pace of medical marijuana implementation in his state and how Governor Chris Christie is stonewalling.
Pointing out that Christie recently proclaimed The War on Drugs “a failure,” Chris Goldstein says the governor fights a war against marijuana users every day.
“As a medical marijuana advocate and activist,” Chris says, “I have interacted with all levels of his administration: the Department of Health and Senior Services, the Office of the Attorney General, the Office of Consumer Affairs and many others. From my perspective, Christie has fully committed all of his resources to the failed policy of marijuana prohibition.
“Christie’s much-touted new drug policy is S881, a law that will send nonviolent drug offenders into mandatory addiction treatment instead of prisons. Unfortunately, this law will primarily apply to cannabis consumers, because there are more arrests in New Jersey for marijuana every year than for cocaine, methamphetamine or heroin.
“Christie has spent three years with ideological and legal stonewalling of the medical marijuana law. This means medical marijuana users will be vulnerable to his forced rehab plan. This is nothing less than flagrant discrimination, a massive waste of resources.
“There is no detox for cannabis because it is a nontoxic substance. While individuals can build dependence, it certainly does not require six months to a year of in-patient addiction treatment, with the taxpayers footing the bill.”
The roadblock that medical marijuana laws hit in many states is that of politicians trying to do too much. They feel like there has to be a myriad of restrictions and rules around medical cannabis, as if it were a dangerous thing. But the only thing dangerous about medical marijuana is lack of access to it.
Medical Marijuana Activist Retains Legal Dream Team to Represent Him on Federal Assault Charges
Medical marijuana activist Jose Gutierrez was brutally arrested in April as the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) raided Blue Sky, one of Oakland’s four allowed dispensaries. Mr. Gutierrez is facing federal assault charges and will appear in court on August 1st at 2:30pm. He has retained J. Tony Serra to lead his defense team, which also includes E.D. Lerman and Omar Figueroa.
J. Tony Serra was named one of the “ten best criminal defense attorneys of the century” in 2000 by the California Attorneys for Criminal Justice.
Gutierrez was arrested April 2nd during the raid on the Oaksterdam district of Oakland, and Serra says he “believes the federal government acted outrageously in both their attack and their hostile arrest of Mr. Gutierrez.”
His other attorneys spoke out as well. Figueroa said, “Mr. Gutierrez was exercising his First Amendment rights by speaking out against federal officials engaged in nullifying California law and ignoring the will of the People of California. He was targeted because of his activism and idealistic and passionate views opposing the federal prohibition of cannabis for medical use.”
”The police in this case were derelict in their duties and failed to properly execute this search warrant,” said Mr. Serra. “Their lack of preparation, communication and control led to Jose Gutierrez being the victim of an unnecessary and brutal attack, and he committed no crime.”
Ms. Lerman believes that Mr. Gutierrez is “an innocent man shoved like a domino in a crowd of unpleased protestors and overzealous federal agents.”
When faced with serious charges, there is nothing better than having good lawyers on your side, and it looks like Mr. Gutierrez is well-covered in that area. And a victory for him will send a message to law enforcement around the country that they are not invincible; even the powerful DEA.
DEAs Cannabis Crop Seizures Down 35 Percent from Year Before
According to statistics provided by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), drug seizures dropped by 35% between 2010 and 2011.
Data for the year 2011 shows that about 6.7 million cannabis plants were eradicated nationwide under the DEA’s Domestic Cannabis Eradication/Suppression Program, which is active in all 50 states. This represents the lowest total of plants eradicated since 2006, and is a 35% decrease from 2010, when the DEA reported eradicating roughly 10.3 million marijuana plants.
Most of the drop comes from California, where 7.4 million plants were destroyed in 2010 and only 4 million were destroyed in 2011. About 60% of all plants eradicated come from CA.
According to a July 2012 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, the Justice Department’s asset forfeiture fund under President Barack Obama is the largest on record, going from $500 million in 2003 to $1.8 billion in 2011. The fund paid out about $79 million to California law enforcement agencies alone for their participation in federal raids and seizures.
And this is what it all comes down to: money. The DEA needs these seizures to justify their budget, and they need money with which to bribe locals to cooperate.
So what accounts for the drop? Is less marijuana being grown? Prices are not rising noticeably, so probably not. The only other answer is that the DEA is getting worse at its job – or corrupt agents are keeping more for themselves and not reporting it.
Either way, less cannabis plants being destroyed is a good thing. It means there is more medicine out there for those who need it, whatever reason they use it for. It means more people are learning the art of growing as well as the art of concealment.
It means cannabis cannot be completely eradicated, no matter how much money is spent.
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