Big Rapids medical marijuana caregiver to get federal prison sentence
Category: News | Posted on Wed, October, 24th 2012 by THCFinder
GRAND RAPIDS, MI – A Big Rapids man who was registered as a medical marijuana caregiver faces at least five years in prison when sentenced on Wednesday, Oct. 24, in U.S. District Court.
John Clemens Marcinkewciz II had pleaded guilty to conspiracy and manufacture of 100 or more marijuana plants.
Both carry mandatory minimum sentences.
Marcinkewciz believed he acted legally, but recognizes that the medical marijuana law doesn't protect him against federal prosecution, his attorney said.
"John has always made a good living in various lawful business enterprises and never entered the medical marijuana arena to make a profit," attorney Leon Weiss said in a sentencing memorandum.
"Indeed, there is no evidence in this case that would indicate he ever made any profit. John truly believed in the medical marijuana law and wanted to help people get the necessary product."
Weiss added: "Whatever the court may believe about the wisdom, or lack of same, of the Michigan law regarding medical marijuana, John believed he was acting within the four corners of that law and thought it would afford him some protection from criminal prosecution."
Accidentally Rent Your House Out To A Marijuana Grow Lab? Get Ready To Pay Big Time
Category: News | Posted on Mon, October, 22nd 2012 by THCFinder
In early May, Inverness residents John and Pat Wade got a call from their son Darryl with distressing news. Miami-Dade Police had just found a full-scale marijuana grow lab with 49 plants in the detached garage of their three-bedroom Redland ranch.
The couple's 59-year-old tenant, Andres Landin, told the cops the ganja was his. It was a shock for the Wades. But with Landin taking responsibility for the crime and police hauling him off to jail, they figured they'd soon get on with their lives.
Six months later, they're still dealing with the fallout of their tenant's crime. Their ordeal exposes the frustrating bureaucratic red tape homeowners have to slice through after accidentally renting to one of the tens of thousands of pot-growing criminals who have made Dade a capital of mary jane cultivation.
"I feel like I've been victimized by the tenant and the county," Pat Wade says. "They don't do anything to help you."
First, the residence -- which had been the Wades' home for four decades until they migrated north three years ago -- was condemned by the county's Permitting, Environment, and Regulatory Affairs Department, even though the grow operation was only in the garage. That's because the permitting department automatically declares any home where police find a grow house as an "unsafe structure" because growers usually rip out walls, install water pipes, and illegally reroute electricity.
The county has condemned 605 properties that were used as grow houses since last year, says Miriam Rossi, a department spokeswoman.
To reverse that declaration, property owners must pass four inspections for plumbing, electrical, mold and structural engineering. However, Darryl says the county does a terrible job of explaining what the Wades actually need to fix to get their house back in order. For instance, the county made them go through all the permitting departments, including planning and zoning, not just the four inspections on the instruction sheet.
Darryl says he was also told he could get a power of attorney from his mother so he could go directly to the permitting agencies without his parents. But after he got the legal document, he was told that it only works if his parents were deceased.
"They need to have a step-by-step process," Darryl says. "Right now, you have to figure it out on your own."
Dealing with a condemned grow house can also be a costly endeavor. The Wades have already spent $5,000 on permit fees and contractors. Rossi says a typical case related to a grow house incurs about $1,875 in fees.
Read more: http://blogs.miaminewtimes.com
Ariz. marijuana law to be tested in court
Category: News | Posted on Fri, October, 19th 2012 by THCFinder
PHOENIX (AP) — The validity of an Arizona law permitting medical marijuana will be tested in court.
The Arizona Republic (http://bit.ly/R8h57t ) reports a Maricopa County Superior Court judge is set to hear arguments Friday afternoon from state and county prosecutors that the voter-approved law interferes with federal drug law.
The hearing stems from a company suing Maricopa County over its refusal to provide zoning clearances for a medical marijuana dispensary in Sun City.
The American Civil Liberties Union and its Arizona affiliate have also joined the suit.
Attorneys for the ACLU and White Mountain Health Center say the state is allowed to make policy decisions on medical marijuana.
Arizona is one of 17 states that have approved the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes.
Indonesian court gives 17-year-old Japanese boy 6 months for possessing marijuana in Bali
Category: News | Posted on Thu, October, 18th 2012 by THCFinder
BALI, Indonesia — A 17-year-old Japanese boy was sentenced to six months in prison Thursday for possessing a small amount of marijuana while vacationing with family on Indonesia’s resort island of Bali.
The teen could have received 12 years under Indonesia’s tough narcotics laws. Judge Gunawan Tri Budiono said in Denpasar district court that although the boy “spoiled the image of Bali as tourist destination,” he showed leniency because the boy is young and bought the drugs for personal use.
The teen, who cannot be named under Indonesian law because of his age, admitted buying 2.6 grams (0.09 ounces) of marijuana for personal use. He has been detained in a police cell since Aug. 8, after buying the marijuana near popular Kuta beach while vacationing with his mother.
He will be credited for time served. The judge said the boy would be freed in February and immediately deported.
Last year, a 14-year-old Australian boy avoided prison after serving two months in an Indonesian detention center for buying drugs. The court also showed leniency after he expressed remorse and able to prove it he bought the drugs for personal use.
Coast Guard Seizes $6.2 Million Worth of Marijuana
Category: News | Posted on Wed, October, 17th 2012 by THCFinder
MIAMI — More than 6,500 pounds of marijuana seized during a joint effort between the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Mohawk and crewmembers of the Coast Guard Cutter Tahoma was offloaded in Key West, Fla., October 16.
A joint crew, made of the Tahoma's crew along with six crewmembers from the Mohawk, were operating aboard the Mohawk as the Tahoma undergoes a nine-month overhaul at the Coast Guard Yard in Baltimore as part of Coast Guard’s Mission Effectiveness Project. The crews are working together under the Coast Guard Atlantic Area's MEP multi-crewing program.
Seventh Coast Guard District command center watchstanders received notification that the Jamaican-flagged fishing vessel Captain Richard was disabled and adrift in the Caribbean Sea, without fuel to operate its engines, more than 200 miles from the nearest port. Watchstanders then tasked the Coast Guard crew to provide assistance to the Captain Richard.
Shortly after arriving on scene, the combined crew took the 60-foot Captain Richard in tow. The Coast Guard received permission from the Government of Jamaica to conduct a law enforcement boarding of the vessel. Using advanced Coast Guard training, the boarding team discovered several hundred packages wrapped in plastic wrap and tape. The contents later tested positive for marijuana.
Upon discovering the contraband, the crew of the Captain Richard were taken into custody and transferred to the Mohawk along with approximately 6,500 pounds of marijuana with an estimated wholesale value of $6.2.
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