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Posted by MikeyZero Thursday, October 29, 2009 (21:17:50)
Reefer Madness: Marc EMery Podcast #1, 2, 3 from Prison
PODCAST #1 Podcast #2 Podcast#3
California Cracking Down on Pot Shops
California -- Sitting on a sofa in the gymnasium-sized Quonset hut of the New Liberty Bell Temple, Daniel Reynolds puts his lips to a plastic cone and breathes in marijuana vapor.
The vapor contains the active substance in cannabis that Mr. Reynolds, a cancer patient, says "eases his pain." The vast room also hosts a pool table, ping-pong table, video-game monitor, and a stage for live music.
In the back, a cubicle displays Mason jars filled with green, leafy clumps. Customers pay between $25 and $55 per one-eighth of an ounce for different strains of marijuana, marked "Humboldt Gold," "Black Africa," "Banana OG," and "NY Diesel."
Los Angeles's pot economy is booming. The number of medical-marijuana dispensaries here has skyrocketed from 183 in 2007 to about 800 now. In this period, pot shops have morphed from what Reynolds calls "hidden, remote places with no signs or addresses" into listed and public outlets. Many sport 10-foot signboards in the shape of a marijuana leaf.
But as dispensaries have sprouted across this and other California cities, they face pushback from local residents unhappy with their new neighbors and officials concerned about inadequate oversight of a novel business. Sacramento and Santa Cruz are considering moratoriums on new dispensaries as they review regulation. In L.A., complaints about robberies and drug abuse at the clinics prompted the city council to shut down several hundred dispensaries over the past few months.
Many of them had opened in spite of a moratorium on new dispensaries because of a legal loophole that allowed them to operate pending an application for exemption. On June 16, the city council enacted a measure to eliminate this exemption.
"This is about the health and safety of those who need marijuana dispensaries to treat conditions including HIV, glaucoma, and cancer," said Councilman Ed Reyes, who sponsored the measure. "This is also about the health and safety of our communities to protect them from nuisance operations."
Medical marijuana was legalized in California with a 1996 state ballot initiative that made marijuana available by prescription to relieve pain or nausea.
Federal law prohibits the use and sale of marijuana even for medical purposes, and that seems unlikely to change soon. Nationwide, about 775,000 people were arrested for marijuana possession in 2007. However, the Obama administration ended raids in states that have legalized medical marijuana -- one reason for the recent growth in dispensaries in California.
In 2007, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) expressed concern about the rising number of medical pot sellers and called for a moratorium pending new regulation. The absence of specific zoning rules, officials pointed out, had resulted in a dozen dispensaries opening within 1,000 feet of schools. One dispensary had slipped fliers on the windshields of cars parked outside a high school, the LAPD said.
The dispensaries are "targets for people who want to come in and rob," says Lt. Paul Torrence of the LAPD's Gang and Narcotics Division, "because they know there is lots of cash around and security is limited because they like to keep a low profile."
On their part, dispensaries including the Rastafarian New Liberty Bell Temple counter that they are unnecessarily harassed on trumped-up complaints.
Some neighbors have also questioned whether some of the young and apparently healthy people they see walking into the dispensaries or lighting up outside them are really ill. Lieutenant Torrence echoes this concern. "[T]his is a way for people to grow medical marijuana and make serious money," he says.
Still, polls show American public attitudes toward marijuana have changed over time. In 1979, just 27 percent of Americans favored legalization of marijuana, according to a CBS/New York Times poll. In a July 13, 2009, CBS poll, that figure had gone up to 41 percent.
"Five years ago, my mom would have been openly hostile to my smoking marijuana," says Reynolds, the customer at New Liberty Bell Temple and a registered process server. But at a recent lunch, she asked him if he had considered getting a marijuana prescription to help with his cancer.
Despite "the huge public support, politicians are worried about their political liability amongst both colleagues and voters," says Paul Armentano, deputy director of the National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws. He notes that 13 states have medical marijuana laws exempting patients from arrest and criminal prosecution, but only three -- Hawaii, Rhode Island, and Vermont -- enacted the laws through the legislature.
More states will legalize medical marijuana, say many observers. Nudging the issue forward are budget-crunched states such as California, which could take in as much as $1.2 billion annually from taxing marijuana sales. An April Field Poll showed that 56 percent of California residents favor taxing and regulating marijuana.
Oakland became the first city in the nation to tax marijuana last week when voters voted "yes" to such a tax.
"The culture is changing, and it's not considered the evil weed once portrayed in movies like 'Reefer Madness,' " says Robert Pugsley, a specialist in marijuana legislation at Southwestern School of Law in L.A. "The state will want to tax it and regulate it as a product like cigarettes and get revenue out of it. Maybe even cities would add their own surcharges," he adds.
Source: ABC News (US Web)
Author: Daniel B. Wood
Published: August 1, 2009
Copyright: 2009 ABC News Internet Ventures
CannabisNews Medical Marijuana Archives
Posted by Ohigho Friday, August 21, 2009 (22:57:16)
Reefer Madness: Couple claim medical marijuana as defense
Couple claim medical marijuana as defense
Published: Thursday, April 23, 2009
By Michael P. McConnell, Daily Tribune Staff Writer
MADISON HEIGHTS — A Madison Heights couple charged with growing marijuana is seeking to have their case dismissed under the state's new medical marijuana law.
Defendants Robert Redden and Torey Clark say they both have doctor recommendations to use marijuana for their illnesses. Redden suffers from bone disease and Clark has cancer, they said.
"What I was hoping to achieve from this was to be able to take less prescription painkillers," said Redden, 59. "There are bad side effects from the painkillers but not from marijuana."
Clark and Redden were in Madison Heights 43rd District Court on Wednesday for a preliminary examination that was adjourned until 9:30 a.m. May 14. They each face up to 14 years in prison if convicted of the felony charges of manufacturing marijuana.
Madison Heights police raided the couple's house March 30 and confiscated 21 marijuana plants. The couple said they already had physician letters of certification to use medical marijuana at the time.
Read more. . .
Posted by GregP Friday, April 24, 2009 (03:24:00)
News: Marijuana Advocates Point to Signs of Change
Marijuana Advocates Point to Signs of Change
By JESSE McKINLEY
Published: April 19, 2009
SAN FRANCISCO — On Monday, somewhere in New York City, 420 people will gather for High Times magazine’s annual beauty pageant, a secretly located and sold-out event that its sponsor says will “turn the Big Apple into the Baked Apple and help us usher in a new era of marijuana freedom in America.”
They will not be the only ones partaking: April 20 has long been an unofficial day of celebration for marijuana fans, an occasion for campus smoke-outs, concerts and cannabis festivals. But some advocates of legal marijuana say this year’s “high holiday” carries extra significance as they sense increasing momentum toward acceptance of the drug, either as medicine or entertainment.
“It is the biggest moment yet,” said Ethan Nadelmann, the founder and executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance in Washington, who cited several national polls showing growing support for legalization. “There’s a sense that the notion of legalizing marijuana is starting to cross the fringes into mainstream debate.”
Read more. . .
Posted by GregP Monday, April 20, 2009 (13:37:31)
News: Wave white flag in the drug war
Wave white flag in the drug war
Thursday, April 9, 2009 Detroit News
The shocking spectacle of a respected Wayne County judge, a crackerjack prosecutor and two veteran cops standing as defendants in a courtroom confirms the war on drugs is lost.
Former Assistant Prosecutor Karen Plants is accused of wanting a conviction so badly in a narcotics case that she corrupted two Inkster officers and compromised retired Judge Mary Waterstone. All were career warriors in a hopeless conflict.
The possible slide of good guys to the wrong side of the law epitomizes the drug war's failure.
We've been fighting drugs for 35 years, and yet we haven't gained an inch of ground.
Mexico's drug-fueled lawlessness is surging over our border. More than half our prison inmates are in for drug crimes, contributing to the shameful fact that Michigan spends more on Corrections than we do on colleges.
Read more. . .
Posted by GregP Thursday, April 09, 2009 (14:01:43)
News: Sheriff's deputy faces charge in shooting of Grand Valley State University stude
Sheriff's deputy faces charge in shooting of Grand Valley State University student Derek Copp
by The Grand Rapids Press
Monday April 06, 2009, 3:20 PM
4:35 p.m. UPDATE
Kalamazoo County Prosecutor Jeffrey Fink said he expects Deputy Ryan Huizenga to be arraigned in Hudsonville District Court next week.
The charge has a maximum penalty of two years behind bars and while it is a misdemeanor, Huizenga will be able to have a probable cause hearing most likely in Hudsonville District Court. The case then could go to Ottawa County Circuit Court in Grand Haven if there is a trial, according to Fink.
Copp's father, George Copp, did not want to discuss the charges, and referred a reporter to his attorney. Of his son's condition, he said: "He certainly could be better."
Fink said there is no proof there was any intent to harm Copp, but the State Police investigation showed that the gun was discharged in a reckless, negligent or careless manner.
"Officers go through extensive training with their weapons," said Fink, adding a charge like this against an officer is unusual.
Fink said he expects his office will handle the case as it moves through Ottawa County courts.
Read more. . .
Posted by GregP Monday, April 06, 2009 (21:31:54)
News: Police finish inquiry into officer's shooting of Grand Valley student Derek Copp
Police finish inquiry into officer's shooting of Grand Valley student Derek Copp. Outside prosecutor asked to make decision on whether shooting was justified
by Nate Reens | The Grand Rapids Press
Wednesday April 01, 2009, 5:31 PM
GRAND RAPIDS -- State police investigators have completed their inquiry into the March 11 shooting of Grand Valley State University student Derek Copp, and sent the results to the Kalamazoo County prosecutor.
Lt. Curt Schram, who oversaw the probe following Copp being shot by an officer with a regional drug team, said Jeffrey Fink will review the case and decide whether charges are appropriate against the Ottawa County sheriff's deputy.
The deputy is a 12-year veteran and police have declined to identify him. He remains on administrative leave.
The prosecutor's review is standard practice in police shootings, as is the paid leave for the officer, authorities said.
Fink takes control of the case after Ottawa County Prosecutor Ron Frantz sought a state Attorney General's petition to reassign the decision, since he is on the board of directors of the West Michigan Enforcement Team.
Read more. . .
Posted by GregP Thursday, April 02, 2009 (23:20:45)
Reefer Madness: 'Few tablespoons' of pot found in Derek Copp's off-campus apartment, lawyer says
'Few tablespoons' of pot found in Derek Copp's off-campus apartment, lawyer says
by John Agar | The Grand Rapids Press
Tuesday March 17, 2009, 3:57 PM
GRAND RAPIDS -- Police found only "tablespoons" of marijuana in Grand Valley State University student Derek Copp's off-campus apartment the night he was shot by police during a drug raid, his lawyer said this afternoon.
"To my knowledge, the raid resulted in the seizure of a few tablespoonfuls of marijuana, and nothing more," attorney Fred Dilley said in a statement.
He said his concern is the manner of the search carried about by the West Michigan Enforcement Team, or WEMET, on Wednesday night. Copp was shot in the chest, and is recovering after suffered injuries to his ribs, lung and liver.
Dilley is also concerned about "the apparent lack of justification whatsoever for the use of force much less deadly force in executing a search warrant. The campus and Allendale communities are asking why? Why burst into a college student's apartment with a gun drawn for a few tablespoonfuls of pot."
E-mail John Agar: firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted by Mikeyzero Wednesday, March 18, 2009 (20:20:40)
Reefer Madness: MI cop shot unarmed, 20-year-old marijuana activist
MI cop shot unarmed, 20-year-old marijuana activist
The Raw Story, Stephen C. Webster
Published: Monday March 16, 2009
A 20-year-old university student in Michigan is hospitalized and in serious condition after police shot the man Wednesday while serving a drug warrant. He was unarmed, investigators said.
Coming through an apartment's back door, an Ottawa County deputy allegedly shined a flashlight into the student's face, causing him to raise his right hand in front of his eyes.
The officer, whose name was not released, fired a single bullet into Derek Copp's chest. The 20-year-old Grand Valley State University student, who survived the shooting, said he had no idea the man was an officer.
"He never even had a chance to even see who was coming at him, with a bright flashlight in his face," said Sheryl Copp, Derek's mother, in a 24 Hour News 8 report. "He had no clue. He heard someone knock on his door, and he had no clue."
Read more. . .
Posted by GregP Wednesday, March 18, 2009 (02:38:34)
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