Pubdate: Thu, 25 Feb 2016
Source: North Coast Journal (Arcata, CA)
Column: The Week in Weed
Copyright: 2016 North Coast Journal
Author: Grant Scott-Goforth


Two football players lost their positions on their team rosters after 
being busted with weed.

University of Kentucky linebacker Jason Hatcher had a pound of weed 
on him when he was pulled over for speeding on Feb. 22, cops say. The 
college later announced his dismissal from the roster for breaking 
team rules. According to the Courier-Journal, Hatcher had been cited 
for marijuana possession before, but had taken a class to dismiss the charge.

A few days before that, Indianapolis Colts linebacker Jonathan 
Newsome was arrested on suspicion of possessing marijuana after cops 
responded to a noise complaint at his apartment. He was released by 
the team less than a week later.

In the sober light of post-Super Bowl 2016, maybe it's time to 
re-assess weed policies in sports. I've already pointed out in this 
column how ridiculous it is for teams - professional and collegiate - 
to bring the hammer down on talented young people for possession 
arrests. It's a practice, on its face, that disproportionately 
affects minority players. (Colts CEO and owner Jim Irsay, for 
example, was suspended for six games and fined $500,000 after he 
pleaded guilty to driving under the influence of opiates in 2014. 
Hardly a career-ending punishment for the billionaire.) Neither 
Newsome nor Hatcher had been convicted of a crime. It's unclear if 
either had even been charged with a crime. Meanwhile, player violence 
is overlooked, college players go unpaid, and misplaced hero worship 
perpetuates racist and misogynist tenets of our society.

Meanwhile, a local hot dog kingpin was recently sentenced to two 
years in federal prison for running an interstate marijuana 
enterprise. Jonathan Quaccia, who sold franks from his Humboldt Hot 
Dogs cart on the Arcata plaza (for which he was the subject of a 
Journal story in 2011), pleaded guilty to charges that he'd laundered 
more than $2 million he'd earned growing weed on the North Coast and 
selling it in New York and Georgia. According to a sentencing 
memorandum, Quaccia sold 785 to 1,000 pounds of weed to the East 
Coast From 2012 through 2014.

As first reported by the Lost Coast Outpost, Quaccia also forfeited 
$100,000 and a 2013 Honda Accord in the plea deal.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is practically going 
prog, if you look at its successful, humanitarian pursuit of dignity 
and decency that's housed thousands of homeless people in Utah (see 
this week's cover story). Not content to rest there, the church 
recently softened its stance on a Utah Senate bill that would allow 
medical marijuana in the state. To be clear, the church still opposes 
the bill, given its belief that "drug abuse in the United States is 
at epidemic proportions, especially among youth."

But, in its statement on the proposed law, the church said, "In our 
view, the issue for the Utah Legislature is how to enable the use of 
marijuana extracts to help people who are suffering. ... We continue 
to urge legislators to take into account the acknowledged need for 
scientific research in this matter and to fully address regulatory 
controls on manufacture and distribution for the health and safety of 
all Utahns."

Finally, Humboldt County's Commercial Medical Marijuana Land Use 
Ordinance goes into effect on Friday, Feb. 26, which means 
cultivators the county wide can apply for local business permits for 
their operations. In a press release, Humboldt County Board of 
Supervisors Chair Mark Lovelace was quick to point out that the 
county was the first to enact a regulatory system since state medical 
marijuana regulations went into effect last September.

In addition to cultivation, business owners can apply for permits to 
manufacture and distribute medical marijuana products. Visit the 
county website,, for more information.
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom