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1 US GA: Drug Cartel Linked To WarehouseFri, 13 Mar 2009
Source:Athens Banner-Herald (GA) Author:Johnson, Joe Area:Georgia Lines:88 Added:03/14/2009

Drug Cartel Linked To Warehouse Hefty Load Of Marijuana Stashed In Athens

International drug cartels that use Atlanta as a major narcotics distribution hub apparently have expanded into Athens, according to documents filed this week in federal court in Texas.

A tractor-trailer loaded with more than half a ton of marijuana left McAllen, Texas, on Feb. 17, and three days later arrived at a warehouse in an undisclosed part of Athens, according to an affidavit signed Monday by a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent.

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2US GA: Pot Grower Receives Life In PrisonFri, 13 Mar 2009
Source:Times, The (Gainesville, GA) Author:Gurr, Stephen Area:Georgia Lines:Excerpt Added:03/14/2009

Pot grower receives life in prison Man had two prior trafficking convictions

A man who grew marijuana plants on federal forest land was sentenced to life in prison in a Gainesville courtroom Thursday.

Andrew N. Cox, 45, of Blairsville was subject to federal sentencing guidelines that mandate a life sentence for someone with two prior drug trafficking convictions, U.S. Attorney's spokesman Patrick Crosby said.

The federal prison system does not have parole.

Cox used a landscaping business as a cover to grow marijuana on forest land in the Chattahoocheee National Forest in spring 2004, according to evidence presented at his November trial.

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3 Canada: Column: A War You Can StopSat, 14 Mar 2009
Source:National Post (Canada) Author:Frum, David Area:Canada Lines:110 Added:03/14/2009

Guess which city leads the world in kidnappings?

No, not Beirut. Not Baghdad. Mexico City.

And guess who comes second? Ready? It's Phoenix, Ariz.: 370 recorded cases in 2008 alone, and who knows how many unrecorded cases.

When you think Phoenix, you may think of retirees and golf courses. But here's what the late Paul Harvey used to call "the rest of the story," courtesy of the Web site Stratfor.com:

"Late on the night of June 22, [2008] a residence in Phoenix was approached by a heavily armed tactical team preparing to serve a warrant. The members of the team were wearing the typical gear for members of their profession: black boots, black BDU (battle dress uniform) pants, Kevlar helmets and Phoenix Police Department (PPD) raid shirts pulled over their body armour. The team members carried AR-15 rifles equipped with Aimpoint sights to help them during the low-light operation and, like most cops on a tactical team, in addition to their long guns, the members of this team carried secondary weapons --pistols strapped to their thighs.

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4 US: Napolitano Targets Border ViolenceSat, 14 Mar 2009
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Simpson, Cam Area:United States Lines:80 Added:03/14/2009

Homeland Security Chief Seeks To Stem Flow Of Cash, Guns To Mexican Gangs

WASHINGTON -- Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said the Obama administration would soon unveil a plan for dealing with rising violence along the U.S.-Mexico border, including more resources to stem the flow of dollars and guns to warring drug gangs.

"I think there will be some announcements with some specifics that either I or the president will be making in the coming weeks," Ms. Napolitano said Friday during an interview.

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5 US AL: PUB LTE: Please Support Medical Marijuana BillThu, 12 Mar 2009
Source:Tuscaloosa News, The (AL) Author:Seibold, Don Area:Alabama Lines:37 Added:03/14/2009

Dear Editor: I respectfully request that your newspaper support HB434 in the Alabama House of Representatives and any companion bill that is introduced in the Alabama Senate. This bill would change Alabama law to allow certain citizens described in the bill to use marijuana under the conditions prescribed in the bill to deal with their medical situations.

In 1970, after 16 plus years in the military, I was medically discharged because of a physical condition that rendered me physically unfit for further service to our country. Before then, I underwent two invasive surgeries to try to correct a condition in my lower spine, neither of which brought relief for the pain I suffered. So, for half or more of my life, I've lived with chronic pain which has gotten worse over time.

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6 US AL: PUB LTE: Medical Marijuana Bill Should PassMon, 09 Mar 2009
Source:Montgomery Advertiser (AL) Author:Seibold, Don Area:Alabama Lines:39 Added:03/14/2009

I respectfully request that your newspaper support HB434 in the Alabama House of Representatives and any companion bill that is introduced in the Alabama Senate.

This bill would change Alabama law to allow certain citizens described in the bill to use marijuana under the conditions prescribed in the bill to deal with their medical situations.

In 1970, after 16-plus years in the military, I was medically discharged because of a physical condition that rendered me physically unfit for further service to our country. Before then, I underwent two invasive surgeries to try to correct a condition in my lower spine, neither of which brought relief for the pain I suffered. So, for half or more of my life I've lived with chronic pain which has gotten worse over time.

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7 US VA: Was It Really A $12 Million Drug Haul At Phish Show?Sat, 14 Mar 2009
Source:Daily Press (Newport News,VA) Author:Dujardin, Peter Area:Virginia Lines:72 Added:03/14/2009

Hampton police are standing by their estimate that $1.2 million worth of drugs were seized at three Phish concerts this past weekend - -- adding that "one very large bust" of marijuana accounted for a large part of the drugs seized.

The $1.2 million estimate is indeed a huge amount of drugs. It equates to an average seizure of $6,185 for each of the 194 people arrested on various felony and misdemeanor charges -- and some of them weren't charged with drug offenses.

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8 US IA: Attempt To Legalize Marijuana For Medical Use FailsFri, 13 Mar 2009
Source:Le Mars Daily Sentinel (IA) Author:Erickson, Amy Area:Iowa Lines:119 Added:03/14/2009

Iowa Will Not Be Joining 13 Other States That Allow Using Marijuana For Medical Purposes.

A bill that dealt with that was taken off the table Tuesday.

Sen. Joe Bolkcom, D-Iowa City, who filed Senate File 293 last week, pulled the bill during a subcommittee meeting, the first step any bill must pass through.

"He realized there were some flaws to it and he wanted to relook at it," said Sen. Randy Feenstra. "He may come back with it next year."

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9 US OH: Column: U.S. Needs To Modernize Policy On MarijuanaFri, 13 Mar 2009
Source:Repository, The (Canton, OH) Author:Page, Clarence Area:Ohio Lines:100 Added:03/14/2009

When Charles Lynch asked local officials for permission to sell an herbal medicine in the central California town of Morro Bay, they granted it to him -- even though the medicine was marijuana.

That's because marijuana recommended by a doctor has been legal in California since 1996. A dozen other states have passed similar laws. Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and New Hampshire are among about 10 states that have been debating similar measures.

So Charlie applied for a business license, joined the chamber of commerce, talked to lawyers and even called the Drug Enforcement Administration before opening his medical marijuana dispensary with a grand ribbon-cutting ceremony.

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10 CN BC: Column: Barely IllegalThu, 12 Mar 2009
Source:Prince George Citizen (CN BC) Author:Strachan, Bruce Area:British Columbia Lines:114 Added:03/14/2009

As Canadian gang violence escalates, is it time to legalize the narcotics trade?

It probably is, but it won't happen.

At the outset, let me say today's piece was prompted by a recent article in The Economist referred to me by a physician friend; all aided and abetted by the lively online discussion following last week's column on gang crime.

From the perspective of controlling crime and saving lives, legalizing mood-altering drugs makes a lot of sense. Those drugs are cannabis, opium (heroin) and cocaine.

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