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1 US WA: Bakers, Labs Thrive In Legal Gray AreaMon, 08 Oct 2012
Source:Seattle Times (WA) Author:Martin, Jonathan Area:Washington Lines:220 Added:10/08/2012

No Inspections

Labs Provide the Only Outside Quality Control

The kitchen in the weather-beaten beachfront cabin near Olympia is cramped and freckled with mysterious brown stains. A shaggy dog named Butter is poking around, and a quarter-sized spider dangles at the window.

It's not the best situation, Jim Chaney acknowledges, for a homebased business making marijuana infused products, called "medibles."

But in Washington's scantily regulated medical-marijuana industry, no one is checking how such food and drink products are made, or how safe they are. And there's a lot to check. A dizzying array of cannabis-infused products - from taco mix to cotton candy, from pulled pork to carbonated colas - have begun showing up in the past two years on the shelves at storefront marijuana dispensaries.

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2US ME: Ex-Sheriff's Crime-Fighting Experience Helps In New Job: DefendingSun, 23 Sep 2012
Source:Maine Sunday Telegram (ME) Author:Hench, David Area:Maine Lines:Excerpt Added:09/24/2012

Lawyer Mark Dion uses his problem-solving skills in legal conflicts arising from medical marijuana.

A man from a small York County town had his medical marijuana stolen and was getting no satisfaction from the local police, who were skeptical that a burglary had been committed. As a result, he couldn't get his insurance company to cover the loss.

Enter Mark Dion, former cop, former sheriff, now criminal defense attorney. He was able to convince police that the theft was legitimate, clearing the way for his client to get compensation.

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3US OR: Drug Traffickers Exploit Oregon Medical MarijuanaSun, 23 Sep 2012
Source:Oregonian, The (Portland, OR) Author:Crombie, Noelle Area:Oregon Lines:Excerpt Added:09/24/2012

Elizabeth Saul shipped high-grade Oregon marijuana to the East Coast to pay the bills. In five months, the southern Oregon woman pulled in $125,000. She was busy, but grateful.

"Thank you so much for the safe and secure delivery of my packages to NYC," she wrote in her diary. "I love you God! You are the best. Love, Liz."

God wasn't the only higher power Saul had to thank for her success. The Oregon Medical Marijuana Program deserved credit too. The law allowed Saul and her associates to grow a surplus of pot, which police say she sold on the nationwide black market for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

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4 US NC: Rock Hill House Where Marijuana Grown Stuns NeighborsSat, 04 Aug 2012
Source:Charlotte Observer (NC) Author:McFadden, Jonathan Area:North Carolina Lines:271 Added:08/06/2012

ROCK HILL Rubell Alexander has lived in Carnegie Estates -- a middle class Rock Hill subdivision just off Saluda Road -- "ever since there's been a Carnegie Estates."

Along with manicured lawns and teens playing basketball, she has witnessed several cycles of crime trickle into the neighborhood -- from rampant break-ins to the "hoodlums" she said once brought their conflicts into the area.

But none of that rattled her like finding out that two convicted drug dealers spent six months in a two-story, four-bedroom home around the corner from her house -- growing indoors what officials say was a "high-grade" type of marijuana.

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5US FL: No 1 Job: Getting A Handle On DrugsSun, 05 Aug 2012
Source:Tampa Bay Times (FL) Author:Sullivan, Erin Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:08/05/2012

Paso sheriff's candidates Fortney, Nocco and Radford discuss ways to fight drugs in county

Pasco County sheriff's candidate Roger Fortney's solution to fighting drug crime is simple:

Keep close tabs on offenders.

Really close.

"I believe if we worked closer with parole and probation we could convince them to stop committing the crimes or to move out of the county," said Fortney, 59, who worked in road patrol for 23 years at the Pasco County Sheriff's Office before retiring as a corporal in 2009. He is one of three candidates -- along with Maurice Radford, 50, a former major with the Sheriff's Office and current Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco, 36 -- vying for the top spot in the Republican primary Aug. 14. The winner will square off against Democrat Kim Bogart in November.

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6 US NY: A Snitch's DilemmaSun, 01 Jul 2012
Source:New York Times Magazine (NY) Author:Conover, Ted Area:New York Lines:907 Added:07/01/2012

Kathryn Johnston was doing pretty well until the night the police showed up. Ever since her sister died, Johnston, 92, had lived alone in a rough part of Atlanta called the Bluff. A niece checked in often. One of the gifts she left was a pistol, so that her aunt might protect herself.

The modest house had burglar bars on the windows and doors; there had been break-ins nearby.

Eight officers approached the house, and they didn't knock.

The warrant police obtained, on the basis of a false affidavit, declared they didn't have to - the house where their informant had bought crack that day, the affidavit said, had surveillance cameras, and those inside could be armed.

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7 US IL: Going To PotFri, 22 Jun 2012
Source:Chicago Sun-Times (IL) Author:Spielman, Fran Area:Illinois Lines:90 Added:06/23/2012

For all their fears of sending the wrong message to kids about pot, a drug some view as a gateway to more serious substances, aldermen have an overriding concern: getting more police officers on the street to stop a 35 percent spike in homicides.

That's why members of the City Council's Committee on Public Safety hemmed and hawed Thursday but easily approved Mayor Rahm Emanuel's plan to ticket people for possession of small amounts of marijuana.

They believe Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy when he says issuing pot tickets will free officers to concentrate on the gang violence that's fueling the rise in homicides instead of being tied up on small-time marijuana arrests - 90 percent of which result in no conviction.

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8 US CA: Supervisors Float Idea Of New Ordinance On MarijuanaWed, 13 Jun 2012
Source:Chico Enterprise-Record (CA) Author:Aylworth, Roger H. Area:California Lines:95 Added:06/16/2012

OROVILLE - Butte County's supervisors Tuesday launched a process aimed at crafting a new medical marijuana ordinance to replace the one that was rejected by county voters last week.

That measure was a strongly worded ordinance that put strict limitations on the locations where medical marijuana could be cultivated and on how many plants could be grown on what size lots.

"It was an interesting Tuesday last week," Paul Hahn, Butte County's chief administrative officer, told the Board of Supervisors, during the panel's regular meeting.

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9 US NY: Bloomberg Backs Plan To Limit Arrests For MarijuanaTue, 05 Jun 2012
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Kaplan, Thomas Area:New York Lines:137 Added:06/10/2012

ALBANY - The New York Police Department, the mayor and the city's top prosecutors on Monday endorsed a proposal to decriminalize the open possession of small amounts of marijuana, giving an unexpected lift to an effort by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to cut down on the number of people arrested as a result of police stops.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, whose Police Department made about 50,000 arrests last year for low-level marijuana possession, said the governor's proposal "strikes the right balance" in part because it would still allow the police to arrest people who smoke marijuana in public.

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10 US MI: Michigan Supreme Court Clears Way To Let DetroitersSat, 02 Jun 2012
Source:Detroit Free Press (MI) Author:Laitner, Bill Area:Michigan Lines:64 Added:06/03/2012

After a nearly two-year legal battle, the Michigan Supreme Court cleared the way Friday for a referendum question that could make Detroit the state's first city to legalize marijuana.

Voters in the Aug. 7 primary election can expect to see the question - -- asking them to legalize possession and use of up to 1 ounce of the drug, on private property, by those 21 and older, said Tim Beck, a Detroiter who heads the referendum group Coalition for a Safer Detroit.

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11US CA: California Assembly Passes Pot Regulation Bill SenateFri, 01 Jun 2012
Source:Sacramento Bee (CA) Author:Hecht, Peter Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:06/03/2012

A drive to regulate California marijuana dispensaries won a key victory Thursday, raising the hopes of advocates who argue that state oversight is critical to staving off federal raids on California's medical cannabis industry.

The state Assembly voted 41-28 to pass a bill to create a California policing agency to license marijuana stores and oversee a state-sanctioned medical pot industry from growers to delivery drivers to marijuana testing labs.

Since October, raids on California medical marijuana outlets and threats of federal prosecution against operators and landlords have shuttered scores of dispensaries across the state, including nearly 100 in Sacramento County.

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12US VA: Chesapeake Police In Patrol Cars Sniffing For MarijuanaMon, 23 Apr 2012
Source:Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk, VA) Author:Daugherty, Scott Area:Virginia Lines:Excerpt Added:04/23/2012

CHESAPEAKE - When it comes to marijuana, the nose knows.

Even in a moving car. Even with the windows up.

Police officers in Chesapeake have been pulling over cars on the grounds that they smelled marijuana while cruising down local roadways, defense attorneys say. And according to the testimony of one officer, it's become common practice to try to sniff out pot from behind the wheel.

"We drive our patrol car with the vents on, pulling air from the outside in, directly into our faces," Officer Barrett C. Ring said late last year in court during a preliminary hearing, according to a transcript of the proceedings. "Commonly, we'll be behind vehicles that somebody in the vehicle is smoking marijuana, and we can smell it clear as day."

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13US CO: CU-Boulder Deploys Police, Fish Fertilizer This MorningFri, 20 Apr 2012
Source:Daily Camera (Boulder, CO) Author:Meltzer, Erica Area:Colorado Lines:Excerpt Added:04/21/2012

University Enacts Closure After Legal Challenge Fails

There's a visible police presence at the University of Colorado this morning as administrators roll out their well-publicized attempt to snuff out the annual 4/20 smoke-out, but, so far, students and employees seem to be coming and going without ID checks.

Several students -- and one unauthorized visitor -- told the Camera that they walked onto campus, sometimes past police checkpoints, this morning without being asked for ID, as CU officials had said would be the case today.

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14US CA: California Assembly Panel Passes Medical MarijuanaWed, 18 Apr 2012
Source:Sacramento Bee (CA) Author:Hecht, Peter Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:04/18/2012

An Assembly committee Tuesday passed a bill to create state oversight for pot businesses, as its chairman implored the Legislature to act to stave off federal raids on medical marijuana providers.

"The worst public policy choice for California is to sit idly by, doing nothing, and let this failed war on medical cannabis continue unchecked," said San Francisco Democrat Tom Ammiano as his Public Safety Committee voted 4-2 along party lines to create a state bureau to police the California medical cannabis industry.

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15 US CO: Nipping 4/20 In The BudThu, 12 Apr 2012
Source:Boulder Weekly (CO) Author:Mountinho, Amanda Area:Colorado Lines:237 Added:04/16/2012

Every year during April, the University of Colorado administration warns students about the potential consequences surrounding the annual 4/20 gathering on Norlin Quad. This year, the university is upping its efforts to end the unwelcome smoke-out. But it remains to be seen how far administrators and police are willing to go, or if their measures will eliminate the event.

In previous years, CU has tried methods such as turning on the sprinklers or asking students to identify their peers in photos taken at the event. But most often, CU has just monitored the gathering for safety and wasn't concerned with major ticketing. With this year's event, the university has rolled out several new courses of action to discourage attendance.

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16US GA: UGA Continues To Toe The Line On Drug-TestingThu, 12 Apr 2012
Source:Atlanta Journal-Constitution (GA) Author:Towers, Chip Area:Georgia Lines:Excerpt Added:04/14/2012

ATHENS - There is a reason why drug-testing in college athletics remains such a mystery. It's because nobody wants to talk about it.

By all accounts, at least two Georgia football stars will miss games next season because they failed random drug tests conducted by the school. But we know that only because the high school coach of one of those players was willing to talk about it.

Alan Ingram, the head football coach at Seminole County, said his former player Bacarri Rambo was one of at least five Georgia players who failed a drug test ordered by the athletic department (because of marijuana use) shortly after Rambo returned to Athens from a spring-break trip to Florida in March. Fellow defensive star Alec Ogletree also tested positive for marijuana use at that time, according to Ingram and several published reports citing anonymous sources.

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17 US FL: Miami-Dade TNT Unit Loses The War On Drugs And Liberty City'sThu, 12 Apr 2012
Source:Miami New Times (FL) Author:Alvarado, Francisco Area:Florida Lines:571 Added:04/12/2012

A week before Christmas, Dante Level stands near the vibrant avocado tree that towers above his grandmother's cream-colored house on NW 52nd Street. The lanky 30-year-old sports thick dreadlocks past his shoulders and a thin goatee. He swigs a Corona. Two friends and a neighbor do the same and pass around a cigar. Nearby, Dante's 1-year-old daughter and another baby play on the floor.

Dante's younger brother Khalid, a slim guy with short-cropped hair, leans against the family's maroon minivan. Inside the house, their older sister Alexis tends to her 13-year-old paraplegic daughter. Amid the preholiday revelry, no one notices the silver Chrysler 300 with tinted windows cruising the tree-lined block.

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18US NY: Pot Busts Bogus: StudyTue, 03 Apr 2012
Source:New York Daily News (NY) Author:Beekman, Daniel Area:New York Lines:Excerpt Added:04/05/2012

Bronx cops made hundreds of unlawful marijuana arrests and trumped-up charges over a five-month period last year despite a warning from Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, claims a study by the Bronx Defenders.

The study released Friday shows that illegal stops and searches are an "epidemic" in the Bronx, said Robin Steinberg, Bronx Defenders executive director.

Her organization interviewed 518 people apprehended for marijuana possession from May to October 2011 and found that 41% had their rights violated.

In 176 cases, there was no cause for people to be detained, and in 184, the organization concluded that cops "manufactured" misdemeanor charges by forcing people to show their pot.

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19 US WA: Hard To Rationalize Pot ProhibitionSat, 24 Mar 2012
Source:Spokesman-Review (Spokane, WA) Author:Vestal, Shawn Area:Washington Lines:130 Added:03/25/2012

Norm Stamper's told the story a lot: He was a rookie cop, working a =93one-man car=94 in an affluent San Diego neighborhood, when he approached a home and smelled =93burning vegetable matter.=94

This was around 1966. Possession of marijuana =96 possession of even a seed or stem =96 was a felony. Stamper, a young cop eager to score the brownie points associated with narcotics busts, knocked on the door. No answer. He then kicked in the door and heard footsteps racing down the hall, where he found a 19-year-old man trying to flush his marijuana down the toilet. Stamper scooped out the soggy pot, placed the young man in handcuffs and led him from his parents' house to the police car.

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20US FL: Pot Grow House Charges Dropped; Others May FollowWed, 21 Mar 2012
Source:Tampa Bay Times (FL) Author:Nohlgren, Stephen Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:03/24/2012

LARGO =AD Amid allegations that narcotics deputies trespassed and lied to gather evidence, the Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney's Office announced Tuesday that it is dismissing charges against an accused St. Petersburg marijuana grower and will reconsider dozens of similar cases.

The dropped case was against David Cole, 60, who said he was growing pot in his shed to treat his multiple sclerosis symptoms.

His attorneys were scheduled Tuesday to grill a key deputy under oath about possible misconduct within the narcotics unit. But that opportunity evaporated along with the case.

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21US CA: Marijuana Advocates Oppose DUI BillThu, 22 Mar 2012
Source:Inland Valley Daily Bulletin (Ontario, CA) Author:Nisperos, Neil Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:03/24/2012

Assemblywoman Norma Torres, D-Chino, has introduced contentious legislation that could conceivably mean DUI convictions for unimpaired drivers, according to opponents of the bill.

The bill aims to make it a crime for drivers to operate a vehicle with any level of marijuana in their blood or urine.

But unlike the relatively quick burnoff rate of alcohol from one's system, advocates say marijuana compounds, or cannabinoids, can remain detectable in the body after the last use of the substance for up to 30 days. This difference is at the center of the controversy.

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22 US FL: Readers Pack A Coral Gables Book Store For A DiscussionFri, 16 Mar 2012
Source:Miami Herald (FL) Author:Harris, Carissa Area:Florida Lines:48 Added:03/18/2012

A crowd of avid readers packed Books & Books in Coral Gables Thursday night for a lively discussion with Miami Herald columnist Leonard Pitts, Jr. and book author Michelle Alexander on a thorny subject: similarities between today's "profiling" of blacks who end up behind bars and the Jim Crow era.

"In the era of mass incarceration what it means to be a criminal in our collective consciousness has become conflated with what it means to be black," Pitts read to the audience. "So the term white criminal is confounding while the term black criminal is merely redundant."

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23 US CT: Pot Tickets Reducing Judicial BurdenTue, 28 Feb 2012
Source:Connecticut Post (Bridgeport, CT) Author:Lockhart, Brian Area:Connecticut Lines:273 Added:02/29/2012

Matt, a 20-year-old student at Sacred Heart University, occasionally buys small amounts of marijuana.

He has never been caught by police, but he said friends have, and they got lucky.

Faced with two choices -- charging the users with a crime punishable by a $1,000 fine and possible imprisonment or letting Matt's friends go after disposing of the pot -- the police chose the latter.

"They didn't arrest them," said Matt, who asked that his last name not be published. "They just let them go."

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24 US WA: Langley Considers Marijuana Dispensary PlanFri, 17 Feb 2012
Source:Whidbey Examiner (WA) Author:Freeman, Betty Area:Washington Lines:115 Added:02/22/2012

"It's not a question of should there be a medical marijuana law, or who supports it, but how we follow the current law here," Langley Mayor Larry Kwarsick said at a Langley City Council workshop last week.

About 80 people, including the full city council and Langley Police Chief Randy Heston, gathered to talk about whether the council should approve Lucas Jushinski's business-license application for a medical marijuana "access point" in Langley.

City Planner Jeff Arango offered a PowerPoint overview of the state law that he said leaves "regulation of access points open to a wide variety of opinions and approaches in communities."

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25 US MO: Missouri Cannabis Supporters Hold Signature Drive atSat, 18 Feb 2012
Source:Columbia Missourian (MO) Author:Roll, Chris Area:Missouri Lines:77 Added:02/18/2012

COLUMBIA - A low turnout didn't keep Missouri cannabis supporters from discussing marijuana legalization on Friday.

The Show-Me Cannabis Regulation ballot initiative campaign held a signature drive outside the Missouri state Capitol in Jefferson City.

The drive aided the campaign in its goal to obtain 144,000 valid signatures by May 4. The signatures, gathered by about 1,000 unpaid volunteers, are required to qualify the campaign's proposed constitutional amendment. Signatures from six out of nine congressional districts are needed.

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26 US MI: Village Passes Police Millage Proposal; Extends MedicalWed, 15 Feb 2012
Source:Leader & Kalkaskian (MI) Author:Bedard-Goytowski, Katie Area:Michigan Lines:69 Added:02/17/2012

Budget issues were a main topic of discussion during the Kalkaska Village Council regular meeting Monday.

Regarding a millage proposal for the Kalkaska Village Police Department, Village Council President Jeff Sieting warned that, if the Police Committee's proposal for the November ballot were not to pass, the situation would be "bleak."

There is a large misconception regarding how many patrollers are out in the community, Sieting said.

"The public needs to know what will happen if it doesn't pass," Village Trustee Katina Banko said.

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27 US FL: Pharmacies Swept Into Drug WarsWed, 15 Feb 2012
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Barrett, Devlin Area:Florida Lines:163 Added:02/16/2012

Federal drug agents and one of the nation's biggest drug distributors are heading for a legal showdown that will test the government's strategy of going after larger corporations to fight rampant prescription drug abuse. The Drug Enforcement Administration moved earlier this month to suspend four pharmacies in Sanford, Fla., from selling controlled substances. The DEA said the four, including two CVS locations, were dispensing "staggering" amounts of oxycodone, a pain medication that has spawned a huge and deadly black market.

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28US DE: Crime-Reduction Resources Already In Place, DelawareTue, 07 Feb 2012
Source:News Journal, The (Wilmington, DE) Author:Chalmers, Mike Area:Delaware Lines:Excerpt Added:02/07/2012

State Delegation Hears Firsthand About High Point Model

HIGH POINT, N.C. -- Wilmington seems to already have most of the building blocks it needs to deploy the crime-reduction strategy that has helped this city break up open-air drug markets and cut gang violence, officials here told a Delaware delegation Monday.

"It may be just a matter of connecting those resources," said Wilmington Police Chief Michael Szczerba.

Szczerba said police are already planning a call-in meeting, possibly next month, to tell a group of repeat offenders that their behavior won't be tolerated any longer. Such a meeting is a major part of the "focused deterrence" methods that High Point police have been using for several years.

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29 US CA: Injunction Denied On Live Oak's Pot Growing BanWed, 25 Jan 2012
Source:Appeal-Democrat (Marysville, CA) Author:Edwards, Jonathan Area:California Lines:66 Added:01/25/2012

Live Oak's ban on growing medical marijuana withstood attack Tuesday and survives, for now.

Sutter County Superior Court Judge Perry Parker denied a request for an injunction that would have temporarily stopped the ban. The plaintiff, James Maral, sought the order while he pursues a permanent way to stop the ordinance.

"I don't have the ordinance to read, so I don't know what the city of Live Oak even did," Parker said. "They may have said, 'Give marijuana to everyone.'"

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30US CO: Feds Justify Dispensary CrackdownFri, 20 Jan 2012
Source:Denver Post (CO) Author:Ingold, John Area:Colorado Lines:Excerpt Added:01/20/2012

U.S. Attorney John Walsh justifies federal crackdown on medical-marijuana shops U.S. Attorney John Walsh said Thursday evidence that medical marijuana is having a detrimental impact on Colorado kids spurred his decision to crack down on dispensaries near schools.

Walsh, in the strongest federal action against dispensaries in Colorado to date, sent letters last week to 23 dispensaries within 1,000 feet of schools. The letters ordered the dispensaries to close by Feb. 27 or face potential criminal prosecution or seizure of assets, even though those dispensaries are operating in compliance with state law.

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31US NJ: Lawsuit Brewing Over NJ Medical Marijuana ProgramThu, 19 Jan 2012
Source:Star-Ledger (Newark, NJ) Author:Brittain, Amy Area:New Jersey Lines:Excerpt Added:01/19/2012

TRENTON - Prominent defense attorney William Buckman, well known for the State Police racial profiling case in the 1990s, is prepping a civil lawsuit against the state health department for delaying New Jersey's medical marijuana program.

Buckman will co-counsel the litigation along with Anne Davis, the director of the New Jersey chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.

The announcement came today during a noon press conference on the Statehouse steps in Trenton attended by a small group of patients, advocates and leaders of the Coalition for Medical Marijuana in New Jersey. The event was called to commemorate the two-year anniversary of Gov. Jon Corzine's signing of the Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act.

The program has largely languished with not one of the state's six planned medical marijuana centers being anywhere close to opening.

Buckman said he hopes the "strategy of litigation" will put an end to the administration's "foot dragging."


32 US IN: Shafer Turns Himself In To AuthoritiesSat, 31 Dec 2011
Source:Princeton Daily Clarion (IN) Author:Barniak, Janice Area:Indiana Lines:132 Added:01/01/2012

Bulletin: Michael Shafer turned himself in to the Gibson County Sheriff's Office Saturday afternoon and remains in custody with bond set at $50,000 cash. He's scheduled for arraignment Tuesday morning. Shafer was sought by authorities for a week in connection with the discovery of a meth lab on the main campus of East Gibson schools in Oakland city before Christmas break.

OAKLAND CITY -- Oakland City Police Chief Alec Hensley and East Gibson schools superintendent Franzy Fleck faced a crowd of upset parents Friday afternoon in the Wood Memorial Junior High Cafetorium, where the crowd had the opportunity to air their views, their suggestions and ask questions to police about the discovery of a one-pot methamphetamine lab found on campus Dec. 21.

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33 US IL: McCoy: Police Frame-Up Nets Wrong CopsWed, 21 Dec 2011
Source:Austin Weekly News (Oak Park, IL) Author:Lynch, La Risa Area:Illinois Lines:119 Added:12/21/2011

15th District Police Officer Wants Justice For Austin 7

A Chicago police officer is seeking the media's help to unravel what he says is a web of deception, created by the Chicago Police Department (CPD), which led to the indictment and subsequent conviction of seven police officers in the 15th Police District on the city's West Side 15 years ago.

T.C. McCoy, an officer in the 15th District, held a news conference Wednesday outside police headquarters, 3510 S. Michigan Ave., decrying a "conspiracy by the Chicago Police Department" to frame these seven police officers, known as the "Austin 7" in what he calls a flawed police corruption investigation.

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34 US CA: Peninsula Marijuana Growers Being Weeded Out, ButMon, 12 Dec 2011
Source:San Francisco Examiner (CA) Author:Downs, David Area:California Lines:234 Added:12/12/2011

Cmdr. Marc Alcantara of the San Mateo County Narcotics Task Force showed a visitor photographs of marijuana bales being hoisted by helicopters onto pickup trucks. This year, task force deputies removed 5,070 plants worth $1.5 million from deep in the county's Skyline Ridge Open Space Preserve just south of San Francisco.

Rangers, hikers and ranchers had found the operation and called in the authorities, Alcantara said. The pot growers were tapping mountain springs to feed irrigation lines linked to "remarkably well-kept" plants. By the time deputies arrived, all that was left were the plants, food, hammocks, sleeping bags and a .22-caliber rifle.

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35 US NY: With Cross-Border Policing Set to Expand, Mounties FretWed, 07 Dec 2011
Source:Globe and Mail (Canada) Author:Sher, Julian Area:New York Lines:165 Added:12/09/2011

A handful of Canadian police officers are operating as armed federal law enforcement officers in the United States, part of a little-known experiment in cross-border policing that will be widely expanded under the new security plan announced Wednesday.

But while local and provincial police agencies are happy to see their officers operate in the States, the two federal agencies in charge of border integrity -- the RCMP and the Canadian Border Security Agency -- want to make sure it's not the Americans who call all the shots in future.

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36US GA: Flap Throws Off Meth Lab TrackingThu, 01 Dec 2011
Source:Atlanta Journal-Constitution (GA) Author:Simmons, Andria Area:Georgia Lines:Excerpt Added:12/04/2011

Federal Funding Runs Out, Forcing Local Officers to Pay for Cleanup

It's anyone's guess now whether methamphetamine production is rising or falling in Georgia.

That's because a funding flap in Washington has thrown what was previously the best system for counting clandestine meth labs into uncertainty.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, which used to track the number of meth labs by counting the number of requests for financial assistance from local law enforcement agencies, can no longer rely on that method. Federal funding for disposing of the toxic waste from clandestine meth labs ran out nine months ago, forcing police departments and sheriff's offices in Georgia to pick up a tab that last year amounted to more than $500,000.

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37 US CA: Proliferation of PotThu, 03 Nov 2011
Source:Chico News & Review, The (CA) Author:Gascoyne, Tom Area:California Lines:189 Added:11/04/2011

Sheriff's Deputies Bust Several High-Volume Marijuana Farms

Harvest time in Butte County is winding down, and the Butte County sheriff's Special Enforcement Unit had a fruitful October, uprooting 4,056 female marijuana plants and gathering 6,654 pounds of processed marijuana. It also arrested 10 people-alleged growers, their helpers and a pot hauler.

Various weapons, other drugs and 19 adult dogs and 19 puppies were also confiscated.

"There is not necessarily more being grown," said sheriff's Detective Doug Patterson. "We're just really kicking ass. Last year a lot of our time was taken up policing the dispensaries," he said, referring to a sting operation that effectively closed down the eight operating dispensaries in the county.

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38 US MI: High StakesWed, 02 Nov 2011
Source:Metro Times (Detroit, MI) Author:Guyette, Curt Area:Michigan Lines:694 Added:11/02/2011

Now Three Years Old, Michigan's Medical Marijuana Law Is Still Getting Sorted Out

Marijuana has twice played a role in bringing significant changes to the life of Barb Agro.

The first time was a blessing.

A former police dispatcher, the 71-year-old great-grandmother from Lake Orion suffers from arthritis in both of her knees.

"It's really bad," she says.

Because she's allergic to aspirin, she used Tylenol to ease the pain for years. "But the amount I had to take was so much," she says. "I worried about it damaging my kidneys."

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39 US MT: Theirs For The TakingThu, 08 Sep 2011
Source:Missoula Independent (MT) Author:Mayrer, Jessica Area:Montana Lines:491 Added:09/10/2011

Montanans Confront a Dubious Weapon in the War on Drugs

On the morning of March 14, Chris Williams set out on foot with his two dogs for the 2.5-mile walk to his East Helena-based medical marijuana business, Montana Cannabis. After a long winter, the weather was finally warmer. The hound and the pit bull nipped at one another and pulled on their leather leashes. Pigeons cooed from a trestle above him.

Williams's mellow mood turned to curiosity when he saw a sheriff's car leading a line of unmarked cars down Euclid Avenue. "I thought, 'Oh well, maybe it's a funeral," he recalls. When several more cars joined the caravan, Williams saw that their business looked more urgent. "Then it registered with me, when my employee comes driving back the other way on the road: 'Oh shit, they probably just raided us.'...My worst worry was that they hurt someone."

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40 US WA: With Few Rules, Pot Dispensaries Try Policing ThemselvesFri, 26 Aug 2011
Source:Seattle Times (WA) Author:Martin, Jonathan Area:Washington Lines:137 Added:08/29/2011

In the Absence of Government Regulation, the Local Medical-Marijuana Industry Increasingly Is Trying to Professionalize the Industry With Such Self-Policing Measures As "Best Practices" Manuals, Quality-Control Testing Laboratories and Training Classes.

A dozen medical-marijuana entrepreneurs listened intently during a unique four-hour class that detailed how they could stay out of trouble, serve sick patients and prosper.

Among the tips: Keep detailed records. Pay unemployment taxes. Buy air-filtration systems. Don't buy pot brownies from noncommercial kitchens.

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41 US: Michelle Alexander: End The Drug War, Face Jim CrowSun, 31 Jul 2011
Source:Nation, The (US) Author:Flanders, Laura Area:United States Lines:51 Added:08/01/2011

The NAACP has just passed a historic resolution [1] demanding an end to the War on Drugs. The resolution comes as young black male unemployment hovers near 50 percent and the wealth gap has become a veritable gulf [2]. So why is the forty-year-old "War on Drugs" public enemy number one for the nation's oldest civil rights organization? Well, here's why: it's not extraneous, it's central: the war on drugs is the engine of twenty-first-century discrimination--an engine that has brought Jim Crow into the age of Barack Obama.

[continues 305 words]

42US CA: How Boy From San Diego Became Accused Cartel HitmanWed, 13 Jul 2011
Source:San Diego Union Tribune (CA) Author:Lee, Morgan Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:07/18/2011

Edgar Jimenez Lugo's Fall Began a Generation Ago, His Youth Fractured by Crack-Addicted Parents and a Backdrop of Drug Cartel Violence

Part one

The top of the boy's head barely reaches the shoulders of the men at his side as they exit a military pickup shortly before dawn.

He is 14 and small for his age -- a thin figure draped in a sweatshirt with a concert tour logo. He has a fat lip, a swollen eye and abrasions on his neck.

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43 US IL: Champaign's Finney A Leading Voice On Law Enforcement IssuesSun, 10 Jul 2011
Source:News-Gazette, The (Champaign, IL) Author:Schenk, Mary Area:Illinois Lines:146 Added:07/11/2011

CHAMPAIGN - Champaign Police Chief R.T. Finney was installed recently as the president of the 1,200-member Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, the first Champaign police chief to hold that post in the organization's 70-year history.

Former Rantoul police chief Eldon Quick was the only other Champaign County law enforcement officer to hold the post. He was president in 1979.

Finney has been at the helm of the city's police force since November 2003. Before that he was police chief in Carbondale for four years and before that, served 17 years on the Quincy police department.

[continues 955 words]

44 US CA: Tehama Bars Medical Pot Dispensaries Permanent BanThu, 30 Jun 2011
Source:Record Searchlight (Redding, CA) Author:O'Neill, Janet Area:California Lines:71 Added:06/30/2011

RED BLUFF - Those looking to get medical marijuana from a dispensary in Tehama County will have to look elsewhere.

Some 18 months after it held its first study session on the issue, the Board of Supervisors voted unanimously this week to ban the shops in the unincorporated area of the county.

The ordinance goes into effect 30 days from Tuesday's adoption, Assistant County Counsel Arthur Wylene said, replacing a temporary prohibition due to expire.

In May, after several study sessions, the board sent two ordinances to the county Planning Commission for review. The second draft stopped short of a ban, but limited the number of dispensaries to one and required a licensed medical professional to be on site at all times.

[continues 312 words]

45 US: 4 Hopeful Signs In The Fight Against Disastrous Drug WarFri, 24 Jun 2011
Source:AlterNet (US Web) Author:Seltzer, Sarah Area:United States Lines:136 Added:06/24/2011

Although This New Bill Is Largely Symbolic, the Fact That It's Being Introduced, and Other Small Victories of Late, Bode Well for a Change in Tone on This Discussion.

It's been forty years since President Nixon declared a "war on drugs." And we're not winning.

In local communities, Black and Latino men are being singled out unfairly and fed into the prison system for minor drug offenses; in Mexico, an unspeakably brutal drug war continues with no signs of cessation; sick people continue to be denied legal access to medical marijuana that could ease their pain.

[continues 858 words]

46 US CA: Police Scandals Hobble ProsecutorsMon, 20 Jun 2011
Source:Wall Street Journal (US) Author:Scheck, Justin Area:California Lines:119 Added:06/20/2011

Hundreds Of Criminal Cases Dismissed In San Francisco Bay Area As Allegations Of Law-Enforcement Corruption Persist

SAN FRANCISCO-Bay Area prosecutors have been forced to dismiss more than 800 criminal cases in the past year because of allegations of police corruption that include selling drug evidence, conducting unlawful searches and conspiring to get men drunk and then arrest them on drunk-driving charges.

The series of police scandals has taxed the budgets of the district-attorney and public-defender offices, and prompted two federal investigations.

[continues 695 words]

47 US NY: A Call To Shift Policy On MarijuanaTue, 14 Jun 2011
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Dwyer, Jim Area:New York Lines:100 Added:06/18/2011

Night court in Manhattan, Monday, 7:30 p.m.

For a moment, after the lawyers had finished talking and the judge had murmured the sentence, Felix did not move. He stood in front of the bench, then looked at his lawyer, who nodded and sent him to wait in the pews with the spectators.

Felix slid into the second row, the tension heaving from him in a big sigh. For the first time in more than 30 hours, he was not sitting among the arrested in the holding cells. On Sunday morning, he was arrested on a charge of misdemeanor possession of marijuana with a group of other young men gathered on 42nd Street for the National Puerto Rican Day Parade.

[continues 652 words]

48 US: Former Cop and Drug Warrior: Why I Turned Against The DrugSun, 12 Jun 2011
Source:AlterNet (US Web) Author:Stamper, Norm Area:United States Lines:85 Added:06/14/2011

For More Than Three Decades, I Watched the Drug War Destroy Values That, As a Cop, I Swore to Uphold.

It's not hard to explain why I morphed from drug warrior to drug policy reformer. I observed unnecessary suffering, justice gone wrong, and widespread corruption within policing. I witnessed the physical deterioration of whole neighborhoods--streets, homes, and schools made less safe.

And I saw myself and fellow police officers cast as the "bad guys" in the enforcement of drug laws.

[continues 564 words]

49 US NC: Is It Really A War On Drugs?Mon, 06 Jun 2011
Source:Fayetteville Observer (NC) Author:Williams, Troy Area:North Carolina Lines:114 Added:06/06/2011

The United States has the highest documented incarceration rate in the world. With less than 5 percent of the world's population, we have almost a quarter of the world's prisoners.

Experts point to several factors for explanation, but it's clear that a large number of people are imprisoned for drug-related crimes. Officially declared the "War on Drugs" by President Richard Nixon in 1971, this has become the longest and most costly war in American history.

The question has become, how much more can we tolerate? America's drug war has failed to curb demand and I suspect we will never become a drug-free society.

[continues 707 words]

50 US CO: DEA, Sheriff's Office At ImpasseThu, 26 May 2011
Source:Aspen Daily News (CO) Author:Sackariason, Carolyn Area:Colorado Lines:138 Added:05/26/2011

Aspen and Pitkin County's top lawmen met with federal Drug Enforcement Administration agents on Wednesday in an attempt to shed light on why they weren't notified beforehand of last week's arrests of six local residents on suspicion of alleged cocaine distribution.

After meeting for an hour and a half, Pitkin County Sheriff Joe DiSalvo and Aspen Police Chief Richard Pryor said the relationship with federal drug enforcement officials remains strained.

"We don't feel we have taken any great strides forward," Pryor said, adding he is disappointed that no concrete agreement was reached.

[continues 883 words]

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