Marijuana and Cannabis News

Arizona Medical-Marijuana Patients Still at Risk for DUI Conviction, Appeals Court Confirms
By William Breathes in Medical, News
Wednesday, October 22, 2014 at 4:20 pm

denver.dui.checkpoint.2.565x300.jpg

Medical-marijuana patients are still at risk for a DUI conviction simply for having trace amounts of THC in their bloodstreams, the state Court of Appeals confirmed on Tuesday.
In a 3-0 ruling with disclaimers by one judge, the court upheld the conviction of a Mesa man despite an apparent exception for such prosecutions in the voter-approved, 2010 medical-pot law.

Arizona, if you haven't heard, has a zero-tolerance law against drivers with marijuana metabolites in their veins, medical card or not. Our May 2013 feature article, "Riding High," covered how it was possible for patients or illegal cannabis users to be convicted for DUI even when impairment wasn't a factor, and even when the only metabolite found was carboxy-THC, a molecule known to be inactive.

Colorado Cannabis Edibles Maker on Why It's a Little Late to Ban Most Pot Food
By William Breathes in Culture, News
Wednesday, October 22, 2014 at 3:20 pm

The latest entry in our marijuana edibles video series arrives at a propitious moment: This week, a Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment official formally recommended that almost all such products be banned. Among the arguments against a change of this magnitude is the demand described by Incredibles owner and edibles working group member Bob Eschino, who says he's currently selling about 60,000 infused chocolate bars every month.

'Illiterate' Defendant Who Couldn't Understand the Word 'Attorney' Nonetheless Convicted in New York
By William Breathes in FTP, News
Wednesday, October 22, 2014 at 2:20 pm

handcuffss-evanamos-commons.jpg
Evan Amos/Commons.

When 18-year-old Willi Adames was held by police in connection with a fatal shooting in June of 2008, he ostensibly waived his right to an attorney before giving a detailed, recorded statement implicating himself in the crime. But it was obvious from the start that Adames was in over his head.

Functionally illiterate, with what the court characterized as "low intelligence," Adames was confused, court records show, about the most basic aspects of the criminal investigation process.


Dime Bag Kingpins: How Two Grams Can Get You Twenty Years in Missouri
By William Breathes in News
Wednesday, October 22, 2014 at 1:20 pm

marijuana-handcuff-AdriaFruitos.jpg
Voice Media/Adria Fruitos.

Michael Mayo was on his way to get some new braids. He didn't know he would end up spending the next two decades in prison. Police were watching as Mayo, then in his early twenties, made his way through his north St. Louis neighborhood back in July 2001. And Mayo, a street-level drug dealer, decided to do a little business before getting his hair done. That's when police say they saw Mayo make a hand-to-hand transaction with somebody in the middle of the road. Without hesitation, the cops jumped out of an unmarked vehicle and placed Mayo in handcuffs.

On his person, police found roughly two grams of crack, a joint's worth of marijuana and $176 in cash. Mayo said the money was for the braids he was on his way to get, not profits from drug sales. Besides, what kind of legit drug dealer has only a couple grams of crack? Riverfront Times has more in their cover story this week.


Ohio Man Lights Up Bong after High Speed Cop Chase
By William Breathes in News, Say what?
Wednesday, October 22, 2014 at 12:20 pm

cop-car-bong.jpeg

Put yourself in this situation: you've just driven across state lines while running from the police when your car skids out and rolls several times into a ditch. What's the first thing that comes to mind when you land upright?

"Oh damn, I'm screwed," seems most likely.

But one Ohio man clearly thinks differently. He lit up his bong and toked a few while waiting for cops to drag him from the car.


Seattle Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Told to Get Licenses that Don't Exist
By William Breathes in Medical, News, Say what?
Wednesday, October 22, 2014 at 11:20 am

800px-Seattle_Spmenic.jpg
Commons/Spmenic.

The city of Seattle has sent letters to about 330 medical marijuana shops telling them that they have to get licensed by the state or face penalties if they don't shut down. The rub? There is no state license for them to obtain.

According to Seattle PI, the City of Seattle has rules that force any marijuana business with more than 45 plants or 72 ounces of herb on hand to get a license. Seattle has suspended the rule for the most part, but the letters seem to indicate a shift is coming.


Docs To Tell Federal Court that Washington D.C. Should End War on Cannabis
By William Breathes in Medical, News
Wednesday, October 22, 2014 at 10:20 am

Thumbnail image for United_states_supreme_court_building.jpg

A federal judge will hear arguments from several high-profiled doctors in California next week on why the government should consider dropping their failed war on cannabis.
Their main point: scientific evidence shows that marijuana is not the harmful drug the feds say it is and cannabis has no place on the list of Schedule I substances like heroin and LSD.

Hispanics Less in Favor of Pot Legalization Than Other Groups, Study Finds
By William Breathes in News, Say what?
Wednesday, October 22, 2014 at 9:20 am

hispanic.man.smoking.marijuana.thinkstock.565x300.jpg

During the upcoming midterm elections, Hispanic voters are likely to be key in many races across the country -- but could they slow the move toward broader marijuana legalization? That possibility is among the takeaways from a Pew Research Center study looking at Latino voting trends. PRC found that Hispanics are less likely than white or black voters to favor such policies.

The report, entitled "Latino Voters and the 2014 Midterm Elections," notes that proposals to legalize marijuana for recreational use are on ballots in Alaska, Oregon and the District of Columbia, with medical-marijuana measures up for voting in Florida and Guam. Such votes are important, say cannabis-reform advocates such as the Marijuana Majority's Tom Angell, because positive results are likely to lead to a tipping point that would cause the federal government to alter pot policies for the country as a whole.


Court Vacates Guilty Plea for Pot Grower Based on Bad Legal Advice
By Jack Daniel in Follow that story, Growing, News
Wednesday, October 22, 2014 at 8:20 am

hydrogrow1.jpg
FlickrCommons

Back in 2008, a massive DEA sweep through suburban Philadelphia took down a multimillion dollar cannabis cultivation ring, resulting in the arrest and indictment of twelve Vietnamese Americans who stood accused of conspiring to grow thousands of highly illegal pot plants across several grow sites in Berks County, Pennsylvania.

Among those rounded up in the raids was then 40-year old Dung Bui, also known as "Danny Bui". Facing compounded consequences due to the fact that his grow site was within spitting distance of a school-owned park, Bui pled guilty to charges of conspiracy to manufacture more than 1,000 marijuana plants and manufacturing and distributing marijuana within 1,000 feet of an athletic field owned by the school district.

Now, six years later, the 3rd Circuit Court has tossed the 2008 ruling out the window, vacating Bui's guilty plea based on his appeal that he was given bad advice by his attorney.


Florida's Medical Marijuana Amendment is In Danger of Failing
By William Breathes in Say what?
Tuesday, October 21, 2014 at 2:20 pm

Thumbnail image for TokeoftheTown-Florida.jpg
For much of the past year, it seemed almost inevitable that medical marijuana would become legal in Florida. Polls showed that more than 80 percent of Floridians would support a constitutional amendment that's on the ballot this November legalizing medicinal weed.

So it was something of a shocker last week when a Tampa Bay Times poll indicated that medical marijuana will fail to get the 60 percent of the vote required to get on the ballot. It had previously polled at more than 9-to-1. Yesterday, Ben Pollara, campaign manager for United for Care, the main organization fighting for legalization, insisted that "we're still winning" and said internal polls still indicated the amendment would get more than the 60 percent needed to pass.