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Monroe Co., FL Sheriff’s Dept
The cops didn’t know who grew the pot, so they left this note. The suspect called them back.

​If someone ever steals your plants and leaves a ransom note for them, you might want to think about who left the note before responding.

A Marathon, Florida couple were a little too willing to pay $200 to get their six marijuana plants back, calling only 10 minutes after reading a ransom note for the missing crop. Trouble is, it was the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office that got the plants and left the note, reports KeysNet.com.
The ransom note read “Thanks for the grow! You want them back? Call for the price. Let’s talk.” The note then contained a police phone number.
Deputies say they found the plants in a wooded lot after receiving a tip. Since they didn’t know who grew the stuff, the ransom note was bait for the grower, if he was dumb enough.

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Photo: westcoastleaf.com
Medical marijuana activist/provider Mickey Martin: “I was not a criminal then, nor am I one now”

​More than 50 people rallied outside the federal building in downtown Oakland, Calif., Monday to protest a one-year halfway house sentence for a medical marijuana activist, and to demand the federal government respect states’ rights regarding medicinal cannabis.

Leading the rally was Michael “Mickey” Martin, who has been sentenced to two years of non-prison confinement after his March 26, 2008 guilty plea for “conspiring to manufacture and distribute” a mixture containing “a detectable amount of marijuana,” reports KTVU-TV.
Martin, 35, ran Tainted Inc., later known as Compassion Medical Edibles, an Oakland-based business producing candies, cookies, ice cream, brownies, energy drinks and other consumables containing cannabis.

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Photo: Dee Tubbs/Bastrop Daily Enterprise
Yeah boy, we found this here merry-wanna in their house. Don’t know where you’re from, city boy, but down in Bastrop we call this a major pot bust.

​A mother and her son were arrested in Louisiana after officers found a single, scrawny marijuana plant growing in their residence. But the arresting officers, far from being acclaimed as heroes, were roundly jeered and ridiculed by the community.

Agents from the Morehouse Parish Sheriff’s Office “received information” Tuesday afternoon that marijuana was being grown in the home in Bastrop, La., reports the Bastrop Daily Enterprise.
The officers went to the residence on Summerlin Lane and spoke to Angela Hughes, 51, who unwisely gave them permission to search her home. (Quick tip: Never give consent to a search. Make them get a search warrant. They won’t “go easier” on you if you “cooperate.”)
Officers say they found a box with a light attached and a marijuana plant growing inside.

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MediLeaf

​The city council of Gilroy, California, which had already once approved a lawsuit against a local marijuana dispensary in a closed session, has done so a second time, this time by a 4-3 vote in open session, reports Jonathan Partridge at the Gilroy Dispatch.

The closed session vote on Nov. 16 resulted in Superior Court Judge Kevin Murphy on Dec. 15 turning down the city’s request for a preliminary injunction to close MediLeaf dispensary pending a trial. Judge Murphy in part based his action on accusations from the dispensary’s owners that the city had violated the Brown Act, which mandates open meetings.

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Photo: Carol Hirata/Windsor Beacon
MediGrow owner Lazarus Pino said he’s ignoring Windsor’s moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries. “I’m here for the patients. I provide medical care.”

​MediGrow, one of three medical marijuana dispensaries operating in Windsor, Colorado, has been ordered to close in compliance with a 75-day moratorium the town board passed on Dec. 16. But MediGrow’s owner, Lazarus Pino, said Tuesday he plans to stay open.

“I’m here for the patients,” Pino said, reports Lisa Mehring of the Windsor Beacon. “I provide medical care. What’s so bad about helping people medically? I’ve invested a lot of money in this place. I wish they would let me operate.”
Since the moratorium on Dec. 16, the Windsor Police Department has issued a citation every single day the business has remained open. Every citation comes with an appearance in Windsor Municipal Court.
If a judge finds MediGrow in violation, the dispensary could face a $293 fine with a $7 surcharge for every day the business remains open.
Chief of Police John Michaels said there’d been no problem in issuing the daily citations. “We go in, we issue our citation, and we make a little small talk,” Michaels said.

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Graphic: Reality Catcher

​Medical marijuana patients in Colorado have a constitutional right not only to use cannabis, but to buy it as well, a judge ruled Wednesday.

Arapahoe County District Judge Christopher Cross ruled in favor of CannaMart dispensary, which along with three patients sued the city of Centennial after the city forced it to shut down in October, reports Kristen Wyatt of The Associated Press.
CannaMart maintains that Colorado cities 
are violating the state constitution when they ban all dispensaries. Unlike similar laws in a dozen other states, Colorado’s medical marijuana law is a constitutional amendment.
The injunction granted by Judge Cross prevents Centennial from keeping CannaMart shuttered while the dispensary challenges the city’s ban on pot shops because they’re in violation of federal drug laws. The medical use of marijuana isn’t recognized under federal law.

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Graphic: laborbeat.org

​It often seems as if the mainstream media is just waiting for something — anything — bad to turn up about the effects of marijuana, despite the long, fruitless search for damning evidence.

Smoking pot is bad because it’s illegal and it’s illegal because it’s bad, goes the circular logic; with this conclusion reached beforehand, then it’s just a matter of waiting for the research to roll in.

Unfortunately for the prohibitionists, just about every unbiased scientific study ever done on the herb shows it to be remarkably safe and amazingly non-toxic.
Especially when compared with other psychoactive substances, and even everyday palliatives such as aspirin and related painkillers — Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs), which cause 7,600 deaths per year — pot looks pretty damn safe with a grand total of zero overdose deaths in history.
The difference is even more stark with other “recreational” substances such as tobacco (435,000 deaths per year), alcohol (85,000 deaths per year), prescription drugs (32,000 deaths), and illicit street drugs (17,000 deaths).
But you won’t be seeing much about that in our “fair and balanced” mainstream media, because that apparently doesn’t generate as many sales and click-throughs as trumpeting scare stories about pot.

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Photo: Michigan Medical Marijuana Association
Marijuana’s all over the news in Michigan.

​Washtenaw County’s first medical marijuana dispensary will open tomorrow in downtown Ypsilanti, Michigan, reports Jeremy Allen of Heritage Newspapers.
It’s been a year now since The Michigan Medical Marijuana Act was approved by an overwhelming majority — 63 percent — of the state’s voters. 
“My vision for this dispensary is to find a cure for cancer and to help free thousands of people who are currently in jail cells unjustly for the responsible use of cannabis,” said Anthony Freed, executive director of the Michigan Marijuana Chamber of Commerce.

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Colorado Marijuana Coalition

​A marijuana dispensary in Centennial, Colo., could be back open for business by the end of the day.

An Arapahoe County District Court judge is expected to give an oral ruling Wednesday in a dispute between the city and CannaMart, which was shut down after only a few weeks in business, reports The Associated Press.
CannaMart sued the city, maintaining the marijuana dispensary was a legal business, and that Colorado cities are violating the state constitution when they ban all dispensaries.
The lawsuit has been inching forward for two weeks; last week, the judge said he needed more time to consider the case.

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Graphic: Darwinek

​Vermont legalized medical marijuana five years ago. But eligible patients who want to use the plant to ease chronic pain and nausea have been forced to either grow their own or resort to the black market, since the state never established a legal outlet to obtain it.

A state lawmaker plans in 2010 to introduce legislation that would solve this problem. The bill would create compassion centers where people on Vermont’s medical marijuana registry can buy their medicine, reports Peter Hirschfeld of the Vermont Press Bureau.
“What is driving me is a sense of compassion and fairness,” said Chris Bray (D-New Haven). “This is a drug we have vetted as a state as being appropriate for people with defined medical conditions and yet we haven’t provided a safe and legal way for them to purchase it.”
Bray said a constituent, one of 189 people registered as medical marijuana patients in Vermont, has suffered because of Vermont’s lack of dispensaries. “He resents the fact, and I think justifiably, that he was pushed into buying medical marijuana from illicit sources, which is expensive and illegal and often not even available to him,” Bray said.
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