Marijuana and Cannabis News

Alaska Cops Holding on to Prohibition as Long as They Can
Friday, November 21, 2014 at 12:20 pm

Despite the passage of new laws making the possession of small amounts of pot legal in Alaska, prosecutors in the state say they'll still be pursuing cannabis cases until the new laws are signed and on the books.

In other states like Washington and Colorado, prosecutors began dropping minor possession cases even before the governor signed the bill into law - arguing that they wouldn't be able to take the case to trial, nor would they want to waste the resources. It's what they community they serve clearly demanded they do with the vote. But apparently, the cops and prosecutors don't care about respecting the people they serve in Alaska.

Arizona Pro-Pot Activist Billy Hayes Faces Serious Prison Time but Doesn't Know When to Quit
Thursday, November 20, 2014 at 3:20 pm

Billy Benjamin Hayes Jr., 39, is one of Arizona's most vocal marijuana activists. Few people welcomed the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act when voters passed it in 2010 more than Hayes. The lanky father of three is a marijuana enthusiast, a grower for nearly his whole life who imbibes regularly, whether by smoking, vaporizing, or eating.

His name often is seen in Internet forums of the Arizona Department of Health Services, the agency that oversees the medical-marijuana program. Having learned just enough law to be dangerous during an eight-month stint in prison on a marijuana-possession violation, he's sued the federal government (unsuccessfully) over the law's 
"25-mile rule," which limits where patients can grow marijuana, and helps his pro bono pot-activist lawyer, Tom Dean, write court motions.

Hayes needs an attorney because he's also an entrepreneur who just may be ahead of his time. Ray Stern at the Phoenix New Times has more on Hayes and the state of Arizona's medical marijuana system.

90 Pounds of Cali Weed Mistakenly Shows Up at Clothing Store in Philly
Thursday, November 20, 2014 at 11:20 am

Two of the three 30lb parcels of pot that showed up at City Blue this week
Founded on 13th and market Street in downtown Philadelphia in 1981, the high styled retail outlet City Blue now has 25 locations across Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, and Ohio.

Touting themselves as "a leader and innovator in urban fashion", managers in all City Blue locations are likely very busy these days ordering in new items to be sure that their shelves are fully stocked for the holiday rush. With so many packages in transit during this time of year, mistakes certainly do happen, but when the manager of the City Blue store in Upper Darby, PA sliced into an unknown package delivered to his store earlier this week, he was greeted by a box full of product that he simply could not least, not legally.

"Dr. J" Wijegunaratne Told to Stop Issuing Medical Marijuana Recommendations Due to Sexual Assault Claim
Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 12:20 pm

An Anaheim Hills-based doctor who practices out of a medical marijuana clinic and goes by "Dr. J" (get it?) has been court-ordered to stop practicing medicine while he is out on bail for the alleged sexual assault of a female patient. But here's the deal with Dr. Sri Jayantha Wijegunaratne: He's already out on a bail in a separate case that accuses him of having defrauded Medicare by prescribing powered wheelchairs to patients who did not need them.

Let's back this puppy way up: Federal prosecutors claim Wijegunaratne prescribed powered wheelchairs, at a cost of about $2,800 each, to six patients who did not need them. His chosen medical equipment supplier billed Medicare, got reimbursed and paid the physician kickbacks, according to the feds. Bong Blotter has more.

TSA Finds 92 Pounds of Pot in Checked Luggage at Phoenix Airport
Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 11:20 am

A passenger on a flight out of Phoenix's Sky Harbor airport tried to check luggage containing 92 pounds of marijuana, according to the TSA. A TSA spokesman says the Phoenix Police Department was contacted once agents made the discovery.

According to court documents obtained by New Times, 39-year-old Lauretta Blanton had actually spread the load among three checked bags, and two of the bags actually made it onto the plane.

Twenty Colorado Police Agencies That Arrest the Most Black People by Population
Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 8:20 am
Photos and more below.
USA Today set out to discover if the racially lopsided arrest statistics in Ferguson, Missouri, where unarmed black teenager Michael Brown was shot to death by a police officer, were an anomaly. Sadly, no: A fascinating new report reveals a racial gap in arrest stats in many locations across the country, including at least twenty in Colorado.

Westword broke out USA Today's Colorado numbers and ranked the twenty agencies according to how many blacks were arrested per 1,000 residents -- and the results are startling. Check them out here, and to see the complete USA Today piece, click here.

Marley Family Sells Bob's Name to Corporate Cannabis
Tuesday, November 18, 2014 at 9:20 am

The Marley Naturals logo.
Members of the Marley family have granted a Seattle-based equity firm the rights to use Bob Marley's name in conjunction with a line of cannabis, cannabis-infused products and smoking accessories dubbed Marley Naturals, they announced this week

In an interview on NBC TODAY, Bob's wife Rita, his son Rohan and daughter Cedella say that the brand will represent true "heirloom Jamaican cannabis" in the American market and that they'll bring a corporate sensibility to the world of legal pot.

Speeding 78 Year Old Caught With $15M in Cash, 400 Pounds of Pot is Fighting Back
Tuesday, November 18, 2014 at 8:20 am

Thumbnail image for policesirens1.jpg
Back in June of 2013, local law enforcement officers in Junction City, Kansas stopped a 2002 GMC Sierra pickup truck for speeding.

Approaching the vehicle, the officers noted that the bed of the truck was full of junk and debris, including an old fridge. But once they identified the elderly driver behind the wheel, they quickly realized that there might be more to the old rambling man than meets the eye.

Denver Marijuana-Use Tickets Skyrocket in 2014
Monday, November 17, 2014 at 12:20 pm

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for teenjoint.jpg
Denver Police have issued 668 tickets since marijuana sales were made legal for adults 21 and up, an increase of 551 tickets from the same timeframe last year or 471 percent.

According to data pulled by Colorado Public Radio, the most tickets were written during the second quarter of 2014, with 330 issued. The last three months were the second busiest for pot cops in Denver, with 224 tickets written.

Florida Cops are Dicks: Blind Man Hassled Over Minor Weed Possession
Monday, November 17, 2014 at 8:20 am

We told you last week about Tannie "T-Man" Burke. He says that he's used to being hassled by cops even though he's never been convicted of a crime. He's been arrested twice and detained several other times, he believes, simply because he's a young black man.

"I feel they stop me because they see a black man walking down the street," he tells Jim Defede. "I don't know what to say about it. I just feel bad about it. That's it."

But his arrest on August 27 seemed particularly cruel and strange. Burke is blind, and after police arrested him on suspicion of marijuana possession they put him in the back of a cop car. They never took him in to be booked, he says, and then dropped him at night in a desolate area nearly a mile from his home and didn't offer help getting home. Miami New Times has the local angle.