Author Steve Elliott ~alapoet~

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Graphic: Reality Catcher

​Arizona lawmakers are seeing green, and it’s not just sticky buds they’re ogling. State voters may get the chance to legalize medical marijuana in November — and the Legislature is already deciding whether to tax it.

The Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) is gathering signatures for a ballot initiative that would allow using cannabis with a doctor’s recommendation, reports the Arizona Daily Sun.

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Photo: Jim Spellman/CNN

​A bill has been introduced in the Kansas Legislature which would legalize the use of medical marijuana by seriously ill individuals with certain debilitating medical conditions.

House Bill 2610, titled the Medical Marijuana Act, would create registered marijuana dispensaries known as compassion centers. These are defined as a non-profit organization “that acquires, possesses, cultivates, manufactures, delivers, transfers, transports, supplies or dispenses marijuana or related supplies and educational material to cardholders,” reports Lauren Garrison at the Kansas State Collegian.

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Photo: David Brooks/Union-Tribune
Okoronkwo Umeham, 73, was detained in Mexico while his Nigerian soup ingredients were tested.

​A 73-year-old U.S. citizen had no idea that he’d end up in a Tijuana jail for possessing the ingredients for a Nigerian soup. But he said the spices, dried fish and vegetables must have looked like illegal drugs to the inspectors in Mexico — and he landed in jail for two days.

The Mexican inspectors asked the man, as he entered Mexico, if the labeled packages contained marijuana, and he said no. Since he doesn’t speak Spanish, he couldn’t explain what they were. Mexican authorities put him in jail, saying they needed to test the materials.

San Diego social worker Uokoronkwo Umeham, who was born in Nigeria, was just doing a favor for a relative who was longing for a taste of home when he crossed the border March 15.
He was entering Mexico to deliver the ingredients for “ugu,” a traditional soup, to a homesick younger relative. His nephew, Xavier Nnanna Nwafor, lives in Tijuana and doesn’t have a visa to cross the border to San Diego, where the ingredients are available.
Umeham took the same ingredients across the border last September without incident, his wife, Gail Umeham, said Wednesday, reports Raquel Maria Dillon of The Associated Press.

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Photo: V. Richard Haro/The Coloradoan
Donnie Hayes of Fort Collins, Colorado, is a blind medical marijuana patient who was initially denied a ride to the dispensary in a county vehicle for disabled people.

​Larimer County, Colorado officials have given the go-ahead for a disabled medical marijuana patient to resume catching a ride to get his medicine at a dispensary in a county-owned vehicle.

The Larimer Lift, a paratransit service for disabled people living outside city limits, will now take clients to medical marijuana dispensaries “and anywhere else they wish to go,” according to Gary Darling, director of criminal justice services for the county, reports Kevin Dugan at the Fort Collins Coloradoan.
Larimer Lift officials had previously stopped taking Donnie Hayes, a blind medical marijuana patient, to a dispensary in Fort Collins, blaming their uncertainty over whether doing so could jeopardize federal funding for the program.


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Photo: Hogwild.net
The Miami Dolphins’ Ricky Williams was one of the many NFL players who like getting high — and was on the road to the Hall of Fame. But he entered an early “retirement” in 2004 after failing drug tests for marijuana.

Does the National Football League’s 2010 draft class have a marijuana problem?

Multiple NFL personnel officials have reportedly told SI.com they are “concerned” about the “increased number” of the 2010 draft prospects who “have a history of marijuana use.” Many of the players have already acknowledged a failed drug test for cannabis in college, in their interviews with team representatives.
One personnel manager told SI.com’s Don Banks that “10 or 11” possible first-round draft picks have been “red-flagged for marijuana use” in college, an estimate also made by two teams’ head coaches.
Another NFL head coach guessed that “one-third” of the players on his team’s draft board had “some sort of history with marijuana use” and would thus require an “extra level of evaluation” as part of the pre-draft scouting procedure.
“Marijuana use is almost epidemic, with more guys having tested positive for marijuana at some point in their college background than I can ever remember,” said a team personnel specialist. “It’s almost as if we are having to figure out a new way to evaluate it as part of the character and background report, because it’s so prevalent.”

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Photo: Eideard
It’s not just the young folks in Nigeria who enjoy marijuana. Maybe my street smarts are fading, but dude doesn’t look  gangsta to me.

​Next time you start to get discouraged about the sometimes inaccurate news coverage marijuana gets in the United States, try to remember that things could be worse — much worse.

To prove this, you need go no farther than allAfrica.com, a curious little site which shows just how clueless coverage can be.
A March 23 article on the site with the imposing headline “Adura Gang of Marijuana Smokers” calls the Nigerian government to task, not for mistreating marijuana users, but for not treating them badly enough.
“In Nigeria, federal, state and local governments tend to fight against these evils to achieve peace and harmony,” we are told. “However an excursion to many part [sic]of the country shows that war against these ills is almost lost.”
According to this depressing little article, Adegolu Street, in Alagbado, a suburb of Lagos, “symbolises poor enforcement of the nation’s law on hard drugs while the youths consume Indian hemp.”

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Photo: Texas Cannabis Crusade
The 2009 event was the biggest pro-cannabis rally in Texas history. This year’s Texas Cannabis Crusade will be even bigger.

​With the third annual Texas Cannabis Crusade — expected to be the largest pro-cannabis rally in state history — just over a month away, Texas NORML, which stages the Austin event along with Outgrow Big Bro (OGBB), needs all the help they can get to make it happen seamlessly.

The Crusade, which is free to attend, is held in conjunction with the Global/Worldwide Marijuana March, which includes more than 300 cities worldwide.

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Graphic: L.A. Weekly

​It’s the beginning of the end for hundreds of Los Angeles medical marijuana dispensaries.

Most of the pot shops are about to be wiped out by L.A.’s new dispensary ordinance, which severely limits where they can be located, reports Dennis Romero at L.A. Weekly.
Councilman Ed Reyes is predicting that “noncompliant” shops — which means all of them, other than the 187 that were in business before the city imposed a moratorium — will start being shut down in May.
About 545 dispensaries are operating in Los Angeles, according to a comprehensive county by the L.A. Weekly (PDF). The City Council voted to winnow those down to 187 by declaring all the shops that opened after the moratorium — exploiting a boilerplate “hardship” exemption included in its language — noncompliant.
The number will eventually, through attrition, be reduced to 70 shops. Until that time, when any of the 187 permitted dispensaries go out of business, they won’t be replaced.

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Photo: Marion County Sheriff’s Office
Carlton Griggs, 81, had more than four pounds of marijuana and 10 guns. He made the mistake of giving cops permission to search his car and home.

​An 81-year-old Florida man has been caught with more than four pounds of marijuana in his home, and has admitted to deputies that he sells pot.

Carlton Griggs, of Ocklawaha, Fla., told a deputy he had been selling pounds out of his home for the past two years, and used his Oldsmobile (perfect!) to meet people to sell them cannabis.
Griggs was arrested Wednesday, according to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, after Deputy Damon Baxley received a tip about possible drug sales at his home, reports Austin L. Miller of Ocala.com.
Baxley went to the area and parked close to Griggs’s home, waiting for backup. When another deputy arrived, they saw a 1999 Oldsmobile Intrigue pull out of the driveway.
As they followed the vehicle, Baxley noticed the driver, later identified as Griggs, was wobbling in his lane. The officers pulled the car over.
After Griggs gave Baxley permission to search his car (never do this, by the way), the deputy found a revolver with no serial numbers. Baxley then asked the old man if he “had anything” at his home; Griggs said no.

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Graphic: Radical Rags

​Hey Golden State, are you ready to legalize weed?

Here’s your chance! California will be voting this November on whether to legalize and tax marijuana.

On Wednesday, Los Angeles County election officials must turn in their count of valid signatures collected in the county for the Regulate, Control, and Tax Cannabis Act, reports John Hoeffel at the Los Angeles Times.
And that number is virtually sure to be enough to put the initiative over the top, qualifying it for the November ballot, according to a tally kept by state election officials.
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