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Photo: Eric Hasert/TCPalm
Ingrid Peters helps recover debris from the 33-foot boat that came ashore carrying 1,100 pounds of marijuana on Tuesday morning. “You never know what’s going to wash ashore,” Peters said.

​An abandoned boat carrying about 1,100 pounds of marijuana drifted ashore this week on a Treasure Coast island in Florida.

A Hutchinson Island resident called the U.S. Coast Guard Tuesday morning, thinking the drifting 33-foot boat might be experiencing some sort of trouble, reports Will Greenlee at TCPalm. But as the vessel came close to shore, she said a man with no shirt or shoes jumped out and ran away.
St. Lucie County deputies and federal agents searched the boat, which came ashore about 6:40 a.m., and found about 1,100 pounds of neatly packaged marijuana they claimed was worth an estimated $1 million.

Photo: billymax85
Rock Island County Assistant State’s Attorney Norma Kauzlarich: “Medical marijuana is a misnomer. No such thing exists.”

​Medical marijuana is a hot topic in Illinois, which could become the next state to legalize medicinal use of the herb. But the seeming inevitability of loosening laws surrounding cannabis means that the usual suspects, i.e., law-enforcement types, are saying some really dumb things in public. And it also unfortunately means that some lazy reporters are letting them get away with it.

“Medical marijuana is a misnomer. No such thing exists,” said Norma Kauzlarich, who prosecutes drug cases as an assistant state’s attorney in Rock Island County, Ill.
“It’s marijuana — simply, plain — just marijuana,” Kauzlarich helpfully informs us, reports John David of WQAD, who could really use some brushing up on his “both sides of the story” skills.
It seems that no matter how dumb a statement reporter David’s interview subjects utter, it isn’t sufficient to kick in his repertorial instincts to ask the obvious follow-up question or to make a challenge that practically begs to be made.
Quad City Metropolitan Enforcement Group Director Chris Endress warned about the “problems generated in states like Colorado and California.”
“These pot clubs bring crime and violence,” said Endress. “We just don’t need it. It’s just not worth it.”

Graphic: Seattle Hempfest
Seattle Hempfest is coming to Myrtle Edwards Park on the waterfront, August 21 and 22. See you there!

​​If you’ve never been to Seattle Hempfest, the world’s largest “protestival” based around marijuana, you really owe it to yourself. While it’s hard to describe the vibe of being in a crowd of a couple hundred thousand like-minded people, those who have been there keep coming back again and again.

Hempfest, going strong since 1991, is one of the best and almost certainly the biggest marijuana rally in the world. This year’s edition hits Seattle on Saturday, August 21 and Sunday, August 22, and is dedicated to the memory of legendary hemp activist Jack Herer, whom the movement lost this year.
Free admission, good music, friendly people, and a beautiful setting have always been among the reasons to attend — and Myrtle Edwards Park on the lovely Seattle waterfront is guaranteed to be smelling really good once the party kicks in.
“The Seattle Hempfest is incredibly inspirational,” said Paul Stanford of this year’s primary sponsors The Hemp and Cannabis Foundation (THCF).
​”It is the largest event in the world for people who want hemp and cannabis legitimized and restored,” Stanford said. “If you want to have a good time and spend a day or two with a half million or so like-minded people, you should come to the Seattle Hempfest!”

Photo: NNOA
48 pounds is a lot of weed. But if you abandon your car with 48 pounds inside, please don’t show up to claim the vehicle at the police station.

​Write this down: If the cops ever seize your vehicle, don’t show up to claim it if there’s almost 50 pounds of weed inside.

A Michigan father and son face drug charges after they tried to reclaim a vehicle in which police had discovered 48 pounds of marijuana, Detroit Police Chief Warren Evans said on Monday.

The men were arrested Thursday, one day after 8th Precinct officers discovered the cannabis inside a car they had just tried to stop, reports Amber Hunt at The Detroit Free Press.
The vehicle sped away and was found unoccupied nearby. The marijuana was discovered in a duffel bag inside the car, police claimed.

Photo: Michael Montgomery
Garberville’s KMUD is a bastion of free speech

​Marijuana growers in Northern California’s Emerald Triangle have for decades received reports of pending police raids from a local radio station. Now the police, citing a boom in pot production and “armed illegal drug traffickers,” want the broadcasts to stop.

As pot growers in Humboldt and Mendocino counties launch another growing season, local, state and federal law enforcement agents are preparing for their part of the annual ritual — deploying helicopters, trucks and armed agents to seize marijuana plants, reports Michael Montgomery at NPR.
​”According to a citizen’s observation, at 8:45 a.m., three helicopters were seen heading from Laytonville to Bell Spring Road,” Garberville radio station KMUD recently broadcast.

Photo: The Wow Report
Dennis Peron is co-author of Prop 215, which legalized medical marijuana in California

​Dennis Peron, the “father of medical marijuana” who co-authored Proposition 215, the 1996 ballot initiative which legalized medical cannabis in California, has suffered a stroke, reports Joe Eskenazi at SF Weekly.

“That’s why I didn’t give a speech at the Hemp Expo,” Peron, 65, told the Weekly. The cannabis guru and gay rights activist said he suffered the stroke about a month ago and underwent an operation Sunday to “unclog my artery.”
Peron in the 1990s came to serve as a figurehead for the cannabis legalization movement, and was highly influential in the debate in California, thus helping to change the political atmosphere surrounding marijuana in the United States.
A Long Island native, Peron served the Air Force in Vietnam and afterward moved to San Francisco’s Castro District in 1969, where he sold marijuana and ran the Big Top pot supermarket out of his home in the 1970s.
He opened the Church Street Compassion Center in 1993, the very first “pot club” in the United States, which became the legendary San Francisco Cannabis Buyers Club in 1995, a year before Prop 215 legalized medical pot.


Photo: americancannabis.org
Jack Herer (1939-2010)

​Famous marijuana activist and author Jack Herer, “The Emperor of Hemp,” died Thursday morning at 11:07 Pacific time.
“Jack deserves kudos for having publicized the benefits of cannabis hemp in his classic book, The Emperor Wears No Clothes,” said Dale Gieringer of California NORML.
“He also labored long and hard on innumerable initiatives to re-legalize hemp in California,” Gieringer said.
Last September, Herer suffered a serious heart attack at the Portland Hempstalk Festival, just two minutes after giving his last, impassioned speech. He was taken from the site by ambulance and hospitalized, and had struggled with health problems since that time.
“No one has ever educated more people about hemp and cannabis than Jack Herer,” said Paul Stanford, organizer of Hempstalk. “Jack’s legacy will live on for generations to come.”
“I’ve known and been friends with Jack since 1982, and he wrote the first edition of his book in my home in 1985,” Stanford said. “I am going to miss you, Jack.”

Photo: Cruise Law News
Bermuda is discussing loosening its marijuana laws.

​Politicians in Bermuda are calling for a major debate on decriminalizing cannabis, with support said to be strong in some corners of the Progressive Labor Party (PLP), reports Tim Smith at The Royal Gazette.

Government Senator Walker Brown on Wednesday backed a debate on Bermuda’s marijuana laws, saying people in possession of small amounts of pot should no longer be prosecuted.
Party members David Burt and Makai Dickerson also spoke up for decrim, adding that the entire community should have a say on the issue.

Photo: BodhiSativa Photography

​Tennessee legislation legalizing the medicinal use of marijuana by qualified patients was considered by the House Health and Human Resources Committee on Tuesday, reports Hank Hayes of the Kingsport Times-News.

However, the projected cost of the bill — and not “moral” or legal considerations — could bring it down during these times of tight budgets.
After testimony was heard, the committee deferred the bill for a week at the request of its sponsor, Rep. Jeanne Richardson (D-Memphis).
According to Richardson, the bill, HB 2562, is about compassion.
“It is really up to everyone to know this is no longer a fringe issue,” Richardson said. “Cheech and Chong smoking a bong… That is not the issue here. We will eventually pass this bill.”
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