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Keith Bacongco/Flickr.

A coalition of groups working toward marijuana reform has earned a six-figure settlement from the City of Springfield after council members there unconstitutionally quashed a petition to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana. Now Springfield will have to pay $225,000 to those pro-reform groups.
It all started back in 2012 when Show-Me Cannabis and the American Victory Coalition introduced a citizen-funded ballot initiative slated for the November 2012 election.
But according to the lawsuit complaint filed in July 2013, Springfield City Council tried to be slick and prevented the measure from going to the voters by passing it themselves with the sole intention of immediately repealing it, which they did.

Greg Skidmore/Flickr.
Chris Christie doesn’t want you to get high.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has made it really clear that he won’t relax the state medical marijuana laws or even consider recreational cannabis legalization. But in case you missed the point, ol’ Tollbooth Christie reiterated his point yesterday at a town hall meeting.
“They want tax revenue from legalization,” Christie told the crowd in Sayreville, New Jersey last night. “It’s the motivation for the bill and I am not going to turn our state into a place where people fly in to get high for tax revenue. I’ve made it very clear since 2009 that I oppose this … it’s not going to happen under this [governor]under any circumstances.”


Two St. Louis-area Police officers face drug charges on suspicion of robbing heroin while on duty before selling the drugs to a dealer and splitting the profit.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office charged Hillsdale Police Lieutenant Parrish Swanson, 40, of St. Louis, and Officer Raymond Stephens, 28, of St. Charles, with felony counts of conspiracy to distribute and attempted distribution of heroin, according to a release.
The Riverfront Times has more.

Big photos and more below.

It was a Happy Halloween at Lightshade Labs, judging by this photo from the store’s Facebook page. But it’s probably an even happier March, since two Lightshade branches are among the latest shops licensed by the City of Denver to sell recreational marijuana. In the two-plus weeks since our last update, Denver has okayed seven more stores, bringing the official total to 54. All of them are included here in this list compiled by Westword’s Michael Roberts, along with photos, videos, links and excerpts from reviews of the ones visited by Westword marijuana critic William Breathes. Count them down below.

Houstonian Joe Mattingly likes the finer things in life. Namely, he enjoys expensive ski trips to Vail, Beaver Creek, Utah and Lake Tahoe. And now he’s thinking about visiting Steamboat Springs. The only problem? Colorado legalized marijuana and this Texan doesn’t want it interfering with his vacation. In fact, he might choose another destination if he and the youngsters with him are subjected to to the sight or scent of pot, or the sound of people talking about it.
“While Colorado politics is certainly none of my business, I thought that my thoughts might potentially be of interest to some people in Steamboat,” he wrote Steamboat Today last week. Translation: “I clearly think Colorado politics is my business and I’m going to tell you why right now.”
Denver Westword has more.>

It was a Tuesday morning in San Diego, just over a month ago on November 7th, when SDPD received reports of broken glass at a local business, with a possible burglary having had occurred overnight. Police investigators arriving on the scene quickly determined that the business in question was a medical marijuana dispensary, and the focus of their investigation quickly shifted from aiding possible burglary victims, to persecuting law abiding citizens and shuttering a legitimate business.
You see, San Diego was home to nearly 300 storefront medical marijuana dispensaries as recently as two years ago, but an intense crackdown by joint task forces, combining the might of local and federal authorities, led to nearly every single brick and mortar storefront being closed by the end of 2011.

When it comes to sentencing nonviolent drug felons, St. Louis County prosecutors are not afraid to use the “Prior and Persistent Drug Offender” statute, Missouri’s three-strike drug law that allows — and sometimes forces — judges to hand out decades in prison for very small amounts of drugs.
A review of 100 Prior and Persistent Drug Offender cases that were brought to the appeal level mostly within the past fifteen years found that 47 were in the St. Louis area, including the county and city. Get more over at the Riverfront Times.

Take it with a grain of sale (we do), but researchers at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine funded by the National Institutes of Health, say that the offspring of rats exposed to cannabis were less motivated than offspring of non-THC dosed rats.
Their proof? Researchers had two groups of rat: one given THC injections and the other given saline. The researchers then bred the rats and say that they showed a lowered desire to seek “highly tasty food”.

Washington state needs a few good narcs under the age of 20 to help them try to bust recreational pot stores selling to minors. If anyone reading this thinks they’d be good for this role, find a tall cliff on Mt. Rainier and jump.
The state Liquor Control Board says the planned “controlled buyer” program is identical to one they already run on alcohol stores. Adults ages 18, 19 and 20 are paid $10 an hour to work with the cops and try to make purchases.

Corey Ann.

Here’s a strange one from our friends at the Dallas Observer. Legend has it that the slaves who once labored in the fields of the LeBeau Plantation never entirely left. Cruelly mistreated, some to their death, their restless spirits wandered through their master’s sprawling mansion, taking revenge upon its occupants. One by one, the LeBeau family was driven mad, two of them hanging themselves in the upper rooms. Decades later, a little girl was mysteriously thrown to her death from a fourth-floor window.
Police say it was those stories that inspired Fort Worth’s Dusten Davnport, 31, to visit the house Thursday nights with a group of friends, get stoned then burn it down. Click over to the Dallas Observer for the details.

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