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Photo: www.westcoastleaf.com

​A Superior Court in California has ordered the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to pay $69,400 in attorneys’ fees to a medical marijuana advocacy organization.

The Merced Superior Court on Thursday ruled the DMV must reimburse Americans for Safe Access (ASA). The attorneys’ fees award results from a lawsuit filed by ASA in November 2008 against the DMV for its policy of unjustly revoking drivers’ licenses of qualified medical marijuana patients.

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Photo: frantikmag.com
Careful, baby. That thing could blow…

​​​It was a more exciting night than usual in Richmond, California. After four tension-filled, dramatic hours Sunday night, a police bomb squad safely disposed of what they called a pipe bomb found in front of a local home.

Hearts were fluttering as the ominous metal cylinder, capped at one end and with a pin attached to its side, inspired intrepid bomb experts from Walnut Creek to evacuate everyone within a 300-foot radius, reports KGO-TV.
As the tension became almost unbearable, the heroic bomb squad finally blew up the obviously dangerous, highly mysterious object at about 10:30 last night.
Time to start giving out medals, right? Where’s the press? Not so fast.
Turns out it was a pot bong, not a pipe bomb. Police now say it was probably left behind by some stoned teenagers.
Don’t you just love happy endings?!

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Photo: Cannabis Culture

​Some unfortunate inmates who thought they’d be high for the holidays got the equivalent of coal in their stockings this weekend.

A raid on the cars and bags of visitors to Manawatu Prison in New Zealand uncovered “a large quantity” of cannabis, according to Corrections Officer Tracey Sinclair, reports 3 News.
Corrections Department staff, police and drug dogs searched about 50 visitors at a checkpoint outside the prison over the weekend.

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Graphic: Cannabis Culture
The Massachusetts Bar Association — and a huge majority of state residents — favor medical marijuana.

​The Massachusetts Bar Association’s (MBA) House of Delegates voted overwhelmingly last month to support House Bill 2160, a bipartisan medical marijuana bill introduced in the State House earlier this year.

The bill would “regulate the use of marijuana by patients approved by physicians and certified by the department of public health.”
“The MBA supports this legislation because it affirms the rights of patients to be treated with medical marijuana — a drug with proven efficacy — while including important regulations to deter improper use,” said former MBA president David White, who introduced the measure.
“Provisions like state-issued ID cards for patients, state certification of a limited number of dispensaries, and rules governing secure growing sites ensure that only patients who have their doctor’s recommendation can obtain medical marijuana.”

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Photo: Louisiana State Police
Sea of green: Troopers say they discovered between 1,000 and 1,500 plants

​Police say they’ve arrested a 37-year-old man after finding between 1,000 and 1,500 marijuana plants growing in a trailer next to his home in Ponchatoula, La.

State Police Trooper Nick Manale told WWLTV the plants found in the “elaborate growing operation” had an “estimated value of about $1.8 million.”
Cannabis was discovered growing in the trailer, home, and garage of Jack Methvin.
The operation to find the plants started after the State Police Narcotics division got a tip that Methvin was growing pot, according to Manale.

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Photo: Huntington, W.Va. Police Department
This is what the cops described as a “sophisticated marijuana factory.” Guess they don’t get out much.

​A former voice for a drug-free workplace pleaded guilty Friday to “trafficking medical grade marijuana,” reports Curtis Johnson at the Huntington Herald-Dispatch.

Wendall Searls, 56, admitted in court Friday that he grew “medical grade” marijuana for himself, family and friends.
Huntington, W.Va., police called the grow operation a “marijuana factory” when they raided the house in September. They said they found more than 100 cannabis plants in a sophisticated indoor facility. Police said they believed Searls owned the grow house, but lived with his fiancée in Putnam County.

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gurn.files.wordpress.com
Lil Wayne: Busted again, and already headed to prison in February

​Rapper Lil Wayne was detained by U.S. Border Patrol agents in Texas today after drug dogs detected marijuana on two of his tour buses, reports Aspen Steib of CNN.

The famed rapper, whose real name is DeWayne Michael Carter, Jr., was among 12 people being detained from the Lil Wayne entourage, according to Agent Joe Trevino.
Trevino told CNN the tour buses were on their way to Laredo, Texas, after playing a gig in Hidalgo, Mexico.

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Artwork: Jim Wheeler
Safe access to marijuana remains a distant dream to many patients — even in states which have legalized medical use

​One by one, the lights are winking out. In city after city, town after town, in states where medical marijuana is now legal, patients who had dared hope they would at last have safe access to the medicine recommended by their doctors are having those hopes dashed.
The problem? Political cowardice and the panicked reaction of the status quo.
Every week brings more news of freaked out city councils and county boards of supervisors who desperately want to appear to be “doing something” — anything — about the proliferation of marijuana dispensaries.
This phenomenon is so far mostly confined to California and to a lesser extent Colorado, but it’s unfortunately also starting to happen in Michigan, Montana and even Maine — where voters specifically approved dispensaries in November.
Rather than showing true leadership by showing genuine concern for patients and communities, too many local government officials are going for the easy, knee-jerk reaction. The level of disregard for the intentions of the voters — who clearly expressed their will by legalizing medical marijuana — is breathtaking.

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MediLeaf
The little dispensary that could: MediLeaf is still open, despite the efforts of the Gilroy, Calif., City Council

​​A Superior Court judge handed down a ruling Tuesday keeping Gilroy, California’s new medical marijuana dispensary open for now, prompting a city councilman to call for a refund from the city’s legal firm.

MediLeaf owners embraced and sighed with relief in San Jose when Judge Kevin Murphy denied the City of Gilroy’s legal request for an injunction to shut the dispensary down immediately until after a trial ended, reports Jonathan Partridge of the Gilroy Dispatch.
The dispensary could open remain for a year or longer as the case winds its way through the labyrinthine legal process.
If that sounds expensive for the city, yes, it is. Councilman Craig Gartman said this week the he’d heard litigation could cost the city at least $250,000, and maybe up to half a million dollars.

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Photo: stopthedrugwar.org
San Diegans protest Operation Green Rx, District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis’ dispensary crackdown

​The San Diego City Council is considering adopting dispensary regulations that were developed recently by the city’s Medical Marijuana Task Force, with substantial public input.

The task force held public meetings, studied ordinances from other cities and counties around the state, and considered comments from San Diego residents over a period of five weeks before making the recommendations.
“The San Diego City Council is doing a difficult and brave thing,” said Margaret Dooley-Sammuli, deputy state director in Southern California for the Drug Policy Alliance Network. “It’s putting safe access for medical marijuana patients and the needs of San Diegans above the political opposition of the County Board of Supervisors and the District Attorney.”
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