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Just when a corporate giant like the New York Times begins to restore your faith in the main stream media, along comes another Sunday episode of Meet The Press to leave you stopping in mid-toke to scream at your TV.
The channel cannot change fast enough when someone like John McCain is being asked, for some damn reason, for his opinion on foreign policy, yet not being asked how the hell he thought that bringing us Sarah Palin was a good idea. This week, however, the topic turned to pot, and guest panelist and Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus gave us all a renewed hatred for out of touch journalists.

Cops in Grand Rapids, Michigan say a local physician helped a “drug trafficking” ring by writing medical recommendations for cannabis without ever seeing patients or even looking at medical records.
For his part, Dr. Gregory Kuldanek says he was always following state laws.
The charges, made this week in U.S. District Court, allege that Kuldanek and nine other people worked together to grow more than 100 marijuana plants. Kuldanek was also charged with “maintaining a drug-involve premises.” In other words, the DEA is arguing that the doc wrote fake recommendations to members of the pot ring to covering their activities in the state medical marijuana program.
According to the DEA, Kuldanek wrote recommendations for 66 patients and caregivers linked to the organization, often signing over “stacks” of them on the same day. Prosecutors say there’s no way he could have seen all of those patients in that time span.

Valarie Joaceus looks beat. Inside her tidy living room in North Lauderdale, the blinds drawn tight against the July sun’s bite, she’s slumped on a leather couch, a heavy-set, middle-aged mom overloaded with worry. Joaceus’ two sons — 26-year-old Jonathan and 25-year-old Gregory — have had their trouble with police. The oldest even spent two years in prison on a drug charge. But the latest conflict has crushed Joaceus’ patience. Because this time, she says, it’s a Broward Sheriff Office deputy who broke the law.
“That day was just the icing on the cake,” she says. “What the hell was that man doing in my house?”

Bill Clinton in Denver. Additional photos and a video below.

The Clinton Global Initiative, which took place in Denver last week, received a showy national platform yesterday via an extended Meet the Press segment featuring former President Bill Clinton. Among the questions posed by host/interviewer David Gregory was one about medical marijuana, and Clinton’s expressed support for state’s rights strikes one cannabis advocate as another step in the political mainstreaming of pot.

A federally-sponsored study on the harms of marijuana found – surprise! – that marijuana is harmful to the brains of youth who smoke it, even casually.
Yes, a Northwestern University School of Medicine study funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Office of National Drug Control Policy found that marijuana use physically alters brain structures. The study didn’t examine whether or not those changes caused any decline in the brains of users, but that didn’t stop them from making that connection.

Addiction Inbox

Marijuana use may be linked to the development of psychotic symptoms in some teenagers, but the reverse could also be true: psychosis in adolescents may be linked to later pot use, according to a new study from the Netherlands.

“We have focused mainly on temporal order: Is it the chicken or the egg?” the study’s lead author Merel Griffith-Lendering, a doctoral candidate in the Netherlands, wrote to Reuters. “As the study shows, it is a bidirectional relationship.”

Spotlight on Sustainability

​Kentucky farmers could soon once again lead the nation with a crop steeped in tradition: hemp.

With the support of Agriculture Commissioner James Comer, Kentucky lawmakers filed a bill on Thursday to put Comer at the head of the long-dormant Kentucky Industrial Hemp Commission and renew a drive to bring the crop back, reports Janet Patton at the Herald-Leader.
Twelve Kentucky House members — including a former speaker — signed on to support the bill to promote industrial hemp production in the state, reports Gregory A. Hall at the Courier-Journal.
Hemp — also known as cannabis sativa — is one of the world’s oldest cultivated plants, but it was consigned to outlaw status when marijuana prohibition was implemented in 1937, even though hemp strains of cannabis have almost no THC, the principal ingredient that gives users a high.

University of New Haven
The simplify the process for cops (who, as we know, need for things to be as simple as possible), Coyle and her team developed a “collection card” Officers can rub a bud onto a card, then mail it to UNH’s lab.

​A new marijuana DNA database can tell if a particular batch of cannabis is one of more than 25 types that have been genetically mapped by a forensic botanist in Connecticut.

DNA analysis has almost unlimited potential in helping patients and breeders — once it’s used for that purpose, instead of to bust us.
But before you get too pumped about this exciting new service, I should point out that word “forensic” in botanist Heather Coyle’s job description. That’s right, this DNA analysis is meant to benefit cops and federal agents, not cannabis patients or breeders.

Mark Zaleski/Riverside Press-Enterprise
Medical marijuana patient Abel Chapa demonstrates in front of Riverside 4th District Court of Appeal as arguments are heard in two medical marijuana dispensary ban cases, one in Riverside and one in Upland

​In a decision that could have immediate effects, California cities and counties can ban medical marijuana dispensaries within their borders, a state appeals court has ruled.

Other courts have upheld local governments’ authority to restrict and zone the locations of the shops, or even declare temporary moratoriums, but Wednesday’s ruling, in a Riverside case, was the first to address a citywide ban, reports Bob Egelko at the San Francisco Chronicle.

The issue has made its way through the California courts for years, but the opinion issued Wednesday is the first one that directly addresses the issue in unambiguous language, reports John Hoeffel at the Los Angeles Times. The decision upholding Riverside’s dispensary ban will likely result in more cities and counties prohibiting the pot shops.

The Sacramento Bee
Happier times: Lito Catabran, 62, in front of One Love Wellness Center in Sacramento in August. Catabran, a former RV salesman, had hoped to retire soon.

​In what appears to be an escalation of the U.S. government effort to stamp out medical marijuana, federal authorities have seized almost $250,000 from the accounts of two Sacramento area dispensaries in an investigation of alleged concealment of cannabis profits.

U.S. Magistrate Gregory G. Hollows approved two warrants on September 22 allowing authorities to seize business checking accounts from operators of the One Love Wellness Center dispensary in Sacramento and Mary Jane’s Wellness in Gold River, reports Peter Hecht at the Sacramento Bee.

The warrants were requested by a U.S. Treasury Department criminal task force. They allege that the two dispensaries may have violated U.S. financial laws through irregular banking deposits to avoid detection by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
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