• Gwinnett seizes 500 pounds of Marijuana, valued at $1.2 Million

    February 04, 2016

    The Gwinnett Metro Task Force busted a major marijuana racket and seized 500 pounds of pot, valued at $1.2 million. The incident occurred Tuesday afternoon. A truck carried all 500 pounds of marijuana. The investigators acted swiftly on a tip-off about a suspicious vehicle driving in the Lawrenceville area. They spotted the U-Haul truck near the intersection of Ga. Highway 316 and Cedars Road and raided it.

    The investigators searched the vehicle and found 427 packages of marijuana, totaling 504 pounds.

    Driver of the truck, 46-year-old Mark Anthony Spaziano, along with the passenger, 48-year-old John Anthony Edney, were arrested. They have been charged with trafficking marijuana. They were put in the Gwinnett County Jail.

    The Gwinnett Metro Task Force includes deputies from the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office and officers from the Lilburn, Lawrenceville, Duluth and Suwanee Police Departments. It was formed in 2012 to investigate drug and vice complaints within the city limits of Lilburn, Lawrenceville, Duluth and Suwanee.

  • Facebook shuts down Marijuana Business Pages in New Jersey

    February 04, 2016

    Social networking site Facebook has shut down three of five business pages owned by New Jersey's medical marijuana dispensaries. The move is aimed at banning promotion of drugs, but advocates term it as an attempt to prevent the patients from getting accurate information and offers.

    Three pages that were shut down by Facebook this week, are Compassionate Sciences in Bellmawr, Garden State in Woodbridge, and Breakwater Treatment and Wellness in Cranbury. It can be noted that Facebook's advertising policy bans promotion of selling drugs as well as tobacco and guns. Medical marijuana too comes under drugs category, as it's still banned under federal law.

    Even though the dispensaries have been legally operating in New Jersey since 2011, Facebook does not acknowledge it. Even in 2015, Facebook had shut down the page for the Harborside Health Center, a dispensary in Oakland, California. But, later it was reinstated.

    According to The Associated Press, Facebook spokeswoman Arielle Aryah confirmed in an email that the pages were removed for violating the Community Standards prescribed by Facebook. Over 5,500 patients have registered for medical marijuana in New Jersey with the participation of over 300 doctors in the program. Removal of these pages, could affect them to some extent, as it was always easier to retrieve information from a large online forum like Facebook.

    Meanwhile, the medical dispensaries whose pages were removed from Facebook, sought to downplay the development, saying it was Facebook's prerogative to retain or remove the pages and that they were just doing their job. They believe that they would find other ways to serve the patients if Facebook continues with its policy and does not reinstate their pages.

  • Sacramento City Council allows indoor Medical Marijuana Cultivation

    February 03, 2016

    The Sacramento City Council voted to promulgate an ordinance, which would allow cultivation of medical marijuana by clinics inside the buildings. As per the ordinance, the buildings should be up to 22,000 square feet, which is the size of four and a half NBA basketball courts.

    The buildings must be located in agriculture or commercial zones and they cannot be near a park or school. The marijuana industry in Sacramento City, has welcomed the decision. The ordinance ensured that Sacramento becomes the largest city in California to approve medical marijuana cultivation on such a larger scale.

    The city would earn 4% tax from the cultivators, which would amount to $1 million revenue per year. Potential marijuana growers need to apply for a permit through the city. The council will decide on the number of permits to be issued. It's yet to be decided.

    Meanwhile, Sacramento City leaders have added a 45-day moratorium to the ordinance so that all pending issues are sorted out. According to reports, Southeast Sacramento district is expected to see 80 percent of the total cultivation. It would become a medical marijuana cultivation hub in future.

  • D.C. to study possible licensing of Marijuana Clubs

    February 03, 2016

    The District of Columbia Council has unanimously voted to study the possible licensing of marijuana clubs just ahead of the anniversary of legalization of pot in the U.S. capital. The council also extended a temporary ban on smoking marijuana in private clubs. A task force will soon submit its report on the establishment of marijuana clubs.

    The District of Columbia (D.C.) had legalized recreational marijuana in February 2015. The law allows adults to possess small amount of marijuana and grow and consume it at home. However, it had to ban the sale of marijuana. Despite this, public smoking of pot has become very common in the region.

    There were many Councilmembers, who opposed restricting recreational marijuana consumption to homes. Mayor Muriel Bowser and Police Chief Cathy Lanier have pushed for the permanent ban, but they faced stiff opposition from proponents, who argued that clubs would play a key role in the implementation of 2014 ballot initiative, which legalized pot in Washington.

    Besides the District of Columbia, the states of Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska have legalized recreational marijuana. However, it still banned under federal law.
  • U.S. Customs seizes fake carrots stuffed with Marijuana

    January 14, 2016

    The U.S. Customs and Border Protection have detected marijuana worth $500k stuffed inside fake carrots on the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge connecting the Mexican-US border. There were enough packages to fill two pick up truck beds. The incident occurred on January 10. The USCBP agents first searched the vehicle by using non-intrusive imaging technology. Later, they took the help of sniffer dogs.

    The officials found more than on ton of marijuana wrapped in orange tape, which gave a look of carrots at the first sight. In total, 2,817 carrot-shaped packages were recovered from the pick up trucks.

    The drug smugglers have devised new ways to smuggle huge quantity of cannabis across the US-Mexico border. And, the latest development proved that they have been able to demonstrate their creativity in the illegal drug trade.

    The case is now being investigated by agents from Homeland Security Investigations.
  • Ohio forms 14-member Task Force on Medical Marijuana

    January 14, 2016

    The House Republicans in Ohio, have announced a 14-member Task Force that would work on the issue of medical marijuana and submit a report to the Ohio House later this year. State Rep. J. Kirk Schuring, R-Canton, will serve as chairman. Attorney Chris Stock and businessman Jimmy Gould, who have been making huge efforts to legalize medical marijuana in Ohio, are also part of the team.

    The Task Force includes Doctors, Lawmakers, Businessmen, Cops and Advocates. State Rep. Steve Huffman, R-Troy, who is part of the panel, is also a medical Doctor. Although Huffman had opposed Issue 3 medical marijuana initiative in November, he is ready to support it now if it's tightly controlled.

    The goal of the task force would be to garner opinion and suggestions from the members on both sides and hold discussions with medical experts, community advocacy groups and law enforcement officials.

    In November 2015, Ohioans voted 65-35 percent against Issue 3, a proposed constitutional amendment that would have legalized medical and recreational marijuana. However, public opinion polls show that majority of people are in favor of medical marijuana although they are opposed to recreational use of pot. That compelled the lawmakers in Ohio to take a fresh look at the issue.

    Although 23 U.S. states have legalized medical marijuana and 17 have allowed limited use of low THC and high cannabidiol products, pot still remains prohibited under the federal law.
  • New York's 1st Medical Marijuana Dispensaries to open Thursday

    January 06, 2016

    In a historic move, the first Medical Marijuana Dispensaries of New York, will open today amid strict rules and regulation. In total, eight dispensaries are slated to be launched across the state. The Compassionate Care Act was signed into law in July 2014, allowing patients with debilitating or life threatening conditions to obtain medical marijuana.

    The Department of Health has listed the following diseases under the ambit of medical marijuana use: cancer, HIV infection or AIDS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury with spasticity, epilepsy, inflammatory bowel disease, neuropathy, and Huntington's disease.

    Patients suffering from the above conditions would have to consult registered physician to receive a prescription. Doctors are required to pay for a $249 four-hour online course in order to receive training/licensing. The Department of Health will soon post a list of registered physicians who consent to providing their names and specialties.

    Patients with certification from a registered physicians, will be required to register with the Medical Marijuana program through the Department of Health's site and pay the $50 application fee. The registered patients will receive a registry identification card through email. Patients then will have to schedule an appointment with one of the authorized dispensaries to meet with a pharmacist to get a 30-day supply of medical marijuana.

    New York is the only state apart from Minnesota to limit medical marijuana to non-smokeable extracts delivered in forms such as capsules, vaporizers and oral liquids. The medical marijuana program in New York will be limited to 20 dispensaries.