Ads running to legalize marijuana in three states
By Carl Marcucci
In November, voters in Colorado, Washington and Oregon will consider legalizing marijuana for recreational use. Although similar initiatives have failed in the past, this time the groups fighting to legalize pot are well-organized, professional and backed by high-dollar donors willing to outspend the competition, reports Raycom News Network.
In Colorado, the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol (CRMLA) has produced several ads that say marijuana is healthier than alcohol. The campaign’s website points to medical studies that claim marijuana, unlike alcohol, has not been linked to cancer, brain damage, addiction or high healthcare costs.
CRMLA was given nearly $1.2 million from the Marijuana Policy Project, a DC-based lobbying group, as well as more than $800,000 by Peter Lewis, the founder and chairman of Progressive Insurance. Lewis has been a vocal proponent of marijuana legalization for several years and donated millions to legalization efforts around the country.
In an online video ad campaign, CRMLA has young adults explaining to their parents they prefer marijuana to alcohol. In one of the ads, titled Dear Mom, a 20-something woman tells her mother marijuana is “better for my body, I don’t get hung-over and honestly I feel safer around marijuana users.”
In Washington, rather than comparing marijuana to alcohol, New Approach Washington (NAW) is focusing on legalization, arguing outlawing cannabis does more harm than good, by wasting tax dollars on law enforcement while letting gangs control the money. She describes the possible benefits of legalization through saved law enforcement dollars and extra tax revenue.
The TV spot has a professional/executive looking woman, “I don’t like it personally, but it’s time for a conversation about legalizing marijuana. It’s a multi-million dollar industry in Washington state, and we get no benefit.”
These efforts appear to be working. In Washington, 50% of voters say marijuana should be legal while 38% say it should not, according to an Elway Research poll. And in Colorado, a Denver Post poll showed 51% of Coloradans were in favor of legalization, while 41% opposed it.
In Washington, the effort to legalize marijuana is being fought with a bankroll of between $4 and $5 million, according to the Raycom News Network story. NAW used those funds to put $1 million into television advertising during August, and hope to put triple that amount into the weeks preceding the November vote.
In total, groups in Colorado fighting to get marijuana legalized have a war chest of $2.5 million.
The campaigns are especially targeting women ages 30 to 55, whom tend to be less supportive of legalization and regulation than men.
The only visible group opposing the marijuana ballot, SMART Colorado, has been given less than $200,000 – most of it from Save Our Society, a Florida-based anti-drug group.
RBR-TVBR observation: Interesting that the Chairman of Progressive Insurance is donating so much money in this legalization effort. Perhaps legalizing it would create fewer accidents/injuries from police chases and save the insurance industry money? We doubt drivers with the stuff in their car would try to flee if it’s no more illegal than a pack of cigarettes. Who knows, but Progressive is a big corporation and Lewis seems to not be concerned about sticking his neck out on this.
Taco Bell chair fight leads East Bay police to marijuana grow operation
By Erin Ivie Tri-Valley Times
You are the company you keep. -UA
Police responded to reports of an assault inside the Taco Bell at 985 E. Stanley Blvd. about 1 p.m., Officer Steve Goard said.
Witnesses said one man, later identified as Denzel Green, 21, walked into the restaurant with a friend, Jose Serrano, 20, and hoisted a chair over his head, striking another man across his upper torso in an apparently unprovoked attack. As Green went to raise the chair a second time, he inadvertently struck Serrano, knocking him down and causing him to bleed heavily from the head, police said.
The two took off from the Taco Bell despite Serrano being disoriented and having difficulty walking, Goard said. The pair fled to a friend's apartment in the 900 block of Murrieta Boulevard, where officers responded shortly thereafter.
Authorities entered the apartment in an attempt to detain Green, who had tried to run out a back door, and locate the injured Serrano, whose fresh blood was spattered outside the apartment, police said.
While inside the apartment, police found that its residents, Andrew Bartow, 25, and Michael Bartow, 22, had converted three of the bedrooms into marijuana grow rooms, authorities said. Firearms, methamphetamine and evidence of oxycodone and heroin use were also found at the scene.
Authorities called in officers with narcotics experience to take over the investigation. The officers found that both men fraudulently obtained cannabis documents in order to hide the fact that they were growing marijuana for profit, Goard said.
According to investigators, evidence indicated that the two were extracting hashish oil, the same dangerous practice that led to an explosion on Silver Oaks Way in May 2011. City engineers deemed the apartment unsafe, uninhabitable and a fire hazard because of the oil extraction and a manipulated electrical system.
Serrano was transported to Valley Care Hospital, where he was treated for his head injury, then to Santa Rita Jail, where he and Green were booked on charges of assault with a deadly weapon.
Andrew and Michael Bartow were arrested on suspicion of marijuana cultivation and face additional charges for drug and firearms violations.
The victim of the chair fight sustained only minor injuries.
Medical marijuana grower convicted
Federal authorities said Jason Nelson and others shipped their crop to Boston
By Jeff Barnard registerguard.com
GRANTS PASS — The owner of a Grants Pass bicycle shop has become the first registered medical marijuana grower in Oregon to be convicted on federal charges since the U.S. attorney’s office started cracking down on abusers of the state law.
Authorities said Jason Michael Scott Nelson, 36, was one of four medical marijuana growers from Southwestern Oregon who pooled their harvests and made monthly shipments from Portland to Boston in pods loaded with furniture bought from Goodwill. The other three faced state charges.
“Our hope was to expose the lie about these huge operations that are just benevolently supplying medicine to sick people,” said Amanda Marshall, U.S. attorney for Oregon. “Now we have the opportunity with this conviction to be able to have one more bit of evidence out there so people can be thinking critically whether or not this is what they want in their communities.”
A U.S. District Court jury in Medford convicted Nelson on Friday of conspiracy to grow and sell more than 100 marijuana plants, growing more than 100 marijuana plants, and possession of unregistered machine guns, silencers and short-barreled rifles. The jury also found that his house in a rural area outside Grants Pass should be forfeited as part of an illegal drug operation.
A judge on Monday ordered Nelson held pending sentencing on Aug. 13. The jury also found his house should be seized as part of an illegal drug operation.
Nelson was arrested in May 2011 based on information stemming from the arrest of a woman shipping 74 pounds of pot from Portland to Boston in a load of furniture, said Grants Pass police Detective Ray Myers of Rogue Area Drug Enforcement.
After state police arrested Elizabeth Saul of Selma in Portland, she told investigators about three men providing marijuana to her, and one of them led investigators to Nelson, Myers said. The marijuana was selling for $2,400 to $2,700 a pound and the group had made two other shipments.
Authorities said that when investigators searched Nelson’s property, they found a room elaborately set up for growing marijuana, mature and immature plants, and another room hidden behind a gun safe that contained 29 heat-sealed packages of trimmed marijuana buds. Investigators also found the illegal firearms.
Richard Michael Sherman testified that he passed marijuana from Nelson on to Saul. Sherman said he worked in Nelson’s bike shop, trimmed marijuana buds for him and lived rent free at a house next to his. Sherman pleaded guilty three weeks ago to a federal charge of conspiracy to manufacture marijuana and testified against Nelson. He has yet to be sentenced.
Nelson testified that he was registered with the state to grow marijuana for four patients, and that only 6 pounds of the packaged marijuana was his.
At harvest time last fall, federal agents heaped hundreds of plants on dump trucks and hauled them away from five large cooperative medical marijuana gardens in Jackson County, which lies at the tip of the Green Triangle of prime marijuana growing country in Northern California and Southern Oregon.
Six men are awaiting trial.
Marshall’s predecessor, Dwight Holton, cited shipments of medical marijuana tracked to other states last year when he characterized Oregon’s medical marijuana law as a “train wreck.”
Medical marijuana advocates have said they are eager to work with federal authorities to control the illegal sales of medical pot, because they reduce supplies available to qualified patients.
Oregon was one of the first states in the nation to make it legal to grow and use marijuana for medical purposes. Since then, marijuana advocates failed to win passage of a measure to make medical marijuana available to patients through dispensaries, but hope to qualify a measure making marijuana legal for the November ballot.
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Strains: StarDog & Lambs Bread
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Rappers Paul Wall and Baby Bash Arrested for Marijuana Possession
Rappers Paul Wall and Baby Bash (real names Paul Michael Slayton and Ronald Ray Bryant) found themselves in hot water on Saturday night when they were arrested for marijuana possession in a—wait for it!—drug-free zone in El Paso, TX.
El Paso County Jail Records show the two were arrested at 1:30 a.m. and were released around 1:30 p.m. after posting $300 bail. They were charged with possession of marijuana in a quantity of less than 2 oz.
So what did Mr. Wall have to say about the arrest on Twitter?
It looks like the rappers received a music history lesson during their jail stay as Paul tweeted, "Fresh out the El Paso County jail wit @BabyBash @BIGGROY in the same tank they held Willie Nelson/Johnny Cash."
He also posted pictures of the two of them in handcuffs in the back of the police car. Maybe they can use one of the pictures for a future album cover?
Thankfully, Paul found something good in all of this: "The good news is the Texans won," he tweeted.
However, Baby Bash didn't seem as thrilled with the arrest as his buddy. "Ain't 2much worse than a " HOE ASS PUNK EL PASO COP that abuses his authority, just cuz me and Paul wall are artists!" he tweeted. "Only GEEKS and fools who don't have any spine abuses AUthority! But I'm back in the FLESH feelin so FRESH, out the tank mang!"
In case you didn't understand that, Baby Bash then posted another message clarifying his previous tweet. "I'm not here to diss ALL police, they have a tuff gig and I respect that! BUT u have the ONE or TWO that will disrespect & abuse the power cuz maybe they got picked on in high school alot and now have a chip on they're shoulder, and that's exactly wut happened to Us, all we did was SMELL like weed and wen he couldn't find it and we didn't snitch on who sparked it he got overdramatic and took us in! He found out who we were and really got big shot on us! Haha even his partner said he's a dick."
We sincerely look forward to a song that uses this experience as inspiration.
Genetically modified pot a license to print money for Colombian farmers
Genetically modified pot seeds from Amsterdam grown on pot farms and in greenhouses in Colombia is fetching 10 times the price of regular marijuana.
Hey Columbia! Monsanto genetically modifies stuff, including marijuana.....Amsterdam selectively breeds their plants......FYI.....-UA
Freya Petersen June 24 globalpost.com
With varietal names like "creepy," who can doubt them?
Local authorities said the arrival of genetically modified seeds from Europe and the United States have allowed "a bigger production and better quality at the same time."
The head of one farm told AFP that a genetically modified variety known in Europe as "La Cominera," from a seed modified in The Netherlands, is sold for about 10 times the rate for "normal" marijuana.
Colombian authorities said the arrival of genetically modified seeds from Europe and the United States have allowed "a bigger
One owner of a greenhouse an hour's drive from the city of Cali, said she can sell the modified marijuana for 100,000 pesos ($54) a kilo (2.2 pounds), which is nearly 10 times more than the price she can get for ordinary marijuana.
"La Cominera," is named for the Colombian village where it grows.
La Cominera's" higher value is due to its increased concentration of THC, the plant's principal active ingredient, and the modified plant verges on an 18 percent concentration level, compared to a normal marijuana plant's 2 to 7 percent, said the researcher.
Another farmer tells AFP: "I don't like growing marijuana, but it ended up that way. I received a loan to grow coffee, but I was drowning and I had to sell my harvest very cheap. My sister told me it would be better to plant marijuana."
Residents of Cali say they cannot sustain themselves on coffee and banana crops alone, because of price fluctuations and the difficulties in reaching markets in time, due to a poor road network.
Police commander Rodriguez said the GM crop's growth poses a problem for local law enforcement, because profits are often used to finance other criminal activity.
Police say that in this region of southwest Colombia, marijuana is the principle method of financing FARC — the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia — Latin America's largest and longest-fighting insurgency.
According to organized crime website InSight, the FARC have become the country's primary marijuana dealers, with the majority of seizures, normally between one and four tons, occurring along the Pacific coast, particularly in Cauca.
The Colombian army in March seized 2.3 tons of FARC-owned marijuana and destroyed several greenhouses, El Espectador reported.
"We believe that the sixth front of the FARC guerrilla forces are 90 percent financed by marijuana," Cauca Police Commander Colonel Carlos Rodriguez said, AFP reports.
Rapper Announces 'YG OG' Strain of Medicinal Weed
This is so ridiculous. Dispensaries should be setting an example for responsible usage as well as endorsement. There are plenty of patients and freedom fighters worthy of s strain dedication before this goof. SMH.......-UA
Compton, California rapper YG--the man behind the hit single "Toot It and Boot It," is announcing the launch of his own strain of weed, dubbed "YG OG." The high-grade marijuana is being sold exclusively at Green Aid. an Orange County medicinal marijuana dispensary that specializes in a wide variety of weed and daily specials.
“Having my own weed makes me feel like the muthaf**kin man,” YG said. “It gets you higher than every other weed.” The product was cultivated and developed after a chance encounter with Green Aid's general manager, Brooks Johnson, who met YG through a mutual friend.
“As soon as we featured the new YG OG medicine it became an overnight demand amongst our patients,” said Johnson. Reportedly, the store has already sold out, with new product expected on shelves in two weeks.
(ALL POT-HOLES OF THE WEEK ARE ELIGIBLE FOR OUR POT-HOLE OF THE MONTH AWARD! HAVE A GOOD POT-HOLE STORY? WE WANT TO HEAR IT).
RI Republican’s leadership position up in smoke after pot arrest
Feed him to the dogs. -UA
BY GABE NAJAR ⋅ MAY 3, 2011
RI House Minority Leader Robert Watson (R) has lost his leadership position Tuesday over a recent arrest in Connecticut on DUI and marijuana possession charges.
On Tuesday, house Republicans voted 6-2 for Rep. Brian Newberry of North Smithfield to replace Rep. Watson as Republican house leader.
Connecticut police arrested Watson last month after Watson failed sobriety tests at a police checkpoint.
The police also found marijuana and a pipe in his pocket.
Watson claims he wasn’t drunk and that he uses pot to treat pain from pancreatitis. Watson will keep his East Greenwich house seat.