Seattle Times, 25 Jan 2015 - County Supported I-502 by State's Widest Margin Not in This Neighborhood, Some Residents Now Say SAN JUAN ISLAND - A drug operation is tucked into the trees on a San Juan Island horse farm that neighbors have argued could lead to "home-invasion robberies, thefts and murders."
Chillicothe Gazette, 24 Jan 2015 - CHILLICOTHE - For most parents, their worst nightmare is burying their child. Marshall Frankel lives that nightmare daily. Frankel lost his daughter, Michelle Frankel, and his son, Benjamin Frankel, within months last year to overdoses involving heroin, with Michelle passing away in April and Benjamin in June.
News & Observer, 20 Jan 2015 - In a notable instance of bipartisanship, Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) co-sponsored a bill last session seeking to address concerns about the harmful effects of mandatory minimum sentencing. If it had passed, the Justice Safety Valve Act would have allowed judges to deviate from mandatory minimums in instances where they deemed a lesser sentence to be warranted. Mandatory minimums imposed by legislatures prescribe specific sentences for certain offenses, particularly those involving drugs. This policy was intended to alleviate reasonable concerns that the discretion afforded to judges resulted in varied sentences for defendants who had committed similar crimes. Although uniformity in punishment and equal treatment under law ought to be objectives of a functioning legal system, mandatory minimums routinely result in unnecessarily lengthy prison sentences while also failing to deter crime. A government ought not deprive a citizen of his liberty except if he poses a concrete risk to the security of others. Many sentenced under mandatory minimums are nonviolent offenders who would have received lighter sentences or even probation but were required to be incarcerated. Weldon Angelos, a man with no prior convictions, was sentenced to 55 years in prison for selling marijuana while carrying a firearm. The U.S. District Court judge who was bound by the mandatory minimum when sentencing Angelos called the punishment "unjust, cruel and even irrational."
Albuquerque Journal, 19 Jan 2015 - WASHINGTON - Tucked deep inside the 1,603-page federal spending measure is a provision that effectively ends the federal government's prohibition on medical marijuana and signals a major shift in drug policy. The bill's passage last month marks the first time Congress has approved nationally significant legislation backed by legalization advocates. It brings almost to a close two decades of tension between the states and Washington over medical use of marijuana.
Albuquerque Journal, 18 Jan 2015 - At the US-Mexico Border, a Flood of Heroin, Meth Show the Trade Is Changing SAN YSIDRO, Calif. - Mexican traffickers are sending a flood of cheap heroin and methamphetamine across the U.S. border, the latest drug-seizure statistics show, in a new sign that America's marijuana decriminalization trend is upending the North American narcotics trade.
Globe and Mail, 16 Jan 2015 - Josef Schwarz was in a Catch-22. The tenant living in his rental property was accused of being involved in drug activity, but provincial law stipulated he could not evict her unless she was convicted of a crime. B.C.'s Civil Forfeiture Office, which seizes property connected with unlawful activity, went after the $300,000 house, claiming the woman's continued presence there would lead to more crime.
Daily Telegraph, 16 Jan 2015 - On-The-Spot Saliva Test for Cannabis and Cocaine Use Approved for Use by Police Police will be able to test drivers for drugs on the roadside after the first mobile checking device was approved. The "Drugwipe" can trace cocaine and cannabis in a saliva sample within three minutes. Drivers will be tested on the spot, rather than at a police station, meaning convictions are likely to soar as the device is increasingly adopted by forces. Mike Penning, the police minister, said chief constables would now be able to roll out the Securetec DrugWipe 3S after the technology was rubber-stamped by Home Office scientists. "Drug drivers are a deadly menace and must be stopped," said Mr Penning. "Those who get behind the wheel while under the influence of drugs not only put their own lives at risk, but also those of innocent pedestrians, motorists and their passengers." The test can detect cocaine and cannabis, the substances most commonly used by drug drivers. The manufacturers also produce a test for other drugs including heroin, amphetamine and Ecstasy, but this version has not yet won Home Office backing. A positive test will show red lines, similar to a pregnancy test.
Washington Post, 16 Jan 2015 - FBI agent Matthew Lowry checked out Item 1B4 from the evidence room at the bureau's Washington field office on an August morning in 2013. He wrote "to lab" on a log sheet to explain why he was taking drugs that had been seized in an undercover operation dubbed Midnight Hustle. But it was nearly a year later when he delivered the drug package to the lab. For 10 months, court records show, the heroin had gone unaccounted for and unmissed. When the package made it back to the FBI office in September, it weighed 1.1 grams more than when it had been seized.
Vancouver 24hours, 15 Jan 2015 - Don Briere has hardly any time to stay in one place to chat because of the demand his Weeds Glass & Gifts chain store is serving. What skyrocketed Briere into notoriety in 2004 - opening up the Da Kine cafe on Commercial Drive that was dramatically raided by SWAT teams - has now turned into a prosperous business over the last 17 months as he's opened a chain of 11 medical marijuana dispensaries in Vancouver. He's now eyeing three more in the near future across municipalities in B.C.
Rolling Stone, 15 Jan 2015 - Leading at the Ballot Box From Alaska to Washington, D.C., Americans Are Charting a Path to a Saner National Drug Policy The conservative wave of 2014 featured an unlikely, progressive undercurrent: In two states, plus the nation's capital, Americans voted convincingly to pull the plug on marijuana prohibition. Even more striking were the results in California, where voters overwhelmingly passed one of the broadest sentencing reforms in the nation, de-felonizing possession of hard drugs.
Boston Globe, 13 Jan 2015 - SACRAMENTO (AP) - A federal judge in California is weighing the constitutionality of a 45-year-old act that classifies marijuana as a dangerous drug along with LSD, cocaine, and heroin. US District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller in Sacramento held a five-day fact-finding hearing on the classification question late last year, and final arguments are scheduled for next month. Her ruling is expected later this year.
Washington Post, 13 Jan 2015 - Inside the camp activity room there were cheerful posters on the wall, long windows that opened to sweeping, wintry views of the Chesapeake Bay and a couple dozen boisterous tweens. There were pictures of childhood icons: Bugs Bunny, Popeye, Cookie Monster, Oscar the Grouch, Scooby-Doo. On day two of their weekend adventure at Camp Mariposa, the kids had composed a camp song and were eager to get to the next activity: the indoor climbing wall.
The Herald Journal, 12 Jan 2015 - SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - A federal judge in California is weighing the constitutionality of a 45-year-old act that classifies marijuana as a dangerous drug along with LSD, cocaine and heroin. U.S. District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller in Sacramento held a five-day fact-finding hearing on the classification question late last year, and final arguments are scheduled for next month, the Los Angeles Times reported Monday. Her ruling is expected later this year.
Washington Post, 12 Jan 2015 - Seizure Data Shows Drug Trade Is Changing SAN YSIDRO, CALIF. - Mexican traffickers are sending a flood of cheap heroin and methamphetamine across the U.S. border, the latest drug seizure statistics show, in a new sign that America's marijuana decriminalization trend is upending the North American narcotics trade.
Roanoke Times, 11 Jan 2015 - The last time a marijuana decriminalization bill was introduced in the Virginia General Assembly session the year was 2011 and the patron was Del. Harvey Morgan, R-Gloucester, a former assistant clinical professor of pharmacy at Virginia Commonwealth University's medical school. The bill never made it out of committee. The Virginia General Assembly will again consider a marijuana decriminalization bill in the 2015 session, this one sponsored by Sen. Adam Ebbin, D-Alexandria. The fact that marijuana decriminalization in Virginia has been championed by a conservative Republican from southern Virginia and a liberal Democrat from Northern Virginia is telling. Marijuana law reform is a bipartisan issue supported by a majority of Americans. The public opinion trend lines are clear.
The Albany Herald, 10 Jan 2015 - ALBANY - Neighborhood watch representatives got a basic education on illegal drugs, their effects and where they come from Saturday at the Community Room of the Albany downtown Law Enforcement Center. The short course delivered by Maj. Bill Berry, of the Albany-Dougherty Drug Unit gave eager members of the Community Council of Watch Associations an earful of information on familiar drugs including ecstasy or "Molly," crack cocaine and prescription pain pills.
Metro, 09 Jan 2015 - Smacked Up. Number Of Heroin Charges Increase By 26% Since 2013 Drug users in the city maybe getting busted more often by police, and heroin offenders are among those leading the way in increases. Calgary police statistics show the city saw a jump in drug offences of more than eight per cent in the first nine month ending September 2014 with 1,409 drug charges compared with 1,299 in the same 2013 time-frame.
Bothell Reporter, 09 Jan 2015 - Rep. Luis Moscoso of the 1st District and Rep. Jessyn Farrell of the 46th District have announced their support for a proposed House Bill to remove drug possession as a felony. The bill was filed on Dec. 8 by Rep. Sherry Appleton. The bill would remove any felony charges for the personal possession of illegal substances and reduce the charges to a misdemeanor if passed by legislature.
The Observer, 09 Jan 2015 - New Approach To Drug Crimes Starts A 20-year-old college student charged with possession of cocaine and marijuana could earn a discharge if he follows a drug- abuse treatment contract. The man, a first-time offender, was caught in March 2014 with 4.5 grams of cocaine and 6.8 grams of marijuana.
Washington Post, 06 Jan 2015 - As Narcotic Trade Shifts Toward Caribbean, More Coordination Is Possible The river of illegal drugs rushing north through Central America and the Caribbean tends to avoid one conspicuous hook-shaped obstacle.