Tag Archive | "cannabis"

Humboldt Weed: ‘One Good Year’

 

Feature Film Documentary Premiers April 14

VIDEO

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

 

“In Humboldt County, everyone has sticky stuff on their fingers…Every business in this county relies on the marijuana business.”
~Grower, One Good Year

 

One Good Year is all about the Humboldt weed.

While “Humboldt” has become synonymous the world over with high-grade marijuana for both the medical and black markets, the outside world knows little about the farmers themselves and their lives, history, dreams, and hopes for the future.

A feature length documentary in post production relating the inside story of Humboldt’s legendary pot-growing culture, One Good Year follows the everyday lives of four medical marijuana growers and their unique community.

Directed by local author, nursery owner, author, and volunteer firefighter Mikal Jakubal, the film is set in the remotely familiar hills where “Humboldt Grown” is well known.  Why did he do it?

As Jakubal explains:

“Humboldt pot farmers maintain one of the last remaining small farming economies in the country, the last of a tradition where people working the land with their hands could still sustain themselves and their families.

This is why we have to show the world the real face of pot farming.  Otherwise, when the inevitable regulation or legalization happens, we’ll be excluded by laws based on the paranoid public perception of pot farming as a dangerous,
gangster activity.

As the marijuana economy moves mainstream, we need to keep it democratic and accessible to farmers at any scale.

I think my film will go a long way toward that end by influencing public perception in a positive way.”

 

The outside world knows little about the marijuana growing culture.  One Good Year offers us a peak into it. 

You can expect the premier opening happening next month, on April 14.  We expect it to come closer to home soon for a showing.  Mikal won’t let us down.

 

 

Film and Photo CreditOne Good Year, Mikal Jakubal, Vimeo

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The Cannabis Farmers Market

 

Medical Marijuana Farmers Selling Direct to Patients

VIDEO

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

It’s not your typical everyday farmers market.

Instead of tomatoes and cabbage and cucumbers, customers purchase medical cannabis.

The NW Cannabis Market hosts a variety of vendors who sell their products wholesale and direct to anyone with a recommendation for medical marijuana.  

Located in Washington state, the market fosters a conversation between farmers and patients about the process, ingredients, and specific health effects of the product.

Giving the patient more control over their medication and price, the ‘farmer’s market’ model offers insight into consumer demands for growers’ knowledge, while applying the simple basics of supply and demand to set the cost just as any marketplace does.

Though not completely unique (similar markets exist in Washington) the unique farm-to-consumer model has enormous potential to benefit the medical marijuana community, advocates and consumers alike insist.

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Governor Brown Wary Of Marijuana Legalization in the Golden State

 

‘The World is Too Dangerous for Competition and Potheads’

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

SAN FRANCISCOThe Golden State hopes to remain golden– and not too stoned and tarnished.

California Gov. Jerry Brown said he is not sure legalizing marijuana is a good idea in his state because the country could lose its competitive edge if too many people are getting stoned.

If pot smoking gains more legitimacy in the nation’s most populous state, Brown said he worries it could have negative ripple effects.

“The problem with anything, a certain amount is OK. But there is a tendency to go to extremes,” he said in a wide-ranging interview aired Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

”And all of a sudden, if there’s advertising and legitimacy, how many people can get stoned and still have a great state or a great nation?” Brown said.

Californians voted to legalize medical marijuana in 1996.  But Brown said he is watching closely to see how Colorado and Washington handle their new laws that go a step further by regulating the growth and sale of taxed recreational marijuana at state-licensed stores.

Colorado’s pot shops opened Jan. 1, and Washington’s are expected to open later this year.

“We have medical marijuana, which gets very close to what they have in Colorado and Washington.  I’d really like those two states to show us how it’s going to work,” he said.  

“The world’s pretty dangerous, very competitive.  I think we need to stay alert, if not 24 hours a day, more than some of the potheads might be able to put together.”

Brown, who was interviewed remotely from San Francisco, also discussed California’s drought problems, climate change and his future political career.

Now, as he prepares to run for his fourth term as governor, Brown said that despite his progressive politics, the key to turning California’s budget deficit into a projected multibillion-dollar budget surplus was exerting fiscal discipline.

“You’ve got to be tough on spending. No matter how liberal you want to be, at the end of the day, fiscal discipline is the fundamental predicate of a free society,” he said.

Brown also mused about the Democratic Party’s future, saying he favored a Hillary Clinton bid for president in 2016.

“She’s got more experience, both domestic and international,” he said. “I mean, it’s her nomination if she wants it, as far as I’m concerned.”

 

Via Google News/SF Gate News

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Obama Punts Marijuana Classification to Congress

 

 

“Schedule I Narcotic Is A Job for Congress”

(VIDEO)

 

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

President Barack Obama says in a new interview that that it’s up to Congress to remove marijuana from the federal government’s list of the most serious narcotics, implying but not explicitly saying that he might support such a move.

In an interview that aired Friday on CNN, Obama was pressed on recent remarks he made to the New Yorker that marijuana is no more dangerous than alcohol, and on whether he would push to remove pot from the Drug Enforcement Agency’s list of so-called “Schedule I” narcotics.

“First of all, what is and isn’t a Schedule I narcotic is a job for Congress,” Obama said.

“I stand by my belief, based, I think, on the scientific evidence, that marijuana, for casual users, individual users, is subject to abuse, just like alcohol is and should be treated as a public health problem and challenge,” Obama added.

“But as I said in the interview, my concern is when you end up having very heavy criminal penalties for individual users that have been applied unevenly, and in some cases, with a racial disparity.”

The DEA is required to make determinations, Obama said, but based on laws passed by Congress.  A spokesman for the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy tweeted Wednesday that the attorney general can reclassify marijuana after a scientific review, but that it was “not likely given current science.”

But Obama wouldn’t specifically back congressional action to remove the schedule I classification for marijuana in the interview.

The drug is already treated differently than other drugs in the schedule I category.  It is decriminalized for medical purposes in almost two-dozen states, and Colorado and Washington state recently became the first to allow it for recreational use.  The Obama administration has cautiously allowed those two states to move forward in implementing their new recreational pot markets, while warning that it will react swiftly if the drug finds its way across state lines or into the hands of minors.

“We’re going to see what happens in the experiments in Colorado and Washington,” Obama said.  The DEA takes an opposing view.

“The Department of Justice, you know, under Eric Holder, has said that we are going to continue to enforce federal laws.  But in those states, we recognize that we don’t have… the resources to police whether somebody is smoking a joint on a corner.  And we are trying to provide them structures to make sure that, you know, big time drug traffickers, the spillover effect of the violence, potentially, of a drug trade are not creeping out of this experiment.”

Obama has admitted to his own drug use as a student in his memoir, Dreams From My Father, writing of using marijuana and “maybe a little blow.”

“But I do offer a cautionary note,” Obama said.

“…Those who think legalization is a panacea, I think they have to ask themselves some tough questions, too, because if we start having a situation where big corporations with a lot of resources and distribution and marketing arms are suddenly going out there peddling marijuana, then the levels of abuse that may take place are going to be higher.”

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(Via Google News/YouTube/Family Guy)

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Recreational Pot Industry Legally Opens for Business in Colorado

 

Rocky Mountain High

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

DENVER, Co.– They lined up before dawn and in the snow on Wednesday, baby boomers from Nebraska, retirees from Denver and a young man who had driven all
day from Ohio.

They were among the hundreds of tourists and residents across Colorado who eagerly took part in the country’s first-ever sales of state-regulated recreational marijuana.  They walked into 40 shops, from downtown Denver to snowy ski resorts, flashed their identifications and, in a single transaction, took part in what supporters hailed as a historic departure from drug laws focused on punishment and prohibition.

“It makes you giddy to say it: I went into a store and bought pot,” Linda Walmsley said as she walked out of the Denver Kush Club, where a line of shivering customers stretched down the block.

While about 20 states allow medical marijuana, voters in Colorado and Washington State decided last year to go one step further, becoming the first in the nation to legalize small amounts of the plant for recreational use and regulate it like alcohol.  

Colorado began promptly on New Year’s Day.

To supporters, it was a watershed moment in the country’s tangled relationship with the drug.  They said it was akin to the end of Prohibition, albeit with joints being passed instead of champagne being uncorked.

To skeptics, it represented a grand folly that they predicted would tarnish the image of a state whose official song is John Denver’s “Rocky Mountain High” and lead to higher teenage drug use and more impaired driving.  

The governor and the Denver mayor both opposed legalization and stayed away from the celebrations and inaugural sales on Wednesday.

Regulators said Colorado’s first sales — on a day called Green Wednesday by enthusiasts– went smoothly. Security guards were stationed outside dispensaries, and police officers and state officials watched closely.

Skeptical federal authorities are also paying attention.  Although marijuana remains illegal under federal law, the Justice Department has given tentative approval for Colorado and Washington to move ahead with regulating marijuana.  But it warned that federal officials could intervene if the state regulations failed to keep the drug away from children, drug cartels or federal property, and out of other states.

On Wednesday, Colorado had eight investigators out checking retailers’ licenses, inspecting packaging and labeling, and ensuring that stores reviewed customers’ identification to see if they were 21 or older, said Ron Kammerzell, the director of enforcement for Colorado’s Department of Revenue.

“So far, so good,” he said.

Ever since voters in Colorado and Washington approved recreational marijuana last year, the states have been racing to
devise rules on how to grow it, sell it, tax it and track it.

In both Colorado and Washington, recreational marijuana has been legal for more than a year.  Adults can smoke it in their living rooms and eat marijuana-laced cookies without fear of arrest.  In Colorado, they are even allowed to grow up to six plants at home.  But until Wednesday, marijuana dispensaries could sell only to customers with a doctor’s recommendation and a state-issued medical marijuana card.

Many people who lined up on Wednesday said they did not have medical cards, and had relied on drug dealers or friends with medical marijuana to satisfy their cravings.  They were paying high prices for new recreational marijuana — $50 to $60 for an eighth of an ounce, nearly double the price of medical marijuana — but said it was worthwhile to avoid the risk.

“People don’t like breaking the law,” said Andy Williams, who runs the Medicine Man dispensary in an industrial park in Denver.  “The burden has been taken off them.”

Now, any Colorado resident who is at least 21 can buy up to an ounce of marijuana at one of the dispensaries that began selling to retail customers on Wednesday.  Out-of-state visitors can buy a quarter-ounce, but they have to consume it here.  

Carrying marijuana across state lines remains illegal, and the plant is not allowed at Denver International Airport.

On Wednesday, some tourists puzzled over where they would consume their purchases.  It is illegal to smoke marijuana in public, in public parks or in campgrounds, and it is against the rules at many hotels. One group from Nebraska said it would find a parking lot and roll up the car windows.  Others said they would return to their hotels and crack the windows.  Some bought marijuana-laced baked goods to avoid the problem altogether.

Kirstin Knouse, 24, flew here from Chicago with her husband, Tristan, to take her first marijuana vacation, and she said the couple would smoke their marijuana at the home of a cousin.  She said that she suffered from seizures and fibromyalgia, and her husband from post-traumatic stress, but that they had not been able to get medical marijuana at home.  When Colorado opened sales to out-of-state residents, she said they leapt at the chance.

“This is our dream,” Ms. Knouse said.  “We’re thinking about moving here because of it.”

Washington’s marijuana system is at least several months behind Colorado’s, meaning that fully stocked retail shelves probably will not be a reality for consumers until perhaps June.

While Colorado has incorporated the existing medical marijuana system, Washington is starting from scratch, with all production and sale of legal recreational marijuana linked to a new system of licenses, which will not
be issued until late February or early March.

“After that, it is up to the industry to get it up and running,” said Mikhail Carpenter, a spokesman for the Washington State Liquor Control Board, which regulates the system and is reviewing almost 5,000 license applications to grow, process or sell marijuana.

Growers can start a crop only after they get a license, Mr. Carpenter said, and retailers can sell only marijuana produced in the state by licensed growers.

What happens next in both states will be watched closely by Arizona, Alaska, California, Oregon and other states flirting with the idea of liberalizing their marijuana laws.  Questions still abound.  Will drug traffickers take marijuana across state lines, to sell elsewhere?  Will recreational marijuana flow from the hands of legal adult consumers to teenagers?  Will taxes from marijuana sales match optimistic predictions of a windfall for state budgets?  What will happen to the black market for marijuana?

But on Wednesday, enthusiasts like Darren Austin, 44, and his son, Tyler, 21, just embraced the moment.  They arrived a few months ago from Georgia and North Carolina, respectively, and decided to stay.  

The father said marijuana eased his anxiety and helped him quit drinking, and the son said he simply liked smoking it with friends.  On Wednesday, they slept in their truck outside a dispensary, to ensure their place in line.

“We wanted to be here,” Darren Austin said. “It’s historic.”

(By Kirk Johnsen via Google News)

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Bob Dylan was right.  The times they are a changin’. 
Sigh.

 

 

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The Big Fortuna Hash Explosion

 

Severe Burns for Two Adult Victims; 
Nearby Infant Uninjured

(PICS)

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

 

It was a big boom with wickedly turn-of-the-ugly burns
in the Friendly City of Fortuna last night.

From today’s Fortuna Police Department’s report:

On Monday November 11, 2013 at approximately 10 pm, the Fortuna Police Department Communications Center received numerous 911 calls from subjects reporting an explosion at an apartment complex located at 137 12th Street in Fortuna.

One caller reported that a “hash lab” had exploded.

A Sergeant with the Fortuna Police Department arrived on scene and located two male subjects who had sustained severe burns to their upper torsos, arms and heads.

Responders from the Fortuna Volunteer Fire Department and City Ambulance arrived within minutes and assisted the injured males.

The two injured subjects were identified as Kenneth Nevers of Fortuna and Joseph White of Oakland.

Both of Nevers and White were transported to Fortuna’s Redwood Memorial
Hospital. They were later airlifted out of the area for treatment of severe burns.

Officers were able to locate several subjects who claimed to be within the apartment at the time of the explosion.  One of the subjects was a three month old infant.  The additional subjects—and baby– were reportedly uninjured.

While officers were checking the apartment, they observed items consistent with a butane process hash extraction lab.  They also located the area of the explosion and fire in the bathroom.

This is an open investigation and further details of the bake and quake will be released as they become available.

The Redheaded Blackbelt’s Kym Kemp has unsparingly sharp comments by readers of the whole hash-making affair breaking bad in the Friendly City.

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People as slow and stupid as Darwin turtles never cease to amaze us.

 

Via Fortuna Police Department, the Redheaded Blackbelt and the Humboldt Sentinel

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California Poised To Legalize Marijuana by 2016– Or Sooner

 

Different Initiatives in the Works

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

It’s coming.  Again.

Nearly two-thirds (65%) of Californians support legalizing,
regulating and taxing recreational marijuana in the state,
according to a
Tulchin Research poll.

The figure, based on responses of 1,200 likely 2016 voters surveyed during the last two weeks, shows a “solid majority” back proposals to legalize adult recreational marijuana, the San Francisco-based pollster said.  The poll found 32% oppose legalization and 3% were undecided.

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and American Civil Liberties Union representatives released the poll results during a news conference last month and announced the launch of a two-year research effort focused on proposals to legalize recreational marijuana.

Newsom will chair a panel of 16 experts, including professors, medical professionals and policy researchers, who will study legal and policy issues involved in adult recreational marijuana.

“This is about real people,” Newsom said to The Huffington Post.  ”Communities are devastated because of this abject thing called the drug war.  Forget the politics.  This is the right thing to do.

“But we need to answer the tough questions before we put it on the ballot,” Newsom said.  ”I want the research in order to be more convincing to others.”

Not everyone is willing to wait until 2016.  Two groups have filed
proposals to put recreational pot initiatives on California’s 2014 ballot.

Both proposals — the California Cannabis Hemp Initiative and the Marijuana Control, Legalization and Revenue Act — would regulate and tax marijuana similar to alcohol.  And both face an uphill battle in gathering enough funds and volunteers to collect the 504,000 signatures in 100 days needed to make it onto the ballot.

The organizers behind the California Cannabis Hemp Initiative are collecting signatures, and backers of the Marijuana Control, Legalization and Revenue Act are awaiting approval from the state to begin collecting signatures.

Other marijuana advocacy groups– including Newsom’s panel– are working toward a California voter initiative for 2016.

“Voter turnout tends to be much higher in presidential election years,” Mason Tvert, communications director of the Marijuana Policy Project, said.  “We believe a 2016 initiative will best demonstrate just how much support there is for ending marijuana prohibition in California.”

The Drug Policy Alliance echoed this sentiment, saying more education
is needed to rally voter support.

“The support for marijuana legalization in California is there,” Amanda Reiman, policy manager of the Drug Policy Alliance, said.  ”It just may not be there strongly enough or from the right populations to claim victory in 2014.”

California voters narrowly rejected marijuana legalization in 2010 with Proposition 19.  About 53% of California voters voted no.

Drug Policy Alliance co-hosted a symposium on legalization in California with the California Society of Addiction Medicine in Denver.  
Reiman said that working with that organization is part of an effort to
win support from California’s medical community, which she said is
essential to persuade the public.

Drug Policy Alliance also is working with environmental and agriculture groups, since much of California marijuana cultivation is outdoors, particularly in the northern counties of Humboldt, Mendocino and Ukiah.

California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana when voters passed Proposition 215 in 1996.  

Since then, the medical cannabis industry has flourished, generating upwards of $100 million in annual tax revenue.

“This is not a matter of 2014 or bust, or 2016 or bust,” Reiman said. “Legalization of marijuana in California is going to happen.”

 

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Surprising Facts About Marijuana and the US Economy

 

$13.7 Billion Saved On Prohibition Enforcement Costs

The government would save an estimated $13.7 billion on prohibition enforcement costs and tax revenue by legalizing marijuana, according to a paper endorsed by 300 economists.

 

Marijuana Inmates Cost Prisons $1 Billion per Year

Inmates incarcerated on marijuana-related charges cost U.S. prisons $1 billion annually, according to a 2007 study, AlterNet reports.

Marijuana Prohibition Costs Taxpayers $41.8 Billion A Year

Including lost tax revenues, a 2007 study found that enforcing the marijuana prohibition costs tax payers $41.8 billion annually, Forbes reports.

California Marijuana Crop Worth $14 Billion A Year

Marijuana growers account for $14 billion a year in sales in California, making it the state’s most valuable cash crop, TIME reports.

Illegal Marijuana A $36 Billion A Year Industry

It’s estimated that illegal marijuana is a $36 billion industry in the U.S., MadameNoire reports.

One-Third Of Americans Think Legalization Would Boost The Economy

About one-third of Americans say they think legalizing marijuana would boost the economy, according to a 2010 poll by Associated Press-CNBC.

Dispensary Ads Boost Newspapers’ Revenue

The Sacramento News and Review saw a big boost in ad revenue when it offered advertising space for more than 60 medical marijuana dispensaries, enabling the publication to hire three additional employees, according to News10.nets

Mendocino Zip Tie Program Raised $600,000

Mendocino County, California’s zip tie program aimed at regulating medical marijuana growing by charging permits for each plant raised $600,000 in revenue in for the Sheriff’s department in 2011.

Oakland Raised More than $1 Million In Marijuana Tax Revenue

The City of Oakland, California raised $1.3 million in tax revenue from medical marijuana dispensaries in 2011, 3 percent of the city’s total business tax revenue, according to The New York Times.

Colorado Pulls In $5 Million From Pot Sales Tax

In 2011, Colorado pulled in $5 milllion in sales taxes from medical marijuana businesses, The New York Times reports.

Legal Marijuana Could be $100 Billion Industry

Economist Stephen Easton estimated in 2010 that legal marijuana could be a $45 to $100 billion industry, Bloomberg Businessweek reports.

Majority of States Support Taxing Marijuana

More than 60% of states agree with taxing marijuana, according to a poll by Associated Press-CNBC.

Marijuana Affects Workplace Motivation

Sorry to say, but a Norwegian study 25 years in the making came to the shocking conclusion that frequent marijuana use lowers employees’ motivation at work.

Denver Counts More Dispensaries than Starbucks

As of July 2011, the city of Denver counted more medical marijuana dispensaries than Starbucks franchises.

 

Via Huffington Post/Mark Newcomb/Los Angeles Times/Forbes

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Unusual Cannabis Bedfellows For Controversial Treatment of Epilepsy

 

Republican Lawmaker and Mormon Moms Fight for Cannabis Oil

(VIDEO)

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

A conservative Republican Utah state lawmaker is backing
an unexpected group of advocates:  Mormon moms fighting
for medical cannabis for their children.

State Rep. Gage Froerer (R-Huntsville) has committed to help Hope 4 Children With Epilepsy, an advocacy group fighting for safe access to cannabis oil.

The oil contains little to no THC, the chemical that causes the high in marijuana, but is high in cannabidiol, a compound that may fight seizures in some forms of epilepsy.  Though legal in neighboring Colorado, the oil is not legal in Utah.

Froerer said he hopes to change that with his support of the group, which was founded by four Mormon moms.

“If there’s anyone who can do it, it’s conservative Mormon moms from Utah,” joked Hope 4 Children With Epilepsy cofounder Jennifer May in a phone call with The Huffington Post.  May’s 11-year-old son, Stockton, seen at right and below, suffers from a rare form of epilepsy known as Dravet syndrome, which causes five to 30 seizures per day.

May told The Associated Press that she used to think giving a marijuana derivative to children was crazy.  But after witnessing unbelievable success stories like that of Charlotte Figi — a 6-year-old girl who suffers from the same syndrome as May’s son in the above video — she changed her tune.

“We’re not expecting this to be any kind of miracle cure,” May said.  ”But the results thus far with the children have been amazing with very little side effects.  It’s just something that needs to be available.”

May considered moving her family to Colorado to get safe access to cannabis oil for her son.  “But we decided it wouldn’t do anyone else any good if we just left and didn’t fight to get this here.”

“Some people think we’re crazy for not just going over there and bringing it back,” May said.  “But when you think about how often our kids are in the hospital, our choice is between telling our physicians and risking getting in trouble, or not telling our physicians and risking life-threatening drug interactions with our children.”

Instead, May joined other parents of children with disabilities to rally for cannabis oil access in Utah.

May and her cofounders are careful to distance themselves from medical marijuana.

“In Utah, a medical marijuana program is not going to go over very well,” May said.  ”Politicians here have promised to never let medical marijuana in the state and we don’t want to be seen as a toe in the door.”  May said she hopes the state can simply categorize cannabis oil as legal instead of legalizing medical marijuana.

“It’s not making the kids high, it’s shown to be effective, but it’s labeled as medical marijuana,” May said.  ”We want to change that.”

After convincing Froerer, that goal may soon be a reality.

In a meeting with Utah’s Substance Abuse Advisory Council next month, Froerer will appeal to the council to legalize cannabis oil with a THC content of less than 0.5 percent — less than that found in hemp oil at the grocery store.  He has committed to sponsoring legislation, if necessary.

“As legislators, I think we have a duty to think about what’s best for the people of our state,” Froerer told HuffPost.  “If we can provide this without causing any unintended consequences, we should do so.”

There have been no clinical trials testing cannabis oil for epilepsy, according to The Salt Lake Tribune

But there have been examples of success, including Charlotte Figi, the girl with epilepsy from a conservative Colorado military family shown on the CNN documentary “Weed.”  Regular doses cut her seizures from 300 a week to 1, according to the documentary.

 

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Looking into this further, we were surprised by the strong therapeutic link between cannabidiniol and epilepsy.  It was striking on its face and we believe there is something conclusive here warranting further research and study.

If you’re still unconvinced cannabis oil can be a medical component for the treatment of epilepsy, you may want to see the scientific side here.

 

Via YouTube/CNN/Jennifer May and Libertas.org/University of Reading/Huffington Post
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For First Time, Americans Favor Legalizing Marijuana

 

Gallup Poll:  Support Surged 10 Percentage Points in Past Year, to 58%

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

 

For the data wonks of marijuana, this is making the
rounds from the Gallup Poll today:

WASHINGTON, D.C.– For marijuana advocates, the last 12 months have been a period of unprecedented success as Washington and Colorado became the first states to legalize recreational use of marijuana.

Now for the first time, a clear majority of Americans– 58%– say the drug should be legalized.  This is in sharp contrast to the time Gallup first asked the question in 1969, when only 12% favored legalization.

Public support for legalization more than doubled in the 1970s, growing to 28%.  It then plateaued during the 1980s and 1990s before inching steadily higher since 2000, reaching 50% in 2011.

A sizable percentage of Americans (38%) this year admitted to having tried the drug, which may be a contributing factor to greater acceptance.

Success at the ballot box in the past year in Colorado and Washington may have increased Americans’ tolerance for marijuana legalization.  Support for legalization has jumped 10 percentage points since last November and the legal momentum shows no sign of abating.

Last week, California’s second-highest elected official, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, said that pot should be legal in the Golden State, and advocates of legalization are poised to introduce a statewide
referendum in 2014 to legalize the drug.

The Obama administration has also been flexible on the matter.  Despite maintaining the government’s firm opposition to legalizing marijuana under federal law, in late August Deputy Attorney General James Cole announced the Justice Department would not challenge the legality of Colorado’s and Washington’s successful referendums, provided that those states maintain strict rules regarding the drug’s sale and distribution.

The movement to legalize marijuana mirrors the relatively recent success of the movement to legalize gay marriage, which voters have also approved now in 14 states.  Public support for gay marriage, which Americans also overwhelmingly opposed in the past, has increased dramatically, reaching majority support in the last two years.

 

Independents Fueling Growth in Acceptance of Legalizing Marijuana

Independents’ growing support for legalization has mostly driven the jump in Americans’ overall support.

62% of Independents now favor legalization, up 12 points from November 2012.  Support for legalization among Democrats and Republicans saw little change.  Yet there is a marked divide between Republicans, who still oppose legalizing marijuana, and Democrats and Independents.

 

Young Adults More Likely to Support Legalization

Americans 65 and older are the only age group that still opposes legalizing marijuana.  Still, support among this group has jumped 14 percentage points since 2011.

In contrast, 67% of Americans aged 18 to 29 back legalization.  Clear majorities of Americans aged 30 to 64 also favor legalization.

 

The Bottom Line

It has been a long path toward majority acceptance of marijuana over the past 44 years, but Americans’ support for legalization accelerated as the new millennium began.

This acceptance of a substance that most people might have considered forbidden in the late 1960s and 1970s may be attributed to changing social mores and growing social acceptance.  

The increasing prevalence of medical marijuana as a socially acceptable way to alleviate symptoms of diseases such as arthritis and mitigating side effects of chemotherapy may have contributed to Americans’ growing support.

Whatever the reasons for Americans’ greater acceptance of marijuana, it is likely that this momentum will spur further legalization efforts across the United States.

Advocates of legalizing marijuana say taxing and regulating the drug could be financially beneficial to states and municipalities nationwide.  But detractors such as law enforcement and substance abuse professionals have cited health risks including an increased heart rate, and respiratory and memory problems.

With Americans’ support for legalization quadrupling since 1969, and localities on the East Coast such as Portland, Maine, considering a symbolic referendum to legalize marijuana, it is clear that interest in this drug and these issues will remain elevated in the foreseeable future.

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By Art Swift and Gallup.com
Images by the Humboldt Sentinel

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Humboldt Odds and Ends

 

Smattering Signs of the Local Times

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

“Sign, sign, everywhere a sign
Blockin’ out the scenery, breakin’ my mind
Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign?”

 

General Plan (GPU) Review at Board of Supes Today

From SoHum Parlance II and Bob Froehlich on the GPU Guiding Principles Final Hearing: 

“The Supervisors will finish reviewing the Guiding Principles this coming Monday, Oct. 7, starting at 1:30 pm.

I believe the large number of people who showed up at the last session and stood up for the environment contributed greatly to some compromises that the Supes. made – leading to a better outcome than I originally predicted.

However, they only got through G.P. # 5, so there is some very important work left to be done.

If this time we get a good turnout of folks speaking out for environmental health and  protection, it can make it difficult for the Supes to backpedal and not continue to compromise.

No doubt the development crowd will be there to push for no, or very minimal, restrictions and environmental safeguards.

Please come if you are at all able to and speak briefly about the importance of environmental protection for us and our future generations.

The public input begins at 1:30 pm and there’s nothing wrong with saying your piece and leaving shortly afterward.”

 

Shark Attack at North Jetty

From the Times-Standard:

A man surfing near the North Jetty was bitten by a shark Sunday morning.

The surfer — whose name was not released Sunday — is expected to recover after getting bit on the thigh at Bunkers, a popular surf spot near Humboldt Bay…

Details are scantily clad at this time.  You can read the full article at the Times-Standard and more at the Lost Coast Outpost.

 

 

Orick Mill Site Sold to Save the Redwoods

Members of the Save the Redwoods League are hoping to restore the former Orick Mill site, which they recently purchased from Green Diamond Resource Co. for $2 million.

”That property has been on the league’s radar for quite some time now,” Save the Redwoods League Land Project Manager Christine Aralia said. “It’s in a very strategic location.  The area is like ground zero for some of the tallest trees in the world…”

You can read more in the full article by Catherine Wong at the Times-Standard:  “Orick Mill Site sold to Save the Redwoods:  Green Diamond sells 125 acres for $2M

 

Drought and Pot Wreck Havoc on Klamath and Trinity Rivers

Two Rivers Tribune’s Kristan Korns had a very insightful piece about the perfect storm that’s been brewing for awhile:  low water flows, drought, and the residual fallout of marijuana and agricultural cultivation are all coming to a head impacting and devastating the Klamath and Trinity river watersheds.

She writes:

Severe drought, desperate farmers, and migrating fish struggling to survive in the shallow, over-heated and fertilizer-laden waters of the Klamath and Trinity Rivers:  almost all of the pieces are in place for a repeat of the 2002 fish kill.

Regina Chichizola, communications coordinator for the Hoopa Valley Tribe, said, “If we don’t get Trinity water this year, there’s a chance we’ll have another fish kill.”

The fish kill left tens of thousands of dead and rotting fish lining the banks of the Klamath and Trinity Rivers in September 2002, after political pressure forced the diversion of water to desperate farmers in the Upper Klamath Basin…

Krista has a lot more to say– and a surprising finish to her piece of “Drought and Expanding Marijuana Grows Paving Way for Repeat Fish Kill”

 

Trimmers and Their Toys

The Lost Coast Outpost has a spirited and lively article by Emily Hobelmann regarding some of the unusual ins and outs of the marijuana industry:  Choice of scissors, trim machines, and gender inequality in addition to some equally sprightly comments by readers make for a good voyeuristic read.

Emily starts her piece out by saying:

Last Monday I found myself on the KHUM airwaves with Mike Dronkers.  He put me on the spot, like he do, when he asked me what the most popular trimming scissors are these days.  He pressed me for information — scissors with a spring or no spring?

I didn’t know.  I didn’t have a nicely trimmed nugget of an answer to deliver on the airwaves.  Mike D. exposed me as the ignorant outsider that I am — he exposed my fraudulent association with the marihuana world.

After that radio appearance I felt compelled to right my ignorance, so I sought information about popular trim scene gadgetry from the pros at the most easy-to-find and accessible trim scene in Humboldt County — Trim Scene Solutions in Redway…

We enjoyed Emily’s insightful cannabis read and suspect you’ll like her inside peek-a-boo piece, too:  LoCO on the Pot: Trimmers and Their Toys

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“And the sign said, ‘Everybody welcome.  Come in, kneel down and pray’
But when they passed around the plate at the end of it all, I didn’t have a penny to pay
So I got me a pen and a paper and I made up my own little sign:
I said, ‘Thank you, Lord, for thinkin’ ’bout me.  I’m alive and doin’ fine’

Sign, sign, everywhere a sign
Blockin’ out the scenery, breakin’ my mind
Do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign?”

 

 

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Marijuana News

 

Cannabis Nugs From Across the Nation

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

 

Most Californians Support Weed Legalization

Sacramento– California voter’s support for marijuana legalization has hit a record high — no pun intended.

A survey released Wednesday by the Public Polling Institute of California found that 52 percent of the state’s residents advocate the legalization of marijuana, marking the first time a majority of the state has supported legalizing the drug.

On top of those record stats, 60 percent of likely California voters supported legalization, and 68 percent said the federal government should not intervene in states’ jurisdiction on marijuana…

…You can read more in the Huffington Post

 

Medical Marijuana Web Services Raises Concerns

Boston – Massachusetts’ nascent medical marijuana law has sparked a recent flurry of new Internet companies promising to match patients with doctors who will certify they need the weed for health reasons, a phenomenon that has dismayed the state’s medical society and raised concerns with the board that regulates physicians.

A number of the companies are run by entrepreneurs with no medical background, which the Massachusetts Medical Society said raises questions about the quality and safety of the care.

Some of the sites, the society said, appear to be tiptoeing just inside state rules, which require a “bona fide physician-patient relationship” be in place before marijuana can be prescribed.

“The fact that you have people with no medical pedigree launching these companies is testament that this is purely a money-making operation,” said Dr. Ronald Dunlap, a cardiologist and president of the medical society.  “These people are working around the edges.”

…You can read the rest of the story in the Boston Globe article here

 

Humboldt’s Massive $21 Million Marijuana Seizure

Eureka, Ca.– On September 24, Humboldt County Sheriff’s Deputies assisted by the Cannabis Eradication and Reclamation Team (CERT) eradicated a large marijuana cultivation site on Barnum Timber Property in the Garberville area.

Deputies located and eradicated 9,056 growing marijuana plants ranging in height from 4 to 6 feet tall. Deputies also found rodenticides, fertilizers and environmental damage caused by the clearing of brush and timber along with a stream diversion.

The following day, Humboldt County Sheriff’s Deputies assisted by CERT eradicated a large marijuana cultivation site again on Barnum Timber and adjacent private property in the Garberville area.

This time, deputies located and eradicated 5,717 growing marijuana plants of similar height.  Once again they found rodenticides, fertilizers and environmental damage by the clearing of brush and timber, along a with stream diversion.

They also found a trail of marijuana leaves which they followed to a residence.  A search warrant was obtained for the residence. Upon serving the search warrant on the residence, deputies discovered the residence was being exclusively used to process and dry marijuana.  Deputies located and seized 600 pounds of marijuana from the residence.  No one was in the residence when the search warrant was served.

On next day, September 26, Humboldt County Sheriff’s Deputies assisted by the CERT eradicated a large marijuana cultivation site on Benbow State Park property and adjacent private property.

Deputies located and eradicated 6,750 growing marijuana plants at this location along with a stream diversion and other environmental damage.

The estimated value of the total marijuana seized, the HCSO said, is conservatively valued at a whopping $21 million dollars.

 

Florida Attorney Argues Marijuana is Safer and More Effective than Oxycontin

Florida — Claiming that medical marijuana would be a safer, non-addictive and more-effective alternative to OxyContin, Orlando attorney John Morgan condemned the prescription pain killer in a speech Friday to argue that many of its users would be far better off smoking pot.

It was a rare presentation in the normally conservative region.

Speaking to the Tiger Bay Club of Central Florida, Morgan said that OxyContin, a commonly “prescribed and abused” pain medication, kills 16,000 people a year and addicts many more.

He claimed marijuana, which is illegal in Florida and most states, is comparatively harmless and more effective…

The Orlando Sentinel has more here

 

New Hampshire Begins Medical Marijuana Introduction

Concord, N.H.– A committee helping to implement the state’s new medical marijuana law started its work on Thursday by supporting two proposed changes to the law.

The law, passed three months ago, will allow seriously ill patients diagnosed with cancer, Crohn’s disease and other conditions to have up to 2 ounces of marijuana obtained from dispensaries.  It also created a 15-member committee to help the state write rules to implement the law and track how it works.

On Thursday, members backed two revisions that lawmakers will consider later:  one regarding how much time the state will have to approve or deny applications from patient caregivers, and the other regarding confidentiality of the dispensaries’ locations…

The details are with the SF Gate

 

West Virginia Legislators Argue for Medical Marijuana

Charleston, W.Va.– Advocates and some doctors agree marijuana can alleviate symptoms of some medical conditions.  But the federal government doesn’t, and that gives some West Virginia lawmakers pause when contemplating state legislation to legalize medical marijuana.

Explaining how states negotiate the situation played a central role in two presentations given Wednesday during a joint state Senate and House health committee meeting., Karmen Hanson, a health policy expert with the National Conference of State Legislatures, and Matt Simon, a lobbyist and analyst with the Marijuana Policy Project, presented ways other states have handled legalizing marijuana for medical purposes.

At the moment, the federal government classifies marijuana as a Schedule I drug.  That classification is reserved for substances that offer no medicinal benefits and have a high propensity for abuse, Simon said.

Twenty states and Washington, D.C. have legalized marijuana for medical use, and President Barack Obama’s administration has said it will not try to criminally prosecute people who follow the laws in that state.

Still, the federal classification makes West Virginia lawmakers uneasy…

Read the rest in the Charleston Daily Mail

 

Can the United Nations Block Marijuana Legalization?

New York – The United Nations International Narcotics Control Board’s latest annual report expressed dismay at the legalization of marijuana in Washington and Colorado and urged “the Government of the United States to take necessary measures to ensure full compliance with the international drug control treaties in its entire territory”.

This led many media outlets to report that the US had violated the UN drug control treaties to which it is a signatory.

US obligations under the treaties, and indeed the broader international future of marijuana legalization, are complex matters.  But the essential points can be summarized in the following 4-part Q&A…

Read the full Huffington Post piece here

 

Eureka City Council Makes Move to Ban Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

Or did they?

 

* * * * * * * *

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Eureka City Council Special Meeting Banning Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Canceled

 

Putting City Priorities in their Proper Place?

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

 

Tom Sebourn carried the following about the Eureka City
Council’s proposed meeting that was to be held tonight
banning medical marijuana dispensaries in the city limits. 

The meeting has since been canceled, we’re told.  At least for now.

Here’s what Tom said:

The City Council of Eureka will hold a special meeting today, Thursday, September 26, at 5 pm.

What’s on the agenda for the special meeting?  A ban on medical marijuana dispensaries within Eureka.

This is from Eureka Councilwoman Linda Atkins Facebook page:

Please come and let your views be known.

For those of you who don’t get the paper (a few, I think), I wanted to let you know that the Eureka City Council has a Medical Cannabis Dispensary Ban on our agenda for a Special Meeting tomorrow, Thursday, September 26 at 5 pm.

We spent many months drafting and refining an ordinance that would allow people to purchase medical cannabis from legal sources in our town.

Now, even after the California Supreme Court ruled that cities have the right to regulate medical cannabis and the DOJ has specifically mentioned local ordinances regulating medical cannabis as being a step in the right direction in keeping criminals from profiting from the sale of medical cannabis, the City of Eureka has a ban on a Special Meeting Agenda.

How does this happen? We had not one negative testimony from the public during our consideration of the ordinance.

Please come and let your Council know how you feel about this.

* * * * * * *

We wonder who initially called the meeting in the first place with little notice– and who put the item into full rollback reverse before canceling it altogether. 

It represents a large waste of city resources and time.

We hope the City Council will instead attend to the basic priorities that they should be focusing on.

The shuttered and deteriorating downtown business corridor, the crime wave and criminal element currently sacking the City, and the dilapidated and unsafe condition of Eureka’s streets– as well as retaining critical employees such as a City Manager and Chief of Police– are all matters of a more pressing concern.

Eureka is fast becoming an unliveable and incompetent basketcase, an embarrasing laughingstock of municipal ill-mentality running horribly amuck in Northern California.

If you have an opinion on the matter, you can contact the Eureka City Council here:

Council phone: (707) 441-4144
Mayor’s phone no: (707) 441-4200

 Or you can Email the City Council here.  

To the Eureka City Council, we kindly suggest you get back to what you should be doing:  concentrating on the basics of properly running a safe and efficient city rather than gawking as a not-so-innocent bystander at the sight of a runaway train skidding off the rails.

 

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Crime Flies

 

–Crime After Crime–

(UPDATED)

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

What do you think:  Would one tiny crime be wiped out by thousands of good deeds?

~Fyodor Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment

 

 

$750K of Ivory Ripped Off From Willow Creek Wildlife Museum

This morning, September 20, at approximately 5:00 am, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office received a call regarding an audible alarm from the Tonkin Wildlife Museum in Willow Creek, located at 91 Mayfair Lane.

When deputies responded they saw a back door to the museum had been pried open.  After meeting with the museum representative, they learned two ivory elephant tusks, approximately 3’ in length and weighing 100 pounds each were stolen.

A mounted elk head, a bear skin rug and a kangaroo rug were also stolen from the museum.  The estimated loss is $750,000.  There are no suspects at this time and the Tonkin family is offering a $1,000 reward for their return.

Anyone with information for the Sheriff’s Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Sheriff’s Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539.

The Times-Standard has more details here. 

 

Every Environmental Weed and Greed Violation Possible

On September 19 at  approximately 9:00 am, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office assisted by Cal Fire, California Department of Fish and Wildlife and Humboldt County Drug Task Force (HCDTF) served a Humboldt County Superior Court Search Warrant on an approximate 40 acre parcel of property off Dyerville Loop Road.  

The property is located approximately two miles east of South Fork High School.  When the officers arrived on scene they located several unpermitted structures, a residence and greenhouses.  

Two of the unpermitted structures were large indoor marijuana grows that had been recently harvested but were now dormant.  The indoor grows still contained lights and ballasts.

No one was home at the time of the officer’s arrival.  A search of the property revealed marijuana plants ranging in size from 1’ to 5’ in height being grown in and outside the greenhouses.  A total of 2231 growing marijuana plants were seized.

Officers saw unpermitted roads across water courses and portions of the water courses filled in with dirt, timber land converted to home sites without permits, illegal grading, illegal trash burning, and two large 1000 gallon diesel tanks.

Both diesel tanks did not have the required containment fields for spill protection as required by law.  Both of the diesel tanks were directly over a stream which feeds into Elk Creek which is a Coho Salmon spawning habitat.  California Fish and Wildlife Officers saw and documented violations of water pollution due to sediment and dirt being in the creeks.

The evidence of illegal burning is being forwarded to North Coast Unified Air Quality Management by Cal Fire for additional charges due to evidence of plastic and other trash being burned
in the burn pile.

The investigation is ongoing.  The Cal Fire Public Information officer is Jim Robbins, who can be reached at 707-726-1251.  The California Fish and Wildlife Public Information Officer is Jordan Traverso, who can be reached at 916-654-9937.

Anyone with information for the Sheriff’s Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Sheriff’s Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539.

 

Man in Black with a Gun Causes Schools to go Into Lockdown

On September 19, at 1:30 pm, a woman walked into the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office McKinleyville Station and reported her son just stole her snub nosed .38 caliber revolver and just walked into the McKinleyville Safeway with it in a back pack.

She told the sheriff clerk at the station she was unclear what he intended to do with the firearm. 

She reported his name was Roy Lynn Scoggins III, 22, and said he was dressed all in black, including a black hat.

Deputies and California Highway Patrol (CHP) Officers immediately responded to the McKinleyville Safeway to look for Scoggins.  A warrant check revealed he was wanted on a felony warrant for manufacturing a deadly weapon.

While deputies were searching the store for Scoggins, his mother reported she just spoke with Scoggins on his cell phone and he told her he was walking by the Ace Hardware on Central Avenue in McKinleyville.

Deputies knew if that was true he would be heading in the direction of the McKinleyville Middle School.

The Middle School was notified by the Sheriff’s Office that a man reported to be carrying a gun in a backpack was walking towards their school.  The school initiated a lockdown as a precaution.

Additional deputies and CHP responded to the area and looked for Scoggins, but were unable to locate him.

At approximately 1:45 pm, the Sheriff’s Office learned Scoggins may be enroute to a relative’s home in the Ocean West Mobile Home Park on Murray Road in McKinleyville.

Due to Morris Elementary School and McKinleyville High School possibly being on Scoggins route, they were notified, too, as a precaution by the Sheriff’s Office.  Both schools chose to initiate a lockdown of their facilities as a precaution.

A relative of Scoggins provided his cell phone number to the Sheriff’s Office.  A dispatcher was able to contact Scoggins and spoke with him.  Scoggins told the dispatcher it was a misunderstanding– and he agreed to surrender himself to the Sheriff’s Office.

While walking to the Sheriff’s Office McKinleyville Station, Scoggins was located by a CHP officer on Central Avenue near Railroad Avenue and was taken into custody without incident.

Mr. Scoggins denied stealing his mother’s firearm and no firearm was located in his possession.  Nonetheless, he was transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where he was booked on the felony warrant with set at $10,000.

At the request of the three schools, deputies and CHP Officers stood by at the schools as they were released to calm fears, even though Scoggins was in custody.

UPDATE September 21:

On Thursday, at approximately 4 pm, deputies were contacted by a concerned citizen who told them they located a backpack near the corner or Central Avenue and Babler Road, McKinleyville.

The backpack matched the description of the one Scoggins was seen wearing as reported by his mother.  Inside the backpack were bolt cutters, a machete and other items.  However there was no firearm.

Deputies went to the area where the citizen located the backpack and searched it.  They located the firearm covered in some leaves behind a property in the 2300 block of Central Avenue McKinleyville.

A check of the serial number confirmed it was the one reported stolen by Scoggins mother.  Mr. Scoggins was booked on grand theft of a firearm, besides the arrest warrant.

Anyone with information for the Sheriff’s Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Sheriff’s Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539.

 

Another McKinleyville Gas Station Gets Knocked Off

On September 18 at 4:30 in the morning, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office received a silent panic alarm from the McKinleyville 76 Gas Station and Mini Mart located at 2698 Central Avenue in McKinleyville.

Deputies responded to the scene and met with the store clerk.  The clerk told the investigating deputy he was alone in the back of the store stocking the cooler when a man walked into the store.  He exited the cooler to greet the man and the man pointed a black semi-auto handgun at him.

The man told him to put all the money in the bag and to not touch the button, referring to the alarm system.  The man told him if he touched the button he would shoot him.

The man then put a green duffle bag on top of the counter and demanded the cash register drawers.  After the clerk put the drawers in the duffle bag the man ran out the front door.

Deputies checked the surrounding area for the suspect but did not find him.

The suspect is described as follows: White male adult, approximately 5’8” tall, 140 lbs, wearing a red bandana over his face, black sweatshirt, blue jeans last seen carrying a green duffle bag on foot towards the back of the station, armed with a black semi-auto handgun

Anyone with information for the Sheriff’s Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Sheriff’s Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539. 

 

Gang Ties Alleged in Stabbing Death

…And then we have the unfortunate situation of William Flores, the 25-year old gang member on parole who allegedly stabbed another man to death only 30 minutes after his release from jail shortly after midnight last weekend.

A case of no parole supervision gone very bad, the mighty Thadeus Greenson reports more in his Times-Standard article, “Gang Ties Alleged in Stabbing Death: Eureka Man Faces 40 Years to Life if Convicted in Murder Case.”

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16 Heads Rolled to the Pokey in Bridgeville Weed Bust

 

Everyone Was Busted– Except Boris and Natasha

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

Growers will try anything once, twice if they like it, and three times to make sure.  But when they play with weed
and fire, they get burned by the greedy smoke in their eyes.

On Monday, September 10 at  9:00 am,the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office assisted by CalFire, California Department of Fish and Wildlife and Humboldt County Drug Task Force (HCDTF) served a Humboldt County Superior Court Search Warrant on a 160-acre parcel of property off State Route Highway 36 near mile marker 31.54 in Bridgeville.

When the warrant was served deputies located and detained twelve suspects located at various locations on the property.

A thirteenth suspect fled on foot as officers arrived.  A chase ensued;  however, the suspect was able to escape into the brush.

Officers searched greenhouses and buildings on the parcel.  They located an approximate 60’ by 30’ shop with living quarters being utilized to process and dry marijuana. Hanging in the shop was approximately 375 pounds of drying harvested marijuana.

Also located at the property were four greenhouses approximately 40’ by 80’ which contained growing marijuana plants.  A total of 685 growing marijuana plants from 6’ to 7’ tall, all budding and in rich fragrant bloom, were located and removed.

A semiautomatic 9 mm handgun was located in one of the suspect’s vehicles.  Officers located and seized $10,422 in US currency, scales, packaging material and other items indicating sales of marijuana for profit.

The suspects claimed the marijuana cultivation site was a collective for medical marijuana and presented the officers with a stack of medical marijuana slips approximately 3” thick.  It’s possible.  That is, when pigs fly.

Officers also located a significant amount of environmental damage to the parcel.

Cal-Fire Officers on scene described the damage as a “Significant environmental impact due to water course alterations because of heavy equipment operations in and around and through the watercourse.”

The watercourse affected is Little Larabee Creek where officers found clear cutting of trees and illegal roads wantonly carved into the hillside.  

A pump was found in Little Larabee Creek illegally removing water from the creek, which was drained dry downstream from the pump.  To note, Little Larabee Creek contains Steelhead trout and the drainage is federally protected per California Department and Fish and Wildlife.

Approximately four hours into the search of the parcel, officer heard noises in the brush at a different location on the property. The suspect who had fled on foot was sighted again– and ordered to surrender.

This time, the California Fish and Wildlife wardens had a K-9 with them.  After the suspect failed to stop and yield to the officer’s commands, the K-9 was unleashed and released– and lo and behold– the trusty K-9 canine caught the skunky suspect, identified as Yul Cashman.

Mr. Cashman (seriously, we didn’t make that name up) was transported to a local hospital where he was treated for dog bite wounds before being transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Pokey.

Mr. Cashman, however, was a drop in the bucket com-
pared to the number of other arrests.

The following suspects were arrested at this location and transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Slammer where they were booked on the listed charges:

Valentine Velikov Marinov, male, 37-years old from Pleasant Hill, California : charges of cultivation, possession of marijuana of for sale, armed in the commission of a felony, altering a streambed, water pollution, harvesting timber without a license, illegal harvesting timber, misuse of timber lands

Valeri Petrov Vasilev, male, 57-years old, from Las Vegas, Nevada : charges of cultivation and possession of marijuana for sale

Maja Damnjanovska, female, 27-years old from New York, New York: charges of cultivation and possession of marijuana for sale, also Immigration and Customs Hold

Dragoljub Obucina, male, 28-years old, from Astoria, New York: charges of cultivation and possession of marijuana for sale, also Immigration and Customs Hold

Boriana Eugenieva Stoyanova, female, 51-years old, from Las Vegas, Nevada: charges of cultivation and possession of marijuana for sale, also Immigration and Customs Hold

Paulina Aleksandrova Kitanova, female, 63-years old from Charlotte, North Carolina: charges of cultivation and possession of marijuana for sale

Nevena Patrova Alexandrova, female, 46-years old from Charlotte, North Carolina: charges of cultivation and possession of marijuana for sale

Silviya Simeonova Lazarova, female, 43-years old from Las Vegas, Nevada: charges of cultivation and possession of marijuana for sale, also Immigration and Customs Hold

Julieta Mihaleva Ivanova, female,54-years old from San Francisco, California: charges of cultivation and possession of marijuana for sale, also Immigration and Customs Hold

Tatyana Aleksandrova Pencheva, female, 59-years old from Buglaria: charges of cultivation and possession of marijuana for sale

Milana Tojagic, female 31-years old from Chicago, Illinois: charges of cultivation and possession of marijuana for sale , also Immigration and Customs Hold

Tamara Srpsko Acimovia, female 33-years old, from New York, New York: charges of cultivation and possession of marijuana for sale

Yul Cashman, male, 65-years old from Las Vegas: charges of cultivation and possession of marijuana for sale and resisting arrest

While officers were searching and processing the first marijuana grow site, they located a second marijuana grow site on an adjoining parcel.

A second Humboldt County Superior Court Search warrant was obtained for that location.  As if they didn’t have enough on their sticky hands to do.

When the warrant was served at approximately 1:00 pm, officers located three greenhouses on that parcel containing 1,026 growing marijuana plants ranging in size from 1’ to 5’ tall.

They also located ammunition, but no firearms, along with additional significant environmental violations.  Those violations included illegal timber harvesting, allowing raw sewage to drain into Little Larabee Creek which included fecal matter, and more unpermitted roads.

Cal Fire officials who were at both locations commented that the roads cut at both sites were similar to what would have been seen during logging operations in the 1940’s.  They expect both locations to have significant sediment issues from runoff once
the winter rains begin.

Located and arrested at the second location were the following suspects:

Michael Kenneth Metelits, 42-years old from Fortuna: charged with cultivation and possession of marijuana for sale, five counts streambed alteration, four counts of polluting a waterway, littering with 150 feet of a stream, misuse of timber lands, and conducting timber harvesting without a permit.  

Unfortunately Mr. Metelits is also wanted by the State of Virginia for shipping wickedly large amounts of marijuana from Fortuna to Virginia.  Now what do you call that again?  Two-time loser?  A slow learner?  Too high?  Uh, just greedy.

Jaime Javier Contreras, 20-years old from Stockton, California: charged with cultivation and possession of marijuana for sale

Carlos Fuerte Cachu, 61-years old, from Stockton, California: charged with cultivation and possession of marijuana for sale

The investigation is ongoing.  Heads will roll.  More heads will roll after the heads that were rolled snitch off the heads that weren’t rolled yet.  Stay tuned for further head rolling.

Anyone with information for the Sheriff’s Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Sheriff’s Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539.

The Cal Fire Public Information Grand Poobah Officer is Jim Robins, who can be reached at 707-599-6435.

The California Fish and Wildlife Muckety-Muck Public Information Officer is Jordan Traverso, who can be reached at 916-654-9937.

* * * * * * * * * *

Some folks simply have all the luck.

 

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Feds Won’t Sue To Stop States’ Marijuana Laws

 

Justice Department Eases Rules on Pot Enforcement

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

WASHINGTONThe Justice Department has thrown down an olive branch in the war against marijuana use.

In a major policy shift by the Obama administration that reverses 75 years of marijuana prohibition, Atty. Gen. Eric Holder signaled yesterday that the federal government would no longer interfere in states that allowed commercial marijuana sales as long as they were strictly regulated.

The surprising move comes two years after the Justice Department said federal drug agents would not tolerate large-scale or commercial pot businesses and began a campaign to shut down dispensaries and growers. The crackdown was particularly aggressive in California, where hundreds of businesses were shut down.

The new policy suggests the federal government is trying to find a workable balance between federal law, which prohibits all marijuana use, and the changing laws in a growing number of states such as California that permit it.

Holder informed the governors of Colorado and Washington State– where voters in November passed ballot measures to legalize marijuana for all adult use– that the Justice Department would not move to halt those initiatives.

Meanwhile, Deputy Atty. Gen. James Cole wrote a memorandum to his top prosecutors around the country emphasizing that they should not automatically
target marijuana operations solely because they operate for profit and on a large
scale.

“I was expecting a yellow light, but this light looks a lot more greenish than I had expected,” said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the national Drug Policy Alliance, a group advocating an end to the so-called war on drugs.  ”The White House is essentially saying proceed with caution.”

He said the ramifications would be felt even in other countries, such as Jamaica and Uruguay, where officials feared their legalization initiatives would be squelched by pressure from the U.S.

Beau Kilmer, co-director of the Rand Drug Policy Research Center, said that while it was “a big deal” that the memo did not prohibit commercial, for-profit production, its scope was limited.  It does not legalize marijuana at a federal level, leaves U.S. attorneys plenty of discretion to prosecute, and focuses only on the Justice Department.

“There are other federal agencies and departments that can play a role in all this.  You’ve got the IRS, the Treasury, Customs…. It’s important to recognize that the federal government is not just a homogenous actor,” Kilmer said.

It’s unclear how the change in policy will affect California, where the medical marijuana industry remains largely unregulated.

The memo suggests that little might change in the state unless Sacramento implements some rules for the industry.  

“The department’s guidance in this memorandum rests on its expectation that states and local government will implement strong and effective regulatory and enforcement systems,” Cole wrote.

California’s rules on medical marijuana are murky to nonexistent.  Certain counties and cities, such as Oakland, have created clear regulatory schemes, but Cole repeatedly calls for “state regulation.”

“This is a mandate for California to regulate medical marijuana,” said Dale Gieringer, a longtime activist and director of California NORML, the state chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.

Steve DeAngelo, who operates Harborside Health Center in Oakland, one of the largest dispensaries in the U.S., called the move “a huge step forward for a sane policy on marijuana,” but worried about the details.

“It looks very, very promising on the face of it.  But we won’t know the effects until it’s interpreted by the U.S. attorneys,” DeAngelo said.

Melinda Haag, U.S. attorney for the Northern District of California, has targeted growers in Northern California.

Haag filed papers last year to seize the properties where
Harborside operated, and said in a statement at the time
that “superstores like Harborside” went beyond what the
state law allowed, implying its size was the key issue.

Cole’s memo doesn’t address the other methods the federal government is using to put cannabis purveyors out of business.

“We’re still facing crippling tax assessments, seizure of our properties, denial of banking, credit cards, security and armed car services,” DeAngelo said.

Cole said prosecutors should focus marijuana enforcement on several areas: preventing distribution of pot to minors, keeping revenue from flowing to gangs or cartels, preventing marijuana from being used as a front for trafficking in other drugs, impaired driving and growing
on public land.

Legalization opponents saw Thursday’s memo as a historic step in the wrong direction.

“This president will be remembered for many failures, but none as large as this one, which will lead to massive youth drug use, destruction of community values, increased addiction and crime rates,” said Paul Chabot, president and founder of the Coalition for a Drug Free California. “America may never recover.”

Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), co-chairman of the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control, said the administration’s action sent “the wrong message to both law enforcement and violators of federal law.”

“Apprehending and prosecuting illegal drug traffickers should always be a priority for the Department of Justice,” Grassley said in a statement.

Bert “Buddy” Duzy has a hard time believing the government is making an about-face. “They weren’t supposed to hassle California meds either,” he said.

Duzy heads the Reefer Raiders, friends and disciples of the late pot guru and author Jack Herer.  The group has filed pot legalization initiatives in various forms since 1980.  He wants more radical change: taking marijuana off the list of Schedule 1 narcotics that include heroin and cocaine.  ”That’s been the holy grail for the cannabis movement for the last 30 years.”

In Humboldt County, Sheriff Mike Downey told the Times-Standard news that the Fed’s new policy offers room to address marijuana issues appropriately.  “The County has been working on an outdoor (marijuana) ordinance that may be easier with this new guidance… it’s a step in the right direction,” Downey said.

Humboldt County Supervisor Mark Lovelace also weighed in.  “Lack of state regulation allows the Department of Justice to still use broad discretion in enforcement and prosecution decisions.  This action expands the position to include states which have legalized marijuana for ‘recreational’ or non-medical use,” Lovelace said. 

“I think it’s a major step toward a more rational drug policy, but it’s only a step,” Lovelace cautioned.

* * * * * * * *

(Via Yahoo News, LA Advocate, and Times-Standard News)

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Posted in Local, NationalComments (2)

Medical Marijuana Not Immune From Seizure

 

California Appeals Court Rules on Humboldt County Cannabis Case

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

SAN FRANCISCO (Courthouse News)The mere presence of users’ medical marijuana recommendations
at a grow site did not immunize the crop from seizure, nor
did it require police to prove the growers were guilty of a
crime before they could destroy the harvest, a California
appeals court ruled last week.

 The case stems from a 2008 open field eradication project by Humboldt County Sheriff’s deputies and agents from the Campaign Against Marijuana Planting (CAMP) task force.

 ”The facts are largely undisputed,” P.J. McGuiness and J. Jenkins wrote for the appellate court.

Officers “entered a garden that contained 118 marijuana plants ranging from three to eight feet tall with an average diameter of six to seven feet,” according to the ruling.  

Four medical marijuana recommendations were posted on the gate, for Sylvia, Timothy and Roscoe Littlefield, specifying conditions that included degenerative joint disease, low back pain, anxiety and glaucoma and indicating “the use of up to two ounces of cannabis per day, the equivalent of 45.6 pounds per year,” the court noted.  A fourth recommendation, for Jeffrey Libertini, did not specify a condition or dose.

Officers found a second plot on the property with “an additional 96 flowering marijuana plants from three to eight feet tall and averaging four to six feet wide.  Medical marijuana recommendations for Richard Littlefield and Summer Brown, each of which indicated up to two ounces daily for degenerative joint disease and low back pain, were posted in this garden,” the appellate court wrote.

The Sheriff’s Department “believed the recommendations were invalid and the marijuana should be seized.”  The appellate court noted the quantity was “enough of a supply for two ounces of cannabis daily for six people for five and one-half years.”

An affidavit by Deputy Cyrus Silva stated that destroying the marijuana complied with Health and Safety Code requirements and that it was not reasonably possible to store it elsewhere.

“Humboldt County does not have adequate storage facilities, or sufficient personnel to guard the marijuana.  In addition, recently harvested marijuana gives off great volumes of heat and may erupt into fire,” he wrote.  Most of the two large crops were destroyed, though some samples were kept for evidence, and a few other plots on the property were left undisturbed.

The Littlefield family sued Humboldt County for “the replacement value of the confiscated cannabis, physical and mental suffering, emotional distress, and medical expenses,” the appellate court wrote, but Humboldt County Superior Court Judge Christopher Wilson did not find their arguments compelling.

Wilson ruled that the quantity of marijuana would lead “a person of ordinary caution or prudence to believe, and conscientiously entertain a strong suspicion of the guilt of the accused,” that the requirements of probable cause had been met, and that the Littlefields did not lawfully possess the marijuana.  He did not buy into statements by an expert witness for the Littlefields, who failed to convince him that he had specific knowledge of the plaintiffs’ medical needs.

 California’s First Appellate District reviewed the facts of the case and examined each of the Littlefields’ arguments, agreeing with Wilson that the seizure and destruction of the marijuana was neither unconstitutional nor illegal.

 The appellate court agreed that the seizure was supported by probable cause and cited case law on the limits of medical marijuana legalization.

 ”The most salient fact here is the vast quantity of marijuana found,” the ruling states.  ”The CUA [Compassionate Care Act, California's medical marijuana statute] protects the possession of marijuana only in an amount reasonably related to the user’s current medical needs.”

 The appellate court agreed that the seizure was supported by probable cause and cited case law on the limits of medical marijuana legalization. “The most salient fact here is the vast quantity of marijuana found,” the ruling states.

The court also expressed skepticism about the recommendations themselves. “Each purports to authorize the use of up to two ounces per person per day, or 45.6 pounds of cannabis per year – 15 times the three pounds per year deemed reasonable under the County’s Ordinance,” the court wrote (emphasis in original).

The Littlefields claimed the County unlawfully destroyed their stash, but the appeals court agreed with Deputy Silva’s affidavit, quoted above, that the destruction complied with the Health and Safety Code.

The appeals court backed the trial court’s ruling that the Littlefields did not bring admissible evidence showing their possession was lawful, and ultimately concluded the trial court’s ruling was sound.

Kym Kemp, a writer who has followed medical marijuana issues in Humboldt County, told Courthouse News that the ruling could influence the dynamics of marijuana policing.

Referring to California’s Proposition 215, the 1996 ballot initiative that legalized marijuana use with a doctor’s recommendation, Kemp said, “An officer in the field now can feel more comfortable pulling out plants even with 215 recommendations, without having to worry about being sued or having to reimburse the growers.  It could be a game changer for growers and for law enforcement.”

Khurshid Khoja of Greenbridge Corporate Counsel, former general counsel for the Emerald Growers Association, told Courthouse News, “Given the number of plants that were seized and destroyed and the nature of the recommendations, it seems like a reasonable decision by the court.”

He added that there are some medical marijuana preparations on the market today, such as highly concentrated oils, which might require the use of up to two ounces a day to produce, but that the Littlefields had not brought a credible medical witness to testify during
summary judgment proceedings that they needed that much.

* * * * * * * *

Article courtesy of Barbara Wallace and the Courthouse News Service 
Images by the Humboldt Sentinel

Thadeus Greenson’s article in the Times-Standard news has more details of the case.

Posted in Local, StateComments (0)

The Explosion of Butane Hash Oil

 

 

Not Everyone’s Cup of High Tea

(VIRAL VIDEO)

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

Things that go boom in the night.

In February, FEMA posted a rather unexpected alert in its emergency services bulletin titled “Hash Oil Explosions Increasing Across US.”  

Alongside warnings of cyber terrorism and industrial vapor clouds, it described an uptick in explosions at apartments and hotel rooms involving “a process using butane to extract and concentrate compounds from marijuana,” destructive incidents that FEMA warned could be mistaken for pipe bomb or meth lab explosions.

Wait, marijuana-based explosions? When did cannabis products start sounding like something out of Breaking Bad?

A clear, golden brown cannabis derivative also known as honey oil, shatter, wax and disgustingly as “earwax,” butane hash oil (BHO) has some advantages over traditional marijuana:  It has very little smell, is very portable, and can achieve intense effects in small amounts.

“BHO has been gaining in popularity in the past three years,” High Times Senior Editor Bobby Black said. “It’s been done for decades, but it was only done by a few people and it was very underground.  Even we didn’t really talk about it or cover it because it was so rare.”

No longer. At a series of Cannabis Cup competitions taking place in states where medical marijuana is legal, Black says the once-marginal hash oil entries have not only increased over the last several years but “pretty much eclipsed traditional hash at this point.”

But as its popularity grows, so do the number of hash oil enthusiasts eager to attempt their own homebrew BHO, a process that usually involves the highly flammable solvent butane.  The result in a number of cases, as the FEMA bulletin notes, has been “fires and explosions that have blown out windows, walls, and caused numerous burn injuries.”

Local media reports often describe hash oil explosions as the result of “cooking hash” or “cooking hash oil,” but that isn’t strictly accurate.  There are no Breaking Bad Bunsen burners or chemistry sets involved, and the process of producing hash oil is a relatively simple one, but one that ill-informed stupid
stoners can still manage to screw up.

Hash oil is typically produced by filling a cylindrical glass or stainless steel canister with pot, and flooding the canister with a solvent — usually butane — that strips the plant matter of its cannabis-containing oils.  The resulting mixture of psychotropic plant oil and chemicals is then purified to remove traces of the solvent.  One common method of butane removal includes boiling it off in a hot water bath, while another involves the use of a vacuum pump and vacuum chamber to lower butane’s boiling point, pulling butane from the oil.

What makes it dangerous is not so much the extraction process itself, but rather the problem of improper butane ventilation.  Butane is highly flammable and it tends to sink, meaning that if you use it indoors or don’t ventilate well, you’ll run into serious trouble.  Let some butane puddle in your living room, throw in a thoughtless spark from a cigarette, stove, or lighting a bong hit, and suddenly your apartment is missing a wall.

That’s allegedly what happened in January, when three people were injured after a hash oil extraction gone wrong blew them through the walls of a San Diego hotel.  

A few months earlier, an Oregon man suffered burns in a similar explosion that blew out the windows in his apartment and sent him to the hospital.

Although it’s possible to make hash oil safely, such explosions are the result of a relatively small number of hash oil producers failing to take even the most basic precautions.  The number one precaution according to everyone is never make oil indoors.

We are as concerned as anyone about the dangers involved in making it,” said Black, who also cited safety issues beyond explosions to the quality of the product itself.  If you’re purchasing hash oil from a source besides a reputable dispensary, for example, you may not know whether it contains high levels of butane, or if it was created using poor materials — like PVC pipe instead of stainless steel — that can leech chemicals into the product.  “It’s really a kind of bathtub gin situation,” says the High Times editor.

It’s not easy to regulate the safety of an industry whose legal status varies from state to state, particularly regarding concentrates like BHO that often land in a regulatory gray area even in places where recreational or medical marijuana is legal. 

And as interest grows in both consuming and making hash oil,  so too do the number of YouTube tutorials and forum threads that spread misinformation and fail to emphasize proper safety – an explosive combination that suggests we’ll be seeing more attempts at DIY hash oil that end with a very dangerous bang.

* * * * * * * *

Yeah, we’re not real fond of Beavis ’n Butthead types blowing themselves up or us to smithereens, either. 

But folks all over Humboldt County are into the dab scene, buying butane in bulk from our local stores and making hash oil from their leftover pot trimmings.  And yes, they blow themselves up or spontaneously combust on occasion.

 

Article by Alison Hallett and from Wired.com

Video by Vice.com

More reading can be found in this Rolling Stone article, too.

The Humboldt Sentinel also had a previously popular article about hash oil ’dabbing’ here.

Posted in Local, Media, National, SceneComments (1)

Marijuana Growers Lay Waste to Eastern Humboldt

 

A Dead Fisher, Loads of Poison, a Ton of Fertilizer, and Thousands of Plants Destroying Environment

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

 

A dead fisher, enough poison to kill thousands of animals, and 16,000 marijuana plants were discovered in the wake of three recent marijuana growing operations found in Eastern Humboldt, the HCSO said yesterday.

Here’s a summary of the four day effort and what the Sheriff’s officers found:

On July 29 the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Deputies, United States Forest Service (USFS) Agents , Hoopa Valley Tribal Police ( HVTP) Officers and the Cannabis Eradication and Reclamation Team (CERT) conducted an investigation and eradication of a large marijuana cultivation site below the Brushy Mountain Lookout on Friday Ridge near Willow Creek.

Three civilian scientific researchers with a background in wildlife, toxicology and ecology were with the officers when they entered the marijuana site.  The officers eradicated 7,521 growing marijuana plants ranging in size from 4 feet to 6 feet tall.  All the marijuana was being cultivated on United States Forest Service Land.

While conducting the investigation the researchers and deputies found the following:

•  1,230 lbs. dry fertilizer (that’s over half a ton)
•  28 lbs. liquid concentrated fertilizer
14 lbs. 2nd generation anticoagulant rodenticide bait (enough to kill
2,246 woodrats or gray squirrels, 12 fishers, or at least 4 spotted owls)
•  32 oz. Carbaryl insecticide
•  32 oz. Carbofuran (a banned chemical in United States due to its toxicity to people
and wildlife– a 1/4 to 1/8 teaspoon of the stuff is enough to kill a 300-400 black bear.

Deputies also located fresh hot dogs strung from a tree on treble fish hooks as bait, along with two dead deer carcasses and a Hermit thrush bird.  Officers also witnessed environmental damage to the watershed.

Two days later on July 31, Humboldt County Sheriff’s Deputies, USFS Agents, HVTP Officers and CERT Officers conducted a marijuana investigation and eradication at another cultivation site located in the Supply Creek Watershed of the Hoopa Valley Indian Reservation.

The three researchers again accompanied the officers.

Agents found the recently deceased Fisher in the garden site pictured here and above, as well as 8,473 growing marijuana plants ranging in size from 3’ to 6’ tall.  The officers and researchers again found environmental damage to the area.

Fishers are currently under review by the State and Federal Government to be listed as an endangered species.  The researchers took custody of the deceased Fisher and intend to conduct a necropsy on it to determine the exact cause of death.  There was no obvious sign as to what killed it.

The day after the dead fisher discovery, the same team listed above with the researchers went to a third marijuana cultivation site located at Le-Terron Flat, Orleans , which is USFS property. There, the officers located and eradicated an additional 376 growing marijuana plants ranging in size from 3’ to 4’ tall.

Lt. Steve Knight of the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office said the grow sites had been tended to recently but there are no suspects in custody.  He also added officers saw environmental damage at all the sites including clear cutting of trees, damming of creeks, and multiple truckloads of plastic piping in the ground.  Enough fertilizer was found to cover 25 football fields.

“Some of the banned chemicals are highly poisonous,” Humboldt County Sheriff Mike Downey told the Times-Standard news.  “People who aren’t residents of the county don’t really care.  They come in, take what they’ve grown and their profits and leave.”

A total of 1,942 lbs of dry fertilizer, 58 lbs of liquid concentrate fertilizer, 17 pounds of second generation anticoagulant rodenticide bait were removed altogether from the three sites.  The rodenticide by itself had the potential to kill 2,753 wood rats, 14 fishers and 5 spotted owls the researchers said.  Many of these toxicants were near creeks.

“What they’re finding is pretty astounding,” Sheriff Mike Downey said.  “Growers are using vastly more than what would be needed.  It’s enough to kill armies of rodents.”

The investigation into those responsible for the marijuana grows is continuing.

Anyone with information for the Sheriff’s Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Sheriff’s Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539.

* * * * * * * *

The Times-Standard news has more here.

Posted in Crime, Environment, LocalComments (0)

Marijuana and Farm Poisons Contaminating California’s National Parks

 

New Study Indicates Problem Worse Than Originally Thought

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

CALIFORNIA (Live Science/Yahoo News)– Pesticides from California’s valley farms are collecting in the tissues
of a singing treefrog that lives in pristine national parks,
including Yosemite and Giant Sequoia, a new study finds.

The chemicals include two fungicides never before found in wild frogs, said Kelly Smalling, lead study author and a U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) research hydrologist.  The study was published today (July 26) in the journal Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry.

“Fungicides have been registered for use for many years, but for some reason, they haven’t really been on anybody’s radar screen until recently,” said Smalling, who is based at the USGS California Water Sciences Center in Sacramento.

California’s Central Valley is one of the country’s most productive agricultural regions; crops include stellar wine grapes, nuts and kiwis.

Agricultural pesticides and fungicides have been detected more than 100 miles to the east, in the rural Sierra Nevada’s snow, water, air and amphibians.  

But valley farmers aren’t the only source of agricultural chemicals: Illegal marijuana gardens hacked into public lands also expose wildlife to fertilizers and toxic rat poison.  Rare predator species, such as spotted owls and fishers, eat the poisoned mice and die.

“The marijuana cultivators make trail systems to go in, and put toxicants at every clearing,” said Mourad Gabriel, a University of California, Davis, wildlife disease ecologist who studies the effects of rodenticides on rare species.  “A lot of predators will use any type of trail system, so you can imagine the potential risk to multiple different species.”

Scientists first noticed sharply declining frog populations in the Sierra Nevada starting in the 1980s.  The problem, however, is a global one– amphibians everywhere are suffering steep population losses and strange deformities.  Earlier studies by the USGS researchers found toxic pesticide concentrations in several frog species living in the national parks.  In 2009 and 2010, the scientists resurveyed many of the same sites, Smalling said.

Researchers collected Pacific chorus frogs on a north-south transect across Lassen Volcanic National Park, Lake Tahoe, Yosemite National Park, Stanislaus National Forest and Giant Sequoia National Monument.  They tested frog tissue, water and sediment samples for more than 90 different pesticides and fungicides.

Complex Causes

The most common chemicals in the frogs were the agricultural fungicides pyraclostrobin and tebuconazole and the herbicide simazine.  DDE, a byproduct of the pesticide DDT, was also frequently found.

“This hammers home the point that even if you’re in an area that looks wild and natural, it can have very serious impacts from human activities 100 miles, or even more, away,” said Brad Shaffer, director of UCLA’s La Kretz Center
for California Conservation Science.

The chemical concentrations were often higher in frog tissues than in the environment.  ”The contaminants in the water and sediments were ridiculously low,” Smalling said.  The frogs may store up small exposures over time, or there simply wasn’t any pesticide when the water and sediment samples were taken, the researchers suggest.

While scientists agree that pesticides likely contribute to the dramatic decline in amphibians, there are many reasons that frogs are disappearing.  The heavyweight is habitat destruction and degradation.  Climate change is another factor.

Toxic Pot Gardens

Most pesticides in the Sierras come from the Central Valley.  The pesticides travel to the mountains as aerosols, tiny particles that waft into the atmosphere on warm, rising air currents.  Winds coming off the Pacific Ocean blow the aerosols west to the mountains, where they fall out of the atmosphere in rain and snow.

However, a boom in illegal pot farms in the past five years has brought a new chemical source into the parks. 

The cannabis cultivators spray pesticides and fertilizers and spread rat poison.   Rodents that eat the poison live for two to seven days before keeling over, giving predators plenty of time to capture their dazed prey.

UC Davis’ Gabriel and his colleagues are seeing the effects of these chemicals on the fishers, a carnivore being considered for Endangered Species Act listing.  

Fisher cats nibble on everything from acorns to deer carcasses.  The scientists found rat poison in 85 percent of fisher cat carcasses collected on public and tribal lands, according to a study published in June.

The animals are also passing the poison on to their kits when the babies nurse, Gabriel said.

The UC Davis group is now testing barn owls, which rely more heavily on rodents for food than fisher cats do.  Spotted owls have tested positive for rodenticides in Oregon, and Gabriel said preliminary data indicates barn owls are also
snaring poison-laced mice.

* * * * * * * *

To note, amphibians such as frogs are considered the bellweather of an ecosystem’s health– the canary in the coal mine, so to speak. 

If the Pacific tree frog is being affected by agricultural pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, and rodenticide blowoff and fallout as studies suggest, you can bet other species are being affected too, such as insects (think bees), fish, larger predators– and yes, even you.

Posted in Environment, StateComments (0)

Cannabis News

 

 

Weed Developments and Budding Trends From Around the Nation

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

 

Keeping Humboldt informed and ahead of the cannabis
curve, here are a few snippets and links of what’s up
in the weed culture around the USA and beyond

 

New Hampshire is 19th State Allowing Medical Marijuana Use

CONCORD, NH — New Hampshire became the 19th state to legalize the medicinal use of marijuana yesterday, when Gov. Maggie Hassan signed a bill that passed the Legislature this year with bipartisan support.

“Allowing doctors to provide relief to patients through the use of appropriately regulated and dispensed medical marijuana is the compassionate and right policy for the state of New Hampshire, and this legislation ensures that we approach this policy in the right way with measures to prevent abuse,” Hassan said in a statement…

You can read more from the Concord Monitor here

 

Denver Reeling from Medical Marijuana Audit

DENVER, CO — While Denver has become a national leader in how it regulates medical marijuana, an audit released Thursday found serious problems with how the city licenses, tracks and manages the booming medical marijuana industry in the city.

Denver has the most medical marijuana dispensaries in the state, more than the number of liquor stores.

But the city’s oversight has been “ineffective” and “inefficient” and poses “substantive risks to the city,” according to a scathing report that Denver Auditor Dennis Gallagher called “devastating…”

You can read the full Denver Post article here

 

Huge Spike in Marijuana Lobbying

 DENVER, CO — As the Colorado legislature this year raced in its final weeks to get crucial marijuana regulations out the door, money spent on marijuana lobbying came rushing in.

According to state records, advocacy groups on both sides of pot issues spent at least $183,000 on lobbyists in April and May.  

The money spent on marijuana lobbying in that period, during which the legislature met for a total of 5 weeks, was
more than double the amount of money spent on marijuana
lobbying during the legislative session’s first three months
combined, the records show.

And it makes up more than half of all the lobbying expenditures on marijuana issues for the 2012-13 fiscal year, according to tallies by The Denver Post…

The full article in the Denver Post is here

 

Rules Change on Olympic Marijuana Testing

WORLD– It’s been 15 years since Ross Rebagliati won snowboarding’s first Olympic gold medal at the 1998 Winter Games, and then nearly lost that medal after he tested positive for marijuana.

Since then, the drug has become an integral part of Rebagliati’s life.  Next month Rebagliati will open a medicinal marijuana dispensary in Whistler, British Columbia, called “Ross’ Gold.”  The Canadian has also become a public face for pot-smoking athletes around the globe.

Like cocaine and heroin, cannabis is banned during competition in Olympic sports…

The USA Today article has more here

 

Weed Legalization Considered in Maine, DC, and California

USA — Advocates of marijuana legalization have seen an acceleration of their cause in recent years, particularly after residents of Washington State and Colorado voted to legalize recreational cannabis in November’s elections.

Now, more jurisdictions are taking up, or at least considering taking up the issue.

In Maine Monday, Portland City Council planned a public hearing to discuss a citizen-proposed measure legalizing possession of up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana for those 21 and older.  After the meeting, the city council will decide whether to adopt the measure, send a referendum to voters
or write an alternative proposal alongside the citizen measure…

United Press International has the details here

 

Marijuana Farmers Market Proposed in Boulder

BOULDER, CO — A Colorado entrepreneur is pushing to make buying marijuana nearly as easy as shopping for heirloom tomatoes.

Justin Hartfield, the CEO of a Denver-based website that maps and collects reviews on marijuana dispensaries, is currently shepherding an initiative that would allow “organic cannabis farmers markets” in the city of Boulder.

Colorado legalized recreational weed in 2012, and regulators at the state level are working out the rules that brick-and-mortar recreational pot shops will have to follow when they open their doors next year.  Hartfield wants local officials in Boulder to push even further, allowing the creation of markets like the ones now used to haggle over white asparagus and organic lavender…

Huffington Post has the rest of this farmers market piece

 

Former Mexican President Urges Weed Legalization

SAN FRANCISCO– Former Mexican President Vicente Fox took his crusade to legalize marijuana to San Francisco on July 8, joining pot advocates to urge the United States and his own country to decriminalize the sale and recreational use of cannabis.

Fox met for three hours with the advocates, including Steve DeAngelo, the Oakland-based executive director of California’s largest marijuana dispensary, and former Microsoft executive Jamen Shively, who hopes to create a Seattle-based pot brand now that Washington state has legalized recreational use…

Reuters has the story here

 

Veterans Struggling with PTSD Want Medical Pot

NEW MEXICO — A new campaign to expand medical marijuana access to veterans struggling with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) aims to spread awareness about the drug’s efficacy, while urging states with medical cannabis programs to include PTSD in their lists of conditions for which medical marijuana may be prescribed.

The Freedom to Choose Campaign — launched by veterans, the Drug Policy Alliance, and elected officials — targets lawmakers, physicians, and employers to recognize marijuana as a safe, efficient
alternative to other PTSD medications that may not work
as well or cause troubling side effects.

While they urge lawmakers to adopt legislation that protects veterans’ access to medical marijuana, the campaign targets Veteran Affairs (and other) doctors to recognize the benefits of medical marijuana for PTSD, and demands employers not discriminate against employers who are medical marijuana patients with PTSD…

AlterNet covers it all here

* * * * * * * *

Bob Dylan was right:  The times they are a-changin’.

Posted in Media, National, SceneComments (1)

2013 Bay Area Medical Cannabis Cup

 

Cannabis Competition and Hemp Fest Results

(VIDEO)

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel 

 

 

San Francisco’s 2013 Medical Cannabis Cup sponsored by High Times magazine celebrated its fourth year in the Bay Area at the Craneway Pavilion in Richmond, California, on June 22 and 23.

As you might imagine, the weekend was filled with smoke and smiles galore.

Business relationships were built and personal friendships were made in a competition where the best of the best were lined up against one another in the urban jungle of cannabis connoisseurship.

Expectations were …high… but they got it done.

Discussion panels on marijuana topics were filled with informatively inspiring people such as DJ Short, Kyle Kushman, Aaron from DNA Seeds, Addison DeMoura from Steep Hill Labs, and others in the industry who enlightened their audiences about the ubiquitous weed and giving a shout out to us in Northern Cal.

Big money for a big money industry, a plethora of vendors also zig-zagged around the Pavilion: dispensaries, seed companies, paraphernalia dealers, grow companies and others in the biz offering their products and services.

Mind you, it was all medical.  Or “medical.”  Of course it is.

As Saturday evening came to a close and the sun began to set, vendors broke down their booths and a different kind of party started.  Wu-Tang’s Ghostface Killah, Raekwon and GZA took the stage, causing the blazed and haze-filled crowd to roar in delight.

Come Sunday, the smoke and haze began to clear with the competition winners emerging.  Here were the eagerly awaited results:

 

2013 CANNABIS CUP WINNERS

SATIVA CUP
1st Place – Cracker Jack by Santa Cruz Mountain Naturals
2nd Place – Red Dragon by Leonard Moore Co-Op
3rd Place – Tangie by BAMF Extractions

INDICA CUP
1st Place – Girl Scout Cookies by Berkeley Patients Group
2nd Place – OG Eddy Lepp by 3rd Gen Family
3rd Place – Bomb Threat by Archive Seed Bank

HYBRID CUP
1st Place – Headband by Loud Seeds
2nd Place – Phish OG by Sovereign Wellness Center
3rd Place – Veganic Platinum Girl Scout Cookies by Buds and Roses & Private Stock LA

CONCENTRATES CUP
1st Place – Paris OG Wax by Grateful Meds
2nd Place – Humboldt OG Shatter by Golden State Extracts
3rd Place – Lemon Amnesia Shatter by Archive Seed Bank & TerpX

BEST SOLVENTLESS HASH
1st Place – Lemon OG Solventless Wax by BAMF Extractions & Reserva Privada
2nd Place – Caramel Candy Kush Bubble by Dynasty Seeds
3rd Place – Master Yoda Solventless by Kush Connection & Essential Extracts

CBD AWARD CONCENTRATE
1st Place – C.B.CanD Oil by MTG Seeds & First Class Concentrates

CBD AWARD FLOWER
1st Place – Jedi Kush by Blindpack Trading Pins

CBD AWARD EDIBLE
1st Place – Lemon Blueberry C.B.canD Lollypop by Top Shelf Collective & Shatter Made Edibles

BEST NON-EDIBLE MEDICALLY INFUSED PRODUCT
1st Place – Doc Green’s Therapeutic Healing Cream by Doc Green’s Healing Collective

EDIBLES CUP
1st Place – Kiva Blackberry Dark Chcolate Bar by RCP Sacramento
2nd Place – Day Dreamers Medicinal Chocolates by SJ Patients Group
3rd Place – Toffee Turtles by CCSC Melrose Premium Collective LA

BEST GLASS
1st Place – Hitman by Hitman Glass
2nd Place – Revere Glass School
3rd Place – Silika Glass

BEST PRODUCT
1st Place – Oil Slick
2nd Place – Cloud V
3rd Place – Micro Vape Glass Globe Kit by Vaped Vaporizer

BEST BOOTH
1st Place – Magnolia Wellness
2nd Place – Cali Connection
3rd Place – TGA Genetics

The standouts?

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  See for yourself:  here are all the strains, hash, and edibles entered in the 2013 Bay Area Medical Cannabis Cup:

 

Save and share the Humboldt Sentinel with others– and friend and follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Posted in Media, SceneComments (1)

Murder and Marijuana on Murder Mountain

 

Sheriff’s Office Investigating Two Incidents in Alderpoint

(UPDATED)

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

The Sheriff’s Office has been busy:  a homicide
investigation and large marijuana busts involving three
individuals taking place in Alderpoint over the past two days.

Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Dave Morey said detectives do not know yet if the suspected homicide of a 57-year old man found Thursday on the 3700 block of Rancho Sequoia Road in Southern Humboldt is related to the marijuana search warrants served at two nearby properties on the 4000 and 4500 block of Rancho Sequoia Road on Wednesday.

“It could be, it might not be.  We will see,” Morey said.

The area of Alderpoint– the Rancho Sequoia subdivision– has fondly become known by locals as ‘Murder Mountain’ for good reason.

We have the two Murder Mountain reports– whether or not they’re related is yet to be determined– for you here.

 

Here’s the HCSO homicide report issued Thursday, June 27:

HCSO badgeDetectives from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office are currently investigating a death that has been determined to be suspicious and suspected to be a homicide.  The location of occurrence is the 3700 block of Rancho Sequoia Drive in Alderpoint, CA.

The reporting party called the Sheriff’s Office at 8:50 am stating that she had not heard from her step-father for the last four days and drove to his residence in the 3700 block of Rancho Sequoia Drive.

When she arrived, she discovered her 57-year old step-father was deceased.

Deputies and detectives were dispatched to the residence and ruled the death suspicious.  They are investigating the death as a homicide.

Detectives are looking for a black 2000 Jeep Cherokee, CA license #5HNG536.

The Jeep Cherokee may be driven by Anthony Ray Lane, a white male adult, 37-years old, height 5 foot 10, weighing 185 pounds and with red and brown hair.  His date of birth is 09-18-1975.

Lane is a person of interest in this investigation and he’s being sought for questioning by the Sheriff’s Office. 

Persons should not approach Lane, but if located or spotted, they are asked
to call the Sheriff’s Office. 

The lead investigator is Detective Franco at (707) 268-3644 or (707) 445-7251.

The motive for this suspected homicide is not known at this time.  Detectives are just now arriving at the time of this release.

The name of the victim is not being released until additional family members can be notified.  Due to the infancy of this investigation, the suspected cause of death won’t be released until the Coroner can arrange for an autopsy.

 

UPDATE– Murder Suspect Anthony Lane Apprehended:

On Thursday June 27, 2013 at about 11:30 pm, Officers from the Willits Police Department located the black Jeep Cherokee that was believed to be operated by suspect Anthony Lane.

The Willits Police Officers had received a “be on the lookout” broadcast issued by the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office for this homicide investigation.  The vehicle was found in the parking lot of a motel in the Willits area.

On June 28, 2013 at about 12:30 am, officers of the Willits Police Department, with the assistance of deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office, located Lane in one of the rooms of the hotel.

Mr. Lane was taken into custody without incident and transported to the Humboldt County Line, where deputies from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office took custody of him.  Lane was booked into the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office for suspicion of murder and possession of a stolen vehicle– the black Jeep Cherokee.

At this time the motive for the crime is being investigated.  There does not appear to be a connection with the homicide to an earlier marijuana cultivation investigation although the arrests took place in the same area.  This homicide does not appear to be a home invasion, marijuana related, or in association with the Garret Rodriguez missing person investigation.

The Humboldt County Coroner’s Office is still in the process of notification of family members of the victim of this suspected homicide.

* * * * * * * *

And here’s the second HCSO report– also issued on Thursday, June 27:

hcsobadgeOn 06-26-2013, at 11:15 am, Humboldt County Drug Task Force Agents, assisted by the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office and California Highway Patrol, arrested Matthew Walker, 33, from Alderpoint after he attempted to trade marijuana for a travel trailer.

Approximately two weeks ago Humboldt County Drug Task Force Agents were alerted by a citizen who was selling a travel trailer on Craigslist that a person was trying trade the citizen “herb” for his travel trailer.

A Humboldt County Drug Task Force Agent took over negotiations posing as the seller and began contacting the suspect on line.  The suspect offered to trade four pounds of high grade marijuana and hashish for the trailer.  The Drug Task Force Agent agreed to meet the suspect at Tooby Park in Garberville on the same day at 11:00 am to make the trade.

When the suspect, identified as Matthew Walker, and another male showed up at Tooby Park, both were detained.

Agents searched the vehicle they were driving and located four pounds of marijuana bud and one pound of hashish. 

Mr. Walker was arrested on outstanding felony arrest warrants for cultivation and sales of marijuana issued out of Mendocino County Superior Court and traffic offenses.  The other male was interviewed and released at the scene.

Agents and deputies then drove to Walker’s residence in the 4500 block of Rancho Sequoia Road inAlderpoint where they served a Humboldt County Superior Court search warrant. 

At the residence they located 304 growing marijuana plants ranging from 8” to 2’ in height.  The plants were being grown in greenhouses and outside on the property.  Agents also located another approximate half pound of hashish in the residence, along with a rifle.

Walker was transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where he was booked on his arrest warrants and new charges of cultivation and possession for sale of marijuana.  His bail was set at $55,000.

While at Walker’s property, the Drug Task Force Agents and deputies obtained information about marijuana cultivation on another nearby parcel– in the 4000 block of Rancho Sequoia Road.

They contacted the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office and spoke with an Investigator who obtained a search warrant for that parcel.

When the agents and deputies served the search warrant, they located 1,572 marijuana plants ranging in size from 2’ to 4’ being grown in six green houses. 

They also located a sawed-off shotgun and a AR-15 Assault weapon with high capacity magazines in the residence.

Two men were located at the scene and determined to be associated with the marijuana cultivation.  They were identified as Travis Land, 36 years old, from Redway and Juan Hernandez, from Alderpoint.

Both Land and Hernandez were arrested for cultivation and possession for sale of marijuana.  Agents also learned Travis also had an outstanding felony arrest warrant for cultivation of marijuana.

They were transported and booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where Mr. Land’s bail was set at $55,000 and Mr. Hernandez’s bail at $25,000.

* * * * * * * *

Whether or not these two incidents– involving murder and marijuana on Murder Mountain– are intertwined isn’t clear.

One thing is clear, however:  Humboldt County’s marijuana gold rush and the problems following in its wake have turned this County onto its proverbial ear.

Mr. Gallegos, we think you’re gonna need more prosecutors.

Please spread the word.  Share this– and all of our posts– with others, and friend us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.  We appreciate and thank you for reading, and for giving us a little push in the right direction.

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Still Missing in the Pot Trade: Garret Rodriguez

 

Family Seeks Answers in Disappearance of SoCal Man Headed to ‘Murder Mountain.’

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

 

Private Investigator: His Truck Found in Garberville Area
by Colleen Chalmers

Private detectives investigating the disappearance of a Southern California man — who went missing after reportedly heading to work at a marijuana grow near what he called “Murder Mountain” — said this week that his pickup truck was found broken down on private property in southern Humboldt.

Cook & Associates Private Investigation owner and licensed investigator Chris Cook said she’s notified the Humboldt County Sheriff’s office about the latest information related to 30-year-old Garret Rodriguez’s disappearance.

No one has heard from Rodriguez since Christmas time, officials and private investigators said. He was last heard from while en route from his home in the San Diego enclave of Ocean Beach to the mountains of southern Humboldt, where he was reportedly going to work at a marijuana ranch.

Rodriguez’s father, who lives in central Mexico, said he believes some of his son’s friends must know something.  “I believe that some of them know what happened to him, but they’re afraid to come forward and say anything,” Val ‘Buzz’ Rodriguez said. “I know that for a fact.”

pot leafHis mother, who lives in Georgia, said she knows her son was going to work at an indoor grow in the Rancho Sequoia area near Alderpoint for the winter.  She questions why the two people her son worked with have been silent about the case.

“It’s important for people to know who he was working with,” said Pamela McGinnis, who believes the two business associates were the last to be with her son.  Sheriff’s Office Detective Todd Fulton said the names of the two men Rodriguez worked with are not being released at this time.

“We don’t have any reason to release the names of his associates,” he said.  “As far as I know, his last known location was in San Diego.”

Fulton said the office is investigating Rodriguez’s disappearance as a missing person’s case, but it is unclear if Rodriguez was in the county.

Cook & Associates investigator Jeremy Yanopoulos said Rodriguez had been involved with growing marijuana since high school, and had also been working with marijuana trafficking and sales between Humboldt County and San Diego for a couple years.

“He wasn’t the top guy,” Yanopoulos said. “It doesn’t sound like it was paying particularly well.”

mj greenhouse IIMcGinnis said her son never seemed to make much money in the marijuana business.  “I know a lot of young guys go up to Humboldt to try and make a lot of money.  His goal was to save money, but there was always some reason why he didn’t have any,” she said.

His family said Rodriguez was in the marijuana business to save enough money to eventually fulfill his dream of having a home in Mexico.  “It was just the allure of money that got him involved, so he could build his home in Mexico,” McGinnis said.

His aunt Bonnie Taylor, who lives in the Chico area, said she was the last family member to see him before he went missing. She said Rodriguez’s friends were his family.  “He was sweet, loving, caring and good-hearted.  He had a love of life,” she said.  “This guy wasn’t somebody who just goes missing.”

Rodriguez is described as being 5 feet 8 inches tall, weighing 180 pounds, with brown hair.  Rodriguez also has a tattoo of a colored ocean scene on his right shoulder.  “He has the most gorgeous green eyes and a beautiful smile,” Taylor said.

Taylor said the family tried to talk Rodriguez out of going to Humboldt County for work.  “We tried as best we could.  He didn’t always make really good choices,” she said.  “Choice of certain friends.  Choice of going up to Humboldt.”

drawing handsMcGinnis said there have been hundreds of friends posting photos and memories of her son on a Facebook page dedicated to bringing him home, saying how much they miss him.  “Everybody’s really concerned,” she said.

Yanopoulos said Cook & Associates is investigating rumors about what has happened to Rodriguez and speculation on why he disappeared. 

It was not until April that Rodriguez was officially reported missing.  Yanopoulos said it was not uncommon for friends
and family members to go short periods of time without
hearing from Rodriguez while he was working in southern
Humboldt.

“But this went way beyond just business as usual,” he said.

His father reported him missing on April 25 after one of his son’s ex-girlfriends told him no one had heard from Rodriguez in months.  Taylor said the family knows in their hearts that Rodriguez made it to southern Humboldt and would have contacted them if he could.

missing personAnyone with information regarding Garret Rodriguez is asked to contact Cook & Associates Private Investigations at 839-7422 or call Chris Cook at 616-4507. You may also contact the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office at 445-7251.

(Courtesy of the Times-Standard and Bruce Anderson of the AVA.  Article slightly abridged and pictures added)

Posted in Crime, LocalComments (1)

Cannabis News

 

All the Weed That’s Trimmed for Print

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

Growing Pains

Uh-oh, look out.  The Sheriff’s Office has identified 4,100
grow sites in Humboldt County– and they’re none
too happy about it.

Humboldt County Sheriff Mike Downey held a pre-season marijuana eradication meeting on Thursday to discuss the main issues the County will face this summer and to go over strategies with local stakeholders.

“I think we’re going to continue to see an increase in marijuana cultivation based upon our overall lack of economic health in Humboldt County and the State of California,” Downey said.

“We will never eradicate cultivation completely but right now, at this point, it’s not controllable.  It’s gotten too big, too out of control,” the County’s top lawman said…

…You can read more in the Times-Standard’s “Stakeholders Talk Marijuana Before Outdoor Grow Season Starts”

 

Humboldt State University’s Higher Learning Journal

HSUHSU has taken the high road of scholarly cannabis publishing to a new level under the direction of Professors Josh Meisel and Ronnie Swartz.

The Humboldt Journal of Social Relations has just published its long-awaited all-weed issue, “Current Perspectives on Marijuana and Society,” in cooperation with the Humboldt Institute for Interdisciplinary Marijuana Research.

HSU’s PR department highlights what seems to be the lead story:  A paper by David C. Peters of Wayne State University puts forth research from Michigan showing that marijuana can be an effective “reverse gateway drug”– one whose usage can help wean addicts to opiates or prescription medication from those far more dangerous substances…

…You can read more by Hank Sims at the Lost Coast Outpost:  “HSU Research Journal:  Marijuana May be a Reverse Gateway Drug”

 

Humboldt’s Marijuana Frontier

Kym's pic IIWhat’s it really like to be living with pot growers amidst the burgeoning weed culture?

For those who have replaced copy after copy of Ray Raphael’s Cash Crop because volumes borrowed by friends never seem to be returned, you had better buy a few copies of Emily Brady’s new book, Humboldt: Life on America’s Marijuana Frontier.

The book is destined to be a local classic—a book that you will lend out knowing that you’ll rarely see it returned.  Nonetheless, you’ll give it out with the same passion that Gideonite’s pass out Bibles—this book gets Humboldt pot culture—particularly Southern Humboldt pot culture…

…You can catch Kym Kemp’s full review at Redheaded Blackbelt:  “Humboldt: Life on America’s Marijuana Frontier—A Book Destined to be a Classic Look at this County and Cannabis”

You can also catch another of Kym’s pieces:  “The New York Times Thinks that Marijuana Growers Suffer from an ‘Identity Crisis’”

 

House Representatives Pass Industrial Hemp Farm Bill Amendment

marijuanaThe House of Representatives on Thursday overcame last-minute lobbying from the Drug Enforcement Administration to pass a farm bill amendment that would legalize the growing of hemp for research purposes.

The 225-200 vote came after a flurry of opposition from the DEA, which argued that it would be too difficult for the agency to differentiate legal hemp from illegal marijuana, both varieties of the cannabis plant.

“On the merits, this is a no-brainer.  Industrial hemp is an important product,” Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said.  ”It’s perfectly legal, but currently we require that it be imported from other countries.  Basically it’s taking jobs away from American producers…”

…See the full article and video here at the Huffington Post:  “Bipartisan Hemp Amendment Passes House Over DEA Objections (UPDATED)”

 

Pot Dispensing Vending Machines Streamline Legal Access

machine2Marijuana, already legal in two states and on the verge of legitimacy in others, may become a product that can easily be purchased via vending machine.

A Phoenix-based company behind the pot machines, Endexx Corp., envisions a transaction unfolding like this:  A woman in Colorado, where recreational pot is legal, uses an app on her iPhone to purchase an ounce of weed, then goes to pick it up at her favorite retail outlet.

There, she encounters the vending machine and uses its touch screen to complete her order, adding a book of rolling papers and a cigarette lighter.

“The way we see it, when you walk into a shop, you don’t need the expert or aficionado to help with selection,” said Todd Davis, chief executive officer of Endexx.

“The people who are using this in the recreational space — they know what they want, and they don’t want to hear the whole spiel every time…”

…The full Huffington Post article and pics are here:  “Marijuana Vending Machines, Stoner Fantasy, May Become Industry Norm”

 

New Marijuana Inventions Coming to Market

machine3American capitalism at its best?

A gadget that turns any Starbucks Venti cup into a bong, a power cleaner for resin-clogged pipes, and chewing gum that cures cotton mouth are among products that marijuana aficionados may see in their favorite head shops before the end of the year.

A flock of American businesses, seeking to take advantage of an investment rush into the marijuana industry, are behind a wave of new weed-smoking accessories.

The gadgets are designed to improve on such classic devices as the bong, the pipe and the one-hitter.

The new so-called ganjapreneurs are hoping to capitalize on a speculative mania that cannabis industry insiders call a “green rush.”

“People have been trying to do this for a really long while and now is really the time,” said Ross Kirsh, owner at New York based Quark, which creates accessories used to store and display medical marijuana.

Los Angeles-based Royght! plans to sell a gadget that fits snugly atop the standard-issue wax-paper cups used by takeout restaurants.  For $19.95, super-sized becomes super high…

…You can find the full article and pics here:  “9 Mind-Blowing Marijuana Gadgets That Will Revolutionize Weed Smoking”

 

Pork and Pot, Happily Together

stalksMarijuana and bacon: together at last?

A pig farmer in Washington state– who doesn’t smoke weed– is making the most out of legalization by feeding stems, stalks, and leaves left over from pot-farming operations.

He says the marijuana-fed pigs—which end up as bacon, sausages, and pulled pork—gain weight 20% faster than others, possibly because they spend all their time inactive and barely raise their heads.

In “blind bacon tests,” customers describe the taste as “more savory,” the farmer told NBC news.

…The NBC article and video is here.

Wait until Humboldt dairy farmers hear about this new development.

mu3

Posted in Local, Media, NationalComments (1)

More Crime, Criminals …and Sometimes Cannabis

 

Reports From Humboldt’s Law Agencies

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

Indoor-Outdoor Weed Op Busted

On June 17 at 9:00 am, Humboldt County Sheriff’s Deputies
assisted by Humboldt County Drug Task Force Agents served
a Humboldt County Superior Court Search Warrant in the 25000
block of Highway 36 in Bridgeville.

When the deputies served the search warrant they located a sophisticated indoor and an outdoor marijuana growing operation.  Many of the outdoor marijuana plants were already in the flowering stage.

weed and momDeputies located 624 marijuana plants ranging from 4” to 12” in height growing indoors, and 590 marijuana plants ranging from 6” to 4′ tall growing outdoors.  Deputies also located a loaded rifle.

Due to electrical fire hazards at the indoor marijuana grow operation, the Humboldt County Planning Department and Pacific Gas and Electric was called to the scene.  They determined there was a hazard and shut off the electricity.

At the property, deputies contacted Kelly Valentine, 39-years old, and her two teenage children. 

Due to jail overcrowding, Ms. Valentine was issued a notice to appear for cultivation of marijuana, possession of marijuana for sale and maintaining a residence for the unlawful manufacturing of a controlled substance and released at the scene.

Our Ms. Valentine, ever the coolest mom in high school, went down, but deputies have identified another suspect in this case.  They are seeking an arrest warrant through the Humboldt County DA for his arrest.

 

All in the Family Dispute Leads to Cannabis Pinch

mj IIIA disturbance between a Fortuna mother and her daughter on Sunday morning led to the arrest of the mother on suspicion of marijuana possession for sale and maintaining a drug house, according to the Fortuna Police Department.

Officers responded to a disturbance call June 9 on the 400 block of 11th Street after a reported altercation occurred between Sheila Ayub, 40, and her whippy daughter.

After the dispute was resolved, an officer attempted to re-contact Ayub.  The officer observed the woman running through the residence with bags of processed marijuana through the front door.

The officer entered the home, detained Ayub for the violation, and found her to be in possession of approximately two pounds of marijuana packaged for sales, FPD said.

Based on the officer’s observations and Ayub’s statements, the home was locked down in preparation for a search warrant.

Inside the home, officers located more weed:  approximately 8 pounds of processed marijuana bud, approximately 10 pounds of untrimmed marijuana plants, two digital scales, approximately $14,000 and several forms of packaging material, officials said.  She was arrested for all of it, and also for possession of marijuana for sale and maintaining a drug house. 

Ms. Ayub– mom– was booked into the Humboldt County Pokey. 

Her daughter had the house to herself for awhile.  Hell hath no fury like a daughter scorned.

 

Cali Weed and the Land of Mormon

mj tax stampOn June 11th and 12th, the Humboldt County Drug Task Force, Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office, United States Forest Service, and the United States Marshal Office assisted the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration Metro Narcotics Task Force and the Davis Metro Narcotic Strike Force out of Salt Lake City, Utah, regarding a 3-year long marijuana investigation in Humboldt County linked to the Mormon state.

The Federal Drug Enforcement Administration issued indictments for several Humboldt County residents out of the Federal District Court in Salt Lake City, Utah, for engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise, conspiracy to manufacture, distribute and possess with intent to distribute marijuana.  Federal and state search warrants were served in Utah during the course of this investigation.

On June 11 at about 10:00 in the morning, local law enforcement and federal law enforcement officers located and arrested one suspect for the federal indictment out of Utah, Michael Stallings, 63, at his residence located off Friday Ridge Road in Willow Creek.  While at Stallings’ residence, officers noticed an outdoor marijuana growing operation.

Officers obtained a Humboldt County search warrant for the property.  Officers then seized over 600 growing marijuana plants that ranged in size from 2 to 3 feet.  Officers seized one pound of processed marijuana, two rifles and one shotgun.   Mr. Stallings was transported to the Federal Courthouse in Eureka to be arraigned on his federal arrest warrant out of the State of Utah.  A local arrest warrant will be sought through the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office for Stallings for cultivation and possession for sales of marijuana.

mj blood sugarOn June 12th at about 9:00 in the morning, local and federal law enforcement officers served a search warrant at the residence of John Paul Diller, age 32, in the 1600 block of Children’s Avenue in McKinleyville.  Mr. Diller was taken into custody on a federal arrest warrant out of the State of Utah, too.  Diller was transported to the Federal Courthouse in Eureka to be arraigned on his Federal arrest warrant out of the State of Utah.

When Officers searched Diller’s residence they located and seized 10 individual, one pound bags of processed marijuana. 

Officers also seized 4 pistols and 2 rifles.  A Harley Davidson motorcycle, a vehicle, and $7,900 in cash was seized for possible asset forfeiture.

At the same time, other officers served a search warrant for two storage units off Airport Road in Fortuna that Diller was renting.  Officers seized over 800 growing marijuana plants from inside two storage units ranging in size from 2 to 3 feet.  No one was located at the storage units.

mj7On June 12th at 5:00 pm, a search warrant was served on a piece of property that Mr. Diller owned in the Freshwater area.  Officers seized two motorcycles, a Polaris- Ranger ATV, and a utility trailer for possible asset forfeiture.

A local arrest warrant will be sought through the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Officer for Mr. Diller’s arrest for cultivation and possession for sales of marijuana.

There are other suspects in the investigation from the Salt Lake City indictmentsand more arrests are expected in the Humboldt County of Humboldt. 

The US Attorney’s Office in Salt Lake City is working closely with the US Attorney’s Office in San Francisco with the federal indictments.

Don’t mess with the Mormons, they don’t even like a little Coca Cola and Jack, much less a lot of weed, passing through the beehive state.  Anyone with information on this case or related drug activity is encouraged to call the Humboldt County Drug Task Force at 707-444-8095 or the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Tip line at 707-268-2539.

 

Just a Little Gunplay in McKinleyville

bulletOn June 15 at  8:30 pm, the Humboldt County Sheriffs Office received a call from a male victim reporting his house was just shot at.

The victim resides in the 1700 block of Lime Avenue in McKinleyville.  When deputies arrived they met with the victim and his stepfather.

They reported a person known as Michael Raphael Robitaille, 42-years old, came to their residence and knocked on the front door.  When they did not answer the door, they heard a gunshot and then saw Robitialle leave. 

They checked the door and saw a bullet hole in the front door.  They saw the bullet traveled through the metal front door and three interior walls, before striking a light fixture.  That’s pretty good eyesight, we think.

Deputies located Mr. Robitialle at a residence in the 2400 block of Penn Avenue in McKinleyville.  He admitted going to the home on Lime Avenue but denied shooting into the residence.  Nonetheless, Mr. Robitialle was arrested for shooting into an inhabited building.  No weapon was recovered.

He was transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility.

It seems like an open and shot case, but the HCSO asks:  Anyone with information for the Sheriff’s Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Sheriff’s Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539.

 

One Bust for Two Arcata Burglaries– by One Very Dim Bulb

crack5On June 17 at 3:05 am, the Arcata Police Department received a report of a burglary in progress at the Chevron gas station on Giuntoli Lane.  

Officers quickly arrived in the area and located a subject fleeing the business. 

The subject, later identified as Stephen James Hansen, age 27, was taken into custody after a short foot pursuit. 

Mr. Hansen was found to be in possession of property that had been stolen from the business and placed under arrest for burglary.

stupid people aheadOfficers were able to view surveillance footage from the business that showed Hansen breaking the glass front door with a rock and entering the business and removing the merchandise from the store.   

Based upon the same method of entry used at a previous burglary at the Chevron which had occurred on May 31, video surveillance footage was viewed from the prior burglary.  Mr. Hansen was identified as the suspect in that incident as well. 

Mr. Hansen was transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where he was booked and lodged for both burglaries.

One dim bulb, we hope Mr. Hansen leaves the nightlight on upstairs while he’s away.

* * * * * * * * *

test your stupidity2

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Cannabis News

 

All the Weed That’s Trimmed to Print

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

Willow Creek Struggles With Growing Pains

The pews in the Church of the Nazarene were filled to capacity
with Willow Creek community members.  Others stood in the
back of the room and in the hallway on Thursday, May 16.

It was the first town-hall-style community meeting hosted by the Willow Creek Chamber of Commerce to discuss solutions to problems caused by outdoor marijuana grows and transients camped in town.

Local business owner Marc Rowley stepped up as moderator, but the meeting soon took on a life of its own as everyone from local law enforcement, to marijuana growers, to retirees, to homeless campers discussed the issues.

“We’re only three minutes in and I’ve already lost control of the meeting,” Rowley said…

Continue reading Krista Korns’ article at the Two Rivers Tribune“Willow Creek Eyeing Long Term Campgrounds and Designated Spot for Day Laborers”

 

Chemically Contaminated Cannabis

weed poisonOther than a skunky aroma, the waiting room at the Cannabis Care Foundation in Belfair, Wash., resembles your typical pharmacy. Chairs line walls next to stacks of magazines — in this case, issues of Rolling Stone — and a steady stream of patients step up to the counter with doctor’s notes.

One by one, salesman Adam Dempsey leads them to the back of the shop, where they can choose from an extensive weed menu — products with names such as Frankenstein, Garbage, Snoops Dream and Sour Diesel.

But experts warn that unwelcome chemicals, including pesticides, may be tagging along with the THC and threatening the health of marijuana users.

“There’s a pretty considerable amount of contaminated cannabis,” said Jeff Raber of The Werc Shop, a Pasadena, Calif.-based lab that tests products primarily for California dispensaries.

“There are no application standards,” he added. “Since we’re not telling growers that they’re allowed to use anything, they often use whatever they can get their hands on. And that’s a lot of bad things.”

Many of the chemicals applied to pot plants are intended only for lawns and other non-edibles. Medical cannabis samples collected in Los Angeles have been found to contain pesticide residues at levels 1600 times the legal digestible amount…

Continue reading at the Huffington Post“Marijuana Pesticide Contamination Becomes Health Concern as Legalization Spreads”

 

SoHum Weed Farms and Domestic Violence

weed domestic violenceAccording to an article in Healthy Cal, an online magazine about California, some women in the pot industry are dealing with dangerous and violent conditions.

While the article’s title—Young Women in Pot Industry Face Exploitation—conjures up images of a nationwide sexploitation of young women, the piece focuses on domestic violence among marijuana growers in Humboldt County, particularly in the southern half…

Continue reading Kym Kemp’s article at the Redheaded Blackbelt“Women on Marijuana Farms at Risk of Domestic Violence”

 

Governor Signs Historic Legal Marijuana Bill

weed coloradoOn Tuesday, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper signed several historic measures to implement marijuana legalization in the state, establishing Colorado as the world’s first legal, regulated and taxed marijuana market for adults.

Hickenlooper, a vocal opponent of marijuana legalization who said that “Colorado is known for many great things, marijuana should not be one of them,” signed the first bills in history to establish a legal marijuana market.

The bills also start the development of a regulatory framework for the cultivation, distribution, and processing of industrial hemp.

“Recreational marijuana really is new territory,” Hickenlooper said at Tuesday’s signing. And although the governor has expressed opposition to marijuana legalization in the past, he called today’s pot bills “common sense…”

Continue reading Matt Ferner’s article“Marijuana Legalization:  Colo. Gov. Hickenlooper Signs First Bills in History to Establish a Legal, Regulated Pot Market for Adults”

 

Voters Say Yes to Marijuana, IRS Says No

pot IRS attacksThe Tea Party has company.

For the past several years, the Internal Revenue Service has been systematically targeting medical marijuana establishments, relying on an obscure statute that gives the taxing agency unintended power.  The IRS has been functioning as an arm of justice, employing the U.S. tax code as a weapon in the federal government’s ongoing war against legal cannabis.

“Whether or not this is a coordinated tactic to try and shut down the industry, or send a chill through the industry, or if it’s just the IRS trying to collect as much revenue as they can from easy targets, it’s clearly outside the spirit and intent of the law,” said Kris Krane, a former executive director of Students for Sensible Drug Policy.

While the Obama administration has made headlines with high-profile raids on dispensaries in California, Washington, Montana and other states, its financial attacks on the medical marijuana industry are taking place largely out of public view…

Continue reading Ariel Shearer’s piece“IRS Targets Medical Marijuana Businesses in Government’s Ongoing War on Pot”

 

Sunshine State Warming Up to Legalization

florida sunshine stateFlorida lawmakers made it clear this session that they are not interested in legalizing marijuana.

A bill to allow medical marijuana never got a hearing, and the state enacted a new ban on certain smoking pipes to further crack down on illegal marijuana use.

But recent polling shows Florida citizens are seeing through the haze.

In a survey of 600 likely Florida voters taken earlier this year, 70 percent said they would likely vote to legalize medical marijuana through a constitutional amendment on the 2014 ballot.  And 58 percent of those voters said they would definitely vote “yes.”

Given these findings, Florida could be next in line to allow medical marijuana, following 18 other states and the District of Columbia…

Continue reading Maggie Clark’s Stateline article:  “Florida Medical Marijuana Effort Could Get Help from Aging Baby Boomers”

* * * * * * * * *

weed and mom

 

Posted in Environment, Local, NationalComments (0)

In and Out News

 

Thick as a Brick Snips

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

Sacramento Port Woes

West Sacramento will turn its port over to a private operator
in July as a last resort to save the 50-year-old facility, which
has been bleeding money for years.

The city plans to lease the port for five years to its current manager, SSA Pacific of Seattle.

The Port of West Sacramento has lost $6 million over the last five years alone, and narrowly dodged bankruptcy before the city of West Sacramento took over operations.

Long-term, however, the port’s future remains uncertain.  Its annual debt service stands at more than $2.7 million and despite the investment of millions of government dollars in new infrastructure, its cargo base has shrunk to almost just one product:  rice.

We hope someone tells the City of Eureka– before they pile more money into the proposed Humboldt port and rail fantasy bunny hole.  Uh, ‘study’.  We bad.

Read more in The Sacramento Bee“West Sac Getting Out of the Port Business”

 

Protest Monsanto and Get Stalked by Blackwater

monsanto-250x204Remember the private mercenary army Blackwater that caused such a stir in Iraq during an unprovoked attack in 2007?
 
Apparently, Monsanto and the controversial security firm are in bed together, described by blogger Randy Ananda as “a death-tech firm weds a hit squad.”
 
At this point, you might be wondering what in the world the GM seed giant needs with the services of a ‘shadow army’.
 
It appears as though the corporation found it necessary to contract with Blackwater in order to collect intelligence on anti-Monsanto activists as well infiltrate their ranks.
 

 

Kai Extradited to New Jersey for Murder Rap

kai promoA man who gained Internet fame as “Kai, the hatchet-wielding hitchhiker” will be returning to New Jersey to face a murder charge in the death of a lawyer.

Caleb “Kai” McGillivary waived extradition Monday in a brief hearing in Philadelphia.

24-year-old Kai is charged with killing 73-year-old Joseph Galfy Jr. after the pair met in New York City.  Authorities say Galfy was found beaten to death in his bedroom in Clark, N.J.  He was arrested this month after being spotted in a Philadelphia Starbucks.

He had gained fame in February after intervening in an attack on a California utility worker and giving an interview describing how he used a hatchet to fend off the attacker.

Read more at NBC“Kai the Hatchet-Wielding Hitchhiker to Be Extradited on Murder Charges”

 

Marijuana Edibles and Easier Availability Leading to More Child Emergency Room Visits

pot lollipopThanks to more relaxed laws for medical marijuana users, and with the first states legalizing recreational pot, kids are more likely to ingest marijuana in dangerously high doses.

Doctors at the Children’s Hospital in Colorado noticed children were coming into the emergency room after accidentally ingesting marijuana.

The researchers say homemade brownies speckled with pot don’t pose much of a significant threat to kids, but commercial products formulated for medical use — as well as loose-leaf marijuana grown for medicinal purposes — do, especially since they contain concentrated amounts of THC.

“They’re sold as edible products and soft drinks that kids will eat or drink because they don’t know it’s any different,” says Dr. George Wang, the study’s lead author and a medical toxicology fellow at the Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center.  “If they’re going to eat a whole cookie with 300 mg of THC, they will get much more symptomatic and sick and have to be admitted to the hospital.”

“We’re in this new age of allowing marijuana and we are seeing things we haven’t seen before,” says Wang, also a clinical instructor in the department of pediatrics at Children’s Hospital Colorado and the University of Colorado School of Medicine.  “We need to educate families to keep it out of the reach of kids.  Treat it like a drug because it is a drug.”

Read more in TimeMore Kids Accidentally Ingesting Marijuana Following New Drug Policies”

 

More Money Laundering on a Massive Scale Like You’ve Never Seen Before

money launderingThe founder of an online currency transfer business was indicted in the United States along with six other people in an enormous $6 billion money-laundering scheme described as “staggering” in its scope, authorities said today.

Arthur Budovsky, the founder of Liberty Reserve, a Costa Rica-based website long favored by cybercrime scammers, was arrested in Spain on Friday.

“The scope of the defendants’ unlawful conduct is staggering,” said an indictment unsealed in federal court in Manhattan.  Federal prosecutors are expected to detail the charges at a news conference set for this afternoon.

We wonder if they’ll get a large fine, a mere slap on the wrist by the Department of Justice like HSBC did in its little money launderingcaper recently.  Money makes the world go round and greed has no bounds.

Read more in The New York TimesNY Indictment Filed in $6B Money-Laundering Case”

 

Centuries-Old Frozen Plants Revived

bryophyte frozenPlants that were frozen during the “Little Ice Age” centuries ago have been observed sprouting new growth, scientists say.

Samples of 400-year-old plants known as bryophytes have flourished under laboratory conditions.  Researchers say this back-from-the-dead trick has implications for how ecosystems recover from the planet’s cyclic long periods of ice coverage.

“When we looked at them in detail and brought them to the lab, I could see some of the stems actually had new growth of green lateral branches, and that said to me that these guys are regenerating in the field, and that blew my mind,” said Catherine La Farge, lead author of the study.

“If you think of ice sheets covering the landscape, we’ve always thought that plants have to come in from around the margins of an ice system, never considering land plants as coming out from underneath a glacier,” La Farge said.

Read more in the BBC NewsCenturies-Old Frozen Plants Revived”

 

Letters of the Week:  Humboldt County’s Lack of Transparency a Costly Shame

Homer in hulaI read with interest your coverage of the recent lawsuit with Humboldt County having to do with county violations of the California Public Records Act.

It seems to me that someone in the County Counsel’s office should be held accountable for these violations.  Their misdeeds cost taxpayers $100,000.  And I’ll bet a ton of staff time as well.

I hope some kind of action results from losing this lawsuit.

Dottie,
Eureka

Ihomer bathrobe was shocked to read the story about the lack of disclosure of public documents (”HumCPR, County Reach $100K settlement,” Times-Standard, May 9).

It is appalling that our county had to be sued to provide public documents that show how our taxes are being spent.  Doesn’t the county understand that it’s our money and we have the right to know what they are doing with it?

Thank you, HumCPR, for not backing down and forcing County Counsel to follow the law.

Michael,
Freshwater

Posted in Media, SceneComments (0)

Study: Tokers May Be Healthier, Skinnier

 

Regular Marijuana Users Could Be Skinnier, Have Better Blood Sugar Control

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

People who regularly smoke marijuana may have better control of their blood sugar and may be skinnier than non-
marijuana users, according to a new study.

The research, published in the American Journal of Medicine, shows that people who reported regularly using marijuana had a lower risk of insulin resistance and had lower fasting insulin levels, compared with people who never used marijuana.  Researchers also found an association between using marijuana and having a smaller waist circumference and higher levels of “good” HDL cholesterol, compared with non-users.

The research was conducted by scientists from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, the University of Nebraska and the Harvard School of Public Health.

joint rolling“It is possible that the inverse association in fasting insulin levels and insulin resistance seen among current marijuana users could be in part due to changes in usage patterns among those with a diagnosis of diabetes,” like if people with diabetes are advised to quit smoking, study researcher Dr. Elizabeth Penner said in a statement.  ”However, after we excluded those subjects with a diagnosis of diabetes mellitus, the associations between marijuana use and insulin, cholesterol and waist circumference still remained true.”

Though marijuana is illegal in much of the country (it’s the most commonly used illegal drug here in the US, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse), medical marijuana is currently legal in 19 states to help alleviate symptoms from treatments such as chemotherapy, researchers noted.

But it’s important to note that research shows marijuana can detrimentally affect daily life by affecting mental health, raising likelihood of dropping out of school, and even hurting IQ levels when used during adolescence, according to NIDA.  In addition, because marijuana is frequently smoked, the smoke can lead to breathing problems and respiratory disease.

The new study included data from 4,657 people who were part of the National Health and Nutrition Survey from 2005 to 2010.  Among all the study participants, 1,975 had used marijuana before but weren’t current users, and 579 were current marijuana users.  There were 2,103 people who had never used it.

surprised smokerResearchers found that the associations between marijuana use and insulin and cholesterol levels were especially pronounced among the current users — they had 16 percent lower fasting insulin levels, compared with never-users — but not as pronounced among those who had used marijuana before, but weren’t current users.

And even though researchers acknowledged that people who use marijuana consume more calories than non-users, they still found links between smaller waist circumference and marijuana use.  However, they said they were not sure why this association exists.

* * * * * * * *

May your waistline thin and your hairline thicken.  We’re still waiting for Weight Watchers to come out with a new beer.

(Article sourced from the Huffington Post)

Posted in National, SceneComments (1)

Another ‘All In the Family’ Weed Bust

 

Mildbrandts’ Extensive Marijuana Operation Allegedly Stretched from Eureka to Fortuna to Dinsmore (PICS)

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

Lt. Steve Knight  of the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office
fills us in:

mildbrandt jrThe Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Community Response Unit (CRU) obtained a Humboldt County Superior Court Search warrant for two residences after an approximate month long investigation which began with a crime tip.

The warrant authorized the deputies to search a residence in the 2100 block of Law Blvd in Eureka and a residence in the 1900 block of Scenic Drive in Fortuna. Deputies assisted by the Humboldt County Drug Task Force (HCDTF) served the warrant at Law Blvd first, at approximately 7:30 am on March 25th. 

When deputies arrived they located Matthew Mildbrandt, 19-years-old, and a 17-year-old juvenile female.  When deputies searched the residence they located:

  • mildbrandt sr10 one-pound packages of marijuana bud,
  • An assault weapon,
  • 65 growing marijuana plants,
  • Approximately 10 pounds of processed marijuana,
  • A US Postal Box containing approximately two pounds of sealed marijuana ready to be shipped via the US Postal Service,
  • Paperwork indicating sales of marijuana,
  • Approximately $6,000 in US Currency

Ms. Mildbrandt…and evidence of Matthew Mildbrandt was having unlawful sexual relations with a minor. (We have no idea what that ’evidence’ was)

Mr. Matthew Mildbrandt was arrested for a bunch of charges:  cultivation and possession for sale of marijuana; conspiracy to commit a felony; being armed in commission of a felony; and unlawful sexual relations with a minor.

He was booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where his bail was set at $50,000.

The juvenile female was released to her mother who responded to the residence
and took custody of her.

Deputies then served the search warrant at the Scenic Drive residence.  When they arrived at the residence no one was home.  The residence belonged to Mark Mildbrandt, 56-years-old, and his wife Denise Mildbrandt, 54-years-old, the parents of Matthew Mildbrandt.

mildbrandt lootThey searched the residence and located two assault style weapons and 19 other rifles and handguns.  They also located paperwork indicating sales of marijuana, and over 400 ounces of silver along with other precious metals, and approximately 13,000 in cash.

While at the home Mark showed up in his employer’s truck.  Searching the truck Mark arrived in, deputies found approximately 10 pounds of harvested marijuana in the truck.  Mark Mildbrandt was arrested for cultivation and possession of marijuana for sale, conspiracy, and being armed in commission of a felony.

He was booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility and his bail was set at $50,000.

Denise Mildbrandt showed up at the residence after Mark.  She, too, was also arrested for cultivation of marijuana, possession for sale of marijuana, conspiracy, and armed in commission of a felony.  Her bail was also set at $50,000.

mildebrandt guns1Deputies were able to obtain information during their search which indicated Mark and Denise Mildbrandt had property in the 2500 block of Burr Valley Road in Dinsmore, along with Mark David Mildbrandt.  Deputies obtained a search warrant for that property and drove to Burr Valley Road to serve the warrant at 4:00 pm on March 25.

When the deputies drove up Burr Valley Road, they came across four fir trees that had been recently fallen across the road.  The fir trees were approximately two feet in diameter and completely blocked the road.  This not only blocked the deputies from accessing the search warrant location to be searched, but it also blocked other non-involved residents from accessing or leaving their homes.

Deputies were able to clear the road enough to pass after thirty minutes of using chainsaws.

Once at the search warrant site, deputies located a cabin that hadmildbrandt2
been converted for the cultivation of marijuana.

They found a small living space, along with a drying and manicuring room.  Deputies located a diesel powered greenhouse on the property that had leaked several gallons of diesel and oil onto the ground.  In the greenhouse structure, deputies approximately 300 growing marijuana plants approximately one-foot high.

That wasn’t all.  Deputies also located approximately 364 poundsmildbrandt
of dried marijuana and three firearms, including a shotgun.  No one was at the structure when they arrived.

The Humboldt County Code Enforcement Unit and Environmental Health are being notified of the environmental damage that the deputies witnessed at the scene.

This is an ongoing investigations with more arrests anticipated, the HCSO said.

* * * * * * *

surprised smokerThe family that plays together stays together, and the family that gets needy and greedy just gets busted. 

There is no such thing as family fun.  Next time try having a barbecue or take them to Disneyland instead.

(Posted by Skippy Massey)

Posted in Crime, LocalComments (2)

The Danger of “Dabbing”

 

Is It Possible to Overdose on Marijuana?

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

Dabbing marijuana seems to be the new way of getting high.

What is dabbing?  “Dabbing” is an endearing term for consuming potently extracted cannabis concentrate—hash oil or butane honey oil—that is normally ”dabbed” onto a super-heated surface.  The vapor that is created by dabbing is inhaled by the smoker.

honey oilSome say dabs are awesome; a great way to instantly take one hit and be done for.  Two hits and you’re out for the count.  Wasted, baked and fried in a moment’s notice.

But are their dangers to being immensely high?  There is when you pass out.

This week Chris Roberts reported in the SF Weekly,

hash oil dabMarijuana is perfectly safe” is one of the marijuana legalization movement’s most widely accepted (and most important) truisms. 

Comical estimations of what would constitute a “lethal dose,” such as orally consuming more marijuana than the stomach can physically hold, leads to the truism that it’s impossible to overdose on marijuana.

That may not be true. 

With high-dosage edibles, it’s easy to become “uncomfortably high,” and with a recent trend called “dabbing,” it’s also easy to become so high that the user passes out.

And passing out leads to the only recorded method of marijuana-related death

“Dabbing” is a simple concept: a small amount of super-high concentrate — hash oil, wax, or another compound where so much of the marijuana plant’s plant material is removed that what’s left is between 50-to-80% active ingredients, a sort of grain alcohol to a bud’s wine — is put on a heated surface. A puff of smoke is emitted, and then the user inhales the entire puff of super-concentrated smoke.

The effects are immediate — and they’re intense. Folks who have used cannabis daily for 30 years report, “I am high again!”

Other people not so used to the magic plant usually need to sit down for a minute or two before they can talk again.  In other words, “dabbing” is a way to ingest a lot of medicine very quickly — and a way to get really fucked up.

 

California NORML’s Dale Gieringer also weighed in on the subject of dabbing.  In a recent letter to a marijuana medical journal he wrote:

Tdab pipehe number one hazard of dabbing in my experience… is the danger of passing out from an overdose.

In the past couple of years, there have been repeated occasions in which 911 teams have had to be called in due to cannabis overdoses.

At the NORML conference in LA, there were at least three different emergency calls due to use of high-potency cannabis extracts.  I hear that 911 was also called a few times at the High Times cannabis cup two years ago.

At the NORML party in LA, one person fainted and cracked his nose on the sidewalk.  I know someone else, a beautiful lady my age who has been smoking pot since the ’70s, who fainted and broke her teeth on the floor after dabbing.   Things like this never happened until the popularization of hash oil in recent years.

The dangers are dire enough to merit a special warning.  The best-authenticated case of a cannabis death in the literature  —reported by Gabriel Nahas or Reese Jones as I recall—  was of someone who collapsed and cracked their skull in the bathroom from a hashish overdose.

 
stupid pipeSo dab away – and realize a little dab will do ‘ya.  But when you toke yourself stupid through dabbing, you may be literally doing so.

And don’t blow yourself up.  See our other article and video:  “The Explosion of Butane Hash Oil.”

 

 

 

 

Please spread the word.  Share this– and all of our posts– with others, friend us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.  We appreciate you reading and for giving us a little push in the right direction.

Posted in SceneComments (108)

Eureka Weed Entrepreneur Goes Up in Smoke

 

Robbery Investigation Leads to Hash Slinging Haberdashery

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

On March 8, officers from the Eureka Police Department were dispatched to an attempted robbery report in the 3400
block of Summer Street in Eureka.

Their investigation led them to a residence rented by David Cory Lyman.  While speaking to Mr. Lyman, officers observed indications of an indoor marijuana growing operation.

LymanBased on information gathered, a search warrant was written and served on Lyman’s residence.  Officers located and seized nearly an ounce of hashish, over 700 marijuana plants, and 60 pounds of leafy marijuana shake” used in the hash-making process.

Lyman, age 37 of Eureka, was taken into custody and transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility.  He was booked for:

  • Cultivation of Marijuana
  • Possession of Marijuana for Sales
  • Maintaining a Residence for Sales and Distribution of a Controlled Substance

 
An investigation into the original report of an attempted robbery was conducted, but it was determined no crime had been committed.
 
Anyone with information concerning suspected drug activity, or other nuisances occurring in the City of Eureka is encouraged to call the Problem Oriented Policing Unit at (707) 441-4373, EPD added.

reefer madenssdevils harvest

 

Posted in Crime, EurekaComments (0)

Field Poll: Californians Favor Legalizing Recreational Marijuana

 

Largest-Ever Margin Supports Sales– and Having the Feds Butt Out

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

Californians support legalizing weed in greater numbers than ever.  Additionally, they want the federal government
to
butt out and stop cracking down on medical marijuana
dispensaries.

Field PollIn a Field Poll released today, a greater margin of California voters, 54% to 43%, supported allowing the legal use and sale of recreational marijuana– as long as it’s treated like alcohol:  with age restrictions, consequences for driving under the influence, and licensing distributors.

The new numbers represents the highest level of support since the Field Poll began asking the question 44 years ago.  Back then, most Californians believed pot was the gateway drug to more hurtful substances.  In 1969 — the year of Woodstock– only 13% of California adults supported legalizing marijuana.

Times have changed as recent poll results show.

“We’re getting to the point where baby boomers have lived with this stuff for most of their lives now,” said Mark DiCamillo, director of the Field Poll.

California voters across party lines also seem to be taking issue with federal threats, raids, and prosecutions involving medical marijuana businesses.  The state’s four U.S. attorneys have brought criminal cases against some medical marijuana providers and growers and sent letters threatening seizures of properties of others.

While all marijuana use is illegal under federal law, U.S. prosecutors assert California’s medicinal cannabis industries have been “hijacked by profiteers” violating both state and federal laws. 

Californians, however, take a slightly different view.

weighing budTwo-thirds of 834 registered voters said they opposed the Obama administration’s ongoing raids on medical marijuana outlets, according to the poll.  Nearly 200 dispensaries — most in California — were targeted in President Barack Obama’s first term.  Local governments have taken cues from the administration crackdown: Two hundred cities and counties have banned medical marijuana dispensaries.  The California State Supreme Court is also poised to issue a ruling on whether local governments can shut down dispensaries.

“It’s certainly not winning over the hearts and minds of Californians,” DiCamillo said of voters’ reactions to federal enforcement efforts.  “The getting tough policy by the feds is not impacting public opinion in a positive way.”

Nearly three-fourths – 72% — of Californians back the state’s existing medical marijuana law, approved by voters in 1996.  A strong majority – 58% — would support allowing medical marijuana dispensaries in their own community.

keep off the grass“Certainly, it’s a rebuke of the Obama administration’s tactics,” said Kris Hermes, a spokesman for Oakland-based Americans for Safe Access, a medical marijuana advocacy group. “It should indicate that the Justice Department’s tactics are unacceptable and should be reconsidered.”

Obama once criticized President George W. Bush for his aggressive approach to shutting down medical marijuana dispensaries.  But make no mistake, Obama is on pace to exceed Bush’s
record of medical marijuana busts.

Though voters support medical marijuana, remember that just over two years ago they rejected Proposition 19, the ballot measure to legalize pot, by a 53 to 47% margin.  With only narrow support, legalization by the measure was derailed by what analysts called a lackluster campaign and a vague regulatory plan.

In contrast, heavily financed and well-run campaigns, and more detailed regulatory plans, led to marijuana legalization last November in the states of Colorado and Washington.

Uncle Sam and weedA coalition of Proposition 19 supporters met in December and discussed potential California legalization ballot efforts. They’ve said that they will be targeting the 2016 presidential election ballot, though they haven’t ruled out putting it on the ballot as early as 2014.

They may have a chance judging by the numbers.  A younger and more tolerant electorate is changing the political landscape:

  • Among voters between the ages of 18 and 29, legalization has a 58-39% edge
  • Among 30- to 39-year-olds, it has a 61-38% advantage
  • Voters 65 or older are the least likely to support legalization, with only 43% in favor and 52% against
  • Independent voters most strongly support legalization– at 59%, closely followed by Democrats, at 58%

Not surprisingly, only 42% of Republicans favor legalization.  Latinos are just as against it, with only 41% in favor.  But Latinos between the ages of 18 and 39 support it, 53 to 47%.

weed girlsVoters living in the Bay Area are most likely to support legalizing pot, with 66% in favor.  Voters along the coast south of Los Angeles County are the least likely, at 47%.

Not everyone favors the new numbers.  Bishop Ron Allen of Sacramento’s International Faith Based Coalition, a member of Californians Against Legalizing Marijuana, said the poll results show that “we have to do a better job of educating the community about the harms of marijuana.”

The Field Poll was conducted February 5 through February 17 with 834 voters.  The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.

Posted in StateComments (0)

The Strongest Strains of Weed

 

Holy Smoke, How High Can It Get?

(VIDEO)

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

We don’t necessarily advocate the use of marijuana.  But if you haven’t noticed, it’s a big deal industry in the
Emerald Triangle.  We’re posting this only to keep Humboldt
informed
and those in the business aware of the industry curve.

weed1And we don’t think stronger pot is necessarily better, either.  Seriously:  how high can it go?  Humboldt and Mendocino breeders have been as busy as pollinating bees developing new, novel, and potent cannabis strains over the past decade for consumers eager to buy.

This video was released a couple of days ago.  It dubiously claims the marijuana strains were “grown in secret CIA labs by Harvard Professors and are the 10 strongest strains of weed on the planet.”

weed2Well, as much as we’d like to believe in conspiracy theories, the latter part of the sentence is the only claim we’ll put any stock into.

The #1 strain shown supposedly pulls in a 33% THC content.  To put that into perspective, most strains today run on either side of 15%.  Maybe.  That Mexican dime bag of Panama Red riddled with those annoying seeds that you scored in 1975?  That was around 4% THC– if you were lucky.

weed4It’s a whole new world of cannabinoids out there.  Cannabinoids, as if you didn’t already know, are a group of marijuana chemical compounds referred to as terpenophenolic compounds.  One specific cannabinoid compound found in cannabis is tetrahydrocannabinol, more commonly known as THC.  That’s the sweet sticky crystalline stuff giving marijuana bud its fragrant aroma and psychoactive kick.

And while we’re at it, this brings us to another subject we were curious about:  Why does the Federal Government hold a patent for medical marijuana?

The United States Federal Government, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) have all consistently denied marijuana has any medical benefits.  Yet, on the other hand, the government actually holds patents for the medical use of the plant.

US Patent 6630507 is titled “Cannabinoids as Antioxidants and Neuroprotectants” and assigned to The United States of America under the Department of Health and Human Services.  It was obtained in October of 2003.

The US patent states that:
 
Cannabinoids have been found to have antioxidant properties unrelated to the NMDA receptor antagonism.
 
This new found property makes cannabinoids useful in the treatment and prophylaxis of wide variety of oxidation associated diseases, such as ischemic, age-related, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.
 
The cannabinoids are found to have particular application as neuroprotectants, for example in limiting neurological damage following ischemic insults such as stroke and trauma, or in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and HIV dementia.”
 
weed3So, we’re curious why the US government holds this patent yet it doesn’t stop their officials from consistently denying the benefits of medical marijuana.
 
An FDA spokesperson, for instance, has claimed that “smoked marijuana has no currently accepted or proven medical use in the United States and is not an approved medical treatment.”
 
We guess he didn’t get the memo.
 
 

 

Posted in Local, NationalComments (2)

Shed Those Pounds Away Without Dieting

 

Weed Suspects Sought in Arcata Armed Robbery

 

Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel

 

Today, January 27, at about 1:40 p.m., the Arcata Police Department received information that an armed robbery
had just occurred in the 400 block of E Street, according
to the APD release.

go runDuring the investigation, officers learned that the male victim was attempting to sell a pound of marijuana for $1,000 to several male subjects.  A handgun was produced and the suspects forcibly robbed the victim of his marijuana, cell phone, wallet and car keys. 

The suspects were described by the victim as black male adults in their early 20′s.   The suspects were last seen fleeing the scene in a black-colored Chevrolet Impala with a broken windshield and a pound of weed.

 Anyone with information leading to the identity of the suspects is urged to call the Arcata Police Department at 822-2424.
 
 
* * * * * * *
 

“I wouldn’t recommend sex, drugs or insanity for everyone, but they’ve always worked for me.  When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.

You can turn your back on a person, but never turn your back on a drug, especially when it’s waving a razor-sharp hunting knife in your eye:  Buy the Ticket, Take the Ride.”

-Hunter S. Thompson

 
 
(Posted by Skippy Massey)

Posted in Arcata, CrimeComments (1)

$1 Million Bud Bust

 

It’s All in the Pickle Barrel

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

Rio Dell Police and the DTF did it again on Pearl Harbor Day, hot on the heels of last week’s marijuana bust.

On December 7, at 8:00 in the morning, Humboldt County
Drug Task Force and the Rio Dell Police assisted the
California State Department of Justice Bureau of Narcotics
Enforcement with a search warrant at a residence located in
the 1000 block of Riverside Drive in Rio Dell, the HCSO reported.

Officers detained a subject, who lived at the residence and
identified as Nikolai Kaley Erickson, 37.

When officers searched the residence they located 279 individual one-pound bags of processed marijuana bud.  Additionally, another approximately 40 pounds of loose marijuana bud was located in the residence hidden inside of pickle barrels.

Officers seized $12,482 dollars in cash from the residence for possible asset forfeiture.

Mr. Erickson was arrested for possession of marijuana for sales and was transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility in Eureka.  His bail was set at $ 75,000 dollars.

At the same time that officers were serving a search warrant at Erickson’s residence in Rio Dell, Humboldt County Drug Task Force
Agents assisted California State Department of Justice Officers with a
search warrant at two parcels located off Bear Creek Road in Dinsmore,
which were owned by Erickson.

At the property in Dinsmore, officers located evidence of an outdoor marijuana growing operation. Officers detained 9 subjects who told officers they were hired by Erickson to help manicure the marijuana.

Officers seized over 377 pounds of dried marijuana bud from the Dinsmore property.  The nine subjects were identified and release from the scene, the HCSO said.

A street value of the marijuana seized in this investigation is over one million dollars, they noted.

This case is still under investigation by the State of
California Department of Justice/ Bureau of Narcotic
Enforcement.

* * * * * * * *

Another bud bust?  700 pounds?  $1 million dollars?  Who buys all this weed?

 

 

 

 

 

(Posted by Skippy Massey)

Posted in Crime, Eel River ValleyComments (0)

Humboldt County Makes the National Media– Again

 

–New York Magazine’s Write-Up–

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

As if we weren’t renowned enough already, Humboldt County’s pot culture got yet another high profile push in the national media biz today.

New York Magazine’s 9-page weed write-up by Benjamin Wallace-Wells entitled, “The Truce on Drugs:  What Happens Now That the War has Failed?” squarely centers Humboldt in the middle of the US marijuana wars and cannabis trade industry again.

If the nation doesn’t know it by now,  we grow tons, the weed wars are failing, and something’s gotta give.  Mr. Wallace-Wells writes:

Cannabis is a highly persuadable plant… The full implications of this first became clear to Kristin Nevedal one day a few years ago, when some neighbors of hers in southern Humboldt County, four hours north of San Francisco, noticed a rainbow, discolored and distended, rising over their yard.

This part of California is gorgeous, and hallucinatory, but even here a weird rainbow is an unusual sight, and so they investigated.  Next door was a large indoor growing operation, and when they walked over, they saw an abandoned generator leaking fuel into Hacker Creek.  Soon there were diesel rainbows up and down the stream.  “The gentleman who owned the property was in Thailand,” Nevedal says.  Nevedal helped found the association of cannabis growers in Humboldt, and she is a bit of an idealist
about pot…

Mr. Wallace-Wells continued:

…That Humboldt County has remained so much a culture apart has something to do with the origami folds of its canyons and hills, which permit a certain isolation, but something more to do with pot.  Driving through Myers Flat once, I saw a dreadlocked blonde girl, obese and braless, filling a van with male hitchhikers, like a cross between a community bus and a gender-reversal Manson Family.

Most other back-to-the-land communes of the seventies eventually packed up and retreated, their members quietly reabsorbed into the suburban belt.

The hippies in Humboldt had cannabis, which meant that though they were in many ways beyond the reach of government, they could pay for their own schools…

And he gave us a little of our own history and a local’s view of things on the front:

If you were savvy enough to dodge through the forest with helicopters overhead, carrying plants on a canvas stretcher, if you knew how to trim a tall tanoak in the forest so that its topmost branches protected the crop from view while still letting in just enough sunlight, then you could really make it. By 1996, marijuana here was going for $4,000 a
pound…

That was the year California legalized medical marijuana.  At first, nothing much changed in Humboldt.  “Initially, the cops were cracking down,” remembers one local, Mikal Jakubal. “They would come in and say, ‘You’ve got twenty plants, I think you only need two or three of these.  Cut ’em down.’

Slowly, coaxed along on one side by the libertarian streak in the electorate and on the other by the disinterest of cops, we have begun to create many more places that look something like Humboldt County—a bustling economy where many people are growing more than their town allows, everyone is growing more than the Feds allow…

This year’s harvest happened about six weeks ago, and Jakubal told me about what he called the “rip-off moon,” the full moon in September so bright that cannabis plots are vulnerable to thieves and poachers.  Large growers have little recourse to the police.  Instead, cameras and guards abound; one of Jakubal’s neighbors keeps a machete. And so: this bizarre lagoon.  You go to branding meetings with county representatives.  You speculate about whether legalization elsewhere will drive the prices down or create new customers.  Your friends are arrested for driving the crop to market.  At home, you keep a machete…

 

It’s a good, current read– and there’s much, much more to see.  Big weed, big money, big wars.

You can find Mr. Wallace-Wells’ full article, “The Truce on Drugs:  What Happens Now That the War has Failed,” a well-written goodie indeed, at the New York Magazine here.

* * * * * * *

(Posted by Skippy Massey)

Posted in Local, MediaComments (3)

Youngest Medical Marijuana Patient in the Nation?

 

7-Year-Old’s Controversial Treatment and Her Divided Parents

(Video)

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

Mykayla Comstock’s family says marijuana helps her fight
an especially aggressive form of leukemia, keeps infection
at bay, and lifts her weary spirit.

Twice a day she swallows a potent capsule form of the drug.  When she can’t sleep or eat, she snacks on a cookie or brownie baked with marijuana-laced ‘budder.’

The 7-year-old girl suffering from leukemia has become one of Oregon’s youngest medical marijuana patients.  She is one of 2,201 cancer patients authorized by the state of Oregon to use medical marijuana, and 51 children served by the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program provided there is a qualifying medical condition, parental consent and a doctor’s approval.

Mykayla’s mother credits the drug with helping put the cancer into remission.

But her father, worried about the effects of the drug on her brain development, alerted child welfare officials to the treatment.

Mykayla, a sweet and shy girl with a splash of red freckles across her nose and cheeks, started showing cancer symptoms last spring.  She was feverish, had a hacking cough,  and suffered through night sweats.  A rash had spread on her leg.

Her mother, Erin Purchase, 25, and also a medical marijuana patient, worried that her daughter had Lyme disease or pneumonia.  A Pendleton doctor suspected strep throat and put her on antibiotics.  

But Mykayla’s health worsened.  Purchase took her to a pediatrician who found a mass in the girl’s chest. The following day she was diagnosed with T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.  Leukemia is the most common of childhood cancers, striking an estimated 3,800 American children each year.  Mykayla has T-cell leukemia, a particularly aggressive form of the disease that affects 10 to 15 percent of patients.

Purchase, who is divorced from Mykayla’s father and has sole custody, faced decisions about her daughter’s treatment.

Marijuana eases the effects of chemotherapy, according to her mother.  The girl takes a gram of cannabis oil daily, she told the The Oregonian.  She administers Mykayla’s cannabis with the help of her boyfriend, Brandon Krenzler.

“First you get hungry,” Mykayla herself told the paper.  ”Then you get really funny, and then you get tired.”

Mykayla’s mother credits the drug for the leukemia’s remission.

“As a mother, I am going to try anything before she can potentially fall on the other side,” she said.

Jesse Comstock, Mykayla’s father, is divorced from the girl’s mother and lives in North Dakota.  He contacted child welfare officials, police, and her oncologist when he found out, saying his concerns were prompted by a visit with Mykayla in August.

“She was stoned out of her mind,” Comstock said.  ”All she wanted to do was lay on the bed and play video games.”

Comstock pays child support to Purchase and covers Mykayla’s health insurance, the Oregonian reported.

Oregon law requires no monitoring of a child’s medical marijuana use by a pediatrician.  While adults consuming medical marijuana is gaining nationwide acceptance, Mykayla’s story underscores a larger, more complex issue that arise when states empower parents to administer the controversial drug to children.

Little is known about how the marijuana interacts with the developing body, leading pediatricians say.  A recent international study found sustained cannabis use among teens can cause long-term damage to intellect, memory and attention.

Comstock, 26, who says he used pot in the past, told the paper that he doesn’t object to people over 16 using medical marijuana.  But he worries about his daughter’s well-being and the potential for addiction.

“She’s not terminally ill,” Mr. Comstock said. “She is going to get over this, and with all this pot, they are going to hinder her brain growth,” he said

Ms. Purchase feels otherwise.  She believes marijuana heals.  She also credits the drug for curing her stepfather’s skin cancer. 

“She’s like she was before,” she said of Mykayla.  ”She’s a normal kid– walking a line between life and death.” 

 * * * * * * * * * * * *

Much more of this story can be read in the full article of The Oregonian here.

Mykayla’s mother maintains a Facebook page dedicated to her daughter’s
health and use of medical marijuana.

The above video clip is courtesy of Beth Nakamura of The Oregonian and
OregonLive.com.

 

Posted in NationalComments (3)

Pot in the Box

 

Marijuana Vending Machines Meet Need for Weed

 

–Cannabis Capitalism and Convenience–

 

Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel

 

As reported by Bruce Anderson and the Anderson Valley Advertiser:

MEDICAL MARIJUANA company MedBox saw its stock soar an astonishing 3,000 per cent as investors seek to get in on the ground floor of what they think could be America’s next boom industry.

In the wake of this year’s elections in which both Colorado and Washington residents voted to legalize marijuana, investors began buying up MedBox shares as quickly as they could.  On Monday, MedBox shares sold for $4.  By Thursday they were at $215.

MedBox is an automated medication dispenser for medical marijuana accessible with fingerprint recognition or a medical marijuana card.  Using a touchscreen, patients can select up to 50 different varieties of pre-weighed medical marijuana sealed in standard medication vials.  The machines do not use cash, but rather a pre-paid card that alerts the customer when the balance is low so that each purchase can be
documented.

The company operates 130 dispensers and is scheduled to install 40 more before 2013.

“We believe an appropriate trading range is between $5 and $10 but, alas, the market will do what it will do,” MedBox founder Vincent Mehdizader told MarketWatch, who’s recent story on properly investing in marijuana was considered one of the reasons for the sudden interest.

The stock price then tumbled back down to $100 on Friday.  That sent the company’s market cap from a respectable $45 million to a shocking $2.3 billion almost overnight — double the market capitalization of menswear retailer Jos. A. Banks Clothiers.

Mehdizader said the company was also planning to expand beyond marijuana, installing temperature controlled vending machines serving a wide-range of drugs in places as diverse as drug stores and prisons.

Somewhere between $600,000 and $700,000 worth of purchases in the company were made this week.

“We couldn’t really understand why that was happening other than that there was a high demand for stock with limited supply,” Mehdizader said.  It’s possible buys were done by one hedge fund or several big buyers, with day traders also adding to the demand.  Now the company is trying to find ways to protect early investors with company-owned shares should the price they bought it at drastically lower.  “We don’t want those investors to have sour feelings about what happened,” Mehdizadeh said.

Marijuana investment is still considered high risk.  Of nearly 3,000 dispensaries, 500 were closed or shut down by federal government in the last 12 months.  MedBox has grown steadily over the last year and Mehdizadeh is confident it will continue to do so, but doubts the current feeding frenzy prices realistically reflect the company’s value.

“We feel within 10 years we could legitimately have share prices hit $215 again,” he said.

(Courtesy, the London Daily Mail)

* * * * * * * *

$2.3 billion market share?  Gadzooks.   MedBox reported:

 ”Our Company has strong national and international presence with offices in: Los Angeles, New York, Connecticut, Arizona, Toronto, London, & Tokyo.

We have been awarded United States & Canadian Patents concerning the software and hardware related to our medicine dispensing machine.

Our company’s founder has appeared in interviews with CNN, ABC News, Reuters, Associated Press, NPR, and has been featured in articles appearing in Newsweek, Los Angeles Times, and the Wall Street Journal, as well as over 30 other news agencies around the world concerning our cutting-edge products and services.

For those enquiring minds and risk-averse investors wanting to know more, the MedBox company website is here.

What will they think of next?

(Article courtesy of Bruce Anderson and the Anderson Valley Advertiser.  Images by the Humboldt Sentinel. Posted by Skippy Massey)

 

Posted in NationalComments (0)

The Hazy Future of Legal Weed

 

“We’re Waiting for the Smoke to Clear”

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

On Election night, two states — Colorado and Washington — passed historic measures to legalize using and selling small amounts of recreational pot, effectively challenging the federal law that classifies the
drug as an illegal narcotic.

In Colorado, adults 21 and older will now be able to legally buy and possess up to one ounce of cannabis and grow as many as six plants. In Washington, the measure authorized the state liquor control board to regulate and tax the drug.

This would apply not only to state residents, but visitors, too.  Tourists won’t be able to pack their weed along with their bags to go back home, but as long as out-of-state tourists purchase and use the drug while in Colorado or Washington, they won’t violate any marijuana laws.

Colorado’s measure specifically bans public use of the drug.  But guidelines for commercial sales are still to be worked out.  The state’s 536 medical marijuana dispensaries are banned from allowing on-site consumption, meaning patients have to take the drug home with them.  But lawmakers could set different rules for recreational marijuana shops, including the possibility of marijuana cafes.

Another marijuana measure, which would legalize the practice for medicinal purposes only, also passed in Massachusetts on Tuesday.  18 states plus Washington, D.C., now have laws allowing the use of medical marijuana in some form.

While it may take some time for the remainder of the country to follow suit, there has been much debate over the costs and benefits of legalizing the drug.  With state coffers running low, some wonder if it makes sense economically to flip arrests, fines and expensive incarceration into jobs, tax revenue and small businesses.

But don’t fire up the bong quite yet.  The future of legal marijuana is hazy.

This is all assuming the recreational marijuana measures will take effect at all.  That was very much in doubt Friday as the states awaited word on possible lawsuits from the U.S. Department of Justice asserting federal
supremacy over drug law.  Despite state voter referendums, marijuana is
still illegal under federal law.

“There’s a lot that remains to be seen,” one Colorado resident said with a chuckle. “I guess you could say we’re waiting for the smoke to clear.”

The Feds don’t like it one bit– as evidenced by their recent efforts cracking down on medical marijuana growers and dispensaries in California while being legally permitted under state law.  They’ve tossed people into jail and court, gone after landlords, and threatened publicly elected officials with lawsuits.

They have also vowed to pull FDIC protection for banks doing business with the ‘industry’, including processing credit card transactions.  One thing legal
marijuana producers and distributors can’t do is use the bank.

These businesses have resorted to becoming cash-only businesses, fraught with frustrations and danger due to the Fed’s intervention.  Not only is it dangerous to have so much cash in one place, it’s also next to impossible to pay employees, bills, and taxes.  It’s an effective technique as many dispensaries have shut down as a result.

“Banks are afraid of losing their FDIC protection,” said Kayvan Khalatbari, owner of Denver Relief, one of the oldest medical marijuana dispensaries in Denver. “Therefore, we can’t open a bank account.”

Wherever the federal government stretches its long arm of the law, strings can be pulled for intimidation and persuasive compliance.  The issue, we believe, will be tangled up, thwarted, and stymied by the Feds for the foreseeable future– just as we’ve seen happen in the Emerald Triangle and throughout California.

We expect the issue to be heard eventually in the Supreme Court– long before any Presidential administration or the DEA takes the bold and risky move of changing their longstanding policy and stance otherwise.

In addition to the CNBC talking heads yakking above for an oddly curious 4:20 minutes, there’s more interesting tidbits about tourists
and tourism
 lighting up here.

(Posted by Skippy Massey)

Posted in NationalComments (0)

Colorado Legalizes Recreational Use of Marijuana

 

Amendment 64 Passes

 

Matt Ferner
Huffington Post

 

The Rocky Mountain High State just got a whole lot higher.

On Tuesday night, Amendment 64 — the measure seeking the legalization of marijuana for recreational use by adults — was passed by Colorado voters, making Colorado
the first state to end marijuana prohibition in the United States.

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, a vocal opponent to the measure, reacted to the passage of A64 in a statement late Tuesday night:

“The voters have spoken and we have to respect their will.  This will be a complicated process, but we intend to follow through.

That said, federal law still says marijuana is an illegal drug– so don’t break out the Cheetos or  Gold Fish too quickly.”

The passage of the state measure is without historical precedent and the consequences will likely be closely-watched around the world.  This is the second time Colorado voted on legal weed: in 2006 Coloradans voted the measure down; yesterday, it passed.

Although Colorado “legalized it,” it will be several months, perhaps as long as a year, before Colorado adults 21-and-over can enjoy the legal sale of marijuana.  However, the parts of the amendment related to individual behavior will go into effect as soon as Governor Hickenlooper certifies the results of the vote, The Colorado Independent reported.

It’s a huge victory for the Campaign To Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, the pro-pot group behind Amendment 64.

“Over the past eight years in Colorado, we have argued that it is irrational to punish adults for choosing to use a product that is far less harmful than alcohol,” Mason Tvert, co-director of the campaign, said in a statement.

On the same night that Colorado passed Amendment 64, Washington state passed Initiative 502 which regulates and taxes sales of small amounts of marijuana for adults, The Associated Press reported. Oregon also had a similar recreational marijuana measure on the ballot.

Under Colorado’s Amendment 64, marijuana is taxed and regulated similar to alcohol and tobacco.  According to the Associated Press, analysts project that that tax revenue could generate somewhere between $5 million and $22 million a year in the state.  An economist whose study was funded by a pro-pot group projects as much as a $60 million boost by 2017.

Brian Vicente, also a co-director of the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana, said in a statement:

Today, the people of Colorado have rejected the failed policy of marijuana prohibition.

Thanks to their votes, we will now reap the benefits of regulation. We will create new jobs, generation million of dollars in tax revenue, and allow law enforcement to focus on serious crimes.

It would certainly be a travesty if the Obama administration used its power to impose marijuana prohibition upon a state whose people have declared, through the democratic process, that they want it to end.”

The big unknown still is if the federal government will allow a regulated marijuana market to take shape.

Attorney General Eric Holder, who was a vocal opponent of California’s legalization initiative in 2010 saying he would “vigorously enforce” federal marijuana prohibition, has continued to remain silent on the issue this year.

In a report published Sunday by NBC News, President Obama’s former senior drug policy advisor, Dr. Kevin Sabet,  said that if the marijuana initiatives pass, a war will be incited between the federal government and the states that pass them.

“Once these states actually try to implement these laws, we will see an effort by the feds to shut it down,” Sabet said.

The DOJ has yet to formally announce its enforcement intentions, however, Deputy Attorney General James Cole said during a recent appearance on 60 Minutes that, “We’re going to take a look at whether or not there are dangers to the community from the sale of marijuana and we’re going to go after those dangers,” Reuters reported.

(Mr. Ferner’s article has been abridged.  You can read his full article here)

* * * * * * *

Stunned by an Obama win, Fox News Channel anchor Shepard Smith was equally at a loss for words describing Colorado’s historic cannabis vote last night.  He asked during the final election results, “Wait– did you just say Colorado legalized marijuana?” into his earphone with a look of confused disbelief before returning to his viewers with a pregnant pause, blinking, and not knowing what to say.  It was an awkward moment for Shepard as he stared in apparent discombobulation.

We imagine US Northern District Attorney Melinda Haag was equally baffled as well.

(Posted by Skippy Massey)

Posted in National, PoliticsComments (0)

Traffic Violation Yields 82 Pounds of Pot

Linvell Williamson Arrested

–Updated on October 22–

 

Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel

 

On Thursday, October 18, at approximately 7:00 p.m., Humboldt County Sheriff’s deputies stopped a Chevy Silverado pickup truck at Three Corners Market on Myrtle Avenue/Old Arcata Road in Eureka for a traffic violation,
according to the HCSO release issued moments ago.

After stopping the truck, observant deputies smelled the notorious odor of  sweet and skunky green marijuana in and about the truck.  A search of the pickup truck revealed approximately ten pounds of processed marijuana and approximately $5000 in cold hard cash.

It was all seized, as was the driver of the agriculturally-challenged vehicle.

Deputies arrested Linvell Williamson, 37-years-old, for transportation and possession of marijuana for sale.  He was transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where his bail was set at $25,000.

Deputies obtained a Humboldt County Superior Court search warrant for Williamson’s residence located in the 3400 block of Donna Drive on Humboldt Hill in Eureka.

There, they located another 72 pounds of processed marijuana– and another $4,000.00 cash.  In Humboldt, when it rains, it pours.

Total take for the HCSO day:  82 pounds and $9K.  Not bad for a day’s work.  Mr. Williamson’s share?  Busted flat in Humboldt with nowhere to skate.

UPDATE October 22:

On October 19, Humboldt County Sheriff’s Deputies continued to follow up on this case.

At 3:00 p.m. they served a Humboldt County Superior Court search warrant at a location on Sabertooth Road on Titlow Hill.

When deputies served the warrant they discovered 93 growing marijuana plants ranging in size from 5-6 feet tall, along with several hundred pounds of dried marijuana.

Deputies contacted a male, who was the property owner and a female (his girlfriend) at that location.

Deputies interviewed and released the male and female due to logistical reasons, with the intent of seeking charges against them in the future.

Deputies also located information regarding an address at Broken Wagon Lane in Westhaven. Deputies served another Superior Court search warrant at that location at 10:00 p.m. and located $21,291 in cash and additional dried marijuana.

The case is being submitted to the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office requesting charges of cultivation and possession for sale of marijuana.

The investigation into these case is continuing.  Anyone with information for the Sheriff’s Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call
the Sheriff’s Office at 707-445-7251 or the
Sheriffs Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539.

Posted in Crime, EurekaComments (0)

Marijuana’s Environmental Degradation

 

Hank Sims Scores Humboldt’s Pot Pictures

 

Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel

 

It’s pretty shocking.

In their 35-picture series of “Goodbye, Mom and Pop: 35 Large-Scale Grow Operations in the North Coast Backwoods,”
Hank Sims and Kym Kemp of the Lost Coast Outpost show
marijuana’s destructively growing impact in Humboldt County
for the first time.

It’s a major photo score of what’s taking place in our backyard when growers get footloose, fancy free and grossly greedy.

Obtained from law enforcement sources, the Lost Coast Outpost’s photographic slide show illustrates what some cannabis cultivators are doing while underscoring what’s also taking place:  logging clearcuts, illegal road building and unpermitted structures, water diversions, and the like.

Please, people.  If you’re going to be clandestinely illegal, at least be ethically upright.

Understand, each of the 35 pictures appear to be of a separate grow-op.  Multiply this by thirty-fold, and you get an idea of what’s really going on behind the scenes.

Some things the pictures can’t show are the greedy grower’s dirty little weed secrets:  water diversions sucked up from local sources, the loss of wildlife, diesel and chemical spills, the fertilizer, pesticide, and silt runoff slipping into the nearby creeks, rivers, and watersheds.

Mr. Sims writes:

The Lost Coast Outpost recently acquired a set of images from the Humboldt County Drug Task Force that sort of shakes us out of this stupor.

These are aerial photos of grow scenes throughout the North Coast that were taken between 2009 and 2011.  These seem all to be on private land in the boondocks, and the scale of operations they depict are sometimes hard to credit. Many of them depict illegal grading, massive landscaping and/or tree-falling, and voracious water usage.

The Aquarian live-lightly-on-the-land ethos seems to have bypassed these types entirely.

We suggest giving the photographs a look here if you haven’t done so. 

With 179 comments, the issue has generated a fair amount of controversy across the board from different sides of the Humboldt spectrum.

As Mr. Sims said, “Holy moly, but some of these things are huge.”

 Photo credit:  Lost Coast Outpost

Posted in Environment, Local, Media, SceneComments (4)

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    Telegraph, UK - Rising numbers of infants lack the motor skills needed to play with building blocks because of an “addiction” to tablet computers and smartphones, according to teachers.Many children aged just three or four can “swipe a screen” but have little or no dexterity in their fingers after spending hours glued to iPads, it was claimed.Members of the […]
  • How the war on drugs aids the drug trade
    Thanks to the war on drugs, the illegal drug trade has boomed, according to some estimates, to the size of the legal pharmaceutical industry. Consider this item from the Miami Herald: "Wearing protective gloves and masks, members of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Legare carried 127 bales of cocaine — with a street value of about $350 million — off the ship […]
  • Bush was tougher on Wall Street criminals than Obama
    TPMAMY GOODMAN - Who was tougher on corporate America, President Obama or President Bush?MATT TAIBBI: Oh, Bush, hands down. And this is an important point to make, because if you go back to the early 2000s, think about all these high-profile cases: Adelphia, Enron, Tyco, WorldCom, Arthur Andersen. All of these companies were swept up by the Bush Justice Depa […]
  • Former news media CBS hires former acting CIA director as "senior security correspondent"
    Even CNN hasn't sold out journalism this badly. . .Danny Weil, RINF - CBS News has hired former acting director of the CIA, Mike Morell, as their senior security correspondent.  Morell has been a frequent guest on CBS’ Face the Nation, where he has disseminated   CIA propaganda and misleading information, raising questions about CBS’ journalistic integr […]