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MJ News for 06/23/2014

7greeneyes

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http://www.wfmynews2.com/story/news...nce-pot-brownies-jacob-lavoro-texas/11218483/




(Texas) 19-Year-Old Faces Life Sentence For Marijuana Brownies


GEORGETOWN, Texas (KVUE) -- A Round Rock man facing a possible life in prison sentence for allegedly making and selling marijuana-laced brownies went before a judge on Thursday, but he wasn't be at the courthouse alone.

Supporters rallied on the lawn of the Williamson County courthouse an hour before 19-year-old Jacob Lavoro's hearing began on Thursday.

Lavoro could face anywhere from five years to life in prison. Police say the maximum penalty is so high because the brownies not only contained marijuana, but hash oil, a resin made from a raw marijuana leaf.

Lavoro was arrested in the middle of April when his neighbor called police because she smelled marijuana at their apartment complex.

Police say they knocked on Lavoro's door, got permission to search his apartment and found hash oil and brownies packaged up for sale. They also found more than $1,600 and an alleged list of Lavoro's clients.

Police weighed the brownies and their ingredients, as well as the drugs, before determining the amount he had in his possession.

Lavoro told KVUE he did not give officers consent to search his home, and he's worried about what might happen next.

"It's really frightening, it really is. It's putting me in a really scary situation and honestly, I can't stop crying about it," he said.

One look at the internet and social media shows Lavoro has lots of support. A petition on Change.org called "DA Jana Duty: Stop a life sentence for pot brownies" has more than 150,000 virtual signatures. The Facebook page "Justice for Jacob Lavoro" has nearly 8,000 likes.

Organizers of Thursday's rally posted on the page, telling supporters they planned to give an overview of the case and discuss how to change Texas law.
 

7greeneyes

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http://www.cnbc.com/id/101777760




Cramer giddy about overseas marijuana stock


Forget the lighthearted puns about a new kind of Street high, Jim Cramer believes there's serious opportunity in a marijuana stock.

It's GW Pharmaeuticals.

Cramer is a fan of this company, in particular, because it isn't simply a bet on more states approving medical marijuana as a treatment for patients fighting cancer.

Instead, this U.K.-based company is at the forefront of developing new drugs from compounds found in cannabis, or marijuana plants.

"And I think few doctors want to write anyone a prescription for a joint, not just because the stuff is still illegal where the Federal government's concerned, but mostly because, while smoking weed may help people who have cancer or glaucoma, it's simply not what most American doctors would consider medicine."

Instead, Cramer thinks doctors are much more comfortable writing prescriptions for pills or other types of conventional medicine. Therefore he thinks drugs, whose active ingredients are derived from marijuana will be much more palatable to the entire American medical system.

And if any company has a strong pipeline of cannabis derived drugs, it's GW Pharma.

"First, they've already gotten approval for their lead drug, Sativex, a mouth spray for multiple sclerosis spasms, in about 25 foreign countries," Cramer said. "And GW is also studying Sativex as a treatment for cancer pain. If the drug can get approved in the United States, it could be huge for the company, because they've licensed much of the overseas rights to Bayer and Novartis, but in America, Sativex belongs to them."

As promising as that may be, it's this second drug that Cramer called a real game changer. It's Epidiolex, "a cannabis based treatment for epilepsy and Dravet syndrome, a rare but severe form of pediatric epilepsy."

Cramer said the drug is currently starting phase II trials and just a few days ago, the company released strong safety and efficacy data.
"The numbers showed that after 12 weeks of treatment, 48 percent of patients saw at least a 50 percent reduction in seizure frequency, while 41 percent saw a 70 percent reduction. And at the end of the study, 15 percent of those patients were seizure-free. Those are fabulous results."
"Although it will be years before this drug can be approved, already there are peak sales forecasts of as much as $3.4 billion by 2024," Cramer added.
All told, over the long-term, Cramer thinks GW Pharma shareholders may be facing significant opportunity.

"And if you're worried about investing in medical marijuana, let me tell you that a bunch of firms have endorsed this stock, including Bank of America, Cowen, Piper Jaffray and Leerink Swann," Cramer said.

Just one caveat, "the company is not yet profitable, however, they do have a nice, consistent revenue stream," Cramer said. Therefore, it's for speculation only.
 

7greeneyes

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http://www.foxnews.com/us/2014/06/2...smuggle-marijuana-painted-to-look-like-fruit/




Mexican drug cartel tried to smuggle marijuana painted to look like fruit


A Mexican drug cartel recently used its painting skills to smuggle millions of dollars of marijuana into the United States, a brushstroke of genius of sorts until the effort was uncovered by a federal border agent.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents stopped a suspicious tractor trailer late Thursday on Interstate 19, south of Tucson, Ariz. Inside, the driver said, was a shipment of watermelons. But when agents inspected the shipment using X-ray imaging, they discovered the purported fruit was actually packages of marijuana painted to look like watermelons.

"These criminals use a lot of unique ways to try to conceal their narcotics," Tucson CBP Agent Bryan Flowers said. "We've seen individuals use false compartments in the seats and gas tanks. We've also found marijuana in tractor trailers here before."

The truck had already crossed into the United States about 20 miles south, near Nogales. The trailer's contents were discovered at a second mobile checkpoint close to Tucson.

Drug Enforcement Administration officials later took custody of the contraband and tractor trailer, estimating the value of the marijuana in the millions.

Flowers said this isn't the first time the agency found marijuana disguised as fruit.

In April 2010, agents discovered 9,500 pounds hidden in a load of real watermelons. In June 2008 in Nogales a narcotics dog helped sniff out 5,000 pounds of pot valued at $8.3 million. DEA officials in Phoenix are still determining the street value and total weight of Thursday night's haul.

The driver of the truck remains in custody, authorities said.
 

7greeneyes

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/20/chris-christie-marijuana_n_5516738.html




Why Legal Marijuana Supporters Should Worry About A Chris Christie Presidency


New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), campaigning Friday with New Hampshire Republican gubernatorial candidate Walt Havenstein, offered a glimpse of how he'd handle states like Colorado and Washington that have legalized recreational marijuana if he becomes president. It doesn't sound good.

In a video shot by Matt Simon, New England political director at Marijuana Policy Project and posted on his Facebook page, Brinck Slattery, a Republican running for state representative in Manchester Ward 3 is heard asking Christie: "I know that you have some ambitions for D.C. perhaps. If you were president, how would you treat states that have legalized marijuana?"

"Probably not well," Christie responded as he walked away from the conversation at a restaurant campaign stop. "Not well, but we'll see. We'll have to see what happens."

Just before the brief video ends, Christie adds that he isn't "worried about becoming president."

"It's one thing for Gov. Christie to say he doesn't like what's happening in Colorado, quite another thing for him to threaten federal interference if he became president," Slattery told The Huffington Post.

Michael Drewniak, Christie's press secretary, said this of Christie's comment: "Widely and generally speaking, that reflects his philosophy on marijuana, legalization and restrictions for medically based programs."

Currently, 23 states have legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes, with New York state the latest. Voters in Colorado and Washington state approved the legalization of recreational marijuana in 2012, with the first sales in Colorado beginning on Jan. 1. Several other states are considering some form of legal marijuana.

There has been lengthy speculation about a possible Christie run for president in 2016. Christie has spent much of 2014 embroiled in a New Jersey traffic scandal and state budget deficit woes. He hasn't said whether he'll seek his party's presidential nomination. When it comes to the so-called Bridgegate traffic scandal, Christie has said he doesn't believe he has so much "baggage" that he couldn't run for president if he decides to.

"Either Chris Christie truly doesn't have any future political ambitions or he hasn't gotten the memo that poll after poll shows that a supermajority of American voters wants the federal government to butt out of state marijuana laws," Marijuana Majority's Tom Angell said in reaction to the video. "Blocking sensible reforms in his own state as governor is one thing, but insinuating that he'd expend federal resources to overturn the duly enacted laws of other states is completely out of touch."

Christie has made no secret of his opposition to marijuana legalization in New Jersey. During an April radio program, Christie slammed Colorado's recreational marijuana laws, saying they ushered in a "quality of life" problem that he didn't want in his state. That statement prompted the office of Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) to release several statistics comparing New Jersey unfavorably with Colorado, including quality of life rankings.

A recent Gallup poll found that for the first time 58 percent of Americans support the legalization of marijuana. A vast majority of Americans -- 86 percent -- believe that medical marijuana should be legalized, a CBS News survey found.
 

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/23/albania-weed-village_n_5521446.html




Police Destroy Over 40 Tons Of Marijuana In Lawless Albanian Village


TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Albanian police say they have so far destroyed some 43 tons of marijuana and 133,000 cannabis plants in a lawless southern village that they fought their way into last week.

In a statement they said searches of more than 500 homes in Lazarat also turned up 26 heavy guns, 218 light weapons, ammunition, rocket-propelled grenades, explosives and other weapons. Police also destroyed five drug-processing laboratories and made 23 arrests. The operation is continuing.

Last week, about 800 police come under sustained gunfire from automatic weapons, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars for four days. One policeman and three villagers were injured during the operation.

Lazarat, 230 kilometers (140 miles) south of Tirana, has been the center of marijuana production in Albania, which is also a transit country for hard drugs.
 

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http://reason.com/archives/2014/06/23/colorados-cannabis-consumption-conundrum




(UK) Cannabis Addiction: Record Number Of Children Receive Treatment, Up 50% In Seven Years



The number of children receiving treatment for addiction to cannabis has hit a record high, with one expert warning the age they try the drug for the first time has fallen which places them at greater risk.

A total of 13,581 children received medical treatment for drug addiction and cited cannabis as their "main problem drug", which is an increase of nearly 50% in seven years, the latest statistics show.

That number represents 68% of all those under 18 who received medical treatment for substance misuse in England in 2012/13.

cannabis increase

The number of young people hospitalised for cannabis addiction has increased nearly 50% in seven years
The increase in the numbers being treated for cannabis is in contrast to a fall in the number being treated for alcoholism, which fell by 29% in a year to 4,704.

Steve Rolles, senior policy analyst with the charity Transform told The Huffington Post UK that, despite falling levels of cannabis use overall, the age at which children were first trying it has fallen, which puts them at a greater risk of becoming addicted.

"While total use of cannabis has been going down over the past decade, the average age of first use has also been falling marginally," he said.

"That's a concern because the earlier you start using, the greater the risk. If you are 12, 13 or 14, the risks are much greater than if you start when you're, say, over 20."

cannabis

Treatment cannabis addiction among children rose, while treatment for alcohol abuse fell
Transform campaigns for the regulated, legal sale of cannabis with strict age controls to protect children from acquiring it.

"It's important to note that, if problematic cannabis use amongst young people is increasing, it is happening under prohibition," Steve Rolles, senior policy analyst with the charity Transform.

"There's a strong argument that a strictly regulated market, where we can control age access and potency, would be more effective at protecting young people than under the unregulated criminal trade we have now we have now.

"It's interesting how, in the US, teenagers find it easier to get hold of illegal cannabis than alcohol, which legal but strictly regulated."

Other campaigners, who oppose legalisation, said the potency of the skunk variation of the drug was to blame, which, they said, has grown to dominate the market.

A spokesman for the Cannabis Skunk Sense charity told The Sun: "It's a scandal that the public isn't being told the truth about the strength of skunk, which has an alarming 80% of the market.

"One in six teens who try cannabis become addicted and skunk users are seven times more likely to suffer a psychotic episode."

The statistics on medical treatment were compiled by Public Health England, which told The Sun: "Stronger cannabis strains may be causing more problems.”

Rolles said the number of people being referred for treatment could be influenced by changes in the youth justice system, adding more than a third of the 13,581 children were referred by the courts.

"This doesn't mean that none of these people needed treatment, although we need to be wary of saying that all referrals involve addiction or dependence," he added.

"But it does mean that the data is subject to variation according to changes in youth justice system or schools policy."

He added the increase in treatment numbers might be partly be explained by the rise in more potent and risky synthetic forms of cannabis but said it was not clear whether the PHE data distinguished between this and natural cannabis.

As previously reported on HuffPost UK, there has been an influx of legal, synthetic forms of cannabis to Britain that can be more potent and dangerous than the natural, illegal drug. Last year, 29 new forms of "synthetic cannabinoids" were identified, out of 81 total new legal highs.

In 2012, 30 new forms of it were identified out of a total of 73 new legal highs.
 

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http://online.wsj.com/article/PR-CO-20140623-904309.html




Mile-High Business: HempMeds to Sponsor Cannabis Business Summit in Denver


National Cannabis Industry Association Works to Advance Cannabis Businesses Growth

SAN DIEGO, June 23, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- HempMeds(TM) proudly announces its participation in and sponsorship of the Cannabis Business Summit hosted by the National Cannabis Industry Association in Denver. The conference takes place on June 24-25 at the Convention Center. The NCIA's mission is protecting legitimate cannabis businesses, banking access for those businesses, and fair tax policy. There will be a wide variety of presentations from industry leaders; HempMeds is sponsoring a networking session on June 24.

"A major challenge that cannabis-based businesses face is being treated like any other business would," states Andrew Hard, Director of Public Relations for HempMeds(TM). "We support the efforts of the NCIA and feel that as the industry evolves, fair taxation and banking regulations must be addressed. There will be an estimated 800 business owners and professionals attending the Cannabis Business Summit. That is a very good indication that the stigma once surrounding cannabis-based businesses is being eliminated, new businesses are sprouting up, and industry growth will dictate the full acceptance of cannabis-based businesses in the U.S."

NCIA member businesses receive two discounted admission tickets. Non-members who wish to attend can register online. Admission can be purchased at www.cannabisbusinesssummit.com.

"HempMeds(TM) is proud to be a leading hemp-based business featured at the Cannabis Business Summit," Hard continues. "At the conference we will address the Company's opinion that CBD-only legislation is not prudent, as it does not allow access to the 'whole plant.' However, for states that have not or will not legalize cannabis, CBD-rich hemp oil products are a readily available option to try. The Company feels that trying CBD-rich hemp oil products first should be a major consideration for individuals and families prior to relocating to a legalized state. HempMeds appreciates the NCIA for creating a platform for these types of policy discussions to take place."

Members of the media wishing to attend and cover the conference should contact Andrew Hard, Director of Public Relations at HempMeds, for media passes. If by phone, call 917.660.5418 or email to Andrew.Hard@hempmeds.com.

For more information on CBD-rich hemp oil products, please visit:

HempMeds(TM)

http://www.HempMeds.com

866.273.8502

Real Scientific Hemp Oil(TM)

http://RealScientificHempOil.com

866.273.8502

Cibdex(TM)

http://www.cibdex.com

866.273.8502

Cibaderm(TM)

http://www.cibaderm.com

866.273.8502

The Company invites the public to get involved in the conversation about CBD-rich hemp oil as it relates to HempMeds(TM) through the Company's social media websites on Facebook and Twitter.

About HempMeds

HempMeds(TM) offers mainstream marketing, sales, customer service, and logistics for the cannabis industry. HempMeds(TM) is a corporate portfolio company of Medical Marijuana, Inc. (OTC Pink:MJNA) and the Company's exclusive master distributor and contracted marketing company. In addition to handling sales and distribution, HempMeds(TM) is the communication hub for the Medical Marijuana Inc. portfolio of companies.
 

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