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Violent crime up 25 percent in Colorado since 2013, latest CBI report shows

9/28/18--All forms of violent crime in Colorado steadily increased over the past five years, according to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation’s latest annual report on statewide crime statistics. In 2017, 23,098 violent crimes were reported, a 25 percent increase from 2013, according to the report released Thursday. Read

Colorado Crime Statistics

9/29/18--Colorado Department of Public Safety reports statistics for the number of DUI cases, drug narcotics violations, and drug narcotics equipment violations. Read

Florida teacher sold marijuana to middle schoolers, authorities say

12/9/17--Maria Otilla Rivera-Magana, a Florida substitute teacher, was arrested Friday after allegedly selling marijuana to two middle school students. According to authorities, the students admitted to smoking the drug after complaining of feeling sick, FOX 4 reported. Rivera-Magana was being held on a $90,500 bond at the Hendry County Jail. Read

Maine health officials implement new rules for medical marijuana

11/9/17--Maine is cracking down on the distribution of medical marijuana by allowing surprise inspections and implementing a new patient tracking system. The state Department of Health and Human Services issued new rules that tighten Maine’s medical marijuana market. The Portland Press Herald reports the rules will take effect on Feb. 1. Read

Authorities raid Spring Valley marijuana dispensary

11/9/17--Authorities raided Exotic Warehouse, an allegedly illegal Spring Valley marijuana dispensary, seizing cannabis and related products, and detaining five people for questioning. According to Sgt. Matt Cook, the operation “was the direct result of numerous complaints from concerned citizens. The personnel seized cash along with a “large amount” of marijuana, cannabis-infused edible items, and drug paraphernalia. Read

Radnor teens treated after ingesting possible marijuana-laced brownie

11/3/2017--Radnor Township officials on Friday were investigating an incident involving possible marijuana-laced brownies given to high school students, which may have involved cheerleaders and at least one member of the football team. No arrests have been made. The brownie will be tested by a lab to confirm if any drugs and what type of drugs it may contain. Read

Police made an arrest and seized almost 1,000 marijuana plants at a home in Los Banos

11/3/17--Los Banos Police say they found nearly 1,000 plants inside of a Los Banos home. Officers arrested 24-year-old Matias Menera Flores after the Merced area gang enforcement team served a search warrant at the home. Read

$1.6 Million worth of high grade marijuana seized in Georgia

11/3/17--Troup County sheriffs seized more than 150 pounds of high-grade marijuana worth $1.6 million on Thursday after a tractor-trailer failed to pull into an I-85 weigh station. The driver, Amaury Izquierdo Mansito, and the passenger, Marco Alfaro, were arrested and charged with trafficking marijuana. Read

Colorado budget proposal calls for new task force to target illegal marijuana ops

11/1/17--Colorado aims to establish a state law enforcement unit dedicated to investigating and eradicating illegal marijuana grow operations that have cropped up throughout the state. Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper’s $30.5 billion budget proposal for the 2018-19 fiscal year included the allocation of $1.2 million of marijuana tax revenue toward the assembly of a task force within the Colorado Bureau of Investigation that would “investigate black market marijuana operations across Colorado.” Read

Police make significant marijuana bust in Nixa

10/30/17--Police in Nixa have made the most significant marijuana bust in several years, in which a marijuana grow operation was found, and resulted in the seizure of drug paraphernalia and an estimated 25 pounds of marijuana. Read

MN man arrested with 201 lbs of marijuana in Oregon

10/26/17--Pandy Hout of Minnesota was arrested in Oregon after 201 pounds of marijuana were found in the car he was driving. He has been charged with three felony counts including carrying more than 16 pounds over state lines, possession of marijuana over eight pounds, and unlawful delivery of marijuana. Read

Complaints of illegal pot grows in Sacramento County are soaring

10/21/17--Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department data provided to The Sacramento Bee through a Public Records Act request show deputies responded to 992 calls related to illegal marijuana grows in 2016, up from 511 calls in 2014. The surge in calls regarding illegal pot grows in Sacramento County comes even as the state is poised to permit commercial cultivation of marijuana for recreational use. However, local jurisdictions such as Sacramento County retain the right to decide whether to allow such operations. The county, so far, has said it won’t allow commercial grows. Read

Denver man arrested after marijuana seizure during traffic stop in Indiana

10/21/17--Michael Granados, Jr., 23, of Denver was arrested in Indiana after state police troopers found several packages of marijuana in an SUV during a traffic stop. In total, the packages weighed approximately 33 pounds with an estimated street value of $150,000. Granados faces charges of Dealing Marijuana (over 10 pounds) and Possession of Marijuana (over 10 pounds). Read

He ate marijuana candy and got on a flight. And then the trouble began

10/12/17--The temptation of legal marijuana was too great for Joseph Hudek IV, who found himself sitting in a federal detention center after a mid-air altercation on a flight from Seattle to Beijing. Hudek, 24, consumed candy containing marijuana just before boarding his flight, and an hour after takeoff he became volatile. Hudek has been charged with interfering with a flight crew and four counts of assault and, if convicted, could face anywhere between 20 years to life in prison. Read

Pounds of weed, drugged gummy bears seized in Forsyth

10/13/17--Nearly 40 pounds of marijuana and other drugs — including what were believed to be drug-laced Gummy Bears — were seized recently in what Forsyth County authorities are calling a "significant" bust. Weapons, including assault rifles, and tens of thousands of dollars in cash also were seized during the raid, according to the Forsyth County Sheriff's Office. Read

Marijuana growers hide $7 million operation in quiet suburban houses

10/12/17--An undercover drug task force in Hall County busted a sophisticated marijuana growing operation in six different neighborhoods between Gainesville, Flowery Branch, and Hoschton. In all, more than 1,500 plants and 300 pounds of processed marijuana were seized, totaling about $7 million dollars. Read

Don’t let Sessions turn back the clock on medical marijuana

10/12/17--U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is urging Congress to make medical marijuana programs illegal in Maryland and the 30 other jurisdictions that have approved legislation shielding use of the drug for medicinal purposes from criminal prosecution. According to an op-ed published in The Baltimore Sun, Sessions' impulse to revive discredited policies of the past is part of a more general backward-looking understanding of his office, which he sees as an instrument for rolling back the progressive reforms of his predecessors. Read

Subway restaurant sold marijuana along with sandwiches, Michigan police say

10/13/17--Police busted what they say was a marijuana selling operation inside a Subway restaurant in Highland Park, Michigan. Police used a tracking dog and found a small amount of pot inside the manager’s car outside. The dog also found a big stash inside. The restaurant was closed after the arrests. Read

More illegal marijuana grows seized in Yolo County

10/8/17--Yolo County sheriff’s deputies confiscated $778,000 in cannabis and arrested four people last week in its continued crackdown on unlawful marijuana grows. Previously, the Sheriff’s Office seized about $14 million in marijuana that had been grown without a required permit in multiple rural areas spanning from Dunnigan to the Capay Valley. Read

Police seize 55 pounds of marijuana from home

10/12/17--Following an investigation, police seized more than 50 pounds of medical marijuana and 31 marijuana plants at a Minden Township home. The investigation was a follow-up on violations of medical marijuana laws discovered during a separate criminal event in May, and resulted in a search warrant for those same properties located in the 8000 block of Maurer Road. Read

Deputies seize 1,650 plants, more than 1,000 pounds of marijuana from Merced County house

10/6/17--A person has been arrested after deputies say 1,650 marijuana plants, several firearms, ammunition, and more than 1,000 pounds of marijuana were found in a house. The Merced County Sheriff's Office says this comes after a 10-day long investigation into a large stash at a house in the 16000 block of Oak Street in Delhi. Read

4,000-plus marijuana plants, 4 arrests in raid on elaborate grow in Colorado national forest

10/6/17--Agents and deputies from several federal and county agencies arrested four immigrants who are living in the U.S. illegally, seized 4,213 marijuana plants, and dismantled an elaborate grow operation constructed in thet San Isabel National Forest. According to an account by Fremont County Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Megan Richards, the suspects set up an elaborate illegal marijuana grow operation south of Salida that was complete with irrigation piping and pesticides. Read

Marijuana extraction lab explosion at Adelanto home sends man to hospital

9/17/17--Authorities say an explosion at home in San Bernardino County sent one man to the hospital with second-degree burns, and led to the arrest of a second man. Officials say authorities had seized evidence they allege relate to a THC extraction lab, including 11 pounds of marijuana, concentrated cannabis, assault rifles, and a handgun. Read

Children forced to work at cannabis factories as slaves, warns charity

9/8/17--A leading charity, NSPCC, has reported that children are being forced to tend cannabis factories and commit street crimes in the UK. A team set up by the organization 10 years ago to provide advice in child trafficking cases has received nearly 2,000 referrals, with babies among those reported as potential victims. The NSPCC said the secretive nature of modern-day slavery means this number is likely to be a fraction of the true scale of the problem. Read

Oregon ER doctor arrested in raid, accused of making cannabis oils illegally

9/1/17--An Oregon county narcotics enforcement unit arrested emergency room doctor, Mark Craig, and five other people while conducting raids on two houses. The doctor is accused of turning marijuana into an oil form, which makes the plant much more potent. Rose faces two counts of manufacturing marijuana items, two counts of delivery of marijuana, and two counts of possession of more than 4 ounces (113 grams) of marijuana. Marijuana is legal in Oregon, but it is not legal to turn the plant into oil without a license. Authorities say the suspects also had more marijuana than state law allows. Read

Cannabis farmers accused of offering California sheriff $1M bribe

9/1/17--Two Northern California marijuana farmers and siblings, Chi Meng Yang and Gaosheng Laitinen, have been charged with offering a sheriff $1 million to turn a blind eye to their cannabis-growing operations. The Siskiyou County Sheriff alleges one of the marijuana farmers offered to donate the money to any charity or cause the sheriff desired in exchange for shielding 10 large-scale pot farms from raids. Allegedly, Yang and Laitinen intended to sell their crop in Missouri, where efforts are underway to legalize marijuana in that state. Read

Colorado gov responds to Sessions marijuana letter questioning state’s regulatory regime

8/24/17--In a five-page missive obtained by The Cannabist, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and Attorney General Cynthia Coffman responded to Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ July 24 letter that raised “serious questions” about the state’s ability to regulate legal marijuana and prevent illegal activities. Coffman and Hickenlooper express in their letter that Colorado’s marijuana regulatory system is a model for other states, and the fledgling program could become even more robust with the federal government’s support. Read

Rasta church leader to sue Merced Sheriff for raiding marijuana ‘church farm’

8/25/17--The Merced County Sheriff’s Office has dismantled a large marijuana grow operation that was christened under the Sugarleaf Rasta Church. The grow operation was much more than the 12 plants allowed to grow outdoors for medical use per county ordinance. The church’s head pastor, Heidi Lepp, said the county’s ordinance is illegal, and she is filing suit against Sheriff Vern Warnke, claiming the raid violated the church’s religious rights. Read

Marijuana, loaded gun found in teen’s backpack at school

8/25/17--According to authorities, a 13-year-old student at Gateway Charter Intermediate School in Florida was arrested on firearm and drug possession charges. He had a loaded gun and marijuana in his backpack. Read

Marijuana worth $22.8 million found growing in San Mateo County

8/25/17--The two-month Campaign Against Marijuana Planting, led by the California Department of Justice, was designed to eradicate large-scale grow sites on public and private lands that cause deforestation, damage wildlife habitats, and pose a danger to residents. This campaign netted 11,400 plants with a street value of $22.8 million, according to the San Mateo County Narcotics Task Force. Read

Miami University student indicted on drug charges from August crash

9/12/17--A Preble County grand jury indicted Paul McCabe, 20, on multiple drug-related charges and one possession of drug paraphernalia charge stemming from an August arrest. Deputies said they found marijuana estimated to be worth around $30,000 in duffle bags and glass jars after McCabe crashed his car south of Eaton. He remains in the Preble County Jail pending his initial arraignment in Eaton Municipal Court. Read

Third Bozeman marijuana dispensary employee sentenced on federal charge

8/24/17--Michael James Mason, 34, was sentenced to three years probation after pleading guilty to money laundering in connection with Montana Buds, a medical marijuana dispensary based in Bozeman. Mason pleaded guilty to the charge as part of an agreement in which the U.S. Attorney’s Office dismissed additional charges of conspiracy to manufacture and distribute marijuana and possession with intent to distribute marijuana. Read

Sacramento officials target illegal marijuana growers

8/23/17--The Sacramento Police Department's SWAT team will be leading the charge to crack down on illegal marijuana growing operations. They will be assisted by code enforcement officers and building inspectors. Several recent marijuana-related crimes prompted Councilwoman Angelique Ashby to ask local agencies to develop an “urgent plan of action.” Read

Marijuana grow house busted after teacher smells weed on student

8/23/17--A teacher led police in Hialeah, Fla., to a grow house after picking up the scent of marijuana on an 11-year-old student's clothes. The boy reportedly gave his parents up when confronted by his teacher about the smell, admitting that marijuana plants were being grown inside his home. Read

Drug production is booming in Paraguay, and so is drug violence

8/17/17--Paraguay is a global marijuana powerhouse: The small South American country produces 9 percent of the world’s supply. With thousands of square miles of farmland, Paraguay has a stable, agriculture-based economy — and the world’s fourth-largest crop of marijuana, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). Even so, its porous borders and central position on the continent, among other factors, have begun to attract drug violence and increasing attention from major drug gangs. Read

Murder suspect: I was too high to understand Miranda rights

8/16/17--Lee Rios, a Massachusetts murder suspect charged with murder, wants statements he made to police dismissed as evidence has told a judge that he was too high on drugs to understand his Miranda rights. The Republican reports that Rios told a judge at a hearing on his motion to suppress evidence that he had been smoking marijuana sprinkled with PCP and was also been drinking. He said the combination makes him paranoid and unable to think straight. Read

Former attorney indicted for theft involving Las Vegas marijuana dispensary

8/11/17--Former lawyer Easton K. Harris committed more than 100 violations involving clients of his law practice over several years. Now he's reportedly in even deeper trouble. The grand jury accuses Harris and another defendant, Jonathan Ryan Peirsol, of convincing two investors to hand over more than $167,000 for a company called Sin City Organics. The criminal indictment says Harris and Peirsol made misrepresentations and did not use investors' money to "further the business of Sin City Organics." Read

Dallas man asked passengers to stop smoking weed on train. They viciously attacked him.

8/4/17--A 44-year-old man riding on a Dallas Area Rapid Transit train was beaten by a group of other passengers after he said he asked them to stop smoking marijuana. After the beating, Jones, whose injuries included bruised ribs, was taken to Baylor University Medical Center, where he was treated and released. Police arrested Jakobi Darion Hendrix, 21, of Dallas in connection with the case, and they have identified other suspects, but no additional arrests have been made. Read

Reviving the war on drugs isn’t the way to improve police/community relations

8/4/17--The United States has been waging a war on drugs for nearly 50 years. According to Dean A. Dabney, associate professor of justice and criminology at Georgia State University, a return to a "law and order" approach would undo recent gains in reducing crime rates as well as prison populations and would further strain tense police-community relations. Read

Maine State Police seek money for training to fight black market marijuana

8/5/17--Maine State Police want more resources to train officers and to fight the flow of black market marijuana in Maine. However, they are not pushing for major changes to Maine’s existing “operating under the influence” law in the wake of marijuana legalization earlier this year, nor are they advocating for setting a legal limit for cannabis similar to the 0.08 percent blood alcohol content level used to prosecute drunk drivers. Read

Task force on marijuana law offers little on new policies

8/5/17--The Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety, a group of prosecutors and federal law enforcement officials, has come up with no new policy recommendations to advance the attorney general’s aggressively anti-marijuana views. The group’s report largely reiterates the current Justice Department policy on marijuana. It encourages officials to keep studying whether to change or rescind the Obama administration’s more hands-off approach to enforcement — a stance that has allowed the nation’s experiment with legal pot to flourish. Read

Rastafarian pot farm shootout sparks religious-use debate

8/3/17--The shooting of two California deputies responding to a disturbance at a Rastafarian marijuana farm has drawn attention to religious use of the drug, sparking debate over whether churches should be protected from drug prosecutions. Religious organizations throughout California have been growing marijuana for ceremonial purposes for years, and they have been losing in court for just as long because there is no religious exemption to state and federal marijuana bans, and there won't be any special treatment when California legalizes pot next year. Read

What actually happened to violent crime after Washington legalized marijuana

7/26/17--An upcoming report from a U.S. Department of Justice task force is expected to link marijuana use to violent crime, which some fear might signal the start of a Trump administration crackdown on weed. Since voters approved Initiative 502, FBI crime statistics show lower rates of violent crime in Washington than before legalization. Other data compiled by the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs showed some fluctuations in violent crime rates but still found no statistically significant increase. Read

$483,000 worth of marijuana, butane honey oil seized in Oroville search

7/28/17--An estimated $483,000 worth of marijuana and butane honey oil were seized after narcotics officers served a search warrant at a metal shop in Oroville, where they found an elaborate indoor hydroponic marijuana growing operation. A total of 778 marijuana plants were located in various hydroponic rooms, along with 132 pounds of processed marijuana bud, packaged for sale. Also found in the shop were items used in manufacturing butane honey oil. Read

US Coast Guard enforces federal marijuana laws on Maine waters

7/28/17--The US Coast Guard wants boaters to know, whether you’re on a commercial fishing vessel or a pleasure craft, marijuana is illegal on the waters they patrol. Whether its just off the coast in Casco Bay or deep out to sea, the US Coast Guard enforces federal law in navigable waters. Under federal law, marijuana is illegal, whether its medical or recreational. Read

Inside a wild week in weed for Colorado Springs

7/27/17--Colorado Springs, Colorado’s second-largest city, is in the national spotlight this week following a closed-door meeting between city leaders and federal officials about marijuana, a drug bust at a head shop business, a district attorney’s statements connecting marijuana and murder, and the emergence of an organization touting the revenue potential of recreational pot. Read

Hash oil explosion caused North Portland house fire, killing two people

7/27/17--A hash oil explosion was the cause of a fire that destroyed a North Portland home and killed two people. The explosion occurred when a large concentration of butane came into contact with an ignition source. The concentration of butane was created by the homeowner while he was attempting to produce butane hash oil. Read

Man convicted of fatally shooting marijuana grow partner

7/21/17--A jury has convicted Shawn Geerdes of fatally shooting his partner, Jason Dosa, in a marijuana growing operation. Prosecutors say Geerdes shot Dosa five times, stuffed the body in the trunk of a car, drove to Jefferson County, and lit the vehicle on fire. The two had been partners in a grow operation in the small town of Agate southeast of Denver. Read

Couple arrested, accused of letting 9-year-old smoke marijuana, making him shoplift

7/20/17--A couple in Rogers County has been arrested after being accused of allowing their 9-year-old son to smoke pot and making him shoplift. According to an affidavit, Kimberly Broyles, 45, and Michael Whitaker, 40, allowed their son to smoke marijuana in their presence. Read

Smoking marijuana while black

7/17/17--Although the city of New York has reduced the number of arrests for low-level marijuana possession, black and Latino New Yorkers are far more likely to be arrested for smoking in public than whites, who are just as likely to use marijuana. African-Americans are arrested at 15 times the rate of whites in Staten Island and in Manhattan, and seven times the rate of whites in Queens. The disparities shown in a new analysis by Harry G. Levine, a sociology professor at Queens College, are especially striking in areas where African-Americans make up a small proportion of the population. Read

400 pounds of marijuana found in new cars from Mexico

7/15/17--Authorities say more than 400 pounds of marijuana has been found in 15 new cars made in Mexico and shipped to Ohio and Pennsylvania to sell. Read

230 lbs of marijuana seized, plants in plain view on porch

7/14/17--Meigui Wang and Zhenyi Len have been arrested after police seized 230 pounds of marijuana in plain view on an apartment front porch, according to the DeKalb County Police Department. Read

Doña Ana County jail director Barela charged with marijuana possession

7/14/17--Doña Ana County Detention Center Director Christopher Barela was charged with purchasing marijuana from undercover sources on four separate occasions earlier this year, according to court records. A police affidavit alleges that Barela had been purchasing marijuana every five to 10 days "on a consistent basis" for about two years. Read

Collier County commissioner’s daughter accused of producing marijuana

7/14/17--Kelley McDaniel, the daughter of Collier County Commissioner Bill McDaniel, was arrested, along with her live-in boyfriend, after detectives found a pound of marijuana, fertilizer, and growing equipment in a garage on the property, deputies said. McDaniel, a student at Florida Gulf Coast University, was also charged with making and possessing marijuana. Read

80 Canna Clinic marijuana dispensary employees charged after raids in Toronto, Vancouver

6/27/17--Police charged 80 Canna Clinic employees, seized close to 180 kilograms of marijuana, and confiscated more than $350,000 in cash after raids on dispensaries and homes in Toronto and Vancouver last week. According to Toronto police spokesman Mark Pugash, six of the suspects faced “substantive charges” and were named by police, but the remaining 74 were not identified. Read

Dozens of indictments in largest illegal marijuana trafficking ring bust since legalization

6/28/17--Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman announced the largest illegal marijuana trafficking ring bust since pot became legal in the state in 2014. Coffman said 62 people and 12 businesses were indicted in the bust, dubbed Operation Toker Poker, which spanned five states. Read

Recent cases raise questions about cannabis regulation corruption, ethics

6/21/17--Recent cases in Colorado and Washington are the first known instances of current or former pot regulators being accused of having improper dealings with the industry. The two recreational marijuana states are the nation’s oldest, approving legal weed in defiance of federal law in 2012. A pair of cases several years into the legal-weed experiment casts a dark cloud over all marijuana regulators and fuel old fears about the criminal element’s influence. Read

City challenges pot lounge over failure to disclose

6/16/17--Studio 420, a father-and-son-owned shop that offers a marijuana consumption club service in Englewood, faced questions in a hearing to determine whether its business license would be revoked for alleged misrepresentation made on a city application. The city and the shop gave different accounts on whether allowing customers to consume marijuana on-site was something Studio 420 needed to tell the city it planned to do. Kathleen Rinkel, director of finance and administrative services, has 30 days to decide whether to revoke the shop's license. Read

Medical marijuana dispensary owner sentenced to prison

6/16/17--Charlton Victor Campbell, owner of a Montana medical marijuana dispensary network, has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for conspiracy to manufacture and distribute marijuana. Under a plea agreement, Campbell forfeited $30,000 and the Montana Buds properties in Bozeman. Read

Marijuana delivery driver robbed, after his deliveries

6/16/17--A marijuana delivery driver was robbed outside his La Mesa home after he had made all of his deliveries. He was still sitting in his car when a man walked up to him, threatened him with a knife, and stole his backpack. Read