News Nuggets


Lenders foreclose on Eddy Lepp’s farm

The family of imprisoned cannabis advocate and grower Eddy Lepp has been hit with another major blow—lenders are foreclosing on the family’s Northern California farm.

The Lepp family received notice Nov. 7 that the farm in Upper Lake would be put up for sale Dec. 1. The notice stated the unpaid balance on the property was $378,247. According to a friend, the family was unable to generate income during Lepp’s protracted legal fight and struggled with “enormous” medical bills from wife Linda Senti’s battle with thyroid cancer. Senti died from the disease in November 2007.

Eddy Lepp is serving a 10-year sentence in federal prison following his 2008 conviction for operating a pot farm near Ukiah.

San Diego task force tackles dispensary zoning

San Diego’s Medical Marijuana Task Force will recommend that cannabis clubs be allowed to operate in all commercial and industrial zones of the city, and not be required to periodically renew their business permits.

The task force was formed by the San Diego City Council earlier in the year and is composed of members of the city’s public, health, law enforcement and business communities. It will send its recommendations to the City Council for approval in January.

In October, the task force voted to recommend that dispensaries be allowed to open for business no earlier than 7 a.m. and no later than 9 p.m. The panel also will recommend that all collectives employ a full-time security guard and install cameras and alarms to monitor the premises.

1,300 pounds of cannabis seized from home

San Bernardino County narcotics agents seized 1,300 pounds of marijuana and arrested four men Nov. 11 at a home in Ontario.

Authorities say 1,200 pounds of pot were found inside two vehicles parked at the home and another 100 pounds were found inside the residence. The four men were booked at the West Valley Detention Center facing drug-trafficking charges.

Agents told news reporters that the home was used by a Mexican drug cartel and the cannabis was grown in Mexico for distribution in the U.S.

Giants’ Lincecum faces the judge Dec. 22

San Francisco Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum will appear before a judge Dec. 22 on misdemeanor marijuana charges after he was reportedly found with 3.3 grams in his possession.

Lincecum was driving in the town of Hazel Dell in Washington state when he was pulled over for allegedly speeding, news reports say. A police officer reportedly smelled marijuana when Lincecum rolled his window down. At the officer’s request, the 2008 and 2009 Cy Young Award winner handed over the pot and a pipe from the car’s center console.

Police consider the amount that Lincecum allegedly had in his possession to be for personal use. He faces about $622 for the misdemeanor and for driving 74 mph in a 60-mph zone.

Grow house found 25 feet from police station

To the delight of writers of “weird news” items everywhere, authorities say they discovered an elaborate cannabis growing operation 25 feet from a Canoga Park police station.

The pot farm, complete with light rigs and irrigation and ventilation systems, had apparently been in operation for at least eight months before officers at the police station noticed the smell, news reports say. Police launched an investigation that led them across the station’s parking lot to an industrial building, where they reportedly found 850 burgeoning marijuana plants of varying size.

Police arrested three people at the site pending narcotics charges, authorities say. It is not yet known whether those arrested were members of a cannabis club or operating independently.


AMA wants cannabis off Schedule 1 list

Anti-cannabis prohibition advocates received a huge shot in the arm from the nation’s largest doctors’ organization, as the American Medical Association called on the federal government to reconsider its classification of marijuana as a Schedule I narcotic.

While the AMA’s Nov. 10 resolution stopped short of endorsing state medical-cananbis programs, the move represented a stunning reversal of policy for the historically conservative group.  For years, the 250,000-member organization had resisted a national trend toward relaxing marijuana prohibition, maintaining that cannabis should remain on the federal list of extremely harmful drugs.

In announcing the policy shift, the AMA stated its goal was to encourage clinical research into marijuana potential as a therapeutic drug, development of cannabis-based medicines, and the exploration of alternative methods of delivering THC.

Cannabis café opens in Portland
Portland just became home to one of the first cannabis cafés in the US, with the opening of a private club that sells coffee, food and marijuana.

The Cannabis Café, located in a 2-story building that previously housed a strip club, provides qualified medical-marijuana patients a place to both buy and smoke pot. The establishment operates as a private club, with members holding official medical-marijuana cards paying $25 a month to use the facilities. The café is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day, and sells cannabis, food and non-alcoholic beverages.

Cannabis “coffee shops” are a mainstay in Amsterdam and several African and Middle Eastern nations. Oregon is one of 13 U.S. states that allow the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes.

Michigan college teaches the pot trade

Look out, Oaksterdam—a new school in a Detroit suburb now offers classes on how to grow and use cannabis.

Launched in September, Med Grow Cannabis College in Southfield provides such classes as “Intro to Cannabis,” “Cannabis and Medicine,” horticulture lectures and labs and even “Cooking and Concentrates.” The school graduated its first students in November.

The college opened nearly a year after Michigan voters passed a ballot initiative allowing the use of medical marijuana. More than 6,500 Michigan residents have since obtained state-issued medical-cannabis ID cards.


Canada to cannabis users: Pay now, smoke later

Canada has learned the hard way that selling marijuana on credit is probably not a good idea.

Health Canada, the nation’s state-run health care agency, just instituted a new rule requiring cannabis patients seeking government-certified weed to pay for their medicine in advance of shipment. The move came after the previous system —which allowed patients to be billed after receiving their shipment—resulted in $1.2 million Canadian (about $1.14 million U.S.) in past-due accounts. Some 1,100 Canadians have fallen behind on their payments, with more than half in arrears for over a year.

More than 4,600 Canadians are state-licensed to use medical cannabis for a variety of conditions. The government sells cannabis for about $5 Canadian a gram, or $20 for 30 seeds, plus tax. Canadian pot users generally agree that government-provided marijuana is of poor quality, with a THC count of about 12.5 percent.

Harry Potter star denies pot use

British actor Daniel Radcliffe, who plays Harry Potter in the film mega-franchise, has denied smoking cannabis at a party after the Daily Mirror tabloid published photos of the young star droopy-eyed and holding what appeared to be a spliff.

A representative for Radcliff issued a statement saying in part, “Daniel does smoke the occasional roll-up cigarette, but he was not doing anything more than this.” Radcliffe has not been formally accused of any wrongdoing in connection with the alleged incident.

In July, actor Jamie Waylett, who plays Vincent Crabbe in the Potter series, was sentenced by a U.K. judge to 120 hours of community service for growing pot in his mother’s home.

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