Oct 282014

420RADIO News for 2014-10-28 (Tuesday)

Denver police and federal agents on Tuesday morning raided multiple marijuana growing operations across Denver.  At one site, a Denver police officer was seen in a blue hazmat suit entering a building on North Bryant Street. The officer’s suit reeked of marijuana.  He told The Denver Post that he and other police were executing a search warrant and that several were being executed around town.  James Gothe, group supervisor of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s special support unit in Denver, offered little comment about the operation.  The Denver Police Department announced on Twitter that area law enforcement agencies were conducting an ongoing investigation into illegal drug activity, but said no further information was available.

Oregon voters are closely divided about passing a measure that would legalize recreational marijuana in the state, according to a new poll conducted for The Oregonian and KGW.  The Oct. 26-27 survey of 403 likely voters found that 44 percent backed the legalization measure while 46 percent were opposed.  Another 7 percent were unsure and 2 percent would not say.  The difference between the yes and no sides is well within the poll’s margin of error of 5 percentage points.  The new poll showed a lower level of support for the measure than an Oct. 8-11 survey taken for Oregon Public Broadcasting and Fox 12 that showed 52 percent supported Measure 91 and 41 percent opposed.  All told, 56 percent of voters aged 18-34 said they would back Measure 91, as did 55 percent of those aged 35-50.  But voters aged 51-64 opposed it 42 percent to 47 percent and seniors were strongly against it, 39 percent to 54 percent.

Today, United for Care, the largest organization advocating for Amendment 2 on Florida’s November ballot, sent a cease and desist letter to all of the television stations broadcasting the latest ad produced by the No on 2 campaign entitled “It’s Nuts.” In the :30 second spot, multiple speakers take turns laying out untruthful and illegitimate claims designed to discourage Floridians from voting for the amendment, which would only allow for the medical use of marijuana by patients with debilitating diseases and medical conditions.  According to federal law, FCC licensees have a responsibility to prevent false and misleading advertising from being broadcast on their stations. “As the Florida Supreme Court has reaffirmed, Amendment 2 is only for patients with truly debilitating diseases or conditions,” a spokesperson for the campaign explained.

The federal hearing on marijuana’s Schedule I designation continues today, thanks to a Supreme Court footnote.  Attorneys for the government tried four times to have the testimony from prominent drug research doctors suppressed, but the judge said in court, “If the Supreme Court had not dropped footnote 37 in the Raich case, I might not deny the motion.” The Raich case is the 2005 decision that says the federal law designating marijuana as a substance with “no currently accepted medical use” trumps state medical marijuana law.  That footnote states: “We acknowledge that evidence proffered by respondents in this case regarding the effective medical uses for marijuana, if found credible after trial, would cast serious doubt on the accuracy of the findings that require marijuana to be listed in Schedule I….Respondents’ submission, if accepted, would place all homegrown medical substances beyond the reach of Congress’ regulatory jurisdiction.”

They are unlikely first responders to Islamic militants, but heavily armed cannabis farmers who once fought against the Lebanese army are now turning their weapons against any incursions from Islamic State, the terrorist group called ISIS.  It’s illegal to grow or sell cannabis in Lebanon, but it’s the only life these farmers in the fertile Bekaa Valley near the border with Syria have ever known.  In the past, the Lebanese army would descend yearly on this area to destroy the illicit crop, leading to heavy clashes with cannabis farmers, but for the last two years, the army has looked the other way while they battle ISIS.  Marijuana growers say they’ll be the country’s first line of defense against any militants coming across the border from Syria which lies about 40 kilometres from Bekaa Valley.  Lebanon’s Chief of Drugs Enforcement, Colonel Chassan Chamseddine admits its manpower has been stretched to the limit, and that the cannabis farmers can be useful – despite their illegal harvesting activities.