Oct 312014

420RADIO News for 2014-10-31 (Friday)

The latest KATU/Survey USA Poll shows Oregon’s Measure 91 leading by a 52% to 41% margin, with 9% undecided.  This poll jibes with a previous OPB/FOX 12 poll showing the same 52% support and countering a recent Elway Poll showing Measure 91 trailing 44% to 46%.  The Elway poll consisted of just over 400 voters, 71% of them over the age of fifty, while the KATU poll contacted 552 voters who have already turned in their ballots (40% of likely voters) or are very likely to, 60% of them over the aged fifty or older.  70% of the respondents were contacted by land-line telephone.  As usual, men’s support for legalization at 56% beats women’s support by seven points, and people under age 35 overwhelmingly support legalization at 71%.  Interestingly, Baby Boomer support, age 50-64, comes in at 61% while Generation X, age 35-49, is evenly split at 46%.

A pair of investing tycoons traded giddy text messages this spring as they planned to unload a massive haul of hyped-up shares in GrowLife, a supplier to pot farmers that has come under regulatory scrutiny.  “April 10 is your day! Buy two houses in Miami!” David Weiner, a Los Angeles-based penny-stock financier texted to fellow investor Fred Knoll.  The plan for a big payday was thwarted at the last minute, however, when the Securities and Exchange Commission halted trading of GrowLife stock at 50 cents a share before the stock opened for trading on April 10.  The SEC’s concern, according to sources, has been that GrowLife, along with other pot companies, was pumping its business prospects in press releases even as it issued millions of shares at below-market prices in exchange for loans from financiers, including Weiner and Knoll.  When GrowLife shares resumed trading two weeks after the halt, they opened 60 percent lower, at 21 cents. They’ve steadily tumbled since, closing at 5.2 cents on Wednesday.

A Grand Rapids doctor indicted in a major marijuana conspiracy admitted he wrote medical marijuana prescriptions for patients he never met to help further a criminal enterprise that earned more than $1.3 million in less than two years.  Thursday’s plea came just hours before the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Grand Rapids filed a 23-page superseding indictment charging four more people in the 2 ½-year conspiracy. That brings to 10 the number of people charged as part of a year-long investigation into illegal grow operations in Kent County.  At the head of the conspiracy is Betty Lee Jenkins and her partner, Phillip Joseph Walsh, investigators allege. Both were charged Thursday in a superseding indictment with conspiracy to manufacture 100 or more marijuana plants and maintaining drug-involved premises.

A political agreement in Denmark has been reached to distribute research funds to study the medicinal effects of cannabis.  Despite numerous pushes by Copenhagen’s mayor Frank Jensen to legalise cannabis in the capital and the booming business in Christiania’s cannabis market, Denmark has taken an official hardline stance on cannabis for both recreational and medicinal use.  But signs have been emerging over the past few years that the nation may be prepared to adjust its stance on cannabis.  Following a World Health Organization report in July that called for the decriminalisation of all drugs, parties ranging from the ruling Social Democrats to the libertarian Liberal Alliance and the left-wing Socialist People’s Party said that it is high time to reconsider Denmark’s official position on drugs.  A research agreement that distributes 857 million kroner ($145 million) to a wide variety of projects has earmarked money for studying the benefits of medicinal cannabis for the first time.

Besides marijuana, Oregon voters will also decide whether to legalize growing hemp in the upcoming election.  In addition to legalizing, regulating and taxing marijuana, Measure 91 would compel the state Department of Agriculture to start handing out permission to farmers to get into the hemp industry.  BMW has recently begun using hemp fibers in its cars because it’s cheaper and more sustainable than fiberglass. China is moving away from cotton in favor of hemp because it takes half the water to grow the same amount.  Canadians have a 20-year lead on us in hemp research. They make half a billion dollars a year, and most of the product from Canada — about 90 percent — is exported to the United States.