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Tag: marijuana

ATF: Medical Marijuana Cardholders Barred from Buying Guns

medical marijuanaBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The continuing battle between states and the federal government over medical marijuana just got a lot more intense.

The ATF said Wednesday that medical marijuana cardholders are not allowed to buy guns from licensed dealers, 40/29 News reports.

Although medicinal cannabis has been approved in 29 states, marijuana is still illegal on the federal level. Under President Trump’s administration, the feds are increasing the crackdown on medical marijuana.

People who buy gun from a licensed dealer are required to disclose whether they’re an unlawful marijuana or drug user. Because marijuana is illegal federally, that means anyone who uses it is an unlawful user, said ATF spokesman Kevin Moran.

Large Drug Bust in Colorado Targets Marijuana Grown for Out-of-State Sales

Photo by Steve Neavling.

Photo by Steve Neavling.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The DEA, along with local and state police, arrested 43 people as part of a major drug bust in Colorado that involves thousands of pounds of marijuana that was intended to be shipped outside of the state.

Authorities, who are calling “Operation Toker Poker” the state’s largest marijuana bust, said the suspects in the multi-state scheme were exploiting Colorado’s law that allows the sale of recreational marijuana, CBS4 in Denver reports. 

According to law enforcement, many of the suspects moved their marijuana grow operations to Colorado to pose as cannabis caregivers in order to launder more than $200,000 per month.

The marijuana was grown out of the suspects’ homes.

Nearly 20 suspects are still on the loose.

“When you think the Denver Police Department and the DEA are going after users, I can tell you, after 30 years of doing this, we don’t care about marijuana users, we never have and we never will,” said DEA Assistant Special Agent-In-Charge David A. Schiller. “We care about those coming into our state, taking advantage of the laws.”

Secret Service Will Now Hire Agents with a History of Smoking Pot

marijuana-istockBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Secret Service is having trouble hiring agents, but it’s not because there aren’t enough applicants.

Turns out, the agency is forced to turn down a lot of applicants because of a policy that disqualified people who smoked marijuana in their past, the New York Daily News reports. 

Under the agency’s new policy, job candidates who smoked marijuana in the past aren’t automatically disqualified. The agency will now consider the length of time a person hasn’t smoked pot.

Applicants younger than 24, for example, are still eligible for a job if they had not smoked marijuana for a period of 12 months Candidates who are 28 or older must have refrained from smoking pot for at least five years.

Without the revamped policy, the Secret Service projects it wouldn’t be able to fill thousands of employees.

“We need more people. The mission has changed,” Secret Service Director Randolph Alles said, according to CNN. “It’s more dynamic and way more dangerous than it has been in years past.”

DEA Chief: ‘Marijuana Is Not Medicine,’ Despite Evidence Suggesting It Is

marijuana-istockBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

DEA Acting chief Chuck Rosenberg said Thursday that “marijuana is not medicine,” despite new evidence that suggests that cannabis has medicinal benefits.

“If it turns out that there is something in smoked marijuana that helps people, that’s awesome,” he said, speaking at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. “I will be the last person to stand in the way of that. … But let’s run it through the Food and Drug Administration process, and let’s stick to the science on it.”

Although many states have approved the use of medicinal marijuana, the drug remains illegal federally because it’s classified as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substance Act.

Former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy said the country needs to research the medicinal benefits of marijuana.

“Should we be reducing the administrative and other barriers to researching that in the government? 100 percent,” he said. “But what we should not do is make policies based on guesswork. When we do that, what we do is put people at risk.”

FBI: Seattle Cop Smuggled Massive Amounts of Marijuana to Baltimore

Photo of marijuana by Steve Neavling.

Photo of marijuana by Steve Neavling.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI busted a Seattle police officer who authorities say helped smuggling hundreds of pounds of marijuana to Baltimore.

Alex Chapackdee, a 17-year veteran of the force, was arrested and was among four men charged with conspiring to distribute marijuana, the Associated Press reports. The 44-year-old office is the brother-in-;aw of the group’s alleged ringleader.

“While (it is) always disturbing to investigate one of our own, I am proud of the detectives and commanders who worked diligently on this case,” Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole said in a written statement. “Officer Chapackdee’s conduct is disgraceful and disappointing. While he will have his due process in the courts, I hope these charges demonstrate to our community that SPD will not tolerate corrupt behavior in our ranks.”

According to the FBI, Chapackdee drove marijuana from Seattle to Baltimore in his recreational vehicle several times last fall. The FBI said he deposited nearly $20,000 in cash into his bank account.

Chapackdee, who is on unpaid leave, also is accused of accepting $10,000 a month from his brother-in-law to alert him to any law enforcement investigations and to keep an eye on marijuana grow operations,

Chapackdee’s attorney, David Gehrke, declined to comment on the allegations but said the charges have been difficult for him and his family, which includes a wife and four children.

“This is a huge fall from grace, an embarrassment,” Gehrke said.

The investigation was prompted by a confidential source.

Border Patrol Agents Find Marijuana, Manure Stuffed into Coffin inside Hearse

Marijuana was found inside this coffin. Photo via Border Patrol.

Marijuana was found inside this coffin. Photo via Border Patrol.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol agents stopped a hearse and found marijuana and manure inside a closed casket over the weekend.

Instead of finding a body inside the casket, Willcox Border Patrol agents in Arizona discovered 67 pounds pounds of marijuana and manure that had been used to mask the smell.

A 28-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of drug smuggling.

Agents became suspicious when the driver of the hearse gave inconsistent stories. Despite the manure, a canine sniffed out the drugs.

Border Patrol agents estimated the marijuana had a street value of more than $33,000.

DEA Raids Target Group for Allegedly Exporting Colorado Marijuana

Photo by Steve Neavling.

Photo by Steve Neavling.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The DEA has raided more than a dozen locations in Colorado over an alleged scheme to ship marijuana out-of-state.

Although Colorado approved the recreational use of marijuana, an organization is accused of working with others to ship marijuana out of the state.

The DEA said it was assisting local authorities serve search warrants at 30 locations in Colorado on Thursday, U.S. News & World Report wrote. 

New Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ pledge to better enforce federal laws on marijuana had nothing to do with the raids, which were months in the making, a DEA spokesman said.

White House Says Feds Likely to Crackdown on Marijuana Legalized by States

marijuana-istockBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

States where marijuana is legal for recreational or medicinal use are likely to come under fire from federal law enforcement, White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Thursday.

“I do believe you’ll see greater enforcement of it,” Spicer said during a news conference.

Spicer didn’t offered details about future enforcement, but his comments were the strongest indication yet on how Trump’s administration plans to handle marijuana, the Associated Press reports. 

Under the Obama administration, federal law enforcement was asked not to intervene in state’s marijuana laws.

A recent poll showed that 59% of Americans believe marijuana should be legal, while 71% oppose a federal crackdown.

Marijuana advocates said a crackdown would increase marijuana sales in the black market, emboldening cartels.

“It is hard to imagine why anyone would want marijuana to be produced and sold by cartels and criminals rather than tightly regulated, taxpaying businesses,” said Mason Tvert, communications director for the Marijuana Policy Project.