Tag Archives: Marijuana

What did we learn today with Big John and Ramblin’ Ray? (10-22-18)

Big John and Ramblin’ Ray cover the shortage of legal marijuana in Canada just a week after legalizing it, the anniversary events from Nixon’s Saturday Night Massacre, plus the Mega Millions lotto roll over. Have you bought your ticket?

Weed Appreciation Day

According to Checkiday.com (and some other legit or not sources around the internet), Tuesday, March 28, 2017 is “Weed Appreciation Day.”

The International Business Times, however, is killing our buzz by reporting that today isn’t necessarily a day to celebrate marijuana-weed. Nope, they say it to honor “as any plant that isn’t valued where it’s growing,” as labeled by Merriam-Webster.

By that definition, it appears that we should be celebrating the dandelions that will be taking over our yards in a few months. Damned, dandelions!

So today we will celebrate crabgrass, ragweed (it’s coming to a nose near you), clover, ivy and all of the other weeds growing in our gardens.

In the meantime, as you wait for 4/20 to come in less than a month, enjoy some Stewie and Brian.

Bills to legalize marijuana introduced in General Assembly

(CHICAGO) Separate pieces of legislation aimed at legalizing recreational marijuana use in Illinois were submitted to the state general assembly Wednesday.

State Rep. Kelly Cassidy, D-Chicago, filed an amendment to House Bill 2353 that would make it legal for person older than 21 to buy and consume cannabis, which, under the legislation, would be regulated and taxed like alcohol, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.

The amendment was submitted “in the interest of allowing law enforcement to focus on violent and property crimes, generating revenue for education and other public purposes, and individual freedom.”

In the other chamber, state Sen. Heather Steans, D-Chicago, submitted a bill to legalize possession of up to 28 grams of marijuana.

“In a regulated system, the money would go into the cash registers of licensed, taxpaying businesses,” Steans wrote on her website. “It would generate hundreds of millions of dollars per year in new revenue for our state. Prohibition is a financial hole in the ground, and we should stop throwing taxpayer dollars into it.”

Asked if Gov. Bruce Rauner would consider signing either piece of legislation, spokeswoman Catherine Kelly said the two bills were under review.

It was not clear Wednesday night when either piece of legislation would be put to a vote.

In 2016, Rauner signed a bill into law that decriminalized possession of up to 10 ounces of marijuana.

Both Steans and Cassidy have previously sponsored legislation to relax marijuana laws in Illinois.

Cassidy was the chief sponsor of a 2015 house bill that would have made possession of up to 15 grams of pot — about half an ounce — a ticketable offense. Steans sponsored the Senate version.

After months of negotiation, that bill passed the General Assembly. But Rauner issued an amendatory veto, saying possession of more than 10 grams should remain a criminal act. Legislators eventually agreed to the compromise, writing the 10-gram threshold into the bill Rauner signed in 2016.

— Chicago Sun-Times

Pediatricians warn against pot use: Not your dad’s marijuana

CHICAGO (AP) — The American Academy of Pediatrics is beefing up warnings about marijuana’s potential harms for teens.

In today’s issue of the journal Pediatrics, the influential doctors group opposes medical and recreational marijuana use for kids.

It says emphasizing that message is important because most states have legalized medical use for adults, and many have decriminalized or legalized adults’ recreational use.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

More than $1 billion of marijuana sold in Colorado in 2016

By Sophie Lewis, CNN
It’s always 4/20 somewhere — at least in Colorado. The state’s marijuana shops have reached a massive new milestone: $1 billion in legal, regulated sales in the first 10 months of 2016.
Voters legalized marijuana in Colorado back in 2012, but the dispensaries didn’t open until 2014. Last year, the marijuana industry created 18,000 full-time jobs and generated $2.39 billion in economic activity in the state.
And the boom is still growing. According to new data from the state’s Department of Revenue, recreational and medical cannabis shops have sold more than $1 billion of marijuana and related products so far in 2016, already surpassing last year’s total of $996,184,788.
Attorney Christian Sederberg, partner at Vicente Sederberg, played an integral part in Colorado’s Amendment 64, which legalized marijuana in the state. He is estimating that sales of pot will reach $1.3 billion by the end of this year, which could have a total economic impact of over $3 billion.
“This milestone continues to show that the cannabis industry in Colorado is an engine of growth for the economy, a job creator, and one of the biggest industries in the state,” Sederberg told CNN. “People were consuming cannabis before, but now they are buying it from tax-regulated businesses that are benefiting the economy. This has replaced an underground, illegal market.”
Sederberg says that marijuana has become one of the largest industries in Colorado, and certainly the fastest growing.
“From 2015 to 2016, there has been a 53% increase in retail sales and a 9% increase in medical sales,” he said. “Medical sales are growing at a much slower rate, but recreational sales will continue to grow in the double digits.”
All-time high
Marijuana sales in Colorado hit an all-time high in September 2016, generating $127.8 million, according to The Cannabist, a Colorado-based news site covering the industry. But October’s numbers are still sizable: Shops sold nearly $82.8 million of recreational cannabis and $35 million of medical marijuana.
Colorado has three different taxes on recreational marijuana — a standard 2.9% sales tax, a special 10% sales tax, and a 15% excise tax on wholesale transfers, which go towards schools. The state collected just over $6 million from the excise tax, bringing the yearly total to $49.7 million, The Cannabist tallied.
Of that, the first $40 million will go towards school construction projects, and any additional tax revenue from the excise tax will go directly to the state’s public school fund.
In this past election, California, Massachusetts, Nevada, and Maine all approved legal sales of recreational marijuana. Medical marijuana is now legal in more than half of US states. In total, marijuana sales could expand the national market to $21 billion by 2020. That is up from $5.7 billion last year and an expected $7.9 billion this year.
But in the eyes of the federal government, marijuana is still an illegal substance. The Drug Enforcement Administration classifies marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug, the same as heroin, LSD, and ecstasy.

The-CNN-Wire ™ & © 2016 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

Students sickened by gummy bears, hospitalized

(NAPERVILLE) Several students at a suburban Chicago high school who became sick after eating gummy bears laced with an unknown substance have been hospitalized.

WLS-TV reports that officials say 13 students at Naperville North High School Tuesday experienced symptoms of fast heart rate, dizziness and dry mouth after eating the gummy bears and were taken to the Edward Hospital as a precaution. As of Tuesday afternoon, two of the students had been released and 11 remained hospitalized.

Naperville Police Commander Jason Arres says students told officers they think the candy was laced with some kind of “liquid-based marijuana substance” but that authorities are testing the candy.

Police say a 17-year-old was taken into custody for his involvement in the incident but police haven’t elaborated on what the student may have done.


Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Aurora man found guilty of possession of $1.3M in drugs

Gerardo Contreras-Gonzalez | Kane County state’s attorney’s office

(CHICAGO) A west suburban Aurora man was convicted Tuesday of charges stemming from his possession of as much as $1.3 million worth of marijuana, cocaine and meth.

In a jury trial, Gerardo Contreras-Gonzalez, 24, of the 500 block of North Lancaster Drive, was found guilty of two counts of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, two counts of possession of a controlled substance, possession of marijuana with intent to deliver, possession of marijuana and unlawful possession of a firearm — all felony counts, according to the Kane County state’s attorney’s office.

In the morning Aug. 4, 2014, agents with Homeland Security Investigations and Aurora police searched Contreras-Gonzalez’s home and found 803 grams of crystal methamphetamine, 603 grams of cocaine, 9.145 grams of marijuana and a .45 caliber handgun, the attorney’s office said. Scales, a ledger and packaging materials were also found.

Authorities estimated the street value of the drugs to be between $550,000 and $1.3 million, prosecutors said.

Contreras-Gonzalez is scheduled to appear in court for sentencing Nov. 29. He faces between 12 and 50 years in prison.

Stolen laptop leads police to marijuana in Fox Lake

(FOX LAKE) A 22-year-old north suburban man was charged after police looking for a stolen laptop found more than a pound of marijuana in his home Monday.

Police executed a search warrant for a home in the 100 block of Arthur Avenue in Fox Lake looking for a laptop computer reported stolen in early January in Lincolnshire, according to a statement from Lincolnshire police.

While searching the home of Kyle Bozovsky, police found 536 grams of marijuana in several containers in the home and his vehicle, Fox Lake police said. Police also seized $2,500 in cash found in a safe at the home where marijuana was also found.

Bozovsky was charged with felony possession of marijuana and felony possession of stolen property, police said.

Bond was set at $100,000 and Bozovsky was scheduled to appear in court again May 29.

Fox Lake police are continuing their investigation and more charges could be added.

New Law Aims to Lower Pot Penalties

By Nick Gale, WLS News

(CHICAGO)  New legislation is being rolled out that would reduce current penalties for people caught with small amounts of Marijuana.

State Rep. Kelly Cassidy of Chicago says the court and prison systems are clogged with small time offenders, so her bill would remove criminal penalties and issue tickets instead for those caught with small amounts of pot.

This bill will make a ticket possible for anyone possessing 10 grams or less of marijuana,” Cassidy said. “The fine for the ticket would range from $100 to $200 and once paid there would be no mark on someone’s record. It would not leave a record it would be automatically expunged.”

In 2012, Chicago adopted an ordinance allowing police to issue tickets of $250 to $500 for someone caught with up to 15 grams of pot and earlier this year the Cook County state’s attorney’s office says it would dismiss misdemeanor marijuana cases.

Cassidy’s law would take effect statewide.

@ 2015 WLS News

Lake County deputies seize $230K, more than 50 pounds of marijuana

Roger L. Lambrecht | Lake County sheriff’s office

(LAKE COUNTY, Ill.) Deputies raided a northwest suburban man’s home Thursday and seized 54 pounds of marijuana and more than $230,000 in cash.

Roger L. Lambrecht, 43, was arrested in unincorporated Lake County after a specialized gang task force unit executed a search warrant at his home in the 31000 block of Pineview Boulevard, according to a statement from the Lake County sheriff’s office.

Lambrecht was charged with one count each of possession of marijuana over 5,000 grams and possession of marijuana over 5,000 grams with intent to deliver, police said.

He is being held on a $150,000 bond and his next court date is Tuesday.

Alvarez plans treatment over prosecution for misdemeanor marijuana possession

(CHICAGO) People busted repeatedly with minor amounts of marijuana could face treatment rather than prosecution under a set of “sweeping” reforms Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez is set to announce on Monday.

The county’s top prosecutor will announce the “first of its kind alternative prosecution program” during a press conference at her office Monday morning, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.

The program is designed for nonviolent individuals charged with Class 4 felony drug possession and intends to link repeat offenders with social service agencies “for treatment rather than pursuing criminal penalties,” according to the release. Its goal is to begin addressing chronic drug use as a public health issue.

Chicago Police Department spokesman Martin Maloney said Alvarez’s plan is a “welcome step.”

“Mayor [Rahm] Emanuel has long believed that reducing penalties for nonviolent, low-level drug offenses saves taxpayer dollars and, more importantly, keeps nonviolent offenders from a lifetime in the criminal justice system,” Maloney said.

Alvarez spokeswoman Sally Daly said the state’s attorney intends, in most cases, not to prosecute misdemeanor marijuana charges brought against people with no significant history of violence. Individuals with three or more arrests or citations for misdemeanor marijuana possession will instead be referred to drug school, she added.

Class 4 felony drug possession cases made up 25 percent of Cook County’s felony cases in 2014, according to Alvarez’s office. That’s in addition to 15,000 misdemeanor cases for possession of small amounts of marijuana.

© Copyright 2015 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved.

Strip club owner gets license to sell medical marijuana

(CHICAGO) A strip club owner was approved by the state Friday to sell medical marijuana from a West Loop storefront, the Sun-Times is reporting.

The approval of Perry Mandera’s Custom Strains came Friday, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation announced in a news release. The approval means Mandera, the owner of VIP’s A Gentleman’s Club, can open a dispensary in a vacant building at 1105 W. Fulton St.; the business will cater to military veterans.

Mandera had hoped to grow marijuana at 12233 South Avenue O but has not yet been approved to do so.

Also approved Friday was a license for a Curative Health, a dispensary at 4758 N. Milwaukee Ave. in the Jefferson Park neighborhood. Curative Health, operated by Columbia Care, is part-owned by Nicholas Vita, a former Goldman Sachs executive who has opened legal marijuana businesses in other states, but has faced lawsuits along the way.

Businesses were initially put on hold for further review without explanation by regulators with the administration of former Gov. Pat Quinn. On Friday, after review, Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration announced they’d been approved.

The Chicago Zoning Board of Appeals signed off on both businesses in November.

Last year, shortly before launching his bid for mayor, Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia agreed to serve on the advisory committee for Mandera in his effort to win a state license for a medical marijuana dispensary.

Garcia said Friday that he agreed to be on the adversary panel after Brendan Shiller, Mandera’s attorney in the bid for the marijuana license, assured him the dispensary would hire “people of color” and serve veterans and low-income families.

“Those things were appealing to me,” Garcia said. “I don’t know that much about the whole [medical marijuana] industry.”

Garcia said he does not know Mandera, but added, “I’ve known Brendan since he was a little boy.”

Brendan Shiller did not return calls seeking comment. His law office manager said Friday he was not available because he’s on medical leave.

Andrew Sharp, campaign manager for Garcia, said Garcia was never paid by the company and was no longer on the advisory panel.

Rauner earlier this week awarded 18 medical marijuana farming licenses and 52 selling licenses. Rauner’s administration said issues were found during a review of the licensing process used by Quinn’s administration.

Quinn staffers, however, have repeatedly said applications were subjected to a blind review process — without regard to applicants’ identities.


© Copyright 2015 Sun-Times Media, LLC

Police find 386 lbs of pot during North Austin traffic stop

                       Chicago Police photo

(CHICAGO) Police say they found 386 lbs. of cannabis in a man’s SUV during a traffic stop in the North Austin neighborhood on Saturday evening.

Grand Central District officers tried to pull the vehicle over when the driver committed a traffic violation as he pulled out of an alley about 7:15 p.m. in the 1700 block of North Moody, according to a statement from Chicago Police.

The driver, 37-year-old James Hargrett, drove off but stopped and ran from the SUV in the 6200 block of West Cortland, police said. Officers found him hiding under a porch.

About 386 pounds of cannabis with an estimated street value of more than $1 million was found in the SUV, police said.

Hargrett, of the 2900 block of West Adams, faces a felony charge of cannabis possession, a misdemeanor count of driving an uninsured vehicle and three traffic citations.

On Sunday, he posted 10 percent of a $30,000 bond and was released on electronic monitoring, according to the Cook County sheriff’s office. He is next due in court Feb. 13.


© Copyright 2015 Sun-Times Media, LLC