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Author Topic: Legalized Marijuana and the Crime Question  (Read 61103 times)
Dos Equis
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« Reply #625 on: April 02, 2018, 03:47:15 PM »

Nevada Makes $30 Million In Marijuana Taxes During First Six Months Of Sales
Mona Zhang , CONTRIBUTOR
FEB 26, 2018
I cover cannabis policy, business, and culture 
Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.

A customer pays for cannabis products at Essence Vegas Cannabis Dispensary after the start of recreational marijuana sales began on July 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

The Silver State’s marijuana industry is still in its infancy, but the cannabis market has raked in more than $30 million in tax revenue for the state so far. Retailers in Nevada have sold more than $195 million in cannabis during the first six months of its adult-use market.

Unlike other states (including California, Maine and Massachusetts) that legalized recreational marijuana in 2016, Nevada implemented its program a full six months ahead of the new year. The state charges a 15% tax on wholesale marijuana and a 10% tax on retail sales. That netted the state nearly $3.7 million in tax revenue for July 2017 – its first month of recreational sales. Tax revenue hit a peak of nearly $5.84 million in October 2017.

The state has seen its marijuana sales soar past Colorado's cannabis sales during the first months of its legal market. Cannabis analytics firm New Frontier projects Nevada’s state-legal marijuana market to be worth $622 million by 2020.

Much of the market’s success can be attributed to the tourist-friendly Las Vegas. McCarran International Airport, which serves Las Vegas, recently installed about 20 marijuana “amnesty boxes” on its premises. The boxes allow tourists to safely dispose of cannabis before boarding a flight. Local laws also prohibit marijuana on airport property.

While there has been some political wrangling over how that marijuana money gets distributed, the state is sending a good chunk of it towards education. Other cannabis-legal states have done the same – in Colorado, wholesale pot taxes are set aside for a public school fund, in addition to paying for regulatory oversight, youth drug prevention, and substance abuse treatment.

All of that tax revenue has caused some cash-strapped states to consider legalizing marijuana. The potential of legal cannabis to help balance the budget has been key to the legalization debate in Connecticut. While state Governor Dannel Malloy has been an opponent to legalizing cannabis, he included the possibility of recreational legalization as an option to consider for balancing the budget.

But lawmakers who are considering cannabis reform as a means to help fill state coffers should reconsider their motivations. Andrew Freedman, Colorado’s first marijuana czar (who now has his own consulting business) told me in 2016 that potential tax revenue shouldn’t factor into the legalization discussion: “People truly overestimate what you can do with marijuana money,” he said.

“At the end of the day, the debate shouldn’t be about tax revenue. ‘Should we lock up fewer people for marijuana?’ vs. ‘Is this going to create more of a burden on public safety?’—that’s where the debate should be.”

https://www.forbes.com/sites/monazhang/2018/02/26/nevada-makes-30-million-in-marijuana-taxes-during-first-six-months-of-sales/#553758ac3a7f
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« Reply #626 on: April 04, 2018, 05:54:42 PM »

Shocked

Major drug bust in affluent Georgia homes yields $7M in marijuana, 9 arrests, officials say
By Lucia I. Suarez Sang, Fox News



The basements in six Georgia homes were converted into indoor greenhouses for marijuana production, cops say.  (Hall County's MANS)

Georgia police discovered a "highly" sophisticated indoor pot operation in a Gainesville home, where a basement was converted into a greenhouse holding more than 500 marijuana plants, officials told Fox News.

“The photos really don’t do it justice,” Lt. Dan Scalia, who is in charge of the Hall County Multi-Agency Narcotics Squad, told Fox News on Thursday. “Some of the plants were taller than me.”

The home was part of a large-scale indoor marijuana growing network in northeast Georgia, officials said. Five other homes were searched, and authorities said they seized more than 300 pounds of marijuana and more than 1,500 plants totaling an estimated value of $7,168,900.

“It's the biggest drug network that I have ever been a part of,” Scalia said.


Authorities reported seizing more than $7 million in marijuana in Georgia.  (Hall County Multi-Agency Narcotics Squad)
The investigation began in early September after the narcotics squad received a tip about a possible grow house in the area. A three-week investigation led them to uncover a major network of interconnected homes, Scalia said.

Nine people have been arrested in connection with the operation.

Minh Luong, 53, of Gainesville; Phi Ngoc Luong, 25, of Hoschton; Henry Nguyen, 48, of Gainesville; Hang Nguyen, 53, of Duluth; and Thao Phoung Nguyen, 26, of Hoschton, were taken into custody on Sept. 18.

Trung Bui, 47, of Flowery Branch; Nam Van Dao, 46, of Gainesville; and Thu Thai Phan, 50, and Binh Van Hoang 52, both of Flowery Branch, were taken into custody several days later.


Top, left to right: Nam Van Dao, Phi Ngoc Luong, Minh Luong, Thi Thi Phan. Bottom, left to right: Bin Van Hoang, Thao Phoung Nguyen, Hang Nguyen, Henry Nguyen. A mugshot for Trung Bui was not available.  (Hall County Multi-Agency Narcotics Squad)
All nine suspects were charged with manufacturing, trafficking and possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.

Additional arrest warrants were issued for Vinh To, 63; Sen Thi Do, 46; and Dung Nguyen, 47, all of Flowery Branch.

Scalia said the suspects were very stealthy in how they ran the operation – keeping a low profile, being considered good neighbors and maintaining the homes. He said basements were modified with special heat lamps and a custom ventilation system.


Authorities seized more than 300 pounds of marijuana and more than 1,500 plants.  (Hall County Multi-Agency Narcotics Squad)
“Nothing [suspect] was visible on the outside of the homes,” he added. “The basements were modified to handle the capacity.”

Scalia said the narcotics squad is working to determine how long the network has been operational and where the drugs were being distributed to.

The FBI North Georgia Major Offender Task Force and the Georgia National Guard Counter Drug Task Force aided Hall County’s squad.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/10/12/major-drug-bust-in-affluent-georgia-homes-yields-7m-in-marijuana-9-arrests-officials-say.html

Huge case of this has surfaced to record.  Involving the Chinese (i beleve) and will post as it develops a little further. 

Problem for them, is that they allowed many (and I mean many) individual cases to exist on a single trail.  Maybe they became intoxicated by the smoke of money -- forget the marijuana.
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« Reply #627 on: April 04, 2018, 06:04:35 PM »

(KCRA) Hundreds of federal and local law enforcement agents have seized roughly 100 Northern California houses purchased with money wired to the United States by a Chinese-based crime organization and used to grow massive amounts of marijuana illegally, authorities said Wednesday. The raids culminate a months-long investigation focusing on dozens of Chinese nationals who bought homes in seven counties. Most of the buyers were in the country legally and came from as far away as Georgia, Illinois New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania, U.S. Attorney McGregor Scott said.

(KCRA)
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« Reply #628 on: April 04, 2018, 06:11:07 PM »

Fresh Off the Boat!  (...and right to the vice!)

 Tongue Tongue

No, we've only ourselves to blame for all of it.  100% serious.
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« Reply #629 on: April 05, 2018, 07:55:52 PM »

is it strange that some people on this site are anti drivers license for illegal immigrants but pro marijuana? Is is hypocritical to say in one thread the law is the law when it comes to drivers license for illegals, and pro marijuana? Asking for a friend?
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« Reply #630 on: April 06, 2018, 01:10:33 AM »

is it strange that some people on this site are anti drivers license for illegal immigrants but pro marijuana? Is is hypocritical to say in one thread the law is the law when it comes to drivers license for illegals, and pro marijuana? Asking for a friend?

DE isn't pro-marijuana, tmk.
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« Reply #631 on: April 06, 2018, 09:21:20 AM »

DE isn't pro-marijuana, tmk.

Don't try and confuse him with the facts. 
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« Reply #632 on: April 06, 2018, 01:26:43 PM »

Don't try and confuse him with the facts. 

Yes, and with all due respect, the idea of comparing an inside issue (marijuana use by Americans) with one that comes entirely from outside (illegal entry into the country) doesn't sound too consistent.
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« Reply #633 on: April 06, 2018, 03:55:56 PM »

Yes, and with all due respect, the idea of comparing an inside issue (marijuana use by Americans) with one that comes entirely from outside (illegal entry into the country) doesn't sound too consistent.

Yeah, I agree. It was a stretch
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« Reply #634 on: April 16, 2018, 09:57:20 AM »

Trump, Gardner strike deal on legalized marijuana, ending standoff over Justice nominees
By Seung Min Kim April 13, 2018

President Trump has promised a top Senate Republican that he will support congressional efforts to protect states that have legalized marijuana — defusing a months-long standoff between Sen. Cory Gardner and the administration over Justice Department nominees.

In January, the Colorado Republican said he would block all DOJ nominations after Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a memo that heightened the prospect of a federal marijuana crackdown in states that had legalized the substance. Gardner’s home state made recreational marijuana legal in 2014.

In a phone call late Wednesday, Trump told Gardner that despite the DOJ memo, the marijuana industry in Colorado will not be targeted, the senator said in a statement Friday. Satisfied, the first-term senator is now backing down from his nominee blockade.

“Since the campaign, President Trump has consistently supported states’ rights to decide for themselves how best to approach marijuana,” Gardner said Friday. “Late Wednesday, I received a commitment from the President that the Department of Justice’s rescission of the Cole memo will not impact Colorado’s legal marijuana industry.”

He added: “Furthermore, President Trump has assured me that he will support a federalism-based legislative solution to fix this states’ rights issue once and for all. Because of these commitments, I have informed the Administration that I will be lifting my remaining holds on Department of Justice nominees.”

Gardner, who heads the campaign operation charged with hanging on to the Republicans’ Senate majority, was irate in January when Sessions revoked guidance from the Obama administration, known as the Cole memo, that had discouraged prosecutors from enforcing federal marijuana laws in states that had legalized the drug.

Especially infuriating, from Gardner’s perspective, was that Sessions had pledged during his confirmation process for attorney general he would leave states that had legalized marijuana alone, according to the senator.

The January memo from Sessions stated prosecutors should use their discretion in weighing whether charges were warranted, rather than abiding by the Obama-era guidance.

Trump has held a sharply different view from Sessions on the issue. During the presidential campaign, Trump said in an interview with KUSA-TV in Colorado that he said “it’s up to the states” on the marijuana issue.

Trump “does respect Colorado’s right to decide for themselves how to best approach this issue,” White House legislative affairs director Marc Short said in an interview Friday.

Gardner held up about 20 Justice nominees, a significant number considering Senate Republicans and the White House have for months accused Democrats of slowing down consideration of other Trump picks.

“Clearly, we’ve expressed our frustration with the delay with a lot of our nominees and feel that too often, senators hijack a nominee for a policy solution,” Short said. “So we’re reluctant to reward that sort of behavior. But at the same time, we’re anxious to get our team at the Department of Justice.”

A bill has not been finalized, but Gardner has been talking quietly with other senators about a legislative fix that would, in effect, make clear the federal government cannot interfere with states that have voted to legalize marijuana.

“My colleagues and I are continuing to work diligently on a bipartisan legislative solution that can pass Congress and head to the President’s desk to deliver on his campaign position,” Gardner said.

In addition to Gardner’s holds, DOJ has faced notable bipartisan pushback from Capitol Hill when it comes to marijuana.

Sens. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah) and Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.) wrote to Sessions this week, urging him to back off efforts to curtail medical marijuana research at the Drug Enforcement Administration. The Washington Post reported in August that Sessions’s DOJ was effectively hamstringing the agency’s research efforts by making it harder to grow marijuana.

Separately, former House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) announced this week he is joining the board of directors for a cannabis company and engaged in efforts to allow veterans to access marijuana for medicinal use. He has opposed decriminalizing the substance as an elected official.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-gardner-strike-deal-on-legalized-marijuana-ending-standoff-over-justice-nominees/2018/04/13/2ac3b35a-3f3a-11e8-912d-16c9e9b37800_story.html?utm_term=.9dd8de72d4ac
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« Reply #635 on: April 16, 2018, 09:58:56 AM »

Ex-Speaker John Boehner Joins Marijuana Firm’s Advisory Board
By Jennifer Kaplan
April 11, 2018

The U.S. marijuana industry has a new spokesman: John Boehner.

The Republican former Speaker of the House has joined the advisory board of Acreage Holdings, a company that cultivates, processes and dispenses cannabis in 11 U.S. states. Boehner’s endorsement, after saying nine years ago he was “unalterably opposed” to legalization, could be considered a watershed event: Marijuana has gone mainstream.

“Over the last 10 or 15 years, the American people’s attitudes have changed dramatically,” he said in an interview. “I find myself in that same position.”

Sixty-four percent of Americans, including a majority of both Republicans and Democrats, want to legalize it, according to an October Gallup survey. That’s the most since the pollster began asking the question in 1969, when 12 percent of the population favored legalization.

Former Massachusetts Governor William Weld will join Boehner on the advisory board of Acreage, which holds 35 licenses for cannabis businesses in the U.S. Boehner, 68, was first elected to the House of Representatives from Southwest Ohio in 1990. He was Speaker from 2011 to 2015, when he resigned amid problems with an increasingly fractious Republican caucus.

Since then, he’s served as a board member for tobacco company Reynolds American Inc. and adviser for global law firm Squire Patton Boggs US LLP. Weld, 72, who was governor from 1991 to 1997, was the Libertarian Party’s candidate for vice president in 2016.

‘Immensely Positive’
“We view this advocacy that we get from these two gentlemen as immensely positive for the industry,” said George Allen, Acreage’s president.

The politicians are a sign of a watershed moment for the industry, according to Vahan Ajamian, an analyst at Beacon Securities Ltd.

“It is difficult to overstate the impact of this monumental event for the U.S. cannabis sector,” he said in a note Wednesday after Bloomberg broke the news.

The two former Republican politicians join Acreage as current officeholders vacillate on their support for weed. President Donald Trump has gone back and forth, while Attorney General Jeff Sessions is a longtime opponent. The Justice Department in January rescinded the Obama-era policies that allowed state legal pot markets to flourish.

Both Boehner and Weld say they’ve never tried the drug, but adult recreational use is legal in nine states and Washington, D.C. That means more than one in five American adults can partake. Twenty additional states allow for some form of medical marijuana. The legal market is expected to reach $75 billion by 2030, according to the investment bank Cowen & Co.

Still, the drug remains federally illegal and is classified as a Schedule I narcotic, the harshest of five government ratings.

Supported Referendum
Weld said he’s been in favor of medical marijuana since 1992 and supported the referendum that legalized recreational pot use in his home state in 2016.

“I was a little bit ahead of the field there,” he said in an interview.

Even so, his belief in the functionality of the plant has grown, he said, especially when it comes to easing the opioid crisis.

“Cannabis could be perceived as an exit drug, not a gateway drug,” he said.

Boehner said his perspective shifted after he saw the plant’s efficacy in helping a close friend deal with debilitating back pain. Marijuana’s potential use as a treatment for veterans helped sway him, too. Plus he’s been studying the problems of the U.S. criminal justice system for years.

“When you look at the number of people in our state and federal penitentiaries, who are there for possession of small amounts of cannabis, you begin to really scratch your head,” Boehner said. “We have literally filled up our jails with people who are nonviolent and frankly do not belong there.”

10th Amendment
On top of all those reasons to support the plant, Boehner and Weld say the debate over legalization is, at its core, a discussion of the 10th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which allows states to do what they want.

“If some states don’t want marijuana to be legal, that’s their prerogative,” Weld said. “But that shouldn’t be dictated by the nanny state in Washington.”

Despite the GOP mostly lauding the amendment, Republican politicians have been split on the cannabis issue. Sessions’ harsh words for marijuana, and his decision to roll back Obama-era protections, didn’t deter Boehner or Weld’s decisions to get involved with the industry, they said.

“When I saw the announcement, I almost chuckled to myself,” Boehner said, referring to the policy reversal. “I don’t know why they decided to do this. It could be that the attorney general is trying to force the Congress to act.”

Winding Road
The politicians’ years in public office may help the company navigate the winding road to federal legalization.

“When it comes to an issue like this, that has what I’ll call murky legal issues and political issues, we’re there to provide advice to Acreage in terms of how they work with state and federal governments, how they work with local governments and advice on what states look promising,” Boehner said.

Neither Boehner nor Weld has made a financial investment in Acreage, though Weld says he’s considering it.

“Millennials who will inherit the kingdom before long, they are even more positive about cannabis than the populous at large,” Weld said. “You can look at the trend of millennial opinion and you can see the future.”

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-04-11/ex-speaker-john-boehner-joins-marijuana-firm-s-advisory-board
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Agnostic007
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« Reply #636 on: April 16, 2018, 10:00:10 AM »

Politics at its worst. Blocking nominees regardless of qualifications in order to get a pass for his state. Now I'm all for de criminalizing marijuana, but this kind of politics is whats wrong with washington
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« Reply #637 on: April 16, 2018, 10:08:33 AM »

These California Women Are Trailblazing The Legal Weed Industry

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/women-of-color-fight-for-equity-in-californias-emerging-legal-weed-industry_us_5acfcc17e4b077c89ce6c487
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