Archive for July, 2012

One held, one bailed on Skowhegan pot cultivation charges

July 31st, 2012

1:00 AM

One held, one bailed on Skowhegan pot cultivation charges

By Doug Harlow dharlow@mainetoday.com
Staff Writer

SKOWHEGAN — A Lebanon man remains behind bars this week after he and a Monmouth man were found camping in woods next to a large marijuana growing operation on U.S. Route 2, police said.

Michael Richard Blouin, 53, is being held at the Somerset County Jail in East Madison on $500 cash bond. He faces three felony charges related to marijuana cultivation, punishable by up to five years on each count.

Bobby Bailey Jr., 49, of Monmouth, who was arrested with Blouin July 18, is free on $2,500 bail. He is charged with aggravated cultivation of marijuana, a felony, which carries a maximum penalty of up to 10 years in prison. The charge is aggravated by the fact that he was convicted of marijuana cultivation in September 2010 in Kennebec County.

Bailey also is charged with aggravated trafficking and possession of marijuana.

Both menhad tents set up with lawn chairs and a generator for pumping water from a well on the property, about a mile west of the Canaan town line, according to a court affidavit. The property owner told police the men did not have permission to be there. Neither man had a medical marijuana prescription to grow the drug.

A total of 349 marijuana plants were seized in the raid — 237 growing and 112 mature plants drying in a locked trailer, according to the court documents.

“It was apparent the two men

Article source: http://www.onlinesentinel.com/news/1-held-1-bailed-on-pot-cultivation-charges_2012-07-30.html

Change in marijuana rules

July 27th, 2012

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AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — State health officials have proposed a new set of rules governing Maine’s medical marijuana program.

A key change would make optional a state identification system designed to keep track of patients who are enrolled in the program. The proposed new guidelines would also prevent police from seizing marijuana belonging to a patient, caregiver or dispensary unless the amount of the drug is over the legal limit for those groups or the seizure is linked to an ongoing criminal investigation.

The proposed new rules would be the first update since Maine voters legalized marijuana for specific medical reasons in 2009.

Paul McCarrier of Medical Marijuana Caregivers of Maine expressed concern about a proposed new rule that would require a privacy fence at least 8 feet high around any outdoor marijuana cultivation site.

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Article source: http://www.seacoastonline.com/articles/20120727-BIZ-207270370

Maine agency maps new rules for medical marijuana

July 26th, 2012

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — State health officials have proposed a new set of rules governing Maine’s medical marijuana program.

A key change would make optional a state identification system designed to keep track of patients who are enrolled in the program.

The proposed new guidelines would also prevent police from seizing marijuana belonging to a patient, caregiver or dispensary unless the amount of the drug is over the legal limit for those groups or the seizure is linked to an ongoing criminal investigation.

The proposed new rules would be the first update since Maine voters legalized marijuana for specific medical reasons in 2009.

Paul McCarrier of Medical Marijuana Caregivers of Maine expressed concern about a proposed new rule that would require a privacy fence at least 8 feet high around any outdoor marijuana cultivation site.

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Information from: Kennebec Journal, http://www.kjonline.com/

Article source: http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Maine-agency-maps-new-rules-for-medical-marijuana-3736859.php

DHHS proposes updated set of rules for state medical marijuana program

July 26th, 2012

1:00 AM

DHHS proposes updated set of rules for state medical marijuana program

By Michael Shepherd mshepherd@mainetoday.com
Staff Writer

The Maine Department of Health and Human Services on Wednesday released a set of new proposed rules for the state’s medical marijuana program.

This small marijuana plant was on display during Home Grown Maine — the Medical Marijuana Caregivers of Maine’s first-ever trade show and festival — in 2011.

Staff file photo by Joe Phelan

Related Documents

Public hearing letter
Rules Governing the Maine Medical Useof Marijuana Program

The proposed rules, in response to a law passed last year that liberalized state laws, would be the first update since 2010, the year the department implemented the program. Maine citizens voted in 2009 to establish state-licensed dispensaries to distribute marijuana and a state identification system to keep track of patients, who must have one or more of a list of specific conditions.

The liberalizing bill, L.D. 1296, signed in 2011 by Gov. Paul LePage and sponsored by Rep. Deborah Sanderson, R-Chelsea, made the identification system optional, among other changes.

The state has been working broadly under that law since last year, but without an updated rule set.

“We’ve been doing it voluntarily, but we have to have rules that tell me and the people that work with me how we implement this,” said John Thiele, medical marijuana program director for the Division of Licensing and Regulatory Services at the DHHS.

A letter from division Director

Article source: http://www.kjonline.com/news/dhhs-proposes-updated-set-of-rules-for-state-medical-marijuana-program_2012-07-25.html

Man gets 18+ years for shootout with marshals

July 21st, 2012

July 17

Felon wounded in Portland shootout gets 18-year sentence

By Ann S. Kim akim@mainetoday.com
Staff Writer

PORTLAND — It was late afternoon when U.S. marshals first saw Arien L’Italien in Portland’s Parkside neighborhood — not a good time of day to close in on a wanted man in a densely populated area.

Arien L’Italien

They made their move an hour later, as L’Italien and another man walked uphill on Mellen Street.

Members of the Violent Offender Task Force closed in on the men and announced themselves as police. L’Italien turned with a look of surprise, John Gill, a Scarborough police officer assigned to the task force, said at L’Italien’s sentencing hearing Tuesday in U.S. District Court.

Gill saw a cone of light coming from L’Italien’s hand and realized L’Italien had fired a gun in his direction. For a moment, Gill said, he thought he had been shot. He dove onto the sidewalk and fired his weapon.

There was more gunfire, shouted arrest commands and the realization that L’Italien had been shot. Gill moved in to handcuff L’Italien.

On Tuesday, District Judge Nancy Torresen sentenced L’Italien to 18 years and four months in prison and five years of probation for his role in the Jan. 27 shootout.

L’Italien, 23, of Biddeford, pleaded guilty in March to assault on a federal officer, being a felon in possession of a

Article source: http://www.onlinesentinel.com/news/Biddeford-man-sentenced-to-more-than-18-years-for-shootout-with-marshals.html

Medical Marijuana Deduction Axed

July 19th, 2012


AUGUSTA, Maine – Maine residents will no longer be able to deduct medical marijuana expenses when calculating eligibility for food stamps.

Last week that practice was stopped by order of federal officials. The U.S. Department of Agriculture told Maine, Oregon and New Mexico they must end the medical marijuana deduction. Mainers will still be able to deduct other drug costs when figuring out their eligibility for the SNAP program.

Congresswoman Chellie Pingree says the USDA is acting unfairly and they should wait for word from Congress before cracking down on the states.

Article source: http://560wgan.com/Medical-Marijuana-Deduction-Axed/13761736

BC Enquirer: Inside a medical marijuana collective

July 19th, 2012

When 27-year-old Kiel Howland announced his plans to open a medical marijuana business — now legal in Michigan — he didn’t get much support, the Battle Creek Enquirer reports.

“Everybody in my family was a critic,” Howland said. “Everyone I met was a critic. Critics have given us the fuel to move forward — but they’re never critics for long.”

Since his licensed collective, The Karmacy, opened in Springfield nearly a year ago, Howland said he has worked to break his industry’s stereotypes. His facility isn’t a dispensary or a compassion club — it’s a research facility. And his visitors aren’t customers, he said — they’re patients, and the collective’s top priority.

For more, please read the rest of the story.

Source: Battle Creek Enquirer

Article source: http://swmichigan.secondwavemedia.com/inthenews/newspotcollective0719.aspx

Man gets 18+ years for shootout with marshals

July 18th, 2012

Yesterday at 9:43 PM

Felon wounded in Portland shootout gets 18-year sentence

By Ann S. Kim akim@mainetoday.com
Staff Writer

PORTLAND — It was late afternoon when U.S. marshals first saw Arien L’Italien in Portland’s Parkside neighborhood — not a good time of day to close in on a wanted man in a densely populated area.

Arien L’Italien

They made their move an hour later, as L’Italien and another man walked uphill on Mellen Street.

Members of the Violent Offender Task Force closed in on the men and announced themselves as police. L’Italien turned with a look of surprise, John Gill, a Scarborough police officer assigned to the task force, said at L’Italien’s sentencing hearing Tuesday in U.S. District Court.

Gill saw a cone of light coming from L’Italien’s hand and realized L’Italien had fired a gun in his direction. For a moment, Gill said, he thought he had been shot. He dove onto the sidewalk and fired his weapon.

There was more gunfire, shouted arrest commands and the realization that L’Italien had been shot. Gill moved in to handcuff L’Italien.

On Tuesday, District Judge Nancy Torresen sentenced L’Italien to 18 years and four months in prison and five years of probation for his role in the Jan. 27 shootout.

L’Italien, 23, of Biddeford, pleaded guilty in March to assault on a federal officer, being a felon in possession of

Article source: http://www.kjonline.com/news/Biddeford-man-sentenced-to-more-than-18-years-for-shootout-with-marshals.html

Maine ends medical marijuana deduction for food stamps

July 18th, 2012

AUGUSTA — Federal officials ordered Maine to stop allowing some food stamp recipients to deduct medical marijuana expenses from their income for determining benefits, and to recover “overpayments” to those recipients.

“They told us it is not an allowable deduction and we have stopped allowing it,” said Dale Denno, director of the Office of Family Independence. The agency oversees the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which is more commonly known as food stamps.

The deduction was limited to elderly and permanently disabled Mainers; others eligible for SNAP benefits did not get the deduction, he said. He said his agency does not know how many individuals are affected by the change, but he believes it is a small number.

Maine — along with New Mexico and Oregon — allowed the deduction because the states have laws allowing the use of marijuana for medical purposes. Denno said Maine allowed the deduction because Maine law requires a doctor’s approval for the use of medical marijuana.

“Since the regulation talked about both prescription drugs and other medications approved by a licensed practitioner, it appeared to be encompassed in that broader definition,” he said. “They now clarify that a household may not use the SNAP medical deduction for the use of medical marijuana.”

States that were told to immediately stop allowing the deduction. “States that are not in compliance may face penalties,” wrote Lisbeth Silbermann of the USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service.

Denno said the SNAP program is funded by the federal government, and “they make all the rules.” He said the

Article source: http://www.sunjournal.com/news/maine/2012/07/18/maine-ends-medical-marijuana-deduction-food-stamps/1224675

Maine ends medical marijuana deduction for food stamps

July 17th, 2012

AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine was one of a handful of states that allowed some food stamp applicants to deduct medical marijuana expenses from their income for the purpose of determining benefits, but last week that practice was stopped by order of federal officials.

“They told us it is not an allowable deduction and we have stopped allowing it,” said Dale Denno, director of the Office of Family Independence, which oversees the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, more commonly known as food stamps.

He said the deduction was limited to elderly or permanently disabled Mainers and not all of the people eligible for SNAP benefits. He said his agency does not know how many individuals are affected by the change but said he believed it was a small number.

Maine, New Mexico and Oregon have laws allowing the use of medical marijuana. Denno said Maine’s law requires a doctor to approve the use of marijuana for medical purposes.

“Since the regulation talked about both prescription drugs and other medications approved by a licensed practitioner, it appeared to be encompassed in that broader definition,” he said. “They now clarify that a household may not use the SNAP medical deduction for the use of medical marijuana.”

Denno said the direction of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which funds and administers the SNAP program, is clear to the three states that the deduction must end or the states face penalties.

“States that currently allow for the deduction of medical marijuana must cease this practice immediately,”

Article source: http://bangordailynews.com/2012/07/17/news/state/maine-ends-medical-marijuana-deduction-for-food-stamps/