Archive for January, 2015

Augusta firefighters battle stubborn Green Street fire

January 31st, 2015

AUGUSTA — A circuit overloaded by a permitted marijuana growing operation sparked a Saturday fire that damaged a Green Street home.

A male tenant, who was home alone, was taken to the hospital after complaining of chest pain, Augusta Fire Chief Roger Audette said.

Additional Images

Augusta Deputy Fire Chief Dave Groder throws boards that another firefighter working inside passed out to him Saturday at 101 Green St. in Augusta. Firefighters tore out the boards to find any fire that might be remaining in floors and walls.Augusta Deputy Fire Chief Dave Groder throws boards that another firefighter working inside passed out to him Saturday at 101 Green St. in Augusta. Firefighters tore out the boards to find any fire that might be remaining in floors and walls.

Audette estimated the fire caused $40,000 worth of damage.

“The fire was in a couple of walls and floors,” he said. “We had to really dig it out.”

The home, at 101 Green St., is uninhabitable, Audette said. He did not notify the Red Cross to help with essentials and housing because the tenant went to the hospital, but Audette said those services would be offered.

The fire was sparked by an overloaded electrical circuit, Audette said.

“In the back there were all kinds of electrical cords,” he said.

Augusta police Sgt. Christopher Shaw said it appears the cords are associated with a marijuana growing operation. Shaw said the tenant and his wife have medical permits to use marijuana.

Audette notified the state fire marshal about the fire

Article source: https://www.centralmaine.com/2015/01/31/augusta-firefighters-battle-stubborn-green-street-fire/

Friday, Jan. 30, 2015: Electing the Attorney General, helping neighbors, the …

January 31st, 2015

Elect the AG

It’s amazing how the Jan. 25 BDN cartoon and Jan. 23 readers poll misuse the governor’s position on the issue of constitutional officers. The U.S. Constitution was written with three separate branches: executive, legislative, judicial as a set of checks and balances against tyranny. But, Maine’s three constitutional officers are beholden to the Legislature: attorney general, treasurer, secretary of state. Attorneys general are elected by the people in 43 states. But in Maine we get a partisan attorney general. That is, we get Republican or Democrat political bias in our top cop and our top Constitutional attorney.

National political bias in the video record shows then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi saying “We need to pass the Affordable Care Act to find out what’s in it.” With a great deal of trickery the U.S. Congress passed the ACA on a party-line basis. Some 28 (well over half of the states) attorneys general (not Maine’s AG) challenged the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act.

More state political bias: Maine’s Legislature passed a medical marijuana law. The Democratic AG did not declare the law unconstitutional, when the supremacy clause of the U.S. Constitution declares,” the laws of the U.S. shall be supreme …the states shall be bound.” That is, Congress made marijuana an illegal drug in 1914, thus Maine’s medical marijuana law is unconstitutional.

The United States is a republic, not a democracy — that is, a nation of laws. Mainers would be better served by

Article source: http://bangordailynews.com/2015/01/29/opinion/letters/friday-jan-30-2015-electing-the-attorney-general-helping-neighbors-the-economy-abortion/

Using medical pot could make parent unfit, Maine’s highest court rules

January 30th, 2015

The state’s highest court has ruled in a child custody case that although medical marijuana is legal in Maine, it can make a person unfit as a parent.

The Maine Supreme Judicial Court made that decision unanimously Thursday in a York County custody battle between Jeanette Daggett and Dustin Sternick, ruling that Daggett should have primary custody of the couple’s daughter in part because of Sternick’s medical marijuana use.

Sternick kept “voluminous amounts” of baked goods with marijuana in his freezer and jars full of marijuana in the kitchen cabinet, and both locations were accessible to the child, the court’s opinion said. Daggett had testified at trial in Biddeford District Court that their daughter “reeked of marijuana butter” when she returned from staying with Sternick, according to the decision.

The ruling, authored by Chief Justice Leigh Saufley, is the first issued by Maine’s highest court pertaining to custody of a child when a parent is using medical marijuana since it became legal in 1999, according to attorneys on both sides.

“Determining what is in the best interest of the child necessarily involves considering whether a parent’s ability to care for his or her child is impaired, including by his or her marijuana use. As with any medication or substance, the question of whether a parent’s ingestion of marijuana is legal is only part of the equation. The more important question is whether that ingestion negatively affects, limits or impairs a parent’s capacity to parent his or her child,” Saufley wrote in the eight-page decision.

In

Article source: https://www.centralmaine.com/2015/01/29/court-says-medical-marijuana-use-may-be-considered-in-custody-disputes/

BPD arrests alleged campus marijuana dealer

January 30th, 2015

Citing the 1,200 signatures it has collected for a petition that was created in the fall of 2012, Bowdoin Climate Action (BCA) says that it has a mandate from the student body to pressure the College to divest from the top 200 publicly traded fossil fuel companies. The Orient took a closer look at the petition and concluded that BCA has overstated student support for this cause.

Last week, the Orient obtained the physical copies of petitions that BCA presented to President Barry Mills on April 18. BCA declined to share its current petition, which it claims has 1,200 signatories. Instead, BCA offered the Orient a list of the signatories who had also pledged to volunteer for BCA’s divestment campaign. 

“Normally, petition signatures are meant for the target, which was the College, the president, and the Board of Trustees,” said Matthew Goodrich ’15, a leader of BCA. “We had concerns about privacy.” 

When BCA presented the petition to Mills, it claimed that 1,000 students had indicated their support for divestment. After examining the individual petitions, the Orient determined that 923 total signatures were given to Mills.  Among these signatures, there were 60 duplicates, four triplicates, 14 crossed-out names, and 16 illegible names, bringing the total number of valid petition signatories to 825.

In addition to numerical discrepancy between BCA’s claims and the actual number of valid signatures given to Mills, the petition—which BCA publicly presented as one divestment petition—was in fact comprised of two differently-phrased petitions. 

The petitions

The petition used during the beginning of the

Article source: http://bowdoinorient.com/article/9900

Maine Supreme Court rules against medical marijuana patient in child custody …

January 30th, 2015

PORTLAND, Maine — The state’s highest court on Thursday denied the appeal of a Biddeford father who claimed a lower court awarded custody of his daughter to his ex-girlfriend because he is a medical marijuana patient.

Dustin A. Sternick asked the Maine Supreme Judicial Court to review a decision by Biddeford District Court Judge Michael Cantara awarding custody of Sternick’s 4-year-old daughter to the girl’s mother, Jeanette Daggett, who plans to move to Florida.

Sternick argued the court infringed on the protections afforded to him pursuant to the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Act and the court “abused its discretion” in awarding Daggett custody based on Sternick’s lawful marijuana use.

In a case that has broad implications for medical marijuana users, Chief Justice Leigh Saufley wrote the unanimous 6-0 decision rejecting Sternick’s appeal based upon his pot use and the care of his child.

“As with any medication or substance, the question of whether a parent’s ingestion of marijuana is legal is only part of the equation,” she wrote. “The more important question is whether that ingestion negatively affects, limits, or impairs a parent’s capacity to parent his or her child.”

The chief justice went onto say, “Sternick uses large amounts of medical marijuana to treat a medical condition and has a great deal of marijuana, in many forms, all over the home. Friends and relatives of Sternick often drop by the house to obtain or ingest marijuana, and the child has been exposed to marijuana. Sternick’s ability to

Article source: https://bangordailynews.com/2015/01/29/news/portland/maine-supreme-court-rules-against-medical-marijuana-patient-in-child-custody-appeal/

Court says medical marijuana use may be considered in custody disputes

January 29th, 2015

Medical marijuana use may be legal in Maine, but the state’s Supreme Judicial Court has ruled in a child custody dispute that it can make a person unfit as a parent.

The state’s highest court made that unanimous decision on Thursday in a York County custody battle between Jeanette Daggett and Dustin Sternick, ruling that Daggett should have primary custody of the couple’s daughter in part because of Sternick’s medical marijuana use.

Sternick kept “voluminous amounts” of baked goods with marijuana in his freezer and jars full of marijuana in the kitchen cabinet, and both locations were accessible to the child. Daggett had testified at trial in Biddeford District Court that their daughter “reeked of marijuana butter” when she returned from staying with Sternick, according to the decision.

The decision, authored by Chief Justice Leigh Saufley, is the first since 1999, when medical marijuana became legal, that has come before Maine’s highest court pertaining to custody of a child when a parent is using medical marijuana, according to attorneys on both sides.

“Determining what is in the best interest of the child necessarily involves considering whether a parent’s ability to care for his or her child is impaired, including by his or her marijuana use. As with any medication or substance, the question of whether a parent’s ingestion of marijuana is legal is only part of the equation. The more important question is whether that ingestion negatively affects, limits, or impairs a parent’s capacity to parent his or her child,” Saufley wrote in

Article source: http://www.pressherald.com/2015/01/29/court-says-medical-marijuana-use-may-be-considered-in-custody-disputes/

Maine medical marijuana dispensary group promotes study that says THC slows …

January 28th, 2015

GARDINER — Few people know about a recent preclinical study by the Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute in Florida that states THC, the component in marijuana that gets users high, may slow the progress of Alzheimer’s disease, according to Becky DeKeuster of Wellness Connection of Maine.

A Wellness Connection of Maine worker lines up medical marijuana tinctures at a Saturday information session in Gardiner that was held to talk about a University of South Florida’s study that says marijuana may slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. The Florida study was discussed and an introduction to delivery methods and dosing protocols for introducing cannabis therapy to a patient with Alzheimer”s was presented.

“Patients in Maine don’t seem to know about the benefits of THC delaying Alzheimer’s progression,” DeKeuster said in a news release.

To get the word out, Wellness Connection of Maine, the state’s largest medical marijuana dispensary group, held an information session for patients diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers Saturday at its Gardiner office.

Medical marijuana patient Allen Gellasson of Portland, who was recently

Article source: http://www.sunjournal.com/news/maine/2015/01/26/maine-medical-marijuana-dispensary-group-promotes-study-says-thc-slows-alzheimer-s-disease/1647284

Maine medical marijuana dispensary group promotes study that says THC slows …

January 25th, 2015

GARDINER, Maine — Few people know about a recent preclinical study by the Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute in Florida that states THC, the component in marijuana that gets users high, may slow the progress of Alzheimer’s disease, according to Becky DeKeuster of Wellness Connection of Maine.

“Patients in Maine don’t seem to know about the benefits of THC delaying Alzheimer’s progression,” DeKeuster said in a news release.

To get the word out, Wellness Connection of Maine, the state’s largest medical marijuana dispensary group, held an information session for patients diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers Saturday at its Gardiner office.

Medical marijuana patient Allen Gellasson of Portland, who was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, said Sunday that since he’s already taking medicinal marijuana for chronic back pain, he’s hopeful it also will help keep his mind sharp.

“I guess I don’t know If I believe it or not, but if there is a chance,” Gellasson said about the possibility of marijuana slowing the memory-stealing disease.

Neuroscientists at the University of South Florida’s Byrd institute published their findings about the possible therapeutic effect of THC for Alzheimer’s patients in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease in July.

“These sets of data strongly suggest that THC could be a potential therapeutic treatment option for Alzheimer’s disease through multiple functions and pathways,” neuroscientist Chuanhai Cao, lead author of the study, wrote in the findings.

The researchers found that extremely low doses of THC reduce the production of amyloid beta, a protein that develops early in

Article source: https://bangordailynews.com/2015/01/25/health/maine-medical-marijuana-dispensary-group-promotes-study-that-says-thc-slows-alzheimers-disease/

Fire that killed 6 voted Maine’s top story of 2014

January 24th, 2015

Article source: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/dec/25/fire-that-killed-6-voted-maines-top-story-of-2014/

Bath man charged with selling marijuana to Bowdoin College students on campus

January 22nd, 2015

BRUNSWICK, Maine — A 21-year-old Bath man has been charged with selling marijuana to Bowdoin College students on the college’s Brunswick campus.

Justin Elwell was arrested the afternoon of Dec. 10 on Pine Street, adjacent to the college’s Whittier Field and Pine Street student housing, according to Brunswick Police Detective Rich Cutliffe.

Elwell is charged with Class C felony aggravated trafficking in scheduled drugs. Brunswick police announced the arrest Thursday.

Agents from the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency allegedly seized a half-ounce of prepared marijuana and an undisclosed amount of cash.

The arrest followed a months-long investigation by the MDEA and Brunswick police, which was initiated by Bowdoin College Security Director Randy Nichols, according to Cutliffe.

Police allege that Elwell supplied marijuana solely to Bowdoin College students for more than two years. While Elwell allegedly did not hold a medical marijuana prescription, he was allegedly being supplied medical marijuana from local caregivers who do hold licenses.

According to Cutliffe, Elwell met with college students at various locations on the campus to sell the drug at a higher price than the average street value.

“Multiple” Bowdoin College students have been identified as having purchased marijuana from Elwell, and police continue to identify students who referred other students to Elwell, Cutliffe said.

College spokesmen did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

 

Article source: https://bangordailynews.com/2015/01/22/news/midcoast/bath-man-charged-with-selling-marijuana-to-bowdoin-college-students-on-campus/