Archive for March, 2011

340 marijuana plants seized in Bangor bust – Appeal

March 31st, 2011

Detectives seized 340 growing marijuana plants that were being fueled electricity illegally in Bangor on Wednesday, according to the Butte County Sheriff’s Office.

The Sheriff’s Department’s Special Enforcement Unit served a search warrant and reportedly discovered secondary power lines had been connected to PGE’s lines so that power was rerouted to the marijuana growing rooms, bypassing PGE’s smart meter.

In addition to the plants, detectives seized $42,717 in cash. A butane honey oil lab was also discovered.

Christopher Erickson, 33, was arrested and booked into Butte County Jail on felony charges of marijuana cultivation, possession of marijuana for sale, manufacturing of a controlled substance and utility theft.

Erickson reportedly told detectives he moved to the foothills town from Salt Lake City so that he could grow and sell marijuana to medical patients and marijuana store fronts.

Detectives earlier this month seized 215 marijuana plants and $480,000 in cash during another bust in Bangor.

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New England Swings… On Marijuana Law Reform

March 31st, 2011

George Washington hemp

By Phillip Smith

Over, the past decade, New England has quietly emerged as a center of marijuana law reform. Outside of the West, no other region of the country has matched the advances of that historic corner of America bounded by New York, Canada, and the North Atlantic. Is there something in the maple syrup?

When New England comes to mind, people tend to think of the leaves turning in the fall, the wild and rocky Maine seacoast, Vermont’s Green Mountains, or Boston and its historic role in the American Revolution. But given what the region has accomplished in terms of marijuana policy, perhaps it’s better to think of it as an ongoing social experiment, and the question to ask is: Why New England?

New England consists of six states — Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont — with a combined population of 14.4 million. It is dominated by megalopolitan Boston, whose 7.4 million residents make up more than half the region’s residents. But all six states combined still contain fewer people than Florida, New York, Texas, or California.

Of those six states, half have already passed medical marijuana laws (Maine, Rhode Island, and Vermont) and a third have already decriminalized pot possession (Maine and Massachusetts). In both cases, New England scores well above the national

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Maine Needs Doctors Willing to Recommend Medical Marijuana!

March 31st, 2011

Since the new law has taken affect in Maine it seems to be harder to get approval from doctors to use medical marijuana. As a cancer patient this author knows first hand the benefits of using marijuana for the treatment of chemotherapy side effects, but when I went to my doctor to renew my prescription after the first of the year I was rudely told that the corporate doctors office that he works for has barred the recommendation of medical marijuana across the board regardless of circumstances. This had been decided without any patient input and was put into place to relieve the company of any possible liability from recommending a federally illegal substance. They chose to put themselves before their patient’s needs.

» Read more: Maine Needs Doctors Willing to Recommend Medical Marijuana!

Debate on Maine’s marijuana laws

March 31st, 2011

FARMINGTON — A forum on current and proposed marijuana legislation and its consequences will be held at 6:30 p.m. Monday, April 4, in the North Dining Hall of Olsen Student Center at the University of Maine.

Maine lawmakers, police officers and attorneys will discuss and debate whether Maine’s current marijuana laws are too harsh, too lenient or just right.

Maine’s recent citizens’ referendum made medical marijuana legal. Now some lawmakers in Augusta are proposing decriminalizing other marijuana growing and possession laws. All of these efforts are occurring in the face of federal statutes that prohibit the growing and use of marijuana.

Serving on the panel will be Maine Attorney General William J. Schneider; former drug enforcement agent and now Farmington police Chief Jack Peck; state Reps. Deborah Sanderson, R-Chelsea, Benjamin Chipman, U-Portland,  Diane Russell, D-Portland, and Lance Harvell, R-Farmington, who all have ideas to change Maine’s medical marijuana law.

Attorney Woody Hanstein will moderate the event hosted by It is free and open to the public. Written questions from the audience will be considered, along with questions submitted via email prior to the event.

Email a question for the forum participants to:

Sponsored by

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Medical marijuana industry rapidly grows mainstream

March 30th, 2011


Becky DeKeuster is executive director of the Northeast Patients Group, a dispensary that provides medical marijuana to Maine residents in Portland, Bangor, Thomaston and Augusta. | MCT

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WASHINGTON — The medical marijuana industry is beginning to show its age.

After humble California beginnings in 1996, 15 states and the District of Columbia now have legalized marijuana use for ill patients who have a doctor’s recommendation.

Medical marijuana has been found to help with chronic pain, nausea and other symptoms of diseases including cancer, muscular dystrophy and AIDS. Nearly 25 million Americans

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AAPM: Docs Get Advice on Medical Marijuana

March 29th, 2011

WASHINGTON — Doctors in every state in the U.S. have the right to recommend medical marijuana for patients with a qualifying condition, such as cancer or HIV, but they can find themselves in legal hot water if they actually prescribe it — even in those states where medical marijuana has been legalized.

That’s because although the First Amendment right of free speech allows physicians to recommend medical marijuana, under a 2009 decision by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, they may not say or do anything to help patients obtain the drug, according to Joshua Murphy, JD, of the Mayo Clinic Legal Department in Rochester, Minn.

Murphy gave clinicians a primer on the do’s and don’ts in the new — and expanding — playing field of medical marijuana, during a panel discussion here at the American Academy of Pain Medicine meeting.

“Fifteen states and the District of Columbia have laws permitting the use of medical marijuana,” Murphy explained. Those states are Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.

But even if a doctor doesn’t live in those states, medical marijuana may still impact his practice — especially if he lives in a border state, he said.

Murphy’s talk highlighted a panel at the AAPM meeting that tackled the thorny problem of medical marijuana, complicated by varied state laws legalizing it and federal laws that ban it.

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Medical Marijuana Market On Pace To Eclipse Viagra

March 24th, 2011

WASHINGTON – The fast growing medical marijuana trade is on pace to eclipse the market for Viagra, the first sophisticated analysis of the industry found in a report out Wednesday. The study only focused on transactions, ignoring ancillary businesses that serve the industry, such as insurance companies, law firms, public affairs companies or hydroponic equipment makers.

Medical marijuana sales will total $1.7 billion in 2011, just $200 million less than sales for Viagra, Ted Rose, the study’s author, said in a conference call with reporters. The industry has ballooned since the Obama administration declared that it would not raid pot shops as long as they were acting within state law.

The significance of the industry was demonstrated by the list of news outlets on the conference call, which included reporters from CNN Money, Dow Jones, The Associated Press, Fox News and Portfolio.

The report was produced by See Change Strategy and is targeted to medical marijuana businesses, which can purchase the full report for $1,150. An executive summary was made available at

The report surveyed just seven states where medical marijuana is bought and sold in the open market: California, Colorado, Michigan, Montana, Washington, Oregon and New Mexico. Four other states — Arizona, Rhode Island, New Jersey and Maine, plus the District of Columbia — will see legally sanctioned pot shops open later this year. Medical weed is legal in Hawaii, Nevada, Alaska and Vermont,

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US Medical Marijuana Sales Seen At $1.7B-Report

March 23rd, 2011

(Updates with new information in sixth through eighth paragraphs about See Change Strategy.)

The U.S. medical marijuana market will reach $1.7 billion in sales this year, according to a report by See Change Strategy LLC.

The market, which nearly rivals Viagra’s $1.9 billion in sales, is expected to double in the next five years as the number of patients grows and more states adopt laws allowing the sale of marijuana for medicinal purposes, according to the …

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Millinocket woman caught stealing from marijuana patient, police say

March 22nd, 2011

A woman from Millinocket who police say took marijuana from a registered medical marijuana  patient was arrested and is facing several charges for that crime and others, Sgt. Paul Edwards said Monday.

Jessica Higgins, 27, was charged by Officer Paul Colley at about 2:45 p.m. Saturday with stealing drugs after she was stopped on Ohio Street by Officer Jason Stuart and found with the pot and a hidden stash of the anti-anxiety prescription drug Klonopin.

“She stole marijuana from someone who had it as a medicinal registered patient,” Edwards said. Higgins, who was wanted on two outstanding warrants, also “admitted to having pills in her bra, which she removed,” he said of the Klonopin.

Stuart originally stopped Higgins because she was following her boyfriend on foot as they walked down Ohio Street. Both are barred by the court from contacting the other. Stuart charged her with unlawful possession of drugs and violating her bail conditions. Higgins was taken to the Penobscot County Jail and remained there Monday afternoon, a jail official said.


A Houlton man who groped a young woman while she was walking to her car in the municipal parking lot behind the Bear Brew Pub in Orono was punched by her boyfriend and later charged with assault and disorderly conduct, Capt. Josh Ewing said Monday.

Orono police noticed the fight at around 1:15 a.m. Saturday and saw the 21-year-old boyfriend get out of his car and punch Joseph Lezotte, 22. After investigating the brawl, they discovered that Lezotte

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Bills would relax pot laws, increase penalties for cocaine

March 18th, 2011

AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine would have some of the nation’s most relaxed laws when it comes to marijuana possession if a Portland lawmaker’s efforts gain any traction in Augusta.

Rep. Ben Chipman, I-Portland, on Thursday introduced LD 754, which would decriminalize possession of up to five ounces of marijuana, and LD 750, which would allow people to have up to six marijuana plants without facing criminal penalties.

“It is my fundamental belief that people who use marijuana for personal use on a recreational basis are not criminals,”  Chipman told members of the Legislature’s Criminal Justice Committee.

Chipman’s bills do not legalize marijuana. Both possession and cultivation of the drug still would be against the law, but minor offenses would be treated as civil infractions similar to traffic violations. Those in violation could be fined — but not arrested or jailed — and they would have no criminal record.

Currently in Maine, possession of less than 2.5 ounces of marijuana is a civil violation, the maximum punishment for which is a $1,000 fine. Under Chipman’s bill, the fine would be lowered to a maximum of $250 and would apply to amounts of up to 5 ounces. The bill also would remove criminal penalties currently in place for amounts between 2.5 ounces and 5 ounces.

Supporters of Chipman’s bills urged lawmakers to rethink pouring more resources into what they believe has been a failed war on drugs.

“Let public guardians get back

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