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Las Vegas Sun: “While Nevada lawmakers debate the merits of legalizing marijuana, one company is looking at opening the state’s first medical marijuana school this month. The Budtender School is expected to have its grand opening on April 13. Created by the Cannabis Career Institute”
Washington Times: “A majority of Americans now support legalizing marijuana use — the first time public support has crossed the 50 percent threshold, according to new polling from the Pew Research Center. Pew found that 52 percent of Americans said marijuana use should be legal, compared to just 45 percent who said it should be illegal. The level of support has jumped 11 percentage points in the last three years.”
Glendale Star: “Residents of North Glendale will no longer have to make the trip to downtown Glendale to purchase their medical marijuana. A second medical marijuana dispensary [Glendale Greenhouse owned by Paul Perez] opened March 25 at 8160 W. Union Hills Drive, Suite A 106.”
Boston Magazine: “With reggae music playing through the speakers inside a meeting room at the Sheraton, nearly 100 people interested in the emerging medical marijuana market in Massachusetts gathered on Wednesday to find out more about the state laws—and how to use a pot vending machine. Hosted by Dr. Bruce Bedrick, CEO of MedBox, a national medical marijuana dispensary support company that produces biometrically controlled machines, potential business owners sat in on a three-hour seminar . . . . Bedrick says 150 of the company’s machines are in use around the U.S. and Canada and that the machines offer ‘an extra layer of security’”
Arizona Daily Star: “Medical marijuana dispensaries are close to opening in Marana and Oro Valley since both municipalities have given the go-ahead to let them operate. There are currently three dispensaries in the city of Tucson. On March 27, Oro Valley issued a business license for Catalina Hills Botanical Care, 12152 N. Rancho Vistoso Blvd. That follows the Marana Planning Commission’s January approval of Nature Med, a 6,220-square-foot facility with on-site cultivation at 5390 W. Ina Road.
Time: “With Republicans in a chaotic retreat on social issues like gay marriage and immigration, some conservatives are looking for places to set up a skirmish line. Pete Wehner proposes marijuana as the bright line today in the Washington Post. I’ve been for legalization for years. But I think Wehner’s argument deserves a respectful read because he raises at least one crucial question for our society.”
Politico: “Now that voters in Colorado and Washington have legalized recreational marijuana use, dope smokers there can light up without the usual paranoid fear that the cops are at the door. The taxman is another matter. Cash-starved legislators are seeing dollar signs in dime bags — with talk that a tax on marijuana could pump hundreds of millions or even billions into budgets still reeling from the recession.”
Seattle Pi: “‘No. No more than they could stop the end of slavery, no more than you could stop women getting the vote, no more than you can stop the end of Jim Crow segregation,’ said Harry Levine, a university professor with decades of research into the war on drugs and specifically the enforcement of marijuana prohibition. ‘This is a thing that runs counter to the fundamental functioning of a modern society. It’s immensely wasteful, it’s punitive, it’s excessive and it doesn’t make any sense,’ added Levine, a sociologist at City University of New York. While we were waiting for U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to announce what the federal stance toward legal marijuana in Washington and Colorado will be, we’ve been checking in with various experts in marijuana and the enforcement of laws against pot.”
Jamestown Center, a medical marijuana dispensary licensed by the Arizona Department of Health Services, opened for business in Eloy, Arizona, on March 28, 2013. It is managed and operated by pharmacists and a bio-chemist.
Judicial Watch: “Judicial Watch, the organization that investigates and fights government corruption, announced today [March 25, 2013] that it filed an amicus curiae brief (White Mountain Health Center v. County of Maricopa (1 CA-CV 12-0831)) on March 19, 2013, in the Court of Appeals of the State of Arizona, District One, in support of Maricopa County and the State of Arizona’s lawsuit appealing a December, 4, 2012, Maricopa Superior Court ruling that the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (AMMA) did not conflict with federal drug laws. . . . ‘Federal law is unambiguous in that marijuana is a controlled substance regulated under a comprehensive statutory and regulatory scheme. As such, the production, sale, and use of marijuana, other than as part of a federally authorized research program, is a violation of federal law regardless of any state law permitting such activities even in a limited manner’.”
Phoenix New Times: “The state-regulated medical-marijuana dispensary industry that Arizona voters approved in late 2010 is becoming a reality, with three new retail shops opening this week. . . . Those four shops add to the seven already open across the state, records show. Meanwhile, 11 others are in various stages of final approval for operating certificates by the Arizona Department of Health Services, which oversees the program.
Times-Herald: “Year-old criminal charges were dismissed Thursday against Matt Shotwell, a one-time operator of one of Vallejo’s largest medical marijuana dispensaries. Since February 2012, when the Vallejo Police Department’s series of raids on medical marijuana dispensaries launched with Shotwell’s arrest at Greenwell Cooperative dispensary, no operators have been convicted.
A search of the Arizona Corporation Commission’s website for “The Regulated Dispensaries of Arizona Association” and “Regulated Dispensaries of Arizona Association” did not find an entity in Arizona with that name. Does anybody know anything about this so called association?
Azcentral.com: “The half-empty shopping strip at 24 W. Camelback Road looks like so many others in the city . . . . But . . . one of the spaces in this shopping center could soon house Urban Greenhouse Dispensary, central Phoenix’s first and only medical-marijuana dispensary. Unlike many other prospective Valley dispensary owners, who seemingly have tried to stay under the radar, the principals behind Urban Greenhouse have taken a pre-emptively open approach.”
Arizona Republic: “Sen. Kimberly Yee has become the go-to legislator for bills involving Arizona’s medical-marijuana law. The Phoenix Republican is the primary sponsor of three measures this session that would tighten what members in the law-enforcement community have identified as loopholes in the 2010 voter-mandated law as well as pave the way for university researchers to study the effects of medical marijuana. . . . We recently spoke with Yee about her work involving the medical-marijuana act. Here’s an edited excerpt:
Associated Press: “A United Nations-based drug agency urged the United States government on Tuesday to challenge the legalization of marijuana for recreational use in Colorado and Washington, saying the state laws violate international drug treaties.”
American University Washington College of Law Professor Benjamin Leff thinks there is a way that medical marijuana dispensaries in states that have legalized medical marijuana can avoid the application of Internal Revenue Code Section 2080E that causes taxpayers to pay extraordinarily high federal income taxes. Professor Leff wrote an article in Slate called “How legal marijuana sellers can beat a draconian tax” in which he states:
“‘The federal tax situation is the biggest threat to businesses and could push the entire industry underground,’ . . . . sellers of controlled substances—in other words, drugs, including marijuana—are not permitted to deduct any ordinary business expenses other than the cost of the goods they are selling. That’s because of section 280E of the federal tax code . . . . I teach tax law, and I have a solution: Marijuana sellers should operate as nonprofit ‘social welfare organizations’.”
I am not a professor of tax law, but I do hold a masters in law degree (LL.M.) in income tax from New York University School of Law and have studied and written about Code Section 280E. My opinion is that the IRS and the federal courts are not going to allow taxpayers to violate federal criminal law (growing, possessing and selling marijuana) and avoid paying federal income taxes or the application of Code Section 280E.
Mohave Valley Daily News: “The Mohave Area General Narcotics Enforcement Team, with the assistance of the Bullhead City Police Department, arrested a Bullhead City resident and his wife after a search warrant was served on their home following an investigation regarding a prior marijuana bust last week. According to Emily Fromelt, spokeswoman for the Bullhead City Police Department, a recent investigation into an illegal marijuana business that led to two arrests also led to the discovery of additional grow operations that contained more than 400 marijuana plants. On Feb. 27, the MAGNET team served a search warrant into the residence of Edwin Harry Rapp III, 39, in the 800 block of Campbell Road, where police seized approximately 175 marijuana plants.
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