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PHILIPPINES: Drug war makeover - Daily Tribune

Bot - Cannabis - Tue, 08/21/2018 - 00:01 (US) Drug war makeover ! Daily Tribune Drug war makeover Mexicob s battle with narcotics is getting an overhaul from&#8230. (Tue Aug 21 08:01:02 2018 PDT)
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Bad Lawmen: Meet 6 of America's Most Drug-Corrupted County Sheriffs

Alternet - Mon, 08/20/2018 - 21:43
Most county sheriffs are dedicated law enforcement professionals. Some aren’t, and sometimes outrageously so.

Last week, the good citizens of Mississippi's Tallahatchie County got a rude shock. The county's top lawman, Sheriff William Brewer, was at the courthouse, which was not unusual. This time, though, he was dressed not in his sheriff's uniform but in an orange prisoner jumpsuit to face federal criminal drug trafficking charges.

According to a federal indictment, over a period of 15 years, Sheriff Brewer had conspired with a local ne'er-do-well to have that person repeatedly rob drug dealers, give stolen cash to Brewer, sell the drugs, then give Brewer part of the proceeds. In return, that man got a free ride for his own methamphetamine trafficking activities. Well, until he started coming up with his own meth supply. When Brewer found out about that, he started demanding a $500 or $600 payment every week for the dealer to carry out his work unimpeded. The dealer eventually became an FBI informant and took his former partner down.

Brewer has now resigned as sheriff, and he has not yet been convicted of anything, but his arrest on drug and extortion charges is yet another disturbing example of the corrosive impact on law enforcement of enforcing drug prohibition.

County sheriffs are unique figures in the American law enforcement landscape. Unlike police chiefs or the heads of federal law enforcement agencies, they are typically elected, not appointed. They are subject to little effective oversight except from voters at the polling booth. They control policing not only of all county territory not handled by municipal police forces, but also the county jail and the policing of the courthouse. They control their own law enforcement fiefdoms.

And they sometimes turn to the dark side. For the past dozen years, the Drug War Chronicle has covered drug prohibition-related law enforcement misbehavior in a recurring feature, "This Week's Corrupt Cops Stories." During that period, hundreds of police officers, DEA agents, FBI agents, Customs and Border Patrol agents, jail and prison guards, and sheriff's deputies have gone down for one or more of the myriad forms of dirty drug policing.

Law enforcement misbehavior has run the gamut from planting drugs on innocent people to ripping off drug dealers and selling their stashes to sexual coercion to lying on search warrants to lying in court to pocketing cash from drug busts to embezzling asset forfeiture funds, and even stealing drugs from those drug drop-off boxes.

It's bad enough when the people charged with enforcing the law flout it, but it's arguably more disheartening and corrosive when the corrupt cops are the very people charged with heading law enforcement offices, such as county sheriffs. There are more than 3,000 of them, holding office in every state except Alaska (no county governments), Connecticut (replaced by State Marshals), and Hawaii (deputies serve in a division of the Department of Public Safety). The vast majority of them are honest law enforcement professionals.

But some are notoriously not. Each year, one or two or three county sheriffs find themselves on the wrong side of the law because of drugs, whether it's stealing them, selling them, or gobbling them down themselves. And sometimes, when they break bad, they do so in a spectacular fashion. Here are a half-dozen of the most outrageous from the past decade alone:

  1. Oklahoma's Custer County Sheriff Mike Burgess. Burgess was hit in 2008 with a 35-count indictment charging him with coercing and bribing female inmates to participate in sex acts. He was hit with 14 counts of second-degree rape, seven counts of forcible oral sodomy, and five counts of bribery by a public official, among other charges. A federal lawsuit filed by 12 former inmates alleges that Burgess and his employees had them participate in wet T-shirt contests and gave cigarettes to inmates who would flash their breasts. Another prisoner alleged she was given trusty status after agreeing to perform a sex act on Burgess, but lost that status when she later refused. After a jury trial, now former Sheriff Burgess was convicted of 13 felonies, including five counts of second-degree rape and three counts of bribery by a public official. Testimony included that of several former female inmates who testified they feared they would be sent to prison if they did not provide sexual favors to the sheriff, as well as two female drug court participants. Burgess sexually assaulted one of them in his patrol car after arresting her for a drug court violation. In March 2009, he was sentenced to 79 years in prison.
  2. Texas's Montague County Sheriff Bill Keating. Another badge-wearing pervert, Keating, 62, went down for a November 2008 drug raid at a home where the victim and her boyfriend lived. The boyfriend was arrested on outstanding warrants and removed by sheriff's deputies, who then searched the house and found meth paraphernalia. Sheriff Keating shooed the remaining deputy out of the bedroom, closed the door, and told the victim, "You are about to be my new best friend." He then threatened to arrest her on drug charges unless she "assisted" him by performing oral sex on him on multiple occasions and becoming a snitch for him. Keating pleaded guilty in that case in January 2009 but was then indicted along with nine jail guards—seven women and two men—for official oppression over allegations that the county jail was like Animal House. That indictment features multiple allegations of guards and inmates doing drugs and having sex with each other under Keatings' watch. Keating was looking at up to 10 years in prison on the original charge when he died of a heart attack in July 2009. The federal charges against him were subsequently dismissed.
  3. Illinois's Gallatin County Sheriff Raymond Martin. Sheriff Martin found himself in hot water in 2009, when he was indicted on federal marijuana trafficking charges after being videotaped repeatedly providing pounds of marijuana to a local man, who would sell the weed and then give Martin the proceeds. That man became an informant for the DEA after Martin threatened him with death when he said he wanted out. It only got worse from there. While in jail awaiting trial, Martin, his wife, and their 20-year-old son were all arrested again, this time on solicitation of murder charges for plotting to knock off the guy who ratted them out. In September 2010, Martin was convicted of 15 counts in the drug trafficking and murder-for-hire scheme. He was sentenced to two life terms in federal prison in January 2011.
  4. South Carolina's Florence County Sheriff E.J. Melvin. The only black sheriff on this list, Melvin was indicted on dozens of federal charges along with 11 others in 2011 for a massive and complex cocaine trafficking conspiracy. He was accused of dealing cocaine from his official vehicle, extorting money from drug dealers for protection or to get reduced charges. State police agents testified that they give Melvin a list of possible drug dealers, only to have him tip them off and arrange to get payments from them to keep the agents away. In addition to the massive cocaine conspiracy, involving multiple kilograms of the drug over a multi-year period, he was also accused of ripping off $5,000 in victim assistance funds for personal use. He ended up convicted on 37 of 43 counts and is now serving a 17-year federal prison sentence.
  5. Kentucky's Whitley County Sheriff Lawrence Hodge. Hodge was indicted on both state and federal charges in 2011 for stealing around $350,000 over a seven-year period, including $100,000 he claimed was used in drug investigations. That wasn't all: Hodge was also charged with ripping off drug dealers and then funneling them to a local attorney. He would get a $50,000 kickback, the department would get a $50,000 "donation," and the dealers would get more lenient treatment. Oh, and he admitted to being strung out on pain pills. Hodge is now doing 15 years of federal time and 17 years of state time, and when he gets out, he has to pay back some $335,000.
  6. Oklahoma's Love County Sheriff Marion "Joe" Russell. Russell was arrested in 2016 on charges of corruption, neglect of duty, and housing a fugitive, but it gets hinkier than that. He was accused of turning a blind eye to meth dealing out of his own home by his adult son, covering up a missing person case where another family member is the main suspect. His son, Willie Russell, had already pleaded guilty to meth dealing. The fugitive, a young woman, was dating Willie and staying at the sheriff's house even though she had four arrest warrants outstanding. Russell would remind her that she was in a "safe haven," and when she left anyway, he arrested her and the man she moved in with—for harboring a fugitive. He was also accused of arresting drunken women in bikinis and taking them to his house instead of to jail. There, they were allegedly sexually assaulted and given meth. The missing persons case involves a young couple who were last seen in a car owned by Russell's nephew. That couple, Molly Miller and Colt Haynes, are still missing, but Russell is now in the clear, having copped a plea deal that resulted in one year of probation and $370 in court costs.

This article was produced by Drug Reporter, a project of the Independent Media Institute.


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Ontario Cannabis Store announces supply agreements with 26 licensed producers - Toronto Star

Google - Cannabis - Mon, 08/20/2018 - 18:34

Toronto Star

Ontario Cannabis Store announces supply agreements with 26 licensed producers
Toronto Star
The Ontario Cannabis Store says it has partnered with 26 licensed producers for its online retail platform. The store, which will be Ontario's only online retailer when recreational marijuana is legalized in the fall, says Monday that the supply ...

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Ontario Cannabis Store says 26 licensed producers will supply online retail platform -

Google - Cannabis - Mon, 08/20/2018 - 18:16

Ontario Cannabis Store says 26 licensed producers will supply online retail platform
WATCH ABOVE: The Ford Government's plan to hand over marijuana sales to private stores also allows municipalities to opt out altogether. Already several locations in the GTA are deciding to just say no to storefront locations. As Matthew Bingley ...
Ontario Cannabis Store announces supply agreements with licensed

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Sneak a peek inside a cannabis retail store - Calgary Herald

Google - Cannabis - Mon, 08/20/2018 - 14:40

Calgary Herald

Sneak a peek inside a cannabis retail store
Calgary Herald
“It's amazing, after a year-and-a-half of hard work, to finally be standing in a finished store”, says Angus Taylor, CAO of New Leaf Cannabis, from his new retail shop at 1935 37 Ave. S.W. “We're really excited to share what this retail experience is ...

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Health unit reports possible contaminated cannabis in Renfrew area - Ottawa Citizen

Google - Cannabis - Mon, 08/20/2018 - 13:22

Ottawa Citizen

Health unit reports possible contaminated cannabis in Renfrew area
Ottawa Citizen
PEMBROKE — Renfrew County and District Health Unit has received reports of unexpected seizures among cannabis users in the Renfrew area. The public is being warned that there might be contaminated cannabis (cannabis mixed with other chemicals or ...

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Not enough signatures for recreational marijuana -

Google - Cannabis - Mon, 08/20/2018 - 10:53

Not enough signatures for recreational marijuana
A petition drive to get recreational marijuana on an Oklahoma ballot failed to get enough signatures, Secretary of State James Williamson announced Monday. Green the Vote collected 102,814 signatures that could be counted for the proposed State ...
Recreational marijuana petition falls short of signatures needed, officials sayKOCO Oklahoma City
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KOKH FOX25 -Oklahoma Secretary of State -
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Why you shouldn't dismiss the risk of marijuana addiction - Vox

Google - Cannabis - Mon, 08/20/2018 - 10:20


Why you shouldn't dismiss the risk of marijuana addiction
It is now widely accepted that marijuana is, at the very least, less dangerous than other recreational drugs. The typical line you'll hear — I certainly do in my email inbox — is that “marijuana is harmless,” often meant as a justification for ...
America's Invisible Pot AddictsThe Atlantic

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Uber-style cannabis delivery service to launch in Edmonton, Calgary -

Google - Cannabis - Mon, 08/20/2018 - 08:01

Uber-style cannabis delivery service to launch in Edmonton, Calgary
An Edmonton business hopes to cash in on the lucrative cannabis market by launching an Uber-style delivery service for medical and recreational users. But whether the ... Once users place their order, the driver will purchase the marijuana and then ...

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Wells Fargo Terminates Banking Services for Florida Political Candidate Over Her Support for Medical Marijuana

Alternet - Mon, 08/20/2018 - 07:28
Click here for reuse options! The bank claims she represents a risk.

Nikki Fried, a Democratic candidate for agriculture commissioner in Florida, reportedly had her campaign accounts shut down by Wells Fargo over her support for medical marijuana.

“Can you confirm the types of transactions expected for this customer & if any of the transactions will include funds received from lobbyists from the medical marijuana industry in any capacity?” a “relationship manager” for Wells Fargo wrote to the Fried campaign for on July 11th.

Medical marijuana controversy: @WellsFargo has terminated banking services for Florida Ag Commissioner candidate @nikkifried over her advocacy for and support by the medical cannabis industry

— Marc Caputo (@MarcACaputo) August 20, 2018


The campaign answered honestly that they have and would continue to do so.

“As a result of a recent review of your account relationships, we determined that we need to discontinue our business relationship and close the account,” the bank responded.

Medical marijuana is already legal in Florida. Fried called the bank's actions "arbitrary" and "unprecedented."

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America's Invisible Pot Addicts - The Atlantic

Google - Cannabis - Mon, 08/20/2018 - 06:21

Vancouver Sun

America's Invisible Pot Addicts
The Atlantic
If not necessarily because of legalization, but alongside legalization, such problems are becoming more common: The share of adults with one has doubled since the early aughts, as the share of cannabis users who consume it daily or near-daily has ...
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