Self-proclaimed pro-marijuana activist Mark Roen posted a Youtube video Thursday bragging about arriving at a food bank in his limo and hauling home free supplies.
Roen, also known as “Bong Rip”, admitted that his actions may not be “100 percent morally correct” but that his efforts have exposed how the homeless supposedly exploit the Huntington Beach charity system.
"Look at me, dressed...nicely shaven, hair washed. The lady's asking me if I'm homeless,” Roen said in his video. “I had to say yes. I wasn't really prepared for the whole scam."
The Youtube entertainer added that he lives in his music studio, his limo and occasionally on his parents’ couch. Technically, Roen argued, he is homeless.
Roen also defended his actions by claiming to expose the high sodium products given to the homeless by an unspecified church-run food bank.
In response to the tasteless video, executive director of Someone Cares, a soup kitchen in Costa Mesa, said it was disheartening to see someone like Roen make fun of a person’s unfortunate position.
Lt. Mitch O’Brien of the Huntington Beach Police Department said that while lying to a food bank is disrespectful and rude, Roen technically didn’t commit a crime.
Roen reported that he will return to the food bank Thursday to live stream himself taking food from the kitchen.
A Northern California elementary school teacher was arrested Friday for allegedly lacing a potluck meal with marijuana.
Teresa Gilmete Bager, 47, was arrested for suspicion of poisoning six weeks after other teachers from Matthew Turner Elementary School in Benicia reported feeling ill. This apparently came on the heels of an employee potluck dinner held at a private residence.
"One of the partygoers was rushed to the hospital with severe reactions; she was hospitalized," Lt. Frank Hartig of the Benicia Police Department told CNN affiliate KPIX. "The very next morning, another partygoer was taken to the hospital, because she continued to feel like she was under the influence of something."
A 15-year-old fell ill after eating leftovers that someone brought home from the potluck, police said.
At least one attendee tested positive for THC, or Tetrahydrocannabinol, the principal toxin in marijuana.
Police said Badger "allegedly confessed her involvement to individuals who were also in attendance at the party."
She is being held at Solano County Jail in lieu of $15,000 bail.
A Polish prisoner was busted this week after guards discovered a photo he posted on Facebook of himself posing with a marijuana plant.
Marcin Zenardski took a picture of himself using a contraband smartphone that was smuggled into prison, showing an equally illegal cannabis plant he grew from seed in his cell, Metro reported.
Zenardski also used the mobile phone to keep in contact with friends, watch TV shows and browse the web.
He managed to smuggle cannabis seeds and grew a plant in his cell without anyone’s knowledge in Garsten jail, Upper Austria.
Zendarski started distributing marijuana to other prisoners, according to the Polish newspaper Fakt.
The photo became popular around the internet and prison guards soon found out about his actions.
Prison officials conducted a search of the entire jail and found illegal substances, plants and mobile phones.
Zendarski was given more time in prison for drugs and fined for carrying a smartphone. He is also now under special surveillance after getting death threats from other inmates who suffered defeat when they were caught with illegal items.
After a recent poll concluded that the majority of Californians favor the legalization of marijuana, it’s becoming increasingly clear that the state may soon make that a reality.
A brand new survey from The Field Poll, released on Tuesday, found that of the 55 percent of people polled were in favor of marijuana legalization. Of that 55 percent, 47 percent believe it should come with regulations such as age restrictions while eight percent believe that anyone should be able to buy it freely.
“I don’t think it’s any worse than alcohol,” said 62-year-old poll respondent Janice Holland. “So I think at a certain point people have the ability — and the brain growth, when you’re adults — to make decisions about whether or not you want to get high.”
The Field Poll began surveying people in California regarding marijuana legalization in 1969, and back then, a similar survey found that 75 percent were against the legalization of the drug while only 13 percent were for it. The difference in results between then and now is a clear sign of the overall change in attitude towards the controversial drug.
In addition to seeking opinions regarding the legalization of marijuana, the survey found that the majority of people in California would be in favor of a new initiative that sets out to decriminalize hemp and cannabis usage.
The initiative, which is being set forth by the California Cannabis Hemp Initiative 2014 advocacy group, is seeking to legalize the use of hemp and cannabis for all purposes and would set restrictions for marijuana usage, such as a 21-year-old age minimum for purchase and a standard level of intoxication, much like there is currently with alcohol. Of those surveyed, 56 percent said that they would vote yes for this initiative if it was on the ballot this coming November.
“It is more clear than ever that Californians are ready to try something new,” said Stephen Gutwillig of the Drug Policy Alliance. “They’re ready to control marijuana in a different way.”
Marijuana legalization could actually happen in California in 2014, experts say.
Jeff Mizanskey, Sentenced To Life In Prison For Marijuana Convictions, Seeks Executive Clemency After 20 Years Behind Bars
A Missouri man who has already served two decades in prison for marijuana convictions is hoping that Gov. Jay Nixon will commute his sentence to time served.
Jeff Mizanskey’s last arrest came after he drove an intended recipient of marijuana to a motel for a meeting where the recipient would apparently receive the cannabis. Mizanskey and the intended recipient were arrested by police as they left the motel room, according to information on The Weed Blog.
The intended recipient was found with seven pounds of marijuana on him and he pleaded guilty and received a 10-year sentence.
Mizanskey was found with three grams of cannabis, but he was prosecuted for aiding intended recipient in possessing cannabis with intent to distribute. After being convicted, a judge sentenced him to life in prison under Missouri law as a prior and persistent drug offender. He had three prior cannabis-only felony convictions.
Mizanskey reportedly has no other criminal record and has repeatedly tried to get relief from the Missouri Court of Appeals and Federal Courts during the past 20 years of his incarceration. He recently submitted an application for executive clemency to Gov. Jay Nixon asking that his sentence be commuted to time served.
Just this week, new data from a Gallup poll indicated that for the first time, a majority of Americans support the legalization of marijuana. According to the poll, 58 percent of Americans are now in favor of legalizatio, and the percentage has continued to rise over the last decade.
Conservative activist Grover Norquist recently announced that taxing marijuana upon its legalization would not violate the anti-tax pledge that he and congressional Republicans signed.
By signing the pledge, Republicans vowed to their constituents that they would not raise taxes under any circumstances.
“That's not a tax increase,” Norquist said. “It's legalizing an activity and having the traditional tax applied to it.”
He compared legalizing marijuana to a state legalizing the sale of liquor on Sundays or allowing grocery stores to sell beer and wine.
Earlier this year Norquist allied with Rep. Earl Blumenauer, who introduced a bill that would reduce the tax burden of small marijuana businesses. Norquist’s group Americans for Tax Reform also supported the bill.
Norquist argued that ordinary and necessary businesses should be granted their appropriate business expenses.
A Gallup poll published this week found that 58 percent of Americans favor legalizing marijuana. Some Republicans that lean toward Libertarianism, like Rep. Rohrabacher, have begun to find the financial benefits of legalization promising, since legalization would increase government revenue without breaking the anti-tax pledge.
Oregon police busted Curtis W. Croft for his backyard marijuana growing operation recently, after they used satellite images from Google Earth to view his property.
Local police were originally tipped off about Croft’s side business after he was heard bragging about his crops around town. When the department received the tip, one officer decided to check an aerial view of Craft’s property line and discovered the neat rows of greenery.
The image showed a dozen rows growing in Croft's backyard.
Because Google Earth images are sometimes out of date, The Rogue Area Drug Enforcement Team sent an aircraft over Croft’s property just outside of Grant's Pass to confirm the image. The Google satellite images were taken in June, though the flight confirmed that the 50-year-old was still in business.
Though medical marijuana is legal in Oregon, only a certain amount can be grown.
Police checked medical records and confirmed that Craft was a registered caretaker with five patients, though he was caught growing three times the legal amount – that is, 94 plants instead of 30.
Crost was arrested on drug charges and released last week.
Colorado Mom Sierra Riddle Agrees To Treat Son's Cancer with Chemotherapy After Initially Choosing Medical Marijuana
Sierra Riddle, the Colorado mom who made headlines by choosing to treat her 3-year-old son’s leukemia with cannabis rather than chemotherapy, is now reportedly agreeing to chemo treatments.
As recently reported by Opposing Views, Riddle’s son Landon was diagnosed a year ago, and at the time, his prognosis didn’t look good. Once they got the diagnosis, the boy started chemotherapy treatments, but after witnessing the devastating effects it had on the boy, Riddle decided to stop chemo and turn to cannabis oil capsules.
According to both doctors and Riddle, the cannabis treatment did shrink the tumor and buy Landon time, but now doctors are insisting he undergo chemo. Riddle says that she was given two options: agree to chemotherapy, or go to court.
“It’s horrible,” says Riddle. “It’s not even a decision I got to make so I can’t say I made this decision. He’s already having some side effects, which I knew was going to be the case. There has been some vomiting and emotional issues with anger and rage; he’s not eating very well these past couple days.”
Riddle says that even though she has agreed to chemotherapy, she is still using the cannabis treatment at the same time, and is hoping that a doctor will back her in that decision.
A brand new study shows that certain aspects of cannabis are extremely effective as anti-cancer drugs.
A number of different non-hallucinogenic cannabinoids, or compounds derived from cannabis, were tested to see if they had any anti-cancer properties, and all of the six studied showed those properties.
“This study is a critical step in unpicking the mysteries of cannabis as a source of medicine,” says Dr. Wai Lui, leader of the study. “The cannabinoids examined have minimal, if any, hallucinogenic side effects, and their properties as anti-cancer agents are promising. These agents are able to interfere with the development of cancerous cells, stopping them in their tracks and preventing them from growing.
“In some cases, by using specific dosage patterns, they can destroy cancer cells on their own,” Lui continued. “Used in combination with existing treatment, we could discover some highly effective strategies for tackling cancer. Significantly, these compounds are inexpensive to produce and making better use of their unique properties could result in much more cost effective anti-cancer drugs in future.”
The researchers carried out their study at St. George’s, University of London, and tested the six different cannabinoids on leukemia. Researchers say that they will continue to study cannabinoids and their effective on cancer, and look at their effectiveness when combined with normal treatments.
Terminally Ill Cancer Patient Benton Mackenzie Arrested, Along with Family, For Growing and Using Marijuana
A terminally ill man and his family in Iowa are facing jail time for medical marijuana use and growth at their home.
Benton Mackenzie, 47, along with his wife, his adult son, and his parents, with whom they are living, are all being charged with growing marijuana for personal use. Mackenzie and his family claim, however, that the marijuana is grown only because it is the only thing that helps his pain.
Mackenzie’s doctors say that he will eventually die from angiosarcoma, as new tumors are continuing to grow. The man was held in jail for 42 days, but was eventually released because, according to Mackenzie’s public Facebook profile, the county didn’t want to pay for his medical expenses.
“Wow, long couple of days! I am out on pretrial release, because they (Scott County) doesn't want to spend the money for my medical expenses. Loretta L Mackenzie [wife] is still in jail on $5000 cash only bond, but we are fighting to get it reduced and or released like me. Will put more details tomorrow. Mentally and physically exhausted,” writes Mackenzie in the August 21st post.
According to reports, 30 new lesions appeared on Mackenzie during his jail stay, all extremely painful. When at home, he would use hemp oil, made from cannabis, to alleviate the pain, as he claims was the only thing that worked.
Medical marijuana use has long been debated, with many researchers saying that for cancer patients and others with chronic or terminal illnesses, it drastically improves their quality of life. It has also been shown to have healing effects for certain diseases, and while it is legal in some states, it is not in most. Growing marijuana is illegal in most states, including Iowa, where Mackenzie and his family are now facing criminal charges.
Prosecutors say that Mackenzie’s marijuana use is not just due to his terminal cancer, but claim that he has been using and growing pot for years. They say that he has a criminal record with a history of prove prior arrests for growing marijuana.
Still, Mackenzie and his family maintain that the marijuana was helping him live with his terminal illness. They now have to prove that to a judge.