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DWI traffic deaths in Minnesota (0)

Posted in Law Enforcement News February 8th, 2010 @ 1:45 pm by Linda 

DWI traffic deaths in Minnesota account for at least one-third of all traffic deaths. This statistic is lower than previous years however; there is much work to be done to halt DWI traffic deaths according to the Department of Safety’s (DPS) latest report.

Details of the report include:
- 4,245 alcohol-related crashes occurred in 2008 resulting in 163 deaths and 2,896 injuries.
- 35,794 motorists were arrested for DWI, translating to 98 DWI arrests a day.
- In Minnesota, alcohol-related deaths decreased by 14 percent (190 in 2007, 163 in 2008).
- Nationally, alcohol-related deaths decreased by 19 percent (17,036 in 2007, 13,846 in 2008).

The DPS is aggressively looking to lower these statistics in 2010 by enhancing DWI patrols on the counties of: Anoka, Dakota, Hennepin, Olmsted, Otter Tail, Ramsey, Rice, St. Louis, Scott, Sherburne, Stearns, Washington and Wright. These 13 counties accounted for more than one-half of the state’s total alcohol-related deaths and serious injuries during 2006–2008.

Additionally, Governor Tim Pawlenty has proposed that all convicted DWI offenders be required to have ignition interlocks installed in their vehicle or face a longer revocation period. The proposal also would lower the alcohol concentration limit from 0.20 to 0.15 for enhanced administrative sanctions. A current statewide interlock pilot program is active with nearly 600 participants.

The report finds that one in eight Minnesota drivers — 523,891 — have a DWI on record, and one in 18 has two or more DWIs. DPS reports 41 percent of those who incur one violation will incur a second DWI.

More controversy with medical marijuana cards (0)

Posted in Illegal Drugs February 5th, 2010 @ 2:10 pm by Linda 

If you are a criminal on probation in Colorado in some cases, you can legally use medical marijuana. Of the 22 judicial districts in Colorado, only four allow criminals on probation with medical marijuana cards to smoke all the pot they want. In the other judicial districts, it is up to the judge to determine the use of medical marijuana.

According to District Attorney Scott Storey, he believes it would break federal law to allow people on probation to smoke medical marijuana while still serving their sentences. DA Storey recently said, “Probation is a privilege. Frankly, you commit a felony; your presumptive sentence is the Department of Corrections. But we have other alternatives to the Department of Corrections, one of which is probation. But it is a privilege, not a right. If you’re going to take advantage of that privilege, you have to follow the rules.”

One man who was convicted of three counts of sexual assault on a child in 2005 is currently on probation in Arapahoe County. The judge in this district is allowing this man to smoke marijuana for his old injures while on probation, over the protests of District Attorney Carol Chambers. The District Attorney opined that she felt it was not a good idea to allow a convicted sex offender to get high. People on probation have admitted to violating the law. There are different public safety concerns and different laws that apply to them then apply to the rest of the community.

A District Attorney in the 3rd Judicial District disagrees with the ruling that allows all probationers with medical marijuana cards to smoke pot. He said that a significant number of them on probation are drug abusers and the judicial system is trying to get them sober. Their abuse is contributing to their behavior and we are trying to modify their behavior so they’re not intoxicated all the time. The fact that they have medical marijuana cards allows them to sidestep the objective to lead sober lives.

This controversy throughout the state of Colorado needs to be resolved by lawmakers who can pass a law to either allow or deny criminals on probation from smoking medical marijuana.

Oakland, California storeowner opens one-stop shop for medical marijuana cultivation (0)

Posted in Illegal Drugs February 1st, 2010 @ 2:41 pm by Linda 

According to the San Francisco Chronicle , IGrow is a 15,000 square foot warehouse close to the Oakland airport. This warehouse, believed to be the largest in the state, is a one-stop shop for medicinal marijuana cultivation.

On-site is a doctor to get you a cannabis card and of course sell you the necessary equipment for indoor, hydroponic cultivations such as pumps, nutrients, tubing to lights and fans. Also on-site is a technician to show you how to build your own “weed farm” in your home and maintain it weekly.

This marijuana supply store is hoping that a statewide ballot measure in November will be approved to allow recreational marijuana. The supporter of this measure is hoping to lay the groundwork to train people for working in the cannabis industry. Cities from Los Angeles to Berkeley are still working on the permits and regulations for medical marijuana dispensaries. Last summer Oakland voters approved to have the city tax and regulate cannabis businesses. Thus far, only four licensed dispensaries have been approved.

Some people believe that it isn’t fair to medical patients to spend $120 a week for a quarter-ounce of marijuana while growing your own may cost $1,000 to set up an eight plant system and growing it yourself. The cost per year would drop dramatically and of course, you could sell any leftovers to a dispensary at a cost of three pounds for $12,000.

Leave it to the people of California to be on the cutting-edge. Will marijuana be accepted in the near future either for medical purposes or for recreational purposes? Only the people of California can tell us for sure.

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