Friday, November 23, 2012

DEA Shuts Down Operations on the Big Island of Hawaii

The DEA has — for the time being at least — closed shop on the Big Island of Hawaii.

The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reports that budget cuts to the U.S. Department of Justice closed the DEA's office and hangar at the Hilo International Airport.The airport facilities provided aviation support for the agency's operations on the island.

Though the office and hangar were vacated on Oct. 1, the Hawaii County Police Department was not aware the DEA left until it was contacted by the newspaper. Office space set aside for the DEA in the police department's Hilo and Kona offices are also unoccupied.

The DEA states that it will continue conduct its operations from Honolulu (on the island of Oahu).

Wolf Daniel Braun, former president of the now-defunct Peaceful Sky Alliance, said, "Joy, joy. The DEA has been no friend of mine, or of the medical marijuana community."

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

In Wake of Washington, Colorado Legalization, Congresspeople Pile on to Stop Government from Enforcing Federal Drug Laws

Failure, the saying goes, is an orphan and success has many fathers. With the success of marijuana legalization measures in Washington State and Colorado, lawmakers are piling on to make it known that they support marijuana (at least for medical use) and that the federal government should keep their hands off state laws.

The Huffington Post reports that 18 representatives signed a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder and Drug Enforcement Administrator Michele Leonhart asking that they stop prosecuting medical marijuana cases and halt any plans to enforce federal drug laws against Oregon and Washington. Congressmen Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), John Conyers, Jr. (D-Mich.) and Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) were among the signees of the letter. The letter states:
While we recognize that other states have chosen a different path, and further understand that the federal government has an important role to play in protecting against interstate shipments of marijuana leaving Colorado and Washington, we ask that your departments take no action against anyone who acts in compliance with the laws of Colorado, Washington and any other states that choose to regulate marijuana for medicinal or personal use. The voters of these states chose, by a substantial margin, to forge a new and effective policy with respect to marijuana. The tide of public opinion is changing both at the ballot box and in state legislatures across the country. We believe that the collective judgment of voters and state lawmakers must be respected.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Medical Marijuana Vending Machine Company's Stock Surge After Profile

Medbox, a manufacturer of medical marijuana vending machines profiled in The Wall Street Journal's MarketWatch and the subject of this earlier post, saw its shares climb a whopping 3,000 percent from $4 a share to $215 after the news item spotlighted the company.

Executives in the company called for investors to chill out, settling the stock to about $100 a share.

But even that price is still too high, according to the company. “We believe an appropriate trading range is between $5 and $10 but, alas, the market will do what it will do,” Medbox founder Vincent Mehdizadeh told MarketWatch in a follow-up article.

Mehdizadeh doesn't know if several large buyers or a single hedge fund was the cause of the rapid increase in Medbox's share price. However, it does demonstrate that Wall Street's acceptance of marijuana, at least for medical use, as a bona fide industry may be at hand.