Thursday, August 5, 2010

Daily Roundup: Skydiver Busted With 55 Pounds of Pot; Mendocino Ponders 'State of Emergency'

By David Downs
Thu, Aug 5, 2010 at 5:34 PM

A Bay Area man stuntman, skydiver and alleged big-time marijuana trafficker defending himself on medical marijuana grounds was arrested by federal authorities at Marin County Superior Court Wednesday. The attorney for Avery Badenhop, 47, says his client would've beat local charges with a medical marijuana defense. Now federal investigators have him in custody and the local charges have been dismissed. California Highway Patrol pulled Badenhop over for speeding on Interstate 580 in San Rafael when they discovered he had twenty pounds of dope, a half-pound of hash, and four ounces of hash oil in his possession. A search of Badenhop's home turned up an additional 32 pounds of cannabis, $750,000 cash, and hand guns leading investigators to several other residences and five more arrests, the Marin Independent Journal reports. More headlines after the jump.

2. Keith Humphreys, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral medicine at the Stanford School of Medicine, equates marijuana use to cocaine use in the Los Angeles Times. He also equates marijuana use - which shows no link to cancer according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse - to tobacco use, which kills an estimated 400,000 Americans each year. Humphreys worked for the White House's Drug Czar as a senior policy adviser.

3. The Mendocino County Board of Supervisors has asked its legal counsel to look into declaring a state of emergency over the Mexican cartels growing cheap marijuana destined to be exported out of California. Three people reportedly testified to being shot at by growers, a supervisor told the Ukiah Daily Journal. An independent Rand Corporation study has stated taxed, legal cannabis in California would be of such high-quality and so inexpensive, it would undercut Mexican cartels' offerings nationwide.

4. Opponents of Prop. 19 have argued that taxing weed at the local level would be a burden to cities and counties, but more than a half-dozen cities appear up to the challenge. The latest, Rancho Cordova readies a law to heavily tax recreational use of marijuana if Prop 19 passes this Fall, the Sacramento Bee reports. The Rancho Cordova measure would impose a $600 annual tax per square foot of indoor cultivation of 25 square feet of marijuana or less and a $900 per square foot tax if the indoor growing area is more than 25 square feet. The city tax would cost a local indoor grower $6,000 a year on 10 square feet of pot plants and $15,000 for 25 square feet. Outdoor growers, who would be billed at a lower rate, would pay a $1,200 residential tax for 25 square feet of marijuana plants.

5. A Montana man accused of double attempted homicide for shooting his wife and nanny has dismissed his defense attorney and changed his stated defense from "self-defense" to "inadvertent intoxication" from pot cookies. His wife and nanny lived. The shooter remains in Lewis and Clark County jail in lieu of $100,000 bail.

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