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Arizona: Medical Marijuana Policy Experts Host Phoenix Educational Event

There is a truth that must be heard!Arizona bills, federal legislation on the docket for discussion at trade association event

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) will host an Educational Series Event on Tuesday, March 26 in Uptown Phoenix. Geared to assist medical marijuana entrepreuners and investors create responsible and successful businesses, Educational Series Events feature a panel of experts and networking period for cannabusiness professionals.

Tuesday's 90-minute program will feature experts on state and federal marijuana policy who will discuss efforts to reform federal law as well as the ongoing efforts in the Arizona legislature to improve or quash the medical marijuana program.

The presentation will be followed by a question and answer period and networking reception.

What: NCIA Educational Series Event, "State and Federal Policy Update"

Where The Vig Uptown, 6015 N. 16th Street, Phoenix, AZ

When: Tuesday, March 26, 2013 7-10 p.m.

Who: Ryan Hurley, Rose Law Group, Phoenix, AZ (bio)

David Jones, Capitol Counsel, Washington, DC (bio)

Aaron Smith, National Cannabis Industry Association, Phoenix, AZ (bio)

Moderated by Betty Aldworth, National Cannabis Industry Association, Denver, CO

Florida: DEA Says Marijuana Growth 'Rampant' Throughout Sunshine State

Photo: Kottonmouth KingsBy Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Marijuana growth is "rampant" throughout Florida, according to the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, but the DEA says it is cracking down on cannabis cultivation in the Sunshine State.

The DEA allocated $500,000 to Florida's Domestic Marijuana Eradication Program last year, an increase of $50,000 over 2011, reports Ben Bornstein at WUFT.

That tax money paid for something called "marijuana-growth detection training" for law enforcement agents throughout the state, according to Judith Ivester, program coordinator for domestic marijuana eradication.

Ivester said that 87 percent of the money was used to "reimburse investigative costs" for local law enforcement, which she said provided an incentive to identify, investigate and eradicate the plant.

According to the report, 772 marijuana cultivation sites were discovered in 2012, resulting in 723 arrests and 37,388 plants being destroyed.

North Central Florida is a hotbed for cannabis cultivation, Ivester said. She claimed indoor growth is more prevalent in South Florida "because the area is more urban." Growers in heavily populated counties like Dade and Broward move their grow-ops inside to avoid detection, according to Ivester.

Iowa: Rodeo Clown Convicted For Growing Marijuana; Faces 20 Years In Prison

Photo by Dan Williamson, Iowa Press-CitizenBy Steve Elliott
Hemp News

An Iowa man who worked as a rodeo clown in local and national rodeos faces a mandatory minimum of 20 years in prison after being convicted Friday of conspiracy to "manufacture marijuana."

Federal prosecutors claim Rory Meeks, 55, of Marion, Iowa, planted cannabis along corn and soybean fields in rural areas of Jones County, tending the plants all summer, reports the Iowa Press-Citizen.

Authorities claim Meeks and others harvested and dried the plants each fall, then sold the marijuana for several years in a row.

Jurors found Meeks guilty, after a three-day trial, of growing more than 1,000 marijuana plants between 2004 and 2011. He had been acquitted of one count of manufacturing marijuana in April 2011.

Meeks performed as a clown for prominent Iowa City-area charities. He now faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $20 million fine, and at least 10 years of supervised release following imprisonment.

(Photo of Rory Meeks by Dan Williamson, Iowa Press-Citizen)

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