pot bust

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Global: Fans Mourn Death of Longtime Cannabis Enthusiast, Music Legend David Bowie

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A lifetime of music came to an end on Sunday, January 10, as music legend David Bowie, 69, died after an 18-month struggle with cancer.

"David Bowie died peacefully today surrounded by his family after a courageous 18 month battle with cancer," the artist's Facebook page announced. "While many of you will share in this loss, we ask that you respect the family’s privacy during their time of grief."

Nearly 40 years ago, back on March 21, 1976, Bowie was arrested along with rocker Iggy Pop for possession of about half-a-pound of marijuana, reports Gabrielle Bluestone at Gawker. Bowie, Pop and another man and woman were staying in a three-room suite at the Americana Rochester Hotel when they were raided by vice squad detectives at about 2:25 a.m.

All four were held for a few hours at the Monroe County Jail before they were eached freed on $2,000 bond, reports Dylan Stableford at Yahoo News. Bowie paid everyone's bail.

Global: Fans React With Dismay As McCartney Switches From Pot To Alcohol 'For The Kids'

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Paul McCartney presumably isn't singing "Let Me Roll It" to his grandkids after saying in an interview that he's given up marijuana "to set an example" to the youngsters.

The legendary singer/songwriter/bassist and former Beatle told The Mirror that he gave up pot "a long time ago," reports New Musical Express.

"I don't do it anymore," McCartney, 72, said, two weeks shy of his 73rd birthday. "Why? The truth is I don't really want to set [a bad] example to my kids and grandkids. It's now a parent thing."

McCartney has been busted for weed numerous times over the years, first in Sweden in 1972, and also including a nine-day jail stay after getting caught with nearly half a pound in Japan in 1980 and again in 1984 in Barbados.

"Back then I was just some guy around London having a ball, and the kids were little so I’d just try and keep it out of their faces," McCartney said. "Instead of smoking a spliff I’ll now have a glass of red wine or a nice margarita. The last time I smoked was a long time ago."

That's a puzzling statement, since it's widely known that marijuana is safer than alcohol.

Arizona: Border Officers Seize 10 Tons Of Mexican Marijuana

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

What's being called the largest ever load of marijuana seized on Arizona's border with Mexico was found by authorities in Nogales, officials said Tuesday.

The weed was hidden in a load of squash originating in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico. There were 881 bundles of marijuana totaling 20,375 pounds, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working the Mariposa commercial facility in Nogales, reports The Associated Press.

This bust eclipses the previous record of 14,000 pounds of marijuana, seized in January of this year, authorities said on Tuesday at a news conference about the bust.

Hermosillo, Mexico-based truck driver Pedro Corona-Moreno, 32, was subjected to a "routine inspection" of his load of produce as he came into the U.S. When the squash was loaded off the trailer, a drug-detecting dog alerted to the presence of cannabis, according to a Customs and Border Protection news release.

The weed, the tractor trailer and the squash were all seized by incensed officials. Corona-Moreno was fitted with a shiny pair and handcuffs and handed over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security department.

(Photo: Mike Christy/Arizona Star)

California: 100 Pounds of Marijuana Wrapped as Birthday Gifts Seized at LAX

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Marijuana wrapped as birthday presents didn't make it past Transportation Security Administration screeners on Wednesday in Los Angeles. One hundred pounds of cannabis, wrapped in birthday paper inside four pieces of checked luggage, was turned over to law enforcement by the TSA.

The bags were discovered in Terminal 1 at about 5:15 Wednesday morning, reports LAist. They were headed for Atlanta on an AirTran Airways flight, according to TSA spokesman Nico Melendez.

"The bags were going through the screening process," Melendez told Brian Summers of the LA Daily News. "There was some sort of alarm, and we had to open the bag.

"We found these big packages of what turned out to be marijuana wrapped up to look like a birthday gift," Melendez said.

Law enforcement claimed the marijuana was worth $300,000.

The suspects had gotten the hell out of there in the meantime, according to Melendez. They didn't board their flight to Atlanta, and the TSA agents saw nothing of them.

"TSA was unable to give a description of the suspect," Los Angeles World Airports police Sgt. Karla Ortiz said. "Without a description, it is really hard to track them down."

Officials will likely be reviewing surveillance video of the AirTran counter.

A task force made of of DEA agents, LAPD officers and LAX police is now working the case.

California: Police Seize More Than A Ton Of Marijuana On Santa Barbara Beach

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Federal and local law enforcement authorities are reportedly still looking for several suspects connected to the seizure of more than 2,000 pounds of marijuana off the Santa Barbara County coast in California on Friday.

Eighteen people have so far been arrested in connection with the failed smuggling operation, which involved a small fishing boat and a truck, but others were able to escape on foot, reports Samantha Tata at NBC LA.

The California National Guard reportedly spotted about two dozen people unloading bales of what looked like marijuana from a "panga" boat at Arroyop Quemada Beach early Friday morning, reports Fox News.

Agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the California Highway Patrol (CHP), Ventura County Sheriff's Department K9 Unit (with "air support," no less), and the U.S. Coast Guard responded to the scene, in an absurd example of law enforcement overkill.

The group took off running when deputies arrived at the beach, but were later apprehended in the bushes, sheriff's department spokeswoman Kelly Hoover said. Fourteen people were arrested at the scene. Many of those arrested were from the Los Angeles area, police said.

California: Half-Ton of Marijuana Seized in Frozen Fish Shipment

There is a truth that must be heard!By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

U.S. Border Patrol agents seized more than half a ton of marijuana hidden in a shipment of fish this week at the Mexican border near San Diego, officials said on Friday.

The 29-year-old Mexican truck driver arrived at the border crossing about 2 p.m. on Wednesday, driving a tractor trailer with a shipment of frozen fish, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) authorities, reports CBS LA.

One CBP officer sent the driver, truck, and shipment for an inspection; Border Patrol officers then used imaging technology to see "anomalies" in the cargo of tongue fish. Another CBP officer with a drug-detecting dog inspected the shipment, and the dog alerted on the contents.

A reported 232 packages of cannabis were found hidden in the cargo, totaling around 1,058 pounds. Officers claimed the weed had a "street value" of $476,000.

Officers seized the weed and the truck, and turned the driver over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents.

The driver was booked into the San Diego Metropolitan Correctional Center and will face federal charges from the U.S. Attorney's Office in San Diego.

(Photo: U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

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