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Texas: Customs Seizes Fake Carrots Stuffed With More Than A Ton Of Marijuana


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents on January 10 discovered more than a ton of marijuana disguised as carrots on the border between Mexico and the United States near McAllen, Texas.

Agents first performed a search of the vehicle carrying what appeared to be a commercial shipment of carrots by using "non-intrusive" imaging technology, reports Alex Lockie at Business Insider, then took a second pass with drug-detecting dogs.

Bundles of marijuana were wrapped in orange tape, disguised as large carrots, in the shipment, which was crossing the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge. There were 2,817 carrot-shaped packages of marijuana, which agents claimed were worth $499,000 on the street, reports FoxNews.com.

"Once again, drug smuggling organizations have demonstrated their creativity in attempting to smuggle large quantities of narcotics across the US/Mexico border," said Port Director Efrain Solis Jr., of the Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas Port of Entry.

"Our officers are always ready to meet those challenges and remain vigilant towards any type of illicit activities," Solid said.

Homeland Security agents will follow up on the carrot investigation, authorities said.

Texas: Professional Marijuana Conference To Draw Thousands To Ft. Worth


Southwest Cannabis Conference & Expo Texas
February 26 – 28, 2016 at the Fort Worth Convention Center

Texas will enter the national spotlight in marijuana law reform as thousands of cannabis professionals from across the nation prepare to converge at the Southwest Cannabis Conference & Expo Texas, Friday, February 26 – Sunday, February 28, at the Fort Worth Convention Center, 1201 Houston St., in Fort Worth.

Presented by the Southwest Expo Group, the Dallas Observer, and Texas Cannabis Industry Association, the historic cannabis event will be held from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. daily, and is expected to draw attendees from across the country and throughout the state. Information and tickets are available at swccexpo.com, or by calling 1-888-729-8199 or 1-602-451-2647.

“The support of the Texas Cannabis Industry Association (TCIA), and Women Grow Texas, NORML Texas, and MPP Texas as local presenting sponsors will help make the convention possible,” said Rory Mendoza, expo chief executive 0fficer.

The first-ever Texas cannabis conference will highlight medical cannabis and the new Texas CDB laws, cannabis in athletics, business-to-business networking, industry expert guest speakers, interactive workshops, education on Texas MJ procedures and policies, and more than 150 floor exhibitors.

Weed for Warriors project for Veterans' affairs and the Gridiron Cannabis Coalition are expected to have a large presence at the event.

Texas: Local Marijuana Reform Advocates To Gather In Amarillo, Lubbock For Training


Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy is mobilizing activists throughout Texas in an effort to inject marijuana policy debate into 2016 state legislative races

Local marijuana policy reform advocates will gather Saturday (in Amarillo) and Sunday (in Lubbock) for advocacy training events.

The Amarillo event, on Saturday, January 9, will be held at 12:30 p.m., at the Amarillo Southwest Library, 6801 SW 44th Ave. Details of the event are available at http://texasmarijuanapolicy.org/marijuana-law-advocacy-training-amarillo/.

The Lubbock event, on Sunday, January 10, will be held at 12:30 p.m., at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites South, 6506 I-27 South. Details of the event are available at http://texasmarijuanapolicy.org/marijuana-law-advocacy-training-lubbock/.

The events, hosted by Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy, are the sixth and seventh in a series of events being held around the state as part of an effort to inject the marijuana policy debate into 2016 state legislative races.

“Marijuana prohibition has been a miserable failure, and we want to give concerned Texans the tools to help enact sensible marijuana policy reform,” said Heather Fazio, a spokesperson for Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy. “Our communities should not be using their limited law enforcement resources to criminalize adults for using a substance that is safer than alcohol.

Texas: Local Marijuana Reform Advocates To Gather Saturday For Advocacy Training


Local marijuana policy reform advocates, including a former police officer and the head of the Texas Young Republicans, will gather Saturday for an advocacy training event at the Trini Mendenhall Community Center in Houston.

The event, hosted by Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy, is the fifth in a series of events being held around the state as part of an effort to inject the marijuana policy debate into 2016 state legislative races. Regional events are also scheduled in Amarillo on January 9 and Lubbock on January 10.

The featured speaker at Saturday’s event will be David Clark, a former police officer from South Carolina and member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP).

"If the goal of marijuana prohibition is to reduce the harms to society caused by drugs, then prohibition should be illegal, not marijuana," said Clark. "It should be illegal to waste so many law enforcement resources arresting and charging nonviolent adults for using marijuana. It should be illegal to divert the focus of our police away from violent and property crimes, which should always take priority."

Joining David Clark will be John Baucum, political director of Republicans Against Marijuana Prohibition and recently elected chairman of the Texas Young Republicans.

Details of the event are available at http://texasmarijuanapolicy.org/training-houston/.

Texas: Marijuana Possession Could Soon Get Tickets, Not Arrests, In Dallas


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Dallas Police Chief David Brown said he has mixed feelings about allowing his officers to write tickets instead of arresting people who are caught with small amounts of marijuana. But he said the approach is "just so damn practical."

Police officers and city council members discussed the move at Tuesday's public safety committee meeting of the Dallas City Council, reports Melissa Repko at The Dallas Morning News. The "cite and release" pilot program would mean citations for marijuana possession, rather than arrests.

The public safety committee voted to refer the idea to the entire City Council without a recommendation.

A Texas state law passed in 2007 allows cops to issue citations instead of making arrests for some minor offenses, including possession of small amounts of cannabis. The approach is intended to save time and money by keeping minor offenders out of jail and allowing cops to remain on the streets; it doesn't change the official penalty for the crime.

Using cite and release is a "no brainer" that would help save time and lower 911 call response times, said council member Philip Kingston. He said it would allow cops to focus on public safety priorities.

Kingston said he'd legalized marijuana if he could, comparing marijuana possession to jay-walking in terms of seriousness.

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