News stories relating to cannabis are found in the articles below.
Marijuana agriculture and the environment were the focal issues discussed on Friday Oct 12, 2012 from 1-5 pm, at a symposium held at Humboldt State University and jointly sponsored by the Humboldt Institute for Interdisciplinary Marijuana Research (HIIMR) and the HSU Sociology Department. Each of the two sessions in the symposium, titled, "Environmental Challenges of Marijuana Agriculture in the Age of Prohibition", featured panelists discussing issues ranging from the environmental impacts of marijuana growing to using a balance of enforcement and incentives to ameliorate the problems associated with marijuana agriculture. The Symposium was introduced by Dr. Tony Silvaggio, an Environmental Sociologist from HSU. Alison Sterling Nichols from the Humboldt Growers Association moderated the first session and Hezekiah Allen, from the Mattole Restoration Council moderated Session II.
KMUD Community Journalist, Kelly Lincoln, attended the meeting and recorded each of the panel presentations and the Question and Answer sessions following the panel presentations. The resulting unedited audio is available on this page and can be heard, or downloaded, using the players below.
Audio of Session I:
Use the player below to hear panelists Gary Graham Hughes - Executive Director, Environmental Protection Information Center and Scott Downie (beginning at approx. 18 mins. into the clip) - California Department of Fish and Game Senior Biologist.
Use this player to hear panelists Paul Gallegos - Humboldt County District Attorney, Humboldt County Sheriff, Mike Downey, (beginning at approx. 14 mins. into the clip), and Scott Greacen (beginning at approx. 23 mins. into the clip) - Executive Director, Friends of the Eel River.
The player below can be used to hear the Question and Answer portions of Session I.
Audio of Session II:
Use the player below to hear panelists Casey Oâ€™Neill - Community Member/Farmer from Medocino County, and Tasha McKee (beginning at approx. 19 mins. into the clip) - Executive Director, Sanctuary Forest.
Use this player to hear panelists Mark Lovelace - Humboldt County District 3 Supervisor and Ryan Sundberg (beginning at approx. 14 mins. into the clip) - Humboldt County Supervisor, District 5.
The player below can be used to hear the Question and Answer portions of Session II.
According to a press release from "Americans for Safe Access":
For the first time in nearly 20 years, a United States Court of Appeals is set to hear oral arguments in a lawsuit challenging the federal government's classification of marijuana as a dangerous drug with no medicinal value: Americans for Safe Access v. Drug Enforcement Administration. This historic case will force a federal court to finally review the scientific evidence regarding the therapeutic efficacy of marijuana. During a press briefing Thursday, plaintiffs in the case, along with leading medical researchers and clinicians, spoke about the necessity of the federal government recognizing current scientific data supporting marijuana rescheduling. Marijuana is currently classified in the same category as heroin despite calls from scientists, medical professionals, and policy makers to reschedule marijuana for medical use. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit will hear opening arguments on the case the morning of October 16, 2012. "Medical marijuana patients are finally getting their day in court," said Joe Elford, Chief Counsel with Americans for Safe Access (ASA), who will be arguing the case before the D.C. Circuit. "What's at stake in this case is nothing less than our country's scientific integrity and the imminent needs of millions of patients."
Use the player below to hear more about this issue, including an interview with Ed Densen, an attorney specializing in medical marijuana law and Kris Hermes, spokesman for Americans for Safe Access. This story was aired by News Coordinator,Terri Klemetson, on the KMUD Local News Thursday, Oct.25, 2012.
According to a press release from the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office, dated Oct. 16, 2012:
On 10-15-2012 at about 6:30 pm the Humboldt County Sheriffâ€™s Office responded to a residence located in the 2200 block of McKinleyville Avenue, McKinleyville regarding a marijuana investigation. Sheriffâ€™s Office Deputies discovered a large moving van that was parked near the front door to the residence. Deputies could smell the strong odor of marijuana coming from the moving van. Deputies then knocked on the front door to the residence and contacted three subjects who were in the house.
Deputies identified the occupants as Jeffrey Donald Halverson age 25, Lee Dennis Wilson age 27 and Fredrick William Nicholas age 28. When deputies were speaking to the three subjects they could detect a strong odor of marijuana coming from inside of the residence. Deputies then detained the three subjects and secured the residence for a search warrant.
Humboldt County Drug Task Force Agents were then contacted and responded to the scene to take over the investigation. A search warrant was signed by a Humboldt County Superior Court Judge for the residence at approximately 8:30 pm. Drug Task Force Agents then searched the residence and discovered approximately 210 pounds of drying marijuana plants located in both bedrooms. Agents located marijuana, butane hash lab in the residence. It appeared to the Agents that the marijuana plants were brought into the residence from the moving van that was parked outside of the residence.
Agents arrested Lee Wilson and Jeffrey Halverson for cultivation and possession for sales of marijuana, conspiracy to commit a crime, manufacturing of a controlled substance and maintaining a residence for distributing of a controlled substance. Wilson and Halverson were both transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility and their bail was set at $500,000 dollars each. Fredrick Nicholas was arrested for cultivation of marijuana and was transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where his bail was set at $25,000 dollars.
This case is still under investigation by the Humboldt County Drug Task Force.
According to a press release from the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office, dated Oct. 12, 2012:
On 10-11-2012, approximately 9:30 a.m., the Humboldt County Sheriffâ€™s Office assisted by the Eureka Police Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Humboldt County Drug Task Force served a Humboldt County Superior Court Search Warrant in the 2000 block of Sunset Ridge Road, Blocksburg. Upon serving the search warrant, deputies located and detained 17 suspects. As deputies arrived and announced their presence one of the suspects, identified as Johines Ibonnet, attempted to jump out the back window of the residence and broke his ankle. He was transported to a local hospital and treated for his injury prior to being booked into jail.
Upon searching the 45 acre parcel deputies found a very large sophisticated marijuana growing and processing operation. The operation consisted of marijuana plants being grown in two large greenhouses estimated to be between 60 feet by 100 feet, along with marijuana plants being grown out in the open and inside the residence. The residence and greenhouses were powered by two commercial sized 25 KW generators. The growing marijuana plants ranged in size from 6 feet to 8 feet tall and were budding. Deputies estimated the growing plants to have at least one to two pounds of marijuana bud being produced on each plant. There were a total of 718 growing marijuana plants located and seized on the property. Inside a large drying shed, estimated to be approximately 60 feet by 40 feet, deputies located and seized approximately 900 lbs of drying marijuana bud. Inside the residence deputies located two commercial marijuana trimming machines being used to trim the dried marijuana bud from the plants. Deputies also located approximately 132 pounds of dried marijuana bud along with numerous drying racks and 261 sealed bags of marijuana bud ready to sell, estimated to weigh approximately one pound or more each, along with packaging material, scales, a Norinco AK-47 assault rifle with several loaded high capacity magazines, a money counter and approximately $9,500.00 cash.
A total of approximately 1293 pounds of dried marijuana bud was located. Dried marijuana bud is being sold for approximately $2,000 a pound. The estimated value of the dried marijuana bud seized is $2,586,000.00 whole sale. If the live marijuana plants had been harvested they would had yielded conservatively an additional 718 pounds of dried marijuana bud estimated to be $1,436,000.00 wholesale. The value of the marijuana seized is estimated to be at least $4 million dollars in just marijuana bud, not including the leaves. Several of the suspects admitted to investigating officers they were hired to work at the marijuana grow as laborers.
The following is a list of those arrested at the scene and booked in the Humboldt County Correctional Facility on charges of Cultivation and Possession for sale of Marijuana, and Conspiracy to Commit a Felony:
- Elber Dejesus Ivonnet, male 53 years old from North Bergen, NJ -Bailed
- Geyler Melo-Pueyol, male 22 years old from Miami, Florida - In Custody $75,000.00 bail
- Richardo Mateos-Perez, male 22 years old, from Homestead, Florida - In Custody $75,000.00 bail
- Fernando Olvera, male 39 years old, from Santa Rosa, California - Bailed
- Luis Manuel Sosa-Vega, male 47 years old, from Santiago, Cuba - In Custody $75,000.00 bail
- Jose Pulido, male 42 years old, from Los Reva, Mexico - In Custody $75,000.00 bail, ICE Hold
- Hildegarde Safont Arias, male 42 years old, from Hialeah, Florida - In Custody $75,000.00 bail
- Disney Bolanos-Chacon, male 41 years old, from Charlotte, N. C. - In Custody $75,000.00 bail
- Jonines Ibonnet, male 42 years, from Oakland, California - Bailed
- Terrence Henderson, male, 43 years old, from Eureka, California - In Custody $75,000.00 bail
- Pauline Ionie Barnes, female, 44 years old, from Green Island, Jamica - Released on O.R.
- Arlettis Rodriguez-Alverez, female, 22 years old, from Hileah, Florida - Released on O.R.
- Dayana Isabel Padron, female, 19 years old, from Blocksburg, California - Released on O.R.
- Elizabeth Enamorado De Padron, female, 40 years from Santiago, Cuba - Released on O.R.
- Hyacinth Hypatiae English, female, 48 years old, from Bridgeville, California - Released on O.R.
- Idalmis Leyva Ivonnet, female, 62 years old, from Charlotte, N.C. - Released on O.R.
Michael Lewis Iverson Jr., 35 years old from Eureka, California was also arrested at the marijuana growing site, however he was only arrested on an outstanding probation violation warrant with a bail of $30,000.00. Anyone with information for the Sheriffs Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Sheriffs Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriffs Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539.
Use the player below to hear KMUD newscaster, Dave Brooksher, interviewing Lt. Steve Knight from the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office. This audio was aired as part of the KMUD Local News for Friday, Oct 12, 2012.
Images from the grow operation shown below: