Addiction Specialist Is Among 39 Charged in $10M Drug Ring

WYOMISSING, Pa. (AP) — A recovering addict who runs an addiction prevention program is one of 39 people charged last week in a $10 million drug ring operating in eastern Pennsylvania.

Online court records show 54-year-old Michael D. Rowe posted bail and got out of the Berks County jail on Tuesday.

He was among dozens of suspects rounded up last week in Berks County on charges of trafficking in cocaine, methamphetamine, marijuana and heroin. Rowe has been charged as one of the lower operatives accused of possessing drugs with the intention to deliver them.

Read more at High Times

Illegal Pot Sales Blamed for Pennsylvania Serial Killings, No Marijuana Found

Pennsylvania law enforcement officials are blaming a small town serial killing rampage on the sale of small amounts of marijuana, according to a report from the New York Times. However, there does not appear to be any evidence showing that the supposed drug deals used to lure the victims to their untimely demise were anything more than a dangling carrot being carried by a couple of extremely twisted individuals.

Last week, a couple of 20-year-old men (Cosmo DiNardo and Sean Kratz) from the Doylestown area told police that they were, in fact, responsible for the deaths of the four young men who had recently disappeared from a Philadelphia suburb. The two cousins confessed that they had lured the victims individually out to a remote family farm on the promise of selling them marijuana. It was there that they shot, killed and disposed of the bodies.

Reports indicate that Kratz has an extensive criminal history that involves burglary, theft and other crimes. In addition, he was still dealing with two out of the three criminal charges he had been brought up on in the past three months at the time he was arrested for the murders.

Read more at High Times

Philadelphia Ponders Eliminating Drug Testing for Pot

While the government of Pennsylvania’s largest city cannot legalize marijuana, it can make life easier for pot consumers by banning drug testing for certain jobs or by prohibiting employers from testing potential employees at least until a conditional job offer is made.

Sounds reasonable.

Such leniency would not necessarily indicate an approval of smoking weed, nor an attempt to make it more accessible, reports the Good Men Project. It would simply ensure that more Philadelphians can get jobs by reducing the barriers to employment in a valiant attempt to lower the city’s 26 percent poverty rate.

Read more at High Times

Setback in State’s Quest to Steal Grandmother’s Home Because Her Son Sold Pot

Elizabeth Young is a 72-year-old widow and former Amtrak employee who lived in a modest brick row house in West Philadelphia beginning in the 1970s. She lived there until 2013, when the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania took it.

You should know Elizabeth Young has not been accused of a crime by the people of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Allegations of committing a crime is the usual precursor to conviction of a crime—which, in turn, is the usual precursor to being punished for a crime.

Crime and [then] Punishment. Simple. That’s how it works. Right?

Read more at High Times

Philly Mayor Wants Pot to Be Sold in Liquor Stores

It is no secret that Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney would like to see marijuana made legal all across the state of Pennsylvania. Last month, when questioned about a major pot bust that took place in the city, which lead to the arrest of 22 people and the seizure of more than 100 pounds of pot products, Kenney called the raid “overkill,” saying that types of incidents would no longer be an issue if the state would simply legalize marijuana.

Earlier this week, Kenney emerged once again to shed some light on exactly how Pennsylvania should approach legalization. He told WHYY’s “Radio Times” on Wednesday that the state could sink its teeth into a substantial new revenue stream if it could get past itself long enough to see that it already has the infrastructure in place to sell marijuana in the same fashion as alcohol.

“To me, we have the perfect system to set up the legal recreational use of cannabis through a controlled state store system allowing the state to capture all the income that is going to the underground,” Kenney said.

Read more at High Times

Marijuana Festival Rejected for “Adopt a Highway” Sign

It’s easy to find marijuana by the side of the road in America. There are wild stands of cannabis sativa growing in ditches all over the Midwest—this is why they call it “ditchweed”—and the highways leading out of Colorado, Oregon and Washington are absolutely littered with hastily discarded eighths, edibles and pipes, as well as energy-drink cans, fast-food wrappers, cigarette butts and other legal litter.

Roadside trash is a fact of life. There are millions of pounds of garbage along the nation’s highways, a problem so profound that “adopting a highway” (to do authorities’ jobs for them) is a familiar civic tradition all over the country.

Being civic-minded, the Pennsylvania Cannabis Festival recently applied for the privilege of cleaning up a rural stretch of road on the border with New York State. But as PennLive is reporting, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation said no thanks—rejecting the application on the grounds that the word “cannabis” would then appear on an Adopt-a-Highway sign.

Read more at High Times

Physicians Join in Pennsylvania Cannabis Expo

Event geared towards health care providers takes place in Pennsylvania as the state establishes its medical marijuana program.

The World Medical Cannabis Conference and Expo was held at the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania convention center on April 21 and 22, just as Pennsylvania marked the first anniversary of its medical marijuana law.

The conference was co-sponsored by Greenhouse Ventures and Compassionate Certification Centers, a company that seeks to give physicians and health care providers the tools they need to integrate medical cannabis into their practice, as well as offer a platform for patient advocacy and support.

Read more at Cannabis Now

Philadelphia Mayor Says State Should Legalize Marijuana

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The mayor of Philadelphia says Pennsylvania should legalize marijuana so police don’t have to expend resources on busts like the one in his city over the weekend.

Democratic Mayor Jim Kenney says Saturday’s raid at a warehouse hosting a pot-smoking party might have been “overkill.” Police arrested 22 people and seized more than 50 pounds of marijuana. About 175 people were allowed to leave without charges.

The mayor says he understands why police busted the party, citing the large amount of marijuana present and potentially dangerous conditions in the building.

Read more at High Times

Cops Stumble into Big Marijuana Operation, Human Remains, Suicide

PLEASANT MOUNT (AP) — Officers checking on the welfare of a resident stumbled upon a possible homicide, an apparent suicide and a large-scale marijuana growing operation, authorities said.

State police in Lackawanna County said officers went Monday morning to a home in Mount Pleasant Township in the northeastern corner of the state, to find property owner Joseph Mastropole after a woman in New York called with concerns about his welfare.

Police spokesman Mark Keyes said a man at the door gave them a false name, said he was a roommate and hadn’t seen the 54-year-old Mastropole. On a second visit, police saw a barn with signs of a lot of ventilation and smelled a strong odor of marijuana, so they came back shortly before 3:30 p.m. Monday with a warrant. Knocking on the door of the home, they heard a gunshot and called for a special tactical unit, which later entered and found the body of 57-year-old Gaston Gomez, dead of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Read more at High Times