Texas MMJ News

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Wayne Douglas Brunet.

AUSTIN – Months after an Austin-area pilot plead guilty to transporting over 200 pounds of marijuana on his aircraft, he has been sentenced to 37 months in federal prison.

According to the Department of Justice, 65-year-old pilot Wayne Douglas Brunet was arrested in March when he landed his plane in Llano with more than 200 pounds of hydroponic marijuana. A federal judge sentenced him Friday to 37 months in federal prison for possession with intent to distribute between 50 and 100 kilograms of marijuana. He has also been ordered to pay a $5,000 fine and be placed on a supervised release for a period of three years after his prison term. 

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Austin pilot pleads guilty to transporting marijuana in aircraft

Homeland Security Investigators were initially tipped off to suspicious activity by Brunet as he attempted to land his aircraft at an unmanned airport in Bulverde, Texas. Soon after, authorities began tracking Brunet’s plane. According to an arrest affidavit, they noticed in his flight from Medford, Oregon to Texas he had only stopped once to refuel in Arizona.

When Brunet landed for the second time at the unmanned Bulverde airport, he didn’t stay for long. The affidavit states that he departed again after noticing authorities waiting for him on the ground.

Officials said Brunet flew to the Llano Municipal airport where he landed.

Brunet then attempted to flee

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Cases of the K2 drug, otherwise known as Spice have started popping up around the world yet again. Just recently a drug dealer suspected of distributing K2 has been arrested in Austin, Texas.

Austin Police Department has answered dozens of calls regarding K2 overdoses in the past year. Most of the cases were reported in the vicinity of a homeless shelter, in downtown Austin.

44-year-old Salah Said Omar El-Hennawi is one of six people that have been accused of running the underground synthetic marijuana business.

Meanwhile, across the pond, similar cases have started appearing in the United Kingdom. Spice has been a craze since the early 2010’s in the UK, as it has been nearly impossible to put an end to the synthetic drug-fueled crisis.

On the video below you can clearly see addicts struggling to stay on their feet, while under influence of Spice in Grimsby, UK. The camera shows 2 people, one of them presumably a woman, staggering around, barely aware of their surroundings.

The person behind the camera was a motorist, said that he was shocked to see these two behave in such a manner, and appalled to see them when they approached the pair with a baby.

The city of Grimsby has seen a disturbing, growing trend of Spice abuse, some of which can even be seen on the streets of the city. Earlier this month Grimsby police found about 50 bags of controlled substances – of which some is thought to be Spice.

This unsettling footage

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The State of Texas has awarded provisional licenses to three facilities allowing them to grow, process and sell low THC cannabis to people with a specific medical condition.

The Texas Compassionate Use Act of 2015 allows epilepsy patients, who have not responded to other medications, to purchase cannabis oil with a prescription.

Compassionate Cultivation is one of three companies that will soon sell CBD oil. It is the only company preliminarily licensed by the Texas Department of Public Safety that operates strictly in Texas.

The other two are from Florida.
               
Compassionate Cultivation won’t start growing marijuana until after final approval, but Thursday they showed FOX 7 what to expect in the weeks to come.

“Well, we’ve got a purpose-built, customized grow facility that we tailored specifically to be able to produce the highest quality consistent medicine that we can get into the hands of people who are suffering with intractable epilepsy,” said Morris Denton, CEO of Compassionate Cultivation

Denton explained the science behind his brand new, state-of-the-art medical marijuana dispensary. The highly secured building has been designed to accelerate grow time of marijuana plants in a controllable environment.

The first stop in Denton’s tour is the vegetative room.

“Basically, this is where it all begins. This is where it all begins for us, it’s where it all begins for the State of Texas and for the people that hope this medicine can change their lives,” said Denton. 

Details are important during the vegetative process, from the hoses that

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A Texas man will owe a street value fine of $123,000 for 41 packages of marijuana found in his Cadillac on Interstate 80 on July 24.

Carlos J. Rodriguez, 36, of Rio Bravo, Texas, entered a negotiated plea in Henry County Circuit Court Thursday to possession of cannabis. The more serious counts of cannabis trafficking and possession with intent to deliver were dismissed.

Mr. Rodriguez was pulled over in part because of information from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration but also for talking on his phone while driving.

According to terms of the plea agreement, he will serve 48 months of conditional discharge, 180 days in jail and a fine of $1,000 and court costs. The $123,000 street value fine is reduced to judgment, meaning the county won’t routinely bring him back to court for it.

Judge Jeffrey O’Connor accepted the plea agreement.

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As every Texas resident is aware of, marijuana is illegal to possess, use, sell or produce in the state of Texas.

However, Texas just issued the first ever medical marijuana license to “Cansortium Texas” which will allow this company to sell, grow and process medical marijuana. The marijuana will be sold to patients with a specific, rare form of epilepsy.

This development could easily lead to a rapid growth of legal medical marijuana in the state of Texas. The path to recreational marijuana has seemingly always begun with the legalization of medical marijuana, just as Texas is doing.

States like Colorado, Alaska, Oregon, and Washington and a handful of others legalized the use and selling of medical marijuana, then eventually legalized the recreational use of marijuana. It starts with one or two licenses being administered to people or companies, much like in Texas, then it grows into even more people and companies receive licenses.

Then after a number of years pass, there seems to be a pattern among some states that have legalized medicinal marijuana that the legalization of recreational marijuana is sure to follow soon after.

Colorado has been a benchmark for marijuana legalization in the United States. After legalizing medicinal marijuana in 2000, the state legalized recreational use and sale of marijuana in 2014.

Oregon and California have followed in similar footsteps to Colorado with the legalization of medicinal marijuana, followed shortly by the legalization of recreational use of marijuana.

Because Texas is now following in the footsteps of these other

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The UT Police Department has encountered nine individual cases of marijuana possession since last Tuesday, a higher number than usual. 

Police Lt. Greg Stephenson said although he has no statistics to confirm an increase in on-campus use of marijuana, he does think students tend to commit more substance abuse at the beginning of the fall semester. In Texas, marijuana usage is illegal, and the possession of two ounces or less is a Class B misdemeanor.

“The abuse of marijuana is a common problem among big campuses like UT,” Stephenson said. “We try to protect students from endangering their own health and mental being.”

Stephenson said UTPD now has the discretion to give out tickets instead of jailing offenders who are accused of using or possessing marijuana.

“It’s a better way to allocate our resources,” Stephenson said. “There is also diversity in how intoxicated the offender is. If the students look like they’re not endangering themselves, then we write a ticket instead of arresting them. This procedure leaves more jail space and is more time efficient.”

Susan Kirtz, interim manager of the Office of Health Promotion at University Health Services, said the number of marijuana arrests might not reflect the actual amount of usage.

“Just because UTPD’s crime log says they’re catching more students does not necessarily mean that there are actually more students using marijuana,” Kirtz said.

The Spring 2017 National College Health Assessment taken by UT students shows 59.4 percent have never used marijuana or related substances. In contrast,

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Texas, the Lone Star State, may not be known for legalizing marijuana, but it does have a history with the drug that dates back over one hundred years ago. In 1915, fear for the drug was at a high, when a man killed a police officer after smoking marijuana. This led El Paso to become the first city in the United States to ban marijuana that same year, but physicians were very quick to respond, by speaking out in support of the drug, “It is stated by local physicians and druggists that marihuana has legitimate uses.” Even with the support of physicians though, the state’s overall stance on marijuana did not change and has still yet to see much change or progress.

In 1919, Texas restricted the purchase of narcotics, which included marijuana.  By 1923, the state prohibited the possession of narcotics, including marijuana, which the state eventually declared a “narcotic.” At that time, Texas became the only place in the United States where a marijuana conviction faced life in prison, which consequently increased the number of marijuana arrests in the state. Between 1970 and 1975, marijuana arrests in Texas went up 226%, but in 1973, the state made possession of four ounces or less a misdemeanor.     

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Inside Texas Politics (Photo: WFAA)

NEWSMAKER
Money is already tight in the Texas budget. With disaster relief and lost sales tax revenue in Houston, money is expected to get even more limited. State Senator Royce West, D-Dallas, discussed what he thought this will do to state services. He also talked about Texas Democrats ability to win statewide in 2018. Senator West joined host Jason Whitely and Bud Kennedy of the Star-Telegram.

STATEWIDE
Texans will soon be able to legally grow medical marijuana. Ross Ramsey, the co-founder and executive editor of the Texas Tribune, discussed whether this new medical marijuana industry will lead lawmakers to potentially expand it in the 2019 legislative session? Ramsey also talked about State Representative Cindy Burkett’s campaign to unseat fellow Republican Bob Hall in the Senate, and Texas’ political districts remaining the same for the upcoming 2018 election.

MY VOICE, MY OPINION

It took longer than Dallas officials expected, but a statue of Robert E. Lee that sat on a granite base on Turtle Creek Boulevard is finally in storage. A volunteer commission will decide where its future will be. With the statue down, Debbie Georgatos from 660 AM The Answer asked what’s next in her My Voice, My Opinion.Georgatos from 660 AM The Answer asked what’s next in her My Voice, My Opinion.

NEWSMAKER 2
Denton County conservative U.S. Representative Michael Burgess joined host Jason Whitely to discuss President Donald Trump’s deal with Democrats to keep Dreamers in the United States. They also

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Photo: Bob Owen, Staff

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Morris Denton, CEO of Compassionate Cultivation, walks into a vegetative room lit with bright growing lights which simulate sun for marijuana plants that will be grown in the room.

Morris Denton, CEO of Compassionate Cultivation, walks into a vegetative room lit with bright growing lights which simulate sun for marijuana plants that will be grown in the room.

Photo: Bob Owen, Staff

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Morris Denton, CEO of Compassionate Cultivation, walks into a vegetative room lit with bright growing lights which simulate sun for marijuana plants that will be grown in the room.

Morris Denton, CEO of Compassionate Cultivation, walks into a vegetative room lit with bright growing lights which simulate sun for marijuana plants that will be grown in the room.

Photo: Bob Owen, Staff

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Morris Denton, CEO of Compassionate Cultivation, inspects his extraction machine that will turn marijuana plant matter into oil. Denton is one of only three entities expected to soon get a license to grow medical cannabis, in his soon to open location in South Austin. less Morris Denton, CEO of Compassionate Cultivation, inspects his extraction machine that will turn marijuana plant matter into oil. Denton is one of only three entities expected to soon get a license to grow … more Photo:

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Another arrest has been made in a felony drug and money laundering operation that officials say involves at least 11 suspects and more than $150,000 in cash and marijuana.  

Jesus Medina Jr., 34, of Hemet, California, and Juan Alfredo Ibarra, 34, of Owasso, Oklahoma, were arrested on Thursday. They are two of the remaing suspects in a case that links people from California and East Texas to a scheme that involved mailing large amounts of marijuana from California to Tyler. 

Medina and Ibarra were booked into the Smith County Jail about 7:30 p.m. Thursday. They were charged with engaging in organized criminal activity, according to Smith County judicial records. 

Medina was held on a $3 million bond and Ibarra was held on a $750,000 bond, according to jail record. 

At least eight suspects in this case have been booked into the Smith County Jail since July 18. Another suspect, 35-year-old Scott David Demers, has not been arrested. 

The scheme came to light in February 2016 after Tyler Police Department detectives and Department of Public Safety investigators discovered large amounts of marijuana were being shipped through the mail to a residence in the 6100 block of Rhones Quarter Road. 

U.S. Postal Service records indicated over 25 parcels believed to contain almost 65 pounds of marijuana had been shipped to the Tyler home from California between October 2015 and March 2016.

Authorities intercepted two packages and made the first arrests in the

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