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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Drug arrest details emerge

Before he was sentenced last year, a former Bayview, Idaho, contractor now serving time in federal prison for selling marijuana helped federal drug agents bust a once-prominent Coeur d’Alene insurance agent and school booster. That insurance agent, Jerald S. “Jerry” Carlson, 47, pleaded guilty Thursday to a felony charge of attempting to possess cocaine with intent to deliver in a plea deal that dismissed two other felony cocaine charges.

Hearing reveals that contractor helped bust Carlson

Before he was sentenced last year, a former Bayview, Idaho, contractor now serving time in federal prison for selling marijuana helped federal drug agents bust a once-prominent Coeur d’Alene insurance agent and school booster.

Businessman was leader of drug ring

Several Spokane businesses were fronts for a multimillion-dollar marijuana distribution ring busted after a four-year investigation that involved tens of thousands of taped phone calls and a car crash that revealed a $130,000 cash stash, new documents allege. The operation crumbled last February after federal agents raided homes in Seattle and Spokane, arresting more than 20 people. Of the 30 people charged, 18 have pleaded guilty in the past week, many accepting plea deals in exchange for cooperation in federal trials this summer.

Washington court disallows medical pot defense

SEATTLE – A doctor’s permission to use medical marijuana doesn’t preclude police from arresting a patient or searching his home, the Washington State Supreme Court ruled Thursday. The court upheld the conviction of Jason Fry, a Stevens County man arrested with 2 pounds of marijuana in 2004. Justices said sheriff’s officers who smelled marijuana smoke at his home had probable cause to believe a crime was committed – even after Fry presented them with an authorization from his doctor.

Committee put early stop to marijuana proposals

OLYMPIA – Efforts to legalize or decriminalize marijuana use in Washington may have been snuffed out Wednesday as a House committee refused to send either proposal to the floor. A bill to legalize marijuana and have the state tax, regulate and sell it was rejected on a 5-2 vote by the House Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Committee. An estimate by the Office of Financial Management projected the bill, HB 2401, would have netted the state nearly $1.7 billion in taxes and proceeds over the next 10 years, but that didn’t sway committee members.

House committee rejects two marijuana bills

Efforts to legalize or decriminalize marijuana use in Washington may have been snuffed out Wednesday as a House committee refused to send either proposal to the floor.

Pot hearing draws crowd

OLYMPIA – While the Legislature wrestles with a huge budget shortfall that generates hearings on everything from closing state institutions to raising college tuition, the most heavily attended hearing Wednesday involved a non-budget item. Marijuana. Should the state legalize it or turn it into a civil infraction? Or just wait a few months to see if voters pass an initiative to legalize it?

Legislators weigh legalizing marijuana v. decriminalizing it

While the Legislature wrestles with a huge budget shortfall that forces hearings on everything from closing state institutions to raising college tuition, the most heavily attended hearing Wednesday involved a non-budget item.

Smart Bombs: Be blunt about pot law

Washington state’s medicinal marijuana law is dopey. It is legal to have a certain amount of pot with a doctor’s prescription, but the police might bust you for obtaining or dispensing it. Voters approved the law in 1998, but the state Legislature has done very little to make it workable. It isn’t hard, but if lawmakers are truly flummoxed, they could look to their New Jersey counterparts, who on Monday passed a medical marijuana law that includes a framework for implementation.