Breakfast reading from the Voice Media empire: Former marijuana entrepreneur and accused fraudster Scott Pack is at the center of two separate court actions — a criminal indictment that accused him of securities fraud, money laundering, forgery and a slew of cannabis-related offenses, as well as a lawsuit filed by two investors who say he bilked them out of $500,000 as part of a scheme that allegedly generated a total of $10 million. But thus far, Pack has managed to delay judgment in either action. His attorneys argue that he shouldn’t have to face the lawsuit until the conclusion of his criminal case, which was originally scheduled to take place in June but has now been put off until May 20, 2019. Westword has the story.
Breakfast reading from the Voice Media empire: As of last July, the Hoppz Cropz prosecution was likely the largest marijuana conspiracy case in the state where it took place. Thirteen defendants were charged with a combined 244 crimes, including racketeering for illegally peddling nearly 200 pounds of cannabis. Nearly a year later, a hefty 175 of those allegations have been dismissed and ten of the original thirteen people accused, including Dara Wheatley, the significant other of presumed ringleader Joseph “Joey Hops” Hopper, have pleaded guilty to comparatively minor crimes that haven’t resulted in any jail time whatsoever. Westword has the story.
Reading from the Voice Media empire: Warnings about the herbal pain reliever kratom have been issued by the federal government, which wanted at one time to classify the substance at the same level as heroin. Plenty of kratom proponents consider such actions unjustified and portray kratom as a miracle drug. But it was anything but a miracle for this user. Here’s his chilling story. Westword has the story.
Reading from the Voice Media empire: A new study about the impact of marijuana maintains that there’s no evidence linking cannabis legalization and the increase of homelessness. This contention has been ripped by Police Chief Troy Davenport, who strongly believes such a connection exists. But one of the academics behind the document suggests that such critics would rather believe the sort of nonsense churned out by prohibitionists for decades than look at actual facts. Westword has the story.
Reading from the Voice Media empire: James Mack has been sentenced for mailing marijuana, and it’s no surprise that he earned considerably more than the one year in federal prison recently earned by Mark Koenig for the offense last month. While Koenig was found guilty of shipping between 950 grams and 1.6 kilograms of cannabis during four incidents, Mack is said to have posted multiple pounds of pot to a cohort in a neighboring state on a weekly basis for nearly three years. And this won’t be Mack’s first trip to prison for a high-profile drug case. He was convicted in 2009 for his involvement in a cocaine deal that teamed him with former NFL-star Travis Henry. Westword has the story.
Reading from the Voice Media empire: In February 2016, Brandon Johnson and William Lancaster were charged with felony manlslaughter for selling Mark Largay fentanyl, a powerful opioid that wound up killing him. Two years later, Johnson has been sentenced for a lesser crime, distributing a controlled substance, but still must serve five years behind bars because of an aggravating factor. Johnson was confined in a community-corrections facility when he took part in what proved to be a fatal transaction. Westword has the story.
Reading from the Voice Media empire: In March 2017, as we’ve reported, former medical marijuana dispensary owner Rocky Pedersen was arrested for an AR-15-toting pot-shop robbery spree. He’s now been sentenced to fourteen years behind bars for a series of crimes that he blames on his switch from cannabis to heroin. However, the prosecutor in the case believes Pedersen was actually inspired by a lust for revenge because his own marijuana business was shuttered after his hometown prohibited dispensaries. Westword has the story.
Reading from the Voice Media empire: Kratom is a popular herbal pain reliever that was at one point on the cusp of being listed as a Schedule I narcotic alongside substances such as heroin. That decision was later reversed after protests by more than fifty senators. But now, Clean Kratom Wellness Center is being investigated by the Food and Drug Administration even though the federal government’s current position on the product consists only of warning about its use. Westword has the story.