Virginia Beach cop used his nose to locate marijuana grow operation

A Virginia Beach police officer helped locate a marijuana grow operation earlier this year, as well as four pounds of processed pot, some cocaine and more than $92,000 in cash.

And his secret weapon? His nose.

Alonzo D. Bell, 32, of Virginia Beach, was indicted Wednesday in U.S. District Court on five felonies – including possession with intent to distribute marijuana, possession with intent to distribute cocaine and maintaining a drug involved premises. An arraignment is scheduled for Wednesday.

Assistant Federal Public Defender Suzanne Katchmar declined to comment on the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Darryl Mitchell did not immediately return an email.


'Marijuana' lollipops roll through Hampton Roads

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WVEC) -- Offering "Emergency Marijuana Service," an ambulance turned candy store rolled into Hampton Roads this past weekend.

It's one of 15 trucks operated by Weed World Candies, which offers marijuana lollipops.

"It's not just about selling a product. It's about educating," explained Pete Marrero who has worked for the company for two years.

Marrero told 13News Now that the business supports legalization of marijuana across the country, especially for medicinal purposes.

Weed World Candies has offices in different parts of the United States, including Alabama.


Virginia Tech files hemp application

Virginia Tech researchers applied this week for a state license to join the first wave of farmers and scientists who want to relearn the intricacies of hemp cultivation.

“Even though there is a history of growing it, to us, it’s new,” said Saied Mostaghimi, associate dean of Virginia Tech’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Tech was one of three universities that had asked for hemp licenses by early Friday afternoon — just ahead of the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ deadline for applications. Obtaining the licenses to experiment with what has been a banned substance for decades is an attempt to restart an industry with deep ties to the commonwealth.


Crude trail leads police to largest outdoor marijuana grow ever found in Virginia

PATRICK COUNTY, Va. — More than 30,000 marijuana plants were discovered after investigators followed a trail in a remote area of Bull Mountain in Patrick County, Virginia. Wednesday’s discovery was largest of its kind in Virginia history, law enforcement indicated.

“There were crude trail systems cut throughout the mountain side, each one was hand cut by the suspects to avoid detection,” Patrick County Sheriff Dan Smith said. “At some points, we had 25 officers from our agency, the Virginia State Police and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) in the grow area at once counting and recovering plants.”


Deputies: 30000 marijuana plants found in Patrick County

More than 30,000 marijuana plants were seized during a search in Patrick County earlier this week, deputies said.

The plants were found in 35 different grow areas in a remote area of Bull Mountain, Patrick County deputies said in a news release. Deputies believe it was the largest outdoor marijuana grow ever found in Virginia.

The search began around 6 a.m. Wednesday, and all 30,255 plants had been brought down the mountain by 1 p.m. Thursday, deputies said.

The plants were found amongst a network of makeshift terraces at least 2 miles from the nearest public road, deputies said. The plants ranged from 8 inches to 2 feet tall, deputies said.

Deputies said they also found trail systems throughout the mountainside that were cut by hand to avoid detection.


Largest outdoor marijuana grow ever found in Virginia busted in Patrick County


The largest outdoor marijuana grow ever found in Virginia was discovered in Patrick County on Wednesday morning, according to the Patrick County Sheriff's Office.

Authorities found the vast network of makeshift terraces in a remote area on the southeast side of Bull Mountain around 6 a.m. after conducting surveillance.

There were 35 different grow areas, yielding a total of 30,255 plants. Deputies estimate the street value at $30 million to $105 million.

The plants were located about two miles from the nearest public road.

Patrick County Sheriff Dan Smith said there were crude trail systems cut through the mountain side.


Deaths From Drug Overdoses Rise Across America

What will slow the increase in overdoses?

Deaths by drug overdose have been on the rise in the United States, with a majority of states recording increases from 2009 to 2013, according to a study released on Wednesday. 

Across the country, 44,000 people died from drug overdoses in 2013, more than double the number in 1999, the study by the non-profit group, Trust for America’s Health found. Nearly 52 percent of the deaths were related to prescription drugs. The number of overdose deaths increased in 26 states in the four years to 2013, the study found, and decreased in only six states.


Dateline - Growing Hope

Dateline covers the fight for medical marijuana in Virginia, following the families who brought their plea to the state legislature, and beyond to lobby for change at the federal government level.

The Medical Cannabis Institute Expands Global Reach and Patient Audiences Through New ...


CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va., June 10, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The Medical Cannabis Institute (TMCI) launched its new affiliate program today, expanding the reach of its educational programming to new audiences within the patient community, as well as to new global markets in Central and Southern Europe. The three initial TMCI Affiliates are My Compassion, based in Taylor, Mich., NeoHerbal, located in Europe, and United Patients Group (UPG) of Greenbrae, Calif.


Growing Hope: The Fight for Medical Marijuana for Epileptic Kids

( - January 22nd 2015 was a brisk, cold day. All the trees in Richmond, Virginia were bare from a harsh winter. As the chill blew up the hill in the city's historic Shockoe Slip district, several families began to emerge from a hotel in the shadow of the State Capitol.


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