The science of pot
SANTA CRUZ — School officials are considering whether to yank a 13-year-old’s science project because it examines medical uses for marijuana.
The junior high school student was allowed to present her “Mary Jane for Pain” project to classmates Thursday, but school officials later confiscated her props — including a marijuana-laced muffin and a spray bottle of pot-steeped rubbing alcohol. They returned the props to the girl’s father, Joe Morris, rather than call law enforcement.
Morris said Mission Hill Junior High officials gave initial clearance for the project and should have said something earlier if they objected.
“Don’t children have constitutional rights?” Morris said. “In a way, it’s censorship and that’s not acceptable.”
Morris said his daughter became interested in the subject because her aunt is a caregiver for a woman who uses marijuana as a medicine.
School officials haven’t yet decided if the girl can display her project next week at a prize competition.
Running with his pants on fire
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A 30-year-old man left a trail of smoke as he fled from police with his pants on fire.
Police said they spotted Carl Franklin with his pants down and his hands in front of him near a fence. They suspected he was going to relieve himself.
When Tallahassee Police Officer Seth Stoughton shouted, Franklin ran.
Apparently Franklin had been smoking and put the cigarette in his pocket, police said.
Franklin ran until he lost his grasp and the pants dropped to his ankles. Stoughton said he tried to slap out the fire until another officer came and cut it away.
Stoughton said Franklin smelled of alcohol and appeared to be intoxicated.
He was charged with resisting arrest Sunday.
FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. — A man is facing a felony drug charge after his truck loaded with marijuana struck a police officer, authorities said.
Scott Manciero, 29, was charged with delivery and manufacture of marijuana, a felony punishable by up to seven years in prison. He could also face other felony charges pending the outcome of the accident investigation.
Officer Anthony Bateman, 26, was retrieving road flares late Saturday on a state road when he was struck by Manciero’s vehicle, Police Chief William Dwyer said. Manciero stopped after the crash, and officers found 14 pounds of marijuana in the truck, Dwyer said.
Bateman was being treated for a chipped vertebrae and injuries to his shoulders, knees and head.
A breath test showed Manciero was not intoxicated, police said.
GALVESTON, Texas (AP) — A man who becomes upset when he hears certain words was sentenced to six years in prison for shooting his girlfriend because he thought she was about to say “New Jersey.”
Thomas Ray Mitchell, 54, was convicted earlier this month of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon for shooting Barbara Jenkins outside his apartment in March 1999. He faced up to 20 years.
Jenkins died recently but it was not connected to her injuries from the shooting.
During the trial, his relatives testified that Mitchell gets angry, curses and bangs on walls when he hears certain words or phrases, including “New Jersey,” “Snickers,” “Mars” and “Wisconsin.”
Mitchell flew into an expletive-laden rage during a pretrial conference when he saw the word “Snickers” printed on a card.
His attorney argued that Mitchell suffered from a mental disorder. Psychiatrist Victor Scarano testified that Mitchell suffered from persecutory delusions.
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — Directions to Gucci in Japanese? Not a problem for Gregg Donovan.
Nor is “Welcome to Beverly Hills” in dozens of other languages for the 42-year-old, who has been hired as the city’s first official greeter.
“I’m waiting for the Dalai Lama to come to town so I can say it in Tibetan,” said Donovan, who greets shoppers along Rodeo Drive and adjacent streets.
Clad in a red coachman coat from Sulka, Bally shoes, Versace sunglasses and sporting a Tiffany & Co. gold badge, Donovan looks the part.
That’s the point, say officials with the city’s conference and visitors bureau, who hope Donovan will help lure back shoppers to some of the nation’s ritziest stores, ending an economic slump that hit after Sept. 11.