Up in Smoke: Medical Marijuana Crusader Paul Stanford Arrested for Tax Fraud

Longtime Portland marijuana activist Paul Stanford has been arrested for tax fraud, according to a news release from the Oregon Department of Justice.

Stanford, who heads a nationwide chain of medical-marijuana clinics, has a reputation as a controversial figure in pot activist circles, and his financial woes were first detailed in a 2007 profile of Stanford we titled "King Bong." The IRS last year revoked the tax-exempt status of Stanford's Portland-based clinic, The Hemp and Cannabis Foundation.

Most recently, Stanford wrote a ballot measure that would have taxed and regulated commercial marijuana sales in Oregon. It failed to gain enough signatures for the 2010 ballot. Stanford, who did not immediately return a phone message today seeking comment, recently filed to put a similar measure on the 2012 ballot.

From today's news release from the Department of Justice:

(Photo credit: Leah Nash)