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.: Marijuana

News2020.com for the latest sceptical slant on the 'Marijuana Drug War' lunacy.

There are now more teens going into treatment for marijuana dependency than for all other drugs combined.
John Walters

 

Over 25 pounds of dried “bud” was seized
Barriere
July 17th 2007

On Saturday, July 7, Barriere RCMP with the assistance of Kamloops Traffic Services executed search warrants on three marijuana grow operations in the Barriere area. The search warrants were issued as part of an ongoing investigation lasting over six years. The search, which involved three trailers, formed part of a joint operation yielding a high amount of cannabis marijuana. RCMP report these busts occurred in the right place, at the right time as the marijuana seized was ready for sale.
Over 25 pounds of dried “bud” was seized. “It’s a good feeling, to get this off the street,” commented Cst. Evan Cadwallader of the Barriere detachment, More dried “bud”...

Kelly Clarkson confesses to cannabis cookie craving
Londonnet.co.uk
July 17th 2007

Self-assertive star says Amsterdam snack was a bit of legal fun, but no repeats at home Kelly Clarkson has confessed to eating a cannabis cookie. The original American Idol winner admits she has experimented with marijuana but doesn't class it as taking drugs, because it is not a Class A substance. Kelly said in an interview with USA Weekend magazine: "I have eaten a marijuana cookie. It was in Amsterdam. It is legal there, and it is not legal in America. I don't ever do anything illegal at home. Since then I have been oregano-free! I have never smoked anything in my life. I've never tried any drugs. I wouldn't do anything that would cause holes in your brain or your nasal cavity. Call me Texan, but I don't think of marijuana like that."The 25-year-old singer also revealed she refuses to be pressurised into dieting to become a size zero. She said: "I have never been to a point where I have been so unhappy that I have said to myself, 'Oh God, you are fat!' I don't allow myself to go there."

 

 

87 cannabis factories have been discovered in properties in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight
Salisburyjournal.co.uk
July 14th 2007

Landlords and property managers face prosecution if they fail to report signs of drug production in rented accommodation, Hampshire police have warned. The force has issued advice and guidance to property owners across the county who rent out private accommodation.
Following the increasing number of rented properties being used for the production of illegal drugs, the force has produced a landlord's booklet, explaining that property managers have a duty to report any suspicious drug activity to police, or face the prospect of prosecution themselves. The brochure entitled Don't, Turn a Blind Eye - A landlord's guide to keeping illegal drugs out of rented property - has already been e-mailed to letting agents and housing associations.
It highlights the signs to look for if there is suspicion that a cannabis factory or chemical drugs laboratory has been established at a property.
Under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, a landlord or property manager can receive a maximum of 14 years in prison and/or a fine, if they turn a blind eye and allow the production of controlled drugs to take place in rented accommodation. Under the legislation, there is also the potential for premises to be seized or forfeited.
In the last 12 months, 87 cannabis factories have been discovered in properties across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, almost all having been, More....

 

Police seize 43Kg of Cannabis
Biz.thestar.com.my
June 27th 2007

BUKIT MERTAJAM: Police seized 43kg of cannabis with a street value of more than RM78,000 with the arrest of two men in Permatang Pauh here. Central Seberang Prai OCPD Asst Comm Mohd Anil Shah Abdullah said a police team laid an ambush and detained a 24-year-old suspect and found the cannabis kept in two bags in the back seat of a car. He said the suspect was in the car parked at Taman Sama Gagah, Permatang Pauh, around 5pm on Friday when police approached him. “The raid was led by a 15-member team from the Kedah police narcotics division,” he said.
He said that in a follow-up operation, another suspect, aged 29, was picked up at a restaurant about 50m away. The seized cannabis is believed to have been smuggled into the country by a syndicate for the local market.
“The suspects are being remanded until July 6 pending investigations,” ACP Mohd Anil Shah told a press conference yesterday.

 

'doesn't mean to say we are going to tolerate it'
Hartlepool UK
June 21st 2007

A raid on a house led to the seizure of 17 bags of cannabis. Officers from Hartlepool Police's drugs unit swooped on the house in Windermere Road, Belle Vue. They discovered bags of the class C drug, worth over £2,000, and four bags of amphetamine - valued at £20.
Sergeant Ken Bennett, head of the drugs unit, said the operation was carried out at 10.25am yesterday following intelligence from members of the public. Sgt Bennett said: "Just because cannabis is a class C drug doesn't mean to say we are going to tolerate it.
"This was all part of our ongoing fight against drugs in the town and to make it a better place for the decent law-abiding people who live here." He added: "We would always encourage the public to inform us of any drug-related activity in their area, we will always note it."
Three people who were in the house, two women and a man who are all in their 20s, were arrested on suspicion of possession of cannabis with intent to supply. They were questioned by police yesterday afternoon and then released on bail pending further inquiries.


'1,900 cannabis plants at a property at Bauple south of Tiaro'
Abc.net.au
June 15th 2007

A man has been charged with a number of drug offences after police searched two Wide Bay properties. Police executed search warrants on two properties on Wednesday. They allegedly found 1,900 cannabis plants at a property at Bauple south of Tiaro. A second property at Walligan, west of Hervey Bay, was also searched and police allegedly found a hydroponics system, 53 cannabis plants and two kilograms of dried cannabis. A 54-year-old man has been charged with producing dangerous drugs, possession of property used in the commission of a crime and major possession of dangerous drugs.

 

'Nobody was arrested'
County Clare
June 5th 2007

Gardai in County Clare have seized a substantial amount of drugs following planned raids today. Detectives searched a number of houses in the Caher- Feakle area early this morning, and recovered a large amount of cannabis plants. Nobody was arrested during the operation, but a file is being sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

 

Cannabis reclassification: study findings
May 24th 2007
kcl.ac.uk

Despite police guidance to issue street warnings for most cannabis possession offences since its downgrading from Class B to C in 2004, a new study from King's College London has shown major inconsistencies in how the drug is being policed.
Researchers from the Institute for Criminal Policy Research (ICPR) led by Mike Hough, Director of the ICPR and Professor of Criminal Policy, found the proportion of street warnings in four police areas varied from 22 per cent to 42 per cent. The decision to arrest or issue a street warning depended on factors such as: the views of the officer; the amount of cannabis found; the attitude of the offender ,and local policy.

The study, Policing cannabis as a Class C drug: an arresting change? was compiled for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and looked at the impact of reclassification in 2004 on cannabis policing. It focussed on the new practice of issuing street warnings for possession, instead of making arrests. It also captured views of the police and young people about the changes.
Despite having a legal duty to arrest 16 and 17 year-olds, almost half of interviewed officers wanted to police them in the same way as adults. One police officer interviewed for the study said: ‘It just seems a bit unfair for a 16 year-old to get nicked for it and an 18 year-old in the same group to get a slap on the wrist and that's it.'

Pressure

In some police force areas, the issuing of street warnings appeared to be driven by pressure from senior officers to meet targets for the number of “offences brought to justice”.
People from black and minority ethnic groups in the four sites in the study were over-represented in the arrest and street warning statistics for cannabis possession.
Report author, Mike Hough said: ‘When cannabis was reclassified as a Class C drug, guidelines were issued advising officers to give street warnings for most possession offences, arresting only in aggravating circumstances. We found that street warnings were issued for under half of possession offences. Over half of officers were against the downgrading and many said that cannabis arrests often led to the detection of more serious crimes. In fact, we found that this occurred in less than one per cent of cases.'

Officers in busy urban sites had a better understanding of cannabis policing than those working in the quieter areas who dealt with such offences less frequently. Nearly all the officers said that they had dealt with a member of the public who believed – or claimed to believe – that cannabis had been legalised.

Rough estimates for the first year of street warnings suggest that cannabis reclassification had saved more than £3.5 million of police money and over 250,000 officer hours across the 43 forces of England and Wales. The researchers concluded that policy on policing cannabis should follow three principles:

-effective monitoring of the policing of cannabis offences, with some form of independent scrutiny;
-close scrutiny of the impact of cannabis policing on black and ethnic minority groups, to ensure even-handed treatment;
-keeping a close watch on the way in which performance management targets affect the policing of cannabis.
Media contact

Nasreen Memon, JRF Head of Media Relations Tel: 020 7278 9665 / 01904 615 958 / 07812 241 220; email:nasreen.memon@jrf.org.uk

Melanie Gardner, Public Relations Office, King's College London Tel: 020 7848 3073; email:melanie.gardner@kcl.ac.uk

Notes to editors
Policing cannabis as a Class C drug: an arresting change? The full report, Policing cannabis as a Class C drug: an arresting change? by Tiggey May, Martin Duffy, Hamish Warburton and Mike Hough is published by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation as part of the Drug and Alcohol series (ISBN 9 781 85935 543 5, price £14.95). A free download of the report is available at www.jrf.org.uk.

The study involved observational work with operational police officers; interviews with 150 police officers; analysis of custody records and street warning data and interviews with 61 young people. An internet survey of 749 respondents was also conducted. Fieldwork data was supplemented by published statistics.

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation
The Joseph Rowntree Foundation is one of the largest social policy research and development charities in the UK. It supports a research and development programme that seeks to understand the causes of social difficulties and explore ways of overcoming them.

Institute for Criminal Policy Research
The Institute for Criminal Policy Research at King's College London carries out multidisciplinary research into crime and the criminal justice system. They produce work which is independent, and objective and of the highest technical quality. Their key audiences are managers and practitioners within the criminal justice system, other professionals working with offenders, and politicians and their advisors. Research approaches incorporate both quantitative and qualitative methods.

King's College London
King's College London is the fourth oldest university in England with more than 13,700 undergraduates and nearly 5,600 graduate students in nine schools of study based at five London campuses. It is a member of the Russell Group: a coalition of the UK's major research-based universities. The College has had 24 of its subject-areas awarded the highest rating of 5* and 5 for research quality, demonstrating excellence at an international level, and it has recently received an excellent result in its audit by the Quality Assurance Agency.

King's has a particularly distinguished reputation in the humanities, law, international relations, medicine, nursing and the sciences, and has played a major role in many of the advances that have shaped modern life, such as the discovery of the structure of DNA. It is the largest centre for the education of healthcare professionals in Europe and is home to four Medical Research Council Centres, more than any other university.
King's is in the top group of UK universities for research earnings, with income from grants and contracts of more than £100 million, and has an annual turnover of more than £363 million.

 

Left Alliance youth organisation wants to legalise use of cannabis
Helsinki,Uusimaa,Finland
hs.fi

May 23rd 2007

 

The youth organisation of the opposition Left Alliance Party, the Left Youth of Finland, has narrowly passed a resolution calling for the legalisation of the use and home cultivation of cannabis. The decision came at a convention of the organisation this past weekend.
The initiative won by two votes. One of those voting against the measure was Jussi Saramo, who was re-elected as President of the group. In his view, the matter should have been given more consideration, and should have been debated in a broader context of policy toward intoxicants, with input from experts in the field.
"However, as chairman, I stand behind the decision", he added.

The decision was not a big change to the organisation's previous policy line on drugs; Saramo noted that an earlier statement on drug policy issued by the Left Youth states that there should be no punishments for personal use and home cultivation of cannabis.
However, the policy line, accepted four years ago, stated "Cannabis should not be legalised in Finland". Now the executive of the organisation will have to update that document.
"We don't need any more drugs, but victimising the users does not help", Saramo says.

Left Alliance Chairman Matti Korhonen says that the party is distancing itself from the vies of its youth organisation. In his view, holding a vote at a convention is not the right way to decide on such big matters.
"The party's starting point is one of zero tolerance", Korhonen notes.
He added, however, that he welcomes drug policy debate as such.

In November the chairman of the Satakunta section of the Left Youth of Finland was sentenced by Pori District Court to a fine for growing and smoking marijuana. An aide to a Left Alliance MP, who lived in the same commune, but was not convicted in the case, was nevertheless not allowed by the party to run as a candidate in the Parliamentary elections in March.

 

'18 kilos of herbal cannabis was found in her baggage'
Ireland.com
May 19th 2007

A drugs smuggler intercepted on her way to Belfast with £48,000 worth of cannabis was jailed for 18 months today. Natasja Williams, 29, of dual British and South African nationality, was stopped at Birmingham International Airport after arriving on a flight from her home in Johannesburg. She was arrested by customs officers after 18 kilos of herbal cannabis was found in her baggage on February 10.
Williams, who was intending to fly on to Belfast, was sentenced at Warwick Crown Court after pleading guilty to attempting to smuggle the drugs under the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979. Bob Lyne, senior business manager for HM Revenue and Customs said: "Our continuing vigilance has prevented these drugs from reaching their destination. "We will do everything in our power to disrupt drug smuggling and reduce the associated harm to our communities. "We aim to protect society from this activity wherever we detect it, at the borders or inland, and hope this sends a clear message that our approach is one of zero-tolerance."

 

'People need to know that cannabis is not cool.'
Simon Jones
Portsmouthtoday.co.uk

May 15th 2007

A student slashed his wrists and ran through the streets wielding a kitchen knife after playing violent computer games and smoking cannabis.
Dominic Anderson threw himself in front of cars and attacked police officers with the blade during a psychotic episode brought on by the drug.
Today the 20-year-old warned other teenagers about the dangers of using cannabis. The sports science undergraduate said: 'The first thing I remember was waking up in hospital bed and seeing nurses and police stood around me.
'I couldn't really remember what had happened. It was all a blur. There were bits I could recall but it was like I had been watching myself do all these things and I couldn't help it. 'I'd only taken cannabis a couple of times before and thought it was just a social thing people did to chill out. But in reality it's completely different and can have horrific consequences.

'People need to be more aware of what can if happen if you take cannabis and it starts with the government reclassifying it – it should not be seen as a soft drug.

'People need to know that cannabis is not cool.' In 2004, the then home secretary David Blunkett downgraded the drug's classification to class C, the lowest, which meant the penalties for getting caught with it were reduced. Anderson's father, Clive Anderson, 41, added: 'This has been six months of hell for Dominic and our family. 'It has shown us the truly horrific effects that cannabis can have on people.'
When officers tried to restrain Anderson he lunged at them with the knife. He had to be repeatedly hit with a baton before he was disarmed.
He sustained self-inflicted injuries and needed half a dozen stitches in each wrist. He also suffered internal bleeding and was in intensive care after the incident which happened at the Bradford Road junction in Portsmouth on November 13, last year.

Police said Anderson's actions showed a shocking similarity to the computer game – Saints Row – which he had been playing just before he slit his wrists.
Drugs intelligence officer Detective Constable Steve Kelly said: 'People don't know the effect a drug can have on them before they take it. This is an extreme example of what can happen.'
At Portsmouth Crown Court Anderson, of Britannia Road North, Southsea, was spared an immediate prison sentence.
Instead Judge Graham White imposed a nine-month prison sentence suspended for two years saying: 'It was your taking of the cannabis that led to this psychotic episode but for this you would have never been involved in this kind of behaviour.'

Anderson, who admitted one count of affray, was also ordered to complete 150 hours community service.
This guy is obviously a moron. I have a good job with the largest insurance company in the world. I smoke cannabis. I smoke a good bit of cannabis. Im from a run down part of the city/country and i have seen many things in my 23 years here. One word. Alcohol. If you want a drug to blame, then this is it. Ive seen a few deaths, direclty and indireclty and violently caused by alcohol. I have never seen anyone dying from a toke. This guy obviously has some mental health problems and probably shouldnt be around knives. Leave the grass alone. I am responsible for my own actions.

 

 

Woman held over airport drug seizure
News2020.com
May 13th 2007

A South African woman (34) is being questioned about a drugs siezure in Dublin airport yesterday. The 16.5 kilograms of herbal cannabis was seized yesterday when Customs officers searched a suitcase. The drugs were found vacuum-packed in the baggage of the woman who had arrived on a flight from Paris, France, having previously travelled from Johannesburg. She was arrested and is due in court today.

 

MORE TREASON FROM THE BUSH AXIS IF EVIL:

Attorney General Alberto "The Constitution is a quaint document" and
"Habeus corpus isn't in the Constitution" Gonzalez has sent his minions on
an expedition against American citizen members of "The Free Militia" in
DeKalb, Alabama and netted a grand total of a mere *120* pot plants and
various armaments.

MEANWHILE, Mexican narcogangs continue to "own" vast tracts of America's
national forests and parks, which they use for growing marijuana -- WAY
more than just *120* plants, you can be certain -- and produce
methamphetamine, a particularly noxious and destructive poison that's
wreaking havoc in American communities from coast to coast.

*AND* they're armed to the max, GUN LAWS OR NO GUN LAWS!

(Doubt that Mexican drug gangs now control territory in America's
national forests and parks, to the point that park rangers and other law
enforcement personnel have themselves been chased out of these places by
armed illegal alien drug traffickers? See the links below!)

To Attorney General Gonzalez:

WHY THE H*LL DIDN'T YOU INSTEAD SEND YOUR PEOPLE TO RAID THE HUGE
EXPANSES OF AMERICA'S NATIONAL FORESTS AND PARKS WHICH HAVE BECOME DE FACTO
"NO-GO ZONES" FOR THE TAXPAYERS WHO THEY WERE ESTABLISHED FOR IN THE FIRST
PLACE?

IT'S THE SAME OLD SH*T: HARASS AND HENPECK *AMERICANS* FOR RELATIVE
"NICKEL-AND-DIME" MATTERS (SUCH AS MINOR DRIVING INFRACTIONS) WHILE ILLEGAL
ALIENS IN DROVES ENGAGE IN FAR, FAR WORSE LAWBREAKING (SUCH AS DRIVING SANS
LICENSE, REGISTRATION OR INSURANCE AS WELL AS DRUNK) YET REMIAN SEEMINGLY
IMMUNE TO THE HEAVY HAND OF THE LAW.

"THE RULE OF LAW" MY ASS!

AND DON'T THINK MILLIONS UPON MILLIONS OF AMERICANS AREN'T AWARE OF IT!

*NUMEROUS* REPORTS PUBLISHED IN THE MAISTREAM MEDIA IN RECENT YEARS HAVE
DESCRIBED HOW U.S. CITIZENS -- BIKERS, HIKERS AND CAMPERS -- HAVE BEEN
CHASED OUT OF THESE NATIONAL PARKS INNUMERABLE TIMES BY ILLEGAL ALIENS
WORKING FOR MEXICAN NARCO GANGS WHO GROW MARIJUANA AND PRODUCE
METHAMPHETAMINE IN THESE AMERICAN NATIONAL TREASURES -- WHY DO YOU TARGET
AMERICANS INSTEAD OF THESE MEXICAN DRUG TRAFFICKERS WHO HAVE SEIZED
PORTIONS OF OUR NATION'S VERY PATRIMONY?

I REALIZE YOUR BENEFACTOR PRESIDENT BUSH HATES THE IDEA OF "AMERICA" BUT
WERE A *REAL* AMERICAN PRESIDENT SUCH AS THEODORE ROOSEVELT -- A TRUE
CONSERVATIONIST WHO LED THE FIGHT TO ESTABLISH THE UNITED STATES FOREST
SERVICE AND WHO, AS PER wIKIPEDIA, "CREATED AN UNPRECEDENTED 42 MILLION
ACRES OF NATIONAL FORESTS, 53 NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGES AND 18 AREAS OF
"SPECIAL INTEREST", INCLUDING THE GRAND CANYON" -- IN OFFICE YOU WOULD
ASSUREDLY BE TRIED FOR DERELICTION OF DUTY IF NOT ACTUAL TREASON!

Mexican Drug Lords In Area National Forests?
http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=local&id=4571405

Marijuana and Methamphetamine Trafficking on Federal Lands Threat
Assessment, February 2005

Excerpt:

"Law enforcement and Forest Service reporting indicates that Mexican DTOs
control a significant portion of cannabis cultivation on federal lands in
California and finance large cultivation sites (typically 10,000 to 30,000
plants). Mexican DTOs often employ and arm undocumented aliens from Mexico
to live in camps at grow sites and tend the plots."

http://www.usdoj.gov/ndic/pubs10/10402/marijuan.htm

U.S. Rangers, Park Police Sustain Record Levels of Violence
http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/sep2004/2004-09-01-02.asp

 

Cultivation of Marijuana and Possession of Marijuana
Denver
April 18th 2007

On April 6, 2007, detectives from the West Metro Drug Task Force executed a search warrant on the 9500 block Yegge Road in Morrison in reference to alleged drug activity. Seized from the home were 65 marijuana plants at varying stages of growth and several pounds of harvested and dried product which appeared to be ready for use or sale.The two adult males who reside at the home were both arrested at the scene. They have been identified as James Webb (dob 092170) and William Burford (dob 122078). Although the investigation is on going, detectives plan to pursue charges against the two suspects for Cultivation of Marijuana and Possession of Marijuana more than eight ounces.

 

California medicinal pot dealers subject to sales taxes
Mercurynews.com
April 19th 2007

For the first time since California voters approved use of medicinal marijuana more than a decade ago, the state Board of Equalization is telling the estimated 150 to 200 retailers in California to pay sales taxes on pot.
"If you sell medical marijuana, your sales in California are generally subject to tax and you are required to hold a seller's permit," the board said in notices sent out in February. "If you do not obtain a seller's permit or fail to report and pay the taxes due, you will be subject to interest and penalty charges."
Proposition 215, the 1996 initiative that decriminalized use of marijuana for medicinal purposes, did not address how state tax officials should deal with sales. The sales weren't covered before Proposition 215 because they were illegal.
The board ultimately decided that medicinal marijuana was not exempt from sales taxes because it was not dispensed by a pharmacist or approved by the Food and Drug Administration as a medication.
"For the Board of Equalization, any tangible personal property not exempt from tax is subject to a sales tax," said Betty Yee, the board's chairwoman.
The board's action has divided the medicinal marijuana community, with some sellers saying it helps legitimize their businesses. But others worry that any tax information they report will be used against them by the federal government, which still bars use
of medicinal marijuana.
"It's frustrating," said Chris Moscone, an attorney who is representing the Hemp Center, a San Francisco dispensary that is negotiating with the board on back taxes. "There are basically two camps: those that want to be treated like legitimate businesses, and the other side, where they're still rebels and don't want to be taxed."The applications for a seller's permit do not require the retailer to disclose what he or she is selling, which would make it difficult for federal officials to track sales. Kris Hermes, legal campaign director for Americans for Safe Access, a national medicinal marijuana advocacy group, said the board would get more dealers to come forward and pay taxes if it agreed not to go after back taxes."If they started collecting taxes when they sign up for seller's permits, that would reduce anxiety for many of these providers," Hermes said. "And it would probably increase the level of participation in the state."But Yee says that's not an option, that the board has to treat all retailers the same.

 

Ex-police captain to speak against war on drugs
April 3rd 2007

WATERVILLE — A retired police captain is touring Maine this month to call for an end to marijuana prohibition. Peter Christ, who spent 20 years as a captain on the police force in suburban Buffalo, N.Y., is a founding member of LEAP — Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.
He will be speaking at Colby College Tuesday at 7 p.m. in Room 122 in the new Diamond Building on campus. The title of the lecture is “War on Drugs? Or War on People?” The program is sponsored by the Maine Marijuana Policy Initiative.

 

'green substance on the beach'
Whitbytoday.co.uk
March 30th 2007

More than £2,000 worth of cannabis has been handed to police after it was found in Sandsend. A resident discovered the packaged green substance on the beach adjacent to the road leading to Newholm. It was immediately taken to Whitby police station at 8.30pm last Friday.
Sgt Steve Pearse of Whitby police said the cannabis was seized and investigations are being made. He said no value has been placed on the cannabis but he believes it is a 1kg package, which would have a street value of between £2,000 and £2,500.

 

50,000 marijuana plants were seized last fall'
Drugpolicycentral.com
March 30th 2007

Suspect identified in West Marin pot grow case Marin Independent Journal - Suspect identified in West Marin pot grow case. A key suspect has been identified in the West Marin marijuana cultivation case in which more than 50,000 marijuana plants were seized last fall.
The apprehension by sheriff's deputies of an Oakland man near the Meadow Club outside Fairfax in September was disclosed in the 2006 annual report of the Marin Major Crimes Task Force. The report was issued this week.
The report notes that despite staff and budget reductions, the task force seized pot plants valued by police at $90 million, and $365,183 in other drugs last year. In 2005, the task force seized drugs valued at $423,152, but no pot plants. The suspect in the illegal marijuana plot case was fingered by one of four Oakland men found parked in two cars on Fairfax-Bolinas Road on Sept. 26. Marin sheriff's Deputy Mike Thompson found cocaine, methamphetamine and loaded handguns in the cars. When he questioned the suspects, Thompson was told they were delivering food and beverages to a friend who was camping.
In a subsequent interview with the task force, three of the men denied having any involvement in marijuana cultivation on Bolinas Ridge. The fourth said the food was for a missing camper who was working in the marijuana fields.
The man said his partner was delivering food and workers to the supervisor of what law enforcement officers called "the grow." A search of the suspect's Oakland house turned up receipts for food, plastic bags and other evidence of a marijuana cultivation operation.

Marin sheriff's Detective Rudy Yamanoha said the suspect was arrested on weapons violations but not the marijuana case, which awaits further investigation. The case is under review by the Marin District Attorney's Office and the federal government.
The most successful marijuana raid came in August, when authorities seized 20,000 plants they valued at $50 million along a swath of Bolinas Ridge. That was just a month after 2,500 marijuana plants were found elsewhere on the ridge.

In September, another 3,540 plants valued at $8.75 million were removed from Inverness Ridge 10 to 15 miles north of the Bolinas Ridge grove. After the raid, plants valued at roughly $3 million were stolen overnight by thieves who apparently snatched pot bundled by authorities for removal by helicopter the next day. The value of the overall haul was based on a price of $2,500 per mature plant, police said.

Marin County Sheriff Robert Doyle said that last year, his office resumed flyovers above the watershed owned by Marin Municipal Water District, the federal government and private landowners. "We used to do flyovers and we got criticized a lot," Doyle said, indicating that the county Board of Supervisors discouraged it. "Given the marijuana initiative and losing cases in court, it hasn't been worth the effort." "This is just mindboggling that this would be going on," Doyle said. The report also notes the growing problem of methamphetamine use in Marin. That is being tackled with a $250,490 grant. "It's finally hit us," Doyle said. "It used to be just the Central Valley - a bikers' drug."

The task force noted that the number of drug cases generated has dipped since San Rafael bailed out of the narcotics squad. In addition, the loss of a California Highway Patrol officer, an FBI agent and a detective affected the team's ability to tackle cases.
The Marin Major Crimes Task Force was formed in 1977 to link the county's investigative work with the efforts of other agencies. It is operated by the Marin County Sheriff's Office under a joint powers agreement. Its budget last year was $1.3 million.

 

'marijuana cultivation operation in Crooksville'
Zanesvilletimesrecorder.com
March 29th 2007

Crooksville: USA - Two people were arrested Tuesday evening in regards to an inside marijuana cultivation operation.
According to the Crooksville Police Department, while assisting agents from the Ohio State Parks Police on a non related issue, the Crooksville Police Department arrested John Donaldson and Becky Boring both of 61 South Buckeye Street in Crooksville. Officer Nick Sabo discovered several plants being grown in a grow box in a downstairs bedroom and more in an upstairs closet. Both Donaldson and Boring are being held in the Southeastern Ohio Regional Jail.

 

'the first conviction for driving under the influence of cannabis'
Ukcia.org
March 22nd 2007

The first random roadside drug testing unit to operate in NSW has recorded its first conviction. The state's only roadside drug testing unit was established seven months ago, with a Winnebago van equipped to carry out tests for drug-drivers while carrying out random patrols throughout the state. A 26-year-old Sydney man was today convicted of driving under the influence of cannabis after being tested by the unit near Mount White, north of Sydney, earlier this year. Gosford Local Court was told that Matthew McMillan, of Glenwood, had failed a saliva test after being pulled over on the F3 freeway while travelling north at about 9.40am (AEDT) on January 22.
McMillan was found guilty of driving with illicit drugs present in his system and fined $500. Magistrate Gary Cocks also disqualified McMillan from driving for 12 months. NSW Police Force said it was the first time a conviction had been recorded for a person caught by the roadside drug testing unit since it was introduced in September 2006.

Moroccan navy seizes 4 tonnes of cannabis resin
Angolapress
March 22d 2007

Rabat, Morocco 03/20 - Some four tonnes of chira (cannabis resin) intended for the European market were seized by the Moroccan Royal Navy off the coast of Nador (northeast), local authorities affirmed here Monday. The drug was concealed in a zodiac whose occupants succeeded in fleeing, the same source said, adding that security forces has already launched an international arrest warrant against traffickers. The region of Nador is a transit zone for the export of drug towards Europe.

"Operation Slasher"
Abc.net.au
March 22nd 2007

Detectives in the Great Southern in Western Australia have seized drugs worth more than $1.5 million in their largest ever cannabis haul.Over the past three weeks, police have seized more than 1,700 cannabis plants in a campaign dubbed "Operation Slasher". The plants were found in national parks and bushland between Albany and Walpole, including one crop of 680 plants. Detective Sergeant Allan Spicer says the operation will have a big impact on the south coast's drug culture. "1,700 plants and $1.7 million not going into crooks' pockets, it's got to be making a dent," he said. No charges have been laid at this stage, but police say they are following up on intelligence gathered during the operation.

"As they say, he is big enough and ugly enough to look after himself."
Gisborneherald.co.nz
March 17th 2007

Selling cannabis to fund his alcohol habit has earned a 54-year-old a trip to prison. George Hori Walker pleaded guilty in Gisborne District Court to two charges of possession of cannabis and five of selling cannabis. He was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment.
Defence counsel Adam Simperingham said Walker regretted what he had done and that he had support from his family, particularly his brother, who was in the court. When asked by Judge Stan Thorburn if he had any suggestions for court release conditions, Mr Simperingham suggested supervision. Judge Thorburn accepted this but said at the end of the day this was a lifestyle choice and that at Walker’s age he would be fairly embedded in it. "Those sorts of things are better left for younger offenders," the judge said. "As they say, he is big enough and ugly enough to look after himself."

$1 million worth of cannabis
Villagevoice.com.au
March 15th 2007

More than $1 million worth of cannabis has been seized during a raid by police on a home in western Sydney. A 23-year-old Glebe man and a 28-year-old Concord man were charged after police discovered more than 300 cannabis plants and 100kg of cannabis leaf in the house in Concord. Police acting on a tip-off raided the home in Turner Avenue about 2pm on Wednesday afternoon.
The Glebe man ran off but was caught and arrested in the backyard of a nearby home, while the Concord man was found by police underneath the house, police said. Both have both been charged with cultivating a commercial quantity of a prohibited plant, possessing a prohibited drug, using, consuming and supplying a commercial quantity of a prohibited drug, and diverting electricity. They have been refused bail and are expected to appear in Burwood Local Court on Thursday.

PRO-cannabis groups have slammed the conviction of marijuana martyr Patricia Tabram.
Cannazine.co.uk
March 13th 2007

The Legalise Cannabis Alliance (LCA), which campaigns for the full legalisation of cannabis, condemned her trial as a 'gross misuse of the law'.
Mrs Tabram 68, originally from South Shields, was last week sentenced to 250 hours' community service and fined £1,000 after being found guilty of possession and cultivation of cannabis plants, which she used in food preparations to ease her medical symptoms.
Alun Buffry of the LCA said: "This is an inevitable but gross misuse of the law – obviously the Misuse of Drugs Act was not created to punish people for growing plants to ease pain.
"Mrs Tabram ought never have been prosecuted, however, once she was at court, where the jury are told by the judge they cannot even consider the medical use of cannabis, they had to return a guilty verdict based on the evidence alone.

He added: "The legal system in this country has let us all down when it punishes people for simply growing cannabis to relieve their suffering, especially when nothing else works as well, as in this case."Despite a jury taking only 15 minutes to convict her, Mrs Tabram defiantly vowed to continue using the drug.

It was her second drug conviction after she was given a suspended jail sentence for supplying cannabis in curries, casseroles and cakes which she distributed to other elderly and infirm people near her bungalow in Humshaugh, Northumberland.
Police and the Crown Prosecution Service backed the decision to take her to court and she was warned she will be imprisoned if she continues to flout the law.
Tabram said outside court: "I am still going to medicate with cannabis. This court is not fit for the purpose, and I am taking up an appeal and putting in a complaint about the fact I was not allowed to have a defence."
Carlisle Crown Court heard she used the drug to fight the depression she has suffered since 1975 when she discovered her 14-year-old son dead in his bed.

'cannabis farms uncovered in police raids in Britain has trebled in the last two years'
Metro.co.uk
March 13th 2007

The amount of homegrown cannabis sold in Britain has risen nearly six-fold in ten years, a drug charity claims. About 60 per cent of the dope sold in this country has been grown on domestic cannabis farms – up from 11 per cent in 1996, figures produced by the drug information charity DrugScope show.
The number of cannabis farms uncovered in police raids in Britain has trebled in the last two years and an average of three dope farms have been raided every day over the last six months, a report in the charity's Druglink magazine said, Full Increase....

'found 126 pounds of cannabis in the trunk'
News-gazette.com
March 9th 2007

Urbana: Champaign police and Champaign County sheriff's deputies are continuing to investigate who might be responsible for 126 pounds of cannabis found in a northwest Champaign neighborhood Wednesday morning. One person has been arrested.
Champaign police Sgt. Tom Walker said both departments have recently received several complaints about possible drug trafficking in the Dobbins Downs neighborhood. "We stumbled upon some information about a guy selling cannabis out of a house in the 2600 block of Dale Drive. We were able to obtain enough information for search warrant," Walker said.
When members of the Metro SWAT team entered the home about 8 a.m., they found Antonio Greer, 34, and his girlfriend inside. Also there was about a pound of cannabis and several hundred dollars.
Greer was arrested for possession with intent to deliver cannabis and is expected to make a court appearance this afternoon. Assistant State's Attorney Dan Clifton said he would be charged with a Class X felony of possession with intent to deliver cannabis, carrying penalties ranging from six to 30 years in prison upon conviction, Full Find.....

 

'not good'
News.yahoo.com
March 9th 2007

Two teenagers have been arrested in Watauga, Texas, after police found a video of them teaching two toddlers how to smoke cannabis.
The film shows a man placing a marijuana cigarette into a two-year-old's mouth and calling him and a five-year-old boy seen smoking on his own, "potheads".
The video tape was discovered when Fort Worth police launched an investigation into Demetris McCoy, 17, and Vanswan Polty, 18, in connection with a burglary. The little boys were also asked if they "have the munchies".
Watauga Police Chief, Bruce Ure, said he had never come across a similar situation in his career. "Twenty-six years in the business I've never seen anything quite like this at all," he said. Both men have been arrested on felony charges of injury to a child and were held in jail.
The children have been placed in foster care, child protective services said. McCoy's grandmother, Shirley Russell said she was disappointed by her grandson's behaviour but that he had learned from his mistake. She said: "I think really it has taught him a lesson, a very big lesson."

2,500 pounds of cannabis..
10news.com
San Diego
March 8th 2007

Federal agents seized more than a ton of marijuana hidden in a van and trailer that entered the United States in San Ysidro this week, authorities reported Wednesday. A service dog sniffed out the illicit cargo as a U.S. citizen tried to sneak it through a Customs and Border Protection inspection station on Monday morning, according to CBP public affairs. The 2,500 pounds of cannabis was wrapped in 225 packages and secreted behind custom-built walls in the van and trailer, officials said. The driver was arrested and booked into the Metropolitan Correctional Center in downtown San Diego. His name was not released.

"We have been fighting the war on marijuana,to no avail
Carl Hedberg
Theunionleader.com
March 8th 2007

New Hampshire -- We have been fighting the war on marijuana for over three generations to no avail. Lives of our fellow citizens continue to be torn apart, not by the drug, but by Draconian laws that do nothing to stem supply or demand. How long must we stay the course on this social and fiscal abomination before we finally adopt a new approach?
Consider just the social cost. In 2005, the United States reached an all-time high in marijuana arrests. The FBI reports that more than 780,000 people were nabbed -- a rate of one every four seconds.

Of those charged, approximately 88 percent -- just over 696,000 Americans -- were cited for possession. The others were charged with "sale or manufacture," a category that includes all cultivation offenses, including marijuana being grown for personal or medical use.
Before any real consensus on a new way forward can be reached, however, citizens would have to face the fact that marijuana has found a permanent place in the fabric of American culture, and as such, prohibition is a long-lost cause. In addition, we would need to put to rest a few age-old misconceptions about marijuana and the potential impact of more progressive policies.

One might argue that this surge means we're making progress in the war. On the contrary, like the recent discovery of sophisticated hothouses in otherwise vacant luxury homes in New Hampshire, higher arrest rates point to a robust and growing underground economy. The only way to put a dent in this illicit marketplace is to alter the fundamental economics of the marijuana trade.

* Children will use marijuana more if it is decriminalized: As with alcohol, tobacco, safe driving, safe sex and the like, parents need to lead by example, establish ground rules and expectations and explain the risks. There are tons of great reasons why our youth shouldn't be experimenting with marijuana, but current laws and just say no programs have never, and will never, keep it out of reach. Besides, it's not the state's responsibility to raise our children.

* Marijuana is a gateway drug: In the current environment, this appears to be true; marijuana often leads to the use of even more unsavory substances. However, sampling the gamut of pop drugs is not typically driven by the quest for a better or stronger high. It is largely driven by youthful curiosity and the presence of a deep and wide network of one-stop-shop drug vendors who employ a basic business strategy: to increase sales, offer a broad line of products.

* High potency increases the incidence of abuse: The vast majority of adult marijuana users aren't getting wasted and falling down on hyper-strong weed any more than social drinkers are chugging beers or throwing back shots every night after work. For the multitude of productive members of society who use marijuana, high-potency just means that a little goes a long way.

* Legalize, commercialize, and tax: This is a common solution proposed by fans of legalization, but it is absurd. High-potency marijuana is not a viable commercial product for three reasons. First, marijuana is a weed that can be easily cultivated anywhere in our state. Second, commercial ventures are in the business of promoting and selling product. Given the opportunity to vend weed, there is every reason to expect that for-profit firms would pursue similar tactics to develop and perpetuate that market. Lastly, marijuana could never be a truly viable commercial product because the average user doesn't consume enough of it. Over a year, even a casual drinker can be expected to spend quite a bit on beer, wine and spirits. On the other hand, a teacup full of potent marijuana would last a similarly responsible user for months.

There is a solution: The way to defeat illegal purveyors of anything is to make it unprofitable for them to engage in that activity. We can eliminate the economic incentive to sell marijuana in New Hampshire -- and restore our American right of self-determination and free will -- by decriminalizing personal cultivation. If adults were permitted to grow marijuana under the same laws and social, workplace and parental expectations that they are able to produce wine and beer, the market for illegal weed in New Hampshire would collapse.

Allowing cultivation and private use would remove marijuana from the overall war on drugs and free up millions: http://...com/25z2tg that could fund enhanced educational, outreach and treatment programs.

Carl Hedberg of Lyndeborough is a senior teaching case writer at Babson College in Wellesley, Mass., and founder of EEcases, a case clearing house for entrepreneurship educators.

Source: Union Leader (Manchester, NH)
Contact: opinion@UnionLeader.com
Website: http://www.theunionleader.com/

 

 

America`s Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs
Angolapress
March 5th 2007

Rabat, Morocco, US and UN agencies have commended Morocco`s efforts at stemming cannabis production, and pledged more support, the official news agency, MAP, reported Friday.
"Morocco has significantly reduced the production and planting of cannabis," America`s Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, 'what a long title' was quoted as saying in its latest annual report.
The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), also noted that Morocco had reduced by 40% the areas used for cannabis growing, from 120,500 ha in 2004 to 72,500 in 2005.
It said some 116 tons of cannabis were seized in the country in 2005, while other narcotic hauls including cocaine and heroin increased during the year.
In 2004, Morocco launched a campaign, warning cannabis growers against the negative consequences of the plant on the soils, and recommended the production of alternate agricultural products. Morocco is reported to be one of the world`s largest cannabis producer.
The product boasts a turnover of US$12 billion on the world market.

 

Debunking The Marijuana Myths
Tomfoolery
Politiquevert
March 5th 2007

There’s an interesting thread on the GPC blogs regarding that demon weed aka pot, dope, Maui Wowie, laughing lettuce, ganjah, reefer, spliff, wacky tobacky, joint, mary jane and the list goes on. The originator of the thread proposes that the Marijuana Party join the Greens in a sort of clever turnabout. I tried searching for official policy on the Green Pary’s website but came up empty handed, though I had the same result using the search function on the Liberal and NDP sites as well. The Young Liberals of Canada have this on their site : “…the Liberal Party of Canada urges the government of Canada to legalise and regulate Canada’s marijuana industry and trade.”

Despite not finding anything using the search function on their site, it seems the NDP is pretty clear on where they stand regarding decriminalizing pot. The Conservatives don’t have a search function on their website, but in the past they’ve stated that even small amounts of marijuana should not be decriminalized. And don’t talk to them about medicinal use either.

On May 27th 2003, the Liberal Party of Canada introduced a bill that would have decriminalized small amounts of cannabis. Possession of 15 grams or less would have been punishable only with a fine, and those possessing between 15 and 30 grams would be either ticketed or arrested for criminal charges at the officers discretion. Personal cultivation of up to three plants would have also become a ticketable offense, while the punishment for cultivation in larger amounts would have been more severe. The Bill looked as though it was going to pass into law, but it died when parliament prorogued. An identical bill was introduced in November of 2004 which also died when the 2006 election was called. The recently elected Conservative government has publicly stated that it does not intend to resurrect this bill.

The irony of this whole debate over pot, or better yet call it hypocricy, is that alcohol is legal. I don’t understand why alcohol is legal and socially accepted when weed is not. While I’m not a pot smoker and I drink only occasionally, I personally believe that alcohol is a far more dangerous drug than marijuana so the whole political spin regarding any “war on drugs” falls apart when you take alcohol into consideration. We all know alcohol addiction destroys lives and yet politicians leave it alone because they fear the public outcry would be insane if you tried to bring back prohibitian.

As a society, we have all kinds of wacky ideas and beliefs that make no sense when you expose them up to the light of logic.
Maybe that’s why politicians tend to avoid logic like the plague.

 

Alarm about suburban pot-growing is rising
Sativasunrise.com
March 5th 2007

SNELLVILLE, GA. - The only permanent residents in the manicured, multigabled ranch east of Atlanta were illegal.No, not that kind. They were little green creatures of the cannabis family – in short, marijuana plants.
Raids on 40 houses in 12 suburban Georgia counties over the past two weeks are one recent sign of what police say is a national trend in marijuana marketing: growing the illicit crop year-round indoors, using suburban homes as “grow-houses.”

Grow-houses – a spacious incarnation of the old grow-room – have proliferated like suburban-garden gnomes, as antidrug squads have chased growers off remote mountainsides and out of cornfields. In these basements, lights hum with thousands of watts across a sea of plants lodged in a hydroponic soup of nutrients. Upstairs, there’s usually no furniture, police say, except a cot, a chair, and a rabbit-ear TV.
“It’s the most impressive thing I’ve seen in 20 years of law enforcement,” says Lt. Jody Thomas of the Fayette County Drug Taskforce.

Police say the ‘burbs give growers a degree of solace and safety, protected by suburbia’s premium on privacy and even a 2001 US Supreme Court ruling that prevents law officers from aiming heat-sensing equipment at homes unless they first obtain search warrants.
The trend also signals that “production is moving closer to consumption” – a path that leads straight to the suburbs, says Jon Gettman, editor of the Bulletin of Cannabis Reform in Lovettsville, Va., which promotes legalizing marijuana for medicinal use.

Alarm about suburban pot-growing is rising, and some worry that efforts to eradicate crops grown outdoors are driving the illicit industry to become more entrenched in middle-class America, a la Showtime’s hit TV show “Weeds,” about a suburban mom who sells pot.
“This is horrifying,” says Sue Rusche, president of National Families in Action, which works to help children and teens resist drug use, More Alarm.....

What is the Difference Between Hemp and Marijuana?
Progressiveu.org
March 6thy 2007

The difference is in its use. Hemp and Marijuana both come from the same plant - Cannabis Sativa L. The term 'Hemp' commonly refers to the industrial/commercial use of the cannabis stalk and seed for textiles, foods, papers, body care products, detergents, plastics and building materials. The term 'marijuana' refers to the medicinal, recreational or spiritual use involving the smoking of cannabis flowers. Industrial hemp contains only about 0.3% - 1.5% THC (Tetrahydrocannabinoids, the intoxicating ingredients that make you high) while marijuana contains about 5% - 10% or more THC.
Hemp fibre is the longest, strongest and most durable of all natural fibres. Hemp cultivation requires no chemicals, pesticides or herbicides. Grown in rotation with other crops such as corn and legumes, hemp farming is completely sustainable. Hemp produces four times as much fibre per acre as pine trees. Hemp tree-free paper can be recycled up to seven times, compared with three times for pine-pulp based papers. Hemp is easy to grow, and actually conditions soil where it grows. The seed and seed-oil are high in protein, essential fatty and amino acids, and vitamins. Hemp would be an ideal source of biomass for fuel, and hemp Ethanol burns very cleanly.

Hemp and humanity have been linked for over 10,000 years. Hemp was our first agricultural crop, and remained the planet's largest crop and most important industry until late last century. Most of the non-Western world never stopped growing hemp, and today hemp for commercial use is grown mostly by China, Hungary, England, Canada, Australia, France, Italy, Spain, Holland, Germany, Poland, Romania, Russia, Ukraine, India and throughout Asia.


'found and destroyed about 6500 cannabis plants'
Stuff.co.nz
March 6th 2007

West Coast police say they are surprised at the large number of cannabis plants located this year during a six-day recovery operation.
Up to 19 police and 11 air force staff using an Iroquois helicopter found and destroyed about 6500 cannabis plants during the anti-drugs operation just concluded – 1500 more plants than usually recovered in a growing season. Operation head Sergeant Russell Glue, of Hokitika police, said plants were detected throughout the whole of the West Coast, from Karamea south. "We're pretty thrilled with the results, but surprised as well," Mr Glue said today.
"They were all over the place, the entire length of the West Coast . . . anywhere and everywhere."
Mr Glue said a large number of cannabis plants were found south of Ross this year.
Police recovered a quantity of Class B drugs, which were being analysed, and eight guns during the operation.
A number of search warrants were executed. More than 20 people were facing drug-related charges, mostly for cultivating cannabis and possessing the class C drug, and some would be charged with dealing in class B drugs.
Mr Glue said they would be appearing in Greymouth and Westport district courts over the next few weeks. Source:

 

Mrs Tabram believes in the use of cannabis as a way of relieving pain
Telegraph.co.uk
March 6th 2007

A 68-year-old grandmother who "passionately" believes in using cannabis to relieve pain went before a judge and jury today charged with growing and possessing the drug. Patricia Tabram denies one count of possession and one of cultivating cannabis.
Tabram cooperated with police when they raided her home in the sleepy village of Humshaugh, near Hexham, in September 2005, and directed officers to a bedroom where cannabis plants were growing in a wardrobe. She also told police there was powdered cannabis stored in jars in her kitchen to be used in cooking, the court heard.
During the raid, police seized four plants, growing equipment and the powdered form of the drug which the prosecution claims was for her personal use.
Tom Moran, prosecuting, told Carlisle Crown Court: "Mrs Tabram is somebody who passionately believes in the use of cannabis as a way of relieving pain.
"She says she suffers symptoms from various unfortunate health problems that are, she says, not alleviated by conventional medicine.
"She believes she should be able to take cannabis to do what conventional medicine cannot do." Tabram is believed to use the drug to alleviate the symptoms of tinnitus, whiplash and depression. Full Passion...

Strike Force Hutching
Abc.net.au
March 6th 2007

Thousands of cannabis plants worth millions of dollars have been seized by police under a phase in the state-wide cannabis eradication program Strike Force Hutching.
In the most recent raids last month, more than 3,500 plants were seized from forest areas in the mid-north coast and Manning Great Lakes local area commands.
Police say they had an estimated potential street value of almost $8 million and two people are facing drug-related charges.
In other raids authorities say they have seized cannabis plants worth in total about $4 million from across the mid-north coast region since the start of the year.

"homespun cottage industry" to "Mr Bigs"
Sgoc.blogspot.com
March 6th 2007

Vietnamese organised crime is behind a sudden explosion of cannabis cultivation in Scotland in the past year, with more than 40 factories producing £5 million of the drug in the past nine months.

Graeme Pearson, head of the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency (SCDEA), will today tell a drugs conference that cannabis cultivation in Scotland has gone from a "homespun cottage industry" to mass production lines overseen by Far Eastern "Mr Bigs". A network of Vietnamese gangs, responsible for mass cannabis production in North America and the south of England, is understood to have recruited members of the Chinese community in Scotland to set up dozens of factories across the country in recent months.

A big rise in cannabis cultivation in parts of England has already been witnessed in recent months, with the proceeds reinvested in other aspects of organised crime, including heroin, cocaine and firearms. Last week police disclosed the results of Operation League, a major cannabis-production crackdown, mainly in the west of Scotland, which has seen about 20 factories shut down. Police made several arrests during the operation, including Vietnamese and Chinese nationals, along with Scots.

But Mr Pearson will today tell a Scottish police conference on cannabis that the scale of the production is even higher. He told The Scotsman: "In the past year, cultivation in Scotland has gone from a baseline of almost nothing to a very substantial quantity. "More than 44 cultivations with a crop worth more than £5 million have been uncovered in the past six months. "It's gone from a homespun industry to a major production-line approach and is now big business. He said organised crime gangs had set up production "very quickly" in Scotland in the past year. "There is a Vietnamese and Chinese backdrop to many of these developments," he said.

Scots police were alerted to the problem by law-enforcement authorities in Canada, where Vietnamese and other Far Eastern gangs have seized almost total control of the cannabis market over the past five years. The criminals also moved into class A drugs and violent gang wars ensued. Cannabis production subsequently spread to mainland Europe and has now reached Scotland. Supplies of the Class C drug in the UK have traditionally come from countries such as Afghanistan, Lebanon, Morocco and the Americas, but it is thought that around 60 per cent is now home-grown - compared with 10 per cent a decade ago.

Ian Latimer, chief constable of Northern Constabulary and president of the Association of Chief Police Officers in Scotland, which has organised the two-day conference at Turnberry, said: "This new development emphasises the need for individual police forces to work closely with the SCDEA. "The significant number of arrests in the last nine months could not have been made without that partnership."

A rather large haul of cannabis
West of Scotland
Uk420.com
March 7th 2007

A rather large haul of cannabis was discovered by police in a house in Forfar yesterday. Approximately 1000 cannabis plants, with the potential to yield £200,000 of the drug, were found in a three-bedroomed house in South Street. The planned operation revealed cultivation in various stages of growth, with electrical devices designed to maximise plants’ development.
The property became the centre of intense forensic activity after the execution of a drugs search warrant. White-suited officers undertook a detailed search of the building and a tent was set up in the back garden.

Detective Inspector Iain Wales, head of Tayside Police’s drugs branch, said police were investigating if there was a link to finds in the west of Scotland. He said, “Over the last few months police in the west of Scotland have discovered over 30 cannabis-growing operations.

“In view of this there may well be others in the Tayside area,” he added, “and I would ask the public to let us know if they have any concerns about houses near them.” DI Wales also warned of the serious risk of fire.
The house is “effectively” made “a huge greenhouse, often bypassing the normal electrical supply and feeding directly from the mains.”
A 31-year-old man was arrested in connection with the find.He is expected to appear at Forfar Sheriff Court today.

 

'two drug houses in Sydney’s southwest'
Police.nsw.gov.au
March 7th 2007

Police find $370,000 cannabis – Fairfield and Bonnyrigg
Police raids on two drug houses in Sydney’s southwest have culminated in the seizure of nearly 200 cannabis plants worth $370,000.
Officers from the Fairfield Local Crime Team yesterday conducted simultaneous raids on a house on Montgomery Road at Bonnyrigg and one on Chadwick Street at Fairfield West. Inside both homes they discovered cannabis growing in an elaborate hydroponic set-up.
They arrested a 39-year-old man at the second house and questioned him at Fairfield Police Station. The man has been charged with cultivate a commercial supply of a prohibited drug, possess a commercial quantity of a prohibited plant and divert electricity without authority. He will appear at Bankstown Local Court later today and investigations are continuing.

 

Barack Obama
March 7th 2007

"pretty funny little clip featuring Barack Obama talking about smoking pot and about how in the last ten years admitting to using marijuana has gone from career-ending to "the cool thing to do" YouTube

.: Medicial Marijuana news Drug Policy Central