Posts Tagged ‘canadian marijuana’

Canada: Marijuana Arrests On The Rise

Canada’s crime rate has dropped to its lowest level in almost four decades, according to Statistics Canada, but marijuana-related arrests are dramatically increasing.

Stats Canada shows that 58,000 Canadians were arrested for cannabis possession in 2010, a number that is 14 percent higher than the year before, reports Renee Bernard at News 1130.
Pot smokers are being unfairly targeted by the Harper government, according to Jacob Hunter with the Beyond Prohibition Foundation.

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Photo: I Love Weed
Jacob Hunter of the Beyond Prohibition Foundation, left, is arrested June 10 at a “Free Marc” protest in Ontario.
​ ​”There’s been very little evidence of any increase in use in Canada, but there seems to be a huge amount more attention being paid to just simple marijuana possession,” Hunter said. “Both the arrests for production and possession of cocaine and other drugs have gone down.”
The crackdown on pot use is a huge waste of money, according to Hunter, given that a large number of Canadians support legalization.
“The great irony of all this is that of every poll conducted in the last 10 years, more Canadians support the legalization of marijuana than actually voted for a Conservative candidate in the last election,” Hunter said.
The crackdown on simple marijuana possession is incredibly costly and ultimately futile, Hunter said.
“It’s become clear what this government’s priorities are,” Hunter said. “A crackdown on simple marijuana possession, mandatory minimum sentences for growing even one marijuana plant, and a dismantling of the medical marijuana program.
“This is nothing less than a total war on marijuana,” Hunter said.
“What we are seeing is a coordinated effort led by the Conservative government to crack down on simple marijuana possession as part of a multi-billion dollar increase in the war on drugs,” said Kirk Tousaw, executive director of the Beyond Prohibition Foundation, reports Phillip Smith at
“Why? Why did 58,000 Canadians need to be arrested over a plant that more Canadians want legalized than voted for Conservative candidates?” Tousaw asked. “Why is Mr. Harper spending billions to arrest Canadians for simple marijuana possession?”

Mounties Let ‘Honest’ Pot-Smoking Driver Through Checkpoint

Photo: The Wyckoff Journal
​A Canadian man who smoked a joint while an RCMP officer chatted with drivers a few cars ahead of him at a roadside checkpoint last week was allowed to continue on his way after he gave up his small stash of marijuana.
The man, from Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, was upfront when asked if he had “smoked any dope recently,” reports Brian Medel at the Halifax Chronicle-Herald. Yes, he said — about 30 seconds ago.
But at least his seat belt was fastened, and he was courteous and cooperative. Even though the aroma of freshly smoked cannabis wafted up through the air as the officers waved him up, “he seemed fine,” so after he put his small weed stash into the outstretched hand of a Mountie, he was on his way.

However!! Smoking a joint while waiting in line at an RCMP checkpoint isn’t exactly recommended behavior, according to Cpl. Andy Hamilton of the RCMP’s western traffic services.
“I don’t know the exact distance, but it wasn’t very far (back in the line),” Hamilton said.
“I can’t get into the guy’s mind, but he felt comfortable enough to light a joint within eyesight of the police, probably figuring he’d finish it off before he gets there and no one will be the wiser.”
The joint was gone by the time he got to the front of the line, but the Mounties noticed “other evidence.”
“He was honest,” said Hamilton, who wasn’t at the scene but read the report later.
The mellow motorist was briefly detained, but released without being charged, although according to Hamilton, charges are still possible.
The Mounties — who decided the man was OK to drive after questioning him — don’t often charge cases involving only a gram or two of cannabis.
“The main reason we don’t is because whenever we present those cases to the Crown, they usually don’t go forward with them,” Hamilton said.
The fact that a driver was toking up at a checkpoint did not surprise Hamilton. Officers often smell marijuana after pulling a car over, and the driver usually claims he or she smoked a joint “the night before.”
“They’re very nonchalant about it,” Hamilton said.
So if a driver with one or two grams of pot isn’t likely to be charged, is the same likely to be true of a driver with one open bottle of beer?
“You have to go case by case,” Hamilton said.
Susan MacAskill of MADD Canada (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) claimed that marijuana-smoking drivers cause accidents.
“It mellows a person out so they don’t realize they’re a risk,” MacAskill claimed. “They think they’re more relaxed, and we’ve had many people who claim ‘I’m a better drive when I’ve smoked a joint,’ and that’s just absolutely not true.
“:People who are impaired by marijuana can cause as horrific crash,” MacAskill claimed.
“It is really quite bold to be smoking a drug that’s illegal … at a traffic stop,” she said.

Superfast Computers Triggering Botched Marijuana Grow Raids

Photo: Bitcoin Miner
Turns out, looking only at electric usage from a residence, the consumption for bitcoin mining won’t look much different from a marijuana grow-op. Cue clueless cops.

You don’t have to be growing marijuana to get raided for it. At least one Bitcoin miner has been raided by police because unusually high power usage led them to suspect he was growing marijuana, according to unconfirmed reports on Monday.

The tip comes from an IRC chat captured by blogger Mike Esspe, though there are no corroborating details, reports Jerry Brito of Techland.
Bitcoin is the anonymous virtual currency that uses distributed computing power to validate online coins. “It’s like gold mining, except that instead of digging, a miner uses cryptographic math,” reports Techland.
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Screen capture: Mike Esspe
Does this mean, that with the growing number of bitcoin miners, courts will stop issuing warrants based on energy bills? Not bloody likely.
Like clandestine indoor marijuana growing operations, Bitcoin mining uses large amounts of electricity and runs up big power bills. It does this because it employs super-fast computers.
High power consumption has often alerted police to marijuana growing operations and has thus led to busts.
“The Canadian town of Mission, B.C. has a bylaw that allows the town’s Public Safety Inspection Team to search people’s homes for grow ops if they are using more than 93 kWh of electricity per day,” according to the blog Bitcoin Miner.
Though a typical mining rig will consume only a fraction of that amount, Bitcoin miners are adding capacity, and with multiple rigs, more and more miners are exceeding the level which triggers police interest, according to the blog.
Residents have been charged a $5,200 inspection fee — even if no marijuana or signs of a grow operation are found, reports Cam Tucker at the Delta Optimist.
Some Mission residents who feel their rights have been violated by the arbitrary searches, and have begun a class-action lawsuit against the District of Mission in B.C. Supreme Court.
There had already been speculation that mining Bitcoins will bring unwanted and misdirected attention from the police.
“I’m still waiting for the first bitcoin grow-op raid,” a Bitcoin mining pioneer had commented on an IRC channel back in January.
Increasingly ubiquitous supercomputing could lead to more and more false positives, not just for Bitcoin miners, but for hardcore gamers too, as well as anyone running video rendering farms or web servers from home, according to Techland.
“It will be interesting to see how courts will adapt to such uses when interpreting reasonable suspicion standards,” Brito writes.
Does this mean, that with the growing number of Bitcoin miners, courts will stop issuing warrants based on energy bills? Not bloody likely.

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