Posts Tagged ‘hydro’

Marijuana Cultivation Eradication In America Statistics

outdoor marijuana garden

Whack and Stack: 2010 Marijuana Cultivation Eradication In America

[Editor’s note: Call it a terrible waste of police time, an unnecessary risk to law enforcement personnels’ lives, a loud and destructive invasion of one’s curtilage, the proverbial taxpayer-funded pursuit of a needle in a haystack, an unintended government-provided price support for an illegal and untaxed commercial market, or a bizarre police ruse where a valuable agricultural product—industrial hemp; which is even subsidized by the European Union to cultivate as an industrial fiber crop—is paraded out in front of unknowing (or not…) media who dutifully snap photos, capture video and write about any one law enforcement project involved in regional domestic cannabis eradication as being ‘successful’.

Call it what ever you choose, but it is that time of year again to see where and in what quantities the DEA claims it whacks and stacks outdoor and indoor cannabis eradicated within America’s borders, even though, as noted below, the DEA stopped honestly reporting the ratio of World War II-era feral hemp eradicated to actual cultivated cannabis plants (for recreational or medical uses) in 2006.]

by Matthew Donigian, NORML legal intern, University of Illinois — College of Law

In the most recent DEA Domestic Cannabis Eradication/Suppression Program Statistical Report, the DEA indicated that over 10 million marijuana plants throughout the United States were destroyed by the agency. According to this report, most of the eradicated plants were found in California, followed by West Virginia, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Washington State. The states with the least eradicated plants were Rhode Island, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, and Delaware.

The report also detailed the number of eradicated plants that were being cultivated indoors. The states with the highest number of eradicated indoor plants were California, Florida, Washington, Michigan, and Ohio. California is the obvious leader here, since its highly successful medical marijuana market has been the primary target of DEA operations. However, proponents of merciless penalties for cultivation of marijuana in Florida may be surprised to see the state in the number two spot, ahead of both Michigan and Washington State, two of the largest medical marijuana jurisdictions.  It seems that the policy touted by supporters as the silver bullet to large-scale marijuana production in the state has failed.

This should not come as a surprise to those familiar with the rhetoric supporting the failed War on Drugs. For the past 40 years, the federal government has promised decreased crime, overdose deaths, and addiction rates as a result of the punitive and prohibitive approach of the war and drugs, but has failed to deliver these results. In 2009, Florida drastically increased its penalties for cultivation of marijuana, which punish the cultivation of 25 or more marijuana plants with up to 15 years of imprisonment. Much like federal marijuana prohibition, increasing penalties in Florida in order to decrease cultivation has been an abject failure. In the most recent DEA eradication report, Florida ranked second in eradicated indoor marijuana plants, with 51,366 plants eradicated in 2010, only 1265 fewer plants than were eradicated per year from 1998-2008 (on average).  In addition there were nearly 500 more arrests associated with marijuana eradication in 2010 than there were on average between the years of 1998-2008.

In addition, since 2006, the report excludes statistics on the number of “ditchweed” or non-cultivated feral marijuana plants, eradicated each year. According to the DEA, eradication of ditchweed is still taking place but the agency refrains from reporting the number of eradicated plants, making it difficult to estimate the resources spent on this practice. The federal government seems to have misinterpreted criticism that the practice was a waste of resources; critics were not upset with the governments reporting of “ditchweed”, but rather the practice of seeking out and burning non-smokeable and non-cultivated cannabis plants. The last published eradication data for “ditchweed” indicated that over 200 million or 98 percent of all plants eradicated were feral marijuana. The current practice of non-reporting provides the American people with little information on where DEA resources are being utilized, and effectively hides the amount of money spent on an unintelligible practice.  

Increasing penalties against marijuana crimes and eradicating marijuana plants does nothing to prevent the use of marijuana. Since the war on drugs began the potency of marijuana has increased, as has the amount of marijuana grown. Similarly, the war on drugs has not even been effective at reducing teenage use. According to the National Institute on Drug abuse 41.7% of 12th graders had tried marijuana in 1995. By 2008 this number rose to 42.6%.

Marijuana prohibition has clearly failed. Hiding eradication statistics and putting responsible people in jail will not change that.

El Monte Marijuana Bust Uncovers $1 Million In Pot

El Monte Marijuana Bust

When Los Angeles deputies responded to a burglary-in-progress call in El Monte, they had no idea they’d be stumbling across one of the biggest marijuana grow houses in the city’s history.

On Saturday morning, four men and a teen boy were caught trying to break in to what seemed to be an abandoned warehouse on Continental Avenue. Instead of guns or other weapons, the thieves were armed with gloves and clippers, reports NBC LA. Their getaway car? A U-Haul.

Eventually, one of the suspects tipped authorities off about their intended target: over 3,000 marijuana plants valued at around $1 million. After obtaining a search warrant, El Monte police entered the warehouse to carry out what is being touted as “the biggest drug bust in El Monte history.”

KTLA’s look inside the El Monte warehouse plantation reveals a secret 3-foot high crawl space where a guard was stationed to watch the door through an air-conditioning vent. Inside, a sophisticated system of lighting and irrigation nurtured thousands of marijuana plants that were just three weeks away from harvest. Finally, the growers evaded detection by sourcing their electricity directly from underground wires, which authorities believe enabled them to steal $10,000 of electricity per month.

One of the robbery suspects alleges that the grow house belongs to his family, who was cutting him out of the profits. He had wrangled four friends to help him claim his share. From the Daily News Wire Service:

Benjamin Kwok, 37, of San Gabriel, Xing Xi He, 24, of Baldwin Park, Louie Frank Fraijo, 28, also of Baldwin Park, Raymond Guan, 29, of Rosemead and a 17-year-old boy from San Gabriel were all arrested and booked for commercial burglary…

El Monte is no stranger to jackpot marijuana busts. In 2008, a home in a small gated community was busted for housing a $1 million marijuana plantation. In 2010, police busted two more home plantations with estimated values of $250,000 and $1 million.

How To: Germinate Marijuana Seeds

Check out this video to learn how to germinate your marijuana seeds! Super informative and helpful!


California Rejects Plan To Reduce Cannabis Cultivation Penalties

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Graphic: disinfo.com

​The California Assembly on Friday rejected Assemblyman Tom Ammiano’s bill, AB 1017, to reduce marijuana cultivation from a mandatory felony to a “wobbler,” which would have allowed discretion on charging a misdemeanor. The vote was 24 yes to 36 no.

The bill had been supported by the district attorney of Mendocino County, but was opposed by the state D.A.’s association.
“The state Legislature has once again demonstrated its incompetence when it comes to dealing with prison crowding,” said disappointed California NORML Director Dale Gieringer.
“With California under court order to reduce its prison population, it is irresponsible to maintain present penalties for nonviolent drug offenses,” Gieringer said. “It makes no sense to keep marijuana growing a felony, when assault, battery, and petty theft are all misdemeanors.

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Photo: California NORML
Dale Gieringer, California NORML: “Legislators have once again caved in to the state’s law enforcement establishment”
“Legislators have once again caved in to the state’s law enforcement establishment, which has a vested professional interest in maximizing drug crime,” Gieringer said.
Numerous liberal Democrats failed to vote, with some of them actually opposing AB 1017, among them Sandre Swanson of Oakland, Jerry Hill of San Mateo, and Mike Feuer of Los Angeles.
Meanwhile, Chris Norby of Orange County was the only Republican “yes” vote in the entire Assembly.

11 Things Holder Could Say About Pot That Would Make Me Happy

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Photo: The Troubled Patriot
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By Jack Rikess
Toke of the Town
Northern California Correspondent

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced that he will “work with states” to clarify the Department of Justice’s position on medical marijuana. This is what I’d like him to say…
11. Marijuana is no longer a Schedule I drug.
The Good News: Marijuana will finally be reclassified as having medical value.
Bad News: Big Pharma doesn’t like to share…

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​10. Everyone can grow!

For states that have Medical Marijuana, patients will be allowed to grow six plants each. Why not?
Most everyone is doing it already. That way, the Man (and Woman) can’t control our stash.
9. Arizona, you have medical marijuana, get over it!

It would be great if the highest attorney in the land, Eric Holder reaffirmed that if the highest voters passed medical marijuana, they have spoken. This goes for any state that doesn’t like democracy and the right of voters.
I’m also looking at you, Big Sky.
8. We’re only busting deals over 50 pounds.

Until legalization happens, commerce shall continue. Fifty elbows can be divvied up pretty quick, especially if it’s the amazing Purps or some of that Solar Diesel making the rounds.
I think 50 pounds and under is a fair amount that one should be able to travel with for commercial purposes, within state lines of course.
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​7. There won’t be any lists of medical marijuana patients or growers recorded anywhere.

Doctors don’t give the State or the Feds lists of their patients who are on Viagra or Ritalin, (and who wouldn’t want to know who gets a little sketchy if they’re not on their meds?)
Why should they give the medi-jane patients up? In the Time of Grey Markets, we’ll come out, but don’t make us tell you where we live.
6. States need to get their acts together.

There are 58 counties and a whole lot of unincorporated towns (think Deadwood) in California. Unless two adjoining counties have the same laws, ordinances and restrictions, you’re going to have graft, corruption and more of the same.
We need consistent and common-sense regulations within the states, left up to each state what that would be, but for the love of all that is sane, let’s have cultivation, commerce and transportation laws that make sense and work.
5. Amsterdam is over.

The Dutch no longer want the sounds of the Grateful Dead gracing their canals. For some crazy reason (actually, the Flemish blew it for everyone) foreigners will not be allowed entry into the hash bars without a visitor’s permit.
This is the United States’ chance for a big toe into the lucrative world of the ganja-turistas. For Las Vegas whose fountains suck the blood of a vanishing economy everyday and then spit it out in a multicolor symmetry five times a day to a couple of tourists dressed in cut-offs, and other destination cities that are having hard times. Here’s your chance!
It’s time for these sinkholes to reinvest in the American Dream and open our own hash bars. Once Las Vegas discovers marijuana, munchies, and cotton-mouth, food and beverage directors everywhere will have a new lease on life. This model could be replicated everywhere.
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​4. If you’re in jail because of cannabis, pack your bags…

It is just time to stop. As correctional officials nationally figure out ways to release the least violent and aggressive inmates into our society. Why are non-violent, first-time marijuana offenders going to prison at all?
Because somebody says it is illegal.
3. Users are immune from federal prosecution. 

From this point on, it will be left up to the state you’re in for the rules and regulations governing marijuana. One of the reasons it is easy to get a job in Oklahoma City is because people are leaving there because of draconian weed laws. You took a chance on gambling and casinos, alcohol and guns.
Trust me, after all of that, you’re going to love marijuana. We’re a lot less hard to handle.
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​2. Movies are better when you’re stoned.

I don’t know, I just think it would be cool if the Attorney General of the United States came out and said, “You know, I saw Ghostbusters straight the first time, then I saw it high.
“Man, it’s a lot funnier when you’re baked. I’ll take your questions now if you have any.”
1. I am sorry.

These last few weeks have been very tense for many of us in the medical marijuana movement. Dispensaries have been threatened with closures. Banks that do business with the cannabis industry have been told to open their drawers. Proposition 19 in 2010 had a pretty good chance of passing until Eric Holder came out the week before the vote and said, “no matter what happens with the vote, the Feds will still bust pot smokers.”
In fact, Eric Holder and then candidate Obama pledged to back off medical marijuana patients and make marijuana a low priority in terms of prosecution. At a time when Big Pharma seems to be making strides and advancements, patients and medical marijuana doctors are being deterred, harassed and even jailed.
Some days it is like a bad game of ganja musical chairs. We’re never sure where to sit.
It would be nice to hear someone say, “Sorry for the inconvenience. We hear you. We won’t smile nor smirk when asked if marijuana has medicinal value. We will take medical marijuana patients and their input seriously, realizing that they’ve been the only true governing body that has driven the medical marijuana movement since it started.
“I am sorry.”

Happy 73rd Birthday to Stoner Comedian Tommy Chong

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Photo: Rolled Too Tight

Tommy Chong is a legend among stoners. The Canadian-American comedian, actor and musician, well known for his stereotypical portrayals of hippie-era pot smokers, turns 73 years old today. He was born May 24, 1938 in Edmonton, Alberta.

Chong is most widely known for his involvement in the Cheech & Chong comedy duo, which recorded a series of albums and then filmed a series of movies centered around marijuana-related humor. He also became well known for playing the hippie character “Leo” on Fox’s That 70s Show.
In 2003, Chong — as a highly visible and successful symbol of the stoner lifestyle — was targeted by two American investigations code-named Operation Pipe Dreams and Operation Headhunter. He was charged for his part in financing and promoting Chong Glass/Nice Dreams, a company started by his son Paris.

Chong’s case never went to trial; instead he accepted a plea agreement with the office of the U.S. Attorney for Western Pennsylvania, in which he admitted to distributing 7,500 bongs and water pipes on the Internet.  He agreed to the guilty plea in exchange for non-prosecution of his wife, Shelby, and his son.
He was sentenced to nine months in prison, a fine of $20,000, forfeiture of $103,514, and the loss of all merchandise seized in the raid on his business. He served his sentence at the Taft Correctional Institution, being released on July 7, 2004.
The entire episode was chronicled in the award-winning 2006 documentary film a/k/a Tommy ChongHe wrote about his experiences in prison and his interest in meditation in his 2006 book, The I Chong: Meditations From The Joint.
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Photo: Paramount Home Entertainment
Cheech (right) and Chong in their classic first movie from 1978, “Up In Smoke”
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Photo: Movie Eye
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Photo: Movie Eye
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Photo: Gloobts
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Photo: Danger Jones
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Photo: listal

8 Reasons Why Cheech & Chong Are Legendary

Cheech & Chong are one of the most famous comedy duos in history. At their peak in the 1970s, they represented the mainstream embodiment of the attitudes and lifestyles of the underground drug culture. Much like W.C. Fields shot to fame by making alcohol the focus of his act, the duo of Richard “Cheech” Marin and Tommy Chong emerged from a cloud of pot smoke, simultaneously lauding and lampooning the stoner community that became the team’s most ardent supporters. It was a tried and true recipe for success that still proves popular—as presently evidenced by the comedic action series Project 420, where being a pothead is all part of a day’s work for three CIA narcotic research scientists. While Cheech & Chong were derided by critics and dismissed by the general populace, the team’s stature as counterculture heroes was, and remains, unquestioned. For both aging hippies and dazed-and-confused teens, their comedy defined an era. And now, nearly half a century after they first hit the stage together, their live performances, comedy albums and movies continue to entertain a new generation. They are legends, and here are eight reasons why:

1. Cheech & Chong are better than boobies

After entering show business as a guitarist in a rock band, Tommy Chong (who also operated his inherited family business: a topless bar) established City Works in Toronto, a wild improvisational troupe later joined by Richard “Cheech” Marin, who had just moved to Canada from California. When City Works dissolved, Cheech & Chong continued as a duo, performing at Chong’s club, which (as I mentioned) featured topless dancers.

Prior to the comedy club boom of the early ‘80’s, it was not uncommon for comedians to perform in strip clubs (that’s also how Jay Leno got his start). Of course, with big beautiful breasts bouncing all about, it was much more difficult for a comic to captivate the audience. I mean, c’mon, we’re talking fun-bags here, folks. So, when a comedian could distract a crowd’s attention away from the ladies, it was pretty clear they were funny. Cheech & Chong had no problem stealing the spotlight from the headlights. Whenever they took the stage, boobs took a backseat to their outrageous bits.

2. “Dave’s not here.”

Aside from their live performances and movies, Cheech & Chong albums were part of what made the two men great in the eyes of their fans. Basically, the albums were recordings of live stand up routines, jokes, and skits. The albums still continue to be a huge part of what make them great.

On their self-titled debut album, the sketch “Waiting for Dave” is perhaps their most famous and is largely responsible for helping garner their widespread popularity. The outrageous, circular routine (owing a debt to comedians Bob & Ray) was actually ad-libbed by Chong, which confused and angered Cheech, thus making the performance all the more memorable because of it’s uproarious (and little-known) authenticity.

3. Big Bambu included a REALLY Big Bambu

Following the success of their self-titled debut recording, Cheech & Chong released a number of other wildly successful albums, including Wedding Album, Sleeping Beauty, and Greatest Hits; but it was their second, Big Bambu, that is their most famous (it reached #2 on the Billboard charts).

Named after a brand of rolling papers, the album’s immense popularity wasn’t so much due to the record itself, but because the original packaging included a GIANT rolling paper – perfect for rolling a GIANT joint. Not surprisingly, today, the original album is considered a valuable collector’s item.

4. Cheech & Chong introduced the world to Pee-wee Herman

Formed in Los Angeles in 1974, The Groundlings is a legendary improv troupe that has produced countless stars such as Will Ferrell, Jimmy Fallon, Kathy Griffin, Lisa Kudrow, Jon Lovitz, Conan O’Brien, Phil Hartman and Paul Reubens, to name just a few. Aware of The Groundlings’ impressive stable of highly-skilled, up-and-coming comedic talent, Cheech and Chong utilized many of the group’s members in the cast of their first three movies – subtly getting them to write much of the script while only paying them and giving them screen credit for acting duties. So excited to simply be in a movie, the comedians from the Groundlings were naively accepting of this double duty for paltry compensation. And it was a good thing they did, too, because it gave the world its first on-screen glimpse of Paul Reubens as Pee-wee Herman in 1980’s Cheech & Chong’s Next Movie. (Personally, I prefer Reubens’ turn as the guy snorting booger sugar with Chong under a restaurant table in 1981’s Cheech & Chong’s Nice Dreams.)

5. Cheech & Chong got stoned with Arnold Schwarzenegger

Tommy Chong wasn’t just consumed with reefer madness, he was also addicted to weightlifting. Cheech & Chong’s second movie, Nice Dreams, even features a scene where he and Cheech (also an avid weightlifter) deliver weed to bodybuilders at Power Source Gym in Burbank, California. And in real life, the pair really did pump iron and puff pot with numerous professional bodybuilders, including legendary body sculptor/actor/politician Arnold Schwarzenegger. That’s right. The Governator loved the green, as evidenced by his celebratory “smoke” in the locker room following his unprecedented and god-like 6th-straight Mr. Olympia crown—an act caught on camera that can be seen in the epic film that launched Arnie’s career, Pumping Iron.

6. Cheech & Chong split before the act got stale

As the hedonism of the 1970s gave way to the “just say no” conservatism of the Reagan era, Cheech & Chong found little response to their trademark brand of humor. After 1984′s The Corsican Brothers, their film career ended, and in 1985, they returned to the recording studio for their swan song LP, Get Out of My Room. And with that, they thankfully dissolved their partnership. I say “thankfully” because they could have all too easily been content to tour and rake in the cash by beating a dead horse, but they didn’t. While this hurt their careers for a time, Marin enjoyed a renaissance in the middle of the 1990’s, appearing in the Robert Rodriguez films Desperado and From Dusk Till Dawn as well as a prominent supporting role in Ron Shelton’s romantic comedy Tin Cup that led to a co-starring role opposite Don Johnson in the CBS detective series Nash Bridges. Meanwhile, Chong released a line of “water pipes” (see #8) and returned to the screen, appearing in the movie Half Baked and guest starring on the popular TV program That ‘70s Show.

After settling their differences and feeling the climate was again right for their brand of comedy, the pair reunited and resumed touring in 2008.

7. Tommy Chong went to jail for his “beliefs”

In 2003, Tommy Chong was targeted by two American investigations code-named Operation Pipe Dreams and Operation Headhunter, which sought out businesses selling drug paraphernalia, (mostly bongs). Operation Pipe Dream was run from Pittsburgh. U.S. Attorney for Western Pennsylvania, Mary Beth Buchanan oversaw the case. The estimated cost of Operation Pipe Dream was over $12 million and included the resources of 2,000 law enforcement officers.

Chong was charged for his part in financing and promoting Chong Glass/Nice Dreams, a company started by his son Paris. Chong’s case never went to trial, instead Chong accepted a plea agreement with the United States Attorney for Western Pennsylvania’s Office in which he admitted to distributing 7,500 bongs and water pipes on the Internet through Nice Dreams. Chong agreed to plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute drug paraphernalia in exchange for non-prosecution of his wife, Shelby, and his son, Paris. Chong fully cooperated with the government and was the first of the Operation Pipe Dreams defendants to plead guilty.

At Chong’s sentencing, Assistant U.S. Attorney for Western Pennsylvania, Mary McKeen Houghton stated in her sentencing arguments that Tommy Chong “used his public image to promote this crime” and marketed his products to children. U.S. Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan also was present at the sentencing in Pittsburgh and released a statement to the press stating, “There are consequences for violating the law, even if the violator is a well-known entertainer like Thomas Chong.”

While Chong argued for community service and home detention at his sentencing, the district judge, Arthur J. Schwab, denied his requests and sentenced him to 9 months in federal prison, a fine of $20,000, forfeiture of $103,514, and the loss of all merchandise seized during the raid of his business. Chong served his sentence at the Taft Correctional Institution from October 8, 2003 to July 7, 2004. The entire episode was chronicled in a/k/a Tommy Chong, the 2006, award-winning documentary by Josh Gilbert.

8. Cheech Marin (surprisingly) served as a role model

A third-generation Mexican American, Richard “Cheech” Marin became famous for smoking dope, but he wasn’t one. And even though his Cheech & Chong character was anything but a role model, his overall career served as an early example of success for Latinos in Hollywood.

For his work, Cheech has been recognized on behalf of Latinos by the Imagen Foundation Creative Achievement Award and by the National Council of La Raza and Kraft Foods ALMA Community Service Award. In 2007, he received an honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts for his contributions to the creative arts from Otis College of Art and Design as well as the inaugural Legacy Award for Arts Advocacy from the Smithsonian Latino Center. He currently serves on the boards of the Smithsonian Latino Center and the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, as well as contributing a great deal of time and energy to promoting Chicano art.

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