Posts Tagged ‘police’

Police Shouldn’t Be Proud of Seizing Bigger Marijuana Crops Every Year

Cop With Weed

By Scott Morgan

If I didn’t know better, some of this week’s headlines might have me wondering if the American marijuana market is about to come to a crashing halt.

Record Marijuana Bust: $205 Million In Pot Plants Eradicated In Ventura County

Officials from the Venture County Sheriff’s department pulled in a record haul at a massive marijuana bust last week, the department announced today.

According to the official press release, the interoffice effort between a number of local officials and the United States Forest Service (USFS) managed to collect 68,488 marijuana plants at a large growing operation in the Los Padres National Forest just north of the city of Ojai.

The estimated street value for the record breaking bust was $205,464,000. (Huffington Post)

Meanwhile in Mexico, there’s plenty of excitement in the air as well:

Mexico Finds Large Marijuana Farm in Baja California

Mexican soldiers discovered one of the largest marijuana plantations ever found in the country, just 200 miles south of San Diego, Calif., the Mexican Defense Ministry said.

Mexican officials said on Thursday that the plantation, in Baja California, stretched as far as the eye could see—totaling some 120 hectares (296 acres). The crop would yield about 120 metric tons and be worth an estimated $160 million, the Defense Ministry said in a statement. (WSJ)

This is pretty typical stuff as far as celebratory drug prohibition press releases are concerned, but that hardly excuses the epic levels of drug war idiocy on display here. Let’s just think critically for one second and consider how you’d feel if you were tasked with the responsibility of preventing marijuana cultivation, and you just kept discovering ever more mindblowingly enormous marijuana plantations every single year.

drug war

It is a sign of progress, yes, but not on the part of the vast drug war armies dedicated to stopping people from growing staggering amounts of marijuana all over the northern hemisphere. The only discernible progress any reasonable person could observe here would have to be credited to those whose mission it is to overwhelm law-enforcement with an ever-intensifying cultivation campaign that promises to make them rich regardless of whatever percentage happens to get hauled off by the cops.

You would never find an oncologist bragging that he’s finding the biggest tumors of his career and calling it a victory in the fight against cancer. Marijuana is hardly cancer, of course, but I wouldn’t bet these pot crusaders are entirely clear on the distinction, which is why I still struggle to comprehend their ongoing and obsessive tendency to boast about something they ought to find perfectly disturbing.

At this pace, we can look forward to the day when marijuana is literally the only thing still growing in our once-majestic wilderness, and as insane as it sounds, I wouldn’t even be surprised to find law enforcement still bragging about their success as marijuana fields wind their way across every hillside from Orange Country to Olympia.

Artilcle From – Creative Commons Licensing


Frontline: ‘The Pot Republic’ Airs On PBS July 26 & 29

Photo: Frontline
Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman (left) visits a marijuana farm run by Matt Cohen (right), as featured in “The Pot Republic,” airing July 26 and 29 on PBS.

Frontline is presenting “The Pot Republic,” a report on the effort to legalize marijuana in California, this month on PBS.

While the bulk of cannabis used in the United States used to come across the border from Mexico, Colombia, Canada and elsewhere, more than half of it is now believed to be domestically grown, much of it in California, “where an enormous black market has emerged under the cover of the state’s medical marijuana law,” at least if PBS is to be believed.
With more than a third of the U.S. now experimenting with some form of legalization and decriminalization — and several California counties attempting to openly regulate cannabis production — Frontline and the Center for Investigative Reporting teamed up to take a look at the country’s oldest, largest and most wide-open marijuana market.

Recently, the U.S. Department of Justice fired a shot across the bow to states which have legalized, and are regulating, the growing and distribution of medicinal cannabis.
Marijuana is still illegal for any purpose under federal law, and the DOJ can even prosecute “those who knowingly facilitate such activities,” including state and local officials. (This hasn’t happened anywhere yet, but both U.S. Attorneys for the State of Washington have openly threatened to do exactly that.)
Can the federal government put the ganja genie back in the bottle? And why on earth would they want to? Stay tuned…
Frontline: The Pot Republic airs on PBS affiliates (and will be available online) Tuesday night, July 26 and will repeat Friday night, July 29. Check your local listings for airtimes, which will be 9 p.m. or 10 p.m. in most markets.
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Marijuana Arrests in California By County

Dude Busted For Pot After Catching Ride From A Deputy

Photo: Mat Lemmon

​Be careful accepting a ride in a cop car, or you may end up in the back seat. A rural Nebraska man didn’t just catch a ride from a deputy — he caught a marijuana charge, too.

Just after midnight Sunday morning, a Buffalo County Sheriff’s deputy saw a 26-year-old Kearney man and a 20-year-old Lexington man walking north on Highway 10, around five miles north of Kearney, Nebraska, reports Kim Schmidt of the Kearney Hub. The 26-year-old man’s car had a flat tire.
The deputy offered the 26-year-old a ride to the man’s home about a mile north. Before allowing the guy into his cruiser, the deputy patted him down for security reasons.
That’s when he found a jar containing suspected marijuana in the man’s front pocket. The man was cited, then taken to his home.
The jar was seized and placed into evidence, and the 26-year-old was cited for possession of marijuana less than one ounce.

Subway sandwhich worker sells pot to undercovers

Subway sandwich worker sold pot to customers who ordered ‘extra meat’: cops

BY Philip Caulfield

Sunday, June 5th 2011, 5:15 PM

A Subway sandwich worker in Florida was busted for slipping baggies of weed to customers who ordered 'extra meat' on their subs.

Seth Aenig/AP

A Subway sandwich worker in Florida was busted for slipping baggies of weed to customers who ordered ‘extra meat’ on their subs.

Elizabeth Hunt, 47, sold weed to two undercover cops this month.

St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office

Elizabeth Hunt, 47, sold weed to two undercover cops this month.

A South Florida Subway restaurant worker was busted for slipping bags of marijuana to customers who requested “extra meat” with their sandwiches.

Elizabeth Hunt, 47, was busted on Thursday after she sold dope to an undercover cop who used the code words during two stops at the St. Lucie County sandwich shop this month, police said.

Cops said customers who wanted their subs with a side of green would say the password while ordering and then drop $10 into Hunt’s tip jar.

“The ‘extra meat’ was a baggie of marijuana that Hunt slipped into the sandwich bag,” Sheriff Ken Mascara told Central Florida‘s News 13.

She faces drug selling and possession charges and was being held on $55,000 bond.

With News Wire Services

Massachusettes Court: Odor Of Pot Not Enough To Order Suspect To Exit Car

Photo: Flawless Hustle

Yes, I know what the car smells like, officer.
Maybe you haven’t heard about the decision from the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts.

Huge Victory In Massachusetts Limits Police Power
It’s a logical outcome of decrim, and it finally happened today. The mere odor of burning marijuana is no longer reason enough for police officers to order a person out of their car in Massachusetts, now that possession of less than an ounce of pot has been decriminalized there, the state’s highest court ruled on Tuesday.

“Without at least some other additional fact to bolster a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity, the odor of burnt marijuana alone cannot reasonably provide suspicion of criminal activity to justify an exit order,” the Supreme Judicial Court ruled in a decision written by Chief Justice Roderick Ireland, reports Martin Finucane at the Boston Globe.

Photo: News @ Northeastern
I like this guy: Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Chief Justice Roderick Ireland
According to the court, the people’s intent in passing a ballot question which decriminalized possession of small amounts of cannabis was “clear: possession of one ounce or less of marijuana should not be considered a serious infraction worthy of criminal sanction.”
“Ferreting out decriminalized conduct with the same fervor associated with the pursuit of serious criminal conduct is neither desired by the public not in accord with the plain language of the statute,” the court ruled.
In a long-overdue triumph of logic, the court ruled that the change in the law should — you guessed it! — affect how police behave in the field.
Justice Judith Cowin, who has since retired, wrote a dissent in the 5-1 decision. She wrote that up until this ruling, Massachusetts state law has allowed police to perform a warrantless search if they smelled burnt marijuana in a car.
“Even though possession of a small amount of marijuana is now no longer criminal, it may serve as the basis for a reasonable suspicion that activities involving marijuana, that are indeed criminal, are underway,” she wrote in a torturous example of non-logic.
“Our case law is clear that ‘the odor of marijuana is sufficiently distinctive that it alone can supply probable cause to believe that marijuana is nearby,’ ” Cowin wrote.
“The advent of decriminalization certainly has had no effect on the distinctiveness of marijuana’s odor. Nor has decriminalization affected the criminal status of numerous other activities involving marijuana,” she wrote, inadvertently revealing that her fevered imagination around what those potheads must be doing is a lot keener than is her shaky legal acumen.
Massachusetts voters in November 2008 overwhelmingly approved Question 2, which decriminalized marijuana, with backers calling for a “more sensible approach” to marijuana laws and asking law enforcement to focus on more serious and violent crimes.

Wake Up Call To Prohibitionists, Your Policy Has Failed!

At last, many ex-heads of state, ex-Government ministers, academics and celebrities seem to be coming together to reveal the total disaster of the prohibition of drugs policies.
Since the prohibition of drugs experiment was started back in the 1920’s and particularly since the adoption of the world-wide UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs in 1961, which led to the Misuse of drugs Act in the UK in 1971, we have seen disaster after disaster.
Whilst criminal gangs have made huge un-taxable or laundered profits and their victims have suffered from both ignorance (lack of credible advice and legal protection) through some drugs, the hypocritical law-makers have favoured the use of other and often more harmful substances like alcohol and tobacco, and Governments have taxed users heavily.

Lack of advice and quality control has led to countless deaths, untold crime, gang-warfare and an almost endless list or problems mostly brought on by the prohibition policy itself – a policy that has left the supply of what are clearly commercially viable, if not universally desirable, consumables.

Whilst police spend massive amounts of taxpayers’ money – many billions of pounds each year in the UK alone, the result has been simply atrocious – to the point that it is hard to justify the policy on any level.   The law often punishes the people it ought to protect – the “victimless” users; it enables criminal profits and creates addicts often driven to crimes of acquisition to pay the high prices for dubious quality drugs of unknown strength – whether cannabis, cocaine, heroin, LSD or whatever.  Strangely enough, in the UK and many countries, alcohol and tobacco are the exception, as well as being the biggest killers.
Now a group of ex-Government leaders and academics, as well as celebrities, have come together to demand that the UK Government end the failed policy of drug prohibition and take control; this comes at a time when a  well-respected international body (The Global Commission on Drug Policy) has declared the “war on drugs” a total failure.
The 19-member commission includes former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan and former US official George P Schultz, who held cabinet posts under US presidents Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon. Others include former US Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker,Mexico’s former President Ernesto Zedillo, Brazil’s ex-President Fernando Henrique Cardoso and former Colombian President Cesar Gaviria, as well as the current Prime Minister of Greece George Papandreou. The panel also features prominent Latin American writers Carlos Fuentes and Mario Vargas Llosa, the EU’s former foreign policy chief Javier Solana.
The list of those that have written to the UK Government demanding an end to prohibition includes Dame Judi Dench, Julie Christie, singer Sting, entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson and former Home Office minister Bob Ainsworth..  It is also supported by Film director Mike Leigh, actress Kathy Burke, three former chief constables and leading lawyers.
The open letter to the UK  Government, which was published by the campaign group Release, reads: “We call on the Coalition Government to undertake a swift and transparent review of the effectiveness of current drug policies. “
It concludes: “The failure of the current UK system of criminalisation is clear. It is time for the UK to review its policy and adopt a health focused, evidence based approach to drug use.”
The UK Home Office was quick to respond, with a standard letter: “The immediate reaction from the Home Office last night was to rule out any such move: “We have no intention of liberalising our drugs laws. Drugs are illegal because they are harmful – they destroy lives and cause untold misery to families and communities.”
Strangely enough, almost the same words as used by the last Labour Government when Bob Ainsworth MP was himself a Home Office minister.  Mr Ainsworth seems to have changed both his job and his tune – but NOW maybe he is speaking more honestly and sincerely than previously, who know?
Either way, to see this report from the The Global Commission on Drug Policy and letter to the Government is somewhat refreshing, even though the initial response remains as boringly thoughtless and hypocritical as ever.
When will the prohibitionists wake up to the FACT that their failed and costly policy is doing far more harm than good?  Or maybe it is them that makes the biggest profits all along?
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