Amsterdams pot shops fighting for right to party
Category: News | Posted on Mon, April, 23rd 2012 by THCFinder
AMSTERDAM — Dutch coffee shop owners went to court last week in a last ditch bid to block a government plan to stop foreigners from buying marijuana in the Netherlands.
Lawyers representing the coffee shops oppose what would be the most significant change in decades to the country’s famed soft drug tolerance: turning marijuana cafes into “members only” clubs open solely to Dutch residents.
Members would only be able to get into the coffee shops by registering for a “weed pass,” and the shops would only be allowed a maximum of 2,000 members.
The move comes into force in the south of the country May 1 and is scheduled to roll out nationwide on Jan. 1, 2013.
Whether it will be enforced in Amsterdam, whose coffee shops are a major tourist draw card, remains to be seen.
The city has strongly opposed the pass idea and Mayor Eberhard van der Laan says he wants to negotiate a workable compromise with the country’s Justice Minister Ivo Opstelten.
Lawyers for the cafe owners told a judge at The Hague District Court that the move — aimed at reining in problems caused by foreign “drug tourists” who buy marijuana in the Netherlands and resell it in neighboring countries — is “clearly discriminatory.”
Lawyer Ilonka Kamans argued that Dutch drug policy gives citizens “the fundamental right to the stimulant of their choosing” and should not deprive visiting foreigners of the same right.
Government lawyer Eric Daalder defended the measures.
“Fighting criminality and drug tourism is a reasonable justification” for the crackdown, Daalder told the court.
He said the government wants to bring coffee shops back to what they were originally intended to be: “small local stores selling to local people.”
Marijuana Activists Suing CU-Boulder Over 4/20 Campus Closur
Category: News | Posted on Thu, April, 19th 2012 by THCFinder
Marijuana activists are filing suit against University of Colorado Boulder for the planned campus shut down on Friday, The Denver Post reports. CU-Boulder has made it clear that it does not want the annual marijuana smoke out held on campus any longer, which has drawn nearly 10,000 people to Norlin Quad to light up on 4/20 in recent years.
Denver attorney Rob Corry, no stranger to marijuana-related lawsuits, is representing the activists and is seeking a hearing this afternoon. Corry recently participated in The Huffington Post's Great Marijuana Debate and has defended more medical marijuana criminal cases than any other attorney in Colorado and is the only attorney to win multiple acquittals for defendants facing medical marijuana charges.
"To my knowledge, there has never been a case where a public university has blockaded and shut down its entire campus to squelch free speech activity there," Corry told The Huffington Post regarding the campus shut down. "This is a radical overreaching on CU's part. When did marijuana become so offensive at CU-Boulder of all places?"
CU-Boulder Chancellor Philip P. DiStefano made this statement about the reasons for employing such extreme measures to end the gathering via the school's website:
The gathering disrupts teaching and research right in the heart of the campus. The size of the crowd has become unmanageable, and limits our faculty, staff and students from getting to class, entering buildings and doing their basic work. It needs to end.
Then later, in a letter written to The Denver Post, DiStefano goes further stating that the marijuana celebration is far from a protest or demonstration and should not be treated as such. "If it is a protest, then every party on every college campus in America is a protest," DiStefano writes.
Pot growers Warned: Feds, local officials planning to hunt down big marijuana farms in Merced County
Category: News | Posted on Tue, April, 17th 2012 by THCFinder
Local law enforcement announced Monday that it will be working with federal agencies to crack down on large-scale medical marijuana grows, primarily on agricultural land.
"We're going to start (pushing for) federal charges against people because of the state's reluctance to file cases," said Tom MacKenzie, spokesman for the Merced County Sheriff's Department. "We're notifying people that there's going to be law enforcement action."
The Sheriff's Department is sending out letters and emails telling medical marijuana growers they could be subject to criminal charges and seizure of property.
Merced Sun-Star - Paul Johnson of the Merced Multiagency Task Force carts off marijuana plants pulled from a corn field south of Merced in 2007. The Merced County Sheriff's Department and other local law enforcement agencies will join federal agents in targeting large-scale marijuana grows. on Healy Road and Vassar Avenue on Wednesday August 22, 2007.
The move follows several public announcements by U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner that federal and local law enforcement officers in the Central Valley will collaborate in shutting down large marijuana operations.
"We are working with sheriffs in at least six counties (including Merced) to target marijuana grows on agricultural lands," said Wagner, the region's top federal prosecutor. "Large grows, regardless of whether they're called medical or not, are in violation of federal law."
While large outdoor marijuana grows -- often associated with guns, violence and environmental destruction -- tend to garner little public support, cannabis advocates have voiced concern about this most recent campaign.
"If we actually see local law enforcement working hand in hand sending out teams of deputies with federal agencies, that's new," said Nate Bradley, a former California police officer and spokesman for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. "If they actually start going after legitimate co-ops, you'll see protest like you've never seen before. They're going to get one of the biggest states' rights battles."
UC Boulder loses some buds: school to shut down over pro-pot rally
Category: News | Posted on Mon, April, 16th 2012 by THCFinder
The University of Colorado will be on lockdown this Friday, complete with campus police conducting checkpoints and demanding proper ID from everyone in sight. The reason? Authorities want to finally end the school’s annual pro-pot rally.
If you spend April 20 this year in Boulder, Colorado, stay far, far away from the city’s major college campus, caution authorities. No, there is no bomb threat expected for this Friday at UC Boulder, nor are police preparing for any visiting dignitaries to address the students. The cause for heightened security this time around is something much more serious, it would seem. School officials are sick and tired of an annual event that has brought people from across both the state and the country to smoke marijuana on campus.
Students have been toking up on the school’s campus every 4/20 for years now, with the annual event bringing in around 10,000 participants just in 2011. In the past campus police have resorted to dousing students with water and snapping their photos to publish them on the Web, offering cash bounties for the identifications of those caught smoking up. This time, the answer isn’t just public humiliation, though. Instead the school will be instituting authoritarian rule for one day in hopes of at least ending what has proven to be a peaceful protest in years past.
"We're at that point where we're saying, 'Enough,'" CU-Boulder spokesperson Bronson Hilliard said on Friday, reports the city’s 9 News television. "We don't want this on our campus."
To keep any questionable activity to a minimum, anyone without a school-sanctioned ID will be banned from campus on Friday. The Nolin Quad, where Alex Douglas of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws says he spotted 15,000 pro-pot ralliers in 2010, will be shut down entirely for the day.
"Students, faculty, staff and all CU-Boulder affiliates will need their Buff OneCard IDs to get on and around the campus,” states an official press release from the university. “Those not affiliated with CU-Boulder will not be permitted on campus and face tickets for trespassing."
"We will have checkpoints on the perimeter of the campus and also within the perimeter as well," CU Boulder Police spokesperson Ryan Huff adds to the tv station.
Those tickets won’t be tiny ones either. Non-students engaged in the annual pro-marijuana rally will be considered trespassers and subjected to penalties that include six months in jail and a $750 fine.
#OpCannabis: Anonymous Pushing Marijuana for 4/20
Category: News | Posted on Mon, April, 16th 2012 by THCFinder
Not every innocuous schoolboy joke becomes a worldwide cultural phenomenon, but this one -- 4/20, 4-20, four twenty -- has had legs since it began 41 years ago at San Rafael High in Marin County.
This year, the universal code for marijuana use is being co-opted by everyone's favorite "hacktivist" collective, the masked men and women at Anonymous. The group announced an "operation" for this Friday called Operation Cannabis, stylized as #OpCannabis.
Thus far, websites have been hacked, YouTube videos have been uploaded, and cannabis smokers have been asked to turn their social media profiles green. But what else can we expect?
It may be worthwhile to note that #OpCannabis first appeared on the web last summer, when a pair of YouTube videos claiming association with Anonymous appeared in August. Since then, Anonymous announced Phase 1 of Operation Cannabis last week, with some website hacking announced as Phase 2 over the weekend.
In its latest OpCannabis video, Anonymous decries marijuana's subjugation by the corporate and political establishment, and urges participants in the operation to go visible with turning their social media profiles green. That's not quite like hacking into government websites or shutting down a few BART trains -- two actions Anonymous has been associated with recently.
But it may be enough. And what can the general citizenry do to assist, aside from attend drum circles, visit a favorite medical cannabis dispensary, or flaunt the magic plant?
Some might call this slacktivism -- to sign a petition demanding President Barack Obama undo the War on Drugs, reschedule marijuana, and halt the attacks on state-legal medical marijuana as well as turn their Facebook profiles green for the day. But consider this: Even with the full legal protection offered by medical marijuana states, this is a substance that can get a person removed from employment, disqualify them from housing, and otherwise wreck a life if the authorities so decree.
Police Say Grandmother Is Marijuana Ring Dealer
Category: News | Posted on Fri, April, 13th 2012 by THCFinder
CRAIG COUNTY, Oklahoma - A 73-year-old woman was arrested after sheriff's deputies searched her home and found marijuana and $278,000 in cash. A four-month investigation led investigators to what they say is the biggest player in the Grand Lake area drug trade. "We feel like this is a really big operation," said Sheriff Jimmie Sooter.
The money was seized along with four pounds of marijuana from a house and vehicle belonging to Darlene Mayes, a 73-year-old grandmother. "It was just like shock. I can't believe this. This is a lady my grandmother's age, and I could never in a million years picture my own grandmother doing this," said Bobby Floyd, Vinita Police Chief.
Investigators say older folks are becoming more active in drug trafficking. They don't raise as much suspicion and more are turning to drugs as a way to make extra money in their golden years. "Don't put an age limit on the investigation, because anything can happen," Floyd said.
In this case, it goes well beyond supplementing retirement. That's clear by all the cash. "It's hard to imagine anyone having that much cash just laying around the house," Sooter said.
Investigators say the 73-year-old grandmother is likely responsible for 40 percent of the marijuana trade in the Grand Lake area, which has gotten worse in the last couple of years. "She was one of the tops of the totem pole in this area for northeastern Oklahoma," said Vinita Police Chief Bobby Floyd. "I think she was a big factor in the drug trade."
Darlene Mayes is being held on several drug complaints and will likely be charged with drug trafficking.
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