California Man Ships Marijuana To Himself
Police in South Elgin say they have intercepted 82 pounds of marijuana that a California man allegedly shipped to himself in the Chicago suburb. Police tell the (Arlington Heights) Daily Herald that marijuana seized Wednesday at a freight and delivery company had an estimated street value of $470,000.
The arrested man, 69-year-old Walter Kwiatek (kwee-a-TECK') of Cloverdale, Calif., appeared Thursday in Kane County Bond Court on charges of marijuana trafficking, manufacture or delivery of marijuana and possession of marijuana. His bond was set at $500,000. Police say they believe Kwiatek shipped the marijuana to himself from an address in Santa Rosa, Calif. Police were not available for further comment Thursday, and did not say whether Kwiatek had an attorney.
Cannabis Factory With Plants Worth £80,000 Found In Irlams o' th' Height
Police raided a cannabis factory where drugs worth £80,000 were being cultivated. The 70 marijuana plants were found with a lighting and hydroponics system at a warehouse in Irlams o' th' Height, Salford. Officers carried out the warrant on Claremont Road at around 8am, after members of the public tipped off the police. Cops were joined by fire fighters who helped prise open doors of the factory to discover a secure room containing the drugs.
Police confiscated the haul and believe the value of the plants is somewhere between £60,000 and £80,000. A 40-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of production of a Class B drug with intent to supply and is now being quizzed by police. PC Danielle Southwell said: "We have listened to the concerns of our residents who feel that this area is being blighted by drug dealing and today's warrant is a direct result of information from members of the public. "Thanks to their help, we have seized more than 70 mature cannabis plants and in doing so stopped a large amount of drugs from flooding our streets.
"Sadly, drug addiction leads to other crimes such as burglary and robbery as a means to fund their addiction and people who cultivate cannabis serve only to propagate this cycle of misery. "Help us to rid the streets of drugs and the people who peddle them by contacting us. This recovery shows what we can achieve when the public work with us so, please, if you do know anything come forward."
Marijuana Activist's Eligibility For B.C. NDP Leadership Questioned By Party President
The B.C. NDP leadership race got off to a shaky start Wednesday, with a dust-up over whether the first person to declare his candidacy was a paid-up party member. Marijuana activist Dana Larsen held a news conference to announce his intention to campaign for the leadership. Three hours later, NDP party president Moe Sihota said Mr. Larsen was ineligible because he did not have a membership card. Mr. Larsen subsequently blamed a clerical error at NDP offices for the mix-up.
He renewed his membership, changed his address and made a donation in November, he said in a news release. "The donation was processed, however, my address change, and now it seems my membership, were not” said Mr. Larsen. “Moe Sihota chose to resolve this clerical error through the media rather than contacting me directly. That is highly irregular, “Mr. Larsen said. Earlier, Mr. Sihota said Mr Larsen may be ineligible even if he buys a membership. Mr. Larsen was a federal NDP candidate in the 2008 election campaign who stepped down following controversy over his marijuana use.
“Having been deemed ineligible to run federally, that raises the question if he could run provincial,” Mr. Sihota said in an interview. The rules committee for the leadership race is slated to meet next week to set the eligibility requirements. Mr. Larsen may not qualify under those rules, Mr. Sihota said. “He is currently ineligible, and may be ultimately ineligible,” he said. However, Mr. Larsen insisted he could run. “I’m a member in good standing in the NDP, as far as I know,” he said. “I make monthly donations on my credit card.” Mr. Larsen also said he voluntarily chose to resign as a federal NDP candidate; he was not disqualified. “As far as I know, I would qualify under any rules the party would set, or under any rules they have set in the past. I cannot imagine any rule they would set that would disqualify me,” he said.
Feds Want Michigan Records In Medical-Marijuana Probe
Federal agents want Michigan to turn over medical marijuana records as part of an investigation in the Lansing area, a sign that voter approval won't stop federal authorities from enforcing their drug laws. Michigan voters agreed in 2008 to legalize the use of marijuana in treating some health problems. But "the cultivation, possession and distribution of marijuana remains illegal under federal law," Assistant U.S. Attorney John Bruha said in a court filing last week.
The U.S. attorney's office has asked a judge to order the Department of Community Health to comply with a subpoena for records of seven people with medical marijuana or marijuana caregiver cards. The state has been resisting turning over the information because of a privacy provision in Michigan law, Bruha said. No names or identifying information about the seven are included in court documents, nor are details about the Drug Enforcement Administration's investigation.
DEA spokesman Rich Isaacson in Detroit wouldn't comment about the case Monday but said agents generally are "not targeting people that are unambiguously following the state medical marijuana law." "The DEA targets large scale drug trafficking organizations and does not expend its resources on individuals possessing 'user amount' quantities of illegal drugs," he said. The federal government apparently hasn't been in a rush to get the information: The subpoena was given to the Department of Community Health in June. More than 45,000 people in Michigan are registered to use marijuana to ease the symptoms of cancer and other health problems. They can have up to 2 1/2 ounces of ready-to-use pot and up to 12 plants kept in an enclosed, locked facility. They could also choose to have a registered caregiver grow the drug for them.
Cannabis Clubs Plug A Gap In Spanish Drugs Laws
The sign on the door says it all, but the acrid smell and smoke wafting across the Private Cannabis Club in the Madrid dormitory town of Paraceullos de Jarama are proof that it lives up to its name. "This is the one place we can smoke in peace," said a punter at the bar, mixing tobacco and dried, shredded cannabis leaf in a long rolling paper. The Private Cannabis Club, with its palmate green leaves stencilled on the walls and the club's name etched on to smoked windowpanes, is at the vanguard of a new movement of pro-cannabis campaigners in Spain. The members spotted a gap in Spain's drugs laws which, they say, makes the activities of private clubs like these entirely legal. The spacious Paracuellos de Jarama club, in a former restaurant in a town overlooking Madrid's Barajas airport, is equipped with a bar, kitchen, billiard tables and TV screens. It is the most sophisticated of up to 40 cannabis clubs that have sprung up in garages and back rooms around Spain since campaigners worked out that laws making it illegal to consume in public did not apply to private, member-only, clubs.
"We've been open for two months and we already have 125 members," said the association's president, Pedro Álvaro Zamora. Those members pay €120 a year to belong and Zamora and his companions follow rules that seem similar to those of exclusive Mayfair clubs. A sign by the doorbell warns that only members are admitted and a committee vets new applicants, blackballing some. Alicia Méndez, a club official, said: "Potential members are interviewed and we do not accept everyone. Our members have to be responsible people, have the right profile." Zamora said: "This is not Amsterdam, this is not a coffee shop. This is our association's club house and it is a private place. It is not open for everyone." Spain does not have a law banning consumption in private and members claim it is safer to use the club than go out to parks and smoke in public. Zamora said: "The club recognises that cannabis is not good for everyone. We propose a responsible form of consumption. Not everyone should smoke. We know there are risks." Club members can bring their own cannabis or share in the club's own stock. They can even take some away as long as they sign for it and the cannabis is for personal consumption.
Although the club house, which is registered with the local authorities, is left alone by police, members can get into trouble if caught carrying cannabis. "It is illegal to buy, sell or transport, so you can be fined if caught with it on you." The club offers legal help to fined members. Supplying the club is another problem, as dealing in cannabis is illegal. "We are fighting for the legal right to grow it," said Zamora. The club applied for a medical licence to cultivate cannabis but was turned down. Then police raided its secret plantation and destroyed the plants. Zamora said they would challenge in court the right to destroy a plantation devoted to supplying a private club: "We are people who work and pay taxes. We are not delinquents
San Jose: Cop shoots at 'possible suspect' in marijuana grow-house robbery
A San Jose police officer shot a "possible suspect" in a downtown home invasion robbery Tuesday night after the man got into a car whose driver tried to run over the officer, a department spokesman said today.
Police said the man may have been involved in a robbery of a marijuana grow house in the 500 block of Locust Street south of the Children's Discovery Museum. The 30-year-old San Jose man, who has not been identified, is expected to survive with a serious gunshot wound to his leg, according to police.
San Jose police are investigating a chaotic chain of events that began at 11:04 p.m. Tuesday when a dispatcher with the California Highway Patrol received a 911 call and overheard a robbery in progress. The dispatcher transferred the call to San Jose police, which sent patrol officers to the house on Locust Street near South Almaden Boulevard, according to San Jose police Sgt. Ronnie Lopez.
Officers arrived at 11:08 p.m. and about seven minutes later learned that at least one shot had been fired during a home-invasion robbery of the marijuana grow house, injuring one of the residents. Police said the victim was take to a local hospital with injuries that are not life-threatening.
"We were definitely responding to a violent situation with very complicated components and a lot of chaos," Lopez said.
Police are not saying how much marijuana was being grown or whether the house was an illegal operation.
As officers were interviewing residents of the house on Locust Street, two San Jose police officers working a DUI saturation effort spotted two men who matched the description of the robbery suspects near the House of Pizza on South Almaden Boulevard, Lopez said. As the officers approached the men, one of them tossed aside a handgun. Police arrested the men on the scene and are "fairly certain" the two are connected to the robbery, Lopez said.
The two men arrested have been identified as James Kaufusi, 20, of East Palo Alto and Lulnani Kailahi, 30, of San Francisco. Police say a third man wanted in the home invasion is Aminiasi Ofa, 22, of East Palo Alto.
About 11:22 p.m., two patrol officers spotted a man who matched suspect information in the robbery standing next to a 1991 Acura Legend four-door sedan on West Reed Street between Almaden Avenue and South First Street, Lopez said.
As officers "attempted to make contact" with the man, he jumped into the Acura, which was being driven by a woman identified as Zebry Mary Lou Martinez, 30, of San Jose. As Martinez started to drive away, she steered toward one of the officers, police said. The officer opened fire.
The officer who fired the shots injured his knee while diving out f the way of the car, Lopez said. He was taken to a hospital and released.
The Acura fled south on South First Street.
Moments later, police received a call about a suspicious man hiding between vehicles on State Street south of Highway 280. Officers found the man, who by then was in a gold GMC Yukon that had arrived to pick him up, police said. The man had been shot in the leg and officers identified him as the suspect who fled in the Acura.
"When you're dealing with violent suspects, guns being discarded and vehicles driving toward the police, you've got violent issues to deal with," Lopez said. "It's something that's very dynamic and it has to be controlled swiftly."
Police have not identified the victims in the home invasion or the man who was shot at by police.
Police are still trying to determine if the man and woman in the Acura who sped toward the officer are connected to the robbery or if they were "fleeing for some other reason." Police later found the woman, who is being interviewed by investigators, Lopez said.
Police say they are still looking for one other possible suspect in the robbery.
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