Category Archives: marijuana

Florida’s Home Grown Pot Trade Booming

Florida is the leader in indoor marijuana cultivation in the United States. The crops are hydroponic marijuana, grown without soil, giving it the highest level of THC marijuana on the market.
In 2008 there were 1,022 grow-ops busted in the state, up from the previous year’s 480. The average THC in the found crops was at 25 percent. Considering that the pot of yesteryear was at 7 per cent THC, it’s easy to understand that this is a potent plant. When grown indoors marijuana doesn’t have to deal with night hours, lights are used to nourish the plants 24 hours a day. The fertilizers that are used help hasten the growth and the THC levels in the plants. A pound of home grown marijuana can fetch $4,000 on the street in Florida. In other areas, that same crop can make it’s growers up to $8,000. Grow-ops generally have four crops a year. Police rely on tips to break up the indoor farms. One type of informant is the electric company. In one case an employee in Polk Country was sent out to shut down the power for nonpayment. When he heard a generator running in the backyard that day and on a following Monday he asked a person at the home about it. Or tried to, the man refused to comment so he called the sheriffs. That call led to one “sophisticated marijuana grow operation” being shut down. For growers the Internet is a hotbed of information on how to grow hydroponic marijuana. Many sites give step-by-step details on how to plant and harvest, from seed choice to what lighting is the best to use. The police know they may be fighting a long-term battle. As Time reports:

Captain Joe Mendez from the South Florida High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area says, “If the economic downturn remains as it is, I don’t see any light at the end of the tunnel.”


Canadian Military To Pay For Medical Marijuana For Qualified Vets

Medical marijuana is now being paid by Canada for certain military veterans who qualify. Payments will be made to veterans who are licensed by Health Canada to have the medical cannabis if it is obtained by a firm in Flin Flon, Manitoba.
The approval came down the pipe in October but it is just now being made official to qualified veterans. There are approximately eight veterans who qualify for the program in Canada.

The Canadian Press reports:

“These guys (the federal government) want to stand up for veterans’ rights,” said Bruce Webb, a Comox, B.C., veteran who successfully pressed Veterans Affairs Minister Greg Thompson for the about-face.

“They want to help.”

Webb, one of the eight, was paying out of pocket $490 for cannabis as he attempted to survive on his disability pension.

Some have said that the marijuana produced by the plant is too weak to do much good but Webb says that his pain caused by a 1999 sports injury is controlled by the product.


Pot Tax Approved For Oakland, Voters To Decide

The Oakland City Council has approved a 1.8% tax on medical marijuana sold inside the city. If voters pass the proposal in July the city will be the first in the nation to tax the drug.
This could be a first step in legitimizing medical marijuana in the state of California and is a victory for advocates.

The tax would be paid by dispensary operators for every $1,000 in gross receipts. Currently they are paying about $1.20 and the change would raise that to as much as $24.

Opposing Views reports:

Four state-licensed dispensaries operate in Oakland.Oakland attorney James Anthony, legal counsel for the Harborside Health Center dispensary and a member of the NORML Legal Committee, told the Oakland Tribune that “paying a higher tax rate could show the 120 jurisdictions across the state that have banned medical marijuana sales that ‘medical cannabis dispensaries are good neighbors’ that can help provide cities with revenue.”

In February another major victory came for advocates when the U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said that the federal government would no longer be raiding state-approved dispensaries.

California is one of 13 states that has legal medical marijuana. Anyone over the age of 18 who obtains a doctor’s recommendation is able to be allowed to obtain the drug. There are an estimated 200,000 medical-marijuana users in the state. Users are already paying a sales tax on the drug.

If Oakland does approve the additional tax it could bring the city at least $400,000 and possibly more than a million dollars a year. Oakland is also proposing tax measures for hotel patrons, corporate mergers and an adjustment to Measure OO, which requires that money be set aside for youth recreation programs. All of the proposals could help the city come up with an extra $6 to $8 million a year.

The city is currently facing an $83 million shortfall in this year’s budget.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

“We wanted to further legitimize the medical-marijuana paradigm to show that we are truly willing to assist [Oakland], and to show other cities that there are social benefits to this,” said Keith Stephenson, executive director of Purple Heart Patient Center.

There doesn’t appear to be any formed opposition against the proposal and medical-marijuana advocates are positive that it will be passed during the vote.


Opinion: Obama Declines to Legalize Pot for Sake of the Economy

Legal pot. That’s an idea many cling to on April 20 each year. 4/20 is a part of urban culture where toking a joint is the thing to do. Like last year it’s still an illegal activity. There bad news for those wanting change, it’s not coming from Obama.
There are those who will say celebrating a day that in itself is illegal is wrong but is it? In the past other days would have been considered illegal, like say the Fourth of July. I am in no way saying that making pot legal is as important as the birth of a nation. Still the legalization of marijuana could be revolutionary.

Think about being able to relax with your friends and not worry if the police were on the other side of the door. That in itself may take away some of the paranoia that tokers experience.

What about those small time hoods that sell their goods. If pot was legal they may be out of a job but you could be in one that would feed your family. Yea, President Obama says that isn’t going to happen but maybe Prime Minister Stephen Harper could mix it up a bit.

Hey’s it’s 4/20, folks think outside the box.

If you were wondering why 4/20 is so important to those in the ‘pot culture’ here’s a little history lesson.

A group of teens at San Rafael High School in San Rafael, California, United States in 1971 used to meet after school at 4:20 to smoke pot around the Louis Pasteur statue. That time was picked because detention let out at, you’ve got it 4:20 p.m.

Perhaps those meeting with their buddy Louis had a habit of getting in trouble at school.

Since the beginning of time, or at least 1971 the day was left open on calendars to meet, get high and celebrate the bud way of life.

SFist reports:

The group of friends were known as the Waldos, and their story, via a very long game of stoner Telephone, made it onto a flyer passed around among some Grateful Dead fans in Oakland in 1990, and was then immortalized in the May 1991 issue of High Times.

The truth is, not everyone is for legal marijuana. Some believe that marijuana is a curse on the land. They believe that making pot legal would open up a gateway to other drugs becoming legal. That all the naughty people would lay around and get high instead of making a living. They don’t want to hear that pot can be beneficial to those who are sick. Nor do they care that the herb has been around since the dawn of man. It’s against the law and that is that.

If the stuff was legal today wouldn’t be an annual party day. It wouldn’t be a day of defiance, of standing up to the man or voicing the virtues of a herb that more and more scientists are finding uses for. It would just be a day like any other.

So happy 4/20 to those that celebrate it and good luck in convincing the rulers of the world that next year it’ll be a legal holiday.


Park found muffins sicken four puppies in Southern Ontario

Four puppies in the Durham Region have gotten sick when they ate muffins laced with marijuana. The muffins had been hidden by a teen boy in a nearby park.
The teen is said to have hosted several house parties while his parents were on holiday during Spring Break.

The teen took the muffins to the Poplar Park after cleaning up from the last party as so his parents would not discover them.

Several dogs sniffed out the pot-laced goodies and woofed them down on March 23. They became ill after indulging on the treats. All of the dogs recovered.

The police at first feared that the stash had been laced with an antifreeze-like substance.

There are no charges pending. The teen showed remorse and is willing to personally apologize to the pet owners.

CBC reports:

“Investigators do not believe there was any criminal intent and the teenager did not think about the consequences of his actions,” the release said.


Harry Potter actor busted for growing cannabis

Jamie Waylett, 19, has been arrested by police in the UK after they allegedly found marijuana in his car. The actor was stopped by officers in Westminister, central London.
After searching the man’s car they found eight bags of marijuana. He and another 19-year-old were taken to a police station.

After questioning the actor, a raid took place at his mother’s home in Camden. The police say they found a cannabis farm and expensive cultivation equipment.

The police took at least 10 mature cannabis plants.

Sky News quotes a spokesman as saying:

“We stopped a vehicle at 7pm on Thursday April 2, in Lodge Road, NW8.Officers discovered a quantity of around eight bags of what we believe to be cannabis in the vehicle. The two occupants of the car, both 19-year-old men, were arrested and taken to a central London police station. While they were there, at 10.40pm on the same evening, we attended an address in Messina Avenue, NW6. Officers found a number of plants believed to be cannabis and equipment for the cultivation of plants. Both men have been bailed until a date in July pending further inquiries while we await tests on the substances and plants recovered.”

Anyone convicted of cannabis production faces a maximum of 14 years in jail.

The men have been bailed out of prison until July.

Earlier this year cannabis was reclassified from a Class C drug to a Class B substance in the United Kingdom. The reclassification makes this a much more serious crime.

Warner Brothers has refused to comment about the arrest.


Canadian women facing four year for smoking joint in Indonesia

Two Canadian women who smoked a marijuana joint while on holiday in Indonesia are facing a four year prison term. In Indonesia marijuana and heroin are in the same drug class.
The two, Kathleen Ann Elisabeth, 31, and Christa Mary, 30, were arrested in February on the island of Lombok. They remain in police custody.

AFP reports:

“The two women were arrested in February while they were smoking cannabis,” Central Lombok police chief Suryanto told AFP.

The two kindergarten teachers went to Indonesia on their winter break. They were found to be in possession of 3.6 grams of cannabis when they were arrested at the hotel they were staying at.

The Jakarta Post reports:

“It’s an order from the top, as long as the case is being processed, the two Canadians remain in custody. Since their case is being handled by the Lombok police station, that’s where they are being held,” West Nusa Tenggara regional police spokesman Tribudi Pangestuti said.

The police had reportedly followed the pair for days before the arrest. In Indonesia marijuana is classified the same as heroin.

The Canadian embassy cannot arrange for release from prison when Canadians are arrested aboard nor can the embassy post bail, pay for lawyers or pay your fines. They are not allowed to seek preferential treatment for you nor have Canadians exempted from the due process of local laws.

What the embassy can do is conduct prison visits and ensure treatment consistent with what would be expected by the host country’s own citizens and contact your next of kin about the situation you are in. They can give you a list of English speaking lawyers and direct you to information about local laws.

Canadian citizens arrested aboard should inform the arresting authorities that you wish to have the nearest Canadian government office abroad notified immediately of your arrest.

Always remember when traveling aboard that you have to obey the laws of the land. If you break the law in another country, you are subject to that country’s judicial system.


Medical marijuana permit holders may get more rules in Canada

If you are a medical marijuana permit holder in Ontario here’s your heads up, you may not be allowed to toke away wherever you desire.
Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq is asking the House of Commons to put it in writing where medical tokers are permitted to light up a joint.

Lately the federal government has been pressured to put it the legal rules around medical marijuana in writing.

The current rules came into force in 2001 with the Marijuana Medical Access Regulations doesn’t have a location policy. The only rule at the moment is like cigarettes, medical marijuana is not allowed to be smoked in an enclosed public place.

New regulations are being worked on but there is no deadline for those rules. Health Canada officials will be in charge of drawing up the regulations and then presenting them to the health minister. The Health Minister will have the final word.

There are about 2,800 people in Canada will medical marijuana permits.


Yongesterdam Is A Thriving Pot Friendly Area In Toronto

Welcome to Toronto’s marijuana scene mostly happening on “Yongesterdam” in quaint little smoker clubs people will be trying out a new pipe at a hemp store to relax. As long as there isn’t a scene there’s no need for ID or the police.

Vancouver has a thriving pot scene but Toronto is starting to rival the hip town of Canada. These smoker’s club stayed under the radar of the mainstream until police raided Kindred Cafe on November 20 for allegedly trafficking marijuana. The Kindred’s owner, Dominic Cramer, will face the judge on January 13.

Those in the know have no trouble locating the areas in Toronto that are pot-friendly. Each summer Matt Mernagh, a pot activist, leads a weekly tour to bring others up to speed about the cannabis community.

Starting at Vapor Central the tour goes through various seed and hemp stores ending for those energetic enough to make the trek to Hot Box Cafe in Kensington Market, home of the famous backyard ‘potio.’

While owner Abi Roach doesn’t sell weed it does allow its customers to smoke. The Hot Box and the Kindred regulate those toking on their premises. It’s an adult only activity in designated areas. The Kindred’s mission on the letterhead is to host medicinal marijuana use. That doesn’t mean that it requires customers to show their government-issued licenses.

These establishments are illegal but operating in the public eye. The police tend not to crack down on places that don’t have any complaints flowing out. Det. Sgt. Paul MacIntyre of the Toronto Police drug squad says unless there are complaints these places go unnoticed by the police. Once an officer is aware of a free toking place they have to investigate and arrest anyone found there that has pot on their person. That doesn’t mean that the venue will be closed.

As the Star reports:

“If the people who own the business aren’t involved in the sale or distribution of drugs, they won’t be charged,” MacIntyre said. At the homey three-year-old Kindred, business has fallen by about a third since the raid, said spokesperson Chad Cooke.

For those with marijuana licenses because of medical reasons there are no federal laws where not to light up a joint. An information package is sent to license holders but it only warns about smoking in public areas and the dangers of second hand smoke.

It’s illegal to smoke tobacco in an enclosed business but marijuana isn’t tobacco and that loophole changes things.

Tour guide Menagh says that he sees shocked tourists amazed at the marjuana laws being broken in coffee shops or stores.


Those Happy Chinese, Oldest Stash Found

The world’s oldest stash of marijuana has been discovered in China. The pot was put inside a tomb in a remote area about 2,700 years ago. Researchers determined that the stash was used for “psychoactive purposes” and not as a fiber for clothing or food.

The researchers found 789 grams of dried cannabis buried with a light-haired, blue-eyed Caucasian man. He is thought to have been a shaman of the Gushi culture.

While the stash had retained it’s colour the aroma has been lost with the passage of time.

The Canadian Press reports:

“To our knowledge, these investigations provide the oldest documentation of cannabis as a pharmacologically active agent,” says the newly published paper, whose lead author was American neurologist Dr. Ethan B. Russo.

Marijuana has been found from ancient Egypt and other sites. The Greek historian Herodotus wrote about it. So far though this recent find is the oldest that has been able to be tested for its properties.

Most of the researchers on the team are based in China. They tried without success to germinate 100 of the seeds found in the cache.

Some may find this even more disappointing as the tests have shown that the cannabis has a very high content of THC.

It is not known how the shaman would have used his stash, there were no pipes or bongs buried with him. It was contained in a leather basket and in a wooden bowl quite possibly for the man to use in his afterlife.

“This materially is unequivocally cannabis, and no material has previously had this degree of analysis possible,” Russo said in an interview from Missoula, Mont.

“It was common practice in burials to provide materials needed for the afterlife. No hemp or seeds were provided for fabric or food. Rather, cannabis as medicine or for visionary purposes was supplied.”

This find helps confirm that marijuana has been used for a very long time. The region of Xinjiang in China is considered to be an original source for many of the cannabis strains found throughout the world.