Mistaken Fedex Delivery Leads to 400 Pounds of Marijuana

July 5, 2008

A mistaken delivery of a Fedex package tipped off police to a 200-pound shipment of marijuana that someone tried to send from Pembroke Pines, Florida to Baltimore. According to police, they learned about the shipment when it was delivered Tuesday to the wrong resident.

Authorities posing as FedEx employees arrested the shipment’s intended recipient, 30-year-old Richard Gwatidzo. He was charged Thursday with possession of a large quantity of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute along with other drug related charges.

Also seized were eight other FedEx boxes with nearly 400 pounds of the drug.

In the end of this anti-drug operation, the authorities are trying to determine the sender’s identity.

With all the states passing laws allowing medical marijuana, it leaves us to wonder if authorities will burn it, smoke it, or let sick people have it.

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Amsterdam’s Weed Shops Face New Challenge

June 28, 2008


This city’s famed marijuana bars have weathered many challenges over the years and are still smoking. But now they face an unwelcome blast of fresh air: On July 1, the Netherlands will be one of the last European countries to ban smoking in bars and restaurants in compliance with EU law.

The Health Ministry says the ban will apply to cafes that sell marijuana, known as coffee shops. But this being Holland, which for centuries has experimented with social liberalism, there’s a loophole: The ban covers tobacco but not marijuana, which is technically illegal anyway.

But that still leaves coffee shops and their customers in a bind. Dutch and other European marijuana users traditionally smoke pot in fat, cone-shaped joints mixed with tobacco.

“It’s the world upside down: In other countries they look for the marijuana in the cigarette. Here they look for the cigarette in the marijuana,” said Jason den Enting, manager of coffee shop Dampkring.

Shops are scrambling to adapt. One alternative is “vaporizer” machines, which incinerate weed smokelessly. Another is to replace tobacco with herbs like coltsfoot, a common plant that looks like a dandelion and that smokers describe as tasting a bit like oregano.

But most shops are just planning to increase their sales of hash brownies and pure weed – and are hoping the law isn’t enforced.

Michael Veling, owner of the 4-20 Cafe and a board member of the Cannabis Retailers’ Union, said he expected a small decline in sales as smokers are forced to separate their nicotine addiction from their marijuana habit.

But he expects the long-term effects to be minimal. “It’s absurd to say that coffee shops will go bankrupt in the second week of July. Nonsense,” he said.

Veling is instructing his staff to send tobacco smokers outside, but he doesn’t expect all coffee shops to do the same. He said some owners will ignore the ban – and will probably get away with it, at least for a while.

But “if obeying the smoking ban becomes a condition of renewing your business license, just watch how fast it will happen,” he said. “That’s the way things work.”

Chris Krikken, spokesman for the Food and Wares Authority, charged with enforcing the ban, said his agency won’t be targeting coffee shops in particular.

“For the first month we’ll just be gathering information about compliance in a wide range of hospitality businesses. Depending on what we find, we may focus more squarely on a sector that’s lagging,” he said.

But he said individual businesses caught allowing customers to smoke will be warned and definitely checked again. “Repeat offenders will face escalating fines,” he said.

Marijuana possession is illegal in the Netherlands, but smokers are not prosecuted for holding up to 5 grams. Around 750 cafes – half of them in Amsterdam – are licensed to have up to 500 grams in stock at any one time.

The Dutch “tolerance” policy recognizes that some people will smoke pot regardless of laws, so it might as well happen in an orderly way. Critics complain this encourages substance abuse.

But cannabis abuse in Holland ranks somewhere in the middle compared to other nations and is lower than in the U.S., France and England, according to statistics compiled by the United Nations’ Office on Drugs and Crime.

At the same time, the levels of THC – the main active chemical in marijuana – have soared in the past decade and are now at 16 percent in Dutch weed.

The U.S. government sounded the alarm earlier this month because THC in American marijuana has doubled to 9.6 percent since 1983, and it warned of recent scientific findings linking the drug to mental problems.

The Dutch government, currently led by a conservative coalition with a religious bent, is slowly squeezing back the number of coffee shops by not renewing licenses when shops close.

Growers are arrested, leaving coffee shop owners struggling to obtain their main product.

“The rules are being set to pester us out of business one by one, slowly but surely,” said Richard van Velthoven, manager at The Greenhouse, who said he feared being shut down for tobacco violations.

“I’ve taken the cigarette machines out, I’m putting Coltsfoot on the tables, I’ve bought extra vaporizers, the staff is watching out – what more can I do?” he said.

German tourist Lars Schmit said lamented the possible end of an era.

Without coffee shops, he said, “a little bit of Amsterdam will die.”

Originally found @ AssociatedPress.com

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Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Free At Last, Free At Last For Whitney Houston

May 20, 2008

Almost 8 years ago, “Crack is whack” queen Whitney Houton was busted at a Hawaiian airport with some marijuana. After 8 years of legal struggle, the charges were dropped and her record made clean. Perhaps, it will inspire her to clean up her other act: singing.

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Two Men Accused Of Using Corpse Head As Bong

May 9, 2008

Matthew Gonzalez and Kevin Jones appeared in a Harris County, Texas Courthouse to be charged with the misdemeanor offense of abuse of a corpse. According to documents filed in the case, Gonzalez and Jones along with an unnamed juvenile went to Humble cemetery, dug up a man’s grave, left it with the head, and went home to make it into a “bong”. About a half-month later, Gonzalez showed authorities the “bong” and the grave, but due to heavy rains it was hard to tell if the casket or the body had been disturbed.

Dumb people, dumb cops.

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Making Pot-Flavored Candy Illegal In Georgia

May 8, 2008

In Georgia, legislators are trying to pass a law banning the sale of “pot suckers” to minors. “Pot suckers” are marijuana-like flavored lollipops. Governor Sonny Perdue signed the bill into law on Wednesday, May 7t, 2008, banning the sale of these flavored products to minors with a fine up to $500 for each one sold. This law takes effect July 1st. This bill was intended to target businesses that sold the marijuana-inspired candies, like “Chronic Candy” and “Pot Suckers”, suggesting the candies promote drug use, even though the candies are completely drug-free themselves.

State Representative Judy Manning said she was shocked to receive death threats over the bill. “Some people think their rights are their rights,” she said.

Vote Hemp, a national organization that promotes the use of hemp products and tracks legislation, says the measure would make Georgia the first state to ban the sale of the candy to minors.

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San Diego State Drug Bust Tied To Fraternities

May 7, 2008

After what authorities are calling a major drug bust at San Diego State Univeristy, it has become clear that there were members of certain fraternities involved in supposedly openly dealing drugs on campus. The investigation was started last year with the cocaine overdose death of a sorority member ultimately lead to the arrest of 96 people of which 75 were San Diego State University students. Another drug-related death happened during the course of the investigation. Of the people arrested, 29 people were arrested during the early-morning Tuesday raids on nine locations including a fraternity, Theta Chi. Agents of the DEA found cocaine, ecstacy, and three guns. Of those arrested, 18 were wanted on warrants for selling to undercover agents. Theta Chi and five other fraternities have been suspended pending a hearing. This law enforcement investigation was dubbed, Operation Sudden Fall, as if the Drug War waas taking a page out of the book of Afghanistan.

There is speculation that profits may have been used in the financing of the fraternity.

More on this story as it unfolds.

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