I joined the U.S. Army in October of 2008 and completed boot camp at Ft. Sill and AIT at Ft. Sam Houston. I was stationed at Ft. Riley with the 1st Infantry Division from July 2009-March 2013. In 2010 I was deployed to Basra Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn. I smoked cannabis before I joined the Army. I blazed while I was active duty and cannabis played a large part in accomplishing a normal reintegration back into civilian life.
A flock of sheep that locals believed to have eaten the remains of an illegally dumped cannabis grow terrorized a countryside village in Wales this week. Ioan Richard, the County Councillor, brought the issue to light and said that there currently was a flock of sheep breaking into people’s homes and gardens.
A judge sentenced Billy Hayes, Arizona’s most outspoken cannabis activist and entrepreneur, to two years in prison for his involvement with two different cannabis dispensaries. Hayes had been fighting the charges for over two years and turned down a plea deal in 2014 that could have landed him in prison for up to 12 years.
His most recent plea bargain involved two different cases and three charges; one count of possession of narcotics for sale, one count of possession of marijuana for sale and one count of misconduct with weapons that came with a minimum sentence of two years. The courtroom was tense but Superior Court Judge Carolyn Passamonte opted to not make Hayes serve any additional time.
Hayes told New Times it was “rough” that he couldn’t use the defense arguments he wanted, and that officials still didn’t seem to be interpreting the 2010 Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (AMMA) correctly.
Although Hayes will spend the next the two years behind bars, he doesn’t exactly deserve to be there and his imprisonment might be more political than punitive.
In 2010, after Arizona governor Jan Brewer cancelled the dispensary system enacted by state voters, Hayes helped organize the first compassion clubs where members could obtain free cannabis. This was a way to legally work around existing laws in response to the recent re-birth of prohibition.
Hayes even sued to have the AMMA amended to allow people who live within a 25 mile radius of a dispensary to cultivate cannabis. Ultimately he was unsuccessful, but if not him fighting the fight, than who?
The ACS was eventually raided for maintaining a number of plants exceeding the state limit, but Hayes was never charged. Instead he distanced himself from the operation and turned his attention toward his cannabis lounge, however, the police raided that establishment as well.
When Hayes refused to take a deal after the police raided his lounge, he and four others were hit with multiple charges stemming from the police raid on the ACS the year before.
During the proceeding Hayes was described as having a compassionate nature, and according to personal testimony, he was not under the impression that he was breaking the law. Hayes is the father of two girls and is about to share to his 10th anniversary with his wife.
Aside from an auto theft in his adolescence, Billy Hayes has only been convicted of cannabis related offenses. The last time he was behind bars he used the law library to gain the knowledge necessary to sue the state of Arizona. It’s impossible to tell what the future holds for Billy Hayes but if this drug war veteran comes out of the clink with both feet on the ground, I would expect his next endeavors to be nothing short of amazing.
An extensive cannabis grow operation was discovered in the UK after the properties landlord hired a locksmith to gain entry to the house. The locksmith opened the door and what was discovered would be any stoner’s dream come true; five rooms wall to wall with cannabis plants in varying stages of maturity. The police claim the street value is over one million pounds.
The grow was so large that even the building electricity had been re-worked in order to power the undertaking. Large foil covered pipes spanned the ceiling and dozens of electricity meters had been installed on the walls.
According to witnesses four men had been seen running from the back of the property as the landlord entered through the front.
Shahzeb Hussain, the property manager, said he had no idea any of this was going on and thought that the house was occupied by a couple and their child.
“We had absolutely no idea this was going on. We had no reason to check the property for the last year because we had no complaints from neighbors or tenants. Usually when something like this is going on we are alerted to it.”
All of this could probably have been avoided if the current tenants had maintained a line of communication with Mr. Hussain, who had decided it was time to sell the property.
“We want to sell the property. We had tried to contact the people living there but couldn’t. So we came with a lawyer to give them 24 hours notice. Then we came back with the management and found the locks had been changed.
“So we came in with a locksmith. The neighbors said they saw four men run away at the back as we went in. Everything was sealed with masking tape. It’s so shocking. It stinks – I can’t believe people have been using our house for this, it’s nearly every room.”
A spokesman for the greater Manchester police confirmed officers were called to a property in Crumpsall on Wednesday evening for a suspected cannabis grow operation. No arrests have yet been made at this point in the investigation.
If it wasn’t for prohibition these types of situations would never arise. It has been well documented in Colorado that legal operations tend to favor warehouse space and other low value properties that have been revamped for growing and other purposes related to cultivation.
While growing cannabis may be illegal in most countries, the only crime these farmers committed was altering someone else’s property without permission. It’s poor form to make serious alterations to a property that you don’t own and probably have no intention of returning to its original state. That combined with the fact that you were only able to attain the property using deception does little to bolster confidence towards the cannabis community.
There is another side to this coin, though. If it wasn’t for prohibition these types of situations would never arise. People could be open with their landlords about their intentions for the property, leaving the decision with the property owner, where it should rest in the first place. Who knows, the four people running this cannabis operation might have wanted to purchase the house themselves? After all, they had already made serious alterations to keep up with their production.
The first time I smoked weed I was 16 years old. I had lived a pretty sheltered life, attending a religious private school, as well as, going to church on Sunday and Wednesday every week. Even outside of those activities I didn’t have any stoner influences in my life.
In fact I can still recall my friend Kyle knocking on my door, paranoid that his mom was going to drug test him after his first time smoking weed. It took me a couple of minutes, but I was able to convince him that his mom was not picking up a test kit on the way home from work. After all, she had never drug tested him before, why would she start now?
I met this guy Bijon and his cousin whose name escapes me – but started with a T or was it a W? Who can remember trivial details like names? She wasn’t there when I blazed my first bowl so her name doesn’t matter. We were exploring an apartment complex which my mom had organized an after school program at, when he invited me to smoke the last of his weed with him and I agreed.
We decided the best place to smoke would be inside some buildings that were under construction a couple of blocks away. We were already guilty of drug possession, might as well tack on some trespassing so I could enjoy my first time in private.
It was probably two tenths of a gram, barely comprising a ‘bowl’ in the soda can Bijon had fashioned a pipe out of. We sat there on the ground floor amidst the rebar and cement blocks and prepared to get high. Bijon let me go first and I coughed in the pipe blowing most of the weed out of the bowl. We scrambled to find what pieces we could but ultimately came up with nothing. He smoked the last 3 leaves and we made our way out of the structure.
At the time I thought it was strange that I didn’t get high, but having no experience of being high, I didn’t really know what to expect anyway. Even though I wasn’t high, we still did stoner stuff.
We walked across the street where I bummed a dollar from a co-worker and then we went and got ice cream.
Even though I didn’t get high I was paranoid that my parents were going to drug test me. I immediately understood how Kyle felt knocking at my door worried that his parents were going to start drug testing him. For me, my first time smoking weed was like my first time getting laid, I didn’t know what I was doing and made awkward mistakes. When it was over I didn’t really understand what had happened, but I knew that something within me had changed forever.
Over the past weekend 815 cities in 72 countries demanded legalization of cannabis, in some form or another. Thousands of people marched from Toronto to Buenos Aires and everywhere in-between.
In Germany thousands of protesters took to the streets in multiple cities. However Cologne had a turnout of thousands. The sheer number of people shut down the streets as they marched behind vehicles equipped with a stage and loudspeaker chanting in their native German for the legalization of marijuana. Seriously ill patients are already eligible for medical cannabis if there are no other treatment methods available.
In Dallas-Fort Worth a few hundred took to the street chanting, “We smoke weed”, while marching through the city. The event was organized by the DFW NORML chapter as part of the Global Marijuana March.
“We want to see a change in our laws sooner rather than later,” said Shaun McAlister, executive director of the Dallas/Fort Worth chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, or NORML. “We are through with our tax dollars being wasted on prohibition.”
The most powerful march might have been in Buenos Ares, where wheelchair bound children suffering from refractory epilepsy were a large part of the demonstration. The protesters demanded legalization for medical purposes, as well as regulation to address cultivation and consumption.
The Global Marijuana March started in 1999 and continues to grow as cannabis culture becomes more about the benefits of ending prohibition and people like Shaun McAlister start to realize that their tax dollars being squandered on a failed drug war that was really just an excuse to cage peaceful people for enjoying themselves in the privacy of their own home.
Hopefully in the not too distant future the global marijuana march won’t be organized to demand the right to choose our medication but will have evolved into a celebration of the end of the drug war, a bad idea that spanned the greater part of half a century.
Reddit user CashMoney_X posted a truly disturbing yet still highly enlightening conversation he had with a few of his friends who are police officers. Although short, the conversation shows the reality of modern police philosophy, “Everyone is a criminal and people only act perfectly when they have something to hide.”
Read the full conversation below.
I know three guys that became cops around a decade ago and last night I got to sit down and ask them some questions that I have always wanted to ask a cop. Here’s one exchange that blew my mind:
Me: “What makes you suspect someone like my brother (23-year-old male) of driving high (he was once arrested for this) Are there any signs you look for?”
Cop: “If a young guy (18-30ish let’s say) is driving too perfectly he’s probably high. Especially if it’s late at night.”
Me: “Wait, what? If he’s driving too good he’s probably high?”
Cop: “Ya, guys in that age bracket, especially the younger ones, don’t drive that perfectly. If all of a sudden some 19-year-old kid with shaggy hair is following every traffic rule to a ‘T’ something’s up.”
Me: “Huh? You’re saying that guys drive BETTER on pot and that’s a PROBLEM?”
Cop: “I don’t make the rules, dude; you know that.”
So he’s telling me that people have been arrested for……following the laws too well? What in the actual fuck?
Is there anything the police won’t profile you for? In their own words, “If you are a 19-year-old kid with shaggy hair,” you’re not following the traffic laws. Therefore when you do, according to copthink, you must be in violation of some other law.
This logic creates dangerous situations, whereby the possibility that an individual might have a forbidden plant in their possession can trigger an escalating scenario, causing the police to act out violently.
Police profiling is enabled by the prohibition of marijuana and other narcotics, and the damage caused by police combating drug use and sales is often worse than the effects of the narcotics themselves.