Judge vows top put anyone growing cannabis immediately behind bars
September 20th 2011
Sheffield’s top judge has issued a stark warning to anyone caught growing cannabis in South Yorkshire - immediate prison awaits. The judge said the number of cases of production of the Class B drug was on the rise, and he was dealing with three or four at court every single day. Many defendants were unaware they would be jailed immediately, he said - even if it was their first court appearance, they had no previous convictions, and they were growing the drug for their own use.
Judge Goldsack told one defendant: "Six out of the 14 cases on my list this morning involve producing cannabis on various scales." And he added a guideline case at the Court of Appeal earlier this year ruled sentences for cannabis-growing "should be higher than they had been", and should "always result in immediate imprisonment unless there are exceptional circumstances". "The Court of Appeal - putting it in simple language - has said the courts have got to get tougher on this," he said. "Cannabis is a dangerous drug and those who bring it into existence must be punished."
Among those jailed at Sheffield Crown Court were e.g.: A property developer aged 43 was jailed for three years and nine months after UKP 94,000 worth of skunk cannabis was found athe garage loft space. Another guy jailed for six months for producing eight cannabis plants with a street value of UKP 39,140.His mother, who is suffering from a tumour in her eye and was accompanied by his elderly father, wept in the public gallery as he was sent down. Detective Superintendent Richard Fewkes, in charge of South Yorkshire Police's drugs strategy, said over the last five years officers in the county had seized cannabis with a street value of over UKP 40 million.
USA/Arizona: More Than 13,000 Arizonans Are Now Card-Carrying:
Exactly five months into the voter-approved program, more than 13,000 Arizonans now have the state's legal permission to get high.
And at this rate, 32,000 of your friends and neighbors will be card-carrying medical marijuana users when the system hits the first anniversary. But state Health Director Will Humble said he cannot predict ultimately what percentage of Arizonans will become medical marijuana users.He said, though, there is no immediate indication that the figure will hit 200,000 any time soon, the number of people in Colorado -- a state of similar size -- who possess that's state's medical marijuana card. Humble said there was an initial rush of applications in the days following the April 14 start of the program, with applications coming in at the rate of about 100 a day. "It's tapered off a little bit,' he said.But Humble said the online application system still is getting close to 70 requests each day, leading to his extrapolation of 32,000 users by the middle of next April.
Canada/Britsh Columbia: Grow-Op busts keep crime unit in action
A marijuana grow operation was busted near Canim Lake on Sept.
8 by the 100 Mile House RCMP detachment and the Cariboo Region Integrated Marijuana Enforcement task force (CRIME ). 100 Mile House RCMP Staff Sgt.Brian Coldwell says in its search of three, separate neighbouring properties, police found 3002 plants and approximately 30 pounds of dried bud, with an estimated street value of more than $1 million. Two male Canim Lake residents were arrested and released until their court date, and Coldwell adds police will be recommending charges.
In the wake of another successful grow-op bust, CRIME is moving forward in a second community phase initiative. The completed one-year pilot project ran out early this month, but recently received the authority and funding to continue.Coldwell says the work undertaken in the first phase will continue to consult with local governments to look for legislation changes or other ideas to combat the rising number of marijuana grow-ops. There are more than 100,000 marijuana plants worth millions of dollars that have been taken off the streets by CRIME operations in the Cariboo, he notes.
USA/California: California Hemp Bill Awaits Governor's Signatur
A bill that would allow farmers in four California counties to grow industrial hemp has passed the state legislature and now sits on the desk of Gov. Jerry Brown (D) awaiting his signature.
The bill, Senate Bill 676, the California Industrial Hemp Farming Act, passed the Senate earlier this year, then passed the Assembly last week. Sponsored by state Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco), the bill would allow farmers in those counties to grow industrial hemp for the legal sale of hemp seed, oil, and fiber to manufacturers. The bill specifies that hemp must contain less than 0.3% THC, the primary psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, and farmers must submit their crops to testing before it goes to market. The eight-year pilot program would end in 2020, but not before the California attorney general would issue a report on law enforcement impact and the Hemp Industries Association would issue a report on its economic impact.