Mike Carter reports: Veteran Seattle police Officer Alex Chapackdee is accused of helping his brother-in-law and others smuggle at least 100 kilograms of marijuana to the East Coast. In return, Chapackdee was paid $10,000 a month, charges allege.
Federal prosecutors will ask that a suspended Seattle police officer charged with being part of a large-scale East Coast marijuana smuggling ring be held in jail pending trial.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Brian Tsuchida set a detention hearing Friday for Alex Chapackdee, who faces a mandatory-minimum five-year federal prison sentence — and perhaps up to 40 years — for his role in allegedly transporting hundreds of pounds of marijuana from Washington to Baltimore then driving back with boxes of cash. The court also could impose a fine of up to $5 million if he’s found guilty.
Chapackdee, a veteran Seattle police officer, appeared briefly in U.S. District Court in Seattle Monday afternoon along with three co-defendants named in a 15-page complaint unsealed Monday. He was arrested last Friday and suspended from duty without pay.
More than two dozens shocked friends and family members crowded Tsuchida’s courtroom during the brief hearing.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Vince Lombardi said the serious allegations and significant penalty prompted him to seek detention for all four defendants. Read the rest of this entry »
Katie DeLong reports: A 50-year-old Waterford man is accused of beating up his own uncle over a $3 pot during a card game called “(Expletive) On Your Neighbor.”
Back on January 10th, officials responded to the 29000 block of Elm Island Drive in Waterford for a report of an assault.
There, officials spoke with a 69-year-old man who advised he was playing cards when his nephew, Scott Labisch attacked him — kicking him in the ribs multiple times. An officer observed small cuts above the man’s right eye, and the man said his nose bled as a result of the attack.
The man was taken to the hospital for treatment. There, he was diagnosed with non-displaced fractures to the three ribs, according to the criminal complaint.
Officials spoke with another man who indicated people were at his home playing cards when Labisch “beat up” his uncle over approximately $3 that was in the pot during the game. Another person confirmed the assault. Read the rest of this entry »
Rogue Police Home Invasion: Marijuana Grower Shot SWAT Cops Who Kicked Down His Door, Jury Says They Don’t Blame HimPosted: March 30, 2015
(CCN) Recently, there has been some talk about places that allow you to shoot officers if they are in the wrong when they enter your home. Our friends at The Free Thought Project write the following about the steps that one state has taken in this direction:
Indiana has taken action to “recognize the unique character of a citizen’s home and to ensure that a citizen feels secure in his or her own home against unlawful intrusion by another individual or a public servant.”
While Indiana may appear to be the only state to so publicly announce legislation that permits self-defense against rogue police home invasions, there are other courts which have ruled in favor of recognizing this right.
One of the most striking examples is that of a Texas man who says he was the victim of a home invasion in the middle of the night. But that home invasion was carried out by SWAT officers.
In the pre-dawn raid, that occurred on December 19th, 2013, Henry Goedrich Magee, like many residents of Burleson County, Texas, had a gun in the house. When Magee heard his door being broken down, he reached for his gun.
The police wanted to throw the proverbial book at him, but after hearing the evidence, a grand jury determined that Magee should not be charged in the shooting death of one of those officers.
The ruling was clear that Magee would not be charged with capital murder for the death of Burleson County Sgt. Adam Sowders, who was part of a SWAT team which attempted to raid Magee’s rural home, in the execution of a search warrant.
The officers did in fact have a warrant, but a key factor in the grand jury’s decision was that they did not knock before entering.
The warrant says that they were primarily looking for marijuana primarily, and also for illegal guns. Read the rest of this entry »
— Robert Holguin (@ABC7Robert) March 18, 2015
— NBC News (@NBCNews) July 8, 2014
One significant seizure occurred on April 25, when officers at the Laredo Port of Entry confiscated more than one ton of marijuana from a cargo vehicle. More specifically, 834 packages containing 2,688 pounds of marijuana were found hidden in a shipment of blackberry and mango pulp. The drugs have an estimated street value of more than $1.3 million.
“This was a significant seizure,” a CPB spokesperson told Breitbart Texas. “When we find seizures in cargo vehicles, they are typically much larger than seizures in passenger vehicles. The smugglers have more room to hide the drugs.”
834 packages containing 2,688 pounds of marijuana were found hidden in a shipment of blackberry and mango pulp. The drugs have an estimated street value of more than $1.3 million.
He said that while smaller drug busts in passenger vehicles are more common, large-scale confiscations like that which occurred on the 25th also happen relatively frequently. Read the rest of this entry »
Amid all the articles pimping the successful $2 million tax heist in Colorado, what’s often not mentioned is that this is less than the newly-minted state pot dealers claimed they’d pull in. Breitbart.com‘s William Bigelow offers this unwelcome measure of sobriety:
The bullish predictions about the revenue Colorado would accumulate from sales of recreational marijuana may have been quite premature. In February, Governor John Hickenlooper’s budget office estimated that recreational pot shop sales added to medicinal marijuana sales would approach $1 billion in the fiscal year beginning in July; the budget office suggested $134 million in tax and fee revenues entering state coffers.
But in January of 2014, Colorado only brought in $2 million from recreational pot shop sales, far short of what would lead to a successful prognosis from Hickenlooper’s budget office.
White House to Marijuana Advocates: Slow Down, Daddy, Our Official Position on Pot Hasn’t Changed, Dig?Posted: January 22, 2014
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney would have an easier sell if he hadn’t just grown himself a beatnik beard. I bet Carney’s got rolling papers in his pocket. I just know it. He’s holding. For sure.
Andrew Johnson writes: President Obama’s recent comments about marijuana didn’t quite call for the legalization of recreational use, the White House clarified. In a recent interview with The New Yorker, the president made comments that some interpreted as a policy shift on the issue.
[VIDEO] Curiously, CNN Reporter Appears High on Weed During Segment on What? Where Were We? Oh yeah. MarijuanaPosted: January 15, 2014
Via Gawker, if you can’t watch the whole thing, skip to 4:00 to see why last night Anderson Cooper called this the greatest live hit the show’s ever done. My favorite moment is that big, bright, glassy-eyed smile at 5:15. (Second-favorite: The thoughtful explanation of the difference between sativa and indica.) The question here isn’t whether she’s high — the symptoms she describes are familiar even to non-users (losing her train of thought, finding things unusually funny, etc) — but whether she could have gotten this giggly from a contact high, i.e. from second-hand smoke without taking a hit herself. Answer: Yes, if she was around lots and lots of it. A single joint won’t do much to a bystander; 16 joints might. According to Kaye, she was riding around in the close confines of a limo all day with veteran potheads smoking blunts as big as cannons. Contact-high verdict: Plausible.
Michael Anissimov writes: Cannabis has been legalized in Washington state and Colorado, causing apprehension among some on the right. Last August, Newt Gingrich said that general legalization would be a “huge mistake.” Chris Christie has long shown his disdain for medical marijuana, saying of a proposed law in its favor, “Here’s what the advocates want: They want legalization of marijuana in New Jersey. It will not happen on my watch, ever. I am done expanding the medical marijuana program under any circumstances.”
Emily Miller at the Washington Times wrote recently that activists are “totally uneducated’ about the “severe consequences” of smoking cannabis, writing that it is “simply a toxin” which is “more similar to heroin and cocaine than alcohol in how it affects the body.”
On the other side of the issue, a number of Republicans have stepped forward in favor of legalizing marijuana. Rush Limbaugh admits that he used cannabis during his recovery from opiate addiction and says that the legalization of marijuana is “a great issue” for the GOP. Pat Robertson is famously in favor of legalization, saying “this war on drugs just hasn’t succeeded.”
In California, a majority now supports legalization, and a new law in favor of legalization is being floated. Now that support for legalization is rising nationwide, the right needs to ask itself: are we in support of legalization, or not?
The critics of marijuana legalization have trouble getting their arguments straight, and oppose it based on a visceral cultural revulsion, rather than science or reason. There is no scientific evidence that marijuana is “similar to heroin and cocaine.” If anything, it is more similar to caffeine — the effects rarely last longer than 2-3 hours, and are extremely mild. The majority of users use it only occasionally, and daily addicts — if true addiction is even possible, which seems doubtful due to the way that marijuana works in the brain — will be able to get it on the black market anyway.
Alcohol causes 75,000 deaths per year, cannabis causes zero.
OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Washington’s Liquor Control Board wants to make sure people aren’t using marijuana in bars and nightclubs.
The board on Wednesday filed a draft rule that would explicitly ban any business with a liquor license from allowing marijuana use on site. Among the board’s concerns is that people who use marijuana in combination with alcohol could pose an extra danger on the roads if they drive.
It’s already illegal under Washington’s recreational marijuana law to use pot in public, and that includes restaurants, bars and clubs. But at least a couple of establishments have tried using loopholes to allow customers to use marijuana, such as by having “private clubs” within the businesses.
One is Frankie’s Sports Bar and Grill in Olympia. Owner Frankie Schnarr says he’ll fight the rule because it would hurt his business. He says that if people aren’t allowed to use pot inside, they’ll just go outside, and he’d rather be able to keep an eye on what they’re doing.
An Oregon man was busted for growing more marijuana than he was legally allowed, but his arrest came not through a raid or a tip, but through satellite imagery provided by Google Earth, the Grants Pass Daily Courier reported.
Police say they got a tip that Curtis W. Croft, 50, was boasting about the amount of the plant he was growing on his property in Grants Pass, Ore. But instead of knocking on his door, authorities looked up the satellite image on the web. Read the rest of this entry »
Betsy Woodruff went on The Cycle this afternoon to talk about her, let’s call it, interesting trip to last weekend’s Seattle Hempfest, and the state of marijuana decriminalization in Washington and across the country. “I think the odds of seeing legislation happen in Congress anytime soon regarding this is fairly slim,” she predicted, but that regulatory changes may “keep pace with what’s going on in the states.”
Make sure to check out her piece over on the homepage, “Quick Hits from Hempfest.”
via The Corner
Taking Back the Joint
Much ink has been spilt in describing the precise nature of the soul-searching the GOP is undergoing in the wake of getting totally shellacked last Tuesday. There are a plethora of suggestions — of varying degrees of helpfulness — as to how the Republican party can re-brand and re-orient itself; ranging from capitulating on taxes to deciding that gay marriage isn’t a hill to die on. But there’s one easy ideological maneuver that Republicans could make that would simultaneously burnish their stance as the party of freedom and expand their base while alienating the president from his. It is a move that might also make one swing state a little easier to win in 2016. Congressional Republicans and conservative leaders could get on the weed bandwagon.
Now, the John Boehners and Mitch McConnells of the world may never win the loyalty of the Choom Gang contingent. But Republicans should rejoice with those who rejoiced when voters in Colorado and Washington passed sensible marijuana policy. Last Tuesday, both states passed ballot measures decriminalizing the recreational use of medical marijuana — and giving the GOP an early Christmas present.
Most of us are familiar with the arguments for and against marijuana legalization — it’s non-addictive and (mostly) harmless; it’s not as bad for you as alcohol; it’s a gateway drug; it funds violent drug cartels; it’s too expensive to be worth taxing; etc. etc. ad nauseam. It’s probably not helpful to rehash all those here. The short version is this: A lot of smart people think weed is the devil, and a lot of other smart people like to toke up on weekends because, come on man, it’s just a plant and it grows in the ground.
On Tuesday, the people of Washington State and Colorado sided with the latter. They aren’t the first to ditch the metaphorical Keep off the Grass signs. Medical marijuana is legal in California and Massachusetts, and the People’s Republic of Ann Arbor — Warning: This will not surprise you — has functionally decriminalized possession. This should hearten those fond of federalism. Remember, you don’t have to like THC to hate Washington, D.C. As a general rule, states’ assertion of autonomy is good news for friends of limited government, rendering the question not how conservatives should feel about marijuana decriminalization, but rather how they should respond to it.