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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

World News for July 2016 - by Rachel Bunting


Marijuana Field Destroyed
Turkey: Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) are reporting that a field of over 240,000 marijuana plants with homemade explosives were found and destroyed last month. They believe the field was planted by members of the Kurdistan Worker’ Party (PKK). The destruction of this field comes only three weeks after a similar raid found nearly 1 million cannabis plants in Hevsel garden. The marijuana gardens are only a small part of the war going on between the TSK and PKK which involves aerial raids conducted by the TSK on an almost daily basis.


                                                                             Grower Dies of Electrocution During Flood
Netherlands: Heavy rains hit the western part of the county extremely hard last month causing localized flooding and fires as lightning struck homes. The flooding also caused a man to die by electrocution while standing in water in the marijuana grow operation in his basement. It was unclear whether the man was tending to his marijuana or trying to keep his cannabis out of the flood waters when the electrocution occurred. 

Clergy Member Detained for Possession of Marijuana

China: The Regional Department of Internal Affairs reported detaining a clergy member this month. The 47 year old man of the cloth was found to have 185 grams of marijuana wrapped in his cloth concealed in his pocket. The man has previously been convicted of possessing illegal substances as well as property theft. He is being held at a detention center in the local police department while the investigation is ongoing. 


                                                Seven Men Arrested After Police Raid
New South Wales: Seven men were arrested after police raids turned up fifty cannabis plants, 100kg of dried plant material, 31 prepackaged bags of marijuana flowers, and a hydroponic set-up. Police believe the operation was worth $1 million and also confiscated cash found at the site. The men are between 28 and 55 years old and face charges of cultivation of a prohibited plant for commercial purposes and supplying a  
                                                   prohibited drug.


Pregnant Women Turn to Marijuana to Cure Morning Sickness

Canada: Concerns are rising in the country as more women turn to using marijuana as an aid to stop morning sickness during their pregnancies. Mothers using the medication claim they drink the oil in their tea and it has worked miracles; allowing them to eat and helping to keep the food down. Officials in the country are concerned with the long term effects it could have on the unborn child as studies have shown a changed brain function in children whose mothers used marijuana during their pregnancy. Andra Smith, an associate professor at the University of Ottawa’s School of Psychology, told CTV News, “I think this is really important information to get out there, that even if you can have this short-term relief of morning sickness, you might be impacting the future success of your offspring.” Doctors in the area are urging women to try known morning sickness treatments before moving on to something that needs more research to ensure it does not cause prolonged damage to the fetus. 


106 Packages of Hemp Retrieved At Customs Checkpoint
Nigeria: The Nigeria Customs Service arrested and handed over a suspected drug trafficker to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency late last month. Sylvester Gbenga was arrested at the Gbaji Customs checkpoint after being found to have 106 packages of hemp. The parcels were hidden in a Toyota Sequoia with Lagos State plates. Acting Customs Area Comptroller stated Gbenga also had four international passports belonging to four different people and tried to bribe arresting officers with N47,500.


Nigerian Employee Caught Selling Marijuana
Dubai: The Anti-Narcotics department of Dubai received a tip about a man trying to sell marijuana and set up an ambush to catch him red-handed. The man, a Nigerian employee, was caught trying to sell 5kg of marijuana for Dhs 50,000. The Criminal Court sentenced the accused to life imprisonment immediately followed by deportation for possession of an illicit substance with intent to sell.


Fiji Cracks Down on Illicit Drug Use
Fiji: Operation Cavuraka is currently underway in the Navosa Highlands in Fiji. Operation Cavuraka is an attempt by police to bust anyone involved with illicit drug use. So far the task force has arrested four men in connection with a large field grow operation and another six who are accused of possessing the dried leaves of the plant. The Commissioner of Police claims he has ordered his officers to focus on certain areas because “during this International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking (IDADAIT), I want our children to know that we are serious about protecting them and their future from this illegal drug trade.”


National News for July 2016 - by Rachel Bunting


                                                 The Fight For Life Insurance
California: Derek Peterson, CEO of Terra Tech Corp. with business interests in marijuana cultivation and retail, is a successful businessman who was recently denied a personal life insurance policy by Mutual of Omaha due to his association with the marijuana industry. While many entrepreneurs of the industry have lost bank accounts due to being involved with federally illegal activities, being refused personal life insurance is not as common. Mutual of Omaha stated in a letter sent to Peterson they were unable to insure him because they “cannot accept premiums from individuals or entities who are associated with the marijuana industry.” According to US News, experts believe the company could be using caution so as not to violate laws concerning money laundering. A spokesman for Mutual of Omaha commented on the rejection saying, “It is our practice not to comment on individual underwriting decisions.”


Backward Steps to Legalization
Delaware: Sen. Colin Bonini claimed, last month, he would sponsor a bill to legalize marijuana in the state. While originally Bonini was not a supporter of full legalization, he feels it would be better than the slow process of decriminalization already taking place as the drug is currently untaxed and unregulated. Bonini told Delaware Online, “The reality is we’ve legalized marijuana in Delaware, and we’ve legalized it through backward steps. I think incrementally pulling away restrictions and by default legalizing marijuana is not the best way to do it. If we’re going to legalize marijuana, let’s legalize marijuana.” Possession of less than one ounce of marijuana was decriminalized last year and possession of between one and six ounces was listed as a misdemeanor. Bonini believes lawmakers need to focus on controlling the sale of the drug as well as keeping it out of the hands of those under 21. Gov. Jack Markell, however, has said he will not sign any bill completely legalizing marijuana in Delaware.


One Heavy Load
Georgia: Police were called to a truck storage space in Norcross last month after a man was found near a white van and a tractor trailer. The man, 31 year old Johnny Taylor, was already dead when officers arrived. Police smelled the odor of marijuana while waiting for the medical examiner and began taking inventory of the van for impound after the body was removed from the scene. After an officer opened a box containing sealed bags of marijuana, police obtained a warrant and found several hundred pounds of marijuana. Officers estimate the find to be worth around $12 million. Taylor is believed to have died from natural causes while moving the marijuana from the back of the van to the back of the tractor trailer as no signs of trauma were detected on the body. A man, who dropped off the supposedly empty tractor trailer, was interviewed by police in connection with the drugs but was not arrested after claiming he had no idea what would be loaded into the back of the truck. Police are still investigating whether the tractor trailer was empty when it was brought onto the lot.


Legalization Lowers High School Students' Usage
Colorado: A study conducted by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has found, contrary to common anti-legalization claims, the percentage of high school students using marijuana has decreased since legalization in the state and is lower than the overall national average. The survey reports about 21.2 percent of high school students had used marijuana in the past 30 days, which is down from 22 percent in 2011, while nationally 21.7 percent of students admit to using the drug. Scientific American states the department found, ‘’...marijuana use has not increased since legalization, with four of five high school students continuing to say they don’t use marijuana, even occasionally.” However, a member of SMART Colorado, an organization pushing for tighter regulations to keep marijuana out of the reach of children, claims a federal survey by the Department of Health and Human Services actually shows Colorado ranking first in the nation for marijuana use by minors between the ages of 12 and 17. Also believing the data to be “deeply concerning” as marijuana use at a young age could have lifelong consequences. 


Medical Marijuana Patient Fired for Off-Duty MMJ Use
Oregon: An arbitrator ordered a Lane County employee to be reinstated to his position and paid $22,000 in back pay due to being fired for off-duty medical marijuana use. Michael Hirsch, a senior programmer and systems analyst, was fired by Lane County after a co-worker reported smelling marijuana on his clothing. Hirsch had a doctor recommendation to use the medication to alleviate side effects he was experiencing from his treatment for prostate cancer. A spokesman for the county stated the ‘county relies on maintaining a “drug-free” workplace to receive federal funds’. Arbitrator Jeffrey Jacobs ruled in the favor of Hirsch after finding the county couldn’t provide evidence that Hirsch had used his medication at work or that it impaired his performance while on the job. 


Toddler Dies After Consuming Synthetic Marijuana

Indiana: A 20 month-old toddler was found dead on May 11th of this year and a newly released report from the coroner’s office is reluctant to explain how she died. The inquest report listed the child’s cause of death as “streptococcal sepsis with contributing synthetic cannabinoids”, but the official cause of death has been reported as “undetermined” because “of the unknown effects of K2 on a child”. Sepsis usually develops after an infection, but it is unclear what role the K2 played in her death. As of late last month no criminal charges have been filed, but as the toddler did have synthetic marijuana in her system police are continuing to investigate the case.

Michigan News for July 2016 - by Rachel Bunting


Detroit City Limits
Detroit: The new laws passed in Detroit, which will regulate the number of marijuana dispensaries in the city, are now beginning to be enforced. City officials are shutting down all unlicensed cannabis businesses, starting with those located in the newly established “drug-free zones”. Drug free zones are located within 1,000 radial feet of any school or library. The city has closed one-third of the dispensaries that are in violation of the ordinance, and have been filing lawsuits against 4-6 businesses a week. WDIV reports there are still 211 dispensaries open in the city, but officials expect that number to be around 50 once the process has been completed.




Footsteps In The Right Direction
Lansing: Currently, in Michigan, law enforcement is able to seize property if it is suspected of being involved in criminal activity. This seizure can happen even when no charges or convictions occur. In order for citizens to get their property back they must go through a process, beginning with paying a bond. A new bill, passed by the House and now sitting before the Senate, could eliminate the bond needed to start the process. Michigan is one of only a handful of states that still require residents to pay a fee before beginning the process of returning their seized/stolen property. While this is a step in the right direction, many feel that our state should follow in the footsteps of Montana, Minnesota, Nevada, and North Carolina, which do not seize property until a conviction has occurred. 



State Crime Lab Intentionally Misrepresents Test Results
Detroit: Several lawsuits have been filed against the Michigan State Police accusing the crime lab of intentionally misrepresenting test results. The lawsuits claim that the misrepresented results could cause thousands of people to be arrested on felony charges instead of misdemeanors. The patients and caregivers that have filed lawsuits believe that the state is producing data showing marijuana seized during investigations contains synthetic THC which is worthy of the harsh charge. The state crime lab has a policy which treats any plant-based oils or edibles as synthetic THC, which exposes the possessor to a felony charge. One of the lawsuits, written by Farmington Hills lawyer Michael Komorn, claims, “At least one reason for the policy change was to better establish probable cause to arrest medical marijuana patients, obtain forfeiture of their assets, charge them with crimes they did not commit, and to allow felony charges against others for what is at most a misdemeanor.” Plaintiffs in the case secured emails, through the Freedom of Information Act, which allegedly show the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan pressuring the state crime lab to ‘uniformly report edibles and oils as containing synthetic THC’, thus bumping up charges from misdemeanor to felony. The suits call for Chief U.S. District Judge Denise Page Hood to revise test results, stop the state from issuing misleading reports, and to appoint a crime-lab monitor. 




MILegalize Files Lawsuit Against the State
Lansing: MiLegalize has filed a lawsuit against the state due to a new law which has invalidated most of the group’s petition signatures aiming to have marijuana legalization on the ballot in November. The suit claims the law and policy that have taken effect are inconsistent with the Michigan Constitution and that rejecting older signatures ‘denies voters their free speech and political expression rights’. Attorney Jeff Hank told the Detroit News, “We’re just asking for our petitions to be treated like all the others so that anyone who signed as a registered voter has their voice heard. The state doesn’t really have an argument for why they wouldn’t count someone’s signature if it’s legitimate.” The group is asking the Court of Claims for an expedited review, including a court order against the 180 day collection law and an order forcing the Bureau of Elections to conduct a full canvass of the group’s submitted petitions. The lawsuit is requesting the old signature law as well as the new law, signed by Snyder eliminating the option for signature rehabilitation, be declared unconstitutional. The group is also seeking monetary damages of $1.1 million if the signatures are not fully canvassed.



Kent County Jail Officers Arrested for Possessing Cannabutter
Grand Rapids: Two Kent County jail officers were arrested in 2014 for possessing cannabutter. Both officers were medical marijuana card holders and believed they were in compliance with the MMMA. The Michigan Supreme Court will hear from the men, who claim the Grand Rapids-area drug team that searched their homes did not have a warrant and coerced the men to cooperate because they are also officers. The Supreme Court has asked lawyers to file briefs on whether ‘knock-and-talk procedures violated the rights’ of the men and to address if the manner in which it was conducted was coercive. The state appeals court, as well as a judge from Kent County deemed the searches 
lawful.



Michigan Man Arrested, Carried 10 kilograms of Marijuana in Suitcase

Virgin Islands: A man from Michigan was arrested shortly after landing in the Virgin Islands when U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officers were alerted to the man’s luggage by a C.B.P. canine doing routine inspections for narcotics. The man was escorted by officers to a secondary inspection where they found 10 kilograms of marijuana in his suitcase as well as a ticket for a second suitcase. The second suitcase was located and found to contain another 10 kilograms of the illegal substance. The man will be charged with possession with intent to distribute but will be allowed to remain on release until an October court date. 

The Importance of Regulatory Compliance for Caregivers - by Paula Givens



I am often asked by Caregivers what they can do to ensure they will be able to get a license when the state finally issues them. I tell Caregivers that the quickest path to obtaining a license in the future is by engaging in compliance NOW.  

Both the state and local municipalities will not issue a license to operate a cannabis business to anyone who has previous violations related to cannabis.   When full licensure comes to Michigan only those Caregivers who have been compliant with the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act (“MMMA”) and relevant local ordinances will be qualified for licensure.  

If city inspectors or the local police come to inspect your  grow, will the search of your facilities merely be an inconvenience, or will it be a total disaster?   When the police come to the door of a Caregiver they are looking for evidence of illegal activity.   Lack of compliance with the MMMA is the illegal activity the police are looking for. Caregivers who have embraced the need for a compliance program and who are operating within the fullest compliance of the MMMA and local ordinances have nothing to fear from visits by the police.  

What does a compliance program look like?  A compliance program is a written set of rules and procedures according to which Caregivers operate their business.  The purpose of the rules is to establish operational procedures that bring all aspects of the business operation into line with current regulations; presently the MMMA.   These are rules for the operation of the business that are ALWAYS followed.

In my view, a good compliance program guides Caregivers in how to comply with: 

The general business laws of the state;
The MMMA; and 
Any local cannabis ordinances.  

Caregivers whose businesses have been sanctioned for any reason risk being prohibited from licensure in the future.  As such, I believe that compliance with general business formalities is essential to operating a compliant Caregiver business.  I recommend Caregivers form and register a corporate entity and move away from operating their business as an individual. As the cannabis industry develops in Michigan most patients will  exercise the freedom to purchase their medicine from a local dispensary rather than directly from a Caregiver.  Dispensaries will demand that the growers who supply them are compliant business owners.  

The most important features of any compliance program are the provisions that relate to state and local rules for the cultivation, manufacture and sale of cannabis.   A good compliance program contains policies and procedures governing all aspects of operating a cannabis business in compliance with the state and local law, including access, security (alarm and surveillance), diversion, waste, business recordkeeping, testing, transportation, secure storage of product, inventory control, operating procedures, and labeling.  

The concept of regulatory compliance may be new to Michigan Caregivers, but for cannabis business owners in states like Colorado and Oregon the necessity for compliance is a daily fact of life. Most of the larger cannabis businesses in other states employ a Compliance Officer/Director of Compliance whose job it is to ensure that the business is operated in a manner in which every aspect of the business is legally compliant.  There are many successfully compliance businesses who perform this service as well.  

The robust regulation of cannabis that is forthcoming in Michigan will create significant business opportunities, but it will also create a small army of state inspectors.   These inspectors will make periodic visits to licensed cannabis businesses to ensure full compliance with the law.   Establishing a compliance program NOW, and becoming compliant with the MMMA and local ordinances NOW, will better position your cannabis business to become licensed in the future.  

Grow Tip - Do It Yourself Pot Cages - by Ben Horner


     Tomato Cages can be costly and don’t always work for all pots. Good support structures really increases the yields. Unlike with a trellis, cages can move with your individual plants which is preferred by growers that like to rotate their plants as they grow.

     Training plants to bush out is a goal of most cultivators. By doing so, one can make more top buds and increase their yields. To make these DIY pot cages all you need is bamboo stakes and gardening twine. Cut four bamboo stakes to the desired height for each plant. Then, cut side support pieces of four equal sizes. Using the gardening twine, assemble the sidepieces to the lengths to form a square. Make each rung 912 inches apart and make the sidepieces slightly longer as they move up the gage so the top tapers out.


     Another advantage these have is they are fully disassemble during a plants growth and can be enlarged over time. Some people prefer to use rubber tubing to make the sidepieces to make the cages more flexible.  





Cannibals of Freedom - Force & Fraud - by Daniel L. Price, Esq.

     This month’s topic is medical marijuana and Child Protective Services (“CPS”).  We’ve all heard the stories where CPS either attempted, or did in fact take children from their parents because of medical marijuana.  

     Interestingly, government actors in Michigan noted that of the 19,485 preventable deaths that occurred in 2009, 14,440 were from smoking and second hand smoke.  Notably, there were no reported deaths due to marijuana use, ever!  More notably, CPS does not go after smokers who harm their children.  Indeed, in 2015, when presented with objective evidence that a mother who openly admitted to smoking in a closed vehicle, and with 3 other cigarette smokers in her home, with her 2 year old child present, while pregnant with twins, CPS in Calhoun County, MI refused to investigate.  The case worker stated that it is policy not to go after smokers who harm their children.  Government actors made it a crime to smoke in public places due to the detrimental health effects of second hand smoke.  Yet, government actors refuse to investigate a mother who admittedly was harming her living child and unborn twins!

     Last month I explained that most government actors suffer from PASY (Parasitic Anthropophagy Syndrome).  They force us to satisfy their desires.  Their motives may be to control others; gain financially; enforce irrational bigotry; or just plain hate freedom.   

     For example, I had an opportunity to sit down with Dr. Robert Townsend (“Townsend”), a medical marijuana doctor who drives Michigan’s roads extensively to issue medical marijuana certificates.  He is running for state representative this year.  After asking why he is running, he stated he wants to use drug enforcement money to fix roads.  In response to further questioning, he actually stated that he knew better how to spend the voters’ money than the voters.  Townsend also stated his refusal to support the freedom of all to use marijuana as they see fit.  Yet, he supports the requirement of medical certification for marijuana use.  I explained to him that his position did not support freedom.  He then attempted to convince me that he could change the meaning of the concept of freedom to mean what he wants.  I responded that concepts are unchangeable.  For example, I asked him if he had a dozen ears of corn in a basket, and I took 7 of them, does that mean that because he says there is still a dozen, that it is true there is still a dozen, when in fact there would only be 5?  After all, numbers, like freedom, is a concept with specific meaning.  I commented that I recognized that he simply wishes to use laws to force others to satisfy his desire to charge them for something that they have an inherent right to do.  Failing to convince me that he can pick and choose the meaning of freedom to benefit himself, Townsend became very angry.  Townsend then made a false accusation that I like to have sex with babies.  WOW!  

     PASY is a diseased state of mind.  Townsend, thinking he knows better than we how to spend our money, wishes to force the rest of us to pay to satisfy his desire to travel the roads while also forcing people to have to obtain a medical certificate to pay his way in life.  Having lost in his attempt to convince me that he is god-like and can change the meaning of concepts, Townsend attempted to silence me by bringing false accusations against me.  Perhaps Townsend was projecting his own inner guilt?  This I do not know.  But I do know that Townsend’s sole motivation is to force others to have to pay for his desire to earn a living.  Further, this interferes with their right to self-determination.  Still more Townsend is willing to commit fraud to defend his PASY.  This is how PASY works.  

     Townsend is yet another example of government actors who suffer from PASY and make false representations to cover up their diseased state of mind.  Indeed, CPS represents itself as protecting children.  Yet, it refuses to even investigate when a parent admits to knowingly poisoning their children with deadly chemicals, while it takes children away from parents because of medical marijuana. 

     At the end of the day, a vote for those afflicted with PASY, is a vote for continuing the feasting on the flesh of our freedom.  Freedom is not free.  One must think, speak, and act to defend one’s freedom against CPS or anyone who wishes to force you to pay for their desires.  The denial of your freedom takes no action, you need only keep silent and do nothing.  But remember, those who suffer from PASY will use force and fraud against you to make you have to pay their fees, or to take your children, as they are actions based upon the same unchangeable concept, “force”.
Till next month, keep rolling on.



Disclaimer:  This is an informational article only.  It is not to provide individual legal advice.  If you need legal services, feel free to contact me, or any attorney of your choosing.

FREE THE WEED 64 - by John Sinclair




FREE THE WEED 64

A Column by John Sinclair

Highest greetings from Amsterdam, where I’m spending the summer in a very interesting section of the city called the Bijlmer that used to be a terrible fear-ridden slum on the outskirts of town but has been redeveloped by the government as a sort of art-centered multi-cultural neighborhood populated by people of many descriptions, from dark-skinned immigrants to young white urban professionals with real jobs and a certain quotient of bohemians both black and white.

The interesting thing is that, unlike in the States, the immigrant population of the former ghetto was not expelled to make the renovated area  “safe’ for white people but was included in the redevelopment plans and rehoused as an integral component of the upgraded neighborhood. The oppressive 1950s-style Stalinistic eight-storey project dwellings were razed and replaced with buildings of no more than four floors and the whole thing painted in bright colors marked by diagonal stripes of orange, yellow, green, bright blue, and lots of third-world murals.

I’m staying in the spacious apartment of a new friend named Tariq Khan, a Dutch Rastafarian with big dreads who started out as a rapper called MC Lazy but now is an energetic artistic and cultural activist with his own recording studio in the building around the corner that also houses a hip-hop radio station called Hot Twenty that’s staffed by local youths. Tariq also produces and directs video shoots for many purposes and conducts youth workshops for community groups, but his day job is working for the Sensi Seeds empire at the Hash, Marijuana & Hemp Museum one day, the Cannabis College the next and the Sensi Museum Gallery on Thursdays, where he joins my old friend Joseph who mans the vaporizer and gets people high all day.

What a job! Joseph has been around for a long time and knows everybody who’s into anything in terms of the cannabis culture—he’s even regarded as a spiritual leader in some advanced quarters—so I turned to him when I was desperate to find a place to lodge for the summer after my week-long residency in the Sensi guest quarters was up at the end of May. He hooked me up with Tariq, and Tariq took me straight to his place in the Bijlmer and set me up like a champ.

Sensi Seeds is a remarkable enterprise started by a guy named Ben Dronkers in Rotterdam a long time ago, first as one of Rotterdam’s initial coffeeshops and then as a way to get marijuana growing in Holland by supplying top-quality seeds and encouraging local growers to plant and harvest them. Over the past 30 years Sensi has grown into a mammoth operation known as “the most comprehensive cannabis seed bank in the world,” dispensing millions of seeds to funky farmers all over the world and then pioneering the revitalization of the hemp industry as well.

As the Sensi Seeds website explains, Ben Dronkers started growing marijuana in 1975 and began saving the seeds he found in good quality weed, eventually collecting and categorizing all the cannabis seeds he could find. From the end of the 70s until the mid-80s Ben travelled the world from Central Asia and the Hindu Kush to the Himalayas, down through the subcontinent to Southeast Asia and around the tropics, seeking out the best genetics and focusing on regions famous for their ancient cannabis traditions.

Around 1984 Ben began several cross-breeding programs in order to develop new cannabis hybrids. He gained access to the first examples of the new stabilized hybrids from the US—including Haze and Skunk—and took the final step required for the creation of new, world-class hybrids in Europe. By 1985 he had founded the Sensi Seed Club, expanding and centralizing the process of creating hybrids and keeping meticulous records of plant genealogy and interrelations.

In 1991, Ben bought another seed company from a breeder who had also been working with the US hybrids since the 80s and merged the two companies to form the Sensi Seed Bank. In 1994 he founded HempFlax, a company dedicated to growing and processing industrial hemp, and successfully revived the once-thriving Dutch hemp industry. in 2006 Ben acquired the Flying Dutchmen seed company when his friend the owner decided to retire, and he consolidated its venerable stock with the existing Sensi Seed Bank to make an even more comprehensive collection of cannabis strains.

The great thing about Ben Dronkers and Sensi Seeds is that it isn’t just about raking in the profits like most of the people in this great industry of ours. Sensi has garnered millions of dollars in sales over the years, but—aided and abetted by his friend Ed Rosenthal, the great American cannabis activist—Ben has dedicated a significant portion of his earnings to the creation of public benefit institutions like the Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum, the Sensi Museum Gallery, and the Cannabis College, which was initially a project of Flying Dutchmen. Among many other things, The Gallery displays Old Masters painted hundreds of years ago which depict ordinary men and women enjoying the smoking of cannabis.

Now these institutions are lined up on the Achterburgwhal in the Red Light District in the center of town, making up a sort of Green Light District of their own along with the Sensi Seed Bank itself and the Sensi Corner Store, formerly the Sensi coffeeshop where I used to hang out and got to know all these incredible people that make up the Sensi empire.

One of my fondest memories of the Sensi coffeeshop was the day I sat down with Ben Dronkers at a table inside and listened while he carried on an intense conversation with a South American man who turned out to be a minister in the new government of Bolivia led by the former coca famer and now head of state, Evo Morales. Evidently Ben and Evo had met and even toked down together on Morales’ visit to Amsterdam before the Bolivian election, and Ben was making a impassioned plea that the new government consider completely legalizing marijuana and establish Bolivia as the world center of cannabis enlightenment.

Dronkers promised that he would move his entire cannabis empire to Bolivia and encourage the international growing community to do likewise, bringing incredible amounts of new revenue to the small South American nation and transforming it into a haven for the worldwide cannabis community of suppliers, growers and consumers.

I listened with rapt attention as Ben’s argument unfolded, but the Bolivian minister calmly explained that there was no chance that the church and moral authorities would let them get away with it, no matter how great an idea it might be. Ben was visibly dejected, but I guessed he was accustomed to official rejection of his visionary ideas and the conversation passed on to more mundane topics.

Well, there were several other topics I’d meant to discuss in this month’s column, but I got carried away thinking about the greatness of Sensi Seeds and now I’m out of space for this time. Of course I continue to feel that one day cannabis will be granted its rightful place in our world of oppression, but it’s never going to be an easy proposition and we’ll just have to keep on fighting every way we can until that happy day. FREE THE WEED!


—Amsterdam
June 24, 2016

© 2016 John Sinclair. All Rights Reserved.