Amsterdam Coffee Shops in Danger

November 9th, 2006 by Alex

It's madness.

The most common mental image created when the word Amsterdam is mentioned relates to Red Light District mayhem and puffing on the most kind of all buds. While you can still do both of the above, it’s not quite as free spiritied and happy-go-lucky as one is lead to believe.

In the Netherlands, Christian conservatives have taken a government majority. Once in power, they decided the looseness that the Dutch were known for was going to be eradicated. Beginning in 2004, signs began to show that things were changing. The government did this by making new coffee shop licenses almost impossible to procure and when a shop closed, they wouldn’t renew any licenses involved with the establishment.

Coffee shop numbers in the Netherlands have gone from 1,500 nationwide to around 737 currently. At the rate coffee shops are disappearing (over 380 a year), it’ll take under 3 years to completely wipe these businesses off Dutch land. Ferry Hansen, owner of Get A Life coffee shop, had this to say:

You have to think three times about everything you do. It’s getting worse every year. The government is trying to control more and more. If you follow the law, they can’t say anything, but in the long run, they’ll probably get what they want.

Just when you think things are improving at home, there’s a set-back abroad. Hopefully, the Netherlands will get the exact same liberal swing that happened to America during it’s mid-term elections.

[via AlterNet]

2006 Marijuana Mid-Term Results

November 8th, 2006 by Alex

06' Marijuana Mid-Term Results

Well, all the results are in and it’s time to get them out to the public. The conclusions from these mid-term elections are mixed. Seeing how close some of the major ballots came to being passed, it looks like we’re on the right track towards legalization.

Honorable mentions go to Eureka Springs, Arkansas and Massachusetts for passing ordinances and low level resolutions aiding in the deprioritization of marijuana arrests.

Read below to see official sites and measure summaries:

Measure P (Santa Barbara) – Complete pot deprioritization
Measure K (Santa Cruz) – Complete pot deprioritization
Measure Y (Santa Monica) – Complete pot deprioritization

Amendment 44 – Legalization of up to 1 ounce of marijuana for adults 21+ years old

Initiative 2 (Missoula) – Complete pot deprioritization

Question 7 – Remove all civil penalties for the private possession, create state-wide system for taxation & distribution

South Dakota
Initiated Measure 4 – Allow the physician-authorized use of cannabis for medicinal purposes

[all data via NORML]

Colorado Mid-Term Results: No Go on 44

November 8th, 2006 by Tim


Looks like weed smokers won’t be converging on Colorado as the mecca of marijuana any time soon. SAFER Colorado was handed a defeat in their campaign to make up to one ounce of weed legal for the personal use of 21+ year olds.

Still, Mason Tvert – the SAFER’s campaign director – has taken it in stride and had this to say:

It’s quite clear that a number of people in Colorado are in agreement that marijuana prohibition is not working. We think this is the first step in a 5- to 10-year process.

He added that it’s going to be a tough battle to change 75 years of marijuana prohibition overnight, but SAFER is up to the challenge.

I agree with Mason in that I believe this is the beginning of a slow, uphill struggle. The bright side is that the ball has started to roll and is gaining size and speed with each day.

[via Denver Post]

Basement Grow Op Busted in New Hampshire

November 7th, 2006 by Alex

And another one bites the dust...

Another installment in the “How To Get Busted Growing Weed” series is being brought to us courtesy of the fine folks in New Hampshire.

A rural, ranch-style house worth $340,000 was the scene of the largest pot bust in the state’s history. In the basement were 1,400 cannabis plants worth an estimated $7 million. Also, around $200,000 of growing and lighting equipment were confiscated.

So, did the police work informants and set up a daring night raid on the property? Nope. Turns out this grow-op was sucking up so much energy that it knocked power out for a next door neighbor, Jessica Towne. She called the energy company and the energy company called the police. They investigated shortly after and the basement operation was busted. Sounds simple enough.

When it comes to the New Hampshire police, I guess it’s better to be lucky than good.

[via Concord Monitor]

aLeda: Transparent King Size Papers

November 7th, 2006 by Alex

Aleda Cover
We’d show pictures of a leaf, but the damn things are see-through…

There’s some buzz online about see-through papers appearing in the smokosphere. Science hasn’t figured out how to cure world hunger yet or create clean water sources for all but the rumors are true – we do have cellulose based, transparent rolling papers. Ahh, technology at its finest.

aLeda Papers is the Brazilian company behind this innovation. Made from natural vegetable cellulose (and completely gumless) – there is absolutely no taste, smell or odor in any leaf. The manufacturing process leaves out chemicals like lead or arsenic, making it a much healthier smoke. Box graphics are unique with bright colors and actual embossing of the logo. Only problem is a set of stupid little tabs that are supposed to keep the box shut, but really do nothing at all.

Aleda Inside-Fold Aleda Instructions

aLeda’s description says King Size, but the leaves are narrower than you might expect. Also, they’re slightly more difficult to roll because there is no crease and the entire paper wants to stick to itself.

These guys light very easily, the cellulose naturally wants to burn. Unfortunately, a few issues do surface once the papers are lit – the cherry doesn’t stay lit consistently. Airflow can also get restricted once you start approaching the end of each leaf – they just don’t breathe as well as hemp or rice based papers. This contributes to the nice, slow burn for the first 75% of the papers but hinders it after that.

Basically, these papers are pretty bad ass. They’ve got some positives and negatives, but damn will your friends trip when they see an invisible wrap. It just takes a couple of tries to learn how to roll the aLeda’s and then you’ll be digging them for everyday use.

The Breakdown: Price: $3.50 tFS Rating: 8.0/10

Pot Delivery Network Busted in New York

November 6th, 2006 by Alex

Another great read.
Delivery services are a tried and trusted way to get your herb. In the East Coast specifically, the enterprising people who put these operations together are highly rewarded. Even though it is more understated than in the West Coast, professionals of all shapes and sizes prefer pot as a way to unwind. The benefits are hard to ignore – discreet dealings, not having to travel to dangerous areas and plenty of choice. The drawback is simple … high markup.

Still, the government makes it their job to spend taxpayer money on hunting down and prosecuting people that are selling a natural plant to law-abiding, intelligent adults. Through sources, we posted a couple of pictures before this bust was even reported nationally. Before getting taken down, the Cartoon Network was one of the top delivery networks in both quantity and quality.

Luckily, there’s a high chance the government isn’t going to prosecute the weed receiving customers. Only the ring leader, John Nebel, and his associates are facing jail time. Still, it’s sad to see an entrepenuer get put behind bars for something that shouldn’t even be illegal.

[via Newsvine]

Frank’s Brain Shop

November 6th, 2006 by Alex

Here’s proof that America isn’t the only country producing retarded anti-drug PSAs. Other than being pretty disgusting, this one tries to promote the notion that weed makes you freak out and puke.

Uhhh, that’s a negative Mission Control…

Yes on Amendment 44

November 5th, 2006 by Tim

Go Bush!
Go Cheney!

These are the two newest advertisements published in Colorado in support of Amendment 44 – the legalization of up to 1 ounce of marijuana.

The ad on Bush isn’t quite as convincing as the one on Cheney, but both outline a pretty valid point if you ask me.

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