The other night while waiting on a 4 hour late train from Seattle, I strapped on the headphones and fired up the vappy for an editing fest. I worked on the next three and just published one.
The freshie is called “Drug Test Resistance in Belize”
On the back porch, Uncle Weed shares a personal message to the chooglers international followed by a spiel about tactics to resist a golf course incident induced corporate drug test using vigilance, friendly lawyers, a trip to Belize w/ broken wrist, and Tolstoy’s War + Peace.
I included a fat link pack about including my Drug Test research essay (.pdf), info on travelling to Caye Caulker Belize and photos from my trip to Belize back in 2001to Flickr with the Drug Test Resistance in Belize post.
Episodes up next are … (working titles – still need to do the album art and write up the blurbs and all that):
– the Taos hostage incident from Mayne Island (a long story with a contest announced at the end)
– the Dalai Lama Canadian Citizenship ceremony (this was really hard to edit because of the applause but i think i trimmed out an nice story and cut out the speech by Vancouver’s then-mayor and other cheeseheads and left in the gentle words of HHDL14)
I also got a start on “Festive musings from Wreck Beach” underway so expect a bonanza over the next little while.
You know i dig making my wee little audio documentary interviews and … at the recent Vancouver Health Show at Canada Place, i interviewed four entrepreneurial women for podcasts posted at happyfrog.ca’s Frog blog. Thought i’d share ’em here for posterity:
Know your Local Water
Vancouver has exceptional drinking water but there is many reasons for concern – chlorination, excessive water laws, groundwater protection and finding a filter made for local water. Mary of yourwatermatters.com also invites you to speak your mind by contacting the Ground Water Advisory Board.
Grab a Stylish and Durable Bag
Bringing your own bag is easier, more stylish with Moukisac.com. Marie tells about her durable 6 in 1 bag system which starts as a fanny pack and turns into a shopping bag with a variety of small sacks for bulks, produce and even sprouting.
Soap Nuts are a fruit for washing clothes – the waste water is non-polluting, the soap packets are compostable and the smell is like lemongrass. The fruits are grown, dried and prepared in India and fairly traded to green consumers in Vancouver. Learn more about Sapindus (aka soap nuts) at Wikipedia
Healthy Food and Packaging to Change the World
At the Vancouver Health Show, Dave talks to Alex a mother and entrepreneur who, with her partner Colin, produce dried whole foods packaged in cellulose, glass and with no glues. They discuss carbon footprint, local sourcing and creative distribution. Visit madewithlove.ca.
Excerpted from Meeting Friends at Health Show at Canada Place
… I can’t help but mentioning “More Buses Now!”
This campaign, organized by the transit drivers union, is holding the government to their promises of more buses – not just new buses to replace the aging fleet, but a significant increase in the total buses to encourage ridership, and stop the overcrowding which leads to pass-bys, crowded conditions, and compromised service and safety.
Not fun for anyone – riders or drivers – watching the bus roll by on a rainy day with places to go – yuch.
Participate by sending your opinion to Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon.
I’m a daily transit rider (rocking the bus, seabus and skytrain – sometimes all in the same day) and certainly advocate for making transit more convenient and more comfortable rather than looking at public conveyance as a perk or service only for the dis-enfranchised.
I love riding and relaxing while someone else drives which is why I helped ringlead Vancouver Transit
Camp so continued big-ups to Translink for participating in the Skytrain Security Un-conference and huge ups to the organizers for putting this important dialogue in front of the public.
Finally, to really support transit and sensible transportation policies in general – anyone living in Surrey, be sure to vote for Paul Hillsdon for Surrey City Council and/or School Trustee – otherwise, be sure to read his plans for sustainable transportation in the entire region.
As I mentioned yesterday, if you haven’t heard Dave Olson aka Uncle Weed’s rant on transit police on his Choogle On podcast, I highly recommend it with some good humour – his delivery is spot-on, and he entirely captures my own feelings on the topic. (For those of you with delicate ears, he does use some abrasive and explicit language. Nothing worse than you’ll hear on the SkyTrain.) It also brings home an awful lot of issues for me – this is a bit of a long post as a result.
Perhaps you’re ready to write Dave off, because you think he’s of a different political stripe or has an entirely different set of values. That’s a legitimate reason to disagree with his delivery, perhaps, but not, I think, with his observations or the broader argument: that as citizens we have the right and perhaps even a duty to question how the presence of surveillance and constant visible law enforcement in our every day lives affects how we act and live in our communities.
Thanks to Karen for so gracefully sharing my spiel with transcription (which matches my stream of consciousness exactly – like stepping my own head). I do indeed ride transit everywhere i go (as in, in other countries and cities besides Vancouver) and like the other Dave OlsEn, i wish transit were free for the people!
Releases › LEAP Becomes Latest Victim of Government Censorship
Arlington: Virginia – Retired police detective, Howard Wooldridge, representing Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) was ousted from the National Asian Peace Officers Association (NAPOA) Conference in Crystal City because he was representing a view contrary U.S. government policy.
LEAP is a 10,000-member organization of police, judges, prosecutors, DEA & FBI agents, and others who know ending drug prohibition will reduce death, disease, crime, and addiction, while saving billions of our tax dollars each year.
On Tuesday (8.26.2008) acting under pressure from unnamed federal officials, Reagan Fong, President of the NAPOA, insisted on the immediate removal of LEAP from the conference vendor roster. It appears that some of the event’s other exhibitors took exception to the LEAP message and put pressure on the event organizer to expel LEAP from the event. While the incident was civil and took place prior to the second day’s session it represents a serious violation of Constitutional rights as cited within the First Amendment.
Federal agency representatives manning booths at the conference included DEA, Federal Air Marshals, NCIS, and Coast Guard. The prior day LEAP’s spokesperson had visited the DEA booth and described the agent as “decidedly unhappy” with an opposing viewpoint. In sharp contrast at 37 national and international law enforcement Conferences where LEAP has been allowed to exhibit, 80% of booth visitors agreed with LEAP’s stance for ending this failed drug war.
As for the Crystal City NAPOA incident, the appearance of impropriety is almost as bad as the real thing. LEAP has attempted to establish contact with Mr. Fong, NAPOA President, to confirm the details of the incident but we have received no response so we can only conclude it is blatant censorship originating from a judgmental “Big Brother” mentality. LEAP believes that this group owes us an apology. We ask that Mr. Fong identify the individual, agency or group that lobbied for our eviction from the event.
If this was an independent effort then he or she was acting outside the scope of authority and should receive administrative punishment for unprofessional actions. If this action was sanctioned by upper level management then the managers need to explain their behavior in an open forum. If this was sanctioned official action by the U.S. Government it is a serious matter which requires serious and immediate attention.
Terry L. Nelson 817-573-6927
Jack A. Cole 617-792-3877
Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.
Herby is a Canadian doing 30 weekends in jail for a 2 light grow operation. He tells Uncle Weed about the conditions of “Guantanamo North” and answers questions about the trial process, political situation in Canada, and keeping his health up. Edited by Bread the Producer. Music from Under the Volcano fest.
Protect your rights with Hard Tokes with Herby in the Hoosgow – Choogle on #69 (.mp3, 17:45, 16MB)
Uncleweed.net for more writings, podcasts, paintings and photos
More Podcast Goodness
This list is borrowed from Democrats Abroad newsletter and was compiled by Beverly Bandler of DA-Mexico for easily fact-check and de-bunk rumours and innuendo which spread during this time of political intrigue.
PS American ex-pats … are you registered to Vote from Abroad? Be sure to fill in the forms and ensure you rballot arrives to your international address in time to count.
Factcheck is a nonpartisan, nonprofit, “consumer advocate” for voters to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics.
Snopes validates or debunks urban legends, Internet rumors, and email hoaxes.
Fact-Checker “truth squads” the national political debate, focusing on the issues that are most important to voters.
Urban Legends covers Internet hoaxes, email rumors and urban legends, including petitions, politics, and protest.
Truth-o-meter is “a scorecard separating fact from fiction. A project of the St. Petersburg Times and Congressional Quarterly, it helps find the truth in the presidential campaign.”
RealClearPolitics claims to be an independent political site offering the best commentary, news, polling data, and links to important resources.
Campaign Desk Columbia Journalism Review Campaign Desk fact checks the media.
OpenSecrets, the site of the Center for Responsive Politics, is your “guide to money’s influence on U.S. elections and public policy.”
On the Issues seeks to “provide non-partisan information for voters in the Presidential election, so that votes can be based on issues rather than on personalities and popularity.”
A quick preamble to this stunning narrative …
I wrote the ground-breaking essay “Hemp Culture in Japan” which turned into a collaboration with HempMan, a German in Japan, to create a comprehensive clearinghouse of all information about Cannabis in Japan called Taima.org. This site is maintained by HempMan but in dire need to “web 2.0″i-fi-cation to make more searchable and participatory and such but i digress …
As part of my research, i get interesting things in the snail and postal mail – from angry letters from Iran PhDs to cool grow shot shots to other”researchers” wanting all my contacts.
This note though is heavy duty as this older gentleman recounts the dystopia experience of being shook down. Frustrating to be sure as no one would add any reason or sense to the process and he was cut off from most anyone but a rubber-stamping attorney.
I’ve followed up with the gentleman for some more insight, but for starters, get comfy and give this a read.
I arrived at Kansai Airport last March with around 15g of marijuana. I’d bought it in Amsterdam and thought it would be OK as I’d travelled in and out of Japan for years and never been searched – this time it was different. I don’t really know why they searched me – the sniffer dogs weren’t interested. Anyway, they discovered the stuff. Later that day they searched my apartment and discovered about 20g there in deep freeze – pretty bland stuff and I was hoping the import from Amsterdam was going to give me a better buzz.
I was kept at Kansai kouko police station for 18 days and then transferred to Sakai detention center in southern Osaka, where I spent a further 42 days (almost 2 months in total).
Even though I’d cooperated fully with the police, confessed and didn’t try to hide anything, the prosecutor demanded a 2 year prison sentence as I had a ‘significant’ amount. I’ve lived in Japan for 18 years and this is my first offence. In the trial, the judge regarded my ‘addiction’ as a big problem as I’d admitted to first smoking cannabis when I was 19 (I’m now 54) he said he was giving me a 18 month sentence suspended for 4 years. Very surprisingly I was granted bail after the first court appearance (the hearing and presenting of evidence). This cheered me no end as it seemed to indicate the judge and prosecutor did not regard me as a danger to society. At present I’m waiting to see what Immigration has to say as they decide to deport or not.
I did try to get my lawyer to emphasise the relative ‘harmlessness’ of cannabis abuse and the fact that I had often stopped smoking – sometimes for months at a time (couldn’t buy it) and also this was a victimless crime – smoking alone in my own home. This was ignored and not brought up at the trial but I suppose the lawyer had good reasons, he was pretty indifferent about the case to begin with and only after constant prodding by friends did he start to work a bit harder. I was still amazed at the possible harshness of the sentence. According to the lawyer, the maximum penalty for smuggling or possession of cannabis is 5 years in jail and/or a 30 million yen fine.
Detention in Japan was extremely boring and there were hundreds of rules to be obeyed. Sitting on a hard floor (this is Japan – no chairs are allowed) was very uncomfortable for me. If it wasn’t for friends bringing books and a decent cushion, I may have tried suicide in detention. The food was reasonable, though. I wasn’t made to pay court costs although my lawyer charged me his ‘standard’ fee – $4500. So now I’m out of a well-paid job and a lot poorer and still have the possibility of being
kicked out of Japan.
For anyone else contemplating bringing drugs to Japan, I’d advise – DON’T take the risk. Buy it in Japan. Grow it in Japan, (seeds are ‘apparently legal’ as there is no THC – but they’re always confiscated) but DON’T bring it in. According to the web site http://www.customs.go.jp/tokyo/english/iio/iio-cased-y2006.html even amounts as small as 1g are prosecuted.
If I’d done the same in my home country (Britain), I’d probably have been kept overnight in a cell or simply cautioned and then released – the police there have far better things to do with their time. The Japanese police throw huge amounts of money (and police time) at these prosecutions and my ‘file’ was 4 inches thick at the end, with scores of colour photos and colour copies of my diary, travel notebook etc. There were at least 3 complete copies produced. My home was searched by 10 officers for 90 minutes – while they discovered cannabis seeds hidden in a box, they failed to find a large bong filled with cannabis and may not have found my deep-freeze stash if I hadn’t pointed it out!
Police here seem to rely on confessions and don’t seem to have the ability or desire to ‘investigate’ cases thoroughly – which is why many Japanese kids ‘stonewall’ the cops, when arrested.
For alternate versions, visit Taima.org, a site dedicated to Hemp in Japan. Published in Cannabis Culture magazine (#13 & Best of …), the Journal of International Hemp Association (V.4 N.1) as well as excerpted in several books including Hemp Horizons and “Hanp” from Norway and Hemp for Victory from UK.