Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Dude, what just happened?

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  • Vaughn Davis,

    The Police are obviously confused. Switched on Gardener sells everything you need to grow and enjoy lettuce and other salad vegetables at home, including this $895 "Easytosser Salad Pro-Manual Bowl Trimmer": http://bit.ly/d0Xdbt

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 21 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    A thought. If SOG would have not turned a profit if it wasn't selling for growers, and SOG is advertised on National TV, (who must earn $$ from SOG for ad space) will National TV be charged with aiding and abetting, thus, have it's stations seized?

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 5918 posts Report Reply

  • Tessa Houghton,

    Switched on Gardener sells everything you need to grow and enjoy lettuce and other salad vegetables at home, including this $895 "Easytosser Salad Pro-Manual Bowl Trimmer"

    ha, it's all so carefully non-specific until they start discussing resin-bearing salad :D

    New Plymouth, NZ • Since Aug 2009 • 18 posts Report Reply

  • FletcherB,

    SOG also has synthetic urine in an easy pour-n-go container... Its listed under "drug testing"... probably a mistake? I'm sure its for fertilizing lemon trees, no?

    West Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 786 posts Report Reply

  • Andre,

    They should legalise marijuana instead of increasing the drinking age - it does less damage and it's apparently quite easy to grow your own (but may be a little more difficult now SOG is no longer). Prohibition doesn't work. If Al Capone were alive and living in NZ he wouldn't be selling whiskey - he'd be running a p factory on a dope plantation. De-criminalising weed will give police more time to target p manufacturers. Imagine the decreased burden on low income people who smoke dope if they were legally able to grow their own.
    Did anyone else see that Real Crime documentary on TV1 about Denmark's prison system? They imprison a third as many prople as we do per capita and have a much lower crime rate as a result. 50% of kiwis have smoked dope at some stage. Getting tough on smoking weed is going to criminalise a huge number of ordinary kiwis which will please the private prison companies and their lobbyists but will cost the nation millions in the long run. Our system is not working - we now jail almost twice as many people per capita than we did in 1992.
    That's why the SOG crack-down is a worry. Targeting pot-smokers is a retrograde step.
    http://penal-system.suite101.com/article.cfm/denmarks_prison_system

    New Zealand • Since May 2009 • 269 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    this $895 "Easytosser Salad Pro-Manual Bowl Trimmer": http://bit.ly/d0Xdbt

    Man, that looks like the BEST web content writing job around...

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4327 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    (but may be a little more difficult now SOG is no longer)

    No, it's really, really easy to grow outdoors in the NZ climate. If it were legalized, SOG would be out of business immediately.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8305 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Any chance (Nick) of a link between that delayed-fingerprint-burglary you're complaining about and someone's drug habit?

    Drugs are expensive enough to motivate burglary precisely because of prohibition. Drinkers sometimes do burgle or rob to fund their alcohol habits, but it's not very common, because booze is legal and therefore not that expensive. I think this is a particularly poor example of drug use creating third-party victims.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2917 posts Report Reply

  • Matt Godfrey,

    I remember attending a police auction 12+ years ago in Whanagrei where they were auctioning off recovered stolen property for which they could not find the orginal owners for. At this auction they were also selling off confiscated hydroponic equipment. It was funny because the people buying this equipment all looked gang afiliated. I wonder if the police might be running a similar auction soon. Good chance to pick up some cheap equipment.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 13 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Man, that looks like the BEST web content writing job around...

    LOL totally. It took me ages to work out the real purpose of that machine. I think it might actually be dual purpose. I'd have to toss quite a few salads before all the possibilities were explored.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8305 posts Report Reply

  • Whoops,

    victim, crime, sandwiches etc...

    In many cases I know of, the smokers are certainly not victims. In a few, they are (parasitic drug dealers). I'm not refer (haha) ing to the end user.

    However... even for those cases where the smoker is not a victim, it seems probable - in some if not many situations - that there will be a link along the chain to a crime in which there is a victim.



    Do YOU know where your next joint has come from?

    I think a full traceability regime is called for.


    If you consider 'cannabis' is a victimless crime... and you're referring to the cannabis industry - from grower, to dealer, to smoker... that there's no victims directly caused by the cumulative financial impact of the demon weed then I'm fairly sure you'll be wrong.

    Don't mis understand me... I'm not against it, just find the hypocrisy bugs the hell out of me. Toke away, but don't pretend there are no indirect consequences or victims. Plenty of better arguments for legalisation than that old hippie refrain.

    Diffuse culpability? Sure, and damn right alcohol is a far bigger problem.

    here • Since Apr 2007 • 103 posts Report Reply

  • jo kerr,

    There's a study here http://www.shore.ac.nz/projects/Convictionreport.pdf on what the stats are on cannabis convictions and penalties.
    It seems to be that the current level of convictions is 6.5k pa (down from 9.5k in 1999), so for a 2 year operation that pulled in 250 arrests this looks like its a flop. How does the prosecution rate compare with actual usage ?
    The average penalties are 100hr community service $200 fine magnitude. This whole operation is just posturing.

    Since Apr 2010 • 24 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Don't mis understand me... I'm not against it, just find the hypocrisy bugs the hell out of me. Toke away, but don't pretend there are no indirect consequences or victims. Plenty of better arguments for legalisation than that old hippie refrain.

    Actually, I think the concerns you've been expressing have almost all been arguments for legislation. If you want traceability and regulation, you can't get there without legalisation.

    FWIW, I suspect marijuana is clearer-conscience drug than most. There are no international supply lines, for one thing.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18505 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Man, that looks like the BEST web content writing job around...

    Almost as much fun as writing the the copy for the Innovations catalogue's next container load of "personal massage wands"

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 11783 posts Report Reply

  • Andre,

    I really enjoyed SOG's website. A five minute read online is enough to see that they specialised in marijuana cultivation. The books for sale include NORML's magazine and "Cloning The Way To Grow". Who knew that they sold fireworks too though?
    Are the police going to now arrest everybody who ever attended the Daktory as well?
    Smokers are being victimised by the current legal environment. The law is encouragng gangs to be involved in supplying the product and pushing prices to quadruple what they would otherwise be without earning a cent in tax revenue.

    New Zealand • Since May 2009 • 269 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Who knew that they sold fireworks too though?

    For ages, bro. They were big on bFM with that. And that's the only thing I went went into SOG for. True!

    Are the police going to now arrest everybody who ever attended the Daktory as well?

    I think that's a very interesting question.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18505 posts Report Reply

  • Whoops,

    Actually, I think the concerns you've been expressing have almost all been arguments for legislation. If you want traceability and regulation, you can't get there without legalisation.

    Yep. Fully agree, and have no issue at all with the idea of legalisation... just that one call bugs the hell out of me.

    Also agree on the "clearer... than most", though 'clearer' /= clear.

    here • Since Apr 2007 • 103 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Also agree on the "clearer... than most", though 'clearer' /= clear.

    Is is it better to buy your poison from a nice hippie in the Coromandel -- or a booze multinational that sells alcopops to kids?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18505 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    There are no international supply lines, for one thing.

    Welllll maybe in seeds. But that's basically unstoppable. You only need one seed, and you can make a LOT of clones.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8305 posts Report Reply

  • Whoops,

    Is is it better to buy your poison from a nice hippie in the Coromandel -- or a booze multinational that sells alcopops to kids?

    This could go on for hours...but two wrongs don't make a right.

    (to answer your question - the hippie, every time)

    here • Since Apr 2007 • 103 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Bell,

    As Zippy says under the Proceeds of Crime Act, the police stand to reap quite a sum of money.

    Under the PM's "Methamphetamine plan", proceeds from such busts will go to offset enforcement costs and drug treatment - but I think via the consolidated fund (some smoke and mirrors and PR).

    This won't be the last of the large busts. I predict you'll see some more of these in the not-so-distant future. The next will likely be a huge load of meth and meth ingredients - Govt agencies are due to report to the PM on their activities under his new meth plan by the end of this month.

    BTW - for those readers who have commented on our silly and obsolete Misuse of Drugs Act, submission's on the Law Commission drug law review close this Friday. For more info: www.drugfoundation.org.nz. Have your say!

    Wellington, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 90 posts Report Reply

  • Nick Spencer,

    Back from a long day and missed a bit of debate there. Just to explain my statement, and my wayward hippy tendencies to want to legalise the weed lol...

    Yep Ben I understand that it is much easier and now more profitable for the police to go after a business such as Switched on Gardener, it is an easy bust compared to dealing with a backlog of child abuse cases ie;

    Wairarapa abuse 'tip of iceberg'

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10590733

    My point was in terms of cost and resources for the police, morally and ethically I would prefer they spend their time and money on clearing backlogs of child abuse cases, rather than running an expensive 2 year undercover operation to bust a chain of shops selling legal products available elsewhere in the country very easily and online.

    So I agree it is easier to go for the exciting and profitable drug raids, but in view in their role protecting society from harm, I'd rather they concentrate on the physical abuse cases of any kind rather than recreational drug arrests.

    Can I just say.."Who will think of the children???".

    As far as cannabis being a victimless crime, any crime caused by cannabis is largely because of its legal status as a prohibited drug. So legalise, regulate and tax the stuff. Hell, decriminalise it, I'm not bothered!!

    I didn't intend "victimless crime" to be a sweeping statement there, should I have said a drug that causes much less harm than its legal alternative alcohol? Or that causes less health carnage than tobacco? A largely benign drug? Something like that..

    Anyhoo, I have browsed at SOG a few times, and the staff seem helpful etc. I must look straight as(compared to my dreadlock hippy days) because I've never been offered a clone, seedling or anything but a friendly chat in SOG. And the lady I was talking with was very cautious about underlining the "growing veges" angle. She was giving me the suspo eye.

    Its a shame she wasn't in all the shops!! I suppose caution is the name of the game working in any "grow shop". Hope SOG have good lawyers!! They must have the cash by now..

    Centered • Since Aug 2009 • 34 posts Report Reply

  • Kim Sokolich,

    Completely off topic (but I had to post), check out this squirming b(w)anker. I'm starting to believe they might actually be able to change the financial regulatory system - but I'm probably being overly optimistic.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/04/27/goldman-sachs-hearings-li_n_553318.html#s85332

    Since Oct 2008 • 47 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    Can't help wondering if the cops have nabbed the database that drives the "Customers who bought this product also purchased" portion of the website

    And, as well now, the logs containing all the IP addresses we all just used laughing at the salad spinner

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2031 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Bell,

    A timely piece of research being discussed at the International [Drug] Harm Reduction Conference right now...

    A review of 20 years of research into drug enforcement has found that attempts to snuff out the trade in illegal substances have the opposite effect to that intended, by creating a power vacuum when drugs barons are imprisoned which is rapidly filled by competitors eager to fight each other for the newly-vacated territory.

    Crackdowns on drug dealers led to rise in violent crime, study finds

    Wellington, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 90 posts Report Reply

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