One on OnePolice chose “wrong weapon” in raids on marijuana cultivation suppliers, says owner Michal Otipka
In November, the Czech police’s drugs unit raided dozens of “grow shops”, businesses that sell products necessary for the cultivation of marijuana. The police justified the large-scale confiscation of goods on the grounds that a court had ruled it was illegal for the shops to offer in one place everything needed to grow the drug, from seeds to literature. This is disputed by the grow shop owners, including my guest today, Michal Otipka, who runs four in Prague. Before we got on to the legal niceties, I asked Otipka how he’d first got into the business. More
The police in Prague have arrested a man who was transporting some 500 marihuana plants in the trunk of a stolen car. The man was pulled over in the central Wilsonova street but said he only borrowed the car from a friend. However, the officers noted cannabis odour emanating from the trunk where they found hundreds of young cannabis plants, a spokeswoman for the force said. The man is facing five in prison.
The Czech Health Ministry has issued the first license for the import of medical marijuana. The Czech company Elkoplast Slušovice was granted the license to import three kilograms of marijuana from the Netherlands, which will be sold for medical purposes in a pharmacy in Zlín. Another company has also fulfilled all the requirements for importing medical marijuana, but has not requested a license yet. The sale of medical marijuana in pharmacies was legalized this summer, but the drug has not been made available yet. Czech doctors are now able to prescribe at most 30 grams of medical marijuana per month to patients with chronic pain symptoms as well as illnesses such as multiple sclerosis, cancer or AIDS.
Police in the region of Vysočina have charged two people with the promotion of using illegal substances, part of a broader raid at grow shops, selling equipment which can be used for the growing of marijuana. In the Vysočina region, officers conducted checks at two brick-and-mortar stores and investigated three online shops, all in - or with headquarters in - Jihlava and the area of Žďár. Materials worth an estimated one million crowns were seized. The police have not released additional details.
The Czech police have begun a mass raid on so-called grow shops, which sell equipment for indoor gardening, and often for growing marijuana plants. Authorities have already charged a number of people connected with these stores with distribution and promotion of illegal substances, but critics say they cannot be held responsible for the behavior of their customers. More
Police have cracked down on grow shops around the country. A police spokeswoman told Czech Radio on Monday that the operation had been planned for months ahead and confirmed that police were confiscating fertilizers, lamps and other equipment that make it possible to grow plants indoors. The stores are associated primarily with home cannabis cultivation. The police is expected to release more information on Tuesday.
The Prague police have recommended to the state prosecutor to indict an editor at the weekly magazine Reflex, Jiří X. Doležal, and the former deputy editor-in-chief Jaroslav Plesl for propagating the use of drugs. The police charged both men in August after an edition of the magazine came out containing a blurry picture, which was supposed to appear in focus once the reader smoked marijuana. The magazine also contained cigarette rolling papers and a notice on the front cover indicating that they were to be used to roll a marihuana joint. Mr. Doležal was the author of the article, and Mr. Plesl was at the time of printing filling in for the editor-in-chief. If the state attorney chooses to prosecute the case, the two men could face up to five years in jail or a fine if found guilty.
A court in České Budějovice on Thursday sentenced 16 members of an international drug ring for the production and possession of marihuana, the sale of equipment for marihuana growing, and providing consultations on the process. The terms vary from a year-long suspended sentence to seven years in prison. Besides Czech nationals, the group included Vietnamese, Chinese and Slovenian citizens. The police broke the ring in 2011, and confiscated hundreds of marihuana plants, as well as dried marihuana ready for distribution.
An appeals court in Olomouc on Tuesday confirmed a verdict of nine years in prison for a 38-year-old man convicted of growing large quantities of marihuana plants. The man, who was arrested in March 2012, ran several indoor plantations with more than 2000 plants of the illicit drug; he claimed he never sold the drug on the black market as he wanted to gain experience to be able to take part in a medical marihuana growing programme once it’s legalized for Czech growers. However, the court said the man grew the plants in expectation of financial benefits.
Police have charged journalist Jiří X. Doležal with promoting drug use over an article he wrote in the weekly Reflex, a spokesperson for the magazine said on Wednesday. The police said the piece by Mr. Doležal was accompanied by an out of focus photograph that would enhance the experience of smoking marijuana and came in an issue – which reported on this year’s marijuana crop – that also contained rolling papers and filters. Reflex’s deputy editor Jaroslav Plesl was also arraigned. The police said they had sought an expert opinion before filing the charges.