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Russia: $140 fine for selling cell phone covers with pics of cannabis leaves - $1,400 for selling books about pot

 
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 163036
United States
12/07/2006 12:20 PM
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Russia: $140 fine for selling cell phone covers with pics of cannabis leaves - $1,400 for selling books about pot
The Federal Drug Control Service in Russia has now taken to chasing pictures of pot leaves.

Last week, agents charged a shopkeeper in Arkhangelsk with distributing "drug propaganda," a potential $140 fine, for selling removable cell phone covers with cannabis leaves on them.

Agent Nikolai Sumburov tells the Moscow Times that cell phone covers are actually a gateway drug to marijuana.

"Sixteen- and 17-year-old teenagers buy the cell phone so they can consider themselves to be part of the so-called subculture," Sumburov said. "Then they start thinking about trying the drug."

This investigation comes on the heels of online bookstore www.books.ru's $1,400 fine for selling books about marijuana. Its entire stock of "Marihuana, The Forbidden Medicine" by Lester Grinspoon and James Bakalar was confiscated by court order. Also, courts are disputing the legality of "Cannabis Vodka," which contains hemp seeds but no THC.

Drug reform and free speech advocates are understandably disturbed by this turn of events, with the crackdown on "paraphernalia" directed by an agency that was, until recently, charged with seeking out tax evaders. Perhaps this quote speaks for itself:

"We do not operate according to the Constitution," said Valentin Zhdanov, the head of the Federal Drug Control Service's office in Arkhangelsk. "We are regulated by other laws and the president. Constitutionality is decided by the courts."

[link to www.drugpolicy.org]
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 165497
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12/07/2006 12:37 PM
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Re: Russia: $140 fine for selling cell phone covers with pics of cannabis leaves - $1,400 for selling books about pot
Yeah, those Ruskies are much better off sticking to Vodka apparently.

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