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Goodbye Rosie, The Queen of Corona
February 5, 2006 11:03 PM   Subscribe

Overgrow.com --one of the largest and most comprehensive sites written by and for cannabis growers about cannabis cultivation, complete with user forums and immense photo galleries--along with Heaven's Stairway Seeds (hempqc.com), Cannabisworld.com, and Eurohemp.com have all been shut down, their owners arrested in Canada, and the servers seized. The story hasn't yet made the Canadian news, but it raises many questions about free speech online.
posted by fandango_matt (45 comments total)

 
I would love to check out that site, but Big Brother may be looking...

*clicks through to Republicans for Jesus*
posted by BitterOldPunk at 11:12 PM on February 5, 2006


WHAT.
THE.
FUCK.
CANADA? (!@#!@#!$ASDADF@#$!ASD)

I doubt marijuana will ever be legal in my lifetime.
posted by tweak at 11:35 PM on February 5, 2006


Now we know where John Ashcroft went when he retired.
posted by Bonzai at 11:43 PM on February 5, 2006


If they'd gotten hosting in some other country, like the Netherlands or Brazil, I bet the server would still be running.
posted by rolypolyman at 11:51 PM on February 5, 2006


In a related story, a fire in San Francisco led to the discovery of 250 plants.

Note the time at which the firefighters were called to the scene.
posted by fandango_matt at 12:01 AM on February 6, 2006


firefighters police
posted by fandango_matt at 12:02 AM on February 6, 2006


goddammit, shit like this is gonna drive the price up.
posted by tweak at 12:13 AM on February 6, 2006


whoah. bummer, man.
posted by Hat Maui at 12:56 AM on February 6, 2006


Heh.
Here's how Harvard University economist and BusinessWeek commentator Robert J. Barro summed up the record of the war on drugs in his paper Getting It Right: Markets and Choices in a Free Society: "The experience with drug enforcement shows that prohibitions of recreational drugs drive up prices, stimulate illegal activity, have only a moderate negative effect on consumption, and impose unacceptable costs in terms of high crime, expansion of prison populations, and deterioration of relations with the foreign countries that supply the outlawed products."
posted by mullingitover at 1:27 AM on February 6, 2006


mullingtover: man didn't you receive the memo ? The only economic concept that are true and real are that competition is among the masses, because competition is good. Socialization of cost and privatization of profit , good too. All other economic theories are terrorist speech unless approved.
posted by elpapacito at 1:33 AM on February 6, 2006


Free speech online is IMO as much a myth as free speech anywhere else, in any other medium.

Oh well.
posted by Chunder at 2:17 AM on February 6, 2006


Heil Them
posted by zouhair at 2:30 AM on February 6, 2006


The beginnings of a new blue Canada? This is very unusual.
posted by mek at 3:01 AM on February 6, 2006


On thorough reading I doubt that this investigation is targetting these websites, but rather seizing them as evidence for a case against some drug lord or whatever.
posted by mek at 3:07 AM on February 6, 2006


Well, at least I can still fill my little pipe. Hello, blue page.
posted by Wolof at 3:21 AM on February 6, 2006


rolypolyman : "If they'd gotten hosting in some other country, like the Netherlands or Brazil, I bet the server would still be running."

I really wished you were right, but the Brazilian police and justice (sic) system has very little tolerance for anything related to inciting crime and there is plenty of previous cases of clear free-speech issues (like a music group whose lyrics were pro-marijuana being arrested on stage repeatedly) being treated as criminal matter. But I believe (hope) the Netherlands may treat such an issue better.
posted by nkyad at 3:35 AM on February 6, 2006


Four websites, hosted at one location, owned and operated by one person, who was arrested along with his wife (on preview this looked like one of those major coordinated multi-site takedowns, which it apparently was not).
posted by unmake at 3:36 AM on February 6, 2006


...all their web properties seized, including the physical servers that held massive databases on thousands of growers, and tens of thousands of photographs of cannabis plants.

So weak. What are they going to do, geolocate the IP's of the top-viewed gallery posters and storm in guns blazing?

I had not visited the other sites, but OverGrow was a great resource. Obviously these sites were geared towards cultivation, but you can find similar if less detailed information tons of places online and in literature. Where do you draw the line on availability and content of this information? What about Erowid? That's quite a resource for illegal narcotic information. How long before that's gone? When do the retailers get raided and all of their "novelty books" sacked and burned? This is ridiculous.
posted by prostyle at 6:22 AM on February 6, 2006


The funny thing is, you could actually run these sites from the US, except for the seed selling, of course.

Now, if you did run these sites, you probably wouldn't even want to smoke pot, or keep any in your home, but you could run the site.

Well, I'm pretty sure of that, anyway.
posted by delmoi at 6:40 AM on February 6, 2006


What about Erowid? That's quite a resource for illegal narcotic information. How long before that's gone?

Erowid is a U.S. Site.

Of course, the police and government don't always behave legaly, of course.
posted by delmoi at 6:41 AM on February 6, 2006


I don't know the exact name of the case but I remember in law class there was a case reviewed about publishing a manual of "How to Build an Atomic Bomb" by a student.

It was found that the student was guilty of nothing and was just exercising free speech. Shouldn't this be the same? Maybe it's illegal because it involves personal experiences with photos of actual people doing it. But a simple manual would be allowed?
posted by pez_LPhiE at 6:44 AM on February 6, 2006


Here's how Harvard University economist and BusinessWeek commentator Robert J. Barro summed up the record of the war on drugs in his paper Getting It Right: Markets and Choices in a Free Society...

I swear to god my Econ 101 textbook listed the drug war (and nyc rent control) as examples of how over-regulation causes all sorts of weird problems and benefits a few people at the expense of most. That's right, it's a textbook example of how not to do economic policy.

The Author was a Clinton economic advisor. Heh.
posted by delmoi at 6:44 AM on February 6, 2006


It was found that the student was guilty of nothing and was just exercising free speech. Shouldn't this be the same? Maybe it's illegal because it involves personal experiences with photos of actual people doing it. But a simple manual would be allowed?

You realize that Canada and the U.S. have different laws, right? In particular, Canada does not have the same free speech protections.
posted by delmoi at 6:46 AM on February 6, 2006


Fucking junkie, they should have him put to death. Talking about growing pot is no different from actually growing it, and growing pot is no different from mass murder. Think of the children and such. This should be the top priority of police. That and shutting down the obscene rantings of pro-legalisation mouthpieces, such as the Vancouver Sun, and the Globe and Mail. Their editorial staff should all be taken out and shot.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 6:52 AM on February 6, 2006


delmoi writes "Erowid is a U.S. Site.

"Of course, the police and government don't always behave legaly, of course."


Indeed. Assuming the Emery case is still being processed and pursued diligently, who's to say the US couldn't have made these seizure demands? I'm beginning to think the only safe place for a server is in Sweden.
posted by prostyle at 6:59 AM on February 6, 2006


prostyle writes "What about Erowid? That's quite a resource for illegal narcotic information. How long before that's gone?"

Might be a good time to fire up your site archiver if you actually care about this site.
posted by Mitheral at 7:09 AM on February 6, 2006


delmoi writes "In particular, Canada does not have the same free speech protections."

Most of the limitations are against hate speech though. Like you said earlier these sites would probably still be up if the admin wasn't a user.
posted by Mitheral at 7:14 AM on February 6, 2006


Hrmm... from at least some of the stories, it appears as though the sites were (at the very least) providing links on places to buy seeds? Having never visited them myself, can anyone verify this? It sounds (at least from what I can tell) that he was busted more for the seed-selling activities (or relation to them). And that doesn't really sound like much of a free speech issue to me.
posted by antifuse at 7:38 AM on February 6, 2006


That's it, I'm gonna smoke some weed and go on a killing rampage. Someone needs to justify the retarded anti weed rhetoric!
posted by evilelvis at 8:06 AM on February 6, 2006


I bet it's the DEA and the seeds, that's how they got Marc Emery. Mail seeds to the US, the DEA can pressure the Canadian authorities to arrest and deport you, where you go to trial in federal court, are likely found guilty (cause you did do it) and end up spending time in a super not fun federal prison.

People gotta understand, it's all fun and games in Canada, but the US federal authorities are serious. They honestly believe marijuana is big time evil.
posted by Leonard at 9:08 AM on February 6, 2006


Yes. its about the seed selling.
posted by merelyglib at 9:12 AM on February 6, 2006


That sound you hear is the sobbing of thousands of indoor growers methodically destroying their crops.
posted by merelyglib at 9:17 AM on February 6, 2006


Pot TV
posted by hortense at 10:58 AM on February 6, 2006


IMO, this must have happened in much the same way as the Marc Emery case: the USA's DEA pushed on Canadian authorities to assist them and, like a bunch of spineless fucks, our government and police force did what they were told.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:59 AM on February 6, 2006


How do national laws affect websites? Are you culpable for a particular free speech-related law depending on where the site is hosted? Where you're located?

i.e., could I run a child-porn site from a country with no child porn laws and escape prosecution, even if it can be accessed within the U.S.?

(i wonder if this is going to get me on a watch list...)
posted by craven_morhead at 11:21 AM on February 6, 2006


I’m eating some hemp brownies. Got them from my local Jewel. Welcome to the 21st century.
It’s just a matter of time before all this marijuana scare crap blows over (hopefully in our lifetime). I don’t smoke/imbibe the stuff, but I have no problem with doing so.

/the brownies aren’t that tasty. All organic. On the upside - regular bowel movements!
...I really didn’t think I’d live this long to worry about this stuff.
posted by Smedleyman at 12:03 PM on February 6, 2006


Leonard : "They honestly believe marijuana is big time evil."

I am more and more convinced that "they" (encompassing not only Americans but most Western Anti-Drug enforcement) do actually dishonestly believe marijuana is big time evil. it' been a long time since the "War on Drugs" became the "War to Keep our Jobs".
posted by nkyad at 12:48 PM on February 6, 2006


You might be seeing professional manuals about this sort of thing in Nevada by the end of the year:

http://www.regulatemarijuana.org
posted by crazymonk at 2:47 PM on February 6, 2006


If marijuana is regulated, it will be so that corporations can maximize their profits.

It won't be for the benefit of the common user.
posted by five fresh fish at 3:53 PM on February 6, 2006


I for one don't care who profits from legal, regulated, taxed Marijuana sales. I only want Criminals to stop profiting from it.
posted by Megafly at 4:50 PM on February 6, 2006


Methinks Reynolds Tobacco is, in fact, a criminal enterprise.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:27 PM on February 6, 2006


(drinks fifth of bourbon, breaks the bottle, threatens to cut you all)
posted by I Love Tacos at 8:59 PM on February 6, 2006


i.e., could I run a child-porn site from a country with no child porn laws and escape prosecution, even if it can be accessed within the U.S.?

You could, if you lived in that country. I think you could theoretically get arrested if you tried to enter the US though. Or rather, you could DEFINITELY get arrested if you tried to enter the US, but it's theoretically legal for you to get arrested. :) I remember doing case studies on this wrt offshore online-gambling sites in university, but can't remember what the final consensus was.
posted by antifuse at 2:44 AM on February 7, 2006


Well done
posted by P-Soque at 10:47 AM on February 7, 2006


I'm having difficulty regulating my intake because I can't find any in Louisville. I need some regulation.
posted by highlandsguy at 12:31 PM on February 26, 2006


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