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Sunday, December 08, 2013
How to Use Anti-GMO Ordinances to Seize Marijuana Plants: A Guide for Police Departments
By Andrew Walden @ 12:30 AM :: 9701 Views :: Agriculture, Drugs, GMOs

by Andrew Walden

Growing most potent strains of marijuana is now a crime again under newly enacted county ordinances on Kauai and the Big Island.  If Maui County follows suit and passes a proposed ordinance modeled on the Kauai law, marijuana growers will be subject to stiff new penalties there as well.  The changes are due to the recent enactment of anti-GMO legislation by county councils.  In all three anti-GMO bills, “gene doubling” is expressly identified as a form of genetic modification subject to the law.  The most potent forms of marijuana are modified by a primitive genetic modification technique which involves soaking the seeds in colchicine—a carcinogenic derivative of crocus bulbs--until the DNA doubles (or even quadruples) which in turn doubles or quadruples the production of THC.  This method produces the highest potency marijuana varieties and the seeds commonly sold by online vendors.

In Kauai County, (and potentially Maui County) marijuana growers raising GMO varieties of marijuana are required to register “no later than sixty (60) days following the end of each calendar year” -- March 2, 2014.  They must report “a general description of each genetically modified organism, a general description of the geographic location including at minimum the Tax Map Key and ahupua’a where each genetically modified organism is being grown or developed, and dates that each genetically modified organism was initially introduced to the land in question.”

Failure to report the site of GMO marijuana grow op(s) will result in ”a civil fine of $10,000-$25,000 per day, per violation” and “shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine of not more than two-thousand dollars ($2,000.00), or imprisoned not more than one (1) year, or both, for each offense. The continuance of any violation after conviction shall be deemed a new criminal offense for each day that the violation or violations continue.”

Note that the $10,000 per day fine is a mandatory daily minimum—40 days of violations on one TMK results in a minimum of $400K or a maximum of $1,000,000 in fines—usually enough to justify seizing a grower’s house and land.

The only way marijuana growers can avoid these fines is to register the location and ownership of their grow-ops.

In Hawaii County anti-GMO Bill 113 became effective with Mayor Billy Kenoi’s signature December 5, 2013.  Its requirements are different than the law on Kauai and the bill proposed for Maui.  For instance “no person shall knowingly engage in the open air cultivation, propagation, development, or testing of genetically engineered crops or plants.”  This prohibits all outdoor grow-ops including those operating within medical marijuana limits.

Indoor grow-ops on the Big Island will be subject to registration requirements or a $1000 per day fine effective March 5, 2014:

All persons engaged in any form of cultivation, propagation, development, or indoor testing of genetically engineered crops or plants of any kind shall register annually beginning within ninety days of the effective date of this article, and shall pay an annual registration fee of $100 per location…. 

“Any person who violates any provision of this article shall be guilty of a violation, and upon conviction thereof, shall be sentenced to a fine of up to $ 1,000 for each separate violation. The person shall be deemed to be guilty of a separate offense for each and every day a violation of this article is committed, continued, or permitted for each location. To the extent permitted by law, the person found in violation of this article shall also be responsible for all costs of investigation and testing, as well as for court costs, including but not limited to witness fees and witness expenses.”

For police departments and prosecutors, the challenge will be distinguishing genetically modified marijuana while in the field. Fortunately, there are simple guidelines available such as this one which comes from a respected Canadian mail order seed vendor

Polyploid Traits (Click trait for image):

VIDEO: Every strain shown in this video is GMO. 

 

This information provides police departments with a handy way to identify suspected GMO strains of marijuana in the field, seize them and send the plant material for genetic testing to confirm the presence of illegal polyploid characteristics.  Fines could also be calculated based on expert testimony about the age of the plant, racking up between $400,000 and $1,000,000 in fines for a single mature 40-day old plant (up to $40,000 fine on the Big Island) without having to conduct 40 days of surveillance.

Anti-GMO potheads imposed these laws on themselves.  They deserve to suffer until the ordinances are repealed.  This is justice.

---30---

GMO Marijuana:  Polyploidy: Origins of Pink Kush, OG Kush, Chemdawg

Background:

TEXT: Kauai Bill 2491 Draft 1 (as enacted) 

(Same as Maui bill, below)

TEXT: Maui Comm 13-381 (as introduced)

Genetically modified” means produced from an organism or organisms in which the genetic material has been genetically engineered through the application of:

(1) In vitro nucleic acid techniques, which include, but are not limited to: recombinant deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) techniques; direct injection of nucleic acid into cells or organelles; encapsulation; gene deletion; and doubling;

(b) It shall be mandatory for all commercial agricultural entities that intentionally or knowingly possess any genetically modified organism to disclose the presence of said genetically modified organism.

(1) Annual public reports of all genetically modified organisms intentionally or knowingly possessed during each calendar year shall be provided to the Office of Economic Development and shall be posted online on the County website. Direct notification to the Department documenting such disclosure shall occur no later than sixty (60) days following the end of each calendar year.

(2) Disclosure shall include a general description of each genetically modified organism, a general description of the geographic location including at minimum the Tax Map Key and ahupua’a where each genetically modified organism is being grown or developed, and dates that each genetically modified organism was initially introduced to the land in question.

Sec. 22-22.7 Penalties.

(a) Any person, firm, or corporation, whether as principal, agent, employee, or otherwise, violating, causing, or permitting the violation of any of the provisions of this Article, shall be assessed a civil fine of $10,000-$25,000 per day, per violation.

(b) In addition to any penalty described in Subsection 22-22.7(a), any person, firm, or corporation, whether as principal, agent, employee, or otherwise, violating or causing or permitting the violation of any of the provisions of this Article, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine of not more than two-thousand dollars ($2,000.00), or imprisoned not more than one (1) year, or both, for each offense. The continuance of any violation after conviction shall be deemed a new criminal offense for each day that the violation or violations continue.

  *   *   *   *   *

TEXT: Hawaii Co Bill 113 (as enacted) December 5, 2013

Section 14- Definitions.

As used in this article, unless otherwise specified:

Genetically engineered" means an organism that has been modified at the molecular or cellular level by means that are not possible under natural conditions or processes. Such means include recombinant DNA and RNA techniques, cell fusion, microencapsulation, macroencapsulation gene deletion and doubling, introducing a foreign gene, and changing the position of genes.

Section 14-_ Prohibition.

No person shall knowingly engage in the open air cultivation, propagation, development, or testing of genetically engineered crops or plants.

Section 14 Registration.

a) All persons engaged in any form of cultivation, propagation, development, or indoor testing of genetically engineered crops or plants of any kind shall register annually beginning within ninety days of the effective date of this article, and shall pay an annual registration fee of $100 per location

Section 14- Penalties.

Any person who violates any provision of this article shall be guilty of a violation, and upon conviction thereof, shall be sentenced to a fine of up to $ 1,000 for each separate violation. The person shall be deemed to be guilty of a separate offense for each and every day a violation of this article is committed, continued, or permitted for each location. To the extent permitted by law, the person found in violation of this article shall also be responsible for all costs of investigation and testing, as well as for court costs, including but not limited to witness fees and witness expenses.

 

 

 

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