D.C.’s State Fair will have a marijuana growing competition this year

By Perry Stein July 16 at 9:34 AM

 

It’s been five months since marijuana was legalized in D.C., and now there’s a public opportunity to show off, if you’ve been letting that liberty take root.

The DC State Fair — a seemingly Pinterest-inspired event showcasing the culinary, artistic and agricultural talents of the District — is adding a marijuana growing competition to its lineup of events this year. The “Best Bud” category now joins the fair’s growing list of competitions, which already includes the honey contest, the homebrew contest, the knit and crotchet contest, the funkiest-looking vegetable contest, the pickled food contest and more. The fair also added a pet parade for the first time this year.

“Now that it’s legal for residents of the District to grow their own plants, we wanted a way to highlight this new freedom while also showing off the agricultural talents of the District’s people,” Anna Tauzin, a board member and outreach director for the fair, wrote in an e-mail. The event is held each year in September. DC State Fair is a nonprofit run by residents.

Each submitted marijuana plant will be judged based on four categories, according to the competition forms:

  1. Appearance: Is it well-manicured? Does it have Trichomes (sparkling crystals)?
  2. Odor: What does it smell like? Does it have a sweet, spicy, or murky smell?
  3. Touch: Is it sticky? Does the stem snap or bend?
  4. Your Story: Did you grow your plant organically? Did you use artificial light, natural light, or a combination? Was the plant grown hydroponically or in soil? All of this information and anything else you would like the judges to know should be included in the Your Story category below in the registration from.

Participants must submit one small bud, about 1 to 2 grams, from their plant in a small Mason jar.

The buds, however, will not be judged on how effectively they can get someone high and what type of high they trigger. Judges will not be sampling them because, Tauzin said, the fair will be adhering to the law. and it’s still illegal to smoke marijuana in a public space. The DC State Fair will be held Sept. 12 at Shaw’s Old City Farm and Guild, a public space on the 900 block of Rhode Island Avenue NW.

[Read more: How to stay out of jail now that pot is legal in D.C.]

The judges have not yet been selected, but Tauzin assures they will all be experts of the product. Adam Eidinger — the chair of the DC Cannabis Campaign who spearheaded efforts to legalize marijuana in the city — is the volunteer coordinator for the bud event.

D.C. isn’t the only place to try to showcase marijuana at its fair. The Denver County Fair added cannabis-themed competitions to its fair last year. But, it canceled the competitions and marijuana exhibits amid controversy this year: More than a dozen people claimed they were unknowingly served chocolate-infused marijuana and sued, even though actual pot was prohibited on the premises. (The fair organizer, according to the AP, said marijuana was not dropped because of this incident, but because sales at marijuana-related vendors were slow.)

Entry forms for the “Best Bud” competition must be submitted by midnight Sept. 5, and participants will be capped at 50. The judging will begin, of course, at 4:20 p.m. the day of the fair.

And what will the winner of D.C.’s first sanctioned growing competition go home with? “A beautiful blue ribbon and lots of glory, but also likely some swag items from local businesses,” Tauzin said.

Perry Stein covers the happenings in D.C., Maryland and Virginia.

CONTINUE READING…

GPS, The FBI, and the Fourth Amendment

 

 

In 2004, Antoine Jones, owner and operator of a nightclub in D.C. was suspected of trafficking in narcotics. Various investigative leads were used by the DC police and the FBI, including visual surveillance, use of a camera focused on the front door of his club, and a pen register.

Based on information gathered from the sources, the investigators sought a search warrant allowing them to install an electronic tracking devise on a vehicle Jones used, a Jeep Grand Cherokee. The United States District Court for the District of Columbia issued a warrant authorizing the investigators to install the GPS tracking device in the District of Columbia within ten days. Then agents installed the device on the undercarriage of the Jeep on the 11th day, and while the jeep was in a public parking lot in Maryland.

After 28-day’s surveillance, Jones’ associates and stash houses were identified. District Police seized a total of 97 kilos of cocaine and $850,000. Jones and several of his co-conspirators were indicted, tried, and convicted in 2007.  They were sentenced to life in prison.

On appeal, the government had to concede they did not comply with the terms of the warrant, so they argued that a warrant was not needed. All 9 justices disagreed, for three different reasons. The main argument was that Jones’ vehicle was on a public street and there was no reasonable expectation of privacy.

The Justices also took the position that police already had probable cause (which they needed for the warrant).  This probable cause was usually sufficient to search a car on the roadway, but that argument failed as it was not made to the lower court. Another position argued below was that it was not Jones’ car, as it was registered to his wife.  That argument was also waived as not being raised in the Supreme Court.  What was the ruling?

Five justices said the government trespassed upon private property (the undercarriage), similar to a constable hiding in the baggage compartment to see where it was going, or to overhear the conversations of the passengers, something which would have violated the constitution at the time it was first adopted.

Four others felt Jones did have a reasonable expectation of privacy in the use of the long term GPS tracking of his movements. One of the five, agreeing with the trespass holding, was more concerned with short term tracking, finding it invasive to see if a person visited a psychiatrist, an abortion clinic, a criminal defense attorney, a gay bar, an AIDS treatment center, which house of worship you go to or a pay by the hour motel.

What do we learn from this case? Comply with the conditions of the warrant. Serve it in the jurisdiction, and within the time frame. The court left open the question of the modern technology that would also allow tracking without actually placing a device on the car, with or without a warrant. U.S. v. Jones, January 23, 2012

David M. Waksman, J.D., is a nationally known former homicide prosecutor with vast experience in trying violent offenders and a former sergeant with the NYPD. He served for 35 years with of the Miami-Dade (Fla.) State Attorney’s Office, primarily in the Major Crimes Division. He teaches Case Preparation and Courtroom Presentation, Police Involved Shootings, Injury and Death Investigations, and Criminal Law, at the Miami Dade College School of Justice, In-Service Training Unit and at various police departments in South Florida.  He also taught for twenty years at the Homicide Seminar for the Southern Police Institute. His specialty is Fourth and Fifth Amendment issues. He has tried almost 200 jury trials, including 79 for first degree murder. He is the author of the Search and Seizure Handbook, 3/ed.  It was cited by the United States Supreme Court in Hudson v. Michigan, 547 U.S. 586 (2006), available from Prentice Hall.

Learn more about this article here:

http://www.amazon.com/David-M.-Waksman/e/B001JRV3Q8

– See more at: http://www.lawenforcementtoday.com/2012/09/24/gps-the-fbi-and-the-fourth-amendment/#sthash.w0UcIBKb.dpuf

CONTINUE READING THRU THIS LINK….