FOR THE FREEDOM TO GROW – SAY NO TO A POLICE STATE!
PRESS RELEASE OF LEGALIZACE.CZ
6 NOVEMBER 2013
The Legalizace.cz calls for A DEMONSTRATION AGAINST THE LIQUIDATION OF GROWSHOPS which will take place on Saturday, 9 November 2013 from 8pm at the Old Town Square in Prague.
On Monday, November 4th, 2013, the Police of the Czech Republic launched an unprecedented operation evidently aimed at liquidating growshops, i.e. shops with accessories for growing plants. These shops offer entirely legal products, mainly growing technology, substrates, fertilizer and plant seeds. During the state-wide raid, more than 50 such shops that have been in business legally for many years had been cleared out by policemen without warning. All this based on a questionable legal article concerning the spreading of toxicomania (spreading of non alcoholic drug abuse) and a judicial decision of the Supreme Court from 2012 by which the owners of a garden store were given a suspended sentence for spreading toxicomania.
Despite most growshops limiting or removing their range of products whose sale could fulfil the factual nature of the criminal offence of spreading toxicomania (i.e. the parallel sale of cannabis seeds, growing technology, smoking needs and printed material with information on growing) based on the decision of the Supreme Court and the suggestion of the Czech Police at the beginning of summer 2013, the prosecuting authorities did not take this fact into account and decided to liquidate growshops in a blanket manner.
The Legalizace.cz citizen’s association resolutely and firmly refuses to accept this monstrous manifestation of power-fuelled despotism that causes dozens, maybe hundreds of decent, upstanding and tax-paying businessmen to be totally pointlessly criminalized and whose legal trade products worth millions of Czech crowns are being confiscated. The association is convinced that the activities of typical growshops does in no case fulfil the factual nature of the “elastic” article on spreading toxicomania, because each of their customers alone are responsible for the way in which they use the purchased products. Growshops definitely do not entice nor encourage anyone to grow or use illegal drugs by selling flowerpots and fertilizer.
“This case is an example of an absolutely unacceptable and scandalous infringement upon civil rights and freedoms, the freedom of enterprise and at the same time a massive waste of public funds and police sector capacities on the part of the Police of the Czech Republic, so necessary for solving true criminality. Does the Czech Police have nothing better to do than to go after owners of garden stores?” Robert Veverka, chairman of Legalizace.cz, reflects upon the absurd bullying going on.
These events once again prove how easy it is to exploit dysfunctional and dated antidrug laws that do not solve actual drug issues, but only constitute an effective tool for the police to persecute citizens. It is absolutely apparent that this police raid is merely playing into the hands of mainly the big fish of the black market with marijuana and the forthcoming, state-licensed companies that are preparing to take over the legal trade with medical marijuana. Simultaneously, the action of the police goes completely against the global trend of easing up on cannabis prohibition and against public opinion and interest.
The Legalizace.cz association will not idly sit by and allow this catastrophic violation of civil rights and freedoms to go on. For that reason it calls for A DEMONSTRATION AGAINST THE LIQUIDATION OF GROWSHOPS which will take place on Saturday, 9 November 2013 from 8pm at the Old Town Square in Prague.
“We urge all those who share our concern over this loathsome manifestation of power play and police despotism to show their support to the prosecuted growshop owners and to the legalization of marijuana by taking part in the event. While there is still time, let us SAY NO TO A POLICE STATE!” adds Michal Řehák, another member of the association.