Gideon Rettich is a master woodworker in Philadelphia, but he’s not going to be able to get into his studio for a while. You see, Rettich has the misfortune of operating his woodworking company out of 4562 Worth Street, the building where police raided NA Poe’s pot party on Saturday night. Read more »
Well, the case surrounding NA Poe‘s raided pot party just got a little more interesting. Poe, whose real name is Richard Tamaccio, has retained Chuck Peruto, Philly’s highest-profile criminal defense attorney, best known for his representation of deranged killer Gary Heidnik, folks like Joey Merlino, and that guy who improbably found $1.2 million on the street. We spoke with Peruto to find out how he plans to get Poe off the hook. Read more »
This morning, Mayor Jim Kenney stopped just short of criticizing the bust when he called it “overkill” and said that the “real solution to this is legalizing [marijuana] in the state of Pennsylvania as they did in Colorado,” according to Philly.com.
At Poe’s Northeast Philly warehouse party on Saturday, Police arrested 19 men and three women, confiscated 50 pounds of marijuana, about $50,000 in cash, several handguns and about 100 pounds of cannabis edibles. About 200 people were detained.
The event functioned as a sort of pop-up market where people could buy and sell various marijuana products. Poe, whose real name is Richard Tamaccio, told Philadelphia magazine’s Victor Fiorillo that he and his girlfriend, Rachael Friedman, sold about 300 tickets to the party, which cost attendees $50 each. They’ve both been charged with seven counts, including possession with intent to deliver; possession of a controlled substance; possession of an instrument of crime; use or possession of drug paraphernalia; conspiracy; causing or risking catastrophe; and recklessly endangering another person. Poe is being held on $250,000 bail.
Marijuana has been decriminalized in Philly since 2014. Kenney worked with Poe and Chris Goldstein (a fellow weed activist who was detained on Saturday) to draft the legislation, which largely applies to those who are caught with less than 30 grams of marijuana.
Following a press conference this morning, Kenney said that while “clearly, it’s illegal to sell [larger] quantities … there was probably another way” to crack down on the pot party “as opposed to the amount of resources that were put into this, especially considering our ongoing relationship with that community,” according to PhillyVoice.
Kenney reportedly said he doesn’t “micromanage the police department” and that he wasn’t aware of plans to raid the party. He noted that the event was also deemed a fire and safety hazard for several reasons – officials with the Department of Licenses and Inspections were also present at the bust.
Follow @ClaireSasko on Twitter.
The last time I saw cannabis crusader NA Poe on Saturday night, he was busy attending to the details of his big pot party going down in the Frankford section of Northeast Philadelphia. Two days later, he’s trying to get together $25,000 of the $250,000 bail that’s been set in a criminal case against him. Read more »
On Saturday evening, hundreds of people showed up at a warehouse space in Northeast Philadelphia for one of marijuana activist N.A. Poe‘s legendary pot parties known as Philly Smoke Sessions, intent on buying medical-grade marijuana, pot-infused brownies, and chocolates that will get you really, really high. Unfortunately for Poe and some of the attendees, the cops showed up as well, about 30 minutes after I left. Read more »
If you’ve been buying your marijuana from a guy with connections in Chester County, your source may have just dried up. On Tuesday morning, Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan announced that a major pot-growing operation in North Coventry Township has been busted. And it’s all thanks to a hunter. Read more »
Philadelphia approved zoning permits for seven proposed medical marijuana sites yesterday, Philly.com reports.
One of them stands out: a potential marijuana-growing facility that would be located in the same factory as Zitner’s – the iconic Philly Easter egg candy company that started as a mom-and-pop in 1920. You know, the one that makes the buttercream, double coconut, chocolate-coated Butter Krak eggs. Read more »
Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale says there is a simple change the state could make that would bring in millions of tax dollars: legalizing marijuana.
“The regulation and taxation of the marijuana train has rumbled out of the station, and it is time to add a stop in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania,” DePasquale said at a news conference at the state capitol, according to a release. “I make this recommendation because it is a more sane policy to deal with a critical issue facing the state. Other states are already taking advantage of the opportunity for massive job creation and savings from reduced arrests and criminal prosecutions. In addition, it would generate hundreds of millions of dollars each year that could help tackle Pennsylvania’s budget problems.”
DePasquale points out that Philadelphia’s marijuana decriminalization law lessened pot arrests from 2,843 in 2014 to 969 in 2016. That saved $4.1 million, per a data analysis from the RAND Corporation. Read more »
Perhaps one day the Flyers will score for an ounce of marijuana instead of a case of Tastykakes.
Snider Health, a company founded by the heirs of late Flyers founder Ed Snider, has plans for a marijuana grow operation in Far Northeast Philadelphia. The Inquirer reports that the facility would be located in an industrial park at 14515 McNulty Road, which is near the Community College of Philadelphia’s Northeast campus. Read more »