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Online Pot Dealer Irks Police Chief

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Beau knows reefer. He flies helicopters or walks through the woods to find
it. He can identify the highest grade marijuana in the world.

Beau knows the Internet. He surfs with precision. He follows the trail.

Doobiecentral.com is among his favorite sites.

"You can buy ounces there," Beau said.

This realization does not leave Beau very happy, for he is Beau Thurnauer,
police chief of the town of Coventry. This small, northeastern Connecticut
town of 11,000 residents proudly calls itself the gateway to the region's
Quiet Corner. The main attractions include an herb farm and boat launch on
the lake. It is the birthplace of Nathan Hale.

Some wild Canadians have invaded his town, sending genetically-enhanced
marijuana: strains boasting 10 times the potency of the herb smoked by the
Sixties Generation.

"I don't understand how this can be going through the mail without being
picked up," Chief Thurnauer said. "But we're going to find out. This is no
secret. We're going to make some kind of buy from this place."

Besides Doobiecentral.com, Thurnauer is taking a close look at
Emeryseeds.com, the web page of self-proclaimed Reefer Revolutionary Marc
Emery. Emery, who finished fifth in the 2002 race for mayor of Vancouver on
the Marijuana Party slate, has a simple motto: Overgrow the government and
put an end to marijuana prohibition.

Vancouver has a different perspective on enforcement of marijuana laws.
"[It] is not a priority with us," a police spokeswoman told The New York Times.

Emery operated a cafe in Vancouver called Hemp B.C. which featured tables
with domed vaporizers cooking marijuana for patrons. His web site boasts
delivery of "the largest selection of marijuana seeds in the world 534
strains from 36 seed companies all over the globe."

Chief Thurnauer became acquainted with Emery's marketing through a Coventry
resident, Henry Stirbl, a 21-year-old man with a few college-age friends.
Police say they visited Stirbl on Sept. 7 as they responded to a report of
a capsized boat on Coventry Lake. The boat owner said he loaned his craft
to Stirbl.

Officers said they entered Stirbl's house and were brought to the back
porch. There, they saw one of the young men toss a coffee grinder under a
chair. Thinking this odd, they looked around and noticed three green, leafy
plants. Stirbl, by all police accounts, was hospitable, friendly and happy.
He allegedly led officers to more marijuana inside the house and said he
bought his seeds from Emeryseeds.com

Stirbl was arrested and charged with operating a drug factory, possession
of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

A former captain for the Manchester police, Thurnauer has been Coventry's
chief since 1998. He lives in Coventry, where he served two years on the
school board. He was also a prominent advocate for a $29 million school
building project approved in 1997.

Look for more action in this case and related cases. This chief seems to be
an enterprising fellow who will not back down. His main adversary, Emery,
has often begged to be arrested for his cause.

Note: Mr. Thibault, a former Norwicch Bulletin reporter, is a columnist for
the Connecticut Law Tribune from which this is reprinted with permission.
He is the author of "Law & Justice In Everyday Life." Website: andythibault.com

Pubdate: Sun, 28 Sep 2003
Source: Norwich Bulletin (CT)
Copyright: 2003 Norwich Bulletin
Contact: http://www.norwichbulletin.com/customerservice/contact.html
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