Hunt after 12-year-old girl

by Juicy Wallet juicywallet

Hunt after 12-year-old girl raped

A manhunt has been launched after a 12-year-old girl was raped by two men.The girl was in Walthamstow, east London, between 12.15am and 12.30am on Saturday when she met three men, Scotland Yard said.She was taken to a garage area at the end of Hibbert Road, near Theydon Street, where she was pinned down and raped by two of the men.The girl managed to call a friend who came to the scene and they left together. The suspects then left the area.The trio are described as being between 17 and 19 years old.

The first was dark-skinned and of mixed race, with a diamond stud in his left ear and a London accent. He told the girl his name was Mo and that he was 17. He had big brown eyes, short hair, was very skinny and wore a black puffa-style jacket with a hood, black chinos, black trainers and a grey/black T-shirt.

The second was described as black and very tall with big lips. His hair was partly shaven and he wore black trousers and a red and blue shirt. The third, who did not rape the girl, was black and had a moustache. He wore a blue-coloured hooded top and a red and blue cap, and told her his name was Miles.

Detective Inspector Simon Ellershaw, who is leading the investigation, said: "This was a very nasty attack on a vulnerable girl just 12 years old by a group of older males who engaged her in conversation before leading her to a secluded area. She was pinned down and two of the males then brutally raped her."I would appeal for anyone with information or any witnesses to please contact police as soon as possible."

But standing in the doorway is his boss, to whom few of the clich├ęs apply. Norton Arbelaez is a former medical lawyer, clean-shaven and wearing a crisp, collared Oxford shirt. "Some of the growers listen to classical music," he says, not entirely convincingly.

Arbelaez, aged 33, is the co-owner of River Rock Wellness, a medical marijuana emporium that in less than six months' time will be one of the first businesses in the world to legally cultivate, manufacture and retail marijuana to anybody who's buying, regardless of their medical status. His is the face of the new weed industry: presentable, professional, and completely above-board.

At the November 2012 election, Colorado voters passed constitutional amendment 64, legalising recreational marijuana in their state. In May, Democrat governor John Hickenlooper reluctantly bowed to the will of the people and signed a series of measures to create the world's first fully taxed and regulated recreational marijuana market.

Pot - yes, Americans still call it that - remains illegal at a federal level, but the Obama administration has so far shown little interest in disrupting Colorado's grand experiment.Medical marijuana is already permitted in 18 US states, as well as Washington DC. At least four more are poised to enact similar legislation within the year. Washington state has also passed a law legalising recreational weed.

Before long, the drug will likely be allowed in some form across more than half of the country. But Colorado, which approved medical marijuana in 2000, was the first to adopt a for-profit model.

It remains the most advanced medical marijuana market in the US, catering to well over 100,000 patients. Next year, it will become a test-bed for broad legalisation, and every sensible government would do well to take notes. "We're going to mint more millionaires than Microsoft with this business," Shively boasted, and he may not be far off: medical marijuana is now a $1.5bn industry. Some estimate that federally legal, recreational marijuana could be worth $110bn.

Which is why accountants, bankers and management consultants are all descending on Denver to join the so-called 'Green Rush'. Mark Koenig, a 32-year-old former finance professional who now works as a weed industry consultant in the Mile High City, says many of his old colleagues are desperate to invest. "A couple of years back I wanted to make a decision about my future," Koenig says.

"I was looking at the economy, talking to my friends on Wall Street who analyse other industries. A couple of hedge fund manager friends told me: 'Almost every industry is screwed right now. We don't see a true growth industry anywhere'. But cannabis is a growth industry."

That industry now directly employs some 10,000 people in Colorado, and the Green Rush came at just the right moment to rescue the state from the worst of the recession, providing peripheral jobs to construction workers, to advertisers, to lawyers, to graphic designers.

Of the approximately one million sq ft of real estate that Colorado's marijuana businesses now occupy, the most visible are on a section of Broadway, south of downtown Denver. Known locally as 'Broadsterdam' or 'The Green Mile', this mile-long stretch contains at least nine pot dispensaries, most of them housed in former car dealerships left empty by the economic crisis.

Without marijuana, the neighbourhood might have ended up looking like post-crash Detroit. Instead, by this time next year, it could be Denver's pot Disneyland. The dispensary itself is like an old-fashioned sweetshop, with row upon row of jars lined up behind a glass counter, each containing a different strain of fresh bud. Cheerful 'bud-tenders' in waist-aprons serve a steady stream of customers.

Though the law requires that each product be properly labelled with a recommended serving size and information on potency, the strains retain the street-sounding names they acquired during prohibition: Girl Scout Cookie; Sour Tsunami; Buddha's Sister; Tangerine Haze; Jedi Kush; Golden Goat; Facewreck.

Some are named for their noses: Cheese has a stiff French pong; Cherry Kush carries an odour not unlike cherries. Others are labelled according to their heritage - hybrids derived from a strain called Chernobyl also take on Cold War nomenclature: Agent Orange, Doctor Strangelove. And then there's hash, or 'dabs', a popular variety of solidified hash oil - not to mention an array of non-smokeable cannabis products, not all of which have psychotropic properties: pain-relief rubs; oils; tinctures; butters; crunchy snacks; hard candies; teas; smoothie mixes; raw cannabis juices.

Historically, leading weed breeders created THC-heavy strains for their potency, flavour and high. Now that medical marijuana is a profitable industry, many growers are reversing that process to breed strains laced with large amounts of cannabidiol, the chemical in cannabis that alleviates medical complaints including MS and cancer.

Some of River Rock's medical marijuana customers are what you'd expect: twentysomethings in board shorts and basketball jerseys, many of whom doubtless have dubious claims to medical necessity: anxiety, or 'pain'. But one elderly lady is being prescribed a range of cannabis pills, oils and bath soaps to treat the burns over 90 per cent of her body.

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About Juicy Wallet Junior   juicywallet

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