High Times Editor Faces Distribution Charges Monday 19 March, 2012
By: Kaptain Kush
High Times Senior Editor and Advertising Executive Matthew Stang’s pending charges for his role in an East Coast marijuana smuggling ring have recently resurfaced. One of Stang’s alleged business partners and former co-head of Roc-A-Fella Records, Kareem “Biggs” Burke, plead guilty to charges last week, accepting a sentence of five to six years in prison.
Since Stang was closely tied with Burke, his case has been brought to light by multiple news outlets. Unlike Burke, Stang has yet to plead guilty. If he does not plead guilty and is convicted of these charges, he faces 10 years to life in prison.
Stang was released on $500,000 bail in 2010 and has been wearing a monitored bracelet since then. The 2010 bust, which was deemed operation “Green Venom” resulted in the seizure of 177 pounds of cannabis, $2 million, and nearly 50 arrests. Stang stands accused of being the middle man between a Miami-based grow operation and New York City kingpin Geovanny “Manny” Rodriguez Perez.
Essentially, Stang did what most stoners have probably done on numerous occasions: hook up two mutual friends or acquaintances with one another–only on a much, much grander scale. Stang wasn’t growing the weed, and he wasn’t selling the weed. He was, you’d assume, getting a nice cut for making the deal possible.
While Stang awaits his fate, The Daily Beast took a retrospective look at the case, noting that Stang’s attorneys are in negotiations with Manhattan’s district attorneys. The piece also details with the history of illicit, marijuana related behavior within the nation’s leading cannabis culture magazine.
It’s a worthwhile read and one that begs the penultimate question: if medical marijuana were legalized in New York City, would Mr. Stang had even faced the temptation to commit this “crime?”
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