A Grapevine service announcement Pay attention: Holuhraun, still spewing lava. Bárðarbunga, still sinking.

Cannabis Rights Activist Smokes In Front Of Police Station

Published August 2, 2012

A man seeking to have Iceland’s marijuana laws reformed smoked two joints with a few others in front of the Reykjavík police station. Police did not arrest him.
As reported, Örvar Geir Geirsson is a spokesperson for RVK Homegrown. Yesterday, he began what will be a ten-day fast, drinking water and eating only hemp seeds. He also intends to smoke 1/3 gramme of marijuana in front of a number of public institutions, choosing a different location each day. Örvar said he will most likely choose the residence of the president, Bessastaðir, as the final location.
Grapevine spoke with Örvar by telephone yesterday. He told us that despite his intended ten-day plan being reported by the Icelandic media, no media were present for the event nor attempted to contact him.
Örvar was overall pleased with the operation. He, and a few others who eventually joined, smoked two joints in front of the Reykjavík police station over the course of about half an hour. He was not arrested. “From this I’ve concluded that it’s legal to smoke weed in Iceland,” he said. “Or at least, to do so in front of the police station.”
Among the points of RVK Homegrown’s platform is the call for the law to differentiate between “hard” and “soft” drugs, to allow people to grow up to five cannabis plants for personal use, and to allow Icelanders to buy cannabinoid medication from Holland with a doctor’s permission. They contend that such measures, among others, would ease the court and penal system, and leave behind the “zero tolerance” policy adopted by other countries.
“I’ve had my door kicked down by the police over a gramme of weed,” Örvar said. “I’m not a bad guy. I’m not hurting anyone. I’m tired of being treated like a criminal for doing nothing wrong.”
Today at 16:20, he will smoke marijuana in the garden behind the parliamentary building. The general public is welcome to attend.



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News In Brief: Late September

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 Fortunately for us, the Holurhraun eruption (discussed here and here) has not produced airplane-choking ash clouds nor led to devastating glacial flooding. There have, however, been continuous plumes  of sulphur dioxide wafting through mostly North and East Iceland from the site of the Holuhraun  eruption, giving police another reason to cordon off a large swath of Iceland from public access. Not that  this hasn’t stopped a few idiots from blithely driving into an eruption site anyway. New forms of natural  selection ahoy! Minister of Health Kristján Þór Júlíusson is exploring the legalisation of drugs, going so far as to  agree

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Arca To Co-Produce New Björk Album

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The follow-up to Björk’s 2011 album ‘Biophilia’ will be co-produced by Brooklyn based Venezuelan artist Arca, reports Pitchfork Media. Arca has previously collaborated with Kanye West on his album Yeezus and FKA Twigs on EP2. Björk’s last album Biophilia has far surpassed the boundaries of a simple studio album and by embracing new technology has found its way into Nordic school curriculums and been the inspiration for a film which recently premiered at Manchester International Festival.

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Thousand Litres Of Icelandic Christmas Beer Lost

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A thousand litres of the Christmas beer, Þvörusleikir (named after Icelandic Yule Lad “Spoon Licker”), was poured down the drain at Borg Brugghús in recent days, reports Nútíminn. Árni Long, Borg Brugghús (Borg Brewery’s) master brewer told Nútíminn that he would not distribute a beer he was even a little unsatisfied with. “This is obviously a tragedy for beer enthusiasts like us,” said Árni. “But at the same time it’s something you must learn to tolerate as master brewer for an innovative brewery. These 1.000 litres of Christmas beer simply did not measure up to the standards we set for [our

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UN Women’s Conference To Include Women After All

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Minister of Foreign Affairs, Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson, has said women will be included in the UN Conference on women after all, but it remains unclear exactly how they will be included, reports Newsweek. As reported yesterday, Gunnar Bragi announced in a speech at the UN General Assembly that Iceland in cooperation with Suriname was planning to host a “Male Only” UN conference inviting male leaders worldwide to discuss violence against women and other women’s issues. The news was met with a barrage of criticism with people wondering why Iceland, a global leader in gender equality, would purposely exclude women from a

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Surgeons May Strike

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After failed attempts at negotiations with State authorities, surgeons at the national university hospital Landspítalinn will vote, later this week, on a potential strike. The strike action would commence in two weeks and postpone 150 operations each week. 5,000 people currently await operation, according to RÚV. In case of a strike, surgeons would still do emergency operations. Minister of Healthcare, Kristján Þór Júlíusson, has said that he supports the surgeons’ demands and will discuss the matter with Minister of Finance, Bjarni Benediktsson.

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Minister Proposes Privatization To Finance New Hospital

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Healthcare Minister Kristján Þór Júlíusson has proposed that the State sell some assets to finance the construction of new hospital building. In a radio interview broadcast by RÚV Wednesday morning, he stated: “We should proceed by transferring assets that belong to Icelanders in common to another form of ownership, in order to be able to reconstruct our national hospital, as everyone agrees we must do.” As journalist Jóhann Hauksson already pointed out, in pre-2008 Icelandic, ‘transferring assets to another form of ownership’ would have been simply called privatization. The Minister evaluates State assets at a total neat 1,000 billion ISK,

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