Fire up that streaming Netflix account and shut the blinds, definitive film guide Reefer Movie Madness: The Ultimate Stoner Film Guide hits shelves Friday, October 1. Covering 367 pages, with 52 special interviews, the paperback offers film buffs an essential collection of critical takes on 660 films from Anchorman to Yellow Submarine. The national release from Pot Culture authors Shirley Halperin and Steve Bloom conclude eighteen months of watching, categorizing, and critiquing two movies a day (around 800 in total), all the while while nabbing themed interviews with the likes of Snoop Dogg, Wayne Coyne, and The Doors' Ray Manzarek.
1. How do you convince paranoid stoners fearful of a secret tobacco industry conspiracy to take over pot? Well, you can't simply call RJ Reynolds and get a denial like Peter Hecht of the Sac Bee did today. "Frank Lester, spokesman for Reynolds America Inc., seemed almost apologetic for killing the speculation. But he confirmed that the parent company for R.J. Reynolds Tobacco, Santa Fe Natural Tobacco and the American Snuff Company, won't be adding a marijuana production division. 'Even going back years, I remember hearing that same thing back in the 1970s and 1980s,' Lester said of the Big Tobacco pot business rumors. 'We are paying attention to the California initiative just as a political situation. But we're not preparing to enter into the marijuana trade at all.' Lester added: 'We're a domestic U.S. tobacco company. We're interested in providing the finest tobacco products to adult tobacco consumers. We're not in the trade of selling marijuana, nor will we ever be.'" See, man, that's just what they want you to think. Read more news after the jump.
Libertarian think tank The Cato Institute ran the numbers on national legalization and came up with some startling stats, released yesterday. For one, they say California can make $351 million taxing the plant, which is lower than prior estimates of $1.4 billion by the state's Board of Equalization. Author Jeffrey Miron also finds California $20 billion in debt, yet spending about a billion dollars a year ticketing stoners. And usage is actually going up. California' ineffective arrests help make marijuana possession almost half of all national drug arrests. And still, pot is a flourishing, untaxed $18 billion U.S. industry. “Meanwhile, the national debt currently stands at 60 percent of GDP, its highest level since World War II, and under current projections this ratio will rise to more than 75 percent of GDP by 2020 and continue increasing thereafter.”
1. Another poll - this time from Field Research Corporation - shows Prop 19 clearly in the running this election, with a 49 - 42 lead over the opposition, with a +/-4.3 percent margin of error. "With a lot of people considering and reconsidering ... this is probably not as solid a 49 percent (support) as can be," pollsters told the San Francisco Chronicle. "Turnout matters a great deal, and if the young voters don't turn out, it could make a big difference." The counter-attack from the No on 19 campaign continues with the California Chamber of Commerce mobilizing local resources to the fight. The powerful business lobby has already said Prop 19 would make employers tolerate stoned employees, which Newsweek and the text of Prop 19 proves is demonstrably false. Even that might not work, though. The Valley Industry & Commerce Association, or VICA in San Fernando has decided to stay neutral on Prop 19, because, "'We came down to it not being enough of a business issue, in our opinion,' said Greg Lippe, co-chair of VICA’s government affairs committee. Lippe said that while supporters of Proposition 19 say passage of the ballot measure would benefit the state through tax revenues and opponents say its passage would lead to workplace chaos, both outcomes appeared to be uncertain. 'There wasn’t clear evidence to us that it was definitely going to be either,' Lippe told the San Fernando Valley Business Journal. [Via MMJ News] More after the jump.
As the California campaign to tax and regulate cannabis heads into the final stretch, it's time for some of the crazier lies to emerge from the opposition. Backed by the California Beer and Beverage Distributors, no on 19 group “Public Safety First” employed the powerful Christian fundamentalist organization Vision to America. the anti-gay rights group asked its hundreds of thousands of believers nationwide to “help us get the word out about our campaign to defeat legalized recreational marijuana in schools.”
Over the past several months, a single-engine, Cessna-type plane registered to an undisclosed federal law enforcement agency has been circling above the epicenter of the national legalization movement: Oakland, and Berkeley. A narcotics interdiction expert says the plane's model, low altitude and habit of loitering over cities for hours and hours is consistent with DEA anti-pot operations, wherein the federal agency looks for the tell-tale heat signatures of grow houses and the special green color of outdoor gardens.
The California ballot initiative to tax and regulate cannabis similar to alcohol is celebrating the latest Public Policy Polling results, which show Prop 19 winning among the electorate. Public Policy Polling took an automated survey of 630 likely California voters from September 14th to 16th. Forty-seven percent supported it, 38 percent did not, with 14 percent were undecided. The poll has a margin of error of 3.9 percent. The professional pollsters also found young voters playing a major role in the normally sleepy mid-term election, which is good news for state Democrats:
Japan declined to let Paris Hilton into the country, citing pending drug charges she faces in Las Vegas, where she was arrested in a car with cocaine and marijuana. "Hilton was to appear Wednesday at a news conference in Tokyo to promote her fashion and fragrance lines. She arrived Tuesday evening, but was stopped at the airport and spent the night at an airport hotel after being questioned by officials." That's hot. More news after the jump.
In an echo of alcohol prohibition's history — where progressives thought the government should force people into being better while conservatives didn't think that would work — conservative San Francisco Chronicle columnist Debra Saunders came out in favor of ending pot prohibition in a jaw-dropping Sunday op-ed, while "progressives" at the Chronicle ed board urge voters to keep the nanny state status quo. More headlines after the jump.
The Huffington Post reports new legalization group Just Say Now delivered 52,000 signatures for ending the drug war to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, while Holder attended a press conference of former drug czars urging Holder to fight Prop 19 if it passes in California. With video! More headlines after the jump.