1. Making the perfect the enemy of the good, the San Francisco Chronicle editorial board told its readers in America's legalization stronghold to vote no on the California measure to tax and regulate pot like alcohol. They repeated the lie that employers would have to tolerate stoned workers, then mistakenly called Prop 19 "Prop 219". Talk about “actual impairment.” More headlines after the jump.
Meta-celebrity James Franco stars as beat poet Allen Ginsberg in a new pseudo-documentary about his famed poem Howl, officially hitting big screens in the Bay Area and select theaters nationwide September 24.
Written and directed by Rob Epstein (The Times of Harvey Milk) and Jeffrey Friedman (The Celluloid Closet) Howl is an utter paean to the canonical piece of beat literature, which was put on trial for obscenity in 1957. The 2010 film reminds audiences that the celebrated American poet was — point in fact — a gay tea-smoker who just wanted to be left alone to live his life. And as Prop 8 wends its way to the Supreme Court and Californians consider legalizing marijuana via Prop 19, the period piece shows how far we have and have not come.
The California Beer & Beverage Distributors disclosed it donated $10,000 to defeat Prop 19 — which would regulate and tax marijuana like alcohol. The alcohol lobbyist's funds will help spread the lie that employers must tolerate stoned employees, and the talking point that 'California doesn't need another legal, mind-altering substance.' Alcohol causes an estimated $38 billion in costs in California each year from emergency room visits, arrests, etc, according to the Marin Institute. There are roughly 3,500 deaths annually from alcohol-related illness and more than 109,000 alcohol-related injuries in California. Conversely, pot caused 181 emergency room visits in 2008, according to a study by the non-partisan RAND Corporation, despite being used by more than four million Californians monthly.
1. After nearly crash-landing onto a Bishop, CA. airport, Michael Dana McEnry told onlookers 'Can I use the bathroom? I just scared the s—- out of myself.' The Sacramento Bee details the unlicensed Humboldt pilot's sentencing to 21 months jail for the January 2009 incident, which occurred under the influence of Oxycontin and pot. McEnry overshot the runway, but ultimately stopped the plane. When he emerged, the 55 year-old man asked, 'Where am I?' 'Told he was in Bishop — an outpost of 3,500 on Highway 395 in Inyo County — he inquired, 'Where is that in relationship to the rest of the world?' McEnry told police he "always flies high." [via Redheaded Blackbelt]
The State Board of Equalization already collects around $100 million per year in sales taxes from medical cannabis dispensaries in California. Now, the agency is laying the groundwork to collect an estimated $1.3 billion more. Legalization Nation has learned that the State Board of Equalization has convened an internal task force of about a dozen staff to research and provide options for taxing recreational use of marijuana, should it become legal. Board spokesperson Anita Gore confirmed the task force had been visiting East Bay clubs to learn more about implementing a consumer tax.
Fearful of enticing another federal raid, at least one California medical marijuana dispensary has a unique practice: it pays its state sales taxes every week. Usually businesses pay the state Board of Equalization annually, quarterly, or monthly, but there's nothing stopping companies from “prepaying” weekly, says board spokesperson Anita Gore. She couldn't say how many taxpayers deposit that often, but hadn't heard of the practice until now. The Berkeley Patients Group — a dispensary with about 10,000 patients in the Bay Area — pays weekly ever since a DEA raid in 2007.
Which is worse: anti-gay Republican politicians who secretly bugger, or anti-pot Democrats who secretly smoke dope? Either way, such rank hypocrisy deserves divine retribution, which thundered down upon a senior aide of anti-legalization Democrat Barbara Boxer who got busted trying to bring pot into the Hart Senate Office Building Tuesday, Politico reports.
1. Lost in the Labor Day break: Weeds star Mary-Louise Parker tells Vanity Fair she never smoked the plant. "I guess if it was going to happen, it would’ve happened when I was younger. But that was never an effective or interesting form of rebellion for me. Because everybody did it. Marijuana was just a social thing. It wasn’t dangerous or frowned upon. If I’d been popular in high school, I’m sure I would have wanted to do it. But I wasn’t." ... Vanity Fair: You should do a P.S.A. You’ve almost convinced me that pot is boring. Parker: Yeah, probably. But I’m not saying pot is a bad thing. I know plenty of people who should be smoking pot. I’m just not one of those people. I don’t think it would be the best drug for me. What am I going to do, start doing drugs at my age? It’s a little late. I’m a mother of two. It’s probably not the best idea for me to start getting into it now." More headlines after the jump.
1. The unionization trend in California marijuana continues with 38 workers at medical cannabis company Marjyn Investments voting to be represented by Teamsters Local 70. Marjyn employs trimmers, gardeners, and cloners to produce strains of marijuana for specific medical needs. Perhaps a prelude to formal Teamsters support of cannabis law reform?
Funny, naughty, and hyper-contemporary, hard-boiled summer paperback Baked follows Miro, breeder of hit marijuana strain Elephant Crush, as he wins the High Times Cannabis Cup and ends up shot in a gangland dispensary dispute. Los Angeles novelist Mark Haskell Smith releases Baked — his fourth book — this fall on the Black Cat imprint of Grove/Atlantic press. Below, the 53-year-old screenwriter and professor continues his talk with Legalization Nation about the wild world of million-dollar marijuana strains, literary research in Amsterdam, notorious gangbangers, and Prop 19. [Edited for space and clarity. Pt. 5 of 5]