Thursday, October 21, 2010

Daily Roundup: Joining Alcohol Lobby, Oil Industry Pushes No on 19

By David Downs
Thu, Oct 21, 2010 at 12:02 PM

1. Kareem (Biggs) Burke has been swept up in federal anti-pot operation "Green Venom," in New York this week. Burke co-founded Roc-A-Fella Records with Jay-Z, and was spotted taking dope money, according to court records. An ad exec for High Times Matthew Woodstock Stang also got pinched in the sweep. [via New York Daily News] More news after the jump.

2. Prop 19 is down in a new PPIC poll of 2,022 voters, just as former Attorney General Joycelyn Elders announces support for the measure. "What I think is horrible about all of this, is that we criminalize young people. And we use so many of our excellent resources ... for things that aren't really causing any problems," said Elders. "It's not a toxic substance." Danny Glover and Melissa Etheridge have also joined the chorus of Prop 19 supporters.

3. Campaign finance numbers are coming in: Shockingly, law and order candidate for Attorney General Steve Cooley donated $3,000 to the No on 19 campaign. Cooley's expected to win, and some are concerned he'll make life harder for medical marijuana patients up and down the state.

4. Fire up your conspiracy theories, the oil industry has started funding the No on 19 campaign. Gemini Industries, an oil services company from Santa Ana, CA. donated $25,000 to the No on 19 campaign this week. Activists have long-noted that Big Oil helped get cannabis banned in the early 19th20th century. Hemp oil threatens petroleum as an energy source, they say.

5. On the Pro side, Men's Wearhouse clothier George Zimmer's in for another $50K, and the campaign to end prohibition gets some sweet Google money, from employee Andy Hertzfeld, who chipped in $2,000.

6. Meanwhile in California jails, $1.1 billion in state budget cuts might make prisons less safe, guards report. In 2009-10, the state spent $9 billion on its prisons — which are in federal receivership for unsafe conditions. More than a thousand inmates rioted at a single facility last year, injuring over 200 prisoners and doing millions of dollars in damage. Why? Overcrowding.

7. Coincidentally, Jon Stewart's Rally To Restore Sanity October 30th in Washington D.C. will include the legalizers at the Drug Policy Alliance. Check their Facebook. “Come join us at the Rally to Restore Sanity on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. - We'll be the enormous group dressed in suits and holding "Legalize Pot" signs standing in the center of the National Mall at 4th St.”

8. Stewart's nemesis Bill O'Reilly is ready to bet $10,000 that Prop 19 fails, Mediaite reports. But prediction market Intrade pegs the likelihood of Prop 19 passing at 57 percent, based on more than 4,700 votes. Do the markets reflect some mass delusion about November 2?

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