Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Daily Roundup: 'New York Times' on Salvia; Pat Robertson Sees the Light

by David Downs
Tue, Dec 28, 2010 at 12:47 PM

Here's your headlines. 1)The Miley Cyrus bong hit story goes on and on, as the New York Times editors ask their kids, 'What's salvia?': "Once the domain of Mazatec shamans in Oaxaca, Mexico, Salvia divinorum — a name that means 'divining sage' — has spent the last decade crawling from stoner novelty to the fringes of the mainstream. Evidence of its popularity is online: a YouTube search for 'salvia' reveals thousands of clips showing young people cackling, moaning and tripping out of their gourds under the herb’s influence." More news after the jump.

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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Year in Legalization Nation: Top Pot Stories of 2010

by David Downs
Wed, Dec 22, 2010 at 2:03 PM

A look back at the major developments in global cannabis culture in 2010: January: Emboldened by a hands-off approach from the Obama administration, unregulated dispensaries proliferate in Los Angeles, sparking a citywide crackdown that lands in court for the rest of the year. Crass advertisers and high-profile armed robberies turn Los Angeles into the pariah of medical pot.

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Daily Roundup: Kunis thinks Cyrus smoked weed; Dr. Oz says 'vaporize it'

by David Downs
Tue, Dec 21, 2010 at 11:44 PM

Here's your headlines. 1) Mila Kunis thinks Miley Cyrus was smoking pot not salvia last week on TMZ. Cyrus gets an SNL parody. [via CelebStoner] 2) Dr. Oz comes down surprisingly light on dope. "Yes, marijuana’s got solid credentials for relieving some serious problems (cancer pain, nausea, anorexia and tough-to-ease nerve pain). But can a pot-infused lemon bar or a hand-rolled joint improve everything from high blood pressure to diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease? That is about as likely as Sarah Palin running as a Democrat." Oz fails to note pot doesn't cause cancer despite containing smoke. But does recommend vaporizing and edibles to avoid irritating the respiratory system. More headlines after the jump.

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Oakland's Ambitious Pot Farm Plan Wilts Under Scrutiny

by David Downs
Tue, Dec 21, 2010 at 6:42 PM

The Oakland City Council voted in closed session Tuesday, December 21 to suspend their controversial "request for permit applications" process to indoor farm large amounts of medical marijuana, citing possible violations of state law.

The motion from Councilwoman Kaplan, seconded by Councilwoman Brooks directs the city administrator to suspend the RFPA application process, inform the applicants, amend the RFPA, reissue it and reopen it for new as well as old applicants. The interim dispensary RFPA that would take the number of dispensaries from four to eight in the city has also been suspended.

Bottom line: Oakland won't be getting any tax money from permitting pot grows any time soon. And the plans of more than 250 applicants - many of whom planned on dropping millions of dollars on pricey farms - have been thrown into limbo while they await changes to the RFPA. Council is expected to vote on changes no sooner than February 1, 2011. That totally explodes Oakland's ambitious timeline to implement the farms, and in a way signals a victory for critics of the plan. Meanwhile city-permitted and taxed pot farming moves forward in Berkeley, Sebastopol, and Eureka.

For months, lawyers have said Oakland's plan to permit and tax farms would wade into murky state law over what is a collective and how it can operate and be taxed. Oakland's city attorney has not backed the farm ordinance. Unnamed federal officials told California Watch Oakland would be violating federal law and possibly state law. This week, the Alameda County D.A. cautiously implied Oakland might be acting illegally and she might have to prosecute them.

RFPA staffer Arturo Sanchez said the city was looking at possibly bundling the new dispensary and farm permits into one permit, which could allow for a legal safe harbor. But that's a contentious issue on the council.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Daily Roundup: Colorado's KushCon 2010 Overshadowing California?

by David Downs
Mon, Dec 20, 2010 at 11:05 AM

1) The San Jose medical marijuana battleground gets another look from the AP. "The crackdown highlights a stubborn legal reality that persists despite a growing sense that storefront pot shops have become a permanent part of the California landscape: the law around medical marijuana is vague, and you can still get busted. 'They’re trying to make money off it, and that’s ridiculous,' Bob Cooke, the state Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement agent overseeing the raids, said of the dispensary owners who have been targeted." More headlines after the jump.

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Friday, December 17, 2010

Daily Roundup: Former UK Drug Czar Says 'Stop the War'

by David Downs
Fri, Dec 17, 2010 at 11:52 AM

1) The former drug czar of the UK is expected to call for an end to the criminalization of all drug use, arguing it is a public health issue. "Mr. Ainsworth told The Independent last night: "We need to take effective measures to rob the dealers of their markets and the only way that we can do that is by supplying addicts through the medical profession, through prescription. We cannot afford to be shy about being prepared to do that." He said: "It is far better they are going to a doctor, or going to a chemist and are getting their script [prescription] than turning tricks as a prostitute or robbing their mates." Mr. Ainsworth said his departure from the frontbenches now gave him the freedom to express his view that the "war on drugs has been nothing short of a disaster." More news after the jump.

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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Chronic Christians: Did Jesus Heal with Pot?

by David Downs
Thu, Dec 16, 2010 at 1:16 PM

As the day of Jesus' birth sweeps across the land, a sect of Christians will be celebrating with more than Christmas trees. A rising tide of Christians not only smoke pot, but think Jesus used the drug. They're gaining mainstream legitimacy, challenging religious and political dogma, and sometimes going to jail for their faith in unprecedented numbers. Sure, Jesus rocked some sandals, a beard, robes, and a message of everlasting love, but did he round out his hippie persona with dope?

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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Daily Roundup: Partnership for a Drug-Free America Gives Up On 'America'

by David Downs
Wed, Dec 15, 2010 at 10:52 AM

1. The US' top drug war doctor Nora Volkow compares pot to heroin in today's Chronicle story of increased teen pot use. The Drug Czar blames medical marijuana. Reformers note teens are smoking more pot than cigarettes, because cigarette-selling is regulated. Independent researchers at RAND have warned that federal drug statistics do not meet scientific validity and are politically motivated. More news after the jump.

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Monday, December 13, 2010

Daily Roundup: 'High Times' Holiday Strain Guide; Miley Cyrus Anti-Drug Video

by David Downs
Mon, Dec 13, 2010 at 6:50 PM

1) High Times has a strain guide just in time for the holidays. 2) Miley Cyrus allegedly participates in a salvia bong hit video on TMZ. Now we feel dirty. [via Celebstoner] More news after the jump.

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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

'Pot Farm' on Facebook May Be Grossing an Estimated $150K/Month

by David Downs
Wed, Dec 8, 2010 at 6:24 PM

Legalization Nation has a secret. In the wilds of the national forest, we're growing pot. Lots of it. We got Afghan Dream. We got Time Warp. We got rows and rows of White Widow. We started with just a hippie tent and some seeds, but if this keeps up, we're going to need a plane, and maybe a jacuzzi next to the A-frame house. We're talking, of course, about Pot Farm — a free game playable on Facebook that's less than a year old and is about to pass 1.5 million monthly users. And judging by industry estimates, it appears that Pot Farm grosses its secretive and likely small team of young developers an estimated $148,000 a month.

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