Monday, December 6, 2010

Daily Roundup: Feds Don't Know What To Do With Oakland, Nelson Won't Get Jail

by David Downs
Mon, Dec 6, 2010 at 12:20 PM

1) Federal authorities continue to sword-wave at Oakland, but won't go on record saying they'll raid permitted Oakland pot farms. At least three other California cities, including Berkeley, are also going forward with permitting cultivation — as is the entire state of Arizona. Unnamed officials told California Watch that the feds told Oakland a month ago that their grows would be illegal. So are the medical pot programs of fifteen states. So what? California Watch's story follows The Washington Post who got a no comment and the Chronicle who got a retired federal authority to sword-wave. More news after the jump:

"... some federal officials have concluded the ordinance violates state law because it treats pot farms as distinct business entities for tax purposes, thus severing the direct connection between cultivator and patient that underpins the legal standing of a medical marijuana collective or cooperative. ... Oakland would be on the hook for violating state and federal law,” said one official. Oakland authorities have said that connection will be made clear by the applicants.

2) Willie Nelson, facing a maximum sentence of two years and $10,000 for possessing six ounces of marijuana in Texas, now faces just a misdemeanor charge. Mickey Raphael, Nelson's longtime harmonica player, told Rolling Stone on Saturday that the singer, who was released after posting a $2,500 bond, was doing fine after the bust: "He said he feels great — he lost six ounces."

3) Republican's ban on earmarks might cost them some $4 million in weed eradication funds for Tennessee's public employees.

4) New Jersey thinks it's ready for six medical marijuana dispensaries. But only for people with "seizures, glaucoma and intractable muscle spasms", and only for weed under 10 percent THC. The strongest buds run 16 percent THC in dispensaries that test.

5) Wikileaks' Mexican Drug War cables fallout continues.

6) The Associated Press is on a tear, AlterNet lauds. "Back in May, AP dropped a bombshell on America's longest war and the headline said it all: "The US Drug War has Met None of its Goals." The extensive piece reviewed the last four decades, starting with President Nixon's official launch of the War on Drugs all the way to President Obama's annual strategy released this year. The piece packed a punch from the start: "After 40 years, the United States' War on Drugs has cost $1 trillion dollars and hundreds of thousands of lives, and for what? Drug use is rampant and violence more brutal and widespread." Today the AP Impact Series again broke ground with its piece, "Cartel Arrests Did Not Curb Drug Trade." The bottom line is that despite all of the DEA and Justice Department press conferences, photo-ops of people in handcuffs, and tons of drugs seized, the cartels are stronger than ever. "

7) Prop 19 polling info porn from PPIC. Go at it. Just 43.6 percent of eligible adults cast ballots Nov. 2, 2010.

8) Rare unknown disorder: 'Pot can make you puke.' "Presumably it is not a highly common syndrome because the cases are often relatively young and there have been plenty of chronic cannabis smokers around for decades."

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9) Paul Thomas Anderson wants to adapt Thomas Pynchon's 2009 novel Inherent Vice - about Larry "Doc" Sportello, a pothead private eye wandering through the Summer (and winter) of Love in 1969 Los Angeles - into his sixth feature film. Casting possibilities are Robert Downey Jr. and Philip Seymour Hoffman.

"Sometimes in the shadows the view [from his window] would light up, usually when he was smoking weed, as if the contrast knob of Creation had been messed with just enough to give everything an underglow, a luminous edge, and promise that the night was about to turn epic somehow." -Thomas Pynchon, Inherent Vice

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