Money is like any drug: first comes the high, then comes the crash. Last year, the iGrow hydroponics store in Oakland owned by Dhar Mann courted the media and Bay Area residents alike with the story of the “first out-of-the-closet marijuana hydroponics store.” Mann had big plans. His company started a college called UniCann. They launched a franchise WeGrow. But last week four small claims suits were filed against the Oakland company and its principles in what appears to be the first salvo in a series of legal actions this winter from a former partner, employees, and contractors.
Here's your headlines: 1) That suspected Zeta hit on a U.S. Immigration agent in Mexico means it's time for payback, but keep in mind the whole situation is FUBAR: Wikileaks has the cables detailing Zeta infiltration of the Army and President Calderon's security detail — the two groups the U.S. is giving hundreds of millions of dollars to.
1) It's a celebrity stoner extravaganza: First, California surf rocker acts and noted friends of the herb Best Coast and Wavves top our personal best-of lists at Noise Pop 2011 this year. Cue the 22-minute video interview. Now, cue the two-minute edited version about drug legalization. Ah, surfers. Second, a Snoop Dog and Dam Funk session — of the musical variety. And finally, Lady Gaga on the creative process: doobage.
It's bill-dropping season in the nation's capitals.
In California: 1) Senator Lou Correa (D-Anaheim) drops the "Medical Cannabis Licensing Act", which would "require a producer, distributor, or seller to be licensed by the State Department of Public Health to engage in the production, distribution, or sale of medical marijuana, and would require the license to be renewed every 12 months." (via CaNORML)
1) L.A. cops beat on a guy busted for simple possession of pot, the ACLU says (via NORML).
2) The state of New Jersey lives up to its reputation by denying legal medical marijuana to dying people.
1) Quality U.S.-grown pot has pushed foreign cartels out of medical marijuana strongholds like the Bay Area. They now deal it to places with the toughest prohibition. Dean Freedman, of the Heart Washington Bureau discovers this four-month old news for the Hearst Washington Bureau and gets something wrong: RAND found no evidence of significant Mexican cartel growing in the National Forest, mostly because the illiterate peasants cops nab have no idea who they are growing for.
Californians' three-year dalliance with medical marijuana laboratories hit a new milestone this month, as the public has begun calling for a better testing system, and a new organization has been formed to create one.
Marijuana testing labs like Steep Hill Laboratory in Oakland have long argued that if pot is medicine, it should be tested like medicine. Now, mainstream scientists are, in turn, calling out pot labs, arguing that if pot labs are real labs, they should be audited like real labs. Instead, a gold rush mentality in the sector is attracting potentially dangerous amateurs, driving down quality control, and undermining medical marijuana.
1) New counsel to steward city of Oakland through pot farm permitting. Last week, Oakland's City Attorney John Russo — a longtime medical cannabis ally — publicly told the City Council he wasn't going to help them with their embattled plan. The firm Meyers Nave Riback Silver & Wilson will now be representing the city of Oakland on all of its pot farm-related legal proceedings.
2) Let's stop printing money to keep 9,000 non-violent drug offenders in California jails, the Drug Policy Alliance's Margaret Dooley-Sammuli argues. The Cato Institute estimates California will spend $1 billion per year on its pot laws alone. More news after the jump.
Last year, the Colorado state legislature put the Department of Revenue in charge of regulating the state's blooming for-profit medical pot industry. The department is slated to finish setting its rules this spring , and in the meantime has hired seventy new medical weed cops to patrol the industry, the same way it does casinos. Look at the badge after the jump:
The arrests and office ransackings of journalists in Egypt resonates a little bit more deeply with American history professor John McMillian: the same kind of intimidation and outright sabotage of revolutionary dissent occurred just two generations ago in a more familiar country — the United States.
The U.S. government's coordinated campaign to bring down the country's radical press is a little known story, but McMillian tells it expertly in his new book Smoking Typewriters: The Sixties Underground Press and the Rise of Alternative Media in America, released February 17th in hardcover by the Oxford University Press.