Thursday, September 27, 2012

Los Angeles Times to Eric Holder: Rein in Your U.S. Attorneys

by David Downs
Thu, Sep 27, 2012 at 1:56 PM

After federal agents brandishing assault rifles raided a popular Chinatown dispensary this week, the Los Angeles Times follows in the steps of our own Robert Gammon, saying these U.S. Attorneys are off their chain.

"... we urge Holder to rein in the four California U.S. attorneys spearheading the aggressive new stance ... the raids are likely to drive away businesspeople who want to run clean, safe storefronts serving sick people, sending the trade further underground and into the hands of a more criminal element."

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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Former D.E.A. Chief in Houston: Legal Marijuana Is 'A Matter of When, Not If'

by David Downs
Tue, Sep 25, 2012 at 4:30 PM

We've heard rumors that the D.E.A. believes the war on pot is lost in the West, but we never heard any of them actually write it down.

Yet last Wednesday the former chief of intelligence in the Houston Field Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Gary Hale, wrote “Legalization of marijuana: When, not if” for a Houston Chronicle blog devoted to the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University.

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Monday, September 24, 2012

Public Service Announcement: "Electing Mary Jane’ — Author Panel and Book Signing on October 13 at Oaksterdam

by David Downs
Mon, Sep 24, 2012 at 10:36 AM

As three states mull pot legalization in 2012, do any of the state ballot measures stand a chance? What happened to California's ballot measure? How did Oakland become an epicenter of the medical marijuana movement? What does the latest research say about the potential health benefits and risks of cannabinoids?

Electing Mary Jane, an Author Panel and Book Signing will assemble four leading authors in the field, just in time for the 2012 general election. Mark your calendars for Saturday, October 13, from 5:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Oaksterdam University, 1600 Broadway, Oakland. FREE Admission!

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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Kudos to the 'Chronicle' For Covering Cannabis Science!

by David Downs
Wed, Sep 19, 2012 at 11:00 AM

This morning, a little good news. The San Francisco Chronicle turns over its health section to more heretical research showing the molecules in marijuana fight cancer. This time it's non-psychoactive cannbidiol, which has been shown to halt the menace of some breast cancer cells. Dang.

The Chronicle's Victoria Colliver reports that Dr. Pierre Desprez and Sean McAlllister from the S.F. California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute have discovered that CBD applied to metastatic cancer cells cause them to cease their attack-like behavior and return to a normal state, by shutting off a mutated gene that produces too much protein called "ID-1". Too much ID-1 protein makes normal cells go "crazy", in scientific parlance. CBD coaxes cells to turn off the ID-1 spigot, and hence the crazy, a finding that fits with existing research showing cannabinoids' role in homeostasis.

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Monday, September 17, 2012

Jason and Jayden David's Story Takes Flight

by David Downs
Mon, Sep 17, 2012 at 12:17 PM

The Los Angeles Times has followed up on reporting by the East Bay Express and the documentary Weed Wars, in a very thorough look at Modesto father Jason David's use of cannabidiol to treat his son Jayden's rare form of epilepsy, called Dravet Syndrome.

Cannabidiol is a therapeutic molecule found in marijuana, and the federal crackdown on medical cannabis dispensaries threatens patients' access to CBD and the recovery of his son, David said. David is a Harborside Health Center member. The club's leased property is being seized in federal court by U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag.

With 4,200 Facebook likes, 192 retweets, 90 comments and syndication across the country, Lee Romney's story in the Times, illustrated with photos and video, is guaranteed to strengthen the resolve of those fighting for access to the life-saving drug.

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Friday, September 14, 2012

"Marijuana Deathsquads" Not Actually A Bad Thing

by David Downs
Fri, Sep 14, 2012 at 2:10 PM

Straight outta the rap hotbed of, uh, Minnesota: a dope new mixtape from the harshly named Marijuana Deathsquads, featuring Bon Iver, P.O.S., Poliça, GANGS, Doomtree, Solid Gold, Har Mar Superstar and many more.

From the Deathsquads' label, Totally Gross National Product, via Doomtree:

“The album, ‘Tamper, Disable, Destroy’ is a small selection from a vast library of freestyles Ryan Olson accumulated at after parties in his Minneapolis studio, and late nights during a session at the infamous Wisconsin studio, April Base. The mixtape successfully blends the eclectic electronic sound Deathsquads have become known for, with pure, uninhibited, Rap.

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Click here to download the album for free. Happy Friday, ya'll.

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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Roseanne Barr, Ed Rosenthal Talk Pot Politics at Peace & Freedom Party Fundraiser in Oakland Sept. 27

by David Downs
Thu, Sep 13, 2012 at 1:17 PM

Roseanne Barr seems like the kind of lady we could have a beer with. Or something stronger. This in from Block Report Radio:

“Townhall Meeting with 2012 Peace and Freedom Party Presidential Candidate Roseanne Barr, "Ganga Guru" Ed Rosenthal, '08 Presidential Candidate Cynthia McKinney, and Peace and Freedom Party Vice Presidential Candidate Cindy Sheehan.

Thursday, September 27
6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Montclair Women's Cultural Arts Club
1650 Mountain Blvd, Oakland, CA. 94611
$20 Admission/Donation

Candidates Mary McIIroy in the 9th Senate District and Gene Ruyle in the 15th State House District will also be sharing a few words. Also featuring live art by Black Diamonds Shining Art Collective and Edibles by Mrs. Parker."

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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

What Nurses Need to Know About the Endocannabinoid System and Cannabis

by David Downs
Wed, Sep 12, 2012 at 11:26 AM

Marijuana might not be medicine to the D.E.A., but California nurses can get continuing education credits for studying safe and effective use of "Mary's stuff" in Berkeley this fall.

Medical cannabis consultant and addictions nurse consultant Mary Lynn Mathre — RN, MSN, CARN, a co-founder of Patients Out of Time and the President of the American Cannabis Nurses Association — in conjunction with Christine Wagner, licensed California attorney practicing in the area of cannabis law, will be leading a seminar titled "The Endocannabinoid System and Cannabis: What Nurses Need to Know" Tuesday Oct. 23 at 8:30 a.m. at the David Brower Center, in Berkeley.

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Thursday, September 6, 2012

With L.A. Dispensary Ban On Hold, What Now?

by David Downs
Thu, Sep 6, 2012 at 11:54 AM

Last week, Los Angeles medical marijuana patients and their allies turned in about 50,000 signatures to halt a new City Council ban on dispensaries, which was scheduled to take effect Thursday. Today, the clubs are open for business, and while the city says it still doesn't permit them, dispensaries should be paying their taxes, Los Angeles City Attorney Carmen Trutanich wrote in this September 5th letter suspending the dispensary ban.

The ban is suspended for at least 15 days while the City counts the signatures, he writes. Meanwhile, "... applicable City and state laws will continue to be enforced by the City Attorney's Office, as well as other law enforcement and regulatory agencies."

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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Lee 'Scratch' Perry, The Orb Launch 'The Orbserver in the Star House'

by David Downs
Tue, Sep 4, 2012 at 10:58 AM

“What were the skies like when you were young?”

The question is more than the lyric of a canonical, ambient house track called “Little Fluffy Clouds” from 24 year-old UK production legends The Orb.

It evokes an entire era of '90s electronic music, when dance parties were called raves, and The Orb were the undisputed leaders of the “chill-out room” — a downtempo, oft-weed-saturated section of the rave offering a counter-point to the high-energy techno and house in the main room.

After 13 albums and more than 700,000 records sold, The Orb's Alex Paterson and Thomas Fehlmann have returned this year to 'Fluffy' - as it's colloquially known - with an even more legendary partner:

- reggae icon Lee “Scratch” Perry, the 76-year-old producer of Bob Marley, Keith Richards, George Clinton and the Beastie Boys, who helped pioneer dub in the late '60s.

A half-crazy, half-brilliant, sun-baked weirdo that Rolling Stone wagers is among the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time — Scratch still tours and records, and The Orb got him alone for six days in the East German boondocks, where they jammed and recorded to create LP The Orbserver in the Star House, released Sept. 3 on The End Records.

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