Thursday, January 31, 2013

Watch 'The Haag' Mock Our Esteemed Local US Attorney

by David Downs
Thu, Jan 31, 2013 at 9:44 AM

From HarborsideHealth's YouTube channel on January 26: "The whimsical political satire, THE HAAG, was first performed as a live play at the July 23rd demonstration in front of Oakland City Hall, Calif., protesting federal actions against the state's medical marijuana dispensaries. For the last several years, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern California District, Melinda Haag, has been waging a brutal offensive against medical cannabis patients and the dispensaries in which they go for their medicine. This offensive has closed hundreds of state-legal, locally compliant dispensaries in Northern California and has threatened others like Harborside Health Center. Oaksterdam University in Oakland, Calif., was raided April 2, 2012, by DEA and IRS agents.

THE HAAG is meant to be a humorous meditation on a very serious subject. Originally conceived by activist-attorney James Anthony and inspired by Dr. Seuss, THE HAAG was written and drawn by Goose Duarte, a.k.a., "Dr. Geuss." This animated version of THE HAAG was directed by Richard Parks, narrated by Andrew DeAngelo, and produced by Steve DeAngelo and Harborside Health Center."

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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Hawaiians May Beat Californians to Legalized Pot

by David Downs
Tue, Jan 29, 2013 at 11:55 AM

Hawaii moved to the forefront of national pot legalization efforts this month when Hawaii House Speaker Joseph Souki introduced a bill to legalize pot possession, and tax and regulate weed commerce.

While many activists roll their eyes at legislative action on weed, Rob Kampia, president of Marijuana Policy Project, the group that funded Colorado legalization, called Souki's move "huge" Saturday during a legalization conference in San Francisco. For one, Souki is the Hawaii house speaker, and two, he has had broad public support.

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Friday, January 25, 2013

What Did Eric Holder Say to Governor Jay Inslee During Their Private Pot Talk?

by David Downs
Fri, Jan 25, 2013 at 10:07 AM

Weed is the love that dare not speak its name among Washington D.C. Democrats, a truth best-evinced this week at the first serious meet-up between the federal government's top weed enforcer, Attorney General Eric Holder, and the heads of either of the two states who've legalized pot.

The in-person chat went down Tuesday in Washington D.C. and it sounds like it was a bit awkward. By most accounts, Washington Governor Jay Inslee did all the talking, while Holder sat there.

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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Grand, Racist, Hundred-Year History of Pot Prohibition in California

by David Downs
Wed, Jan 23, 2013 at 11:46 AM

Today, the now-biweekly Legalization Nation print column takes a first look at the big California National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws Conference at Ft. Mason this weekend.

One thing we didn't get to in the column is the origin of the conference's title: “Cannabis in California: Ending the 100-Year War”. It turns out the gathering honors the centennial anniversary of California's most disastrous public health policy.

Pot was banned by bureaucrats in California in 1913 without any public debate. Even though weed was largely unknown to Californians in 1913, prohibition was seen as a preemptive, “progressive” idea.

Man, did that backfire.

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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Shame Medical Pot Crackdown Enforcer Melinda Haag Wednesday at Golden Gate Law School

by David Downs
Tue, Jan 22, 2013 at 11:54 AM

The San Francisco Chapter of Americans for Safe Access will lead several activist groups in a protest against U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag during her appearance tomorrow (January 23 at 1 p.m.) at Golden Gate University School of Law in San Francisco.

The maligned prosecutor is scheduled to speak on "The Role of the 21st Century Prosecutor", as part of the National Council on Crime & Delinquency Policy & Practice Panel Series at the law school.

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Thursday, January 17, 2013

Smoking Cigarettes Banned At Outside Lands and Other SF Events — But Medical Weed's Still OK

by David Downs
Thu, Jan 17, 2013 at 9:32 AM

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted unanimously Tuesday to ban tobacco — but not pot — smoking at outdoor events that take place on City-owned property. The law includes street fairs and places like Golden Gate Park, where tens of thousands amass regularly for events like the Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival each summer. Outside Lands producers as well as street fair producers will have to notify the public that the event is smoke-free and post signage.

An exemption was carved out for people using medical marijuana. While second-hand tobacco smoke is a known carcinogen, extensive, well-funded federal studies have failed to find a link between pot smoking and lung cancer. Cannabinoids also have an anti-tumor effect in cell and animal studies.

Still legal at S.F. street fairs, with a doctors note
  • David Downs
  • Still legal at S.F. street fairs, with a doctor's note

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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

757,969 Pot Arrests Per Year Is a Scandal, Says Dan Savage

by David Downs
Tue, Jan 15, 2013 at 11:42 AM

Author, editor, columnist, and gay rights activist juggernaut Dan Savage branched out from his core civil rights issue Sunday, with a video about how one person is arrested for pot possession every 42 seconds in America.

Internet TV channel TakePartTV is hosting Dan's weekly video project titled American Savage. On Sunday, Savage posted "42 Seconds: Pot Legalization and Marijuana Reform" wherein he recapped legalization in Washington and Colorado, and listed "reasons why everyone should be happy and everyone should get involved."

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Monday, January 14, 2013

Matthew Davies Facing Fifteen Years in Federal Prison for Stockton Dispensary

by David Downs
Mon, Jan 14, 2013 at 9:44 AM

US Attorney Benjamin Wagner is seeking a mandatory minimum five years federal prison for Matthew Davies, a 34-year-old Stockton father of two who operated a dispensary there since 2009. Davies has no criminal record, and set the dispensary up as a lawful entity in the state of California, which has immunized medical pot growers and collectives. He holds a master's degree in business, paid state and local sales taxes, and employed 75 people.

As the New York Times reveals today, a break-in at Davies' pot-growing warehouse led to police attention, and eventually a federal raid that netted 1,962 pot plants and 200 pounds of bud. Davies was indicted on his wife's birthday.

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Friday, January 11, 2013

Mr. Teeth, Caiman Owned by Suspected Weed-Dealer/Moron, Dies in Oakland Zoo Custody

by David Downs
Fri, Jan 11, 2013 at 1:10 PM

Mr. Teeth, a five-foot-long dwarf caiman owned by Castro Valley resident and suspected weed dealer Assif Mayar, has died in the custody of the Oakland Zoo.

Alameda County sheriff's deputies checking on the parolee Mayar Tuesday found the caiman — essentially an alligator, in layperson's terms — in a plexiglass box in Mayar's bedroom. The Castro Valley house contained about 34 pounds of marijuana, leading to numerous reports that Mr. Teeth was somehow guarding the weed from his small plexiglass box. Vets at the Oakland Zoo said 16 year-old Mr. Teeth was very sick when deputies found him, and he died Wednesday night.

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Thursday, January 10, 2013

San Diego Mayor Bob Filner Comes Out Swinging for Medical Marijuana

by David Downs
Thu, Jan 10, 2013 at 12:25 PM

"Elections have consequences," the saying goes, and the city of San Diego narrowly elected former Congressman and medical marijuana ally Bob Filner in November.

Now, Filner's coming out swinging against San Diego's persecution of medical cannabis patients and their providers. City officials working with the federal government have closed hundreds of dispensaries in the area over the past fifteen months and denied medical pot providers legal defenses guaranteed to them under the California constitution.

"With the support of people like Safe Access I was elected Mayor of San Diego and I thank you," Filner told Americans for Safe Access San Diego this week.

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