The Colorado-based freelance journalist obtained a medical marijuana card in 2009 and started growing the maligned herb as research for Pot, Inc. What emerges is a compelling, fact-filled-yet-breezy eye-level account of day-to-day life in the world of legal weed, with perspectives of activists, growers, operators — and federal agents.
The Los Angeles Times reported last night that Richard Lee will transfer his businesses like Oaksterdam University and Coffee Shop Blue Sky to others and step down.
"I’ve been doing this for a long time. Over twenty years.... I kind of feel like I’ve done my time,” Lee said Thursday. “It’s time for others to take over.”
"He plans to transfer the businesses to new operators but said he will shut down his marijuana nursery because his stock of mother plants, which he had nurtured for years, was confiscated," the Times reports.
"Lee acknowledged that he was worried he could face major federal drug charges."
The Sacramento Bee's Peter Hecht comes to town and catches up with Oaksterdam founder Rich Lee, painting a picture of growing pot that is less luminous than the one painted by the Los Angeles Times the day before.
"Oaksterdam once ran seven classes, each with 70 students paying $700 to $800 a semester. Now, it has one class of 50. Introductory two-day weekend programs and advanced seminars in how to run dispensaries draw about half the peak attendance of 120 students."
Part of it is the federal crackdown, which has touched Lee's businesses. There are also many, many more cannabis colleges today than when Lee began, he told us - a fact he said he was happy with.
In another testament to the mainstreaming of maryjane, High Times now has competitors publishing weed prices in the U.S. Using data from PriceofWeed.com, a collection of geographers called Floatingsheep have designed a groovy map of the price of sticky icky across America. Wired magazine writer Cameron Bird covers the results in the September issue of the print magazine, coming out now.
Here's your headlines: 1) CA. Sen Mark Leno's hemp bill 676 — which would authorize a pilot project to grow fields of the plant, which can damage pot crops — moves out of Assembly appropriations on a 11-3 vote.
2) Berkeley Patients Group gets a counter-lawsuit after their attempt to spin off a Maine business went bad.
The huge weed-whacking operation in Mendocino is over, just three weeks after it started.
"Full Court Press" included more than 300 personnel from 25 local, state, and federal agencies, who flew in to cut down marijuana on public lands in six counties while manning roadblocks to catch fleeing ganja farmers. And according to the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office, the operation led to the seizure of 632,058 marijuana plants, 1,986 pounds of processed marijuana, $28,031 in cash, 38 weapons and 20 vehicles — and to 132 arrests.
Here's your headlines: 1) "Full Court Press" — the massive marijuana raid effort recently undertaken by federal and local officials in Mendocino County — has tallied 101 arrests, 460,000 plants, and tons of garbage pulled from the Mendocino National Forest (LAT). Writer Kym Kemp notes locals connected to the grows might be next. More news after the jump.
Each year Californians chip in about $1 million for police to go pull weeds out of our national forests. This Sisyphean effort goes by the name of the Campaign Against Marijuana Planting or CAMP, and according to The Bay Citizen/New York Times' Zusha Ellinson: it might be going away.
Because the most important story of the last decade was bound to have a weed angle:
"Osama bin Laden's Abbottabad compound may have appeared no different from any other nondescript house in the middle-class neighborhood of Bilal Town, except for the high cement walls topped with barbed wire — and a few other distinguishing factors. Along with rows of cabbages and potatoes on the border wall of the compound, for instance, CNN's Nic Robertson discovered rows of marijuana plants."Take it away, Vulture via Daily Mail UK.
While nuclear power plant radiation decays in our soil, and the globe warms, it's poetic to know American drug policy took a solar-powered plant — cannabis — and put it on the filthy coal and nuclear grid.
For several months groups like Grow It In The Sun have been saying that the rise of indoor pot farming contradicts the eco-friendly agenda of the marijuana community. Now, an indoor pot farming energy analysis we linked to yesterday is getting picked up by the New York Times, and it'll probably be a highly cited figure by Earth Day April 22. Some more highlights: