Friday Must-reads: 1. Cannabinoids, the active ingredients in pot offer a new way to treat chronic and acute pain from sickle cell disease, ScienceDaily reports. Currently the only treatment for the blood disease is opiods. “Pain in SCD is described to be more intense than labor pain. The pain starts early in a patient's life, often during infancy, and increases in severity with age. ... [Cannibinoids are] effective in much lower amounts than opioids — the only currently approved treatment for this disease." More headlines after the jump.
2. Friends of the herb and South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone have one less terrorist to worry about. Police arrested American-born Muslim extremist Zachary Chesser as he was boarding a flight to Africa to join terror group al-Shabab. He had threatened the show's creators after they aired an episode about depicting Mohammad.
3. The New York Times reports on racist prohibition in Gotham, where 9 out of 10 people arrested for pot are black or brown even though whites use more. “On the Upper East Side of Manhattan where the mayor lives, an average of 20 people for every 100,000 residents were arrested on the lowest-level misdemeanor pot charge in 2007, 2008 and 2009. During those same years, theÂ marijuanaÂ arrest rate in Brownsville, Brooklyn, was 3,109 for every 100,000 residents. ... For blacks and Latinos, it is very, very illegal. But not in Mr. Bloomberg’s neighborhood.”
4. New York Magazine has some new video of "lonely stoner" Kid Cudi chasing a stage-crasher into the crowd after getting rudely interrupted. Cudi's erratic behavior has recently involved domestic violence and liquid cocaine.
5. The Oakland City Council couldn't come to agreement on a tax-rate for medicinal marijuana last night, and will take up the issue again on Monday, Oakland Local reports. Councilmembers couldn't decide whether to ask voters to levy a tax of 2.5 percent or 5 percent on cannabis dispensaries and cultivators, but they appeared to agree to a 10 percent tax on recreational sales should Prop. 19 pass in November.
6. ABC News 20/20 will air a segment tonight on a parent who gives edible medical cannabis to her son, who has severe obsessive compulsive disorder. Exasperated parents of children with autism and rare diseases like PANDAS have begun turning to cannabinoids to relieve their child's pain, anxiety, lack of appetite and other symptoms. [via MMJNews]
7. And the League of California Cities has joined with D.A.R.E. in opposing Prop. 19, on the grounds that California cities do not know how much money they can make ending pot prohibition. Conversely, the California chapters of the ACLU have endorsed the measure to tax and regulate over-21 use of the non-toxic plant.