Zoned Out 

Some cannabis activists say Oakland has overly restrictive rules for where new dispensaries can open. Plus, a review of Sex Pot and a roundup of legal maneuverings.

As Oakland prepares to dole out new permits to operate up to four new cannabis dispensaries in the city, some potential applicants are already griping about siting. According to a map released by city officials, the narrow zone for where the new dispensaries can open runs along the western shores of Oakland, near the airport and the Coliseum in the south, and the Bay Bridge in the north. In other words, there will be no new clubs inland. The locations of the dispensaries also may be restricted by a host of new state regulations designed to keep clubs 600 to 1,000 feet away from any school, church, park, or residence.

Longtime local activist Mickey Martin has gone public with his disgust, saying the allowable areas for new dispensaries "suck and are not the areas where most Oakland residents live. Many of the locations have little or no public transportation and leave a lot to be desired in the realm of safe, clean, and professional.

"I am not sure why the city would feel the need to exclude major portions of the city and encourage people to take their cannabis dollars elsewhere, but alas, they have," Martin continued.

The city's request for permit application process continues into the fall, with perhaps dozens of parties planning to apply.

Pot Sexploits

The new book Sex Pot: The Marijuana Lover's Guide to Getting It On is less a how-to guide than a red-light district tour of some of the more depraved overlaps between cannabis and coitus. Seventy years after prohibitionists promised nothing but casual sex and unplanned pregnancy could follow from use of the devil weed — Skunk Magazine sex columnist Mamakind has come along to point out that casual sex is just the beginning.

"Roachplay," anal, sadism, fetishes, and mandatory swallowing — this 155-page, full-color illustrated book released August 16 is mostly a chance for confessed "bongslut" Mamakind to describe her sexploits. There's her Top Ten Sex Stories; her How Sexy A Stoner Are You?; and a classic version of her Skunk Magazine Q&A. She points out cannabis can be a great aphrodisiac (for some people, it can relieve anxiety and heighten sensation, or both), yet she fails to delve into particularly sensual strains, or low-anxiety varieties that might help the frigid.

Sex Pot goes heavy on the kink, though, with a freaky chapter on "pussytoking" — wherein Mamakind seeks out a way to do a bong toke with ... uh, yeah, you get the idea. If you're looking for something more along the lines of The Joy of Sex on Pot than Butt Blasters 4 it might be a good idea to keep perusing.

Legal Roundup

A Kern County ordinance that bans medical cannabis dispensaries is likely on hold after cannabis activists turned in 26,335 signatures to put the new law on the ballot. Activists needed 17,000 signatures. Once the signatures are verified, the Kern County Board of Supervisors must repeal the ordinance or spend millions of dollars on a vote. Similar referendums are underway across California.

In Palo Alto, published reports state that local activists have gathered enough signatures to put a proposal for three dispensaries on the ballot. The Palo Alto City Council will have to adopt an ordinance or else spend millions on a vote next year. The proposed ordinance would "allow our neighbors, who are seriously or terminally ill, to legally and safely obtain marijuana near their home, if they have the approval of their physician," the petition states.

According to the Palo Alto Weekly, the drive is led by former Ronald Reagan adviser Thomas Gale Moore and Cassandra Chrones Moore, a policy analyst at the libertarian think tank Competitive Enterprise Institute. Last year, more than half of Palo Alto voters supported Proposition 19. The city currently bans all clubs.

Ever-candid Oaksterdam owner Rich Lee told the SF Weekly over Labor Day that the successor to 2010's defeated Prop 19 is "pretty much dead. ... The funders didn't come through." Legalization measures in Colorado and Washington are thought to be outshining prospects for reform in the Golden State.

Meanwhile, a separate legalization measure called Regulate Marijuana Like Wine held its first fundraiser on September 1 in Newport Beach. The group, led by Lake Tahoe activist Steve Kubby and a retired Orange County judge, raised $10,000, the group stated. US Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach) has also endorsed the measure. "I don't believe that you protect people by throwing them in cages," Rohrabacher told attendees, according to OC Weekly. "For us to be taking people for smoking a weed and putting them in prison or jail for that is a travesty. It's against everything our founding fathers believed in and somehow we got away from that."

And, finally, the California legal system is undergoing a historic realignment, which will send state prisoners back to the county they came from, along with the funds to either jail them or treat them. To that end, the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California is calling on residents to tell Alameda County's sheriff not to spend millions of tax dollars to jail low-level, non-violent offenders.

"Many counties are helping to solve California's incarceration crisis by choosing alternatives to incarceration — like mental health counseling and drug treatment — that are proven to help people to stay out of the system while improving public safety and saving tax dollars," the ACLU states.

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