Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Breaking News: San Jose Dispensary Landlords Threatened with 40 Years in Prison as Feds' Marijuana Crackdown Continues

by David Downs
Tue, Apr 30, 2013 at 10:39 AM

A San Jose dispensary operator has informed us that the federal government has begun a new round of actions against lawful medical cannabis dispensaries in the South Bay. Landlords are receiving threatening letters from US Attorney Melinda Haag, warning of forty-year-prison sentences if landlords do not evict their dispensary tenants.

Dated April 26, one letter to a San Jose landlord stated: “The office has been advised that there is a marijuana dispensary ... operating at the real property located at ..., which property you own or have under your management control. The dispensary is operating in violation of federal law, and persons and entities who operate or facilitate the operation of such dispensaries are subject to criminal prosecution and civil enforcement actions. Since the dispensary is operating within a prohibited distance of a [Art Academy], the unlawful operation of the dispensary is subject to enhanced penalties.”

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Monday, April 29, 2013

'The Respect State Marijuana Laws Act' Needs Help

by David Downs
Mon, Apr 29, 2013 at 12:41 PM

A bill that would shield state-legal marijuana activity faces long odds in Congress this year, even though polls show 60 percent of Americans think Uncle Sam should leave legalization up to the states. No wonder Congress has such a abysmally low approval rating of 15 percent.

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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

California Medical Pot Regulation Bill Passes Assembly Public Safety Committee

by David Downs
Wed, Apr 24, 2013 at 10:12 AM

A new bill to regulate California's $1.3 billion medical marijuana industry cleared its first hurdle yesterday: the Assembly's public safety committee.

Assemblymember Tom Ammiano's AB 473 would license everyone in the commercial medical marijuana supply chain — from growers to stores — through the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. Private patients, caregivers and collectives would be exempt.

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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

California Marijuana Regulation Bill 473 Hits Assembly

by David Downs
Tue, Apr 23, 2013 at 9:00 AM

A bill to regulate California's estimated $1.3 billion medical marijuana industry is scheduled to get its first hearing in an Assembly committee Tuesday. San Francisco Rep. Tom Ammiano's AB 473 would make everyone in the commercial medical marijuana supply chain register with the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. The ABC would fill in most of the blanks later. It looks a lot like Colorado's medical marijuana rulemaking process.

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Monday, April 22, 2013

U.S. Celebrates 420 Peacefully Or Awfully, Depending on Location

by David Downs
Mon, Apr 22, 2013 at 9:26 AM

Gather tens of thousands of Americans anywhere and it seems like they can't avoid bringing their guns, preying upon one another, and leaving a trail of filth in their wake. Now, marijuana smokers have officially joined the mainstream in that regard.

An estimated 80,000 folks gathered at Denver Civic Center Saturday for a 4:20 p.m. session, only to have it marred by gunfire at 4:40 p.m. Two were shot in the legs and a third was grazed by a bullet. The suspects are still at large and police want this guy for questioning.

Watch the super-scary video, which reminds us of why we don't like large crowds of people anymore.

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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

East Bay 4/20 Events Guide: Grass, Brass, and Fantastic Specials

by David Downs
Wed, Apr 17, 2013 at 12:31 PM

Fifty-one percent of Americans said they would not feel comfortable being around a person using marijuana, according to a recent Pew Research poll. Let's hope that half of America stays out of the Bay Area this week, where unabashed enthusiasm for the stoner holiday 4/20 has set in. Snoop Dogg is going to be at The Fillmore in San Francisco Saturday, but — meh. The East Bay offers its own set of 4/20 delights, collected below:

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Thursday, April 11, 2013

How To Buy Maryland Medical Marijuana: First, Wait Three Years ...

by David Downs
Thu, Apr 11, 2013 at 12:00 PM

Maryland's state nickname may be "Free State", but it won't feel liberating to patients who qualify for medical marijuana.

The Maryland State Senate voted 42-4 earlier this week in favor of House Bill 1101, widely lauded as the law to make Maryland the 20th medical marijuana state in the nation. Nice work to everyone who's trying, but just to be clear, HB 1101 doesn't legalize medical marijuana — at least not yet. And if the rest of the Eastern Seaboard is any indication — New Jersey, Maine, Rhode Island, Washington D.C. — a forest of red tape will soon envelop this token project.

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Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Feds' Marijuana Fishing Expedition Called Off in Mendocino County

by David Downs
Wed, Apr 10, 2013 at 8:14 AM

Well, here's some superficially good news.

The feds' precedent-setting fishing expedition into Mendocino County's legal medical marijuana growers' program has been significantly narrowed in scope. No personal identifying information from the County's famed 9.31 program will be released to U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag and her office. It sounds like some good news for Emerald Triangle growers who had come out of the cold to be a part of the Sheriff's Office program - which permitted medical marijuana gardens of up to 99 plants with registration, inspection and fees.

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Monday, April 8, 2013

Gut Feeling: Pot Eases Crohn's Disease

by David Downs
Mon, Apr 8, 2013 at 10:17 AM

Meir Medical Center in Kfar Saba, Israel is recruiting Crohn's Disease sufferers for a study on the ability of cannabis to treat the inflammatory bowel disease. According to the U.S. National Institutes of Health's ClinicalTrials.gov, researchers with Meir are currently recruiting participants for phase 1 and 2 studies of the effectiveness of pot molecules THC and CBD on the painful, diarrhea- and vomiting-inducing GI tract illness, which affects 400,000-600,000 North Americans.

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Friday, April 5, 2013

Oaksterdam Raid Remembered One Year Later

by David Downs
Fri, Apr 5, 2013 at 10:43 AM

It's pretty clear the Oaksterdam raid was federal payback. Payback for opening the cannabis college. Payback for running Prop 19. Payback for being unashamed.

How else should we interpret the news that one year after sixty federal agents raided the downtown Oakland businesses, not a single charge has been filed against Oaksterdam operator Richard Lee? The federal message to pot's thought leaders seems clear: "Shut your mouth. We can end you at will."

Oakland North's Madeleine Thomas does good work on the anniversary story April 2, detailing how Oaksterdam stayed afloat after the raid and persists to this day.

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