Monday, July 15, 2013

George Zimmerman Used Reefer Madness To Help Him Beat Murder Rap

by David Downs
Mon, Jul 15, 2013 at 10:16 AM

Florida jurors heard that Trayvon Martin was aggressive and paranoid due to marijuana intoxication the night he was murdered. But was he?

Carl Hart, a neuropsychopharmacologist who spent fifteen years studying the neurophysiological, psychological and behavioral effects of marijuana, finds this line of reasoning "laughable" in The New York Times.

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Friday, July 12, 2013

Is Marijuana Legalization More Like Gay Marriage or Abortion?

by David Downs
Fri, Jul 12, 2013 at 10:09 AM

"In less than a decade, public opinion has shifted dramatically toward support for the legalization of marijuana. The temptation is to conclude that the trend in favor of marijuana legalization is similar to the flow of opinion in favor of same-sex marriage, but not all hot-button social issues are created equal ... Opinion is changing, but is there a durable majority for legalization?" ask the Brookings Institution's E.J. Dionne, Jr. and William A Galston in a May 29 infographic on "The New Politics of Marijuana Legalization." The answer is to be determined, but the lesson is that marijuana law reforms must bring perceived net benefits, or there will be a Reagan Era-style backlash that'll take us back to square one.

The evidence:

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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Lengthy Prison Terms Handed Out for Dope Growing in Sequoia National Forest

by David Downs
Thu, Jul 11, 2013 at 2:54 PM

Americans consume an estimated 2,500 to 5,000 metric tons of cannabis each year — and almost none of it is grown under any regulations. Consequently, you got the modern equivalent of moonshiners up in California wilderness hoping to make $800 per pound off the stuff.

On Monday, the U.S. Attorney's office for the Eastern District of California announced six pot growers in four counties were sentenced to federal prison for large-scale marijuana cultivation operations throughout the Central Valley. The latest prison sentences stem from “Operation Mercury” - a 2012 federal crackdown on pot growing in inland Northern California. Operation Mercury has led to the seizure of nearly half a million marijuana plants and the prosecution of 84 defendants in federal court in Fresno.

These guys are no small-time medical cannabis growers, either.

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Tuesday, July 9, 2013

New Video Game 'Grand Theft Auto V' Includes Dispensaries

by David Downs
Tue, Jul 9, 2013 at 10:01 AM

The major, new open-world video game "Grand Theft Auto V," which will be released by Rockstar Games September 17, is a "sprawling, satirical re-imagining of modern Southern California" according to gameplay footage released today online.

And of course, no sprawling, satirical re-imagining of modern SoCal would be complete without a medical marijuana dispensary. At minute 2:03 of the video, we see a character exit a shady Venice Beach "pipe shop" — which are notorious for their lax observance of state law — with some type of drink, which likely confers increased health upon the character.

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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Oakland Wins: Harborside Open Another Fifteen Months — At Least

by David Downs
Wed, Jul 3, 2013 at 4:28 PM

The feds just got dealt a major blow in their fight to seize the property of the world's largest lawful medical cannabis dispensary, Harborside Health Center in Oakland.

According to US Court records for the Northern District, Judge Maria-Elena James granted a motion to stay by the City of Oakland that effectively delays the feds' case against Harborside for more than fifteen months.

Californians legalized medical marijuana in 1996 and the City of Oakland gave Harborside Health Center an operating permit in 2006.

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Berkeley Files Claim to Stop Feds from Closing Berkeley Patients Group

by David Downs
Wed, Jul 3, 2013 at 12:59 PM

Another Bay Area city is standing up to the federal crackdown on state-legal medical marijuana.

The City of Berkeley has filed a claim in federal court that could prevent the forfeiture of the building of major dispensary Berkeley Patients Group.

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Camping with Marijuana? Watch Out for Park Rangers!: CalNORML

by David Downs
Wed, Jul 3, 2013 at 12:46 PM

Uh-oh, Yogi.

California NORML is reporting that National Park rangers are fining California medical marijuana patients this holiday weekend for possessing the still-federally illegal drug in federal parks. Fines reportedly are running $350 without a doctor's note, $150 with one, wrote Ellen Komp, Deputy Director of the California-based advocacy group.

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