Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Wednesday Must Read: Occupy Protests Move to Foreclosed Homes; New Study Confirms that Cannabis Relieves Pain

By Robert Gammon
Wed, Dec 7, 2011 at 6:59 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Occupy protesters shifted their focus to foreclosures yesterday, as demonstrators throughout the nation, including Oakland, helped those who have lost their homes to re-occupy them, the Chron reports. The Occupy Our Homes demonstrations also included protests at banks and foreclosure auctions on the county courthouse steps. So far, the Obama administration’s feeble attempts to help homeowners who are underwater on their mortgages avoid foreclosure have failed.

2. The City of Oakland, meanwhile, has decided that it doesn’t need to spend $245,000 it had planned for private security at City Hall plaza to keep out Occupy protesters, the Chron reports. The planned expenditures are unnecessary now that Occupy demonstrators have shifted away from tent cities.

3. A new study from UC San Francisco confirms that cannabis is a safe and effective treatment for relieving chronic pain, especially when used in concert with narcotic drugs such as morphine, the Chron reports. It’s not clear, however, why pot works synergistically with narcotics to relieve pain. And getting funds for further studies will be difficult because of the federal crackdown on medical pot.

4. President Obama, meanwhile, struck a populist tone in a rousing speech yesterday as he called out Republicans for defending the wealthy and large corporations, The New York Times reports. The speech appeared to be a prelude to how the president will run his reelection campaign.

5. In California, anti-tax groups are attempting to push back against the tax-the-rich wave that is sweeping the state by introducing a ballot measure of their own that would curb government spending, the CoCo Times reports.

6. The Oakland City Council last night unanimously approved a pilot program that will allow food trucks to operate in much of the city, except East Oakland. The pilot program, pushed by Councilwomen Jane Brunner and Rebecca Kaplan, is viewed as a stepping stone to a permanent one.

7. Copper thieves are bedeviling BART and other public agencies, the Chron reports. The brazen thieves have ripped copper from BART tracks and slowed agency projects, and have stripped copper out of light posts in Vallejo, plunging parts of the city into darkness.

8. And the Richmond City Council voted last night to put a measure on the ballot that would tax sugary sodas that are sold in the city in an attempt to combat the epidemic of childhood obesity, the CoCo Times reports.

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