by David Downs
Monday Must-reads: 1. The Wall Street Journal reports an attempt to allow the trademarking of cannabis names has sort of ended. "On Tuesday, after questions about the new pot-trademark category from a Wall Street Journal reporter, a patent-office spokesman said the office planned to remove the new pot classification by week's end, and the category is now off the website. ... The patent office received more than 250 pot-related trademark applications in the three months after it created the new trademark category (many, though, did not list the specific category; the patent office says about 57 applications did). There were applications for trademarks on 'Tartukan Death Weed,' 'Pot-N-Candy,' and numerous businesses incorporating 'Green' and '4:20'—a number that pot smokers often associate with weed, sometimes smoking it at 4:20 p.m. and celebrating April 20 as a pro-pot holiday. ... More headlines after the jump.
2. The New York Times jumps in the Oakland medical marijuana farm story and brings up a good point: dispensaries can still buy from whoever they want to after the new laws take effect.
3. California Democrats officially go neutral on weed this November.
4. Larry A. Bedard, MD, past president of the American College of Emergency Medicine and a California Medical Association delegate, says THC is much safer than alcohol and endorses Prop 19. "According to RAND, fewer than 200 total patients were admitted to California hospitals in 2008 for 'marijuana abuse or dependence.' This relatively low number did not surprise me. In my 35-plus years as an emergency physician in busy ERs in Northern California, I have never needed to admit a patient due to an adverse reaction or medical problem caused by marijuana. ... Comparing the health care consequences of marijuana to the health care consequences of alcohol is startling. In 2006, there were 72,771 hospitalizations in California related to the use of alcohol. Of these, 34,292 hospitalizations were due to illnesses or chronic conditions caused by alcohol consumption. This total is roughly 200 times the number of hospital admissions associated with marijuana."
5. Speaking of cures, the unarmed 21-year-old father who was shot in the head and killed by Las Vegas narcotics officers wielding an AR-15 assault rifle had sold cops one ounce of herbs. Police said in a statement that Trevon Cole made a "furtive movement" toward the officer. He was killed while kneeling on the floor of his bathroom. It was the cop's third shooting and second fatal one in 10 years with the force.
7. Paris Hilton caught with cannabis in Corsica after being busted at the World Cup.
8. California can't legalize marijuana, because Washington D.C. says so, says a L.A. Times op-ed. "Legalizing cannabis isn't a terrible idea, but I'd very much prefer to do it on a non-commercial (grow-your-own or consumers' co-op) basis rather than creating a multibillion-dollar industry full of profit-driven firms trying to encourage as much cannabis use as possible. The only way to sell a lot of pot is to create a lot of potheads — not casual, moderate recreational users, but chronic, multiple-joints-per-day zonkers. (The alcohol industry, for example, gets 80 percent of its income from people with drinking problems.) A grow-your-own or co-op system would prevent that marketing push. ... In any case, whenever and however we legalize the Demon Weed, it's going to have to be at the national level (which includes modifying the anti-drug treaties) rather than state by state. Any other approach is a pipe dream." [via MMJ News]
10. The Weekly Weed, "the only online marijuana newspaper," is stealing content and selling ads against it.
11. The best animated series on TV, The Boondocks, did a great medical cannabis episode, the A.V. Club finds.