by David Downs
Here's your Tuesday must-reads: 1. Cannabis has been a boon to energy sellers in Northern California. Indoor growers can spend as much as $4,000 a month on electricity. Energy use in Mendocino County has risen 27 percent - more than three times the state's average - since medical marijuana was legalized in 1996. Humboldt County's usage has risen 51 percent, more than six times the state's average, PG&E told the Press-Democrat. The average California household used 561 kilowatt hours in 2009, according to PG&E. In Humboldt County, the average was 673 kilowatt hours, and among PG&E's Mendocino County customers, it averaged 768. [via DPFCA] More headlines after the jump.
2. Public Policy Polling has Prop 19 ahead 52-36, conflicting with other polls that show the legalization and taxation measure trailing slightly. An meta-analysis indicates that poll methodology is affecting outcomes, namely through the use of robocalls. Pollsters have come to suspect voters have less of a problem being honest with a robotic pollster than a human one when it comes to their support for a drug that still carries a heavy social stigma in plenty of circles. They're calling this ability to lie about pot support the Broadus Effect, named after Snoop Dogg's real name Calvin Broadus.
3. Time Magazine surveys the scientific research linking cannabis use to schizophrenia, and found lots of conflicting data. While some studies show pot can amplify schizophrenic tendencies in the small segment of the population with a genetic predisposition to the disease — overall schizophrenia numbers have not gone up nationally despite an increase in usage. “While marijuana went from being a secret shared by a small community of hepcats and beatniks in the 1940s and '50s to a rite of passage for some 70% of youth by the turn of the century, rates of schizophrenia in the U.S. have remained flat, or possibly declined. For as long as it has been tracked, schizophrenia has been found to affect about 1% of the population.” Further skewing the data, schizos are also more liable to self-medicate with pot, to their long-term detriment. "Everyone feels better," explains lead author Cecile Henquet, an assistant professor of psychology and psychiatry at Maastricht University in Holland. "But [schizophrenia] patients also have less anxiety and are less socially withdrawn." Also, one chemical called delta-9 tetrahydocannabinol (THC) is known to cause hallucinations can even make healthy people feel paranoid. But another component of marijuana called cannabidiol (CBD) has anti-psychotic effects. “Consequently, researchers who study the knotty relationship between drug use and schizophrenia hope that patients may one day benefit from cannabis-derived drugs. The key is to replicate the antipsychotic properties of CBD without triggering the risks carried by THC.” [via DoseNation]
4. As Public Safety First says Prop 19 will increase car accidents, the Mercury News and the White House report pills not pot is the the growing motor vehicle accident problem.
5. The Guru of Ganja Ed Rosenthal has declared San Francisco District Attorney and California Attorney General candidate Kamala Harris a medical marijuana terrorist. Last week, he declared Harris' opponent Steve Cooley to also be a medical marijuana terrorist. “To begin with, she has been no bargain as far as medical marijuana goes. She follows the lead of the San Francisco Police Department doing rear-guard terrorist actions against dispensaries, vendors, and even individual growers who are legally using marijuana medically.” Rosenthal doesn't want to vote for either the Republican of Democratic candidates this Fall.
6. The state of California's war on drugs is officially bankrupt, but that's not stopping a $100 million jail expansion project planned for San Bernardino County's Adelanto jail, which will be tripling its size later this year, adding 1,368 beds to the 700-bed facility. The beds will help ease overcrowding at jails throughout the county. California's jails are in federal receivership due to overcrowding so severe that it has led to inmate deaths. More than 60,000 Californians are arrested annual for cannabis. Most get a ticket, but thousands end up incarcerated.
7. Oakland passed a five percent city tax on sales of medical marijuana, expected to bring in $1.3 million annually.
8. And Oxnard producer/friend of the herb Madlib, creator of "America's Most Blunted" officially releases the Madlib Medicine Show #7: High Jazz. Click this link to download free track: "Generation Match - Electronic Dimensions"