by David Downs
1. Making the perfect the enemy of the good, the San Francisco Chronicle editorial board told its readers in America's legalization stronghold to vote no on the California measure to tax and regulate pot like alcohol. They repeated the lie that employers would have to tolerate stoned workers, then mistakenly called Prop 19 "Prop 219". Talk about “actual impairment.” More headlines after the jump.
2. Pot prohibition has become a big business for Mexican cartels, criminal drug dealers, and growers, cops, jails, mandatory rehab centers, the urine testing industry, and now alcohol and tobacco companies, apparently. This week, Legalization Nation broke the news that Big Beer had come out to fight pot legalization in California, and the reverberations from that scoop continue. Reason Magazine links California beer distributors to another big No on 19 donor, George Adams, president of SA Recycling in Anaheim.
3. Not like it matters, but one of the discoverers of THC and Britain's leading expert on cannabis says it should be legalized. "We're allowed to take alcohol, we're allowed to smoke cigarettes. Cannabis, if it's handled properly, is probably not going to be any more dangerous than that."
4. And now that he's not collecting a paycheck, former Spanish Prime Minister Felipe Gonzalez has grown the cajones to say it's time to legalize drugs and end the violence of the black market. "Mexico is burying the dead, but it isn't just Mexico's problem," Gonzalez said. "The $350 million or $350 million is on the other side" of the border with the US. "From there come the weapons," he added.
5. Meanwhile, a simple, anonymous way to report marijuana prices across the world has arrived in the successful web site PriceofWeed.com. The two-week-old site has more than 3,000 data points, and controls for false information by tossing statistical outliers. In unshocking news: California has the cheapest, best weed ($45 for an 1/8th of high quality), while New York City dwellers pay a stiff price for their backwards drug policy (more than $60 an 1/8th).
6. Despite having the highest incarceration rate in the world, higher than Russia or Iran or any of the axis of evil, the United States has increasing levels of pot use along with record levels of arrests, the Marijuana Policy Project reports. "Marijuana arrests accounted for more than half of all U.S. drug arrests in 2009, while its use among Americans increased by 8 percent, according to two reports released this week by government officials." Almost a million American were arrested for possessing the non-toxic herb, or one every 37 seconds. Almost seventeen million Americans used pot in the last month.
8. Lastly, High Times finally got around to making a video of the High Times Medical Cannabis Cup they held in San Francisco a few months back. View the highlights.