by David Downs
1. Another poll - this time from Field Research Corporation - shows Prop 19 clearly in the running this election, with a 49 - 42 lead over the opposition, with a +/-4.3 percent margin of error. "With a lot of people considering and reconsidering ... this is probably not as solid a 49 percent (support) as can be," pollsters told the San Francisco Chronicle. "Turnout matters a great deal, and if the young voters don't turn out, it could make a big difference." The counter-attack from the No on 19 campaign continues with the California Chamber of Commerce mobilizing local resources to the fight. The powerful business lobby has already said Prop 19 would make employers tolerate stoned employees, which Newsweek and the text of Prop 19 proves is demonstrably false. Even that might not work, though. The Valley Industry & Commerce Association, or VICA in San Fernando has decided to stay neutral on Prop 19, because, "'We came down to it not being enough of a business issue, in our opinion,' said Greg Lippe, co-chair of VICA’s government affairs committee. Lippe said that while supporters of Proposition 19 say passage of the ballot measure would benefit the state through tax revenues and opponents say its passage would lead to workplace chaos, both outcomes appeared to be uncertain. 'There wasn’t clear evidence to us that it was definitely going to be either,' Lippe told the San Fernando Valley Business Journal. [Via MMJ News] More after the jump.
2. Amendments boosting personal pot possession limits under Prop 19 from one ounce to one pound, and setting state taxation protocols have been filed by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano.
4. And USA Today gets annihilated in its comments board for a drive-by potshot at Prop 19 that plays up the "stoned motorist" angle.
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5. If marijuana is so addictive and dangerous, where are all the dead bodies seen in alcohol, tobacco or heroin abuse? Paul Armentano of NORML looks at a new The University of Michigan study on the numbers of pot-based ER visits that concludes" “[M]arijuana was by far the most commonly used (illicit) drug, but individuals who used [it] had a low prevalence of drug-related ED visits.” A RAND study published in July reported that fewer than 200 total patients were admitted to California hospitals in 2008 for “marijuana abuse or dependence.” By contrast, an estimated 73,000 annual hospitalizations in California are related to the use of alcohol.
6. The International Cannabis and Hemp Expo went down Saturday and Sunday at the Cow Palace. The standard panels and booths seen at the twelve other cannabis conventions in California were on display, as well as copious “Anyone But Cooley” signage. Los Angeles District Attorney Cooley has said medical cannabis dispensaries are illegal and the medical cannabis industry is mobilizing to fight his bid to be the next State Attorney General, where he would have huge role in guiding medical and recreational cannabis policy in California. Plus, a medical cannabis dispensary from Sacramento ran a No on 19 booth. (Read about stoners against legalization's problems with Prop 19 here.) The Sacramento dispensary also handed out flyers insinuating Prop 19 founder Richard Lee, liberal billionaire George Soros and herbicide maker Monsanto were in a conspiracy to run the weed world.
7. Meanwhile in Spokane, Washington an unarmed pregnant woman was shot during a drug raid, the News Tribune reports. "She attempted to flee out a bedroom window, officers attempted to restrain her. During efforts to prevent her escape, a shot was fired and the woman suffered a minor wound to her upper torso. She fell out the window and received first aid from containment officers stationed at the back of the apartments." Officer say they found an undisclosed amount of crack cocaine, pot and pills. [via Cannabis Culture]
8. Lastly, “Marijuana cannot be the one exception in history of the world that doesn’t go through a scientific process to be approved as medicine,” Kevin Sabet, paid mouthpiece of the White House Drug Czar told the Montana Supreme Court Administrator’s annual drug court conference in Helena covered by the Billings Gazette. “It doesn’t make any sense. ... How can we imagine that a dangerous, illegal drug like marijuana should be voted on by the people? That’s not how we do medicine in this country.” But according to Dr. Julie Holland, author of The Pot Book, America refuses to allow pot to go through a scientific process that could approve it as medicine. Holland says FDA-approved medicinal cannabis studies are routinely blocked by the National Institute of Drug Abuse, which is tasked with demonizing the weed, and prevents any scientific research which could show pot's uses as medicine. Meanwhile in reality: new studies overseas show pot helping with social anxiety, pain, and bladder dysfunction in MS patients.
High Times hosts the Cypress Hill smokeout in San Bernadino, October 16, with Incubus, Man Chao, Deadmau5, MGMT and more.