by David Downs
1. Gmail's creator joins one of Facebook co-founders in giving to Prop 19, TechCrunch reports. And Boing Boing endorses Prop 19. "Republicans for Prop 19" has been edited into a new video. No on 19 writer Robert Bonner, a former DEA official says in the SacBee, “Since federal law makes it a serious crime to sell and distribute marijuana, nobody is going to be reporting and paying taxes to California cities or the state.” Except California is already collecting more than $100 million in sales tax from dispensaries, in defiance of federal law, and those dispensaries are paying income taxes to the IRS as well. Several California cities already collect pot taxes and many more intend to do so. More debunking after the jump.
2. Voting is happening now. The state's 58 counties report receiving just under 3 million absentee ballots as of early afternoon Monday which is less than 40 percent of the 7.6 million ballots requested statewide for the general election, according to the California Association of Clerks and Election Officials. Experts say turnout this year will likely hover around 60 percent — similar to past midterm elections but significantly lower than 2008, when more than 79 percent of registered voters participated, the Mercury News reports.
3. Government-funded drug war group National Families in Action Launches "But What About the Children?" this week demanding a ban on marijuana in the systems of drivers or passengers, and a ban on people coming to work or school with marijuana in their systems. Because THC is fat soluable, it stays in human fat cells for up to thirty days, so the group essentially wants to ban three million Californians who use cannabis each month from driving, going to school or holding jobs.
3. California welfare recipients will no longer be able to use their state-issued debit cards at medical marijuana shops, psychics, massage parlors and many other businesses whose services have been deemed "inconsistent" with the goals of the program, the L.A. Times reports.
4. The Associated Press goes on a medical pot doctor hunt in California and finds 233 but little complaints. [Pot doctor patients] "are not going to be filing the complaints," one source said. "They are happy as clams."
5. The state's booze authorities are trying to stymie a medical cannabis competition in SF, a local group says. The San Francisco chapter of ASA (Americans for Safe Access) wanted to hold its annual fundraiser, "The San Francisco Medical Cannabis Competition" at Cafe Cocomo in the Bayview district of San Francisco. A police officer in the Bayview area got word of the events, and told the state Alcohol Beverage Commission, which is staffed by former SFPD. The ABC threatened to pull Café Cocomo's liquor license if they hold the non-alcoholic event, citing controlled substance law. The SF ASA seeks a different location.
6. An L.A.Times opinion contributor Mitchell Koss - who is promoting a Current TV show 'Marijuana Wars' - says today “the bulk of California marijuana these days is grown on public lands by what law enforcement officials call "Mexican national trafficking organizations," with roots in places such as Sinaloa.” But a recent interview with RAND Corporation researchers totally contradicts that statement. There is no empirical evidence National Forest grows comprise a significant amount of California's pot, RAND says. And federal statements to that effect cannot be validated. Such a charge reeks of the xenophobia that got pot prohibited in the first place: namely the threat of undocumented Mexican migrants and violence.
"Just as Marley’s music forces listeners to decide whose side they’re on, marijuana forces a kind of duality on its users: live straight, or live stoned. You’re either with me or against me. Oppressor or oppressed. The folks who take a bong hit first thing in the morning ... chances are they’re no longer capable of oppressing anybody."