by David Downs
1) Quality U.S.-grown pot has pushed foreign cartels out of medical marijuana strongholds like the Bay Area. They now deal it to places with the toughest prohibition. Dean Freedman, of the Heart Washington Bureau discovers this four-month old news for the Hearst Washington Bureau and gets something wrong: RAND found no evidence of significant Mexican cartel growing in the National Forest, mostly because the illiterate peasants cops nab have no idea who they are growing for.
2) "I've been on the fence for years about the legalization of drugs ... and now I'm a victim of this crazy war on drugs," says UC Hastings law professor Clark Freshman, who pledged to sue until he "see[s the agents'] houses sold at auction and their kids' college tuitions taken away from them," after he was accidentally raided. "There will not be a better litigated case this century." Read 'Castro Pot Bust Goes Awry' by the SF Weekly's Chris Roberts.
3) 'Change We Can Believe In? Not for Medical Marijuana Research,' notes NORML's Paul Armentano. He fails to note the medical case for pot was settled in 1934 when Hearst Newspapers Worldwide found: "Marihuana influences Negroes to look at white people in the eye, step on white men's shadows and look at a white woman twice." (Note: this widely circulated quote could use a primary source, if anyone has a link to the archived paper.)
4) “According to UCLA research, California Prop. 36 (treatment not jail) has helped reduce the number of people incarcerated for personal drug possession by 40 percent, or 8,000 people; saves $2.5-$4 for every dollar invested more than $2 billion so far; diverted 36,000 people into treatment a year when funded; and has had no negative impact on crime trends,” DPA states. It's time to cut Prop 36 to save money.
5) Reporting live from the purported bank robbery and car theft capital of the U.S., the Los Angeles Times editorial board says 'Don't tax medical marijuana dispensaries, because the government might get hooked on that revenue and that could lead to crime'. In other news regulated, well-run dispensaries needn't cause crime.
6) Save the Date: MARIJUANA REFORM: A Continuing Conversation - Next Steps Southern California is a statewide conference to discuss the future of marijuana reform efforts in California. Saturday, March 19, 9 a.m.- 6 p.m. at the Ricardo Montalban Theatre, 1615 Vine St, Hollywood. "Sponsored by CaNORML, Drug Policy Alliance and Marijuana Policy Project, this conference builds on the success of a similar gathering in Berkeley in January and will feature a public discussion with drug policy reform leaders, medical marijuana advocates, legislators, attorneys, physicians and marijuana reform activists from across the state."
7) Locally, Tuesday, February 22nd at 7:30 p.m. the San Francisco chapter meeting of ASA (Americans for Safe Access) meets at 847 Howard Street (between 4th and 5th Streets) in San Francisco.
8) Lastly, your Groupon clone for weed has arrived. Meet WeedMaps.com's Daily Deals.