Friday, July 29, 2011

Weed-Eradication Funds Raided in New State Budget

by David Downs
Fri, Jul 29, 2011 at 10:17 AM

Each year Californians chip in about $1 million for police to go pull weeds out of our national forests. This Sisyphean effort goes by the name of the Campaign Against Marijuana Planting or CAMP, and according to The Bay Citizen/New York Times' Zusha Ellinson: it might be going away.

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Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Results of The Berkeley Patients Group Survey

by David Downs
Thu, Jul 28, 2011 at 10:12 AM

Yesterday we published an analysis of the 21st annual symposium of the International Cannabinoid Research Society, held in St. Charles, Illinois July 5-10. We highlighted how researchers packed the program (.pdf) with talks not only about cannabis' palliative properties but also its curative efficacy. We also noted how the event, sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, was held the same week the DEA reiterated its stance that marijuana has no accepted medical use.

This federal duplicity slows the search for cures to breast, colon, prostate, and brain cancer, as well as Huntington's disease, Alzheimer's, and HIV, public health researchers say. Amanda Reiman, who holds a Ph.D from UC Berkeley's School of Social Welfare — where she is also a lecturer in addition to being BPG's director of research — presented a poster at the ICRS symposium. Reiman researches medical cannabis dispensaries as community health providers and the use of cannabis as a substitute for alcohol and other drugs. Combating the paucity of empirical data on dispensary populations, Reiman obtained survey information on thousands of patients going to Berkeley Patients Group over a year. The results are available after the jump.

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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Review: PBS Frontline's 'The Pot Republic'

by David Downs
Wed, Jul 27, 2011 at 9:34 AM

On national television last night, PBS Frontline's "The Pot Republic" took a rather sober, adult look at the juxtaposition between federal marijuana eradication efforts in Mendocino County and local medical marijuana growing regulations there. Of special interest, CIR reporter Michael Montgomery scored a candid interview with former Oakland City Attorney John Russo, who said federal authorities twice personally threatened him and the city over its plan to license and tax industrial grows. Those plans are shelved.

Will the federal government shut down California's medical marijuana economy, as Frontline intones? What are the prospects for legalization in 2012? There's a lot to unpack in the 25-minute video news feature, and I will begin to in a live, online web chat with Montgomery, Mendocino grower Matt Cohen, estranged WeGrow partner Derek Peterson, and Bill Ruzzamenti, director of California's Central Valley High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, today on at 2:30 p.m. ET, 11:30 a.m. PST. The public can ask questions, and so will Reddit, while we moderate. Leave any you want asked in the comments, too.

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

NAACP Delegates Call for End to 'War on Drugs'

by David Downs
Tue, Jul 26, 2011 at 2:57 PM

"African Americans are in fact thirteen times more likely to go to jail for the same drug-related offense than their white counterparts ... creating a system of racial disparities that rivals Jim Crow policies of the 1960s" Today's full announcement after the jump:

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The Roundup: New Legalization Initiative, Cee Lo, & Doomstarks

by David Downs
Tue, Jul 26, 2011 at 9:50 AM

1) Cee Lo says, yup, Goodie Mob's getting back together and releasing new album, We Sell Drugs, Too (via Fader).

2) Faith No More's Mike Patton — who has a label based in Orinda, CA. — will voice The Darkness II video game and reunite with his former bandmates. "Patton says that while he is not an avid gamer in his spare time, he does play, and particularly enjoyed Red Dead Redemption, which is "a game that's really a universe as opposed to a game." (via Rolling Stone).

3) Uh-oh, Doom and Ghostface be leakin' "Victory Laps" (via PF).

More news after the jump.

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Monday, July 25, 2011

The Roundup: Amy, Juarez, and "Entourage"

by David Downs
Mon, Jul 25, 2011 at 9:56 AM

Here's your headlines: 1) "Call of Juarez: The Cartel' sucks, video game critics say. Don't even rent it.

2) MIA and Big Boi do Winehouse tributes. Miss u, Amy.

3) Addictive personality? You might be a leader, the the New York Times reports.

4) Bassnectar teams up with Alpha Pup for "Voodoo". More after the jump.

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Thursday, July 21, 2011

'Weed Wars' On Discovery Channel Filmed At Harborside Health Center

by David Downs
Thu, Jul 21, 2011 at 9:28 AM

The West Coast's largest dispensary, Harborside Health Center, is the subject of something called a "docu-soap" to be aired by the Discovery Channel, Entertainment Weekly reports.

The show follows Steve DeAngelo, the owner of Oakland’s Harborside Health Center, which serves 80,000 clients. According to the network, DeAngelo strives to provide patients with the highest-quality product and uses his business to promote the national regulation and taxation of cannabis.

“Weed Wars fearlessly pulls back the curtain on a once illegal and still controversial world,” said Nancy Daniels, executive VP at Discovery Channel. “From the inner workings of the business to Steve’s distinctive leadership style, Weed Wars is a fascinating glimpse into this highly unique setting. Like Gold Rush or Deadliest Catch, these are guys pursuing their own version of the American Dream.”

So, East Bay — good idea or bad idea?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Oakland's "Mardi Grass" Will Not Include On-Site Distribution

by David Downs
Tue, Jul 19, 2011 at 2:04 PM

The International Cannabis and Hemp Expo coming to downtown Oakland Labor Day weekend will not permit on-site distribution of medical cannabis, organizers want to clarify.

V.I.P. package holders can pick up a box of goodies that includes cannabis samples before the event, and attendees may medicate on-site with a valid doctor's recommendation, but just to be clear — there will be no on-site distribution of medical cannabis. Read the full preview on INTCHE 2011.

In other news, Time Magazine reports today that marijuana use does not cause long-term cognitive impairment, which is nice.

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Roundup: Harry Potter and Hockey

by David Downs
Mon, Jul 18, 2011 at 11:45 AM

Here's your headlines: 1) Berkeley Patients Group sues a longtime staffer. More money, more problems.

2) Before Harry Potter, "muggles" meant "weed".

3) Eight people die every day in Florida from a prescription drug overdoses. Surely it's time to declare war on prescription drugs.

4) SF dispensaries generate just eleven complaints in 5 years of operation. Nice find, Chris.

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Thursday, July 14, 2011

New Clubs On Horizon in Oakland, Pot Farms Shelved

by David Downs
Thu, Jul 14, 2011 at 12:03 PM

Medical cannabis patients in Oakland will likely have double, possibly triple, the number of dispensaries to choose from in the years to come, as the city backs away from its embattled cultivation plans and turns toward boosting club diversity.

On Tuesday evening, the Oakland City Council's Public Safety Committee voted unanimously to increase the number of permitted dispensaries from four to eight. The increase goes before the full council for another vote next week. During the Public Safety Committee meeting, councilman Larry Reid also expressed interest in increasing the number of Oakland dispensaries to twelve.

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