Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Chicago City Council Votes 43-2 To Decriminalize Small Amounts of Pot

by David Downs
Wed, Jun 27, 2012 at 11:55 AM

The Windy City's always been something of a conundrum to us. Highly metropolitan, Chicago bars stay open until 4 a.m. each night, enabling some pretty debaucherous behavior. But the third-largest city in the U.S. is still in the midwest, so, say you smoke just a little grass? "Scumbag! Degenerate! Arrest this man!"

The tide appears to be turning, apparently. Law Enforcement Against Prohibition just emailed us to say that: "The Chicago City Council just voted 43-2 to decriminalize possession of marijuana."

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Monday, June 25, 2012

Tom Ammiano Withdraws Medical Marijuana Regulation Bill AB 2312 from California Senate

by David Downs
Mon, Jun 25, 2012 at 3:52 PM

Don Duncan, executive at marijuana patient lobby Americans for Safe Access writes to us saying that State Represtentative Tom Ammiano has withdrawn his bill to regulate the California medical marijuana industry at the statewide level. The California Senate planned to debate the major bill this week. Duncan didn't give a reason why Rep. Ammiano withdrew the ASA-backed piece of legislation.

"Many good bills take more than a year to pass," he wrote to ASA members Monday afternoon. "We need to make sure that taxation, if necessary, is limited; and we have to make it difficult for cities and counties to ban patients' associations outright."

The bill has been catching flak from both sides of the debate this month. AB 2312 narrowly passed the Assembly over criticism from those scoffed at even the notion of medical marijuana. This weekend, pro-medical marijuana groups also found faults with it when late amendments were made to the bill that would allow for city councils and county boards to ban dispensaries. Patient lobbies in battleground counties where storefronts have been eradicated contend that such bans are a deal-breaker.

Friday, June 22, 2012

UPDATE: LGBT Pride Weekend Inspires 'Super Sarah Silverman Haze'

by David Downs
Fri, Jun 22, 2012 at 8:56 AM

An estimated one million LGBT folks and their allies will amass in San Francisco this weekend for the annual Pride parade and festival. Over at the Castro dispensary The Apothecarium, they're celebrating both one year in business as well as Pride, and getting in the spirit with some herbs named "Super Sarah Silverman".

We see what you did there, Apothecarium: Re-naming your high-impact sativa, Super Silver Haze after this year's Grand Marshall of the Pride Parade, comedian Sarah Silverman. We see what you did and we like it.

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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

“Turning Pot Into Medicine”: Links and Art

by David Downs
Wed, Jun 20, 2012 at 10:34 AM

This week's cover story, "Turning Pot Into Medicine", surveys what three years of lab testing has done to cannabis culture and the culture at large. We detail how it's changing patient preferences, breeding techniques, and even giving desperate parents of sick kids hope.

With CBD, Jayden David responds to hugs and kisses for the first time this May
  • Jason David
  • With CBD, Jayden David responds to hugs and kisses for the first time this May
We start with the San Francisco High Times Medical Cannabis Cup 2012, visit Harborside Health Center, meet Jason David and his son Jayden who has Dravet Syndrome and is being treated with a high cannbidiol tincture. You can follow up with Jason via his Facebook page "Jason and Jayden's Journey". We also look at how cannbidiol works.

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Monday, June 18, 2012

Study: Medical Pot Does Not Increase Teen Use

by David Downs
Mon, Jun 18, 2012 at 10:21 AM

A new study has found that medical marijuana laws do not cause a rise in teen marijuana use — and in fact, there is a negative association between medical marijuana laws and teen marijuana use.

Researchers D. Mark Anderson, Benjamin Hansen and Daniel I. Rees, working with funds from the Institute for the Study of Labor in Europe, published their findings as a discussion paper in May.

The team looked at national and state surveys of teen drug use from 1993 onward, and estimated the relationship between medical marijuana laws and teen marijuana use. They found that the results were not consistent with allegations made by the U.S. federal government and others that medical marijuana legislation was leading to more kids using pot.

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Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Vapor Room Will Stay Open Through July

by David Downs
Thu, Jun 14, 2012 at 10:49 AM

A couple weeks back we broke the news that beloved Haight Street dispensary Vapor Room faced imminent storefront closure due to federal threat of forfeiture. At the time, staff said June 13 looked to be the club's last day. Not so fast, as it turns out. On Tuesday, Vapor Room posted to its Facebook page that it would be staying open through July. Awesome.

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Monday, June 11, 2012

Rapper Del the Funky Homosapien Partners with High Times Records on "Body Catchin'" Seven-Inch, Future Projects

by David Downs
Mon, Jun 11, 2012 at 8:44 AM

Just twelve days to go until the High Times Medical Cannabis Cup rolls back into the Bay Area, and we got a little bit of a scoop for East Bay readers.

According to a High Times representative, Funky Homosapien and East Bay rap legend Del is working with High Times Records on some "yet-to-be announced" projects. Awesome. First off:

"Del and High Times Records are releasing a limited edition 'purple haze'-colored vinyl seven-inch for a song called "Body Catchin.'" It will be available in early July via High Times Records.

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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Choom Gang Cheat Sheet: How Young Barack Obama Might Vote Today in California

by David Downs
Tue, Jun 5, 2012 at 11:34 AM

A new biography by The Washington Post's David Maraniss entitled “Barack Obama: The Story”, out June 19, has been making waves, initially for its detailed descriptions of The President's weed-smoking days in Hawaii.

President Obama described some of it in his autobiography Dreams from My Father, but Maraniss goes into detail: Barack hung with a group of smart kids who liked to smoke weed and called themselves “the Choom gang” — “choom” being Hawaiian slang for smoke.

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Monday, June 4, 2012

Capital Counter-Attack: Sac Dispensary Initiative On Track

by David Downs
Mon, Jun 4, 2012 at 8:00 AM

The statewide crackdown on medical marijuana hit Sacramento County the hardest. Not only did federal and local drug warriors exterminate the county's thriving crop of dispensaries, the county banned homegrowing and has begun harassing small gardeners. Those days look numbered, however.

A group of closed dispensary operators including Kimberly Cargile of Common Roots and David Spradlin of Magnolia Wellness, plus 240 volunteers and campaign coordinator Mickey Martin of Martinez is working to end the homegrow ban, as well as permit, tax and regulate about 20 dispensaries. The group is using the county initiative process to install local law by popular vote, going over the heads of county supervisors.

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Friday, June 1, 2012

Bill To Regulate Medical Pot Clears Massive Hurdle

by David Downs
Fri, Jun 1, 2012 at 10:27 AM

Thousands of medical cannabis patients cheered the California Assembly's passage of AB 2312Rep. Tom Ammiano's bill to install statewide regulation of California's estimated $1.3-billion medipot industry.

AB 2312 passed out of the State Assembly on a 41-28 vote Thursday, May 31, just a day before the deadline for it — and all other 2012 bills — to clear their house of origin. AB 2312 heads to the Senate for debate this month and next.

Just after AB 2312 passed, United Food and Commercial Workers Local 5 organizer and Oakland resident Matthew Witemyre called it, “a really, really good day for us.”

“When AB 2312 was introduced it had a snowball's chance in hell of passing,” he said. “It passed because of the overwhelming voice of the people in Sacramento.”

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