Monday, July 25, 2016

Fake 'Organic' Pot Gardening Products Yanked From Oregon Stores

by David Downs
Mon, Jul 25, 2016 at 11:11 AM

America’s reckoning with its significantly tainted cannabis supply continues this month as officials in the new legalization state of Oregon issued “stop sale and removal orders” on fourteen products that violate organic labelling standards.

Humboldt Roots products are being pulled from shelves in Oregon after a Washington lab found they contained levels of unlabelled active pesticide.
  • Humboldt Roots products are being pulled from shelves in Oregon after a Washington lab found they contained levels of unlabelled active pesticide.

Cannabis is a $2,000-per-pound cash crop often sprayed with dubious chemicals to save a harvest from infection and or infestation by mold, mildew, fungus, spider mites, aphids and other insects.

Under prohibition, consumers have no protections against pesticide exposure. But under medical and adult-use regulations, that protection is coming online.

To date, the leading governing body, the Environmental Protection Agency, has not certified any pesticides for use on cannabis — which is often smoked and inhaled into the lungs.

Of the 36 medical cannabis states, more than a dozen have promulgated pesticide guidelines — and some are fining dirty growers, and taking mislabelled products off the shelf.

On July 20, Oregon Department of Agriculture officials told stores to stop selling and remove 14 products sold in Oregon found to contain undeclared pesticide active ingredients. The findings came from Washington labs, and “in an abundance of caution, ODA issued its orders and is currently sampling and testing these products sold in Oregon.”

The products are:
  • Vita Grow Thunder Boom– Marco Industries, Inc. dba American Agriculture, Portland, OR
  • OG Rapid Flower + Hardener– Crop Specific Solutions, Rockingham, Western Australia
  • Humboldt Roots– Humboldt Nutrients LLC, Paso Robles, CA
  • Safergro Mildew Cure for Powdery Mildew Control– JH Biotech, Ventura, CA
  • Olivia’s Cloning Gel– Olivia’s Solutions, Inc., Santa Rosa, CA
  • The Hammer– Plantlife Products, Kelowna, BC
  • Frost Protection Plus– Rambridge Wholesale Supply, Calgary, AB
  • Rock Resinator Heavy Yields– Rock Holdings Pty Ltd., Perth, Western Australia
  • SNS 217C All Natural Spider Mite Control– Sierra Natural Science, Inc., Salinas, CA
  • Root 66 1-1-1– Technaflora Plant Products Ltd., Mission, BC
  • Optic Foliar AT-AK, Optic Foliar Overgrow, Optic Foliar Switch– Tulsi Enterprises Ltd., Surrey, BC
  • Pyyro K 0-3-7– Van de Uber Marketing and Manufacturing, Port Moody, BC
Pesticide makers must accurately provide the active ingredients of a products on its label — which is registered with the EPA. Yet Washington officials found the products contained unlabelled active pesticides like:
  • salicylic acid (found in acne cream); 
  • paclobutrazol (a fungicide which may cause reproductive/development effects), 
  • 6-benzylaminopurine (a poison to humans); 
  • indole-3-butyric acid (not registered for use as inhaled pesticide); 
  • ethephon (toxic to animals); 
  • napthaleneacetic acid (a dietary risk); 
  • and pyrethrins (a ‘low toxicity’ insecticide that is dangerous if inhaled).
Starting August 1, Humboldt County will conduct a pilot track and trace program that will allow consumers to check and see if their cannabis is “Clean Green-certified” — meaning the crop meets OMRI certification levels for organic growing.

Mot California medical-cannabis supplies are not tested for residual pesticides — due to the cost of testing small batches for dozens of potential chemical traces; and lack of mandatory pesticide screening at the local or state level.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

California’s Best Hash Venerated, Vaped at Chalice Awards

by David Downs
Wed, Jul 20, 2016 at 11:07 AM

California’s best in hash, wax, rosin, oil and other medical marijuana extracts emerged from a crowded playing field to take top trophies at the “Chalice California” hash and water pipe festival last weekend.

More …

Monday, July 18, 2016

Marijuana Laws On The Ballot in Seven States And Climbing This November Election

by David Downs
Mon, Jul 18, 2016 at 10:16 AM

With interest in topics like “marijuana” and “cannabis” hitting all-time high levels according to Google Trends, nine states in the U.S. will vote on marijuana measures in the world’s most important general election Nov. 8, according to the Ballot Initiative Strategy Center

Medical marijuana: that'll be 7.5 percent sales tax, please. - DAVID DOWNS
  • David Downs
  • Medical marijuana: that'll be 7.5 percent sales tax, please.
Voters in California, Florida, Nevada, Massachusetts, Maine, Arizona, and Arkansas will definitely be casting a ballot to affect cannabis policy in their state. Voters in Missouri, Montana, and North Dakota have submitted signatures to place marijuana proposals on the ballot, while Oklahoma has cleared to circulate a last-minute measure.

In California, philanthropist/technologist Sean Parker has augmented his efforts to help cure cancer with another $1.25 million this month for Prop 64 — a coalition measure to legalize one ounce in public and six plants in private in the world’s seventh largest economy. Prop 64 added the endorsement of major cannabis rapper Smoke DZA, as well as the major union the UFCW in recent weeks.

In Florida, anti-medical marijuana attack ads funded by GOP super-funder Sheldon Adelson are taking aim at a proposal supported by a super-majority of voters there. Florida’s one percent denied its poorest citizens access to the safe analgesic last election.

In Nevada, Adelson bought the major newspaper Las Vegas Review-Journal and re-educated its editorial board to reverse their pro-legalization stance. The publisher took credit for reversing the publication’s position, and said the Adelson family was not involved.

In Massachusetts, activists have raised enough signatures and won state Supreme Court approval of their ballot language for the 'Legalization, Regulation, and Taxation of Marijuana' this month.

In Maine, legalization will be the first question on the ballot. Marijuana Policy Project director Rob Kampia told canna-business people in Oakland in June that Maine legalizers have both little opposition and little funding.

In Arizona, voters there are set to decide on graduating from medical regulations to adult-use, though police will still be able to conduct searches based on cannabis smell alone, the state's Supreme Court ruled this month.

And in Arkansas , Arkansans for Compassionate Care will take their proposal to the ballot box — part of the final push of medical cannabis into midwest and southern holdouts.

Ohio lawmakers already approved medical marijuana legalization this year rather than have the debate stink up the Republican Convention, Kampia said.

Cannabis is a losing issue for conservatives — whose old guard are adamantly anti-pot, while the party's future base widely supports legalization. This month, the GOP failed to add legalization to its party plank, while Democrats did.

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Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Amoeba Records’ Pot Club Plan Gets A Second Spin

by David Downs
Wed, Jul 13, 2016 at 11:40 AM

Global music brand Amoeba Records in Berkeley will get a replay of its bid to open a pot shop, thanks to a Berkeley City Council vote to add two more medical cannabis dispensaries last night.

Amoeba Berkeley
  • Amoeba Berkeley
The Telegraph Ave. music store and institution seems strongly positioned to obtain one of those two new permits. Berkeley lawmakers added the new permits during a consent calendar vote Tuesday night.

More …

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Drug War is ‘Root Cause’ of Police Shooting Epidemic, says Libertarian Party Presidential Nominee Gary Johnson

by David Downs
Tue, Jul 12, 2016 at 8:09 AM

Former New Mexico Governor, and Libertarian Party nominee for president Gary Johnson added to the conversation after the Dallas Shootings in Friday.

A main reason for crumbling police-community relations is decades of enforcing what were ultimately racist drug laws designed in part to target minorities.

  • via US Marshalls on Flickr

“The root is the war on drugs, I believe. Police knocking down doors, shooting first,” Johnson told reporters Friday in Washington, according to Politico. “If you are (black and) arrested in a drug-related crime, there is four times more likelihood of going to prison than if you are white. And shooting is part of the same phenomenon.”

Blacks are arrested for pot in America at several times the rate of whites, despite similar levels of use, the ACLU reports. Drug crime is the most common arrest in America and pot crime is the most common type of drug arrest. About 700,000 Americans will be arrested this year for pot. Four states and Washington DC have legalized cannabis, as well as Washington DC. The Black police chief there, Cathy Lanier, said in 2015 that “all those [pot] arrests do is make people hate us.”

“Marijuana smokers are not going to attack and kill a cop,” Lanier reportedly said. “They just want to get a bag of chips and relax. Alcohol is a much bigger problem.”

“We’re asking cops to do too much in this country,” said Dallas Police Chief David Brown Monday. “Every societal failure, we put it off on the cops to solve,” Brown said, including mental health, drug addiction.

Pot laws have helped drive America’s incarceration epidemic to historic levels, where one in ten black men in their 30s are in prison.

“Seventy percent of the African American community is being raised by single women, let’s give it to the cops to solve that as well” said Chief Brown. “Policing was never meant to solve all those problems.”

“I just ask for other parts of our democracy along with the free press to help us,” Brown said. “To help us and not put that burden all on law enforcement.”

The Libertarian Party supports cannabis legalization and ending lengthy prison sentences for non-violent drug possession and use. For example, you can get up to 30 years prison for your first pot distribution offense in Louisiana.

“The focus on drugs needs to be as a health issue, not a criminal justice issue. It can be illegal but does it need to be criminal? Do you need to go to jail for drugs?” Johnson said. “I do believe that the root of the militarization, knocking on doors, is a drug war phenomenon.”

President Richard Nixon launched the war on drugs to target blacks and the anti-war-left, Harper’s reported in April. Nixon aide John Ehrlichman reportedly told journalist Dan Baum:

““You want to know what this was really all about? … We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Felony Marijuana Arrests Drop In California

by David Downs
Thu, Jul 7, 2016 at 12:24 PM

Drug felony arrests plummeted in California in response to 2014’s voter-enacted Proposition 47 — which changed various state drug laws from felonies to misdemeanors, according to new data from the California Attorney General.

Felony arrests for drugs dropped by between 68.2 percent and 73.6 percent in California between 2014 and 2015, California NORML reported this week. Felony arrests for marijuana fell by a third — from 13,300 to 8,866.

The declines mark another historic milestone in America’s path toward ending a mass incarceration epidemic. The "land of free", which celebrated its independence this week, has 5 percent of the world’s population, but 25 percent of its prisoners — the result of decades of prison-industrial complex-driven policy.

Police may be switching to misdemeanor drug charges instead of felony ones, though. Misdemeanor drug arrests nearly doubled from 92,469 in 2014 to 163,073 in 2015.

“The number of misdemeanor drug arrests has been slowly rising in California since a drop between 2010 and 2011,” reports California NORML, an advocacy group for cannabis consumers.

About 800 California children were arrested on felony marijuana charges in 2015 — down from over 2,000 kids several years ago.
  • About 800 California children were arrested on felony marijuana charges in 2015 — down from over 2,000 kids several years ago.
Amid a billion-dollar cannabis industry expansion, arrests for driving under the influence dropped slightly from 151,416 in 2014 to 137,677 in 2015, part of a downward trend.

Prop. 47 was widely opposed by the law enforcement industry including U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, Alameda County district attorney Nancy O'Malley, and the California Police Chiefs Association. But passed by a wide margin in a off-year election, driven by a conservative backlash to ballooning prison budgets. Prison spending has increased 15-fold since 1981. While California has built one college since 1980, it’s built 22 prisons.

Marijuana policy continues to evolve in the Golden State, which is now the 6th largest economy in the world, overtaking Brazil and France.

In 1996, Proposition 215 legalized medical marijuana. In 2010’s, Sen Mark Leno led the legislature’s decriminalization of personal possession of pot.

In 2015, lawmakers regulated the medical cannabis trade.

This year, Californians have a chance to legalize personal cannabis use by adults 21 and over, and regulate the commercial trade — saving about $100 million in police costs, and generating about $1 billion in tax revenue.

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