Growing & Eradication

Monday, July 30, 2012

Humboldt County Swarming with Federal Agents This Week

by David Downs
Mon, Jul 30, 2012 at 10:37 AM

This just in from the North Coast Journal: "Over the last couple of weeks, Humboldt County has been virtually crawling with federal law enforcement agents on the prowl for big-time weed dealers."

"Clearly the county’s black market marijuana industry is booming, and while local law enforcement didn’t want to say much about the recent raids, referring all questions to equally tight-lipped federal agencies, Humboldt County Sheriff Mike Downey said the backup is welcome. As a matter of fact, he said, 'I’m the one, I hope, who initiated it.'

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Thursday, July 19, 2012

“Blood Diamonds” Author Greg Campbell Goes Inside Medical Marijuana with "Pot, Inc."

by David Downs
Thu, Jul 19, 2012 at 2:54 PM

Follow the best-selling author of Blood Diamonds Greg Campbell up the proverbial weed stalk with his new nonfiction hardcover book, Pot, Inc. out now via Sterling Press.

The Colorado-based freelance journalist obtained a medical marijuana card in 2009 and started growing the maligned herb as research for Pot, Inc. What emerges is a compelling, fact-filled-yet-breezy eye-level account of day-to-day life in the world of legal weed, with perspectives of activists, growers, operators — and federal agents.

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Friday, April 6, 2012

Oaksterdam University's Richard Lee: "It’s Time for Others to Take Over."

by David Downs
Fri, Apr 6, 2012 at 9:32 AM

The Los Angeles Times reported last night that Richard Lee will transfer his businesses like Oaksterdam University and Coffee Shop Blue Sky to others and step down.

"I’ve been doing this for a long time. Over twenty years.... I kind of feel like I’ve done my time,” Lee said Thursday. “It’s time for others to take over.”

"He plans to transfer the businesses to new operators but said he will shut down his marijuana nursery because his stock of mother plants, which he had nurtured for years, was confiscated," the Times reports.

"Lee acknowledged that he was worried he could face major federal drug charges."

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Thursday, March 29, 2012

CSU Full? UC, No Way? Oaksterdam Is Wide Open

by David Downs
Thu, Mar 29, 2012 at 11:37 AM

The Sacramento Bee's Peter Hecht comes to town and catches up with Oaksterdam founder Rich Lee, painting a picture of growing pot that is less luminous than the one painted by the Los Angeles Times the day before.

"Oaksterdam once ran seven classes, each with 70 students paying $700 to $800 a semester. Now, it has one class of 50. Introductory two-day weekend programs and advanced seminars in how to run dispensaries draw about half the peak attendance of 120 students."

Part of it is the federal crackdown, which has touched Lee's businesses. There are also many, many more cannabis colleges today than when Lee began, he told us - a fact he said he was happy with.

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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Wired's Illustrated Price of Pot Map Arrives in Mailboxes

by David Downs
Tue, Aug 23, 2011 at 9:19 AM

In another testament to the mainstreaming of maryjane, High Times now has competitors publishing weed prices in the U.S. Using data from, a collection of geographers called Floatingsheep have designed a groovy map of the price of sticky icky across America. Wired magazine writer Cameron Bird covers the results in the September issue of the print magazine, coming out now.

On this map, yellow means not at all mellow
  • On this map, yellow means 'not at all mellow'

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Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Roundup: Pot Farmer Joins Napa Farm Bureau

by David Downs
Thu, Aug 18, 2011 at 9:14 AM

Here's your headlines: 1) CA. Sen Mark Leno's hemp bill 676 — which would authorize a pilot project to grow fields of the plant, which can damage pot crops — moves out of Assembly appropriations on a 11-3 vote.

2) Berkeley Patients Group gets a counter-lawsuit after their attempt to spin off a Maine business went bad.

3) The Fix discusses the sad reality — previously covered here — that "Uncle Sam wants to be your one and only dealer—on behalf of its supplier, Big Pharma."

4) Some guys claim to have mapped the cannabis genome, and say "regulation is going to come through genetics and fingerprinting of which strains are [federally] approved." (via RB)

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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Mendocino's 'Full Court Press' on Marijuana Yields 132 Arrests

by David Downs
Tue, Aug 9, 2011 at 11:02 AM

The huge weed-whacking operation in Mendocino is over, just three weeks after it started.

"Full Court Press" included more than 300 personnel from 25 local, state, and federal agencies, who flew in to cut down marijuana on public lands in six counties while manning roadblocks to catch fleeing ganja farmers. And according to the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office, the operation led to the seizure of 632,058 marijuana plants, 1,986 pounds of processed marijuana, $28,031 in cash, 38 weapons and 20 vehicles — and to 132 arrests.

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Monday, August 1, 2011

The Roundup: Half-Million Plants Seized in Mendo County; Alcohol Withdrawal Killed Amy Winehouse

by David Downs
Mon, Aug 1, 2011 at 10:47 AM

Here's your headlines: 1) "Full Court Press" — the massive marijuana raid effort recently undertaken by federal and local officials in Mendocino County — has tallied 101 arrests, 460,000 plants, and tons of garbage pulled from the Mendocino National Forest (LAT). Writer Kym Kemp notes locals connected to the grows might be next. More news after the jump.

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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, May 5, 2011

Bin Laden's Abbottabad Compound Had A Pot Patch

by David Downs
Thu, May 5, 2011 at 4:00 AM

Because the most important story of the last decade was bound to have a weed angle:

"Osama bin Laden's Abbottabad compound may have appeared no different from any other nondescript house in the middle-class neighborhood of Bilal Town, except for the high cement walls topped with barbed wire — and a few other distinguishing factors. Along with rows of cabbages and potatoes on the border wall of the compound, for instance, CNN's Nic Robertson discovered rows of marijuana plants."
Take it away, Vulture via Daily Mail UK.

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