Daily Roundup: Drug Czar Tells Cali 'Good Job'; Prop 19 Needs Cash


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1. Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske said California and its cities are "doing a really good job of licensing, land use, those kind of regulations" in regards to medical cannabis, the Sacramento Bee reports. The Drug Czar came to California to do press for Operation Trident, a crackdown on large-scale pot farming on public lands in the foothills and mountain areas of Tulare, Fresno, and Madera counties. Two dozen local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies arrested nearly 100 and seized 430,000 marijuana plants. [via DPFCA] More headlines after the jump.

2. Prop 19 fund-raising is off-track, AlterNet reports. The campaign has raised $130,000 online in mostly small donations, and the campaign currently has $50,000 in cash on hand. Prop 19 authorRichard Lee told AlterNet "everything is on track, except fund-raising." The campaign plans on avoiding an expensive TV campaign in favor of one-to-one lobbying via door-to-door canvassing, phone banks, and town halls. Tax Cannabis 2010 claims 2,600 volunteers and growing. Lee also told the North Coast Journal this week that he's facing criticism from both law enforcement and radical reformers alike, "If the narcs don't kill me, the growers will," he said. "Or these hippie peace and love kind of guys from the '60s and '70s: 'We don't want to be regulated and pay taxes. It should just be free for everybody to grow! Peace and love!'"

3. Medical cannabis might be approved for use in fourteen states, but parents who use with a doctor's recommendation can lose their children in custody battles. But this week, an Oregon Appellate Court ruled that the state could not take away the children of a mother who tested positive for marijuana because there was no evidence her use endangers her children.

4. Americans for Safe Access, a pro-medical marijuana group is promoting a new documentary, What if Cannabis Cured Cancer, which includes views from expert Dr. Donald Abrams, Professor of Clinical Medicine and Integrative Oncology at UC San Francisco. Numerous studies apparently show cannabinoids, the active ingredients in pot, kill cancer cells in addition to their proven anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic, antibacterial properties. Watch the trailer here. The film will be screening at the Sausalito Film Festival on Sunday, August 15, at 1:30 p.m., followed by a panel discussion on cannabis and cancer with the filmmaker, as well as Dr. Donald Abrams, Dr. Jeffery Hergenrather, and Dr. Sean McAllister.

In other news, ASA is working to force the federal government to reverse its official opinion that cannabis has no medical use, citing the VA's new policy allowing medical marijuana patients to use the plant.

5. Meanwhile, activist Fred Gardner pens a Counter Punch piece rebutting the San Francisco Chronicle's assessment of the marijuana's harms. Gardner says National Institute of Drug Abuse-funded studies show smoking pot does not cause lung cancer, yet NIDA declined to publish that study. NIDA maintains a number of known carcinogens have been found in smoked cannabis but has found “no positive associations between marijuana use and lung, upper respiratory, or upper digestive tract cancers. Thus, the link between marijuana smoking and these cancers remains unsubstantiated at this time."

6. Lastly, a very anti-prohibition animated short is making the rounds in the reform community. Created by a freelance animator in Brooklyn, NY, it depicts a shining happy, flower-positive world suddenly ripped apart by prohibition. Proof that reformers can be just as didactic as their foes? Watch it here and decide for yourself. [via New York Magazine]