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Toke of the town: portraits made with roaches
12.08.2009
03:10 pm

Topics:
Art
Unorthodox

Tags:
cannabis

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Pittsburgh-based tattoo artist Cliff Maynard has an unusual medium that he works with: used joint ends!

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Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
L.A. city officials try to get a grip on medical marijuana
11.23.2009
03:03 pm

Topics:
Politics

Tags:
cannabis
medical marijuana

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As city officials grapple with the issue (notice I didn’t write “problem”) of what to do about the proliferation of medical marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles, it seems likely that City Council members will ignore the calls from City Atty. Carmen Trutanich and L.A. County Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley for a citywide shut down of the cannabis clubs in favor of a more nuanced approach. But that won’t be easy either, as L.A .Times reporter John Hoeffel writes this morning.

Additionally, proposals to limit the number of dispensaries are likely to face several legal hurdles and courtroom challenges before they can be implemented and proposals to restrict the amount of cannabis each dispensary can have on hand per month have, so far, suggested totals that most Los Angeles-based collectives would currently sell every few days. The City Council will be challenged to balance concerns of patients, business owners and law enforcement with the potential for substantial revenues created from taxing cannabis sales—taxes that could result in more teachers and better road repairs for the city, advocates say.

Ironically, as L.A. prepares to crack down on medical marijuana, opinion seems to be trending nationally in favor of full decriminalization of marijuana and a tax on its sale. In 2009, there has been a noticeable sea change in how the issue is reported on in the mainstream media. While there are critics who believe, like Trutanich and Cooley, that marijuana dispensaries increase crime and provide outlets for Mexican drug cartels, the view from outside of Los Angeles doesn’t appear to be one of fear, but of curiosity, or dare I say it, even envy.

Like this article, “Support for legalizing marijuana grows rapidly around U.S.” which appeared in today’s Washington Post:

The boom town atmosphere brought complaints from some neighbors, but little of the crime associated with underground drug-dealing. Advocates cite the latter as evidence that, as with alcohol, violence associated with the marijuana trade flows from its prohibition.

“Seriously,” said Bruce Merkin, communications director for the Marijuana Policy Project, an advocacy group based in the District, “there is a reason you don’t have Mexican beer cartels planting fields of hops in the California forests.”

Meanwhile award-winning L.A. Times business columnist David Lazarus channels his inner Cheech and Chong with this droll video commentary on the matter: 

 


Cross posting this from Brand X

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Put that in your pipe and smoke it
11.18.2009
07:18 pm

Topics:
Current Events

Tags:
cannabis
medical marijuana

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With a philosophy seemingly diametrically opposed to that of elected law enforcement officials in Los Angeles, the attorney general of Colorado, John Suthers (a Republican), has advised the governor of that state that medical marijuana sales should be regulated and taxed like alcohol and tobacco (and not tax- exempt like pharmaceuticals are, as medical cannabis is not prescribed per se, but “recommended” by doctors). This plan seems consistent with the stark reality in these dark times that state and county governments need to seek new avenues of public funding that will not prove to be politically unpopular. Medical cannabis activists have long been pro-taxation, as it confers legitimacy on the space.

The taxation of medical marijuana sales is something that we hear a lot about in California, and the above graphic gives some idea of how much money would be left on the table should medical marijuana be banned—or merely hounded and harassed out of business—here in Los Angeles. City Atty. Carmen Trutanich and Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley have declared their intentions to continue fighting the medical marijuana dispensaries, but it’s important to keep in mind that 77% of Los Angeles residents indicated that they were for the regulation and taxation of dispensaries, according to a recent Mason-Dixon poll.

No matter what sort of spin you put on the issue, ignoring the revenue-creating potential of taxing cannabis sales—which will continue, legally or otherwise—hardly seems prudent when we live in an era in which local governments can’t afford to fix potholes or hire schoolteachers.

Cross posting this from Brand X/Graphic via Sloshspot

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Has anyone told Trutanich? L.A. voters support medical cannabis dispensaries with a strong majority

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Limelight-loving L.A. City Atty. Carmen Trutanich has been making headlines and television appearances in recent weeks with his all-out legal assault on medical marijuana dispensaries. Unfortunately for Trutanich, U.S. Atty. Gen. Eric Holder feels that prosecution of medical marijuana patients should be a low priority for law enforcement officials and said so in a memo released Monday. Ouch. Trutanich and L.A. County Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley got another setback on Monday as well when a circuit judge ruled that the city’s moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries was illegally extended. Double ouch.

But what might be the most compelling reason of all for Trutanich and Cooley to back off the cannabis biz is the overwhelming support for medical marijuana of the voters who elected them both in the first place.

As John Hoeffel reports from the L.A. Times local desk, over three-quarters of eligible voters are strongly pro-medical marijuana and would prefer to see the dispensaries regulated and taxed, not forced to close:

The poll, completed Monday and Tuesday, also found that 74% support the state’s medical marijuana law, while 54% want to see marijuana legalized, regulated and taxed.

The Marijuana Policy Project, based in Washington, D.C., commissioned the poll by an independent firm, Mason-Dixon Polling & Research, after Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley threatened all dispensaries in the county with prosecution.

—snip—

The poll of 625 voters found that 77% of voters want to regulate dispensaries, while 14% want them closed. Both Democrats (83%-7%) and Republicans (62%-30%) support regulation over prosecution. The Los Angeles City Council is on the verge of adopting regulations after two years of debate and almost 13 years after voters passed Proposition 215, the Compassionate Use Act.

Even with the stated 4% give-or-take margin of error of the Mason-Dixon poll, this is a uniquely compelling report for Trutanich and Cooley to pay close attention to, especially since it will be these very same voters who’ll be determining their reelection prospects in the future.

Medical marijuana poll: Most L.A. voters support dispensaries by John Hoeffel

Cross posting this at Brand X

Cannabis Orbs by Sookie Sooker

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Medical Cannabis Industry Exhales Over Attorney General’s Memo and Judge’s Ruling

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Oh, to have been a fly on the wall Monday when L.A. City Atty. Carmen Trutanich and Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley got the dual bad news—well, bad news for them at least—about the U.S. Justice Department’s memo regarding marijuana policy and the California Superior Court’s injunction, which bans enforcement of the city’s moratorium on cannabis dispensaries, issued that same day.

Employees of medical marijuana dispensaries in Los Angeles have been showing up for work daily for the last few weeks fearing imminent police raids and participating in “raid drill” workshops, but these nerve-wracking preparations were for naught in the wake of the court’s injunction and Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr.‘s statement when he released the new guidelines. ?

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Five Things the Corporate Media Don’t Want You to Know About Cannabis
09.30.2009
03:48 pm

Topics:
Science/Tech

Tags:
cannabis

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Writing in the journal Science nearly four decades ago, New York State University sociologist Erich Goode documented the media’s complicity in maintaining cannabis prohibition.

He observed: “[T]ests and experiments purporting to demonstrate the ravages of marijuana consumption receive enormous attention from the media, and their findings become accepted as fact by the public. But when careful refutations of such research are published, or when later findings contradict the original pathological findings, they tend to be ignored or dismissed.”

A glimpse of today’s mainstream media landscape indicates that little has changed—with news outlets continuing to, at best, underreport the publication of scientific studies that undermine the federal government’s longstanding pot propaganda and, at worst, ignore them all together.

Here are five recent stories the mainstream media doesn’t want you to know about pot

Continue Reading: Five Things the Corporate Media Don’t Want You to Know About Cannabis

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