Posts Tagged ‘ganga’
SAN DIEGO, June 1, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Medical Marijuana, Inc. (Pink Sheets: MJNA)
From excerpts of an article written by the Medical Marijuana Business Daily; (click here to download full article)
Several prominent medical marijuana companies are focusing on what they see as the wave of the future in the MMJ industry: products infused with cannabidiol, or CBD.
The marijuana compound offers some of the pain-relieving benefits of THC, without the psychoactive effects. In other words, you don’t get stoned. Studies show that CBDs can help with a variety of medical conditions, including anxiety, nausea, inflammation and convulsions.
Just as importantly, hemp-based CBDs are legal in the United States, meaning patients don’t need to live in a state with MMJ laws and don’t have to worry about the government knocking on their door.
Publicly traded Medical Marijuana, Inc. last month paid $1.45 million to acquire Dixie’s intellectual property, formulas and recipes. The two companies have created a third, Red Dice Holdings, to license and market Dixie’s brand and NON-THC products in other states, focusing on hemp-based extracts.
Dixie Elixirs & Edibles is the latest firm in the medical marijuana industry to jump on the trend. The Denver-based company – which is now part of Medical Marijuana, Inc. – is preparing to roll out anew line of hemp-based CBD products including tinctures, salves and capsules. Dixie will officially launch the product line tomorrow and expects to add new CBD offerings at a rapid clip going forward, hoping to tap what it says is a $5 billion market.
The company initially will sell the products to dispensaries but then plans to make them available to the general public via mail order and an online e-commerce platform.
Other MMJ players are taking an interest in cannabidiols as well. Medical Marijuana, Inc. has taken an aggressive approach to CBD research, filing a patent last year for a process to extract cannabidiol and other cannabinoids from cannabis. It also inked a deal to distribute CBD-infused beverages. At the same time, individual dispensaries are producing high-CBD strains, and C3 Patients Associationis distributing a CBD-infused pill called Idrasil. Most of these products are only available to card-carrying patients in MMJ states however, as they contain CBDs derived from cannabis and in many cases also contain THC.
The company has plans for several additional product launches over the next few months and has nearly 600 retail stores now carrying its products.
About Medical Marijuana, Inc.
Our mission is to be the premier cannabis and hemp industry innovators, leveraging our team of professionals to source, evaluate and purchase value-added companies and products, while allowing them to keep their integrity and entrepreneurial spirit. We strive to create awareness within our industry, develop environmentally friendly, economically sustainable businesses, while increasing shareholder value.
Medical Marijuana, Inc. does not grow, sell or distribute any substances that violate United States law or the controlled substance act.
For more information, please visit the company’s website at: www.MedicalMarijuanaInc.com
This press release may contain certain forward-looking statements and information, as defined within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and is subject to the Safe Harbor created by those sections. This material contains statements about expected future events and/or financial results that are forward-looking in nature and subject to risks and uncertainties. Such forward-looking statements by definition involve risks, uncertainties and other factors, which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of Medical Marijuana, Inc. to be materially different from the statements made herein.
Investor Relations Contact:
Stuart T. Smith
DENVER (Reuters) – Throughout his presidency, Barack Obama hasn’t exactly been a friend to marijuana users.
Sure, he has acknowledged smoking pot as a young man, but he has disappointed marijuana advocates by opposing its legalization, regulation and taxation like alcohol.
And the Justice Department’s occasional crackdown under his administration on medical marijuana dispensaries, which 17 states and the District of Columbia allow, has angered others.
So now, with Obama facing a stiff challenge from Republican Mitt Romney in the November 6 election, it’s ironic that his chances of winning the key state of Colorado could hinge on marijuana legalization, supported by a growing number of Americans.
At issue is whether Obama will get a boost from young voters expected to be among the most enthusiastic backers of a Colorado ballot initiative that would legalize possession of up to an ounce of pot for recreational use – and give the state the most liberal marijuana law in the nation.
The initiative is a reflection of Colorado’s unique blend of laid-back liberalism and anti-regulation conservatism that helped make the state the birthplace of the Libertarian Party.
It’s a state where people of different political stripes see marijuana laws as an example of government needlessly sticking its nose where it doesn’t belong.
It’s also a proving ground for advocates who see legalization as a way to ease crowding in prisons, generate much-needed tax revenues, create jobs and weaken Mexican cartels that thrive on Americans’ appetite for illegal drugs.
The Rocky Mountain State already allows the use of marijuana for medical purposes such as severe pain relief, and some communities have embraced it enthusiastically.
The prevalence of medical marijuana dispensaries in Denver has moved pot into the mainstream in Colorado’s capital city.
In Denver County, home to about 600,000 people, one in every 41 residents is a registered medical marijuana patient, leading to chuckles about the “Mile High City.” Denver is roughly a mile above sea level.
The number of places licensed to sell medical marijuana products has reached 400 here, according to the Denver Post. That means there are more dispensaries in the capital than there are Starbucks coffee shops (375) statewide.
A similar bill is on the ballot in Washington, another state that already allows use of medical marijuana. If approved, the initiatives would put the states squarely in the crosshairs of federal law, which classifies cannabis as an illegal narcotic.
PATH TO THE WHITE HOUSE
It’s unclear precisely how the U.S. Justice Department – whether led by Obama or Romney – would respond if Colorado, Washington or other states legalize marijuana for recreational use. Both politicians oppose legalizing the drug.
But in a close presidential election in which Colorado could be a tipping point – and with polls showing Obama has up to a 30-point edge over Romney among voters age 30 and under – the state’s marijuana initiative could be a factor if it inspires waves of young voters to cast ballots on November 6.
“This is an issue that is really meaningful to young people, people of color, disenfranchised communities,” groups that typically lag in registering and showing up to vote, said Brian Vicente, 35, executive director of Sensible Colorado, a group seeking less restrictive marijuana laws.
“Democrats and Obama need these groups to win,” Vicente said. “The path to the White House leads through Colorado. We feel we can motivate these groups.”
Last winter, Public Policy Polling found that 49 percent of Coloradans favored legalization, while 41 percent opposed it.
As much as some Democrats feel they have the wind at their backs, they are fighting history in Colorado. Obama won the state in 2008, but he was the first Democratic presidential contender to do so in 16 years.
And even though a majority of the delegates at the Colorado Democratic Party’s convention last month said they supported legalization, some party officials are skeptical the politically diverse movement will help Obama much this fall.
They note that Colorado voters rejected such a legalization measure in 2006, and that Californians blocked a similar initiative two years ago.
“If they get 40 percent” of voters supporting legalization, “they should throw themselves a party,” said Matt Inzeo, spokesman for Colorado’s Democratic Party.
Others see more potential in the legalization debate’s impact on the presidential race.
Tom Jensen of Public Policy Polling said that if the state-by-state race for the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency comes down to Colorado’s 9 electoral votes, marijuana “could be a difference maker.”
During a recent visit to Colorado, Romney seemed irritated when a local television reporter quizzed him on his views about gay marriage, immigration reform and marijuana legalization.
“Aren’t there issues of significance you’d like to talk about?” an exasperated Romney asked.
In Colorado, however, marijuana is significant. And its acceptance hasn’t been limited to more liberal areas.
Colorado Springs, home to the U.S. Air Force Academy and the evangelical Christian group Focus on the Family, is one of the most conservative cities in the United States. But the city of 400,000 about 70 miles south of Denver has nearly as many marijuana dispensaries as churches, according to city records.
Supporters of Colorado’s initiative point to a broadening coalition of those who support legalization, including local civil rights and union leaders.
Those opposing marijuana legalization often cite the drug’s impact on youths.
Roger Sherman, a strategist for the campaign against Amendment 64, said “there’s a tremendous amount of enthusiasm and a high level of concern” among those who oppose legalization. His group cites increased drug use among children and increasing cases of impaired driving.
Nationwide polling on marijuana legalization, although sparse, suggests that support now equals support for marriage equality, which just found a new backer in Obama.
In October, 50 percent of Americans said “yes” when asked by Gallup, “Do you think the use of marijuana should be made legal, or not?” When Gallup asked that in 1969, 12 percent said yes.
Last week, a Rasmussen Reports survey said 56 percent of likely U.S. voters favored legalizing and regulating marijuana.
Supporters of legalization also argue that regulating marijuana – and capturing tax revenue from its sale – could help governments, cities and towns face increasingly tight budgets.
In 2011, taxes for medical marijuana generated $5 million for Colorado. Denver-based political strategist Rick Ridder said that depending upon the cost of an ounce, legalization would likely generate $20 million to $80 million in annual tax revenue for Colorado and local communities.
As designed, Amendment 64 would designate its first $40 million in tax revenue for rebuilding public schools. As part of a bond issue, that amount could turn into a treasure chest for public education funding in Colorado.
Legalization advocates see Obama’s crackdown on some medical marijuana outlets as hypocritical, noting that in his memoir “Dreams from My Father” he acknowledged smoking pot as a youth.
“It’s really insulting with this president. He actually smoked pot in high school and college. The only difference is he didn’t get caught. If he had gotten caught, he would not be president,” said Wanda James, 48, whose business, Simply Pure, supplies 300 Colorado dispensaries with edible marijuana.
She tells community leaders that legalization is not just about pot smokers having a good time, legally. She sees it as a way to ease prison crowding, help cash-strapped governments, provide jobs and weaken drug cartels.
Legalization, of course, would mean a larger market for James’ indica sesame brittle bars and sativa peppermint cups.
To James, legalizing marijuana boils down to what could be a good slogan for this year’s elections: “Jobs, jobs, jobs.”
(Editing by David Lindsey and Todd Eastham)
by Melanie Eversley, USA Today
A New York State Supreme Court judge out of Brooklyn is generating buzz because of his public appeal to legalize medical marijuana, as outlined in an opinion piece that he wrote forThe New York Times.
The plea from Judge Gustin Reichbach to the New York State Legislature, which is debating a medical marijuana bill, has prompted follow-up pieces in the New York Daily News, The American Bar Association Journal and Reuters, among other news organizations.
Support among New York State officials is mixed, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, has said the problems with medical marijuana outweigh the benefits, according toMetroFocus, a site produced by New York City-area public television stations.
Reichbach writes that three and one half years ago, on his 62nd birthday, doctors told him he had Stage 3 pancreatic cancer and that he had four to six months to live. His grueling treatment has included “chemotherapy, radiation hell and brutal surgery,” he writes. The cancer disappeared but returned, prompting doctors to prescribe a more aggressive course of chemotherapy.
Reichbach writes about the constant nausea and pain, about forcing down food, and about the side effects of the many drugs to treat the disease and ease the symptoms of chemotherapy, including loss of appetite, constipation, insomnia and raised glucose levels.
“Inhaled marijuana is the only medicine that gives me some relief from nausea, stimulates my appetite, and makes it easier to fall asleep,” Reichbach writes. “Rather than watch the agony of my suffering, friends have chosen, at some personal risk, to provide the substance. I find a few puffs of marijuana before dinner gives me ammunition in the battle to eat. A few more puffs at bedtime permits desperately needed sleep.”
Reichbach notes 16 states have legalized medical marijuana and that Connecticut and New York are weighing bills.
“I implore the governor and the Legislature of New York … to join the forward and humane thinking of 16 other states and pass the medical marijuana bill this year,” Reichbach writes. “Medical science has not yet found a cure, but it is barbaric to deny us (cancer patients) access to one substance that has proven to ameliorate our suffering.”
Walking Buster was the hardest part of watching his friend’s house. It meant he had to walk around the neighborhood with the dog, without making eye-contact with the neighbors.
“Just don’t offer any information,” Jake lectured. “I don’t even know their names,” he added. “And they don’t know mine, and that’s the way we all like it.”
Jake said there were a lot of grow houses here in Cutten. The town was an old, established neighborhood in Humboldt’s County seat, and still considered a family neighborhood with parks, a school and a town center.
This was just one of Jake’s houses and no one lived here. A four bedroom California ranch-style, with four grow rooms for the ladies and a false room in the garage for growing babies. Nick was just one of several house-sitters keeping watch at any given time.
Unlike other neighborhoods he worked in, you could still see the occasional mom walking with a stroller, and parents walking kids to school in the morning.
Nick quickly led the dog out of the cul-de-sac and onto the busier street of Walnut. “Less people wondering who I am on this street,” he thought, averting his eyes from a passing car.
School was letting out and he had a moment of dread as carpool mom’s filed past him in a sea of mini-vans. “Note to self: don’t walk dog during school rush.”
Back at the house Nick rinsed out Buster’s water dish and filled it up again, reminding himself to dump the humidifier in the big room.
“It was nice outside, eh boy?” he said, patting him on the head. If only he could open a window or the blinds for some light. But that wasn’t going to happen.
The list of have and have-nots lie face-up on the kitchen table. “No open curtains or shades, no open blinds. When opening front door, make sure hallway curtain is pulled shut. When opening grow room door, make sure other doors to outside doors are blocked…” The list went on and on.
The house was always too warm from the hot lights in the grow rooms, and no matter how many fans were on back there you could still smell the green of thriving plants. Well, thriving except for the occasional spider mite, but that’s another story altogether.
Nick propped pillows on the open futon in the living room and eyed the cover of an old North Coast Journal, “Best Weed Strains.”
“How would they know,” he laughed to himself. “Let’s see what they think…‘OG Kush’ and ‘Headband,’ well, I can agree with Headband – that’s stuff’s killer. Wonder if they even know what the ‘OG’ stands for. Obviously not, or they wouldn’t spread the lie of its So Cal creation. Ocean Grown in Petrolia, on Humboldt soil, assholes.
The futon felt hard as a rock. Jake said he could sleep in the bedroom, but the noise from the fans was deafening, so he slept on the couch in the living room. Not that he slept much. All of the work was done at night when the lights in the rooms were on.
Last night was exhausting, first pinching back larger plants, then spraying babies with Neem for the never ending mite situation, then fertilizing. Feeding the plants was a bear, as Jake’s notes were always sketchy and each set of plants had different requirements at various stages.
Nick stuck the pH tester into the runoff water in the drain dish under the more mature ladies and checked the meter. “Six-point-eight, time for vinegar,” he whispered to himself.
There were at least 15 gallon jugs of fertilizers to choose from in Mike’s garage and he used them all – Tiger Bloom, Big Bloom, Open Sesame, Beastie Bloom, Bio Bud, Bio Weed, you name it. He was always amazed at the amount of stuff needed to get a few pounds out of this small,
The money was good at a hundred bucks a day, but his better side felt guilty about the waste, the runoff and the energy consumed. He read that grow houses use sixty percent more than the average household. And most of the growers he worked for didn’t recycle all those big, plastic jugs of “organic” fertilizer for fear of being found – either at curbside, or at the recycle yard.
Regulations are out the window too, with spraying without a mask or bending over in cramped spaces a given – with no complaint department, and no Christmas ham.
Yes, everything about this gig was bleak with no future, sans a bigger black market grow to tend.
Nick pulled the brochure from the Small Business Center out of his backpack. “Developing a Business Plan,” he read the first entry aloud.
Outside a car door slammed. The dog began to bark wildly. Inching the curtain away from the blinds, he carefully peeked out and held his breath.
I am not writing this because I have an answer to that question. Far from it. I am writing this to try and flush an answer out of my spinning brain.
I have never understood this reality. Medical cannabis seems like a no brainer to me. I just do not get living in a world where other humans would deprive sick people of a safe and effective plant to serve some strange ideology, or to create wealth from its prohibition. When I stood in Santa Cruz in 1996 collecting signatures for Prop. 215, I never imagined over 16 years later we would still be fighting this battle. I have grown old watching patients and providers struggle to find their place in this society. The evolution of the medical cannabis movement has been astonishing at times, but more so, it has been plain weird.
I cannot wrap my head around the concept that because Nixon, the Nation’s most corrupt President, ignored reports that warned of the dangers of prohibition and decided to outlaw weed through the Controlled Substances Act, that some how we are stil trying to reverse that insane decision decades later. What is more appalling is the real lack of a conscious and meaningful conversation on the obvious failures that cannabis prohibition has resulted in.
Law enforcement, elected officials, community leaders, and every citizen should be very concerned with the incredible harm cannabis prohibition has created in our communities. Our world is far less safe as a result of the lucrative black market we have created for illegal weed. We have made criminals out of millions of our friends and neighbors in what we can only call a huge failure by any metric used. We lock up mostly poor people and use “the system” to create income for corporations who have bought our prison system, forced us to be tested regularly for drug use, and who have law enforcement in their pocket. It is an absurd police state we live in. When Nixon first outlawed weed it was the conservatives who thought he was nuts for telling people what they could and could not do to their own bodies. But as these assholes turned archaic laws into huge profits, their understanding of liberty changed and now they only believe in those freedoms for certain issues…like education, healthcare, and finances. On those issues, fuck it…you are on your own. Too much big government, ya’ know? But not for weed…for weed we have all the government you need.
So that is where we are as a society. In some fucking alternate universe where grown ass people are afraid to have an open and honest discussion about weed because we have brainwashed people for decades to think a safe, enjoyable, and helpful plant is evil. Even the rational people who know this is not true do not want to get accused of being a dope lover or, God forbid, a Liberal. We continue to dance the medical weed dance and allow for the “who is sick enough for weed” game to go on. Instead of demanding our society just stop the madness and cut the shit, we allow the squeaky wheels to get the oil, and the prohibitionists have created quite the machine to ensure that their profits from making criminals out of innocent people does not go away. It sucks.
So the “what now?” question is a difficult one to answer. I can assure you the answer is not to run and hide. I can assure you the right thing to do is not to start stuffing the mattress and heading for the hills. It is time for our community to double down on the progress we have made and ensure that the future is not one where we continue to see almost a million people a year in trouble for weed. We must put aside our internal issues to rise up and ready for battle. We continue to see support swell for cannabis freedom and we must not let the continued attacks by those who make their living off weed being illegal stop us. We are the many. We are mighty. Weed is bigger than all of us.
Understand that I, or anyone else, can not truly answer the “what now?” question. Fate is seldom wrong. We all have a responsibility and a duty to work to create the society we want to live in. I do not want to live in a society where we lock up 25% of the world’s prison population, but only have 5% of the actual population. I do not want to live in a society where we allow people to suffer and where we compromise people’s health for money. I do not want to live in a world where we authorize militarized local police forces to violate people’s right to privacy because they smell weed. My WHAT NOW has a lot to do with changing those things, and making our community one where we do not continue to oppress people for their personbal choices. I hope you will join me.
Courtesy of the Chicago Tribune
Clemson freshman wide receiver Sammy Watkins was arrested by Clemson, S.C., police and charged with simple marijuana possession and possession of a controlled substance, the university announced Friday.
Also arrested was men’s soccer player Amadou Tidane Daniel Dia. Both men, 18, were arrested early Friday morning, according to a police report.
Police officials said Watkins’ car was pulled over after officers witnessed the vehicle scrape against a curb on campus. The officer smelled marijuana upon approaching the car and the vehicle was searched. Both athletes have been released on bond.
The controlled substance charge relates to two schedule-2 non-narcotic pills found on Watkins for which he did not have a prescription.
Last season, Watkins led the Tigers with 82 catches for 1,219 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Courtesy of the New York Times
HARTFORD (Reuters) — The Connecticut Senate passed a bill on Saturday legalizing the use of marijuana for medical purposes, with tight restrictions intended to avoid the problems that have plagued some of the other states where it is now legal.
After nearly 10 hours of debate, the Senate voted 21 to 13 in favor of the measure, which has already cleared the House.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, a Democrat, is expected to sign the bill. Once he does, Connecticut will join 16 other states and the District of Columbia in allowing the medical use of marijuana.
Connecticut’s legislation calls for tight regulation and seeks to avoid disagreements with the federal government.
Under the bill, patients and their caregivers must register with the Department of Consumer Protection. In addition, their doctors must certify that there is a medical need — for instance, debilitating diseases like cancer, glaucoma, AIDS, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis or epilepsy — for marijuana to be dispensed.
The medical marijuana would be dispensed only by pharmacists with a special license.
Courtesy of CBS Money Watch
AMSTERDAM — Dutch coffee shops owners went to court Wednesday in a last ditch bid to block a government plan to stop foreigners from buying marijuana in the Netherlands.
Lawyers representing the coffee shops oppose what would be the most significant change in decades to the country’s famed soft drug tolerance: turning marijuana cafes into “members only” clubs open solely to Dutch residents.
Members would only be able to get into the coffee shops by registering for a “weed pass” and the shops would only be allowed a maximum of 2,000 members.
The move comes into force in the south of the country May 1 and is scheduled to roll out nationwide on Jan. 1, 2013.
Whether it will be enforced in Amsterdam, whose coffee shops are a major tourist draw card.
The city has strongly opposed the pass idea and mayor Eberhard van der Laan says he wants to negotiate a workable compromise with the country’s Justice Minister Ivo Opstelten.
Lawyers for the cafe owners told a judge at The Hague District Court that the move — aimed at reining in problems caused by foreign “drug tourists” who buy marijuana in the Netherlands and resell it in neighboring countries — is “clearly discriminatory.”
Lawyer Ilonka Kamans argued that Dutch drugs policy gives citizens “the fundamental right to the stimulant of their choosing” and should not deprive visiting foreigners of the same right.
Another of the coffee shop lawyers, Maurice Veldman, told The Associated Press outside the court that the problem of drug tourism is confined to southern provinces close to the Dutch border with Germany and Belgium and should be tackled with local measures, not nationwide legislation.
But government lawyer Eric Daalder defended the measures.
“Fighting criminality and drug tourism is a reasonable justification” for the crackdown, Daalder told the court.
He said the government wants to bring coffee shops back to what they were originally intended to be: “small local stores selling to local people.”
Marc Josemans of the Easy Going coffee shop in Maastricht said he expects the government will lose because it hasn’t thought through consequences or tried other ways of achieving its aims.
“We understand that this topic is something that’s of interest to tourists, but it’s equally important to our Dutch customers, which is most of them,” he told the AP ahead of Wednesday’s hearing.
“The limits on membership are going to lead to immediate problems in cities that don’t have enough coffee shops.”
Josemans said that if the court’s April 27 ruling goes against them, the Maastricht coffee shops plan to disregard the ruling, forcing the government to prosecute one of them in a test case.
Though the weed pass policy was designed to resolve traffic problems facing southern cities, later studies have predicted that the result of the system would be a return to street dealing and an increase in petty crime — which was the reason for the tolerance policy came into being in the 1970s in the first place.
The cities of Tilburg, Breda and Maastricht have now said they oppose the pass system, though Eindhoven plans to move ahead with it and the eastern city of Dordrecht wants to adopt it in anticipation of an influx of foreign buyers — even though it is not yet required to do so.
Marijuana cafes are a major tourist draw for Amsterdam, with some estimates saying a third of visitors try the drug, perhaps in between visiting the Van Gogh Museum and other major attractions.
Mayor Van der Laan says the Dutch capital doesn’t suffer major problems from pot smokers, and it doesn’t make sense to apply the same policy developed for the border cities here.
According to U.N. data, the use of marijuana by Dutch nationals is in the mid-range of norms for developed countries — higher than in Sweden or Japan but lower than in Britain, France or the United States.
In the face of growing evidence linking marijuana smoking with mental illness, the Dutch government has been placing new restrictions on coffee shops for a decade. It has set limits on the amount of active chemicals that can be contained in weed and hash; refused to renew licenses for shops that cause problems or are located too close to schools; and banned tobacco smoking at coffee shops in 2008.
Corder reported from The Hague.
Courtesy of the Associated Press
AUSTIN, Texas – Country music legend Willie Nelson helped unveil a statue honoring him in downtown Austin by singing his new song “Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die” on Friday, a date long reserved to celebrate marijuana use.
The faint smell of marijuana smoke wafted through a crowd of about 2,000 people as Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell accepted on the privately funded statue as a gift from a private arts group. Organizers said they didn’t intentionally choose April 20 for the event, but once they found out, they scheduled the unveiling at 4:20 p.m. as a tongue-in-cheek reference to Nelson’s openness about his marijuana use and advocacy for its legalization.
The statute stands in front of the Moody Theater, where the Austin City Limits Studio is now located. Nelson, a 10-time Grammy Award winner who has sold more than 40 million copies of his 150 albums, appeared on the first episode of the public television show in 1974.
“He is the man who more than other made Austin the live music capital of the world,” Leffingwell said.
Nelson was born in Abbott, a tiny town about 120 miles north of Austin, but he has lived in Texas’ capital city since 1971.
Longtime friend and fellow singer-songwriter Kris Kristofferson congratulated Nelson, saying he couldn’t have imagined the city honoring Nelson during the early days of what became known as the Cosmic Cowboy movement in music.
Nelson, who wore black jeans, a black T-shirt and a black cowboy hat, is notoriously shy about such honors. Before he began performing, with his sister Bobbie Nelson on piano, he thanked the organizers and joked with the crowd that had gathered to watch the ceremony.
“What time is it?” he joked as the clock approach 4:20 p.m. “I feel it’s getting close to something.”
Nelson’s career was built on not conforming to country music norms. He fused country music with jazz and rock in the early 1970s to create the “outlaw country” movement in Austin and helped give the city a reputation as a music city. His first major hit came when Patsy Cline recorded his song “Crazy” in 1961.
The monument shows Nelson in a relaxed, standing pose and holding his guitar to the side as if in conversation. Philadelphia sculptor Clete Shields said the leaning pose and heroic scale are intended to show Nelson’s openness and whimsical side while honoring his tremendous influence on music and the city.
“We wanted to get a timeless Willie, an ageless Willie,” Shields said.
Nelson was also a founder of the Farm Aid movement to help family farmers and has appeared in 37 films and television shows, ranging from a starring role in the 1982 western “Barbarosa” to making a cameo in the 1998 Dave Chappelle stoner comedy “Half Baked.”
The unveiling was fitting on April 20 – or 4/20, which is slang for smoking marijuana – a day pro-marijuana legalization forces have used for annual gatherings to demonstrate in support of the cause. Nelson is a well-known advocate of legalizing marijuana and has been arrested several times for possessing it.
The Willie Monument is the third statue put up by Capital Area Statues Inc., a group of prominent Texas writers, film producers and musicians. One of the others honors three Texas writers and is located at Barton Springs and the other honors the woman who fired a cannon to prevent the removal of the state archives from Austin. Capital Area Statues was formed to add more statues in Austin’s public places and raises money for them by selling scale models of the work.
Lawrence Wright, one of the group’s founders, said April 20 was chosen because Nelson was scheduled to perform at a tribute to Johnny Cash in Austin that night, not because of the counterculture significance.
“We didn’t know anything about it; it seems everyone else knew the story on this,” Wright said, laughing. He said he didn’t think Nelson was doing it intentionally either, but said the group decided to embrace the city’s unofficial motto of “Keep Austin Weird” by scheduling the unveiling at 4:20 p.m.
by Tomika Anderson, CNN
(CNN) — Seeing that Rihanna shared photos of herself partying at Coachella last weekend, it makes sense that the singer isn’t concerned about reactions.
MTV posted images Thursday of the pop star messing around with some sort of substance while at the music fest, writing along with it, “Yikes. @Rihanna’s marijuana photos from Coachella spark controversy.”
The tweet’s since been deleted, but not before Rihanna could write back, “@MTV Yikes… @rihanna ran out of f***s to give.”
“Well played,” was the music network’s response. (Well, would you look at that? A truce, just in time for 4/20.)
Rihanna’s been shrugging off the responses to her Coachella photo session all week. On Tuesday, she appeared to write in response to fan comments about the photos, “I’m crazy, and I don’t pretend to be anything else.”
by Jim Spellman, CNN
Boulder, Colorado (CNN) – Steps taken to thwart a public marijuana smoking event Friday at the University of Colorado appear to have worked. Protesters who gathered at a quad on the campus for the customary 4:20 light-up time dispersed without an apparent toke.
In past years the Norlin Quad on the campus of the University of Colorado at Boulder had drawn 10,000 to 12,000 people for the event, which falls on April 20 (4/20). Marijuana smokers traditionally wait until 4:20 in the afternoon to light up as a celebration of marijuana culture and a protest against drug policy.
This year, the school closed the campus to outsiders and spread an unpleasant-smelling, fish-based fertilizer on the quad before enclosing it in yellow police tape and stationing police officers around the perimeter.
Hours before the planned event, three students who crossed police lines and went onto the field were led away in plastic handcuffs.
Several hundred students gathered around the quad as the time approached. A man began shouting into the crowd, becoming its de facto leader. When asked his name he replied, “It doesn’t matter.”
“Alright, it’s 4:20 who is ready to get weird?” he shouted.
The crowd cheered.
“Who is with me?” he called out.
The crowd seemed to expect him light up a joint, but instead he dashed under the police tape and ran across the quad as police gave chase on foot.
None of his encouragers followed.
Police ultimately nabbed him and carted him off in plastic handcuffs.
Their leader gone, no one in the crowd seemed to know quite what to do. No one could be seen smoking marijuana and by the less legendary time of 4:30 the crowd had gone on their way.
The number 420 has become synonymous with all things marijuana, but exactly why is less clear.
Whatever the number’s origin, “420″ events across the country have become opportunities to advocate the legalization of marijuana. The expansion of medical marijuana in California, Colorado and other states is making efforts to legalize marijuana more mainstream and making more people comfortable coming out and smoking pot in public, according to Chris Conrad, curator of the Oaksterdam Cannabis Museum in Oakland, California.
Boulder’s is one of the biggest pro-pot rallies, and attendance had grown from year to year, according to university spokesman Bronson Hilliard.
“People fly in from around the country to participate,” Hilliard explained. “We don’t understand why they have to come to (this) campus.”
Prior to the Colorado event, university police spokesman Ryan Huff said the smoke-ins have become too dangerous.
“It’s hard to keep track of that many people high on marijuana,” he said.
Why these marijuana advocates congregate each year on April 20 is a bit of a mystery steeped in the hazy lore of the American pot culture. Some have said 420 is a local police code for someone smoking marijuana. Others have said it refers to the number of active chemicals in marijuana.
Another theory holds that 420 is a nod to Bob Dylan and his 1966 song “Rainy Day Women #12 & 35″ which contains the lyric, “Everybody must get stoned.” Multiply 12 by 35 and you get 420.
Conrad said the leading theory traces the beginning of 420 to the early 1970s when a group of students at San Rafael High School in California would meet at 4:20 each afternoon to smoke marijuana.
“It (was) the time between when classes were over and their parents came home,” he said. “The number 420 signifies that somebody is smoking marijuana right now and it becomes a clarion call for others to join.”
According to Conrad, the story goes that the San Rafael teens named themselves “the Waldos” and would meet very day at 4:20 p.m. near a statue of Louis Pasteur to smoke joints.
A website that claims to be associated with the Waldos declares them to be “The Founding Fathers of 420,” although it doesn’t appear to be current. Attempts to reach the owners of the site were unsuccessful.
No matter what the origin, the number now signifies the pro-marijuana culture: Craiglist ads for roommates, or for even so-called “casual encounters,” often note “420 Friendly.” An episode of the animated TV show Family Guy called “420″ involves a plot in which marijuana becomes legalized and 420 Magazine is devoted to marijuana culture. The 2003 California State Senate bill that became the law that established medical marijuana in the state was called SB420.
What began as a secret code word between stoners has gone mainstream.
“It’s a form of shorthand essentially. As far as being a secret code, it’s one of the least secret,” explained Conrad with a laugh.
I have spent the last couple of weeks organizing and fundraising for the Patients Access to Regulated Medical Cannabis Act of 2012 in Sac County, CA. This effort will lift a ban there that makes any patient who currently grows cannabis an outlaw in their community. The proposed initiative also allows for about 20 registered dispensaries to serve the unincorporated part of the county, which is a huge land mass with over 500,000 people, which are currently forced to drive long distances or access their medicine on the black market. It is also going to be a huge victory for medical cannabis, as it will show that our community WILL coome together and use our civic responsibilities to pass laws that represent the true will of the people. But in order for any of this to happen WE NEED MONEY!
In the last year Sacramento County lost over 100 dispensaries that created dozens of jobs and served tens of thousands of qualified patients. They have also lost the right to cultivate personally, or as part of a collective. Medical cannabis is banned outright there, with no exceptions. It is a devastating blow to the cannabis community, and an injustice of mega-proportion. This initiative will roll back this injustice and create a legal framework for patient access to personal choice medicines. When deciding whether to support an effort like this, I would think it was a no brainer; but alas, not all humans are create equal. My experiences have been more difficult than expected in some areas, but refreshing and inspiring in others. I guess it just shows that in this world we have three types of folks…the good…the bad…and the stupid.
Let us start with the good. I have been extremely lucky to work with some true cannabis warriors, who understand the magnitude of the effort at hand and have stepped up to help make this idea into a reality. Amazing people, groups and collectives have put their money, time, energy, and resources where their mouth is and have helped us get this thing off of the ground. The great ones never hesitate for a moment to do the right thing and put what is right for the community before what is most profitable for them. These folks are the heroes…the good guys, if you will. Some are gooder than others, but when you are working to raise $100,000 it is hard to split hairs and say this guy is better than the other because he has done more or given more. It is all relative and debatable; but the fact is that folks know in their hearts if they are doing what they can really, or if they are just doing the bare minimum. That is between them and their karma, but the big magnet in the sky will surely bless those who are the good and the universe will reward them for their actions. The fact that people are willing to step up and put their resources on the line is inspiring to me, and I look forward to becoming better friends and associates with the folks who I now know are the pure of heart and willing to be soldiers in this army for cannabis freedom. It is relatively clear to me who is who at this time, so it is easier for me to understand the landscape and not waste time on those who are simply unwilling to do what it takes to make the world a better place. So to the good out there, I just wanted to say “Thanks.” It is you guys who have kept me from losing my fucking mind completely, and for that I am very grateful.
Then there are the bad. It is no secret that there are some bad operators in the medical cannabis game. There are bad players in ANY game, but the lack of meaningful regulation and the possibility of fame and fortune have brought more seemingly bad folks to the table than I am really comfortable with. In my recent fundraising experiences I have been downright flabbergasted at some of the self-centered and egotistical responses I have gotten when asking people to contribute to the cause to lift the ban and expand safe access. For instance, as I went door-to-door at collectives yesterday to sell tickets to our BBQ Bonanza Fundraiser, a super fun event that goes directly to gathering signatures for our initiative, I was taken aback by some of the responses I got. I went to a collective and spoke to a person named “Billy.” I told him about the fundraiser and the initiative and how it would directly help the patients he claims to be serving. His response was a flat “We are not interested.” HUH? How is this possible, I thought? How could a person who runs a dispensary in Sacramento, who serves hundreds of patients from the unincorporated county not be “interested” in an effort that returns his patients’ right to grow their own medicine and allows them to have access points closer to their home, so they can save time and resources in accessing their medicine. I was astonished at the response, and even had to ask twice…”Are you sure?” The response was unwavering..”Yup.” I point this out not just because this person did not want to buy tickets to the event, but because several other local activists have told me that these folks have also made statements to the effect of “We do not want places to open in the county. Our business is just picking up again.” It is these types of self-centered and inconsiderate statements that make me wonder about some people. Obviously some do not have the game required to compete on a level playing field and feel their interests are better served by forcing people to drive long distances to spend their money with them, rather than having safe and convenient access where they live. Super. I am not sure how people like this sleep at night, as my theory is that patients deserve options and there is enough market for everyone. Here is the first clue…If you have good medicine, good prices, and a friendly and caring staff you can succeed anywhere, regardless of how stiff the competition is. Obviously, anyone who is so worried about their success that they would not support, and seemingly work to undermine, an effort to lift a ban on their own patients right to cultivate because of the thought that they might actually have to step their game up to compete, likely is missing one of those key elements. Maybe their medicine is lacking, as often the great growers gravitate towards collectives that treat them well. Or maybe their service stinks. Who knows? God knows these cats are not alone, but are representative of a larger underlying issue in our community….the desire for people to get ahead at the expense of others.
It is shameful really, and breaks my heart to think there are actually people who would sacrifice an effort to lift a ban on local patients rights in hopes of gaining market share for themselves. I am sure the karma faerie will be buy to meet these folks soon enough though, so I digress. Just know that there are people out there who would sacrifice your rights for their own benefit, and that this is very sad. When you go to pick up your medicine, do yourself a favor and look around. Does it look like your collective is a group that supports efforts to advance cannabis freedom and/or goodwill in the community, or does it just look like a weed store who wants nothing more than to sell you their goods and use their resources to benefit their own. That is a big deal. If we, as Americans, took more time to research where we spend our money based on the conduct of the companies we patronize, chances are a lot of these companies would do more to make the world a better place, and medical cannabis is no different. I have not shopped at Target in months because of their political affiliations and their policies, and while it can be inconvenient to go elsewhere, it makes me feel better about where I spend my money and in turn makes it more difficult for Target to spend my money on their causes that I do not agree with. So if you look around your collective and notice that it is devoid of any signs of activism, support, and outreach to make the world a better place for YOU, the patient, find a new collective whose morals are more in line with your own. It is really that simple.
Then there is the stupid. Some might say you have to be stupid to even be in the medical cannabis game…or at least a little crazy. I mean who wakes up everyday to go to work in an industry where any day armed gunmen can take you to prison, and where you constantly have to defend your right to even exist from the evils of cannabis prohibition. It can be a difficult existence at times, but that is no excuse to be stupid though. In an industry like this, people need to be educated and intellectually curious. Ignorance can get you into some hot water, as we have seen time and time again. Many are just too caught up in their own mess to see the bigger picture, I suppose. It amazes me sometimes that folks cannot see that we are all an inter-connected group of people that share mutual goals and similar objectives. We are all fighting for the right to exist and be contributing members of our community…at least most share those goals. For a person not to make a real effort to understand how their piece makes up the whole is unacceptable. When we, as a community, do not understand how our actions affect others and how others’ efforts can help or hinder the people we serve, we lose.
This industry is WAY deeper than selling medicine. This is a political and social fight for justice that tears at the fabric of our society. We are on the front lines of a battle for the hearts and minds of our community. It is our duty to be an active and informed member of that community. So in my recent experiences in fundraising for a very worthy cause, I guess I have been a bit taken aback by some folks pure lack of knowledge. Now I do not expect everyone in medical cannabis to be as obsessed with cannabis policy and politics as I am. Very few are. But I would expect for people to know the basics about the law and be aware of what is happening in their own communities. Many do, but there is definitely a constituency of those who do not, which makes me feel a bit dismayed. I almost feel responsible. Have I not done enough to reach out to people and to offer my knowledge for them to be more informed? It is almost like when I used to tutor college students in English at Laney College. There were some cats in college who literally could not make a sentence, much less a paragraph, and the were in college. I could only think to myself, “The system has failed these people.” I somewhat feel like our system has failed many operators, or that the operators have just failed to make any effort to be more knowledgable. That is a harsh reality, and unfortunately for the rest of us, a very dangerous situation. We, as a movement, are often held to our lowest common denominator in the press and in the court of public opinion. So when ill-informed people operate organizations that have the ability to seriously damage the reputation of an entire industry, one can see how there might be a real problem. Most of the public does not discern between good and bad operators. All they hear is that this stupid pot club did some really stupid shit and they think “Those dispensaries are bad for the community.” If people do not see that and work to be more informed, then I suppose the movement will continue to be hampered by the ignorance of those who make up the ranks of the stupid.
Fortunately, there are MANY very good people in this movement and I have been heartened by those experiences. Sacramento is a great microcosm of the entire state and the entire industry. The community is learning to come together to solve the bigger problems and it seems as if some of the inherent division is going away. Nothing like Federal interference to make people put aside differences and be more open to working together…myself included. I have come to learn that I do not dislike some people as much as I did, and that some others were not as great as I once thought they were; but overall I have been impressed with my experiences and have learned a hell of a lot. Each person and organization that make up the fabric of this community are unique and interesting in their own right. But when you can step back and assess the community as a whole you see a mosaic of beauty and inspiration that can touch your heart. Sure, it is tattered and torn in some areas; but the beauty of this industry, and the people who are willing to put their asses on the line to make it happen is inspiring. Yes…there are the good, the bad, and the stupid. But as a whole, there is mostly the good and the stupid are coming around, as we educate and inform them of their duties and responsibilities to activism and social change. I look forward to working with these folks and helping them to grow in their journey. We should all be interested in seeing the movement grow and grow up. Together we are a mighty force to be reckoned with. Never forget that.
If you are good…be better. If you are bad…get good. If you are stupid…get educated.
On this Easter I sit here thinking about the parable of Jesus’ dying and then rising from the dead to save his people. It is a common story woven throughout the fabric of our religions and beliefs across the world. Regardless of your religion or thoughts on Easter, the story is a valuable one. Jesus was persecuted for his beliefs to the point they actually killed him, but the inherent good of the universe could not be stopped; and three days later Jesus arose from the dead. Why is this an important story? Because it is meant to teach us that no matter how much the evils of this world can seem to overtake us and bring down our spirits that our existence and purpose transcend the secular world, and that the spirit and powers of the universe trump those who would use their powers to try and overcome what is good and right in the world.
Now I am not saying Richard is comparable to Jesus in any way, of course. That would be silly. But the story of the crucifixion and the rising from the dead is an important story for our community to understand in this current cannabis climate; and what happened to Richard Lee this week parallels the injustices that Jesus faced in his day and age. The reason Jesus was arrested was that chief priests and pharisees saw him as a threat to their self-proclaimed authority. That is right. Jesus and I are both convicted felons, so that helps me to feel better. But can you see how Jesus, like Richard and thousands of other people being persecuted for cannabis, was convicted and tried because his thoughts and sermons threatened the core power structure of the time. Richard also has posed a threat to the current power structure by succeeding in changing the dialogue and showing the world that not only is cannabis safe, enjoyable and helpful, but it is also a positive benefit for our society.
Cannabis itself poses a huge threat to the power structure of this country and world because it opens people’s minds up and gives them the ability to think more clearly for themselves. Prohibition of cannabis is one of the biggest lies that our society has ever told, and we have ruined millions of lives as a result of these deceptions. Richard’s work has made it much harder for these oppressors to carry on with their lies and their profitable drug war. Richard’s Oaksterdam University has trained over 4,000 people to understand, love, and respect cannabis. Those 4,000 folks are taking their knowledge and passing that on to others, and thus a wildfire has been created. It has been so awesome to watch. I remember when Rich came up with the genius of Oaksterdam U, in a small room on 15th St. It was more of a publicity stunt that was meant to show the world that the cannabis industry was legit; but what was born was one of the greatest ideas that cannabis reform has ever known. Oaksterdam has brought cannabis WAY out of the closet and into the living rooms of middle America. Which is why when armed gunmen stormed the OU castle the other day over a hundred of this industry’s brightest and best came out to defend her honor. We did not have militarized forces, but we had our voice and our presence. At the end of the day, while the thugs made off with plants and evidence, we came away the victors- and we have Richard Lee to thank for that.
How did we win you might say? Read the paper. Watch the news. Google Oaksterdam right now. Almost EVERY story is slanted in the favor of the cannabis community and seems to question the validity of our Nation’s continued failed war on cannabis. Because Richard pioneered so many aspects of this industry, he is a difficult target for them to understand. He is more than a weedhead. He is more than a patient. He is more than an activist. He is more than a businessman. He is more than a leader. He is more than your run-of-the-mill weedlebrity. He is a fucking cannabis icon. Richard Lee is a real life cannabis hero and I am glad to know him.
What I love about Richard Lee is that regardless of the topic or the strength of the opposition, he ALWAYS tells the fucking truth. That is rare in this day and age. Most people can blow in the wind for one reason or another; but not Richard. He will not bullshit you and he will not sugar coat things. He understands the value of an honest dialogue and is not afraid to have the tough conversations. I have a hell of a lot of respect for the way Richard goes about his business. There is a cool and calming confidence that I have always admired from afar and have worked to emulate. Richard has always been a powerhouse in cannabis reform, and there are many times when we have not seen eye-to-eye on things, but I have always respected his opinion because I knew it was well-thought and researched. I knew that Richard had done his homework. Regardless of where we personally sit regarding a particular issue you can be guaranteed Richard knows his shit.
His vision and implementation has been astonishing to watch in the place we all now know as Oaksterdam. Richard Lee is the Mayor of Oaksterdam, whether he wants the job or not. No one has done more to revitalize an entire section of a major city than Rich, his crew, and the other many soldiers who put their asses on the line and made this part of Oakland more legendary than Amsterdam. His effort to legalize cannabis through Prop. 19 was a paradigm shift in the way our community views cannabis. People know that it is just a matter of time before we cross that threshold the victors and the drug war criminals are held responsible for their actions.
So maybe we should dub what happened this week GOOD MONDAY, and we will also have a divine resurrection on whatever the cannabis equivalent of three days is (stoner time). While our community is down and a little out right now, we are bigger than the evils of this government that clings to power in an effort to control a large portion of our society that enjoys a safe, effective and helpful plant. The first Monday of April every year I will now observe GOOD MONDAY, the day the evil bastards crossed the line so far that they changed the world and helped us to win the battle for cannabis freedom. We are in the final days of this prohibition and they know it. We know it. The whole fucking world knows it. The toothpaste is out of the tube and it will be nearly impossible to put back. You can thank Richard Lee for getting a hell of a lot of the toothpaste out of that tube.
The bastards tried to crucify cannabis users on GOOD MONDAY. We rose up to meet them and let the world know that they cannot kick in the door of one of our most cherished institutions without a fight, and without having to answer for their actions. They have lost the battle. I would say 95% of the stories of the Oaksterdam raid have called bullshit on the continued waste of resources by the Feds and have praised OU’s work.
The school shooting and murder of 7 innocent people in Oakland that day at a different college juxtaposed the injustice for the world to see. Why are we chasing weedheads around and not focusing on real issues, like illegal guns? The world has just about had it with the dumb bullshit and the wasteful policies that are cannabis prohibition. The raid of Richard Lee and his historic institution is a huge black eye of the Federal policy of interfering with regulated medical cannabis. It shows that our priorities in this country are all fucked up. While hundreds of heavily armed federal zealots performed a military style raid on a man and a school that have hurt no one and have helped so many, so many died at the hands of gun violence that day across town, and the world watched in disgust. Once again, Richard Lee was leading the charge and educating the world on why cannabis prohibition is not working.
So MANY THANKS to Richard Lee and I look forward to fighting in the trenches with him until we end this fucking prohibition once and for all.
Here is a message and call to action from Richard himself:
Dear Friend,On Monday, April 2, my school — Oaksterdam University in Oakland — was raided by the DEA, IRS, and US Marshals. Oaksterdam provides training to the medical cannabis industry, and is fully compliant with state and local law.President Obama promised at the beginning of his administration to respect state medical marijuana laws. He has broken this promise time and time again — and the consequences have been devastating.This was a senseless act of intimidation. But I’ve been an activist far too long to become intimidated — and with the majority of Americans and common sense on our side, I know this is a fight we can win.With our government trillions in debt, why is our government using taxpayer dollars to come after me, Oaksterdam, and the thousands of patients who need medical marijuana just to get through the day?Tell President Obama and the DEA: Enough is enough. Keep your campaign promise, and stop the raids on the medical cannabis industry!
Thanks for your support,
What’s the difference between a traditional cookbook and a Cannabis cookbook? Dosage and a “Legal Heads Up” are two obvious distinctions.
In fact, dosages in Cannabis as medicine is a deal-breaker for many divided on the topic of good medicine vs. plants for pleasure, and why big Pharma is chomping at the bit to get a piece of the pie – with good reason – the stuff works.
Chef and author Cheri Sicard penned “The Cannabis Gourmet Cookbook” after discovering Cannabis at the never-to-late-to-medicate age of 40. She went from a closet smoker to an all-out activist within six months of discovering its benefits, which is a common tale in the Canna world.
“There is no such thing as a “typical Marijuana user,” Sicard said, repeating an old mantra. “We are everyone – all ages, races, and all political persuasions.”
Sicard suffered a good portion of her life from a medical condition of chronic nausea with digestive issues. Already a professional recipe developer and cookbook author, Sicard easily fell into the role of Ganja Chef with her first effort, and is already working on the second edition.
With edibles barely covered by city, county or state ordinances, the cookbook goes out on a limb as a proponent of concentrates – ground Hash in particular – a misunderstood ingredient often frowned on by authorities as a “manufactured substance.” It works well in many foods, without the strong Canna flavor found in oil-based concentrates such as butters or oils.
Research indicates there is more medicine in ingesting than smoking, and patients are hungry for education on how to do it, but flavor has always been a downfall of Cannabis and the sensitive palate.
Sicard took on the task head-on, creating tasty dishes such as “Apple and Cornbread-Stuffed Pork Chops,” “Asian Shrimp Salad Rolls,” and “Chocolate Peanut Butter Tarts,” with the flavor of the food, not the medicine, shining through.
Humboldt County Chef Lauren Sarabia, owner of Comfort of Home Catering, is a Locavore and co-Author of “Locally Delicious: Recipes and Resources for Eating on the North Coast.” Sarabia, who already markets her own line of Cannabis salves, was more than happy to test a few recipes from the cookbook in her beautiful home in the woods. Using all local and organic ingredients, she prepared “Cornish Game Hens with Peach, Sausage, and Rice Stuffing,” with a side dish of “Over-Stuffed Twice-Baked Potatoes.”
Both dishes called for ground Hash and it’s important to note that Hash is not measured by the teaspoon-full, but by weight, so a handy gram scale would be advised for proper dosage.
Aside from insisting on local and fresh ingredients, Chef Sarabia observed that Sicard’s recipes were easy to prepare, and includes recipes for making butter and oil.
“All the ingredients were easy to obtain,” Sarabia shared. “In Humboldt County we grow a lot of our own food and I can for winter. We had peaches left over from our summer harvest and homemade peach preserves to use in the stuffing – and, of course, we used local Humboldt derived Cannabis concentrates – the best in the world!”
Sarabia said she Loved the use of orange juice in the rice, and was able to use Cara Cara oranges – a winter ripening citrus with a red center and wonderful flavor.
“Citrus in the rice is inspiring, and I was thinking that rose water might be a nice addition, as well,” she added.
Sarabia cooked the hens longer than the recipe allotted for a rich, brown presentation and enhanced flavor.
“This cookbook gives easy ways to ingest cannabis,” Sarabia surmised. “The flavors of the other ingredients totally hid the flavor of the Cannabis, and that night sleep came easily.”
For desert this author prepared the “Mini Pineapple Upside-Down Cakes,” but in a cake pan rather than individual custard cups. The cake was so moist it was like pudding, and while you could taste the Cannabis in the butter, it wasn’t the typical, overwhelming green found in most Canna baked goods.
This recipe called for butter and I made a batch to Sicard’s specifications in a crock-pot, using water to absorb the color of the Cannabis – giving a cleaner, lighter color and flavor.
Sicard’s past effort, “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Easy Freezer Meals,” came in handy for her gourmet Cannabis cookbook, as freezing and storing medicated foods is imperative. I mean, I could have eaten that entire cake it was so good, but it is medicine, after all, and saving portions for later is much needed.
That kind of control is what Sicard said preparing your own medicine is all about.
“When you make it yourself you control the amount of medication as well as the type, so you can really customize the edibles for your specific needs and conditions,” Sicard explained. “You also have control of the rest of the recipe, meaning it can be customized for your needs and tastes. Whether you have Diabetes, are a Vegan, or need gluten free, it’s no problem.”
For those who have lost the fine art of cooking at home, making medicine just might be the way back into the kitchen. Chef Sarabia agrees, “I enjoyed looking over the recipes in the book and I would definitely make most of them with or without the cannabis.”
“The Cannabis Gourmet Cookbook” is self-published by Z-Dog Media, LLC, and can be purchased online via its Web site, www.cannabischeri.com for $24.95.
by Chris Roberts, SF Weekly’s The Snitch
Not every innocuous schoolboy joke becomes a worldwide cultural phenomenon, but this one — 4/20, 4-20, four twenty — has had legs since it began 41 years ago at San Rafael High in Marin County.
This year, the universal code for marijuana use is being co-opted by everyone’s favorite “hacktivist” collective, the masked men and women at Anonymous. The group announced an “operation” for this Friday called Operation Cannabis, stylized as #OpCannabis.
It may be worthwhile to note that #OpCannabis first appeared on the web last summer, when a pair of YouTube videos claiming association with Anonymous appeared in August. Since then, Anonymous announced Phase 1 of Operation Cannabis last week, with some website hacking announced as Phase 2 over the weekend.
In its latest OpCannabis video, Anonymous decries marijuana’s subjugation by the corporate and political establishment, and urges participants in the operation to go visible with turning their social media profiles green. That’s not quite like hacking into government websites or shutting down a few BART trains — two actions Anonymous has been associated with recently.
But it may be enough. And what can the general citizenry do to assist, aside from attend drum circles, visit a favorite medical cannabis dispensary, or flaunt the magic plant?
Some might call this slacktivism — to sign a petition demanding President Barack Obama undo the War on Drugs, reschedule marijuana, and halt the attacks on state-legal medical marijuana as well as turn their Facebook profiles green for the day. But consider this: Even with the full legal protection offered by medical marijuana states, this is a substance that can get a person removed from employment, disqualify them from housing, and otherwise wreck a life if the authorities so decree.
Would it be so easy if everyone who disagreed with the country’s marijuana laws chose to go visible? Considering the movement favoring legalization of marijuana in America appear inching closer to a majority every year, probably not. But the code words used in 1971 to gather teenagers in front of a statue continue today in furtive language and general uneasiness with owning marijuana use. As blogger and activist Mickey Martin put it, marijuana users are still in the closet.
The metaphor is fitting: The modern-day medical marijuana movement was born out of the general LGBT movement, where gay men dying from AIDS found relief in marijuana. That led to Dennis Peron’s first cannabis clubs in the Castro District, even before the establishment of the 1996 Compassionate Use Act.
Gay rights only came after LGBT people came out of the closet. Will marijuana follow the same script?
Quite possibly. At the very least, it’ll keep the conversation going — though lately, the federal government’s been its own hatchet man.
Thus far, websites have been hacked, YouTube videos have been uploaded, and cannabis smokers have been asked to turn their social media profiles green. But what else can we expect?
Courtesy of the Huffington Post
Your plans to celebrate 4/20 this Friday could actually make the government some money, if only such activities were legal. That’s according to a bunch of economists, and some prominent ones too.
More than 300 economists, includingthree nobel laureates, have signed a petition calling attention to the findings of a paper by Harvard economist Jeffrey Miron, which suggests that if the government legalized marijuana it would save $7.7 billion annually by not having to enforce the current prohibition on the drug. The report added that legalization would save an additional $6 billion per year if the government taxed marijuana at rates similar to alcohol and tobacco.
That’s as much as $13.7 billion per year, but it’s still minimal when compared to thefederal deficit, which hit $1.5 trillion last year, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
While the economists don’t directly call for pot legalization, the petition asks advocates on both sides to engage in an “open and honest debate” about the benefits of pot prohibition.
“At a minimum, this debate will force advocates of current policy to show that prohibition has benefits sufficient to justify the cost to taxpayers, foregone tax revenues, and numerous ancillary consequences that result from marijuana prohibition,” the petition states.
The economic benefits of pushing pot into mainstream commerce have long been cited as a reason to make the drug legal, and the economists’ petition comes as government officials at both the federal and local levels are looking for ways to raise funds. The majority of Americans say they prefer cutting programs to increasing taxes as a way to deal with the nation’s budget deficit — marijuana legalization would seemingly give the government money wtihout doing either.
Economist Stephen Easton wrote inBusinessweek that the financial benefits of pot legalization may be even bigger than Miron’s findings estimate. Based on the amount of money he thinks it would take to produce and market legal marijuana, combined with an estimate of marijuana consumers, Eatson guesses that legalizing the drug could bring in $45 to $100 billion per year. Easton’s name doesn’t appear on the petition.
Some argue that the economic argument for pot legalization is already proven by the benefits states and cities have reaped from making medical marijuana legal. Advocates for Colorado’s medical marijuana industry argue that legalization has helped to jumpstart a stalled economy in cities like Boulder and Denver, according to nj.com.
by Lauren Fox, US News & World Report
President Barack Obama touted a progressive attitude on medical marijuana on the campaign trail, but since taking office, Obama’s administration has hardened its stance and supporters of the drug are crying foul on the flip-flop.
“I think the basic concept of using medical marijuana for the same purposes and with the same controls as other drugs prescribed by doctors, I think that’s entirely appropriate,” Obama said. “I’m not going to be using Justice Department resources to try to circumvent state laws on this issue.”
But the numbers tell another story.
Since October 2009, Americans for Safe Access, a group committed to legalizing medical marijuana, estimates the Justice Department has carried out 170 raids on dispensaries and cultivation facilities in nine states.
“Every time a dispensary is shut down, there are literally hundreds of people waking up that day wondering where they will get their medication,” saysKris Hermes, the spokesperson for the Americans for Safe Access.
Hermes says he’s confident that the number of raids since the president took office is actually around 200.
“He’s broadened his attack,” Hermes says. “Until Obama was elected, George W. Bush had the most aggressive posture toward medical marijuana…he’s been even more aggressive than his predecessor.”
Americans for Safe Access estimates that during the entire eight years of the Bush administration, roughly 200 raids were carried out, something Hermes says the Obama administration has accomplished in less than four years.
Asked why the Obama administration had been so aggressive in pursuing federal drug law violations involving medical marijuana, the DOJ told Whispers, “Sorry, we do not have statistics to support [that accusation].”
Pro-marijuana groups say Obama has expanded the attack on medical marijuana from DOJ to a wide array of other federal agencies, including the Internal Revenue Service, which has lead dozens of audits of medical marijuana businesses. The IRS has also aggressively penalized medical marijuana businesses for selling an illegal drug by requiring the businesses to pay federal taxes on gross income, not net income, eliminating the tax break most businesses receive from deducting payroll costs.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development released a memo in 2011that allows public housing agencies to evict tenants who use medical marijuana. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives also issued a memo in September banning the commercial sale of firearms to medical marijuana patients.
There are 16 states and the District of Columbia that have their own medical marijuana laws.
And experts say U.S. attorneys’ threats against local and state officials who enact medical marijuana laws in their states have even slowed down the implementation of new laws in Arizona, Montana, Rhode Island, and Washington.
“It’s a weaselly threat, but it has scared a few governors,” says Bill Piper, the director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance, a group committed to finding alternatives to current drug laws. “The intensity and multi-agency assault is far worse than the Bush administration and the Clinton administration.”
by Carly Schwarz, Huffington Post
SAN FRANCISCO — Hundreds of medical marijuana activists gathered on the steps of City Hall Tuesday to support California’s multi-million dollar cannabis industry, under siege since the federal government launched an aggressive crackdown last fall.
A handful of local legislators and cannabis patients addressed the heated crowd before marching down the street to the federal courthouse to address U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag, who has championed anti-marijuana actions in the Bay Area.
“We’re patients, not criminals!” the protesters chanted, along with cries of “DEA, go away!” and “Fire Haag!”
“Today, we are all green,” said San Francisco Board of Supervisors President David Chiu in a fiery speech. Chiu and fellow city supervisors who attended the event pledged to expedite the permitting process for local pot shops that have been forced to close and wish to reopen elsewhere.
California’s medical marijuana industry has been struggling since federal prosecutors began targeting dispensaries in October. More than 100 California busineses have been forced to shut down, and hundreds more have received threatening letters claiming their landlords could be jailed if they continue to operate.
Five cannabis clubs in San Francisco have shuttered, leaving employees without work and patients without access to their medicine. Haag sent the same threatening letters to roughly a dozen more (some dispensaries won’t go on the record as to whether they had received a warning). On Monday, federal authorities raidedOakland’s world-famous Oaksterdam University and the home of its founder, Richard Lee, one of the state’s most outspoken medical marijuana activists.
The U.S. attorneys’ actions mark a sharp departure from the Obama administration’s 2009 Ogden Memo, which declared that prosecutions in states that have legalized the plant for medicinal purposes would not be a priority. Advocates argue the federal government should direct its energy elsewhere.
“It’s a total waste of federal resources,” Stephanie Tucker, spokesperson for theSan Francisco Medical Cannabis Task Force, told The Huffington Post. “They’re attacking a peaceful, regulated community and it’s wasting money. Shame on them.”
Though the drug remains illegal under federal law, California became the first state to legalize cannabis for medicinal purposes when voters passed Proposition 215 in 1996. Studies have shown that California’s medical marijuana industry generatesupwards of $100 million in annual tax revenue.
Haag has remained relatively mum on the issue, repeatedly citing dispensaries’ proximities to schools and parks as justification for the crackdown. “I hope that those who believe marijuana stores should be left to operate without restriction can step back for a moment and understand that not everyone shares their point of view,” she told HuffPost in a statement. “People are deeply troubled by the tremendous growth of the marijuana industry and its influence on their communities.”
But advocates said they believe Haag’s argument thin. Cathy Smith, co-founder and manager of HopeNet, a dispensary in San Francisco’s SoMa neighborhood, told HuffPost that the neighborhood has become dramatically safer in the nine years since her business opened its doors. Crime has dropped significantly, largely due to the increased presence of lighting and surveillance cameras her store installed in order to adhere to the city’s strict regulations surrounding cannabis clubs.
“Nine years ago I wouldn’t be open past 5 p.m. because I was worried about our female customers,” Smith said. “Now we’re open until 9. The neighborhood has improved that much.”
So much, in fact, that a few years ago, a private school opened around the corner. And now HopeNet’s landlords have received their own threatening letter from Haag because of the shop’s proximity to that school.
“Haag says she can’t tell the difference between a good club and a bad club,” Smith said. “I’m here to show her the difference. We are the club that is different; there’s no question about it.”
In addition to selling medical marijuana and related supplies, HopeNet offers a series of weekly community events, including a veterans’ support group, a ladies’ afternoon tea and various life skills workshops. “We like to think of ourselves as a family,” Smith said. “We don’t just sell pot here — we help people.”
And the family is willing to fight. Supporters of Smith’s business have sent hundreds of handwritten letters to Haag’s office demanding she back off, and others have tried (unsuccessfully) to schedule in-person meetings.
Similar to the HopeNet’s community’s outpouring of support, he actions of Haag and her counterparts have served to strengthen the ties of pot proponents across the Bay Area. “It’s only emboldening us and bringing us together,” said Tom Angell, spokesman for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, a coalition of active and retired police officers, prosecutors and judges who actively speak out against the drug war. “People who used to compete in the marketplace are now standing shoulder to shoulder.”
Advocates have drawn the endorsements of a fair share of legislators, as well. California Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-S.F.) recently introduced a measurethat would establish uniform regulations for pot shops throughout the state based on San Francisco’s strict and successful standards for operating dispensaries. On Monday, a coalition of lawmakers from five states penned an open letter to the Obama administration demanding an end to the crackdown.
Meanwhile, as some San Francisco cannabis clubs close down, others plan to open. Last month, the planning commission approved three new dispensaries for the city’s Excelsior district, and another opened in the Mission last week.
Those targeted by federal authorities vow to defend their businesses and the industry until the end. “They can indict me any day. They can arrest me at any time,” Lee said during Tuesday’s rally. “One way or another, Oaksterdam will fight on.”
So will San Francisco.
by Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press
A third member of the Detroit Lions’ 2011 draft class is facing drug charges, after defensive tackle Nick Fairley was arrested on Tuesday in Mobile, Ala.
Fairley, a first-round pick out of Auburn last year, was cited for second-degree possession of marijuana on Tuesday afternoon, after he was pulled over at 12:30 p.m. following a citizen complaint that his Cadillac Escalade was speeding through a Mobile neighborhood frequently, Mobile police information officer Ashley Rains said.
Fairley was booked into Mobile’s Metro jail facility and released on $1,000 bond around 3 p.m., Rains said.
A police report was not immediately available, and Rains said she did not know how much marijuana Fairley was in possession of when he was arrested.
Two other Lions have been cited for a total of three drug-related offenses this off-season.
In January, offensive tackle Johnny Culbreath was arrested for simple possession of marijuana after he was spotted on a hotel surveillance camera putting two blunts in the drawer of a hallway dresser.
And running back Mikel Leshoure pleaded guilty March 1 to a charge of use of marijuana after he was stopped for speeding by Benton Township police. Leshoure was cited for possession of marijuana 11 days later, when the rented 2012 Mitsubishi SUV he was a passenger in was pulled over by Baroda-Lake Township police.
All three players could face discipline under the NFL’s drug policy, which allows for a maximum of a four-game suspension the first time a player has a non-alcohol-related substance-abuse legal offense, and a maximum of a six-game suspension for a second offense.
Fairley, Leshoure and Culbreath all missed time during their rookie seasons with injuries.
Fairley, who did not return a phone call seeking comment Tuesday afternoon, played in just 10 games after breaking his foot in training camp. Leshoure, a second-round pick out of Illinois, and Culbreath, a seventh-round pick out of South Carolina State, spent all of last season on injured reserve.
Leshoure missed a scheduled arraignment Monday in Berrien County District Court. He faces up to two years in prison on his possession charge, a felony offense, and is expected to appear at a walk-in arraignment Wednesday.
Berrien County prosecutor Art Cotter said in an email that Leshoure could have a bench warrant issued for his arrest if he doesn’t turn himself in by Thursday.
The Lions did not immediately return phone messages seeking comment on Tuesday. They did issue a statement, however:
“We are aware of the incident involving Nick Fairley. We hold all of our players to a high standard of behavior, and the recent charges against Nick and Mikel Leshoure are not consistent with those standards. We are extremely disappointed. We will continue to gather information and will have further comment at the appropriate time.”
Courtesy of CBS HealthPop
(CBS/AP) A company dubbed the “Walmart of Weed” is putting down roots in America’s capital city, sprouting further debate on marijuana — medical or otherwise.
Just blocks from the White House and federal buildings, a company that candidly caters to medical marijuana growers is opening up its first outlet on the East Coast. The opening of the weGrow store on Friday in Washington coincides with the first concrete step in implementing a city law allowing residents with certain medical conditions to purchase pot.
Like suppliers of picks and axes during the gold rush, weGrow sees itself providing the necessary tools to pioneers of a “green rush,” which some project could reach nearly $9 billion within the next five years. Admittedly smaller than a big box store, weGrow is not unlike a typical retailer in mainstream America, with towering shelves of plant food and vitamins, ventilation and lighting systems. Along with garden products, it offers how-to classes, books and magazines on growing medical marijuana.
“The more that businesses start to push the envelope by showing that this is a legitimate industry, the further we’re going to be able to go in changing people’s minds,” said weGrow founder Dhar Mann.
Although federal law outlaws the cultivation, sale or use of marijuana, 16 states and the District of Columbia have legalized its medical use to treat a wide range of issues from anxiety and back pain to HIV/AIDS and cancer-related ailments. Fourteen states also have some kind of marijuana decriminalization law, removing or lowering penalties for possession.
Nearly 7 percent of Americans, or 17.4 million people, said they used marijuana in 2010, up from 5.8 percent, or 14.4 million, in 2007, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. A Gallup poll last year found a record-high of 50 percent of Americans saying that marijuana should be made legal, and 70 percent support medical uses for pot.
For many states, there’s no way to tell how many people have medical marijuana cards. California only has 9,637 valid card holders, but registration is voluntary. In Colorado, where you have to sign up, there 82,089 valid ID cards since December 2011. If Californians signed up at the same rate as Colorado, more than 615,000 would have had cards by now.
Marijuana advocates also tout revenue benefits, as well as cost and efficiency savings for not prosecuting or jailing people for pot.
But a recent push from the federal government to crack down on medical marijuana dispensaries has led several states to delay or curtail their dispensary programs for fear of prosecution. It means some medical marijuana users may seek to grow their own– paving the way for companies like California-based weGrow to open a budding number of locations across the country to help legal users and larger cultivators grow their own pot plants.
WeGrow doesn’t sell pot or seeds to grow it. The store, however, makes no secret that its products and services help cultivators grow their own plants for personal use or for sale at dispensaries. Selling hydroponic and other indoor growing equipment is legal, but because those products are used to cultivate a plant deemed illegal under federal law the industry has tried to keep a low profile.
“For the longest time, it’s been a don’t ask, don’t tell industry,” Mann said. “Most people still want to hide behind that facade.”
Mann, who opened the first store in Sacramento last year, said he started his venture after he was kicked out of a mom and pop hydroponics store in Berkeley, Calif., just for mentioning marijuana. HealthPop reported the first 10,000-foot weed emporium grew out of a warehouse called iGrow.
WeGrow has since opened a location in Phoenix and also will open stores in San Jose and Flagstaff, Arizona, in the near future. The company has franchisees in New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and plans to expand into Oregon, Washington state and Michigan.
The frankness of the business comes as public attitudes toward marijuana use and legalization in the U.S. transform. But federal pressure on customers means companies catering to the marijuana industry could take a hit — in their wallets and with jail time.
“There’s a whole host of risks associated with investing and opening up shop here,” said Jason Klein, a D.C. attorney who represents medical marijuana operators. “These entrepreneurs see themselves as doing yeoman’s work, putting themselves in personal risk … to get medicine to the sick people who deserve it.”
D.C. officials on Friday are set to announce those eligible to apply for permits to grow and sell medical marijuana to dispensaries under the district’s 2010 law. Applicants must sign a statement saying they understand a license doesn’t authorize them to break federal law.
“They do so at their own peril because I can’t imagine that the federal government is going to allow marijuana selling for any purpose right in their backyard,” said Kevin Sabet, a former senior adviser to the president’s drug czar and a fellow at the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Substance Abuse Solutions.
“Whether it’s D.C. or all the way out in California, the government’s been pretty clear that medical marijuana doesn’t pass the giggle test.”
Sabet said the idea of dispensaries trying to be passed off as a medical establishment is a joke, adding that the grow store will be the first in a series events where people are going to try to “make big money off an illegal drug.”
The national medical marijuana market was estimated to be worth $1.7 billion in 2011 and is projected to reach $8.9 billion within five years, according to an economic analysis done for the American Cannabis Research Institute. The study also says that nearly 25 million Americans are potentially eligible to use medical marijuana based on current state laws.
“There’s great potential for the industry across the country,” said Steve Fox, a spokesman for the National Cannabis Industry Association, a D.C.-based trade group representing marijuana-related businesses. He said support for the businesses has emerged in states like California, Colorado and Washington state. “They are showing that just like any other industry, there’s a demand for a product and these businesses are sprouting up to address the need.”
The issue of marijuana in the nation’s capital isn’t new. A public referendum to legalize medical marijuana overwhelmingly passed in the late 1990s but Congress blocked it from taking effect for years. Allowing the city’s latest move on medical marijuana use could also indicate an attitude shift on a federal level.
“The political winds on a federal level really affect our ability to get things done on a local level,” said Brendan Williams-Kief, spokesman for D.C. councilmember David A. Catania, who co-sponsored the medical marijuana legislation. “When the (legislation) was passed, it happened at a time when there was a Congress that was less-inclined to exert their will on the District. … But they’re always up there on the Hill looking down.”
Klein believes that, despite being next door to Congress, the Drug Enforcement Agency and the Department of Justice, the D.C. medical marijuana program will avoid the ire of the federal government because it was crafted to tightly control the industry.
“It’s the sort of thing the feds will probably just look the other way elsewhere, but given the fact that it’s right under their noses, is going to really be unique conundrum,” Klein said. “I’m really looking forward to getting a couple of Congresspeople in a cab and caravaning them over to a dispensary … so that they can see that this is not the danger that they imagine it might be.”
For Alex Wong, the franchisee of the D.C. weGrow store, his involvement in the industry is both personal and professional. The mid-40s entrepreneur was drawn to the business after seeing the firsthand effects of his mother’s colon cancer and learning that medical marijuana might have made her more comfortable during treatment.
“It is a viable medicine,” said the. “All I can do is use my small business expertise to lend a hand in this movement.”
Rafael Lemaitre, spokesman for the Office of National Drug Control Policy, issued a statement saying science and research — not politics — should drive the approval process for medicine, and to date the “smoked form of marijuana has not met the modern standard” established by the Food and Drug Administration.
“Chronically ill and suffering patients deserve access to modern medicine that is proven to be effective and safe,” Lemaitre said. “We ardently support continued research into medical uses for the components of marijuana and will continue to do so.”
Mann, however, says medical marijuana cultivation and distribution is going to happen with or without federal government approval.
“Regardless of how rigorously they want to enforce intervention, it’s not going to stop the industry,” Mann said.
Jake Sternberger, Keystone Politics
APRIL 1, 2012 –Late yesterday evening, Governor Tom Corbett stunned both liberals and conservatives alike when he drafted and signed an executive order that legal experts believe legalizes the possession, cultivation, and distribution of marijuana, commonly referred to as “weed.”
Corbett, who served as Attorney General before he was elected Governor, had generally been known as hard on drugs and an advocate of zero tolerance by law enforcement personnel. Sources close to Corbett are stating on condition of anonymity that the Governor has been under a lot of stress lately in his tenure, receiving criticism from virtually every group except wealthy drilling executives.
In recent months, these same sources report, Corbett has taken to locking himself in his office for hours at a time, blasting Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, and King Crimson to “deal with the stress for just a minute.”
The order legalizing marijuana was reportedly written during one of these hours-long sessions.
The text of the order, which aides say was personally drafted last night by Corbett himself, has an unprecedented length of a mere single sentence. The full text of the order is as follows:
“As Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania I hereby order that weed is now totally legal, like for everybody.”
Republican House Leadership was quick to respond to the news, and House Majority Leader Mike Turzai immediately advocated the privatization of all future marijuana sales.
“Government has many responsibilities–providing a good education, ensuring safe streets, clean air and water,” said Turzai. “Selling marijuana is not one of them, and we should leave this to private corporations and businesses. I will be adding marijuana privatization to my next round of PLCB hearings.”
State Representative Stephen Bloom (R-Cumberland), author of H.B. 1424 which made “Pennsylvania Preferred” the official trademark of agricultural goods produced in Pennsylvania, said in a statement to Keystone Politics that “Pennsylvania farmers are ecstatic about the possibility of converting their corn farms into cannabis fields. I personally can’t wait to see the PA Preferred label on dime bags.”
“PA Preferred is a marketing tool that consumers associate with quality products, and I know Pennsylvania farmers will produce the bombest, headiest fire ganja in the Mid-Atlantic Regional of this great country,” Bloom added.
The entire Democratic delegation was unavailable for comment with the exception of Mark Cohen (D-Philadelphia) who answered a phone call from Keystone Politics but quickly hung up after laughing uncontrollably for over 12 minutes, for no apparent reason.
UPDATE: Sources at the PA Department of Transportation are confirming that Corbett also has filed to legally change his middle name from “William” to “Hannibal” so that his initials can now be THC, apparently a reference to Tetrahydrocannabinol, the active chemical in the marijuana plant.
by Irma Widjojo, The Times-Herald
For the second time in 30 days, a Bay Area marijuana dispensary was raided Friday afternoon.
At about 4:25 p.m., Vallejo police officers served search and arrest warrants at Better Health Group, 3611 Sonoma Blvd., police said.
During the raid, owner Jorge Espinoza, 25, and three other workers at the dispensary were arrested on suspicion of selling marijuana, police said.
They were identified as Jeffrey Hughson, 38, of Novato; Aaron Castillo 21, of Daly City; and Jonathan Linares, 22, of Vallejo.
It was not immediately disclosed if any marijuana or other products were seized Friday, which marks the fourth marijuana dispensary raid since Feb. 21. There may be as many as 20 other dispensaries operating in Vallejo.
Better Health Group, located inside a former Chinese restaurant, was first raided on Feb. 29. At that time, police said they seized about 400 plants from the dispensary, and booked into evidence about 340 marijuana food products, an ounce of hash and 30 pounds of “processed” marijuana, during that raid. Espinoza was also arrested then.
However, the dispensary recently opened its doors again to its members.
In an interview earlier this week with the Times-Herald, Better Health Group’s attorney said no cease and desist order was ever issued, and that the collective believes it is doing nothing wrong, at least under state law. Federal law prohibits marijuana possession and sales.
On March 20, Vallejo City Manager Dan Keen released a memo addressing concerns about what he viewed as the mixed message the city was sending by passing measures to tax dispensaries, while at the same time raiding them. Keen also cited a number of conflicting court cases dealing with medical marijuana.
At the same time, Keen also suspended the city’s plan to begin issuing business certificates to those dispensaries that have paid a $500 city business fee. The fee was authorized under a ballot measure voters overwhelmingly approved in the November election. The measure’s passage has also led to the city approving a 10 percent tax on medical marijuana sales.
Times-Herald staff writers Jessica A. York and Tony Burchyns contributed to this article.
by Bill Laitner, Detroit Free Press
It may seem odd that one of the top national advocates for the legalization of marijuana is a young lawyer who doesn’t like the drug.
Karen O’Keefe, 33, said she tried pot a few times as an undergraduate at Michigan State University but that “it just made me feel stupid and want to go to sleep.”
Still, O’Keefe — who grew up in Grosse Pointe Farms and graduated from Grosse Pointe South High School — is adamant that Michigan and the nation should “treat marijuana like alcohol — regulate it and tax it.”
Some people are “surprised, and don’t see why it’s an issue I’d work on. But more and more people realize that there are a lot of reasons to change the policies” other than wanting it for personal use, she said.
“I’ve been involved with a number of social justice issues over the years — opposing torture, opposing the death penalty, opposing wars that I thought were unjust. And this is another situation like those.”
Keeping the drug illegal, she said, is “a bad policy because it causes a huge amount of suffering without actually achieving a positive purpose.”
O’Keefe is director of state policies for the Marijuana Policy Project, a nonprofit group based in Washington, D.C., though she works from an office in West Hollywood, Calif. Her new hometown is “extremely marijuana-friendly and very well-regulated,” with seven licensed dispensaries selling pot, she said.
In 2006, the West Hollywood City Council passed a resolution directing police to make marijuana possession their lowest priority, “similar to what passed recently in Kalamazoo,” she said about the enforcement ordinance voters approved in November.
She has close at hand data from countless studies, including a recent Harvard study that estimated the combined cost of enforcing marijuana laws in the U.S. and the loss of possible tax revenues to be more than $20 billion.
She also has the University of Michigan’s latest data from its long-term “Monitoring the Futures” study of youth drug use. It shows marijuana use among teens is on the rise — a finding that opponents of legalization say portends ominous results if the drug is legalized.
“At present, 1 in 15 high school seniors is a daily or near daily user of marijuana,” said Lloyd Johnston, principal investigator at U-M for the study. Teens’ perception of the risk of using pot declined in the past five years, tempting more of them to use it, Johnston said.
The same study showed that 80% of 12th-graders surveyed across the nation said marijuana was “fairly easy” or “very easy” to get. O’Keefe said legalizing it would allow for regulation and more parental oversight, as with alcohol, instead of the current dangers of the illegal marketplace.
“Right now, the situation with marijuana is just like it was in the days of alcohol prohibition,” she said. “Back then, you had people getting killed — sometimes by law enforcement, sometimes killing law enforcement and sometimes killing each other — over alcohol.
“Now, people don’t go robbing each other’s houses and shooting them for alcohol. But they used to.”
by Chris Roberts, San Francisco Examiner
The City’s 21 licensed medical marijuana dispensaries are all illegal, according to a court filing by District Attorney George Gascón that could portend a seismic shift in San Francisco cannabis policy.
City law allows medical marijuana to be bought in businesses called dispensaries and delivered to patients who have been prescribed marijuana by a licensed physician. Dispensaries must acquire business licenses and seller’s permits from the state Board of Equalization before receiving city Department of Public Health permits to sell marijuana.
Yet in December, a woman was arrested for making a delivery on behalf of Mr. Nice Guy, a city-licensed dispensary whose storefront was shut down under pressure from the federal Justice Department. Police said the woman was arrested with $631 in cash, more than 100 plastic bags of dried marijuana buds and hashish, and 48 “edibles” — marijuana-laced cookies, brownies, or other treats.
Despite being presented with paperwork showing that the woman and buyer were licensed patients and that she was working on behalf of a registered dispensary, the DA charged her with two felony counts for marijuana possession and sales, said her attorney, former District Attorney Terence Hallinan.
In a legal brief, Gascón argued that the law is not on her side.
“While California’s medical marijuana laws may be complex, the law is clear that all sales of medical marijuana are illegal,” Gascón wrote. “The … shell game that continues to be played with medical marijuana immunities does not change that conclusion.”
Gascón’s office cites the 1996 Compassionate Use Act as well as state court decisions to make his argument, which says medical marijuana patients must “participate directly in the cultivation of marijuana” to enjoy protection under the law.
“This means that people with AIDS have to be out digging in the dirt to enjoy protection under the law,” countered former District Attorney Terence Hallinan, who is representing the woman in court. “This is impossible.”
Gascón’s office declined to comment on the pending court case, but spokeswoman Stephanie Ong Stillman said the brief in question actually dates back to the administration of former District Attorney Kamala Harris, who is now state Attorney General. Her nuanced comments suggest that the DA’s office may be having second thoughts about its position.
“We have since reviewed the brief and while it accurately reflects state law, we have determined it needs to be revised to reflect the positions of the city of San Francisco and also the policies of the District Attorney’s office,” Stillman wrote via email.
Local defense attorneys say they haven’t previously seen this argument in San Francisco, and that it resembles filings made in Los Angeles by District Attorney Steve Cooley, who ran against Harris and lost in 2010.
“It’s disappointing to see the San Francisco district attorney’s office parroting the garbage spewing out of Steve Cooley’s office when they try to torture an interpretation of [state law] beyond any recognition,” said Oakland attorney Robert Raich, who argued a 2005 medical marijuana case before the United States Supreme Court.
The inconsistent policies — with one county agency calling illegal what another one issues permits for — is “emblematic of the ongoing disconnect in San Francisco with regard to the city’s approach to medical cannabis,” complained Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco.
Read more at the San Francisco Examiner: http://www.sfexaminer.com/local/2012/03/gasc-n-all-sales-marijuana-are-illegal#ixzz1qNn8aZEr
by David Klepper, Boston Globe
PROVIDENCE, R.I.—Rhode Island’s state-licensed marijuana dispensaries could open within months, but they may not last long if the state adopts strict rules on the amount of marijuana they can have, medical marijuana advocates said Tuesday.
State lawmakers are set to review a proposed compromise on Wednesday that was crafted to let the three state-picked dispensaries to open, potentially within six months. Gov. Lincoln Chafee, an independent, blocked the dispensaries from opening last year after the state’s top federal prosecutor warned they could face prosecution.
The compromise seeks to avoid federal intervention by setting limits on the amount of marijuana the dispensaries could have. But medical marijuana supporters said the dispensaries must be allowed to have enough marijuana on hand to meet demand. Otherwise, they might not be able to pay their bills, said JoAnne Leppanen, director of the Rhode Island Patient Advocacy Coalition.
“Everybody wants this to happen,” she told The Associated Press on Tuesday. “But the fear is that we’re going to come in too low, that we’re going to put such a burden on the compassion centers that it may not be possible for them to sustain themselves.”
It would be up to the state’s Department of Health to set the limits once lawmakers approve the compromise. The Health Department plans to hold public hearings on the regulations once the bill passes.
Lawmakers who brokered the compromise with Chafee said it’s designed to be flexible. If federal authorities again threaten to prosecute, the limits on the dispensaries could be tightened. If the dispensaries complain the limits are too strict, they could be relaxed.
“The challenge was getting a bill that will pass,” said Sen. Rhoda Perry, D-Providence. “Yes, some of these details may be problematic. But we’re moving ahead.”
Perry said she hopes the General Assembly can pass the legislation quickly to allow the dispensaries to open, perhaps within six months.
The uncertainty means the dispensaries must plan to open without knowing how much marijuana they will be allowed to dispense.
Seth Bock, chief executive of the Greenleaf Compassionate Care Center of Portsmouth, said he’d like lawmakers to suggest a rough idea of how much marijuana would be allowed. The state could fine-tune the restrictions later, he said.
“Give us something in the law that allows us to move forward,” said Bock, who practices acupuncture and Chinese medicine. “Without any guidance on volume it’s impossible to decide if it’s worth investing X amount of money to get this off the ground.”
Greenleaf is one of the three dispensaries chosen by the state. The other two are the Thomas C. Slater Compassion Center in Providence and Summit Medical Compassion Center in Warwick.
On Monday, U.S. Attorney for Rhode Island Peter Neronha said federal authorities have not endorsed the compromise and remain opposed to large-scale commercial operations for medical marijuana.
In his letter to the state last year, Neronha warned that while patients wouldn’t face prosecution, dispensary operators might.
Rhode Island enacted a law in 2006 allowing patients to legally possess small amounts of marijuana to treat conditions including chronic pain, severe nausea, seizures and multiple sclerosis. In 2009, lawmakers passed legislation to set up nonprofit dispensaries — known as compassion centers — where patients could obtain marijuana in a state-regulated environment.
More than 4,400 Rhode Islanders are now enrolled in the state’s medical marijuana program.
George DesRoches said the dispensaries will play a critical role in the state’s medical marijuana program by giving patients a safe and reliable place to purchase their medicine. The 45-year-old Providence man grows his own marijuana to treat chronic pain and fibromyalgia.
Earlier this month four men held him at gunpoint and stole marijuana and his laptop computer. DesRoches said Tuesday that the dispensary compromise is good news, but he’s waiting to see how the state decides to regulate the facilities.
“I’m pretty jaded at this point,” he said. “I’m hopeful they can find a way to do it, but if you set people up to fail, they will.”
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Proponents of a medical marijuana bill are trying to line up enough votes for the measure to withstand the governor’s likely opposition before it debuts in the New Hampshire Senate.
Two of the bill’s sponsors, state Sen. Jim Forsythe, R-Strafford, and state Rep. Evalyn Merrick, D-Lancaster, led a news conference Tuesday to promote their home cultivation approach to medical marijuana. With Gov. John Lynch’s historical opposition to medical marijuana bills, supporters are looking for a veto-proof majority in both chambers.
The proposed law would allow patient with “debilitating medical conditions” or their designated caretakers to possess up to 6 ounces of marijuana, six mature plants and 12 seedlings at a single, registered “cultivation location.” They could also avoid penalties for possessing up to two ounces of marijuana elsewhere.
The patient would need a registry identification card, which would require written certification from their doctor that medical use of marijuana would help treat a “debilitating medical condition.” Qualifying conditions include cancer, HIV, AIDS and post- traumatic stress disorder. Some symptoms or treatment results like severe pain or severe nausea would also qualify.
Patients with a qualifying condition visiting from out of state could also possess marijuana without a card, but not cultivate it.
Caretakers would need a card as well and would be subject to a background check.
Merrick lent her personal experience as a cancer patient to the debate.
“The fact remains it was medical cannabis that proved to be what ultimately gave me the strength to live,” said the third-term representative.
Supporters said the bill’s home cultivation approach would reduce the risk of abuse or federal prosecution. Caretakers would be volunteers — most likely family members, they say. The law permits compensation for actual costs like electricity, but not labor, which supporters say eliminates the business aspect.
“We very purposely made this bill so it doesn’t have a profit incentive,” said Forsythe.
Forsythe said Vermont has similar restrictions to those in the bill and has several hundred patients.
The bill would not legalize marijuana possession for anyone beyond registry identification card holders or visiting qualifying patients. Card holders who provide marijuana to anyone not allowed to have it would have their cards revoked and face a class B felony, punishable by up to seven years in prison. Additional penalties for illegal marijuana sale would also apply.
The proposed law also would expire after three year unless lawmakers acted to renew it.
The bill is coming before the Senate on Wednesday with the Health and Human Services Committee’s unanimous support, including that of Senate Republican Leader Jeb Bradley. Both chambers would need a two-thirds majority to pass the bill over a near-certain veto by the governor.
Lynch vetoed a medical marijuana bill in 2009 to establish three dispensaries to provide severely ill patients with 2 ounces of marijuana every 10 days, citing his concerns over cultivation and the possible availability of the drug beyond the dispensaries. Although the House voted to override his veto, the Senate fell two votes short.
Another medical marijuana bill last year passed the House but died in the Senate after Lynch promised a veto. He has also said he will veto a decriminalization bill that narrowly passed the House this month.
Although Lynch spokesman Colin Manning said the governor’s position is unchanged, Merrick said she is still hopeful for a change of heart.
“I am going to anticipate the governor will realize this is not about the legalization of marijuana but that it is a medical matter for the sickest and neediest patients,” said Merrick.
by The Associated Press, USA Today
Police Lt. Alan Henley told the San Gabriel Valley Tribune the victim had just made a delivery to a patient on South Sunset Avenue and was headed to his car when the pair confronted him and chased him with batons.
Henley says the attack took place just before 10 p.m. Friday.
Henley says the victim, in his 40s, was scared and dropped a bag containing marijuana and money and the attackers took it.
The lieutenant says he knows of no other ninja-style thefts recently.
or trial since July 8, 2010 at the Federal Detention Center in Honolulu, Hawai’i for failing to cease and
dismiss distribution of his THC Ministry’s Holy Sacrament of Cannabis to ministry members. A series of
court dates have come and gone, with the next set for August 8, 2012.
Christie sites the multiple postponements as being “inconvenient, uncomfortable and unfair,” but said
that time may work in their favor, for a few reasons.
“For one, this coming election day might have as many as six states voting to legalize ‘marijuana,”
Christie said in an e-mail from the detention center. “All that upcoming publicity might help to sway a
jury in our favor. Also, the progressing time factor has us getting clearer on our defense as time goes by,
and attracting more support. ”
Christie’s Hilo-based store front Ministry was first raided in March, 2011 and Christie was arrested and
released with its “Green Fourteen” ministry members. The sting included a farm and other residences
where members were growing Cannabis for the ministry, well above State mandates for Medical
Cannabis. Christie said the church was never run as a dispensary, nor did its workings fall under the
State’s compassionate care laws.
A plea bargain offered to Christie and now wife, Share (St. Cyr), was rejected by the couple on January
18, 2012, and Christie explains, “Share and I were legally separated from the other twelve defendants of
our ‘Green Fourteen,’ and offered a plea together.”
The deal would have given Christie a mandatory Federally imposed five year prison sentence (less time
served), with a two to three year sentence for Share (less time served, 18 months).
The Federal Prosecutor’s bargain also included half of a forfeiture sale of the couple’s condo in Hilo, a
$6,000 I.R.S. fine for failing to file (as a Ministry, Christie holds firm it was exempt from paying taxes),
and five years’ probation each.
“Realistically that meant about 18 more months in prison for me at a Federal ‘Camp’ (minimum security
facility), and about 18 months at a Federal Camp for Share, plus the other stuff,” Christie surmised.
While most opt to plea, the couple is going forward with a trial on principle, and the hope the Federal
Government will acknowledge Cannabis Ministries as any other organized religious group in this
In 2009 USA Today (http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/2009-03-09-american-religion-
ARIS_N.htm) ran a story on the decline of religion in America, citing “2.8 million people now identify
with dozens of new religious movements, calling themselves Wiccan, pagan or Spiritualist.” Many are
recognized by the Federal Government, including Wiccan’s who are allowed its five-pointed-star symbol
on Veterans gravestones at Arlington National Cemetery.
“We are a determined, activist couple,” Christie informed. “To live in the land of the free requires us
to be the home of the brave. The arrest has brought us closer than ever, and although physically apart,
we are spiritually strong and deeply committed to the shared dream of a happier, healthier and more
harmonious world with Cannabis freely available for all those who deserve its many benefits.”
Roger and Share were married at the detention center on January 6, 2012 in an intimate ceremony that
included a kiss with no opportunity for consummation.
Other items lacking were a hemp prayer shawl and the now infamous Holy Anointing Oil, mandatory
in all marriage ceremonies associated with the ministry. The Cannabis-based oil is made from a recipe
found in the Bible (Exodus 30). Christie opted for oil without Cannabis, but was denied either.
Religious accoutrements, such as prayer chapels, kneeling pews, Bibles, and other items necessary in
accompanying and completing spiritual rituals are often a given for those incarcerated. So far, Christie
has had to file grievances, but to date, has not been allowed even the simplest icon.
“So far, I have been denied my religious rights; access to my religious diet of hempseeds, my hemp cloth
prayer shawl and holy anointing oil – with or without the Cannabis, he lamented.”
Seemingly abandoned by key groups such as The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana
Laws (NORML), and ignored largely by mainstream media, Roger prepares a motion to dismiss, while
amicus briefs are still needed. The cost of preparing from the center is $600 a month, and the Ministry’s
remaining “Green Fourteen” members are working round the clock to raise it (www.the-last-marijuana-
Their defense is dual with a focus both on “religion” and “necessity,” stating that Cannabis was the
lesser evil to “ice” or the “meth” that flooded the islands after the U.S. Government’s failed “War on
Drugs” eradicated fields of green from the islands in the 1990s.
“We look forward to presenting a ‘defense of necessity’ as a lesser of evils comparing Cannabis to toxic
pharmaceuticals, and as a barrier of sorts to alcohol and ‘meth.’ Does Cannabis build and protect brain
cells? Science says ‘yes.’ We say that the proper dosage of Cannabis is mandatory to good health and
Christie believes there is a larger picture than simply having all charges dropped. The religious freedoms
this country was founded on based on the First Amendment; the right to “… every seed bearing plant”
(Genesis 1:29); the Tenth Amendment, allowing Christie to practice his “Cannabis Sacrament, as granted
by the State of Hawaii more than 10 years ago.
There is also the world to save, as he and Share both believe “Ganja-nomics” is nature’s economic
stimulus, and a Cannabis/Hemp future is desperately needed to turn current world-wide fiscal calamity
“Where did Moses meet his God? In the smoke and fire of a burning bush,” Christie surmised. “I was
licensed for life by the State of Hawai’i to marry people specifically as a ‘Cannabis Sacrament’ Minister
many years ago. My new wife Share and I are dedicated to the bigger picture, we willingly risk some of
our precious time on Earth, for the goal of liberty and justice for Cannabis, for all.”
Hawaii’s Marijuana Minister, Roger Christie, with Share (St. Cyr) Christie. The couple married at the
Federal Detention Center in Honolulu, Hawai’i, where Roger has been held without bail or visitors since
July 2010 on Marijuana charges.
by Shannon Young, Norwich Bulletin
A bill that would allow Connecticut adults to legally use marijuana for medical purposes, if the drug is prescribed by their doctor, has cleared its first legislative hurdle. Members of the General Assembly’s Judiciary Committee voted 35-to-8 in support of the bill Wednesday, after an hour-long discussion of the measure.
This year’s bill proposes a system for licensing medical marijuana producers, dispensing the drug, and registering qualified patients with debilitating conditions. Under the proposed bill doctors could prescribe marijuana to patients who suffer from certain specified illnesses. Additionally, the bill would limit medical marijuana prescriptions to a one year supply and require all drug manufacturing and distribution to be done in Connecticut. Many Connecticut lawmakers have said the bill is the best that has been presented before the committee, and even the legislature, as it addresses many concerns that opponents have raised in previous years.
Bill supporters said marijuana should be legalized for medical purpose to help state residents who are suffering from debilitating diseases. Sen. John Kissel, R-Enfield, a ranking member of the committee, said the issue comes down to a matter of human compassion. “When you sit here year-in and year-out and you listen to these individuals facing these really horrific circumstances in their lives, who are we to not allow them to access this if it gives them some comfort?” he said. Despite this, some committee members voiced concerns on how the potential state law legalizing medical marijuana could be affected by the federal intervention.
Rep. John Shaban, R-Redding, said because the issue is in violation of the federal law, it would create a dual policy where the drug is not illegal under state law, but federal law. Other opponents raised concerns that federal intervention under the law could result in arrests of state employees and doctors who prescribe or distribute the drug. Committee co-chair,
Rep. Gerald Fox III, D-Stamford, said he is not concerned on with federal intervention, however, as the legislation is careful to operate within state law. “We have crafted a bill that is very controlled and it’s our hope that it will alleviate a lot of the concerns people have had in the past,” he said. The bill’s passage comes shortly after a new poll shows a sizeable majority of Connecticut voters support allowing legalizing the drug for medical purposes. According to the poll conducted by Quinnipiac University, 68 percent of registered voters said legalizing medical marijuana for adults is a good idea while 27 percent said it’s a bad idea.
The survey of 1,622 registered voters has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 2.4 percentage points. Mike Lawlor, the undersecretary of Criminal Justice Policy for the Office of Policy and Management, said Gov. Dannel P. Malloy supports the concept of the legislation. He said he is confident the governor will sign the bill if it reaches his desk this session. A bill legalizing the medical use of marijuana in Connecticut failed during last year’s legislative session.
by Ron Dicker, Huffington Post
Warning to marijuana shops selling Linsanity weed: Your buzzkill has arrived.
Jeremy Lin’s legal team has sent a flurry of cease-and-desist letters to medical marijuana dispensaries offering “Linsanity” brand pot, and a few shops have already complied, a lawyer for the New York Knicks star told The Huffington Post on Wednesday.
“Their enthusiasm for Jeremy Lin got ahead of their understanding of the law,” said Pamela Deese of the Washington, D.C., firm Arent Fox.
Although Deese would not name the companies, HuffPost found at least three California dispensaries that have stopped their doobie-ous enterprise.
The owner of 420 Specialists of Moreno Valley confirmed that he had received the notice and deleted Linsanity from the menu a week and a half ago. “They also wanted me to write a letter of apology,” Josh Leibowitz said Thursday, adding that he hasn’t done so yet.
Gourmet Green Room of West Los Angeles would only say that it had replaced Linsanity with Insanity.
L.A. Confidential Caregivers in Hollywood, which was listed in a Marijuana.com post about Linsanity sellers, seems to have removed Linsanity from its menu as well. We reached out to L.A. Confidential Thursday morning, and we’ll provide an update if it responds.
Word of Linsanity reefer madness spread when rappers Rick Ross and Stalley tweeted in early March aboutLinsanity OG cannabis, providing photos. As the jar in one photo indicated, Linsanity OG was priced at $60 for an eighth of an ounce.
That was back when Linsanity, the popular label for Lin’s rise from benchwarmer to star, had apparently already peaked. But now that the Knicks have won five straight as of Thursday, with Lin as the fourth-quarter hero in Wednesday’s victory, companies might be looking to cash in again.
There were an estimated 1,000 state-legalized pot shops in California before a recent federal crackdown. Five or six are violating Lin’s rights, according to the NBA player’s attorney. “We’ve identified those entities,” said Deese, who also wouldn’t share their names.
TRADEMARK COMPETITORS CUT
In a related matter, Deese said that cease-and-desist letters to 24 entities who applied for a trademark on Linsanity or some other Lin term have been effective in weeding out claimants. Many applicants said they were sorry and withdrew their claim, according to the lawyer.
“You can’t file a trademark when there’s a clear connection to someone else’s name,” Deese said. “In this case, Jeremy Lin has the right to his name and related names and marks, as well as his signature, voice and likeness. That’s all part of his intellectual property.”
Lin filed his own claim for Linsanity on Feb. 13, asserting his rights to sell merchandise from underwear to beverage sleeves with that mark. Ganja did not make the list.