Cannabis News Roundup: April 26, 2013

Apr 26, 2013

National policy to focus on diversion, not jail… California moves one step closer to statewide regulation… 4/20 revisited…  and a two-pound joint… // The emphasis of the National Drug Control Policy is now on fighting addiction and diverting non-violent offenders. Gil Kerlikowske, NDCP director, talked about the plan Wednesday in Baltimore. Anthony Batts, that city’s police chief, joined him. Batts, former head of the Oakland and Long Beach police departments, says he considers marijuana to be a gateway drug.

HuffPost // Statewide regulation of cannabis moved out of the California State Assembly’s public safety committee this week. If passed by the Assembly, AB 473 would require licensing of everyone from growers to sellers. Assembly member Tom Ammiano of San Francisco first proposed the bill.

Toke of the Town // The THC in cannabis gets most of the attention, because of it’s psychoactive qualities. But another element of the plant, known as CBD (cannabidiol), is catching up because of its medical benefits. The Washington Post released a video this week focusing on CBD as a seizure treatment for children.

HuffPost // Smoke a joint; lose your job, even in Colorado. That’s the finding of Colorado’s Court of Appeals in a 2-to-1 decision yesterday. Use of recreational cannabis may now be legal in the state, but it’s still a felony nationally. And that, the court rules, is reason enough for a company to fire employees who fail drug tests.

NYT // But drive around with a small amount of cannabis in the car and it’s not reason enough to get deported, says the Supreme Court.

SF Examiner // Remember a month or so ago when all those bales of pot were being found on California beaches? Now it seems a portion of that product has migrated to San Francisco. “A large amount of what appears to be marijuana” was found in a Fisherman’s Wharf dumpster…perhaps left over from the weekend’s 4/20 events.

4/20 revisited

No one heeded my advice to stay away from San Francisco’s Hippie Hill last Saturday. Even I ignored it, arriving in the park just before 4:20 pm.

The only thing the major news reports saw was trash, and there was certainly a lot of it to see. But I saw other things, too:  people sunning themselves on a beautiful, warm day, dogs playing peacefully together, spontaneous dance parties, and an amazing collection of human beings.

Various enterprising folks were offering bottled water, grilled food, candy, and other edibles. One couple had a neatly lettered sign reading “Cereal Killers.” They were offering bowls of cereal for $1/each, to kill the munchies I suppose. When they saw my cap, they stopped their chant of “Sweet cereal! One dollar!” and said, just as loudly, “Thank you for working for KALW!” Is that a reverse underwriting credit? Thanks for the shout out!

The Chronicle recently had a story about the growing problem of seagulls feeding on discarded food after Giants games, where I suspect there are plenty of unused trash receptacles. Supervisor Scott Weiner notes that other San Francisco parks, such as heavily used Dolores Park, look nearly as trashy after any regular old sunny day as this section of Golden Gate Park looked on 4/20. So don’t solely single out the cannabis consumers.

And then there were the videos of the fights on Saturday. More accurately, there were multiple videos of the one fight. It appears that ten to twelve people were involved … out of an estimated 12,000 attendees. How does this compare to sunny days at the ballpark, where beer flows freely?

Speaking of sports, neither rain, sleet, snow, nor clouds of pot smoke shall keep peewee soccer players away. Both fields were in use by preschoolers throughout the afternoon, as usual.

Denver Post // It could have been worse. Three people were shot during the nation’s largest 4/20 event, in Denver. Police are treating it as a gang-related incident.

SFist // Speaking of police, click here to see them walking away with a monster joint at the Santa Cruz 4/20 event.

Both the San Francisco and Denver reports refer to the 4/20 smoke-outs as “counterculture” events. Yet polls show that a majority of Americans approve of cannabis consumption in one form or another. If a majority is in favor of something, that makes it mainstream, not a counterculture. Right?

Wall Street Jrln. // How mainstream? A front-page story in the Wall Street Journal – on April 20, no less – is pretty mainstream. This article reveals the secret to making a small fortune growing cannabis: start with a large one.

MJBusinessDaily // Your small fortune is even smaller if you own stock in this research firm.

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