Pot legalization gains momentum in California – Yahoo! News.

True… but least one of those initiatives is so fundamentally flawed that it defines brownies as worth their weight in weed – thereby incurring a $50-per-ounce tax on edibles – and fails to adequately distinguish between psychoactive cannabis and hemp. I tried arguing with a campaign representative via email but he just didn’t want to hear it. I want to see these things succeed, but we have to make sure we don’t tie our hands behind our backs in the process, or get so desperate to legalize that we sell ourselves out to the burden of excessive taxation. I also don’t want to see real medical patients get screwed over by having taxes imposed upon them that would not be imposed if these medications were FDA approved. Ideally I’d like to see a medical exemption, but also a more stringent process for getting recommendations for medical use.

How marijuana became legal – | Fortune

My favorite quote:

At Harborside, I experienced a mild personal epiphany: I realized that I never really knew before what fresh marijuana smelled like. Though I had easily recognized, from East Coast college days 30 years back, the smell of smoked marijuana inside Rosenfeld’s SUV, I had never before smelled the sweet, herbal fragrance suffusing Harborside. At first I incorrectly assumed it was some sort of incense being artificially introduced to mask the odor I was familiar with.

I’m only disappointed that they didn’t go into a little bit more detail about how cannabis was made illegal.

Court in San Diego Medical Marijuana Case Denies Valid Request for Dismissal.

SAN DIEGO – A San Diego County Superior Court today denied medical marijuana patient Donna Lambert’s request for dismissal. Ms. Lambert’s supporters urged District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis not to pursue the case, to uphold the state’s medical marijuana laws and to turn law enforcement’s attention to matters of public safety not politics.

Read the comments, as Donna Lambert has left several.

Medical marijuana used to treat 10-year-old autistic boy | abc7.com.

Pretty incredible, if you ask me! Not that I’m saying you should run around giving cannabis to autistic kids just to do it – but as an alternative to a killer cocktail of pharmaceuticals? Why not?

If Pot Prevented Cancer You Would Have Read About it, Right? | HempNews.

And now for the study you haven’t heard of. Writing in the August issue of the journal Cancer Prevention Research, investigators from Rhode Island’s Brown University along with researchers at Boston University, Louisiana State University, and the University of Minnesota reported that that lifetime marijuana use is associated with a “significantly reduced risk” of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma.

The Tax, Regulate and Control Cannabis Act of 2010:

Section 3: Definitions

For purposes of this Act:

a. “Cannabis” means all parts from plants of the Genus Cannabis, whether growing or not; seeds thereof; resin extracted from any part of the plant; concentrated cannabis; edible products containing cannabis; and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of the plant, its seeds, or resin. The terms “Marijuana” and “Cannabis” are interchangeable for the purposes of this Act.

***

Section 11302: Imposition and Collection of Taxes and Fees

(a) The Legislature shall create a system for the fair and orderly taxation of commercial production, sales and other cannabis business related activities within one year of the passage of this Act. The rate of taxation shall be initially set at no less than Fifty United States Dollars per ounce of Cannabis.

Do you see the problem here?

The Tax, Regulate and Control Cannabis Act of 2010 (state ballot initiative)

Okay, so… I’m just a lowly grad student and not a legislative analyst, but it seems to me that the definition of “Cannabis” encompasses “industrial hemp.” I don’t see any place where hemp is explicitly excluded, and the definition of Cannabis does not specify that it applies only to the psychoactive strains. The act purports to impose a tax of no less than $50 per ounce on Cannabis that is cultivated commercially and sold. To me, that would include industrial hemp. How do you interpret the language of this proposition? Will hemp be taxed at the same rate?

And of course, note the absence of a medical exemption.

August 21st, 2009 [General ]

3 arrested in medical marijuana raid | ABC News

Last week, the LAPD raided two businesses in west Los Angeles that also claimed to be medical marijuana dispensaries.

I know nothing about this church/dispensary that was raided – maybe it was legit, and maybe it wasn’t. But let’s try that last line again: Last week the LAPD RAIDED TWO MEDICAL MARIJUANA DISPENSARIES in west Los Angeles. There is no “claiming” – they were dispensaries, with a real verification procedure and real patients who had real illnesses. Did they have “fakers”? Probably. I’d imagine all the dispensaries have some fakers. But I’d say most doctors have at least a few patients who are exaggerating their symptoms so they can get more Xanax and Vicodin.

Robbie Gennet: On Role Models and their Bongs | Huffington Post

A fantastic collection of cannabis-related quotes from American leaders and role models.

420 bail out in California, how legalizing marijuana could help close the budget gap | Examiner.com

Marijuana has not always been known as a class one dangerous narcotic.  In fact at one time the plant  was the third largest agricultural crop grown in North America, even some of our founding fathers were advocates.  George Washington cultivated and smoked medical-grade marijuana on his farm. Some believe he smoked the plant to ease his chronic tooth pain.  Thomas Jefferson too cultivated and smoked the plant, even drafting our Declaration of Independence on paper made from hemp fibers.  Benjamin Franklin cultivated the industrial form of the plant and started the first American paper mill, making paper exclusively from hemp.

It is SO time to bring back legal hemp farming. SO time. Fantastic assessment of the current situation and why legalization would be an improvement.