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Cannabis News Roundup: January 11, 2013


(SFExaminer) // There is no war on drugs. Calling cannabis medicine sends a terrible message to the nation’s teens. And the Obama Administration strongly believes it is a false choice to consider legalization. These are some of the comments Gil Kerlikowske made this week in San Francisco. He leads the Office of National Drug Control Policy, the agency that last week admitted that Mexican gangs are not involved in growing cannabis in illegal plots in national forests.

(Reuters) // Harborside Health Center can continue operating out of its locations in San Jose and Oakland. That’s the ruling of U.S. Magistrate Judge Maria-Elena James. She said, in effect, that if the federal government wants Harborside to stop selling cannabis, because it’s illegal under federal law, then they should go after it directly, and not bully landlords into doing their work for them. Harborside’s attorney says  the case is now set to proceed to a jury trial, “which will probably take place in about one year.”

(SFGate) // The US Attorney may have lost that round in their battle with Harborside, but their threat of property forfeitures is working to keep new dispensaries from opening in Oakland. The city approved four new medical cannabis dispensary permits almost a year ago; only one has opened. The others are finding landlords reluctant to rent to them.

(East Bay Express) // Have you considered getting a cannabis card, but don’t want to be on a government list?  This column provides a comprehensive list of facts to consider.

(Wall St. Jrnl.) // Have We Lost the War on Drugs?” Two noted professors stand on the side of drug legalization, citing  - among other things - Portugal’s decriminalization of all drugs in 2001, with these results:

·      Lower rates of imprisonment

·      “Only modest” increase is youth usage, “if at all”

·      Increased visits to clinics for help with drug addictions (now that there is no fear of arrest)

·    Opiate-related deaths have dropped dramatically

(SFGate) // A recent item in Johnny Miller’s Chronicle “Wayback Machine” column reminds me of the run-around cannabis shops are getting now. The entry starts: “1963 – Jan. 11: There are enough homosexuals in San Francisco to support 25 bars,” even when those bars were repeatedly targeted for closure. A Grand Jury report expressed concern about “the homosexual problem.” That problem has worked itself out. Will this one?

(NewsReview) // There’s so much happening in the area of cannabis that it’s difficult to predict what will happen in the next weeks, let alone the next year. But this Sacramento paper peers into the crystal ball, all the same.

(Oakland Tribune) // Police speculate that the five-foot reptile found in a Castro Valley home may have been there to guard 34 pounds of pot. If so, it didn’t work; both were confiscated.

To read more Cannabis News Roundups from Steven Short, click here