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Photo: Seattle Hempfest
Christmas Day Vigil For Prisoners of the Drug War: Here’s the group from 2008. Be there this year, Dec. 25 from noon until 2 p.m.!

​A Christmas Day vigil to honor and show support for Americans arrested for marijuana and non-violent drug use, and to oppose America’s cannabis and drug laws, will be held in Seattle from noon to 2 p.m. December 25.

Seattle Hempfest and the November Coalition invite “anyone with a peaceful nature” to join the vigil at the King County Jail to stand against America’s marijuana laws and show solidarity with those unjustly incarcerated.
“We will be respectful and we will increase the peace with our presence,” said organizer Vivian McPeak of Seattle Hempfest.
Vigil attendees are expected to be polite, non-confrontational and not to block access to any thoroughfare at any time, according to McPeak.

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U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Despite a moratorium on the opening of any new dispensaries, beautiful Richmond, California still has safe access for medical marijuana patients — for now.

​East Bay city Richmond, Calif., will hold off on an outright ban of medical marijuana dispensaries, Katherine Tam reports in The Oakland Tribune.

City leaders in Richmond, an residential inner suburb of San Francisco, say they are still looking for a way to regulate dispensaries without exhausting police resources, “which should be focused on homicides and more serious violent crimes.”
Richmond officials plan to study other cities’ tactics as they weigh their options.
“See if there is a way to try to accomplish the goal of getting a convenient way for people to have access to medical marijuana in a way that doesn’t lead to constant drains of police resources,” said Councilman Jim Rogers.

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Reality Catcher
Marijuana’s going mainstream.

​Six House Democrats have filed a bill in the Washington State Legislature to legalize marijuana.

The bill, which would make pot legal for those 21 or older, would use nearly all the money raised through sales at state liquor/marijuana stores for substance abuse treatment and prevention.
Marijuana revenues will probably be comparable to those for alcohol, according to Dickerson. Alcohol revenues run about $330 million yearly in Washington.
The six Democratic legislators sponsoring the bill are Mary Lou Dickerson and Scott White of Seattle, Roger Goodman of Kirkland, David Upthegrove of Des Moines, Sherry Appleton of Poulsbo and Mary Helen Roberts of Lynwood.
Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna, a Republican, is already on record as opposing the bill. “Like most of my colleagues in law enforcement, like my father who was in law enforcement, I’m not a big fan of making marijuana available without a prescription,” McKenna said.

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MediLeaf
The little dispensary that could: MediLeaf is still open in Gilroy, Calif.

​Gilroy, Calif., Councilman Perry Woodward has called for a “full refund” of legal fees from the city’s contracted law firm after learning that Gilroy’s assistant city attorney advised the neighboring City of Los Altos to take a “diametrically opposed” stance on banning marijuana dispensaries, reports Jonathan Partridge at the Gilroy Dispatch.

Woodward urged the council to demand restitution for all legal fees paid to hired attorney Linda Callon of San Jose-based law firm Berliner-Cohen in connection with regulating medical marijuana dispensaries. According to the Dispatch, the councilman has sent emails to fellow council members, city administrators and Callon herself.

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Photo: CMMNJ
MS patient John Ray Wilson, left, and a supporter

​In a move that could be huge for the medical marijuana movement, a New Jersey judge reversed course today, allowing a multiple sclerosis patient on trial for growing 17 marijuana plants to testify about his medical condition, Brian Thompson of NBC New York reports.

Although Judge Robert Reed had earlier ruled defendant John Ray Wilson couldn’t present a defense based on medical necessity, Wilson was allowed to mention his MS after multiple conferences among lawyers and the judge.
“I told them [the arresting officers]I was not a drug dealer and I was using the marijuana for my MS,” Wilson was allowed to tell the jury.
“I think it carried weight, even though it was one sentence,” said Chris Goldstein of the Coalition for Medical Marijuana in New Jersey.
No follow up on Wilson’s MS was allowed.
He faces up to 20 years in prison on the “drug manufacturing” charge.

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loopylettuce.wordpress.com
Here’s what pot does to you. Just ask Jill Wellock!

​Freelance writer Jill Wellock has a problem.

She really, really dislikes marijuana and, apparently, those who use it.
Wellock generously shares this extreme distaste with us in a guest op-ed piece in today’s edition of The Olympian, the newspaper of Olympia, Washington, the state’s capitol.
Jill gets right down to business with a real winner of a headline:
‘Marijuana saps initiative, ambition and responsibility’
Headline aside, we know right off the bat we’re in for a bumpy ride when Jill starts off by confiding in us that she attended a “rough junior high.” Apparently not really one for nostalgia, Wellock recalls “the stoner girls” carving “Joe Elliot” [sic]“into their forearms with wood screws to prove Def Leppard allegiance.”
Oh, Jill. First of all, if they carved “Joe Elliot,” they aren’t done carving, because the rock star’s name is spelled “Elliott.” Maybe you should give those “stoner girls” a call and tell them they need to get back out the wood screws.
Secondly, if these had been real “stoner girls” during the time period mentioned, they wouldn’t have been carving freakin’ Def Leppard tributes on their arms; it would have been Marilyn Manson. Or maybe Jerry Garcia.

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Photo: pavric
An opium poppy field in Afghanistan. Slit marks on the bulbs are where raw opium has been harvested.

​Thousands of additional Marines flooding into Afghanistan’s opium-growing interior won’t go after those growing the crops, the commander in the area said, according to Reuters.

“The reality we have to face right now is that the number one cash crop in this area is still the poppy,” said Brigadier General Larry Nicholson, who commands 10,000 Marines in opium center Helmand.
Nicholson said he didn’t want to “alienate” local farmers by targeting their opium poppies.

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Office of the WA Attorney General
Atty. Gen. Rob McKenna: “Not a big fan of making marijuana available”

​Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna said Tuesday he opposes attempts to legalize marijuana in Washington, Chris Grygiel reports at the Seattle P.I.

McKenna was reacting to a a bill introduced by Rep. Mary Lou Dickerson (D-Seattle) to legalize pot for those 21 and older in the state.
“Like most of my colleagues in law enforcement, like my father who was in law enforcement, I’m not a big fan of making marijuana available without a prescription,” McKenna said.
“It is legal today if you have a prescription. That’s fine; the voters approved that law and people who are really sick with cancer, for example, or glaucoma seem to derive real benefit from the medical or medicinal use of marijuana. But making it available generally without a prescription I don’t support,” he said.
McKenna’s opposition to legalizing cannabis comes as no surprise. McKenna is definitely not cool. The only surprise in his statement was his downright reasonable-sounding words on medical marijuana — since up until now, he’s had a tin ear when it comes to hearing the concerns of patients.

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Photo: Laurie Avocado

​The Los Angeles City Council’s proposed restrictions on where medical marijuana dispensaries can locate in the city would eliminate most sites, according to maps drawn by city planners, John Hoeffel of the L.A. Times reports.

City Councilman Ed Reyes said Tuesday that the current proposal — a 1,000-foot buffer between dispensaries and residences or other “sensitive” areas, including schools and parks — “will go out the window right away” when the council returns to the issue today.

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CMMR

​Coloradans for Medical Marijuana Regulation (CMMR), a coalition of medical marijuana patients, providers and growers supporting responsible regulation of medical marijuana, today released proposed guidelines for regulating medical marijuana dispensaries.
According to CMMR, the guidelines would protect the businesses and their patients, as well as promote public safety.
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