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Over two decades ago, Russian archeologists discovered the tomb of a mummy referred to as the Siberian “Ukok Princess” buried deep beneath the frozen lands of the Altai Mountains. This discovery was highly publicized at the time due the woman’s 2,500-year-old body being so well preserved that her tattoos were still plainly visible. And while scientists revealed many interesting aspects about her final resting place, perhaps the most fascinating was the fact that in addition to a number of artifacts found in the grave was a surplus of marijuana.

Americans are in favor of making marijuana legal, and that most people don’t believe it is harmful or a gateway drug.
Could we be seeing the effects of anti-pot propaganda finally wearing off? Fifty-five percent of people think that the use of marijuana should be made legal and 54 percent think that sales should be made legal as well. These numbers are dramatically higher than they were from other surveys over the past 40 years, and have dramatically spiked since 2010. The percentage of Americans in favor of making marijuana use legal rose 25 percent from 1973 to 2012, then jumped another 12 percent from last summer until now.

The Weed Blog

By Jack Rikess
Northern California Correspondent
To the readers of Toke of the Town:
I had my last article, ‘Disorganized Government Crime: AG Hits Bay Area MMJ Scene,’ removed from the Toke banner after a couple of comments were made disputing the facts of my report. 
As a writer, I’m always striving to be a better journalist. While I depend on the facts for a story, I do sometimes in the same motion; offer my opinions on the situations I see evolving surrounding cannabis issues in the Bay Area and beyond.
I’ve realized I need to learn to be clearer on my execution or delivery as to what the facts are and what isn’t fact but commentary. To remain objective and honest with the details and differentiate distinctly when I’m stating opinions or my “take” on how the shit is going down.  


If you want to learn the basics about the medical marijuana — as a medicine and as an industry —  Medical Marijuana 101 is a great place to do it.
If, in fact, one were to pick just one book to learn about medicinal cannabis, this would be a great selection. Especially for the new patient or caregiver, it can provide a very useful introduction to the subject and point the reader towards where to learn more.
Author Mickey Martin of Oakland is a fixture on the California medical marijuana scene, and has been an outspoken and stalwart defender of both the rights of medicinal cannabis patients and providers, and of the need for full legalization.
Martin is known for his no-prisoners, no-b.s. style of blogging, and while the tone of this book is a tad calmer than that of his Cannabis Warrior blog, it manages to be a great read while still filling the reader in on the basics of medicinal cannabis.

All photos by Jack Rikess for Toke of the Town

By Jack Rikess
Toke of the Town
Northern California Correspondent
By the time our drug-addled President landed in San Francisco around 3 p.m., he’d already scored one bust for the day when some wrong-way Cessna had the bad misfortune to be within 10 miles of Air Force One’s air space that the Feds already had dibs on. Two F-16’s intercepted the myopic business person, forcing the ganja express to land. Officials claim that large amounts of marijuana were found.
Welcome to California, Mr. President. Now try to pretend that there isn’t an economy here that is based on the cultivation of cannabis.
I’m sure after sneaking a few smokes he entered his $35,000 a plate fundraiser at a downtown five-star hotel for the purpose of filling up his campaign war chest and reassure us that the country is getting back on track.

Six Predator B drones like this one are authorized to operate against marijuana smugglers

Program Costs Taxpayers

$​2,608 Per Seized Pound of Marijuana

U.S. border patrol agents are using drones — the same type used to fight the Afghanistan war — to locate illegal shipments of marijuana being smuggled across the Mexican/American border.

But based on the federal government’s own statistics, it remains to be seen if use of the expensive, unmanned aircraft to supposedly halt the flow of weed into the United States can be financially justified, reports Noel Brinkerhoff at AllGov.
Customs and Border Protection (CBP) currently operates six Predator B aircraft from two locations. Four of them are based in Sierra Vista, Arizona, according to the agency, and two in Corpus Christi, Texas. 

Florida Hempfest
Gainesville Hemp Fest, which was made famous when doobie tossers encouraged civil disobedience in 1993 and 1994, is returning this Saturday.

​You’ve got to admire the temerity of people who insist upon their rights, even in an unfriendly environment. After 11 long years, Hemp Fest is coming back to Gainesville, Florida at high noon on Saturday.

What used to be an annual celebration of marijuana and a protest for its legalization is being brought back by activist Dennis “Murli” Watkins, who served four months in jail for organizing a “doobie toss” at the event in 1994, reports Chad Smith at The Gainesville Sun.

“Hemp has been cultivated for thousands of years,” Watkins said. “Here it is almost 2012, and we’re still fighting this same stupid battle.”
Watkins would not say whether the “doobie toss” — where someone throws a bunch of joints in the air so that they rain down onto the excited crowd — would also be held.
Police, of course, are curious about that, too.

Photo: CBS News
ATF Agent John Dodson says he was ordered to let guns get into the hands of Mexican drug cartels

​CBS News has uncovered that the U.S. government has actually been allowing thousands of military-style firearms to be smuggled into Mexico “to see where they would end up.” Investigators call the tactic “letting the guns walk.” 

The entire operation, which the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) called “Fast and Furious,” was kept secret from Mexico.

“Documents show the inevitable result,” Sharyl Attkisson at CBS News reports. “The guns that ATF let go began showing up at crime scenes in Mexico. And as ATF stood by watching thousands of weapons hit the streets … the Fast and Furious group supervisor noted the escalating Mexican violence.”

Mexican marijuana smugglers ingeniously devised a cannabis catapult to launch their payload over the border.

​Smugglers using a catapult to launch marijuana cross the Mexican/U.S. border were seen on a remote video surveillance system last Friday, and National Guard troops coordinated with Mexican authorities to disrupt the operation — although nobody was caught.

National Guard troops running a remote video surveillance system at the Naco Border Patrol Station saw several people south of the International Boundary Fence preparing a catapult and launching packages over the fence, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, reports

Border Patrol agents working with the National Guard contacted Mexican authorities, who hurried to the location and disrupted the catapult team. The camera showed the catapult operators running away before they could be arrested by Mexican law enforcement.

Photo: Sergio Vidal
“I have a feeling that at any moment I will be summoned by the police.” Author Sergio Vidal holds “Cannabis Medicinal,” the first marijuana grow book ever published in Brazil

Exclusive Interview: Author/Activist Sergio Vidal

​In a sure sign that attitudes toward cannabis are changing worldwide, the first-ever cannabis grow book has been published in Brazil — and it may well be the first grow book printed in the Portuguese language.

Cannabis Medicinal author Sergio Vidal, a marijuana activist, told Toke of the Town that just the discussion of weed — let alone its use and possession — is surrounded by taboos, legal prohibitions, and repression.
“We are a young democracy,” Vidal told us. “We lived in a military dictatorship for many years in the 1960s and 70s. Our Constitution is only 22 years old. And the drug laws are a reflection of this dictatorial period.”
According to Vidal, Brazil’s drug laws include one article that criminalizes conduct “encouraging the use of drugs,” which means you can be arrested for simply advocating the legalization of cannabis. That makes me realize how well we have it here in the States, where more than a year of Toke of the Town has resulted in zero police interference.
“Events such as the Marijuana March have been considered criminal in many cities,” Vidal told us. “The law has been used on several occasions to criminalize social movements for legalization.”
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