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As advertising executives across the country pull what’s left of their hair out trying to sell enough adspace to keep main stream print media from completely going under, the one major money market that they have completely left untapped is medical marijuana. Until now, that is.
You may recall, it was just three short months ago when CBS pulled paid-for Weedmaps advertisements off of Times Square billboards just minutes before they were scheduled to be unveiled. But times, and opinions, are changing when it comes to weed, and now the New York Times has announced that it will run the publication’s first full page advertisement for what they refer to as the “consumer cannabis” market.

Speckled Axe
Judge Richard A. Posner: “I think it’s really absurd to be criminalizing possession or use or distribution of marijuana”

Most-Cited Judge In America Criticizes Drug War As ‘Absurd’

A widely respected federal judge called for the legalization of marijuana in a lecture at Elmhurst College in Illinois on Thursday.

Judge Richard A. Posner of the influential Seventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago “is an intellectual giant who is the most-cited judge in America,” reports Larry Bodine at “His call for legalization is considered significant because Posner is considered a legal conservative,” Bodine wrote.
“I don’t think we should have a fraction of the drug laws that we have,” Posner said. “I think it’s really absurd to be criminalizing possession or use or distribution of marijuana. I can’t see any difference between that and cigarettes.”

Santa Rosa Press Democrat
Mendocino County Sheriff Tom Allman: “We are, of course, supportive of legitimate medical marijuana here.”

Tell me what company you keep and I’ll tell you what you are.
   ~ Miguel de Cervantes, “Don Quixote de la Mancha Part II” (1615)
By Jack Rikess

Toke of the Town

Northern California Correspondent
Conventional wisdom for anyone living north of Santa Rosa is that marijuana is an integral component of California’s economy. In the beginning, growers were tolerated by the locals as misfits of society who had migrated north to avoid the world of straight jobs and or had fled to Mendo with the ‘back to the county’ movement to grow their organic beans and fruit.
Venerable local institutions such as the timber and fishing industries were leery of the young freaks with their torn jeans and rusting VW vans. Their fears were soon justified when that first generation found that there were endless acres of hidden land stashed in them there hills.
If a guy could find a secluded patch in the hills that was close to water and had sun, he had the makings of his first clandestine start-up. The Timber giants viewed the encroaching growers as threats to their land, their water, and to the political dominance that they held in NorCal since the mid-19th century. 
By the 1980s, the marijuana industry was entrenched and blooming, much to the chagrin of local law enforcement and community leaders. These former lazy rejects were driving new trucks, sending their kids to school, and buying their veggies at Safeway just like everyone else.  
Thirty years later it is estimated that cannabis industry generates around 13 billion dollars in annual sales. And that’s what is available to count. The timber industry is now a hollow trunk of its former self. The salmon and other fish populations have been so drastically depleted in the last few decades that fishermen can’t rely on their yield from season to season. Many fishing boats on the coast have gone belly up.

Curt Merlo/The Village Voice

​Violent crime has declined dramatically in New York City since 1990, the year when the Big Apple set a record for the most homicides in its history. A new study shows that the price of hard drugs has also plummeted in the past 20 years, and suggests the two phenomena may be linked.

The price of cocaine fell from $400-$460 per pure gram in the early 1980s to less then $200 by the early 2000s, reports Alexander Hotz at The New York World. Similarly, heroin prices dropped from $3,000 to $3,600 per pure gram in the 1980s to about $2,000 by the 2000s.
A team of anthropologists and economists at Manhattan’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice at the City University of New York (CUNY) has suggested that the collapse of heroin and cocaine prices might be at least partially responsible for the reversal of crime rates.

Photo: Zazzle

​Opponents of Proposition 19 — which would legalize, tax and regulate recreational marijuana for adults in California — are desperately trying to revive their cash-strapped campaign amid signs that public sentiment is turning more and more in favor of the initiative.

“We’re telling folks who are opposed, ‘If we’re going to get our message out, we need additional resources,’ ” said Roger Salazar, spokesman for No On Proposition 19, reports Michael Montgomery at CaliforniaWatch.
The campaign against Prop 19 has so far been financially anemic, raising less than $160,000 in contributions for all of this year, according to required campaign finance disclosures as of September 30.
Meanwhile, supporters of the cannabis legalization initiative have raised more than $860,000 this year, led by Oakland marijuana entrepreneur Richard Lee.

Photo: ACS Blog

​A new poll finds growing support for a November ballot initiative that would legalize marijuana in California.

Sunday’s survey by the nonpartisan Field Poll on Prop 19, which will be on the state’s November ballot and would legalize marijuana and tax its production, distribution and sale, shows more voters warming to the measure, which is now leading 49 to 42 percent, with 9 percent undecided.
A Field Poll in July showed the measure trailing, 44 percent Yes to 48 percent No, reports Jim Miller of the Riverside Press-Enterprise.

Graphic: SF Appeal
Prop 19 is ahead by 16 points! Is it November yet?

​Pothead Power, people. California’s Proposition 19, which would legalize, tax and regulate marijuana for adults 21 and older, is currently leading by a wide margin among state voters, according to a new poll. The measure is supported by 52 percent of voters, and opposed by only 36 percent.

The new PPP poll (PDF) shows the largest margin of support yet seen from recent polling on Prop 19, reports policy analyst Jon Walker at FireDogLake.
Interestingly, the poll found Prop 19 support among African Americans to be very high, possibly influenced by the California NAACP’s recent endorsement of the legalization measure.
African Americans are the strongest supporters of Prop 19, with 68 percent in favor and 32 percent against, followed by whites who support it 53 percent to 37 percent.

Graphic: CBS/AP

​The latest Field Poll (PDF) finds likely California voters oppose Proposition 19, the marijuana legalization initiative, by a narrow 48 percent to 44 percent margin.

The survey’s results suggest a grim outlook for the measure, according to poll director Mark DiCamillo, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
“Historically, for measures that don’t start out with a lead, the chances of passage are much lower than those that start out with a lead,” DiCamillo said. “If they start out behind, history suggests a 10 to 15 percent chance of passing. Some do, but it’s very rare.”

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