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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.  

ABC News

President Barack Obama made a habit of “intercepting” joints back in his high school days. Does he still have enough mojo to “tackle” the Drug War in a second term?

Obama’s been in the White House for three and a half years now, and searching for his actual position on marijuana is still roughly like searching for Bigfoot in the Pacific Northwest. There are plenty of rumors that the guy has some actual beliefs on the subject, with no shortage of opinions as to what those might actually be, but nobody can actually prove anything.

Nobody, that is, except the dispensary operators and collective managers who’ve been raided during Obama’s term — even after both Obama himself (as a candidate in 2008), his Administration (the so-called Ogden Memo, 2009) and Attorney General Eric Holder (in 2009) all said the prosecution of individuals who are obeying their states’ medical marijuana laws “wouldn’t be a priority.”

If you live in Washington state, it doesn’t even matter if medical marijuana is legal. You can be fired for using it — even legally — even if only if your off hours.

​Employers in Washington state are allowed to fire employees who fail a drug test, even if they have a valid medical marijuana authorization, the state Supreme Court ruled on Thursday.

The court ruled that TeleTech Customer Care, a Colorado-based company that handles customer service for Sprint from its facility in Bremerton, Washington, was allowed to fire a woman for failing its required drug test, even though she is a legal medical marijuana patient, reports J.B. Wogan at the Seattle Times.
The plaintiff was pulled out of her training class after just a week and fired on the spot on October 18, 2006, because she failed a pre-employment drug screen. She had a valid medical marijuana authorization from her doctor, and sued under the name Jane Roe.

Graphic: Telling It Like It Is!

​The marijuana legalization debate has caught fire. When asked if they would support legalizing cannabis in their state, three out of four Americans — 74 percent — say they support legalization of medical marijuana, with almost half (48 percent) saying they strongly support it, according to a new Harris Poll. Fewer than one in five Americans (18 percent) say they oppose legalizing medical marijuana in their state.

Americans are less supportive of legalizing marijuana for recreational use. Two in five (42 percent) support legalizing recreational use in in their state, and half (49 percent) oppose it.
Surprisingly to some, adults in the East are most supportive of legalizing marijuana for medical use (80 percent) and recreational use (50 percent). The West is the next most supportive region, with 76 percent supporting medical marijuana and 50 percent favoring the legalizing of recreational marijuana.

Photo: The Vancouver Sun
Dana Larsen holds marijuana at The Medical Cannabis Dispensary, which he operates in Vancouver, in this 2008 photo.

​Longtime Canadian marijuana activist Dana Larsen has become the first candidate to enter the British Columbia NDP leadership race, announcing that he plans to make cannabis legalization an election issue.
Larsen, 39, officially kicked off his campaign Wednesday morning, reports CBC News.
“I support B.C. NDP policies which call for cannabis to be legally taxed and regulated,” Larsen said. “Cannabis is British Columbia’s biggest industry and it should be brought above ground.”

Photo: NORML Stash Blog
Your tax dollars were used to pay for this dumb-ass billboard just outside of Portland, Oregon.

​The widespread belief that marijuana users will eventually and inevitably move on to harder drugs has yet more evidence against it with the release of a new study from the University of New Hampshire.

Whether teenagers who smoked pot will use other illegal drugs as young adults has a lot more to do with factors such as employment status and stress, according to the new research, reports Science News. In fact, the strongest predictor of whether someone will use hard drugs is their race/ethnicity, not whether they ever used marijuana.
“In light of these findings, we urge U.S. drug control policymakers to consider stress and life-course approaches in their pursuit of solutions to the ‘drug problem,’ ” wrote UNH associate professors of sociology Karen Van Gundy and Cesar Rebellon.

Graphic: Aural Wes
Wesleyan students chose Giant Joint over two human competitors for the student assembly.

​Wesleyan University students have elected “Giant Joint” to the student assembly, beating out two human competitors for the seat.

In the election last month, Giant Joint, a consistent vote-getter in representative elections since 2006, finally achieved victory with 416 votes, reports Aviva Markowitz of The Wesleyan Argus.
The genesis of Giant Joint took place in 2006 when Bev Allen, who graduated from the Middletown, Connecticut university in 2008, walked around the campus dressed as a giant joint.
The first year Allen ran for the Wesleyan Student Assembly (WSA) as Giant Joint, she got 50 votes.
What began as a protest against a Student Health Advisory marijuana safety campaign resulted in a new Wesleyan write-in tradition: Giant Joint for WSA.
“I am proud and excited,” Allen said in an email to The Argus. “I definitely wanted Mr. Joint to live on after my graduation.”