Search Results: weed-wars/ (15)

Rialto Cinemas

​​By Jack Rikess
Toke of the Town
Northern California Correspondent
The Weed Wars are on, and at stake are television ratings. In the next couple of weeks we’ll start to see the bounty of this year’s harvest of cannabis-centric TV hitting the airwaves. 
The ever-present Steve DeAngelo has his reality series starting on the Discovery Channel a la Kiss’s Gene Simmons: depicting a world class guy with the weight of the world on his shoulders yet he has time to take his kid to Little League. Just a regular guy and family man who happens to like to bang the gong at the end of the day. America won’t believe their eyes.
This Friday the National Geographic Channel is joining the Cannafest with the premiere of Marijuana Gold Rush. Depicting the many highs and a few lows of this past year’s emerging dream of bringing cannabis into the mainstream, going from the boardrooms of New York to our own Mendocino County’s Emerald Cup, with the participants not knowing what really is to come.

Veterans Today

​Raising worrisome First Amendment issues, U.S. Attorneys are getting ready to go after newspapers, radio stations and other outlets which accept advertising for California’s medical marijuana dispensaries, as the Obama Administration opens up another front in its ongoing war against medicinal cannabis.

After announcing earlier this month that landlords could have their property seized if they rent to dispensaries, the Administration seems to be including media outlets in its threats, as well, reports Michael Montgomery at California Watch.

Marijuana advertising is the next area U.S. Attorney Laura E. Duffy is “going to be moving onto as part of the enforcement efforts in Southern California,” she said. Duffy, whose district includes San Diego and Imperial counties, said she couldn’t speak for the other three federal prosecutors in the state, but noted they have coordinated their efforts thus far.

The Sacramento Bee
Happier times: Lito Catabran, 62, in front of One Love Wellness Center in Sacramento in August. Catabran, a former RV salesman, had hoped to retire soon.

​In what appears to be an escalation of the U.S. government effort to stamp out medical marijuana, federal authorities have seized almost $250,000 from the accounts of two Sacramento area dispensaries in an investigation of alleged concealment of cannabis profits.

U.S. Magistrate Gregory G. Hollows approved two warrants on September 22 allowing authorities to seize business checking accounts from operators of the One Love Wellness Center dispensary in Sacramento and Mary Jane’s Wellness in Gold River, reports Peter Hecht at the Sacramento Bee.

The warrants were requested by a U.S. Treasury Department criminal task force. They allege that the two dispensaries may have violated U.S. financial laws through irregular banking deposits to avoid detection by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Photo: Stuff Stoners Like

​Legislation to keep Californians convicted of illegal marijuana cultivation out of state prisons has been introduced by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco).

Assembly Bill 1017 would set a maximum sentence of one year in county jail for people convicted of illegal cultivation, reports Peter Hecht at The Sacramento Bee. Current California law regards cannabis growing as a felony, with up to three years in state prison, and even stiffer sentences if the cultivation is connected to illegal sales or trafficking.
​The bill would also make it easier for non-medical marijuana growers to be charged with a misdemeanor instead of a felony, according to Ammiano’s spokesman, Quintin Mecke. “It will make everything a wobbler,” Mecke said.

Graphic: The Weed Blog

​A California-wide radio advertising blitz paid for by the California Chamber of Commerce’s Business PAC features a commercial showing a stoned workforce.

The spot, which calls for a “no” vote on the Proposition 19 cannabis legalization initiative, has many inaccuracies, reports Peter Hecht of The Sacramento Bee.
The text of the Chamber of Commerce ad is as follows:
Imagine coming out of surgery and the nurse caring for you was high – or having to work harder on your job to make up for a co-worker who shows up high on pot. It could happen in California if Proposition 19 passes.
Prop 19 would do more than simply legalize marijuana. Prop 19 is worded so broadly that it would hurt California’s economy, raise business costs and make it harder to create jobs. Employees would be allowed to come to work high and employers would be unable to punish an employee for being high until after a workplace accident.
Not only could workers compensation premiums rise, businesses will lose millions in federal grants for violating federal drug laws. California’s economy is bad enough. Prop 19 will hurt workers and business and cost jobs.
Twenty five California newspapers, including the Chronicle and the Bee, and Dianne Feinstein agree: Vote No on Prop 19.
“The chamber’s over-the-top depiction of a stoned post-surgical nurse and its frets about people coming to work high contradict rules on marijuana in the workplace upheld by the California Supreme Court and federal law,” Hecht points out.

Photo: Gregory Bojorquez/LA Weekly
Expo organizer and medical marijuana advocate Richard Eastman, left, talks with Prop 215 co-author Dennis Peron, who is scheduled to speak at the event

​Southern California medical marijuana advocates are spreading the word about cannabis this weekend with a two-day educational event in Long Beach.

The Long Beach, Los Angeles and Orange County Medical Marijuana Exposition and Patients Film Festival (try saying that after taking a bong hit) will happen Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. each day at the Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Greater Long Beach, 2017 East 4th Street.
The expo is “an educational event” being held “because of Long Beach being in the center of a heated debate on marijuana,” according to one of the organizers, marijuana advocate Richard Eastman, reports Paul Eakins of the Long Beach Press-Telegram.
“Our goal is to educate the citizens and voters of Long Beach about the positive benefits of medical marijuana,” Eastman said, reports Jonathan Van Dyke at


​An advocacy group for medical marijuana patients is warning California cities and counties that they cannot ban cannabis dispensaries on grounds that state and federal marijuana laws are in conflict.

Americans for Safe Access (ASA), the Oakland-based organization representing marijuana patients, has sent letters to 134 California cities and nine counties, urging them to lift local bans on marijuana dispensaries as a result of an August state appeals court ruling. The letter hints at potential legal actions to come, reports Peter Hecht of The Sacramento Bee.

Photo: The Sacramento Bee
Medical marijuana entrepreneur Stephen Gasparas operates a Redding warehouse where he grows medical marijuana for patients.

​Redding won’t be joining a growing group of California cities looking to fix budget deficits by taxing medical marijuana.

A City Council majority on Tuesday evening strongly rejected the idea of taxing the city’s 19 medical cannabis dispensaries, reports Scott Mobley at The Redding Record Searchlight.
“There are people who abuse it (medical marijuana), and people who don’t, and that is the people (this tax) would impact,” said council member Dick Dickerson, who, along with Mary Stegall, strongly opposed the concept of taxing medicinal cannabis.

Photo: James Stacy
Federal medical marijuana defendant James Stacy leads a protest: “I tried to help people and now I face life in prison, even though I did not break the law.”

​Medical marijuana advocates are expressing outrage that former San Diego County dispensary operator James Stacy is facing federal marijuana prosecution.

After Stacy opened a medical pot shop called “Movement In Action” in Vista, he was charged with federal counts of illegally manufacturing and distributing marijuana after undercover buys made by a San Diego County sheriff’s detective and resulting raids by U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents at his home and business, reports Peter Hecht of The Sacramento Bee.

Photo: L.A. District Attorney’s Office
Los Angeles County D.A. and California Attorney General candidate Steve Cooley hates pot and opposes legalization. He probably thinks you suck hard, too.

​Pot-hating, publicity-loving Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley, who has claimed medical marijuana dispensaries are illegal operations, is now targeting the legitimacy of a November ballot initiative to legalize recreational cannabis and allow local governments to tax and regulate it.

In an April 13 letter (PDF) to Attorney General Jerry Brown, Cooley claims the title and summary for the measure is “wrong and highly misleading” and should be disallowed, reports Peter Hecht at The Sacramento Bee.
Cooley, an ambitious hot-dogger of a Republican who’s hoping to replace Brown as attorney general, claims the initiative falsely offers “major tax and other benefits” for state and local governments by regulating marijuana similarly to alcohol.
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