Author Steve Elliott ~alapoet~


Video from NASA’s Chandra X-Ray Observatory on Monday showed a “fast moving jet of particles produced by a rapidly rotating neutron star,” scientifically speaking. But a more poetic view of the footage, according to The Raw Story, is that it resembles the mask from Phantom of the Opera or “God smoking a joint.”

The Vela pulsar was formed after the collapse of another massive star, according to NASA’s description provided with the video, and “it may provide new insight into the nature of some of the densest matter in the universe,” reports David Edwards at The Raw Story.

The video “has the unnerving appearance of the Phantom of the Opera — wearing not only a mask, but also a steam-blowing hat like the Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz,” wrote Universe Todays Nancy Atkinson.

The Daily Chronic

Nine medical marijuana collectives are claiming in court that the Long Beach Police Department is using illegal, unconstitutional tactics to put them out of business.

The nine collectives and two men are seeking an injunction and damages for Fourth Amendment violations and “judicial deception,” reports Matt Reynolds at Courthouse News Service.

Lead plaintiff Green Earth Center sued the city of Long Beach and five of its police officers — David Strohman, Oscar Valanzuela, Aldo Decarvalho, Chris Valdez and Douglas Luther — in federal court.

By John Dvorak
I love hemp! I’ve been studying hemp for more than 20 years and I’m still learning something new all the time! And there is so much more that we can ALL learn about how great hemp is and that’s where the Cannabis Curriculum comes in.
If you’re in school, why not study something interesting and cool like cannabis hemp? It doesn’t matter what class you’re taking, with a little creative thinking, you can apply it to the beneficial aspects of cannabis hemp or the devastating effects that its prohibition has on society. You can do a book report, a term paper or a group project.  
When you do this, YOU learn something new about hemp, your classmates learn something new and your teachers learn how great hemp is. That’s what the cannabis curriculum is all about:  education and communication. And if you send me the results of your hemp research, I’ll add it to the Cannabis Curriculum Clearinghouse, a database that others can access to assist with their hemp research efforts. 

Harborside Health Center

Chief Federal Magistrate Maria-Elena James on Monday ruled in favor of Harborside Health Center, which describes itself as the biggest nonprofit medical marijuana dispensary in the United States, and denied motions by Harborside’s landlords asking the court to order an immediate halt to the sales of medicinal cannabis at their properties.

Judge James also declined to grant a motion from the City of Oakland to immediately halt the federal government’s legal efforts to close Harborside, but scheduled a hearing later this month to hear more arguments in the City of Oakland’s lawsuit against the Feds in a 17-page opinion [PDF] described by Harborside as “highly significant.”
“We are grateful that Judge James carefully considered the facts and arguments in the Harborside case, and decided to grant us our day in court,” said Harborside Health Center Executive Director Steve DeAngelo. “We have always believed that a Bay Area jury will recognize the value that Harborside brings to the community, and refuse to allow the federal government to seize the properties where we are located.
Former Congressman Patrick Kennedy has established a group to lobby against legalized marijuana

Group calls on Patrick Kennedy – whose family made a fortune selling alcohol – to explain why he wants to keep an objectively less harmful alternative to alcohol illegal
The nation’s largest marijuana policy organization, the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), slammed former Congressman Patrick Kennedy‘s plan to force marijuana consumers into treatment and marijuana “education” classes, which his new organization, Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM), is scheduled to unveil in Denver on Wednesday.
Kennedy’s group, Project SAM — for Smart Approaches to Marijuana — will lobby for increased treatment for marijuana and drug abuse, he said, reports The Associated Press
“The proposal is on par with forcing every alcohol user into treatment at their own cost or at a cost to the state,” said MPP communications director Mason Tvert. “In fact, it would be less logical because the science is clear that marijuana is far less toxic, less addictive, and less likely to be associated with acts of violence.”

Cannabis Culture
Aaron Sandusky: “This is a terrible injustice. Nobody wins.”

Aaron Sandusky Sentenced to 10 Years in Federal Prison
By Cheri Sicard
Aaron Sandusky, the president of G3 Holistics, which operated three legal (under state law) California medical marijuana dispensaries, was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison on Monday in Los Angeles. Once his sentence is served, Sandusky will then face five years of supervised probation, including random drug testing. 
He is also being compelled to complete a drug rehab program, despite any evidence he actually has a drug addiction problem.
Defense attorney Roger Diamond made an impassioned plea on behalf of  his client, highlighting the conflicting opinions not only between state and federal law, both also laws within the state of California. He pointed out that Sandusky provided much needed medicine to seriously ill patients in full and open compliance with California state laws.
Michael Safiotti — in jail for marijuana — died after jail workers served him oatmeal containing dairy products, then refused to help him when he had an allergic reaction. The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Department recommends that nobody be charged. How convenient for them!

Michael Saffioti, 22, died in a Snohomish County Jail cell after being locked up on a marijuana charge. Now, thanks to the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Department, nobody is being held accountable.

Witnesses testified that jail guards mocked the young man as he lay dying, but the Sheriff’s Office announced last week that it would not recommend any charges against guards or staff for the tragedy, reports Jon Humbert at KOMO 4.
Saffioti died of what his mother, Rose Saffioti, believes was a severe allergic reaction; he is allergic to dairy products. He’d had run-ins with the law over marijuana and needed to turn himself in last July after missing a court date.

Alarm company ADT refuses to service medical marijuana patients who legally grow their own cannabis

A Sacramento, California AIDS patient who grows medical marijuana said his home alarm company of three years dropped him after a repairman saw cannabis plants inside his house.

“I still want to call the governor,” said the homeowner, Jay, who wanted to remain anonymous. “If this company doesn’t want to recognize our state laws, they maybe we shouldn’t license them [in California],” reports Richard Sharp at KCRA.


Although the voters in the state of Washington — home to several of the United States’ biggest naval bases — recently legalized marijuana, the Pentagon has reminded sailors that federal drug policies remain unaffected for members of the military.

The zero tolerance drug policy for all members of the U.S. Armed Forces was instituted by then-President Ronald Reagan in 1981 after the fatal crash of a Prowler on board the USS Nimitz killed 14 crew members and injured 45 others. (The crash, of course, had nothing to do with marijuana, but autopsies showed several members of the flight deck crew tested positive for pot, so that gave them a convenient scapegoat upon which to blame the tragedy.)

Young Kwak/The Pacific Northwest Inlander
All charges against medical marijuana provider Adam Assenberg were dismissed on Friday

All charges against medical marijuana patient and provider Adam Assenberg have been dropped in Washington state’s Whitman County Superior Court. Assenberg was facing multiple charges for operating a medical marijuana dispensary in Colfax, Washington.

“I totally kicked ass,” Assenberg told Toke of the Town on Friday. “I told everyone from the beginning that I was going to.”
According to Assenberg, the case was dismissed due to the Scott Shupe ruling. In that huge victory for medical cannabis, the “drug trafficking” convictions of Scott Q. Shupe, a man who operated Spokane, Washington’s first medical marijuana dispensary, were reversed on December 11 in a state Appeals Court ruling.
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