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Photo: Steve Elliott
Bud room at The Healing Center Organization in Seattle

​Here in Washington state, in the Puget Sound area, I have seen a beautiful flowering of the cannabis subculture in the past 18 months.
It has been my privilege to be part of a moment that will almost inevitably be seen as something of a golden age in the medical marijuana scene in Seattle, when for a brief moment a vibrant, caring community felt its power and potential.
Since I became an authorized patient in 2007, I’ve seen the scene change from a handful of insular, exclusive (and often paranoid) collectives — none of which would take me as member, even with my legal authorization — to a plethora of dispensaries competing for my business.

Photo: 420List.org

​A bill that would have legalized marijuana in Washington state — supported by every state legislator from Seattle, as well as the city’s mayor, city attorney and several City Council members — is officially dead in Olympia, the state capitol.

House Bill 1550 didn’t even advance out of the relevant committees by Friday evening, a key cutoff date for the 2011 Legislature, reports Chris Grygiel at the Seattle P.I.
Sponsored by Rep. Mary Lou Dickerson (D-Seattle), the measure would legalize marijuana, have its sale regulated by the state Liquor Control Board, and impose a tax of 15 percent on cannabis.

Photo: TopNews
Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske requested — and got — a meeting with the editorial board of the Seattle Times after the newspaper endorsed marijuana legalization. The Drug Czar is bound by law to oppose marijuana legalization.

​Immediately after the Seattle Times ran an editorial supporting marijuana legalization, Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske made plans to visit the newspaper on Friday, March 4 — presumably to tell them where they have erred. In response to that, cannabis legalization advocates plan to protest Kerlikowske’s appearance at the paper by rallying on public sidewalks around the Times building.

Yes, it may be the first time in history that protesters have shown up to support a newspaper editorial on any subject!
Some observers have wondered whether the meeting is an attempt at intimidation by the Drug Czar, especially since the Times is one of the largest newspapers yet to support legalization.
Protest Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske’s Appearance at the Seattle Times
LOCATION: Sidewalks adjoining the Seattle Times at 1120 John Street
TIME: From 7:30 a.m. until the Drug Czar departs the Seattle Times building

Photo: Injustice In Seattle
Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske requested — and got — a meeting with the editorial board of the Seattle Times after the newspaper endorsed marijuana legalization

​Immediately after the Seattle Times ran an editorial last week supporting marijuana legalization, the newspaper got a telephone call from Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske in Washington, D.C., Seattle alternative weekly The Stranger reports.

Kerlikowske, who heads up the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), wanted to fly to Seattle to “talk personally” to the paper’s full editorial board, reports Dominic Holden at The Stranger.
Holden called the meeting “an apparent attempt by the federal government to pressure the state’s largest newspaper to oppose marijuana legalization.”

Graphic: WeedMaps

​Buying bud on a budget? WeedMaps has a deal for you.

WeedMaps, known for directing medical marijuana users to nearby dispensaries in states which allow it, has borrowed an idea from Groupon, the popular coupon-swapping website, and is now offering daily coupons and discounts on medicinal cannabis, reports Jeremy A. Kaplan at Fox News.
While the service has been called “Groupon for ganja,” site founder Justin Hartfield was quick to point out the differences between the two.
“It’s only like Groupon in the sense that there’s a new deal every day,” he told FoxNews.com. “We’re not accepting money from end users.” Groupon customers buy merchandise online, he explained, meaning subscribers rely on the daily coupon website itself to handle the transactions.

Photo: Full Stop India
Plant cannabis everywhere this spring. Overgrow The World!

​Overgrow The World has the same goal as most of us: “Full re-legalization of cannabis/hemp for all farmers and responsible adults around the world.” But OTW plans to achieve this goal through a unique method: planting marijuana in public, highly visible places.

A global “spring planting” is planned to specifically target areas which will be plainly visible, in order to get more national and international media coverage on the issue of cannabis re-legalization.
“Perhaps the simplest solution is the most visible,” reads the tagline on the OTW website, “and the idea is just that,” group founder ElectroPig Von Fökkengrüüven told Toke of the Town.
“I figured the best way to do that was to bring it to the streets of every city, town and village around the world,” the mysterious ElectroPig told us. “And if the plants are seen NOT chasing children down the street, and they are seen to NOT stick needles into people’s arms, maybe a bit of common sense ‘might’ start to filter into even the most willfully ignorant person’s mind.”

Manatee County Sheriff’s Office
Mark Fiasco: Thanks, sheriff dudes… I’ve been looking for that bong for seven years, brah!

​It was a bad news/good news scenario. A Florida man got busted for marijuana, but the search of his trunk revealed a bong inside a plastic shopping bag that he said had been lost for years.

Mark Fiasco (yes, that’s really his last name) thanked deputies who arrested him Friday morning during a vehicle search that also turned up the bong he said he lost years ago, according to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, reports Paradise Afshar of The Bradenton Herald.
Fiasco and Matthew Haley were pulled over around midnight; officers claimed a license plate light was out. The deputies’ report said the car had also been involved in a previous drug case in which an arrest was made.
When deputies first approached Fiasco, 23, he provided an address that did not match what was listed on his license. He was then asked if there were any drugs in the car and he said no, according to the report.
A search of the vehicle — to which Fiasco apparently consented, which you should never do — revealed just over an ounce, 29.3 grams of marijuana, to be precise, in the trunk. The search also revealed a big bong inside a plastic shopping bag.

Photo: JP Laffont

Do Americans live in a barbaric nation?


The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to hear an appeal from convicted Mississippi marijuana dealer Lorenzo Tarver.

Tarver was sentenced in 2006 in Leflore County, Mississippi, to 60 years for possession of more than 81 pounds of marijuana with intent to distribute, according to AP.
The Mississippi Court of Appeals upheld his conviction in 2009.



Screen Capture: Reality Catcher
The Stop Prop 19 people aren’t interested in your feedback on their little video. This is a one-way conversation, DO YOU UNDERSTAND?!

​A far-right conservative political group called SaveCalifornia.com is turning its unwholesome attention from anti-gay marriage legislation, Prop 8, to fighting this year’s pro-marijuana legislation, Prop 19, the legalization measure on November’s California ballot.

The group’s inaugural television ad ignores decades of scientific evidence showing showing otherwise to claim that marijuana is a “gateway drug” leading to methamphetamine and cocaine, and that it’s the addiction most cited by teenagers in drug rehab (failing to mention that most of those teens were forced into “marijuana rehab” under threat of jail).
Tellingly, both comments and the “Like/Dislike” buttons have been turned off on the YouTube video. SaveCalifornia doesn’t want a dialogue with Californians — it wants to lecture Californians.


Photo: Calaveras County Sheriff
Deputy Steve Avila admitted he stole a medical marijuana patient’s I.D. and authorization, then bought pot with it

​A California deputy has admitted using a doctor’s recommendation and stolen identity from a legal medical marijuana patient in order to buy pot in a drug sting.

Deputy Steve Avila of the Calaveras County Sheriff’s Department said during questioning that he had used the patient’s recommendation, with a falsified birthdate, to persuade a dispensary owner to sell marijuana to an officer.
Avila claimed he obtained the medical marijuana recommendation “from an investigation we conducted,” but also claimed he “did not recall” which officer obtained it, or how it was obtained.
Jay Smith of K Care Collective, the dispensary owner who was tricked into selling marijuana to an officer,  said Calaveras County is waging a war against medical marijuana, and is doing so using unethical means, reports Dana M. Nichols of the San Joaquin County Record.
Robert Shaffer, the medical marijuana patient whose identity was stolen, tells the same story.
According to Shaffer, Deputy Avila violated his privacy by using his identity and documents in the sting operation.
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