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1US CA: Field Poll: In a First, Majority of California VotersTue, 10 Dec 2013
Source:Sacramento Bee (CA) Author:White, Jeremy B. Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:12/11/2013

In a state that pioneered rethinking marijuana laws, a majority of voters have legalization in mind.

A new Field Poll tracks the increasingly green-friendly attitude of Californians, a decades-long trend that has seen Golden State residents swing from seeking tougher enforcement to favoring the end of pot prohibition. Eight percent of voters backed allowing anyone to purchase cannabis and 47 percent said it should be available with the types of controls, like age verification, that govern alcohol sales.

Those two groups combined account for 55 percent of voters surveyed, marking a breakthrough for marijuana advocates: It is the first time a Field Poll has discovered clear majority support for legalization. A combined 50 percent backed the notion in 2010, when a legalization ballot initiative went down to defeat.

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2US CA: Californians: Just Say 'Yes'Tue, 10 Dec 2013
Source:San Jose Mercury News (CA) Author:Richman, Josh Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:12/11/2013

For the first time in 44 years, a clear majority of California voters favors legalizing marijuana, a new Field Poll found.

And where there's smoke, there might soon be fire: A specific legalization ballot initiative now seeking signatures to get on next November's ballot also has majority support, the poll found.

"Debating about whether to legalize now is pointless, because we're going to," said Mark A.R. Kleiman, a UCLA professor and drug policy expert. "The smart debate is about how we'll do it."

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3 US CA: Column: Pot Panel Puts Plan Ahead Of EvidenceMon, 04 Nov 2013
Source:Record Searchlight (Redding, CA) Author:Wildermuth, John Area:California Lines:111 Added:11/05/2013

Well, the backers of a new effort to legalize marijuana in California learned at least one thing from the unsuccessful 2010 effort to make the state safe for dope smokers: It's better not to have a pot dealer as the face of your initiative.

When the ACLU of California announced last month that it would be "studying" the questions of legalizing pot before putting an initiative on the 2016 ballot, it was Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom who was in front of reporters, talking about how "it is far past time for Californians to take a serious look at smarter approaches to marijuana."

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4US CA: Column: Marijuana Moves Into The MainstreamTue, 29 Oct 2013
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Author:Saunders, Debra J. Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:10/29/2013

When opinion shifts in modern America, the change can be like a flash flood. Three years ago, 54 percent of California voters rejected Proposition 19, which would have legalized the recreational use of marijuana. Last year, Colorado and Washington voters approved measures to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. Last week, Gallup released a poll that found 58 percent of Americans support legalizing the recreational use of marijuana - a 10-point jump from one year ago. Sunday's New York Times reports that a template for how the two states will regulate marijuana may be found in California.

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5US CA: Column: Gavin Newsom Believes California ShouldSun, 27 Oct 2013
Source:Sacramento Bee (CA) Author:Morain, Dan Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:10/29/2013

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom is a deft politician. So when he announced that he would lead the latest campaign to legalize marijuana in California, the movement gained an instant level of legitimacy.

Newsom calls the war on drugs an abject failure and believes most politicians share his view, though they "say one thing publicly and another thing privately."

"If it was good politics, you'd have a lot more politicians out front," Newsom told me last week. "I can't defend the status quo. I feel an obligation to make a better argument."

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6US CA: Newsom To Lead Study On Pot IssuesFri, 18 Oct 2013
Source:San Jose Mercury News (CA) Author:Richman, Josh Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:10/19/2013

Panel Will Consider Drafting Measure to Appear on 2016 Ballot

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom will head the American Civil Liberties Union's new panel studying marijuana legalization in California, with an eye toward drafting a measure for 2016's presidential-year ballot.

"Enough's enough. I can't sit back and support the status quo any longer," Newsom said in a telephone interview Thursday, citing the high prison and police costs associated with marijuana enforcement that disproportionately affects minority communities. "I don't want to be the guy giving the speeches after I'm gone about what we should've and could've done."

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7US CA: Humboldt Reacts to Drive to Legalize Pot: Secretary ofSat, 05 Oct 2013
Source:Times-Standard (Eureka, CA) Author:Rodriguez, Lorna Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:10/06/2013

As marijuana legalization advocates prepare another statewide ballot measure, the question remains: Will Humboldt County get on board this time?

The latest legalization effort comes on the heels of legalization in Colorado and Washington state and amid a rising backlash against the environmental damage being caused by large grows. Often in public forests or on private timber land, sometimes connected to Mexican cartels, stream diversions and heavy use of pesticides and fertilizers, clear cutting and soil grading at massive outdoor grow sites are being cited by more than one side in the legalization debate.

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8 US CA: Editorial: We're Still Waiting For AnswersThu, 19 Sep 2013
Source:Mountain News (Lake Arrowhead, CA)          Area:California Lines:98 Added:09/20/2013

This Won't Be Your Ordinary Conference

It's not every day Americans get to witness a high-profile federal government agency doing a 180-degree turn on a key policy issue. But a spotlight will be focused on one such turnabout during a two-day conference next week in the Inland Empire.

Delegates from 37 states will convene on Sept. 23 and 24 at the first annual National Marijuana & Policy Strategy Conference, at the Victoria Gardens Cultural Center in Rancho Cucamonga.

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9 US CA: The Weed Runners: Travels With the Outlaw CapitalistsThu, 12 Sep 2013
Source:Orange County Weekly (CA) Author:Schou, Nick Area:California Lines:477 Added:09/13/2013

It might be a stretch to say the history of America's underground marijuana trade is encapsulated in the story of Donald Hoxter.

Not by much, though.

Few people can say they've smuggled as much as 10 tons of marijuana across both the Mexican and Canadian borders per year. Or that they were one of the first hippies in the Pacific Northwest to pioneer America's homegrown crop in the early 1980s, some 15 years before marijuana became legal--first in California, then in more than a dozen other states--for medical purposes.

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10 US CA: Chronicling Pot's Role In Emerald TriangleTue, 25 Jun 2013
Source:Press Democrat, The (Santa Rosa, CA) Author:Johnson, Julie Area:California Lines:138 Added:06/27/2013

Emily Brady was 14 when she watched her best friend in Occidental say goodbye to her father on the morning he left to serve a prison sentence for marijuana cultivation.

Her friend ran to her bedroom and shut the door as her younger brother wailed, said Brady, now 36. A notice that the property had been seized and belonged to the FBI hung on the door.

"It seemed like he had gambled his family in a way, this risk he took stuck with me," Brady said in an interview.

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11US CA: Column: Newsom's New Leaf On PotThu, 23 May 2013
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Author:Saunders, Debra J. Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:05/24/2013

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom likes to be out front on issues. As San Francisco mayor, he approved same-sex marriages in City Hall even though they weren't legal. He pushed for a first-of-its-kind ban on city pharmacies selling cigarettes. Likewise, he signed the Special City's first-in-the-nation ban on grocery stores giving away plastic bags.

Newsom has hailed California's role as the first state to legalize medical marijuana. So imagine how it must have broken his heart when Colorado and Washington voters approved measures to legalize recreational marijuana in November. Now the best California can hope for is third place.

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12 US CA: Column: Weed Gets BoozyThu, 02 May 2013
Source:Sacramento News & Review (CA) Author:Bealum, Ngaio Area:California Lines:74 Added:05/05/2013

I heard that California medical cannabis is going to be regulated by the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. Is this true?

- -Teetotaler Terry

It could happen. Assembly Bill 473, introduced by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, would indeed place medical marijuana under the purview of the ABC. The bill has gained traction, passing through the Committee on Public Safety, and could soon become law.

In some ways, this move makes sense. ABC has vast experience in regulating and licensing the distribution of mind-altering substances. I think the general idea is that once statewide regulations are in place, it would be relatively simple to implement a system for recreational cannabis use as well.

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13US CA: Marijuana Poll: Californians' Support for LegalizingSun, 03 Mar 2013
Source:Times-Standard (Eureka, CA) Author:Harmon, Steven Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:03/03/2013

Californians support legalizing pot in greater numbers than ever -- and they want the federal government to cool it with the crackdowns on medical marijuana dispensaries.

In a Field Poll released Wednesday, California voters, by a margin of 54 percent to 43 percent, supported allowing legal sales of marijuana, as long as restrictions are in place on age, driving under the influence of the drug and licensing those who sell it. That represents the highest level of support since the Field Poll began asking the question 44 years ago, when most California believed pot was the gateway drug to more hurtful substances.

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14US CA: Field Poll: California Voters Favor Legalizing Pot forWed, 27 Feb 2013
Source:Sacramento Bee (CA) Author:Hecht, Peter Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:02/27/2013

California voters favor legalizing pot for recreational use, strongly support the existence of medical marijuana dispensaries and want the feds to butt out of the California cannabis business.

In a California Field Poll released today, voters - by a 54 to 43 percent margin - say they want California to legalize marijuana beyond medical use with regulations similar to alcohol.

In the state with America's largest medical marijuana industry, the poll found that 67 percent of voters oppose an ongoing crackdown by the state's four U.S. attorneys on businesses selling pot for medicinal use.

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15US CA: Voters Now Back Ending Prohibition Of MarijuanaWed, 27 Feb 2013
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Author:Fagan, Kevin Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:02/27/2013

A firm majority of California voters now favors legalizing marijuana for recreational use, signaling a significant change in attitude from ambivalence in recent years and outright hostility three decades ago, according to a Field Poll released Wednesday. Mike Kepka / The Chronicle 2011 A new poll found that 66 percent of Bay Area registered voters favor legalization of marijuana for recreational use.

Fifty-four percent of registered voters who responded to the Field survey supported legalizing the drug and subjecting it to the same sort of restrictions that exist for alcohol. Forty-three percent opposed the idea and 3 percent had no opinion.

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16US CA: Pot-legalization Activists Aim For 2016 Ballot InTue, 29 Jan 2013
Source:Sacramento Bee (CA) Author:Hecht, Peter Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:01/30/2013

Inspired by victorious measures to legalize marijuana in Colorado and Washington, California activists are readying a new ballot push to expand legalization in the Golden State but not until 2016.

Drug policy groups, pro-legalization lawmakers and other marijuana advocates say they don't favor holding a California vote on legalizing recreational pot use in 2014, when there will be a smaller electorate than in a presidential year and likely less money and enthusiasm for a pot measure.

"We need to take a breath because we're California, and we're super complicated," said Amanda Reiman, California policy manager for the Drug Policy Alliance.

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17 US CA: Taking The High RoadThu, 17 Jan 2013
Source:Chico News & Review, The (CA) Author:Downs, David Area:California Lines:375 Added:01/17/2013

in November Colorado and Washington Became the First States to Legalize Marijuana. Is California Next?

When news broke on election night that Colorado was the first state to legalize marijuana, patrons at the trendy Casselman's Bar & Venue in Denver erupted in cheers, then hugged each other and cried. Organizers and friends of the state's Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol thanked everyone-elderly black women, young hipsters, business execs-and there were far more people in suits than in tie-dye that night. And nary a hint of ganja smoke inside the hip establishment.

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18 US CA: The High Road To Marijuana Legalization In CaliforniaThu, 03 Jan 2013
Source:Sacramento News & Review (CA) Author:Downs, David Area:California Lines:374 Added:01/04/2013

Colorado and Washington residents pushed marijuana out of the closet in 2012. Will California be the next state to legalize marijuana?

When news broke on election night that Colorado was the first state to legalize marijuana, patrons at the trendy Casselman's Bar & Venue in Denver erupted in cheers, then hugged each other and cried. Organizers and friends of the state's Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol thanked everyone-elderly black ladies, young hipsters, business execs-and there were far more people in suits than in tie-dye that night. And nary a hint of ganja smoke inside the hip establishment.

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19US CA: States Learn From Each Other On Pot MeasuresWed, 26 Dec 2012
Source:San Jose Mercury News (CA) Author:Richman, Josh Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:12/28/2012

California Inspired Efforts Elsewhere and Is Now Inspired by Their Success

Many marijuana activists always thought California would be the first state to legalize the drug for recreational use, but their dreams faded in 2010 when the state's voters rejected Proposition 19.

Yet the legalization measure's poor timing, lackluster funding and vague regulatory plan offered vital lessons that allowed activists in Colorado and Washington state to succeed last month where California had failed. Now activists in the Golden State are, in turn, scrutinizing those states' successful campaigns to prepare themselves for another California measure down the road.

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20 US CA: Editorial: Marijuana Research WelcomeTue, 04 Dec 2012
Source:Reporter, The (Vacaville, CA)          Area:California Lines:66 Added:12/05/2012

Last week's news reports that Humboldt State University had developed an institute devoted to marijuana research instantly drew plenty of jokes.

"We already have a college research institute devoted to marijuana," cracked late-night host Jimmy Kimmel. "It's called college."

Even wags at The Reporter got into it, suggesting a name for the center that would accommodate an appropriate acronym: Humboldt Institute for Ganja Hypotheses (HIGH).

If nothing else, the idea of putting a marijuana research center in Humboldt County -- a Northern California coastal community that is to marijuana what the Appalachian Mountains were to moonshine during Prohibition -- seems absurdly appropriate.

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21US CA: Marijuana Institute Takes Shape at HSU; Third in aMon, 26 Nov 2012
Source:Times-Standard (Eureka, CA) Author:Ramseth, Luke Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:11/28/2012

A first-of-its-kind academic institute focused strictly on marijuana issues is taking shape at Humboldt State University this fall semester. The interdisciplinary institute, made up primarily of HSU faculty, is hosting a series of lectures that are open to the public and digging into marijuana-centric research in several academic fields.

"They finally tapped into something that's a big local concern and part of the identity here," said politics professor Jason Plume, who hosts a talk on marijuana regulatory reform Tuesday night at 5:30 p.m. in HSU's Native Forum.

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22US CA: OPED: States Take Leadership Role In DecriminalizationSun, 18 Nov 2012
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Author:McKay, John Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:11/19/2012

Though it may seem the dust has barely settled from California's failed effort in 2010 to legalize marijuana under Proposition 19, the winds of change may be blowing here again, this time from the north.

Washington state voters, along with those in Colorado, have voted to legalize marijuana for adult use and to regulate within state borders production, transportation and sales. We plan to capture much-needed revenue while moving from a law enforcement model to a public health approach, emphasizing treatment and education over handcuffs and jail.

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23US CA: Feds Haven't Weighed in on Washington, Colorado PotSat, 17 Nov 2012
Source:Sacramento Bee (CA) Author:Hecht, Peter Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:11/19/2012

In October 2010, with a quixotic marijuana initiative leading in California polls, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder answered an urgent letter from retired heads of the federal Drug Enforcement Administration.

"Let me state clearly that the Department of Justice strongly opposes Proposition 19," Holder wrote, declaring he would "vigorously enforce" federal law if California voters passed the measure, which would have legalized recreational marijuana use for adults over 21 and allowed retail sales of pot.

This year, Holder notably declined to respond as the retired DEA administrators sent him another anxious letter expressing opposition to marijuana legalization efforts. This time, voters in two states, Washington and Colorado, voted 55 percent to 45 percent to legalize marijuana beyond medical use, upping the stakes in America's marijuana debate.

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24 US CA: California Marijuana Advocates Encouraged By LegalizationTue, 13 Nov 2012
Source:Press Democrat, The (Santa Rosa, CA) Author:Payne, Paul Area:California Lines:104 Added:11/15/2012

North Coast marijuana advocates are buzzing about the historic elections in Colorado and Washington where voters legalized marijuana for recreational purposes.

They say they're hopeful Californians will be persuaded to take a similar step when they see how the two western states benefit over the next few years.

Call it a contact high of sorts.

"Legalization of cannabis has been essentially green-lighted to go forward in California," said Santa Rosa attorney Joe Rogoway, who is part of a grassroots effort to make pot legal. "It's no longer a question of 'if' but of 'when'."

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25US CA: New Pot Push In California A High PriorityThu, 08 Nov 2012
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Author:Fagan, Kevin Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:11/10/2012

Brian Vicente, co-director of the Yes on 64 campaign, waits to start a news conference about the legalization of marijuana at Civic Center Park in Denver. Photo: Ed Andrieski, Associated Press / SF

Brian Vicente, co-director of the Yes on 64 campaign, waits to start a news conference about the legalization of marijuana at Civic Center Park in Denver. Photo: Ed Andrieski, Associated Press / SF

Historic votes in Colorado and Washington to legalize recreational use of marijuana have fired up California advocates to go before the state's voters again sometime in the next four years - but nobody's breaking out the party bongs just yet.

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26 US CA: Editorial: Marijuana's Hazy FutureFri, 09 Nov 2012
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA)          Area:California Lines:60 Added:11/10/2012

Should California Follow Colorado and Washington and Legalize Recreational Use?

In adopting laws Tuesday that legalize recreational marijuana use, Colorado and Washington voters foolishly - or perhaps forthrightly - rushed in where California feared to tread. Should we follow, or simply watch and wait?

The assertion of California's Proposition 215, the Compassionate Use Act, when it was passed in 1996 was that growing, possessing, sharing or using marijuana was to be permitted in this state solely for patients who needed the drug for its medicinal value.

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27US CA: Will Washington Voters Go Where California Didn't OnFri, 02 Nov 2012
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Author:Garofoli, Joe Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:11/03/2012

TACOMA, Wash. - If you believe the polls, and many people here are wary even when they're favorable, then Washington voters are poised to legalize two things Californians haven't: same-sex marriage and marijuana.

With ballot measures on both issues before Washington voters Tuesday, the lessons learned from California's Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage in 2008, and Proposition 19, which would have made marijuana legal but was shot down in 2010, have been echoing across Washington for months.

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28 US CA: Edu: OPED: Should Medical Marijuana Be State Or FederallyThu, 25 Oct 2012
Source:Daily Trojan (U of Southern CA Edu) Author:Gibson, Burke Area:California Lines:162 Added:10/28/2012

Federal authorities closed a number of medical marijuana dispensaries throughout Downtown Los Angeles in September as part of an effort to cut down on the sale and use of the drug, which is legal in California for medical purposes but still considered illegal by the federal government.

This month, the Drug Enforcement Administration followed up by sending warning letters and revisiting several dispensaries. This series of shutdowns was not only unnecessary, but it was also a violation of state rights and an indication of broken promises on the part of President Barack Obama. As marijuana regulation is becoming a hot button issue in the presidential race, such an infringement on an individual state's rights is unacceptable.

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29US CA: Small-time Pot Growers Edged OutSun, 14 Oct 2012
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA)          Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:10/15/2012

LAYTONVILLE, Mendocino County - In the mountains of Mendocino County, a middleaged couple stroll into the cool morning air to plant the year's crop. Andrew grabs a shovel and begins to dig up rich black garden beds while Anna waters the seedlings, beginning a hallowed annual ritual here in marijuana's Emerald Triangle.

In the past, planting day was a time of great expectations, maybe for a vacation in Hawaii or Mexico during the rainy months or a new motor home to make deliveries around the country.

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30 US CA: Calif Mom-And-Pop Pot Growers Struggle As High-Tech MovesSun, 14 Oct 2012
Source:Seattle Times (WA) Author:Mozingo, Joe Area:California Lines:168 Added:10/15/2012

Big-Time Operators Cratering Prices

Old Outdoor Growers Feel Loss of Community

LAYTONVILLE, Mendocino County - In the mountains of Mendocino County, a middleaged couple stroll into the cool morning air to plant the year's crop. Andrew grabs a shovel and begins to dig up rich black garden beds while Anna waters the seedlings, beginning a hallowed annual ritual here in marijuana's Emerald Triangle.

In the past, planting day was a time of great expectations, maybe for a vacation in Hawaii or Mexico during the rainy months or a new motor home to make deliveries around the country.

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31 US CA: Column: The Marijuana RebellionTue, 02 Oct 2012
Source:Desert Dispatch, The (Victorville, CA) Author:Sullum, Jacob Area:California Lines:92 Added:10/03/2012

By the time the 21st Amendment ended national alcohol prohibition in December 1933, more than a dozen states had already opted out. Maryland never passed its own version of the Volstead Act, while New York repealed its alcohol prohibition law in 1923. Eleven other states eliminated their statutes by referendum in November 1932.

We could see the beginning of a similar rebellion against marijuana prohibition this year as voters in three states - Washington, Colorado and Oregon - decide whether to legalize the drug's production and sale for recreational use. If any of these ballot initiatives pass, it might be the most consequential election result this fall, forcing both major parties to confront an unjust, irrational policy that Americans increasingly oppose.

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32 US CA: A Way Of Life Up In SmokeSun, 30 Sep 2012
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Mozingo, Joe Area:California Lines:224 Added:10/01/2012

Pioneering Marijuana Cultivators in the Emerald Triangle Are Being Pushed to the Margins by the Legalization They Long Espoused

LAYTONVILLE, Calif. - In the mountains of Mendocino County, a middle-aged couple stroll into the cool morning air to plant the year's crop. Andrew grabs a shovel and begins to dig up rich black garden beds while Anna waters the seedlings, beginning a hallowed annual ritual here in marijuana's Emerald Triangle.

In the past, planting day was a time of great expectations, maybe for a vacation in Hawaii or Mexico during the rainy months or a new motor home to make deliveries around the country.

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33US CA: Pot Crop Seizures Plunge for 2nd Year - Lowest SinceSat, 29 Sep 2012
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Author:Becker, Andrew Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:09/29/2012

As California's outdoor marijuana growing season nears its end for 2012, drug officials are reporting a sharp decline in crop seizures for the second year in a row.

The latest figures show that local, state and federal law enforcement agencies are on track to eradicate an estimated 1.5 million plants from outdoor gardens - mostly on public land - down from a decade high of about 7.3 million plants in 2009. This year's seizure total would be the lowest since 2004, when a little more than 1.1 million plants were eradicated, according to federal Drug Enforcement Administration statistics.

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34US CA: Column: Pot Props Go Before Dm And Solana ResidentsThu, 27 Sep 2012
Source:San Diego Union Tribune (CA) Author:Jenkins, Logan Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:09/29/2012

In Del Mar, Proposition H stands for Headache.

In Solana Beach, Proposition W stands for Weary.

Taken together, they're an exhausting migraine.

The identical measures ask voters in November to give their blessing to medical marijuana dispensaries, a fugitive group seeking sanctuary in culturally tolerant cities.

As a sweetener, 2.5 percent sales tax would be exhaled into the cities' general funds, a form of bribery that begs for legal challenge.

No question, a healthy percentage, maybe a majority, of the liberal-leaning citizens of Del Mar and Solana Beach initially will look kindly on the pair of propositions, qualified for the ballot by Citizens for Patient Rights, a statewide pro-dispensary advocacy group that has its champions.

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35 US CA: Bringing Humboldt's Shadow Economy Into The LightWed, 08 Aug 2012
Source:High Country News (CO) Author:Jenkins, Matt Area:California Lines:613 Added:08/10/2012

One evening last October, I met with Anna Hamilton in the Northern California town of Garberville. A singer-songwriter with a barbwire voice, Hamilton is known locally for her radio show, Rant and Rave, Lock and Load and Shoot Your Mouth Off -- which, it turns out, is a pretty good description of her approach to life.

"I'm a little gutterballer from the beach," she said. "And I get nervous around too much normalcy."

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36 US CA: Column: The Legalization DetailsThu, 09 Aug 2012
Source:Sacramento News & Review (CA) Author:Downs, David Area:California Lines:70 Added:08/10/2012

New Book and Three State Ballot Measures Tackle Pot Prohibition

This fall, three states-Colorado, Washington and Oregon-will vote on different flavors of marijuana legalization, and the results could potentially deliver a massive blow to the 75-year-old prohibition on the drug in the United States.

And just in time for this national debate comes Marijuana Legalization: What Everyone Needs to Know, co-authored by researcher Beau Kilmer, who is the co-director of the Drug Policy Research Center at the nonpartisan think tank RAND Corporation.

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37 US CA: US Attorney ACLU Clash Over Medical Marijuana WarningsWed, 08 Aug 2012
Source:North County Times (Escondido, CA) Author:Ogul, David Area:California Lines:115 Added:08/09/2012

A U.S. attorney's office opinion on a medical marijuana measure in Del Mar has led to a robust debate over whether the opinion was more of a threat than an impartial perspective.

At issue is a November ballot measure that would force Del Mar to allow medical marijuana dispensaries. Voters will be deciding similar measures in Solana Beach and the East County city of Lemon Grove.

U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy, in a July 17 letter addressed to Del Mar City Attorney Leslie Devaney, said city employees "who conduct activities mandated by the ordinance are not immune from liability under the (Controlled Substances Act.)

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38 US CA: Feds Target State's Top Pot OperatorThu, 12 Jul 2012
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Mozingo, Joe Area:California Lines:141 Added:07/13/2012

Justice Department Moves to Shut Down Harborside Health Sites in the Bay Area.

The federal government is moving to shut down the nation's largest and highestprofile medical marijuana dispensary operation, filing papers to seize properties in Oakland and San Jose where Harborside Health Center does business.

Copies of the federal Complaint for Forfeiture were taped to the front doors of the two dispensaries Tuesday, alleging that they were "operating in violation of federal law."

Medical marijuana advocates, as well as some state and local officials, denounced the action, saying it hurts patients in legitimate need of the drug and breaks repeated promises by President Obama's Justice Department that it was targeting only operations that were near schools and parks or otherwise in violation of the state's laws.

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39US CA: Future Cloudy For Medical PotThu, 05 Jul 2012
Source:San Diego Union Tribune (CA) Author:Cadelago, Christopher Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:07/05/2012

Voters Backed It 16 Years Ago, but Status Remains Uncertain

Two years ago, marijuana was on the upswing in California. Medical marijuana proliferated from Crescent City to Imperial Beach. And voters appeared on the cusp of approving the nation's most sweeping proposal ever to legalize pot for casual use.

Now, nine months after federal prosecutors began a massive crackdown on storefronts and growers, the prospects have dimmed considerably for advocates pressing for legitimate use of the drug either for medical comfort or as a business - and as a tax generator.

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40 US CA: Bowl Or Cup?Thu, 21 Jun 2012
Source:Sacramento News & Review (CA) Author:Downs, David Area:California Lines:66 Added:06/22/2012

California's Best Weed Converges on Northern California This Weekend

Amid a tumultuous summer for California weed, there will be a number of positive developments at this weekend's third-annual High Times Medical Cannabis Cup.

Thousands of California patients and supporters are snatching up tickets. The 38-year-old weed-culture publication is bringing its 25-year-old contest from Amsterdam to the Bay Area for the third time in as many years, part of its new, medical-cannabis cup circuit, which now includes annual events in Los Angeles, Denver and Detroit.

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41 US CA: North Coast Democratic Congressional Candidates Agree:Sat, 19 May 2012
Source:Press Democrat, The (Santa Rosa, CA) Author:Kovner, Guy Area:California Lines:139 Added:05/20/2012

Andy Caffrey, the congressional candidate from Humboldt County who wears a black cowboy hat over the gray hair cascading down his back, has twice lit a marijuana cigarette in public to punctuate his support for legalizing pot.

Caffrey, who says he is a medical marijuana patient suffering from post traumatic stress disorder, said he would, if elected, smoke a joint on the Capitol steps and get arrested to underscore his point.

"I'll do whatever it takes," said Caffrey, a former Green Party and Earth First! activist.

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42US CA: Oaksterdam Pot University's Future In DoubtThu, 19 Apr 2012
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Author:Kuruvila, Matthai Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:04/20/2012

The future of Oaksterdam University, a school offering classes in the cannabis industry, appears shaky in the wake of a federal raid two weeks ago.

Money is tight, Oaksterdam cannot afford to pay the $30,000-a-month rent on its leased building, 45 employees have lost their jobs, and the school's computers, records and even the curriculum are now in the hands of federal agents.

On April 2, agents from the Internal Revenue Service, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the U.S. Marshals Service raided Oaksterdam and various affiliated businesses and at least one home, all of which were controlled by marijuana legalization advocate Richard Lee. The reasons for the raid remain unclear.

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43 US CA: Edu: Column: President Obama On Legalization Of DrugsMon, 16 Apr 2012
Source:Daily Bruin (UCLA, CA Edu) Author:Viswanathan, Rohan Area:California Lines:72 Added:04/16/2012

More than a year ago, Proposition 19 failed at the polls. If passed, it would have decriminalized marijuana and allowed the government to regulate and penalize marijuana use and distribution in an effort to generate additional revenue for the state government.

With a general election period approaching this November, it seems reasonable that California lobbyists will look to the federal government for support in order to decriminalize marijuana nationwide and raise internal revenue.

Small groups have also sprung up throughout the United States, primarily in California, advocating for marijuana legalization. One of the most prominent groups and the state's largest medical group, the California Medical Association, has also endorsed the legalization of marijuana.

[continues 344 words]

44US CA: Column: Obama, The Happy Drug WarriorFri, 06 Apr 2012
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Author:Saunders, Debra J. Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:04/07/2012

Why is the federal government under President Obama arguably tougher on medical marijuana operations than it was under George W. Bush? That's the question that antidrug-war groups have been asking themselves for months.

In 2008, antiprohibitionists thought an Obama administration would not tread on medical-marijuana dispensaries in states where they are legal. Obama 2008 campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt told me Obama "believes that states and local governments are best positioned to strike the balance between making sure that these policies are not abused for recreational drug use and making sure that doctors and their patients can safely access pain relief."

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45 US CA: Oakland Activist To Turn Over Marijuana Businesses After RaidFri, 06 Apr 2012
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Hoeffe, John Area:California Lines:99 Added:04/07/2012

Richard Lee plans to transfer Oaksterdam University and a pot dispensary to others but vows to remain an advocate for legalization.

Richard Lee says: "I've been doing this for a long time. Over 20 years.... I kind of feel like I've done my time. It's time for others to take over."

Richard Lee, whose bid to legalize marijuana in California brought him international attention, plans to give up ownership of his Oakland-based marijuana businesses after a federal raid this week seized many of their assets, including plants, bank accounts, records and computers.

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46 US CA: Hundreds Protest Federal Raids on Pot DispensariesWed, 04 Apr 2012
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Romney, Lee Area:California Lines:118 Added:04/05/2012

SAN FRANCISCO - Hundreds of demonstrators gathered at City Hall here Tuesday to demand federal respect for state and local marijuana laws, a day after federal agents raided the state's first pot trade school and a related dispensary across the bay in Oakland.

The San Francisco rally and march to a nearby federal building was planned before Monday's raid. But the sweep on businesses owned by prominent marijuana activist Richard Lee emboldened protesters and brought denunciations from local officials and lawmakers in five states with medical cannabis laws.

[continues 714 words]

47US CA: Feds Target One of California's Most Famout MarijuanaTue, 03 Apr 2012
Source:Sacramento Bee (CA) Author:Hecht, Peter Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:04/04/2012

OAKLAND Multiple federal agencies unleashed raids Monday on the home and businesses of one of California's most famous marijuana advocates, Richard Lee, founder of the renowned cannabis industry trade school known as Oaksterdam University.

Lee, who spent $1.6 million to bankroll Proposition 19, an unsuccessful 2010 measure to legalize marijuana for recreational use, was neither arrested nor charged.

But federal authorities from the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. Marshals Service swooped in early Monday, targeting five locations, including the school on this city's Broadway that has trained 15,000 people in marijuana cultivation and careers since opening in 2007.

[continues 678 words]

48 US CA: Raid on Pot College Stuns ActivistsTue, 03 Apr 2012
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Romney, Lee Area:California Lines:197 Added:04/04/2012

US Agents Seize Files From Oakland Trade School and Dispensary Run by Proposition 19 Backer Richard Lee.

OAKLAND - Federal agents struck at the heart of California's medical marijuana movement, raiding the nation's first pot trade school and a popular dispensary, both run by one of the state's most prominent and provocative activists, Richard Lee.

The raids in Oakland by the Internal Revenue Service and Drug Enforcement Administration sent a shudder through the medical cannabis trade and angered the plant's devotees, who believe the federal government is trampling on California law and the wishes of voters who approved medical marijuana use nearly 16 years ago.

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49US CA: Federal Agents Raid Oaksterdam Medical Pot SitesTue, 03 Apr 2012
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Author:Kuruvila, Matthai Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:04/04/2012

Dozens of federal agents on Monday raided the Oakland businesses and apartment of Richard Lee, the state's most prominent advocate for the legalization and regulation of marijuana, carting away loads of pot and belongings but not revealing the purpose of their investigation.

The agents targeted Oaksterdam University, the internationally famous school that Lee established to train people in the marijuana industry, a medical cannabis dispensary called Coffeeshop Blue Sky, and three properties being rented by Lee, including his apartment near Lake Merritt.

[continues 745 words]

50 US CA: Pot Backers' Ballot Effort in DisarraySat, 10 Mar 2012
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Mozingo, Joe Area:California Lines:169 Added:03/11/2012

Marijuana Legalization Activists Vowed to Craft a Strong Initiative for 2012, Now Four Camps Vie for Funding.

March 10, 2012 - Just weeks before the deadline for state ballot initiatives, the effort to put a marijuana legalization measure before voters in the general election is in disarray as the federal government cracks down on medical cannabis and activists are divided on their goals.

After Proposition 19 received 46% of the vote in 2010, proponents took heart at the near-miss. They held meetings in Berkeley and Los Angeles and vowed to put a well-funded measure to fully legalize marijuana on the 2012 ballot, when the presidential election would presumably draw more young voters.

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