Lawmakers trying to stop meth labs by forcing people get to a prescription for popular pseudoephedrine-based cold medications like Sudafed are running into strong opposition. Chronicle story here.
Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn (D) used his state of the city address Tuesday night to make a heartfelt plea for marijuana legalization. The mayor's remarks came as a new poll showed that an initiative that would legalize marijuana is favored by voters. Chronicle story here.
During an undercover marijuana sting at a South Florida school, a teenage boy began to fall for someone he thought was just another teenage girl.
But the boy's crush turned out to be an undercover police officer, who would later have him arrested for selling her marijuana she asked him to obtain for her.
The operation resulted in a total of 31 arrests in three different Florida schools. [Huffington Post]
How many people do you think she had to flirt with to make 31 arrests? My first guess would be 31. I mean, how hard can this be? Have you ever met a bored, lovesick teenager? It's a good thing all she asked him to do was get her some weed.
A severe lack of funding could prevent any of the California marijuana reform initiatives from making the ballot. "Anyone got a spare $2 million?" the campaigns asked plaintively at a Mill Valley public meeting Tuesday night. Chronicle story here.
More info on "American Weed" is online at http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/channel/american-weed/. A series of video previews is online here, or can be viewed below on this page.
Here's the announcement NatGeo emailed us this morning:
Premieres Wednesday nights at 10 p.m. ET/PT
All-new series American Weed finds Colorado medical marijuana businesses under scrutiny and facing mounting pressures from local residents. Medical cannabis entrepreneur and Fort Collins dispensary owner Josh Stanley works aggressively to counter such pressure with radio ads and fundraisers. As the oldest of 11 kids, Josh relies heavily on several of his brothers to work at the grove and keep his business supplied in medical marijuana. Meanwhile, Sgt. Jim Gerhardt and fellow officers on the North Metro Task Force continue to find illegal grows by residents claiming to be growing medical marijuana. Is the pendulum swinging back to curb the 10-year proliferation of medical marijuana in Colorado?
American Weed: Marijuana Drama
Premieres Wednesday, February 22, 2012, at 10 p.m. ET/PT
Fort Collins dispensary owner Dawn Clifford and her husband, John, are facing the possibility of their business being shut down due to a proposed marijuana dispensaries ban. If it happens, all owners are on the chopping block, and hundreds of patients will be left in the cold. The Stanley brothers are growing their medicinal marijuana to sell at their dispensaries throughout the state. But the guys face a problem: their $250,000 crop must be moved before the plants outgrow the space and the crop is lost. Meanwhile, Scoot Crandall is rounding up votes to stop Fort Collins from being what he calls the “pot capital of Northern Colorado.” And Sgt. Jim Gerhardt discovers marijuana is growing in a suburban neighborhood within reach of children — who have picked leaves and taken them to school.
Although it has the support of the governor and the public, a Vermont bill to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana is stalled, held hostage by a hostile House speaker, the Barre-Montpelier Times-Argus reported Saturday. Chronicle story here.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) is blocking three Senate bills that seek to prohibit new synthetic drugs. Rand spokesperson Moira Bagley confirmed to the Lexington Herald-Leader that he has had a "hold" on the bills for the last three months and that he has no intention of lifting it. Chronicle story here.
A Texas man is dead after allegedly running away from, then pulling a gun on, members of Texas combined task force doing a drug investigation. Chronicle story here.
Faced with GOP demands to drug test people seeking unemployment benefits, the Democrats first fought them off, then accepted some testing as a compromise to get the payroll tax extension passed. Chronicle story here.
The proponents of a Colorado initiative to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol turned in 12,000 additional voter signatures Friday in a last bid to qualify for the November ballot. The initiative needs only 2,400 valid signatures to qualify, meaning a whopping four out of five signatures handed in would have to be invalidated to keep the measure off the ballot. Chronicle story here.
A Clay County, Florida, sheriff's narcotics detective and a man he was investigating as a methamphetamine suspect were shot and killed in an exchange of fire Thursday evening. Narcotics Detective David White and the as-yet-unnamed suspect become the 10th and 11th persons to die in US domestic drug law enforcement operations so far this year. Chronicle story here.
An initiative that seeks to reform California's three-strikes sentencing law appears to have the financial wherewithal to qualify for the November ballot after philanthropist and drug reform supporter George Soros kicked in $500,000 donation last Friday. The Three Strikes Reform Act of 2012 has now accumulated more than $1.2 million in contributions. Chronicle story here.
The White House has released its proposed 2013 federal drug budget, and it looks pretty much like all the other federal drug budgets, only bigger. Chronicle story here.
Since California voters made it the first medical marijuana state in 1996, other states have come on board at a rate a little better than one a year. Now, 15 years later, 16 states and the District of Columbia have effective medical marijuana laws, and by year's end, we could have 17, 18 or even more. Chronicle feature story here.
Guatemalan President Otto Perez Molina is again speaking out on drug legalization. He said in a Saturday radio interview that he would propose legalizing drugs in a forthcoming meeting with regional leaders, and he specified that that included decriminalizing the transport of drugs through the Central American isthmus. Chronicle story here.
Delaware Gov. Jack Markell (D) Friday suspended the regulation-writing and licensing process for the state's medical marijuana dispensaries, essentially killing medical marijuana in a state whose law does not allow patients or caregivers to grow their own. Chronicle story here.
As I've discussed previously, Drug Czar is just one of the worst jobs you can have. You don't get to use cool weapons or go on missions or do anything exciting, ever. Your job is to convince adults that the drug war is good and convince young people that drug use is bad. It hasn't gone well for anyone, no, not at all.
If anybody needs a quick exhibit in why the government's anti-drug propaganda has become such a joke, you're in luck, because the Drug Czar's office continues to release some of the straight-up stupidest advertisements I've ever seen, and this is one of them right here:
The message of this ad is, "Hey kids, don't do drugs. Jump from rooftops! It's better somehow." That's exactly what the message of this ad is, and it's the only message the ad even contains. If I am mistaken, if the message of this ad isn’t that leaping from dangerously high places is better for you than smoking marijuana or tripping on silly-pills, then please explain to me what it is that I don't understand about this.
As Pete Guither points out, it's all just a sad attempt by the Drug Czar's office to associate their messaging with something cool, and it's true that parkour is A) hip, and B) not drugs. But that's about as far as this idea gets before literally landing flat on its face. You see, parkour is, well, let's just say it's not a very good way for young people to avoid injuring themselves.
The very idea that the Drug Czar would endorse this particular pastime as an alternative to pot is incredible. Is it necessary for me to continue to pointing out that a lot of the people responsible for manufacturing anti-drug messaging in America are nothing more than professional drug war cheerleaders who don't have a clue what they're talking about, don't give a crap about the safety of children, and wouldn’t know where to begin even if they did?
We've come a long way from the days when the government warned everyone that taking drugs would make you go crazy and jump off a building. Now, our young people are being encouraged to jump off buildings in order to distract themselves from the alluring dangers of drugs. The whole thing is so pure in its irony, so perfectly and completely absurd, that it could come from only one source. The Drug Czar's advertisements pose a continuing threat to the safety of the nation's youth, and parents will have to take an active role in protecting their children from the dangers of ill-conceived anti-drug propaganda until these reckless messages are removed from the airwaves once and for all.
Update: In response to comments from parkour fans, I have zero problem with parkour and I think it's awesome when young people learn how to do cool backflips and stuff like that. It's just an unusual thing for the government to endorse. Given that the Drug Czar can see no safe way to use marijuana, I'm surprised he would have anything nice to say about jumping off buildings either. It's ironic, and more powerfully so if you're as familiar with the history of government anti-drug propaganda as I am. I'm sorry if, in my eagerness to make that point, I appeared to paint parkour in a negative light. If necessary, I would defend vigorously your right to do it, and I hope no one in the parkour community ever faces the kind of ruthless and systemic government persecution that responsible marijuana users have endured for decades.
A marijuana legalization initiative in Detroit was improperly barred from the ballot in 2010, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled Friday. The appeals court decision overturned the ruling of a Wayne County judge, who had sided with the Detroit Elections Commission's decision to keep the measure off the ballot because they thought it conflicted with state and federal law. Chronicle story here.