Tag Archives | California

Schwarzenegger Decriminalizes Pot in California

CaliforniaMarijuana

Nicholas Pell writes in the Examiner.com

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill Friday morning that decriminalizes possession of marijuana in the state.

Those caught with less than an ounce of marijuana will still receive a maximum penalty of $100. However, Senate Bill 1449 reduces the legal categorization of marijuana possession from a misdemeanor to a civil infraction. This means that those caught will not have to appear in court, pay court fees or receive a criminal record.

Schwarzenegger opposes Proposition 19, a pending referendum that will provide a legal framework for the sale, cultivation and taxation of marijuana. However, despite this opposition, Schwarzenegger signed the bill into law. In a letter to the California Senate, Schwarzenegger stated that “less than an ounce of marijuana is an infraction in everything but name. The only difference is that because it is a misdemeanor, a criminal defendant is entitled to a jury trial and a defense attorney.” He further stated that “In this time of drastic budget cuts, prosecutors, defense attorneys, law enforcement, and the courts cannot afford to expend limited resources prosecuting a crime that carries the same punishment as a traffic ticket.”

California director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, Dale Gieringer lauded the governor’s decision…

[continues at the Examiner.com]

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Was California’s Bobblehead Election Rigged?

BobbleheadsMoeZilla writes:

Fans waited in line for two hours to claim a California baseball stadium’s 1,250 bobblehead dolls representing the two candidates vying to replace Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. But “when the wacky give-away was concluded, the stadium announced its even wackier results — and reading the comments at a Sacramento newspaper site, you’d have to conclude that the election was rigged.”

After many snafus, candidate Meg Whitman, the former CEO of eBay, won the “bobblehead election” at a California baseball stadium. But ironically, some of her dolls are now being sold on eBay! “The last time California elected a new governor was in 2004, after a very wild recall election,” notes this article. “Movie star Arnold Schwarzenegger defeated 150 other candidates, including Gary Coleman and porn star Mary Carey.

“Let’s hope this November’s election goes more smoothly than the battle of the bobbleheads.”

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Proposition 8 Invalidated, Same-Sex Marriage On Hold

“I know pronounce you man and man, wait, not now, maybe later.” What are you doing California? From the NY Times:

Eight days after ruling that Proposition 8 — a 2008 voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage — was unconstitutional, a federal judge on Thursday denied a motion to stay his decision, opening the door for untold numbers of gay and lesbian couples to wed in the nation’s most populous state. But the judge delayed the effective date of his order until Wednesday.

Vaughn R. Walker, the chief judge of Federal District Court in San Francisco, issued a temporary stay last week when he invalidated Proposition 8, in order to allow arguments for and against same-sex ceremonies being performed while supporters of the ban appealed.

On Thursday, Judge Walker declined to extend that stay, but built in the delay to allow the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, where the case has been appealed by proponents of Proposition 8, time to consider the matter.

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Watch What a Legal Pot Economy Looks Like (Video)

CaliforniaMarijuanaHaik Hoisington writes on Alternet:
This fall Californians will go the polls with a chance to make history. They will be able to cast a vote to tax and regulate marijuana like alcohol or cigarettes. California's Proposition 19 is one of many similar initiatives cropping up on state ballots across the country. Whether it's calls for decriminalization or medical marijuana the end of cannabis prohibition has never seemed closer. In this short animated parable, "The Flower," award winning artist Haik Hoisington contrasts a legal marijuana economy with an illegal one, to show how everyone stands to benefit from ending the war on weed.
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Oakland Approves Large-Scale Marijuana Farms

070411pot-1The City Council has signed off on a plan making Oakland the first American city authorize large-scale industrial pot farms. Is this the first step in the McDonald’s-ization of marijuana? Associated Press reports:

The city intends to license four production plants where marijuana would be grown, packaged and processed for medical use.

Under the plan, which would take effect in January, license recipients would be heavily taxed and regulated. They would have to pay the city $211,000 in annual permit fees, carry $2 million in liability insurance and be prepared to devote up to 8 percent of gross sales to taxes.

The measure also would require bidders to meet certain labor, environmental and product safety standards. However, there would be no size restrictions on the facilities.

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California Plans To Approve Supertoxic Pesticide

PlasticultureBy Peter Fimrite for SF Gate:

Farmers planting strawberries and other crops in California will soon have to contend with cancer-causing poison instead of bugs, worms and fungus if regulators get their wish.

The California Department of Pesticide Regulation has proposed registering methyl iodide as a pesticide in California to the dismay of scientists and environmental groups, who say it is so toxic that even chemists are reluctant to handle it.

The chemical will become legal for growers to use after a 60-day comment period ending June 29 unless there is some kind of public outcry.

“This is one of the most egregious pesticides out there,” said Sarah Aird, the state field organizer for Californians for Pesticide Reform, a coalition of watchdog groups opposed to the use of potentially harmful chemicals. “It is really, really toxic. It is actually used in the laboratory to induce cancer cells.”

Methyl iodide was approved by the U.S.

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Teens Treat ADHD With Medical Marijuana

weedlineThe New York Times reports on a, er, teen health trend:

At the Peace in Medicine Healing Center in Sebastopol, the wares on display include dried marijuana — featuring brands like Kryptonite, Voodoo Daddy and Train Wreck — and medicinal cookies arrayed below a sign saying, “Keep Out of Reach of Your Mother.”

The warning tells a story of its own: some of the center’s clients are too young to buy themselves a beer.

Several Bay Area doctors who recommend medical marijuana for their patients said in recent interviews that their client base had expanded to include teenagers with psychiatric conditions including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

“It’s not everybody’s medicine, but for some, it can make a profound difference,” said Valerie Corral, a founder of the Wo/Men’s Alliance for Medical Marijuana, a patients’ collective in Santa Cruz that has two dozen minors as registered clients.

“How many ways can one say ‘one of the worst ideas of all time?’ ” asked Stephen Hinshaw, the chairman of the psychology department at the University of California, Berkeley.

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California’s Bay-Area Transit Police Stripped Of Tasers

Photo: D.C.Atty (CC)

Photo: D.C.Atty (CC)

Have we finally reached the point at which police over-use and abuse of tasers will start resulting in the danged devices being taken away? The Bay Area’s BART police are losing their tasers after a police sergeant attempted to tase a 13-year-old boy on a bicycle whom he was pursuing by car. Oh, and there was last year’s fatal shooting of an unarmed, restrained man on a subway platform after a BART police officer confused his handgun with his taser. California’s KTVU reports:

OAKLAND, Calif. — Following an incident involving a BART police sergeant inappropriately discharging his Taser, transit agency officials have ordered all its officers to hand in the controversial weapons Thursday until further training could be undertaken, KTVU has learned.

The final straw, apparently, came after an April 1st incident when BART police sergeant who was responding to a call about an alleged assault at the Richmond BART station.

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