Tag Archives | California

The Cult Of Indoor Weed

Female cannabis flower. Photo: Alapoet (CC)

Female cannabis flower. Photo: Alapoet (CC)

Is marijuana grown indoors really worth double the cost of plants grown outside? Sam Quinones reports for the Los Angeles Times from Arcata, California:

About the time the wholesale price of pot hit $4,000 a pound, Tony Sasso bought a bulldozer and an excavator and dug a massive hole on his ranch in eastern Mendocino County.

Then he bought four metal shipping containers and buried them in the hole. Inside the containers, Sasso installed 32 1,000-watt lights, a ventilation system and plumbing – all of it powered by a 60-kilowatt generator. His subterranean plantation produced 60 pounds of pot every 56 days, the time it took to turn a crop. They were popular strains, with names like Blueberry, Herojuana, White Widow and Big Red.

He’d begun growing pot as a teenager in the mid-1980s, when police helicopters forced growers to hide their plants indoors. Going underground was the next logical step, to shield the lights from the infrared sensors of law enforcement.

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Gubernatorial Candidate Arrested Outside Debate Tuesday Night

Laura Wells in Sacramento

Laura Wells in Sacramento

From the San Jose Mercury News:

As gubernatorial hopefuls Meg Whitman and Jerry Brown sparred off on stage at Tuesday night’s debate, another candidate for California’s top post was arrested for trying to enter the debate using another person’s ticket, San Rafael police said.

Oakland resident and Green Party candidate Laura Wells, 62, attempted to enter Dominican University’s Angelico Hall at 5:20 p.m. when she presented a ticket that police said was not issued to her.

For security reasons, tickets to the event were numbered, coded and checked by campus security before ticket holders were admitted to the debate hall.

Police said Wells refused to cooperate with campus security when they requested she surrender the ticket.

Wells became argumentative and refused to leave the area, police said, even after she was warned that if she persisted she would be subject to a citizen’s arrest because she was on private property.

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Google’s Self-Driving Cars Are On California Roads (Now!)

While it's entirely possible that Google's AI cars are actually better driven than many of the human-controlled vehicles they are sharing the roads with, I'm kind of glad I'm not in California! John Markoff reports on the latest scariness from Google for the New York Times:
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — Anyone driving the twists of Highway 1 between San Francisco and Los Angeles recently may have glimpsed a Toyota Prius with a curious funnel-like cylinder on the roof. Harder to notice was that the person at the wheel was not actually driving. The car is a project of Google, which has been working in secret but in plain view on vehicles that can drive themselves, using artificial-intelligence software that can sense anything near the car and mimic the decisions made by a human driver...
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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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