Willie Brown and Ammiano's pot bill


Assemblymember Tom Ammiano’s new medical marijuana bill seems pretty straightforward. Almost everyone in the medpot biz thinks there ought to be some sort of statewide regulations for a growing industry that operates in a mish-mash of local jurisdictions with no overall rules. If nothing else, consumer-protection policies ought to be in place. Read more »

Fine Snoop, I'll listen to your reggae album (a movie review)


In the life of Snoop Lion (or Doggy Dogg, for those who were done with hip-hop after Chronic 2000), there have been many steps made purely for monetary return. A partial list: various malt liquor endorsements, the AOL commercial co-starring Jerry Stiller, iFizzle, a line of clothing for dogs, an anti-viral ad campaign entitled "Hack is Wack." One is to be excused if news of Reincarnated, the rapper's reggae album produced by Major Lazer and featuring the drumming talent of the Police's Stewart Copeland doesn't set fire to one's creative synapses. 

Thank Jah he and his wife Shante co-executive produced a documentary about the making of the album in Jamaica for Vice. Somewhere in those 96 minutes, I started to feel better about things. Read more »

Staff of shut-down Mission dispensary opens SoMa's newest cannabis club


Today was the grand opening for a new dispensary just steps from the front door of Mezzanine and right down the block from a rapidly-changing Sixth Street. Long-time medical marijuana patients may recognize some familiar faces -- Bloom Room employs many of the staff and management from Medithrive, the Mission Street dispensary was was forced to close "for the children" back in November of 2011. Read more »

Feds continue war on California's medical marijuana industry


San Francisco medical marijuana dispensaries may be bouncing back from last year’s crackdown by the federal government, but the industry statewide continues to be besieged by the federal authorities, winning some battles but losing others.Read more »

Two of SF's most venerable cannabis dispensaries get shut down


Sadness, anger, and confusion hung thick in the fragrant, smoky air of two of San Francisco's oldest and most prominent medical marijuana dispensaries – HopeNet in SoMa and Vapor Room in Lower Haight – during their last day in business yesterday, the latest victims of an aggressive federal government crackdown on the industry.

Throughout the day, vendors, patients, neighbors, and well-wishers stopped in to say goodbye and commiserate over a trend that just doesn't make sense to them, or to the local politicians and city officials that have spent years setting up a regulatory structure that had legitimized the cannabis industry, which thrived as the rest of the economy suffered through the recent recession.

“I've always treated this as if it were just a nice coffee house. I'm not an outlaw,” said Martin Olive, whose Vapor Room was a friendly community gathering place and active member of the local business community that gave away free bags of vaporized marijuana to low-income patients on a daily basis. “I almost forgot I was breaking federal law. It was so normal, so legitimate.”

Read more »

Why Wall Street loves the War on Drugs


The raid on Oaksterdam has just about everyone in local politics engaging in a little head-scratching: What possible reason would the Obama administration have to crack down on medical marijuana in an election year? How does it help the president, who will be facing an unsettled and angry electorate in a still-tough economy, to alienate the pot smoking liberals of the world, who were at one point among his most loyal constituents?

What a fucking idiot.Read more »

A bad incentive for pot busts


The Bay Citizen ran, without comment or perspective, a Bay City News item Dec. 23 noting that the Hayward Police Department and other local law-enforcement agencies picked up some $1.2 million when the feds disbursed the money that was seized from a marijuana dispensary that was busted in 2006.Read more »

Kids smoke pot, don't drink


More American teens are smoking pot, and fewer are drinking alcohol, according to a new survey that's at the very least interesting and could be a push for policymakers to start thinking about how we regulate marijuana.Read more »

Why are Harris, Newsom, and other pols silent on the federal pot crackdown?


UPDATED BELOW As I worked on this week's story about the federal crackdown on California's marijuana industry, I tried to get a statement from California Attorney General Kamala Harris. After all, it's her job to defend California's medical marijuana laws, which she was fairly supportive of as our district attorney. And she was an early Barack Obama backer who could probably get him or U.S. Read more »