Category: Dispatches

Last Call at the Vapor Room

By Fred Gardner As the sun was going down over Twin Peaks on the last day of July, two young men took down the Vapor Room sign. Handpainted and hung on a wrought iron bracket, the sign had not seemed out of place on a Haight Street Victorian built of redwood in a time when carpenters could express their artistry.  Inside, people commiserated and said their goodbyes. The United States government had threatened to seize the building if the landlord didn’t evict the club. And the Vapor Room was a club —a Cannabis club on the original Dennis Peron...

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Inappropriate Lids

A housewife reviewing an advertising insert in the Sunday Oakland Tribune noticed how many of the pots and pans on sale at Macy’s had glass lids. “Glass lids are all the rage now,” she said, shaking her head in disapproval. “Not just everyday Cuisinart, but higher-end brands…” She recalled an earlier time when glass cookware was all the rage (not just the lids but the pots themselves). It fell out of favor when nutritionists made the public aware that heat plus light destroys Vitamin B in vegetables. “Doesn’t anybody have a memory?” she asked, returning to the...

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Dr. Malka in Monterey

Deborah Malka, MD, provided an introduction to cannabis therapeutics at the Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula July 24. The amount of relevant material is so vast that a 45-minute “grand rounds” talk is barely enough time to cover the basics. Malka managed to do it concisely yet thoroughly. About 50 doctors received Continuing Medical Education credits for attending Malka’s presentation, “Therapeutic Applications of Cannabis: Phytocannabinoid Medicine.” They gave her their undivided attention and the questions they asked were practical. Nobody expressed any dismay about the prospect of including Cannabis as a treatment option. The hospital pharmacist who followed...

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The Arraignment of Jose Gutierrez

“Not guilty,” said Jose Gutierrez on Friday, July 13, when Magistrate Judge Donna Ryu asked how he was pleading to the felony charge of assaulting a federal officer. The alleged crime had occurred on April 2, only a few blocks from her courtroom, in front of a cannabis dispensary/coffeeshop that was being raided by agents from the IRS, the DEA, and the Marshals Service. Earlier that morning the heavily armed raiders had taken down Oaksterdam University —where thousands of people preparing to enter the medical marijuana industry have been educated— and arrested its founder, Richard Lee. Word went out...

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DeAngelo Responds to Greetings From Uncle Sam

An invitation from Steve DeAngelo: “The federal attacks on the medical cannabis community keep coming. Recently, the Department of Justice announced their intention to confiscate two buildings operated by Harborside Health Center in Oakland, CA and in San Jose, CA. This latest attack comes on the heels of other raids, audits, and other intimidation around the state. “Can you please join us on the afternoon of Monday, July 23, to tell President Obama to stop attacking California’s medical cannabis patients, cultivators, and providers when he visits the Fox Theater in downtown Oakland?” Unlike the 400 or so dispensaries that...

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