Nuance and Foresight: Why I Love Working In The Legal Pot Industry

Where else will you find activists associated with an unabashedly capitalistic cause urging supporters to be patient in order to ensure that a policy is as precise and politically perfect as possible?

The California Secretary of State’s Office suggested July 7 as the last day to submit a measure to the state attorney general and request an official title and summary for a November 2016 ballot measure. But the leading coalition will not file an initiative until some time in early September, said Dale Sky Jones, chancellor of Oaksterdam University in Oakland and chair of what’s referred to as ReformCA — the post-Proposition 19 coalition that includes the most effective, major reform groups: Drug Policy Alliance, Marijuana Policy Project, and the American Civil Liberties Union.

Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom confirmed that he will lead the ReformCA effort on August 7 on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher. Newsom is the head of a steering committee for a blue ribbon commission on cannabis legalization that released its findings in July. Incorporating those findings delayed ReformCA’s initiative, Jones said. “We wanted to ensure our language was well within the parameters [of the commission’s report], so that slowed us down a bit,” she said.

Collaboration has also slowed down the effort, she added. “We care more about getting the policy exactly right. We realize if we’re a little late, it’s going to be a little harder. It’s going to be worth the extra effort to get it right.”

To understand why we’re having this delay you must understand the history of California’s medical pot movement and how its subsequent legacy is putting adult-use weed in danger. We’ve had 19 years of quasi-legal cannabis in this state where a broadly written law has allowed a uniquely lawyer-driven (almost feudal) market to develop here in SoCal. This “mess” might have been created by prohibitionists who never acted in good faith towards this law, but it has been maintained by lawyers who have never wanted to cede control over the dispensary clients that they attracted. Furthermore the state legislature has been very recalcitrant in adopting necessary “clean up” legislation on this issue, so therefore it is incumbent on the industry to develop the good public policies and best practices for legal cannabis.

Plus a good law (unlike one currently under consideration in Ohio for example) has a tendency to sell itself to voters:

Marijuana Policy Project communications director Mason Tvert, who helped legalize cannabis in Colorado, agreed. “I would take a good initiative and three hundred days of campaigning over a sub-par initiative and five hundred days of campaigning — any day,” he said.

Seeing as I plan on walking precincts for this proposal until the soles of my Chuck Taylor’s wear out, I have to agree.


Disarm The Police


Your daily reminder that “more training” isn’t a solution to the problem of militarized policing.


Justice for Hedgehogs and Human Rights for Chelsea Manning

One of the reasons I left the Democratic Party and stopped writing embarrassing defenses of the Obama administration was because of the insanely immoral handling of Chelsea Manning in prison.

Manning’s detention itself was ludicrous to begin with, as the information that she leaked (especially in retrospect) undeniably represented a clear public interest. This is something that I didn’t acknowledge at the time because, I like many naiive idiots on the left I had entirely conflated support for progressive values with supporting the President. I’m sad to say that it took hearing the details of Manning’s treatment in Supermax (which I believe were designed specifically to drive her to suicide) to cut through the noise of liberal hawkishness.

With that in mind, read this list of banned items11885403_10152946866286813_2907480839564912873_n

Try your best to come up with a legitimate reason why someone stuck in a closet sized room for 23 hours a day shouldn’t have access to them. If you can’t, CONGRATS you have a soul. The bitter irony of denying someone a book that discusses the universality of dignity for living things is a perfect symbol for the insanity of post-9/11 jurisprudence.


Hawt Takes On The Ashley Madison Leak

Despite the salaciousness inherent in this sort of story, it’s been interesting watching journalists try and inevitably fail to find some meaning or reason behind the hacking attacking of the internet’s “leading infidelity service”. On one hand there’s the hilarious reckoning of yet another idiotic tech company, with extra schadenfreude given Ashley Madison’s rise to prominence via a sexist Super Bowl ad. On the other hand the purpose and intent of the hackers in this case makes one almost feel sorry for the poor horny idiots whose personal info is exposed to the web.

Take this “calling card” [via Gawker];

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To begin off, the second to last paragraph is entirely bullshit. ALM almost certainly will escape liability here, either because the hackers represent outside tortfeasors, or because the end users signed the now almost universal arbitration agreements that would release ALM from damages related to the hack. Additionally as an attorney who practices family law I’m legit aghast that any grown up would be so callous as to suggest that an infidelity (especially one that is exposed via a national news story) can simply be “gotten over”.

The preceding paragraph is somewhat more insightful however. Most of the hacker’s complaint with ALM seems to be grounded in Ashley Madison’s proliferation with fake profiles rather than their more moralistic crusade against infidelity. In fact this screed reads like the complaints of an unsatisfied customer (or a generic gamer gate asshole) than a consumer advocate or marriage vigilante.

Again I have no love for the techbro “disrupters” like Ashley Madison. However ALM’s business model is terrible mostly because it works against the creation of a functioning and fair economy- which is a sin far worse than facilitating a sad cheating husband getting some strange. That said it just seems pretty obvious that the other side in this controversy is somehow even MORE digesting and sexist.


Even in Liberal Seattle

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Access to affordable and safe housing is arguably the most important factor in determining the levels of justice, fairness, and integration within a city. Therefore it should be of no great surprise that large swaths of ostensibly progressive residents are incredibly uncomfortable when their “right” to gentrified urban spaces is threatened by the victims of neoliberalism:

No one, including the few (mostly homeless, formerly homeless, or homeless advocates) who spoke in favor of the encampment, called the opposition “classist”–that, along with “racist,” is the third rail of Seattle’s white progressive politics–but whatever possible conclusion is there when a group of mostly upper-middle-class, mostly white, mostly homeowning residents gang up on a group of disenfranchised people sleeping on park benches or in their cars and say that they, as a class, are shiftless alcoholics and drug addicts (as if addiction was a choice) who contribute nothing to society and instigate crime and the loss of property values?

How else can we describe parents who say they don’t want their children exposed to a less-fortunate class of people, whose basic humanity is suspect because they haven’t pulled themselves up by their bootstraps into the middle-class existence so many of those wealthy homeowners received as their birthright? And what are we supposed to make of people who literally say they can’t be anti-homeless because they once took an individual homeless person into their home, just like your racist friend who says he can’t be racist because he gets along just great with the black people who serve him?

I’ve noticed many of the same themes here in Long Beach from residents and their pusillanimous representatives in city government. Something about residents associations seems to attract white liberals that are fine advocating for policies that are analogous to ethnic cleansing, all while wearing Obama t-shirts.


“Like with a cloth or something?”

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I can’t tell if Hillary is being semantically cute like a’la her husband, or if she’s going for the elderly mob boss defense by pretending that she doesn’t understand basic tech terminology from 1992.

This is one of the dumber scandals to hit the Clintons, especially since the people pushing it are the last motherfuckers to lecture someone about the danger to democracy posed by lost emails. Nevertheless this should serve as your daily reminder that Hillary is (once again) a doomed candidate.


Great News About The Clap

Publicly subsidized STI testing will soon be available to Long Beach residents (thanks in part to a Catholic Hospital of all things).

Maybe we should give some money to the Health Department so we can address treatment as well…..