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Bill Weinberg's blog

Steve Ben Israel, NYC counter-culture legend, dead at 74

Posted on June 5th, 2012 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , .

Steve Ben Israel, legendary thespian, veteran of the ground-breaking Living Theatre troupe, and pioneer of what he called "performance life" (as opposed to performance art), died June 4 of lung cancer at his home in New York's Greenwich Village. He was 74.

Cannabis certain winner in California's new "Emerald Triangle" congressional district

CaliforniaThanks to last year's redistricting, California now has a new Second Congressional District that some call the "Emerald Triangle District"—running from the Golden Gate to the Oregon border, through the cannabis counties of Mendocino, Humboldt and Trinity. The primary is in five days, and under California's new open-primary system, the two leading vote-getters will move on to the November general election, regardless of party. In the field of 12, the most outspoken herbal advocate is Garberville's veteran Earth First! tree-hugger Andy Caffrey.

Israeli scientists develop buzz-free cannabis

Posted on May 30th, 2012 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , , , .

THCIsraeli scientists have developed a non-psychoative cannabis variety, in what is being portrayed as a boost for medical marijuana. According to Israel's Maariv newspaper, the new variety looks, smells and even tastes "the same" as psychoactive varieties. "It has the same scent, shape and taste as the original plant—it's all the same—but the numbing sensation that users are accustomed to has disappeared," said Tzahi Klein, head of development at Tikkun Olam, the firm that developed what an AFP account calls "the species." Klein adds: "Many of our patients who tried the new plant come back to us and say: 'You tricked me'"—because they assumed they had been given a placebo.

Media coverage smears LSD in face-eating episode

Posted on May 30th, 2012 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , .

"A Miami man fatally shot by police after he refused to stop gnawing on another man's face may have been under the influence of a new form of the 1960s hallucinatory drug LSD, a top police officer said on Wednesday." So reads the Reuters account of the ghoulish May 29 incident that made national headlines—most of them inaccurate. The account quotes Armando Aguilar, president of the Miami Fraternal Order of Police saying: "We've had at least two incidents in the past couple of months with people claiming they took a new form of LSD and complained of feeling a burning sensation that forced them to take their clothes off and led them to become very violent." This is all nonsense. LSD is an acronym for a chemical formula; there is no such thing as a "new form" of lysergic acid diethylamide. So what is going on here?

Young Obama had bad stoner etiquette

Posted on May 25th, 2012 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , .

Barack ObamaIt is no secret that President Barack Obama toked in his youth, but a new biography, Barack Obama: The Story by David Maraniss, evidently reveals some fragrant, sticky details about teenage Barry and his "Choom Gang." ("Choom" is supposed to be Hawaiian slang for ganja, but the Urban Dictionary indicates otherwise.)  One excerpt from the book is provided by Buzzfeed:

Cannabis used to smear Trayvon Martin

Posted on March 28th, 2012 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , .

ThinkProgress notes that over the last 48 hours, there has been a sustained effort to smear Trayvon Martin, the unarmed 17-year old African American shot dead last month in Sanford, FL, by self-appointed "neighborhood watch" vigilante George Zimmerman—who has notoriously still not been arrested. Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton, said, "They killed my son, now they're trying to kill his reputation." Sleazy tricks apparently include circulation of a picture on Michelle Malkin's website Twitchy of a tough-looking kid in baggy pants which was passed off as from Martin's Facebook page (it wasn't—his actual Facebook photo is pictured here). Here are some other dirty tricks documented by ThinkProgress:

Cannabis and Obamacare: will high court case reveal double standard?

Posted on March 28th, 2012 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , .

An odd irony has emerged around the pending Supreme Court decision on Obamacare. As Daily Beast notes, liberal advocates of Obama's "individual mandate" are pointing to the 2005 high court decision Gonzales v. Raich, in which the justices upheld Congress' ability to ban the growth of cannabis even in states that have legalized medical marijuana—rejecting the claims of California activist Angel Raich and two co-plaintiffs, who had sued to block enforcement of federal marijuana laws against them. Advocates note that Justice Antonin Scalia deviated from his "states' rights" principles in siding with the majority. He wrote:

Feds to grant patent for cannabinoid applications to pharmaceutical firm

Posted on December 28th, 2011 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , .

cannabisWe recently reported claims that the DEA has granted unnamed private pharmaceutical companies license to grow cannabis for experimental purposes. Now, the Sacramento News & Review on Dec. 19 cites a report from the Union of Medical Marijuana Patients to the effect that the United States government holds a patent on the use of cannabinoids as "antioxidants and neuroprotectants"—specifically, the Department of Health & Human Services holds Patent #6630507, as documented at the US Patent & Trademark Office.

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