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Bill Weinberg's blog

Colorado cops leery of legalization

Posted on November 17th, 2012 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , .

ColoradoThe Fiscal Times is enthused by the emergence of "Pot-economics" and the "The Birth of the Legal Weed Industry" in Colorado after Amendment 64. But PBS News Hour emphasizes that "State Is Anxious Over US Government's Reaction" after the Colorado vote. Note the quote from Jerry Peters of Denver's North Metro Drug Task Force:

Colorado legalization law portends corporate cannabis?

Posted on November 14th, 2012 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , , .

ColoradoWith Colorado hoping to harvest revenue from taxes and licensing fees on newly legal cannabis, the herbal enthusiasts who fought for Amendment 64 may find their fantasies of free—or at least cheap—weed dashed by the state's new marijuana order. National Public Radio on Nov. 13 features an interview with reporter Tony Dokoupil, author of a Newsweek cover story, "The New Pot Barons." He notes the restrictive system already in place for medical marijuana in the Centennial State, and warns:

Three books reveal underground press roots of counterculture

Posted on July 4th, 2012 by Bill Weinberg and tagged , , , , .

FugThree recent books each provide a prism on the matrix of the American counterculture in the 1960s underground press movement—with a particular focus on the germinal scene on New York's Lower East Side. Following the interlocking characters that passed through such institutions as the East Village Other bi-weekly and affiliated Underground Press Syndicate opens a window on a moment whose influence and significance have never received the recognition that the parallel scene across the continent in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury won.

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:

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