Attorney General Kamala Harris: Innovation Means California Is Country's Meth Capital

Tweakers' delight
If Walter White was real, he'd be a rank amateur playing in methamphetamine's minor leagues.

The real kings of crystal are right here in California, where 70 percent of the meth consumed in the United States enters the country from Mexico, according to the California Attorney General's Office.

These are tech-fueled boom times in California, but as the state's economy soars, so do the fortunes of drug-trafficking cartels: Mexican, Asian and all other stripes, AG Kamala Harris says in a major report on drug-trafficking gang activity released this week.

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Americans Spend Over $100 Billion a Year on Illegal Drugs

Another weekend approaches. And with it, the weekly buying of fun: the barroom bacchanal, where stacks of $20 bills are transformed into liquid fun before your very eyes, where desperation is turned into drunken bliss before you can say, "loan deferral." (Enjoy your 20s, kids).

San Francisco is a busy drinking town, and we are not alone. Americans spend $161 billion a year, according to one estimate.

But nothing chases a vodka-tonic-and-a-pack-of-Marlboro-Reds dinner quite like a bump in the bathroom. So it might not come as a surprise that Americans also spend an awful lot of money on illegal drugs, according a RAND Corporation estimate prepared for the US drug czar.

About $109 billion, give or take, was spent on cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamine and heroin in 2010, RAND's study says.

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Private Sector Pushes For Advances In Marijuana Research

Garrett Yount
While researching the ability for traditional Chinese herbs to combat modern diseases, California Pacific Medical Center scientist Garrett Yount and his colleagues had a breakthrough: cancer cells could be weakened and shrunk and healthy cells left undisturbed when subjected to a compound found in a common plant.

This was in 2005. Despite the meaning of the discovery -- that there could be a healthier alternative to body-ravaging chemotherapy and radiation treatments for cancer -- there hasn't been much follow-up research. Because, of course, the plant is cannabis, and marijuana is federally illegal.

That means no research, and no advancing science.

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California Cops Want to Ban Hash, Dabs, all Marijuana Concentrates

Categories: Health, Marijuana

Stanimir G.Stoev/Shutterstock

It was seen as a measure of progress when the California Police Chiefs -- long one of the major roadblocks in the way of marijuana reform in the state -- decided to introduce their own medical marijuana regulations this year, after years of opposing other efforts.

At first glance, the bill introduced by state Sen. Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana) isn't terrible: after all, the cops are allowing people to legally access cannabis, and even want to let children get their hands on the CBD-rich pot that can stop seizures. That's nice of them.

Less nice is a provision, first noticed by LA Weekly, that the cops are also proposing what appears to be an outright ban on "butane hash oil." In other words: no hash, no concentrates, and an end to dabbing, if California cops have their way.

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CNN's Sanjay Gupta: Allow Doctors To Research Marijuana

Categories: Health, Marijuana

To hear medical professionals and television addicts tell it, Sanjay Gupta is the most important doctor in America.

And, for another day at least, the CNN medical correspondent might be: He's the man who will tell President Barack Obama on national television to get it right and allow doctors to research marijuana. He's also the guy -- and this is the key bit -- to whom people are listening.

Not only that, Gupta is putting prohibitionists on notice: for children's epileptic seizures to be calmed, for tumors of cancer patients to shrink and for sufferers of AIDS to be able to eat and sleep, it's not enough to remove one active ingredient from the plant and put it in a pill -- you need the whole plant.

And that means the law in America needs to change. Because right now, there's a choice between advancing the science and being and outlaw, or just plain doing nothing while people die.

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SFPD Gives Up On Tracking Marijuana Crime

Who knows?
It wasn't long ago that marijuana crime in San Francisco was a serious issue -- so serious that elected officials set up a group, made up mostly of cannabis legalization advocates, to hold police accountable for their actions.

That group, the Marijuana Offenses Oversight Committee, is in the process of being disbanded by the Board of Supervisors, after last receiving statistics from the San Francisco Police Department sometime in 2010.

Not that the cops needed to cough up stats: misdemeanor possession-only marijuana arrests have all but vanished in San Francisco. However, the cops appear to have stopped keeping track of pot themselves.

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Will San Francisco's E-Cigarette Ban Extend To Marijuana Vaporizers?

Categories: Health, Marijuana

Free Big Body's Vape Pen
With strict rules on cigarette smoking at ATMs and in front of bars, San Francisco is not a tobacco town -- but marijuana is getting special treatment at City Hall.

San Francisco lawmakers are taking care to protect the rights of cannabis consumers, so much so that new regulations cracking down on the use of e-cigarettes -- the portable vaporizers that provide a smokeless nicotine fix on the go -- are written as to specifically not crack down on the use of vapor pens, the virtually-identical mechanisms used for smokeless marijuana consumption.

Or will they? Marijuana advocates say that Supervisor Eric Mar's proposed rules on popular e-cigarettes would be applied to also-popular cannabis vaporizers. Add to that questions about why San Francisco would want to regulate and restrict harm reduction, and you have an unlikely union of weedheads and folks trying to kick a smoking habit ready to descend upon City Hall.

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The First Marijuana-Related Ad Airs On Major Television Network

Categories: Marijuana, Media

Here's your guy
With over $1 billion worth of sales in California alone, marijuana has been a big business for some time.

Yet, legal weed isn't quite Big Business in the made-it-in-America sense: The stock market has no marijuana-fueled heavy hitters and whatever "big marijuana" is -- beyond fears of an evil corporate specter that will take over when and if pot finally goes legit -- it hasn't quite yet appeared.

But there's a milestone for America's legitimate cannabis industry today just the same: a marijuana-related television ad, believed to be the first of its kind, airing on Comcast-fueled cable boxes in New Jersey this week.

The ad features no marijuana, but it does have raw fish.

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German Doctors Say Marijuana Can Kill You

It's back
About a month ago, the ever-cautious and beyond-reproach British press ran a sensational story about a drug-induced death. Something called "cannabis poisoning," they reported, killed a 31-year-old mother.

This would be new. Though abundant amounts of high-grade marijuana food have killed off pets, as far as science and even the prohibitionist federal government in the United States know, there is no such thing as "cannabis poisoning" in humans, at least in feasible reality.

Or is there? Researchers in Germany say they have discovered the world's first "cannabis-related deaths," a pair of healthy men in their 20s who succumbed to cardiac arrythmia.

Has the magic plant finally claimed its first victim, several thousand years into its history with humans?

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Feds: Capture Of "El Chapo" Guzman, World's Most Wanted Drug Dealer, Won't Stop Mexican Cartels

Drugs will still be sold
Drug warriors in the United States and Mexico are ebullient this week, after scoring their biggest victory over the cartels in a generation.

They shouldn't be, according to their own intelligence.

The world's most successful and most wanted drug dealer -- Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, the chief of the Sinaloa cartel -- is in their custody, captured in a sophisticated sting after eluding authorities for almost 13 years.

The subject of feature articles and a staple of the Forbes list of the worlds' billionaires, Guzman's stature is near mythical. Attorney General Eric Holder called his capture a "landmark achievement." Holder's Mexican counterparts did him one better. "He was our Osama," Fusion reported an intelligence official as saying.

Indeed. Because, like an Al Qaeda member who remained active after Osama bin Laden's disappearance and death in the decade after 9/11, the Sinaloas will continue to deal drugs with their boss in prison.

"No change" in the flow of drugs results when key cartel figures are nabbed, according to U.S. Border Patrol documents.

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