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Government Medicine

Industrial Marijuana Farming Approved In Oakland 690

Trintech writes "According to MSNBC: 'The city of Oakland, California on Tuesday legalized large-scale marijuana cultivation for medical use and will issue up to four permits for "industrial" cultivation starting next year. The move by the San Francisco Bay Area city aims to bring medical marijuana cultivation into the open and allow the city to profit by taxing those who grow it. The resolution passed the city council easily after a nearly four-hour debate that pitted small-scale "garden" growers against advocates of a bigger, industrial system that would become a "Silicon Valley" of pot.' Yes, you read that right. MSNBC just compared computer chip fabrication to pot cultivation."
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Industrial Marijuana Farming Approved In Oakland

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  • Other impacts (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @08:28PM (#32985146)

    I'd be interested to see the enrollment statistics for agricultural studies from community colleges and universities in the Bay Area 3 months from now.

  • by ZigiSamblak ( 745960 ) on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @08:30PM (#32985166)
    Here in the Netherlands we're only allowed to have four plants in natural light and farming cannabis on an industrial scale is only permitted in some rare government experiments.

    Didn't think we would start running behind on the Americans with our liberal drugs laws, then again the Christian democrats have been in government for quite a while.
  • by countertrolling ( 1585477 ) on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @08:30PM (#32985168) Journal

    There's anecdotal evidence that pot smokers consume less alcohol when toking up. AND, from the government itself []...

    So I'm just tellin' ya, Let it go... It's over Johnny, it's over...

  • by inKubus ( 199753 ) on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @08:49PM (#32985298) Homepage Journal

    Oh and F. hang around with a real addict or two for a few days.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @08:51PM (#32985320)

    "Drinking beer and smoking dope together is like pissing into the wind" - Freewheelin' Franklin (often attributed to Fat Freddy himself).

    And why did the US repeal prohibition? For the tax revenue after the depression wiped out capital gains...

  • Re:lol (Score:5, Interesting)

    by countertrolling ( 1585477 ) on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @08:51PM (#32985322) Journal

    Beer still takes a lot of work and equipment... Weed is virtually the only drug that requires no infrastructure. The markets for alcohol and other drugs will diminish significantly. Those industries will not be happy about this. That would include the law enforcement and prison industries.. Good-bye huge budgets for those guys...

  • by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) * on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @09:13PM (#32985472) Journal

    The problem is that everyone would do the drugs

    I don't know about where you live, but around here drugs are pretty readily available, yet "everyone" does not do drugs.

    A. Be 25
    B. Pass a several year course of drug education, from health issues to manufacture.
    C. Obtain a license from your state
    D. Restrict use to private places
    E. Don't drive while doing it, or around the time you're doing it

    There are people who believe the same rules should not apply to firearms, which are designed and manufactured to be lethal, yet should apply to marijuana, which as far as I know has only been lethal to extra-large bags of LAY'S® Kettle Cooked Harvest Ranch Flavored Potato Chips.

  • Re:lol (Score:2, Interesting)

    by countertrolling ( 1585477 ) on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @09:14PM (#32985476) Journal

    And I can remind you again that decent cultivation requires only a hippy chick with a pair of clippers and some time in the sun. Unlike the Netherlands, much of the US has plenty of sun.

  • by Jah-Wren Ryel ( 80510 ) on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @09:17PM (#32985508)

    Have you tried botox? Seriously - botox works incredibly well for many people with migranes. It's not addictive, you only need a treatment every 2-3 months, maybe even less frequently. Dunno how much you pay for pain meds, what with copays and all, but 100% out of pocket, botox ought to be significantly less than $500 per treatment - a few years back it was in the ~$300 range if you shopped around. I've heard that it's become less popular for cosmetic uses (not really sure why, maybe fads change, maybe it's the economy) which might have brought prices down even further.

  • by Jah-Wren Ryel ( 80510 ) on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @09:22PM (#32985532)

    Is it possible that in 2010, there's a sign that our society might actually be growing up a little bit?

    No, its just the economic downturn's effect on tax revenues is all. One of the major reasons prohibition finally came to an end too - in the decade or so prior to prohibition roughly 40% of the country's tax revenues were from the sale of alcohol.

    Ever wonder why it took a constitutional amendment to ban alcohol, but the feds can ban any old drug they feel like without even a vote of the legislative branch nowadays?

    That's some bullshit right there.

  • by catmistake ( 814204 ) on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @09:33PM (#32985604) Journal

    Who seriously thinks this isn't going to end with FBI agents with flamethrowers and some farmers going to jail forever?

    It will end with the federal law being challenged and overturned. The 9th and 14th Amendments are clear on this. It is the right of the States to regulate those things not expressly reserved for the federal government. All your non-enumerated rights are belong to us.

  • by TexVex ( 669445 ) on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @09:47PM (#32985716)
    I've been a smoker of cigarettes and herb since my late teens. The weed I can take or leave. I've gone through times when I would wake-and-bake and stay high all day for months on end, times when I would get high once or twice a month, and times when I haven't smoked any at all for years on end.

    While it is true that you build up a bit of a tolerance after you've been smoking hard and long, there are absolutely no withdrawal symptoms when you stop. Even when you go from being constantly stoned to completely dry, you can quit and not have cravings.

    Tobacco is completely the opposite. If I go more than a few hours without a smoke, I'm already hating life. I have quit three times, all of them for several months, but the craving for the nicotine rush just never seemed to go away. It really does suck.

    Nicotine is highly toxic, and just a small drop of the pure stuff on the tongue can easily be fatal. With THC, however, you can consume an entire gram of the pure shit and you'll just get really, REALLY stoned. (That's hard to do by smoking, but not so hard to do if you're eating it...)

    I remember a very vivid dream from my youth, in which I went into a gas station and bought a pack of Marlboro joints. They looked like cigarettes, and even had filters, and the box looked like a pack of Marlboro 100s except in deep green instead of red.

    I think it's time we quit being stupid about the whole thing and flat-out make MJ be equally as legal and equally as commoditized as tobacco. But I'm happy for the baby steps. If it has to be "medicine" for "sick people" then so be it; eventually it'll be legal and commercialized. I guess when it comes right down to it we are ALL terminally ill and in chronic pain. It's just some of us are more immediately terminal and in more pain than others. But we all have pain and we are all gonna die.
  • Propagation? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by RevWaldo ( 1186281 ) on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @09:59PM (#32985792)
    Is there much chance that major fields of pot being grown will result in pot plants showing up all over the place? I'm imagining the seeds being carried about all over through the wind, birdshit, etc. It worked for Monsanto after all.

  • by catmistake ( 814204 ) on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @09:59PM (#32985800) Journal
    I think you're probably correct in that this is how the federal government is trying to justify their authority. I believe, however, that they will fail.

    Cannibis was demonized in the 20th Century by racists. Once it is exposed that the plant is no threat to civilized society, that it is a wealth of medicene, and a ton of other really great uses, and that most citizens that are sick that cannibis can help want it, then the court will be swayed and the law will change.

    No anti-drug attorney anywhere could convince any court that the Founders would have wanted cannibis to be illegal. Every important document from the era of the Founders was drafted on hemp paper. They all wore hemp clothes and used hemp rope. And most of the Founders smoked pot, for entertainment purposes or for various ailments. George Washington was obsessed with his pot crop.

    Marijuana is not like cocaine. It's not like heroin, or even legal drugs that are abused like oxycontin. The Federal law banning marijuana makes about as much sense as banning coffee. It may be abused, but it's abuse won't be any more detrimental to society than other abused drugs. In fact, it will likely be less detrimental than alcohol, and that's already legal. But this negative effect must be weighed against the positive effect, which is tremendous. Marijuana curbs suffering. The DEA's own administrative law judge did not see why marijuana should be illegal. He ruled it should be a scheduled drug, and with expert testimony, wished to place it at schedule IV, rather than schedule I where it is now. The DEA overuled their own judge. The DEA won't be able to overrule the Supreme Court.

  • by couchslug ( 175151 ) on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @10:23PM (#32985936)

    "We all remember smart kids from high school that wasted their lives on pot.

    Who is "we", Kemosabe? I partied with many of the (other) smart kids who went on to lead full, happy lives. Some of the dumbasses smoked too much, and drank too much, and would have been losers even without chemical recreation.

    In the 1970s, there were Head Shops on many street corners and my generation smoked harder than a steam locomotive. No problem.

    Legalize weed, tell the Christian Taliban to fuck off, and let Americans enjoy a peaceful recreational drug.

  • by WillDraven ( 760005 ) on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @10:44PM (#32986082) Homepage

    Ok, I'll address this point by point since you laid it out that way.

    A: I think 18 is a more sensible age. In fact I think we should drop the drinking age to 18 (at least) as well. Our current situation of scattering the ages of when things are legal really diminishes the concept of becoming an adult and I think is one of the main reasons we have so many people who never seem to grow up. They never have a defining moment that says "Now you are an adult, act like one." In fact, arguments could be made for pushing the age of majority as low as 14. The longer you treat somebody like they can't make their own decisions the more likely they are to make bad ones just to spite the fact that they're being told that they can't.

    B: Several years? We're talking about people using drugs not manufacturing them right? You can learn practically everything you need to know to be a safe opiate user in a week, max. In fact all it basically boils down to is this:

    1. Always know what you're taking and how strong it is relative to your tolerance.
    2: Don't increase your dosage more than 2x what you're used to doing on a regular basis.
    3: When you do increase your dosage see how it affects you and use that dosage several times before driving or operating heavy machinery.
    4: If IVing don't share needles.
    5: Use a fresh sterile needle every time
    6: IVing pills not meant to be used IV is bad for you, the waxes, binders, and anti-abuse additives can cause all sorts of problems.
    7: Don't mix opiates with other drugs without researching their interactions.
    8: If you've been using for a while on a daily basis and want to stop try to slowly wean yourself off, stopping cold turkey can kill a heavy user and will make you sick as hell even if your daily dosage isn't very high.

    Those are all the most important points. Some of these could even be dropped in the case of opiates being legal, easily obtainable, clearly labeled, and free from all of the dangerous anti-abuse additives. Those anti-abuse additives I believe are some of the most asinine evil shit the pharmacological companies do to appease the government. Opiate addicts have a physical addiction and making it difficult or dangerous to use will not stop a person who is in great physical pain from finding (often half-assed) ways around them in order to find relief. The only function they perform is endangering the lives of users and I feel run counter to the Hippocratic Oath. (sorry for getting somewhat off topic..)

    C: Requiring a license for something is just a half-assed ban against certain groups of people. Especially since I can practically guarantee many states would revoke it for even non-drug related convictions. Similar to the way that non-violent felons are restricted from owning certain types of weapons. It doesn't stop anybody from doing it anyway and makes people into a different class of criminals than they otherwise would have been.

    D: Why? It's not even like pot where one could make the argument that nearby people could end up intoxicated without intending to be so. The only reason for such a ban is the puritanical nonsense that got us into this stupid drug war to begin with.

    E: You obviously don't know any opiate addicts. They're WAY more dangerous on the road when they DON'T have their typical dose. An addict going through detox experiences nausea, diarrhea, shakes, hot and cold flashes, drowsiness (but unable to actually sleep) and other effects that make them dangerous to be on the road. Of course you shouldn't substantially up your dose to where you're nodding off and have slowed response times before driving, but we already have laws against driving while impaired. If the drugs were legal and could be picked up cheaply at the local drug store, you would almost never have this problem. It happens all too often these days because their prohibited status makes it difficult for users to locate and afford their next dose, they are all too often in a pretty terrible state before they manage to find someone to sell them

  • by lgw ( 121541 ) on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @10:45PM (#32986084) Journal

    When a Republican administration gets back in, they're very likely to start enforcing it again.

    As an ancient Vulcan proverb puts it "only Nixon could go to China". I think only a Republican administration could legalize pot at the federal level. The libertarian-leaning Republicans support this, too - heck, Buckley started arguing against the "war on drugs" in the 80s. I don't have much hope that the Tea Party folks will bring sense to the GOP regarding smaller government, but at least it's something to be hopeful about.

  • by bm_luethke ( 253362 ) <luethkeb@com c a s t . n et> on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @11:07PM (#32986196)

    If I could go back and tell our founding fathers just one thing I think it would be "the commerce clause sucks royally". It seems to me that the vast majority of the really bad Supreme Court decisions are based on it - it seems that one can rationalize it to allow the feds to regulate nearly *anything*.

    Simply look at [], search for the "civil rights" header and read from there. They can regulate health clubs because the health bars they sell are manufactured in other states? Really? Does *anyone* in their right mind truly think this is what was intended? Or the one you quote - anyone out there really think that the framers of our constitution meant for federal govt to regulate what you can and can not make/grow at your house because if you do that then you will not purchase the item on the open market and that effects national supply and demand? That is simply *crazy* (I agree with the part of that decision that says the states can't legalize something the feds have the power to make illegal).

    In the one you link I can somewhat understand Scalia's stance - that allowing states to have people grow restricted items undercuts the federal's ability to regulate something (which is true - it's why California did what it did). While I think that is borderline, allowing you to produce illicit drugs interferes with the feds ability to enforce is quite a bit different than saying growing it in your house lowers the price so the feds can regulate it - my main argument there is that falls under the sovereignty clause, not commerce.

    But then I'm that wants the feds to only do what the constitution allows them to do, I prefer most power to be local anyway. There is too much difference both in terms of what people want and what people need from California to Tennessee that moving most regulatory power to a federal level just plain sucks. If you want to move into a hippie, free love, abortion on demand commune then have at it - if you want to move into a religious, gun toting, redneck village then have fun. I see no reason for either one to tell the other they are doing it wrong and try and force them into their lifestyle. But then I seem to be rare in that regards too - most want you to have the freedom to do exactly what they force you too. If we were simply arguing where to draw the line (and there is a great deal of argument there) then it would be one thing, but we are mainly arguing who gets to tell the rest of the people what to do.

  • by afidel ( 530433 ) on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @11:22PM (#32986284)
    Don't worry, no company will touch this and no financial institution will fund it. This whole idea has DEA bust written all over it. California can do whatever they want to legalize it but so long as it's illegal under federal statute large scale grow operations will be way too hot to touch. The interesting thing would be if the state were to grow it themselves, would pit states rights against federal drug laws.
  • by Darkness404 ( 1287218 ) on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @11:41PM (#32986386)
    Just fully legalize it and leave it like that. The idea of "Medical Marijuana" is simply stupid. Let pot smokers buy pot legitimately and let the currency circulate on real goods rather than on the black market. Really, why is there such opposition to letting it be sold like cigarettes with smoking/driving restrictions like alcohol.

    And no, for the record I'm not a smoker, pot or otherwise, never tried it, never will. But thats just it, why should I have my tax dollars wasted on "enforcement" that just moves it underground and breeds crime. Phillip Morris doesn't spend their money on stolen goods because they are a legitimize business, on the other hand the "drug" dealer does. The money spent on "drugs" ends up being spent on stolen goods and breading violent crime because they can't just walk into Best Buy with cash and buy a new plasma, on the other hand they can talk to Pedro and get the stolen plasma just fine.

    Its stupid, pointless and self-defeating to try to ban marijuana, simply legalize it and be done with it. No special difference, just sell it in the places cigarettes and booze are sold. Keeping money circulating out of the hands of the stolen goods market and reducing taxpayer waste, its a win-win, lower crime rates + lower theft (of the taxpayer) rates.
  • by Bing Tsher E ( 943915 ) on Wednesday July 21, 2010 @11:55PM (#32986466) Journal

    The Tea Party folks are exactly the group within the Republicans who would get behind legalization.

    You won't read about it much in the news, but part of the 'back to basics' about many of the Tea Partiers is to get over all the 'social conservative' bullshit and just get frickin' government off our backs.

  • by interkin3tic ( 1469267 ) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @12:17AM (#32986518)

    Hmm, but I smell the high smell of marijuana growing being handed over to licensed only agro-corporations and individuals will be fined for attempting to grow it themselves under penalties of tax evasion.

    All I smell is hypocrisy. The "small" pot growers have their cake and eat it too right now, wanting pot to remain illegal technically, keeping serious competition down, but not really enforced so that they can sell it as they do now. The fact that others are being fined and arrested for what they're getting away with doesn't bother them enough to advocate changing the laws to allow competition.

    Furthermore, we have no reason to suspect there's going to be an increase in personal growing and use once the stuff becomes legal. The tobacco industry is huge, but you can grow your own tobacco plants for personal use without any permits of any kind. Very few people do. Growing your own plants, drying them rolling it, and then finally smoking it is tougher than walking down to the gas station, paying $5, and smoking immediately. The marijuana industrial farms are going to blow homegrown competition out of the water for the same reasons and will have no reason in keeping you from growing your own: hardly anyone will

  • by Toonol ( 1057698 ) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @12:38AM (#32986596)
    Yeah, I'm a strong supporter of legalizing marijuana (and most other drugs), but I think the 'medical marijuana' movement is a farce. The net result is a bunch of stoner rejects inventing various chronic conditions in order to prove to the officials that they need marijuana to make their life tolerable. How embarrassing... how degrading.

    There are legitimate medical reasons to take marijuana; but I'd say at LEAST 90% of those signed up for it are lying through their teeth. Honestly, I think it's closer to 99%.

    And as far as non-narcotic uses of hemp; it's a useful plant, but it's wonderful properties tend to be exaggerated by pro-pot boosters.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 22, 2010 @01:15AM (#32986724)

    Are you serious? Nixon (a Republican) is the one who started the war on drugs! And have you checked what states have legalized marijuana for medicinal use thus far? Hint: 3 out of the 14 (!) are considered "red" states...

  • The Tea Party folks are exactly the group within the Republicans who would get behind legalization.

    The problem with this idea is that its very hard to tell where the grass ends and the Astroturf begins in the modern tea party movement. The original core of the tea party would be a great ally to legalization, but a lot of the movement has been taken over by the same old creepy Republicans.

    It is amusing that legalization is an issue that both the far left, and far right could stand behind though, you just run into problems towards the middle.

  • by RobertM1968 ( 951074 ) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @02:06AM (#32986952) Homepage Journal

    Don't worry, no company will touch this and no financial institution will fund it. This whole idea has DEA bust written all over it. California can do whatever they want to legalize it but so long as it's illegal under federal statute large scale grow operations will be way too hot to touch. The interesting thing would be if the state were to grow it themselves, would pit states rights against federal drug laws.

    Wrong! The tobacco industry is geared up, ready and waiting - including having trademarked various sale names for such products. Google "tobacco companies marijuana" if you dont believe me.

    As for the Feds, how long do you think it will be that they hold out? Guarantee you they still have the methods in place to tax this, regardless of the current legality. Money will win out in this.

  • by jimicus ( 737525 ) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @05:32AM (#32987538)

    Here in Portugal some companies are starting to do the same, and there was a politician that wrote an opinion piece where he said "surely no one is against this measure".

    What your politician is trying to do is demonise drugs in the same way as terrorism and paedophilia - the next logical statement were you to publicly say "I'm against it" would be something along the lines of "You must be a drug-addled junkie" or "Are you in favour of more drug addicts in our society?".

  • by mikael_j ( 106439 ) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @06:12AM (#32987726)

    It is amusing that legalization is an issue that both the far left, and far right could stand behind though, you just run into problems towards the middle.

    Yes, for some reason the more fringe elements in politics tend to respond easier to obviously good ideas, and the even the idiots out on the edges realize that them supporting a Good Thing will most likely lead to greater public support...

    The problem is mostly getting them to join forces over issues like this.

  • by moortak ( 1273582 ) on Thursday July 22, 2010 @07:26AM (#32988050)
    It is in American supermarkets and people still don't buy it in reasonable quantities.

Man is an animal that makes bargains: no other animal does this-- no dog exchanges bones with another. -- Adam Smith