VICE PRESIDENTIAL BLUES: How I Tried To Change National Drug Policy & All I Got Was A Parking Ticket

BY TONY ABRAHAM I usually try to avoid talking about politics altogether and have more or less done so for most of my 21 years on Earth. But every once in a while, a political development will pique my interest. Such was the case when the boss called me up and asked me to cover Vice President Joe Biden’s jobs bill speech at Penn on Tuesday. Turns out Biden was bringing along Gil Kerlikowske, Obama’s director of White House drug policy (formerly known as the Drug Czar, and since he still behaves like one despite the name change, we’re gonna […]

STYLE COUNCIL: Wearing Your Heart On Your Sleeve

Penn’s 4:20 Club has unveiled this year’s T-shirt design for 4/20, which has become something like the one day Mardi Gras of marijuana. You don’t have to be an Ivy League stoner dress like one. You can order one HERE. RELATED: Gov. Brian Schweitzer vetoed a bill on Wednesday that would have repealed the state’s voter-approved medical marijuana law. Mr. Schweitzer, a Democrat, vetoed the Republican-backed measure along with several others he called “frivolous, unconstitutional or in direct contradiction to the expressed will of the people of Montana.” MORE RELATED: Arizona’s medical-marijuana law takes effect today, but patients already have […]

REEFER MADNESS: 858,408 Arrested In 2009

ALTERNET: Police prosecuted 858,408 persons for marijuana violations in 2009, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s annual Uniform Crime Report, released today. The arrest total is the second highest ever reported by the FBI, and marks a 1.3 percent increase in the number of arrests reported in 2008 (847,864). According to the report, marijuana arrests now comprise more than one-half (approximately 52 percent) of all drug arrests reported in the United States. A decade ago, marijuana arrests comprised just 44 percent of all drug arrests. Of those charged with marijuana violations, approximately 88 percent (758,593 Americans) were charged with […]

THE HARSHEST MELLOW: New Jersey’s Medical Marijuana Law Will Be The Strictest In The Land — Assuming It Ever Actually Goes Into Effect

[Illustration by ALEX FINE] BY JONATHAN VALANIA FOR THE PHILADELPHIA WEEKLY Of all the shitty ways to die, ALS is arguably the shittiest. Also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, ALS stands for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and in short it is slow death brought on by the steady and methodical withering of the nerves that control your muscles. First, you can’t button your shirt. Then, you can’t walk and eventually, you can’t breathe. The cruelest irony is that the disease does not affect higher brain function, and so even at the very end, you are a fully present mind trapped in […]

HIGH TIMES: Go West, Young Man

NEW YORK TIMES: One of the odder experiments in the recent history of American capitalism is unfolding here in the Rockies: the country’s first attempt at fully regulating, licensing and taxing a for-profit marijuana trade. In California, medical marijuana dispensary owners work in nonprofit collectives, but the cannabis pioneers of Colorado are free to pocket as much as they can — as long as they stay within the rules. The catch is that there are a ton of rules, and more are coming in the next few months. The authorities here were initially caught off guard when dispensary mania began […]

BREAKING: New Jersey To Delay Medical Mary Jane

BY JONATHAN VALANIA FOR PHILADELPHIA WEEKLY New Jersey has hit a speed bump on the road to medical marijuana. The Christie administration has been asking for more time to implement the law and PW has learned that the bill’s chief sponsor, State Senator Nicholas Scutari, is going to give it to them. As you may recall, back in January New Jersey became the 14th state in the union to pass medical marijuana legislation. A last minute amendment to the legislation — part of a trade-off that made the law more restrictive in terms of who qualifies to receive medical marijuana […]

DOPE: NJ Weedman Comes Home, Gets Busted

INQUIRER: Ed Forchion doesn’t deny it. There was a pound of marijuana – “high-grade California Kush” – in the trunk of his rent-a-wreck when he was stopped in Mount Holly on Thursday night by a state trooper. The dreadlocked Rastafarian, better known as “NJ Weedman,” who ran unsuccessfully for New Jersey governor and U.S. and state representative on the Marijuana Party ticket, was released from the Burlington County jail on Tuesday after posting $50,000 bail on drug possession and distribution charges. He did not intend to be arrested, said Forchion, 45. “But now that I’ve been charged, it feels like […]

DOPE: NJ Weedman Still Crazy After All These Years

TRENTONIAN: Ed “NJ Weedman” Forchion is sparking a new kind of buzz these days, and he’s taking some heat for the way he’s used the likeness of President Obama. Forchion, who at one point or another ran for just about every elected office in New Jersey on a platform of marijuana legalization, is now running a medical marijuana dispensary in Los Angeles, and a poster for an upcoming party he’s hosting has gotten him in some hot bong water. Forchion, formerly of Willingboro, is set to host an “Obama One Year in Office Celebration” out in California, and the poster […]

DOPE: Pot Shops Outnumber Starbucks In Denver

PORTFOLIO: If you want more proof that selling legal pot is a booming business, consider this statistic: Denver has more medical-marijuana shops than Starbucks Corp. locations. Denver’s City Treasurer Steve Ellington tells ABC New affiliate Channel 7 that at least 390 pot dispensaries applied for a sales-tax license recently. That compares to 208 Starbucks in the entire state of Colorado, the station reports. Denver’s city council took a step toward regulating the marijuana stores last night, and the businesses are filing their tax applications. The Denver statistic sheds light on a business that is becoming more institutionalized as local governments […]

HELP WANTED: Dope Fiend With Word Power

[Artwork by JAMES THORTON] GUARDIAN: An alternative newspaper in Denver, Colorado, Westword, is seeking a marijuana critic. More than 120 people have applied for the job to review the drugs legally available in the state’s medical dispensaries. One condition: the critic must have a medical ailment that allows him or her to buy and use marijuana at one of Colorado’s 100 dispensaries. And the pay, unlike the job, is not expected to be high. There are already several online reviewers of cannabis, such as and MORE WESTWORD: All those journalistic scoops are just so much smoke compared to […]

INHALE TO THE CHIEF: DOJ Instructs Prosecutors To Stop Wasting Time And Money Busting People In Compliance With State Medical Marijuana Laws

[Artwork by REUBENSLP] ASSOCIATED PRESS: The Obama administration will not seek to arrest medical marijuana users and suppliers as long as they conform to state laws, under new policy guidelines to be sent to federal prosecutors Monday. Two Justice Department officials described the new policy to The Associated Press, saying prosecutors will be told it is not a good use of their time to arrest people who use or provide medical marijuana in strict compliance with state laws. The new policy is a significant departure from the Bush administration, which insisted it would continue to enforce federal anti-pot laws regardless […]


NEW YORK TIMES:  “I’m so totally paranoid I can’t stand myself,” said the distributor, who runs a nonprofit group here that grows and sells marijuana for medicinal purposes and who insisted on meeting in the privacy of a hotel room. It was not meant to be this way. New Mexico’s new medical marijuana law was intended to provide safe, aboveboard access to the drug for hundreds of residents with chronic pain and other debilitating conditions. By licensing nonprofit distributors, New Mexico hoped to improve upon the free-for-all distribution systems in some states like California and Colorado, where hundreds of for-profit […]

NJ State Assembly Approves Medical Marijuana Bill

UPDATE: New Jersey moved closer to allowing chronically ill patients to smoke marijuana to relieve symptoms of pain and nausea. The Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee approved the medical marijuana bill by an 8-1 vote with two abstentions Thursday. New Jersey would become the 14th state with such a law if it passes the Legislature and Gov. Jon Corzine signs it. Corzine has said he would. MORE THE EXAMINER: Just when we thought that New Jersey would be the fourteenth state to ratify laws lifting the ban on medical marijuana, a new obstacle has appeared to slow it down. […]