Penn Jillette Calls BS on Obama’s “States’ Rights”

Magician and arch-debunker Penn Jillette made a very valid point on his podcast Sunday: That Obama has called states’ rights for marriage equality, but not for marijuana laws.

First off states’ rights for marriage equality means that over 1,300 federal rights are denied to same-sex couples in the states that celebrate marriage equality, but that wasn’t where Jillette was going. The entertainer, doesn’t smoke, drink or do drugs, said about Obama and marijuana legalization:

Now, he has not left this to states’ rights. As you know, medical marijuana… you can get in California, and the feds are coming in to try to stop this. States’ rights don’t mean jack sh*t to the Obama administration on anything except gay marriage.

Bottom line, Obama should repeal DOMA and let states set their own pot laws. Oh heck, go whole hog and federally legalize marijuana.

(And for the record, I don’t do pot either.)


HT Huffington Post

Late Night: Food, Weed and Black Metal

I like fois gras, and the state of California now wants to pry the fatted duck liver off my fork. But this is America, and there’s room for all sorts of food lovers, from tattooed fois gras fans to vegan black metal chefs.

And thus I am very confused about this whole states rights issue that Obama brought up re: marriage equality. Like, it’s okay for states to decide if people can get married or not, and the Federal government won’t interfere, but when states decide that medical marijuana is legal, the Feds jump in and say


Could some explain that to me?

Pat Robertson Is the Cancer That’s Killing Christianity


Earlier this week, Pat Robertson almost barely redeemed himself when he stood up for the legalization of marijuana. But now he’s gone one toke over the line, declaring non-Christians a virus:

It’s like a virus, if you have, we have, all of us have, antibodies in our system and if our system is healthy we can repel viruses, but once those antibodies breakdown then the viruses take over. The antibody to these false religions have been vibrant Christianity.

Okay, first off, Robertson’s analysis is bad science. Antibodies do not “break down” or wear out. Actually the body maintains a durable reservoir, a memory bank, of antigens  in specific cells of the lymph nodes and spleen. That’s why once you’ve had chicken pox or last year’s flu you don’t get it again. The immune system doesn’t forgive, and it doesn’t forget.

Granted, the immune system, which is in charge of the antibodies, can become less than fully capable of effectivly mounting appropriate responses to a threat (For instance, chemotherapy, radiation and certain illnesses can weaken the immune system). So maybe Robertson meant the whole immune system, rather than just the antibody portion. But, dude, get it right, stop spreading ignorance and false information.

And from another angle, Robertson maybe should lay off huffing the he-wishes-it-were-legal wacky ‘baccy and watching sci-fi movies. If his commentary sounds familiar, maybe it’s because it’s lifted from The Matrix, via a host of other thinkers and writers, like Williams Burroughs who wrote in Cities of Red Night:

Not just language, but the whole quality of human consciousness, as expressed in male and female, is basically a virus mechanism.

Actually, Agent Smith’s description matches missionary zealotry of militant Christianity–with its torture, conquering, subsequent enslavement and destruction of peaceful civilizations–a lot better than it matches Robertson’s boogeymen of Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, or Pagan faiths which eschew proselytizing and forced conversions.

Pat Robertson’s brand of Christianity is like a malignant tumor, arising in an ostensibly normal component of a healthy body, only one part of the whole, but through its malignant nature seeks to command all available resources for its own expansion at the expense of the body’s needs until killing it.

Pat Robertson: Legalize Weed!

Holy  joints!  Conservative televangelist Pat Robertson has come out in favor of marijuana legalization telling the New York Times:

I really believe we should treat marijuana the way we treat beverage alcohol. I’ve never used marijuana and I don’t intend to, but it’s just one of those things that I think: this war on drugs just hasn’t succeeded.

Um, duh. Needless to say, lots of pro-pot groups are stoked that Robertson has spoken up about the war on drugs’ epic fail which has imprisoned thousands on personal use drug charges. Robertson said:

Prisons are being overcrowded with juvenile offenders having to do with drugs. And the penalties, the maximums, some of them could get 10 years for possession of a joint of marijuana. It makes no sense at all.

Then in a weird cognitive shift, Robertson explained that overpopulated jails are due in a large part to  to a

liberal mindset to have an all-encompassing government.

Whoa  Pat, dude, what have you been smoking?


Willie Nelson, the Border Patrol and the Teapot Party

Border Patrol agents stopped a tour bus carrying Willie Nelson and band members at a checkpoint in Sierra Blanca, Texas, 100 miles from the Mexico border, smelled weed, called the K-9s and found six ounces of wackybaccy on the bus. Nelson posted a $2,500 bond and was released four hours later.

The singer now faces 180 days in jail and $10,00 fine. Local county sheriff says he’d like to have Nelson cook and clean and maybe wear one of theose stripey outfits.

Rolling Stone reports

The arrest doesn’t sit well with Texas attorney Dick DeGuerin, a criminal defense lawyer who recently represented Tom Delay and country singer Billy Joe Shaver, and was lawyer to David Koresh during the 1993 FBI siege of the Branch Davidian ranch outside Waco, Texas. DeGuerin questions the lawfulness of the search, which he says occurred 100 miles from the Mexican border. “It needs to be contested,” he says.

“It’s supposed to be a checkpoint only for aliens, and [agents] overstep their authority all the time,” he says. “I’ve had several cases from that checkpoint and they just use the opportunity to check out anybody they want to. If you have long hair, if you’re driving a van or it looks like you’re from California or you look like a hippie, they do profiling.”

Nelson said in an email to

There’s the Tea Party. How about the Teapot Party? Our motto: We lean a little to the left. Tax it, regulate it and legalize it. And stop the border wars over drugs. Why should the drug lords make all the money? Thousands of lives will be saved.

This is Nelson’s third arrest for pot. I hope he doesn’t pull a celebrity rehab redemption…Nah. Check out the stoners in this video.

CA Potheads: Vote! There’s More on the Ballot than Marijuana.

So now everyone who wishes to vote in California has registered, the legislative analyses have been mailed out and it’s time to get down to srs bsns.

Californians, it is really important to vote in this election. So fill out your mail-in ballot and leave it for the postperson if you think you can’t manage to get to the polls (gods know I am fairly langurous and prefer the simple stamp to actually leaving the house.)  There are some important races on the ballot, and if you don’t vote, you really need need to STFU about how things are being run.

Okay, along with the gubernatorial and senate races, there’s Prop 19 which should be enough to get you to the polls, ye slackers, stoners, and sybarites!  Politics make strange and sometimes hot bedfellows: There are non-smokers who are yes supporters;  wake’n'bakers who are no;  medical/215 clients and casual users who have divergent views yea vs nay; and people who are still trying to figure out what “space” with regards to a minor means–and if  passing out pot brownies at a party constitutes “personal use.”

Whether or not you are voting for legalizing pot because you are appalled at the way the war on drugs is being run and want the state to have some cash; or against it because of the patchwork of jurisdictional laws and  potential environment impact of acres of indoor growing  on non-renewable resources, figure out what works for you and go vote.

If Prop 19, which is ahead in the polls passes, United States Attorney General Eric Holder is gonna crack down in Cali. Hopefully medical won’t be impacted. I hear the cry across the land

Oh noes I’m a on list!

Prop 19 will feel the effect of whoever is elected as State Attorney General, a post now held by gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown.

Well,  Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley who is running as the Republican candidate is really opposed to CA’s 215 medical marijuana business, and even more so to Prop 19. Earlier this month, he told an audience at a UC Davis debate:

I really am strongly opposed to Proposition 19 for many reasons. I would be inclined to advise that it is unconstitutional and pre-empted by federal law.
Cooley stood with LA County Sheriff Lee Baca–IMO a hypocrite who has co-signed the thuggish cult of Scientology for decades, riding on their parade  floats and speaking at their events, despite the cult’s  clear cut violations of human rights, child labor laws, and basic human decency–on Friday October 15 when Baca said Prop 19 was superseded by federal law and if passed, would be found unconstitutional.
Proposition 19 is not going to pass, even if it passes.
As Los Angeles County District Attorney, Cooley cracked down on dispensaries from the time of the passage of 215 on. He doesn’t like pot, he doesn’t like pot being sold. And goodness knows what he would do to 215, but maybe I am just being all Cassandra on the walls of Troy again. Like I was about Holder and the Feds.
Candidate Kamala Harris–former San Francisco District Attoney whose endorsements were plastered all over HempCon by both the for and against 19 pot advocates and, per UC Davis School of Law Dean Kevin Johnson
sees herself as an attorney general who will focus on issues not just involving crime and law enforcement, per se, but also issues of environmental justice, protecting consumers and more broad issues
–took a more cautious approach on Prop 19 at the UC Davis  debate.
I believe that if it were to pass, it would be incumbent on the attorney general to convene her top lawyers and the experts on constitutional law to do a full analysis of the constitutionality of that measure … and what action, if any, should follow.
Prop 19 comes down to states’ rights, as by the way, so does AZ Prop 1070. As with AZ 1070 expect Constitutional challenges. The Drug Enforcement Agency anticipates suing if Prop 19 passes.
What will be fascinating if Prop 19 passes–and it is eight points ahead in the polls, with the LA Weekly Dennis Romero pointing about that Holder’s remarks:
Way to piss off Californians so much that we might actually pass this thing…Kiss our Golden State ass.

–is that potentially Tea Party/states rights/militia types and libertarians could cuddle up with liberals, libertines and hippies to fight for an elected initiative that runs contrary to Federal policy. Sit back, order in pizza, and start the pop corn, it’s a smoking Constitutional cause and democracy’s finest hour. Dude.

HempCon: Grow and Prosper

My weekend got kind of hijacked by HempCon at Los Angeles Convention Center. Wow. It was all there: paraphernalia; collectives offering sign-up bonuses; vendors displaying pot edibles, marijuana smoothies and “Pineapple Express” sodas; medical marijuana doctors giving exams next to psychics, lawyers and accountants; security companies and cannabis merchandising schools with their brochures.

And then there was the publicly traded Medical Marijuana, Inc which just launched its multilevel marketing company that sells hemp health care products. And has penny stocks for sale. The twenty-year old kid at the booth, purple bandana around his blond hair, energetically told me how he had bought a lot stock for his IRA and said that once upon a time Microsoft was at 12 cents a share. Really? Wow.

I checked the Medical Marijuana Inc.’s ticker later and the pink sheet/penny stock has fluctuated between 42 cents and 5 cents since its initial offering in April 2009. Bandana guy tried to get me to sign up for the multi-level marketing company and get in on the ground floor. I declined. Same with buying the stock. Any stock that shows that much fluctuation in short period of time, even it’s cents and not dollars kinda makes me nervous.

Medical Marijuana, Inc, which used to be called Club Vivanet, was one of several companies offering business solutions for medical marijuana collectives, like point-of-sales records, tax software, ID verification, etc. The company’s founder, Bruce Perlowin is a big Yes on 19 backer.

It was really trippy was running into a friend of mine, a long time AARP member who I hadn’t seen in years. Not only is he married now, but he has two hydroponic medical grow rooms which supply a couple local dispensaries and private delivery clients. It’s his retirement. He is pro-Prop 19 because a bust for pot four decades ago really altered his life’s path. Everyone I spoke to at HempCon is pro-legalization, but the majority were against 19, fearing corporations would overtake the growing and distribution and thus create trust and monopolies. Other people were worried about a patchwork of local regulations.

The nice sales engineer from AgraTech, the  company that builds and designs greenhouses for major seed companies and colleges, explained about his product. They can build greenhouses any size, and he told me Ball Seed Company, which operates facilities in 20 countries is readying greenhouses t0 sell pot seedlings. Wow.  But I guess, being a multi-million dollar company, they aren’t too worried about having to pay a local city regulatory fee for growing, like the proposed ones in Oakland which would cost $211,000.

Sadly though with all the fans, swamp coolers, timers and stuff you can’t use solar energy to run a very big greenhouse at all. There are at least  four planned for Oakland if Prop 19 passes on a :

7.4-acre warehouse complex near the Oakland Coliseum, covering 172,000 square feet over four buildings.

Wow. Such a facility would run fans 24-hours a day, using indoor grow lights on timers, and produce three crops a year. says:

To produce killer bud you will need about 7,000 lumens per sq ft in your grow room. So, in a 5sq ft grow room you would need 35,000 total lumens (7,000 * 5 = 35,000) to reach the optimum 7,000 lumens per sq ft.

To get 35,000 lumens you would need:

# Of lights needed /Type of light/ Total watts /Equals
13.7/ 150w/ incandescent/ 2,058 watts/ 35,000 lumens
11.6/ 150w/ Halogens/ 1750 watts/ 35,000 lumens
3.8/150w Fluorescents 583 watts /35,000 lumens
3.3/ 150w/ Compact Fluorescents/ 500watts/ 35,000 lumens
2.5/ 150w/ Metal Halide/ 389 watts/ 35,000 lumens
2.1/150w/HPS/ 327/ 35,000 lumens

One growhouse in Humboldt was busted when its electrical bill showed 10,000 kilowatt hours per month usage. Yikes! That’s a lot of electricity!

But heck if you use the Freak-1-C NRG Growth Enhancer, maybe you won’t need all those lights. According to brochure, frequencies programmed into the Freak-1-C-NRG products, which look like holograms but they call “frequency fertilizers”:

emit a quantum alchemical force field radiating life-giving elixirs beneficial for plants, humans and animals.

It’s suggest that you

place these energy stations under your plants for optimal yields in half the time.

Oh and salesman Thunder told me that

they capture fourth dimensional energy in the three-dimensional form of a hologram.

Just Say Now to Sonisphere

Sonisphere, the huge heavy metal fest swings through Europe this summer with acts like Slayer, Anthrax, Motley Crue, Alice Cooper and Iggy Pop. I caught the headbang-athon here in Stockholm this rainy Saturday.

My friend Lyssa B who is crew on Leonard Cohen–he’s playing Sunday–staggered through the mud and crowds with wristbands and badges which were supposed to be for artist area. security–mostly volunteer kids– sent us to different gates where each time we were told to either go back where we’d been or given odd directions. We took a breather to watch a great set by Iggy Pop and that’s when I got to talk to Kevin from Southern California who was there for show. He had the same wristbands we did. So of course I asked him about Prop 19.

That’ll be my first election, I’ll be turning 18 in time to vote and I’m for legalization. My dad is a lawyer and I think the prisons are overcrowded and that someone getting strikes under three strikes for possession of pot is wrong. Their whole life could be ruined just for pot? That’s wrong. And so I’m really excited I get to vote!

After a great set by Iggy (with Mike Watt on bass!) and with Kevin in tow–he was quite a gentleman holding our umbrella above our heads like we were Puff Diddy– we once again tried to access the artist area since I’d wanted to ask the bands about Prop 19, but my plans were foiled by zealous though polite volunteers who weren’t sure what our credentials meant, so saying “no” just seemed safer for them. But at a certain point we went fuck it, stopped asking and somehow by strolling firmly, blithely in the rain with sunglasses on, heads down and ignoring security we ended up backstage. Literally.

yes, we were backstage. Literally.

Suddenly were behind the main stage in a no-man’s land with two clean portapotties (seriously awesome!) and a tiny pop up tent where several cool chick production assistants beckoned us over as the skies opened up. Ah, shelter! We fashioned ponchos from trash bags and tried to text and call our friend who was head of production to no avail since between the storm and tens of thousands people on their cell phones the circuits were jammed. I begged the clouds for a golf cart. Or a coffee machine. Alas there.

Despair as the rain increased. We were resigned to sitting there until..something. But ask and ye shall receive– a golf cart whizzed by and I ran out into the pelting rain.

Are you going to the production office?! Please can you take us?!

Tom the very cute golf cart dude took one look at we three drowning rats who obviously were someplace we weren’t supposed to be and said sure. Our drenched trio squeezed in, me on dashboard, and Lyssa B on Kevin’s lap as we zipped up some side road past crew catering and the rear of stalls selling food and tee shirts. Saint Tom dropped us at production where we were given rain ponchos to replace our trash bags couture, plus candy bars and coffee before being escorted to the fenced off grassy area close to the stage to watch Alice Cooper–a section we’d been sent away from at one point because–who knows why. But now we were there.

Alice so rocked. “Billion Dollar Babies” was awesome. And with real ponchos replacing our rubbish sack wear, we didn’t mind the damp. Until it started to hail, at which point we hightailed it back to production and were ferried in van by a charming tour vet named Duke. He dropped the three of us at the train station which had we hiked to would have be a 30 minute walk. In the rain.

As he drove us through the vast park Duke showed us the community gardens which have a several year waiting list for plots– and he told us the royal residence, which is also on the grounds, has 300 rooms but the newly married princess wants a bigger one. At least it will provide construction jobs.

It wasn’t the day we had envisioned but it was pretty darn fun, despite being soaked to the skin and not getting to exactly where I was trying to be. Met some nice people, managed one discussion about Prop 19 and saw parts of the festival most attendees don’t. It was a pretty rad adventure.

Tonight, Sunday, it’s Leonard Cohen followed by a few days here then on to Gothenburg for Way Out West, a citywide music fest.