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November 27, 2011

Setting my DVR for "Weed Wars"

DownloadAs detailed on this official website, the Discovery Channel will begin broadcasting this coming week a new four-part series titled "Weed Wars."  Here is how the website describes the series:

Oakland's Harborside Health Center is the nation's largest medicinal cannabis dispensary. Founder and executive director Steve DeAngelo has made twin missions of providing the best possible product to the patients who make up his client base, and educating the rest of the country about the regulation and taxation of those goods.  WEED WARS takes an up close and personal look at the reality of running a controversial medicinal cannabis business.

And here is a notable Viewer Advisory for the series:

Weed Wars contains scenes depicting the cultivation, sale and consumption of medical marijuana in California.  While selling and using marijuana for medicinal purposes with a valid permit is legal under California law, it is a crime under Federal law and could result in jail time and other penalties.  Viewers should not attempt the activities depicted in this program. Viewer discretion is advised.

I wonder if the US Attorney in California who talked about going after media that ran medical marijuana ads (story blogged here) has thought about going after the Discovery Channel for producing and airing this show.  US Attorney Laura Duffy said last month that she was troubled by media advertising of the medical marijuana industry,  complaining: "It’s gone mainstream.  Not only is it inappropriate — one has to wonder what kind of message we’re sending to our children — it’s against the law.”  On that theory, she should be especially concerned about the message being sent by the Discovery Channel through this show, and perhaps these is a set of indictments in the works awaiting the airing of this show.  I hope not, but one never knows how the feds war against pot will find expression in California these days.

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November 27, 2011 at 02:43 PM | Permalink


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The war on marijuana cannot ever be won,should be taxed and regulated similar to alcohol and tobacco.

Posted by: Anon | Nov 27, 2011 4:34:02 PM

While I doubt any criminal charges could stick here I think they could easily send some reporters to jail for contempt should they refuse to turn over any additional material. While CA has some fairly strong protections for reporters against production orders as far as I know there is no federal reporter's privilege.

And of course the documentary itself is plenty of evidence for the purposes of probable cause against the facility and everyone shown working there.

I almost wonder if the people in charge are hoping to draw federal charges, either in some hopes of martyrdom or hoping that the jury would acquit despite the evidence.

Posted by: Soronel Haetir | Nov 27, 2011 5:09:26 PM

Defense lawyers should ask for summary judgements on all marijuana prosecutions, on policy grounds. They are a form of treason, providing federal price supports to the Taliban, Al Qaeda, and the Mexican drug cartel. The judge should then admonish the prosecutor for his support of higher prices for the enemies of the nation by his prosecutions.

On other policy grounds, there is an equal protection problem. Marijuana growers are prosecuted. Tobacco and alcohol makers are not, despite their being 10,000 times more dangerous and damaging, and about 100 times more addictive.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Nov 27, 2011 5:24:22 PM

i've always though this was retarded!

"While I doubt any criminal charges could stick here I think they could easily send some reporters to jail for contempt should they refuse to turn over any additional material."

IF i was a reporter it would be my standing policy to DESTROY ANY AND ALL MATERIALS once the story referecing them was published....NO NOTES....NOTHING TO TURN OVER! then i could honestly tell anyone who demanded them to piss up a rope!

Posted by: rodsmith | Nov 27, 2011 10:41:12 PM

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