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Matt Brooks

Based in San Francisco, Matt is a journalist who has specialized in marijuana policy for more than five years. He provides regular news coverage on and

Fremont Bars Outdoor Grows

The Fremont City Council has banned all outdoor cultivation of medical marijuana in response to neighborhood complaints. The council voted unanimously Feb. 18 to prohibit all outdoor growing, as well as cultivation inside residences if the plants can be seen from public places. The new policy was enacted after several residents complained their neighbors were growing large amounts of weed ...

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Sacramento Dispensary in Battle with IRS

When the Obama administration promised last year that it wouldn’t interfere with states that legalize weed or the businesses that provide it, the IRS apparently never got the memo. In that announcement, issued in August, the Justice Department said states could legalize, whether for medical or recreational purposes, and businesses could cultivate and sell the drug under state law, as ...

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No Legalization Until 2016

It looks like Californians will have to take a pass on legalizing marijuana until at least 2016. The biggest player in the effort to make weed legal this year is bowing out, saying the funding for a major ballot campaign just isn’t there. That leaves two or three smaller initiatives with little chance of becoming law. The Drug Policy Alliance, ...

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Smugglers’ Boat Discovered at Big Sur

Police discovered a boat beached on the coast of Big Sur that they believe was used to smuggle thousands of pounds of marijuana from Mexico. The 36-foot boat was found beached on the sand at Garrapata State Beach in Big Sur early Feb. 15. Police discovered it about 9:30 a.m. while conducting foot patrol, and found a 35-pound bale of ...

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San Diego Opens Door to Dispensaries Again

San Diego Reconsidering Dispensaries

After a long absence, medical weed is returning to San Diego. But it will be coming back with tight new restrictions that may not make everyone in the MMJ community happy. That said, many pot advocates were pleased to see the city adopt the new rules, since it was either that or nothing at all. “This ordinance provides clear and ...

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Shasta Lake Will Continue Outdoor Grow Ban

A citizens’ committee has decided not to seek changes to medical marijuana rules enforced by the City of Shasta Lake. The city’s Marijuana Collectives/Cultivation Committee voted Feb. 15 to leave the current ban on outdoor cultivation as is. Committee members opted against making changes after looking at other options and considering the likely impact new regulations would have on the ...

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Three Arrested in Fresno County Pot Bust

Sheriff’s deputies in Fresno County discovered two plastic hothouses containing about 400 marijuana plants Feb. 13. Deputies first discovered several hundred marijuana plants growing in an outdoor hothouse at a home on the 45000 block of Panorama Lane in Squaw Valley, in unincorporated Fresno County. While searching the site, detectives found four medical cannabis recommendations that pointed them to a ...

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Feds Preventing Regulation that Could Stop Water Loss

California is in the middle of the drought of a century, and water is running low everywhere. The situation is especially bad in the Emerald Triangle, the famed pot-growing region on the North Coast, where marijuana farmers are draining creeks and rivers dry. The local officials who deal with these cultivators have tried to regulate their water use before. But ...

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Is It Over for Legalization in 2014?

Californians are increasingly ready to legalize weed, yet observers say it’s looking increasingly unlikely that will happen this year. Four petitions are in the works to put legalization on the ballot in the 2014 elections. But the door may be closing on all four of them – and on legalization – for this election cycle. Why? There are a couple ...

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High Times Cup Hits SoCal

Dope lovers by the thousands followed the smell of ganja to the Inland Empire in February, where they gathered for the first of five events around the world sponsored by High Times. The first leg of the 27th annual Cannabis Cup, one of the biggest competitions in the marijuana world, was held Feb. 8-9 in San Bernardino. Competitions pitted cultivators ...

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