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California’s pot smokers are sparking a new gold rush 
for the state’s potent medical marijuana.

          By Scott Keneally;   Photograph by Mitch Feinberg  

      This is a major escalation in the PR war… & they are loosing.  This is a move of
desperation from the neocons who desperately are trying to impoverish the country
to force privatization. I would love to have the Chinese own choke points in our
infrastructure….Kind of like what they do in Dar-for, Africa.  Then the private
armies can institute political cleansing so we can all see the same vision of
America "One country under God (the neaocons)".
  Say your prayers till the season is over to get your stash and cash in a safe
place….their will be more arrests.. This is just part of the PR to justify it.  


  Every afternoon at 4:20 sharp, "Steve" leaves his office in San Francisco. After a
day spent shuffling multi-million-dollar investments, many of his firm’s ace
financial planners scurry to join the sexy clientele at the nearby W hotel’s XYZ
bar. But Steve, 35, doesn’t go with them. (Some names in this story have been
changed.) He doesn’t drink. And with his 24-year-old "Hawaiian Tropic–hot" wife
waiting at home, he’s not on the prowl. Instead, to revitalize his mind and body,
he slips in his iPod earbuds and walks 30 minutes to his favorite state-sanctioned
cannabis club.

Decked out in bachelor-pad chic, the subterranean lounge is populated by a
menagerie of regulars nodding lazily to the dub reggae pulsing from the speakers.
Steve approaches the fluorescent-lit glass counter and buys a gram of Purple
Urkel. He hands over 15 bucks and sinks into a red velvet couch, wadding his Gucci
jacket into a ball. From his briefcase he pulls out clear cellulose rolling papers
from Brazil, and he twists up a joint.
  Steve doesn’t have glaucoma, aids, cancer, or any other ailment commonly
associated with medical marijuana. But when he wanted to avoid the "harsh side
effects" of the Valium his shrink had prescribed for his stress, he sought out a
"pot doc" from the growing field of activist physicians who consider cannabis a
legitimate salve against disorders like anxiety. Today a doctor’s note gives Steve
access to the state’s rapidly expanding roster of cannabis clubs (there are about
300 now).

Encouraged by recent tweaks to California’s pot-friendly laws, connoisseurs across
the state are suddenly abandoning their dope dealers to sample the clubs’ exotic,
high-grade strains of sativas and indicas, concentrates like hash and kief, and
edibles like caramels and krispies and lollipops. One writer in Los Angeles,
"Blake," notes, "It’s the difference between buying a six-pack of Coors Light at
your local 7-Eleven and selecting a fine Pinot Noir at a snooty wine shop."
"John," a 29-year-old entertainment lawyer in L.A., boasts that his local emporium
sells "the most amazing selection of the sickest fucking nuggets you can find
anywhere on God’s green earth." His eyes light up, and his voice takes on a fiery
staccato: "It’s like Amsterdam, only better."

In 1996, California passed the Compassionate Use Act (Proposition 215), granting
physicians the authority to recommend weed for "any . . . illness for which
marijuana would provide relief." For eight years, the typical state-sanctioned
cannabis consumer, of whom there were about 30,000, was a gravely ill patient. But
no longer. Thanks to recent clarifications of Prop 215 (and a U.S. district court
injunction protecting pot docs), the threat of arrest has nearly vanished. Since
2004, an estimated 250,000 new "patients" have discreetly boarded the brownie bus,
many of them enthusiasts who pay up to a few hundred dollars a year for doctor’s
notes that permit them to buy rarefied weed at a cannabis club. The doctors’
"recommendations" ostensibly combat such ailments as insomnia and headaches. 

One pioneering pot doc wrote notes to "treat" stuttering, writer’s cramp, and corns.
  For pot smokers with careers to protect, the license to ward off cops (and bypass
dealers) is a strong incentive to buy doctor’s notes. "I’m too old to start a
police record," says "Chris," a 35-year-old e-commerce senior developer. "A lot of
my close friends now have the get-out-of-jail-free card."

 "It used to be that physicians only wanted the wheelchair patients," says Jean
Talleyrand, 39, an Ivy League–educated pot doc in the Bay Area. "But now that the
movement has gained traction, the landscape is different. A surprising number of
our patients are highly successful young professionals who would simply rather
sidle up to a bong than a bottle."

Talleyrand was serving impoverished patients in a San Francisco public-health
clinic when he decided to open up his first MediCann evaluation clinic in late
2004. "I knew that marijuana was a safe, herbal alternative to Ambien, Valium, and
Vicodin," he says. With pot laws now on the books in 10 other states, including
Alaska, Colorado, Rhode Island, and Maine, Talleyrand is looking less like a
renegade and more like a shrewd businessman. In two years, MediCann has become a
statewide chain that’s written $135 recommendations for 54,000 patients.

 Marijuana is the largest cash crop in California, worth an estimated $13.8 billion
a year—nearly double the combined value of grapes and vegetables—according to
statistics released in December by the Bulletin of Cannabis Reform . (The value of
the annual marijuana output in America is estimated at more than $35 billion.) In
Los Angeles, the number of cannabis clubs has skyrocketed from a handful in 2004
to at least 125 today. "Pot clubs are the fastest-growing industry in Southern
California," says "Alex," 32, who owns several of them.

 With such explosive demand comes a swarm of registered "compassionate caregivers."

Not long ago, "Tyler" was an East Coast real-estate investor with a six-figure
salary, a new house, a girlfriend, and a dog. At first he was reluctant to chuck
his career "to become a drug dealer," as he puts it, but after determining that
the business was both legitimate and lucrative, he rented out his house, ditched
his girlfriend and his career, and headed west in a U-Haul with his dog. "I wanted
to stake my claim in the new California gold rush," he says.




 Today the 28-year-old medical-marijuana provider drives a new luxury sedan and
lives in a spacious loft in downtown San Francisco. This savvy entrepreneur seems
relatively at ease considering his career is at odds with federal law. He retains
two lawyers and an accountant and steadfastly plays by the state’s rules. Last
year, Tyler declared an income well into the six figures with the IRS. "I didn’t
hear them bitching about that," he notes wryly.

Tyler thinks of himself as a craftsman. "What I do is every bit as artisan as
winemaking," he says. Unlike winemakers, though, licensed pot growers must limit
their output. (In San Francisco, one person may cultivate 99 plants.) And as more
growers saturate the market with better pot, Tyler has had to cut the price of his
potent Trainwreck strain to $3,500 a pound, down from $4,000 a couple of years
ago. The business is ruthless: "It’s all about who has the new hash-extraction
method, the new hybrid strain of Sour Diesel, the new shit nobody else has their
paws on," he says.

 Sitting on his balcony overlooking the Bay Bridge, Tyler says, "Do you know what
keeps me awake at night?" He pulls a chalky bong hit into his lungs and pauses for
effect. "What I’m most afraid of is your fucking story."

Tyler doesn’t want his price to plummet any further as more opportunists learn
about California’s permissive weed laws. He doesn’t want any publicity to inflame
Prop 215’s critics, like the syndicated right-wing radio host Michael Savage. And
he doesn’t want the DEA to turn its attention to the West Coast. For Tyler, it’s
best that the marijuana loophole remain an open secret. Tyler looks me dead in the
eyes and exhales in my face. He says, "Don’t blow it for all of us."
  link; http://men.style.com/details/features/landing?id=content_5285
    Hey Tyler "If"  "What I’m most afraid of is your fucking story."

        Then why didn’t you just keep "Your Big Mouth SHUT!"  & Leave the Medical Marijuana Alone
 & For The Very Sick Medical Patients! Who’s Lives Could  Depend On Having Their Legal Access 
To It To Stay Alive Longer!