By Peter Hecht
From the 1996 passage of California’s Proposition 215, the nation’s first clinical marijuana legislations, via legislation enforcement raids, medical stories that exposed scientific merits for hashish, and the emergence of a profitable hashish undefined, Weed Land unearths the altering political, felony, financial, and social dynamics round pot. Peter Hecht, an award-winning journalist from The Sacramento Bee, offers an self sufficient, meticulously mentioned account of the clashes and contradictions of a burgeoning California hashish tradition that stoked pot liberalization around the country.
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Extra info for Weed Land: Inside America's Marijuana Epicenter and How Pot Went Legit
For a lot of the former 12 months, DeAngelo have been by way of a documentary workforce filming a four-part Discovery Channel sequence known as Weed Wars. It was once to target Harborside clinic, its founders—DeAngelo and peace activist Dave marriage ceremony Dress—and DeAngelo’s brother, Andrew, who turned common supervisor in 2010. It was once to inform of the cultivation trials of Harborside’s sufferer marijuana growers and the tribulations of its clinical consumers, together with a father, Jason David, who went to the dispensary for a nonpsychoactive hashish tincture to quell the unrelenting seizures of his five-year-old son, Jayden. Episodes of the documentary sequence might open with the voice of Harborside’s government director: “I’m Steve DeAngelo. I’ve committed my whole existence to the hashish plant. And this day, my kin and that i run the biggest hashish dispensary at the complete planet. via promoting the volume of hashish I’ve offered, I’m now eligible for 3 federal dying consequences. yet i feel during this plant. i feel in what it might do for individuals. ” including new drama to the documentary sequence, Harborside was once dealing with a $2. 4-million tax-deficiency call for from the inner profit provider on its 2007 and 2008 federal tax returns. An ongoing audit unique next tax years. lower than IRS part 280E, an vague tax code licensed by way of Congress in 1982 to avoid unlawful drug buyers from deducting enterprise expenditures, the IRS was once refusing to enable Harborside take tax deductions for govt and worker salaries, sufferer companies starting from counseling to chiropractic care, application funds, hire, and different expenditures. paradoxically, the IRS allowed Harborside to claim its stock bills for a federally prohibited narcotic, marijuana. In Oakland, DeAngelo staged a public occasion, providing the town with an enormous cost for one-third of the $1. 1 million Harborside paid in overall neighborhood scientific marijuana taxes for 2011. Harborside, which additionally paid over $2 million in country revenues taxes, used to be one in all Oakland’s greatest taxpayers. however the IRS’s refusal to budge on regimen deductions, DeAngelo declared, might positioned Harborside and clinical marijuana dispensaries throughout California into bankruptcy. DeAngelo—the former yippie who as soon as chained himself to the White residence fence in pro-marijuana protests, who now ran a California collective that dealt with $22 million in annual hashish transactions in Oakland and one other $8-million at a dispensary in San Jose—became the main seen defender of an less than siege. weeks after advocates introduced in San Francisco their push for a state-regulated—and, they was hoping, protected—medical marijuana industry, DeAngelo led an illustration outdoors the Sacramento courthouse the place the U. S. legal professionals had introduced their enforcement activities. Surrounded by way of humans hoisting placards interpreting “Marijuana is drugs. permit states keep an eye on! ” he stood at the courthouse steps in his black fedora, signature pigtails, black narrow-lapelled swimsuit, and thin purple tie. DeAngelo evoked a prior champion, martyr, and heroine for scientific marijuana.