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Up In smoke Man this is a crazy time for me. But thanks to my man Rich at HCC things are a little easier to handle. See Rich put me up on Blue Dreams. Now I sleep better and am focused under pressure. But pleasure comes with the pressure. Since our last issue we have been to some cool places and seen some pretty faces. We formed a relationship with the 420 Nurses. They did it big for us at the Kush Expo. Shout out to Cha Cha and the girls. Went to Harvest Cup and met the guys from Dukie Stixx. They have lung busting wooden pipes. And that’s where I met Amanda and Josh from, super cool. Good luck with your site. And I can’t forget the mad cool Jordan, from Along Came Mary. Thanks for showing us love in the South Bay. Just connecting with all my new friends has kept me buzzed. On a sad note we said goodbye to hip-hop legend Heavy D. I never thought he would be gone this soon. I mean there are some rappers I’ve been around that I wasn’t expecting to live another week (lol), but I always thought the Heavster would be around. The one thing I found amazing about Heav was his ability to dance. Didn’t think a big man could be that light on his feet. I hope you enjoy the tribute that we put together. On an even sadder note I had to run this story about the Obama administration cracking down on dispensaries. After three years of progress he decides to turn back the clock on an industry that’s providing jobs and much needed relief to patients. I wonder what big pharma CEO got in his pocket. Never thought I would talk bad about my hero but right now he has lost my vote. I’d rather vote for the 9-9-9 idiot Cain and know we are going to get harassed and shut down, then vote for a person who claims he wants to have an “Intelligent” conversation about something and then turns around and brings down the full weight of the federal government on these small business owners. Yeah there are no super Wal-Mart dispensaries, just mom and pops trying to make a living. As I talk to patients, I’m hearing the same thing. Their doctors are quietly referring them to MMJ doctors for alternative medicine because they are apprehensive about the long term effects of pain medicines. A recent story in the LA Times reported that prescription drug deaths had exceeded those of heroin and cocaine. People are taking a second look at MMJ to keep from going down the dangerous route of pain killers. It makes me think that maybe big Pharma doesn’t want little growers cutting into their money. So they put pressure on the President to return a favor. If you follow politics closely you will recall that that the prescription drug companies were Obama’s biggest alies in his battle for health care reform. Without their money and support he wouldn’t have stood a chance against the insurance companies. Just a thought. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, literally. Ok enough with my conspiracy theories. Let me put you on the Game. The West Coast’s savior is back with a new album and more drama than a soap opera. Yeah I called him the savior because like it or not he’s the only LA rapper going platinum. Over all this is going to be a great issue. I hope you enjoy our 2012 calendar, I did! Until next time… right on to the real death to the fake. Eric Robinson, Editor-In-Chief


Steve Mcintosh Doug Young Eric Robinson Jeffery Hunter Marlin Moore Editor-in-chief

Eric Robinson Lifestyle Editor

Wendel Graves Photography

Clientel Cha Cha Model Coordinator

Jesse “GF” Jones Art Direction/Design

Firebrain Inc. Sales and Marketing

Michael Greene P.U.S.H. Contributing Writers

Lawana Hall-Conklin Jim Riley Susan Patterson Nicholas Pell Cha-Cha Sheldon Taylor Submit inquiries and editorials to:

Legal Smokers Quorum 6002 Fountain Ave. Hollywood, CA. 90028 Ph. 323-692-1006 Fax: 323-692-1009 Email: Web:

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Events Catch the flicks from our launch party. See who was in the house. Cannabis Cooking Great Rum Ball Recipe News ASA challenges the federal government. Rand disputes MMJ and crime myths. Five things you can do to fight dispensary closings. Occupy Movement Get a look at the resurgence of America’s middle-class and mental impact of the financial down turn. Tupac Shakur A look at his legacy 15 years later Heavy D Saying goodbye to a hip-hop icon Weed TV A sneak peek at the new TV show Weed Wars. Discover our nation’s fascination with Weed and Guns. The Journey Jim Riley continues his exploration of the best MMJ spots. Smoking Words Get the latest books that enhance the MMJ lifestyle. For SmokeHers Our female column explores the benefit of MMJ in treating eating disorders in women. Find out why this website is your best source for MMJ browsing. Fashion Find out where to get the hottest hip-hop clothing. BakersFIeld Big fight over MMJ in a little town Stocking Stuffers Great gifts for the patient in your life Access Denied The real cost of closing dispensaries Patient Discrimination MMJ patients denied transplants President Obama Patients want to know why he betrayed them The Game Rapper returns with a hit album and more drama

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2012 Calendar Four Beauties to help you map out your new year

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Kush Expo

Check out LSQ at

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CHECK OUT SOME PICS FROM OUR Americans for Safe Access Fundraiser AT Redondo Beach.

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p u C t s e rv

Pics from

a H

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Canna Ball Rum (Cannabis Rum Balls)

Ingredients: 1/2 of an Angel food cake (either made from scratch, from the box or store bought) 1 cup (2 sticks) cannabis butter (softened) 6 cups powdered sugar, sifted 1/2 cup light rum 1 lb. of finely chopped pecans

Prepare: -Put the cannabis butter in a mixing bowl and blend until creamy. -Gradually add powdered sugar while mixing on low. -Add 1/2 of the rum then mix well. -Slowly add more rum until you get the right spreading consistency, soft but not runny. Set aside. -Cut the angel food cake into 1 inch squares (should end up with approximately 36 squares). Set aside. -Spread the chopped pecans in a shallow glass dish. -Spread the rum frosting generously on all side of the Angel food cake squares then dredge the squares in the pecans. - Place the balls in a storage container to chill before serving.

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ASA Sues Government to Stop Attacks on State Medical Cannabis Programs

Federal prosecutors have also targeted California landlords who rent space to dispensing collectives, threatening them with criminal prosecution and asset forfeiture if they do not evict their tenants within 30 days.

Rand Corporation Report Shows Little Link Between Crime and MMJ Distribution Centers

Five Steps You Can Take To Help Protect MMJ Rights

ASA is suing the federal government over recent attacks on medical cannabis in California. The lawsuit alleges that the Department of Justice is illegally coercing local and state officials with threats of prosecution for implementing state law.

These threats are in addition to raids conducted throughout California, including an early morning DEA raid Oct. 13 on Northstone Organics, a licensed cultivation collective in Mendocino County. Federal agents handcuffed the collective’s founder and his wife and confiscated all 99 plants, each of which had zip-ties indicating they were registered with the Mendocino Sheriff’s Department. Mendocino County Supervisor John McCowen called the DEA raid on Northstone “outrageous,” and said in a statement that “[t]he elimination of dispensaries that operate legally and openly will endanger patients and the public.”

The RAND Corporation issued a report dispelling the myth that there are inherent links between medical marijuana distribution centers and crime. The study on which the RAND report is based claims that crime was as much as 60 percent greater around medical marijuana dispensaries that had been shut down by the City of Los Angeles compared to those areas with open dispensaries. “[W]e found no evidence that medical marijuana dispensaries in general cause crime to rise,” said Mireille Jacobson, the study’s lead author and a senior economist at RAND.

The federal government has launched a major new attack on medical cannabis patients and providers, and Americans for Safe Access (ASA) is calling on you to fight back. The Drug Enforcement Administration is raiding cultivators and providers. The Department of Justice (DOJ) is threatening to prosecute property owners who rent to medical cannabis tenants – and to confiscate their property! The Internal Revenue Service is auditing patients’ associations, and under federal pressure, banks are denying services. Even the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives is trying to deny patients their Second Amendment rights.

The federal lawsuit, filed in San Francisco District Court on behalf of ASA’s 20,000 members in California, argues that federal prosecutors are trying to dismantle the state’s medical cannabis law, in violation of the Constitution’s 10th Amendment. “Medical cannabis patients are not exempt from federal laws, but the 10th Amendment forbids the federal government from using coercive tactics to commandeer the law-making functions of the state,” said ASA Chief Counsel Joe Elford, who authored the suit. “The recent intimidation tactics of the Department of Justice are nothing if not coercive.” In recent weeks, U.S. Attorneys in California have threatened local elected officials and city staff with criminal prosecution if they implement regulations for medical cannabis dispensing collectives in their communities. Federal prosecutors have also threatened to seize city buildings where licenses for dispensaries are issued or other medical cannabis regulations are administered. In Chico, Mayor Ann Schwab received a letter in July from the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District stating that the city’s proposed ordinance regulating medical cannabis dispensaries would violate federal law. The

State Senator Mark Leno, co-author of California’s Medical Marijuana Program Act, urged the federal government to “stand down in its massive attack on medical marijuana dispensaries.” State Attorney General Kamala Harris said California should be free to implement state law without interference and denounced the federal government’s tactics, noting that “an overly broad federal enforcement campaign will make it more difficult for legitimate patients to access physician-recommended medicine.” ASA’s lawsuit acknowledges that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that federal prosecutors may bring charges against state-authorized medical cannabis patients and providers but distinguishes that from the commandeering of California’s legislative function. The lawsuit states that this commandeering and intimidation of state and local officials is a “misuse of the government’s Commerce Clause powers, designed to deprive the State of its sovereign ability to chart a separate course, that forms the basis of plaintiffs’ claims.”

“Medical cannabis patients are not exempt from federal laws, but the 10th Amendment forbids the federal government from using coercive tactics to commandeer the law-making functions of the state” U.S. Attorney also warned Chico’s city attorney, city manager, and police chief that council members and staff could face federal prosecution if the city implemented its dispensary regulations. As a result, the Chico City Council voted Aug 2 to rescind its medical marijuana cannabis ordinance. In Eureka, the city council received a similar letter from the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District stating that the city’s publicly vetted licensing plan “threatens the federal government’s efforts to regulate, the possession, manufacturing, and trafficking of controlled substances.” The U.S. Attorney specifically threatened that, “[i]f the City of Eureka were to proceed, this office would consider injunctive actions, civil fines, criminal prosecution, and the forfeiture of any property used to facilitate a violation of [federal law].” Because of these threats, the City of Eureka has suspended implementation of its local ordinance. The escalation in tactics follows a rare joint press conference of all four US Attorneys for California, in which they announced stepped up enforcement against medical cannabis activities in the state, including targeting publications and other media that accept advertising promoting medical cannabis.

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RAND’s study, which challenges the common wisdom that medical marijuana dispensaries promote criminal activity, affirms the findings of patient advocates. “We have reached the same conclusions as RAND using a qualitative study of public officials with firsthand experience of how dispensaries reduce crime in their neighborhoods,” said Steph Sherer, Executive Director of Americans for Safe Access (ASA), the country’s leading medical marijuana advocacy group. “Unfortunately, law enforcement has largely ignored or refuted these findings.” According to a statement from RAND, the study “examined crime reports for the 10 days prior to and the 10 days following June 7, 2010, when the city of Los Angeles ordered more than 70 percent of the city’s 638 medical marijuana dispensaries to close.” Researchers analyzed crime reports within a few blocks around dispensaries that closed and compared that to crime reports for neighborhoods where dispensaries remained open. In total, RAND said that “researchers examined 21 days of crime reports for 600 dispensaries in Los Angeles County -- 170 dispensaries remained open while 430 were ordered to close.”

By Steph Sherer

Things look bad, but we know that grassroots power can make a difference. ASA is responding to the federal escalation with a campaign to put political pressure on the DOJ, reframe the public dialogue about medical cannabis, and fight back in court. We are

also gearing up to support local organizers who are fighting state and local efforts to roll back safe access in their communities. You can be a part of this campaign right now. Here are five things every patient and advocate can do to fight back: 1. Call or email your Representative in the US House of Representatives to support and cosponsor Barney Frank’s (D-MA) HR 1983. This bill will reschedule cannabis under federal law and protect patients and providers in states where medical cannabis is already legal.

talk show, or post comments to stories online. Use ASA’s Advocates Training Center to get ready.

5. Organize or attend a peaceful protest against the federal crackdown in your community. If the President is visiting your hometown as part of his re-election campaign, consider timing your event to coincide with his visit. Use ASA’s Advocates Training Center to learn more about organizing and promoting public events.

2. Email President Obama and ask him to stop the federal attacks on medical cannabis. The President must live up to the promises he made of a more enlightened federal policy. 3. Sign the petition to the White House to help show overwhelming public support for medical cannabis and opposition to the federal crackdown. 4. Speak up in the media. Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper, call into a radio or internet

“Things look bad, but we know that grassroots power can make a difference.”

RAND calls its study “the first systematic analysis of the link between medical marijuana dispensaries and crime,” however Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck conducted his own study in 2010 comparing the levels of crime at the city’s banks with its medical marijuana dispensaries. Chief Beck found that 71 robberies had occurred at the more than 350 banks in the city, compared to 47 robberies at the more than 500 medical marijuana facilities. At the time, Beck observed that, “banks are more likely to get robbed than medical marijuana dispensaries,” and the claim that dispensaries attract crime “doesn’t really bear out.” There are at least 60 localities in California and many more around the country that regulate the distribution of medical marijuana. “Dispensary regulations bring greater oversight and less crime to local communities,” continued Sherer. “We’re hopeful that an objective study like RAND’s will help dispel the fear that our opposition is spreading across California and compel more local governments to adopt sensible regulations.”

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A perfect example, they say, is the 2008 bank bailouts that brought enormous profits for leading financial institutions while the balance of mainstream America crumpled under soaring unemployment rates and job insecurity. While the wealthy on Wall Street played childishly with their excesses, the rest of us suffered from their losses. Over 8 million Americans lost their jobs virtually overnight through no fault of their own because of the games the wealthy played. In addition, protesters remind us, the richest 1 percent of Americans pay far less tax than the rest of the population. The occupiers want Wall Street out of politics, out of government and back in service to the American people, all of them! What has this campaign accomplished in its infancy stages? The answer is much. Their democratic General Assembly processes and community building strategies are an example to all. Their methods have spread easily across state, country and continent boundaries. Political discussions are no longer centered on deficit anymore but on issues around jobs, economic equality and the gross misconduct of Wall Street. The Occupy Movement has got people thinking. Is this enough? Many say that the emotions expressed by the protesters need to be put into public action for a real change to occur. Former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer sums this up in a conversation with an occupier:

Majority rules? A Brief Look On September 17th, 2011, it bounded from the quiet of our living rooms to the front page. It seeped outside of walls, like a broken levee, spilling into the streets for all to see. American people, pregnant with emotion, laboring under the weight of a shattered economy began to gather en mass in Liberty Square in Manhattan’s Financial District. What were they saying? What are they saying? Some argue there is no point to this self-proclaimed leaderless entity that has now ballooned to strongholds in over 2000 cities around the globe. Others, including the occupiers themselves, hold fast that this is the beginning of something new, something fair for the American people. For many who have lost faith in our country and fear the future, the Occupy Movement brings hope. In the summer of 2011, with an international circulation of over 120,000, Adbusters Media

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at the Occupy Movement By: Susan Patterson

Foundation, a Canadian left-winged, non-profit, registered the domain name occupywallstreet. org. In July, this anti-consumerism foundation presented a visual image in a poster showing a ballerina dancing delicately atop the bronze bull in New York’s financial district as a crowd of protesters sporting gas masks were coming behind her. This… was just the beginning. By September, the embers were hot and the movement began. Much like uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia, and the Spanish acampadas, the Occupy Movement wishes to inform citizens through peaceful protest of the truth and consequences regarding the unequal distribution of wealth and power in America. To wake people up to the fact that the American dream has become the American nightmare.

To many, this movement seems to lack cohesiveness and direction. However, all signs (they may display differently) point to corporate inflation as the evil in our nation. America is supposed to have a government of the people, by the people and for the people. To the occupiers, the fact is that we have a government of the 1 percent, by the 1 percent and for the 1 percent. Now corporate America is bigger than our government and “we the 99 percent have had to take the back seat to the 1 percent.”. In 1970 the top 100 CEOs earned $45 for every $1 earned by the average American worker. By 2006 the average CEO earned $1,723 for every dollar the rest of us made. This, the occupiers cry, is the real problem and only when people are more important than the dollar will things change.

“In order to turn this into something other than a visceral cry of despair, you need to figure out how to confront the actual problems and issues. You need to think about all of this more rigorously. If you’re

“The Occupy Movement wishes to inform citizens through peaceful protest of the truth and consequences regarding the unequal distribution of wealth and power in America.” down in Zuccotti Park six months from now, having made it through a cold winter, I’m not sure whether you would deem that success. Trust me, the media won’t be paying as much attention six months from now if it’s just the same couple hundred people, right? I’ve been defending these protests and being supportive and saying that this is great. But saying all those things doesn’t preclude you from recognizing that, just as with a chess game, there’s got to be a next move... Think about the civil rights movement, the Vietnamera anti-war movement, the labor movement, the women’s rights movement, any of the social movements of the last hundred years... Look, I’m not a historian. But if you’re going to understand how social change happens, I think those movements are where you have to look, those times

when the levers of political power and economic power converge around shared values.” For the occupiers, this means unzipping their tents and immersing themselves into the bitter political arena with their votes and voices. It includes supporting and demanding programs that bring change to the economic system and the removal of money from politics. The hope is that this movement does much to liberate the average American citizen. To bring strength for those who feel trapped by a failing economy and forsaken by a government they can no longer trust. Social change is hard work, all one has to do is take a look at history to see this. Change begins with voice that turns into action. The Occupy Movement is a voice, a voice that echoes the concerns of many. We, the people, have a choice. We can choose to accept the way things are or learn from those who have gone before us, support those who are willing to go ahead of us and take a stand for what is just and fair, for us!

Occupy Your Mind

DVD Explores the Mental Effects of Class Warfare When filmmakers E. Raymond Brown and Williams Arntz first released the independent movie “Ghetto Physics” in late 2010, they knew the film was an early battle cry, a wakeup call to America and beyond. The cutting edge hybrid documentary explored the dynamics of the ‘powers that be’ in laymen terms that the ‘man on the street’ could easily relate to. Inflation, foreclosure, unemployment, healthcare issues, pollution, crime, recession and depression: one percent were benefiting - pimping; and somebody, the other 99 percent, were being played for the ho! Cut chase to the present, and the DVD release of “Ghetto Physics,” accompanied by the manual, “GhettoPhysics: Redefining the Game” finds itself smack dab in the middle of an OCCUPY movement which could have easily been a scene in the original film! Explosive, controversial, insightful and comedic, “Ghetto Physics” is the movie of the movement.

It leaps from the screen with input from personalities and celebrities that include author, social activist and Princeton professor Dr. Cornel West; MC and producer KRS-One; rapper/actor Ice T; economist, author and social activist John Perkins; Emmy Award-winning television producer and social activist Norman Lear; former U.S. Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney; and Brother Ishmael Tetteh, Founder and Spiritual Director of the Etherean Mission in Ghana, West Africa, a trans-denominational metaphysical organization. A colorful contingent of ‘real life’ pimps also flavor the cast including street legends “The West Coast Godfather of the Game” Fillmore Slim, Hook da Crook, Mac Breed and Lo Da Show. ”Ghetto Physics,” a term which merges street science with the dynamics of metaphysics, deconstructs the nature, structure and “politricks” of power as they are played out in every corner of our society, and in every society around the world. According to Arntz, the brain behind box

office success “What the BLEEP Do We Know!?,” “We see these power dynamics expressed in government, in business, in the military, in academia ... in our families ... everywhere. It’s a nonpartisan political film that exposes the root of all of the world’s dysfunctions - an imbalance in the dynamics of power.” Participants at the various OCCUPY centers around the country are also eligible for a free DVD per a special campaign at www.GhettoPhysics. com. From the corner office to the street corner, the game is the same, notes ghettophysicians E. Raymond Brown and William Arntz. Peep the dynamics now by viewing the trailer at and help Occupy the movement for change! Also, view Dr. Cornel West, who was recently arrested at OCCUPY Wall Street, in “Ghetto Physics.”

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Life After Tupac The State of Hip-Hop 15 years after his death It’s really hard to believe that Tupac Shakur has been dead for 15 years now; especially when it seems like everywhere I turn I hear some kid playing his music or wearing a t-shirt with his name and/ or picture on it. And I won’t even mention all of the albums, books and documentaries that keep coming out on Pac. You would think he’d passed just last year with the plethora of Pac related products that keep coming out. The ironic thing is that many of the kids whom I see playing his music were too young to remember Tupac when he died. But I do. I was in my kitchen cooking spaghetti when the phone rang. It was my friend Atlanta based Poet and activist, Kupenda Auset who called and tearfully told

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me that Tupac had passed on to the ancestors. My first reaction was shock. After all as a fan I couldn’t believe that Tupac was dead just like that. As I hung up the phone my mind was still was wrestling with doubt. I wanted desperately to believe that Pac’s death was just another rumor, that Tupac was somewhere in the hospital resting safely and on the mend. Sooner or later the enigmatic rapper would emerge stronger than ever. Hopefully ready to put this East Coast/West Coast war to rest for good. But my hopes were soon dashed as MTV news’ anchor, Kurt Loder reported that Tupac Amaru Shakur had indeed died of the gunshot wounds he sustained at the hands of gunmen unknown.

Upon hearing the words “Tupac is dead” come out of Loder’s mouth I suddenly felt a wave of mixed emotions come over me. It was a mixture of sadness and anger. I was angry because once again here was another young Black male dead before he could reach his full potential. I was sad because I knew that in Tupac (as crazy and erratic as he was at times) rest the hip hop generation’s best hope for reconciling the dual consciousness that exists in the hip hop generation -the growing schism that was brewing between the East and West Coast as well as the divide that was growing between gangsta rappers and the back-packers.

Pac understood both sides of the divide because he had lived in all of these worlds at one point in time. I believed that he, above all, had the vision, the charisma and to a certain extent moral authority to bring all factions of the hip hop nation together as one nation. Ironically this was the title of an upcoming project that Tupac had recorded with various rappers from the East and West Coast just before his death. It was a record that Pac planned to put out to show that there was indeed unity between the two coasts. Unfortunately, that never happened. In order to understand why, we must go back to an incident that took place at New York’s Quad City Studios in 1994. If you recall, initially Tupac and Biggie were close friends. And well they should be, they had a lot in common. Both were born under the sign Gemini. They were products of single mother households. Both were smart and gifted with quick wit. When in New York Tupac would advise the Brooklyn MC on the ways of the rap game and often let Biggie open up for his shows. But all of that would soon change. On November 30, 1994 Tupac entered into Quad City Studios to record a verse for a up and coming rapper named Little Shawn, who was managed by Jimmy Henchmen. When he entered the studio lobby to board the elevator he was approached by armed masked men who demanded he give them his money and jewelry. Tupac refused and there was a shooting that left the rapper with five gunshot wounds.

What is evident is that Tupac’s personal beef with Biggie, Puffy and Rosemond (Pac mentions him specifically in the song “Against All Odds” on the Makavelli LP), combined with his record companies (Death Row and Interscope) and the hip hop media’s insatiable need for controversy to increase record and magazine sales, morphed into the infamous East vs West Coast wars that sadly culminated in the violent deaths of both Pac and B.I.G. And to be quite honest hip hop hasn’t been the same since.

After being robbed and shot five times at Quad City Studios and serving a sentence at Clinton Correctional Facility for sexual misconduct, Tupac emerged from prison convinced that Sean “Puffy Combs (AKA P-Diddy) and Christopher Wallace (AKA The Notorious B.I.G) had something to do with the shooting. He deduced this based on information that he was given by a prisoner at Clinton. “While I’m in jail strangers were telling me,” says Tupac to Vibe Magazine, “you don’t know? Biggie’s homeboy shot ya. Cause they bragging, they telling they niggas in jail, yo we just got Pac.” And he was hell-bent on getting his revenge. Whether or not the information that Tupac received from the inmate is true or not remains to be seen. BBC investigative journalist Nick Bloomfield intimated in his documentary, Biggie & Tupac that the person who gave Tupac the information may have been an FBI informant charged with the task of disrupting the hip hop movement in general and Tupac in particular.

This is the kind of social commentary and hope that made Tupac’s music so profound to people from all walks of life. I know middle aged men in their 50s and 60s who wouldn’t be caught dead listening to contemporary rap but they can quote a Pac verse verbatim. His music was just that universal. Over the past fifteen years Tupac has influenced hundreds of rappers. Some are famous like Young Jeezy and Waka Flocka Flame, others are not so famous. My problem with many of these artists who claim Tupac as their influence is that many of them lack the depth and social commentary that their musical inspiration had. Some of this can be blamed on the artist’s lack of familiarity and/or understanding of Tupac’s catalog. Some of it can be blamed on the circumstance of his death.

Recently a convicted felon by the name of Dexter Isaac issued a statement to confessing to the shooting and robbing of Tupac just two years prior to his death. According to Isaac he was hired to do the deed by an associate and longtime music industry impresario Jimmy Rosemond (AKA Jimmy Henchmen). “In 1994, James Rosemond hired me to rob Tupac at the Quad Studio,” Isaac wrote. “He gave me $2,500, plus all the jewelry I took, except for one ring, which he took for himself.” Rosemond, who as of this writing is currently being held on drug trafficking charges, vehemently denies Isaac’s allegations. Based on the two men’s statements, it is not evident whether Biggie or Puffy knew anything about the incident.

Pac’s was a dynamic rapper capable of delivering gritty, hardcore gangsta lyrics with the passion and bravado of a seasoned street veteran. But in my humble opinion he was at his best when he was delivering lyrics that contained hope and social commentary. One can definitely hear this consistently on all of the officially released albums prior to his death. To illustrate what I mean by hope and social commentary here is one of my favorite Tupac verses from Scarface’s classic song “Smile.” “Here’s a message to the newborns, waitin’ to breathe. If you believe then you can achieve. Just look at me. Against all odds, though life is hard we carry on. Livin’ in the projects, broke with no lights on. To all the seeds that follow me protect your essence Born with less, but you still precious. Just smile for me now”

thug carrying two glocks and spitting into the camera is pushed because, quite frankly, it’s edgy. And in the entertainment industry edgy is the new sexy. And we all know sex sells. Subsequently artists like Young Jeezy, Wacka Flocka Flame and others who claim to be influenced by Pac pick up on the thug imagery but over emphasize the nihilistic violence, not politics and social commentary. As a result THUG LIFE (The Hate U Give Little Infants Fucks Everybody) becomes not so much about criticizing the socio-economic conditions that created the thug’s life but more so all about the life of the thug himself. As a result we are inundated with a glut of a vapid form of street music that emphasizes the celebration of drug dealing, materialism, sexism and misogyny that ultimately serves to dehumanize Black males in particular and Black people in general. This is the type of apolitical rap music that the corporate backed record industry has been steadily pushing to the mainstream since the Rodney King riots when it became evident that politically charged rap music was having an impact on its listeners that was far beyond entertainment. Tupac, with his Black Panther background and access to millions of young minds of all classes, races, creeds and colors, posed a threat to the powers that be. That is why the FBI and various police departments spent countless hours following him. In fact they were following him the day he was killed yet they have yet to offer any clues as to who may have killed him. I believe that if Pac were still alive, odds are so would his former friend and mentee Biggie. They would have eventually squashed their beef and maybe even recorded and toured together. West Coast hip hop could have possibly held on to their cultural dominance of the genre a little while longer, possibly delaying the Southern hip hop’s meteoric rise to prominence. Although I have no doubt that labels like Roc-A-Fella, No Limit and Cash Money Records would have still fared well, I think the these entities would have found it a little more difficult to emerge on the national scene the way they did if Tupac were still alive.

Without Tupac here to grow and develop beyond the Bishop-like character he played in the movie Juice and at times on wax, his image has been frozen in the minds of young fans and artists who came after him. But this is true of many hip hop artists who rarely get a chance to grow into mature men before they are shoved out of the limelight. Artists like JayZ who is now in his 40s and still viable are an exception and not the rule. To many young and impressionable fans Tupac has become the poster boy for the ultimate “thugged out gangsta” rapper. But as writer Armand White pointed out in his biography on Tupac: Rebel Without a Pause, the rapper was a complex individual who was constantly evolving as an artist and thinker. But the mainstream media rarely, if ever, emphasized the thoughtful introspective side of Tupac to young people. Instead the image of Pac as a crazy wild eyed

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ity and creating a new golden age of hip hop music. Not looking to replicate the mass appeal of Run, D & Jay, they established their own creative blueprint for success by recasting themselves as anti-superstars with defined musical identities. This endeared them to fans who were clamoring for the next level flavor.

In 1986 Run-DMC solidified their place as rap crossover kings with their third release Raising Hell. Product endorsements and massive tours followed and after three million plus copies their status as hip hop icons was sealed. The construction of Run’s House was born. Fast forward to ’87 -- a new tier of artists would emerge supplanting the Hollis Crew in popular-

In an era where LL and Kane’s lover man images were looked upon with indifference, Hev’s sly but respectful ode to the opposite sex was readily accepted. In a time when MC Hammer’s R&B stylings and flashy image was criticized and rejected, Hev’s dapperness and musical forays into the New Jack Swing genre was fully embraced. During the early 90’s when hip hop stood at the crossroads between grass roots creativity and inspirational commercial leanings, Hev’s collaboration with Janet and Michael Jackson seemed so natural; going down smooth to the hardest of hardcore palates. Much has already been written about Hev’s musical contributions; however I prefer to reflect on the Heavy D who was captured in the lyrics and pages of the sprawling collection of music, magazines and books threatening to overtake me. I want to reflect on the quiet superstar who


displayed a fierce love for his family. He longed for family life instead of the material trappings of a rap star’s life. He was the proud son of immigrant parents who accomplished the American Dream. He sent them home to Jamaica every year on his dime. He was a loyal friend and loving sibling who wistfully mourned the tragic deaths of a close friend and family members vowing to support their children. His friendship is remembered by Diddy who spoke at his funeral saying Hev was “somebody I shared my dreams and my secrets with, somebody that’s been there for me at my lowest point, my darkest hour when nobody wanted to be beside me.” Hev’s quiet demeanor spoke loudly enough to attract the ears of President Barack Obama who put these words in a note to his family, “He will be remembered for his infectious optimism and many contributions to American music.” Heavy D was one of those artists that stood above all because he was also universally respected by his peers. Here’s wishing our dearly departed nothing but love and a peaceful journey.


s r a W d e e W When you hear the term “medical cannabis” your mind may conjure up a few familiar images but it’s highly doubtful that taxes, legislation and health care are among them. But tune in to Weed Wars Thursday, December 1 at 10PM E/P on Discovery and explore issues of the medicinal cannabis business that few ever consider. Weed Wars isn’t about opinions or issues– this is the first time a weekly series takes an up close and personal look at the reality of running a controversial medicinal cannabis business.

Weed Wars is a unique inside look at the medical cannabis issue. You’ll get a rare view of the business and its challenges from the perspective of both distributors and the patients they serve. You’ll meet

Weed Wars will take you to Oakland’s Harborside Health Center, the nation’s largest medicinal cannabis dispensary serving over 94,000 patients. Harborside’s founder and executive director Steve DeAngelo has the mission of providing the best possible product to his diverse client base of patients while using his business to educate the rest of the country about the full regulation and taxation of medicinal cannabis. When California voters passed the Compassionate Use Act of 1996 legalizing medicinal cannabis, it ignited a national firestorm while provid ing an opening for a whole new kind of health care business.

folks who have switched careers in mid-life to take advantage of this swing in holistic medicine. Weed Wars pulls back the curtain for the first time on the day-to-day workings of a world that few viewers have ever seen. WEED WARS is a fascinating glimpse into this highly unique setting,” said Nancy Daniels, executive vice president of production and development for Discovery Channel. In addition to DeAngelo and his staff, WEED WARS follows the journey of the plant itself from seed germination to harvesting. Meet the growers and “patient farmers” whose job it is to provide the “medicine” – the buds – that will eventually be purchased and used by thousands of clients, many of whom feel their lives have been forever changed by the plant. Due to high demand and reputable quality control, Harborside’s reach has now extended to a second location in San Jose. See the now legal business of the country’s leading medicinal cannabis dispensary from the inside as WEED WARS premieres this fall on Discovery Channel. 

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The Green Journey A Layman’s Review of MMJ Dispensaries So the journey continues as I set out to meet the challenge of reviewing 50 dispensaries. And it’s really becoming a challenge as many face closings. But I must keep the reviews coming because patients need to know what and who to look out for. I must push on in the name of legal MMJ.

Smoking Reviews Legalizing Marijuana

Marijuana Is Safer: So Why Are We Driving People To Drink

Rudolph Gerber and John Sperling Greenwood Publishing Group, Incorporated

Steve Fox, Paul Armentano and Mason Tvert Chelsea Green Pub. Co

By Jim Riley

If you own a collective and want to give a first time patient a free gift as an incentive, don’t give them a joint of trimmings that taste like shit and doesn’t medicate. It will achieve the opposite effect that you intended and will be discussed negatively with anyone the newbie comes in contact with. Rule of thumb – if you wouldn’t smoke it, you shouldn’t give it to a potential lifetime customer as a ‘thank you’.

Mom and Pop Herbal Remedies

Mom and Pop shops refer to collectives that apply a decent amount of effort in making the place look attractive and comfortable, maintaining a neutral vibe and generic feel. The budtender may well be an average-looking 40 year old running the place as he would if he owned a bicycle shop. They are one of the more common types of dispensaries and probably my personal favorite to visit. Chances are the owner’s life savings has been poured into the business and he is anxious to make a deal and develop relationships with new clientele. He is a businessman. Jack showed me around his establishment with great attention to detail. Yes, I understand that all your medicine is grown without pesticides and that you give a percentage of profits to an orphanage in Ban gladesh. It’s not that I don’t care about all the wonderful things you are doing, it’s just that I have other places to review. Jack is another guy that you would

feel comfortable sending your mother to for help. He is also a good enough businessman to hire cute girls to work there, but Jack himself will probably be there every time you visit because, like I said before, he may have his life savings on the line.

Party Time Green Collective

Steve’s a cool budtender in charge of a popular dispensary that mainly serves the needs of his own little world. His world is that of neighborhood patients and mostly younger, party-happy clientele. Mention you like the look of a certain bud and he’ll whip out a bong, stuff it with the weed in question and urge you to take a rip. In order to be a good host, Steve will take a hit himself, holding his breath for 15 minutes before exhaling a thunderstorm of smoke into the room. Party collectives are always fun to visit. Why? Because after you check in and enter the dispensing room, it’s like you walked into a college dorm on a Saturday night. Everyone is visibly high and happy. Like going to your connection’s house to score some weed, only to find he has 60 varieties to choose from and it’s all legal. I tip my hat to people like Steve, smoking from opening ‘til closing, yet able to conduct business like a pro.

Food For Thought

There is one common thread that runs from dispensary to dispensary and owner to owner. Every owner that I asked replied that full legalization of marijuana would be bad for all involved, interesting slant coming from pot-peddlers. Of course the real reason is clear and the idea that 7-11 would be selling pre-packaged ounces of OG for $50 is enough to make any dispensary owner cry in his bong. Legalization may be coming up again next year in California (if the world doesn’t end) and I’m guessing it will pass this time. Where will that leave the dispensaries that are already in business? Will they merely have a head start and continue to be profitable? Will bigger investors that are sitting this one out, step up and reinvent the whole industry? Who’s going to finally invent marijuana-beer and become the next Bill Gates? The scenarios of present and future are full of question marks. AAccording to the Wall Street Journal, medical marijuana sales in the U.S. are set to top $1.7 billion in 2011. Unfortunately, much of the industry’s profits are being eaten up by red-tape, legal fees and selfpreservation. Local governments appear unwilling or incapable of performing routine over-site of an industry that the majority of the citizens have voted for. These lethargic politicians could find themselves replaced by the same voters during the next election.

Nationally recognized marijuana-policy experts Steve Fox, Paul Armentano and Mason Tvert compare and contrast the relative harms and legal status of the two most popular recreational substances in the world--marijuana and alcohol. Through an objective examination of the two drugs and the laws and social practices that steer people toward alcohol, the authors pose a simple yet rarely considered question: Why do we punish adults who make the rational, safer choice to use marijuana instead of alcohol? Marijuana Is Safer reaches for a broad audience. For those unfamiliar with marijuana, it provides an introduction to the cannabis plant and its effects on the user, and debunks some of the government’s most frequently cited marijuana myths. For current and aspiring advocates of marijuana-law reform, as well as anyone else who is interested in what is becoming a major political battle, the authors spell out why the message that marijuana is safer than alcohol must be a prominent part of the public debate over legalization. Most importantly, for the millions of Americans who want to advance the cause of marijuanapolicy reform--or simply want to defend their own personal, safer choice--this book provides the talking points and detailed information needed to make persuasive arguments to friends, family, coworkers, and elected officials.

The Cannabis Grow Bible: The Definitive Guide to Growing Marijuana for Recreational and Medical Use Greg Green Green Candy Press The Cannabis Grow Bible fully explains both the art and science behind growing high-grade pot. Author and aficionado Greg Green blends a thorough understanding of marijuana botany with practical advice on coping with the day-to-day demands of maintaining a high-yield garden, and offers proven methods that maximize both yield and potency. Fully updated and illustrated in full color, and with techniques for both indoor and outdoor cultivation, this comprehensive guide covers everything growers need to know, including how to select the best plant genetics, soil and hydroponic grows, dealing with pests and predators, advanced systems and breeding, and protecting the crop from nosy neighbors. It also explains the “Screen of Green” technique that gives a higher yield using fewer plants. Green’s easy-to-follow instructions and the accuracy, breadth, and depth of information presented benefit newbies and professional gardeners alike.

The Art of SnitchinG Novel Resurfaces With Changes In Cocaine Laws When author Edrea Davis debuted her fictional saga, “SnitchCraft” in hardcover back in 2007, everyone from readers to activists to academics took note of this creative approach to advocacy. Davis cunningly fused hip-hop with a civil rights agenda to offer a glimpse into the corrupt environment created by the use of informants and underscore the unfairness of racially biased sentencing guidelines. Last year President Obama signed legislation reducing drug sentencing disparities, but the law was not applied retroactively. Dogon Village Books celebrated the new sentencing guidelines becoming retroactive November 1, 2011, with the release of the ebook version of “SnitchCraft,” updated with new information and facts.“I am happy about the progress made on sentencing reform. Reducing the disparity between powder and crack cocaine from 100-to-1 to 18-to-1 is a positive step,” said Davis, a volunteer with the November Coalition (http://www., an education foundation working to

26 | ISSUE 3: 2011

This book is a frontal assault on the federal government’s almost century-long campaign against marijuana in all its forms—cultivation, growing, selling, and recreational and medicinal use. Beginning with the anti-pot campaign of the first unofficial drug czar, Harry Anslinger, in the 1930s and continuing with only minor differences in emphasis through the recent Reagan, Clinton, and two Bush administrations. Federal efforts to stamp out every form of marijuana use involve ignoring the independent reports of numerous federal commissions; supporting provably false claims about marijuana’s effects; acquiescing to conservative law enforcement and religious groups’ condemnatory agendas; generating a climate of fear in the electorate in order to cultivate messianic images for politicians; and ultimately governing in a way that does a disservice to all involved.

end the drug war injustice. “The release of my ebook at a time when thousands of federal inmates become eligible for release from prison is a reminder that if we continue to raise our voices for education over incarceration we will chip away at the remaining disparities and the corrupt snitch system as well.” Praised by civil rights legend Dr. Joseph E. Lowery for, “shedding light on deep-rooted problems plaguing the Black community,” “SnitchCraft” juxtaposes the themes of family, spirituality, and social justice against the backdrop of a popular Southern California nightclub battling escalating gang violence. It uncovers the street life escapades behind the dynamics of snitching, while questioning the morals and values that are often convoluted with the issue.

your community, and an index of leading organizations focused on criminal justice reform and other issues impacting the Black com The engaging read even landed on the required reading list in a curriculum guide at the Yale National Initiative of the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute. According to the guide, the introduction to Criminal Justice course incorporated the book because it looks at the present day social phenomenon of snitching, police corruption and the use of paid confidential informants in solving crime.

“SnitchCraft” pushes the boundaries of typical ‘urban lit’ fare however. Davis incorporated a unique “After the Book” section with a reader’s guide of discussion questions, suggestions on how to become active in

ISSUE 3: 2011 | 27


The Strains

SmokHers MMJ advice For Women The Facts

She is your friend, your daughter, your sister, or your wife. She is you. She is one of thousands of starving and morbidly obese women who end up in doctor’s offices, emergency rooms or morgues as a result of an eating disorder. An eating disorder is an illness that disrupts “normal” daily food consumption patterns. These real and dangerous illnesses occur more frequently in women and often rear their ugly heads in the teenage years when self-image blossoms. It is common to find eating disorders paired with other illnesses such as depression, substance abuse or anxiety. Young girls become masters at hiding their secret eating compulsions, which, if left untreated, chase them through life creating a series of physical and mental health complications including premature death. Those afflicted with anorexia nervosa (literally, loss of appetite) see themselves as too fat and will restrict caloric intake so severely that they become malnourished. The intense desire to be thin pushes victims to the point of emancipation. Symptoms include a low-body weight, thinning hair, dry skin, brittle nails, constipation, cessation of menstruation, low-blood pressure, slow heartbeat and low-body temperature. According to the National Institute of Health, people with anorexia nervosa are up to 18 times more likely to die compared to their peers. Bulimia nervosa is another form of eating disorder, which involves periods of overeating followed by purging, sometimes through selfinduced vomiting or the use of laxatives. Those who suffer from bulimia are likely to appear healthy if not somewhat overweight sometimes making this condition difficult to detect. 28 | ISSUE 3: 2011

Binge eating causes people to loose control over their food consumption. There is not a period of purging or fasting and binge eaters are often over-weight or obese. Bingers have a high risk of developing a myriad of healthrelated problems such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Hope prevails for those smitten with eating impairments if identified and aggressively treated. The objective of any treatment regimen is to restore a healthy weight, deal with the underlying emotional issues and reduce behaviors and thoughts that lead to abnormal consumption patterns. Historically, treatment has included psychotherapy, counseling and medications.

“Greenway Medical Marijuana Physicians Evaluations reports that the use of medical marijuana regularly helps those battling eating disorders.” For those specifically battling anorexia nervosa, the use of medical marijuana as an alternative to, or in combination with, conventional treatments is gaining increased attention. Most of the complications resulting from anorexia nervosa are due to starvation, which causes the breakdown of body organs. Since such a large part of treatment for this disease involves increasing a passion for food, it behooves us to consider the well-documented side-effect of marijuana so rightly labeled “the munchies” as a possible aid in the restoration and maintenance of a healthy weight.

The Studies

Research clearly indicates a strong relationship between smoking marijuana and increased frequency in eating. Data collected by Haines and Green in 1970 showed that 91% of smok-

ers (N=131) eat every time they smoke. Tart discovered that 93% of studied smokers (N= 131) reported that they enjoyed eating abundantly much more when they were smoking than when they were not. Patients with HIV and cancer often suffer from illness and drug-induced appetite loss. A Columbia University clinical trial demonstrated a clear relationship between increased appetite, food intake and smoking marijuana amongst HIV patients. Similarly, a study in San Francisco found that anorexic patients gained weight and their condition improved when given medical marijuana. In San Francisco, Greenway Medical Marijuana Physicians Evaluations reports that the use of medical marijuana regularly helps those battling eating disorders. They recognize the clear and demonstrated relationship between the use of marijuana and the reduction in anxiety, which is a driving force behind numerous eating disorders. Patients also report an increase in appetite and a pleasant feeling associated with eating.

The Process

Located in the central nervous center are receptors known to alter eating behavior. These receptors respond to cannabinoid-like substances that occur naturally within us known as “endogenous cannabinoids”. When someone uses marijuana, receptors go into over-drive, pushing normal behavior a bit more aggressively. Sections of the hypothalamus that control food intake fire, as do areas in the stomach that let us know when we are hungry. Additionally, the reward center of the brain signals that we feel happy because of the food. All of these receptors work simultaneously, influencing behaviors and emotions associated with eating.

In order to maximize the therapeutic properties of marijuana it is important to understand its nature. There are two families of cannabis plants, Indica and Sativa. Some plants are pure Indicia, some pure Sativa and some are a combination of the two. The uniquely therapeutic effect of the cannabis plant directly relates to the strain. Sativa is taller and leaner than Indica plants. They have narrow-toothed leaves and spear-like flower clusters. Sativa primarily affect the mind and emotions, offering what is known as a “head high”. Many persons suffering from the psychological aspects of illness find that they experience a heightened sense of well being with the Sativa plant. Some prominent therapeutic effects of this strain include; reduction in depression, relief of headache, increase in focus, reduction of nausea and appetite stimulation. Caution must be used for those who have heightened anxiety or mental health conditions. Indica plants are shorter and stockier than Sativas. Their leaves are wide and ragged with densely clustered flowers. Best used during non-active times of the day, Sativa strains predominant virtues are their physical and sedative effects, also known as a “body stone”. Cited therapeutic effects include reduction of pain, nausea, seizures, inflammation also stimulated appetite. All strains of cannabis may increase appetite; however, crosses appear to be the most effective. For instance, a Sativa-dominant cross will stimulate appetite while the Indica component increases muscle relaxation. Eating disorders plague women, especially in the west, who have a distorted self-image perpetuated by a society that places increased value on looks and body-shape. The first step in treatment for anyone suffering is detection and recognition. Reaching out for help could save your life or the life of someone you love. Although more research continues to be done regarding the benefits of medicinal marijuana, it is clear that Mary Jane is earning a respected reputation. She is steadily gaining ground amongst other conventional treatment protocols as a friend for the hungry and hurting victims of anorexia nervosa. Once again, we say thank you Mary for being there for us. Lets eat!!


Ashland Alternative Health; Medical Cannabis; 2009; Haines, L., and Green, W. Marijuana use patterns. Br J Addict 65:347, 1970. Tart, C.T. Marijuana intoxication: Common experiences.  Nature 226:701, 1970. National Institute of Mental Health; What are eating disorders; 2011; University of Washington Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute; Marijuana and Appetite; 2011;

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ISSUE 3: 2011 | 29 The Google of Medical Marijuana By Robert Warner We can have objective standards.” The lab helps ChronDemand provide the best information to patients seeking symptom relief. “A budtender can say a strain is for anxiety relief, but how do they know if they don’t really test it?” ChronDemand takes the guesswork out, providing objective, scientific medical information to qualified patients in medical marijuanafriendly states. White estimates that once labs are fully up and running he can test 3,000 - 4,000 strains in a month.

Like many qualified patients, you’ve probably looked for a cannabis search engine. You want to find the best strains close to you at the best price. Unfortunately, there’s not been a good resource for the educated and conscious legal smoker... until now. Entrepreneur Josh White is bringing the search engine to the world of medicinal cannabis with ChronDemand. ChronDemand, located at (where else?), is a powerful, user-oriented search engine for legal bud. “The best sites give you the best results,” says White, “the results relevant to your query. Think of Amazon or Google. We wanted to apply that kind of connectivity to medicinal cannabis.” White hit upon a key problem in the medical herb industry -- the lack of a way to search for top-shelf product. “If you search something like WeedMaps for a sour diesel, you’re probably going to get recommendations for the five dispensaries paying the most,” he says, “this degrades the user experience in terms of quality of information.”

While the site does allow users to input their own reviews of different strains, ChronDemand isn’t just about what this or that patient thinks of one strain or another. The site exists in conjunction with ChronLabs, a laboratory business White owns. “The lab puts it into a controlled and tested environment.

ChronDemand is a consumer-oriented product, but White wants it to be more WebMD than Yelp. “How does the customer want to search?” asks White, before answering his own question, “Medicinal affect. Different cannaboid levels. And, of course, price.” Much like Google, Yelp or LinkedIn, ChronDemand promises to become the killer Internet site that no qualified patient will be able to do without.

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By Wendell Graves Hip Hop music has taken over the world and influenced a wide array of listeners from all parts of the world and many different cultures. Urban clothing and hip hop fashion has spread just as virally across the globe engulfing all who embrace the culture. Here in Los Angeles where there’s no shortage of fashion designers and hip hop trendsetters, there is one group of young brothers making a name for themselves and etching out their mark in the hip hop fashion world.

Forever the eager entrepreneurs, the brothers also have other irons in the fire from hosting their own fashion shows and indie music/poetry nights to poking around in the world of advertising just to keep their grinding game sharp. From shoes to jackets and everything in between, 8th and Olive has everything that one might need to jump feet first into the hip hop nightlife no matter where their partying or who they party with.

For those that love to dress in the latest hip hop fashion trends but may not always have the bank to go along with their trendy taste, the 8th and Olive Fashion Headquarters is the place to be. With high-end quality clothing at affordable prices, the brothers of 8th and Olive have a little something for every budget. Two of the premier lines offered are in-house designs Deep Pockets and Yatab clothing which are the brainchildren of co-founders, Richard aka Mr. 360 and H Mark who firmly believe that their products offer that the quality that the consumer

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Small Town Battle Ignites National Debate Kern County Residents fight to overturn Laws That Ban Dispensaries Bakersfield, CA- Bakersfield, a quaint city located in Central California is at risk again. Although the population is nearly 348,000 and is only 100 miles north of Los Angeles, Bakersfield’s local Board of Supervisors passed a law that would ban the sale of marijuana in the medical marijuana dispensaries. This new law has forced dozens of dispensaries to close their doors. Although these dispensaries generate a large profit and keep many people gainfully employed, even in a county that boasts over a 10% unemployment rate, the local leaders saw fit to ban marijuana sales. Bakersfield, and more specifically Kern County, is known to be a very conservative area. However, over 17,000 residents saw fit to sign a petition that seeks to overturn the Board’s ruling. That’s right, medical marijuana and the acceptance of it is on the rise, even in an agriculturally-based city such as this. This is not just a local issue anymore. The New York Times covered the recent referendum, which brought Bakersfield to the forefront of the MMJ debate. The Times referred to two local figures who are driving this social movement on both sides.

The two men at the heart of the battle over the Kern County ordinance have similar backgrounds — both with years of law enforcement experience — but very different attitudes about California’s landmark medical marijuana law, Proposition 215, which was passed by voters in 1996. On one side is Sheriff Donny Youngblood, a former Army drill sergeant,

“Although these dispensaries generate a large profit and keep many people gainfully employed, even in a county that boasts over a 10% unemployment rate, the local leaders saw fit to ban marijuana sales” who has made it very clear that he thinks the way Proposition 215 is being used now is a “sham” that flies the face not only of federal statutes, but also of common decency. “It’s not just a legal stand,” Sheriff Youngblood said. “It’s really a moral stand.”

On the other extreme is Robert Wade, a narcotics officer turned entrepreneur, who says being laid off led him to open a medical marijuana dispensary and clinic last year, an operation that now brings him a six-figure salary in what he calls “one of the few growing industries in this country.” Medical marijuana dispensaries are run like any other business. The hours include (but are not limited to) Monday-Friday 9 AM- 8 PM and Saturday 10 AM- 7 PM. Customers are highly monitored by store employees and the employees follow all of the protocols. Customers are treated with respect and are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner.

Smokers’ For patients who need to keep their medicine with them on the go the Deodorizer Bag is the perfect gift. It’s a small, lightweight, discreet pouch. The Deodorizer Bag is made out of a patented, activated charcoal cloth. It’s the ultimate defense against the unwanted odors caused by most tobacco or herbs. The bag fits easily in your pocket or purse.

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For smokers who like to share with friends but hate the risk of spreading germs. The G-Kap smoking accessory was developed for the purpose of reducing microbial activity on a variety of smoking devices ranging from water/tobacco pipes, to ‘bongs’ and vaporization devices. They added a healthy concentration of the IONPURE™ antibacterial additive in order to greatly reduce and eliminate the bacterial growth on their product. G-Kaps come in many flexible styles.

For those who like sweets and want to snack and medicate get Cheeba Chews. Each Cheeba Chew weighs 9.5g-10.5g. Quad Dose Cheeba Chews contain 70mg THC, Double Dose 35mg THC, and Deca Dose 175mg THC. Cheeba Chews are cut within precise weight tolerances, ensuring consistent medicinal effects every time for Medical Marijuana Patients. This is one of the reasons why Cheeba Chews have become a favorite edible. The time it takes for Cheeba Chews to kick in vary greatly from one MMJ Patient to another. Most will start to feel the effects in around 30 minutes, some will take 3 hours. This is totally dependent on how your body reacts, and metabolizes THC.

No violence has arisen at these stores. However, if the dispensaries are not allowed to maintain their businesses, the status quo is bound to change. Customers will be forced to turn to the streets. Hundreds will become unemployed and the economy, as a whole, will suffer. In times like these, we need to strengthen the community by generating profits. Support your local medical marijuana dispensary. -P.U.S.H.

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Commentary M EDI CAL MARI J UANA ACCESS DEN I ED By Lanny Swerdlow, RN LNC

ties already ban collectives and once given the right to ban it is unlikely they will undergo a marijuana epiphany and welcome them.

do not to hold your breath hoping that they will be persuasive to a court whose mind appears to be riddled with prejudice.

Bans will force patients to drive long distances, hundreds of miles would not be unusual, in order to obtain their medicine from a collective licensed by a compassionate city. Forcing patients to drive long distances also increases the likelihood they will be involved in an accident. Elderly and infirm patients are not even capable of making the long drives and will potentially have no access to medicinal marijuana. Add in the costs for gas and wear and tear on cars and this too expensive medicine becomes even more expensive.

Allowing cities and counties to ban the only legal method of medical marijuana distribution is the ultimate victory for the cops who have been working to undermine Prop. 215 since the day it was passed by voters in 1996. Now that they have succeeded in destroying the only legal method for the majority of patients to obtain medicinal marijuana, how long do you think it will be before they start going after small collectives and eventually individual patients?

Speaking of expensive, competition between collectives, which has lowered prices by 15% to 20%, will come to an end. With fewer collectives, prices will soar with the watchword being “all the market will bear.”

The issuance by the 4th District Court of Appeals of a Tentative Opinion affirming the rights of cities and counties to ban collectives under their zoning ordinances is a catastrophe for the medical marijuana community. When it becomes final, there will begin an unrelenting and ferocious attack by cities and counties to close down collectives. With the newly minted right of the cities and counties to criminalize code violations, we will rapidly see 99% of the storefront collectives shuttered. With the closure of collectives will come the collapse of all the associated businesses – collective directory websites, medical marijuana magazines and other businesses that have come to rely on them. Lawyers too will find a major source of income drying up – some may consider that a silver lining. If you read the 4th District Court’s Tentative Opinion, it is composed of several bushels of legal gobble-dgook over interpreting a gaggle of byzantine rulings on zoning laws which can only be comprehended by a lawyer with years of zoning litigation experience. It is not until page 22 that the court concerns itself with the plight of patients, but then dismisses them outright. “Inland Empire Center has not shown that any adverse effects on the public from Riverside’s ordinance banning MMD’s outweighs the possible benefit to the city.” One page later, the court totally flips them the bird. “While it may be inconvenient to go to a MDD elsewhere, this does not outweigh the well-known benefits of avoiding potential secondary effects of MMD’s such as increased crime and related law enforcement services.” Although the court frivolously dismisses the problems patients would face as “inconvenient” the effect on patients are extremely severe. Most cities and coun-

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There will also be significant negative effects on the general public. According to CalNORML there are one million medical marijuana patients in California which means hundreds of thousands will be driving long distances. That means more cars on our clogged freeways as well as more pollutants, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere. If just 300,000 patients drove just a hundred miles round trip to obtain medicinal marijuana and average 25 miles per gallon, that is an additional 1,200,000 gallons used.

There are only a few options available, but we need to pursue them. Unlike our opponents, we have fought a good CL EAN fight and we will prevail. If they make just one trip a month, then the total amount of gasoline wasted in one year will be 14,400,000 gallons. Most patients will not make the long drive and if they cannot grow their own or join a small collective, they will obtain their marijuana the old fashioned way – they will buy it from criminals. Consequently, crime will go up, but that’s what the police want. More crime means more police, more dollars and more guns. As for negative effects on local municipalities, the court just bought into the unsubstantiated claims of increased crime and neighborhood deterioration. Collectives do not cause an increase in crime and might very well cause a decrease in crime as shown in the 2010 report issued by the Denver Police Department and in a new study released by the Rand Corporation in September 2011. The above concerns and others will be raised in oral arguments at the court hearing coming up soon, but

Now that there will only a few legal collectives providing patients with their medicine, how long do you think it will be before California cops contact the DEA and get them to go in and bust even these few collectives? Cops will not be satisfied until Prop. 215 is dead and buried and the threat to their $20 billion a year marijuana prohibition pig trough of taxpayer money is extinguished. This whole sordid situation is our own fault and especially that of the 1,000 or more collectives who refused to financially support local medical marijuana groups and most importantly Americans for Safe Access. ASA is the only organization with the statewide infrastructure to tackle lobbying our legislators for legislation and mobilizing activism on a local level. If they had been given the resources, these court decisions and recent legislative defeats could have gone another way. There are only a few options available, but we need to pursue them. Unlike our opponents, we have fought a good CLEAN fight and we will prevail. Collective operators in the city of San Diego and Kern County have put initiatives on the ballot blocking implementation of bans. If collective operators can get their act together it is an avenue that can be pursued successfully in many jurisdictions. ASA and CalNORML are working with sympathetic legislators to introduce legislation in the upcoming legislative session in Sacramento, but those solutions could take up to a year to bear fruit and time is running out. The time is late, but it is not too late. Maintaining and protecting safe, reliable and local access requires cooperation and coordination between patients, collectives and all the players in the medical marijuana movement. You can and should make a difference. It is time for YOU to be part of the solution. To get involved on a statewide level, contact ASA at www.safeaccessnow. org or CalNORML at For information on the local level, send me an email at lanny@ or call me at 760-799-2055, tell me where you live and I will provide you with information on contacting a medical marijuana activist group in your area.

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MMJ Patients Discriminated Against for Transplants Hospitals are treating MMJ patients like addicts and removing them from lists. Sixty-three year-old medical marijuana patient Norman B. Smith was diagnosed with inoperable liver cancer in 2009 and sought treatment from the internationally lauded Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. Smith’s oncologist at Cedars-Sinai, Dr. Steven Miles, approved of his medical marijuana use as a means to deal with the effects of chemotherapy and pain from an unrelated back surgery. In September 2010, Smith became eligible for a liver transplant, but after testing positive for marijuana in February he was removed from the transplant list. Smith’s cancer was in remission until just recently, but now he is scheduled to undergo radiation treatments in the next few days. Medical marijuana advocacy group Americans for Safe Access (ASA) issued a letter urging the Cedars-Sinai Transplant Department to promptly re-list Smith for a liver transplant. The letter also urges Cedars-Sinai to change its transplant eligibility policy. “Denying necessary transplants to medical marijuana patients is the worst kind of discrimination,” said ASA Chief Counsel Joe Elford, who also authored the letter to Cedars-Sinai. “Cedars-Sinai would not be breaking any laws, federal or otherwise, by granting Norman Smith a liver transplant, and it’s certainly the ethical thing to do.” Smith is not the only medical marijuana patient in the U.S. being denied a transplant. At least one other Cedars-Sinai patient reported to ASA in 2008 that they had been kicked off the transplant list because of their legal medical marijuana use. Over the past four years, ASA has received numerous reports of patients being purged from transplant lists across California, as well as in other medical marijuana states like Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington. In 2008, Seattle resident and medical marijuana patient Timothy Garon died after being denied a liver transplant by the University of Washington Medical Center. A year later, in 2009, Big Island resident and medical marijuana patient Kimberly Reyes died at Hilo Hospital after being denied a liver transplant.

bottom of the list even after satisfying the policy requirements. “ASA seeks to change this harmful and uncompassionate policy not only for Smith’s benefit, but also for the benefit of numerous other medical marijuana patients who are being made to suffer unnecessarily as a result of political ideology,” said Elford.

“Denying necessary transplants to medical marijuana patients is the worst kind of discrimination”

Between January 2010 and October 2011, Smith took part in a rare clinical trial to combat his liver cancer. The trial, which included only 60 people worldwide, involved weekly infusions and daily pills. Smith also smoked medical marijuana during this time, but stopped in August 2011 to try to adhere to the transplant eligibility requirements. Smith was the only patient in the entire 93-week trial who had a successful remission, earning him the moniker of “Miracle Man.” Because of the cancer’s return, Smith may not have six months to live. However, instead of re-listing him for a transplant, Cedars-Sinai is scheduling him for radiation treatment. “Norman Smith’s life hangs in the balance between his desperate need for a liver and an anti-marijuana sentiment that informs a misguided and life-threatening transplant policy,” continued Elford. Smith not only has the support of his oncologist and other Cedars-Sinai staff, but also his psychologist, who wrote a strong letter of recommendation that Smith be approved for a liver transplant. Nonetheless, Dr. Steven D. Colquhoun, the director of Cedars-Sinai’s Liver Transplant Program compared Smith’s legal medical marijuana use to “substance abuse.” In a letter sent to Smith in May, Dr. Colquhoun indicated that the liver transplant center “must consider issues of substance abuse seriously since it does often play a role in the evolution of diseases that may require transplantation, and may adversely impact a new organ after a transplant.” Despite Dr. Colquhoun’s assertions and CedarsSinai’s restrictive policy, an independent study has shown that marijuana use has no adverse impact on the survival rate of transplant recipients.

Cedars-Sinai is demanding that Smith not only abstain from marijuana use for at least six months, forcing him to undergo random toxicology tests, but he is also required to participate in weekly substance abuse counseling over the same period. Although Smith was within two months of receiving a transplant before he was de-listed, he will be put at the

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President Obama Changes His Stance on MMJ

The Obama Administration launches a campaign to undermine state and local medical marijuana laws The Obama Justice Department (DOJ) held a press conference in Sacramento announcing an array of enforcement actions against medical marijuana producers and distributors as well as landlords throughout California. Patient advocates are calling President Obama’s enforcement effort harmful and unnecessary, representing a stark contradiction to his pledge of disengagement in medical marijuana states. The DOJ claimed it was carrying out civil and criminal enforcement actions against medical marijuana providers and sending “warning” letters to property owners leasing to dispensary operators. “Aggressive tactics like these are a completely inappropriate use of prosecutorial discretion by the Obama Administration,” said Joe Elford, Chief Counsel with Americans for Safe Access (ASA), the country’s largest medical marijuana advocacy group. “President Obama must answer for his contradictory

(FDIC), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Department of Justice (DOJ). President Obama’s DOJ has conducted well over 150 federal raids in at least 7 states since taking office and his U.S. Attorneys sent letters earlier this year threatening local and state officials in 10 states with criminal prosecution if they adopted proposed medical marijuana laws. By sending threatening letters to landlords, President Obama is taking a cue from his predecessor George W. Bush, whose Justice Department sent similar letters to more than 300 property ownethroughout California in 2007. Despite the seriousness of letters sent by the DOJ under Bush, no criminal or forfeiture enforcement actions were ever pursued. It’s unclear if the federal government has the resources or inclination to act on these new threats in a significant way,

of things for our law enforcement officers to deal with.” On Oct. 19, 2009 the Department of Justice issued its now famous Ogden memo which announced that prosecutorial priorities should not target “individuals whose actions are in clear and unambiguous compliance with existing state laws providing for the medical use of marijuana.” Most observers believed that medical marijuana users and caregivers who complied with state law would no longer be the focus of federal prosecution. Advocates argue that states should be allowed to enforce their own public health laws, including those concerning medical marijuana. “It is unconscionable that

The current actions are far from the attitude Obama projected prior to being elected. In a March. 22, 2008 interview with The Mail Tribune, then candidate Barack Obama said in part: “When it comes to medical marijuana, I have more of a practical view than anything else. My attitude is that if it’s an issue of doctors prescribing medical marijuana as a treatment for glaucoma or as a cancer treatment, I think that should be appropriate because there really is no difference between that and a doctor prescribing morphine or anything else.” He then elaborated, “What I’m not going to be doing is using Justice Department resources to try to circumvent state laws on this issue simply because I want folks to be investigating violent crimes and potential terrorism. We’ve got a lot of things for our law enforcement officers to deal with.” policy on medical marijuana.” On the campaign trial and in the White House, President Obama pledged that he was “not going to be using Justice Department resources to try to circumvent state [medical marijuana] laws.” California Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) said in a statement issued today that the DOJ enforcement strategy was “a waste of scarce federal resources,” underscoring “the need for Congress to pass H.R. 1983, the States’ Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act.” H.R. 1983 would reclassify medical marijuana at the federal level and allow states to develop, implement and enforce their own laws.

but for the price of postage they have engaged in wholesale intimidation of the medical marijuana com munity. The current actions are far from the attitude Obama projected prior to being elected. In a March. 22, 2008 interview with The Mail Tribune, then candidate Barack Obama said in part: “When it comes to medical marijuana, I have more of a practical view than anything else. My attitude is that if it’s an issue of doctors prescribing medical marijuana as a treatment for glaucoma or as a cancer treatment, I think that should be appropriate because there really is no difference between that and a doctor prescribing morphine or anything else.” He then elaborated, “What

This attack is the latest in a long line of federal intimidation tactics employed over the past few months by such agencies as Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation

I’m not going to be doing is using Justice Department resources to try to circumvent state laws on this issue simply because I want folks to be investigating violent crimes and potential terrorism. We’ve got a lot

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the federal government would override local and state laws to enforce its will over the will of the people,” said ASA spokesperson Kris Hermes. “States must be allowed to enforce their own laws without harmful in terference from the Obama Administration.” California Attorney General Kamala Harris was apparently not warned by the DOJ about the heightened federal enforcement effort. The DOJ enforcement effort comes as hundreds of demonstrations against Wall Street are continuing to occur across the country. These protests are, at least in part, questioning the federal government’s allocation of limited resources. Meanwhile, President Obama has chosen to expend federal resources to crack down on medical marijuana in states that have legalized its use. “By shutting down dispensaries, the Obama Administration is not only pushing legal patients into the illicit market,” continued Hermes, “it’s also wasting taxpayer dollars at a time of fiscal crisis.”

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into a hood-favorite clothing brand and communitybased company, Game has since secured a distribution deal with Universal Music Group. Game’s community based company was designed to release mixtapes featuring local Los Angeles-area artists that wouldn’t otherwise receive mainstream opportunities. The label, still headed by Game, is poised to be the next subsidiary parented by a major label and run by a multiplatinum artist with street cred and business savvy. Game’s homeboys are of the same mindset with Young Money Entertainment (Lil’ Wayne), Maybach Music Group (Rick Ross) and G.O.O.D. Music (Kanye West). Black Wall Street is positioned to be the next star-maker. And Game is seated at the head of the table. The long awaited project R.E.D. album by Game has finally hit stores and has been heating up the airwaves ever since. His first album since 2008, Game has definitely been in the lab working hard on a successful comeback and may just have succeeded with his newest release. Always the controversial rapper, Game had the burden of maintaining his career after his split with Aftermath and with the here today gone tomorrow mentality of most industry execs, staying relevant is much harder when you are known to be a trouble maker. The R.E.D. Album, possibly one of Games top projects, has features from Lil Wayne, Drake, Rick Ross, Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre and Big Boi, just to name a few, and most everybody featured holds their own lyrically on their respective tracks. Dr. Dre and Snoop

Music and Mayhem The Game Wins on the Charts with Red Album While Fighting to Keep His Street Credibility By Wendel Graves Game went from Gangsta to great musician right before our eyes. He recharged legendary west coast captain Dr. Dre, delivering the producer’s last true Cali-themed classic in “The Documentary” and then took it upon himself to keep West Coast hiphop relevant with his #1 hit single, #1 album and $20 million-dollar film role. His official foray into Hip Hop, “The Documentary”, was a #1 Billboard 200 debut, selling an impressive 586,000 units in the first week and continuing to 2.5 million plus units in the US. The first official street

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single, “Westside Story”, charted at #55 on the Hot R&B/Hip Hop Songs chart which is remarkable for an urban radio favorite constructed with aggressive content. No urban music artist, regardless of Top 40 genre (Hip Hop, Pop, Rock, R&B, alternative), geographical region (East, West, South, international) or major label push, arrived with as much promotional fanfare as Jayceon “Chuck” Taylor. GAME (formerly The Game) was handpicked by legendary star-maker Dr. Dre to headline his Aftermath Entertainment brand, officially declaring it “Game Time.” That was in 2002. By 2005, his Black Wall Street label was dominating

the street scene with a series of “Murda Chronicle” mixtapes, indie-videos, party appearances, and rap beef settlements. Never satisfied with just music success, Game accepted a co-starring role opposite Meagan Good and Tyrese in “Waist Deep”, directed by Vondie CurtisHall. The urban Bonnie and Clyde-like film opened on over 1,000 screens nationwide and grossed over $21,000,000. The project is widely considered an urban classic, with Game’s commanding role as resident bad guy, “Big Meat,” stealing much of the show. Known as much for his rap Beefs with MC’s like Ras Kass and 50 Cent as for building Black Wall Street

Dogg provide some classy old school West Coast feel to “Drug Test” while Lil Wayne and Tyler, the Creator join Game on a trip to the darkest reaches of outer space on the creep show that is “Martians vs Goblins.” The chemistry between Game and Lil Wayne is just as jaw dropping on “Red Nation” as it

“No urban music artist, regardless of Top 40 genre (Hip Hop, Pop, Rock, R&B, alternative), geographical region (East, West, South, international) or major label push, arrived with as much promotional fanfare as Jayceon “Chuck” Taylor. GAME (formerly The Game) was handpicked by legendary star-maker Dr. Dre to headline his Aftermath Entertainment brand, officially declaring it ‘Game Time.’ “

These two tracks virtually carry the album and, in my opinion, are the best tracks that Game has released in quite some time. All in all, the R.E.D. album is a quality album released in a time when quality as well as consistency has definitely been lacking. He has earned his place amongst raps elite. Nothing was given. He never asked anyway – and wouldn’t have accepted any Hip Hop handouts even if the industry offered. Game has earned his place in urban music folklore – pasting his Black Wall Street paper all over Hip Hop’s streets like global graffiti.

was on LAX standout single “My Life.” Throughout the album, Dr. Dre narrates and his words hit hard, especially after the last track, “California Dream,” which chronicles a re-birth of sorts for Game. Game’s lyrical talents shine brightest on his storytelling tracks. On the two best story tracks, “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly,” a song about his activities as a criminal mastermind, and “California Dream,” a track about the birth of his daughter, Game tells stories full of honesty, vivid details, and emotion.

Twitter Beef Leads to Drama for

The Game

On September 13th the internet and streets were set ablaze when the rumor got out that Game had been knocked out at the Fox Hills Mall. Game denied the incident via his twitter page saying, “Nigga a make up anything to get a buzz blood!!! How u knocking Game out & I’m just landing fag.” But the rumors persisted when the alleged attacker Jomo Adoula Zambia AKA RoseMo posted a video on YouTube describing the incident. The two had a twitter beef which led to the rumored altercation. The alleged act happened at Fox Hills Mall where RoseMo, a supposed mem-

ber of Brick Squad wanted to avoid knocking out Game because Game had his children with him, but was antagonized by Game to fight regardless. The rumored event made for good chatter and was fizzling out until RoseMo was gunned down in Inglewood, CA. He was shot while driving, lost control of his car and crashed into an unmarked police car.

According to the police Game is not a suspect. Police believe the shooting may have stemmed from one of the several conflicts he was involved in via the internet and in the streets. RoseMo had also posted a video in which he beat up a fellow gang member over comments posted on Twitter.

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Legal Smokers' Quroum  

December/ January 2011 issue