California

Living on the Edge in San Diego, the Nation’s Most Biologically Diverse County

October 1, 2014 by Frank Gormlie

By Elliott Kennerson / San Diego Free Press

vernal-pool-shrimp_headerLet’s play a game. Name an endangered species from San Diego.

Anyone say vernal pool fairy shrimp? Doubtful, because when you think of San Diego, you don’t usually think of a one-inch long crustacean that you can’t even eat.

You said panda, right?

Though San Diego is the most biologically diverse county in the nation, according to the Nature Conservancy, with 200 or so threatened or endangered species, (the fairy shrimp among them), this town is much more famous for its beloved Zoo and our lately less beloved Sea World, animal parks that host tons of diversity, of course, most of it exotic.

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Comparison of Condo Conversions of Canada Versus Ocean Beach and San Diego

October 1, 2014 by Marc Snelling
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Editor: Condo conversions are once again before the Ocean Beach Planning Board. Are they a good thing for a community? Here, Marc Snelling does a comparison between the history of condo conversions in OB and San Diego with Canadian cities. Marc was a former member of the OB Planning Board and founding member of the OB Grassroots Organization. He currently lives outside Ottawa.

By Marc Snelling

Ten years ago San Diego was among the national leaders in condo conversions. Lack of City regulation combined with speculator greed resulted in a rate of condo conversions that threatened families and renters.

Condo conversion proponents invariably tout the supposed benefits of owner occupancy and the lower cost of a condominium versus a detached home for first-time buyers. They are also just as sure not to mention the inconvenient fact that renters need to be evicted to make a condo out of an apartment.

The owner-occupancy argument is dubious as many condo owners do not live in the properties but turn around and rent them at a higher rate.

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Inside an Outsider’s Campaign for Political Office – An Unprecedented Win

September 29, 2014 by Source

By Lori Saldaña / Part Four of Four

Saldana smilingIn Part Three Lori Saldaña discussed the realities of putting together a door-to-door campaign.

I’ll always remember the shock, joy and celebration my volunteers, friends and family experienced when the first voting results came in on Election night, shortly after 9 pm. I was leading in the 3-way results by 10 points, with 40% of the vote going to me and 30% going to each of my two opponents. The number varied little over the ensuing hours, ultimately staying there for the remainder of the night.

We had overcome the odds and won big, despite being outspent by a ridiculous amount.

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Legalization Here We Come: California Campaign Underway for 2016 Pot Proposition

September 26, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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By Doug Porter

More than four decades ago (1972) California’s Proposition 19, which would have decriminalized marijuana possession, was resoundingly defeated by a 2 to 1 margin.

In the years since then, hodgepodge of voter approved propositions, legislative initiatives and executive orders have sought to lessen or eliminate criminal penalties for use and possession of pot. They haven’t worked as intended. Overzealous prosecutors and law enforcers have continued to put the hammer down, even as juries have increasingly refused to play along.

The beginning of end for pot prohibition in California came Wednesday, Sept. 24, as the Marijuana Policy Project filed paperwork registering a a campaign committee to start accepting and spending contributions for a pot legalization initiative on the November 2016 state ballot.

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New Owner of OB Hostel Operates Two “USA Hostels”

September 26, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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By Frank Gormlie

The new owner of the OB Hostel – Dr Hostels LLC – owns a company called “USA Hostels” which operates two well-known hostels. There’s one in San Francisco and one in Hollywood, in LA. The OB property makes it their third property.

We are assuming that the company – which was just incorporated in 2010 and is headquartered in Boulder City, Nevada, will open up an Ocean Beach USA Hostel.

USA Hostels San Franciso

Of the two hostels, USA owns, it seems at first look that their property at 711 Post Street in San Francisco is by far the more substantial. The 5 story building, built in 1907, has 123 rooms and 79 bathrooms including 36,780 square feet. The total assessed value of the entire property is near $8.5 million,

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Inside an Outsider’s Campaign for Political Office – “We Walk, We Win”

September 24, 2014 by Source

we walk we winBy Lori Saldaña / Part Three of Four

In Part 2, Lori Saldaña discussed the path to her decision to mount a grass-roots campaign for the California Assembly in 2004. She really didn’t have a choice: all the political pros around thought she was too much of an outsider.

__________

I decided to give up on getting support from Sacramento. My volunteers and I adopted the motto “We Walk, We Win.” A typical weekday would be: make calls to raise money in the morning (rarely more than a few hundred dollars), walk precincts in the afternoon (rarely actually talking to voters at that time of day), then teach in the evening. On weekends I would walk 4 precincts: 2 on Saturday, 2 more on Sunday.

Between these activities, I was looking after 2 houses and providing care for my mother and grandmother, whose illnesses had required additional surgeries and hospitalizations.

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A Photo Essay of Sunday’s San Diego People’s Climate March – The Time for Change is Now

September 24, 2014 by Staff

By Court Allen

310,000 people marched in NYC Sunday to make politicians and world leaders focus on Climate Change in the upcoming United Nation’s Climate Summit. That’s right – 310,000 people. All in one place. All with one message – the time for change is now.

PIC 1 The Peoples Climate March in NYC – just a few people attending.

Here in San Diego, roughly 1,500 people gathered, marched and added their voice to the cause of Climate Justice. The march went from the Civic Center over to Broadway and then on to the County Administration building along Harbor Drive. Speeches were made, signs were held high, pledges were signed.

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Sign the Petition to Throw Out Lynching Charges Against Pro-Immigrant Protesters Arrested at Murrieta

September 24, 2014 by Staff

Two More Days to Sign Petition to Dismiss Charges

Gerald Singleton, a local San Diego attorney is representing a group of pro-immigration protestors who were assaulted first by anti-immigration demonstrators -who outnumbered them 4-5 to 1 , and then by the local police -who sympathized with the anti-immigration group.

Singleton and his supporters are trying to get 7,000 signatures on a petition below to drop the charges and dismiss before the Sept. 25 hearing. [Editor: at this moment there are 6,840.]

He is hoping you will consider signing the on-line petition below requesting that the Riverside DA drop the felony lynching charges against the 5 pro-immigration protestors who were charged.

The incident occurred because, on July 1, the anti-immigration group blocked several buses carrying refugees from Central America from entering a Customs and Border Patrol detention center in Murrieta, CA -the anti-immigration people demanded that the refugees be deported immediately.

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Descendants of Early Native Point Lomans Speak Out

September 23, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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Local Indians Called Point Loma “Mat Loan

By Charlie Best / Special to the OB Rag

Five elders of the Kumeyaay Nation spoke out in Point Loma on Tuesday, September 16th. At the invitation of La Playa Trail Association, they presented an hour-long program at the Point Loma Assembly, where roughly 60 people attending the event – with strong contingent coming from OB.

Campo chairman Paul Cuero kicked off the affair with an overview of the Kumeyaay Nation, which we learned is made up of 12 bands living in 13 reservations north of the Mexican border, and five communities spread throughout northern Baja California. Kumeyaay are responsible for the protection of a little over three million acres in San Diego County.

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Who Runs San Diego? … How Do You Solve a Problem like Sea World?

September 19, 2014 by Source
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Shamu, we hardly knew ye

Womans Democratic Logo


By Linda Perine /San Diego Woman’s Democratic Club

For most of us it has been a slow, painful process to understand that our love affair with cute, cuddly, smiley Shamu has made us participants in a cold-blooded business that imprisons and mistreats sentient, social creatures in ways that turn the stomach and shock the conscience.

Concerned environmentalist and civic leaders have been telling us for years that the capture of orcas was nasty and brutal

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OB Town Council Passes Resolution Calling on Government to Deal with Chronic Homelessness at the Beaches

September 19, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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At their most recent Board meeting on September 10th, the Ocean Beach Town Council passed a resolution that called on government – all levels of government – to deal with chronic homelessness in OB, at the beaches and coastal areas of San Diego and the San Diego River channel. It also stated that it should be a priority to end the homelessness of veterans.

The resolution passed was in support of addressing chronic homelessness “with best practices”, calling upon the City and County of San Diego to bring homelessness resources, outreach, and programs to the San Diego coastal communities.

It read:

The Ocean Beach Town Council calls upon the City and County of San Diego to now bring their successful practices, and homelessness resources and programs …

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Calendar for this Weekend Is Full : OB Pier Breakfast, Coastal Clean-up, Paddle for Clean Water, Earthdance and March for Climate

September 19, 2014 by Frank Gormlie

Have you checked your calendar for this weekend recently? Yeah, it’s full. There’s plenty happening in OB and around the City – so, here’s the short list:

Saturday, Sept. 20th

OBTC Pancake Breakf 9-20-14Annual OB Pier Pancake Breakfast – 7:30 am – Noon

People’s Climate March - 12:30 pm at City Hall

This coming Sunday is the People’s Climate March in New York City, here in San Diego, and elsewhere around the world.

Folks will gather at City Hall at 12:30 to call for a strong Climate Action Plan, stop at the

COME INSIDE FOR DETAILS…

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What really happened at the Battle of San Pasqual? Come to OB Historical Society Presentation – Sept. 18th

September 18, 2014 by Staff
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Come to the OB Historical Society presentation, Thursday, September 18th for “the Battle of San Pasqual – Looking Through the Haze of Gunsmoke” – featuring local historian Richard L Carrico.

Ever wonder what really happened at the Battle of San Pasqual on Dec.6-7, 1846? Who really won the battle between Andres Pico and the Californios and General Kearny and the American forces?

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Scientists Find ‘Direct Link’ Between Earthquakes and Process Used for Oil and Gas Drilling

September 18, 2014 by Source
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By Emily Atkin / Climate Progress – News Investigation / Nation of Change / Sept. 17, 2014

The controversial technique of hydraulic fracturing is “directly linked” to the increase of earthquakes throughout the U.S. And the likelihood of these quakes getting stronger is in our future.

A team of scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey have found evidence “directly linking” the uptick in Colorado and New Mexico earthquakes since 2001 to wastewater injection, a process widely used in the controversial technique of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, and conventional drilling.

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Bill Fulton: Appellate Court Upholds Coastal Commission’s Tough Stance on Encinitas Seawall

September 16, 2014 by Source
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Editor: The following was written by Bill Fulton, San Diego’s former Planning Director. The Court of Appeal here in San Diego (Calif 4th District) just ruled in favor of the Commission’s requirement about how long private sea-walls can remain without being re-approved. We reported on this two months ago.

By William Fulton / Calif. Planning & Development Report / Sept 13, 2014

In a split decision, the Fourth District Court of Appeal has upheld the Coastal Commission’s conditions on two property owners’ reconstruction of a seawall in Encinitas after it was destroyed in a storm, including limiting the new seawall’s permit to a 20-year term.

The majority ruling by Presiding Justice Judith McConnell is written much like a dissent, whereas the dissent by Justice Gilbert Nares reads like a majority opinion. …

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3-Foot Rule Between Bicycles and Cars Goes Into Effect

September 16, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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The 3-foot rule goes into effect today, Tuesday, September 16, 2014. A new California law – signed by Gov. Brown a year ago – called the Three Feet For Safety Act – requires vehicle drivers to stay three feet away from bicyclists while passing from behind or slow down to a “reasonable and prudent” speed. Then the driver must wait for a chance to pass safely. It also does not allow drivers to cross a double-yellow line to pass.

A $35 fine awaits the driver for a violation of the law which jumps to $220 if there is a collision and the bicyclist is injured. The California Bicycle Coalition says, however, that with court fees, fines are really somewhere between $230 and $960.

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OB Community Plan Will Not Go to Coastal Commission Till January

September 15, 2014 by Frank Gormlie

The OB Rag has heard that the Ocean Beach Community Plan will NOT be reviewed by the California Coastal Commission in October, as we reported, but instead will not go to the Commission until their January 2015 hearing. Their hearing is scheduled for somewhere in the South Coast area of the state.

According to emails from City staff, they were able to meet with Coastal Commission staff on August 29th. At that meeting, the two staffs agreed on all points except for three: …

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California Fish Stories – How Some Seafood Has ‘Come back’ and How San Diego’s Bluefin Tuna ‘Is On the Way Out’

September 12, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
Thumbnail image for California Fish Stories – How Some Seafood Has ‘Come back’ and How San Diego’s Bluefin Tuna ‘Is On the Way Out’

There’s mixed California fish stories right now. There’s good and bad.

Twenty-one species of commercial fish have just come off the ‘watch list’ and are no longer on the ‘avoid list’.

On the other hand, at the same time, the population of Bluefin Tuna – popular here in San Diego – has plunged to just 4% of its historic highs on a worldwide basis.

It was recently announced that 21 commercially important species of West Coast groundfish have been removed from the “Avoid” list.

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OB Community Plan Tentatively Scheduled for Coastal Commission Hearing in Newport Beach, Oct. 8 – 10

September 12, 2014 by Frank Gormlie

Right now, the Ocean Beach Community Plan is tentatively on the agenda of the California Coastal Commission for its October meeting. Each month, the Commission changes its location, and in October it will meet at the Newport Beach Civic Center. The dates are October 8 – 10th.

Where exactly the OB Plan is on their agenda is not known at this time.

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Who Runs San Diego? Six False Premises for Convention Center Expansion

September 12, 2014 by Source

Womans Democratic LogoBy Linda Perine /San Diego Woman’s Democratic Club

In 2009, then Mayor Jerry Sanders, the hotel industry, the Chamber of Commerce et al. decided that it was a really keen idea to expand the Convention Center.

They guessed that it would cost about $520 million to build and that there was a BIG market for expanded convention centers, and they warned us that Comic-Con would move on if we didn’t expand the Convention Center. They knew they could never convince enough people in San Diego to agree to pay for this idea so they created a special financing district comprised of just hoteliers.

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Extreme Weather Watch: August 2014 – Southwest May Face Megadrought

September 10, 2014 by Source

By John Lawrence / San Diego Free Press

Extreme Weather WatchThree new studies do not bode well for the future of the American southwest. California is in the midst of the worst drought in recorded history. However, this may be just the beginning.

There have been megadroughts before. And scientists are now 99.99% certain that climactic changes responsible for this extreme weather condition are caused by human activity which spews greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere.

And as the drought continues in California, record amounts of groundwater are being pumped by corporations which are bottling and selling it in other states.

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Got water shortage? Fill ‘er up at California’s first recycled water station for homeowners

September 9, 2014 by Source
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By Denis Cuff / Contra Costa Times

PLEASANTON — It’s not everyone’s idea of great swag, but Tri-Valley homeowners are lining up for a new drought freebie — recycled sewer water.

Toting empty milk jugs, tubs, buckets, even water tanks, residents have been lining up to fill ‘em up since mid-June at what sewer district officials say is the only plant giving away free treated effluent to residential customers.

Dublin San Ramon Services District officials say they weren’t sure there would be any takers, but about 60 eager do-it-yourselfers are now making regular runs to haul water to irrigate their yards and vegetable gardens, fill decorative fountains, wash off horses and control dust at stables.

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The Fishiness of Mayor Kevin’s Tax Giveaway to Illumina Corporation

September 4, 2014 by Source

salmon-dnaBy John Lawrence

San Diego’s Mayor Kevin Faulconer recently signed a deal with Illumina Corporation that was supposedly designed to keep the corporation from jumping ship and landing in another state or jurisdiction.

The City of San Diego agreed to rebate $1.5 million in sales and use taxes. In return Illumina promised to keep a number of jobs in San Diego for the term of the agreement. But the deal the City has entered into with Illumina is fishy on several levels.

With revenue of just over $1 billion last year, Illumina sells machines that sequence the human genome. The company leases 6 buildings in San Diego totaling over 560,000 sq. ft. and currently has 1500 employees.

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Fast Food Workers Set for Protest in San Diego and Across Nation on September 4th

September 3, 2014 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter

San Diego is one of 100-plus cities targeted this Thursday as part of a nationwide protest of fast food restaurant workers aimed at low wages and working conditions.

Two new elements will be introduced into this latest round of protests, at least on a national level: acts of civil disobedience and a supportive presence by thousands of home-care workers joining the protests.

Workers are expected to strike at a dozen San Diego fast-food restaurants, including McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, and Jack in the Box. Clergy, elected officials and community supporters will join fast-food workers on the strike lines, according to local organizers.

The Interfaith Center for Worker Justice of San Diego County has emailed supporters inviting them to “pray with our feet” beside Fast Food Workers on Thursday morning. The communique from the social justice advocacy group says they expect up to 500 supporters.

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San Diego’s Minimum Wage: Which Side Are You On?

September 3, 2014 by Anna Daniels

Wanted: A Living Wage – Video by Pete Segeer

By Anna Daniels / San Diego Free Press

RaiseTheMinimumWageA

It is useful exercise to remind ourselves that the battle for an increased minimum wage/sick leave benefit in San Diego is not a new one. Peel back the right wing maker versus taker meme and you get Howard Zinn, placing today’s minimum wage struggle firmly in our collective history of bitter class conflict between the rich and the poor and working class.

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The Drought – Basic Q and A

August 19, 2014 by Source
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We Haven’t Come Close to Meeting Conservation: Water Supply Q & A with Waterkeeper Matt O’Malley

by Matt O’Malley / San Diego Coastkeeper

With the worst drought in recorded history parching the state, water and water sourcing options are hot topics. Join us in a chat with Waterkeeper Matt O’Malley, who discusses the Colorado River, future water prospects and more.

Why is water considered the lifeblood of the Southwestern US?

Water is vital to almost everything we do, in particular the Colorado River is vital to our everyday existence. The reality is that most of the Southwest is desert, but we don’t live as though it is. Instead we try to make it look and live like regions that get much more rainfall – such as Hawaii or Florida.

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“A Trail for Humanity’s” Final Walk Begins in Chicano Park

August 19, 2014 by Frank Gormlie

A Trail for Humanity's walkers and supporters march through Barrio Logan.

By Brent Beltran / San Diego Free Press

On the morning of Saturday, August 16 over 100 people gathered by the temescal (sweat lodge) in Chicano Park for a ceremony to honor the walkers of A Trail for Humanity.

On July 22 a group of women and children left Merced, California on a journey south to the US-Mexico border in San Ysidro to pressure the Obama administration to put a halt to its deportation enforcement only policies; call for an end to the use of police as immigration enforcement agents; demand an end to family separations; and stem the tide of racial profiling that has incarcerated so many migrants and African Americans.

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From San Diego, LA, to New York City – Americans Demand End to Police Shootings of Unarmed Black Men In Solidarity With Ferguson

August 15, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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From San Diego to Los Angeles and across the nation to New York City, Americans of all colors rallied and held vigils on Thursday, August 14th, in solidarity with the people of Ferguson, Missouri, in their struggle against local police who shot and killed a young Black man, Michael Brown.

The common issue and demand that are uniting Americans is a call to end police shootings of unarmed Black men.

In the City Heights neighborhood of San Diego, more than a hundred people gathered to show solidarity with the people of Ferguson and with the family of Michael Brown. Organizer Kim Moore yelled out:

“Put our hands up, don’t shoot!”

This refrain has become a rallying call for those in Ferguson and in San Diego and elsewhere. Reportedly, Brown, the teenager killed by police, had his hands up before being gunned down.

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San Diego Protesters in Mission Beach to Urge California Coastal Commission to Halt Offshore Fracking – Wed., Aug 13

August 12, 2014 by Source
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Hazmat-suit wearing San Diego protesters to highlight dangers of dumping fracking chemicals into the ocean

From San Diego 350:

As the California Coastal Commission meets in San Diego, hazmat suit-wearing protesters with SanDiego350 and the Center for Biological Diversity will urge commissioners to halt fracking to protect the state’s precious oceans, wildlife, and beaches.

Protesters want the Coastal Commission to stop oil companies from fracking offshore wells and dumping dangerous fracking chemicals directly into California’s ocean. Offshore fracking involves blasting water and industrial chemicals into the sea-floor at pressures high enough to crack geologic formations and release oil and gas.

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Isn’t the U.S. Pot Thing Frustrating? Great Success, Popular Support and Ugly Backlash

August 12, 2014 by Source

potprohibitionThe nation has a split personality when it comes to pot.

By Don Hazen, April M. Short, Jan Frel, Steve Rosenfeld, and Tana Ganeva / AlterNet

In the robust efforts to legalize and decriminalize cannabis in the U.S., a slightly modified line from Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities applies: “These are the best of times, these are the worst of times.”

Despite huge success on many fronts, including legalization in two states with boffo success in Colorado (and two more states likely on the way), pot arrests remain astronomically high across the country.

More than 750,000 were recorded in 2012, with pot arrests actually increasing in …

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