420 FILE--Gavin Newsom, a cannabis supporter who pushed for the passage of Prop. 64 to legalize adult recreational use in California, will be the new governor of the state.

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420 FILE--The Campaign Against Marijuana Planting (CAMP) has raided 254 illegal cannabis grows in the Golden State this year — less than half as many than they busted in 2017.

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420 FILE--Cannabis consumers soon should be able to shop at licensed stores in California without worrying about whether products on the shelves are laced with pesticides and other contaminants often found in black-market weed.

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420 FILE--Just weeks after a California measure legalizing the use of recreational marijuana went into effect, San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón announced on Wednesday that the city will wipe clean the records of thousands of individuals who have been charged with marijuana-related misdemeanors and felonies over the past several decades.

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NEIGHBORHOOD POLITICS--The County of Los Angeles has made public input a priority as it grapples with the complicated and historic work of developing regulations for newly legalized cannabis in the unincorporated areas of the county.

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POLICING THE POLICE-News reports last week suggest the city of Oakland may be ready to settle a civil lawsuit filed by the teenage woman at the heart of a sex-abuse scandal that rocked Oakland’s and other nearby police departments since 2015. 

All things considered, the city is fortunate. The reported settlement is just under $1 million, far below the $66 million she had originally sought. 

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CONNECTING CALIFORNIA--Dig deep enough into any of California’s biggest problems, and you’ll eventually hit upon a common villain: our court system.

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THE POLITICS OF RACISM-I wanted to believe that Jeff Sessions is not a racist. I wanted to believe that even if he was a racist as a young man that he has since converted to a higher plane of thinking. I wanted to believe that he is a changed man because I believe that anyone is capable of redemption. After-all, St. Paul hunted down early Christians. Tolstoy was a slave owner. And Nelson Mandela almost blew up a school bus as a terrorist. We are all capable of undergoing unfathomable transformation if divine grace and luck have their way. 

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GOLDEN STATE’S NEW INDUSTRY--If you’ve got more than a few questions about California’s new recreational cannabis policy, you’re certainly not the only one. Millions somewhat naively expected to wake up January 1 with a booming recreational cannabis industry blossoming all around them. In reality, things aren’t nearly as simple.

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ALPERN AT LARGE--Seriously?  No foolin'?  Is "California Dreamin’" really doomed to devolve into one big marijuana-hazed April Fools Day joke, with those still sober stuck with the choice of living in, or fleeing from, the California Twilight Zone? 

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FIRST PERSON--Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently called marijuana use a “life-wrecking dependency” that is “only slightly less awful” than heroin.

Really?

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