Gift Shop Goes To Pot in Oakland

Gift Shop Goes To Pot in Oakland
Posted by CN Staff on July 23, 2005 at 08:46:38 PT
By Cecily Burt, Staff Writer
Source: Daily Review
Oakland -- If chess is a game of intense concentration, playing while stoned usually wouldn't be considered an advantage. Ah, but using chess pieces fashioned in the shape of marijuana leaves, bongs, fat reefers and hookas  now that just might distract an opponent. Last month Jaime Galindo and Richard Lee, the energetic owners of two medical cannabis outlets in Oakland, opened Oaksterdam Gift Shop, a marijuana-themed store that offers everything but the herb itself: board games, marijuana leaf-shaped ice cube trays, how-to books, clothing, jewelry and much, much more.
The big seller is the green, gold and white baseball style T-shirts emblazoned across the chest with "Oaksterdam," the nickname given to the small area of downtown Oakland where pot clubs proliferated until the city shuttered all but four last year. They look a lot like Oakland Athletics jerseys and have become hot sellers, even among police officers, Lee said. "I bought an Oaksterdam T-shirt for my husband, but he can't wear it to work because he's a high school teacher," said Chris Ralls, an Oakland resident who visited the store Wednesday. "He's Dutch, we've visited Amsterdam. ... He doesn't need a new T-shirt but he'll wear this one, absolutely." Lee and Galindo spent about $10,000 and a few months sprucing up the old storefront at 405 15th St., between Broadway and Franklin Street in Oaksterdam. They opened the gift shop to support the revitalization of downtown Oakland and keep alive Oaksterdam and maybe even promote it as a tourist attraction. They thought they'd have to spend a bundle on advertising, but the bright airy shop is getting a lot of foot traffic from downtown workers. "I walked by it on my way to the Post Office," said Grier, a book designer who did not want to divulge her last name, for obvious reasons. She left with a couple of popular silicone rubber wristbands, similar to ones that support causes such as breast cancer research and tsunami relief. These have the number "420" framed by marijuana leaves  420 is a code for pot. "One's for me, and one's for a friend, or one might be for my nephew, but I'm not sure if my brother will go for it," she said, laughing. Oakland police Sgt. Serge Babka has visited the shop and called it an "interesting addition" to the neighborhood. "It looks like a nice clean store," he said. "It's good when the store fronts get filled in. Vacancies are subject to loitering and other problems, so as long as the business is not detrimental to other businesses, it's good. And I don't think (Oaksterdam Gift Shop) is a detriment." Babka would only say "no comment" when asked whether he bought anything there. Others had no qualms about showing off their purchases. The store carries the expected paraphernalia such as rolling papers, pipes and how-to books on cultivation and hydroponic farming. But shoppers can also select from marijuana leaf-shaped antenna toppers, ale or shot glasses, "Munchie" bag clips, mouse pads and holiday lights. There's an amazing array of hats, feminine undergarments and tongue-in-cheek clothing: "Who says money doesn't grow on trees?" or "UPS, United Pot Smokers." Lee wrote Oakland Measure Z, the November 2004 ballot initiative that seeks to legalize marijuana sales for adult use and allow cities to collect sales taxes. It passed with 65 percent of the vote, and Lee is revving up a campaign for a similar measure in San Francisco next year. Ralls, a community activist of a different sort, said she supported Measure Z, but is just as happy to find merchandise that promotes her hometown. "I like Oakland stuff but it's hard to find," she said. "You go to the Oakland Airport and what do you see? San Francisco crap. I'm always proud to wear Oakland." Complete Title: Gift Shop Goes To Pot in Oakland, But No One Pans ItNote: Even the police find Oaksterdam 'interesting' Source: Daily Review, The (CA)Author: Cecily Burt, Staff WriterPublished: July 23, 2005Copyright: 2005 MediaNews Group, Inc.Contact: revlet angnewspapers.comWebsite: -- Cannabis Archives
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Comment #17 posted by FoM on July 26, 2005 at 22:29:23 PT
Because of an editing error, a story about the new Oaksterdam Gift Shop appearing in Tuesday's newspaper and on the Oakland Tribune website mistakenly reported that Jaime Galindo is part owner of two medical cannabis clubs. 
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Comment #16 posted by ekim on July 24, 2005 at 22:54:28 PT
Compassionate Care Confernce was Great
the compassionate care conference with Elvy and Jack was a wonderful gathering of like minded souls banding together against the machine/Elvy as forceful and on target as ever ---to be one of the last five left standing she is doing the human race a favor of giant proportions. To hear her stories of international travel and how gracious others have been towards her is joy in ones ears.Jack so lovely signed with felt pen and crayolas countless DVDs and Emperors and coloring books for the adoring crowd. when he took the stage and begin to speak telling those that were new about his stroke and as we listened his voice was getting stronger and clearer. he told of how he can sing every song he knew before that day along with all the poems he had learned too. 
for me when he begin to relate the massive extent of Cannabis growth on the planet a mere hundred years ago it shook me to my vary core. as he relayed the fact that Cannabis was in one third of all the medicine my mind was bending like a fruit roll up coming out of the rapper. two great cable access film makers from Kentucky, captured the whole event. then the eloquent 86 year young grand mother Mae Nutt was there doing what she had been doing for over 25 years telling the story of her two sons that had cancer and how the media had picked up the story and how she was forced to seek out this plant for her sick sons one at a time as each encountered the sickness one after the other. Of how the plant just appeared over night in the mail box and on the back porch and how a priest brought over a large box saying that it has helped me and it will help you too. Wonderful Mae worked to change the laws in MI only to have the law sunset years ago. as Mat Barber spoke everyone heard a poor soul that is frighten MS and has been thru the mill of prescribed drugs which left him cathered, and diapered, a drooling mess. to see him standing and fighting and telling his story of being arrested and how the judge after hearing Mats story told him to work to change the unjust laws and did not have him pissed tested as the da wanted. then Dan a former Detroit Police Officer told of his ordeal as he was dragged half way down a city block by a driver, nearly runover and close to loosing everything. how Cannabis has helped him and how the war on people is wrong and the police have better places to spend their efforts not on arresting the sick and non violent Cannabis user. Dan spoke of how the city attorney was so cooperative and help in every way he could in passing the wording of the ballot initiative. Which was received in the mail on Sat 23 July 05 from the City saying that the people can now gather the needed signers to get it on the Nov ballot. I have attempted to give a brief overview of the conference but have left out many many including two ass kicken bands that blew the roof of the UAW Hall . Please if you have a extra saw buck or live in the township of Traverse City MI do what you can to be a part of history and get the needed voters to sign the petition. The whole thing will be up on the web page soon.
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Comment #15 posted by runruff on July 24, 2005 at 18:50:35 PT:
Who knows best?
I am the worlds greatest authority on how I feel.
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Comment #14 posted by jose melendez on July 24, 2005 at 16:08:22 PT
Dangerous to self "Recreational use of certain drugs is unhealthy and dangerous for the user's body. Therefore, they are produced and distributed with the help of the state, because the goal of the state is to protect corporate profits and expose citizens to risk."
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Comment #13 posted by JSM on July 24, 2005 at 14:20:51 PT:
Slowly but surely the probition mindset is being whittled away. Two things this weekend that were significant in my mind: A local Krogers had hemp bread for sale - surely overpriced, but no matter to me as I will buy it at almost whatever the price, but there it was in a major grocery chain.Then in a mailer for "herbal" and home remedies cannabis, without mentioning it by name, was recommended for the problems associated with cancer treatment. The hook was that to find out what this was we had to order the book. No matter, the point is that cannabis was recognized by what has to be as main stream as possible. In and of themselves these things are very minor, but the fact that this represents a profound change in understanding (or consciousness if you will) is profound. It is this consciousness that will bring about postive and long lasting change.
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Comment #12 posted by FoM on July 24, 2005 at 12:06:19 PT
JR I Think You're Right
I don't think Mapinc. was asked permission. I could be wrong but I don't think I am.
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Comment #11 posted by JR Bob Dobbs on July 24, 2005 at 12:04:09 PT
There's a big difference between a news organization selling ad space to pay for their overhead, and a company which sells something to help you pass a drug test making a site out of their advertising material and news clippings which are obviously just cut and pasted from another well-established free news archive.I cannot see anyone from MAPinc condoning their content on such a site, so I seriously doubt they were asked. If I am wrong, I'd like to know.
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Comment #10 posted by FoM on July 24, 2005 at 12:03:47 PT
JR Good Questions
Yes we are very aware of what papers allow and don't allow articles posted. As far as google goes I don't know the answer to that one.
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Comment #9 posted by jr Bob Dobbs on July 24, 2005 at 11:54:37 PT
Re: news sites
I know that CNews and MAPInc aren't the originators of their stories... but I assume they have contacted the news agencies in question and have obtained their permission to post articles. (Why else would some MAP articles get "snipped"?) But the site in question is copying MAP's headers too. Looking closer, it seems the headers include links to MAPInc... hmm, so maybe unsuspecting people just looking for information could learn that there's a better way to get it. Still, IMO, the site is highly questionable, and in poor taste. It's not like this is a "news" section of the site, either - the main page has a MAP-sourced story with links to others.Also, the first part of the URL is irrelevant - whether you put "420-girls", "www", or anything else, it's still the same site. Wonder why Google shows up with the 420-girls prefix? It wasn't part of my search...
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on July 24, 2005 at 11:54:33 PT
When I first realized how much I loved doing news I knew it wouldn't be as easy as posting them on a site. Many papers don't mind if we do but some do mind. That's why CNews is in DrugSense's name. They have lawyers and I don't. Thank you for the compliment too.
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Comment #7 posted by jose melendez on July 24, 2005 at 11:41:02 PT
free speech 
You are right, of course! Here is the original source of a letter to the editor I wrote, complete with the ads that made it's publication possible.from: another answerThe anonymous State Department official quoted in "Mexico's fight against drugs is a failure, analysts say"* (July 4) uses an intellectually dishonest technique, classically known as the logical fallacy of a false dilemma.By presenting two possible solutions (continue waging war on citizens over which intoxicants or medications they choose to use, or yield societal control to criminal elements) as the only answers to drug policy issues, our paid public servant carefully ignores the fact that it is prohibition that causes societal harm, and not the drugs themselves.Indeed, as proponents of alcohol prohibition early last century learned along with the rest of the population, regulations based on such fraudulent but persuasive and popular concepts inevitably result in increased corruption, per capita homicides and abuses of the very items in commerce deemed as contraband.Perhaps those with government pay and pensions ought to reconsider their public positions on this concededly contentious but important historical issue, and go fight real crime.Jose Melendez,
Communications DirectorConcerned Citizens Coalition to Criminalize Prohibition*Referenced: - - -BTW & OT, runruff is right, your hair is very pretty
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on July 24, 2005 at 11:24:59 PT
That's right. That's why if CNews or my personal web site that I post news on, are associated with pay sites they think we are making money off of an article. 
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Comment #5 posted by jose melendez on July 24, 2005 at 11:19:04 PT
umm . . .
Re: comments #3 & #4:Please don't shoot the messenger, but surely you are both aware that and are not the original sources, either?
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on July 24, 2005 at 10:53:36 PT
JR That's Not Good
I am very cautious at not having CNews or my FTE site associated with any pay sites since this is not to make money but trying to change bad laws. News and making money can cause serious copyright issues. If a person or organization is associated with web sites that sell things that could be illegal it makes matters way more complicated then my mind can understand.
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Comment #3 posted by JR Bob Dobbs on July 24, 2005 at 10:23:14 PT
Is MAPinc aware of this?
I was googling myself (everyone should try it, especially with the new image search function) and I came across one of my published LTEs which had obviously been lifted from MAPInc and used in a server which... well, look at it, willya? the URL says what's wrong with this site - it's all about selling products to pass the ol' whiz quiz. I am not against these products (except in the general sense of being miffed that there's a need for them in the first place) but to steal drug news from MAPInc and repackage it in a gaudy ad-saturated hard-to-read... uggh!! The site design is bad enough - what's worse is that someone out there sees this as the pro-legalization movement they keep hearing the antis talk about. I know MAPInc is short on funds, so maybe they already know and can do nothing, which would suck. They are, however, archiving articles from many major news sources - something I imagine MAPInc has asked permission to do, and this site probably hasn't.From the site itself (if you click on the "warning" banner): Certain Detox companies will stop at nothing to deceive an ill-informed and unsuspecting publicWell, you got THAT right.
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Comment #2 posted by jose melendez on July 24, 2005 at 07:22:38 PT
"No retreat. No surrender." The feds killed Steve McWilliams: than 100 people gathered at San Diego City hall to pay tribute to McWilliams, who had been an indefatigable fighter for medical marijuana and who was facing federal prison time from a 2002 raid on his Shelter from the Storm collective. McWilliams had been unable to use his medicine of choice by order of a federal charge.McWilliams killed himself on his 51st birthday. In a suicide note that was distributed at the vigil, he alluded to problems with opioid pain medications he was forced to turn to after his 2002 arrest and protested against federal policies that he said left medical marijuana patients subject to arrest and imprisonment. "The law that was supposed to protect patients like me has been turned on its head so that no patient can feel safe ever again," McWilliams wrote. "I am an advocate and activist for a good cause -- my good health. As an activist I believe in acting when the time is right, to be an impeccable warrior. I believe that my actions -- of not being here -- can help move the discussion of medical marijuana back to what's good for the patient without the DEA telling us what medications we can use."McWilliams lashed out at federal Judge Reuben Brooks, the man who blocked him from using medical marijuana, calling him "a wretched, evil little gnome" who practiced bad medicine from the bench, and the federal drug war machine in which Brooks is a cog. "I cannot allow the government to decide what drugs I must take. It's my life... I believe now though that I will be locked up in some kind of cell. I refuse to allow the government to control my life. That's what so much of this has been about -- my right to use a medicine that worked for me."In San Diego, mourners signed messages in remembrance books and organizers handed out single-stemmed white roses as speaker after speaker paid tribute to the city's most dynamic medical marijuana activist. His life partner, Barbara McKenzie, urged the crowd to continue the fight despite last month's Supreme Court decision. "This was an injustice not only to him, but to thousands of patients who can't use their medicine," she said.	
McKenzie read aloud from McWilliams' suicide note, briefly breaking down as she read his final words. "This was my last chance to help the medical marijuana movement and others that I care about," she read, her voice cracking. "That's what so much of this has been about -- my right to use a medicine that worked for me."
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on July 23, 2005 at 18:07:13 PT
Off Topic: From John Kerry
This much is clear already. Judge Roberts is no Sandra Day O'Connor. Last night we learned that President Bush wants to replace a woman who voted to uphold Roe v. Wade with a man who argued against Roe v. Wade, and that sends a clear signal that this White House remains bent on opening old wounds and dividing America. There are big questions that must be answered involving Judge Roberts' judicial philosophy as demonstrated over his short time on the appellate court. The Senate must learn whether he has a clear, consistent commitment to upholding Constitutional standards like civil rights, the right to privacy, and Roe v. Wade. These issues are in serious question if you take even a cursory glance at his record. We need to ask the tough questions to determine whether John Roberts is the nominee who will give America a Court that is fair, independent, ethical and committed to Constitutional freedoms rather than an ideological agenda, and I promise you I will do everything in my power to assure that no question is sidestepped. Throughout every step of the confirmation process, I will keep you informed about the questions that need to be asked, the answers we need to demand, and the principles we need to defend. It's impossible to overstate the importance of this moment. As the U.S. Senate discharges one of its most important responsibilities, I will be active and vigilant. I hope you will do the same, beginning right now. Start by sharing a few words about your personal feelings on the importance of this Supreme Court nomination. You can submit your comments or questions here: Thank you, John Kerry P.S. In the days ahead, we'll be featuring on our website a cross-section of the comments submitted and contacting you with important information and action requests as events demand. Sign up here if you want to get the latest information. your friends and neighbors, too. 
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