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Thursday, December 24,2009

Bunk banks

The list of local banks that won’t do business with medical marijuana dispensaries just keeps growing.

Last week, we heard that Summit Bank & Trust in Broomfield had given a cold shoulder to a dispensary co-owner seeking a loan — only after finding out the nature of her business. We left messages with Kurt Sava, Summit’s retail banking manager, but curiously, he never called back.

Same with Fred Jacobs, vice president of marketing and planning at Boulder’s First National Bank. We left messages with him after hearing that First National won’t even open an account for a dispensary, and he never called back. Hmm.

This week, Laura Kriho of the Cannabis Therapy Institute called to report that Chase has taken a similar approach: They don’t inhale.

When we called Chase, as was the case with First National, we got connected to hapless bank tellers who stammered and put us on hold after being asked whether they do business with dispensaries.

Then, inevitably, we were transferred to some corporate PR office. Finally, we got in touch with a real live Person Authorized to Speak for the Company, who said she would call back before press time.

Um, still waiting.

Medical pot OK in D.C.

Meanwhile, as Colorado banks refuse to even handle the money generated by this new growth industry, the national trend toward more permissive marijuana regulations continues. On Dec. 13, the U.S. Senate voted to end a decade-long ban on medical marijuana in Washington, D.C.

“This is the first time Congress has ever given its assent to a state or local law that permits medical use of marijuana,” says Aaron Houston, government relations director of the Marijuana Policy Project. “Coming on top of the announcement that the Department of Justice will not interfere with state medical marijuana laws, this shows that the ground has fundamentally shifted. It’s time for the federal government to take the logical next step, as the American Medical Association just suggested, and reconsider marijuana’s classification as a Schedule I drug, which bars medical use.”

According to the Marijuana Policy Project, medical marijuana is legal in 13 states, and similar legislation is under consideration in several others, including New York, New Jersey and Illinois.

I wrote it, it’s mine

Why the hell would someone steal a copy of his own book from the Boulder Book Store?

That question arose this week after The New York Times published an article on Dec. 16 about book-pilfering becoming a national crime wave.

The article included this juicy tidbit:

“At Boulder Book Store in Boulder, Colo., one writer was even busted stealing his own books. Christopher Ohman, who was a manager at the time, said: ‘I think he felt somewhat entitled to the copies. In some ways I can kind of understand that logic. I mean, it’s a commonly held misconception that authors get as many copies of their books as they want, and that’s not always the case.’ (Ohman conceded that the author’s alcohol problem may also have had something to do with it.)” OK, we’ve done a lot of stupid things when we were drunk, too, but what is the logic here?

Our resident published author here at the B-Dub office says she typically gets between 25 and 50 free copies with every book that is released. One of her publishers gives her as many additional free copies of her book as she wants; another sells them to her at 40 percent off.

Maybe this guy’s agent didn’t negotiate enough free copies for him in his contract.

Perhaps it’s some kind of twisted marketing strategy, to create the perception that the book is so good and in such high demand that people are willing to steal it.

Or maybe he’s a mystery/crime writer who wanted to get caught and create a bad-ass image for himself.

After all, as Irish author Brendan Behan once said, there’s no bad publicity for an author except an obituary.

Boobie boo-boo

The B-Dub men were recently crestfallen to learn that a study showing that staring at women’s breasts is good for men’s health is simply an urban legend.

Apparently, this one has been going around for years. The latest report of this “rather bizarre study carried out by German researchers” appeared on www. themedguru.com on Dec. 6. It says 200 males were monitored over a period of five years, with half instructed to ogle women’s breasts daily and the other half told to abstain.

And no, the lead author was not purported to be a man. It was a “Dr. Karen Weatherby,” who doesn’t appear anywhere in the archives of the New England Journal of Medicine, where the study was alleged to have been published.

This “Weatherby” person was quoted as saying, “Sexual excitement gets the heart pumping and improves circulation. … Our study indicates that engaging in this activity a few minutes daily cuts the risk of stroke and heart attack in half. We believe that by doing so consistently, the average man can extend his life four to five years.”

The question from the B-Dub men is, do we really have to tell our wives and girlfriends the part about it being an urban legend?

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