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SMITH: State's medical pot laws a hazy sham


Oh gosh, the compassion and caring that permeated those marijuana nurseries discovered the other day off of Piner Road could be smelled down the block.

Police decided that the cannabis plants in the pots behind a fake wall at a car-stereo shop were a prohibited drug but the plants growing in a building next door were lawful medicine.

Only in California. Everybody who grows marijuana for sale in the state, and that's quickly approaching everybody, is taking advantage of the intentional confusion created by our bizarre sham of a medical-marijuana law.

Its declared intent is to allow "seriously ill" people access to cannabis. That is honorable and humane.

But what percentage of the people walking around with marijuana cards would you estimate have been diagnosed with what any reasonable person would consider a serious illness?

Ten percent? 1 percent? A tenth of a percent? A hundredth?

Regardless, a bunch of people are making piles of money growing or selling a federally controlled substance while hiding behind a green cross and chanting about compassionate medicine.

Pot's murky legality has served to keep its retail price so high that everybody and his brother wants a piece of the action.

High-potency marijuana is cultivated in so many homes that kids have easy access to it. People rent and wreck houses to grow it. People kill for it.

But for the profiteers exploiting the ludicrous state of marijuana in California, that's all just part of the cost of <QA0>

doing business.

DROP THE WRENCH! In a perfect world, "Cops" would be filming in Sebastopol the first time a resident dials 911 to report that a PG&amp;E service technician is at that moment installing a radio wave-emitting SmartMeter in violation of the City Council's new, questionably legal ban.

Imagine the "Bad Boys" theme playing as some poor Sebastopol cops commands the utility tech, "Step away from the electricity meter!"

THE ODDEST THINGS intrigue my longtime friend and PD colleague Bob Norberg.

His stories have explored Sonoma Coast rocks used as rubbing posts by mammoths, SMART rail cars, "rivers in the sky," Amgen routes and part-meteor Dry Creek Valley stones.

Nearly 35 years after he started at the newspaper, Bob has just retired. Ask the cyclist-surfer-explorer what he's going to do now and he takes on the look of a kid about the board a space rocket.

OSCAR PLANS? The reborn Rialto Cinemas in Sebastopol is encouraging movie lovers to dress up as their favorite Academy Award-nominated actor for a benefit viewing this afternoon.

Guests can choose a VIP ticket and arrive at 3:30 p.m. for a champagne reception, or general-admission and show at 4:30.

Either way, the Oscar broadcast begins at 5 and proceeds will help feed clients of Food for Thought, the Sonoma County AIDS Food Bank

SURFIN' SAFARI? In Windsor, Judith Cramer happened to mention Santa Rosa's 2013 Luther Burbank Rose Parade because her church, First Congregational United Church of Christ, always builds a float.

Judith noted that this year's parade theme is Surf 'N Safari and her husband, Bob, crinkled his nose. Born 80 years ago and raised on classical music, he had no clue what Surf 'N Safari means.

Judith, who is 65 and was weaned on early rock 'n' rock, gently explained to him that Surfin' Safari was a song a band called the Beach Boys recorded in 1962.

Days later, Judith was visiting with a much-younger niece, Sherry Dumont, and thought to ask if she knows what Surf 'N Safari is.

Of course, Sherry replied. "My search engine is Safari and I surf it every day!"