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More redundancy again 

POT! Pot, pot, pot. Pot, pot, pot. Ahem! ’Scuse me. POT!!!

I don’t know if you’re aware of this, but pot is kind of a big deal, and it’s getting more boring by the second. Each second drags on longer and longer and looonger. Come to think of it, listening to the pot debate is a lot like smoking pot, but less caloric. And you certainly shouldn’t operate heavy machinery while doing it either.

The latest debate—oh, and I’m sure there will be more—was over a dispensary, collective, collaborative, or whatever euphemism you might have for a place to buy pot that isn’t an alley or high school student. Nipomo native Robert Brody got completely stonewalled by the community because he wanted to open a dispensary in an industrial corner of town, sandwiched between a tire store and a trucking company.

But wait, there’s more! He also chose to locate his dispensary within breathing distance of a gymnastics studio. To be more accurate, he had it set to be within 1,000 feet of the studio.

That was exactly the linchpin the neighborhood needed to cry foul, but they decided to make some stuff up, too. SLO Sheriff Pat Hedges reportedly showed up to say that marijuana dispensaries are more attractive to “gang bangers” (actually someone else used that phrase, in case you didn’t watch the meeting) than bugs to a lamp.

Could Hedges cite any studies? Nope, but he had read the papers in L.A. and saw they were having problems with crime. So why is it that whenever he references our paper, he’s always questioning our facts, but he’s willing to accept other papers as gospel when they help prove his point?

And wait a second. Where has Hedges been for the past … I can’t even remember the last time I heard from him. I guess it’s fitting that he makes one of his last public appearances to fight a dispensary.

And wait another second. What’s everyone going to do when and if Proposition 19 wins in November? The latest polls I’ve seen have the pot-decriminalization initiative winning by around 52 percent. With the battles that have ensued from making the plant legal for sick people, what are we going to do if voters say they want to get high for fun?

So what else is going on? No really, I’m asking. It’s hard to form complete thoughts because my brain is boiling in this heat. That, and I keep sticking to the couch, so it’s hard to get out of my house.

I guess there’s Annie the dog—yeah, still Annie the dog. There was a rally outside the courthouse steps drawing a throbbing crowd of people trying to bring the dog home. It’s as heart-warming as it is confusing, or would that be heart-worming? (Too soon?)

I said it last week, and I’ll reiterate: There’s something more to this story. It’s necessary to point out that the latest rally was on the steps of the courthouse. Way to get your voice out there, guys. I know it’s a pretty government-looking location and all, but the people who might actually force some change are across the street at the government center. Even better, why not try gathering in front of Animal Services? While we’re at it, go down to Animal Services en masse and adopt up as many animals as possible. That’ll show ’em!

Then there was a quote about the event in the Trib’s online coverage that made me giggle: “It was attended by Supervisor Adam Hill, who said he hopes to meet with the family next week in an effort to negotiate the dog’s return.”

Can’t you picture seeing photos of Annie, blindfolded, and holding the newspaper? On second thought, don’t. It’s too disturbing.

Moving on then.

Let me apologize for not weighing in on this next issue last week. In my defense, I was filtering fan mail and fan phone calls. You caught me. I had one phone call, from a guy who was trying to order a pizza, and I berated him for an hour and a half anyway.

I just really don’t want to let this business about sealing search warrants go by unnoticed. If you’ll remember last week’s story by our intrepid staff writer Matt Fountain, the SLO County Court recently began sealing most of its warrant records. Over there, they typically seal about half of the warrants. That’s more than our surrounding counties, and not because our locals have a love of protecting privacy. No, they really began sealing warrants after ex-clerk Juvenal Marin was arrested for selling the information to people who were about to get raided.

What’s unfair is that we all get screwed out of public information because a weasel in the courthouse was breaking the law and making a quick buck. Not to slam the other desk jockeys there, but what should have happened was a firm, “Hey, don’t sell these records.” Instead, they decided to block the records from everyone.

I know that a lot of you don’t really care, because it’s only masochistic journalists who field that desk digging through jargon-laden court documents. What it signifies, though, is a public punishment for a government biff.

Maybe because of this whole Annie thing, Animal Services will just come out with a new policy: No dogs for anyone, ever!

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