4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

San Diego marijuana experience under London's scrutiny

Amplify Campaigns makes money from San Diego's elections

As the debate over making pot legal in the United Kingdom rages, Daily Mail on Sunday deputy health editor Eve Simmons was dispatched to the Golden State to ferret out the underside of the burgeoning marijuana industry.
As the debate over making pot legal in the United Kingdom rages, Daily Mail on Sunday deputy health editor Eve Simmons was dispatched to the Golden State to ferret out the underside of the burgeoning marijuana industry.

Does San Diego scromit?

London’s tabloid The Daily Mail, which spends considerable time and ink on Britain’s royals, has a new target: San Diego pot users. “How California’s legal cannabis dream became a public health nightmare” screamed a July 2 headline. “It’s a class B drug in the UK — but in the US state, it’s led to spiralling addiction, psychotic illnesses and hospitals facing a deluge of poisonings.” As the debate over making pot legal in the United Kingdom rages, Mail on Sunday deputy health editor Eve Simmons was dispatched to the Golden State to ferret out the underside of the burgeoning marijuana industry here and came up with a bushel of scary findings.

Roneet Lev is shouting from the rooftops about the weed screamies.

“I’m in upmarket Beverly Hills in Los Angeles, California, in one of the area’s many so-called ‘wellness’ shops, just a stone’s throw from designer boutiques such as Gucci and Saint Laurent,” Simmons writes. “Part of my journey followed in the footsteps of London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who recently visited a number of LA’s dispensaries on a ‘fact finding mission.’ He announced that a new group would be set up to look at the benefits of legalising cannabis in the UK.” Her trip south to San Diego turned grim. “We’ve been seeing the problems for a while now: depressive breakdowns, psychosis, suicidal thoughts, all related to cannabis,” Dr. Roneet Lev, identified as an emergency doctor at Scripps Mercy Hospital, told the reporter.

“I want people to know the truth about this drug. We’ve been sold a lie, that cannabis use is harmless and even has a multitude of health benefits. It is exactly the same as what happened with tobacco. The industry told the public it was good for their health at first, before it was proven to be deadly.” The story highlights “a newly recognised condition called cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome, or ‘scromiting.’” Says San Diego’s Lev: “It means screaming and violent vomiting. I call it the audible cannabis condition, because I hear the violent screams down the hall before I see the patient.” Said the story, “Before 2016, Dr. Lev rarely saw patients with this problem. Now she sees at least one per shift. Symptoms can continue for days, or weeks, and there is no effective treatment.”

But Lev’s remarks quickly drew pushback online, including a July 5 post by Vice noting that Lev had served as “chief medical officer for the White House’s office of national drug control policy during Donald Trump’s presidency.” Peter Grinspoon, identified as “a primary care doctor teaching at Harvard Medical School” told Vice World News that “scromiting” wasn’t a big problem in the U.S. “Certainly not. It’s a made-up word.” Added Steve Rolles, who Vice called a senior policy analyst for the Transform Drug Policy Foundation, “There’s a nugget of truth in it, albeit horribly overblown; cannabis hyperemesis syndrome — severe vomiting amongst long-term daily users — is a real if very rare condition.”

Amplified cash flow

Ex-San Diego city council Democrat Georgette Gomez lost June’s special election to fill the seat of departed Assembly Democrat Lorena Gonzalez to ex-city councilman and mayoral hopeful David Alvarez, also a Democrat. So while he came in second to Gomez in the June regular election primary, he still has the incumbent’s advantage in November’s runoff.

Lorena Gonzalez, amping up the spend to Amplify the message.

But the real winner, at least when it comes to special election money, was Gomez’s top consultant, Amplify Campaigns. According to figures posted online by the Ballot Book website, Amplify got $368,794 from the Gomez campaign fund for a variety of services and spending. In addition, Steve Padilla’s state senate campaign kitty spent $62,908 with the consultant in 2021 and 2022, per Ballot Book numbers. He finished first in the June primary and is headed for a fall runoff against Republican Alejandro Galicia. Other Amplify clients during this year and last include San Diego city council Democrat Jen Campbell’s reelection committee ($110,606) and the reelection bid of Democratic County supervisor Nathan Fletcher ($37,130).

Amplify’s Dan Rottenstreich, says the firm’s website, “has over a decade of experience leading campaigns and creating impactful direct mail and digital advertising for candidates, labor unions and progressive groups.” This past February, it fell to Rottenstreich to issue a statement for San Diego District Attorney and former-Republican-turned-independent Summer Stephan, another of his clients, withdrawing her support for hardline Republican Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer after a racial bias allegation against him came to light. (He was easily reelected in June.) Another Rottenstreich client, a group largely composed of contractors and labor groups trying to raise taxes to fund local infrastructure projects, failed to garner sufficient signatures to make the ballot, according to the county Registrar of voters. Howeer, “there’s a big discrepancy between what we turned in and what they counted,” Rottenstreich, spokesman for the campaign, told the Union-Tribune. “The question is, what’s going on here? Is there a clerical issue with the registrar, or did our petition-gathering firm have some issue on their end?”

— Matt Potter (@sdmattpotter)

The Reader offers $25 for news tips published in this column. Call our voice mail at 619-235-3000, ext. 440, or sandiegoreader.com/staff/matt-potter/contact/.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Warmly transcending a degree of nostalgia

David J, The Snodgrass, Nite Lapse, Tim Flannery, Raymond Raposa
As the debate over making pot legal in the United Kingdom rages, Daily Mail on Sunday deputy health editor Eve Simmons was dispatched to the Golden State to ferret out the underside of the burgeoning marijuana industry.
As the debate over making pot legal in the United Kingdom rages, Daily Mail on Sunday deputy health editor Eve Simmons was dispatched to the Golden State to ferret out the underside of the burgeoning marijuana industry.

Does San Diego scromit?

London’s tabloid The Daily Mail, which spends considerable time and ink on Britain’s royals, has a new target: San Diego pot users. “How California’s legal cannabis dream became a public health nightmare” screamed a July 2 headline. “It’s a class B drug in the UK — but in the US state, it’s led to spiralling addiction, psychotic illnesses and hospitals facing a deluge of poisonings.” As the debate over making pot legal in the United Kingdom rages, Mail on Sunday deputy health editor Eve Simmons was dispatched to the Golden State to ferret out the underside of the burgeoning marijuana industry here and came up with a bushel of scary findings.

Roneet Lev is shouting from the rooftops about the weed screamies.

“I’m in upmarket Beverly Hills in Los Angeles, California, in one of the area’s many so-called ‘wellness’ shops, just a stone’s throw from designer boutiques such as Gucci and Saint Laurent,” Simmons writes. “Part of my journey followed in the footsteps of London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who recently visited a number of LA’s dispensaries on a ‘fact finding mission.’ He announced that a new group would be set up to look at the benefits of legalising cannabis in the UK.” Her trip south to San Diego turned grim. “We’ve been seeing the problems for a while now: depressive breakdowns, psychosis, suicidal thoughts, all related to cannabis,” Dr. Roneet Lev, identified as an emergency doctor at Scripps Mercy Hospital, told the reporter.

“I want people to know the truth about this drug. We’ve been sold a lie, that cannabis use is harmless and even has a multitude of health benefits. It is exactly the same as what happened with tobacco. The industry told the public it was good for their health at first, before it was proven to be deadly.” The story highlights “a newly recognised condition called cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome, or ‘scromiting.’” Says San Diego’s Lev: “It means screaming and violent vomiting. I call it the audible cannabis condition, because I hear the violent screams down the hall before I see the patient.” Said the story, “Before 2016, Dr. Lev rarely saw patients with this problem. Now she sees at least one per shift. Symptoms can continue for days, or weeks, and there is no effective treatment.”

But Lev’s remarks quickly drew pushback online, including a July 5 post by Vice noting that Lev had served as “chief medical officer for the White House’s office of national drug control policy during Donald Trump’s presidency.” Peter Grinspoon, identified as “a primary care doctor teaching at Harvard Medical School” told Vice World News that “scromiting” wasn’t a big problem in the U.S. “Certainly not. It’s a made-up word.” Added Steve Rolles, who Vice called a senior policy analyst for the Transform Drug Policy Foundation, “There’s a nugget of truth in it, albeit horribly overblown; cannabis hyperemesis syndrome — severe vomiting amongst long-term daily users — is a real if very rare condition.”

Amplified cash flow

Ex-San Diego city council Democrat Georgette Gomez lost June’s special election to fill the seat of departed Assembly Democrat Lorena Gonzalez to ex-city councilman and mayoral hopeful David Alvarez, also a Democrat. So while he came in second to Gomez in the June regular election primary, he still has the incumbent’s advantage in November’s runoff.

Lorena Gonzalez, amping up the spend to Amplify the message.

But the real winner, at least when it comes to special election money, was Gomez’s top consultant, Amplify Campaigns. According to figures posted online by the Ballot Book website, Amplify got $368,794 from the Gomez campaign fund for a variety of services and spending. In addition, Steve Padilla’s state senate campaign kitty spent $62,908 with the consultant in 2021 and 2022, per Ballot Book numbers. He finished first in the June primary and is headed for a fall runoff against Republican Alejandro Galicia. Other Amplify clients during this year and last include San Diego city council Democrat Jen Campbell’s reelection committee ($110,606) and the reelection bid of Democratic County supervisor Nathan Fletcher ($37,130).

Amplify’s Dan Rottenstreich, says the firm’s website, “has over a decade of experience leading campaigns and creating impactful direct mail and digital advertising for candidates, labor unions and progressive groups.” This past February, it fell to Rottenstreich to issue a statement for San Diego District Attorney and former-Republican-turned-independent Summer Stephan, another of his clients, withdrawing her support for hardline Republican Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer after a racial bias allegation against him came to light. (He was easily reelected in June.) Another Rottenstreich client, a group largely composed of contractors and labor groups trying to raise taxes to fund local infrastructure projects, failed to garner sufficient signatures to make the ballot, according to the county Registrar of voters. Howeer, “there’s a big discrepancy between what we turned in and what they counted,” Rottenstreich, spokesman for the campaign, told the Union-Tribune. “The question is, what’s going on here? Is there a clerical issue with the registrar, or did our petition-gathering firm have some issue on their end?”

— Matt Potter (@sdmattpotter)

The Reader offers $25 for news tips published in this column. Call our voice mail at 619-235-3000, ext. 440, or sandiegoreader.com/staff/matt-potter/contact/.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Beer X Craft Beer & Music Festival, Twainfest

Events August 20-August 24, 2022
Next Article

Z-Matrix sees the future in singles

“It’s the third dimension coming at you”
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories Fishing Report — What’s getting hooked from ship and shore From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town The Gonzo Report — Making the musical scene, or at least reporting from it Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Theater — On stage in San Diego this week Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close