Poll: California voters offer mixed views on death penalty, sanctuary laws, horse racing

Californians’ opinions are sharply divided about the death penalty and sanctuary-city policies, but they’re in broad agreement that climate change is a problem and President Trump’s threat to close the border with Mexico is a bad idea, according to a poll released Thursday, April 11.

The Quinnipiac University Poll asked 1,005 California voters April 3-8 about several familiar issues and a few new ones, including views of horse racing in the wake of 23 horses’ deaths in three months at Santa Anita.

The poll found that 48% of Californians prefer that people convicted of murder receive life in prison with no chance for parole, while 41% prefer that they get the death penalty. But in what seems like a contradiction, 46% oppose Gov. Gavin Newsom’s suspension of the death penalty, while 44% support Newsom’s policy.

Newsom’s mid-March order suspending executions in California has been controversial in part because critics say it defied the will of voters expressed in recent ballot initiatives regarding capital punishment.

The poll, which has a margin of error of 4.1 percentage points, found state residents also are divided about so-called sanctuary cities, with 46% saying cities “should be able to deal with immigrants as they see fit,” and 47% saying cities should be “forced to comply with federal immigration efforts.”

By an overwhelming margin of 70% to 23%, Californians said they oppose closing the southern border, something Trump has threatened to do if Mexico doesn’t halt illegal immigration to the United States, the poll found.

Also by a solid margin, 63% to 33%, state voters told the pollsters that climate change is “an emergency.” But few were getting behind the Green New Deal, with 16% stating support, 27% opposition and 56% no opinion yet about the environmental and economic policy package proposals sponsored by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass.

When asked by pollsters about major statewide officials, voters expressed more approval than disapproval — but hardly majority support — for Newsom (40%-33%), Sen. Dianne Feinstein (47%-37%) and Sen. Kamala Harris (47%-30%), who is running for president.

Democrats and Republicans differed dramatically on most questions. Among GOP voters only, 68% support the death penalty over life in prison, 88% oppose sanctuary cities, 59% favor closing the border, 75% say climate change is not an emergency, and 75% disapprove of Newsom’s job performance three months into his term.

It was “no surprise” that members of the two major parties were so polarized, said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac poll.

The poll was the first to ask Californians for their opinions about horse racing since an unusually high number of fatal injuries to horses in races and workouts prompted Santa Anita Park in Arcadia to interrupt racing for most of March. The deaths have drawn state and county investigations, and brought calls from Feinstein and Rep. Judy Chu, D-Pasadena, for Santa Anita to halt racing pending those findings.

Asked if Newsom should create an independent panel to investigate the deaths of racehorses, 55% said yes and 35% said no, according to the poll.

Asked about their general views on horse racing, 19% said they were favorable and 20% unfavorable, while 59% expressed no opinion.

Reacting to the high percentage with no opinion, advocates on both sides saw an opportunity to sway the public.

“It’s no surprise to us that only 19% of California voters have a favorable view of racing,” said Kathy Guillermo, senior vice president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which favors banning horse racing. “More have an unfavorable view, and the majority don’t even care enough to have an opinion about it.”

Alex Waldrop, president and CEO of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, said the poll shows “we have work to do to educate the public concerning our commitment to the safety of the horse.”

The poll focusing on California was the second this week by Quinnipiac, which is in Connecticut.

A Quinnipiac poll released Wednesday asked California Democrats about the 2020 presidential race, finding Joe Biden is the choice of 26%, Bernie Sanders 18% and Harris 17%.

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Bomb threat leads to evacuations at UCLA

LOS ANGELES — A phoned-in bomb threat at UCLA’s Sunset Canyon Recreation Center Wednesday night prompted the evacuations of residence halls on campus.

UCLA officials took to Twitter just after 10 p.m. to instruct residents in UCLA housing to evacuate to Drake Stadium on campus for an unspecified emergency and asked people to share the information.

Photos from the scene showed thousands of residents pouring into Drake Stadium.

No injuries have been reported and UCLA officials said all evacuees were safe and secure just before 11:30 p.m.

Details of the emergency were not immediately available.

 

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‘A persistent and growing underclass’ in Orange County, report shows

Parents holding down two or three jobs each.

Families doubled and tripled up in cramped apartments.

Underachieving students.

Poor health and nutrition.

A dwindling working-age population.

It is not all bad news, but Orange County’s new Community Indicators Report, an annual study by government agencies, businesses and philanthropies, points to many woes woven into the fabric of the county’s sunny suburbs.

One thread links them all: a calamitous shortage of affordable housing.

“Clearly, homelessness, overcrowding, and family financial instability are directly linked to high housing costs,” warns the 74-page data-rich report released last week.

“But other factors are indirectly linked. When families spend 50% or more of their income on housing, they have less remaining to pay for health care and healthy foods, affecting overall health.

“With parents working two or more jobs to afford housing, they may lack the time to help children with homework or afford after-school enrichment, affecting educational achievement.”

If the housing crisis continues, the report predicts, the result will be “a persistent and growing underclass,” while higher-income residents bear the burden of supporting a swelling elderly population.

“There are two chief ways to tackle the problem of out-of-reach housing in Orange County,” it adds. “Bring earnings up or bring costs down.”

  • Course-taking in career technical programs related to science, technology, engineering and math jumped 40 percent from 2014 to 2016 in Orange County schools. Here, Aliso Niguel High School students Julia Hopkins, left, and Shanice Berry, worked on biotech experiments at a showcase in December 2016 for OC Pathways, a program that focuses on work-based learning. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Course-taking in career technical programs related to science, technology, engineering and math jumped 40 percent from 2014 to 2016 in Orange County schools. Here, Aliso Niguel High School students Julia Hopkins, left, and Shanice Berry, worked on biotech experiments at a showcase in December 2016 for OC Pathways, a program that focuses on work-based learning. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • As Miguel Hernandez steers, his fellow students Lizbeth Gomez and Rudy Martin Del Campo showed off Century High School’s solar powered vehicle at a December 2016 showcase for OC Pathways, a career-based program for students in 14 Orange County school districts. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    As Miguel Hernandez steers, his fellow students Lizbeth Gomez and Rudy Martin Del Campo showed off Century High School’s solar powered vehicle at a December 2016 showcase for OC Pathways, a career-based program for students in 14 Orange County school districts. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Brandon Bock, left, and Jason Ayala from McFadden Intermediate School in Santa Ana, guided their robotic vehicles at a December 2016 showcase for OC Pathways, a state funded program which encourages students to excel in science, technology, engineering and math-related subjects. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    Brandon Bock, left, and Jason Ayala from McFadden Intermediate School in Santa Ana, guided their robotic vehicles at a December 2016 showcase for OC Pathways, a state funded program which encourages students to excel in science, technology, engineering and math-related subjects. (Photo by Mark Rightmire, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • The landscaping and barbecue area on the second floor at the Clark Commons affordable family apartments family apartments project in Buena Park on Wednesday, May 10, 2017. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    The landscaping and barbecue area on the second floor at the Clark Commons affordable family apartments family apartments project in Buena Park on Wednesday, May 10, 2017. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • The 70-unit Clark Commons affordable family apartments was built at the at the corner of Orangethorpe and Stanton Avenues in Buena Park on Wednesday, May 10, 2017. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    The 70-unit Clark Commons affordable family apartments was built at the at the corner of Orangethorpe and Stanton Avenues in Buena Park on Wednesday, May 10, 2017. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • The 70-unit Clark Commons affordable family apartments was built at the at the corner of Orangethorpe and Stanton Avenues in Buena Park on Wednesday, May 10, 2017. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    The 70-unit Clark Commons affordable family apartments was built at the at the corner of Orangethorpe and Stanton Avenues in Buena Park on Wednesday, May 10, 2017. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • The the laundry room is one of the amenities offered at the Clark Commons affordable family apartments family apartments project in Buena Park on Wednesday, May 10, 2017. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    The the laundry room is one of the amenities offered at the Clark Commons affordable family apartments family apartments project in Buena Park on Wednesday, May 10, 2017. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • The bike storage area left, and fitness center, right, are two of the many amenities offered at the Clark Commons affordable family apartments family apartments project in Buena Park on Wednesday, May 10, 2017. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    The bike storage area left, and fitness center, right, are two of the many amenities offered at the Clark Commons affordable family apartments family apartments project in Buena Park on Wednesday, May 10, 2017. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • The game is one of the amenities offered to residents at the Clark Commons affordable family apartments family apartments project in Buena Park on Wednesday, May 10, 2017. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    The game is one of the amenities offered to residents at the Clark Commons affordable family apartments family apartments project in Buena Park on Wednesday, May 10, 2017. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • The second floor outdoor playground at the Clark Commons affordable family apartments family apartments project in Buena Park on Wednesday, May 10, 2017. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    The second floor outdoor playground at the Clark Commons affordable family apartments family apartments project in Buena Park on Wednesday, May 10, 2017. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • The fitness center is one of the amenities offered to residents Clark Commons affordable family apartments family apartments project in Buena Park on Wednesday, May 10, 2017. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    The fitness center is one of the amenities offered to residents Clark Commons affordable family apartments family apartments project in Buena Park on Wednesday, May 10, 2017. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • The computer lab is one of the amenities offered to residents Clark Commons affordable family apartments family apartments project in Buena Park on Wednesday, May 10, 2017. The room is used for children to do their homework or learn English. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    The computer lab is one of the amenities offered to residents Clark Commons affordable family apartments family apartments project in Buena Park on Wednesday, May 10, 2017. The room is used for children to do their homework or learn English. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • The 70-unit Clark Commons affordable family apartments was built at the at the corner of Orangethorpe and Stanton Avenues in Buena Park on Wednesday, May 10, 2017. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

    The 70-unit Clark Commons affordable family apartments was built at the at the corner of Orangethorpe and Stanton Avenues in Buena Park on Wednesday, May 10, 2017. (Photo by Leonard Ortiz, Orange County Register/SCNG)

  • Clark Commons, a 70-unit low-income housing project in Buena Park, has a playground and a cmputer center. It was built on the site of a blighted retail center. The city provided $7.7 million in loans to Jamboree Housing Corp., a non-profit developer. (Courtesy Juan Tallo)

    Clark Commons, a 70-unit low-income housing project in Buena Park, has a playground and a cmputer center. It was built on the site of a blighted retail center. The city provided $7.7 million in loans to Jamboree Housing Corp., a non-profit developer. (Courtesy Juan Tallo)

  • Bobbi Smith,15, uses the free wifi to do her homework at Clark Commons, a low-income housing project in Buena Park. More than 2,500 families are on the waiting list for the 70-unit complex, which opened in February 2017, with the help of city loans. (Courtesy Juan Tallo)

    Bobbi Smith,15, uses the free wifi to do her homework at Clark Commons, a low-income housing project in Buena Park. More than 2,500 families are on the waiting list for the 70-unit complex, which opened in February 2017, with the help of city loans. (Courtesy Juan Tallo)

  • At Buena Park’s Clark Commons, a 70-unit low income housing project, a resident coordinator helps children with homework. The waiting list for apartments includes 2,500 families. (Courtesy Juan Tallo)

    At Buena Park’s Clark Commons, a 70-unit low income housing project, a resident coordinator helps children with homework. The waiting list for apartments includes 2,500 families. (Courtesy Juan Tallo)

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Some good news

The report notes several positive trends:

— At 3.7 percent, the jobless rate is lower than that of California or the U.S. In 14 of 19 high-tech industries, its employment concentration is higher than the national average.

— At 5.4 percent, the overall high school dropout rate is lower than the state’s 9.8 percent. Course-taking in career technical education related to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) jumped 40 percent over two years.

— The proportion of residents without health insurance sank to 9 percent in 2015 from 17 percent in 2013, in the wake of the federal Affordable Care Act. The number of poor children with health insurance grew by 40 percent.

— While many communities resist affordable housing projects, a few are being built with city governments’ support, including in Yorba Linda and Buena Park.

We are losing our millennials and Zers,” Lucy Dunn, president and CEO of the Orange County Business Council, a trade group for the county’s largest companies, told a group of 150 executives and government officials at an Orange County Forum gathering last week.

“Cities: you have to say yes to housing…We need city council people not be afraid of the next election.”

Disturbing data

Among the report’s troubling trends:

— To afford a median-priced, one-bedroom rental unit, an hourly wage of $27.62 is needed. Yet 68 percent of Orange County jobs pay below that.

— Orange County’s cost of living is almost double the U.S. average (87% higher). Housing costs are 356% higher than the national average.

— Residents 65 and older are the only group projected to grow proportionate to other age groups in the next 25 years.

— 48 percent of children are not developmentally ready for kindergarten

–Nearly 60,000 households are on waiting lists for government rental assistance.

Michael Ruane, an affordable housing executive who was the county’s project director on its first indicators report 17 years ago, said the data show “there are two Orange Counties.

“What’s striking is the enormous variation. You have poverty in a prosperous region. You have a knowledge economy with high wages, and a tourism economy with lower wages.”

Low pay, high costs

Tourism jobs—some 200,000—make up one of the biggest sectors in the county, along with business and professional positions, and healthcare and social services employment.

But jobs in theme parks, hotels and restaurants pay far less than other large sectors: $24,300 a year on average, with thousands of workers making the minimum wage of $10.50 an hour or slightly above.

Anaheim, home to Disneyland, Orange County’s largest employer with 28,000 workers, is one of the poorest cities in the county, the report notes, with its highest high school drop-out rate (11.5 percent).

Racial and ethnic disparities are stark.

Latinos, on track to grow from 35 percent to 40 percent of the county’s population over the next two decades, experience far more poverty, less access to health care and worse educational results than non-Latino whites (42 percent of the population) or Asians (19 percent).

“Parents work two and three jobs, even on weekends, to make ends meet,” said Al Mijares, county superintendent of schools.

“I know parents who board early buses in Santa Ana to work at south county eateries. They get home late in the evening. So kids are unsupervised. No one can help with homework.”

Adding to the stress, he said, is “overcrowding. There may not be a bed for every member of the household. There may be no place to study.”

Youngest fall behind

The report makes no policy recommendations, but Mijares, whose department is one of the report’s sponsors, said publicly-funded universal pre-kindergarten would be the single biggest boost to educational success.

Georgia, Florida and Oklahoma have enacted statewide pre-K programs, but California has yet to fund a comprehensive program.

Kimberly Goll, executive director of the local Children and Families Commission, said Orange County is the first in California to measure and track factors affecting kindergarten readiness in all its school districts.

Among the 48 percent who enter kindergarten unprepared, some lack motor skills—too much screen time, not enough crayons and physical play, according to some experts. Others lack emotional and cognitive development.

“It is scary that half of our kids are not ready to start kindergarten,” Goll said. “It is well documented that they are then more likely to drop out of high school. They are more likely to become teen parents. They are more likely never to attend college. They are more likely to be arrested for a violent crime.”

Last year, a third of Orange County eleventh graders failed to meet state literacy standards, while 57 percent failed in math.

Still, efforts are ramping up to prepare students for higher-paid jobs requiring STEM skills. Thanks to a state grant, 14,000 high schoolers participate in OC Pathways, a program offering courses and industry contacts in three areas:  Health Care/Biotechnology, Engineering/Advanced Manufacturing and Information Technology/Digital Media.

Vocational education has changed, Mijares said. “For instance, automobiles have become complex, with sophisticated computers under the dash. You need to be an engineer to understand what’s going on.”

More elderly, fewer workers

If demographics are destiny, then the county’s population trends are daunting.

“Families are migrating to other parts of the state and country that boast cheaper housing and lower costs of living,” according to the report. “For the workforce that remains…the social burden of supporting the growing older adult population will fall on them and them alone.”

The age 65-and-older group will grow from 14 percent today to 26 percent of the population by 2040, the report predicts. The number of working-age residents for each dependent (children and the elderly) will shrink from two to one.

“The fewer people of working age, the fewer there are to sustain schools, pensions and other supports to the youngest and oldest members of a population,” the report notes.

Turning malls into housing

Cities often prefer retail development, which brings in sales tax revenue, to multifamily housing, which sparks political opposition.

Even luxury housing is controversial: in March the Newport Beach City Council rescinded its approval of a 25-story project for million-dollar condominiums after opponents threatened a referendum.

Steve PonTell, CEO and President of National Community Renaissance (National CORE), a non-profit affordable housing developer, called on employers at the forum event to “see themselves as being in the housing business.”

Hospitals, for instance, should “have hundreds of units of apartments in conjunction with their facilities,” he added.

Open land is scarce, but as shopping centers begin to retrench under the e-commerce onslaught, struggling retail areas can be converted to housing, the report suggests. “Underutilized retail corridors may be the only viable option for increasing the supply,” said Ruane, who heads an Urban Land Institute initiative to assess the potential.

In Yorba Linda, National CORE, where Ruane serves as executive vice president, built Oakcrest Terrace, a 69-apartment complex for low-income families on the site of a former car dealership. The city contributed about 20% of the funding.

In February, Jamboree Housing Corp., an Irvine nonprofit, opened Clark Commons, a 70-apartment complex for low-income families on the former site of a city maintenance yard and blighted retail center in Buena Park. The city contributed $7.7 million in loans.

One testament to the housing shortage: Clark Commons has a waiting list of 2,500 families.

Homes for the well-off

Orange County’s home building 2014-2015 was mostly for higher incomes.

To buy a home

Only 43 percent of first-time buyers have the necessary income ($92,000/year) to qualify for buying an entry-level home, down from 52 percent in 2009.

To rent a home

In Orange County, a $28/hour wage is needed to afford a one-bedroom apartment.

Cost of living

Orange County is 87 percent more expensive than the national average.

Homeless students

More than 28,000 students are homeless, doubled-up or tripled up with other families.

Education

Under 30 percent of poor students meet state math standards. Under 40 percent meet literacy standards.

*Live in hotels, motels, shelters or unsheltered
Source: U.S. Census Bureau

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Hollywood writers’ contract deadline passes with no word on whether a strike is imminent

 

Striking Writers Guild of America union members picket in front of FremantelMedia, in Burbank, Calif., Friday, Dec. 7, 2007. The guild is threatening to strike again if an agreement with movie and TV studios is not reached by midnight, May 1, 2017. (File photo by Kevork Djansezian, Associated Press)
Striking Writers Guild of America union members picket in front of FremantelMedia, in Burbank, Calif., Friday, Dec. 7, 2007. The guild is threatening to strike again if an agreement with movie and TV studios is not reached by midnight, May 1, 2017. (File photo by Kevork Djansezian, Associated Press)

The contract for television and film writers has expired without an indication of whether a strike is imminent that could send some popular TV shows into immediate reruns.

The Writers Guild of America and producers have been negotiating since March 13, with health care and compensation at the center of the on-and-off contract talks. The current deal expired at just after midnight Tuesday.

Guild members voted overwhelmingly last month to authorize a strike, and the WGA could call for an immediate walkout Tuesday. But no official communication came from either side indicating the next move.

If the Guild, which represents those who write for TV and film, can’t reach a new contract or agree to extend the negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which represents the studios, the writers will go out on strike for the first time in nearly a decade.

Over the weekend and throughout Monday, there had been conflicting reports — which ranged from optimism about an imminent deal to reports of a memo telling writers to plan on hitting the picket lines Tuesday — but little concrete news.

Representatives for the writers and producers are engaged in a media blackout, meaning it is unclear how far apart the sides remain or how likely a strike will be called.

At the heart of the impasse between writers and producers are issues such as the union’s health plan, which faces a deficit, its pension plan and provisions for paying writers what they believe they should get in a landscape that has changed dramatically in recent years with shortening of seasons from 20-plus episodes to 10 or 13, cutting the amount of money they’ve received under per-episode paychecks.

In 2007 and early 2008, a 100-day writers strike halted productions on numerous shows, led to a shortened television season and even affected major film releases.

The dispute is driven in large part by shifts in how television is consumed, with streaming platforms such as Netflix and Amazon joining broadcast and cable TV and garnering viewers, critical and audience love, and awards.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Medical marijuana gets reprieve from feds in spending bill

Medical marijuana advocates are relieved that a bipartisan spending deal to fund the government through September also extended an amendment that protects them from federal prosecution.

The so-called Rohrabacher-Farr amendment blocks the Department of Justice from spending money on medical marijuana prosecutions. If growers and dispensaries carefully follow state rules, they shouldn’t have to worry about the feds coming after them.

The amendment, however, does not apply to the recreational use of marijuana, which California approved through Proposition 64 in November, and which remains vulnerable to federal prosecution. And, while it offers short-term security to medical marijuana patients and business owners, it doesn’t provide long-term security for the industry, which feels increasingly threatened under the Trump Administration.

In 2014 and 2015, With that measure in place, federal authorities have largely let states carry out their own marijuana legalization schemes even though cannabis remains illegal nationally.

If Congress hadn’t re-authorized the amendment Sunday as part of a short-term spending package, those protections would have expired.

The protection — which also covers the hemp industry — extends until the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30.

Advocates of medical cannabis said they were pleased that Congress is maintaining the status quo.

“We are happy to see common sense prevail and for Congress to continue to respect states’ rights as it relates to medical marijuana,” said Mitchell Kulick, partner at the law firm Feuerstein Kulick LLP of New York City, which works with the cannabis industry. “We believe that the extension of the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment will allow medical marijuana businesses to continue to serve patients in a responsible manner.”

Medical marijuana advocate Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Oregon, also applauded the move, though he cautioned that it’s only a temporary fix.

“Medical marijuana patients and the businesses that support them now have a measure of certainty,” Blumenauer said in a statement. “But this annual challenge must end. We need permanent protections for state-legal medical marijuana programs, as well as adult-use.”

Now that Farr has retired from office, an effort to include language in the 2018 spending bill that protects medical marijuana states from federal protection is known as the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment. It maintains strong backing from Rohrabacher, who uses medical marijuana topicals himself to treat arthritis.

Advocates said such measures are more important than ever since Trump appointed marijuana opponent Jeff Sessions as Attorney General. The threat of a crackdown under Sessions still looms, though the spending deal reached Sunday keeps it at bay for the time being.

“Stopping federal agencies from interrupting voter-approved state medical marijuana laws is the first step in ending the prohibition of cannabis,” said Derek Peterson, CEO of Irvine’s Terra Tech. “Without this provision, the industry could potentially be exposed to the risk of federal raids.”

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Cannabis Cup offers a different kind of do-it-yourself experience

High Times magazine’s SoCal Cannabis Cup, which kicked off Friday, April 21, at the National Orange Show Events Center in San Bernardino, is offering guests a unique kind of DIY experience.

Guests can enter a tent with marijuana flowers in hand and walk out with organic, concentrated hash oil — better known as rosin — that they’ve pressed themselves. Or they can just stay inside and smoke it.

The “Live Solventless Experience” is one of hundreds of booths at the three-day festival, which also features concerts, a grow room, carnival rides, food trucks, educational seminars and more.

Related: Weed-infused massages in demand at High Times Cannabis Cup

The tent is the creation of Sho Productions out of Los Angeles, which makes the gear that presses cannabis flowers into rosin.

Cannabis enthusiasts started the method at home with hair straighteners, heating pressed flowers between wax paper until they extracted its thick, THC-rich oils.

  • A Cannabis Cup attnedee wears a cannabis flower mask while walking through the festival at High Times SoCal Cannabis Cup in San Bernardino on Friday, April 21, 2017. (Photo by Matt Masin, Orange County Register, SCNG)

    A Cannabis Cup attnedee wears a cannabis flower mask while walking through the festival at High Times SoCal Cannabis Cup in San Bernardino on Friday, April 21, 2017. (Photo by Matt Masin, Orange County Register, SCNG)

  • A Rosin representative shows a new solvent-free press which turns flower into hash oil at High Times SoCal Cannabis Cup in San Bernardino on Friday, April 21, 2017. (Photo by Matt Masin, Orange County Register, SCNG)

    A Rosin representative shows a new solvent-free press which turns flower into hash oil at High Times SoCal Cannabis Cup in San Bernardino on Friday, April 21, 2017. (Photo by Matt Masin, Orange County Register, SCNG)

  • Flowers on display at the demonstration grow room at High Times SoCal Cannabis Cup in San Bernardino on Friday, April 21, 2017. (Photo by Matt Masin, Orange County Register, SCNG)

    Flowers on display at the demonstration grow room at High Times SoCal Cannabis Cup in San Bernardino on Friday, April 21, 2017. (Photo by Matt Masin, Orange County Register, SCNG)

  • Honey Pot offers medicated topical massages inside the citrus building at the High Times SoCal Cannabis Cup in San Bernardino on Friday, April 21, 2017. (Photo by Matt Masin, Orange County Register, SCNG)

    Honey Pot offers medicated topical massages inside the citrus building at the High Times SoCal Cannabis Cup in San Bernardino on Friday, April 21, 2017. (Photo by Matt Masin, Orange County Register, SCNG)

  • Both medicated and non-medicated food is available at High Times SoCal Cannabis Cup in San Bernardino on Friday, April 21, 2017. (Photo by Matt Masin, Orange County Register, SCNG)

    Both medicated and non-medicated food is available at High Times SoCal Cannabis Cup in San Bernardino on Friday, April 21, 2017. (Photo by Matt Masin, Orange County Register, SCNG)

  • “Big Bud” a cannabis mascot walks through the vendor village at the High Times SoCal Cannabis Cup in San Bernardino on Friday, April 21, 2017. (Photo by Matt Masin, Orange County Register, SCNG)

    “Big Bud” a cannabis mascot walks through the vendor village at the High Times SoCal Cannabis Cup in San Bernardino on Friday, April 21, 2017. (Photo by Matt Masin, Orange County Register, SCNG)

  • Honey Pot infused products on display at High Times SoCal Cannabis Cup in San Bernardino on Friday, April 21, 2017. (Photo by Matt Masin, Orange County Register, SCNG)

    Honey Pot infused products on display at High Times SoCal Cannabis Cup in San Bernardino on Friday, April 21, 2017. (Photo by Matt Masin, Orange County Register, SCNG)

  • A Cannabis Cup attendee has her photo taken in front of the High Times flower sign at High Times SoCal Cannabis Cup in San Bernardino on Friday, April 21, 2017. (Photo by Matt Masin, Orange County Register, SCNG)

    A Cannabis Cup attendee has her photo taken in front of the High Times flower sign at High Times SoCal Cannabis Cup in San Bernardino on Friday, April 21, 2017. (Photo by Matt Masin, Orange County Register, SCNG)

  • People wait in line for food near the food trucks at High Times SoCal Cannabis Cup in San Bernardino on Friday, April 21, 2017. (Photo by Matt Masin, Orange County Register, SCNG)

    People wait in line for food near the food trucks at High Times SoCal Cannabis Cup in San Bernardino on Friday, April 21, 2017. (Photo by Matt Masin, Orange County Register, SCNG)

  • A Rosin representative shows a new solvent-free press which turns flower into hash oil at High Times SoCal Cannabis Cup in San Bernardino on Friday, April 21, 2017. (Photo by Matt Masin, Orange County Register, SCNG)

    A Rosin representative shows a new solvent-free press which turns flower into hash oil at High Times SoCal Cannabis Cup in San Bernardino on Friday, April 21, 2017. (Photo by Matt Masin, Orange County Register, SCNG)

  • A Rosin representative shows a new solvent-free press which turns flower into hash oil at High Times SoCal Cannabis Cup in San Bernardino on Friday, April 21, 2017. (Photo by Matt Masin, Orange County Register, SCNG)

    A Rosin representative shows a new solvent-free press which turns flower into hash oil at High Times SoCal Cannabis Cup in San Bernardino on Friday, April 21, 2017. (Photo by Matt Masin, Orange County Register, SCNG)

  • Half Lit edibles at High Times SoCal Cannabis Cup in San Bernardino on Friday, April 21, 2017. These medicated suckers have a seed in the stick, which the consumer can grow at home after consumption. (Photo by Matt Masin, Orange County Register, SCNG)

    Half Lit edibles at High Times SoCal Cannabis Cup in San Bernardino on Friday, April 21, 2017. These medicated suckers have a seed in the stick, which the consumer can grow at home after consumption. (Photo by Matt Masin, Orange County Register, SCNG)

  • People clammor for free goodies thrown out during the cannabis cooking competition at High Times SoCal Cannabis Cup in San Bernardino on Friday, April 21, 2017. (Photo by Matt Masin, Orange County Register, SCNG)

    People clammor for free goodies thrown out during the cannabis cooking competition at High Times SoCal Cannabis Cup in San Bernardino on Friday, April 21, 2017. (Photo by Matt Masin, Orange County Register, SCNG)

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Today, Sho Productions cofounder Vinny Daccotti said customers are increasingly turning to rosin as a way to consume their cannabis, since it doesn’t involve any of the chemicals typically used in hash oil extraction — which makes headlines far too often when a home-run lab catches explodes.

“Rosin is becoming more sought-after at the connoisseur level,” Daccotti said, with today’s savvy cannabis consumers increasingly concerned about what they’re putting in their bodies.

That’s a particularly important distinction in California right now, Daccotti said, since the state hasn’t yet rolled out regulations for manufacturing and testing. That means backyard manufacturers can cut corners and use whatever chemicals they want, he said, with the consumer none the wiser.

Daccotti can talk about the science behind what they’re doing for hours, as he shows off the latest double-roll cannabis press technology and an ice water hash extraction process that looks a bit like a miniature high school science lab. But when it comes down to it, he said, it’s a simple process that offers both recreational consumers and serious medical patients another option for accessing the benefits of cannabis.

If you go
• Who: Anyone 18 and older, though you’ll need to have (or get at the event) a doctor’s recommendation for medical marijuana to enter the main festival grounds
• What: High Times SoCal Cannabis Cup, with a competition for the best cannabis products, concerts, career fair, seminars, cooking competition, food trucks and more.
• When: 12:30 to 11 p.m. Saturday, April 22, and  12:30 to 9 p.m. Sunday, April 23
• Where: National Orange Show Events Center at 689 S E St., San Bernardino
• How much: One-day passes start at $55 or $25 after 5 p.m. with the codeword “SUNSET” online
• More information and tickets: At the gate or at cannabiscup.com/socal#tickets-

Check back at TheCannifornian.com for more coverage of the festival throughout the weekend.

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