Print 51 comment(s) - last by SandmanWN.. on Nov 24 at 10:41 AM

Government-built Google mashup sends a mixed message

Attempts by the U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) to make a point about California-legal medical-marijuana dispensaries went horribly wrong earlier this month, when the office’s official “Pushing Back” blog published a Google Maps mash-up supplying the public with a map of downtown San Francisco’s marijuana dispensaries.

The mash-up was originally built to make a point -- San Francisco is so saturated by medical-marijuana dispensaries that they exceed the number of Starbucks coffee shops in the city’s downtown area.

Both San Francisco city officials and the San Francisco Chronicle are questioning the federal governments sources, however. One city official told City Insider that the data presented was “extremely incorrect.”

“I don’t know how they got that,” he added.

According to the San Francisco Department of Public Health, there are only 24 dispensaries in San Francisco in possession of the necessary permits, or trying to apply for them.

Even the ONDCP’s assessment of Starbucks locations is incorrect, said Starbucks spokeswoman Vivian Doan. The map should have listed 71 locations, when it instead listed 66.

In a follow-up post, the ONDCP implies that it gathered its data from publicly-available search engine listings. “It's hard to be exact,” reads the post, “but based on publicly available info on search engines, we believe that there are more listings for pot dispensaries in SF than there are Starbucks.”

The post, authored by ONDCP spokesman Rafeal Lamaitre, then acknowledges statistics from the SF Department of Public Health, before noting that the number of “registered pot clubs” in San Francisco still exceeds the number of Taco Bells (18), Middle Schools (14), and district police stations (14).

“Simple Google searches will find far more pot establishments in the San Francisco area. Some of these even offer delivery services,” the post reads, including a link to one such service.

The original version of the mashup listed a total of 98 dispensaries. When questioned about the source of its data, the ONDCP provided a list of 74 dispensaries and revised its map to show 71. Officials say the removed entries consisted of “alternative-medicine-type” shops whose marijuana offerings could not be confirmed.

Wired’s Threat Level notes that ONDCP was previously caught producing fake news broadcasts in 2005.

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

RE: Does this surprise anyone?
By robinthakur on 11/20/2008 11:06:27 AM , Rating: 2
Would you rather have a liberal society or one which tramples all over your rights? If you were gay, would you rather live in SF or, say, Texas? I'm sure you are intelligent enough to empathize beyond your own experience.

I find it pretty ludicrous and alarming just how many catastrophic laws have been passed in the US with zero opposition to limit your freedom, like the Patriot Act 1 and 2 and the DMCA as well as that other one where your mp3 players can be seized at the borders. Its all very V for Vendetta...

Re the documentary, maybe they meant in the non-monetary sense they are all equal. 1 middle class lol.

RE: Does this surprise anyone?
By MozeeToby on 11/20/2008 1:51:50 PM , Rating: 2
Not quite zero opposition. My Senator not only submitted several ammendments to limit the scope and power of the act, he was also the only Senator to vote against it (even after his ammendments had passed).

Yay for Wisconsin, home of the only senator who could step back and say "wait a minute, that just isn't right" even in the immediate aftermath of 9/11. It's weird, Wisconsin isn't even that Liberal but it somehow has the most liberal member of the senate as it's senior senator.

RE: Does this surprise anyone?
By Xavitar on 11/20/2008 9:14:42 PM , Rating: 2
V for Vendetta? It's very Nineteen Eighty-Four.

As a true conservative, I find myself aligned more with the Libertarian party than the 'Republican' party these days. Who could have predicted that the party of Lincoln would end up taking us closer to 'oligarchical collectivism' than we've ever been..?

RE: Does this surprise anyone?
By FITCamaro on 11/21/2008 8:32:39 AM , Rating: 2
I go the better way and align myself with no party. I'd vote for a member of the Democrat party if they were a conservative. Unfortunately I have yet to see one. I would've been happy to cast my vote for Ron Paul. Maybe one day, a real conservative like him will have a true shot at winning. But with our media and many people caring more about what "free" sh*t a candidate will give them, I don't see it happening.

"I'd be pissed too, but you didn't have to go all Minority Report on his ass!" -- Jon Stewart on police raiding Gizmodo editor Jason Chen's home

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki