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For pennies, you got stake in marijuana company

Except it had no way to produce product

On July 2 in federal court, Carlsbad’s Andrew Fellner and his Strategic Global Investments got sued for securities fraud. The company is a penny stock trading on the Over-the-Counter pink sheets, the financial industry’s equivalent of the Wild West.

The plaintiff, Highlander Holdings, also of San Diego County, holds three million shares of Strategic. In 2014, Highlander plunked half a million dollars into Strategic, believing its claim that it would soon enter the Colorado marijuana business. But Strategic did not have the licensure, funding and infrastructure to produce marijuana, according to the suit.

The Securities and Exchange Commission in 2016 filed suit against Strategic over the same matter, saying that at no time did Strategic have the ability to produce marijuana in Colorado. In 2017, the agency won partial summary judgment against Strategic. The agency pointed out that in 1982 Fellner pleaded guilty to conspiracy and mail fraud in a real estate scam and spent approximately three years in prison.

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So, 'way back in time almost forty years ago this dude did hard time. Seems as if he didn't learn much from the experience. Well, either that or he's suffering from dementia, and can't remember it.

There is mucho dinero to be made from pot/marijuana/weed/grass/cannabis (did I miss any of the names?) legalization. But it will go to those who really know the ropes of this transition from illegal to legal. And the dubious opportunity offers many openings for fraud. An "investor" looking for a killing in weed needs to tread very lightly and trust just about nobody.

Visduh: Penny stock peddlers came out with fraudulent offerings in advance of Colorado's official legalization. That's what penny stocks are all about: fraud. (However, a stock selling for $5 can be considered a penny stock, and some of them can be on the level. The stock in this case was selling under $1.) Best, Don Bauder

That brings up--and I'm going off-topic here--the matter of penny stocks that once were priced above the penny stock cutoff of say $10 or $5. The number of such issues that drop that low and then subsequently recover is painfully small, as I understand the situation. I had one stock that actually came back, but recall it being the only one that did that. So, now we can wonder about GE, which has been as low as $12.61, and closed today at 13.99. That's dangerously close to the penny stock category, and a huge comedown for a company that was a blue chip stock for decades.

Visduh: Yes, ya gotta know the territory and the weed, your product. Best, Don Bauder

Visduh: Let me add something. GE was, and may still be, cooking the books. For a long time, it was done through the finance subsidiary. Under Welsh, a charlatan if there ever was one, the company made an acquisition of a money-making company every quarter, thus giving the impression that it had steady internal growth. It had no such thing. Best, Don Bauder

You missed "dope." That's both the hallucinogen and the fool who uses it.

Yep, can't understand why I forgot that one, 'specially since it seems so popular now. And you're right about the users.

Visduh: The users of dope are dopes. Some day I will check the derivation of the word"dope." There mat be an interesting link between the two usages. Best, Don Bauder

monaghan: The best dope, as in information, is to avoid dope. Best, Don Bauder

Great reference! Many meanings over many years, but the description of "dope" in slang usage since 1981 is really interesting. Way to go, Reader commenter JustWondering, totally cool.

JustWondering: Great information. Best, Don Bauder

monaghan: Bingo! Right on. FYI, I read today that you can become addicted to opioids in five days. Best, Don Bauder

JustWondering: Fascinating etymology. Best, Don Bauder

Don: Thanks to both you and Monaghan for those kind words. While we may not always agree, I do respect the intellect, thought and consideration you put into this blog.

Without knowing it, your posts challenge me to find answers to questions you provoke in me. I am embarrassed to admit my own depth of vocabulary shortcomings. Thus you force me to expand my aged mind. I have no doubt you would have be a great professor had you taken it up after retiring from the UT.

JustWondering: Several of my U-T colleagues went on to teach journalism in colleges upon retirement -- Alan Miller, former U-T editorial writer, for one. Best, Don Bauder

monaghan: JustWondering does good work for this blog site. Best, Don Bauder

I wonder what was the anti-anxiety medication they gave the trapped Thai kids. In a dark cave, swim out, even if you don't know how, tow the line laid out, with your head under water as far as required till safe, don't ever panic. I want that.

Good point. The trip in the cloudy water took an hour or more. I doubt that I could have remained calm, breathing through a tube, my face in a mask, for that long. (They might have used an old tried-and-true medication, morphine.)

Visduh: Our older son, an avid diver/uinderwater photographer, questioned if it would work. He is not a cave diver but consulted his cave-diver friends. This was a wonderful, heartwarming story. I particularly liked the international cooperation. Best, Don Bauder

No, it wasn't an opioid or other painkiller. It was an ananxiolytic of some type but I haven't seen the exact drug mentioned yet. I guess it will be revealed eventually.

dwbat: When it is revealed, there might be a run on the stuff. Best, Don Bauder

Murphyjunk: I don't know about that. Best, Don Bauder

Murphyjunk: Isn't Valium over the hill now? Best, Don Bauder

It's a prescription drug, and it's prescribed for good reasons. Nobody is going to swarm their doc's office begging for it. It's not a recreational drug, so there won't be a "run" on it. Let's get back down to reality.

dwbat: Of course, many of the recreational drugs are prescription drugs. Also, I thought we weren't sure what this drug was. Best, Don Bauder

shirleyberan: That is a very good question. I don't know the answer. Whatever it was, it helped create something close to a miracle. Best, Don Bauder

Reports are now surfacing on the drug given to “calm” the Thai cave spelunkers. Reports, if correct, say the kids were given Ketamine.

Ketamine, according to Wikipedia, is a medication mainly used for starting and maintaining anesthesia. It induces a trance-like state while providing pain relief, sedation, and memory loss. Other uses include for chronic pain and for sedation in intensive care.

More importantly, heart function, breathing, and airway reflexes generally remain functional during its effects. Effects typically begin within five minutes when given by injection with the main effects lasting up to 25 minutes.

JustWondering: Finally we may be learning something about the drug. I hope more comes out. Best, Don Bauder

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