Marijuana domains soar ahead of legalisation vote

Thousands of marijuana-related domain names are being bought up in the United States, as chancers look to cash in on a vote to legalise the drug.

A proposed amendment to state law, the Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010, commonly known as 'Proposition 19', could make California the first state in the US to legalise the possession and sale of marijuana (although 14 states already allow medicinal use of the drug).

Recent opinion polls have shown the Proposition losing its early lead among voters - a recent survey from the Public Policy Institute of California showed 44 per cent in favour, 49 per cent against. But that hasn't stopped Internet speculators rushing to register a host of cannabis-related domain names.

An article in the New York Times reports that retired narcotics officer Kevin Faler has registered more than 1,000 domain names relating to pot, including off-the-wall choices like icecreammarijuana.com and marijuanapastry.com, many of which he says "came to him in the middle of the night". Munchies, we imagine.

"Marijuana domain name values will fly off the charts once Prop 19 passes," Faler, 49, told the NYT. "I'm hoping to make enough money to buy a condo in Morocco. That's how big it's going to be."

But the Golden State's proponents of pot won't have it easy. Californian Attorney General Eric J Holder Jr has said that even if voters pass the measure in a referendum on 2nd November, federal law enforcement officials plan to use federal anti-cannabis laws to prosecute offenders.

A number of high-profile public and political figures have pledged their support for Proposition 19. Billionaire businessman George Soros this week donated a million pounds to the campaign. Napster founder Sean Parker and co-founder of Facebook Dustin Moskovitz have also contributed to the campaign for a 'yes' vote.