Our 40 Most Read Stories on East Bay Express Website

Yes, our readers dig our in-depth longreads and investigations, but they also love stories about sex and weed.

Over the years, we’ve had plenty of stories go viral on EastBayExpress.com and social media. And our top 40 list also includes some of the best stories we’ve ever published, from our investigative piece on Yelp’s shady practices to our in-depth report on rampant racial profiling on Nextdoor.com.

And several stories on our most-read list concerned our coverage of two extremely high-profile events in 2016: the Oakland police sex exploitation scandal and the tragic Ghost Ship Fire.

But there are two topics that our online readers clearly enjoy the most: Dan Savage’s sex columns and basically anything we write about cannabis. Weed stories, in fact, grabbed 12 spots in our top 40.

Here’s our list:

1. Yelp and the Business of Extortion 2.0

Local business owners say Yelp offers to hide negative customer reviews of their businesses on its web site … for a price.

By Kathleen Richards » Feb. 18, 2009

2. The Truth About Medical Marijuana Card Privacy

Legalization Nation answers readers’ questions about the vulnerability of their personal information.

By David Downs » Jan. 2, 2013

3. Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson Hit in Face with Pie at Event, Assaults Protester in ‘Bloody’ Scene

By Nick Miller » Sept. 21, 2016

4. Badge of Dishonor

Top Oakland Police Department officials looked away as East Bay cops sexually exploited and trafficked a teenager.

By Darwin BondGraham and Ali Winston

June 15, 2016

5. Racial Profiling Via Nextdoor.com

White Oakland residents are increasingly using the popular social networking site to report “suspicious activity” about their Black neighbors — and families of color fear the consequences could be fatal.

By Sam Levin » Oct. 7, 2015

6. Expert: You Don’t Have to Be a State Resident to Get Medical Marijuana In California Right Now

By David Downs » Jan. 28, 2015

7. Grand Closing: America’s Pot Farmers Are Putting Mexican Cartels Out of Business

By David Downs » April 10, 2014

8. How to Have Anal Sex

Plus a considered take on “desensitizing anal wipes.”

By Dan Savage » April 18, 2012

9. Drug War’s End: Oregon Is Expunging Pot Records

By David Downs » Sept. 22, 2015

10. Rich, Black, Flunking

Cal Professor John Ogbu thinks he knows why rich black kids are failing in school. Nobody wants to hear it.

By Susan Goldsmith » May 21, 2003

11. FDA Warns Seven CBD and Hemp Oil Companies Over Medical Claims

By David Downs » March 6, 2015

12. Waste: The Dark Side of the New Coffee Craze

Single-cup brewing is the hottest and most lucrative sector of the coffee market nationwide, but it’s also producing massive amounts of trash.

By Vanessa Rancaño » Aug. 21, 2013

13. Beware a Bigger Clitoris

But don’t be afraid of vaginal rejuvenation following traumatic or multiple births.

By Dan Savage » Feb. 23, 2011

14. The Bacon-Wrapped Economy

Tech has brought very young, very rich people to the Bay Area like never before. And the changes to our cultural and economic landscape aren’t necessarily for the better.

By Ellen Cushing » March 20, 2013

15. Artists Who Survived Oakland Warehouse Fire Discuss The Tragedy, Those Missing, Need for Safe Underground Spaces

‘If people think by punishing spaces it will make potentially unsafe underground venues go away, they’re wrong.’

By Sam Lefebvre » Dec. 3, 2016

16. Little Miss Murder

A Livermore love triangle. A jealous teen sociopath. A cold-blooded plot. And one of the most chilling crime tales the East Bay has ever seen.

By Susan Goldsmith » July 9, 2003

17. Oakland Police Underage Sex Scandal Involves Cop Who Possibly Killed His Wife

By Darwin BondGraham and Ali Winston

May 12, 2016

18. How to Smoke Weed

And avoid ending up at the hospital, or in jail.

By David Downs » Aug. 22, 2012

19. Why Black Students Are Avoiding UC Berkeley

In the post-Prop 209 era, nearly 60 percent of African-American students accepted at Cal are choosing to attend other colleges — often, because they feel unwelcome.

By J. Douglas Allen-Taylor » Nov. 6, 2013

20. Zoë Keating Fights YouTube to Control Her Music and Reputation

The Google-owned company has used aggressive negotiating tactics and attempts to manage media coverage.

By Sam Lefebvre » Feb. 4, 2015

21. Cannabis Kills MRSA, Disrupts Prion Diseases

By David Downs » July 29, 2013

22. The Real Reason Why Oakland’s Police Chief Was Fired

A sexual-misconduct scandal involving police brass at multiple agencies, leaked undercover investigations, botched oversight by Sean Whent — Mayor Libby Schaaf got it wrong.

By Darwin BondGraham and Ali Winston

June 10, 2016

23. DEA Says It Will Ignore President Obama’s Wishes During Congressional Hearing on Marijuana Policy

By David Downs » April 2, 2014

24. Berkeley High May Cut Out Science Labs

The proposal would trade labs seen as benefiting white students for resources to help struggling students.

By Eric Klein » Dec., 3, 2009

25. Berkeley Okays Fourth Dispensary, Free Weed

By David Downs » July 2, 2014

26. Protesters Join Hands Around Lake Merritt in Oakland to Protest Trump, Hate Crimes

Several thousands circumnavigated the 3.7 mile lake.

By Nick Miller and Darwin BondGraham

Nov. 13, 2016

27. Yelp Extortion Allegations Stack Up

More business owners come forward with tales of unethical behavior by the popular San Francisco-based web site.

By Kathleen Richards » March 18, 2009

28. Oakland Counseling Guru Accused of Sexual Assault

Six women are suing Steve Bearman, founder of Interchange Counseling Institute, alleging that he assaulted them at his home or during private sessions after coercing them to take hallucinogens.

By Scott Morris » Dec. 13, 2017

29. Loopholes in ADA Law Make “No Pets” Clauses Nearly Impossible to Enforce

It turns out nearly anyone can deem their pet a service animal.

By Rachel Swan » Aug. 1, 2012

30. Going Postal

The husband of US Senator Dianne Feinstein has been selling post offices to his friends, cheap.

By Peter Byrne » Sept. 18, 2013

31. Berkeley Is First City in America to Divest From Companies that Work on Trump’s Border Wall

Oakland could be next.

By Nick Miller » March 15, 2017

32. Punks Versus Hipsters: The Battle Royale

How the East Bay Rats got two Oakland subcultures into the boxing ring.

By Rachel Swan » April 13, 2011

33. Study: Suspending Teens For Pot Increases Use

By David Downs » March 20, 2015

34. Oakland Warehouse Fire: ‘It Was A Tinderbox. I Don’t Recollect Anybody Coming Out.’

Oakland Fire Department says that nine were killed in the blaze, more than 30 missing.

By Nick Miller » Dec. 3, 2016

35. Hate Man

How a New York Times reporter dropped out and became a hate evangelist in Berkeley.

By Kathleen Richards » March 2, 2011

36. Cooking with Cum

Spermcicles, cream pies, and other gross stuff.

By Dan Savage » March 11, 2009

37. Weed-Infused Sex Lube Hits Market: Meet, Foria

By David Downs » June 11, 2014

38. Landlord of West Oakland Building Destroyed by Fire Was Working to Evict Tenants

A 2005 city inspector wrote that ‘babies are getting asthma and very sick’ in the building.

By Darwin BondGraham » March 27, 2017

39. Oakland Firefighters Say Their Department Is So Badly Managed, Ghost Ship Warehouse Wasn’t Even in Its Inspection Database

Whistleblowers say that the fire chief, mayor, and city council failed to advocate for sufficient resources.

By Darwin BondGraham » Dec. 7, 2016

40. It’s Official: Marijuana Is Medicine

A series of papers in the Journal of the American Medical Association is starting to correct the shameful legacy of drug war politics over cannabis science. But a research catch-22 persists.

By David Downs » July 1, 2015

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