The United States Marijuana Party

The United States Marijuana Party – is a motivated group of Americans who are tired of living in fear of their government because of marijuana prohibition. We are fed up with the intrusion into our personal lives, with urine testing at work and at school, with armed home invasions, and with the possibility of prison because of a plant. WE are Americans and WE do not piss in a cup for anyone!

WE feel it is time for the 20 million Americans who smoke marijuana on a regular basis to stop hiding their love for this plant and unite as one large body of voters to demand an end to the unconstitutional prohibition of marijuana and the drug war. The U.S. cannot lock up 20 million people.

The War on Drugs causes more harm than the drugs themselves ever will.

United WE are a potential 20 million vote political machine. WE want to live free and WE must be determined to stand up, be counted, demonstrate, rally, and write.

Waiting for the government to silence us all in the American prison system is not an option! Too many of our brethren are there, in prison right now.

More Americans are in jail today for marijuana offenses than at any previous time in American history. The war against marijuana is a genocidal war waged against us by a government determined to eradicate our plant, our culture, our freedom and our political rights.


Time Magazine Reports: U.S. Marijuana Party

U.S. Marijuana Party

By Christina Crapanzano Monday, Mar. 29, 2010
Top 10 Time Alternative Political Movements
Andrew Holbrooke / Corbis

Long before Loretta Nall campaigned on her cleavage, the activist’s cause was cannabis. The Alabama resident gained national attention during her 2006 gubernatorial campaign when she produced T-shirts with the caption “More of these boobs …” (with a photo of Nall in a low-cut shirt) “… And less of these boobs” (next to photos of her opponents). But the write-in candidate’s political roots date back to 2002, when a misdemeanor arrest for possession was the spark behind her forming the U.S. Marijuana Party (USMJP). The group — which demands “an end to the unconstitutional prohibition of marijuana” — has official party chapters in seven states, including Colorado, Illinois and Kentucky. While Nall left the USMJP to be a Libertarian Party governor nominee, the group continues to back candidates in local, state and national elections under the leadership of Richard Rawlings, who is currently running for Congress in Illinois.

Read more:

FOUND GUILTY, BY JURY, of “possession of pot – that I was not in possession of…” Thorne Peters

In the continuing saga of Cannabis prohibition comes Thorne Peters who was convicted by a Jury of his “peers” on March 1, 2018, in Shelby County Tennessee under Judge Robert Carter Jr.  He is scheduled to be sentenced on April 3, 2018. 

We will continue following this case to the finale because, I agree with Thorne Peters, in that:

There is no “MENS REA” for a POT bust!

Please view the video’s and information below!


Thorne Peters

THE SPECTER OF THE GUN was used to take THE TRIAL OF THE MILLENNIUM next level by labeling me a CRIMINAL who committed no crime and a VIOLENT OFFENDER who committed no act of violence according to the evidence and testimony. NO MENS REA is now “A FORTIORI”. As I will have some years to spend in prison, pending a multitude of appeals, I will find fellow prisoners who also have no name of a victim on their affidavit and unleash them upon the system.

For those of you who are speaking up for “THE NO MENS REA WAY” to FREE humanity from PROHIBITION by LEGISLATION, you must understand how The Ministerz of Justice used the guns in the commission of a crime to present guns to the jury that were not in my house, not in my possession, not used in the commission of a crime and were thrown out in Pre-Trial, so they would not have to face the POT case unarmed.

Those of you facing PROHIBITION charges, who are not a target of your local Ministerz of Injustice, who have no guns to be tainted with, will follow the law to proceed PRO SE with the lawful offensive of NO MENS REA and the HUMAN RIGHTS declaration of “I AM THE LAW” in the name of THE KINGPIN Thorne Peters!

Any other position is unlawful; a crime against humanity . . .



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DANX for sharing with “THE FREEDOMfund” … I will be sentenced to 12 years in prison on April 3, 2018, with a projected release date of 10/2021, so I need your support to keep my home fires burning; I need to make phone calls to continue being heard LIVE daily on the phone to share the message of FREEDOM with those being oppressed; I need to take care of Lady L, so she is not in the dark in da hood and maybe some of our puppiez . . . I’d love to see them again in life. So, jump in and make a difference in my life as I go down fighting for our FREEDOM from PROHIBITION, even from behind the prison walls. “I AM THE LAW!” #NOMENSREA .

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The “Trial of the Millennium” has been sent to the jury.

Memphis Mayoral Candidate & Pot Advocate Convicted On Drugs & Weapons Charges

Pot activist Thorne Peters found guilty of marijuana possession

The East Mississippi Correctional Facility Is ‘Hell on Earth’

By Carl Takei, Senior Staff Attorney, ACLU’s Trone Center for Justice and Equality

March 5, 2018

E. Mississippi Correctional Fire

At the East Mississippi Correctional Facility, where Mississippi sends some of the most seriously mentally ill people in the state prison system, even the most troubled patients are routinely ignored and the worst cases of self-harm are treated with certain neglect. The conditions at EMCF have cost some prisoners their limbs, their eyesight, and even their lives.

In 2013, the ACLU, Southern Poverty Law Center, and prisoner rights attorney Elizabeth Alexander filed a class-action complaint on behalf of all the prisoners held at EMCF. As the case heated up, the law firm of Covington & Burling LLP joined as co-counsel, providing major staffing and support. Despite years of attempts by Mississippi to derail the lawsuit before our clients even saw the inside of the courtroom, the case will finally proceed to trial Monday.

The lawsuit against EMCF describes horrific conditions at the facility: rampant violence, including by staff against prisoners; solitary confinement used to excess, with particular harm to prisoners with mental illnesses; and filthy cells and showers that lack functional toilets or lights. It also sheds light on a dysfunctional medical and mental healthcare delivery system that puts patients at risk of serious injury and has contributed to deaths in custody.

Nowhere was this institutionalized neglect more clear than in the life, and death, of T.H., a patient at EMCF with a history of severe mental illness and self-harm. On Jan. 31, 2016, T.H. stuck glass into his arm. Instead of sending him to the emergency room, a nurse merely cleaned the wound with soap and water. The following day, he broke a light bulb and inserted the shards into his arm. This time he required eight stitches.

Less than two weeks later, he cut himself with a blade hidden in his cell and then tried to hang himself. It was only later that month, after he reopened his arm wound with more glass, that mental health staff finally placed him on special psychiatric observation status.
Yet, because he wasn’t properly monitored, T.H.’s series of self-injury continued unabated until April 4, 2016. Early that afternoon, he stuck his arm, dripping in blood, through a slot in his cell door and asked to see the warden. A lieutenant saw T.H.’s bloodied arm, but, rather than call for emergency assistance, simply left the area. Two hours later, T.H. was observed unresponsive on the floor of his cell.

E. Mississippi Correctional Blood on the Door
In response, the prison warden opted to call for a K-9 team to enter the cell with dogs before letting medical professionals examine the patient. By then it was too late — T.H. was dead, having strangled himself with materials from inside his cell. He never once had a proper suicide risk assessment or any treatment to address his self-harm.

The lackadaisical and unconstitutional approach that EMCF staff takes toward prisoner healthcare cost T.H. his life and has caused well-documented suffering among countless other mentally ill prisoners. And it all happens in the context of a prison rife with violence, where security staff often react with excessive force to mental health crises and allow prison gangs to control access to necessities of life, including at times food.

The Constitution requires that if the state takes someone into custody, it must also take on the responsibility of providing treatment for their serious medical and mental health needs. This means, among other measures, hiring qualified medical staff to provide necessary care for people with mental health disorders, creating systems for access to care so sick patients can see a mental health or medical clinician, and making sure that medical care is provided without security staff impeding it.

The ACLU and our co-counsel are fighting to ensure that such care is available at EMCF, where the state of Mississippi has continued to lock some of the most vulnerable prisoners in dangerous and filthy conditions and deny them access to constitutionally required mental health and medical care.

I witnessed those conditions firsthand when I visited EMCF in January 2011 with fellow ACLU attorney Gabriel Eber and two medical and mental health experts. At that time, we were horrified to discover that Mississippi’s designated mental health prison was closer to a vision of hell on earth than a therapeutic treatment facility.

When I walked into one of the solitary confinement units, the entire place reeked of smoke from recent fires. I tried to speak to patients about their experiences, but I could barely hear them over the sounds of others moaning and screaming while they slammed their hands into metal cell doors.

Despite repeated warnings from nationally renowned experts brought in to assess conditions at the prisons, a meeting with top Mississippi Department of Corrections officials, and an offer by the ACLU to help MDOC pay to diagnose and fix the problems at EMCF, Mississippi officials permitted these conditions to continue unabated. Rather than take responsibility for fixing this prison, these officials merely switched contractors. In 2012, they swapped out private prison giant GEO Group, Inc. and replaced them with another private prison company, Management & Training Corp., which is perhaps best known for its horrific record of abusing and neglecting immigrant detainees. The state has also switched prison medical contractors multiple times, with little improvement from one to the next.

But the nightmare might soon be over. Over seven years since we first visited the cesspool that is EMCF, our clients will be allowed in court for the first time, asking that their constitutional rights finally be recognized. That recognition won’t undo the great harms they’ve suffered. But by fulfilling the Constitution’s promise of protection, we can stop new harms and horrors at EMCF, of which there have been too many for too long.


Don’t Legalize Marijuana, UN Drug Enforcement Board Warns Countries

March 5, 2018 By Tom Angell

A United Nations drug enforcement body is warning international leaders to keep marijuana illegal.

Countries are supposed to prohibit non-medical use of cannabis under international drug control treaties that most nations signed onto decades ago, but a growing number of U.S. states as well as countries like Canada are moving to enact legalization anyway.

“Governments and jurisdictions in North America have continued to pursue policies with respect to the legalization of the use of cannabis for non-medical purposes, in violation of the 1961 Convention as amended,” the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) wrote in its annual report published last week.

Specifically, INCB said that a proposed marijuana legalization law that is moving through Canada’s Parliament is in “contravention” of the international agreements.

“The Board notes with concern that in Canada, draft legislation intended to authorize and regulate the nonmedical consumption of cannabis was introduced in the House of Commons in April 2017,” the report says. “As the Board has stated repeatedly, if passed into law, provisions of Bill C-45, which permit non-medical and non-scientific use of cannabis would be incompatible with the obligations assumed by Canada under the 1961 Convention as amended.”

The UN body also criticized state cannabis legalization policies in the U.S.

“The situation pertaining to cannabis cultivation and trafficking in North America continues to be in flux owing to the widening scope of personal non-medical use schemes in force in certain constituent states of the United States,” it said. “The decriminalization of cannabis has apparently led organized criminal groups to focus on manufacturing and trafficking other illegal drugs, such as heroin.”

The board warned Uruguay, which enacted a national marijuana legalization law in 2013 that it is in “clear violation” of the drug treaties. “The limitation of the use of controlled substances to medicinal and scientific purposes is a fundamental principle to which no derogation is permitted under the 1961 Convention as amended,” INCB wrote in the new report.

The body also raised concerns about pending proposals in the Netherlands that would legalize and regulate marijuana cultivation, saying that would be “inconsistent” with treaties to which the country is a party.

Jamaica gets called out, too, for its 2015 law allowing marijuana for religious use. “The Board reminds the Government of Jamaica and all other parties that under article 4, paragraph (c), of the 1961 Convention as amended only the medical and scientific use of cannabis is authorized and that use for any other purposes, including religious, is not permitted,” the report says.

While INCB notes throughout the report that medical cannabis is allowed under the international conventions, countries are expected to enact strict controls to “ensure that cannabis is prescribed by competent medical practitioners according to sound medical practice and based on sound scientific evidence.”

And personal cultivation of medical marijuana by patients is not permitted, the board argues.

“Those articles require States providing for the use of cannabis for medical purposes to establish a national cannabis agency to control, supervise and license its cultivation. Such agencies must designate the areas in which the cultivation of cannabis is permitted; ensure the licensing of producers; purchase and take physical possession of stocks; and maintain a monopoly on wholesale trading and maintaining stocks,” the report reads. “States must take measures to prohibit the unauthorized cultivation of cannabis plants, to seize and destroy illicit crops, and to prevent the misuse of and trafficking in cannabis. Similarly, the Board wishes to draw the attention of all Governments to its previously stated position that personal cultivation of cannabis for medical purposes is inconsistent with the 1961 Convention as amended because, inter alia, it heightens the risk of diversion.”

While INCB ostensibly has enforcement authority over the provisions of the international drug control treaties, its actions usually don’t amount to more than the issuing of sternly worded reports, so it is unlikely that this year’s version will do more to stop the international movement toward marijuana legalization than similar past missives have.



How the U.N. is stealing our “UNALIENABLE RIGHTS” to grow food and Medicine through U.N. Convention on Narcotic Drugs

“Your son is on CBD oil. He is terminated from the clinical trial. Don’t bother ever showing up again,”

13-Year-Old Denied Life-Saving Treatment Because He Used CBD Oil

13-Year-Old Denied Life-Saving Treatment Because He Used CBD Oil

March 5, 2018 By Burgess Powell

Kaden Hartman of Virginia Beach is 13-years-old and lives with Niemann-Pick disease, a condition known colloquially as Child’s Alzheimer’s. There are approximately 500 to 100 cases of diagnosed NPD today, making it extremely rare. Children with Niemann-Pick disease experience rapid physical and mental deterioration. Eventually, they’re faced with seizures and problems with mobility, eating, and communication. According to the National Niemann-Pick Disease Foundation, most children suffering from Child’s Alzheimer’s don’t live to age 20. Kathy Hartman, the mother of this 13-year-old denied life-saving treatment because he used CBD oil, reached out to High Times to explain what happened.

Kaden’s FDA-Approved Treatment

“When there’s nothing else out there to save his life, the FDA will approve an experimental medicine, and he’s been on it for almost three years,” Mrs. Hartman explains.

The drug the FDA approved for Kaden is called Cyclodextrin and has been effectively treating Kaden’s Niemann-Pick disease.

Doctors predicted that Kaden wouldn’t live to age 13, but he’ll be 14 in April.

“It’s definitely working,” says Mrs. Hartman.

In addition to the experimental Cyclodextrin, Kaden has been taking CBD oil since he started experiencing seizures, a common consequence of Niemann-Pick disease.

“It slows down seizures by, I think, 60 percent,” Mrs. Hartman says of CBD after doing research on the non-psychoactive compound of cannabis on her own.

Watching her son experience 10 to 20 seizures daily, Mrs. Hartman decided to give CBD a shot, under the supervision of Kaden’s primary neurologist.

“It seems to be working great,” Mrs. Hartman told Kaden’s neurologist who closely monitored his CBD use.

With CBD, Kaden avoided the negative side-effects associated with anti-seizure medication.

According to Kaden’s mother, the only potential results of CBD use are slight drowsiness and a better appetite.

Going off CBD, however, has had serious consequences.

After Mrs. Hartman received a letter from the Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center (VCU), the hospital treating Kaden, stating that Kaden will be taken off the study if he uses CBD, she stopped giving him the herbal supplements.

Off CBD, Kaden experiences many seizures. He has since fractured his skull, concussed himself, and developed two blood clots in his brain.

Not only was this 13-year-old denied life-saving treatment because he used CBD oil, but CBD oil itself was a lifesaving treatment for seizures.

Neurologists who work with Niemann-Pick disease patients recommend CBD Oil

In addition to Kaden’s personal experience with CBD’s benefits, two of his neurologists recommended it.

His primary neurologist of 8 years suggested that Kaden take CBD to cope with his seizures.

Dr. Ralph Northam, Kaden’s former pediatrician who is now the governor of Virginia, wrote Kaden a prescription for cannabidiol.

Though Mrs. Hartman didn’t fill out this prescription at the time, it allowed Kaden access to CBD much more potent than the health store variety he later took.

Dr. Rebecca Caffrey, a friend of the Hartman family, explains, “CBD is the drug of choice for treating seizures in NPC kids.”

She cites another case of two young girls who suffer from Niemann-Pick disease and began taking CBD oil to minimize their seizures.

Not only did CBD help these girls—the daughters of Kathy Hartman’s friend Chris Hempel—but they are allowed to continue their other treatment, which is of the same nature as Kaden’s.

Four days after sending Mrs. Hartman that threatening letter, VCU gave her a call.

“Your son is on CBD oil. He is terminated from the clinical trial. Don’t bother ever showing up again,” Mrs. Hartman says, summing up her conversation.


(TN) Thorne Peters–The Trial of the Millennium Continues today

The “Trial of the Millennium” has been sent to the jury.


FOUND GUILTY, BY JURY, of  “possession of pot – that I was not in possession of…”

To be sentenced to 12 years on April 3, 2018. 

thorne peters 3.1.18

At approximately 12:30pm CST Thorne Peters initiated a live video from the Courthouse on Facebook.

The final jury instructions from  Judge J. Robert Carter, Jr.,  were to  “follow the law”!  according to Thorne.   (… “Follow the legislation as if it were the law!” said Thorne, sarcastically in the video)

“If you follow the legislation  we are slaves, if you follow the law we are all free.”

A loud and outspoken Activist for Human Rights and Cannabis use, Thorne is taking it to the Jury to fight for #NoMensRae.  To have a crime you must have a victim and there is no victim in possessing,   using or growing pot.

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Follow these links to read up on the trial of Thorne Peters and the legacy of #NoMensRae.



There is no “MENS REA” for a POT bust!

Pro-pot advocate defends self on marijuana charges

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Katie Fretland, USA TODAY NETWORK – Tennessee

Wearing a cannabis plant necklace and a long black robe, pro-pot advocate Thorne Peters defended himself on marijuana charges and a gun charge Wednesday in an afternoon punctuated by yelling between him and the judge.

Judge Bobby Carter repeatedly asked Peters to stop editorializing and opining in front of the jury as Peters acted as his own attorney during the first day of testimony in his trial in Shelby County Criminal Court.

“This is not productive,” Carter said.

“I know it’s not,” said Peters, who told The Commercial Appeal he had smoked as much pot as he possibly could on Wednesday.

“And it’s because of you,” Carter said.

“No, it’s because of you,” Peters told the judge, who immediately asked the jury to step out.

“This is your last chance. You are in contempt. You are absolutely in contempt of this court,” Carter said, before telling Peters to stop pulling out documents, stop characterizing them in front of the jury and stop waving them around.

“You have to control yourself,” the judge said.

The first day of testimony was heard in front of a group of a dozen public defenders and prosecutors who watched the trial.

At one point in his discussions with the judge, Peters implored Carter to “swing the gavel and end the siege of prohibition.”

“No, I couldn’t,” Carter said.

“You can,” Peters said.

“No, I couldn’t,” Carter reiterated.
The charges against Peters, who pulled paperwork to run as an independent for Shelby County mayor in the Aug. 2 election, stem from an arrest Feb. 3, 2015 in a search warrant for him at his girlfriend’s address in the 700 block of Marianna Street in Orange Mound.

“I’m proud to be a pot salesman,” he told authorities in a tape played for the jury.

On the day of his arrest, the Shelby County Sheriff’s Narcotics division and the Multi-Agency Gang Unit served a search warrant naming Peters as the suspect, according to a law enforcement affidavit. Detectives approached the residence and cut a lock to the front gate and entered the property.

Two large dogs charged the detectives, according to the affidavit, and a sheriff’s sergeant fired a less lethal shotgun round. A pit bull named Muggles was shot in the face. He lived but lost his right eye and hearing on his right side. None of the officers was injured.

Muggles was shot with a less lethal round in the face by a Shelby County Sheriff's sergeant while the sheriff's office Narcotics division and the Multi-Agency Gang Unit executed a search warrant with Thorne Peters as a suspect on Feb. 3, 2015. Muggles lost an eye and hearing on his right side from the shooting.

Muggles was shot with a less lethal round in the face by a Shelby County Sheriff’s sergeant while the sheriff’s office Narcotics division and the Multi-Agency Gang Unit executed a search warrant with Thorne Peters as a suspect on Feb. 3, 2015. Muggles lost an eye and hearing on his right side from the shooting. (Photo: Mark Weber/The Commercial Appeal)

Detectives then forced entry through the front door of the house. Peters and Linda Harrah were found in the dining room and taken into custody.

The affidavit says a detective searched the front room of the house and found a Gendarmeria Nacional .45 caliber pistol. A plastic baggie of 14.8 grams of suspected marijuana, a wooden pipe, glass pipe and two baggies of marijuana cigarette butts were found in the dining room.

Detective Jeremy Drewery, who has since been terminated from the sheriff’s office and convicted in federal court of unlawfully taking money from a drug dealer in 2016 and trying to have a witness killed, was also part of the search. The affidavit says Drewery searched a northwest bedroom and found three jars of suspected marijuana weighing 339 grams, a digital scale and five glass pipes. He also found $403 in a tin box, the affidavit says.

Drewery searched Harrah’s purse and found $184 which was released back to her, and 4.8 grams of suspected marijuana, according to the affidavit.

All of the suspected marijuana tested positive for THC, according to the affidavit.

Peters, who has represented himself before, has two previous misdemeanor marijuana convictions on his record. Three felony drugs counts were previously dismissed, according to court records.

The trial was still underway late Wednesday afternoon.


Marijuana to Stay A Schedule I Drug, Federal Judge Denies Reclassification

Image result for alexis bortell

By Anushree Madappa On 02/27/18

On Monday, a federal judge of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York dismissed a request to reclassify marijuana — currently a Schedule I drug, leaving the plaintiffs in a limbo after many states have legalized marijuana for medical and recreational purposes.

The plaintiffs — Marvin Washington, Dean Bartell, Alexis Bartell, Jose Belen, Sebastien Cotte, Jagger Cotte, along with the Cannabis Cultural Association Inc. — filed the petition challenging classification of marijuana as a Schedule I drug, hoping that it’s reclassification would pay way for legalization of cannabis across the nation. They sued Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the Department of Justice and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in the federal court.

They petitioners claimed that the “current scheduling of marijuana violates due process because it lacks a rational basis.”

For decades, Marijuana has been under the Schedule I category of the Controlled Substances Act, the highest level of drug classification making it on par with dangerous drugs like heroin. The government has repeatedly rejected appeals for reclassification. The substances in this schedule have “a high potential for abuse,” (2) “no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States,” and (3) there is “a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug or other substance under medical supervision.”

Deeming marijuana as a highly dangerous drug, the U.S. Congress proffered the power to reclassify the drug with the attorney general. The power to reclassify was also granted to the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), provided the attorney general signs off on the petition to reclassify the drug based on medical and scientific data provided by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The data should be consistent with the argument for reclassification.

While dismissing the petition, which argued that there was no “rational basis” for the Congress to classify Marijuana under Schedule I, Judge Alkin K Hellerstein said, “By framing their claim in terms of the statutory factors outlined in Section 8 l 2(b) (1), plaintiffs’ lawsuit is best understood as a collateral attack on the various administrative determinations not to reclassify marijuana into a different drug schedule.”

“As such, plaintiffs’ claim is barred because plaintiffs failed to exhaust their administrative remedies,” he added.

The “exhaustion rule” generally implies the plaintiffs to go through all parties and exhaust all “administrative remedies” before moving to the federal courts, which the judge found was not followed in the case.

By approaching the federal court, the petitioners chose to avoid the same fate dealt to previous complaints that challenged the administration agency and lost in 2016, the judge said.

In 2016, a request to reclassify marijuana was denied by the DEA. In a letter to the petitioners, the agency said, “HHS concluded that marijuana has a high potential for abuse, has no accepted medical use in the United States, and lacks an acceptable level of safety for use even under medical supervision.”

The federal court judge said he agrees with the previous verdict given by Judge Wolford of the Western District of New York in the United States v. Green case where he said the petition did not challenge the DEA’s decision “to conclude that there is no currently accepted medical use for marijuana” but the constitutional issue is “whether there is any conceivable basis to support the placement of marijuana on the most stringent schedule under the [Controlled Substance Act] CSA.”

In a document stating the verdict, Hellerstein said, “Plaintiffs have failed to state a claim under any constitutional theory, all of plaintiffs’ remaining claims are also dismissed.”

The judge concluded that the “defendants’ motion to dismiss the complaint is granted. Plaintiffs have already amended their complaint once, and I find that further amendments would be futile.”



Alexis Bortell, 12, Won’t Let Court Loss Stop Jeff Sessions Medical Pot Fight  (1-27-18)

Last year, then-eleven-year-old Colorado resident and medical marijuana patient Alexis Bortell joined other plaintiffs in a lawsuit against pot-hating Attorney General Jeff Sessions over federal scheduling of cannabis. Yesterday, February 26, a judge with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York dismissed the suit, but Bortell, now twelve, wasn’t distressed. Shortly after the news went public, a post appeared on her Facebook page reading, “We were ready. Smile. We know #SCOTUS [Supreme Court of the United States] is where we are probably going.”   LINK

The note ended with the hashtags #IStandWithAlexis and #AlexisBortell.

Bipartisan bill offered in House to protect marijuana users in legal weed states

Bipartisan bill offered in House to protect marijuana users in legal weed states

By Lydia Wheeler – 02/15/18 05:19 PM EST

A bipartisan bill was offered in the House on Thursday seeking to circumvent attempts by Attorney General Jeff Sessions to encourage stricter enforcement of federal marijuana laws in states where the drug is legal.

Reps. Lou Correa (D-Calif.) and Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) introduced the “Sensible Enforcement Of Cannabis Act,” which would mirror a Obama-era memo that relaxed enforcement of federal marijuana laws in states where the drug is legal. Sessions rescinded the memo last month.

The lawmakers say their legislation would protect people from being prosecuted for legal medical and recreational marijuana use.

“To date, eight states have legalized recreational cannabis, and twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia, representing more than half of the American population, have enacted legislation to permit the use of cannabis,” Correa said in a statement.

“Attorney General Sessions’ decision to rescind the ‘Cole Memo’ created great uncertainty for these states and legal cannabis businesses, and put citizens in jeopardy for following their state laws,” he said.

In rescinding the 2013 directive from then-Deputy Attorney General James Cole, Sessions did not explicitly call for action, but the move opens the door for federal prosecutors to begin pursuing cases against both businesses that sell weed and residents who use it.

The memo had prioritized other prosecutions ahead of marijuana use offenses.

In a statement, Gaetz called the former memo good policy but bad governance because it was not passed through an act of Congress.

“We are a nation of laws, not department-wide memos. We should not tell prosecutors to ‘pick and choose’ what laws to uphold,” he said. “When federal law conflicts with state laws and the will of the American people, it’s time to change the laws.”


U.S. judge weighs challenge to federal marijuana prohibition

Brendan Pierson

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The U.S. Department of Justice on Wednesday urged a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit seeking to overturn the United States’ longstanding prohibition of marijuana, the latest court battle over federal policy under President Donald Trump’s administration.

The argument, before U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein in Manhattan, came about a month after U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced he would abandon a policy of former President Barack Obama that had left regulation of the drug largely up to states.

Several states including, California, Colorado and Washington have legalized marijuana for recreational use, and 29 states allow some medical use.

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit, filed in July, include the parents of two children who use marijuana to treat illness, and former New York Jets player Marvin Washington, who works with a company that develops marijuana-based products.

They claim that the federal ban on marijuana violates the U.S. Constitution. Under the 1970 Controlled Substances Act, marijuana is classified as a “Schedule I” drug, meaning that it is considered to have a high potential for abuse and no medical use. Other Schedule I drugs include heroin and LSD.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Samuel Dolinger, arguing for the government, said federal law did not allow the plaintiffs to challenge the marijuana ban in court. Instead, he said, they must bring a petition through the Drug Enforcement Administration.

“The agency process is exhaustive,” he said.

Michael Hiller, lawyer for the plaintiffs, countered that the process was “futile,” and that there was no “rational basis” for marijuana to remain on Schedule I.

One of the children in the lawsuit, Alexis Bortell, successfully treats seizures using the drug, while another, Jagger Cotte, has used it to alleviate pain associated with a neurological condition called Leigh’s Disease, Hiller said.

“I represent people who need cannabis to live,” he said.

Hellerstein expressed sympathy for the plaintiffs during the hearing.

“How could anyone say that your clients’ lives have not been saved by marijuana?” he asked at one point.

However, the judge said he was not sure whether he had the authority to reschedule the drug. He also dismissed Heller’s argument that the prohibition was motivated by political concerns and racism when it was passed.

“The law is the law,” the judge said. “I‘m sworn to enforce the law.”

Reporting By Brendan Pierson in New York; Editing by Cynthia Osterman


Trump Administration Battles Sick Kids on Access to Legal Pot

By Erik Larson February 14, 2018, 3:56 PM CST

In a New York courtroom packed with cannabis supporters, the Trump administration urged a federal judge to throw out a lawsuit that aims to pave the way for legal marijuana across the country.

The case was brought on behalf of two sick children, a former National Football League player who says athletes deserve a better way to treat head trauma than addictive opioids and the Cannabis Cultural Association. The suit, filed in July 2017, seeks a ruling that marijuana was unconstitutionally labeled alongside heroin and LSD as a so-called Schedule I drug — the harshest of five government ratings — when Congress passed the Controlled Substance Act in 1970.

In court on Wednesday, Justice Department attorney Samuel Hilliard Dolinger said the plaintiffs didn’t follow legal requirements before suing, beginning with a petition to the Drug Enforcement Agency.

“The right thing is to defer to the agency,” said U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein, an 84-year-old who was nominated by former President Bill Clinton, who famously admitted to experimenting with pot while claiming he “didn’t inhale.”

Cannabis legalization has gained momentum in states, even with an unfriendly face in the U.S. Attorney General’s office. Nine states and Washington, D.C., allow adults to use the plant as they wish. More than one in five people can legally eat, drink, smoke or vape, according to state regulations. Twenty additional states have legalized pot for medicinal use.

Trump Interrupts Marijuana’s Path From Taboo to Legit: QuickTake

Hellerstein said he would issue a ruling later, and it was far from clear which way he was leaning. The judge, who had the courtroom erupting in laughter on more than a few occasions during the hearing, was skeptical of the government’s claim that there’s no medical benefit to marijuana.

“Your clients are living proof of the medical effectiveness of marijuana,” Hellerstein said to the plaintiffs’ lawyer, Michael Hiller.

The legal cannabis industry is predicted to reach $50 billion in sales by 2026, up from $6 billion in 2016, according to investment bank Cowen & Co. Still, the industry is rife with risk. Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded in January the Obama-era policies that ushered in legalization in many states.

The lawsuit has some star power with plaintiff Marvin Washington, who played for the New York Jets. He joined the case because the Controlled Substance Act made him ineligible for grants under the Federal Minority Business Enterprise program, which he planned to use for his medicinal cannabis business.

The suit also highlighted the human toll of the federal government’s war on marijuana with young plaintiffs whose lives have been saved or improved by cannabis, including 11-year-old Alexis Bortell of Colorado and seven-year old Jagger Cotte of Georgia.

Bortell’s epileptic seizures were brought under control by cannabis after her family moved from Texas to Colorado so she could legally use it in that state, according to the suit. Cotte, who suffers from Leigh’s Disease, was able to treat excruciating pain with medicinal marijuana and prolong his life by two years beyond his maximum prognosis, according to the suit.

The complaint notes that American presidents from George Washington and Thomas Jefferson to John F. Kennedy and Barack Obama have smoked pot. It also claims the Nixon administration was motivated by ulterior motives when it pushed for the Controlled Substance Act.

Cannabis was criminalized “not to control the spread of a dangerous drug, but rather to suppress the rights and interests of those whom the Nixon Administration wrongly regarded as hostile to the interests of the U.S. — African Americans and protesters of the Vietnam War,” the suit says.

At the hearing, Hellerstein said that argument wasn’t going to work with him.

The decision “will not depend on what may have been in the mind of Richard Nixon at the time,” Hellerstein said.

— With assistance by Jennifer Kaplan


Court hears challenge to federal marijuana laws

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