GLOBAL MARIJUANA MARCH, ON DERBY DAY, MAY 3RD, IN LOUISVILLE, KY!

*GLOBAL MARIJUANA MARCH LOUISVILLE KENTUCKY ON MAY 3

Presented by Kentucky Marijuana Party and DIVERSE SANCTUARY

Louisville, Kentucky, April 30, 2014–

The Global Marijuana March is coming to Louisville, Kentucky on Saturday May 3rd, 2014 which coincides with Kentucky Derby Day!

This will be the FIRST GLOBAL MARIJUANA MARCH that LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY has participated in.

Per Wikipedia:

Hundreds of thousands of people have participated in over 829 different cities in 72 countries worldwide since 1999

The following route will be adhered to as submitted to the Louisville Permit Office:

*Note: We will meet in front of Mid City Mall on Bardstown Road in Louisville, Kentucky at 10:30am sharp for the walk to begin at 11:00.  The permit ends at 12:30pm.  However, there are many restaurants, shops, and other places to visit in the Highlands neighborhood of Louisville!  So spend the day and enjoy!

Start at Mid City Mall at 1250 Bardstown Rd. Head northwest on Bardstown Rd toward Beechwood Ave
0.5 mi

Continue onto Baxter Ave
0.3 mi
(Corner of Baxter and Broadway)

Head northwest on Baxter Ave toward Cherokee Rd
220 ft.

Sharp right onto Cherokee Rd
0.9 mi.

Turn right onto Longest Ave
492 ft.

Turn right onto Bardstown Rd
To 1250 Bardstown Rd.
400 ft.

TOTAL 1.8 MILES

WE ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR PARKING.

ALL LOCAL LAWS MUST BE ADHERED TO WHILE PARTICIPATING!

PLEASE BE CONSIDERATE OF THE NEIGHBORHOOD!

THIS EVENT IS INTENDED TO RAISE AWARENESS CONCERNING CANNABIS/HEMP/”MARIJUANA”, IT’S VALUE TO OUR SOCIETY AND REASONS TO “REPEAL” THE EXISTING CANNABIS LAWS VERSUS THE “LEGALIZATION” OF THE PLANT!

PLEASE COME OUT AND SUPPORT YOUR RIGHT TO GROW NON-GMO, NON-REGULATED CANNABIS!

# # #

If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Sheree M Krider at U.S. Marijuana Party of KENTUCKY (ph: 270-612-0524) or email at shereekrider@usmjparty.com.

*Diverse Sanctuary, Mary Thomas-Spears, Bowling Green, Kentucky, (ph: 270-904-0279)

10 things to know for the 140th Kentucky Derby

 

 

 

By BETH HARRIS Associated Press

LOUISVILLE — The garland of red roses. The solid gold trophy. An estimated payday of $1.24 million.

All those spoils await the winner of the 140th Kentucky Derby to be run on May 3 at Churchill Downs in Louisville. A full field of 20 3-year-olds is expected for the 1 1/4-mile race, and most of them will be running the distance for the first time.

Packing the stands and the infield will be upward of 150,000 people, many of whom come for the party atmosphere, the wagering and to possibly see a live horse or two. They’ll dress to the nines in fancy suits and dresses topped off by a mix of elegant, huge and outrageous hats. New this year to the track is a $12 million high-definition video board that measures 171-foot wide by 90-foot tall and will show the day’s races and other entertainment.

Here are 10 things to know about the Derby:

1. NUMBERS GAME: Trainer Todd Pletcher has four probable starters in pursuit of his second Derby victory. They are: Arkansas Derby winner Danza; Risen Star winner Intense Holiday; Spiral Stakes winner We Miss Artie; and Vinceremos, who was 14th in the Blue Grass. Mike Maker could saddle three horses: Vicar’s in Trouble, General a Rod and Harry’s Holiday. Bob Baffert, a three-time Derby winner, could start two: Rebel Stakes winner Hoppertunity and Sunland Derby winner Chitu.

2. DRAW DAY: The field of 20 horses is announced on Wednesday. That’s when the draw is held to determine spots in the starting gate. Some trainers want to avoid the No. 1 post because their horse starts next to the rail and could get pinched going into the first turn. Others don’t like the No. 20 post because their horse is on the far outside and has to quickly make its way over toward the rail to save ground going into the first turn. Last year’s winner, Orb, broke from the No. 15 post. The odds are set on draw day, too.

3. CALIFORNIA CHROME: California Chrome is expected to be the favorite based on the dominating form he’s shown on the West Coast. The colt has won his last four races by a combined 24 1/4 lengths, including the Santa Anita Derby. He beat Hopportunity and Candy Boy in that race, two rivals he’s likely to face again in Louisville. He’s trained by Art Sherman and ridden by Victor Espinoza, who won the Derby in 2002.

4. POINTS SYSTEM: For the second straight year, the field of 20 starters is being determined by points. Churchill Downs instituted a tiered system that awards a sliding scale of points to the top four finishers in 34 designated races. The top 20 point earners at the end of the series will earn a spot in the Derby starting gate if more than 20 horses enter. The field has been limited to 20 horses since 1975. At least that many have entered every year since 2004, and 13 of the last 15 years.

5. BUCKING HISTORY: Hoppertunity didn’t race as a 2-year-old, setting him up for a chance to break one of the Derby’s oldest jinxes: no horse since Apollo in 1882 has won the Derby without racing at 2. “I had him entered in a race at 2 and scratched him because I had another one there,” trainer Bob Baffert said. “He was ready to run, so that should count.”

6. ALSO ELIGIBLES: Besides the 20 horses which make the Derby, four more can also be entered. They would have until the morning of May 2 to get into the race if any horses are scratched by then.

7. TIEBREAKER: Five horses are tied for the 20th and last spot on the points leaderboard with 20 each. Harry’s Holiday would be the last horse to get in because he has highest earnings in non-restricted stakes races, which is the tiebreaker. The other horses with 20 points are Commanding Curve, Pablo Del Monte, Bayern and Social Inclusion.

8. OLDEST TRAINER: Art Sherman has the best horse of his career with California Chrome. At 77, he could become the oldest trainer to win, breaking the record of Charlie Whittingham, who was 76 when he won in 1989 with Sunday Silence. Sherman has done it all in the business. He was a jockey for 21 years, a racing official and then became a trainer in 1980. He has won over 2,100 races.

9. NEW ANNOUNCER: Larry Collmus is the new race caller at Churchill Downs. He has announced the Derby the last three years on the NBC telecast, but this will be the first year that his voice is heard by fans at the track and TV viewers. He also announces races at Gulfstream Park in Florida.

10. TRIPLE CROWN: A horse has just one shot to win the Triple Crown because the Derby, Preakness and Belmont stakes is restricted to 3-year-olds. Only 11 horses have swept the series and none since Affirmed in 1978. The feat begins with a victory in the Derby, followed by wins in the other races over a five-week span. Fifty horses have finished one win shy of the Triple, including I’ll Have Another in 2012.

– See more at: http://www.glasgowdailytimes.com/sports/x1535579856/10-things-to-know-for-the-140th-Kentucky-Derby#sthash.Qsut9vrc.dpuf

At least one owner of a Colorado medical marijuana business raided by federal agents last year has been arrested and another has been indicted.

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DENVER — At least one owner of a Colorado medical marijuana business raided by federal agents last year has been arrested and another has been indicted.

Agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration, Internal Revenue Service and Diplomatic Security Service carried out several arrests on Friday, said a spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office in Denver. But prosecutors wouldn’t release their names or describe the nature of the case, saying that was part of a sealed indictment that could become public Monday.

Federal authorities in November raided more than a dozen sites, many of them in medical marijuana dispensaries in Denver and Boulder, confiscating piles of marijuana plants and cartons of cannabis-infused drinks and edibles. Although prosecutors still haven’t disclosed the reasons for them, the raids sent a strong message to Colorado’s marijuana industry in the weeks before the state legalized recreational sales of the drug.

The arrests included that of Denver attorney and dispensary owner David Furtado, who on Friday was seen in video taken by KUSA-TV being led away by agents with his arms behind his back. Neither Furtado nor his lawyer returned calls seeking comment.

An attorney for another targeted dispensary owner, Gerardo Uribe, said his client had been indicted but it wasn’t immediately clear if he was arrested.

Attorney Sean McAllister said he did not know what charges Uribe could face.

“My client continues to assert he conducted his business in a way that was consistent with Colorado marijuana laws,” McAllister said. “He intends to vigorously defend himself.”

Court filings related to the case of Hector Diaz, a Colombian man arrested on a weapons charge during the raids, describe both Uribe and Furtado as “targets in a long-term investigation into marijuana distribution, money laundering and other offenses.” Uribe is further described in the documents as “the head of a marijuana drug distribution organization.”

Diaz had been staying at Uribe’s home in an upscale Denver suburb when he was arrested. Prosecutors said Uribe’s father, Gerardo Uribe Sr., confronted agents at the door “holding a firearm he was slow to relinquish.”

Investigators who searched the younger Uribe’s email found a photo they said shows Diaz posing with two semi-automatic rifles and two handguns while wearing a U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency cap, according to the court filings. Diaz’s attorney has asked a judge to dismiss the case against him, saying among other arguments that prosecutors violated his Second Amendment rights.

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US widens path to clemency for nonviolent federal drug offenders

 

The new Justice Department clemency guidelines, which apply to inmates who have served 10 years of their sentence, are designed to alleviate racial disparities left over from tough drug laws.

By Noelle Swan, Staff writer / April 23, 2014

 

The US Justice Department Wednesday widened the path to clemency for nonviolent federal drug offenders with an initiative designed to alleviate longstanding sentencing disparities left over from tough drug laws that disproportionately affected black drug offenders.

The new clemency guidelines apply to inmates who have served 10 or more years in prison and meet other criteria, with some analysts saying thousands of inmates could be affected.

“The attorney general’s and the president’s actions here are trying to remedy an historic wrong that has detrimented many citizens of color,” says Harvard Law School Professor Ronald Sullivan, director of the Harvard Criminal Justice Institute.

The move is consistent with the constitutional principle that punishment should be proportionate to the seriousness of the offense, says Sullivan, who chaired President Obama’s criminal justice policy group during the then-senator’s campaign for president. 

Mr. Obama took his first steps to bring drug sentencing in line with the seriousness of the offense by signing the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010, which revamped mandatory sentencing requirements for cocaine-related crime.

Prior to the act’s passage, predominantly black drug offenders convicted of possessing crack cocaine received mandated sentences that were significantly harsher than those imposed on predominantly white drug offenders facing charges relating to the powdered form of the same drug. Punishments for possession of a given amount of crack were on a par with punishments for possession of 100 times that amount of powdered cocaine. Under the act, that ratio was reduced from 100:1 to 18:1 for newly convicted crack cocaine offenders.

The new clemency guidelines aim to extend that equity to inmates convicted prior to 2010, but only if they meet several guidelines released by the Department of Justice on Wednesday. To qualify for consideration, inmates must have served 10 years of their sentence, have no other significant criminal record, have no significant ties to gangs or organized crime, and have demonstrated good behavior during their incarceration.

No one knows exactly how many people will actually meet all of the criteria for consideration, but the number could easily reach the thousands, says American Civil Liberties Union Deputy Legal Director Vanita Gupta.

“I think [the clemency expansion] marks a turn away from the old business as usual in the federal criminal justice system,” Ms. Gupta says. “That said, it is not going alone to reduce the prison population, which is right now at a crisis point where the federal prison system is 35 to 40 percent over capacity.”

In July, Senator Dick Durbin (D) of Illinois Sen. Mike Lee (R) of Utah introduced the Smarter Sentencing Act, a bill that would shorten mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenders and grant judges more discretion when doling out punishment. The latest version of the bill passed the Senate Judiciary Committee in January and a similar bill has been referred to committee in the House of Representatives.

So far, the Smarter Sentencing Act has garnered considerable support from both sides of the aisle.

However, John Malcolm, a legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation, suggests that the Obama administration’s announcement on Wednesday could jeopardize that support and effectively “poison the well” of congressional bipartisanship.

“This is a very broad action, it’s very precipitously done. It is sort of thumbing his nose at Congress in the sense of trying to develop any sort of bipartisan solutions here,” Mr. Malcolm says.

The ACLU’s Gupta sees it differently.

Several states, including the predominantly red states Texas, South Carolina, and South Dakota, have taken steps to reduce the number of inmates in the state prison system.

“I think the president is feeling empowered to do this in part because there has been tremendous conservative leadership on this in the states for several years now,” Gupta says.

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Potential for heart attack, stroke risk seen with marijuana use

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By Melissa Healy

April 23, 2014, 4:35 p.m.

Over a five-year period, a government-mandated tracking system in France showed that physicians in that country treated 1,979 patients for serious health problems associated with the use of marijuana, and nearly 2% of those encounters were with patients suffering from cardiovascular problems, including heart attack, cardiac arrhythmia and stroke, and circulation problems in the arms and legs. In roughly a quarter of those cases, the study found, the patient died.

In the United States, when young and otherwise healthy patients show up in emergency departments with symptoms of heart attack, stroke, cardiomyopathy and cardiac arrhythmia, physicians have frequently noted in case reports that these unusual patients are regular marijuana users.

Such reporting is hardly the basis for declaring marijuana use an outright cause of cardiovascular disease. But on Wednesday, cardiologists writing in the Journal of the American Heart Assn. warned that “clinical evidence … suggests the potential for serious cardiovascular risks associated with marijuana use.” And with a growing movement to decriminalize marijuana use, they called for data-collection efforts capable of detecting and measuring marijuana’s cardiovascular impact among American users of cannibis setiva.

“There is now compelling evidence on the growing risk of marijuana-associated adverse cardiovascular effects, especially in young people,” said Emilie Jouanjus, lead author of the French study, which was also published in the Journal of the American Heart Assn. That evidence, Jouanjus added, should prompt cardiologists to consider marijuana use a potential cause of cardiovascular disease in patients they see.

In an editorial published Wednesday in the AHA journal, Drs. Sherief Rezkalla and Robert A. Kloner asked, “Do we really know enough about the cardiovascular effects of marijuana to feel comfortable about its use in patients with known cardiovascular disease or patients with cardiovascular risk factors,” including obesity, sedentary behavior, high blood pressure and worrisome cholesterol numbers. 

Rezkalla and Kloner combed the recent medical literature for animal experiments, observational studies and case reports linking marijuana use in close temporal proximity with cardiovascular events. They cited evidence that marijuana use probably increases clotting factors in the blood and that heavy marijuana use may lead to significant changes in the tiny vessels carrying blood to the heart and brain, such that even after clearance of a major blockage, blood flow remains impeded.

Aside from heart attacks and strokes, case studies linked recent marijuana use in patients seeking care for increased angina, ischemic ulcers and gangrene associated with blocked blood flow to extremities and transcient ischemic attacks, sometimes called “mini-strokes.” Notably these complaints often came from patients who were young and had no previous evidence of cardiovascular disease.

“We think the time has come to stop and think about what is the best way to protect our communities from the potential danger of widespread marijuana use in the absence of safety studies,” added Rezkalla, a cardiologist at the Marshfield Clinic in Wisconsin, and Kloner, a cardiologist at USC’s Keck School of Medicine. “It is the responsibility of the medical community to determine the safety of the drug before it is widely legalized for recreational use.”

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Five Washington State Medical Marijuana Patients Face Federal Trials

Prosecutions contradict Obama Administration statements, policy against targeting sick patients

SPOKANE, WA — Family members from a rural area of eastern Washington are expected to go to trial next month on federal marijuana charges, despite the Obama Administration’s repeated claims that it does not target seriously ill patients.

The federal trial of the “Kettle Falls 5″ is scheduled for May 12th, pending several pretrial motions which will be heard on April 22nd before U.S. District Judge Fred Van Sickle in Spokane, Washington. Because of marijuana’s illegal status under federal law, patients like the “Kettle Falls 5″ are typically prohibited from raising a medical necessity or state law defense in federal court.

Federal agents raided the property of Larry Harvey, 70, and his wife, Rhonda Firestack-Harvey, 55, at their rural family home near Kettle Falls, Washington in August 2012.

Federal agents raided the property of Washington State medical marijuana patients Larry Harvey, 70, and his wife, Rhonda Firestack-Harvey, 55, at their rural family home near Kettle Falls, Washington in August 2012.

Federal agents raided the property of Larry Harvey, 70, and his wife, Rhonda Firestack-Harvey, 55, at their rural family home near Kettle Falls, Washington in August 2012.

In addition to seizing 44 premature marijuana plants, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) confiscated the family’s 2007 Saturn Vue, $700 in cash, medicated cookies and marijuana stored in the family freezer, along with legally owned firearms.

The five federal defendants, including Mrs. Firestack-Harvey’s son, Rolland Gregg, and daughter-in-law, were all qualified patients in compliance with Washington state law. Defense attorneys say the cannabis being cultivated on a remote corner of the family’s 33-acre property was strictly for personal use.

Nevertheless, Mr. Harvey, who suffers from numerous ailments including heart disease and severe gout, was jailed for several days and denied medical attention, which resulted in irreversible bodily harm.

The imminent and rare federal trial comes after two Department of Justice (DOJ) directives were issued in June 2011 and August 2013, both of which underscore that individual patients are excluded from the agency’s enforcement strategy. In the latest memorandum, Deputy U.S. Attorney General James Cole claimed that it was “not an efficient use of federal resources to focus enforcement efforts on seriously ill individuals.”

However, shortly before the raid on the Harvey home, U.S. Attorney for the eastern district of Washington Michael Ormsby stated his intent to “vigorously” target individuals “even if such activities are permitted under state law.”

“This case is another glaring example of what’s wrong with the federal policy on cannabis,” said Kari Boiter, a supporter of the “Kettle Falls 5″ and the Washington State Coordinator with Americans for Safe Access, the country’s leading medical marijuana advocacy group. “If the Justice Department can continue to aggressively prosecute individual patients without any consequences from the White House, none of these DOJ memos are worth the paper they’re printed on.”

Notably, these federal prosecutions of individual patients continue even after Washington voters approved Initiative 502 in November 2012, legalizing recreational use of marijuana in the state.

Nevertheless, the “Kettle Falls 5″ were indicted in February 2013 and charged with six felonies each: conspiracy to manufacture and distribute marijuana, manufacture of marijuana, possession with intent to distribute marijuana, distribution of marijuana, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime and maintaining a drug-involved premises.

 

By Americans for Safe Access April 22, 2014

 

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“I’m Ben Droz, and we’re going lobbying”….

Above:  Big Hemp’s main man in Washington, 27-year-old Ben Droz

Ben Droz loosened the red paisley tie around his neck, pulled the knot over his head and replaced it with a skinny black cord made of hemp with sterling silver tassels at the ends. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a couple of plastic tie slides—a screaming eagle and a geometric wood piece—that would, when attached, turn the string into a bolo tie. “This one’s more subtle, more professional,” Droz said, selecting the wooden piece. He pulled it up the string toward his Adams apple. His bolo tie in place, he was ready to “go lobbying,” as Droz put it.

Droz is the American hemp industry’s main man in Washington. As a registered lobbyist for Vote Hemp, an advocacy group that works to loosen hemp laws, Droz, a 27-year-old from Pennsylvania with a thick head of hair and caterpillar eyebrows that make him appear eternally excited, has made it his life mission to bring the Gospel of Hemp to the leaders of America’s capital city. For the past five years, Droz has loaded up a hemp briefcase with hemp products—hemp granola bars, hemp seeds and hemp paper, to name just a few—and walked the halls of the capitol building preaching the glories of hemp.

You’ve heard of industries having an army of lobbyists. Hemp has as army of one, in the person of Ben.

“It’s an army of passion,” Droz said.

He has his work cut out for him. In the United States, there are tough federal restrictions on importing and growing live hemp seeds. As a variant of the cannabis plant which comes from the same botanical family as marijuana, hemp can be grown in a limited number of states only for industrial purposes, and only with special permission from the Drug Enforcement Agency. Because of these restrictions, most hemp products sold in the U.S. are made overseas and shipped here.

On any given day, Droz is a walking billboard for those products. He sports a tan button-down hemp dress shirt over a white undershirt, also made of hemp. Hemp-knit socks cover his feet. A hemp bolo tie adorns his neck; a hemp bracelet circles his wrist. In his pocket, he carries a hemp wallet, which houses his hemp-paper business cards. In the mornings, he washes his body with hemp soap and styles his hair with hemp hair cream. He even wears hemp-cloth underwear, he says. And he’s saving up money to one day buy a hemp business suit, on which he will place the American Flag lapel pin he wears that reads, “Hemp Is Patriotic.”

When I met up with Droz on an April morning to see him in action, his schedule was packed with meetings, photo shoots and presentations about hemp. (When he’s not pushing hemp at the Capitol, Droz moonlights as a professional photographer.) His day would begin with a presentation to conservative activists, followed by a photo gig downtown. Then it was off to Capitol Hill to meet with staff for Colorado Democratic Rep. Jared Polis and Kentucky Republican Rep. Thomas Massie, two of hemp’s biggest supporters in Congress. Thence to the Phoenix Park Hotel near Union Station to scope out a venue for an upcoming cocktail reception for hemp supporters. After a meeting with staff of Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden,he ran across town to take headshots for a PR firm, followed by another shoot at a stand-up comedy competition near U Street that would last late into the night.

“It’s non-stop for me, because there’s no real distinction between what counts as working and what’s not,” Droz said, describing his life. It’s a plight he shares with thousands of other single, overworked 20- and 30-somethings in the District of Columbia. “I feel like I have three jobs. I do all of this hemp stuff, then I do photography, then I also do a lot of Facebooking, because networking is a big part of photography. I’m just constantly working around the clock.”

Grover Norquist hosted Droz for his first stop of the day, the legendary Wednesday meeting of conservative activists organized by the anti-tax lobbyist for two decades. Droz, who voted for President Obama in 2008 and considers climate change one of the world’s greatest dangers, doesn’t necessarily consider himself a conservative. But cannabis advocates have made inroads with conservatives in recent years by pitching decriminalization as a states rights issue and a move toward a world with fewer government regulations.

For his presentation, Droz chose to wear the red traditional necktie instead of his beloved bolo, which he left in a pocket.

“With the conservatives,” he explained, “I never want to come across as too fringe.”

When Norquist introduced Droz as a hemp advocate, some in the audience chuckled. Droz ignored it, and launched into a brief speech about “harmful federal regulations” intended to appeal to the Reaganite hearts of the assembled.

“We are working to remove harmful federal regulations on industrial hemp production in the U.S.,” Droz said, once the giggling died down. “We can’t grow hemp in the U.S. and that’s exactly what we’re working on.”

Droz rattled off statistics about hemp in the lobbying equivalent of an elevator pitch. It’s a half a billion dollar industry, he said, but most of the products have to be imported from abroad, and three new states removed their barriers to hemp production in 2014, bringing the number up to 13. “This is not really a controversial issue anymore,” he told the conservatives. Under current law, he said, the states need federal approval to grow hemp, and he needs help passing a bill to give states control over their own hemp laws without federal interference.

On the actual elevator after the meeting, Michael Moroney, who works at the Franklin Center, a conservative journalism non-profit,shot a knowing smirk at Droz. “Handing out pot candy there, Ben?”

“It’s hemp,” Droz replied. “Not marijuana.”

Moroney smiled. “I know, man,” he said. They both laughed at his ribbing and Droz promised to get Mahoney some hemp granola bars, Droz’s most popular product.

“Everybody makes jokes like that, but the truth is, they know the difference. He knows he’s making a joke,” Droz told me. “They always giggle. But here’s the thing that’s great: They used to giggle and not know what hemp is. But now they giggle and they do know what it is. That’s a big difference.”

Indeed, in just the past few years, hemp in America has grown from an obscure plant used mostly to produce household decorations for stoners and latter-day hippies and into a source of goods that busy mothers can buy at Costco.

In June 2013, 63 Republicans joined 162 Democrats to pass an amendment to the Farm Bill that authorized hemp research in states where hemp farming is legal. Encouraged by that victory, Droz is working to raise support for the Industrial Hemp Farming Act, which would amend the Controlled Substance Act by decoupling hemp from marijuana–thereby freeing up states to legalize hemp as they wish. On the right, the bill has support from Kentucky Republican Sens. Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul and Rep. Massie.

“When I first started this, it was only lefties who are into this,” Droz said. “But it’s really changed a lot because of the states rights approach.”

With his presentation at the Norquist meeting over, Droz, juggling his hemp gear and camera equipment, rushed down the street for a photoshoot with a young real estate mogul at a DC’s City Center, a new complex of apartments, shops and restaurants.

“It’s a crazy day,” Droz muttered. On the way, he berated himself for the two-minute presentation he’d made that morning. “I forgot to mention the Industrial Hemp Farming Act,” he said. “I’m not killing it as hard as a sometimes am. I’m sorry about that.”

Droz wrapped his photo shoot, and then dropped off some of his gear at a nearby office of the PR firm where he would shoot later that day.That was when he removed his traditional tie and got comfortable in his bolo, which he calls his “YOLO bolo.”

Droz fell in love with bolo ties a few years ago when he found that he could buy them made out of hemp and that nearly everyone he met would stop and ask him about his neckwear when he wore bolo ties. He became so obsessed that he even started designing his own ties out of hemp, which he sells on Etsy and promotes on his new website, YoloBolo.com.

“I started wearing bolos as a way to get the conversation going about hemp,” he said. “People just love talking about it. The fact that I can talk about it means I can always talk about hemp, which is my goal. People remember me. I’m the guy with the bolo tie. I’m that hemp guy.”

With his new neckwear in place, Droz caught the Metro to Capitol Hill. His next challenge: Educating Capitol Police at a security station of the Longworth House Office Building that hemp seeds can enter the building. Droz dumped a handful of yellow baggies full of edible hemp seed onto the conveyer belt for screening briefcases. An officer snatched one up and inspected it.

“It’s hemp seed,” Droz informed her. “Totally legal.” In order to enter the United States, edible hemp seeds must first be sterilized, and these were.

(It just so happened that the officer holding Droz’s seeds was the same cop who just last year arrested a marijuana activist for passing out samples of pot candy in a congressional office building the year before.)

Waved in by the officer, Droz stopped for lunch at the bustling Longworth cafeteria, where he spotted Howard Wooldridge, a well-known former policeman and pro-pot activist from Texas who wears an oversized cowboy hat and a shirt that reads, “COPS SAY LEGALIZE POT ASK ME WHY.” Droz bought a salad and sat down.

“Officially there’s a big wall between his issue and mine,” Wooldridge said. “That’s by design from his side, because you don’t want to taint the hemp issue with the marijuana issue. His job is straightforward capitalism, straight forward agricultural issues. Period. It ain’t got nothing to do with drugs.”

While I talked to Wooldridge, Droz ripped open one of the yellow baggies of hemp seed.

“It’s time to hempify my lunch,” he declared, dumping the entirety of the bag over the greens and shaking the salad up to mix them in.

Over lunch, Droz went over some of the challenges he faces as one of the only national activists for a cause few Americans think much about and that many lawmakers still see as a drug policy issue.

“I haven’t been accepted by the mainstream agriculture lobbyists,” he said. “Hemp is such a small issue for agriculture. It’s not an issue they talk a lot about. It’s not an issue they’re passionate about. It’s hard to get them engaged as other people. The goal is for me to be mainstream.”

That will take some doing. About the time Droz finished lunch, a lobbyist from the United Nations Foundation spotted the open hemp seed bag and walked over to introduce himself.“Where can I purchase those? You didn’t get this at the House cafeteria, right?” he asked, before picking up the bag and pulling it toward his nose for a sniff.

“Smells like weed,” he said.

Droz looked up at him. “No it doesn’t, okay?” he said. “This is what people say every time. People smell my briefcase. People smell my shirt, thinking it’s going to smell like weed.”

I took the bag and smelled it. You could definitely discern an olfactory resemblance to hemp’s cousin.

“Okay maybe a little bit,” Droz conceded. “If you’re untrained, you could say it smells like weed.”

Droz, of course, can smell the difference.

With his belly full of hemp seeds, Droz began his daily rounds to congressional offices. Over the course of a year, he will typically visit hundreds of lawmakers. Sometimes he holds long, pre-scheduled meetings with staffers sympathetic to his cause. Other times he just pops into offices to say hello and drop off hemp granola bars.

“Sometimes I just do it randomly,” he said.

When he arrived at Massie’s office, the staffers there greeted Droz by his first name. He and an aide sat down in the lawmaker’s personal office and discussed how they could gain more support across the capitol for the Senate version of Massie’s bill. So far, no one in the upper chamber is taking enough of a leadership role on the issue to do what it takes to get the bill passed, Droz explained.

The theme is a constant one for the one-man, single-issue lobby shop. With so many pressing issues facing lawmakers, how do you get powerful people to care about a single plant, especially when there’s the risk that constituents may confuse it with support for an illegal drug?

It wasn’t always like this. Before live hemp seeds became controversial–and eventually illegal–in the twentieth century, they were widely used throughout the United States for all kinds of purposes.

In fact, hemp literally brought people to America.

“The first Americans who came here brought hemp with them. They not only brought hemp, they sailed here using hemp sails,” Droz said of early European settlers. “You used to be able to pay your taxes in barrels of hemp.”

In 1942, during World War II, the Department of Agriculture even made a pro-hemp propaganda film called, “Hemp for Victory.”

All of that changed under the Controlled Substances Act in the 1970s, when hemp was lumped in as an illegal drug with marijuana. Hemp fell out of fashion for decades and has only recently re-emerged on the American market as an eco-friendly alternative to a variety of products.

“It’s been slow and steady progress over the years,” Vote Hemp President Eric Steenstra—Droz’s boss—said. In 2005, then-Texas Rep. Ron Paul introduced a bill to legalize live hemp seeds; he gained only a couple of co-sponsors. It wasn’t until the farm bill last year that the industry saw its first real win. “Over time we just realized that we had to go door-to-door and educate on this, and that’s what we’ve been doing,” Steenstra said.

And that is exactly what Droz does on Capitol Hill, day after day. His meeting with Massie’s aide on Wednesday led to another meeting with a staff member from Polis’ office, where hemp enjoys support. Sitting on a couch next to Polis’ desk, Droz and an aide brainstormed as to how they could best encourage the DEA to start accepting live seeds inside the country. The DEA has said it’s in a policy review period, putting the hemp industry in a state of limbo. Lawmakers like Polis could possibly help, Droz said, by sending a letter to the DEA urging them to make a decision.

“Why won’t they do anything about it?” Droz said. “It’s so not okay!”

Before the meeting ended, Droz told the staffer about Vote Hemp’s upcoming lobby day during Hemp History Week (the first week of June), when scores of hemp activists were planning a trip to Washington, D.C. Vote Hemp hopes to hold a reception for lawmakers and a briefing on the issue at that time.

The staffer looked at his calendar, and informed Droz of one big problem: Congress won’t be in session that week. Droz took a deep breath.

After the meeting, Droz called Steenstra to report the news of their poor scheduling. If that wasn’t bad enough, Droz also found out that it was against the rules to hand out promotional materials bearing a logo at a Senate conference room where they were planning a Hemp History Week event, and they had already printed out flyers and literature. “That totally sucks! I don’t know what we’re going to do anymore. Dammit,” Droz said after the phone call. “Hemp History Week is totally falling apart!”

“I can only do so much,” he said.

Despite the moment of panic, Droz never lost his composure. He turned to me. “I’m glad you’re here,” he said. “You get to see what it’s like.”

Before he left the Capitol, Droz ducked into California Democrat Zoe Lofgren’s office unannounced to thank her staff for her supporting industrial hemp farming.

Droz reached into his pocket and pulled out one of the yellow packages of hemp seeds. With a wide smile, he tossed it over the desk of a staff assistant in the front room. “That’s for the congresswoman.”

CONTINUE READING AND TO VIDEO’S HERE!

PLEASE READ THIS…IT COULD HAPPEN TO YOU!

My name is Karen Ross-Glaser. I am a disabled 43 year-old single mother, who is trying to provide a better life for my family, away from the abuse we suffered in Michigan. We recently relocated to Arizona 3 years ago, due to a domestic violence situation. The children and I all suffer from PTSD, while the younger children have additional health issues. I am working with many agencies including counseling services to help the family heal.

                Recently, I was arrested and mistaken for someone else due to an Identity Theft issue. (http://www.kvoa.com/news/identity-theft-plagues-southern-arizona-residents/). Fifteen of my Civil rights were violated, including my disability act rights. Upon returning home a CPS investigator told myself and witnesses (CarrieAnn Mick and Charlie Warren) that they had taken my children into custody and I needed to sign a form giving CPS temporary three day custody of Elizabeth (16) and David (15). In shock and breaking down, my friend CarrieAnn holding me from collapsing.  I could barely see through my tears and I signed the paper without reading it.

                Later I realized that the form I previously signed was giving custody to CPS and that they are charging me with neglect and failure to protect; due to being incarcerated overnight, and the children being left unattended. Once CPS learned they were in the wrong and that the children did have supervision, even though they are old enough to be on their own. CPS then charged me with Substance abuse of marijuana (I am a legal Medical Marijuana card holder). CPS then ordered my oldest son and wife to not allow me contact with my newborn grandson.

                The children have been in custody since January 28th. Our counseling has been stopped and they haven’t arranged any visits for us. The courts ordered our counseling to continue and weekly visits to be given, yet CPS hasn’t complied. Since the children were placed in foster care they have been missing twice, skipped school a few times, been in a fight which resulted in a suspension from school and CPS has even allowed my son David who has a closed head injury to join a boxing group. Since the children have been gone, my disability has been cut and assessed child support. I am now at risk of losing our home. I am doing everything I can to raise the funds to hire the attorneys needed to handle this case. I have had to take in renters to help cover expenses and stay afloat. Yet, I am still struggling and haven’t been able to retain an attorney. While time is running out!

                I am being wrongfully accused and have the documentation to prove my innocents. I am fighting for my family, to clear my name, get my children back and save our home. I am desperate and pleading for any and all help that the public can give us!

*PLEASE HELP ME SAVE MY FAMILY*

The problem with this situation trying to find legal help is that it is so widespread and complicated. I’ve been told I need a team of different types of lawyers to handle everything involved;

-Family Law Attorney/Dependency Attorney

-Criminal Lawyer/Identity Theft/MMJ Attorney

-Bankruptcy/Tax

-Personal Injury Attorney

-Civil Rights Attorney

-Civil Attorney

-ADA Attorney

– See more at: http://www.youcaring.com/help-a-neighbor/please-help-to-save-my-family/161606#sthash.L1tvj4hc.dpuf

 

 

 

Holler out to FRIENDS and FAMILY~ EVERYONE;
For ALL of you that didn’t know… I am going on trial in less than 2 weeks. On May 1st, I face the judge on the charges against me. I pray that justice will prevail. I have done everything I could think of within my power, to bring the truth to light. I still don’t have the means to afford the attorneys needed to clear my name and bring my kids home.
I am letting you all know because I refuse to let this be. I am INNOCENT!
I may be gone soon and these post, over the next week may be my only voice left. PLEASE let my story be known.
*Take a moment to check this out; if you can… Everything helps
ATTORNEY’s ARE NEEDED!
Click on the Help and donation sites for case information and updates that includes photo evidence.
http://fnd.us/c/ejlN4/sh/5eoIf
NBC kvoa link to story of my Identity theft and the Severity of it.
http://www.kvoa.com/news/identity-theft-plagues-southern-arizona-residents/
This is NOT A SCAM! I am desperate…
PLEASE Help save my children & clear name.
http://www.youcaring.com/help-a-neighbor/please-help-to-save-my-family/161606
Thanks and Love, Karen Ross-Glaser Photography
http://www.gofundme.com/7zvo4o

PLEASE Help Karen save her children & clear name!

Kids taken CPS custody, Identity stolen & accused of being a substance abuser of Medical marijuana while being a legal card holder in AZ. Anything you can do is greatly appreciated. PLEASE share to everyone you know.Thanks in advance. My name is Karen …

fundrazr.com

The Cannabist: 15 tips for 4/20 in Colorado

From: Denver Post [mailto:members@mail.denverpost.com]
Sent: Wednesday, April 16, 2014 4:34 PM
To: tags
Subject: The Cannabist: 15 tips for 4/20 in Colorado

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The Cannabist


(http://thecannabist.co)

It’s 4/20 week, and the state of Colorado is preparing for what could be the biggest influx of marijuana-based tourism ever seen.

We at The Cannabist have been prepping for this all year, and whether you’re an in-the-know Coloradan or a first-time visitor from out of state, consider this little piece of the Internet your best friend for the next week.

We’ll tell you where all the hot shows are, the lowdown on the annual 4/20 Rally, the news on High Times’ annual Cannabis Cup, some invaluable lodging tips and advice on shopping, getting around town and entertaining tykes amid all the smoke.

So without further ado …

1. EVERY 4/20 EVENT IMAGINABLE. From the rally and the Cup to concerts featuring Snoop Dogg, Cheech & Chong, Slightly Stoopid, Matisyahu, Leftover Salmon, Wyclef Jean, Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, Ice Cube, Julian Marley, KISS Army, Talib Kweli, Paper Diamond, Tauntaun, B Real (of Cypress Hill), Method Man/Redman and many, many others — not to mention 420-friendly art classes, brunches and city tours — see our comprehensive event guide. Check it.
news&sz=300x250&t=nl%3Ddp_marijuana&c=%5bTIMESTAMP%5d
2. CURATED 4/20 SCHEDULE. If you don’t want to wade through the 45-plus events in the above listing, let Cannabist pot critic Jake Browne take you through his perfect holiday with this special 4/20 edition of his Hitting the High Spots column. Check it.

3. COMING IN FROM OUT OF TOWN? Where should you stay, eat and shop while in Denver — and how can you safely get around? Cannabist style writer Katie Shapiro chipped in with a super-handy guide for visitors — and her selections all but guarantee a fun and safe trip. Check it.

4. GOING TO THE RALLY? The Denver 4/20 Rally is often called the largest in the world. See for yourself at Civic Center on April 19-20. Is public smoking legal at the rally? No. But will police be issuing mass citations for public consumption? Not likely, as they’ll be focusing on public safety. Check it.
news&sz=300x250&t=nl%3Ddp_marijuana&c=%5bTIMESTAMP%5d
5. DON’T HAVE A HOTEL YET? HURRY! This first 4/20 after legal recreational weed sales began is a big, big deal. The folks at hotels.com shared data with The Cannabist that said hotel searches in Colorado on 4/20 weekend are up 78 percent from 2013. So if you don’t have lodging, hurry it up already. Check it.

6. DON’T LEAVE YOUR LEFTOVER WEED AS A HOUSEKEEPING TIP. It’s often common for vacationers to leave leftover beers or food in their hotel rooms as a tip to housekeeping staffs. But after one man left an eighth of weed in his Denver hotel room as a tip, he was charged $200 for in-room smoking — something he claims didn’t happen. What went wrong? Check it.

7. FUN FOR THE KIDDOS, TOO. While most 4/20 activities are not safe for children, there’s plenty happening around town for people with kids. From 5Ks, block parties, brunches, pet expos, cultural festivals and Easter Egg Hunts (it is Easter on Sunday, natch), there will be plenty of opportunities to entertain the little ones. Check it.

8. SHOP IT OUT, KEEPING WITH THE WEED THEME. On Sunday, some will celebrate Easter. Others will celebrate Weedster. And some will celebrate both. But our ideas for the perfect Weedster Basket include an environmentally friendly hemp bag, some health-conscious infused edibles, a magnetic lighter and some socks you will never forget. Check it.

9. BUY YOUR MARIJUANA FROM A VENDING MACHINE. Welcome to the future, friends. If there’s a long line at dispensary Herbal Elements in Avon simply jog over to the vending machine, swipe your ID and select the strain, edible or tincture that’s right for you. Their ZaZZZ vending machine may be operating by 4/20, though it’s currently only available for those with Colorado medical licenses. Check it.

10. KNOW YOUR EDIBLES. Marijuana-infused edibles — chocolates, gummies, cakes and more — affect everybody differently, so it’s incredibly important to understand their dosages and how you can best control your desired high. As one local manufacturer often says, "You can always take more — but you can’t go back and take less.” We wrote an easy, eight-step guide to getting your dosage right with edibles. Check it.

11. "DRIVE HIGH, GET A DUI." Renting a car while you’re in Denver? That money might be better spent on airport shuttles, cabs, buses, Uber and our bike-sharing program. Colorado cops are being trained specifically to spot high drivers, and the consequences are very real. Be safe out there, for you and those around you. Check it.

12. IT’S BEEN A WHILE? REACQUAINT YOURSELF WITH POT. Pot, marijuana, cannabis or weed — it’s all slight variations on a plant. And yet walking into a newly legal recreational pot shop can still be intimidating given the dizzying array of choices. Some shops have a discerning collection of bud: Nine or 10 carefully chosen strains behind the counter in hospital-like jars. Some have triple that amount. Add in the vape pens, pipes and edibles — from suckers to brownies, puppy chow (a snack for humans, not pets) to gummy bears, chocolates to tinctures — and the selection alone can be somewhat overwhelming. Feeling out of the loop in these high Colorado times? Don’t worry. Check it.

13. DO YOU HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT COLORADO MARIJUANA? On Jan. 1, Colorado became the first place anywhere in the world to allow legal marijuana sales to anybody over 21 for any purpose. You have questions about how it will work? Here are 64 answers (See what we did there? No? Keep reading.) to commonly asked questions. Check it.

14. DO YOU HAVE MORE QUESTIONS ABOUT COLORADO MARIJUANA? Do you have more questions that weren’t answered by that massive and informative Q&A? About flying with pot? About hotel policies? About drug testing? About edible limits? About indica versus sativa? Our Ask the Cannabist columnist Susan Squibb has been fielding your questions for months, and her archives are invaluable. Check it.

15. WHAT ARE YOU SMOKING 4/20 WEEKEND? There’s no greater inspiration for what to smoke than going into a shop and dipping your nose deep into a jar of bud. But second to that is our collection of strain reviews — from Agent Orange to Stevie Wonder, Pineapple Express to Blue Dream, Golden Goat to Super Lemon Haze. Check it.

We live in the only country in the world where a child can be sentenced to be in prison until they die

Juwan being interrogated

We live in the only country in the world where a child can be sentenced to be in prison until they die.

What’s worse is that it’s not even rare — more than 2,500 people who were sentenced as kids will spend the rest of their lives in prison.

Juwan is one of them. He was a skinny 16-year-old kid when he was arrested after he saw a companion kill a pizza deliveryman. The shooter was never convicted, but because Juwan was present and had a gun, he was sentenced to spend the rest of his life behind bars.

Without the possibility of parole, Juwan will never have a second chance for rehabilitation.

Just one year before Juwan was sentenced, the Supreme Court decided that mandatory juvenile life without parole was unconstitutional cruel and unusual punishment.

The problem is — the decision left gaping loopholes and didn’t ban the sentence outright, meaning that Juwan and other children became victims of poor timing and inadequate policy implementation. While six states have moved to ban the practice, this barbaric punishment is still perfectly legal in 44 states.

But the Department of Justice has the power to close some of these loopholes and set the standard on the federal level. By providing policy guidelines for U.S. attorneys, the DOJ can ensure that judges are empowered to use discretion and give appropriate sentences based on unique circumstances.

Attorney General Eric Holder has already endorsed proposals that limit life without parole sentences for non-violent drug offenders. If he hears from thousands of us who support criminal justice reform, he can provide the tools needed to limit juvenile life without parole sentences.

It’s time that we give kids like Juwan a second chance at life.

PLEASE FOLLOW THIS LINK AND SIGN PETITION!