Queens of the Stoned Age

 

There are a thousand ways to buy weed in New York City, but the Green Angels devised a novel strategy for standing out: They hired models to be their dealers. In the eight years since the group was founded—by a blonde, blue-eyed Mormon ex-model—they’ve never been busted, and the business has grown into a multimillion-dollar operation. Suketu Mehta spent months embedded with them at their headquarters and out on their delivery routes to see where this great experiment in American entrepreneurship might lead.

A friend tells me about the Green Angels, a collective of about 30 models turned high-end-weed dealers, and he introduces me to the group’s leader, Honey. The first time we speak, in the spring of 2015, she comes to my house in Greenwich Village and we talk for six hours.

She is 27 and several months pregnant. Her belly is showing, a little, under her black top and over her black patterned stockings. But her face is still as fresh as hay, sunlight, the idea the rest of the world has about the American West, where she was born—she’s an excommunicated Mormon from the Rocky Mountains. Honey is not her real name; it’s a pseudonym she chose for this article. She is over six feet tall, blonde, and blue-eyed. Patrick Demarchelier took photos of her when she was a teenager. She still does some modeling. Now that she’s pregnant, I tell her, she should do maternity modeling.

“Why would I do that when I can make $6,000 a day just watching TV?” she asks.

Honey started the business in 2009. When she began dealing, she would get an ounce from a guy in Union Square, then take it to her apartment and divide it into smaller quantities for sale. She bought a vacuum sealer from Bed Bath & Beyond to make the little bags her product came in airtight. She tells me that part of her research was watching CNN specials on the drug war to find out how dealers got busted.

Today her total expenses average more than $300,000 a month for the product, plus around $30,000 for cabs, cell phones, rent for various safe houses, and other administrative costs. She makes a profit of $27,000 a week. “I like seeing a pile of cash in my living room,” she says.

PLEASE CONTINUE READING…

NORML Forms Multi-State Workplace Drug Testing Coalition

by Kevin Mahmalji, NORML Outreach Coordinator February 14, 2017

The fact that 190 million Americans now live in states where marijuana has been legalized to some degree is raising a number of questions and issues about how to integrate the American workforce and marijuana consumers rights in regards to drug testing. With medical marijuana is legal in 29 states and recreational marijuana for adult use in 8 states and Washington DC, millions of responsible and otherwise law-abiding adults remain at risk of being excluded from the workforce due to a positive drug test — even where the use does not affect an individual’s job performance or has taken place days or weeks prior to the test.

NORML believes that this practice is discriminatory and defies common sense. As a result, a growing coalition of NORML Chapters in California, Oregon, Colorado and Washington have come together to advocate for necessary legislative and workplace reforms to protect responsible marijuana consumers.

NORML’s Workplace Drug Testing Coalition’s efforts will focus on these four areas:

  1. Reform workplace drug testing policies
  2. Expand employment opportunities for marijuana consumers
  3. Clarify the difference between detection technology and performance testing
  4. Highlight off-duty state law legal protections for employees

“Even though marijuana is legal and readily available in several states, consumers are being unfairly forced to choose between their job and consuming off the clock as a result of out-of-date employment practices,” said Kevin Mahmalji, National Outreach Coordinator for NORML. “That is why many NORML chapters active in legal states are now shifting their attention to protecting honest, hardworking marijuana consumers from these sort of antiquated, discriminatory workplace drug-testing practices, in particular the use of random suspicionless urine testing.”

Employer testing of applicants or employees for trace metabolites (inert waste-products) of past use of a legal substance makes no sense in the 21st century.  This activity is particularly discriminatory in the case of marijuana where such metabolites may be detectable for weeks or even months after the consumer has ceased use.

With the 2017 Legislative Session underway, this issue is finally getting the attention it deserves. Legislation has already been introduced in Oregon and Washington, and is gaining traction in those states.

“Random suspicionless drug testing of applicants or employees for past marijuana use is not just unfair and discriminatory, it’s bad for business,” said attorney Judd Golden of Boulder, Colorado, a long-time NORML activist and Coalition spokesperson. The modern workforce includes countless qualified people like Brandon Coats of Colorado, a paraplegic medical marijuana patient who never was impaired on the job and had an unblemished work record. Brandon was fired from a Fortune 500 company after a random drug test, and lost his case in the Colorado Supreme Court in 2015. The Court unfortunately found Colorado’s lawful off-duty activities law that protects employees for legal activities on their own time didn’t apply to marijuana use.

California NORML is also expecting legislation to be introduced this session to address this issue. Ellen Komp, deputy director of California NORML said, “One of the most frequently asked questions we have been getting since Prop. 64 passed legalizing adult marijuana use in California last November is, ‘Am I now protected against drug testing on my job?’ Sadly in our state, not even medical marijuana patients are protected against job discrimination, and it’s a priority of Cal NORML to change that. We are hoping to get a bill introduced at the state level and are working with legislators, unions, and other reform groups to make that happen.”

NORML Chapters across the country are advocating on behalf of the rights of responsible marijuana consumers against discrimination in the workplace. “Our coalition was formed with the intention of not only educating legislators, but also with businesses in mind.  It is important they know testing for marijuana is not mandatory, and that employers have testing options,” said Jordan Person, executive director for Denver NORML. The Denver chapter is currently working with companies that offer performance impairment testing of workers suspected of on-the-job impairment or use rather than unreliable bodily fluid testing to help provide options for employers.

thumbs_up

For decades drug testing companies and others have pushed their agenda through a campaign of misinformation. Until now there has never been an organized effort to challenge the profit- driven ideology of those who seek to benefit from intrusive drug screening. Mounting evidence continues to prove there is no logical reason why adult marijuana consumers should be treated with any less respect, restricted more severely, and denied the same privileges we extend to responsible adults who enjoy a casual cocktail after a long day at the office.

For legal questions, please contact Coalition spokesperson Judd Golden at juddgolden@outlook.com. For other marijuana related questions or an interview, please contact Kevin Mahmalji at kevinm@norml.org.

CONTINUE READING…

Time 4 Hemp Presents: Cannabinoid Profiles: A Crash Course

Time 4 Hemp

Crash-Course in CBGs

The Time4Hemp Network has set up a very educational and informative series which they are calling the “Cannabinoid Profiles Series”.

Anyone who needs or wants to review a course in Cannabinoids should start here!

 

Cannabinoid Profile: Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)

 

The LINKS for the series is below:

Cannabinoid Profiles Series

1. Meet Your CB Receptors

2. A Crash Course in THC

3. A Crash Course in CBD

4. A Crash Course in THC

5. A Crash Course in CBG

6. A Crash Course in CBC

7. A Crash Course in THC

8. A Crash Course in CBN

9. A Crash Course in CBDs

SOURCE LINK:

The Congressional Cannabis Caucus

 

Pot Presser

Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., left, and Dana Rohrabacher, D-Calif., two of the four U.S. congressmen who have launched the Congressional Cannabis Caucus. Photo by Tom Williams—CQ-Roll Call,Inc

 

With public support for reforming marijuana laws at an all time high, Reps. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Jared Polis (D-CO), and Don Young (R-AK) have formed the first-ever Congressional Cannabis Caucus to promote sensible cannabis policy reform and to ease the tension between federal and state cannabis laws.

The official establishment of a Congressional Cannabis Caucus represents yet another step forward toward ultimately reforming cannabis policy at the federal level. The creation of this caucus is yet another manifestation that our political power is growing — even inside the beltway.

Click here to email your Congressional Representative and urge them to join the Cannabis Caucus today.

NORML has been in this fight for over 47 years, representing the position that responsible adults who choose to consume marijuana should not be be persecuted or stigmatized. Throughout the country, our chapters are organizing to advocate for state level reforms. NORML represents a growing community of individuals who are coming together and working toward the mutual goals of building a more just and verdant society. 

The end of marijuana prohibition will not come overnight. In fact, the forces of prohibition remain strong and the misinformation campaign that has spanned from Reefer Madness to D.A.R.E. is deeply entrenched in the psyches of lawmakers and voters alike. But just as we have for decades, we will not be deterred. 

In order for our state and federal laws to be more reflective of the cold truths of reality and science rather than hysteria and racism, we must continue to educate our legislators and neighbors alike. Having a coalition of lawmakers in Washington, DC who will go on the record in support of advocating for cannabis freedom is something we haven’t had before, but it is an event that is long overdue. 

So let’s keep building. 

CONTINUE TO NORML

Send a message to your member of Congress now and tell them to join the Cannabis Caucus and support sanity in marijuana policy.

NORML and the NORML Foundation: 1100 H Street NW, Suite 830, Washington DC, 20005
Tel: (202) 483-5500 • Fax: (202) 483-0057 • Email: norml@norml.org

 

RELATED:

Pro-Pot Lawmakers Launch a Congressional Cannabis Caucus

Tom Huddleston, Jr.

12:10 AM Central

Four members of the U.S. congress are banding together to protect the growing marijuana industry.

A bipartisan group of federal lawmakers launched the Congressional Cannabis Caucus in a press conference at the U.S. Capitol on Thursday afternoon. Republican congressmen Dana Rohrabacher (California) and Don Young (Alaska) joined Democrats Earl Blumenauer (Oregon) and Jared Polis (Colorado) to launch the new group. They are dedicated to developing policy reforms that can bridge the gap that currently exists between federal laws banning marijuana and the laws in an ever-growing number of states that have legalized it for medical or recreational purposes.

“We’re stepping forward together to say we’ve got to make major changes in our country’s attitude toward cannabis,” Rep. Rohrabacher said at the start of the press conference. “And if we do, many people are going to live better lives, it’s going to be better for our country, better for people, and it makes economic sense at a time when every penny must count for government.”

Various polls show that a majority of Americans support legalizing marijuana in some form, and a strong showing in November’s elections pushed the number of states that have legalized medical cannabis to 28, while another eight have voted for recreational legalization. (Notably, each of the four congressmen forming the Cannabis Caucus represent districts in states that have legalized both medical and recreational pot.)

In recent years, under President Barack Obama, federal law enforcement mostly left individual states alone to enact and enforce their own marijuana legislation. Three years ago, Congress passed a bill that prohibited the Justice Department from using federal funds to target cannabis operations that comply with local laws.

CONTINUE READING…

In memory of cannabis activist Laura Kriho

By Sarah Haas – February 9, 2017

In September 2013, Boulder was soaking wet, but on the 23rd the rain stopped, the clouds parted and the sun shined down on the bricks of Pearl Street. It was there Laura Kriho joined a group of cannabis freedom fighters who gathered to hand out hundreds of free joints amid spontaneous chants of “Free the weed!” As with any good protest chant its meaning wasn’t just literal, but symbolic of a bigger picture.

The weed given away that day had been in jail, actually locked in an evidence room for the past two years. When it was released to lawyer Rob Corry, he, Kriho and others in the activist community decided to give it away. They hoped to call attention to the marijuana tax issue appearing on the upcoming November ballot as Proposition AA, a marijuana tax hike to which they were staunchly opposed.

Kriho thought that Amendment 64 was already too strict and the additional taxes that would be instituted with Proposition AA were a step backwards, away from a free market and toward prohibition. Later that week, Kriho wrote about the giveaway in a guest column for “Weed Between the Lines” in Boulder Weekly: “This tax debate highlights what has become a very clear division between cannabis supporters. There are those who support an expensive ‘strict regulation’ model paid for by high taxes, and there are those who continue to support simple “legalization” with reasonable taxes and regulations.

“To most people, ‘legalization’ means that prohibition laws are repealed, people are no longer punished for cannabis use, and police resources are used to fight serious crimes. However, A64’s ‘strict regulation’ model does the opposite of this in many cases. The A64 model allows some people to have some marijuana at some times, but it continues marijuana prohibition for other people with other amounts of marijuana at other times.”

A cannabis activist in Boulder since 1992, Kriho didn’t just fight for legalization, but for “marijuana freedom” beyond regulation, taxes and industry. Whether working to legalize industrial hemp at the federal level in the mid-’90s, ushering in Amendment 20 to bring medical marijuana programs to Colorado in the aughts or for patient’s rights and adult-use cannabis in more recent years, Kriho was a staple of the front lines, fighting to liberate cannabis from prohibitionist laws and attitudes.

Friend, fellow activist and chairman of the U.S. Marijuana Party William Wayward Chengelis remembers the day he met Kriho, in 2008 at a Youth International Party rally taking place at the Democratic National Convention in Denver.

“I’d heard about her before — I mean, when you look at hemp or cannabis in the state of Colorado, Laura’s been there since the beginning — she’s always been there,” he says. “And now that I’ve known her and worked by her side I can say that she always stood up for what she believed and never backed down, not once. She was a yippie through and through.”

A term from the ’60s for politically active hippies fighting for freedom and against war, Kriho wore the yippie badge proudly, but it wasn’t always easy. People didn’t always like her, even more people disagreed and still more categorically wrote her views off as unrealistic.

On top of that, she wasn’t successful half as much as she was unsuccessful. Her early federal hemp bills were killed in the Senate, year-after-year, the medical policies she espoused were disfigured beyond recognition by the time they made their way to state law and despite fighting against Amendment 64 because it was too regulated, too corporate and too prohibitionist, it passed. Even Proposition AA, which she sought to combat by handing out free joints, passed by a wide margin. And yet her influence cannot be overlooked nor her tenacity understated.

“One of the things about us yippies is that we get in your face,” Chengelis says. “Laura got in people’s faces. Sometimes she won, sometimes she lost, but she never gave up.“

For Kriho, there was no such thing as compromise and concession was not an option — she knew her stuff, knew what she believed in and didn’t temper herself in voicing her opinions. In many ways she was the epitome of Trump’s “nasty woman,” a term hurled as an insult but claimed as a heroic trait, and it is precisely in this spirit that she and her activism gain their most salient legacy.

“Her and I have two philosophies in life,” Chengelis says. “First, what you don’t know, learn. What you do know, teach.

“The other is: Show up, do the work and hope for positive results. That is where her and I met and that’s where we always agreed. You gotta get out there and you gotta do it. You can say whatever you want, but if you do not show up and do the work, nothing gets done.”

Surrounded by friends and family, Laura Kriho died on Jan. 30, 2017, in Boulder, at the age of 52.

CONTINUE READING…

How prohibition limits cannabis & technology

Published on February 7, 2017

Travis Lachner

Travis Lachner
CEO & Creative Director at Cannvas

 

Federal prohibition segregates cannabis and technology.

Complex banking regulation suffocates cash flow.

Research discoveries are suppressed and hidden.

Social media shutdowns are routine procedure.

Simply stated; making progress in the cannabis industry is really difficult right now.

This professional canna-bigotry is due to marijuana’s (mis)classification as a Schedule I substance. Domestic and international companies

Most of the country supports cannabis legalization. Yet, it still remains illegal.

Prohibition causes unnecessary and inefficient problems for the industry – and the nation.

We need to end prohibition and build the industry right to realize the potential of cannabis.

Companies, consumers, patients, and citizens will all benefit from proper legalization.


1) Banking and FinTech access sucks. Cash-only operations are unsafe.

Cannabis companies cannot access basic banking and financial technologies normally.

Federal prohibition restricts most banks from serving companies related to cannabis in any way. Even ancillary companies (that don’t touch the plant) are still neglected.

And legislative progress for cannabis banking created at the state level is stomped out by federal government.

In Colorado, state banking officials approved a charter for the first “Cannabis Bank” ever – A credit union named The Fourth Corner (TFCCU).

However, final admin approval at the federal level is continuously denied… The cannabis bank cannot operate without it.

Financial restrictions force cannabis companies two directions:

  • Option A – Companies operate cash only. Sometimes moving hundreds of thousands of dollars at a time.
  • Option B – Companies pursue private banking opportunities at the state level and operate within financial loopholes.

Neither of these options are ideal.

According to Bloomberg Business, less than 3% of banks in America accept cannabis cash. Which means employees and individuals must move billions of dollars in cash regularly. These are extremely unsafe conditions and procedures.

A new “cannabis security” industry is emerging because of this problem. Ventures like Canna Security America provide comprehensive security services to keep staff, customers, and citizens safe.

But cannabis companies shouldn’t have to hire armed security services for safety… If customers were allowed to just swipe a damn debit card at any dispensary, the context of cannabis will be safer.

Modern banking technology is essential to all modern companies. Why are cannabis companies forced into awkward and unsafe restrictions?

It is unrealistic to make companies to operate under such irrational conditions. Especially while being taxed so heavily.

2) Awkward and vague regulations change often.

Cannabis companies pour capital into compliance. The “cover your ass” attitude is necessary in the ever-shifting regulations and requirements.

Brands balance between state legality and federal prohibition. New laws can make, break, or change business models overnight.

In addition to operational regulation, cannabis companies must abide to marketing and advertising restrictions. They cannot reach audiences like most other businesses.

Traditional companies in America spend millions on marketing and advertising – with minimal restrictions. TV, Facebook, Google, Instagram – pretty much whatever they want. But cannabis related companies can’t participate. (Yet.)

Instead, cannabis companies navigate complex layers of ambiguous regulation. Many areas of requirements are unclear, unrealistic, or nonexistent.

Large companies like Google and Facebook restrict ads for anything and everything cannabis-related.

And to be fair, they are just protecting their companies. Most of these policies are indirectly due to federal prohibition.

National brands fear the possible repercussions of the federal government. So they cover their ass by following suit with whatever the government says at the time.

This creates a contradicting scenario for companies and states… Selling cannabis is legal – but advertising cannabis is tricky.

Beyond regulation, cannabis companies are often pushed around by the “big boys” of media and technology.

I see new stories like those every week. It’s seriously like industrial level bigotry or bullying.

3) Research and development efforts are limited and discouraged.

Cannabis companies cannot complete high-level research and development.

Innovation research and medical studies require strict government approval or federal funding – which is often denied.

But here’s the weird part. The federal government already knows cannabis research will benefit society… The federal government owns the patent to use cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants. Yet, they still suppress innovative discoveries.

Back in the 70’s, the US government discovered THC can shrink cancerous tumors. But political forces swept this research under the rug.

Why? Because it did not support the agenda for “The War on Drugs.”

Modern research reinforced the discovery again in 2000.

Spanish scientists successfully destroyed “uncurable” brain tumors with THC (an active component of cannabis).

But you probably didn’t see this story in America. That’s because the revolutionary research was censored and ignored by major media outlets.

The neglected study from Madrid was named the “Top Censored Story” of 2000 by Project Censored

Today, American government is still putting up roadblocks for research.

In 2015, Congress shut down federal research on medical marijuana yet again.

This is an absurd problem. Is our own government suppressing the potential power of cannabis intentionally?

The medical benefits of cannabis and technology deserve to be discovered and delivered to the people.

Let’s take a closer look at the potential of marrying cannabis and technology.

Throughout history, technology innovations pave the path for industries to leverage and build upon.

But unfortunately, cannabis companies are restricted from leveraging existing technologies.

While most American companies sit on the shoulders of giants, cannabis companies barely get to stand on on the big toe of that giant.

Even worse – companies that “touch the plant” are restricted by regulations and fear of prosecution. Which means new innovations in the industry are often discouraged or dismissed.

This type of environment creates irrational risk for entrepreneurs, researchers, and innovators. It discourages progress and big ideas..

Instead, we must cultivate an environment for encouraging positive growth and development.

Imagine what we will gain when the cannabis industry can leverage the entire spectrum of modern technologies with less restriction.

1) Companies will focus on improving products and services.

Cannabis companies will devote more time and energy to optimize the customer experience. Products and services will be fixed, upgraded, and optimized over time.

Currently, cannabis companies spend TONS of time, money, and energy navigating a shit-show of regulations and compliance.

Intense, time-consuming administrative projects ensure the entire business isn’t stripped away.

This energy could be (and should be) spent better.

Internal resources should be used to enhance product development, improve services, and innovate the customer experience.

Cannabis companies deserve the right to allocate their bandwidth more efficiently.

2) Companies will mature their marketing (and targeting).

Marketing and advertising will experience noticeable maturity. Companies will focus on more specific target audiences with hyper-detailed precision.

Cannabis companies will target consumers and patients better.

From stereotypical “stoners” to critically concerned medical patients… Proper access to modern marketing and targeting technology will enhance the customer experience.

Customer archetypes, strain-matching, and advanced targeting tools will be standard in the industry. Apps like PotBot will offer custom product recommendations based on user preferences.

Technology allows brands to target the exact type of users best-fit for their product. In the end, that is better for both the consumers and the companies.

But most technologies will be inaccessible or restricted until prohibition is lifted.

Federal prohibition sets the tone for large companies and advertising platforms to follow suit regarding cannabis. And the current advertising restrictions make it extremely difficult for companies to capture targeted audiences.

Cannabis pioneers experience difficulty building and marketing effective, creative and compliant campaigns.

If this problem sounds familiar… Cannvas provides custom cannabis brand-building solutions for 100% compliant marketing, advertising, and PR.

3) Research will unlock the power of the endocannabinoid system.

This is the big kahuna.

The endocannabinoid system is the untapped holy grail of cannabis and medicine.

It could be one the missing key needed to treat, manage, or cure many conditions in the medical community.

The endocannabinoid system is revolutionary. But we are only in the early stages of discovery. Many experts predict mastering the ECS will mark a new era of healthcare.

From cancer, to epilepsy, to simple chronic pain or nausea… The endocannabinoid system is directly related to the biological balance of humans.

Currently, we are just scratching the surface of possibilities. But the convergence of cannabis and medical technology is well under way.

With proper funding, and federal approval, hundreds of medical benefits will be discovered. The full potential of can be literally life-saving.

Cannabis will soon develop its identity as a wellness product.

And canna-pharmaceuticals may be the future of healthcare.

The solution is simple.

Federal prohibition is ineffective. We need to marry cannabis and modern technologies.

Nationwide legalization will enable better access to existing technologies – while encouraging innovation and safety.

Companies, consumers, and citizens will all benefit from legalizing cannabis.

And we can build the industry right.

Let’s do this.

Tuesday February 7, the US Army Corps gave notice of intent to grant the final easement for the Dakota Access Pipeline

Rise With Standing Rock and Indigenous Resistance

Yesterday, Tuesday February 7, the US Army Corps gave notice of intent to grant the final easement for the Dakota Access Pipeline to cross the Mni Sose (Missouri River). 

They are skipping the Environmental Impact Study ordered in December, and skipping the congressional notification period required by law to push through a destructive, exploitative and illegal pipeline. We knew these attacks on frontline communities were coming and now more than ever we must #GrowTheResistance and take bold action. We stand united with Indigenous Peoples and water protectors.

It Takes Roots (a formation of the Indigenous Environmental Network, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, the Climate Justice Alliance and the Right To The City Alliance) is calling for all our member groups and communities to rise up TODAY FEBRUARY 8th in solidarity with the Indigenous Coalition at Standing Rock’s worldwide call for emergency actions “to disrupt business as usual and unleash a global intersectional resistance to fossil fuels and fascism.  Connect with other struggles.  Think long-term movement building.  We are in this for the long haul.” 
Tom Goldtooth, Executive Director of the Indigenous Environmental Network, said
“Donald Trump will not build his Dakota Access Pipeline without a fight. The granting of an easement, without any environmental review or tribal consultation, is not the end of this fight — it is the new beginning. Expect mass resistance far beyond what Trump has seen so far.
“The granting of this easement goes against protocol, it goes against legal process, it disregards more than 100,000 comments already submitted as part of the not-yet-completed environmental review process — all for the sake of Donald Trump’s billionaire big oil cronies. And, it goes against the treaty rights of the entire Seven Councils Fires of the Sioux Nations.”
Check out the call below and take action!

WORLDWIDE CALL TO ACTION FEB. 8

We are calling for emergency actions all over the world. PLEASE, THIS IS OUR LAST STAND.
Please visit everydayofaction.org to find or register an action wherever you are. Check out our world action map  to join the mass distributed actions TODAY, February 8th. 

ACTION PLANNING TIPS

We encourage groups across the globe to connect our prayers for the water with other fights against fascism and the domination of people and Mother Earth (deportations, muslim ban, attacks on labor, deregulation of wall street, other fossil fuel projects, censorship of the press and academia, etc).
Choose the target that is most strategic for building long-term collaborative resistance in your local area.  Potential targets may include:  city halls, federal buildings, army corps offices, ICE detention centers, banks profiting off DAPL, sheriff’s offices that have come to Standing Rock, labor union offices, sites of workplace struggle, etc.
MESSAGING – please amplify and use the messaging put out here by

  • Rise with Standing Rock….against violations of sovereignty, crimes against Mother Earth, fascism, violation of law, etc.
  • Continue to elevate what’s happening on the ground in ND — demonstrate that this is something serious that resonates to all peoples in the face of Trump administration tyranny. Follow: @IENEarth on twitter and facebook.
  • Support Tribes’ request for TRO (Temporary Restraining Order)/injunction!
  • Resist Trump’s direct attack against indigenous communities with his executive orders re: DAPL & KXL. Indigenous communities are not backing down.
  • Police violence seems inevitable and mass casualties are very likely. The only way to keep people safe is to do the Environmental Impact Study.  If not, any blood spilled is on Trump’s hands and the hands of the Corps.   

Please enable images

The Indigenous Environmental Network  |  PO Box 485  |  Bemidji, MN 56619  | http://www.ienearth.org/

Jeff Sessions confirmed to be the next attorney general

By Ashley Killough, Tom LoBianco and Ted Barrett, CNN

Updated 10:25 PM ET, Wed February 8, 2017

Washington (CNN)The Senate voted Wednesday to confirm Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama as the next attorney general, surviving a vocal push by Democrats to derail his nomination.

The 52-47 vote was mostly along party lines, though one Democrat, Sen. Joe Manchin, joined the Republicans to back their Alabama colleague.

Who voted for and against Sessions

    The final vote for Sessions — one of Trump’s closest advisers and his earliest supporter in the Senate — came after 30 hours of debate from Democrats and a stunning fight between liberal Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Senate Republicans which ended in her being forced to sit down after she was accused of impugning Sessions.

    Sessions said he would resign from his office 11:59 p.m. Wednesday and the White House is scheduled to swear him in Thursday morning.

    “It was a special night,” Sessions told reporters on Capitol Hill after his confirmation. “I appreciate the friendship from my colleagues — even those who, many of them who didn’t feel able to vote for me. They were cordial, and so we continue to have good relations and will continue to do the best I can.”

    The fight over Sessions nomination spurred some of the most jarring, and at times personal attacks, rooted in allegations that Sessions was a racist — claims the Alabama senator and his supporters have fiercely denied. Even early in the nomination process, one of Sessions’ colleagues, Cory Booker, became the first sitting senator to testify against another sitting senator during his confirmation hearing.

    Shortly before the vote, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell took to the Senate floor to sing the praises of Sessions, after Democrats spent hours criticizing him.

    “He’s just a likable guy, one of the most humble and most considerate people you’ll ever meet,” McConnell said. “He’s a true Southern gentleman.”

    While some left-leaning groups issued statements promising to stand up and continue raising awareness about their disagreements with Sessions, Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe questioned how effective they could be in trying to keep up the fight.

    “What are they going to do? He’s the attorney general. Where does the fight start? Where’s the ammunition?” He said to reporters.

    In the debate Tuesday evening, after Republicans already blocked a Senate filibuster, Warren reignited that debate by reading from a 1986 letter Coretta Scott King sent opposing Sessions for a federal judgeship.

    “‘Anyone who has used the power of his office as United States Attorney to intimidate and chill the free exercise of the ballot by citizens should not be elevated to our courts,'” Warren read from King’s letter. McConnell accused Warren of impugning Sessions on the Senate floor — a violation of Senate rules — and after a series of procedural votes, she was forced to sit down and stop debating.

    Warren’s censure and subsequent reaction continued to largely overshadow the Sessions fight in the hours before his vote, but the Massachusetts Democrat told CNN’s Manu Raju said Sessions, whom she served with in the chamber, is just the latest example of a poor Cabinet choice.

    “We may not have the votes to stop him,” she said, “but we sure as hell need to make it clear to the Republicans and to the American people exactly who Donald Trump is putting in charge of our government.”

    Sessions was ultimately blocked from a federal judgeship and carried that battle scar into Wednesday’s final confirmation battle.

    Democrats not done yet on nominees

    Democrats are expected to repeat the same 30-hour debate plan for Health and Human Services Secretary nominee Tom Price and could easily drag the fight over Treasury pick Steven Mnuchin into the weekend.

    Tuesday, Betsy DeVos was confirmed, 51-50, in a battle that sparked impassioned protests and the flooding of Senate switchboards by angry Democrats and liberal activists.

    The tactics have yet to work in actually defeating any of Trump’s Cabinet picks, but they have fired up a base of Democratic and liberal activists irate over a series of Trump actions, not least of which was picking a Republican mega-donor in DeVos to run the Department of Education.

    “When you get millions of calls and demonstrations and a nominee is exposed for being who they are, it’s going to have a profound and positive effect, even if she gains office. So we’re very happy with the results and we’re going to continue them,” Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said Tuesday.

    But Republicans have chafed at what they call “historic obstruction” and have argued that Trump needs his team in place.

    “This is the slowest time for a new Cabinet to be up and running since George Washington. This level of obstruction at the beginning of an administration is really record-setting in a very unfortunate way. It’s really time for our friends on the other side to get over the election, let this administration get up and get running,” McConnell said Tuesday.

    The only nominee who appears to be in any trouble at this point is Labor secretary pick Andrew Puzder, who is embroiled in controversy following news that he hired an undocumented worker to clean his house and was forced to pay back taxes. A series of Republicans on the Senate panel tasked with vetting him declined to say Tuesday whether they still supported Puzder.


    CONTINUE READING…

    Global Coalition Stages Protests and Bank Closures Across Mother Earth to Defund Dakota Access Pipeline

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 3, 2017

    CONTACT:
    For inquiries to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, contact Nick Pelosi, Director Corporate Engagement, First Peoples Worldwide, standingrockdapl@gmail.com, 540-899-6545

    For inquiries to the Indigenous Coalition at Standing Rock, contact Tara Houska, National Campaign Director, Honor the Earth, tara@honortheearth.org, 612-226-9404

    For inquiries about the week of action and event logistics contact Vanessa Green, Individual Campaign Director, DivestInvest, vanessa@divestinvest.org, 617-230-8942

    Global Coalition Stages Protests and Bank Closures Across Mother Earth to Defund Dakota Access Pipeline

    While Trump, Energy Transfer Partners and Sunoco Logistics race to complete the pipeline, over 700,000 people representing over $2.3 billion in personal investments say no.

    New York, Madrid, Munich, San Francisco, Tokyo, Amsterdam – On January 24th, President Trump signed a presidential memorandum fast tracking the Dakota Access Pipeline and environmental reviews of other projects. The corporations behind DAPL made it clear that they “fully expect to complete construction of the pipeline without any additional rerouting in and around Lake Oahe.”

    There are three ways banks can be involved in the financing of DAPL: extending lines of credit to companies with ownership stakes, being directly invested in project sponsor companies (owning assets or shares), or providing project loan funds.

    The completion of DAPL is critically dependent on those 17 banks that are jointly providing the project loan for the construction of the pipeline. All of them are facing massive protest against their involvement. Several banks in the consortium have now also openly criticised the project sponsors for not being sufficiently responsive to the concerns of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.

    The pressure to terminate their involvement in the project has been increasing further over the last few weeks as hundreds of thousands of people worldwide are signing petitions to DAPL banks. Thousands more have already closed their accounts and defunded over $55 million and counting. This week, activists are showing up in person to make their voices heard on behalf of another 700,000+ people worldwide, a percentage of whom voluntarily report having over $2.3 billion invested in these banks through checking, mortgage, and credit card accounts – which they are ready to divest if the banks continue financing DAPL.

    From January 30 to February 3, various events took place in cities around the world to deliver copies of the petitions and signatures to local branches and global headquarters of the 17 banks directly funding the construction of the DAPL: Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ, BayernLB, BBVA, BNP Paribas, Citigroup, Crédit Agricole, DNB ASA, ICBC, ING, Intesa Sanpaolo, Mizuho Bank, Natixis, SMBC, Société Générale, SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, TD Bank, Wells Fargo. A full list of ongoing #NoDAPL 2017 actions is here.

    The Sacred Stone Camp and their allies have vowed to stand their ground as long as DAPL construction equipment remains on Oceti Sakowin treaty land. The global coalition plans to continue pressure on all banks funding fossils throughout 2017.

    In support of these actions, leaders from the movements to stop DAPL said the following:

    Dallas Goldtooth, Keep It In the Ground Campaigner, Indigenous Environmental Network, said: “President Trump wishes to fast-track the construction of the Dakota Access pipeline, against federal law and tribal treaty rights. Indigenous nations and communities will not be the sacrifice zones for President Trump’s fossil fuel regime. We remain steadfast in our defense of our inherent rights and the protection of Mother Earth and we implore our allies to stand with us. We must remind the investors of this pipeline that they, via their financing, are threatening the lives of water protectors and it’s time to be held accountable for that.”

    Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault II said: “By attempting to fast track DAPL, President Trump has made it clear that his priorities lie with his wealthy contributors rather than the public interest. Banks now have an opportunity to take a stand against this reckless assault on our treaty rights and water, or be complicit and continue to lose millions.”

    Judith LeBlanc, Director, Native Organizers Alliance and member of the Caddo Tribe of Oklahoma, said: “The decision to build the Dakota Access Pipeline was made in the halls of power by a handful representing banks and corporations willing to sacrifice Mother Earth for profit. The decision to stop it will be made by the many, all across the world, who know that Mother Earth and water give us life. Time is now for investors to also stand for Mother Earth. We started at Standing Rock, now Standing Rock is everywhere.”

    Chase Iron Eyes, lead attorney, Lakota People’s Law Project, said: “It’s inspiring to see the power of global currency being leveraged in the frontline movement at Standing Rock. Separate fights — defending clean drinking water, upholding constitutional freedoms, creating a new energy economy — are becoming one as people recognize and respond to the problem of banks using their money to finance human rights violations and brutality. If money rules the day then we will bring compassion to our capital by divesting.”

    Angus Wong, Campaign Manager, SumOfUs: “Trump’s green light of the destructive Dakota Pipeline is a corporate scheme to enrich himself and his corporate friends. But we know targeting banks to stop financing this dangerous pipeline works — two days after we delivered hundreds of thousands of SumOfUs members’ signatures to Norway-based DNB bank headquarters in November, it pulled its assets in the pipeline. We hope DNB will again demonstrate leadership by committing to withdraw its project funding.”
    Erich Pica, President, Friends of the Earth US, said: “The voices of Indigenous peoples have been ignored for too long – by the US government, corporations and big banks. By not acknowledging Indigenous peoples, these banks are perpetuating a pattern of colonialism and failing to respect Indigenous peoples’ rights to Free, Prior and Informed Consent.”

    Vanessa Green, Director of DivestInvest Individual, said: “DAPL is simply the wrong kind of investment, and people don’t want their money behind it. With government mandates to scale up clean energy investments, a market increasingly supportive of a low carbon future, and unprecedented consumer and investor interest in moving money into climate and community solutions, the question now is which banks will lose the most in this historic energy transition.”

    Mary Sweeters, Climate Campaigner with Greenpeace USA, said: “People across the world have pledged their solidarity with the Indigenous communities who reject this dirty pipeline and the threat it poses to the water and climate. The banks must choose whether they want to continue to invest their money in yesterday or listen to the millions of people who stand with Standing Rock.”

    Fran Teplitz, Executive Co-director of Green America, said: “Now more than ever we need to move away from destructive fossil fuel pipelines and pursue a clean energy future. Indigenous communities are demonstrating heroic leadership by protecting water, the source of life, from the dangers of pipelines. We call on the government and banks to halt support for the Dakota Access Pipeline immediately.”
    Kristen Perry, Climate Justice Montreal Organizer, said: “We need to stop funding projects which endanger water, land, and our communities, and instead follow the lead of defenders calling for direct action and support. It is crucial that we center justice for communities on the frontline of the crisis and the forefront of solutions, and pushing for divestment and the defunding of destructive projects is a tangible way for us to take action in solidarity with Indigenous communities across colonial borders.”
    Yago Martínez from Ecologistas en Acción, said: “DAPL is not only a clear violation of Indigenous people’s rights but also a major climate threat. We believe in the importance of international solidarity to achieve goals leading to global and climatic justice, and therefore we cannot fail to stand with Standing Rock. We must raise our voices. Banks from all over the world are involved in this destructive project and they must be held accountable.”

    Ruth Breech, Campaigner, Rainforest Action Network, said: “The Dakota Access Pipeline is a morally and financially bankrupt project. If banks value Indigenous rights and free, prior and informed consent, they will leave this project immediately. We don’t need another pipeline. We need financial institutions that are willing to take a stand and do the right thing-divest from the Dakota Access Pipeline.”

    Leila Salazar López, Executive Director, Amazon Watch, said: “Indigenous peoples across the Americas, from Standing Rock to the Amazon, have for years been standing up against the destructive, racist practices of the fossil fuel industry. The number of people withdrawing their money from the banks supporting the Dakota Access pipeline is a clear signal to those banks that destructive fossil fuel projects are a bad financial, social, and environmental investment.”

    Regine Richter of the German organization urgewald, said: “European banks involved in financing DAPL might think they are far enough away and can get off the hook from the protests. But here as well people are enthusiastic to stand with Standing Rock and protest against the loan, as we do this week at BayernLB.”
    Johan Frijns, Director BankTrack, said: “The Dakota Access Pipeline is becoming a litmus test for all banks involved on how they let environmental, social and human impacts weigh in when considering finance for a particular project. In this case, the ongoing violation of the rights of the Sioux Tribe leave them no other option but to withdraw from the project.”

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    NODAPL, Water is life, Indigenous Rising

    The Indigenous Environmental Network is an international environmental justice nonprofit that works with tribal grassroots organizations to build the capacity of Indigenous communities. Find out more at: www.ienearth.org

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