Hash Bash 2017: The Great Cannabis Betrayal Continues

https://scontent-atl3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/17634845_1663320983684030_613999681140897365_n.jpg?oh=01f806755de41808c5b7b54c2e8ee317&oe=599970C5

Bruce Cain·Friday, March 31, 2017

I would very much appreciate it if you would re-post and republish this article as widely as possible. Whether you live in the US, Canada — or anywhere around the world — your right to “grow and sell” your own Cannabis is under assault. I have been a small voice in this movement for many decades and this is not the “end state” that I, or many other activists had envisioned. And if we don’t take a stand very soon I fear your very right to grow your own will soon be “up in smoke.” And that is why I am giving explicit permission to republish this article with no further permission. The people have a right to understand how we have been betrayed. Bruce W. Cain March 31st, 2017

The Past:

Since I first smoked Marijuana, in 1968, I always felt that adults should have the right to both grow and sell what they were not able to consume. And most of us young Hippies felt the same way as we firmly believed that “government is best which governs least.” We also favored small decentralized economies which was perfectly expressed in the book “Small is Beautiful” by EF Schumacher (1973): “among the 100 most influential books published since World War II.”

===== Small Is Beautiful: A Study of Economics As If People Mattered is a collection of essays by British economist E. F. Schumacher. The phrase “Small Is Beautiful” came from a phrase by his teacher Leopold Kohr.[1] It is often used to champion small, appropriate technologies that are believed to empower people more, in contrast with phrases such as “bigger is better”.

First published in 1973, Small Is Beautiful brought Schumacher’s critiques of Western economics to a wider audience during the 1973 energy crisis and emergence of globalization. The Times Literary Supplement ranked Small Is Beautiful among the 100 most influential books published since World War II.[2] A further edition with commentaries was published in 1999.[3]

Small Is Beautiful From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Small_Is_Beautiful =====

Yep us Hippies were probably the first generation of Americans that understandably feared overbearing government control as well as the movement toward globalization: what Bush(1) would later call “One World Government” in the early 1990’s.

This Saturday will mark the 46th Hash Bash in Ann Arbor: one of the nations oldest Annual events calling for the legalization of Cannabis. The first Hash Bash was held on April 1st, 1972 in response to the arrest of John Sinclair. Sinclair was due to be imprisoned for 10 years for possession of 2 joints. At the time Marijuana arrests were at a very low level, compared to today, and there was little doubt that he was really arrested because he publicly advocated for the legalization of Marijuana (e.g., Cannabis).

Prior to the first Hash bash John Lennon (of the Beatles) played and spoke at the “John Sinclair Freedom Rally on December 10, 1971 at the Crisler Arena in Ann Arbor. The event drew about 20,000 people where Lennon performed a special song: “It ain’t fair John Sinclair” which you can listen to at the following link:

John Lennon – John Sinclair https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZJLInCgem8

John Sinclair Freedom Rally From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Sinclair_Freedom_Rally

Prior to all of this the Beatles circulated the first petition, calling for Marijuana Legalization, on July 24th, 1967, which was signed by many luminaries including scientist Carl Sagan. It is worth noting that the petition did not speak to the issue of personal cultivation.

===== The Beatles call for the legalization of marijuana Monday 24 July 1967 A full-page advertisement appeared in The Times newspaper on this day, signed by 64 of the most prominent members of British society, which called for the legalisation of marijuana. Among the signatories were The Beatles and Brian Epstein. https://www.beatlesbible.com/1967/0… =====

My initiation into all of this occurred a year later in 1968 at the tender age of 14. It was in 1968 that I was first introduced to both LSD and Marijuana. And from that beginning I could never understand why either substance should ever be illegal. Cannabis never impaired my motor skills as much as the Boones Farm Wine we used to drink back in the day. And the propaganda that LSD was addictive was “too cute by half.” About the last thing you would ever want to do, after a 10 hour LSD trip, would be another 10 hour LSD trip.

[I am not, by the way, suggesting that 14 year olds should be doing LSD by the way. But I have “always” been an advocate for legalizing the cultivation of both Cannabis and Psilocybin Mushrooms for adults.]

It was not understood, till decades later, that the War on Drugs (including Marijuana) was perpetrated by the Nixon administration to criminalize blacks and Hippies.

=====

One of Richard Nixon’s top advisers and a key figure in the Watergate scandal said the war on drugs was created as a political tool to fight blacks and hippies, according to a 22-year-old interview recently published in Harper’s Magazine.

“The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people,” former Nixon domestic policy chief John Ehrlichman told Harper’s writer Dan Baum for the April cover story published Tuesday.

“You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin. And then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities,” Ehrlichman said. “We could arrest their leaders. raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”

Ehrlichman’s comment is the first time the war on drugs has been plainly characterized as a political assault designed to help Nixon win, and keep, the White House.

Report: Aide says Nixon’s war on drugs targeted blacks, hippies By Tom LoBianco, CNN Thu March 24, 2016 http://www.cnn.com/2016/03/23/politics/john-ehrlichman-richard-nixon-drug-war-blacks-hippie/ ======

There are a few other milestones, during these early years that are worth consideration.

In 1965 Timothy Leary was arrested for Marijuana possession and was due to serve 30 years in prison. Just like Sinclair, Leary was singled out because he advocated the legalization of both Marijuana and LSD. I was asked to speak on a panel with Tim in 1993.

===== Leary v. United States, 395 U.S. 6 (1969), is a U.S. Supreme Court case dealing with the constitutionality of the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937. Timothy Leary, a professor and activist, was arrested for the possession of marijuana in violation of the Marihuana Tax Act. Leary challenged the act on the ground that the act required self-incrimination, which violated the Fifth Amendment. The unanimous opinion of the court was penned by Justice John Marshall Harlan II and declared the Marihuana Tax Act unconstitutional. Thus, Leary’s conviction was overturned. Congress responded shortly thereafter by replacing the Marihuana Tax Act with the newly written Controlled Substances Act while continuing the prohibition of certain drugs in the United States.[1]

Leary v. United States From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leary_v._United_States =====

Leary’s successful overturning, of the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, quickly resulted in something even worse: The Controlled Substances Act of 1970. The Controlled Substances Act place both Marijuana and LSD on Schedule 1, which also included drugs such as Heroin.

Controlled Substances Act From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Controlled_Substances_Act

Many decades later I have decided to “self identify” as a Perennial Hippie. You can understand what I mean by that through reading through the following links:

===== Hippie From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hippie

Perennial philosophy From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perennial_philosophy

The Perennial Philosophy (book) From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Perennial_Philosophy_(book) ===== In 1989 I had begun publishing a magazine on Drug Policy (New Age Patriot) which was internationally distributed by 1990. I was also involved in the Hash Bash along with Adam Brook and Rich Birkett even before that. It was around that time that we arranged to have the Hash Bash on the First Saturday in April, rather than on April 1st. That way we figured that the event would draw more activists, which it did. It was also in 1989 that I met Jack Herer (The Emperor Wears No Clothes): possibly the most effective Cannabis Activist in our long history:

Jack Herer From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Herer

In 1990 I used my publication and my involvement in the Hash Bash to start a annual international event to call for the Legalization of Marijuana and an end to the Drug War in general. The event was called International Drug Policy Day (IDPD). I basically encouraged activists to set up an event which I would publish in my magazine. By 1996 IDPD was celebrated in 60 locations around the world: including Warsaw, Russia and South America. I stopped publishing New Age Patriot in 1997 which also ended IDPD. But then activist Dana Beal took the baton and IDPD became the Million Marijuana March which has been celebrated in over 300 locations world wide.

The next important milestone in the Marijuana Movement was the passage of the first Medical Marijuana Initiative in November of 1996. Prop215 was the first state initiative allowing adult to grow their own Cannabis for medical purposes. But of course as Peron once said: “all use is medical use.”

There are so many things that occurred from Prop215 (CA, 1996), to today, that it would take a book to cover it all. But certainly one of the most important Michigan events was the murder of Cannabis Activist Tom Crosslin at Rainbow Farm: about 1 week before the Terror Attack on the World Trade Center (09/01/2001). I spoke at his farm numerous times and sat down to lunch with him on a few occasions as well. In retrospect this is very important as it made clear that the “Deep State” was still more than willing to persecute and kill our activists in order to push back on the inevitable: the full legalization of Marijuana.

Rainbow Farm From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rainbow_Farm

Tom Crosslin From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Crosslin

Then in November of 2008 the people of Michigan passed the Medical Marijuana Initiative by 63% of Michigan voters and majorities in ALL Michigan counties. I personally collected about 1200 signatures in order to get this on the ballot. Since we needed over 400,000 signatures this amounted to about 1 in 400. This was backed by the Marijuana Policy Project led by sex offender Kampia and had the same poison pill going back to Prop215: you had to get “a card” to be a grower/caregiver. In my opinion this registry will be used to bust every last grower once the “big boys” get their mega grows up an running. The data mining of “smart meters” will also be used to get growers who have refused to get “a card.” You should not need a fucking “card” to grow Marijuana. You don’t need it to brew beer or make wine at home. We should have been suspicious about the need to have a card from the very beginning!

The Present

Between 2008 and today (April 1st, 2017) both our legislators and monied drug reform groups — NORML, DPA, MPP, etc. — have been pushing “tax, regulation and control” — what is also know as a “seed to sale” model. This was already beginning to occur as early as 2000 by the way.

One of the first assaults on the Medical Marijuana Initiative came in the form of local city ordinances that forbid home growing in cities like Dearborn Heights, Royal Oak, Ferndale and many other cities. This “boiler plate” legislation was pushed through by Municiple Leagues and was an obvious subversion of the will of 63% of Michigan voters.

===== Bruce Cain, resident and drug policy activist, said he’s cautiously optimistic about council’s decision. He said his worry was the city would try to prosecute patients and caregivers who are in compliance with state law. “I’m just relieved you’re doing what you’re doing,” he said. [By the way, I never said that]. Cain said he supports the complete and untaxed legalization of marijuana. It is the only way the country will stop the drug cartels, he said, and it would make cheap medicine widely available. Marijuana is not a dangerous drug, Cain said. He said it should at least be treated the same as alcohol, which is more dangerous.

Heights council OKs ban on marijuana dispensaries Friday, January 14, 2011 http://www.rockindlaw.com/dearborn-heights-passes-ordinance-prohibiting-dispensaries/ =====

Adam Brook — long time Master of Ceremony for the Hash Bash — also spoke out against these ordinances, which I believe led to his arrest and incarceration for owning a gun which he inherited from his father or grandfather.

So here we are today just waiting for the Mega Grows to open: at which point the home growers will be thrown under the bus. I will leave it to the reader to read about what is about to happen to Cannabis in Michigan as the “big boys” move in to monopolize production and distribution. =====

===== LANSING — The medical marijuana industry is poised for explosive growth in Michigan. And new laws seeking to regulate, tax and legitimize the lucrative business have unleashed a torrent of cash at Lansing decision makers, sending dozens of lobbyists, lawmakers, legislative staffers and business owners scrambling for a piece of the billion-dollar enterprise.

All the jockeying is taking place under Michigan’s weakest-in-the-nation laws outlining government ethics, transparency and conflicts of interest. And it’s happening while Lansing awaits Gov. Rick Snyder’s appointment of a five-member board that will ultimately oversee licensing of the industry, raising questions about who will truly benefit from bringing pot to the mainstream.

The stakes are high: While medical marijuana revenues in Michigan are estimated at more than $700 million, if full legalization of marijuana happens, as it has in eight other states, the revenues could be enormous. Arcview Market Research, a California-based company that tracks the marijuana industry, reported $6.8 billion nationally in legal marijuana sales — both recreational and medicinal — in 2016, and projects the market to grow to $21.6 billion by 2021.

New medical marijuana laws set industry ‘on steroids’ http://www.freep.com/story/news/politics/2017/03/25/new-medical-marijuana-laws/99430088/

Medical pot draws rich, well-connected investors http://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/2017/03/25/medical-pot-marijuana-rich-investors/99415236/

===== * Registered medical marijuana users: 244,125 * Registered caregivers: 40,702 * Estimated sales with new medical marijuana regulations: $711 million * Estimated tax revenues with new law: $21 million * Number of plants for each class of medical marijuana growers: up to 500; up to 1,000; up to 1,500 * Product yield for single marijuana plant: Depending on the strain, 2 ounces to 2 pounds. * Price: $8 to $20 per gram, which would translate into a range of $448 to $18,140 worth of finished product from one marijuana plant.

Medical marijuana by the numbers http://www.freep.com/story/news/pol…

Medical pot: from ballot to regulated industry www.freep.com/story/news/politics/2…

=====

Medical pot laws ignite Lansing feeding frenzy http://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/2017/03/25/medical-pot-laws-michigan/99250684/ =====

=====

The Future?

The dream of many of us Hippies — to be able to grow and sell without “tax, regulation and government control” — is fast becoming like the American Dream: you really have to be asleep to believe it.

Under “seed to sale” state governments and millionaire gangapreneurs are going to want every last penny that they lobbied for. So instead of many small growers supporting local communities we will see them herded into the criminal justice system for doing exactly the same thing the “big boys” will be doing: growing and distributing Cannabis. And let us not loose sight of how hypocritical this really is. The very same state governments that have been persecuting Cannabis Consumers/Producers — because Marijuana was so dangerous — are now going to become our New Drug Dealers. And the very same Hippies that optimized the the technology, hybridized new strains etc. will be going to jail. Please, let that sit in for a moment.

Between 2010 and 2012 the Hash Bash was overtaken by dispensary owners like Ream, 3rd Coast (Ypsi) and others. And because of that the last time I was allowed to speak was in 2010, following a speech by John Sinclair. You can watch the video here:

Hash Bash in Ann Arbor and the End of the War On Marijuana (2010) https://www.youtube.com/edit?video_id=TtmVsOg_XZw =====

===== This video contains speeches by John Sinclair and Bruce Cain with introductions by Hash Bash “Master of Ceremonies” Adam Brook. In the second year after Medical Marijuana became legal in Michigan we celebrate the 39th Annual Hash Bash in Ann Arbor Michigan. John Sinclair, the first speaker, is the actual reason the Hash Bash began. In 1970 he was persecuted, as a political prisoner of the state, after facing 10 years in Prison for the possession of 2 Marijuana Cigarettes. In December 1970 John Lennon, of the Beatles, came to Ann Arbor to hold a special concert to raise money for John Sinclair’s defense. Soon after John was free. Bruce Cain is the second speaker and is the author of the MERP Model for Marijuana Re-Legalization. Under this model all adults would be able to “grow their own” untaxed, unregulated and unlimited in the number of plants that they can grow. This is the ONLY way that the Mexican Drug Cartels can be defeated. It is the only way that the sick and the poor will be able to afford Marijuana. And it is the only way that the PIGS (Police Instigating “Grass” Stings) can be prevented from breaking into our homes . . . much like the British broke into the homes of the American Colonists. Both Cain and Sinclair support the right for Americans to grow their own Marijuana without taxation or regulation. We both would like to see Marijuana treated like Beer — where we can presently produce home brew — rather than “hard liquor” where you can purchase, but not produce, your own product.

It appears that NORML, DPA, MPP, Obama . . . and many other “interested” parties (e.g., the Rx and Tobacco industries) want to prevent Americans from “growing their own” in order to monopolize the market and charge $300 to $500 for an ounce of Marijuana when we could essentially grow it ourselves for free. It is worth noting that many members of State Chapters of NORML no longer agree with the “tax and regulate” model. The “tax and regulate” mantra is coming mainly from National Members of NORML, DPA and MPP.

Cain is urging American Citizens to recognize, that for the first time in US history, a majority of American voters now want complete legalization . . . including the right to grow our own.

Vast forces, including the Corporate Controlled Media, are trying to “manufacture consent” for a “tax and regulate” model that will prohibit any significant “self cultivation” in order to serve the greed of those most likely to monopolize the markets: large dispensaries, the federal government, the tobacco industry and the Pharmaceutical industry.

The Mainstream Corporate Media will not allow activists, such a Cain, Sinclair, Herer, Peron etc. explain what they see wrong with a “tax and regulate” model that does not allow self cultivation.

Hash Bash in Ann Arbor and the End of the War On Marijuana (2010) https://www.youtube.com/edit?video_id=TtmVsOg_XZw =====

That was the 15th(?) and last time that I spoke at the Hash Bash. And here is what I had to say about that in 2012.

====== Bruce Cain has been a long time activist who has always believed in the inalienable right of adults to grow their own Marijuana as well as other foods and herbs. He has spoken at 15 of the last 23 events but feels that the Hash Bash has been hijacked by those intent on “taxing, regulating and controlling” it for the benefit of monopolists like Steve DeAngelo of Harborside . . . who will be allowed to speak.

Here are some of the links cited in the video:

“The Obongo Song” for Marijuana Hypocrite Obama – YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S3iOHt1RKR8

I also found it unfortunate to hear your other Hash Bash planner, Charmie Gholson, expressing joy over that fact that they are busting white people. This is also unacceptable and some might even argue it to be racist in its own right. No one should be getting busted for growing or consuming Marijuana. Here is the podcast in which she makes the statement:

========================= Charmie Gholson-Comm. for a Safer Michigan, Caitlin Sampson by ROJS Radio Sat, March 3, 2012 At 43:00 Gholson states that she supports taxing Cannabis. Bad girl! At 46:00 It is good white people are getting arrested She is part of Able’s “Repeal Today” http://www.blogtalkradio.com/rojsra…

Why Bruce Cain is not being allowed to speak at 2012 Hash Bash https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PeOB6J6g2F8&t=16s =====

If you are a Cannabis consumer or producer you have every right to be pissed off at the current Hash Bash Promoters, the Pseudo Drug Reform organizations and your legislators. And don’t get excited by the two initiatives for 2018. Essentially, unless we act, the door on persona cultivation is shutting fast. The state wants the revenue and the “big boys” are going to be the sole providers to the local dispensaries. Small growers will obviously be thrown under the bus and treated like criminals. And the consumer will be paying through the nose for an herb they could grow themselve for perhaps $20/ounce. Instead you will probably be paying $60 and eighth and $350 per ounce.

So I will end this with links to proposed initiatives by MPP and MI_Legalize. Frankly I don’t know why they would even bother. And neither will do what we first set out to do in the late 1960’s:

* Erase all Marijuana offenses from judicial records. * Allow Marijuana consumers/producers to own a gun. * Allow adults to grow and sell their overage. * Stop the persecution of consumers/producers.

===== MI Legalize 2018: The People of Michigan’s Movement to Legalize Marijuana http://www.milegalize.com/ http://www.milegalize.com/read_the

March 22 Draft Ballot Language Michigan Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol https://www.facebook.com/notes/michigan-coalition-to-regulate-marijuana-like-alcohol/march-22-draft-ballot-language/280551502380931 =====

There is STILL a much better solution: MERP and the Tomato Model

Here are some notes on my MERP Model for legalization as it was in 2009. The basic plan is still better than most that I’ve read but it needs some revision. My web is long gone so this is what I’m left with. MERP is really just a version of what existed since the 60’s: Tomato Model, Hippie Distribution System. At the end of the day it was really structured to insure the “industry” would ALWAYS be dependent on local growers.

===== An Overview of the MERP Model for Marijuana Re-Legalization By Bruce Cain – submitted to NeuroSoup on July 20, 2009 http://www.neurosoup.com/an-overview-of-the-merp-model-for-marijuana-re-legalization/ =====

Frankly I would summarize my better solution this way in April of 2017.

Any adult should be able to have 2-4 1000 Watt lights per home. If you stay within these limits you can sell your overage and law enforcement will be reduced to the authority of a dead ghost on a bright sunny day. And of course you will still retain your 2nd Amendment right to own a gun. I still think THAT is the end game we should be fighting for. And please let me know if you agree. I would also encourage you to join my Facebook group in case I decide to throw my hat back in the ring of this insane “fools crusade.”

Bruce Cain’s Facebook Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/BruceCain2016/

Additional Links and Articles on the Hash Bash and Cannabis Policy:

Brad Forrester thread on competing Marijuana initiatives https://www.facebook.com/normlbrad/posts/1341595895961874?comment_id=1343570582431072&reply_comment_id=1345230525598411

More on MERP scattered throughout the web. Google [bruce cain merp] https://www.google.com/#q=bruce+cain+merp&*

===== Bruce Cain, Editor of “New Age Citizen,” talks about the history of Marijuana and how its prohibition is part of a larger Globalist agenda to push us towards a Post-Constitutional New World Order where inalienable rights are no longer guaranteed. He believes that both Obama and McCain have been selected to further this agenda and that citizens should stop legitimizing the “Election Charade” by writing in the names of 3rd Party and Independent Presidential Candidates. He further believes that the American People must organize to stop either candidate from pushing us further toward a Globalist New World Order when one of them becomes our next president in January 2009.

This lecture was given before a “live audience” at the Trumbull-Plex Theatre on Sunday, October 19th, 2008: just 2 weeks before the Presidential Election. The Trumbull-Plex Theatre is located in Detroit, Michigan. He was the featured speaker at this event that was celebrating that Michigan will most probably be the 13th State to Legalize Marijuana for Medicinal use. Bruce Cain encourages the distribution of this video in order to de-legitimize the 2008 Presidential Election and challenge the New World Order in 2009.

If nothing else it is a fact filled journey tracing the history of the animal kingdom’s consensual relationship with mind alterng drugs over the millennia. But it actually goes much further, tracing the role that Marijuana Prohibition has had in the building of a “Technological Cage” by which the New World Order is slowly stripping away the inalienable rights guaranteed by the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

Marijuana: Past, Present and Future from Bruce Cain November 2008 https://vimeo.com/2056650

=====

===== Bruce Cain Beyond the semantics it is rather clear that state legislators are taking what the people wanted (e.g., the ability to grow your own) and instead pushing forward with the corporate industrialization of Cannabis. All this is being done in order to trace all production from “seed to sale.” Of course in order to set up such a system it is pretty obvious that, at some point, they will “need” to smother out home growers.

A great case in point would be Michigan which passed one of the most liberal — thought not perfect — Medical Marijuana Initiatives in 2008. Ever since then our legislators have been carving away at that. And now they are setting up the Mega Grows to supply the dispensaries. And once “up and running” your caregivers (home growers) will no longer be able to supply dispensaries.

And once that occurs I predict increase raids on home growers using information from “card” registries and data mining smart meter readings/electrical usage. We are already seeing an uptick in states like CO where “tax and regulate” is further along than in Michigan. To put it in the simplest of terms: state governments smell the potential revenue and they want to be sure they capture all of that revenue. And by hook or by crook their incentive will be to further persecute those that continue to grow their own.

It is quite obvious that this “seed to sale” monopolization will have severe consequences for “home growers.” Since the 60’s millions have eeked out a living growing, trimming Cannabis. Once “seed to sale” is fully implemented these same millions will be left with “working for the man” at perhaps $10/hour and losing the accumulation of knowledge/wisdom that comes from maintaining a sustainable grow: cutting clones, maintaining mother plants, maintaining veg plants, maintaining bloom stage plants, optimizing output etc.

In the decades I have been involved in this “fools crusade” so much time has been spent on the semantics:

* Should we call our plant Marijuana or Cannabis?

* Should we talk about our plan as Legalization of by some other term.

I am a secularist like Jefferson who saw that, beyond the silly miracles, there was a lot of folk wisdom contained in the Bible. And this Bible quote seems quite relevant to the discussion:

God said, “See, I give you every seed-bearing plant that is upon all the earth, and every tree that has seed-bearing fruit; they shall be yours for food. Genesis 1:29

I have yet to see a version of this that states: “I give the corporations every seed bearing plant.”

Over the last 200 years we have seen the rise of the collectivist state.

* The Civil War effectively centralized federal authority.

* The Federal Reserve effectively put the control of our economy in the hands of globalist banks and corporations.

* The Drug War prevented us from growing our own herbs and medicines.

* If Hillary had won the TPP would have been passed and US sovereignty would have been subjugated to global elites (again global banks and corporations).

In all of this the individual has been relegated to a slave of the state. For 60 years small growers have supplied the market place with ample amounts of Cannabis. That system is what we have all been fighting for all of these years. And no matter how you want to slice it this outcome — the corporate industrialization of Cannabis — was NEVER the end game that we fought so hard for.

So regardless, of the semantics, our goal has always been to secure the rights of small growers. This has got to be one of the greatest “bait and switch” outcomes in recent history and it cannot stand. And there is no way you can characterize the corporate industrialization of Cannabis as “legalization” or whatever you want to define as our inalienable right to grow our own foods and herbs.

So at the end of the day — beyond the semantics — this has always been our goal: our inalienable right to grow our own foods and herbs.

Commentary on “What Legalization Wants” https://www.facebook.com/notes/mich… =====

The Terror Preceding 911: Rainbow Farm by Bruce Cain

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=77b…

=====

So this lunatic Rick Jones wants sodomy laws and apparently he wants to sodomize us as well. When do we stop putting up with this bullshit?

“It’s time to get marijuana out of houses and put it somewhere else,” Sen. Jones said. “Let the pharmaceutical companies grow it and sell it in pharmacies.” https://www.facebook.com/notes/bruc… =====

Stopping the Michigan Legislatures War on Michigan Cannabis Consumers https://www.facebook.com/notes/bruc…

===== The Ride So Far Words and Music by Bruce W. Cain Copyright 2009

See you driving in you car How you like the drive so far babe? Will you travel very far? Or will the highway fade before your eyes?

You drive around so aimlessly Where was it you hoped to be now? Did you reach your destiny? Are you where you hoped to be today?

Chorus:

There must be a better way than this We need to talk about it They won’t even let us grow a weed It’s time to shout about it

Weed it just a symbol now Of those freedoms I hold sacred I wear this leaf to tell you now We’re here to take our freedoms back today

And all of us is all we need Peace on Earth is what we pray for The love you get will far exceed All the love you’ll ever give away

Refrain:

Come on, Come on, Come on baby Come on down and join the circle Come on little Goddess let’s get high

Come on, Come on, Come on baby Come on down and join the circle Come on everybody let’s get high

The Ride So Far https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKF…

Image may contain: 1 person, text

CONTINUE READING…

She formed the U.S. Marijuana Party in 2002; ran for Alabama governor in 2006 on a platform to legalize pot; created the Alabama Compassionate Care group to fight for use of marijuana for treatment of disease; and in 2010 was named by the magazine Skunk as one of the top 100 most influential women in Cannabis…

Pushing for legalization: Alabama housewife to marijuana activist

https://i2.wp.com/www.tokeofthetown.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/Loretta20Nall20crop20842983049_l.jpg

By Kent Faulk | kfaulk@al.com
Email the author | Follow on Twitter
on March 29, 2017 at 7:31 AM, updated March 29, 2017 at 10:20 AM

Loretta Nall remembers the first time she smoked marijuana.

“I was about 12 years old at a Ratt/Queensreich concert at the BJCC (Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex),” Nall, who grew up in the east Alabama town of Ashland, said in an interview with AL.com.

That was 30 years ago and since then Nall has become one of the most outspoken advocates for the legalization of pot in the nation.

She formed the U.S. Marijuana Party in 2002; ran for Alabama governor in 2006 on a platform to legalize pot; created the Alabama Compassionate Care group to fight for use of marijuana for treatment of disease; and in 2010 was named by the magazine Skunk as one of the top 100 most influential women in Cannabis.

Nall says she wasn’t always an activist and there were periods when she didn’t smoke weed – particularly when she was pregnant with her two children.

Until 2002, Nall had been a housewife and mother with only a few minor traffic violations, hadn’t thought about running for office, and wasn’t public in her outcry for the legalization of pot. But two things happened that year that would change that.

It was in 2002 that she connected online with Marc Emery, dubbed Canada’s “Prince of Pot.”

Nall said that in 2002 Emery asked her to come up to Canada and meet. “Within a week of my returning I had helicopters buzzing my house and (police on) ATVs in my yard,” she said.

Law enforcement told her they saw marijuana growing on her property, Nall said. But there wasn’t any, she said.

Nall believes that law enforcement converged on her property because she had visited Emery, who she said was near the top of federal drug agents’ watch list.

At that time, however, police didn’t try to search her house – at least not right away.

Soon after the raid, Nall sent a letter to the editor at The Birmingham News pushing for legalization of pot. It was titled: “Going to pot, and so what?” She wrote that not all marijuana users fit the “stereotypical stoner-without-a-clue image.”

Lobbying against sin: Baptist leader ready to fight marijuana

The Rev. Joe Godfrey is Alabama’s point man when it comes to lobbying against sin.

“We are not criminals who rob, steal or otherwise cause harm to the fabric of society, and it is time to stop treating us as if we were,” Nall wrote in 2002, long before states began to break with federal prohibitions on recreational marijuana. “It is time to demand an end to cannabis prohibition and the harsh drug laws that do more harm to society than the drug itself will ever do. It is time for change.” 

Six days after that letter to the editor appeared police returned with a search warrant, finding rolling papers, a scale and 0.87 grams of marijuana inside her mobile home.

“I think I was the first one to get the media’s attention (for pot legalization),” Nall said. “They (police) turned me into an activist by raiding my home and trying to take my children and violating my first amendment rights.”

Loretta Nall: Alabama Marijuana Advocate

A Tallapoosa County Sheriff’s investigator who had secured the search warrant for Nall’s home denied after the raid that the warrant was based on Nall’s letter to the editor. “Of course, it didn’t help her out any,” said the investigator, who would not say where the information for the search warrant did come from.

Nall was arrested and convicted of misdemeanor charges of possessing marijuana and paraphernalia.

She appealed and in April 2007 a judge dismissed her conviction because prosecutors failed to respond to Nall’s motion to suppress evidence seized in the 2002 raid.

Police used her letter to the editor in The Birmingham News as reason for the search, Nall says.

She became a guest host for segments on Emery’s online Pot TV show for about 2 1/2 years. The role included making trips around the country to cover pot-related news.

“She got all fired up,” Emery said of Nall in a recent interview with AL.com. “She has always been an advocate for legalization in a very inhospitable state.”

It’s always tough to advocate for legalization in a red state and particularly in the Bible Belt, Emery added. But, he said, “at no point does the Bible advocate against cannabis,” he said.

In 2010, Emery pleaded guilty to federal charges in the United States. He was sentenced to five years for manufacturing marijuana. Among the  allegations were that he shipped marijuana seeds over the border into the United States. He was released in 2014. And two months ago he was arrested by Montreal police after opening six illegal marijuana dispensaries around that city, according to the Toronto Sun newspaper. His trial is pending on that case.

“They turned me into an activist by raiding my home and trying to take my children ..” – Loretta Nall

Meanwhile, Canada this spring will likely consider legislation to legalize recreational marijuana nationwide.

In 2002, when Nall formed and became the first president of the U.S. Marijuana Party, recreational marijuana was banned in all states. Today eight states and Washington D.C. have legalized recreational marijuana. More than half the country has legalized marijuana for medical use and surveys show most Americans believe marijuana should be legal.

Nall’s party has also expanded with the changing attitudes. Today the group lists active chapters in 17 states. Yet Alabama isn’t one of them.

Nall left the group in 2004 but she said she still acts as an adviser. She later entered the race for Governor of Alabama in 2006 with the Libertarian party. Her top platform issue was legalization of marijuana.

Nall ran a colorful campaign that got national attention. Campaign materials included a photo of the woman displaying her ample cleavage above the words ”More of these boobs.” Below were photos of other candidates, including Gov. Bob Riley, and the words ”And less of these boobs.”

Her campaign sold bosomed-themed T-shirts, ”stash boxes,” and ”anti-state” thong underwear.

Nall, however, couldn’t get her name on Alabama ballots because the Libertarian Party couldn’t get the required 40,000 signatures. So she ran a write-in campaign. She said she got about 2,500 votes of the write-ins that were counted.

After the election Nall continued to write for Cannabis Culture magazine (a Marc Emery publication) and briefly branched her activism into another issue. In 2007, after Alabama outlawed the sale of sex toys,  Nall started a “Sex Toys for Troy King” drive that included her sending an inflatable pig to the then Alabama attorney general’s office.

Nall also started the Alabamian Compassionate Care group and pushed the Alabama Legislature for the passage of the Michael Phillips Compassionate Care Act in 2010. After that failed she pushed for it again in 2012.

That act was designed to protect from arrest and prosecution physicians who recommend marijuana and patients who use marijuana as medicine, Nall wrote in a 2012 op-ed piece for The Birmingham News.

Nall noted that other laws allowing limited medical use of marijuana were approved by state legislators in recent years. Carly’s Law and Leni’s Law, approved in 2016, allow people with seizure disorders or other debilitating medical conditions to use cannabidiol, a product derived from marijuana plants.

“Anything like that is progress,” Nall said. But, she said, “there are lots of people that doesn’t apply to that can’t get any help.”

Still, Nall hopes one day the state will legalize recreational use of marijuana in Alabama. “We’re still way behind,” Nall said.

“I’m still in favor of the legalization of marijuana … Retail sales. The whole nine yards, like has been done in (other states),” Nall said. “You ought to be able to grow at home like you do tomatoes.”

Nall, however, agrees that there needs to be age limitations on it use.

Only when voters make state legislators change direction or the legislators see the tax money that’s to be had will Alabama ever get recreational pot, Nall said. “My money’s on the money,” she said.

By legalizing pot, it might keep people from getting addicted to opiates and other harder drugs. “Going to drug dealers (for pot) exposes them to harder drugs,” she said.

Alabama also could see an increase in taxes from the legalized sale of pot, Nall said. That money could be spent by the state on issues such as prison reform and Medicaid funding, she said.

Nall noted Colorado’s collection of millions of dollars in taxes on marijuana sales.

Licensed and regulated marijuana stores in Colorado sold nearly $1 billion worth of recreational and medical cannabis in 2015, according to a story from The Cannabist, an offshoot publication of The Denver Post.

Colorado collected more than $135 million in marijuana taxes and fees in 2015, of which more than $35 million was earmarked for school construction projects, according to The Cannabist.

Right now people who are arrested in Alabama for marijuana possession are often placed in drug courts where they have to pay high court costs and fees and prevent people from keeping a job, Nall said.

Personal issues have kept her out of the spotlight over the past five or so years, Nall said. That has included shedding an opiate addiction, she said.

Her addiction began after she had a “pretty bad” broken foot in 2007, Nall said.

After foot surgery, she was given the narcotic Percocet for pain. “All I can tell you it was a love affair from day one,” she said.

Nall said she has been “clean” for two years now from the opiate addiction.  

Nall wants the public to know that her use of marijuana wasn’t to blame for her opiate addiction. “I didn’t start opiates because I smoked weed. I started because I broke my foot,” Nall said.

“Suboxone and marijuana helped me recover from opiate addiction,” Nall said.

Nall, 42, is currently working as a 24-hour a day care-giver in the small Coosa County town of Kellyton, which is near Alexander City.

Asked if she was concerned that giving an interview might bring more trouble for her, she replied: “There’s no one on earth who doesn’t know I smoke weed.”

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The Challenge to the Dakota Access Pipeline Isn’t Over: Cheyenne River Sioux Take Battle to Court

Posted on Mar 25, 2017

By Emma Niles

Harold C. Frazier, chairman of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, outside a federal courthouse in Washington, D.C., in late February. (Cliff Owen / AP)

The camps once occupied by self-named “water protectors” in the fight against the Dakota Access pipeline (DAPL) have been cleared out, but the fight against the controversial oil pipeline continues in a much different setting: the courtroom.

The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe of South Dakota, often called a “silent sister” to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe during the #NoDAPL battle, has gone to court. Although the oil is expected to flow any day, the tribe is resilient.

“We aren’t backing down,” Harold C. Frazier, the tribal chairman, told Truthdig.

At stake is Lake Oahe, which is sacred to the tribe and its only source of drinking water. The DAPL is set to carry oil beneath the lake. A pipeline rupture would be devastating to the tribe and numerous others in the area.

The tribe is using two legal strategies, said lawyer Tracey Zephier of Fredericks Peebles & Morgan LLP. She is a member of the Cheyenne River tribe.

The first lawsuit is based on treaty and environmental rights. It argues that the easement permit for construction beneath Lake Oahe was “hasty” and didn’t take tribal treaty rights into consideration.

“The federal government had this responsibility to us, and they have not upheld it,” Zephier said. The case has not yet had a hearing, but she is optimistic that the urgency of the situation will cause it to be heard sometime in April and decided by late April or early May.

The second suit is a claim filed by the tribe under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), arguing that the pipeline would infringe on its religious rights—a claim questioned by U.S. District Judge James Boasberg in court last month. Boasberg denied the claim March 7.

“Had we been successful in making that argument, we could have stopped the construction of the pipeline and stopped the flow of the oil immediately,” Zephier said.

The Cheyenne River tribe is appealing the decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, according to Zephier.

But funding legal battles isn’t easy, which is why the tribe is turning to the mass of #NoDAPL activists who once pledged to fight the DAPL alongside them. The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe has launched a funding campaign on CrowdJustice, an online platform built to help people cover their legal costs. The tribe hopes to raise $10,000 by April 16.

“I think the election has made a lot of people recognize the value of the courts,” CrowdJustice CEO Julia Salasky told Truthdig. While her organization stays neutral on the cases it accepts, Salasky remarked that the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe’s case is “perfect for crowdfunding.”

“This is a tribe that’s using technology to try and bring people into their issue,” Salasky said.

“We’re concentrating a lot of resources on this battle,” Zephier said, “so any little thing that could be contributed financially helps a lot.”

The fight against the DAPL at first received minimal media coverage, drawing headlines only when thousands of “water protectors,” including U.S. veterans, traveled to North Dakota to protest. Now that most of the demonstrators have left, the tribe hopes the legal battle will receive recognition.

“There’s so much happening on the legal side, even though it’s not really in the media,” Zephier said. “There’s still very much a fight.”

“We don’t have the media that Standing Rock had,” Frazier acknowledged. “The average North Dakota and South Dakota people don’t even know what’s going on.”

Local media, in particular, have made it difficult for local tribes to get their message across to other residents. The Young Turks’ Jordan Chariton, for instance, took a local North Dakota news anchor to task for biased reporting, accusing the anchor of “misinforming [his] audience.”

“The media machine,” Zephier agreed, “has been spewing inaccuracies.”

Both the federal government and mainstream media have underreported the pipeline threat by spotlighting Standing Rock. In fact, the DAPL would affect numerous tribes in the area, and an oil spill would harm tribes “all the way to the south of Mexico,” Frazier said, because Lake Oahe feeds into the Missouri River, which feeds into the Mississippi and ultimately flows into the Gulf of Mexico.

“We have as much stake up there as Standing Rock,” Frazier said. “Everybody’s been excluded. We have never been consulted, and don’t we have a lot at stake?”

He noted that the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe did not receive the government’s environmental assessment report on the project until last July.

“The Nebraska tribes, they’re chomping at the bit,” he said. “There’s no mention of South Dakota or [anywhere] downstream.”

The fight has only become more difficult in the time since Donald Trump became president. Frazier charged that law enforcement began to increase the rate of arrests of water protectors once Trump took office.

Reversing President Obama’s decision at the end of his presidency to halt the pipeline construction, Trump immediately took aggressive action in favor of the DAPL. Several days into his term, Trump signed an order directing the Army Corps of Engineers to “review and approve” the pipeline “in an expedited manner.” His administration gave final approval to the construction in early February.

“I see a big change,” Frazier said. “I told the BIA [Bureau of Indian Affairs], ‘Ever since Trump’s come in here, you’ve done a 180 in attitude.’ ”

The BIA (which falls under the Department of the Interior) helped clear water protectors from #NoDAPL encampments in early February. And new Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has expressed support for oil drilling on federal lands.

“In the courtroom, it’s definitely more difficult,” Zephier added. “Any other administration would not put forth some of the outrageous arguments or assertions of authority that Trump is trying to put forward.”

The tribe is determined to keep fighting, however. “By no means does anyone feel defeated,” Zephier said. “We’re in this for the long haul.”

She and Frazier hope the energy and passion of the #NoDAPL activists will translate into support for their legal campaign on CrowdJustice.

“The American government has failed us,” Frazier said, “but the American people have not.”

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DEA Approves Synthetic Marijuana for Company That Spent $500K to Keep Weed Illegal

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March 24, 2017 at 5:27 pm

Written by Alex Thomas

(ANTIMEDIA) Lobbying in the nation’s capitol is a billion dollar industry, but sometimes, companies dip their toes into state and local politics, as well. When giant corporations want to influence bills and national elections, they generally spread their money around, cozying up to a number of politicians and shaking hands with numerous government officials. However, at the local level, high-dollar financing is a bit more transparent.

Insys Therapeutics is a small player on the national scale. The Center for Responsive Politics reported that they spent only $120,000 lobbying in D.C. in 2016. But in Arizona, where the company is based, they forked over $500,000 — and they did it to keep marijuana illegal in the traditionally Republican state.

Last September, the Washington Post first reported the large donation, which was one of the largest single contributions to any anti-legalization campaign ever.” Insys’ money was given to Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy, a localized political action committee that opposed the state’s ballot measure to legalize cannabis in 2016. That measure was ultimately defeated, and now the group is fighting the Arizona Marijuana Legalization Initiative, a bill that could hit Arizona ballot boxes on November 8, 2018.

According to the full text of the bill, acquired by Anti-Media via ballotpedia.org, the application was filed at the beginning of March. It states that “marijuana and cannabis have been used safely for thousands of years for recreational, medical, religious and industrial purposes.” The bill also cited a study funded in part by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that “did not show a significant increase in levels of crash risk associated with the presence of drugs.”

The bill proposes a number of changes that would essentially legalize marijuana. These include:

“There shall be no limit on the number of cannabis plants in a personal grow that are not yet in a state of florescence.”

“All persons at least twenty-one years of age are authorized to maintain a home garden provided the person obtains a transaction privilege tax license.”

“Commercial grows, home gardens and cannabis sales are not authorized within 1,000 feet of a school.”

According to the Washington Post, Insys has “developed a drug based on a synthetic ingredient, THC. Called Syndros, the drug was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in July for treatment of AIDS and cancer patients’ symptoms.”

Insys was just given preliminary approval for Syndros from the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) this week.

However, Insys has a shady history as a big pharmaceutical company, as they manufacture Subsys fentanyl, a deadly painkiller. An NBC report found that as of 2015, Insys had enjoyed sales of $147.2 million for their high-risk drug. They also came under investigation for the aggressive manner in which they were marketing and selling their drug. The NBC study quoted the Oregon assistant attorney general, who stated, “I’ve been investigating drug cases for about 15 years now, and the conduct that we saw in this case was among the most unconscionable that I’ve seen.”

For Insys, the fight against marijuana legalization has been long and arduous. In 2011, they retained the lobbying firm Hyman, Phelps & Mcnamara to nudge the DEA against legalization. In a statement to the Post, the company claimed they oppose marijuana legalization because “marijuana’s safety hasn’t been demonstrated through the federal regulatory process.”

Safer Arizona, the group fighting for legalization, features the tagline, “We don’t have a drug problem, we have a political problem,” on their website. Marijuana legalization in Arizona would be a huge step for nationwide legalization, as the state is seen as a stronghold of traditional American values. However, if big pharma continues to bankroll the opposition, the political action groups fighting against legalization will have more money to fund campaigns for local politicians who share their sympathies.

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Moving Beyond Cannabis Culture: An Interview with Jodie Emery

By Jon Hiltz on March 23rd, 2017 at 8:20 am

6 ways

 

It’s impossible to look at the history of marijuana activism in Canada and not think of Marc and Jodie Emery. Their decades-long fight with the powers that be have culminated into a good part of the reason we are heading toward adult-use cannabis across the nation.

Throughout this battle, they have lost everything, and regained it again, just to lose it once more. The perfect example of this would be the four years Marc Emery spent in a U.S. prison for openly selling mail-order seeds across the border.

Canada’s unwillingness to stop this extradition of a nonviolent “criminal” was a stark example of a government not supportive of the needs of cannabis users everywhere.

Now, we are at a point where Canada is scheduled to legalize marijuana for everyone 18 and older. Despite that fact, the Emerys have once again been targeted by authorities; and this time, the government has taken away a most precious possession — their life’s work.

This week, as part of their bail conditions, Marc and Jodie have been forced to cut all ties with their brand Cannabis Culture.

Yesterday, Marijuana.com reported the facts on the ground as Jodie Emery headed to Vancouver to remove herself as director of the company. Once that task was complete Jodie took the time to speak with us about the reality she and her husband must confront.


What does it feel like to hand over something that you essentially put your blood, sweat and tears into?

When I moved to Vancouver in 2004 I wanted to do activism so I started working with Marc Emery at Cannabis Culture Magazine and Pot TV. In 2005, I was made the Assistant Editor of Cannabis Culture Magazine. I spent every day slaving away over that beautiful print publication and also engaging in activism because that very same year Marc was facing life in prison. I took great pride in what I did.

It’s not just a magazine, a head shop, a vapour lounge or dispensaries, it’s an idea of what legalization looks like. It’s a mission statement for people who believe that we shouldn’t go to prison for a plant. So, it is deeply upsetting to have to give up my involvement with what really has been my identity since I became an adult.

Now that you are free and clear of your business obligations, what are your next steps?

Marc and I are going to do a cross-Canada tour, because we need to have a marijuana truth tour. Right now [MP] Bill Blair is going across Canada and telling all of the police to enforce the [current] laws.

We need to educate the public on the facts about marijuana and remind them that this is a civil liberties issue. We have to make sure no one is being arrested anymore before people are able to profit. We need to talk about how marijuana is a safer choice for recreational consumption than alcohol and talk about the opioid crisis which is extremely newsworthy right now because so many people are dying.

How is Marc handling all this? I know he spent years locked up in a U.S. prison, which by comparison is much harsher, but how is he taking the loss of Cannabis Culture?

Marc is very used to this. He has been arrested, raided and jailed so many times. Marc has had everything taken from him numerous times and he always comes back, builds up again and fights for the cause.

He’s taking it well and he is giving me a hard time because I haven’t been arrested and put in jail before, except for Montreal, but I was arrested for four hours at a hotel, not too hard. This time I actually went to jail so I experienced what people go through and that was upsetting.

At the same time, Marc is wondering what to do next. He’s had many decades of work behind him and he’s tired of all this prohibition nonsense. I’m sure he would like to finally just retire and relax.

Are you concerned about your charges? Do you think they will be dropped?

My concern about our charges is that they’re conspiracy charges. That is a very broad charge to lay on somebody because you don’t even need to commit a crime to be found guilty. The fact that three people agree to break the law makes a conspiracy. They have chosen a very easy way to give us tough punishments and these allegations are very serious.

This government very much wants to shut us up, since they were unable to do so even when they called in the U.S. government to do it for them [through Marc’s previous sentence]. Our [case] will be in the court for a number of years and we do intend to fight it to the fullest. That will probably include a Charter challenge, where we will try to go to the Supreme Court of Canada to challenge the validity of prohibition entirely.

Do you think that the severity of the charges against you were because you were selling adult-use cannabis to anyone 19 or older, as opposed to at the very least, only selling to those with a prescription?

[Our]  stores being for 19+ adults and not pretending to be recreational was groundbreaking and a lot of people thought we were very courageous to do that.

It was something we wanted to do differently than everyone, but we were also addressing the concern people had about Canadians faking their illnesses or paying doctors for access. We thought we could just do away from that model, which was half farce and half unfairness for those who are [actually] sick.

We said time and time again, this is what legalization looks like. For the government and the licensed producers and police, they don’t like that model of legalization. They don’t want people to see that vision, they want people to accept their limited oligopoly.

We don’t have a liquor registry where if you want to drink booze you have to sign up with the government and give them your information, but for marijuana right now that’s what they are doing.

For myself, part of my bail conditions say that I have to use government-approved marijuana medically if I am going to possess any marijuana. In a very sad irony, what they are doing to me is what they are trying to do to Canada.

Do you have hope that things will change? Do you think that when adult-use marijuana comes into play that the government will have listened and that dispensaries will be a part of the mix?

It will take a lot of engagement for people to change the rules. Once it’s legal federally, it’s going to be up to the provinces and municipalities to do most of the regulating. We are going to need people to engage with their provincial governments to tell them what kind of model of distribution we should have.

Change will come, but it only comes when you keep pushing and campaigning. If you sit back and wait they will never do anything. That’s why it’s so important to push the envelope.

So to end on a happy note, what is your fondest memory of running Cannabis Culture?

The people. The wonderful love that we all have for this plant and this culture. It is almost spiritual in a way. It’s a calling that we know this plant is not just a simple little garden flower or vegetable.

We know that cannabis can help save lives. It can prevent people from dying, from sickness, or hard drugs. It’s endless the way this plant can truly help people. It sounds insane, but it’s more true than any god that I have ever heard of.


As Canada edges closer to some form of adult use cannabis, however that may emerge, the Emery’s will do everything in their power to ensure Canadians are given the access they deserve.

It’s clearly not just about being able to get high in peace, it’s about what we are allowed to do as adults in a free society. From Jodie’s point of view, marijuana may be the focus, but freedom to choose is and always has been the ultimate goal.

Photo courtesy of Allie Beckett.

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Federal Marijuana Sentences Plummet: Report

 

Cannabis Penalties

by Paul Armentano,

NORML Deputy Director

March 23, 2017

The number of federal offenders sentenced for violating marijuana laws has fallen significantly since 2012, according to data provided by the United States Sentencing Commission.

Just over 3,000 federal defendants were sentenced for marijuana violations in 2016, according to the Commission. That total is roughly half of the number of federal defendants that were sentenced in 2012. The total has fallen year-to-year since that time.

The 2016 total is nearly equal to the number of federal defendants sentenced for violating powder cocaine laws, and less than the number of federal defendants sentenced for heroin. Some 96 percent of federal marijuana defendants were sentenced for trafficking, with an average sentence of 28 months in prison.

Of those sentenced, 77 percent were Hispanic, 11 percent were Caucasian, and eight percent were African American. Fifty-six percent were categorized as non-US citizens.

In 2015, over 5,600 federal defendants were sentenced for violating marijuana laws, a total equal to some 25 percent of all federal drug sentences.

Click here to email your lawmakers on various pieces of legislation related to marijuana reform.

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California lawmakers want to block police from helping federal drug agents take action against marijuana license holders

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Patrick McGreevy

With federal authorities hinting at a possible crackdown on state-licensed marijuana dealers, a group of California lawmakers wants to block local police and sheriff’s departments from assisting such investigations and arrests unless compelled by a court order.

A bill by six Democratic legislators has drawn strenuous objections from local law enforcement officials, who say it improperly ties their hands, preventing them from cooperating with federal drug agents.

“It really is quite offensive,” said Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood, president of the California State Sheriffs’ Assn., who said he objected to lawmakers “wanting to direct law enforcement how they want us to work.”

But proponents say the measure is needed to assure marijuana growers and sellers that applying for state licenses will not make them more vulnerable to arrest and prosecution under federal law, which designates cannabis as an illegal drug.

“Prohibiting our state and local law enforcement agencies from expending resources to assist federal intrusion of California-compliant cannabis activity reinforces … the will of our state’s voters who overwhelmingly supported Proposition 64,” said Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer (D-Los Angeles), the lead author of the new bill.

The act of resistance is similar to legislation that would prevent California law enforcement agencies from cooperating with federal immigration officials in the deportation of people in the country illegally. Senate Bill 54 would address that concern and make California a so-called sanctuary state for immigrants, while Jones-Sawyer’s legislation would similarly make the state a sanctuary for the marijuana industry.

The immigration and marijuana issues have been given new focus by the administration of President Trump, who state officials fear is breaking from the policy of former President Obama, who took a more hands-off approach to both issues.

U.S. Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions has indicated in public comments that he thinks marijuana is a danger to society. Last month, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer caused a stir when he said, “I do believe that you’ll see greater enforcement” of laws against the sale and use of recreational marijuana.

In November, California voters approved Proposition 64, which legalized the growing and sale of marijuana for recreational use. State agencies plan to begin issuing licenses early next year.

The new legislation would prohibit state and local agencies, unless served with a court order, from using agency money, facilities or personnel to assist a federal agency to “investigate, detain, report, or arrest” any person for actions that are authorized by state law. California authorities would also be unable to respond to requests by federal agencies for the personal information of anyone issued state licenses.

The measure has angered some local law enforcement officials — including Youngblood, who sees it as improperly meddling in law enforcement decisions in the same manner lawmakers are proposing with immigration law.

“This is ridiculous that this looks like a solution to somebody,” he said.

The sheriff said his agency frequently works with federal drug agents in task forces targeting illegal marijuana grows in forested areas of the county. He said he doesn’t want to be prevented from working with federal authorities, even if the state starts licensing pot farms.

“[Growing and selling marijuana] is still a federal felony and we are still in the United States of America, and the state of California cannot take over the United States,” Youngblood said, predicting that “at some point the federal government is going to have to step in and say, ‘You can’t do that.’ ”

The legislation has garnered initial support from marijuana industry leaders, including Hezekiah Allen, executive director of the California Growers Assn.

“The election of Mr. Trump as president, and subsequent confirmation of Mr. Sessions as attorney general, has been perceived by many of our members to have increased the risk of doing business,” Allen said. “Businesses will need to feel confident that the state will protect them from the federal government.”

Current protocol and law obligates local law enforcement to cooperate with federal drug agents, he said.

“It is very hard for federal agents to go into a rural county and kick down a bunch of doors and arrest a bunch of people without the local sheriff being a part of it.” Allen said. “It’s dangerous, actually. This is about giving them legal standing to actively not participate.”

Updates from Sacramento »

Assemblyman Rob Bonta (D-Oakland), a coauthor of the measure, said the legislation is needed because of a threat that the Trump administration might withhold federal funds from states that do not cooperate with federal authorities, although that threat has so far been limited to immigration enforcement.

“As this administration has threatened to defund California, we should not be expending scarce local and state resources to assist the federal government in ways that run counter to the crystal-clear wishes of California voters,” Bonta said, adding that the measure, Assembly Bill 1578, “will reassure responsible operators” that the state won’t turn them in to federal authorities.

The assemblyman said it is important that the bill also protects the personal information of license holders so that they are willing to share it with state regulators.

“California is committed to not sharing licensee information with the federal government and thereby upholding the will of the voters in creating a safe marketplace for medical and adult use,” Bonta said.

The current policy of the state Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation would be to treat any request for personal information as a formal request under the California Public Records Act. The agency “would determine, based on the information being requested, what is required to be released and what is exempt from disclosure under the law,” said Alex Traverso, a bureau spokesman.

Allen expects California to follow the lead of states such as Colorado, which makes public on a website the names of businesses and addresses of those who are given licenses to grow and sell marijuana.

The Colorado website lists growers and sellers by the names of limited liability corporations and does not list who the individual investors and partners are.

Allen said industry attorneys have advised him that some basic information about license holders will have to be made public.

The bill’s provision on personal information “is good symbolically and well-intentioned,” Allen said, “but we are not relying on anonymity as our pathway forward.”

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The Best Recipe for Maximizing the Medical Effects of Marijuana

CBD-only preparations lack the synergies available when marijuana’s other cannabinoids and its terpenes are kept in the game.

 

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By Phillip Smith / AlterNet

March 22, 2017

CBD (cannabidiol) is getting a lot of attention these days as the medicinal cannabinoid in marijuana. CBD-only products are all the rage in the ever-expanding medical marijuana market, and CBD-only medical marijuana laws are becoming a favorite resort of red state politicians who want to throw a sop to those clamoring for medical marijuana, but are hesitant to actually embrace the demon weed.

But is CBD the miracle molecule on its own? Or would users benefit from using preparations made from the whole pot plant? Not to knock CBD, which even by itself clearly provides succor for many people, but advocates of “whole plant medicine” make a strong case.

That case is based on the entourage effect, which posits an interactive synergy between the components of the plant, and not just the major cannabinoids, such as THC and CBC, but also the lesser-known but still therapeutically active cannabinoids, such as CBG, CBN, THC-a, and THC-v, and even the terpenoids, the molecules that make pot plants smell and taste lemony (limonene) or piney (pinene), earthy (humulene) or musky (myrcene). The entourage effect suggests that if people want to unlock the full benefits of medical marijuana, they need to be using whole plant medicine.

“CBD and THC seem to work better together. They lessen each other’s side effects,” said Eloise Theisen, RN, MSN, director of the American Cannabis Nurses Association.

“CBD has value, but its value can be enhanced with the whole plant and we can develop more individualized medicine,” said Mary Lynn Mathre, RN, MSN, and president and co-founder of Patients Out of Time.

And again, it’s not just the cannabinoids.

“THC seems to potentiate all the effects of CBD and conversely, CBD affects THC,” explained Dr. Perry Solomon, chief medical officer for HelloMD. “Dr. Ethan Russo further supports this theory by demonstrating that non-cannabinoid plant components such as terpenes serve as inhibitors to THC’s intoxicating effects, thereby increasing THC’s therapeutic index. This ‘phytocannabinoid-terpenoid synergy,’ as Russo calls it, increases the potential of cannabis-based medicinal extracts to treat pain, inflammation, fungal and bacterial infections, depression, anxiety, addiction, epilepsy, and even cancer,” he said.

“Terpenes act on receptors and neurotransmitters; they are prone to combine with or dissolve in lipids or fats; they act as serotonin uptake inhibitors (similar to antidepressants like Prozac); they enhance norepinephrine activity (similar to tricyclic antidepressants like Elavil); they increase dopamine activity; and they augment GABA (the ‘downer’ neurotransmitter that counters glutamate, the ‘upper’),” Solomon continued.

The entourage effect makes whole plant medicine the preferred means of ingesting therapeutic marijuana, the trio agreed.

“I think that any whole plant medicine is more effective than any CBD-only product,” said Solomon.

“Whole plant medicine is the only way to go,” echoed Theisen.

“It’s safer and more effective, and tolerance will develop more slowly—if at all,” Mathre concurred.

The traditional method of consuming whole plant marijuana has been to smoke it, but that’s not an especially favored route among medical marijuana advocates. And there are other options.

“Vaporization or tinctures of whole plants. Any sort of extraction method that isn’t going to deplete it,” said Theisen.

“Delivery methods vary greatly in terms of their efficiency and their effects. I heard a colleague say that smoking a joint for therapeutic effect is akin to opening your mouth in the rain to get a drink of water,” said Constance Finley, founder and CEO of Constance Therapeutics. “Our preferred methods are buccal (cheek) ingestion or sublingual ingestion, vaping from a vaporizer or vape pen whose hardware is safe to use with cannabis extracts, and topical for additional localized impact.”

With whole plant superior to single-cannabinoid preparations, people living in states that have only passed CBD-only laws are not able to enjoy the full benefits of medical marijuana. That’s a damned shame, said an exasperated Mathre.

“We have lawyers and politicians practicing medicine without a license—they don’t know what they are talking about,” she said. “Clearly there may be some patients who need little to no THC, but the vast majority will benefit from it. Patients should have all of the options open to them and research needs to continue to help determine how to best individualize cannabis medicine.”

Phillip Smith is editor of the AlterNet Drug Reporter and author of the Drug War Chronicle.

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ORGANIC HEMP IS IN DEMAND BUT CURRENTLY IT CANNOT BE CERTIFIED IN THE U.S.

 

ORGANIC HEMP IS IN DEMAND

BUT CURRENTLY IT CANNOT BE
CERTIFIED IN THE U.S.

HELP US CHANGE THIS!
See “Take Action” Section Below to Act Now.

Your participation in this call-to-action is crucial to our collective progress regarding organic certification of domestic hemp production.

Currently, hemp cultivated in the U.S. per Sec. 7606 Farm Bill regulations cannot be certified organic by the USDA, due to misinterpretation by the National Organic Program that aligns industrial hemp with other forms of cannabis.

We are asking all our supporters to register public comments for the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) Spring 2017 Meeting, which is being held in Denver, Colorado, this April 19-21.

Background

Congressionally mandated by the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 (OFPA) and governed by the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), the NOSB considers and makes recommendations to the USDA National Organic Program (USDA-NOP) on a wide range of issues involving the production, handling, and processing of organic products.

Out of any rule-making process left functioning at the federal level, the NOSB is the most openly democratic in that any citizen is able to contribute to the process through written and oral public comment. It is because of this process that we have such robust standards where if international production is under equivalency and certified compliant under USDA-NOP standards, it may carry the USDA Organic Seal.

The USDA-NOP is currently basing approval of organic certifications for domestically-produced industrial hemp on a misinterpreted definition articulated on the “Statement of Principles on Industrial Hemp,” which is in contravention of the Sec. 7606 definition and is confusing certifiers, producers, consumers, State Departments of Agriculture and law enforcement in the implementation of legal hemp pilot programs.

Take Action! Here’s What We Need YOU to Do:

The official NOSB-USDA-NOP Docket for the meeting can be found here. All written comments must be registered through this site by 11:59pm ET, Thursday, March 30, to be considered.

We are collectively recommending the main points in our registered written comments to the NOSB,

feel free to copy & paste the following points into the NOSB-USDA-NOP Docket page:

  1. We highly-value the congressionally-mandated NOSB process and the integrity of the USDA Organic Certification. 
  2. Like many other common crops, hemp is bioaccumulative in that it has the potential to uptake toxins in whatever medium it is growing. It is important for hemp products consumed by humans and animals to be distinguished as organic if they are grown as such, for consumers with these food safety considerations in mind.
  3. We ask that the NOSB make a strong recommendation to the USDA-NOP to immediately clarify the instruction “Organic Certification of Industrial Hemp Production” to allow organic certifications of Industrial Hemp adhering to the congressional intent of the Sect. 7606 definition, and removing the language “as articulated in the Statement of Principles on Industrial Hemp” from the instruction.

Please consider adding your own comments on how this issue affects you and your involvement in the hemp industry.

We encourage you to share this action so that others may join in solidarity.

Thank you for all you do!

SOURCE LINK

Pro-marijuana church active in Alabama: Members tout ‘God and cannabis’

By Greg Garrison | ggarrison@al.com
Email the author | Follow on Twitter
on March 20, 2017 at 6:12 AM, updated March 20, 2017 at 2:40 PM

Marijuana in Alabama

With a stained-glass window behind them, a lineup of speakers stepped to the front of the church and talked about the potential health benefits of legalizing plants that are currently outlawed in Alabama.

“I smoke cannabis on a daily basis for my pain,” said Janice Rushing, president of the Oklevueha Native American Church of Inner Light in Alabama. “If I did not, I’d be on pain pills.”

Her husband, Christopher Rushing, chief executive officer of Oklevueha Native American Church of Inner Light, says he also uses marijuana routinely.

The Rushings founded the Oklevueha Church in 2015 and claim that it has a legal exemption for its members to smoke marijuana and ingest hallucinogenic mushrooms and peyote cactus.

At a January forum with an audience of about 30 gathered at Unity Church in Birmingham, which allowed the use of its facilities, speakers discussed the potential benefits of marijuana and other substances for medicinal purposes.

“I had an ungodly facial rash,” said Sherrie Saunders, a former U.S. Army medic who is now a member of Oklevueha Native American Church in Alabama.

“We made a cream that completely got rid of that rash,” Mrs. Rushing said.

Someone in the audience discussed a heart problem and sleep apnea.

“That could be something that cannabis could help,” Saunders said.

She also said marijuana can ease manic bipolar disorder and Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.

“The medical establishment took away cannabis so they could sell us pills,” Saunders said.

Before marijuana was stigmatized as an illegal drug, Native Americans valued it as a natural herbal treatment for more than 90 percent of sicknesses, she said.  “A woman in Nicaragua showed me how to cure cancer with cannabis,” Saunders said.

The woman had a son who was cured, she said. “I know why,” Saunders said. “God and cannabis.”

The National Cancer Institute, in its overview of cannabis in treatment of cancer, makes no claims for curative powers, but acknowledges that cannabis has been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years and that it “may have benefits in the treatment of cancer-related side effects.” 

Chris Rushing stood in the pulpit and preached a sermon that mixed theology and a belief in natural, hallucinogenic plants. “That is God’s way of turning our brain on,” Rushing said.

“These entheogens work like tools to open up spaces and pathways of the mind,” Rushing said. “Yet it’s illegal. We all walk around producing natural chemicals that do the same.”

Rushing said it does not make sense that pharmaceutical companies make large profits on harmful synthetic and dangerous drugs, while plant and herbal medicines are illegal.

Rushing said the health benefits of marijuana, mushrooms and cacti are enormous. They can combat depression and cure people of addictions, he said.

The Oklevueha Native American Church of Inner Light in Warrior has been licensed as a federally registered branch of the Oklevueha Lakota Sioux Nation Native American Church, Rushing said.

The church has a religious exemption to use psylocibin mushrooms and peyote cactus, both of which have properties that augment traditional Native American spiritual beliefs and experiences, Rushing said. He calls their use in religious ceremonies a sacrament.

All 120 members in the Alabama church carry photo identification, similar to a driver’s license, that identifies them as members of a church that has a federal religious exemption to use natural drugs that are otherwise prohibited by law, he said.

He believes all natural plants should be legal for medicinal use, including marijuana, peyote cactus and psylocibin mushrooms.

Researchers at UAB and other universities are studying the benefits of such natural treatments, including the use of psylocibin mushrooms in treating cocaine abuse. Peter Hendricks, a clinical psychologist at UAB, is currently doing research on the use of the active ingredient in psylocibin mushrooms.

Hendricks spoke in May 2016 at a Homewood Public Library event sponsored by the church. He spoke again in January at the event at Unity Church in Birmingham.

Hendricks said he only talks about his research at the church-sponsored events and does not endorse Rushing’s church or whether its use of drugs is legal or not. The events give Hendricks a chance to advertise the research trials, which still need volunteers. Hendricks’ research explores the use of mushrooms in weaning addicts off serious drug addictions.

“I don’t support criminalizing any drug use,” Hendricks said. “People who have addictions are not helped by criminalization. If it were up to me, there would be more emphasis on providing treatment, less emphasis on punitive measures for people who are addicted.”

Rushing carries around with him documentation of court rulings such as a unanimous ruling in United States v. Robert Boyll in the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, which found that a non-Native American who was arrested for possession and intent to distribute peyote had the same constitutional protections as Native American members of the church.

Rushing said he was licensed in the church by James Warren “Flaming Eagle” Mooney of Utah, who won a court battle with the state of Utah. The Utah Supreme Court ruled in Mooney’s favor in 2004, in State of Utah vs. Mooney’s and Oklevueha Native American Church. The state had argued that Mooney was engaged in a criminal enterprise for distributing peyote and tried to seize the church property. The Supreme Court ruled that the Native American Church was entitled to the religious exemption.

Legal marijuana: Is it coming to Alabama?

As legalized marijuana spreads across the United States, most observers remain skeptical that recreational marijuana will be legal anytime soon in Alabama.

After the Jan. 21 forum at Unity Church, some in attendance expressed hope Alabama might soon follow in the footsteps of other states that have legalized marijuana. More than half of the states have decriminalized marijuana for medical uses and eight states have decriminalized marijuana for recreational uses.

Some of them say the Oklevueha Native American Church of Inner Light in Alabama is helping raise awareness.

“I think Chris’ work is vital,” said Jonah Tobin, founder of the Alabama Mother Earth Sustenance Alliance, or MESA.  “People like him are part of that movement.”

MJ Church.JPG

Janice Rushing, president of the Oklevueha Native American Church of Inner Light in Alabama, in the pulpit, and Sherrie Saunders, left, talk about the medical benefits of marijuana on Jan. 21, 2017, at Unity Church in Birmingham, Ala.

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