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U.S. Marijuana Party - Organizer U.S. Marijuana Party Kentucky Sheree Krider, LLC Cave City, Kentucky 42127 270-834-7332

The House Just Passed a Bill That Could Make Kratom Illegal

Kratom Pills

By Peter Hesson June 18, 2018

Kratom, an herbal drug used by chronic pain patients and people with opioid use disorder, has been on the Drug Enforcement Administration’s chopping block for years, but it could become illegal a lot sooner than expected. On Friday, 239 members of the US House of Representatives voted to pass H.R.2851, the Stop the Importation and Trafficking of Synthetic Analogues Act — SITSA Act for short — which is intended to help fight the growing opioid epidemic in the US. Unfortunately, it could also have the side effect of giving the Department of Justice broad authority to make kratom illegal.

The SITSA Act, which has not yet been approved by the Senate, would expand the Controlled Substances Act to include one additional category of drugs: Schedule A. Currently, the CSA includes five categories — or “Schedules” — of drugs, numbered I through V. Schedule I contains illegal drugs like heroin and LSD, and Schedules II through V contain drugs that could be abused but are available with prescriptions (for instance, oxycodone is Schedule II and Ambien is Schedule IV).

See also: Kratom Could Be Illegal Before It Gets a Chance to Solve the Opioid Crisis

Under the SITSA Act, the Justice Department could quickly place any analogues of existing drugs into Schedule A. An analogue is any drug that has a similar chemical structure and an “actual or predicted” effect that’s similar to a drug that’s already scheduled. That’s what worries advocates of kratom, an herbal drug that is not currently illegal but has opioid properties.

On its face, the bill is focused squarely on synthetic opioids that are fueling the opioid crisis. The only specific drugs it lists are 13 chemical analogues of fentanyl, the powerful opioid that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention blames for a large portion of the recent increases in opioid overdose deaths. If passed, the SITSA Act will give the Justice Department broad authority to quickly assign these fentanyl varieties a similar legal status as fentanyl, making it possible to swiftly prosecute anyone distributing substances that aren’t actually illegal.

But as concerned critics have pointed out, the SITSA Act also opens the door for an even broader interpretation of the law, in which the Justice Department could quickly add other chemicals to Schedule A without much oversight. Compounds can remain for up to five years in that category until there’s sufficient research to back up a permanent scheduling decision.

This is what kratom advocates are specifically worried about. In February, the US Food and Drug Administration warned that kratom is chemically similar to opioids and could therefore fuel the opioid crisis. As Inverse has reported, experts question the FDA’s assessment of the danger posed by kratom. Nevertheless, if the SITSA Act passes, that FDA report could be all the evidence the DEA needs to place kratom into Schedule A. At that point, the Justice Department would have five years to place it into a more permanent category.

The #SITSA Act (HR 2851) attempts to address the very real problem of synthetic #opioid overdoses in the U.S., but we believe that its methods are misguided.
Read our letter to House reps to learn more about our opposition: https://t.co/5txjpifMNF pic.twitter.com/38D7oa7dM9

— FAMM Foundation (@FAMMFoundation) June 14, 2018

In an open letter to Congress published on June 14, Human Rights Watch, the ACLU, the NAACP, and over a dozen other organizations expressed opposition to the bill, arguing that it would disproportionately punish drug users rather than manufacturers or distributors. “The legislation attempts to address the very real problem of synthetic opioid overdoses in the United States, but we believe that its methods are misguided,” the letter reads. “Instead of punishing people who use drugs and low-level dealers, legislation should focus on expanding treatment opportunities and targeting the international drug trade.”

Additionally, the SITSA Act includes language outlining criminal penalties (fines and prison time) rather than treatment or rehabilitation. So, while the prime motivation behind the SITSA Act may be public health, it could do more harm than good by further criminalizing drug addiction instead of helping expand treatment resources for people who need them.

And as far as kratom goes, if the rules of the SITSA Act eventually make it illegal, then researchers will have a much harder time investigating whether it could actually be a safer alternative to opioids.

CONTINUE READING…

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Marijuana Banking Measure Rejected By Congressional Committee

Tom Angell , Contributor

A powerful congressional committee voted on Wednesday to reject a measure to protect banks that open accounts for marijuana businesses from being punished by federal financial regulators. Supporters then scrambled to craft a more limited measure focused on medical cannabis businesses, but it was ultimately withdrawn before a vote could take place.

PHOTO: TOM SYDOW

PHOTO: TOM SYDOW

The broader measure would have prevented the U.S. Department of Treasury from taking any action to “penalize a financial institution solely because the institution provides financial services to an entity that is a manufacturer, producer, or a person that participates in any business or organized activity that involves handling marijuana or marijuana products” in accordance with state or local law.

After a lengthy and impassioned debate during which at least 19 lawmakers spoke, it was defeated on a voice vote by the House Appropriations Committee.

Despite the fact that a growing number of states are legalizing marijuana for recreational or medical use, many financial institutions have remained reluctant to work with cannabis businesses for fear of running afoul of money laundering laws under ongoing federal prohibition.

As a result, many marijuana growers, processors and retailers operate on a cash-only basis, which can make them targets for robberies.

The issue is “not whether or not one approves of marijuana,” said Rep. David Joyce (R-OH), the chief sponsor of both banking amendments, before the vote. “This is about public safety and financial transparency.”

Either rider, if it were successfully attached to legislation to fund the Treasury Department for Fiscal Year 2019, would have provided added assurance to banks that federal officials won’t close them down for working with the cannabis industry.

A similar measure was approved by the full House of Representatives in 2014 by a margin of 231 to 192, but was not included in final spending legislation that year, and congressional Republicans have since blocked floor votes on most cannabis measures.

In the lead up to the Wednesday banking vote, several advocates and Capitol Hill staffers expressed confidence in interviews that the measure would pass. But a number of likely Republican supporters were absent during the debate, and others who are sympathetic to marijuana law reform expressed varying concerns about the specific proposal. As a result, supporters did not force a roll call tally following the defeat on a voice voice.

Joyce then went back to the drawing board and crafted the narrower medical-focused amendment, which he hoped would find enough support to pass. But after a brief debate on the second proposal, Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) asked Joyce three times to withdraw the amendment instead of forcing a vote. The Ohio congressman twice pressed ahead and said he wanted the committee to weigh in on the measure, only to give in at the last moment and pull the measure.

By seeking to adopt the language in the appropriations panel, before the overall spending bill heads to the Rules Committee, which is where marijuana amendments have gone to die for the past several years, advocates were attempting to circumvent an effective blockade that has prevented progress on cannabis reform in the House.

In a similar move last month, the Appropriations Committee approved a measure to protect state medical cannabis laws from Justice Department interference following several instances of that measure being blocked by the Rules Committee.

In a separate sign of the mainstreaming of marijuana politics on the other side of the Capitol, on Wednesday the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies included that far-reaching medical marijuana language in the initial version of the Justice Department funding bill as introduced by Republican leaders, meaning that no vote or amendment will even be necessary to advance the provision in that chamber this year.

The Senate panel is scheduled to take up its version of the Treasury Department funding bill, which is called the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Act, next week.

The Fraternal Order of Police, which opposes legalization, sent a letter this week urging House lawmakers to reject the cannabis banking move.

Letter to @USRepRodney & @NitaLowey advising them of our strong opposition to any amendment that would allow the marijuana industry full access to the American banking system. Drug cartels will be given the opportunity to launder money under the guise of marijuana normalization pic.twitter.com/y5a0gHPIUi

— National FOP (@GLFOP) June 12, 2018

PLEASE CONTINUE READING…

To acknowledge that the War on Drugs has been a failed policy…

Untitled

Text: H.Res.933 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)All Information (Except Text)

There is one version of the bill.

Text available as:
Shown Here:
Introduced in House (06/12/2018)

115th CONGRESS
2d Session

H. RES. 933

To acknowledge that the War on Drugs has been a failed policy in achieving the goal of reducing drug use, and for the House of Representatives to apologize to the individuals and communities that were victimized by this policy.


IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

June 12, 2018

Mrs. Watson Coleman (for herself, Ms. Bass, Mrs. Beatty, Mr. Blumenauer, Ms. Clarke of New York, Mr. Cleaver, Ms. Fudge, Ms. Gabbard, Mr. Hastings, Ms. Jackson Lee, Ms. Jayapal, Mr. Jeffries, Ms. Eddie Bernice Johnson of Texas, Ms. Kelly of Illinois, Mr. Khanna, Mrs. Lawrence, Mr. Lawson of Florida, Ms. Lee, Mr. Lewis of Georgia, Mr. Ted Lieu of California, Mr. McEachin, Ms. Moore, Ms. Norton, Mr. Payne, Mr. Pocan, Mr. David Scott of Georgia, Mr. Serrano, and Mr. Thompson of Mississippi) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, and in addition to the Committee on the Judiciary, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned


RESOLUTION

To acknowledge that the War on Drugs has been a failed policy in achieving the goal of reducing drug use, and for the House of Representatives to apologize to the individuals and communities that were victimized by this policy.

    Whereas, until the early 1900s, most of today’s illegal substances were not regulated by the Federal Government, and there was no “War on Drugs”;

    Whereas, in the 1930s, the first Commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, Harry J. Anslinger, who was a strong opponent to marijuana, pushed a heavy propaganda campaign to demonize marijuana use, stating that it caused people to be violent and criminals;

    Whereas much of this propaganda was racially charged against the Mexican-American community, for example as Commissioner Anslinger testified to the 75th Congress in 1937 that, “I wish I could show you what a small marijuana cigarette can do to one of our degenerate Spanish speaking residents. That’s why our problem is so great; the greatest percentage of our population is composed of Spanish-speaking persons, most of who are low mentally, because of social and racial conditions”;

    Whereas, in 1937, the 75th Congress passed the Marijuana Tax Act which criminalized marijuana, and laws passed during the following years were introduced to institute mandatory minimum sentences for those who bought, sold, and used the drug;

    Whereas over the course of the next few decades, studies conducted by scientists did not find any connection between the use of marijuana and violent behaviors, and in 1973 the Shafer Commission Report on Marijuana and Drugs concluded that, “The Commission believes that the contemporary American drug problem has emerged in part from our institutional response to drug use. … We have failed to weave policy into the fabric of social institutions.”;

    Whereas despite mounting evidence, the Federal Government’s approach to the abuse of drugs continued to be one of criminalizing drug abuse instead of treatment;

    Whereas, on June 18, 1971, President Richard Nixon declared the War on Drugs, stating that drug abuse is “public enemy number one”;

    Whereas the Federal Government’s attitude toward drug use as a criminal problem only intensified with stricter drug laws, and the Government put little to no focus on treating those impacted;

    Whereas the War on Drugs was admitted to be a move by the Nixon administration to attack his political opponents, and in 1994, President Richard Nixon’s aide John Ehrlichman admitted in an interview that the War on Drugs was a tool to arrest and manipulate Blacks and liberals stating, “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. 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.”;

    Whereas in 1986, the 99th Congress passed the Anti-Drug Abuse Act establishing, for the first time, mandatory minimum sentences for those convicted of having specific amounts of cocaine;

    Whereas, in 1989, drug czar William Bennett announced a $7,900,000,000 plan to combat the drug epidemic, but 70 percent of that amount went to hiring more law enforcement personnel and building prisons;

    Whereas that money could have been better used to help provide treatment to the victims of those on heroin, cocaine, and other drugs;

    Whereas, in 1986, the 99th Congress increased the sentences for dealing and possessing crack cocaine, and in a few years, enhanced law enforcement presence loomed over and aggressively policed communities of color;

    Whereas to this day, these laws greatly target communities of color, dramatically increasing the incarceration rate of these communities and imposing a stigma that people of color are the main users of drugs, despite White Americans using at a similar if not greater rate;

    Whereas Professor of Sociology at the University of California Santa Cruz, Craig Reinarman, and Professor of Sociology at Queens College, Harry G. Levine, studied the use of crack cocaine in the United States and later published in their book, entitled “Crack in America”, which stated that, “In the spring of 1986, American politicians and news media began an extraordinary anti-drug frenzy that ran until 1992. Newspapers, magazines and television networks regularly carried lurid stories about a new ‘epidemic’ or ‘plague’ of drug use, especially of crack cocaine. They said this ‘epidemic’ was spreading rapidly from cities to the suburbs and was destroying American society. It is certainly true that the United States has real health and social problems that result from illegal and legal drug use. But it is certainly also true that the period from 1986 through 1992 was characterized by anti-drug extremism.”;

    Whereas the use of opiates such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, methadone, heroin, and fentanyl has skyrocketed since the late 1990s and the amount of prescription opioids legally sold nearly quadrupled from 1999 to 2010, despite no change in the amount of pain that Americans reported;

    Whereas the National Center for Health Statistics suggested that there were more than 64,000 drug overdose deaths in 2016, and that a majority of these deaths come from synthetic opioids like fentanyl;

    Whereas these drug overdoses have become the leading cause of accidental death, surpassing car accidents;

    Whereas, on March 29, 2017, President Donald Trump signed an Executive order to establish the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, and in a preliminary report the Commission has recommended that the opioid crisis, among other things, should be “declared a national emergency under either the Public Health Service Act or the Stafford Act”;

    Whereas many scholars, journalists, and civic leaders have addressed the strong contrast to the urgency of helping those impacted by opioids compared to those who were impacted by crack cocaine and other substances during the War on Drugs;

    Whereas the terminology used to describe those impacted by the opioid epidemic is “victims”, and the terminology used to describe those impacted by the War on Drugs is “criminals”;

    Whereas if the concept of equity was considered, meaning that individuals fairly receive what they need in order to create a level playing field, the same funds and support going to help those impacted by opioids will also go to help those impacted by heroin, cocaine, and the other drugs classified in the War on Drugs;

    Whereas as stated by Georgetown University Professor Michael Eric Dyson, “White brothers and sisters have been medicalized in terms of their trauma and addiction. Black and brown people have been criminalized for their trauma and addiction.”;

    Whereas, on October 26, 2017, President Donald Trump declared the opioid epidemic a public health emergency, which allows access to the Public Health Emergency Fund at the Department of Health and Human Services, which has only tens of thousands of dollars; and

    Whereas there has been no formal action by the United States Government to treat the epidemic of drug abuse and the War on Drugs as a health issue: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That it is the sense of the House of Representatives that—

(1) the War on Drugs has failed to achieve its goal of reducing drug use;

(2) the War on Drugs has created conditions in the United States that has allowed the opioid epidemic to be as deadly as it is;

(3) the War on Drugs is a racially charged policy that has led to the mass incarceration of millions of Americans, disproportionately affecting communities of color, stigmatized these communities as the cause of the drug problem, and has economically, politically, and socially crippled these communities for decades;

(4) in order to help those impacted, drug use has to be seen as a health issue and not a criminal issue;

(5) the House of Representatives should seek to hereby reconsider all laws associated and consistent with the War on Drugs, and prioritizes effective, evidence-based health policy solutions for individuals and communities suffering from addiction;

(6) the House of Representatives should enact civil remedies and restorative justice for any individual who has been incarcerated or otherwise punished through the Federal criminal justice system due to laws associated and consistent with the War on Drugs;

(7) Congress affirms that all individuals suffering from the disease of addiction be treated humanely, with equity and respect as all people struggling with any other health matter; and

(8) the House of Representatives hereby apologizes to the individuals and communities harmed through the War on Drugs and acknowledges that actions by this body have demonized and crim­i­nal­ized addiction for more than 80 years instead of accurately treating it as a health concern.

CONTINUE READING…


The NJWeedman is dead. Long live … NJRepealBailReformMan?

The NJWeedman is dead. Long live … NJRepealBailReformMan? (JEFF EDELSTEIN COLUMN)

By Jeff Edelstein, The Trentonian

Posted: 05/29/18, 1:58 PM EDT

The NJWeedman is dead. Long live the NJBailReformMan. Or the NJRepealBailReformMan. Or the NJEighthAmendmentMan.

Or something like that. You get the idea.

“The war on weed is won. It’s over,” Ed Forchion (formerly NJWeedman) told me yesterday. “The government hasn’t quite quit yet, and things still need to be tweaked, but it’s over. Now I have a new beef; I want to see bail reform repealed in New Jersey.”

Very short, very quick, very incomplete look at bail reform in New Jersey: Strange bedfellows, from former Gov. Chris Christie to the ACLU, worked together to pretty much end cash bail in the state. Only people deemed dangerous, based on a points system, would be held in jail prior to trial. All others would be released.

Seemed pretty good on the surface.

Except not so much, according to Forchion, who just spent 447 days in prison without the possibility of bail because he was deemed a “threat” to the informant who was set to testify against him in a marijuana case. (Not so BTW: Forchion was found not guilty of witness tampering last week.) (Also this: Forchion has a federal civil rights lawsuit winding its way through the courts right now, and when that’s all said and done, don’t be surprised if Forchion ends up with a large cash settlement.) (And there’s about 14.3 zillion other things Forchion has going on, from wanting to reopen his Trenton restaurant to waiting to see if Trenton is going to pursue other cases against him, but that’s all backburner stuff for him because …)

“All a cop has to say now is you’re a danger to the community and the judge can detain you,” Forchion said. “I knew a guy in jail who was caught for stealing toothbrushes from a dollar store. He was deemed a danger to his community. Guys there because of drunken incidents, danger to the community. It just goes on and on and on.”

And you know who he said isn’t stuck in no-bail limbo? Heroin users and kids with guns.

“For the heroin addicts it’s like Grand Central Station,” he said. “They come in, spend three days puking everywhere, then get released. And kids with guns … I guess possession of a gun is not considered a violent act, so these kids, gangbangers, are being released after cops find a MAC-10 under their seat.”

In Forchion’s eyes, the state of New Jersey completely “eviscerated” the 8th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which plainly states, “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.” What it means, courtesy of ConstitutionCenter.org: “(P)rohibits the federal government from imposing unduly harsh penalties on criminal defendants, either as the price for obtaining pretrial release or as punishment for crime after conviction.”

Forchion is stone convinced New Jersey’s bail reform flies directly in the face of the Constitution.

“It gave the prosecutor’s office tools to imprison you for two years. It’s the return of the dungeon act. It was a good attempt, but sometimes when I look at lefties, they’re just too gullible, too soft, and don’t look at the opposite side to see how something can be turned into evil,” Forchion said. “Alex Shalom from the ACLU, he’s good guy, a left-leaning nice guy who was part of the negotiations. He got taken advantage of. This is the ACLU’s ugly baby, but there’s no way they will admit that. Listen: You give people an inch and they’ll take a mile. The prosecutors offices in this state are taking miles now. The state of New Jersey destroyed the 8th Amendment. Now anyone can get thrown in the dungeon. There is no violence on my jacket at all. And if they were able to do this to me, someone who is so outspoken and has the ear of the media, it can happen to anyone.”

So Forchion, not one to sit on the sidelines, is planning on jumping right into the bail reform fight.

“I’m dedicating myself to upending bail reform,” he said.

He’s working closely with Dog the Bounty Hunter (really) who’s also vehemently opposed to the new law. Dog and his wife Beth will be helping Forchion set up speaking engagements across the nation. Bail bondsman are afraid New Jersey’s law could be replicated elsewhere.

“Of course, bail bondsman have a different stake in the game here,” Forchion noted. “But an enemy of an enemy is a friend.”

Forchion admits the old system had negatives, but “at least it was there. Bail was an option.”

Now in New Jersey, a law meant to keep people out of jail while they await trial is — at least according to Forchion — being used to keep people in jail.

“They can just detain you, throw you in the dungeon, and that’s it,” he said. “So I have new beef. Bail reform. Not sure when it will be, but my next protest will be outside the ACLU’s offices in Newark.”

So yeah. After nearly 20 years, The NJWeedman is dead, long live … well, we’re still working on the name. NJRepealBailReformMan is just a mouthful.

Jeff Edelstein is a columnist for The Trentonian. He can be reached at jedelstein@trentonian.com, facebook.com/jeffreyedelstein and @jeffedelstein on Twitter.

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Ohio Activist Dawn Dunlap Has Passed Away

Image may contain: 1 person, closeup

The following information was sent to me this morning by                 Tonya Davis.  This was an unexpected and particularly tragic           accident.  I met Dawn a few times while vising Tonya in Ohio.                   My heart goes out to her family and friends.

Dawn Maria Dunlap passed away on June 9, 2018 at age 50.

This was due to an auto accident while she was crossing the street with her significant other. Dawn had no children but leaves behind her Partner, her Aunt, her Brother and Parents.

Dawn was physically disabled with a genetic bone disease and confined to a wheelchair. However, this did not prevent her from obtaining an Associates Degree in graphic arts.  She was a champion medical marijuana Activist.  She participated in many forums on physical disabilities.  Additionally she was an adventurous photographer, and created digital works of art and custom jewelry.

She was a woman of strong faith with a strong association to two  different churches. Both churches have lifted her up in their congregations for her strong faith.

All of us know she is in the hands of God and we will be reunited with her at a later date. She brought untold joy into the lives of many.

Dawn was very active on social media including Facebook and You Tube. In fact,  we are sure some of her funny videos can still be found on You Tube. If you are curious search for “Dawn Dunlap” and “Edna”.

If you are so inclined, please donate to the World Giraffe Foundation in lieu of sending flowers. This was Dawn’s favorite charity.

Picture

Dawn is loved and missed by many, leaving a large hole in the lives of family and friends.

The “Celebration of Life” will be held at the Church of Messiah located at 51 N. State St in Westerville, Ohio. The service will be at 11:30 AM on Saturday, June 23.

The will be an hour of visitation before the service at 10:30 AM. A meal and opportunity to share your best stories will be held in the church hall after the service.

Good Bye My Friend

RIP RAGGED07 DAWN DUNLAP YOU WILL BE MISSED

In Memory of Cher Ford-McCullough

Image may contain: 3 people, including Cher Ford-mccullough, people smiling

Shawna Fibikar is with Cher Ford-mccullough.

Yesterday at 9:38am ·

We’ve been asked for obituary details to be used for many publications and websites. GoFundMe information will follow yet today to help offset medical costs not covered by mom’s Medicare B and to organize a celebration of life concert in August.

FORD-MCCULLOUGH, Cheryl Jeanne (Morarie) –

Cher Ford-McCullough  age 66, died Friday, June 1st, 2018 at her Hopkinton, IA home following a brief battle with lung/liver cancer.

It was always said that Cher was born an adult. Her mother once said she wasn’t raised… she was snatched up by the hair of the head. She had responsibility placed on her literally at birth. She helped to raise her four siblings and at the age of 21 and 25 raised two beautiful daughters.

As a single mother she worked hard as a waitress and bartender to provide for her kids. Cher might not have been able to afford a big fancy house or nice vacations, but she gave her children unforgettable experiences through her music. Cher was a singer in many bands and found her most success from 1980-1984 when singing for the band Crossbow in Oklahoma City, OK. “Us kids” were drug to many performances, would sleep in “green rooms” while she was on stage and even had an opportunity to perform ourselves a time or two. I, Shawna, can personally attest to a standing ovation from a bar full of people after singing ‘Cat Scratch Fever” at the age of five. Her love for music continued right to the end – she was constantly writing new songs and knew every song that came on the car radio. She was particularly taken in the last year with the song ‘Sign of the Times’ by Harry Styles.

Growing up poor, Cher knew what it was like to get bullied for circumstances out of her control. Because of that experience she learned to stand up for herself and others. She wasn’t afraid to stick up for her siblings when they got picked on as kids and this fearlessness continued in to her adulthood when she protested alongside Jesse Jackson after the 2003 Goose Creek raid in South Carolina where police held guns at children’s head in the hallways upon responding to a drug activity call.

In the last 20 years of her life she made it her life goal to make a difference and give a voice to those who didn’t have one. She was the founder and president of the Women’s Organization for National Prohibition Reform, Kentucky State Director for the American Alliance for Medical Cannabis, president of Compassionate Moms, a member of the ACLU and the Southern Poverty Law Center, is listed as one of Skunk Magazines top influential women of the cannabis world, funded the Million Marijuana Marches in Paducah, spoke at the Seattle Hemp Feast and 2003 Global Million Marijuana March, participated in the 2004 March for Women’s Lives in Washington, DC, Florida Journey for Justice, Ohio Journey for Justice, Texas Journey for Justice, and worked with long-time marijuana activist and occasional political candidate Gatewood Galbraith since 1999. Her name is listed on the Wall of Tolerance in the Civil Rights Memorial Center in Montgomery, AL, and she actively worked on drug policy and prison reform.

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She will be sorely missed and survived by her husband of 30 years Brian McCullough, siblings: Cheri Tippets, Lynn Casteel, Billie Clifton, and Bill Morarie, children: Shawna Fibikar, Danielle Ford, grandchildren: Rya (Johnson) Ramsey, Jordan Johnson, Chandler Johnson, Dawson Schmidt, Sebastian Charles and Cecilia Charles.

She was preceded in death by her father William Morarie, mother Thelma Healan, a son Robbie who was born prematurely and many beloved pets, some of her most favorite being Katie the raccoon, Woody the squirrel and the many, many ducks and geese that frequented her lake house in Gilbertsville, KY.

A ‘Celebration of Life’ will be held in August, in lieu of a service, that will involve live music, stories being shared and laughter. Details to come via her Facebook profile.

SOURCE LINK

RELATED:

There will be another post published this week with more links to history of Cher Ford-McCullough.

Supporters formally ask Trump to pardon Leonard Peltier

Friday, June 08, 2018 3:55 p.m. CDT by Jim Monk

Leonard Peltier (ILPDC)

FARGO (KFGO) – President Trump has been formally requested to grant a pardon, or sentence commutation for Leonard Peltier. Peltier is serving life in prison for the 1975 murders of two FBI agents on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. His trial was held in Fargo.

Sheridan Murphy is with the International Leonard Peltier Defense Committee. “All that would necessarily be needed is for the president to see that there was misconduct that’s been admitted” Murphy said. “If you look at the case from a presidential viewpoint, we’re hoping that (the president) can see that there’s questions, there’s a lot of questions about this case.”

A letter written to the president by Peltier attorney David Frankel says Peltier “has been subjected to a vicious campaign of fake news by the FBI.”  The letter also says Peltier is in “very poor health”  and says Peltier’s only desire is to go home to the Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation to be with his family.

Murphy says the pardon request is “certainly worth the effort” because he considers Trump a “wild card.” “You have no idea where he’s going to go. I wouldn’t have guessed that a visit from Kim Kardashian would relate to a pardon the next day…so, you never know.”

The White House isn’t commenting.

Clemency petition filed on behalf of Leonard Peltier

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Cases against NJ Weedman up in smoke. Prosecutors cite changing views of marijuana

Updated 9:11 AM; Posted Jun 6, 3:15 PM

Ed "NJ Weedman" Forchion reacts to someone who beeped their horn in support as he talked in front of his shuttered restaurant Friday, May 25, 2018 in Trenton, a day after he was acquitted of witness tampering and was released from jail. (Kevin Shea | For NJ.com)

Above:  Ed “NJ Weedman” Forchion reacts to someone who beeped their horn in support as he talked in front of his shuttered restaurant Friday, May 25, 2018 in Trenton, a day after he was acquitted of witness tampering and was released from jail. (Kevin Shea | For NJ.com)

By Paige Gross   pgross@njadvancemedia.com,   For NJ.com

The Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office announced Wednesday it will be dropping most of the remaining drug and related charges against Edward “NJ Weedman” stemming from a 2016 raid on his Trenton restaurant.

What is not dismissed will be downgraded to municipal court, where jail time is unlikely.

But Forchion’s not seeing this as all good news. 

Late last month, Forchion was found not guilty by a jury on third-degree witness tampering charges – a case that also grew from the drug raid.

The marijuana activist spent about 15 months detained in the Mercer County jail during two trials, and was set free hours after he was acquitted.

The prosecutor’s office said the decision to not move forward in prosecuting Forchion came after considering the shift in climate of marijuana legislation in New Jersey.

“They’re about 10 years too late,” Forchion said of a change in public opinion of marijuana. 

The office also considered the changes in law regarding the state’s bail reform – an issue Forchion railed against during his time in jail.

“I’m half-way happy and half-way mad,” he said Wednesday night. “Now the state just drops the charges, and I’ve already spent 16 months in jail. I had 42 charges against me total. It was a campaign of terror by the police department.”

NJ Weedman spent 400-plus days in jail. Turns out he was not guilty

Can he get anything for all the time he spent locked up?

“These factors call for an adjustment in the way the office most appropriately uses its resources and assistance from other law enforcement agencies in order to prioritize detention cases such as murders, attempted murders and violent crime,” the prosecutor’s statement said.

“The fact that the defendant has served more than a year in prison while these cases were pending was also taken into consideration,” it continued.

In all, Forchion had been indicted in 2016 and 2017 and was facing 11 charges related to narcotics dealings and cyber harassment. The prosecutor’s office has dismissed most of the charges, and downgraded five to “disorderly persons offenses,” all of which will be tried in Trenton Municipal Court.

The state is currently wrestling with ideas of how to deal with the hundreds of thousands of people who have been charged with marijuana crimes. Some legislators are considering expunging low-level convictions, but aren’t yet sure of the logistics.

“After a review of the defendant’s pending cases,” the prosecutor’s office said in its statement, “We feel the downgrade and dismissal of the charges is an appropriate resolution.”

Paige Gross may be reached at pgross@njadvancemedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @By_paigegross. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

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Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) introduced a bipartisan bill on Thursday that would allow states to regulate marijuana without federal interference.

temporary

Warren and Gardner, who both represent states with legal recreational pot, introduced the legislation, known as Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States (STATES) Act, as a response to the Trump administration’s hard-line stance against the drug. 

The bill would amend the Controlled Substances Act to include a framework that says it no longer applies to those following state, territory or tribal laws “relating to the manufacture, production, possession, distribution, dispensation, administration, or delivery of [marijuana].”

“It’s time to reform American’s outdated marijuana policies,” Warren tweeted with a video of her and Gardner speaking at a press conference announcing the measure. 

It’s time to reform American’s outdated marijuana policies. Watch live as @SenCoryGarder and I discuss our new legislation that would let states, territories, & tribes decide for themselves how best to regulate marijuana – without federal interference. https://t.co/BVcvxomhld

— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) June 7, 2018

Gardner said outlawing legalized pot was like “putting the ketchup back in the bottle,” and hit current finance laws for making it difficult for marijuana businesses, because the substance is illegal according to the federal government.

“This city of Denver, the state of Colorado, can collect taxes … they can take it to the bank,” Gardner said. “But if you’re in the business, if you work for the business, you can’t get a bank loan or set up a bank account because of the concern over the conflict between the state and federal law. We need to fix this public hypocrisy.”

Warren and Gardner had announced a partnership in April in an attempt to hold President Trump to his word about respecting states rights.

Warren reportedly said the goal of the legislation is to “ensure that each state has the right to determine for itself the best approach to marijuana within its borders.”

Warren and Gardner’s proposed legislation comes in the face of increasing opposition toward marijuana from the White House.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a vocal critic of marijuana legalization, in January rolled back an Obama-era policy that gave states freedom to manage recreational use.

In May 2017, he sent a letter to congressional leaders asking that they eliminate an amendment that prohibits the Justice Department from using federal money to prevent states “from implementing their own State laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession or cultivation of medical marijuana.”

Recreational marijuana is legal in nine states and Washington, D.C., and medical marijuana is legal in another 29.

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Bayer completes $63-billion Monsanto takeover

AFP|Updated: Jun 07, 2018, 06.58 PM IST

FRANKFURT AM MAIN: German chemicals and pharmaceuticals giant BayerNSE 0.00 % said Thursday its two-year pursuit of US-based MonsantoNSE 1.01 % was over, as the two firms signed off a $63-billion merger deal.
“Shares in the US company will no longer be traded on the New York Stock Exchange, with Bayer now the sole owner of Monsanto Company,” the German firm said in a statement.

Here’s what you need to know about the $63-billion megadeal:

– Heroin and Agent Orange –
Founded in Germany in 1863, Bayer is still best known for making aspirin. More infamously, it briefly sold heroin in the early 20th century, marketed as cough cure and morphine substitute.
During World War II, Bayer was part of a consortium called IG Farben that made the Zyklon B pesticide used in Adolf Hitler’s gas chambers.
Through a series of acquisitions over the years, Bayer has grown into a drug and chemicals behemoth.

It reported revenues of 35 billion euros ($41 billion) last year and employs nearly 100,000 people worldwide.
Monsanto meanwhile was established in St. Louis, Missouri in 1901, setting out to make saccharine.
By the 1940s, it was producing farm-oriented chemicals, including herbicide 2,4-D which, combined with another dangerous chemical, was used to make the notorious Vietnam War-era defoliant Agent Orange.
In 1976, the company launched probably its best-known product, ..the weed killer Roundup.
In the 1980s, its scientists were the first to genetically modify a plant cell. Monsanto then started buying other seed companies and began field trials of GM seeds.
It eventually developed soybean, corn, cotton and other crops engineered to be tolerant of Roundup.
Today, Monsanto boasts annual sales of some $15 billion and over 20,000 employees.

A keen suitor –
In an industry preparing for a global population surge with billions more mouths to feed, Bayer was keen to get its hands on Monsanto’s market-leading line in GM crop seeds designed to resist strong pesticides.
It was also lured by Monsanto’s data analytics business Climate Corp, believing farmers will in future rely on digital monitoring of their crops.
The tie-up comes amid a wave of consolidation in the agrochemicals industry, spurring Bayer to become a bigger player if it did not want to get left behind.
But Monsanto wasn’t easily wooed, and Bayer had to increase its offer three times before the US rival finally agreed to a deal at $128 per share in 2016.

High price to pay –
The takeover, the largest-ever by a German firm, comes at a high cost to Bayer.
As well as the eye-watering price tag, Bayer must give up much of its seeds and agrichemical business to satisfy the competition concerns of global regulators.
Those divestitures have gone to none other than Bayer’s homegrown rival BASF, making it the unexpected beneficiary of the mega-deal.
Bayer’s sacrifices mean the takeover will be less lucrative than expected, with annual savings now forecast to amount to $1.2 billion from 2022 onwards — some 300 million less than initially thought.

– Goodbye ‘Monsatan’ –
Hoping to ditch Monsanto’s toxic reputation, Bayer will drop the company’s name from its products after the takeover.
Dubbed “Monsatan” and “Mutanto”, the US firm has for decades been targeted by environmental groups, especially in Europe, who believe that GM food could be unsafe to eat.
Campaigners also abhor Monsanto’s production of glyphosate-based Roundup, which some scientists have linked to cancer.

Friends of the Earth, which has labelled the Bayer-Monsanto merger a “marriage made in hell”, said their protests will now be turned on Bayer so long as it keeps up Monsanto’s practices.

– What does this mean for farmers and consumers? –
The Bayer-Monsanto union follows last year’s merger of US companies Dow and DuPont and the tie-up between Swiss-based SyngentaNSE 0.00 % and ChemChina.
These three giant corporations now control more than two thirds of the global market for seeds and pesticides — although Bayer’s sell-offs have allowed BASF to become a sizeable fourth competitor.

While Bayer has been able to ease regulators’ worries, critics say too much power is now in the hands of just a few players, potentially pushing up prices for farmers and limiting choices.
Bayer has vowed to continue developing some of Monsanto’s most controversial activities, including the crop protection technologies it insists are needed to meet growing food demand.
It has however promised not to introduce GM crops in Europe

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