Category Archives: Activists

420 bringing massive marijuana party to Denver for nation’s largest public light up

420 means big money: $1.1 billion in pot sales expected

Author: Trevor Hughes, USA TODAY

Published: 2:01 PM EDT

DENVER — Marijuana stores across the country are expected to sell more than $1 billion worth of cannabis as pot enthusiasts celebrate the annual “420” holiday by lighting up in public across America.

April 20 has long been a day filled with civil disobedience by marijuana users, who gather in public to light up at 4:20 p.m. The phrase “420” is a code for marijuana users, who work it into dating profiles or post it on signs to show their shared interest.

While it used to be a celebration held with a certain level of furtiveness, the rapidly expanding legalization of cannabis means more and more Americans no longer face significant, if any, punishment for smoking pot.

More: Pot lore: The true story of 420, a marijuana tradition, told by the stoners who invented it

“It’s holiday season for cannabis retailers right now,” said Ryan Smith, the CEO of cannabis sales platform LeafLink. “Last year was the biggest day ever. This year will be the biggest day ever. And next year will be even bigger than this year.”

Tens of thousands of people are expected to gather in Denver for what’s considered the world’s largest 420 celebration, filling hotel rooms and packing restaurants during what would otherwise be a quiet time of the year. In advance of the actual event, dozens of companies are offering tours and arranging visits to commercial growing operations, aimed at tourists who fly in to partake in state-legal weed.

Denver’s Mile High 420 Festival this year features performances by Lil Wayne and Lil Jon, along with dozens of food trucks.

“To us, this is a cultural celebration for a year in a life of cannabis,” said Kyle Speidell, the CEO of The Green Solution, a chain of 16 marijuana stores in Colorado. “It gives everybody the opportunity to unify at a time when we’re really ostracized as an industry.”

Speidell’s stores are sponsoring a separate cannabis festival in Denver over the 420 holiday. Called 420 on the Block, it’s a three-day music-centered festival featuring Action Bronson and Matisyahu that expects to draw up to 15,000 people.

Every year, April 20 is the single-biggest sales day, and the days leading up to it are a combination of Thanksgiving, Christmas and Black Friday rolled into one. Since Colorado became the first state to legalize recreational marijuana in January 2014, participation has risen nationally. Now, nine states and the District of Columbia permit recreational marijuana use, and 30 states permit some form of medical use.

LeafLink predicts retailers will sell about $1.17 billion worth of cannabis products for this year’s 420 celebrations, and sales are common. In Denver, Terrapin Care Station, for instance, is offering 1 gram joints for just $5— half off the usual price.

LeafLink’s analysis also shows a consistent shift away from loose “flower” marijuana and into branded products. When marijuana stores first opened, buyers flocked to purchase pieces of marijuana flowers, which they smoke. But there’s been a significant shift toward pre-packaged joints and, particularly, branded marijuana-infused foods like chocolate or candy.

A large reason for the shift toward products known as “edibles” has been driven by laws banning public marijuana consumption, although those are widely ignored during Denver’s 420 celebration at Civic Center Park, when the mass light up leaves a heavy cloud of pot smoke hanging over the crowd. Edibles are also far easier to travel with, especially for cannabis tourists willing to risk smuggling them back home.

At My 420 Tours in Denver, most slots for the company’s upcoming party bus trips are already sold out for the end of the week even through they’ve tripled the number of offerings, said company spokeswoman Cynthia Ord. Tour participants first visit a dispensary to buy marijuana, and then consume it on the bus before visiting grow houses.

“People are both wide-eyed and bleary-eyed at the same time,” she said with a laugh. “It can get pretty emotional for people.”

Ord said about 90% of the company’s customers are out-of-state tourists, largely from Texas and other southern states. The company also offers 420-friendly hotel rooms for people visiting during the celebration, but all 70 are sold out, she said. She said the company hasn’t seen much of a change since California began legal sales on Jan. 1.

“Business is as strong as ever,” Ord added.

The service Weedmaps, a Yelp for marijuana stores, sees its traffic triple on April 20 each year, with peak time coming from 8-10 a.m. as users “wake and bake,” according to the company. Search traffic normally peaks in the evening, she said.

The Colorado State Patrol is planning enhanced patrols around the 420 events; troopers have written more than 3,000 marijuana-related driving citations since 2014, the agency said.

Mason Tvert, who led Colorado’s legalization initiative, said marijuana consumers are no different than drinkers who can attend beer festivals and wine tastings: “Adults are able to go out and openly consume alcohol all the time, but 4/20 is the one day of the year that many feel comfortable being open about their cannabis use.”

CONTINUE READING…

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(TN) Human Rights and Cannabis Activist “The King Pin” Thorne Peters Continues to Fight Shelby County Charges After Latest Arrest

Actus Reus Non Facit Reum Nisi Mens Sit Rea

For the act to be guilty, the mind must be guilty, for the mind to be guilty, the act must be criminal.

April 12, 2018

thorne

On April 3rd, Mr. Thorne Peters was “live” in front of the Shelby County Justice Center, awaiting his latest arrest for selling small amounts of  Cannabis in baggies – prior to his sentencing for the case which he lost to a Jury of his “peers” on March 1, 2018, in Shelby County Tennessee under Judge J. Robert Carter Jr.

Because of the nature of evil from within the System you have to realize at some point that we cannot allow them to continue legislating us to death.  Legislation promotes the prison industrial complex and every day another innocent person is sent into inhumane conditions to suffer for “imaginary” crimes, if you will.

Every time another piece of Legislation is enacted we all lose another piece of our Freedom!  This holds true particularly in the fight against prohibition of Cannabis/Hemp (yes, they are = ONE plant), because every time a piece of “medical” legislation is passed it regulates us out of our freedom.  The easiest example of this is legislation that would prohibit personal growing.  I have written about this subject before, as it all ties in with Agenda 21 and the fight for the control of all of our food and medicine. 

Cannabis is FOOD first.  It is an unalienable right from birth.  We cannot allow what we were given at birth to be stolen from us, literally one plant at a time.  Anyone who has ever been involved in any research about Cannabis knows the conspiracies or reasons behind it’s illegality.   The fight for our freedom must be a repeal of the prohibiting laws both on the Federal Statutes and U.N. Treaty levels.  That strategy alongside #NO MENS REA by defendants in possession of Cannabis cases of all kinds can change the Justice System as we know it today.  The bottom line is that Cannabis has to be freed for ALL not just SOME for A FEW REASONS!  If we do not push for change now and continue to allow the “legislating” of Cannabis it will not end with Cannabis – this I can promise you.  If you live long enough you will see regulation on the possession and use of fruits and vegetables and weeds, (just like “Hemp” has to be <.3 THC) !  It was started a long time ago and has progressed into what we see today.  And the regulation and control of Cannabis as a Schedule II Controlled Substance will be the launch of the Corporate Pharma driven market that we will be left with and you can forget about growing your own plants!

Cannabis has to be removed from control first and released back to the people in it’s full form.  At that point, if Corporate Cannabis can market a good product for sale at a reasonable cost and contribute to tax revenue system, I would be glad to try it…at the same time I am growing my own plants, for my own purposes, in my own backyard, or sunroom!

The injustice that Thorne Peters is subjecting himself to, to make a very real effort to inform the people at large about their Human Rights is to be noted and appreciated.  I think that more people should take the time to fully listen to what he is saying and not take offense to his expressiveness.  I also find it appalling that there has been no notable media coverage to speak of on his case.  I will ask you to share the information as far as you can and encourage other media outlets to cover this story.

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

On the 10th of April Thorne Peters was arraigned for charges incurred on the Courthouse steps on the 3rd of April – which was supposed to be his sentencing day for the  Guilty verdict on March 1st.  That date was moved forward to the 12th of April.

Linda Harrah, known as “Lady L”, his partner, has indicated to me that the conditions inside of this facility are inhumane – a problem all unto itself.  He is being held in the “drunk tank” where  it is very loud all the time,  with trouble frequently breaking out and little or no supervision .  He is on “lockdown” 23 hours per day leaving only one hour for personal hygiene, phone calls or whatever else he may need to take care of such as commissary – I suppose if there is a long line that day you are just sh*t  out  of luck! 

“Lady L”  was in court for sentencing today.

He was sentenced to 36 months 100% time and 1 yr 30% time … so 39 months. He has hurt no one and only committed acts of civil disobedience.  He has committed no crime against anyone’s “person, property nor puppy”…

On April 24th he will be arraigned  for the two new pot charges from April 3rd.  On May 30th he will be back before Judge J Robert Carter Jr. for appeal.

“He was magnificent on the stand today testifying to all the history of the past that he represents. Can’t wait to hear or read the transcripts.” – “Lady L”

BE SURE TO FOLLOW “LADY L”, LINDA HARRAH, ON FACEBOOK !

Lady L” has been by Thorne’s side since the beginning and is  striving to keep the information flowing about this very important #NOMENSREA Case,.  She is on Facebook everyday giving updates thru video.  It is very interesting to watch.  Though it is heartbreaking to see someone so  dedicated to Activism be treated so unjustly and inhumanely by our Justice System, i.e., Shelby County, Tennessee, in particular.

WATCH & LISTEN
as THE KINGPIN takes The Ministerz of Injustice to task
for the ongoing CRIMINAL CONSPIRACY against him that
officially began November 11, 2008

THE PLANTED BUST

Call Governor  Bill Haslam (615) 741- 2001 ask for Constituent Services or Policy. Tell them you want to have the Thorne Peters conspiracy investigated # NOMENSREA…

Below listed are links to Facebook Video’s from “Lady L” which give updates for each day since Thorne’s arrest.

Thurs:  April 12th – Day 10   Additional Video

Weds:  April 11th – Day 9

Tues:  April 10th – Day 8

Mon:  April 9th – Day 7

Sun:  April 8th – Day 6

Sat:  April 7th – Day 5

Fri:  April 6th – Day 4

Thurs:  April 5th – Day 3

Weds:  April 4th – Day 2

Tues:  April 3rd – Day 1

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

RELATED:

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

Thorne Peters LIVE from Shelby County Justice Center in Memphis Tn …

“NO MENS REA WAY MARCH UNTIL PROHIBITION ENDS”

The FREEDOMcast of THE KINGPIN THORNE PETERS!

HERE IS EVIDENCE OF A CRIMINAL CONSPIRACY & PROOF OF #NOMENSREA

THE KINGPIN PUNKS A PIG! DETECTIVE GARY BEANS. MAYOR MARK LUTTRELL. AMY WEIRICH, BILL GIBBONS

CHRONOLOGY OF CORRUPTION!

This is the highlight video of Thorne Peters , THE KINGPIN, selling POT on the front steps of the Memphis TN, Shelby County Courthouse on 4-3-2018.

PLEASE ALSO REMEMBER THAT FUNDS ARE DESPERATELY NEEDED FOR EXPENSES AND LEGAL COSTS!  PLEASE DONATE!

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

OTHER INFORMATION OF NOTE:

TO SEND LETTERS OF ENCOURAGEMENT:

Shelby County Criminal Justice Center

Thorne Peters
201 Poplar
Section LL Block A
Housing 14 Bed L
Memphis Tn 38103

Tennessee locks ailing, mentally ill, pregnant and juvenile prisoners in isolation to help jails save money.

FINDINGS LETTER RE INVESTIGATION OF SHELBY COUNTY JAIL

J. ROBERT CARTER, JR.

Untitled

J. Robert “Bobby” Carter – Ballotpedia

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

smkrider

Water Protectors Prepare For Battle: The Next Big Resistance In South Dakota

DAPL

It’s raining buckets outside. The back and forth of the windshield wipers and Siri’s monotone guidance accompanies me through the roads riddled with potholes and semi-trucks. I pass several gated factories to an empty corner of the property, where the Puyallup Tribe and their allies had been protesting the Puget Sound Energy Liquid Natural Gas (PSE LNG) site at the Port of Tacoma in Washington state the day previous. The tribe believes that contaminated soils (the site is within a large, untouched Superfund site) will be exposed by the proposed barge facility on the Hylebos, which would be to the detriment of fishing stocks and negatively impact tribal marinas that are across the waterway from the plant.

Tribal Land Rights

The Puyallup Tribe and their allies are not alone in their fight for environmental justice and their treaty rights. During the Standing Rock protests, headlines of the largest gathering of indigenous nations in modern American history setting up camp drew worldwide attention. Images of Native water protectors and their allies being bitten by police dogs, pepper sprayed during peaceful protest and hit with water cannons in below-freezing weather circulated all over social media and were eventually picked up and globally broadcast by large news networks. Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe member Nicole Ducheneaux, an attorney with the Indian Law Practice Fredericks Peebles & Morgan, currently represents the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe. The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe is the sister tribe to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. They are both Lakota people and fought together against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), also known as the Bakken pipeline, on the ground and in court.

Ducheneaux’s experience as an attorney includes tribal economic development, gaming, corporate law, construction law, tribal housing and litigation. She has assisted in defending and prosecuting lawsuits in state, federal and tribal courts, and was selected by Super Lawyers Magazine as a “2017 Great Plains Rising Star.” The DAPL dispute raised a lot of questions about territory and treaty rights. Ducheneaux explains simply, “Pursuant to our treaties, our [The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe] rights extend beyond the borders of our reservation…they didn’t extinguish our hunting and fishing rights in those areas. We explicitly have a right to use Lake Oahe, to use the waters and the lands that sustain our hunting and fishing. When pipelines cross under our reserved rights and have the potential to harm our waters that flow into our reservation, then that has the potential to violate a treaty right.”

PLEASE CONTINUE READING AND TO VIDEO!

Thorne Peters LIVE from Shelby County Justice Center in Memphis Tn …

Mike Cox 3 hrs ·

Thorne Peters taking a stand for all of us today, saying No Mens Rea, no guilty mind, no crime no time. This is sickening folks. Mens Rea has been a principle of criminal law since the beginning of Law. He will be live very shortly and there is no more important fight on this planet.

thorne       Video LINK ABOVE!  

“I am on my way to be sentenced as a violent offender…”

I write this post, Mr. Thorne Peters is “live” in front of the Shelby County Justice Center, awaiting arrest for attempting to sell a minute amount of Cannabis in a baggie – prior to his sentencing for the case he lost to a jury for “No Mens Rea”.  Apparently jury nullification is not alive and well in “Memphrica”.

THE KINGPIN THORNE PETERS will be sentenced to 12 years in prison as a violent criminal today . . . though the evidence and testimony proved that no crime had been committed nor had any act of violence taken place. It is time for those who declare themselves to be lawyer activists to focus their efforts on following the law over over criminal codes; by upholding the rights of humanity over political policies; and declaring that we are FREE at birth not SLAVE to legislation. LINK

With an online audience of approximately 75 and numerous people supporting him outside the Justice Center, he has yet to be arrested for trafficking – outside the Center… It is now 11:09 am Central Time.

With the storms forecasted to move through the area later today, the wind is so strong it seems as though it is trying to blow him away…  Yet he stands tall and waits – waits for true justice – for ALL – NOT JUST A FEW! 

“I am dealing pot”, he shouts!  To no immediate avail of Officers.

Then, suddenly, with a burst of wind the video ends…

But the saga of Thorne Peters is just beginning.

The “…very first Cannabis Dispensary” has been opened in Shelby County !  said Thorne Peters.

The Officer’s in the area seemed to ignore what was going on. 

Police continually walk past him and try to not look at him!

“What if you dealt pot in front of a Police Station and nobody cared?” said Thorne.

“I AM THE LAW”  “NO MEN’S REA”

Obviously, Thorne Peters is making his presence known in the Cannabis World, advocating for ALL people, not just “some” of us!

“How would you reconcile the fact that they are not arresting me?” asks Thorne, at about 11:41 am, still standing and flaunting his baggie of Cannabis, after he has already sold several others!

The police continue to walk by ….

“C-A-N-N-A-B-I-S”!!!!!!

Thorne shouts!

Thorne Peters I am calling out those lawyers who believe they stand for justice to stand for ME.When you follow the law to set ME FREE, everyone is FREE! “I AM THE LAW!” #NOMENSREA . . . Tom Lucky Matthew Pappas Michael Minardi
LEARN & SHARE THE “NO MENS REA” WAY TO END PROHIBITION! Listen to those who have used the lawful offensive of NO MENS REA to force the court to follow the law and drop these inhuman charges. We don’t need no LEGISLATION! We don’t need no MEDICALIZATION! We don’t need no DECRIMINALIZATION! We don’t need no JURY NULLIFICATION! We don’t need no ABROGATION! We don’t need no JUSTIFICATION! We don’t need no RE-LEGALIZATION! We don’t need no LEGALIZATION and we damn sure don’t need no LEGISLATION to be FREE at least from God & government almighty! If you or yours are unjustly arrested for PROHIBITION charges, you must proceed PRO SE to jury trial and just say: “NO MENS REA” . . . the lawful offensive to prove that we are FREE by birth not Slave to LEGISLATION! “I AM THE LAW!” “LIVE ON FB” DAILY @4:20 PM ET . . . #NOMENSREA
https://www.facebook.com/thorne.peters/videos/vb.100002110628199/1541003635979976/?type=2&video_source=user_video_tab

At 11:57 AM I continue to watch, so far no arrest has been made.  It seems as though they do not want to bless him with an arrest for trafficking Cannabis, at least not today!  They will await his presence for Sentencing…  for the previous trial, which they won, because Juror’s do not understand the meaning of “Jury Nullification”, nor “No Mens Rea”.

At 12:09 Linda Harrah reports that they have arrested Thorne…

thorne 2

thorne 3

thorne 4

“FAILURE TO APPEAR???  WHAT ABOUT MY WEED???”  Shouts Thorne!

The Officer states that they are “…not worried about the Cannabis”.

Thorne Peters has now officially been arrested, yet again, for

FAILURE TO APPEAR (FOR SENTENCING)…

STAY TUNED – UPDATES WILL FOLLOW!

RELATED:

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

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

Thorne Peters and Rebecca Forbes discuss “No Mens Rae” and her charge of Cannabis possession

Is No Mens Rae “The plea to SET US FREE” ?

https://www.facebook.com/thorne.peters/videos/1667333770013628/?hc_ref=ARSkWfoYbUYzP3KjRW8b6BJanRKLuvGihk6xSQ_QjW3UPDG9-cxQYSmfGyf5xOSUpPI

https://www.facebook.com/notes/thorne-peters/off-to-prison/1667024840044521/

https://www.facebook.com/thorne.peters/videos/1667333770013628/?notif_id=1522772521279937&notif_t=live_video_explicit

https://www.facebook.com/notes/thorne-peters/off-to-prison/1667024840044521/

https://www.facebook.com/linda.harrah.5

THE KINGPIN THORNE PETERS will be sentenced to 12 years in prison as a violent criminal today . . . though the evidence and testimony proved that no crime had been committed nor had any act of violence taken place. It is time for those who declare themselves to be lawyer activists to focus their efforts on following the law over over criminal codes; by upholding the rights of humanity over political policies; and declaring that we are FREE at birth not SLAVE to legislation.  LINK

“…Either you want your freedoms restored, or you don’t.”

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Kevin James

Yesterday at 10:59am ·

I want to thank the non informed for the Cannabis Act… you’re insistence that legal is best is the gift earned.

I spoke for years about repeal vs legal…

— now I’m done & another wayseer abandons the masses due to tiredness

Either you want your freedoms restored, or you don’t. Most people “say” they want their freedoms restored, even as they deliberately stab themselves–and everyone else–in the back by begging for more statutory enslavement, and REFUSING to end the problem, somehow “believing” that not ending the problem, and always making it worse, is somehow going to end the problem.

So let’s look at the BULLSHIT NON-OPTIONS that people “believe” means they get their freedoms back, as opposed to the REPEAL of the statutes, which actually WOULD end the persecution once and for all:

1) “Decriminalization” is NOT repeal. It is NOT freedom. But some of you still fight for this, instead of to end prohibition.

2) “Legalization” is what we already have. It is NOT freedom. But some of you still fight for this, instead of to end prohibition.

3) “Re-legalization” is two letters prepended to what we already have. It is NOT freedom. But some of you still fight for this, instead of to end prohibition.

4) “Tax and regulate” will create more statutes, more regulations, more licenses, more fees, and create more problems and more “criminal charges.” It is NOT freedom. But some of you still fight for this, instead of to end prohibition.

5) “Regulate like _____” is just a different way to say “tax and regulate.” It is NOT freedom. But some of you still fight for this, instead of to end prohibition.

6) “Hemp ONLY!” It is NOT freedom. But some of you still fight for this, instead of to end prohibition.

7) “Medical ONLY!” It is NOT freedom. But some of you still fight for this, instead of to end prohibition.

8.) “Government control ONLY!” It is NOT freedom. But some of you still fight for this, instead of to end prohibition.

9) “Corporate control ONLY!” is financial in nature, and is ENTIRELY motivated by profiteering. It is NOT freedom. But some of you still fight for this, instead of to end prohibition.

10) “Government/corporate partnership control ONLY!” is actually OVERT FASCISM. It is NOT freedom. But some of you still fight for this, instead of to end prohibition.

There are several other “NOT REPEAL” options that people keep sucking up as “the ONLY solution”, even as they continue to “say” they want their freedom restored.

How can you ever hope to restore your own freedoms while you REFUSE to remove the statutes that took them away, and keep pushing for MORE STATUTES to further control your life in more intrusive ways?

How long are you going to keep paying for more of *your* own enslavement?

Are people EVER going to just wake up and see the truth that’s been staring them in the face for DECADES already?!?

CONTINUE READING…

RELATED:

“Rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to purposes and principles of the United Nations.” HOW THE UNITED NATIONS IS STEALING OUR “UNALIENABLE RIGHTS” TO GROW FOOD AND MEDICINE THROUGH THE U.N. CONVENTION ON NARCOTIC DRUGS AND AGENDA 21.  LINK

https://www.facebook.com/iammkjm/posts/10214522031938895

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10214422174322517&set=a.4142741601196.166072.1063400382&type=3&theater

https://kentuckymarijuanaparty.com/2015/10/26/rights-and-freedoms-may-in-no-case-be-exercised-contrary-to-purposes-and-principles-of-the-united-nations-how-the-united-nations-is-stealing-our-unalienable-rights-to-grow/

U.S. judge weighs challenge to federal marijuana prohibition

Brendan Pierson

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

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

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

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

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

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

“The agency process is exhaustive,” he said.

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

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

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

Hellerstein expressed sympathy for the plaintiffs during the hearing.

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

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

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

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

CONTINUE READING…

Judge dismisses 13 tickets against NJ Weedman

By Olivia Rizzo  For NJ.com

A Trenton Municipal Court judge this week dismissed 13 tickets citing late night violations at NJ Weedman’s Joint, the now-closed Trenton restaurant owned by Ed “NJ Weedman” Forchion.

In February 2016, Trenton police continually shut down the restaurant and accompanying “cannabis church,” the Liberty Bell Temple, citing a city ordinance that requires some establishments to close down at 11 p.m.

But Forchion, who has been jailed for almost a year, has always argued that the tickets were “bogus” and did not apply to his businesses because they are in a designated commercial zone.

Trenton Municipal Court Judge Gregory Williams agreed that Forchion’s businesses were not considered a residential building, and dropped 13 of the 22 police lodged against Forchion or his business.

“I feel vindicated,” Forchion said in a phone interview from jail with NJ Advance Media. “It’s not often I have a judge completely on my side.”

Judge denies NJ Weedman's latest quest for freedom

Judge denies NJ Weedman’s latest quest for freedom

Ed Forchion has been locked up on pre-trial detention since March of last year

The marijuana advocate believes that the municipal tickets were the catalyst that led to the raid on his restaurant and his subsequent arrest, which later led to witness tampering charges – the case for which he remains jailed.

The remaining nine tickets, for various other violations, will be discussed in a municipal court hearing in March, Forchion said.

Forchion was found not guilty on one count of witness tampering, but faced a hung jury on the second count, in November 2017. His retrial is pending.

Olivia Rizzo may be reached at orizzo@njadvancemedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @LivRizz. Find NJ.com on Facebook

CONTINUE READING…

When marijuana was legal in Michigan: 22 days in 1972

Ryan A. Huey, for the Lansing State Journal Published 7:30 a.m. ET Feb. 8, 2018

THIS IS FOR ONE TIME USE ONLY. 636536056957904088-John-Sinclair-w-John-Rosevear-1967.jpg

John Sinclair, “Michigan’s hippie king,” walked out of Jackson’s State Prison of Southern Michigan on Dec. 13, 1971 after serving two-and-a-half years of what might have been a 10-year prison sentence for marijuana possession.

Surrounded by a cheering crowd, a television reporter quizzed Sinclair as he embraced family and friends outside of the prison gate.

“After all of the trouble you’ve gone through Mr. Sinclair, how do you feel about marijuana? Do you still feel…”

“I wanna smoke some joints, man!” Sinclair interrupted.

Standing well over 6 feet tall with a mane of curly dark hair, Sinclair was a minor celebrity in Michigan’s counterculture: the manager for the Detroit rock band MC5 and the gregarious chairman of the White Panther Party, a revolutionary organization named in solidarity with the Black Panther Party.

He proclaimed that marijuana was safe, the government was oppressive and young people were going to take over the country.

The press characterized him as “colorful and quotable.” Police labeled him a threat to public safety.

The Michigan Supreme Court found him convincing. 

The court fight that followed Sinclair’s arrest for marijuana possession in 1967 — and the “Free John Now!” publicity campaign launched by artist and activist Leni Sinclair, who was John’s wife at the time — briefly overturned Michigan’s marijuana laws and gave hope to Michigan’s more optimistic marijuana enthusiasts that legalization was within reach.

“We were such utopianists,” Leni Sinclair recalls.                        

Leni Sinclair in 1971.

Leni Sinclair in 1971. (Photo: Leni Sinclair)

The Sinclairs helped to launch the Michigan Marijuana Initiative in 1972, the state’s first serious effort at marijuana legalization.             

It failed, of course. Legal marijuana was a hard sell to a public that largely believed smoking reefer was immoral and dangerous. A 1969 national survey indicated that 84% of Americans thought marijuana should be illegal. By 1972, things hadn’t changed drastically.

But 2018 is different.

In November, the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol submitted around 360,000 petition signatures to legalize the consumption, production and distribution of recreational marijuana in Michigan. It is all but assured that the ballot proposal will reach the 250,588 valid signatures necessary to make it on the November ballot.

With nearly 60% of Michiganders in favor of legalization, it’s also expected to become law.

More: Nearly 50 marijuana dispensaries may be forced to close

More: How to get a medical marijuana card

Which might sound like vindication for Leni and John Sinclair. They don’t see it that way.

Both say smoking marijuana in the 1960s was an affirmation of a fiercely do-it-yourself lifestyle and a form of protest against a national culture that sanctioned discrimination, demanded commitment to American militarism and protected individual liberty only within the bounds of consumer capitalism, Christianity and the nuclear family.

“They are subverting the whole marijuana culture that we created, which was based on sharing, noninterference with others, high-mindedness, and spirituality,” said John Sinclair, from his upstairs apartment office in Detroit’s Cass Corridor.

At 76 years of age, he is still heavily involved in marijuana legalization efforts. He and Leni have been divorced since 1988.

“At first I thought it was a good thing” to legalize marijuana, said Leni Sinclair, who has been arrested five times on marijuana-related charges over her 77-year life.

“In retrospect,” she said, when medical marijuana was legalized, “it destroyed the whole distribution system” that consisted mostly of friends getting together to share weed and hang out.

They agree nonetheless that legalization is long overdue. 

Photographer and political activist Leni Sinclair,

Photographer and political activist Leni Sinclair, of Detroit, who is best known for her remarkable portraits and performance images of Detroit music royalty, from the MC5 to Bob Seger, as well as some of the world’s most important jazz musicians including John Coltrane and Charles Mingus, photographed in 2016. (Photo: Kimberly P. Mitchell/Detroit Free Press)

“People are just ready for it,” said Jeffrey Hank, the Lansing attorney who founded MI Legalize, a grassroots organization that almost succeeded in getting an initiative on the ballot in 2016 to legalize recreational marijuana.

The failure of the 2016 initiative inspired Hank’s organization to found the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, up their fundraising efforts and professionalize their campaign.

The Coalition is a diverse collection of activists, farmers and investors from both large companies and small businesses such as Lansing’s Wholesale Hydroponics.

Its three largest donors have been the retail tobacco chain Smokers Outlet, the national lobbying group the Marijuana Policy Project and MI Legalize.

And its efforts are aimed squarely at the political mainstream. The initiative includes a 10% excise tax on marijuana sales that would be divided between schools and road repairs and the municipalities where marijuana businesses are located.

More: Why you’ll hear more about Lansing region’s marijuana industry

Its campaign has focused on the failure of efforts to prohibit marijuana use —  one ad shows a Prohibition-era photo of men pouring a beer barrel into a storm sewer beside the caption “Insanity: Doing the same thing and expecting a different result” — and on “unnecessary” arrests.

“You never get everything you want when you try to get something of this nature done,” said Hank.

“You really have to appease people’s political opinions to have any chance at it.”

Josh Covert is an attorney who works almost exclusively with clients facing marijuana-related legal problems, or involved in the business of marijuana. Nick King and Laura Trabka/Lansing State Journal

Marijuana in Michigan

In the 1950s, Michigan implemented some of the harshest penalties for marijuana in the country.

Legislators worried publicly that “dope peddlers” and “bad associates” — which their listeners would have understood as code for black and working class — were manipulating white youth to smoke marijuana.

A 1952 bill made the punishment for narcotics possession anything between probation and 10 years in prison, and the law treated marijuana as a narcotic. A second offense could mean 20 years behind bars. A conviction for selling carried a mandatory minimum of 20 years in prison with no parole.

In practice, these laws intensified the aggressive policing aimed at Michigan’s expanding black neighborhoods.

By 1956, the Detroit Narcotics Bureau estimated that 89% of people arrested for narcotics were black, though they were only 20% of the city’s population. The conviction rate was a staggering 90%.

When white and college educated John Sinclair was first arrested for “sales and possession” of marijuana in October of 1964, he got a slap on the wrist.

Detroit Free Press archives
John Sinclair at 27 outside

Detroit Free Press archives John Sinclair at 27 outside the Oakland County Courthouse in April 1969. (Photo: Tom Venaleck, Detroit Free Press)

The judge dropped the sales charge, put him on two months’ probation and fined him $250.

Still on probation, Sinclair started a Detroit chapter of LEMAR (which stood for “Legalize Marijuana”), the first group dedicated to legalization in the U.S.

John and Leni Sinclair had recently helped found a beatnik-inspired artist collective called the Detroit Artists’ Workshop. Their commune became a home base for artists, musicians, activists, and entrepreneurs.

The Detroit Police assigned an undercover agent to infiltrate the commune to keep tabs on Sinclair and the anti-Vietnam War activists who lived in the same building, which led to Sinclair’s second arrest.

He pleaded guilty to marijuana possession and, this time, was sentenced to six months in the Detroit House of Corrections.

Detroit’s Red Squad, a special police unit that investigated suspected communists, started compiling a detailed file on Sinclair for “possible narcotics and subversive activity.”

Sinclair’s third arrest came under the auspices of a drug raid targeting narcotics traffic near Wayne State University’s campus. A month prior, he had given two joints to undercover police who had taken jobs at the commune in order to build a case against Sinclair.

“They weren’t interested in marijuana,” Sinclair told the Detroit Free Press a couple days after the January 24, 1967 raid, “[t]hey’re just against our way of life.”

“They couldn’t arrest people in America for saying things against the government,” Leni Sinclair said, “so they used the marijuana laws.”

John vowed to appeal his conviction by challenging the legality of the state marijuana laws.

Two years later, Judge Robert J. Colombo of the Detroit Recorder’s Court sentenced John Sinclair to nine-and-a-half to 10 years in prison.

He also denied bond, which would have allowed Sinclair to stay out of prison during the appeal process, a move usually reserved for the most dangerous offenders.

“The law means nothing to him and to his like,” Colombo said.

Members of the White Panther Party and others on the steps of the Capitol in Lansing in 1971.

Members of the White Panther Party and others on the steps of the Capitol in Lansing in 1971. (Photo: Leni Sinclair)

Leni was “stunned.” She began urging voters to write members of Congress, participate in demonstrations and join her petition drive to change the marijuana laws.

The commune printed and sold t-shirts, posters, bumper stickers, and buttons that read “Free John Now!”

The strategy, she said, was “to get him out by any legal means possible.”

Though they did step outside the law to make their point.

Leni and a few friends rolled a pile of joints and mailed two apiece to every member of the state legislature, Gov. William Milliken and Wayne State University President William Keast with a note explaining that they were now in possession of narcotics and subject to a ten-year prison sentence.

Ann Arbor was a strong base of support for their efforts. So was East Lansing.

Students at Michigan State University swayed Republican Senator, Philip O. Pittenger, who represented East Lansing, to vote for a more lenient drug bill.

The East Lansing City Council passed a resolution recommending Sinclair’s release from prison and the same for all Michiganders imprisoned for marijuana crimes.

George Griffiths, a Democratic City Council member at the time and later, mayor of East Lansing, saw marijuana as “nothing more or less than alcohol.”

“I have my wine or scotch and soda,” said Griffiths, now 88, “but if somebody wants to smoke their marijuana, that’s OK by me.”

The “Free John Now!” campaign culminated in the “John Sinclair Freedom Rally” on December 10, 1971, headlined by John Lennon.

Lennon and Yoko Ono took the stage around three in the morning with a dobro guitar and an impromptu band. They closed their short set with a song written especially for the occasion.

“It ain’t fair, John Sinclair, in the stir for breathing air,” Lennon sang.

Three days later, John was free.

His case convinced the Michigan Supreme Court that marijuana and heroin were not equally dangerous, though state law had treated them that way, misclassifying cannabis as a narcotic and imposing long sentences for possession and sales.

The Court released Sinclair from prison and, three months later, declared the state’s marijuana laws unconstitutional.

John Lennon and Yoko Ono play the "John Sinclair Freedom Rally" in Ann Arbor in 1971.

John Lennon and Yoko Ono play the “John Sinclair Freedom Rally” in Ann Arbor in 1971. (Photo: Leni Sinclair)

There were no new marijuana laws in place, and so, in March of 1972, marijuana was effectively legalized in Michigan for about three weeks.

To celebrate, several Ann Arborites half-jokingly advertised a “hash festival” to take place on the University of Michigan’s Diag the day the new marijuana law was to go into effect — April Fool’s Day.

Hundreds of people showed up on the snowy Saturday to puff joints in public, the origin of what would become Hash Bash. No one was arrested. A few days later, the court ordered the release of 128 people in Michigan jails for marijuana offenses.

Pressured by young people, Congress had passed a constitutional amendment in 1971 to lower the voting age from 21 to 18, the same age at which Americans became eligible for the draft.

Hoping to capitalize on the momentum, the Sinclairs devoted their energies to registering young voters.

Nancy Wechsler and Jerry DeGrieck, both 22, won seats on Ann Arbor’s City Council in 1972 and immediately introduced an ordinance that would downgrade possession, use and sale of marijuana to a $5 civil infraction within Ann Arbor.

It passed, making Ann Arbor the first city in the United States to implement a “traffic-ticket” marijuana ordinance and earning it the nickname, the “Midwest’s dope capital.”

East Lansing quickly became the second.

The Sinclairs began working furiously on a Michigan Marijuana Initiative that mirrored an ongoing campaign they had worked on in California. It called for “free, legal, backyard marijuana” through an amendment to the Michigan constitution.

The blueprint they settled on was “don’t do anything but legalize it,” Leni Sinclair said.

Their hands-off approach would “keep the distribution network that already existed all over the country,” she continued, where people mostly bought “an ounce and shared it with their friends.”

Those networks weren’t run by large criminal enterprises, she said. “Everybody that was in that kind of business was helping their family put food on the table.” They “would just be legal and pay taxes.”

They had two months to collect 265,000 signatures to put the proposal on the November 1972 ballot.

They collected roughly 125,000, less than half of what they needed. Only around 40,000 of those were considered valid.

The End of Marijuana Prohibition?

Participants smoke during the annual Hash Bash at the

Participants smoke during the annual Hash Bash at the University of Michigan campus in Ann Arbor in 2015. (Photo: Nicole Hester/Associated Press)

In 1973, Ann Arbor’s newest state representative, the shaggy-haired Perry Bullard, invited his colleagues in Congress to attend the city’s 2nd Annual Hash Bash, where Bullard smoked a joint in full view of the media.

“There’s nothing wrong with it,” he said.

His constituency, he would say later, “wants an outspoken advocate.”

Former Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero didn’t smoke a joint for the cameras and said he “got almost no contact buzz” when he spoke Hash Bash in 2015 to promote “sane, sustainable, enforceable policy” regarding marijuana.

Bernero said he hoped to combat “misinformation” about marijuana, which he equated with the “reefer madness” propaganda of the 1930s.

“It’s still a Schedule I drug for God’s sake,” he said, referring to marijuana’s classification under Title II of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970, which is reserved for the most dangerous drugs. “It’s unbelievable to me that that’s still the case.”

Bernero supports “normalization and legalization” of marijuana, noting that it’s “less fatal and less problematic in many respects than alcohol,” and he sees its potential to bolster both local economies and hard-pressed municipal budgets.

“I think that it can be a real boon to the economy,” said Bernero, who hopes that it will remain an “indigenous industry.”

Lowell, of MI Legalize, said the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol ballot proposal alleviates “the need for law enforcement to be concerned with adults with small amounts of cannabis.”

“That goes a long way for me as an activist.”

John Sinclair doesn’t trust the police to let go that easily. He anticipates that the “law enforcement bureaucracy” will swell to monitor the legal marijuana industry from “seed to sale.”

Timothy Locke shares those concerns.

Locke is the treasurer of Abrogate Michigan, which is running a separate petition campaign to legalize recreational marijuana but without an excise tax. The organization is pursuing a constitutional amendment, which is not expected to make it onto the ballot.

In other states that have treated marijuana like alcohol, the excise tax “has not slowed down the arrests” and has actually “emboldened the black market because if people can find a cheaper product, they will,” he said.

A rally-goer almost gets it right during the 30th annual

A rally-goer almost gets it right during the 30th annual Hash Bash rally to legalize marijuana held on the University of Michigan Diag in Ann Arbor on Saturday, April 7, 2001. Supporters tried and failed to get a marijuana legalization measure on the 2000 ballot. (Photo: Lon Horwedel, Copyright 2000 The Lansing State Journal;No)

Which Lowell concedes is a possibility.

Inside his organization, “there’s definitely a lot of discussion about that very thing,” he said. “It’s plausible.”

For most, these concerns are offset by the benefits of funding Michigan’s public schools and road repairs through the excise tax on legal weed.

Jeffrey Hank touts the model of marijuana licensing in the ballot proposal as the most small-business-friendly of any state.

The “microbusiness” licensing process — akin to that of microbreweries — will allow small business owners and entrepreneurs to get a fair share of the market, not to mention giving them protection under the law.

However, licensing fees for the smallest dispensaries still exceed $10,000 and a “no felons” clause limits access to the market.

As a result, the black and working-class communities most victimized under marijuana prohibition could be largely excluded from the legal marijuana industry.

Leni Sinclair hopes that whoever does end up profiting from legalized marijuana will “pay some reparations to the people who have suffered the most.”

She wonders “how much would it have cost the state of Michigan to house all these prisoners for 20 to life if we hadn’t changed the law?

“How many millions or billions of dollars,” she asks, has “John Sinclair saved the state of Michigan?”

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Rob Kampia Leaves Marijuana Policy Project

December 24, 2017

By  Tom Angell

Marijuana Policy Project founder Rob Kampia is no longer employed by or serves on the board of the organization.

He is starting a new cannabis policy group called Marijuana Leadership Campaign (MLC), structured as a for-profit LLC consulting firm.

The new company “will focus almost exclusively on changing U.S. laws,” Kampia said in a relatively unusual memo shared with Marijuana Moment late Saturday night, which also says that the firm has lined up “nearly $500,000 in seed money” from “a marijuana investment firm in Los Angeles, a major marijuana dispensary in Colorado, Kampia’s wealthy friends in Texas (where he lives half-time) and a coalition of new donors in South Carolina.”

The split with MPP is occurring as greater attention is being paid to past allegations of sexual misconduct by Kampia amidst a national backlash against workplace sexual harassment and abuse.

In 2010, a lengthy Washington City Paper story reported that Kampia had sex with an intoxicated MPP employee, an incident after which a staff revolt nearly led to his ouster from the organization. He later took a leave of absence to seek therapy, telling the Washington Post that he was “hypersexualized.”

Now, Kampia’s departure from MPP comes as several sources tell Marijuana Moment that a major newspaper is working on a story about previously unreported allegations against the former executive director. It is unknown when that article will be published, but its existence has been an open secret in cannabis reform circles for weeks.

Formally leaving the organization is the second and final wave in Kampia’s diminishing role at MPP, which he co-founded in 1995.

In November, days before Thanksgiving, MPP announced that Kampia had stepped down from his role as executive director but would remain at the organization in a new capacity focused on fundraising and strategy.

The new memo, shared with Marijuana Moment just before midnight on the day before Christmas Eve, says that the first announcement “opened new business opportunities for Kampia” and that while he “initially proposed splitting his time equally between MPP and the new MLC, Kampia and his fellow MPP board members reached a second milestone by voting unanimously on Dec. 20 to end his full-time status at MPP this weekend.”

It was also revealed this week that Kampia is no longer a member of Students for Sensible Drug Policy’s Advisory Council. Kampia said in an interview with Marijuana Moment on Sunday that he remains a member of the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) board of directors.

The memo appears to lay out the case that Kampia’s departure from MPP has nothing to do with any old or new allegations of sexual misconduct, and he said in the interview that conversations among the organization’s board “about me shifting into lesser roles at MPP extend all the way back into late October.”

“We didn’t even talk about the s-word at all,” he said, referring to sex. “It wasn’t even on our minds, which I think was kind of naive of us given the stuff that’s happening with all of these celebrities.”

But Kampia acknowledged in the interview that he “did know that there was a story in the works somewhere” at the time he registered the domain name http://www.marijuanaleadershipcampaign.com on December 5.

“I didn’t know which publication. I didn’t know any of the questions. I didn’t know the name of the reporter. I didn’t know anything,” he said. “I just knew that people were sort of talking about how there’s a story in the works.”

Kampia has been a key architect of many of the most significant marijuana policy victories over the past two decades, and has arguably been the legalization movement’s best fundraiser.

In the memo, he says that MLC “will work alongside the institutions he views as most effective in each sector” of the movement and industry. While the document names MPP, NCIA and New Federalism Fund as “leading the charge,” and says that the new company will “provide substantial funding” for Doctors for Cannabis Regulation (DFCR), the Law Enforcement Action Partnership (LEAP) and Clergy for a New Drug Policy, Kampia said in the interview that he hasn’t “cleared the fact that I want to give them money” with those groups.

LEAP and DFCR did not respond to requests for comment.

The memo says Kampia will divide his time between work on Texas, South Carolina, Michigan and congressional cannabis policy reform efforts as well as “raising money to make MDMA (known as ‘Ecstasy’) available as a prescription medicine for the treatment of PTSD and end-of-life anxiety.”

He plans to raise more than $2 million in 2018 from steering committees comprised of donors contributing at least $100,000 each.

When asked if the investors who have already committed nearly half a million dollars to the new venture are aware of the looming newspaper story on sexual misconduct allegations, Kampia said that “they know about the worst allegations that have ever been made about me, and I have no reason to believe that the [newspaper] story will be worse than that, so these guys are friends of the family and they’re not going to be surprised by anything in the [newspaper] and in fact they might be pleasantly surprised.”

Several of the projects mentioned in the MLC document are campaigns that Kampia had been raising money to support through MPP, but he rejected the idea that his outside efforts would drain the nonprofit of resources.

“Are there people that want to fund Texas where they might otherwise be nervous about writing a check to MPP, where they might have to pay for payroll for Rhode Island, Vermont and the national operation?” he asked, suggesting that his new outfit would be “value-added” rather than competition.

“One thing for sure that no one would do if not for the fact that I’m going to agitate for it, is to take out Congressman Pete Sessions,” he said, referring to the Republican House Rules Committee chairman who has consistently blocked marijuana amendments from being voted on. “Take out, meaning not to date him,” he said, but to un-elect him.

In the memo, Kampia twice offers quotes that he suggests are in jest, at least in part.

In the first instance, he jokes that working full-time for nonprofit organizations is “a good way to avoid amassing wealth,” while working on marijuana policy reform through an LLC will allow him to form business relationships with for-profit institutions.

Kampia, who owns a Washington, D.C,. row house that he has often referred to as “The Purple Mansion,” dismissed concerns that people might take offense to his quip about amassing wealth.

“It depends on what your definition of wealth is. I don’t have cash,” he said in the interview. “All my money goes into my mortgage. So you could say that I have wealth or not, depending on your perspective. I don’t mind if that offends people or not, because socialists who are averse to wealth probably already hate me.”

He also “half-jokingly” wrote that he hopes “to be standing behind President Rand Paul during his bill-signing ceremony [for ‘the ultimate bill to legalize marijuana on the federal level’] in the White House in 2022.”

“I don’t think Trump is going to survive reelection,” he said when asked what Paul’s path to the presidency in the 2020 election would be. “I would like to see [Trump] impeached…and I think Mike Pence is tainted as a result of being in bed with Trump. So I think that you are going to see a bunch of challengers… Rand Paul was obviously my favorite candidate last time around and so I’m cheering him on. I don’t have any inside knowledge, though. I haven’t talked to him personally.”

The memo mentions Kampia’s holiday vacation plans in the Caribbean and says that when he returns to the country the new organization will hold a series of leadership meetings in Austin, Dallas and Washington, D.C.

He will also write a book that “provides an insider’s look at the marijuana-legalization movement.” He told Marijuana Moment that the working title is, “How We Legalized Marijuana.”

The memo offers a very specific account of the book’s progress to date.

“I’m particularly excited about writing my book, which will be nonfiction but will oftentimes read like fiction, as my life is strewn with outrageous experiences that are sometimes relevant to readers who have an interest in politics generally and marijuana policy specifically,” Kampia wrote. “The book is already one-eighth written, and I’m planning to spend my time in the Bahamas and other sunny islands writing another three- eighths of the book. In fact, one reason I’m leaving MPP is to write this book, with an aggressive book tour planned for the fall of 2018.”

As of Sunday afternoon, Kampia was still listed as an employee and board member on MPP’s website.

An MPP communications staffer could not be reached for comment by publication time, but a board member who did not wish to be named said, “I can confirm that we have been negotiating his permanent separation from the org for weeks and that he is no longer conducting any MPP business.”

Read Kampia’s full three-page memo on the new firm belowhttps://www.marijuanamoment.net/rob-kampia-leaves-marijuana-policy-project/:

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Marijuana activist since 1960s facing California pot charges

By DON THOMPSON Associated Press

December 20, 2017 08:50 PM

SACRAMENTO, Calif.

A marijuana activist whose advocacy dates to the 1960s counterculture has been arrested in California toting 22 pounds of illegal marijuana, prosecutors said Wednesday.

Irvin Dana Beal, 70, of New York, was arrested Saturday in far Northern California after prosecutors said his rental car was spotted weaving across the road and driving 20 miles below the speed limit. James Statzer, 51, of Michigan, also was arrested.

The arrest occurred along a well-traveled highway in California’s famed Emerald Triangle area, known for its high-grade pot. A police dog smelled marijuana during the stop and 22 pounds of the drug was found.

Both men pleaded not guilty to charges of possessing drugs for sale and felony transportation charges and were being held in lieu of $75,000 bail.

Beal has been promoting marijuana’s medical benefits for decades. His activism dates to the 1960s heyday of Abbie Hoffman and the Youth International Party, known as the Yippies.

Recreational sales of marijuana become legal in California on Jan. 1, and medical marijuana has been legal in the state since 1996. But it’s still illegal to transport large quantities of the drug or to take it out of state.

It’s not uncommon for traffickers to think they can now transport pot risk-free, said Deputy District Attorney Colleen Murray, who is prosecuting the case.

“People are like, ‘It’s legal.’ So often they’re very open with officers, ‘Oh hey, I have 100 pounds,'” she said. “That’s not the way it works.”

Defense attorney Tom Ballanco said it’s not clear if his two clients thought they were acting legally.

Friends were raising money for Beal’s bail, Ballanco said, concerned that he is a heart attack survivor and has other illnesses. Beal isn’t a flight risk and looks forward to fighting the charges, Ballanco said.

“The nature of his life, really, is one of activism. He’s not the type of person who’s going to flee from this,” Ballanco said. “He’s certainly a very colorful figure. I’m happy to be representing him and his co-defendant.”

For law enforcement, these were routine arrests in an area where traffickers typically tote hundreds if not thousands of pounds of famed Emerald Triangle pot to East Coast states.

“People can buy it here for maybe $800 or $1,000 a pound,” Murray said. “Once they get back there … they’re going to get maybe $3,000 to $4,000 a pound for it. That’s a nice profit.”

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