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Colorado Marijuana Activists To Protest Obama

CBS Denver

LAKEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — Marijuana activists are headed to an Obama campaign office to protest what they consider “hostile actions” from the administration.

Pot activists say that President Barack Obama’s administration is making “attacks” on medical marijuana patients.

Several activists were headed to a campaign office in Lakewood Thursday to hand out pamphlets and criticize the administration’s approach to marijuana.

A spokeswoman for the Obama campaign in Colorado had no immediate statement on the marijuana protest.

Similar protests were planned in six other states, some at Obama campaign offices and some at federal buildings.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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Friend of Ky. senator calls marijuana bill ‘self-serving’

by Chelsea Rabideau

WHAS11.com

Posted on July 5, 2012 at 11:50 PM

Updated Friday, Jul 6 at 10:52 AM

 

perry clark

 

Related:

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – A Kentucky state senator from Louisville is pitching a bill in Frankfort that would legalize medical marijuana. It’s named in honor of one of medical marijuana’s long-standing supporters, Gatewood Galbraith, who died in January. But, one of the senator’s long-time friends says the bill is self-serving.

David Toborowsky says he’s been friends with democratic senator Perry Clark for 15 years. He’s also a supporter of Clark’s opponent Chris Thieneman. When Clark introduced the Gatewood Galbraith Memorial Medical Marijuana Act of 2013 Thursday, Toborowsky says he was bothered.

“You know, being an elected official is leadership and as a constituent, I would hope for a little more from that. Like I said, there’s more important issues out there,” Toborowsky said.
But, there’s a little more to it.

Toborowsky said he faced an uncomfortable situation during the last legislative session. He claimed he went to Clark’s house to talk politics and the senator was smoking pot.

“They handed it to me, I’m not a pot smoker, it’s not my thing,” Toborowsky said. “I don’t judge anybody, what people do in their personal lives is their business. I didn’t think anything of it and it didn’t bother me until the bill was filed…and I thought, you know, that’s kind of self-serving.”
Senator Clark freely admitted to using the drug.

“I have chronic back pain. I’ve been known to smoke weed. People know that about me somewhat. I’m not a chronic smoker. I’m a 70’s child, child of the 70’s, I’m a veteran,” Clark said. “They put me in not the greatest places in the Orient. We were sailors so, you know what we were doing and we weren’t behaving totally. But, I have been recommended marijuana for my back.”

Again, Toborowsky said he’s been friends with Clark for 15 years. But, he’s also contributed money to republican Chris Thieneman’s campaign in the past. He also caused his own stir when he listed the same address as Thieneman when he filed to run for the Jefferson County School Board in 2010.

CONTINUE READING AND VIEW VIDEO HERE…

Baby soaps cause positive marijuana tests in infants…

A new study out of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill reveals some baby soaps may cause infants to test positive for marijuana, reports My Health News Daily.

While researchers aren’t sure why the tests came out positive, they asserted infants were not experiencing a "high" from the soap.

"It’s not marijuana in any way, shape or form," said study researcher Catherine Hammett-Stabler, a professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at the University of North Carolina.

Researchers first became aware of the issue when nurses at a North Carolina hospital noticed a high number of positive urine tests, according to WFMY News.

The study was conducted so families wouldn’t be falsely accused of exposing children to illegal drugs, a form of child abuse that would need to be reported to social services.

Medical Marijuana Raids To Continue After House Defeats Defunding Bill

Posted: 05/10/2012 7:47 pm

WASHINGTON — A bipartisan measure that would have eliminated funding for federal raids on medical marijuana dispensaries in states where they’re legal failed Wednesday in the House of Representatives. The legislation, introduced by Reps. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.), Sam Farr (D-Calif.), Maurice Hinchey (D-N.Y.), and Tom McClintock (R-Calif.), was part of the appropriations bill to fund the Department of Justice for fiscal 2013. It failed 262-163.

The bill came as the administration of President Barack Obama has unleashed an interagency crackdown on the cannabis industry, with raids on pot dispensaries, many in California operating in full compliance with state law. Since October 2009, the Justice Department has conducted more than 170 aggressive SWAT-style raids in nine states that allow medical marijuana, resulting in at least 61 federal indictments, according to data compiled by Americans for Safe Access, an advocacy group. While medical marijuana is legal under laws in 17 states and the District of Columbia, federal law says any use of marijuana is illegal.

The failed bill’s text reads as follows:

None of the funds made available in this Act to the Department of Justice may be used, with respect to the States of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington, to prevent such States from implementing their own State laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana.

Of the 190 Democrats in the House, 134 (more than 70 percent) voted in favor of the bill. Only 29 of the 242 House Republicans (less than 12 percent) did.

"If states’ rights aren’t a good enough reason to pass this amendment, do it because of compassion. Compassion demands it," said Farr in his statement Wednesday on the House floor. "We offer this amendment for terminal cancer patients," he added, "for AIDS victims, for persons who suffer chronic pain. We offer this amendment not only to protect those people, but we offer this amendment to protect the states that are progressive enough to provide alternative medical options to those who need it."

Watch Farr’s address to Congress below.

CONTINUE TO VIDEO AND STORY…

Contracts with medical marijuana companies unenforceable, Arizona court rules

Source: NewsCore

PHOENIX — Doctors and businesses in Arizona that are cheated out of money by medical marijuana dispensaries may have no legal recourse after a recent court ruling.
The new legal reality stems from a case in which two Arizonans, Michele Rene Hammer and Mark Haile, gave a $500,000 loan to a medical marijuana company in Colorado, which — along with Arizona and over a dozen other states — permits some medicinal use of the drug.
When the company failed to repay the loan, Hammer and Haile sued.
But Maricopa County, Ariz., Superior Court Judge Michael McVey threw out their lawsuit because federal law prohibits marijuana possession for all reasons.
"The explicitly stated purpose of these loan agreements was to finance the sale and distribution of marijuana," McVey wrote in his judgment of dismissal. "This was in clear violation of the laws of the United States. As such, this contract is void and unenforceable."
It is unknown whether Hammer and Haile will appeal.
Legal observers noted McVey’s ruling could make it impossible to enforce business agreements with medical marijuana companies.
"This is just one contractual relationship," Randy Nussbaum, managing partner of a law firm that represented Hammer and Haile, told The Arizona Republic. "The macro view of this is, if it’s true that anyone who has a contractual relationship with anyone dispensing medical marijuana and that contract is not enforceable, how does anyone enforce a legitimate contract in this business?"
Phoenix attorney Richard Keyt, who discusses legal issues related to medical marijuana on his blog keytlaw.com, noted that McVey’s ruling means landlords who rent to medical marijuana dispensaries may not be able to take squatting tenants to court.
Doctors who provide services to dispensaries may also have no legal options if they are denied payments, according to Keyt.
"Until an Arizona appellate court reverses the result in this case it means that people who enter into contracts that relate in any way to Arizona medical marijuana will have to hope the other side to the contract satisfies his/her/its obligations because it may not be possible to sue for breach of contract and get a judgment against the party who defaults," Keyt wrote.

Read More: Contracts with medical marijuana companies unenforceable, Arizona court rules

Recreational marijuana smoking unimportant, should remain illegal

 

 

By DANIELLE CARPENTER Published April 29, 2012 at 11:45pm

Pushing for the legalization of recreational marijuana is a waste of time.

The Tucson Chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws held its annual protest on April 20. About 50 protesters made their way to Cheba Hut for the seventh annual protest, where they held up signs to flash at traffic about legalizing marijuana. It’s sad how badly those people want recreational marijuana legalized. Medical marijuana helps people, but recreational marijuana can be dangerous.

Marijuana is the most common illegal drug found in “impaired drivers and crash victims involved in ‘drugged driving’ accidents,” according to the Alcohol Drug Abuse Help & Resource Center website. The drug interferes with the cerebellum, which is the part of the brain that controls coordination, according to the center’s website. Legalizing this drug will do nothing more then increase the number of DUIs and fatal car accidents, as if Arizona needs higher numbers in that department.

A lot of people assume that marijuana does nothing bad for them. But the THC in marijuana — the reason for its effects — can interfere with the hippocampus, according to the center’s website. The hippocampus is one of the most important parts of the brain, as it controls memory, judgment and learning.

In chronic users, the impact on memory and learning can last days or weeks after marijuana’s effects seem to fade, according to a 2001 study in the medical journal Archives of General Psychiatry.

Studies have shown that frequent use of the drug can actually lead to more anxiety and higher rates of mental illness like depression.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse, a division of the National Institutes of Health, notes that schizophrenia in particular seems to have a link to marijuana use, as a 2007 study found. This may be due to the fact that frequent use of marijuana case can cause a dire psychotic reaction in susceptible people, according to the NIDA, making it a possible factor in the onset or relapse of schizophrenia.

A 2006 survey by the Society for Human Resource Management found that 84 percent of employers drug test new hires, and 39 percent will randomly test employees after they are hired. (Usually, those who meet the criteria for being able to have medical marijuana are excused.)

Most employers want mature, intelligent and dedicated employees who do not abuse drugs. Some employers, such as hospitals, are even starting to look at whether or not their applicants smoke cigarettes, not just marijuana or other controlled substances.

Smoking, marijuana or cigarettes, does not make one more appealing in any way, shape or form to a handful of careers or to other people. It’s time for people to grow up, and figure out how to live life without depending on marijuana.

If even California of all states would not pass a bill legalizing weed for those 21 and older, it’s clear that protesting Arizonans are fighting a hopeless cause. Arizonans should spend their time more wisely than trying to get something as pointless as recreational pot to happen.

The outcomes of keeping recreational marijuana use illegal will save Arizona from the increase of drug-related fatal car accidents, and protect the mental health of residents. Smoking weed recreationally should remain against the law.

— Danielle Carpenter is a pre-journalism freshman. She can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu or on Twitter via @WildcatOpinions .

CONTINUE READING…

Absolute Asinine Laws

 

Life in Prison for Hemp

José Peña brought some roadside weeds home from Kansas. Cops decided it was reefer, and a Texas court sentenced him to life in prison – without the evidence. It took a decade for Peña to get back some of the pieces of his life.

By Jordan Smith, Fri., March 16, 2012

Life in Prison for Hemp

José Peña was tired as he drove south toward Houston on the morning of Sept. 27, 1998. Following a quick trip north to Kansas in a rented van – to pick up the brother of a distant cousin’s son – he was on his way home to Houston, where he lived with his wife and four children. It was the kind of favor Peña often did for friends and family, no matter how distant the relation – and the kind of favor that irritated his wife. "I was tired, and I was trying to get home," the 50-year-old recently recalled. "My wife was mad at me for doing favors for other people" when he could instead be home.

That morning, just before 8am, Peña was cruising south down I-45, a little more than two hours from home. He was driving in the right-hand lane through Leon County when he passed a state trooper sitting in his car on the grass median. He thought nothing of it – just another Texas trooper on a long and nondescript stretch of highway – until he noticed the trooper pull out onto the road and follow him. The officer, Mike Asby, a veteran member of the Texas Department of Public Safety, drove in the left lane until his car was parallel with Peña’s. Peña looked over at Asby. "He pulled up next to me, and I looked at him because I wasn’t not going to make eye contact" with an officer whom Peña thought was definitely checking him out for whatever reason.

Although Peña steadfastly maintains that he wasn’t doing anything wrong or unusual, Asby would later testify that Peña caught his attention because he was driving more slowly than the rest of traffic in a van caked with mud; when the van "weaved across the center stripe and also across the solid yellow line on the shoulder," Asby testified in January 2003, he had to take action. "You’re required to stay in a single lane of traffic," he said. He activated his lights and pulled Peña over.

Within the hour, Peña would be in handcuffs in the back of the trooper’s car, headed to the county jail in Centerville on a charge of marijuana possession. Nearly five years later, Peña would be convicted and sentenced to life in prison for possession of what the state said turned out to be 23.46 pounds of freshly cut marijuana that Peña was transporting in the back of the muddy blue van. Although Asby testified that this was not a normal highway drug bust – "normally," he testified, marijuana moves north from Houston, already "dried out, cured, and ready to be sold" – he was certain that what he found casually laid out in the back of the van was pot because it smelled like pot – and he knows pot when he smells it. "It’s something that you learned in [28] years of experience being on the road?" prosecutor Whitney Smith (now Leon Coun­ty’s elected D.A.) asked Asby.

"Yes, sir," Asby replied.

Just Trust Us

There are at least two problems with the official story of Peña’s arrest and prosecution. First, Peña is adamant – and has been since 1998 – that what he was transporting was not marijuana, but actually hemp, pot’s non-narcotic cousin. Peña says he found the plants growing wild in Kansas and cut them down, thinking that he could use the stems and leaves in the various craft projects he made with leather and wood in his garage workshop; there was no doubt in Peña’s mind that what he was transporting was not marijuana. The second, and eventually more decisive problem with the official story of the Peña bust, is that prior to his trial, officials with the Department of Public Safety lab in Waco, where the plants were taken for testing, completely destroyed all of the case evidence – all 23.46 pounds of plant material – and then also lost the case file with all of the original documentation of the lab’s work on the case. By the time Peña was finally tried – more than four years later – there was absolutely no evidence to show the jury; instead, the state relied completely on the "experience" of Asby and of Waco lab supervisor Charles Mott (now retired) to persuade jurors that what they say they saw and tested was actually marijuana.

It worked.

That is, it worked until late last year, when Peña’s conviction was finally overturned by the Court of Criminal Appeals, the state’s highest criminal court, and Leon County subsequently dismissed the charges for good. In the intervening decade, however, Peña’s case became a political hot potato, catching the attention of judges and lawyers across the state who watched as the 10th Court of Appeals, based in Waco, played tug-of-war with the Austin-based CCA over the power of the Texas Constitution, and whether it affords citizens greater rights and protection against state power than does the U.S. Constitution.

It’s a conflict that has left the state of Texas divided and may mean – at least for the time being – that persons tried for crimes in one part of the state will be afforded greater protection from prosecutorial errors or malfeasance than are others. Frankly, says Keith Hampton, an Austin defense attorney who represented Peña just before his case was dismissed, you just "don’t see this happen very often." Ulti­mate­ly, whether the protections gleaned from the Texas Constitution by the 10th Court will remain in force and be applied to all Texans is still to be determined.

Weeds, Not Weed

Peña had a knack for creating handcrafted leather and wood items that sold like hotcakes, he says, at flea markets in and around Houston. He made personalized shellacked plaques and leather key chains with popular first names spelled out in tiny beads, and at a dollar a key chain, they sold well. So when he first saw the hemp plants growing on the roadside near Manhattan, Kan., they gave him an idea. He would take the plants – which, to an untrained eye, look exactly like marijuana plants – press the leaves, and then use them on plaques or affixed to the small leather wallets that he also had become expert at making. He recognized these as "volunteer" hemp plants – they grow wild across the country, reminders of the days when hemp farming was commonplace and even, during World War II, encouraged by the feds as supporting the war effort. By the Kansas roadside, they were scraggly and abundant. When he pulled into the Tuttle Creek State Park outside Manhattan, and saw the plants growing everywhere, he "loaded … up."

Indeed, Peña thought nothing of the fresh-cut plants that he’d laid out in the back of the blue van he was driving. He knew – partly from experience of having smoked pot when he was younger, and partly because he knew that hemp was once a major agricultural commodity – that the plants were nothing more than weeds that looked like weed.

However, that’s not how Asby saw it. To him, it was clear that one thing, and only one thing, was taking place. Peña was moving a large amount of marijuana to Houston – as unusual as that might be, Asby acknowledged.

Peña repeatedly told Asby that the plants were hemp, and his insistence clearly gave some pause to Asby and the two backup officers who soon joined him. The three men stood next to the van pondering the notion that a plant could look like, but not actually be, marijuana. "I … questioned them, I said, ‘Well, he says it’s not marijuana,’" Asby recalled in court. "I knew that there was a substance called hemp and I was asking them. … And I asked them, ‘You ever heard of something like marijuana, just hemp, that is legal to have?’" he continued. "I don’t know that there is a legal kind. That was the question I was asking the officers: ‘Have you ever heard of this … where marijuana was cut and it turns out to be legal?’"

In the end, Asby was unpersuaded. "I just know marijuana smells like marijuana," he testified in 2003. "And I have never found anything that I thought was marijuana that wasn’t." He cuffed Peña and hauled him off to jail.

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USMJParty Endorses NM Gov. Gary Johnson for President 2012

USMJParty Endorses NM Gov. Gary Johnson for President 2012

We the undersigned members of The US Marijuana Party hereby endorses candidates Former NM Governor Gary Johnson and Former Federal Judge James Gray for President and Vice President of the United States of America. Both candidates have shown to uphold the ideals of the US Marijuana Party’s Mission Statement, to wit:
“WE seeks to remove all penalties for adults 18 and over who choose to consume cannabis in a responsible manner.”
“We demand an end to the war on productive and otherwise law abiding citizens by the powers that be who claim to protect us.”
“We demand the right to use any medication our healthcare providers and we deem fit without government interference.”
“We demand the release of all people imprisoned on marijuana charges and that their criminal records be expunged.”
“We demand that all property seized in marijuana raids be returned to the rightful owners at once.”
“We demand that our law enforcement officers make more efficient use of our tax dollars and use the resources they have at their disposal to go after violent criminals and crimes that actually have victims.”
“We demand the right to grow marijuana for personal consumption, just as alcohol can be brewed at home legally so long as it is not sold untaxed.”
“We demand that you stop treating us like second class citizens for consuming something that is less dangerous than alcohol and tobacco, both of which are legal and cause numerous deaths each year. Cannabis has never caused one.”
Although our demands seem singular many of the social ills in American can be tied to the drug war and/or the war on a plant (cannabis). The cost of enforcement of cannabis laws, the cost of housing prisoners, subsequent welfare for the unemployable drug felons, the costs of the probate system of removing children from their homes, and the break up of the American family to name a few.
It is time for a turnover in American government let it start with Gary Johnson & Jim Gray as the leaders in the next White House administration.
Peace, Pot, Politics,
Wayward Bill Chengelis,
Chairman, US Marijuana Party &
Chairman, US Marijuana Party of Colorado
Richard J. Rawlings, Chairman, Illinois
Sheree Krider, Chairwoman, Kentucky
Jeffrey Kabik, Chairman, Maryland
Tom Johnson, Chairman, Pennsylvania
Nick Apuzzo, Chairman, California
The US Marijuana Party is thrilled to announce the formation of two new state chapters, California and Pennsylvania. Congratulation are in order for Nick Apuzzo (CA) and Tom Johnson (PA).
Like the fabled Phoenix the US Marijuana Party is rising from the ashes. It is our intent to have a chapter in every state in the United States by January 1, 2013.