Category Archives: Marijuana

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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Today Cory Booker discussed the “Marijuana Justice Act”

cory booker

Cory Booker was live.

2 hrs ·

Earlier this year I introduced the Marijuana Justice Act—a bill that aims to end the federal prohibition of marijuana in the United States and incentivize states to legalize it at the state level if they disproportionately arrest or incarcerate poor people or people of color.

For decades, the failed War on Drugs has locked up millions of nonviolent drug offenders—especially for marijuana-related offenses—at an incredible cost of lost human potential, families and communities torn apart, and lost taxpayer dollars. The effects of the drug war have had a disproportionately devastating impact on Americans of color and the poor.

The Marijuana Justice Act aims to right some of the wrongs of our failed War on Drugs—particularly for those communities hardest-hit by these failed policies—and do the right thing for public safety while helping to reduce our overflowing prison population.

Since introducing the Marijuana Justice Act I’ve been working to build support in Congress, and today I’m excited to announce our first co-sponsor, my friend and colleague Senator Ron Wyden.

Watch below as we discuss the bill in more detail. Please leave any questions you may have about the bill in the comments, and we’ll answer some of them live on camera.

CONTINUE TO CORY BOOKER’S PAGE ON FACEBOOK AND LIVE VIDEO!

Wisconsin’s Governor wants to disqualify weed smokers from welfare

  • Steve Elliott
  • Comments302
  • 15 December, 2017
  • Wisconsins Gov. Scott Walker Wants To Drug Test People On Welfare 2 of 3 800x400 Wisconsins Governor wants to disqualify weed smokers from welfare

    ABOVE:  NEW YORK, NY – DECEMBER 11: A Harlem resident chooses free groceries at the Food Bank For New York City on December 11, 2013 in New York City. The food bank distributes dry, canned and fresh food to needy residents and works with community based member programs to provide some 400,000 free meals per day throughout the city. Need increased in November when 47 million low-income people nationwide saw their food stamps cut as the federal SNAP program expired. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

    Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker believes that poor people who receive public assistance should have to undergo drug testing, and he’s taking steps to make sure that happens.

    Walker last week charged ahead with a plan to require drug testing for some recipients of Wisconsin’s food stamps program, formally referred to as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), reports The Atlantic. The plan would make Wisconsin the first state in the union to drug test for food stamps, other states that have tried the move have been blocked by the feds.

    That comes on top of another plan to test Medicaid enrollees in Wisconsin. Oh, and don’t forget a law already on the books: That one requires drug testing for non-custodial parents getting funds Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.

    If Gov. Walker’s proposals pass federal scrutiny, all three of the major welfare programs in Wisconsin will involve drug-testing the recipients. Walker’s move to “overhaul welfare” over the past three years has already included some such “reforms.”

    The proposed change to SNAP would affect those who take part in its Employment and Training Program (ETP). Healthy, childless adults already have to meet work requirements to qualify for food stamps through ETP.

    Under Gov. Scott’s proposed new rules, those who test positive would be required to undergo drug treatment, or lose their benefits. The state would pay for “drug rehab” for pot smokers who couldn’t afford to pay for it themselves.

    While alcohol, amphetamines, cocaine, and barbiturates all clear out of a person’s urine after four days or so, marijuana can linger for 30 days or more. That means any drug testing, by definition, tends to catch more cannabis smokers than any other category of substance user.

    Arizona has published figures showing a net savings of just $3,500 for 26 individuals who either tested positive or failed to show up for their drug test appointment. That’s an overall saving of just $135 per person.

    According to state data, the seven states with existing programs— Arizona, Kansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Utah— are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to detect very few drug users. The statistics show that welfare applicants actually test positive at a lower rate for drug use than does the general population.

    Meanwhile, the states have collectively spent almost $1 million on the effort, with millions more slated to be spent in years to come.

    Under the Obama Administration, Gov. Walker’s requests to add drug testing in the SNAP program were denied or delayed by the Agriculture Department because they were seen as an additional barrier to eligibility— one that Wisconsin wasn’t entitled to impose.

    While the state denied that, the argument had already been used successfully. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has also denied requests for waivers from states which wanted to impose drug testing for Medicaid.

    Early on, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Seems Verma signaled the agency would now accept work requirements in Medicaid waivers, like the one being considered in Wisconsin. Verma also announced in November that CMS “will approve proposals that promote community-engagement activities,” typically including work, community service, and job training.

    According to Kaiser Health News, healthcare experts expect this move heralds the agency’s support for further conservative reforms impacting aid eligibility such as drug testing. Advocates are concerned the changes are just a way for states to kick millions of poor people off welfare programs, and undermine their mission of providing food assistance and health coverage to the poor.

    PLEASE CONTINUE READING…

    Facebook Posts Indicate That Once Again, Dana Beal Has Been Arrested

    Image may contain: 3 people, people standing and outdoor

    John Penley

    Dana Beal [seen here speaking at the DNC protests in Philly] has just been arrested again for transporting a load of marijuana in Weaverville, California.

       SOURCE

    Wayward Bill

    Bummer. A fellow Yippie and friend.
    Dana Beal BUSTED IN NORTHERN CALIF
    BUSTED YESTERDAY IN TRINITY COUNTY, CALIFORNIA….
    HE IS LOCATED AT :
    TRINITY COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE
    101 MEMORIAL DRIVE
    P.O. BOX 1228
    WEAVERVILLE, CA 96093

    TRINITY COUNTY JAIL FACILITY
    101 MEMORIAL DRIVE
    P.O. BOX 1119
    WEAVERVILLE, CA 96093

    (530) 623-2611
    Fax: (530) 623-8180

    Follow Aron Kay ‘s wall for details and updates.

    Updates will follow…

    For a very long time we have known all we need to know about marijuana, but we have strangely and stubbornly refused to act on that knowledge

    Alain Miville de Chêne Entrepreneur, investor, student and lover of life.

    During the last 125 years, governments all over the world have repeatedly appointed commissions to analyze the use of marijuana and provide recommendations. All major inquiries, among them the Indian Hemp Drugs Commission Report (1894), the Laguardia Committee (1939), and the Le Dain Commission of Inquiry into the Non-Medical Use of Drugs (1972), have come to essentially the same conclusion: as with any human activity, overuse is not good for you, but since pot is mostly used moderately, and the harmful consequences are rather minor, it is not worth making a big fuss. They especially agree that using the criminal justice system to limit its use is both futile and harmful to society.

    For a very long time we have known all we need to know about marijuana, but we have strangely and stubbornly refused to act on that knowledge. Something is imprisoning our mind. Why do we persist in resisting reason?

    A poster for Ray Test’s 1942 drama “Devil’s Harvest.”

    Morality laws

    Morality laws try to limit or eradicate permanent features of all societies: sex (adultery), sex (homosexuality), sex (sodomy), sex (prostitution), sex (pornography), sex (you get the idea!), gambling, and mind-altering substances (alcohol, marijuana and more.) Journalist H. L. Mencken summed it up nicely when he wrote: “Puritanism. The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy.”

    Moralists latch on to some behaviour they fear or loathe, then hijack the criminal code in an attempt to magically will it out of existence, all the while blinded to the inefficacy of their solution and to the harms generated. When the behaviour doesn’t go away, because it has existed forever and there is no reason it should disappear now, the simplistic response is to squeeze harder.

    Deep down, moralists know that their position is contrived. Therefore, to remain impervious to facts, they shun impartial studies. Instead of being guided by reason, they use it to justify their fixed beliefs and emotions. Their preferred method of communication is creating fear through propaganda.

    Corbis via Getty Images “Marihuana: Weed with Roots in Hell” movie poster.

    Harms in perspective

    Since the 1920s we have been programmed to fear schizophrenia, car accidents, dropping out of school, cancer, gateway to other drugs and immorality in general. I took the time to survey the main purported harms, and it is always the same story: weak or non-existent consequences which are insignificant in proportion to other common life problems. For example, tobacco killed around 39,000 in 2002, alcohol killed around 4,200 in 2002, and more than 2,450 died from opioid overdoses in 2016. Nobody died from marijuana.

    The real and grave harm comes not from the product itself but from passing through the criminal justice system. In 2013, Canada registered its millionth arrest for marijuana possession. What good did that do? Why all the suffering? A criminal record or even an arrest record can bar a person from many types of jobs and easily deny their entry into the United States, even 24 years later.

    The prohibition of alcohol in the U.S. lasted from 1920 to 1933. It took the U.S. 13 years to learn the lesson that it doesn’t work. Our society still hasn’t learned this one after almost a century.

    Legislating in the land of fools

    The underlying hypothesis behind all this is that laws will make people behave as desired.

    Countless articles discuss if pot should be sold to 18 or 21 year olds in order to protect youngsters. Currently, pot is not authorized at any age, yet anyone who wants it can get as much of it as they want. Why on earth would a number on a new statute book change this stubborn fact? Of course, it makes sense to limit sales in shops to persons of a certain age, but there’s no reason to expect setting an age limit in the law will “protect the young.”

    Try to entertain the possibility that you might be enthralled by propaganda.

    The spectre of high-strength marijuana is regularly brandished: today’s pot is not what was available in the sixties. It is way more dangerous, therefore its THC content should be legislated. Why do we forget that the high strength stuff has been available for centuries? It is called hashish. It was available in the sixties, and it still is.

    By all means, let us establish lawful limits on all the parameters we want (age, THC concentration, number of plants grown at home, etc.) in order to make life easier for a lot of people, but we should stop thinking that everyone will from then on follow the new rules. They won’t.

    Look at how it works with opioids. No laws were changed recently, yet the consumption of illegal opioids is rising and deaths from fentanyl are at an all time high. People will take or abandon drugs for reasons other than the laws on the books.

    PLEASE CONTINUE READING…

    Senator Cory Booker still wants to legalize marijuana nationally by punishing prohibition states

    Erik McLaren     17 November, 2017

    Senator Cory Booker to Legalize Marijuana Nationally By Punishing Prohibition States 1 of 2 800x400 Senator Cory Booker still wants to legalize marijuana nationally by punishing prohibition states

    Above:  WASHINGTON, DC – MARCH 10: U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) (3rd L) speaks during a news conference on medical marijuana as U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) (2nd L), U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) (3rd R), Kate Hintz (2nd R) and Morgan Hintz (R), who suffers from a rare form of epilepsy, look on Capitol Hill, on Capitol Hill, March 10, 2015 in Washington, DC. The news conference was held to announce a new medical marijuana bill before the U.S. Senate. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

    New Jersey Senator Cory Booker put forward a bill that would legalize weed in the United States earlier this year and has been promoting it ever since. The legislation goes further than simple legalization by punishing states with racist policing practices. With the Republican-controlled Congress, this bill is a long shot with golden intentions.

    The bill would totally remove weed for the controlled substances act, making it legal on a federal level. This has been the main goal for activists since marijuana prohibition first started. “This is an important step,” Booker said in a Facebook Live post, “But it is only a beginning.”

    Other issues around legalization center around what to do with people who currently have weed related criminal records. Booker’s bill would expunge criminal records for people convicted of using or possessing marijuana, even if those charges stretch back decades.

    “We need to remember that these are charges that follow people for their entire lives, and make it difficult for them to do things we take for granted,” Booker said.

    Even if weed was legal federally, individual states could still elect to keep cannabis prohibited. A goal of the bill is address discrimination in drug enforcement.

    In order to encourage hold-out states to legalize, Booker’s bill would withhold federal funding from states that arrest black people for weed crimes at higher rates than whites.

    According to the ACLU, that includes every state in which weed is illegal.

    The bill would also clear people who’ve served time for use and possession. “For people in prison right now on marijuana charges, it gives them an avenue to have their sentences reduced or eliminated,” Booker said.

    Booker has political aspirations greater than the Senate. There’s a lot of buzz around Booker and a 2020 presidential campaign. So, this bill could be a way to build a base for a presidential run. While Booker’s plan may seem ambitious, the bill’s message aligns with the popular and political opinion. According to a 2017 Gallup poll, 64% of Americans think cannabis should be legal. For the first time in history, the majority (51%) of Republicans support legalization. Booker will likely receive major support from his own party with 72% of Democrats on board for legal weed.

    Screen Shot 2017 10 25 at 7.45.55 AM 1 Senator Cory Booker still wants to legalize marijuana nationally by punishing prohibition statesCourtesy of Gallup

    This move also distances Booker from Governor Chris Christie, the wildly unpopular wildebeest that currently represents New Jersey. Christie has promised to strike down legalization. Whatever office Booker is after, his bill certainly pushes him in the right direction.

    Erik McLaren

    CONTINUE READING…

    Researcher and Activist Bob Melamede Considers Marijuana a Miracle Drug

    by Ken Picard

    November 08, 2017

    Bob Melamede - MATTHEW THORSEN

    Bob Melamede was pissed off, which seemed out of character for a laid-back guy who laughs a lot. Plus, he’d begun the day as he always does — by ingesting 80 to 100 milligrams of oil containing tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive compound in cannabis. That’s enough THC to leave most stoners blissed out for hours.

    But Melamede saw good reason to be indignant on a late September morning outside Burlington’s Bern Gallery, where the annual Pipe Classic glassblowing competition was in full swing. A retired DNA researcher, microbiology professor and international cannabis activist, Melamede had heard that a Burlington police officer confiscated all the cannabis oil from a medical marijuana patient who’d flown into town for the event.

    The patient, Courtney Soper, arrived at the gallery a few minutes later. The 40-year-old mother of three from Long Island, N.Y., confirmed that, after checking into her hotel the previous night, she had driven to an Old North End café to meet some friends who were also attending the glassblowing event. While she was parking her rental car, she said, a cop pulled her over for making an illegal U-turn.

    After smelling marijuana on Soper, the cop searched her car and discovered the cannabis oil. Soper handed over her medical marijuana registry cards from New York and California, explaining that she uses the substance to treat several conditions, including chronic pain. The cop didn’t arrest Soper or issue a ticket, but he took her drugs.

    “I said, ‘I have a bottle of Adderall in my bag, also prescribed by my doctor. That’s a controlled substance, too,'” Soper told Melamede. “He didn’t say a thing about that.”

    “Who’s the government to tell us what kind of medicine we can use?” Melamede barked. “Fuck them!”

    He was ready to make that point at the police station, but Soper nixed the idea for fear it could bring unwanted scrutiny to the Bern Gallery event. In a text to Seven Days, Burlington Police Chief Brandon del Pozo explained later that his officer was just following protocol: Vermont doesn’t recognize medical marijuana cards from other states.

    Meanwhile, several twenty- and thirty-somethings milling around outside the Bern Gallery recognized Melamede and greeted him with shouts of “Hey, Dr. Bob!”

    As it happens, thousands of people know “Dr. Bob,” who’s not a physician but has a doctoral degree in molecular genetics and biochemistry. A former research professor who taught at the University of Vermont, New York Medical College and the University of Colorado, Melamede now appears regularly in the marijuana press and frequently speaks at international cannabis conventions. His presentations, some of which can be found on YouTube, invariably delve into the science of cannabis and its relationship to human health.

    PLEASE CONTINUE READING STORY HERE….

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

    no mens rae

    http://www.thornepeters.com/nomensrea.html


    LISTEN to CANNABIS Advocate Rebecca Forbes who stood up to the Court, the prosecution and her own lawyer with the lawful offensive of NO MENS REA against her CANNABIS Prohibition charge and set herself FREE! #NOMENSREA

    Thorne Peters Rebecca Forbes

    Additional Video…

    Thorne Peters No Mens Rae

    Thorne Peters SPEAK NOT ON POT!!!!!! JUST SAY: ‘NO MENS REA” then STFU! 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! 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 LEGISLATON! “I AM THE LAW!” “LIVE ON FB” DAILY @4:20 PM ET . . . #NOMENSREA
    https://www.facebook.com/thorne.peters/videos/vb.100002110628199/1122133367867007/?type=2&theater

    'ATTENTION! WARNING! DANGER! HARK & PAY HEED!!! JUST SAY: “NO MENS REA!” THEN STFU! PpP! LIKE & SHARE! TAG! NO MORE BLAH BLAH BLAH!  "SPEAK NOT ON POT!" 

EWE THE SHEEPLE are leading lambs to the slaughter with IDIOTOLOGIES such as but not limited to: ABROGATING; MEDICALIZING; DECRIMINALIZING; RESCHEDULING; COGNITIVE DISSONANCE; STRAW MAN; and JURY NULLIFICATION by seeking PROPOSITIONS, LEGISLATION, BILLS, ORDINANCES and PROPOSALS to set us FREE from CANNABIS Prohibition which only supports the position of THE EVIL EMPIRE that enslaves POTHEADZ! POT IS ALREADY LEGAL ALREADY! WE ARE FREE! NO MENS REA! THE FINAL 3 LEGAL WORDS ON THE ISSUE OF CANNABIS FREEDOM FOR ALL . . . and to all a good night! @[100008822553684:2048:Sydney Ballans] @[1162689282:2048:Matt Steinbruck] @[100012166653601:2048:Jonathan Cowart] @[100004487827821:2048:Freya Nino Crow] @[100000250565705:2048:David Nicewarner] @[1426015574:2048:David Babcock] @[100000871728026:2048:Carol Ann Cripps] @[100005886723807:2048:KJ Adamson] @[100001614765211:2048:Richard Hengy] @[100013590918692:2048:Raven Rodriguez] @[100000820750977:2048:Robert Chris Rhea] @[1057767250:2048:Jimmy Vachon] @[100003742462181:2048:Faith Alexandria Oglesby] Falon Hodnett @[1310076699:2048:Charles N Harper Reece] @[1588404774:2048:Troy Harper] @[100000083683847:2048:Rodney Shook] @[1511791133:2048:Rebecca Forbes] @[100000070644829:2048:Carmel Garcia] @[100010115767308:2048:Jack Cole] @[100000280113159:2048:Alan Gordon] @[100002546279203:2048:Matthew Fogg] @[100004126487793:2048:Edward Winborne] @[335844186556925:274:NJ Weedman] Kelly Jacobs @[100009727292480:2048:Jane L Stanley] @[501687:2048:Austin Lewis] @[1120661189:2048:Phil Harris] @[100003673843324:2048:Sway Trebor]'

    14:59

    http://www.thornepeters.com/nomensrea.html

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/333773793715599/

    https://www.facebook.com/thorne.peters/videos/1507763532637320/

    “…the riskiest pot is coming from the black market—which could be an argument for expanding legalization”

    Marijuana: Why Dangerously Potent Pot Is Making People Lose Their Minds and Memories

    Homegrown2017

    By Jessica Firger On 10/19/17 at 4:44 PM

    High-potency pot is causing psychiatric issues, including addiction and memory problems. New strains of the recreational drug have higher levels of the active chemical and not enough of another compound that keeps the drug safe. And as a new study this week documents, the riskiest pot is coming from the black market—which could be an argument for expanding legalization. 

    The new report, published this week by Manchester Metropolitan University in the U.K., tested 50 samples of cannabis in the city of Manchester. The study was conducted by Volteface, a London-based policy think tank seeking reform for marijuana laws to improve safety of the drug by making it legal, and thus limiting demand on the local black market. All of the samples had high levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive component of the drug that produces the “high,” and inconsequential amounts of cannabidiols (CBDs), the protective compound of the drug that prevents marijuana from becoming unsafe.

    Pot that is high in THC carries a greater risk of psychiatric problems, including psychosis, addiction and memory impairment. One study, for example, published in the British Journal of Psychiatry evaluated cannabis use in 280 people and compared them to a control group of 174 non-cannabis users. The study found that people who experienced their first psychotic episode were more likely to have used a higher THC potency form of the drug.

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    Amir Englund, an expert in cannabinoid psychopharmacology at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King’s College London, tells Newsweek that the low levels of CBDs exacerbate the issues caused by high levels of THC. Additionally, frequent users often become tolerant to cannabis and slowly need a stronger product to get as high as they used to, he says.

    “Because both THC and CBD are made from the same material in the plant, more of one means less of the other,” he says. Some recent research, he says, has shown that people using strains of marijuana that are also high in CBD—not just THC—are less likely to have mental health problems than those who opt for strains that have low CBD but high THC content. Some experiments he’s conducted show that CBD can counter the negative effects of high doses of THC in healthy volunteers.

    Growers, he says, are cross-breeding plants to favor THC production over CBD. But the decision isn’t influenced only by the market’s demand. In many instances, it’s determined by the grower’s bottom line. “Some of the reasons why these varieties are more popular include the fact that they are more cost-effective to produce (more total drug-yield per plant) and more popular among frequent users,” says Englund.

    A number of other factors also affect the potency of pot. According to Leafly, there will always be some variation when multiple growers cultivate the same strain because environment, growing technique and genetics all impact the composition of the plants.

    A report published in 2015 by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment found the problem isn’t only with illegal sales. Labeling on regulated cannabis is often misleading, and the strain purchased could have higher or lower levels of potency than the label leads a consumer to believe.

    “High THC, low CBD cannabis dominates the UK’s illicit market as it has a rapid growth period up to maturity and can be grown indoors,” the researchers write. “This enables those selling cannabis to make the greatest profit and presents the lowest risk. While popularity of this product is undoubtedly high, this may well be due to the fact that no other product is easily available and consumers have neither the access to nor the experience of any alternative.”

    In other words, pot purchasers should look beyond the name—as nice as Black Beauty and Northern Lights may sound—and find out more about what they’re smoking. 

    CONTINUE READING AND TO VIDEO!

    Long-Term Marijuana Use Changes Brain at the Cellular Level, Say Scientists

    The team behind the study hopes that their findings can eventually be used to treat people with cannabis use disorder, defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-5 as a “problematic pattern of cannabis use leading to clinically significant impairment or distress.”

    By Yasmin Tayagon October 16, 2017

    Filed Under Alcohol, Drugs, Neuroscience & Sex

    In March, long-term marijuana smoker Woody Harrelson surprised fans by announcing he was giving up his chronic pot habit, saying it made him “emotionally unavailable.” Likewise, in June, notorious stoner Miley Cyrus did the same, saying she “wanted to be really clear” while making her new album. Long-term pot smokers who have quit cite similar anecdotal evidence about the chronic effects of weed, but scientists have only recently begun understanding what, if anything, it actually does to the brain.

    In a study on mice published Monday in the journal JNeurosci, scientists report that long-term marijuana use does indeed change the brain.

    In their study, the researchers from Brigham Young University’s neuroscience department, led by Jeffrey Edwards Ph.D., focused on the brain’s ventral tegmental area (VTA), a region rich with the dopamine and serotonin receptors that comprise the brain’s reward system, looking at how its cells changed as the teen mice they studied received daily THC injections every day for a week. Researchers know that drugs of abuse, like opioids, alcohol, and marijuana, act on the VTA, and it’s thought that the active ingredients in these drugs stimulate the release of dopamine in this area, thereby triggering the flood of pleasure that drugs (as well as friendship and sex) provide — and creating cravings for more.

    In particular, they looked at a type of cell in the VTA known as a GABA cell that marijuana researchers hadn’t looked at before. The cells are named for the type of neurotransmitter they pick up — GABA, short for gamma-aminobutyric acid — which is well-known for its inhibitory properties. Imagine GABA as the high-strung friend who becomes anxious when the rest of the group has too much fun. When GABA is released in the brain, it regulates the levels of happy-making dopamine, making sure revelry doesn’t go overboard.In particular, they looked at a type of cell in the VTA known as a GABA cell that marijuana researchers hadn’t looked at before. The cells are named for the type of neurotransmitter they pick up — GABA, short for gamma-aminobutyric acid — which is well-known for its inhibitory properties. Imagine GABA as the high-strung friend who becomes anxious when the rest of the group has too much fun. When GABA is released in the brain, it regulates the levels of happy-making dopamine, making sure revelry doesn’t go overboard.

    This friend is a bit of a buzzkill but seems to be necessary to prevent the brain from having too much of a good thing. But, as it turns out, GABA neurons can be incapacitated, too.This friend is a bit of a buzzkill but seems to be necessary to prevent the brain from having too much of a good thing. But, as it turns out, GABA neurons can be incapacitated, too.

    As the researchers observed these cells in teen mice over their THC-filled week, they saw that the ability of the GABA neurons to regulate dopamine faltered as the trial went on. In contrast, mice who only received a single injection of THC — the Bill Clintons of the group — didn’t show any changes in their GABA neurons, suggesting that the effects seen in the chronic users are a consequence of long-term marijuana use. Those changes led dopamine to linger in the VTA longer than usual, which caused an abnormally drawn-out feeling of reward. And too much of those pleasurable feelings, scientists have found, is what leads to addiction.

    The team behind the study hopes that their findings can eventually be used to treat people with cannabis use disorder, defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-5 as a “problematic pattern of cannabis use leading to clinically significant impairment or distress.”

    CONTINUE READING AND TO VIDEO AND FURTHER INFORMATION!

    (MY COMMENT?  I know you all can see where this is going, right?)