Category Archives: Marijuana

Queens of the Stoned Age

 

There are a thousand ways to buy weed in New York City, but the Green Angels devised a novel strategy for standing out: They hired models to be their dealers. In the eight years since the group was founded—by a blonde, blue-eyed Mormon ex-model—they’ve never been busted, and the business has grown into a multimillion-dollar operation. Suketu Mehta spent months embedded with them at their headquarters and out on their delivery routes to see where this great experiment in American entrepreneurship might lead.

A friend tells me about the Green Angels, a collective of about 30 models turned high-end-weed dealers, and he introduces me to the group’s leader, Honey. The first time we speak, in the spring of 2015, she comes to my house in Greenwich Village and we talk for six hours.

She is 27 and several months pregnant. Her belly is showing, a little, under her black top and over her black patterned stockings. But her face is still as fresh as hay, sunlight, the idea the rest of the world has about the American West, where she was born—she’s an excommunicated Mormon from the Rocky Mountains. Honey is not her real name; it’s a pseudonym she chose for this article. She is over six feet tall, blonde, and blue-eyed. Patrick Demarchelier took photos of her when she was a teenager. She still does some modeling. Now that she’s pregnant, I tell her, she should do maternity modeling.

“Why would I do that when I can make $6,000 a day just watching TV?” she asks.

Honey started the business in 2009. When she began dealing, she would get an ounce from a guy in Union Square, then take it to her apartment and divide it into smaller quantities for sale. She bought a vacuum sealer from Bed Bath & Beyond to make the little bags her product came in airtight. She tells me that part of her research was watching CNN specials on the drug war to find out how dealers got busted.

Today her total expenses average more than $300,000 a month for the product, plus around $30,000 for cabs, cell phones, rent for various safe houses, and other administrative costs. She makes a profit of $27,000 a week. “I like seeing a pile of cash in my living room,” she says.

PLEASE CONTINUE READING…

Time 4 Hemp Presents: Cannabinoid Profiles: A Crash Course

Time 4 Hemp

Crash-Course in CBGs

The Time4Hemp Network has set up a very educational and informative series which they are calling the “Cannabinoid Profiles Series”.

Anyone who needs or wants to review a course in Cannabinoids should start here!

 

Cannabinoid Profile: Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)

 

The LINKS for the series is below:

Cannabinoid Profiles Series

1. Meet Your CB Receptors

2. A Crash Course in THC

3. A Crash Course in CBD

4. A Crash Course in THC

5. A Crash Course in CBG

6. A Crash Course in CBC

7. A Crash Course in THC

8. A Crash Course in CBN

9. A Crash Course in CBDs

SOURCE LINK:

North Americans Spent $53.3 Billion On Marijuana Last Year, Most Of It Illegally

The industry “just needs to move demand for an already widely-popular product into legal channels,” a new report says.

01/17/2017 06:20 pm ET

Ryan Grenoble Reporter, The Huffington Post

A new report estimates consumers spent $53.3 billion on cannabis in North America last year.

The first-of-its-kind analysis, compiled by ArcView Market Research, spans legal, medical and illegal marijuana markets across both the United States and Canada. At around $46 billion, the illegal market constituted 87 percent of marijuana sales in 2016 (a decrease from 90 percent in 2015), dwarfing both medical and legal sales.

The marijuana investment and research firm provided a 25-page executive summary of its fifth annual State of Legal Marijuana Markets to The Huffington Post Tuesday, ahead of the full report’s release in February.

Arcview projects the legal marijuana market will expand from its current $6.9 billion to $21.6 billion by 2021, as California, Massachusetts and Canada expand their cannabis sales, and medical sales begin in Florida. The $6.9 billion figure is itself a 34 percent increase in just one year from 2015.

Assuming the projections hold, the five-year growth rate for legal marijuana from 2016 to 2021 would fall just short of that seen by broadband internet providers from 2002 through 2007, which expanded at around 29 percent per year, from around $7 billion to north of $25 billion.

Unlike most of the billion-dollar industries that preceded it, marijuana is in a unique position, ArcView argues, because the market doesn’t need to be created from scratch ― it just needs to transition from illicit to legal channels.

“The enormous amount of existing, if illicit, consumer spending sets cannabis apart from most other major consumer-market investment opportunities throughout history,” Arcview Market Research CEO Troy Dayton explained in an emailed statement.

“In contrast to comparable markets with fast growth from zero to tens of billions in recent decades such as organic foods, home video, mobile, or the internet, the cannabis industry doesn’t need to create demand for a new product or innovation ― it just needs to move demand for an already widely-popular product into legal channels.”

In states that have moved to tax and regulate the drug, the black market has decreased rapidly, the report found. Colorado’s black market, for instance, accounts for about one-third of all cannabis sales, with the majority having transitioned to legal marketplaces.

ArcView found the cashflow going to drug dealers and cartels has diminished accordingly, helped in part by the shrinking “illegality premium” for the product once demanded by the black market. 

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Marijuana can be covered in pesticides, fungi, and mold — even if it’s legal

marijuana weed pot 2

There is no known lethal dose of marijuana, which means it can’t kill you. But the stuff that gets sprayed or grows organically on pot buds can.

Studies show that marijuana sampled across the US carries unsafe levels of pesticides, mold, fungi, and bacteria. Earlier this year, Colorado recalled hundreds of batches that tested positive for banned pesticides.

It’s unclear how much cannabis, whether purchased legally in a dispensary or bought from a college roommate’s cousin’s friend, is at risk. But as the industry goes mainstream, experts suggest it’s time legal weed gets quality assurance.

Educating consumers on what they’re smoking might be the first step, according to scientists at Steep Hill Labs, a leading cannabis science and technology firm in Berkeley, California.

In 2016, Reggie Gaudino, vice president of scientific operations at Steep Hill, set out on a scientific experiment. He visited three brick-and-mortar dispensaries in the Bay Area and bought at least five samples of cannabis flower from each.

In order to decide which strains to buy, he asked cashiers, called “budtenders,” for their recommendations. He also chose the strains with the highest percentage of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. Many patients choose that option from the menu because they believe it will get them the most high, or give them “the most bang for their buck,” Gaudino explains.

It’s unclear if the dispensaries he visited test their products for contaminants at third-party labs — a practice that’s becoming more common as states with newly legalized cannabis roll out regulations.

When Gaudino took the samples back to the lab, he found that 70% of the samples tested positive for pesticide residues. One-third of samples would have failed pesticide regulations in the state of Oregon, which has the most sophisticated system for pesticide-testing of the seven states with fully legalized marijuana.

Fifty percent of the samples that tested positive for pesticides also contained Myclobutanil, a fungicide treatment commonly used on California grapes, almonds, and strawberries. When digested, it’s harmless. But when heated, the chemical turns into hydrogen cyanide, a gas that interferes with the body’s ability to use oxygen normally.

The central nervous system, cardiovascular system, and pulmonary system (lungs) start to fail when exposed to high concentration of the gas.

The news isn’t quite as alarming as it sounds. Donald Land, chief scientific consultant at Steep Hill, tells Business Insider that most people would not be susceptible to falling ill after inhaling a few spores.

However, someone whose immune system is weakened — like a cancer patient undergoing chemotherapy or a person infected with HIV — is much more vulnerable to infection upon inhaling contaminated cannabis. Basically, the people who stand to benefit the most from medical marijuana are also the most vulnerable.

The results of Gaudino’s study have yet to be published in a peer-reviewed journal, though Gaudino tells us a white paper is in the works. The lab plans to test an array of other marijuana products, like concentrates and oil cartridges for vaporizer pens, before publishing.

Land and Gaudino explain that, for the most part, the industry is doing the best it can to provide safe pot.

There is no framework on the federal level that dictates how cannabis should be tested or what threshold constitute a failing grade. Most growers and dispensaries in states with legalized marijuana have to hold themselves accountable for verifying the safety of their product.

Some pay third-party labs like Steep Hill to analyze their product for pesticides and contaminants, but most only want to know the THC content of a given strain, Land says. The more potent the weed, the more they can charge for it.

Fewer than 20 states offer some form of testing, according to estimate provided by Land. The states that offer the most widely available marijuana, including California, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington, have testing facilities — but they don’t all require testing, and regulations can vary on a local level.

More research is needed to understand the health concerns associated with cannabis. Marijuana remains illegal under federal law, making it difficult for scientists to acquire the funding and samples needed for study.

In the meantime, Land suggests marijuana patients and recreational users take responsibility for their health by asking their budtender to see a lab report on the strain they wish to buy. They can compare the results with Oregon’s publicly available threshold levels for safe cannabis.

Even if you can’t make out what the report means, the dispensary’s ability to provide documentation is “absolutely better than nothing,” Land says.

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The MERP Model for Re-Legalizing Marijuana

(The following article was sent to me by Bruce Cain in about 2008 – I found it today while going through some old mail.  It deserves to be re-visited…SK)

 

 

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The MERP Model for Re-Legalizing Marijuana

This is a recent interview that I (Bruce Cain, Editor of http://www.newagecitizen.com) did with Krystal Cole of “Neurosoup.”

It is the most exhaustive discussion of the MERP model for Marijuana Re-Legalization to date.

1) Do you believe cannabis should be legalized for all adults in the United States? Why?

A resounding yes! Of course Cannabis should be Re-Legalized for all adults. As for why, let?s start with the some of the stronger common arguments:

(1) Cannabis is one of the safest therapeutic agents on the planet. It is also one of mankind?s old medicinal plants despite being politically placed into the most dangerous ?Class 1? category.

(2) 70 years of prohibition have had little or no effect in stopping use.

(3) It has many therapeutic and palliative properties for people suffering from AIDS/HIV; Glaucoma; MS; etc.

(4) There are no recorded fatal overdoses from the use of Cannabis. That alone should be sufficient. But my personal arguments for Re-Legalizing go much deeper. I think it was Judge Brandeis who once said the most important right, was the right to be left alone. Consensual adult activities should not be the domain of any la w provided those acts do not violate the safety and liberties of other citizens. It?s like the Las Vegas commercials that spew this mantra that ?what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.? What you do within the confines of your own property, given the earlier provisos, is not the business of the state: whether that be local law enforcement or federal drug agencies.

It is so important that we push back against each attempt to chip away our liberties. I will even go one better. I think that all consensual activities should be made legal as a counter weight to all the liberties we have been forced to relinquish in the wake of 911. That way if the state?s intrusive powers uncover a bag of Marijuana, there will be nothing they can do about it. We have to start thinking in terms of ?creative resistance.? My utopian vision is to be sitting on my porch, sharing a joint with a friend, and not having to worry about a police car driving by to ruin our afternoon. And if a police car did drive by I would want to feel comfortable sharing a few tokes with that officer. I want to see a world where people can start feeling good about each other once again.

Before going to the next question let me say something about laws in general. Pythagoras developed the scientific method in order to objectively judge the results of any scientific inquiry. To this end he developed theorems in order to provide a method, a structure, for scientific inquiry. It is really this framework, for scientific inquiry, that has propelled science forward ever since.

As we restructure our legal system I believe there are two important theorems that should receive primary consideration:

(1) The Golden Rule and

(2) The Golden Mean. The Golden Rule is straight forward: ?Do unto others as you would have done unto yourself.? The Golden Mean has a number of meanings but basically insists on proportionality in all things. Applying this to our Cannabis laws requires asking 2 questions:

(1) would I feel comfortable accepting the current penalties that are being applied to other Marijuana offenders and

(2) Are the penalties proportional to penalties for other drugs: are the penalties in proportion to the danger they pose to society?

2) What steps do we need to take, as a country, to decriminalize cannabis?

Ultimately I would fully implement the MERP model for ?regulating? Marijuana. But let me first describe the prerequisite change the needs to take place prior to implementing MERP.

The Achilles heal to ?Marijuana Prohibition? is the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. We need to force our representatives to take Cannabis completely off the schedule. Once that is done the federal government will no longer have an excuse to meddle in the drug policies of individual states. The raids on Medical Marijuana dispensaries would immediately cease. But, at a grass roots level, people have got to stop being so damn complacent. Con front your representatives when they come to town. Organize with local, state and national groups. Insist that the national groups get behind the MERP model for Re-Legalization.

And what is MERP you ask? It is a short way of saying the ?Marijuana Re-Legalization Policy (MRP) Project.? But that is a big mouthful of syllables. So I like to refer to this model as MERP in order to condense the concept down to a single syllable.

The MERP Model can be succinctly described as follows ?

The MERP model of Marijuana Re-Legalization would minimally allow non-commercial cultivation, by adults above the age of 18, to be done without any form of government taxation, regulation or other interference.? The ?moneyed? drug reform organizations (e.g., those supported by Soros, Sperling and Lewis) contend that this is far too radical. But it really is not significantly different than the way we allow US citizens to produce beer and wine within there homes. Home beer and wine production is neither taxed nor significantly regulated.

And many activists need to be weaned from this false notion that the government should get to tax everything. If they don?t tax your tomatoes or your beer, why should they be allowed to tax your Cannabis? The MERP Model does not preclude commercial licensing. But it forbids the government from interfering with personal cultivation as specified above. In doing this we have, in effect, a mechanism to check government greed. At about $100 per ounce a lot of people would not bother growing their own. But if the government charged $400 per ounce most people would be turning on the grow lamps.

I really think this is one of the best ideas I have ever come up with. It is so elegant in its simplicity. And it is also part of the ?New Agenda for America.? Benjamin Franklin selflessly gave the world ?lightening rods? and refused to profit by imposing a copyright on the invention. Had it not been for the lightening rod, large building structures, such as ?skyscrapers,? would have been impossible. This is due to the associated hazard of fires from lightening strikes. I would like to give the world the MERP model with very similar intentions.

One thing MERP would also do is act as a Gatekeeper Drug: keeping more and more people away from dealers that also sell hard drugs. I am quite sure it would destroy the revenue streams for local drug dealers and terrorist organizations alike.

Here are a few additional links for a broader discussion of MERP and the reasons we really need to end Marijuana Prohibition:

Drug Policy The MERP Project The Marijuana Re-Legalization Policy (MRP) Project http://www.newagecitizen.com/ReLegalization01.htm http://www.newagecitizen.com/editorial_on_the_marijuana_re.htm

Why Lou Dobbs Should Support Marijuana Legalization http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9VKf5YfQb7s&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Enewagecitizen%2Ecom%2F

How Continuing the Drug War could make Nuclear Terrorism a Reality by Bruce W. Cain http://www.newagecitizen.com/Editorials/v8n1NuclearTerrorism.htm 

3) How much of an effect would legalizing cannabis have on narco-terrorism?

Under the MERP model it would be quite significant. Virtually all profits in Marijuana sales ? by terrorist organization and drug gangs alike ? would instantly evaporate the very day the MERP is implemented. It should first be understood that over 50% of terrorist revenue comes from the sale of illicit drugs. Currently, Cannabis probably only accounts for 20% of the global illicit drug market. But in a 500 Billion annual global illicit drug market that is still significant. We could probably rob the Mexican drug cartels of 20 billion a year just by Re-Legalizing. And if nothing else it would keep the money in the US economy creating more jobs for US workers. But I think the effect would create a unique form of synergy. As people have more access to cheap, high quality Cannabis ? as under the MERP model — they would be less likely to encounter drug dealers that sell harder drugs such as cocaine, crack, methamphetamine etc. But while it may be hard to quantify I’m quite sure the net effect would, in any case, be positive. Another synergistic effect might be that people become more comfortable with non-alcoholic drugs and it could pave the way for Re-Legalization of other soft plant-based entheogens such as peyote, and psilocybin.

Legal psilocybin in Amsterdam has not resulted in any significant social problems. Entheogens may also have been purposely prohibited because they have a tendency to deprogram people from state propaganda: ever the more reason to make them available to responsible adults. Of course the MERP model would have a much more pronounced effect than current strategies (e.g., Medical Marijuana initiatives) for 2 important reasons:

(1) It completely takes the profit out of the Marijuana market and

(2) it constitutes a permanent and structural change at the very core of our legal system.

4) How would the federal prison population be affected by the legalization of cannabis?

Well, the most significant effect of legalization, under the MERP Model, would be 840,000 fewer arrests a year. And that IS very significant. There would be some reduction in federal prisons but most drug convictions end up with some form of probation. We are now up to arresting 840,000 Cannabis users annually. Over 80% of these arrests involve simple possession. I actually think the lions share of these never go to prison and most that do end up in state facilities.

The problem is that once you get ?tagged? by the criminal justice system it takes years to get out from under that shadow. They force you into ?drug classes? and urine tests and all sorts of totally unnecessary bullshit. It reminds me of the Inquisitions where some citizens were forced to say they were witches, when in fact they were not. And of course they also rob you blind through the entire process. I have been fortunate to have avoided this personally, but I am aware of the disproportionate penalties and costs that go along with a simple arrest for transporting Cannabis. And once your record is blemished they will be on you like flies on shit, for the rest of your life.

I realize I’ve gone off on a tangent here. But there should be no greater penalty for transporting Cannabis than for transporting a case of beer from your local party store. And like I said: once Cannabis is Re-Legalized all of this could go away forever. Of course it isn’t great news if you are an attorney, a judge, or a city that will do anything to raise revenue. Re-Legalization is probably not exactly great for a Medical Marijuana ?gardeners? who are often making between $25 to $35 an hour either. And actually the Medical Marijuana dispensaries have created a rather ironic situation.

The irony is that medical users are still basically paying street prices for the medicine: about $12 to $18 per gram. For patients like Angel Raich, who requires 7 grams per day ? a quarter ounce ? such prices would cost her over $35,000 per year. Since many medical marijuana users are both unemployed and sick, it is difficult for me to imagine how they could even afford the medicine at these prices.

Re-Legalization would allow either patient, or caregiver, to cooperate in the cultivation. Best of all this Cannabis would only cost about $20, pre ounce, to grow under lamps and would be virtually free if it were grown outside.

The current Marijuana laws really make you ask an important question: ?What kind of society goes so far out of its way to criminalize its members, when what they have done should not even be a crime in the first place?? I don?t have the space to entertain that question here. But Naomi Klein does a good job of it in her current book, ?Shock Doctrine.? I definitely recommend reading this book or at least ?Googling? for more information on ?Shock Doctrine.?

5) Are you thinking of running in the 2008 presidential election as a write in candidate? Why?

I am only doing this to promote the ?New Agenda for America.? I have no illusion about moving into the Whitehouse in 2009. Instead what I want to do, through this “faux candidacy,” is motivate people to ask the Democratic and Republican candidates which planks of the ?New Agenda for America? they would support. The MERP model for Marijuana Re-Legalization is currently the 3rd plank of the agenda.

Here are all of the major planks:

NEW AGENDA FOR AMERICA: Preliminary Planks Help Influence the 2008 Presidency [More info: http://www.newagecitizen.com and click on topic]

(1) Universal Health Care for All American Citizens

(2) A 20-year moratorium on all immigration into the United States

(3) Legal Marijuana for all Adults and Medical Patients

(4) An immediate reversal to the Offshoring and In shoring of American Jobs

(5) A strict enforcement on issues of Separation of Church and State

(6) An immediate move from so-called Free Trade Agreements to Bilateral Trade agreements

(7) A major R&D project to bring energy independence to the United States and the World through recycling, reuse, ending hyper-consumerism and investing in the development of sustainable energy sources (e.g., solar, photovoltaic, wind, geothermal)

(8) No further ownership of US Assets (businesses, homes, ports, stock exchanges) by foreign governments or individuals!

(9) Replace the Federal Reserve with a People’s Reserve which allows public oversight

I could be wrong but these are all things that I believe American citizens want today. They are also required in order to stop the colonization of the United States by foreign elites: a trend that has been accelerating in recent decades. But do you think any of the corporate donors, funding both parties, would allow any of the current candidates to endorse ANY of these policy planks? Unfortunately, I think the answer is a resounding ?No Way.?

Ron Paul might endorse some of them; however, I am skeptical of his libertarian religiosity. I ran against John Dingle for US Congress in 1996 as a libertarian, so I do know what I am talking about here. Having said that I still think he is the best candidate out there right now. I am promoting the ?New Agenda for America (NAA), because I think the current economic model is soon going to cause this society to crash and burn. I fear that there could be a world depression or possibly a world war in the coming decade. I believe the NAA could stave off the ?buy off? of the United States of America by foreign elites and offer American citizens a softer landing as this current ?business cycle? crashes, like a lead zeppelin, in the next few years. I?m afraid we may be on the cusp of a Second American Revolution and I would prefer that it be a peaceful revolution if at all possible.

But what would be the first thing I would do if I became President of the United States? At my inauguration I would tell the American people that Marijuana Prohibition is over. Until the MERP model is fully implemented by Congress I would set up a department to solely issue pardons for every non-violent Cannabis arrest. Too bad that just isn’t going to happen, isn’t it?

Finally, let me say that I do intend to go a little further than treating my candidacy as a joke. I will be setting up a signup at my website for people that might be interested in voting for me: http://www.newagecitizen And for those that would like to watch excerpts from my television appearances and political speeches you can look through my ?Video Biography? at the following link: Bruce Cain’s “Drug Policy Video Biography” http://www.newagecitizen.com/Videos.htm In a three-way runoff (e.g., Clinton, Giuliani, Cain) it would take about 40 million votes to win.

Just before the election I would send an email out to each person alerting them to how many have signed up to vote for me. Then they can make their own informed decision as to which direction we want to take the once-great republic. We need to keep in mind that the average longevity for a nation-state is about 250 years. I don?t know about you but, as we have just past the 200 year anniversary for this republic, I?m thinking that I?d like to beat those odds by at least a few hundred years.

Bruce Cain’s latest interview/podcast on the MERP model for Marijuana Re-Legalization:

Bruce W. Cain Discusses the MERP Mode with “Sense and Sensimilla” http://senseandsensi.libsyn.com/index.php?post_id=270029

 

BRUCE CAIN ON FACEBOOK

This may be the ultimate indictment of the "moneyed" drug reform movement in this country and I urge you to distribute this article as widely as possible

(The following article is posted from a website that I happened to come across today while looking for information on the “MERRP Model” for RE-Legalization.  I decided to repost it because I think the opinion that is offered needs to be heard and RE-Legalization vs. Legal-Lies or “Legalize” has to be made known.  SK)

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(1) Introduction

This may be the ultimate indictment of the “moneyed” drug reform movement in this country and I urge you to distribute this article as widely as possible.


This is the 8th in a series of essays on the MERP Model for Re-Legalizing Marijuana throughout the planet.  In this essay I am exposing the “smoking gun” evidence that will show that the “Marijuana Policy Project” (MPP) is secretively plotting to put an end to the personal cultivation of Marijuana which has been a perennial goal of all Marijuana activists since the mid-1960’s.  This betrayal, of both Cannabis activists and the MERP Model, requires that MPP is cut off from any further activist funding.  You will find links to all past and future essays, concerning “MERP” at the following link:

(2) Some Brief Background on the Re-Legalization Movement from the 1960’s through 2008

1967 was the year that the first major petition, demanding Marijuana Re-Legalization, was placed in the London Times by Paul McCartney.  Here is a brief description of the petition from Barry Miles “Beatles Diary:”

The “Pot” Ad

The Times ran a full page advertisement on July 24th, 1967, headed, “The law against marijuana is immoral in principle and unworkable in practice” which was signed by, among other, all four Beatles and Brian Epstein. The petition’s arguments included the following: that the smoking of cannabis on private premises should no longer constitute an offence; cannabis should be taken off the dangerous drugs list and controlled, rather than prohibited; possession of cannabis should either be legally permitted or at most be considered a misdemeanor and that all person now imprisoned for possession of cannabis or for allowing cannabis to be smoke on private premises should have their sentences commuted.

It was signed by 65 eminent names including Francis Crick, the co-discoverer of the DNA molecule and a Nobel laureate, novelist Graham Greene, and MPs Brian Walden and Rom Drilberg, as well as future MP Jonathan Aitkin, but the four MBEs caused the most press concern. Questions were asked in the House, and a chain of events set off, which did actually result in the liberalization of the laws against pot in Britain. the advertisement was paid for by the Beatles at Paul McCartney’s instigation.

The Beatles Diary: The Beatles years By Barry Miles

Four years later (1971) another Beatle, John Lennon, came to the assistance of Michigan activist John Sinclair, who had been put in prison for 10 years for getting arrested with a mere 2 Marijuana cigarettes.  Recently John Sinclair became the most important luminary to join the roster of activists supporting the MERP Model for Marijuana Re-Legalization.  And the list of supporters is growing by the day.
So for nearly 42 years we have now been fighting to end the prohibition of Marijuana throughout this planet.  Am I the only one that is angered that we have not yet achieved this goal?   Think about it.  It only took 13 years to realize that Alcohol Prohibition was a mistake, despite it being a far more dangerous drug than Marijuana.  Yet it has now been 71 years, that we have endured Marijuana Prohibition, and despite 52% support nationwide (see Zogby Poll), our representatives continue to ignore us.

Despite numerous feeble attempts it was not until 1996 — 29 years later — that the first Medical Marijuana Initiative, Proposition 215, was passed in California.  George Soros was a major contributor to Prop 215 but, according to activist Ron Kiczenski, he was not able to have much input into the structure of this initiative which had no limits to the number of plants that a patient could grow. Proposition 215 also held the counties responsible for granting citizens access to “Medical Marijuana.”

For the uninitiated here is what you should know about George Soros:

(1) He is the primary funding source for the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) headed by Ethan Nadleman and the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) headed by Rob Kampia.
(2) He has been the primary source of funding for the remaining 12 Medical Marijuana initiatives that have passed through 2008.
(3) He is a ruthless Globalist who supports gun control, open borders and is also a primary funding source to dozens of drug reform organizations throughout the planet.
(4) It is becoming clearer, by the day, that Soros is positioning himself to profit from a highly “taxed and regulated” Marijuana industry that will not destroy the drug cartels or stop the arrest of American Cannabis consumers.

So it is not a big surprise that Soros funded California Senate Bill 420 (SB 420), after Prop 215 passed.  This was Soros’s attempt to limit the number of plants that a patient could grow.  Fortunately the Californian Appeals Court found SB420 unconstitutional because it did attempt to set limits.

Undeterred Soros became the primary funding source for the remaining 12 Medical Marijuana Initiatives which culminated in the passage of the Michigan Initiative in November 2008.  But the clever little Soros made sure that most of the remaining 12 initiatives  were restricted to a 12 Plant limit for the Medical Patient or the Caregiver.

This concludes my brief summary of Soros activities through 2008.  It should also be clear that Soros has shown absolutely no inclination to support initiatives that allow personal cultivation for healthy Cannabis consumers.  In fact Ethan Nadleman would not allow me access to Soros when I attempted to garner more funding for the Michigan Personal Marijuana Initiative (PRA) in July 2001.  We had collected over 270,000 signatures and needed additional funding to bring in professional canvassers to get the remaining 180,000 signatures.  But Nadleman and Soros “just said no” and the initiative never made the ballot.

(3) How Obama, Soros, Rob Kampia and MPP Intend To Betray the Marijuana Re-Legalization Movement in 2009

In a recent email from MPP they talk about the pending AZ Medical Marijuana Initiative:

“What’s unique about the Arizona law is that it would permit qualifying patients or their caregivers to legally purchase marijuana from licensed dispensaries — so they wouldn’t need to obtain it from the criminal market”.

Once you understand what Kampia (MPP) is really hiding you will have every right to get pissed off. You see, under this initiative (should it pass), you will NOT be able to cultivate the common 12 Plant maximum unless you live more than 25 miles from a licensed dispensary.

Here is what Rob Kampia and Soros did not want the Cannabis Activist Community to understand:

“Qualifying patients who live more than 25 miles from the nearest dispensary will be allowed to cultivate up to 12 marijuana plants for personal use.”
In other words, once there are enough dispensaries individual consumers will no longer be able to cultivate their own Marijuana!
So the only thing “unique” about Rob Kampia’s (President of MPP) AZ initiative is that it will basically prohibit personal cultivation as soon as Soros can set up his network of “Medical Marijuana Dispensaries.”. On that count alone I urge everyone in AZ to reject this flawed initiative and stop supporting MPP or DPA.

I have not assembled all of the puzzle pieces here but certainly enough to make the case that Soros, Kampia and Nadleman are not honest brokers of the drug policy reform that most Americans would like to see.  untaxed, unregulated cultivation by all American Citizens over the age of 18.

It is also becoming clear that the media is slowly attempting to “manufacture consent” for a highly regulated “tax and regulate” model for Marijuana Re-Legalization that will force American Citizens to pay exorbitant prices for Marijuana (e.g., $300 to $500 and ounce) in order to feed the tax coffers of local, state and federal government.  Why would we want to allow this when the MERP Model would allow you to grow for free outside or for about $30 and ounce if grown indoors under lamps.

A fellow activist also made the astute observation that Obama is most probably also in on this betrayal.  Just consider the following excerpt from a recent Christian Science Monitor article on this subject:
“Several recent polls show stepped-up public support for legalization. This means not only lifting restrictions on use (“decriminalization”), but also on supply – production and sales. The Obama administration, meanwhile, says the US Drug Enforcement Agency will no longer raid dispensaries of medical marijuana – which is illegal under federal law – in states where it is legal.”
Legalize marijuana? Not so fast.

This is how she put it after we discussed the flawed AZ initiative in some detail:

“This is why MPP wants to put the power and control of med pot distribution and sales into dispensaries. and take it out of the hands of the patients. Do the dispensaries now become the care giver/grower as well?  How many plants are they allowed to grow?  Dispensaries will be popping up like convenience stores if that is the case.  I see a whole new set of laws coming under corporate oversight and it’s screaming MONSANTO/DUPONT GENETIC PATENT ON SEED AND PLANT DISPENSARY CONTROL. What a set up…Obama said he won’t raid “DISPENSARIES” in states where medical marijuana is legal…that is why they are taking the power away from home growers/patients…These dispensaries will fall under federal laws….and more than likely federal control and regulation.  Sneaky, sneaky.”

This is exactly what I have been warning people about for years regarding the major drug reform groups supported by George Soros. Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) and Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) are two of the greatest beneficiaries of Soros funds. But Soros funds dozens of groups throughout the United States and dozens more outside of the United States .

As an activist in drug reform for over 20 years my goal has always been to change the laws so that ALL American adults, not just the sick, would be able to consume and cultivate their own Marijuana.  And under the MERP Model we will be able to do this just like we are currently able to produce our own homemade beer and wine: without any taxation, regulation or government interference. To that end I have come up with the MERP Model and have produced a series of essays and videos to explain how it would be implemented:

It is bad enough that Soros is moving to “cash in” on Medical Marijuana by prohibiting personal cultivation. What is worse is that such initiatives will do nothing to destroy the Drug Cartels, Terrorist Organizations and Gangs that profit from the illicit sale of Marijuana. The only model that would assure this outcome is the MERP Model, because it would essentially take all but the normal profit out of the Marijuana market.
For most goods the “normal profit” is usually about twice the cost of producing the product. So in the case of Marijuana you can grow it for about 20 to 30 dollars per ounce using the latest hydroponic techniques and High Intensity Discharge lamps. So you would expect the “normal profit” to be somewhere between $40 to $60 dollars an ounce. But the MPP Arizona initiative would do nothing to eliminate the “black marketing” of Marijuana where an ounce will still sell from between $300 and $600 an ounce. In such a setting the Medical Dispensaries, Terrorists, Mexican Drug Cartels etc. will continue to thrive at our expense.

(4) Summary

By looking retrospectively at the the activities of Soros it is clear that he is against any form of personal cultivation and more than likely expects to profit handsomely from a highly “taxed and regulated” system of drug reform.  It is also clear that Obama and the Corporate Media are also on board to manufacture consent for such a stupid and short sighted model.

But from the Hippies of the 60’s, to the Activists of the New Millennium, we have always wanted full rights to cultivate Mother Nature’s plant without the encumbrances of taxes, regulations or other excuses for the government to invade our homes and properties.  As far as I’m concerned Soros, Kampia and Nadleman can go “nadle” one another.  We have uncovered their deception and we will no longer support their flawed plans to control both us and our plant.

I think it is time we stop supporting these Soros-supported organizations and unite to achieve the only solution that will destroy the Cartels and serve the common good: the MERP Model. It already enjoys the support of thousands of activists including some of the most important luminaries of the movement: John Sinclair, Ron Kiczenski and Bruce W. Cain (Editor of New Age Citizen).

 

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Denver to become first U.S. city to legalize social marijuana use

A man waves a Colorado flag with a marijuana leaf on it at Denver's annual 4/20 marijuana rally in front of the state capitol building in downtown Denver April 20, 2015. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

A measure that would make Denver the first city in the United States to legalize the use of marijuana in such venues as clubs, bars and restaurants is expected to get enough votes to pass, backers and opponents of the initiative said on Tuesday.

The announcement comes amid a string of victories for proponents of medical and recreational marijuana use, with voters in California and Massachusetts approving ballot initiatives legalizing recreational use of the drug last week.

The Colorado measure will permit private businesses to allow marijuana use by adults in designated areas with certain exceptions. Backers of the initiative said it would make Denver the first city in the country where cannabis enthusiasts can enjoy the drug socially without fear of arrest.

“This is a victory for cannabis consumers who, like alcohol consumers, simply want the option to enjoy cannabis in social settings,” Kayvan Khalatbari, a Denver businessman and lead proponent of the so-called I-300 measure, said in a statement on Tuesday.

While other states have authorized similar plans, Khalatbari said Denver would be the first to actually implement them. He said businesses in the city could start opening their doors to pot users as soon as late January.

Approval for Denver’s initiative was leading in preliminary vote totals from last week’s election. While the city’s elections agency said they would not certify results until next Tuesday, campaigns that supported and opposed the measure both agreed it had passed.

Rachel O’Bryan, the campaign manager for the opposition group Protect Denver’s Atmosphere, said by phone there did not appear to be enough outstanding ballots for the measure to fail.

“Back in 2012, marijuana legalization passed with a strong majority in Denver … and now about four years later, I-300 passed with a much smaller margin. We think many voters voted in favor of marijuana legalization, but didn’t want to see marijuana everywhere,” she said.

She said the bill’s opponents are concerned about public safety as well as issues of second-hand smoke indoors. O’Bryan said she hopes the city council and possibly the state’s Attorney General will closely examine the law to see if it runs afoul of provisions in state law barring public pot use.

Recreational marijuana was first approved in 2012 by the states of Washington and Colorado, and later by voters in Oregon, Alaska and the District of Columbia. California, Massachusetts and Nevada all approved recreational use after voting last Tuesday.

(Reporting by Curtis Skinner in San Francisco, editing by G Crosse)

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Why Donald Trump’s Agenda for the Drug War Is the Dopiest Thing You’ve Ever Seen

A frightening mix of cruel and superficial.

By Phillip Smith / AlterNet

November 2, 2016

One means of judging the competing presidential candidates is to examine their actual policy prescriptions for dealing with serious issues facing the country. When it comes to drug policy, the contrasts between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump couldn’t be more telling.

The country is in the midst of what can fairly be called an opioid crisis, with the CDC reporting 78 Americans dying every day from heroin and prescription opioid overdoses. Both candidates have addressed the problem on the campaign trail, but as is the case in so many other policy areas, one candidate has detailed proposals, while the other offers demagogic sloganeering.

Hillary Clinton has offered a detailed $10 billion plan to deal with what she calls the “quiet epidemic” of opioid addiction. Donald Trump’s plan consists largely of “build the wall.”

That was the centerpiece of his October 15 speech in New Hampshire where he offered his clearest drug policy prescriptions yet (though it was overshadowed by his weird demand that Hillary Clinton undergo a drug test). To be fair, since then, Trump has also called for expanding law enforcement and treatment programs, but he has offered no specifics or cost estimates.

And the centerpiece of his approach remains interdiction, which dovetails nicely with his nativist immigration positions.

“A Trump administration will secure and defend our borders,” he said in that speech. “A wall will not only keep out dangerous cartels and criminals, but it will also keep out the drugs and heroin poisoning our youth.”

Trump did not address the failure of 40 years of ever-increasing border security and interdiction policies to stop the flow of drugs up until now, nor did he explain what would prevent a 50-foot wall from being met with a 51-foot ladder.

Trump’s drug policy also takes aim at a favorite target of conservatives: so-called sanctuary cities, where local officials refuse to cooperate in harsh federal deportation policies.

“We are also going to put an end to sanctuary cities, which refuse to turn over illegal immigrant drug traffickers for deportation,” he said. “We will dismantle the illegal immigrant cartels and violent gangs, and we will send them swiftly out of our country.”

In contrast, Clinton’s detailed proposal calls for increased federal spending for prevention, treatment and recovery, first responders, prescribers, and criminal justice reform. The Clinton plan would send $7.5 billion to the states over 10 years, matching every dollar they spend on such programs with four federal dollars. Another $2.5 billion would be designated for the federal Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant program.

While Trump advocates increased border and law enforcement, including a return to now widely discredited mandatory minimum sentencing for drug offenders, Clinton does not include funding for drug enforcement and interdiction efforts in her proposal. Such funding would presumably come through normal appropriations channels.

Instead of a criminal justice crackdown, Clinton vows that her attorney general will issue guidance to the states urging them to emphasize treatment over incarceration for low-level drug offenders. She also supports alternatives to incarceration such as drug courts (as does Trump). But unlike Trump, Clinton makes no call for increased penalties for drug offenders.

Trump provides lip service to prevention, treatment and recovery, but his rhetorical emphasis illuminates his drug policy priorities: more walls, more law enforcement, more drug war prisoners.

There is one area of drug policy where both candidates are largely in agreement, and that is marijuana policy. Both Clinton and Trump have embraced medical marijuana, both say they are inclined to let the states experiment with legalization, but neither has called for marijuana legalization or the repeal of federal pot prohibition.

If Clinton’s drug policies can be said to be a continuation of Obama’s, Trump’s drug policies are more similar to a return to Nixon’s.

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

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Trump argued that marijuana legalization should be decided on a state-by-state basis, without being more specific.

stock-photo-24602271-marijuana-leaf-with-stipe-in-black-background

 

By Jonathan Berr MoneyWatch November 11, 2016, 5:30 AM

Will Team Trump bust the marijuana business?

Supporters of the marijuana industry should be celebrating this week’s passage of eight state ballot measures to permit its use by adults. That promises to triple the industry’s size in coming years. 

But harshing their buzz are several key allies of President-elect Donald Trump, such as his running mate Mike Pence, who are skeptical about the benefits of marijuana legalization.

Not surprisingly, many in the cannabis industry had expected Democrat Hillary Clinton to cruise to victory and were stunned when it didn’t happen. Now, they’re awaiting signals of how Trump will approach cannabis, even as the industry is set to expand significantly.

“If Hillary Clinton had won, this would have been the grand slam that everyone in the industry had been hoping and praying for for years,” said Chris Walsh, editorial director of Marijuana Business Daily. “With Trump coming in, no one knows what’s going to happen. There are a lot of fears that he might crack down on the industry.”

Recreational marijuana measures pass in four states

Play Video

Recreational marijuana measures pass in four states

During the campaign, Trump argued that marijuana legalization should be decided on a state-by-state basis, without being more specific. But in addition to the vice president-elect, some of Trump’s closest advisers, such as New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, are no “friends of marijuana reform,” according to the Drug Policy Alliance.

Lawmakers in Indiana failed to reach an agreement on a medical marijuana bill during their 2016 session, and according to the Marijuana Policy Project, the state has among the most draconian cannabis laws in the country.

In New Jersey, Christie signed a law allowing medical use of pot last year, but activists have criticized it for being overly restrictive. The governor is adamantly opposed to allowing recreational pot use. Giuliani reportedly has argued that marijuana is a gateway drug that could lead to abuse of more harmful substances like heroin, a view that many experts dispute.

Hope Hicks, a spokeswoman for the Trump campaign, didn’t respond to a request seeking comment.

Voters in California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada agreed to allow recreational use of marijuana, doubling the states where that use is allowed. Arkansas, Florida, Montana and North Dakota joined the more than two dozen that allows medical cannabis use. According to Marijuana Business Daily, sales of legal marijuana in the states that just legalized it may reach as high as $8 billion over the next five years, compared with $4.5 billion for the entire industry in the U.S. currently. 

How Calif. vote for recreational pot could change national debate

Play Video

How Calif. vote for recreational pot could change national debate

“I don’t think we are going to move federal legalization along at the same speed that a Democratic administration would,” said Nick Kovacevich, the CEO of Kush Bottles (KSHB), which provides child-proof packaging to the cannabis industry. “But that’s OK in my opinion because we got the states on board.”

It would be difficult for the Trump administration to get rid of legal marijuana given the windfall the states have earned in tax revenue, according to Kovacevich.

The industry also faces some unique challenges. Since marijuana is technically illegal under federal law, businesses that produce it can’t take common corporate tax dedications, such as the cost of equipment and advertising. As a result, they have heavy tax burdens that hurt profitability.

Indeed, two of the industry’s biggest operators, Colorado-based LivWell Enlightened Health and California’s Harborside Health Center, are facing tax issues. LivWell is being audited by the IRS, and Harborside is challenging an IRS audit in tax court. Some tax experts think the IRS is targeting the industry. An agency spokesperson declined to comment.

But as the marijuana industry grows, so do questions about its potential harm. A recent report by  CBSN, a sister network to CBSNews.com, noted that some supporters of legalization are concerned that the industry may grow too dependent on heavy users and kids. Marijuana advocates argue that it causes far fewer health problems than tobacco and alcohol.

Mark Kleiman, a professor of public policy at New York University who advocates less strict marijuana laws, told CBSN: “We’re lurching from prohibition to the most wide-open kind of legalization. Probably a bad idea.”

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