Tag Archives: kentucky

WELCOME! To the USMjParty Forum’s~!

old forum page

It was 2010 the last time that the USMjParty.Com had Forum’s on it’s website.  They attracted a lot of attention and there were many   people signed onto them.  Then Facebook and other social networking gradually took over and we let the forum’s go. 

With the onslaught of social network censorship we felt that the time was right to bring this avenue of communication between our followers/members back into operation!

We are a group of people who believe in human rights for   everyone which includes the right to make our own choices in life and as such we are anti-prohibitionists.

Screenshot Image

We are a small political party started in 2002 by Loretta Nall solely for the purpose of ending Cannabis prohibition.  While it remains true that the war on drugs has done more damage than the drugs themselves could do, it is also true that a political party cannot stand on just one solitary issue – There are too many issues that must be addressed in Our Country, and “it’s not just about Marijuana anymore”.

It is our hope that the Forums will allow those that are truly interested in furthering the outreach of the USMjParty will join us in     debating issues and give thoughtful ideas as to how we can further a humanitarian agenda for all.

The primary issue shall remain:

“No one should ever go to prison because of ANY PLANT”…

This includes, but not limited to, Cannabis, Hemp,  Salvia, Papaver somniferum, and  Psilocybin’s  and Kratom.

We have a basic Platform outlined at this LINK.  It is always open for discussion on the Forum at this LINK. 

We are looking forward to seeing our members grow and share their ideas and hope for the future. 

It is time to take a stand, time to lead the way, time for all people to live freely but responsibly,  and not be held hostage by an out of control and corrupt system of government.  Our Country was not intended to be an Oligarchy or a Corpocracy.  It remains a Democracy!  We have a Constitution and a Bill of Rights! 

DIRECT LINK TO USMJPARTY FORUM’S HERE

The link is also located in the menu of the usmjparty.com website.

One Nation, under God, with Liberty and Justice for All

HERE IS A LINK TO OUR NEW APP ON PLAYSTORE!

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In Memory of Cher Ford-McCullough

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

Shawna Fibikar is with Cher Ford-mccullough.

Yesterday at 9:38am ·

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

FORD-MCCULLOUGH, Cheryl Jeanne (Morarie) –

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SOURCE LINK

RELATED:

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

“sick of hearing about your rights…you have no rights here.”

Border Agents Seized American Citizen’s Truck, Never Charged Him With A Crime

Nick Sibilla , Contributor

When Gerardo Serrano took photos of a border crossing on September 21, 2015, he had no idea he would soon be handcuffed, thrown into a detention cell and see his truck seized by government agents that very same day. During his ordeal, when Gerardo protested how his rights were being violated, one agent bluntly responded that he was “sick of hearing about your rights…you have no rights here.”

Two years later, Gerardo still has not recovered his truck or even had his day in court to challenge the seizure. Nor has he been charged with any crime.

But this scene, straight from an authoritarian nightmare, didn’t play out in Syria or Venezuela. Gerardo’s Ford F-250 was seized by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents in Eagle Pass, Texas.

“When the agents told me they were seizing my truck, I said ‘No, you’re not seizing my truck, you’re stealing my truck!’” Gerardo recalled. “I didn’t think that this could happen in America. It felt like they were thugs with badges.”

Institute for Justice.

Gerardo Serrano

Thanks to the nation’s civil forfeiture laws, law enforcement agencies can seize—and keep—property, even if the owner is never convicted or indicted. Determined to vindicate his rights, Gerardo joined with the Institute for Justice and filed a class-action lawsuit against the CBP on behalf of other car owners.

What happened to Gerardo is not an isolated incident. At just four border crossings in Texas, CBP agents seized 525 vehicles from American citizens and lawful residents in 2015. A victory in Gerardo’s case would mean restoring due-process rights for hundreds, if not thousands, of other car owners nationwide.

“Of course I want my truck back, but that’s not why I’m filing this lawsuit,” Gerardo said. “I’m doing this for my children and the thousands of other Americans who should never have to go through what I’ve gone through.”

Almost two years ago, Gerardo was driving down to meet his cousin, who lives right across the border in Piedra Nagras, Mexico. Although members of his family are Mexican, Gerardo is an American citizen, who now owns a farm in the Kentucky countryside. Ever the consummate entrepreneur, Gerardo also wanted to discuss plans to bring his cousin’s solar panel business stateside.

When he reached the border crossing in Eagle Pass, Texas, Gerardo decided to snap some pictures with his iPhone to post on Facebook. Two CBP agents quickly stopped his truck and forced him out, before handcuffing Gerardo and demanding that he unlock his phone.

Meanwhile, other agents searched his car. Inside, they found five 0.380 caliber bullets and a SIG Sauer magazine of the same caliber. Based solely on those bullets and magazine, the CBP seized the vehicle. The agency would later claim that the truck was transporting “munitions of war” and had to be forfeited.

But Gerardo is a lawful gun owner, not a weapons smuggler. Gerardo has a concealed-carry permit from Kentucky, which has reciprocity for Texas and the other states he drove through on his trip.

Follow the Institute for Justice on Facebook and Twitter.

CONTINUE READING…

(KY) GOV. MATT BEVIN AND AG ANDY BESHEAR GET SUED OVER MEDICAL MARIJUANA!

BECAUSE THIS STORY IS SO IMPORTANT IN KENTUCKY I HAVE INCLUDED TWO SOURCES OF INFORMATION.

PLEASE FOLLOW THE LINK TO THE VIDEO BELOW TO HEAR THE PRESS CONFERENCE WHICH WAS AIRED ON WLKY.

THE LAWSUIT WAS FILED TODAY, JUNE 14TH, 2017, IN JEFFERSON COUNTY KENTUCKY AGAINST GOV. MATT BEVIN AND AG ANDY BESHEAR BY DANNY BELCHER OF BATH COUNTY, AMY STALKER OF JEFFERSON COUNTY, AND DAN SEUM JR OF JEFFERSON COUNTY.

ky mj lawsuit

ABOVE:  LINK TO PRESS CONFERENCE VIDEO ON WLKY

FACEBOOK – WLKY PRESS CONFERENCE WITH COMMENTS

Mark Vanderhoff Reporter

FRANKFORT, Ky. —

Three people are suing Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin and Attorney General Andy Beshear over Kentucky’s marijuana laws, claiming their rights are being violated by not being able to use or possess medicinal marijuana.

The lawsuit, filed Wednesday morning in Jefferson Circuit Court, was filed on behalf of Danny Belcher of Bath County, Amy Stalker of Louisville and Dan Seum Jr., son of state Sen. Dan Seum, R-Fairdale.

Seum turned to marijuana after being prescribed opioid painkillers to manage back pain.

“I don’t want to go through what I went through coming off that Oxycontin and I can’t function on it,” he said. “If I consume cannabis, I can at least function and have a little quality of life.”

The plaintiffs spoke at a press conference Wednesday afternoon.

Seum does not believe the state can legally justify outlawing medical marijuana while at the same time allowing doctors to prescribe powerful and highly addictive opioids, which have created a statewide and national epidemic of abuse.

That legal justification lies at the heart of the plaintiffs’ legal challenge, which claims Kentucky is violating its own constitution.

The lawsuit claims the prohibition violates section two of the Kentucky Constitution, which denies “arbitrary power,” and claims the courts have interpreted that to mean a law can’t be unreasonable.

“It’s difficult to make a comparison between medical cannabis and opioids that are routine prescribed to people all over the commonwealth, all over the country, and say that there’s some sort of rational basis for the prohibition on cannabis as medicine when we know how well it works,” said Dan Canon, who along with attorney Candace Curtis is representing the plaintiffs.

The lawsuit also claims Kentucky’s law violates the plaintiffs’ right to privacy, also guaranteed under the state constitution.

Spokespeople for Gov. Bevin and Beshear say their offices are in the process of reviewing the lawsuit.

In a February interview on NewsRadio 840 WHAS, Bevin said the following in response to a question about whether he supports medical marijuana:

“The devil’s in the details. I am not opposed to the idea medical marijuana, if prescribed like other drugs, if administered in the same way we would other pharmaceutical drugs. I think it would be appropriate in many respects. It has absolute medicinal value. Again, it’s a function of its making its way to me. I don’t do that executively. It would have to be a bill.”  CONTINUE READING…

Lawsuit challenges Kentucky’s medical marijuana ban

By Bruce Schreiner | AP June 14 at 6:38 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Kentucky’s criminal ban against medical marijuana was challenged Wednesday in a lawsuit touting cannabis as a viable alternative to ease addiction woes from opioid painkillers.

The plaintiffs have used medical marijuana to ease health problems, the suit said. The three plaintiffs include Dan Seum Jr., the son of a longtime Republican state senator.

Another plaintiff, Amy Stalker, was prescribed medical marijuana while living in Colorado and Washington state to help treat symptoms from irritable bowel syndrome and bipolar disorder. She has struggled to maintain her health since moving back to Kentucky to be with her ailing mother.

“She comes back to her home state and she’s treated as a criminal for this same conduct,” said plaintiffs’ attorney Daniel Canon. “That’s absurd, it’s irrational and it’s unconstitutional.”

Stalker, meeting with reporters, said: “I just want to be able to talk to my doctors the same way I’m able to talk to doctors in other states, and have my medical needs heard.” CONTINUE READING…

IN HONOR OF #NATIONALBOURBONDAY

I found this article while “googling” today and thought it was appropriate!

Image result for KENTUCKY BOURBON cannabis infused

Marijuana-flavored bourbon, anybody?

Fred MinnickMarch 10, 2016

Who wants weed with your bourbon, rum or brandy? Soon, your pot-laden dreams may come true.

Like many people of my generation, I grew up thinking if I smoked weed that my brain would fry like eggs sizzling in bacon grease. Remember that commercial?

The 1987 Public Service Announcement shows a skillet sizzling, an egg cracks and is dropped into the pan. “This is your brain on drugs.” The egg fries, encouraging much of America’s youth to stay away from pot.

Today, we’re living in a different time, where you can openly smoke weed in many cities while you urinate on a street corner. My friend and fellow whiskey author Warren Bobrow is set to release his latest book, Cannabis Cocktails, and Fortuna, California-based Humboldt Distillery just announced its Cannibis CocktailsCannabis sativa-infused (hemp) vodka for $29.99.

This hemp-flavored vodka is a step in what will eventually become marijuana-flavored vodka (if weed is federally legalized).

Is this country ready for weed-infused liquors? The alcohol industry (and likely Taco Bell) is seriously assessing its potential marijuana marriage.

At the main session Bourbon Classic, which I moderated, I asked the distiller panelists if they could foresee a marijuana-infused bourbon or marijuana-flavored whiskey. After we got the laughs out of the way, one of the panelists said the higher ups are likely asking these questions right now.

We at least know they’re tracking it.

Earlier this year, the Distilled Industry Spirits Council’s David Ozgo said spirits sales were up in regions where pot was legal, indicating the marijuana smokers like to drink a cocktail or two.

In Washington, where pot is legal, the state government combined its liquor and marijuana regulators for the Liquor and Cannabis Board. Should the government combine the two industries under one regulatory umbrella? This is a question that should be taken very seriously. In Canada, liquor stores are seeking the right to sell marijuana. Much of the U.S. is still dry and many people don’t drink or smoke pot; and I do not think our country is prepared to see packaged marijuana next to Jack Daniel’s. Of course, lawmakers see the potential tax benefits, and they’ll likely invent new taxes upwards of 30% per purchase when you buy alcohol and marijuana at the same time.

The big money will lure lawmakers to federalize marijuana. It will happen, and we’ll see the alcohol industry bring cannabis into their profit fold.

We’ll not only have marijuana-flavored vodka, but you’ll have your choice of bourbon barrel-aged Alabama kush or beach dried Golden Jamaican Marijuana. Want a bourbon old fashioned made with the cannabis simple syrup? It’s the world we live in, where my fried egg youth is slowly being flipped.

Fred Minnick wrote Bourbon Curious.

CONTINUE READING…

Executive Committee of the Kentucky Commission on Military Affairs will meet next week in Frankfort.

MEDIA ADVISORY

Contact: Colleen Pomper
502-564-2611
cpomper@ky.gov

Meeting Notice

Kentucky Commission on Military Affairs – Executive Committee

FRANKFORT, Ky. (April 14, 2017) – The Executive Committee of the Kentucky Commission on Military Affairs will meet next week in Frankfort.

Who:

Kentucky Commission on Military Affairs

What:

Executive Committee Meeting

When:

Tuesday, April 18, 2017
10:00 a.m. (EDT)

Where:

Boone National Guard Center
EOC Conference Room
100 Minuteman Parkway
Frankfort, Kentucky 40601

###


Governor of Kentucky

Questions? Contact us

I can only believe you are obviously ill informed in several areas and by now you are figuring out that the rabbit hole or snake pit is much deeper and darker than even you had believed…

 
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Mary Thomas-Spears

2 hrs ·

Dear #PresidentTrump

I can only believe you are obviously ill informed in several areas and by now you are figuring out that the rabbit hole or snake pit is much deeper and darker than even you had believed… When it comes to the pure evil that seems to have a hold on nearly everyone and everything.

As it appears to be swallowing you too! At this point!

Which bothers me because I thought you had more heart and wisdom than your displaying and maybe it is some of your actions…

Or the Lack of Action or thought before action in some areas, or looking at all the perspectives in others… If not the same areas… When it comes to your keeping promises.

For those of us who had some faith that you would… Because of some previous good experience we had with you…

I believe you are missing or overlooking some important issues and/or perspectives in your so-called solutions that you might should take the time to reconsider or consider.

Like you can’t get rid of Cartels in Government by replacing it with a new one that’s hand picked!!!!

So disappointed that I thought you meant to do your best to keep that promise…

I knew you might be ignorant in some ares, yet, I believed you would take some time to educate yourself on all the perspectives too!

Seems I was wrong and like I have had to admit that fact one too many times.

Like when I had to admit that Legalize was in fact Legal Lies!

Seems that be what you be telling!!!

 

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FMaryL.Thomas.Spears%2Fposts%2F1735883230057900&width=500&show_text=true&appId=99219627966&height=246

 

If you know how to Repeal Obama Care (which I supported as it is currently unconstitutional as it is mandated) and you really want to fix some things in big pharma and “return power to the people” than Please protect and return our earth, air, water, gardens, stop breaking Native Treaties and Repeal Marijuana Prohibition instead of telling even more Legal Lies!!! As it = Marijuana aka Cannabis Sativa L aka Hemp is a food first!!!!!!!!!!!!! Prohibition leads to Malnutrition which leads to Disease, War and Genocide!!!

Just because we were established as a Penal = Prison Colony of the Crown = Great Britain.

As it was incorporated through D.C. the “District of” and/or the “Contract of Incorporation or Corporate Merger” aka “The U.S. Constitution”

Doesn’t mean our children have to go out like that or that they should be consumed by those who conned, framed and laid in wait for them to do so.

And then there is KARMA and/or physics like perpetual motion you know ?

Please See www.constitutionalcannabis.com Thank You!!!!!!!

CONTINUE…

Marijuana Missionaries: First Cannabis Church Rolls Into Michigan

There’s no religious dogma in this church, but these marijuana missionaries are intent in on bringing ostracized stoners back into the fold.

By Beth Dalbey (Patch Staff) – September 19, 2016 10:05 pm ET

Marijuana Missionaries: First Cannabis Church Rolls Into Michigan

Congregants in this church aren’t high on Jesus. In fact, the very name of the church sounds like lyrics from a rock and (ahem) roll song or the backdrop for a classic Cheech and Chong movie.

It’s true that First Cannabis Church of Logic and Reason’s sacrament might be a doobie or marijuana-infused brownie instead of the body and blood of Christ, and its dogma is steeped in giving thanks to the cannabis plant for its healing nature and the sense of well-being it gives users instead of Jesus’ sacrifices for sinners.

The church, made up of a congregation of mostly atheists and agnostics, made its debut in Lansing, Michigan, earlier this summer.

So, how can it be a church if its members eschew a higher power — beyond, that is, the feeling of euphoria they get from smoking pot or the satisfaction of using a sustainable crop for fuel and fiber?

“Well, the reality is it sounded better than a cannabis cult,” organizer Jeremy Hall told the Lansing State Journal after the congregation’s inaugural service last June that included time for fellowship and a potluck with “both medicated and non-medicated food.”

First Cannabis Church in Indiana

The First Church of Cannabis traces its roots to Indiana as a political statement in response to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, backed by Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, now Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s running mate.

Self-anointed Grand Poobah Bill Levin has made all sorts of glib proclamations, including the Deity Dozen, which is sort of like the Ten Commandments— for example, “Do not be a ‘troll’ on the internet, respect others without name calling and being vulgarly aggressive,” and “Treat your body as a temple. Do not poison it with poor quality foods and sodas.” Also, don’t be a jerk, or words to that effect.

There are also marijuana-based churches in Florida, Alabama, Oregon and Arizona. Many of them embrace organized religion to one extent or another, but Hall is more resolute in his iteration.

At the First Cannabis Church of Logic and Reason in Michigan, it’s all cannabis, all the time — whether in its leafy tobacco form, as fiber for clothing, as a biofuel or for shelter, paper and plastics.

It’s a miracle,” Hall told The Detroit News. “It can save humanity. Cannabis is something to be put on a pedestal, to be revered.”

What’s God Got To Do With It?

An ordained minister with the online Universal Life Church and a marijuana caregiver who originally hails from Ypsilanti, Hall moved back to Michigan from Tennessee in part because legal medical marijuana is available for treatment of his wife’s lupus.

He hopes congregants at the Lansing church can change attitudes about pot smokers with service projects around the city, like a recent cleanup at a Lansing park.

From his early youth indoctrinated in the Young Earth Creationist congregation — a fundamentalist church that rejected evolution and forbade the use of radios because it supposedly played the devil’s music — to his new role as the founder of the First Cannabis Church of Logic and Reason, Hall has experienced both ends of the religious spectrum.

Though he rejected many of the tenets of his early teachings and other religions, he told The Detroit News he liked the fellowship aspect of church in general and the way a house of worship can gather in people who live on the margins. So he formed a church, taking God out of the equation.

Still, Hall’s church embodies the WWJD — “What would Jesus do?” — spirit more than you might think, even though it is not rooted in Christianity.

On a flyer seeking participants in a recent park cleanup, Hall acknowledged that pot smokers “have been demonized in the eyes of the public as miscreants and law breakers, ignorant and unmotivated.”

So, just as Jesus reached out to the disenfranchised, the church is a chance for Hall and his wife to reach out to people who have been “using cannabis and feeling ostracized” by their regular places of worship, Michigan Radio reported.

“We’re using our church to elevate the community and to show we aren’t a drain on society or a bunch of unmotivated criminals,” Hall told the Lansing State Journal.

Pot City, Michigan?

Not surprisingly, the church, located in the shadow of four medical marijuana dispensaries, has some detractors.

The Rejuvenating South Lansing citizens’ group, which wants more restrictions on dispensaries, worries the church further mainstreams marijuana use and will draw more users to the city.

“This is just another way they can do whatever they want,” Elaine Womboldt, the group’s founder, told The Detroit News. “We don’t want to be known as the pot city of Michigan.”

Also, at the first service earlier this summer, a lonely protester, Quaker traditionalist Rhonda Fuller, of Lansing, held a sign that warned the only people who benefit from marijuana are profiting financially from it: “It’s about money, not you. It’s misery for everyone else.”

Fuller told The Detroit News it’s unconscionable to call the First Church of Cannabis a church.

“Anyone can call anything a church,” she said. “It has nothing to do with Christianity — but neither does most churches.”

CONTINUE READING…

“Your ad wasn’t approved because the body/title text used in the ad promotes the use or sale of illegal drugs,”

Why Did Facebook Block Our Reporting On Hemp?

By Jeff Young 18 hours ago

 

 

Hey, Mark Zuckerberg, can we talk about hemp? No, really, I’m asking: can we? Because a recent experience with Facebook left the impression that reporting on the plant used in products from soap to rope is taboo. Verboten. The leaf that dare not speak its name.

This bit of anti-social media behavior came after ReSource reporter Nicole Erwin profiled Kentucky farmers participating in a state-run research program on hemp, once a commodity in Kentucky. Growers hope to revive the crop but face frustrating limitations because hemp is still lumped in — unfairly, proponents argue — with drugs such as marijuana.

A bill pending in Congress would ease these restrictions but for now the farmers are stuck in legal limbo, unable to adequately grow or process hemp in the U.S. while a multimillion dollar market goes to imports.

When ReSource partner station WKMS in Murray, Kentucky, sought to promote Erwin’s story on Facebook we discovered yet another obstacle: Even talking about the issue can trigger a ban. WKMS News Director Matt Markgraf tried to “boost” a Facebook post on the story and learned that his ad was not allowed.

“Your ad wasn’t approved because the body/title text used in the ad promotes the use or sale of illegal drugs,” read a message from Facebook.

Puzzled, Markgraf wrote a patient appeal, explaining that the ad did not promote anything other than a piece of journalism “about the misconception of illegality regarding hemp v. marijuana.”  

But Facebook was having none of it.

“Such ads violate local laws,” came the reply. “We have zero tolerance towards such ads…This decision is final.”

Markgraf noted the irony at work here: A story questioning hemp’s uncertain legal status was blocked because of…hemp’s uncertain legal status. He also found instant empathy with the hemp grower’s dilemma.

“This clearly underscores the challenges that the emerging industry faces in overcoming the plant’s stigma,” Markgraf said.

It’s hard to see how Erwin’s story could be construed as a sales pitch for a drug. Hemp products include cooking oils, cosmetics, and clothing but lack any significant amount of the intoxicating substance found in marijuana. Proponents say a smoker would need a hemp joint the size of a telephone pole to catch a buzz.

We wondered if anyone at Facebook even reads the appeals. Was Markgraf actually communicating with a person or just arguing with an algorithm?

“If they had actually read the first couple of sentences in the story, I think they would have reconsidered the decision,” Markgraf said.

The company did not respond to requests for comment (beyond the comments included in response to Markgraf’s appeal).

In the past few months Facebook has come under fire for alleged political bias, prompting a meeting with conservative lawmakers this spring. And the platform has become such an important means of connecting with an audience that any barrier to sharing stories can cause heartburn for news outlets. A 2015 Pew Research Center study found that about 60 percent of Facebook users get their news there. A recent company announcement of changes in the algorithm that determines what content users see was enough to send shudders through the publishing industry.  

That’s why our little experience with the hemp story seems like the seed of something that could grow problematic. If Facebook is blithely blocking attempts to distribute news stories on topics it deems off-limits, this could have implications far beyond the farm.

CONTINUE READING…