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Schumer to introduce bill to decriminalize marijuana

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By Sophie Tatum and Veronica Stracqualursi, CNN

Washington (CNN)   Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer plans to propose legislation decriminalizing marijuana on a federal level.

While Schumer, who was elected to the Senate two decades ago, has been supportive of medicinal marijuana, he has now “evolved” his thinking on recreational marijuana.

“The time has come to decriminalize marijuana,” the New York Democrat said in a statement Friday announcing his plans to introduce a new bill in the Senate.

“My thinking — as well as the general population’s views — on the issue has evolved, and so I believe there’s no better time than the present to get this done. It’s simply the right thing to do,” he said.

    Schumer announced the proposed legislation Thursday in an interview with “Vice News Tonight.”

    The senator told Vice News he had “seen too many people’s lives ruined because they had small amounts of marijuana and served time in jail much too long.”

    Trump promises GOP lawmaker to protect states’ marijuana rights

    Schumer further explained his decision in a Medium post Friday.

    “A staggering number of American citizens, a disproportionate number of whom are African American and Latino, continue to be arrested every day for something that most Americans agree should not be a crime,” Schumer wrote. “Meanwhile, those who are entering into the marijuana market in states that have legalized are set to make a fortune. This is not only misguided, but it undermines the basic principles of fairness and equal opportunity that are foundational to the American way of life.”

    According to Schumer’s office, under the new bill, marijuana would be removed from the list of substances classified under the Controlled Substances Act.

    Schumer’s legislation would leave in place decisions by states on how to regulate marijuana, the authority of federal law enforcement to penalize trafficking from states that have legalized the drug to those that have not, and federal regulation of marijuana advertising so children aren’t targeted.

    The bill also seeks to allocate funds for women and minority-owned marijuana businesses and public health research regarding the effects of THC, the main active chemical in marijuana.

    CNN’s Manu Raju contributed to this report.

    CONTINUE READING AND TO VIEW VIDEO…

    Marijuana to Stay A Schedule I Drug, Federal Judge Denies Reclassification

    Image result for alexis bortell

    By Anushree Madappa On 02/27/18

    On Monday, a federal judge of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York dismissed a request to reclassify marijuana — currently a Schedule I drug, leaving the plaintiffs in a limbo after many states have legalized marijuana for medical and recreational purposes.

    The plaintiffs — Marvin Washington, Dean Bartell, Alexis Bartell, Jose Belen, Sebastien Cotte, Jagger Cotte, along with the Cannabis Cultural Association Inc. — filed the petition challenging classification of marijuana as a Schedule I drug, hoping that it’s reclassification would pay way for legalization of cannabis across the nation. They sued Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the Department of Justice and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in the federal court.

    They petitioners claimed that the “current scheduling of marijuana violates due process because it lacks a rational basis.”

    For decades, Marijuana has been under the Schedule I category of the Controlled Substances Act, the highest level of drug classification making it on par with dangerous drugs like heroin. The government has repeatedly rejected appeals for reclassification. The substances in this schedule have “a high potential for abuse,” (2) “no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States,” and (3) there is “a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug or other substance under medical supervision.”

    Deeming marijuana as a highly dangerous drug, the U.S. Congress proffered the power to reclassify the drug with the attorney general. The power to reclassify was also granted to the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), provided the attorney general signs off on the petition to reclassify the drug based on medical and scientific data provided by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The data should be consistent with the argument for reclassification.

    While dismissing the petition, which argued that there was no “rational basis” for the Congress to classify Marijuana under Schedule I, Judge Alkin K Hellerstein said, “By framing their claim in terms of the statutory factors outlined in Section 8 l 2(b) (1), plaintiffs’ lawsuit is best understood as a collateral attack on the various administrative determinations not to reclassify marijuana into a different drug schedule.”

    “As such, plaintiffs’ claim is barred because plaintiffs failed to exhaust their administrative remedies,” he added.

    The “exhaustion rule” generally implies the plaintiffs to go through all parties and exhaust all “administrative remedies” before moving to the federal courts, which the judge found was not followed in the case.

    By approaching the federal court, the petitioners chose to avoid the same fate dealt to previous complaints that challenged the administration agency and lost in 2016, the judge said.

    In 2016, a request to reclassify marijuana was denied by the DEA. In a letter to the petitioners, the agency said, “HHS concluded that marijuana has a high potential for abuse, has no accepted medical use in the United States, and lacks an acceptable level of safety for use even under medical supervision.”

    The federal court judge said he agrees with the previous verdict given by Judge Wolford of the Western District of New York in the United States v. Green case where he said the petition did not challenge the DEA’s decision “to conclude that there is no currently accepted medical use for marijuana” but the constitutional issue is “whether there is any conceivable basis to support the placement of marijuana on the most stringent schedule under the [Controlled Substance Act] CSA.”

    In a document stating the verdict, Hellerstein said, “Plaintiffs have failed to state a claim under any constitutional theory, all of plaintiffs’ remaining claims are also dismissed.”

    The judge concluded that the “defendants’ motion to dismiss the complaint is granted. Plaintiffs have already amended their complaint once, and I find that further amendments would be futile.”

    CONTINUE READING…

    RELATED:

    Alexis Bortell, 12, Won’t Let Court Loss Stop Jeff Sessions Medical Pot Fight  (1-27-18)

    Last year, then-eleven-year-old Colorado resident and medical marijuana patient Alexis Bortell joined other plaintiffs in a lawsuit against pot-hating Attorney General Jeff Sessions over federal scheduling of cannabis. Yesterday, February 26, a judge with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York dismissed the suit, but Bortell, now twelve, wasn’t distressed. Shortly after the news went public, a post appeared on her Facebook page reading, “We were ready. Smile. We know #SCOTUS [Supreme Court of the United States] is where we are probably going.”   LINK

    The note ended with the hashtags #IStandWithAlexis and #AlexisBortell.

    http://floridamarijuana.net/breaking-news-jeff-sessions-dea-stand-trial-federal-lawsuit-de-schedule-cannabis/

    U.S. judge weighs challenge to federal marijuana prohibition

    Brendan Pierson

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

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

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

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

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

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

    “The agency process is exhaustive,” he said.

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

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

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

    Hellerstein expressed sympathy for the plaintiffs during the hearing.

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

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

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

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

    CONTINUE READING…

    Trump Administration Battles Sick Kids on Access to Legal Pot

    By Erik Larson February 14, 2018, 3:56 PM CST

    In a New York courtroom packed with cannabis supporters, the Trump administration urged a federal judge to throw out a lawsuit that aims to pave the way for legal marijuana across the country.

    The case was brought on behalf of two sick children, a former National Football League player who says athletes deserve a better way to treat head trauma than addictive opioids and the Cannabis Cultural Association. The suit, filed in July 2017, seeks a ruling that marijuana was unconstitutionally labeled alongside heroin and LSD as a so-called Schedule I drug — the harshest of five government ratings — when Congress passed the Controlled Substance Act in 1970.

    In court on Wednesday, Justice Department attorney Samuel Hilliard Dolinger said the plaintiffs didn’t follow legal requirements before suing, beginning with a petition to the Drug Enforcement Agency.

    “The right thing is to defer to the agency,” said U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein, an 84-year-old who was nominated by former President Bill Clinton, who famously admitted to experimenting with pot while claiming he “didn’t inhale.”

    Cannabis legalization has gained momentum in states, even with an unfriendly face in the U.S. Attorney General’s office. Nine states and Washington, D.C., allow adults to use the plant as they wish. More than one in five people can legally eat, drink, smoke or vape, according to state regulations. Twenty additional states have legalized pot for medicinal use.

    Trump Interrupts Marijuana’s Path From Taboo to Legit: QuickTake

    Hellerstein said he would issue a ruling later, and it was far from clear which way he was leaning. The judge, who had the courtroom erupting in laughter on more than a few occasions during the hearing, was skeptical of the government’s claim that there’s no medical benefit to marijuana.

    “Your clients are living proof of the medical effectiveness of marijuana,” Hellerstein said to the plaintiffs’ lawyer, Michael Hiller.

    The legal cannabis industry is predicted to reach $50 billion in sales by 2026, up from $6 billion in 2016, according to investment bank Cowen & Co. Still, the industry is rife with risk. Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded in January the Obama-era policies that ushered in legalization in many states.

    The lawsuit has some star power with plaintiff Marvin Washington, who played for the New York Jets. He joined the case because the Controlled Substance Act made him ineligible for grants under the Federal Minority Business Enterprise program, which he planned to use for his medicinal cannabis business.

    The suit also highlighted the human toll of the federal government’s war on marijuana with young plaintiffs whose lives have been saved or improved by cannabis, including 11-year-old Alexis Bortell of Colorado and seven-year old Jagger Cotte of Georgia.

    Bortell’s epileptic seizures were brought under control by cannabis after her family moved from Texas to Colorado so she could legally use it in that state, according to the suit. Cotte, who suffers from Leigh’s Disease, was able to treat excruciating pain with medicinal marijuana and prolong his life by two years beyond his maximum prognosis, according to the suit.

    The complaint notes that American presidents from George Washington and Thomas Jefferson to John F. Kennedy and Barack Obama have smoked pot. It also claims the Nixon administration was motivated by ulterior motives when it pushed for the Controlled Substance Act.

    Cannabis was criminalized “not to control the spread of a dangerous drug, but rather to suppress the rights and interests of those whom the Nixon Administration wrongly regarded as hostile to the interests of the U.S. — African Americans and protesters of the Vietnam War,” the suit says.

    At the hearing, Hellerstein said that argument wasn’t going to work with him.

    The decision “will not depend on what may have been in the mind of Richard Nixon at the time,” Hellerstein said.

    — With assistance by Jennifer Kaplan

    CONTINUE READING…

    Court hears challenge to federal marijuana laws

    Trial begins for advocates suing Sessions and the DEA over …

    ALEXIS BORTELL V. JEFF SESSIONS; FEBRUARY 14, 2018 AT 11:00AM.

    Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, outdoor
    Why risk everything in court instead of moving to Vancouver without a fight? This. This is medical cannabis. This is us. I am one of millions of faces not ‘the one face’. In two days they have to listen to ALL of us. I will go to the Supreme Court if I have to. #IStandWithAlexis . #AlexisBortell
    Alexis Bortell

    56 mins ·

    Hearing is now moved up to 11 a.m. tomorrow. Please let everyone know. Thanks!

    #IStandWithAlexis

    Alexis Bortell

    July 25, 2017 ·

    JEFF SESSIONS SUED IN LANDMARK LAWSUIT CHALLENGING THE CONSTITUTIONALITY OF THE CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES ACT

    “Beleaguered” Attorney General Jeff Sessions was named a defendant today in a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Controlled Substances Act as it pertains to Cannabis/Marijuana. In a 90-page Complaint, attorneys representing five plaintiffs maintain that the CSA, in classifying Cannabis as a “Schedule I drug,” is so irrational that it violates the U.S. Constitution.

    In their Complaint, plaintiffs demonstrate that the Federal Government does not, and could not possibly, believe that Cannabis meets the definition of a Schedule I drug, which is reserved for the most dangerous of substances, such as heroin, LSD and mescaline. By way of comparison, cocaine and crystal meth are considered Schedule II drugs and are thus considered less addictive and less dangerous.

    To be classified under Schedule I, a drug: (i) must have a high potential for abuse; (ii) must have absolutely no medical use in treatment; and (iii) cannot be used or tested safely, even under strict medical supervision. The plaintiffs point out that the Federal Government knows that Cannabis does not meet these requirements, especially given that, among other things, the Federal Government: (a) obtained its own medical patent based upon the Federal Government’s assertion that medical Cannabis is a safe and effective treatment for Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, and HIV-induced dementia (among other conditions); (b) established a national policy to refrain from investigating and/or prosecuting medical Cannabis businesses and users in the 29 States and three other areas under American jurisdiction (including Washington, DC) that have legalized Cannabis for medical and/or recreational use; (c) provided instructions, through issuance of the FinCen Guidance, on how financial institutions can bank Cannabis business; and (d) admitted that Cannabis does constitute medicine, including through statements by the U.S. Surgeon General and a Federal Administrative Law Judge.

    “The record makes clear that the CSA doesn’t make any rational sense, and the Federal Government knows it,” says Michael Hiller, lead counsel in the case. Hiller went on to explain that, “if the Federal Government doesn’t believe in the rationality of its own statute, it’s unconstitutional to enforce it.”

    Among the other claims in the lawsuit are that the CSA: (i) was enacted and implemented in order to discriminate against African Americans and to suppress people’s First Amendment rights; and (ii) violates plaintiffs’ constitutional Right to Travel.

    The plaintiffs include:

    • retired professional football player and Super Bowl Champion, Marvin Washington, who desires, but is ineligible (due to the CSA) to obtain grants under the Federal Minority Business Enterprise program, to open a business that would allow professional football players (among others) to treat with medical Cannabis to reduce opioid dependency and addition;

    • an 11-year old girl, Alexis Bortell, who moved to Colorado from Texas so that she could treat her intractable epilepsy with medical Cannabis;

    • a six-year old Georgia boy suffering from Leigh’s Disease, Jagger Cotte, who has been using medical Cannabis to lengthen his life and control his otherwise excruciating pain;

    • disabled military combat veteran Jose Belen, who uses medical Cannabis to control his post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD); and

    • the Cannabis Cultural Association, whose membership includes many People of Color who contend that the CSA was enacted and has been enforced in a discriminatory manner, rendering them unable to participate in, among other things, the Cannabis industry.

    Lauren Rudick, a member of Hiller’s firm representing Cannabis businesses, observed that, at present, “more than 60% of Americans live in a jurisdiction in which medical Cannabis is legal.” She also remarked that a “4/20/2017 Quinnipiac poll found that over 90% of Americans support the use of medical Cannabis – and it’s near impossible to get 90% of the Country to agree on anything.” These numbers led Joseph Bondy, a federal criminal defense attorney and legalization advocate working as co-counsel with the Hiller firm on this case, to “question the agenda of those who continue to push for enforcement of the CSA, given its unlawful and discriminatory impact and that so few in America support such an effort.”

    The defendants in the case are Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Acting Administrator of the DEA Chuck Rosenberg, the Justice Department, the DEA and the Federal Government. Co-counsel David Holland, a litigator and longtime advocate for legalization of Cannabis, noted that the “the efforts to criminalize Cannabis are relatively recent and were largely underwritten by racial and ethnic animus.” As reflected in the Complaint, African Americans and other Persons of Color are four times as likely to be arrested under the CSA than white Americans, even though Cannabis is used equally by People of Color and Caucasians.

    Contact: Michael S. Hiller (212) 319-4000 x. 308 and (646) 408-5995
    Lauren Rudick (212) 319-4000 x. 319 and (917) 405-4206
    Joseph Bondy (646) 335-3988
    David Holland (212) 842-2480 and (917) 861-2678

    #ForAllPatients #AlexisBortell
    *Picture Originally shared by Mr. Clark.

    Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, closeup

    CONTINUE READING AND TO SOURCE

    Video:  Girl taking medical marijuana sues Jeff Sessions and DEA

    ALEXIS

    https://mjbizdaily.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/ECF-Version-of-Complaint.pdf

    Kathy Inman

    Kathy Inman Great Work!!⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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    · Reply · 29w

    Rick Donaldson

    Rick Donaldson Alexis, would it be of any benefit to get more people to sign on with these attorneys, to increase the sound/impact of this suit ?

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    Jared Jennings

    Jared Jennings Do you have a link to the initial or amended complaint? I’d love to read it.

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    Alexis Bortell

    Alexis Bortell It is on the Pacer system for New York courts we are told.

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    Loretta SBuster

    Loretta SBuster I love y’all im a Texan illegally trying to heal….

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    Samantha Macaluso

    Samantha Macaluso You’ve brought me to tears of joy! So happy that there’s a group of people willing to take a stand! I am praying for your continued healing with cannabis and for your lawsuit! May GOD be with you every step of the way!

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    Crystal Ramos

    Crystal Ramos She stands for freedom and for us all thank you Alexis

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    Trevor J Jacovino

    Trevor J Jacovino You’ve got so much support Alexis!!! Keep up the good fight, we are here for you!!!

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    Pat Warren

    Pat Warren WOW !!! the courage of an innocent child …… we should all take lessons from Alexis …..

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    · Reply · 28w

    Leslie Henson Lindsey

    Leslie Henson Lindsey How the crap can you place a patent on a plant. ? God owns all the “patents “

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    Michele Ruscitti

    Michele Ruscitti Here we go!!! Let’s hope they stay the coarse get all this foolishness out of the way!

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    Cindy Ann Trimble

    Cindy Ann Trimble God gave us the garden and all within it!

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    Pamela Bourque

    Pamela Bourque Alexis for president!

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    Teddy Vas

    Teddy Vas Way to go Alexis!!! God Bless you!!!!!!!

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    Jordan Watts

    Jordan Watts Huge step toward legalization!

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    Kristy Nicole Hendricks

    Kristy Nicole Hendricks Go Alexis Go!!! ~hugs from your hometown in Rowlett

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    · Reply · 29w

    Steve Minton

    Steve Minton Ha ha, another nail in the coffin of quivering theocratic fascist and stone-cold racist Jeff Sessions. Trump’s earliest supporter, he’s now finding out the hard way that if you play with the fire of an abusive psychopath like Trump, and defy the will of the people, you get burned.

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    · Reply · 29w

    Mark Redhawk Nelson

    Mark Redhawk Nelson Government and fda has zero control of herbs. Thats why there isnt a huge market for them. And they dont usually command a premium. But there is money to be made. And they have a criminal institution to prifit from. They dont want to lose tgier inco…See More

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    · Reply · 29w

    David Smith

    David Smith How do I get in on this as a plaintiff – to recoup all the money and stress damages from having to move my elderly mom to live with me in CA, where I am a patient, because of Texas prohibition?

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    · Reply · 29w

    Annette Anderson

    Annette Anderson Alexis Bortell, I am so proud of all the great things you have already accomplished and look forward to the amazing things from you in the future. Would love to meet a fellow Texan MMJ refugee but either this us you have planned, you’ll be very busy. I…See More

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    Amber Michaels

    Amber Michaels I’m with you Alexis!!!!! I may have epilepsy too which more and more docs think I do but to get to Denver to see a neurologist is gonna be the downside!!!! Gotta have a babysitter and got to have a car that’s been checked out before going the drive!!!!…See More

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    · Reply · 29w

    Elaad Teuerstein

    Elaad Teuerstein Good luck with the lawsuit. It’s about time the world got rid of this rediculous ban on MJ. It’s not just the US that tightly controls use of the plant but most countries around the globe have followed suit out of fear of confronting the US about it or…See More

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    · Reply · 29w

    Terry Odom

    Terry Odom Good luck in the fight. It’s such a screwed up system. The government is completely irrational in their logic. And , seriously, it’s always been here, they’re not ever going to eliminate it. Total waste of time, resources, and lives.

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    · Reply · 29w

    Krizzy Carter

    Krizzy Carter Alexis, I have finally moved back to TX and am finally home. My biggest wish is that you can be too one day. All the love and support… from Plano! ❤️

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    Ben Morris

    Ben Morris Your family is brave and inspiring. Any way to get cannabis legal federally and give access to medicine for kids should be celebrated

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    Karen Lockwood

    Karen Lockwood Awesome! Alexis, you’ve got a lot of people on your side of this issue. Let the battle begin!! Keep us minions updated, we’ll do whatever it takes to support this battle and fight for the win!

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    · Reply · 29w

    Michelle Williams

    Michelle Williams GOOOOOOO, ALEX!!! Giv’em hell girl!!!
    I was living in Plano when u and ur family lived in Frisco, and then made the heartbreaking decision to leave friends, family, ur school to move to Colorado. Ive been with u since then! I commend ur bravery and pray one day this will all be a fading memory!!! Keep up the avocation and I’ll definitely be behind u will ALL my support!!!

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    Sharon J. Tucker

    Sharon J. Tucker My family and friends all support medical cannabis. We all have family and friends in desperate need of medical cannabis. We are tired of begging for this much needed medicine. Veterans too.

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    · Reply · 28w

    Clarke Bohorfoush

    Clarke Bohorfoush Alexis!! Our prayers are with you and you have our full support!! You’re an incredibly brave young lady and your courage will change this country and the world!!

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    · Reply · 29w

    Samantha Macaluso

    Samantha Macaluso Everyone please reach out to Sessions before his meeting on Thursday with DEA! Your voice matters!!!https://www.justice.gov/contact-us

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    Casey Langham

    Casey Langham Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness….. this plant represents all of these things …. thank you for fighting the good fight

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    · Reply · 29w

    Darcelia Coleman Haney

    Darcelia Coleman Haney Get ’em! Politics having way to much power regarding medicinal use.

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    · Reply · 29w

    William Joey Dorsett

    William Joey Dorsett I hope we win, I hope they end up having to pay, having the rescedual, and having to release people from jail…

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    · Reply · 29w

    Suzanne Wall

    Suzanne Wall Thank you! I am praying for God to give victory to all of you!! Us!!

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    Emma Lee

    Emma Lee You go girl!! All it takes is one strong will to change the world We’re all behind you cheering!

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    J D Goodwin

    J D Goodwin Children of the cannabis are coming for you Jeff…be very afraid.

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    Jason McCathern

    Jason McCathern Ya I knew ole Jeff Sessions was gonna be trouble for us weed smokers from the get-go!

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    Belle Shildmyer

    Belle Shildmyer

    Tenor

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    Rob Taft

    Rob Taft Sign me up www.420central.org is behind you

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    Pat Trahan

    Pat Trahan If you need help please post. Good for you, many thanks!

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    Shirley McNeal

    Shirley McNeal You go Alexis, send them back to school so you can teach them a little more

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    Mary Hartman

    Mary Hartman The fact that there is even a prescription drug named Marinol negates the fourth paragraph!

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    Ingrid Joiya-Warrick

    Ingrid Joiya-Warrick FANTASTIC! This should slow Sessions happy ass up until Trump dumps him.

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    Rob Paulk

    Rob Paulk jeff.sessions. wud die from brain cancer if he only had a brain

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    Luis Castellanos Padilla

    Luis Castellanos Padilla Fight the good fight
    Alexis, Wisconsin,God,&90%of Americans,are with you,!!!

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    Adam Cericola

    Adam Cericola Wow Alexis Bortell go get em! Prayers for you and your family.

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    D Ronald Dudding Jr.

    D Ronald Dudding Jr. Bob Goodlatte won’t get on board with nothing but heartless politicians we are seeing a change in Virginia his approval rating has dropped and that’s my opponent in 2018

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    Lisa Reichenbach

    Lisa Reichenbach What an amazing girl you are! Thank you from so many of us to you and your family for all that you are doing!

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    Alexis Bortell

    8 hrs ·

    It is almost time. Tomorrow is our day. All of us…
    I am not suing for money. All I want is freedom to live my life where I want and for the government to get out of MY way. We are standing against medical tyranny. http://ow.ly/Q3tz30in80R #IStandWithAlexis #AlexisBortell

    Lawsuit Takes Aim at Trump Administration Marijuana Policy

    In a sprawling complaint citing the benefits of pot reaching back 10,000 years, the suit seeks to decriminalize the drug under federal law.

    nytimes.com

    Sheree Krider

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    James Meissner

    James Meissner U go Alexis Bortell !! #WakeUpWorld #LifeOverLaw #EndTheWarOnPeople #EndTheDrugWar #OnePlant united! Its time!

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    Robyn James

    Robyn James When we have to fight the government, to treat our illness with a plant, the government is corrupt and needs to be overthrown!! Taking our power back one trial at a time!

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    Alexis Bortell

    51 mins ·

    Hearing is now moved up to 11 a.m. tomorrow. Please let everyone know. Thanks! #IStandWithAlexis

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    Penny Webb Ransom

    Penny Webb Ransom Will have you and the others in my thoughts and prayers.
    Tom McCain will peach-tree norm be following this or GA care?

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    Robin Hurshman

    Robin Hurshman Praying for you Alexis! We will be there with in spirit! Much love and support for such a strong young lady.

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    Alexis Bortell

    Yesterday at 9:50am ·

    Why risk everything in court instead of moving to Vancouver without a fight? This. This is medical cannabis. This is us. I am one of millions of faces not ‘the one face’. In two days they have to listen to ALL of us. I will go to the Supreme Court if I have to. #IStandWithAlexis . #AlexisBortell

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    Kyle Young

    Kyle Young Two more days I will be praying for you Alexis. AG Sessions needs to eat his words and do what the American People WANT!!!

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    Denise Chuck Schrader

    Denise Chuck Schrader because marijuana should be the American peoples right…. it shouldn’t have anything stopping anyone that has tried it and it has helped…. #yougotthisgirl #IStandWithAlexis

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    Alexis Bortell shared their post.

    Yesterday at 6:27am ·

    2 more days until our day in Federal Court! Here is the original post with the two images if people want to change their profile picture to show support for the case.

    Many Alexis Bortell page friends will be there and we advise people to arrive early as it is going to be busy.

    We have heard there are no phones or cameras allowed in the court room but we haven’t spoken to the courthouse security directly yet to confirm. If someone confirms first, please let us know.

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    Alexis Bortell added 2 new photos.

    February 5 at 12:06pm ·

    Here are two images people can use if they want to as their profile pictures to support our case and the hearing on Feb 14th. Your support means a lot to all o…

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    Randy Carter

    Randy Carter

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    Dan Drouin

    Dan Drouin I do hope they at least allow TV cameras in there

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    Alexis Bortell

    Alexis Bortell In front they will

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    Alexis Bortell shared OneLuv Organics‘s post.

    February 11 at 8:36am ·

    I get asked by lots of people if they can sell our soaps in their businesses. Yes, you can and we put a post out about it this morning on our OneLuv Organics page.

    Quick summary: You can email [email protected] subject “Reseller” and we will send you details .

    It is very easy.

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    OneLuv Organics

    February 11 at 8:22am ·

    Three questions we get often are:

    1. How do we join your reseller program and is it hard to join?
    To join, email [email protected] subject “Reseller …

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    Alexis Bortell

    February 10 at 11:58am ·

    By using code ‘HHLEX’ you save $10 per bottle of Haleigh’s Hope (they make my medicine) and they donate to my ‘Patches of Hope’ feed the hungry program. This has already raised almost $400 for Patches of Hope. Thanks! http://ow.ly/h0Gl30ik6ig My Soap Store: http://ow.ly/j9gG30ik6eJ

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    Alexis Bortell

    February 10 at 9:37am ·

    4 more days and WE WILL have our day in federal court. Article: http://ow.ly/JER830ik184 Attached is the form with the court information if you want to attend. They are expecting LOTS of people inside and outside the courthouse because it is open to the public. #IStandWithAlexis

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    Netha Morgan

    Netha Morgan Alexis, gold star mother here, all of our ancestors that have gone before us including my son specialist David John Badie U.S.ARMY(k.i.a.8/1/08) are with you stand strong along with all of those Warriors they will hold you they will guide you and they will help to kick sessions ass good luck my little sister

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    Alexis Bortell

    Alexis Bortell Thank you.

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    Jennifer Leigh Scott

    Jennifer Leigh Scott So my son is 12, this is what I’m gonna need from you. I’m gonna need you to marry my son when you grow up because I cannot imagine having a more bad ass daughter in law than you! ❤️
    #IstandWithAlexis
    #MyIdol

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    Alexis Bortell

    Alexis Bortell Um, lol.

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    U.S. man jailed for years without trial dies by suicide

    Rikers Island

    The Associated Press
    Published Monday, June 8, 2015 7:36PM EDT

    NEW YORK — New York’s mayor on Monday lamented the suicide of a young man who spent three years as a teenager jailed without a trial for a crime he always denied committing.

    Kalief Browder, who was 22 when he hanged himself at his mother’s Bronx home on Saturday, had been arrested as a 16-year-old in 2010 on suspicion of stealing a backpack.

    He subsequently spent hundreds of days at the troubled Rikers Island jail facility, where he was kept in solitary confinement and was beaten by other inmates and guards, according to his lawyer. He was released in 2013 and was never tried.

    Mayor Bill de Blasio said Browder’s story, first detailed last year by The New Yorker magazine, helped inspire his efforts to reform Rikers and the city’s criminal justice system.

    "There is no reason he should have gone through this ordeal, and his tragic death is a reminder that we must continue to work each day to provide the mental health services so many New Yorkers need," de Blasio, a Democrat serving his first term as mayor, said in a statement.

    Attorney Paul V. Prestia said on The Huffington Post’s livestreaming website, HuffPost Live, on Monday that Browder’s family is deeply saddened by his death.

    "It’s shocking. I’m running out of adjectives. And it’s disheartening to be here today," he said. "The extent of the injustice here, it’s a travesty of injustice."

    CONTINUE READING…

    Secret Marijuana Farm Beneath Brooklyn Cherry Factory Leaves Many Mysteries

    By VIVIAN YEEFEB. 26, 2015

     

     

    Arthur Mondella’s alternate life was buried behind a roll-down gate, behind a fleet of fancy cars, behind a pair of closet doors, behind a set of button-controlled steel shelves, behind a fake wall and down a ladder in a hole in a bare concrete floor.

    Here, in a weathered basement below the Red Hook, Brooklyn, maraschino cherry factory he had inherited from his father and his grandfather, he nurtured a marijuana farm that could hold as many as 1,200 plants at a time. Here, below the office where he served as chief of Dell’s Maraschino Cherries Company, he kept a small, dusty library and a corkboard pinned with notes. Most of the books dealt with plant propagation methods. One did not: the “World Encyclopedia of Organized Crime.”

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    Much about the hidden operations of Mr. Mondella, 57, who shot and killed himself on Tuesday as investigators found his marijuana plants, remains frustratingly out of reach for his family and friends. Investigators do not know how he distributed the marijuana, how long he had grown it or who helped him. Most baffling of all are Mr. Mondella’s reasons for hiding his operation under a business that was, by all accounts, healthy and growing — and for taking his life so suddenly when he was caught.

    On Thursday, the day of Mr. Mondella’s private wake, the company said the cherry business would go on. Major restaurant chains that bought Dell’s cherries, including Red Lobster and T.G.I. Friday’s, said their menus would be unaffected. But at the offices of the Brooklyn district attorney, Kenneth P. Thompson, the focus was on untangling what part of the business was cherries, and what part was marijuana, at the red-brick factory on Dikeman Street.

    “We’re looking at the actual connections between marijuana and the factory and whether or not some portion of the cherry business there really was an effort to mask the marijuana operation,” said a law enforcement official close to the investigation, who asked not to be identified because the inquiry is continuing.

    Given the thick scent of cherry processing and the large amount of electricity the factory would naturally consume, the official said, “it’s a very convenient place to be” to mask both the odor and the power needed to cultivate the marijuana plants.

    Yet because the basement labyrinth was so well concealed, it seemed plausible that the cherry factory’s regular employees were unaware of their boss’s secret. Mr. Mondella may have been the only person with access to the garage where he kept several luxury vehicles and the entrance to the basement, the official said.

    Still, the scope of the operation made it unlikely that Mr. Mondella was the only person involved. Spanning about 2,500 square feet, the underground complex included an office, a large grow room, a storage area, a freezer for the harvested plants and an elevator. A network of 120 high-end growing lamps shined on the plants with intensities that varied depending on each plant’s size; an irrigation system watered them. Investigators recovered about 60 types of marijuana seeds.

    The investigators had never seen a larger operation in New York City, the official said.

    “The way you have to set that up, there’s got to be plumbers and electricians working off the books who are very sophisticated,” he said, “and it wasn’t Arthur Mondella, as far as we know, that had that kind of skills.”

    Investigators first received a tip about Mr. Mondella and illegal drugs about five years ago, he said, but nothing came of it then.

    As part of a separate investigation into allegations that Dell’s was polluting Red Hook’s water supply, the district attorney and the city’s Department of Environmental Protection decided to search the factory for files on environmental infractions. It was during that search on Tuesday that they stumbled on the marijuana operation. (The pollution investigation is still active.)

    The drug inquiry is still in its early stages. But the official said investigators were looking closely at whether the operation had ties to organized crime. Mr. Mondella would have required help to maintain the farm and distribute his product, the thinking goes, and an organized crime syndicate could have provided it.

    To Mr. Mondella’s family and friends, the revelations about his hidden operations have been “aberrant and shocking,” Michael Farkas, the lawyer representing the Mondella family and the management of Dell’s, said in an interview.

    The company was considered among the largest producers of the cherries in the country. Although many cherry suppliers were disappearing around the time that Mr. Mondella took over the business in 1983, the market appears stable now, thanks in part to maraschino cherries’ popularity abroad, said Robert McGorrin, the chairman of the food science department at Oregon State University, where the current method of processing the cherries in brine, rather than alcohol, was developed in the 1920s.

    Law enforcement officials are just as perplexed about Mr. Mondella’s motives. Though investigators are sorting through a substantial bounty of evidence, they have no hope of gaining access to the data on Mr. Mondella’s iPhone 6, which, like other new-model iPhones, is encrypted with a user-created code that even Apple says it cannot unlock.

    “No one seems to have had any clue that this was going on, and there certainly didn’t seem to be any strange or traumatic circumstances that would’ve explained this,” Mr. Farkas said. “The business was not doing poorly; the business was doing very well. We were unaware of any major problems in Arthur’s life. Somebody knows — but we’re all waiting for answers here.”

    Correction: February 26, 2015
    An earlier version of this article misstated the size of the underground complex where marijuana was grown. It was 2,500 square feet, not 250.

    A version of this article appears in print on February 27, 2015, on page A20 of the New York edition with the headline: Secret Life and Business Surface, Along With Many Questions.

    CONTINUE READING…

    What Is Fracking and Why Should It Be Banned?

     

    https://i0.wp.com/www.foodandwaterwatch.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/FrackingWastePit_BGS_WEB.jpg

     

    The case to ban fracking grows stronger every day. Fracking is short for hydraulic fracturing. It’s a water-intensive process where millions of gallons of fluid — a mix of water, sand, and chemicals, including ones known to cause cancer — are injected underground at high pressure to fracture the rock surrounding an oil or gas well. This releases extra oil and gas from the rock, so it can flow into the well.

    But the process of fracking introduces additional industrial activity into communities beyond the well. Clearing land to build new access roads and new well sites, drilling and encasing the well, fracking the well and generating the waste, trucking in heavy equipment and materials and trucking out the vast amounts of toxic waste — all of these steps contribute to air and water pollution risks and devaluation of land that are turning our communities into sacrifice zones. Fracking threatens the air we breathe, the water we drink, the communities we love and the climate on which we all depend. That’s why over 250 communities in the U.S. have passed resolutions to stop fracking, and why Vermont, France and Bulgaria have stopped it.

    Why a Ban? Can Regulations Make Fracking Safe?

    Ban Fracking in Your Area

    No. Fracking is inherently unsafe and we cannot rely on regulation to protect communities’ water, air and public health. The industry enjoys exemptions from key federal legislation protecting our air and water, thanks to aggressive lobbying and cozy relationships with our federal decision makers (the exemption from the Safe Drinking Water Act is often referred to as the Cheney or Halliburton Loophole, because it was negotiated by then-Vice President Dick Cheney with Congress in 2005). Plus, the industry is aggressively clamping down on local and state efforts to regulate fracking by buying influence and even bringing lawsuits to stop them from being implemented. That’s why fracking can’t be made safe through government oversight or regulations. An all out ban on fracking is the only way to protect our communities.

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