Tag Archives: U.S. Marijuana Party

She formed the U.S. Marijuana Party in 2002; ran for Alabama governor in 2006 on a platform to legalize pot; created the Alabama Compassionate Care group to fight for use of marijuana for treatment of disease; and in 2010 was named by the magazine Skunk as one of the top 100 most influential women in Cannabis…

Pushing for legalization: Alabama housewife to marijuana activist

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By Kent Faulk | kfaulk@al.com
Email the author | Follow on Twitter
on March 29, 2017 at 7:31 AM, updated March 29, 2017 at 10:20 AM

Loretta Nall remembers the first time she smoked marijuana.

“I was about 12 years old at a Ratt/Queensreich concert at the BJCC (Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex),” Nall, who grew up in the east Alabama town of Ashland, said in an interview with AL.com.

That was 30 years ago and since then Nall has become one of the most outspoken advocates for the legalization of pot in the nation.

She formed the U.S. Marijuana Party in 2002; ran for Alabama governor in 2006 on a platform to legalize pot; created the Alabama Compassionate Care group to fight for use of marijuana for treatment of disease; and in 2010 was named by the magazine Skunk as one of the top 100 most influential women in Cannabis.

Nall says she wasn’t always an activist and there were periods when she didn’t smoke weed – particularly when she was pregnant with her two children.

Until 2002, Nall had been a housewife and mother with only a few minor traffic violations, hadn’t thought about running for office, and wasn’t public in her outcry for the legalization of pot. But two things happened that year that would change that.

It was in 2002 that she connected online with Marc Emery, dubbed Canada’s “Prince of Pot.”

Nall said that in 2002 Emery asked her to come up to Canada and meet. “Within a week of my returning I had helicopters buzzing my house and (police on) ATVs in my yard,” she said.

Law enforcement told her they saw marijuana growing on her property, Nall said. But there wasn’t any, she said.

Nall believes that law enforcement converged on her property because she had visited Emery, who she said was near the top of federal drug agents’ watch list.

At that time, however, police didn’t try to search her house – at least not right away.

Soon after the raid, Nall sent a letter to the editor at The Birmingham News pushing for legalization of pot. It was titled: “Going to pot, and so what?” She wrote that not all marijuana users fit the “stereotypical stoner-without-a-clue image.”

Lobbying against sin: Baptist leader ready to fight marijuana

The Rev. Joe Godfrey is Alabama’s point man when it comes to lobbying against sin.

“We are not criminals who rob, steal or otherwise cause harm to the fabric of society, and it is time to stop treating us as if we were,” Nall wrote in 2002, long before states began to break with federal prohibitions on recreational marijuana. “It is time to demand an end to cannabis prohibition and the harsh drug laws that do more harm to society than the drug itself will ever do. It is time for change.” 

Six days after that letter to the editor appeared police returned with a search warrant, finding rolling papers, a scale and 0.87 grams of marijuana inside her mobile home.

“I think I was the first one to get the media’s attention (for pot legalization),” Nall said. “They (police) turned me into an activist by raiding my home and trying to take my children and violating my first amendment rights.”

Loretta Nall: Alabama Marijuana Advocate

A Tallapoosa County Sheriff’s investigator who had secured the search warrant for Nall’s home denied after the raid that the warrant was based on Nall’s letter to the editor. “Of course, it didn’t help her out any,” said the investigator, who would not say where the information for the search warrant did come from.

Nall was arrested and convicted of misdemeanor charges of possessing marijuana and paraphernalia.

She appealed and in April 2007 a judge dismissed her conviction because prosecutors failed to respond to Nall’s motion to suppress evidence seized in the 2002 raid.

Police used her letter to the editor in The Birmingham News as reason for the search, Nall says.

She became a guest host for segments on Emery’s online Pot TV show for about 2 1/2 years. The role included making trips around the country to cover pot-related news.

“She got all fired up,” Emery said of Nall in a recent interview with AL.com. “She has always been an advocate for legalization in a very inhospitable state.”

It’s always tough to advocate for legalization in a red state and particularly in the Bible Belt, Emery added. But, he said, “at no point does the Bible advocate against cannabis,” he said.

In 2010, Emery pleaded guilty to federal charges in the United States. He was sentenced to five years for manufacturing marijuana. Among the  allegations were that he shipped marijuana seeds over the border into the United States. He was released in 2014. And two months ago he was arrested by Montreal police after opening six illegal marijuana dispensaries around that city, according to the Toronto Sun newspaper. His trial is pending on that case.

“They turned me into an activist by raiding my home and trying to take my children ..” – Loretta Nall

Meanwhile, Canada this spring will likely consider legislation to legalize recreational marijuana nationwide.

In 2002, when Nall formed and became the first president of the U.S. Marijuana Party, recreational marijuana was banned in all states. Today eight states and Washington D.C. have legalized recreational marijuana. More than half the country has legalized marijuana for medical use and surveys show most Americans believe marijuana should be legal.

Nall’s party has also expanded with the changing attitudes. Today the group lists active chapters in 17 states. Yet Alabama isn’t one of them.

Nall left the group in 2004 but she said she still acts as an adviser. She later entered the race for Governor of Alabama in 2006 with the Libertarian party. Her top platform issue was legalization of marijuana.

Nall ran a colorful campaign that got national attention. Campaign materials included a photo of the woman displaying her ample cleavage above the words ”More of these boobs.” Below were photos of other candidates, including Gov. Bob Riley, and the words ”And less of these boobs.”

Her campaign sold bosomed-themed T-shirts, ”stash boxes,” and ”anti-state” thong underwear.

Nall, however, couldn’t get her name on Alabama ballots because the Libertarian Party couldn’t get the required 40,000 signatures. So she ran a write-in campaign. She said she got about 2,500 votes of the write-ins that were counted.

After the election Nall continued to write for Cannabis Culture magazine (a Marc Emery publication) and briefly branched her activism into another issue. In 2007, after Alabama outlawed the sale of sex toys,  Nall started a “Sex Toys for Troy King” drive that included her sending an inflatable pig to the then Alabama attorney general’s office.

Nall also started the Alabamian Compassionate Care group and pushed the Alabama Legislature for the passage of the Michael Phillips Compassionate Care Act in 2010. After that failed she pushed for it again in 2012.

That act was designed to protect from arrest and prosecution physicians who recommend marijuana and patients who use marijuana as medicine, Nall wrote in a 2012 op-ed piece for The Birmingham News.

Nall noted that other laws allowing limited medical use of marijuana were approved by state legislators in recent years. Carly’s Law and Leni’s Law, approved in 2016, allow people with seizure disorders or other debilitating medical conditions to use cannabidiol, a product derived from marijuana plants.

“Anything like that is progress,” Nall said. But, she said, “there are lots of people that doesn’t apply to that can’t get any help.”

Still, Nall hopes one day the state will legalize recreational use of marijuana in Alabama. “We’re still way behind,” Nall said.

“I’m still in favor of the legalization of marijuana … Retail sales. The whole nine yards, like has been done in (other states),” Nall said. “You ought to be able to grow at home like you do tomatoes.”

Nall, however, agrees that there needs to be age limitations on it use.

Only when voters make state legislators change direction or the legislators see the tax money that’s to be had will Alabama ever get recreational pot, Nall said. “My money’s on the money,” she said.

By legalizing pot, it might keep people from getting addicted to opiates and other harder drugs. “Going to drug dealers (for pot) exposes them to harder drugs,” she said.

Alabama also could see an increase in taxes from the legalized sale of pot, Nall said. That money could be spent by the state on issues such as prison reform and Medicaid funding, she said.

Nall noted Colorado’s collection of millions of dollars in taxes on marijuana sales.

Licensed and regulated marijuana stores in Colorado sold nearly $1 billion worth of recreational and medical cannabis in 2015, according to a story from The Cannabist, an offshoot publication of The Denver Post.

Colorado collected more than $135 million in marijuana taxes and fees in 2015, of which more than $35 million was earmarked for school construction projects, according to The Cannabist.

Right now people who are arrested in Alabama for marijuana possession are often placed in drug courts where they have to pay high court costs and fees and prevent people from keeping a job, Nall said.

Personal issues have kept her out of the spotlight over the past five or so years, Nall said. That has included shedding an opiate addiction, she said.

Her addiction began after she had a “pretty bad” broken foot in 2007, Nall said.

After foot surgery, she was given the narcotic Percocet for pain. “All I can tell you it was a love affair from day one,” she said.

Nall said she has been “clean” for two years now from the opiate addiction.  

Nall wants the public to know that her use of marijuana wasn’t to blame for her opiate addiction. “I didn’t start opiates because I smoked weed. I started because I broke my foot,” Nall said.

“Suboxone and marijuana helped me recover from opiate addiction,” Nall said.

Nall, 42, is currently working as a 24-hour a day care-giver in the small Coosa County town of Kellyton, which is near Alexander City.

Asked if she was concerned that giving an interview might bring more trouble for her, she replied: “There’s no one on earth who doesn’t know I smoke weed.”

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In memory of cannabis activist Laura Kriho

By Sarah Haas – February 9, 2017

In September 2013, Boulder was soaking wet, but on the 23rd the rain stopped, the clouds parted and the sun shined down on the bricks of Pearl Street. It was there Laura Kriho joined a group of cannabis freedom fighters who gathered to hand out hundreds of free joints amid spontaneous chants of “Free the weed!” As with any good protest chant its meaning wasn’t just literal, but symbolic of a bigger picture.

The weed given away that day had been in jail, actually locked in an evidence room for the past two years. When it was released to lawyer Rob Corry, he, Kriho and others in the activist community decided to give it away. They hoped to call attention to the marijuana tax issue appearing on the upcoming November ballot as Proposition AA, a marijuana tax hike to which they were staunchly opposed.

Kriho thought that Amendment 64 was already too strict and the additional taxes that would be instituted with Proposition AA were a step backwards, away from a free market and toward prohibition. Later that week, Kriho wrote about the giveaway in a guest column for “Weed Between the Lines” in Boulder Weekly: “This tax debate highlights what has become a very clear division between cannabis supporters. There are those who support an expensive ‘strict regulation’ model paid for by high taxes, and there are those who continue to support simple “legalization” with reasonable taxes and regulations.

“To most people, ‘legalization’ means that prohibition laws are repealed, people are no longer punished for cannabis use, and police resources are used to fight serious crimes. However, A64’s ‘strict regulation’ model does the opposite of this in many cases. The A64 model allows some people to have some marijuana at some times, but it continues marijuana prohibition for other people with other amounts of marijuana at other times.”

A cannabis activist in Boulder since 1992, Kriho didn’t just fight for legalization, but for “marijuana freedom” beyond regulation, taxes and industry. Whether working to legalize industrial hemp at the federal level in the mid-’90s, ushering in Amendment 20 to bring medical marijuana programs to Colorado in the aughts or for patient’s rights and adult-use cannabis in more recent years, Kriho was a staple of the front lines, fighting to liberate cannabis from prohibitionist laws and attitudes.

Friend, fellow activist and chairman of the U.S. Marijuana Party William Wayward Chengelis remembers the day he met Kriho, in 2008 at a Youth International Party rally taking place at the Democratic National Convention in Denver.

“I’d heard about her before — I mean, when you look at hemp or cannabis in the state of Colorado, Laura’s been there since the beginning — she’s always been there,” he says. “And now that I’ve known her and worked by her side I can say that she always stood up for what she believed and never backed down, not once. She was a yippie through and through.”

A term from the ’60s for politically active hippies fighting for freedom and against war, Kriho wore the yippie badge proudly, but it wasn’t always easy. People didn’t always like her, even more people disagreed and still more categorically wrote her views off as unrealistic.

On top of that, she wasn’t successful half as much as she was unsuccessful. Her early federal hemp bills were killed in the Senate, year-after-year, the medical policies she espoused were disfigured beyond recognition by the time they made their way to state law and despite fighting against Amendment 64 because it was too regulated, too corporate and too prohibitionist, it passed. Even Proposition AA, which she sought to combat by handing out free joints, passed by a wide margin. And yet her influence cannot be overlooked nor her tenacity understated.

“One of the things about us yippies is that we get in your face,” Chengelis says. “Laura got in people’s faces. Sometimes she won, sometimes she lost, but she never gave up.“

For Kriho, there was no such thing as compromise and concession was not an option — she knew her stuff, knew what she believed in and didn’t temper herself in voicing her opinions. In many ways she was the epitome of Trump’s “nasty woman,” a term hurled as an insult but claimed as a heroic trait, and it is precisely in this spirit that she and her activism gain their most salient legacy.

“Her and I have two philosophies in life,” Chengelis says. “First, what you don’t know, learn. What you do know, teach.

“The other is: Show up, do the work and hope for positive results. That is where her and I met and that’s where we always agreed. You gotta get out there and you gotta do it. You can say whatever you want, but if you do not show up and do the work, nothing gets done.”

Surrounded by friends and family, Laura Kriho died on Jan. 30, 2017, in Boulder, at the age of 52.

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400-plus People Running for U.S. President

 

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Friday, June 26, 2015 :: Staff infoZine

By Quentin Misiag – Thirteen Republicans. Four Democrats.

Washington, DC – infoZine – Scripps Howard Foundation Wire – A growing list of contenders have tossed their hats in the political ring for the 2016 race to the White House.
But the official tally spans longer than the 17 most talked-about political brands of this cycle.

Like over 400 candidates longer.

As of Thursday, 419 Americans seeking the presidency had filed a Form 2 statement of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission. In the last week alone, 18 new candidates have joined the lineup.

 

Jill Stein, a 2016 Green Party presidential candidate, discusses her “Power to the People Plan” campaign platform during a press conference Tuesday at the National Press Club in Washington. SFHWire photo by Quentin Misiag

Thomas Keister, a blogger and author from Clarksville, Ind., is lighting up his long-shot White House bid on two decidedly different levels: promoting marijuana bong rips and trolling New York business magnate Donald Trump on Twitter.

Over 1,000 miles away, Silvia Stagg of Miami is mounting her campaign on the niche topic of life-extension. Stagg favors expanded research and medicinal techniques in hospitals that would slow or reverse the human aging process.

Keister and Stagg represent a narrow sliver of afterthought politicians who are choosing to go head-to-head against the 17 mainstream choices thus far: Democrats Lincoln Chafee, Hillary Clinton, Martin O’Malley and Bernie Sanders, as well as Republicans Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, Lindsey Graham, Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal, George Pataki, Rand Paul, Rick Perry, Marco Rubio, Rick Santorum and Donald Trump.

Most filed as independents, while many are Republicans or Democrats.

Others are far more tongue in cheek.

William Richardson of Las Vegas registered with the FEC under the Helluva Party.

Under the National Born Citizen Party, there are Christopher Strunk and Harold Van Allen, both of New York State.

There’s no deadline to file as a candidate with the FEC, but states have explicit filing deadlines so they can prepare ballots.

Politicians officially transition from presumptive to declared candidate when they send in FEC forms.

“You can file at any time, but once you raise or spend $5,000, you’re required to file,” Christian Hilland, an FEC spokesman, said.
The Constitution says presidents must be at least 35 years old when they take office and be natural born U.S. citizens.

Forty-five states and the District of Columbia allow presidential write-in candidates. Hawaii, Nevada, South Dakota, South Carolina and Oklahoma do not.
By sheer number, these underdog candidates have 2016’s most popular pols surrounded.

On the other hand, most lack the deep-pocket allies who can reel in big dollars, according to a review of FEC records.
Take Keister, 39, the founder of DasUberBlog!
“I have not raised a single dollar since declaring on Jan. 1 that I was getting into this,” said Keister, the lone candidate running in the American Marijuana Party.
Keister is one distant contender with a noticeable social media presence. He has more Twitter followers than Chaffee, the former Rhode Island senator and governor who launched his bid June 3.
Asked about which of the leading pols he and his campaign platform could beat, Keister fired off: “Most of them.”
Several, including Keister, said they plan to skip Iowa and New Hampshire, a pair of the early presidential picking states seen as crucial to locking up early voter momentum.
“I have not raised a single dollar since declaring on Jan. 1 that I was getting into this,” Keister said.
Keister’s launch came largely from what he called a prime example of government gridlock: Construction of the new Ohio River Bridges Project in greater Louisville, Ky., that was the culmination of 50 years of legal wrangling.

 

And if it seems that interest in running for title of America’s leading political leader has surged in recent years, that’s because it has.
The number of candidates has already surpassed the 2012 election list, when 417 people filed during the two-year presidential reporting process.
In 2004, 224 people filed as a presidential candidates. Four years later, that number grew to 367, an increase of more than 60 percent.
Leonard Steinhorn, a professor of public communication and history at American University, attributes the climb over the last four election cycles to the ease of information access spurred largely by the growth in mobile email and the “sharing society.”

“This is the sort of the media age we’re living in where everybody has a chance to tell their story,” said Steinhorn, whose expertise includes the presidency, strategic communication and the media. “Does it mean it they have a prayer to win? No, not at all.”

Although they are dark horse choices, some of these lesser-known candidates have found some success in past political pursuits.
Vermin Supreme of New Hampshire, placed third in the New Hampshire Democratic primary in 2012 with 833 votes. Supreme, who is known for wearing a boot as a hat and carrying a large toothbrush, hinged his campaign on zombie apocalypse awareness and time travel research.

“I’m not holding my breath, but I’m not discounting it either,” Stein said.

Take Jill Stein, a darling of the Green Party. On Tuesday she launched her 2016 bid in an attempt to rekindle the trail she tread four years ago.

“I’m not holding my breath, but I’m not discounting it either,” Stein, a physician, said of her pursuit, dubbed the “Power to the People Plan.” She announced in an address to reporters at the National Press Club.
Stein’s newest platform is based mainly on the Green Party New Deal, an ambitious road map for domestic energy independence. It would provide millions of jobs by transitioning to 100 percent clean renewable energy by 2030, she said.

And then there’s Stagg, who said political alliances with high-level Republicans are the necessary backbone for gaining real political traction.
Stagg said she has spent years courting Rubio, Paul and Fiorina at conservative meet-ups, including the annual Conservative Political Action Conference.
But now, she says she’s ready to take them on in her own attempt to live at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

“I have Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush, who will never institute socioeconomic programs,” Stagg, a backer of raising the U.S. minimum wage equal to an annual salary of $100,000, said. “It’s easy to say, ‘Hi how are you, Hillary?’ and before you know it, they’ve got your cash in their hand.”

Should her bid take hold, Stagg said she would make the American dollar the worldwide currency, enact a flat federal income tax of 10 percent and work to eliminate poverty in the U.S.
While many long-shot choices have kept to establishing their brands on social media exclusively, some, including Arthur Herbert Brooks Jr., have created websites to help foster a stronger following.
His site has all the basics of a typical online presidential presence. A tagline, “Everyday People for America,” is clearly defined, and donation tabs and an official campaign announcement video dot the page.
However the website features stock images and incomplete details, including broken links.

In his June 8 filing to the FEC, Paul DeLong of Williamsport, Pa., outlined his former job as a grassroots team leader. He claimed he is a veteran campaign operative for the Bush political family.
In a letter to FEC officials, DeLong said: “I feel that I am more than capable of running my own campaign at this time once I announce myself to some Republican Committees. I am hoping that one of them may pick me up.”

In the face of disappointing support, at least one politician has decided to pull out of the pursuit.

Brian Cole, a Pennsylvania Republican who rolled out his 2016 presidential plan five years ago, recently disbanded the endeavor.
Cole said he will now direct his attention to becoming a U.S. ambassador to Iceland, Chile, Spain, Norway or Madagascar.

But with party names such as American Marijuana Party and Democratic-Farm-Labor, these far less known candidates say they’ve got some political bite to them and aren’t backing down.
At least, not yet.

“The only problem I have is getting myself a vice president,” Stagg said.

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Prohibition DOES NOT work–Neither will “Legalization”…

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DIVERSE SANCTUARY – REV. MARY THOMAS-SPEARS

MAKE IT LAWFUL – AMERICANS FOR CANNABIS

U.S. MARIJUANA PARTY – WE ARE ANTI-PROHIBITIONISTS!

Kentucky Cannabis Hemp Health Initiative 2013-2014

DE-SCHEDULE/REPEAL AND NULLIFY

REPEAL PROHIBITION – END THE WAR ON DRUGS

Make It Lawful

REPEAL THE CONTROLLED DRUGS AND SUBSTANCES ACT !

CANADIANS FOR REPEAL OF CANNABIS PROHIBITION !