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Monthly Archives: April 2008

Headline: April 23.2008Two Medical Marijuana Bills Introduced In House – This summer, the U.S. House of Representatives will again have a chance to affirm the rights of states to manage the health and welfare of their citizens. Let your representatives know how you feel about this legislation and these crucial issues.

HR 5842 – “The Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act was introduced on April 17th, 2008 by a MD – Dr. Ron Paul (R) TX, who is also running for president.  Rep. Barney Frank (D) MA is a co-sponsor of the legislation, having introduced similar bills in the past. HR 5842 would remove federal opposition to doctors prescribing Medical Cannabis and protect those patients in states that have legalized medical marijuana. The following video, featuring Rep. Frank and Rep. Paul speaking about this issue last year, shows that true conservatives and true liberals can agree on medical marijuana.Bi-Partisan Support for Medical Marijuana

HR 5843 – “Act to Remove Federal Penalties for the Personal Use of Marijuana by Responsible Adults – This legislation could legalize small amounts of Cannabis (100 grams – about 3.5 ounces) at the federal level for everyone in America. Also, transfers of one ounce between friends, if no money changes hands, would also be legal. Public use of marijuana would be subject to a $100 fine. This legislation could also help defuse the conflict between the federal government and patients in legal medical marijuana states.

Meanwhile, several states are moving ahead on their own to protect their citizen’s right to use the best medicine and in one state, a jury has said it first:

Headline: March 3.2008MI: Pot for Medical Use on Ballot – This November, the voters of Michigan will have the opportunity to vote for a medical marijuana bill (time has elapsed for the state legislature to enact the proposal, per state law), as the Michigan Coalition for Compassionate Care has collected many more signatures than necessary for the initiative to move forward.

In this video, Irv Rosenfeld, a stock broker who has received legal medical Cannabis from the U.S. government for 25 years, testifies before the State of Michigan Committee on Government Operations last year.Irv Rosenfeld’s Michigan Medical Marijuana Testimony

Headline: March 6.2008IL: Lawmaker Lights Up Medical Pot Bill Again– A Senate committee in the Illinois State House has approved legislation that would establish a medical marijuana program in the state, administered by the Department of Public Health. Patients would receive ID cards after recommendations from their doctors.

Multiple Sclerosis patient Julie Falco, of Chicago,  testified to the committee that marijuana was more effective for her condition than pharmaceutical drugs, without causing negative side effects.  Still, there’s always the worry that she will get in trouble, she said. In the following video posted by Illinois Compassion Action, Julie chronicles her twenty year battle with MS, the pharmaceuticals she tried to take and their effects, the value of Cannabis for her symptoms and the support of her doctor.Illinois Cannabis Patient Julie

Headline: March 29.2008 – TX: Jury Finds Man Needed Marijuana for His HIV – In a state where “Medical Necessity” is not allowed as a defence for Cannabis possession, a jury has found otherwise, agreeing that an AIDS patient’s use of marijuana for nausea and vomiting was justified. 

In this video, a Multiple Sclerosis patient from Texas, Tim Timmons demonstrates his use of medical marijuana, observes the political support by candidates like Barack Obama and Ron Paul, and challenges the state of Texas to “Arrest me, Now!“, if the state really believes that jail is the appropriate measure for medical marijuana patients.Medical Marijuana – Texas – Tim Timmons

Headline: April 7.2008RI May See Legal Marijuana Sales– A year after Rhode Island became the 12th state to legalize marijuana for medicine and one of three states to do this through their legislatures (Hawaii, New Mexico), doctors and lawmakers are now moving to establish “compassion centers“, which would distribute medical Cannabis to the patients in the state program, as well as provide education to patients and their caregivers. Only California and New Mexico have provisions in their laws for state-run distribution systems. Here is a good news story about the issue in Rhode Island.Rhode Island Medical Marijuana Compassion Centers

A wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement.
        -THOMAS JEFFERSON     First Inaugural Address,1801

Headline: March 21.2008Budget Cuts May Imperil Drug War – In California and all across America, state and county law enforcement officials are decrying a 67% cut in federal government grants for regional drug task forces and other DEA drug suppression programs. As budgets dwindle for many government programs, our modern prohibition will be gradually defunded, shirking enforcement costs to states and localities already operating under unfunded mandates on drug policy – even under threat of federal funding cuts for highways and other programs.

Task Force Taking Down Marijuana Grows

As America slips into recession (probably a long one), it will be impossible for the one billion dollars per week ( Feds-$19 Billion/year; States- $33 Billion/year) spent on the “drug war” to be sustained. For a running total on your tax money going to the drug war, visit theDrug War Clock“.

We will soon be forced to re-order priorities based on real needs, not ideological agendas. Eventually, the modern prohibition will be seen to be counter-productive, wasteful and corrupt, like alcohol prohibition.

Headline: March 28.2008Drug Task Forces Nervously Watch the Money– Although some regional DTFs in Montana are self-sufficient from drug and property seizures, like the Yellowstone County DTF, many units around the state see disaster for their operations if the federal cuts take place. The Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grants, used to fund anti-drug programs across the country, were cut in a budget passed by Congress and signed by President Bush last December. The cuts are due to take effect this summer.

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition consists of retired police officers, judges and other law enforcement personnel who see the folly and tragedy of the drug war – a modern prohibition even more disastrous than alcohol prohibition, corrupting law enforcement agencies with illegal seizures and bribes, while distracting from the proper role of the police.  In this video, LEAP members explain why they feel the need to speak out against the “War on Some Drugs”. Law Enforcement Against Prohibition

Meanwhile, back on the front lines, here is a video produced (with your tax money) by the Multijurisdictional Counterdrug Task Force Training (MCTFT), called “Marijuana: Reading the Smoke Signals“, where the government tears down “myths” of relative harm and medical utility of Cannabis. Marijuana – The Real Facts, Educational Anti-Marijuana Video

Headline: March 27.2008UPSET To Lose Federal Grant-The “Upper Peninsula Substance Enforcement Team” is one of Michigan’s DTFs that could end by this fall. Noting that prescription drugs now account for much of the illegal drug problem, an UPSET board spokesman hopes that certain members of Congress will come to the rescue, as in years past, and restore the funding for Drug Task Forces.

Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has vowed to restore the Drug Task Force funding cuts, while Dr. Ron Paul (R)TX – the only candidate left in the race calling for an end to the drug war, is being shut out of the public eye by big media.Ron Paul – Media Keeping Ron Paul a Secret

“I don’t want to run your life. I don’t know how to run your life. I don’t have the authority to run your life and the Constitution doesn’t permit me to run your life!” – Dr. Ron Paul

Headline: March 22.2008DEA Says It May Assume Pot Program – While most states and counties are desperate for the federal drug task force funding, the County Council of Hawaii County, on the Big Island, may refuse to accept a $282,000 grants from the DEA for eradication of marijuana. A DEA official in Washington, DC stated that, although the DEA normally respects local jurisdictions, the agency is prepared to initiate its’ own marijuana eradication program.

That the DEA would consider maintaining marijuana edadication programs when task forces fighting all drugs are being cut back, shows the government’s illogical vendetta against Cannabis and unwillingness to allow states and counties to set their own priorities for law enforcement.  The government knows that the prohibition of Cannabis, with its’ millions of users, provides statistical justification for the drug war. Bureaucrats, above all else, always protect their jobs and the prohibition/industrial complex has become a monster of entrenched power, with  considerable political and economic clout.

*** Update:April 27.2008 – Funds to Fight Pot on Big Isle–  The Hawaii County Council has voted to accept the federal money for marijuana eradication, despite complaints of unconstitutionality, harrassment and privacy concerns. ***

When the 18th Amendment to the Constitution was repealed and alcohol prohibition ended in 1932, the transition was easy. If only we were so lucky this time. The people of America and other countries pursuing the Drug War need to creatively apply themselves to extricating our society from the modern prohibition. If we don’t, even more chaos will ensue as law enforcement becomes irrelevant, as organized crime and gangs completely take over.

Good intentions will always be pleaded for any assumption of power.  The Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions.  There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern.  They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters.
Daniel Webster

Headline: April.14.2008Riots, Instability Spread as Food Prices SkyrocketImpoverished peoples around the world have taken to the streets protesting rapidly rising food prices and runs on staple commodities like rice are causing shortages even in developed countries.  The reasons for the crisis include high fuel prices and demand on food crops like corn for ethanol fuel production.

As the following video explains, government subsidies for ethanol production have exasperated the situation, raising feed costs and prices for all meat, dairy and egg products, in addition to cereal grains and other foods.Biofuel Backlash

Ironically, corn is actually a poor choice for ethanol production and has other consequences for the environment. Sugar-rich plants like Sugar Beets and Cane yield more fuel than starchy corn, while corn makes high demands on the water and land.  Many experts now believe that ethanol should be made from cellulose, especially in climates where sugary plants do not grow. And what plant did the U.S. Department of Agriculture recommend as a superior choice for long-term cellulose production? Decades ago, the government knew that Cannabis Hemp yielded four times more cellulose than pine trees over twenty years.

Craig Lee, from the Kentucky Hemp Museum and Library, explains how hemp hurds could provide stock for Cellulosic Ethanol production, as well as highly nutritious Hempseed food and oil products that would actually supplement food supplies and provide economic stability in his native Kentucky – where his family had grown hemp for generations.Hemp for Cellulosic Ethanol

In America, President Bush has called for increased production of Ethanol, despite it’s economic fallout and damage to the land, bowing to the large agribusiness corporations that benefit enormously from the rising demand and profits from corn, supplemented by taxpayer funds. Yet, under his administration, the DEA has refused to issue permits for farmers in North Dakota wanting to grow industrial hemp, like their neighbors to the north in Canada.

In this video, courtesy of Vote Hemp, the North Dakota Commissioner of Agriculture explains why his state could benefit from returning Cannabis Hemp to it’s traditional place in the crop rotation.North Dakota’s Agriculutre Commissioner Backs Hemp

In addition to cellulose from the pith of the stalk (hurds), Cannabis Hemp provides another source of fuel – biodiesel from hemp seed oil! The following video of the “Hemp Car” at the at an Ohio County Fair shows how micro-biodiesel facilities can utilize hemp seed oil.Hempseed Biodiesel Car at Ohio County Fair

“Make the most you can of the Indian Hemp seed and sow it everywhere.” -President George Washington, 1794