Skip navigation

Monthly Archives: March 2009

paxflagAmerica is relearning a hard lesson these days – one that Al Capone, Sir Issac Newton and Lao Tzu could easily understand – that applied force triggers an equal and opposite reaction. Our modern prohibition – the “War on Drugs” – has plenty of unintended consequences and threatens to plunge our nation into a nightmare far eclipsing the short lived alcohol prohibition fiasco of the last century.

Paradoxically, Cannabis (marijuana) is the major focus of the drug war – the reason being sheer numbers. The abusers of narcotics like cocaine, heroin and ‘meth’ are statistically insufficient to politically justify the huge “prohibition complex” bureaucracy, sativaso marijuana is included to bolster the ranks of offenders. To further frighten the public, substance abuse statistics always include the ravages of alcohol and pharmaceuticals, skewing perceptions of the true effects of illegal drugs on society. For excellent analysis of this deception, check out Mike Gray’s book, “Drug Crazy – How we got Into this Mess and How we Can get Out” and listen to Mike Krawitz’s interview with Amanda Fielding of the Beckley Foundation, broadcast on the Drug Truth Network last week.

So, when President Obama walked to his first “Internet Town Hall Meeting” yesterday, where he would respond spontaneously to popular questions from the on-line public (supposedly unknown to him), he was pulled aside by an aide to warn him about the number one ranked question, “Would you support the bill currently going through the California legislation to legalize and tax marijuana, boosting the economy and reducing drug cartel related violence?”  Here is his response:Obama Says No to Legalizing Marijuana

That the President would break his own rules regarding this first digital fireside chat and refuse to seriously address the marijuana question is not surprising. “Drug War Exemptions” to the Constitution and Bill of Rights are routine – so why not exemptions to discussion. Laughing off any intellectual challenge to the drug war has become a tradition for politicians and the media. As it is said, “Truth is the First Causality of War” . In this silence of debate, perhaps we should look to wisdom of the past, Lao Tzu and the “I Ching” , for guidance in the present.

“By letting it go, it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go. But when you try and try, the world is beyond the winning.”

oldboy“The more laws and order are made prominent, the more thieves and robbers there will be.”

“Govern a great nation as you would cook a small fish. Do not overdo it.”

“Violence, even well intentioned, always rebounds upon oneself.”

“The words of truth are always paradoxical.”

Ah, the Cannabis Paradox – not a narcotic, but often called that; an ancient medicine now legal in 13 states, but classified as “Schedule One – having no medicinal use” by the federal government; cited for crossing state borders even when it doesn’t; and blamed for undermining our national security when the best marijuana can be produced right here in the U.S.

The following video, featuring former Attorney General of the United States Ramsey Clark, medical marijuana patients on a “Journey for Justice” , victims of the drug war portrayed by the November Coalition and the Sacred Pipe and Conch bring the truth to the nation’s capitol:Ramsey Clark & Pot Activists, with “Give Chanumpa a Chance”

galax2“The illegality of cannabis is outrageous, an impediment to full utilization of a drug which helps produce the serenity and insight, sensitivity and fellowship so desperately needed in this increasingly mad and dangerous world.” – Carl Sagan

Advertisements

“My attitude is that if it’s an issue of doctors prescribing medical marijuana… I think that should be appropriate because there really is no difference between that and a doctor prescribing morphine or anything else”.…Raiding clinics “would be a waste of federal funds.” – Candidate Barak Obama, March, 2008

scalesU.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has spoken of a new policy concerning medical marijuana several times in recent weeks. On February 25th, Holder announced to a gathering of DEA agents and to the Chief of the DEA, Michele Leonhart, that what President Obama said during the campaign was now “American policy” – the DEA would no longer raid medical marijuana dispensaries, patients, doctors, clinics and states will be allowed to make their own decisions on medical marijuana.  Then on March 22nd Attorney General Holder reaffirmed he would “not use federal resources to prosecute patients or providers who use marijuana and are within state laws.”

caThe Plight of Charles Lynch
The Charles Lynch case is pivotal in that it is the first trial with national attention to be brought before a federal judge since Attorney General Holder announced “a new American policy.”
Charles was a medical marijuana dispensary owner in Morro Bay, California – sanctioned by both state and local governments, but raided by DEA agents in 2007.  In his federal trial, his lawyers were not allowed to say the words: “medical, medical marijuana, patients, doctors, doctors prescriptions, state sanctioned, local sanctioned or even that California is a medical marijuana state”.  Patients were not allowed speak on Charles Lynch’s behalf if they described their diseases using the words “medical marijuana”.

Headline: Aug 6, 2008 – CA: MorroBay Pot Dispensary Owner Found Guilty of Federal Charges

Last week, ABC’s 20/20 presented a special report by John Stossel examining  Charles Lynch’s story, with commentary from Drew Carey and cancer patient Melissa Etheridge. Here is a rebroadcast posted on Charles Lynch’s You Tube channel:John Stossel with guest Charles C. Lynch

Headline: March 24, 2009 – CA: Shift On Marijuana Policy Delays Sentencing – On March 23 Charles Lynch was scheduled be sentenced by Federal Judge George H. Wu, but uncertainty about the “New American Policy” caused Judge Wu to pospostpone sentencing to allow himself time to ask the Justice Department for a written reply about the new policy.

New Sentencing Date: April 30, 2009

Another documentary featuring the Charles Lynch story aired on CNBC March 15th- Marijuana, Inc, with Al Roker.  A 17 year old with bone cancer, approved by his doctor and father to use medical marijuana, tells how he attempted to testify in support of Charles, but was cut off when he used the words “medical marijuana”, with the Judge saying “such evidence is irrelevant under federal law”.Al Roker Marijuana Inc with Charles C. Lynch

You Can Help!

Friends, we implore you to call the U.S. Attorney Generals office at 202-353-1555 (comment line) 202-514-2001 (office line) and leave a request that  Attorney General Holder encourage Judge Wu to allow all evidence concerning medical marijuana and all character witnesses to speak unrestricted in his courtroom in the Charles Lynch case.  We believe that this is a pivitol case for the “New American Policy”.

Support Charles Lynch at:   www.FriendsOfCCL.com

“Marijuana, in its natural form, is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man. It would be unreasonable, arbitrary and capricious for the DEA to continue to stand between those sufferers and the benefits of this substance in light of the evidence in this record.”
– Francis L. Young, DEA’s own Administrative Law Judge, 1988

moCliff village, a small community just outside of Joplin, Missouri, has garnered a lot of attention lately for a largely symbolic town ordinance that permits patients to possess and grow small amounts of Cannabis with doctor approval.

Headline: Feb 10, 2009 Southwest Missouri Hamlet Lights A Fire For Legalizing Medical marijuana The Mayor of Cliff Village, Joe Blundell explains that the ordinance won’t actually protect anyone from prosecution, but is more a show of support for a medical marijuana law currently pending in the Missouri legislature. This newscast posted by Joplin NORML tells how the Cliff Village came to be in the forefront of this issue.Cliff Village, MO Passes Medical Marijuana Ordinance

Headline: Feb 21, 2009 – Missouri Drug Policy Reform Conference Pushes For Change – In Columbia, a larger Missouri town that also passed a law permitting medical Cannabis, the 2009 Missouri Drug Policy Reform Conference, hosted by the MU chapters of Students for Sensible Drug Policy and NORML brought together patients, activists and civil libertarians for ideas on integrating an ancient medicine into modern medical practice. Mark Pedersen of the Cannabis Patient Network, which collects stories of patients around the country, interviewed Mayor Blundell of Cliff Village.Medical Cannabis Testimonies: Mayor Joe Blundell of Missouri 1 of 3

Headline: Feb 18, 2009 – Pot Hole: A Southwest Missouri Hamlet Is Leading The Latest Fight To Legalize Medical Marijuana– This article examines the medical marijuana legislation pending at the state capitol in Jefferson City. When asked what he would tell the lawmakers, Mayor Joe Blundell of Cliff Village says, “I’d tell them I’m not a criminal, that I’m in a horrific amount of pain and I’d rather take something natural and holistic rather than something being pushed by Pfizer.”

Chronic pain sufferers, especially severe cases like Mayor Blundell’s, have little chance of real relief from conventional narcotic pain medications – many of which are opiate-based, with debilitating side-effects that are unsuitable for long term use (intestinal shutdown, liver damage, inability to work, etc). ctc1After finding Cannabis, some patients are able to discontinue the narcotics entirely, but some still need additional pain relief. Interestingly, new science shows that Cannabis and opiates act in synergy, allowing a patient to reduce the opiates by up to two-thirds when Cannabis is used as an adjunct medication. Sandra Welch, PhD explains the THC-Opiate Synergy at the 2004 Cannabis Therapeutics Conference, hosted by Patients Out of Time:Opiate & Cannabinoid Interactions, with Sandra Welch 

brandi“The makers of the constitution undertook to secure conditions favorable to the pursuit of happiness. They recognized the significance of man’s spiritual nature, of his feelings and of his intellect. They knew that only a part of the pain, pleasure and satisfaction of life are found in material things. They sought to protect Americans in their beliefs, their thoughts, their emotions and their sensations. They conferred,  as against the government, the right to be left alone – the most comprehensive of rights and the right most valued by civilized man.” – Justice Louis Brandeis

unI remember it well – in 1998 the United Nations General Assembly declared a ten year plan of action, “A Drug Free World – We Can Do it!”, with the goal of eradication of all drug crops, from Coca to Cannabis.  A blasphemy against Nature and laughable even to a novice drug policy reform advocate, the declaration underscored the disconnect between government and reality on the issue of drug use amongst humanity.

UK: Column: Never Mind The Evidence – A Drug-Free World Is Nigh

Well, ten years passed with no abatement of drug “abuse”, while the number one prohibitionist, America, continued to incarcerate more of it’s citizens than any other nation– breaking families, destabilizing communities and corrupting the mission of law enforcement. Amid this dismal failure of vision, the U.S. delegation led the prohibitionist charge at the UN’s Commission on Narcotic Drugs meeting in Vienna, Austria last week. Despite numerous European countries’ successes with harm reduction and health models in drug policy, and with several South and Central American leaders even calling on America to end the zealotry that is destroying their homelands, the final position and “Plan of Action” from UN CND in 2009 is the same, dangerous, head-in-the-sand denial of reality of which we’ve all grown so sick.

wrld21But the UN heard the new voices for change and so has the world, even prompting  the UN Office on Drugs and Crime to admit the failures and unintended consequences of our modern prohibition – even praising harm reduction to the media. Several NGOs (Non-governmental organizations) presenting reform agendas in Vienna educated the UN delegates with sometimes novel methods. In this video produced by the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union, the HCLU, Students for Sensible Drug Policy and Britain’s Transform Drug Policy spoke from behind bars to passing delegates about tragedies of the drug war.Protest Against the Global Drug War – 11.03.2009

In this next video, from the United Nations’ You Tube channel, the head of the UNODC, Antonio Maria Costa sounds like a reformer himself, saying that drug addiction is an illness that has to be dealt with “by doctors and not by policemen”. “Drug addiction is an illness” (Antonio Maria Costa, UNODC)

Also featured on the UN’s channel is a remarkable plea for sanity and indigenous cultures, from Bolivian President Evo Morales, who chews on a cocoa leaf while urging the CND to remove the Cocoa plant from it’s list of banned substances, as the natural plant  is “not a drug but a traditional medicine”.Morales at the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs

Headline: March 14, 2009 – NY: OPED: Let Me Chew My Coca Leaves

This recognition of our God-given right of people everywhere to interact with the plant kingdom (the “Standing Silent Nation” , as the Sioux Indians say) certainly applies to Cannabis – a time-tested natural medicine and not even a narcotic, which should ease the fears of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs.  A recent poll in Canada and pending legislation in California shows that people are ready for legal cannabis.

In fact, the anti-prohibition bandwagon is rapidly filling with unlikely allies in drug policy reform. The drug war chaos threatening the stability of Mexican government is spilling over into the U.S., opening many eyes to the evils of prohibition.

Headline: March 8, 2009 – US AZ: Column: Legal Drugs: The Only Route To Ending Mexican Violence

albert The prestige of government has undoubtedly been lowered considerably by the Prohibition law.  For nothing is more destructive of respect for the government and the law of the land than passing laws which cannot be enforced. It is an open secret that the dangerous increase of crime in this
country is closely connected with this.
Albert Einstein, My First Impression of the U.S.A., 1921