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Tag Archives: activism

January and February: The Year began with the Cops Killing a Mother and Dog Police are using these paramilitary raids more than 100 times a day, often on simple possession of non-violent people; dogs are ruthlessly killed because of the war on this plant.

(note that the only marijuana found in this family home had to be scraped from a pipe, and the father was charged with child endangerment…What about the cops shooting weapons in a child’s room, and what about the permanent emotional scars to this child from these cops!)

…and then there was this next story that  led to a lot of accusations from drug policy reformers that police shoot way too many innocent people in overly-aggressive drug raids. You may recall that this case in which the officer claimed that he opened fire on Tarika because he was startled by gunshots downstairs. Those shots were fired by his own fellow officers as they killed the family’s dogs. Tarika Wilson literally lost her life because a cop was freaked out by gunfire from another cop. Oh, and her baby daughter also got shot.

but February also had more SCIENCE coming out to support the anti-cancer properties that new findings are revealing…

February 2010: Medical marijuana news. Cannabidiol stops the spread of breast cancer

February also brought another major study that shows the medical uses for cannabis. This study lasted ten years and costs 9 million dollars. http://blog.mpp.org/medical-marijuana/more-proof-that-marijuana-is-medicine/02172010/The studies, funded by CMCR under the mandate of a 1999 legislative action, found that marijuana is particularly helpful in relieving pain associated with nerve damage and in treating the muscle spasticity from multiple sclerosis.

March found the ever fearful DEA sensing that cannabis is about to be used religiously arrested a minister in Hawaii, Roger Christie, who is becoming well known for using spiritual sacrament  with his congregation. (note of interest Roger is still awaiting bail 9 months later)…here Roger gives instruction on how to make Holy Anointing Oil .

Speaking of the ridiculous Drug War Prisoners, other notable new prisoners for 2010 include…

Eddie Lepp

Marc Emery

John Wilson

Charles Lynch

April 2010: Federal Judge Suggests U.S. Change Anti-Marijuana Law

In sentencing a California pot shop owner to a year behind bars on federal charges of cultivating and selling marijuana, a U.S. district court judge based in Los Angeles suggested that the federal government change marijuana’s outlaw status.

Judge George H. Wu was very sympathetic to the plight of 47-year-old Charles Lynch, who was convicted in 2008 after federal authorities moved against his Morro Bay dispensary despite his bending over backwards to abide by California’s medical marijuana law. “Individuals such as Lynch are caught in the middle of the shifting positions of governmental authorities” vis-a-vis pot, the judge wrote.

Lynch was also caught in between presidential administrations: After Barack Obama took office he ordered the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to stand down on enforcing federal drug laws in states where medical marijuana is legal.

Wu wrote that (PDF) “ … much of the problems [in the Lynch case] could be ameliorated…by the reclassification of marijuana from Schedule I,” which is the government’s highest, outlaw-drug category.

Also In April… The Hemperer,  Jack Herer passed on. Jack was considered the father of the modern Hemp movement, and he was a writer and researcher who wrote The Emperor Wears No Clothes.  He was an activist for the wonders of Hemp plant until the last moments of his life, collapsing on stage having just given a Pro Hemp speech at the Seattle Hemp Fest.  Jack will be missed by the many of us who admired him, RIP.

and another milestone… April 2010: 5 Years After: Portugal’s Drug Decrim

May brought a 30 year scientific finding about Cannabis… May 2010: Study Finds No Cancer-Marijuana Connection

June: Study of Cannabis being medically helpful for babies!  Cannabis Reduces Infant Mortality

but the Prohibition War goes on… June 2010: A Record 85 killed yesterday

July 2010: The Veterans Administration will formally allow vets to use medical marijuana if they live in the (now 15 States and the District Of Columbia) that allow it.

In August Prescription drug deaths were skyrocketing…

http://wvgazette.com/News/TheKillerCure/200608130006

http://www.lightparty.com/Health/HealingRegeneration/html/AccidentalDeathPrescriptio.html

September 2010:  I liked it when this country singer Colt Jackson was came out for weed:

October and November…then came Proposition 19 to Legalize, Tax and Regulate Cannabis in California for adults over 21 years old…

Pot Was Smoked On National TV



Past Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders says to Legalize Marijuana

Retired Judge and many retired police came out in favor (note that the video turns to Prop 19 at about 5:oo)…

Conservatives come out…

Pretty Girls came out for Prop 19 too ( note that some really good info starts coming out at about 3:50 into the video)…

3,500,000 Californians said YES!, making 46% of the vote, this was so much more than in 1969 only 12% said yes to legalizing.

November: Arizona Becomes the 15th Medical Marijuana state…and… Washington DC becomes a Medical marijuana District in the November election!

November 2010: 30 Facts About Arizona’s New Medical Marijuana Law

Also in November The Border Patrol Arrested Willie Nelson keeping us all a little safer…Here is what Snoop Dogg thinks about that…

December 2010: New Mexico Approves Addition Plants For Growers

And to wind up the year Pat Robinson gives decriminalization his blessing…December 2010: Pat Robinson Favors Marijuana decriminalization

It’s been quite a year for the Cannabis and Marijuana Law Reform Movement…wishing us all a great New Year, keep on pressing on…blessings to you.

Ray Pague


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The peak month for government marijuana eradication efforts in North Carolina is August. The Marijuana Found In Six Western North Carolina Counties this year was minimal. It took three federal and three state agencies, law enforcement specialist, helicopter pilots and National Guard  to eradicate 815 plants.

Graphic1

Law enforcement agencies using fly-over operations…
The August raids netted 815 plants In Western North Carolina…
Three people face trafficking charges.

Federal agents seize about 4,000 pounds of the finished product a year in North Carolina, according to the U.S.  Drug Enforcement Administration.

Authorities so far this year seized 45,000 plants statewide, which the N.C.  State Bureau of Investigation says is on pace with last year’s rate.

“It is ongoing,” said Haywood County Sheriff Bobby Suttles…we are going to be looking for it.”

Eradication teams typically work in August at the end of the growing season when plants are tall and easier to spot from the air.

Deputies and police work with helicopter pilots from the N.C.  National Guard and the N.C.  Highway Patrol to spot and destroy patches.  SBI agents and the U.S.  Forest Service also join the effort.

Haywood County started at the county fairgrounds, where deputies and federal police went over target areas with Highway Patrol pilots.

When the helicopter took flight, deputies and U.S.  Forest Service police rode in a caravan to the first area in a remote section off White Oak Road.

The team that day hit several more spots with no luck.  …The Highway Patrol aviation unit averages about 400 hours a year on flights searching for marijuana. Since 2007, it has helped eradicate 74,151 plants.

The National Guard averages 2,000 hours in the air each year helping state authorities find pot.

Some communities are tired of the Drug War and Stopped Taking DEA Money for eradication. https://cannabistv.wordpress.com/2008/04/28/drug-war-funds-cut-digging-our-way-out-of-prohibition/

Haywood County deputies seized 431 plants from patches in the White Oak and Fines Creek communities and off Rabbit Skin Road in the first of two fly-overs.

Some of the plants were 10 feet tall and had four-inch buds, the part marijuana users smoke.

“It was a success,” said narcotics detective Mark Mease.  “we had good air support.” Authorities said they found 20 plants in a garden .  A search of the property the next day uncovered an indoor growing operation in a shed.

Sometimes the operations just aren’t productive.

A fly-over in Transylvania County turned up nothing last month and a brief outing in Jackson County uncovered just one plant. Investigators found nothing in Swain County.

How It’s Done In Amsterdam- “The Sniffer Chopper”

Blog Posted by Ray Pague

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

July 31, 2008– Last month saw a milestone in American healthcare that largely passed unnoticed: The National Clinical Advisory Board of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society has issued an “Expert Opinion Paper – Treatment Recommendations for Physicians” which recognizes the healing properties of Cannabinoids and Cannabis (marijuana), specific to the pain and muscle spasticity of MS. The MS Society also calls for research into the neuroprotective aspects of Cannabinoids, following evidence that the progression of the disease can be slowed or halted by these remarkable therapeutic agents.  Paul Armentano at NORML has put together a comprehensive post detailing this news, plus links to research, studies, etc. confirming the efficacy of Cannabinoids for MS. (More from Paul below)

The MS Society’s position may seem tentative, given the exciting research coming out of Europe, some involving human trials of a whole plant extract of Cannabis (more below) and surveys of MS patients showing nearly half use Cannabis as a medicine.  This news comes at a time when more and more people are aware of the limited efficacy of synthetic pharmaceutical preparations and the horrendous side-effects that seem to come with all of them.  Five years ago, I met several people who already knew these things – MS patients using Cannabis, each with an amazing story.

In 2003, I was in Washington, DC to attend a memorial for a friend who had recently passed away. On a rainy evening in front of the Supreme Court, we gathered because it was what she wanted –  MS patients, caregivers and activists converging on Washington to force politicians and the MS Society to acknowledge the obvious.  The friends of Cheryl Miller and her husband Jim had no doubt that a God-given herb did more to ease their suffering than all the modern medicines meant to be their only choice.

September 23, 2003 – Before meeting up at the Supreme Court that evening, I rode with the Multiple Sclerosis Patients Union to bring their stories of wondrous healing (anecdotal evidence) to an organization that seemed to shun their voices. They knew that the British Multiple Sclerosis Society had already posted news of Cannabis use by patients and had cooperated in the clinical trials of “Sativex” – a whole, natural extract of the Cannabis plant, formulated by GW Pharmaceuticals in England.  The ride from our hotel to the MS Society was an educational experience in itself:MS Patients Visit MS Society, DC, Part 1

After filling the MS Society’s Washington office wall to wall with patients and friends, we listened to Jim Miller thank our host and recount his experiences fighting MS with his wife and struggling to have their story heard by politicians and the medical establishment, even as research confirmed what they were saying. Then we heard from the patients – bright, cheerful people who didn’t seem at all embittered by their fate, by being victims of a horrific disease and unjust laws. Also, Mary Lynn Mathre from Patients Out of Time points out that the American Nurses Association and many other health care providers have endorsed patient access to medical Cannabis.MS Patients Speak to MS Society, Washington, DC – Part 2 

The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws was one of the sponsors that made this gathering possible and was represented by Paul Armentano (now Deputy Director at NORML ), who had previously worked with GW Pharmaceuticals on MS research and subsequently collected data for NORML on the science of Cannabinoids, medical Cannabis and Multiple Sclerosis. In this video, Paul reads from some of these studies and more MS patient tell their stories.MS/Cannabis Research & Patients at MS Society, Part 3

The clinical trials in England to which Paul Armentano refers were conducted by GW Pharmaceuticals, in production of their natural Cannabis extract, “Sativex” (a sub-lingual spray). Dr. Geoffrey Guy, President of GW Pharmaceuticals, outlines results from Phase One and Two Clinical Trials on MS patients at the 2004 Cannabis Therapeutics Conference in Charlottesville, VA, hosted by Patients Out of Time – Oromuscosal Cannabis-based Medicine, Geoffrey Guy, MD

That afternoon, all the patients met again for a press conference arranged by NORML and featuring Rep. Barney Frank (D) MA – long time champion of individual liberties, including the right to heal oneself with a natural herb (Previous Post) – an issue he became aware of as legions of HIV patients pressed the government to allow them access to medical marijuana in the early 1990’s.  In this video, Rep. Frank restates his assertion that the people are far ahead of the politicians on the issue of medical Cannabis, then MS patients and caregivers visit their representative’s offices.Barney Frank Speaks to MSPU, MS Patients Lobby their Reps

Another hero to these MS patients was also at the press conference. Dr. Denis Petro, the consulting neurologist for their Multiple Sclerosis Patients Union, told his story of science, bureaucracy and politics. Dr. Petro conducted the first clinical trial using synthetic THC (a principle Cannabinoid in Cannabis) to treat muscle spasticity in MS. His results showed efficacy, as did seven follow up trials, but Cannabinoids, and especially marijuana, failed to be adopted into the treatments of Multiple Sclerosis. Denis Petro comments on the reasons why in this video:MS, THC & Cannabis Research, with Dr. Denis Petro – MSPU

Finally, we all met at the Supreme Court – a deeply spiritual coming together of patients, caregivers and activists, all veterans of a long battle with the government – a struggle for dignity, relief of pain, quality of life, justice and compassion. But in the midst of it all, the shining spirit of love that Cheryl left each of us strengthened our resolve and reminded us of the truly transcendent.Cheryl Miller Memorial – Supreme Court, Sept 2003 

 

            On Saturday, May 3rd, I traveled to the Capitol grounds of my home state of North Carolina (a “Decrim“, but “No Medical Necessity Defense” state, for those versed in the inequitable hodgepodge of laws regarding Cannabis across the country) to attend our annual Raleigh Marijuana Rally & Music Festival, hosted by the North Carolina Cannabis Association. It was a beautiful day, a pleasant, yet energized gathering of many ages, races and hair styles – all declaring their support for the Cannabis Hemp plant, advocating for change in the laws and enjoying the music and culture associated with this versatile gift from Nature. In Colonial times, North Carolina was famous for the quality of its’ hemp,  so it seems appropriate that we celebrated among statues of our forebearers. Global Marijuana Freedom March 2008 – Raleigh, NC, USA

Under the watchful Assyrian gaze of Hammurabi’s statue high atop the Law & Justice building across the street ( Undoubtedly a Hashish user like his fellows, Hammurabi was responsible for the first written laws – set down on clay tablets. Cannabis Hemp was not prohibited by the Code of Hammurabi.), the different speakers at the rally brought out several important issues that the prohibition of Cannabis has complicated – access to herbal medicine; environmental benefits of hemp; and the enjoyment of personal freedoms guaranteed under the U. S. and NC Constitutions.

The same issues that face us in North Carolina are experienced in cities around the world, as fellow compatriots join the Global Marijuana March, still coordinated by long time activist Dana Beal and Cures-Not-Wars in New York. In a show that aired just before the marches, Dana discusses Cannabis politics in Europe and America; problems with the United Nations Drug Policies and the admission by the U.N. Drug Czar that prohibition does have unintended consequences; harm reduction; reform of the Rockefeller-era drug laws; medical marijuana science and more.Dana Beal on the Marijuana March in New York City

Dana calls on the United Nations to Change Drug War to Drug Peace.” On Saturday, marchers around the world shared the same visions of hope and unity. Here are a few of the marches, beginning with New YorkMarijuana March May 3 2008 NYC UN Tompkins Square Pot Pt.2/7

In Canada, emotions are running high as the new “Conservative” (sic) government is preparing to throw Marc Emory to the DEA/White House wolves to serve time in a U. S. prison for an activity that was legal in Canada. You can help Marc out of this travesty of justice by visiting www.NoExtradition.net. Marc appeared at the Toronto Marijuana March Saturday and cheerfully exhorted everyone to talk to everyone about marijuana and to “Get ’em High!”Marc Emery, Prince of Pot, May 3, 2008 – 1

In Marc’s home town of “Vansterdam” (Vancouver, British Columbia), the people will soon be even more up in arms, as the Canadian federal government is planning to end the licencing of medical marijuana “grows” by individuals, after it works out problems with it’s own program to supply medical grade Cannabis to Canadian patients. Pot-TV, founded by Marc Emory (along with Cannabis Culture magazine) posted this coverage of the Vancouver march.Global Marijuana March Vancouver BC 2008

When in Rome, Italy, do what these people did! Here’s a highly creative video that lets us experience the excitement of this march:Street Parade Roma 2008

Oslo, Norway The Global Cannabis March in Oslo garnered two nights of news coverage and looks like a good time was had by all. Could someone tell me the current status of Cannabis laws in Scandanavia?MarihuanaMarsjen i Oslo 2008

Back in the U. S., several hundred marchers took to the streets of Seattle, Washington– one of the legal medical marijuana states. Certainly on everyone’s mind was the recent death of Tim Garon (See Post Below), who was denied a liver transplant due to his legal prescription for medical Cannabis.Seattle Marijuana March 2008

All over America, everyone is seeking support for legislation recently introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives:

H.R. 5842 – “The Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act“, which would allow possession of 100 grams and money-free transfer of one ounce.

H.R. 5843 – “Act to Remove Federal Penalties for the Personal Use of Marijuana by Responsible Adults“, which would end DEA “raids” on buyer’s cooperatives and patients in states that have legalized Cannabis for medicine.

In Denver, where citizens have voted to legalize small amounts of Cannabis, medical marijuana patients and other supporters of the herb gathered on the Capitol steps – temporarily.Marijuana Patients Kicked off Capital Steps! Marijuana March

In Philadelphia, the “City of Brotherly Love” and the home of the Liberty Bell, the enthusiastic marchers invoked freedoms cherished by the framers of the Constitution and Bill of Rights.PhillyNORML GCM 2008

Headline: May 6, 2008 – US: Reports Find Racial Gap in Drug Arrests This news story verifies what the young African-American man at our North Carolina rally was saying – that, because of his color, he would be more likely to be arrested and jailed than others as we left our festive event. The arbitrary nature of marijuana laws and their enforcement is one good reason to end our modern prohibition of a God-given plant.

Rights come from GOD not the state. You have rights antecedent to any earthly governments, rights that can not be repealed or restrained by human laws – Rights derived from the great
legislator, God.
– John Adams

 

tp.jpg“A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right” –  Thomas Paine 

Headline: March 9.2008 –

 The Wire’s War On The Drug War – HBO’s “The Wire” has amassed a serious audience during its’ five year run and now its’ writers have taken a serious stance on the show’s main subject – our modern prohibition, the ” War on Drugs” – A statement from five of the show’s writers:

“No longer can we collaborate with a government that uses nonviolent drug offenses to fill prisons with its poorest, most damaged and most desperate citizens.” 

The effect of the drug war on inner-city neighborhoods and community; racial disparities in America’s huge prison population; the corrupting effect on law enforcement and politicians –  topics that provided themes for the drama and compelling reasons for the show’s writers to take an extraordinary action – and they hope you do, too!

“If asked to serve on a jury deliberating a violation of state or federal drug laws, we will vote to acquit, regardless of the evidence presented.  Save for a prosecution in which acts of violence or intended violence are alleged, we will — to borrow Justice Harry Blackmun’s manifesto against the death penalty — no longer tinker with the machinery of the drug war.”

The writers go on to talk about jury nullification – more on that below. For now, a video re-cap of “The Wire“s first season:The Wire Season 1 Recap

Column: A ‘Wire’ War vs. the Drug War – Chicago Tribune columnist Clarence Page has written about the creators of “The Wire” and their efforts to jolt Americans out of complacency regarding our modern prohibition. As the show was set in Baltimore, Mr. Page refers to its’ former Mayor Kurt Schmoke and his belief in decriminalization and treatment as preferable to the “lock-em-up” approach. 

In this video from the Drug Truth Network, Mayor Schmoke presents his views, along with Judge Arthur Burnett, director of the National African American Drug Policy Coalition and Howard Wooldridge of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition:DTN and LEAP Report: NAADPC Conference

The creators of “The Wire” are giving something back to the communities they portrayed, reminding Americans that they have a duty to actively assert their rights as enumerated in our Constitution and to assert the rights of others when obvious injustice is perpetrated against them. Our “Founding Fathers” regarded a sitting jury to be our “Fourth Branch of Government” – that could judge how laws are implemented and even judge the law itself. Groups like the Fully Informed Jury Association have endeavored to educate the public on their rights and duties as jurors – information that has been suppressed in modern American courtrooms.

path.jpgWhy do we love this trial by jury?  Because it prevents the hand of oppression from cutting you off…This gives me comfort–that as long as I have existence, my neighbors will protect me.
Patrick Henry

In this video, “Power to the Jury”, from At Issue,  a TV show hosted a few years ago by Rep. Ron Paul (currently running for President of the U.S.), the historical roots of jury nullification are outlined – “our last defence against tyranny”:Ron Paul presents “Power to the Jury” At Issue (NEFL) – Part 1 of 3

I consider trial by jury as the only anchor ever yet imagined by man by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution.
Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to Thomas Paine, 1789