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Tag Archives: civil rights

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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Heart Attack Ended Marilyn’s Life, but Bureaucracy Killed Her

Zero Tolerance…Was It Worth It?

Marilyn Holsten died of a heart attack in August. A nearly blind, diabetic, double amputee.  Marilyn was another evicted medical marijuana patient.  Marilyn used cannabis to control the pain.  Her last year on Earth was a living hell after being evicted because of cannabis.

RIP Marilyn

“I’m really scared”

“I don’t want to be out on the streets. I don’t have anywhere to go.” Holsten, a 49-year-old diabetic who is also losing sight in her right eye, has lived for eight years in a building run by the non-profit Anavets Senior Citizens’ Housing Society.

“I get these terrible ghost pains,” she said.

“Doctors say there’s nothing that’ll work for it, so the only thing they suggested was to try pot.”

When she started smoking pot — about a gram a day — she gave a note from her doctor to the society that runs the building on East 8th Ave.

She got her first eviction notice in April 2008.

In order to stay, she signed a document promising that she would light up outdoors only.

“I was exhausted. I didn’t have time to fight,” said Holsten.

Last month, she received her second eviction notice after management said the smell of marijuana from her suite was wafting into the public areas.

Holsten said she tries to smoke outside, but admits she smokes in her room when she wakes up in pain in the middle of the night.

She does her best to diffuse the smell, she said — keeping her window open, using a fan and sprays.

Holsten’s physician, Dr. Fraser Norrie, supports her pot use.

“I agree with this medical treatment,” he wrote in a letter to the housing society.

“I would ask you to accept her medical needs, including her need to smoke marijuana.”

But the doctor’s note wasn’t enough for building management.

“While your doctor supports your decision to use marijuana, he has not prescribed it for medicinal purposes,” society administrator Mary McLeod wrote in a letter to Holsten dated April 24.

“Marijuana use is still against the law and … [as] part of your tenancy agreement, you agreed you would not participate in illegal activities.”

Anavets refused an interview request.

 – article by THE PROVINCE

photographs by Cannabis Culture Magazine

Jeremiah Vandermeer photographer

 

 

wasit worth it

 
 
cut image
 
 
and in the USA

MS Medical Marijuana Patient Evicted in Colorado by HUD

 
Co Man and dog
 
William Wood photographer
Nancy Lofholm The Denver Post August 28,2009

…smoking marijuana has allowed him to cut out many prescription medications with bad side effects. He said he no longer uses tranquilizers, muscle relaxers, sleeping pills and a nerve drug. He still takes medications for his heart, bladder and stomach and a half dose of the painkiller methadone…

Teresa Duran, interim director of the Colorado Division of Housing. “Until the federal laws change, we have to abide by that.” 

There is no data to say how widespread the problem is. HUD officials say they don’t track evictions or complaints tied to medical- marijuana use.

Medical-marijuana users and suppliers say it is common and becoming more so.

“It’s safe to say this is a growing problem. We’re going to encounter it more,” said Brian Vicente, executive director of Sensible Colorado, a nonprofit resource for medical- marijuana users.

Hewitt said he knows three other disabled users in federally subsidized housing in the small town of Olathe who plan to move into his trailer park rather than fight HUD rules.

“It’s disgusting. Most disabled can’t afford a house, so they get assistance. These people should not be thrown in the street because they use a medication that alleviates pain,” Hewitt said.

He said he received an eviction notice this spring, a day after HUD inspectors looked over his rental house and told him everything was satisfactory. He said he gave them a copy of his medical-marijuana card months before that.

 Hewitt is fearing the winter in his little trailer. He said
the owner has told him that it will be like an icebox.
And he has to make his way about 50 yards across a lot
to use a rest room in a former gas station.
 

 

another in the USA
 Allowed by state to grow his own medicine,
MS sufferer – evicted by HUD

niles

Barbara Allison Photographer

The Niles man who’s growing marijuana in his federally subsidized home under the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act is once again facing eviction…

That date turned out to be Tuesday. Bell said Wednesday he has refiled in Berrien County Trial Court the commission’s motion to evict Allain, calling the new action “a belt-and-suspenders way to deal with some of the procedural defenses Steve (Allain) raised.’’

heart of the matter: Whether state or federal law takes precedence.

“That’s the issue we need the court to decide,’’ he said.

Bell said Allain, as he did with the initial eviction motion, would still be able to receive a jury trial…

Allain and his teenage son reside in one of Niles’ 50 scattered public-housing sites, which are subject to rules and regulations set down by the U. S. Department Of Housing and Urban Development.  Bush said earlier she sympathized with Allain, who has stated he suffers from Crohn’s disease, hepatitis C and acute depression, but a check with HUD revealed it has a “zero tolerance’’ policy regarding marijuana.

 – This post assembled by Muggles

 Senator Kennedy pleaded with the DEA to stop interfering with medical marijuana research.  The Senator, along with Senator Kerry and forty-three Congressmen, sent at least one-hundred and ten official letters to DEA Administrators Tandy and Lionhart, Attorney General Holder and Deputy Attorney General Ogden with concerns that the DEA and ONDCP were purposefully keeping a monopoly on marijuana and keeping scientific and medical research from happening.  They also requested that Dr.Lyle Cracker , an expert in plant genetics, plant physiology and biochemistry at the University of Massachusetts be allowed to grow research grade cannabis at  the University of Massachusetts for an FDA study already approved by the FDA to explore the possibilities to producing cannabis based medicines in pill form.  

The DEA will currently only allow one site in the entire country to grow marijuana, and only one man has a license to grow cannabis for the entire country.

In 2007, Federal Judge Mary Bittner ruled after seven days of professional testimony that the DEA was not releasing enough cannabis or of a high enough  medical quality to support research that the public deserves on marijuana.  Judge Bittner ruled that the ” it is the public interest” that the DEA allow Dr. Craker a Schedule 1 License to produce medical grade marijuana. DEA Administrator Lionhart decided on Jan. 14, 2009 to disregard Judge Bitters ruling. http://www.maps.org/mmj/kennedy_Kerry_to_Ogden_april_29_2009.pdf

KennedyOgden

 45 congressmen 1

 45 congressmen 2

45 congressmen 3

45 congressmen 4

 When Ted Kennedy was originally diagnosed  with brain cancer in May of 2008, Cannabis TV posted the latest science on the potential for cannabis and cannabinoids to be effective treatment for brain cancer. The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws has compiled recent medical research on the anti-cancer effects  of cannabinoids on Glioma cancer.

In this video from the 2008 Conference on Cannabis Therapeutics, Rick Doblin, founder of the MAPS,  explains efforts to break the government monopoly on medical Cannabis production in America, including Dr.Lyle Cracker’s application. Conference hosted by Patients Out of Time.NIDA, DEA & Medical Cannabis Research, with Rick Doblin, MAPS

“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

Posted by Muggles 

 

 

paxThe venerable CBS News anchor, famous for his heartfelt message to the American people on the futility of the Vietnam War and known as the “Most Trusted Man in America”, Walter Cronkite passed away yesterday at age ninety-two.  Not as famous was his opposition to the another futility – the “War on Drugs”, especially the unfair consequences suffered by families, women and childen as innocent victims.

On Alternet.org today, Ethan Nadelmann of the Drug Policy Alliance penned an editorial on Mr. Cronkite’s passing, remembering the honor of being asked by “Uncle Walter” to help in the production of a 1995 edition of his “Cronkite Report” on the Discovery channel. On DPA’s You Tube channel is a six-part video series, “America’s Disastrous Drug war” . Here is Part One:Walter Cronkite & America’s Disastrous Drug War Pt 1 of 6

Here is an article published by Mr. Cronkite on August 8th,2004, From Allen St. Pierre’s blog post at the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws:

Drug war is a war on families
By Walter Cronkite

In the midst of the soaring rhetoric of the recent Democratic National Convention, more than one speaker quoted Abraham Lincoln’s first inaugural address, invoking “the better angels of our nature.” Well, there is an especially appropriate task awaiting those heavenly creatures – a long-overdue reform of our disastrous war on drugs. We should begin by recognizing its costly and inhumane dimensions.

Much of the nation, in one way or another, is victimized by this failure – including, most notably, the innocents, whose exposure to drugs is greater than ever.

This despite the fact that there are, housed in federal and state prisons and local jails on drug offenses, more than 500,000 persons – half a million people! Clearly, no punishment could be too severe for that portion of them who were kingpins of the drug trade and who ruined so many lives. But by far, the majority of these prisoners are guilty of only minor offenses, such as possessing small amounts of marijuana. That includes people who used it only for medicinal purposes.

The cost to maintain this great horde of prisoners is more than $10 billion annually. And that’s just part of the cost of this war on drugs: The federal, state and local drug-control budgets last year added up to almost $40 billion.

These figures were amassed by the Drug Policy Alliance, one of the foremost national organizations seeking to bring reason to the war on drugs and reduce substantially those caught in the terrible web of addiction. There are awful tales of tragedy and shocking injustice hidden in those figures – the product of an almost mindlessly draconian system called “mandatory sentencing,” in which even small offenses can draw years in prison.

Thousands of women, many of them mothers of young children, are included among those minor offenders. Those children left without motherly care are the most innocent victims of the drug war and the reason some call it a “war on families.”

Women are the fastest-growing segment of the prison population, with almost 80 percent of them incarcerated for drug offenses. The deep perversity of the system lies in the fact that women with the least culpability often get the harshest sentences. Unlike the guilty drug dealer, they often have no information to trade for a better deal from prosecutors, and might end up with a harsher sentence than the dealer gets.

Then there are women like Kimba Smith, in California, who probably knew a few things but was so terrified of her abusive boyfriend that she refused to testify against him. (Those who agree to testify, by the way, frequently are murdered before they have a chance to do so.) Smith paid for her terrified silence with a 24-year sentence. Nonviolent first offenders, male and female, caught with only small amounts of a controlled substance frequently are given prison sentences of five to 10 years or more. As a result, the number of nonviolent offenders in the nation’s prisons is filling them to overflowing, literally. The resulting overcrowding is forcing violent felons onto the streets with early releases.

The Drug Policy Alliance also points out other important areas of injustice in the present enforcement system. For instance, people of color – African-Americans and Latinos – are far more likely to be jailed for drug offenses than others. And college students caught in possession of very small amounts of illegal substances are denied student loans and even food stamps.

The Alliance and other organizations are working to reform and reframe the war on drugs. And they are finding many judges on their side, who are rebelling against this cruel system. We can expect no federal action during the congressional hiatus in activity ahead of the November elections, but it would be of considerable help if, across the country, campaigning politicians put this high on their promises of legislative action, much sooner than later.

Also, back in 1998, The Drug Policy Alliance also coordinated an open letter to then Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Anan in opposition to the U.N. Drug Policy, which was signed by 500 prominent persons, including Walter Cronkite

Here is the Epilogue to the 1995 broadcast, courtesy of Stop the Drug War:

The Drug Dilemma, War or Peace?

An epidose of The Cronkite Report, first aired on the Discovery Channel, Tuesday, June 20, 1995.

Every American was shocked when Robert McNamara, one of the master architects of the Vietnam war, acknowledged that not only did he believe the war was, “wrong, terribly wrong,” but that he thought so at the very time he was helping to wage it. That’s a mistake we must not make in this 10th year of America’s all-out War on Drugs.

It’s surely time for this nation to stop flying blind, stop accepting the assurances of politicians and other officials, that if we only keep doing what we are doing, add a little more cash, break down a few more doors, lock up a few more Jan Warrens and Nicole Richardsons, then we will see the light at the end of the tunnel. Victory will be ours.

Tonight we have seen a war that in its broad outline is not working. And we’ve seen some less war-like ideas that appear to hold promise. We’ve raised more questions than we’ve answered, because that’s where the Drug War stands today. We’re a confused people, desperately in need of answers and leadership. Legalization seems to many like too dangerous an experiment; to others, the War on Drugs, as it is now conducted, seems inhumane and too costly. Is there a middle ground?

Well, it seems to this reporter that the time has come for President Clinton to do what President Hoover did when prohibition was tearing the nation apart: appoint a bi-partisan commission of distinguished citizens, perhaps including some of the people we heard tonight, a blue-ribbon panel to re-appraise our drug policy right down to its very core, a commission with full investigative authority and the prestige and power to override bureaucratic concerns and political considerations.

Such a commission could help us focus our thinking, escape the cliches of the Drug War in favor of scientific fact, and more rationally analyze the real scope of the problem, answer the questions that bedevil us, and present a comprehensive drug policy for the future.

We cannot go into tomorrow with the same formulas that are failing today. We must not blindly add to the body count and the terrible cost of the War on Drugs, only to learn from another Robert McNamara 30 years from now that what we’ve been doing is, “wrong, terribly wrong.”

Goodnight.

(“The Drug Dilemma: War or Peace,” can be ordered from Cronkite, Ward and Co., 39 West 55th Street, New York, NY 10019; (212) 765-1200.)

 

sativaA perfect storm of relaxed federal intervention, intriguing new science and the failure of pharmaceutical narcotics for treating chronic illness has citizens clambering for legal access to medical Cannabis (marijuana) and several state legislatures scrambling for solutions to an issue many politicians don’t adequately understand.

While most states with legal medical marijuana are concentrated in the west, their programs established through voter referendum, eastern states generally don’t have ballot initiative processes, so changes must come through the legislature. So far, lawmakers in three states have passed medical marijuana access statutes – Hawaii, New Mexico and Rhode Island. But several more are poised to join the list and the thirteen states with legal medical marijuana access.

NJHeadline: June 5, 2009 – New Jersey: Tighter Medical-Marijuana Bill Clears Panel– The Garden State’s journey for medical Cannabis has gone on for years, but now appears close to fruition. The House has passed it’s own version of the bill approved by the Senate last winter, but with substantial changes that merit concern. Removed were provisions for patients growing their own medicine – instead, the Cannabis must be procured through approved treatment centers. At a  committee hearing on June 4th, and ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) patient struggles to express to lawmakers her preference for a natural medicine verses pharmaceutical narcotics for her terminal illness -shown here by the Coalition for Medical Marijuana in New Jersey on their You Tube channel:ALS Patient – NJ Medical Marijuana Assembly Committee 6-4-09

Hightened emotion is a side-effect of ALS – this is one brave lady. I know another brave soul with ALS who has found Cannabis to be a life saver for her, having survived for 23 years now and enjoying good quality of life. Visit her You Tube channel for this compelling story.

nhempshireHeadline: June 24, 2009 – New Hampshire: Panel’s Changes In Medical Marijuana Bill Face Concord– A state whose name traces to Cannabis Hemp had already passed a medical marijuana bill in both of its’ legislative bodies, but made a last minute change upon threat of veto by Governor Lynch – guess what, patients will not be allowed to grow, but must procure through three “Compassion Centers”, with no more than two ounces possessed at any time. Matt Simon of NH Common Sense for Marijuana Policy and an opposing Senator appear on this video: NH senator vs. Pot Activist

The outlawing of growing medical Cannabis by individuals may seem logical for several reasons – quality control; security; residential codes and risks associated with amateur “grow-ops”. Certainly, many patients can’t grow their own and dispensaries will be necessary for many reasons. . But experience in Canada highlight problems with the state system – low quality and high cost. It’s not surprising that government agencies are not famous for producing high quality Cannabis. Ending the prohibition would end most problems. Indeed, the Institute of Medicine Report in 1999 recommended universal and immediate patient access to medical cannabis in its’ natural form. 

Case in point: The U.S. government already grows Cannabis for several legal patients grandfathered in from the Investigational New Drugs Program, closed to Cannabis in 1991. Grown at the University of Mississippi, the government pot is notorious for its’ seeds and stems content, extreme age (typically 12 years old, freeze-dried). ctc1Although shown to be effective in long-term studies, patients and researchers are demanding the end of the government monopoly on growing Cannabis. At a recent Clinical Conference on Cannabis Therapeutics, hosted by Patients Out of Time, legal patient Irv Rosenfeld displays seeds and stems collected over a years time from his medicine shipments. Also in this video is Elvy Musikka, a legal patient receiving Cannabis for her Glaucoma, who doubts the concern of the federal government for her health and sight.Seeds & Stems Blues – Irv & Elvy’s Legal Marijuana

Ther are two eastern states that are considering medical marijuana programs with provisions for personal growing still in place – Delaware and North Carolina.

DEHeadline: June 1, 2009 – DE: Editorial: Medical Marijuana Is a Necessary CompassionSenate Bill 94 has been introduced in Delaware, allowing for growing by patients and six ounces in their possession. In this news video, a patient eloquently explains how Cannabis lets him decrease the amount of narcotics and their side-effects – a synergistic benefit now substantiated by science.Delaware Online News: Medical Marijuana Bill Introduced

ncHeadline: June 23, 2009 – NC: Editorial: House Ponders Legalizing Medical Use Of Marijuana – The Bible-Belt state of North Carolina is considering legislation that would allow individual growing, caregivers and dispensaries. Crafted from the best aspects of many state’s bills and consultation with court-certified experts like Chris Conrad, the NC Medical Marijuana Act is generating news and debate in the House health committee. The NC Cannabis Patient Network’s You Tube channel has a three part video series of a hearing on the bill, with public testimony, plus several patients who didn’t get to address the committee.NC Med Marijuana Act 1380 Health Comm Hearing, pt. 1

 GAHeadline: June 21, 2009 – Georgia Gets A Medical Marijuana Green Light– Georgia and South Carolina already have basic recognition of medical marijuana on their books, but no legal access. Can they be far behind?  The medical Cannabis juggernaut rolls on!

FredDglssThose who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its waters. This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle! Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did, and it never will. Find out just what people will submit to, and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them; and these will continue until they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.
Frederick Douglass, August 4, 1857.

“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

mexicoWow, CNN’s American Morning just did a fairly balanced segment on the chaos in Mexico, which is descending into real civil war, with “100 beheadings of Police Chiefs” who dared to battle the narco-traffickers. CNN even had a brief statement from Ethan Nadelmann, of the Drug Policy Alliance, a long time rational voice for harm reduction policies for all drug issues. Ron Paul appears, calling for outright legalization. CNN has a video report, “Drug Violence Crosses Border” that outlines the spillover of violence into the U.S. Here are a few newspaper headlines and You Tube videos following the carnage this month:

Headline: Feb 23, 2009Mexico: On the Border, a Crisis Escalates – This USA Today report is heart-wrenching with personal tragedy and dire predictions for the future, as 30% unemployment in Mexico threatens to swell the ranks of criminal organizations perpetrating unimaginable horrors – gangs that already have a presence in at least 230 cities across America, according to a Justice department report. The U.S. State Department has issued travel alerts for Mexico’s border areas and other tourist destinations.Drug Shootout in Mexico

Headline: Feb 23, 2009Mexico: Drug Violence Tarnishes Mexico’s International Image – From the Christian Science Monitor: “Some 6,000 have been killed since last year, double the number from the previous year, with 78 soldiers and 500 police among the victims.”

Headline: Feb 15, 2009Mexico: Juarez: Soldier Among 25 Slain During Violent Day – Just another day in this forsaken border town, where 230 people have been killed since the first of the year.Exploding Violence In Mexico, from CBS You Tube

colombiaFeb 23, 2009OPED: The War on Drugs is a Failure – In this important guest editorial in the Wall Street Journal, three former Presidents of Central and South American countries call on the Obama administration to rethink the modern prohibition – a catastrophe of epic proportions for the citizens of their countries.  Fernando Henrique Cardoso (former President of Brazil), CeSar Gaviria (former President of Colombia) and Ernesto Zedillo (former President of Mexico).

texasHeadline: Jan 18, 2009Texas: 70% Now Back Drug Legalization – Across the border from Juarez is the American city of El Paso. Last month, things got interesting in the El Paso City Council when Rep. Beto O’Rourke persuaded his fellow council members to include a call for debate on the legalization of drugs as part of a resolution by the Border Relations Committee. The Mayor vetoed the debate amendment, but reports of federal pressure against this excercise in free speech and a visit by Law Enforcement Against Prohibition have sustained interest in the issue.

leapLEAP consists of law enforcement personal, judges, DAs, lawyers and others who feel that the current “War on Drugs” is a total failure – only a repeat of the notoriously ineffective alcohol prohibition of the last century. In this video, a former federal agent with 30 years of experience on the front lines of the drug war testifies before the El Paso City Council last month.Former Fed says Let’s Legalize Drugs

ssdpStudents For Sensible Drug Policy, a dynamic organization with chapters across the nation, also spoke to the El Paso City council in the following video, which includes a local newscast on the quelling of free speech in Texas, with Rep. Beto O’Rourke SSDP Advocates Drug Legalization in El Paso

rmills Prohibition was introduced as a fraud; it has been nursed as a fraud. It is wrapped in the livery of Heaven, but it comes to serve the devil. It comes to regulate by law our appetites and our daily lives. It comes to tear down liberty and build up fanaticism, hypocrisy, and intolerance. It comes to confiscate by legislative decree the property of many of our fellow citizens. It comes to send spies, detectives, and informers into our homes; to have us arrested and carried before courts and condemned to fines and imprisonments. It comes to dissipate the sunlight of happiness, peace, and prosperity in which we are now living and to fill our land with alienations, estrangements, and bitterness. It comes to bring us evil –only evil– and that continually. Let us rise in our might as one and overwhelm it with such indignation that we shall never hear of it again as long as grass grows and water runs.
– Roger Q. Mills of Texas from an 1887 speech

abe1Seventy-five years ago – December 5th, 1933, Congress repealed the Volstead Act (a.k.a. the “Noble Experiment“), which had prohibited the sale and manufacture (with “decrim” for users) of alcohol since 1920.  Among the reasons was the Great Depression, which began in 1929 and brought America to it’s knees. Continued funding of alcohol prohibition was impossible, while a new source of tax revenue was badly needed.  Other reasons were corruption of law enforcement and government, gang wars, drive-by shootings and contaminated “hooch” – just like today’s drug war. And once again, America is in need of additional revenue. 

Dec. 5, 2008 – Today’s Headlines on our Modern Prohibition:

* MA: OPED: A Day to Remember: Prohibition Isn’t Forever *

*Wall Street Journal OPED: Let’s End Drug Prohibition*

* Drug Czar’s Reply: Our Drug Policy Is a Success *

 Last spring, I wrote about the complexity of reforming the drug war compared to the simplicity of repealing alcohol prohibition and the defunding of the drug war that has already begun. Most experts agree that legalizing or decriminalizing Cannabis (marijuana) is a good first step. Treating it the same as alcohol and tobacco, as several countries in Europe have done, is likely the only reform that mainstream America will immediately accept. Restriction and regulation of narcotic drugs like cocaine and heroin will still be necessary – hopefully using  “harm reduction” methods, again following Europe‘s lead.

Prohibition Too Big to Fail ? – (Previous Post)

Note that users of alcohol were “decriminalized” during the first prohibition and the “experiment” still had to end. The same is true today – ultimately, legalization is the only answer for long term stability of society, respect for the law & government institutions and adherence to the Constitution.

I filmed Rep. Barney Frank (D) MA at a National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws conference back in 2001. Rep. Frank believes that the states could be a “laboratory” of drug law reform, much like after alcohol prohibition ended, when states enacted their own laws.Rep. Barney Frank (MA): Marijuana, Politics & State’s Rights

Rep. Frank’s observations still hold true today, including the contradiction of “conservatives” in Congress ignoring the results of elections in legal medical marijuana states and the logic of putting marijuana in the same category as alcohol and tobacco.

The following are several recent newspaper articles that address the issue of the modern prohibition, with more videos from You Tube to further illustrate the controversy.

Headline: Dec 2, 2008 – MD: Column: Legalizing Drugs: The Money Argument – A report funded by the Criminal Justice Policy Foundation, in association with Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, features Harvard economist Jeffrey A. Miron (see previous post) and his conclusions:

Legalizing drugs would save roughly $44.1 billion per year in government expenditure on enforcement of drug laws, with about $30.3 billion of this savings going to state and local governments and the rest staying in the U.S. Treasury.

Drug legalization would yield tax revenue of $32.7 billion annually.  That’s assuming legal drugs are taxed at rates similar to those on alcohol and tobacco.  About $6.7 billion would come from sales of legal marijuana, $22.5 billion from sales of cocaine and heroin and the remainder from the sales of other drugs now prohibited.

The Criminal Justice Policy Foundation was founded by Eric Sterling,  Counsel to the House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary from 1979 until 1989. Mr. Sterling actually help draft much of the draconian drug legislation passed during the Reagan administration. Since then he has worked to undo the injustices wrought by these same laws. Eric was the first “activist” I met in the drug law reform movement and I have deep respect for him. If only other civil servants were so conscious of their actions and duty to their country.  Here is a video from a German documentary on the American war on drugs featuring Eric Sterling.The War on Drugs – An Insider’s View

Headline: Nov 20, 2008 – CA: OPED: It’s Time To Revisit War On Drugs – Quoting Albert Einstein and citing problems oversees with 37 years of Richard Nixon’s drug war, this article looks at the “Drug War Clock” at DrugSense.org for the following figures:

 The U.S. federal government spent more than $19 billion dollars in 2003 on the War on Drugs, at a rate of about $600 per second .  State and local governments spent at least another $30 billion.  
Police arrested an estimated 829,625 persons for cannabis violations in 2006, the highest annual total ever recorded in the United States, according to statistics compiled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  Of those charged with cannabis violations, approximately 89 percent, 738,915 Americans were charged with possession only.  An American is now arrested for violating cannabis laws every 38 seconds.

The Drug Truth Network has produced a video exposing the “eternal horror, the empowering of our enemies, the death disease and destruction of drug war”.Eternal War = Drugs &  Terror

Headline: Nov 29, 2008 – IL: OPED: Obama Should End War On Drugs – A member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition from Barack Obama’s home state sends a message:

leap“President-elect Obama – we need an end to drug prohibition and a drug czar committed to treating drugs like a health problem, not a law-enforcement problem. We need harm-reduction. We need drug policy reform.”

LEAP has an on-line petetion calling on Congress to create a “Blue Ribbon Commission” to bring an end to the modern prohibition. Make your voice heard today!

In this video, another LEAP member reiterates the reasons that law officers and anyone concerned about the stability of our society should favor reform of the drug laws.Seattle Police Chief Norm Stamper on Ending the Drug War

Headline: Dec 4, 2008 – CA: Should We Tax Pot?– A columnist from Los Angeles concludes that legalization and taxation of marijuana is a bad idea, citing a study from the Rand Corporation’s drug policy research center.

I think these prohibitionists should watch this video from the Marijuana Policy Project, with an inescapably logical appeal to our new president:Open Letter to Barack Obama from MPP

Headline: Dec 5, 2008 – Web: Prohibition Ended 75 Years Ago, But What Have We Learned? –  Rob Kampia, Executive Director of the Marijuana Policy Project, gives his observations on the old and new prohibitions in this article posted on Alternet.

albertThe 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