Richard J. Rawlings

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RICHARD J RAWLINGS

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Illinois: Widow Who Pushed For Medical Marijuana Not Allowed To Use It Under New Law


ILGovPatQuinnAndMichelleDiGiacomo

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Michelle DiGiacomo of Chicago won’t be allowed to use medical marijuana under the new law in Illinois — because she used medical marijuana before the law passed.

When police stormed DiGiacomo’s North Side Chicago apartment last year, she had known the day could come, since marijuana was still illegal in Illinois even for medical reasons. But she was still unprepared.

“I was about to experience the worst 28 hours of my life,” said DiGiacomo, 53, who runs Direct Effect Charities, which serves needy Chicago Public Schools kids, reports Maudlyne Ihejirika at the Chicago Sun-Times. “We had discussed this possibility in the past; one I had hoped would never come to be.”

The widowed mother had used marijuana for the past five years to control the pain of fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, spinal stenosis and rotator cuff disease. Pharmaceuticals had resulted in adverse reactions, or had failed to provide relief.

After he September 13, 2012 arrest, she pleaded guilty on March 5 to Class 4 felony possession of marijuana, just five months before Gov. Pat Quinn signed the state’s medical marijuana bill into law.

Now she’s not allowed to take part in the program, because under the Illinois Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Program Act, a felony conviction disqualifies her from accessing medical marijuana. Advocates say the story highlights the new law’s shortcomings.

DiGiacomo has “several chronically painful conditions,” according to Dr. Andrew Ruthberg, a Rush University Medical Center rheumatologist who has treated her for years. These include “rhematoid arthritis, a cervical spine disorder — which has required surgical repair — rotator cuff disease involving both shoulders, and a more recent lower back pain disorder.”

Dr. Ruthberg added that DiGiacomo has “had difficulty tolerating many traditional medications, and I fully believe that [her] use of marijuana has been solely for the purpose of trying to moderate chronic pain.”

“Pain is a daily issue living with these conditions,” said Dr. Howard An, Rush University Medical Center’s director of spine surgery, who has treated DiGiacomo since September 2010 and performed her spinal fusion surgery. “I know that [she has] tried numerous traditional medications without any relief. I fully believe that … use of marijuana has been for the use of controlling … chronic pain.”

“I made the difficult choice to use medical marijuana even though it was illegal, and I always felt like a criminal,” she said. “I did not want to get my medication in the street, so I made the hard decision to purchase it from a medical dispensary in California and receive it in the mail. It was terrifying. It was a horrible way to live.”

Minutes after she received 670 grams of marijuana from California in the mail, on September 13, 2012, police were at the door.

“I opened up to multiple guns pointed at me,” she said. “A police officer screamed, ‘Who’s in here?’ I told him, ‘Myself and my 14-year-old daughter.’ He asked where the guns were. I told him I had no guns. He asked where the drugs were. I told him where the small amount of medical marijuana I had in the house was, as well as what had just arrived.”

“Michelle DiGiacomo is not a criminal,” said Spencer Tweedy, whose father, Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy, and mother, Susan Miller Tweedy, are longtime supporters of her charity work for school children. Spencer Tweedy helped raise $3,000 toward DiGiacomo’s legal fees.

This is a woman who despite her numerous and severe ailments has dedicated her life to charity work,” Tweedy said. “When [the poilice] impounded her car, it was filled with school supplies headed for impoverished students. The cost of defending herself against the law has crippled her more than her diseases ever have.”

Spending the night in Cook County Jail was “the most degrading experience of my life,” DiGiacomo said.

For six months, she fought to avoid a felony conviction that could severely impact her work as the CEO of a nonprofit. But the Cook County Attorney’s Office wouldn’t negotiate, refusing to lower the charges from a felony to a misdemeanor, or to grant DiGiacomo 410 probation, which allows for expungement of first-time drug offenders.

“I was really surprised,” said her attorney, Michael Rediger. “The state’s attorney refused to even look at the fact that her doctors verified she was taking this as part of a medical treatment for pain, and that she did in fact have a California medical marijuana license; or to consider her longtime charitable work and the fact that she’d never been convicted of any other crime, not even a misdemeanor, nothing.”

Unable to afford trial, DiGiacomo pleaded guilty to Class 4 felony possession of marijuana. She got a year of probation, and went public, adding her story to the cacophony of stories used to exemplify the need for the law.

“Ms. DiGiacomo’s story … highlighted how not having a medical cannabis law hurts good, honest, hardworking people like her,” said Dan Linn, executive director of the Illinois chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML).

“There’s a perception that we don’t need to pass medical marijuana legislation because police wouldn’t be cruel enough to arrest a sick person just trying to ease their suffering,” said Dan Riffle, director of federal policies for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), based in Washington, D.C.

“Yet here’s a mother running a charity that helps thousands of kids, who was arrested at gunpoint … and will live the rest of her life as a felon, all because she is sick and marijuana helps her, as her doctors have attested,” Riffle said. “Stories like hers and other patients who were either arrested or lived in fear of arrest gave legislators reason to finally take action.”

But now that medical marijuana is legal in Illinois, it’s still illegal for DiGiacomo, because of her felony conviction — for using medical marijuana. This is despite the fact that she personally has no fewer than four of the 33 “debilitating medical conditions” specifically listed in the Illinois law.

“It Illinois, individuals with criminal histories are banned from the program, and it really makes no sense,” said Chris Lindsey, legislative analyst for MPP. “I have already been in discussions with the bill sponsor … about fixing some of the troubling areas of the law.

August 1 was bittersweet, DiGiacomo said, as she sat with other patients who stories helped the lobbying effort, watching Gov. Pat Quinn sign the bill into law.

“It was surreal to be with other patients who had worked for a very long time to make it happen,” she said. “While relief has finally arrived for them, it still has not for me, as my conviction will prevent me from getting the medicine that helps me the most.”

(Photo of Michelle DiGiacomo with Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn: Direct Effect Charities)

In Honor of Richard James Rawlings 1961-2013


Richard James Rawlings with Gatewood Galbraith in Glasgow, Kentucky 2011

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The U.S. Marijuana Party, did, on February 24, 2013, loose one of its first and most influential Presidents, 

Second only to Loretta Nall, who preceded him as the first President of the USMJParty in 2002.

Richard James Rawlings took the head of the table in 2005 after Ms. Nall’s resignation.

He actively ran for Congress in Peoria Illinois several times.  He promoted many legalization activities in the Peoria area of Illinois and attended many more events in various states until he began to become ill in 2009-10.

It was not until July of 2012 that he was diagnosed with Stage 4 Throat, Lung and Adrenal Cancer.

At the age of 51, he died peacefully at his mother’s home where we had resided since shortly after his hospitalization in Glasgow Kentucky for two weeks in July 2012 where he received the diagnosis and the surgery for the trach which he would continue to wear until the night of his death when I removed it.

All of his family were with him almost constantly during the last two weeks.  And I am forever grateful to them for all their support to me during this most difficult time.

His death broke my Heart.  We were not only coworkers, friends and companions – we were lovers and partners.

He will never be forgotten by me and I know the same sentiment holds true with all of his family, friends and followers.

May what he stood for never be forgotten:  Repeal of Hemp/Marijuana/Cannabis Laws at best or Legalization at least.

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May He Rest In Peace

Sheree Krider

We live in the only country in the world where a child can be sentenced to be in prison until they die


Juwan being interrogated

We live in the only country in the world where a child can be sentenced to be in prison until they die.

What’s worse is that it’s not even rare — more than 2,500 people who were sentenced as kids will spend the rest of their lives in prison.

Juwan is one of them. He was a skinny 16-year-old kid when he was arrested after he saw a companion kill a pizza deliveryman. The shooter was never convicted, but because Juwan was present and had a gun, he was sentenced to spend the rest of his life behind bars.

Without the possibility of parole, Juwan will never have a second chance for rehabilitation.

Just one year before Juwan was sentenced, the Supreme Court decided that mandatory juvenile life without parole was unconstitutional cruel and unusual punishment.

The problem is — the decision left gaping loopholes and didn’t ban the sentence outright, meaning that Juwan and other children became victims of poor timing and inadequate policy implementation. While six states have moved to ban the practice, this barbaric punishment is still perfectly legal in 44 states.

But the Department of Justice has the power to close some of these loopholes and set the standard on the federal level. By providing policy guidelines for U.S. attorneys, the DOJ can ensure that judges are empowered to use discretion and give appropriate sentences based on unique circumstances.

Attorney General Eric Holder has already endorsed proposals that limit life without parole sentences for non-violent drug offenders. If he hears from thousands of us who support criminal justice reform, he can provide the tools needed to limit juvenile life without parole sentences.

It’s time that we give kids like Juwan a second chance at life.

PLEASE FOLLOW THIS LINK AND SIGN PETITION!

PLEASE HELP RONNIE SMITH’S FAMILY!


 

 

Brian McCullough via Renee Gibson

Ronnie’s sister here. He sent me a message today and I spoke with him a bit ago. It seems that the Dr’s. are giving him 2 weeks to live. He said he will be going home with hospice in a couple days. He is still hoping that the oil will help but is sad also. I have created a gofundme page to help me and his son get from KY to CO to be with him. If anyone can help us out it would be much appreciated.

HERE IS THE LINK TO DONATE!
http://www.gofundme.com/7orqn4

HIS FACEBOOK PAGE IS HERE.  PLEASE SEND LOVE AND PRAYERS!

Brian McCullough For the love of God…, please share this far and wide.On group pages and such…

I have to get off line and wont be back till Monday. I want his friends and ours to send healing energy to my buddy.

I can only hope you all will get this message before it’s too late.

Peace out, Brian

Clemency to Jeff Mizanskey: Life without parole for marijuana


Clemency to Jeff Mizanskey: Life without parole for marijuana

This petition will be delivered to:  Missouri, Gov. Jeremiah Nixon

Petition by  Chris Mizanskey  Sedalia, MO

My father Jeff Mizanskey has been in prison for 20 years and has no possibility of parole. For non-violent, marijuana-only offenses, my father has been sentenced to die in prison because of a “three strikes” mandatory sentencing policy in the State of Missouri.

Dad’s first offense was in 1984 when he sold an ounce to an undercover informant, and then was found to possess a half pound of marijuana when police raided his house the next day.  His next offense occurred in 1991, when he was caught in possession of a couple of ounces. But for my father’s final strike in 1993, he became an easy fall guy in a conspiracy to distribute marijuana. My dad was driving a friend to a deal that turned out to be a sting operation. All of the other convicted men involved were set free years ago, but my dad was given a virtual death sentence.

My dad is, and always has been, a good man. He taught my brother and I all about construction and a good work ethic. He has never been violent and he is a model prisoner. And over the 20 years he has been in that little cell, he has watched as violent criminals, rapists, and murderers have “paid their debts” and left – sometimes just to return a few months later.

My father is 61 years old, and has been in prison since he was 41. His parents – my grandparents – have since passed. While my dad has been trapped behind bars, generations of kids and grandkids have been born into our family who have never even met the man. The State of Missouri spends roughly $22,000/year to keep him locked up. Meanwhile all my dad wants to do is be a productive part of society, work and pay taxes, be with his family. And I want my dad back.

Governor Jay Nixon is the only person who has the power to bring my dad home by granting clemency to Jeff and calling 20 years punishment enough. Please help us reach a just and reasonable end to his prison sentence by signing and sharing this petition.

To:
Gov. Jeremiah Nixon, Missouri

Jeff Mizanskey is a non-violent, marijuana-only offender who has spent the last 20 years in a Missouri prison. He has been sentenced to be there for the rest of his life, and he has no opportunity for parole. The only hope he has to ever to become a working member of society or to hold his grandchildren in his hands is for you to grant him clemency.

His sentence was imposed because of the Prior and Persistent Drug Offender sentencing structure which requires life in prison without parole for his three felony marijuana-only offenses.
Jeff Mizanskey has never committed violence and is most certainly a model prisoner. For 20 years he has sat behind bars, only to watch as rapists and murders come and go and sometimes come back again. Meanwhile the State of Missouri spends roughly $22,000 annually to house him – over $400,000 has been spent so far.

 
On February 3, 2011, Missouri Supreme Court Chief Justice William Ray Price, Jr., delivered his final State of the Judiciary address to the Missouri General Assembly. In that speech, Chief Justice Price lambasted Missouri’s “three strikes” drug-sentencing laws as enormously costly and ineffective. “Punishment,” Price said, “is a necessary part of our criminal justice system. But our real goal for nonviolent offenders is to teach them their lesson so they can become productive law-abiding members of our society. The goal is not to lock them into a life of crime, to make them permanent wards of the state.”
Jeff Mizanskey has been punished for 20 years. He has learned his lesson and wants to become a productive, law-abiding member of our society. The goal Price mentions has been more than reached, and it is time to give Jeff back his life.

On July 6, 2012, you signed the Justice Reinvestment Act, which was intended to reduce our prison population, save the state money, and ensure that punishments are proportional to violations for non-violent offenders. While this has done a great deal of good for so many Missourians, Jeff’s status has remained unchanged.
In October 2013, Gallup released a poll showing 58% of Americans support marijuana legalization. 58% of Americans recognize the principle that imprisoning Jeff Mizanskey for the rest of his life has no net positive social benefit.

In the spirit of the Justice Reinvestment Act and in the spirit of justice itself, please grant clemency to Jeff Mizanskey today. Please pardon Jeff Mizanskey so that he does not die in prison just for marijuana.

PLEASE CONTINUE TO LINK TO SIGN PETITION!

Illinois’ Proposed Medical Marijuana Rules Could Squeeze Out Small Businesses


Proposed Illinois Medical Marijuana Rules Marijuana Illinois Marijuana Laws Medical Marijuana Illinois Medical Marijuana Rules Illinois Medical Marijuana Proposed Rules Chicago News

 

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Medical marijuana regulations recently proposed in Illinois could be a major buzzkill for the state’s entrepreneurs and other small business owners.

Under the proposal from the Illinois Department of Agriculture, legal pot businesses would need approximately half a million dollars in startup costs. The program would require pot dispensaries to pay a $5,000 nonrefundable application fee, show proof of $400,000 in assets, pay a $30,000 permit fee and fork over a $25,000 yearly permit renewal fee.

Cultivation centers would be required to pony up a $25,000 nonrefundable application fee, prove they have $250,000 in liquid assets, pay a $200,000 fee once the permit is approved and pay a $100,000 renewal fee.

Additionally, local governments would be able to charge their own dispensary and cultivation center fees.

“Probably 50 percent of the wannabes are now out,” Joseph Friedman, a suburban Chicago pharmacist hoping to opening a dispensary, told the Chicago Tribune. “This is going to bring out just the serious players who are well-capitalized and well-credentialed.”

Regulators have been slowly hammering out the various rules for potential users, growers and dispensary vendors since the state’s medical weed law — the strictest in the nation — went into effect earlier this year. Medical marijuana advocates worry the new proposals for dispensaries and cultivation centers could price out suffering patients and ultimately threaten the success of the nascent pilot program.

“This program was designed, proposed and passed to help sick people,” Dan Linn, the executive director of the Illinois chapter of the National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws (NORML), told The Huffington Post. “But now it seems the state has wrapped itself up in the bureaucracy and this is all going to be on the backs of sick people.”

Linn said the some of the high regulation fees will help keep the pilot program cost-neutral for the state and also weed out “the perceived trouble makers” hoping to get rich quick in the medical marijuana gold rush.

The downside, Linn said, is what he calls the “trickle-down” cost to medical marijuana patients. “A lot them are sick and on disability and can’t afford the [high price of] legal medical marijuana. You’ll see patients who sign up for a card and never use it.”

Linn notes that if the fees are passed on to customers and medical weed becomes significantly more expensive than that on the street, dispensaries and clinics won’t have enough business. “Ultimately,” he said, “that could make or break this program.”

Real estate is shaping up to be another challenge for potential medical marijuana businesses, with local governments in the Chicagoland area tinkering with zoning laws that could restrict pot businesses’ already limited options.

Other proposed regulations would require medical marijuana patients to be fingerprinted, undergo a background check and pay $150 yearly fee for a special photo ID card, the Associated Press reports.

Regulators will take public input on the proposals until Feb. 27.

CONTINUE READING…

Illinois: The use of medical marijuana and hospice


CANNABIS

 

Staff Report

Jan. 1, 2014, medical marijuana was legalized in Illinois for patients who qualify for the substance. This will be an evolution in end-of-life care and symptom management. Every patient deserves to live comfortably with the most dignity as possible.

“We always want to strive to provide the highest quality of care,” said Passages Hospice Founder Seth Gillman. “We have to keep an open mind to any medications or opportunities available to our patients.”

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (D) signed a medical marijuana law into place for Illinois Aug. 1, 2013. The law is going to be one of the strictest medical marijuana laws signed in the United States. There will be a four-year pilot program for 60 state-run dispensaries that will be under 24-hour surveillance.

The U.S. is lagging compared to other countries when it comes to the use of medical marijuana. Israel has used the drug for medicinal purposes since 2005 for terminally ill patients.

Passages Hospice strives to maintain its role as an innovative leader in hospice care and pain management. Medical marijuana can alleviate symptoms associated with terminal illnesses, such as cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis and many others.

The drug will be used as treatment for a variety of symptoms, such as loss of appetite, nausea, pain, anxiety and sadness. The substance will also eliminate some of the negative side effects associated with drugs like morphine.

Medicinal use of marijuana has been around for many centuries. The Cannabis sativa plant has elements with pain relieving properties. Cannabinoids are the active ingredients in cannabis associated with the relief of pain and vomiting along with appetite stimulation.

The most common cannabinoid in the plant is Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the psychoactive chemical component that causes a high. This component is the reason medical marijuana has been so controversial. Fortunately, researchers have been able to develop strains of marijuana that contain little traces of THC, but just enough to have beneficial effects for medical purposes. This will allow patients to still maintain a clear head and carry out day-to-day activities.

“As part of our dedication to unique and innovative programs, we are anxiously awaiting approval for a medical marijuana licensure,” said Gillman. “Passages has always supported a patient’s right to live comfortably and on their terms.”

For more about Passages Hospice, visit www.passageshospice.com or call 888-741-8985.

Posted Jan. 29, 2014

CONTINUE READING…

COMFYTREE PRESENTS A SYMPOSIUM IN LOUISVILLE AND LEXINGTON KENTUCKY ON JANUARY 11TH AND 12TH


 

THE U.S. MARIJUANA PARTY OF KENTUCKY HAS BEEN INVITED TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS IMPORTANT EVENT IN OUR STATE…

CTC Cannabis Academy KY Palm,

SPEAKERS INCLUDE BUT NOT LIMITED TO REV. MARY THOMAS-SPEARS SPEAKING ON BEHALF OF REPEAL OF PROHIBITION OF THIS PLANT AND HOW REPEAL WILL END THE WAR ON CANNABIS FOR EVERYONE.

PLEASE PLAN TO ATTEND ….

Illinois cannabis patients cannot be discriminated against by employers


 

 

Blueberry Gum2

 

On December 10th the National Law Review

published an article written by Vedder Price in which

they give some clarification of the Illinois Medical

Marijuana Law.

On august 1, 2013 Governor Pat Quinn signed the

“Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot

Program Act”.

One of the most disturbing provisions to me is the

fact that a patient CANNOT grow their own medicine. 

It must be dispensed (and paid for) at a legally

licensed dispensary.

However, one good thing that is included in the

“Act” was in regards to an employment related

issue. Under the “Act” it would be unlawful to

discriminate against an employee or applicant based

upon their medical cannabis use, provided is legally

prescribed and obtained.

It would seem that legalization has opened up doors

in all commerce ventures across the country and

worldwide.  The problem is the legalization itself has

opened up a whole new door for criminalization.

As the product of “Cannabis” is patented, grown,

produced, sold and exchanged over the stock

market all around the world, the doors of the new

prisons will be opening for those of us who might

not choose to abide by their “growing standards”.

Each state law is markedly different and continuously

changing amid the stress of a newly marketed item. 

But the bottom line is legalization equals regulation

and taxation which we are seeing now amid the

hustle and bustle of the “legalizing states”.

There will indeed be much money to be made. 

Jobs will be created.  People will have access to

Cannabis – IF deemed necessary by thier doctor,

and the “law”.

Just like the opiate wars which we are living in every

day, which would include all Pharmaceutical Opiates

which are marketed through Pharmacy’s and

regulated by law therefore creating a black market

for them by law of supply and demand (via

addiction), so will the war on Cannabis continue,

long after it is “legal”.  The only difference is that the

Cannabis is not addictive like other opiates and that

is and will continue to be the saving factor in this

rude scenario of “legalization”.

Below are some links of information on the legalization process.

 

HALF BAKED:  THE FEDERAL AND STATE CONFLICTS OF LEGALIZING MEDICAL MARIJUANA  (2012)

THE NATIONAL LAW REVIEW (2013)

FINDLAW.COM

Prohibition DOES NOT work–Neither will “Legalization”…


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DIVERSE SANCTUARY – REV. MARY THOMAS-SPEARS

MAKE IT LAWFUL – AMERICANS FOR CANNABIS

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

Kentucky Cannabis Hemp Health Initiative 2013-2014

DE-SCHEDULE/REPEAL AND NULLIFY

REPEAL PROHIBITION – END THE WAR ON DRUGS

Make It Lawful

REPEAL THE CONTROLLED DRUGS AND SUBSTANCES ACT !

CANADIANS FOR REPEAL OF CANNABIS PROHIBITION !

Illinois man charged with selling hallucinogenic mushrooms faces 20 years in prison


mushrooms

PORTAGE — A Glencoe, Ill., man is accused of selling $180 worth of psychedelic mushrooms to undercover officers Aug. 29.

Mark Edward Mikolajczyk, 33, now faces up to 20 years in prison on a Class B felony of dealing drugs and has also been charged two misdemeanors, possession of marijuana and possession of paraphernalia.

An informant told the Porter County Drug Task Force that he knew of someone who dealt in “molly,” also known as Ecstasy, and psilocybin mushrooms.

Mikolajczyk told undercover agents he was out of “molly” but drove to Portage to deliver the mushrooms.

Portage police pulled him over after the deal and found the money used to buy the drugs (serial numbers had been recorded so the cash could be tracked), as well as another $703 and the marijuana.

CONTINUE READING…

 

"I don’t want to fucking give this United States government one fucking dollar of taxes…" — Jack Herer, "The Emperor of Hemp", September 12th, 2009


Rev. Mary Spears explains the legalization vs. repeal initiatives and why REPEAL is the only way to proceed.

 

“I don’t want to fucking give this United States
government one fucking dollar of taxes…”
Jack Herer, “The Emperor of Hemp”, September 12th, 2009
(Portland Hempstalk Festival–his final speech.)
http://overgrow.ning.com/profiles/blogs/the-fallacy-of-the-legalize-and-tax-cannabis-initiatives

 

By ElectroPig Von Fökkengrüüven in Overgrow The World v2.0

The Fallacy of the “Legalize and Tax Cannabis” initiatives.

Overgrow The World

April 21, 2010

I have listened and understood the words of the late Jack Herer, and I am amazed how few people who say they believe in what Jack was saying truly understand the real reasons why he so horrified at the idea of creating new cannabis taxes. Let me explain quickly: THEY ARE NOT NEEDED AT ALL! As a matter of fact, nothing could be further from the truth!

Now I’m sure that many of you don’t believe me. If that is the case, then you also didn’t understand what Jack meant, or perhaps you simply weren’t paying attention, choosing to hear what you agreed with and ignoring what you didn’t understand, or simply weren’t interested in.

The first “ignored fact” is that the vast majority of the “illicit market” for cannabis is underground, hence, completely untaxed. There is a small fallacy to this statement, however, as even those “underground economies” still purchase their supplies, tools and equipment from “legitimate businesses” and those businesses all pay taxes of one form or another. Cannabis growers order pizza, buy gas, hire electricians and plumbers, et cetera. In this admittedly roundabout way, cannabis already is taxed, albeit to a very small degreee in comparison to the total size of the market as it stands, and to the potential which is known to exist.

Let’s say that cannabis/hemp were re-legalized prohibition was repealed today, and it was done so without the creation of any new tax codes specifically for cannabis. Most think that this would be a bad thing, as it wouldn’t be “exploiting the market” without creating new tax codes, new agencies, new enforcement regimes. Unfortunately, the people who believe that have been lied to, and it’s time that they learned the truth.

In actual fact, if cannabis were re-legalized prohibition was repealed today and taxes weren’t considered in the equation in any way, it would still be beneficial to society in terms of savings alone. We’d save money on policing, of which estimates range that between 40-60% of all police costs are directly due to “drug prohibition.” Logic follows that with police not bogged down with grandmothers taking a puff to slow their glaucoma, they would then be able to concentrate their resources on combating real crimes. Things like rape, murder, fraud, home invasion and theft, assault and battery, arson, financial crimes, environmental crimes (of which cannabis/hemp prohibition is one of the leading causes, in fact), and many more REAL crimes with REAL victims.

Taken a step further, lawyers would then be freed up to work on real crimes as well. So would prosecutors. So would judges, court stenographers, prison staff and more. WIthout locking away non-violent “criminals” who have harmed noone else–and this is the scary part for corporations–the “warehousing of otherwise productive humans for profit” would suddenly become far less profitable for the prison-industrial complex to continue, and prohibitionary statute development might begin to fade. With less “legal reasons” to imprison people for essentially minding their own business, more people would not have the lives and futures destroyed.

So let’s say that there were no new taxes created upon re-legalization of cannabis/hemp, and we ONLY consider the tens or hundreds of billions SAVED by no longer wasting time attacking people in their homes for posession or for growing a few plants for their own consumption. Are not those billions of dollars saved a tremendous enough benefit to justify the immediate repeal of cannabis/hemp prohibition? Could saving those billions of dollars not be immediately transferred into lower taxes, or public debt reduction? Would those savings alone not be of tremendous, immediate and long-term social value?

Now let’s consider the tax idea on it’s own merit.

With re-legalization repeal of cannabis/hemp prohibition, there would immediately follow the creation of new businesses to exploit what is widely known to be a global market for cannaibs and hemp products. Each of those businesses would be subject to business income taxes that currently do not exist. WIthout a single character added to business tax statutes, the net result would be the establishment of “new revenue” from those “new businesses.”

Of course, those businesses would need people to man storefronts, deliver products, develop products, design packaging, grow the raw materials, process the raw materials, et cetera. These jobs would all be legitimate jobs in the real job market. Each of those jobs would be subject to existing income tax statutes. It’s not hard to see how those “new jobs” would in turn be utilized as “new tax revenue sources” which previously did not exist. Again, without a single line of new codes written, a brand new revenue stream has been obtained.

Each of those new employees and businesses would need supplies, equipment, computers, energy sources, and services. All of those businesses and individuals would then use their incomes to purchase those items or services they needed, either to operate or enhance their businesses, or simply to make their lives at home a little better. All of those products would be purchased at existing retailers and/or wholesalers that exist in the current “legitimate marketplace.” All (or the vast majority) of those purchases would be subject to sales taxes at state/provincial and federal levels. Again, not a single comma added to the existing statutes required, but “new revenue” has effectively been attained.

Now let’s take the cannabis market ITSELF.

All of those newly created and legitimate businesses would provide products that people either wanted or needed, be they for medical purposes or for recreational uses. All of those products would then be subject to state/provincial and federal sales taxes. With each sale would then come “new revenues” which do not exist today. Again–are you starting to notice a pattern yet?–without the addition of a single line of code to any existing tax codes.

The Fallacy of “New Government Regulatory Jobs”

People keep being told that “new jobs” will be created in the “new regulatory framework” that “will be needed”, but they haven’t thought this through. Some have partly thought it through, thinking that since a percentage of those worker’s incomes will be clawed back by income taxes–say 25%–that means that those jobs are “cheaper” than “real jobs”. That’s actually not quite right.

When you look the “real economy”, or in other words, the economy from which all government income is derived via the millions of tax codes which exist to take our incomes from us all, any position in this “real economy” is one which is subject to taxation, and therefore, is generally to be considered a contributing position.

On the other hand, when you look at “government jobs” which are wholly funded by “real people” with “real jobs” in the “real economy”, every government position which exists–no matter what country or what level of government–is a drain on society, and must be so, as “we hired them to work for us.”

Now let’s take a simple example that we’ve all heard a million times: “Joe The Plumber.”

If Joe was working in his own shop, or for someone else in their business, he would be a contributing factor in the “real economy” in the amount of taxation on his income, we’ll use 25% for illustration purposes. This means that 25% of his income is diverted to “public employees and projects” needed for society to function as it currently exists.

Now let’s take Joe’s situation if he were a government employee…let’s say he’s employed by the local Public Utilities Comission. Now Joe’s income is wholly funded by tax dollars, and thus, is a drain on society. We’ve established an income tax rate of 25%, so we can now say that Joe is “cheaper” because now his services now only costs us 75% of what they would, had he remained in his private sector job.

Here is the “minor error” in that logic: Joe has moved from the “real economy” to the “government economy”. In making that move, the “real economy” has lost 100% of a “real job”, while the government has gained an employee “at a discount of only 75% of their private sector wages.” When you add that up, you see quite clearly that Joe’s “new job” is effectively now a 175% loss to society as a whole.

Joe’s still making the same amount of money. We’re still paying him the same amount of money when he does his work…but now he is NOT contributing to the “real economy” at all, while he is draining 75% of his wages from unnaportioned taxation of the people who are forced to pay his salary, whether they partake of his services or not.

Unfortunately, this also applies to every “equivalent government position” that exists in the world. Accountants cost 175% of what they would cost in the “real economy.” So do welders, secretaries, cafeteria cooks, lawyers…ALL of them! If they work for the government, they are at a much higher cost than their equivalent “real world” positions in the real economy.

We need to keep this in mind whenever we hear talk of ” new regulations” because that almost always means “new regulatory bodies”, and that DEFINITELY always means “new government employees” which are going to cost us dearly if we allow such things to occur.

If we are forced to accept some form of taxation in order to move closer to the full repeal of cannabis/hemp prohibition, so be it…let’s move a little closer…but the second we have a positive change under our belts, we must NOT become complacent! We must continue to fight for the full repeal of cannabis/hemp prohibition until the batttle is decisively won.

Once we have some “half-assed reasonable legislation” in place, we can guage what are the worst parts of those enacted bills and target them one by one until they’re all gone, and then, we will have our ofn freedom, and freedom for what is arguably the most important plant known on this planet.

At the Hempstalk Festival, during Jack Herer’s final public speech, he said (among other things):

“I don’t want to fucking give this United States government one fucking dollar of taxes…”

Obviously, he understood my thinking…or perhaps, I simply learned enough to come to an understanding of his.

What about you?

EDIT:  I have since come up with the complete solution to the perils of prohibition in THREE WORDS:

1) DESCHEDULE.
2) REPEAL.
3) DONE!!!

If you remember only three words in your lifetime, THOSE are the ones that WILL end cannabis/hemp prohibition.

If we continue to be led by propagandists and prohibitionists into accepting ever-longer-names for prohibition, while believing we are “moving closer to freedom”, we’ll never get there…it’ll just keep getting more complex, more costly, and more damaging to society as a whole…as it has for decades already.

If we allow our politicians to “reschedule” cannabis, this COULD mean an outright statutory BAN on ALL cannabis use, medicinal or otherwise, for the length of time it would take “to conduct safety studies.”  We already know that if they keep finding proof cannabis is non-toxic, anti-oxidant, neuroprotectant, et cetera, we also already know that these “safety studies” will be completed in an absolute minimum of 4-6 years, to an absolute maximum of…NEVER!

“Decriminalization” is NOT repeal.  It’s still illegal.

“Legalization” simply tells the politicians and courts that we believe the fix to bad legislation conveived of in fraud can only be fixed not by deleting it from the recored entirely, but by making it more complex…but keeping it all on the books for future “quick-n-easy” readoption when prison investors want higher revenues to do their profit-taking from.

“Re-legalization” is just two letters prepended to the above.

“Tax and regulate” tells OUR EMPLOYEES that “we owe them new taxes for not wasting our money attacking us.”  If we keep buying into the scam, they’ll get it, too!

“Regulate like [insert commodity of the hour here]” is just another way to justify the creation of a new regulatory body, hire new “government employees”, raise taxes, lower rights and freedoms, all while telling the wilfully ignorant population that “they are free.”  They ain’t.  They won’t be.

“REPEAL” means:  The statutes are GONE.  Deleted.  History.  Erased.  Terminated.  Removed from the “law” journals.  NEVER TO RETURN.

The ridiculous proposition that “if we want it legal again, we have to create new taxes” is also a prime example of idiotic propaganda foisted upon a wilfully ignorant population.  Only two seconds of thought tells you the truth of the situation…we do NOT need to “appease our employees” when we finally force them to stop wasting our money.  Not wasting all those billions of dollars every year should be, and IS, reward enough to everyone all on it’s own!

When we find out we’ve got a crooked mechanic who’s bee charging us for spark plug changes on every visit that we didn’t really need, and were nothing more than a waste of OUR money…we don’t praise them and give them permanent bonuses, do we?  So where did the idea come from, that in order for our employees to simply do their job with a litle more brainpower behind their actions, that we need to give them more money and hire more people?  Reality has to sink in eventually, folks!  Even through the infinitely thick skulls of “politicians.”  They might be as dense as the core of a neutron star, but they still have ear holes!  SO START SPEAKING UP!!!

Either we DEMAND the full repeal of prohibition, or we will continue on with it forever, just with a different name, and higher taxes…and let’s face it, folks:  OUR EMPLOYEES will be completely happy to rename what they’re doing to us and call it whatever we want to call it, if we’re dumb enough to allow it to continue.  Are we really so blind as to STILL not see the truth for what it is?

Want it over?  MAKE it over!

1) DESCHEDULE.
2) REPEAL.
3) DONE!!!

It really is just as simple as that.

* That solves prohibition on a national level…we still need to remove cannabis/hemp from the United Nations Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs in order to end prohibition GLOBALLY.

Views: 3521

Tags: Herer, Jack, PROHIBITION, REPEAL, Rick, Simpson, cannabis, freedom, health, human, More…

 

By ElectroPig Von Fökkengrüüven in Overgrow The World v2.0

The Fallacy of the “Legalize and Tax Cannabis” initiatives.

Overgrow The World

April 21, 2010

 

Jack Herer’s last speech at Portland Hempstalk Festival 2009–HIS FINAL SPEECH BEFORE HE DIED…MAY HE NEVER BE FORGOTTEN!

 

MY PERSONAL COMMENT:  SOMETIMES (MOST OFTEN) OLD NEWS IS THE BEST NEWS – SMK.

Certificate of Achievement to Richard in Jan. 2013.


527006_10200458019046089_1559510123_n

Anger swells after NSA phone records collection revelations


outrage

 

Senior politicians reveal that US counter-terrorism efforts have swept up personal data from American citizens for years


NSA taps in to internet giants’ systems to mine user data, secret files reveal

 

The scale of America’s surveillance state was laid bare on Thursday as senior politicians revealed that the US counter-terrorism effort had swept up swaths of personal data from the phone calls of millions of citizens for years.

After the revelation by the Guardian of a sweeping secret court order that authorised the FBI to seize all call records from a subsidiary of Verizon, the Obama administration sought to defuse mounting anger over what critics described as the broadest surveillance ruling ever issued.

A White House spokesman said that laws governing such orders “are something that have been in place for a number of years now” and were vital for protecting national security. Dianne Feinstein, the Democratic chairwoman of the Senate intelligence committee, said the Verizon court order had been in place for seven years. “People want the homeland kept safe,” Feinstein said.

But as the implications of the blanket approval for obtaining phone data reverberated around Washington and beyond, anger grew among other politicians.

Intelligence committee member Mark Udall, who has previously warned in broad terms about the scale of government snooping, said: “This sort of widescale surveillance should concern all of us and is the kind of government overreach I’ve said Americans would find shocking.” Former vice-president Al Gore described the “secret blanket surveillance” as “obscenely outrageous”.

The Verizon order was made under the provisions of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (Fisa) as amended by the Patriot Act of 2001, passed in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. But one of the authors of the Patriot Act, Republican congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, said he was troubled by the Guardian revelations. He said that he had written to the attorney general, Eric Holder, questioning whether “US constitutional rights were secure”.

He said: “I do not believe the broadly drafted Fisa order is consistent with the requirements of the Patriot Act. Seizing phone records of millions of innocent people is excessive and un-American.”

The White House sought to defend what it called “a critical tool in protecting the nation from terrorist threats”. White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Fisa orders were used to “support important and highly sensitive intelligence collection operations” on which members of Congress were fully briefed.

“The intelligence community is conducting court-authorized intelligence activities pursuant to a public statute with the knowledge and oversight of Congress and the intelligence community in both houses of Congress,” Earnest said.

He pointed out that the order only relates to the so-called metadata surrounding phone calls rather than the content of the calls themselves. “The order reprinted overnight does not allow the government to listen in on anyone’s telephone calls,” Earnest said.

“The information acquired does not include the content of any communications or the name of any subscriber. It relates exclusively to call details, such as a telephone number or the length of a telephone call.”

But such metadata can provide authorities with vast knowledge about a caller’s identity. Particularly when cross-checked against other public records, the metadata can reveal someone’s name, address, driver’s licence, credit history, social security number and more. Government analysts would be able to work out whether the relationship between two people was ongoing, occasional or a one-off.

The disclosure has reignited longstanding debates in the US over the proper extent of the government’s domestic spying powers.

Ron Wyden of Oregon, a member of the Senate intelligence committee who, along with Udell, has expressed concern about the extent of US government surveillance, warned of “sweeping, dragnet surveillance”. He said: “I am barred by Senate rules from commenting on some of the details at this time, However, I believe that when law-abiding Americans call their friends, who they call, when they call, and where they call from is private information.

“Collecting this data about every single phone call that every American makes every day would be a massive invasion of Americans’ privacy.”

‘Beyond Orwellian’

Jameel Jaffer, deputy legal director at the American Civil Liberties Union, said: “From a civil liberties perspective, the program could hardly be any more alarming. It’s a program in which some untold number of innocent people have been put under the constant surveillance of government agents.

“It is beyond Orwellian, and it provides further evidence of the extent to which basic democratic rights are being surrendered in secret to the demands of unaccountable intelligence agencies.”

Under the Bush administration, officials in security agencies had disclosed to reporters the large-scale collection of call records data by the NSA, but this is the first time significant and top-secret documents have revealed the continuation of the practice under President Obama.

The order names Verizon Business Services, a division of Verizon Communications. In its first-quarter earnings report, published in April, Verizon Communications listed about 10 million commercial lines out of a total of 121 million customers. The court order, which lasts for three months from 25 April, does not specify what type of lines are being tracked. It is not clear whether any additional orders exist to cover Verizon’s wireless and residential customers, or those of other phone carriers.

Fisa court orders typically direct the production of records pertaining to a specific, named target suspected of being an agent of a terrorist group or foreign state, or a finite set of individually named targets. The unlimited nature of the records being handed over to the NSA is extremely unusual.

Senators Dianne Feinstein, chairman of the Senate intelligence committee, and Saxby Chambliss, the vice chairman, speak to reporters about the NSA cull of phone records.

Senators Dianne Feinstein, chairman of the Senate intelligence committee, and Saxby Chambliss, the vice chairman, speak to reporters about the NSA cull of phone records. Photograph: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Feinstein said she believed the order had been in place for some time. She said: “As far as I know this is the exact three-month renewal of what has been the case for the past seven years. This renewal is carried out by the [foreign intelligence surveillance] court under the business records section of the Patriot Act. Therefore it is lawful. It has been briefed to Congress.”

The Center for Constitutional Rights said in a statement that the secret court order was unprecedented. “As far as we know this order from the Fisa court is the broadest surveillance order to ever have been issued: it requires no level of suspicion and applies to all Verizon [business services] subscribers anywhere in the US.

“The Patriot Act’s incredibly broad surveillance provision purportedly authorizes an order of this sort, though its constitutionality is in question and several senators have complained about it.”

Russell Tice, a retired National Security Agency intelligence analyst and whistleblower, said: “What is going on is much larger and more systemic than anything anyone has ever suspected or imagined.”

Although an anonymous senior Obama administration official said that “on its face” the court order revealed by the Guardian did not authorise the government to listen in on people’s phone calls, Tice now believes the NSA has constructed such a capability.

“I figured it would probably be about 2015″ before the NSA had “the computer capacity … to collect all digital communications word for word,” Tice said. “But I think I’m wrong. I think they have it right now.”

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Continue Reading…

Illinois town says they can’t handle medical marijuana businesses if state MMJ bill passes


By William Breathes in Legislation, Medical, News

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

 

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Marijuana paranoia is alive and well in Illinois, where city leaders in the northern Chicago suburb of Libertyville have unanimously voted to ban marijuana businesses in their city.

Knee jerk? You betcha. Keep in mind that medical marijuana isn’t even legal in Illinois. So these people are wasting their time banning businesses that can’t even exist according to their state law.

The Illinois state legislature failed to pass medical marijuana laws in the 2012 session, but lawmakers have introduced an almost identical bill again this session. Dubbed House Bill 1, or the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act, the proposal would allow for cultivation and distribution businesses in the state for a limited, trial period. The 2012 version also made possession of up to two ounces legal and would have made driving within six hours of medicating illegal.

Libertyville officials say that if the bill were passed, they wouldn’t be able to handle the zoning requests through their current code. The resolution the town passed January 22 – which is contingent on the state passing House Bill 1 – would require a public hearing on whether or not the town should adjust their zoning to allow medical marijuana businesses at all. It’s basically a ban, without really being a ban.

Multiple calls to the town trustees and mayor were not immediately returned. We’ll update this post if/when we hear back.

Also on the chopping block at the January 22 town meeting were sex-related businesses. The town lingerie store would be spared, but all other stores selling porno flicks and vibrators (and any strip clubs) will be forced to operate in the industrial district on the edge of the Chicago suburb.

So while you can still get a lap dance in Libertyville, there’s apparently no room for people providing compassionate pain relief.

CONTINUE READING…

Official White House Response to Legalize and Regulate Marijuana in a Manner Similar to Alcohol


 

 

Official White House Response to Legalize and Regulate Marijuana in a Manner Similar to Alcohol. and 7 other petitions

What We Have to Say About Legalizing Marijuana

By Gil Kerlikowske

When the President took office, he directed all of his policymakers to develop policies based on science and research, not ideology or politics. So our concern about marijuana is based on what the science tells us about the drug’s effects.

According to scientists at the National Institutes of Health- the world’s largest source of drug abuse research – marijuana use is associated with addiction, respiratory disease, and cognitive impairment. We know from an array of treatment admission information and Federal data that marijuana use is a significant source for voluntary drug treatment admissions and visits to emergency rooms. Studies also reveal that marijuana potency has almost tripled over the past 20 years, raising serious concerns about what this means for public health – especially among young people who use the drug because research shows their brains continue to develop well into their 20′s. Simply put, it is not a benign drug.

Like many, we are interested in the potential marijuana may have in providing relief to individuals diagnosed with certain serious illnesses. That is why we ardently support ongoing research into determining what components of the marijuana plant can be used as medicine. To date, however, neither the FDA nor the Institute of Medicine have found smoked marijuana to meet the modern standard for safe or effective medicine for any condition.

As a former police chief, I recognize we are not going to arrest our way out of the problem. We also recognize that legalizing marijuana would not provide the answer to any of the health, social, youth education, criminal justice, and community quality of life challenges associated with drug use.

That is why the President’s National Drug Control Strategy is balanced and comprehensive, emphasizing prevention and treatment while at the same time supporting innovative law enforcement efforts that protect public safety and disrupt the supply of drugs entering our communities. Preventing drug use is the most cost-effective way to reduce drug use and its consequences in America. And, as we’ve seen in our work through community coalitions across the country, this approach works in making communities healthier and safer. We’re also focused on expanding access to drug treatment for addicts. Treatment works. In fact, millions of Americans are in successful recovery for drug and alcoholism today. And through our work with innovative drug courts across the Nation, we are improving our criminal justice system to divert non-violent offenders into treatment.

Our commitment to a balanced approach to drug control is real. This last fiscal year alone, the Federal Government spent over $10 billion on drug education and treatment programs compared to just over $9 billion on drug related law enforcement in the U.S.

Thank you for making your voice heard. I encourage you to take a moment to read about the President’s approach to drug control to learn more.

Resources:

Gil Kerlikowske is Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy

Ode to the Hemp


A PRAYER TO OUR CREATOR

Richard and his plant

WE COME TOGETHER TODAY TO PRAISE YOUR ALMIGHTY
GIFTS TO US…

YOU HAVE GIVEN US LIGHT FOR WARMTH,
MEADOWS OF FRESH FLOWERS,
AND HERBS,TO KEEP UP HEALTHY,
YOU GAVE US DARK TO SLEEP AND TO REST OUR
WEARY HEARTS AND MINDS FOR ANOTHER DAY,
YOU GAVE US BROTHERS AND SISTERS TO LOVE US,
AND CHILDREN TO CARRY ON OUR NEVER-ENDING
ENDEAVORS – TO CARRY OUT YOUR WILL ,
AS WE KNOW WE WILL NEVER ACCOMPLISH
THIS ALONE.

YOU GIVE US INTELLIGENCE TO BE ABLE TO
SEPARATE THE GOOD FROM THE EVIL,
DEAR FATHER IN HEAVEN,
GIVE US THIS DAY, OUR DAILY BREAD,
AND FORGIVE US OUR SINS,
AS WE FORGIVE ALL OTHERS,

AND

GIVE US THE STRENGTH, TO CARRY ON,
TO RECTIFY THE EVIL THAT TO WHICH WE HAVE
SUCCUMB,
TO BRING BACK THE MEADOWS,
THE FLOWERS AND TREE’S,
TO CONTINUE TO HEAR THE BIRD’S AND BEE’S!
BLESS THE HEMP LORD, AND KEEP IT STRONG,
AND ENABLE US, TO CARRY ON…

AMEN

@ShereeKrider

*Dedicated with Love to Richard J. Rawlings…USMJParty

Medical marijuana backers lose bid for looser regulations


By Tom Schoenberg, © 2013, Bloomberg News

 

WASHINGTON — An appeals court rejected the bid by medical marijuana backers to ease federal controls of the drug, ruling that the government properly kept the substance in its most dangerous category.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals on Tuesday upheld the Drug Enforcement Administration’s decision to maintain marijuana as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act because there are no adequate scientific studies finding an acceptable medical use.

“The question before the court is not whether marijuana could have some medical benefits,” U.S. Circuit Judge Harry Edwards wrote in the opinion.

Edwards said the court’s review was limited to whether the DEA’s decision declining to reschedule the drug was arbitrary and capricious. He said the court found there was “substantial evidence” to support the agency’s determination that such studies don’t exist.

The case involves a 10-year-old petition from medical marijuana advocates who asked the DEA to reclassify marijuana as a Schedule III, IV or V drug, which would allow for looser regulation. On June 21, 2011, the DEA rejected the request, stating that existing clinical evidence wasn’t adequate to warrant reclassification.

“To deny that sufficient evidence is lacking on the medical efficacy of marijuana is to ignore a mountain of well- documented studies that conclude otherwise,” Joe Elford, chief counsel with Americans for Safe Access, the medical marijuana advocacy


hemp-300x200


organization that brought the case, said in an e-mailed statement.

Elford told the court during arguments in October that there were more than 200 studies that the agency refused to consider.

The group said it will appeal the ruling, according to the statement.

Lena Watkins, a lawyer for the Justice Department, told the court in October that the studies cited by the marijuana proponents were rejected because the research didn’t meet government standards. She said about 15 studies meet the standards, though the government doesn’t have the final results yet.

The court also waved off claims that government blocked efforts to study the medical effects of marijuana, citing the Health and Human Services Department policy supporting the clinical research with botanical marijuana.

“It appears that adequate and well-controlled studies are wanting not because they have been foreclosed but because they have not been completed,” Edwards said in the ruling.

CONTINUE READING…

White House: “We’re in the Midst of a Serious National Conversation on Marijuana”


by Erik Altieri, NORML Communications Director January 8, 2013

 

 

Ohhhh So Beautiful

In October of 2011, the White House issued an official response to a petition NORML submitted via their We the People outreach program on the topic of marijuana legalization.

 

Despite being one of the most popular petitions at the site’s launch, the answer we received was far from satisfactory. Penned by Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske, the response featured most of the typical government talking points. He stated that marijuana is associated with addiction, respiratory disease, and cognitive impairment and that its use is a concern to public health. “We also recognize,” Gil wrote, “that legalizing marijuana would not provide the answer to any of the health, social, youth education, criminal justice, and community quality of life challenges associated with drug use.”

Well, just over a year later, the White House has responded again to a petition to deschedule marijuana and legalize it. The tone this time is markedly different, despite being penned by the same man.

Addressing the Legalization of Marijuana
By Gil Kerlikowske

Thank you for participating in We the People and speaking out on the legalization of marijuana. Coming out of the recent election, it is clear that we’re in the midst of a serious national conversation about marijuana.

At President Obama’s request, the Justice Department is reviewing the legalization initiatives passed in Colorado and Washington, given differences between state and federal law. In the meantime, please see a recent interview with Barbara Walters in which President Obama addressed the legalization of marijuana.

Barbara Walters:

Do you think that marijuana should be legalized?

President Obama:

Well, I wouldn’t go that far. But what I think is that, at this point, Washington and Colorado, you’ve seen the voters speak on this issue. And as it is, the federal government has a lot to do when it comes to criminal prosecutions. It does not make sense from a prioritization point of view for us to focus on recreational drug users in a state that has already said that under state law that’s legal.

…this is a tough problem because Congress has not yet changed the law. I head up the executive branch; we’re supposed to be carrying out laws. And so what we’re going to need to have is a conversation about how do you reconcile a federal law that still says marijuana is a federal offense and state laws that say that it’s legal.

When you’re talking about drug kingpins, folks involved with violence, people are who are peddling hard drugs to our kids in our neighborhoods that are devastated, there is no doubt that we need to go after those folks hard… it makes sense for us to look at how we can make sure that our kids are discouraged from using drugs and engaging in substance abuse generally. There is more work we can do on the public health side and the treatment side.

Gil Kerlikowske is Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy

No tirade about protecting our children. No alarmist claims about sky rocketing marijuana potency and devastating addiction potential. Just a few short paragraphs stating we are “in the midst of a serious national conversation about marijuana” and deferring to an interview with the President where he stated arresting marijuana users wasn’t a priority and that the laws were still being reviewed. While far from embracing an end to marijuana prohibition, the simple fact that America’s Drug Czar had the opportunity to spout more anti-marijuana rhetoric and instead declined (while giving credence to the issue by stating it is a serious national conversation) it’s at the very least incredibly refreshing, if not a bit aberrational. We can only hope that when the administration finishes “reviewing” the laws just approved by resounding margins in Washington and Colorado, they choose to stand with the American people and place themselves on the right side of history.

“We the People” are already there.

CONTINUE READING….

US IL: PUB LTE: Medical Marijuana Not The Real Threat To Kids


URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v13/n002/a05.html
Newshawk: http://www.illinoisnorml.org
Votes: 0
Pubdate: Fri, 28 Dec 2012
Source: Courier News (Elgin, IL)
Copyright: 2012 Dan Linn
Contact: Courier.Viewpoint@scn1.com
Website: http://www.suburbanchicagonews.com/couriernews/
Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/1200
Author: Dan Linn
Referenced: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v12/n665/a08.html
MEDICAL MARIJUANA NOT THE REAL THREAT TO KIDS

In response to Judy Kreamer’s letter ( Dec.  28 ) about medical marijuana, it should be understood that many of those admissions to treatment centers for marijuana are the result of a judge offering jail time or rehab and are not voluntary admissions by people who feel they are addicted to marijuana.

Also, her fears about children getting access to this medicine are unfounded, as there has never been a documented overdose fatality from marijuana use, for medical purposes or otherwise.

If she is concerned about children getting access to medicine that is truly dangerous, the pill-mill doctors who recklessly prescribe opioid based painkillers are where she should focus.  Those pills are in many medicine cabinets across the country and have been the main reason so many young people are dying from drugs in suburban America.

Illinois lawmakers have been debating medical marijuana for many years now, and hopefully they can pass a bill that would protect some very sick people from arrest and give them safe and legal access to this medicine.  The bill currently being debated in Springfield has very specific conditions that would qualify for a medical cannabis card, and surely no teenager would be willing to contract HIV in order to legally get marijuana.  Furthermore, parental permission is required for minors who have a listed condition.

Kreamer’s intentions to protect the children are noble, but she doesn’t mention any of the people who are struggling to live and would be helped if Illinois were to allow doctors to recommend marijuana.  Plus, medical cannabis patients don’t want a program that could be abused, because there is a provision for the law to expire after three years.  That provision and limiting the qualifying conditions are all things that lawmakers have added to this measure over the years of debating this issue.

Unfortunately, over those years, many sick people have been denied legal access to this well-documented medicine, too.  It is immoral to continue to incriminate cancer patients who need this medicine to eat and continue their chemotherapy.  It is immoral to force multiple sclerosis patients to get their medicine from an illegal and unregulated dealer.  It is immoral to deny medicine to those who need it because of scare tactics aimed at parents.

Dan Linn

Executive director, Illinois chapter of NORML ( National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws )

Sycamore


MAP posted-by: Jo-D

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