In Honor of Richard James Rawlings 1961-2013
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.
May He Rest In Peace
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
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.
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.
- National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
- Marijuana Facts (ONDCP)
- Drug Abuse Warning Network (HHS)
- Treatment Episode Data Set (HHS)
- National Survey on Drug Use and Health (HHS)
- Monitoring the Future Survey, University of Michigan
Gil Kerlikowske is Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy
Ode to the Hemp
A PRAYER TO OUR CREATOR
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
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,
GIVE US THE STRENGTH, TO CARRY ON,
TO RECTIFY THE EVIL THAT TO WHICH WE HAVE
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…
*Dedicated with Love to Richard J. Rawlings…USMJParty
US IL: PUB LTE: Medical Marijuana Not The Real Threat To Kids
Pubdate: Fri, 28 Dec 2012
Source: Courier News (Elgin, IL)
Copyright: 2012 Dan Linn
Author: Dan Linn
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.
Executive director, Illinois chapter of NORML ( National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws )
MAP posted-by: Jo-D
Illinois Medical Marijuana Measure Going Up in Smoke, Lawmaker Says Vote Unlikely
A bid to legalize medical cannabis in Illinois is sputtering out, with a key lawmaker saying it’s unlikely he will put an MMJ measure up for a vote in the state House by the Jan. 8 deadline.
“Looks like it is not going to happen right now,” Illinois State Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie) wrote in an email response to questions by Medical Marijuana Business Daily.
Lang said he doesn’t have time today to explain the situation. But he indicated that his decision to let the bill die without a vote doesn’t necessarily indicate a lack of support among lawmakers.
“It has little to do with vote count,” he wrote.
Just a few weeks ago, it appeared that Illinois had a real shot at becoming the 19th US state to legalize medical cannabis. An MMJ bill had already cleared the state Senate, and Lang expressed optimism that he could get the 60 votes needed to pass a similar proposal in the House.
Several supportive lawmakers began wavering in late November ahead of the initial scheduled vote on the bill. But Lang was able to extend the final deadline for a vote to Jan. 8 and has remained optimistic about its chances of passage, saying he needs a little extra time to gain support from his peers.
The bill – which has seven co-sponsors aside from Lang – calls for a three-year pilot program allowing registered patients to obtain medical marijuana from licensed, regulated nonprofit dispensaries under one of the strictest regulatory frameworks in the country.
Illinois would be a huge win for the medical cannabis industry. The state is home to roughly 13 million people (which ranks fifth in the country by population), giving it a potential market of around 260,000 MMJ patients.
Illinois’ Medical Marijuana Bill Just Might Pass
Lou Lang (D-Skokie) is hopeful that medical marijuana, or House Bill 0030, will pass this January, saying, “Nobody should fear the bill.”
- By George Slefo
- Email the author
- December 11, 2012
If medical marijuana passes in Illinois, a patient can have no more than six cannabis plants and two ounces of dried usable cannabis at any given time, according to the bill. Illinois lawmaker Lou Land (D-Skokie) is hopeful the bill will pass this January 2013 before the House of Representatives.
House member Lou Lang (D-Skokie) has been pushing two controversial bills in recent years: the expansion of Illinois gaming and the legalization of medical marijuana.
Whenever asked about the possibility of Illinois becoming the nineteenth state to legalize the green leafy substance, Lang is always optimistic. Two years ago, he told Skokie Patch he only needed to secure “two or three” votes to pass the bill. Obviously, that never came to fruition.
However, other states have recently passed similar bills and Lang is hoping Illinois can become the next state to ride the green wave and help those who can seriously benefit from the drug. Recently, Massachusetts and the District of Columbia now allow the use of marijuana for medical purposes. Meanwhile, Colorado and Washington have taken it to another level, allowing citizens to smoke pot recreationally.
But for Lang the legalization of medical marijuana isn’t about recreation use – it’s about helping people who can benefit tremendously from the drug, he said.
“Nobody should fear the bill,” Lang told Skokie Patch. “This is about quality of life for people.”
Lang said he “strongly believes” that lawmakers will be voting on the bill this January, a month known by many as the “lame duck session,” where elected officials can vote on a particular bill just before the end of his or her tenure.
“Illinois would be the nineteenth state to pass the bill (the District of Columbia also recently passed the bill),” Lang said. “And of all of those, Illinois will be the most tightly regulated.”
What are some of those regulations? According to House Bill 0030:
- Repeal the program after three years. This means the use of medical marijuana would enter a three year pilot program to see how effective the bill is working and, if any tweaks or adjustments need to be made for the future.
- People will not be allowed to drive for six hours after consuming marijuana.
- It would be illegal for marijuana dispensaries to make campaign contributions.
- Those looking to dispense medical marijuana would have to pay a $5,000 non-refundable application fee and a $20,000 certificate fee.
- If passed, a person who can legally smoke medical marijuana can have no more than two ounces of dried usable cannabis at any given time.
- If a caregiver or patient dispenses – or sells – cannabis illegally they will face a penalty of not more than two years in prison and a fine not more than $2,000.
- Also, see PDF image attached above.
Lang said he is “very close” to securing the 60 votes needed to pass the measure to the Senate. If the bill arrives on the Senate’s floor, many experts believe they will approve the measure.
In May 2011, Lang’s medical marijuana bill received 53 of the 60 votes needed to pass. In November 2010, the bill once again fell short by seven votes and failed to pass to the Senate.
“How do you turn down the people who are sick? Who are in pain.” Lang said. “People who haven’t been able to have a quality life. This is not a bill about drugs. This is a bill about health care.”
Correction – It was previously reported that a person can have up to six dried plants in their home. This was part of the previous bill and has since been taken out.
Bill on medical marijuana passes Illinois committee vote
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. • The Illinois business community worries that, under the state’s latest medical marijuana proposal, employers would have no authority to enforce drug-free workplace codes.
Todd Maisch, vice president of governmental affairs for the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, told an Illinois House committee on Wednesday that the measure would create a loophole for employees to use marijuana without penalties.
Maisch said he envisions problems involving a worker “who knows a little bit about the law to say, ‘You know what, my cousin is under the care of medical marijuana and we were just hanging out together, watching the big ballgame, and consequently that’s where I came under'” the influence.
Legislation approved by a human services committee Wednesday includes language specifically aimed at calming employer concerns.
State Rep. Lou Lang, D-Skokie, the bill’s sponsor, pointed out: “This act shall in no way limit an employer’s ability to discipline an employee for ingesting cannabis in the workplace or for working while under the influence of cannabis.”
Chairman of the committee, state Rep. Greg Harris, D-Chicago, said that employers should be just as worried about monitoring prescription medication use. Debate on how legalizing cannabis for medical purposes would affect the state’s business community will continue as the bill advances to the House floor.
Changes approved Wednesday include establishing a database of users that allows law enforcement to monitor patients, removing the “grow-your-own” option from the bill and establishing nonprofit dispensaries to distribute controlled doses of the drug.
The committee approved the measure Wednesday by a 6-5 vote.
The bill is HB30.
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