Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Got plans for this weekend? Well, cancel 'em. Have I got a party for you!
It's time, once again, for the Global Marijuana March, a worldwide event held the first Saturday in May since 2005. I'll be there, and so should you!
Sure, mainstream media might give you the impression that grassroots (see what I did there?) street activism of the sort represented by the Marijuana March is a thing of the past. But the marijuana legalization movement is stronger than ever. A solid majority of people on the West Coast now support removing all criminal penalties for the herb, and cannabis activists have momentum on our side according to almost any knowledgeable observer of the scene.
If you've ever attended a pot rally, I don't have to tell you what a positive rush such a gathering of the kind tribes can bring. There's nothing like a group of like-minded hempsters united by a common purpose to put a smile on your face, a song in your heart, and a buzz in your brain. If this will be your first time, don't worry -- you won't find a gentler, friendlier, more mellow crowd anywhere.
The Details For Seattle
Join us while we march and rally for equality and justice for cannabis supporters and medical marijuana patients everywhere.
We will meet at noon at Volunteer Park in the Capitol Hill neighborhood in Seattle.
We will have a volunteer peace-keeper meeting at 11:15 at the left side of the amphitheater.
We will march at 1 pm and arrive at Westlake Center at around 2 pm for a rally with guest speakers and musical performance.
This march is in solidarity with coordinated marches in over 300 cities world wide.
Marijuana is non-toxic, not physically addictive, therapeutic, cost effective, and beneficial for society when the criminality is removed (and abuse is dealt with as a public health issue).
Medical patients should have access to safe, pure, affordable medicine.
Nobody should be imprisoned over cannabis.
San Francisco Information
SF Weekly Chronic City: Goin' To A Party, Party - Global Marijuana March 2009
For those in cities other than Seattle and San Francisco, look here for information on the march nearest you:
Global Marijuana March
Friday, April 24, 2009
Medical marijuana dispensary operator Charles Lynch, 47, is facing a government-recommended five years in federal prison -- even though he meticulously followed state and local laws. Under federal law, Lynch could receive up to 100 years. At a hearing Thursday, the judge in the case indicated a decision on sentencing will be delayed until June 11.
read more | digg story
Monday, April 20, 2009
Monday, April 20, 2009
Obama White House, Eric Holder's Department of Justice Targeting a Holocaust Against Medical Marijuana Caregivers, Growers, Suppliers and Users.
Places You Can PLUG IN TOO...we can build the tools, but if 420 Folk do not join and use them, what good are they?
Medical Marijuana Society
Medical Marijuana Society Network
Medical Marijuana Message Board
ASA (Americans for Safe Access)
Before you say you are too busy to get involved...what if you are next on the DEA's list as they TARGET OUR COMMUNITY? Short on time...then GIVE MONEY, as it takes money to organize and advertise! Think about it...if every Pot Smoker in America DONATED TEN DOLLARS A MONTH TO THE CAUSE, we would have $250 Million EACH MONTH to wage war against our oppressors...that buys a lot of advertising, hires a lot of lobbyists, and could FUND OUR MARCHES! Yes, I am ANGRY...this war has lasted seventy years, and it is time WE END IT.
To celebrate our national holiday, 4/20, my friend and film director John Holowach is staging a free online screening all day, Monday, April 20, of his great documentary, "HIGH: The True Tale of American Marijuana."
As we celebrate the marijuana holiday in an appropriate fashion, let's not forget the many victims of the Drug War.
To watch the movie free of charge, visit:
Friday, April 17, 2009
Friday, April 17, 2009
Some Factoids (Hemptoids)
1. At least 2/3's of American Marijuana Consumption (both legal and illegal) is grown right here in America, and we could easily grow 100 percent of our consumption if Cannabis and Hemp were legalized.
2. The Drug Cartel's and their war is not really about Marijuana, but instead is about Heroin and Cocaine and the routes needed to get their products into America.
On 420, have fun, CELEBRATE OUR DAY, but I would ask each and every one of my fellow Budsters out there in 420 land to remember the goal of Legalization, and consider signing up to do some volunteer work for the cause. We need state and city bloggers ourselves. ASA (Americans for Safe Access) and NORML probably have lots of volunteer work waiting for a set of hands that wants to pitch in.
We cannot realize our dream without every Cannabis Friendly American doing their part for the cause, and while we are on the subject, lets not forget that our friends in Canada are dealing with many of the same issues and harrassments we ourselves face.
Hemptoids-small, sometimes rarely known facts about Hemp and Cannabis.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
We all know that the government's position that Marijuana has no medical benefits is not supported by sound science. A court ruling in favor of ASA could send shock waves through the War On Drugs community, would require them to rethink their strategies...meanwhile, with some major fund raising drives, the Legalization Community could blitz the airwaves with THE REAL TRUTH
Can you imagine forcing your elected officials to offer up letters to their constituents admitting that Marijuana has medicinal value. Here is the way I see it. ASA wins this case in the 9th Circuit Court. The 420 community using case sites write our Elected Officials with a "Dear Member of Commerce...blah, blah, blah, based on Case# xxxx the government must publish true and accurate information, and I notice you have publicly issued statements embracing governmental positions on Medical Marijuana that are not based upon Sound Science.
We should all be keeping and eye on this case. Here is the article I found on the issue.
Americans for Safe Access
For Immediate Release: April 10, 2009
Contact: ASA Chief Counsel Joe Elford 415-573-7842 or ASA Media Liaison Kris Hermes 510-681-6361
Federal Position on Medical Marijuana Put Before Ninth Circuit Tuesday
Federal hearing is latest battle on whether policy is based on science or politics
San Francisco, CA — Medical marijuana advocates will get to argue before the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday, April 14th, the right to challenge an outdated position held by the federal government: “marijuana has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.” The national advocacy group Americans for Safe Access (ASA) filed a lawsuit in February 2007 demanding that the federal government cease issuing misinformation and correct its statements on medical marijuana. “We welcome the Obama Administration’s recently stated commitment to making policy decisions based on science, not politics,” said Joe Elford, Chief Counsel with ASA. “This case is designed to ensure that the federal government’s policy on medical marijuana is not politically motivated.”
What: Oral arguments in a case before the Ninth Circuit that challenges the government’s position on medical marijuana
When: Tuesday, April 14, 2009 at 9:30am
Where: Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Courtroom 4 at 95 Seventh Street, San Francisco, CA
In order to challenge the government’s position, advocates are using a little-known law called the Data Quality Act (DQA). The DQA requires federal agencies such as Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to rely on sound science when disseminating information to the public. One of the main issues in the case is whether citizens have a right to challenge government information believed to be inaccurate or based on faulty, unreliable data.
“The science to support medical marijuana is overwhelming,” said ASA Executive Director Steph Sherer. “It’s time for the federal government to acknowledge the efficacy of medical marijuana and stop holding science hostage to politics.” On March 9, 2009, President Obama issued a memorandum to the heads of executive departments and agencies stating that, “The public must be able to trust the science and scientific process informing public policy decisions,” and calling for “transparency in the preparation, identification, and use of scientific and technological information in policymaking.”
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Federal Public Defender
321 East 2nd Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012-4702
Mention the recent change in Federal Policy mentioned by Eric Holder. If comfortable, touch on, "The conflict of State vs Federal Law". Mention the 10th Amendment of the Constitution, states rights and how lawmakers swear to uphold the constitution. Discuss your belief that the harsh mandatory minimums meant for drug king pins were not meant for medical marijuana providers who in effect are Health Care Providers. Your own personal experiences as a patient or with a friend, son, daughter, brother, sister or relative of somebody you know that benefits from the medicinal use of marijuana. Talk about the thirteen states that have legalized medical marijuana. Michigan just came on board as a Medical Marijuana State.
A front line leader in the Medical Marijuana is facing some very serious prison time, and your letter could be the one that touches Judge Wu's heart, gets him to take a serious look at California's laws and their position on Medical Marijuana, and hand down a just ruling, even if that means going against the Federal Sentencing guidelines. Charles took at stand for every Medical Marijuana patient in America by opening up his storefront, and in his hour of need we in the 420 community need to come to his aid.
Welcome to Friends of CCL
Charles C. Lynch is the former owner and managing Caregiver for Central Coast Compassionate Caregivers in Morro Bay.
The dispensary opened on April 1 2006 with the blessing of the city and even joined the Chamber of Commerce. In July 2006 the dispensary was granted a Conditional Use Permit from the City of Morro Bay to include a Medical Cannabis Nursery at the dispensary.
The Dispensary operated for almost one year without any major problems or complaints to the owner. On March 29, 2007 the Local Sheriff and DEA agents raided the Dispensary and Home of Charles Lynch. Lynch was not arrested at the time and reopened the dispensary on April 7 2007 with the blessing of the City of Morro Bay. A week after reopening the dispensary the DEA called the Landlord and threatened him with Forfeiture of his property unless he evicted the Dispensary from the building. On May 16, 2007 the Dispensary closed permanently.
On July 17, 2007 Lynch was arrested at his home and charged with Federal Marijuana Distribution. Lynch pleaded not guilty and went on trial July 22, 2008 in Los Angeles. Lynch was not allowed to discuss state law or mention 'medical marijuana' during the trial. Also large amounts of evidence including Lynch's compliance with State and Local laws could not be considered as factual by the jury. Before opening the dispensary Lynch called the DEA and asked about thier policy regarding medical marijuana dispensaries. The DEA told Lynch it was up to the Cities and Counties to decide how to handle the matter. This was Lynch's only defense in Federal Court and is called entrapment by estopell when a government agent says something is ok when in fact it might not be. Click here for more information.
On August 5, 2008 Lynch was convicted in Federal Court for operating the Central Coast Compassionate Caregivers. On January 6, 2009 Lynch appeared before Judge Wu to request a new trial on the grounds that he was not allowed to get his defense before the jury and other new evidence. The request was denied. Charles has been out on a $400,000 bail posted by his loving and trusting family and was under house arrest for over nine months.
During March 2009 United States Policy regarding Medical Marijuana changed in favor of states as long as the dispensary complied with state law. Lynch's dispensary complied with all state and local laws during the time it was open. Click here to read the San Francisco Chronicles report of the new policy. On Friday March 13, 2009 John Stossel and ABC News 2020 aired he story of Lynch on National Television. On Sunday March 15 Al Roker did a documentary entitled Marijuana Inc. Al Roker reporting and focused in on the case of Charles C. Lynch.
Sentencing which was scheduled for March 23, 2009 was postponed because the judge requested information from the Government regarding the New Policy regarding medical marijuana dispensaries. Despite the recent policy changes Charles C. Lynch will be sentenced on April 30, 2009 at the Federal Court House in Los Angeles. Supporters who wish to write a letter of support regarding sentencing should use the Letter salutation "Dear Judge Wu" and then send the letter to:
Friday, April 10, 2009
In a recent town hall meeting, President Obama, when asked about the legalization of marijuana, nervously laughed and briefly dismissed the idea, which had been advanced as a way to help pull out of our current economic doldrums. In doing so, the President was following conventional wisdom when it comes to marijuana -- that to openly support reform or repeal of harsh anti-pot laws is tantamount to political suicide.
The President's nervousness around this touchy issue -- particularly in view of his admitted youthful marijuana use -- is completely understandable. But I don't think it's news to anyone that the political landscape is changing, and changing rapidly. Especially when it comes to marijuana, there is a huge shift underway in public perception of the herb -- one that will eventually and inevitably result in legalization. We are nearing that tipping point.
Olympic swimming star Michael Phelps' recent indiscretion is one of the catalysts that propelled marijuana to the front burner. (In case you've been under a rock, Phelps was photographed hitting a marijuana bong at a party.)
The marijuana community united in support of Phelps when he was unceremoniously dumped by corporate sponsor Kellogg's, and beyond that, a lot of people who hadn't given much thought to marijuana suddenly were wondering, "Hmm... If pot is really so bad, then how did Michael Phelps win all those gold medals?"
But there's a lot more to the story than that. The issue of marijuana law reform deserves serious consideration, because it has a big impact on both individual lives and families, and on law enforcement priorities and budgets, along with overcrowded jails and prisons.
No Time To Wait
I've seen the idea batted around that perhaps the President is biding his time. According to this line of thought, "controversial" things like marijuana reform will have to wait until Obama's presumed second term, when American presidents have traditionally dealt with issues that otherwise might have come back to haunt them when they ran for re-election.
I think of myself as a patient man, but there's more to this scenario than patiently waiting for politicians to lead. Most important is the fact that, contrary to what many believe, lots of people are still being busted for pot. In 2007, more than 872,000(!) people were arrested for marijuana -- an all-time high. The vast majority of those cases -- 775,000 -- were for simple possession.
If we're supposed to wait four more years for marijuana law reform, that means, at current rates, almost 3.5 million more Americans will have been arrested for marijuana before anything changes. More than 3 million of those arrests will have been for possession alone. That's just unacceptable.
Opponents of the war on marijuana -- or the "marijuana vote," if you will -- voted overwhelmingly for Obama in last November's election. While most of us are under no illusion that we'll receive any special treatment, what we do ask is to at least be taken seriously.
We believe that the issues of privacy, the erosion of civil liberties, jail and prison overcrowding, and civil forfeiture are crucially serious -- and the war on marijuana and its users directly and hugely impacts all of these concerns.
But while all of these issues are serious to any caring, informed citizen, none of them has the immediate and visceral impact of the most important issue of all: We believe it is wrong to jail people for using marijuana. Period. The punishment just doesn't fit the supposed "crime."
The United States already has a higher proportion of its population behind bars than any nation on Earth. Forget Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran; we've got them all beat, when it comes to keeping people in cages. Do we really need to exacerbate this problem by locking up people for pot?
Let's leave aside for a moment the genuine and valid questions many of us have about the Constitutionality of a law which outlaws a green plant and monopolizes that natural resource (cannabis) for the federal government's production -- which the current law assuredly does.
And to find our way to a productive discussion, we'll leave behind the extreme frustration many of us feel that the important issue of marijuana law seemingly ranks in priority somewhere below, say, a photo-op with Queen Elizabeth.
Let's cut to the chase: the financial aspect of prohibition vs. regulation. Legalization, regulation and taxation of the cannabis industry would result in a huge new source of revenue for federal, state and local governments. A substantial new revenue stream for government can only assist as we find ways to address the financial crisis which faces our nation.
This revenue stream could be established without substantially increasing the rate of marijuana use in the United States. In fact, if we look at the data from the Netherlands, there is reason to believe that legalization would result in reduced marijuana use, especially among young people.
Marijuana prohibition currently costs American taxpayers almost $42 billion a year. Compare this negative cash flow to the projected tax benefits of legalization -- between $2.4 and $6.2 billion annually -- and it becomes obvious why Milton Friedman and more than 500 other respected economists publicly support the legalization of marijuana.
In discussing government marijuana policy with fellow activists, we've wondered if the federal government can supply even one credible argument against legalization and regulation. And we've been unanimous in agreeing that we haven't seen one yet. What, exactly, are the benefits of marijuana remaining illegal? We'd really like to know.
The Question of Rescheduling
An excellent first step towards ameliorating the disaster that is federal marijuana policy (and has been for decades) would be to reschedule pot. Marijuana's current DEA classification as a "Schedule I" drug (right up there with heroin and PCP) means that, according to the federal government, pot has "a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use." Almost unbelievably, even cocaine is deemed less dangerous than marijuana, receiving a Schedule II ranking.
That pot has no medical value would certainly come as news to the thousands of doctors and scientists who've shown marijuana to be an effective medicine for many conditions, and to the hundreds of thousands of medical marijuana patients. Which is to say, marijuana is scheduled incorrectly to such an extent that it would be comical if the real-world effects weren't so tragic.
It's important not to lose sight of the fact that ill people are needlessly suffering because of federal marijuana policies. Policies like these are impossible to rationalize or justify.
Marijuana's unjustifiable Schedule I status has resulted in years of the DEA's misguided policy of raiding medical marijuana patients and providers, even in states that have legalized pot's medical use -- because the federal government officially doesn't recognize any legitimate uses.
That's rather schizophrenic, since the federal government has itself for 30 years been supplying a handful of patients with government-produced medical marijuana. Hypocrisy much?
The Tide Is Turning
We applaud the positive moves the Obama administration has already made in regard to drug policy. We are encouraged that Mr. Obama supported pot decriminalization during his 2004 Senate campaign. Especially laudable is the stated new policy of the DEA, as confirmed by Atty. Gen. Holder, that federal resources won't be used to raid medical marijuana patients and providers in states where medical pot is legal.
But while that's a big step in the right direction, it ultimately won't be enough, as it doesn't address the issue of recreational use. More than 20 million Americans use marijuana regularly, and, according to Time magazine, 42 percent of the population has tried it at least once.
According to recent polls, marijuana legalization now enjoys majority support on the West Coast. Nationwide, the number is greater than 40 percent in three independent polls, and steadily creeping upward.
With a national majority soon to favor legalization -- sometime within the next 10-12 years, according to experts -- there is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to lead on this issue. We believe it deserves a thoughtful response.
Mr. President, it's time to talk about marijuana.
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
The Kitsap County Prosecutor’s Office announced Wednesday afternoon it has dropped criminal charges against a local medical marijuana patient.
Olalla resident Glenn Musgrove, 56, was accused of unlawful use of a building for drug purposes. A WestNET report said that one of Musgrove’s neighbors reported the marijuana grown for medicinal treatment was being sold for profit.
Musgrove’s caregivers, David May and Jena Milo, were also facing prosecution.
All charges were dismissed.
“After looking over the case, we’ve decided we will not proceed,” said Felony and Juvenile Division Chief Tim Drury. “We do not think we can convince a jury of his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.”
Musgrove was arrested in March 2008. Many of the details gathered in the charging document originated from a confidential informant, but WestNET assembled financial data about Musgrove, his brother and his caregivers that suggested an illegal drug operation.
This would have been the second high-visibility medical marijuana case in Kitsap this spring, following that of Olalla resident Bruce Olson, who was acquitted on March 24 of similar charges.
Clayton Longacre, who is representing Musgrove, was not immediately available for comment.
The previous trial drew medical marijuana advocates from throughout the northwest, who provided support for Olson during his trial.
Most had promised the same support for Musgrove.
Alexis Foster, who prosecuted Olson and was also assigned to the Musgrove trial, said shortly before the announcement that the case was sound and could be proven.
Foster said the prosecution was not based on the use of medical marijuana, but was proceeding because her office believed both Olson and Musgrove had broken the law.
Olson was a certified medical marijuana patient at the time of his arrest, but was accused of selling his crop to others.
Port Orchard Independent Staff Writer Charlie Bermant can be reached at email@example.com or (360) 876-4414.