Tag Archives: legalization

national

64.5 percent of Dane County Residents want to Spark a Prairie Fire

An overwhelming majority of residents in Dane County, WI (home of Madison, the state’s capitol and the University of Wisconsin) voted to express their desire for the state’s politicians to legalize cannabis in the state on Tuesday.

fightin' Bob LaFollette,
the 'Prairie Fire'

Though the referendum is not binding and, unlike the measures passed by voters in Washington and Colorado, does not have the force of law, the measure does reflect the broad-based and active support of the voters in Dane County for legalizing cannabis for recreational use by adults who are, by the measure, demanding that state, county and local politicians do their putative jobs; “represent” and “legislate”.

The voting in the referendum revealed some surprises. In some Dane County towns that overwhelmingly voted to retain republican governor Scott Walker, voters voiced their strong support for legalizing cannabis – indicating that even in areas that are republican strongholds and where conservatives live, support for the notion of ending prohibition, re-evaluating efficacy of the so-called ‘war on drugs’ and consideration of the benefits of the taxation of legalized cannabis are commonly held oppinions of both conservative and liberal Wisconsin voters.

And, while some republican strongholds did not vote their support for the referendum signifying somewhat of a partisan divide on the the issue, the significant support for the referendum in traditional democratic locales in Dane County should embolden timorous democratic politicians to step from the shadows and join the majority of Americans who now are calling for the end of cannabis prohibition and acknowledging their awareness that cannabis is an important medical substance.

national

Gaming the system: guns and ganja in Georgia

The state legislature in Georgia has adjourned failing to pass a well-supported law allowing young sick Georgians to seek relief with cannabis medicines as US citizens in 20 other states are allowed to do.

A bill legalizing heavily restricted sales of cannabis to child patients who suffer from seizure disorders in Georgia landed on the trash pile after elected officials failed to move on the legislation.

The senate version of the medical cannabis bill was encumbered with an amendment that ensured that the measure would fail in the republican dominated senate. The amendment, which upon analysis by any compassionate American should have increased support for the measure, would have mandated insurance company coverage for the treatment of autism.

A supporter of the concept that the medical condition of autism should in fact be recognized and covered by health insurance companies who sponsored the amendment in the state’s house, Republican Representative Allen Peake, correctly predicted that the insertion of the amendment in the senate bill would lead to its demise in the state’s senate due to the fact that small businesses would fight the autism amendment perceiving that providing coverage for children afflicted with the tragic aliment would increase business costs.

While the state failed to address the needs of sick and young patients, Georgia’s politicians did extend the rights of gun toting second amendment misinterpreters allowing them to carry loaded weaponry into establishments of spirit worship and of the worship of spirits. The legislature passed a bill that allows conceal and carriers to bring their weapons into bars and taverns and churches and chapels.

The new Georgia law allowing partyers and pray-ers to be armed and dangerous does allow individual bar owners to determine if they want liquored up sharp-shooters in their drinking establishments and allows church congregations to decide if they are comfortable with having prayerful potshots in their houses of worship.

The OK-to-carry-loaded-weapons-anywhere law also allows the Georgia’s “hunters” to use silencers on their high-powered rifles.

Republican State Representative Rick Jasperse, the lead sponsor of the gun-toter measure in the state’s house, celebrated the measure’s success stating, “For the past two years we’ve worked hard to improve the Second Amendment rights of Georgians. It has been a long and winding road.” Republican State Senator Fran Millar lamented, “We did nothing for kids, but we passed a gun bill.”

Sarah Caruso, the mother of a 5-year-old girl with epilepsy and cerebral palsy said that “silly political games” had caused the failure of the measure supporting the provision of medical cannabis to sick children. “We were only asking not to be prosecuted for getting our child the medicine that she needs,” the mother told reporters, her cheeks stained with tears. “There will be kids who will die during this year,” due to the inaction of the gun-loving legislature, Caruso promised, and, “I will be back with their pictures.”

national

Money, Medicine, Marijuana and Moonbeams

The national cable network Comcast has begun running what is the first advertisement regarding medical cannabis of the post-prohibition era. The advertisement, that has begun to run in markets where medical cannabis has been legalized through acts by state legislatures, including in Illinois and New York, will be rolled out into additional markets that are served both by Comcast Cable and by elected officials who understand the humanity in providing medicines to our sick neighbors.

The paid advertisement promotes Marijuanadoctors dot com, which is a business that connects doctors who have experience prescribing medical cannabis with sick patients who are unable for many reasons to get the medical authorization to purchase prescribed medications in their state. Even though cannabis has been legalized as medicine in 20 states (with 13 additional state legislatures considering legalizing medical cannabis), many patients still have difficulty finding a doctor who is willing to prescribe medical cannabis leading to the dangerous, untenable and perverse consequences of, for example, a horribly sick Parkinson’s Disease patient turning to the illicit market to obtain needed medicine. In effect, turning deathly ill Americans into criminals who have to risk both arrest by police and theft and injury by drug dealers in pursuit of life saving and pain ending medications.

Comcast has taken the bold step to be the first media outlet in America to run medical cannabis advertisements because, as Comcast told the on-line news journal the Verge, “It went through our legal department, and they approved it.”

With nothing more from Comcast to analyze, the company’s effort (that is historically the first advertisement that has been presented to Americans on their TV screens involving the nascent commercial cannabis market) may have been inspired out of an altruistic concern for its viewers some of whom are sick and need the relief that medical cannabis can provide them and advertising the services offered by Marijuanadoctors has not been outlawed, or the motivation could have come from the company’s desire to cash in on a truly new and massive market – one can only speculate. But the historic advert does indicate we are living in a changed world.

When the sick and diseased have easily satisfied needs, when suburban moms are lobbying statehouses in red and blue states to repeal prohibition, when international political leaders are finding their courage to confront failed drug warriors, when hippies and international corporations arrive at commonality, when state level politicos and cable company honchos realize the cash that they may be leaving on the table, the finger wagging and tut-tutting of dry-doper politicos and cultural custodians who are intent on maintaining cannabis prohibition are revealed to all as obvious self-serving, self-exculpating and legacy burnishing talking points that have only the effect of consigning more minorities in our country to lives with arrest records and more patients in our land living out lives in pain and desperation – arrests that don’t have to happen and pain and desperation that can be ended by compassionate Americans.

national

Shattering the myths proffered by waxy
prohibitionists about hash oil

The point was made everclearly this week that, now that the devil’s door has sprung open to the wild west of cannabis legalization, organized big marijuana and its trailer trash second cousins have begun weaponizing the benign and useful substance in a war to shroud the minds of our youth in a thick green absinthe like haze with nuclear nugs, 151 times stronger than “your mama’s Woodstock weed“.

ABC News, earlier this week, promised television viewers that they would be their guide;

“Into the strange subculture involving a new and powerful drug that you may have never heard of. It can be dangerous to use and even more dangerous to make…and yet, in some places, it’s totally legal.”

And CNBC reported;

“A powerful distillation of marijuana’s essential active ingredients, is mixed into many new and popular cannabis products…The problem-child of concentrates may turn out to be the actual concentrate itself—a hardened or viscous mass of cannabinoids created via a process of butane-gas extraction.”

The “new drug” that is an “explosive secret” is what used to be referred to as hash oil. Hash oil is a smokeable product of concentrated THC (the active ingredient in cannabis) that is made by using chemicals, such as butane, to extract the THC from cannabis plants. Shatter, wax and butter are modern versions of the 1970’s product made with modern technologies. 1970’s hash oil contained 20 to 65 percent THC and modern extractions contain between 60 to 90 percent THC. The product has become commercially available to the public in the states of Colorado and Washington because cannabis is legal for recreational consumption in those states.

As the stories were revealed by the media outlets, however, the dangerous mystery drug turned out to be dangerous because dumb-assed kitchen chemists were brewing ho-made batches in their condos and doublewides with little knowledge and less competence.

The processes of extracting active chemicals from plant and mineral products are not new and have been used by some of the world’s most profitable and prestigious companies for many years, but toxic chemicals and high temperatures and pressures are often used in the chemistry necessary to extract desired compounds that transform agricultural products into commercial products.

What was not pointed out in the sensationalized “news stories” is that extracting concentrated THC from cannabis does not make cannabis or THC any more harmful or toxic than when it is consumed in more traditional ways, such as smoking, eating or vaporizing. In 2002 the medical journal Pharmacology & Therapeutics reported on a study that found that there has never been a documented human fatality solely from overdosing on THC or cannabis in its natural form. Hash oil by any name is no more addictive than any other form of cannabis, and scientists calculate that risk to be equivalent to your risk of being addicted to caffeine.

Though this is the case, in the ABC report a DEA agent said that the agency has, “seen people have an onset of psychosis and even brain damage from that exposure to that high concentration of THC.” And the CNBC story reported that “The high that a user gets from concentrates is far from natural” and went on to quote the head of the University of Colorado Hospital’s residential rehab unit who has fears in general about cannabis’ contribution to “amotivational syndrome” and psychosis in our nation’s youth.

Thankfully, cannabis is legal in Colorado and Washington, and can therefore be regulated, including regulations regarding the chemical extraction of THC from raw plant product. When cannabis becomes legal federally and our nation’s scientists can study the medically useful plant and its extracts without fear of arrest, we will be able to scientifically demonstrate that scare stories of cannabis causing brain damage are nothing more than the ramblings of backward cultural custodians.

national

Sabet sounding like Carrie Nation – instead of caring for our nation

As America steps confidently and comfortably into the post-prohibition era there are some who have apprehended the consequential demise of the cultural custodian/law enforcement industry that blossomed over more than eighty years of cannabis prohibition. While cannabis-ists and capitalists have celebrated the bold step that Colorado has taken to allow adults to consume cannabis for recreational use, prohibitionists are sounding the alarm that America is doomed.

Kevin Sabet, the resident social scientist at the anti-legalization policy workgroup Smart Approaches to Marijuana that was organized by high profile drug warring prohibitionists from both parties (former democratic congressperson Patrick Kennedy and former speech writer for George W. Bush David Frum) penned an op-ed that was placed in the Washington Times recently that deploys scary conflations, manipulated statistics and veiled threats of the end of America as we know it decrying Colorado’s experiment. There was a time when Sabet’s finger wagging and apoplectic scare mongering found a ready audience. In early February 2014 the same old-same old anti-cannabis rhetoric sounds a bit like Anslinger styled reefer madness mongering.

In the first lines of the piece, “Colorado Will Show Why Legalizing Marijuana is a Mistake”, Sabet lunges toward the propagandist’s friend false equivalency saying that “as far as we know” the first weeks of cannabis being sold like alcohol in Colorado did not include incidents of “bloody fistfights among people waiting in line” and “no burglaries or robberies” – yes, Kevin we know that crack addicts commit crimes to support their addictions and boozed up dumbasses present local law enforcement officials with daily challenges at sporting events, bars and in the homes of battered wives across America…but cannabis? Will the next comparison be that which was presented to Congress in 1937 by Henry Anslinger the first head of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics?;

“There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the US, and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos and entertainers. Their Satanic music, jazz and swing, result from marijuana usage. This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers and any others.”

Heavens, America may not be capable of withstanding the onslaught of tie-dyed wearing dead-head fist-fighters committing burglaries across the Centennial State now that the pernicious experiment is underway.

Sabet goes on to attempt to get the villagers all exorcised because “Multimillion-dollar private investing groups have emerged and are poised to become, in their words “Big Marijuana.” Really? I ask you dear reader, when was the last time in the brave and altruistic press in America you have seen the threat of moneyed industrialists scooping up an entire market to make boatloads of cash described as anything other than “the American way” and celebrated in an unqualified fashion as an example of pure American god gifted patriotic market manipulation?

Mr. Sabet, while I personally agree with you that big biz coming into small markets and destroying long-time local small family run businesses with the assistance of bought-off local officials that drives down wages and is antagonistic to collective bargaining and limits our product choices to plastic disposables manufactured by modern-day slaves is destructive and threatens the American economy (see WalMart), I actually don’t remember you saying anything of note with regard to the development of the private prison industry in America over the past years (during the years of cannabis prohibition). You know, those mega-corps who get no-bid cost-plus contracts to house the human debris of your drug war. Contracts that require that these private prison facilities are stocked full of humans, including the victims of America’s racist drug war…you may refer to the biz as “Big Prison”.

Sabet also points out (using another propagandist tactic- attempting to associate his point of view with an honored institution) that the American Medical Association “has come out strongly against the legal sales of marijuana” Well Kevin, the AMA also has “come out strongly” against universal health care, contradicting the humane and cost-saving practices of every industrialized country on the planet (excluding the US) who provide health care to all of their citizens irrespective of their income…you know, Kevin, as in humanity.

The social scientist, out of genuine concern I am sure, is especially keen to inflame the passions of his audience informing them that they may be “shocked to hear that, according to the National Institutes of Health, one in six 16-year-olds who try marijuana will become addicted to it” Now, now Kevin, put down that Red Bull. While it is true that Americans’ addiction to tobacco leads to 400,000 deaths every year and alcohol addicts kill tens of thousand of innocents on America’s roads every year, you know Dr. Sabet that medical researchers say that cannabis is as addictive as caffeine – the killing drug that powers such deadly concoctions as Coke-a-Cola and that Starbucks espresso that you may have consumed as you prepared to write this op-ed.

The real danger behind the small-d democracy experiment to legalize cannabis for adults to use recreationally in Colorado is revealed by Sabet when he confides, “We can expect criminal organizations to adapt to legal prices, sell to people outside the legal market (e.g. kids) and continue to profit from other, much larger revenue sources, such as human trafficking.” So…legalizing cannabis for personal use by adults in America will somehow contribute to an increase in human trafficking? What the hell are you smoking, Sabet?

Feigning concern for us all Sabet asks, “Why do we have to experience a tragedy before knowing where to go next?” when considering the Colorado experiment. Here Sabet employs, embarrassingly, a shop worn tactic used by luddites and religious extremists for centuries; this change we speak of will only bring tragedy, we know that now – fear this change, fear our future, fear the truth. I wonder if Sabet is thinking of the tragedy of providing relief and cures for patients who are suffering today from horrible diseases like cancer, MS and Parkinson’s disease? I wonder if Sabet is thinking of the tragedy in millions of families whose brother or sister was arrested for possessing cannabis for personal use and now cannot become a lawyer, a doctor or president of the United States because of their criminal record?

Witnessing the lengthening of the already long shadows on the blackened tarmac of America’s drug war, the sun finally setting on the despicable, anti-science, human misery creating and racist war on cannabis, Sabet bleats the warning; “Voters in other states should watch Colorado closely and engage in a deep conversation about where they want this country to go.” I do agree with the good doctor on this point…watch Colorado, think about the possibilities for our future, and follow, America.

national

Breaking: Obama’s Deputy Drug Czar admits that cannabis is less of a public health threat than prescription drugs and alcohol

cross posted at Fire Dog Lake

In an exchange at the House Committee Oversight and Government Reform’s congressional hearing on marijuana policy today, an elected representative and an appointee of an elected representative squared off over a non-political truth about the relative safety of cannabis compared to America’s legalized drugs, specifically prescription pharmaceuticals and alcohol.

The appointee, Michael Botticelli, the Deputy Detector of the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy, was asked a series of non-vague questions by Representative Gerry Connolly (D-VA) who demanded non-evasive answers or propagandized conjecture on the subject of whether or not cannabis is safer than alcohol from the White House spokesperson in light of President Obama’s recent comments suggesting that the president believes that cannabis is “no more harmful” than alcohol.

Connolly asked Deputy Director Botticelli for a direct answer to an unambiguous question; “How many people die from marijuana overdoses every year?” To which the deputy drug czar answered, “I don’t know that I know. It is very rare.”

Connolly persisted with the line of questioning by asking Deputy Botticelli, “Very rare. Now just contrast that with prescription drugs, unintentional deaths from prescription drugs, one American dies every 19 minutes…nothing comparable to marijuana. Is that correct?” Deputy Botticelli agreed with the congressperson’s analysis.

Connolly continued, “Alcohol – hundreds of thousands of people die every year from alcohol related deaths; automobile (accidents) liver disease, esophageal cancer, blood poisoning…Is that correct?” Deputy Botticelli did not respond to the congress person’s question, but instead offered an off-topic point of personal analysis by reiterating the Obama Administration’s stance on cannabis legalization, stating that the “totality of harm” that is associated with cannabis demonstrates to appointed policy minions such as himself (as opposed to doctors and scientists) that cannabis is dangerous, even though the government itself reports year after year that cannabis causes no deaths of Americans.

Botticelli’s non-substantive and medically inaccurate waffling led Representative Connolly to comment out of frustration in attempting to pin down the administration’s policy person on a simple and straight forward question about widely known scientific fact, “I guess I’m sticking with the president – the head of your administration – who is making a different point. He is making a point that is empirically true. That isn’t a normative statement (that marijuana is good or bad), but he was contrasting it with alcohol and, empirically, he is correct.”

Botticelli continued to dodge the direct question by again waffling into administration talking points that have been used for going on five years by the Obama administration to justify its conscious inaction with respect to the legalization or reclassification of cannabis, prompting Representative Connolly to interrupt Botticelli and demand a specific answer to the following question;

“Is it not a scientific fact that there is nothing comparable to marijuana? And, I’m not saying it is good or bad, but when we look at deaths and illnesses, alcohol, other hard drugs are certainly – even prescription drugs – are a threat to public health in a way that just isolated marijuana is not…Isn’t that a scientific fact? Or do you dispute that fact?”

To which Botticelli responded sheepishly, “I don’t dispute that fact.”

national

v2 01.25.13

click image to enlarge

national

Barack and Cannabis: legacy burnished, propaganda furnished

All I can say today is, quite simply, spare me the bullshit.

As our government has reported:

  • In 2012, four years into the Obama era, 749,825 Americans were arrested for possessing cannabis.
  • This figure represents fully 48.3 percent of all drug arrests in the US in 2012.
  • Of these arrestees, 87 percent, 651,231 Americans were arrested for possession of cannabis for personal use.

That means that during Obama’s fourth year as president, one of his fellow American citizens was thrown in jail every 48 seconds because they use cannabis.

And, my compassionate friends, I ask you to try and remember a time when you were very ill – as we all have been at some point. When the pain was so horrible that you felt time slowing and as the seconds ticked by you felt hopeless. When your belly and back were sore from vomiting. When the headache pounded like a jackhammer to wake you up and 6am seemed like sixty days away. Every forty eight seconds of sickness and suffering was a lifetime. We have all been there, with most of us, thankfully, returning quickly to full health. Consider now if you can, chronic spasticity, paralyzing rigidity, incapacity to eat, palsy, fatigue, fever, inability to breathe or swallow.

Its great that science and medicine (and I’m not talking about health commerce, but study and experimentation that is largely funded socialistically, meaning thorough the support of all of us- as it should be) have found that cannabis can bring relief to patients who suffer from: glaucoma, acquired immune deficiency syndrome, hepatitis C, Crohn’s disease, agitation of Alzheimer’s disease, cachexia/wasting syndrome, muscular dystrophy, severe fibromyalgia, spinal cord disease(s), Rheumatoid arthritis, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injury and post-concussion syndrome, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s, Tourette’s, Lupus and many other painful and life eroding diseases.

And, in the fourth year of the Obama presidency, our own government told its citizens who are hopeful for answers from medicine that can assist them and their oncologists that experiments performed over the past ten years show that cannabinoids “possess anticancer activity” and can actually impede the growth of tumors and help prevent the spread of cancer cells in the bodies of afflicted patients.

It is important to reiterate these scientific anti-cancer breakthroughs: cannabis not only relieves the side effects of cancer treatments such as chemotherapy as we have know for some time, but cannabis has also been found to inhibit the growth of cancer tumors and stop the spread of cancer to other organs in diseased patients. That is amazing and brings hope to millions of our fellow citizens across America.

With the citizens in two states taking the initiative from “some of the folks who are writing those laws” and legalizing cannabis for adult recreational use, and the promise of a substance the medical applications and usefulness of which have been knowingly ignored and shunned by the medical establishment for 80 years (for what is basically the entire history of modern medicine), one could say that we are truly at a moment of cultural epiphany – note I didn’t say “panacea”.

There are very few moments in history where we as a society, an egalitarian people who embrace science and have compassion for our sick brothers and sisters, a free society that is capable of understanding what it means to our fellow citizens when one of them is unfairly and unnecessarily jailed and given the life sentence of being an ex-convict, can together take simple actions that effect so many of our brethren and have such positive implications for our heirs. So it really rankles me to hear a dry doper elected official tell us that stopping kids from being arrested, making the daily life of my sick neighbor bearable and giving cancer patients the hope of a cure cannot happen today because, “There is a lot of hair on that policy.”

I’m supremely aware, as has been so often pointed out by patronizing “practical and intelligent” players of eleventy dimensional chess over the last five years, that I am simply too simple to understand what all that “hair” refers to, but I do have one question – asking the so-called “great men” who see themselves at the head of “great movements” to think beyond their scheming and dreaming and meme-ing about their personal “legacies” for a moment…how about the currently imprisoned and dying? What can possibly be more important than these human beings, what is more “hairy”?

Oh, I get it…”evolution”.

Thanks to the device of “framing”, provided by the soft-ball tossing hagiographer Mr. Remnick, we see now how a heavy cannabis user, who ran for US senate supporting cannabis decriminalization, who then consciously altered his view when he ran for president, and then once becoming president, refused to answer questions about the relative safety of cannabis for going on five years – five years that included making calculated and demeaning jokes at the expense of citizens who are seeking answers from this so-called “representative” of the people – we now are informed that President Obama has “evolved” with respect to his understanding that cannabis is, with absolutely no qualifiers, safer than the legal drugs tobacco and alcohol. With over 400,000 deaths yearly in the US over the last 9 years caused by tobacco and over 10,000 automobile accident deaths yearly in the US over the last 9 years caused by alcohol (as a matter of fact, Obama’s government reports that one in three auto accidents involve alcohol) during which time exactly zero deaths were caused by cannabis, one who is concerned about health and equal justice must gasp in a state of understandable amazement – Huh? Sorry to inform you Mr. Remnick, that’s not an evolution – it is cynical, thought out, intentional election year deception and voter manipulation, nothing more. Where I come from (Chicago, Illinois – Obama’s ‘home town’) we call that type of duplicitous bullshit what it is – lies spoken by a lair.

Obama wouldn’t have been lying if he had said that cannabis is less harmful than the legal products sold by our billions of dollars a year alcohol and tobacco industries in 1979 the year he graduated high school. If he made the statement in 1983 when he graduated college it would have also been true. He could have said the same thing in 1988 when he entered law school, or in 1997 when he started to write laws as a state senator in Illinois – but wait…

We also hear from Obama’s hagiographer that Mr. Obama chides “some of the folks who are writing those (cannabis) laws” because they themselves “have probably done the same thing.” Who is the president talking about here besides his own guilty self? 1997 is seventeen years ago – I know that Obama had some really important self-promotion to attend to over the course of those years, but- seventeen years of remaining silent about the simple to understand, easy to demonstrate and widely accepted fact that cannabis is less harmful than America’s debilitating and death dealing legal drugs? The math is easy with respect to arrests; 17×700,000= 11 million nine hundred thousand arrestees whose lives have been shackled to an arrest record that “folks” just like Obama (and including Obama himself) were blasé about – did nothing about – did not speak up about – did nothing to help. Yep, just let those Americans slide down the alimentary canal of our legal system. Nice.

Also known for decades by all (but revealed to be a concern of Mr. Obama just now in his fifth year as President) is the 80 year history of African Americans and Latino Americans being targeted in a discriminatory fashion by America’s collective law enforcement using drug laws. It’s good to know that Obama admits that he is aware of the near century of discrimination in drug arrests by local and federal law enforcement. And we can all be sure that Obama (although calculatedly never uttering this widely known fact) has known that this is the truth for many years, meaning it ain’t an ‘evolution’. Eighty years of discriminatory law enforcement actions that have landed millions of our fellow citizens behind bars, in many cases ending these citizens’ chances to become full members of our society – to live productive lives and bless us all with their skills, intelligence and talents. Good to know – but, hey Obama, what have you done about it in five years as president, four years as US senator and seven years as a state senator?…cue crickets.

Finally, and echoing Obama’s cynical, deceptive, authoritarian and a-scientific modern drug war strategy, we get this slice of unctuous skanky bullshit from our dear leader;

“I also think that, when it comes to harder drugs, the harm done to the user is profound and the social costs are profound. And you do start getting into some difficult line-drawing issues. If marijuana is fully legalized and at some point folks say, Well, we can come up with a negotiated dose of cocaine that we can show is not any more harmful than vodka, are we open to that? If somebody says, We’ve got a finely calibrated dose of meth, it isn’t going to kill you or rot your teeth, are we O.K. with that?”

Who, I ask simply, is suggesting that providing life supporting and life saving medications to Americans with fatal diseases and saving our future’s Americans from lives tainted with arrest and conviction records is a super-secret subterfuge attempt to legalize cocaine and methamphetamine? No one – besides pin headed propagandized drug warriors, the suburban moms that they scare the shit out of with their lies, and smarmy, calculatingly self-interested, dishonest, fake assed liars who know the truth (that cannabis is generally benign and medically important, which our government has made very plain to all of us and is upheld by years of scientific research) who don’t give a damn about the sick and dying or the unfairly imprisoned, and who are only concerned about their “legacy”.

Another thing that Obama knows but calculatedly does not utter to the public – he is happy as shit that cannabis will not be federally legalized on his watch. That is truly something that Obama has spent time, energy and political capitol endeavoring to prevent.

Long live the legacy.

“nothing worse than a dry doper” -g.singlaub

international national

State-Federal cannabis sweep in Colorado illuminates the essential flaws of prohibition

This past week state and federal officials raided more than a dozen Colorado cannabis dispensaries and greenhouses and two homes. The agents, including officers from both the DEA and the IRS, had obtained warrants for 10 individuals connected with the raided properties. The Denver Post obtained a copy of the search warrant that allowed the agents to seize “everything from pot plants and cash to financial records, safes and computer flash drives”. No arrests were made during the sweep that took place over the course of several hours on Thursday.

An attorney for one of the individuals cited in the warrant, Laszlo Bagi the owner of Swiss Medical in Boulder, said that the agents seized $1 million worth of plants from his client’s facility and that the agents left no “instructions saying don’t replant. There was no court order of cease and desist. No explanation,” adding that his client adheres to Colorado’s state laws regarding cannabis sale and cultivation.

Also named in the warrant are Luis Uribe, Carlos Solano, Gerardo Uribe-Christancho, David Furtado, Juan Guardarrama, Carlos Solano-Bocanegro, Jared Bringhurst, Felix Perez, John Frank Esmeral and Joseph Tavares.

At the time of the raids on Thursday, which took place a short six weeks before the historic Colorado law legalizing the recreational use of cannabis by adults will allow the commercial sale of the substance for the first time in the nation, with no additional context, led cannabis advocates to cautiously question the motives of DEA as reported in articles such as the Huffington Post’s report on the raids titled, “Colorado Medical Marijuana Raids Show Industry Still Risky“.

The Denver Post dug deeper and on Friday reported that the, “Colorado marijuana businesses raided this week by federal agents are being investigated for a possible connection to Colombian drug cartels,” and that the targets of the warrants have been “actively purchasing area dispensaries and grow warehouses over a sustained period of time.”

The Post reports that the raids were based upon allegations of “trafficking marijuana outside of states where it has been legalized, money laundering and providing revenue for criminal enterprises, including gangs and cartels.” One of the subjects of the search warrant, Juan Guardarrama, was recently convicted of racketeering in a case that involved Colombian and Cuban gangs in Miami selling diamonds stolen from gem dealers. During the investigation that resulted in his arrest, Guardarrama reportedly asked under cover agents to help him traffic legally grown Coloradan cannabis in Miami and “take out” a Coloradan business partner.

The state-federal action has been lauded by both supporters and critics of cannabis legalization. Law enforcement officials pointed out to the Post that the agents were doing their job, and Andy Williams, a Denver cannabis dispensary owner and a member of the local Medical Marijuana Industry Group confided, “I want the bad actors gone, quite honestly.”

The entire incident serves also to deftly exemplify the fatal flaws of cannabis prohibition, especially in the new world created by the citizens’ initiatives in both Washington and Colorado and where broad and sustained majorities of American adults approve of ending cannabis prohibition.

What we saw this week and what all parties agreed was the most appropriate course of action was, a daylight police raid with its attendant dangers, pulled off in several locations including at a home in a toney suburban subdivision (a mile from Denver Bronco quarterback Peyton Manning’s home). Where alleged international gang members’ properties and possessions were confiscated, although no arrests were made. Where the confiscated property belongs to individuals who had multiple business locations and, in the case of two of the suspects, had received approval to invest $6 million to build a cannabis grow house in Pueblo County to help boost to economic development. Where the legal product of other cannabis distributors was destroyed by state and federal officials (many distributors rent growing facilities that are shared by other distributors- as was the case in this raid). Where the crazy quilt of local townships’ desires to increase economic growth, local and state regulations covering everything from simple city licensing and state registration requirements to state and federal criminal statutes and as always with the inextinguishable human impulse to “maximize profits” (in a manner of speaking) in this world of commerce can, really, only lead to 26 year-old Columbian gang members buying $1.5 million homes in a suburb near you (should you live in one of the two visionary and courageous states that have legalized consumption of the benign and medically important natural and easy to grow substance, cannabis).

The director of the federal law enforcement program called the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, Tom Gorman, told the Post “I have said it before and I’ll say it again — you cannot regulate this illegal industry. You can’t any time you talk about money and profits, and dealing with a customer base and selling product. There are too many loopholes, too many ways to get around it. You just can’t do it.”

Smedley Butler’s formulation interestingly holds true in this “war on drugs” military engagement: “There is a way to stop it. You can’t end it by…conferences. You can’t eliminate it by peace parleys…Well-meaning but impractical groups can’t wipe it out by resolutions. It can be smashed effectively only by taking the profit out of war.”

national

Cannabis legalization landslides in Maine and Michigan

Following the forward thinking Uruguayans and leaping out in front of twentieth century minded politicians in Washington DC and at the level of the states, 70 percent of the electorate in Portland ME and 63 percent of the citizens in Lansing MI voted to legalize cannabis for recreational use in their cities, smashing 80 years of prohibition and sounding a challenge to cities across America to call for an end to the failed drug war.

The Portland city measure allows adult residents of Portland to possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis. The measure passed into law by the cities’ residents does not allow the retail sale of cannabis, therefore no system of growers and distributors or tax program has to be created for the law to go into effect.

In Lansing MI, the measure amended the city’s charter to legalize the possession, use and transfer of an ounce of cannabis by any adult 21 years and older on private property. Two smaller Michigan cities, Ferndale and Jackson, also passed measures yesterday legalizing cannabis for recreational use.

Washington and Colorado passed laws legalizing the recreational use of cannabis by adults last year, but citizens in those states await the creation of laws governing the farming, taxation and distribution of cannabis and therefore, though legal, cannabis is still not available for purchase.