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Willie Nelson Launching Own Brand of Cannabis Strains and Stores

The Joint Blog - Sat, 03/28/2015 - 04:04

Willie Nelson enjoying a joint.

County-singer and activist Willie Nelson has announced plans to launch a chain of recreational cannabis stores around the United States, which will feature his own brand of cannabis strains and smoking accessories. The new line will be labelled Willie’s Reserve.

“Willie has spent a lifetime in support of cannabis, both the industrial hemp side and the marijuana side”, says Willie’s Reserve spokesperson Michael Bowman. “He wants it to be something that’s reflective of his passion. Ultimately, it’s his. But it was developed by his family, and their focus on environmental and social issues, and in particular this crazy war on drugs, and trying to be a bright light amongst this trail as we’re trying to extract ourselves from the goo of prohibition.”

Bowman continues; “Really he wants it, at the end of the day, to envelop what his personal morals and convictions are. So from the store itself to how they’ll work with suppliers and how things are operated, it’s going to be very reflective of Willie’s life.”

Willie’s Reserve cannabis is expected to be available by early 2016, with the goal of placing the product in lcoations where cannabis is currently legal, and expanding as more states legalize the plant.- TheJointBlog

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New Jersey Assembly Approves Medical Cannabis Improvement Bill

The Joint Blog - Sat, 03/28/2015 - 03:52

A measure to improve upon New Jersey’s medical cannabis program has passed the state’s Assembly with a 44 to 20 vote.

The proposal – ACR 224 – would add post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a condition that qualifies someone to become a legal medical cannabis patient. Currently nine states – Michigan, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Arizona and Oregon – allow the use of medical cannabis for the treatment of PTSD.

In addition, ACR 224 would remove a requirement that minors receive a recommendation from three different doctors in order to become a qualified patient. It would also would end the requirement that a list be made public of all physicians willing to recommend patients to the program, which has prevented many physicians from being willing to recommend the medicine, given it’s still illegal under federal law.

Another positive change that would be brought forth by ACR 224 is that it would legalize the home-delivery of medical cannabis, which will benefit patients who have debilitating conditions that make it hard for them to leave the house and make it to a dispensary.

“The purpose of this entire program is to provide relief to critically ill patients, not impose additional burdens on those who are already suffering. Instead, many of these regulations have proven counterproductive because they unnecessarily restrict access to medical marijuana for those who need it most,” says Assemblymember Reed Gusciora (D-Mercer), a sponsor of the legislation and the chairman of the Assembly Regulatory Oversight Committee. “They have resulted in a shortage of physicians, a lack of necessary strains to combat certain illnesses, and limited the ways to provide relief to minors,” Gusciora added. “The state needs to start working with patients, not against them.”

ACR 224 now heads to the Senate for consideration.


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Joint Committee On Implementing Oregon Measure 91 - 02/09/15

Youtube - Regulate Marijuana - Fri, 03/27/2015 - 21:30
Joint Committee On Implementing Oregon Measure 91 - 02/09/15
Youth Marijuana Use Prevention. Lab Regulation and Standards. FAIR USE NOTICE: This site contains copyrighted material which we are making available to advance the understanding of Hemp... From: Regulate Marijuana Views: 0 0 ratings Time: 01:55:17 More in Nonprofits & Activism

Joint Committee On Implementing Oregon Measure 91 - 02/04/15

Youtube - Regulate Marijuana - Fri, 03/27/2015 - 21:27
Joint Committee On Implementing Oregon Measure 91 - 02/04/15
Marijuana Legalization in the US - History, Rationale, Context. Marijuana Legalization in Oregon - History, Context, Oregon's marijuana economy, what the OMMA accomplished, and what Measure... From: Regulate Marijuana Views: 25 1 ratings Time: 01:45:53 More in Nonprofits & Activism

Justice Department: DEA Agents had ‘Sex Parties’ with Prostitutes Paid for by Drug Cartels

The Joint Blog - Fri, 03/27/2015 - 16:42

By John Bresnahan and Lauren French, Politico.com

Agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration reportedly had “sex parties” with prostitutes hired by drug cartels in Colombia, according to a new inspector general report released by the Justice Department on Thursday.

In addition, Colombian police officers allegedly provided “protection for the DEA agents’ weapons and property during the parties,” the report states. Ten DEA agents later admitted attending the parties, and some of the agents received suspensions of two to 10 days.

The stunning allegations are part of an investigation by the Justice Department’s inspector general into claims of sexual harassment and misconduct within DEA; FBI; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; and the U.S. Marshals Service. The IG’s office found that DEA did not fully cooperate with its probe.

The congressional committee charged with federal oversight is already promising hearings and an investigation into the allegations.

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz told POLITICO on Thursday he wanted the agencies involved to swiftly fire those involved and that his panel would immediately start digging into the allegations.

“You can’t ignore this. This is terribly embarrassing and fundamentally not right,” the Utah Republican said. “We need to understand what’s happening with the culture … anytime you bring a foreign national into your room, you’re asking for trouble.”

The congressional committee was first briefed on the IG’s report Wednesday. The House is about to depart on a two-week recess but Chaffetz said there would be major action coming from the Oversight panel when the House returns in April.

“We have to understand issue by issue what is happening. We need to understand how these people are being held accountable. There should be no question about the severity of the punishment,” Chaffetz said. “I don’t care how senior the person is, they are going to have to let these people go.”

The Oversight panel is also investigating allegations into the Secret Service that agents there hired prostitutes in Colombia while advancing a trip for President Barack Obama.

The Oversight committee will hold a hearing on April 14 at 10 a.m., and the DEA and DOJ inspector generals are invited testify.

Moreover,the report states that DEA, ATF and the Marshals Service repeatedly failed to report all risky or improper sexual behavior to security personnel at those agencies.

The report covers the period from 2009 to 2012, although some of the incidents occurred long before that.

The DEA “sex parties” in Colombia, though, are by far the most damaging allegations.

“The foreign officer allegedly arranged ‘sex parties’ with prostitutes funded by the local drug cartels for these DEA agents at their government-leased quarters, over a period of several years,” the IG report says.

The parties reportedly took place from 2005 to 2008, but the DEA’s Office of Professional Responsibility became aware of them only in 2010, after it received an anonymous complaint. DEA supervisors, however, had been aware of the allegations for several years because of complaints from management of the building in which the DEA office in Bogotá was located.

“Although some of the DEA agents participating in these parties denied it, the information in the case file suggested they should have known the prostitutes in attendance were paid with cartel funds. A foreign officer also alleged providing protection for the DEA agents’ weapons and property during the parties,” the report said. “The foreign officers further alleged that in addition to soliciting prostitutes, three DEA SSAs [special agents] in particular were provided money, expensive gifts, and weapons from drug cartel members.”

The IG’s office asserts that DEA officials did not fully comply with their requests for information during the probe.

“We were also concerned by an apparent decision by DEA to withhold information regarding a particular open misconduct case,” the report states. “The OIG [Office of Inspector General] was not given access to this case file information until several months after our request, and only after the misconduct case was closed. Once we became aware of the information, we interviewed DEA employees who said that they were given the impression that they were not to discuss this case with the OIG while the case remained open.”

The report adds: “Therefore, we cannot be completely confident that the FBI and DEA provided us with all information relevant to this review. As a result, our report reflects the findings and conclusions we reached based on the information made available to us.”

Spokespersons for DEA and ATF said the agencies would not comment on the report and referred all questions to the Justice Department.

“The Department is already working with the law enforcement components to ensure a zero tolerance policy on sexual harassment and misconduct is enforced and that incidents are properly reported. The Department is also committed to ensuring the proper preservation and disclosure of electronic communications, including text messages and images,” said Patrick Rodenbush, a spokesperson for the Department of Justice.

Other allegations outlined in the report include:

* A deputy U.S. Marshal “entered into a romantic relationship” with a fugitive’s spouse and would not break off the relationship for more than a year, even after being told by supervisors to end it;

* An ATF “Director of Industry Operations” had “solicited consensual sex with anonymous partners and modified a hotel room door to facilitate sexual play.” The ATF employee even disabled a hotel’s fire detection system, and when caught by the hotel, said he had done it before;

* “For over 3 years, an ATF Program Manager failed to report allegations that two training instructors were having consensual sex with their students. According to the incident report, the Program Manager learned the same instructors had engaged in substantially the same activities 3 years earlier but had merely counseled the training instructors without reporting the alleged activities” to the Internal Affairs Division.

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Virginia Governor Signs Hemp Legalization Bills Into Law

The Joint Blog - Fri, 03/27/2015 - 16:12

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe has signed into law legislation to legalize the production and cultivation of industrial hemp.

House Bill 1277 and Senate Bill 955 would redefine hemp as an agricultural commodity and allow for the plant’s cultivation by licensed growers as part of a university-managed research program.

“Hemp is good for agriculture, it is good for the environment and is good for jobs”, says Delegate Joseph Yost, the bill’s primary sponsor.  “[The bill] sets up the necessary framework for Virginia to begin immediately moving forward on researching industrial hemp and eventually moving towards full commercialization.”

Last year federal lawmakers approved a national spending bill which allows for the cultivation of hemp to be legally grown if it’s done as part of state-sanctioned research programs.

Last month Governor McAuliffe signed into law legislation to legalize the use of cannabis extracts for the treatment of seizure disorders.



The post Virginia Governor Signs Hemp Legalization Bills Into Law appeared first on The Joint Blog.

Study Finds Cannabis Use Linked With Lower Diabetes Risk In HIV/HPC Patients

The Joint Blog - Fri, 03/27/2015 - 15:52

By Paul Armentano, NORML

Marseille, France: A history of cannabis use is positively associated with a lower risk of insulin resistance (IR) in HIV/Hepatitis C co-infected patients, according to a longitudinal analysis published online ahead of print in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases. Insulin resistance is a leading cause of type 2 diabetes.

French investigators evaluated the association between cannabis use and IR in a nationwide cohort of HIV/HCV co-infected patients over a 60-month period. Researchers reported that patients with a history of cannabis use – irrespective of frequency – were nearly three times less likely to be insulin resistant compared to non-users.

“Cannabis use is associated with a lower IR risk in HIV/HCV co-infected patients,” authors concluded. “The benefits of cannabis-based pharmacotherapies for patients concerned by increased risk of insulin resistance and diabetes need to be evaluated in clinical research and practice.”

In 2013, researchers at Harvard Medical School and the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston similarly reported cannabis use to be correlated with lower levels of insulin resistance in a sample of over 4,600 subjects.

Observational trial data published in 2012 in the British Medical Journal also reported that adults with a history of marijuana use had a lower prevalence of type 2 diabetes and possessed a lower risk of contracting the disease than did those with no history of cannabis consumption, even after researchers adjusted for social variables such as subjects’ ethnicity and levels of physical activity.

Full text of the study, “Cannabis use and reduced risk of insulin-resistance in HIV-HCV infected patients: a longitudinal analysis,” appears in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

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Bill to Legalize Medical Cannabis Approved by Iowa’s Senate Ways and Means Committee

The Joint Blog - Fri, 03/27/2015 - 14:14

A proposal to legalize the medical use of cannabis, and to establish a system of dispensaries to distribute the medicine, has been approved by Iowa’s Senate Ways and Means Committee. The measure was approved earlier this month by the state’s Senate Human Resources Committee.

If approved into law, the Senate Study Bill 1243 would allow for the possession and use of medical cannabis by those with a qualifying medical condition who have received a recommendation from a physician. Qualifying conditions would include cancer, HIV/AIDS, epilepsy, post traumatic stress disorder, hepatitis C, glaucoma and multiple sclerosis. Unfortunately the proposal would prohibit patients from actually smoking cannabis, meaning they’ll need to consume their medicine through tinctures, oils and vaping.

The measure would go considerably further than a medical cannabis bill approved by lawmakers in 2014, which allows for the possession and use of low-THC cannabis extracts, but only for those with epilepsy. The law also established no legal means of patients obtaining cannabis-based medicine.

Senate Study Bill 1243 has been sent to the full Senate. for consideration.


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Ohio: Advocates Begin Collecting Signatures on Initiative to Legalize Cannabis

The Joint Blog - Fri, 03/27/2015 - 02:58

ResponsibleOhio announced today that they’ve starting collecting signatures on their petition to legalize cannabis.

ResponsibleOhio, a group attempting to put an initiative to legalize cannabis on this year’s general election ballot, has officially starting collecting signatures for their proposal.

The group is required to submit 305,591 signatures from registered voters by July 1st, with the signatures gathered from at least 44 of Ohio’s 88 counties; in each of the counties the total gathered must amount to 5% of the 2014 gubernatorial vote.

ResponsibleOhio’s initiative, which received approval Friday by Ohio’s Ballot Board, would legalize the possession of up to an ounce of cannabis for those 21 and older, while establishing a system of state-licensed cannabis retail outlets which will be supplied by ten cannabis production centers located throughout the state.

If advocates are successful in collecting the proper amount of signatures by July 1st, the initiative will be put to a vote this November.


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Poll: 55 Percent of Likely California Voters Say Marijuana Should Be Legal

NORML Blog - Thu, 03/26/2015 - 21:54

Fifty-five percent of likely California voters believe that “the use of marijuana should be legal,” according to the results of a statewide PPIC poll released yesterday.

The percentage in favor of legalization is the highest level of support ever recorded in the statewide poll.

African Americans (69 percent), Whites (64 percent), Democrats (63 percent), and Independents (57 percent) were most likely to express support for legalizing the plant’s use while Republicans (44 percent), Latinos (42 percent), and Asians (39 percent) were most likely to oppose the policy change.

Among those respondents who acknowledges having tried cannabis, 74 percent supported legalization. Among respondents who had never tried cannabis, 63 percent favored keeping it illegal.

The poll possesses a margin of error of +/- 4.7 percent.

California is one of several states in 2016 where the issue of regulating marijuana is expected to be decided by ballot measure. The issue is also anticipated to be before voters next November in Arizona, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, and Nevada.

In 2010, California voters rejected a ballot initiative that sought to permit the personal cultivation and commercial sale of cannabis by a vote of 46.5 percent to 53.5 percent.

California to Hold Public Forums on Legalizing Cannabis

The Joint Blog - Thu, 03/26/2015 - 18:27

By Daniel Wallis, Reuters

(Reuters) – California officials will hold forums starting next month across the most populous U.S. state to seek public input on proposals to legalize marijuana under a strict tax and regulatory system, Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom said on Thursday.

California became the first U.S. state to allow medical marijuana at a ballot in 1996, and it was followed by several other states, some of which also later legalized recreational use of the drug by adults.

Announcing the start of the public phase of the work of a state commission that he leads on marijuana policy, Newsom said that over the past 18 months the panel identified three key issues related to legalization, tax and regulation.

“With marijuana legalization increasingly likely in California, it is vital that policymakers are informed by the expert think tank we’ve assembled to make sure any changes in law are thoughtfully constructed and implemented safely and effectively,” Newsom said in a statement.

The first of the commission’s public forums will be held on April 21 at the University of California, Los Angeles, officials said.

Newsom said that even though marijuana remains illegal in California, it remains ubiquitous and easily accessible to children.

“We incarcerate too many nonviolent people, spend too much money doing it, and ruin too many lives – especially among the poor and disadvantaged – all without enhancing public safety. As a parent and a policymaker, this demands a different approach,” Newsom added.

He noted that a new Public Policy Institute of California poll shows public support for legalization at its highest level since the institute began asking the question in May 2010, with 55 percent of likely voters in favor.

Among the areas the commission identified for further study, he said, are issues relating to protecting children, ensuring public safety and setting up taxes and regulations that maximize revenue while eliminating the illicit market.

The panel includes legal, academic, law enforcement and policy experts.

An American Civil Liberties Union report in June 2013 showed sharp racial disparities in marijuana arrests in California, and across the nation.

On Wednesday, the pro-legalization group Drug Policy Alliance said the number of marijuana possession arrests in Colorado fell dramatically after its first legal marijuana stores opened last year, but that blacks still face higher arrest rates than whites.


The post California to Hold Public Forums on Legalizing Cannabis appeared first on The Joint Blog.

FBI Agent Arrested for Stealing and Using Hundreds of Grams of Heroin

The Joint Blog - Thu, 03/26/2015 - 18:06

FBI Headquarters in D.C.

In Washington, DC, an FBI agent was arrested last Friday for stealing hundreds of grams of heroin seized in drug raids, keeping it in his car, and occasionally using the drug.

Matthew Lowry, 33, is expected to plead guilty to all 64 charges brought against him, which includes charges of obstruction of justice, heroin possession, and conversion of property, according to his attorney Robert Bonsib.

Lowry’s theft has caused federal prosecutors to drop charges against at least 28 defendants in drug cases. An additional 150 defendants have been notified that Lowry was part of their investigation.

Lowry is facing up to seven years in prison.


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D.C. Hosting Nation’s Largest Legal Cannabis Giveaway Today, Another Saturday

The Joint Blog - Thu, 03/26/2015 - 16:37

Today, March 26th, the D.C. Cannabis Campaign will be holding the nation’s largest legal cannabis giveaway.

At the event, titled Spring Seed Shares, the group will be distributing over 16,000 cannabis seeds to celebrate the district’s one-month anniversary of cannabis legalization taking effect.

“Since Ballot Initiative 71 passed last November, the DC Cannabis Campaign has received many requests for cannabis seeds,” the Campaign says. “We’ve said all along, ‘ask a friend, they might have some seeds to give you.’ Still, we know that not everyone has friends who have seeds available to share.”

To address this need, the DC Cannabis Campaign is “organizing two seed shares to facilitate personal home cultivation of cannabis permitted under the new law. This will be DC residents’ opportunity to share seeds with other adults and start down the path of legally growing your own cannabis in the safety and privacy of your home.”

The first seed sharing event will take place at Libertine (2435 18th Street NW) from 5:30pm to 8:00pm on Thursday, March 26th, and the second event will take place on Saturday, March 28th from 4:20pm to 7:00pm at the DC Cannabis Campaign Headquarters (2448 Massachusetts Avenue NW).

Both events are completely free and open to the public, though you must be 21 or older with a valid ID.


The post D.C. Hosting Nation’s Largest Legal Cannabis Giveaway Today, Another Saturday appeared first on The Joint Blog.

Hawaii Senate Committee Unanimously Passes Bill to Legalize Medical Cannabis Dispensaries

The Joint Blog - Thu, 03/26/2015 - 15:52

Hawaii’s Senate Public Safety Committee has voted to unanimously approve a bill to legalize the distribution of medical cannabis through state-licensed dispensaries. The proposal would mark the first time the state has allowed medical cannabis safe access points, despite the medicine being legalized by voters nearly 15 years ago.

House Bill 321, which has already been approved 43 to 8 by the state’s House of Representatives, would establish a system of medical cannabis production centers and dispensaries, with the measure mandating that each county have at least one operating dispensary, with a minimum of 21 throughout the state.

Last month a separate medical cannabis proposal, House Bill 1455, was approved by the House Committee on Health. This measure would expand upon state’s medical cannabis program by increasing the amount of cannabis a patient can possess and cultivate, increasing the amount of patients a caregiver can care for, and allowing patients to transfer cannabis to other patients and caregivers.


The post Hawaii Senate Committee Unanimously Passes Bill to Legalize Medical Cannabis Dispensaries appeared first on The Joint Blog.

Georgia Governor Will Sign Bill Legalize Medical Use of Cannabis Extracts

The Joint Blog - Thu, 03/26/2015 - 14:56

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal confirmed Thursday morning that he will soon sign into law legislation to legalize the medical use of cannabis extracts, which was recently approved overwhelmingly by the state’s Legislature.

House Bill 1, which was approved by the House of Representatives with an 160 to 1 vote, and by the Senate with a 48 to 6 vote, will legalize the possession and use of up to 20 ounces of low-THC (5% or less) cannabis extracts for those who receive a recommendation from a physician. Qualifying medical conditions will include cancer, Crohn’s disease, seizure disorders, Lou Gehrig’s disease (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), mitochondrial disease, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease.

The proposal will allow universities as well as certain nonprofit organizations to produce, distribute and study cannabis extracts.

House Bill 1 will take effect immediately upon being signed by Governor Deal.


The post Georgia Governor Will Sign Bill Legalize Medical Use of Cannabis Extracts appeared first on The Joint Blog.

US WA: Column: Christian Chronic, Killer Pot, and Some Suing

MAP - Hemp - Wed, 03/25/2015 - 07:00
Seattle Weekly, 25 Mar 2015 - Passing the Dutchie to the Right This Time. The idea of Higher Ground is to "elevate the dialogue," and thus it's important to remain open-minded to individuals and organizations on all sides of the marijuana-legalization conversation. With that in mind, let's light the peace pipe and reach the roach across the aisle.

US CO: Column: Allgreens Beats the Irs, NoCo Hemp Expo

MAP - Hemp - Wed, 03/25/2015 - 07:00
Colorado Springs Independent, 25 Mar 2015 - Northern hemp party At the second annual NoCo Hemp Expo 2015, people can expect to find everything imaginable involving hemp: hemp CBD products, hemp apparel, hemp food, Colorado Hemp Beer, a hemp movie room, caricatures on hemp paper, over 30 expert speakers on topics about hemp, and even a "hemp-bodied sports car." The event will be held April 4 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Ranch Events Complex/Thomas M. McKee Building in Loveland (5260 Arena Circle, nocohempexpo.com). Tickets are anywhere from $15 to $100, with standard costs set for $20 at the door.

US MI: Column: Newcomers And Profiteers

MAP - Hemp - Wed, 03/25/2015 - 07:00
Metro Times, 25 Mar 2015 - It looks like voting on recreational marijuana is nearly a done deal in Michigan for the 2016 elections, unless the state Legislature gets in on the act and passes a legalization bill even sooner. The Michigan Comprehensive Cannabis Law Reform Initiative Committee (MCCLRIC) has announced its intention to circulate petitions to put recreational legalization on the ballot next year. Another group, the Michigan Responsibility Council (MRC), has reportedly been preparing its own petition for a different system of legalization. And state Rep. Jeff Irwin, D-Ann Arbor, has plans to reintroduce legalization legislation this session. During a recent edition of Off the Record, host Tim Skubick, co-host Susan Demas of MLive.com, and Detroit News Capitol reporter Chad Livengood all agreed a petition drive would be successful. Although Livengood suggested the MRC has ulterior motives.

Vivian McPeak: The Synthetic Subversion & The Natural Cycle

Youtube - Restore Hemp - Tue, 03/24/2015 - 18:51
Vivian McPeak: The Synthetic Subversion & The Natural Cycle
Seattle Hempfest director, Vivian McPeak, reminisces about his long-time friend and hemp activist, Gatewood Galbraith. Galbraith, who believed hemp was removed from the 'natural cycle' to create the synthetic subversion, fought to bring social awareness to the citizens of Kentucky. As hemp was a threat to big-industry, the petro-chemical, pharmaceutical, corporate, fascist, elite ruling class suppressed hemp, in an effort to severe it from the 'natural cycle'. Source: Hempfest Central on February 22, 2015 Footage: Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp (CRRH) http://hemp.org From: RestoreHemp Views: 37 2 ratings Time: 02:21 More in Education

Vivian McPeak: The Evolution of the Seattle Peace Heathens

Youtube - Restore Hemp - Mon, 03/23/2015 - 19:20
Vivian McPeak: The Evolution of the Seattle Peace Heathens
Seattle Hempfest director, Vivian McPeak, discusses the evolution of the Seattle Peace Heathens Alternative Community Action Group. The volunteer group, which started in the University District in the late 1980's, was established to bring awareness to community projects that promoted peace and social justice. They were dedicated to "doing something about doing nothing" and "saving the planet one neighborhood at a time". Seattle Crisis Resource Directory: http://www.scn.org/crisis Source: Hempfest Central on February 22, 2015 Footage: Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp (CRRH) http://hemp.org From: RestoreHemp Views: 26 3 ratings Time: 18:24 More in Education
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