As a young man enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps, Chris Williams swore an oath to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States." Now is the time to show him your support!
By Michael Bachara, Hemp News Correspondent
Why Oregon, California and more are likely to follow Colorado and Washington toward legalization
By Tim Dickinson, Rolling Stone
The Berlin Wall of pot prohibition seems to be crumbling before our eyes.
By fully legalizing marijuana through direct democracy, Colorado and Washington have fundamentally changed the national conversation about cannabis. As many as 58 percent of Americans now believe marijuana should be legal. And our political establishment is catching on. Former president Jimmy Carter came out this month and endorsed taxed-and-regulated weed. "I'm in favor of it," Carter said. "I think it's OK." In a December 5th letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) suggested it might be possible "to amend the Federal Controlled Substances Act to allow possession of up to one ounce of marijuana, at least in jurisdictions where it is legal under state law." Even President Obama hinted at a more flexible approach to prohibition, telling 20/20's Barbara Walters that the federal government was unlikely to crack down on recreational users in states where pot is legal, adding, "We've got bigger fish to fry."
by Kelvin Heppner, Portage Online
Within a few years, farmers could be operating tractors partially made from the crops they grow.
The Composites Innovation Centre in Winnipeg is working with Buhler Industries - the manufacturer of Versatile tractors - to research the use of flax and hemp fibres in tractor hoods, shields and cabs.
Dr. Simon Potter, Sector Manager for Product Innovation at the CIC, explains the project will culminate in about a year with the creation of a prototype made with flax or hemp fibre.
"You'll actually see trial Buhler tractor being tested around the world. They are talking about testing it in places as far flung as Russia," he says.
He says the partnership with Buhler represents the centre's first major foray into composites for agriculture.
"This is kind of what we're doing with the bus industry right now, working with organizations like Motorcoach to increase the renewable content in their vehicles," explains Potter.
He says there are a number of benefits to using renewable fibres from flax and hemp.
"There are benefits in terms of weight savings, so you get fuel efficiency benefits. In the future there will be cost savings as well because agricultural fibres tend to be a lot cheaper than fibreglass. There is also a lot less embodied energy in them. It's a lot cleaner from an environmental perspective to produce bio-composite materials than it is to produce synthetic composite materials," says Potter.
By Amy Gillentine, Colorado Springs Business Journal
The Declaration of Independence was written on paper made of hemp. During World War II the federal government launched a “Hemp for Victory” campaign urging people to grow the plant to make ropes for the military.
Until the late 1800s, nearly all cloth and virtually all paper were made from hemp. It was so valuable that hemp could be used as money.
But that was then.
Today, industrial hemp isn’t strictly illegal, but farmers must get a permit from the Drug Enforcement Agency to grow it — something that’s proven impossible. Colorado and Washington have joined nine other states in legalizing the crop. But despite the passage of Amendment 64, the DEA still must give permission, even though states issue their own permits.
Colorado farmers could be able to grow industrial hemp as early as next summer, with state permits alone. It’s unclear if the federal government would raid industrial hemp farms operating without DEA permission.
Supporters say that it makes no sense to require federal permits. Hemp is harmless, they say, and can benefit the economy and environment. Hemp can remediate soil damage, be spun into clothing and bracelets, help create soaps and lotions, and even absorb tons of carbon dioxide a year. Currently, U.S. imports of hemp from Canada and China equal around $2 billion annually.
By JOCE DeWITT Corvallis Gazette-Times
Industrial hemp expert Anndrea Hermann gave Oregon State University faculty members and students a sneak peek Tuesday at a class she’ll offer through OSU’s Ecampus about the benefits of uses of the plant.
The preview came in the form of a seminar titled “Industrial Hemp Today, Where We Are, Where We’re Going,” and it offered context for the online class, which will be offered this spring through the College of Forestry. It will focus on the botany and biology of hemp, as well as the implications of legal and social issues surrounding its use.
Hermann, who will instruct the industrial hemp course, is the president of the Hemp Industries Association and owns The Ridge International Cannabis Consulting.
Hermann, who lives in Canada, said she was excited that OSU decided to incorporate industrial hemp into its curriculum and recognize its significance.
“This is the first time in world history that we know of that a four-credit class solely based on industrial hemp is being offered,” she said. “It’s a cool thing for the university to put it out there.”
By Roger A. Roffman, Special to CNN
(CNN) -- The historic measure to regulate and tax marijuana in Washington State deserves to be looked at closely as a model of how legalization ought to be designed and implemented elsewhere in America.
We've turned a significant corner with the approval of Initiative 502, which purposefully offers a true public health alternative to the criminal prohibition of pot.
By JEFF BARNARD, AP
GRANTS PASS, Ore. — Rebuffed by voters, proponents of legalizing recreational marijuana use in Oregon will take their cause to the Legislature, but persuading lawmakers will be a longshot.
Rep. Peter Buckley, co-chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, said Wednesday there will be a discussion of why Measure 80 failed, but odds are against the Legislature coming up with something like it to refer to the voters — even if it were patterned on the successful measure passed in Washington state.
However, there may be support for state licensing of growers and distributors of medical marijuana to address concerns over growers selling their excess on the black market, said Buckley, D-Ashland.
"A lot of us have the shared goal of making the medical marijuana more professional and transparent," he said. "I don't want greed to kill the medical marijuana program."
Buckley said another measure is being drafted that would direct the Oregon Health Authority to research which strains of marijuana are most effective against specific ailments.
Voters turned down Measure 80 by 55 percent to 45 percent. Even with no campaign, it passed in Oregon's most liberal counties — Multnomah, Lane, Benton and Lincoln — but lost everywhere else. Even counties were medical marijuana use is highest, such as conservative Josephine County, voters turned it down.
By JEFF BARNARD, Associated Press
GRANTS PASS, Ore. -- Rebuffed by voters, proponents of legalizing recreational marijuana use in Oregon will take their cause to the Legislature, but persuading lawmakers will be a longshot.
Rep. Peter Buckley, co-chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, said Wednesday there will be a discussion of why Measure 80 failed, but odds are against the Legislature coming up with something like it to refer to the voters.
Marijuana advocate and attorney Leland Berger says there are three or four proposals being developed by supporters to more strictly regulate growing and distributing medical marijuana. He says the hope is the next step would be to apply those regulations to all marijuana.
Measure 80 chief petitioner Paul Stanford says he is encouraged that 45 percent of voters said yes, even with no real campaign.
Once vote totals are finalized, anyone 21 and older will be able to possess up to 1 ounce of pot legally. But exactly how the new amendment will fit into the federal legal landscape is up in the air.
By Robert Allen, The (Fort Collins) Coloradoan
FORT COLLINS, Colo. — On Tuesday, voters in Colorado — and Washington state — took an unprecedented step to legalize adult marijuana possession, cultivation and sales.
In wake of Amendment 64's passage, burning questions are being asked about how this will affect daily life:
• What are in-home privacy concerns? How does this define communities?
• How will Colorado ultimately be seen on the national stage?
We spoke with Colorado officials and marijuana experts, examined the legal text and reviewed marijuana's history in and beyond the state to clear some of the post-election haze.
Question: I thought federal law made marijuana illegal. Does this change that?
Answer: No. Federal law supersedes the new state law. That means federal agents could bring charges against anyone in the state who possesses pot.
But there's a caveat: Federal officials don't have the resources to prosecute people for having a just little bit of pot, said law Professor Richard Collins of the University of Colorado, who specializes in constitutional law and Colorado government. He said Amendment 64 was written to keep users under the radar.
By Amanda Brandeis
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.- On Election Day, Colorado voters approved Amendment 64, which legalizes the use of marijuana for adults 21 and over. It also includes a provision legalizing the growth of industrial hemp. While hemp can be used for multiple products, growing the crop is still a federal crime.
By Al Ratcliffe, WIAT
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) - There are currently 16 states allowing the use of medical marijuana. And since the Tuesday elections, there's even one allowing recreational use of the drug. The question is, "could Alabama be next?"
Currently, there is a bill circulating through the state house that would legalize the drug for it's medicinal properties. Ben Crumpton, executive director of the Alabama Medical Marijuana Coalition, says there are at least 24 illnesses that marijuana can be used to treat. Glaucoma, cancer and HIV/AIDS are just a few.
Coming up November 14th, there will be a public hearing in the Alabama State House on the medical use of marijuana. Rep. Jim McClendon of Springville chairs the House's Health Committee. He says the hearing isn't on the HB 2. But it is a chance for the proponents of medical marijuana to tell legislators it's good points.
By REBECCA RICHMAN COHEN
Though the federal government considers marijuana a Schedule I Controlled Substance and bans its use for medical purposes, a growing number of states feel differently. Today, 18 states and Washington, D.C., have legalized medical marijuana for people suffering from debilitating medical conditions like cancer, epilepsy, severe nausea, multiple sclerosis and chronic pain. And on Tuesday, Colorado and Washington State voted to legalize marijuana for adult use, regardless of medical condition. But these states cannot stop the federal government from enforcing its own laws.
And federal drug laws are unjustifiably extreme. Consider the case of Chris Williams, the subject of this Op-Doc video, who opened a marijuana grow house in Montana after the state legalized medical cannabis. Mr. Williams was eventually arrested by federal agents despite Montana’s medical marijuana law, and he may spend the rest of his life behind bars. While Jerry Sandusky got a 30-year minimum sentence for raping young boys, Mr. Williams is looking at a mandatory minimum of more than 80 years for marijuana charges and for possessing firearms during a drug-trafficking offense.
By The Oregonian Editorial Board
Yes, the failure of Oregon's marijuana legalization measure Tuesday must have disappointed its sponsors and supporters. But how sad can they be, really? Even as voters in Oregon were saying "no" to Measure 80, those in Washington were saying "yes" to I-502, which may soon make a dependable supply of legally obtainable pot available within a short drive of downtown Portland. We're going to need a new bridge, pronto.
The measure's passage also means something else: The reasons for taking legalization here seriously just got a lot more compelling, which is why Oregon's pot advocates will give voters another go at it before long. And if that's our future, then the Legislature has a role to play, which we'll discuss below.
First, though, consider what Washington's landmark vote means for Oregon at large. Assuming everything goes as planned, Washington's liquor control board will adopt rules by the end of 2013 for the licensing of marijuana producers, processors and retailers. Marijuana stores will proliferate, and people 21 and older will be able to buy up to an ounce at a time. Because Oregonians will be free to buy Washington pot, many will, and they'll drive it right back into Oregon.
By Garrett Quinn, Reason
PORTLAND, Ore. – Of the three states looking to legalize marijuana today, Oregon is probably the least likely to do so. But that hasn’t dampened the spirits of the people behind Measure 80.
Paul Stanford, 52, runs a medical marijuana business that he says generates over $5 million in annual revenues. The fact that he's using a big chunk of his revenue to fund Measure 80 is what makes Oregon different from Colorado and Washington where out-of-state cash has flowed freely into pro-legalization coffers.
“This initiative has been largely funded by patients in Oregon. I’ve just been the steward of those funds and the person that made the decision to spend those funds in this way,” Stanford says during an interview inside the Yes on 80 headquarters.
Stanford has faced criticism for his tax issues and his business. "It’s basically a spin that isn’t fair," he said.
‘The Oregon Cannibis Tax Act,” aims to regulate growth, sale of marijuana to adults
By Ricky Zipp, The Daily Barometer
Flashback to June 17, 1971. With students protesting the Vietnam War, three years passed since Woodstock, two Kennedys and one King have been killed, Richard Nixon declared that the United States will begin “an all-out, global war on the drug menace.”
Flash forward to the present and Measure 80, “The Oregon Cannabis Tax Act,” sits on the ballot for tomorrows vote.
The two page act holds more content for conversation than marijuana legalization and even this aspect breaks open a conversation concerning economic effects, medical effects, public safety concerns and the use of marijuana for recreational purposes.
However, Ray Kauffman, campaign director of the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act Organization (OCTA), explains how the multiple layers of Measure 80 still lay within marijuana prohibition.
“[Hemp] is the same plant,” Kauffman said. “The reason it is illegal in the United States to grow hemp is because we have marijuana prohibition. It is hard to engage people on the conversation.”
Two sides claim to know the truth on the recreational use of marijuana and it seems as if he bill will eventually boil down to prohibition.