City of Portland Issues Permit
It's a go for the 10th annual Portland Hempstalk Festival; after months of delay, city officials have finally issued a permit for this weekend's event.
"Event coordinators for the Portland Hempstalk annual festival are proud to announce the City of Portland has issued our permit for this weekend's event (September 27-28) at Tom McCall Waterfront Park in Portland, Oregon," a press release from the Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp (CRRH) reads.
Hempstalk advocates decriminalization of cannabis for medicinal, industrial, and recreational use. Founded in 2005 by The Hemp and Cannabis Foundation, the festival features live music, guest speakers, food and goods vendors and information booths.
This public event has always been free to attend, with a suggested donation of $10 per person.
Featuring three stages, the Jack Herer Main Stage, the newly added Green Goddess Stage, and the Elec-Chronic DJ Stage, the bands, music and informational guest speakers are sure to inspire and inform attendees.
Already confirmed on the musical bill for 2014 are Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, John Trudell and Bad Dog, Herbivores, Los Marijuanos, Poet and Cannabis Advocate John Sinclair, The Sindicate, J Mack and Big Dub, Bad Habitat and more. To view the complete line-up, check out http://hempstalk.org/festival/lineup
By Steve Elliott
If you're a television news reporter and you decide to quit, you might as well do it live on the air and in a spectacular fashion -- at least, that was apparently the thinking of Charlo Greene, who outed herself as the owner of a medical marijuana club and told viewers she was quitting her job to focus on legalization.
Greene reported on the Alaska Cannabis Club during TV station KTVA's Sunday night news broadcast, but didn't reveal her connection to the club until a live shot at the end of her report, according Laurel Andrews at the Alaska Dispatch News.
"Now everything you've heard is why I, the actual owner of the Alaska Cannabis Club, will be dedicating all of my energy toward fighting for freedom and fairness, which begins with legalization of marijuana here in Alaska," Greene said live on the air. "And as for this job, well, not that I have a choice, but fuck it, I quit."
With that, Greene walked off camera.
Alaska Cannabis Club had earlier urged its Facebook followers to tune in to the news broadcast Sunday evening. Greene later said KTVA had no idea she was going to quit, or how, or that she was connected to the dispensary.
Greene said she quit so dramatically "Because I wanted to draw attention to this issue. And the issue is medical marijuana.
Groups Come Together to End Marijuana Prohibition, Increase Cannabis Research and Promote a Compassionate Health Care Response to Drug Use and Addiction
Moms, Cops, Nurses & Docs Present a Panel Discussion at the Marijuana for Medical Professionals Conference in Denver, Colorado on Sept. 11
Moms United to End the War on Drugs is bringing together a coalition of family members, health care professionals and criminal justice professionals to end cannabis prohibition that has been so destructive to our families and communities.
Moms, Cops, Nurses & Docs will be holding a panel discussion at the Sherman Street Event Center in Denver, Colorado (1770 Sherman Street) on Thursday, September 11, at the Exhibit Hall Stage at 12:30 pm. Speakers include Mary Lynn Mathre from American Cannabis Nurses Association; Dr. Jeff Hergenrather from the Society of Cannabis Clinicians; Theresa Daniello from Moms United to End the War on Drugs; and Leonard Frieling from Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP).
In 1937, laws were put into place prohibiting the use of cannabis in the United States. In the past decade, more than six million Americans have been arrested on marijuana charges. For several decades, people who use drugs and people with addictive illness have been banished to the criminal justice system.
Nearly half of all prisoners in state prisons are locked up for a non-violent offense. Every year 750,000 people are arrested for marijuana, wasting law enforcement resources and throwing non-violent offenders into the criminal justice system.
By Steve Elliott
Cannabis advocates in the United Kingdom plan to openly smoke marijuana during a protest picnic in Exeter later month.
The Devon Cannabis Club plans its annual Harvest Picnic at Flowerpot Playing Fields in Exeter on Saturday, September 27, between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m., reports the Exeter Express & Echo.
Last year's protest in Exeter was attended by about 60 activists.
This year's event is being promoted on Facebook, where the page states, "Come and join us for a picnic and to consume herb to lift the blanket of stigma and these ridiculous laws." So far, 92 people have indicated on the Facebook event page that they will be attending.
"Our aim is to raise awareness of the benefits of cannabis and to address the bias and misinformation so often seen in the mainstream media," said Daryl Sullivan, South West regional admin for The United Kingdom Cannabis Social Clubs. "To this end we have, for the past two years, been holding public 'protest picnics' around the country."
By Steve Elliott
Organizer Paul Stanford, who owns Hemp News and directs the Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp (CRRH), still expects the two-day Hempstalk festival to occur in downtown Portland, but the free event is still waiting for a city permit, with just three weeks to go.
It's been eight months now since Portland Mayor Charlie Hales directed city staff to try and find a way to accommodate the festival, which advocates the legalization of marijuana and hemp for all uses, reports Andrew Theen at The Oregonian.
"It's outrageous," Stanford said on Friday from Spain, where he's speaking at an international cannabis festival. "They're yanking us around," he said of the city's handling of Hempstalk's permit.
Hempstalk Festival is marking its 10th anniversary this year, and Stanford has planned a downtown showcase for the event. Musical acts including Lukas Nelson (Willie's son) are slated to perform, and the event, scheduled for September 27 and 28, has been extensively promoted.
Portland city officials initially denied Stanford's application for an event permit back in December, claiming past Hempstalks at Kelley Point Park in Northy Portland have featured lax security and marijuana use.
Activists plan to engage ruling party in discussion following caucus meeting
Back in January, then-Minister Michael Dunkley told the public that compassionate cannabis permit applications could be filed with his office, with a doctor’s support. This has proven to be untrue, with the Permanent Secretary as well as the Health Ministry Chief Medical Officer denying the program’s very existence./ (Please see below attachments for proof of the license program’s cancellation).
“Gravely ill and dying patients took the Premier at his word, and scurried from doctor to doctor, sapping their final reserves of time and energy, only to find out that Government had secretly cancelled the program, despite taking public credit for their alleged compassion,” Gordon explained.
Gordon called the government’s gambit a “dirty trick” to play on the gravely ill and dying. At least two Bermudian patients have died while waiting for access to medical cannabis, needlessly suffering, according to Gordon.
Patients are now insisting on face-to-face talks with the Premier, outside the formal time-limited caucus meeting guidelines, because, Gordon says: “The time for sound bites and stock answers is over. We want direct, honest talks with follow-up questions because we were lied to, and we don’t trust these guys anymore.”
By D. Paul Stanford, CRRH
Oregon's Ballot Measure 91 qualified for the vote on July 22nd, almost exactly two weeks after Washington state began regulated sales of marijuana just across the mighty Columbia River from Oregon. New Approach Oregon's petition campaign turned in enough valid signatures to qualify the Control, Regulation, and Taxation of Marijuana and Industrial Hemp Act for the November 4, 2014 ballot. On the same day in November, both the state of Alaska and the federal capitol, Washington, DC, will also vote on their own initiative petitions to end marijuana prohibition.
According to the Oregon Secretary of State's website, 145,030 unverified signatures were submitted for verification on Measure 91. Of those, 88,584 signatures, or 64.41 percent of the 135,722 accepted for verification, were valid. To qualify for the ballot, 87,213 were needed, so, according to the Oregon Secretary of State Elections Division, Measure 91 qualified with 1,371 more signatures than the minimum required..
The proposed Oregon ballot measure would allow for licensed and regulated cultivation and sales of marijuana. Sales would be taxed to generate money for schools, state and local police and drug treatment, prevention and mental health programs.
It is important for medical marijuana patients to note that Measure 91, when passed, will not change nor effect the current medical marijuana law in Oregon. Measure 91 taxes will not be charged for people with an Oregon medical marijuana permit.
The 2014 Portland Hempstalk Festival occurs at Tom McCall Waterfront Park in downtown Portland, Oregon on September 27 and 28. Hempstalk provides educational awareness opportunities regarding the the medicinal, emotional and mental benefits of cannabis while advocating for its decriminalization for medicinal, industrial, and recreational use.
Founded in 2005 by The Hemp and Cannabis Foundation, the festival features live music, guest speakers, food and goods vendors and information booths. This public event has always been free to attend, with a suggested donation of $10 per person.
According to Paul Stanford, founder and presenting sponsor of the event, "Hempstalk is about the many uses of agricultural hemp fiber, oil, protein, fuel and medicine. We are working to end adult cannabis prohibition, allow adults to grow their own and license the legal sale of psychoactive cannabis to adults.
"We believe that hemp will save the Earth's biosphere with the adoption of hemp seed for bio-diesel fuel, which will solve the energy and world hunger problems, and stop deforestation when hemp fiber is used for paper and building materials," Stanford said. "We shall overcome!"
Event coordinators estimated that last year’s two-day Hempstalk festival, held at Kelley Point Park, was attended by 60,000 people. With recent years increases in festival attendance, growing awareness of popularity of its cause, Hempstalk organizers and city officials felt it had outgrown its previous location.
By Steve Elliott
Marc Emery, the self-styled Prince of Pot who got a five-year federal prison sentence in the United States for selling seeds, will get to return home to Canada on Tuesday.
Emery is scheduled to be flown from a Louisiana jail to Detroit on Tuesday, escorted in shackles by U.S. marshals, then turned over to Canadian officials, his wife Jodie Emery said on Friday, reports Gordon McIntyre at The Province.
He had been sentenced after pleading guilty to selling cannabis seeds through the mail to U.S. customers through his Vancouver-based company.
"It's very exciting," said Jodie. "It's been a long road."
Jodie said supporters will be waiting in Windsor, although it's not known exactly what time the Prince will be crossing the border. The Emerys are planning a press conference at Windsor City Hall as soon as Marc is released, "likely sometime after 12 Noon ET," according to Cannabis Culture.
She said their lives will then pick up where they left off when Marc went to Seattle to plead guilty before serving his "hard nickel" (under federal sentencing rules, prisoners must serve 85 percent of their time).
"Our life is about our activism," Jodie said. "We'll be getting right back into it."
By Steve Elliott
The cannabis movement has plenty of heroes, but none are more inspiring than the great Peter McWilliams -- a man of fame and influence who dared tell the truth about medical marijuana, before it was fashionable to do so. McWilliams paid the ultimate price, dying after the federal government forbade him to continue using cannabis to control his nausea. He would have been 65 years old today.
McWilliams was many things: author, publisher, photographer, poet and activist, among others. But one of the most important things McWilliams was, was an inspiration. His courage and charisma were and continue to be a source of strength to many who are struggling with illness and with the injustice of our marijuana laws.
He had a remarkable career starting in the 1970s, writing more than 40 books, including works on depression, losing a loved one, computers, and poetry. Several of Peter's books made The New York Times Top 10 nonfiction bestseller list.
Peter's 1993 book Ain't Nobody's Business If You Do remains one of the greatest affirmations of the right of citizens to act and live in any peaceful, honest lifestyle, including their inalienable right to drugs and especially cannabis. It is regarded by many as a "libertarian Bible," with its emphasis on personal freedom and responsibility.
In 1995, Peter was diagnosed with depression, after having suffered from it all his life. Along with coauthor Harold H. Bloomfield, M.D. -- who treated Peter for his depression -- he'd authored How To Heal Depression the previous year.
Friday Panel: Marijuana Arrests: The Gateway to Mass Incarceration
Marijuana arrests and mass incarceration will take center stage at Netroots Nation 2014 this week in Detroit.
On Friday, July 18 at 4:30 p.m., the ninth annual gathering of progressive voices will feature a panel, “Marijuana Arrests: the Gateway to Mass Incarceration.” The panel will feature Kassandra Frederique, a policy coordinator for the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA).
Frederique is currently organizing with groups around the state of New York to address bias policing practices, unlawful marijuana arrests and collateral consequences of criminalization.
“I’m thrilled to see Netroots Nation examine the failed war on drugs and how marijuana arrests fuel mass incarceration,” Frederique said. “Netroots Nation is a cutting-edge incubator of ideas and I’m excited to have a rich discussion during the panel and action from folks afterwards.”
Every 48 seconds someone is arrested for marijuana possession in the United States. Most of these arrests are of people of color, despite the fact that white people use and sell marijuana at higher rates. In this panel they will explore how the Drug War and biased policing practices fuel marijuana arrests and, in turn, mass incarceration.
Citizens Take to the Streets on June 26 to Protest Current Drug Policies and to Call for an End to the Senseless Criminalization of Drug Users
Thousands of activists will take to the streets in more than 80 cities on Thursday, June 26, to fight harmful drug laws that have caused health crises, instability and mass incarceration around the world.
Mass demonstrations and other actions are planned in New York, London, Paris, Warsaw, Mexico City, Kathmandu, Rome, Phnom Penh, Tbilisi, Kuala Lumpur, Moscow and more than 70 other cities. The actions include peaceful demonstrations, street performances, public meetings and workshops, social media campaigns and advertisements on public transportation and billboards.
The events are scheduled to coincide with the United Nations’ International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, which is also June 26. The U.N.’s anti-drugs day is used by many governments to justify violent crackdowns and to promote harsh punishments. It has even been marked with public executions and beatings of drug offenders in some countries.
The “Support. Don’t Punish: Global Day of Action” seeks to reclaim this day and promote a more effective and humane approach to drugs that is based on public health and human rights.
A legal marijuana farm organizer on Vashon Island in Washington state says he is selling a rare David Choe painting to fund his organization.
“It is a fabulous painting that I bought in 2006 just as David Choe was becoming well known," said painting owner Shango Los. "Now that he is an international superstar, I’d like to cash out and invest in American marijuana agriculture. I’m sure David Choe would approve.”
Los said he doesn't grow marijuana on Vashon Island, but rather founded the Vashon Island Marijuana Entrepreneurs Alliance which organizes food farmers and other entrepreneurs who wish to move into the legal marijuana market.
“We have an opportunity to let marijuana grow beside our traditional food crops and save the family farm," Shango said. "The only way this will happen though is with grass roots community organizing and that takes money.”
The sale of the painting will fund the continuing efforts of VIMEA, according to Los.
Along with the painting, Shango is selling a shirt he was wearing at the gallery when he bought the painting upon which David Choe wrote “DAVE CHOE RUINS SHIRTS” and an image in marker.
The eBay auction is for both the painting and the shirt. The painting has an auction estimate of $5,000 to $10,000, with a starting bid of $3,500.
“David Choe’s talents have made him a heavily watched artist," Los said. "I expect that the rare opportunity to buy an original painting by him in a private sale will draw out both avid David Choe fans and savvy art investors alike.”
The auction ends May 14, Los said.
U.S. Has Less Than 5% of World’s Population but Nearly 25% of People Behind Bars; Drug War Fueled Prison Explosion
A groundbreaking report released on Wednesday by the National Research Council, the principal operating arm of the National Academy of Sciences, documents the unprecedented and costly price of U.S. incarceration rates.
With less than five percent of the world’s population but nearly 25 percent of the world’s prisoners, the United States continues to rank first among nations in both prison and jail population and per capita rates. As the report points out, this unprecedented rate of incarceration is a relatively new phenomenon in U.S. history. America’s prison population exploded largely as a result of the failed Drug War policies of the last 40 years.
The report, commissioned by the National Institute of Justice and the MacArthur Foundation, documents how the Drug War has contributed to the skyrocketing U.S prison population and the staggering costs associated with mass incarceration. The report points out that U.S. incarceration rates are 5-10 times higher than rates in Western Europe and other major democracies.
The report also documents the staggering racial disparities in drug enforcement and incarceration.
The report calls for a significant reduction in rates of imprisonment and says that the rise in the U.S. prison population is “not serving the country well.” It concludes that in order to significantly lower prison rates, the U.S. should revise its drug enforcement and sentencing laws.
The Indonesian cannabis reform group Lingkar Ganja Nusantara (LGN) will hold rallies in conjunction with the Global Marijuana March in seven cities across Indonesia this Saturday, May 3.
This peaceful rally, held annually on the first Saturday of every May, is coming into its fifth year in Indonesia. This year marks a unique step for Indonesia's cannabis movement as six other cities, in addition to Jakarta, are launching their very own local events in conjunction with the Global Marijuana March.
The GMM rallies are held not only in Indonesia, but simultaneously all over the world. This year, more than 143 cities in 33 nations worldwide will have their own marches; North America, Latin America, Africa, Europe, Asia and Oceania will all unite in support of cannabis legalization.