By Fred Gardner, Counter Punch/O’Shaughnessy’s
Occasionally the iron heel comes down on people who are widely respected and/or have the resources and will to fight back effectively. "The feds have overreached," says Steve DeAngelo, who runs Harborside Health Center in Oakland and has been presented by the IRS with a $2.4 million bill for back taxes. He was referring to the DEA raid on Northstone Organics Oct. 13; the threatening letters to growers, dispensaries, and their landlords sent by California’s U.S. Attorneys Oct. 7; the denial of gun permits to registered medical cannabis users ordered by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms in September; and other recent measures directed against the industry.
Overreach by law enforcement was a big factor in the passage of Prop 215 back in November, 1996. The No-on-215 forces, led by Attorney General Dan Lungren, arranged a highly publicized raid on the San Francisco Cannabis Buyers Club three months before Election Day. Their intention was to turn the vote into a referendum on Dennis Peron's right to operate.
By Casper Leitch, Time 4 Hemp/Special to Hemp News
Another federal agency, in a desperate attempt to prevent hemp from being a legal cash crop, has begun to strong-arm the closure of California’s medical marijuana industry. The IRS is now auditing dispensaries and is suddenly applying a section of the tax code, (280-E, designed to bring down drug lords) to filings from years gone by. In doing so, dispensaries such as the Marin Alliance for Medical Marijuana (MAMM) in Fairfax (owned by Lynette Shaw) and Harborside in Oakland (owned by Steve DeAngelo) are being handed 'PAST-DUE' bills of 2.5 million dollars with 45-days to pay-up or shut-down.
By Anna Diaz, Hemp News Correspondent
Photo by LK, Hemp News/Oregon NORML
Photo by Russ Belville, NORML
The Oregon Medical Cannabis Awards (OMCA) celebrates its tenth anniversary this December 10th at the World Famous Cannabis Cafe in Portland. Registered medical marijuana growers submit their strains to a panel of medical marijuana patients for sampling in the privacy of their homes. Judging results are tabulated with prizes given at the awards banquet.
"I am thrilled to host the Awards right here at the Cafe again this year. All our entries will be tested by event co-sponsors, Green Leaf Lab," Madeline Martinez, owner of the World Famous Cannabis Cafe reports. "The OMCA was the first awards ceremony in the medical marijuana community; incorporating testing of all the entries will make our results much more meaningful."
"Green Leaf Lab is proud to be the official testing laboratory for the Oregon Medical Cannabis Awards," affirms Rowshan Reordan, who represents the lab. All samples will be given the Green Leaf Lab Full Spectrum Cannalysis. This includes testing for potency, pesticide residue and a microscopic mold inspection. Each entrant's results will be displayed using their exclusive Strain Facts card. Information about Green Leaf Labs can be found at www.greenleaflab.org .
by Dorothy Chomicz, News Miner
FAIRBANKS — Fairbanks City Council member Lloyd Hilling will introduce a resolution at the next council meeting urging the state government to legalize the cultivation of industrial hemp in Alaska. This is Hilling’s first resolution since regaining the council seat that he lost to Emily Bratcher in 2008.
Hilling said he has several reasons for writing the resolution.
“Well, I’ll tell you, my primary motive is that this is something that should be legal, and should be investigated and should be explored. It should be experimented with openly and possibly be developed into something relatively big for Alaska,” Hilling said.
Hemp, or Cannabis sativa, has only minute quantities of the psychoactive substance tetrahydrocannabinol, and cannot be used as a recreational drug. Hemp grows quickly, and the plant and fibers can be used for many purposes such as paper products, textiles, plastics, animal bedding, rope, essential oils, medicine, food and construction.
Cannabis indica, commonly referred to as marijuana, is not suitable for industrial use and is cultivated almost exclusively for recreational or medicinal drug use. The cultivation of marijuana, and consequently its close cousin hemp, has been illegal in the U.S. since the 1930s.
Even though it is illegal to grow hemp in the U.S., it is not illegal to use it industrially.
By Jordan Grummer, Times Record
The leader of Arkansans for Compassionate Care said his group is hoping to gain more support in Sebastian County for a proposed measure that would legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes in the state.
In April, the organization was given until July 6, 2012, to collect 62,507 signatures from registered voters to qualify the proposal — The Arkansas Medical Marijuana Act — for the November 2012 general election ballot. So far, about 16,000 signatures have been gathered, but less than 1,000 of those have come from voters in Sebastian County, said ACC spokesman Ryan Denham on Wednesday during a meeting at Sweet Bay Coffee, 3400 Rogers Ave.
The meeting was for people interested in volunteering to gather signatures for the initiative that would make Arkansas the 16th state to legalize medical marijuana, but it only attracted two people not affiliated with the group. Denham remained optimistic about the movement in the Fort Smith area despite the lack of attendance. He said the meeting was only made official about three days ago, and more attention has been placed, so far, on places like Little Rock, Jonesboro and the northwest Arkansas region, where support has "been strong."
The meeting was also at 3 p.m. on a business day, he added.
By Steve Elliott Toke of the Town/Special to The Silver Tour
What if I told you there is a secret weapon that, if understood and utilized by the cannabis reform community, could fairly quickly and very decisively decide the issue of marijuana legalization once and for all?
Everybody knows that cannabis legalization is very, very near the tipping point in the United States. Even the folks at Gallup, not exactly known for wild-eyed political statements, said this month after examining their latest poll results -- which showed that a record-high 50 percent of Americans support legalization -- that "If this current trend on legalizing marijuana continues, pressure may build to bring the nation's laws into compliance with the people's wishes."
Drilling down into the results of that same Gallup poll reveals our potential secret weapon for marijuana legalization.
Support for legalizing cannabis is directly and inversely proportional to age, ranging from 62 percent approval among those 18 to 29, down to only 31 percent among those 65 and older.
Ben Deci, FOX40 News
It's the next big salvo in the push to legalize pot; petition takers are out now, getting signatures for an initiative to appear on next November's ballot.
The people who wrote this initiative say they are against minors and motorists using pot, and people at work too. But they also say you have to make one type of marijuana legal for everyone.
"The fact is if you smoked a bail there just isn't any possibility of a psycho-active effect," said Steve Kubby, one of those who drafted the ballot initiative.
(CBS News) - Never before have more Americans believed legalizing marijuana was the right course for the country.
In a new Gallup poll, 50 percent of respondents in a nationwide survey said they believed it was time to make pot legal. About 46 percent came out against it.
Support for legalizing marijuana tended to be stronger among younger, more liberal groups, according to Gallup. Legalization received 62 approval among those aged 18 to 29, but got only 31 percent approval among those 65 and older. Liberals were twice as likely as conservatives to favor legalizing marijuana.
In a release, Gallup writes: "When Gallup first asked about legalizing marijuana, in 1969, 12 percent of Americans favored it, while 84 percent were opposed. Support remained in the mid-20s in Gallup measures from the late 1970s to the mid-1990s, but has crept up since, passing 30 percent in 2000 and 40 percent in 2009 before reaching the 50 percent level in this year's Oct. 6-9 annual Crime survey."
If the steady climb in public support for marijuana legalization continues at its current pace, politicians will soon have to address the laws that fly in the face of that movement in opinion.
by Mike Wynn, The Courier-Journal
By Aaron Borton, Special to The Courier-Journal
By Kristina Nelson, KVAL News
EUGENE, Ore. - You might call it her morning routine.
With her lighter in hand, 72-year-old Elvy Musikka gets a cannabis buzz every day, courtesy of the federal government.
"It does give you a push. The high is nothing but feeling good about things," she said sitting on her couch in her South Eugene apartment.
The grandmother, who uses cannabis for her glaucoma, is part of a very unique club.
Since 1988, Musikka has been getting more than three and a half pounds of pot every year from the federal government.
"These are the tins that the federal government sends to the University of Miami," she said pointing to her rolled joints. "I have to go there and see my doctor and pick up a prescription. I call them my green Pall Malls."
She's part of the "Compassionate New Drug Access Program."
It started in 1976 after a man sued the government, claiming only pot helped his glaucoma.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse or "NIDA" provided rolled joints for sick people until the first Bush Administration halted it in 1992.
"Every single one of us had to have reliable doctors that they would count on, extensive medical records, and had to prove to FDA, DEA and NIDA," Musikka said. "I eventually became the first woman to join the two men who were smoking legally at the time."
By Nigel Duara, AP
Photo by Don Ryan, AP
EUGENE, Ore. — Sometime after midnight on a moonlit rural Oregon highway, a state trooper checking a car he had just pulled over found pot on a passenger.
The discovery was not surprising in a marijuana-friendly state like Oregon, but the 72-year-old woman's defense was: She insisted the weed was legal and given to her by none other than the federal government.
A series of phone calls from a dubious trooper and his supervisor to federal authorities determined that the glaucoma patient was not joking — the U.S. government does grow and provide pot to a select few people across the United States.
For the past three decades, Uncle Sam has been providing patients with some of the highest grade marijuana around as part of a little-known program that grew out of a 1976 court settlement and created the country's first legal pot smoker. The program once provided 14 people government pot. Now, there are four left.
Advocates for legalizing marijuana or treating it as a medicine say the program is a glaring contradiction in the nation's 40-year war on drugs — maintaining the federal ban on pot while at the same time supplying it.
By Steve Elliott, Toke of the Town/Special to The Silver Tour
Almost every time a poll is taken on public levels of support for medical marijuana, one of the groups most resistant to the idea is one that stands to gain the most from it: senior citizens. If we, as a community, can find a way to educate seniors on the health benefits and palliative qualities of medicinal cannabis, it will be a huge step towards achieving the numbers it will take to legalize medical marijuana on the federal level. Seniors are known as the most powerful voting bloc in the nation, and they always show up at the polls.
That's where the legendary Robert Platshorn, the Black Tuna himself, comes in. Platshorn -- who started as a pitchman, became one of the biggest marijuana smugglers of the 1970s, and then spent almost 30 years in federal prison -- has taken on the job of informing his fellow senior citizens about the health benefits of cannabis.
The Silver Tour is the only organization reaching out to seniors about medical marijuana, according to Platshorn, and its work consists of informing them on ways to organize, petition and contact their local politicians to demand legal, safe access to medicinal cannabis.
Florida: The Silver Tour - Teaching Seniors the Benefits of Medical Marijuana - October 4, 2011 10 AMSubmitted by restore on Thu, 09/29/2011 - 22:39
Teaching Seniors the Benefits of Medical Marijuana - Century Village, Florida - October 4, 2011 10AM
Robert Platshorn - Presenter - Director of Florida NORML, Founder of the Silver Tour, Author of Black Tuna Diaries. Featured in the hit film, Square Grouper Robert founded the largest chain of schools in Europe. Once he returned home he became the second largest distributor of Breyers Ice Cream. Robert smuggled marijuana from Colombia in the 1970's and spent 30 yrs in prison for a non-violent pot offense.
In regards to Robert Plashorn, the late, great Billy Mays said "Bobby Platshorn is a legendary pitchman and one of the all time greats".
Dr Julie Holland - Video - Attending Psychiatrist, Bellevue Hospital New York, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, NYU School of Medicine. Dr. Holland has appeared on; The Today Show, Good Morning America, Peter Jenning and Live with Paula Zahn. She will present an introduction to medical marijuana that is the most comprehensive consensus of physicians and researchers.
Karen Goldstein - University of Bridgeport - National Director of NORML. (National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws) Karen is an activist and parent of a medical marijuana patient. She will address medical marijuana for Epilepsy and vision.
By Michael Bachara, Hemp News Correspondent
On September 18th, Oregon NORML entered a team for the second consecutive year into the Komen Race for the Cure. Their team name, NORML People.
NORML chapters in Virginia and Texas also participated in the race this year thanks in part to encouragement from the NORML Women's Alliance. Cheyanne Weldon, Secretary of Texas NORML reports that Texas NORML and Dallas Fort Worth NORML both had teams this year.
Stacy Thies from the Sister-to-Sister program, a new coalition between the NORML Women's Alliance and Students for Sensible Drug Policy, created educational cheering stations in both San Diego and Arizona.
"It's important for us to step out of our cannabis communities and participate in events like this. It helps remove the stereotypes that slow us down in this movement," said Diaz. "I am hopeful that even more NORML groups will join in next year."
7th Annual Portland Hempstalk - September 10-11, 2011 - Kelley Point Park, Portland, Oregon
A compelling mix of upbeat music, a cannabis law reform message and a focus on industrial hemp as the answer to many of our practical needs, the seventh annual Portland Hempstalk is set for 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. September 10th and 11th at Kelley Point Park, located at the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia Rivers.
Co-sponsored by The Hemp and Cannabis Foundation (THCF), Green Leaf Lab and John Lucy, Attorney at law, the event is free to attendees of all ages. With more than 40,000 people expected to attend, it will wrap up the summer festival season with a bang.
This year's Hempstalk will also feature over one hundred vendor booths offering delicious food and irresistible merchandise, and a Hemposium, which will feature informational panels on a variety of cannabis and hemp-related topics. Speakers include THCF director Paul Stanford, NORML outreach coordinator and radio host Russ Belville and many others. Headlining musical acts include Hempstalk 2011 Talent Search Winner, The Sindicate, iconic Las
Vegas rappers Los Marijuanos, and a plethora of bands committed to end the war on cannabis.