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.
Seattle Hempfest history book hits the streets
By Seattle Hempfest Staff
SEATTLE – How did a humble a group of community activists build the world’s largest pot rally? Protestival: A Twenty Year Retrospective of Seattle Hempfest, tells how the Hempfest was built from the ground up with little more than a vision and the conviction necessary to take that dream to fruition. Protestival details the long, hard struggle to build the world’s largest all volunteer annual free-speech rally.
To note this year's 20th anniversary milestone, Seattle Hempfest Executive Director Vivian McPeak has written a book about the two decades that the flagship annual event of America's cannabis culture has been advancing the cause of reform. The world's largest marijuana law reform gathering, the Seattle Hempfest draws hundreds of thousands of attendees down to the Seattle waterfront each year. This year's event is Aug. 19 - 21.
Communist Bosses Won't Even Allow Book Inside The Country
By Steve Elliott, Toke of the Town/Special to Hemp News
The worldwide release of an American book on cannabis has been delayed, due to the refusal of the communist government of China to allow its binding on Chinese soil, according to the publisher.
The Little Black Book of Marijuana, by yours truly, Toke of the Town editor Steve Elliott, was scheduled for availability on August 1, but that printing schedule was thrown off after the totalitarian Chinese government decided the book was "too controversial" to even allow the printed pages inside the tightly-run dictatorship.
"Our printer is located in Hong Kong, with binderies in mainland China," production manager Ginny Reynolds of Peter Pauper Press explained to me Friday morning. "Usually it's no problem to move printed books from Hong Kong to China for binding.
"However, Chinese censorship is extremely tight," Reynolds told Toke of the Town. "Any content deemed 'sensitive' or 'controversial' by their standards is banned."
Steve Elliott: "You can always tell a totalitarian dictatorship, because they're afraid of the truth."
"We have the same problem with our books on sexuality," she told me. "The printer has to arrange for binding in Hong Kong, and facilities there are limited and overbooked in the summer season.
"Only an Independent who doesn't care who gets credit for doing what's right for the people of the state of Kentucky stand the best chance of untying the Gordian Knot and letting both parties operate in the fashion that the well intentioned membership want to work. We're asking you to vote for an Independent who wants to work with you to get the job done." Gatewood Galbraith
By Michael Bachara, Hemp News Correspondent
Kentucky Gubernatorial Candidate Gatewood Galbraith (Independent) recently spoke in Portland, Oregon to raise money for his current campaign. Galbraith talked about the history of hemp as a cash crop in Kentucky, his lifetime spent learning and working within the political and legal system, and also his campaign and running-mate Dea Riley.
Explaining his view of Kentucky's current "electile dysfunction," Galbraith addressed the U. S. Governments nanny-state thought-mind (whom we elected) whose goal is to protect us from ourselves, the concept of sovereign human beings and rediscovering the American Revolution with our voices and our votes. "I'm going to reconstruct Kentucky's government…and we're going to rediscover whether America still has a pulse. I believe that people will come from all over America and around the world [to Kentucky] to see what it's like to live free," said Galbraith.
By CBS 13 Staff
SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Marijuana is no medical marvel — that's according to a new federal ruling generating plenty of controversy across California.
The Drug Enforcement Administration decree states that "marijuana has no currently accepted medical use" – in other words, this bud is not for you.
Yet in California you can easily get pizza, brownies, even cannabis cookies because medical marijuana is incredibly edible and of course, smokable. And all you need is a medical marijuana card – it's easy to get – but the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has ruled that “marijuana lacks accepted safety for medical use under supervision.”
"I’m here to disagree with the DEA," said Shane Randall, a medical marijuana patient at Alternative Medical Source (AMS) in Fair Oaks.
He told CBS 13, "I'm a type one diabetic. I also have auto-immune disease. I've been using medicinal marijuana for 5 years now."
By Erica Warren, Columbia Crime Examiner
Two ballot initiatives were filed with the Secretary of State in the state of Missouri on July 6, 2011, two days after Independence Day, that would legalize possession of marijuana by adults, allow for medical marijuana use, and create an agricultural hemp industry for this Midwest state. This ambitious endeavor has been undertaken by a group that calls themselves “Show-Me Cannabis”, playing on Missouri’s motto as the “Show-Me State”. Their website can be found at www.show-mecannabis.com.
One of the initiatives would amend the state’s Constitution, while the other would revise the state’s statutes. Once the Secretary of State’s office approves the language of one, or both, initiatives the next step to get them on the November 2012 ballot would be signature gathering. The constitutional amendment would require the gathering of around 160,000 signatures by May of 2012 to be put on the ballot, while the initiative to revise state statutes would only need around 100,000 signatures by May of next year to make it to the ballot.