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 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 FRED GARDNER, CounterPunch
Paul Stanford, 52, is the author and prime mover behind Oregon’s marijuana legalization initiative, Measure 80, which had gotten 46.5 percent of the vote as of Sunday morning when I called to offer condolences.
“We came close,” he said. “We won Portland by over 60 percent and they’ve still got about 100,000 Portland votes to count. I think it’ll go above 47 percent when all those votes are counted.” Stanford did not sound downhearted. “Here’s an amazing thing,” he went on. “The day after the election the Oregonian, which had opposed us and called us all kinds of names, ran an editorial arguing that the legislature should now legalize and regulate marijuana!”
The billionaires Back East who put about $5 million into successful initiatives in Colorado and Washington state did not contribute to the Oregon legalization effort. Stanford had implored them for help, to no avail. “If we’d had a half million dollars of outside support for advertising, we’d have won,” he says matter-of-factly.
By Michael Bachara, Hemp News Correspondent
Since 1973, when Earl Blumenauer first voted for legislation that successfully decriminalized marijuana in Oregon, he has been a supporter of a reasonable approach to marijuana regulation.
While he feels there are still many questions about the effects of marijuana use, he believes that this is an issue best left to the states. Blumenauer strongly supports the initiative process and encourages people to push forward in this process of changing the law.
"I suspect that doing your job right, engaging people in this debate, in this discussion, looking at the facts, trying to bring people together in a thoughtful non-hysterical way, letting the evidence speak for itself...I suspect this will be your decade of decision," Blumenauer proclaimed at the 2010 National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Law's (NORML) Conference at the Governor Hotel in Portland.
After so many years working for the people of Oregon, Blumenauer has seen the evidence of our failed war on drugs, and feels that a re-examination of the way we handle marijuana and hemp would be greatly beneficial. Oregon has the potential to lead the way forward to a better future through regulation rather than prohibition.
BISMARCK, N.D. — North Dakota voters are likely to have a chance this fall to decide whether marijuana may be used legally as a pain reliever, an option the Legislature has never addressed and that South Dakotans have rejected twice.
Supporters of medical marijuana have been circulating a citizen initiative to put the issue on the November ballot. On Monday, Dave Schwartz, campaign director for a pro-medical marijuana group called North Dakotans for Compassionate Care, delivered petitions that he said contained about 20,000 signatures to North Dakota Secretary of State Al Jaeger's office.
The petitions need about 13,500 signatures from North Dakota voters for the initiative to qualify for a vote. Jaeger has about a month to review the petitions and decide whether they are valid.
The measure would allow someone who suffers from cancer, glaucoma, post-traumatic stress disorder and other debilitating illnesses to use marijuana if a doctor recommends it.
Medical marijuana users could grow a limited supply for their own use, and possess up to 2½ ounces of pot for medical reasons, the measure says.
People who needed to obtain the drug would do so from a state-licensed dispensary, with the North Dakota Health Department given regulatory responsibility over medical marijuana.
WHAT – The Seattle Hempfest XXI, America’s largest "protestival"
WHEN – Noon – 8 p.m., Friday, Aug. 17, and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 18 & 19
WHERE – Myrtle Edwards Park - Pier 70 on the downtown Seattle waterfront
Is it time to retire marijuana prohibition? The world's largest cannabis policy retirement party thinks so. Seattle Hempfest 2012 expects many tens of thousands to attend its 21st annual event, and as America’s largest marijuana law reform event Hempfest invites everyone to join in the celebration to end cannabis prohibition Aug. 17-19 at Myrtle Edwards Park.
The 2012 "protestival" features hundreds of booths and six stages of music and speakers dotting the mile plus expanse at Myrtle Edwards and Centennial Parks, on the beautiful Puget Sound. With the Washington state decriminalization Initiative 502 on this November’s ballot, there will be much discussion about the merits and mechanics of regional cannabis reform on all of Hempfest's stages.
By Beth Musgrave — email@example.com
FRANKFORT — A proposal to legalize marijuana for medical purposes in Kentucky will carry the name of Lexington attorney and perennial political candidate Gatewood Galbraith, who died of complications from pneumonia in January.
State Sen. Perry Clark, D-Louisville, said he knows the measure has slim chances in the 2013 legislative session, but he encouraged dozens of supporters who gathered at a news conference Thursday to call their state lawmakers.
"No, we do not have the votes," said Clark, who acknowledged he has smoked marijuana and would likely qualify for a medical prescription because of chronic back pain. "It's going to be very, very difficult."
Clark filed the Gatewood Galbraith Medical Marijuana Memorial Act shortly after Galbraith's death during the 2012 legislative session, but the bill never received a hearing. Clark said he plans to refile the bill for the 2013 session, which begins in January.
The proposal would make marijuana a schedule II drug. It would allow people who have a prescription for marijuana to get up to 5 ounces of the drug per month and to cultivate up to five marijuana plants at a time.
Clark was joined by members of Galbraith's family at the news conference, including daughters Molly and Abby. Both urged people to support the cause that their father pushed for decades.
Dr. Mikuriya felt cannabis was an important issue being swept under the rug and believed it was important to elevate conciseness and bring back cannabis to the awareness of the medical community as a therapeutic agent.
By Michael Bachara, Hemp News Correspondent
In this recently un-earthed 1991 Time 4 Hemp interview, Dr. Tod Mikuriya talks about the importance of true cannabis research in the United States.
In 1966, Mikuriya became director at the drug addiction treatment center of the New Jersey Neuropsychiatric Institute, in Princeton. In 1967, he became a consulting research psychiatrist at the Center for Narcotics and Drug Abuse Studies of the National Institute of Mental Health, where he was in charge of marijuana research. He left the assignment because he felt that the agency was interested primarily in research that highlighted the negative effects of the drug.
Mikuriya would eventually go on to become an author of Proposition 215, the 1996 state ballot measure that made it legal for California doctors to recommend marijuana to their patients.
United States: 10 Reasons to Revisit Marijuana Policy Now - Americans Increasingly Favor Legalization of PotSubmitted by restore on Sat, 06/23/2012 - 21:54
Culturally, marijuana has become hardly more than a punch line. But in reality, U.S. marijuana policy is no joke; it causes great harm, both directly and indirectly. Here are the 10 most important reasons our marijuana laws deserve serious reconsideration
By Maia Szalavitz, Time.com
For the first time ever, a solid majority of Americans supports legalizing marijuana for recreational use: 56%, according to the most recent Rasmussen poll. Support for legalization has been growing steadily since the 1990s; in 1994, just 25% were in favor.
In November 2010, California residents voted on a ballot initiative to legalize the possession and sale of marijuana. Although the measure failed to pass — 46% to 54% — the fact that the initiative made it onto the ballot and garnered that much support was itself historic. Indeed, it was fear of the initiative’s passage that led then California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to decriminalize possession of up to 1 oz. of pot shortly before the vote — a move that was intended to bleed voter support from the ballot question. Had it passed, California would have been the first state to legalize the drug outright. In 2012, Colorado and Washington State will vote on total legalization.
By NECN.com, Staff
BISMARCK, N.D. — Secretary of State Al Jaeger has approved a ballot measure that would allow people to use marijuana legally in North Dakota for medical reasons.
Jaeger's action means supporters of medical marijuana may begin gathering signatures to put the issue on the ballot.
They'll need at least 13,452 names to qualify for a vote. The signatures will need to be turned in by midnight Aug. 8 to get on the November ballot.
If medical marijuana supporters miss the August deadline, they'll have until June 2013 to collect the required number of signatures.
The measure would allow people with glaucoma, cancer, post-traumatic stress disorder and other medical conditions to use marijuana legally if a doctor recommended it.
The state Health Department would be in charge of licensing the medical marijuana business.
United States: Americans Decry War on Drugs, Support Legalizing Marijuana (Angus Reid Public Opinion)Submitted by restore on Thu, 06/07/2012 - 03:01
Two-thirds of adults in the United States believe the “War on Drugs” has been futile, and a majority continue to call for the legalization of marijuana in the country, a new Angus Reid Public Opinion poll has found.
In the online survey of a representative sample of 1,017 American adults, 68 per cent of respondents believe that America has a serious drug abuse problem and it affects the whole country.
One-in-five Americans (20%) think the country’s drug abuse problem is confined to specific areas and people, and five per cent say America does not have a serious drug abuse problem.
Only 10 per cent of respondents believe that the “War on Drugs”—a term that has been used to describe the efforts of the U.S. government to reduce the illegal drug trade—has been a success, while 66 per cent deem it a failure. Majorities of Democrats (63%), Republicans (63%) and Independents (69%) agree with the notion that the “War on Drugs” has not been fruitful.
Across the country, 52 per cent of Americans support the legalization of marijuana, while 44 per cent oppose it. Majorities of men (60%), Independents (57%) and Democrats (54%) would like to see marijuana legalized. Women (45%), respondents over the age of 55 (48%) and Republicans (43%) are not as supportive of legalization.
Silver Tour Targets the Over-65 Set; A Rabbi's Interpretation of 'High Holy Day'
By Arian Campo-Flores, WSJ
LAKE WORTH, Fla.—Selma Yeshion, an 83-year-old retiree here, says she long considered marijuana a menace. "I thought it was something that was addictive" and "would lead to harder drugs," she says.
By Michael Bachara, Hemp News Correspondent
Every once in a while an activist comes along that changes the way a political issue is perceived. Last month, Paul Stanford of the Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp (CRRH) had the opportunity to interview such a man, John Sinclair. In Stanford’s interview (above), Sinclair discusses the current medical cannabis community and gives his views on where he hopes the cannabis legalization movement will evolve.
Sinclair, an iconic American poet from Flint, Michigan, is the former leader of the White Panther Party, which was an anti-racist counter cultural group of white socialists seeking to help the Black Panthers in the Civil Rights movement from November 1968 to July 1969.
Sinclair has also been steering the marijuana counter culture towards legalization since 1965. He was introduced to marijuana activism after receiving, from New York City, a marijuana flier from Allen Ginsburg and Ed Sanders’ pro marijuana group LeMar (Organization to Legalize Marijuana). Being familiar with a print press, Sinclair created his own marijuana flier and began holding monthly meetings to end marijuana prohibition in the state of Michigan.
By Jeff Mapes, The Oregonian
Two pro-marijuana initiatives are moving closer to qualifying for the November ballot in Oregon.
Both petition drives say they have collected more than the minimum signatures needed to get on the ballot. However, they will both continue petitioning until the July 6 deadline to ensure they have enough valid signatures from registered voters.
One measure would give Oregon adults the state constitutional right to possess marijuana. Robert Wolfe, the chief sponsor of the measure, said that he turned in a new batch of signatures to the state on Friday and has now collected about 120,000 signatures. To qualify, his measure needs 116,284 valid signatures by July 6.
Wolfe's petition drive has been largely financed by the Foundation for Constitutional Protection, an Austin, Texas-based group that has been active in several pro-marijuana campaigns.
A separate measure would allow the commercial cultivation and sale of marijuana. Supporters of that measure have now submitted nearly 99,000 signatures, passing the 87,213 needed for a statutory measure.
Paul Stanford, the chief sponsor, said the petition drive has been largely financed by profits from clinics he owns that help people qualify for medical marijuana cards in Oregon and several other states.