NOVA SCOTIA CANADA: Once again it seems that you can’t grow Cannabis and treat licensed patients, even if Cannabis is “legal”…

NOVA SCOTIA CANADA:  Once again it seems that you can’t grow Cannabis and treat licensed  patients, even if Cannabis is “legal”.

At approximately 10:30am on September 5th, Rev. Daren McCormick and Rev. Kevin James were visited by the RCMP at which time they proceeded to search their property located in Loch Broom Nova Scotia Canada, where they were growing Cannabis for            Patients.  Rev. Kevin James explained to RCMP that they were licensed plants and who they belonged to.  The RCMP produced no warrant yet they proceeded to search both outside and inside their home.

They were  both incarcerated by the RCMP for growing, and trafficking Cannabis.  They both remained incarcerated for 24 hours before being released.  Rev. Kevin James was denied medication for seizures during the stay.

Over 1000 plants were taken by the RCMP as well as a small indoor  grow. Personal items of the two men were taken in the search such as legal documents, witness lists and an antique Bow that hung above the fireplace belonging to Daren’s Grandfather, a family     heirloom dating back to 1915 that yielded no threat to anyone.

The garden of Cannabis is estimated to be worth well over a million dollars plus and it has been destroyed.  You can’t give back a plant that was pulled from the ground in its natural growing state!

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WE OPERATE UNDER CANNATHEISM and our congregational collective is via the Church of the Universe: the Universe is our Church

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Above:  The Global Incident Map publishes the bust.

Pictou RCMP dismantle grow-op, seize marijuana in Loch Broom

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Above:  Rev. Kevin James Service Dog “Molly” was not charged in the raid!

He has also posted these status updates on Facebook concerning the events:

FROM ONE HONORABLE MAN TO ANOTHER

FOR POSTING US ON THIS MAP 🙂 DOES THIS MEAN WE MADE IT TO THE BIG BOY LIST LOL

FACEBOOK LAND OF CANNABIS ACTIVISTS AND OIL MAKERS AND HEALERS…

“Officers of the court have no immunity, when violating a constitutional right, for they are deemed to know the law”

I just read the search warrant they used to destroy the plants.

Daren Mccormick has 4 new cannabis charges, and i have 5 new charges… in last 10 days… heads up…

AFTER HAVING BEEN CONTACTED BY SEVERAL PATIENTS WE TENDED GARDENS FOR FROM ACROSS CANADA..

Q. If a patient revokes the DG status of a grower and they get caught growing anyway… say 850 plants x 4 crops a year and do it for 4 years or so…. and the patient receives zero from their garden… thats diversion…

RELATED:

ARTICLES ON KENTUCKY MARIJUANA PARTY ABOUT DAREN

The Children Left Behind…

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I hope someone is listening!

It has  been a month now since my daughter was killed in a one car accident on I65 outside of Nashville, TN, on her way home to her children.  She had been out of town for a few days with her fiancé attending his Sons’ Graduation from Military School.They had driven for ten hours and it was about 4 a.m. when it happened.  It is an old story, and it happens everyday to someone’s child.  I am not special and so on that fateful day I lost my baby girl.  I won’t bore you with the details.  That story is posted HERE.

My Daughter had serious depression and anxiety problems and was never able to get the right doctor to treat her illness…moreover, she was tired of trying to.  She had been self medicating for years with street drugs.  The problem was that the drugs that she ended up using only exasperated the problem.  It was not feasible that her drug use would help the problem…it only made it worse.What started as a “pain pill” problem after being prescribed opiates by a doctor for chronic pain, which she indeed had, ended up being a cocaine, meth and possibly a heroin addiction for which she then decided to self medicate with  buprenorphine which she also obtained “off the street”. 

I begged her a number of times to get help but there was no real help.  She refused to use Cannabis because of drug testing – first she was scared of CPS drug testing, then she needed to test clean for a job (which she could never hold onto).  She was scared of losing her children because of a positive THC test.  The “other stuff” you can get out of your system quicker, she had told me.  Well, that’s just fucking great.  Now she is dead.

Her medical history is about as difficult as mine is.  It suffices to say that chronic debilitating pain especially when you throw that on top of a mental illness such as we have, Chronic Major Depression and chronic anxiety, that is enough to cause you to look anywhere for some kind of relief.  It is only human nature that if you are in pain, mental or physical,  to try and find some way to get out of it!  In this World you do not have time to sit down and be ill or in pain.  There are bills to pay and kids to feed and nobody cares if you are sick. We are slaves to the system.

I had begged her to come home a number of times.  But at 34 years old I suppose that she needed her own space.  She worked hard at anything she could do to make a little money to keep going.  The drugs kept her going physically, until they took her down.  And when it finally did take her down that last time as she was driving down I65, she left behind three Son’s and a family who loved her so much words can do no justice.

The buprenorphine was the beginning of the end for her.  I watched while she slowly disintegrated….and that was what it was like…watching something disintegrate before your eyes and not being able to stop it.  Because she was so good at hiding what she was doing, I never really knew what drugs she was on at what time, with the exception of the Buprenorphine which she told me about.. The past few years the boys had been with me a lot of the time.  She just could not handle the stress of “trying to find money to live on” and taking care of kids at the same time.  She was totally dysfunctional.  Totally depressed and anxietized.  The only thing I could think of was to get her off the drugs which was impossible to do especially when she wouldn’t use Cannabis. 

She was scared.  She also had some idea that she was going to die young.  The past 6-8 months she spent getting all her paperwork in order and labeled accordingly so that when the time came we could find what we needed.  God Bless Her.I’ve never seen so much OCD in organization before.  She had spent hours labeling folders and had everything neatly packed in boxes.  Everything since 1999 when she lost her first child as a stillborn – back before she EVER thought about using any kind of drugs.  She was completely drug free for the pregnancy and  births of all of her children.

She got caught up in the drug war.  And it ended up killing her.If she had used Cannabis instead of all of the other drugs she did, she may very well be alive today. She fell asleep while driving and went off the road – while taking buprenorphine – because she was afraid to use Cannabis.

Drug testing is the single most deadly weapon used by Government and law enforcement to trap people.  It is the cause of many death’s via drug use, which it was intended to prevent.  “Spice” is a good example of this as many people have died from using it because it was a Cannabis “substitute” and it normally does not show up on drug testing.  It is called “probation weed” down here in Kentucky.

Drug testing only invades our privacy and sets us up for failure.  Drug testing does not prevent nor treat drug abuse.  Drug testing is just another way to to seize money via commerce.  Just think of all of the money that is involved in drug testing. Manfred Donike would be proud – I suppose.

The regulation and legalities surrounding the use of drugs and plants have been the trap that has incarcerated so many innocent people, ruined so many people’s lives and is responsible for many, many death’s in this war.  It IS a war.

Legalize, Tax and Regulate Cannabis is not an option if you want to regain your freedom.  It is just another avenue for the Government to grow their control over the people.  A way to give some of us what we want while still maintaining their “complexes” of control via the Controlled Substance Act, These controls keep the medical/pharmaceutical industrial complex, the military/police force industrial complex, the agricultural industrial complex, the private prison industry, the “child protection” industry and more running at high speed, and commerce and taxation flows appropriately, under Government control, to keep it going in the right direction to feed the very industries that control our every move – including the use of Cannabis both medically and recreationally. 

If you think that the prison population was high (no pun intended) before “legalization”, just wait until it is “legalized, taxed and regulated”. 

The only way to lift this burden is to REPEAL all statutes, regulations and control of the personal use of plants…period, from the United Nation’s Treaties and Agenda 21/30, on down through each Country’s own Constitution.  The only “drugs” which need regulation are those which are created by the pharmaceutical industry itself.  This would include Cannabis based medicines when they are created and sold by pharmaceutical industries or in dispensaries.  The plants in your yard for your own personal use should never be subjected to any kind of “legislation”.

It suffices to say that in this war a lot of us, including myself, will be raising our Grandchildren.  And a lot of us are unable to do so, which leaves many children to the claws of the Government.  My daughter was a good Mother – just ask her children.  They are the ones that have lost the most – their Mother.  She loved her boys to no end. She did the best that she could do.  It is up to us to continue on and try to rectify the evil that she succumb to.

https://www.minds.com/blog/view/735675763440754701

https://thinkprogress.org/states-spend-millions-to-drug-test-the-poor-turn-up-few-positive-results-81f826a4afb7

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manfred_Donike

http://web.archive.org/web/20041208084352/kentucky.usmjparty.com/policy_elkhorn.htm

https://www.thenewamerican.com/tech/environment/item/22267-un-agenda-2030-a-recipe-for-global-socialism

The DEA has filed notice of intent to add Kratom to schedule 1

 

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Various forms of kratom and teas made from the plant’s leaves are sold in cafes and on the internet. Their primary effect is to provide a short-lived peaceful and calm feeling that is described as pleasant. Consistent with this effect being opioid-like, anecdotal reports indicate that some users have used kratom to successfully recover from physical and psychological dependence on prescription opioids and heroin. Comments on my last report on kratom have also indicated the successful use of teas made from the plant in managing chronic pain without the side effects and addictive potential of prescription opioids like oxycodone, hydrocodone and morphine. LINK

Due to be published in the “Federal Register” on August 31st, 2016 is the DEA’s “Intent to reschedule” the opioids mitragynine and 7-hydroxymitragynine  These are the “ingredients” of the plant Kratom and they are placing it into schedule I using the “temporary scheduling provisions” of the Controlled Substances Act.

Federal Register Kratom

The Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration, issued this document:

DOJ Kratom

There is a petition at Whitehouse.Gov that is asking the Federal Government to not go thru with this decision. 

KRATOM PETITION

 

The “drug war” has taken enough of our plants and enough of our lives.  We cannot continue to let them regulate us out of every plant of food and medicine which were given to us as Our “inalienable rights” as Human Beings and laid out in Our Constitution as such, and regulate it out of our reach through the use of “Agenda 21” as laid out by the United Nations, in which the United States is one of only five “permanent members”!

First, PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION, and then make phone calls and write letters to your Representatives concerning this issue!

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

RELATED STORIES:

“Rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to purposes and principles of the United Nations.” HOW THE UNITED NATIONS IS STEALING OUR “UNALIENABLE RIGHTS” TO GROW FOOD AND MEDICINE THROUGH THE U.N. CONVENTION ON NARCOTIC DRUGS AND AGENDA 21. Sheree Krider

The FDA Just Outlawed Hemp Oil – Secrets of the Fed.Com

FORBES announced today:  The DEA Is Placing Kratom And Mitragynine On Schedule I

Take Back Kentucky Legislative Action Alert

(KY) Oppose: Senate Bill 136: Banning of the Kratom Herb 2/22/2016

THE BALLAD OF “JOHN BOONE”

 

Sun King Labs Marijuana Grow House Tour

 

The Ballad Of “John Boone”

*This is a copy of a post that I put on the old site, when it existed.  This was the link.E-mail   I have added additional links at the bottom of articles about Johnny Boone.

Posted by Smkrider

Saturday, 04 October 2008 01:07

10/3/2008 8:00:18 PM

THE BALLAD OF “JOHN BOONE”

John “King of Pot, Godfather of Grass” Robert Boone

After having lived in Kentucky all of my life, I am almost embarrassed to say that until I listened to last nights news on a local channel in Louisville I had never even heard of “John Boone”.

According to the local news and “Americas Most Wanted”, Mr. Boone has had quite a reputation for the last 40 odd years.

http://www.amw.com/fugitives/case.cfm?id=59229

Mr. Boone’s first documented run-in with the law came in late October 1969, when the ATF in Louisville arrested him on charges of possessing untaxed spirits and whiskey. Since then, he has been charged with multiple felony counts which include cultivating marijuana, wanton endangerment, drug trafficking, firearms and others.

The article goes on to say that Mr. Boone is considered a pioneer in the marijuana business. He was one of the first growers to separate the male plants from female plants, making the marijuana much more potent.

In 1987, law enforcement arrested Mr. Boone for Unlawfully Manufacturing in Excess of 1,000 Kilos of Marijuana in the state of Minnesota where he was growing with seeds that were imported from Russia.

With that arrest approximately 75 other participants of the Cornbread Mafia were apprehended and many millions of dollars worth of Marijuana was confiscated throughout the Midwestern States.

Mr. Boone was sentenced to 20 years in Federal Prison but was paroled in 1999.

In late May of this year, the KSP Marijuana Radication Team flew over his farm and noticed what looked like Marijuana plants on a wagon. Allegedly there were more than 900 plants on that wagon!

After obtaining a search warrant the KSPMRT and DEA Task Force discovered over 2,400 Marijuana plants.

According to the reports, Mr. Boone keeps a number of “Rottweiler’s” on his property which he allegedly had their “vocal chords” cut, in order to alleviate the noise of a pack of dogs approaching – to anyone that might stray onto his property. There are even stories of “rattlesnakes tied to posts around Boone’s Marijuana barns”…

Not even a $10,000.00 reward could get anyone in the area to “fess up” to knowing Mr. Boone.

OMERTA is subscribed to by many people in KY. The belief that “To never harm another” among other things, is a type of religious belief to these people.

Marshals in Louisville, KY believe that he is in Marion County KY. He was last seen in Raywick, KY and Campbellsville, KY. He also has property in Belize.

With the belief of “MERTA” among the Kentucky natives, it is unlikely that he will be turned in for the reward money.

Only time will tell if Mr. Boone will face the ever growing Government conspiracy against him.

The “Godfather of Grass” will remain a ghost in the wind, unless the law just happens upon him.

I, myself, have not seen anything to suggest that he is a dangerous person, just one who believes in what he believes in, and vow’s to “NEVER HARM ANOTHER”

If the law does catch up with him, he is looking at spending the rest of his life behind bars.

Isn’t it ironic that many violent offenders are being let out of Kentucky prisons at this time to accommodate overcrowding?

By: Sheree Krider

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Last Updated on Sunday, 05 December 2010 00:44

Additional Links of information:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cornbread_Mafia

https://vimeo.com/24856158

http://www.chattanoogan.com/2010/11/30/189503/Roy-Exum-The-Legend-Of-Johnny-Boone.aspx

http://kentuckymarijuanaparty.com/2012/05/31/tale-of-kentuckys-king-of-pot-hits-greenpoint/

https://grlbhvingbadly.wordpress.com/2008/10/03/stoners-beware-feds-wasting-taxpayer-moneyagain/

https://www.facebook.com/CornbreadMafia

“Rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to purposes and principles of the United Nations.” HOW THE UNITED NATIONS IS STEALING OUR “UNALIENABLE RIGHTS” TO GROW FOOD AND MEDICINE THROUGH THE U.N. CONVENTION ON NARCOTIC DRUGS AND AGENDA 21.

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10/25/2015

Sheree Krider

Because of the nature of the Beasts which we are dealing with in regards to the “War on Drugs” in general, but additionally because the Beasts are taking control of plants, food, medications and plant medicines worldwide at will, I feel it is imperative that we confront this issue now.

WHILE READING THIS KEEP IN MIND THAT THE U.S. HAS HAD A PATENT ON MARIJUANA SINCE 2003: #6,630,507 October 7, 2003 Cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants.

This control is being achieved thru the United Nations which officially began on October 24, 1945, with the victors of World War II — China, the U.S.S.R., France, United Kingdom, and the United States — ratified the U.N. charter, creating the U.N. Security Council and establishing themselves as its five permanent members with the unique ability to veto resolutions. This ability keeps them in control of the U.N.

To date More than six in ten Americans have a favorable opinion of the U.N. as reported on the “Better World Campaign” website which is the funding source for the U.N.

The U.N. 1961 convention on narcotic drugs essentially set into motion the drug war as we know it today.

The United Nations Conference to consider amendments to the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, 1961, met at the United Nations Office at Geneva Switzerland from 6 to 24 March 1972. 97 States were represented.

On November 7, 1972 President Richard Nixon was re-elected to office. It was on his watch that the amendments to the U.N. were enacted with an establishment of a “United Nations Fund for Drug Abuse Control.”

They readily admit that many of the drugs included have a useful and legitimate medical purpose and are necessary to maintain the health and general welfare of the American people.

The term ”addict” means any individual who habitually uses any narcotic drug. Who will determine when a narcotic has become habitual? The “Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970 .

The Parties, recognizing the competence of the United Nations with respect to the international control of drugs, agree to entrust to the Commission on Narcotic Drugs of the Economic and Social Council, and to the International Narcotics Control Board, the functions respectively assigned to them under this Convention.”

The “Parties shall maintain a Special administration for the purpose of applying the Provisions of this Convention.” in the U.S. this was the Drug Enforcement Administration or DEA.

Article 28 control of cannabis states that if a party permits cultivation that the system of control is the same as for opium poppy in article 23 which requires licensing by the “agency” which in the case of the U.S. would be the DEA. The number of acres planted and harvested must be recorded and “the agency must purchase and take physical possession of” it. The agency has exclusive rights to importing, exporting, and wholesale trading. It is also subject to limitations on production.

This is total control of the plant by the U.N. and effectively eliminates any chance of personal growing.

Natural growing plants which are included in Schedule 1 are marijuana, mescaline (peyote), psilocybin, and Khat. Other drugs are also included in this list.

More common opiates such as hydrocodone are included in Schedule II. These are regulated and handed out at the will of the government thru the medical industrial complex. How many people have been refused a prescription for Valium or Xanax in the past year because of a positive drug screening for Marijuana? How many people who do not consume Marijuana have been cut off as well because the DEA has, for all practical purposes, threatened the physician’s livelihood thru Statutes and “Bills” which have cut people off from their medications with no warning in the past year or two?

Title 21 states that the rules shall not apply to the cultivation of cannabis/hemp plant for industrial purposes only – however, it also does not say that hemp may be used for medicine without restriction.

Article 33 states that the parties shall not permit the possession of drugs without legal authority.

In the 1972 Protocol Amending The Single Convention On Narcotic Drugs 1961 Article 49 states that:

f) The use of Cannabis for other than medical and scientific purposes must be discontinued as soon as possible but in any case within twenty-five years from the coming into force of this Convention as provided in paragraph 1 of article 41.

1972 + 25 = 1997

Ironically enough the first medical cannabis law was enacted by California in 1996 – just in time to meet the 25 year deadline for ending all use of cannabis except for medical and scientific purposes…

Proposition 215, or the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, is a California law allowing the use of medical cannabis despite marijuana’s lack of the normal Food and Drug Administration testing for safety and efficacy. It was enacted, on November 5, 1996, by means of the initiative process, and passed with 5,382,915 (55.6%) votes in favor and 4,301,960 (44.4%) against.

As I stated previously, in the U.S. the governing agency would be the DEA and on July 1, 1973 this agency officially came into existence in accordance with the U.N. Treaties which the U.S. government created and implemented. THE DEA HAS AN Annual Budget of $2.4 billion.

THE DEA Controlled Substances Act, TITLE 21 – FOOD AND DRUGS, CHAPTER 13 – DRUG ABUSE PREVENTION AND CONTROL EFFECTIVE Oct. 27, 1970, SUBCHAPTER I – CONTROL AND ENFORCEMENT,

States that:

“(1) If control is required by United States obligations under international treaties, conventions, or protocols in effect on October 27, 1970, the Attorney General shall issue an order controlling such drug under the schedule he deems most appropriate to carry out such obligations, without regard to the findings required by subsection (a) of this section or section 812(b) of this title and without regard to the procedures prescribed by subsections (a) and (b) of this section.”

Meaning, it does not matter what the U.S. Citizens (or any other country for that matter) has to say about Cannabis or any other drug or plant on the list of U.N. control we are bound by the U.N. Treaty first and foremost, which was set into place by our own government.

“In 1986, the Reagan Administration began recommending a drug testing program for employers as part of the War on Drugs program. In 1988, Drug Free Workplace regulations required that any company with a contract over $25,000 with the Federal government provide a Drug-Free Workplace. This program must include drug testing.”

Manfred Donike, in 1966, the German biochemist demonstrated that an Agilent (then Hewlett-Packard) gas chromatograph could be used to detect anabolic steroids and other prohibited substances in athletes’ urine samples. Donike began the first full-scale testing of athletes at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, using eight HP gas chromatographs linked to an HP computer.

YEP, HP IS HEWLETT PACKARD…His method reduced the screening process from 15 steps to three, and was considered so scientifically accurate that no outside challenges to his findings were allowed.

HP has laboratories around the globe in three major locations, one of which happens to be in Israel. Late Republican Senator Jesse Helms used to call Israel “America’s aircraft carrier in the Middle East”, when explaining why the United States viewed Israel as such a strategic ally, saying that the military foothold in the region offered by the Jewish State alone justified the military aid that the United States grants Israel every year.

Most everybody thinks that the Cannabis issue is a U.S. issue and an issue unto itself, not encompassed within the issue of control of the masses, and at least as far as our own laws/statutes are concerned. “ALL WE NEED TO DO IS GET OUR STATE TO LEGALIZE IT”. This couldn’t be farther from the truth.

We are all rolled up into the UN by virtue of our own Country which used this as a means to control worldwide, the people, without ever having to answer for or take responsibility for it again. Why? Because it is now a UN issue. And WE ARE BOUND by the UN treaties, as one of 5 founding members, who now rule the world.

Welcome to “THE NEW WORLD ORDER”. Yep, it’s been around a long time, we just didn’t notice it in time. Our men had just gone through a horrific war (WWII) and were too beat down and TOO sick to fight again and most likely didn’t even notice or worse yet thought the U.N. was a good thing that would prevent another WWII….. WELL, WELCOME TO WWIII AKA THE “DRUG WAR”.

I don’t care which State you reside in it is NOT legal to possess or use Marijuana in any form or fashion. You are living in an “Illusion.

As long as the U.N. has control over all narcotics in any form, we as a people will not legally be able to grow cannabis or any other plant that they categorize as narcotic.

What they will do for us is to use us like Guinea pigs in a testing environment to accumulate enough information whereby cannabis can be deemed a potentially useful drug from a pharmacological standpoint and then they can turn it over to the pharmaceutical companies to sell to us through commerce as a prescription. This is happening as we speak.

The drug war was created for us, and the prison industrial complex which they set up for control of us is the holding center for the Guinea pigs which are “us”.

They make sure enough of it gets out there that we can continue to use it illegally and they can study it at the same time they are locking us up for doing just that — using and studying marijuana. This in effect creates a double paycheck for them as they are keeping the prisons full and instituting private prisons for commerce and at the same time they are collecting information about the beneficial uses of cannabis thru drug testing patients. As well, those who seek employment or who are already employed with are targeted by random testing, and they collect our medical records for research at the same time the physicians are tagging us as cannabis abusers for reference via the ICD-10 codes used on medical claim forms submitted to the Insurance companies by our doctors’ offices. Essentially anyone who is a marijuana user is rounded up by the legal and medical system. If you use marijuana you cannot hide the fact unless you are part of the drug cartel itself and do not seek employment or medical care anywhere in the U.S. The marijuana cartel remains intact because they are “self-employed”.

Additionally, HIPPA states that In the course of conducting research, researchers may obtain, create, use, and/or disclose individually identifiable health information. Under the (HIPPA) Privacy Rule, covered entities are permitted to use and disclose protected health information for research with individual authorization, or without individual authorization under limited circumstances set forth in the Privacy Rule.

As far as Pharma Drugs are concerned, I must quote from Ms. Cris Ericson of the Vermont Marijuana Party, who stated, “People can no longer afford the pharmaceutical industry. The U.S. Congress votes to give research money to the pharmaceutical companies who invent new prescription drugs by synthesizing natural herbs, and then the pharmaceutical companies claim ownership of the new Rx patent, but it was the taxpayers who paid for the research. The taxpayers, under the patent law which states that “work made for hire, should own 50% of the patent” should rightfully be paid. The pharmaceutical companies not only profit wrongfully, by taking ownership of the patent that the taxpayers paid the research for, but then they take their huge profits and donate millions of dollars to PAC’s political action committees and Super PAC’s and then the PAC’s donate money to the U.S. Congress, so your taxpayer dollars have come full circle, and that looks just like money laundering, because millions of your taxpayer dollars end up in the campaign war chests of the elected officials.”

To that I must add that even if you obtain your medications for a $0 copay, you have paid for them already via taxation of the general public. Even those persons on disability or other government subsidy pay tax every time they make a purchase.

The U.N. Convention and the CSA both state that, “No prescriptions may be written for Schedule I substances, and they are not readily available for clinical use. NOTE: Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC, marijuana) is still considered a Schedule 1 drug by the DEA, even though some U.S. states have legalized marijuana for personal, recreational use or for medical use. May 4, 2014”

This issue gains even more momentum when you understand that it is not just about cannabis/hemp/marijuana. It also involves all food and plants which are coming under their jurisdiction.

It is entirely possible that just as they can use drug testing to determine what drugs you put into your body they could develop testing to determine what foods you are eating. Imagine being “food tested” to see if you ingested beef or broccoli that was illegal to be in possession of! It seems an exaggeration but entirely within the realm of possibility.

HENCEFORTH, AGENDA 21…

The national focal point in the United States is the Division Chief for Sustainable Development and Multilateral Affairs, Office of Environmental Policy, Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, U.S. Department of State.

A June 2012 poll of 1,300 United States voters by the American Planning Association found that 9% supported Agenda 21, 6% opposed it, and 85% thought they didn’t have enough information to form an opinion.

The United States is a signatory country to Agenda 21, but because Agenda 21 is a legally non-binding statement of intent and not a treaty, the United States Senate was not required to hold a formal debate or vote on it. It is therefore not considered to be law under Article Six of the United States Constitution. President George H. W. Bush was one of the 178 heads of government who signed the final text of the agreement at the Earth Summit in 1992, and in the same year Representatives Nancy Pelosi, Eliot Engel and William Broomfield spoke in support of United States House of Representatives Concurrent Resolution 353, supporting implementation of Agenda 21 in the United States. In the United States, over 528 cities are members of ICLEI, an international sustainability organization that helps to implement the Agenda 21 and Local Agenda 21 concepts across the world.

During the last decade, opposition to Agenda 21 has increased within the United States at the local, state, and federal levels. The Republican National Committee has adopted a resolution opposing Agenda 21, and the Republican Party platform stated that “We strongly reject the U.N. Agenda 21 as erosive of American sovereignty.” Several state and local governments have considered or passed motions and legislation opposing Agenda 21. Alabama became the first state to prohibit government participation in Agenda 21. Many other states, including Arizona, are drafting, and close to passing legislation to ban Agenda 21.

The Committee on World Food Security (CFS) was established in 1974 as an intergovernmental body to serve as a forum in the United Nations System for review and follow-up of policies concerning world food security including production and physical and economic access to food. The CFS Bureau and Advisory Group-The Bureau is the executive arm of the CFS . It is made up of a Chairperson and twelve member countries. The Advisory group is made up of representatives from the 5 different categories of CFS Participants. These are: 1 UN agencies and other UN bodies; 2 Civil society and non-governmental organizations particularly organizations representing smallholder family farmers, fisherfolks, herders, landless, urban poor, agricultural and food workers, women, youth, consumers and indigenous people; 3 International agricultural research institutions; 4 International and regional financial institutions such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, regional development banks and the World Trade Organization; 5 Private sector associations and philanthropic foundations.

FREEDOM ADVOCATES OPPOSITION TO AGENDA 21:

“Even the term “sustainable” must be defined, since on the surface it appears to be inherently positive. In reality, Sustainable Development has become a “buzz” term that refers to a political agenda, rather than an objectively sustainable form of development. Specifically, it refers to an initiative of the United Nations (U.N.) called Sustainable Development Agenda 21. Sustainable Development Agenda 21 is a comprehensive statement of a political ideology that is being progressively infused into every level of government in America.”

Webster’s 1828 dictionary defines unalienable as “not alienable; that cannot be alienated; that may not be transferred; as in unalienable rights” and inalienable as “cannot be legally or justly alienated or transferred to another.”

The Declaration of Independence reads:

“That all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights…”

This means that human beings are imbued with unalienable rights which cannot be altered by law whereas inalienable rights are subject to remaking or revocation in accordance with man-made law. Inalienable rights are subject to changes in the law such as when property rights are given a back seat to emerging environmental law or free speech rights give way to political correctness. In these situations no violation has occurred by way of the application of inalienable rights – a mere change in the law changes the nature of the right. Whereas under the original doctrine of unalienable rights the right to the use and enjoyment of private property cannot be abridged (other than under the doctrine of “nuisance” including pollution of the public water or air or property of another). The policies behind Sustainable Development work to obliterate the recognition of unalienable rights. For instance, Article 29 subsection 3 of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights applies the “inalienable rights” concept of human rights:

“Rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to purposes and principles of the United Nations.”

Read that phrase again, carefully! “Rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to purposes and principles of the United Nations.”

It suffices to say that the “war on drugs” is a war on us as a people. It is entwined with the United Nations and agenda 21. It is control of the masses through the illusion of a better world and offers peace and harmony to all people. It sounds really good on the surface until you start analyzing the issues at hand. The problem is that its intent is ultimately to control everything and everybody.

“Rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to purposes and principles of the united nation”…there you have it in one sentence, straight out of the horse’s mouth. The new world order is now. If we continue down this path, sooner rather than later we will be told that we can no longer grow our own food, or meat, eggs, cheese, etc. It must be purchased through a reputable source – the grocery stores and the pharmacy so it can be “regulated”.

Our rights to the cannabis/marijuana plant has all but been lost at this point and if we do not do something immediately to regain it and continue passing illegal statutes (by virtue of the U.N.) state to state is not going to hold up in the long run because, first of all, federally it remains illegal and they can squash those legalization antics at any time, and most of all the U.N. owns it. And who owns the U.N.? The United States and five other countries which are china, Russia, France and the U.K.

It seems to me that the placing of these plants (including marijuana, and peyote) into a “U.N. Convention of Narcotic Drugs” was just the first step in their taking total control of all people throughout the world through their access to food and medication, and was and still is a test case to see if it would work in their favor. So far it seems it is working in their favor because we are losing the ability to fight back on a political basis and their guns are bigger than ours.

The fact that for years we have blamed the eradication of marijuana on Harry Anslinger even though the LaGuardia commission refuted his findings and Harry Anslinger himself later admitted his testimony wasn’t true and in fact marijuana was relatively harmless, only proves that the rhetoric remained in place for ulterior motives.

When the 1937 tax act was repealed in 1969 in Timothy Leary v. United States, the Controlled Substance Act of 1970 picked up and took over keeping the plant from us yet again. To this day it remains illegal although individual states within the U.S. are attempting to change that, the fact still remains that legally it is still a schedule 1 at the federal level and since federal law trumps state law we are getting next to nowhere.

The only thing that state legalization does do, is keep the state authorities from prosecuting except within the realm of the individual state statutes. At least we are fighting back and gaining momentum in that we are letting them know how we feel about it! Other than that at any time everything gained could be lost at the whim of the federal government.

If we do not focus on regaining the freedom of cannabis from the U.N. now, not only will it be forever lost to pharma, all of our food, medicines and plants are going right along with it and we will not ever be able to get them back. And if you think the prison industrial complex is a monstrosity now just wait till we are being locked up for growing a tomato or hiding a laying hen in our closet just to have access to an egg. Yes, I believe that it will get that bad in the not so far future.

So if you are not worried about it because you do not smoke marijuana, you might ought to worry about it because your grandkids will still need to eat whether or not they have cannabis as a medication through the pharmaceutical industrial complex. And to top it all off, what happens when you “break the law” by planting food and they find out and take away your right to obtain food much the same way they have taken away our rights to obtain scheduled medications because you tested positive for marijuana? (Don’t worry too much I am sure they will let you “something” to eat!)

We must have access to our own gardens and herbal plants because virtually every “drug” made comes from a plant and both prescription drugs and over the counter medications are at risk and could disappear rapidly. Remember over-the-counter pseudoephedrine? Every time they want to take something out of our hands they make it illegal and claim it is for the greater good. You may very well need to grow your own medicine too because if you do not meet their requirements they won’t let you have any of theirs.

It is a fact that cannabis/hemp is a food and a medicine. By withholding it from us they have effectively made many of us weaker through endocanabinoid deficiency and people are becoming sicker in general from the foods that we ingest as well as the ones that we do not have access to. Our ability to stand up to an enemy of any kind on a physical scale has been dramatically affected by both nutrition and the chemicals we are exposed to in our food and in our air and water as well as required inoculations against various diseases. Our children are having the worse reactions to all this which can be seen by the rise in not only autism but other birth defects as well.

The most important thing to note is that cannabis, food and medicine is something that everyone needs to have access to in various forms for various reasons. If it is only available thru a controlled environment then we will be subjected to probable malnutrition and genocide. Our health has become bad enough already due to corporate food and medicine. We certainly do not need it to get any worse. Is this going to be total population control via food and medicine? I am afraid so.

“People who don’t get enough food often experience and over the long term this can lead to malnutrition. But someone can become malnourished for reasons that have nothing to do with hunger. Even people who have plenty to eat may be malnourished if they don’t eat foods that provide the right nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.”

NOW THAT THE BEAST HAS BEEN IDENTIFIED, WHAT WOULD BE THE BEST COURSE OF ACTION TO TAKE?

Probably the best thing we can do right is to demand cannabis sativa and any naturally growing plant removed from United Nations control and the Controlled Substance Act in the U.S.

Additionally, Agenda 21 needs to be eliminated as it stands now. No entity should be allowed total control over plants and food, especially those grown in our own garden.

However, it is a fact that any type of food or medicine created and/or sold by a corporate entity has to be governed. Their entire purpose is to make money and they will do anything to accomplish that including selling us pink slime for meat. That is what should be governed.

It seems to me that the FDA is not doing its job correctly. Protect the people, not the corporations. The fact that a corporation has its own “personhood” is just totally ridiculous and must end.

The United Nations itself could be modified into an agency that protects the unalienable rights of the people throughout the world. It cannot police the world however. And it cannot rule the people as a government does. For this reason any policing agencies that are international such as Interpol must be eliminated. This would throw the policing back to the people’s own respective countries and the people of those countries will have to police their own governments to ensure that they keep the will of their people as top priority while governing.

Will this mean that war will continue to be a fixture in our world? Yes, of course it does. War always has been and always will be. It is the next closest thing to “God” that exists in that aspect. But if each country’s government has jurisdiction over its own people then the citizens can decide who will be ‘in charge’. If they need help during a crisis then other countries can step in to help where needed at the time and as they choose to do so. If the whole world comes under the rule of one governing body then we would have no control anymore at all. And this is what it seems to be leading up to – one governing body ruling virtually the entire planet with the ‘head’ of that governing body being the five original victors of WWII: the United States, Russia (U.S.S.R), France, China and the U.K.

World War II never really ended, it just changed it course. We have to put an end to this global war against all God’s people and the time is now! If you do not believe in god then you can say we have to put an end to the war against world humanity. It means basically the same thing – at least to me.

Just say no!

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NOTES & REFERENCE LINKS:

Leary v. United States, 395 U.S. 6 (1969), is a U.S. Supreme Court case dealing with the constitutionality of the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937. Timothy Leary, a professor and activist, was arrested for the possession of marijuana in violation of the Marihuana Tax Act. Leary challenged the act on the ground that the act required self-incrimination, which violated the Fifth Amendment. The unanimous opinion of the court was penned by Justice John Marshall Harlan II and declared the Marihuana Tax Act unconstitutional. Thus, Leary’s conviction was overturned. Congress responded shortly thereafter by repealing the Marihuana Tax Act and passing the Controlled Substances Act to continue the prohibition of certain drugs in the United States.

“By 2020, 30 billion connected devices will generate unprecedented amounts of data. The infrastructure required to collect, process, store, and analyze this data requires transformational changes in the foundations of computing. Bottom line: current systems can’t handle where we are headed and we need a new solution. HP has that solution in The Machine. ”

Ban Ki-moon (Hangul: ???; hanja: ???; born 13 June 1944) is a South Korean statesman and politician who is the eighth and current Secretary-General of the United Nations. Before becoming Secretary-General, Ban was a career diplomat in South Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and in the United Nations.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interpol

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporate_personhood

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pink_slime

http://kidshealth.org/parent/growth/feeding/hunger.html

http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/birthdefects/types.html

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/03/27/autism-rates-rise/6957815/

http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/

http://www.nel.edu/pdf_/25_12/NEL251204R02_Russo_.pdf

http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=6630507.PN.&OS=PN/6630507&RS=PN/6630507

http://hemp.org/news/book/export/html/626

http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/hemp/taxact/anslng1.htm

http://www.freedomadvocates.org/understanding-unalienable-rights-2/

http://www.freedomadvocates.org/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Committee_on_World_Food_Security

https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/post2015/transformingourworld

https://www.worldwewant2015.org/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agenda_21

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israel%E2%80%93United_States_relations

http://www.hpl.hp.com/research/systems-research/themachine/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HP_Labs#Labs

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manfred_Donike

http://www.globalsources.com/manufacturers/Drug-Test-Kit.html?keywords=_inurl%3A%2Fmanufacturers%2F&matchtype=b&device=c&WT.mc_id=1001007&WT.srch=1&gclid=Cj0KEQjw2KyxBRCi2rK11NCDw6UBEiQAO-tljUJHHVLsYxnVYIjclmlCiwuLEH2akAa-iTolJ2zN6-8aAjtm8P8HAQ

http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/21cfr/cfr/2108cfrt.htm

http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/21cfr/cfr/1308/1308_11.htm

http://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?path=/prelim@title21/chapter13&edition=prelim

http://uscode.house.gov/view.xhtml?path=/prelim@title21/chapter13&edition=prelim

http://www.fda.gov/regulatoryinformation/legislation/ucm148726.htm#cntlsbc

http://www.medicinehunter.com/plant-medicines

http://www.unfoundation.org/what-we-do/issues/united-nations/advocating-us-funding-un.html

http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/21cfr/21usc/index.html

http://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/treatment/cam/hp/cannabis-pdq

http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=2767

Titles II and III Of The Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act Of 1970 (Pub-Lic Law 91–513) https://legcounsel.house.gov/Comps/91-513.pdf

Schapelle Corby: Time to let go of our obsession

Michael Bachelard

Michael Bachelard
Indonesia correspondent for Fairfax Media

Schapelle Corby waits in her cell before her trial in 2005.

CORBY: THE FACTS

 

Another nuance of activity occurred in Bali on Tuesday, as the parole process for Schapelle Corby inched forward once again. Representatives of an agency of the Indonesian Justice Department visited the house where she would be required to live if she were let out of jail early.

Even though she has not yet applied for parole, as with all things Corby, the “news” drove some of the frothier parts of the Australian media into habitual overdrive.

Schapelle Corby  is escorted by police to a courtroom in Denpasar in 2006.

Schapelle Corby is escorted by police to a courtroom in Denpasar in 2006. Photo: AFP

Some outlets have even put a date on her release – October 30.

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Well, that may or may not be so. Like the last time a date was so confidently predicted (in May last year, August 2012 was said to be when she would return to Australia), it’s far enough away to be possible, yet not so close that anyone is held accountable if the date is missed.

So, assuming her release is coming up after almost nine years in jail, let’s take the opportunity to assess our attitude to Schapelle Corby.

Schapelle Corby and fellow convicted drug mule Renae Lawrence in Kerobokan Jail in 2010.

Schapelle Corby and fellow convicted drug mule Renae Lawrence in Kerobokan Jail in 2010. Photo: Jason Childs

Many people have spent a great deal of time and energy poring over this one woman’s case – the Australian consulate in Bali; authors; lawyers; dozens, if not hundreds of journalists; prison officials, professional internet conspiracy theorists, politicians in both Australia and Indonesia.

It’s not only the Australian media who go into a frenzy at the mention of her name. She has become a touchstone in the Indonesian press, too. There, though, it’s not about an innocent entrapped in a third-world system, it’s about the ugly habit of Westerners to aggressively demand special treatment.

The head of Bali’s Kerobokan jail, Gusti Ngurah Wiratna, remarked to the press in frustration recently: “I’ve got 1000 prisoners, why are you only interested in Schapelle?”

Hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of dollars, have changed hands – for paid interviews with the family, internet ads, defamation actions and other civil court actions, royalties and lawyers fees.

Her 2004 arrest and imprisonment has turned into a Schapelle industry.

Sadly, for several years, the subject of that industry has suffered from severe mental health issues, and has largely removed herself from its centre. Even the Corby family-friendly journalists can only quote  “those who know and live with her” in their stories because Corby herself refuses any direct interaction with the press.

She does not even go to the visitor’s area of Kerobokan in case there might be journalists there. Her absence, for the same reason, from compulsory prison events, has potentially even harmed her cause.

For a long time  Fairfax Media readers have held the dual belief that Corby is guilty, but that she deserves a shortened sentence.

Views of her innocence in the broader public are likely to be higher, but substantially lower than at the height of the “Our Schapelle” frenzy of 2004 and 2005.

It’s her perceived innocence that initially drove the Corby story to the point of obsession, but even though this has changed, nine years later, we in the media remain closely focused on every detail of her incarceration and possible release.

Perhaps we assume people will be moved by the same impulses, or the echoes of the impulses, that moved them a decade ago.

But let’s consider what all this will mean when she is ultimately released, whether on parole or at the end of her sentence.

After 10 years in a bubble, Corby will be exposed to the world.

She’ll be walking the narrow streets of Kuta, living in a Balinese compound whose address is well known, with the world’s media – including a chaotic Indonesian press pack – on her doorstep.

The inevitable paid interviews will create an appetite among the unsuccessful bidders for exclusives of a different kind – for evidence of her poor mental state, for pictures of her drinking her first beer, wearing a bikini at the beach, hanging out with a man, throwing a tantrum.

In the open, she’ll lack the protection afforded by the Australian consulate from the tourists and stickybeaks who even now occasionally try to get into the jail to visit her.

The local police are unwilling and unequipped to provide any protection.

Whatever you think of her guilt or innocence, Corby has served a long sentence, and her adjustment to life on the outside – difficult as it will be already – can only be made immeasurably harder by such attention.

Perhaps it’s time to let go of our decade-long obsession and finally just leave Schapelle Corby alone.

CORBY: THE FACTS
• Corby has been eligible for parole for more than a year, since the Indonesian president granted her clemency with a five-year sentence reduction;
• She has not yet applied for parole, and the Indonesians have not started the process, because the Indonesian immigration department has not yet confirmed that she can get a visa to be able to serve out her sentence in Bali with her sister Mercedes and brother-in-law Wayan;
• All the other conditions for parole – including an unprecedented letter from the Australian government guaranteeing her good behaviour – are in place;
• With continued remission for good behaviour, she is likely to be out in 2015 even if she does not win parole.

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/world/schapelle-corby-time-to-let-go-of-our-obsession-20130814-2rvuc.html#ixzz2cKeyqYu5

Schapelle Corby
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I Went From Selling Drugs to Studying Them — And Found That Most of What We Assume About Drugs Is Wrong

A scientist with a rough past explains how he used his life experiences to blow the lid off modern drug research.

June 19, 2013 |  

This is the prologue to Columbia University researcher Dr. Carl Hart’s explosive new book, ” High Price: A Neuroscientist’s Journal of Self-Discovery That Challenges Everything You Know About Drugs and Psychology.”  Read a Q&A with the author here.

The paradox of education is precisely this—that as one begins to become conscious, one begins to examine the society in which he is being educated.

—James Baldwin

The straight glass pipe filled with ethereal white smoke. It was thick enough to see that it could be a good hit, but it still had the wispy quality that distinguishes crack cocaine smoke from cigarette or marijuana smoke. The smoker was thirty-nine, a black man, who worked as a street bookseller. He closed his eyes and lay back in the battered leather office chair, holding his breath to keep the drug in his lungs as long as possible. Eventually, he exhaled, a serene smile on his face, his eyes closed to savor the bliss.

About fifteen minutes later, the computer signaled that another hit was available.

“No, thanks, doc,” he said, raising his left hand slightly. He hit the space bar on the Mac in the way that he’d been trained to press to signal his choice.

Although I couldn’t know for sure whether he was getting cocaine or placebo, I knew the experiment was going well. Here was a middle-aged brother, someone most people would label a “crackhead,” a guy who smoked rock at least four to five times a week, just saying no to a legal hit of what had a good chance of being 100 percent pure pharmaceutical-grade cocaine. In the movie version, he would have been demanding more within seconds of his first hit, bug-eyed and threatening—or pleading and desperate.

Nonetheless, he’d just calmly turned it down because he preferred to receive five dollars in cash instead. He’d sampled the dose of cocaine earlier in the session: he knew what he would get for his money. At five dollars for what I later learned was a low dose of real crack cocaine, he preferred the cash.

Meanwhile, there I was, another black man, raised in one of the roughest neighborhoods of Miami, who might just as easily have wound up selling cocaine on the street. Instead, I was wearing a white lab coat and being funded by grants from the federal government to provide cocaine as part of my research into understanding the real effects of drugs on behavior and physiology. The year was 1999.

In this particular experiment, I was trying to understand how crack cocaine users would respond when presented with a choice between the drug and an “alternative reinforcer”—or another type of reward, in this case, cash money. Would anything else seem valuable to them? In a calm, laboratory setting, where the participants lived in a locked ward and had a chance to earn more than they usually could on the street, would they take every dose of crack, even small ones, or would they be selective about getting high? Would merchandise vouchers be as effective as cash in altering their behavior? What would affect their choices?

Before I’d become a researcher, these weren’t even questions that I would think to ask. These were drug addicts, I would have said. No matter what, they’d do anything to get to take as much drugs as often as possible. I thought of them in the disparaging ways I’d seen them depicted in films like New Jack City and Jungle Fever and in songs like Public Enemy’s “Night of the Living Baseheads.” I’d seen some of my cousins become shells of their former selves and had blamed crack cocaine. Back then I believed that drug users could never make rational choices, especially about their drug use, because their brains had been altered or damaged by drugs.

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Patrick Kennedy On Marijuana: Former Rep. Leads Campaign Against Legal Pot

Reuters  |  Posted: 01/05/2013 2:11 pm EST

By Alex Dobuzinskis

 

Jan 5 (Reuters) – Retired Rhode Island Congressman Patrick Kennedy is taking aim at what he sees as knee-jerk support for marijuana legalization among his fellow liberals, in a project that carries special meaning for the self-confessed former Oxycontin addict.

Kennedy, 45, a Democrat and younger son of the late “Lion of the Senate” Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, is leading a group called Project SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana) that opposes legalization and seeks to rise above America’s culture war over pot with its images of long-haired hippies battling law-and-order conservatives.


Project proposals include increased funding for mental health courts and treatment of drug dependency, so those caught using marijuana might avoid incarceration, get help and potentially have their criminal records cleared.

Kennedy wants cancer patients and others with serious illnesses to be able to obtain drugs with cannabinoids, but in a more regulated way that could involve the U.S. Food and Drug Administration playing a larger role.

The eight-term former congressman from Rhode Island and the group he chairs will put forth their plan on Wednesday with a media appearance in Denver.
Their efforts follow the November election that saw voters in Washington state and Colorado become the first in the nation to approve measures to tax and regulate pot sales for recreational use. Kennedy’s group is seeking to shift the debate and reclaim momentum for the anti-legalization movement, in part by proposing new solutions with appeal to liberals, such as taking a public health approach to combat marijuana use.

Legalization backers have argued that the so-called War on Drugs launched in 1971 by former President Richard Nixon has failed to stem marijuana use, and has instead saddled otherwise law-abiding pot smokers with criminal records that may block their avenues to landing a successful job.
Kennedy faults the U.S. government for allocating too much of its $25 billion drug control budget to law enforcement rather than to treatment and prevention.
“Yes, the drug war has been a failure, but let’s look at the science and let’s look at what works. And let’s not just throw out the baby with the bathwater,” Kennedy, who served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 to 2011, said in a telephone interview.

The U.S. Department of Justice is still developing a policy in regard to the new state legalization measures.

President Barack Obama said in an interview with ABC News last month that it did not make sense for the federal government to “focus on recreational drug users in a state that has already said that, under state law, that’s legal.”

BIPARTISAN APPROACH

 

Conservative political commentator David Frum, a speech writer for former President George W. Bush, is also a board member on Project SAM, which lends it a bipartisan flavor.
For his part, Kennedy is aiming many of his arguments toward liberals like himself. Polls show Democrats largely favoring legalizing marijuana, and among the 18 states that allow medical marijuana, several are in the West and Northeast and are heavily Democratic.

“The fact is people are afraid on the (political) left to look like they’re not for an alternative to incarceration and criminalization, and they’re afraid they’re not going to look sympathetic to a cancer patient” who might use marijuana, Kennedy said. As a result, he said the legalization position mistakenly comes to be seen as “glamorous.”

Kennedy admits to having smoked pot but also said that, as an asthma sufferer, he “found other ways to get high.”


In 2006, he crashed his car into a security barrier in Washington, D.C., and soon after sought treatment for drug dependency. He said he was addicted to the pain reliever Oxycontin at that time and suffered from alcoholism. He added that he has been continuously sober for nearly two years.
Kennedy, who was married for the first time in 2011, said he worries his 8-month-old son might be predisposed to drug abuse – due to a kind of genetic “trigger” – and that is part of his fight against legalization.

He also said he wants to “reduce the environmental factors that pull that trigger,” such as marijuana use being commonly accepted.
Meanwhile, another prominent figure from Rhode Island, the newly crowned Miss Universe Olivia Culpo, is making waves by also objecting to legalization. She told Fox News this week there are “too many bad habits that go with the drug.”

In Washington state, Alison Holcomb was campaign director for the legalization measure, which billed itself as having a public health element to help people dependent on marijuana.
The measure, which is not set to go into full effect until after state regulators spend most of 2013 setting guidelines, would allow adults 21 and older to buy marijuana at special stores.
Holcomb argued that drug dependency courts are more geared toward users of hardcore drugs, and that the approach her group put forward is the sensible one.
“I don’t know what a public health approach without legalization looks like, if you’re still arresting people,” she said.
Taxes on marijuana sales would generate, at the high end of estimates, over $500 million a year with $67 million of that going to a state agency that provides drug treatment, said Mark Cooke, policy adviser for the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington state, which supported the campaign.

Also included in the tax revenue would be $44 million for education and public health campaigns – including a phone line for people wanting to quit using marijuana, Cooke said. (Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Daniel Trotta and Gunna Dickson)

CONTINUE READING…

Right now, five adults await death in prison for non-violent, marijuana-related crimes. Their names are John Knock, Paul Free, Larry Duke, William Dekle, and Charles “Fred” Cundiff.

Marijuana Crimes: Five Senior Citizens Serving Life Without Parole For Pot

AlterNet  |  By Kristen Gwynne Posted: 12/26/2012 11:16 am EST

Should five non-violent offenders die behind bars for a crime Americans increasingly believe should not even be a crime?

December 23, 2012  |  

Photo Credit: Farsh/ Shutterstock.com

Right now, five adults await death in prison for non-violent, marijuana-related crimes. Their names are John Knock, Paul Free, Larry Duke, William Dekle, and Charles “Fred” Cundiff. They are all more than 60 years old; they have all spent at least 15 years locked up for selling pot; and they are all what one might call model prisoners, serving life without parole. As time wrinkles their skin and weakens their bodies, Michael Kennedy of the Trans High Corporation has filed a legal petition with the federal government seeking their clemency. Otherwise they will die behind bars for selling a drug 40% of American adults have admitted to using, 50% of Americans want legal, and two states have already legalized for adult use. Since these men were convicted of these crimes many years ago, public opinion and policy related to marijuana have shifted greatly. Should these five non-violent senior-citizen offenders die behind bars for a crime Americans increasingly believe should not even be a crime?

1. John Knock, 65, has been incarcerated for more than 16 years. The only evidence against him was the testimony of informants; Knock was convicted of conspiracy to import and distribute marijuana. The judge sentenced him to 20 years for money laundering plus not one, but two terms of life-without-parole — a  punishment typically reserved for murderers. Despite the uniquely unjust sentence, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. Supreme Court denied his pleas for reconsideration via appeal or court order.
Waiting for death in jail, Knock suffers from chronic sinus problems linked to an untreated broken nose. Due to circulatory problems, one of his ankles swells to twice its size. Knock also suffers from what the legal petition called “untreated” hearing and vision problems. Easing some of his pain are visits from his family and his participation in prison programs. He has taught home building and physical education inside the prison that has become his home. According to the legal petition, he is assured employment and a home should his sentence be commuted.

2. Before he was incarcerated, Paul Free obtained a BA in marine biology and was starting a school while teaching English in Mexico. Now 62, he has continued his passion for education behind bars, where he has lived for the past 18 years. Free helps inmates prepare for the General Equivalency Diploma tests, and according to the petition, prison officials have applauded Paul’s hard work and his students’ high graduation rate. Paul suffers from degenerative joint disease, failing eyesight, sinus problems, and allergies, and he has had 11 skin cancers removed.

3. Once a union carpenter, Larry Duke, a 65-year-old decorated Marine, has spent the last 23 years of his life behind bars for weed. On top of the difficulties life in prison lays on the psyche, Duke suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder stemming from multiple tours in the Vietnam war. Like Knock, Duke received two life sentences without parole for a non-violent marijuana conspiracy, and was unsuccessful at appeal. According to the legal petition, Duke is the longest-serving nonviolent marijuana prisoner in the nation.  
Despite his incarceration in a country that has failed him, Duke works from behind bars to design patentable concepts that would assist the general public. While locked up, he has already managed to obtain a federal patent for a water-delivery system he plans to market to the U.S. Department of Defense. According to the legal petition, Duke enjoys the support of his wife and a growing family including two children, two grandsons, three siblings and many nieces and nephews. “They all want him to come home and be part of their lives and dreams,” the petition said.

4. William Dekle, 63, is also a former U.S. Marine serving two life sentences without parole, 22 of which he has already completed in a Kentucky penitentiary. Despite the depressing possibility that he will die behind bars, Dekle has participated in more than 30 prison courses, including counseling other inmates. Before his conviction, Dekle was a pilot certified in commercial and instrument flying, as well as multiengine aircraft. Now he suffers from a chronic knee injury. He is supported by his wife, two daughters, and grandchildren, who call him “Papa Billy.” Dekle’s relatives would ensure a stable home environment should he be granted clemency, the legal petition said.

5. Charles “Fred” Cundiff is a 66-year-old inmate who has served more than 20 years of his life sentence for marijuana. Before the marijuana arrest that changed his life forever, he worked in construction, retail and at a plant nursery. In prison, he worked for Unicor (Federal Prison Industries) for 12 years before his declining health interfered with his ability to work. Battling skin cancer, eye infections, and severe arthritis in his spine, Cundiff uses a walker. While the legal petition makes no mention of family, it says he is regularly visited by “friends from his youth.”
While these men have all spent many years behind bars for crimes they were convicted of many years ago, the same draconian punishments are handed down to marijuana criminals — young and old — to this day. Conspiracy charges, combined with mandatory minimums for marijuana sale and firearms charges, can quickly add up to decades behind bars. Should anyone in the entire criminal operation have a gun (legal or not), everyone involved can be charged with firearm possession during a drug offense, a five-year mandatory minimum that can reach 20 if the person is charged with continuing criminal enterprise — a long-term, large-scale operation. In the end, these sentences are often not applied, but used to encourage guilty pleas in exchange for a lesser sentence.

Marijuana prisoner Chris Williams is an example of one such case. He was recently facing a mandatory minimum of 85 to 92 years behind bars for providing medical marijuana in Montana, where it is legal. Citing a moral opposition to plea bargains forced by the threat of a lifetime in jail, WIlliams rejected a deal that would have drastically reduced his sentence by cutting away mandatory minimums. Then, this Tuesday, federal prosecutors agreed to drop six of eight of Williams’ charges, provided he waive his constitutional right to appeal. Now Williams faces a mandatory minimum of five years for the firearm-related charge, and another five for distribution.

“With the rest of my life literally hanging in the balance, I simply could not withstand the pressure any longer,” Williams said in a statement. “If Judge Christensen shows mercy and limits my sentence to the five-year mandatory minimum, I could be present at my 16-year-old son’s college graduation. This would most likely be impossible had I rejected the latest compromise.”

Kristen Gwynne covers drugs at AlterNet. She graduated from New York University with a degree in journalism and psychology.

CONTINUE READING….

Why Are We Testing Newborns for Pot?

 

 

 

The science is alarmingly inconclusive, but the punishment for mothers is severe.

November 23, 2012  |  

Employees at US hospitals are testing more and more newborns for cannabis exposure. And, with alarming frequency, they are getting the wrong results. So say a pair of recent studies documenting the unreliability of infant drug testing.

 

 

In the most recent trial, published in the September edition of the Journal of Clinical Chemistry , investigators at the University of Utah School of Medicine evaluated the rate of unconfirmed “positive” immunoassay test results in infant and non-infant urine samples over a 52-week period. Shockingly, authors found that positive tests for carboxy THC, a byproduct of THC screened for in immunoassay urine tests, were 59 times less likely to be confirmed in infant urine specimens as compared to non-infant urine samples. Overall, 47 percent of the infant positive immunoassay urine samples evaluated did not test for the presence of carboxy THC when confirmatory assay measures were later performed.
Immunoassay testing – the standard technology used in workplace drug testing – relies on the use of antibodies (proteins that will react to a particular substance or a group of very similar substances) to document whether a specific reaction occurs. Therefore, a positive result on an immunoassay test presumes that a certain quantity of a particular substance may be present in the sample, but it does not actually identify the presence of the substance itself. A more specific chemical test, known as chromatography, must be performed in order to confirm any preliminary analytical test results. Samples that test positive on the presumptive immunoassay test, but then later test negative on the confirmatory test are known as false positives.
False positive test results for cannabis’ carboxy THC metabolite are relatively uncommon in adult specimens. Among newborns’ specimens, however, false positive results for alleged cannabis exposure are disturbingly prevalent.
In April, researchers at the University of North Carolina reported in the journal Clinical Biochemistry that various chemicals present in various baby wash products, such as Johnson’s Head-to-Toe Baby Wash and CVS Baby Wash, frequently cross-react with the immunoassay test to cause false positive results for carboxy THC.

“[The] addition of Head-to-Toe Baby Wash to drug-free urine produced a dose dependent measureable response in the THC immunoassay,” the investigators concluded . “Addition of other commercially available baby soaps gave similar results, and subsequent testing identified specific chemical surfactants that reacted with the THC immunoassay. … Given these consequences, it is important for laboratories and providers to be aware of this potential source for false positive screening results and to consider confirmation before initiating interventions.”

Following the publication of the UNC study, researchers at the University of Utah screened for the presence of baby soap contaminants in infant urine. Surprisingly, they didn’t find any . Rather, they concluded that the disproportionately high rate of false positive test results discovered among their samples were the result of a cross-reaction with some other yet-to-be determined constituent. They cautioned: “Until the compounds contributing to positive urine screen results in infants are identified, we encourage the use of alternative specimens for the detection and investigation of neonatal exposure to cannabinoids. Screen-positive cannabinoid results from infant samples should not be reported without confirmation or appropriate consultation, because they cannot currently be interpreted.”
Yet despite these warnings, in many instances, hospitals fail to confirm the results of presumptive drug tests prior to reporting them to state authorities. (Because confirmatory testing is more expensive the immunoassay testing, many hospitals neglect to send such presumptive positive urine samples to outside labs for follow-up analysis.) Ironically, such confirmatory tests are required for all hospital employees who test positive for illicit substances. But presently, no such guidelines stipulate that similar precautions be taken for newborns or pregnant mothers. Explains Lynn Paltrow, executive director of National Advocates for Pregnant Women : “NAPW has had calls from numerous parents who were subjected to intrusive, threatening, and counterproductive child welfare interventions based on false or innocent positive test results for marijuana. We have learned that pregnant patients receive fewer guarantees of accuracy than do job applicants at that same hospital.” 

Regardless of whether or not the drug screen results are confirmed, the sanctions for those subjects who test positive are often swift and severe. Typically, any report of alleged infant exposure to cannabis will trigger a host of serious consequences ranging from the involvement of social services to accusations of child endangerment or neglect. In some instances, mothers whose infants test positive for carboxy THC will lose temporary child custody rights and be mandated to attend a drug treatment program. In other instances they may be civilly prosecuted. At least 18 states address the issue of pregnant women’s drug use in their civil child neglect laws; in 12 states prenatal exposure to any illegal drug is defined by statute as civil child abuse. (One state, South Carolina, authorizes the criminal prosecution of mothers who are alleged to have consumed cannabis, or any other illicit substance, during pregnancy and carry their baby to term.) 
Of further concern is the reality that the hospital staff’s decision to drug test infants or pregnant mothers appears to be largely a subjective one. There are no national standards delineating specific criteria for the drug testing of pregnant women, new mothers, or their infants. In fact, the only federal government panel ever convened to advise on the practice urged against its adoption. As a result, race and class largely influence who is tested and who isn’t. A study published in the  Journal of Women’s Health reported that “black women and their newborns were 1.5 times more likely to be tested for illicit drugs as non-black women,” after controlling for obstetrical conditions and socio-demographic factors, such as single marital status or a lack of health insurance. A separate study published in the New England Journal of Medicine reported similar rates of illicit drug consumption during pregnancy among both black and white women, but found that “black women were reported [to health authorities] at approximately 10 times the rate for white women.”
How many mothers have been accused of child neglect or abuse because of false positive drug test results? Nobody knows for sure. But no doubt some mothers have been penalized solely as a result of the test’s inherent fallibility – and many more are likely to face similar sanctions in the future. That’s because the practice of drug testing infants for cannabis exposure remains a relatively popular even though there exists limited, if any, evidence to justify it.
“No child-health expert would characterize recreational drug use during pregnancy as a good idea,” writes Time.com columnist Maia Szalavitz. “But it’s not at all clear that the benefits, if any, of newborn marijuana screening – particularly given how selectively the tests are administered – justify the potential harm it can cause to families.”
Richard Wexler, executive director of the National Coalition for Child Protection Reform agrees, telling Time.com that the emotional damage caused by removing an infant child from their mothers, as well as the risk of abuse inherent to foster care, far outweigh any risks to the child that may be caused by maternal marijuana use during pregnancy. 
In fact, the potential health effects of maternal marijuana use on infant birth weight and early development have been subject to scientific scrutiny for several decades. One of the earliest and most often cited studies on the topic comes from Dr. Melanie Dreher and colleagues, who assessed neonatal outcomes in Jamaica, where it is customary for many women to ingest cannabis, often in tea, during pregnancy to combat symptoms of morning sickness. Writing in the journal  Pediatrics in 1994, Dreher and colleagues reported no significant physical or psychological differences in newborns of heavy marijuana-using mothers at three days old, and found that exposed children performed better on a variety of physiological and autonomic tests than non-exposed children at 30 days. (This latter trend was suggested to have been a result of the socio-economic status of the mothers rather than a result of pre-natal pot exposure.)
Separate population studies have reported similar results. A 2002 survey of 12,060 British women reported, “[C]annabis use during pregnancy was unrelated to risk of perinatal death or need for special care.” Researchers added that “frequent or regular use” of cannabis throughout pregnancy may be associated with “small but statistically detectable decrements in birthweight.” However, the association between cannabis use and birthweight failed to be statistically significant after investigators adjusted for confounding factors such as the mothers’ age, pre-pregnancy weight, and the self-reported use of tobacco, alcohol, caffeine, and other illicit drugs.”

THIS STORY CONTINUES THRU THIS LINK….PLEASE CONTINUE READING

Mexico Marijuana Legalization Bill Introduced By Lawmaker

Reuters  |  Posted: 11/15/2012

Marijuana Legazliation Mexico

In this Oct. 25, 2012 photo, soldiers stand in a marijuana plantation found during a reconnaissance mission before burning the plants near the town of Lombardia in Michoacan state, Mexico. (AP Photo/Alexandre Meneghini)

 

By Noe Torres

MEXICO CITY, Nov 15 (Reuters) – A leftist Mexican lawmaker on Thursday presented a bill to legalize the production, sale and use of marijuana, adding to a growing chorus of Latin American politicians who are rejecting the prohibitionist policies of the United States.

The bill is unlikely to win much support in Congress since a strong majority of Mexicans are firmly against legalizing drugs, but may spur a broader debate in Mexico after two U.S. states voted to allow recreational use of marijuana last week. U.S. officials have said it remains illegal and that they are reviewing the state actions.
The split between local and federal governments in the United States is feeding a growing challenge in Latin America to the four-decade-old policies that Washington promoted, and often bankrolled, to disrupt illegal drug cultivation and smuggling.
“The prohibitionist paradigm is a complete failure,” said Fernando Belaunzaran, the author of the bill from the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD), who presented the proposal in Mexico’s lower house of Congress.
“All this has done is spur more violence, the business continues. The country that has paid the highest costs is Mexico,” he said in a telephone interview.
A conflict between drug gangs and security forces has killed more than 60,000 people during the six-year rule of outgoing President Felipe Calderon, who has repeatedly demanded the United States to do more to curb demand for illegal drugs.
Frustration with U.S. policy deepened after voters in Washington state and Colorado approved the recreational use of marijuana.
Still, there is little popular support for marijuana legalization in Mexico. Recent polls show two-thirds or more of Mexicans are opposed to making it legal. Several other bills to legalize the drug have been rejected in recent years.
Mexican leftists form the second biggest bloc in the lower house, behind the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) that won the presidency in an election in July. The leftist coalition has more seats than Calderon’s conservatives.
“It is important to open the debate, but I do not think this will advance,” said political analyst Fernando Dworak. “In reality, it is just not part of the legislative agenda.”
Across Latin America, there is a growing view that Washington’s “war on drugs” is not working.
Uruguay’s government submitted a legalization bill to Congress this week that would put the state in charge of marijuana cultivation and distribution, while also allowing for individuals to grow plants at home.
In September, Calderon and the leaders of Colombia and Guatemala – historically three of the most reliable U.S. partners on drug interdiction – called on world governments to explore new alternatives to the problem.
The chief advisor of incoming President Enrique Pena Nieto, Luis Videgaray, said last week that the votes in Washington and Colorado mean Mexico must rethink its approach to the trade, though he said Pena Nieto was opposed to legalization of drugs.
Last week, the governor of Chihuahua, one of the Mexican states worst hit by drugs violence, told Reuters Mexico should legalize export of marijuana. The governor, Cesar Duarte, is an ally of Pena Nieto, who takes office on Dec. 1. (Additional reporting by Michael O’Boyle; Editing by Jackie Frank)

CONTINUE READING…

The White House: Release and pardon Marc Emery

 
 
Christopher Seekins

Granby, CT

Some stand for freedom, others oppose it. Each brings us in a different direction. For those of us who enjoy our freedom we thank people like Marc who has a global vision of standards. The United states constitution was founded on common law jurisdiction. This is essentially a contract of protection for the people. The states of America have adapted the Uniform Commercial Code which governs international contracts of protection. The Uniform Commercial Code or UCC particular to 1-103.6 indicates statutory jurisdiction in Admiralty Courts such as the US courts must have standards in accordance with common law jurisdiction reserving rights and remedy there of. The ability to extort a person into a plea bargain is not merit to cause injury to Marcs life or take away the freedom from others lives that he generates living freely. Marcs actions have not hurt any one and there is no justification to injure many lives in this case. Marc amongst other things is to thank for bringing freedom of the press to Canada with the opening of his book store and petitioning of the public as true democracy makes possible. Marc is a patriot of every country and should be treated as such. To do anything else is of a criminal nature.

Release and pardon Marc Emery

Marc Emery is a Canadian businessman and political activist who owned and operated Cannabis Culture Magazine, Pot-TV, the BC Marijuana Party, and Marc Emery’s Cannabis Culture Headquarters (previously the BCMP Bookstore, and HEMP BC before that.)
He was also the world’s most famous marijuana seed retailer and the biggest financial supporter of the marijuana movement world-wide until the US Drug Enforcement Administration and Canadian law enforcement arrested him in Canada and shut down Marc Emery Direct Seeds in July 2005.
Marc is currently imprisoned in Yazoo City medium-security prison in Yazoo City, Mississippi after being extradited on May 20th, 2010 by the Canadian government. He was sentenced on September 10th in Seattle federal court to 5 years in prison for “distribution of marijuana” seeds, though the US Drug Enforcement Administration admitted it was actually for his political activism and financing the marijuana movement (see below for that DEA document).

FACTS ABOUT MARC EMERY:

• Marc Emery is a Canadian citizen who never went to the USA as a seed seller.

• Marc Emery operated his seed business in Canada at all times, with no American branches or employees.

• Marc Emery declared his income from marijuana seed sales on his income tax, and paid over $580,000 to the Federal and Provincial governments from 1999 to 2005.

• Marc Emery is the leader of the British Columbia Marijuana Party, a registered political party that has regularly participated in elections.

• Marc Emery has never been arrested or convicted of manufacturing or distributing marijuana in Canada, as he only sold seeds.

• Marc Emery gave away all of the profits from his seed business to drug law reform lobbyists, political parties, global protests and rallies, court litigation, medical marijuana initiatives, drug rehabilitation clinics, and other legitimate legal activities and organizations.

• Marc Emery helped found the United States Marijuana Party, state-level political parties, and international political parties in countries such as Israel and New Zealand.

• Marc Emery has been known as a book seller and activist in Canada for 30 years, fighting against censorship laws and other social issues long before he became a drug law reform activist.

• Marc Emery has been a media figure for 20 years with regards to marijuana and drug law reform. He is very well-known to Canadian, American and international news media organizations.

• Marc Emery operated his business in full transparency and honesty since its inception in 1994, even sending his marijuana seed catalogue inside his magazine “Cannabis Culture” to each Member of Parliament in Canada every two months for years.

Marc openly ran “Marc Emery Direct Marijuana Seeds” from a store in downtown Vancouver and through mail-order from 1994 to 2005, with the goal to fund anti-prohibition and pro-marijuana activists and organizations across North America and the world.
Marc always paid all provincial and federal taxes on his income and made no secret to anyone of his seed-selling business. Marc was raided by police for selling seeds and bongs in 1996 and again in 1997 and 1998, but despite the seizure of his stock by police, the Canadian courts sentenced Emery only to fines and no jail time.
Canadian police then pressured the American Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to launch a cross-border attack against Marc. They arranged to have him charged under America’s much more severe laws against seeds.
Marc was arrested in Canada by American agents in 2005, and originally faced a minimum 30-year sentence in the US, with the possibility of life behind bars. After years of legal efforts, and ensuring his two co-accused received no prison time, Marc made a plea-bargain for a five-year sentence in the US. Marc had originally secured a deal with US officials to serve his five-year sentence in Canada, but the Conservative Government of Canada refused to allow this, and forced him to be extradited to the US.
The US Drug Enforcement Administration admitted on the day of Marc Emery’s arrest that his investigation and extradition were politically motivated, designed to target the marijuana legalization efforts and organizations that Emery spearheaded and financed for over a decade.

Here is the original text of DEA Administrator Karen Tandy’s statement released on July 29th, 2005 (also available in its original letterhead form by clicking here):

“Today’s DEA arrest of Marc Scott Emery, publisher of Cannabis Culture Magazine, and the founder of a marijuana legalization group — is a significant blow not only to the marijuana trafficking trade in the U.S. and Canada, but also to the marijuana legalization movement.

His marijuana trade and propagandist marijuana magazine have generated nearly $5 million a year in profits that bolstered his trafficking efforts, but those have gone up in smoke today.

Emery and his organization had been designated as one of the Attorney General’s most wanted international drug trafficking organizational targets — one of only 46 in the world and the only one from Canada.

Hundreds of thousands of dollars of Emery’s illicit profits are known to have been channeled to marijuana legalization groups active in the United States and Canada. Drug legalization lobbyists now have one less pot of money to rely on.”
On May 10th, 2010, Marc was ordered extradited by Justice Minister Rob Nicholson. He was taken to the USA on May 20th. Marc was forced to endure three weeks of complete solitary confinement for recording a “prison podcast” over the phone for release on the internet. You can listen to his 2009 “Prison Pot-casts” by clicking here.
Release and pardon Marc Emery

Kindest of regards
Christopher Seekins
www.gorillagrow.org
CEO Harmony World Wide

Petition Letter

USE THIS LINK TO SIGN PETITION!

OIG releases an audit of DEA adoptive seizure process and equitable sharing requests. On September 27, 2012, in Drug War, federal, states, by Scott Alexander Meiner

 

image

 

The Department of Justice’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) released an audit of Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) adoptive seizure process and equitable sharing requests. A couple of quick notes:

1.) Of instances involving federal adoption of assets seized, 65% of reported samples [41 of the 63 examined samples] required DEA headquarter approval to adopt the seizure because the instance lacked all of the following criteria:

  1. the seizure was based on a federal or state judicial seizure warrant;
  2. an arrest was made for a felony violation of the Controlled Substances Act or an equivalent state felony charge that would be a felony if pursued under federal law; and/or
  3. drugs or other contraband associated with a federal felony drug offense were also confiscated at the time of seizure.

2.) The OIG report notes “for the period of October 1, 2000, through September 30, 2011, the DEA and other federal agencies processed over 150,644 seized assets valued at about $9.2 billion of which $5.5 billion (60 percent) originated from seizures processed by the DEA and $3.7 billion (40 percent) originated from seizures processed by other federal agencies.” [Another $522 million in DEA seizured assets was noted but omitted from analysis for a lack of equitable sharing requests.]

3.) The OIG report features a disturbing trend line and reproduces a misguided–but revealing–definition of forfeiture:

The DOJ Criminal Division defines forfeiture as “the taking of property derived from a crime, involved in a crime, or that which makes a crime easier to commit or harder to detect without compensating the owner.”

THIS LINK TO PDF PUBLICATION

THIS LINK TO WEBSITE

Collective endurance: A decade later, lasting impacts from famed WAMM marijuana bust near Davenport

 

 

By JASON HOPPIN – Santa Cruz Sentinel

DAVENPORT – On Sept. 5, 2002, the country was debating whether to invade Iraq to rid the country of weapons of mass destruction, just as it was bracing for the first anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. Stocks were still down, but the Oakland A’s had just notched their record 20th straight win.

Early that morning, 30 federal Drug Enforcement Agency-led law enforcement officers stormed the Wo/Men’s Medical Marijuana Alliance, a high-profile collective with a small pot farm outside Davenport, chopping down plants and setting off a furor with lasting impacts on the statewide medical marijuana debate that endures today.

“I just remember waking up at 6:45 a.m., because I heard vehicles in the driveway of the house I was in,” recalled WAMM’s Mike Corral recently, who looked out to see agents carrying a battering ram. “We always knew that there was this possibility of the feds doing something. [But] at the time, we were the darlings of the medical marijuana movement.”

Founders Mike and Valerie Corral were never charged, but the raid spurred a lengthy court case, contributed to local suspicions of federal law enforcement and beatified the Corrals as the spiritual center of the medical marijuana movement. Last week marked the 10th anniversary of the raid, and several key figures reflected on their roles.

“I think that event was one of the most important developments in the growth of understanding about medical marijuana in the country,” said local attorney Ben Rice, part of an all-star legal team that leaped to the Corrals’ defense.

But for a long time, prison was a real possibility. For Valerie Corral, the saga began when she heard boots crossing her porch. She knew who it was before she saw them, but said she was inoculated by calm.

GUN TO HER HEAD

“Something happened when they pushed me to the ground and put a gun to my head,” Corral recalled. “It’s hard to say exactly what it was. I wouldn’t say I felt safe with a gun to my head – I’m not trying to make light or change the image – but there was something that came together and strengthened inside of me.”

For the next several hours, Corral says she bent the ears of federal agents about the miracles of medical marijuana. The Corrals were taken to a holding facility in San Jose, while patients, some of whom needed help walking, gravitated toward the Corrals’ property and barricaded the police in.

Back in San Jose, agents asked the Corrals to help disperse the crowd, which they did.

“I didn’t want the energy to shift away,” Valerie Corral said. “I didn’t want it to become a screaming match.”

“I made this comment to an agent and said, ‘What do we have here, a hostage exchange situation?,'” Mike Corral said. “And he actually laughed a little bit.”

It turned out to be a wise move. Sympathetic to broad swaths of the community, the Corrals were embraced, with a medical marijuana giveaway even organized on the steps of Santa Cruz City Hall.

“I always said it was like representing Mother Teresa,” said Santa Clara University Law School professor Gerald Uelmen, of Valerie. “She is the most compassionate person I think I’ve ever encountered.”

By this point, the story of the raid had gone national. Many states were following in California’s Proposition 215’s footsteps, and the Bush Administration seemed to be drawing a line in the dirt. Hundreds of reporters were on hand for the pot giveaway and CNN carried the story live.

“Virtually every mayor in, at that time, the last 20 years was there,” Rice said.

Valerie Corral said she and Mike, now separated, spent the night in a hotel to avoid the risk of being taken back into custody before the big day.

MEMBERS CARRY ON

WAMM members kept the collective going by scrounging together marijuana and distributing it, and the DEA appeared unaware the Corrals had recently secured an industrial office on Santa Cruz’ Westside, which is still in use. But members said marijuana was in short supply, and that the raid contributed to the deaths of many.

“Sure, they were going to die anyway. It’s just that they died faster than they should have. And in pain that they shouldn’t have had, because they took the medicine away,” said longtime WAMM member Leona Powell, while rolling joints recently at WAMM’s Westside office.

The raid seemed divisive, not just among local police – who had long known the Corrals – but perhaps even among federal law enforcement.

Santa Cruz deputies did not participate, and then-San Jose Police Chief William Lansdowne later yanked his officers off a joint DEA marijuana task force that executed the raid.

Many WAMM members also believe the raid order came from Washington and surprised the local U.S. attorney’s office. Deborah SilverKnight, a patient then and now, said she even got a call from then-Sheriff Mark Tracy telling her what had happened. Rice was alerted by the county’s top jailer.

“It was very tragic. Surreal,” SilverKnight said.

The Corrals moved to suppress evidence from the raid before it even went to a grand jury, and it was clear fairly early that they wouldn’t be charged. (Within months, federal drug prosecutors would turn their attention to another co-op – a storefront called the Bay Area Laboratory Cooperative, or BALCO, signaling the federal effort to root illegal steroids from pro sports.)

VICTORY IN COURT

Nevertheless, WAMM members went on the offensive, suing the Justice Department. U.S. District Judge Jeremy Fogel eventually ordered that their farm be left alone, and the case stands as the only clear win for the medical marijuana movement in federal court.

WAMM struggles forward today. The collective was organized along Marxist principles – from each according to their abilities, to each according to their need – and has never been a cash register for its owners.

“We’re connected to the people that we serve, and each of us serves one another,” Corral said.

For all the well-placed criticism of the state’s medical marijuana industry, WAMM’s patients have always tended to be truly and severely ill. But it also acknowledges market realities, recently diversifying its product range and now offering cannabidiol-rich pot.

Richard Johnson, who has HIV, said many at WAMM mix marijuana with more traditional medicines. To control an illness, he added, one must be able to control their medicine.

“The beauty about this group is we have the support of people with very different illnesses coming here,” Johnson said. “We share information about what helps you heal, both mentally and physically.”

REMEMBERING FRIENDS

The collective has had thousands of members over the years, and 361 have died. WAMM is collecting pictures of the deceased, assembling them into a mural in their Almar Street office. Valerie Corral seems to hold each one especially close, having visited many deathbeds.

“You think you know something,” she said, “until you sit so close to something that you cannot imagine.”

Most see the raid as backfiring on the federal government. WAMM was a public relations nightmare, and partly because of that, arguably a bigger legal problem for the feds than the Corrals. Mike Corral believes a prosecution might have toppled federal drug laws.

Ten years later, the state is in the midst of another searching debate about medical marijuana and how much autonomy California should have regulating it, with many accusing President Obama’s administration of backtracking on a hands-off pledge.

Several dispensaries have been targeted for raids, with federal prosecutors saying they are targeting marijuana profiteers – something Corral (who believes the pharmaceutical industry is preparing to enter the business) has criticized. And in an uncertain legal environment, many have shut their doors.

“I think it really taught the feds a lesson that they took to heart,” said Uelmen, who brings his drug abuse law seminar students to WAMM. “I think it’s still being taken to heart. The fact that all these other dispensaries are being raided but WAMM is openly operating reflects that we taught the feds to make some distinctions that there are legitimate patients out there whose health depends on marijuana.”

‘WE WON THE WAR’

And when asked about the legacy of the raid, Mike Corral is clear: it led to the expansion of dispensaries throughout the state and the country.

“Medical marijuana is a done deal, in the United States and worldwide,” Corral said. “We won the war; it’s just ‘What are the terms of surrender going to be?'”

Valerie Corral said the raid also contributed to a personal evolution.

“It’s interesting how it moved us toward becoming the people that we really wanted to be,” she said. “To help us model ourselves after the many activists, civil rights activists that had gone before us and taught us, and taught the world to awaken. To recognize that we’re walking among need, and great suffering. To become what we wanted to be as human beings. To offer something that’s bigger than ourselves to other people.”

Follow Sentinel reporter Jason Hoppin on Twitter: @scnewsdude

CONTINUE READING

UPDATE ON SHAPELLE CORBY

 

 

The latest news is below:

  1. SCHAPELLE’S BIRTHDAY
    Schapelle’s 35th birthday was on Tuesday. Below is the message posted on Facebook to ‘celebrate’ this:

TODAY (10th July) is Schapelle’s Birthday. She is 27 again. She is 27 every year, because that is when the corrupt and the criminal in office stopped her life, and started her nightmare.
She stopped celebrating her birthdays in 2005, insisting that she would remain 27. She couldn’t face them. She couldn’t face realizing that she was yet another year older, that yet another year had been lost forever, and that another year of turmoil and torture lay in front of her. 
Her birthday will be like every other day. 
She will wake up in her overcrowded overbearing squalid cell. She will take her medication to escape the demons, to stop her thinking about her reality… to get through the day… somehow. 
The day will never end: it will last forever. The thoughts will keep coming back into her mind, and she will chase them out again, topping up with the medicine when she can’t chase them any longer.
She will miss her home, her family, her freedom, her life, and will wonder again why this happened to her. She will chase the thoughts away, before she breaks down again.
As the medicine wears off, she will again become distressed, and paranoid, looking for cameras which can appear at any time. She will watch the door in case the Australian media appear. She will panic. She will run for the medicine again. 
Perhaps it is a kindness that she doesn’t know about the callous mocking of her suffering, by the media, and by so many of her own people.
Perhaps it is a kindness that she doesn’t know that, even yesterday, the same vile and twisted media presented her as “happy”, to placate public opinion. 
After an absolute eternity, night will eventually come around. She will have survived another day, and she will escape into a fitful tormented sleep. Her 35th birthday will be over. At last, another day will have gone.
Schapelle: we will not wish you a happy birthday… instead, we will use the sword of truth to fight harder and harder for you. We will confront the corrupt. We will take your barbaric sacrifice to the world, and we will shout from every rooftop. You will never stand alone.  People For Schapelle.

  1. THE BRISBANE SUPPORTER MEETING

The public meeting in Brisbane was held last Saturday. Supporters met in a park in the city centre, and then marched to the headquarters of the AFP to demand justice. A video has been created of the event, and has been posted on People For Schapelle:  http://www.facebook.com/PeopleForSchapelleCorby

  1. ARIFIN WARDIYANTO

Arifin is a former Indonesian Minister, and has recently begun a one man campaign in Jakarta for Schapelle. He has seen the Expendable Project material, and has continued his own research…. research which shows that no Indonesian has ever been sentenced to 20 years, even when carrying thousands of kg of marijuana. He has produced tables to demonstrate this discrimination and racism. These have been sent to the Australian government, who of course already know (Schapelle’s lawyer wrote to them in 2005). Predictably, they have failed to respond.

Both the original Paris Hotman letter, and one of Arifin’s tables in graph format, can be viewed here:

http://www.expendable.tv/2011/10/exhibit-sentence-discrimination.html

  1. HOW TO HELP

A list of different actions which can be taken to help Schapelle is available on the following page:

http://www.expendable.tv/2012/04/activism-how-you-can-help.html

Thank you for caring for Schapelle.

Kathryn

MORE INFO AT THIS LINK…

Recreational marijuana smoking unimportant, should remain illegal

 

 

By DANIELLE CARPENTER Published April 29, 2012 at 11:45pm

Pushing for the legalization of recreational marijuana is a waste of time.

The Tucson Chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws held its annual protest on April 20. About 50 protesters made their way to Cheba Hut for the seventh annual protest, where they held up signs to flash at traffic about legalizing marijuana. It’s sad how badly those people want recreational marijuana legalized. Medical marijuana helps people, but recreational marijuana can be dangerous.

Marijuana is the most common illegal drug found in “impaired drivers and crash victims involved in ‘drugged driving’ accidents,” according to the Alcohol Drug Abuse Help & Resource Center website. The drug interferes with the cerebellum, which is the part of the brain that controls coordination, according to the center’s website. Legalizing this drug will do nothing more then increase the number of DUIs and fatal car accidents, as if Arizona needs higher numbers in that department.

A lot of people assume that marijuana does nothing bad for them. But the THC in marijuana — the reason for its effects — can interfere with the hippocampus, according to the center’s website. The hippocampus is one of the most important parts of the brain, as it controls memory, judgment and learning.

In chronic users, the impact on memory and learning can last days or weeks after marijuana’s effects seem to fade, according to a 2001 study in the medical journal Archives of General Psychiatry.

Studies have shown that frequent use of the drug can actually lead to more anxiety and higher rates of mental illness like depression.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse, a division of the National Institutes of Health, notes that schizophrenia in particular seems to have a link to marijuana use, as a 2007 study found. This may be due to the fact that frequent use of marijuana case can cause a dire psychotic reaction in susceptible people, according to the NIDA, making it a possible factor in the onset or relapse of schizophrenia.

A 2006 survey by the Society for Human Resource Management found that 84 percent of employers drug test new hires, and 39 percent will randomly test employees after they are hired. (Usually, those who meet the criteria for being able to have medical marijuana are excused.)

Most employers want mature, intelligent and dedicated employees who do not abuse drugs. Some employers, such as hospitals, are even starting to look at whether or not their applicants smoke cigarettes, not just marijuana or other controlled substances.

Smoking, marijuana or cigarettes, does not make one more appealing in any way, shape or form to a handful of careers or to other people. It’s time for people to grow up, and figure out how to live life without depending on marijuana.

If even California of all states would not pass a bill legalizing weed for those 21 and older, it’s clear that protesting Arizonans are fighting a hopeless cause. Arizonans should spend their time more wisely than trying to get something as pointless as recreational pot to happen.

The outcomes of keeping recreational marijuana use illegal will save Arizona from the increase of drug-related fatal car accidents, and protect the mental health of residents. Smoking weed recreationally should remain against the law.

— Danielle Carpenter is a pre-journalism freshman. She can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu or on Twitter via @WildcatOpinions .

CONTINUE READING…

Schapelle Corby

A few weeks ago, The Expendable Project received information which showed that the AFP had information which corroborated the story of a man who had been ridiculed by the media in 2005, when he confessed that the drugs in Schapelle’s bag were meant to be collected in Sydney by him.

They suppressed this corroborative evidence, and never told anyone.

SchapelleCorby

“Schapelle Corby was unjustly jailed in Indonesia. Why was she denied access to all evidence that could potentially clear her. Why did the Bali police say fingerprinting was not necessary? Why was the baggage not weighed as requested by Corby. Why was DNA testing refused to determine country of origin? What happened to all the security tapes at three International airports on the same day? Australia needs answers to these questions.”

A few weeks ago, The Expendable Project received information which showed that the AFP had information which corroborated the story of a man who had been ridiculed by the media in 2005, when he confessed that the drugs in Schapelle’s bag were meant to be collected in Sydney by him. They suppressed this corroborative evidence, and never told anyone.

Expendable has today produced a report on this: see the story is below.

Somehow, though, this is business as usual in Australia. The Expendable Project has proved… not alleged… PROVED…  corruption and criminality by the Australian government and the AFP. There is no scope for any doubt, as the government emails and cables amount to a smoking gun confession, again and again and again.

But proof of a national scandal of the highest magnitude is not enough. Proof that an innocent has been sacrificed for commercial interests, and to hide AFP corruption, is not enough. The people of Australia are largely ignorant of it. They world is oblivious. Why?

Because the media, which in Australia is owned by a tiny handful of rich and powerful vested interests, refuse to report it. They are hiding it from the people. Those damning cables and emails don’t exist as far as they are concerned. And yes, they all know about them.

There is one, and only one, way around this…. US. We have to take this to everyone. We have to take it to the world, person by person, day after day. In the coming weeks People For Schapelle will be rolling out a campaign, leading to a ‘Schapelle Week’ and a ‘Schapelle Day’.

More information will be posted soon. But in the meantime, please continue to post www.expendable.tv to wherever you can. Send it to your friends, colleagues, media, politicians, anyone…. Facebook, Twitter, emails, forums. Print the posters, write the CDs, talk, anything. 

Schapelle’s life depends on us all…. let’s fight for her.

Thanks for caring.

Kathryn

PS: Today’s story on the police corruption is below:

From: Bart Vaart [mailto:bdvaart@gmail.com]
Sent: 03 April 2012 10:41
To: contact.list@gmail.com
Subject: URGENT: Here Is Tomorrows News

On Wednesday 4th April, ex-Detective Sergeant Christopher Laycock will appear for sentencing in a Sydney court, for a string of offences. These stem from the Cobalt Report, which was presented by the Police Integrity Commission to Parliament in 2005, and which presents him as one of the most notorious criminals in Australian history.
But, what meets the eye will be something of a mirage. His last hearing, on 29th March 2012, was closed to the public, on account of a mysterious 30 page ‘naming and shaming’ document, which his lawyer had dramatically presented at the hearing previous to this. The AAP has subsequently reported what the court instructed them to report.
The real story here is not only what is in that document, and why it has taken 8 years for Laycock to meet his fate, but what the New South Wales Crime Commission, and the AFP, have hidden from the public for 7 years.
THE LAYCOCK GANG
The Laycock gang, including John Robert Dunks, and David John Hopes, engaged almost every crime in the book. One was drug syndication. Indeed, a man called William Miller had named Dunks, on oath, to a court, as the man who had given him the job to pick up a quantity of marijuana from Sydney airport, on 8th October 2004.
You will recognize the date, and perhaps the name. Miller had been ridiculed by the media in July 2005, as a money chaser, when he broadly presented this story in the wake of Schapelle Corby’s dysfunctional Bali trial. 
The NSWCC and AFP? The Expendable Project have just published an extract from the minutes of a confidential NSWCC internal meeting, attended by Mark Standen, amongst others (header attached).
This confirms that Dunks was a ‘Person Of Interest’ in 2004, and that the NSWCC had secretly recorded a conversation between him, and Miller. The conversation corroborated Miller’s account of the airport pickup job.
The NSWCC recognized the significance of this recording, and consulted a named officer within the AFP with this information.
But both parties sat on it. Schapelle Corby was never told. No-one was ever told.
No-one would ever have been told, had The Expendable Project not obtained those minutes.
The latest Expendable report should be read very carefully. It can be viewed on the following web page:
http://www.expendable.tv/2012/04/candidate-sources-report.html
The Laycock/Miller affair is documented in Section 2. On Page 2-34 of the PDF you will find the extracts from the NSWCC meeting.
The Expendable Project have stated that further information will be published in due course.
B der Vaart

Absolute Asinine Laws

Life in Prison for Hemp

José Peña brought some roadside weeds home from Kansas. Cops decided it was reefer, and a Texas court sentenced him to life in prison – without the evidence. It took a decade for Peña to get back some of the pieces of his life.

By Jordan Smith, Fri., March 16, 2012

Life in Prison for Hemp

José Peña was tired as he drove south toward Houston on the morning of Sept. 27, 1998. Following a quick trip north to Kansas in a rented van – to pick up the brother of a distant cousin’s son – he was on his way home to Houston, where he lived with his wife and four children. It was the kind of favor Peña often did for friends and family, no matter how distant the relation – and the kind of favor that irritated his wife. “I was tired, and I was trying to get home,” the 50-year-old recently recalled. “My wife was mad at me for doing favors for other people” when he could instead be home.

That morning, just before 8am, Peña was cruising south down I-45, a little more than two hours from home. He was driving in the right-hand lane through Leon County when he passed a state trooper sitting in his car on the grass median. He thought nothing of it – just another Texas trooper on a long and nondescript stretch of highway – until he noticed the trooper pull out onto the road and follow him. The officer, Mike Asby, a veteran member of the Texas Department of Public Safety, drove in the left lane until his car was parallel with Peña’s. Peña looked over at Asby. “He pulled up next to me, and I looked at him because I wasn’t not going to make eye contact” with an officer whom Peña thought was definitely checking him out for whatever reason.

Although Peña steadfastly maintains that he wasn’t doing anything wrong or unusual, Asby would later testify that Peña caught his attention because he was driving more slowly than the rest of traffic in a van caked with mud; when the van “weaved across the center stripe and also across the solid yellow line on the shoulder,” Asby testified in January 2003, he had to take action. “You’re required to stay in a single lane of traffic,” he said. He activated his lights and pulled Peña over.

Within the hour, Peña would be in handcuffs in the back of the trooper’s car, headed to the county jail in Centerville on a charge of marijuana possession. Nearly five years later, Peña would be convicted and sentenced to life in prison for possession of what the state said turned out to be 23.46 pounds of freshly cut marijuana that Peña was transporting in the back of the muddy blue van. Although Asby testified that this was not a normal highway drug bust – “normally,” he testified, marijuana moves north from Houston, already “dried out, cured, and ready to be sold” – he was certain that what he found casually laid out in the back of the van was pot because it smelled like pot – and he knows pot when he smells it. “It’s something that you learned in [28] years of experience being on the road?” prosecutor Whitney Smith (now Leon Coun­ty’s elected D.A.) asked Asby.

“Yes, sir,” Asby replied.

Just Trust Us

There are at least two problems with the official story of Peña’s arrest and prosecution. First, Peña is adamant – and has been since 1998 – that what he was transporting was not marijuana, but actually hemp, pot’s non-narcotic cousin. Peña says he found the plants growing wild in Kansas and cut them down, thinking that he could use the stems and leaves in the various craft projects he made with leather and wood in his garage workshop; there was no doubt in Peña’s mind that what he was transporting was not marijuana. The second, and eventually more decisive problem with the official story of the Peña bust, is that prior to his trial, officials with the Department of Public Safety lab in Waco, where the plants were taken for testing, completely destroyed all of the case evidence – all 23.46 pounds of plant material – and then also lost the case file with all of the original documentation of the lab’s work on the case. By the time Peña was finally tried – more than four years later – there was absolutely no evidence to show the jury; instead, the state relied completely on the “experience” of Asby and of Waco lab supervisor Charles Mott (now retired) to persuade jurors that what they say they saw and tested was actually marijuana.

It worked.

That is, it worked until late last year, when Peña’s conviction was finally overturned by the Court of Criminal Appeals, the state’s highest criminal court, and Leon County subsequently dismissed the charges for good. In the intervening decade, however, Peña’s case became a political hot potato, catching the attention of judges and lawyers across the state who watched as the 10th Court of Appeals, based in Waco, played tug-of-war with the Austin-based CCA over the power of the Texas Constitution, and whether it affords citizens greater rights and protection against state power than does the U.S. Constitution.

It’s a conflict that has left the state of Texas divided and may mean – at least for the time being – that persons tried for crimes in one part of the state will be afforded greater protection from prosecutorial errors or malfeasance than are others. Frankly, says Keith Hampton, an Austin defense attorney who represented Peña just before his case was dismissed, you just “don’t see this happen very often.” Ulti­mate­ly, whether the protections gleaned from the Texas Constitution by the 10th Court will remain in force and be applied to all Texans is still to be determined.

Weeds, Not Weed

Peña had a knack for creating handcrafted leather and wood items that sold like hotcakes, he says, at flea markets in and around Houston. He made personalized shellacked plaques and leather key chains with popular first names spelled out in tiny beads, and at a dollar a key chain, they sold well. So when he first saw the hemp plants growing on the roadside near Manhattan, Kan., they gave him an idea. He would take the plants – which, to an untrained eye, look exactly like marijuana plants – press the leaves, and then use them on plaques or affixed to the small leather wallets that he also had become expert at making. He recognized these as “volunteer” hemp plants – they grow wild across the country, reminders of the days when hemp farming was commonplace and even, during World War II, encouraged by the feds as supporting the war effort. By the Kansas roadside, they were scraggly and abundant. When he pulled into the Tuttle Creek State Park outside Manhattan, and saw the plants growing everywhere, he “loaded … up.”

Indeed, Peña thought nothing of the fresh-cut plants that he’d laid out in the back of the blue van he was driving. He knew – partly from experience of having smoked pot when he was younger, and partly because he knew that hemp was once a major agricultural commodity – that the plants were nothing more than weeds that looked like weed.

However, that’s not how Asby saw it. To him, it was clear that one thing, and only one thing, was taking place. Peña was moving a large amount of marijuana to Houston – as unusual as that might be, Asby acknowledged.

Peña repeatedly told Asby that the plants were hemp, and his insistence clearly gave some pause to Asby and the two backup officers who soon joined him. The three men stood next to the van pondering the notion that a plant could look like, but not actually be, marijuana. “I … questioned them, I said, ‘Well, he says it’s not marijuana,'” Asby recalled in court. “I knew that there was a substance called hemp and I was asking them. … And I asked them, ‘You ever heard of something like marijuana, just hemp, that is legal to have?'” he continued. “I don’t know that there is a legal kind. That was the question I was asking the officers: ‘Have you ever heard of this … where marijuana was cut and it turns out to be legal?'”

In the end, Asby was unpersuaded. “I just know marijuana smells like marijuana,” he testified in 2003. “And I have never found anything that I thought was marijuana that wasn’t.” He cuffed Peña and hauled him off to jail.

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Absolute Asinine Laws

 

Life in Prison for Hemp

José Peña brought some roadside weeds home from Kansas. Cops decided it was reefer, and a Texas court sentenced him to life in prison – without the evidence. It took a decade for Peña to get back some of the pieces of his life.

By Jordan Smith, Fri., March 16, 2012

Life in Prison for Hemp

José Peña was tired as he drove south toward Houston on the morning of Sept. 27, 1998. Following a quick trip north to Kansas in a rented van – to pick up the brother of a distant cousin’s son – he was on his way home to Houston, where he lived with his wife and four children. It was the kind of favor Peña often did for friends and family, no matter how distant the relation – and the kind of favor that irritated his wife. “I was tired, and I was trying to get home,” the 50-year-old recently recalled. “My wife was mad at me for doing favors for other people” when he could instead be home.

That morning, just before 8am, Peña was cruising south down I-45, a little more than two hours from home. He was driving in the right-hand lane through Leon County when he passed a state trooper sitting in his car on the grass median. He thought nothing of it – just another Texas trooper on a long and nondescript stretch of highway – until he noticed the trooper pull out onto the road and follow him. The officer, Mike Asby, a veteran member of the Texas Department of Public Safety, drove in the left lane until his car was parallel with Peña’s. Peña looked over at Asby. “He pulled up next to me, and I looked at him because I wasn’t not going to make eye contact” with an officer whom Peña thought was definitely checking him out for whatever reason.

Although Peña steadfastly maintains that he wasn’t doing anything wrong or unusual, Asby would later testify that Peña caught his attention because he was driving more slowly than the rest of traffic in a van caked with mud; when the van “weaved across the center stripe and also across the solid yellow line on the shoulder,” Asby testified in January 2003, he had to take action. “You’re required to stay in a single lane of traffic,” he said. He activated his lights and pulled Peña over.

Within the hour, Peña would be in handcuffs in the back of the trooper’s car, headed to the county jail in Centerville on a charge of marijuana possession. Nearly five years later, Peña would be convicted and sentenced to life in prison for possession of what the state said turned out to be 23.46 pounds of freshly cut marijuana that Peña was transporting in the back of the muddy blue van. Although Asby testified that this was not a normal highway drug bust – “normally,” he testified, marijuana moves north from Houston, already “dried out, cured, and ready to be sold” – he was certain that what he found casually laid out in the back of the van was pot because it smelled like pot – and he knows pot when he smells it. “It’s something that you learned in [28] years of experience being on the road?” prosecutor Whitney Smith (now Leon Coun­ty’s elected D.A.) asked Asby.

“Yes, sir,” Asby replied.

Just Trust Us

There are at least two problems with the official story of Peña’s arrest and prosecution. First, Peña is adamant – and has been since 1998 – that what he was transporting was not marijuana, but actually hemp, pot’s non-narcotic cousin. Peña says he found the plants growing wild in Kansas and cut them down, thinking that he could use the stems and leaves in the various craft projects he made with leather and wood in his garage workshop; there was no doubt in Peña’s mind that what he was transporting was not marijuana. The second, and eventually more decisive problem with the official story of the Peña bust, is that prior to his trial, officials with the Department of Public Safety lab in Waco, where the plants were taken for testing, completely destroyed all of the case evidence – all 23.46 pounds of plant material – and then also lost the case file with all of the original documentation of the lab’s work on the case. By the time Peña was finally tried – more than four years later – there was absolutely no evidence to show the jury; instead, the state relied completely on the “experience” of Asby and of Waco lab supervisor Charles Mott (now retired) to persuade jurors that what they say they saw and tested was actually marijuana.

It worked.

That is, it worked until late last year, when Peña’s conviction was finally overturned by the Court of Criminal Appeals, the state’s highest criminal court, and Leon County subsequently dismissed the charges for good. In the intervening decade, however, Peña’s case became a political hot potato, catching the attention of judges and lawyers across the state who watched as the 10th Court of Appeals, based in Waco, played tug-of-war with the Austin-based CCA over the power of the Texas Constitution, and whether it affords citizens greater rights and protection against state power than does the U.S. Constitution.

It’s a conflict that has left the state of Texas divided and may mean – at least for the time being – that persons tried for crimes in one part of the state will be afforded greater protection from prosecutorial errors or malfeasance than are others. Frankly, says Keith Hampton, an Austin defense attorney who represented Peña just before his case was dismissed, you just “don’t see this happen very often.” Ulti­mate­ly, whether the protections gleaned from the Texas Constitution by the 10th Court will remain in force and be applied to all Texans is still to be determined.

Weeds, Not Weed

Peña had a knack for creating handcrafted leather and wood items that sold like hotcakes, he says, at flea markets in and around Houston. He made personalized shellacked plaques and leather key chains with popular first names spelled out in tiny beads, and at a dollar a key chain, they sold well. So when he first saw the hemp plants growing on the roadside near Manhattan, Kan., they gave him an idea. He would take the plants – which, to an untrained eye, look exactly like marijuana plants – press the leaves, and then use them on plaques or affixed to the small leather wallets that he also had become expert at making. He recognized these as “volunteer” hemp plants – they grow wild across the country, reminders of the days when hemp farming was commonplace and even, during World War II, encouraged by the feds as supporting the war effort. By the Kansas roadside, they were scraggly and abundant. When he pulled into the Tuttle Creek State Park outside Manhattan, and saw the plants growing everywhere, he “loaded … up.”

Indeed, Peña thought nothing of the fresh-cut plants that he’d laid out in the back of the blue van he was driving. He knew – partly from experience of having smoked pot when he was younger, and partly because he knew that hemp was once a major agricultural commodity – that the plants were nothing more than weeds that looked like weed.

However, that’s not how Asby saw it. To him, it was clear that one thing, and only one thing, was taking place. Peña was moving a large amount of marijuana to Houston – as unusual as that might be, Asby acknowledged.

Peña repeatedly told Asby that the plants were hemp, and his insistence clearly gave some pause to Asby and the two backup officers who soon joined him. The three men stood next to the van pondering the notion that a plant could look like, but not actually be, marijuana. “I … questioned them, I said, ‘Well, he says it’s not marijuana,'” Asby recalled in court. “I knew that there was a substance called hemp and I was asking them. … And I asked them, ‘You ever heard of something like marijuana, just hemp, that is legal to have?'” he continued. “I don’t know that there is a legal kind. That was the question I was asking the officers: ‘Have you ever heard of this … where marijuana was cut and it turns out to be legal?'”

In the end, Asby was unpersuaded. “I just know marijuana smells like marijuana,” he testified in 2003. “And I have never found anything that I thought was marijuana that wasn’t.” He cuffed Peña and hauled him off to jail.

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