MASAKA STREET CHILDREN NEED YOUR HELP!

U.S. Marijuana Party Kentucky

THEIR FOOD CROPS HAVE DRIED UP!

11

22

I am posting this in an effort to make a simple plea for help for Moses Nkangi, who runs MASAKA STREET CHILDREN Orphanage in Uganda, Africa.

Their crops have failed and they are in need of assistance from anyone who is able to help.

Small donations are very helpful.  It goes toward food and necessities for the Children who live there.

I have known Moses Nkangi for quite some years through Facebook and have kept in touch with him.

As well, I have donated small amounts, when I can, to help them out.  I figure if I can send maybe $20 every three-four months it will at least give them a meal.

I know how it is because I live on next to nothing myself.  But even one meal is a big help when you have 50 Children to feed!

Please make an effort…

View original post 295 more words

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Let’s talk about DOJ enforcement of marijuana laws…(on Tribal Lands)

 

15890419-cannabis-leaf-isolated-on-white-background.jpg

 

 

December 12, 2014

 

Sheree Krider

 

In reference to the last post regarding the enforcement of marijuana laws on tribal lands:

Justice Department on Thursday will tell U.S. attorneys to not prevent tribes from growing or selling marijuana on the sovereign lands

Today, via this link, the Department of Justice, as reported by the LA Times has/will produce a “Memorandum” concerning the enforcement of marijuana laws on Tribal Lands which seems to say that they will not bother prosecuting Federal laws on marijuana anymore.

The Justice Department will generally not try to enforce federal marijuana laws on Native American reservations.

“The new guidance, released in a memorandum, will be implemented on a case-by-case basis and tribes must still follow federal guidelines, said Timothy Purdon, the U.S. attorney for North Dakota and the chairman of the Attorney General’s Subcommittee on Native American Issues.”

The policy comes on the heels of the 2013 Justice Department decision to stop most federal marijuana prosecutions in states that have legalized the possession or sale of pot.

I would caution everyone to be very slow to rush in and shout a victory has been won.

The Federal Government has a way of making you think you have won freedoms which in effect you have not as the regulations surrounding that freedom end up making you into a criminal over and over again. Kind of like the CBD bill in Kentucky which it turns out you can buy CBD (with no THC) online all day long and it is legal without a prescription!  So why did we fight for the CBD bill?  So that the Physicians, Pharmas, and other corporate and government entities can make money on the bandwagon to “legalize” on the backs of all of us.

This MEMORANDUM which personally I have not seen published yet, should be studied closely as to what it actually MEANS, not just what it seems to say.

First of all a memorandum from the Department of Justice does not mean they have REPEALED the statutes in existence at the federal level regarding marijuana.  They can and likely will continue to interfere with marijuana production and sales.

This has been proven over and over again in all “legalized” or “medical” states that the Feds can and do still come in to support the “regulating” of the marijuana statutes.

As well, the U.N. has NOT at this point “repealed” any treaty regarding the use of marijuana in any form.  They have “talked about” changing the way that the “drug problem” is handled.  That being said, marijuana is still illegal. See these links:

U.S. states’ pot legalization not in line with international law: U.N. agency

More Police or More Doctors? How to Best Tackle Illicit Drugs: November 6, 2014

So while the Reservations get ready for their “grand openings” at the cannabis casino that they have most likely already planned for, I hope that they realize that once again they may be giving away their sovereign rights via pending “legalization”…

It’s all in the semantics…

Read between the lines first…

smk

The Latest Hemp news in Kentucky…

 

 

Kentucky state senator to bring hemp bill up for vote

  • By The Associated Press
  • Posted January 28, 2013 at 3:13 p.m.

FRANKFORT, Ky. — The chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee sounded upbeat Monday about prospects for his bill that would regulate industrial hemp production in Kentucky if the federal government lifts its decades-long ban on the crop that once was a Bluegrass state staple.

Republican Sen. Paul Hornback of Shelbyville said Monday he intends to bring the hemp bill up for a vote in his committee, which is expected to review the legislation at a Feb. 11 hearing. Hemp proponent U.S. Sen. Rand Paul is scheduled to appear at the hearing and put his political weight behind the measure.

CONTINUE READING…

 

Don’t call it a ‘Weed;’ Momentum for hemp in Ky

by Joe Arnold

WHAS11.com

Posted on January 28, 2013 at 8:07 AM

Updated yesterday at 10:38 AM

FRANKFORT, Ky (WHAS11) — Reinvigorated after a ten year dormancy, Kentucky’s Industrial Hemp Commission meets Monday morning with an apparent new momentum.
The effort recently gained the endorsement of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce and bills that would legalize the crop are expected to be debated when the General Assembly’s “short session” resumes in February. 
Sen. Paul Hornback (R-Shelbyville), a sponsor of one of the bills (SB50) and a statutory member of the commission, is scheduled to attend.

CONTINUE READING…

 

Kentucky Narcotic Officer’s Association: No to Legalizing Hemp

By Kevin Willis

The recent talk in Frankfort about legalizing industrial hemp hasn’t convinced the head of the Kentucky Narcotic Officer’s Association. Tommy Loving, who also leads the Warren County Drug Task, says he fears marijuana growers will plant their crops next to hemp, making it difficult for law enforcement to distinguish between the two.

Some agriculture experts say planting the two crops together would destroy the potency of the marijuana over time, but Loving told WKU Public Radio that wouldn’t deter those looking to hide from law enforcement.

“If you plant marijuana with hemp surrounding it, for instance, in one growing season, you’re not going to diminish that much of the THC content in the marijuana. So your marijuana crop is still going to be a sellable commodity,” said Loving.

CONTINUE READING…

 

KSP: Hemp backers ‘naive’ after endorsing Senate bill

by Joe Arnold

WHAS11.com

Posted on January 28, 2013 at 4:32 PM

Updated today at 8:20 AM

FRANKFORT, Ky (WHAS11) — With momentum building for an effort to license hemp farming in Kentucky, law enforcement leaders lashed out on Monday, saying hemp’s supporters are looking at the issue “through rose-colored glasses.”
The pushback came as Kentucky’s Industrial Hemp Commission met at the Agriculture Commissioner’s offices and voted to endorse Senate hemp legislation. 
All three representatives of law enforcement on the commission were absent, including Operation UNITE’s Dan Smoot who joined in the news release from the Kentucky Narcotic Officers’ Association in opposition to Senate Bill 50 and House Bill 33.

CONTINUE READING…

TO ALL THOSE WHO BELIEVE THAT TOTAL REPEAL OF PROHIBITION IS IMPOSSIBLE… I SAY

By:  Rev. Mary Thomas-Spears

 

 

 

APPARENTLY YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND LAW OR YOUR CONSTITUTION

NOR DO YOU UNDERSTAND THAT, NOTHING IS AS IT APPEARS TO BE

MOST THOUGHT IT WAS IMPOSSIBLE… FOR ME TO BEAT 6 FELONIES FOR TRAFFICKING IN A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE, WHEN I NEVER DENIED MY GUILT. THOUGH I WAS CONVICTED OF ONE FELONY IN THAT CASE… I MADE U.S. LEGAL HISTORY FOR BEING THE ONLY DRUG TRAFFICKING FELON TO NEVER SERVE ANY SIGNIFICANT TIME ON A SENTENCE, WHILE I FLUNKED EVERY DRUG TEST GIVEN BY THE COURTS FOR THC.

MOST THOUGHT IT IMPOSSIBLE…  FOR ME OR ANY ONE TO SET OUT TO DECRIM THIS PLANT HERE IN KENTUCKY 20 YRS AGO…

YET, TODAY, IT IS A TICKET-ABLE OFFENSE UP TO 8 OZ’S OR 4 PLANTS AND THEY NOW OFFER A TAX STAMP FOR ANY QUANTITY OVER THAT AMOUNT {NOT THAT I SEE THE TAX AS A GOOD THING, YET, THEY MUST FIRST RECOGNIZE SOMETHING AS LEGAL TO REGULATE IN ORDER TO TAX IT.}

STILL UNCONSTITUTIONAL WHEN IT COMES TO MY PERSONAL RIGHT TO UTILIZE OR GROW

MOST THOUGHT IT WOULD BE IMPOSSIBLE… FOR ME OR US {EVEN THOSE FEW OF US WHO TOOK ON THE TASK, KNEW THE ODDS WEREN’T IN OUR FAVOR} TO GET THE WORD OUT ABOUT THE “LEGALIZE = LEGAL LIES” AND HOW THEY USE IT TO GAIN CONTROL OVER THE PLANT TO GMO… THAT WE’D BEEN BASICALLY LEAD BY THE NOSE… AND FEEDING THE MONSTER… HELL THEY NEVER THOUGHT WE’D GET THE WORD OUT ABOUT GMO HEMP/CANNABIS/MARIJUANA [.]

TODAY THERE ARE ENTIRE ORGANIZATIONS SET UP IN OTHER AREAS IN THE COUNTRY TO WATCH FOR GMO CANNABIS/MARIJUANA/HEMP AND TO CERTIFY PRODUCTS GMO FREE…

HELL I THOUGHT I WAS FIGHTING A LOOSING BATTLE FOR A MINUTE WHEN… I TRIED TO SHOW THIS SAME INFORMATION TO  GATEWOOD GALBRAITH FREEDOM FIGHTER AND DEFENDER OF THE CONSTITUTION AND THE PEOPLE HERE IN KENTUCKY… AND HE SCREAMED AT ME, WHEN I CAME TO HIM WITH THIS ISSUE, RESEARCH AND INFO. NEARLY 7 YRS AGO, AT WHICH POINT HE TOLD ME, “LEAVE IT ALONE MARY!!! LEAVE THAT ISSUE IN CALI!!!…”

SO I DID, AND SO I SUGGESTED TO RON K., WE SHOULD TAKE THE INFO TO JACK HERER WHO WE BOTH KNEW… SO THEN RON KICZENSKI AND MYSELF, TOOK THE INFO WE HAD GATHERED TO JACK HERER {RON LIVING NEAR HIM, WHILE I ONLY SPOKE WITH HIM BY PHONE AND E-MAILS..} AND ASKED HIM TO EXAMINE IT AND NOT TO BELIEVE US, BUT TO DO HIS OWN RESEARCH AND IF HE AGREED WITH US TO REWRITE CALI’S LAWS, WITH A NEW INITIATIVE, THAT WOULD END PROHIBITION THROUGH REPEAL AND PROTECT THE PLANT FROM GMO MUTATION AND SO HE DID. AFTER WHICH, HE WROTE THE JACK HERER INITIATIVE NOW DUBBED CCHHI2012, WHICH WE {RON AND MYSELF} HELPED HIM TO WORD AND WHICH IS CURRENTLY GATHERING SIGNATURES FOR THE BALLOT IN CALI TODAY.

AN INITIATIVE WHICH WE HAD PLANNED ALL ALONG TO PIT, AGAINST ANY OTHER LEGALIZATION LEGISLATION AND THEN CAME PROP. 19, SO WE DID WHAT WE HAD PLANNED… AND AGAIN, WHAT MOST EVERYONE SAID WAS IMPOSSIBLE… AND WE STOPPED PROP. 19 {WHICH WOULD HAVE LEGALIZED CANNABIS FOR EVERYONE AND HAD MUCH SUPPORT THERE IN CALI… } FROM PASSING JUST IN THE NICK OF TIME IN MY OPINION TO SAVE THE PLANT AND THE PEOPLE FROM THE CORPORATIONS AND GOVERNMENTS COMPLETE OWNERSHIP AND CONTROL.

AT WHICH POINT MY HERO, MY ATTORNEY, MY MENTOR, MY FRIEND,… GATEWOOD GALBRAITH, WHO COULD NOT HEAR ME WHEN I SAID IT TO HIM… AND SCREAMED AT ME TO LET IT GO THEN WROTE ON ANOTHER WEBSITE ON THIS ISSUE,

Gatewood said…

I am an out-of-state observer who may have a hand in writing the future marijuana laws of Kentucky.

I immediately felt great hope when I first heard about the “legalization” forthcoming in Nov. in

California but when I heard that my good friends Jack Herer and Dennis Peron opposed its

passage, I was greatly intrigued. Now I thoroughly understand their positions. Thanks for your

exhaustive effort. I can sympathize with having such a burden lifted. Gatewood Galbraith

July 15, 2010 7:06 AM

IN RESPONSE TO, “WHY PRO-POT ACTIVISTS OPPOSE PROP. 19: 19 REASONS TO VOTE KNOW”

http://votetaxcannabis2010.blogspot.com/2010/07/why-pro-pot-activists-oppose-2010-tax.html

HELL THE DOCTORS HAVE BEEN TELLING ME I AM FIGHTING A LOOSING BATTLE FOR MANY YRS… YET, I AM STILL HERE AND WALKING, WHEN THEY SAID, I WOULDN’T BE.

SO………

I KNOW THAT NOTHING IS, AS IT APPEARS TO BE…

AND THAT DESPITE HOW THINGS MIGHT APPEAR… NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE WHEN IT COMES TO THIS ISSUE OR MOVEMENT.

AND IT ONLY TAKES A FEW OF COMMITTED PEOPLE WHO KNOW THE TRUTH.

“PROTECT THE PLANT THAT PROTECTS THE PEOPLE”

CHANGE YOUR LEGISLATION TO READ “NO GMO’S” AND RETURN IT UNTAXED TO OUR GARDENS TODAY!

SO I WILL CONTINUE IN MY EXHAUSTIVE EFFORTS, FOR ALL THOSE WHO WRITE TO ASK ME? WHY I HAVEN’T STUCK A GUN IN MY MOUTH YET OR WHY I HAVEN’T REALIZED THAT I AM FIGHTING A LOOSING BATTLE THAT GOES AGAINST THE TIDE.

Kentucky News Review: Berea College teaches students how to make small farms profitable

 

 

By Lu-Ann Farrar — Online content manager Posted: 8:57am on Apr 16, 2012; Modified: 9:09am on Apr 16, 2012

image

Above:  Bill Best and Berea College student Jessica Sloan worked in the greenhouse shelling some of the heirloom beans, in October 2003 in Berea. MARK CORNELISON — LEXINGTON HERALD-LEADER

Apr. 16, 2012
  • Berea College is a model for other schools that want to teach students how to make their land profitable, reports the New York Times. Students at Berea College had to rethink how they have raised and sold hogs because it was not profitable. Now, the students are selling a spicy sausage, bacon and chorizo that are making a profit.
  • The University of Kentucky libraries is dedicating the papers of faculty composer Joseph Baber, according to a press release from the university. The public is invited to a formal dedication of Baber’s papers at 3:30 p.m. Monday, Apr. 30, at the Great Hall of the Margaret I. King Building. The program will be followed by a reception and viewing of an exhibition of selected materials from the papers. A recital of his music will be presented by the UK School of Music at 7:30 p.m. on Apr. 30 at Singletary Center for the Arts.
  • A new historic marker was unveiled at Lexington’s Hunt-Morgan House, according to Kaintuckeean.com. The old marker was “over 50 years old, difficult to read, and factually inaccurate.” The previous marker will soon be displayed in the gardens of the Hunt-Morgan House. 

Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/2012/04/16/2153002/kentucky-news-review-berea-college.html#storylink=cpy

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.

Page:   1   |   2   |   3   |   All

Fooling Mother Nature: still not a good idea

Susan Reimer

Susan Reimer

9:05 a.m. EST, February 6, 2012

Mother Nature is in the news of late, and she doesn’t seem happy.

Monsanto, the Great Satan in the eyes of the environmental movement, is making headlines with huge profit increases and yet another David-versus-Goliath lawsuit in Manhattan filed by organic and family farmers who fear the health consequences of the company’s genetically modified food crops.

Scotts Miracle-Gro, a lesser Satan in the garden, tried to polish its image with an arranged marriage with the National Wildlife Federation, only to have the nuptials hastily canceled when Scotts pleaded guilty to knowingly selling tons of bird seed tainted with pesticides.

    Meanwhile, theU.S. Department of Agriculturemoved the lines on its plant hardiness zones a little further north — meaning more of those tender plants we tried in the garden will survive our milder winters. But the USDA pointedly said that this is not evidence of global warming.


    Follow @BaltSunLetters for the latest reader letters to The Sun.


    Oh, and pythons in the Florida Everglades are eating all the mammals they can find — a food group which, last time I looked, would include humans.

    First, on the matter of Monsanto. The multinational is the world’s leading producer of the herbicide glyphosate, sold under the name Roundup. It is also the leading producer of genetically engineered corn, wheat, soybeans and alfalfa, called Roundup-ready crops because you can spray huge areas with the stuff, but only the weeds will die.

    Supposedly.

    There is fear that all this spraying is producing super-weeds and super-bugs and new plant diseases, not to mention what it might be doing to the wildlife that swims in or drinks from contaminated water sources. And there is research suggesting that ingesting the genetically modified grains has resulted in an increase in livestock infertility.

    Environmentalists and safe-food activists are calling on President Barack Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to stop the planting of Roundup-ready crops here and the strong-arm peddling of them abroad. But because there is such a revolving door for Monsanto executives and posts in federal agencies, nobody trusts the government to do the cautious thing here, especially when the company plays the “end world hunger now” public relations card.

    While Monsanto markets to the farmers and the super-farmers, it has licensed Scotts Miracle-Gro to sell Roundup to the home gardener, and I admit that I use it on sidewalk and driveway weeds. And I like Miracle Gro plant food. It could be my imagination, but it seems to increase the number of blooms on my annuals.

    But it looked pretty disingenuous for Scotts to try to buy some green cred from the National Wildlife Federation days before the corporation would be fined millions of dollars for selling bird seed contaminated with pesticides. I mean, really?

    The guilty plea gave the NWF a graceful way out of the deal, but the firestorm on social media might have scotched it in any case. Garden and environmental bloggers and birders took to the Internet immediately and in great and angry numbers. It was Bank of America‘s debit card fee redux.

    Now, about that map. It took long enough, and a couple of failed tries apparently, but the U.S. Department of Agriculture has released its first zone hardiness map for the United States and Puerto Rico since 1990. If you cross-check the new interactive map (available only online) with the old one, you can see if winters have indeed been as mild as you think they have been where you live.

    The map was charted using temperatures over the last 30 years — instead of, perhaps, the last 20 — which critics say was done to dilute the evidence of global warming. And, as it addresses only winter hardiness, the new map says nothing about the heat and humidity, as well as the arid Augusts and Septembers, of our growing seasons here in Maryland.

    At the end of the day, your local nursery is better at telling you what will grow in your micro-climate than the USDA.

    And finally, if the alligators in the Florida Everglades don’t get you, the pythons and the anacondas might.

    I am not sure if that has anything to do with genetically modified food, the poisoning of birds or global warming. It might just be poor pet stewardship. But, to paraphrase that butter commercial from another time, “It’s not nice to fool around with Mother Nature.”

    Susan Reimer‘s column appears Mondays. Her email is susan.reimer@baltsun.com.

    CONTINUE READING….

    Hemp License In Eastern Kentucky

     

    21 September 2010

    Hemp License In Eastern Kentucky

    compiled by Teresa Martin Klaiber
    September 2010

    Hemp was needed for ropes and used in feed bags and bailing twine. Early Kentucky pioneers brought the seed from Virginia and set aside acres for production. Lewis Collins cited Nathan Burrows of Lexington as being the first to introduce the manufacture of hemp into Kentucky about 1796 [Historical Sketches of Kentucky].
    James Klotter’s New History of Kentucky references eighteen rope and bagging manufacturers in Fayette County during 1838. By 1890 the Commonwealth was producing 94% of all the hemp produced in the United States.
    Both Klotter and John Kleber, author of The Kentucky Encyclopedia, concentrate on larger production in central Kentucky. But it was James F. Hopkins, at the University of Kentucky who realized the historical significance that the production of hemp played within the Commonwealth. While working on his master’s in 1936, he concentrated on the relevance of cultivation, processing and marketing relative to Kentucky’s social, economic and even political history. His book A History of the Hemp Industry In Kentucky is still available today.
    As a baby boomer and a young adult of the 60’s our generation’s idea and thoughts of hemp was in the form of marijuana known as "pot" and "weed" and smoked at Woodstock. And while today helicopters do regular scans of Eastern Kentucky for marijuana fields I either was very naive or it did not exist in Boyd County when I was in high school.
    Thus I was intrigued to learn more about the history of hemp when I discovered that it had been grown and hempseed sold legally from the farm we own.
    The effects of cannabis came to national attention in the late 1910’s. The Uniform State Narcotic Act was finalized in 1932. But just prior to World War II fiber and jute production was on the rise. Strict controls were imposed on the raising and selling of the seed and hemp. Licenses were issued by the federal government and only a very strict few obtained them. According to the forward in Hopkins book the licenses "became little more than bragging curiosities, and the end of the war rang down the historic curtain on that second modest phase of hemp growing in Kentucky."
    I take offense on behalf of my father-in-law about bragging rights. I know what a hard working proud Eastern Kentucky farmer he was. Every inch of dirt on this farm was utilized as was every crop to produce a living to put food on the table. He would not have wasted acres nor the trouble it must have been to acquire the license if it were not going to have a monetary value for the family.
    The U. S. Department of Agriculture assigned each farm a number [they still do today]. John H. Klaiber received license 8107 pursuant to the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937. It gave him the right to own hempseed and the legal right to sell it. The seed had to be cleaned with a combine or hand fan cleaning mill. The prices were set by the Commodity Credit Corporation and was sold directly to them.

    Reading the fine print on the surviving contract, John H. Klaiber had for 1943, the seed had to be cleaned so that morning glory seed or other foreign matter was less than 2%. Klaiber turned in 5.27 bushels. After testing he received $36.37 for his efforts in this early 1943 contract.
    According to a USDA publication titled Industrial Hemp in the United States during World War II imports of abaca and jute were unavailable. the Government instituted this emergency program to produce hemp as a domestic substitute. The Commodity credit Corporation contracted with War Hemp Industries, Inc. which was a "quasi-official organization." The production peaked in 1943 which is the year we have the farm license. As soon as the war was over legal restrictions were reimposed though one small hemp fiber industry continued in Wisconsin until 1958.
    The USDA produced a film in 1942 titled Hemp For Victory to encourage farmers to grow it as part of the war efforts. The goal for 1943 was 50,000 acres of seed hemp and the target area was Kentucky. Thanks to the Hemp Industries Association the link at the film title in this blog will provide readers with a transcript of the campaign to get farmers to grow the product.

    Posted by tklaiber at 3:46 PM

    Read more: http://easternkentuckygenealogy.blogspot.com/2010/09/hemp-license-in-eastern-kentucky.html#ixzz10DLIgMIw

    Hello world!

    Sheree 2009