Activism

United States: Marijuana Legalization Campaign Looks To Expand After 2012 Victories

By Alex Dobuzinskis, Huffington Post

United States: Marijuana Legalization Campaign Looks To Expand After 2012 Victories After a decades-long campaign to legalize marijuana hit a high mark in 2012 with victories in Washington state and Colorado, its energized and deep-pocketed backers are mapping out a strategy for the next round of ballot-box battles.

They have their sights set on possible ballot measures in 2014 or 2016 in states such as California and Oregon, which were among the first in the country to allow marijuana for medical use. Although those states more recently rejected broader legalization, drug-law reform groups remain undeterred.

"Legalization is more or less repeating the history of medical marijuana," said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance. "If you want to know which states are most likely to legalize marijuana, then look at the states that were the first to legalize medical marijuana."

A political arm of the alliance spent more than $1.6 million as one of the main funders of the Washington state campaign.

The passage of the ballot measures in Colorado and Washington state in November allowed personal possession of the drug for people 21 and older. That same age group will be allowed to buy the drug at special marijuana stores under rules set to be finalized next year.

United States: Petition to Pardon Medical Marijuana Provider Chris Williams

As a young man enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps, Chris Williams swore an oath to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States." Now is the time to show him your support!

By Michael Bachara, Hemp News Correspondent

There is a truth that must be heard! Montana – Medical cannabis provider Chris Williams has been fighting federal prosecution since March 14, 2011, when federal agents served him a search warrant for his business, Montana Cannabis, along with 25 other medical marijuana businesses across Montana. Caregivers operating in compliance with Montana state medical cannabis law were shut down and arrested.

This raid (and others before and since) was in direct contradiction with the 2009 memo from the justice department, when the Obama administration stated that they “should not focus federal resources on individuals whose actions are in clear and unambiguous compliance with existing state laws,” and clearly shows how out of sync our Federal marijuana policy is with not only state law, but also the opinion of the America voter.

Rolling Stone: The Next Seven States To Legalize Pot

Why Oregon, California and more are likely to follow Colorado and Washington toward legalization

By Tim Dickinson, Rolling Stone

There is a truth that must be heard! The Berlin Wall of pot prohibition seems to be crumbling before our eyes.

By fully legalizing marijuana through direct democracy, Colorado and Washington have fundamentally changed the national conversation about cannabis. As many as 58 percent of Americans now believe marijuana should be legal. And our political establishment is catching on. Former president Jimmy Carter came out this month and endorsed taxed-and-regulated weed. "I'm in favor of it," Carter said. "I think it's OK." In a December 5th letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) suggested it might be possible "to amend the Federal Controlled Substances Act to allow possession of up to one ounce of marijuana, at least in jurisdictions where it is legal under state law." Even President Obama hinted at a more flexible approach to prohibition, telling 20/20's Barbara Walters that the federal government was unlikely to crack down on recreational users in states where pot is legal, adding, "We've got bigger fish to fry."

Oregon: Seminar homes in on benefits of hemp

By JOCE DeWITT Corvallis Gazette-Times

There is a truth that must be heard! Industrial hemp expert Anndrea Hermann gave Oregon State University faculty members and students a sneak peek Tuesday at a class she’ll offer through OSU’s Ecampus about the benefits of uses of the plant.

The preview came in the form of a seminar titled “Industrial Hemp Today, Where We Are, Where We’re Going,” and it offered context for the online class, which will be offered this spring through the College of Forestry. It will focus on the botany and biology of hemp, as well as the implications of legal and social issues surrounding its use.

United States: Marijuana: An Avoidable Loss in Oregon

by FRED GARDNER, CounterPunch

There is a truth that must be heard! Paul Stanford, 52, is the author and prime mover behind Oregon’s marijuana legalization initiative, Measure 80, which had gotten 46.5 percent of the vote as of Sunday morning when I called to offer condolences.

“We came close,” he said. “We won Portland by over 60 percent and they’ve still got about 100,000 Portland votes to count. I think it’ll go above 47 percent when all those votes are counted.” Stanford did not sound downhearted. “Here’s an amazing thing,” he went on. “The day after the election the Oregonian, which had opposed us and called us all kinds of names, ran an editorial arguing that the legislature should now legalize and regulate marijuana!”

The billionaires Back East who put about $5 million into successful initiatives in Colorado and Washington state did not contribute to the Oregon legalization effort. Stanford had implored them for help, to no avail. “If we’d had a half million dollars of outside support for advertising, we’d have won,” he says matter-of-factly.

Oregon: Earl Blumenauer - The Marijuana Initiative Process, The Decade of Decision

By Michael Bachara, Hemp News Correspondent

Earl Blumenauer on Reform Since 1973, when Earl Blumenauer first voted for legislation that successfully decriminalized marijuana in Oregon, he has been a supporter of a reasonable approach to marijuana regulation.

While he feels there are still many questions about the effects of marijuana use, he believes that this is an issue best left to the states. Blumenauer strongly supports the initiative process and encourages people to push forward in this process of changing the law.

"I suspect that doing your job right, engaging people in this debate, in this discussion, looking at the facts, trying to bring people together in a thoughtful non-hysterical way, letting the evidence speak for itself...I suspect this will be your decade of decision," Blumenauer proclaimed at the 2010 National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Law's (NORML) Conference at the Governor Hotel in Portland.

After so many years working for the people of Oregon, Blumenauer has seen the evidence of our failed war on drugs, and feels that a re-examination of the way we handle marijuana and hemp would be greatly beneficial. Oregon has the potential to lead the way forward to a better future through regulation rather than prohibition.


United States: ND likely to debate medical marijuana proposal

By CBS

There is a truth that must be heard! BISMARCK, N.D. — North Dakota voters are likely to have a chance this fall to decide whether marijuana may be used legally as a pain reliever, an option the Legislature has never addressed and that South Dakotans have rejected twice.

Supporters of medical marijuana have been circulating a citizen initiative to put the issue on the November ballot. On Monday, Dave Schwartz, campaign director for a pro-medical marijuana group called North Dakotans for Compassionate Care, delivered petitions that he said contained about 20,000 signatures to North Dakota Secretary of State Al Jaeger's office.

The petitions need about 13,500 signatures from North Dakota voters for the initiative to qualify for a vote. Jaeger has about a month to review the petitions and decide whether they are valid.

The measure would allow someone who suffers from cancer, glaucoma, post-traumatic stress disorder and other debilitating illnesses to use marijuana if a doctor recommends it.

Medical marijuana users could grow a limited supply for their own use, and possess up to 2½ ounces of pot for medical reasons, the measure says.

People who needed to obtain the drug would do so from a state-licensed dispensary, with the North Dakota Health Department given regulatory responsibility over medical marijuana.

Washington: Seattle Hempfest - America's Largest Protestival - Aug 17th-19th




There is a truth that must be heard!WHAT – The Seattle Hempfest XXI, America’s largest "protestival"

WHEN – Noon – 8 p.m., Friday, Aug. 17, and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 18 & 19

WHERE – Myrtle Edwards Park - Pier 70 on the downtown Seattle waterfront

Is it time to retire marijuana prohibition? The world's largest cannabis policy retirement party thinks so. Seattle Hempfest 2012 expects many tens of thousands to attend its 21st annual event, and as America’s largest marijuana law reform event Hempfest invites everyone to join in the celebration to end cannabis prohibition Aug. 17-19 at Myrtle Edwards Park.

The 2012 "protestival" features hundreds of booths and six stages of music and speakers dotting the mile plus expanse at Myrtle Edwards and Centennial Parks, on the beautiful Puget Sound. With the Washington state decriminalization Initiative 502 on this November’s ballot, there will be much discussion about the merits and mechanics of regional cannabis reform on all of Hempfest's stages.

Kentucky: Medical marijuana proposal named for Gatewood Galbraith

By Beth Musgrave — bmusgrave@herald-leader.com

There is a truth that must be heard! FRANKFORT — A proposal to legalize marijuana for medical purposes in Kentucky will carry the name of Lexington attorney and perennial political candidate Gatewood Galbraith, who died of complications from pneumonia in January.

State Sen. Perry Clark, D-Louisville, said he knows the measure has slim chances in the 2013 legislative session, but he encouraged dozens of supporters who gathered at a news conference Thursday to call their state lawmakers.

"No, we do not have the votes," said Clark, who acknowledged he has smoked marijuana and would likely qualify for a medical prescription because of chronic back pain. "It's going to be very, very difficult."

Clark filed the Gatewood Galbraith Medical Marijuana Memorial Act shortly after Galbraith's death during the 2012 legislative session, but the bill never received a hearing. Clark said he plans to refile the bill for the 2013 session, which begins in January.

The proposal would make marijuana a schedule II drug. It would allow people who have a prescription for marijuana to get up to 5 ounces of the drug per month and to cultivate up to five marijuana plants at a time.

Clark was joined by members of Galbraith's family at the news conference, including daughters Molly and Abby. Both urged people to support the cause that their father pushed for decades.

Up Close: Dr. Tod Mikuriya - Restore Cannabis!

Dr. Mikuriya felt cannabis was an important issue being swept under the rug and believed it was important to elevate conciseness and bring back cannabis to the awareness of the medical community as a therapeutic agent.

By Michael Bachara, Hemp News Correspondent

There is a truth that must be heard! In this recently un-earthed 1991 Time 4 Hemp interview, Dr. Tod Mikuriya talks about the importance of true cannabis research in the United States.

In 1966, Mikuriya became director at the drug addiction treatment center of the New Jersey Neuropsychiatric Institute, in Princeton. In 1967, he became a consulting research psychiatrist at the Center for Narcotics and Drug Abuse Studies of the National Institute of Mental Health, where he was in charge of marijuana research. He left the assignment because he felt that the agency was interested primarily in research that highlighted the negative effects of the drug.

Mikuriya would eventually go on to become an author of Proposition 215, the 1996 state ballot measure that made it legal for California doctors to recommend marijuana to their patients.

United States: 10 Reasons to Revisit Marijuana Policy Now - Americans Increasingly Favor Legalization of Pot

Culturally, marijuana has become hardly more than a punch line. But in reality, U.S. marijuana policy is no joke; it causes great harm, both directly and indirectly. Here are the 10 most important reasons our marijuana laws deserve serious reconsideration

By Maia Szalavitz, Time.com

There is a truth that must be heard! For the first time ever, a solid majority of Americans supports legalizing marijuana for recreational use: 56%, according to the most recent Rasmussen poll. Support for legalization has been growing steadily since the 1990s; in 1994, just 25% were in favor.

In November 2010, California residents voted on a ballot initiative to legalize the possession and sale of marijuana. Although the measure failed to pass — 46% to 54% — the fact that the initiative made it onto the ballot and garnered that much support was itself historic. Indeed, it was fear of the initiative’s passage that led then California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to decriminalize possession of up to 1 oz. of pot shortly before the vote — a move that was intended to bleed voter support from the ballot question. Had it passed, California would have been the first state to legalize the drug outright. In 2012, Colorado and Washington State will vote on total legalization.

North Dakota: Medical marijuana ballot measure approved

By NECN.com, Staff

There is a truth that must be heard! BISMARCK, N.D. — Secretary of State Al Jaeger has approved a ballot measure that would allow people to use marijuana legally in North Dakota for medical reasons.

Jaeger's action means supporters of medical marijuana may begin gathering signatures to put the issue on the ballot.

They'll need at least 13,452 names to qualify for a vote. The signatures will need to be turned in by midnight Aug. 8 to get on the November ballot.

If medical marijuana supporters miss the August deadline, they'll have until June 2013 to collect the required number of signatures.

The measure would allow people with glaucoma, cancer, post-traumatic stress disorder and other medical conditions to use marijuana legally if a doctor recommended it.

The state Health Department would be in charge of licensing the medical marijuana business.


Source: http://www.necn.com/06/04/12/ND-medical-marijuana-ballot-measure-appr/la...

United States: Americans Decry War on Drugs, Support Legalizing Marijuana (Angus Reid Public Opinion)

There is a truth that must be heard! Two-thirds of adults in the United States believe the “War on Drugs” has been futile, and a majority continue to call for the legalization of marijuana in the country, a new Angus Reid Public Opinion poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative sample of 1,017 American adults, 68 per cent of respondents believe that America has a serious drug abuse problem and it affects the whole country.

One-in-five Americans (20%) think the country’s drug abuse problem is confined to specific areas and people, and five per cent say America does not have a serious drug abuse problem.

Only 10 per cent of respondents believe that the “War on Drugs”—a term that has been used to describe the efforts of the U.S. government to reduce the illegal drug trade—has been a success, while 66 per cent deem it a failure. Majorities of Democrats (63%), Republicans (63%) and Independents (69%) agree with the notion that the “War on Drugs” has not been fruitful.

Across the country, 52 per cent of Americans support the legalization of marijuana, while 44 per cent oppose it. Majorities of men (60%), Independents (57%) and Democrats (54%) would like to see marijuana legalized. Women (45%), respondents over the age of 55 (48%) and Republicans (43%) are not as supportive of legalization.

Joint Effort: Reefer Roadshow Asks Seniors to Support Medical Pot

Silver Tour Targets the Over-65 Set; A Rabbi's Interpretation of 'High Holy Day'

By Arian Campo-Flores, WSJ

There is a truth that must be heard! LAKE WORTH, Fla.—Selma Yeshion, an 83-year-old retiree here, says she long considered marijuana a menace. "I thought it was something that was addictive" and "would lead to harder drugs," she says.

Up Close: John Sinclair - Free the Weed

By Michael Bachara, Hemp News Correspondent

There is a truth that must be heard! Every once in a while an activist comes along that changes the way a political issue is perceived. Last month, Paul Stanford of the Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp (CRRH) had the opportunity to interview such a man, John Sinclair. In Stanford’s interview (above), Sinclair discusses the current medical cannabis community and gives his views on where he hopes the cannabis legalization movement will evolve.

Sinclair, an iconic American poet from Flint, Michigan, is the former leader of the White Panther Party, which was an anti-racist counter cultural group of white socialists seeking to help the Black Panthers in the Civil Rights movement from November 1968 to July 1969.

Sinclair has also been steering the marijuana counter culture towards legalization since 1965. He was introduced to marijuana activism after receiving, from New York City, a marijuana flier from Allen Ginsburg and Ed Sanders’ pro marijuana group LeMar (Organization to Legalize Marijuana). Being familiar with a print press, Sinclair created his own marijuana flier and began holding monthly meetings to end marijuana prohibition in the state of Michigan.

United States: Two pro-marijuana initiatives move closer to qualifying for Oregon ballot

By Jeff Mapes, The Oregonian

There is a truth that must be heard! Two pro-marijuana initiatives are moving closer to qualifying for the November ballot in Oregon.

Both petition drives say they have collected more than the minimum signatures needed to get on the ballot. However, they will both continue petitioning until the July 6 deadline to ensure they have enough valid signatures from registered voters.

One measure would give Oregon adults the state constitutional right to possess marijuana. Robert Wolfe, the chief sponsor of the measure, said that he turned in a new batch of signatures to the state on Friday and has now collected about 120,000 signatures. To qualify, his measure needs 116,284 valid signatures by July 6.

Wolfe's petition drive has been largely financed by the Foundation for Constitutional Protection, an Austin, Texas-based group that has been active in several pro-marijuana campaigns.

A separate measure would allow the commercial cultivation and sale of marijuana. Supporters of that measure have now submitted nearly 99,000 signatures, passing the 87,213 needed for a statutory measure.

Paul Stanford, the chief sponsor, said the petition drive has been largely financed by profits from clinics he owns that help people qualify for medical marijuana cards in Oregon and several other states.

Oregon: Freedom VS Prohibition - The upside of pot (PRO)

By Patrick Emerson, Clackamas Print

There is a truth that must be heard! The Oregon Cannabis Tax Act Initiative (OCTA) is here again in 2012 with more support than ever. According to gallup.com, half, yes, HALF of all Americans they polled last year are in favor of the legalization of marijuana. Proponents of OCTA, Initiative 9, are busy gathering the 82,213 signatures needed to place the decision in the hands of Oregon voters this November and set a precedent for the legalization of marijuana for states across the country. With enough signatures, citizens of Oregon will once again have their chance to reap the potential statewide benefits of legal cannabis and hemp this November.

The flowers or buds of the female plants have properties that are very well known to most and valued highly by others. But what about its other properties? There was a time before prohibition when presidents grew hemp for fiber and food on the White House property. There was a time when hemp clothing was very popular amongst the upper class because of its strength and longevity. In the recent past, we have also discovered that hemp can be grown for the production of nutritious foods and biodiesel.

Oregon: The 2nd Occasional Cannabis Comedy Fest returns to Portland

Oregon: The 2nd Occasional Cannabis Comedy Fest returns to Portland

Mt. Tabor Theater, Sunday, May 20th

Showtime: 8:00 pm

Tickets: $10

Join Host Ngaio Bealum and Portland Comedy Powerhouses Ron Funches and Kristine Levine at this premier comedy event!

Ngaio Bealum is a frequent guest on the Doug Benson podcasts. He has also appeared on The Sarah Silverman program, and is the host and emcee for The Portland Hempstalk.

Ron Funches is one of Portland's fastest rising stars. He's been on Conan O'brien's show, and is a regular at Helium Comedy Club.

Kristine Levine is a well known for her raunchy and honest observations. She is a former morning show host on KUFO, and can be seen in different Portlandia episodes.

The Cannabis Comedy Fest is not just for cannabis users. These comedians cover a wide range of topics. You don't have to use cannabis to enjoy this show. But it helps.

Source: https://www.facebook.com/events/357425147633146/

Oregon: Global Cannabis March Unites Three Legalization Initiatives

By Michael Bachara, OCTA 2012, Sensible Oregon and OMPI Supporter

There is a truth that must be heard! Portland, OR – This weekend, Portland experienced solidarity from multiple cannabis legalization groups as hundreds assembled from across the region to have their voices heard in the 13th Annual Global Cannabis March through the streets of downtown. Complete with a police escort, marchers began and ended in Portland's living room, Pioneer Courthouse Square.

Members of Oregon National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (Oregon NORML), The Hemp and Cannabis Foundation, Oregon Green Free, National Green Friends and many others participated in the annual event, which is held every year on the first Saturday in May.

As Oregon hemp and cannabis activists move forward with multiple initiatives for November and beyond, it is time for a common bond to unite us all. The legalization of cannabis has an optimistic chance this year to make the Oregon ballot as the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act (OCTA) and Oregon Marijuana Policy Initiative (OMPI) both bear down for the final stretch in signature gathering efforts.

Both OCTA and OMPI have until July 6, 2012 to turn in the required number of signatures, and each campaign is confident they can make it, but will need active participation from Oregon voters.

Oregon: Global Cannabis March to be Held in Portland this Weekend

Download & Print GCMXIII Poster

By Michael Bachara, Hemp News Correspondent/Oregon NORML
Photo by LK, Hemp News Correspondent/Oregon NORML

Oregon: Global Cannabis March to be Held in Portland this Weekend Over two hundred cities world wide join Portland for the Global Cannabis March on Saturday, May 5, 2012. Proponents will assemble in Pioneer Courthouse Square to march at "High Noon" through downtown Portland (Map Below), accompanied by a police escort.

Scott Gordon, Hemp Director for Oregon NORML reports, "We are looking for at least 3,000 people to show up and flex their rights. Anything less than that is unacceptable."

"Polls show that fifty percent of Americans agree that it is time to end cannabis prohibition. We need your support; come and be a part of the Global Cannabis March," is the call to action from Madeline Martinez, Executive Director of Oregon NORML.

Speakers for the rally immediately following the march include Martinez, Paul Loney and Anna Diaz who are members of the board of Oregon NORML along with attorney Leland Berger and Scott Gordon from NORML Rocks.

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