Activism

Editorial: Pot Legalization Important for WA

In 1998, Washington became one of the first states to recognize marijuana as a legitimate form of medicine. Since then, many more states have followed suit, and recent polls show that a majority of voters in the country see marijuana as having legitimate medical purposes.

By The Spectator Editorial Board

There is a truth that must be heard! However,the medical marijuana system is frequently abused. First started by legalization activists as an intermediate step, medical marijuana isn’t a medicine at all for some people, but merely a doctor-validated excuse to get high. When “doctors” use The Stranger to advertise their willingness to write marijuana prescriptions for a fee, you know something isn’t right.

The Spectator supports I-1068, the proposed initiative to legalize marijuana sale, possession and growing for adults in Washington. It’s already been decriminalized in Seattle and made the lowest police priority, so it makes sense to just drop the bureaucracy surrounding the substance and allow adults to use it with regulations similar to alcohol.

While the bill is still gathering signatures, this is an important issue that deserves attention on the ballot in November. Not only will it allow marijuana users to safely grow their own or buy it without going through risky third parties, it will also allow farmers to cultivate hemp, an extremely versatile, renewable fiber created from the marijuana plant. Hemp can be used to create rope, clothes, food and more.

Oregon: Petitioners Seek Medical Marijuana Outlets

Ballot measure would let the state license dispensaries for the drug

By Stacey Barchenger and Peter Wong, Statesman Journal

Oregon: Petitioners Seek Medical Marijuana Outlets Advocates of medical marijuana on Thursday submitted 110,000 signatures, more than the amount required, for a ballot measure to allow state-licensed pot dispensaries in Oregon.

The proposed measure would not change the medical conditions under the law for which medical marijuana may be used.

If such a measure ever becomes law, Oregon would join California and a few other states that allow dispensaries. But supporters of the measure argue that reported problems with dispensaries in California are precisely what the Oregon measure is trying to avoid. And one marijuana reform-minded group says it will remain neutral on the issue.

"We support dispensary programs," said Mike Meno of the national Marijuana Policy Project. "For many patients, they are the best way to get safe access to their medicine."

The Marijuana Policy Project lobbies at the state and federal levels for medical marijuana to be taxed and regulated like alcohol.

California's law allowed for dispensaries but left regulation to local jurisdictions, Meno said.

"Especially in states where we're pushing for new medical marijuana laws, they get a bad rap from stories they hear out of California; that there's more dispensaries there than Starbucks," Meno said. A state-regulated program could avoid a flood of dispensaries, he said.

Oregon: Countdown to Marijuana Re-Legalization

All hands on deck!

There is a truth that must be heard! Do you consider yourself a member of the reality-based community? Do you value science-based policy? Do you think we need more liberty, not less? Do you object to needlessly enriching organized crime, putting otherwise law-abiding citizens in cages and wasting law enforcement resources on ‘crimes’ associated with ingestion of a plant that has never actually killed anyone?

If so, we need your help.

The movement to reform our marijuana laws is gaining steam, in spite of our timid elected leader’s continued attempts to water down new medical marijuana bills around the nation and to weaken existing laws.

Americans of goodwill in several states are either attempting to get re-legalization measures on the ballot this year or have already succeeded in getting such measures on the ballot. Passing these measures will be proverbial shots heard around the world and will force our government and elected leaders who have buried their heads in the sand to finally deal with this issue.

History: Hemp History Week 2010 - Jack Herer Discovers Hemp for Victory

Things about hemp that were not taught to Jack in school, he tried to teach others. He was a steward of the plant and devoted his life to the support of cannabis as he believed it was the greatest gift the world has ever known.

By Michael Bachara, Hemp News Staff

United States: Hemp History Week 2010 - Jack Herer Discovers Hemp for Victory Hemp for Victory was a 1942 documentary produced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to encourage farmers to grow outlawed industrial hemp for the war effort as a way to stabilize America during World War II.

As the War on Drugs proceeded onward, the United States Department of Agriculture Library and the Library of Congress stated no such movie was made by the USDA or any branch of the U.S. government. His creditability threatened, Jack Herer made it his mission to uncover the truth about Hemp for Victory. He knew it was a USDA creation and not simply folklore.

Oregon: Why Should I Support the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act (OCTA)?

“None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free.” Johann Wolfgang Van Goethe

By Jennifer Alexander, Oregon NORML

Oregon: Why Should I Support the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act (OCTA)? Many Oregonians are proud to be citizens of one of the first states to have allowed the use of medical marijuana. For many years, the federal government has led us to believe that marijuana had “no medical value” by retaining it in Schedule I and by continuing to plague us with propaganda that insists that marijuana is “dangerous.” As of April 1, 2010, there are over 32,000 medical marijuana patients currently holding cards in Oregon that disprove the notion that marijuana has “no medical value.”[i] Marijuana remains among the safest drugs known to mankind.

Proven Medical Value

In recent years, our society is rediscovering the value of marijuana for a wide range of disorders, including AIDS, cancer, muscle spasms, chronic pain and many others. The ongoing research is astounding and could demonstrate tremendous breakthroughs in our health and overall well-being. Research continues to demonstrate that marijuana is not as dangerous as once believed, and far more beneficial than most ever thought it could be. However, this research is still very limited due to the status of cannabis as a Schedule I drug. This needs to change; sound clinical studies need to be done to determine more about the potential benefits and possible risks of using cannabis.

Oregon: Pro-Pot Events Converge on Corvallis

By Bennett Hall, Gazette-Times reporter

Oregon: Pro-Pot Events Converge on Corvallis A pair of pro-marijuana events are coming to Corvallis as advocates push to get a measure aimed at legalizing the drug on the November ballot.

Local pot promoters are planning a Corvallis Marijuana March on Saturday to coincide with marches in other cities organized by Cures Not Wars, a New York-based group that opposes the war on drugs.

Sponsored by the Corvallis Cannabis Movement and Students for a Sensible Drug Policy, the local event will begin at 2 p.m. with a rally at the Benton County Courthouse. The march will start at 4:20 p.m., winding around the courthouse, the police station and City Hall before turning west on Monroe Avenue to Oregon State University and then heading back to Central Park.

In a news release announcing the event, the organizers said they’ll be looking for petition circulators to gather signatures for the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act.

The measure, which is being promoted by the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, would make it legal for adults to grow and use marijuana in Oregon. It would also regulate pot sales, with part of the proceeds going to promote industrial hemp use.

The petitioners hope to collect 125,000 signatures by July 2, the deadline to place the ballot measure before voters in the November general election.

Global: Jack Herer, Patron Saint of Global Cannabis Movement IN EULOGY

Center stage is exactly where Jack Herer belonged. A talented, “bombastic” man, Jack’s energy was contagious and his legacy is alive and well.

By Bonnie King Salem-News.com/Special to Hemp News

Global: Jack Herer, Patron Saint of Global Cannabis Movement IN EULOGY (SALEM, Ore.) - Jack Herer was born June 18th, 1939, in Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York. In 1940 his family moved to Buffalo, where he was raised, the son of a collection agency manager. A “normal American nerd”, he grew into a respectable young man, joining the military, getting married and starting a family.

And then, at age thirty, he completely changed direction, becoming one of the very first American Cannabis activists, and inevitably the most world renowned leader for hemp education.

Jack didn’t start out as the “kind of guy” who smoked pot. He was a Goldwater Republican, in the sign maintenance business. In 1969, recently divorced, he was introduced to cannabis by a girlfriend. He wasn’t much interested in it before then, and after briefly trying it a couple of times he was fairly sure it didn’t “work on him”. Jack was therefore naive to the euphoric or medicinal properties of the herb. When he decided to really give it a try, he said he had the most incredible sex of his life.

That inspired him to learn more. What he learned, he shared.

Australia: Hemp: The Farming of the Future

By Liina Flynn, Echo

There is a truth that must be heard! Klara Marosszeky has a vision for the future that involves revamping of the local farming industry to produce industrial hemp crops. Working with farmers, she has just harvested her first commercial crop of industrial hemp and is looking for innovators who want to utilise the product.

(Tetrahydrocannabinol) content and produces the longest, strongest plant fibres in the world. It is used in many countries in the manufacture of plastics, fiberglass, fabrics, food and building materials.

“In the UK, a major car manufacturer, Lotus, is making whole cars out of hemp,” Klara said. “Everything but the engine is hemp. Henry Ford would be grinning in his grave.”

Klara currently teaches sustainability courses at TAFE and envisions hemp as the solution to many of the sustainability issues that are affecting Australia today. Not only is she trying to create a hemp industry in NSW and open the way to using hemp seed as a food product, but she is out to make housing materials affordable. After looking around for alternative products to replace our current dependence on timber, Klara spent years experimenting with hemp masonry as a building material, with very successful results. Two years ago, she was a finalist for the Northern Rivers Regional Development Board’s innovation award for her hemp masonry.

Oregon: Cannabis Tax Act 2010 Petition Drive Gathers Momentum - Sign the Petition

Sign the Petition to End Prohibition. Regulate Cannabis, Support Industrial Hemp, Create Revenue.

By Hemp News Staff

OCTA 2010 Oregonians for Cannabis Reform have finished gathering the 1000 sponsorship signatures needed for the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act 2010 (OCTA) petition. The Oregon Cannabis Tax Act, would set aside two percent of the profits from the sale of cannabis in cannabis-only stores for two state commissions that promote industrial hemp biodiesel, fiber, protein and oil.

It will also legalize the sale, possession and personal private cultivation of marijuana. People who want to cultivate and sell marijuana, or process commercial psychoactive cannabis, would be required to obtain a license from the state. Adults could grow their own marijuana and the sale of all cannabis strains' seeds and starter plants would be legalized with no license, fee nor registration. The profits from the sale of cannabis to adults will add hundreds of millions into the state general fund as well as drug treatment and education.

In order to be successful, we will need help from volunteers across Oregon. Please tell ten friends about OCTA 2010 and get involved! We are now circulating the petition across Oregon. We will need 83,000 valid signatures by July, 2, 2010 to qualify for the November ballot.

History: Jack Herer - The Dash - 1939-2010

"Hemp will be the future of all mankind, or there won't be a future." Jack Herer

By Michael Bachara, Hemp News Staff

History: Jack Herer - The Emperor of Hemp Friends and family have confirmed that Jack Herer, known throughout the world as ‘The Hemperor,’ passed away on Thursday, April 15, 2010 in Eugene, Oregon. Herer was 70 years old, and a dear friend to CRRH and THCF, he will be greatly missed.

"No other single person has done more to educate people all across the world about industrial hemp and marijuana as Jack Herer. His book is translated into a dozen different languages, it's a bestseller in Germany. His legacy will continue to inspire and encourage for generations to come. I honor his memory." Paul Stanford, CRRH/THCF

"He was one of my personal heroes." Madeline Martinez, Oregon NORML

"The one and only Jack Herer will be missed forever." Bonnie King, Salem-News

Oregon: Cannabis Legalization Effort Now Gathering Signatures

By Steve Elliott, Toke of the Town/Hemp News

 Oregon: Cannabis Legalization Effort Now Gathering Signatures Oregon's marijuana legalization initiative, the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act (OCTA), is kicking off its signature-gathering phase at the OR NORML meeting in Portland this Saturday, April 10.

Petitions have just been approved for circulation by the Oregon Secretary of State's Office, and OCTA said it expects more than 300 attendees to be among the first to sign the petition for this historic ballot measure.

OCTA will generate revenue by taxing commercial cannabis sales, which will be permitted to adults 21 and older. More than $140 million a year would be generated by OCTA for the state's General Fund, according to projections, paying for education, roads, health care, and other public projects.

"OCTA will transform Oregon," said co-chief petitioner Madeleine Martinez, executive director of OR NORML. "Supporting OCTA is a no-brainer."

According to OCTA's other co-chief petitioner, Paul Stanford of The Hemp and Cannabis Foundation (THCF), the potential of industrial hemp for Oregon's economy is limitless, as it will turn the state into a national leader in ecological innovation and sustainable jobs.

"The entire hemp plant is useful, from its seeds which create a food source to its oil which can be made into bio-diesel to its stalks which can be woven into fabrics or turned into paper," Stanford said. "Hemp is the future, not just for Oregon, but for a sustainable planet."

Oregon: Legal Pot Could Be on November Ballot

By David Krough and AP

There is a truth that must be heard! PORTLAND, Ore. -- Marijuana advocates are gearing up to legalize the drug for recreational use in Oregon with a new measure poised to go on the November ballot.

According to their website, the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act would "legalize the sale, possession and personal private cultivation of marijuana." It would also set aside two percent of profits from cannabis sales for commissions that promote industrial hemp biodiesel, fiber, protein and oil.

Growers and sellers would need a state license and could only sell in cannabis-only stores.

Oregon became the second state to pass a marijuana law in 1998, following California. There are nearly 24,000 patients with medical marijuana cards in Oregon. Only state residents can obtain the card after registering as a patient in the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program with a qualifying debilitating medical condition diagnosed by a doctor.

Organizers will start collecting signatures Saturday.

Kyndall Mason with the DemocracyResources.com organization was working with the National Organization for Reform of Mairjuana Laws (NORML) and Oregon groups to gather signatures starting Saturday.

"Oregon has a long history of laws that conflict with federal law, that includes the Death with Dignity Act," Mason said. "The feds have (recently) given states more autonomy, specifically regarding medical marijuana laws," she said.

United States: Oregon Could Legalize Marijuana Along with California

By Bryan Podwys, Portland Political Buzz Examiner

There is a truth that must be heard! The Oregon Secretary of State has certified a petition that proposes legalizing and taxing the sale of marijuana across the state. The measure, which bears resemblance to others Oregon voters have rejected over the past few decades, could be included on this year's ballot if enough signatures are gathered by July 2nd.

Over 35 years ago, Oregon became the first state to decriminalize the use of cannabis products. Possession of one ounce or less became punishable by a simple fine followed by further changes with the passage of the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act in 1998. With an upcoming ballot measure in California that could go one step further and actually legalize and tax marijuana sales gaining national attention, some Oregonians are eager to keep their state at the forefront of progressive legislation.

Canada: Business Networks Share Geen Ideas

Organizations connect people interested in social and environmental contributions to their bottom line

By Steve Carey Reduce, Reuse, Rethink, Times Colonist

There is a truth that must be heard! Imagine business people sharing information about sustainability. It's a nice thought, but does it happen? Yes, thanks to the Values-Based Business Network.

Red Fish, Blue Fish restaurant owner Simon Sobolewski was looking for B.C.-made biodegradable cutlery to further shrink his zero-waste seaside eatery's carbon footprint. Hemp and Company owner Bill Finley knew one source, and dropped by with a few samples. Connections like this are what the network is for, says its president Alan Dolan. The group connects businesses interested in a triple bottom line: social, economic and environmental factors, rather than just a financial bottom line.

"We're interested not just in doing business in an environmentally friendly way, but in how we treat our staff and make a living, balancing the economic and environmental aspects of sustainability," Dolan says. "Our members are everything from environmental consultants to retailers who have green businesses or green products, or other companies that are just interested in keeping their waste down and their carbon footprint low."

Alabama: House Committee Approves Medical Marijuana Bill

By Steve Elliott, Toke of the Town/Hemp News

Alabama: House Committee Approves Medical Marijuana Bill An Alabama House committee approved a bill Wednesday that would legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes in the Heart of Dixie.

This is the first time in Alabama history that a medical marijuana bill has advanced out of committee to the House floor.

Patricia Todd (D-Birmingham), who sponsors the bill, said it had no real chance of being approved by both the House and the Senate before this legislative session ends in five days, reports Scott Johnson of the Montgomery Advertiser.

The bill, known as the Michael Phillips Compassionate Care Act, is named after a medical marijuana patient with a brain tumor who fought to make the herb legal for medicine in Alabama. Phillips died in 2007 at the age of 38.

Marijuana was the only thing that allowed Phillips to function normally, according to his mother, Jackie Phillips. Without it, she said, Michael had seven or eight seizures a day.

"I could see the difference in him when he smoked and when he didn't," Phillips said.

Under the bill, patients would be allowed to purchase and possess marijuana if they have an official identification card.

The bill would allow for the licensing of dispensaries where patients could legally buy marijuana.

Rep. Todd has been working with the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA), who assisted her in drafting the bill.

United States: Broad Public Support For Legalizing Medical Marijuana

Modest Rise in Percentage Favoring General Legalization

United States: Broad Public Support For Legalizing Medical Marijuana

With a growing number of states moving to legalize medical marijuana, nearly three-quarters of Americans (73%) say they favor their state allowing the sale and use of marijuana for medical purposes if it is prescribed by a doctor, while 23% are opposed. Support for legalizing medical marijuana spans all major political and demographic groups, and is equally high in states that have and have not already passed laws on this issue.

There are public concerns about legalizing medical marijuana. For example, 45% say they would be very or somewhat concerned if a store that sold medical marijuana opened near other stores in their area. And roughly the same percentage (46%) says allowing medical marijuana makes it easier for people to get marijuana even if they don’t have a real medical need – though just 26% of Americans say this is something that concerns them. These concerns are highest among opponents of legalizing medical marijuana, but are no higher or lower in states that already allow marijuana for medical purposes.

Far more Americans favor allowing marijuana for prescribed medical purposes than support a general legalization of marijuana. But the proportion who thinks the use of marijuana should be legal has continued to rise over the past two decades.

Oregon Cannabis Tax Act Petitions Approved for Circulation

Drafted by: Kyndall Mason, kyndall@democracyresources.com, 503.927.0225 (04-07-10)

Oregon Cannabis Tax Act Petitions Approved for Circulation (Portland, OR) - The Oregon Cannabis Tax Act (OCTA) is kicking off its signature-gathering effort at the OR NORML meeting at 700 NE Dekum this Saturday, April 10 at 10:00am. Petitions have just been approved for circulation by the Oregon Secretary of State's Office, and OCTA expects over 300 in attendance to be among the first to sign the petition for this monumental ballot measure.

Co-Chief Petitioner Madeline Martinez, Executive Director of OR NORML – a statewide chapter of a national organization working to legalize adult cannabis use – says that “OCTA will transform Oregon. We can capture at least $140 million for the General Fund annually to better our state for all Oregonians. That’s schools, roads, health care and many other public projects. Supporting OCTA is a no-brainer.”

OCTA will generate that $140 million by taxing commercial cannabis sales to adults 21 years of age and older. And $61.5 million will be saved annually as law enforcement’s attention can focus on dangerous and often violent crimes.

Oregon: Shut Up & Vote

Oregon pot-legalization advocates push to follow California’s lead.

By Peter Griffin, WW

Oregon: Shut Up & Vote After decades of dashed hopes, leaders of the movement to legalize marijuana believe their goal is poised to become a reality this year.

They got renewed momentum last week when organizers of an initiative to legalize cannabis in California submitted enough signatures to put the issue on that state’s ballot this November. And Oregon pot advocates are confident the Beaver State will not be far behind.

As candidates for governor, the Legislature, City Hall and Multnomah County campaign in Oregon’s May primary with their proposed solutions to budget problems, pot-legalization supporters are working to get an initiative similar to California’s on the November ballot here. Legislation backers are pitching the proposal’s economic benefits. Advocates say legalizing pot and taxing it could generate at least $100 million a year and save as much as $75 million annually on law enforcement.

The Oregon Cannabis Taxation Act, like California’s proposal, would let anyone 21 and older possess up to an ounce of marijuana and set up a committee to regulate distribution and taxation.

The Oregon proposal, which also would prohibit the regulation of hemp, has until July 2 to collect 82,679 valid signatures from registered voters to make the November ballot.

Oregon: How to Get Marijuana Legalization on the Oregon Ballot

Oregon: How to Get Marijuana Legalization on the Oregon Ballot On March 25, 2010 the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act won a huge victory when the Oregon Supreme Court shot down Bradley Benoit’s challenge to their initiative. Now that the challenge has been cleared, the backers of the initiative can start gathering signatures in order to get it on the November ballot. Unlike a similar initiative in California, which has already been approved for the November election, the Oregon initiative still needs a tremendous amount of signatures. In Oregon, the amount of signatures needed is determined by the total votes cast in the previous Governor election. Because this is a ’statutory initiative,’ it is going to require 82,769 valid signatures by July 2, 2010.

As previously stated, due to the challenge by Beaverton area resident Bradley Benoit, the signature gathering campaign has been delayed. This is a common tactic used in Oregon initiative politics. Here’s how it works; someone has the idea for a possible initiative, and gets the original 1,000 signatures needed to the Secretary of State Elections Division to be approved for further signature gathering. The State Elections Division validates the signatures, and then asks for an official ballot title and summary of the bill. If there is no challenge, such as in the case of Oregon Initiative 28 (medical marijuana dispensary bill), signatures can be gathered.

Washington: Marijuana Legalization Initiative Aims for November Ballot

from Drug War Chronicle, Issue #626, 4/2/10

Washington: Marijuana Legalization Initiative Aims for November Ballot There is a chance, albeit an outside one, that the entire West Coast could go green in November. Last week we noted that the California tax and regulate initiative had made the ballot, and reported on the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act initiative's ongoing effort to make the ballot. This week, we turn our attention to Washington state, where yet another marijuana legalization initiative campaign is underway.

Sponsored by Seattle Hempfest head Vivian McPeak, marijuana defense attorneys Douglass Hiatt and Jeffrey Steinborn, and journalist-turned-activist Philip Dawdy and organized under the rubric of Sensible Washington, initiative I-1068 would legalize marijuana by removing marijuana offenses from the state's controlled substances act.

As the official ballot summary puts it:

"This measure would remove state civil and criminal penalties for persons eighteen years or older who cultivate, possess, transport, sell, or use marijuana. Marijuana would no longer be defined as a 'controlled substance.' Civil and criminal penalties relating to drug paraphernalia and provisions authorizing seizure or forfeiture of property would not apply to marijuana-related offenses committed by persons eighteen years or older. The measure would retain current restrictions and penalties applicable to persons under eighteen."

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