United States: Legalize Pot Now

With support from the unlikeliest circles, this could be marijuana's moment

By Mike Miliard, Boston Phoenix

There is a truth that must be heard! The Obama administration, already overtaxed with two foreign campaigns, made headlines this past week when it waved a white flag in a fight much closer to home. Gil Kerlikowske, the White House's newly minted director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy — the so-called drug czar — called for an end to the "War on Drugs."

Granted, Kerlikowske wasn't signaling an intention to lay down arms and pick up a pack of E-Z Widers. His was a semantic shift — a pledge to abandon gung-ho fighting words and imprisonment in favor of treatment. But it was newsworthy nonetheless. As Bruce Mirken, communications director of the Marijuana Policy Project — the biggest pot-policy-reform group in the country — puts it: "Can you imagine [Bush administration czar] John Walters saying that? The Earth would open up!"

Michigan: New Medical Marijuana Act Creates Local Dialogue

By Audrey LaFave, Daily Press

There is a truth that must be heard! ESCANABA - The new Michigan Medical Marijuana Act is starting a conversation locally. The director of the new U.P. NORML group recently discussed the issue in an interview with the Daily Press.

U.P. NORML is a chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. Jerry Glasscock, executive director, said the new act should be regarded as a right declared by the people of the state.

"This right started through a different way, it was a law the people were directly involved in and voted for themselves, instead of a select few voting in Lansing and deciding how we should live," Glasscock said.

He said the effective date of the act should be the date it was voted into law, Nov. 4. When people could start legally growing marijuana has been a source of controversy and debate.

"Right now, I see a lot of splitting hairs over this and that is not what should be happening here," he said. "If somebody started growing medical marijuana in November or December for someone who has cancer or has a doctor's prescription (it is legal). Why are we splitting hairs over the date? That is a waste of time and that is what will clog up the courts."

Glasscock said local law enforcement should be support the law, as it is their job to do so. He said although police and prosecutors may be against the medical use of marijuana now, he hopes in time they will accept it.

Minnesota: Pawlenty Says He Will Veto Medical Marijuana Bill

By Andy Birkey, Minnesota Independent

There is a truth that must be heard! Gov. Tim Pawlenty told reporters on Tuesday afternoon that he will definitely veto a medical marijuana bill that passed the state Legislature on Monday. But, he added, “I have great empathy for the sick.”

Legislators on both sides of the aisle watered down the bill by eliminating the ability for patients to grow their own marijuana, limiting the bill only to patients who are terminally ill and adding a sunset date two years from enactment, but none of those concessions appear to have affected Pawlenty’s opinion of the bill.

Heather Azzi of the Marijuana Policy Project, one of many groups lobbying for the bill, said in an email Tuesday afternoon, “He is going to exercise his power to make sure dying patients, and their family and friends, continue to face arrest and jail for simply trying to alleviate their pain.”

Advocates say that with majority support in the legislature and among Minnesota voters, they will bypass Pawlenty with a Constitutional amendment next year.


Hemp News Note: To contact Governor Tim Pawlenty and Lt. Governor Carol Molnau, please write, phone, fax or e-mail.

Mailing Address:
Office of the Governor
130 State Capitol
75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St. Paul, MN 55155

Other ways to reach their office:
Telephone: (651) 296-3391
Toll Free: (800) 657-3717

Minnesota: Medical Marijuana is OK'd, but a Veto Looms

By Kevin Duchschere and Pat Doyle, Star Tribune staff writers

There is a truth that must be heard!A bill that permits terminally ill patients to use marijuana to ease their pain cleared the House and Senate on Monday night, a measure significantly narrowed from an earlier version that would have allowed any suffering patient, terminal or not, to use the drug for medical purposes.

The House passed the bill, 70-64, a victory for supporters who have long worked to get medical marijuana legalized in Minnesota, but one not nearly big enough to override a veto by Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who said Tuesday that he will reject the bill.

Hoping to make the bill more palatable to Pawlenty, Rep. Joe Atkins, DFL-Inver Grove Heights, introduced the last-minute amendment to allow marijuana to be used only by terminal patients. But there seemed little chance that Pawlenty, who has long expressed reservations, was inclined to approve the bill in any form.

The Senate, which previously had passed a broader version, took up the amended bill after the House vote and approved it, 38-28.

The issue of medical marijuana, which has been legalized by 13 states, prompted impassioned debate that pitted concern for the suffering against worries that legalizing the drug even for limited use would lead to increased drug addiction and crime.

The Atkins amendment made no difference to Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Delano, who insisted on calling the drug "medicinal pot."

North America: Former Mexican President Vicente Fox Calls for an Open Debate on Legalization of Marijuana

Fox speaks out about responsibility, collaboration, and legalization as a solution to the drug war raging in North and South America

By Ms Sylence Dogood, Hemp News Staff

There is a truth that must be heard! Will the debate about the legalization and regulation of marijuana finally come to a breaking point? Will we actually see the freedom of choice to consume Cannabis restored? Not only are United States leaders beginning to talk drug law reform, but now the Latin American leaders are joining with the discussion. According to CNN, former Mexican President Vicente Fox and other members of the Latin American Commission on Drugs and Democracy have called for a renewed conversation between the United States and Mexico about the decriminalization and legalization of marijuana. Realizing that the "drug war" is raging and the escalating violence is not the way to continue, Fox wants to move the way of American alcohol prohibition and re-legalize marijuana, taking the power out of the hands of the black market.

United States: Plans Shaping Up for 2009 ‘Tour for Compassion’ Cross Country Bicycle Tour

By Ms Sylence Dogood, Hemp News Staff

There is a truth that must be heard! Get your bicycles ready and pack a few spare tubes and tires, because the 2009 Tour for Compassion is about to begin, and it’s gone international. Beginning May 15th, 2009 in Vancouver, B.C., Canada, the group plans to ride across the United States by bicycle to raise awareness about Medical Cannabis Patient Rights and Freedoms.

Group organizer Ken Locke hopes the ride will educate people to the benefits of the Cannabis plant. Locke, a Medical Cannabis patient himself, has shared his personal story of dealing with a life-altering injury and how Cannabis has helped him live a functional and healthy life, free from prescription medications. He states in his story, “My personal experience has convinced me that the Cannabis plant must be for the use of all mankind. To this end, I ride across the United States of America. I hope that my bike ride will bring about awareness of the beneficial and healthy effects of medical marijuana.”

It is Locke’s belief (shared with a growing number of Cannabis supporters around the globe) that the past 70 years have been filled with false education and misinformation about the Cannabis plant. It is his goal to show the United States that there is a place for Cannabis in our society, but believes a re-education must take place. He hopes that the 2009 Tour for Compassion will have even more impact than the last ride.

Washington State: Rick Steves Nominated for EMMY as Host of Program on Marijuana Laws

By ACLU Washington

There is a truth that must be heard! Travel writer Rick Steves has been nominated by The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Northwest Regional Chapter, to receive an EMMY Award for his role as host of the ACLU of Washington's "Marijuana: It's Time for a Conversation." The half-hour television program examines the history and current impacts of state and federal marijuana laws and invites viewers to
consider, and discuss with others, whether those laws are working for our communities.

"Conversation" has been viewed more than 30,000 times in western Washington households subscribed to Comcast On Demand. It has received print and radio media coverage locally and nationwide, and it has been screened to capacity audiences at Spokane's Metropolitan Performing Arts Center and the Kirkland Performance Center. The associated website,, has received over 320,000 hits.

Seattle network stations sparked some controversy when they refused to air the program during evening hours when most adults would be likely to be watching. KING-TV and its affiliate KONG would only run the program at 1:00 a.m. KOMO and KIRO refused to air the program at all.

Oregon: Legislature Considers Unnecessary Changes to Medical Marijuana Law - Oppose Senate Bill 388 - Protest Rally Planned for April 20

SB 388 Protest Rally - 4-20-09 8 AM - 900 Court St. NE., Salem, Oregon

There is a truth that must be heard! On Monday, April 20, 2009, the Oregon State Senate Committee on Health Services and Rural Health Policy meets at 8:00am for a work session on SB 388 in HR B at the State Capitol. Oregon NORML opposes this measure. This bill would mandate garden inspections as well as decrease the amount of hash and other cannabis mixtures and preparations patients may possess. It would create unnecessary paperwork and strain on our already overburdened state government while increasing liabilities to OMMP registrants.

Please contact the members of the Senate Human Services and Rural Health Policy Committee members and let them know that you oppose Senate Bill 388. If you wish to submit testimony, please follow their guidelines shown here:

“Staff respectfully requests that you submit 25 collated copies of written materials at the time of your testimony. Persons making presentations including the use of video, DVD, PowerPoint or overhead projection equipment are asked to contact committee staff 24 hours prior to the meeting.” - Oregon State Legislature website

Senate Human Services and Rural Health Policy Committee members:
Senator Bill Morrisette
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1706
Capitol Address: 900 Court St. NE., S-207, Salem, OR, 97301

Senator Jeff Kruse
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1701

United States: Political Winds Shift in Favor of Legalized Pot

By Carla Marinucci, Chronicle Political Writer

There is a truth that must be heard! Marijuana has been a part of the American cultural landscape for nearly a century, tried by millions - including, apparently, the last three presidents and the current California governor.

So why has it taken so long to arrive at a political moment of truth - a full national debate about the legalization, taxation and regulation of cannabis?

Experts say an unprecedented confluence of factors might finally be driving a change on a topic once seen as politically too hot to handle.

Among them: the recession-fueled need for more public revenue, increased calls to redirect scarce law enforcement, court and prison resources, and a growing desire to declaw powerful and violent Mexican drug cartels. Also in the mix is a public opinion shift driven by a generation of Baby Boomers, combined with some new high-profile calls for legislation - including some well-known conservative voices joining with liberals.

Leading conservatives like former Secretary of State George Shultz and the late economist Milton Friedman years ago called for legalization and a change in the strategy in the war on drugs. This year mainstream pundits like Fox News' Glenn Beck and CNN's Jack Cafferty have publicly questioned the billions spent each year fighting the endless war against drugs and to suggest it now makes more financial and social sense to tax and regulate marijuana.

Washington State: Kitsap Prosecutor Drops Medical Cannabis Charges, Port Orchard Independent

By CHARLIE BERMANT, Port Orchard Independent Staff Writer

There is a truth that must be heard! The Kitsap County Prosecutor’s Office announced Wednesday afternoon it has dropped criminal charges against a local medical marijuana patient.

Olalla resident Glenn Musgrove, 56, was accused of unlawful use of a building for drug purposes. A WestNET report said that one of Musgrove’s neighbors reported the marijuana grown for medicinal treatment was being sold for profit.

Musgrove’s caregivers, David May and Jena Milo, were also facing prosecution.

All charges were dismissed.

“After looking over the case, we’ve decided we will not proceed,” said Felony and Juvenile Division Chief Tim Drury. “We do not think we can convince a jury of his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.”

Musgrove was arrested in March 2008. Many of the details gathered in the charging document originated from a confidential informant, but WestNET assembled financial data about Musgrove, his brother and his caregivers that suggested an illegal drug operation.

This would have been the second high-visibility medical marijuana case in Kitsap this spring, following that of Olalla resident Bruce Olson, who was acquitted on March 24 of similar charges.

Clayton Longacre, who is representing Musgrove, was not immediately available for comment.

The previous trial drew medical marijuana advocates from throughout the northwest, who provided support for Olson during his trial.

United States: Get Behind HR 1866

By Griff, capitolhillblue

There is a truth that must be heard! Recently I've noticed quite a few columns, blogs and comments concerning the failed "war on drugs" and the idea of decriminalizing at least some currently illegal drugs.

To me, the general consensus seems to be that at the very least, hemp and marijuana should be decriminalized, if not outright legalized. At least among those that bothered to comment on it.

I won't get into the marijuana issue in this blog, but I would welcome the discussion. I want to talk about hemp.

As most of you may know, marijuana and its distant cousin hemp are listed on the DEA drug schedule as schedule I drugs. Right up there with the likes of LSD, PCP and mescaline.

For comparison, cocaine, crack and opium are schedule II drugs.

With the economy in tatters and with our faithful elected representatives preoccupied with devising new and different ways to legally plunder this country and its citizens, little time, if any, is paid to some of the "minor" bills being introduced.

One of these bills is HR 1866: Industrial Hemp Farming Act, introduced by rep. Ron Paul on April 2, 2009. You can read Paul's introductory statement here and the bill here.

A few quotes from the introductory statement...

"Madam Speaker, I rise to introduce the Industrial Hemp Farming Act. The Industrial Hemp Farming Act requires the federal government to respect state laws allowing the growing of industrial hemp.

United States: Hemp Bill Supported by Barney Frank, Ron Paul

By Kathryn Glass, FOXBusiness

Hemp could be coming to a farm near you, and some legislators argue that that is a very good thing.

There is a truth that must be heard! The Industrial Hemp Farming Act was introduced Friday by Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas). The bill would make it legal for U.S. farmers to raise "non-psychotative industrial hemp," a product which is used in soap, rope, clothing and even food.

Nine other U.S. House members, both Republicans and Democrats, gave their support to the bill. It is legal to import industrial hemp, but current drug policy prohibits it from being grown by American farmers.

"Indeed, the founders of our nation, some of whom grew hemp, would surely find that federal restrictions on farmers growing a safe and profitable crop on their own land are inconsistent with the constitutional guarantee of a limited, restrained federal government,” said Rep. Ron Paul during his introduction of the bill.

Proponents of the bill say industrial hemp is significantly different from marijuana -- that there’s no detectable THC and that hemp seed has a multitude of nutritional benefits. Arjan Stephens, vice president of marketing for Nature’s Path, a Canadian-based organic food maker, said his company, which uses hemp seed in its granola, oatmeal and waffle products, would benefit greatly from this legislation, because it would open up a greater supply and change perceptions of hemp.

OPINION: Minister Promotes Use of Cannabis and Hemp

By Rev. Steven Thompson

There is a truth that must be heard! Where did the word ‘marijuana” come from?

In the mid 1930s, the “m-word” was created to tarnish the good image and phenomenal history of the hemp plant.

The tricks

From 1921 to 1932 Andrew Mellon was the treasurer and Dupont paint’s primary investor. He appointed his future nephew-in-law, Harry Anslinger, to head the Federal Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs.

Secret meetings were held by these financial tycoons. Hemp was declared dangerous and a threat to their billion dollar enterprises.

For their dynasties to remain intact, hemp had to go. These men took an obscure Mexican slang word, “marihuana,” and pushed it into the consciousness of America.

Media manipulation

A media blitz of yellow journalism raged in the late 1920s and 1930s. Hearst’s newspapers ran stories emphasizing the horrors of marihuana. The menace of marihuana made headlines. Readers learned that it was responsible for everything from car accidents to loose morality.

Films like ‘Reefer Madness’ (1936), ‘Marihuana: Assassin of Youth’ (1935) and ‘Marihuana: The Devil’s Weed’ (1936) were propaganda designed by these industrialists to create an enemy.

Their purpose was to gain public support so that anti-marihuana laws could be passed.

Examine the following quotes from “Reefer Madness”:

* A violent narcotic acts of shocking violence.

* Incurable insanity.

* Soul-destroying effects.

Michigan: 101 Apply for Michigan Medical-Marijuana Program - MLive

By The Associated Press

There is a truth that must be heard! More than 100 people applied for Michigan's new medical-marijuana program by the end of the registry's first day.

The Michigan Department of Community Health said in a statement that 85 applications were received Monday and 16 came in over the weekend for a total of 101.

Cards will be issued to those approved for the registry within three weeks.

Michigan voters legalized medical marijuana last year. Rules for the program went into effect Saturday.

Patients can apply for a state-issued ID card to protect them from arrest for growing and using marijuana to treat pain and other symptoms stemming from ailments such as cancer and multiple sclerosis. A doctor's recommendation is required.

AP Photo: Dr. Eric Eisenbud interviews John Hazley, of Detroit, at the The Hemp and Cannabis Foundation's office for his medical marijuana recommendation in Southfield, Mich., Thursday March 5, 2009. The first wave of what could be tens of thousands of people signing up for Michigan's medical-marijuana program is expected in Lansing on Monday.


Michigan: State Now Accepting Medical Marijuana Applications

By MyFoxDetroit Staff

There is a truth that must be heard! LANSING, Mich. - - Monday marked the first day medical marijuana users could sign-up with the state to use pot to ease their chronic pain. However, the governor says she has some reservations about the new law.

"This is a really good day for Michigan. We're protecting patients, people who do have a legitimate use for marijuana. We're able to start giving them some protection," said medical marijuana patient Greg Francisco.

Michigan: Crowd Gathers in Lansing on First Day to Apply for Legal Use

By Charlie Cain, Detroit News Lansing Bureau

There is a truth that must be heard! Lansing -- They laughed and hugged, posed for group photos and celebrated that they were finally going to be allowed to legally use marijuana to treat their medical problems.

No one wore a bigger smile when dropping off an application Monday to join the Michigan Medical Marijuana Registry than Renee Wolfe, a 48-year-old mother of four sons who has been illegally using pot for 30 years.

"Marijuana allows me to eat, allows me to live a fairly normal life," said Wolfe, an Ann Arbor resident who used a wheelchair to roll into the Michigan Department of Community Health building to apply. She has battled multiple sclerosis since 1979.

"I'm able to walk better when I smoke," she said.

Monday was the first day the state accepted applications for the program to allow people with "debilitating" medical conditions to use marijuana.

A group of 55 people chartered a bus to take them from a Lansing café to a nearby state office building to pay $100 and file paperwork, including a certificate from a Michigan-licensed physician that they have a medical condition that could be helped through the use of marijuana. Under the Michigan Medical Marijuana Program, the state will issue picture ID registration cards to those who qualify. The cards should be in the hands of patients by the end of the month.

Michigan: Medical Marijuana Program - WZZM 13

State regulators will begin accepting applications on Saturday from patients who want state authorization to acquire, grow, transport or possess marijuana for therapeutic use.

"If a patient has a qualifying condition, then our doctors will help them get a permit," said chief executive Paul Stanford, adding the clinic pre-screens patients to ensure they've already been diagnosed with an illness approved for treatment with medical marijuana. The clinic doesn't sell or dispense marijuana, because that's against the law.

The Portland, Ore.-based organization is taking roots in what could soon become a budding niche industry in Michigan.

"You're looking at a $10 million annual industry that physicians aren't going to turn their backs on for too long," said Brad Forrester, a communications director for the Michigan Medical Marijuana Association, which began organizing last year and is applying for nonprofit status with the state.

Michigan: Medical Marijuana WWMT Video

State leaders in Michigan are preparing to hand out cards allowing people to legally smoke marijuana for medical purposes.

By Michigan Newschannel 3

There is a truth that must be heard! Michigan is the 13th state to legalize marijuana for medical use, but you will need written consent from your doctor and you'll have to apply through the state.

Jon Dunbar says it's about time Michigan legalized medical marijuana. He says he's just about always in pain, he has spinal problems and has been looking for a way to live a semi-normal life for years.

Dunbar's been using pot to relieve his pain illegally for a while and has been behind the campaign to legalize the drug for people like him from the beginning.

Dunbar says his doctor has recommended dozens of options to relieve his pain, but so far nothing seems to work.

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