Wisconsin: Marijuana Activist's Case Against UW Police Officers Ends in Hung Jury

By Kevin Murphy, The Capital Times

An excessive force lawsuit brought against two University of Wisconsin-Madison police officers by marijuana activist Ben Masel, 55, of Madison, ended Tuesday night in a hung jury.

After a two-day trial, the seven-person jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict on whether Officers Mike Mansavage and John McCaughtry used more force than necessary when arresting Masel for trespassing at the Memorial Union in June 2006.

Masel had been soliciting signatures to get on the ballot for the U.S. Senate while on a sidewalk near the Memorial Terrace, an area not designated for such activity by UW policy. Masel refused to leave the area when requested by Memorial Union event managers who then called UW police to enforce the policy.

Masel alleged he was pepper sprayed and "brutally handcuffed," when arrested. He sued the officers alleging use of excessive force. He also sued the Memorial Union employees and the UW Board of Regents claiming their policy, which limits political activity of uninvited guests to the sidewalk in front of the union, infringed on his free speech rights and was unconstitutional.

District Judge John Shabaz dismissed Masel's constitutional claim, citing case law that allows public universities to restrict activities of uninvited guests on their property as long as the policy is applied equally to all individuals. Shabaz allowed the excessive force claim to go to trial.

Hempfest 2008: Industrial Hemp - What it Can Do for America

Adam Eidinger, David Frankel, Jack Herer, Steve Levine, Chris Conrad and George Rohrbacher on hemp and cannabis.

Farm Aid: Neil Young - Family Farmers

Neil Young discusses Good food, family farms, and fighting factory farms.

MAP: Letter Of The Week - Calvin C. Acuff, M.D.

By Calvin C. Acuff, M.D.

I was a youngster when Franklin Roosevelt ran for president promising, among other things, to repeal Prohibition. My parents didn't want alcohol to be legalized. However, since then I have realized Prohibition was a tremendous idea, but one that didn't work because people were determined to drink and they got liquor from bootleggers, moonshiners or imported by Joe Kennedy ( making him fabulously wealthy ). Today alcohol is freely available and is controlled fairly well and taxed.


[MAP - Cannabis]

California: A Letter From Eddy Lepp


The dark angels of Babylon are among us and are trying to take one of our own.

The Reverend Eddy Lepp is to be sentenced February 23, 2009 to two life sentences for growing the sacred herb.

He was denied a religious defense even after the judge ruled he met all the standards necessary to allow this.

Eddy Lepp had notified the Governor, the Attorney General, the Board Of Supervisors of Lake County, the Lake County District Attorney, and the local Sheriff; all by certified mail that he was growing the sacred herb for medicinal and spiritual use – by the members of the Multi-Denominational Ministry of Cannabis and Rastafari.

Jah Rastafari.

Reverend Lepp protected all members of his church, and was the only one charged.

After four years of litigation, his trial was reduced to two very short days of testimony due to restrictions placed by Judge Marilyn Hall Patel. The whole trial was over in less than one week.

We ask that you contact Judge Marilyn Hall Patel and ask that she be lenient in sentencing Reverend Lepp for this victimless act. Court Information: Eddy is scheduled to appear in front of the court February 23, 2009 to face possibly two life sentences.

We hope you will take the time to write the judge and ask for leniency in Eddy's sentencing.
Here is a sample letter that we ask all concerned to please sign and send to Judge Patel. You are welcome to change the wording in any way you want, but be respectful so the Judge pays attention to your message!

Your Name
Your Address
Your City, State and Zip

Honorable Judge Patel

North Dakota: Industrial Hemp Production Licenses Accepted By N D AG Department

By Staff Writer, Jamestown Sun

The North Dakota Department of Agriculture is accepting applications for 2009 industrial hemp production licenses. "The applications are due Jan. 1," said Agriculture Commissioner Roger Johnson. "Although the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration continues to prevent holders of state licenses from growing industrial hemp, NDDA remains committed to fully implementing state laws authorizing the production, processing and sale of this crop in North Dakota."


[MAP - Hemp]

United States: Year in Review - 2008 a Huge Year for Marijuana Reform

In this annual season of year-end reviews, marijuana policy reformers are counting 2008 as one of their most successful years ever. 2008 saw major progress on legal reforms plus a raft of new data that validated reformers' critiques of current marijuana laws.

Among the changes are marijuana decriminalization Massachusetts, the addition of Michigan as the nation's 13th medical marijuana state, and new research verifying that marijuana helps with pain relief.


[ Medical Marijuana]

Granny Storm Crow's List - "If the truth won't do, then something is wrong!"

By Storm Crow -

"If the truth won't do, then something is wrong!"

Granny Storm Crow's List


Marijuana and ADD Therapeutic uses of Medical Marijuana in the treatment of ADD

Cannabis as a medical treatment for attention deficit disorder

Cannabinoids effective in animal model of hyperactivity disorder

Cannabis 'Scrips to Calm Kids?,2933,117541,00.html

THC normalized impaired psychomotor performance and mood

Moderate cannabis use has a positive effect on treatment for cocaine dependence in patients with comorbid ADHD and cocaine dependence

Michigan: Glaucoma patient turns to marijuana 'to ease my suffering'

by Denise Ford-Mitchell | The Saginaw News

• Michigan medical marijuana act leaves patients in limbo
Unlike former president Bill Clinton, Charles H. Snyder III inhales.

On bad days, he heats up marijuana three times a day. On good days, it's less.

However, on bad days -- when the chronic pain from glaucoma and the rare genetic disorder Nail-Patella syndrome becomes unbearable -- the 31-year-old Genesee County resident sniffs more marijuana through an electric vaporizer.
Stuart Bauer | The Flint JournalCharles Snyder III, 31, of Flushing uses marijuana to ease the pain of his Nail-Patella syndrome.

"For seven years, doctors tried to find the right formula of pain pills to help me lead a more normal life," said the married father of a toddler daughter. "They never found the right combination or dosage amount that didn't make things worse. It's not about getting high. I'm not a thug. I'm trying to ease my suffering."

Snyder estimates he's one of approximately 50,000 Michigan patients struggling with chronic pain who rejoiced when citizens passed the controversial Proposal 1 in the Nov. 4 general election.

When the proposal takes effect Thursday, Michigan will join Arkansas, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington in permitting medical marijuana to treat cancer, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, chronic pain and HIV/AIDS -- without fear of state prosecution.


Colorado: Bring back hemp

By US Citizen

The United States uses corn for ethanol because hemp is illegal. Hemp was made illegal due to a greedy component of capitalism combined with ignorance. Hemp prohibition is grave and dysfunctional, affecting world improvement, as Dennis Newman (Letter: “Change needed on ethanol,” Nov. 13, 2008), exposes. Instead of embracing hemp for what it is; a God-awesome creation, America’s leaders strive to exterminate it. Before greedy ignoids conspired to prohibit hemp, it was referred to as the billion-dollar crop, when the B-word wasn’t thrown around so loosely.

America has had the technology to build and fuel cars using hemp since the 1930s. A sane argument to perpetuate prohibiting free American farmers from utilizing the plant doesn’t exist. Some estimates indicate using 10 percent of America’s farmland to cultivate hemp would eliminate any need for foreign petroleum. Discussion of alternative fuels without mentioning hemp is foolish and any and all research into hemp’s history backs it up. And that’s just for fuel; hemp is equally beneficial for feeding people who are starving to death.

America’s future political atmosphere may be more conducive to changing hemp’s status as a Schedule I drug along side heroin and LSD. Americans must work hard the next few years to re-establish hemp as a component of American agriculture. In fact, environmentally conscientious Americans must fight harder than big oil and other mega corporations which profit immensely off hemp prohibition and spend huge fortunes to guarantee its existence.

CO: Medical Marijuana Examined

By Conor Doyle, CU Independent Staff Writer

CU's chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Law-NORML@CU-hosted its second event of the semester in front of a full room of students eager to learn positive ways they can bring change to state and local governments, as well as how laws for medical and recreational marijuana usage affect students themselves.

"It's vital to know your rights if you're going to break the law, you should take responsibility for what you're doing and know how the laws affect you," Andy Bolzer, a photojournalism major at the Metropolitan State College of Denver, said. "And if you're not breaking the law, it's still best to be educated."

Brian Vicente, executive director of Sensible Colorado who is also a Denver attorney specializing in marijuana cases, explained the details behind holding a medical marijuana license.

"When you become a medical marijuana patient, you are then legally able to possess and cultivate six plants, as well as hold 2 ounces of loose marijuana," Vicente said.

He also explained that though marijuana possession and consumption is legal under state law, it is in violation of federal law which takes precedence in courts.

Vicente said that according to state law, medical marijuana patients can designate someone of their choosing to be "caregivers," who are then legally allowed to grow, maintain, and possess the same amounts of marijuana in the patient's stead.

N.D.: Farmers appeal to grow hemp

By Donna Leinwand, USA TODAY

Two North Dakota farmers will ask a federal appeals court in St. Paul on Wednesday to allow them to grow hemp on their farms, even though the federal government says it's illegal.

Farmer Dave Monson, a Republican representative in the North Dakota Legislature, says the variety of the cannabis sativa plant grown as hemp is an ideal crop to rotate annually with wheat and barley.

Canadian farmers 20 miles north of his Osnabrock farm do a brisk business selling their hemp to Detroit carmakers who use it inside door panels and for insulation in seats, he says.

Monson says the hemp has no value as a drug because it has a low concentration of THC, the ingredient in marijuana that causes a high.

Hemp fibers, oil and seed can be imported from Canada, Europe and Asia and used to manufacture products in the USA, but growing hemp in the USA is illegal, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration says.

"The level of THC in the plant doesn't matter. If there's any THC in the plant, it's illegal," DEA spokesman Garrison Courtney says. "To get those pieces of stalk that are legal, you have to grow a marijuana plant."

David Bronner, president of Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps in Escondido, Calif., says he spends more than $100,000 a year to import hemp oil from Canada for his soaps, lip balms and lotions.

Canada: Research Shows That Hemp Seed Can Help Fight Heart Disease

By Manitoba Harvest

Hemp seed is an ancient superfood that has a rich history of culinary enjoyment, as well as use by cultures as a traditional medicine to enhance health and well-being. Over the past few years, this nutritious and eco-friendly seed has been gaining more attention from nutrition and health experts and deservedly so. Scientists in Canada, a country where hemp agriculture is thriving and experiencing a rebirth, recently performed research to study hemp seed's role in maintaining heart health. The title of the abstract from their research sums things up well, Cholesterol Induced Stimulation of Platelet Aggregation is Prevented by a Hempseed-Enriched Diet.

In somewhat technical terms, the authors of the scientific paper establish that Hypercholesterolemia indirectly increases the risk for myocardial infarction by enhancing the ability of platelets to aggregate. Their research, published in the April 2008 edition of the Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology*, investigated whether hempseed, a rich source of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), inhibits platelet aggregation under normal and hypercholesterolemic conditions. The results of this study demonstrate that when hempseed is added to a cholesterol-enriched diet, cholesterol-induced platelet aggregation returns to control levels, noted the authors.

Oregon: Hempstalk 2008 Slideshow - Simple Ways

By Michael Bachara, Hemp News Staff

Featured is a short slideshow from Hempstalk 2008 in Portland, Oregon. It is set to the song "Simple Ways" by The Human Revolution and consists of speakers/performers from the event.

From Keith Stroup to Jack Herer, the Hempstalk 2008 speakers were educational and informative, discussing the merits of Cannabis and Hemp on the main stage as well as in the Hemposium pavillion. It is our hope that the Hemposium will continue to evolve and grow, providing experts and information from doctors and lawyers to local business people working to promote Hemp and Cannabis. Having a variety of speakers complimented the wide range of musical acts that took to the Hempstalk stage.

It was truly an honor to have the likes of John Trudell and Bad Dog, as well as The Human Revolution, State of Jefferson, and the ever popular Seattle Hempfest house band (one of our favorites) the Herbivores. To everyone who participated, volunteered, and helped make Hempstalk 2008 possible, we thank you and look forward to a fun and informative Hempstalk 2009!

United States: Hedge fund manager Andrew Lahde calls it quits - and backs hemp production

by Darrell Proctor, Business Examiner

Andrew Lahde's hedge fund at Lahde Capital Management earned an 866 percent return in the past year. He bet against the subprime mortgage market, and won as that market decimated the financial sector.

Ladhe closed the fund last month. And today he called its quits, and announced his "retirement" in a letter ripping his profession and many of those who run it. An excerpt:

"These people who were (often) truly not worthy of the education they received (or supposedly received) rose to the top of companies such as AIG, Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers and all levels of our government. All of this behavior supporting the Aristocracy, only ended up making it easier for me to find people stupid enough to take the other side of my trades. God bless America."

Lahde also called for the production of hemp as an alternative energy source - and noted how the criminalization of marijuana ("It gets you high, it makes you laugh, it does not produce a hangover") is likely due to a governmental and corporate conspriracy designed to aid drug companies.

He also tells his contemporaries to "throw the Blackberry away and enjoy life."

More fascinating fallout from the market collapse.

California: A $100,000 Hemp Challenge

By Jack Herer

If all fossil fuel and their derivatives, as well as trees for paper and construction, were banned in order to save the planet, reverse the Greenhouse Effect and stop deforestation; then there is only one known annually renewable, natural resource that is capable of providing the overall majority of the world's paper, plastics and textiles; meet all of the world's transportation, industrial and home energy needs; provide about 30% of the world's medicines, while reducing pollution, rebuilding the soil and cleaning the atmosphere, all at the same time…and that substance is the same one that has done it before, for the last five to 10 thousand years, until about 125 years ago…


No one has taken the $100,000 challenge to prove me wrong. Why? Because I am right. The U.S. government has been lying to us since the early 1900s. Do economic interests and the police have more to say than the people about the future of our planet? How angry are you for being lied to by the U.S. government about Cannabis Hemp? Are you willing to make a stand right now?

No one can dispute this information and knowledge. You have to join me in this fight. Either you are on the U.S. government's side or you are on the Earth's side with me!

Jack Herer


California: Santa Cruz council candidate Craig Canada seeks to improve services for homeless, medical marijuana patients

By Genevieve Bookwalter, Sentinel staff writer

SANTA CRUZ -- J. Craig Canada said he is running for the Santa Cruz City Council because, while living on the streets for three years, he had difficulty finding help and shelter as a medical marijuana patient.

With firsthand knowledge of two of the city's most visible issues, Canada, 53, said he can bring experience and insight the council currently lacks.

Canada is one of 10 people running for four seats on the Santa Cruz City Council on Nov. 4.

"I use cannabis for a mood disorder and I would have qualified for the mental-health housing," Canada said, "except they consider cannabis an illegal drug and they wouldn't have it there."

According to county elections records, Canada is a registered Democrat but has never voted in a Santa Cruz County election. He lives downtown and is running in his first election.

Canada said he has not voted because he thinks many races are a choice between evils. In addition, he said, he does not trust electronic voting machines.

Santa Cruz Superior Court records show Canada has been cited for possessing marijuana on Pacific Avenue, and is the defendant in an ongoing trial after he allegedly spit in the face of someone who he said was knocking on the door of a restroom he occupied in a downtown restaurant. After that, Canada allegedly lay on the floor and yelled that he was being assaulted.

Canada said he did those things because he thought he was being assaulted,


By Chris Rickert, Madison NORML

Wisconsin - President Bush and the two leading presidential contenders were urging lawmakers to take one for the good of the country Tuesday and pass a highly unpopular Wall Street bailout package.

Some drug-reform advocates, meanwhile, were suggesting that a better way out of the current financial mess would be to toke one for the country.

"Society could get a great deal of funding by bringing cannabis into our society," said Gary Storck, co-founder of the Madison chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.

More specifically, legalizing and taxing marijuana and industrial hemp could open up a lucrative revenue stream and help offset a $700 billion taxpayer outlay to save the country's financial system.

"Why not look at it?" said Storck, who likens the idea to President Roosevelt's support for ending prohibition during the Depression. "We need the money. How else are we going to get it?"

The possible fiscal boon of legalizing marijuana has long been an argument put forth by NORML and like-minded groups, who point to studies showing that the government could be billions of dollars to the good if it taxed the plant and ended its marijuana-related law enforcement efforts.

Bruce Mirken, director of communications with the Washington, D.C.-based Marijuana Policy Project, said legalization and regulation could mean between $10 billion and $40 billion a year to state and federal budgets.

Ohio: Students for a Sensible Drug Policy welcome newcomers

By John Kee, The Lantern, OH

The Students for a Sensible Drug Policy is raising awareness about its cause through various events this quarter.

The organization hosted a barbecue Saturday to welcome incoming freshman and other potential members to learn about the group and hear about upcoming events including Hookah on the Oval and Electronica at the Browning Amphitheater with the musical group Test Your Might.

SSDP is wants to improve the university's policies on drugs and alcohol, and is getting its message out by handing out fliers on campus and through an e-mail list with more than 200 members. "It seems to work out best distributing fliers," said Rae Berent, a sophomore in fine arts.

Sophomore SSDP ambassador Josh Gonzalez heard about the group at the Student Involvement Fair last year and joined the group because he agreed with its message.

The Hookah on the Oval event will be 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and will give more students a chance to find out about the group, according to SSDP President Zach Laver.

SSDP will also be hosting Electronica at 9 p.m. Oct. 10 at the Browning Amphitheatre. There will be a dance party with a disc jockey and SSDP will be selling glow sticks for Hempfest, its main event of the school year which will be May 30. A Hempfest journal is produced annually and will be released April 20. The publication includes art inspired by topics like the drug war. Submissions for the journal can be sent to

California: Beauty that's relevant

By Dinna Chan Vasquez

The Body Shop has always believed that business has the power to make the right kind of difference in the world.

Over 50 percent of the company’s products contain Community Trade ingredients or are produced through the Community Trade program. The Body Shop’s target for the year is an ambitious 65 percent. This program creates sustainable trading relationships with disadvantaged communities around the world and provides income to over 25,000 people across the globe.

Through the program, the company obtains sesame seed oil from Nicaragua, aloe vera from Guatemala, honey from an organic source in Zambia, shea butter from Ghana and bladderwack seaweed from Ireland.

How cool is it that your bottle of lotion helps provide a means of livelihood for communities?

In 2007, The Body Shop was the first company to have sourced sustainably harvested palm oil and introduce the ingredient into the beauty industry, working in partnership with a certified organic producer in Colombia.

Early this year, the introduced 100-percent post-consumer recyclate bottles while all polyethylene terephthalate or PET bottles contain a minimum of 30 percent recycled material, with a target to convert to 100 percent in the next 12 months.

The Body Shop also continues to raise awareness and funding for women affected by domestic violence. The Stop Violence in the Home campaign has run since 2003 and raised more than 2 million pounds.

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