Activism

Texas: Advocates gather to promote change in marijuana laws

by Rachel Meador, Daily Texan Staff

High above the Pecan Street Festival, Texans for the legalization of marijuana showed their support Saturday night at the Third Annual Sixth Street Smokeout and 2008 Global Marijuana Music Awards at Momo’s.

The Texas branch of NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, hosted the event with proceeds funding efforts to decriminalize recreational marijuana use by responsible adults. The diverse lineup ranged from spoken poetry to swing music, country to reggae, but all advocated legal change.

The Broken Poetz drove their expertly spray-painted van five hours from McAllen to contribute their hip-hop-psychedelic sound to the lineup. The group addresses the problems surrounding current marijuana laws in their original songs. “Mr. Weedy” and “Two-Time Offender” received cheers of support at the smokeout.

“Too many people are in jail right now just for marijuana charges,” said Jason Salas, member of The Broken Poetz. “We want to help expose what’s really going on. It’s real messed up when an adult can’t possess just for personal use.”

The patio overlooking the Austin skyline was lined with information booths, artists selling blown glass pieces and miscellaneous pro-pot regalia while roaming advocates dispensed free gear and information to attendees. NORML members and vendors were eager to answer questions and shed some light on marijuana misconceptions.

Kansas: Debate over marijuana tries to clear the air

By Jesse Trimble

You couldn’t smell any marijuana in the crowd Monday night during the “Heads Versus Feds” SUA event, but there were plenty of tie-dyed, 1960s band shirts sprinkled through the crowd of 440 people.

Steve Hager, editor-in-chief of High Times magazine, and Robert Stutman, a retired special agent for the Drug Enforcement Agency of New York City, argued until they were both red in the face about the legalization of marijuana in front of an emotionally charged crowd, but they also inspired a few laughs.

Hager took to the stage first, and he listed five reasons why cannabis should be legalized:

- It is useful for medicinal purposes.

- Hemp is good for the environment.

- Criminalizing marijuana has led to crowded prisons, with 900,000 people arrested for possession each year.

Robert Stutman, retired agent for the United States Drug Enforcement Administration listens to the argument delivered by Steve Hager, editor-in-chief of High Times magazine about the legalization of marijuana. Nearly 450 people attended "Heads Versus Feds" on Monday night in the Kansas Union Ballroom.

- Keeping marijuana on the black market provides dealers and criminals a cut of the $500 billion-a-year industry.

- It’s part of his culture.

“That’s most important to me,” Hager, an Illinois native, said of his affinity for the counterculture of the 1960s. Hager said he first smoked marijuana at 15 and was one of the first in his high school to do so.

Oregon: HempStalk 2008 Gives Legalization Activists a Voice

By Bonnie King, Salem-News.com

(PORTLAND, Ore.) - Bringing Oregon's hemp movement to center stage, HempStalk 08 created an environment where rational discussion regarding Cannabis legalization was the norm.

Thousands converged on Portland's Eastbank Festival Plaza last weekend for the fourth annual HempStalk, learning about the benefits of hemp cultivation and to support legalization of Cannabis for all adults.

Paul Stanford of the The Hemp and Cannabis Foundation (THCF) is an organizer of the event. He introduced Dr. Phil Leveque as an integral force behind the success of medical marijuana in Oregon.

Leveque took the stage and addressed the enthusiastic crowd, "Good afternoon, you Potheads!", met with a resounding applause.

The emperor himself, renowned author of The Emperor Wears No Clothes, activist Jack Herer came to share his story and promote hemp products. Jack first presented his anti-prohibition research in the mid 1970's and has sold nearly a million books since then.

"I thought it would be a good time to introduce the world to all hemp products, at an event like this," Jack said.

About Hemp News

Hemp News, a compilation of international news stories about hemp and cannabis, is a public service of Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp (CRRH). This is intended for political and educational use on the subject of cannabis and the wide-ranging effects of drug prohibition.

The Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp (CRRH) goal is to educate people about the medicinal and industrial uses for cannabis in our global society in order to restore hemp cultivation and end adult cannabis prohibition.

This site is intended to be an avenue for the community to empower themselves with information about this diverse and wonderful plant called HEMP. There is a truth that must be heard!

Colorado: High Noon - Larimer County is at the center of the battle over medical marijuana

James and Lisa Masters were getting ready to take their daughters fishing on the morning of Aug. 2, 2006, when two social workers and two police officers knocked on their door.

"We were just finishing folding laundry, getting ready for the day," says James, "and we had just recently medicated."

They had picked a bad time to take their medicine. The Masters are both medical marijuana patients, whose doctors recommend they get high to treat various physical and neurological illnesses.

The social workers raised allegations of child abuse and neglect toward their daughters, ages 4 and 6. The police officers, who the Masters were told came along in case the parents got violent - maybe in a fit of reefer madness - smelled the weed.

Inside, the Masters had 18 marijuana plant clones and an imminent harvest of 12 two-foot-high, bud-laden plants, which they say was for people suffering from glaucoma, cancer, HIV, multiple sclerosis and other crippling diseases.

The Masters' home was serving as the county chapter of the Colorado Compassion Club, a statewide network that provides quality weed for medical marijuana patients, including themselves. Despite having doctors' recommendations for the medicinal crop as allowed through a state constitutional amendment, the Larimer County Drug Task Force snagged the pot - and child protection services snagged the Masters' daughters, who were separated from their parents for nearly two months.

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