Activism

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,

Wisconsin: LEGALIZING, TAXING POT URGED TO RAISE CASH

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 osussdp@gmail.com.

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.

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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