Pennsylvania: History in Every Scene Change

By Howard Shapiro, Inquirer Staff Writer

What you see in the auditorium of the Walnut Street Theatre's main stage is the result of makeovers across two centuries. What you don't see - behind, above and underneath the seating area and the stage - is history intact inside the National Historic Landmark.

The most notable historic piece in the nation's oldest working theater affects every show on the main stage: It's a system of scenery pulleys with sandbag counterweights that must be filled to the proper weight for each piece of scenery that drops into view in every show.

Modern theaters use a simple system of lead counterweights attached to a theater wall on one end and wires that pull scenery on the other. The weights are easily changed to balance different scenery, much as weights are added or removed for different levels of resistance in gym workout equipment.

The Walnut, though, is one of America's few remaining "hemp houses" (along with another Center City stage, Plays & Players on Delancey Place) - theaters whose scenery drops and lifts the old-fashioned way.

A "hemp house" uses stagehands and sandbags to raise and lower set pieces attached to thick ropes made of hemp, the only fiber strong and stable enough for the purpose. Each time the huge Walnut scenery shop builds a piece of scenery that isn't on stage throughout the play and that doesn't move onstage from the wings, it must be raised and lowered by the hemp system.

US: Obama Has the Chance to Be Another FDR

AlterNet, Jan. 17, 2009

He Can End the Prohibition Era on Marijuana As FDR Did in 1933, Obama Must Now Help End an Utterly Failed, Socially Destructive, Reactionary Crusade Against Marijuana. The parallels between the 1933 coming of Franklin D. Roosevelt and the upcoming inauguration of Barack Obama must include the issue of Prohibition: alcohol in 1933, and marijuana today. As FDR did back then, Obama must now help end an utterly failed, socially destructive, reactionary crusade.

Source: US: Web: Obama Has the Chance to Be Another FDR

[MAP - Hemp]

Massachusetts: Lawmen Decry New Law that Decriminalizes Small Amounts of Marijuana

By Dan Ring, The Republican Newsroom

BOSTON - Law enforcement officials say there are many loopholes, unintended consequences and other problems in the new law that decriminalizes the possession of small amounts of marijuana.

The law replaces criminal penalties for possessing an ounce or less of marijuana with a civil fine of $100, about the same as getting a traffic ticket. Sixty-five percent of Massachusetts' voters approved the ballot law on Nov. 4, and it takes effect on Jan. 2

Law enforcement officials still have many doubts about the law. Among the concerns are that some people will not be required to identify themselves if stopped for marijuana, that police officers cannot be disciplined for possessing an ounce of less of marijuana, and that state laboratories which test narcotics for criminal cases will no longer test small amounts of marijuana seized in a civil matter.

In addition, guidelines issued by the state for the law's enforcement say possession of an ounce or less of THC - the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, hashish or hash oil - may now be decriminalized as well.

"The law is very confusing," said Holyoke Police Chief Anthony R. Scott this week. "The law presents a lot of problems for law enforcement."

Street dealers now will probably carry less than an ounce to elude arrest, he predicted. Under the new law, he said, police will no longer be able to arrest people for possessing an ounce or less and use them for information to go after dealers.

Oregon: Marijuana Leveque 2008

By Dr. Phillip Leveque,

Some may dislike and shudder at such a name. Marijuana Leveque. I don’t. I have been called much worse – Quack, snake oil salesman. In Italy I’m Dr. Pot, here I'm "most dangerous man in Oregon", etc.

After I saw “REEFER MADNESS” six times – I was forced to do so as a pharmacology instructor in medical school - I had to monitor the class to prevent them from laughing out loud or leaving the room.

Even Judge Francis Young of the DEA said it was the safest drug ever found by man. “REEFER MADNESS”, my foot!


[ Medical Marijuana]

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.

Massachusetts: 'This Old House' Project Earns 'Green' Certification

WESTON - The PBS home improvement series "This Old House" recently built a home in Weston that was awarded LEED Silver Certification by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) for achievement in green homebuilding.

LEED for Homes is a national third-party certification system for energy efficient "green" homes. LEED-certified homes complete a technically rigorous process that includes a home energy (HERS) rating and onsite inspections to verify the home is built to be energy and water efficient, environmentally sound and a healthier place to live.

The house is one of 61 Massachusetts homes that have been certified using LEED.
The home was built by the Emmy-winning PBS television series "This Old House" and Bensonwood, a New England-based custom homebuilding company.

Green homes have substantially lower utility bills and may qualify for advantageous financing, lower insurance rates and government incentives. Through their commitment to green homebuilding, "This Old House" and Bensonwood are helping to keep homeownership affordable through long-term energy savings.

"Their leadership – demonstrated with the Weston project house – is at the national forefront of quality, and their example can help us all to live better by reducing our environmental footprint, cutting our utility bills, and coming home to a healthier place to live," said Michelle Moore, U.S. Green Building Council senior vice president of policy and market development.

United States: Embrace the Possibilities of Hemp

By Sylence Dogood, Hemp News Staff

There is one thing that we all have in common: this tiny planet we share. Today the world is throwing around terms like "sustainability" and "green living" but what does that really mean? Cannabis sativa, also known as Hemp, is one of the most diverse plants on the planet, and could literally supply most of humankinds needs for fuel, food, clothing, building products, and medicine.

Despite its usefulness, hemp is illegal to grow in the United States. This simple plant, Cannabis, can be put to use in many ways. It would fill so many needs and put our country on a path toward sustainability. A forward-thinking attitude toward hemp and cannabis would create jobs, revitalize our farming communities, boost tourism, and create millions of dollars in revenue for the country.

US agriculture will thrive; the potential is too great to ignore any longer. It is my goal as a writer for Hemp News to participate in the great Hemp discussion and possibly help to educate our readers. Please take the time to examine the benefits of the Cannabis plant, and it's potential influence in all aspects of our society.

It is my hope that one day this plant will be free to grow and use as each individual desires. Whether it be building fiber for a house, yarn fiber for a shirt, pressed seed oil for energy, delicious hemp flour for food, or the beautiful flowers full of medicine and relaxation. Cannabis sativa is a blessing to this planet and we must embrace the possibilities.

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]

Medical marijuana remains illegal in many ways, confusing both patients and officials in Michigan

by Elizabeth Shaw | The Flint Journal

FLINT, Michigan -- Sitting in a doctor's waiting room is a far cry from the three days Charles Snyder III spent in jail in 2005 for using marijuana to treat a chronic medical condition.

Snyder, 31, of Flint, was the first patient through the doors of the Michigan Clinic in Southfield, which opened Dec. 4 to assist patients hoping to take advantage of Michigan's new medical marijuana law approved by voters in November.

The new law allows patients with cancer, glaucoma, AIDS and other diseases to use marijuana to relieve symptoms with a doctor's recommendation. At least 10 other states have similar laws on the books.

But health officials worry the change may cause as many problems as it solves. The law does not provide patients a legal way to get the drug -- which also is still illegal under federal law. The medical community is still wrestling with the gray areas. And everyone is waiting for the state Department of Community Health to develop guidelines for how the whole thing will work.
Flint Journal extras

• The Michigan Clinic, 2000 Town Center # 1900, Southfield, MI 48075. Details: (248) 351-1746

• Americans for Safe Access:

• Michigan Coalition for Compassionate Care:

Michigan: State’s First Medical Marijuana Clinic Opens in Southfield

By Jennie Miller, C & G Staff Writer

SOUTHFIELD — The first medical marijuana clinic in the state of Michigan opened Dec. 4 in Southfield, following the controversial proposal voters approved last month making the drug legal in the state for medical purposes.

Run by The Hemp and Cannabis Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Portland, Ore., the clinic currently has two licensed physicians on staff.

The Southfield clinic joins 17 others in the country run by THCF: four in Oregon, four in Washington state, three in Colorado, three in Hawaii, one in Nevada, one in California and one in Montana. Thirteen states in the U.S. have legalized marijuana for medical purposes.

“We’ve helped over 45,000 patients in eight states now, including Michigan since we opened up there last Thursday,” said Paul Stanford, president, founder and CEO of THCF. “We plan on expanding to other cities in Michigan.”

Prospective patients are advised to contact the clinic by phone and have their primary care physician provide medical records.

“We require they have medical records from another doctor and be under another doctor’s treatment,” Stanford explained. “All of our patients have to have another current relationship with either an M.D. or a D.O. to meet their medical needs.”

After the medical records have been reviewed, the patient meets with a nurse or doctor at the clinic for a non-invasive physical examination.

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

Washington: Busted - Police raids, illegal drug deals and some very sick people: Washington’s medical marijuana law marks 10 years

By Nicholas Deshais, Pacific Northwest Inlander, STAFF WRITER

The first step for patients, before drug deals in parking lots or secretive meetings in a church, is to get permission to use cannabis from one special source: a doctor.

Doctors are protected under state law to provide these authorizations, but they walk a thin line. Without precautions, doctors can find themselves testifying before a court on the merits of marijuana, something many doctors would prefer to avoid... Read the Full Story


Michigan: State, marijuana advocates prepare to work together - State to license use for patients who receive doctor approval

By Eartha Jane Melzer

For the first time ever, the state Department of Community Health is working out a process to permit some seriously ill people and their caregivers to possess and grow marijuana. The move is required by the medical marijuana initiative that Michigan voters approved last month.

The law, which won a majority of voters in every county of the state, takes effect on Thursday. The state has until April 4 to establish the rules for the program. The Department of Community Health will issue draft rules this month, and a public hearing is expected in January.

Both the Department of Community Health and the newly formed nonprofit Michigan Medical Marijuana Association are planning education drives to help smooth the transition into state licensing of medicinal marijuana users.

DCH has added a medical marijuana FAQ to its Web site. According to spokesman James McCurtis, the department plans to launch a new site dedicated to solely medical marijuana early this month. McCurtis said the department has been working on guidelines with officials from Oregon and Montana, which passed similar laws in 1998 and 2004, respectively.

Statistics maintained by the state of Oregon give some sense of the results of such a law. More than 3,000 Oregon doctors have recommended marijuana to patients there; more than 20,000 patients hold cards authorizing marijuana use.

Advocates of the law say coordination is needed to meet expected public demand for medical marijuana.

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.

Canada: Industrial hemp growers launch national plan

By Staff,

Market research and development, quality control and processing capacity are among the goals of a new national strategy mapped out by Canada's industrial hemp growers.

The strategy was rolled out Wednesday at the Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance's meeting in Winnipeg, mapping out the market potential and obstacles in the food, fibre and oil markets, as well as in hemp production and plant breeding.

Manitoba was among the "earliest adopters" of industrial hemp as a crop, as well as the necessary processing technologies, provincial Agriculture Minister Rosann Wowchuk said in a release. The provincial and federal governments funded the strategy's development through their joint Agri-Food Research and Development Initiative (ARDI).

"This new strategy shows how far we've come while also identifying the opportunities and challenges that we must tackle for sustainable growth," she said.

Among the supports needed from private and public business and research partners for a hemp industry, as per the new strategy, are:

* development of commercial-scale hemp fibre processing and cost-effective hemp oil processing, plus access to risk capital for processing and manufacturing projects in those markets;

* domestic and international market research, as well as work to maintain existing market access;

* gauging the environmental and economic advantages of using hemp-based products compared to petroleum-based products;

North Dakota: Hemp crusader is the picture of respectability - and N. Dakota's next House Speaker


GRAND FORKS, N.D. – David Monson has heard all the jokes from bemused neighbors.

"Is your farm going to pot, Dave?"

"Hey, Dave, how's your weed control?"

A wheat, barley and canola grower from Osnabrock, N.D., hard on the Canadian border, Monson is one of two North Dakota farmers trying to sue the federal government into relaxing drug-war restrictions on the cultivation of industrial hemp, a relative of marijuana.

A federal district judge in North Dakota tossed their lawsuit, but an attorney for Monson and Wayne Hauge told a panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, meeting in St. Paul Nov. 12, that the farmers should be allowed to use state-issued permits to produce hemp seed and oil without fear of federal prosecution under the Controlled Substances Act.

The appeals panel also heard from a Justice Department attorney, who said Congress has the authority to regulate the crop and has decided its cultivation should be restricted.

Getting ready for a new job

Monson wasn't in court Wednesday. He was in Bismarck, getting hired for a new job. In January, he'll become Speaker of the North Dakota House of Representatives, where for several sessions he has been assistant Republican majority leader.

No, this is no pot-smoking hippie trying to sneak something past the narcs.

Australia: Hemp bags a design of the times

BY TINA LIPTAI, The Standard

HEMP bags featuring artwork by Port Fairy pupils will hit the streets next week after the designs were unveiled yesterday.

The See Change In Port Fairy Project is a community initiative which aims to eradicate plastic bags from the town by offering a unique reuseable alternative. The bags were launched at the opening of the four-day Victorian Landcare Network Forum and community expo at Port Fairy's Victoria Hotel.

Every pupil from Port Fairy Consolidated and St Patrick's primary schools submitted artwork with an environmental theme as part of the project.

Project co-ordinator Genevieve Grant said the designs on the bags were chosen at random.

"I just picked up where the children from both schools were heading with their studies," Ms Grant said.

"It really is about the children passing on their knowledge to the community about sustainability and promoting a better understanding of how we should protect and look after our home, where ever we live."

The bag also features the See Change logo, designed by Port Fairy artist Ess Warmuth.

The bags will be officially launched when pupils from both schools march down the town's main street with banners and the bags on Monday from 11.45am.


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