August 20th, 2014 by Associated Press
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - An Ohio man who uses a biblical reference and a statement against "poisoned waters" on billboards opposing wells for disposal of gas-drilling wastewater is fighting a legal threat from the Texas well owner on free-speech grounds.
Austin, Texas-based Buckeye Brine alleges in a July lawsuit that the billboards paid for by Michael Boals, of Coshocton in eastern Ohio, contain false and defamatory attacks against its two wells, which dispose of contaminated wastewater from oil and gas drilling.
The complaint by the company and Rodney Adams, who owns the land and operates the well site, contends the wells are safe, legal and meet all state safety standards. The parties object to statements on two billboards along U.S. Route 36, including one that "DEATH may come."
"The accusation that the wells will cause ‘DEATH’ is a baseless and malicious attempt to damage the reputations of the plaintiffs," according to the complaint. "The billboards are also defamatory because they state or imply that Mr. Adams and Buckeye Brine are causing ‘poisoned waters’ to enter the drinking water supply."
Shale oil and gas drilling employing hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, produces millions of gallons of chemical-laced wastewater. The liquid, called brine, is a mix of chemicals, saltwater, naturally occurring radioactive material and mud.
It’s considered unsafe for ground water and aquifers, so Ohio regulations require waste liquid to be contained and injected deep underground. Ohio has recorded no aquifer contamination, but as the state grapples with some 16 million gallons of the wastewater a year, it’s seen earthquakes linked to injection wells and a Youngstown-area businessman indicted in a federal dumping case.
Boals, a 55-year-old timber harvester, refuses to pull his billboards, which he said cost him more than $1,000.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
POLICE ARE EVERYWHERE
First, this is VERY important to read and understand. I’m doing my best to look out for all the Facebook Users who aren’t as tech savvy as their kids or friends. I’m trying to help explain what’s happening because if I don’t…nobody else will!
If you’re anything like your neighbor…you probably use Facebook on your phone WAY more than you use it on a computer. You’ve been sending messages from the Facebook app and it probably always asks you if you want to install the Facebook Messenger App.
Its always been OPTIONAL but coming soon to your Facebook experience….it won’t be an option…it will be mandatory if you care to send messages from your phone.
No big deal one might think…but the part that the average Facebook User doesn’t realize is the permissions you must give to Facebook in order to use the Facebook Messenger App. Here is a short list of the most disturbing permissions it requires and a quick explanation of what it means to you and your privacy.
Change the state of network connectivity – This means that Facebook can change or alter your connection to the Internet or cell service. You’re basically giving Facebook the ability to turn features on your phone on and off for its own reasons without telling you.
Call phone numbers and send SMS messages – This means that if Facebook wants to…it can send text messages to your contacts on your behalf. Do you see the trouble in this? Who is Facebook to be able to access and send messages on your phone? You’re basically giving a stranger your phone and telling them to do what they want when they want!
Record audio, and take pictures and videos, at any time – Read that line again….RECORD audio…TAKE pictures….AT ANY TIME!! That means that the folks at Facebook can see through your lens on your phone whenever they want..they can listen to what you’re saying via your microphone if they choose to!!
Read your phone’s call log, including info about incoming and outgoing calls – Who have you been calling? How long did you talk to them? Now Facebook will know all of this because you’ve downloaded the new Facebook messenger app.
Read your contact data, including who you call and email and how often – Another clear violation of your privacy. Now Facebook will be able to read e-mails you’ve sent and take information from them to use for their own gain. Whether it’s for “personalized advertisements” or if it’s for “research purposes” ….whatever the reason..they’re accessing your private encounters.
Read personal profile information stored on your device – This means that if you have addresses, personal info, pictures or anything else that’s near and dear to your personal life…they can read it.
Get a list of accounts known by the phone, or other apps you use – Facebook will now have a tally of all the apps you use, how often you use them and what information you keep or exchange on those apps.
Hopefully, you take this as serious as I do…after reading more about it and studying the permissions I have now deleted the app from my phone and don’t intend to use it ever again. I still have my Facebook app but I just won’t use the messaging feature unless I’m at a computer. Even then, I might not use messaging anymore.
With these kinds of privacy invasions I think Facebook is pushing the limits to what people will let them get away with. I remember when the Internet first began its march toward socializing dominance when AOL would send us CD’s for free trials every week. On AOL, we made screen names that somewhat hid our identities and protected us against the unseen dangers online. Now, it seems that we’ve forgotten about that desire to protect our identity and we just lay down and let them invade our privacy.
There may be no turning back at this point because many people won’t read this or investigate the permissions of Facebook’s new mandatory app but at least I can say I tried to help us put up a fight. Pass this along to your friends and at least try to let them know what they’re getting into.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
Cannastock 2014 will be held on Loves Branch (a no outlet back road) in Democrat Ky.
A person can get directions by clicking on the get directions on the event page, where the event location is provided with a map. You can also use Loves Branch Rd Whitesburg Ky, or Loves Branch Rd Democrat Ky, for GPS navigations. You can also click the location on this post as well. If you still have any difficulty, pm me, or comment here you need assistance.
Below will be some turn by turn directions from Hal Rogers Parkway, starting right before Hazard Ky.
We are taking Cannastock off the grid!!! A true backwoods hoedown, and I’m loving it, can’t wait for it to get here ,’-) pPp Aihoooooooo
Hal Rogers Pkwy before Hazard Ky, to
Loves Branch, Democrat Ky 33.6 mi
Head east on KY-9006 E
Take exit 56 for KY-451
Turn right onto KY-451 S
Turn left onto KY-451 Connector
Turn right onto Johnny Cox All-American Dr
Take the 1st right onto KY-15 S
Turn left onto KY-160 N
Turn right onto State Hwy 1410/Burgeys Creek Rd
Continue to follow State Hwy 1410
Turn left onto KY-7 N
Turn left onto Loves Branch Rd
Cannastock at Loves Branch ,’-) Aihooooooooooo
Event link below
Originally posted on U.S. Marijuana Party:
FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
High Noon-3:00pm White House/Lafayette Park
3:00pm- 3:15pm Front of White House Photo opportunity
3:15pm- March steps off to Lincoln Memorial
3:00pm- 9pm Lincoln Memorial
(THIS IS A NATIONAL PARKS PERMITTED EVENT)
This has been coordinated with US Secret Service, National Parks, National Parks Police and D.C. Police
Street Address: Lafayette Park (north side of the White House)
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1 second ago
I want to thank you and congratulate you for being the only person, as far as I have seen so far, who took the time to commemorate Jack’s death – which should be celebrated every year…Ironically, the “Memorial Service” for Ronnie Smith, aka Roland Duby was on the 14th…which I think should have been held on the 15th as well. But thats just my opinion. I know the two of them knew each other very well. And it is sad how fast we forget those we have lost in AND during this “drug war”….Again, I thank you! ShereeKrider, USMJParty.org KentuckyMarijuanaParty.org
THIS VIDEO WAS POSTED ON 4/15/14 FOR THE ANNIVERSARY OF JACK’S DEATH….Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
High everyone (pun intended)!!!
I have received several requests to explain where the Medical Marijuana effort is for Kentucky.
KENTUCKY has THREE Medical Marijuana Bills in this years Legislative Session.
The mission of Special Olympics Ohio is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for individuals with intellectual disabilities by giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.
Special Olympics is founded on the belief that people with intellectual disabilities can, with proper instruction and encouragement, learn, enjoy and benefit from participation in individual and team sports, adapted as necessary to meet the needs of those special mental and physical limitations.
(FOLLOW THE LINK ABOVE TO DONATE TO MICHAEL OR READ MORE ABOUT IT)
“I am jumping as a representative of Central Ohio NORML and the Ohio Rights Group
and I’m out to prove that marijuana users are active, productive members of the
community and it would be amazing if people could show their support.”
Support Michael Revercomb-Hickman by donating to a wonderful charity cause. Whether it be $5 or $100
any and all donations will be highly appreciated. He will be participating in the 2014 polar plunge.
Proceeds go to the 2014 special Olympics. Thanks in advance!
*The U.S. Marijuana Party and Kentucky Marijuana Party endorses Michael’s efforts and applauds him for his devotion.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
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By Alan Johnson
The Columbus Dispatch Tuesday August 13, 2013 5:23 AM
A proposed constitutional amendment to legalize marijuana in Ohio was rejected yesterday by Attorney General Mike DeWine.
DeWine turned down petitioners for the End Ohio Cannabis Prohibition Act of 2012, citing four reasons that the submitted summary was not “fair and truthful” as required by state law.
The petition was submitted on Aug. 2 by three Ohio residents, including Tonya Davis, of Kettering, a suburb of Dayton, who has been involved in several previous marijuana issues. Proponents submitted 2,304 signatures of registered Ohio voters, more than double the 1,000 required.
DeWine said the submitted ballot summary omits references to amendment language which repudiates federal cannabis prohibitions and language saying “persons cannot be considered to be under the influence of cannabis ‘solely because of the presence of metabolites or components of cannabis in his or her body.’"
He also faulted the summary because it says education will be provided about the “medical harms or benefits from the personal use of cannabis products,” although the full amendment includes no such provision.
Finally, DeWine said the summary did not refer to language in the body of the amendment saying that the departments of Agriculture and Commerce would be responsible for overseeing the program.
Three other marijuana issues, including one proposing legalization of growing hemp, have been approved by state officials, but they are not likely to appear before Ohio voters at an election in the near future. The deadline for this November’s election already has passed.
DeWine’s letter and the summary text can be found at http://www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov/BallotInitiatives.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )
CONORD, N.H. – Federal officials preparing to sell the New Hampshire compound of a tax-evading couple convicted of amassing an arsenal of weapons can’t guarantee that explosives and other booby traps aren’t hidden on the 103-acre spread.
In fact, they will openly warn bidders that land mines might be planted throughout Ed and Elaine Brown’s bucolic property in the small town of Plainfield. And they say prospective buyers won’t be allowed on the grounds until they submit a winning bid that frees the government of liability for dismemberment or death.
"It’s going to be a very interesting sale," said Chief U.S. Deputy Marshal Brenda Mikelson, who’s in charge of the auction.
The Browns, who do not recognize the federal government’s authority to tax its citizens, were in a nine-month standoff with authorities in 2007 after they were sentenced to five years in prison for tax evasion. U.S. marshals posing as supporters arrested them peacefully.
They were convicted in 2009 of amassing weapons, explosives and booby traps and of plotting to kill federal agents who came to arrest them.
Ed and Elaine Brown, now in their 70s, are serving sentences of 37 and 35 years respectively.
Mikelson said she has contacted numerous federal agencies that have explosive detection equipment and dogs, and none could ensure a clean sweep of the property, which is set back from the road and includes acres of storm-damaged trees and other natural debris.
"With the size of the property, there’s no way to search it and have any guarantees," Mikelson said.
However, the hilltop house and the grounds up to the tree line have been searched extensively and are deemed free of improvised explosive devices and other booby traps, Mikelson said.
Federal marshals say they are still hammering out the language of the disclaimer and the auction won’t take place before September.
Also being auctioned is Elaine Brown’s dental office in West Lebanon in the heart of the retail hub of New Hampshire’s Upper Valley region.
That commercial property has its own set of complications involving the disposal of patient records to protect their privacy, but it isn’t considered potentially dangerous.
By federal court order, the properties must be sold as is. Minimum bid for the Plainfield compound is $250,000, while the Lebanon office must sell for at least $507,500.
The court has ruled that the Browns and any heirs have no claims to the properties or any assets from their sale.
While the Browns kept federal marshals at bay, they welcomed a parade of anti-tax and anti-government supporters including Randy Weaver, whose wife and son were killed along with a deputy U.S. marshal in a 1992 shootout on Weaver’s property in Ruby Ridge, Idaho.
Mikelson cited those sympathizers as another reason not to open the property to bidders and gawkers.
"They had a lot of supporters," Mikelson. "We’re trying to maintain safety for all."
If the properties sell, the first entities to be paid would be the municipalities of Plainfield and Lebanon, which are owed back property taxes.
Attorney Shawn Tanguay, who represents Lebanon, said that the city as of mid-July was owed roughly $211,500 in taxes, interest and penalties. Plainfield tax collector Michelle Marsh says the town is owed $152,550 on the Browns’ property there.
"We’re all sort of waiting with bated breath to get this settled," Tanguay said.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
A site for Gatewood Galbraith I’ve not had much time to work on – but will….
Originally posted on Gatewood Galbraith:
Some of Gatewood’s most famous quotes…Read some of Gatewood’s best quips, quotes and barbs through the years
6:02am on Jan 5, 2012; Modified: 6:03am on Jan 5, 2012
Independent candidate for governor Gatewood Galbraith and running mate Dea Riley were interviewed by Ron Lynkins, news director at Wallingford Communications in Richmond in November 2011. Photo by Pablo Alcala | Staff PABLO ALCALA | STAFF
On the campaign trail and in interviews, Gatewood Galbraith was known for great lines, quips and barbs about the state of politics, government and life in America. Here are some of Galbraith’s more memorable lines from his time in politics.
“If I was going to lie to you, I’d already be elected.” (a common refrain during Galbraith’s stump speeches)
“For all you Petrochemical-Pharmaceutical-Military-Industrial-Transnational-Corporate-Fascist-Elite-Bastards, I’ve got your karma right here.” (in his book, The Last Free Man in America Meets the Synthetic Subversion
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I Went From Selling Drugs to Studying Them — And Found That Most of What We Assume About Drugs Is Wrong
A scientist with a rough past explains how he used his life experiences to blow the lid off modern drug research.
June 19, 2013 |
This is the prologue to Columbia University researcher Dr. Carl Hart’s explosive new book, " High Price: A Neuroscientist’s Journal of Self-Discovery That Challenges Everything You Know About Drugs and Psychology." Read a Q&A with the author here.
The paradox of education is precisely this—that as one begins to become conscious, one begins to examine the society in which he is being educated.
The straight glass pipe filled with ethereal white smoke. It was thick enough to see that it could be a good hit, but it still had the wispy quality that distinguishes crack cocaine smoke from cigarette or marijuana smoke. The smoker was thirty-nine, a black man, who worked as a street bookseller. He closed his eyes and lay back in the battered leather office chair, holding his breath to keep the drug in his lungs as long as possible. Eventually, he exhaled, a serene smile on his face, his eyes closed to savor the bliss.
About fifteen minutes later, the computer signaled that another hit was available.
“No, thanks, doc,” he said, raising his left hand slightly. He hit the space bar on the Mac in the way that he’d been trained to press to signal his choice.
Although I couldn’t know for sure whether he was getting cocaine or placebo, I knew the experiment was going well. Here was a middle-aged brother, someone most people would label a “crackhead,” a guy who smoked rock at least four to five times a week, just saying no to a legal hit of what had a good chance of being 100 percent pure pharmaceutical-grade cocaine. In the movie version, he would have been demanding more within seconds of his first hit, bug-eyed and threatening—or pleading and desperate.
Nonetheless, he’d just calmly turned it down because he preferred to receive five dollars in cash instead. He’d sampled the dose of cocaine earlier in the session: he knew what he would get for his money. At five dollars for what I later learned was a low dose of real crack cocaine, he preferred the cash.
Meanwhile, there I was, another black man, raised in one of the roughest neighborhoods of Miami, who might just as easily have wound up selling cocaine on the street. Instead, I was wearing a white lab coat and being funded by grants from the federal government to provide cocaine as part of my research into understanding the real effects of drugs on behavior and physiology. The year was 1999.
In this particular experiment, I was trying to understand how crack cocaine users would respond when presented with a choice between the drug and an “alternative reinforcer”—or another type of reward, in this case, cash money. Would anything else seem valuable to them? In a calm, laboratory setting, where the participants lived in a locked ward and had a chance to earn more than they usually could on the street, would they take every dose of crack, even small ones, or would they be selective about getting high? Would merchandise vouchers be as effective as cash in altering their behavior? What would affect their choices?
Before I’d become a researcher, these weren’t even questions that I would think to ask. These were drug addicts, I would have said. No matter what, they’d do anything to get to take as much drugs as often as possible. I thought of them in the disparaging ways I’d seen them depicted in films like New Jack City and Jungle Fever and in songs like Public Enemy’s “Night of the Living Baseheads.” I’d seen some of my cousins become shells of their former selves and had blamed crack cocaine. Back then I believed that drug users could never make rational choices, especially about their drug use, because their brains had been altered or damaged by drugs.
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Richard James Rawlings with Gatewood Galbraith in Glasgow, Kentucky 2011
The U.S. Marijuana Party, did, on February 24, 2013, loose one of its first and most influential Presidents,
Second only to Loretta Nall, who preceded him as the first President of the USMJParty in 2002.
Richard James Rawlings took the head of the table in 2005 after Ms. Nall’s resignation.
He actively ran for Congress in Peoria Illinois several times. He promoted many legalization activities in the Peoria area of Illinois and attended many more events in various states until he began to become ill in 2009-10.
It was not until July of 2012 that he was diagnosed with Stage 4 Throat, Lung and Adrenal Cancer.
At the age of 51, he died peacefully at his mother’s home where we had resided since shortly after his hospitalization in Glasgow Kentucky for two weeks in July 2012 where he received the diagnosis and the surgery for the trach which he would continue to wear until the night of his death when I removed it.
All of his family were with him almost constantly during the last two weeks. And I am forever grateful to them for all their support to me during this most difficult time.
His death broke my Heart. We were not only coworkers, friends and companions – we were lovers and partners.
He will never be forgotten by me and I know the same sentiment holds true with all of his family, friends and followers.
May what he stood for never be forgotten: Repeal of Hemp/Marijuana/Cannabis Laws at best or Legalization at least.
May He Rest In Peace
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The ‘Prince Of Pot’ Encourages Marijuana Activists To Work As Hard As They Can To Make History On November 6th
By Marc Emery, Cannabis Culture
Today is Wednesday, October 3rd. In less than five weeks Americans will be voting candidates for President, Senate, the House of Representatives, their local statehouse representatives and senators, state attorney-generals, and their Mayor, City Council, sheriff, county commissioners, and possibly dozens of other elected offices at the state, county and local level. And then there are ballot initiatives that seek majority support for state laws legalizing possession of marijuana (Washington, Oregon, Colorado), medical marijuana (Arkansas, Massachusetts), and other proposed legislation.
Only about 20 states allow initiatives (also known as Propositions and Questions). In Canada, only British Columbia allows initiatives – and the signatures needed, about 400,000 voters in 90 days, are a daunting requirement. Nonetheless, my great friend and long-time activist Dana Larsen has undertaken this heroic task with his Sensible BC organization to get a marijuana possession decriminalization statute on a September 2014 ballot. Check out www.SensibleBC.ca for information about that campaign.
Canadians have no experience with the numerous options on a ballot that Americans face each November. When Canadians go to vote, it’s for one office and that’s it. In British Columbia, a person votes for City Council on mid-November Saturday every three years. For the provincial legislature (the equivalent of the statehouse), in BC we vote for one person on the second Tuesday in May every four years. For the federal Parliament (similar to Congress), Canadians vote for their one representative from their district every four years, sometimes a bit sooner if no one party controls the majority of seats. In Canada, the federal parliament has five parties in it, compared to the two parties in the US Congress.
My wife Jodie Emery, and Jeremiah Vandermeer, editor of Cannabis Culture and Pot TV, will be at the New Approach Washington headquarters in Seattle on November 6th streaming live the results of the marijuana legalization initiative I-502 as they come in (as well as bringing in affiliates from Colorado and Oregon to broadcast the results of their state legalization votes). New Approach Washington (www.NewApproachWA.org) is the organization that has done all the work writing up this proposed legislation, getting the necessary 247,000 signatures of Washington voters to put it on the ballot, and have raised millions to promote the initiative on television and in other media. Be sure to go towww.CannabisCulture.com and www.Pot.tv for the livestream, and share the experience with thousands of others on that historic night!
I am thrilled Jodie, Jeremiah, and his long-time girlfriend Carina will be at the epicenter when history is being in America – that is, when Washington State becomes the first US jurisdiction to legalize the possession of up to an ounce of marijuana. The same legislation also sets up a state cannabis distribution system through all state licensed liquor stores, and although the federal government may try to interfere with that aspect of the legislation, there is little the US federal government can do in regards to negating the provision allowing all adult persons to carry and possess (and thus consume) marijuana, at least up to an ounce of it at a time.
The Washington state initiative is polling a much wider margin of success than similar initiatives in Colorado and Oregon; I attribute this to a very prescient organization in Washington state. This is not an initiative that percolated from the cannabis community. I-502 was done by organizational professionals who largely are more interested in aspects of civil liberty, reducing the pernicious effects of prohibition, and putting forth a practical legislative proposal that takes into account the concerns of the conservative straight voter who is likely to show up on voting day. People who show up to vote are usually those with a long-term stake in the community, usually with children or family as concerns. So when they are asked to legalize possession of marijuana, and these voters in the main don’t partake, they need to know that the community safety – and specifically, that of their family – is built into this kind of legislative proposal. New Approach Washington did just that. They raised and spent millions in advertising promoting that aspect of the legislation, and are being rewarded with the best polling results of the three legalization initiatives.
I do hope the initiatives in Colorado (YES on Amendment 64!) and Oregon (YES on Measure 80!) pass too (check outwww.RegulateMarijuana.org andwww.Vote80.org). Mason Tvert, one of the principal forces behind the Proposition 64 in Colorado, with his group SAFER, has over a decade of tremendous work in Colorado, first getting a Denver initiative passed way back in 2007 – see more about that atwww.saferdenver.saferchoice.org. Colorado already is a medical marijuana state. Polling in Colorado suggests the vote will be close, but is winnable. Oregon is walking a tightrope, and lacks funding to promote the initiative there, but Paul Stanford has done a very admirable job gathering the signatures with his group to get the legalization question on the ballot there, and Russ Belville has been working hard promoting it too.
These efforts will be in urgent need of your campaign dollars and your vote on Tuesday, November 6th. Perhaps the most important votes in the lifetime of anyone in the cannabis culture in those three states will be Tuesday, November 6th. Imagine your elation when you awake on Wednesday, November 7th, and marijuana possession is legal in your state – somewhere in your country! – and you helped make it happen! But don’t just dream it, you’ve got four weeks to make sure this dream becomes your reality!
Of course, if you live in Washington, Oregon, or Colorado, be sure you are registered to vote and go support these history making legalization initiatives. If you are in Massachusetts and Arkansas, get out and vote for their medical marijuana initiatives. And a big thanks to Marijuana Policy Project for providing money and infrastructure to get the Arkansas initiative up and on the ballot for Tuesday, November 6th. MPP has done a terrific job getting statehouses in Rhode Island and Connecticut – this year alone – to pass medical marijuana legislation, and historically have done more to provide the wherewithal to get initiatives on the ballot and legislation in the statehouse than any other group.
Definitely you should make contributions of money – even $10, $25, $50 – toMarijuana Policy Project, the Drug Policy Alliance, SAFER Colorado, New Approach Washington, the THC Foundation, and any organization making real political change happen. These are the people making history happen in America, and money is an essential lubricant of liberty.
As for voting for President, I cannot say anything positive about Mitt Romney or Barack Obama. I disagree with everything Mitt Romney says he wants to do, and I disagree with everything Barack Obama has done. There is simply nothing to recommend either of them. Both are warmongers, both want to maintain the drug war, both believe in the surveillance state, state secrecy, the Imperial Presidency. They are both the complete opposite of Ron Paul, my hero, who I pray stays healthy and fit to run for President in 2016. As to Ron Paul’s son, Rand Paul, the US Senator from Kentucky is a shadow of his great father, and while Rand Paul is in some ways sympathetic to curtailing the excesses of the drug war (as in the case of mandatory minimums, to his credit), he is not the courageous man of perfect principle that his father is.
There are two perfect candidates running for the job of President and Vice President, and while they have no hope of being elected to those positions, they are the best candidates ever put before the cannabis culture for ending the drug war: Gary Johnson, the former two-term Governor of New Mexico and a wonderful, intelligent individual whom I met in 2003; and (California) Judge Jim Gray, a decades-long critic of the drug war whom has met Jodie twice this year. They make up the Libertarian ticket for the White House. They are both articulate and offer the right positions on the military, the drug war, the surveillance state, on the environment, on abortion and female reproductive autonomy, the economy, taxes, the deficit. They are both impeccably honest and very experienced. See www.GaryJohnson2012.com for more information.
There is a Libertarian candidate for virtually every position on the ballot. My recommendation is that you vote for every Libertarian you can, and give a small donation to each their campaign, and help them out, because every Libertarian wants to end the drug war and believes in individual freedom and liberty.
There are a few Republicans running for Congress who oppose the drug war – very few though, and they should be supported. However, many of the Democratic candidates for House of Representatives support some aspect of medical marijuana legislation, or legalization. Only a few Democratic Senators feel this way, alas, and only Rand Paul of the Republicans in the Senate is worth acknowledging in a positive way. You still need to educate your US Representative and US Senator from your district. Write them. Be heard. Watch how they vote in Congress.
Perhaps the greatest essay ever written on the colossal damage the drug war has done was recently published as a blog on the Seattle Post-Intelligencer by Vivian McPeak, the chief of the Seattle Hempfest. It’s poetic, brilliant, sobering and simply fantastic. I hope reading it – “Happy Birthday Prohibition – Now Die” – inspires you to give some money, your time, your vote and your involvement in the fight to end prohibition. These may be the most important weeks in the history of our movement, when your vote, your donations, and your voice promoting these initiatives makes a critical difference.
It would sure make the 610 days I’ll have remaining in this US federal prison a great deal easier to bear on the morning of Wednesday, November 7th. That the torch of the cannabis culture I tried to carry for decades has been carried on by millions of Americans who will not be, and were not, deterred by their governments’ resistance to justice. The very state of Washington, home of the Seattle federal court that sentenced me to prison for five years – specifically because of my legalization activities and supporting the marijuana movement with millions of dollars and millions of seeds – will have turned the world of prohibition upside down overnight by making I-502 the law, by making marijuana legal for the first time anywhere on earth. And my own prosecutor, who later realized marijuana prohibition is a failure, is working for legalization and campaigning against prohibition with the I-502 campaign. Our movement gains allies every day.
I’ll be locked down in my cell at 7:45pm Washington state (Pacific) time on Tuesday, November 6th. I won’t have heard any results by then, I won’t know if history was made until I get out of my cell at 6:00am sharp Wednesday morning and check my email from Jodie to read what transpired. I pray that Wednesday, November 7th is going to be my favorite Wednesday of my entire life – the day when legalization became more than just a 32-year dream of mine. The day I awoke and the world really changed.
Please do your utmost, if you live in Colorado, Oregon or Washington to make it your best Wednesday ever, too!Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
Monday, November 8, 2010
AFFIDAVIT OF FACT
AND NOTICE OF INTENT AND CLAIM OF RIGHT
TO CULTIVATE, POSSESS, USE, TRANSPORT AND DISTRIBUTE HEMP
1. You are hereby given lawful notice that the plant called Hemp (Cannabis genus) is a vital natural-resource for food, clothing, medicine, fuel, and paper; a religious sacrament, as well as being a “Strategic and Critical Material” for “military”, “essential civilian”, and “industrial” purposes as documented in Exhibits A, B, C, D, E, & F attached hereto, and as such is “accessible” and “protected” under International Law cited herein.
2. You are hereby given lawful notice of Affiants intent to cultivate, possess, use, distribute and transport the plant known as Hemp (Cannabis genus).
3. Affiant claims the right to carry out the foregoing intent under sanction of the following constitutionally ratified treaties (Pursuant to U.S. Const. Art. VI. Sec. 2):
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, Article 11, Sections 1 & 2, Dec. 16, 1966, http://www2.ohchr.org/english/law/cescr.htm
International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, Article 12, Section 1, Dec. 16, 1966, http://www2.ohchr.org/english/law/cescr.htm
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Article 18, Section 1, Dec. 16, 1966, http://www2.ohchr.org/english/law/ccpr.htm
United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the crime of Genocide, Article II (c), Dec. 9, 1948, http://www2.ohchr.org/english/law/genocide.htm
4. The International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, in Article 11, Sections 1 & 2, states:
1. The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone to an adequate standard of living for himself and his family, including adequate food, clothing and housing, and to the continuous improvement of living conditions. The States Parties will take appropriate steps to ensure the realization of this right…
2. The States Parties to the present Covenant, recognizing the fundamental right of everyone to be free from hunger, shall take, individually and through international co-operation, the measures, including specific programs, which are needed:
(a) To improve methods of production, conservation and distribution of food by making full use of technical and scientific knowledge, by disseminating knowledge of the principles of nutrition and by developing or reforming agrarian systems in such a way as to achieve the most efficient development and utilization of natural resources;
(b) Taking into account the problems of both food-importing and food-exporting countries, to ensure an equitable distribution of world food supplies in relation to need.
4a. The interpretation for the right to adequate food, as given by the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights in General Comment Number 12 states:
The right to adequate food is realized when every man, woman and child…has physical and economic access at all times to adequate food or means for its procurement.
The Committee considers that the core content of the right to adequate food implies:
The availability of food in a quantity and quality sufficient to satisfy the dietary needs of individuals…Dietary needs implies that the diet as a whole contains a mix of nutrients for physical and mental growth, development and maintenance…Availability refers to the possibilities…for feeding oneself directly from productive land or other natural resources…
Violations of the right to food can occur through…adoption of legislation or policies which are manifestly incompatible with pre-existing legal obligations relating to the right to food; SEE: http://www.unhchr.ch/tbs/doc.nsf/%28Symbol%29/3d02758c707031d58025677f003b73b9?Opendocument
4b. Affiant submit’s the following Exhibits as sufficient supporting evidence that Hemp qualifies as an “adequate food resource” and is therefore “accessible” under Article 11 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights:
Pursuant to Presidential Executive Order 12919, the “NATIONAL DEFENSE INDUSTRIAL RESOURCES PREPAREDNESS” order, Section 901 (e) & (l), attached hereto as Exhibit A, “Hemp” is defined as a “food resource” and qualifies as a ‘‘Strategic and Critical Material’’.
According to an excerpt from “Hempseed Nutrition” by Lynn Osburn, attached hereto as Exhibit B, a scientific analysis of hemp seed nutrition reveals that “Cannabis hemp seeds contain all the essential amino acids and essential fatty acids necessary to maintain healthy human life. No other single plant source provides complete protein in such an easily digestible form, nor has the oils essential to life in as perfect a ratio for human health and vitality. Hempseed is the highest of any plant in essential fatty acids.”.
4c. Affiant submit’s the following Exhibits as sufficient supporting evidence that Hemp qualifies as an adequate resource for “clothing”, “military”, “essential civilian” and “industrial” purposes, as well as other necessary resources for attaining an “adequate standard of living” including “paper” and biomass for “fuel” and is therefore further “accessible” under Article 11, Section 1 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights:
The transcript of a 1942 USDA film entitled “Hemp for Victory”, attached hereto as Exhibit C, states that “For thousands of years… this plant had been grown for cordage and cloth… For the sailor, no less than the hangman, hemp was indispensable…Indeed the very word canvas comes from the Arabic word for hemp…All such plants will presently be turning out products spun from American-grown hemp: twine of various kinds for tying and upholsters work; rope for marine rigging and towing; for hay forks, derricks, and heavy duty tackle; light duty fire hose; thread for shoes for millions of American soldiers; and parachute webbing for our paratroopers…hemp for mooring ships; hemp for tow lines; hemp for tackle and gear; hemp for countless naval uses both on ship and shore. ”.
According to a Popular Mechanics Magazine article, VOL. 69 February, 1938 NO. 2, pp. 238-240, entitled “NEW BILLION-DOLLAR CROP”, attached hereto as Exhibit D, states that “Hemp is the standard fiber of the world. It has great tensile strength and durability. It is used to produce more than 5,000 textile products, ranging from rope to fine laces, and the woody "hurds" remaining after the fiber has been removed contain more than seventy-seven per cent cellulose, and can be used to produce more than 25,000 products, ranging from dynamite to Cellophane…The natural materials in hemp make it an economical source of pulp for any grade of paper manufactured, and the high percentage of alpha cellulose promises an unlimited supply of raw material for the thousands of cellulose products our chemists have developed…All of these products, now imported, can be produced from home- grown hemp. Fish nets, bow strings, canvas, strong rope, overalls, damask tablecloths, fine linen garments, towels, bed linen and thousands of other everyday items can be grown on American farms. ”.
According to an Excerpt from "Energy Farming in America," by Lynn Osburn, attached hereto as Exhibit E, “BIOMASS CONVERSION to fuel has proven economically feasible, first in laboratory tests and by continuous operation of pilot plants in field tests since 1973. HEMP IS THE NUMBER ONE biomass producer on planet earth: 10 tons per acre in approximately four months.”
5. The International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, in Article 12, Section 1, states:
The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.
5a. The United Nations Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights, in their General Comment Number 14, interprets the right to health to mean the following:
The right to health contains both freedoms and entitlements. The freedoms include the right to control one’s health and body… and the right to be free from interference… The entitlements include the right to a system of health protection which provides equality of opportunity for people to enjoy the highest attainable level of health… The Committee considers that indigenous peoples have the right to specific measures to improve their access to health services and care. These health services should be culturally appropriate, taking into account traditional preventive care, healing practices and medicines. States should provide resources for indigenous peoples to design, deliver and control such services so that they may enjoy the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health. The vital medicinal plants, animals and minerals necessary to the full enjoyment of health of indigenous peoples should also be protected… In this respect, the Committee considers that development-related activities that lead to the displacement of indigenous peoples against their will from their traditional territories and environment, denying them their sources of nutrition and breaking their symbiotic relationship with their lands, has a deleterious effect on their health. By virtue of article 2.2 and article 3, the Covenant proscribes any discrimination in access to health care and underlying determinants of health, as well as to means and entitlements for their procurement. SEE: http://www.unhchr.ch/tbs/doc.nsf/%28symbol%29/E.C.12.2000.4.En
5b. Affiant submits the following Exhibit as sufficient supporting evidence that Hemp qualifies as a “traditional healing practice“, “medicine“ and “vital medicinal plant” that is “necessary to the full enjoyment of health” and therefore is “accessible” and “protected” under Article 12, Section 1 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights:
Lester Grinspoon, M.D. and Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, in an article entitled “History of Cannabis as a Medicine” published on August 16, 2005, attached hereto as Exhibit F, documents the historical, technical and scientific knowledge of Cannabis’s extensive use as a medicine. Grinspoon quotes DEA Administrative law Judge Francis L. Young in a decision rendered on September 6, 1988, which states: “marijuana, in its natural form, is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man…”
6. The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, in Article 18, Section 1, states:
Everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion. This right shall include freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice, and freedom, either individually or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and teaching.
6a. The United Nations Human Rights Committee, in their General Comment Number 22, interprets the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion to mean the following:
The right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion (which includes the freedom to hold beliefs) in article 18.1 is far-reaching and profound;
Article 18 is not limited in its application to traditional religions or to religions and beliefs with institutional characteristics or practices analogous to those of traditional religions. The Committee therefore views with concern any tendency to discriminate against any religion or belief for any reason, including the fact that they are newly established, or represent religious minorities that may be the subject of hostility on the part of a predominant religious community…
The freedom to manifest religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and teaching encompasses a broad range of acts. The concept of worship extends to ritual and ceremonial acts giving direct expression to belief, as well as various practices integral to such acts, including the building of places of worship, the use of ritual formulae and objects, also such customs as the observance of dietary regulations, the wearing of distinctive clothing or headcoverings, and participation in rituals associated with certain stages of life. SEE: http://www.unhchr.ch/tbs/doc.nsf/0/9a30112c27d1167cc12563ed004d8f15
6b. Affiant believes that Hemp (Cannabis genus) is equivalent to the “plant of renown” mentioned in Ezekiel 34:29 and the “tree of life” mentioned in Revelation 22:1-2 of the bible, which state:
And I will raise up for them a plant of renown, and they shall be no more consumed with hunger in the land, neither bear the shame of the heathen any more. — Ezekiel 34:29
On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit…And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. — Revelation 22:1-2
6c. Affiant believes in accordance with Genesis 1:29-30 of the bible, which states:
Then God said, "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food…everything that has the breath of life in it–I give every green plant for food." — Genesis 1:29-30
6d. Affiant believes that Hemp (Cannabis genus) is a sacred “plant of renown” and “tree of life” given by the Creator to be used for the feeding, clothing, and healing of the nations of the Earth.
6e. Affiant claims the right to manifest his foregoing belief in practice, through the act of cultivating, possessing, using, distributing and transporting Hemp (Cannabis genus).
7. The United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the crime of Genocide, in Article II (c), states:
In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part.
7a. The Report of the Preparatory Commission for the International Criminal Court of July 6, 2000, in Article 6 (c), interprets what elements constitute “Genocide“ through “Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction”, and states:
The term “conditions of life” may include, but is not necessarily restricted to, deliberate deprivation of resources indispensable for survival, such as food or medical services, or systematic expulsion from homes.
7b. You are hereby given lawful notice that the plant called Hemp (Cannabis genus) is a critical food staple in Affiants vegetarian diet, as well as being a vital resource for Affiants clothing, medicine, paper, fuel as well other central necessities to Affiants way of life, and is therefore indispensable for Affiants health, adequate standard of living, spiritual practice and long-term physical survival.
7c. Any action against Affiant and his family to confiscate Hemp harvests, blockade Hemp foodstuffs or other resources, any use of coercive measures to deter Hemp cultivation, possession, use, distribution, or transportation, including expulsion from homes or forced relocation into detention camps, will be considered a deliberate attack on Affiant and his families ability to sustain life and therefore an act of genocide pursuant to Article II (c) of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the crime of Genocide.
8. You are hereby given lawful notice that Affiant grants you thirty (30) days to rebut the facts stated herein; If you fail to rebut the facts stated in this affidavit within the granted amount of time then Affiant will assume that you are in agreement with said facts, and that you acknowledge Affiants claim of right and intent to act as stated herein, as being valid and lawfully sanctioned.
9. Affiant affirms under the penalty of perjury under all constitutional Laws of the State of California and the 50 States of the American Union, that all that is written in this affidavit is true and correct to the best of Affiants knowledge and understanding.
Signed and Sealed:_____________________________ Dated:___________
Natural Person – In Propria Persona – Conrad Justice Kiczensk
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED – WITHOUT PREJUDICE
State of California
Subscribed and affirmed before me on this ____________ day of ______________, 20________, by Conrad Justice Kiczenski, who proved to me on the basis of satisfactory evidence to be the Person who appeared before me. Witness my hand and official Seal.
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September 22, 2012 By Hannah Taleb
Well over one hundred people filled a conference suite at Temple University in Philadelphia on Tuesday, September 18, to hear testimony on the effects of solitary confinement. They included survivors of solitary, family members, community members, advocates, and lawmakers. The hearing was held by the Democratic Policy Committee of Pennsylvania at the request of Representative Ronald G. Waters (D-Delaware/Philadelphia), a member of the committee. It comes in the wake of the first ever Congressional hearingon solitary confinement, held by a subcommittee of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee in June, and serves as yet another marker of how the widespread practice of solitary confinement in American prisons and jails is quickly becoming a mainstream human rights issue.
The hearing also followed a rally on Monday at Philadelphia’s Love Park, organized by the Human Rights Coalition. About 150 participants listened to speakers describe their experiences in solitary confinement, while holding signs and banners that read “Jobs Not Jails,” “Fund Schools Not Prisons,” and “End Torture in Pennsylvania.” One banner listed the names of a group of prisoner who have been held in extreme isolation for from ten to thirty years.
All twenty-seven Pennsylvania state prisons have solitary confinement units, called Restricted Housing Units, and collectively they hold around 2,500 of the country’s 80,000 solitary confinement prisoners–about 5 percent of Pennsylvania’s total prison population of approximately 50,000. Stays in these RHUs can last for months, years or even decades. In general solitary confinement units in Pennsylvania look much like those across the country: units of tiny cells, lit 24-hours a day, with only food tray slots as portals to the outside world, that are used as warehouses for the mentally ill and politically active. These units have seen three suicides in the last two years as well as the death of John Carter in April of this year, allegedly at the hands of guards who used pepper spray and stun guns on him during a violent ”cell extraction.”
The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections has a specific designation for those prisoners that are placed in solitary confinement for indefinite periods of time: the Restricted Release List, a program that grew out of what used to be known as the Long Term Isolation Unit. Those on the list can only be released from solitary confinement with the approval of the department secretary; they often have not committed any offense in years, and are given no notice of their grave designation.
The hearing consisted of four panels: mental health experts, legal experts, survivors of solitary confinement, and family members with loved ones in solitary confinement. The first panel consisted of Dr. Terry Kupers and Dr. Craig Haney. Both men are psychologists who have done extensive research on the topic of solitary confinement, and Haney testified at the Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing in June.
Dr. Kupers began by telling the narrative of how solitary confinement and the idea of the supermax came into prevalence in the United States; a story told and lamented throughout the hearing. Kupers stated that the United States made what he called “a historic wrong turn” in the 1980s when prisons across the country cut funding to rehabilitative services, and began to see a rise in prison overcrowding and recidivism. Instead of reassessing the system itself, the nation’s response was to expand the prisons and propagate the idea that all of the problems of the system hinged on “the worst of the worst,” those prisoners who needed to be locked away in isolation.
Both psychologists emphasized the well documented proof that solitary confinement leads to, and greatly exacerbates mental illness. In response to the testimony Rep. Ron Waters asked, for the first of many times, how he could convince his fellow lawmakers that current policies and the use of solitary confinement is a policy of “tough on crime” rather than “smart on crime.” The representative also pointed out that Pennsylvania taxpayers pay $33,000 per year to imprison one person, and they deserve a “healthy, productive” citizen in return, not a mentally ill victim of torture. His remarks were in response to Terry Kuper’s explanation of someone maxing out of prison and being released straight from solitary confinement back to the community.
The second panel consisted of Jules Lobel of the Center for Constitutional Rights, Marc Bookman of the Atlantic Center for Capital Representation, Angus Love of the Pennsylvania Institutional Law Project, and Robert Meek of the Disability Rights Network. Lobel, the first to testify, via telecast, has represented prisoners in multiple cases challenging the conditions of solitary confinement, including his current representation of prisoners at Pelican Bay state prison in California. His testimony focused on how and why solitary confinement does not achieve its stated goals, using mainly examples of who it is that ends up in these units–certainly not the “worst of the worst.” “Instead, race, political affiliation, religion, association, vulnerability to sexual abuse, and challenging violations to one’s rights all too frequently play a role in which prisoners are sent to solitary confinement.”
The testimony of Angus Love and Robert Meek refocused the discussion towards the causal link between solitary confinement and mental illness. Statistics from research into Pennsylvania prisons, Meek explained, showed that 800 prisoners registered as having mental health issues are currently serving time in solitary confinement units in the state, while beds at the state’s mental health facility, State Correctional Institute Waymart, sit empty. Meek’s testimony called for what he referred to as “robust” psychosocial treatment for prisoners with known mental health issues and more oversight and consideration of mental illness in punishing a prisoner with solitary confinement. One of Pennsylvania’s prisons, SCI Cresson, is currently under investigation by the Department of Justice for their failure to provide adequate mental health treatment for prisoners. All four of the panelists urged that though programs for treatment and true rehabilitation may cost the state money in the short term, their cost-cutting effects in the long term would be great, and that in order to fix the issue of prisons in our state they must break the cycle of mental illness and incarceration.
The response from the delegates to the testimony presented by the panel of legal experts was thorough and indicated that several members were truly engaged in the subject of abolishing solitary confinement. Representative Vanessa Lowery Brown (D-Philadelphia), reflected on a recent visit to a Pennsylvania prison when she was told by staff that she “didn’t understand” why long term isolation was necessary. The testimony on Tuesday reinforced her belief that it was the staff at Pennsylvania’s state prisons that didn’t understand. Once again the representative implored the panelists to explain how they thought they should go about fixing the issue. The response from the three men present was unanimous: stop locking so many people up. Marc Bookman, whose testimony focused on the death row in Pennsylvania, pleaded that the lawmakers “stop feeding the Prison Industrial Complex” and “get smart on crime.”
As the hearing began nearing its scheduled end time, four solitary confinement survivors began the third panel. Robert King, a member of what is known as the Angola 3, who spent 29 years in solitary confinement in Louisiana, was the first to testify. A dedicated activist and public speaker, King simply talked about his experience in prison, and the effects that long term isolation can have on the mind. Most memorably he stated that he never once would have told you that he wasn’t crazy during his time in solitary confinement. “No one asked me; if they did I would have told them, of course I feel crazy.” The other two members of the Angola 3 are still in prison, convicted on questionable evidence of the 1972 murder of prison guard Brent Miller.
The second testimony was from Shujaa Graham, wrongfully accused of the murder of a prison guard in California which caused him to spend years in solitary confinement on death row. After a fourth trial his conviction was overturned in 1981, and he was freed after eleven years in prison. His voice shaky but sure, Graham’s testimony was some of the most emotional of the whole hearing. He stated that he felt he could never truly recover from the effects of isolation and that he only survives today “in spite of the system.” At the end of his testimony, with the applause of the audience, he told the representatives to stop nickel and diming the people they represent, to “do the right thing” and stop torturing people in Pennsylvania’s prisons.
The last two previously incarcerate people to speak were Hakeem Shaheed and LuQman Abdullah. Shaheed spent time in the federal prison system, including time at the infamous Marion prison, a federal supermax facility in Illinois. His testimony focused on the corruption within the federal prison system. Shaheed himself was placed at Marion, he said, as retaliation to his speaking at an inmate event and offering an indictment of the torture and abuse within federal prisons. Before his testimony Shaheed circulated his laptop, which displayed a still shot from a video in which guards brutalized him following the September 11th attacks because of his Muslim beliefs.
LuQman Abdullah spent eleven years in Pennsylvania prisons after being wrongfully accused of murder. He spent much of his time in prison in solitary confinement, given misconducts for his involvement with political groups and indictment of the planned execution of Mumia Abu-Jamal. His testimony was a series of stories of the torture he survived, like being strapped naked to a bed without a mattress and left for days, and also of triumph and lessons learned. When housed at SCI Green, Abdullah was housed next to Russell Maroon Shoatz, whose teachings and friendship he said “saved his life.” For the second time during the hearing Maroon’s long-term isolation was called into question and a plea was made to the lawmakers to release the 70-year-old with failing health into general population. Abdullah also brought up the name of Charles Graner for the first time during the hearing; Graner was a guard at SCI Green who was found guilty of the torture of Iraqi prisoners at Abu-Gharib prison.
The final panel of the day was four women, all with loved ones in solitary confinement. Shandre Delaney, whose son Carrington Keyes has been in solitary confinement in Pennsylvania for ten years, told how her son was placed in solitary confinement as retaliation for his political actions and beliefs. Ms. Delaney is an advocate with the Human Rights Coalition and corresponds regularly with prisoners who suffer similar fates to her son’s.ay and demanded that the representatives take the necessary steps to set up an outside organization that can monitor the Department of Corrections because from her experience “prisoners are not requesting special treatment but fair and humane treatment.”
Theresa Shoatz, the daughter of Russell Maroon Shoatz, was the second panelist to speak. Theresa told her story of growing up with a father being tortured in prison. Like Delaney, Shoatz is not solely an advocate for her father, but for all prisoners suffering a similar fate to his. Near the end of her testimony Shoatz pulled a five -allon bag of prescription pill bottles from her purse, telling the representatives that if they wanted to see the effects of her fight for her father they need to look no further than that bag, which was full of medications for stress-related illness. (A video interview with Theresa Shoatz can be viewed here.)
As representatives began to slowly leave the conference room the last two panelists spoke. Patricia Vickers, an advocate with the Human Rights Coalition, read testimony submitted by her son Kerry Marshall (Shakaboona), who has spent seventeen years in solitary confinement. The letter she read was a pointed and concise evaluation of the need for an outside organization to be formed in order to ensure oversight of the retaliatory and tortuous practices of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections. Vickers’ own testimony echoed this need for an un-biased monitorial group. The final panelist was Barbara Fair, the founder of My Brother’s Keeper. Pushed for time, the lawmakers asked that she be brief, so she gave a five-minute testimony in which she simply re-stated the message of the day: “Solitary confinement is meant to break the spirit and shatter the mind, and there is no use or need for it other than that.” Her remarks were followed by a burst of applause from attendees.
Representative Ronald Waters ended the hearing, reminding the audience once again how hard it will be to bring everything they had learned that day back to the rest of the lawmakers in Pennsylvania and gain any meaningful change. ”Its too easy to go along with the narrative of tough on crime, you see the stories that make the newspapers,” he said. Representatives who had stayed an hour and a half beyond the scheduled time greeted some of the panelists and filed out of the conference room, having received a clear message that the uphill battle to end solitary confinement in Pennsylvania is one worth fighting.
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Originally posted on U.S. Marijuana Party:
LINCOLN — One of the original members of the ‘60s revolutionary group, the Yippies, was found guilty this week of possession of marijuana with intent to deliver after being caught with 155 pounds of baled pot in a van at Ashland, Neb.
Saunders County District Judge Mary Gilbride, in an order dated Tuesday, also rejected, for the second time the use of a “choice of evils” defense by Dana Beal, 65, of New York City, a long-time advocate for using marijuana as medicine, and the official historian of the Yippie Museum.
Beal, at a trial last month, admitted he was a passenger three years ago in a van carrying the marijuana.
But in court…
View original 332 more words
Posted: 09/08/2012 03:00:15 PM PDT
Updated: 09/09/2012 07:00:03 PM PDT
DAVENPORT – On Sept. 5, 2002, the country was debating whether to invade Iraq to rid the country of weapons of mass destruction, just as it was bracing for the first anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. Stocks were still down, but the Oakland A’s had just notched their record 20th straight win.
Early that morning, 30 federal Drug Enforcement Agency-led law enforcement officers stormed the Wo/Men’s Medical Marijuana Alliance, a high-profile collective with a small pot farm outside Davenport, chopping down plants and setting off a furor with lasting impacts on the statewide medical marijuana debate that endures today.
“I just remember waking up at 6:45 a.m., because I heard vehicles in the driveway of the house I was in,” recalled WAMM’s Mike Corral recently, who looked out to see agents carrying a battering ram. “We always knew that there was this possibility of the feds doing something. [But] at the time, we were the darlings of the medical marijuana movement.”
Founders Mike and Valerie Corral were never charged, but the raid spurred a lengthy court case, contributed to local suspicions of federal law enforcement and beatified the Corrals as the spiritual center of the medical marijuana movement. Last week marked the 10th anniversary of the raid, and several key figures reflected on their roles.
“I think that event was one of the most important developments in the growth of understanding about medical marijuana in the country,” said local attorney Ben Rice, part of an all-star legal team that leaped to the Corrals’ defense.
But for a long time, prison was a real possibility. For Valerie Corral, the saga began when she heard boots crossing her porch. She knew who it was before she saw them, but said she was inoculated by calm.
GUN TO HER HEAD
“Something happened when they pushed me to the ground and put a gun to my head,” Corral recalled. “It’s hard to say exactly what it was. I wouldn’t say I felt safe with a gun to my head – I’m not trying to make light or change the image – but there was something that came together and strengthened inside of me.”
For the next several hours, Corral says she bent the ears of federal agents about the miracles of medical marijuana. The Corrals were taken to a holding facility in San Jose, while patients, some of whom needed help walking, gravitated toward the Corrals’ property and barricaded the police in.
Back in San Jose, agents asked the Corrals to help disperse the crowd, which they did.
“I didn’t want the energy to shift away,” Valerie Corral said. “I didn’t want it to become a screaming match.”
“I made this comment to an agent and said, ‘What do we have here, a hostage exchange situation?,'” Mike Corral said. “And he actually laughed a little bit.”
It turned out to be a wise move. Sympathetic to broad swaths of the community, the Corrals were embraced, with a medical marijuana giveaway even organized on the steps of Santa Cruz City Hall.
“I always said it was like representing Mother Teresa,” said Santa Clara University Law School professor Gerald Uelmen, of Valerie. “She is the most compassionate person I think I’ve ever encountered.”
By this point, the story of the raid had gone national. Many states were following in California’s Proposition 215’s footsteps, and the Bush Administration seemed to be drawing a line in the dirt. Hundreds of reporters were on hand for the pot giveaway and CNN carried the story live.
“Virtually every mayor in, at that time, the last 20 years was there,” Rice said.
Valerie Corral said she and Mike, now separated, spent the night in a hotel to avoid the risk of being taken back into custody before the big day.
MEMBERS CARRY ON
WAMM members kept the collective going by scrounging together marijuana and distributing it, and the DEA appeared unaware the Corrals had recently secured an industrial office on Santa Cruz’ Westside, which is still in use. But members said marijuana was in short supply, and that the raid contributed to the deaths of many.
“Sure, they were going to die anyway. It’s just that they died faster than they should have. And in pain that they shouldn’t have had, because they took the medicine away,” said longtime WAMM member Leona Powell, while rolling joints recently at WAMM’s Westside office.
The raid seemed divisive, not just among local police – who had long known the Corrals – but perhaps even among federal law enforcement.
Santa Cruz deputies did not participate, and then-San Jose Police Chief William Lansdowne later yanked his officers off a joint DEA marijuana task force that executed the raid.
Many WAMM members also believe the raid order came from Washington and surprised the local U.S. attorney’s office. Deborah SilverKnight, a patient then and now, said she even got a call from then-Sheriff Mark Tracy telling her what had happened. Rice was alerted by the county’s top jailer.
“It was very tragic. Surreal,” SilverKnight said.
The Corrals moved to suppress evidence from the raid before it even went to a grand jury, and it was clear fairly early that they wouldn’t be charged. (Within months, federal drug prosecutors would turn their attention to another co-op – a storefront called the Bay Area Laboratory Cooperative, or BALCO, signaling the federal effort to root illegal steroids from pro sports.)
VICTORY IN COURT
Nevertheless, WAMM members went on the offensive, suing the Justice Department. U.S. District Judge Jeremy Fogel eventually ordered that their farm be left alone, and the case stands as the only clear win for the medical marijuana movement in federal court.
WAMM struggles forward today. The collective was organized along Marxist principles – from each according to their abilities, to each according to their need – and has never been a cash register for its owners.
“We’re connected to the people that we serve, and each of us serves one another,” Corral said.
For all the well-placed criticism of the state’s medical marijuana industry, WAMM’s patients have always tended to be truly and severely ill. But it also acknowledges market realities, recently diversifying its product range and now offering cannabidiol-rich pot.
Richard Johnson, who has HIV, said many at WAMM mix marijuana with more traditional medicines. To control an illness, he added, one must be able to control their medicine.
“The beauty about this group is we have the support of people with very different illnesses coming here,” Johnson said. “We share information about what helps you heal, both mentally and physically.”
The collective has had thousands of members over the years, and 361 have died. WAMM is collecting pictures of the deceased, assembling them into a mural in their Almar Street office. Valerie Corral seems to hold each one especially close, having visited many deathbeds.
“You think you know something,” she said, “until you sit so close to something that you cannot imagine.”
Most see the raid as backfiring on the federal government. WAMM was a public relations nightmare, and partly because of that, arguably a bigger legal problem for the feds than the Corrals. Mike Corral believes a prosecution might have toppled federal drug laws.
Ten years later, the state is in the midst of another searching debate about medical marijuana and how much autonomy California should have regulating it, with many accusing President Obama’s administration of backtracking on a hands-off pledge.
Several dispensaries have been targeted for raids, with federal prosecutors saying they are targeting marijuana profiteers – something Corral (who believes the pharmaceutical industry is preparing to enter the business) has criticized. And in an uncertain legal environment, many have shut their doors.
“I think it really taught the feds a lesson that they took to heart,” said Uelmen, who brings his drug abuse law seminar students to WAMM. “I think it’s still being taken to heart. The fact that all these other dispensaries are being raided but WAMM is openly operating reflects that we taught the feds to make some distinctions that there are legitimate patients out there whose health depends on marijuana.”
‘WE WON THE WAR’
And when asked about the legacy of the raid, Mike Corral is clear: it led to the expansion of dispensaries throughout the state and the country.
“Medical marijuana is a done deal, in the United States and worldwide,” Corral said. “We won the war; it’s just ‘What are the terms of surrender going to be?'”
Valerie Corral said the raid also contributed to a personal evolution.
“It’s interesting how it moved us toward becoming the people that we really wanted to be,” she said. “To help us model ourselves after the many activists, civil rights activists that had gone before us and taught us, and taught the world to awaken. To recognize that we’re walking among need, and great suffering. To become what we wanted to be as human beings. To offer something that’s bigger than ourselves to other people.”
Follow Sentinel reporter Jason Hoppin on Twitter: @scnewsdude
ALSO SEE: JEFFREY’S JOURNEYRead Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )
We are Independent. Although we are not technically affiliated with the USMarijuanaParty.org some of us are members of that party.
I, myself, am still listed on WIKI as a Chairperson, even though I resigned that position last July 2011.
I am now considered Kentucky Administrative as of September 2012.
However, the sites being set up pertain to issues only as a (NGO-Non Governmental Organization) and do not represent a “political party” in any form.
We do contact our legislators concerning issues that may or may not have to do with “repealing prohibition” – we ARE “Anti-prohibitionists”…
We will address any issue to do with Human Rights, Civil Rights, Constitutional Rights, Second Amendment, “Bill of Rights”, Religious Rights, Ecological-all aspects including Coal Fired Energy, Mountain Top Removal, etc., Police Brutality, Prisoners Rights, other Political Issues and anything else that comes up as needing to be addressed.
Feel free to contact with suggestions, etc., or if you would like to be a contributor to the site.
ShereeKrider@hotmail.comRead Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
Written By Roxanne Davenport Greschner M.A. 707-568-1082
THE DYNAMICS OF INCARCERATION
Written By Roxanne Davenport Greschner M.A. 707-568-1082
We can create a better more efficient prison system by demilitarizing the system that we have.
We need to disable the power of the guards union and to stop the development of organized crime linked with that power. The creation of the supermax or military social control model of incarceration has disabled the prisoner population, by creating an oppressive abusive violent environment that harms the prisoner population in many ways, impacts profoundly the communities where family members live, and hinders the folks who become advocates for the prisoners. This is done as retaliation against the fight for the freedom of the prisoners with the intent to abuse and to weaken the support system of people who are invested in protecting the rights of their loved ones and friends.
After all, the power of intimidation reaches only the quiet individuals who are not drawn towards crime and has no effect on the hardened ones who need to be softened (Albert Camus 1961).
Some examples of the retaliation that is done to many prisoners and their wives are the separation of those prisoners from their families.
Often the women who marry men in prison who are famous, or are deemed by the system to have political power within that system, are separated within their own communities to isolated areas, housed with people who are in collusion with the prison system. The women are interrogated by folks whose only purpose is to obtain information from them about the criminal activities of their newly wedded husbands or like in my case the intention of their husband in an up and coming trial.
Albert Camus (1961) reminds us, “police states have never been suspected of opening schools of law in the cellars where they interrogate their subjects.” At times the women are shuffled around from prison to prison constantly harassed by the guards and some of the other wives of the prisoners who have affiliations that are different especially when there are rival gang members involved. Arson is committed to create homelessness for those women who take up the banner of freedom for their husbands and other prisoners, to oppress the fight for freedom, and maintain a sense of struggle within this poverty stricken class of women.
Albert Camus (1961) reminds us that ‘freedom is the concern of the oppressed, and her natural protectors have always come among the oppressed.” Even when a prisoners’ family lives close to a prison, the community in which the prison is located also is home to many correctional officers who for the most part have lived in the community all of their lives. The communities are usually poverty stricken, small with very little or no employment opportunities for the ladies who relocate to visit their loved ones at the prison.
The family members of the correctional officers who were raised in the prison town also have many of the belief systems of their sisters and brother or cousins who work in the prison and all of them know what goes on in the town. The women and their children are treated by some of the families of the correctional officers like criminals because of their association with the prisoner population by marriage and by other members of the community with distance and detachment until they become part of the community, which actually takes a couple of years. All the while the women are poverty stricken because of the lack of work that will effectively help them better their economic situations. Because the women are vulnerable they often become the targets for the correctional community.
Especially when that community is corrupt and has correctional officers who are criminals in their own right.
I have witnessed many occurrences of sexual harassment as well as manipulation for privilege, which amounts to exploitation, perpetrated by correctional officers. While living near the Substance Abuse treatment Facility (SATF) located in Corcoran California, some of the wives of the lifer population were harassed or bribed into making my life miserable because of the history of my political activities, and my husband who is a prisoner has been denied his basic rights under their own policies i.e. the right to work, attend programs, to further his goal of parole.
This manipulation is usually done to weaken the solidarity the women should have to survive being the wives of the lifers. An example of this manipulation is when a young correctional officer approaches a young wife of a lifer and he bribes her into organized criminal behavior along with other women who are bringing in drugs, to burglarizing the home of the targeted prisoner’s wife.
Some of the wives who participate are allowed to bring in drugs and their husbands are rewarded by getting jobs working in the prison, if they co-operate with the correctional officers who are corrupt, harming the wife or family member of a prisoner whom they do not like or who has the goods on that guard.
After all “the society of money and exploitation has never been charged, so far as I know, with assuring the triumph of freedom and justice.” (Camus, 1961)
The correctional officers will send their own family members under the guise of checking up on some of the prisoners wives to case their homes for valuables, rob and terrorize those women who try to have their husbands released from prison. Many women have to leave the area because to stay would be counter productive for their husbands freedom further separating them from their husbands by distances and support. Once targeted by this corrupt organization of people who work for the State of California, the individual’s life becomes a disaster. Their personal possessions are stolen and they are told that they have no rights, and that they have to prove that they own their possessions, all of this harassment is just that, harassment, and means nothing, especially when the targeted couple have the power to go to a higher authority, and puts a stop to the violence.
Reporting the criminal activities puts the wives and their husbands in a precarious situation, because most of the time the reports are ignored by local law enforcement that receive kick backs for the crimes such as the jewelry belonging to the prisoners wives. All of these activities can be considered organized criminal behaviors and are perpetrated by the very people who are supposed to be rehabilitating the prisoner population and protecting their community members, the pseudo-wannabe peace officers that work at the prison and the local police.
This happens when we live in a “Military State.”
The women are forced to depend upon the Federal Government, Aid to Dependant Children, members of the local social system who are not equipped to deal with the expansion of violence the people of our society have slowly witnessed and experienced since the 1970’s because of the introduction of the supermax (military social control) model of incarceration that began in the mid 1960’s. Since the introduction of the supermax model of incarceration our society has created laws to accommodate the expansion of the prison system.
To further create a military class of people who are trained in military social control, not only to control the prison system, but also to control the crime free citizens, who are connected to that system by marriage and family relationships.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
Originally posted on and Sow it Everywhere:
Some of you know about the Big Grow others may not. The Big Grow is an act of Civil Disobedience where you plant your left over seeds in a place of display with no idea of getting the plant back in any way.
The point is for people to see the plant and get used to it being around and to keep the police busy running around over calls until they decide not to react.
At that point Marijuana is basically legal. No one is shocked by it and the police stop arresting people for it. Sounds to easy but both the Sociology and the Psychology are their believe me.
In the spirit of saving a fallen brother brother in arms I am starting a Free Marc Emery campaign in the USA. For those with their heads in the sand Marc Emery was extorted out of Canada to the US…
View original 631 more words
Aside from the American family, the one big loser in the prohibition of cannabis has been the truth. The fact that cannabis is illegal and the ramifications of even admitting you smoke it could jeopardize your employment, your standing in the community, your entire life. All of this, while the agents of misinformation spread their lies.
As a young airman I smoked cannabis while serving in Thailand. I found it to be something other than what I had thought it would be but nothing as harmful as I had heard. Back then there was so much misinformation. Over the years I have smoked off and on but it wasn’t until I met Gatewood Galbraith back in 1990 that I realized just how much I had been lied to.
The problem over those years is no one could speak up. No one dared to, except a handful of activists and over a period of 18 months things changed. The genie was out of the bottle and all the establishment could say is, “It’s a gateway drug.” By then that argument didn’t hold water and since then no one has been able to come up with a good enough reason for the prohibition. It’s as if they have been afraid of the debate, running from it from the president on down.
All we ask is for an honest and open debate. We have heard the concerns of those on the other side and we have answers for you. We want to take this past the Cheech and Chong persona of the cannabis culture. Our evidence is compelling if we can ever get a fair and impartial hearing unlike I have seen lately even in this very paper. The stereotypical “stoner” portrayed in a cartoon with misinformation and innuendo masked as an editorial. This does nothing to further the debate.
To our law enforcement community, whose concerns are that they would have a hard time identifying the medicinal hemp from industrial, I would first of all like to assure them that once the “Gatewood Galbraith Medical Marijuana Memorial Act” is signed into law there will be no need for you to worry as all cannabis will be legal. There would be no reason for you to have to make that call. Cannabis, however, is very easy to detect one from the other. Industrial hemp is grown in dense crops while medicinal is grown with the plant isolated from the male to ensure a high THC content.
The Family Foundation has voiced its displeasure but from their responses I can tell they just need to be educated as well. Cannabis is being proven to be a medicine all across the world. Countries such as Spain, Portugal, and Israel all have done remarkable research. Portugal has gone as far as legalizing and regulating all drugs, treating them on an individual basis, with great success. The folks at the Family Foundation question the motives of Sen. Clark and commented they feared it would be used as relief for jet lag and stress. What I would ask is what do doctors prescribe now for these ailments and if cannabis is deemed a viable cure then why shouldn’t my doctor prescribe it? If the war on drugs has been so good for the family then why haven’t the figures of abuse changed since Nixon first declared a war on cannabis?
The fact is we need to take another course. We need to take a long hard look at this war on cannabis; this war on the American family, this war that has torn this country apart. We can no longer afford to chase down every grower in Kentucky; cannabis will never be eradicated. We imprison more of our citizens than any other country on earth and we call this the land of the free. The drug war is financing our current industrial prison complex. Nothing good has come from it.
“Education Summer” is designed to educate Kentucky about the truth concerning cannabis hemp, the plant that our state depended on for so many years. We are getting the conversation started with volunteers all over the state. The facts are there. Before you judge someone unjustly, do the research and find out for yourself.
Ron Moore is director of the Kentucky Veterans for Medical Marijuana.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( 1 so far )
High Everyone. We’re sad to say our friend and fellow activist, Chuck ‘the Burnman’ Byrnes from HempRock Radio and TV, is loosing his battle with cancer!
I know he’d love to hear from you all so we’re asking those of you who can’t visit him or reach him by phone, to please leave a message for him on the HempRock Hempline. I will be collecting them over the next few days and will burn them all on a CD for him to listen to. You can leave up to a 3 minute message.
Thanx from me and Burnman!
HempRock Hempline 513-68-4-HEMP (4367)Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
Kentucky Medical Practitioners Survey
Reschedule Cannabis from Schedule I to Schedule II
Please print your name if you believe cannabis/marijuana doesn’t meet the “no accepted medical value” requirement of a Schedule I drug