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After a toxin from blue-green algae shut down Toledo’s water system, regulators in Kentucky and Indiana take a look at their states’ drinking water utilities.

Posted on August 15, 2014. Filed under: Ecology, LATEST NEWS, Pollution/Global Warming | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |


Kentucky steps up response to toxic algae risks

James Bruggers, jbruggers@courier-journal.com  2:04 p.m. EDT August 15, 2014

When toxic algae left 500,000 people in the Toledo, Ohio, area without drinking water for two days this month, one of Kentucky’s top environmental regulators took notice.

"I was sitting there on a Friday evening, hearing various things from various counterparts, and I was thinking this can happen in my state," recalled R. Bruce Scott, commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection. "What are we doing to be prepared?"

First thing the following Monday, Scott put that question to his staff, and Kentucky officials have been working since to get answers by combing through documents filed by many of the state’s 467 public drinking water systems, and reaching out to some with questions.

The inquiry steps up Kentucky’s response to its emerging problem of toxic algae blooms, first documented in the state in late 2012 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at Taylorsville Lake.

The review puts drinking water safety front and center, in addition to state and Army Corps concerns about recreational exposure to blue-green algae — a cyanobacteria that can produce toxins causing skin or eye irritation, nausea, flu-like symptoms and liver damage.

The blooms occur with sunlight, slow-moving water and too many nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorus, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. They’re made worse by pollution from sewage treatment plants, septic systems and runoff from fertilized farms and lawns.

COURIER-JOURNAL

Toxic algae makes a comeback at Kentucky and Indiana lakes

For the second year in a row, Kentucky and the corps have issued recreational advisories on some lakes because of the blooms. In all, 10 Kentucky lakes carry the warnings, including Barren River, Nolin River, Green River, Rough River and Guist Creek lakes.

None is closed to swimming, fishing or boating. Instead, authorities advise not swallowing lake water and washing well after swimming.

Source water concerns

In response to a Kentucky Open Records request, state officials acknowledged 10 public drinking water systems serving thousands of customers in Kentucky are drawing water from lakes with algae advisories.

They include the Shelbyville Water and Sewer Commission, Edmonson County Water District and the Grayson County Water District.

State officials said they know of no immediate drinking water threats from algae anywhere in Kentucky. And officials with the Louisville Water Co. — which provides water to about 850,000 people in Louisville and parts of Bullitt, Nelson, Oldham, Shelby and Spencer counties — said they do not have any issues with toxic algae.

But state officials said they want all Kentucky drinking water providers to be ready to handle algae problems, and that is why they are taking a closer look at Kentucky’s drinking water systems.

State officials acknowledged even more systems could be at potential risk, where monitoring for toxic algae has not yet occurred. And Scott said there could be gaps in technology or expertise at some utilities, especially smaller systems with fewer resources.

"We need to make sure we are properly educating and informing our smaller systems of what they need to do," Scott said. "We are asking what can and should be done to make sure we are looking at everything that needs to be looked at."

If Kentucky water utilities don’t have procedures for analyzing their source water for the different types of toxic algae, state officials recommend developing some.

Scott said they want to make sure all systems understand what treatment methods work, and have an emergency response plan if their water becomes unsafe for drinking.

Rural water systems contacted by The Courier-Journal said their customers don’t need to worry.

"We are staying on top of it," said Tom Dole, general manager of the Shelbyville Water and Sewer Commission, which draws water from Guist Creek Lake.

"We are not experiencing … anything like the conditions that we read (about) and saw in Toledo," said Kevin Shaw, general manager of the Grayson County Water District, which draws from Rough River Lake. "You could look at the water and see the algae. That is not the case in our reservoir."

Indiana’s Department of Environmental Management surveyed its 33 public water utilities that rely on lakes in the wake of Toledo’s crisis, said Barry Sneed, IDEM spokesman. Bloomington’s water system was concerned about algae, so new samples were taken but no toxins or algae were detected, he added.

"We plan to keep in contact with systems that may be susceptible to algal blooms and if problems arise, we will work with the system to ensure treatment is adjusted to any address possible algal toxins," he said.

COURIER-JOURNAL

Map of Kentucky and Inidiana lakes with elevated toxic algae

Prevention

Besides ensuring drinking water utilities are prepared, experts say Kentucky needs to do more to prevent the blooms.

"We need to step up our game," said Gail Brion, a professor of civil engineering at the University of Kentucky with an expertise in water-borne illnesses and water treatment.

She said the state needs to better curb the nitrogen and phosphorous that gets into waterways from sewage, animal waste, fertilizers and other sources.

"Once a bloom has happened, it is too late," she said. "The toxins persist in the environment months after formation, so even if the algae leave, the toxins can remain."

Scott said Kentucky regulators know they need better control of nutrient pollution and his department is working on a nutrient-management plan to do just that.

But environmentalists worry the state won’t adopt stringent enough pollution limits and that state environmental agency budgets will continue, further putting Kentucky communities at risk of a drinking water crises.

"We need limits on pollutants and inspectors on the ground," said Judy Petersen, executive director of the Kentucky Waterways Alliance, which has joined other groups in suing the EPA over nutrient pollution in the Mississippi Basin, including Kentucky and Indiana. Otherwise, she said, Kentucky residents "are rolling the dice" on safe drinking water.

When it comes to cyanobacteria, it quickly gets complicated.

The toxin that wreaked havoc in northern Ohio — microcystin — can be produced by a variety of blue-green algae, not just the Microcystic found in Lake Erie. And other types of blue-green algae have different toxins that can cause health problems.

Toledo draws water from a shallow area of Lake Erie that became inundated by blue-green algae that produced microcystin, said Greg Boyer, chair of the chemistry department at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in New York.

The city’s water utility had no ability to switch to another intake, where there was less blue-green algae, said Boyer, who is also acting director for the Great Lakes Research Consortium, a research network.

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency had warned Toledo about problems with its aging treatment system in June, writing to the city’s mayor of "the precarious condition" of the system and its "imminent vulnerability to failure."

Boyer said utilities should monitor for the types of blue-green algae that can produce toxins. He said equipment can be bought for $5,000 to $25,000 that can provide a continuous flow of toxic algae data.

"Then, at what point do you worry about it? We deal, in most cases, where the blooms have to be fairly thick," he said. "When you can see it."

Further complicating matters, Scott said, is that the EPA has yet to establish a uniform testing method for the algae toxins, or safe drinking water standards. EPA is working on that, but "we believe they need to accelerate their decision making based on what we are seeing in Toledo and other places, including Kentucky," Scott said.

COURIER-JOURNAL

Toxic algae effects and precautions

Taylorsville Lake in Spencer County, a popular summer destination for water recreation, has fallen victim to an invasive and toxic algae over the past year. (Photo: Marty Pearl/Special to The CJ)

Louisville preparations

The Louisville Water Co. has an algae response plan that involves close tracking of algae in the Ohio River when it may be present: April to November.

The company’s aquatic ecologist, Roger Tucker, checks water samples through a microscope to determine what types of algae may be in the water, and whether they might cause any problems.

So far, the only algae problems Louisville Water has experienced comes from those that can make water taste or smell bad, Tucker said. This year, he said, there has been hardly any algae in the company’s river water.

Rivers are also less likely to have algae blooms because their water doesn’t get stagnant, said the water company’s chief scientist, Rengao Song. Sediment that often turns the Ohio brown blocks sunlight, preventing algae from growing, he said.

The water company’s Crescent Hill Treatment Plant is well-equipped to remove algae and any algae-caused toxins or chemicals that cause taste and odor changes, with processes that include absorptive activated carbon, he said.

Louisville also gets 30 percent of its water from wells deep under the Ohio River, where sand and gravel naturally filter tiny contaminants, including algae. That water feeds the company’s B.E. Payne treatment plant.

The water company is now working with engineering consultants on preliminary engineering for riverbank filtration for its Crescent Hill plant. Such a system should have no risk from toxic algae, Song said.

"The Louisville Water Co. has never detected any algae cells in its riverbank filtration water," Song said.

Reach reporter James Bruggers at (502) 582-4645 or on Twitter @jbruggers.

Kentucky water systems that draw from lakes with toxic algae advisories:

• Shelbyville Water and Sewer Commission (Guist Creek Lake)

• Springfield Water Works (Willisburg Lake)

• Glasgow Water Co. and Scottsville Water Department (Barren River Lake)

• Edmonson County Water District (Nolin River Lake)

• Columbia/Adair County Regional Water Commission and Campbellsville Municipal Water (Green River Lake)

• Grayson County Water District and Litchfield Water Works (Rough River Lake)

• Mount Sterling Water Works (Greenbriar Creek Reservoir)

Source: Kentucky Division of Water

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LG&E and KU withdraw request for Green River facility

Posted on August 13, 2014. Filed under: Ecology, Environment, LATEST NEWS | Tags: , , , , , |


Still pursuing solar generating facility request

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Aug. 12, 2014) — Louisville Gas and Electric Company and Kentucky Utilities Company informed the Kentucky Public Service Commission today that they will withdraw their application for a second natural gas combined-cycle generating facility, but plan to continue to pursue a solar generating facility.

lge_ku_ppl_tag

The announcement comes as a result of nine municipal utility customers’ decision to terminate in 2019 their wholesale power contracts with Kentucky Utilities. Those contracts total approximately 320 megawatts of peak demand.

LG&E and KU filed the request with the KPSC in January to build an approximately 700-megawatt NGCC generating facility in Muhlenberg County and a 10-megawatt solar photovoltaic facility in Mercer County. The need for the NGCC, which was expected to be completed by 2018 and cost approximately $700 million, was based in part on energy forecasts through 2035 that included serving the municipal customers.

Following the municipal utilities’ termination notices, LG&E and KU put the new generation requests on hold for 90 days to weigh the impacts of the termination notices on future generation plans. As a result, LG&E and KU have decided to withdraw their application for the NGCC. Plans remain in place for the $36 million solar facility at KU’s existing Brown facility. If approved, the solar unit would go online in 2016.

“We’ve analyzed the situation carefully and believe that it is in the best interest of all of our customers to withdraw our current application for the natural gas combined-cycle unit in Western Kentucky,” said Paul W. Thompson, chief operating officer. “Removing more than 300 megawatts of demand changes our load forecasts and thus delays the need for new generation.”

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10 Cities Running Out of Water

Posted on August 5, 2014. Filed under: Ecology, Environment, LATEST NEWS |


Originally posted on 24/7 Wall St.:

147272470After multiple unusually dry years across the western, southern and central United States, more than 80% of California is now in a state of extreme or exceptional drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. An average of nearly 90% of Bakersfield, Calif., has been in a state of exceptional drought over the first seven months of 2014, more than any other large urban area.

Based on data provided by the U.S. Drought Monitor, a collaboration between academic and government organizations, 24/7 Wall St. identified large U.S. urban areas that have been under persistent, serious drought over the first seven months of this year. The Drought Monitor measures drought by five levels of intensity: from D0, described as abnormally dry, to D4, described as exceptional drought. For the first time in the Drought Monitor’s history, 100% of California is under at least severe drought conditions, or D2. It was also…

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Louisville Gas & Electric (LG&E) has been illegally pouring toxic coal ash into the Ohio River,

Posted on June 30, 2014. Filed under: Coal Mining, Commerce, Ecology, Environment, General News, Green Power, Healthcare, KENTUCKY WEED, LATEST NEWS, Mental Health, Political, Pollution/Global Warming, US Health Care, WTF! | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |


Earthjustice

Liked · May 29 · Edited

 

BRAZEN: For years, Louisville Gas & Electric (LG&E) has been illegally pouring toxic coal ash into the Ohio River, unbeknownst to neighboring communities. Now thanks to a hidden camera and satellite imagery, the utility has been caught and faces a lawsuit from Earthjustice along with huge fines. http://ow.ly/xoDMp
LG&E could be fined up to $68 million along with $37.5K for each day that goes forward until the dumping is stopped. Coal ash contains a toxic brew of pollutants, including mercury and arsenic, which can cause cancer. It’s the waste product left over from the nation’s coal-fired power plants. Here’s great information on coal ash >> http://ow.ly/xoOp4
Help SPREAD this post and TELL US >> Do you think the fines are harsh enough for LG&E’s years of illegal dumping?

 

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Kentucky reaches settlement with Big Tobacco

Posted on June 13, 2014. Filed under: LATEST NEWS | Tags: , , , , , , |


Adam Beam, AP Business Writer 6:04 p.m. EDT June 12, 2014

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Tobacco companies have agreed to pay Kentucky more than $110 million to settle a 10-year legal battle over the state’s share of the tobacco master settlement agreement.

In 1998, U.S. tobacco companies agreed to pay $229 billion to 52 states and territories over many years to compensate them for the costs of treating smoking-related illnesses. The companies also agreed to advertising restrictions, including a ban on marketing to youth.

Lots of smaller tobacco companies did not participate in the settlement and were not subject to its restrictions. Kentucky agreed to charge those companies more taxes as a way to level the playing field with the bigger tobacco companies.

But in 2003, the big tobacco companies accused Kentucky of not collecting all of the taxes it was supposed to. As a result, they withheld some of Kentucky’s annual payments. State officials and tobacco companies have been fighting over those disputed payments since 2003.

In September, a federal arbitrator ruled Kentucky did not do all it could to collect the taxes. Democratic Attorney General Jack Conway challenged that arbitration ruling in court. But the state was in danger of losing all of its tobacco settlement payments – tens of millions of dollars each year that paid for a range of agricultural, public health and early childhood education programs.

That’s why in November, Conway said he began secret negotiations with the tobacco companies in hopes of reaching a settlement.

"There was no end in sight," Conway said. "Given the time, value of money and the needs of this state and the agricultural community and our health community right now, I think it’s a good deal for the state."

According to the terms of the agreement — which Conway signed on Wednesday — Kentucky will get $110.4 million of the disputed payments in the 2014 fiscal year, bringing the state’s total payments to $158.7 million. Going forward, tobacco companies will pay Kentucky 45% of the disputed payments.

Kentucky is the 23rd state to settle this dispute with the tobacco companies.

"By joining 22 other states in settling, Kentucky escapes that chaotic landscape of future legal battles as well as saves itself from the financial and administrative cost of litigating these decades-old events," Beshear said.

Denise F. Keane, executive vice president and general counsel of Altria — the parent company of Philip Morris — called the settlement good for both parties.

"We have always said we are open to resolving these disputes in a manner that makes sense to the states and to us, and that remains the case," she said in a news release.

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Five Washington State Medical Marijuana Patients Face Federal Trials

Posted on April 23, 2014. Filed under: LATEST NEWS, Marijuana & the Law | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |


Prosecutions contradict Obama Administration statements, policy against targeting sick patients

SPOKANE, WA — Family members from a rural area of eastern Washington are expected to go to trial next month on federal marijuana charges, despite the Obama Administration’s repeated claims that it does not target seriously ill patients.

The federal trial of the “Kettle Falls 5″ is scheduled for May 12th, pending several pretrial motions which will be heard on April 22nd before U.S. District Judge Fred Van Sickle in Spokane, Washington. Because of marijuana’s illegal status under federal law, patients like the “Kettle Falls 5″ are typically prohibited from raising a medical necessity or state law defense in federal court.

Federal agents raided the property of Larry Harvey, 70, and his wife, Rhonda Firestack-Harvey, 55, at their rural family home near Kettle Falls, Washington in August 2012.

Federal agents raided the property of Washington State medical marijuana patients Larry Harvey, 70, and his wife, Rhonda Firestack-Harvey, 55, at their rural family home near Kettle Falls, Washington in August 2012.

Federal agents raided the property of Larry Harvey, 70, and his wife, Rhonda Firestack-Harvey, 55, at their rural family home near Kettle Falls, Washington in August 2012.

In addition to seizing 44 premature marijuana plants, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) confiscated the family’s 2007 Saturn Vue, $700 in cash, medicated cookies and marijuana stored in the family freezer, along with legally owned firearms.

The five federal defendants, including Mrs. Firestack-Harvey’s son, Rolland Gregg, and daughter-in-law, were all qualified patients in compliance with Washington state law. Defense attorneys say the cannabis being cultivated on a remote corner of the family’s 33-acre property was strictly for personal use.

Nevertheless, Mr. Harvey, who suffers from numerous ailments including heart disease and severe gout, was jailed for several days and denied medical attention, which resulted in irreversible bodily harm.

The imminent and rare federal trial comes after two Department of Justice (DOJ) directives were issued in June 2011 and August 2013, both of which underscore that individual patients are excluded from the agency’s enforcement strategy. In the latest memorandum, Deputy U.S. Attorney General James Cole claimed that it was “not an efficient use of federal resources to focus enforcement efforts on seriously ill individuals.”

However, shortly before the raid on the Harvey home, U.S. Attorney for the eastern district of Washington Michael Ormsby stated his intent to “vigorously” target individuals “even if such activities are permitted under state law.”

“This case is another glaring example of what’s wrong with the federal policy on cannabis,” said Kari Boiter, a supporter of the “Kettle Falls 5″ and the Washington State Coordinator with Americans for Safe Access, the country’s leading medical marijuana advocacy group. “If the Justice Department can continue to aggressively prosecute individual patients without any consequences from the White House, none of these DOJ memos are worth the paper they’re printed on.”

Notably, these federal prosecutions of individual patients continue even after Washington voters approved Initiative 502 in November 2012, legalizing recreational use of marijuana in the state.

Nevertheless, the “Kettle Falls 5″ were indicted in February 2013 and charged with six felonies each: conspiracy to manufacture and distribute marijuana, manufacture of marijuana, possession with intent to distribute marijuana, distribution of marijuana, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime and maintaining a drug-involved premises.

 

By Americans for Safe Access April 22, 2014

 

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Attorney General Conway Calls on Sec. Sebelius to Overturn Zohydro Approval

Posted on March 28, 2014. Filed under: Drug Addiction, LATEST NEWS | Tags: |


 

 

 

Press Release Date:
Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Contact Information:
Allison Gardner Martin
Communications Director
502-696-5651 (office)

Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway joined five other state attorneys general today in calling on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to overturn the recent approval of Zohydro ER.

“We do not want to see the great strides we have made in Kentucky combating prescription drug abuse reversed,” General Conway said. “For decades, we have fought the disastrous effects of the illegal marketing of the drug OxyContin. Zohydro ER has the potential to exacerbate the prescription pill epidemic, and the FDA’s decision to approve the drug doesn’t make sense.”

A pure hydrocodone pill, Zohydro is five to 10 times more potent than currently available products like Vicodin or Lortab and is set to hit the market this month. The painkiller’s high potential for abuse is what prompted attorneys general from Kentucky, Florida, Indiana, Illinois, Georgia and Maine to send a letter to Sec. Kathleen Sebelius asking her to reverse the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval of Zohydro. A copy of the letter may be viewed at http://goo.gl/UeYsNU.

In October, the FDA approved Zohydro ER against the recommendation of its advisory panel, which voted 11-2 in opposition because of the drug’s high potential for misuse and its lack of an abuse-deterrent formulation. Additionally, one day before approving Zohydro ER, the FDA recommended reclassifying all hydrocodone products to Schedule II controlled substances because of the abuse potential. Zohydro ER is the first hydrocodone-only opioid narcotic, which is more potent than traditional hydrocodone products that are usually manufactured in a formulation with other non-narcotic analgesics.

“Prescription pill abuse has devastated families across Kentucky,” General Conway said. “The approval of this very potent drug is troubling because, unlike extended-release opioids containing abuse-deterrent properties, there is nothing that would prevent someone from easily crushing or injecting Zohydro ER to get high. The decision is especially concerning given that the FDA’s own advisory panel voted against the drug’s approval.”

In a letter to the commissioner of the FDA last December, General Conway and a bipartisan coalition of 28 other attorneys general asked the FDA to reconsider its approval of Zohydro ER. It also requested that the drug be manufactured with an abuse-proof formula.

General Conway and Florida Attorney General Pamela Bondi co-chair the National Association of Attorneys General Substance Abuse Committee.

Prescription Drug Diversion Efforts

Attorney General Conway launched Kentucky’s first and only statewide Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Task Force in August of 2009. The task force has been involved in more than 450 prescription drug diversion investigations, including Operation Flamingo Road, the state’s largest prescription drug bust that resulted in the arrest of more than 500 people.

General Conway also worked closely with Governor Beshear, House Speaker Stumbo, Senate President Stivers and other lawmakers to win passage of landmark legislation in 2012 to prevent the abuse and diversion of prescription pills in the Commonwealth. Since passage of HB 1, overdose deaths in Kentucky declined for the first time in a decade and more than half of the state’s pain management clinics have closed their doors.

In January 2014, General Conway announced that more than $32 million recovered in settlements with two pharmaceutical companies is being used throughout Kentucky to expand substance abuse treatment, including opiate addictions. The settlement funds will create a new treatment center for adults, treatment scholarships, a grant program for new juvenile treatment beds and/or centers, and expanded services for juveniles.

In addition to the work being done here in the Commonwealth, Attorney General Conway reached across party lines to work with Attorney General Pam Bondi in Florida to ensure that her state implemented an electronic prescription drug monitoring system similar to Kentucky’s KASPER system. Together they have worked to shut down the pill pipeline between Florida and Kentucky and to see that all 50 states have prescription drug monitoring programs in place and that all of the programs can share data across state lines.

Keep Kentucky Kids Safe

In 2010, General Conway launched the Keep Kentucky Kids Safe initiative with the Kentucky Justice Cabinet and its Office of Drug Control Policy, Kentucky Pharmacists Association, National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators (NADDI), Operation UNITE and concerned parents. Since its launch, Attorney General Conway and his partners have warned approximately 40,000 students, parents and teachers about the dangers of prescription drug abuse.

A recent survey has found that the percentage of Kentucky teens misusing prescription drugs has dropped dramatically over the past four years. According to the 2012 Kentucky Incentives for Prevention School Survey, the use of prescription drugs among students without a doctor’s order has decreased steadily among sixth-, eighth-, 10th- and 12th-graders since 2004. The declines have been the most significant since 2008, when the Office of the Attorney General, along with state lawmakers and other agencies across the Commonwealth, began intensifying efforts to fight prescription drug abuse.

As part of the Keep Kentucky Kids Safe program, students are encouraged to participate in an annual statewide video PSA contest created to raise awareness about the risks of prescription drug abuse.

You can follow Attorney General Conway on Twitter @kyoag, visit the Attorney General’s Facebook page or view videos on our YouTube channel.

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UofL Medical School Put on Probation

Posted on March 14, 2014. Filed under: LATEST NEWS |


UofL Medical School Put on Probation.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The University of Louisville School of Medicine has been placed on probation by its accrediting body.

The Courier-Journal reported school has two years to make changes in nine areas of concern found during an April 2013 visit by a Liaison Committee on Medical Education team before the status can be lifted. While the changes are made, the program remains fully accredited.

Medical school dean Dr. Toni Ganzel said in a statement she was disappointed with the status finding, most of those issues have already been addressed in the last year or will be 2014-2015 school year.

The university plans to formally submit an action plan to Liaison Committee on Medical Education in October and anticipates a follow-up site review in the summer of 2015.

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Kentucky Senate passes bill that could make heroin traffickers face homicide charges

Posted on January 18, 2014. Filed under: Drug Addiction, Drug War, LATEST NEWS, Patients | Tags: , , , , , , , |


 

 

SB 5 passed 36-0 Thursday with Sen. Perry Clark, D-Louisville, passing.

By Kevin Wheatley, Published: January 17, 2014 10:19AM

The Senate passed a bill Thursday to combat the state’s growing heroin problem, though not without questions during a committee hearing earlier in the day on certain provisions’ constitutionality.

Senate Bill 5 passed 36-0 with Sen. Perry Clark, D-Louisville, passing.

SB 5 would require those convicted of trafficking more than 4 grams of heroin or methamphetamine to serve at least 50 percent of their prison sentence before becoming eligible for probation, parole or early release. Traffickers could be charged with homicide in cases of overdose deaths, and the bill would require coroners to report overdoses caused by Schedule I drugs, such as heroin.

“The bill targets two different groups: the trafficker, who needs to be run out of Kentucky or locked up; and the addict, who has broken the law but has created their own personal prison of addiction that is worse than any jail this state could design and needs treatment,” the bill’s sponsor, Senate President Pro Tem Katie Stine, said.

The legislation would allow the Department of Medicaid Services to expand treatment options and direct a quarter of savings realized through a corrections reform bill passed in 2011 to supplement the Kentucky Agency for Substance Abuse Policy.

SB 5 would also allow police officers and emergency responders to carry and administer naloxone, a drug used to counter opiate overdoses; grant immunity from drug possession charges for those seeking help for someone overdosing; and grant immunity from paraphernalia charges for those who alert law enforcement of any hypodermic needles or sharp objects in their possession before a search. Some could be given leniency for helping prosecute other drug crimes.

Kentucky Office of Drug Control Police Executive Director Van Ingram said the state has had problems with opioid addiction for years, and the heroin trend has evolved from opiate-based painkillers such as OxyContin and Opana. The numbers of heroin overdoses and confiscations have risen dramatically in recent years, he said.

“Senate Bill 5, I think, takes a broad view and it hits on a number of things, all aimed at reducing the availability of heroin, educating our citizens about heroin and some harm reduction things to try to keep people alive,” Ingram said during testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“We can’t get people into treatment and we can’t get them leading productive lives if they’re gone.”

Supporters of the bill cross party lines with Stine, R-Southgate, Rep. John Tilley, D-Hopkinsville, and Democratic Attorney General Jack Conway backing the measure.

The heroin issue extends beyond northern Kentucky, which supporters of SB 5 spotlight as an area of the state wracked by heroin addiction because of its close proximity to Cincinnati. Clay Mason, public safety commissioner for Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government, said central Kentucky has seen a rise in heroin abuse in recent years.

“This is not a back alley drug situation from the movies of the late ’60s and early ’70s. This is anybody’s problem,” Mason told the committee. “There are many, many people who, as we’ve already heard, have gone from a pill prescription addiction problem and now rolling into heroin for a multitude of reasons — price and availability.”

Ernie Lewis, a lobbyist for the Kentucky Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, raised concerns about the constitutionality of certain parts of SB 5, specifically in prosecuting dealers of Schedule I substances whose drugs cause overdose deaths.

Offenders convicted of homicide or fetal homicide where the victim dies from such an overdose would not be eligible for release until serving at least half his or her sentence, under SB 5.

Lewis specifically pointed to a provision eliminating the defense that victims contributed to their deaths by willingly ingesting substances, sometimes more than the Schedule I drugs at the center of SB 5.

“Many overdose deaths occur when a person combines drugs; they combine that cocktail, unfortunately,” he said. “They may take cocaine, they may take Xanax, they may take other benzos (benzodiazepine, a psychoactive drug) or opioids. Sometimes the defendant is not even aware of that because that might have occurred earlier, because when you’re sick, you take whatever’s available to you.

“… Foreseeability has to do with the awareness of a risk. The prosecution has to prove awareness of a risk, and this provision says as a matter of law, the risk is there, we’re going to presume it, and they can’t do that under the due process of laws.”

SB 5 is meant to clarify an issue raised in a 2000 Kentucky Supreme Court decision overturning a reckless homicide conviction in which the victim died of an overdose from a mixture of cocaine and heroin, Stine and Tilley said.

“It seems to me that all that provision is doing is eliminating the ‘blame the victim’ defense, and I think we can all agree that’s not a bad thing.”

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Felons’ Voting Rights Proposal Clears House

Posted on January 17, 2014. Filed under: CIVIL RIGHTS, LATEST NEWS, legislation | Tags: , , , |


Posted: Fri 12:51 AM, Jan 17, 2014

 

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) – A bill seeking to amend Kentucky’s Constitution to restore voting rights for some felons

has sailed through the state House. Unlike past years, the proposed ballot issue may have a chance in the Senate.

Senate Majority Leader Damon Thayer said Thursday it may be an issue "whose time has come," with some changes.

Thayer said he doesn’t support the current proposal. But he raised the possibility of amending it to include a waiting

period before some felons would regain voting rights.

The proposal in its current form would allow some felons to automatically regain voting rights once they complete

their sentences. It passed the House on Thursday.

Republican U.S. Sen. Rand Paul is urging the GOP-led state Senate to take up the measure.

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Kentucky Bill Seeks to Nullify Warrantless Drone Spying

Posted on January 15, 2014. Filed under: CIVIL RIGHTS, Kentucky & KY State Gov., KY ELECTIONS, LATEST NEWS |


http://blog.tenthamendmentcenter.com/files/2013/12/Kentucky-flag.jpg

 

 

The Kentucky legislature will consider a bill in the 2014 legislative session that would take significant steps towards protecting people there from prying eyes in the sky.

Representatives Diane St. Onge (R-Lakeside Park) and Brent Yonts (D-Greenville) have introduced House Bill 11 (HB11). If passed, the act would prohibit the use of drones by Kentucky state law enforcement and other agencies without a warrant in most cases.

The bill states that “No prohibited agency shall use a drone carrying a lethal payload” and that “no prohibited agency shall use a drone to gather evidence or other information” without a search warrant. Prohibited agencies include state law enforcement agencies, domestic or foreign corporations, foreign governmental or intergovernmental entities and any agent of any prohibited agency.

The legislation also makes any evidence gathered in violation of the law inadmissible in court.

The act does make exceptions allowing the use of drones for gathering information when the proper legal process has been followed and for training by active service members of the United States military stationed in Kentucky.

While some might find the exceptions troubling, it represents a huge improvement over the status quo. As it stands now, law enforcement can use drones in Kentucky with absolutely no restrictions. This bill stops drone use without a warrant in most cases.

The legislation does not address drone use by the federal government, but Tenth Amendment Center’s executive director Michael Boldin said that this kind of bill does have significant ramifications at the federal level because Washington is pushing and funding drone use in the states.

“The feds want to push these on the states, and if the states refuse, it’ll foil their plan,” he said. “They already spy on Americans so much that Rand Paul said it numbered in the ‘Gazillions’ after a secret meeting last fall. If the feds can get the states to start buying up and running drones over our cities, they’ll certainly want access to all that surveillance  information in the future. It’s important that states begin drawing a line in the sand now – no aerial spying here.”

In fact, the federal government serves as the primary engine behind the expansion of drone surveillance carried out by states and local communities. The Department of Homeland Security issues large grants to local governments so they can purchase drones. Those grants, in and of themselves, represent an unconstitutional expansion of power.

The goal? Fund a network of drones around the country and put the operational burden on the states. Once they create a web over the whole country, DHS steps in with requests for ‘information sharing.’  Bills like these put a dent in this kind of long-term strategy. Without the states and local communities operating the drones today, it’s going to be nearly impossible for DHS plans to – take off.

HB11 was prefiled April 11, 2013 and referred to the Interim Joint Committee on Judiciary to start the 2014 legislative session.

ACTION ITEMS

If you live in Kentucky

1. Contact committee members and ask them to move the Citizens’ Freedom from Unwarranted Surveillance Act out of committee for a floor vote. You can find committee member contact information HERE.

2. Contact your own senator and ask him or her to support the Citizens’ Freedom from Unwarranted Surveillance Act You can find legislator contact information HERE.

3.  Share this information widely.  Please pass this along to your friends and family.  Also share it with any and all grassroots groups you’re in contact with around the state.  Please encourage them to email this information to their members and supporters.

LEGISLATION AND TRACKING 

If you don’t live in Kentucky, encourage your representative and senator to introduce legislation to stop drone use. You can track efforts nationwide HERE. You can find model legislation HERE.

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Fighting the good fight in the North American Continent

Posted on January 10, 2014. Filed under: Activists Opinions, CIVIL RIGHTS, LATEST NEWS, Rev. Mary Thomas-Spears | Tags: , , , , , , , |


#HUNGERSTRIKE #PROTEST #ACTIVIST #ACTIONS #DIVERSE_SANCTUARY #NEWYORK
UPDATE FROM CANADA James Kevin Moore , C4C LEADER, FOUNDING MINISTER OF OUR DIVERSE SANCTUARY CANADIAN LODGE WHO HAS JOINED Lisa Mamakind Kirkman IN HER CONTINUED, THEIR CONTINUED HUNGERSTRIKE AND PROTEST FOR PATIENTS RIGHTS AND GARDEN RIGHTS FOR THIS LIFE SAVING PLANT WHICH ARE BEING TAKEN. IT APPEARS THAT THERE IS GROWING COMPASSION AND SUPPORT FOR OUR MEMBERS WHO HAVE TAKEN THIS ACTION OUT OF LACK OF MORE SUITABLE OPTIONS. LIKE LIVING HOLISTICALLY AND BEING SELF SUSTAINABLE. NOT WANTING TO BE OR TIRED OF BEING MADE DEPENDENT UPON SOME FORM OF GOVERNMENT PROGRAM OR APPROVAL TO ALLOW THEM THEIR BASIC SOVEREIGN HUMAN RIGHTS.
IT APPEARS THAT HERE IN THE STATES THE RUSH TO CONTINUE THE SAME LEGALIZE = LEGAL LIES. THAT HAS LEAD TO THIS CONTINUED PROHIBITION OF A PLANT, GARDENS AND LIVES TO FURTHER THE PROFITS OF ALL THOSE WHO CAN CLEAN UP FROM ANY ABUSE, DISTORTION, EXTORTION, MUTATION, AND PATENT OVER THIS PLANT AND THE NEEDS OF OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS WHO ARE ILL AND DYING. SO THEY CAN GET HIGH ON PROFITS!
AS ONE OF OUR SISTERS AND MEMBERS Kimberleigh Krepp OUR LEADER OF #NEW_YORK4CANNABIS CONTINUES TO STAND ALONE AND PROTEST FOR ALL OUT REPEAL IN NEW YORK, AS THEY ARE PREPARING TO HAND DOWN THEIR NEW PATIENT LEGISLATION AND REGULATIONS. THAT COULD PUT PATIENTS IN JAIL AND TAKE THEIR MEDICINE TO PLACE ON THE MARKET FOR NEW CARD CARRYING REGISTERED PATIENTS TO BUY. THAT’S RIGHT! THEY WILL TAKE YOUR WEED AND PUT YOU IN JAIL WHILE THEY SELL YOUR WEED TO SOMEONE ELSE. ISN’T IT BEAUTIFUL. REALLY! A NEVER ENDING WAR ON YOU AND THIS PLANT. EVEN IF YOU REGISTER. YOU WILL ABIDE BY ANY OTHER REGULATIONS OR BE JAILED. WHILE THEY DECIDE HOW YOU TAKE IT AND WHAT YOUR GIVEN AND WE ALL KNOW THEY COULD GIVE IT TO YOU UP YOUR ASS AND IF THEY CAN THEY WILL. DON’T MEDICATE AND DRIVE… JUST ASK PATIENTS IN ANY OF THE OTHER LEGAL STATES. IT ALL CAN BE COSTLY TO YOUR HEALTH AND BANK ACCOUNT. STRESS KILLS. WHILE THEY TAX YOU DOUBLE FOR IT AND CALL IT FREEDOM. GOT TO LOVE HOW THEY MARKET IT. #FREEDOM THAT IS. WHICH IS ALL THEY WERE GIVEN THE AUTHORITY TO DO. CONTROL CURRENCY AND THE MARKET PLACE.
WHILE HERE IN KENTUCKY AS THE RUSH FOR LEGAL LIES = LEGALIZE STILL CONTINUES. THE MARKET PLACE IS BEGINNING TO BE PREPARED BEFORE THE LAWS ARE EVEN PASSED. I, MARY THOMAS-SPEARS aka #REV_MARY , FOUNDING MINISTER OF KENTUCKY’S OLDEST ESTABLISHED AND ONLY EXISTING 420 MINISTRY HERE IN KENTUCKY, {THAT WE KNOW OF} DIVERSE SANCTUARY, BOARD MEMBER OF A4C, HEAD OF KENTUCKY FOR CANNABIS, BOARD MEMBER U.S. MARIJUANA PARTY AND ADMIN OF THE KENTUCKY MARIJUANA PARTY WILL BE THE FEATURED SPEAKER THIS WEEKEND IN LOUISVILLE AT A WORK SHOP THAT IS BEING HOSTED BY #HELLOCOMFYTREE FOR A $149 A SEAT. THAT WILL EXPLAIN THE MEDICAL MARIJUANA INDUSTRY TO ALL THOSE HERE IN KY WHO ARE WANTING TO SET UP SHOP HERE AND/OR PROFIT IN KENTUCKY. INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO "HOW TO OPEN A DISPENSARY". I WILL BE SPEAKING ON REPEAL, NULLIFICATION, AND RESCHEDULING TO END PROHIBITION AND KEEPING THIS PLANT GMO FREE IN OUR PERSONAL GARDENS. I WOULD NOT EXCEPT PAY TO SPEAK AT THIS EVENT. OTHER THAN MY GAS MONEY TO GET THERE AND BACK. DESPITE THEIR OFFER OR MY NEED. I FELT IT WAS JUST TOO IMPORTANT A MESSAGE AND I COULDN’T FEEL RIGHT GETTING PAID OR TAKING YOUR MONEY FOR TRYING TO FREE THIS PLANT OR THE PEOPLE HERE. HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE, SOON, I MUST PREPARE. WILL BE TRAVELING WITH Sheree Krider OWNER AND ADMIN OF THE U.S. MARIJUANA PARTY, KENTUCKY MARIJUANA PARTY AND ANOTHER MINISTER DIVERSE SANCTUARY.
WE STAND UNITED IN SOLIDARITY AND PROTEST FOR FULL REPEAL OF PROHIBITION INTERNATIONALLY AS WE GROW!!!
DON’T LET THEM PIMP YOU!!! #REPEAL AND HEAL!!!
LEARN WHAT WE KNOW
OPERATING ON TRUTH AND FAITH THAT IS SCIENCE BASED!!!

Photo

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China holds half of all Cannabis related patents….

Posted on January 10, 2014. Filed under: Commerce, Corporate Cannabis, Drug War, LATEST NEWS | Tags: , , , , |


China Legalização da Maconha gera boom econômico

 

In this episode of the Keiser Report, Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert discuss how the cannabis boom may benefit China which holds half of all cannabis related patents. They also discuss the fracking wells in Wyoming abandoned for the taxpayer to clean up. In the second half, Max interviews Mason Tvert of the Marijuana Policy Project about Colorado’s legalization of marijuana and what it means for the state’s economy.

http://img.rt.com/files/episode/21/c4/b0/00/keiser_480p.mp4?event=download

LINK TO ORIGINAL ARTICLE

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Chemical spill shuts down schools, businesses in West Virginia

Posted on January 10, 2014. Filed under: Attention, Ecology, Environment, LATEST NEWS | Tags: , , , , |


After a chemical spilled into the Elk River in Charleston, W. Virginia, Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin ordered 100,000 customers of West Virginia American Water: Do not drink, bathe, cook or wash clothes with tap water.

By John Raby, Associated Press / January 10, 2014

 

 

Charleston, W. Va.

Schools and restaurants closed, grocery stores sold out of bottled water, and state legislators who had just started their session canceled the day’s business after a chemical spill in the Elk River in Charleston shut down much of the city and surrounding counties even as the cause and extent of the incident remained unclear.

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The federal government joined the state early Friday in declaring a disaster, and the West Virginia National Guard planned to distribute bottled drinking water to emergency services agencies in the nine affected counties. About 100,000 water customers, or 300,000 people total, were affected, state officials said they reported in requesting the federal declaration.

Shortly after the Thursday spill from Freedom Industries hit the river and a nearby treatment plant, a licorice-like smell enveloped parts of the city, and Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin issued an order to customer of West Virginia American Water: Do not drink, bathe, cook or wash clothes with tap water.

 

The chemical, a foaming agent used in the coal preparation process, leaked from a tank at Freedom Industries and overran a containment area. Officials from Freedom, a manufacturer of chemicals for the mining, steel, and cement industries, hadn’t commented since the spill, but a woman who answered the phone at the company said it would issue a statement later Friday.

Other officials say the orders were issued as a precaution, as they were still not sure exactly what hazard the spill posed to residents. It also was not immediately clear how much of the chemical spilled into the river and at what concentration.

"I don’t know if the water is not safe," water company president Jeff McIntyre said. "Until we get out and flush the actual system and do more testing, we can’t say how long this (advisory) will last at this time."

McIntyre said the chemical isn’t lethal in its strongest form. Kanawha County emergency officials said the chemical is called 4-methylcyclohexane methanol.

According to a fact sheet from Fisher Scientific, the chemical is harmful if swallowed — and could be so if inhaled — and causes eye and skin irritation.

The emergency declaration involves customers in all or parts of the counties of Kanawha, Boone, Cabell, Clay, Jackson, Lincoln, Logan, Putnam and Roane. State Department of Education spokeswoman Liza Cordeiro said schools in at least five of the counties will be closed.

The smell from the spill — similar to licorice or cough syrup — was especially strong at the Charleston Marriott hotel a few blocks from the Elk River, which flows into the Kanawha River in downtown Charleston. The Marriott shut off all water to rooms, and then turned it back on so guests could flush toilets. Each guest was given two 16.9-ounce bottles of spring water upon returning to the hotel.

Even as the National Guard made plans to mobilize at an air base at Charleston’s Yeager Airport, many people — told to use water only for flushing toilets — weren’t waiting for outside help.

Once word got out about the governor’s declaration Thursday, customers stripped store shelves in many areas of items such as bottled water, paper cups and bowls. As many as 50 customers had lined up to buy water at a convenience store near the state Capitol in Charleston.

"It was chaos, that’s what it was," cashier Danny Cardwell said.

Tomblin said the advisory also extends to restaurants, hospitals, nursing homes and other establishments that use tap water.

Early Friday, Department of Military Affairs and Public Safety spokesman Lawrence Messina said he wasn’t aware of any hospitals closing and that area medical centers "seemed to have adequate water supply, at least for the short term."

At the Little India restaurant in Charleston, about 12 customers were asked to leave when bar manager Bill LaCourse learned about the shutdown notice.

Karlee Bolen, 16, of Charleston, said her family, including her parents, two sisters and brother, were considering the possibility of heading to her grandmother’s home in Braxton County, where tap water was unaffected, an hour to the northeast.

"I kind of want to shower and brush my teeth," she said.

RECOMMENDED: 10 organizations that protect the environment

___

Associated Press writers Brendan Farrington and Jonathan Mattise contributed to this report.

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Kentucky has more lakes suspected of having toxic algae

Posted on October 13, 2013. Filed under: Attention, Ecology, Environment, Kentucky & KY State Gov., LATEST NEWS | Tags: , , , , |


 

 

 

LOUISVILLE, Ky. —Kentucky has seven lakes suspected of having excessive levels of toxic algae, but state officials aren’t revealing which bodies of water are being targeted for a second round of tests.

Kentucky environmental regulators are drawing water from the lakes for a second time for more rigorous laboratory analysis after initial samples showed concentrations of blue-green algae worthy of health advisories.

Kentucky Division of Water official Clark Dorman said the lakes involved in the most recent advisory aren’t run by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Five Corps-run lakes were the subject of a recent advisory.

Even though the state’s initial tests suggested health risks to the public, dogs and farm animals, state officials are declining to identify those water bodies.

 

Read more: http://www.wlky.com/news/local-news/louisville-news/ky-has-more-lakes-suspected-of-having-toxic-algae/-/9718340/22411324/-/x31yeb/-/index.html#ixzz2hZAxiMlo

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Kentucky Nerve Gas Arms Show Destroying Weapons Not Easy

Posted on September 21, 2013. Filed under: LATEST NEWS, Pollution/Global Warming | Tags: , , , , , |


Weapons armed with the same nerve gas used on Syrian citizens last month sit in grass-topped concrete bunkers at an Army depot in Kentucky, 20 years after the U.S. government promised to destroy them.

http://bloom.bg/18HxcNm   VIDEO LINK

Canisters of GB gas, commonly known as Sarin, are shown at the Blue Grass Army Depot in Richmond, Ky., in this Sept. 6, 2001 file photo. Photographer: Nancy Taggart/The Richmond Register via AP Photo

Sept. 19 (Bloomberg) — Secretary of State John Kerry speaks about United Nations and U.S. reports showing chemical weapons were used in Syria. Kerry, speaking in Washington, says the UN Security Council "must be prepared to act next week" to pass a resolution requiring President Bashar al-Assad’s regime to abide by terms of the U.S.-Russian agreement on the elimination of Syria’s chemical weapons. (Source: Bloomberg)

The bunkers, in a field at the Blue Grass Army Depot in Richmond, house rockets and other artillery holding 523 tons of the nerve agents VX and sarin in addition to flesh-blistering mustard gas. A partnership including San Francisco-based Bechtel National Inc. is building a plant to destroy them. It will open seven years from now and will dispose of the last weapon there three years later.

This week, as international monitors learn the size and makeup of the chemical weapons stockpile Syria has pledged to destroy by next year, the Blue Grass stash stands as a warning: Safe destruction of chemical weapons isn’t easy.

Related:

Syria’s promised pace would be ambitious even in a country without a civil war, said Michael Kuhlman, chief scientist for national security at the Battelle Memorial Institute in Columbus, Ohio which is working on the Blue Grass project 30 miles south of Lexington, home of the University of Kentucky.

“I found the time frame for Syria surprising,” Kuhlman said in an interview. ‘They are presumably starting from scratch in terms of destruction capability and the security situation there certainly isn’t going to expedite matters.’’

Syrian Commitment

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad affirmed his intentions in a Sept. 18 televised interview with Fox News. He said he would dispose of the weapons in about a year, with the guidance of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, based in the Hague, Netherlands. The group enforces the international chemical weapons treaty that Syria joined last week. The U.S. joined the accord in 1993.

Assad said he understood the destruction process is complicated and he’s been told it will cost about $1 billion.

The Syrian project’s speed will hinge on how much of its chemical agents are already inside weapons, as they are in Kentucky. The job is easier if they aren’t, Kuhlman said.

It will also depend on how the nation disposes of them. After the first Gulf War ended in 1991, Iraq burned its chemical weapons in a ditch. The U.S. imposes environmental discharge rules, and destruction of the Blue Grass weapons was delayed in large part because local residents opposed incinerating them and Congress forced the Defense Department to find another way.

U.S. Stockpile

The U.S. chemical weapons stockpile contained more than 30,000 tons of lethal chemicals when the country signed the international Chemical Weapons Convention in 1993, agreeing to destroy all of the weapons by last year. By comparison, Syria is estimated to have about 1,000 tons, Kuhlman said.

The U.S. chemical agents were stored at depots in Maryland, Arkansas, Utah, Indiana, Alabama, Colorado and Johnson Atoll, a territorial island in the South Pacific, in addition to the 14,500-acre Blue Grass site.

The Defense Department had been experimenting with ways of destroying the weapons before the U.S. signed the treaty, including dumping some of them at sea. In 1984, the Pentagon and the National Research Council, an arm of the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, endorsed incineration as the best method.

That, too, is a slow process, said Kuhlman. Construction on an incinerator at Deseret Chemical Depot in Utah, which held 45 percent of the nation’s chemical weapons stockpile, started in 1989. Testing began in 1994, and it became operational in 1996, he said. It took two years to destroy a supply of nerve-agent weapons that was similar to the size of Syria’s estimated stockpile. The entire Utah project took 15 years.

Last Stashes

The U.S. met the treaty deadline at seven of nine sites, destroying 90 percent of its chemical stockpile. Most of the work was completed within the past few years.

The Blue Grass depot and a second depot near Pueblo, Colorado are the two left with chemical arsenals.

The cost of the entire disposal process, once completed, is estimated to be $35 billion, $10.6 billion of which will be spent in Kentucky and Colorado, according to Defense Department spokeswoman Jennifer Elzea and the Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives website, the agency responsible for destroying the weapons at the remaining depots.

The Colorado site has 2,600 tons of mustard gas inside more than 800,000 weapons. The 523 tons of mustard gas and nerve agents in Kentucky are inside 101,000 weapons, according to Craig Williams, 65, who is co-chairman of the Chemical Destruction Citizens Advisory Board for the Blue Grass project.

Railroad Delivery

The Kentucky site has been storing mustard gas for years. The first shipment of nerve-agent rockets arrived in 1961, said Lloyd Anglin, of Berea, who worked on the depot’s engineering staff at the time.

The rockets came in a locked boxcar, which sat on a railroad spur for four days under armed guard as the engineering team rushed to build a facility “to unload whatever it was,” said Anglin, now 90. “The armed guards were there 24-7. Nobody knew what it was except the brass.”

The shipments arrived regularly after that and the team learned that they contained agents that would kill on contact. Anglin helped seal some of the rockets in concrete-filled caskets, which were then put on a ship in Wilmington, North Carolina and dropped into the Atlantic Ocean. Most stayed in the earth under grass-topped, domed concrete bunkers called igloos, which are laid out in a widely spaced grid. Deer grazed there and some died, Anglin said, if they ate too close to a monitor vent at a bunker with “leakers.” Security fencing around the area has since been improved.

Rabbit Air-Monitors

A bunny hutch housed a critical part of the monitoring system. A trio of rabbits spent the night in any bunker scheduled for human inspection, which went forward if they survived.

“I would put one in the back, one in the center and one in the front, then leave them there overnight,” Anglin said. “The next day, if the rabbits were OK, we’d go in. Once in a while, you’d get a dead rabbit,” Anglin said.

The government no longer uses animals as air monitors, Elzea said in an e-mail.

Most depot neighbors knew nothing of the weapons. They learned of their existence after the Defense Department announced plans to incinerate the deadly chemicals in 1984, according to Williams, 65, the advisory board member.

Convinced that burning them could spread contaminants accidentally, the community fought with the Army for the next 12 years. Houses and a school were a little more than a mile from the depot site, Williams said: “It’s not like we’re in the middle of the desert here.”

Congressional Action

The fight ended in 1996 when Congress passed a law requiring the Pentagon to investigate alternative technologies. Williams blames the Defense Department for the delay. “They decided how they were going to do it without consulting with the community,” he said.

Alternative disposal technologies now are on track to be used at both the Kentucky and Colorado depots.

In Colorado, a factory that will destroy the mustard gas arsenal will be complete in 2015, and the last weapons will be annihilated in 2019.

In Kentucky, the partnership of Bechtel National and Parsons Infrastructure and Technology Group Inc., of Pasadena, California, is building a robotized plant that will separate the chemicals from the weapons, then turn them into water, carbon dioxide and salts, using a combination of heat, water, caustics and pressure. The last weapon will be gone in 2023.

To contact the reporter on this story: Margaret Newkirk in Atlanta, Georgia at mnewkirk@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Merelman at smerelman@bloomberg.net

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Kentucky Ag Commissioner Gives Farmers Green Light To Grow Hemp

Posted on September 13, 2013. Filed under: Farming, Federal Government, Industrial HEMP, KENTUCKY WEED, LATEST NEWS, Union vs. State (or Federal vs. State) | Tags: , , , , , , |


Reported by: Aaron Adelson

Email: aadelson@wtvq.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AAdelsonABC36

 

Agriculture Commissioner James Comer says he hopes Kentucky farmers plant hemp in April.

 
"We used to grow tobacco on the farm and now basically we just have cattle and grow hay, and it just

seems like a good alternative crop," said Steven Albert, a farmer from Green County. 

Albert came to a Hemp Commission meeting to learn more. 

The state legalized industrialized hemp if federal law would allow it.

Well, the U.S. Department of Justice announced it would not prosecute the two states that legalized marijuana.  Furthermore,

Comer says the man who wrote the memo testified the government would not prosecute hemp farmers.

Comer says this gives Kentucky the green light.

"This is a very exciting first step, and we’ll just have to see.

History will decide whether this was a defining moment in Kentucky agriculture, or not," said Comer.

He and Senator Rand Paul plan to send the DOJ a letter announcing the state’s intent to move forward.
"I can’t imagine why they would be opposed to it," said Comer.
Things are moving quickly, but farmers like Albert need to learn how to grow hemp.

"Farmers in Green County know how to grow tobacco, tomatoes, anything you can think of,

but when I ask them how do you grow hemp?  How do you harvest hemp?  Most of them say they don’t know," said Albert.

The state needs to work out some regulatory issues before anybody puts seeds in the ground.

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Illinois man charged with selling hallucinogenic mushrooms faces 20 years in prison

Posted on September 6, 2013. Filed under: Drug War, LATEST NEWS, Psychoactives | Tags: , , , |


mushrooms

 

PORTAGE — A Glencoe, Ill., man is accused of selling $180 worth of psychedelic mushrooms to undercover officers Aug. 29.

Mark Edward Mikolajczyk, 33, now faces up to 20 years in prison on a Class B felony of dealing drugs and has also been charged two misdemeanors, possession of marijuana and possession of paraphernalia.

An informant told the Porter County Drug Task Force that he knew of someone who dealt in “molly,” also known as Ecstasy, and psilocybin mushrooms.

Mikolajczyk told undercover agents he was out of “molly” but drove to Portage to deliver the mushrooms.

Portage police pulled him over after the deal and found the money used to buy the drugs (serial numbers had been recorded so the cash could be tracked), as well as another $703 and the marijuana.

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Comer says decision greenlights Kentucky hemp

Posted on September 4, 2013. Filed under: Farming, Industrial HEMP, KENTUCKY WEED, LATEST NEWS | Tags: , , , , , , , , |


 

ohhhh-so-beautiful

 

Ralph B. Davis rdavis@civitasmedia.com

FRANKFORT — Kentucky’s agriculture commissioner says a recent decision by the U.S. Department of Justice now clears the way for Kentucky farmers to once again grow industrial hemp.

Last week, the Justice Department announced it would not seek to challenge state laws regarding the medical or recreational use of marijuana. On Friday, Agriculture Commissioner James Comer said he interprets that announcement as an opening for Kentucky to begin implementing Senate Bill 50, which sets guidelines for the production of industrial hemp, that passed earlier this year.

“It’s about time!” Comer said in a statement released Friday. “This is a major victory for Kentucky’s farmers and for all Kentuckians.”

Comer said the DOJ announcement marks a major change in policy.

“Two years ago, the Obama administration would not even discuss the legalization of industrial hemp,” Comer said. “But through a bipartisan coalition of Kentucky leaders, we forced their hand. We refused to listen to the naysayers, passed a hemp bill by a landslide, and our state is now on the forefront of an exciting new industry. That’s called leadership.”

Comer also announced that Brian Furnish, chairman of the Kentucky Industrial Hemp Commission, has called a meeting of the group for Sept. 12, at which Comer and Furnish will urge the commission to move forward with the administrative framework established by the hemp bill.

“My hope is that we can issue licenses and get industrial hemp in the ground within a year,” Furnish said.

Comer said he believes the passage of the hemp bill will allow Kentucky to be proactive, rather than reactive, in creating jobs.

“Had we not passed the framework to responsibly administer a program, we would be lagging behind right now, rather than leading the pack,” Comer said. “I am so grateful to our federal delegation for its support, especially Sen. Rand Paul and Congressmen John Yarmuth and Thomas Massie, who courageously testified in support of this job-creating legislation.”

On Wednesday, Sen. Paul issued a statement, supporting Comer’s move.

“I support Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer in his efforts to move forward with the production of industrial hemp in the Commonwealth,” Paul said. “This fight has always been about jobs and providing another opportunity for Kentucky’s farmers, and I expect the Obama Administration to treat all states equally in this process. I will continue to fight at the federal level to enact legislation to secure this new industry for Kentucky.”

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RIA awarded five NIH grants totaling more than $6 million

Posted on August 23, 2013. Filed under: LATEST NEWS, Mental Health, US Health Care | Tags: , , |


RIA building

UB’s Research Institute on Addictions is located on Main Street in downtown Buffalo.

 

By SARA R. SALDI

Published August 22, 2013

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“Given the current funding climate, only the most outstanding research projects are being funded.”

Kenneth Leonard, director

Research Institute on Addictions

UB’s Research Institute on Addictions (RIA) recently was awarded more than $6 million in grants from the National Institutes of Health to fund five innovative studies that will expand knowledge on societal ramifications of drug and alcohol use.

The studies cover a wide range of alcohol- and drug-related topics. Three studies focus on youth issues, including bullying and its relationship to substance use, energy drinks mixed with alcohol and their connection to risky sexual practices, and the effects of parental drinking on children of alcoholics.

The remaining grants focus on marijuana-induced aggression and partner violence, and understanding physical craving in substance abuse recovery.

RIA Director Kenneth Leonard is extremely pleased that RIA has been recognized for its hard work and excellence in research.

“The number and size of these grants represent a remarkable achievement for RIA and our talented researchers,” Leonard says. “Given the current funding climate, only the most outstanding research projects are being funded.”

Jennifer Livingston

Jennifer Livingston

Jennifer Livingston, RIA senior research scientist, was awarded $1.8 million over five years from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) to study “Peer Victimization as a Pathway to Adolescent Substance Use.”

Livingston says that although there is clearly the potential of peer victimization (PV) (bullying and sexual harassment) to cause harm, not all adolescents suffer serious effects from such experiences. Little is known about the conditions under which PV causes harm.

“This study aims to discover the conditions under which PV contributes to emotional distress and substance use among adolescents, both immediately and over time” says Livingston. “We’re also seeking to identify the circumstances that might curb the long-term effects of PV, particularly as they relate to the development of emotional distress and substance-use problems.”

Kathleen Miller

Kathleen Miller

The NIAAA also awarded $1.37 million to Kathleen Miller, RIA senior research scientist, to fund her study, “Alcohol and Energy Drink Use, Expectancies and Sexual Risk Taking.”

Miller, a nationally renowned expert on the subject of alcohol mixed with energy drinks, says that although energy drinks have been widely available in the U.S. for more than a decade, their effects remain significantly understudied.

“This study will collect the first detailed, nationally representative data on the prevalence of energy drinks (ED) and alcohol mixed with energy drink (AED) use by youth,” says Miller, “and will map the differences in use across gender, race/ethnicity, age, college-enrollment status and sports involvement, as well as examine the links between AED use and sexual risk taking. We will then seek to understand how gender differences affect these relationships.”

Rina Das Eiden

Rina Das Eiden

Rina Das Eiden, RIA senior research scientist, received more than $400,000 from the NIAAA for a two-year study, “Early Childhood Predictors of Adolescent Substance Use in a High Risk Sample.”

Eiden, an expert on the prenatal effects of substance use, says that though children of alcoholics (COAs) are a large and critical component of the underage drinking population, little is known about how alcohol affects parenting and what the predictive risks are for underage drinking and substance use among COAs.

“Knowledge about predictors of substance use—beginning in infancy—is crucial for determining and developing early intervention to address substance-use risk among COAs,” she says.

Maria Testa

Maria Testa

A $1.86 million grant was made by the National Institute on Drug Addiction (NIDA) to Maria Testa, RIA senior research scientist, for her study titled “Proximal Effects of Marijuana in Understanding Intimate Partner Violence.” The study will take place over four years.

Testa says that despite the commonly held belief that marijuana suppresses aggression, many studies have found a positive association between marijuana use and intimate-partner violence.

“Although marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in the United States—with increases in rates of usage over the past few years—there is a lack of research regarding marijuana use and aggression,” says Testa. “Understanding the contribution of marijuana to the occurrence of domestic violence has important public health implications.”

Her research will address this gap in knowledge by examining the effects of marijuana use in couples and the consequences for their relationships.

Robert Schlauch

Robert Schlauch

Robert Schlauch, senior research scientist, received nearly $600,000 from the NIAAA for his project, “Ambivalence Model of Craving: Re-Examining the Craving-Drinking Relationship.”

This five-year study aims to improve understanding of the ways in which craving impacts positive treatment outcomes. The research specifically will examine how craving processes change over the course of recovery, including their influence on starting and maintaining treatment.

“Greater understanding of craving processes during the course of recovery has the potential to inform current treatment strategies,” he says. “Craving is a complex experience requiring consideration of many factors, including both desires to use (approach) and desires not to use (avoidance).”

CONTINUE READING…

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"I don’t want to fucking give this United States government one fucking dollar of taxes…" — Jack Herer, "The Emperor of Hemp", September 12th, 2009

Posted on August 20, 2013. Filed under: Drug War, GMO, LATEST NEWS, Political | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |


Rev. Mary Spears explains the legalization vs. repeal initiatives and why REPEAL is the only way to proceed.

 

"I don’t want to fucking give this United States
government one fucking dollar of taxes…"
Jack Herer, "The Emperor of Hemp", September 12th, 2009
(Portland Hempstalk Festival–his final speech.)
http://overgrow.ning.com/profiles/blogs/the-fallacy-of-the-legalize-and-tax-cannabis-initiatives

 

By ElectroPig Von Fökkengrüüven in Overgrow The World v2.0

The Fallacy of the "Legalize and Tax Cannabis" initiatives.

Overgrow The World

April 21, 2010

I have listened and understood the words of the late Jack Herer, and I am amazed how few people who say they believe in what Jack was saying truly understand the real reasons why he so horrified at the idea of creating new cannabis taxes. Let me explain quickly: THEY ARE NOT NEEDED AT ALL! As a matter of fact, nothing could be further from the truth!

Now I’m sure that many of you don’t believe me. If that is the case, then you also didn’t understand what Jack meant, or perhaps you simply weren’t paying attention, choosing to hear what you agreed with and ignoring what you didn’t understand, or simply weren’t interested in.

The first "ignored fact" is that the vast majority of the "illicit market" for cannabis is underground, hence, completely untaxed. There is a small fallacy to this statement, however, as even those "underground economies" still purchase their supplies, tools and equipment from "legitimate businesses" and those businesses all pay taxes of one form or another. Cannabis growers order pizza, buy gas, hire electricians and plumbers, et cetera. In this admittedly roundabout way, cannabis already is taxed, albeit to a very small degreee in comparison to the total size of the market as it stands, and to the potential which is known to exist.

Let’s say that cannabis/hemp were re-legalized prohibition was repealed today, and it was done so without the creation of any new tax codes specifically for cannabis. Most think that this would be a bad thing, as it wouldn’t be "exploiting the market" without creating new tax codes, new agencies, new enforcement regimes. Unfortunately, the people who believe that have been lied to, and it’s time that they learned the truth.

In actual fact, if cannabis were re-legalized prohibition was repealed today and taxes weren’t considered in the equation in any way, it would still be beneficial to society in terms of savings alone. We’d save money on policing, of which estimates range that between 40-60% of all police costs are directly due to "drug prohibition." Logic follows that with police not bogged down with grandmothers taking a puff to slow their glaucoma, they would then be able to concentrate their resources on combating real crimes. Things like rape, murder, fraud, home invasion and theft, assault and battery, arson, financial crimes, environmental crimes (of which cannabis/hemp prohibition is one of the leading causes, in fact), and many more REAL crimes with REAL victims.

Taken a step further, lawyers would then be freed up to work on real crimes as well. So would prosecutors. So would judges, court stenographers, prison staff and more. WIthout locking away non-violent "criminals" who have harmed noone else–and this is the scary part for corporations–the "warehousing of otherwise productive humans for profit" would suddenly become far less profitable for the prison-industrial complex to continue, and prohibitionary statute development might begin to fade. With less "legal reasons" to imprison people for essentially minding their own business, more people would not have the lives and futures destroyed.

So let’s say that there were no new taxes created upon re-legalization of cannabis/hemp, and we ONLY consider the tens or hundreds of billions SAVED by no longer wasting time attacking people in their homes for posession or for growing a few plants for their own consumption. Are not those billions of dollars saved a tremendous enough benefit to justify the immediate repeal of cannabis/hemp prohibition? Could saving those billions of dollars not be immediately transferred into lower taxes, or public debt reduction? Would those savings alone not be of tremendous, immediate and long-term social value?

Now let’s consider the tax idea on it’s own merit.

With re-legalization repeal of cannabis/hemp prohibition, there would immediately follow the creation of new businesses to exploit what is widely known to be a global market for cannaibs and hemp products. Each of those businesses would be subject to business income taxes that currently do not exist. WIthout a single character added to business tax statutes, the net result would be the establishment of "new revenue" from those "new businesses."

Of course, those businesses would need people to man storefronts, deliver products, develop products, design packaging, grow the raw materials, process the raw materials, et cetera. These jobs would all be legitimate jobs in the real job market. Each of those jobs would be subject to existing income tax statutes. It’s not hard to see how those "new jobs" would in turn be utilized as "new tax revenue sources" which previously did not exist. Again, without a single line of new codes written, a brand new revenue stream has been obtained.

Each of those new employees and businesses would need supplies, equipment, computers, energy sources, and services. All of those businesses and individuals would then use their incomes to purchase those items or services they needed, either to operate or enhance their businesses, or simply to make their lives at home a little better. All of those products would be purchased at existing retailers and/or wholesalers that exist in the current "legitimate marketplace." All (or the vast majority) of those purchases would be subject to sales taxes at state/provincial and federal levels. Again, not a single comma added to the existing statutes required, but "new revenue" has effectively been attained.

Now let’s take the cannabis market ITSELF.

All of those newly created and legitimate businesses would provide products that people either wanted or needed, be they for medical purposes or for recreational uses. All of those products would then be subject to state/provincial and federal sales taxes. With each sale would then come "new revenues" which do not exist today. Again–are you starting to notice a pattern yet?–without the addition of a single line of code to any existing tax codes.

The Fallacy of "New Government Regulatory Jobs"

People keep being told that "new jobs" will be created in the "new regulatory framework" that "will be needed", but they haven’t thought this through. Some have partly thought it through, thinking that since a percentage of those worker’s incomes will be clawed back by income taxes–say 25%–that means that those jobs are "cheaper" than "real jobs". That’s actually not quite right.

When you look the "real economy", or in other words, the economy from which all government income is derived via the millions of tax codes which exist to take our incomes from us all, any position in this "real economy" is one which is subject to taxation, and therefore, is generally to be considered a contributing position.

On the other hand, when you look at "government jobs" which are wholly funded by "real people" with "real jobs" in the "real economy", every government position which exists–no matter what country or what level of government–is a drain on society, and must be so, as "we hired them to work for us."

Now let’s take a simple example that we’ve all heard a million times: "Joe The Plumber."

If Joe was working in his own shop, or for someone else in their business, he would be a contributing factor in the "real economy" in the amount of taxation on his income, we’ll use 25% for illustration purposes. This means that 25% of his income is diverted to "public employees and projects" needed for society to function as it currently exists.

Now let’s take Joe’s situation if he were a government employee…let’s say he’s employed by the local Public Utilities Comission. Now Joe’s income is wholly funded by tax dollars, and thus, is a drain on society. We’ve established an income tax rate of 25%, so we can now say that Joe is "cheaper" because now his services now only costs us 75% of what they would, had he remained in his private sector job.

Here is the "minor error" in that logic: Joe has moved from the "real economy" to the "government economy". In making that move, the "real economy" has lost 100% of a "real job", while the government has gained an employee "at a discount of only 75% of their private sector wages." When you add that up, you see quite clearly that Joe’s "new job" is effectively now a 175% loss to society as a whole.

Joe’s still making the same amount of money. We’re still paying him the same amount of money when he does his work…but now he is NOT contributing to the "real economy" at all, while he is draining 75% of his wages from unnaportioned taxation of the people who are forced to pay his salary, whether they partake of his services or not.

Unfortunately, this also applies to every "equivalent government position" that exists in the world. Accountants cost 175% of what they would cost in the "real economy." So do welders, secretaries, cafeteria cooks, lawyers…ALL of them! If they work for the government, they are at a much higher cost than their equivalent "real world" positions in the real economy.

We need to keep this in mind whenever we hear talk of " new regulations" because that almost always means "new regulatory bodies", and that DEFINITELY always means "new government employees" which are going to cost us dearly if we allow such things to occur.

If we are forced to accept some form of taxation in order to move closer to the full repeal of cannabis/hemp prohibition, so be it…let’s move a little closer…but the second we have a positive change under our belts, we must NOT become complacent! We must continue to fight for the full repeal of cannabis/hemp prohibition until the batttle is decisively won.

Once we have some "half-assed reasonable legislation" in place, we can guage what are the worst parts of those enacted bills and target them one by one until they’re all gone, and then, we will have our ofn freedom, and freedom for what is arguably the most important plant known on this planet.

At the Hempstalk Festival, during Jack Herer’s final public speech, he said (among other things):

"I don’t want to fucking give this United States government one fucking dollar of taxes…"

Obviously, he understood my thinking…or perhaps, I simply learned enough to come to an understanding of his.

What about you?

EDIT:  I have since come up with the complete solution to the perils of prohibition in THREE WORDS:

1) DESCHEDULE.
2) REPEAL.
3) DONE!!!

If you remember only three words in your lifetime, THOSE are the ones that WILL end cannabis/hemp prohibition.

If we continue to be led by propagandists and prohibitionists into accepting ever-longer-names for prohibition, while believing we are "moving closer to freedom", we’ll never get there…it’ll just keep getting more complex, more costly, and more damaging to society as a whole…as it has for decades already.

If we allow our politicians to "reschedule" cannabis, this COULD mean an outright statutory BAN on ALL cannabis use, medicinal or otherwise, for the length of time it would take "to conduct safety studies."  We already know that if they keep finding proof cannabis is non-toxic, anti-oxidant, neuroprotectant, et cetera, we also already know that these "safety studies" will be completed in an absolute minimum of 4-6 years, to an absolute maximum of…NEVER!

"Decriminalization" is NOT repeal.  It’s still illegal.

"Legalization" simply tells the politicians and courts that we believe the fix to bad legislation conveived of in fraud can only be fixed not by deleting it from the recored entirely, but by making it more complex…but keeping it all on the books for future "quick-n-easy" readoption when prison investors want higher revenues to do their profit-taking from.

"Re-legalization" is just two letters prepended to the above.

"Tax and regulate" tells OUR EMPLOYEES that "we owe them new taxes for not wasting our money attacking us."  If we keep buying into the scam, they’ll get it, too!

"Regulate like [insert commodity of the hour here]" is just another way to justify the creation of a new regulatory body, hire new "government employees", raise taxes, lower rights and freedoms, all while telling the wilfully ignorant population that "they are free."  They ain’t.  They won’t be.

"REPEAL" means:  The statutes are GONE.  Deleted.  History.  Erased.  Terminated.  Removed from the "law" journals.  NEVER TO RETURN.

The ridiculous proposition that "if we want it legal again, we have to create new taxes" is also a prime example of idiotic propaganda foisted upon a wilfully ignorant population.  Only two seconds of thought tells you the truth of the situation…we do NOT need to "appease our employees" when we finally force them to stop wasting our money.  Not wasting all those billions of dollars every year should be, and IS, reward enough to everyone all on it’s own!

When we find out we’ve got a crooked mechanic who’s bee charging us for spark plug changes on every visit that we didn’t really need, and were nothing more than a waste of OUR money…we don’t praise them and give them permanent bonuses, do we?  So where did the idea come from, that in order for our employees to simply do their job with a litle more brainpower behind their actions, that we need to give them more money and hire more people?  Reality has to sink in eventually, folks!  Even through the infinitely thick skulls of "politicians."  They might be as dense as the core of a neutron star, but they still have ear holes!  SO START SPEAKING UP!!!

Either we DEMAND the full repeal of prohibition, or we will continue on with it forever, just with a different name, and higher taxes…and let’s face it, folks:  OUR EMPLOYEES will be completely happy to rename what they’re doing to us and call it whatever we want to call it, if we’re dumb enough to allow it to continue.  Are we really so blind as to STILL not see the truth for what it is?

Want it over?  MAKE it over!

1) DESCHEDULE.
2) REPEAL.
3) DONE!!!

It really is just as simple as that.

* That solves prohibition on a national level…we still need to remove cannabis/hemp from the United Nations Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs in order to end prohibition GLOBALLY.

Views: 3521

Tags: Herer, Jack, PROHIBITION, REPEAL, Rick, Simpson, cannabis, freedom, health, human, More…

 

By ElectroPig Von Fökkengrüüven in Overgrow The World v2.0

The Fallacy of the "Legalize and Tax Cannabis" initiatives.

Overgrow The World

April 21, 2010

 

Jack Herer’s last speech at Portland Hempstalk Festival 2009–HIS FINAL SPEECH BEFORE HE DIED…MAY HE NEVER BE FORGOTTEN!

 

MY PERSONAL COMMENT:  SOMETIMES (MOST OFTEN) OLD NEWS IS THE BEST NEWS – SMK.

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Kentucky Law Enforcement Reacts To Illinois Marijuana Law

Posted on August 9, 2013. Filed under: Drug War, KENTUCKY WEED, LATEST NEWS, Marijuana & the Law | Tags: |


By Rob Canning

Enlarge image

Illinois’ legalization of medicinal marijuana takes effect January 1st and sets up a 4-year pilot program for state-run dispensaries and cultivation centers. While Illinois is predicted to enact some of the strictest regulations in the nation, law enforcement officials and prosecutors from neighboring states worry about transport of the drug over state lines.

Kentucky’s McCracken County borders Illinois. County Attorney Michael Murphy said the state can still prosecute people for possession regardless of the source.

“Possession of marijuana in the state of Kentucky in accordance to federal law is still a crime," said Murphy. "So, the fact that somebody acquired it legally where they were before they transported it to Kentucky, they still could be charged locally. This is just another source of marijuana and, to me, the source becomes legally irrelevant; it’s the simple possession that’s the crime.”

Murphy said the county court handles 10 to 15 simple possession charges each week. Murphy said people could also face federal ramifications for transport over state lines, but federal courts rarely prosecute for simple possession. Kentucky State Police Sergeant Richard Saint-Blancard said his main concern stems from drivers under the influence and he hopes Illinois’ law won’t increase that problem.

Tags:

marijuana

kentucky state police

medical marijuana

richard saint-blancard

michael murphy

illinois

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Bomb risk awaits bidders on New Hampshire tax militants’ land

Posted on July 20, 2013. Filed under: Activists, LATEST NEWS, Taxation Issues | Tags: , , , , , , |


Tax Militants Auction660.jpg

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 more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/07/20/bomb-risk-awaits-bidders-on-new-hampshire-tax-militants-land/#ixzz2ZcTQlBgl

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Hemp flag to fly high over Capitol building

Posted on July 2, 2013. Filed under: Industrial HEMP, LATEST NEWS | Tags: , , , |


By Emily Heil E-mail the writer


In a screenshot from the farm bill debate Rep. Jared Polis holds the hemp flag. (Courtesy C-SPAN) The flag flying over the Capitol building on the Fourth of July might look like your typical Old Glory. But you probably won’t notice the fibers that make it special. It’s believed to be the first hemp flag to flutter over the dome since the government began outlawing marijuana’s less-recreational cousin back in the 1930s.

Colorado hemp advocate Michael Bowman is the man responsible for getting the flag, made from Colorado-raised hemp and screen-printed with the stars and stripes, up there.

He cooked up the idea while lobbying Congress this year to include pro-hemp measures in the farm bill. That legislation failed, of course, but the seed of the hemp flag had been planted.

Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) gave Bowman an assist with the details, which included working with the Capitol’s flag office. (The flag program allows people to buy flags flown over the Capitol, so they rotate in new Old Glories nearly every day.)

“It’s a powerful symbol,” Bowman says, adding that the red, white and blue flying over the Capitol is a reminder of the role that hemp played in the founding and early days of the country. Betsy Ross’s flag was made of hemp, he notes, and Colonial settlers even paid their taxes in the crop — it was used for all kinds of goods, from rope to fabric to paper. Those Conestoga wagons heading west were covered in canvas fashioned from hemp fibers.

So, he thought having it fly on America’s birthday seemed pretty appropriate.

After its Capitol flight, the flag will make its way back to Colorado, where it will fly over the state capitol building in Denver. After that, Bowman is sending it out on a tour of state houses in states where there’s legislation pending that would legalize hemp. One of the first up: Vermont.

And while advocates are quick to point out that hemp lacks the THC content beloved by stoners, this will still be one high-flying flag.

By Emily Heil  |  10:03 AM ET, 07/02/2013

CONTINUE READING….

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In Honor of Richard James Rawlings 1961-2013

Posted on February 28, 2013. Filed under: Activists, LATEST NEWS, Patients, ShereeKrider, USMJParty | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |


308655_2319528800742_1622326221_n

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.

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May He Rest In Peace

Sheree Krider

 

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State Lawmaker Wants To Take All Misdemeanor Offenders’ DNA

Posted on February 9, 2013. Filed under: CIVIL RIGHTS, LATEST NEWS |


Originally posted on CBS Denver:

DENVER (CBS4) – There’s a proposal to collect DNA from everyone who commits a crime in Colorado, no matter how small.

The state already has DNA from the worst felons. Now Rep. Dan Pabone, D-Denver, wants to add the DNA of people convicted of misdemeanors. That’s more than 33,000 people a year in Colorado.

From disorderly conduct to public intoxication, DUIs to shoplifting, anyone convicted of a misdemeanor would have to provide a sample of DNA if state lawmakers go along with Pabone’s bill.

“This bill is going to protect people and save lives,” Pabone said.

[worldnow id=8291076 width=420 height=278 type=video]

The DNA would be collected as a saliva swab and put in the state database, which already holds the DNA of felons, giving police a massive genetic lineup.

“It does same thing that fingerprints do, but just in more a accurate, sophisticated way,” Pabone said.

Pabone says statistics show…

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Unless They Want Dangerous and Disgusting Prisons, States Should Run Screaming From the Corrections Corporation of America

Posted on February 9, 2013. Filed under: LATEST NEWS, Prison Industrial Complex, Prisoners |


Originally posted on Prison Pork:

If this was CCA’s first report card, let’s just say they would need to repeat the semester. The compliance rating plummeted from the 97.3% compliance rating the prison achieved when publicly-owned to 66.7%.

Auditors found outrageous violations like prisoners being forced to use plastic bags for defecation and cups for urination because they had no running water for toilets. Basic conditions were heinous, with black mold, standing water, and spoiled food found throughout the prison. Perhaps even more troubling were reports that the medical department is grossly understaffed and many prisoners go untreated.

By Mike Brickner, ACLU of Ohio at 12:11pm

Given the terrifying tales coming out of Ohio’s Lake Erie Correctional Facility, states should get as far away as possible from the Corrections Corporation of America‘s latest get-rich-off-imprisonment scheme: purchasing and running public prisons.

CCA launched this scheme one year ago, with the first private purchase of…

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Missouri Anti-Drone Bill Lacks Teeth

Posted on February 9, 2013. Filed under: LATEST NEWS, Union vs. State (or Federal vs. State) |


Originally posted on Tyranny Watch Blog:

Drone Strike Coming to a City Near You!

Drone Strike Coming to a City Near You!

Zachary Cole

TyrannyWatch.org

February 8, 2013

Like so much legislation being proposed or passed lately we see the gravitation towards “safe” language within these bills. Just take for example the so-called “anti-NDAA” legislation, HB 57, initially we wrote that it would certainly outlaw indefinite detention of Missouri citizens. In a matter of a week or two, P.A.N.D.A., one of the largest organizations against the NDAA spoke out against it saying that the bill was nothing more than “fluff”. What was their reason for saying such a thing? As Heather Cottner, the Missouri State Coordinator for P.A.N.D.A., explained that the organization’s legal team reviewed the language within the bill and determined that any shrewd politician or lawyer could easily get around what the legislation claims to be outlawing.

This controversy provides the context in how one should view legislation being presented at the…

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States step up fight against use of surveillance drones by law enforcement

Posted on February 9, 2013. Filed under: LATEST NEWS, Union vs. State (or Federal vs. State) |


Originally posted on OmniTalk:

In 11 states, lawmakers are proposing various restrictions on the use of drones over their skies amid concerns the unmanned aerial vehicles could be exploited by local authorities to spy on Americans.  Concerns have now mounted after the FAA began establishing safety standards for civilian drones, which are becoming increasingly affordable and small in size.

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U.S. congressmen, former CIA director to testify in support of Kentucky hemp bill

Posted on February 8, 2013. Filed under: Industrial HEMP, KENTUCKY WEED, LATEST NEWS | Tags: , , , , , , |


Staff report

hemp

Industrial hemp is a fiber and oil seed crop

with a wide variety of uses. Hemp fibers

have been used to manufacture hundreds

of products that include twine, paper,

construction materials, carpeting and clothing.

FRANKFORT, Ky. — U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, U.S. Reps. John Yarmuth and Thomas Massie, former Director of Central Intelligence R. James Woolsey (of the Clinton Administration), and Commissioner of Agriculture James Comer will testify next week in support of an industrialized hemp bill.

Industrial hemp is a fiber and oil seed crop with a wide variety of uses. Hemp fibers have been used to manufacture hundreds of products that include twine, paper, construction materials, carpeting and clothing.

The Senate Agriculture Committee will hear the testimony Monday, Feb. 11 at 11 a.m. in Room 131 of the Capitol Annex in Frankfort. Senate Bill 50, sponsored by Sen. Paul Hornback, R-Shelbyville, establishes a framework to re-introduce industrial hemp into Kentucky’s agri-economy if and when the federal government acts to legalize it.

Immediately following the vote on SB 50, the group will move to Room 154 of the Capitol Annex to take questions from the media.

The bill has support from several groups and legislators. Its biggest critics are Operation UNITE, the Kentucky Narcotic Officers’ Association and the Kentucky Association of Chiefs of Police.

Operation UNITE said industrial hemp production in Kentucky is not economically sound, that it would impose an unnecessary financial burden on the state and could facilitate future efforts to legalize its cousin – marijuana. Police groups also say the legalization and growth of hemp in Kentucky would impede law enforcement officers’ marijuana eradication efforts, because “the plants are indistinguishable to the eye,” said Tommy Loving, executive director of the Kentucky Narcotic Officers’ Association.

The Kentucky Industrialized Hemp Commission says Kentucky has the perfect climate and soil to produce industrial hemp, and the farmers to grow it. Comer believes the crop could be a great economic boon to Kentucky.

The group recently commissioned an economic impact study to be performed by the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture. It hopes such a study could have an impact on the discussion at the federal level to legalize industrial hemp.

CONTINUE READING…

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U.S. Representative Massie Introduces Industrial Hemp Bill

Posted on February 8, 2013. Filed under: Industrial HEMP, LATEST NEWS | Tags: , , , , , , |


For Immediate Release
Contact:

Wednesday February 6, 2013
(202) 225-3465

U.S. Representative Massie
Introduces Industrial Hemp Bill

“Industrial hemp is a sustainable crop and could be a great economic opportunity for Kentucky farmers”

WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Thomas Massie (R-KY) introduced federal legislation that requires the federal government to respect state laws allowing the growing of industrial hemp. H.R. 525, the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2013, amends the Controlled Substances Act to exclude industrial hemp from the definition of marijuana. Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY) is a co-sponsor of the bill in the U.S. House. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) and Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (KY) are supporting a similar bill in the U.S. Senate.
“Industrial hemp is a sustainable crop and could be a great economic opportunity for Kentucky farmers,” said Rep. Massie.  “My wife and I are raising our children on the tobacco and cattle farm where my wife grew up. Tobacco is no longer a viable crop for many of us in Kentucky and we understand how hard it is for a family farm to turn a profit.  Industrial hemp will give small farmers another opportunity to succeed.”

On the federal level, Rep. Massie is taking the lead in Congress as the original sponsor of industrial hemp legislation. Also, this week Massie will testify before the Kentucky legislature along with other members of Kentucky’s federal delegation and Kentucky’s Commissioner of Agriculture James Comer in support of a related state bill.
Kentucky was a leading producer of the world’s industrial hemp supply during America’s early years as a nation. It is used in hundreds of products including paper, lotions, clothing, canvas, rope, and can be converted into renewable bio-fuels more efficiently than corn or switch grass. Critics of industrial hemp mistakenly equate it to marijuana.  The plants are cousins in the cannabis family but industrial hemp contains very small amounts of the intoxicant (THC) found in marijuana, making it ineffective as a drug.  Hemp is grown in over 30 western nations including Canada, England and France.

H.R. 525 has 28 original co-sponsors in the House, including House Agriculture Committee ranking member Collin Peterson (D-MN). Massie co-sponsored a similar bill in the 112th Congress.

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Caudill Seed becoming poster child for hemp legalization

Posted on February 8, 2013. Filed under: Industrial HEMP, KENTUCKY WEED, LATEST NEWS | Tags: , , , , , |


Pat Caudill, left, is pictured with Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer and Dan Caudill. The Caudill brothers are co-owners of Caudill Seed Co.






        hemp-300x200    3 types cannabis

Pat Caudill, left, is pictured with Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner James Comer and Dan Caudill. The Caudill brothers are co-owners of Caudill Seed Co.

 
Kevin Eigelbach
Reporter- Business First
Email  | Follow Kevin on Twitter

Louisville-based Caudill Seed Co. is quickly becoming the poster child for the legalization of hemp production in Kentucky.

The company has been featured in a CBS News report, on WDRB-TV in Louisville and in several newspaper articles, with owners Dan Caudill and Pat Caudill explaining what they think a legal hemp crop would mean for Kentucky and their company.

The two became interested in the issue when they met James Comer, now Kentucky’s Secretary of Agriculture, during his 2011 campaign for the office. Legalizing hemp to give Kentucky farmers a new revenue stream is one of Comer’s priorities.

Because it has so many hills, Kentucky has a lot of land that’s only marginal for agriculture, Dan Caudill said in an interview. Hemp is an ideal crop for the state because it can grow nearly anywhere, just like tobacco.

Aside from farmers, the rest of the state would benefit if it could create hemp-processing facilities that would provide jobs, Caudill said. Hemp seeds can be processed into oil, and its tough fibers can be woven into fabrics to make clothes or entwined to make rope.

Every year, Caudill Seed imports from Brazil about 75 tractor/trailer loads of twine made from sisal that it distributes to farm retailers for bailing hay. The Caudill brothers would like to distribute rope made locally instead.

Chances of passage better than 50-50

The company expects to benefit from legalized hemp production in two ways, Dan Caudill said. It would be able to buy seed and sell it to farmers who want to grow hemp. And, it would process seed grown by Kentucky farmers and sell it to crushing companies that would extract the oil.

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Purchase Area sheriffs to meet about industrial hemp

Posted on February 8, 2013. Filed under: Industrial HEMP, KY Gatewood Galbraith Memorial Medical Marijuana Act, LATEST NEWS | Tags: , , , |


 

3 types cannabis

 

MCCRACKEN COUNTY, Ky.McCracken County Sheriff Jon Hayden has invited all of the Purchase area sheriffs over Friday to talk about Industrial Hemp.

State lawmakers have been gaining momentum in an effort to get legislation through that would legalize growing hemp. It would still take an exemption from the federal government, but supporters are more and more confident they could actually get one this year.

That means law enforcement agencies need to know exactly what that would mean for them. Hayden told WPSD Local 6 he hasn’t made up his mind about the issue yet. He hopes to get some questions answered Friday from a Kentucky Department of Agriculture expert.

"We’re obviously concerned about the inability to distinguish what is industrial hemp and what is marijuana," he said. The major difference between hemp and pot is the level of THC, the chemical that causes the high when the plant is smoked. Hayden added if hemp is legal, anyone stopped with marijuana will probably claim to have hemp and the only way to tell would be to test it.

"This situation is going to overwhelm the Kentucky State Crime Lab Systems," he said. 

Still, even with the obvious challenges, Hayden said if the advantages of cashing in on the controversial crop outweigh the disadvantages, he would support it.

Senate Bill 50 is expected to be voted out of committee Monday and could find it’s way to the Senate floor by Wednesday.

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Ashley Judd mocked in GOP ad. Will it scare her off Kentucky Senate run?

Posted on February 8, 2013. Filed under: LATEST NEWS, Political | Tags: , , |


Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell is not popular in Kentucky, and a poll puts actress Ashley Judd, a Democrat, within range of defeating him in 2014. The ad is a preemptive strike.

By Peter Grier, Staff writer / February 6, 2013

 

Did Ashley Judd think running for Senate in Kentucky would be a pleasant experience? If so, that’s an illusion that’s now probably been dispelled. Karl Rove’s American Crossroads "super PAC" has just released a brutal ad that torches Ms. Judd, who’s considering a Bluegrass State bid to unseat Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell. It’ll be interesting to see if the spot helps scare her off – or if it lights her competitive fires and draws a response in kind.

 

Peter Grier

Washington Editor

The ad starts with a fake trailer listing production information. Its “client” is listed as “Ashley Judd, really?” The “title” is “Vote for me, you hillbillies.” The “date” is posted as, “Whenever Obama tells her to run."

Then an image flashes on screen of flags, sun streaming through a country porch, and so forth, and the fun really starts. “You know what this country really needs? An independent voice … for Obama,” says the narrator.

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Obama’s Memo on Killing Americans Twists ‘Imminent Threat’ Like Bush

Posted on February 5, 2013. Filed under: Civil law and order, Federal Government, LATEST NEWS | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |


Justice Department Memo on Legal Case for Drone Strikes on Americans

 

The confidential document provides the most thorough account yet of why the president thinks extrajudicial drone strikes on citizens are okay.

If you’ve gone ahead and read it, you know the basics. As Charlie Savage and Scott Shane explain, Obama Administration lawyers say killing an American would be lawful if an “informed, high-level official” determined three things:

  1. That the target is a ranking Al-Qaeda figure.
  2. That he or she poses “an imminent threat of violent attack” against America.
  3. That capture is not “feasible.”

That raises a lot of questions. What threshold of evidence, if any, must a high-ranking official meet to determine that someone is Al Qaeda? The burden is apparently less onerous than two witnesses testifying in open court, which the Constitution requires for a treason conviction. But the memo specifies neither an evidential threshold nor a protocol for meeting it. That is troubling.

PLEASE CONTINUE READING THRU LINKS.  THE TOP LINK IS THE DOC ITSELF….

THE LINK BELOW IS TO A COLUMBIA LAW  STUDY ON DRONES AND ITS IMPACT ON CIVILIANS.

http://web.law.columbia.edu/sites/default/files/microsites/human-rights-institute/files/The%20Civilian%20Impact%20of%20Drones.pdf

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RE: SB50 Please call the Kentucky Legislative Message Line at 1-800-372-7181 to leave messages for your elected officials

Posted on February 5, 2013. Filed under: Attention, LATEST NEWS | Tags: , , , , |


Please Call Your State Legislators Tomorrow in Support of SB 50

3 types cannabis

Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo

Dear Sheree,
Tonight: Just a reminder that Agriculture Commissioner James Comer and former Kentucky State Treasurer Jonathan Miller will be appearing on Kentucky Tonight this evening starting at 8:00 pm EST. They will be discussing the Senate industrial hemp farming bill, SB 50, alongside Kentucky State Police Commissioner Rodney Brewer and Dan Smoot with Operation UNITE. We are asking that everyone in Kentucky please watch and call in with questions regarding the proposed legislation. There are several ways to contact the program as follows:

Twitter: Tweet questions to @BILLKET and #kytonight

Email: You can send an email to kytonight@ket.org or click on this link to send in a question through their web site: http://bit.ly/XSKIIt

By Phone: During the program you can call in with questions: 1-800-494-7605

Please remember that questions must come from someone willing to give both their first and last name, as well as home town and county.

Tomorrow: Please call the Kentucky Legislative Message Line at 1-800-372-7181 to leave messages for your elected officials. You will need to give them your name and address. Once you are entered into the system, the information stays there so that they can quickly pull up your info and legislators in future calls. Tell them you want to leave a message for your legislators, and if you have a few extra seconds, ask them to leave a message for House Speaker Greg Stumbo as well. Consider leaving these messages:

* Please ask my lawmaker to vote in favor of Senate Bill 50, the Industrial Hemp bill. Hemp farming is good for our economy and the people of Kentucky.

* I support Commissioner Comer and the return of hemp farming and processing to the state. Please vote in favor of Senate Bill 50.

Here’s the bonus messge we asked you to leave:

* Speaker Stumbo, please support our farmers and industry and support legislation to further the cause of industrial hemp.

These messages appear to the legislators in the form of green slips. A green slip is a small piece of paper about the size of a Post-It note. Every time a citizen leaves a message through the hotline, their legislator gets a green slip on their desk. The more green slips they get, the more they pay attention to an issue. Hemp will be hard to ignore, especially with Senator Mitch McConnell’s support.

When you finish leaving a message in support of industrial hemp, please pass the information and phone number to friends and family and ask them to leave messages as well. You may call every day, every week, and as many times as you like. The message line is there for your use and is by far the most effective way to get your legislator on board with an issue. Again, the number for the legislative hotline is 1-800-372-7181 and the web site is www.lrc.ky.gov. Thank you so much for your support!

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Doing study on coal-hemp, calls on changes in fed law

Posted on February 3, 2013. Filed under: Federal Government, Industrial HEMP, KENTUCKY WEED, LATEST NEWS |


January 31, 2013

Patriot Energy joins state hemp association

CORBIN — By Jeff Noble, Staff Writer

Could industrial hemp be useful in reducing coal emissions and reclaiming mined coal fields in Kentucky?

And could the reclaiming bring a hike in southeastern and eastern Kentucky’s economy?

A bioenergy company with roots in the Tri-County thinks so.

Patriot Bioenergy Corporation recently became the first corporate member of the Kentucky Hemp Growers Cooperative Association, a Lexington-based organization that wants to make industrial hemp legal in the state — something that hasn’t been done since it was last grown during World War II as part of the nation’s war effort at home.
Patriot’s CEO Roger Ford said Wednesday industrial hemp can be grown in a variety of areas, including hillsides, which would complement the growing of energy beets for a biofuel on the company’s energy facilities, including those in the Williamsburg-Whitley County area.

“The optimal planting method seeds the plants closely together, which encourages the stalks of the plant to grow while the leaves grow smaller, increasing per-acre yields. That would work hand-in-hand with our Whitley County facilities. The industrial hemp seed can be processed into bio-diesel while the stalks are a cellulosic material, which is useful for a variety of things.”
Ford added Patriot’s focus would be to produce a biomass-coal blend from hemp and coal that would be what he called “torrified” — an energy process producing feedstock for energy production.

“The overall economic impact would be to diversify and improve the local economy by the production of industrial hemp. It would help agriculture and our project in particular.”
Patriot, based in Pikeville, is discussing the potential for using industrial hemp with coal companies. Ford said testing would be done at a laboratory in Magoffin County, with Patriot funding the research, and the results expected to be released in the middle of March. 
“We are currently conducting a feasibility study that will blend coal and hemp to measure the BTU values, as well as measure the emissions’ reclamation potential to hemp growing forward.”

Ford also brought up the possibility industrial hemp in Kentucky could also be used for energy and horse bedding at horse farms in the state and around the nation. A consultant with Ford on hemp research told Business Lexington magazine earlier this week the use of hemp as horse bedding is “straightforward and has been done.”

“The next step, conversion of the hemp-manure mixture to methane, is certainly viable, has been optimized ad published as recently as 2012 by a Finnish group. … Besides material for co-combustion with coal, we can produce biodiesel from the seed oil, which can be used as is or converted to jet fuel. Likewise, the whole plant can be used as a feedstock for fermentation of ethanol or longer chain fuels — gasoline, jet fuel, the list goes on — with huge markets associated. The ability to capture even small percentages of markets on this scale would be a tremendous boost to Kentucky,” Dr. Katherine Andrews told the magazine.

The state’s Commissioner of Agriculture, James Comer, wholeheartedly supports bringing industrial hemp back to Kentucky. Ford stated Patriot is working with Comer and the state’s Industrial Hemp Commission on the issue. He’s also encouraged with support in Frankfort and Washington from both political parties.

“Thus far, we’re encouraged with the bi-partisan support in Kentucky. Senator Sara Beth Gregory is a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee and we are hopeful that the committee will vote to send SB (Senate Bill) 50 to the full Senate in the next couple of weeks. … In addition, we are encouraged by the strong support from Senator Rand Paul, Congressman Barr, Congressman Yarmuth and Congressman Massie. We would hope that Senator McConnell and Congressman Rogers would weigh in and support this issue. Their leadership is needed in Washington and the people of Kentucky need a change in federal law so businesses and farmers can produce this crop and create jobs,” said Ford.
In Frankfort, Senate Bill 50 provides procedures that would allow and facilitate cultivating industrial hemp, if there is a similar change in Washington. While it’s not a drug like marijuana, federal law still says hemp is illegal.

According to an Associated Press story on Monday, Senator Paul Hornback (R – Shelbyville), chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, plans to bring the hemp bill up for a vote in his committee at a Feb. 11 hearing. U. S. Senator Paul is scheduled to appear in Frankfort and support the measure.

Ford noted that industrial hemp and marijuana cross-pollinates and diminishes the THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) in marijuana.
“In short, it ruins the narcotic value of marijuana. It would be similar to planting field corn and sweet corn in the same field. For law enforcement to object to the production of industrial hemp on the basis that it poses a risk to narcotics enforcement is disingenuous at best. The fact is the cross-pollination would aid in the eradication of marijuana. Businesses or farmers would not seek to plant industrial hemp and marijuana in the same field, because that would obviously be counterproductive,” he said.

The Associated Press contributed to this article

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Official White House Response to Legalize and Regulate Marijuana in a Manner Similar to Alcohol

Posted on February 2, 2013. Filed under: Absolute Assinine Law, LATEST NEWS, Political | Tags: , , , |


Official White House Response to Legalize and Regulate Marijuana in a Manner Similar to Alcohol. and 7 other petitions

What We Have to Say About Legalizing Marijuana

By Gil Kerlikowske

When the President took office, he directed all of his policymakers to develop policies based on science and research, not ideology or politics. So our concern about marijuana is based on what the science tells us about the drug’s effects.

According to scientists at the National Institutes of Health- the world’s largest source of drug abuse research – marijuana use is associated with addiction, respiratory disease, and cognitive impairment. We know from an array of treatment admission information and Federal data that marijuana use is a significant source for voluntary drug treatment admissions and visits to emergency rooms. Studies also reveal that marijuana potency has almost tripled over the past 20 years, raising serious concerns about what this means for public health – especially among young people who use the drug because research shows their brains continue to develop well into their 20’s. Simply put, it is not a benign drug.

Like many, we are interested in the potential marijuana may have in providing relief to individuals diagnosed with certain serious illnesses. That is why we ardently support ongoing research into determining what components of the marijuana plant can be used as medicine. To date, however, neither the FDA nor the Institute of Medicine have found smoked marijuana to meet the modern standard for safe or effective medicine for any condition.

As a former police chief, I recognize we are not going to arrest our way out of the problem. We also recognize that legalizing marijuana would not provide the answer to any of the health, social, youth education, criminal justice, and community quality of life challenges associated with drug use.

That is why the President’s National Drug Control Strategy is balanced and comprehensive, emphasizing prevention and treatment while at the same time supporting innovative law enforcement efforts that protect public safety and disrupt the supply of drugs entering our communities. Preventing drug use is the most cost-effective way to reduce drug use and its consequences in America. And, as we’ve seen in our work through community coalitions across the country, this approach works in making communities healthier and safer. We’re also focused on expanding access to drug treatment for addicts. Treatment works. In fact, millions of Americans are in successful recovery for drug and alcoholism today. And through our work with innovative drug courts across the Nation, we are improving our criminal justice system to divert non-violent offenders into treatment.

Our commitment to a balanced approach to drug control is real. This last fiscal year alone, the Federal Government spent over $10 billion on drug education and treatment programs compared to just over $9 billion on drug related law enforcement in the U.S.

Thank you for making your voice heard. I encourage you to take a moment to read about the President’s approach to drug control to learn more.

Resources:

Gil Kerlikowske is Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy

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Behind the lines…

Posted on January 31, 2013. Filed under: Civil law and order, CIVIL RIGHTS, LATEST NEWS |


Courts and rights: One two Iraqi men who pleaded guilty to multiple terrorism charges in Kentucky was sentenced to life in prison yesterday, while his co-defendant was given 40 years, The Louisville Courier News notes. FBI agents set a complicated psychological trap for an Oregon teen by rewarding his compliance and praising his intellect while luring him into a terror plot, AP hears a psychologist testifying yesterday. An activist who has sued TSA over its use of body scanners is now litigating NYPD use of a futuristic concealed weapons scanner that hasnt even been deployed yet, The New York Daily News notes while Army Times sees a Florida woman charged with defrauding a church of benefits by claiming her four sons died while serving in the War on Terror. The five accused masterminds of the 9/11 attacks did not show up to yesterdays pre-trial hearing at the Guantanamo, Voice of America mentions.

Follow the Money: Minnesotas TCF Financial Corp. has been fined $10 million for inadequately monitoring suspicious transactions, including some possibly linked to terrorism, The Minneapolis Star Tribune tells. IED attacks on U.S.-led forces in Afghanistan earn jihadists between $100 to $1,000 apiece, rewards funded partly by Pakistans intel service, Money Jihad relays while another MJ post slams The Associated Press almost sympathetic portrayal of Algerian gas field hostage-taker Mokhtar Belmokhtar as a pragmatist more interested in ransom than jihadist mayhem. Cocaine snorted in the pubs and clubs of Britain is helping finance the al-Qaida factions behind the Algerian hostage siege and the Islamist takeover of northern Mali, The Sunday Telegraph is told. Turkey may not meet other countries demands to freeze terrorists assets unless they reciprocate, Bloomberg hears its justice minister saying as a parliamentary committee approves a draft law to curb terror finance.

To Detect and Serve: The FBI is partnering with CBP to identify border trespassers by exchanging digital eye scans of booked offenders, Washington Business Journal relays. A new generation of technologies is emerging that can identify you by your physiology, Danger Room reports, itemizing the eleven body parts by which biometric scanners of the future will ID us. The controversial GT200 dowsing bomb detector, $20,000 a pop from Britains Global Technical Ltd, is worthless as a substance detector, Technology Review hears independent researchers judging from double-blind trials as The Hill eulogizes a Secret Service bomb-sniffing dog who died falling from a New Orleans parking garage during a sweep preceding a Veep Joe Biden appearance. (Ponder also Nanowerks tech tutorial on the detection of trace explosives.) Utahs disease-tracking GermWatch website is a hybrid of a program pioneered during the 2002 Winter Olympics to detect bioterror threats, Salt Lake Citys KSL 5 News highlights.

Behind the Lines for Wednesday, January 30, 2013 3 P.M.
By David C. Morrison, Special to Congressional Quarterly

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Ending Marijuana Prohibition in 2013

Posted on January 30, 2013. Filed under: Cannabis/Marijuana, LATEST NEWS | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |


Rob Kampia

Executive director, Marijuana Policy Project

 

Unless people have been hiding under a rock this past couple months, they know that more than 55 percent of voters in Colorado and Washington legalized marijuana on November 6. As a result, many people have grand expectations of how we’re going to get closer to ending marijuana prohibition in the U.S. this year.

Here is what I think we can reasonably accomplish by the end of 2013:

1. Decriminalize Marijuana in Vermont: Gov. Pete Shumlin (D), a strong supporter of decriminalizing marijuana, partially campaigned on the issue and easily won re-election on November 6 with 58% of the vote. The Vermont Llegislature is poised to pass the bill he wants, so this legislation could become law by this summer.

2. Legalize Medical Marijuana in New Hampshire: Incoming Gov. Maggie Hassan (D) is a strong supporter of medical marijuana, so we expect her to sign a medical marijuana bill similar to those vetoed by former Gov. John Lynch (D) in 2009 and 2012.

3. Build Support for Legalization in the Rhode Island Legislature:
We successfully legalized medical marijuana and decriminalized marijuana possession in Rhode Island in 2009 and 2012, respectively. There is now considerable momentum to tax and regulate (T&R) marijuana like alcohol, so we need to ensure that Rhode Island’s state legislature becomes the first to do so.

4. Increase Support for Legalization in California, Maine, and Oregon: There will be a sincere effort to pass T&R bills through the legislatures in these three states. Should they fall short, MPP and its allies will pursue statewide ballot initiatives in November 2016, at which time all three will be expected to pass.

5. Build Our Base of Support Online: People have said that the Internet is marijuana legalization’s best friend, and this could not have been more evident than it was last year. Campaigns mobilized their supporters, organizations raised funds, and the public was able to follow the progress in real time. Prohibitionists, who have depended on the government for its largess for years, are now at a disadvantage. Private citizens simply do not want to donate to them, and most information about marijuana is now reaching the public without being run through their filter.

6. Continue the Steady Drumbeat in the Media:
National and local media outlets are covering the marijuana issue more than ever before. Communicating to voters through news coverage is the most cost-efficient way to increase public support for ending marijuana prohibition, so we need to keep the issue in the spotlight.

7. Build Support for Medical Marijuana in Congress: There are already approximately 185 members of the U.S. House who want to stop the U.S. Justice Department from spending taxpayer money on raiding medical marijuana businesses in the 18 states (and DC) where medical marijuana is legal. We want to reach 218 votes on this amendment, thereby ensuring the amendment’s transfer to the U.S. Senate for an up-or-down vote.

8. Build Support for Ending Marijuana Prohibition in Congress: Last year, the first-ever bill to end the federal government’s prohibition of marijuana attracted 21 sponsors. Our goal is to expand the number of sponsors to more than two-dozen during the 2013-2014 election season.

Looking outside our borders, we’re also seeing progress in Colombia, Uruguay, and Chile, which have all been steadily moving away from marijuana prohibition. Although this is good news, most members of the U.S. Congress do not care much about what South American countries think on marijuana policy, so we should temper the wonderful developments south of the U.S. border with limited expectations of what will happen in our nation’s capital.

Ultimately, the U.S. is the primary exporter of prohibition around the world. If we can solve the problem here, the rest of the world will have far more freedom to conduct their own experiments with regulating marijuana.

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Law Enforcement, Narcotics, Anti-corruption: Combating Impunity and Exposing Illicit Wealth: Towards an APEC Network on Prosecuting Bribery and Corruption and Tracking Illicit Financial Flows (Dirty Money)‏

Posted on January 30, 2013. Filed under: Civil law and order, Drug War, LATEST NEWS | Tags: , , , |


Law Enforcement, Narcotics, Anti-corruption: Combating Impunity and Exposing Illicit Wealth: Towards an APEC Network on Prosecuting Bribery and Corruption and Tracking Illicit Financial Flows (Dirty Money)

01/29/2013 06:07 AM EST

Remarks

David M. Luna
Director for Anticrime Programs, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs

Jakarta, Indonesia

January 26, 2013


Good morning.

It is a pleasure to be here with you as we begin the new APEC year.

The United States applauds the leadership of the Government of the Republic of Indonesia as the APEC Host Economy in 2013 and the Indonesian Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) as Chair of this year’s APEC Anticorruption and Transparency (ACT) Working Group.

Your Excellency, Bambang Widjowanto, KPK Deputy Chairman, as a previous Chair of this very important and influential sub-forum in APEC, let me congratulate you on your appointment as our new ACT Chair and commend your life-long commitment to promoting human rights, advancing the rule of law, and safeguarding integrity in Indonesia.

The KPK remains a model within APEC on prosecuting high-level corruption cases, including within the police and security agencies, and demonstrating to us all that no official is above the law. The ACT must continue to support the KPK and all of our economies’ anticorruption authorities to eradicate corruption, safeguard integrity and public trust, and restore people’s faith in government as a steward of equality and justice.

I would also like to thank the Government of the Russian Federation for its leadership last year, and applaud all of the economies here for our collective achievements in 2012. I am confident that we will make great gains this year on developing an APEC regional network of anticorruption authorities that further protects our economies against abuses of power and the plunder of our national assets, human capital, and natural resources.

In 2013, we must work together to achieve the three core objectives outlined in our ACT five-year strategy: 1) to minimize impunity and kleptocracy by preventing and prosecuting public corruption; 2) to level the playing field for all businesses by fighting foreign bribery; and 3) to shut down the illegal economy and criminalized markets by combating corruption and illicit trade.

Combating Impunity and Kleptocracy: Enough is Enough!

No economy is immune from corruption, nor can any economy combat it alone. In addition to effective governance within our own jurisdictions, we must take collective action to improve governance across borders and reconfigure the way we fight corruption with smarter, more holistic strategies and approaches. We must work to prevent the flow of illicit funds, including proceeds of corruption.

APEC Leaders recognized the ACT work program in the 2012 Vladivostok Declaration on Fighting Corruption. They emphasized their commitment to investigate and prosecute corruption; to enforce our domestic bribery laws and laws criminalizing the bribery of foreign public officials; to fight money laundering and deny safe haven to assets illicitly acquired by individuals engaged in corruption. They also vowed to combat illicit trade by attacking the financial underpinnings of transnational criminal organizations and illicit networks; stripping criminal entrepreneurs and corrupt officials of their illicit wealth; and severing their access to the global financial system.

The Vladivostok Declaration also renewed and elevated APEC Leaders’ commitment to “enhance public trust by committing to transparent, fair, and accountable governance” to empower communities to monitor government policies and voice their perspectives on the use of resources.

Voice and accountability can not only help check corruption, but also allow our citizens and communities to take hold of their destinies, enjoy higher standards of living, and trust that their governments exist to do good. Transparent and open governments tend to pursue cost-effective policies; minimize misallocation of resources; and attract investment from companies looking for solid investment environments and opportunities. This is why eight APEC member countries (Canada, Chile, Indonesia, Mexico, Peru, Philippines, Russia, and the United States) have joined the Open Government Partnership (OGP), a multi-stakeholder initiative launched in 2011 to promote transparency, enhance accountability, and fight corruption. Indonesia is also a co-chair of the OGP’s Steering Committee this year, and its leadership of both the OGP and the ACT presents an opportunity for us all to further our efforts to enhance public trust and raise standards of living.

Our Leaders have spoken. They have repeatedly affirmed their will to combat corruption across the Asia Pacific region. We must answer them with a transformative good governance agenda that will anchor economic growth and development from Moscow to Jakarta, from Beijing to Lima, from San Francisco to Sydney, and transform people’s lives across all markets in APEC.

ACT colleagues, we must act decisively and collectively to implement the five-year strategy. I am confident that we can fulfill our Leaders’ mandate and achieve APEC’s broader agenda to secure open markets, economic prosperity, and the rule of law.

Fighting All Forms of Bribery

Continued cooperation with the private sector is a critical component of our efforts to level the playing field for businesses across APEC economies.

Our recent work with the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) and other partners has ushered in a new era of cooperation between the public and private sectors. This partnership is enhancing market integrity and forging a more connected, innovative, and dynamic Asia Pacific region that thrives on openness and a rules-based approach to trade and investment.

We can do more. Building on the APEC Santiago Commitment, the APEC Code of Conduct for Business (Business Integrity and Transparency Principles for the Private Sector), and the Complementary Anti-Corruption Principles for the Public and Private Sectors, we can vigorously enforce domestic bribery laws, including laws criminalizing the bribery of foreign public officials, and fulfill our international obligations. I also hope that we can continue to share experiences and best practices in combating foreign bribery, enlist the private sector as a partner in combating bribery, and provide specialized training to make greater inroads on this important front.

We can minimize corruption as a significant market and trade barrier and improve the investment climate in our economies by ensuring that we effectively investigate and prosecute corrupt public officials and those who bribe them, in compliance with our respective domestic laws and international obligations, where appropriate, under the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), the Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions and similar instruments.

The United States looks forward to working with Indonesia, China, and all economies to support stronger bribery enforcement, prosecutions, and other actions in APEC in 2013-2014.

Combating Illicit Trade and Shutting Down the Illegal Economy

Sustainable economic growth also depends on our progress to combat illicit trade and its pernicious impact on the environment and markets.

Illicit trade and the illegal economy undermine social stability and the welfare of our communities. Illicit enterprises not only distort the legal economy, but they also divert revenue from legitimate market drivers such as businesses and governments. Illicit trade further hampers development by preventing the equitable distribution of public goods. But this goes beyond just economic harm. The illegal economy also incurs a significant negative social cost, and in some cases, devastates vital ecosystems and habitats.

The dumping of toxic waste contaminates our food and water supplies. Illegal logging and deforestation or poaching exacerbate climate change and undermine our ability in APEC to advance inclusive, green, sustainable development. Poaching and trafficking of endangered wildlife robs economies of their natural assets and their future.

The corruption that allows counterfeit or ineffective pharmaceuticals to enter our communities endangers public health, denying the sick effective treatment and permitting deadly diseases to mutate and become untreatable.

The corruption that allows traffickers to move people across borders and exploit them with impunity not only violates individuals’ basic rights and freedoms but also stunts both their and their communities’ economic potential and political development.

Kleptocracy and the embezzlement of national revenue and assets that are intended to finance the future for our citizens impair the ability of communities to make the investments necessary to stimulate growth. Revenue that could be used to build roads to facilitate commerce, hospitals to save lives, homes to raise and protect families, or schools to educate future leaders and entrepreneurs is instead siphoned away for private gain.

APEC has a number of tools in its toolkit to combat corruption and illicit trade, and we have an ongoing opportunity to work together to comprehensively and holistically combat corruption, as well as illicit finance more broadly; to foster integrity in global markets and supply chains; and to protect and promote economic growth and shared prosperity.

Among them is the ACT Multi-Year Project that Thailand and Chile are co-leading on ways to combat money laundering, recover the fruits of corrupt and criminal activity, and track illicit financial flows. As kleptocrats and criminal entrepreneurs continue to hide the proceeds of their crimes in legal structures such as offshore shell companies and foundations and then launder most of that through casinos, financial institutions, or real estate into the global financial system, we must bring them to justice and, where possible, return their illicit wealth back to impacted communities.

To do this effectively, we must also target more aggressively the financial facilitators and service providers who commit crimes in helping corrupt officials, criminals, and illicit networks inject their dirty money into our financial system.

The APEC-ASEAN Pathfinder Workshop on Combating Corruption and Illicit Trade that will be held in Siem Reap, Cambodia, in June 2013, will advance a dialogue among partners across the Asia Pacific region and strengthen cooperation by creating a network of anticorruption authorities, promoting information and intelligence exchanges, and facilitating cooperation and information sharing in investigations related to corruption and illicit trade and efforts to shut down the illegal economy.

More broadly, we can and should support the effective implementation of global anti-money laundering standards promulgated by the Financial Action Task Force. Among these are preventive measures that facilitate financial transparency and help prevent the flow of proceeds of corruption.

Converting Political Will into Action: Regional Networks and Partnerships

We can build on our APEC anti-corruption and transparency commitments and the collaborative relationships around this table to create a regional network of anti-corruption bodies that would facilitate the sharing of intelligence and information, as well as the sharing of best practices and challenges in effectively tracking cross-border corruption, other crime, and illicit financial flows.

The United States is more committed than ever to combating corruption and illicit trade, and we look forward to the discussion here in Jakarta.

Together, we will create a better, more prosperous future by uniting our efforts to combat corruption and support accountability and good governance. We must turn our shared interests into collective action by developing more comprehensive approaches to combating corruption so that we can prosecute corrupt public officials and those who bribe them.

Again, I wish Indonesia a great and successful year in APEC 2013 and applaud my ACT colleagues for developing and pressing forward on a vibrant course of action to fight corruption and promote integrity—a course that I know will lead us towards economic growth and a stronger foundation to build the new markets and investment frontiers of tomorrow.

Thank you.

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Progress Kentucky, Democratic Super PAC, Targets Mitch McConnell For Defeat In 2014

Posted on January 29, 2013. Filed under: LATEST NEWS, Political | Tags: , , |


Posted: 01/29/2013 12:37 pm EST

 

PROGRESS KENTUCKY IS ON FACEBOOK AT THIS LINK

 

WASHINGTON – It’s just January 2013, but in the race to oust Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) after nearly three decades in the Senate, one small super PAC is already exploring all options.

Progress Kentucky, launched in December, was born out of discussions among Democratic activist Shawn Reilly, who now heads the super PAC, and his friends as they debated how to defeat McConnell in 2014.

"Nobody else is doing it. So let’s start a super PAC and make it a grassroots effort," Reilly said, recalling the reasoning process. "Make it of the people of Kentucky and for the people of Kentucky."

Reilly has a progressive background, having worked for Americans Against Escalation in Iraq in its 2007 summer campaign as well as on a number of statewide and local races in Kentucky. Before starting Progress Kentucky, he was a member of the executive committee of the state Democratic Party.

His group’s first order of business is to find candidates to take on McConnell from both the Democratic Party in the general election and the Republican Party in a primary challenge. As Politico reported on Monday, Progress Kentucky is in contact with Tea Party groups across the Bluegrass State to try to convince a credible conservative to run against McConnell in the primary. The group has already sent out a petition to 22 candidates — Democrats, Republicans and independents — to see if anyone is willing to challenge the state’s senior senator.

By actively seeking out candidates, Reilly said, his super PAC is letting them know that they’ll have support if they run. "Hey, if you want to run, you’re going to have some support on the ground here to help you," he said.

It may seem strange that a liberal Democratic organization would be working with Tea Party supporters, but Reilly said there are important areas in which the two groups agree.

"They are just as concerned with [McConnell's] corruption and crony capitalism — some of the things that he’s done over the years in terms of earmarks," Reilly said. "They are just as much concerned about those things as people on the left are. They’re looking for candidates that can deliver that type of message, and we’re looking at potentially supporting those kind of candidates who can deliver that good-government, anti-corruption type of message."

In fact, this would not be the first time that a Democratic group involved itself in a Republican primary campaign with the intent of knocking off the candidate with the better chance of winning the general election.

Last year, Senate Majority PAC, a Democratic super PAC, ran ads attacking Missouri businessman John Brunner in the GOP Senate primary because they thought he could have seriously challenged the vulnerable Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) in the general election. At the same time, McCaskill’s campaign ran ads promoting then-Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.), the seemingly weakest candidate in the Republican field. Akin went on to win the three-way Republican primary and then fulfill Democratic hopes and dreams by laying waste to his own campaign with bizarre comments about rape.

In the 2012 Indiana GOP Senate primary, the super PAC American Bridge 21st Century released numerous memos and online videos attacking then-Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.) for not paying taxes in the Hoosier State and for residing primarily in Washington, D.C. These efforts, while not central to Lugar’s primary loss to Indiana state treasurer Richard Mourdock, helped drive negative news against Lugar during the early stages of the race. Mourdock went on to mimic Akin and lose the general election after spouting inappropriate comments about rape.

But McConnell is not Akin or Mourdock. To pull off something like this, Progress Kentucky is going to need money. So far, it is relying largely on grassroots donations and not on the kind of large contributors that most major super PACs use to fill their coffers. The group has a fundraising target of $100,000 by the end of February and hopes to raise up to $2 million to fund television, field and other voter targeting activities.

The group has also been in contact with labor unions in Kentucky and helped to roll out a report by the Public Campaign Action Fund, a campaign finance reform group, tying McConnell’s use of the filibuster to particular campaign donors. Those connections could help Progress Kentucky as it takes on the incumbent Republican senator.

Paul Blumenthal Become a fan

paulblumenthal@huffingtonpost.com

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The Latest Hemp news in Kentucky…

Posted on January 29, 2013. Filed under: Farming, Industrial HEMP, KENTUCKY WEED, LATEST NEWS | Tags: , , , , |


Kentucky state senator to bring hemp bill up for vote

  • By The Associated Press
  • Posted January 28, 2013 at 3:13 p.m.

FRANKFORT, Ky. — The chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee sounded upbeat Monday about prospects for his bill that would regulate industrial hemp production in Kentucky if the federal government lifts its decades-long ban on the crop that once was a Bluegrass state staple.

Republican Sen. Paul Hornback of Shelbyville said Monday he intends to bring the hemp bill up for a vote in his committee, which is expected to review the legislation at a Feb. 11 hearing. Hemp proponent U.S. Sen. Rand Paul is scheduled to appear at the hearing and put his political weight behind the measure.

CONTINUE READING…

 

Don’t call it a ‘Weed;’ Momentum for hemp in Ky

by Joe Arnold

WHAS11.com

Posted on January 28, 2013 at 8:07 AM

Updated yesterday at 10:38 AM

FRANKFORT, Ky (WHAS11) — Reinvigorated after a ten year dormancy, Kentucky’s Industrial Hemp Commission meets Monday morning with an apparent new momentum.
The effort recently gained the endorsement of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce and bills that would legalize the crop are expected to be debated when the General Assembly’s "short session" resumes in February. 
Sen. Paul Hornback (R-Shelbyville), a sponsor of one of the bills (SB50) and a statutory member of the commission, is scheduled to attend.

CONTINUE READING…

 

Kentucky Narcotic Officer’s Association: No to Legalizing Hemp

By Kevin Willis

The recent talk in Frankfort about legalizing industrial hemp hasn’t convinced the head of the Kentucky Narcotic Officer’s Association. Tommy Loving, who also leads the Warren County Drug Task, says he fears marijuana growers will plant their crops next to hemp, making it difficult for law enforcement to distinguish between the two.

Some agriculture experts say planting the two crops together would destroy the potency of the marijuana over time, but Loving told WKU Public Radio that wouldn’t deter those looking to hide from law enforcement.

"If you plant marijuana with hemp surrounding it, for instance, in one growing season, you’re not going to diminish that much of the THC content in the marijuana. So your marijuana crop is still going to be a sellable commodity,” said Loving.

CONTINUE READING…

 

KSP: Hemp backers ‘naive’ after endorsing Senate bill

by Joe Arnold

WHAS11.com

Posted on January 28, 2013 at 4:32 PM

Updated today at 8:20 AM

FRANKFORT, Ky (WHAS11) — With momentum building for an effort to license hemp farming in Kentucky, law enforcement leaders lashed out on Monday, saying hemp’s supporters are looking at the issue "through rose-colored glasses."
The pushback came as Kentucky’s Industrial Hemp Commission met at the Agriculture Commissioner’s offices and voted to endorse Senate hemp legislation. 
All three representatives of law enforcement on the commission were absent, including Operation UNITE’s Dan Smoot who joined in the news release from the Kentucky Narcotic Officers’ Association in opposition to Senate Bill 50 and House Bill 33.

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Atmospheric Oxygen Levels Are Dropping Faster Than Atmospheric Carbon Levels Are Rising

Posted on January 28, 2013. Filed under: Ecology, Environment, LATEST NEWS, Pollution/Global Warming | Tags: , , , , , , |


Posted by Good German on January 27, 2013

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/c7/Earth6391.jpg/128px-Earth6391.jpg

 

Forget rising temperatures and bigger storms, this is the big problem that neither side of the mainstream debate over environmental destruction is talking about.  Peter Tatchell reported for the Guardian back in 2008:

The rise in carbon dioxide emissions is big news. It is prompting action to reverse global warming. But little or no attention is being paid to the long-term fall in oxygen concentrations and its knock-on effects.

Compared to prehistoric times, the level of oxygen in the earth’s atmosphere has declined by over a third and in polluted cities the decline may be more than 50%. This change in the makeup of the air we breathe has potentially serious implications for our health. Indeed, it could ultimately threaten the survival of human life on earth, according to Roddy Newman, who is drafting a new book, The Oxygen Crisis.

I am not a scientist, but this seems a reasonable concern. It is a possibility that we should examine and assess. So, what’s the evidence?

Around 10,000 years ago, the planet’s forest cover was at least twice what it is today, which means that forests are now emitting only half the amount of oxygen.

Desertification and deforestation are rapidly accelerating this long-term loss of oxygen sources.

The story at sea is much the same. Nasa reports that in the north Pacific ocean oxygen-producing phytoplankton concentrations are 30% lower today, compared to the 1980s. This is a huge drop in just three decades.

Moreover, the UN environment programme confirmed in 2004 that there were nearly 150 “dead zones” in the world’s oceans where discharged sewage and industrial waste, farm fertiliser run-off and other pollutants have reduced oxygen levels to such an extent that most or all sea creatures can no longer live there. This oxygen starvation is reducing regional fish stocks and diminishing the food supplies of populations that are dependent on fishing. It also causes genetic mutations and hormonal changes that can affect the reproductive capacity of sea life, which could further diminish global fish supplies.

Professor Robert Berner of Yale University has researched oxygen levels in prehistoric times by chemically analysing air bubbles trapped in fossilised tree amber. He suggests that humans breathed a much more oxygen-rich air 10,000 years ago.

Further back, the oxygen levels were even greater. Robert Sloan has listed the percentage of oxygen in samples of dinosaur-era amber as: 28% (130m years ago), 29% (115m years ago), 35% (95m years ago), 33% (88m years ago), 35% (75m years ago), 35% (70m years ago), 35% (68m years ago), 31% (65.2m years ago), and 29% (65m years ago).

Professor Ian Plimer of Adelaide University and Professor Jon Harrison of the University of Arizona concur. Like most other scientists they accept that oxygen levels in the atmosphere in prehistoric times averaged around 30% to 35%, compared to only 21% today – and that the levels are even less in densely populated, polluted city centres and industrial complexes, perhaps only 15 % or lower.

Much of this recent, accelerated change is down to human activity, notably the industrial revolution and the burning of fossil fuels. The Professor of Geological Sciences at Notre Dame University in Indiana, J Keith Rigby, was quoted in 1993-1994 as saying:

In the 20th century, humanity has pumped increasing amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere by burning the carbon stored in coal, petroleum and natural gas. In the process, we’ve also been consuming oxygen and destroying plant life – cutting down forests at an alarming rate and thereby short-circuiting the cycle’s natural rebound. We’re artificially slowing down one process and speeding up another, forcing a change in the atmosphere.

Very interesting. But does this decline in oxygen matter? Are there any practical consequences that we ought to be concerned about? What is the effect of lower oxygen levels on the human body? Does it disrupt and impair our immune systems and therefore make us more prone to cancer and degenerative diseases?

The effects of long term oxygen deprivation on the brain, called cerebral hypoxia, are known and some sound reminiscent of the general rise of stupidity in the industrialized world.

Professor Ervin Laszlo (quoted in Tatchell’s article) writes:

Evidence from prehistoric times indicates that the oxygen content of pristine nature was above the 21% of total volume that it is today. It has decreased in recent times due mainly to the burning of coal in the middle of the last century. Currently the oxygen content of the Earth’s atmosphere dips to 19% over impacted areas, and it is down to 12 to 17% over the major cities. At these levels it is difficult for people to get sufficient oxygen to maintain bodily health: it takes a proper intake of oxygen to keep body cells and organs, and the entire immune system, functioning at full efficiency. At the levels we have reached today cancers and other degenerative diseases are likely to develop. And at 6 to 7% life can no longer be sustained.

More specific details regarding the drop in atmospheric oxygen can be found here.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

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I AM AN ANTI-PROHIBITIONIST

Posted on January 27, 2013. Filed under: Activists Opinions, LATEST NEWS, ShereeKrider | Tags: |


8224946090_b472f19e75

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Ode to the Hemp

Posted on January 27, 2013. Filed under: Activists Opinions, LATEST NEWS, ShereeKrider | Tags: , , , , , , , |


A PRAYER TO OUR CREATOR

Richard and his plant

WE COME TOGETHER TODAY TO PRAISE YOUR ALMIGHTY
GIFTS TO US…

YOU HAVE GIVEN US LIGHT FOR WARMTH,
MEADOWS OF FRESH FLOWERS,
AND HERBS,TO KEEP UP HEALTHY,
YOU GAVE US DARK TO SLEEP AND TO REST OUR
WEARY HEARTS AND MINDS FOR ANOTHER DAY,
YOU GAVE US BROTHERS AND SISTERS TO LOVE US,
AND CHILDREN TO CARRY ON OUR NEVER-ENDING
ENDEAVORS – TO CARRY OUT YOUR WILL ,
AS WE KNOW WE WILL NEVER ACCOMPLISH
THIS ALONE.

YOU GIVE US INTELLIGENCE TO BE ABLE TO
SEPARATE THE GOOD FROM THE EVIL,
DEAR FATHER IN HEAVEN,
GIVE US THIS DAY, OUR DAILY BREAD,
AND FORGIVE US OUR SINS,
AS WE FORGIVE ALL OTHERS,

AND

GIVE US THE STRENGTH, TO CARRY ON,
TO RECTIFY THE EVIL THAT TO WHICH WE HAVE
SUCCUMB,
TO BRING BACK THE MEADOWS,
THE FLOWERS AND TREE’S,
TO CONTINUE TO HEAR THE BIRD’S AND BEE’S!
BLESS THE HEMP LORD, AND KEEP IT STRONG,
AND ENABLE US, TO CARRY ON…

AMEN

@ShereeKrider

*Dedicated with Love to Richard J. Rawlings…USMJParty

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Study casts doubt on link between cannabis, teen IQ drop

Posted on January 27, 2013. Filed under: LATEST NEWS, Mental Health | Tags: , , , , |


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Related MedlinePlus Pages

SYDNEY (Reuters) – A landmark study suggesting a link between cannabis use and a drop in teenage IQ may not have gone far enough in its research, with any falls in IQ more likely due to lower socioeconomic status than marijuana, according to a Norwegian study.

The latest work, which appears in the journal PNAS, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, also suggests that different policy steps might be needed in that case.

"My study essentially shows that the methods used and analyses presented in the original research are insufficient to rule out other explanations (for lower IQ)," said Ole Rogeberg, an economist at the Frisch Centre for Economics Research in Oslo, to Reuters.

The Dunedin Multi-disciplinary Health and Development Study is an ongoing report produced by New Zealand’s University of Otago, monitoring 1,037 New Zealand children born between April 1972 and March 1973. The study followed them for 40 years.

The participants were periodically tested for IQ and other indices including drug taking, and in 2012 clinical psychologist Madeline Meier produced a study saying there was a link between teenage cannabis use and a lower IQ.

Researchers in the Meier study compared the IQ trends of people who never smoked cannabis with four groups of those who did: people who smoked, people who scored as dependent in a follow-up survey, those who scored as dependent twice and those who scored as dependent three times.

The study found IQ declines increasing "linearly" with cannabis use, Rogeberg wrote in PNAS.

The crucial assumption in the Meier study is that cannabis use is the only relevant difference between the groups tested, he said. His use of a simulation model showed that it may be premature to draw a causal inference between marijuana use and falling IQ scores.

For one thing, other writing about the Dunedin group on which Meier’s study is based suggest that early cannabis use is more common for people with poor self-control, previous conduct problems, and high scores on risk factors linked to low family socioeconomic status, he wrote.

Given these factors, young people from lower status families tended to end up in less intellectually demanding environments, whether by choice or by circumstance, which would increase the difference in IQ levels as they aged.

"We know that the researchers have measured the IQ of the participants at various ages in childhood – but we don’t know if the IQ changes were similar for the different cannabis-using groups before their cannabis use," he told Reuters.

"We don’t know how much of the change in IQ we can explain by differences in education, jail time, occupational status, etc and whether this affects the estimates in the paper."

(Reporting by Pauline Askin, editing by Elaine Lies)

Reuters Health

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The Wall…Pink Floyd

Posted on January 25, 2013. Filed under: LATEST NEWS, Video | Tags: , , , , |


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Kentucky court overturns $24M royalty verdict against Dallas-based Atmos Energy

Posted on January 25, 2013. Filed under: LATEST NEWS | Tags: , , , , |


By BRETT BARROUQUERE

Published: 25 January 2013 09:16 AM

Picture

 

LOUISVILLE, Ky.The Kentucky Court of Appeals has overturned a $24.7 million jury verdict against Dallas-based Atmos Energy stemming from a lawsuit by landowners who claimed they didn’t get their rightful royalties from an oil and gas project.

The appeals court on Friday ordered a new trial in the case of landowners who sued Atmos.

An Edmonson County jury in 2010 awarded about $7.7 million to the landowners, and the rest to a company owned by Robert Thorpe, which acted as a third-party producer in the project.

The jury initially awarded $31.35 million, but post-trial motions knocked $7 million off the final judgment.

The appeals court also dismissed claims against Atmos for fraud, conversion, negligence, “excessive fees,” and intentional interference with a contract.

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Meet us at the Capital Hill Annex building and show your support for SB 11

Posted on January 23, 2013. Filed under: Attention, KY Gatewood Galbraith Memorial Medical Marijuana Act, LATEST NEWS, Ron Moore | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |


 

Kentuckians for Medicinal Marijuana

Kentuckians for Medicinal Marijuana

By Kentuckians for Medicinal Marijuana

Wednesday, February 6, 20131:00pm

The Capitol Annex Building 700 Capitol Ave Loop, Frankfort, KY, 40601

Support the cause, the senators need to feel and hear your voice. Meet us at the Capital Hill Annex building and show your support for SB 11 (Gatewood Galbraith Medical Marijuana Bill). Chronically ill Kentucky citizens that have been debilitated by disease need your support. Please help our cause by coming out to the rally. You can also further support our cause by making an appointment to see your senator the same day. We can’t do it without you.

UNITED WE STAND DIVIDED WE FALL!    

We can make this happen!  

 

Kentucky Veterans for Medical Marijuana  

www.kentuckyveteransformedicalmarijuana.net 

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