McConnell Congratulates President Trump


 

Image result for Sen mcconnell at inauguration

‘I think it’s important for all Americans — regardless of party — to remember the significance of Inauguration Day, as we celebrate our nation’s rich electoral tradition and begin to move our country forward together.’

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor congratulating President Trump on his Inauguration, and outlining the status of Senate consideration of Cabinet nominations:

In November’s election, the American people called for a new direction, a change from the last eight years. Today, we took a meaningful step toward that new direction, as we inaugurated a new President of the United States.

I think it’s important for all Americans — regardless of party — to remember the significance of Inauguration Day, as we celebrate our nation’s rich electoral tradition and begin to move our country forward together.

It’s always an honor to participate in the historical transition of power and the ceremonies surrounding it. Today was certainly no exception.

On behalf of the Senate, I’d like to express our gratitude to each individual — from law enforcement personnel to inaugural committee staff to congressional staff and volunteers — whose efforts made this event a success. I would like to again congratulate President Trump and Vice President Pence on today’s inauguration. We are eager to work with you and the Administration in advancing policies that can improve the lives of the American people.

So today marks a new beginning. We’re faced with many new opportunities. We’re faced with some new challenges too. I’ll have more to say on that in the coming days. But for now, the Senate remains hard at work as we move forward with the confirmation process of President Trump’s nominees. We’ll have an opportunity to confirm some today.

It’s imperative to proceed with confirmations without delay, especially when it comes to key national and economic security nominees.

I urge colleagues to remember that we worked with the Administration of former President Obama after he was first inaugurated.

We confirmed seven members of his cabinet the day he took office, and nearly the entire cabinet was filled within two weeks. 

The Senate should work in the same spirit with the current Administration and put the rest of President Trump’s team in place as soon as possible.

It’s very important that we confirm General Mattis and General Kelly to their critical positions as the secretaries of Defense and Homeland Security. But that’s not enough. We live in dangerous times. As the Democratic Leader noted earlier today, “We face threats foreign and domestic”. It is critical for the President to have a full national security team on Day One. That includes, in particular, the Director of the CIA.

It makes no sense to leave this post open. Not for another week, not for another day, not for another hour. America’s enemies will not pause in plotting, planning and training simply because the Democrats refuse to vote. The American people expect more.

Earlier today the Director and Deputy Director of the CIA resigned. We need to confirm a new director today. We need to confirm the rest of the Cabinet quickly as well. Republicans treated a newly inaugurated President Obama’s nominees fairly, and Democrats should do so now. Our country is counting on it.

We can have as much debate time as requested by our Democrat colleagues, but at the end of debate today, we should vote.

I’d also like to offer a few words regarding our outgoing President.

As we say farewell to President Obama, I think it’s worth once again reflecting on the significance of his election and the historical achievement it represented in terms of our country’s past. That’s something both he — and our country — should be proud of.

Now, it’s no secret that President Obama and I haven’t always seen eye-to-eye. Over the years we’ve pursued different sets of legislative priorities. Everyone here knows that. The American people know that too.

But I think I speak for all Americans when I thank our former President for his tremendous service to our Nation. And — as can be said of all First Families — he and his family have made many personal sacrifices over the past eight years. But through it all, they’ve done so with dignity and grace.

So to our 44th President, I’d say…

For your leadership, we are grateful.

We wish you, Michelle, Malia, and Sasha all the best as you embark on this new chapter of your lives. 

CONTINUE READING…

Hemp Industries Association Files Petition Against DEA


Hemp Industries Association Files Petition Against DEA to Defend Lawful Hemp-Derived Products from Agency Overreach
19 Jan 2017 5:41 PM

Suit Seeks to Defend Hemp Farmers, U.S. Businesses and Consumers from Illegal Attempt to Schedule Non-Psychoactive Hemp Derivatives as ‘Marihuana Extract’
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Hemp Industries Association (HIA), the leading non-profit trade association consisting of hundreds of hemp businesses, filed a Petition for Review on January 13, 2017, in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, seeking to block the implementation of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) recently announced Final Rule regarding “Marihuana Extract.” The proposed DEA Final Rule attempts to unlawfully designate hemp-derived non-psychoactive cannabinoids, including cannabidiol, as “marihuana extract,” and append the Controlled Substances Act to add all cannabinoids to its Schedule I. Furthermore, this action by the DEA contravenes clear Congressional intent and legal parameters for the production and consumption of hemp-derived products containing cannabinoids, enacted by Sec. 7606 of the Agricultural Act of 2014 (Farm Bill).

To read the full petition, please visit:

https://hoban.law/sites/default/files/2017-01/17.01.13%20Petition%20%5Bfinal%5D.pdf

The DEA does not have the authority to augment the Controlled Substances Act; that power resides with Congress. Congress has clearly mandated, through the 2014 Farm Bill and the 2016 Omnibus Spending Law that the Controlled Substances Act does not apply to hemp grown in state pilot programs, and that it is a violation of federal law for agencies such as DEA to interfere with these programs. The DEA’s proposed rule regarding cannabinoids thumbs its nose at Congress and threatens to undermine the market for legal hemp products containing cannabinoids, including those produced in the U.S. under state laws that regulate hemp cultivation and processing pursuant to, and in accordance with the federal Farm Bill. These products, such as hemp foods and supplements, fall outside the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) and are not subject to regulatory control by the DEA.

“Hemp-derived products containing cannabinoids are an increasingly in-demand category within the hemp market—and U.S. consumers constitute the largest market for hemp products worldwide,” said Colleen Keahey, Executive Director of the Hemp Industries Association. “We are committed to defending the rights of our members, of entrepreneurial hemp farmers, businesses and consumers, who all are acting entirely within the legal framework of the CSA and Farm Bill, including those adversely affected by trying to source American-grown hemp and hemp derivatives to supply this demand. The DEA’s attempt to regulate hemp derived products containing cannabinoids lawfully sourced under the CSA, and farmed and produced under the Farm Bill in states like Kentucky and Colorado, is not only outside the scope of their power, it’s an attempt to rob us of hemp’s economic opportunity.”
The DEA has made previous attempts to interfere with legal hemp products, notably from 2001-2003 when the agency contended that hemp food products such as cereals, hemp seed and hemp oil, are a Schedule I substance due to trace insignificant residues of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. On February 6, 2004, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in response that hemp is not included in Schedule I; that the trace THC in such products is similar to trace opiates in poppy seed bagels, and does not render them controlled substances. The HIA believes this 2004 ruling sets strong legal precedent for the current petition, which asserts that cannabinoids derived from lawful portions and varieties of the Cannabis plant exempted from control under the CSA and through the Farm Bill, may not be regulated as “marihuana” or “marihuana extract” by the DEA.

More recently, in 2014, the DEA interfered with the implementation of state pilot programs for hemp farming, when the agency unlawfully seized 250 lbs. of certified industrial hemp seed imported from Italy. The viable hemp seed had been legally sourced to supply six hemp research projects licensed by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture and coordinated in conjunction with Kentucky State academic institutions. The seed was quickly released, following the filing of a lawsuit against the DEA on May 14, 2014 by then Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner, now U.S. Congressional Representative James Comer.
“Over a decade ago, the Ninth Circuit held that non-psychoactive hemp is not controlled by the CSA,” said Patrick Goggin, co-counsel for the HIA. “The DEA is again attempting to schedule under the CSA cannabinoids and non-psychoactive hemp beyond its authority. We believe the Ninth Circuit will invalidate this rule just like it did in 2004.”
To date, 31 states have passed hemp legislation that allows their farmers to cultivate hemp according to guidelines set forth in the Farm Bill. Per these guidelines, U.S. farmers planted nearly 10,000 acres of hemp in 2016. Farmers and agri-business across the country have invested many millions of dollars in infrastructure to comply with federal law; this retroactive misreading of statute puts the livelihood of these law-abiding companies and individuals at risk.
Recent DEA pronouncements indicate that DEA is threatening to flout prior court rulings, and assert regulatory authority over hemp seed, oil, and products made from hemp seed and oil, which have always been exempt from the Controlled Substances Act. HIA continues to monitor these developments, and will consider further actions to resist DEA’s unlawful attempts to regulate legal hemp products.
# # #
The Hemp Industries Association (HIA) represents the interests of the hemp industry and encourages the research and development of new hemp products. More information about hemp’s many uses and hemp advocacy may be found at www.TheHIA.org.

Privacy and Civil Liberties at CIA (as updated 1/18/2017)


 

Central Intelligence Agency

The CIA of the U.S. has released information on the updated rules and regulations concerning collection of data and investigation of U.S. Citizens as of 1/18/2017.

The published information is available on their new website, “Office of Privacy and Civil Liberties”.

This is the first time that this information has been readily available to Citizens.

It states that,  “All of the CIA’s intelligence activities must be properly authorized, and the collection, retention, or dissemination of information concerning United States persons may only be conducted pursuant to specific procedures approved by the Director of the CIA and the Attorney General”.

The PDF’s of the information is available at these links:

Please visit the website for further information!

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Banks Financing Dakota Access Pipeline Decline Meeting with Tribal Leaders


One month after the pipeline was effectively put “on hold” by the Army Corps of Engineers, major commercial banks are still banking on the project — and losing thousands of customers a week as a result.

Standing Rock, ND – For the last six weeks, a global coalition has been pressuring banks providing project loans to the Dakota Access Pipeline to renegotiate or cancel their loans. In December, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and other Indigenous leaders requested that each of these banks meet with tribal representatives to hear their concerns.
The deadline for banks to respond to the Tribe’s meeting request was January 10, and as of this statement:

  • Four banks have declined: BayernLB, BNP Paribas, Mizuho Bank, and Suntrust
  • Six banks have not responded at all: Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, BBVA Compass, ICBC, Intesa Sanpaolo, Natixis, and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation
  • Seven banks have met or agreed to meet with the Tribe and its allies: Citi, Crédit Agricole, DNB, ING, Société Générale, TD, and Wells Fargo

In response, organizers are escalating their pressure on banks that refuse to engage. The Indigenous coalition at Standing Rock has a running billboard in Times Square asking millions of people to #DefundDAPL. Organizers continue a drumbeat of protests and bank occupations, along with brand-damaging campaigns that have already led to the closure of thousands of accounts worth a self-reported $46,314,727.18.
Protests have increased in fervor and frequency over the last few weeks, including multiple occupations of Wells Fargo, US Bank and Citibank branches, as well as a daring banner drop during a nationally televised Vikings/Bears NFL game at US Bank Stadium in protest of their bankrolling of DAPL project sponsors Sunoco Logistics and Energy Transfer Partners.
Backed by hundreds of thousands of online signatures and commitments to #DefundDAPL, organizers from more than 25 grassroots groups vowed the campaign will continue and intensify in the coming weeks, building up to a planned “global week of action” unless all 17 of the banks act. The ask for the banks is to discontinue loan disbursements in consultation with Native leaders until outstanding issues are resolved, and Free, Prior and Informed Consent from Indigenous peoples is upheld.

Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault II said: “We are pleased that some of the banks behind DAPL are willing to engage Standing Rock Sioux leadership, but maintain that all 17 should not be helping a company who deliberately ignores our concerns. We call on the remaining banks to agree to a meeting with the Tribe. We know that they have heard Energy Transfer Partners’ side of the story, and they need to hear our perspective as well.”

Ladonna Bravebull Allard, Sacred Stone Camp said: “I want the banks to know that the power of their investment comes from the people, and the people are saying we have the right to water, and we will stand for the water. Stop investing in destruction of the earth.”

Tara Houska, National Campaigns Director, Honor the Earth said: “This movement has shown again and again that the power and strength of the people is incredible. Banks need our dollars to make their investments. We can and must hold these financial backers accountable for supporting destruction of our shared planet and futures. Move past dated fuels and justly transition to a green economy.”

Eryn Wise, International Indigenous Youth Council said: “What began as a protection of the earth has now become a reclamation of power. We are demanding that our interests as a prospering people be put before banks and their investments. We hold in our hands the ability to encourage divestment to the point of fruition and we will not back down.”

Dallas Goldtooth, Keep it in the Ground Organizer, Indigenous Environmental Network said: “As a movement to stop this dirty Bakken oil pipeline, we are demonstrating the inherent power of organized communities and mobilized citizens. We are showing Big Oil and government leaders that we know the power of our capital, and as such we collectively choose to invest in life and water, not death and oil. As first peoples of the land and in defense of our Indigenous rights, we will continue to rise, resist, self-determine and divest until the Dakota Access pipeline is nothing but the defeated aspirations of a Energy Transfer Partners’ dream.”

Judith LeBlanc, Director, Native Organizers Alliance said: “The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has a spiritual obligation to protect the Missouri River for all. The best way for the banks to meet their obligation to protect their investor’s interest is to meet with the Tribal leadership. Mother Earth and all of our ancestors deserve the opportunity for an exchange on our shared moral obligations to protect Mother Earth for generations to come.”

Sara Nelson, Executive Director, Romero Institute and the Lakota People’s Law Project said: “We are moving our financial accounts from Wells Fargo to a local bank that does not invest in companies who violate Indigenous rights and environmental impact requirements, and will not endanger clean water for millions of people. We want our money used to support positive solutions for our children’s future, not to float big companies who send oil overseas, make the American people pay for inevitable spills, and generate profits for banks and billion dollar global companies.”

Leila Salazar López, Executive Director, Amazon Watch said: “From Standing Rock to the Amazon, Indigenous peoples are defending their territories and providing a model for a fossil free world. It’s time banks listen to Indigenous peoples and their allies in our call to Keep It In The Ground.”

Lindsey Allen, Executive Director, Rainforest Action Network said: “Investing in a project of Energy Transfer Partners, a company that has abused Indigenous and human rights, was a big mistake. These banks now have a chance to fix it by meeting with the Standing Rock Sioux, and upholding Free, Prior and Informed Consent from Indigenous peoples.”

Dr. Gabriela Lemus, President of Progressive Congress Action Fund said: “No bank should support poisoning communities’ land and water- yet too many banks still have investments in Energy Transfer Partners and the Dakota Access Pipeline. We call on these banks to divest completely. Families’ lives are at risk, and that should always take priority over profits. All banks have a responsibility not only to their shareholders and customers, but to the communities that are impacted by their investments. Don’t keep funding this dangerous project.”

Todd Larsen, Executive Co-Director of Green America said: “Banks need to end investments that harm the rights and lives of Indigenous peoples. We call on all banks to divest entirely from the Dakota Access Pipeline. Until these banks do so, all Americans should divest their money from any bank providing financing to this ruinous pipeline.”

Erich Pica, President, Friends of the Earth U.S. said: “The voices of Indigenous peoples have been ignored for too long – by the US government, corporations and big banks. By not acknowledging Indigenous peoples, or outright refusing to meet with them, these ten banks are perpetuating a pattern of colonialism and failing to respect Indigenous peoples’ rights to Free, Prior and Informed Consent.”

Johan Frijns, Director of BankTrack said: “The Dakota Access Pipeline project is supposed to be in compliance with the Equator Principles, and therefore guarantee Indigenous peoples’ rights to be properly consulted. The refusal of leading EP banks to meet with the Sioux Tribe not only makes a complete mockery of that commitment, but also poses a severe risk to the very credibility of the Equator Principles.”

Vanessa Green, Director of DivestInvest Individual said: “DAPL is simply the wrong kind of investment, and people don’t want their money behind it. With government mandates to scale up clean energy investments, a market increasingly supportive of a low carbon future, and unprecedented consumer and investor interest in moving money into climate and community solutions, the question now is which banks will lose the most in this historic energy transition.”

Mary Sweeters, Arctic Campaigner with Greenpeace USA, said: “People across the world have pledged their solidarity with the Indigenous communities who reject this dirty pipeline and the threat it poses to the water and climate. The banks must choose whether they want to continue to invest their money in yesterday or listen to the millions of people who stand with Standing Rock.”

Lena Moffitt, Sierra Club Beyond Dirty Fuels Director, said, “People power can, does, and will continue to prevail over corporate polluters. The people will not stop until the banks financing these operations invest in our clean air and water — not fossil fuels.”

Seminars to provide information on Kentucky’s hemp industry


 

Below and attached you will find details for a series of hemp seminars to be held across the state.  The seminars are a collaborative effort of the UK Cooperative Extension Service, Kentucky Hemp Research Foundation, Kentucky Hemp Industries Association and Kentucky Department of Agriculture.  I highly recommend that participants in our Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program and anyone interested in hemp research attend one of these seminars.  This is a good opportunity to learn more about hemp in general.  These seminars should NOT be confused with the mandatory orientation meetings for pilot program participants.   See attached for more details of the daily agenda and the full press release from UK.

Please call the corresponding extension office to reserve your free lunch.

Thanks,

Doris

2017 Kentucky Industrial Hemp Seminars

· January 30, 2017   Christian County Extension Office     270-886-6328

· January 31, 2017    Clark County Extension Office           859-744-4682

· February 9, 2017   Shelby County Extension Office         502-633-4593

NEWS

Contact: Tom Keene, 859-257-3144

Seminars to provide information on Kentucky’s hemp industry

By Katie Pratt

LEXINGTON, Ky., (Jan. 17, 2017) – New and experienced industrial hemp producers and interested individuals can get a broad overview of hemp production and the Kentucky hemp industry at one of three regional meetings.

The meetings will be at the following University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service offices: Jan. 30 in Christian County, Jan. 31 in Clark County and Feb. 9 in Shelby County. They are a collaboration between the Kentucky Hemp Industries Association, Kentucky Hemp Research Foundation, UK Cooperative Extension Service and the Kentucky Department of Agriculture. All the meetings will begin at 10 a.m. local time and end at 4 p.m.

“These meetings will give producers and processors good information about the hemp industry in Kentucky and will get them ready to grow and process hemp this year,” said Tom Keene, UK agronomy specialist.

“Our strategic objective is to position the commonwealth’s growers and processors to ultimately prevail as national leaders in industrial hemp production,” Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles said. “These regional meetings will help us achieve that objective. We appreciate the opportunity to work with our partners to inform the participants in the Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program.”

The KDA Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program has tripled its acreage for the upcoming growing season, bringing the total to 12,800 acres.

Topics on the agenda include hemp marketing, hemp agronomics, the KDA’s Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program and KDA policies. Presenters include Keene, Doris Hamilton, program manager of KDA’s Industrial Hemp Research Pilot Program, and representatives from Kentucky’s hemp industries.

More information is available by online at https://hemp.ca.uky.edu/ or by contacting each host site. Those numbers are 270-886-6328 for Christian County, 859-744-4682 for Clark County and 502-633-4593 for Shelby County.

Writer: Katie Pratt, 859-257-8774

UK College of Agriculture, Food and Environment through its land-grant mission, reaches across the commonwealth with teaching, research and extension to enhance the lives of Kentuckians.

http://www.ca.uky.edu

AGRICULTURAL COMMUNICATIONS SERVICES • COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURE, FOOD AND ENVIRONMENT • UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY

131 SCOVELL HALL, LEXINGTON, KENTUCKY 40546-0064

PHONE (859) 257-4736 • FAX (859) 257-1512
The College of Agriculture, Food and Environment is an Equal Opportunity Organization.

Doris Hamilton

Industrial Hemp Program Manager

Department of Agriculture

Office of Marketing

111 Corporate Drive

Frankfort, KY 40601

Doris.Hamilton@ky.gov

502-782-4113

ACTION ON JANUARY 28th TO CARRY THE PRAYER FROM STANDING ROCK TO BANKS WORLDWIDE


Dear Global Family,

Thank you for your commitment to our collective future.
Standing Rock is still standing strong through freezing temperatures, bravely holding the prayer for our water, our earth and our children’s future – And they need our help.

YOU ARE INVITED TO JOIN A GLOBAL SYNCHRONIZED PRAYER ACTION ON JANUARY 28th TO CARRY THE PRAYER FROM STANDING ROCK TO BANKS WORLDWIDE

The Global Prayer Action is carrying the prayer and request from Standing Rock to the steps of the Banks around the World who are funding Oil Pipelines, sending a clear message of solidarity and demand for change – The frontline is now everywhere. 

There will be a live prayer broadcast shared from Standing Rock camp – a prayer for all water, for all life – led by indigenous elders. You can join from wherever you are!
This is an opportunity to be a part of history by uniting our global community to support the water protectors at Standing Rock through local actions at banks.

“Let us put our hearts and minds together and
see what future we can make for our children.”
– Sitting Bull (Hunkpapa Lakota Oyate)

One week after inauguration we are taking this action to show that this is not over. 

Empowered as one, we can make change. 

We will stand, pray and meditate to elevate the consciousness of the financial institutions, administration and corporations funding oil extraction around the world by asking that they make the choice to invest in clean renewable energy and the future of our planet.

We are also looking at our own desires and choices for short-term gain over long term sustainability to heal this pattern within ourselves, to heal the earth. 

Through this prayer action we ask our governments to incentivize the banks to make long terms investments that benefit our grandchildren and our planet of corporate profits. 
We are connecting activists, advocates, actors, musicians, artists, media, environmental organizations, educators and prayerful people to join our Indigenous Leaders and Water Protectors.
The prayer will broadcast live from Standing Rock on January 28th as we simultaneously carry the prayer to the steps of banks worldwide.

Let your heart shine and our prayers be heard.

Click Here to Join: www.GlobalPrayerAction.com

You can join the prayer broadcast from wherever you are or find a prayer action happening at a local bank near you!
If there is no prayer action on the Global Prayer Action near you on the world-wide interactive map, please consider creating an event in your community.

Mitakuye Oyasin ~ We are All Related

Mni Wiconi ~ Water is Life
On behalf of the Global Prayer Action campaign

At UNIFY we share virtual and in-person transformational experiences that support your most passionate, peaceful, purposeful, and amazing life.
We also organize global synchronized meditations and days of social action. We now have more than 7,500 organizers that bring their communities together for campaigns we launch on Peace Day, Earth Day, Water Day, and more.  Thank you for doing your part every day!

KY Amish Farmer Jailed over a Salve Label; the FDA Wants Him Jailed for Life


By Sally Oh on January 15, 2017

Girod indictment: Sam's 3 products: chickweed salve, bloodroot salve and an essential oil blend

I know it sounds like I made up a terribly inflammatory headline… but it’s not JUST inflammatory. It’s true, the Girod indictment is below.

Amish farmer Sam Girod of Owingsville makes 3 products: a chickweed salve, a bloodroot salve and an essential oil blend called Sine Eze. The photo of the 3 products was just taken on my iPad on my desk. You can find similar products online. In fact, you’ll find the recipes online. You can make these products in your kitchen, it’s not rocket science.

A few years ago, the FDA came after Sam for labeling crimes — Sam said his salves could cure certain things and that’s a big FDA no-no. Sam immediately fixed the labels as per FDA demands.

But then the FDA fixated on him and just would not let go. You’ll see in the indictment. In my line of hobby work (political blogging), I’ve seen this over and over and over again. An alphabet agency gets you in its sights and just will not quit.

And why would they quit? No skin off their teeth and gives them something to do. State agencies are bad enough, but the feds… the feds are especially lawless. There is no accountability in a federal agency, they break their own rules as a matter of course.

I have a little inside info on why this persecution is taking place plus a couple of questions. “Inside info” because I’m involved in food and health freedom, so aware of persecution of other farmers around the country.

The first thing of note is that, when it comes to powerful well-funded federal agencies looking to set precedent, the Amish have a special target on their backs. Why? Because they generally don’t use lawyers which makes them easy prey. They don’t use lawyers because the Amish are self-sufficient, they know their constitutional rights and they are a peaceful community. They don’t fight back (unless lives are at stake).

The FDA is also after an enormously successful Amish farm in PA, Miller’s Organic Farm. Like Sam, the Millers have established a private club whereby only members can purchase products. As a member of Miller’s Organic Farm, I can order anything I want, including raw milk, that can be shipped to me anywhere in the country. (Read up on the Miller’s case here.)

The FDA hates private membership clubs because club sales and products are NOT subject to FDA rules and regulations! Private memberships are protected under the Constitution’s contract clause. I can contract with anyone I want, sell them anything I made or produced, and the state may not interfere. The state, of course, hates this kind of freedom and will do anything it can to pierce that veil. Including bankrupting businesses and jailing a peaceful farmer for the rest of his life.

The FDA also seems to have a special soft spot for bloodroot salves. They’ve been persecuting makers of bloodroot salves for decades, starting with Greg Caton, jailing him twice and driving him from the country. A quick search brought up this company as well.

Two questions:

  1. Why was Sam kept handcuffed during the hearing on Friday. Was he a flight risk or a danger to anyone? IMO, the gov was attempting to show Sam who’s the boss. Newsflash: the gov is not Sam’s boss.
  2. Why did the FDA wait so long to formally charge Sam? Most of his alleged crimes (Counts 1-11) took place between 9/2013 and 1/2014 with the M.M. situation (Count 12) in 12/2014. If Sam is so dangerous that he needs to be jailed for life… why did they wait for years to charge him?

Here comes the Girod indictment.

This is pretty long but a lot the counts are basically repeats with different dates. The gov likes to pad the bill so the defendant will take a plea.

Remember, folks, we are talking about a Chickweed Salve here along with two other equally benign, non-drug products that are for sale all over the world, that I and my friends have used with no ill-effects (in fact, to good effect). Is the purpose of this prosecution to protect the public or to punish those citizens who don’t kneel at the pointy end of a bureaucrat’s pen (and, in this case, firearm)?

The FDA vs Kentucky Amish Farmer Samuel A. Girod

PLEASE CONTINUE READING HERE!

the first-ever patent for a plant containing significant amounts of THC


Terpenes and Testing Magazine

You know that strain you love? The one that a breeder managed to hone perfectly over the years? We are at a point in the industry where that strain that you love could be locked up by big business. The theft of a clone or tissue, biopiracy, could destroy decades of hard work with no mention of where it came from.

Why? Big business is knocking on the door of the cannabis industry, bringing with them the specter of plant patents.

There have already been a few U.S. patents related to cannabis over the years. The one that caught the attention of everyone in the cannabis business came in the form of U.S. patent 9,095,554, a 145-page utility patent filed in August 2015 by the BioTech Institute in Westlake, California on the breeding, production, processing and use of specialty cannabis.

The document lists dizzying details of the chemical structures of both CBD and THC, their uses, planting and harvesting for cannabis, along with dozens of charts only a scientist could understand. It’s being hailed as the first-ever patent for a plant containing significant amounts of THC.

BioTech has filed the first patent on a broad range of cannabis, with various forms and concentrations of CBD and/or THC, and just about every form of cannabis including extracts and edibles.

It’s a shot across the bow in a multi-billion-dollar industry blissfully unaware—or unaccepting—that the cannabis business is moving into big agriculture territory. Big money attracts big players. Those big players want to own, protect and have recourse to take legal action against any other big company challenging the breeding, growing and selling of their product.

For cannabis business owners, it’s becoming clear that it’s time to circle the wagons and find out what needs to be done to protect the intellectual property represented by their plant and processes. All while carefully eyeing the moves of big agriculture.

It’s time to add patent lawyer fees and filing fees to the list of costs for running a cannabis business.

The hard reality is, for most breeders and growers, it’s already too late. If they’ve sold a strain a year or longer ago, it’s now in the public domain and therefore can’t be patented.

“Patents are not a threat,” says Dale Hunt, a patent attorney working in biotechnology. “In this young industry, patents are viewed that way. They are only a threat if they are in the hands of a big agricultural company. But they are also a shield. A patent can actually be a sword and a shield.”

If Monsanto gets into the cannabis business—an unconfirmed but common fear if federal legalization occurs—they will definitely have patents on the plant. “People need to realize that, ‘OK, if we can’t stop them from getting into it, we can’t stop them from patenting, do we figure out how to engage, how to defend ourselves using the same tools?’” Hunt expressed.

“We have found out that a lot of people are terrified about big agriculture when it comes to patents,” Mowgli Holmes, Co-Founder and CSO for Phylos Bioscience, added. “But even little breeders want to patent too. We thought that patents on cannabis were bad altogether, but once you start talking to breeders, you realize that they want and need protection.” Phylos is an agricultural genomics company based in Portland, Oregon focusing on cannabis studies.

Hunt explained that some in the industry just want it to be a kind of “patent-free” zone. “And that is just not an option.”

There are a couple of ways to patent a new strain. For example, one can be obtained on an individual strain with a simple plant patent, available through the USPTO. This offers a narrow form of protection against a direct copying of that strain. “Plant patents cost about $5,000 to file and might cost $5,000 in lawyer fees,” Holmes shared. “So they are affordable.”

The utility patent, like the one granted to BioTech, is a patent where an applicant persuaded the examiner that the certain combinations of biochemical and genetic properties were new, and provided various strains that have those properties.

“What is important to understand about that utility patent is that it is not limited to any particular strain,” Hunt explained. “It’s limited to only that combination of properties. And that patent is valid only if that combination of properties never really existed before. A big part of the challenge is: Who knows? Where is the prior art? There is a great and unusual vacuum of knowledge of what is really out there. It may well be that what is before the examiner is not new at all.”

That utility patent could, in effect, end the development of other, more diverse strains if they exhibit the same combination of properties as listed in that patent. “Our position now is that utility patents are being granted, and it’s pretty damn clear that those are not good for the industry,” Holmes said. “They are innovation killing, destructive patents. And if the industry wants to survive, they need to fight them.”

Sadly, there are only more patents coming, “I think they already granted the second one for the same group, and I think that they have several others in the pipeline,” Holmes recounted.

To fight cannabis plant patenting, the Open Cannabis Project was created recently to build a prior art database. The database lists the DNA sequence of thousands of strains that are already out in the public domain and, by doing that, making those particular strains unavailable to be patented by any one person or corporation.

Both Hunt and Holmes are working on that project now.

“That is important because it’s the only possible way to fight a patent on a specific plant,” Holmes said. “We need to get a lot of testing labs to donate their testing data, because that chemical data and what chemical compounds are in the plant is what that 2015 utility patent rested on. If we had done that a year earlier—if we provided that prior art data—I don’t think they could have gotten that patent.”

What could happen now? Hunt gives an example of a mom-and-pop breeder that develops a great strain. “As the industry gets bigger and more lucrative, how are they going to protect that strain from someone grabbing it, and propagating it as their strain?” he concluded. “The mindset that patents are bad is not one that will serve people well in this burgeoning industry.”

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Leonard Peltier Denied Clemency by Obama


Image result for leonard peltier 2014

 

The Office of the Pardon Attorney has announced President Obama has denied clemency to imprisoned Native American activist Leonard Peltier. Peltier is a former member of the American Indian Movement who was convicted of killing two FBI agents during a shootout on South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in 1975. He has long maintained his innocence.

Amnesty International condemned the decision.

“We are deeply saddened by the news that President Obama will not let Leonard go home,” said Margaret Huang, executive director of Amnesty International USA. “Despite serious concerns about the fairness of legal proceedings that led to his trial and conviction, Peltier was imprisoned for more than 40 years. He has always maintained his innocence. The families of the FBI agents who were killed during the 1975 confrontation between the FBI and American Indian Movement (AIM) members have a right to justice, but justice will not be served by Peltier’s continued imprisonment.”

Peltier’s attorney Martin Garbus appeared on Democracy Now! today.

“I think it’s fair to say that if he doesn’t get commuted by President Obama, he’ll die in jail. He’s a very sick man,” Garbus said. “So, Obama’s not granting him clemency is like a sentence of death. Trump ain’t going to do it. And he’s very sick, and he’s not going to live past that time. I don’t want to be negative, but that’s the reality. He’s very sick, and he’s been in prison over 40 years, hard years, six years of solitary.”

Garbus was notified of Obama’s decision earlier today. In an email, the Office of the Pardon Attorney wrote: “The application for commutation of sentence of your client, Mr. Leonard Peltier, was carefully considered in this Department and the White House, and the decision was reached that favorable action is not warranted. Your client’s application was therefore denied by the President on January 18, 2017… Under the Constitution, there is no appeal from this decision.”

See our full coverage on Leonard Peltier


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Executive Clemency for Leonard Peltier


This post was taken from Ruth Hopkins on Twitter this afternoon.  It is a copy of a letter sent from the Oglala Sioux Tribe in South Dakota requesting Clemency by President Obama before he leaves office.

Please share far and wide and make your own request for Leonard Peltier’s clemency and read about the case at THIS LINK.

leonardpeltier

THANK YOU!

We are ANTI-PROHIBITIONISTS! We are "Constitutionalists"! We are "Overgrowing the Government"

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