Senator Ron Wyden and Representatives Earl Blumenauer and Jared Polis have introduced legislation in the House and Senate — The Marijuana Revenue and Regulation Act —


Marijuana Treated Like Alcohol? Legislation Filed In Senate and House

by NORML March 30, 2017

Senator Ron Wyden and Representatives Earl Blumenauer and Jared Polis have introduced legislation in the House and Senate — The Marijuana Revenue and Regulation Act — to permit states to establish their own marijuana regulatory policies free from federal interference. In addition to removing marijuana from the United States Controlled Substances Act, this legislation also removes enforcement power from the US Drug Enforcement Administration in matter concerning marijuana possession, production, and sales — thus permitting state governments to regulate these activities as they see fit.

Email your members of Congress now and urge them to support this effort.

“The first time introduction of this particular piece of legislation in the US Senate is another sign that the growing public support for ending our failed war on cannabis consumers nationwide is continuing to translate into political support amongst federal officials,” said NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri, “With marijuana legalization being supported by 60% of all Americans while Congress’ approval rating is in the low teens, ending our country’s disastrous prohibition against marijuana would not just be good policy, but good politics.”

Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for qualified patients, while eight states now regulate the production and sale of marijuana to all adults. An estimated 63 million Americans now reside in jurisdictions where anyone over the age of 21 may possess cannabis legally. Voters support these policy changes. According to a 2017 Quinnipiac University poll, 59 percent of Americans support full marijuana legalization and 71 percent believe that states, not the federal government, should set marijuana policy. 

“If we are truly going to move our nation towards sensible marijuana policies, the removal of marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act is paramount. Annually, 600,000 Americans are arrested for nothing more than the possession of small amounts of marijuana and now is the time for Congress to once and for all end put an end to the national embarrassment that is cannabis prohibition,” said Justin Strekal, NORML Political Director. “Passing this legislation would end the current conflict between state and federal laws and allow the states to implement more sensible and humane marijuana policies, free from the threat of federal incursion.”

These statewide regulatory schemes are operating largely as voters and politicians intended. The enactment of these policies have not negatively impacted workplace safety, crime rates, traffic safety, or youth use patterns. They have stimulated economic development and tax revenue. Specifically, a 2017 report estimates that 123,000 Americans are now working full-time in the cannabis industry. Tax revenues from states like Colorado, Oregon, and Washington now exceed initial projections. Further, numerous studies have identified an association between cannabis access and lower rates of opioid use, abuse, hospitalizations, and mortality.

Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR)

Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR)

“The federal government must respect the decision Oregonians made at the polls and allow law-abiding marijuana businesses to go to the bank just like any other legal business.” Senator Ron Wyden said. “This three-step approach will spur job growth and boost our economy all while ensuring the industry is being held to a fair standard.”

Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO)

Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO)

“Colorado has proven that allowing responsible adults to legally purchase marijuana, gives money to classrooms, not cartels; creates jobs, not addicts; and boosts our economy, not our prison population,” Representative Jared Polis said. “Now, more than ever, it is time we end the federal prohibition on marijuana and remove barriers for states’ that have chosen to legalize marijuana.  This budding industry can’t afford to be stifled by the Trump administration and its mixed-messages about marijuana.  The cannabis industry, states’, and citizens deserve leadership when it comes to marijuana.”

Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR)

Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR)

“As more states follow Oregon’s leadership in legalizing and regulating marijuana, too many people are trapped between federal and state laws,” Representative Earl Blumenauer said. “It’s not right, and it’s not fair. We need change now – and this bill is the way to do it.”

The ongoing enforcement of cannabis prohibition financially burdens taxpayers, encroaches upon civil liberties, engenders disrespect for the law, impedes legitimate scientific research into the plant’s medicinal properties, and disproportionately impacts communities of color.

By contrast, regulating the adult use of marijuana stimulates economic growth, saves lives, and has the support of the majority of the majority of Americans. 

Send a message to your members of Congress urging them to support the Marijuana Revenue and Regulation Act

CONTINUE READING…

https://www.finance.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/(4)%20Marijuana%20Revenue%20and%20Regulation%20Act%20Summary.pdf

https://consumermediallc.files.wordpress.com/2017/03/mrra.pdf

Hash Bash 2017: The Great Cannabis Betrayal Continues


https://scontent-atl3-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/17634845_1663320983684030_613999681140897365_n.jpg?oh=01f806755de41808c5b7b54c2e8ee317&oe=599970C5

Bruce Cain·Friday, March 31, 2017

I would very much appreciate it if you would re-post and republish this article as widely as possible. Whether you live in the US, Canada — or anywhere around the world — your right to “grow and sell” your own Cannabis is under assault. I have been a small voice in this movement for many decades and this is not the “end state” that I, or many other activists had envisioned. And if we don’t take a stand very soon I fear your very right to grow your own will soon be “up in smoke.” And that is why I am giving explicit permission to republish this article with no further permission. The people have a right to understand how we have been betrayed. Bruce W. Cain March 31st, 2017

The Past:

Since I first smoked Marijuana, in 1968, I always felt that adults should have the right to both grow and sell what they were not able to consume. And most of us young Hippies felt the same way as we firmly believed that “government is best which governs least.” We also favored small decentralized economies which was perfectly expressed in the book “Small is Beautiful” by EF Schumacher (1973): “among the 100 most influential books published since World War II.”

===== Small Is Beautiful: A Study of Economics As If People Mattered is a collection of essays by British economist E. F. Schumacher. The phrase “Small Is Beautiful” came from a phrase by his teacher Leopold Kohr.[1] It is often used to champion small, appropriate technologies that are believed to empower people more, in contrast with phrases such as “bigger is better”.

First published in 1973, Small Is Beautiful brought Schumacher’s critiques of Western economics to a wider audience during the 1973 energy crisis and emergence of globalization. The Times Literary Supplement ranked Small Is Beautiful among the 100 most influential books published since World War II.[2] A further edition with commentaries was published in 1999.[3]

Small Is Beautiful From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Small_Is_Beautiful =====

Yep us Hippies were probably the first generation of Americans that understandably feared overbearing government control as well as the movement toward globalization: what Bush(1) would later call “One World Government” in the early 1990’s.

This Saturday will mark the 46th Hash Bash in Ann Arbor: one of the nations oldest Annual events calling for the legalization of Cannabis. The first Hash Bash was held on April 1st, 1972 in response to the arrest of John Sinclair. Sinclair was due to be imprisoned for 10 years for possession of 2 joints. At the time Marijuana arrests were at a very low level, compared to today, and there was little doubt that he was really arrested because he publicly advocated for the legalization of Marijuana (e.g., Cannabis).

Prior to the first Hash bash John Lennon (of the Beatles) played and spoke at the “John Sinclair Freedom Rally on December 10, 1971 at the Crisler Arena in Ann Arbor. The event drew about 20,000 people where Lennon performed a special song: “It ain’t fair John Sinclair” which you can listen to at the following link:

John Lennon – John Sinclair https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZJLInCgem8

John Sinclair Freedom Rally From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Sinclair_Freedom_Rally

Prior to all of this the Beatles circulated the first petition, calling for Marijuana Legalization, on July 24th, 1967, which was signed by many luminaries including scientist Carl Sagan. It is worth noting that the petition did not speak to the issue of personal cultivation.

===== The Beatles call for the legalization of marijuana Monday 24 July 1967 A full-page advertisement appeared in The Times newspaper on this day, signed by 64 of the most prominent members of British society, which called for the legalisation of marijuana. Among the signatories were The Beatles and Brian Epstein. https://www.beatlesbible.com/1967/0… =====

My initiation into all of this occurred a year later in 1968 at the tender age of 14. It was in 1968 that I was first introduced to both LSD and Marijuana. And from that beginning I could never understand why either substance should ever be illegal. Cannabis never impaired my motor skills as much as the Boones Farm Wine we used to drink back in the day. And the propaganda that LSD was addictive was “too cute by half.” About the last thing you would ever want to do, after a 10 hour LSD trip, would be another 10 hour LSD trip.

[I am not, by the way, suggesting that 14 year olds should be doing LSD by the way. But I have “always” been an advocate for legalizing the cultivation of both Cannabis and Psilocybin Mushrooms for adults.]

It was not understood, till decades later, that the War on Drugs (including Marijuana) was perpetrated by the Nixon administration to criminalize blacks and Hippies.

=====

One of Richard Nixon’s top advisers and a key figure in the Watergate scandal said the war on drugs was created as a political tool to fight blacks and hippies, according to a 22-year-old interview recently published in Harper’s Magazine.

“The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people,” former Nixon domestic policy chief John Ehrlichman told Harper’s writer Dan Baum for the April cover story published Tuesday.

“You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin. And then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities,” Ehrlichman said. “We could arrest their leaders. raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”

Ehrlichman’s comment is the first time the war on drugs has been plainly characterized as a political assault designed to help Nixon win, and keep, the White House.

Report: Aide says Nixon’s war on drugs targeted blacks, hippies By Tom LoBianco, CNN Thu March 24, 2016 http://www.cnn.com/2016/03/23/politics/john-ehrlichman-richard-nixon-drug-war-blacks-hippie/ ======

There are a few other milestones, during these early years that are worth consideration.

In 1965 Timothy Leary was arrested for Marijuana possession and was due to serve 30 years in prison. Just like Sinclair, Leary was singled out because he advocated the legalization of both Marijuana and LSD. I was asked to speak on a panel with Tim in 1993.

===== Leary v. United States, 395 U.S. 6 (1969), is a U.S. Supreme Court case dealing with the constitutionality of the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937. Timothy Leary, a professor and activist, was arrested for the possession of marijuana in violation of the Marihuana Tax Act. Leary challenged the act on the ground that the act required self-incrimination, which violated the Fifth Amendment. The unanimous opinion of the court was penned by Justice John Marshall Harlan II and declared the Marihuana Tax Act unconstitutional. Thus, Leary’s conviction was overturned. Congress responded shortly thereafter by replacing the Marihuana Tax Act with the newly written Controlled Substances Act while continuing the prohibition of certain drugs in the United States.[1]

Leary v. United States From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leary_v._United_States =====

Leary’s successful overturning, of the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, quickly resulted in something even worse: The Controlled Substances Act of 1970. The Controlled Substances Act place both Marijuana and LSD on Schedule 1, which also included drugs such as Heroin.

Controlled Substances Act From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Controlled_Substances_Act

Many decades later I have decided to “self identify” as a Perennial Hippie. You can understand what I mean by that through reading through the following links:

===== Hippie From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hippie

Perennial philosophy From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perennial_philosophy

The Perennial Philosophy (book) From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Perennial_Philosophy_(book) ===== In 1989 I had begun publishing a magazine on Drug Policy (New Age Patriot) which was internationally distributed by 1990. I was also involved in the Hash Bash along with Adam Brook and Rich Birkett even before that. It was around that time that we arranged to have the Hash Bash on the First Saturday in April, rather than on April 1st. That way we figured that the event would draw more activists, which it did. It was also in 1989 that I met Jack Herer (The Emperor Wears No Clothes): possibly the most effective Cannabis Activist in our long history:

Jack Herer From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Herer

In 1990 I used my publication and my involvement in the Hash Bash to start a annual international event to call for the Legalization of Marijuana and an end to the Drug War in general. The event was called International Drug Policy Day (IDPD). I basically encouraged activists to set up an event which I would publish in my magazine. By 1996 IDPD was celebrated in 60 locations around the world: including Warsaw, Russia and South America. I stopped publishing New Age Patriot in 1997 which also ended IDPD. But then activist Dana Beal took the baton and IDPD became the Million Marijuana March which has been celebrated in over 300 locations world wide.

The next important milestone in the Marijuana Movement was the passage of the first Medical Marijuana Initiative in November of 1996. Prop215 was the first state initiative allowing adult to grow their own Cannabis for medical purposes. But of course as Peron once said: “all use is medical use.”

There are so many things that occurred from Prop215 (CA, 1996), to today, that it would take a book to cover it all. But certainly one of the most important Michigan events was the murder of Cannabis Activist Tom Crosslin at Rainbow Farm: about 1 week before the Terror Attack on the World Trade Center (09/01/2001). I spoke at his farm numerous times and sat down to lunch with him on a few occasions as well. In retrospect this is very important as it made clear that the “Deep State” was still more than willing to persecute and kill our activists in order to push back on the inevitable: the full legalization of Marijuana.

Rainbow Farm From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rainbow_Farm

Tom Crosslin From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Crosslin

Then in November of 2008 the people of Michigan passed the Medical Marijuana Initiative by 63% of Michigan voters and majorities in ALL Michigan counties. I personally collected about 1200 signatures in order to get this on the ballot. Since we needed over 400,000 signatures this amounted to about 1 in 400. This was backed by the Marijuana Policy Project led by sex offender Kampia and had the same poison pill going back to Prop215: you had to get “a card” to be a grower/caregiver. In my opinion this registry will be used to bust every last grower once the “big boys” get their mega grows up an running. The data mining of “smart meters” will also be used to get growers who have refused to get “a card.” You should not need a fucking “card” to grow Marijuana. You don’t need it to brew beer or make wine at home. We should have been suspicious about the need to have a card from the very beginning!

The Present

Between 2008 and today (April 1st, 2017) both our legislators and monied drug reform groups — NORML, DPA, MPP, etc. — have been pushing “tax, regulation and control” — what is also know as a “seed to sale” model. This was already beginning to occur as early as 2000 by the way.

One of the first assaults on the Medical Marijuana Initiative came in the form of local city ordinances that forbid home growing in cities like Dearborn Heights, Royal Oak, Ferndale and many other cities. This “boiler plate” legislation was pushed through by Municiple Leagues and was an obvious subversion of the will of 63% of Michigan voters.

===== Bruce Cain, resident and drug policy activist, said he’s cautiously optimistic about council’s decision. He said his worry was the city would try to prosecute patients and caregivers who are in compliance with state law. “I’m just relieved you’re doing what you’re doing,” he said. [By the way, I never said that]. Cain said he supports the complete and untaxed legalization of marijuana. It is the only way the country will stop the drug cartels, he said, and it would make cheap medicine widely available. Marijuana is not a dangerous drug, Cain said. He said it should at least be treated the same as alcohol, which is more dangerous.

Heights council OKs ban on marijuana dispensaries Friday, January 14, 2011 http://www.rockindlaw.com/dearborn-heights-passes-ordinance-prohibiting-dispensaries/ =====

Adam Brook — long time Master of Ceremony for the Hash Bash — also spoke out against these ordinances, which I believe led to his arrest and incarceration for owning a gun which he inherited from his father or grandfather.

So here we are today just waiting for the Mega Grows to open: at which point the home growers will be thrown under the bus. I will leave it to the reader to read about what is about to happen to Cannabis in Michigan as the “big boys” move in to monopolize production and distribution. =====

===== LANSING — The medical marijuana industry is poised for explosive growth in Michigan. And new laws seeking to regulate, tax and legitimize the lucrative business have unleashed a torrent of cash at Lansing decision makers, sending dozens of lobbyists, lawmakers, legislative staffers and business owners scrambling for a piece of the billion-dollar enterprise.

All the jockeying is taking place under Michigan’s weakest-in-the-nation laws outlining government ethics, transparency and conflicts of interest. And it’s happening while Lansing awaits Gov. Rick Snyder’s appointment of a five-member board that will ultimately oversee licensing of the industry, raising questions about who will truly benefit from bringing pot to the mainstream.

The stakes are high: While medical marijuana revenues in Michigan are estimated at more than $700 million, if full legalization of marijuana happens, as it has in eight other states, the revenues could be enormous. Arcview Market Research, a California-based company that tracks the marijuana industry, reported $6.8 billion nationally in legal marijuana sales — both recreational and medicinal — in 2016, and projects the market to grow to $21.6 billion by 2021.

New medical marijuana laws set industry ‘on steroids’ http://www.freep.com/story/news/politics/2017/03/25/new-medical-marijuana-laws/99430088/

Medical pot draws rich, well-connected investors http://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/2017/03/25/medical-pot-marijuana-rich-investors/99415236/

===== * Registered medical marijuana users: 244,125 * Registered caregivers: 40,702 * Estimated sales with new medical marijuana regulations: $711 million * Estimated tax revenues with new law: $21 million * Number of plants for each class of medical marijuana growers: up to 500; up to 1,000; up to 1,500 * Product yield for single marijuana plant: Depending on the strain, 2 ounces to 2 pounds. * Price: $8 to $20 per gram, which would translate into a range of $448 to $18,140 worth of finished product from one marijuana plant.

Medical marijuana by the numbers http://www.freep.com/story/news/pol…

Medical pot: from ballot to regulated industry www.freep.com/story/news/politics/2…

=====

Medical pot laws ignite Lansing feeding frenzy http://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/2017/03/25/medical-pot-laws-michigan/99250684/ =====

=====

The Future?

The dream of many of us Hippies — to be able to grow and sell without “tax, regulation and government control” — is fast becoming like the American Dream: you really have to be asleep to believe it.

Under “seed to sale” state governments and millionaire gangapreneurs are going to want every last penny that they lobbied for. So instead of many small growers supporting local communities we will see them herded into the criminal justice system for doing exactly the same thing the “big boys” will be doing: growing and distributing Cannabis. And let us not loose sight of how hypocritical this really is. The very same state governments that have been persecuting Cannabis Consumers/Producers — because Marijuana was so dangerous — are now going to become our New Drug Dealers. And the very same Hippies that optimized the the technology, hybridized new strains etc. will be going to jail. Please, let that sit in for a moment.

Between 2010 and 2012 the Hash Bash was overtaken by dispensary owners like Ream, 3rd Coast (Ypsi) and others. And because of that the last time I was allowed to speak was in 2010, following a speech by John Sinclair. You can watch the video here:

Hash Bash in Ann Arbor and the End of the War On Marijuana (2010) https://www.youtube.com/edit?video_id=TtmVsOg_XZw =====

===== This video contains speeches by John Sinclair and Bruce Cain with introductions by Hash Bash “Master of Ceremonies” Adam Brook. In the second year after Medical Marijuana became legal in Michigan we celebrate the 39th Annual Hash Bash in Ann Arbor Michigan. John Sinclair, the first speaker, is the actual reason the Hash Bash began. In 1970 he was persecuted, as a political prisoner of the state, after facing 10 years in Prison for the possession of 2 Marijuana Cigarettes. In December 1970 John Lennon, of the Beatles, came to Ann Arbor to hold a special concert to raise money for John Sinclair’s defense. Soon after John was free. Bruce Cain is the second speaker and is the author of the MERP Model for Marijuana Re-Legalization. Under this model all adults would be able to “grow their own” untaxed, unregulated and unlimited in the number of plants that they can grow. This is the ONLY way that the Mexican Drug Cartels can be defeated. It is the only way that the sick and the poor will be able to afford Marijuana. And it is the only way that the PIGS (Police Instigating “Grass” Stings) can be prevented from breaking into our homes . . . much like the British broke into the homes of the American Colonists. Both Cain and Sinclair support the right for Americans to grow their own Marijuana without taxation or regulation. We both would like to see Marijuana treated like Beer — where we can presently produce home brew — rather than “hard liquor” where you can purchase, but not produce, your own product.

It appears that NORML, DPA, MPP, Obama . . . and many other “interested” parties (e.g., the Rx and Tobacco industries) want to prevent Americans from “growing their own” in order to monopolize the market and charge $300 to $500 for an ounce of Marijuana when we could essentially grow it ourselves for free. It is worth noting that many members of State Chapters of NORML no longer agree with the “tax and regulate” model. The “tax and regulate” mantra is coming mainly from National Members of NORML, DPA and MPP.

Cain is urging American Citizens to recognize, that for the first time in US history, a majority of American voters now want complete legalization . . . including the right to grow our own.

Vast forces, including the Corporate Controlled Media, are trying to “manufacture consent” for a “tax and regulate” model that will prohibit any significant “self cultivation” in order to serve the greed of those most likely to monopolize the markets: large dispensaries, the federal government, the tobacco industry and the Pharmaceutical industry.

The Mainstream Corporate Media will not allow activists, such a Cain, Sinclair, Herer, Peron etc. explain what they see wrong with a “tax and regulate” model that does not allow self cultivation.

Hash Bash in Ann Arbor and the End of the War On Marijuana (2010) https://www.youtube.com/edit?video_id=TtmVsOg_XZw =====

That was the 15th(?) and last time that I spoke at the Hash Bash. And here is what I had to say about that in 2012.

====== Bruce Cain has been a long time activist who has always believed in the inalienable right of adults to grow their own Marijuana as well as other foods and herbs. He has spoken at 15 of the last 23 events but feels that the Hash Bash has been hijacked by those intent on “taxing, regulating and controlling” it for the benefit of monopolists like Steve DeAngelo of Harborside . . . who will be allowed to speak.

Here are some of the links cited in the video:

“The Obongo Song” for Marijuana Hypocrite Obama – YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S3iOHt1RKR8

I also found it unfortunate to hear your other Hash Bash planner, Charmie Gholson, expressing joy over that fact that they are busting white people. This is also unacceptable and some might even argue it to be racist in its own right. No one should be getting busted for growing or consuming Marijuana. Here is the podcast in which she makes the statement:

========================= Charmie Gholson-Comm. for a Safer Michigan, Caitlin Sampson by ROJS Radio Sat, March 3, 2012 At 43:00 Gholson states that she supports taxing Cannabis. Bad girl! At 46:00 It is good white people are getting arrested She is part of Able’s “Repeal Today” http://www.blogtalkradio.com/rojsra…

Why Bruce Cain is not being allowed to speak at 2012 Hash Bash https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PeOB6J6g2F8&t=16s =====

If you are a Cannabis consumer or producer you have every right to be pissed off at the current Hash Bash Promoters, the Pseudo Drug Reform organizations and your legislators. And don’t get excited by the two initiatives for 2018. Essentially, unless we act, the door on persona cultivation is shutting fast. The state wants the revenue and the “big boys” are going to be the sole providers to the local dispensaries. Small growers will obviously be thrown under the bus and treated like criminals. And the consumer will be paying through the nose for an herb they could grow themselve for perhaps $20/ounce. Instead you will probably be paying $60 and eighth and $350 per ounce.

So I will end this with links to proposed initiatives by MPP and MI_Legalize. Frankly I don’t know why they would even bother. And neither will do what we first set out to do in the late 1960’s:

* Erase all Marijuana offenses from judicial records. * Allow Marijuana consumers/producers to own a gun. * Allow adults to grow and sell their overage. * Stop the persecution of consumers/producers.

===== MI Legalize 2018: The People of Michigan’s Movement to Legalize Marijuana http://www.milegalize.com/ http://www.milegalize.com/read_the

March 22 Draft Ballot Language Michigan Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol https://www.facebook.com/notes/michigan-coalition-to-regulate-marijuana-like-alcohol/march-22-draft-ballot-language/280551502380931 =====

There is STILL a much better solution: MERP and the Tomato Model

Here are some notes on my MERP Model for legalization as it was in 2009. The basic plan is still better than most that I’ve read but it needs some revision. My web is long gone so this is what I’m left with. MERP is really just a version of what existed since the 60’s: Tomato Model, Hippie Distribution System. At the end of the day it was really structured to insure the “industry” would ALWAYS be dependent on local growers.

===== An Overview of the MERP Model for Marijuana Re-Legalization By Bruce Cain – submitted to NeuroSoup on July 20, 2009 http://www.neurosoup.com/an-overview-of-the-merp-model-for-marijuana-re-legalization/ =====

Frankly I would summarize my better solution this way in April of 2017.

Any adult should be able to have 2-4 1000 Watt lights per home. If you stay within these limits you can sell your overage and law enforcement will be reduced to the authority of a dead ghost on a bright sunny day. And of course you will still retain your 2nd Amendment right to own a gun. I still think THAT is the end game we should be fighting for. And please let me know if you agree. I would also encourage you to join my Facebook group in case I decide to throw my hat back in the ring of this insane “fools crusade.”

Bruce Cain’s Facebook Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/BruceCain2016/

Additional Links and Articles on the Hash Bash and Cannabis Policy:

Brad Forrester thread on competing Marijuana initiatives https://www.facebook.com/normlbrad/posts/1341595895961874?comment_id=1343570582431072&reply_comment_id=1345230525598411

More on MERP scattered throughout the web. Google [bruce cain merp] https://www.google.com/#q=bruce+cain+merp&*

===== Bruce Cain, Editor of “New Age Citizen,” talks about the history of Marijuana and how its prohibition is part of a larger Globalist agenda to push us towards a Post-Constitutional New World Order where inalienable rights are no longer guaranteed. He believes that both Obama and McCain have been selected to further this agenda and that citizens should stop legitimizing the “Election Charade” by writing in the names of 3rd Party and Independent Presidential Candidates. He further believes that the American People must organize to stop either candidate from pushing us further toward a Globalist New World Order when one of them becomes our next president in January 2009.

This lecture was given before a “live audience” at the Trumbull-Plex Theatre on Sunday, October 19th, 2008: just 2 weeks before the Presidential Election. The Trumbull-Plex Theatre is located in Detroit, Michigan. He was the featured speaker at this event that was celebrating that Michigan will most probably be the 13th State to Legalize Marijuana for Medicinal use. Bruce Cain encourages the distribution of this video in order to de-legitimize the 2008 Presidential Election and challenge the New World Order in 2009.

If nothing else it is a fact filled journey tracing the history of the animal kingdom’s consensual relationship with mind alterng drugs over the millennia. But it actually goes much further, tracing the role that Marijuana Prohibition has had in the building of a “Technological Cage” by which the New World Order is slowly stripping away the inalienable rights guaranteed by the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

Marijuana: Past, Present and Future from Bruce Cain November 2008 https://vimeo.com/2056650

=====

===== Bruce Cain Beyond the semantics it is rather clear that state legislators are taking what the people wanted (e.g., the ability to grow your own) and instead pushing forward with the corporate industrialization of Cannabis. All this is being done in order to trace all production from “seed to sale.” Of course in order to set up such a system it is pretty obvious that, at some point, they will “need” to smother out home growers.

A great case in point would be Michigan which passed one of the most liberal — thought not perfect — Medical Marijuana Initiatives in 2008. Ever since then our legislators have been carving away at that. And now they are setting up the Mega Grows to supply the dispensaries. And once “up and running” your caregivers (home growers) will no longer be able to supply dispensaries.

And once that occurs I predict increase raids on home growers using information from “card” registries and data mining smart meter readings/electrical usage. We are already seeing an uptick in states like CO where “tax and regulate” is further along than in Michigan. To put it in the simplest of terms: state governments smell the potential revenue and they want to be sure they capture all of that revenue. And by hook or by crook their incentive will be to further persecute those that continue to grow their own.

It is quite obvious that this “seed to sale” monopolization will have severe consequences for “home growers.” Since the 60’s millions have eeked out a living growing, trimming Cannabis. Once “seed to sale” is fully implemented these same millions will be left with “working for the man” at perhaps $10/hour and losing the accumulation of knowledge/wisdom that comes from maintaining a sustainable grow: cutting clones, maintaining mother plants, maintaining veg plants, maintaining bloom stage plants, optimizing output etc.

In the decades I have been involved in this “fools crusade” so much time has been spent on the semantics:

* Should we call our plant Marijuana or Cannabis?

* Should we talk about our plan as Legalization of by some other term.

I am a secularist like Jefferson who saw that, beyond the silly miracles, there was a lot of folk wisdom contained in the Bible. And this Bible quote seems quite relevant to the discussion:

God said, “See, I give you every seed-bearing plant that is upon all the earth, and every tree that has seed-bearing fruit; they shall be yours for food. Genesis 1:29

I have yet to see a version of this that states: “I give the corporations every seed bearing plant.”

Over the last 200 years we have seen the rise of the collectivist state.

* The Civil War effectively centralized federal authority.

* The Federal Reserve effectively put the control of our economy in the hands of globalist banks and corporations.

* The Drug War prevented us from growing our own herbs and medicines.

* If Hillary had won the TPP would have been passed and US sovereignty would have been subjugated to global elites (again global banks and corporations).

In all of this the individual has been relegated to a slave of the state. For 60 years small growers have supplied the market place with ample amounts of Cannabis. That system is what we have all been fighting for all of these years. And no matter how you want to slice it this outcome — the corporate industrialization of Cannabis — was NEVER the end game that we fought so hard for.

So regardless, of the semantics, our goal has always been to secure the rights of small growers. This has got to be one of the greatest “bait and switch” outcomes in recent history and it cannot stand. And there is no way you can characterize the corporate industrialization of Cannabis as “legalization” or whatever you want to define as our inalienable right to grow our own foods and herbs.

So at the end of the day — beyond the semantics — this has always been our goal: our inalienable right to grow our own foods and herbs.

Commentary on “What Legalization Wants” https://www.facebook.com/notes/mich… =====

The Terror Preceding 911: Rainbow Farm by Bruce Cain

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=77b…

=====

So this lunatic Rick Jones wants sodomy laws and apparently he wants to sodomize us as well. When do we stop putting up with this bullshit?

“It’s time to get marijuana out of houses and put it somewhere else,” Sen. Jones said. “Let the pharmaceutical companies grow it and sell it in pharmacies.” https://www.facebook.com/notes/bruc… =====

Stopping the Michigan Legislatures War on Michigan Cannabis Consumers https://www.facebook.com/notes/bruc…

===== The Ride So Far Words and Music by Bruce W. Cain Copyright 2009

See you driving in you car How you like the drive so far babe? Will you travel very far? Or will the highway fade before your eyes?

You drive around so aimlessly Where was it you hoped to be now? Did you reach your destiny? Are you where you hoped to be today?

Chorus:

There must be a better way than this We need to talk about it They won’t even let us grow a weed It’s time to shout about it

Weed it just a symbol now Of those freedoms I hold sacred I wear this leaf to tell you now We’re here to take our freedoms back today

And all of us is all we need Peace on Earth is what we pray for The love you get will far exceed All the love you’ll ever give away

Refrain:

Come on, Come on, Come on baby Come on down and join the circle Come on little Goddess let’s get high

Come on, Come on, Come on baby Come on down and join the circle Come on everybody let’s get high

The Ride So Far https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKF…

Image may contain: 1 person, text

CONTINUE READING…

She formed the U.S. Marijuana Party in 2002; ran for Alabama governor in 2006 on a platform to legalize pot; created the Alabama Compassionate Care group to fight for use of marijuana for treatment of disease; and in 2010 was named by the magazine Skunk as one of the top 100 most influential women in Cannabis…


Pushing for legalization: Alabama housewife to marijuana activist

https://i2.wp.com/www.tokeofthetown.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/Loretta20Nall20crop20842983049_l.jpg

By Kent Faulk | kfaulk@al.com
Email the author | Follow on Twitter
on March 29, 2017 at 7:31 AM, updated March 29, 2017 at 10:20 AM

Loretta Nall remembers the first time she smoked marijuana.

“I was about 12 years old at a Ratt/Queensreich concert at the BJCC (Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex),” Nall, who grew up in the east Alabama town of Ashland, said in an interview with AL.com.

That was 30 years ago and since then Nall has become one of the most outspoken advocates for the legalization of pot in the nation.

She formed the U.S. Marijuana Party in 2002; ran for Alabama governor in 2006 on a platform to legalize pot; created the Alabama Compassionate Care group to fight for use of marijuana for treatment of disease; and in 2010 was named by the magazine Skunk as one of the top 100 most influential women in Cannabis.

Nall says she wasn’t always an activist and there were periods when she didn’t smoke weed – particularly when she was pregnant with her two children.

Until 2002, Nall had been a housewife and mother with only a few minor traffic violations, hadn’t thought about running for office, and wasn’t public in her outcry for the legalization of pot. But two things happened that year that would change that.

It was in 2002 that she connected online with Marc Emery, dubbed Canada’s “Prince of Pot.”

Nall said that in 2002 Emery asked her to come up to Canada and meet. “Within a week of my returning I had helicopters buzzing my house and (police on) ATVs in my yard,” she said.

Law enforcement told her they saw marijuana growing on her property, Nall said. But there wasn’t any, she said.

Nall believes that law enforcement converged on her property because she had visited Emery, who she said was near the top of federal drug agents’ watch list.

At that time, however, police didn’t try to search her house – at least not right away.

Soon after the raid, Nall sent a letter to the editor at The Birmingham News pushing for legalization of pot. It was titled: “Going to pot, and so what?” She wrote that not all marijuana users fit the “stereotypical stoner-without-a-clue image.”

Lobbying against sin: Baptist leader ready to fight marijuana

The Rev. Joe Godfrey is Alabama’s point man when it comes to lobbying against sin.

“We are not criminals who rob, steal or otherwise cause harm to the fabric of society, and it is time to stop treating us as if we were,” Nall wrote in 2002, long before states began to break with federal prohibitions on recreational marijuana. “It is time to demand an end to cannabis prohibition and the harsh drug laws that do more harm to society than the drug itself will ever do. It is time for change.” 

Six days after that letter to the editor appeared police returned with a search warrant, finding rolling papers, a scale and 0.87 grams of marijuana inside her mobile home.

“I think I was the first one to get the media’s attention (for pot legalization),” Nall said. “They (police) turned me into an activist by raiding my home and trying to take my children and violating my first amendment rights.”

Loretta Nall: Alabama Marijuana Advocate

A Tallapoosa County Sheriff’s investigator who had secured the search warrant for Nall’s home denied after the raid that the warrant was based on Nall’s letter to the editor. “Of course, it didn’t help her out any,” said the investigator, who would not say where the information for the search warrant did come from.

Nall was arrested and convicted of misdemeanor charges of possessing marijuana and paraphernalia.

She appealed and in April 2007 a judge dismissed her conviction because prosecutors failed to respond to Nall’s motion to suppress evidence seized in the 2002 raid.

Police used her letter to the editor in The Birmingham News as reason for the search, Nall says.

She became a guest host for segments on Emery’s online Pot TV show for about 2 1/2 years. The role included making trips around the country to cover pot-related news.

“She got all fired up,” Emery said of Nall in a recent interview with AL.com. “She has always been an advocate for legalization in a very inhospitable state.”

It’s always tough to advocate for legalization in a red state and particularly in the Bible Belt, Emery added. But, he said, “at no point does the Bible advocate against cannabis,” he said.

In 2010, Emery pleaded guilty to federal charges in the United States. He was sentenced to five years for manufacturing marijuana. Among the  allegations were that he shipped marijuana seeds over the border into the United States. He was released in 2014. And two months ago he was arrested by Montreal police after opening six illegal marijuana dispensaries around that city, according to the Toronto Sun newspaper. His trial is pending on that case.

“They turned me into an activist by raiding my home and trying to take my children ..” – Loretta Nall

Meanwhile, Canada this spring will likely consider legislation to legalize recreational marijuana nationwide.

In 2002, when Nall formed and became the first president of the U.S. Marijuana Party, recreational marijuana was banned in all states. Today eight states and Washington D.C. have legalized recreational marijuana. More than half the country has legalized marijuana for medical use and surveys show most Americans believe marijuana should be legal.

Nall’s party has also expanded with the changing attitudes. Today the group lists active chapters in 17 states. Yet Alabama isn’t one of them.

Nall left the group in 2004 but she said she still acts as an adviser. She later entered the race for Governor of Alabama in 2006 with the Libertarian party. Her top platform issue was legalization of marijuana.

Nall ran a colorful campaign that got national attention. Campaign materials included a photo of the woman displaying her ample cleavage above the words ”More of these boobs.” Below were photos of other candidates, including Gov. Bob Riley, and the words ”And less of these boobs.”

Her campaign sold bosomed-themed T-shirts, ”stash boxes,” and ”anti-state” thong underwear.

Nall, however, couldn’t get her name on Alabama ballots because the Libertarian Party couldn’t get the required 40,000 signatures. So she ran a write-in campaign. She said she got about 2,500 votes of the write-ins that were counted.

After the election Nall continued to write for Cannabis Culture magazine (a Marc Emery publication) and briefly branched her activism into another issue. In 2007, after Alabama outlawed the sale of sex toys,  Nall started a “Sex Toys for Troy King” drive that included her sending an inflatable pig to the then Alabama attorney general’s office.

Nall also started the Alabamian Compassionate Care group and pushed the Alabama Legislature for the passage of the Michael Phillips Compassionate Care Act in 2010. After that failed she pushed for it again in 2012.

That act was designed to protect from arrest and prosecution physicians who recommend marijuana and patients who use marijuana as medicine, Nall wrote in a 2012 op-ed piece for The Birmingham News.

Nall noted that other laws allowing limited medical use of marijuana were approved by state legislators in recent years. Carly’s Law and Leni’s Law, approved in 2016, allow people with seizure disorders or other debilitating medical conditions to use cannabidiol, a product derived from marijuana plants.

“Anything like that is progress,” Nall said. But, she said, “there are lots of people that doesn’t apply to that can’t get any help.”

Still, Nall hopes one day the state will legalize recreational use of marijuana in Alabama. “We’re still way behind,” Nall said.

“I’m still in favor of the legalization of marijuana … Retail sales. The whole nine yards, like has been done in (other states),” Nall said. “You ought to be able to grow at home like you do tomatoes.”

Nall, however, agrees that there needs to be age limitations on it use.

Only when voters make state legislators change direction or the legislators see the tax money that’s to be had will Alabama ever get recreational pot, Nall said. “My money’s on the money,” she said.

By legalizing pot, it might keep people from getting addicted to opiates and other harder drugs. “Going to drug dealers (for pot) exposes them to harder drugs,” she said.

Alabama also could see an increase in taxes from the legalized sale of pot, Nall said. That money could be spent by the state on issues such as prison reform and Medicaid funding, she said.

Nall noted Colorado’s collection of millions of dollars in taxes on marijuana sales.

Licensed and regulated marijuana stores in Colorado sold nearly $1 billion worth of recreational and medical cannabis in 2015, according to a story from The Cannabist, an offshoot publication of The Denver Post.

Colorado collected more than $135 million in marijuana taxes and fees in 2015, of which more than $35 million was earmarked for school construction projects, according to The Cannabist.

Right now people who are arrested in Alabama for marijuana possession are often placed in drug courts where they have to pay high court costs and fees and prevent people from keeping a job, Nall said.

Personal issues have kept her out of the spotlight over the past five or so years, Nall said. That has included shedding an opiate addiction, she said.

Her addiction began after she had a “pretty bad” broken foot in 2007, Nall said.

After foot surgery, she was given the narcotic Percocet for pain. “All I can tell you it was a love affair from day one,” she said.

Nall said she has been “clean” for two years now from the opiate addiction.  

Nall wants the public to know that her use of marijuana wasn’t to blame for her opiate addiction. “I didn’t start opiates because I smoked weed. I started because I broke my foot,” Nall said.

“Suboxone and marijuana helped me recover from opiate addiction,” Nall said.

Nall, 42, is currently working as a 24-hour a day care-giver in the small Coosa County town of Kellyton, which is near Alexander City.

Asked if she was concerned that giving an interview might bring more trouble for her, she replied: “There’s no one on earth who doesn’t know I smoke weed.”

CONTINUE READING…

Why Cannabis and Not Marijuana


 

January 31, 2017 GreenSleeves

You may be wondering why even though the word Marijuana is a very ingrained in American culture, we tend to use the word Cannabis.

Cannabis used as medicine is a significant part of American history. It was used mainly in the form of tinctures and very commonly prescribed for various ailments.

It’s only when a mass influx of legal Mexican immigrants came into the country between 1910 and 1920 to seek asylum from civil war that smoking Cannabis for recreational purposes became very popular as they brought the practice with them.

This of course brought with it a fear of the unknown and the term Marijuana became associated with the recreational smoking of the plant rather than its practical medicinal uses.

As the hysteria grew, especially in the Southern states about these immigrants bringing with them ‘’evil practices’’ which would corrupt the weak willed youth, the term became etched in society’s psyche not only as a derogatory term for the use of Cannabis but also perhaps the immigrants themselves.

Now, a word only has the power we assign it but considering there are many parts of the world that are deprived of safe treatment of their conditions through ignorance, we would like to champion the term that actually implies medicinal rather than recreational use.

We have no problem with either the word Marijuana nor its cultural roots but there is a very clear distinction between recreational and medicinal use.

Will the awakening from this hysteria induced slumber come from using different terminology? Doubtful but it does help to erode the stigma attached to the plant and distinguish medicinal use from recreational use or even abuse.

To cloud the issue even further there are Cannabis breeders who are giving their strains that they create very controversial names such as ‘’Green Crack’’ and ‘’Herijuana’’. Green crack in particular is supposedly very good for migraines and Herijuana is supposed to be a great strain for general pain relief hence its implied effects of heroin/marijuana combined.

Now if these are the only strains available that help with certain types of pain and users experience massive relief from them, we are not against using them but as a general rule we try to avoid promoting strains with names that only hurt the cause of ending prohibition. It’s a marketing gimmick that is outright irresponsible to the cause.

How many times have we heard about how much stronger Cannabis is today and therefore how dangerous it is? We don’t need the additional hysteria from ignorant members of society who believe that Cannabis should be scheduled alongside hard drugs.

Back to the term Marijuana, we don’t have a problem with it and may even use it from time to time but the term Cannabis, we believe is the proper term for the uses we want from the herb and that is medicinal first and foremost. Perhaps the distinction could help with demonstrating to the public that there is a difference between use/abuse and genuine medicinal need.

Kind Regards
The Canna-Base Team

CONTINUE READING…

…Under (HB 315), a gang can be any three people who share a name, symbol or leader, or who have been identified as a gang by any state or the federal government…


 

The Kentucky House and Senate are poised to pass a bill this week that is both unnecessary and likely to be costly in terms of both money and human potential.

If it reaches him, Gov. Matt Bevin should veto House Bill 315, the so-called gang bill. It flies in the face of the evidence-based criminal justice reforms Bevin has pushed as governor.

Last June, Bevin appointed his non-partisan Criminal Justice Police Assessment Council, saying he wanted “a smarter, compassionate, evidence-based approach.Senate Bill 120, passed this session to improve employment opportunities for people leaving prison, was a result of CJPAC’s work.

HB 315 didn’t come from CJPAC, and that’s no surprise. There’s no evidence it would reduce gang activity but its broad and vague definitions and heavy-handed punishment provisions will mean that young people who have committed low-level, non-violent crimes could spend a long time in prison with little hope for the “second chance” Bevin so vigorously supports.

Sponsor Rep. Robert Benvenuti, R-Lexington, said HB 315 is based on a similar law in California, prompting Senate President Robert Stivers to ask when Kentucky modeled itself on California.

Good question.

Even more concerning, California’s STEP Act, passed in 1988 to “seek the eradication of criminal activity by street gangs,” hasn’t achieved that goal. A 2009 study of the measure reported the opposite: “harsher sentences for minor gang related crimes may actually increase gang commitment because individuals are forced to join gangs and strengthen their gang ties in order to survive in prison.”

Without question, HB 315 would increase our already staggeringly high prison population — over 23,000 state inmates and a $530 million annual budget. The Corrections Impact Statement on HB 315 estimated the cost at over $38 million over time.

Criminal gangs are real and responsible for crimes that deeply damage our communities. People should be punished for recruiting others into gangs, as they can be under existing Kentucky law.

In the almost 20 years since that legislation passed, there have been 22 convictions under it, including six in 2015 and none in 2016.

There will be more convictions under HB 315 because it casts a wide net in defining gangs and what it takes to tag an individual as a gang member.

Under it, a gang can be any three people who share a name, symbol or leader, or who have been identified as a gang by any state or the federal government. Their “pattern of criminal activity” could be crimes committed by one or more members at any time over five years.

The evidence a gang actually exists includes identification by an informant, a member’s parent or guardian or participation in photos or social-media interaction with gang members.

Think about it: many young people have hundreds of social-media contacts: long-ago classmates, friends of friends, former co-workers and team members. If one of them is identified as a gang member, then so can all his or her “friends.”

The results are catastrophic if the gang label sticks. Judges lose most discretion over sentencing. A Class B misdemeanor such as harassment — now subject to up to three months in jail or simply a fine — would carry a mandatory sentence of 76 to 90 days. Felony charges must be prosecuted for one level more serious when the gang element is present and those convicted must serve at least 85 percent of the sentence.

So, a Class C felony that carries one to five years in prison, with possibility of parole with 20 percent of time served becomes a Class B with five to 10 years and a minimum of 85 percent served before possibility of parole.

These mandatory prison terms not only fill up jails and prisons at enormous cost, they also discourage rehabilitation. Consider, a person sentenced to five years with the possibility of parole after a year, is motivated to participate in drug rehab or career-oriented classes.

But with a certain four-plus years inside, motivation shifts away from rehabilitation to survival. As noted in the California study, people join gangs to survive a long term in prison.

“Gang” is another in the long line of frightening terms invoked to bloat the criminal code, fill prisons and drain our treasuries while doing little to make us safer.

Bevin’s right in rejecting this trend. He should stay the course and veto this bad bill.

CONTINUE READING…

The Challenge to the Dakota Access Pipeline Isn’t Over: Cheyenne River Sioux Take Battle to Court


Posted on Mar 25, 2017

By Emma Niles

Harold C. Frazier, chairman of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, outside a federal courthouse in Washington, D.C., in late February. (Cliff Owen / AP)

The camps once occupied by self-named “water protectors” in the fight against the Dakota Access pipeline (DAPL) have been cleared out, but the fight against the controversial oil pipeline continues in a much different setting: the courtroom.

The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe of South Dakota, often called a “silent sister” to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe during the #NoDAPL battle, has gone to court. Although the oil is expected to flow any day, the tribe is resilient.

“We aren’t backing down,” Harold C. Frazier, the tribal chairman, told Truthdig.

At stake is Lake Oahe, which is sacred to the tribe and its only source of drinking water. The DAPL is set to carry oil beneath the lake. A pipeline rupture would be devastating to the tribe and numerous others in the area.

The tribe is using two legal strategies, said lawyer Tracey Zephier of Fredericks Peebles & Morgan LLP. She is a member of the Cheyenne River tribe.

The first lawsuit is based on treaty and environmental rights. It argues that the easement permit for construction beneath Lake Oahe was “hasty” and didn’t take tribal treaty rights into consideration.

“The federal government had this responsibility to us, and they have not upheld it,” Zephier said. The case has not yet had a hearing, but she is optimistic that the urgency of the situation will cause it to be heard sometime in April and decided by late April or early May.

The second suit is a claim filed by the tribe under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), arguing that the pipeline would infringe on its religious rights—a claim questioned by U.S. District Judge James Boasberg in court last month. Boasberg denied the claim March 7.

“Had we been successful in making that argument, we could have stopped the construction of the pipeline and stopped the flow of the oil immediately,” Zephier said.

The Cheyenne River tribe is appealing the decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, according to Zephier.

But funding legal battles isn’t easy, which is why the tribe is turning to the mass of #NoDAPL activists who once pledged to fight the DAPL alongside them. The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe has launched a funding campaign on CrowdJustice, an online platform built to help people cover their legal costs. The tribe hopes to raise $10,000 by April 16.

“I think the election has made a lot of people recognize the value of the courts,” CrowdJustice CEO Julia Salasky told Truthdig. While her organization stays neutral on the cases it accepts, Salasky remarked that the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe’s case is “perfect for crowdfunding.”

“This is a tribe that’s using technology to try and bring people into their issue,” Salasky said.

“We’re concentrating a lot of resources on this battle,” Zephier said, “so any little thing that could be contributed financially helps a lot.”

The fight against the DAPL at first received minimal media coverage, drawing headlines only when thousands of “water protectors,” including U.S. veterans, traveled to North Dakota to protest. Now that most of the demonstrators have left, the tribe hopes the legal battle will receive recognition.

“There’s so much happening on the legal side, even though it’s not really in the media,” Zephier said. “There’s still very much a fight.”

“We don’t have the media that Standing Rock had,” Frazier acknowledged. “The average North Dakota and South Dakota people don’t even know what’s going on.”

Local media, in particular, have made it difficult for local tribes to get their message across to other residents. The Young Turks’ Jordan Chariton, for instance, took a local North Dakota news anchor to task for biased reporting, accusing the anchor of “misinforming [his] audience.”

“The media machine,” Zephier agreed, “has been spewing inaccuracies.”

Both the federal government and mainstream media have underreported the pipeline threat by spotlighting Standing Rock. In fact, the DAPL would affect numerous tribes in the area, and an oil spill would harm tribes “all the way to the south of Mexico,” Frazier said, because Lake Oahe feeds into the Missouri River, which feeds into the Mississippi and ultimately flows into the Gulf of Mexico.

“We have as much stake up there as Standing Rock,” Frazier said. “Everybody’s been excluded. We have never been consulted, and don’t we have a lot at stake?”

He noted that the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe did not receive the government’s environmental assessment report on the project until last July.

“The Nebraska tribes, they’re chomping at the bit,” he said. “There’s no mention of South Dakota or [anywhere] downstream.”

The fight has only become more difficult in the time since Donald Trump became president. Frazier charged that law enforcement began to increase the rate of arrests of water protectors once Trump took office.

Reversing President Obama’s decision at the end of his presidency to halt the pipeline construction, Trump immediately took aggressive action in favor of the DAPL. Several days into his term, Trump signed an order directing the Army Corps of Engineers to “review and approve” the pipeline “in an expedited manner.” His administration gave final approval to the construction in early February.

“I see a big change,” Frazier said. “I told the BIA [Bureau of Indian Affairs], ‘Ever since Trump’s come in here, you’ve done a 180 in attitude.’ ”

The BIA (which falls under the Department of the Interior) helped clear water protectors from #NoDAPL encampments in early February. And new Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has expressed support for oil drilling on federal lands.

“In the courtroom, it’s definitely more difficult,” Zephier added. “Any other administration would not put forth some of the outrageous arguments or assertions of authority that Trump is trying to put forward.”

The tribe is determined to keep fighting, however. “By no means does anyone feel defeated,” Zephier said. “We’re in this for the long haul.”

She and Frazier hope the energy and passion of the #NoDAPL activists will translate into support for their legal campaign on CrowdJustice.

“The American government has failed us,” Frazier said, “but the American people have not.”

CONTINUE READING…

DEA Approves Synthetic Marijuana for Company That Spent $500K to Keep Weed Illegal


https://i2.wp.com/theantimedia.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/DCMarijuana.jpg

March 24, 2017 at 5:27 pm

Written by Alex Thomas

(ANTIMEDIA) Lobbying in the nation’s capitol is a billion dollar industry, but sometimes, companies dip their toes into state and local politics, as well. When giant corporations want to influence bills and national elections, they generally spread their money around, cozying up to a number of politicians and shaking hands with numerous government officials. However, at the local level, high-dollar financing is a bit more transparent.

Insys Therapeutics is a small player on the national scale. The Center for Responsive Politics reported that they spent only $120,000 lobbying in D.C. in 2016. But in Arizona, where the company is based, they forked over $500,000 — and they did it to keep marijuana illegal in the traditionally Republican state.

Last September, the Washington Post first reported the large donation, which was one of the largest single contributions to any anti-legalization campaign ever.” Insys’ money was given to Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy, a localized political action committee that opposed the state’s ballot measure to legalize cannabis in 2016. That measure was ultimately defeated, and now the group is fighting the Arizona Marijuana Legalization Initiative, a bill that could hit Arizona ballot boxes on November 8, 2018.

According to the full text of the bill, acquired by Anti-Media via ballotpedia.org, the application was filed at the beginning of March. It states that “marijuana and cannabis have been used safely for thousands of years for recreational, medical, religious and industrial purposes.” The bill also cited a study funded in part by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that “did not show a significant increase in levels of crash risk associated with the presence of drugs.”

The bill proposes a number of changes that would essentially legalize marijuana. These include:

“There shall be no limit on the number of cannabis plants in a personal grow that are not yet in a state of florescence.”

“All persons at least twenty-one years of age are authorized to maintain a home garden provided the person obtains a transaction privilege tax license.”

“Commercial grows, home gardens and cannabis sales are not authorized within 1,000 feet of a school.”

According to the Washington Post, Insys has “developed a drug based on a synthetic ingredient, THC. Called Syndros, the drug was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in July for treatment of AIDS and cancer patients’ symptoms.”

Insys was just given preliminary approval for Syndros from the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) this week.

However, Insys has a shady history as a big pharmaceutical company, as they manufacture Subsys fentanyl, a deadly painkiller. An NBC report found that as of 2015, Insys had enjoyed sales of $147.2 million for their high-risk drug. They also came under investigation for the aggressive manner in which they were marketing and selling their drug. The NBC study quoted the Oregon assistant attorney general, who stated, “I’ve been investigating drug cases for about 15 years now, and the conduct that we saw in this case was among the most unconscionable that I’ve seen.”

For Insys, the fight against marijuana legalization has been long and arduous. In 2011, they retained the lobbying firm Hyman, Phelps & Mcnamara to nudge the DEA against legalization. In a statement to the Post, the company claimed they oppose marijuana legalization because “marijuana’s safety hasn’t been demonstrated through the federal regulatory process.”

Safer Arizona, the group fighting for legalization, features the tagline, “We don’t have a drug problem, we have a political problem,” on their website. Marijuana legalization in Arizona would be a huge step for nationwide legalization, as the state is seen as a stronghold of traditional American values. However, if big pharma continues to bankroll the opposition, the political action groups fighting against legalization will have more money to fund campaigns for local politicians who share their sympathies.

CONTINUE READING…

Opinion: Trump’s decisions to expedite the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines could actually slow them down


Published: Mar 20, 2017 5:28 a.m. ET

Cutting regulatory or procedural corners on the oil pipelines increases the risk of successful court challenges and trade disputes

President Donald J. Trump’s new actions intended to expedite approval of energy and infrastructure projects were hailed by industry groups and decried by environmentalists. If those actions are implemented in ways that cut regulatory or procedural corners, they likely will slow down infrastructure development by increasing the risk of successful court challenges and trade disputes.

If the agencies reviewing Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines don’t take the time to provide justifications for their recent decisions on those projects—influenced by Trump—courts may invalidate pipeline approvals. Implementing explicit local-content requirements for steel in pipelines could embroil the United States in trade disputes. Further, the administration’s memorandum to expedite federal infrastructure review and permitting creates uncertainty about the application of a more carefully thought out process Congress established in 2015.

Dakota Access Pipeline

Trump signed a memorandum designed to reverse the Army Corps of Engineers’ decision to withhold the last permission the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) needed to complete construction until it undertook additional review of an alternate route and conducted additional tribal and public engagement by preparing an environmental impact statement, or EIS.

The Corps of Engineers has now rescinded the environmental review and granted the easement to those constructing the pipeline, citing Trump’s directive as its basis for action. The reviewing court has denied a request for a preliminary injunction from the Standing Rock Tribe. While the court didn’t rule on the tribe’s motion for partial summary judgment, there is still some risk the court could halt or delay operation of the pipeline and order the army to proceed with more environmental review.

The main issue with the Corps of Engineers’ decision is that while an agency can change its mind about a policy decision, that agency must provide a reasoned justification for that change, particularly when it is changing its determinations about the underlying facts and circumstances of an issue. The Corps of Engineers should have explained why there was a basis to change its mind about producing an EIS before the comment period on scoping for the EIS had finished. While its analysis in support of reversing course went over the procedural history of the environmental review, it provided no explanation for changing its decision to conduct an EIS, however, other than referring to the president’s memorandum. Court cases indicate that a change in administration itself isn’t a reasoned justification for changing an agency’s decision about the underlying facts and circumstances of that decision.

If the court finds the Corps of Engineers’ change in decision to be arbitrary and capricious, it could order an EIS to be completed and may order pipeline operations be halted pending the completion of that EIS. In the rush to move forward immediately after the inauguration, the administration may have slowed down DAPL’s progress.

Keystone XL

In addition to his executive action on DAPL, Trump signed a memorandum inviting TransCanada to resubmit its application for the Keystone XL project and directed agencies to make a permitting decision within 60 days. TransCanada resubmitted its application on Jan. 26 and submitted a new application for the route in Nebraska on Feb. 16.

This accelerated timeline significantly increases the risk that a court could block any decision to grant Keystone XL a permit.

First, despite the 60-day time limit in the memo, the U.S. Department of State needs to follow the same considerations the Army Corps of Engineers must follow in DAPL to ensure that any change in its decision is supported in the record or it will face legal challenge that its actions are arbitrary and capricious. The State Department would have an additional legal defense in court that is not available to the Corps of Engineers in DAPL because two out of three district courts that have considered previous presidential permits have found the permits unreviewable. There is no guarantee that subsequent courts will follow those precedents, however, and if the court reviewing this action doesn’t, it will judge State Department actions as arbitrary and capricious.

Second, one of the key decisions that the State Department will need to make in that process is whether there is a change in circumstances that would alter the environmental impacts of Keystone XL described in the supplemental environmental impact statement, or SEIS. Litigants could assert, at minimum, that the collapse in oil prices since the SEIS was concluded may change the SEIS conclusion that Keystone XL was unlikely to affect production and thereby greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the oil sands.

Third, the State Department has previously stated that it couldn’t adequately evaluate the impacts of Keystone XL without a final approved route in Nebraska. TransCanada won’t complete the process in Nebraska for at least several months, well after the 60-day deadline for the department to make a decision. The department will need to justify why it has changed its consideration of the facts and can now adequately evaluate the environmental impacts of the pipeline without a settled route in Nebraska.

Fourth, the president’s suggestion that he might impose additional conditions could make the project uneconomic. While the administration has stated it will not require the pipeline to be constructed from U.S. steel, in the current low-oil-price environment even more modest additional conditions could challenge the project’s economics. TransCanada has agreed to temporarily suspend its $15 billion North American Free Trade Agreement claim against the United States, but it has not yet dropped the claim. If it does decide to pursue the Nafta claim instead of complying with uneconomic additional conditions, TransCanada could cite the imposition of conditions by the current administration to buttress its claims that the United States has treated the company unfairly and arbitrarily.

The domestic content plan

Trump also signed a memo directing Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross to develop a plan under which pipelines in the United States are required to use materials and equipment produced domestically. As with the other memorandums, this one leaves the hard work to the agency in question, and Ross will face significant challenges in crafting a plan that avoids creating additional legal uncertainty in a World Trade Organization challenge or harming U.S. industry.

WTO agreements generally prohibit requirements giving preference to domestically sourced goods over imported goods. The United States has long been a champion opposing local-content requirements, or LCRs, having won a landmark pre-WTO proceeding that overturned many Canadian local-content requirements in its Foreign Investment Review Act, and recently won a challenge against India’s LCRs in its solar industry.

Any plan that supports using U.S. steel and equipment in pipelines will need to be carefully designed to avoid being invalidated at the WTO. In addition, LCRs generally harm the economy of the country implementing them by increasing costs in the economy as a whole and harming international competitiveness.

Expediting federal permit reviews

The most unusual of Trump’s memorandums is the one expediting reviews of infrastructure permits. The memorandum creates a process for expediting permitting reviews headed by the chair of the Council of Environmental Equality (CEQ). The memo, however, doesn’t describe how it relates to existing measures to streamline infrastructure review processes, most importantly the 2015 Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. The bipartisan FAST Act provides authority to an interagency Federal Infrastructure Improvement Steering Council, controlled jointly by the Office of Management and Budget and CEQ, devoted to streamlining federal permitting reviews.

In contrast to Trump’s memo, the FAST Act takes a comprehensive approach to addressing permitting delays. OMB’s inclusion in the process is important because its mandate and expertise is in overall management of the executive branch, including the budget. By contrast, CEQ’s expertise and mandate is primarily devoted to the implementation of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Expediting federal permitting isn’t simply a matter of speeding up the NEPA examination, but also often involves efficiently mediating interagency disputes about limited resources and overlapping statutory authorities, which is the purview of OMB.

Better pathways

Federal permitting of pipelines and energy infrastructure should be improved, and improving pipeline safety by replacement of aging pipelines should be encouraged.

For cross-border pipelines, the executive order governing the State Department’s process for moving forward with the Keystone XL pipeline could be amended:

• to clarify cross-border pipelines are subject to FAST Act procedures;

• to allow existing permits to be amended for a change in control of the owner (or a change in the name of the line) without requiring a new permit; and

• to allow pipeline improvements (such as replacement, upgrade, or improvement with collateral equipment) to require notice but not issuance of a new permit. The administration may also consider whether the environmental review of cross-border pipelines should be led by a different agency with greater capacity.

However, for DAPL, the Army Corps of Engineers should still be prepared to proceed with additional environmental review by developing a plan that can be immediately implemented if the court rules against it on the still-pending motion for partial summary judgment.

For Keystone XL, the State Department should do a rapid but thorough review of SEIS to consider and evaluate if changed circumstances impact the NEPA assessment. The administration should consider changing the deadline for decision on the Presidential Permit to 30 or 60 days after Nebraska finishes its process.

On domestic content, the Commerce Department should evaluate alternatives to supporting U.S. steel production other than implementing an explicit local content requirement that is inconsistent with WTO obligations.

Finally, on overall expediting of federal permitting, the administration should clarify that it is not creating a new, competing system for expediting infrastructure reviews and clarify how the recent order can be integrated with the existing FAST Act requirements.

The administration can best expedite approval of pipelines and other energy infrastructure without sacrificing environmental, safety, or economic concerns by ensuring that agencies have sufficient resources to meet expedited timelines while still complying with existing laws.

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WV Senate committee passes medical marijuana bill


The West Virginia Senate’s Health and Human Resources Committee narrowly passed a bill Friday morning that would allow certain patients to be prescribed marijuana for medicinal purposes.

The bill (SB386), called the West Virginia Medical Cannabis Act, now goes to the Senate Judiciary Committee. If it passes there, it would also have to pass a full vote in the state Senate and then in the House of Delegates.

Several amendments were passed Friday before it was ultimately approved on a 6-5 vote.

Sen. Ron Stollings, D-Boone and a doctor, offered amendments related to monitoring by the state Board of Pharmacy, allocating 10 percent of contracting proceeds to drug prevention and rehabilitation, and specifying that if enough veterans are interested, at least 10 percent of contracts be given to veterans participating in a state agriculture program.

An amendment from Senator Robert Karnes, R-Upshur, which would allow people with prescriptions to grow two marijuana plants, also was adopted.

“We’re talking about a weed here that anybody could grow,” he said, adding that he didn’t want to establish a group of “legal drug dealers.”

Senators Mike Maroney, R-Marshall, and Mike Azinger, R-Wood, spoke against the bill. Azinger said that marijuana “destroys the mind” and “destroys life” and Maroney said the bill was too “broad.”

Stollings said “I think it’s time for us not to be the last implementer but to go ahead and move this forward and I urge passage of the bill.”

Sen. Richard Ojeda, D-Logan, the bill’s lead sponsor, has said he does not believe House leaders support the bill. House spokesman Jared Hunt said earlier this week that House Speaker Tim Armstead, R-Kanawha, wouldn’t have time to speak that day about medical marijuana. Friday, in an email, Hunt noted that “the House did have a lengthy debate and vote on an amendment related to the matter earlier this year which was defeated by a roughly two-thirds majority, signaling there isn’t strong support on this subject.

“That being said, if the Senate were to approve and send the bill over, the Speaker would — as he does with all legislation — discuss the matter with his leadership team and gauge interest from the caucus before deciding a course of action,” he said.

Ojeda, a 24-year Army veteran, said he wants veterans suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – his “brothers and sisters” — to have access to the drug. He said he also worries about the thousands of people in West Virginia who could find relief through access to the drug.

“We shouldn’t have them have to continue suffering because of any issues concerning leadership,” Ojeda said.

He said he believes the bill has plenty of support, although some lawmakers didn’t want their names attached.

“Marijuana has not destroyed communities and it hasn’t killed people,” he said. “Big Pharma doesn’t have their hooks on medical marijuana. What they have their hooks on is the opioids. Therefore they have to do everything in their power to make sure medical marijuana stays illegal.”

Ojeda also questioned legislative priorities. “We are going to deny thousands upon thousands of people relief but we can now hunt a wounded bear with a collared dog,” he said. “You can now play Keno at the gas stations, which means what normally took you a long time — to get through the 7-Eleven — will take even longer.”

“Everybody wants to cry about a light. Give me a break,” he said, referring to Gov. Jim Justice’s decision to light the Capitol dome, a move that usually signals a state of the emergency.

“We are a state that is absolutely broke,” he said. “Coal is coming back, but it ain’t coming back the way we want it to come back and it ain’t going to be here forever.”

The bill, which has Democratic and Republican co-sponsors, would create a West Virginia Medical Cannabis Commission and a special revenue fund. The commission would license no more than 15 growers and issue patient and caregiver identification cards, among other responsibilities.

The commission’s purpose “is to develop policies, procedures, guidelines, and regulations to implement programs to make medical cannabis available to qualifying patients in a safe and effective manner,” the bill states.

Qualifying conditions include “a chronic or debilitating condition that results in a patient being admitted into hospice or receiving palliative care,” or chronic or debilitating diseases or conditions that produce: cachexia, anorexia or wasting syndrome; severe or chronic pain that does not find relief through standard pain medications; severe nausea; seizures; and severe or persistent muscle spasms. Refractory anxiety was also added during the committee meeting.

The bill also says that a “public criminal justice agency” would be the primary testing laboratory, and sets requirements for becoming a prescribing physician.

Legislative staff said they could not provide a tally of senators’ votes. Two senators representing Kanawha County, Tom Takubo, a Republican and the committee chair, and Corey Palumbo, D-Kanawha, were on the committee. Takubo voted against it and Palumbo voted for it.

Reach Erin Beck at erin.beck@wvgazettemail.com, 304-348-5163, Facebook.com/erinbeckwv, or follow @erinbeckwv on Twitter.

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Moving Beyond Cannabis Culture: An Interview with Jodie Emery


By Jon Hiltz on March 23rd, 2017 at 8:20 am

6 ways

 

It’s impossible to look at the history of marijuana activism in Canada and not think of Marc and Jodie Emery. Their decades-long fight with the powers that be have culminated into a good part of the reason we are heading toward adult-use cannabis across the nation.

Throughout this battle, they have lost everything, and regained it again, just to lose it once more. The perfect example of this would be the four years Marc Emery spent in a U.S. prison for openly selling mail-order seeds across the border.

Canada’s unwillingness to stop this extradition of a nonviolent “criminal” was a stark example of a government not supportive of the needs of cannabis users everywhere.

Now, we are at a point where Canada is scheduled to legalize marijuana for everyone 18 and older. Despite that fact, the Emerys have once again been targeted by authorities; and this time, the government has taken away a most precious possession — their life’s work.

This week, as part of their bail conditions, Marc and Jodie have been forced to cut all ties with their brand Cannabis Culture.

Yesterday, Marijuana.com reported the facts on the ground as Jodie Emery headed to Vancouver to remove herself as director of the company. Once that task was complete Jodie took the time to speak with us about the reality she and her husband must confront.


What does it feel like to hand over something that you essentially put your blood, sweat and tears into?

When I moved to Vancouver in 2004 I wanted to do activism so I started working with Marc Emery at Cannabis Culture Magazine and Pot TV. In 2005, I was made the Assistant Editor of Cannabis Culture Magazine. I spent every day slaving away over that beautiful print publication and also engaging in activism because that very same year Marc was facing life in prison. I took great pride in what I did.

It’s not just a magazine, a head shop, a vapour lounge or dispensaries, it’s an idea of what legalization looks like. It’s a mission statement for people who believe that we shouldn’t go to prison for a plant. So, it is deeply upsetting to have to give up my involvement with what really has been my identity since I became an adult.

Now that you are free and clear of your business obligations, what are your next steps?

Marc and I are going to do a cross-Canada tour, because we need to have a marijuana truth tour. Right now [MP] Bill Blair is going across Canada and telling all of the police to enforce the [current] laws.

We need to educate the public on the facts about marijuana and remind them that this is a civil liberties issue. We have to make sure no one is being arrested anymore before people are able to profit. We need to talk about how marijuana is a safer choice for recreational consumption than alcohol and talk about the opioid crisis which is extremely newsworthy right now because so many people are dying.

How is Marc handling all this? I know he spent years locked up in a U.S. prison, which by comparison is much harsher, but how is he taking the loss of Cannabis Culture?

Marc is very used to this. He has been arrested, raided and jailed so many times. Marc has had everything taken from him numerous times and he always comes back, builds up again and fights for the cause.

He’s taking it well and he is giving me a hard time because I haven’t been arrested and put in jail before, except for Montreal, but I was arrested for four hours at a hotel, not too hard. This time I actually went to jail so I experienced what people go through and that was upsetting.

At the same time, Marc is wondering what to do next. He’s had many decades of work behind him and he’s tired of all this prohibition nonsense. I’m sure he would like to finally just retire and relax.

Are you concerned about your charges? Do you think they will be dropped?

My concern about our charges is that they’re conspiracy charges. That is a very broad charge to lay on somebody because you don’t even need to commit a crime to be found guilty. The fact that three people agree to break the law makes a conspiracy. They have chosen a very easy way to give us tough punishments and these allegations are very serious.

This government very much wants to shut us up, since they were unable to do so even when they called in the U.S. government to do it for them [through Marc’s previous sentence]. Our [case] will be in the court for a number of years and we do intend to fight it to the fullest. That will probably include a Charter challenge, where we will try to go to the Supreme Court of Canada to challenge the validity of prohibition entirely.

Do you think that the severity of the charges against you were because you were selling adult-use cannabis to anyone 19 or older, as opposed to at the very least, only selling to those with a prescription?

[Our]  stores being for 19+ adults and not pretending to be recreational was groundbreaking and a lot of people thought we were very courageous to do that.

It was something we wanted to do differently than everyone, but we were also addressing the concern people had about Canadians faking their illnesses or paying doctors for access. We thought we could just do away from that model, which was half farce and half unfairness for those who are [actually] sick.

We said time and time again, this is what legalization looks like. For the government and the licensed producers and police, they don’t like that model of legalization. They don’t want people to see that vision, they want people to accept their limited oligopoly.

We don’t have a liquor registry where if you want to drink booze you have to sign up with the government and give them your information, but for marijuana right now that’s what they are doing.

For myself, part of my bail conditions say that I have to use government-approved marijuana medically if I am going to possess any marijuana. In a very sad irony, what they are doing to me is what they are trying to do to Canada.

Do you have hope that things will change? Do you think that when adult-use marijuana comes into play that the government will have listened and that dispensaries will be a part of the mix?

It will take a lot of engagement for people to change the rules. Once it’s legal federally, it’s going to be up to the provinces and municipalities to do most of the regulating. We are going to need people to engage with their provincial governments to tell them what kind of model of distribution we should have.

Change will come, but it only comes when you keep pushing and campaigning. If you sit back and wait they will never do anything. That’s why it’s so important to push the envelope.

So to end on a happy note, what is your fondest memory of running Cannabis Culture?

The people. The wonderful love that we all have for this plant and this culture. It is almost spiritual in a way. It’s a calling that we know this plant is not just a simple little garden flower or vegetable.

We know that cannabis can help save lives. It can prevent people from dying, from sickness, or hard drugs. It’s endless the way this plant can truly help people. It sounds insane, but it’s more true than any god that I have ever heard of.


As Canada edges closer to some form of adult use cannabis, however that may emerge, the Emery’s will do everything in their power to ensure Canadians are given the access they deserve.

It’s clearly not just about being able to get high in peace, it’s about what we are allowed to do as adults in a free society. From Jodie’s point of view, marijuana may be the focus, but freedom to choose is and always has been the ultimate goal.

Photo courtesy of Allie Beckett.

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