Category Archives: Marijuana

Oakland-Based Startup Develops Marijuana ‘Breathalyzer’ to Sell to Police Departments


pot leaf

When the governor of Vermont vetoed a marijuana legalization bill this week, he said he was especially worried about stoned driving. He wants to hear more about an “impairment testing mechanism” to detect it.

The problem is that no such mechanism exists. There is no Breathalyzer for pot.

Urine and hair tests can detect whether a person has used marijuana or other drugs within the last few days or weeks, but they can’t tell when a person is stoned at any one moment.

A couple of startups are racing to change that.

Oakland-based Hound Labs and Cannabix Technologies of Vancouver, British Columbia, are developing small handheld devices with tubes that people can blow into, just like the roadside tests that detect drunken drivers.

Hound Labs announced on Tuesday that it has raised $8.1 million from the venture capital company Benchmark, which funded Uber and Tinder, and has started clinical trials in conjunction with the University of California, San Francisco.

The Hound device is designed to detect both marijuana and alcohol in human breath. Dr. Michael Lynn, the CEO, said his company is planning to sell it by the end of the year.

“We tested on so many people now that we’re quite confident,” he told CNNMoney.

He said his company’s device will cost $600 to $800 and will be sold to police departments — and employers, too. In the eight states where recreational pot is legal, companies might not care whether their workers smoked weed the night before, but would definitely care if they are driving trucks or school buses while stoned.

Lynn, an emergency room doctor, said the device uses chemistry to pick up THC molecules in the breath, which are detectable for about two hours.

In Canada, which is moving to legalize recreational marijuana next year, Cannabix Technologies is working on a similar device to detect THC molecules.

Kal Malhi, the company president, hopes to start selling it in about a year and half, for $1,000 to $1,500. Testing began in March.

“We know it works,” said Dr. Bruce Goldberger, a forensic toxicologist and science adviser to the company.

Unlike an alcohol Breathalyzer, which estimates the amount of alcohol in the blood to determine a degree of drunkenness, both pot devices simply give a yes or no on the presence of THC.

Police don’t have a roadside drug testing tool like this. Goldberger said police in other countries sometimes use saliva swabs that can detect drugs, but those haven’t caught on in the United States.

Bob Griffiths, a retired officer and the director of police standards and training for the Alaska Department of Public Safety, said saliva testing technology “has not proven reliable.” This is why it was never adopted in Alaska, where recreational marijuana sales became legal in October.

Griffiths said Alaska police currently conduct field sobriety tests that he described as “fairly rudimentary,” and that the marijuana Breathalyzer “shows promise.” But it still has to be tested by the police, and approved by the courts for use as evidence.

He said the technology is important because it could detect drug impairment in drivers who are not drunk.

“I’ve arrested people who had zero-zero alcohol but they could barely stand up,” he said. “I would say that recreational marijuana, whether legal or not, has always been a problem with impairment with drivers in Alaska.”

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Medical marijuana patient wins employment discrimination suit in Rhode Island


 

This April 15, 2017 file photo shows marijuana plants on display at a medical marijuana provider in downtown Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel)

 

By Andrew Blake – The Washington Times – Wednesday, May 24, 2017

A Rhode Island fabrics company violated the state’s medical marijuana law when it refused to hire a card-carrying patient who couldn’t pass a drug test, a state Superior Court judge ruled Tuesday.

Christine Callaghan sued Darlington Fabrics Corp. for compensatory and punitive damages in 2014 after the company said her medical marijuana usage precluded it from offering her a paid internship position while she pursued a master’s degree at the University of Rhode Island. Ms. Callaghan promised not to bring weed into the workplace or arrive for work stoned, but Darlington said her failure to pass a pre-employment drug test prohibited her hiring, according to court filings.

In a 32-page ruling Tuesday, Associate Justice Richard A. Licht said Darlington broke the state’s Hawkins-Slater Medical Marijuana Act by rejecting Ms. Callaghan because she legally uses pot to treat migraine headaches in accodance with state law.

“Employment is neither a right nor a privilege in the legal sense,” Judge Licht ruled, but protection under the law is, he added.

While employers aren’t required to accommodate the medical use of cannabis in the workplace under Hawkins-Slater, the ruling noted, the law specifies that “no school, employer or landlord may refuse to reenroll, employ or lease to or otherwise penalize, a person solely for his or her status as a cardholder.”

Darlington had argued that it rejected Ms. Callaghan not because her status as a medical marijuana cardholder but her inability to pass a drug test. The judge called his claim “incredulous” in Tuesday’s ruling and took aim at its interpretation of the state’s medical marijuana law.

“This argument is not convincing,” he wrote, adding: “…it is absurd to think that the General Assembly wished to extend less protection to those suffering with debilitating conditions and who are the focus of the [act].”

“The recreational user could cease smoking long enough to pass the drug test and get hired… allowing him or her to smoke recreationally to his or her heart’s content,” he continued. “The medical user, however, would not be able to cease for long enough to pass the drug test, even though his or her use is necessary…”

More than 17,000 Rhode Islanders are currently members of the state’s medical marijuana program, the Providence Journal reported. While most of those individuals are patients who use marijuana to treat covered medical conditions, that number also includes people categorized as official “caregivers,” the newspaper reported.

“This decision sends a strong message that people with disabilities simply cannot be denied equal employment opportunities because of the medication they take,” Carly Beauvais Iafrate, a volunteer American Civil Liberties Union attorney and Ms. Callaghan’s legal counsel, said in a statement after Tuesday’s ruling.

Darlington plans to appeal the ruling before the state Supreme Court, defense attorney Meghan Siket told the Journal. Neither the company nor its lawyer was immediately available to comment Tuesday, the Associated Press reported.

Medical marijuana laws are currently on the books in 29 states and Washington, D.C., including Rhode Island, notwithstanding the federal government’s prohibition on pot.

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“…We need support in dealing with transnational criminal organizations and dealing with human trafficking – not in going after grandma’s medicinal marijuana,”


marijuana

Kamala Harris to Trump: Leave grandma’s marijuana alone

By Sean Cockerham

scockerham@mcclatchydc.com

WASHINGTON

Sen. Kamala Harris of California used the year’s first big 2020 presidential spotlight Tuesday to rail against Trump administration drug policies and call for easing laws governing marijuana.

“Let me tell you what California needs, Jeff Sessions. We need support in dealing with transnational criminal organizations and dealing with human trafficking – not in going after grandma’s medicinal marijuana,” she said, referring to Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Tuesday’s Ideas Conference, put on by the influential liberal think tank Center for American Progress, was a widely watched testing ground for a Democratic Party that is desperately in search of new leadership. More than 100 reporters signed up to cover the event, with hundreds of spectators in the audience at a ballroom in the Four Seasons hotel in Georgetown.

Harris’ address comes as the freshman senator broadens her profile, including in recent days an extended appearance on CNN’s “The Lead” and the commencement address at Howard University, her alma mater. Harris was among the most anticipated Democratic up-and-comers in an Ideas Conference lineup that also included oft-mentioned potential presidential candidates such as Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Cory Booker of New Jersey.

Harris insists she’s not thinking about a run for president but progressive leaders at the Ideas Conference were closely watching her with 2020 in mind.

Michele Jawando, vice president for legal progress at the Center for American Progress, was struck by Harris’ decision to focus on Sessions’ criminal justice policies – an issue that’s been lost amid the fire hose of news about Trump’s Russia controversies.

“(Harris) is without question someone we’re going to continue to talk about,” she said.

Harris focused on Sessions’ new dictate that federal prosecutors pursue the toughest criminal penalties possible – including mandatory minimum sentences – for drugs and other crimes. Sessions is threatening to pursue federal marijuana prosecutions even in states like California that voted to legalized pot.

“While I don’t believe in legalizing all drugs – as a career prosecutor I just don’t – we need to do the smart thing, the right thing, and finally decriminalize marijuana,” Harris said, in one of the strongest pro-pot statements that she has made in her political career.

Harris called Sessions’ push for maximum sentences a revival of a failed war on drugs in which Latinos and African-Americans were disproportionately incarcerated and the nation’s drug issues only got worse.

“Instead of going after violent crime, drug cartels, and major traffickers, we’re worried about the neighborhood street-level dealer,” she said. “Instead of addressing the core issue of addiction and getting folks into treatment, we’re going to overcrowd and build more prisons.”

Harris told the progressive crowd that the issue offers an opening for them to ally with conservatives. Republicans including Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky oppose harsh sentencing such as mandatory minimum terms as a useless destroyer of lives. And opioid addiction is devastating red and blue states alike.

The Ideas Conference had Californians at the forefront of the Democratic Party’s search for leadership. California Reps. Nancy Pelosi, Adam Schiff and Maxine Waters were featured and billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer, a potential candidate for governor of California, made an appearance.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, also a possible candidate for governor next year, gave the opening address.

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2017 Kentucky Marijuana Legalization Vote: Key Dates To Watch


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Above:  Unfortunately the above picture was not taken in Kentucky!

 

Have you been trying to follow Kentucky marijuana legalization news online and find you cannot figure out if it is legalized or if the bill died in the Kentucky State Senate?

Current Kentucky medical marijuana laws were introduced in late 2016 by Kentucky state senator, Perry Clark. This particular senator has introduced similar laws in the past, but the one that was due to be voted on in 2017 by Kentucky state lawmakers is called The Cannabis Compassion Act, and it was filed as BR409.

While there were plenty of fans that were excited about this news in early 2017, after the bills for Kentucky legal marijuana were filed, no one seemed to know when anything was going to happen next. It was not really clear to many Kentuckians if lawmakers had denied or confirmed a bill to legalize marijuana.

Worse, the Kentucky State Senate closed their main legislative session on March 31, and there was no news about where the legal marijuana bill was going. In order to get a few facts straight, some careful online sleuthing was done to get all of the right information in the right place.

Medical marijuana touted by supporters to Trump.Protesters organized in January to tell Donald Trump they wanted support for medical marijuana. [Image by Theo Wargo/Getty Images]

As previously reported by the Inquisitr, Kentucky did not pass medical marijuana in early 2017. The confusion was caused when several articles were published in February that quoted a news source that had misinformation on the topic.

Instead, the bill to pass medical marijuana in the state of Kentucky is actually two different bills. The names of these bills are SB76 and SB57.

When information is reviewed about Kentucky’s medical marijuana bills that are being proposed in 2017, it shows on the SB76 and SB57 websites that they have been “assigned” to various committees for review — and are therefore still in progress.

SB57 is currently assigned to Health and Welfare, while SB76 is with Licensing, Occupations, and Administrative Regulations.

Regardless, what these pages do not clearly indicate is whether or not these bills are still being considered, when they will be considered, or when they will be voted on.

Thankfully, by cross-referencing with the 2017 interim calendar for the Kentucky State Senate, there is helpful information about approximate dates to expect Kentucky marijuana legalization news.

Rand Paul Kentucky is pro-marijuana.Kentucky U.S. Senator, Rand Paul, is pro-marijuana legalization, but he is not a voting member for the Kentucky State Senate. [Image by Mark Wilson/Getty Images]

As far as SB76 goes, Licensing, Occupations, and Administrative Regulations will meet the second Friday of each month between June and October. In November, Licensing, Occupations, and Administrative Regulations will meet on the 17th.

For SB57, Health and Welfare meet the third Wednesday of each month during the June-November Kentucky State Senate interim calendar.

With the basic information needed to target key dates to listen out for the legalization of marijuana in Kentucky, the next question is whether or not the state senators will actually vote for it.

Although there have been many supporters of the medical marijuana bill in Kentucky, there have also been a few opponents.

For example, in La Crosse, Wisconsin, they reported that a retired Kentucky state trooper, Ed Shemelya, is the director of the National Marijuana Initiative, according to WXOW. In La Crosse, Shemelya is educating attendants of his talks about how “marijuana is one of the most dangerous drugs due to what we do not yet know about its effects.”

As an anti-weed advocate, Ed Shemelya has also visited Glasgow, Kentucky, with a similar message.

This time, instead of children, Glasgow Daily Times stated that Shemelya’s audience for his anti-marijuana message was comprised of “law enforcement officials, and others ranged from health educators to youth service and family resource center coordinators.”

Countering anti-weed messages like Ed Shemelya’s are multiple medical marijuana town hall meetings that have been scheduled throughout Kentucky.

According to WSAZ, Justin Lewandoski, a member of the town hall in Paintsville, Kentucky, says the medical marijuana meeting planned for April 20 was meant to educate people by letting people speak about their “experiences with medical marijuana and the relief it provided them.”

While Kentucky is still in the process of potentially voting for medical marijuana, the state continues to prosecute buyers, growers, and distributors. Naturally, keeping marijuana illegal means that budget-strapped Kentucky must pay law enforcement and jails for marijuana arrests.

In addition to the arrests of marijuana growers that know they have THC in their crops, WKYT says that authorities are so overzealous about the illegality of marijuana in Kentucky that they recently burned a crop of commercial hemp because it allegedly had “too much THC.”

Not having legal marijuana in Kentucky also means that the state is targeted for trafficking from outsiders. For example, WKMS reports on April 19 that Kentucky state police arrested a man from Washington state that was trafficking 75-pounds of marijuana through Lyon County.

Kentucky also continues to prosecute marijuana grower John Robert “Johnny” Boone, allegedly the “Godfather” of the Cornbread Mafia. After eluding authorities for almost 10 years, John Boone was finally isolated and captured in 2017.

When John Boone was arrested and convicted in 1988, he went to jail for a decade for having one of the biggest marijuana growing syndicates of all time that had farming operations in almost 30 states, according to U.S. News & World Report.

About the reasons he grew marijuana, John Boone stated the following in federal court when he was sentenced in the late 1980s.

“With the poverty at home [in Kentucky], marijuana is sometimes one of the things that puts bread on the table. We were working with our hands on earth God gave us.”

Updates on Kentucky’s medical marijuana bills can be followed on Legiscan.

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What the Guys Who Coined ‘420’ Think About Their Place in Marijuana History


Submitted by Marijuana News on Thu, 04/20/2017 – 08:45

By now, you don’t have to be a smoker to know that April 20 is considered by many to be a sort of national holiday for cannabis culture. Some have suggested that the date comes from “420” being a code among police officers for “marijuana-smoking in progress,” while others say that there’s a connection to 4/20 being Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler’s birthday. But the most credible story about the origins of the illicit observance involves neither of those ideas.

Instead, it involves five high school students who, back in 1971, would get together at 4:20 p.m. to smoke marijuana by a statue of chemist Louis Pasteur at San Rafael High School in Marin County, Calif. Known as the “Waldos” — Steve Capper, Dave Reddix, Jeffrey Noel, Larry Schwartz, and Mark Gravich — they would say “420” to each other at some point during the school day as code to meet for a smoke.

Reddix’s brother helped him get a job as a roadie for Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh, and the term “420” caught on in that Deadhead circle. The legend goes that on Dec. 28, 1990, Deadheads in Oakland handed out flyers inviting people to smoke “420” on April 20 at 4:20 p.m — and one got in the hands of Steve Bloom, a former reporter for High Times magazine. The publication published the flyer in 1991 and continued to reference the number, and before long those digits became known globally for their association with marijuana. In 1998, the outlet recognized the “Waldos” as the “inventors” of 420.

The Waldos still live in northern California, in Marin County and Sonoma County, and are still good friends. TIME caught up with Reddix, now a documentary filmmaker and former CNN cameraman, and Capper, who runs a business that works with staffing agencies, to learn more about the history behind the high.

The reasons for their meeting time, it turns out, aren’t very complicated: school ended around 3:00 p.m., and then came sports practice, and then it would be about 4:20. And the social circumstances that led to the ritual might be familiar to any number of high-schoolers.

“We got tired of the Friday-night football scene with all of the jocks,” says Reddix. “We were the guys sitting under the stands smoking a doobie, wondering what we were doing there.”

What happened after 4:20, however, could be a little more unusual. The group challenged each other to find new and interesting things to do while they were high — Reddix says he kept a log of their “safaris” — and tried, at least in some cases, to stay away from their homes as much as possible. (Reddix says he didn’t get along with his stepfather, and that Jeff Noel’s father “happened to be a high-level state narcotics officer,” which the boys sometimes took advantage of by trying to make off with contraband that might be locked in his car, but which also posed its own obvious risks.) In one stand-out example of such a safari, Capper says, the group drove out to a rural area and saw something “magical.”

“The car’s filled with pot smoke, and when we roll down the window, we see two single lines of cows following our car,” he recalls.

“We thought they were hamburgers,” Reddix jokes, but it turned out that they had been trained to follow the farmer’s truck if they wanted to be fed.

Magical cows aside, a lot has changed in the marijuana world between 1971 and 2017, they say — and not just that, in their experience, the weed available today is much stronger than it once was.

Capper says that the mainstream American perception of people who smoke marijuana has evolved significantly, as it’s more accepted that people who are marijuana enthusiasts can also be healthy and smart. He says that his business partner has at times worried that the publicity around Capper’s association with 420 might be bad for business, but that in practice, the people he meets at conferences who are aware of the connection are more likely to ask for a selfie than to judge him. (As for high school, “while I was smoking all this pot, I did two years of coursework in one year and got straight As,” he says.) More accepted medical use of marijuana has also changed the conversation about the drug; Reddix’s wife has used cannabinoids for migraines, and he says it seems to help. And, obviously, the spread of the legalization movement has brought marijuana much more into the open than it once was — “It’s cool that it’s legal, and people aren’t going to jail as much,” says Capper.

As for their own place in that history, they enjoy seeing “420” come up in pop culture — as in Pulp Fiction, in which some of the clocks are set to 4:20, or hotel room 420 in Hot Tub Time Machine — and hope their coded contribution to cannabis culture provides those enthusiasts who observe the day with a little bit of the “private joke quality” and the “brotherhood of outlaws” feeling that they experienced growing up, when their habit was strictly underground.

“Now legalization is happening so fast, you’ve got to stand back and go, this is weird,” says Capper. “This is a trip.”

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Secretive investment group sought Indiana marijuana business


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Tony Cook , tony.cook@indystar.com 6:06 a.m. ET April 16, 2017

Some of Indiana’s best-known former legislators and lobbyists joined a secret investment company that several investors say was formed to cash in if marijuana was ever legalized in Indiana.

Some of Indiana’s most influential lobbyists and political operatives joined a secretive investment company that several partners say has worked for years to cash in on the potential legalization of marijuana in Indiana.

The company, Hoosier Emerging Technologies, was created in late 2012 and is registered to Jim Purucker, one of the state’s most prominent alcohol and gaming lobbyists. Two investors in the company told IndyStar the primary aim was to influence legislation that would enable it to secure a place in the lucrative marijuana market.

The people Purucker recruited to invest in the company are a veritable who’s-who of top Indiana powerbrokers — Democrats and Republicans — an IndyStar investigation has found.

Among them: Former Indiana House speakers, former state campaign chairmen for Barack Obama and Donald Trump, high-powered lobbyists and some of the state’s most prolific political fundraisers. However, not all of them said they were aware of the company’s marijuana ambitions.

It does not appear the company and its investors broke any laws. Still, government accountability advocates worry that such a secretive alliance of insiders with undisclosed financial interests in legislation could undermine an already cynical public’s faith in state government.

“It’s everything you don’t want in government,” said Zachary Baiel, president of the Indiana Coalition for Open Government.

He and other government watchdogs said the situation reinforces their calls for more transparency and disclosure in state government.

Legislative leaders also expressed concerns.

“It bothers me a great deal,” Senate leader David Long, R-Fort Wayne, said in response to IndyStar’s findings. “It would appear that there were people trying to surreptitiously insert language to help create a monopoly. … It bothers me that people might be trying to manipulate the law for their own financial benefit.”

Purucker declined to comment for this story.

Three investors and another source familiar with the company told IndyStar that Purucker’s pitch was simple: Buy at least a single $1,000 share and you could hit the jackpot if marijuana becomes legal.

Only one of those sources agreed to speak publicly about the company.

“It had to do with an opportunity to make money with this company if marijuana was ever legalized in this state,” said investor Kip Tew, a former Indiana Democratic Party chairman who served as Obama’s campaign chairman in Indiana.

Tew and others said details about how the company would make money under such a scenario were vague.

“What was told to me was that the entity I invested in was going to invest in another entity that was going to provide some service to the distributors or retailers like in other states where it was legalized,” Tew said.

Three other investors told IndyStar they were unaware of the company’s marijuana ambitions.

The company was such a closely held secret that leaders of the General Assembly said they were unaware of its existence, even as some with an interest in the company advocated for language that found its way into bills and, in some cases, into law.

That legislation included the state’s controversial vaping law that took effect last year. It effectively made a single Indiana security company, Lafayette-based Mulhaupt’s Inc., the sole gatekeeper of the vaping industry. The regulatory framework established in the vaping law could eventually be used if marijuana was legalized in Indiana, according to two investors who requested anonymity

Tew and other investors said they did not know if Hoosier Emerging Technologies’ intent was to invest in Mulhaupt’s.

Mulhaupt’s owner Doug Mulhaupt did not return multiple messages left at his office, with his lobbyist and with a PR firm the company hired.

It is unclear exactly how many investors Purucker recruited, though several investors said there may have been dozens, including members from most large lobbying firms in Indianapolis.

The involvement of so many Statehouse influencers made it difficult for some opponents of the vaping legislation to find representation at the Statehouse, said Evan McMahon, whose group Hoosier Vapers fought against the legislation, but was unaware of Hoosier Emerging Technologies until recently.

“In 2015, when this first came up, we tried to find a lobbyist to represent our industry and every single person we talked to said they had a conflict,” he said.

At that time, McMahon said, he did not know there was what he described as “a shadow cabal working together for years.”

Dealing among friends

While some investors told IndyStar that HET’s focus was marijuana, another said vaping was key to the company’s plans.

“What I thought they were doing, as far as I know, is try to get a lock on the vapor thing,” said investor Rex Early, a former Indiana Republican Party Chairman who served as Trump’s campaign chairman in Indiana.

He said he bought a $1,000 share of the company, but emphasized that he didn’t know about any marijuana connection.

“I never heard that,” he said. “I’m not a big marijuana guy. Do not put me in there as promoting marijuana.”

Former Indiana House Speaker Mike Phillips, now a lobbyist, acknowledged he and his son also put money into the company, but he also said marijuana was never discussed with him.

“We were of the mind it had to do with the high-tech development of the systems used in racetracks,” he said recently while sitting on a bench outside House Speaker Brian Bosma’s office.

Paul Mannweiler, another former House Speaker-turned-lobbyist who advocated for the vaping law, said neither vaping nor marijuana were discussed when he decided to put money into the company.

“I guess it could have included buying the USA TODAY, I don’t know,” he said, referring to the national news outlet owned by IndyStar’s parent company.

When asked how HET’s prospectus described the investment, he said he was “dealing among friends” and didn’t “remember reading anything.”

“I think Jim just said he was getting a group together,” he said. “I’ve worked with Jim on a number of issues. He’s a friend that I know to be a good person.”

Harmful side effects?

Two sources familiar with the company say many of its concepts were discussed informally over drinks at the Winner’s Circle, an off-track betting parlor in Downtown Indianapolis and a frequent hangout for lobbyists and lawmakers.

Purucker and his longtime client Rod Ratcliff were always at the center of the discussions, which typically took place in the betting parlor’s private Triple Crown Club, the sources said. Ratcliff is the chief executive of Centaur Gaming, which owns the Winner’s Circle and Indiana’s two horse track-casinos in Anderson and Shelbyville.

The off-track betting facility was an appropriate place to plan what was essentially a long shot gamble on marijuana legalization in staunchly conservative Indiana. Long and Bosma have consistently opposed legalizing even medical marijuana.

Some people with a stake in the company made several unsuccessful legislative attempts to create a license to distribute marijuana in 2013 and 2014. After that, Purucker and several other lobbyists with ties to Ratcliff and his Centaur Gaming company launched a massive lobbying effort in favor of the 2015 and 2016 vaping legislation.

Ratcliff did not return several messages from IndyStar. But a Centaur spokeswoman sent IndyStar a statement: “Neither Centaur Holdings, LLC, nor any of its subsidiaries or affiliates, has an affiliation with the vaping industry. Centaur has neither sole nor partial ownership of any licensees or entity related to the manufacture, distribution or security of vaping products. Our sole focus remains to provide our guests with the best value in gaming, racing, dining and entertainment.”

None of the high-powered lobbyists pushing for the vaping law — Purucker, Mannweiler, Brian Burdick and Kenneth Cragen — listed Hoosier Emerging Technologies as a client or employer. They listed their efforts under Indiana Vapor Company. Burdick did not return messages from IndyStar. Cragen declined to discuss his role.

Their efforts culminated in the vaping law that took effect last year and gave Mulhaupt’s sole discretion over who could seek a license to manufacture e-liquid.

Mulhaupt’s chose to work with only six companies, many with past ties to Centaur or current ties to the liquor industry.

As a result, prices skyrocketed and scores of vapor shops and manufacturers were forced to close or leave the state. The unusual nature of the law also drew attention from the FBI, which opened an investigation to determine if there was any wrongdoing.

The FBI has not commented on the status of the investigation or its targets.

IndyStar reported last month that the vaping law shared a common feature with draft legislation from 2013 that would have legalized medical marijuana. Both included security firm requirements that gave Mulhaupt’s a distinct advantage.

“It’s everything we always had a gut feeling about,” said Amy Lane, whose Indiana Smoke Free Alliance represents many small vapor shops and manufacturers that lost business because of the legislation. “This wasn’t for public health and safety. It was about lining somebody’s pockets. It’s disgusting, really. It’s disgusting that people are allowed to behave this way at the expense of small businesses.”

She said 60 vapor retail locations and 46 manufacturers have closed since the vaping law went into effect last summer. Wholesale prices for e-liquid have shot up 45 percent, she said.

A matter of disclosure

Lawmakers are now in the midst of overhauling that law. Senate Bill 1 would get rid of the security firm requirements and other portions of the law that a federal court found to be an unconstitutional barrier to interstate trade.

The House and Senate passed slightly different versions of the bill and must work out their differences before the 2017 legislative session ends Friday.

But fixing the vaping law is only the beginning of the work lawmakers need to do if they want to restore public faith in the General Assembly, said Julia Vaughn, policy director for Common Cause Indiana, a government accountability group.

“We are at a point in time when the public is cynical, and things like this confirms their belief that there is a small group of insiders who inflict their will on the General Assembly and usually with a profit motive behind it,” she said. “This is another example of why we need sweeping reform.”

The secretive nature of the company was enabled in part because of what some open government experts say is a gap in Indiana’s ethics rules. Lobbyists in Indiana do not have to disclose which lawmakers they lobby or any of their communications with those lawmakers. In fact, they are only required to list the general topic of their lobbying, not the specific piece of legislation they are trying to influence.

At least 13 other states require lobbyists to disclose more specific information about their activities, according to the Sunlight Foundation, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit group that advocates for transparency in government.

Lawmakers had an opportunity earlier this year to make interactions between lobbyists and lawmakers more transparent, but took a pass.

Senate Bill 289, authored by Sen. Mike Delph, R-Carmel, would have required lobbyists to keep a log of all communication with lawmakers, making their emails, texts and social media correspondence a matter of public record. The bill also would have made it illegal for lawmakers to accept gifts from lobbyists.

The measure never got a hearing.

“If the public needed another reason to have access to their legislator’s e-mails, this would be one to add to the ever growing list,” said Baiel, president the Indiana Coalition for Open Government. “Public policy should be made in the light of day and on the record. For posterity. If we cannot reconstruct how bills are made, how can we trust the outcomes of the legislation?”

About Hoosier Emerging Technologies

Hoosier Emerging Technologies was created Dec. 11, 2012, and registered as a limited liability corporation with the Indiana secretary of state’s office.

Company president: Jim Purucker. He is a longtime casino and alcohol lobbyist. He pushed for Indiana’s vaping law. His clients include the Indiana Vapor Co., Wine and Spirit Wholesalers of Indiana, Indiana Towing and Wrecker Association and the Indiana Motor Truck Association. He also represents New Centaur, the casino and horse-racing business led by Rod Ratcliff.

Purpose: Some investors said company’s goal was to establish a foothold in Indiana’s marijuana market when it became legal.  Others said the company aim was to make money off the vaping industry or develop horse-racing technology.

Among the investors

• Kip Tew, former Indiana Democratic Party Chairman who was President Barack Obama’s campaign chairman in Indiana, and is now a Statehouse lobbyist for Ice Miller. That law firm represents many of Indiana’s largest and most influential companies. Tew said making money off legalized marijuana was HET’s aim. 

• Two other investors, who requested anonymity, also said the company was planning to capitalize on the eventual legalization of marijuana.

• Rex Early, former Indiana Republican Party Chairman who served as President Donald Trump’s campaign chairman in Indiana. He said he was not aware of any company effort on marijuana and thought it was focused on the vaping industry.

• Paul Mannweiler, former Republican Indiana House speaker who is now a lobbyist at Bose Public Affairs Group. He also lobbied on the vaping law. Bose’s clients also include some of the state’s largest and most influential corporations. Mannweiler said neither vaping nor marijuana were discussed when he decided to put money into Hoosier Emerging Technologies.

• Mike Phillips, former Democratic House speaker who is now a lobbyist at the Statehouse. His lobbying firm, Phillips & Phillips, represents clients such as tobacco and pharmaceutical industries. He also represents New Centaur, the casino and horse-racing business led by Rod Ratcliff. 

Another player

Rod Ratcliff, Centaur Gaming CEO. Two sources familiar with the company say he was involved with Hoosier Emerging Technologies. That involvement included, at the very least, discussions at the Winner’s Circle about Hoosier Emerging Technologies and possible marijuana-related legislation.

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H.R.2020 – To provide for the rescheduling of marijuana into schedule III of the Controlled Substances Act


14454002_1790370264580294_939168322_o

115th Congress (2017-2018) | Get alerts

Bill

Sponsor:
Rep. Gaetz, Matt [R-FL-1] (Introduced 04/06/2017)

Committees:
House – Energy and Commerce; Judiciary

Latest Action:
04/06/2017 Referred to House Judiciary  (All Actions)

ext: H.R.2020 — 115th Congress (2017-2018)All Bill Information (Except Text)

As of 04/08/2017 text has not been received for H.R.2020 – To provide for the rescheduling of marijuana into schedule III of the Controlled Substances Act.

CONTINUE TO DETAILS…

South African Court OKs Marijuana for Home Use


FILE - A protester carries a marijuana pipe during a march calling for the legalization of cannabis in Cape Town, South Africa, May 7, 2016. On Friday, Western Cape province's High Court ruled that marijuana can now be legally grown and smoked in the privacy of one's home.

JOHANNESBURG — 

Last week’s court ruling allowing home use of marijuana has sent South Africa buzzing about the possibility that cannabis will now be widely legal in the Rainbow Nation.

To which pro-marijuana activist Julian Stobbs says: Chill.

Friday’s ruling from the Western Cape province High Court does apply across the nation, but the decision is really more about privacy than it is about pot.

The ruling struck down part of an old law that prohibits private and personal use of marijuana. The ruling still has to be solidified by parliament and pass through the constitutional court, which could take up to two years.

South Africa first criminalized the substance in 1908. Police statistics say that drug-related arrests have recently risen, with just under 260,000 people arrested last year, according to the most recent annual crime report. That’s just over 13 percent of all arrests.

Stobbs and his partner, who he says use marijuana recreationally and regularly, made headlines in 2010 after police raided their home and arrested them for marijuana possession. They were later released.

No victim, no crime

Under the ruling, Stobbs says, cases like his won’t be part of that toll anymore.

So, if you are using cannabis in the privacy of your own home, or indeed if you have grown cannabis in the privacy of your home and it’s never left the building, you now have a loophole in the law that if you do get arrested and you do go in front of a magistrate, you can use the defense that you are hurting nobody, there was no victim, there was no crime, there’s no black market, there are no transactions, no one is making money out of this, you are using the cannabis you grew in the privacy of your own home,” he told VOA.

As it stands, then, this ruling is only helpful if you’re an above-average horticulturalist with no plan to make a dime off the substance. Buying and selling marijuana is still illegal, as is smoking it in public.

Few anti-marijuana activists made their voices heard to protest the move. One online group, called “South Africans Against Dagga and Satan” — “dagga” is the local slang for cannabis — said on social media that the day of the ruling would “Forever be known as the day Satan took over South Africa!” They were shouted down on their Facebook page by supporters of the ruling.

‘Religious’ use

Users of the drug for religious purposes say they welcome the news. In the seaside Rastafarian community of Judah Square, a well-known tour guide and storyteller who goes by Brother Zebulon told VOA that while he is very happy about the ruling, he doesn’t support the widespread use of marijuana.

“My daughter,” he said to VOA, “it’s sacred, so it’s secret, so we really don’t advocate it. Yeah, no, no, no, no, we don’t advocate it, no. It’s a personal … you know, it’s your meditation.”

In February, South Africa’s government approved a bill that would allow for the limited manufacturing of medical marijuana.

Stobbs says he hopes these are just first steps in the eventual regulation and decriminalization of marijuana, like in the U.S. state of Colorado. Marijuana is now legal in 28 U.S. states for either medical or recreational use.

“That’s exactly what we see,” he said. “And we see billions of rand going back into the treasury in taxation on the plant.”

“Because we’re not asking for legalization; we’re asking for the legalization and regulation of the plant. This doesn’t come with a free-for-all. It is a free-for-all now — we’re trying to stop the free-for-all. It’s legalized regulation that we’re after.”

But Stobbs, who is 56, told VOA that he took a moment to pause and celebrate the court ruling.

“We had a pretty smoked-up weekend,” he said.

CONTINUE READING…

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

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===== 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…

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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…

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