We’re Fed Up! – An Open Letter From 30,000,000 Marijuana Smokers Who Vote

I found this post while researching and wanted to share:

Because of our diversity and direct democracy, California has always been a “test state” for many new ideas and political reforms. The Federal government is now targeting California and its Medical Marijuana patients to create a test case out of us.

They are afraid to change the status quo. But it is not just Medical Marijuana patients, or even marijuana smokers they are targeting.

The people of the state of California are the ones who voted for Medical Marijuana. We did this by direct democracy, by voting to change our own laws with Proposition 215, rather than have legislators write them for us. This is the essence of a democratic republic at its best.

By attacking Medical Marijuana in the State of California, the Federal government is attacking and disrespecting the people of California. They’re effectively saying, “We don’t recognize your authority over your own lives. We want to control you and force you to use only the medicines that we approve. We don’t care about your actual health. And we really don’t want you to get the idea that you can change things by voting.”

The Feds are very afraid of direct democracy because it challenges the power of the bloated, monolithic central government. All the career politicians are afraid of what can happen when people realize the power they have. Remember the 1960s rallying cry Power To the People? We have the power and we’re not planning to give it up.

“They got the guns, but we got the numbers.” — Jim Morrison

We are tired of being persecuted and mistreated simply because of our choice of medicine.

Marijuana users are treated as a laughingstock, even by a president that publicly claimed to be one of us.

We are sought out, profiled, and arrested.

We are imprisoned.

We are called drug addicts and losers by our own government.

Even the most unfortunate among us — who have cancer, AIDS, MS, depression, and intractable pain of all kinds — are treated in much the same manner, sometimes even judicially murdered.

Would the American public put up with this treatment if it was happening to gay and lesbian people? To Jews? To Muslims? Certainly not!

Each of those groups have suffered persecution in the past, gotten organized, and either aroused public sensibilities about their treatment to the point where it was made socially unacceptable, or gotten laws passed or changed to insure that it wouldn’t happen again.

But we have something special that these other groups don’t have.

We outnumber them all put together.

That’s right. There are 30 million people who regularly smoke marijuana in the United States. That’s about 10% of the population.

About 5% of Americans are gay or lesbian (so 15 million in round numbers), around 5 million are Jewish, 7 million are Muslim. We could easily throw other often oppressed groups in here, such as the Sikhs, without changing the equation.

The nation’s marijuana smokers need to unite for real change.

We must get organized.

We must arouse public sensibilities about our treatment and make it socially unacceptable to laugh at medical marijuana patients as well as recreational users.

The American public must understand that we – medical marijuana patients and users – are not anonymous drug-addled strangers. We are their sons and daughters, their brothers and sisters, their fathers and mothers, their grandfathers and grandmothers.

Marijuana prohibition is a failure based on lies, bad science, and racism. Millions upon millions of people have had their lives ruined – not by the harmless cannabis plant, but by the laws, arrests, lost jobs, and denied medical treatment.

75 years of marijuana prohibition is long enough for us, as a nation, to calmly sit down and acknowledge that the experiment of making a medicinal plant illegal is unconstitutional, morally wrong, and destructive to our society. It’s time to change things to insure that it won’t happen again.

We have the organizations — NORML, ASA, MPP, and others. We have our own media: The 420 Times, High Times, Kush, Skunk, Cannabis Culture, Treating Yourself, Toke Of the Town, and plenty more. But all of us have tended to work separately. Now it is time for laser focus.

We now call upon all of these organizations and publications, and all of us – patients and caregivers and recreational smokers alike – to unite behind a single, attainable goal:

Reschedule Marijuana Out Of Category I

Doing this can be a face-saver for the Federal government. No laws need be changed, no “embarrassing” Congressional debates over “pot”. No high-level politician even has to take “the blame” for it. It just becomes a simple administrative change in a database, but it will allow open medical research and actual legal prescriptions by doctors. It’s also about time that the Federal government acknowledges that cannabis actually is an effective medicine that is safely used every day by millions of people…since they already know that.

Let’s all take the time to help them help us.

Our first step: support CA NORML’s Call The White House campaign set for Tuesday, October 11.

Our second step: sign this online petition directly to the White House to address rescheduling marijuana out of Category I.

Our third step: we will be working with these other organizations and publications to organize a National Day Of Protest to call attention to this problem.

And for heaven’s sake, vote.

(Signed)

N.B. This manifesto does not intend to minimize the oppression that these and all other minorities (including women and people of color) have suffered in the past and present in this country and elsewhere. But the point is that the oppression of marijuana patients and users is official government policy to this very day, and we must not be satisfied until it ends forever.

http://the420times.com/2011/10/were-fed-up-an-open-letter-from-30000000-marijuana-smokers-who-vote/

A Call To Action:Your Local Government

In California medical cannabis patients are under attack from not only the federal government but local governments as well.  City after city has pushed for ordinances against medical marijuana.  Some baring dispensaries and some banning growing.  Some do this out of ignorance of medical cannabis and the industry and others in fear of repercussions from the federal government.   At the local level we need to work together to create a system that will regulate medical marijuana in a fair safe manner. Below is a letter to our local city council.  I share it in hopes to spark conversations in other cities where patients are being oppressed.

To Our Local Government:

We are standing at a unique point in time.  When you look back which side will you be on?  Will it be the ignorant, stubborn side that wishes to cling to yesteryear where fear and misinformation oppressed citizens or will it be on the side that is enlightened and will one day be vindicated?  We can no longer ignore science.  We can no longer let this be a political game with innocent patients as the chips.

It is time that you step up and start fighting FOR the patient instead of against.  It is time that you team up with the patients and create a peaceful business environment.  You were elected to SERVE the people not rule.  Minority groups need to be heard too. There is too much proof out there, both in personal stories and medical science to say medical marijuana doesn’t have medicinal purposes.

We can no longer allow the federal government to dictate how the state, county or city conducts business with medical cannabis with bullying tatics.  We can no longer allow the federal government to ignore science.  We can no longer allow government, instead of science, medicine and our own judgment, to dictate what we put in our bodies and how we treat our illnesses.

These laws are turning innocent patients into criminals.  The actions taken in the form of raids, arrests, threats, monetarily and in court have destroyed lives and caused many to be condemned to a life of lower standards.  These laws and by extension all of you enforcing these laws are oppressing people.

There needs to be regulation.  There needs to be a partnership between law enforcement, the City and patients.  We need sanity back in government.  People need to be educated before swinging the mighty gavel. As a patient I want to be able to walk into a dispensary and know I am safe from criminals and the government.  I want to know that if I grow a few plants my family wont have their door knocked down and have a gun in their face.  I want to know that the officials that we elect are held to the standard of being level headed, fair and just.  I want to know that they would give consideration to 1 person the same as they would 10,000.

Prohibition and reefer madness has been going on for over 74 years.  People have been hearing lies for a long time and that has bred a lot of misconceptions, greed, violent black markets and many other things that scare people.  What they don’t realize is that prohibition has caused this.  Its going to take all of us to fix this.  Its going to take all of us taking a fair balanced look at cannabis and seeing how we can improve things.  We need to be the ones changing it together.  We will never have progress if there is fighting. It is ridiculous for innocent, lawful patients and caregivers to be punished because of misuse of federal power and the actions of criminals.  We should be allowed safe access to our voter and Dr approved medicine.

Corruption Through the Ages

It is said that if history is not learned it is doomed to repeat itself.  It is important to look back and know how we got here today.  We have looked at how Prohibition of Alcohol can be applied to today’s War on Drugs.  We have also looked at the current Drug War in terms of stats on arrests and how much money is wasted.  Now we will take a look at how the Banking System has played a role in the drug trade and the War on Drugs. If you study the timeline below you will see how corruption has a firm grip where ever there is money. In the past 10 years there has been major corruption linking the banking system and drug cartels.  This is just one key point in the War on Drugs and our fight for legalization.  Money does have control and it is vital to know all aspects when fighting for legalization.  In the timeline you will notice underline text.  These are areas that I encourage to be further researched as there is a lot of interesting history to be discovered.  Please Share: just click on the image below to read~ Cherry Girl

Also available in High Resolution

Adapted from “Banking Laid Bare” Steven Hager ~ High Times Dec 2011

Wachovia and J.P. Morgan connection to Slave Trade: http://www.ushistory.org/presidentshouse/news/ww061005.htm 

Why More Americans Support Legalization of Marijuana

Gallup Poll released yesterday showed American support for the legalization of marijuana has risen to 50%. What might have caused this surge in support and made Americans take a second look at cannabis? Have Americans finally seen what a waste the War on Drugs is? Media coverage has become more common and less taboo enabling more people to become enlightened to the many benefits of cannabis as well as the corruption and lies surrounding it. There are 16 states that have set up some sort of medical marijuana program. More doctors and medical studies have emerged that support the medical benefits of cannabis.  There is also anger in the nation at corruption and Big Pharma is one target.

We have seen several reports lately that have showed medical advancements and new knowledge of the powers of cannabis.  We have seen them not only in expected media like High Times but also on news channels ranging from local to MSNBC.  We have seen many reports of patients that cannabis has helped or cured them as well as scientists discovering why cannabis works.

16 states enacted some sort of medical marijuana program. California was the first to enact legislation and has run a medical marijuana program for 15 years.  Colorado is one state that is allowing for-profit dispensaries to operate.  Reports have shown how revenue from taxes and fees as well as the residual business that benefits are seen throughout the community.  In a time when the economy is slow its hard to ignore the fact that cannabis is a booming industry.  With more states challenging the federal government’s stand on cannabis we have this industry brought to the forefront.

Politics has affected this issue extensively.  Many times politicians are focused on their career and not on the issues that need to be addressed.  Instead they continue to follow the failed policies of the Drug War that has been failing for the last 70 plus years.  The current Obama administration has promised one thing while doing a completely opposite action.  Recently attacks from the federal government against California patients has become severe.  With many more urgent issues that need to be addressed many Americans see this use of government spending wasteful.

 

People have seen the costs associated with processing criminals for small amounts of marijuana as well as the search for marijuana grows.  In a time where everyone is scrutinizing government spending people have turned their attention to the money wasted on the War on Drugs.  The recent attacks on medical marijuana dispensaries in California have put federal government spending in the spotlight.

Although Occupy Wall St is disorganized one thing you can glean from the people is the frustration over corruption.  We have seen how Big Pharma has control over the industry.  People want affordable, quality medicine, and with more information emerging on the health risks of prescription medications as well as the up rise in addiction rates more people are looking for a natural solution.

Some other points that might explain the increase in support is the spotlight that has been shown on NYC and the racially profiled marijuana arrests, that are prevalent not only in NYC but all over the country.  In 2010 NYC spent $75 million arresting and jailing 50,000 people for possessing small amounts of marijuana.  Most of them were in their late teens or early twenties and nearly 90% of them were of color.  This is something that has caught the attention of the NAACP who has spoke out in support of legalization of marijuana.

 

With so many factors working for us there are just as many if not more working against the legalization for marijuana. There is legislation currently being processed  HR 2306: The Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2011 which you can request your representative to support.  There is also a proposed ballot that has support of private citizens, celebrities, law enforcement and judges.  Its called the Regulate Marijuana Like Wine Act of 2012.  Now is our opportunity to change history and right a wrong.  Reefer madness and all the ridiculous claims against cannabis have had their claim on Americans for far too long.  Now is the time to take a second look at cannabis.  Now is the time to act and help legalize a natural safe alternative!

The Regulate Marijuana Like Wine Act 2012

Imagine a day when a property owner can look out over his cannabis crops just like a vinyard owner.  That day may be much closer with a proposed ballot in California.  Its call The Regulate Marijuana Like Wine Act 2012 and it has a lot of good points to it.  If passed it could change countless lives and challenge the federal government, something that is long overdue.

It also boasts some impressive supporters.  You can find more information on their website.  The launch of the petition drive will be November 1, 2011. They have volunteering opportunities on their website as well.

In Short – This California Voter Intitiative for 2012 intends to:

  •  Repeal prohibition of marijuana for adults
  •  Strictly regulates marijuana, just like the wine industry
  •  Allows hemp agriculture and products
  •  Does not change laws regarding

medical marijuana
impairment
workplace
vehicle operation
use by minors under 21 years old

  •  Provides specific personal possession exemptions
  •  Requires dismissal of pending court cases
  •  Defense against all related litigation
  •  Prevents California from supporting federal enforcements that conflict with this law and requires the State to petition the Feds to remove marijuana from Schedule One
  •  Prohibits commercial advertising of non-medical marijuana
  •  Generates new revenue from sales taxes, while creating no new taxes
SPONSORED BY
THE REGULATE MARIJUANA LIKE WINE COMMITTEE

JAMES P. GRAY, CHIEF PROPONENT 
Retired Superior Court Judge and author
STEVE KUBBY, CHIEF OFFICER 
Managing Partner and CEO, Kubby Patents and Licenses
WILLIAM McPIKE,  COUNSEL  
Nationally recognized attorney and legal authority
STEVE COLLETT, TREASURER 
President, Collett & Company, Inc., Certified Public Accountants
For more information visit their site at

Now Is the Time To Act! Medical Marijuana On the Defense

With all the protests and grumbling from the every day American I know that we are at a pivotal point in history that we are at a point where they could go either way.  I believe we are at that point with Medical Marijuana.  It has been state legal in CA since 1996 but only in the past few years has it really exploded.  A quick search on weedmaps or any other like website and you will see thousands of dispensaries dotted all over California.  While for cannabis consumers its a dream come true for officials its a nightmare.

With their experience only while the black market still exists, law enforcement and like minded people’s point of view on the violence and corruption that seems to follow I can see how they can be fearful of the whole industry. But just like with like with prohibition, not all of us are Al Capone.  There will always be criminals but it is wrong to punish us all for a few and in turn create more criminals.

Cannabis patients truly are an oppressed people.  The government has sought after marijuana with the same vivaciousness of a murderer manhunt. It has been unrelenting in its pursuit of even simple possession.  They wasted billions of hard earned taxpayer’s money at the drop of a hat over a simple plant.

There are hundreds of other top priority issues that are being negleted to go after this plant and its consumers.  It makes me angry to see stories where domestic violence is decriminalized because they ran out of money to prosecute but they have plenty of money to go after medical marijuana patients.

Thankfully the Alcohol Prohibition Era lasted a relatively short time but it still gives us a great look into a failed policy that applies to us today.  We saw how crime and general chaos ensued after prohibition took place.  We also saw crime organized for the first time on a larger scale.  Mass murders took place with bodies being dumped in the streets.  Even with the it being illegal people still drank.

We are at a time in history with some of the same things taking place.  We have dispensaries and patients being robbed.  We have gang violence still trying to control whats left of the black market.  We have Mexican cartels taking over our forests and killing thousands in their country.  We have decapitated heads being found on children’s school playgrounds.

The underground black market for Marijuana is organized.  It has its roots deep throughout the country.  Here in California especially it has spilled out into almost every county.  The gang violence can be seen in the streets as well as the size of the prison population.  It has been a very lucrative business for them.  The sad thing is that some marijuana patients are forced to fuel this economy.

With regulation and legislation passed we have seen the legal medical marijuana population rise to the top and be on display for the world to see.  They have shown how dispensaries can be run responsibly and in the compassionate manner originally intended.  We have seen the standards of cannabis rise not only with potency but in growing and quality.

We have heard thousands of success stories from patients living a better life thanks to cannabis.  When pulled into the light and operated legally we see a change.  I have visited locations that are similar to a doctor’s office with a staff that are professional and knowledgeable.  They pay taxes, bring revenue into the county and provide jobs.

In Colorado, where the medical marijuana industry is for-profit, we have seen the amount collected in business licenses and the like in the millions.  We see how even in a bad economy that is one industry that is booming.  It is exploding right in the face of the federal government and they’re not happy about it.

Today we saw a crack down in California from the federal government.  They put it under the guise of criminal activity but in their eyes all of it is illegal.  The Attorney General’s office sent out letters to property owners bullying them by saying they would lose their property if they continued to allow a dispensary to operate.  By doing this they are strong arming the entire industry.

Not everyone can grow their own medicine but they still need it.  Even when the government says they are not going after the sick, by attacking the source of our medicine, they are attacking patients.  Once again they are reacting towards everyone instead of the problem.  Somehow they still do not seem to get that while a black market exists, while the unsuccessful and costly drug war exists, while prohibition exists we will always have these issues.

If it was not illegal you would not have mass amounts of undocumented marijuana transferred between states but instead a regulated system that would generate billions if not trillions in revenue.  The Mexican cartels, US gangs and the black market would not have the funding nor the power it currently does.

Instead license fees, taxes and other revenue would be pumped into the local, state and federal governments.  Patients would have access to quality medicine without fear.  With a law enforcement that back the marijuana industry and instead targets only true criminal activity I believe we would see an industry much like alcohol or tobacco.

With over 70 years of failed policy and crime stats supporting the evidence its time to repeal the prohibition of marijuana is it not time to act?  One can not be heard but many they will take notice.  How much longer can we stand by while the government attacks patients?

Even if you can’t actively participate educating and informing people of the benefits of cannabis is one way to be active.  There are hundreds of medical studies, thousands of survivor stories and millions of consumers.  There is mounting evidence of the powers of cannabis.  It is time for us to educate the government and others so that all can be free to medicate.

If you can be active get involved and contact your representitive and the presidential hotline.  Supporters are urged to call on the President to respect state marijuana laws – White House Hotline:202 -456-1111  show your support for a bill to let states regulate medical marijuana legally, H.R. 2306, has been introduced by Rep. Barney Frank and has several co-sponsors from California.

And in the great words of Thomas Jefferson:
When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness.

What country can preserve its liberties if its rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance?-Thomas Jefferson

POT-TAX

Prohibition: Then and Now, History Repeating Itself?

We see Hollywood glamorizing the roaring 20’s, Prohibition Era, with the speakeasies and flapper girls. Then there was Al Capone and the mob’s criminal activities. Today, with the Drug Prohibition, we have stories of bodies being dumped in the streets and heads being found on school playgrounds. Can we not learn from history?

During the Prohibition Era which lasted from 1920 to 1933, people truly thought that passing more laws would make things safer and better.  They felt that alcohol was the cause of many social issues and if it were illegal things would improve.  Unfortunately it had the opposite affect.

Suddenly with liquor being available only through the black markets, criminals organized and gangs were created.  What were once legally run production, importation and distribution businesses were now taken over by gangs.

As a result of the prohibition prices went up further fueling more attraction to gangs who became rich.  Once gangs took hold of the industry fights broke out over territory and connections, spilling crime into the streets including mass murder.


A Bill was created in Congress that celebrated the Repeal day which notes that “throughout American history, alcohol has been consumed by its citizens”;that prohibition resulted in “abuses” and the “irresponsible over consumption of alcohol”; and that the ban on “‘intoxicating liquors’ in the United States, resulted in a dramatic increase in illegal activity, including unsafe black market alcohol production, organized crime, and noncompliance with alcohol laws…”

While prohibition was a complete failure one thing we can learn from them is that they did go through the proper processes.  With prohibition activists worked their way from the local level to the federal level eventually amending the constitution. When America repealed prohibition with a constitutional amendment it explicitly gave the power to regulate alcohol to the states.

In contrast to the drug prohibition, Congress as well as the Supreme court, was not Constitutional when it passed the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 which started the modern day Drug War.

Crime was not the only factor in the failure of prohibition.  The lack of regulation was also a problem.  Unlike the regulated liquor, black market liquor was more potent and more harmful.  Today we have unregulated marijuana that is available to the public causing concerns.  Harmful chemicals, mold and many other issues can have serious effects on the end user as well as the enviroment. Without proper regulation patients can find it hard to get safe, quality marijuana.

During the Prohibition Era doctors were still able to prescribe it to their patients unlike today where dispensaries, doctors and patients  are being terrorized by raids. After almost 40 years since the Controlled Substance Act passed there are hundreds of thousands of people in prison for nonviolent drug crimes. We have federal and local  police forces that all too often acts like an military force with nearly a trillion dollars spent on enforcement. All the while the street prices of drugs like cocaine and marijuana has dramatically dropped since the government began keeping track in the early 1980s.

H.R. 2306, entitled the ‘Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2011,’ prohibits the federal government from prosecuting adults who use or possess marijuana by removing the plant, and its primary psychoactive constituent, THC, from the five schedules of the federal Controlled Substances Act of 1970.  It is currently being cosponsored by 16 Congresspeople.

There are plenty of lessons to learn from the Prohibition Era as well as the Drug War thus far.  As they always say history will repeat itself if you never learn from it.  Prohibition does not work, as proven, it has the opposite effect. Now is the time to stop the corruption and end Prohibition against marijuana.