Articles Tagged: Legalization

Radical Russ mansplaning MJ to Roseann Barr on twitter

November 11th, 2016 | By Pirate

After the nation has had a few days to celebrate or fret about a Trump win, the funny discussions are coming from twitter where marijuana activists are trying to convince one another who has the most credentials and the best information.

Actress Roseanne Barr Argues with mansplaining Radical Russ Belville about Trump and Legalization

Actress Roseanne Barr Argues with mansplaining Radical Russ Belville about Trump and Legalization

  @RadicalRuss (Russ Belville) is currently “mansplaining” to @therealroseanne how Clinton “supported legalization 100%”, and Roseanne is explaining to chauvinist Radical Russ that;


 

Radical Russ is trying to prove that Hillary Clinton would have legalized cannabis the same way that Donald Trump would have.   He uses some vague examples where she said that she would favor cannabis.   However Russ Belville ignores the recent interviews where she said that she would not favor cannabis legalization, and that she would prosecute (much like Obama did, when in just two years as president, Obama had 6100% more federal MMJ indictments than Bush did in his whole 8 years).  The real kicker in this case for Clinton is not her public message, but her private message.  Remember that issue coming up during the debates, where she was called out for the wikileaks revelations that Clinton said that she has both a public position on the issues, as well as a separate private issue on the issues when she gave a paid speech to top bankers who at the same meeting she was assuring these bankers that she most definitely did not favor legalization.

Hillary Clinton says she has ‘both a public and a private position’

In Leaked Speech, Clinton Promises Bankers to Stand Against Pot

Hillary Lying For 13 Minutes Straight, showing Hillary have various positions on important topics

Even on February 2nd 2016, Russ had more sense on this issue saying that Hillary was basically out of touch

What really got me is how in October 2015 on Russ Belville’s show #675 at minute 15:00 he says that “Bernie … is first leading candidate from the democrat or republican party to say that he would vote to legalization marijuana”.  Yet in Russ Belville’s condesending exchange with Rosanne Barr he touts his roles with NORML and High Times as if he is some sort of expert.  Totally neglecting that Ron Paul was a “leading candidate” for president of the USA, who had said that he would legalize cannabis since the 1980’s.  Russ Belville forgets about a time when NORML actually fought for REAL cannabis law reform, see these clips of Ron Paul supporting cannabis legalization, and an interview with NORML and Ron Paul (pre-Russ).

But anyway, Rosanne is doing good fighting back the non-sense.   While I am not ecstatic with the choices that we had this year to vote for, I can say that I am glad that it was not Hillary that was chosen.  I had said that it would be no-doubt her that wins (despite how unpopular she is), but lo-and-behold, I was wrong.  I admit it.  I didn’t have this one correct for once.  I usually have these elections pegged.  I spoke about what changed in the election since I made my prediction in this post.  

I was VERY wrong about the election results

I hope that Trump keeps his promises, especially about legalizing cannabis.  I also hope and pray that Trump makes Ron Paul the Chairman of the Federal Reserve.  Although I am more realistic than that.  I didn’t trust Trump and I would have much more preferred Rand Paul.   But at least all three branches of government are controlled by conservatives, and I think that will go a long way for positive change.  Progressives have screwed this country up so bad, and the American people responded this election!  I am surprised to see Roseanne move away from being on the SJW side of the political and emotional spectrum, but good for her.   As for Russ Belville, he will continue to shill around for sponsors, to support his non-existent audience, and will continue to support regressive legislation to appease the NORML lawyers who need to keep a job.

 

PS.

Russ is bragging about getting top Alexa ratings in just two months.  But what he doesn’t explain, is that his traffic is fake.

Ref:

 

 

To which I replied to him that his traffic is fake, and anyone can figure that out by just reading this short article on fake traffic.

https://support.flippa.com/hc/en-us/articles/202891420-What-is-fake-traffic-How-can-I-identify-it-
Getting into the top 100K in just two months, after having 10 years of extremely low rankings, is just a sure sign of fake traffic.

I showed Russ Belville’s traffic and youtube success back in 2013 in this video when I compared my traffic to Russ Belville’s traffic.

2013 xCannabis Progress Report – We’ve reached one million people

I had a full time job working 96 hours a week, and I blogged only a few times a month.  Yet I had high rankings and far more traffic than Russ.

Now all of the sudden in just two short months, he is in Alexa’s top 100K?   ya right, I refer you to the article about fake traffic above.

 

Comparing real activists to hipster pot dealers

January 28th, 2016 | By Pirate

 

I have been frustrated for years when I work with or are in the same network as, typical pot dealer “cannabis activists”, who are typically no better than a corporate lobbyist for an industry or business.  The only exception that I typically notice, is that most of these “cannabis activists” are very demotivated and show up to meetings with less ambition to participate in law reform, but rather they show up in a guise of being an “activist” and instead slang pot instead.   Or they are there to make connections with clients, even if not directly selling pot at the meetings.

When I see folks like LaVoy Finicum who are ready to give their life for their cause, and are not there to simply peddle their wares, or to make connections.  But are there to participate in revolution.  I feel ashamed being any part of a cannabis law reform group.

I have collected signatures for many citizens initiatives, most of which failed anyway.  But in participating, I have spend 10’s of thousands of dollars of my own money, and yet in the last 20 years, I have not so much as sold one single gram of marijuana.   Because I am not participating under a guise of being an “activist” while actually being there to peddle pot.  I am actually there to participate in revolution, and to see cannabis laws NULLIFIED.

I have gained a new respect for ranchers after the standoff in Nevada at Cliven Bundy’s ranch, and after watching what went down in Burns Oregon when Lavoy Finicum gave his life to stand up for liberty.

I will still fight to get cannabis laws nullified.  But I will NEVER work on another “legalization” cause again.  Legalization could otherwise be translated as “give the government more control over cannabis than they already have”, rather than ANYTHING to do with REAL liberty.   If an initiative does not dispel and remove existing laws (and replace them with NOTHING), then in my opinion it is not worth fighting for.  Initiative 502 in Washington is a prime example of how legalization is a negative cause, as opposed to nullification which means to simple get rid of existing laws on cannabis.

This country could use much less laws, not new ones!

Thanks for all of those who actually care about liberty, rather than just furthering their own financial gains.

 

Maine petition – to put legalization on the ballot

August 9th, 2015 | By Pirate

Maine pushes to legalize marijuana similar to alcohol via RegulateMaine.org‘s campaign that was launched in June 2015.

Maine petition – to put legalization on the ballot

From the website RegulateMaine.org, this is the initiative summary.  You can read the full initiative here.

What the Initiative Will Do

  • End marijuana prohibition — It allows adults 21 years of age and older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana, grow up to six marijuana plants in their homes, and possess the marijuana produced by those plants. It will remain illegal to use marijuana in public places, and the initiative does NOT change existing laws that prohibit driving under the influence of marijuana.
  • Regulate marijuana — It establishes a tightly regulated system of licensed marijuana retail stores, cultivation facilities, product-manufacturing facilities, and testing facilities and creates rules governing the production, testing, transportation, and sale of marijuana and marijuana-related products (e.g. testing, labeling, and packaging requirements). Municipalities will have the right to prohibit the operation of marijuana establishments.
  • Tax marijuana — Enacts a 10% tax on marijuana sales in addition to the standard sales tax and allocates tax revenue generated by marijuana sales to public education. Medical marijuana sales will NOT be subjected to the 10% sales tax.

What the Initiative Will NOT Do

  • It will NOT change the ability of employers to maintain their current employment policies or create new employment policies that restrict the use of marijuana by employees.
  • It will NOT change existing medical marijuana laws for patients, caregivers, or medical marijuana businesses.

– See more at: https://www.regulatemaine.org/initiative-summary/#sthash.UstAzIVs.dpuf

While this isn’t exactly like alcohol regulation, being that there are no limits that I am aware of for home brewing your own beer, or wine, etc.
With this initiative, a person over 21 is limited to growing 6 plants, and possessing 1 ounce.  So the name of the initiative is a little disingenuous IMHO.
But a few good aspects, is that the full initiative is only 19 pages.  Which is much better than Washington’s I-502 which was 68 pages with lots of carefully worded hidden agendas.   I would not support anything like I-502.
Yet even though this initiative is not perfect, I am being pragmatic and supporting something that is better than current law, and something that gets us a step closer to complete nullification.
I honestly believe that once voters see the benefits, and lack of concern when cannabis is freer than now, that they will realize that the full benefits of cannabis can only add value to society and we as a community we nullify all of the unproductive cannabis laws on the books, and treat cannabis as just another plant.
I said the same thing about Proposition 19 in California on August 30th 2010.   I even moved to California from Washington state fully expecting that initiative to pass, which sadly we got so very close and then we missed it by just a few points.

Maine legislators kill two pro-legalization bills in one week

June 30th, 2015 | By Pirate

While the legislature has made sense on the most important aspect of the cannabis plant, it looks as if though Maine has become un-smart on the other benefits of the plant.

In just one week the Maine legislature as killed two pro-legalization bills.  Both LD 1380 and LD 1401.   One can only assume their motives aside what they have publicly said on the matter to the press.   But I have to give a few of them the benefit of the doubt.   Personally after seeing the mess that was created in Washington state, the adversely effected patients, and set a precedence for ultra-high taxes on the legal cannabis market, hence forcing recreational users back into the already strong black market.  It may be that those signals from Washington and in other places, have allowed the Maine legislature to give pause to this notion, and with good reason.

From reading the Bangor Daily news, I have caught the gist of the conversation over this topic in the Maine legislature.

Russell and Dion both said it’s only a matter of time before voters enact legalization by citizens’ initiative. The regulatory needs of legalization will be immense, and the Legislature should learn from history, they said.

“Each and every Legislature that has sat in this chamber since then has been confronted with innumerable bills to play catchup,” Representative Mark Dion said. “When we have to play catchup, citizens are at risk. Their conduct is called into question, and the government enacts a high price on error.”

“We don’t know what voters will or won’t do. They change their minds,” Representative William Tuell said. “If the voters do legalize marijuana, [but the Legislature passes this bill], we’re essentially heading them off at the pass.”

That statement by Representative Tuell hits a nerve, because I wish that Washington state legislatures should have stayed out the medical cannabis issue all together in my opinion, after having much more than a decade of trial with the well formed and liberal medical cannabis laws in Washington that have seemed to do not only good by the patients that need it, but also by the state itself in noticing how crime rates dropped drastically after the 1998 passing of I-692 that legalized medical cannabis for qualifying patients.

One very uneducated Representative made some near “reefer madness” claims about the power and authority of the Federal Government.   Representative James Campbell and Independent from Newfield said the following.

“Why don’t they put a bill in to tell the people of Maine not to pay their federal taxes anymore?” he said. “What they’re doing is telling the people of Maine how to break federal law. And I think it’s disgusting.”

This is the kind of representative who appears to not be well educated on constitutional matters.  As states do in fact have the right to have laws that vary from federal law, and this example can be found in many hundreds if not thousands of examples.  One example is the minimum wage.  The Federal law says minimum wage is __fill in the blank__ and states can increase that if they would like.   Guns and abortion are another hot topic of how one state varies from another state, and also from the Federal government.  Then of course there are medical marijuana laws, of which Maine is a medical marijuana state, and those type of laws have been independent and maybe even contrary to the Federal Government’s laws on the topic.   James Campbell is running on old and out dated logic, much like Governor LePage, when LePage vetoed the Hemp Bill LD4 just to have the legislature quickly override him the following month with the easily obtained 2/3s majority that is required.

LePage said among other things;  “This legislation is fatally flawed and due to current federal law, I can see no way to make this concept work. Maine’s current law regarding industrial hemp contains “trigger provisions” that limit State licensing until the federal government excludes industrial hemp from the definition of “marihuana” or until the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency issues permits for growing industrial hemp.”

But this goes back to the working medical marijuana laws in Maine.

LePage also made another erroneous comment about industrial hemp when he said;

“I also have serious doubts about the agricultural and economic benefits of this bill. At this time, there are no developed markets in Maine for hemp and it is unlikely that this product would command a price high enough to make this crop worth growing. Proponents argue that hemp fiber can act as a replacement for wood fiber, but Maine already has a vibrant forest industry with developed infrastructure. The same cannot be said for hemp, as there is currently no equipment in Maine to grow, harvest, transport, or process hemp.”

That comment I believe brings us to the heart of the issue.  There is already established industries with LePage’s and other representatives ears.   LePage citing the “vibrant forest industry” shows to me a little bias.
There are far more uses for hemp than just fiber.  My wife and I’s company is for hemp motor oil, fuel, and body parts, similar to how Henry Ford and Rudolph Diesel designed cars in the 1940s.

With all of the things that are wrong in these discussions in the legislature and in the governor’s office, I can still only be grateful for the ability to legally grow industrial hemp, which we plan on doing asap.

With that in the Bangor Daily News article that I read on this topic, there are two separate and competing pro-legalization groups that are collecting signatures to put the legalization question out to statewide ballot in 2016.
Please read both of those initiatives and be educated on what is coming!

 

Idaho is a tough gig, it is absolutely terrorizing when you are an activist with children

July 25th, 2013 | By Pirate

I am rebroadcasting a message of the Rinehart family who are in Boise and have suffered at the wrong end of politics and prohibition. Please read the article at this link, or read below. We encourage our audience to donate to their cause and if you have ever lived in Idaho you would understand.  There is also a petition for Idaho to relax cannabis laws linked below.

This was one of my South Eastern Idaho demonstrations in 2009.   We had our second child in Rigby Idaho in 2009.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXWGyXMJrVw

This was another demonstration in SE Idhao in 2009:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=IMG6xJT1MbY

Rebroadcasting:

We are 2/3 of The Idaho Three and we Need Set Free!!

We are Lindsey, Josh, Laustin, and Elijah Rinehart and we need to become Idaho Refugees. An Idaho Refugee is a local term for people that leave the state due to bad laws. In our case, it’s medical cannabis. I, Lindsey, have Multiple Sclerosis and need medical cannabis to treat it. On April 23rd 2013 our house was raided and our children stolen by CPS due to my medical needs. I am the Chief Petitioner to get medical cannabis in our state and have been very high profile in changing our state’s laws for myself and all of the other sick Idahoans. This case of the children being taken made National and International News. Links will be at the bottom of this writing. Our state has failed us and we Have to move, and it’s Urgent!

Our family went through hell while our children were gone. They were/are lost, angry and confused as to why they were taken. They were gone for 17 days and have come home wounded and scarred. We were/are heart broken, crushed, slandered, and drug through the mud. Both boys have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder now, and so do we. We are Scared to be in Idaho. I no longer use cannabis to treat my MS but I am still the Chief Petitioner to try to get medical cannabis in Idaho.

I grew up here from a small child. Josh, Laustin, and Elijah have all been born and raised here. Leaving our home is something that we have fought against but now it’s Desperate. Treating with cannabis helped my disease quit attacking me and helped it not progress. Now that it has been so long my health is rapidly declining. This last week the MS flared and flung me into an exacerbation of symptoms. The skin on my back and front is on fire. I have weakness and fatigue. My whole body aches. My brain is fog. As my quality of life is deteriorating my children and loved ones are becoming more and more scared for my health as they all know that moving to a medical state will make this stop as soon as I can begin cannabis treatment. Complying with doctorsl I went back on several pills to try to keep my disease in check, but they have all failed.

The children want us to move. They want me to be able to treat with cannabis. Even though they are just 11 and 5, they Know there is a difference in me and want me better. They don’t want to ever get removed again and they don’t want me sick. Josh is distraught to see me fall back into the MS as well. I am in tremendous pain and the doctors want me to do steroid treatment and pills but steroids have only worked on 1 of my 7 attacks I tried them on. I had one attack that I didn’t seek steroids years ago. I have had MS for 6 years. I am 30 years old. I also have NO criminal record, with exception to 2 parking tickets from 9 years ago.

Due to finances moving to even The closest medical state is impossible. For the climate that would be best for my disease we need to move across that state. I am on disability. Josh is looking at work and school for once we move to our new home. We will be selling a lot of things that we own, and putting All of our money into this move as well. We are downsizing to a 2 bedroom from 3 to make things cheaper.

Helping us with your donation goes to the U-Haul, gas for the U-Haul, a Home (1st month and deposits), utilities on, food, and basic necessities until we are settled in. We may need to stay in a Hotel 6 for a day or two while everything is in placed into order. Anything that you can donate adds to up to helping keep our family staying together and my health getting better!

No amount is too small or too large. We need help. We have until July 30th to vacate our current home. We put in 30 days notice on the 10th but the landlady asked if we can be out in 20. It will be cheaper to do that instead of paying for a third of a months rent in this house. We thought that we had some help in a place to stay for August while these funds are raised but unfortunately it fell through. We went from having 45 days to raise them to 15 days.

Thank you for reading our story. Here are some links to verify everything that I have said. Please donate if you can and Thank You for ALL of your support, monetary or not. We wouldn’t be to this point with out people like you helping put our family back together!

Also, if you want to help us appeal the decision to be listed on the Central Registry for 10 years as peop;e who pose a medium to serious risk to children please sign our petition!

https://www.change.org/petitions/idaho-division-of-family-and-community-services-remove-the-rineharts-from-cps-central-registry#

How everything first got started for me. News Channel 12 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=riarhtamDh4 This is what my pills looked like 2 years ago and the state that they have returned to. Notice the “sagging” in my face, uneven smile and eyes? That was GONE with cannabis https://www.facebook.com
It’s coming back. It’s the most superficial symptom that some people can See. MS is silent.

Here is our facebook: https://www.facebook.com/IdahoThree

Here is our section through Compassionate Idaho: http://www.compassionateidaho.org/all_about_the_idaho_three

A Message to my Children Ladybud.com:  http://www.ladybud.com/2013/07/01/lindsey-rinehart-a-message-to-my-precious-boys/

Our Press Conference After Kids were Taken:

KTVB:  http://www.ktvb.com/

The first Local Piece KTVB:  http://www.ktvb.com/home/Medical-marijuana-activists-children-taken-from-home-charges-pending-204966741.html

International News:

UK: Dailymail.co.uk:  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2316575/Medical-marijuana-activists-children-taken-home-foster-care.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

Russia: RTT News: http://www.rttnews.com

National News:

Huffington Post:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/29/idaho-medical-marijuana-advocates_n_3179958.html

Reason.com:  http://reason.com/blog/2013/04/25/boise-police-seize-children-of-marijuana with a follow up piece: http://reason.com/blog/2013/05/13/idaho-medical-marijuana-advocate-lindsey

Opposingviews.com:  http://www.opposingviews.com/i/society/authorities-take-children-marijuana-activists-josh-and-lindsey-rinehart

Ladybud.com:  http://www.ladybud.com/2013/06/24/lindsey-rinehart-my-children-were-taken-from-me-because-i-am-an-activist/

Salem-News:  http://www.salem-news.com/articles/april252013/idaho-family-rb.php

NWCN:  http://www.nwcn.com/news/204969991.html

Local News:

KTVB:  http://www.ktvb.com/home/Medical-marijuana-activists-children-taken-from-home-charges-pending-204966741.html

KBOI: http://www.kboi2.com/news/local/Rhinehart-Pot-Marijuana-arrest-Boise-Idaho-News-205316951.html

Boise Weekly: http://www.boiseweekly.com/CityDesk/archives/2013/04/29/medical-marijuana-advocate-goes-public-after-children-are-taken-placed-into-foster-care

I hope that this will help you all decide to help us along. We could really use the help! Thank you!

Are votes/voters from Washington who vote Yes on I-502 incompetent or…. ?

October 30th, 2012 | By Pirate

What is it with voting for this very narrow exception in the law in i-502.  Some people who I admire very much or have admired in the past are voting “Yes on I-502”.  I just can’t see the intent here?   Most of these people have never been arrested for marijuana possession of under an ounce, most of these people whom I have been speaking with have never been arrested at all.   But they say “there are 10,000 possession arrests in Washington every year, this will save those people from being arrested”.   Uh yah..  Those people who are A.  Not under 21  and B. Have less than an ounce.
So yes a few thousand people will not be arrested for cannabis possession in WA every year if I-502 passes.  I get how great that is.  Big milestone right?!   Not really, because over a dozen other states have already decriminalized an ounce.  Washington won’t be the first.   I live in a state where those 18 and over can possess an ounce without committing a crime.  Not 21+ and CERTAINLY not with any new restrictions on driving or other daily functions.

So why reject I-502, it makes some progress?   Some have asked/stated.

Well the progress is off set by the regress.  When we are trying to defeat prohibition with prohibition we have not made progress instead we have begun chasing our tails.

I made the video below to explain my thoughts on this and I’ve compared I-502 again with the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937.

For all intents and purposes the opinions express here as always represent my opinions only.  I am not a member of any group, and I do not want to be.  I represent me alone, Ryan Thompson.  You may comment below, respond via a video of your own, or email me personally @  info@slu2.com.  But you will get a response from me, not some executive director, or some lobbyist representing whatever industry or another.  You will only get MY reply and MY opinion.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0e9vdV7DWA

Description of the video:

I will not apologize for calling a vote for I-502 out as foolish, idiotic, regressive,  or incompetent.

This is as a result of a conversation that I had with some people on a debate regarding I-502, and I ended up having a small insult exchange with an activist that is in favor of I-502.  John Davis vs. Ryan Thompson.

http://xcannabis.com/2012/10/comparing-initiative-502-to-the-marihuana-tax-act-of-1937/

http://xcannabis.com/2012/02/promises-from-washington-aclu-when-passing-marijuana-laws/

http://xcannabis.com/2012/02/2011/05/the-effects-of-section-301-from-my-point-of-view-sb-5073/

http://xcannabis.com/2011/05/serving-one-patient-at-any-one-time-removed-section-404-of-sb-5073/

—  See this conversation on facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/160457840740893/permalink/271437606309582/?comment_id=273355859451090&notif_t=like
Also in the conversation that was taking place on Facebook, I mentioned the lobbyist tactics used by the Washington Cannabis Association and linked to this blog post and video of the WCA meeting that I went to on 1/12/2011.
That post has since disappeared or I for some reason can not find it.

But basically (as can be heard on this video after minute 40 and before minute 50) the Washington Cannabis Association (WCA) was going around asking dispensaries for $5000 to allow them “voting rights” in the new cannabis industry, which was being fueled by SB 5073’s provisions to allow dispensaries.
The law was bad law, but the WCA promoted it without many reservations, and asked everyone else to support it as well.
Phillip Dawdy can be heard in the video saying “If the law doesn’t get written like we want it to look we can pull the plug on it”  He went into the proposal to explain further how the WCA are friends with Senator Kohl-Wells and the governor’s daughter and this issue was in the hands of the WCA.  “So just pay us $5000 to represent you, and we will get the law crafted like you all want it to look like or we’ll kill it” (Paraphrased)

See the blog post and the video at this link:  http://xcannabis.com/2011/01/sensible-washington-meeting-spokane-11211/

 BTW-  I have had to make alternative arrangements for web hosting in times that my main site is down.  We have been flooded with traffic lately, and a few hooligans with hacking software.  So our main host has been tempermental while dealing with the high traffic and denial of service attacks.

Please visit us on the TOR network at:  http://epoir43u4jtrsggp.onion/

If ever our main page at xcannabis.com is down.

This is a guide how to access the TOR network:

http://www.totse2.com/showthread.php?7098-onion-sites-what-they-are-and-how-to-access-them

Comparing Initiative 502 to the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937

October 28th, 2012 | By Pirate

In this article I will explain how Washington’s Initiative 502 is similar to the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937.
There are differences, because we are now in a post Controlled Substances Act era, and this initiative is being touted as the initiative that will “legalize marihuana” (yes I spell cannabis as marihuana in this article similar to the way they did in 1937 for the marihuana tax act).
The similarities that I am noting have to do with the tax, and the proposal for a legal/regulated market.  The differences in the two are only related to the post 1970 Controlled Substances Act era.

My proposal in this article is that Initiative 502 is not legalization, it is just a clever way of retaining prohibition at a time when Hempfest is at its all time height of attendee’s, when a group with a shoe-string budget in Washington collected hundreds of thousands of signatures on a mostly volunteer basis to get cannabis legalized in Washington.
On March 18th 2012, sponsor of I-502 Pete Holmes said after a long speech about how he believe in decriminalization of marihuana, that “a people’s initiative (to legalize marihuana) scares him terribly“.

They (the prohibitionists and lawyer profiteers) realized that a people’s initiative passing was a reality and they fought desperately to thwart those efforts.  Pete Holmes, Alison Holcomb, the ACLU and many of the law enforcement officials all publicly denounced the efforts of thousands of volunteers to collect hundreds of thousands of signatures to legalize (remove the prohibitions) from marihuana laws in Washington.  (see  www.sensiblewashington.org)

At the end of my summary I will post the texts of the two law proposals (The Marihuana Tax Act 1937 and Initiative 502).  What’s also interesting to note, is that I-502 is far larger in size/text than the original prohibition proposal The 1937 Marihuana Tax Act.  I am just going to give links to the I-502 initiative because of its enormous size.

Lets start off with a few points.

  •  The Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 was not designed to create a market, despite what the text said.  Rather it was designed to create prohibition of cannabis.  See this article, the intro is a great description regarding how TMTA-1937 created prohibition:  http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/hemp/taxact/mjtaxact.htm
  • The title of the act, and the words in the act appeared to create a taxable and regulated market.  But after the act passed in 1937 very few stamps were issued.  During WWII many stamps were issued to fuel the war efforts.  But after WWII very few were ever issued again.

It is noted:

“Shortly after the 1937 Marihuana Tax Act went into effect on October 1, 1937, the Federal Bureau of Narcotics and Denver City police arrested Moses Baca for possession and Samuel Caldwell for dealing. Baca and Caldwell’s arrest made them the first marijuana convictions under U.S. federal law for not paying the marijuana tax.[19] Judge Foster Symes sentenced Baca to 18 months and Caldwell to four years in Leavenworth Penitentiary for violating the 1937 Marihuana Tax Act.”

If we compare this to Initiative 502, which is something touted by law enforcement and other sponsors as a way to reduce crime in the black market, and to create safer roads in Washington.

As described by the Secretary of State’s office, the measure would “license and regulate marijuana production, distribution, and possession for persons over twenty-one; remove state-law criminal and civil penalties for activities that it authorizes; tax marijuana sales; and earmark marijuana-related revenues.”

Here are the points being debated

  • State law currently requires a prosecutor to prove impairment in court for DUI, after I-502 impairment is not the measurement it is a rather un-scientific blood limit of THC (5nanograms of active THC).  This targets heavy users, specifically patients that are legally recommended by a doctor to use cannabis under Washington state laws
  • The excise taxes are extreme, 25% at each point of the market with local and state taxes on top of that equaling a rough 90% tax on cannabis, thus keeping it in the black market (even if the market was remotely possible under this proposal)
  • All to help alleviate the 10,000 or so possession arrests per year in Washington state.  When many of those arrests will happen anyway since the largest demographic of cannabis consumers are under the age of 21, and many of those arrests will happen anyway because a lot of those arrests are for over one ounce (the allowable limit).
  • The offset of these arrests are the potential for a lot more arrests via the provisions in Sec. 31., Page 46

My summary is.  The two of these law reform proposals have similar goals.  They both looked really good for the community before they were voted in, and were being proposed as something different than what the language contained in them defines.   We know now that the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 was certainly the gateway to extreme marihuana prohibition.  But what about I-502.  I propose that this is also a gateway to more prohibition.  It does not at all in anyway say “legalization” to me.   In fact where I am in California anyone over the age of 18 can possess an ounce of marihuana without committing a crime, and there were no new and restrictive driving provisions installed when SB 1449 was passed, and there is no more mayhem on the roads than before.  There are over a dozen other states that have decriminalized in the same or similar ways.

I-502’s proposal for state liquor board regulated cannabis stores, and cooperation with the federal government including FBI fingerprints and background check for cannabis distributors is a sure sign that there will be no legal market, and this proposal for a ‘legal market’ will crash and burn just like SB 5073.

One more thing to note is that Washington has sufficient driving regulations to protect the roads against impaired driving.  Both DUI and Reckless Driving laws.
With Reckless driving the officer does not need to prove impairment, but only needs a visual observation that a person is driving Recklessly to issue penalties and possibly arrest.  The penalties of Reckless Driving rival and in some way are even stricter than DUI.

RCW 46.61.502: Driving under the influence

RCW 46.61.500: Reckless driving

There are also many other laws that work similarly such as

RCW 46.61.5249: Negligent driving

Washington didn’t need more restrictions on driving for this initiative to pass.  It just needed to be clear when educating about current laws regarding driving and cannabis.

More references:

Comparing Initiative 502 to the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937

Continue reading »

I-502 debate at High Times Medical Cup Seattle 2012

September 17th, 2012 | By Pirate

This is my commentary on the I-502 debate at the Seattle High Times Medical Cannabis cup. Credit to Russ Belville for recording the debate and posting it.

/http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-sPx0nmcis/

Comments:
My main contention with the approach that New Approach Washington / The ACLU / Pete Holmes is taking is this. On one hand they agree that Sensible Washington’s approach is the correct way of repealing prohibition and it is a time tested and proven method of doing it correctly as history revealed with the 18th/21st Amendments. But on the other hand they are saying “Sensible Washington’s polling only showed a 42% favor“.
Then if you look at their history with Sensible Washington’s initiatives.  Not only did Alison Holcomb / The ACLU / Pete Holmes not endorse Sensible Washington, in fact they came out publicly against Sensible Washington.True politician FAIL there!

Look up their support for Sensible Washington and the reasons that they gave for rejecting Sensible Washington: Google Search – ACLU I-1068

Peter Holmes Caught in Double Talk on I-1149 <youtube video

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The discussion on whether to support a legalization initiative on the Washington ballot.

For I-502
Alison Holcomb – ACLU of WA, New Approach Washington, Chief Petitioner
Pete Holmes – Seattle City Attorney

Against I-502
Douglas Hiatt – Seattle criminal defense attorney
Jeff Steinborn – NORML Board of Directors, Seattle criminal defense attorney

http://xcannabis.com

Ref:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0HEAWHZ1sm8

Is I-502 another avenue to socialism?

September 11th, 2012 | By Pirate

With all of the concerns that the public has with I-502.  One should be wondering is I-502 another avenue to socialism?  Whether you are a cannabis consumer that feels threatened by the new DUID laws, or a medical patient who relies on a vehicle to get to and from appointments for their health, or whether you are an anti-prohibition advocate that does not appreciate simply trading one prohibition for another.   There is another subject that rarely gets discussed in this issue.  That is the retail market structure.

The reason that this retail market part of Initiative does not get discussed very often is that most everyone that has been working on this issue either in Washington or outside of Washington it is obvious to most that this retail market has no chance of existing.

We saw with initiative SB 5073 that the governor was not willing to put government employees in jeopardy of being penalized by the federal government for participating in illegal activities that violates federal commerce laws on federally illegal substances.    Governor Gregoire veoted all of the good sections of SB 5073 (just as I had predicted all along), and kept the portions which further restricts the distribution and doctor/patient relationships.  Section 402 and Section 301 were two very destructive provisions of SB 5073 that withstood the governors line item veto.

But lets pretend that the state government is going to throw all caution to the wind, and actually issue these permits.  Lets pretend that they won’t block the retail market by withholding the permits.  Lets pretend that the federal government is not going to interfere with this and won’t sue the state to block the retail market.

So in these provisions of I-502 the road to socialism is planned and being paved.  There are provisions for costly licensing, inspections, testing of product, etc.  But after that the cost of the taxes placed on cannabis are extreme.  25% x3 for all levels of distribution, totaling 75%  excise tax, plus there is a significant retail tax at the end, after all of the other taxes are tallied up.

From Votesmart.org

http://votesmart.org/elections/ballot-measure/1743/concerning-the-legalization-of-marijuana

“It would cost $250 to apply for a license. It would also cost $1,000 every year to get and keep a license. A separate license would be required for each location. Locations could not be within 1,000 feet of any school, playground, recreation centers, child care center, park, transit center, library, or game arcade. Producers and processors could not have any financial interest in any licensed marijuana retailer.

It would still be a state law crime for a person under age 21 to grow, sell, or possess marijuana. It also would remain illegal under state law for anybody, including people who have licenses under this measure, to sell marijuana or products containing marijuana to people under 21 years old.”

 

“This measure would require licensed producers and processors to submit marijuana samples to an independent lab for regular testing. The state would receive test results. Marijuana that does not satisfy state standards would be destroyed.

Sales of marijuana would be taxed. Marijuana excise taxes, in the amount of 25% of the selling price, would be collected on all sales of marijuana, at each level of production and distribution. Sale by a marijuana producer to a marijuana processor would be subject to a 25% tax. A sale by the processor to a retailer would be subject to an additional 25% tax. Sales of marijuana by a retailer would be subject to an additional 25% tax. State and local sales taxes would also apply to retail sales of marijuana.

The measure directs the state to spend designated amounts from the marijuana excise taxes, license fees, penalties, and forfeitures for certain purposes. Those purposes include spending fixed dollar amounts on: administration of this measure; a survey of youth regarding substance use and other information; a cost-benefit evaluation of the implementation of this measure; and web-based public education materials about health and safety risks posed by marijuana use. Remaining money would be distributed as follows: 50% for the state basic health plan; 15% for programs and practices aimed at prevention or reduction of substance abuse; 10% for marijuana education; 5% for other health services; 1% for research on short-term and long-terms effects of marijuana use; and .75% for a program that seeks to prevent school dropouts. The remaining 18.25% would be distributed to the state general fund.”

This is essentially what socialism is.  The problem with socialism vs. the free market is that the government artificially sets the prices of almost everything in the market, and regulates who can and can not be in business.   This inflates the costs of doing business, and lowers the incentive.   Then the money that is collected gets redistributed out to functions that the government bureaucracies deem worthy, based on whatever bias is at the helm.

How this works against the consumer is that the quality of the product typically is lower, since the incentive to produce quality products is less as the overall reward is less. It significantly increases the price of the product.   It also works against the freedom of the free market for the consumers to decide where the benefits of the industry goes to.   When the government is responsible for redistributing the money, the consumer input is rarely considered.  If someone in a free market is able to collect the full potential of their product or service in the industry in question, that business owner or individual then takes their proceeds to the market and buys whatever they want.  That is a way of voting in a democratic way as to which products and services are valuable to the community (rather than what products and services are valuable to the typically inefficient government).

The free market works for freedom.  The socialistic market works for government and tyranny.

When the government controls a market like cannabis, that is already deeply ingrained in the black market, what happens is the market stays where it is and does not move towards government regulation.   When the taxes are so high on the product that it increases its cost more than twice as much there is little incentive for the consumer to go to the government regulated market.  When it is cheaper and more community friendly to keep their business in the black market.

If these government officials and lawyers want to do something positive to end the atmosphere in the black market, they need to make the legal/regulated market more inviting by keeping costs low for the business owners as well as the consumers.

This is the same principle that we have saw with taxes in this country.   There was a time in our country that there was no income tax.  Before 1913 a mans/womans labor was their own, the government did not own their labor and couldn’t not tax it.  But after 1913 we got both the Federal Reserve and with it income taxes as well as all kinds of other new bureaucracies.   By 1944 taxes got up to 94%!   Which left very little incentive for American businesses to stay in the USA.  So this is when we saw businesses hiring lobbyists to open up markets of trade where taxes were much less, and American jobs started heading over seas.   We have saw no decline in this until taxes started going down, and still USA businesses are taxed at the top bracket of the world market even though we are being taxed at about 1/3 of the rate as we were taxed in 1944.

Socialism destroys the market place.   This will be no different IF I-502 some how gets legal dispensaries through the state government and if the government actually issues permits.

References for Is I-502 another avenue to socialism?:

 

by Reverend Ryan
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My reasons for wanting full legalization – memory lane

May 3rd, 2012 | By Pirate

I was watching videos from last year that I made.   I was curious about some of the specifics of the two California initiatives that I was aware of at the time.

I was able to listen my main concerns about cannabis prohibition. I have been saying these things for years in other videos. Since 2008 on video and well before in my teen years as well.
My main concern is LIBERTY.

This is the first video (besides my hempfest videos), that I did about cannabis and uploaded.

Uploaded by xcannabiscom on Aug 30, 2008

This is a 10 minute video about Christianity and Cannabis